View Full Version : Alternative way to track money (d20/D&D)

2014-06-15, 07:04 AM
In my campaign money isn't really important. Magic items are not for sale, and technology for very expensive weapons and armor don't exist. Once characters are 3rd level, there is nothing left to buy but potions. They will drown in gold and there is no sense in counting silver and copper coins anymore. Anything paid with these doesn't even make a dent in their vaults.

However, I like the idea of charcters buying big estates and employing servants and mercenaries. But keeping track of accounting for furniture, cutlery, wages, and food really doesn't belong into a game of daring heroes, and nobody wants to deal with it.

Some games have a flat wealth attribute and you can just get anything you want that lies in your wealth range. Also doesn't work well for daring adventurers, because there should also be the possibility of losing everything and players can easily get in situtions where hiring 1000 elite mercenaries would come really handy.

So I just had an idea tht could be a good middle way:
Each characters wealth is in one of four categories.
In the Platinum Class, a character has at least 100 pp (1,000 gp) worth of cash and does not have to pay for anything cheape than 1 pp (10 gp). If he buys something cheaper, it doesn't make any dent in his wealth, but he also doesn't get any richer from anything worth less than 1 pp.
In the Gold Class, a character has at least 100 gp worth of cash and does not have to pay for anything worth less than 1 gp.
In the Silver Class, a character has at least 100 sp worth of cah (10 gp) and does not have to pay for anything less than 1 sp.
In the Copper Class, a character has less than 100 sp worth of cash and must pay from his purse for everything.

This can of course be easily exploited, so the GM needs to judge at what point something is multiple individual purchases or one bulk purchase. Being able to buy a shield for free doesn't mean you can get 100 shields for free. And you also can't get free polearms for your 30 guards by buying a different type of polearm for everyone. It's a batch of 100 shields and a batch of 30 weapons. It's up to the GM to determine these kinds of things, but I think having the counter reset once per month would be okay. If you buy a pig every month to roast in your hall, it could stay below your wealth limit, even though buying 12 for a whole year would be too much. It's assumed that PCs make enough new wealth in a month to cover for such minor expenses.

What do you think? Anything you would improve?

2014-06-15, 07:14 AM
Even without expensive technology, you mentioned things like armies and estates, so I guess you need something above the level of platinum.

This is just a general idea, but what if, in addition to static wealth, PCs could have sources of abstract income? A profession with some skill points is income 1. A shop or farm is income 2. Taxes from a village is income 3, etc. For that income, you can permanently hire X retainers.

2014-06-15, 07:37 AM
The standard income would still be loot from defeated enemies and raided dungeons. At some point characters who go into stronghold building or establishing domains would probably want to look into generating a regular income through running some sort of business (even if it's just ranting out farmland under their protection to commoners), but that would be an additional, different system.
ACKS has something like that, and I think they created an SRD just a few weeks ago. Might be something to look into.

My idea right now is just to have some clear rule when to say "just write it down in your inventory, the price is negible so don't bother with recalculating your coins". I've been doing that until now but I was unhappy with not having some guide when something that isn't better armor or a potion should be taken into account.
I don't want to lose the idea of characters having lost all their stuff and trying to get what they can before making new riches or having returned back to their home.

So far, my PCs had only so much coins that they kept it all in their purse and not having to worry about encumbrance r getting robbed. But I think the system also works when you split your wealth into purse and vault:
A character has a vault of 500 pp at his home and when he goes on an adventure, he decides to take 50 pp with him in his purse. While he is normally Platinum Class, he is only Gold Class while on the road and paying in cash. He could order an item for 8 gp to be delivered to his home and the craftsmen would get his payment from the vault, not affecting the characters wealth at all. Or the character will send a servant with the coins later.
But if the merchant requires cash right now, the character must pay from his purse, which gets a bit lighter in the process, because it's only a Gold Class purse and the item costs more than 9 silvers.