Economics

The economy of GemStone III is based on several media of exchange. Treasure, booty, furs, gems, precious metals, and other rare and wondrous items may appear from time to time in the land, and many even fall into your hands on occasion.

Treasure and goods may be exchanged or bartered in certain parts of the world, particularly towns that are centers of commerce such as Wehnimer's Landing, the main trading post.

Coin of the Realm

Silver is the everyday currency of Elanthia, each coin being in the denomination of one silver. Merchants in the towns sell items in exchange for currency; pawnshops and other traders may also buy items of great intrinsic value in return for silver pieces. For large amounts, you may use bank notes instead of silver.

Type "WEALTH" or "SILVER" to see how many coins you have, as well as any debts or fines you have outstanding.

Wealth is accumulated mainly through the gathering of treasure and booty from the creatures you or your party of adventurers have killed. Rogues, of course, have somewhat more subtle ways of obtaining finances. Precious items, treasures, gems, and other trinkets may be exchanged at various establishments in town or to other adventurers for a quick stake. Naturally, if you can perform valuable services for fellow adventurers, you may care to do so in exchange for a fee.

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The Merchant System

Shopkeepers, traders, and various other vendors of goods and services tend to be centered in towns, where the greatest concentration of customers is located. The primary commercial and trading post is the town of Wehnimer's Landing. Here you will encounter many kinds of shops catering to the discriminating adventurer. You can buy the basic necessities for surviving and advancing in your field, as well as some of the finer things Elanthia has to offer in terms of eating, drinking, and other leisurely pursuits.

Before you do any serious adventuring, you will probably want to visit some of the local merchants and pick up a shield, weapon, and other sundries. The "DIRECTION" command ("DIR" for short) can be used to help find your way around town. To see a list of the places that DIR can help you find, type "DIR" all by itself. Then, when you decide where you want to go, type "DIR " for step-by-step directions. For example, type "DIR STORE" to get directions to the General Store.

Once you arrive at the merchant's establishment, use the "ORDER" command to purchase equipment and other supplies. You'll be presented with a series of menus that will walk you through the entire process. Even if the shopkeeper is not immediately in evidence, once you have expressed your desire to make a purchase, he or she will appear and you can begin your transaction.

Entering the command "ORDER" at the appropriate shop locations initiates the Merchant System. Each retail establishment is presided over by an individual merchant, with his or her own name, personality, business sense, and idiosyncrasies. Some merchants enjoy bantering, bargaining, and haggling, while others would just as soon you go away and leave them alone. You will get a feel for each shopkeeper's way of doing business as you deal with them, and they in turn will get to know you. If you show up enough and bargain for the best deal, you will definitely gain a reputation with the individual merchant. While you may walk away with a bargain or two at first, in the long run, remember the old saying: "Penny wise, pound foolish."

Once in the Merchant System, you will be shown the catalog of what the merchant has to offer you. You can list the items, get more detailed descriptions of any single item, and then decide whether you wish to purchase it or not. Once you decide you do want to buy an item, the process of bargaining begins. When the price is agreeable to both parties, you then buy the item, and wait for the shopkeeper to fetch it for you. To indicate you are through with all your purchases from that shop, click DONE.

If you have a free hand when you place your order, the merchant will place your purchase directly in that hand, just to keep things easy. If both your hands are full, then your order will be wrapped and placed on a counter. Type "LOOK ON COUNTER" to see what is on the counter, and then "GET PACKAGE" to pick it up. So, if your name was Gonzoid, you could type "GET GONZOID PACKAGE" to put the package into your hand. (Note that at least one hand must be empty in order to pick anything up.)

The merchant then takes your silver and sets the item down for you on the counter, and it is yours to cherish, for however long it lasts. By the way, there are no guarantees, returns, or exchanges.

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The Banking System

Banks in Elanthia are confined to the towns, where security and commerce are centered. Wehnimer's Landing, Icemule Trace, and Kharam-Dzu contain such an establishments, and you are free to choose where you wish to keep your wealth.

Banking in the era simulated in GemStone III is quite a bit different from modern banking. Banks do not make loans -- their primary business is that of security. The economy runs on the silver standard, so when a bank has your money it really keeps your actual silvers locked up in their own compartment.

Note that bankers do not make judgments about characters. Their rates are not negotiable. If you have a silver to deposit, they will be willing to deal with you.

Banks offer promissory notes, which act as a substitute for silver. If you must carry a large amount of silver, a note can be both lighter and less likely to be picked from your pocket. Most merchants will accept such notes, even offering you change. Naturally, the bank charges you a reasonable fee for this service.

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Treasure and Booty

The main way to earn your fortune in Elanthia is by killing monsters and recovering any treasure they may be carrying. Sometimes they will be carrying cash, gems, or enchanted items. Only those sentient or intelligent creatures who might logically be carrying silver or precious items walk around with such things. For instance, a wolverine, having no pockets nor any place to spend money, would neither be holding silver coins nor using armor or weapons. Just because a creature is especially high level does not mean it is rich.

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Searching a Dead Monster

To plunder monsters for valuables, you must "SEARCH" their bodies after they have been killed. Any silver, precious, or magical items they were carrying will disappear when the corpses decompose. Mundane armor and weapons also can be scavenged, as some equipment can be worth quite a bit even if it isn't magical.

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Chests

Some particularly clever creatures will carry their wealth around with them in chests that may be locked or even booby-trapped. The cautious adventurer would do well to keep this in mind and bring all skills into use when treasure hunting. Chests may contain silver or valuables such as gems, rings, jewelry, and trinkets.

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Magical Items

Quests for items of great magical power may also be organized from time to time, lending an even greater chance for adventure and heroic deeds. There is also a chance that an intelligent creature may be carrying a powerful magic artifact as well, so it is best to keep your eyes open.

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Valuable Pelts and Herbs

The flora and fauna that inhabit Elanthia are numerous and can be valuable as well as harmful. Skinning a dead creature quickly and skillfully before it decays may yield a valuable pelt, skin, or leather that can be exchanged with some of the traders in Wehnimer's Landing or Icemule Trace in return for silver pieces. Certain potent, rare, and valuable herbs can likewise be gathered and then sold in town.


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