engine
 member, 317 posts
Mon 1 May 2017
at 21:12
Re: How much would it change D&D games if credit was used?
Gaffer:
DnD usually seems to run to itinerant heroes, which is a major problem for participating in a credit-based economy. Who will trust someone who is here today, gone tomorrow?
It is possible to answer that question, depending on the fiction one wants to establish.
drewalt
 member, 72 posts
Mon 1 May 2017
at 23:47
Re: How much would it change D&D games if credit was used?
I always figured the economic conventions of must RPG worlds is for easy resource management and tracking by the players.  I see no reason the GM couldn't say credit exists in the world, but we'll use cash basis accounting to run the game OOC.

Tracking liabilities and accruals is literally my job (or part of it) and it's not particularly fun.
Mrrshann618
 member, 115 posts
Tue 2 May 2017
at 01:56
Re: How much would it change D&D games if credit was used?
I've always placed a Medici-like banking family or two that helps run the larger cities in most of my kingdoms. It also sets the groundwork for characters not needing to carry large amounts of gold between cities, unless of course they have been hired to guard gold shipments.

Using the "banker" system you can easily set up accounts funded by whatever king or nobleman that is "paying" the characters. This is most often traded for food and lodging so that the adventurers never need to worry about a place to stay. Transferring money between towns only require a written script from the banking family instead of physical gold transfer.


These banker families also open other other influential (but not noble) power players behind intrigue or other such nefarious plots.

This message was last edited by the user at 01:57, Tue 02 May.

swordchucks
 member, 1389 posts
Tue 2 May 2017
at 21:17
Re: How much would it change D&D games if credit was used?
When you get down to it, the "default fantasy world" that D&D tends to be set in doesn't have a whole lot of connection to the real world history.  There are all sorts of realities that are ignored, gamified, or handwaved away in order to make the setting work better for the stock fantasy game.

That doesn't mean you have to stick to them, by any means.  Adding credit is a neat convention, as would be adding in historically relevant bandits/poachers, proper medieval industry, and the like.  The realities of how precious salt was in the ancient world alone can be the underpinning of a campaign.

Here's a podcast I'll recommend to you, called the GM Word of the Week.  It's a series of short (10-20 minute) podcasts on various topics related to D&D and the like.  I'm less than half way through them, but the series that runs Pie, Ale, Salt, Pottage are an interesting entryway to cooking and food resources which gives lots of ideas for worldbuilding.  I won't vouch for accuracy, but it's certainly a place to mine for ideas.

https://www.gmwordoftheweek.com/home
facemaker329
 member, 6923 posts
 Gaming for over 30
 years, and counting!
Wed 3 May 2017
at 04:21
Re: How much would it change D&D games if credit was used?
Wandering adventurers would have trouble getting credit, even in our time.  I mean, if you apply for a loan, and you have no home address (you're living in a motel or hotel, but short-term), no verifiable personal history, and you list yourself as self-employed with no verifiable financial history or assets for collateral, you're not likely to get far.

Now...if you'd taken up residency in a region, chased off some evil creatures and made life safer for the populace, and brought back some abundant treasure, I could see moneylenders being quite willing to offer services...or merchants being more agreeable to the prospect of 'waiting until Tuesday for a hamburger today' (to borrow a line from Popeye).
Gaffer
 member, 1463 posts
 Ocoee FL
 40 yrs of RPGs
Wed 3 May 2017
at 14:06
Re: How much would it change D&D games if credit was used?
In reply to Mrrshann618 (msg # 9):

I have also used temples (or a particular set of temples) as money/goods repositories, willing to deal with bills of exchange. Of course, an adventurer's piece of parchment to exchange for funds is an awfully fragile item, compared to gold coin or (my preferred medium of wealth storage) gems.

Wikipedia has quite a bit of information on Ancient, Classical, Medieval, and Renaissance banking here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...est_forms_of_banking
willvr
 member, 1048 posts
Wed 3 May 2017
at 14:15
Re: How much would it change D&D games if credit was used?
A note of credit for an adventurer would be insanely fragile. Especially if using older rules; or even if the GM is a bit stricter about stuff being caught in the middle of a fireball.
Togashi Kenshin
 member, 17 posts
Wed 3 May 2017
at 14:29
Re: How much would it change D&D games if credit was used?
I would make getting credit as part of adventuring goals. A random murder-hobo cannot get credit but the local hero who drove off the orcs can. Become a landed lord as a result of saving the princess and you can get credit to the tune of thousands of gold pieces.

It is also an excellent way of giving money to PCs without actually giving money to PCs. When their debts come due, it can be a great way to motivate adventures. However you should be extremely careful of PCs extending credit. Sooner or later it is likely they will start issuing bank notes, bonds and suddenly you are either in a Renaissance banking film or a Mafia one. Keep a very careful eye on the PC who also starts trading in futures. If they start buying up the harvest still on the stalk with their mountains of gold coins, they are up to something. Probably a localized famine with them holding a monopoly on wheat flour. Especially if they have an Ur Priest or Blighter in the party.
engine
 member, 320 posts
Wed 3 May 2017
at 14:37
Re: How much would it change D&D games if credit was used?
In a fantasy game, using credit is only a problem if everyone at the table wants it to be a problem. Given spells or even a few standard fantasy tropes, or even just a little imagination and buy-in, it can be made to work. But it's not always worth making work, so even if it could work, it's not going to, simply because the table isn't going to bother trying.
GreenTongue
 member, 799 posts
 Game Archaeologist
Thu 4 May 2017
at 10:51
Re: How much would it change D&D games if credit was used?
In reply to swordchucks (msg # 10):

Thank you for that link.
GreenTongue
 member, 800 posts
 Game Archaeologist
Thu 4 May 2017
at 10:55
Re: How much would it change D&D games if credit was used?
Togashi Kenshin:
If they start buying up the harvest still on the stalk with their mountains of gold coins, they are up to something. Probably a localized famine with them holding a monopoly on wheat flour. Especially if they have an Ur Priest or Blighter in the party.


That has all the earmarks of an Adventure.
Not just the PCs can do such things.
Brygun
 member, 2007 posts
 RPG since 1982
 Author & Inspiration
Tue 9 May 2017
at 15:03
Re: How much would it change D&D games if credit was used?
In relation to credit consider the real world medieval banking done by the Knights Templar. (Conspiracy panic earphones if you need them). Their end came when the massively indebted King of France got a friendly religious leader, the Pope, to run a religious trial and poof the King's debt was gone. This you can look up in history.

The Templars had begun escorting travelers to the Temple of Solomon. Part of their service was handling funds. Think of today's traveler's checks. A traveler starting out didn't need to carry huge amounts of coin. Coins being both a high theft risk and difficult to transport. He turned in his coin to the Templars in exchange for a document. Once at the destination, possibly escorted by the Templars, could turn over the note to the Templars for coin. One can imagine occasionally the Templars having a military convoy/ship going to move coins around as needed.

You could also imagine that the notes, a form of credit, might be traded at times of desperation or as a trade good.

Effectively the Templars, in providing safety, created an economy outside of the control of tax or tithe. Much like today's online micro-transaction or store groups that make their own 'store bucks' where you can spend their 'money' at any of their community members. Its also why the operators of Tax (King of France) and tithe (Pope) made up charges to remove them and shame them. Think of a town's mayor and pastor owing too much to a bodyguard company so wiping them out.

This is in the same time period the Pope's church was selling indulgences. That meaning a note saying your sins were gone and you were good to go into heaven because you gave cash to person in a church office. This church money work also meant they were a competitor for the same coins in people's pockets. Why take a pilgrimage when you can stay at home with the Pope's piece of paper.

Computer games like Assassian Creed really don't protray the real history of the Templars.

(conspiracy headphones in effect so please keep to relevant chatter only)

What it does show in terms of the original poster and credit is that there did exist some forms of banking but often not without the protections we have today. Credit card companies are both regulated and protected by the state. Niether applied in the traveler notes described above.

The value of the notes is only guaranteed by the providing group. Forgeries would surely be attempted. Destruction of the note might occur. There could be duplicate documents made and sent in the military convoy to verify the notes issued. An enemy religion might want to disrupt their use.

You might trade a note early. A credit note for 10 lbs silver in Jerusalem traded at Greece might get you 8 lbs silver, since the receiver needs to travel.

The above was meant to discuss one aspect of banking and credit notes from our real world which could be plausible in fantasy setting.

>>>

In mention of credit, debt and interest it is actually a very old practice. In real life (again no prejudice or conspiracy intended just a discussion of history) Jews were often forced into banking as other trades were denied them. In the real life Christian faith one wasn't allowed to get interest on a loan but the older-religion Jews could do it. In some films like early Robin Hood or Ivanhoe it is the Jews who are the money handlers that can move the huge sums of money to pay King Richard's ransom.

Typically the matter was a double document made giving X coins to be repaired in Y days with Z additional money. Again the problem arises that it was not state regulated nor protected. However, the Kings and other big nobles themselves were customers. The big money folks protected the bankers in part because if they didn't ALL the bankers would stop dealing with them... and instead work with say the other claimants to the throne.

The loan side of the credit note could be traded. Banker 1 gives 1,000 gold to Sir Needy with Sir Needy to pay back 1,200 gold by next summer solstice. Banker 1 has a deal opportunity so trades the receiver's note to Lord East for 1,150 gold. Now Sir Needy finds he must pay Lord East 1,200 gold and Lord East will profit 50 gold.

Enter fantasy plot... maybe Sir Needy and Lord East are enemies.


>>>

What this type of credit was though is more of a bank loan. It is not a credit card. A modern credit card allows small dollar transactions made against a big credit line. $20 grocery or $100 backpack against a $X,000 credit allowance.

What you traditionally get is a lump of cash. You then need to spend it. Possibly buying small credit notes to avoid having to carry 200 lbs of physical silver.

>>>

So in a fantasy game you can certainly have credit in the game.

Small transaction credit cards wouldn't exist, as they take something like phone lines to check banker records to see if the allowance is there.

Loans, as an advance on credit, have certainly been around a long time.

The buying of a loan also exists, though we don't see much of it today. It would be like taking out a loan with the 1st Bank of Townsville to find you now had to pay the 3rd Bank of Nextsville.

Trading of loan ownership or credit notes was also very much a thing. It wasn't normal for most people to use though.
Gaffer
 member, 1465 posts
 Ocoee FL
 40 yrs of RPGs
Wed 10 May 2017
at 02:16
Re: How much would it change D&D games if credit was used?
A couple of points.

Islam also forbade usury/interest on loans.

There is a considerable trade in mortgage loans, of course. I have taken out a mortgage with one lender, had it sold to another company, which then sold it to a third within the space of four years.
facemaker329
 member, 6925 posts
 Gaming for over 30
 years, and counting!
Wed 10 May 2017
at 05:42
Re: How much would it change D&D games if credit was used?
I suppose, in looking at all the responses to the question that's the original subject of the thread, the answer would be, "However much the GM chooses to have it change them..."  Arguments can be made for a variety of ways of credit being extended (which is, technically, different than Brygun's example of the Templars being the equivalent of travelers' checks in their age, because that example doesn't involve extending credit, per se, so much as providing verification that the individual already has funds and has sacrificed a small amount of them for the service of having someone vouch for that and provide them with the equivalent of said funds somewhere else...that's different than picking up a sword, a month's worth of trail rations, a backpack and some fresh armor and telling the vendor you'll pay them back when you return from ransacking the orcs' stronghold...)

Depending on how it's handled, credit could be just another perk of advancing in levels and establishing a reputation, it could be the entire basis of a campaign, it could be a goad to push the group into yet another adventure...or it could be a trivial detail that's cleared up at the end of an adventure and experience is calculated, and otherwise is largely ignored.
GreenTongue
 member, 801 posts
 Game Archaeologist
Wed 10 May 2017
at 10:55
Re: How much would it change D&D games if credit was used?
In reply to Brygun (msg # 18):

Excellent information.

facemaker329:
that's different than picking up a sword, a month's worth of trail rations, a backpack and some fresh armor and telling the vendor you'll pay them back when you return from ransacking the orcs' stronghold...)


I think there would be fewer "Murder Hobos" iF the character's credit worthiness was a factor in more games.
If you have friends, family and a reputation to worry about, most people act differently then being a traveler where nobody knows them.

This message was last edited by the user at 10:13, Thu 11 May.

facemaker329
 member, 6927 posts
 Gaming for over 30
 years, and counting!
Thu 11 May 2017
at 05:58
Re: How much would it change D&D games if credit was used?
It might...but most of the people I've seen who play those kind of characters would do so, even if there was a line of credit to be damaged.  They don't seem, as a general rule, to be terribly concerned about the potential repercussions to their reputation, much less the collateral damage to anyone who knows them (like, the rest of the group).

Could just as easily make them worse, because they figure they're not going to qualify for credit, anyway, so they've gotta kill a few well-to-do locals and clean out their pockets in order to resupply for the next outing...
engine
 member, 328 posts
Thu 11 May 2017
at 15:31
Re: How much would it change D&D games if credit was used?
If by "murder hobo" you mean a player who is killing helpful NPCs in a disruptive way for no very good reason, rather than a player who is killing troublesome monsters in a well-behaved way for no very good reason, then putting in more downsides to their behavior is not likely to change anything.
GreenTongue
 member, 803 posts
 Game Archaeologist
Thu 11 May 2017
at 18:10
Re: How much would it change D&D games if credit was used?
In reply to engine (msg # 23):

Everyone who isn't them, or a fellow PC, is considered a source of loot and experience points.
Some even consider fellow PCs as sources.

I would hope some such people might understand that the "world" is a copy of the "real world only different" and not just a "playground", if more attachments existed.
engine
 member, 329 posts
Thu 11 May 2017
at 18:17
Re: How much would it change D&D games if credit was used?
GreenTongue:
I would hope some such people might understand that the "world" is a copy of the "real world only different" and not just a "playground", if more attachments existed.
It very much depends. If they're acting that way because the world itself bores them, adding more financial details is not likely to improve that. I've never seen a player behave better when the GM put more at stake in-game for anti-social behavior.

I suppose this is really a different conversation, though.
horus
 member, 144 posts
 Wayfarer of the
 Western Wastes
Sat 13 May 2017
at 04:18
Re: How much would it change D&D games if credit was used?
A lot of whether credit should exist in a game setting depends on currency base, economics, and cultural factors (as someone already mentioned).

In a milieu where the currency base is still one or several precious metals, credit is likely to be a matter of trustworthiness, and moneychangers are likely to be more inclined to lend to those who repay their debts promptly.  You're also far more likely to receive a visit from an individual whose job it is to break your kneecaps if you have not repaid within the specified time.

If the culture has a higher law level, a visit from the local constabulary might take place first (if you're lucky), and an appearance before a local magistrate might be required to settle the matter.

One can conjure with currency base, economics, and other factors and come up with almost any type of credit system.  The real rub is how much energy is the GM willing to expend in managing this aspect of a game.  Whatever system of credit exists will have customs and rules by which it operates which should be consistent with the setting.
Hunter
 member, 1351 posts
 Captain Oblivious!
 Lurker
Sat 13 May 2017
at 04:32
Re: How much would it change D&D games if credit was used?
engine:
If by "murder hobo" you mean a player who is killing helpful NPCs in a disruptive way for no very good reason, rather than a player who is killing troublesome monsters in a well-behaved way for no very good reason, then putting in more downsides to their behavior is not likely to change anything.


The biggest issue I've encountered with that line of thought in general is the GMs often fail to make PC actions have consequences.    Player characters have plot armor probably more often than they really should.
GreenTongue
 member, 804 posts
 Game Archaeologist
Sat 13 May 2017
at 12:17
Re: How much would it change D&D games if credit was used?
Hunter:
The biggest issue I've encountered with that line of thought in general is the GMs often fail to make PC actions have consequences.

If characters are totally disconnected from reality, I suppose nothing makes a difference but imagination.

Hunter:
Player characters have plot armor probably more often than they really should.

I suppose there is nothing wrong with a completely "magical fantasy land" if that is the kind of game you like.

It seemed to me that credit, or the lack of, could provide a lot of drive to a game. I think it has had a huge effect in real life that has been overlooked in games.
Hunter
 member, 1352 posts
 Captain Oblivious!
 Lurker
Sat 13 May 2017
at 15:42
Re: How much would it change D&D games if credit was used?
I'm also really surprised that no one has brought this up.    From the lender's perspective, there's a risk in giving credit in the first place.   Given that a silver piece runs about $30 in modern money (average daily salary of an unskilled laborer), how like is it that the borrower is going to be able to repay?  (From that viewpoint, your average suit of armor is going to cost as much as a car.)  If nothing else, it's a good chance for those pesky diplomacy and sense motive rolls.
engine
 member, 331 posts
Sat 13 May 2017
at 18:37
Re: How much would it change D&D games if credit was used?
Hunter:
engine:
If by "murder hobo" you mean a player who is killing helpful NPCs in a disruptive way for no very good reason, rather than a player who is killing troublesome monsters in a well-behaved way for no very good reason, then putting in more downsides to their behavior is not likely to change anything.
The biggest issue I've encountered with that line of thought in general is the GMs often fail to make PC actions have consequences.
That sounds like the exact opposite to my experience. I believe it is highly dependent on a number of factors. I'd be happy to discuss it elsewhere. It's a fascinating topic.

Hunter:
Player characters have plot armor probably more often than they really should.
That is highly dependent on a number of factors, including the exact definition of the rather loaded term "plot armor."
GreenTongue
 member, 805 posts
 Game Archaeologist
Sat 13 May 2017
at 19:19
Re: How much would it change D&D games if credit was used?
Hunter:
(From that viewpoint, your average suit of armor is going to cost as much as a car.)


Sounds about right.
The Ill-Made Knight by Christian Cameron gives a good feel for the value of armor.
Also, gives good examples of how money transactions worked in real life.

Maybe a little too gritty for most games to emulate.