We have been playing MERP (Middle Earth Role Playing game) for some years. Essentially all the old Editions by ICE (Iron Crown Enterprises), that use/extend Rolemaster.

There are some lists of prices in the rule books, but there is nothing in terms of wages/economy, etc.

Our current group plays a very open sandbox-style campaign centered around the economy of a shire in Arthedain, (comparable maybe to medieval Europe).

Do you know of any good lists of prices and wages, if possible in the Rolemaster/MERP currency (Gold/Silver/Bronze/Copper/Tin pieces)? We have been inferring prices through a mix of research into medieval economy in England/Scotland and 'translations' from other systems. This quite imprecise and laborious as well...


...And a 10-Foot Pole

This seems to be the go-to book for Rolemaster prices. However, it is out of print and amazon lists used copies starting at 100$ and more.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Just because a book is out of print does not mean you can download it for free. \$\endgroup\$ – Sardathrion Feb 28 '13 at 9:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes I can, see the link above. >P Whoever uploaded it to scridb had to agree to be in possession of the necessary rights. If that was not the case, how is this my problem? And I don't see how me paying some collector on Amazon or Ebay 100-200$ for a shabby copy is helping any of the copyright holders in the slightest. \$\endgroup\$ – fgysin Feb 28 '13 at 9:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ It might be your problem because as far as I know, stackoverflow does not allow links to wares. I am not interested in a discussion about piracy and whether or when it is right or wrong. Just a comment, nothing more. \$\endgroup\$ – Sardathrion Feb 28 '13 at 10:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ For all I know this is a legal upload. \$\endgroup\$ – fgysin Feb 28 '13 at 10:10
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Very, very unlikely. Clicking "I agree I have all rights" is not the same as it being true. Scribd has that clause so they are not liable, and the liability falls squarely in the users instead—i.e., the uploader, and you. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Feb 28 '13 at 16:00

For magic items, Treasure Companion is invaluable. But for regular items, the book you want is ...And a 10-Foot Pole. Unfortunately, its out of print, copies are expensive, and one of the PDFs that's not back in print via RPGNow. But, if you search the web for it, you should be able to find the PDF.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Does this use prices compatible with the ones in Rolemaster/MERP, i.e. Gold/Silver/Bronze/Copper/Tin pieces? That would give bonus points. I might even consider paying 100+$ (jesus!)... \$\endgroup\$ – fgysin Feb 28 '13 at 8:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ I was vague for a reason. I'd encourage removing the link and leaving it as an exercise (both moral and technical) of the reader. \$\endgroup\$ – Chuck Dee Feb 28 '13 at 13:19

In addition to the excellent And a 10 foot pole the Castles and Ruins (#5542) supplement for RMSS has some very useful economic bits and pieces in it that you should find relevant, including

  • Servants/Contractors Wages and availability
  • Taxes and Income
  • Standards of living modifications
  • Siege artillery attack tables, okay, so that's not relevant, but it's fun.

It basically has plenty of useful stuff for managing small economic systems/fiefdoms, building a castle and running it.

I'd recommend taking a look.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Sounds great, thanks. Will definitely look into it. \$\endgroup\$ – fgysin Mar 1 '13 at 8:03

Grain into Gold, A Fantasy World Economy is a generic supplement that lays out how a medieval fantasy economy would work and the relative value of goods, lands, services, and wages, starting from the price of bread and housing and working upward. It's an excellent read, well-researched, very much focused on usefulness for gaming (rather than just economic theorising for theory's sake), and available affordably in PDF.

Using the web of value that Grain into Gold describes, it's easy to figure out appropriate wages given the prices of commodities that those people rely on locally. It's not a list of wages and prices, but it does all the hard work of research for you, just leaving you to fill in the numbers that are appropriate to your game. Its sub-sub-title is truth in print: "A Simple and Sane Supplement for use with your Fantasy Role-Playing Game". For a more in-depth look without buying, there's this humorous but detailed review, which is how I originally learned of the book.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Hmm, this seems interesting... But still, translating prices in a way that is comprehensible and takes into account existing prices is hard. But I might have to turn to this, if no in-system resources can be found... \$\endgroup\$ – fgysin Feb 27 '13 at 22:41

For any question about fantasy economies, I now almost always turn to ACKS (Adventurer, Conqueror, King System). They do a great job of handling economics from peasants to emperors with a sane, consistent system. It can actually tell you how much that castle costs and it makes sense. Their prices and wages mesh perfectly.

It's not in your selected currency, but you could adapt it, as you mentioned.

In addition to the excellent Grain Into Gold referenced above, I also recommend Farm, Forge, and Steam for a system-agnostic look at economic world-building.

For historical prices and wages, you can't go wrong with Fief. You'll also get a ton of other information along with your lists.


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