It's funny, in the campaigns I have run, GPs are a rarity outside of the hands of nobles. My worlds function on a base of silver and copper and adventurers coming into town with a dragon's horde often find themselve at the mercy of enterprising and profiteering villagers quick to take advantage of the high spirits and hero's glow of the party.
I've often toyed with the idea of a silver standard, but have yet to try it out.
@Al: I've wembled towards and away from a silver standard since AD&D days. There's a little part of me - doubtless influenced by pirate movies and the like - that thinks even a single chest of gold should be enough on which to retire and sail into the sunset.
I have a copy of the "Harry Potter: Diagon Alley Boardgame" which includes these nifty coins.I often think about getting a bunch of coins to use during a D&D game to keep track of currency. :)
I ran a campaign once on the silver standard. Anything in the books with a price in Gold was in Silver instead, book prices in Silver were in Copper, and book prices in Copper were in tiny copper Pennies instead. Actual gold was worth 50 SP which is closer to the relative values of the metals in reality. Characters had 3d6 x 10 SP starting funds. So no change in game balance, just in what coins they used. It helps to consider a non-coin baseline, a Coil of Rope (1 GP standard) for talking about values. Mainly, I felt like we were dealing with chump change, hardly anything heroic. Sure it made more sense, but it also made it so treasure wasn't as glamorous and exciting. Previously a solid silver statue worth 500 Coils of Rope would now have to be a little statuette worth 500 Coils of Rope. And forget an ornamental golden dagger: at 2 pounds it would be equivalent to 20 gold coins, which was 1000 Coils of Rope, just for metal weight.It did help solve some of the problem of needing a higher-value coin than the standard (effectively we had what would have been a 50 CoR coin and a 500 CoR platinum coin). But we needed to add another small coin at the bottom to take care of small purchases. You could do something like breakable copper coins, but you end up with a pocket full of "tiny copper coins" after a while anyway. So in the end it made the treasure seem lame and we had to add small change. And it confused people a little. It was a nice experiment but I wouldn't do it again.
I like the out-of-shape coin with the lion and goat (?) head on. What period is that?My bro-in-law ran a campaign once where metal was really rare, almost non-existent. Weapons were stone, bone and obsidian (that broke frequently). I recall he replaced currency with jade and ceramic pieces (can't remember what else). Gold pieces are great but seem so burdensome. Give me a nice fat diamond any day.
Dungeonmum --It's Lydian (6th century), and it's actually a bull.
In the setting I ran, I never changed the prices, but you seldom saw people paying for items in gold pieces. I converted the GP listings to SP. This made items that normally cost one or two GP seem really costly from the regular joe's POV.
I have over twenty gold pieces (Krugerrands)sitting in my house and another 70 or so in safety deposit boxes . . .(they laughed at me in 2001 when I told people I was buying gold) What I never understood from a game point of view is how little purchasing power a gold coin that weighed 1/10th a poundpossessed . . . .
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