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Esrolian Coins?


Martin

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Gold coins are pretty universally called wheels anywhere Issaries merchants make deals. The sacred nature of these coins probably prevents mints from producing other denominations (sizes) of gold coins. The silver penny may be called after the owners of the minting privilege, like the Guilder or the Lunar, or after a prominent feature of the inscription. 300 years of Belintar's reign may have unified the Kethaelan coinage to some extent, while still allowing commemorative stamp designs on behalf of the rulers. 

The silver penny will most likely be round - square coins make sense for Earth Metal, but not for Star or Sky Metal. Depending on the quarter of Nochet you visit, coins may be of exotic origin like Fonrit, Umathela or Kralorela. Outside of those quarters, you might have to find someone to change them to more convenient local coins for them to be accepted at face value (minus exchange fee).

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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I agree that the gold coins will be noted as Wheels and will be round.  Legacy of the Gold Wheel Dancers.

As for silver coins, I think round makes sense.  I think Guilders tends to come from Sartarite towns post-Sartar.  Lunars are obviously minted in the Empire and probably have only shown up over prior 40-50 years.  I'm inclined to think that earlier silver coins may have been termed Stars as reflecting silver mined from the bodies of dead star gods who fell from the sky.  Probably other common terms for silver coins from the God Learners, EWF, and Zistorites depending on typical design.  Some probably have holes in the center to be easily strung together.

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Myself, I have coins in more than units of 1.

Coins in the Guide to Glorantha are given as copper and silver 0.2 troy ounces - so ~6.1 grams each. A gold wheel is .36 troy ounces ~11.2 grams. All three coins are about the size of a United States quarter (gold is almost twice as dense as silver) (~6 grams, and ~24 mm across).

I have copper bolgs (also called "clods"); which are ~.6 grams, about 1/2 the diameter of an american dime. A mere 8mm across (about 1/3 of an inch, they are "small change" but are much more convenient than lead bolgs. Clods are usually triangular shaped. 

I also have silver clacks, also ~.6 grams, and the same size as copper bolgs. They are worth the same as a copper clack, but again, are much more convenient to carry. Most coins are round, to discourage clipping. In my game, Holy country guilders are six-sided, to represent the six kingdoms ruled by the pharaoh. 

The Dara Happens have gold "spokes" (called "arrows" by most Yelmalions). These dart-shaped coins are each 1/10 of a wheel. They are about 20mm long, and 2 to 3 mm wide. Solar cultists may not like using silver, but they can't buy everything with wheels!

Other coins include 2, 4, and 5 clack and 1/4, 1/2, 2, and 4 guilder pieces. 4-guilder coins are often called 'masters', as 4 guilders a day is the approximate pay for a master craftsman. A Dara Happen "Wagon" is a huge gold coin, worth 4 wheels.

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 For Malkioni I used to have gold sovereigns, and pennies (silvers and coppers). However that all feels totally wrong for Malkioni coinage these days, too medieval in tone. Well 'sovereigns' perhaps could be okay for gold coins, but the term 'pennies' definitely needs to go. I would need something something more ancient or exotic sounding. I originally thought of ancient currency from India, but unsure if the names are a bit too 'Indian' sounding. Perhaps indo-greek coinage may be more appropriate? Bezants even?

Sorry to digress off Esrolian coinage

Edited by Mankcam

" Sure it's fun, but it is also well known that a D20 roll and an AC is no match against a hefty swing of a D100% and a D20 Hit Location Table!"

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Any term for coinage apart from Clack, Wheel or Lunar is going to be anachronistic - the Lydian pieces of electrum (the first metal coins ever) are post-homeric.

Non-metal coinage such as Kauris or Wampum might be older. And don't underestimate beads of glass, amber or pearl.

 

On the topic of different denominations and giving exact exchange - I would avoid that. Even a monetary ancient society wouldn't operate much with small change. A lot will be done with credit, possibly prepaid credit.

What is the Esrolian concept of property? Rural Orlanthi have the clan chief as the sole legally entitled decision-maker for expenses of clan property, which includes much of the clothing, arms and armor worn by the rural characters. Making something a personal possession is something of a big deal because it is taking the item out of communal property. How do the Kibbuzim manage this?

Both thrift and generosity are virtues.

Esrolian Houses likewise have the Grandmother in the role as top manager of the estate. Asrelia. The question is whether personal property among rural folk mainly seeing only their own House folk is more prevalent or the same as in Heortling society. When you go elsewhere, you get to carry a certain amount of house or clan wealth to cover trades with outsiders. Living in the city, you might have a stipend against House or guild accounts.

Life in a city or some other place where your own community is significantly present but not the majority will make exchanges outside of the community commonplace.

 

Gambling implies personal items of worth - which may be future services as well as material items. Is it okay to wager items loaned by the clan/house? Will such loans be reckoned in terms of coinage or some other form of ´numeric evaluation?

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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2 hours ago, Joerg said:

Any term for coinage apart from Clack, Wheel or Lunar is going to be anachronistic - the Lydian pieces of electrum (the first metal coins ever) are post-homeric.

True, but while we're at it, mail is anachronistic, as is riding on the back of an animal.

The catch is that we, as players, are not bronze-age people. To us, paying for everything with lumps of metal is an anachronism, and we enjoy it immensely. Colorfully named coinage enhances the fantasy for most of us. But it also has to be kept simple - hence we call all silver pieces "Lunars" or "Guilders". In all probability, every petty kingdom has it's own name and weight of coinage... "The exchange rate is 17 Ramalian Tusks for 13 Grazelander Loshadi". It's fun to throw in for color, but do you really want to have a chart of exchange rates on the back of your character sheet? "New exchange rates this week gang; a new silver mine was found in Otkorion and the Esrolian economy took a hit when Graymane plundered Nochet."

To answer Mankcam's question, why not name the coinage after the castes?

  • Taeles - Gold
  • Zables - Silver
  • Horles - Copper
  • Droles - Lead

Or something like that. But don't get too exotic, or hard to pronounce, or your players won't be able to use it.

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1 minute ago, pachristian said:

True, but while we're at it, mail is anachronistic, as is riding on the back of an animal.

An animal other than domesticated cattle, horses, donkeys, camels, or trained wild-born elephants, moose...

Yes, riding oxen or cows is entirely possible, and sitting on the back of draught beasts would have been done. An important point here is that the beast needs to be acclimated to the presence of and domination by humans. Which the Praxian herd beasts are, to a point.

 

1 minute ago, pachristian said:

The catch is that we, as players, are not bronze-age people. To us, paying for everything with lumps of metal is an anachronism, and we enjoy it immensely.

I have never enjoyed parting with my money or other forms of wealth. And yes, in the age of digital credit, dealing out coins does come across as old-fashioned and quaint, when our digital economy of renting flat rates, pre-paying services, or even paying a patronage for artists, are a bit closer to how things were done before the state-monopoly for monetary exchange.

 

1 minute ago, pachristian said:

Colorfully named coinage enhances the fantasy for most of us.

I am used to being in a minority, but does recreating a decimal coinage system in a world which doesn't really do measurements really enhance the fantasy, or does it break the immersion?

 

1 minute ago, pachristian said:

But it also has to be kept simple - hence we call all silver pieces "Lunars" or "Guilders". In all probability, every petty kingdom has it's own name and weight of coinage... "The exchange rate is 17 Ramalian Tusks for 13 Grazelander Loshadi". It's fun to throw in for color, but do you really want to have a chart of exchange rates on the back of your character sheet? "New exchange rates this week gang; a new silver mine was found in Otkorion and the Esrolian economy took a hit when Graymane plundered Nochet."

Not more than once or twice in a campaign. Outside shake-ups of the legal tender can lead to scenarios or scenario-hooks. But it can fail to do so just as well, as I found out years ago when exchanging campaign data with @Jeff.

But then I don't keep an account book on my character sheets most of the time.

I have been advocating a re-think on property for quite a while now, because this is another fantasy we can draw upon. A world where your material success is measured in your contribution to the community rather than in your own enrichment. A world where your community provides a social net that will buffer your fall, to a certain degree.

 

1 minute ago, pachristian said:

To answer Mankcam's question, why not name the coinage after the castes?

  • Taeles - Gold
  • Zables - Silver
  • Horles - Copper
  • Droles - Lead

Or something like that. But don't get too exotic, or hard to pronounce, or your players won't be able to use it.

The association of money with the castes sounds good at first, but there are a couple of things I would do differently.

Reserving gold for the talar caste is very appropriate. I don't think that Zzaburi should have to pay for goods or services in any other way than by magic, or magical credit, though, or maybe in gems useful for their spellcraft. Perhaps the Ralians have a different view on this, one that might use lead tokens for secret transactions.

Horali and burghers should be allowed to handle silver, while non-burgher dronars might as well be restricted to clacks, if nothing else for lack of exposure to money. Lead coinage might be the mark of the outsiders and the untouchables, at least where Arkat is regarded as a major error in history.

 

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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8 hours ago, Joerg said:

What is the Esrolian concept of property? Rural Orlanthi have the clan chief as the sole legally entitled decision-maker for expenses of clan property, which includes much of the clothing, arms and armor worn by the rural characters. Making something a personal possession is something of a big deal because it is taking the item out of communal property. How do the Kibbuzim manage this?

Same as Orlanthi but put the Grandmother of the House as the decision-maker for clan/house property.

8 hours ago, Joerg said:

Esrolian Houses likewise have the Grandmother in the role as top manager of the estate. Asrelia. The question is whether personal property among rural folk mainly seeing only their own House folk is more prevalent or the same as in Heortling society. When you go elsewhere, you get to carry a certain amount of house or clan wealth to cover trades with outsiders. Living in the city, you might have a stipend against House or guild accounts.

Life in a city or some other place where your own community is significantly present but not the majority will make exchanges outside of the community commonplace.

Agree.

8 hours ago, Joerg said:

Is it okay to wager items loaned by the clan/house? Will such loans be reckoned in terms of coinage or some other form of ´numeric evaluation?

Sounds like something a Trickster would do.  And dealing with the ramifications of such may be extensive.

 

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  • 3 months later...

Barging in on the money thread.

Silver coins in and around Fonrit might be called dirhams and deniers (to have some variety)? Wheels would still be wheels or would Pamaltela have some other gold coins. What would Kresh tokens look like? 

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1 hour ago, hkokko said:

Barging in on the money thread.

Silver coins in and around Fonrit might be called dirhams and deniers (to have some variety)? Wheels would still be wheels or would Pamaltela have some other gold coins. What would Kresh tokens look like? 

Fonritian coins are not called dirhams or deniers, which have their root in drachma and denarius respectively and seem quite inappropriate for me. Fonritian coins, like Sesnegi imperials and the various Safelstran ducats (which just means "coins of the Duke"), likely have their origins in the "imperials" of the Middle Sea Empire. I strongly doubt they use Wheels, which I suspect is more of a Second Council thing. 

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On 26/10/2017 at 10:57 PM, Mankcam said:

 For Malkioni I used to have gold sovereigns, and pennies (silvers and coppers). However that all feels totally wrong for Malkioni coinage these days, too medieval in tone. 

The Malkioni have silver currency in the form of Ducats and Imperials according to the Guide.  I think the Imperials were originally invented as currency by the Silver Empire (Seshnela) in the Dawn Age and introduced into Peloria by the Carmanians.

 

 

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Fonrit has its own languages and is vast in population and relatively civilised in its way so it fits that it would have own words for the money.  The Closing of Northern sources for 600+ years might have given rise to further own development of language. Middle Sea empire was rebelled against just a few years before Closing and I would think that one of the signs for independence would be own money especially if you are disconnected for a long while - and it is quite traditional to stamp the money with your own face as well. For example: " Augustus (63 BC – 14 AD) ascended to the throne as the first emperor. Taking autocratic power, it soon became recognized that there was a link between the emperor's sovereignty and the production of coinage". There were also cases when the previous emperor's coins were demonetised and melted by order of senate. 

In every day life the money might be named a dollar but it usually has lots of usage names - often by denomination. 

It seems to be quite rare to have multi syllable words for money in real world usage - so I find for example "Imperial" one that would be "technical" name but would probably be shortened to "imp" or something similar in every day life. For example Lunar Imperials (the word Imperial there had not noticed before GoG) seem to be called Lunars. Clack, wheel, bolg, Lunar are all quite pithy and Gloranthan. Navar is the new one and also quite pithy. Guilder seems to be from Holy Roman Empire and Dutch , Ducat from the 11th century Europe and Cash (for Kralorela) are clearly loaned from real world so why not others. 

So to me it looks neither fun nor linguistically or politically realistic to have "imperial" as the name of the money especially in Afadjann / Fonrit.  It also does not have the right "feel" for the area. Perhaps vestiges of some northern coin names remain in Umathela and certainly since the closing coins are flowing in but materially the trade is probably a fraction of commerce so local coins minted in last years probably form the majority. Will keep hunting for better names for local money for a bit. 

The other question is that how long a coin will remain in circulation after it has been minted. So what is the tribe's view on that. How much of the coins in circulation would be from relatively recent years - say last 10-40 years. 

The Roman Empire is told of minting coins of lesser and lesser purity as the empire grew older... Depending on empire's wealth this might happen here as well and cause turbulence. "Epictetus jokingly wrote: "Whose image does this sestertius carry? Trajan's? Give it to me. Nero's? Throw it away, it is unacceptable, it is rotten."

...and all this started when the players wanted some money and I thought Lunar is not a good word for silver piece in a remote corner of Fonrit. 

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The other name of silver is "ul-metal" so perhaps an "ular" is a word for a silver coin - if the names for the sacred metals are Jrustelan or God-Learner, this could be a name used in their former colonies, with some sound changes: ulri, uler, ull, lar, lari. Plus this means there is a semantic resemblance between Uleria (and "love") and silver, which vaguely parallels the interesting gilt, guilt, guild wordplay we see (in part) in Shakespeare's Henry V.

 

Edited by jeffjerwin
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58 minutes ago, hkokko said:

Fonrit has its own languages and is vast in population and relatively civilised in its way so it fits that it would have own words for the money.  The Closing of Northern sources for 600+ years might have given rise to further own development of language. Middle Sea empire was rebelled against just a few years before Closing

One of the two governments that rebelled against the Middle Sea Empire was the God Learner Government in Kareeshtu who survived for quite a while so they wouldn't have been in the habit of casting off the old regime.

I think Shekel would be a better word to use (because it's an actual bronze age word meaning a bushel of wheat or somesuch). Later it became associated with coins in Tyre, Carthage and Judea.  

For Gold measures, there's always the talent.

58 minutes ago, hkokko said:

So to me it looks neither fun nor linguistically or politically realistic to have "imperial" as the name of the money especially in Afadjann / Fonrit.  

Jeff wasn't saying that the Fonritans call their coins Imperials.  He was saying that the Fonritan silver coinage was derived from the Silver Imperials of the Middle Sea Empire.

 

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6 hours ago, jajagappa said:

I might be inclined to call such coins "Heads" (if pegged to the value of a slave).

Or perhaps a link? If the 'coins' were in the form of silver loops, a number could be joined together as a 'chain', which would have particular meaning in Fonrit. Each link might have a stamp of its place of manufacture, but of course would be weighed in any transaction.

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2 minutes ago, M Helsdon said:

Or perhaps a link? If the 'coins' were in the form of silver loops, a number could be joined together as a 'chain', which would have particular meaning in Fonrit. Each link might have a stamp of its place of manufacture, but of course would be weighed in any transaction.

Yes.  I was trying to come up with something like 'bonds', 'collars', or 'shackles' but 'links' works better.

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