# How might a character transport hundreds of thousands of gold inconspicuously?

Caveat is that it must be in a manner that draws no attention, so there can't be an armed guard, any carriages, or multiple people.

Is there anything that holds more than the bag of holding, as it only holds 500 lbs, and 500,000 gold pieces weighs 10,000 lbs (50 gp to every pound).

The best thing I've found so far is 20 bags of holding, which still seems a bit much for one character trying to travel as secretively as possible.

A portable hole works as well, but is rather difficult to come by and not readily attainable to most.

• It seems unlikely to really need it all in gold. Can you expand on why? If you're spending 500k of it "more usable in small transactions" doesn't really come into play (how many small transactions are feasible in a remote monastery? 1000 gp should last you basically forever for small transactions in a monastery. Larger ones would take more concise forms of wealth.). Commented Jul 3, 2017 at 15:01
• Your questions, if I may note, are really hard to answer- not because it's a head-scratcher, but there are inconsistencies between the Q and the comments later in answers. I suspect you aren't getting the answers you want because there is information you are holding back, or are forgetting to put in. To combat this, try to ask yourself the question and explicitly rule out possible answers, "it can't be converted because...", "I can't use a portable hole because...", "I can't just teleport because...", "I can't just handwaive the whole process because..." Commented Jul 4, 2017 at 7:45
• How is gold more useful than platinum in a deserted monastery? What there would be worth that much money? What other use do you have for the metal? Commented Jan 3, 2018 at 13:26

### A Portable Hole

10,000 lbs of gold is about a 24-inch cube (0.235 m^3) and a Portable Hole doesn't have a weight limit. Since the interior of a portable hole is 6ft by 10ft, it can easily hold 500,000 gp even if it's not in one convenient cube. The rules for a portable hole say:

Folding the cloth closes the hole, and any creatures or Objects within remain in the extradimensional space. No matter what's in it, the hole weighs next to nothing.

It'll be inconvenient to climb down 10ft into the hole and get the gold, which might explain why people normally prefer a bag of holding or higher-value items.

A portable hole (if available for purchase, which is by no means guaranteed) should be expected to cost between 500 to 5,000 gp, since it is a rare item.

• If the Portable Hole can be attached to a wall or ceiling, getting the gold out will be much easier. Although I strongly suggest these methods are not used when the hole is full. Commented Jul 3, 2017 at 13:25
• I just noticed that a portable hole is how this whole thing got started. Commented Jul 3, 2017 at 13:30
• @KorvinStarmast Yes, having already abused the portable hole to pull one over on our DM, I wasn't really looking to use another one to transport my gold, but it might be an option if he allows. Commented Jul 4, 2017 at 2:58

The only way to do this inconspicuously is to convert all that money into gems. A mundane backpack could easily carry 500,000 gp worth of gems with room left over for camping gear. Upon arrival, gems would be easily converted back to gold pieces one or two at a time, as gems are used as currency (PHB, ch. 5, "Gems, Jewelry, and Art Objects"). This is even preferable to platinum pieces, which "sometimes arouse suspicion and skepticism when used in transactions." (PHB ch. 5, "Coinage")

• Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. Commented Jul 3, 2017 at 14:57
• You'll probably have to pay to convert to gems and back, which is usually orchestrated in percentage costs. Commented Jul 4, 2017 at 17:51

There's actually a good way to "move" the gold to the Monastery. It doesn't involve carrying it yourself, though.

The spell Teleport, in addition to its normal use of moving creatures, can also target objects. It targets an object that fits entirely in a 10-foot cube, so if you fill a crate with gold coins you should be able to teleport it in one or two castings. (The gold itself fits in about 8 cubic feet based on weight, but I'm not sure how much extra is added for the coins. Depends on their shape, I guess)

There's a 100% chance that the gold arrives on target if you have something from the Monastery that's taken no more than 6 months ago; so if you haven't been gone too long you might already have it. Otherwise, you have to go pick something up. (You probably don't want to gamble with a literal tonne of gold, let alone the 5 you have)

That just leaves you with casting a 7th level Wizard spell. Fortunately, there's a magic item just for you; the Helm of Teleportation (which is a Rare Item). It even comes with 3 charges, so you can move the gold and yourself if you want.

(You might want to risk teleporting yourself initially; you'll have an easier time finding your way to the Monastery than you have of finding back the missing gold if it ends up in the wrong location.)

• What's a Rare Item cost, roughly? (In terms of deducting this price from the 500K). This kind of info might also be helpful Estimate ~ Rare 501 -5,000 gp, I'd go for the higher end, if one such item exists in the game world). Commented Jul 3, 2017 at 13:23
• Optimum packing density for equal sized cylinders i.e. stacks of coins (in a hexagonal arrangement) is about 90%, you lose some around the edges and it's worse if they're simply randomly arranged in a pile, may or may not be better if they're non uniform sizes, plus loss from the faces of coins not being perfectly flat. I'd probably figure around 80% or so. But remember, a 10-foot cube is 1000 cubic feet. Commented Jul 3, 2017 at 19:17
• Related: Packing Density of Coins Commented Feb 6, 2022 at 15:05
• I'd allow this, but consensus seems to be that teleport does not affect the objects in the container, if it is not worn or carried. Allowing it to leads to other problems, like with Enlarge/Reduce. Commented Mar 5 at 7:31

### Convert it to Platinum pieces

They convert with gold at 10:1 (PHB p. 143) 50,000 platinum pieces

That's 1,000 pounds of platinum pieces

Get 3 or 4 mules, they can handle off road travel, and lead the mules to wherever you need them to go.

When it comes to stubborn, a dwarf can give a mule a run for his money. (And make them carry their own feed bags). FWIW, all of the bags of PP need to be topped off with grain/oats so that a casual look into the bags reveals oats/grain). Cleric can create water, as needed, if the journey takes them into a desert.

I'd hire a few guards who are disguised as pilgrims/fellow priests: see Conan the Barbarian, film, 1982, Arnold Schwarzneger.

Or, as @Chemus suggests:

2 bags of holding buried in some regular baggage/feed (on a mule, or not) would take that load, and be more inconspicuous than the mule train. As long as they remained hidden from magical viewing (detect magic). It eats some of the money though. Consider it a transportation fee. Breaking PP down should be an in-world problem, possibly solved by cutting PP (as gold/silver/copper coins have been cut in our own past)

• @Chemus Ha, no worries. I also edited that I'd "prefer" to keep it gold, but I suppose I could find do SOME pieces as platinum. Also, I like the "top-off" suggestion. Commented Jul 3, 2017 at 4:16
• @Arcemius What we used to do was buy a few gems too, to keep the weight down. Our DM was hell on encumbrance. Commented Jul 3, 2017 at 4:25

From the PHB page 143:

When merchants discuss deals that involve goods or services worth hundreds or thousands of gold pieces, the transactions don’t usually involve the exchange of individual coins. Rather, the gold piece is a standard measure of value, and the actual exchange is in gold bars, letters of credit, or valuable goods.

Your cleric would therefore trade the gold pieces for diamonds or other high worth-to-weight-ratio items. You may also argue that that has at least partially already been done and most of the gold that the party has collected is not in gold coins. Letters of credit might need to be exchanged repeatedly to make sure they are by an authority that is recognized in the destination region.
You could attempt to buy a flying carpet. While rare it would be good for transport as well as a valuable trade item.

That said, a typical deserted monastery in a desolate region doesn't have anything to buy for such amounts. You would probably not be able to spend the gold in your life time, so going with 1000 gold coins for living expenses for 10 years or so would be enough available gold. After that you might need to make another trip to exchange gems into gold pieces or hire someone to do it for you.

• I have plans for the gold, I'll need all of it. Commented Jul 3, 2017 at 7:55
• @nwp Based on the previous post, it appears to all be GP. Commented Jul 3, 2017 at 13:33
• @Arcemius how can you have plans for the gold if your PC is retiring? Are you not making another PC to replace him? Commented Jul 4, 2017 at 3:47
• @daze413 He is retiring as "my character", but he will still be persistent in our game world. My DM is allowing him to become an influential character. Commented Jul 4, 2017 at 3:50

## Demiplane

It is not strictly transporting, but if you have access to the 8th level Demiplane spell, you can open a demiplane, shovel in the gold, go whereever you please and once there, and on the next day open the same demiplane again to take it out.

There also is this other answer, where someone calculated you even could stack all the gold into a Secret Chest given that you take the effort to form columns.

In general, the volumes for piles of gold are way smaller than imagined in common depictions, as gold is so heavy that the coins are small and thus the piles are small. Secret Chest is just 12 cubic feet of volume, certainly a lot less than the mountain of gold depicted in the Dragon Heist module.

A Draft Horse has a carrying capacity of 540 pounds. If you cast enhance ability on him and choose Bull's Strength the horse can carry 1080 pounds for 1 hour. If you cast it at 3rd level, you can cast it on a second horse, so they can pull 2160 pounds together. A vehicle lets you multiple their carrying capacity by 5 so that'd be 10,800 pounds. That'd be at the cost of your level 3 spell slots.

Now a third level spell scroll is 51-250 gp, if you can buy the scrolls. A Portable Hole is better, as it will cost you a max of 5k, but this is an option.

Receipts:
Page 135 of the DMG "The value of a consumable item, such as a potion or scroll, is typically half the value of a permanent item of the same rarity." In the same page it lists Uncommon magic items to cost between 101-500 gp. In page 200 it shows that 3rd spell scrolls are Uncommon magic items. Travel in 5e also assumes you only travel for 8 hours. He'd cover 32 miles on a draft horse if we use the rules in page 242 in the DMG, Since he wants to go 100 miles, we'd need 18 scrolls for him to get to his destination. That'd be ~918-4500 gp for the scrolls.

• Where are you getting 51-250 gp for a third level spell scroll from? This also doesn't seem like a particularly sustainable method for long distance travel considering bull strength does only last 1 hour. Commented Jul 5, 2017 at 8:47
• Page 135 of the DMG "The value of a consumable item, such as a potion or scroll, is typically half the value of a permanent item of the same rarity." In the same page it lists Uncommon magic items to cost between 101-500 gp. In page 200 it shows that 3rd spell scrolls are Uncommon magic items. Travel in 5e also assumes you only travel for 8 hours. He'd cover 32 miles on a draft horse if we use the rules in page 242 in the DMG, Since he wants to go 100 miles, we'd need 18 scrolls for him to get to his destination. That'd be ~918-4500 gp for the scrolls. Commented Jul 5, 2017 at 18:10
• That's actually pretty clever. Do you mind adding that bit to the answer? Commented Jul 6, 2017 at 0:41
• Where do you have that spell bull strength from? I can't find it Commented Oct 6, 2020 at 8:27
• @findusl it's one of six choices from the Enhance Ability spell Bull's Strength. The target has advantage on Strength checks, and his or her carrying capacity doubles Commented Feb 6, 2022 at 14:23

Assumption: The deserted monastery at one time was prestigious enough to have a teleportation circle (target), and that you know its sigil sequence or can find it out.

Solution: Buy six horses or donkeys and three wagons. Rent a high level mage. Cast Teleportation Circle. During your one round, drive the three loaded wagons through -- simultaneously, from different directions. (Try not to imagine timing everything so that when you're horses hit the circle as the spell activates they're going the critical speed of 8.8 miles per hour (slightly faster than "gallop", sadly).) If you choose to not go through with the parallel wagon train, then you can rough it across the 100 miles until you arrive at the destination to explain where all these ungulates and gold came from.

Note that you'll have about half a ton of spare weight allowance ( What is the cargo capacity of a Cart versus a Wagon? ) that you can use for other things you might want at the monastery. For instance, a journeyman finesmith.

Go low tech. Get a cart with a mule, dress like a farmer, put the gold in the cart, cover the gold with hay, manure, turnips, whatever.

• A mule cannot drag 10,000 lbs in a cart. Their "drag" capacity is 420 lbs. Commented Jul 5, 2017 at 0:48
• So it takes 24 trips. If you don't have to move it all at once, there are scenarios where this is reasonable. Commented Jul 5, 2017 at 18:52
• Sure, and roughly 30 days in total to complete. You might want to add these to your answer. Commented Jul 6, 2017 at 0:39