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Coin conundrums

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Have I understood the encumbrance rules correctly? A STR:10 CON:10 character can carry a SIZ:10 character whose mass is 60kg (p.52 RQ Roleplaying in Glorantha) without slowing down, but if he tries to carry a sack of 1760 clacks whose mass is 7kg (p. 17 and 151) he will slow down.

 

1 ENC gold bullion is worth 600L and has mass of 1-5kg, but a kg of Wheel coins has the value of 1800L or about 3000L depending on the sources. What is mixed in to Wheels to make them so valuable?

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I worked armored cars for nearly two decades and I have NEVER understood the weight of coins in RPGs.  Most medieval coins were alloyed just like modern ones.  This significantly reduces the weight of a coin.  I would just use a modern US Quarter's weight as the base weight for coinage.  You get 180 Quarters total in a single Kilogram (coins are weighed to verify counts at the Federal Reserve).  You could also use a slightly heavier weight to account for the coins containing more precious metal in them than modern US coins.  I'd use a number like 150 coins per kg... a nice easily remembered number.

    If you like BIG coins just use the APPROXIMATE weight of a Half Dollar which would give you about 100 coins per kg.     

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12 hours ago, Brootse said:

 What is mixed in to Wheels to make them so valuable?

Imperial magic. In RQ3, there is a rune spell "Coin Wheels" for the Lokarnos cult, and it may be a partial re-instating of the Gold Wheel Dancers of the Dawn Age (and earlier).

It is possible that the mere presence of these coins conveys some form of authority and order. Wheels may be an antidote to anarchy.

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Remember that its not just weight but carryability aka awkwardness. Like backpacking with a 50lb backpack is not too hard bit trying to walkaround with a 50LB desk or chair is weird and clumbsy so is more encumbering.

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3 hours ago, Joerg said:

Imperial magic. In RQ3, there is a rune spell "Coin Wheels" for the Lokarnos cult, and it may be a partial re-instating of the Gold Wheel Dancers of the Dawn Age (and earlier).

It is possible that the mere presence of these coins conveys some form of authority and order. Wheels may be an antidote to anarchy.

At pure gold (or the magical minting wouldn't work) and perfectly circular (so that shaving the coin doesn't work), they are that rarity - a coin whose value is perfectly defined and authentic. This is worth a lot in itself. Where possible, everyone would want to be paid in Wheels.

Edited by Akhôrahil
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6 hours ago, Joerg said:

Imperial magic. In RQ3, there is a rune spell "Coin Wheels" for the Lokarnos cult, and it may be a partial re-instating of the Gold Wheel Dancers of the Dawn Age (and earlier).

It is possible that the mere presence of these coins conveys some form of authority and order. Wheels may be an antidote to anarchy.

Good point, I wonder if it will be in the upcoming book? While the spell doesn't say that the coins will be enchanted gold, and since it doesn't take permanent POW it doesn't seem like they would be, Wheels being enchanted gold could also explain their higher value. You could double your light spells radius with them, or even put your Wheels in a net and brain ghosts with them :)

 

4 hours ago, Videopete said:

Remember that its not just weight but carryability aka awkwardness. Like backpacking with a 50lb backpack is not too hard bit trying to walkaround with a 50LB desk or chair is weird and clumbsy so is more encumbering.

True, and desks and chairs are good examples of objects that are difficult to carry, but I think that a 7kg coin sack should be easier to carry around than a 60kg person.

 

3 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

At pure gold (or the magical minting wouldn't work) and perfectly circular (so that shaving the coin doesn't work), they are that rarity - a coin whose value is perfectly defined and authentic. This is worth a lot in itself. Where possible, everyone would want to be paid in Wheels.

The RQ3 spell separated the required gold from the mass, so you could read it as being able to refine the gold. The cost of making coins is the cost of the metal used + mintage (how much the mint gets from making the coins) + seigniorage (coin tax). Eg. in Medieval England the mintage + seigniorage were together about 6% of the value of the metal used. The value of coins fluctuated, but it usually stayed higher than the metal in them, because otherwise people would have melted the coins to get richer. But the value of coins was never multiple times the value of the metal in them. So if the Wheels are so much more valuable than gold, they need to do something that normal gold doesn't, because otherwise people would only accept them as payment when forced. Which could of course very well be true in Sun worshipping areas, but outside them the Wheels would lose most of their value. Lunars and Clacks don't have the same value problem as Wheels, since silver can be added to copper, and gold to silver to make them more valuable. And Bolgs seem to be pure lead.

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40 minutes ago, Brootse said:

The RQ3 spell separated the required gold from the mass, so you could read it as being able to refine the gold. The cost of making coins is the cost of the metal used + mintage (how much the mint gets from making the coins) + seigniorage (coin tax). Eg. in Medieval England the mintage + seigniorage were together about 6% of the value of the metal used. The value of coins fluctuated, but it usually stayed higher than the metal in them, because otherwise people would have melted the coins to get richer. But the value of coins was never multiple times the value of the metal in them. So if the Wheels are so much more valuable than gold, they need to do something that normal gold doesn't, because otherwise people would only accept them as payment when forced. Which could of course very well be true in Sun worshipping areas, but outside them the Wheels would lose most of their value. Lunars and Clacks don't have the same value problem as Wheels, since silver can be added to copper, and gold to silver to make them more valuable. And Bolgs seem to be pure lead.

While perhaps not perfectly applicable, RQ:G lists cost of 20+ L per rune point cast for magic services. It's almost certainly cheaper when done in a "routine" mode (it's easy to imagine low-ranking Lokarnos initiates having to churn them out), but even so, this would indicate that the cost of production for Wheels is very high compared to the value of the coin itself. Combine this with things like how they are pure gold while the gold cost listed might be for alloyed gold, and (if I recall correctly) how higher-ranking Sun worshipers are supposed to handle only gold coins, we get both an increased minting cost and a non-rational scarcity. Since everyone knows that Wheels are valuable and not easy to mass-produce, and they are cultic requirements for certain people and inherently sacred, they stay valuable. (I would also argue that they probably have some kind of magical durability - what is perfect will not be corrupted, and so on.) 

Edited by Akhôrahil
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36 minutes ago, Akhôrahil said:

While perhaps not perfectly applicable, RQ:G lists cost of 20+ L per rune point cast for magic services. It's almost certainly cheaper when done in a "routine" mode (it's easy to imagine low-ranking Lokarnos initiates having to churn them out), but even so, this would indicate that the cost of production for Wheels is very high compared to the value of the coin itself. Combine this with things like how they are pure gold while the gold cost listed might be for alloyed gold, and (if I recall correctly) how higher-ranking Sun worshipers are supposed to handle only gold coins, we get both an increased minting cost and a non-rational scarcity. Since everyone knows that Wheels are valuable and not easy to mass-produce, and they are cultic requirements for certain people and inherently sacred, they stay valuable. (I would also argue that they probably have some kind of magical durability - what is perfect will not be corrupted, and so on.) 

I recalled something similar, and managed to find the source: Sun County says that "The Yelmalio cult leaders have an obligation to use gold as much as possible." While we haven't had as thorough description of other Sun cults, I'd guess that the obligation applies to them too, except for Elmal.

I read the Coin Wheel's description properly this time, and it makes only one coin at a time. So the RAW mintage would indeed be 20L :) And the spell does say "worth 20 pennies each in lands where their legality is recognized", so looks like that one of the coin conundrums I had has been solved. To celebrate, have some Greenback Dancers:

OAGyw8r.gif

Edited by Brootse

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47 minutes ago, Brootse said:

I recalled something similar, and managed to find the source: Sun County says that "The Yelmalio cult leaders have an obligation to use gold as much as possible." While we haven't had as thorough description of other Sun cults, I'd guess that the obligation applies to them too, except for Elmal.

If we posit that urban Solar temples (and maybe even governments) could have the rule "all payments to the temple must be in Wheels as far as possible", it would also create a demand for the coins. But lucky you, they maintain a money changer outside the temple (charging an unpleasantly high fee, naturally!)...

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