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Ecophagy
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PostSubject: The Economy of Commorragh   The Economy of Commorragh I_icon_minitimeThu Jun 02 2011, 09:35

Hey guys, I'm looking for some information about the DE economy - specifically, do they actually use money?

I can't see any specific references to it, and it seems that slaves and souls are the main "currency", but there's also plenty of references to "wealth" (mostly with respect to scourges I think) - so how is this wealth measured, given that souls are consumed more or less instantly. Would it just be the number of slaves you have or what?

I ask because I'm trying to create a Kabal and a shady, back-stabbing, fake-smiling enterprising merchant of sorts seems right up the DE alley!

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PostSubject: Re: The Economy of Commorragh   The Economy of Commorragh I_icon_minitimeThu Jun 02 2011, 09:39

I'm sure they have some kind of hard currency system, as well as trafficking in slaves, souls, pleasures of both mind and flesh, drugs, poisons, and many more, as well as services (Haemonculi covens, I'm looking at you).

Just because they don't go into detail about it, doesn't mean you can't make it up.
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PostSubject: Re: The Economy of Commorragh   The Economy of Commorragh I_icon_minitimeThu Jun 02 2011, 11:40

I'd say they use more of a barter/trade system then one based off hard currency.

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PostSubject: Re: The Economy of Commorragh   The Economy of Commorragh I_icon_minitimeThu Jun 02 2011, 20:54

Quote :
I'd say they use more of a barter/trade system then one based off hard currency

Barter/trade system is ok but very slow at some point, sometimes you dont have time/space to put and look afther 2000 slaves, so hard currency(coins made of wraithbone??) would do better.

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PostSubject: Re: The Economy of Commorragh   The Economy of Commorragh I_icon_minitimeThu Jun 02 2011, 21:04

@GrenAcid wrote:
Quote :
I'd say they use more of a barter/trade system then one based off hard currency

Barter/trade system is ok but very slow at some point, sometimes you dont have time/space to put and look afther 2000 slaves, so hard currency(coins made of wraithbone??) would do better.

I agree. Some sort of "money" (not necessary coins, maybe souls like in D&D "hell planes") would make perfect sense.
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PostSubject: Re: The Economy of Commorragh   The Economy of Commorragh I_icon_minitimeThu Jun 02 2011, 22:21

Maybe they use a system of credit. I'll pay you x slaves for y.

That way you can betray the person you're supposed to pay after they give you what you want.
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Ecophagy
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PostSubject: Re: The Economy of Commorragh   The Economy of Commorragh I_icon_minitimeFri Jun 03 2011, 00:07

The issue I have is with the very nature of DE makes mechanisms based on trust flawed - how can you exchange favours or credit with a Dark Eldar? I can imagine a sort of hard currency system being put in place (since it's harder to subvert). The Barter/Trade system seems like it might be most likely, just the pricing is difficult to imagine.

Thanks for all the help though - it's an interesting issue. I am struggling to think of another race where any sort of traditional economy is even viable. The Imperium I suppose, but that's basically just insane taxation.

@Torpedo Vegas wrote:
Maybe they use a system of credit. I'll pay you x slaves for y.

That way you can betray the person you're supposed to pay after they give you what you want.

This seems like a good reason for not using the system Razz

@Local_Ork wrote:
(not necessary coins, maybe souls like in D&D "hell planes")

Could you elaborate on this? I'm not really familiar with D&D details.
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PostSubject: Re: The Economy of Commorragh   The Economy of Commorragh I_icon_minitimeFri Jun 03 2011, 00:17

@up
Im not sure but it sounds like eldar soulstones.

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PostSubject: Re: The Economy of Commorragh   The Economy of Commorragh I_icon_minitimeFri Jun 03 2011, 00:34

@Ecophagy wrote:
Could you elaborate on this? I'm not really familiar with D&D details.

Don't remember it too good either, but in "Book of Vile Darkness" they describle souls as:
Money
Magic component
Healing items
Food
Fuel (for demon machines)

probably few more uses.

I guess DE can harvest souls? They DO that in DoW:Soulstorm.
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PostSubject: Re: The Economy of Commorragh   The Economy of Commorragh I_icon_minitimeFri Jun 03 2011, 00:40

Quote :
I guess DE can harvest souls? They DO that in DoW:Soulstorm.

Im not sure, if they could whole slave taking would be pointless....or maybe on a small scale....thats thing to think of.

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PostSubject: Re: The Economy of Commorragh   The Economy of Commorragh I_icon_minitimeFri Jun 03 2011, 01:03

Not quite. They used souls to fuel their "super weapons". Slaves (workers) could be harvest for souls and pain after beeing... well, brutally murdered.

So they could build "Dark Eldar Nuke Silo", then beeing "processed" and reused as missiles AND snack. Sweet...

Btw: if You can, find/download "Vile Darkness". It's good, evil book.


Last edited by Local_Ork on Fri Jun 03 2011, 16:55; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: The Economy of Commorragh   The Economy of Commorragh I_icon_minitimeFri Jun 03 2011, 10:42

Speaking of Vile Darkness, the way that the Pathfinder system describes demons eating souls in their book on the Planes is really grade-A as well.
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PostSubject: Re: The Economy of Commorragh   The Economy of Commorragh I_icon_minitimeFri Jun 03 2011, 21:47

Guys, I had an idea.
What if they trade in bodies.

Page 10 of the 5e codex says that in Low Commorragh, there are dudes who hook corpses out of the rivers to sell as slave food, and the poor fight over recently killed corpses for a scrap of soul.

Fresh, dead bodies, with some residual soul left in them could be worth a fair bit. Kind of like how ork's teef work, there's always going to be a supply of them. Granted, you can't rightly carry around a pocketful of corpses but still.
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PostSubject: Re: The Economy of Commorragh   The Economy of Commorragh I_icon_minitimeFri Jun 03 2011, 22:28

I'm still saying they have some type hard currency. The dev videos specifically say they raid "Dark Eldar raid for riches, weaponry, plunder and more importantly, souls." Riches equals cash.
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PostSubject: Re: The Economy of Commorragh   The Economy of Commorragh I_icon_minitimeFri Jun 03 2011, 22:31

Nah, too much work and cost to keep them fresh. Its easier with slaves.

Dont like mixing D&D and wh40..... For me most applying idea is some kind of money/coins made of something valuable to Dark Kin.

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PostSubject: Re: The Economy of Commorragh   The Economy of Commorragh I_icon_minitimeFri Jun 03 2011, 22:41

At first it thought "jewels" but they don't value gems as far as I know. Once again drawing from Mistress Baeda's Gift , the archon in it refers to diamonds as "lumps of compressed carbon".

Maybe in High Commorragh they use currency, where the pretense of trust is kept up.

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PostSubject: Re: The Economy of Commorragh   The Economy of Commorragh I_icon_minitimeSat Jun 04 2011, 00:49

Quote :
Maybe in High Commorragh they use currency, where the pretense of trust is kept up.
Wait, what?
High Commorragh is last place where I would look for trust.
Ill bet currency is some kind of soulstones/ect.

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PostSubject: Re: The Economy of Commorragh   The Economy of Commorragh I_icon_minitimeSat Jun 04 2011, 00:50

Pretense. They act like they aren't going to betray each other, but will. So I'd imagine they'd make a show of using money.

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PostSubject: Re: The Economy of Commorragh   The Economy of Commorragh I_icon_minitimeSat Jun 04 2011, 01:23

@Torpedo Vegas wrote:
Pretense. They act like they aren't going to betray each other, but will. So I'd imagine they'd make a show of using money.
I agree with this quite a bit. Money is probably harder to come by in the lower/poorer sections of the city and probably have to result to bartering. Think back to the Dark Ages (which 40k shares massive similarities to). A single piece of gold given as an act of charity could turn around almost and entire year of bad crops for a farmer.
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PostSubject: Re: The Economy of Commorragh   The Economy of Commorragh I_icon_minitimeSun Jun 05 2011, 21:55

@Xelkireth wrote:
@Torpedo Vegas wrote:
Pretense. They act like they aren't going to betray each other, but will. So I'd imagine they'd make a show of using money.
I agree with this quite a bit. Money is probably harder to come by in the lower/poorer sections of the city and probably have to result to bartering. Think back to the Dark Ages (which 40k shares massive similarities to). A single piece of gold given as an act of charity could turn around almost and entire year of bad crops for a farmer.

This seems like the most likely approach. I was reading back through the codex today, and it mentions "riches" and "wealth" quite a lot, so I feel there must be some form of currency beyond physical possesions (slaves and territory). Bartering would also certainly happen; indeed, that seems to be the only way to deal with the Haemonoculi.
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PostSubject: Re: The Economy of Commorragh   The Economy of Commorragh I_icon_minitimeMon Jun 06 2011, 03:53

Wealth can also be equated to property. Land, luxuries, slaves, and crops. Think plantation days of the Americas for a decent picture of what I'm talking about. Trade isn't always "X amount of money for Y" and it doesn't seem like cash is something too many Archons would necessarily need. Expansion of territory and raw materials for producing arms seems more valuable, however.

Sure such things can be taken by force, but that's not the wisest course of action in most cases.

I also get thinking of the Malus Darkblade books. The nobles quite often fell into "Allow me to use X to acquire Y, you'll receive Z or the part of Y."
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PostSubject: Re: The Economy of Commorragh   The Economy of Commorragh I_icon_minitimeMon Jun 06 2011, 04:18

All trade consists of an exchange of value for value. Originally this was goods or services but it evolved into the promise of goods or services which is what money represents.

The value of the Commorragh Dollar (we'll say) might be equivalent to the value of 1 soul as the currency standard. Like the Gold Standard. Or perhaps the amount of suffering required to fully rejuvenate the average Dark Eldar.

There is no reason why the DE would not use an abstracted form of wealth, such as money, to conduct their commerce. And since they're largely piratical in nature, I would assume that most of their economy is based on selling their loot when they return home.

A weapon factory, for example is not just going to give an archon a thousand splinter rifles in trade for an equal value of loot. The factory is going to want to make a profit. So it sells the splinter rifles at a price that it thinks it can get away with. And this sort of thing is most easily achieved when money is the primary basis of exchange.

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PostSubject: Re: The Economy of Commorragh   The Economy of Commorragh I_icon_minitimeTue Jun 07 2011, 09:23

Found another tidbit in the Decapitator's entry in the dex'. "Claiming the head of an employer's chosen victim in exchange for an exorbitantly steep price in souls"

Got my thinking, maybe they do have a credit system. I've got 3,784 souls on this dark debit card. I'll pay you 2,000 Vect Fun Bucks, redeemable for 2,000 souls.

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PostSubject: Re: The Economy of Commorragh   The Economy of Commorragh I_icon_minitimeTue Jun 07 2011, 09:26

@Xelkireth wrote:
@Torpedo Vegas wrote:
Pretense. They act like they aren't going to betray each other, but will. So I'd imagine they'd make a show of using money.
I agree with this quite a bit. Money is probably harder to come by in the lower/poorer sections of the city and probably have to result to bartering. Think back to the Dark Ages (which 40k shares massive similarities to). A single piece of gold given as an act of charity could turn around almost and entire year of bad crops for a farmer.

Strangely, I actually take a completely opposite view on that, with currency being more common amongst the "plebs" and citizens, while the higher-ups like Archons either barter or trade favours.

Before you scream me down, I have to say that I dislike seeing the Dark Eldar equated to "Drow in Spaaaace!" To me, Commoragh is highly formalised and actually fairly stable once you get higher up, mainly because at that level, you don't want to risk a coup or betrayal, because you only have more to lose. Kabals, Covens and Cults will form "partners", in which they are fairly willing to trade with, perhaps with, for example, the Covens providing the drugs and promises of rejuvenation in exchange for test subjects and protection.
It's simple strength in numbers. Much like a group of Dark Eldar will form a Kabal for mutual protection, Kabals rely on inter-cooperation to become stronger themselves. Of course, they all like to believe they have the upper hand in any deal, but a Kabal doesn't ensure the services of a Cult by paying them 50,000 souls, but rather by giving them a promise of protection, a share in the resources of the Kabal (Raiders, weapons, ties to Covens, etc), and a ready supply of real-space invasions.

Similarly, a Kabal that shares a real-space raid with a lesser Kabal isn't going to do so in exchange for money - they can get that on their raid. Rather, they're going to do so in exchange for the service of that Kabal. Instead of mere money, the Kabal will instead gain a share of what is produced by the other Kabal. A Kabal that doesn't have many artisans to produce Darklight weaponry can claim a share in the weaponry produced by their client Kabals, as well as a share in whatever gains the client made in the raid.

At other times it would be much more feudal, with no real currency, but rather taxation and protection. A shipwright would have his patron Kabal, which gives him both wealth, slaves, protection and places at the arenas watching the Cults associated with the patron, with the shipwright in return providing Raider transports for the Kabal. Similarly, the shipwright would "hire" builders and craftsmen, who give him their labour in exchange for a share in the arena visits and treasure.
As such, the Kabal will have a small nations worth of workshops, stores, craftsmen, slavebreeders, etc, each of which dependant on the protection and resources of the patron Kabal, much like vassals in the middle-ages. The civilians are allowed to go about their daily business, but a certain quota of their production is given to the patron. Workshops produce arms/armour, stores provide food, etc, while the Kabal allows them to do so without being killed by Hellions/rivals, and provides the supplies for them to do their jobs.

Trade amongst the lower levels of society, for example the more mundane purchasing of food/shelter/weaponry, would be done with currency amongst civilians, with some possibly able to offer barter instead, if they are a tradesman, or can provide some service. The average working DE simply doesn't have the time/resources to trade by barter, because they won't have the ability or time to produce enough of what they make to trade with others at such a scale. Instead, they'll trade in the currency granted by their patron Kabal, supplemented by whatever loot generated from raiding has managed to trickle down into his ownership.

I know many are going to disagree with me regarding the upper levels of Commoragh, I just don't see it as that unstable. There will be alliances, and in order for some semblance of society to function, there has to be some amount of trust at that level, even if it's merely a shared desire for more power. After all, they can get more power with two Kabals working together than two Kabals competing against each other. They may backstab each other eventually, but any Dark Eldar worth his salt can see when a situation is to his advantage. Backstabbing every single person you enter into an arrangement with is harmful for business, because eventually your Covens/Cults will stop helping you, because they don't want to be backstabbed themselves.
Betray when you must, but ultimately, like the lone Dark Eldar, the lone Kabal is a weak Kabal. Strength is a virtue, but making enemies where you don't need to cannot ever be regarded as one. It is far better to keep them on your side, and benefit through trade while doing so. After all, what is a Kabal but a group of Dark Eldar trading favours? "I'll protect you, you serve me". In high Commorrite society, this is merely reinforced, not removed. "I'll protect your Cult, you serve me."
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PostSubject: Re: The Economy of Commorragh   The Economy of Commorragh I_icon_minitimeTue Jun 07 2011, 09:59

I completely agree with this entire post, mostly. I still believe the hard "Commorragh dollar" exists, and gets more use in the higher tiers of society. It's more of a show of faith than actual real currency, if that makes since.
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