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Old 11-19-2022, 12:33 PM   #1
beaushinkle
 
Join Date: Jan 2022
Default D&D -> DFRPG: Gold to $

In dripton's castle whiterock conversion, they used 1 gp = $1. I'm pretty sure this went on to influence Charles Saeger's gold conversions here. The aim of this post is to analyze that conversion.

That same castle whiterock conversion notes that each level of D&D character growth feels about like getting 25 points in DFRPG, and a level 1 D&D (3.5) character feels about as strong as a 125 point DFRPG character. This means that a 250 point starting DFRPG character is roughly equivalent to a level 6 3.5e character.

Here's the wealth table from the 3.5e DMG:

Code:
| Level | Wealth   | Level | Wealth  |
| ----- | -------- | ----- | ------- |
| 1     | starting | 11    | 66,000  |
| 2     | 900      | 12    | 88,000  |
| 3     | 2,700    | 13    | 110,000 |
| 4     | 5,400    | 14    | 150,000 |
| 5     | 9,000    | 15    | 200,000 |
| 6     | 13,000   | 16    | 260,000 |
| 7     | 19,000   | 17    | 340,000 |
| 8     | 27,000   | 18    | 440,000 |
| 9     | 36,000   | 19    | 580,000 |
| 10    | 49,000   | 20    | 760,000 |
If we use a 1g -> 1$ conversion and play through an adventure, a character that adventures from 125 points up to 250 points will be 13x times wealthier than a character that gets created at 250 points, or 1.6x as wealthy as a character who spends 20 points in the Wealthy advantage, and 5 quirk points in extra starting money for the maximum starting wealth of $8k.

Additionally, we can see that an adventure suitable for 250 point characters (6th level) would generate $6k in wealth for each character. Not loot - wealth; meaning either coinage, stuff they'll actually use, or stuff they can sell at a discount to get to $6k. For instance, say there's 4 party members. That means that over the next 25 character points, we would expect to award $24k worth of character wealth. Say that 1/3 of this is coins ($8k in coins: 5g 225s 1500c), $8k in usable equipment, and $20k more in sellable goods (luxuries, art, gems, etc). That way when they sell the $20k at 40%, they get $8k. They split everything 4 ways and each character gets $6k in wealth.

What is the Buying Power of $6k?
This one is pretty simple: it'll buy you +1 Accuracy on your weapon and +1 Fortify on your armor if you're a martial. It's 37 scrolls of 8 HP Universal Uncharged Major Healing. For a magic user, it brings a $1000, 8 FP power item to 20 FP. It buys a horse, wagon, and 10 weeks of a 125-pt hireling to guard it.

How does this stack up to Published Adventures?
  • I Smell a Rat has ~$5,800 worth of loot after liquidating
  • Mirror of the Fire Demon is hard to do the accounting for. None of the wandering monsters or NPCs have treasure included or any guidance for how much wealth they ought to have. The Hidden Fortress has treasure listed, so we can use that. Total: $30252
  • Hall of Judgment (ignoring wilderness travel random encounters): $220586

As an aside, I find it frustrating that none of these adventures provide information about how much an item is worth if you misidentify it. For instance, I Smell A Rat mentions: "The Lesser Kunsian Book of the Dead (12 lbs.) worth $500* on the open market. Requires a Religious Ritual roll to evaluate." How much is it worth if the player fails their Religious Ritual roll? More legwork for the GM on each item.

At any rate, after splitting the treasure, the adventurers would come out of I Smell a Rat with $1.4k each (though probably not 25 character points), MotFD with $7.6k each, and HoJ with $55k each.

I Smell a Rat seems miserly, MotFD seems like a fun amount of money, and HoJ feels like it makes the characters have far too much wealth and now the the GM is on the hook to try to find a way to take this away in order to continue challenging players (otherwise the characters can buy huge stockpiles of charged scrolls, tons of hirelings, very nice armor, etc).

This happens in HoJ for two main reasons: the characters are given two extremely expensive magic weapons ($34k sword at the beginning, $25k sword from the warden at Logiheimli), and the characters are able to loot Logiheimli after cleansing it (96 alcoves each of which has a 24% chance of containing ~210 silver for an expected value of $97k in coinage from looting graves).

Conclusion
1g -> 1$ holds up surprisingly well. It gives module writers some benchmarks to aim for and balance around with regards to buying power. If the author thinks that the adventure will run ~7 sessions (~3 points each), and then award ~5 bonus points at the end, and the adventure is aimed at 250-point characters? Endeavor to give out $24k in character wealth for 4 players. Think it'll run ~4 sessions (for a total of 17 points), and it's being published for 300-point characters? Amortize: 17/25 * 9000 * 4 = $24k.

This also gives us some sane by-session numbers to keep in mind as GMs. If your players do something unexpected for a session and you need to make up some loot for a party of 325-pointers, it's appropriate to give them 13000*3/25*4 = ~$6240 in wealth.

An alternate Character Points system
Finally, this lets us create AD&D treasure => character points systems if we'd like. Rather than rewarding character growth for exploring, roleplaying, avoiding traps, defeating monsters, or some hazy by-session metric, we can make it a function of current character points and treasure earned.

For instance! The above chart says that a 300 point (level 8) character ought to have $27k wealth, and that a 325 point (level 9) character ought to have #36k wealth. Thus, 5x 300 point characters would need to accumulate a total of 45k wealth before they reached 325 points. Diving by 25 yields means that every $1800 the party earns, each character gets a point.

Played a session and ya'll discovered $7200 worth of treasure? Everyone gets 4 character points. Now everyone knows what the goal is (earn treasure), and can align play behind that goal. The higher character power you get, the more treasure you need. Have a party of different character powers? This will serve as a catch up mechanic.
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Old 11-19-2022, 03:22 PM   #2
sir_pudding
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Default Re: D&D -> DFRPG: Gold to $

Quote:
Originally Posted by beaushinkle View Post
As an aside, I find it frustrating that none of these adventures provide information about how much an item is worth if you misidentify it. For instance, I Smell A Rat mentions: "The Lesser Kunsian Book of the Dead (12 lbs.) worth $500* on the open market. Requires a Religious Ritual roll to evaluate." How much is it worth if the player fails their Religious Ritual roll? More legwork for the GM on each item.
Exploits has rules for selling junk on pp. 16-17.
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Old 11-19-2022, 04:35 PM   #3
beaushinkle
 
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Default Re: D&D -> DFRPG: Gold to $

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Originally Posted by sir_pudding View Post
Exploits has rules for selling junk on pp. 16-17.
If the implication here is that everything misidentified counts that scrap, and sells at an average of $350/1000lb, or $0.35/lb, then that's extremely swingy. The aforementioned Book goes from $500 to $4.2 on a missed religious ritual roll. Giant Spider Silk Light Armor goes from $15000 to $6.3 on a missed Connoisseur (Weapons). Merle's Signet Ring goes from $775 to $0.007 on a missed Merchant roll.

Not a fan of that!
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Old 11-20-2022, 12:32 AM   #4
dcarson
 
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Default Re: D&D -> DFRPG: Gold to $

Penalty of what they miss the identify by to the Merchant skill to sell it? You do have real life cases of rare first edition bought at garage sale for $2 also.
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Old 11-20-2022, 12:21 PM   #5
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Default Re: D&D -> DFRPG: Gold to $

For objects with value only from cultural significance and not from materials, it makes sense that they're basically worthless if the cultural significance isn't recognized. A rare postage stamp could be worth millions to collectors but would fetch only a tiny fraction of a penny to someone trying to sell it for scrap paper.


[From a game point of view, it might seem unsporting to gate significant treasure value behind a single roll to recognize the treasure, but, in genre, there's a tradition of valuable hidden loot that is effectively gated behind a roll to find it, so it's not without precedent. Plus, if the players are worried, they can always hire an agent back in town to go through their scrap and see if they've missed anything valuable.]

EDIT: For some of the examples beaushinkle gave, I would rule as a GM that Giant Spider Silk Light Armor, on a failed roll, would be mistaken for ordinary cloth armor rather than worthless junk, and jewelry is almost always obvious as jewelry (and therefore probably worth taking to an appraiser) even if the character has no idea of its actual value.
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Last edited by ravenfish; 11-20-2022 at 01:10 PM.
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Old 11-20-2022, 01:25 PM   #6
beaushinkle
 
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Default Re: D&D -> DFRPG: Gold to $

Quote:
Originally Posted by ravenfish View Post
For objects with value only from cultural significance and not from materials, it makes sense that they're basically worthless if the cultural significance isn't recognized. A rare postage stamp could be worth millions to collectors but would fetch only a tiny fraction of a penny to someone trying to sell it for scrap paper.


[From a game point of view, it might seem unsporting to gate significant treasure value behind a single roll to recognize the treasure, but, in genre, there's a tradition of valuable hidden loot that is effectively gated behind a roll to find it, so it's not without precedent. Plus, if the players are worried, they can always hire an agent back in town to go through their scrap and see if they've missed anything valuable.]

EDIT: For some of the examples beaushinkle gave, I would rule as a GM that Giant Spider Silk Light Armor, on a failed roll, would be mistaken for ordinary cloth armor rather than worthless junk, and jewelry is almost always obvious as jewelry (and therefore probably worth taking to an appraiser) even if the character has no idea of its actual value.
I really don't want to derail this thread on this aside: but this is mostly what I'm getting at. Say that you take the jewelry to the appraiser. How much is it worth, or what does the appraiser charge?

I think that letting them fail from gaint spider silk light armor to light armor is pretty brutal. I think failing to ornate+2 or ornate+3 light armor, or fine light armor would also be reasonable - it's clearly not just regular light armor. The problem is there's no official guidance on how this happens, and it's for every single case. For a big haul at the end of a dungeon, this could look like making up the failure rolls of dozens of items in advance.

Say you find a big portrait of a king. You know it's clearly some sort of fancy art and the portrait weighs 30 lbs. If you fail your roll do you count it as scrap? $10.5? In actual play, this might be the difference between a $12,000 piece of precious historical art being reduced to $10.5 because they failed a secret Connoisseur roll. If not, you need to tell them how much it's worth if they fail. By and large, module authors don't do this, and that's definitely extra legwork for the GM.

Last edited by beaushinkle; 11-20-2022 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 11-21-2022, 03:44 AM   #7
sir_pudding
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Default Re: D&D -> DFRPG: Gold to $

Wouldn't the jewelery just be worth as much as jewelry? If you don't use DF8, you can just use its weight in gold or silver, or whatever. For magic items, the item has to have a value anyway to begin with, so if people don't think it is magic it sells like whatever it appears to be.

I suggested scrap for misidentified books, though. More likely the delvers just leave random objects like that where they found them.
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Old 11-21-2022, 07:25 AM   #8
Dalin
 
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Default Re: D&D -> DFRPG: Gold to $

It's interesting to me that DFRPG presumes that delvers will strip the dungeon completely of everything valuable. It must be a trope, but in over 40 years of gaming with hundreds of players, I can't remember a group who cared about much more than obvious treasure and magical items. Even bales of silk and other bulky valuables usually get left behind due to the logistical hassle (and, often, time-pressure from plot elements).

Admittedly, even when we were playing BX and AD&D, everyone was more interested in killing monsters and advancing the story than collecting gold pieces.
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Old 11-21-2022, 10:36 AM   #9
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Default Re: D&D -> DFRPG: Gold to $

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Originally Posted by Dalin View Post
It's interesting to me that DFRPG presumes that delvers will strip the dungeon completely of everything valuable.
I think it's more that it acknowledges they might, and gives rules in case.

I usually only see this when I make the "error" of describing something heavy and valuable. Like when the delvers fought Orichalicum Golems.
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Old 11-21-2022, 01:54 PM   #10
beaushinkle
 
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Default Re: D&D -> DFRPG: Gold to $

GM: With The Black Book destroyed, all of the flying objects in the room finally come to a rest, and things seem safe and at relative peace... for now. What do you do?

Player: Is there anything left of value in the room that I can see?

GM: Yeah, this was originally a library, but two large books were sturdy enough to survive the destruction and catch your eye. They're both leather bound. One is dyed blue, with silver lettering. The other is black, with bone-white lettering. They each weigh about 12 pounds.

Player: Nice! Do they have legible titles? That's a huge book!

GM: Yeah, the blue book is called Elrem's Curses. The black one is called The Lesser Kunsian Book of the Dead.

Player: Ooooh those sound like they're potentially spellbooks or something; do I have any clue how much the Lesser Kunsian Book of the Dead would fetch in town?

GM: (secret Religious Ritual roll: failure). You think you could get about $4 for it.

Player: Oh... gotcha.


IDK maybe we play games differently, but this isn't okay to me. Is there something about that dialog I'm doing fundamentally incorrectly?
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