domenica 14 novembre 2021

Streamlining bookkeeping for coins: Coin Bags

Do you hate bookkeeping as much as I do? Do you wish to not have to count every single coin? Do you use slot-based encumbrance and find it ridiculous that 100 coins take 1 slot while 101 coins take two?

We can take inspiration from Macchiato Monster's Coin Bags system, eliminating the usage dice.

Here's how it works: we use abstract quantities called "bags of coin". Each bag takes one slot. We have the classic denominations for coins: copper, silver, electrum, gold and platinum. Ten bags of copper make one of silver, 10 bags of silver make one bag of electrum and so on.

Items always cost 1 bag of coin, with a different denomination depending on how expensive the item is. See below for a conversione of the beautifully simple and comprehensive Item Costs list from Ben Milton's Knave, and a chart to help convert values from other rulesets or modules.


<2 gp = a bag of copper

2 gp-20 gp= a bag of silver

21 gp-299 gp = a bag of electrum

300 gp-4,999 gp = a bag of gold

5,000 gp-50,000 gp = a bag of platinum

1 pb = 10 gb = 100 eb = 1,000 sb = 10,000 cb


Knave has a simple comprehensive list that's easy to convert:

Tools&Gear: a bag of copper, except luxury items like Books, Hourglasses, Mirrors, Musical Instruments and Spyglasses (a bag of silver)

Light: a bag of copper

Shield, Helmet, Gambeson: a bag of copper
Brigandine, Chainmail: a bag of silver
Half-plate, Full Plate: a bag of electrum

Weapons: a bag of copper

Clothing: a bag of copper except Noble Clothing and Furs (a bag of electrum)

Food: a bag of copper

Animals: a bag of copper, except Donkeys, Hawks, Riding Horses, Oxen (a bag of silver) and War Horses (a bag of electrum)

Lodging: a bag of copper

High Quality Ships: a bag of silver per ton
Poor Quality Ships: a bag of copper per ton
Rafts: a bag of copper
Fishing boats: a bag of silver
Sloops or Caravels: a bag of electrum
Galleons: a bag of gold

Transport: a bag of  copper except Carriages (a bag of silver)

Henchmen: a bag of copper

Hovel: a bag of copper
Row House: a bag of silver
Craftsman’s House, Merchant’s House, House with Courtyard: a bag of electrum
Guildhall, Stone Tower, Temple, Stronghold: a bag of gold
Cathedral: a bag of platinum
Imperial Palace: a bag of platinum


I think this is definitely serviceable and usable in any slot-based encumbrance system and definitely plan to use it! Let me know in the comments if you tried!

5 commenti:

  1. I kind of have problem with prices in this system. Every weapon being thrown in tge Copper category seems counter intuitive as if there was no progress in getting better weapons.

    1. better weapons do more damage and take more slots in Knave... that's the tradeoff.

      If you'd rather take the prices from Old School Essentials, then javelins cost a bag of copper, crossbow, bows, holy water and silver daggers cost a bag of electrum while the rest costs a bag of silver, but as you can see most items get lumped together because there isn't much difference in price from one weapon to another in most systems, usually they're all meant to be obtainable at character creation.

  2. I've been thinking about something very similar recently!

    The thing I'm struggling with is what to do about change. Don't you expect to encounter the situation that a player has a bag of electrum but wants to buy something cheap? Do you let them get change; if so, has bookkeeping really decreased?

    One potential solution I'm considering is using hacked-up treasure rather than bags. Copper statuette, silver mirror, golden candelabra -- all money.

    1. I guess the simplest way to go about it is say that you can upgrade money but not downgrade it... if you have 10 electrum you can get 1 gold, but you can't turn 1 gold into 10 electrum. If you want to buy something worth copper but you only dispose of gold you better barter or buy the whole shop to get your money's worth, cause the shopkeeper is too poor to give you change


Come rendere "Survival" una skill del giocatore e non del personaggio. Alcune idee sconclusionate.

Principio: No Survival Skill checks. I personaggi/giocatori stessi imparano a riconoscere fauna/flora e a navigare nell'ambiente attrave...