Saturday, October 17, 2009

A variant Coinage system

My games are heavily influenced by harn. One aspect of Harn I adopted was the coinage system. The reason for this is that it gave gold back it's place of pride. The finding of a cache of gold coins returned to be a momentous event.

The trick is that everything is silver based. The average coin a NPC or player sees is the silver penny struck at 256 pennies per pound of silver. For convenience we will just say that 250d (d for denarius or a roman silver penny) equal 1 pound for encumberance

Gold coins are typically struck in Crowns weighing in at 1 oz or 16 per pound of gold. 320 silver pennies equal a gold crown. 16 pennies per 1 oz of metal times 20 the historical ratio of the value of gold to silver.

Lesser used coins are gold pennies which weigh the same as a silver penny and are valued at 20d to one gold penny.

More common are silver marks which are silver bars with a mint or maker's mark worth 240d. They weigh nearly 1 lb.

There are farthings which are worth 1/4 penny each. If found in coin form they are a copper however most of the time they are really quarter bit of a penny. Most pennies are minted with lines to allow them to be easily broken up into farthings.


Anonymous said...

For the same reason (finding a pile of gold coin should be epic!) I also use a silver based economy in my campaign. Mostly I stick to 'D&D decimal' for the core of the system for ease of play. Though I do like writing up the currancy systems for the various nations.

Sean said...

I do like the sound of this system of coinage; it has atmosphere and verisimilitude. But I have to ask - does it causes any confusion in play?

Norman J. Harman Jr. said...

I really dig coinage systems I go for historical sounding rather than historical accurate.

Arduin has an enormous table of coin names/shapes/values for dozens of cultures.

An idea I recently picked up was to not use "coins" at all. Instead base everything on weight, talents of silver. Bits of silver some of them maybe even pressed into coin shapes but still only worth their weight. Good for a more proto/ancient/chaotic culture or setting.

Robert Conley said...

No there are basically two coins silver pennies and gold crowns. The rest are rarely used. So there is little confusion. If I used the rest more heavily then yeah I can see players getting a bit mixed up.

Of the remaining coinage Silver Marks appear more and most in hoards and treasure vaults rather than circulation.