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javcs

First Post
Why would you need to know such a thing?
In most cases, IME, the DM either doesn't particularly care about how you're carrying your money around, sort of like with spell component pouches, or if the DM does care (a) you're high enough level where you have magical storage or (b) you're low enough in level where it's figured there'll be room for it in your gear storage.

But, if you really need to know for some reason, 50gp = 1lb of gold, and http://crystalkeep.com/d20/rules/DnD3.5Index-Equipment.pdf has sthe storage capacities for backpacks, pouches, sacks, etc. in the last few pages.
IIRC backpacks have a storage capacity of 60lbs, pouches have 10lb capacity, sacks have 60lb capacity, and varying amounts of cubic foot capacity. Sacks and backpacks have pretty much identical statistics, from what I remember.
The ratios between coins and weight is in the trade goods section in the beginning of the equipment section of the PHB/SRD.

Where else that kind of information can be found, I don't know. Bags of Holding/Handy Haversacks list how much they can hold.
 

Zulgyan

First Post
It's important when PCs find lots of gold, have none or near none magic (low-magic campaign), and know they will never be able to come back to take the rest. The got to pick what they can, and flee.

Thanks a lot for the info!
 

Random Axe

Explorer
There was an article in the old TSR Dragon Magazine eons ago, and was reprinted in one of the Best of Dragon anthologies (vol 3 IIRC?), that was entitled How many coins in a coffer? It was a simple article that showed volume calculations and coin sizes and volume ratios down to a single coin. Granted, it was based on 1st-ed coinage descriptions, but I had no reason IMC to think any differently about the coin sizes in 3rd ed.

At any rate, the bottom line of the article stated that any given container would fit "about" 4 coins per cubic inch of space. For example, in a small chest measuring 12x6x8 inches, that is 576 cubic inches, which would hold in total about 2304 coins. It went on to compare other space values of other containers and extrapolate how many coins it would fit (ie. a backpack could be expected to hold a wizard's master spellbook, which might reasonably be of a size X by X by X, therefore a backpack's interior space would be Y cubic inches, which finally meant that one could stuff 4Y coins into that backpack.

But of course stuffing all that coinage into a single backpack would exceed the weight capacity of said backpack... Anyone who's seen the George Clooney/Mark Wahlberg movie Three Kings will know what happens when you stuff a load of GOLD beyond a bag's carrying ability... But in terms of your original question, how many physical coins fit into a physical space, that is the simplest calculation to reach the answer.
 

Funkthis

First Post
I've asked this question before and Random Axe's response is the best reply I ever got. Unfortunately for something that doesn't have a stated height, weight and depth you still are left scratching your head. I mean how big is a sack in D&D exactly?

When I asked the question it was because the party which was relatively low lvl (4-5th I think) did not have any magic appropriate to the situation (bag of holding etc.) and came across the BBEG's treasure room but had not yet defeated the BBEG. So they wanted to grab as much loot as they could carry and run. I knew how much weight they could carry. I knew how many sacks, backpacks, chests and improvised carrying devices they had. But I couldn't really figure out how many coins, gems and object d'art they could take.

When I asked the question here I got a few responses which didn't really answer the question so as a group we arbitrarily made up some reasonable amounts for each item to carry. Since the group was ok with the guesstimates the game moved on and nobody cried about it. Long story short I don't think there is any source out there which will give you much information on this.
 


starwed

First Post
Still, it would help to know, in rough order of magnitude terms, how much gold could fit in a sack. Sometimes the real answer would be way different that what someone might guess.
 

AuraSeer

Prismatic Programmer
For coins and such, I always limit by weight instead of by volume. Encumbrance limits are known, so the amount the party can carry is determined by how much they're willing to slow themselves down.

576 cubic inches of gold would weigh something like 400 pounds. Your standard backpack definitely will not carry that much. A treasure chest might, but you'll have to add the weight of the chest itself, and it will probably need two people to lug it around. They'll have to worry about how this affects marching order, and movement through difficult spaces, and all kinds of other issues.

I prefer to ignore all the volume calculations and logistical wankery. We assume everyone stuffs coins into their various packs, pouches, bags, and pockets until they reach their weight limit.
 

Kae'Yoss

First Post
All I know is that a portable hole can hold 282.743 cubic feet or 270,729 US Fluid Ounces or 8006.4 Liters of beer!
 

Random Axe

Explorer
AuraSeer said:
576 cubic inches of gold would weigh something like 400 pounds. Your standard backpack definitely will not carry that much. A treasure chest might, but you'll have to add the weight of the chest itself, and it will probably need two people to lug it around. They'll have to worry about how this affects marching order, and movement through difficult spaces, and all kinds of other issues.
AuraSeer, I get your point and I agree with you about encumbrance limits, but in point of fact, 576 cubic inches of gold, or 2300 gp, according to the 50gp per pound formula, is only 46 pounds, not 400.

As for how big is a "sack", I assume a "large sack" is equivalent to a pillowcase. A small sack will range from the size of your dice-bag, to a throw-pillow cover.
 
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nute

Explorer
This just reminds me how massive of an effect the institution of banking and letters of credit can have on a campaign. Even assuming all regions in a campaign accept the same coinage, what an absolute pain it must be to cart around these amounts of gold once you get to high levels.

Now the concept of investing in gems and converting cash to "denser" assets makes a lot of sense. 50gp = 1 pound, or one really neat gem that weighs a tenth of that. Sure, it's easier to lose and harder to convert (few merchants will make change for a diamond in most campaigns unless they're also running a jewelry shop) but for logistics alone it's useful.

I like how in Eberron, you have House Kundarak and House Sivis working together to establish a cross-continent banking system based on gold storage and unforgeable letters of credit. But in a campaign without banking, it's got to be a huge pain in the tuchus to cart around that 4,000gp for the local mage to make that masterwork sword of yours into an enchanted weapon.
 

AuraSeer

Prismatic Programmer
Random Axe said:
AuraSeer, I get your point and I agree with you about encumbrance limits, but in point of fact, 576 cubic inches of gold, or 2300 gp, according to the 50gp per pound formula, is only 46 pounds, not 400.
Going by these rules of thumb for D&D coins, you're right. I calculated based on the density of the metal, and assumed no empty space in the container.

A cubic inch of gold weighs about 11 ounces, or 0.69 pounds. Multiply by the size of that chest you mentioned: 576 x 0.69 = 400 pounds.

Your number seems way off to me, probably because it's still based on 1E coinage. A 3E coin is 1/50 of a pound, and in gold that would be about 0.03 cubic inches. No matter how haphazardly you stack them, you'd get far more than 4 per cubic inch. (I think this number makes the gp slightly larger than a US dime, and Google tells me that one can get 45 dimes per cubic inch.)

Of course I'm assuming the coins are pure gold. If you use a 9ct alloy they'll weigh a bit more than half as much per volume-- which is the same as saying you'll get half as many per cubic inch.
 

Kieperr

First Post
Containers and Carriers - Dry Goods
Item Cost Empty Weight Holds or Carries
Backpack [1] 2 gp 2 lb. 1 cubic ft./60 lb.
Barrel [2] 2 gp 30 lb. 10 cubic ft./650 lb.
Basket 4 sp 1 lb. 2 cubic ft./20 lb.
Bucket [3] 5 sp 2 lb. 1 cubic ft./65 lb.
Chest 2 gp 25 lb. 2 cubic ft./200 lb.
Pouch, belt 1 gp 1/2 lb. 1/5 cubic ft./10 lb.
Sack [1] 1 sp 1/2 lb. 1 cubic ft./60 lb.
Saddlebags 4 gp 8 lb. 5 cubic ft./250 lb.
Spell component pouch [1] 5 gp 1/4 lb. 1/8 cubic ft./2 lb.

Liquids
Item Cost Empty Weight Holds or Carries
Bottle, wine, glass 2 gp -- 1 1/2 pints/1.5 lb.
Flask 3 cp -- 1 pint/1 lb.
Jug, clay 3 cp 1 lb. 1 gallon/8 lb.
Mug/tankard, clay 2 cp -- 1 pint/1 lb.
Pitcher, clay 2 cp 1 lb. 1/2 gallon/4 lb.
Pot, iron 5 sp 2 lb. 1 gallon/8 lb.
Vial, ink or potion 1 gp -- 1 fluid ounce/--
Waterskin 1 gp -- 1/2 gallon/4 lb.

-- No weight worth mentioning
1. When made for Medium characters. Weighs one-quarter the normal amount when made for Small characters. Weighs twice the normal amount when made for Large characters. Containers carry one-quarter the normal amount when made for Small characters. Rations for small characters weigh one-quarter as much, but also contain only one-quarter of the food and cost one-quarter as much.
2. A barrel filled with liquid holds about 75 gallons or about 300 liters.
3. A bucket filled with liquid holds about 7 gallons or about 30 liters.

Hauling Vehicles
Item Cost Empty Weight Holds or Carries
Cart 15 gp 200 lb. 1/2 ton
Sled 20 gp 300 lb. 1 ton
Wagon 35 gp 400 lb. 2 tons

A packhorse can carry one eighth of a ton.
A horse-drawn cart or wagon can carry five-eighths of a ton on soft roads, and up to two tons on a good road.
A barge pulled by a horse can carry 30 tons on a river or 50 tons on a canal.


This came from somewhere on the web and was created by one of the game designers.

Edit: Put some spaces in there somewhere. I don't know how to do that yet.
 



mvincent

Explorer
This Rules of the Game article gives carrying capacities for common containers. You would likely use the max weight (and 50 coins per lb.) rather than max volume, as coins are pretty heavy, and most backpacks would break if fully loaded with gold.

Note:
this Rules of the Game article says that 280 cubic feet of space (i.e. a portable hole) holds about 100,000 standard coins or 2,100 gallons of water (implying 357 coins per cubic foot, which seems far too low).
 

AuraSeer

Prismatic Programmer
If my math is right and a gold piece is close to the size of a dime, then according to [url="http://home.att.net/~numericana/answer/trivia.htm#npg]this page[/url] we can fit about 10,000 to the gallon. That means it should take 21,000,000 (twenty one million!) gp to fill up a portable hole. Even with a lot of leeway for inefficient packing, that RotG article is off by more than a little bit.

Anyone care to check my work?
 



mvincent

Explorer
AuraSeer said:
that RotG article is off by more than a little bit.
Yeah. I seem to recall that being mentioned in an older thread. I only mentioned it here for completeness (i.e. it was the only WotC source that I found) but I did label it as incorrect. Thanks for the more correct estimates.

Note: I noticed a few (less major) calculation errors in the other article I mentioned also, but it still has useful information
 

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