Money in D&D Next

Thoughts on the proposed monetary system in D&D Next?   Basically the same as started D&D 1st edition....

My concern is on Electrum...

Although it is nice to have an additional money type, it poses a problem because it is a different base than the other money types.

All the money types are a multiple of 10 for converting between the different types of coin (as related to Gold);  Electrum breaks this convention and is a multiple of 2 (as related to Gold).

This difference gets confusing and frustrating for DM's and players in dealing it;  in my experience the end result is that Electrum is ignored altogether - this was true in each D&D edition I have played and is true in the D&D Next playtest

Solution:  Make Electrum a multiple of 10 conversion like the other coin types or get rid of it altogether.......
My players have ignored the money in dndnext since they felt there weren't any items worth buying.

I honestly have always hated that first level characters end up with gold- gold and silver are supposed to be precious, but my players walked out of their first cave with a lot of gold and electrum...

I'd like to see tiered money systems- copper, semiprecious stones to bronze being the lowest tier;  silver, precious stones to electrum as a middle tier; gold, residum to astral diamonds as an upper tier; and people don't even conceptulaize money above that
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I heard once that gold:silver has historically trended toward a 20:1 ratio.  Whether or not it's actually true, it's stuck in my head.

As such, I prefer the rather intuitive:

100 copper = 1 silver
20 silver = 1 gold

I think of it as 100 (copper) cents to the (silver) dollar, and 20 (silver) dollars to the historical American (gold) Double Eagle.  (It works for me, which is mostly what I design for.)

The fun part is that useful currency just comes in dollars (silver) and cents (copper).  Gold is a medium of carrying silver more efficiently.  Coincidentally, this also make an electrum piece equal to ten silver, or half the value of gold.

The metagame is not the game.

My concern is on Electrum...

Solution:  Make Electrum a multiple of 10 conversion like the other coin types or get rid of it altogether.......

Lol i posted too soon. Yea I like the metric feel of everything being a multiple of 100.

I like the idea of varied stuff too- but it just feels stupid when the players are finding bags of 250+ coins of various types.

I'd rather them just say a sachel of (type x and y) coins (A3) and when they get back to town you check how much is there in a single value system probably in terms of Copper.

It'd be nice to read money as (for 10 gold, 30 silver, 18 copper) as 10g30s18c where they're all multiples of 100.  if its thousands it even more closely follows our own number system as this becomes 10,030,018 CP

but look how huge the numbers are getting!  Trim the numbers to 1=10 and its still getting up there...

Really (a note from the 2nd ed DMG) money should be flavorful - hacksilver, jade artifacts, etc

and i'd rather them act as plot devices then the bread and butter rewards-  having lots of money just makes things too gamey imho. 
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I think all coins should be 100 to 1 for the next value up.  Otherwise, there is less need for them

Like I think an interesting campaign setting would only use sp and pp.

But ultimately, most gamers just want one currency, gp.

We ignore copper as a coin. Copper is used to make pots and pans. 

I would like to see coinage used:

Silver
Electrum (we view it as a mix of silver and gold)
Gold 
Platinum
Mithril

Gems are used in place of large denominations of coin if agreed upon between buyer and seller. 

 
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />Solution:  Make Electrum a multiple of 10 conversion like the other coin types or get rid of it altogether.......


Can't you just ignore it?

My execution of money would make the main types 100s of each other. And then electrum sits in between gold and silver as a 10.

100 copper = 1 silver
100 silver = 1 gold
100 gold = 1 platinum

10 silver = 1 electrum
10 electrum = 1 gold

I would also, however, make the vast majority of low-level transactions done in copper or occasionally silver for expensive items. I don't think a first level character should ever have any gold.

Nothing.

That is all.

Money in D&D? I have one thing to say: humanity will not be crucified on a cross of gold!

Gold is for the mistress, silver for the maid

Copper for the craftsman, cunning at his trade.

"Good!" said the Baron, sitting in his hall,

"But Iron -- Cold Iron -- is master of them all." -Kipling

 

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Eh, electrum's just a cute throwback that some people seem to be enthusiastic about and which makes a minimal difference to everyone else. If there's people who are made happy by little throw-ins like that, I'm fine with them. I can't imagine actually choosing a game system based on something like that, but enthusiasm is enthusiasm. If they're hoping to "unite the editions" solely by plastering on largely meaningless shoutouts then I don't think that's a solid plan, but they don't really hurt anything.
Dwarves invented beer so they could toast to their axes. Dwarves invented axes to kill people and take their beer. Swanmay Syndrome: Despite the percentages given in the Monster Manual, in reality 100% of groups of swans contain a Swanmay, because otherwise the DM would not have put any swans in the game.
"In addition to the common coins, other unusual metals sometimes come to surface in transactions. The electrum piece (ep) and the platinum piece (pp) originate from fallen empires and lost kingdoms and arouse suspicion and skepticism when used in transactions. An electrum piece is worth five silver pieces..."

Given that EP and PP are supposed to be rare and arouse suspicion and skepticism (per the playtest packet) I don't really see why there's much of an issue surrounding them in the game.

And the reason it's got a weird cost value outside of the 1x, 10x, 100x is because the metal electrum is a mix between silver and gold ... thus it's a little more valuable than silver, but not quite as valuable as gold.

They're not part of the standard currency CP, SP, GP system so much as they are an interesting plot device and as such they can be used as you see fit, and I don't see the need to change the standard currency configuration (1x, 10x, 100x) to include them.
What's the matter, you dissentious rogues, That rubbing the poor itch of your opinion Make yourselves scabs?
Electum and platinum are optional.  Ignore them at your pleasure.

Whether currency progresses at a decimal or centesimal pace depends entirely on the math of the game.  The exponential math of 4e dictated a centesimal progression.  Next is supposed to require flatter math, so a decimal progression makes more sense.
The biggest problem with the money system is based of the real life context that somehow gold is rare and uber expensive.   


In the DnD universe,  gold is not rare...  end of story.   Its everywhere, and everyone has it.  Thats just how it is.... its hard to wrap your head around cause to our real world mentality we are raised that gold is rare and expensive.


In DnD its simply pretty,  and the use it for money and in place of barter not because of its rarity... but because everyone agrees to use gold.   Its basically thier version of paper money.....    
I think all coins should be 100 to 1 for the next value up.  Otherwise, there is less need for them

Like I think an interesting campaign setting would only use sp and pp.

But ultimately, most gamers just want one currency, gp.




True.  Which is why we should just use one currency - gold.  I mean, no one has defined the weight or size standard of a gold coin, so it could be small, like a penny or dime.  It could be thin too.  It just seems like currency is really only used to do a few things in most campaigns:

1.  Buy beer, wine, and food from a tavern
2.  Get a room for the night
3.  Buy potions or adventuring gear
4.  Buy magical items
5.  Hire NPC's or bribe guards
6.  Sacrifice (melt down) to create or open something unique

I mean, do we really need 5 standards to currency to accomplish this?
In my gaming universe gold is very hard to come by. I like the Krynn system where steel pieces are a form of currency. I use the silver standard with steel taking the place of copper as the lowest value coins. 

Actual electrum coins are something nearly unheard of. Most societies smelt the gold out since it's so rare. Platinum is nearly unheard of. 

For really large transactions I use base value gems. 
The biggest problem with the money system is based of the real life context that somehow gold is rare and uber expensive.   


In the DnD universe,  gold is not rare...  end of story.   Its everywhere, and everyone has it.  Thats just how it is.... its hard to wrap your head around cause to our real world mentality we are raised that gold is rare and expensive.


In DnD its simply pretty,  and the use it for money and in place of barter not because of its rarity... but because everyone agrees to use gold.   Its basically thier version of paper money.....    


Yea and I don't like that- gold is basically a dollar bill in dnd.  which makes it --cheap.

A treasure hunter would't care about a case of gold- thats like what 200 bucks? and the incredible volume of gp, ep etc in the caves was offputting to me.  Money means nothing when everyone has an inexhaustable supply of it. 
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A treasure hunter would't care about a case of gold- thats like what 200 bucks? 



Depends on how much money he has before he finds that two hundred bucks, doesn't it?  I got five bucks in my wallet right now ... if I found two hundred bucks, I'd be ecstatic.
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A treasure hunter would't care about a case of gold- thats like what 200 bucks? 



Depends on how much money he has before he finds that two hundred bucks, doesn't it?  I got five bucks in my wallet right now ... if I found two hundred bucks, I'd be ecstatic.


Shoulda been at the grocery store 2 weeks ago, my friend dropped a crisp hundred dollar bill.  I guess he figured the other people needed it more than he.  He never did find it.

"Lightning...it flashes bright, then fades away.  It can't protect, it can only destroy."



A treasure hunter would't care about a case of gold- thats like what 200 bucks? 



Depends on how much money he has before he finds that two hundred bucks, doesn't it?  I got five bucks in my wallet right now ... if I found two hundred bucks, I'd be ecstatic.


True, but in the context of the playtest he'll find a few dozen of those in a few caves.  its either possible that:
A) thats really not that much money in which case why risk death a number of times for it
B) thats a huge amount of money and you could live the good life by level 3.

I understand that theres more to adventuring than that, it just seems akward with the huge amount of money you get in the caves and having nothing great to spend it on.
Please collect and update the DND Next Community Wiki Page with your ideas and suggestions!
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its either possible that:
A) thats really not that much money in which case why risk death a number of times for it
B) thats a huge amount of money and you could live the good life by level 3.

I understand that theres more to adventuring than that, it just seems akward with the huge amount of money you get in the caves and having nothing great to spend it on.

From what I recall reading in the old books, there was a design decision about how much money the players should generally wind up with.  They decided that it might as well be large amounts, since it feels more fun to win a lot of money than just a little money.  

Also, keep in mind that this was back in the days before even Final Fantasy 1 - the idea of heroic adventurers finding huge piles of wealth, even when that wealth wasn't the specific goal of the quest, pretty much started with old D&D.  As they figured, it's not like you can just buy any cool magical loot with that wealth; you have the option of setting up a keep, or tower, or hiring legions of followers, but past a certain point the piles of gold just become a plot device.

The metagame is not the game.

Interesting reading about medieval prices and economics if anyone wants to try to work out an "authentic" feel for currency.


www.luminarium.org/medlit/medprice.htm



www.newsfrombree.co.uk/m_econ.htm
The problem with huge amounts of wealth inside a place like Caves of Chaos is this:

Logically we could conclude that the goblins and orcs are all wealthy.  If that's the case, then why wouldn't they be hiring swaths of poor humans and elves to come clean their caves, fight for them, import better weapons, etc.  I realize they're not smart, but after all, many of them will be playable races.  So they've gotta have a little intelligence.

So if the players find huge amounts of wealth in a tomb, I'm fine with it.  A dragon hoarding it.  Fine.  But, please let it make some sense.  Not here's a group of Deurgar, and they have 10,000 gold.  Cause if that 10,000 gold could buy an army, then they'd have done that already.
Thoughts on the proposed monetary system in D&D Next?   Basically the same as started D&D 1st edition....

My concern is on Electrum...

Although it is nice to have an additional money type, it poses a problem because it is a different base than the other money types.

All the money types are a multiple of 10 for converting between the different types of coin (as related to Gold);  Electrum breaks this convention and is a multiple of 2 (as related to Gold).

This difference gets confusing and frustrating for DM's and players in dealing it;  in my experience the end result is that Electrum is ignored altogether - this was true in each D&D edition I have played and is true in the D&D Next playtest

Solution:  Make Electrum a multiple of 10 conversion like the other coin types or get rid of it altogether.......



We used electrum in 1e/2e and will use it in 5e if we end up playing it.  I really don't see what's so difficult about remembering 2 electrum equal 1 gold.  It's not hard.  The math is not hard.  We will not ignore it.
The problem with huge amounts of wealth inside a place like Caves of Chaos is this:

Logically we could conclude that the goblins and orcs are all wealthy.  If that's the case, then why wouldn't they be hiring swaths of poor humans and elves to come clean their caves, fight for them, import better weapons, etc.  I realize they're not smart, but after all, many of them will be playable races.  So they've gotta have a little intelligence.

So if the players find huge amounts of wealth in a tomb, I'm fine with it.  A dragon hoarding it.  Fine.  But, please let it make some sense.  Not here's a group of Deurgar, and they have 10,000 gold.  Cause if that 10,000 gold could buy an army, then they'd have done that already.



Most humans, even evil ones, will not be dealing with orcs and goblins no matter what.  Wealthy orcs and goblins showing up to hire humans and elves are just painting targets on themselves and wearing "Kill me and loot my body" signs. 
Ignoring for a moment the dubious supposition that evil humans will be too ethical to work with humanoids, what about other humanoids? If a tribe of hobgoblins has a pile of money, what's to stop them from hiring every goblin, gnoll, orc, troll, ogre, hill giant, and kobold in the area and forming it into an army? And outfitting it with the best in orc and goblin weapons and armor, also purchased with their pile of loot? Instead, evil humanoids are depicted like monsters, accumulating large amounts of money for decoration. If they have no use for it, other than it being pretty (and few of these races is generally depicted as caring overly much about how nice stuff looks) , why are they risking their lives raiding to get it? Why don't they just take the food and goods and leave the useless shiny metal pieces that make crappy weapons?
Ignoring for a moment the dubious supposition that evil humans will be too ethical to work with humanoids, what about other humanoids?



To follow up that point, right in the playtest it says: "The ogre has grown wealthy serving as a mercenary for various factions in the caves, usually the goblins."

The big thing to take away is that how much wealth the baddies has is entirely up to the person running the game. If you think gold should be uncommon for all but the wealthiest citizens of large cities, make it so. Just be sure that your party's equipment costs scale appropriately for what you think they should be able to do (and with what equipment / goods) and what you make available to them.
What's the matter, you dissentious rogues, That rubbing the poor itch of your opinion Make yourselves scabs?
I heard once that gold:silver has historically trended toward a 20:1 ratio.  Whether or not it's actually true, it's stuck in my head.

As such, I prefer the rather intuitive:

100 copper = 1 silver
20 silver = 1 gold

I think of it as 100 (copper) cents to the (silver) dollar, and 20 (silver) dollars to the historical American (gold) Double Eagle.  (It works for me, which is mostly what I design for.)


That sounds sensible to me. It also has a pleasingly organic feel, without being as arbitrarily un-decimal as the old British currency. I'm sure everyone has seen this before, but I am (just) old enough to remember using 1- and 2-shilling pieces after decimalisation, so here goes:

4 farthings = 1 penny (1d)
12 pennies = 1 shilling (1s)
20 shillings = 1 pound (£1)
21 shilling = 1 guinea

That's just over a thousand farthings in a guinea.

And there were intermediate denominations of different sizes at different times; a threepenny bit (3d), a groat (4d), a sixpence (6d), two bob (2s), half a crown (30d), a crown (5s, and colloquially known as a dollar), and so on. I think that apart from a brief period in the middle ages when pennies were silver, the tiny sixpence was the smallest silver coin.

A good coinage system would be highly generic, but capable of being adapted to represent more complex systems like this.

And I still maintain there needs to be a clear statement of economics - how much does a labourer earn in a day, and how much does a tavern room for the night cost? If those two values don't make sense next to each other (and I've seen settings where they didn't), that's a problem.

For what it's worth, I propose:

1 penny = 1cp as the basic unit for buying meals, cheap supplies, and so on.
20 cp = 1 shilling = 1sp as the basic unit for hiring staff and troops, and buying clothes.
20 sp = 1 sovereign = 1gp as the basic unit for buying weapons and armour, hiring experts, and doing commercial business.

And trades in land, titles, relics and other hefty deals should be done either with gems or other payment in kind, or by a banker's note. (Not a modern-style banknote, but a personal affidavit from the buyer's banker that the buyer really is good for the sum required.)

I've said it before, but it bears repeating: the sums for which Richard the Lionheart was ransomed, and for which St Louis purchased the Crown of Thorns from the Eastern Emperor, were so far beyond the dreams of even powerful knights, it can hardly be explained. These sums were the revenues of entire nations. This is the kind of thing Tolkien had in mind when he made the Arkenstone of Thrain such a valuable thing in The Hobbit: the fates of armies and nations could turn on such a relic.

In short, it's entirely possible for a non-magical item to be as valuable as a large domain or powerful artefact. Epic-level treasure doesn't have to be a magical A-bomb. If we keep the economy rational, PCs can still be rewarded with material goods up to about 20th level, if not further.

Z.

Ignoring for a moment the dubious supposition that evil humans will be too ethical to work with humanoids, what about other humanoids?



I might work with people in a country I don't like, but if a tribe of bloodthirsty cannibals came up to me with some money, I wouldn't follow them back to the Amazon for some "work." ;)

 
If a tribe of hobgoblins has a pile of money, what's to stop them from hiring every goblin, gnoll, orc, troll, ogre, hill giant, and kobold in the area and forming it into an army?



Money is pretty much worthless for them.  They don't have the same kind of economies that the civilized races have.  Of course, since that's true, why do they bother to keep coins in the first place?  Maybe they just haven't gotten around to melting it for jewelry yet.



Ignoring for a moment the dubious supposition that evil humans will be too ethical to work with humanoids, what about other humanoids?



To follow up that point, right in the playtest it says: "The ogre has grown wealthy serving as a mercenary for various factions in the caves, usually the goblins."

The big thing to take away is that how much wealth the baddies has is entirely up to the person running the game. If you think gold should be uncommon for all but the wealthiest citizens of large cities, make it so. Just be sure that your party's equipment costs scale appropriately for what you think they should be able to do (and with what equipment / goods) and what you make available to them.



Isn't that what designing a game is for?  That's why equipment lists and costs in various campaign setttings vary.  I don't mean to sound like a lazy DM, but it shouldn't be my job to parcel through all the gold players find and make sure it matches appropriate monetary values of a Forgotten Realms setting.  This is why I buy the settings, the modules, and the books that go with it.  If I'm to use their products they should be the one's aligning currency.

And Maxperson, in 4e (if that's the standard right now?) money is not worthless to them.  Especially since in most campaign settings right now, its very homogenized with factions and races all living side by side. 

In conclusion, all I'm asking for is consistency and common sense to apply to a player's accumulation of wealth.


And Maxperson, in 4e (if that's the standard right now?) money is not worthless to them.  Especially since in most campaign settings right now, its very homogenized with factions and races all living side by side.  




There's a reason I don't use 4e settings.  Human eating orcs and humans don't all live side by side singing hyms and having Easter Egg hunts together.

In conclusion, all I'm asking for is consistency and common sense to apply to a player's accumulation of wealth.



There is nothing inconsistent or lacking common sense about 2 electrum equaling a gold.  It will very consistently be 2 electum equaling 1 gold.  You don't need 10/10/10/10 in order to be consistent or in order to make sense.


     
 
Isn't that what designing a game is for?  That's why equipment lists and costs in various campaign setttings vary.  I don't mean to sound like a lazy DM, but it shouldn't be my job to parcel through all the gold players find and make sure it matches appropriate monetary values of a Forgotten Realms setting.  This is why I buy the settings, the modules, and the books that go with it.  If I'm to use their products they should be the one's aligning currency.



Ehhh... partially. I'll agree that if you're running a specific campaign setting such as Forgotten Realms, then yes the cost of equipment and goods should be scaled already by the producers of that setting to fit that specific setting. In general, I think this is actually the case. Or at least have no reason to believe it's not the case, but I haven't looked at every published setting to know.

But the base material, assuming that it is not a specific campaign and just a generic starting point, is based on a generic metric style (10-base) model. That current system has prices that are scaled to fit it already and monster treasure values that are scaled appropriately (this may be where you differ in your opinion).

All I was saying is that if you deviate from that because you're constructing your own setting, such as one where monsters don't have as much gold, you just need to be aware of that in your cost scaling because you have now deviated. You can still choose to not include as much gold for some monsters without changing prices - that's entirely up to you and your players.

And to your original point about certain monsters not having vast amounts of gold coins - keep in mind that their wealth values that are listed don't necessarily have to reflect ONLY coins. If an adventure you're running says there are deurgar that have 10,000 GP that could mean that have 10,000 GP of gems that they mined; or some kind of mithril idol to a dwarven god that they stole. You don't always have to follow that wealth information to the letter.
What's the matter, you dissentious rogues, That rubbing the poor itch of your opinion Make yourselves scabs?
Pretty much. I generally basically always assume (both 4e and Pathfinder) that treasure that PCs find is a random mix of gems, coins of all kinds of denominations and mints from different cultures and nations, assorted portable trade goods, art objects, decorative arms and armor, valuable and portable raw materials (like rare herbs or alchemical ingredients), curios, and so on. Most of the time the individual stuff isn't described except in details that help establish what the treasure's former owner was like, and the business of currency exchange and getting valuable (but mostly irrelevant to adventuring) stuff like art objects changed into legal tender is nearly always assumed to just sort of happen offscreen. The notion that GP are ACTUALLY individual pieces of gold rather than just the units that wealth is measured in seems kind of quaint to me at this point.
Dwarves invented beer so they could toast to their axes. Dwarves invented axes to kill people and take their beer. Swanmay Syndrome: Despite the percentages given in the Monster Manual, in reality 100% of groups of swans contain a Swanmay, because otherwise the DM would not have put any swans in the game.
Electrum and platinum pieces don't bother me; they actually sound like a cool thing the people living far away and from a different culture might use.  My how these monsters (and the loot they steal from each other) travels.

If you want something more flavorful than a sack of GP to give your players, the old thread "Art Objects ... Pimp Your BBEG's Lair" over in "What's a DM to Do" has a lot of ideas.  (Have a bank branch available nearby in case the PCs need to buy equipment more than they need to collect the Art.  As mentioned above, this should be handled off-screen.)

One thing to consider as you set up your world: the gold supply doesn't actually suffer from inflation - because people make more stuff to buy about as fast as gold is mined from the ground - but you can set up the same effect if the PCs come home from a dragon's lair with just as many GP as the whole kingdom had beforehand.  You can move 1 GP from a $10 bill to a $1 bill if they bring home enough.

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Wealthy orcs and goblins showing up to hire humans and elves are just painting targets on themselves and wearing "Kill me and loot my body" signs. 


Isn't every monster in the game already wearing one of those signs?

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

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If you want something more flavorful than a sack of GP to give your players, the old thread "Art Objects ... Pimp Your BBEG's Lair" over in "What's a DM to Do" has a lot of ideas.


You could go that route, but I've found a very simple way to flavor money.  Take each coin type, and give it a name and a description.  Heck, you can even invent your own "in-between'ers" if you want to round out the currency even more.  It's amazing the difference you see between saying the players find X sp and X dinars.

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

You really shouldn't speak for others.  You can't hear what someone else is saying when you try to put your words in their mouth.

 

Fencing & Swashbuckling as Armor.

D20 Modern Toon PC Race.

Mecha Pilot's Skill Challenge Emporium.

 

Save the breasts.

I really don't give a damn about money so long as the game doesn't tie it into combat power and doesn't demand that I give players a certian amount each level.  I feel that this really really hurts my ability to run the game I want.  What if I want the party to be dirt poor and tough as nails sellswords going from one crappy job to another and not really getting a big break? Or what if I want players to start off as talented, wealthy, young nobles trying to cut out a slice of the wilderness as their own?  Both of those games should be easy to run in a D&D game but both run into problems if cash is tied directly to power.

Cash should be at the most a measure of plot power and not even in a specific amounts kind of way.  Just a blurb in the books that adventurers will get cash and will want to spend it effecting their world.  Things like earning lands and positions of power, paying bribes, hiring henchmen, Good Living and the completion of character goals should be what money is for.


And Maxperson, in 4e (if that's the standard right now?) money is not worthless to them.  Especially since in most campaign settings right now, its very homogenized with factions and races all living side by side.  




There's a reason I don't use 4e settings.  Human eating orcs and humans don't all live side by side singing hyms and having Easter Egg hunts together.

In conclusion, all I'm asking for is consistency and common sense to apply to a player's accumulation of wealth.



There is nothing inconsistent or lacking common sense about 2 electrum equaling a gold.  It will very consistently be 2 electum equaling 1 gold.  You don't need 10/10/10/10 in order to be consistent or in order to make sense.


     
 



Hmm...

I apologize if you're misreading me, but I never mentioned anything about electrum or any other coin equivalencies.  They can make it however they want.  I suggested that if players simply like dealing with gold (and there are few things players actually do with money), then why not just make a single coin standard. 

As for gems, artwork, curios, etc.  I use those in my campaign all the time.  I just DM'ed a playtest where that scroll of fireball in CoC was woven into a very expensive rug.  This forced the players to either want the scroll or the gold they could have gotten from a trader. 

But, back to logic, races understand gems are worth money.  They understand art is worth money (most).  And when that is true, there are going to be people of that race that want the "standard" currency associated with that art, gem, curios's worth.  That leads us back to square one.  If many of the races interact in the world, then value is often understood, and therefore, there will be people who trade in those items.   (unless of course they're slaves.  But not all wealth can be associated with this.)
"In addition to the common coins, other unusual metals sometimes come to surface in transactions. The electrum piece (ep) and the platinum piece (pp) originate from fallen empires and lost kingdoms and arouse suspicion and skepticism when used in transactions. An electrum piece is worth five silver pieces..."

Given that EP and PP are supposed to be rare and arouse suspicion and skepticism (per the playtest packet) I don't really see why there's much of an issue surrounding them in the game.

And the reason it's got a weird cost value outside of the 1x, 10x, 100x is because the metal electrum is a mix between silver and gold ... thus it's a little more valuable than silver, but not quite as valuable as gold.

They're not part of the standard currency CP, SP, GP system so much as they are an interesting plot device and as such they can be used as you see fit, and I don't see the need to change the standard currency configuration (1x, 10x, 100x) to include them.



Actually, i have exhausted the playtest cave of chaos and continuing with a campaign named "Electrum".
I cant refuse a good hook when i see one :D
DM: Products of MY Imagination ©. Since 1986.


Hmm...

I apologize if you're misreading me, but I never mentioned anything about electrum or any other coin equivalencies.  They can make it however they want.  I suggested that if players simply like dealing with gold (and there are few things players actually do with money), then why not just make a single coin standard.



So are you saying that everything is listed in gold and there are no other denominations of coins?  Trying to understand you better    

As for gems, artwork, curios, etc.  I use those in my campaign all the time.  I just DM'ed a playtest where that scroll of fireball in CoC was woven into a very expensive rug.  This forced the players to either want the scroll or the gold they could have gotten from a trader.



That's really cool.  Hope you don't mind if I steal that idea sometime.   

But, back to logic, races understand gems are worth money.  They understand art is worth money (most).  And when that is true, there are going to be people of that race that want the "standard" currency associated with that art, gem, curios's worth.  That leads us back to square one.  If many of the races interact in the world, then value is often understood, and therefore, there will be people who trade in those items.   (unless of course they're slaves.  But not all wealth can be associated with this.)



Gold has always been the standard in every edition.  Much as the dollar is the standard in the U.S.  However, not everything is going to be expensive enough to require gold, so cheaper denominations like silver, coppyer and electrum will be used, and some things are so expensive that you aren't going to want to carry around tons of gold, so platinum will be used. 
If you don't want to deal with the specifics, it's perfectly fine to say that you have 300 Gold worth of silver coins and 50 Gold worth of copper coins.  Just keep in mind that they might be kind of heavy.

That's my 0.02 Gold (or 0.0002 Gold, depending).

The metagame is not the game.

The problem with huge amounts of wealth inside a place like Caves of Chaos is this:

Logically we could conclude that the goblins and orcs are all wealthy.  If that's the case, then why wouldn't they be hiring swaths of poor humans and elves to come clean their caves, fight for them, import better weapons, etc.  I realize they're not smart, but after all, many of them will be playable races.  So they've gotta have a little intelligence.

So if the players find huge amounts of wealth in a tomb, I'm fine with it.  A dragon hoarding it.  Fine.  But, please let it make some sense.  Not here's a group of Deurgar, and they have 10,000 gold.  Cause if that 10,000 gold could buy an army, then they'd have done that already.


   A partial solution, at least for the more solitary monsters, is courtship displays.  A dragon who has a big hoard obviously is quite superior, and just the one the female dragon wants fathering her children.  The fact the hoard is made up of gold, platinum, +5 halfling armor he can't wear, whatever is unimportant.  The fact somebody wants it and can't take it away from him is.
    We have used this as part of D&D lore at times in the past.