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Common Wages for regular people in DnD - What do people earn in Gold and Silver?

Ninjazombie42

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How much do regular people, from poor to rich, earn in gold, silver and copper? How much are weekly or monthly wages for non-adventurers in dnd? Does it vary from edition to edition and setting to setting?
 

Sage Genesis

Two
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It will vary from setting to setting and edition to edition. In some settings they don't even use gold and silver as commonplace currencies. Dark Sun is based on baked and glazed ceramic coins and Dragonlance's main unit of currency is steel coins IIRC.
 

Airos

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3.5 Edition, [url="http://www.d20srd.org/srd/equipment/goodsAndServices.htm#spellcastingAndServices]for example[/url], says that untrained hirelings, (laborers, porters, cooks, maids, and other menial workers), earn 1 SP per day. Trained hirelings, (mercenary warriors, masons, craftsmen, scribes, teamsters, and other trained hirelings), offers 3 SP per day as a minimum wages, and suggests that many such hirelings require significantly higher pay.

I believe the 3.5 DMG gave an expanded list of professions and wages, although I'm not finding it on the SRD off hand. edit: Page 105, for the curious.
 
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Marc17

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How much do regular people, from poor to rich, earn in gold, silver and copper? How much are weekly or monthly wages for non-adventurers in dnd? Does it vary from edition to edition and setting to setting?
1E: AD&D has a list of hirelings and their salaries.

3E/PF: Common laborers, peasants, and farmers earn 1 SP per day or 7 SP per week. People with a Profession earn half their roll in gold per week of work, so if a skill of 4 and taking ten, 7 GP per week. I believe that is the default for PCs trying to find work in downtime. Most other skills like Craft would make things if able to sell all he could make would be his roll times DC of item being made in SP per week. So an NPC with Craft weapon with +10 to his roll and taking ten working on DC 20 items (complex or superior items or masterwork weapons) could be making 40 GP/week. +10 is achievable by a 1st level character with good stats, feats, and masterwork tools, but it does act as a maximum and assumes they can sell everything they make while normally assuming it works like Profession. For lords, landowners, and such, it would depend on their domain management and the Kingmaker system and certain skill rolls and how much of their Build Points they convert to gold.



edited because I forgot the craftsmen would have to spend half that on materials. Funny enough, IIRC, that is a higher profit margin than somebody making magic items with a cost in XP also. Also for more stuff as I review SRDs.
 
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KingDobbs

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In actual gold and silver probably very little, if any. MOST people trade in goods and services, particularly in the assumed pre-industrial setting wherein most people are subsistence farmers, and that is pretty much the primary locus of economic activity.

That being said, ultimately you've asked a deeper and to some extent unanswerable question, because most if not all D&D books that detail settings really do any kind of in-depth analysis of the setting economy. And I don't mean just "what kind of coin do the various realms use", but "how are goods and services produced, traded, and consumed?" And that is ultimately because the various setting and rule books assume an "adventurer-based economy".

Which is why you have things like "the ten foot pole costs more than a ten foot ladder, which is literally composed of two ten foot poles".
 

Marc17

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In actual gold and silver probably very little, if any. MOST people trade in goods and services, particularly in the assumed pre-industrial setting wherein most people are subsistence farmers, and that is pretty much the primary locus of economic activity.

That being said, ultimately you've asked a deeper and to some extent unanswerable question, because most if not all D&D books that detail settings really do any kind of in-depth analysis of the setting economy. And I don't mean just "what kind of coin do the various realms use", but "how are goods and services produced, traded, and consumed?" And that is ultimately because the various setting and rule books assume an "adventurer-based economy".

Which is why you have things like "the ten foot pole costs more than a ten foot ladder, which is literally composed of two ten foot poles".
Well, it also differed between authors. In some cases, things are tried to be kept realistic such as the 1cp/lb price for flour. Meanwhile, other authors assume only an adventurer economy and price classically inferior grains such as millet as much more expensive. Likewise, they seem to have no idea what they are talking about when making marzipan 160x the cost of the ingredients needed to make it, or the cost of fish from the local stream in the GP per pound (3E Arms and Equipment Guid, I'm looking at you). Most of the treatment D&D gets for any attempt on economy is because they occasionally try (e.g. max number of items that can be purchased in a population center) with rules to keep players from abusing things which of course breaks down in plenty of cases. Meanwhile, other games don't even try, allowing for even greater egresses. Traveller has some economy stuff as trading is a part of the game, but nobody harshes on Top Secret because there are no Investment rules (although you can always do the trick of buying counterfeit money and using that to buy equipment).
 

Payndz

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Many years ago, White Dwarf ran a series of articles called "Designing a quasi-mediaeval society for D&D" which pointed out that the economics in 1e were completely off the rails - two pints of beer cost a bearer's entire wages for the day, leaving them nothing for food or lodging, for example! (It being a British article, the suggested changes to make the economy work were all based around the price of alcohol: the Ale Standard. :) )
 

Illithidbix

Unisystem Zombie
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From 5E http://dnd.wizards.com/products/tabletop/players-basic-rules
=
The lifestyle expenses bit is a tad confusing as it's as it's as much as 1gp/day to live a modest lifestyle,
Modest. A modest lifestyle keeps you out of the slums and ensures that you can maintain your equipment. You live in an older part of town, renting a room in a boarding house, inn, or temple. You don’t go hungry or thirsty, and your living conditions are clean, if simple. Ordinary people living modest lifestyles include soldiers with families, laborers, students, priests, hedge wizards, and the like.
... but this assumes you're doing nothing to prop yourself up.

Interstingly the crafting rules include this

While crafting, you can maintain a modest lifestyle without having to pay 1 gp per day, or a comfortable lifestyle at half the normal cost (see chapter 5 for more information on lifestyle expenses).
Presumably it assumes even if you're trying to make a suit of Full Plate, you've got enough time bettween tasks to do odd jobs to cover costs.

As for hiring NPCs:
Skilled 2 gp per day
Untrained 2 sp per day

Skilled hirelings include anyone hired to perform a service that involves a proficiency (including weapon, tool, or skill): a mercenary, artisan, scribe, and so on. The pay shown is a minimum; some expert hirelings require more pay. Untrained hirelings are hired for menial work that requires no particular skill and can include laborers, porters, maids, and similar workers.
 

Barbatruc

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I think probably ACKS currently has the best system for thinking through this, via the per-family revenues collected by manorial lords. It works out to 50–110sp per family per month for peasant families (including 20sp from direct taxation and the rest from work on manorial lands), and 60sp per familiar per month for skilled trades (again including 20sp from taxation).

Assuming that manorial lords capture much of the value of peasant family labor (basically, as much as they can while still retaining living peasants), I'd say this leaves a peasant family with something like 60sp per month, enough for daily consumption of one loaf of bread (1sp), one pound of cheese (5cp) and one dozen eggs (5cp) — by skimping on the daily egg amount you can get some ale, and once in a while a 1sp pound of meat.

As for families in the skilled trades: an apprentice earns 100sp per month and a master craftsman earns 400sp. My understanding is that the system is mute on whether this includes or excludes the amount captured by the manorial lord.
 

Baron Opal

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I like the ACKs structure, too. It was made to be interally consistant, and, I believe, at least informed by what price and tax information is available. Prices varied across time and place, of course, but they did pick prices and economies that have the right feel.

The magic item economy is informed by that and the numbers of leveled characters. It's almost by fiat, but it is a good place to start.
 
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