The Grey Veil
Goods and services are exchanged in everyday transactions using coin, barter, service, and other currencies.
Very large transactions can be accomplished using letters of credit, though tangible assets are preferred.
Coins are a readily accepted means of payment despite (or perhaps because of) the relative scarcity of metals, and are less bulky to carry than other forms of payment. The scarcity of metal makes coins of all sorts somewhat more rare than in most worlds. For this reason, barter and the ceramic debtmarkers or “marks” (= 1 gp) minted by the city-states and syndicates remain the primary form of exchange. Marks can be broken into ten triangular “shivs” (= 1 sp).
Higher-value transactions are carried out with thick, disc-shaped gems intricately scrimshawed by gnomish crafters using methods known only to them. These exist in two primary denominations, the gora (=100 gp) and the shiklu (=1000 gp).
Characters can enter either a simple or protracted barter:
• In a simple barter, characters compare the costs of the items to be exchanged and then match the quantities until they are approximately even.
• In a protracted barter, dice are thrown and costs recalculated in three separate rounds before a final exchange of goods is made. Because of its complexity, protracted barter works best for items that cost more than 100 gp.
In the first round of protracted barter, each participant rolls a Diplomacy check; the higher roll wins the round, and he talks down the price of the loser’s barter item by 10%. If either party decides to end the barter, it’s finished here. If neither party decides to end the barter, it continues to a second round, and then to a third. Protracted barter can last no more than three rounds. Once a protracted barter has commenced, a transaction will take place—neither party can back out of a deal once the barter has started.
The services a character renders-from those of unskilled laborers to those of prized engineers—all have an asking price, as noted on TABLE XXVlll below. A character may receive payment for his services in other services, goods, or coins, depending upon the situation.
Other currencies include pearls, soos (=10 gp/1 pp), and special shells.
TABLE XXVIII: COMMON WAGES
|Archer/artillerist||1 bit||1 cp||4 cp|
|Cavalry, light||1 bit||1 cp||4 cp|
|Cavalry, medium||2 bits||1 cp, 5 bits||6 cp|
|CavaIry, heavy||3 bits||2 cp, 5 bits||1 sp|
|Engineer||5 cp||3 sp, 5 cp||15 sp|
|Footman, militia||—||1 bit||5 bits|
|Footman, light||—||2 bits||1 cp|
|Footman, heavy||1/2 bit||5 bits||2 cp|
|Shieldbearer||—||1 bit||5 bits|
|Unskilled labor||—||2 bits||1 cp|
|Skilled labor†||1 bit||1 cp||4 cp|
|Classed labor ††||3 bits||2 cp, 5 bits||1 sp|
† Available only to a character who has a proficiency related to the job.
†† Available only to a character who is being employed to function as his character class.