Goldbug Lament – Chapter 7, Epilogue, Strip 5

With the crisis over, there’s finally some time to assess the collateral damage, as well – including the economic damage. Which also confirms that the Eni’lef are, ultimately, good guys (even if they nap a lot and are generally not overly interested in matters), because bad guys would have assessed the economic damage much sooner, if not before any of the other consequences.

And the economic damage is massive, naturally. Not only because of the inevitable devastation caused by a protracted war in an area with a medieval, agrarian subsistence economy – additional massive damage has been caused by some group of reckless adventurers (not naming any names >_>) who have left a veritable mountain of gold coins and other assorted valuables right in the middle of the Eni’lef village’s marketplace. The marketplace survived unscathed, but the market naturally crashed disastrously, the local currency having been completely devalued. Which, realistically, should always happen in any RPG session were a group of adventurers drags a vast hoard of treasure from some ancient tomb into some village where typical economic activity involves a few bushels of corn or a wooden rake at a time.

“Should” only in the economic sense, of course…in terms of narrative, it would be quite counterproductive to diminish a successful party’s hard-earned feelings of triumph by having them inadvertently cause massive economic misery to innocent people. Especially if the doddering old lich or mummy-king the adventurers got all that loot from never really seriously molested anybody of them to begin with (and, let’s face it, most villains of that brooding undead type aren’t terribly active unless somebody seeks them out in their lair to cause trouble). So the sloppier DMs might just ignore the whole problem, while the less sloppy one might helpfully provide a very wealthy traveling merchant to soak up the superfluous riches and take them out of the local economy and away to parts unknown (like Atlantis*, or some similar place with the ability to absorb unlimited amounts of riches).

More on Monday.

* Not in this specific setting, of course, where Atlantis got drunken by the oceans before the story started. As has been pointed out repeatedly. >_>

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