We Built This City in D&D – Greenfang – Economy/Politics
Oh boy, we’re talking about everyone’s hot button issue, the economy and it’s best friend politics. Fortunately, it’s the economy of a fictional D&D town, so that should be less of a sticking point and how it’s important for creating your fictional city and make it feel like a real world.
So, we’ve talked about this a little bit. Greenfang is a town that doesn’t have much in terms of it’s own resources. It was instead built in the wilderness close enough to the mountains to be able to handle shipping of ore, and because of that, multiple different trade routes were started to get the ore heading out more directions than just down the river. And that, then made Greenfang into a town that has a lot of trade going through it and a good hub for secondary headquarters for merchant guilds.
So the town is really full of merchants and that’s where most of the money is changing hands. But because of the proximity to the mountains and ore, you’d have a few other businesses pop up. Obviously, you are going to need inns for the merchant guild members who are coming in to get the newest shipment of goods from their guild. Plus, people who are hunting for food or growing some food, though, that is most of what is shipped and brought back into Greenfang. That, and goods that are specific or well known from the cities at the end of the trade routes.
But there is another group that would have definitely moved into the area and probably into Greenfang, and that is master crafters who forge the ore. If they can buy it before it goes through a reseller, that means that they are getting it at a better value, and then they probably sell to multiple different guilds. In fact, since this is my city, they actually hold a monthly auction for these master worked weapons and armor and other things so that the guilds bid it up and the master crafters can get the best money. In Greenfang the auction day is basically a holiday that everyone attends. A non-guild member can buy items, but most of the items are sold in bulk because the master crafters have apprentices who are turning out things in bulk like pots, etc. which are cheaper to buy when they are made in Greenfang and shipped out, than raw ore shipped out and smelted elsewhere, though that still happens.
Now that we are seeing where the money is flowing through Greenfang, we can start to see who has power. I think that there is a high council in the town that is technically supposed to be neutral, but every seat is going to be attached to a guild and is probably a guild member or related to a guild member. The high council is going to be focused on what is best for keeping the business running strong for a long time. This can lead to some contentions when a new guild tries to get established and steal out a council seat from under another guild. It also can cause troubles when a guild needs something specific, but generally the guilds ideas all align because they care about keeping their guild making money by selling goods, so the ideals don’t diverge too much.
The merchant guilds are also going to be the ones in charge of protection. While there might be an official standing guard, they are basically used to split up disputes between squabbling merchant guilds, or to run new guilds out of town before they can be established if the new guild is bugging enough of the old merchant guilds. But the protection around the city, most of that is done by the merchant guilds who have a good number of mercenary soldiers. They keep them busy keeping the roads out of the town clear so that their caravans can stay safe. This means both dealing with bandits which tend to give Greenfang a wide birth, but also wild animals that might show up. Most everyone in Greenfang can deal with something like a rabid fox or maybe even a wolf, but for larger or more monstrous creatures, the merchant guilds send in the mercenaries.
Greenfang in general is fairly rough and tumble for being as large as city as it is. But it’s also in the middle of nowhere, so the faint of heart aren’t that apt to travel to it, and they also aren’t that apt to stay. So on the criminal side, while they crack down hard on things like stealing from the merchant guilds, other things that are technically not legal in the nation are allowed here. The city guard is kept somewhat busy busting up bar fights or dealing with drunks in the street. But stealing something is cracked down on hard, so that isn’t much of an issue. It’s more apt that someone will stab another person or a slight than someone would steal something.
We’ve made it into Greenfang a little bit, and we can start to see how the city is running. We can see why a city was built up there and how it’s running. Next time we’re going to look a bit at the criminal aspect and what other groups besides the merchant guilds and master crafters might be out there.
Share questions, ideas for articles, or comments with us!