D&D 5E Do We Really Need a Lot of Gold? (D&D 5th Edition)

This speaks to motivation, of course. If the PCs' motivation is NOT to acquire wealth, what is it? Note -- I asked the player characters' motivation, so "gaining levels" is probably not a good one unless the game is very meta. "Gaining power" in a more general sense is better, as is, "finding magic items!" because they things that exist in the world. But then the question comes to "why?" Why does your character want power or magic items?

If we aren't talking about quests to save the princess/realm/world on a clock, if the players have agency over their characters' actions in the world, then they need good motivations. "Gold" is an easy one that suggests the kind of places D&D excels at presenting, namely Dungeons and Dragons' lairs. "Uncovering ancient knowledge" and "finding my mother's heirloom sword wherever she fell in battle" are good ones too, but "get rich" is a concrete, understandable, powerful motivator.
This might be a generational thing, but I don't find my younger players care about getting wealthy. They've grown up with fantasies that have been about heroism and adventure for their own sake. That's the play they want to emulate.

Obviously, there are games that isn't the case, especially among old farts like me, when GP = XP and that encouraged a very specific sort of play, but telling younger players -- the overwhelming majority of players nowadays -- that they're doing it wrong if they're not playing like I did in 1979 is a self-defeating strategy.

The generational thing could certainly explain the vehemence of the folks insisting that SimCastle is an obvious and necessary component of the game, since once upon a time, what sort of fortress your character made at higher levels and what sort of followers they got was in the PHB in the class description.
 

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Sithlord

Adventurer
Many of these things are special or niche interest that are best done by third parties because so few people are interested. And I do want some of these things. Building a stronghold and managing a kingdom. That’s a whole book. Building and running a guild or thief’s guild, not something for 10 pages in the DMG. Ship combat and buying and maintaining a vessel plus the economics of trade, that’s a book in itself. Do I want those things. Yes. Are they all going to be placed in the PHB or dmg. No. Are they profitable for wotc. Probably not. Can a third party like Matt colville do a great job doing it. Yes.

now for simple ways to spend money. Yes the dmg has that covered. It’s a good book. I recommend more people read it.
 

Reynard

Legend
This might be a generational thing, but I don't find my younger players care about getting wealthy. They've grown up with fantasies that have been about heroism and adventure for their own sake. That's the play they want to emulate.

Obviously, there are games that isn't the case, especially among old farts like me, when GP = XP and that encouraged a very specific sort of play, but telling younger players -- the overwhelming majority of players nowadays -- that they're doing it wrong if they're not playing like I did in 1979 is a self-defeating strategy.

The generational thing could certainly explain the vehemence of the folks insisting that SimCastle is an obvious and necessary component of the game, since once upon a time, what sort of fortress your character made at higher levels and what sort of followers they got was in the PHB in the class description.
I primarily play with folks my age (GenX) who came into the hobby when Domain Management and War Machine were things, so there's overall a "big picture" and "changing game" vibe in our games. We don't necessarily pinch pennies over each castle crenulation, mind you, but the desire to put one's character's stamp on the world is definitely there. It isn't actually usually building a castle or taming the wilderness, mind you. It is just as often turning the city's urchin's into a spy army, or cracking the barrier between this world and the next, or cornering the market in illegal demon bile mutagenic drugs (not kidding), but there is almost always something driving them beyond "did we win this adventure."

I would actually be curious to know what younger players expect to do after they defeat Zariel, for example. Do they keep playing those characters or do they move on to Frostmaiden? I admit to (probably erroneously) assuming the latter as general rule.
 

This might be a generational thing, but I don't find my younger players care about getting wealthy. They've grown up with fantasies that have been about heroism and adventure for their own sake. That's the play they want to emulate.

Obviously, there are games that isn't the case, especially among old farts like me, when GP = XP and that encouraged a very specific sort of play, but telling younger players -- the overwhelming majority of players nowadays -- that they're doing it wrong if they're not playing like I did in 1979 is a self-defeating strategy.

The generational thing could certainly explain the vehemence of the folks insisting that SimCastle is an obvious and necessary component of the game, since once upon a time, what sort of fortress your character made at higher levels and what sort of followers they got was in the PHB in the class description.
Interestingly, I find players don't really care about gold but really like shopping. In fact, wasn't this a critical role thing, where the players always spent a lot of time shopping? The magic item shop is good in this sense as it is fantasy consumerism, though very silly.
 

King Babar

God Learner
I would love to see a list for miscellaneous items, really gold sinks that maybe encourage roleplay. How much does a normal silver ring cost? A gold necklace with an emerald inset? A nice hat? a velvet cloak? Want your players to spend money? Give them something to spend it on.

Tracking durability on weapons and armor would help as well. As it is, that longsword you have is good forever, unless you run into something like a black pudding or rust monster. But for many players that may not be "fun".
 

I primarily play with folks my age (GenX) who came into the hobby when Domain Management and War Machine were things, so there's overall a "big picture" and "changing game" vibe in our games. We don't necessarily pinch pennies over each castle crenulation, mind you, but the desire to put one's character's stamp on the world is definitely there. It isn't actually usually building a castle or taming the wilderness, mind you. It is just as often turning the city's urchin's into a spy army, or cracking the barrier between this world and the next, or cornering the market in illegal demon bile mutagenic drugs (not kidding), but there is almost always something driving them beyond "did we win this adventure."

I would actually be curious to know what younger players expect to do after they defeat Zariel, for example. Do they keep playing those characters or do they move on to Frostmaiden? I admit to (probably erroneously) assuming the latter as general rule.
I think the edition you come in on really shapes your expectations for what the game should be. I came in on basic so I relate. I noticed the difference when I started playing 5e with new players (after not playing for a log time), and I brought graph paper and started making the map and asking the dm for precise dimensions of rooms. Everyone else was like, 'wtf are you doing?'
 

Interestingly, I find players don't really care about gold but really like shopping. In fact, wasn't this a critical role thing, where the players always spent a lot of time shopping? The magic item shop is good in this sense as it is fantasy consumerism, though very silly.
It worked, because Mercer has such amazingly quirky and memorable shopkeepers.
 

Reynard

Legend
I would love to see a list for miscellaneous items, really gold sinks that maybe encourage roleplay. How much does a normal silver ring cost? A gold necklace with an emerald inset? A nice hat? a velvet cloak? Want your players to spend money? Give them something to spend it on.

Tracking durability on weapons and armor would help as well. As it is, that longsword you have is good forever, unless you run into something like a black pudding or rust monster. But for many players that may not be "fun".
I don't think "simulationism" is much of a thing anymore. That's not necessarily a bad thing, in that if it has fallen out of fashion there's probably a reason for it. But it seems like now with all kinds of apps handy, most of the "bookwork" of simulation could be offloaded to our phones.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
As a player, even when playing a Rogue, I don't really care about gold.
My rogue would welcome you giving him all that burdensome gold your rogue does not want. :)

[On a more serious note, I built my rogue to have a goal to create orphanages and organizations which support abandoned kids in the city the adventuring group is based in, to prevent a harsh upbringing like he was subjected to from happening to these kids. Which requires tons of gold and a lot of adventuring to fund that set of goals.]
 

I would love to see a list for miscellaneous items, really gold sinks that maybe encourage roleplay. How much does a normal silver ring cost? A gold necklace with an emerald inset? A nice hat? a velvet cloak? Want your players to spend money? Give them something to spend it on.

Tracking durability on weapons and armor would help as well. As it is, that longsword you have is good forever, unless you run into something like a black pudding or rust monster. But for many players that may not be "fun".
XTE has some rules for this in its downtime section.
 

Interestingly, I find players don't really care about gold but really like shopping. In fact, wasn't this a critical role thing, where the players always spent a lot of time shopping? The magic item shop is good in this sense as it is fantasy consumerism, though very silly.
It takes up a ton of time in Critical Role, Season 2 (where I jumped on) and the original The Adventure Zone campaign started or ended every adventure at Fantasy CostCo, where the players could essentially gamble for items designed by Patreon supporters.
 

I would actually be curious to know what younger players expect to do after they defeat Zariel, for example. Do they keep playing those characters or do they move on to Frostmaiden? I admit to (probably erroneously) assuming the latter as general rule.
IME (I haven't actually run Avernus, but generally speaking), they dust off their hands, buy another keg of healing potions and say "OK, whose butt are we kicking next?"
 

I think the edition you come in on really shapes your expectations for what the game should be. I came in on basic so I relate. I noticed the difference when I started playing 5e with new players (after not playing for a log time), and I brought graph paper and started making the map and asking the dm for precise dimensions of rooms. Everyone else was like, 'wtf are you doing?'
I had the exact same experience with a GenX player at one of my tables. Luckily, she was smart to do so, because she was the only person who figured out that I, a GenX gamer, was doing stuff with the map that could only be figured out if they had a map of their own.
 

Reynard

Legend
IME (I haven't actually run Avernus, but generally speaking), they dust off their hands, buy another keg of healing potions and say "OK, whose butt are we kicking next?"
By that do you mean that it's common in your experience for younger players to keep on with their characters after they have "beaten" the campaign module, or that in your experience they don't play those modules in the first place?
 

It worked, because Mercer has such amazingly quirky and memorable shopkeepers.
His players also really love roleplaying, though. The session that featured a bunch of them getting massages didn't feature any great NPCs, but it was just an opportunity for the players to roleplay and emote, which they will do any time they can.

Not every group is interested in that. I have a bunch of tweens and young teens I DM for, and they'd rather die than embarrass themselves that way.
 

By that do you mean that it's common in your experience for younger players to keep on with their characters after they have "beaten" the campaign module, or that in your experience they don't play those modules in the first place?
My younger players find the idea that they'd made new characters when the old ones are still alive bizarre, despite them getting more system mastery, etc., since then.
 

Reynard

Legend
His players also really love roleplaying, though. The session that featured a bunch of them getting massages didn't feature any great NPCs, but it was just an opportunity for the players to roleplay and emote, which they will do any time they can.

Not every group is interested in that. I have a bunch of tweens and young teens I DM for, and they'd rather die than embarrass themselves that way.
One of the things his players do REALLY well that I think is underappreciated: they know how to shut up and let one of their peers have the spotlight for a while, while still remaining engaged. One of the things I feel like I am constantly fighting against as a GM is players tuning out when someone else is having a moment.
 


Sithlord

Adventurer
I would love to see a list for miscellaneous items, really gold sinks that maybe encourage roleplay. How much does a normal silver ring cost? A gold necklace with an emerald inset? A nice hat? a velvet cloak? Want your players to spend money? Give them something to spend it on.

Tracking durability on weapons and armor would help as well. As it is, that longsword you have is good forever, unless you run into something like a black pudding or rust monster. But for many players that may not be "fun".
I hate weapon durability rules. Annoying bookkeeping imho. But, I have some players that like it. We houseruled that 5 natural 1s and the weapon breaks, unless it’s magical.
 

while your right, it's also common sense that a TON OF GOLD would influence NPC's. I mean if my players were going to start bribing in a BIG way they.... wait.... they HAVE. It explains so much now!

Sure, but it's also obvious that magic items should be both potent and varied. Yet the DMG spends 20% of it's pages on them. Not just describing different items one after the other, but talking about the nature of rewards, alternatives to them, how specific rewards work, what players should expect, how often you should be giving rewards out as a DM, etc. Why couldn't they spend a fraction of the space giving some details on what you can do with adventurer quantities of gold?

The question isn't, "What are the possibilities of what my players could do," it's "How, specifically, should I implement specific examples of things my players might want to do, and what benefits should those things have?"

You can buy (for whatever meaning of "buy" you choose) a stronghold, yes, sure. How much do they cost? Ballpark? In what ways should I, as a DM, think about presenting it? In what ways should the players expect to benefit from it? In other words, where is the information that tells me, the DM, how I should run the game when the players come to me and say, "we want to build a stronghold," "we want to start an adventurers guild," etc., etc.

It's great that D&D allows you to invent whatever you want and put it in your game. However, it's awful that that the game requires you to invent so much whole-cloth. Like, holy cow, it's year seven of 5e and there's nothing except third party products for anything outside the extremely narrow range of adventure paths, monster books, and lightweight setting books. And the quality of their adventure paths is still not that high! What exactly is WotC's strategy? Produce a game for Adventurer's League and that's it? It certainly feels like that's the grand scope. They've done nothing to move beyond just running another dungeon AP in the universal kitchen sink setting. It's really quite frustrating.
 

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