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89

It's nearly impossible to put a modern-world value on 1 GP ...because things don't have the same relative values in our world as they do in a typical medieval-style adventuring world that is pre-industrial, but has magic. As you've already noted, 1 GP is worth about 1 goat or about 1 whip. It's also good for 2 nights' stay in a modest inn, or 5 gallons ...


63

Stop dealing with the 98% of the population. If they're so rich, they are now peers of the 2% of the population who rule in various ways. Peasants may have little to offer in reward (perhaps fealty?), but queens, nobles, generals, and the heads of merchant empires will want to either control or ally with such powerful figures – before their rivals do. As a ...


39

1gp is 1gp is 1gp. 1 gp is worth 10 sp, 50 ep or 100 cp. That's it. Gold is defined to be worth that amount, and that's all there is to the economy in D&D. Though the specific items that you can purchase differ widely, the prices are set by the designers. So an item that costs 1gp has the same worth in the economy as another item that costs 1gp. ...


34

There are a few games with reasonable economics: Runequest (2nd or 3rd ed, not the Mongoose versions) and Pendragon (all editions). Fantasy Wargaming, for all its derision as a game, has decent econ research. Later versions of Chivlary & Sorcery also do reasonably well at it. Several supplements for Hero System also have decent price lists. There are ...


32

There is no way to know how much they're worth, since value-per-weight depends on not only what kind of gems they are, but also on how much they're worth in the local economy. (If a small town had 500 lbs. of gems sitting around, there's a good chance they're not worth a lot, are fake, or are otherwise not worth as much as you might think. No town can afford ...


28

D&D doesn't use a functioning economy - prices are instead set for game balance. Why does a whip cost as much as a goat? Because the designers figured that was a good cost for both. You can carry a pile of swords into town, only get 50% of their value, but the price to buy a sword doesn't change - because the designers don't want you playing merchant. ...


27

In Adventurer's Vault pg 198 it describe uses for the Enchant Magic Item ritual: ... the ritual can also be used to place a property in a magic item that has no property, or to upgrade a magic item to a more powerful version 5 levels higher. This use of the ritual follows the same rules for enchanting a magic item from a mundane item but ...


25

Eberron has maglev trains Eberron, which was originally written for 3.5, has the so-called Lightning Rail, which is basically a magical maglev train. It’s a fairly major part of the setting, and certainly doesn’t ruin anything. Forgotten Realms and Greyhawk don’t have trains, or, apparently, mages who think As you say, considering the ...


22

Tradition The relative values are based upon tradition ... the prices are very similar to Gygax's own list in the AD&D rules, which is an expansion of the material in the original D&D game. Gary Gygax, however, probably did not make them up on the spot. In comparing various price lists in various games, Gary's numbers routinely come up around 1gp ...


19

There's no hard-and-fast set of rules on this. But we've got a few touchstones that can inform a good scheme: 1. PHB: skilled laborer. Skilled laborers hire out at 2gp per day. But do not equate the work of even a level 1 adventurer with that of a skilled laborer. The unskilled laborer is told: carry those bricks. The skilled laborer is told: build that ...


18

Someone did write a book about this! It's called Grain Into Gold: A Fantasy World Economy, and it answers all your questions to various degrees. If you're interested in learning more, this review archived by the Wayback Machine is very informative. It most answers your first question, by detailing a fantasy world economic model based on raw materials and ...


18

The 3.5 Dungeon Master's Guide contains a small table on building costs. Page 101. But, for detailed guidelines on how to handle character-made buildings in 3E (including detailed cost and construction time rules), refer to the Stronghold Builder's Guidebook. It is a 3.0 book, but requires minimal updating. As far as renting goes... you could calculate the ...


18

It's A Currency Not a Commodity You can look at the gold piece (GP) kind of like the American Dollar. It has whatever value people assign to it. The goal of having a currency is to give a universal portable way to conduct transactions. In the D&D universe gold is that currency. There are a few abstractions though. Universal value For ease of use the ...


17

I'll head to the Dungeon Master's Guide 2, chapter 5, section Item Components, page 146. A quick and easy way to solve your issue is suggested in the 4. Upgrade or Replace? subsection: 4. Upgrade or Replace? An item created using these guidelines could replace an old item. Or the process could impart a new power to an existing item, upgrading it to a ...


17

I used to play The Dark Eye (Das Schwarze Auge) myself and in my opinion it strongly resembles medieval Europe - apart from the obvious fantasy additions. It's rule books give information of the economy, trade and demography of nearly everything. Therefore the dilemma is quite understandable; in medieval Europe a sword was worth a fortune and in the world ...


17

I can't say whether this, on its own, will change your players reactions (at the end of the day, gold is just another number on their character sheets). Certainly, I know it wouldn't interest most of mine - They'd just think "Oh, hey, our riches are 90% easier to carry, now," because assuming easy access to money-changers, the only thing you're really ...


15

The money pumps as described are both legal and restrained. While SirPoley is writing high-opt, he's... very carefully not touching various "I win" buttons and most of his wealth comes from very simple arbitrage. His recent (and brief) dip into artificer failed to produce a number of objects of "I win" (slotless use-activated tatoo of chained shatter, ...


14

Consider the fact that there is no DungeonMart to go purchase supplies from. There are no autolooms to help weave fabric. No cotton gin to quickly process cotton into fluff. The process of crafting items was time consuming and labor intensive. Only the wealthy had any sort of real wardrobe. If an adventurer needed a back pack they would most likely need ...


14

Yes, these and more are legal It’s fairly trivial to destroy the economy in 3.5. In fact, I have actually seen tables that basically assume that money is unlimited after a certain (fairly low) level. I’m not super convinced about the undead-squirrel-based factory, since Crafting typically requires checks that are beyond the abilities of ...


13

I like trying to get realism in my worlds and that includes economies. The best gaming source for this is HarnManor which, though nominally for Harn, has no real ties to that system - it's a toolkit with examples for generating a real fief/village/manor and its economy. I've used it in many a campaign. Chivalry & Sorcery is also a good source. I think ...


12

I see no problem. Let's assume the characters are not essentially rich, they just have very valuable equipment. They could have stolen it, found it, or rewarded with it. Apart from that, they don't need to be very rich. If they want to trade their equipment for a cheaper one and buy a house or a farm (if they can), let them have it. On the other hand, ...


11

I actually like HeroQuest's (the roleplaying game not the board game) method of economy better. You don't keep track of coins at all, rather you have an attribute that is your purchasing power. The more things you purchase in one sitting the greater the penalty to further purchases. Incidentals, like a drink and meal at a tavern, well below the purchasing ...


11

Edits to the question since this answer was first posted have made it clear the the asker is using a simulationist approach to managing coins. By this I mean that the number of each specific type of coin is tracked, rather than the aggregate value, that the weight of the coins is taken into account, and being able to exchange currency is dependent upon your ...


10

The best merchant system for 3.X I've seen is A Magical Society: Silk Road by Expeditious Retreat Press. It is exhaustive in its treatment of trade goods. The best seafaring system I've seen is the Pilots' Almanac by Columbia Games. While for Hârnmaster, it is really a sub-system of its own that can be adapted for d20 use by remembering 5% = +1 on a d20. ...


10

Fief and Town There are two great system-agnostic sources for you to check out. Almost all fantasy is based on Medieval Europe, and that's what these books are about. From the publisher's site: Fief: A Look at Medieval Society from its Lower Rungs is a sourcebook that examines the Middle Ages from the viewpoint of the ordinary farmer, priest, and ...


10

It doesn't really matter. 5e does not have a strong concept of wealth by level, or wealth per day, or anything like that. Perhaps more importantly, with the removal of magic item shopping, gold just isn't that useful. As long as players have a sufficient amount of gold to buy the mundane equipment they need, their gold will probably just pile up. They'll ...


10

Depending upon the gems... a "typical gem" is 1 coin-weight. Or about 1/50th pound. Or about 45 caret-weight. (5E doesn't have a specific reference for this, but older editions do.) The site linked to uses 18th-20th century relationships, but uses the same category values as the DMG... kind of. DMG 134 gives specific types for the default Forgotten Realms ...


9

There are several ways to approach this. The most common and easiest is: Handwaving. In short, probably the traditional approach to this problem is to essentially ignore it. The peasant needs to offer a reward of 1000 Gold Pieces and it doesn't make any sense for his entire family to have anything close to that... well he does anyway. It's not realistic, ...


9

Yes, I believe this is possible to implement without “messing up” the established world as long as there are limits to its implementation and the factors below are addressed. First of all, any train would have to use old technology, and I mean OLD, by not even using a steam engine. Rather, have a couple of Golems (or similar “creature”) use a simple ...


9

One side-effect of increasing value of single gps may be unintended. The physical size of a pile of gold treasure would be smaller for the same value. There is less visual impact to "riches beyond your wildest dreams", because there is less to see. Or it is all in cheaper metals, lessening the impact. Whether or not this affects your game depends on how ...



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