How would you handle the transfer of large quantities of gold in a low-magic, medieval fantasy setting?

I'm am running a campaign based on a homebrew variation of Pathfinder in which magic use carries grave risks. I've been able to adapt traditional D & D tropes to work in this context rather well but I am at a loss for providing players with a simple system to access their gold while traveling. In previous games I've solved this problem through magic (i.e bills of exchange that are verified through zone of truth, a bag of holding etc.) but that won't work in this setting. This has suddenly become a pressing issue because one of the players stumbled into a decent sized fortune.

Two obvious approaches that I've rejected are simply forcing them to carry only a reasonable amount of gold and hide the rest somewhere or having them cart their gold around with them--and hire guards to protect it. Both of these ideas are reasonable, and feel realistic, but they are too burdensome for this particular campaign. Maybe I'm being too nice, but I would like the players' assets to reasonably easy for them to manage.

My current plan is to introduce bills of exchange that can be negotiated at each major city they visit. But I don't know how to handle player questions like "what prevents forgery?" or "how does the bank make money?" I am wondering if other GMs have run into these questions and problems and come up with better solutions than this.


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    \$\begingroup\$ Given there's already historical context for how gold was transported (for the most part, it wasn't), and we don't know what magic is available in your setting, I don't think this is a question we can reasonably handle. It's part historical research, part primarily a matter of opinion asking us to brainstorm arbitrary solutions. "Low magic" isn't a context that limits the options here. \$\endgroup\$ – doppelgreener Apr 12 '17 at 20:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because It probably belongs as a question on History.SE \$\endgroup\$ – Joshua Aslan Smith Apr 12 '17 at 20:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ This question might get better traction on worldbuilding.SE \$\endgroup\$ – Karelzarath Apr 12 '17 at 20:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ Hi, blp. I think this question might have an RPG problem in it somewhere, but it's not on the surface yet — it looks like you have some digging to do first, before it's visible to anyone else. Specifically, doing some research on the existing solutions that are known from our own real-world history would give you a solid starting point for mostly (or entirely) solving this in a low-fantasy world. Then if there are any remaining RPG-related problems, we can certainly help with that, once it's unearthed. \$\endgroup\$ – SevenSidedDie Apr 12 '17 at 21:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ Separate from the above: people are strongly driven to optimize wealth. If you're looking at the financial sector, even historically, weird system cheese is going to be front and center. If your system allows bluff checks to make money, your setting will have constant Dutch Tulip Crashes. If that doesn't sound like fun, you should carefully consider your level of abstraction. \$\endgroup\$ – fectin Apr 12 '17 at 22:27