5E Deconstructing 5e: Typical Wealth by Level
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  1. #1
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    Deconstructing 5e: Typical Wealth by Level

    Page 133 of the *DMG* tells us how many treasure hoards a party is expected to find over the course of a typical campaign. If we make a few assumptions, we can use this information to estimate how much wealth a character has accumulated at each level of his career.

    My assumptions going into producing this table are:
    * Treasure is split evenly among four members of the party.
    * The hoards are evenly distributed throughout their appropriate level ranges.
    * The players use individual monster treasure as petty cash, spending it on lifestyle expenses, carousing, replenishing supplies, bribing officials, hiring retainers, etc.
    * The party always finds the average total value of all coins, gems, and art objects in each hoard.

    Given these assumptions, a character who has just hit level 5 should have recovered about 560 gp from the Challenge 0-4 hoards. By level eleven, he will have recovered an additional 23,500 gp from the Challenge 5-10 hoards. He will have found an additional 110,000 gp by level 17. And he will have secured another 684,000 gp by retirement, presumably at level 20. Quite the nest egg!

    We can break this down into each level as follows:

    Level| Typical hoard treasure acquired (gp)
    1|0
    2|140
    3|280
    4|420
    5|560
    6|4500
    7|8400
    8|12,300
    9|16,200
    10|20,100
    11|24,100
    12|42,400
    13|60,700
    14|79,000
    15|97,300
    16|116,000
    17|134,000
    18|362,000
    19|590,000
    20|818,000

    The idea of a suggested table of wealth by level is at odds with how I think D&D should play. Still, having these numbers on hand helps us to understand how the designers intended big ticket expenditures -- like building strongholds, buying ships, and creating magic items -- to fit into a typical campaign.

    For instance, a character could commission the construction of a palace or large castle only by level 19, although he and three friends could go in on it together by level 17. A keep or small castle is affordable by a single character at level 13, a fortified tower at level 9.

    If creating magical items is more your speed, the first common item can be built at level 3 and is limited by the minimum level requirement rather than the creation cost. A character has earned enough to make an uncommon item by level 5. A rare item must wait for level 7, a very rare item for level 13, and a legendary item for level 19. Seems appropriate, I suppose.
    XP Dausuul, Kaychsea, koga305, I'm A Banana, SpiderMonkey and 5 others gave XP for this post

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    It needs to vary from campaign to campaign.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SirAntoine View Post
    It needs to vary from campaign to campaign.
    I agree entirely with you. These values are based only on the typical number of hoards assumed by the designers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SirAntoine View Post
    It needs to vary from campaign to campaign.
    Yeah, I'm sad we never got a low/medium/high set of magic & treasure tables.
    Read my webcomic & blog at:
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    More tables are always great!

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    Thanks for doing the work. I always worry I'm giving out too little, so this will at least give me a guideline.

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    I wish the treasure tables had options in them... but I guess my low magic settings will just ignore magic items rolled, and my high magic settings will just add more items in...

  8. #8
    It does seem like you're pretty poor and starved for the first five levels -- does this include magic items? I take that it doesn't...?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Henry View Post
    It does seem like you're pretty poor and starved for the first five levels -- does this include magic items? I take that it doesn't...?
    Nope, this does not include magic items. So your characters could have more money by selling their items -- if you allow them to do so.

  10. #10
    Thanks so much for the work.

    I've used your data to help me convert RotRL to 5e. Though I must say I expected the values to be much lower.

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