Wednesday, October 8, 2014

More on Treasuries

Following up on How Much Money Should Someone Have?

Don’t forget to also check out our earlier post about what it takes to count the money: Collecting Treasure - Even when it’s pay.

For those of you who can’t figure out where the rest of the nobleman’s worth went - It’s tied up in furniture and real estate. We are actually working on a supplement that will give you all sorts of lifestyle choices for your character, but until then, it is probably easiest to assume that a person probably has their annual salary in real estate and their annual salary again in “stuff”. Palaces have “stuff” that is of incredible value, but may not be fence-able loot. The Hope Diamond is one of the world’s best known and most valuable diamonds, but the chances of finding someone to buy it - especially someone who knows it’s hot - are remote. Same for the Mona Lisa. Now not everything a nobleman or even a king owns will be that big a deal, but you don’t want to be the gem cutter caught remounting the crown jewels.

But guess what - even if your players (and/or their characters) can see art works and jewelry and recognize the monetary value, they’ll be missing a lot! That end table over there with the inlaid tortoise shell - yeah, looks like firewood to most adventurers, but it’s worth more than their (non-magical) armor. That little marble statuette beside the bed - It’s hugely heavy and the adventurer’s know that marble isn’t worth that much, but if it was carved by a famous artist, it’s worth more than the character’s house. Of course, if it was carved by the baroness’ cousin, it’s nearly worthless, but when do the PCs know that stuff? That dust in the bottom of the wooden box - is it powdered dragon brain worth its weight in diamonds or is it the remains of Aunt Hilda after her cremation? Huge amounts of value are hidden in plain sight, only to be detected by those who know what they’re looking for. Imagine a modern burglar breaking into a house and seeing a decorative silver lamp (like Genie’s). He melts it down and sells the silver for a few bucks, not knowing that it was an original Paul Revere.

Yeah - I love my treasure!


  1. I think I'm missing an assumption here. Are you assuming that all taxes are paid in the form of coin? Or are you discounting the non-coin taxes collected (e.g. grain/flour from a farmer)?

  2. Good point - both on how taxes are paid and the missing assumption. The assumption is that all CITY taxes are paid in coin, while the taxes from the countryside are more typically paid in product. So Yes - taxes are paid in coin, and no - taxes are paid in food stuffs. Hope that makes more sense.

  3. Thanks for clarifying and for these interesting articles on money and treasures. Having some of the treasure be something other than coin is definitely something I try to implement.