Author Topic: High fantasy word for currency  (Read 7663 times)

Endorya

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High fantasy word for currency
« on: March 31, 2014, 12:33:42 PM »
I'm not sure what kind of word to use for currency in my medieval fantasy game.

Gold - I plan to have copper, silver and gold and it will take some time before the player actually achieves 1 gold coin or equivalent so calling "gold" to silver and copper doesn't feel right.

Money - Did such word actually exist in medieval era?

Coin - Well, this is the one I enjoy most and probably the one I will use if nothing better comes up. But "coin" seems so vague and yet so primitive.

Any ideas?
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TheCreator

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Re: High fantasy word for currency
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2014, 12:43:32 PM »
Money - Did such word actually exist in medieval era?

Since this is fantasy, you don't need to care whether something existed or not. It won't ruin your game more than the robot city would ruin HoMM 3 ;).
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reaver

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Re: High fantasy word for currency
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2014, 12:48:29 PM »
Valuables
Wealth

Both of the above were taken from dnd/pathfinder character sheets :)

Kyzrati

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Re: High fantasy word for currency
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2014, 12:50:07 PM »
Coin - Well, this is the one I enjoy most and probably the one I will use if nothing better comes up. But "coin" seems so vague and yet so primitive.
I always think "coin" sounds great. It also encompasses the multiple types you describe.

Endorya

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Re: High fantasy word for currency
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2014, 01:17:20 PM »
@reaver
The problem is that during the characters' dialog the currency can be mentioned, like:

Player: "So, you are a hunter?! Can you teach me how to skin animals?"
NPC: "Err... well, I mean, yeah sure. I can do that for 30 silver coins."

@Kyzrati
Yeah... I guess so.

If nothing else shows up, I will just stick with "Coin".
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reaver

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Re: High fantasy word for currency
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2014, 01:26:31 PM »
Player: "So, you are a hunter?! Can you teach me how to skin animals?"
NPC: "Err... well, I mean, yeah sure. I can do that for 1 gp 5 sp 3 cp."

In the same spirit as:
Player: What do you need to make this sword?
NPC: I need 30 wood 10 crystal

It's not a new representation out of my mind, I've seen it plenty of times in the past and looks rather straightforward, from a developer's and a player's perspective.
At least to me.

rust

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Re: High fantasy word for currency
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2014, 01:47:41 PM »
You can look up the origins of real currency names, and try to figure something out.
For example, British pound is named so, because it was once equivalent to one pound of silver. This way, you can have a pound (or ounce, or any other unit) of any precious metal you want to. Croatian kunas are named after martens, whose hides were used as payment at some point in their history (this is probably less useful than the previous example), and so on. You get the idea.

Krice

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Re: High fantasy word for currency
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2014, 03:36:51 PM »
Yes, simply make up your own currency, like rupees in Zelda series. It could be 'zladko'. "It's worth three zladkos".

guest509

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Re: High fantasy word for currency
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2014, 06:19:42 PM »
Lucre and Ludder have been my favorite.

Quendus

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Re: High fantasy word for currency
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2014, 07:45:48 PM »
Excepting very unlikely coincidences, or a backstory where the modern world plus-or-minus 400 years is transformed into a medieval fantasy world, you can be pretty sure that the language spoken by characters in the game is not modern English or even mutually comprehensible. So any use of language in universe is just the game writer's pragmatic translation. Anything goes.

I'm not sure what kind of word to use for currency in my medieval fantasy game.

Gold - I plan to have copper, silver and gold and it will take some time before the player actually achieves 1 gold coin or equivalent so calling "gold" to silver and copper doesn't feel right.
That sounds sensible. It often seems strange when every single person in a fantasy game is carrying around tens, hundreds, or thousands of gold pieces.
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Money - Did such word actually exist in medieval era?
Yep. The word came to Middle English from Latin via Old French. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=money
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Coin - Well, this is the one I enjoy most and probably the one I will use if nothing better comes up. But "coin" seems so vague and yet so primitive.
The copper/silver/gold coin system used by some fantasy settings is more realistic than gold-only systems, but could make prices less intuitive to players who are used to modern decimal number systems. You can get around that by making conversion between coins automatic and decimal. Coin is pretty vague; it could refer to any type or size of coin. One gold coin could be a fifth of the weight of another.
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Any ideas?
Presumably the fantasy land would have a standardised coin size or weight system to facilitate fair exchanges. Since all the language in the game is translated to real-world terms, I would be inclined to translate the fantasy standardised coin or weight to a real-world standardised coin or weight. There were quite a lot of such terms around in medieval times, many of them quite international. The choice of name can be used to add flavour to the setting, based on the connotations of the chosen spelling and the countries and eras where that coin or weight was/is used. Which centuries and geographical/cultural regions are you aiming for? Is everyone wearing plate mail, horned helmets, or both?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_historical_currencies

pat

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Re: High fantasy word for currency
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2014, 10:07:58 PM »
Yes, simply make up your own currency, like rupees in Zelda series. It could be 'zladko'. "It's worth three zladkos".
the fictional currency called the "rupee", said Krice

joeclark77

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Re: High fantasy word for currency
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2014, 12:53:42 AM »
For what it's worth, real-world coins before the fiat currency era were not pure silver or gold.  The important part was that a coin was recognizable and had a standard size and metal content.  Mercury dimes were 90% silver, 10% copper.  (I'm surprised it was that close to pure, actually!  Just looked it up.)  So if I were you, I'd drop the idea of "GP,SP,CP" and give your coins names: shekels, doubloons, crowns, shillings, marks, or something made up.

I know that salt was once used as currency in Roman times.  Hence the word "salary".


tuturto

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Re: High fantasy word for currency
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2014, 07:25:50 AM »
Crown is the first to spring into my mind. Probably comes from the face of emperor / king / whatever ruler minted on them.
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Endorya

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Re: High fantasy word for currency
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2014, 08:30:14 AM »
@Quendus
I also feel strange about having players carrying around thousands of coins and that's exactly the main reason to why in my game it will take a while for players to reach 1 gold piece or an equivalent amount. More over, everything in the game will have a weight, coins included, so at later stages of playing, carrying around all the money will definitely become a burden. The player should leave some at a bank or at home to avoid that, though a bank is advised for it has proper defense against robbers and other undesirable lot.

@Everyone
Thank you a ton for all the suggestions. Not that I dislike the idea of having my own currency word but there is already too much the player will have to learn and convert to allow proper reasoning. I'll stick with Coins; it's not fashion nor it adds mood but its something that works and that is easy to follow.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2014, 12:53:31 PM by Endorya »
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