D&D General Does anyone else use a silver standard in their DND game?


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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Gold/silver coins where pretty pure, at least in Greek/Roman times. Like 90%-95%.

One approach is to value all currency by weight. And have a coinweight, 1/100th of a pound, be a unit. Then different countries currencies can still exist.

Gold/Plat has about twice the density of Silver/Copper.

Using 500 g is 1 lbs (because lbs suck)

Based off density, this makes "coinweight" SP and CP be about nickle sized and GP/PP be about penny-sized.

(2.5 g for a penny, 5 g nickle, 6.3 g loonie, 7.5 g euro approx)

A 1 euro coin has the weight of 3 pennies. A Canadian "loonie" has the weight of 2.5 pennies.

(5 g for a penny, 10 g nickle, 12.5 g loonie, 15 g euro approx)

(The above assumes the same density)

Per pound:
CP/SP: 100 standard nickle, 200 pennies, 80 loonies, 66 euro-sized.
PP/GP: 100 standard penny, 50 nickles, 40 loonies, 33 euro-sized.

Using the 10 sp per gp, and 100 cp per sp means that prices in cp remain unchanged. Price in gp becomes price in sp, and price in sp is divided by 10.

In an existing module, you can replace any "100 gp" with "1 pound of silver coins". For treasure measured in sp, divide by 10 first.

The nice thing about this is that (a) it makes clear how heavy the coins weigh, by putting that first, and (b) it makes different currencies in your world, without making it awkward, because treasure is measured in pounds of specie.
I like this idea a lot, but I’m struggling to understand how it would look in play. What units would the players actually use under this system? Pounds? Coinweights? If a party of 4 PCs find “a pound of silver coins” in the dungeon, what does each player write on their character sheet, assuming they divide the loot evenly?
 


NotAYakk

Legend
I like this idea a lot, but I’m struggling to understand how it would look in play. What units would the players actually use under this system? Pounds? Coinweights? If a party of 4 PCs find “a pound of silver coins” in the dungeon, what does each player write on their character sheet, assuming they divide the loot evenly?
I'd keep it as pounds.

The standard coin is 0.01 pounds. Imperials are 3x, so 0.03 pounds (which means silver/copper imperials are beefy; gold imperials are euro-sized). Pennies, which only exist for Silver and Copper, are half sized coins (so 0.005 pounds). (technically the standard gp is a penny)

Use of pennies and imperials and standard coins should only occur when you want the flavour in game. You shouldn't ask players to track them.

I might go with (by weight)
100 copper = 1 silver
10 silver = 1 gold
3 gold = 1 platinum

but nobody except the ancients coined platinum, so platinum imperials are actually 9 gold (pennies) = 1 platinum (imperial). As coins are secondary to weight, this isn't that annoying.

A fun bit is that the "pound" becomes a standard unit of currency, as in pounds of silver. 1 pound of silver is 10 gold pennies or 1 platinum imperial.

Converting prices to pounds of silver becomes easy.

XX Book gp = 0.XX pounds of silver.
XX Book cp = 0.XX pounds of copper.
XX Book sp = X.X pounds of silver.
 
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Oofta

Legend
How often does this kind of stuff really come up in game play for y'all? I rarely care about miscellaneous expenses - we just use the "cost of living" guidelines if that. Most of the time miscellaneous expenses like getting lunch and drinks are just hand waved because the extra bookkeeping just isn't worth it for me.

There's nothing wrong with counting literal pennies, but is it something you really use on a regular basis?
 

NotAYakk

Legend
How often does this kind of stuff really come up in game play for y'all? I rarely care about miscellaneous expenses - we just use the "cost of living" guidelines if that. Most of the time miscellaneous expenses like getting lunch and drinks are just hand waved because the extra bookkeeping just isn't worth it for me.

There's nothing wrong with counting literal pennies, but is it something you really use on a regular basis?
Sure, but I'm talking about flavour and how you track wealth.

By tracking wealth by pounds of silver (each worth 100 "book" gp), it turns an abstract large number in a character sheet (how many gp) into something tangible.

They don't find 1732 gp, they find 1.3 pound of gold, 4.3 pounds of silver and 2 pounds of copper in a chest, all in ancient imperials.

The actual coinage they work with is flavour.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
I'd keep it as pounds.

The standard coin is 0.01 pounds. Imperials are 3x, so 0.03 pounds (which means silver/copper imperials are beefy; gold imperials are euro-sized). Pennies, which only exist for Silver and Copper, are half sized coins (so 0.005 pounds). (technically the standard gp is a penny)

Use of pennies and imperials and standard coins should only occur when you want the flavour in game. You shouldn't ask players to track them.

I might go with (by weight)
100 copper = 1 silver
10 silver = 1 gold
3 gold = 1 platinum

but nobody except the ancients coined platinum, so platinum imperials are actually 9 gold (pennies) = 1 platinum (imperial). As coins are secondary to weight, this isn't that annoying.

A fun bit is that the "pound" becomes a standard unit of currency, as in pounds of silver. 1 pound of silver is 10 gold pennies or 1 platinum imperial.

Converting prices to pounds of silver becomes easy.

XX Book gp = 0.XX pounds of silver.
XX Book cp = 0.XX pounds of copper.
XX Book sp = X.X pounds of silver.
So, again, trying to put this in terms of what it would look like at the table, when the party of 4 finds a pound of silver coins in the dungeon and decides to split it evenly, what do they write on their character sheets? .25 lbs of silver? What does 10 days of rations cost? .05 lbs of silver?
 

Iron Sky

Procedurally Generated
Tin, historically, was much more valuable than copper...
Indeed, but teenagers I'm running a game for thought brighter/shinier = better for the coins I have so switched it.

Tin was the rare part of bronze that came from BFE... actually, not from Egypt as that was a central hub of Bronze-Age trade.

If we were playing without the coins I would have switched it. Just transitioned to Dark Sun so not a problem now. :)
 

I'd keep it as pounds.

The standard coin is 0.01 pounds. Imperials are 3x, so 0.03 pounds (which means silver/copper imperials are beefy; gold imperials are euro-sized). Pennies, which only exist for Silver and Copper, are half sized coins (so 0.005 pounds). (technically the standard gp is a penny)

Use of pennies and imperials and standard coins should only occur when you want the flavour in game. You shouldn't ask players to track them.

I might go with (by weight)
100 copper = 1 silver
10 silver = 1 gold
3 gold = 1 platinum

but nobody except the ancients coined platinum, so platinum imperials are actually 9 gold (pennies) = 1 platinum (imperial). As coins are secondary to weight, this isn't that annoying.

A fun bit is that the "pound" becomes a standard unit of currency, as in pounds of silver. 1 pound of silver is 10 gold pennies or 1 platinum imperial.

Converting prices to pounds of silver becomes easy.

XX Book gp = 0.XX pounds of silver.
XX Book cp = 0.XX pounds of copper.
XX Book sp = X.X pounds of silver.

How often does this kind of stuff really come up in game play for y'all? I rarely care about miscellaneous expenses - we just use the "cost of living" guidelines if that. Most of the time miscellaneous expenses like getting lunch and drinks are just hand waved because the extra bookkeeping just isn't worth it for me.

There's nothing wrong with counting literal pennies, but is it something you really use on a regular basis?
We are of two minds and torn betwixt the two. Fantasy struggles with Reality.

It's like that saffron or fish sauce in the cupboard. Its full of flavor and we love flavor, but it's impractical to put it on everything.

Maybe I'll just tell my Players that this part of the world uses farthings, and there are 25 farthings to a penny (and of course there are 12 pennies to a pound sterling, which is a silver piece). But, we're not going to change anything. Don't convert your coins, don't even track them, just, you know, use your imagination.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
How often does this kind of stuff really come up in game play for y'all? I rarely care about miscellaneous expenses - we just use the "cost of living" guidelines if that. Most of the time miscellaneous expenses like getting lunch and drinks are just hand waved because the extra bookkeeping just isn't worth it for me.

There's nothing wrong with counting literal pennies, but is it something you really use on a regular basis?
This is a valid point, and I can tell from experience that too complex a coinage system is just not worth the bother, it's just annoying to most players. I think that the warhammer system, which was somewhat historical (1 gp = 20 sp = 240 cp) was complex enough.

If you want more complex but not make life hard on your players, I strongly urge the use of a "currency of account".

 

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