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"Monetary system for pirates games" Topic

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823 hits since 13 Oct 2012
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Patrice Inactive Member13 Oct 2012 8:43 a.m. PST

Hi folks,

Some of you who organize pirate games can be interested to know the economical system we are using (still in development) for negociations between players in the game. It worked well in our big game last week-end.

Accounts are made in "livres" (pounds) ; for simplification we consider that French pounds and British pounds were equal (no very exact historically), and:

One copper coin = one pound (simplification!)
One silver coin (called "piece of eight" or "rixthaler") = two pounds.
One gold coin ("doubloon") = 4 pounds.

These small sums may be used for small purchase, or to bribe poor NPCs, etc. Coins are accepted in all countries in the game.

Precious gems, etc, can be worth one hundred pounds or whatever the organizer decides.

Exemple of actual prices : in the early 18th century in France, recruiting one sailor cost 60 £ (or more if shortage of men) ; a fully equiped ship with guns and crew etc cost about 200 £ PER TON.

For large sums we made paper "lettres de change" (promissory notes / banknotes). These notes are only accepted in towns of the country which issued them; if in another colony, the player must deal with NPCs or other players who could accept them (probably less than their value).

You can have an amused look at the banknotes we made here (heavy file! 3.2 Mb)
PDF link

Perhaps some of you will laugh when you see what we've awkwardly done to your native languages in the upper part of these banknotes. These letters are devised for use by French-speaking players, so all have the same subtitle in French to be easy to understand. The two last banknotes are from countries which do not often appear in the games, so are another challenge to players who find them in the booty.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP13 Oct 2012 1:42 p.m. PST
Mako11 Inactive Member13 Oct 2012 2:02 p.m. PST


Thanks for sharing.

Been looking for something like this, especially when pricing the value of captured vessels, cannons, etc.

Any idea what a fully equipped vessel, without the crew, and with and without guns would run, per ton?

Info on the costs of cannons would be helpful as well, for purchasing those separately, trading them, etc.?

Patrice Inactive Member14 Oct 2012 1:58 a.m. PST


Captured vessels were sold by auction sale, so their value was very different depending on the local demand and international/economical situation etc.

Pr. André Lespagnol of the University of Rennes did a lot of research about St-Malo privateers of the late 17th & early 18th century. In his book "La course malouine au temps de Louis XIV" he gives examples of very different prices. When privateer activity was at its maximum the buyers wanted ships that could be used for it; the captured Dutch frigate "Concorde", 120 tons, was sold £ 16,100 (1691); the British ships Diamant (50 guns), Darmouth (48 guns), and Betsy (frigate of 36 guns) were sold respectively £ 50,000 (1693), £ 47,000 (1695), and £ 22,000 (1695). Some "flutes"(fluyt) of 200, 300, and 400 tons were sold only £ 3,000, £ 4,000, and £ 6.700, because local French merchants did not like this kind of ship.

In the game we have been re-buying empty ships at £ 100 per ton but that's for simple calculation. For cannon I had no time to find more precise values yet; it depended on the caliber. If you say £ 500 per gun it is easy to calculate in the game.

The value of the cargo could be much more important than the value of the ship (especially if loaded with colonial products).

Matsuru Sami Kaze Inactive Member14 Oct 2012 7:40 a.m. PST

I use peuter-based doubloons as players actually "find" chink in the pirate game environment. Weight of coin generally produces a winner. Would love to see an array of possible bribes. One militia player went so far as to abandon the defense of the ville in order to loot. That never happened, eh? Half his company ripped off homes and businesses while the other half failed vs VuDu hordes, giant toads, and some nasty giant leeches. Ah, priorities…

billthecat16 Oct 2012 10:11 a.m. PST


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