I’m probably overthinking this game, but it certainly embraces mercantilist economics in ways that do more than a bit of pointing and laughing at other medieval fantasy games. Some thoughts on this:
- Prices are set for the player, so it is clearly not a capitalist economy. They go down as you recover family artifacts, but these services never get to be free. The town functions almost as much as a company town as it does a feudal system, though, because everything costs money, and the monopolies that the various townspeople have fit right into the sort of rewriting of rules that happens in company towns.
- None of the folks selling you things are willing to go into the dungeons or warrens or wealds or coves, and this I think is a subtle wink at the gothic romance. The townspeople either look imperious or obsequious, but either way you as the player know that they are not on your side – this isn’t a typical RPG (or medieval fantasy) where your arrival is taken as being that of a savior.
- In this sense it also messes with Campbell’s hero cycle – the boon the player’s explorers bring back are essentially their lives (and of course I haven’t finished it so I don’t know how it ends)…
- This setup makes me think of the rules that folks bound in a political structure carve out to make the best of a bad situation (crazy feudal lord) for themselves.
This game is in my head a bit…