Tenkar's Tavern is supported by various affiliate programs, including Amazon, RPGNow and Humble Bundle. Your patronage is appreciated and helps keep the lights on and the taps flowing - Your Humble Bartender, Tenkar


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

There's Gold in Them There Pan! Gold! (Thoughts on the Gold Standard)

My Little Nugget
I'm about 15 months from retirement if I choose to go that route and I'm dabbling with gold panning using concentrates. First 3# bag has done me well so far and more to go. I'll be ready for the spring time in the Poconos and gold the size of a speck of flour ;)

The whole process has gotten me thinking about gold in the default style fantasy setting (and even the non-default.)

I understand why there are 10 gold coins to the pound - as unrealistic as it is, it makes treasure recovery an adventure in itself. The thing is, we never really played it that way, at least not in my gaming groups from the early 80's to the mid 90's. If you weren't handwaving encumbrance, everyone had Bags of Holding and the like.

Myself, I'm leaning towards a silver standard in my next campaign, will 100 coins per pound. Sure, it makes the challenge of removing 10,000 GP from the dungeon a bit easier, but when even 10,000 coppers now has value I think it a change for the better.

Shit, I'm happy to just find color in the pan when I'm bent over the kitchen sink ;)


  1. I prefer the silver standard in my game. Just works better for what I like to do.

  2. I have long thought the gold standard was 'better' but I think that is just simplicity speaking. And I always hand wave encumbrance though I have been looking at Matt Rundle's Anti-Hammerspace Item Tracker as a way to combat that and still have a simple system.

    1. I actually used the Anti-Hammerspace Item Tracker (The Rappan Arthur cleaned up version) and modified it slightly to add more slots and give players some reward for having high strength. http://anarchydice.blogspot.com/2014/08/house-rules.html

      I've found the inventory system to make for engaging play too. I once had a player go unconscious in a serious fight and when the rest of the party ran away, he was carried on the barbarian's shoulder. As the barbarian rummaged through his pockets while running, looking for a healing potion to feed the unconscious player, he fumbled and lost a random item from his pockets. Of all his items, the barbarian lost the party's key to their recently aquired tavern.

  3. Last thing I knew was that NWN2 had inspired me to replace the entire +1 to 99 weapon concept with the weapons one could craft. by that the "recipes and formulae" become more important, and more unique. High-HD monsters simply get damage resistance to other weapons, and vulnerability to the specific weapons they dread. Like Werewolf gets Allergy_Silver, Allergy_Poodle_CoiffeurScissors... And so on! ;-)

    GOLD is often symbolic, that is what psychology and occultism had in common once too often. Further richness alone is rarely the goal. Even rogues, who can rightfully go for the monetary usually have "fun" or "survival" as a second priority. And not all of us are burnout or noob enough to just moderate that figure on that Dungeon Floorplan. Some still try real roleplay.

    Lemme remind you of:

  4. I think the problem, if there is a problem, is that in the standard system copper and silver are so worthless. I chose a silver standard to fix this. But you could just as easily have a "gold standard" and just cut prices and experience point requirements by a factor of 10 or 20.

    1. Another option would be to mess with the relative values and/or weights of the coins themselves

  5. I prefer a silver standard, but the other problem is that so few games take "historic" values for items into account. I know for a fantasy game, you have to hand wave a lot, but it would be nice if someone really took a hard look at what could be bought for shillings, dinars or what have you and try to create a pseudo-historic pricing system.

    As a simple example, farm animals are often too cheap in D&D price lists. A milk cow actually represents a fair amount of wealth. I think a typical long sword would be more expensive as well, but it seems D&D-esque games would prefer to make it easy/cheap to outfit adventurers.

    I also think that most fantasy games fail to in considering that medieval persons didn't have wealth in coins, but instead owned land, farm animals, and other non-monetary wealth.

    I know ACKS attempts to go into heavy detail around the economy, but I haven't had the opportunity to dig in yet.