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  1. #1
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    One of the things that has always annoyed me about D&D is the amount of
    money PCs have access to. Though there are some guidelines for this sort
    of thing in 3e, even now 10th level PCs could be running around with
    49,000gp worth of equipment. This becomes especially annoying when one
    examines the amount of money that a realm can earn. The money carried
    around by the aforementioned 10th level PC is more than the approximate
    average 22GB (or 44,000gp) earned from severe taxation on a level 5
    province for a full year.

    In the past, I`ve fiddled around with raising the value of the GB so that
    the prices of realm level things like troops and castles would be more in
    line with the standard values of D&D equipment, but doesn`t it make just as
    much sense to lower the standard D&D values so that the GB is actually
    worth something at the adventure level? That is, if the prices of
    equipment in 3e are reduced to 10% or so of the amounts listed then
    suddenly a GB is a goodly amount of money and we don`t have PCs necessarily
    weighted down with hundreds of pounds of gold, AND the GB values of various
    domain effects will be sensible. So maybe the problem isn`t the GB but the
    gp. At least, the amount of gp assumed to be the standard in 3e.

    Comments?

    Gary

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  2. #2
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    On Thu, 2002-07-04 at 23:20, Gary wrote:

    One of the things that has always annoyed me about D&D is the amount of
    money PCs have access to. Though there are some guidelines for this sort
    of thing in 3e, even now 10th level PCs could be running around with
    49,000gp worth of equipment. This becomes especially annoying when one
    examines the amount of money that a realm can earn. The money carried
    around by the aforementioned 10th level PC is more than the approximate
    average 22GB (or 44,000gp) earned from severe taxation on a level 5
    province for a full year.

    Yes, I agree. Why should a person simply have more $$$ just because they
    have a higher level - why need that extra (geometrically increasing)
    value for living expenses. Why couldn`t a 9th level character be poorer
    than a 1st level character (or even a 0-level merchant!). There are
    assumptions that defeating a dragon is more monetarily/treasure
    rewarding than defeating a band of marauding gnolls. While dragons are
    meant to have large hoards, is this always true (perhaps it`s a bad
    example - try defeating some frost giants instead). While the local
    villagers are likely to be very grateful for the removal of either
    menace, their ability to reward the group is not based on the threat -
    but on their resources.


    In the past, I`ve fiddled around with raising the value of the GB so that
    the prices of realm level things like troops and castles would be more in
    line with the standard values of D&D equipment, but doesn`t it make just as
    much sense to lower the standard D&D values so that the GB is actually
    worth something at the adventure level? That is, if the prices of
    equipment in 3e are reduced to 10% or so of the amounts listed then
    suddenly a GB is a goodly amount of money and we don`t have PCs necessarily
    weighted down with hundreds of pounds of gold, AND the GB values of various
    domain effects will be sensible. So maybe the problem isn`t the GB but the
    gp. At least, the amount of gp assumed to be the standard in 3e.

    Comments?

    Just stop those high level characters from getting their hands on so
    much in the first place. (Game mechanics aside)What would a 7th level
    warrior do with an enormous chunk of treasure anyway ? -- probably
    retire! buy an Inn and live his glory days over again and again -- in
    safety this time. Treat `em mean, keep `em keen.

    All that gp is a hangover from the 1e system of needing it to build a
    stronghold at name level which is a redundant feature in 2e and
    especially in BR.

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  3. #3
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 12:33 AM 7/5/2002 +1000, Peter Lubke wrote:

    >Just stop those high level characters from getting their hands on so much
    >in the first place. (Game mechanics aside)What would a 7th level warrior
    >do with an enormous chunk of treasure anyway ? -- probably retire! buy an
    >Inn and live his glory days over again and again -- in safety this time.
    >Treat `em mean, keep `em keen.

    I`m not really talking about controlling the amount of treasure issued to
    PCs by character level. What I`m suggesting is a reduction in the value of
    "standard" treasure awards and the relative value of all non-realm level
    items, including magic items to 1/10th their standard values, so a 4th
    level PC who normally has 5,400gp worth of equipment will have 540gp worth
    of equipment, but the value of his +1 longsword would be 231.5gp rather
    than the 2,315gp standard value in the DMG. Characters would still have
    the same relative value of money and equipment, but the numbers would drop
    a digit, so when purchasing/selling a powerful magic item the money
    exchanged needn`t be measured in buckets. For all intents and purposes
    this would mean the GB is worth 20,000gp rather than 2,000gp. To look at
    it another way, I`m suggesting the sp replace the gp as the "standard"
    currency.

    Gary

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  4. #4
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    I seriously considered replacing the gp with the sp because silver was
    historically the common money. When I look at historical price list and see
    that a suit of chain mail would cost around 100 shillings (the PHB states
    the same armor is 100 gp), that the armor a merchant might have in his house
    was worth 5 shillings (padded is 5 gp, leather is 10), that the armor owned
    by a knight was worth 16 £ and 6 s, or 326 shillings, more than banded mail
    at 250 gp, and less than half plate at 600 gp. That a war horse could cost
    160 shillings or as described 200 gp in the PHB.

    So medieval people would pay in silver for large things, copper for medium
    things, and the poor would barter for small things (if a dozen eggs is one
    penny ...). But in D&D, people pay gold for large things, silver for medium
    things, and have copper for small things. That`s because barter would be
    awkward for players. The typical character (not neccesarily BR) is
    generally either essentially homeless (and adventurer) or miles from his
    base ("I`m gonna ride back to Valiant Keep to get some chiken feed so I can
    barter for this egg"). And medieval people, who worked in silver had a
    larger money (pounds or livre) worth twenty silver pieces, while D&D
    characters only go up to ten times with a platinum peice.

    So, it seems a shift of the main money of action should be the silver peice,
    despite the inability to barter for small objects (hey, that can be fun).

    This is something I have already implimented in my campaign, as a result of
    all the historical price stuff I started back in June of last year.
    Checking the achieves, I see that this was already discussed at that time,
    and the discussion was favorable.

    I`m not sure anyone has argued against moving the standard coin to silver.

    Kenneth Gauck
    kgauck@mchsi.com

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  5. #5
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    On Fri, 2002-07-05 at 01:02, Gary wrote:

    At 12:33 AM 7/5/2002 +1000, Peter Lubke wrote:

    >Just stop those high level characters from getting their hands on so much
    >in the first place. (Game mechanics aside)What would a 7th level warrior
    >do with an enormous chunk of treasure anyway ? -- probably retire! buy an
    >Inn and live his glory days over again and again -- in safety this time.
    >Treat `em mean, keep `em keen.

    I`m not really talking about controlling the amount of treasure issued to
    PCs by character level. What I`m suggesting is a reduction in the value of
    "standard" treasure awards and the relative value of all non-realm level
    items, including magic items to 1/10th their standard values,

    I`m not sure whether I`m getting your point or whether you`re getting
    mine.
    (?)You want to limit the necessity of high level characters "carrying"
    large sums in gold
    (?)You want to limit high level characters from "owning" large sums

    Myself,
    (i) I don`t like the idea of any character "owning" very large sums
    (ii) Don`t think a high level character is necessarily much more well
    off than a lower level character
    (iii) Gold is just a standard, Silver does as well - no one actually
    carries silver or gold in any quantity. But changing standards doesn`t
    solve either of the two points (?).
    (iv) I think the value of magic items is indeterminate and unmeasurable
    except by buying or selling the item. Like art, it`s value only truly
    exists for those that can appreciate it. A +1 longsword has a different
    value for the warrior specialized in longsword compared to the priest
    forbidden edged weapons.

    so a 4th
    level PC who normally has 5,400gp worth of equipment will have 540gp worth
    of equipment, but the value of his +1 longsword would be 231.5gp rather
    than the 2,315gp standard value in the DMG. Characters would still have
    the same relative value of money and equipment, but the numbers would drop
    a digit, so when purchasing/selling a powerful magic item the money
    exchanged needn`t be measured in buckets. For all intents and purposes
    this would mean the GB is worth 20,000gp rather than 2,000gp. To look at
    it another way, I`m suggesting the sp replace the gp as the "standard"
    currency.

    Are you simply suggesting that the prices are inflated? What you suggest
    is a common way that governments adjust their currency when that has
    happened, although they often just knock digits off without changing the
    base standard.

    The best method I`ve ever seen in print for determining what magic items
    a newly created character has is in appendix P of the original DMG. No
    money values used there.

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  6. #6
    Senior Member Trithemius's Avatar
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    Kenneth says:

    <snip!>

    > I`m not sure anyone has argued against moving the standard
    > coin to silver.

    Despite it being a "me-too post", I feel the need to agree in a more
    certain fashion with Kenneth`s suggestion. Some people around here have
    been doing that sort of thing in their non-BR campaigns and it seems to
    work well.

    --
    John Machin
    (trithemius@paradise.net.nz)
    -----------------------------------
    "Nothing is more beautiful than to know the All."
    Athanasius Kircher, Ars Magna Sciendi.

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  7. #7
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 10:17 AM 7/5/2002 +1000, Peter Lubke wrote:

    >I`m not sure whether I`m getting your point or whether you`re getting mine.
    >(?)You want to limit the necessity of high level characters "carrying"
    >large sums in gold
    >(?)You want to limit high level characters from "owning" large sums

    That`s not really the point of what I`m after. Those things are just a
    side benefit of reducing the value of equipment and coinage. I`ve always
    found it silly that PCs would have thousands of gp worth or equipment, or
    even thousands of gp, for that matter. However, reducing the value of
    equipment by 1/10th just _feels_ more realistic for the historical reasons
    noted recently by Kenneth Gauck--I was actually reading a price list from
    the 13th century when the thought occurred to me--because it makes the
    amount of revenue earned by provinces and holdings more significant if GB
    are not also altered, and because the prices of realm level effects
    (castles, troops, etc.) also are more in-line with "actual" costs if one
    shifts the relative value of money at the adventure level. It doesn`t
    _really_ change anything at the adventure level. Arms, equipment,
    livestock, magic items, etc. will all cost the same amount compared to the
    amount of money PCs might have access to, but the digits would just be less.

    >Myself,
    >(i) I don`t like the idea of any character "owning" very large sums
    >(ii) Don`t think a high level character is necessarily much more well
    >off than a lower level character
    >(iii) Gold is just a standard, Silver does as well - no one actually
    >carries silver or gold in any quantity. But changing standards doesn`t
    >solve either of the two points (?).

    No, but I don`t really have a problem with higher level PCs having more
    valuable items in their inventory. That doesn`t mean, certainly, that high
    level characters will automatically have access to more money. That`s a
    campaign circumstance, and one of the reasons I wanted to come up with some
    sort of way of determining EL using realm levels and the value of a
    character`s inventory is because of just that eventuality, but in the
    particular case I`m just talking about the relative value of that inventory
    in comparison to the relative value of coin and comparing that to the value
    of the GB.

    >(iv) I think the value of magic items is indeterminate and unmeasurable
    >except by buying or selling the item. Like art, it`s value only truly
    >exists for those that can appreciate it. A +1 longsword has a different
    >value for the warrior specialized in longsword compared to the priest
    >forbidden edged weapons.

    OK, I`ll buy that. One of the things that I assume is factored into those
    prices (and I`ve role-played this out many times) is an effort to find the
    proper buyer for magic items (or art, or books, or jewelry, etc.) It`s
    still not really the kind of thing I`m trying to address here, but I`ll
    concede the point.

    > so a 4th
    > level PC who normally has 5,400gp worth of equipment will have 540gp
    > worth
    > of equipment, but the value of his +1 longsword would be 231.5gp rather
    > than the 2,315gp standard value in the DMG. Characters would still have
    > the same relative value of money and equipment, but the numbers would
    > drop
    > a digit, so when purchasing/selling a powerful magic item the money
    > exchanged needn`t be measured in buckets. For all intents and purposes
    > this would mean the GB is worth 20,000gp rather than 2,000gp. To look at
    > it another way, I`m suggesting the sp replace the gp as the "standard"
    > currency.
    >
    >Are you simply suggesting that the prices are inflated? What you suggest
    >is a common way that governments adjust their currency when that has
    >happened, although they often just knock digits off without changing the
    >base standard.

    Yeah, that`s one way of looking at it. Just knocking off a digit from the
    prices and value of coin. I do, however, not want to reduce the value of
    the GB, which makes controlling a realm a potentially very profitable
    thing, as opposed to the current system in which even the Imperial City can
    generate less in a domain turn than a moderate levelled party (5-8th) could
    earn in treasure in a single adventure.

    >The best method I`ve ever seen in print for determining what magic items
    >a newly created character has is in appendix P of the original DMG. No
    >money values used there.

    I don`t mind having a list of magic item values. I think there`s a
    tendency (and I plead guilty to this myself) to just go with those prices
    rather than tweak the cost of every magic item, as should be done just
    because all magic items should be unique, but some sort of guidelines for
    the typical cost of such items is very useful.

    Gary

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  8. #8
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 03:33 PM 7/4/2002 -0500, Kenneth Gauck wrote:

    >So medieval people would pay in silver for large things, copper for medium
    >things, and the poor would barter for small things (if a dozen eggs is one
    >penny ...). But in D&D, people pay gold for large things, silver for
    >medium things, and have copper for small things. That`s because barter
    >would be awkward for players.

    I don`t want to have to barter (ie role-play out every transaction) for
    small things, and I kind of like having coin decide such matters, so I`m
    considering adding a "ha` penny" kind of thing made of bronze, nickel, or
    some other metal of nominal value.

    >The typical character (not neccesarily BR) is generally either essentially
    >homeless (and adventurer) or miles from his base ("I`m gonna ride back to
    >Valiant Keep to get some chiken feed so I can barter for this egg"). And
    >medieval people, who worked in silver had a larger money (pounds or livre)
    >worth twenty silver pieces, while D&D characters only go up to ten times
    >with a platinum peice.

    Exactly. Very quickly in D&D the denominations of coins (all 4) wind up
    being kind of useless, so I`ve been considering adding two, maybe three
    "standard" denominations. In BR, this could be a sensible inclusion
    because it could help bridge the gap between coin and bars, as in:

    cp sp gp pp GB
    10x10x10x10x100

    Could be:

    hp cp sp gp pp ?p GB
    10x10x10x10x10x10x10

    Gary

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  9. #9
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    Rather than changing the metals, you could change other aspects about the
    coin, like its purity and weight. D&D likes to imagine that all coins weigh
    the same because the alternative is not a happy accounting prospect
    encumberance-wise. The penny fractions could be a decimal division - very
    standardized - or they could be quarters of a copper. Looking at the
    equipment list, very little costs only 1cp on the published list, so the
    need for a 0.1 cp isn`t great. If the smallest coin were a copper based
    coin worth .25 cp, you could still purchase nearly everything on the
    equipment list for pretty close to its published value. Whether a tiny
    copper coin at 0.1 cp value, or a .25 value coin, using just a small copper
    would probabaly do as well as a bronze or iron coin.

    In between silver and gold, you could revive the electrum coin. Electrum is
    a natural alloy of silver and gold and the Greeks were fond of it.

    This would give you the following -

    10 x tiny penny = 1 full penny, 1 cp
    10 x full penny = 1 silver piece
    10 x silver piece = 1 electrum piece
    10 x electrum = 1 gold piece
    10 x gold peice = 1 platium piece
    beyond that you can use semi-precious gems
    beyond that the gold bar

    Kenneth Gauck
    kgauck@mchsi.com

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  10. #10
    <***Snip***>

    >Are you simply suggesting that the prices are inflated? What you suggest
    >is a common way that governments adjust their currency when that has
    >happened, although they often just knock digits off without changing the
    >base standard.

    Yeah, that`s one way of looking at it. Just knocking off a digit from the
    prices and value of coin. I do, however, not want to reduce the value of
    the GB, which makes controlling a realm a potentially very profitable
    thing, as opposed to the current system in which even the Imperial City can
    generate less in a domain turn than a moderate levelled party (5-8th) could
    earn in treasure in a single adventure.

    <***End Snip***>

    The problem with knocking off a digit is that a regent PC could then generate absurd amounts of personal wealth using the finance action. Perhaps this is why the relationship of gp to GB was made that way to begin with.

    Personally, I've never seen much of a problem with the way things are (although I am somewhat stingy in BR when compared to other campaigns). Most of the net value of a PC group is tied to magical items and non coin property. If they start getting too wealthy then soak 'em for all they've got. Make them pay maintenence for their extravagant lifestyles (I believe the second ed DMG has monthly costs listed somewhere).

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