Karameikos and Beyond
Economics of Karameikos
In Karameikos the gold piece is called the royal. On the obverse is a side-view of King Halav, wearing his war-helmet; on the reverse are the inscriptions, “Grand Duchy of Karameikos”, “Glory in All Deeds”, and “One Royal”.
The silver piece is called the crona. On the obverse is the royal palace in Specularum; on the reverse are the inscriptions, “Grand Duchy of Karameikos” and “One Crona”.
The copper piece is called the kopec. On the obverse is the great wolf of the inland forests; on the reverse are the inscriptions “Grand Duchy of Karameikos” and “One Kopec”.
Everyone in Karameikos (with a few exceptions) are assessed the same tax: 25%. For most citizens of Karameikos (farmers, merchantes, etc) these taxes are levied four times a year. Farmers tend to pay in produce while merchants pay in coinage.
For adventurers things work a bit differently of necessity. The only tax that directly affects player characters is the tax on antique and foreign coinage; Any coin which predates the establishment of the Grand Duchy of Karameikos (any coin older than 30 years) or from a foreign land is taxable. When the tax is paid, each coin is marked with a special stamp to signify that the tax has been paid. Should adventurers attempt to pay for goods using unstamped coinage, they will be reported as tax evaders and punished accordingly.
This policy not only secures tax revenue, it also ensures ancient and foreign coinage conforms to the weight and purity standards of Karameikos. Ancient and foreign coinage can be exchanged for Karameikos coinage at a 1 to 1 rate (minus the 25% tax). While corruption is possible, the penalties imposed upon corrupt money changers is rather severe (Duke Stefan takes a very dim view of economic corruption) which limits attempts to defraud adventurers (not to mention most adventurers are well armed, armored and highly skilled – not exactly a group of people a bureaucrat wants to antagonize).
Economy of the Church
The men and women of Karameikos are not required by law to pay any part of their income to any church of the nation. For Stefan Karameikos to require his Thyatian followers to tithe to the Church of Traladara would have been disastrous, and to require the Traladaran population to tithe to the Church of Thyatis would have led to revolution. SO, there is no state church in Karameikos.
The churches ask their followers to tithe 10% of their income to the church. Few people can afford that (on top of their secular taxes), but enough do that an average of 2% of the nation’s income is tithed to the churches.
Also, the churches do require that their adventuring clerics tithe the full 10% (amount before taxes), and many clerics are inclined to tithe more.
The churches use their revenues to build and maintain chruch buildings, to train their clerics, to conduct holidays and special services, and (often) to exert political influence on the rulers of Karameikos.