Dungeon Master Assistance

A place to share thoughts and ideas about Dungeons and Dragons

Coins


Here is some information regarding D&D coins. I started with the official D&D information and expanded on it. I use this information in my games.


10 Copper pieces (cp) = 1 Silver piece
10 Silver pieces (sp) = 1 Gold piece
2 Electrun pieces (ep) = 1 Gold piece
10 Gold pieces (gp) = 1 Platinum piece (pp)
All coins are the same size and the same weight regardless of the type.

1 Coin

  • 1 1/4″ Dia.
  • 1/10″ Thk.
  • 1/3 oz. (50 to a pound)

10 Coins

  • 1 foot long when placed in a line
  • 1″ tall when stacked

50 Coins

  • 1 pound

100 Coins

  • 1 square foot when placed in a 10 coins long x 10 coins wide grid

120 Coins

  • 1 foot tall when stacked

12,000 Coins

  • 1 cubic foot stacked 10 coins long x 10 coins wide x 120 coins tall
  • weighs 240 pounds

Trade Bars

  • Size: about 5″ x 2″ x 1/2″
  • Weight:
    • Silver 2 lb
    • Gold 5 lb
  • Value:
    • Silver 10 gp
    • Gold 250 gp
  • 288 bars per cubic foot
Dragon Bed of Coins
Dragon Size Minimum Number of Coins
S 12,000
M 12,000
L 50,000
G 100,000
Piles of coins (cone shaped)
Diameter Light Pile Heavy Pile
Hight in center Number of Coins Hight in center Number of Coins
5 ft 1″ 5,000 3″ 18,000
10 ft 3″ 40,000 6″ 156,000
15 ft 4″ 135,000 9″ 528,000
20 ft 5″ 320,000 1 ft 1,260,000

Less that 100 coins per square foot is a scattering of coins.
From 100 coins per square foot to a light pile is a covering of coins.
A pile can range anywhere between a light and a heavy pile.
Adding more coins to a heavy pile increases it’s height and diameter.
In an enclosed area, if there are enough coins they will spread out over the the floor to the walls and fill the available area to 12,000 coins per cubic foot.

//

6 responses to “Coins

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  4. Peter April 20, 2020 at 9:34 am

    Thank you so much.
    I wondered about the topic, but some articles base their calculations on weight of PURE metal while trying to keep the idea of “50 coins of ANY metal = 1 lb”… So they assume gold pieces are smaller than copper pieces, so 36 gp weigh as 17 cp… It’s remarkable, but it’s a rabbit hole of complexity that I can’t use in play.

    Your table is beautiful in its elegancy. 12000 Coins = 1 cubic foot = 240 lb. That’s what I needed. The only thing I woud like to add is the difference between loose heap of coins vs. neatly stacked packs.
    Here is a rule of thumb I use:

    Stacking disorganised pile of coins reduces its volume by 25%.
    Scattering previously stacked coins increases their bulk by 33%.
    The number (and weight) of coins in disorganised heap is 25% less compared to stacks.
    The number (and weight) of coins in organised stacks is 33% more compared to heap.

    So 1 cubic foot can contain 12000 coins stacked or 9000 coins scattered, 240 lb and 180 lb respectively. Feel free to implement/ignore it.

    Btw, this 25% factor was calculated. I’ll provide this boring data below.
    It is based of this article: http://dmsworkshop.com/2017/08/11/a-guide-to-dnd-coins/
    Paraphrasing: 1 cubic feet of stacked coins contains 78.6% of treasure (the rest is empty space between round, stamped coins). Loose pile contains 60% of coins. Single solid block of metal would have 100%.
    If we accept this statement, then the difference between organized/loose coins equals
    0.6 / 0.786 = 0.763
    That’s 76.3%. I round it down to 75%.
    So every time we need to reduce something (volume of coins because PCs organize them into stacks, or number of coins because they hastily pour money into 1x1x1 foot box), multiply by 0.75.
    Every time we need to increase something (number of coins because PCs organize them, or volume of coins because they hastily pour them), multiply by 1.33.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ronny April 20, 2020 at 11:10 am

      Tank you for this. I have always found the topic fascinating.
      I originally intended to include a separate value for stacked vs. loose coins.
      In the article “How Many Coins Fit in a Coffer?”, by David F. Godwin in Dragon Issue #80 in 1983, he stated that the figure for loose coins is 110% of the effective volume of a stacked coin. Your claim it is 133%. Either of these could be less if you take the time to shake the container. The point is, there is no agreement in this, but I think your figure is perfectly usable for gaming purposes.
      I don’t think that I will add it to my tables. I will of course leave your comment here for others to use, but in my games (and the reason I didn’t include loose coins originally) is that it adds more complexity than I want to deal with.
      Thank you for sharing your idea.
      Renumber, any container might hold fewer coins than indicated on these tables.

      Like

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