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D&D 5E High Magic Economy Idea

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
I kept thinking and imagined what if all planets are in fact cosmic dragon eggs, The eggs incubate for 10 billion years until the dragon is born in a fiery explosion of new magic.

Earth quakes are caused each time the Baby dragon moves, and perhaps there are cults dedicated to keeping the dragon asleep and never hatching
A bit off topic, but this reminds me of a really bad (at least dumb) Doctor Who episode that I saw awhile back. It had basically the same concept, but with the moon.

Not saying it's a bad idea for D&D, though. I just thought it was dumb in the TV show.

Hmm. . .
Maybe the Crystal Spheres are actually the eggs? The Sun could be the "yolk" of the "egg".
 

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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
The Spanish Empire in 150 years took in 181 tons of gold. Translating that into DnD gold coins that is 18,100,000 gold coins. Giving that as a rough estimate of Mammon collecting gold from the multiverse, he's probably gathered over a single millenia 18.1 trillion gold coins. If a schmuck sells his soul for 1K gold, then that is 18 million schmucks. And, this is probably not how it gets back in the world, because his agents probably make sure to scoop that money back up when the schmuck dies. Maybe I could believe that Mammon is somehow spending enough of this gold to make that possible, but then he is using it to buy Yugoloths... and why do they care about gold? They can't use it to buy anything.
Remember, though, that extraplanar entities like Mammon would operate over an infinite (or at least immense) number of realities.* And there’s greedy schmucks in all of them.

And if there’s more than one planet in any given material plane…







* unless 5Ed got rid of other material planes, of course. (I don’t play 5th.)
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
@Chaosmancer

There is a tradition that metals are elemental manifestations.

• Water ≈ Silver
• Fire ≈ Copper/Bronze
• Air ≈ Gold
• Earth ≈ Iron/Steel

Each element has a mood.

• Water ≈ compassion
• Fire ≈ judgment
• Air ≈ balance
• Earth ≈ pragmatism



Maybe for D&D other metals can elaborate on this, such as Mithril is Ether, the fifth element.

Maybe Platinum is equivalent to Silver. And Adamantine is equivalent to Iron.
 

TheSword

Legend
I don’t want to undermine the premise of the thread. However, Mammon’s lust for gold is due to his nature as the embodiment of greed. The gold itself is immaterial beyond that it is the most tangible measure of wealth. The value of gold is based on its properties (bright, shiny, untarnishable, malleable) that’s why it’s been seen as a sign of status across so many different cultures. Mammon represents the accumulation of wealth and lives on an infinite plane. He collects it to have it, not because there is some practical or industrial use for it… that would undermine his concept as a creature of greed.

That aside, if you want to have gold be something more than just wealth, I would have it be the literal ‘root of all evil’. The matter of the nine hells condensed under immense pressure - like coal. A great event in the earliest days of the multiverse (Perhaps the fall of Asmodeus) spread it across the material plane and laced it in between all the other matter. It also explains why evil exists in the material plane.

Silver is the condensed matter of the upper planes - which is why it has an effect on devils and werewolves etc. The same event saw silver spread across the material plane.

Copper is the condensed matter of the transitional planes - where the planes meet, or embody neutrality making it the most plentiful, and least valuable. But best able to alloy with other metals to form zinc, bronze etc.

I would change upper planar creatures solar, devas etc to be hurt by gold weapons.

Dragons are able to derive pleasure or relaxation from this fundamental material. Perhaps it sustains their magical nature or breath weapons. You can have chromatic dragons favour gold and metallic dragons favour silver.

Mammon might be collecting gold because he is trying to accumulate enough to build his own realm/lower plane separate from the Nine Hells and out from under the thumb of Asmodeus. It just appears to makes him look like he’s greedy. He’s really interested in self preservation.

Yugoloths are aware of the nature of gold (as the original fiends, the first to crawl from the grey wastes of Hades) and they see it as their sacred duty to reclaim the stuff of the lower planes scattered across the multiverse. Gold is also an integral part of transforming a Yugoloth into an Altraloth. One of their greatest deceptions is that they want gold to hoard rather than for its true reason. Mammon has uncovered the secrets of the Yugoloth, possibly by striking a bargain with one of them.

(This is inspired in part by Minecraft, where the Nether - their equivalent of hell - if is filled with gold seams, and gold collecting creatures)
 
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Chaosmancer

Legend
Campaign setting, but no, it did not give a reason. I simply expect it was greed = power, as a method of explaining why dragons collected treasure hoards. It did mention that the hoard needed to contain a minimum number of magical objects though.

<Edit:> Went back and reread the hoard section, and I was wrong there are some details - the dragon has to sleep on the hoard to grow in size, and when it shifts from one age category to another, it sheds its old scales, which transform into precious metals or gems (ex., gold dragon scales become gold, red dragon scales become rubies, etc.), with a value of 1,000 gp x old Age category. A mystical bond also forms between the dragon and hoard, so that if anything is taken from the hoard, the dragon knows exactly where it is.

Oh, I hadn't considered it as the scales. That's a really cool idea.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
You forget something.

Faith.

Money is imbued with faith. Mortals value it, they crave it. (well, some of them do, at least). Greed is a powerful motivator, is it not?

Why does an immortal god care about... anything? Mining? Fire? Death? War? The harvest? Yet, they do. Mammon cares a lot about money. Of course he wants MORE.


Money being imbued with literal faith is a cool idea. Greed is a motivator, but greed is a strange motivator too.

Money is inherently worthless. No one (generally) wants money simply for the sake of money. Money if a medium of exchange, you want money because it allows you to get something else, which is why I find things like using money to hire Yugoloths to be so weird. Because they don't have anything to spend it on. Money isn't valuable (generally) in the outer planes.

I get that there can be a mythical element to wanting money for the sake of money, an obsession that is warping, but I've always found it a bit myopic in way. And it has always struck me that such beings come across as not understanding money, which is weird for beings that are supposed to embody the ideas of money to a degree.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Remember, though, that extraplanar entities like Mammon would operate over an infinite (or at least immense) number of realities.* And there’s greedy schmucks in all of them.

And if there’s more than one planet in any given material plane…







* unless 5Ed got rid of other material planes, of course. (I don’t play 5th.)

I get that, but that is also part of the problem. If he is operating over a near infinite number of realities, extracting gold from all of them... he has nearly infinite gold. At that point in time.... what's the point of getting more? Logically, he can't be buying nearly infinite souls, because he is only one Archdevil, and there are nine others getting souls too, so he would have far more gold than he would ever need to buy souls.

And for gold to be an end unto itself, I feel like it needs to be more than a medium of value exchange.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
@Chaosmancer

There is a tradition that metals are elemental manifestations.

• Water ≈ Silver
• Fire ≈ Copper/Bronze
• Air ≈ Gold
• Earth ≈ Iron/Steel

Each element has a mood.

• Water ≈ compassion
• Fire ≈ judgment
• Air ≈ balance
• Earth ≈ pragmatism



Maybe for D&D other metals can elaborate on this, such as Mithril is Ether, the fifth element.

Maybe Platinum is equivalent to Silver. And Adamantine is equivalent to Iron.

Huh, I had never heard that before. Kind of a neat idea.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
I don’t want to undermine the premise of the thread. However, Mammon’s lust for gold is due to his nature as the embodiment of greed. The gold itself is immaterial beyond that it is the most tangible measure of wealth. The value of gold is based on its properties (bright, shiny, untarnishable, malleable) that’s why it’s been seen as a sign of status across so many different cultures. Mammon represents the accumulation of wealth and lives on an infinite plane. He collects it to have it, not because there is some practical or industrial use for it… that would undermine his concept as a creature of greed.

That aside, if you want to have gold be something more than just wealth, I would have it be the literal ‘root of all evil’. The matter of the nine hells condensed under immense pressure - like coal. A great event in the earliest days of the multiverse (Perhaps the fall of Asmodeus) spread it across the material plane and laced it in between all the other matter. It also explains why evil exists in the material plane.

Silver is the condensed matter of the upper planes - which is why it has an effect on devils and werewolves etc. The same event saw silver spread across the material plane.

Copper is the condensed matter of the transitional planes - where the planes meet, or embody neutrality making it the most plentiful, and least valuable. But best able to alloy with other metals to form zinc, bronze etc.

I would change upper planar creatures solar, devas etc to be hurt by gold weapons.

Dragons are able to derive pleasure or relaxation from this fundamental material. Perhaps it sustains their magical nature or breath weapons. You can have chromatic dragons favour gold and metallic dragons favour silver.

Mammon might be collecting gold because he is trying to accumulate enough to build his own realm/lower plane separate from the Nine Hells and out from under the thumb of Asmodeus. It just makes him look like he’s greedy.

Yugoloths are aware of the nature of gold (as the original fiends, the first to crawl from the grey wastes of Hades) and they see it as their sacred duty to reclaim the stuff of the lower planes scattered across the multiverse. Gold is also an integral part of transforming a Yugoloth into an Altraloth. One of their greatest deceptions is that they want gold to hoard rather than for its true reason. Mammon has uncovered the secrets of the Yugoloth, possibly by striking a bargain with one of them.

(This is inspired in part by Minecraft, where the Nether - their equivalent of hell - if is filled with gold seams, and gold collecting creatures)

I'm not sure I like gold as the root of all evil, but the rest of this is really cool. I like this concept of groups gathering gold to remake something lost.

To tie this more into dragons, what if the event that scattered gold and silver across the multiverse was the formation of Bahamut and Tiamat out of IO? I've redone the dragon "pantheon" to incorporate that the dragons really don't care about the gods, and made Tiamat and Bahamut almost literally representative. Massive clashing forces of opposing energies, in a similar vein to Yin and Yang. Their fighting could have torn into something primordial, scattering gold and silver amongst the worlds, perhaps even mixed with their blood, which gave rise to dragons.

This could then play into that Council of Wyrms idea, where the living dragons grow and their scales when lost "naturally" in their horde become precious metals and gems.

I think this has a lot of cool ideas in it.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Huh... expanding this out even further.

Mortal souls can become devils, by making a contract and being transformed in the process. One of the names of Mammon I've been using is "the Glittering Serpent"... And is there any reason a Dragon's soul can't become a devil? What if instead of being a human or something, Mammon was once a dragon. A dragon who made a deal with Asmodeus, and became an Archdevil.
 

TheSword

Legend
Huh... expanding this out even further.

Mortal souls can become devils, by making a contract and being transformed in the process. One of the names of Mammon I've been using is "the Glittering Serpent"... And is there any reason a Dragon's soul can't become a devil? What if instead of being a human or something, Mammon was once a dragon. A dragon who made a deal with Asmodeus, and became an Archdevil.
There is strong suggestion that Asmodeus is serpentine too. See the legend of Jazirian. If you play in a world where Tiamat is lord of the 1st layer - they could all be transformed dragons. Or maybe Tiamat is the lord of hell and Bahamut the lord of heaven.
 

Stormonu

Legend
Money being imbued with literal faith is a cool idea. Greed is a motivator, but greed is a strange motivator too.

Money is inherently worthless. No one (generally) wants money simply for the sake of money. Money if a medium of exchange, you want money because it allows you to get something else, which is why I find things like using money to hire Yugoloths to be so weird. Because they don't have anything to spend it on. Money isn't valuable (generally) in the outer planes.

I get that there can be a mythical element to wanting money for the sake of money, an obsession that is warping, but I've always found it a bit myopic in way. And it has always struck me that such beings come across as not understanding money, which is weird for beings that are supposed to embody the ideas of money to a degree.
Creatures like Yugoloths and Devils* want money in payment because of what sort of acts it requires the one doing the paying to do. How does one come up with 10,000 gp when the average day’s wages is 1 gp? Probably not by honest work…. When a fiend counts money, it isn’t counting coins - it’s counting sins.

Then, they can turn around and give it other mortals and encourage them to squander it on something petty or immoral. All to increase the chances they can get their grubby hands on the mortal’s soul somewhere down the line.

Dragons? They just sit of the stuff and get bigger. That money isn’t going anywhere to corrupt mortals and that just ticks the Yugoloths and Devils off to no end**.

*Demons want money because it means >you< don’t have it anymore. Har har har!
**And it makes the demons mad too, because they don’t have the pleasure of watching the tears of those who they take it away from.
 
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Chaosmancer

Legend
There is strong suggestion that Asmodeus is serpentine too. See the legend of Jazirian. If you play in a world where Tiamat is lord of the 1st layer - they could all be transformed dragons. Or maybe Tiamat is the lord of hell and Bahamut the lord of heaven.

Nah, I took Tiamat out of Hell. Made Zariel an uber-Angel and the First of the Fallen, who Asmodeus turned towards his cause. Changed a lot about how Avernus works and made Zariel super scary. Like "send your army first" scary.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Creatures like Yugoloths and Devils* want money in payment because of what sort of acts it requires the one doing the paying to do. How does one come up with 10,000 gp when the average day’s wages is 1 gp? Probably not by honest work…. When a fiend counts money, it isn’t counting coins - it’s counting sins.

Then, they can turn around and give it other mortals and encourage them to squander it on something petty or immoral. All to increase the chances they can get their grubby hands on the mortal’s soul somewhere down the line.

Dragons? They just sit of the stuff and get bigger. That money isn’t going anywhere to corrupt mortals and that just ticks the Yugoloths and Devils off to no end**.

*Demons want money because it means >you< don’t have it anymore. Har har har!
**And it makes the demons mad too, because they don’t have the pleasure of watching the tears of those who they take it away from.
I guess I could see it in more the "what does the act of getting the money mean" for the fiends, but still seems really convoluted for the Yugoloths to get hired by devils with gold. Sure, the devils did something to cause suffering to get that gold, but... they were doing that anyways. They are devils.

Still, that is a nice take in making it a subtle type of evil
 


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