Given the treasure tables and advice in the Dungeon Master's Guide and Xanathar's Guide to Everything, characters have an implied wealth per level. An approximation of this is shown below, copied from this thread on D&D Beyond.

In converting a number of modules from BECMI/OD&D to 5e I've noticed a need to reward approximately 1/10th the gold amount awarded in the original module.

My question is: what would be the effects of handing out ten times the "expected" gold.

Level PC Wealth Level PC Wealth
1 Starting Gear 11 21,000 gp
2 100 gp 12 30,000 gp
3 200 gp 13 39,000 gp
4 400 gp 14 57,000 gp
5 700 gp 15 75,000 gp
6 3,000 gp 16 103,000 gp
7 5,400 gp 17 130,000 gp
8 8,600 gp 18 214,000 gp
9 12,000 gp 19 383,000 gp
10 17,000 gp 20 552,000 gp
  • \$\begingroup\$ Possibly relevant question your players may be interested in: How might a character transport hundreds of thousands of gold inconspicuously? \$\endgroup\$ Nov 10, 2021 at 19:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also related: How will this much GP impact our game? \$\endgroup\$ Nov 10, 2021 at 19:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ Are you going to proportionally increase how common mundane/magic items are in your games too? Normally gold has very little impact on the game beyond plate and health pots, and even then only assuming your DM lets you buy them. \$\endgroup\$
    – user73918
    Nov 11, 2021 at 2:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ Does "In converting a number of modules from BECMI/OD&D to 5e I've noticed a need to reward approximately 1/10th the listed gold." mean 1/10 the gold listed in the modules you are converting, or 1/10th the gold listed in the 5e tables? \$\endgroup\$ Nov 12, 2021 at 16:32
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    \$\begingroup\$ @coppereyecat, good point. Listed in the original module. I'll edit to make that clear. \$\endgroup\$
    – StarHawk
    Nov 12, 2021 at 16:45

2 Answers 2


Armored characters could afford plate armor faster

A step in an armored character's career is the purchase of a plate armor, which costs 1500gp. If you were handing out 10x the money, this would happen faster.

Potions of healing would be more common

Unlike most consumables, potions of healing can be bought for a listed price of 50gp. If money is very common then potions of healing will be too.

Spell components would be more available

Some spells require expensive material components. For example raise dead requires a diamond worth 500gp. If money were more available then these spells would be easier to cast.

Most other details depend on the DM's worldbuilding

There are no rules for buying magic items. If the DM is using the Sane Magic Item Prices pdf and allowing buying magic items, the group will soon have lots of magic items. If the DM doesn't allow buying magic items then the group won't be able to do this.

There are rules in Xanathar's for magic item crafting, but the rules expect you to go on quests to gather the components, and to spend weeks of time crafting the item. The rules include suggested gp costs, but the gp seems to be a small part of the total effort that goes into the item, and the DM could just charge more for the item if they wish.

The group might be able to live a lavish lifestyle, hiring servants to manage tasks for them. On the other hand, the DM might rule that everything costs 10x more in this world due to the higher availability of money, and in that case the group's lifestyle wouldn't change.


If converting modules, your PC's will advance more slowly at first

One of the campaigns I currently run is dedicated to taking first edition Greyhawk modules, converting them to 5e, and running a 5e Greyhawk campaign. The party started in U1 with 0xp and have done U2, U3, I7, C2, DF32, S3, G1, G2, and are currently in G3 having just leveled to 11th.

It is fundamental to understand that in BECMI and OD&D, treasure was the primary source of xp, and typically 80% or so of a character's advancement came from treasure recovered rather than monsters defeated. Thus, if you are going to take a old school module and convert it to 5e by simply using the 5e monster equivalents and reducing the treasure values by 10 (which is largely what I did; read the link if interested), any given encounter should play well enough, but over time you will quickly find that PC's are not advancing at the rate the module assumes they will. Some of this will be offset by smaller party sizes; BECMI and especially OD&D assume far larger party sizes with xp divided among more participants. But even a small, thorough 1st level party would struggle, for example, to find enough monster xp in the first half of U1 to level to 2nd by the second half of U1. The module assumes that they will be 2nd level for the second half, and thus such a party will find themselves outmatched by the power of their opponents. Thus, along with reducing the treasure values, in my game I also introduced story-based leveling, largely so that the party could keep pace with the challenges required without having to add numerous encounters and sidequests for them to accumulate monster-based xp.

If, as you presuppose, you are retaining the original treasure values but converting the module monsters and still only earning xp for monsters as standard for 5e, you will now still have slow xp advancement and leveling, but your characters will also be flush with cash, as Dan B points out. Because the PC's are advancing slowly, they will find the module challenges more and more difficult to face, particularly if they are playing in a module series. Because they have abundant treasure, they will likely attempt to use that treasure to increase their power to meet the challenges presented. What happens then depends on your campaign and what sort of markets are available to the PC's.

What happens next depends on you

If your world has a broad labor market, such that the PC's are able to use their wealth to hire NPC's, this will help them in the short term. Hiring mercenaries and guards is closer to how the original modules were typically played, and the PC's should find this a successful strategy at first. However, since those NPC's will also take a share of the xp (cf DMG 260), this will, in the long term, make PC progress even slower. Taken to its logical conclusion if trying to follow a module series progression, the PCs will eventually become the officers and owners of mercenary companies, as they do not individually have the power to face the challenges of the modules, but by having old-school treasure values in a 5e economy they can hire the small armies they need to succeed, thereby gaining more treasure to continue the process.

On the other hand, if your game has a tight labor market but a fluid market for magic items, the PC's will use their wealth to make themselves individually more powerful than their levels alone imply. If everything is available and they are astute about which items they purchase, they can find success with this strategy as well. However, combats may become much more 'swingy', as monsters with strategies the PC's are equipped to counter are shut down fast, but monsters for which the party's current inventory of magic items does not prepare them hit the PC's high above their actual level.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I think you've got it backwards. This question is about converting ODnD adventures to DnD 5e, not DnD 5e adventures to ODnD. \$\endgroup\$
    – nick012000
    Nov 12, 2021 at 6:24
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    \$\begingroup\$ @nick012000: It looks to me like the answer is also about converting OD&D modules to 5th edition. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 12, 2021 at 11:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ I can see how lower level + enhanced with better magic would make fights more 'swingy' but wouldn't that also give them more XP on the easier fights as they still technically under levelled? Or is that taken care of in the XP calculations? \$\endgroup\$
    – Mark Booth
    Nov 12, 2021 at 11:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MarkBooth True that they wouldn't be falling 'further and further' behind as the CR of their foes increased, because fighting monsters of inappropriately high level would give them more xp than their current level 'expects'. However, the point is that those monsters would be too few for appropriately-leveled PCs to keep pace, so neither could lower-leveled PCs ever 'catch up'. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Nov 12, 2021 at 14:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ @nick012000 Both the question and my answer assume that an OD&D adventure is being converted to 5e, retaining the gp value of the treasure, which is 10x what is expected for a 5e economy, but not awarding xp for treasure. The OP confirmed my understanding as correct in a since-deleted comment. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Nov 12, 2021 at 14:48

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