Economics, Trade and Craft

Fantasy musings 2 & 3 gives a lot of the feel for the macro economics here I’ll focus on the micro economics.

Firs tof all the Re’chot don’t do guilds – this is for two reasons:

The extended family of the clan provides the mutual support, sickness cover, credit etc;  Finance is provided via cash pooling between clan members and the cousin fostering system also strangles any the apprentice system at it’s inception.

Secondly if any plebs or lower middle class start to organise as labour the richer classes pay of the VCs to ensure they go for midnight swim in the canal without waterwings …or bowels.

Both compelling reasons for the lack of a guild system.

The end result is that tradesmen tend to be very individual – best practice is passed on through stealing ideas or co-operating on jobs rather than a trade organisation. It also means tradesmen compete aganist each other on quality and price and offer a very different service.  Therefore for adventurers might need to go to one armourer who may be reknown for his swords, another for spears etc; it makes a shopping trip a much more wary and real experience.

Oh and haggling is complusory and not because people enjoy it or anything quaint – because they look to get every penny they can because it’s a matter of survival.

Property is passed on by the female line and all the inheritance goes to the eldest daughter (or in a  daughter or daughter-in-laws absence eldest Son,) means that wealth tends to concentrate over generations. It also means that families and clans tend to be made up of very different levels of wealth. (Compare this with Tawy where all wealth returns to Pharoah on death or the Reich which splits inheritance between all male sons and nephews!)

 As there is a fiercely competative market place it means that trades people try and differentiate their goods via quirks and design innovations. They do however have a major issue. The command economy of Tawy makes a lot of low end consumer goods (pots, pottery, cloth) in massive state owned factories of Slave craftsmen. These are lower quality but goodness their cheap and tend to come in waves when the Scribes of Pharoah have miscalculated the numbers of pots or sleeping blankets needs so they dump them on their neighbours for little return. This means proposerous craftsmen serving the poor can fidn themselve sbroke very quickly so many will have a second trade which is demand resistant. (Of course when they push that trade they have an impact on people for whom that is their main job leading to tensions.) Such bouts of Tawy export imposed poverty put stresses on families and clans.

There aren’t any banks for the VERY rich some Temples might hold on to their wealth and invest it for a resturn. A practice which would upset the very devout. If you want to make money on your savings you need to invest it in a business or another businessman. Cerrtain cabals of such Merchant adventurers are not above holding ‘Dragon’s Dens’ when those needing investment can pitch to them in front of sworn witnesses in order to secure fundign and they get investments.  Clans tend to pool surplus clash with the ‘Clan Father’ who keeps records and ensures it can placed in the clan businesses where the clan can get the best return. As a result the people at a Dragons Den tend too be orphans, disowned, foreigners and those with ideas their clan father is far from impressed by. Also Clan fathers of cash strapped families will attend offering investment opportunities in whole clan’s businesses.

Published on May 1, 2011 at 7:24 am  Leave a Comment  

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