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149

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 of ...


90

NautArch's answer of "Session Zero" is an excellent starting place, and should be the first option. If, however, everyone claims to be on the same page - and that page is "adventure in the great wide world" - yet there are still those who want to sweep floors for 3 months then buy enough gear to plow through whatever comes, there are still some tools to ...


86

You can only transmute one coin at a time Other answers have given you good estimates of the number of coins that will fit in a cubic foot, but that doesn't matter for your purposes, because you're missing an important limitation of the Minor Alchemy feature: you can only transmute one object at a time: Starting at 2nd level when you select this school, ...


82

As a DM, you aren't required to obey the strict prices set in the PHB. The prices listed are mostly just used as guides for creating characters on a budget; once you're in the adventuring world, goods cost whatever the local shops value them at, with the PHB listed prices as suggestions for "fair market" prices. That being said, there's any number of ways ...


66

The part you're missing is (ignoring story consequences). I've played with a party who were really amused about the idea that they could buy an Elephant, and then did (and named it Bongo) and brought it along on their travels. The result of them doing this was: losing a bunch of money on buying food and stabling constantly having to think about how to ...


55

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 ...


51

... a stereotypical medieval world. Assuming that the world has a publication system and royalties ... Stop right there On Earth, the medieval period broadly runs from the fall of the Western Roman Empire to the fall of Constantinople in 1453. The first printing press dates from 1439 and is primarily a renaissance development. The first state copyright act ...


51

By haggling, probably unsuccessfully. In the real world, I can walk into a grocery store (supermarket or locally owned) that sells eggs in cartons of a dozen, pick up a carton for $1.50, calculate that that works out to 12.5¢ per egg, and try to buy 2 eggs at checkout for 25¢, but the clerk will refuse to sell me those 2 eggs because the store does not ...


49

Simplify it as a downtime activity There are no official rules for being an author, and while I can tell you, for example, that Volo (you know, the one who writes monster guides) will sell players a signed Volo's Guide to Monsters copy for 50 gold in the Tomb of Annihilation campaign, that kind of information doesn't really help you. Instead, this kind of ...


46

1gp is 1gp is 1gp. 1 gp is worth 2 ep, 10 sp 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. Obviously,...


44

This is more of an industrial mining question than an RPG one, but pretty much the gaming answer is: whatever you want it to be. The thing with "gold ore" is that it's a mixture of valuable gold and worthless rock and that ratio decides what you can get for the ore. Going by this site (which, of course, talks about modern day mining) a chunk of high grade ...


43

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. ...


38

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 ...


38

The Player's Handbook and basic rules both say this under "Selling Treasure" in chapter 5: Gems, Jewelry, and Art Objects. These items retain their full value in the marketplace, and you can either trade them in for coin or use them as currency for other transactions. For exceptionally valuable treasures, the DM might require you to find a buyer in a ...


33

It's going to be up to the DM 5e doesn't cover schooling costs for Wizards, but I'll leave it to others better versed in D&D lore to see if it's covered in other editions and, if so, to update the cost to match 5e. But it's okay that there isn't a RAW answer here. Your question is more about creating a background hook, not about a mechanical need. DM ...


29

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 ...


28

Time for a Session Zero If you haven't already run a Session Zero, then it's definitely time to do so. If you have, then it's probably time to have another one. It sounds like everyone isn't on the same page about what they want/expect from the game. A session zero is an opportunity and a tool to get everyone on the same page. There may be compromises that ...


24

D&D is not an economic simulator 5th edition least of all, given its deliberate choice to avoid valuing consistency or coherence in mechanics. Labor prices have always been a problem in D&D, whether the exorbitant prices charged by sages and the like in the earliest editions or the never-high-enough price for a sellsword. The fundamental problem is ...


23

Upon re-reading the PHB inspired by David Coffron's answer and Phil Boncer's answer, I think I actually found the answer to this question. The numbers as written fit perfectly in the PHB without any hand-waving at all. The confusion comes from different uses of the word "laborer" in different places. Essentially, based on the text, there seem to be ...


23

The rules for grand jewels don't peak their value at 5,000 gp. Grand Jewels (5,000 gp or more): clearest bright green emerald; diamond; jacinth; ruby Grand jewels can be worth more than 5,000gp, instead of setting a cap on them the rules do the opposite and set a minimum. The lowest value diamond you can find is 5,000 gp.


22

This doesn’t have to be a problem. This is the game they seemed to want, and you seemed to be OK giving it to them: now you just need to understand what the ramifications of this kind of game are. Their wealth pushes them past a lot of mundane problems—like travel—so challenge them with greater, more supernatural threats. Magic is fantastically expensive, ...


22

Copper is 8.96 g per cm^3. That means a copper ingot with one cubic feet volume is 559 lbs. A heap of copper coins is no solid ingot. As a first approximation, imagine there are stacks of cylinders. A cylinder 1" high and 1" in diameter has a volume of 0.78 cubic inches. (A coin is flatter, but think of it as stacks of a dozen or so.) That means the heap is ...


21

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 ...


20

Different laborers This is likely the difference between an employed laborer (the equivalent of a construction worker) and the "odd jobs" laborer. Practicing a Profession downtime (PHB 187) yields the modest lifestyle expected. In the US we see statistics like this: General laborer median wages = $15 per hour (Google search) This is a moderate lifestyle ...


19

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 ...


19

Gems are considered a trade good and thus you can buy and sell them at the given price. This is location in Chapter 7 of the DMG on 133. Page 134 starts listing the different Gems that can appear in a given price range. I do not have any web links.


19

Structure the game differently. Make time meaningful, make ordinary work too low-paying to interact with the game proper, make the plot about things that happen to your players rather than things your players seek out, or any number of other things. Make no mistake, if you allow this sort of play to lead to success without drawbacks, you will never be able ...


17

10g per item. That's exactly how it works: you find and hire someone who can cast identify and they use their spellcraft skill to determine the properties of the item. (The charge is for the service performed – obtaining the benefit of a spellcasting. There's no service performed if they just cast it on themself and then sit there refusing to identify ...


17

In Basic D&D (BECMI), The Republic of Darokin (GAZ11) has a Level of Government Participation table on page 10: \$\begin{array}{|r|l|} \hline \textbf{Total Worth (in daros)} & \textbf{Allowed Position} \\ \hline \text{under }\,15,000 & \text{Non-voting Citizen} \\ 15,000 & \text{Voting Citizen} \\ 25,000 & \text{Local Office} \\ 75,000 ...


17

From a player's perspective: It is worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it, and there's no general way you can predict how much an NPC will be willing to pay for it. The D&D economy is utter nonsense if you approach it from a simulationist perspective. Price lists are designed to manage how many bonuses player characters have, not to reflect ...


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