Jump to content
TheWanderingJewels

(RPG) More Economic information.

Recommended Posts

From the I'm-not-getting-paid-for-this-department. Also the lack of economic system for L5R annoyed myself and my player considerably as it tended to ignore more mundane but still perfectly valid plot ideas and motivations for lower ranked samurai and peasant that might become opponents. So I actually referenced Sengoku for costs of mudane items

 

 

From the Office of the Imperial Magistrates

 

Recent events in the Imperial City have revealed just how ill-knowledged samurai are on their own holdings. Combined with the loss of 2/3 of the yoriki of the city, this has lead to several instances of merchants attempting to reach beyond their station. It is strongly advised for all samurai caste who deal with merchants or have been given any type of governorship to familiarize themselves with the basics of Rokugan’s economy as to prevent such incidents from occurring again.

Seppun Samanosuke

 

 

Skills

Commerce

This is obviously a merchant skill. It allows for the buying and selling of goods for one’s lord for the purpose of gaining profit as well as knowledge of extended mathematics. Most samurai will not deal with this skill.....in public. In private clan matters, having a knowledge of this skill is useful, as it goes nicely with...

 

Govern

This is a high skill for samurai. It allows for the buying and selling of needed goods in order to properly maintain lands and armies for one’s lord. It is not shameful for a samurai to know this skill, and is often required by hatamoto, karo and military commanders alike.

 

Coinage & Rice

First a samurai must become accustomed to the coinage of the empire, and have a basic grasp of what each coin represents. Coinage is important, as samurai and peasants cannot simply run around carrying dozens or hundreds of bushels of rice around everywhere to pay for things.

 

Rice is the economic standard of Rokguan. Rice is a labor intensive food that keeps peasants too busy growing it to foment rebellions, taking five peasants per season per koku grown, who are fed millet and not rice, excepting special occasions and bountiful years. Samurai stipends and values of all objects are based on the koku. The koku is also used as a measurement of weight.

 

Coinage is minted on a standard, with each clan minting their own coinage with permission from the Imperial Treasurer’s office, minted at the end of the harvest season. Coins are only “worth” their value with the clan that minted them (Imperially minted coins are accepted in all clans). Clans are honor-bound to accept coinage minted in their lands and must exchange them for rice if requested. Merchants and daimyo can exchange coins, typically charging a 1% standard transaction fee.

 

Koku – One koku is enough rice to feed one person for one year at a sustenance level existence. Koku are typically divided into five equal bags of rice, each worth one bu. The koku is approximately 278.3 liters of rice weighing 150kg (330 lbs) in weight.

Zeni – The most basic coin is a round copper coin one sun (1 inch) in diameter with a hole in the middle. One zeni represents enough sustenance-level food to feed one person for a day (read as a bowl of rice and some pickled vegetables, or twice as much in millet). Zeni are typically strung in groups of 100 or 1000 coins for ease of carrying and for moderate purchases.

Monme-ita – The monme-ita is a small rectangular coin of silver weighing one monme (3.75 grams). One monme-ita represents enough food to feed one person for one month.

Ichibukin – The ichibukin, or simply bu, represents enough food to feed one man for roughly 2 ½ months (6 weeks).

Chogin- the chogin is a moderate sized silver coin 3 sun (3.75 inches) in length weight. Typically used by traders and middle ranking samurai for large purchases. It is worth one koku of rice.

Bu-Shoban: the bu-shoban is a smaller gold coin used by upper ranked samurai and higher end merchants trading in Koku values. It's value is the same as the chogin..

Ni-bu: as the name might suggest it is a coin worth 2 Bu-shoban in value.

Ryo – The ryo represents 4 koku of rice. The ryo is a gold coin 2 sun (2.5 inches) in length and weighing 16.5 grams. Typically a ryo will be cast in an alloy of 85% gold with 15% silver, to make it more durable. Ryo can be stacked in groups of 25 or 50 and wrapped in heavy paper sealed with wax and a seal to mark where it was bundled.

Oban – The oban is a more rare coin, typically minted to commemorate an important event, or simply for Large cash transfers (ie taxes). One oban is worth 40 ryo.

 

1 oban = 40 ryo 1 bu = 200 zeni 1 monme-ita = 83 zeni 1 ryo = 4 Chogin

1 ryo = 4 Bu-shoban 1 ryo = 12 monme-ita 1 ryo = 1,000 zeni 1 ryo = 2 Ni-Bu

 

 

 

Large amounts of money can be carried in specially designed wooden boxes called senryobaku (box of 1,000 ryo) and buryobaku (box of 500 ryo).

 

Income & Stipends

Income and stipends are figured on a seasonal basis, with each season lasting for six months. Samurai were given a stipend rated in koku per season to represent their value to their lord. For instance, a samurai in a post that gets a stipend of 100 ryo per season is said to be “worth 100 koku”. This designation does not take into consideration any other income gained through merchant work or other sources, and when taxes come due, it is up to the samurai to honorably record such income for tax assessment.

A samurai gets a stipend of money equal to ((Starting koku + Wealth rank) x Status Rank) + Glory Rank = seasonal income in ryo.

Remember to keep all fractions as silver (Bu). This is paid out twice a year, once in spring before debts are due and the summer wars begin, and once in late fall at harvest time. Additional pay based on terrific bonuses, gifts, Imperial Salary, Family pay, Clan pay, and holdings are usually applied after all the multipliers as a flat increase.

For example: a Rank 3 Doji courtier with Wealth 3, Status 2.5 and Glory 4.5 would get 49 ryo and 3 bu twice a year (15 starting koku + Wealth 3, * 2.5 Status, +4.5 Glory), plus any additional income from Social Position; if she happens to be a Doji family magistrate she gets an additional 50 ryo per season.

Another example: a Rank 1 Akodo bushi, Status 1.0 and Glory 1.0 (a new character) would get 9 ryo per season (3 starting koku * 1.0 Status + 1.0 Glory + 5 as a Hohei).

Samurai are paid based on their status rank:

  • Ji-samurai (minor clans, hired ronin and ashigaru) are paid directly in rice equal to their koku value. They must then barter or sell part of this rice to have money to purchase other necessities.

  • Samurai of the bonge caste (usually Status 1.0 to 6.9) will usually be paid in enough rice to feed their family and retainers, and the remainder of their stipend in coinage. They may then take their coins to the granaries of their clan and trade them in for rice as they need it.

  • Samurai of the kuge caste (usually Status 7.0 or greater) are typically paid entirely in coinage due to the large stipends they draw. The kuge control the rice stores and can access them as needed.

 

Taxes

Taxes are collected and paid at the end of each season. Taxes are usually paid in koku of rice, although taxes may also be paid in jade, steel and other precious commodities. How this all works, from the bottom up:

  • Peasants do not have the right to govern land on their own, and hand over 100% of their rice harvest to the samurai governing their farm.

  • The samurai governing the individual farms hands over 40-50% of this harvest, and in turn his stipend is paid out of this amount. A samurai might oversee as many as a half dozen farms in this manner.

  • The provincial governor collects the rice from the samurai under their command, and pay approximately 40-50% of this rice to their family daimyo. Of the remainder, he must pay out his retainers.

  • The family daimyo collects the rice from the provincial governors and pays 40-50% of this to the clan daimyo.

  • The clan daimyo collects the rice from the family daimyo and pays 40-50% of this to the imperial tax collector to be stored in the imperial granaries.

So, just how much rice is this? The largest rice producing clan is the Crane (before recent events that is). On a good year, the Crane produce over one million koku of rice per season for tax purposes. Other clans produce from 300,000 to 600,000 koku of rice per season.

Aside from the usual taxes, all clans are required to tithe 33% of any jade production to the imperial coffers to be supplied to the Crab.

 

Clan Trade

The current roster of major trade goods for each of the clans is as follows:

Crab

Import: jade, rice

Export: steel, raw iron, stone

 

Crane

Import: exotic foodstuffs, raw materials

Export: fine goods, rice

 

Dragon

Import: foodstuffs, fine goods

Export: steel, raw iron, paper, gold, minerals

 

Lion

Import: raw materials, seafood

Export: copper

 

Mantis

Import: raw materials

Export: silk, spices, citrus fruit, pearls, exotic seafood

 

Phoenix

Import: exotic goods

Export: silver, lumber

 

Scorpion

Import: raw materials

Export: information

 

Unicorn

Import: finished goods

Export: exotic goods, horses

 

Loans

From time to time, a samurai needs cash beyond his means, perhaps to get a gift for someone important. Merchants are often willing to lend samurai money with an interest rate of 10% per year. Many samurai chafe at the idea, but honor compels them to make good on their word, lest their family name be maligned.

 

Status Rank & Benefit

Being of higher social standing within the empire grants many benefits, such as increase in stipend and more political or military power.

 

Social Rank Income/season Suggested Perks

Ashigaru 1 ryo

Hohei 5 ryo

Nikutai 7 ryo

Gunso 10 ryo Suggested to take the Gunso path

Family Magistrate 10 ryo

Chui 30 ryo

Clan Magistrate 50 ryo

Taisa 100 ryo +10 Governor station points, +10 Warlord station points

Koshogumi 100 ryo

Hatamoto 250 ryo Suggested to take the Hatamoto path

Shireikan 300 ryo +15 Governor station points, +15 Warlord station points

Imperial Magistrate 400 ryo

Emerald/Jade Magistrate 500 ryo Suggested to enter appropriate school

Rikugunshokan 1000 ryo +25 Governor station points, +30 Warlord station points

Councilors 1000 ryo +25 Ambassador station points

Daimyo 5000+ ryo *

* At this point, station points are unnecessary since a daimyo has the resources of a family or clan to draw upon, but may be recorded to prevent excessive drain on the clan’s resources.

 

Koshogumi - individuals attached to a daimyo’s entourage

Councilors - bugyo, tairo or karo

 

Military Officers

  • Military commanders of taisa rank will be given land (Inheritance: Governorship) and will automatically gain a small keep (5-10 points) from the Station: City charts.

  • Military commanders of shireikan rank will be given land as per taisa, and will automatically gain a kyuden (15-30 points) from the Station: City charts.

  • Military commanders of rikugunshokan rank will be given land as per taisa, and will automatically gain a kyuden (15-30 points) and 2-5 smaller keeps (5-10 points) from the Station: City charts.

 

Social Positions

Not all samurai wish to remain as a simple retainer. Some have ambition or ability to serve their clan with greater power. So, what does a samurai need in order to attain such positions?

 

Social Position Ranks* Requirements

Family Magistrate 0-1 Investigation 2, Lore: Law 2

Clan Magistrate 1-2 Investigation 3, Lore: Law 3

Emerald/Jade Magistrate (entry) 2+ Investigation 3, Lore: Law 3

Emerald/Jade Magistrate (ranked) 3-4 Investigation 4, Lore: Law 4

Imperial Magistrate 2-3 Investigation 3, Lore: Law 3

Amethyst Champion attendant 2+ Commerce 3, Honor 2.0+

Ruby Dojo sensei (lesser) 3+ Instruction 5, Weapon Skill 4+

Military Rank: Nikutai 1 Battle 2, Weapon Skill 2+

Military Rank: Gunso 2 Battle 3, Weapon Skill 3+

Military Rank: Chui 3-4 Battle 4, Weapon Skill 4+

Military Rank: Taisa 4-5 Battle 5, Weapon Skill 5+

Military Rank: Shireikan 5-6 Battle 6, Weapon Skill 5+

Military Rank: Rikugunshokan 7 Battle 7, Weapon Skill 5+

Commander (Imperial Legion) 6-7 Battle 6, Weapon Skill 5+

Imperial Family (buke) 0-1 Miya, Otomo, Seppun, Shoju, Hantei

Imperial Family (kuge) 1-2 Miya, Otomo, Seppun, Shoju, Hantei

Imperial Court ambassador 3-4 Courtier 5, Etiquette 4

  • Ranks of Social Position advantage

 

 

An Example of new costs for L5R. All costs are for average equipment. Standard L5R multipliers still apply

 

Let's start out with a standard Bushi's wear . Let's assume our bushi is a traveller.

 

Normal Mens Kimono: 4 monme-ita

Womans Kimono: 10 monme-ita (lets not even go into court fashions of several layers)

Sandels: 10 zeni

Hakama (trousers): 2 monme-ita for cloth, 4 for silk

Haori (Formal Jacket): 50 zeni for cloth, 1monme-ita, 10 zeni for silk

Tabi: 10 zeni

Loin Cloth 6 zeni

Sleeve Tieing Cord 12 Zeni

 

A slightly higher class Bushi might pop 4 mon for a umbrella for when travelling.

 

Now this is just your average traveling Bushi who has the presence of mind to look presentable

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

would have thought this would have drawn more comment...but very well

 

Well, to be honest, monetary stuff is kinda redundant thematically, and is largely a chore even with the super-handwavey 4th edition system. We kinda need even simpler rules and not even more complicated. 

 

Like, in my group, we just roll Commerce (Acquisition) / Intelligence or Bureaucracy (Conduction) / Intelligence against a TN pre-determined by our GM depending on what the character wants, and if they succeed, they get what they want. Alternatively, one can replace Intelligence with Wealthy ranks or buy Free Raises by taking Obligation/Ransom (1 Free Raise/point). 

 

There is no point to make it any more complex. Things are either too small (Want a spear? Go down to the armory and take it!), too big (You will gain and lose hundreds of koku each hour as a merchant patron, so why bother?), or go beyond the limits of money (You need to flash something much more than a few koku to get a nemuranai!).  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think there can be merit in making it more complex -- after all, there are additional kinds of stories you can tell if you pay a medium amount of attention to money. (Low-ranking samurai has to scramble to acquire the "gifts" necessary to attain a promotion or special training. Wealthy samurai outspends even his larger income, borrows money, gets into deeper trouble as a result. Etc.) But I agree that for the most part, it's easier to handle those things with rolls rather than by tracking every zeni. For me, the value of prices is not so much to balance a character's checkbook as it is to provide a guideline for what they would consider a trivial expenditure, a moderate one, a major one -- or insurmountably out of reach.

 

(Corollary to this: my players have to remember that their lords only provide what they *need*, not everything they *want*. The latter comes out of their stipend. A bushi trained in spears can just walk down to the armory and get a spear; a courtier who wants to take up fighting can't. They either have to pay for it or make some Etiquette (Bureaucracy) rolls to convince someone they ought to be allowed to take one.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Corollary to this: my players have to remember that their lords only provide what they *need*, not everything they *want*.

 

IIRC, it is "what they need to fulfill their duty". So, if the courtier in your example needs a spear to fulfill his duty (like, because he is going to battle or he has to defend the castle from intruders), then he can take it. Obviously, nobody can use this to hoard equipment, but why would any true samurai want to do that?  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, to be honest, monetary stuff is kinda redundant thematically, and is largely a chore even with the super-handwavey 4th edition system. We kinda need even simpler rules and not even more complicated. 

 

[...]

 

There is no point to make it any more complex. Things are either too small (Want a spear? Go down to the armory and take it!), too big (You will gain and lose hundreds of koku each hour as a merchant patron, so why bother?), or go beyond the limits of money (You need to flash something much more than a few koku to get a nemuranai!).

For me, the value of prices is not so much to balance a character's checkbook as it is to provide a guideline for what they would consider a trivial expenditure, a moderate one, a major one -- or insurmountably out of reach.

This is mostly how I feel about it, though with the additional note that as long as each edition keeps giving us crafting rules subsystems that hinge upon money and item cost (IIRC price alone determines materials cost, crafting time, TN difficulty), the price list that's been copied and pasted unchanged from one edition to the next does desperately need revision, because as it stands now it's a perfect case of Garbage In, Garbage Out. Actually, the current version of crafting rules is even odder because it makes so much of the denomination of coin in which the price is given, with no regard for convertibility ratios. I guess you could theorize that this is connected to the fact that some items have prices of 5+ bu (instead of converting to koku) or 10+ zeni (instead of 1+ bu)--if not for the fact that which specific items have those prices seems almost entirely random. (Adding even more different types of coinage for players to track certainly wouldn't make this aspect of play easier, or, by my lights, more fun.)

 

OR,  of course, just come up with crafting rules unrelated to price and sidestep the whole problem! As most people don't play RPGs primarily as financial management simulations (old-school D&D and its clones aside), that'd be preferable.

 

*I almost wrote "an arrow" but, of course, that gets into a whole other dimension of silliness, which I've opted to avoid...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

would have thought this would have drawn more comment...but very well

 

Since you really want comments, here's mine. I'm kinda with AtoMaki. It's way too complex for my taste... I already spend a lot of time for each of my game sessions in order to make stuffs simplier for my players (Around 12 hours for a 5 hours game), so I don't need a complex system that I'll barely use. So yeah, I'm not saying that what you did is bad, it's just not my taste. I prefer when things are simple, I even try to avoid as much rolls as possible in my games.

 

Here's my comment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The money part is interesting to read but way too complex. I dont think I will use it. The social position tables, though, is interesting and I might take it and implement it to my games as requirements for characters who want to get a specific job or rank. Thanks for that

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My own take on this--the RPG tries to focus much more on the drama involving the characters, with things like economics being well in the background. As others have mentioned, the result is a simpler, more streamlined game where precious player and GM time is devoted to the things that move the plot forward and develop characters (as in any good storytelling). There's a reason Tolkien didn't develop a complex and detailed economic system for the Lord of the Rings, Lewis didn't for Narnia, etc.--it doesn't contribute much to the storytelling.

That said, though, I can certainly see the amount of detail the OP put into this being of interest to characters that are heavily engaged in commerce, trading, etc. There certainly are samurai who do this; the Daidoji, the Yasuki, the Ide, the Mantis and the Tortoise come to mind, but really, any samurai from any clan could decide to become deeply involved in trade and commerce, usually through heimin merchant intermediaries, but not always. So it could be handy to have information of this level of detail around for those who are really into commercial activities in the game (which is cool...if that's fun for people, then more power to 'em!) But, yeah, I certainly wouldn't consider it a "core product" for the game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, DGLaderoute said:

My own take on this--the RPG tries to focus much more on the drama involving the characters, with things like economics being well in the background. As others have mentioned, the result is a simpler, more streamlined game where precious player and GM time is devoted to the things that move the plot forward and develop characters (as in any good storytelling). There's a reason Tolkien didn't develop a complex and detailed economic system for the Lord of the Rings, Lewis didn't for Narnia, etc.--it doesn't contribute much to the storytelling.

That said, though, I can certainly see the amount of detail the OP put into this being of interest to characters that are heavily engaged in commerce, trading, etc. There certainly are samurai who do this; the Daidoji, the Yasuki, the Ide, the Mantis and the Tortoise come to mind, but really, any samurai from any clan could decide to become deeply involved in trade and commerce, usually through heimin merchant intermediaries, but not always. So it could be handy to have information of this level of detail around for those who are really into commercial activities in the game (which is cool...if that's fun for people, then more power to 'em!) But, yeah, I certainly wouldn't consider it a "core product" for the game.

without going into full blown details as the OP.

there could have been a few more "details" on what is the price of a mundane lunch, or geisha, or inn stay etc. you know, the usual stuff :D 

but honestly, it isn't game breaking that it isn't there, even if it would have probably only needed a few lines of text/examples to be good enough, at least for me.

 

for duels though, no excuse, it was core.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...