So, a few sessions back, my DM allowed us to fill our Portable Hole completely with gold coins and various other valuable trinkets and loot from a treasure room we discovered. We have yet to set out and count all of the gold and discover each trinket, bobble, or other piece of loot, but I believe it is safe to say that you can comfortably ignore the small amount of items that are not gold coins and still receive a fairly accurate approximation, as the DM stated that it is mostly consisting of gold coins.

Here is my math:

  • A Portable Hole is a 6' diameter hole, and it stretches 10' down.
  • To figure out the volume (or how much gold can be held in the hole), the formula is Volume = π * radius squared * height. π = 3.14 and the radius is half of the hole's diameter (which is 6'), so the radius is 3', and the height is 10'. -So the formula would be: 3.14 * 9 * 10 = 282.6 cubic feet available to fill inside the hole.

  • A cubic ft of Gold is 1,206 lbs. Now, obviously this is a solid, dense block of gold, but this is just an approximation of gold coins.

  • With there being 282.6 cubic feet available in the hole, that equals out to 282.6 * 1,206 = 340815.6 lbs of gold.

  • Since the PHB states that there is 50 GP to each lb of GP, that will become: 340815.6 * 50 = 17,040,780 gold pieces.

I ran this math by the DM, and he says that this checks out by his calculations, give or take a small percentage being non-gp items, and also accounting for the spaciousness of gp as opposed to the solid mass of a gold block, we could even say that this is anywhere from 10 - 15 million gp, which is still a huge amount of gold. Also, non-gp trinkets and items may even be worth more than the gold.

I conveyed my concerns to my DM that this is far too much gold for five 6th level characters, and he continues to say that we'll just be rich from now on, and has stated to me that there is no trickery about the gold and that it really is just that much GP.

I'm quite concerned that this may impact our game very negatively. Personally, my character shuns gold and does not possess a value over treasure, but there are several members of our group who are completely driven by it. I'm scared what could possibly be done with this much gold, as I am fairly new to D&D and I don't quite know what is available to those with heavy coin purses.

I'll add that only 2 of our players are keen on this amount of gold, and the other 4 (including our DM) are not so gung-ho about said loot. He told me later on the side that he had a planned out this room of treasure in the full intention of us not claiming a single coin, as the room was a trap room. However, one of our money hungry players simply mage-handed the portable hole into the room and filled it up. Now, we are simply trying to figure the impact of the game as several of us are new to D&D as a whole and don't quite know the potential of the game. Just looking for some fun or interesting options for us and my DM to possibly take.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Related: How much can you fit into a portable hole? \$\endgroup\$
    – Adeptus
    Commented Jun 22, 2017 at 3:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ related: Without a magic item economy, what is gold for? \$\endgroup\$
    – daze413
    Commented Jun 22, 2017 at 3:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ The question transformed from "how much can fit in a portable hole?" (which might be answerable, but skirts topicality, which, by the way, the body still seems to ask- I suggest removing that part), to "what can happen with this much gold?", which is just too broad. \$\endgroup\$
    – daze413
    Commented Jun 22, 2017 at 3:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm not a 5e guy, but in previous editions it's unusual for a group of level 5 PCs to even have a portable hole — that's typically the game's vastest and most compact storage container. Has the DM been as generous with magic items as he has with raw wealth? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 22, 2017 at 3:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also related is this question \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 22, 2017 at 3:35

2 Answers 2


Be not afraid; pursue fun

You need to discuss this with your group first.

I'm quite concerned that this may impact our game very negatively. Personally, my character shuns gold and does not possess a value over treasure, but there are several members of our group who are completely driven by it. I'm scared what could possibly be done with this much gold, as I am fairly new to D&D and I don't quite know what is available to those with heavy coin purses.

  1. The group can still have fun with this even if your PC is an ascetic. The aggregate experience is the key.
  2. You might (as a group) screw up: so what? Failure and screw ups can lead to hilarious and memorable fun. (We play games to have fun, mostly).
  3. If you aren't discrete about your pile of loot, adventure will come to you. Parties of freebooters, pirates, bandits, and other unsavory sorts (like adventurers) may come after your ill gotten gains, filthy lucre, treasure horde, etc. You'll be able, with some planning, to reduce the number of murder-hobos in your game world by simply letting them come to you and taking them out, or by bringing them to justice. (And you'll have the dough to rig/bribe any jury or judge, just to make sure. wicked grin )
  4. You may get a visit from Smaug, or your world's equivalent. Dragons love gold. The lore of the book The Hobbit includes the "why" of Smaug coming to Erebor and taking down the dwarves and men of Dale: naked greed. He heard rumor of their wealth and fame, and decided to come and make it his. (Start hiring scouts and archers, eh?)
  5. You are being given a chance to explore a question millions of people have: if I won the lottery, what would I do with all of that money?

You won the lottery, so you now get to role play the answer to that question.

Studies have been done on lottery winners, which found that quite a few have blown their winnings and been back where they were to start with within a year or so of winning. Your objective? Don't be that guy! Make something with this windfall rather than blowing it on (whatever).

Decide as a group

From your comment/amplification, 4 out of 6 are worried that this is too much gold - the DM being one of them, as he didn't foresee the use of a portable hole in that trap room. You don't have to keep it if your collective brainstorming session within the group on what to do with it gets overwhelmed by the order of magnitude involved. Find a cave, dump most of it or all of it down a deep hole, and let fate take care of the rest. Spread rumors of cursed gold if you like.

But if you choose to keep it, or most of it ...

The number of mundane things you can purchase with that much gold is impressive: ships, small castles, iron mines, gold mines, wagons to start a caravan business, horse flesh of the highest quality, raising an army to accomplish (mission X). The list is bounded only by your imagination. These are but a few things to start investigating which might also lead to further adventure.

"Hey, someone hijacked our silk shipment last week. Let's get after them and get it back, and see which crime lord (or commercial rival) is behind it!"

Your DM is inducting you into a time tested mode of play that I am very familiar with, called
"Give 'em enough rope!"
The operating theory is that, as a DM, you give your players enough rope to play with. They'll either hang themselves or make a hammock with it. Either way it can result in some memorable fun.

Bottom Line: what you do with this is Have Fun with this new pile of loot.

Coda: for the DM

Since the DM didn't figure out how you'd get past his treasure room trap, the DM can easily rule/retcon that 99% of it is actually iron pyrite aka fools' gold. This is a reasonable retcon, based on how the gold was collected. The player with the mage hand didn't see through the illusion in the room that made all of the gold look like the real stuff: the DM intended this to be a trap room, right? The players will find out that when they try to spend it that "your money is no good here" is a common response. Savvy merchants notice that the coins are not real gold. Alternately, all of it is copper with the thinnest of gold veneer/plate, which was meant to lure the greedy and unwary ...

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    \$\begingroup\$ Totally agree. Bruce Wayne, Lamont Cranston, Scrooge McDuck and many other fictional (and nonfictional!) characters continue having amazing adventures despite—and often because of—their enormous wealth… they just don't have to worry about basic needs. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 22, 2017 at 3:54
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    \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan Sadly, batmobiles are slightly outside of the D&D genre. :( \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 22, 2017 at 3:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ Then you're doing it wrong. ;-) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 22, 2017 at 3:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ However, as any adventurer can tell you, bats are relatively easy to come by. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 22, 2017 at 4:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ I would have found this answer quite nice had it not had the "It's not all about you part." In fact, I'm speaking on behalf of 4 out of our group of 6 when I say that we are worried that this is too much gold - The DM being one of them. I talked to him about it today as to countermeasures he might be able to take, but he, too is new to D&D, so we're just trying to figure out what kind of game we will have when that much gold is looted all at once, especially so early in the game. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 22, 2017 at 4:39

So your questions is whether or not the party having millions of gold will negatively impact the game.

The most accurate answer is that it depends entirely on your DM.

However, it doesn't sound like this is something the GM is worried about. He intentionally gave the party that much gold and the means to carry it. I suspect since you said that many of your party members are driven by gold that he is trying to encourage more opportunities for depth of character by giving you more gold than you guys may ever be able to spend.

For my game that I am running, I did something very similar. I decided that since it was my players first game that I wanted them to have fun with magic items and not have to worry about money, especially since they were surprised when things were so expensive. I think they understand better now after playing in the world some and realizing that common folk only make about a silver a day for labor and they can go out and kill a small patrol of orcs and make at least a few gold. But at the beginning I just threw money at them. They killed two small dragons and got two medium sized treasure hoards. They've killed an entire tribe of orcs and decided to leave some of the gold behind simply because they couldn't carry it all in the bag of holding. This allows all of us the leeway to have fun and not worry about the money they have while opening up interesting roleplaying opportunities. For instance, one of the members of the party decided she didn't like the working conditions of the mine, so she unionized them and paid their salary for a year because what else did she have to spend her money on? Your DM may be thinking that by doing this he will get the more greedy characters to not worry about the money so much, or at least turn from opportunists to misers.

I have a strong suspicion that this is all part of your DM's plan and it probably won't be a negative in the game.

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    \$\begingroup\$ "Money doesn't change you, it just magnifies your personality." -Richard Castle \$\endgroup\$ Commented Dec 28, 2017 at 16:24

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