Hot answers tagged

137

In eggs As in, a fertile dinosaur egg, not the adult. Moving livestock is always tricky, even more so when said livestock is composed of strong and dangerous creatures, which have a tendency to die easily in the wrong temperature, thanks to the fact that they're cold-blooded. If pirates wanted to smuggle these creatures from their distant territories back ...


80

Stuff appears. Stuff also disappears. There is a large but finite amount of gold coin. When a monster spawns out of nowhere, gold coins to accompany it disappear from their various locations elsewhere and reappear on the monster. The chance of any given coin disappearing is very low, and so only a few people realize that is what is happening. Playing the ...


62

So international trade with the USA is just wacky; eg 6 Of Top 10 U.S. Imports Are Also Top 10 Exports Many things we worry about day to day will be fine - USA is essentially self sufficient for many things, when South America is included in the trade bubble you're almost perfect. Oil, petrol, most rare metals: all fine. The biggest things it will lack will ...


58

Guilds are the opposite of labor unions Labor unions are formed to advocate for worker's rights against management. Labor union's tool is the strike, shutting down business operations and causing management to lose business. Labor union's goal is higher pay and better benefits for the workers. Guilds, on the other hand, were management. Guilds consisted of ...


58

One of the ultimate signs of wealth is being able to command services from other humans at your whim. The ultra wealthy have maids, pilots, cooks, drivers, guards, etc. and even if these jobs could be automated, there's still a feeling of power that one can derive from commanding others who are like you, and it's a sign of power to others. So, some ...


48

Collected treasures. https://www.mnn.com/family/family-activities/blogs/little-girl-feeds-crows-in-return-they-bring-her-gifts Then, in 2013, Gabi decided to do more than just share the scraps of her lunch. Each morning, she began filling a birdbath with fresh water, and setting out food — peanuts, dog food and general leftovers — for the birds to ...


47

Monsters get killed. Gold comes out. A "Hero" takes the gold. They buy a sword. With it, they commit more murder on innocent monster natives. They buy another sword. However, they never sell the old sword. The Smith therefore receives no used metal to use as material source and has to constantly use the gold to buy more metal from lands far away. ...


43

While most answers here seem to emphasize the exclusivity of guilds, the main (original) point of a guild has been only touched upon. Guilds were founded to ensure competency in a professional trade, such as Coopers (casks - a barrel is a 32-gallon cask), Mercers (merchants), Fishmongers, Haberdashers (not hats, but clothiers in fine materials, such as ...


43

Let's try a real world example Say that the continent shown on the map is Africa. Traders coming from Shanghai in the east going to Amsterdam in the west have the option of going through the Suez canal and of course paying the transit fees, or going around Africa and avoiding those pesky fees. For some strange reason, they prefer paying to go through the ...


41

The wizards creating the monsters are being paid in gold, which they use as an ingredient in the monster spawning spell. The gold is used but not consumed, so it ends up with the new monster. Because the monsters kill livestock and travelers, and a pre-industrial society is hugely dependent on agriculture, the kings have been emptying their treasury, giving ...


37

It seems odd that an organization would set up multiple 1000 bed bunkers and not provide some method for them to contact each other. So any search for other bunkers should start by a thorough review of whatever documentation and paper work already exists within your current bunker. If you find no clues there, your best first step would be to increase the ...


37

Information Harpies can fly and this would make them invaluable to help map-makers, to plot roads, to inspect large fields, and any other number of activities. They also could carry messages between the cities, creating a courier network that could surpass most kinds of treacherous terrain with ease.


37

Blue Reefs The southern sea is big and open. The winds can go hard and the waves high, and there is no dry land nearby. This by itself would make the journey somewhat dangerous, but not especially so. The problem is a certain type of coral reef that is common in the area. They form strong reefs with sharp edges, and have a deep blue colour - not exactly the ...


36

Sail chariots On Earth, we seldom have used terrestrial transport propelled by sails because, unlike sea winds, terrestrial winds are weaker, more turbulent and thus less constant and predictable, and also because of non-flat terrain. But hey, we're come here for the handwavium, haven't we? Add constant, steady winds, and make your chariots sail the desert,...


35

SEX TRADE: (and assorted criminal activities) I hate to point out the obvious (ok, that's a lie; I LOVE to point it out) but most of the slavery in the US not linked to sweatshops is in the sex trade. Even with AI and fancy machines, there's something about a real person you can't quite get right, and the harder they try, the weirder it seems. The same rule ...


33

Things that are unique Whether it's a mineral, a plant or an animal, the only place you know you can find it is <insert planet name here>. Well you have to import. Alternatively, it is a manufactured good, produced by one company, and that company has only one manufacture. Likely they won't bother building a factory on another because there isn't a ...


31

You are asking about a world with two centers of food production and asking if they can feed everybody who doesn't live in one of those centers. There are three main factors to consider: preservation transportation motivation Preservation You describe a medieval level of technology (except for agriculture). During the European middle ages, people had to ...


30

Relays Not electronics, I mean, takeovers. No, I don't mean coup... just read... The basic idea is that to move the merchandise, it has to change hands many times across various small settlements, preferably around one day apart (considering the load to carry). Now, of course, everybody along the way needs payment - at least the people who run the ...


29

Teredo worms The sea that lays to the south of your continent is cursed by having the ideal salinity and temperature for a particularly aggressive family of Teredo worms While these creatures may also be present in other seas, and so known to your sailors, the species common in the South Sea make the long journey through these infested waters extremely ...


27

Monster whomping mostly replaces mining If, in addition to your monster-based economy, gold is still being mined the old-fashioned way then it might be less valuable than in mundane history. But if gold mines are much less prevalent, or unheard of, it will still probably be valuable. See, if you take a step back, mining is a sink for a lot of resources: ...


27

Location sites for filming historical and fantasy dramas. The Americas are very short of buildings, villages and towns that look like they’re in mediaeval or even early modern Europe, and European locations are still a lot cheaper and better than using CGI, or such shows wouldn’t be filmed on location at present.


25

Back in the middle age each city had its own system of measures, usually based on the human body. Inch, arm, palm, span, foot were used to measure distances, for example. Normally in the market square there was some sort of reference sample for lenght and volume (at least), which would come in handy when foreign merchants came to sell their goods and for ...


24

You forgot factor 4: it's pretty, thus jewelry :-) Also it's not used in electronics because of its conductivity (it's not as good as copper, and not that much better than aluminum), but because it doesn't corrode, so it's useful to have contacts with a very thin gold plating. AFAIK graphene wouldn't plate that well. and apparently isn't all that stable: ...


23

It depends First do note that meat is usually not a primary source of food. Ever since we stopped being hunter-gatherers more than 10 000 years ago and became farmers instead, we started relying on grains and roots (such as potatoes) as our primary source of energy. That said... A caravan needs to feed itself. Unless the caravan can buy food on the way, ...


23

You haven't re-instituted the Gold Standard, you've turned the Gold Standard into a fiat currency and you've done so with horrifying consequences. Value is determined by two factors - supply and demand. If you were to increase the supply of gold as the demand stayed the same, the price would drop and then the gold would be devalued. Attempting to switch back ...


22

The amount of Gold and Silver is not at all extreme, after all Earth has enough gold to plate the entire surface including oceans with a layer 10 feet thick. It's just impossibly difficult to get to it, as most of it is down near the core. The problem is that gold is both very dense, and chemically inert. Thus in molten material, such as more than 99% of ...


21

Do you have a genuine anarchy or is it more a tribal or organized crime setting? The "families" do not want any city government to interfere with their business. The "families" want to do business with each other, so in the absence of law they must gain a reputation for keeping their word, and for punishing betrayals. The "families" want tourists to spend ...


20

As you say, the most sought after materials are the rarest. You also correctly assume that the rarest materials are often those with the greatest molecular mass. This is because it takes a much, much bigger star to produce heavier elements. For example, say in a sector of the universe you have 100 stars, of which: 80 are average sized (produce elements up ...


19

I think you have missed a lot in your research then First lookup Bedouins (granted these guys were more in the Saharan reaches) These nomads were prolific traders on the silk road (amongst others). In their culture Camels are a foundational pillar. The camel is good for transporting materials, it can be milked as a food source, it can also be slaughtered ...


19

Monica laid out the main issues quite well and I'm not going to attempt to duplicate her answer. My answer will focus on some additional elements. Not allowing people to produce their own food is akin to holding them hostage. Or a form of servitude. At the very least, it's a tool of oppression. One example is early 20th century India. Britain ruled the ...


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