5E What's the point of gold? - Page 69
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  1. #681
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    @Maxperson, I think @Charlaquin's issue, and he may correct me where I'm misstating him, is that unless one incorporates the purchasing and management of castles, homesteads, ships, businesses and/or staff/crew the direct influence of gold is reduced to the acquisition of magical items (which I have to agree with him is hardly exciting), bribery (again mostly inconsequential), advice/services (not dynamic enough) and the purchasing of equipment (hardly relevant given its blandness). [Disclaimer: I have not gone through Xanathar's in depth]

    To Charlaquin the decision points the above spend necessitate are not exciting and meaningful enough. He believes it requires an active DM to stress wealth in the game that will encourage meaningful decisions. I kind of agree with him on this as I'm one of those DM's that had to work to make wealth matter.
    One of my campaigns was called Darokin: The Accounting, it doesn't get much more than that.

    Lifestyle tendencies, fine and masterwork items and interesting services that provide mechanical output and consequences do provide more meaningful choices for PCs without the reliance of DM work.
    Last edited by Sadras; Wednesday, 7th November, 2018 at 10:12 AM.
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  2. #682
    Quote Originally Posted by Sadras View Post
    @Maxperson, I think @Charlaquin's issue, and he may correct me where I'm misstating him, is that unless one incorporates the purchasing and management of castles, homesteads, ships, businesses and/or staff/crew the direct influence of gold is reduced to the acquisition of magical items (which I have to agree with him is hardly exciting), bribery (again mostly inconsequential), advice/services (not dynamic enough) and the purchasing of equipment (hardly relevant given its blandness). [Disclaimer: I have not gone through Xanathar's in depth]

    To Charlaquin the decision points the above spend necessitate are not exciting and meaningful enough. He believes it requires an active DM to stress wealth in the game that will encourage meaningful decisions. I kind of agree with him on this as I'm one of those DM's that had to work to make wealth matter.
    One of my campaigns was called Darokin: The Accounting, it doesn't get much more than that.

    Lifestyle tendencies, fine and masterwork items and interesting services that provide mechanical output and consequences do provide more meaningful choices for PCs without the reliance of DM work.
    If a given set of players and their GM see no real value in any of the things gold can be used for in the game, then that part of the treasure system will be easy enough drifting into triviality with the only sem-required effort being adjusting their GP figure once in a while. Since they have chosen to not engage actively with that sub-system, it pretty much becomes just a small bit of math they fo now and again, **if** the decide to even keep bothering with that.

    For others who see real value in the options presented for uses of gold in their campaign (many examples have been put forth already) the gold system adds a lot of potential to their gameplay.

    This is not at all unlike any the difference between a group who preferred and chosen gameplay focuses primarily or exclusively on dungeon crawls and combat who then see charisma and social skills as not meaningful because they do not provide combat bonuses. They might see the lack of defined Deception checks for feinting/advsntage or Intimidation checks to startle/stun as a "weakness" of the system. Maybe they see a lack of a tactics check INT to gain a reaction defense also as z shortcoming of the system.

    But... in those cases, I am referring to a campaign. I am referring to a living world they continue to interact with and change over time. If this assumption switches to AL style play where there isnt sn ongoing single world experience, where the folks your character worked with last time are nowhere to be found next time and the only "continuity" that exists is your character and his stuff... I think the baseline assumptions change a lot.

    I wonder if a perceived increase in that style of play over campaign style games fuels some of this perception of "gold doesn't matter unless I can buy bonuses" among some?
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  3. #683
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5ekyu View Post
    For others who see real value in the options presented for uses of gold in their campaign (many examples have been put forth already) the gold system adds a lot of potential to their gameplay.

    This is not at all unlike any the difference between a group who preferred and chosen gameplay focuses primarily or exclusively on dungeon crawls and combat who then see charisma and social skills as not meaningful because they do not provide combat bonuses. They might see the lack of defined Deception checks for feinting/advsntage or Intimidation checks to startle/stun as a "weakness" of the system. Maybe they see a lack of a tactics check INT to gain a reaction defense also as z shortcoming of the system.
    As I was typing my post I was thinking about Inspiration + Personality Characteristics on the same level but your dungeon crawling idea works for the social encounter aspect.

    But... in those cases, I am referring to a campaign. I am referring to a living world they continue to interact with and change over time.
    Pretty much this!

    I wonder if a perceived increase in that style of play over campaign style games fuels some of this perception of "gold doesn't matter unless I can buy bonuses" among some?
    Perhaps. It is a rather judgmental take on it all but there might be some truth to it.

    However I do wish to add that I, despite playing as you call them living campaigns, too have been frustrated with the lack of detail/variety in quality of equipment, armour and services offered in the PHB where besides for colour there appears to be no distinctive difference between one castle-forged weapon from any other. It does very much rely on the DM to bring that to the fore.

  4. #684
    Quote Originally Posted by Sadras View Post
    As I was typing my post I was thinking about Inspiration + Personality Characteristics on the same level but your dungeon crawling idea works for the social encounter aspect.



    Pretty much this!



    Perhaps. It is a rather judgmental take on it all but there might be some truth to it.

    However I do wish to add that I, despite playing as you call them living campaigns, too have been frustrated with the lack of detail/variety in quality of equipment, armour and services offered in the PHB where besides for colour there appears to be no distinctive difference between one castle-forged weapon from any other. It does very much rely on the DM to bring that to the fore.
    Oh i agree without hesitation that LGs can certianly see similar frustrations where the core rules provide little support for an element they want in their campaign.

    Its why i chose "fuel" instead of "cause" as my word choice.

    For my campaign at chargen, i too am frustrated with the lack of core system for "rites and ceremonies" aka hedge magic or lay-magic aka kinds-of-acts-we-would-call-rituals-if-it-was-not-game-term.

    5e does not say "this doesnt exist" and adventure after adventure involve *ahem* "rituals" often for the characters to stop. So, its there just not more than as narrative tool.

    So i am having to as GM do that work to bring that "to the fore" in ways that serve our mechanic and narrative needs.

    Its fun but its work. But both me and my,players will have a lot of fun with it and, honestly, just like we will have with gold and stuff.

    But i am also willing to agree that if you take my hedge magic rites and ceremonies, someone else's gold for superior armor and bribery formulas and clothes for social bonuses and somebody else's details an castle weapons' differences and likely someone else's more details on mounts and calvary focus... You end up with massive size increases in core books.
    Last edited by 5ekyu; Wednesday, 7th November, 2018 at 02:10 PM.

  5. #685
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sadras View Post
    @Maxperson, I think @Charlaquin's issue, and he may correct me where I'm misstating him, is that unless one incorporates the purchasing and management of castles, homesteads, ships, businesses and/or staff/crew the direct influence of gold is reduced to the acquisition of magical items (which I have to agree with him is hardly exciting), bribery (again mostly inconsequential), advice/services (not dynamic enough) and the purchasing of equipment (hardly relevant given its blandness). [Disclaimer: I have not gone through Xanathar's in depth]
    This seems similar(if I'm understanding this) to saying that unless one incorporates classes other than fighter, players will only play fighters, which is going to be boring not long after the first campaign. The players simply have to choose other classes, just as they simply have to choose other ways to spend money like castles, ships, businesses, etc., in order to break out of rut.

    I'm curious what the issue is with 5e, though. The list of things to spend money on that you mention, magic items, bribery, services and equipment have been the staple of what you can spend money on in pretty much any edition. A few editions had a price list for castles and such, but you still had to choose to buy those to make them relevant, just like you do in 5e. I'm really not seeing a difference in what you can spend gold on in 5e vs. the other editions.

    To Charlaquin the decision points the above spend necessitate are not exciting and meaningful enough. He believes it requires an active DM to stress wealth in the game that will encourage meaningful decisions. I kind of agree with him on this as I'm one of those DM's that had to work to make wealth matter.
    This goes back to what I was saying earlier in the thread. Proactive players make a huge difference. If the players are going to sit back until the DM puts things for sale in front of them, then yes, it's going to be much more work for the DM. If they are going to be proactive and come to the DM with the things that they want to spend gold on, it's really easy for the DM.

    One of my campaigns was called Darokin: The Accounting, it doesn't get much more than that.
    Was one of the local guilds called PricewaterhouseCoopers?

  6. #686
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxperson View Post
    I'm curious what the issue is with 5e, though. The list of things to spend money on that you mention, magic items, bribery, services and equipment have been the staple of what you can spend money on in pretty much any edition. A few editions had a price list for castles and such, but you still had to choose to buy those to make them relevant, just like you do in 5e. I'm really not seeing a difference in what you can spend gold on in 5e vs. the other editions.
    I'm not sure if this is specifically a 5e issue. Perhaps because we do not have as much material as previous editions have had (discounting DMs Guild) that it has come up now. I suppose it is more obvious given the fewer books.

    This goes back to what I was saying earlier in the thread. Proactive players make a huge difference. If the players are going to sit back until the DM puts things for sale in front of them, then yes, it's going to be much more work for the DM. If they are going to be proactive and come to the DM with the things that they want to spend gold on, it's really easy for the DM.
    100%.

    Was one of the local guilds called PricewaterhouseCoopers?
    That would have been too immersive
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  7. #687
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    My notes on 5e and gold can be summed up this way.


    The game provides a lot of book space on acquiring gold and treasure, but little in ways to spend it.
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  8. #688
    Quote Originally Posted by Sadras View Post
    @Maxperson, I think @Charlaquin's issue, and he may correct me where I'm misstating him, is that unless one incorporates the purchasing and management of castles, homesteads, ships, businesses and/or staff/crew the direct influence of gold is reduced to the acquisition of magical items (which I have to agree with him is hardly exciting), bribery (again mostly inconsequential), advice/services (not dynamic enough) and the purchasing of equipment (hardly relevant given its blandness). [Disclaimer: I have not gone through Xanathar's in depth]

    To Charlaquin the decision points the above spend necessitate are not exciting and meaningful enough. He believes it requires an active DM to stress wealth in the game that will encourage meaningful decisions. I kind of agree with him on this as I'm one of those DM's that had to work to make wealth matter.
    One of my campaigns was called Darokin: The Accounting, it doesn't get much more than that.

    Lifestyle tendencies, fine and masterwork items and interesting services that provide mechanical output and consequences do provide more meaningful choices for PCs without the reliance of DM work.
    Youíve mostly got me right, although I also donít find ďthe purchasing and management of castles, homesteads, ships, businesses and/or staff/crewĒ particularly interesting either. Any time you spend overseeing the construction of your wizardís tower or managing your staff is fine youíre not out rescuing dragons in distress from fire breathing princesses or whatever. So, ok, you can just spend the money, hire a foreman, let the construction project be a thing that goes on in the background, and save your table time for actual adventuring. But then youíre left with the only thing of consequence you can spend your money on being a completely away-from-table thing.

    For anything that occurs during downtime, be that subsisting on the streets, carousing in the taverns, living it up with the aristocracy, building a castle, practicing a profession, or whatever else, to be (what I would consider meaningful), it needs to have an impact on the adventure. How nice the bed I slept on during my month offwas, how close to finished my construction project is, how much pub crawling I did back in town, none of it matters when Iím actually in the dungeon or on the high seas or tromping across the vampire lordís country. The only downtime activity with a real effect on uptime is crafting, and crafting has the same problem as buying equipment, which is that apart from maybe one or two times you upgrade your armor, none of the equipment available is particularly expensive, or any better than (or even significantly different from) your starting equipment.

  9. #689
    Quote Originally Posted by Maxperson View Post
    This seems similar(if I'm understanding this) to saying that unless one incorporates classes other than fighter, players will only play fighters, which is going to be boring not long after the first campaign. The players simply have to choose other classes, just as they simply have to choose other ways to spend money like castles, ships, businesses, etc., in order to break out of rut.
    If Fighter was the only class that had any abilities that could be used outside of downtime, this might be a fitting analogy. And Iím that case, I wouldnít blame my players for always choosing Fighter. In fact, I would share their frustration that the other classes were pointless.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxperson View Post
    I'm curious what the issue is with 5e, though. The list of things to spend money on that you mention, magic items, bribery, services and equipment have been the staple of what you can spend money on in pretty much any edition. A few editions had a price list for castles and such, but you still had to choose to buy those to make them relevant, just like you do in 5e. I'm really not seeing a difference in what you can spend gold on in 5e vs. the other editions.
    No magic item market in 5e by default is one of the major differences. And I would agree thatís a good thing, if there was anything else with mechanical benefits that affect uptime to spend gold on, but there isnít. Another is the near complete lack of upgrades for nonmagical equipment. You pretty much get the best stuff available in your starting equipment package. Maybe you upgrade to silk rope over hemp rope and studded leather over leather after your first adventure. If youíre a heavy armor user, maybe you upgrade from chainmail to half-plate once and half-plate to full-plate once. After that, there are no expenses left that make any difference while youíre adventuring.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maxperson View Post
    This goes back to what I was saying earlier in the thread. Proactive players make a huge difference. If the players are going to sit back until the DM puts things for sale in front of them, then yes, it's going to be much more work for the DM. If they are going to be proactive and come to the DM with the things that they want to spend gold on, it's really easy for the DM.
    That makes it easier to know what the players want to spend their gold on. It doesnít suddenly make the things they want to spend their gold on relevant to the adventure. The DM could make it relevant to the adventure, but thatís more DM-side work.

  10. #690
    Quote Originally Posted by Sadras View Post
    However I do wish to add that I, despite playing as you call them living campaigns, too have been frustrated with the lack of detail/variety in quality of equipment, armour and services offered in the PHB where besides for colour there appears to be no distinctive difference between one castle-forged weapon from any other. It does very much rely on the DM to bring that to the fore.
    Aye. I spent a fair bit of effort emulating the Special qualities of various Borderland corporations, and all that really netted me is a dozen varieties of crossbows. (And I am still not happy enough with my Tediore to put it on the random treasure table)

    It'd be awesome if there were something like these castle-forged variants you mentioned for all the weapons.

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