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Wares and Goods in Middle-Earth

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The proposed Prices,often differing exceedingly from those given in the Game-books, are based on real-world prices in medieval England and to some degree early medieval and late roman europe.

This assumption is based on the hypothesis that Middle-Earth's Currency or Money-system is based on the real world currency of medieval and late roman Britain:

  • Fourpenny (Silver) and similar coins (Kreuzer, Groten, Witten, Stüber etc.) = 4 pence
  • 1 Denarius (Silver) = 1 penny (Silver) = 4 farthings or Sestertii (Bronze/Brass)
  • 1 Sestertius = 4 Asses (Bronze/Copper)
  • 1 As = 4 Quadrans ( Copper "Quarters")

other medieval currencies:

  • carolingian pound (silver) = 240 Denarii or Pence
  • 1 pound = 20 shillings
  • 1 mark = 13s 4d
  • 1 Ducat = nine shillings and four pence
  • 1 crown = 5 shillings
  • 1 shilling = 12 pence
  • 1 Heller (copper coin) = 2 Pence

Barter-trade:

Within many cultures the basic currency were not regular coins but real assets such as a Slave, a Cow, a Horse or a Knife.In early medieval Ireland the basic units were seoit and Cumal:

  • 1 sét = 1 iron Dagger or a half Cow
  • 6 sét = 1 Cumal (Slave-girl)
  • 1 Cumal = 3-6 Cows = 3 ounces Silver = 7 years of Work done by a strong Woman = 6-8 Seoit = the seventh part of the wergild to pay for a Freeman

Food

Item MERP LOTR RPG LOTRO estimated price
light meal       1 Brass/Copper
normal meal       2 Brass/Copper
excellent meal       6 Brass/Copper
hard tack /Sea bread, 1 week, 2,5 lbs       2 sp
Waybread, 1 month, 5 lbs       12 sp
cider, 1 pint,       2-copperlings-1 brassling
berryjuice, 1 pint       1-4 Copper
Ale, 1 pint       2 brass- 2 copper
Brandy, 1 pint       1 copper
Mead, 1 pint       2 copper
Milk, 1 pint       2-6 Copper
Wine, 1 pint       3 farthings
Tongkûn, 1 Barrel       up to 4 gp
provisions, 1 week, 8lbs       2 sp
provisions for the road, 1 week, 14 lbs       4 sp


Item MERP LOTR RPG LOTRO estimated price
Simple quarter, one night       1-2 brass
Good quarter, one night       4 brass-
Exclusive quarter, one night       1 sp
         
         

Animals

Item MERP LOTR RPG LOTRO estimated price
Pony   3 sp 3 sp 3 sp (Hobbit Ponies seem to have been quite cheap in Breeland)
mule       3-6 sp
Horse, light       5-8 sp
Horse, medium       5-20 sp
Horse, heavy       20-40 sp
War horse, light       80 sp
War horse, great       640
Camel       10 sp
Light oliphaunt       2240 sp - 88 Mirianath

traveling

Item MERP LOTR RPG LOTRO Estimated Price
Ferry, mile       2-3 Brasslings (1 Tharni for a Horseman)
Coach, mile       1 copper-2 brass
Small wain, 8 ft       4 fourpennies
Boat, small, 10 ft       6-15 sp
Boat, medium, 20 ft       18sp - 11 Tharni
Boat, large, 30 ft       10-20 tharni

ranged weapons

Item MERP LOTR RPG LOTRO estimated Price
Crossbow       6 sp
Composite bow       5 sp
Longbow       4 sp
Shortbow       2sp
Sling       1 copper-2brass


Item MERP LOTR RPG LOTRO estimated Price
Arrows       4-6 (per dozen)
Bolts       3-6 (per dozen)

Blades

Item MERP LOTR RPG LOTRO estimated Price
Dagger, Long knife       2-16 sp
Broadsword       15-40 sp
Longsword       15-100 sp
Short Sword       6-35 sp
Scimitar       7-30 sp
Two-handed sword       30-60 sp

blunt weapons and pole-arms

Item MERP LOTR RPG LOTRO estimated Price
Bola       1 brass-1 sp
Battle-axe, one handed       6-24 sp
Battle-axe, two handed       10-40 sp
Club       1-4 sp
Halberd / Poleaxe       8-32 sp
Lance       4-16 sp
Mace       4-16 sp
Morning star       5-20 sp
Quarterstaff       1 sp
Spear       6-24 sp
Javelin       4-16 sp
War-Flail       6-24 sp
War-hammer       4-16 sp
Net, Combat       5 sp
Whip       5 brass

Equipment

|-

|-
Item MERP LOTR RPG LOTRO Estimated Price
Quiver       3 brass
scabbard, shortblade       1 sp
scabbard, longblade/two handed       2 sp
Weapon Belt       1 sp
Pack, no frame       1-2 sp
back frame       3 sp
bag       1-2 brass
rope (50 ft)       1-2 copper
rope (160 ft)       3-6 copper
rope (50 ft), excellent       5-25 copper
skis       4 sp
bow drill       1-3 sp
picklock       2-4 sp
candle (1lb)       6 copper-2sp
torch       2 copper
lantern, metal       1 sp
oil flask       6 brass
stitching-awl       1 brass
yarn       1-2 brass
flintstone/Cinder       2 brass
clamps/Rods       1sp
pole/Picket       1-2 copper
waterskin/Goatskin/Wineskin       2-4 brass
duvet (Wool)       2 sp
canvas (5ft x 8 ft)       3 copper - 2 sp
large tent (4 persons))       4-20 sp
small tent (2 persons)       2 sp

Armour

|-

|-
Item MERP LOTR RPG LOTRO Estimated Price
arm braces, leather (Bracer/arm-guard)       10-12 brass
arm braces, metal (Vambrace/Forearm Guards)       12-15 sp
leg armour, leather       20 sp
leg armour, metal (Poleyn/Greave)       30-70 sp
leather armour       5-20 sp
studded leather (Brigandine)       24-60 sp
chain-mail (Hauberk)       10-400 sp
plate-mail       30-800 sp
helm, leather (Cap)       3-8 sp
helm, metal       10-22 sp
shield, normal       4-120 sp 

Clothes

Item MERP LOTR RPG LOTRO Estimated Price
Belt       1 sp
Sandals       3 brass
Boots, normal, fine leather       2-5 brass
Boots, normal, rigid leather       2-4 brass
Boots, high, fine leather       6 brass
Cap, simple       2 brass
Cap, fine       5 brass-1 sp
Gloves, soft       3-4 brass
Gloves, rigid       3-4 brass
Shirt/Tunic       10 copper-3 brass; 3-10 sp
tabard       3-48 sp
Jacket, simple       3-10 brass
Jacket, fur-lined       2 sp
Trousers       5 brass
Dress, simple       3-5 brass
Dress, fine       1-3 sp
Cloak, simple       5-10 brass
Cloak, fur-lined       7 brass-2sp
mantle       5-20 brass

Converting prices

The only actual price known from Middle-Earth is the price for a Pony in Breeland which was 3 silverpennies, so the value of a Pony/light Horse is generally a good aid to orientation for converting real-world to Middle-Earth prices.According to the History of Middle-Earth in Gondor a Tharni was a Silverfarthing, worth the fourth part of a Castar or Canath, a canath on the other hand was the fourth part of a Goldcoin known as the Mirian.

references

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