The Economy Engine, v0.2

I made a thing.

For D&D 3rd edition, so it might not be that interesting to a lot of people. But I made it and I think it’s cool.

The 3rd edition Dungeon Masters Guides has a system to determine various traits of any randomly generated town or village. The rules for making a list of all NPCs that live in a city by class and level are pretty silly, as they easily produce considerable numbers of level 20 commoners in every major city. But the guidelines for what kind of equipment and other things are available for sale in a random village that the party might come through, and how much of their treasure hauls they will be able to sell there always seemed like an interesting idea to me. You can’t sell off a dragon’s hoard in some remote village, and you won’t be able to quickly recruit a hundred mercenaries and have them decked out with plate armor in a small town, even if you have the money to pay for all of that.

I am currently working on a West Marches inspired campaign concept in which the players would grow the local frontier economy with the treasures they haul up from ancient ruins, and in the process more rare and specialized items and services would become available in the growing villages in the area. Since the plan is to make it a D&D 3rd edition campaign, using the DMG’s guidelines is as good a start as any. To make tracking of how much of the local stocks of various items the players have already bought up, and how much of their treasures they will be able to sell before they might have to make a trip to the big city where the major buyers are, I put together a spreadsheet that automatically does all the calculations that the DMG suggests.

Economy Engine v0.2 (.0ds)

Economy Engine v0.2 (.xlsx)

The only thing you have to do to get the entire store inventory list for any settlement is to enter the population size at the top. It then automatically sets the correct gp limit and calculates the asset values, and then uses those to determine which items are available for sale and how many of them are in stock.

Because I want to use this for an open table campaign where players might have several characters and there might be a number of different parties going on their separate adventures at different times, which might have very different uses for certain items, I made the Economy Engine with an option to keep track of how many items of a type are currently on stock, based on what players have bought, as well as what they have sold. And the sheet also calculates how this makes the cash reserves of the local businesses go up and down.

I’ve put all the equipment lists from the Player’s Handbook into the sheet, but I would recommend to either delete or just hide all the rows with items that are not produced in the setting of a campaign. New rows can be added to the list and nothing should be caused to break from this. You just have to enter the name of the item and its price in gp. The other rows look empty, but will automatically be filled in once you have the price typed into the B column. The formatting goes down to row 1000, and even with just the most very basic spreadsheet skills you can extend the formatting further down as much as you want if you should need it.

I really don’t know if anyone still has any use for this tool 17 years after the game ceased publication. But I made it for myself, it’s really easy to use, and it doesn’t take up space. So have it.

I updated the files to v0.2 because the code for tracking current stock was completely borked. This is also now properly attributed with a Creative Commons Do Whatever You Want License.

3 thoughts on “The Economy Engine, v0.2”

  1. Hey

    This is a really great tool – thanks for creating and sharing it! I play a custom version of 3.0e, so this will come in handy. I may tweak the numbers a little as I am not sure a Thorp would have 1,000 bedrolls on hand (for example). But this is a great little tool to have.


    1. I decided to stick with the 3.5e PHB and DMG values for this file so people know the starting point to apply their own tweaks to.
      The version I want to use myself is also very different.

  2. This looks absolutely great! I’m in the process of starting up a 3e game too, so I can definitely use this. Thanks for sharing!

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