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

MGibster

Legend
My rogue would welcome you giving him all that burdensome gold your rogue does not want. :)
Whoa there, cowboy. My Rogue most certainly cares about gold in a most profound, some say lascivious, way. I the player don't particularly care though.

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.
Given the multitude of economic difficulties young people face including student loans, the rise in housing costs, and the fact that real wages have not kept up with inflation, I think maybe they just view wealth as such a fantastical idea that they can't suspend their disbelief and include it in a game. A fire breathing dragon? Ho hum. A crab-like mechanical device you get inside and pilot? Yawn. A young adventurer with no debt and plenty of purchasing power? That's just totally unrealistic.
 

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Given the multitude of economic difficulties young people face including student loans, the rise in housing costs, and the fact that real wages have not kept up with inflation, I think maybe they just view wealth as such a fantastical idea that they can't suspend their disbelief and include it in a game. A fire breathing dragon? Ho hum. A crab-like mechanical device you get inside and pilot? Yawn. A young adventurer with no debt and plenty of purchasing power? That's just totally unrealistic.
My players were genuinely offended that the primary reason to adventure in the old school game of Traveller I wanted to run was to pay off the loan on their ship.

"We get enough of that in real life, thanks."
 

jgsugden

Legend
...My basic problem with the overabundance of gold in D&D is that it doesn't add anything to the core experience which is adventuring. And remember, exploration and social pillars are part of the adventure not separate from it. D&D doesn't really support spending a whole bunch of gold on strong holds, infrastructure, or bribes (at least not to the point where it's a significant drain on funds).
I've given a plethora of examples to how it can improve your RPG experience in ways that are meaningful.

You keep saying this is an impossibility and a plethora of people are telling you they've done it consistently for decades.

You're double plethoraed.
Sure, they were. But who uses hirelings these days?
I just answered that. Some of the people that use the coins to add to their role playing experience. People that treat the world like a story they're building, and proceed to have their PCs think about how to use vast sums of money in a sensible way. Or, at least a portion of them.
 

Marc_C

Solitary Role Playing
Seasons are important in my campaigns. PCs don't usually go on adventures during harsh winter months. A good time to spend lots of gold on pet projects, research and other down time activities.

As for the domain game (castles and henchmen), as an experienced DM, I always talk about it with younger players during session zero. "We can do that with D&D?". "Yes you can. It can be like Games of Thrones at higher levels, if you want to."
 

MGibster

Legend
I've given a plethora of examples to how it can improve your RPG experience in ways that are meaningful.
I've seen plenty of examples of what people do in their games. I just don't think using gold is all that well supported by the rules themselves.
You keep saying this is an impossibility and a plethora of people are telling you they've done it consistently for decades.
I don't think I've used the word impossible even once in this thread. And this post doesn't count.
I just answered that. Some of the people that use the coins to add to their role playing experience. People that treat the world like a story they're building, and proceed to have their PCs think about how to use vast sums of money in a sensible way. Or, at least a portion of them.
I don't think this represents the norm these days. I don't see much in the way of hirelings in most settings or adventures with Acquisition Inc., being a notable exception.
 

Whoa there, cowboy. My Rogue most certainly cares about gold in a most profound, some say lascivious, way. I the player don't particularly care though.


Given the multitude of economic difficulties young people face including student loans, the rise in housing costs, and the fact that real wages have not kept up with inflation, I think maybe they just view wealth as such a fantastical idea that they can't suspend their disbelief and include it in a game. A fire breathing dragon? Ho hum. A crab-like mechanical device you get inside and pilot? Yawn. A young adventurer with no debt and plenty of purchasing power? That's just totally unrealistic.
There's something to this, in that aspects of the game that simulate an economic system don't appeal as much to people anymore. In a city game I ran, I borrowed a conceit from dragon heist where the players get a big house/apartment. My players liked it and referred to it as the "air bnb." But I don't think they would have wanted any part in purchasing and maintaining a domain as a discrete activity. Personally, I don't really like anything that ties my character down. I'll just stay at the tavern and ramble on to the next town with my obligatory bag of holding.
 

Marc_C

Solitary Role Playing
There's something to this, in that aspects of the game that simulate an economic system don't appeal as much to people anymore. In a city game I ran, I borrowed a conceit from dragon heist where the players get a big house/apartment. My players liked it and referred to it as the "air bnb." But I don't think they would have wanted any part in purchasing and maintaining a domain as a discrete activity. Personally, I don't really like anything that ties my character down. I'll just stay at the tavern and ramble on to the next town with my obligatory bag of holding.

I wonder about that. Coriolis and many other sci-fi games have the "Firefly must survive by the seat of their pants with a new contract or die in space because of a faulty part". They seem popular enough as games when you look at the success level of the KS.
 

Sithlord

Adventurer
I wonder how big a PHB would be if it had everything that I am seeing on this thread that people think should be in it. On another matter I still play RC and they have pretty good rules on these things. Although I still consult my companion ruleset for somethings.
 



darjr

I crit!
More like 600 reading this thread. They want rules for castles and strongholds, running a kingdom, thief guilds, merchant guilds, temples, the shipping industry, magic shops, and more.
Yea. What the? I mean want what you want. That’s cool. Go make it if nobody else seems to want it…. Or if your right you’ll have fans! Win win!
 


Sithlord

Adventurer
Yea. What the? I mean want what you want. That’s cool. Go make it if nobody else seems to want it…. Or if your right you’ll have fans! Win win!
Exactly. Make it yourself or find a good third party product on it. There are several. Can’t make everything for everyone. I would say there are very few people that want this. And it’s cool. I love these things. I don’t think they will sell well enough. And their are very creative people doing this on their own and willing to publish it themselves for people that want it. I really think it’s snobbery for some that they won’t touch it if wotc doesn’t provide it.
 

Reynard

Legend
Exactly. Make it yourself or find a good third party product on it. There are several. Can’t make everything for everyone. I would say there are very few people that want this. And it’s cool. I love these things. I don’t think they will sell well enough. And their are very creative people doing this on their own and willing to publish it themselves for people that want it. I really think it’s snobbery for some that they won’t touch it if wotc doesn’t provide it.
The assumption is that WotC stuff would be well researched and playtested. That's obviously not true. cough**gloomstalkerranger**cough
 


More like 600 reading this thread. They want rules for castles and strongholds, running a kingdom, thief guilds, merchant guilds, temples, the shipping industry, magic shops, and more.
There should be 0 pages for any of this stuff in the dmg. Because:

there are very few people that want this.
Acquiring massive amounts of wealth and spending that wealth in domains of various sorts does not correspond to how and why most people play the game. If you are playing an adventure path that has you traveling all over a world map for a campaign that lasts 2 months of in-game time and takes you to level 10, you're never going to interact with downtime let alone domains. If they were going to include anything about gold in the dmg, they could include some advice on how to use gold to support that latter playstyle instead of perfunctory chart about how long it takes to build a castle. That being said magic item prices would probably be very popular among certain players.

Somewhat unrelated, but the 5e dmg is my least favorite thing about this edition. It's a dumpster fire of a book.
 

Uta-napishti

Explorer
You don't need needy NPCs all the time, many magical PCs burn money. If one of your players is a wizard who likes to have access to a wide variety of magic, they can suck everyone in the party's gold dry all by themselves just copying spells. The Cleric on the other hand gets access to every cleric spell fo' free, but their curse is having to carry around hundreds/thousands of gold in diamonds to fuel revivify / raise dead magic. Both of these can put pressure on the party's gold supply.
 

Reflecting on the original question: I think 5e games are pretty likely to not have any real use for gold, for a few reasons:

You might be able buy magic items, but you might not, and both of those ways of playing make a bunch of sense to me. 5e goes out of it's way to make magic items (or at least a specific type or amount of them) optional, and removing the ability to buy them is an added benefit for a lot of people. However, once you do this, the only game-influencing expenses are mundane gear like torches, and the amount of gold in an average loot pile (if you follow published guidelines) makes those trivial pretty fast. So if you're not running magic shops or OSR-style detailed encumbrance, gold isn't directly affecting the game mechanics. And those types of play aren't always present.

And the non-mechanical uses for gold (downtime, shopping for the roleplay value) require a type of game that also isn't always present. Some adventures don't allow for downtime, either by the nature of the threat or location, and some do. Some players are interested in investing their gold, and some just aren't.

But the DMG guidance is to give out quite a bit of gold - more than you need for mundane gear, especially if you're not using a lot of it. Between these, it's pretty common to end up in a game where after a few level you literally have more gold than you can ever spend.

I'm not sure this quite rises to the level of a problem - but it's not an ideal way to write the books.
 

On one hand, the DM can control how fast a party levels up. If they want to run a campaign were leveling up occurs over the course of weeks, months, or years, they can.

On the other hand, all official material assumes the party is going to be leveling up fast, sometimes even multiple levels in a single day.

Which of these two leveling paces is the expectation for most players? The answer is fairly obvious. If WotC really wants to make downtime an important part of play, they should make adventures that lean into its usage.
This.

In fact, it's clear to me that they dont want to do that. It's not like they haven't had ample opportunity. They have determined/decided what the core experience of 5e is, and are catering unceasingly to it. The fragments that seem to point in a different direction are artifacts of an earlier era, meant to invoke "D&D-ness", without having much to with how the game is meant to be played. If you want more rigorous material along the lines discussed in this thread, you will have to go outside WotC. They made their choice a while back.
 

Reynard

Legend
There should be 0 pages for any of this stuff in the dmg. Because:


Acquiring massive amounts of wealth and spending that wealth in domains of various sorts does not correspond to how and why most people play the game. If you are playing an adventure path that has you traveling all over a world map for a campaign that lasts 2 months of in-game time and takes you to level 10, you're never going to interact with downtime let alone domains. If they were going to include anything about gold in the dmg, they could include some advice on how to use gold to support that latter playstyle instead of perfunctory chart about how long it takes to build a castle. That being said magic item prices would probably be very popular among certain players.

Somewhat unrelated, but the 5e dmg is my least favorite thing about this edition. It's a dumpster fire of a book.
This represents a disconnect between the game as presented in the rule books versus presented in campaign length adventures. Nothing in the rule books point toward zero downtime, rocketing toward mid levels and then just up and quitting at the beginning of the really interesting part of the game. Yet here we are.
 

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