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Economic Systems


In this essay, I’m tackling a topic that might seem a bit unexpected at first: economic systems. Before you dismiss the idea, hear me out. You see, economics might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of fantasy worlds filled with dragons, magic, and epic quests. But here’s the thing: crafting believable economic systems can add depth and richness to your roleplaying experience like nothing else.

Think about it. When you create a character for your fantasy campaign, you’re not slapping together a bunch of stats and abilities. You’re breathing life into a persona with a history, motivations, and goals. And guess what? Economics play a huge role in shaping who we are and what we aspire to be.

Imagine a world where magic is the dominant force, where enchanted artifacts are more valuable than gold, and where society is woven with spells and incantations. How does such a society sustain itself? Who holds the power, and who is left in the shadows? These are the kinds of questions that exploring economic systems can help answer.

But it’s not about character backgrounds. Economic systems are powerful worldbuilding tools, shaping the societies and cultures that populate your fantasy realm. From feudal systems ruled by lords and ladies to bustling merchant cities driven by trade and commerce, the economic landscape of your world can add layers of complexity and intrigue.

And let’s not forget about the potential for storytelling and adventure. A well-crafted economic system can provide the backdrop for all sorts of quests and conflicts, from political intrigue and power struggles to daring heists and mercantile escapades. Whether your characters are battling against a tyrannical regime or embarking on a quest to uncover hidden treasures, the economic forces at play can lend a sense of realism and authenticity to their adventures.

If you’ve ever found yourself itching to delve deeper into the inner workings of your fantasy world, or if you’re looking to inject some fresh ideas into your roleplaying sessions, I invite you to join me on this journey into economic systems. Trust me, it’s going to be an adventure worth embarking on.

Lux Adversaria is a series of informal essays where I explore different elements of tabletop roleplaying. "Adversaria" refers to "miscellaneous writings" in Latin, representing my personal collections of notes and reflections. The term "lux adversaria" roughly translates to "light of adversity," reflecting my exploration of challenges and difficult topics.

Lightspress believes in keeping roleplaying simple, focusing on useful content rather than flashy presentation. After all, the real magic of roleplaying happens around the table, where creativity and collaboration thrive, not in a book. Visit to learn more.

Berin Kinsman is a writer and publisher in the roleplaying community, best known for his work at Lightspress. He specializes in creating narrative-driven resources that enhance storytelling and accessibility in roleplaying experiences.


In this essay, I explore the role of economic systems. I discuss how understanding and incorporating economic elements can enhance character backgrounds, worldbuilding, and storytelling in these games. By examining the influence of economics on characters' motivations, society, and adventures, I aim to provide insights and practical strategies for players and gamemasters to create more engaging fantasy worlds.

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File Last Updated:
May 11, 2024
This title was added to our catalog on May 14, 2024.