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D&D 5E Creating a Wealth Score in 5e D&D

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
A character can raise their Wealth Score by investing money. Maybe each level of bonus would cost 1,000 x Bonus GP. So for example, to raise your Wealth Bonus from a 3 to a 4 would cost 4,000 GP. From a 19 to a 20 would cost 20,000 GP.

So, if I were to approach this, I would get rid of the concept of GP altogether. Convert that gold and silver and gems into a generalized Treasure, and decide how you want infusions of Treasure to impact Wealth.
 

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"Wealth Score" was necessary in d20 Modern not only because economy is more complex in our real life, but because we talk about games set in countries without dollar as national coin, or in another ages where the prize of the things are totally different.
 

BookTenTiger

He / Him
So, if I were to approach this, I would get rid of the concept of GP altogether. Convert that gold and silver and gems into a generalized Treasure, and decide how you want infusions of Treasure to impact Wealth.
I think I would try to find a balance of the two. Finding gold pieces is a lot of fun!
 


Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I think I would try to find a balance of the two. Finding gold pieces is a lot of fun!

Well, you can narrate finding them all you like. But the entire point of having such a wealth system is to eliminate bean-counting. If you keep the gold around, that keeps the bean-counting around.
 

Lakesidefantasy

Adventurer
Not necessarily. The bean counting becomes an issue during transactions. Sometimes it is important (like Jgsugden's levels 1 and 2 above); but, when we have plenty of wealth at later levels, abstraction becomes more appealing.
 

J.Quondam

CR 1/8
If you're into such things, you might need to consider how this impacts encumbrance, too.
An abstract wealth system hopefully wouldn't bypass the complications of carting a two-ton golden idol back to town!
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Yeah, a two-track system. Big numbers for hoards and abstraction for everyday stuff.

Why have big numbers? Big numbers imply small numbers, which you are abstracting away anyhow.

A wealth system means you never actually have to keep track of the GP cost of items. Items fall into ranks - with a given level of wealth, you can automatically buy anything of a certain cost rank, without worrying about it. So, like, above a certain level of wealth, you no longer both with the cost for room and meals at the inn. It is pocket change to you, and you no longer track it, as it has become uninteresting accounting of small numbers.
 



Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Not necessarily. The bean counting becomes an issue during transactions. Sometimes it is important (like Jgsugden's levels 1 and 2 above); but, when we have plenty of wealth at later levels, abstraction becomes more appealing.

I mean, in a typical wealth system, no, you don't do bean counting.

At a given wealth rank, you can buy anything of lower cost than your rank. Anything a rank above that, you effectively make a Wealth Save - if you fail, you don't get the item. If you make it, you get the item, but your wealth drops by one rank. If it is two or more ransk above, you just can't purchase the item. There is no bean-counting at the transaction.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Maybe that's where the abstraction should take place; in those last three zeroes.

In current terms, it would not be strange to work your Wealth levels in terms of factors of tens of gold pieces. At the bottom-most rank, you can afford food for yourself for the day, and nothing else. Rank 1 - you can get things that cost under 10 GP. Rank 2 - you can get things under 100 GP, and so on.

Yes, the idea is that by the time Rank 3 comes around, almost all mundane adventuring equipment becomes a thing you no longer worry about. By rank 4, you are dealing in "Equipment for an entire party". Rank 5 is "Equipment for an entire expedition." Rank six is "Outfit a small army", and so on.

No, this is not a system for people who want to do detailed monetary resource management. It is specifically for people who don't want to do detailed monetary resource management.
 
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MarkB

Legend
I think I would try to find a balance of the two. Finding gold pieces is a lot of fun!

In current terms, it would not be strange to work your Wealth levels in terms of factors of tens of gold pieces. At the bottom-most rank, you can afford food for yourself for the day, and nothing else. Rank 1 - you can get things that cost under 10 GP. Rank 2 - you can get things under 100 GP, and so on.

Yes, the idea is that by the time Rank 3 comes around, almost all mundane adventuring equipment becomes a thing you no longer worry about. By rank 4, you are dealing in "Equipment for an entire party". Rank 5 is "Equipment for an entire expedition." Rank six is "Outfit a small army", and so on.

No, this is not a system for people who want to do detailed monetary resource management. It is specifically for people who don't want to do detailed monetary resource management.
So, maybe count those beans for income, but not for spending. Treat GP as another form of XP. Once you've earned enough GP, you level-up your wealth and your spending power increases.
 


Lakesidefantasy

Adventurer
In current terms, it would not be strange to work your Wealth levels in terms of factors of tens of gold pieces. At the bottom-most rank, you can afford food for yourself for the day, and nothing else. Rank 1 - you can get things that cost under 10 GP. Rank 2 - you can get things under 100 GP, and so on.

Yes, the idea is that by the time Rank 3 comes around, almost all mundane adventuring equipment becomes a thing you no longer worry about.

No, this is not a system for people who want to do detailed monetary resource management. It is specifically for people who don't want to do detailed monetary resource management.
I don't find fault with this system. I like it. But, I'm not going to use it. I'll just abstract on the fly as I suspect many of us do in order to keep the game moving.

It's like I've always said, we play this game despite the rules.
 

I would say that for most D&D campaigns a "wealth score" doesn't really make sense at the beginning levels, when the heroes are generally grizzled itinerants with no modicum of credit in whatever random village they meet in the tavern of. It might make sense, however, to introduce as a mechanic later should they acquire fame, fortune, and status. At the point where they have a castle and lands (generating amorphous passive income), if you do that sort of play, tracking their purchases of every 50 foot coil of rope in the neighboring town really is neither interesting nor terribly realistic anymore.
 

aco175

Legend
It seems that in 5e more than older editions my players just cross off gold and spend it freely. They come into town and cross off 10gold and say that that pays for lodging, ale, food, and some minor things like a bath and sewing of clothing and sharpening of blades. This generally covers most things in the way we play.

Some of all this may depend on how much roleplay people want to have. Going into the general store to haggle over iron rations may be great for some and totally boring for others.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I don't find fault with this system. I like it. But, I'm not going to use it. I'll just abstract on the fly as I suspect many of us do in order to keep the game moving.

It's like I've always said, we play this game despite the rules.

Yep, that's fine. I was speaking mostly to what the typical Wealth system is like. Not trying to sell it, just explain how it works.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
It seems that in 5e more than older editions my players just cross off gold and spend it freely. They come into town and cross off 10gold and say that that pays for lodging, ale, food, and some minor things like a bath and sewing of clothing and sharpening of blades. This generally covers most things in the way we play.

Indeed, we already have Lifestyle in the books that handles this by the month.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
So, maybe count those beans for income, but not for spending. Treat GP as another form of XP. Once you've earned enough GP, you level-up your wealth and your spending power increases.

Pretty much. I spoke of units of Treasure, mostly to not be confusing the Wealth system from current coin system - don't use the same term for two different things, and all that. If you want to call units of Treasure "GP", that's fine.
 

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