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Thread: [3.5] Gold.

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    Default [3.5] Gold.

    What is this? Assorted bits of optional 3.5-laced fluff about gold.

    The origin of gold:
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    Before time, there was a battle. This battle raged between entities whose definition has no meaning, since most concepts as we know them did not exist at that point.
    But the battle ended, and one of the entities was destroyed. We do not know the name of this entity. If this information still exists, it is buried in the deepest and darkest racial memories of the aboleths, or remembered only by the Elder Evils. Possibly, this entity was an Elder Evil itself. We may never know. Those who might know are not inclined to speak of it.
    Regardless of the entity's name, its end marked a beginning. From its decomposing body the planes formed, from its dying thoughts the concepts of Law, Chaos, Good, and Evil, from the power of its soul magic, and from the blood of its heart... gold was formed. (Knowledge: History DC 35)

    The immutability of gold:
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    All gold came into existence at Creation. Since then, no gold has been created, and none has been destroyed - either act would be philosophically impossible (Knowledge: Arcana DC 10). Gold can, however, change forms. The physical form of gold can be melted, disintegrated, or even drained to form magical items, but this does not destroy its essence. It merely transforms it to a different medium. (Knowledge: Arcana DC 15)

    The best known alternate forms of gold are the three alchemical metals: Copper, silver, and platinum. Platinum is a concentrated form of gold, usually formed by alchemically infusing lead with more gold essence than what the metal can usually support. Copper and silver are diluted versions. (Knowledge: Arcana DC 15)
    Another form is the one of gems. Gems are nothing but the essence of gold, purified and crystallized. Different kinds of gems represent different combinations of impurities present during the crystallization process - diamonds being the most pure form of all. (Knowledge: Arcana DC 15)
    All three of the alchemical metals, as well as gems, can be found in nature (Knowledge: Geography DC 0), the ambient magic of the multiverse having transformed gold from its basic form over the millenniums. (Knowledge: Arcana DC 20)

    Gold and magic:
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    Throughout time, arcanists have discovered many spells that require the consumption of gold as part of their casting process. This is not surprising, as most arcane spells require one or more material components, but more those spells that require gold outnumber those that require any other base element. (Knowledge: Arcana DC 15)

    Gold's role in spellcasting is interesting, but not as important as the one it plays in the artifice of magic items. It is possible to cast many spells without involving gold. But it is entirely impossible to craft permanent magic items without gold. From the meanest scroll to the mightiest artifact - every magic item in existence has been constructed by investing an item with a combination of gold essence and a part of a spellcaster's soul. This is the reason for mortal races' continuous and unending demand for gold. The world runs on magic items, and every single magic item runs on gold. (Knowledge: Arcana DC 15)

    The golden cycle:
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    The first law of alchemy states that the essence of gold can neither be created nor destroyed (Knowledge: Arcana DC 10). This may not be intuitive, as any peasant can think of ways to destroy an item as basic as a golden coin. The truth of the law is dependent on the word essence. While the physical medium of gold can indeed be destroyed, its essence remains contained within the multiverse. (Knowledge: Arcana DC 15)
    Physical attacks against gold merely transform it to another physical form. For example, a golden piece fully vaporized by the hottest dragon's breath would simply mingle with the air until it cools to the point where it can become solid again. It might be difficult to find again, but the physical gold would still exist. (Knowledge: Arcana DC 15)
    More interesting is what happens whenever diamonds turn to dust during the casting of a resurrection spell, or gold turns to lead when a magic item is crafted. This depletes the medium, draining it of all gold essence. The gold essence then remains bound within the spell or magic item until the spell runs its course or the item is destroyed, at which point the gold essence returns to the multiverse in nonphysical form. (Knowledge: Arcana DC 20)
    This nonphysical form of gold is what the powerful Wish spell taps when it appears to "create" gold or magic items - it merely collects the gold already existent in the multiverse and presents it in a physical medium. (Knowledge: Arcana DC 25) In addition, major arcanists agree that this nonphysical gold slowly re-accumulates within the earth, producing new gold veins which can then be mined again, starting the cycle over. (Knowledge: Arcana DC 30)

    Skills, feats, and the economy
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    Skills:
    Most monarchies maintain a currency of gold. This usually takes the form of round, stamped pieces of metal (gold or its alchemical equivalents), the stamp serving as a guarantee that within the metal is sealed a certain amount of gold essence. (Knowledge: Local DC 10)
    In such realms, minting is exclusively performed by representatives of the rulers. The penalties for unauthorized minting are severe, and the penalties for production of counterfeit coins (coins with less gold essence than the official equivalents) more severe still. Creating counterfeit coin requires a Forgery check, and follows the same rules as those for counterfeit documents.
    Minters are paid professionals. Unlike some craftsmen, which create items from raw materials and make a living by selling the product, those with ranks in Craft (Minting) create a product with value equal to that of their base material (unless counterfeiting is involved), and receive a salary from their superiors. To determine a minter's salary, use the Craft skill as if it were a Profession skill. (Knowledge: Local DC 5)

    Gemcutting is generally legal for anyone to perform, nations rarely using gems as their official currency. However, gemcutting is much like minting - it does not create valuables from base materials. Correctly cutting a gem reduces the gem's volume, but retains the amount of gold essence it stores, meaning that a cut gem does not have a higher market value than an uncut one. Despite the gem itself not becoming more inherently valuable, wealthy members of most cultures consider cut gems beautiful enough to maintain the gemcutting profession. To determine a gemcutter's profit from his trade, use the Craft (Gemcutting) skill as if it were a Profession skill. (Knowledge: Local DC 10)

    Feats:
    Feats such as Extraordinary Artisan (Eberron Campaign Setting) may at a glance appear to violate the first law of alchemy (see above). This is not accurate. The ability to craft items at a "reduced cost" represents the ability to not rely solely on physical access to gold essence when crafting, instead drawing some of the item's gold requirements from the multiverse's repository of nonphysical gold essence (Knowledge: Arcana DC 25). Indeed, this ability is the cornerstone of most magical artisans' ability to make a profit from their trade. (Knowledge: Local DC 15)

    Transmuting gold: (New spells)
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    Investing gold essence into an item is a difficult process, requiring specialized knowledge and long hours of work. The reverse, however, could hardly be more simple. Most non-specialized spellcasters can master the magic required to return golden essence to a more natural receptacle. Transforming gold from one form to another is similarly easy (Knowledge: Arcana DC 15). This magic works as follows:

    Alchemy
    Transmutation
    Level: Artificer 1, Cleric 1, Sor/Wiz 1
    Components: V, S, M
    Casting time: 1 minute
    Range: Touch
    Target: One unattended magic item; see text
    Duration: Instantaneous
    Saving Throw: None
    Spell Resistance: No

    This spell releases the essence of gold contained within a single magic item into a piece of base metal, creating a lump of gold weighing the same as the amount of gold spent on imbuing the magic item with its properties in the first place (note that this is not always the same as half the market cost of the magic item - the price of some magic items includes the price of a mundane item). This drains the magic item of all magical properties as fully as if Disjunction had been cast on it.
    If cast on an artifact, a relic, an intelligent item, an item familiar, or other item of similar significance, the spell fails.

    Material component: A piece of lead (or other similar metal, such as iron).

    Transmute Gold and Gems
    Transmutation
    Level: Artificer 1, Cleric 1, Sor/Wiz 1
    Components: V, S
    Casting time: 1 minute
    Range: Touch
    Target: One or more gold pieces OR one or more gems
    Duration: Instantaneous
    Saving Throw: None
    Spell Resistance: No

    This spell transforms the touched gold pieces into a gem whose value equals the combined value of the gold pieces, or it transforms the touched gems into a lump of gold whose value equals the combined value of the gems.
    To create cut gems or stamped coins, an appropriate craft check must be made as part of casting the spell. This does not affect the value of the transmuted material.

    Alchemical Metal Transmutation
    Transmutation
    Level: Artificer 1, Cleric 1, Sor/Wiz 1
    Components: V, S
    Casting time: 1 minute
    Range: Touch
    Target: One or more pieces of copper, silver, gold or platinum (all pieces must be of the same type)
    Duration: Instantaneous
    Saving Throw: None
    Spell Resistance: No

    This spell transforms the touched pieces of metal into an equivalent value of one of the other metals (copper, silver, gold, or platinum).
    To create stamped coins, a Craft (Minting) check must be made as part of casting the spell. This does not affect the value of the transmuted material.
    Last edited by Ernir; 2012-04-08 at 07:48 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Gold.

    The fluff is take it or leave it. It seems like an attempt to discourage infinite wealth loops, but then it introduces multiversial potential wealth to allow arbitrary wealth generation until the DM says the cosmos is tapped out.

    TG&G/AMT are a bit of a pain for any spellcaster without access to cantrips/orisons (it's kind of weird giving 0 level spells to someone without access to 0 level slots), but mostly serve to give another option for turning one form of fungible wealth into another.

    Alchemy, though, is just bad. Not only does it allow you to destroy an enemy's swag with a simple touch attack (changing the target to one unattended item quickly patches that), but it allows for perfectly efficient item exchanges. I get the appeal. But if item X can be exchanged at 100% efficiency and then the money used to buy item Y, that helps T1-ify everyone too much. (The point of T1 is always being able to have the right solution for any problem. Perfectly efficient item exchanges allow you to quickly have just the right item for whatever situation with zero waste/disincentive.)

    You also have the question of why item X can be made for (N/2) gold, but still breaks down into N gold. Changing it to only give out half the price of the item should keep the economy intact. The remainder of the item's selling price being an overhead for people who would rather pay a gold premium than invest their own life force into an item.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Gold.

    Quote Originally Posted by Reluctance View Post
    The fluff is take it or leave it.
    Yup, yes it is.
    Quote Originally Posted by Reluctance View Post
    It seems like an attempt to discourage infinite wealth loops, but then it introduces multiversial potential wealth to allow arbitrary wealth generation until the DM says the cosmos is tapped out.
    No, I did not intend to fix anything. At best, I wanted not to create new loops.

    The way to tap the multiversial wealth is to cast Wish, which already puts more wealth into the hands of the players. All this (is supposed to be) is an explanation of where that wealth comes from. Do you think I am creating new loops?
    Quote Originally Posted by Reluctance View Post
    TG&G/AMT are a bit of a pain for any spellcaster without access to cantrips/orisons (it's kind of weird giving 0 level spells to someone without access to 0 level slots), but mostly serve to give another option for turning one form of fungible wealth into another.
    Hmm, good point about the casters without 0-level spells. Teaches me not to make generalizations about the 3.5 spellcasting system. Will fix.

    Quote Originally Posted by Reluctance View Post
    Alchemy, though, is just bad. Not only does it allow you to destroy an enemy's swag with a simple touch attack (changing the target to one unattended item quickly patches that), but it allows for perfectly efficient item exchanges. I get the appeal. But if item X can be exchanged at 100% efficiency and then the money used to buy item Y, that helps T1-ify everyone too much. (The point of T1 is always being able to have the right solution for any problem. Perfectly efficient item exchanges allow you to quickly have just the right item for whatever situation with zero waste/disincentive.)

    You also have the question of why item X can be made for (N/2) gold, but still breaks down into N gold. Changing it to only give out half the price of the item should keep the economy intact. The remainder of the item's selling price being an overhead for people who would rather pay a gold premium than invest their own life force into an item.
    Uh, two things.
    1) Alchemy has a 1-minute casting time. If you can convince someone to sit still while you melt the magic out of their gear, I think you could just as well have run off with the stuff...
    2) It does give "the amount of gold spent on imbuing the magic item with its properties in the first place", not the whole sell value. How did you read it?

    Does that solve some of the concerns?
    Last edited by Ernir; 2012-04-07 at 09:39 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Gold.

    I'm kind of worried about the fact carting a dragons hoard out of the cave is a 0-level spell. boom, 1,000,000 lb in gold becomes 1 0lb diamond... I would just have currency be in gems, you can carry as much gold as you want, as apposed to the weight problem for commoners... heck change is easy, just carry around 1 gem as their wallet, and have the creditor extract x gold from it.

    great magic trap idea. take 1 massively expensive gem, place it on a modified TG&G spell trap(modify the spell to convert gem to copper pieces)... boom, one tide of crushing metal.

    The fluff seems nice, explains why their is still diamond dust for resurrections, and why gold isn't a non-renewable resource like in "sorcerers wheel".
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    Default Re: [3.5] Gold.

    Quote Originally Posted by bobthe6th View Post
    I'm kind of worried about the fact carting a dragons hoard out of the cave is a 0-level spell. boom, 1,000,000 lb in gold becomes 1 0lb diamond... I would just have currency be in gems, you can carry as much gold as you want, as apposed to the weight problem for commoners... heck change is easy, just carry around 1 gem as their wallet, and have the creditor extract x gold from it.
    Hmm, it is a bit too easy, isn't it?

    Even raising the spell level to just 1 might mean not every 1st-level Sorcerer has it. And low-level Wizards would not walk around with it prepared as a matter of course. Although the high level ones probably would, but I think that's OK.

    This could probably use a sanity cap as well. Around 1000GP/CL transmutable?

    As for 1-gem wallets, I think that might be just the thing that would happen in a setting high magic enough to support magic ATMs at every other corner.
    Quote Originally Posted by bobthe6th View Post
    The fluff seems nice, explains why their is still diamond dust for resurrections, and why gold isn't a non-renewable resource like in "sorcerers wheel".
    Thanks. \o/
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    Default Re: [3.5] Gold.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ernir View Post
    As for 1-gem wallets, I think that might be just the thing that would happen in a setting high magic enough to support magic ATMs at every other corner. /
    Make it so


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    Default Re: [3.5] Gold.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ernir View Post
    Uh, two things.
    1) Alchemy has a 1-minute casting time. If you can convince someone to sit still while you melt the magic out of their gear, I think you could just as well have run off with the stuff...
    Craft two or three wands of Alchemy (silenced if possible). Sneak up on a sleeping party. Steal all their stuff (including the armor they're wearing and the fortifying bedroll they're lying in). Laugh. (Note: this takes as many rounds as the items you're stealing, not including move actions to reposition to a new victim.)
    Quote Originally Posted by Water_Bear View Post
    That's RAW for you; 100% Rules-Legal, 110% silly.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Gold.

    Alternative ending: take the stuff, sneak away, go to a fence, sell the stuff, profit.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Gold.

    Quote Originally Posted by tuggyne View Post
    Craft two or three wands of Alchemy (silenced if possible). Sneak up on a sleeping party. Steal all their stuff (including the armor they're wearing and the fortifying bedroll they're lying in). Laugh. (Note: this takes as many rounds as the items you're stealing, not including move actions to reposition to a new victim.)
    This doesn't work either. Activating a spell trigger item requires the same amount of time as casting the spell that the item stores, so you'd still be poking them with a wand for a minute. Just stealing the stuff is still quicker.

    There are ways to shorten the casting time (like Alacritous Cogitation), but I don't remember one that is easy/re-usable enough for me to worry about it very much.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Gold.

    this would allow a cool addition to the artificer: the gold pool. they just apsorb gold essence straight into themselves then expend it for crafting.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Gold.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ernir View Post
    This doesn't work either. Activating a spell trigger item requires the same amount of time as casting the spell that the item stores, so you'd still be poking them with a wand for a minute. Just stealing the stuff is still quicker.
    I think I've heard this rule but I can't remember where it's from, which is why I ignored it . RC? SpC?
    Quote Originally Posted by Water_Bear View Post
    That's RAW for you; 100% Rules-Legal, 110% silly.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Gold.

    Quote Originally Posted by tuggyne View Post
    I think I've heard this rule but I can't remember where it's from, which is why I ignored it . RC? SpC?
    Rules Compendium, page 85.
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