The Agony of Gold – Chapter 7, Act 4, Strip 30

As our friends prepare to head off toward their date with destiny, they have to confront the bitter, unchanging truth – as so many other adventurers before them had to do at the same juncture. The bitter, unchanging truth that all the heaps of valuables and equipment that they’ve been hoarding aren’t going to do them any good after this point, and they would have been way better off expending this wealth while there was still time and opportunity to do so. >_>

In their defense, this is their first adventure of this type. Which is not the same as saying that very veteran adventurers are not prone to making the exactly same mistake. Folly is a constant in human nature. ._. Unless games restrict players’ capacity to carry or store money, they’re very likely to have several kings’ ransoms* jingling in their pockets as the end credits roll.

In everybody’s defense it sometimes is legitimately difficult to assess when things are getting serious enough to warrant dipping into your reserves. And, of course, there are games were the main villain, for some reason entirely their own, tolerates a shop selling high-level weapons and armor right in front of their private bedroom. But, thankfully, they’re getting rarer. ._.

Our heroes take a realistic view of things, and assume that money, even heaps of it, is unlikely to do you any good on a journey into the untouched heart of an ancient forest, and from there on into the fogs of very myth itself. But Snuka is still experiencing some pangs at leaving a metric s***ton of gold behind for the benefit of the next random passerby. A paladin should be above material yearnings, but somewhere deep, deep down, something inside Snuka still remember the happy, carefree days when he rarely paid any attention to what he should be doing, and more to what he wanted to do.

The fact that all of this takes place in a fantasy world at least eliminates one concern: Realistically, the world our heroes come back to after the conclusion of their quest (assuming they succeed and survive) should be ravaged by hyper-inflation caused by the disposal of such a large amount of bullion, much like happened during Mansa Musa’s hadj …but unlike the actual medieval world’s capacity to produce and absorb gold, a fantasy world’s capacity for that is conveniently unlimited.

More on Thurs…uh, Monday.

* Figure of speech – not necessarily (though still possibly) acquired by holding an actual king to ransom.

4 Replies to “The Agony of Gold – Chapter 7, Act 4, Strip 30”

  1. In fairness, our economic models are based on a society with a scarcity of goods and resources. RPG worlds lack that scarcity.
    Shops never run out of the items or equipment they sell, monsters always drop the exact same amount of gold (with some possible RNG variance and loot drops), and prices never change whether the adventuring party spends the game’s gold cap all in one place or never purchases a thing throughout the entire adventure.

    Heck, the NPC townsfolk seem to be invincible barring death flag events and the monsters are endless unless they’re scripted encounters (and even some bosses are endless if they become random encounter monsters later on).

    1. To a certain degree, you could defend the seemingly limitless resources of fantasy world societies with the existence of magic…but I’ve got no idea how the economy of a magic-based society would be functioning at all. And how it would maintain the inequality of resources that keeps street urchins and doe-eyed waifs in existence, who are necessary background elements for any fantasy scenario.

      And speaking of inequalities, many RPGs also have completely ridiculous price differences for items between different cities – apparently, traders there really can’t see an obvious opportunity…

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