I’m working on creating a “balance sheet” of sorts for my new campaign world and have calculated out tax income but I’m having trouble figuring out what expenses a mayor/lord/duke/King would have in maintaining their government. Any thoughts?

Should it just be a rough percentage? Like a government uses between 80 and 120% of it's tax revenue at any given time?


closed as off-topic by Mołot, Rekesoft, StephenG, JohnWDailey, Alexander von Wernherr Nov 2 '18 at 10:40

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question does not appear to be about worldbuilding, within the scope defined in the help center." – Mołot, Rekesoft, StephenG, Alexander von Wernherr
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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Worldbuilding, William. As it stands, I'm unclear on what you're trying to ask in this question. If you're asking whether or not a government in the D&D universe would collect more or less tax than it needs to spend, the answer should be no; ideally they would balance, just like in the real world. If you're asking what a D&D government would spend its taxes on, it might be useful to put in more detail about your fantasy world and what resources and services (and level of magic/tech) you expect in that world. $\endgroup$ – Tim B II Nov 2 '18 at 5:23
  • $\begingroup$ The way you framed your question is wrong. Government expenses are based on what they have to do like mentioned by Tim B, so you should decide what the responsibilities of your government actually are before you go into the nitty gritty of how they get their tax revenue, how it's allocated, etc $\endgroup$ – nullpointer Nov 2 '18 at 5:59
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    $\begingroup$ If your question is tightly tied to D&D then Role-playing Games would be a better fit for it. The folks over there are more intimate with the rules and quirks of the system than we can ever hope to be. $\endgroup$ – dot_Sp0T Nov 2 '18 at 6:44
  • $\begingroup$ This question should have been closed as too broad rather than off-topic. $\endgroup$ – Renan Nov 2 '18 at 12:29
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    $\begingroup$ The question is most definitely not off-topic. Fleshing out the workings of a government in a fantasy world is about as close to worldbuilding as one gets. $\endgroup$ – Mike Nichols Nov 2 '18 at 20:00

Like any govt spending is as much as you can beg borrow, steal or tax.

Very few governments attempted to live within their means. Expenditure for a king varied depending on power. A lot of taxes were for the sole purpose of limiting the power of nobles. Kings would move around the country using up all the resources in a locality rather than staying home and supporting themselves. This not only kept them going but impoverished the nobles they stayed with which limited their potential for belligerence.

If there is war afoot then all bets are out, spending would be 100% or more most of the time of normal taxes (not the nobles personal revenue streams perhaps).

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    $\begingroup$ Very good answer, thank you! I especially appreciate your point explaining that taxes are more than just a revenue stream in some instances. That they work to limit the economic power of those whom it applies to. $\endgroup$ – William Cord Nov 3 '18 at 5:34
  • $\begingroup$ I think it would be a cool feature in a game to have to balance nobles having enough resources to support you and keep peace in their locale, and enough resources to start thinking they'd look good wearing your crown if they could talk a few mates into helping them ambush you next time you showed up. One of the reasons kings kept hostages at court and travelled around with heavily armed retainers. $\endgroup$ – Kilisi Nov 5 '18 at 6:44

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