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

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.
The OSR game Adventurer Conqueror King was explicitly designed with all these aspects of the game in mind. It works great, and can be easily adapted to 5e with a little elbow grease.
 

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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.
probably the one AP that models the adventure-downtime-adventure style of play, and the only one I've been at all interested in running, is ghosts of saltmarsh (which incidentally I think does have rules for buying ships). I sense that there is interest in more sandbox adventures, where its more about player agency in choosing scenarios than them doing the One Big Quest.

I recently started running Blades in the Dark and am struck by how well downtime works because its an integral part of the game with a discrete, codified mechanical structure. It makes it easy to run and foregrounds to the players what they need to do in order to achieve their long term goals, allowing them to get into the "strategy" aspect of downtime.
 



I'd recommend Strongholds and Followers for something that is already made for 5e. It has the added bonus, UNLIKE ACKS, of not being made by a white nationalist.
Matt's work is pretty good; a friend of mine recommended it and I liked it well enough. I still prefer ACKS for the sheer breadth and depth of material. It's very well thought out, and springs from a historical foundation more often than not. If there are ways to spend gold in D&D that aren't in ACKS, I dont know what they are.

As to your other objection, I get it, and wholly respect that reason to pass on ACKS. But I choose my gaming material based on personal interest and what I can use for a game, not on politics.
 





Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
You just made me want to buy 10 copies of ACKS the way that article misrepresents people like milo that is the exact opposing of a fascist.

Mod Note:
Do whatever you like with your money.

EN World does not support such intolerance as that man espouses. If you feel a need to back that, do it elsewhere.

The political bent of this thread ends now, folks. This is about gold in D&D, not political media talking heads.
 

Reynard

Legend
S&F wasn't quite what I was hoping for. I wanted a full domain management system and got prestige classes and gem dragons.
After posting that, I was inclined to pull my copy out and see if I still felt that way. I kind of do,but only because the stronghold stuff wasn't coupled with the domain management stuff. In essence, S&F allows you to spend gold on special abilities much like purchasing magic items but built around the narrative of in game politics. I am hoping the K&W delves deeper into the details.
 

TerraDave

5ever, or until 2024
Obviously. I said the upper class spends money to invest in producing more wealth, not that they don’t spend money on anything else. 🙄
And eyeroll. OK.

But you are still saying its all about money. Money to make money. Thats the ultimate end. Not investment banking skills or client lists.
 

Mod Note:
Do whatever you like with your money.

EN World does not support such intolerance as that man espouses. If you feel a need to back that, do it elsewhere.

The political bent of this thread ends now, folks. This is about gold in D&D, not political media talking heads.

Ironically, this gave me an idea. A party could spend gold to hire Bards to spread nasty rumors about their enemies! Or to promote their ideas and projects!
 


cbwjm

Hero
After posting that, I was inclined to pull my copy out and see if I still felt that way. I kind of do,but only because the stronghold stuff wasn't coupled with the domain management stuff. In essence, S&F allows you to spend gold on special abilities much like purchasing magic items but built around the narrative of in game politics. I am hoping the K&W delves deeper into the details.
I'm definitely keen on K&W, I think he mentioned it (the PDF anyway) was maybe a couple of months away in one of his recent videos.

I currently look at all kinds of things for domain management: the BECMI Rules Cyclopedia, ACKS, Birthright, Pathfinder, Crusader Kings 3, Dungeon World. Still not sure which one I really want to use, though I do seem to fall back to using dungeon world tags since it's less book keeping. Not sure my players will actually want to get into running a domain or establishment anyway since I think most players nowadays prefer to keep adventuring.

I think something that would be cool to do is essentially a line on the character sheet (or maybe campaign sheet) where the players invest money. If a player decides to invest some money on improving the roads between the starter town and the next town over then you can add a line about roads which leads to more merchants which leads to the starter town growing. It might also lead to increased banditry which causes the merchants to stop coming and future PCs needing to be hired to find the bandit hideout. None of this grants something tangible to the character, no shiny new magical item or anything, but it does lead to a lasting impact (perhaps a small impact, but still an impact) on the campaign world which is great if it is a persistent campaign setting.
 

As a player, even when playing a Rogue, I don't really care about gold. My character might, but it doesn't make much of a difference to me.
That's pretty poor roleplay.

Most people are motivated by wealth (or at least they wouldn't knock a million bucks back if you offered it to them).

Living in comfort, fine clothes and food, your own retainers, providing a better life for your kids and so forth.

If you're playing your character, you should be able to find something to spend your money on (or somewhere to put it).
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Since as far back as I can remember, acquiring massive amounts of wealth in the form of gold, gems, and magic items has been part and parcel of the D&D experience. In fact, treasure used to be tied to experience points which caused some problems as characters accumulated ridiculous amounts of the stuff. But then there were plenty of things for characters to spend their gold on including training to advance to the next level, some spell components were quite costly, and you could hire henchmen and build strongholds. Assuming you actually bothered to do any of that stuff. I don't know about you guys, but when I sit down to play D&D I want to go out and adventure not stay in my stronghold and figure out how to decorate the place.

My memories of 2nd edition are fuzzy (I'm a 7 percenter now and getting older), but at least by 3rd edition treasure had been complete divorced from experience points but we still continue to accumulate a ridiculous amount of gold in 5th edition. Once you reach the point where you character is living like a rock star and wearing clothes and bling so excessive that Liberace would decry it as "tacky" there's not much else to spend you gold on. Is there any reason we actually need all that much gold in D&D?

As a player, even when playing a Rogue, I don't really care about gold. My character might, but it doesn't make much of a difference to me. I'm not interested in building strongholds because the core game play for me is adventuring and sitting around my house is not adventuring. So it makes more sense to me to either include mechanics designed to drain PC's wealth or just stop distributing so much gold. In Conan by Modiphius games, the PCs are expected to either spend their money on partying like it's 1999, on getting information, or to thieves or other misfortunes. I don't want to eliminate all wealth from D&D, but what's the point of doing all that extra bookkeeping keeping track of treasure when it doesn't add any significant fun to the game?
I mean I like hirelings, expensive components, strongholds, and paying people to do “downtime” tasks for me in my stronghold while I adventure. If your group doesn’t, don’t give out that much gold.
 


If you're interested in having people engage with you I suggest you try being a bit more polite in the future. This comment was uncalled for.

I'm sorry if you take offence, but it's true.

How can you say you're roleplaying a character when you admit your character desires being wealthy (as most people do) but then say you don't roleplay that desire?

That's poor roleplaying. If its something your character aspires to (being wealthy) then ask yourself why do they want that? What do they want the money for?

If you got into your characters head, I'm sure you could think of tons of stuff to do with that gold. Everything from donating it to the needy and poor (a noble LG Paladin) to a boat party with cocaine and hookers (a CN Rogue) to building a dark keep, and employing a mercenary company on retainer, plus an assassin or two (LE Fighter).
 

I'm sorry if you take offence, but it's true.

How can you say you're roleplaying a character when you admit your character desires being wealthy (as most people do) but then say you don't roleplay that desire?

That's poor roleplaying. If its something your character aspires to (being wealthy) then ask yourself why do they want that? What do they want the money for?

If you got into your characters head, I'm sure you could think of tons of stuff to do with that gold. Everything from donating it to the needy and poor (a noble LG Paladin) to a boat party with cocaine and hookers (a CN Rogue) to building a dark keep, and employing a mercenary company on retainer, plus an assassin or two (LE Fighter).
You can imagine what your character would spend money on if they have it, true. But in all probability, money is not the core thing characters need to achieve their goals. Characters in dnd have a much quicker route to power via leveling up, and that will enable them to accomplish their goals much better than gold. It's less a question of in-game fiction and more one of game design and playstyle.
 

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