Mint D&D

Cold hard cash, so often the reward for a fight in D&D. Never mind the dodgy magic item economy that’s designed to follow this scooping up of coinage, let’s consider the practicalities.

Have you ever counted out and stacked one hundred coins? What about a thousand? Ten thousand? I have. It’s mind numbing. And that’s with modern stackable currency almost designed to sit right. You can get little machines designed to weigh money bags, but that also relies on modern minting consistency. I shudder to think just how long it would take to even remotely accurately count out coin based loot in a dark wet monster infested dungeon.

And then you have to carry it. Know what it’s like when you’ve somehow ended up with more than ten pound coins in your pocket? It’s like having a small rodent squirming around in there. You’re almost desperate to find a car park so you can offload the chump change. Just how much would 100gp weigh? (I could look it up. I won’t though.)

Point being: I love imagining the tiny dark parts of D&D. I couldn’t give a monkeys about Gate spells or Crafting potions (which fill entire sourcebooks with their explanations and expansions), but I do love thinking about the grubby business of spiking doors, spilling oil, and counting coin.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Mint D&D

  1. Richard

    One of the things we did from a quite early stage was to reduce the value of coinage by a factor of ten; Longsword cost 10 gp in the rulebook? That’s 10 sp then.

    This was nothing to do with encumbrance just a sheer lack of mints available to make the vast amounts of coinage; it really stretched credibility in the World of Greyhawk, where even the largest city topped out with a population of around 75,000. A by product was that the coinage became a little more meaningful when found because even 134 sp discovered in a Bugbear chief’s treasure codpiece meant quite a lot rather than let’s immediately give that away to the peasants in the nearest town and destabilise their economy, I can’t be arsed to lug that around.

  2. If you were doing a large transaction you wouldn’t count the coins, you would weigh them. Especially with adventurers, who have collected gold coins from all over the world, you would need to determine the actual gold weight. Things are more complicated if the coins are not solid gold and instead are mixed with other metals as is the case with many real world currencies. A banker or thief would need to know how much gold was used in minting different coins, not to mention dealing with counterfeiters and con artists that might try and use different materials.

  3. 900 grammes. Just under a kilo. A bag of sugar.

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