We play role-playing games for a variety of reasons. Certainly as players, all of us like to fantasize, imagining our actions in a world very different than our own. Sometimes, the crazier and more out-of-reality the game, the better! But sometimes, the gaming group style goes in a direction when they need a more visceral experience. As a Game Master we hope that the players will always be looking forward to the game session, lest the campaign ends up short-lived.

If you have experienced any medieval recreation, or trained with any martial arts weapons, you will likely enjoy this, but if you have not, hopefully we will demystify some of what some fantasy entertainment and a lot of Hollywood has led us to believe. This is a useful discussion for nearly any fantasy role playing game that needs a more realistic edge – no pun intended here.

Economies in fantasy games are complex, involving variables from the emulated time period, to metallurgy, to the uses of (and types of) magic, to the trade resource base. In this article I will attempt to make use of some references to provide a basis for those GMs trying to get a handle on economies in fantasy.