The Core Worlds

The Economy of Dungeons and Dragons


My first real exposure to D&D was with third edition, which features a wonderful economy… OK, so it doesn’t. It features an insane system where the raw materials to construct anything, anything at all, costs exactly one third of its retail price. This is compounded by the wonder that is the price list.

A ladder consists of a pair of ten foot poles with a number of rungs between them, but this costs less than a pair of ten foot poles. It is feasible that an enterprising merchant, given a large enough supply of nearby adventures, could make a living chopping ladders in half and selling the pieces to passing adventurers while having the rungs left over for firewood!

The Wizards of the Coast website is previewing 4e, and I’ve been keeping half an eye on it. I was pleasently surprised when I read:

Be sure to return Wednesday for a look at the economy!

What is this? Could they be making the economy sane?

No, of course not.

It seems that treasure is going to be made available to Dungeon Masters in preprepared baskets to hand out to monsters and NPCs. I wonder if they will be gift wrapped?