Solethania Wizards Revisted & Magical Currency
I decided to drop the global population down to a more manageable 300 million. Mostly because I didn’t want so many middling to large up and coming cities scattered about everywhere. While contemplating this, I also decided I wasn’t a fan of the Wizard demographic level distribution (original post here). There were just too many low level wizards and not enough mid level ones to my taste. So I gave it some thought. I decided that you aren’t really a true Wizard until you’ve mastered some iconic spells, and had some time to truly get into your chosen Tradition (I arbitrarily chose level 3). Levels 1-2 are merely Apprentice Wizards, going through their formal training and education.
With the help of an old friend from college, I now have a new Wizard Demographic by Level table:
How this was achieved was by basing it on current real world higher academic tiers. 1-2 would be those going into college/university. 3-6 would be those with a Bachelor’s. 6-10 would be those with a Masters. 10-20 would be those with at least one Doctorate. The math was calculated using general pop statistics (levels 3-6), slightly modified Chi-Squared distribution (6-10), and straight Chi-Squared distribution(10-20). I do think this is a much closer approximation to what an actual global academia of Wizards and their power would be like population wise.
As a minor aside, the population of the United States in 2016 was 323.4 million, which I think lends itself nicely to do some comparisons. Namely, according to the 2016 Bureau of Labor Statistics, all Protective Service Occupations (law enforcement, firefighters, lifeguards, animal control, security guards, etc.) only make up about 1.1% of the population of the United States. So if you were wondering how common a Wizard would actually be, that’d be the closest comparison.
Now, due to the prevalence of higher level wizards (never mind all the other spellcasters in the world…), I don’t think a traditional coinage system would really hold any weight anymore. When you can just magic up or transmute metals and materials, raw materials are going to lose their value pretty quickly. So what can replace it?
My idea is the currency of Solethania, called the Litia. The Litia is a coin that contains a specific amount of magical power. That is, it is essentially a magic battery. A spellcaster isn’t going to want to waste a spell slot (expend the effort) for a lot of ‘mundane’ magical work. So they can just use one of those instead. I figure one coin is worth either a cantrip or lvl 1 spell worth of ‘pure’ magic (I haven’t decided). A wizard can then either recharge it later, or trade it off to someone else. Different levels of magic give it different levels of worth.
In D&D coinage terms:
|Part Full||1 Silver|
|Mostly Full||1 Electrum|
Now, considering that what would traditionally be the ‘slave class’ of D&D worlds has been replaced by non-sentient magic powered golems, it’s a small leap to make them essentially rechargeable with Litia. Since that may get rather expensive for most to afford, it is likely only nobility or upper class that can afford them -perpetuating and strengthening the power of a feudalistic system of governance throughout the world as they would be ‘leased’ to the serfs under them.