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semi
2010-08-13, 12:09 AM
Today, I was cursing my ATM because it tried to eat my debit card and I thought to myself "Why aren't there similar items/objects in a D&D environment?"

It seems that in a fantasy world with a fair amount of magic then some sort of magical debit card or similar object could exist and reduce the amount of gold/platinum/etc. pieces that individuals would have to carry around with them. Obviously this would only be implemented by the most evil of DMs as it would possibly remove a large section of loot to be found by adventurers but other than the removal of the 'fun' wouldn't this make at least some sense? And has it been implemented in a game or world (RPG, book, etc.) already?

Just me wondering. And if this is the wrong forum, let me know that too but it seemed to make more sense here than elsewhere.

Zaydos
2010-08-13, 12:16 AM
It might have to do with the tendency for dangerous hobos to gallivant around and rob any place where they think they can find loot, though. Put your gold in a bank, and crazed PC #1 will rob said bank. Safer to always make sure you have your gold at someplace that has less gold than a dragon's hoard (which is kept for reasons relating to psychosis as opposed to any rational reason).

On a more serious note the Epic Level Handbook talks about Favors, effectively checks, given out by an interplanar merchants' guild, these were fairly big checks (10000 or 100000 GP each, I forget). Another explanation is in the 2e DMG or PHB which says that once the world was far richer but now most of the wealth from that time is hidden in old, dank, musty dungeons, doesn't offer a real explanation for that though. There would also be the expense in setting up the magical withdrawal and deposit system, and then protecting the money as there would be inevitable attempts at bank robbery. Very simply it could be that people figure it is safer not to trust your wealth to something dispellable (assuming it would function under trap rules), or put it with a lot of other people's making it an even bigger target for thieves.

Edit: I know some fantasy books have had medieval style banking supported by merchants, but I don't know about actual magical ATMs.

Pink
2010-08-13, 12:38 AM
I think the closest I've seen to this are mage coins in Monte Cook's Ptolus setting. Each coin is magical and worth 100 gp. Once you touch them, you can leave them anywhere, say, inside a safe, and with a thought you can conjure them to your hand. However it's only one way. You can't send them back afterwards.

Urpriest
2010-08-13, 12:42 AM
I think Eberron has a system of banks and bank notes, as befitting it's Victorian theme.

Marnath
2010-08-13, 12:49 AM
The simple truth is that better than 90% of the population lives in such crushing poverty that they hardly ever have two gold coins(in some cases two silvers) to rub together. Rich people like nobles and adventurers either have their own vaults or bags of holding. When transporting large sums of currency through non-magical means, armored wagons in armed convoy's do the trick nicely. There isn't really much call for a bank system.

Vangor
2010-08-13, 01:11 AM
Wide wealth disparity, conflict between most nations and groups, and magic rarely is used for mere convenience. I see the cost to create or accept a "card" as being too high for the vast, vast majority of people and shop owners as one issue; I'll get to the cost momentarily. As well, while the wealth itself would be represented with a material which is, in the gaming world, universally accepted, the material still needs to be transferred which somewhat calls into question the purpose of the "card". Finally, we are talking about a "card" which reads a specified account which updates automatically from a central authority as well as the ability to move a material between accounts or to people or businesses in a timely and trustworthy manner, which means a huge expenditure of magic so people don't have to carry around so much gold. This last part translates to the cost of getting such a "card" and account, and anyone sufficiently wealthy to truly concern themselves doesn't carry the money around themselves.

Create a middle-class and make sending and receiving messages and maintaining data a rather minimal magical investment enough to cover a huge population without so much concern, and you could.

Peregrine
2010-08-13, 01:20 AM
Aside from magic, more realistic systems -- credit notes, fiat currency, and other such "trade in non-valuables" -- can exist, but require everyone to accept and trust a common system. Any setting can have a system of IOUs passed between merchants in the same country, but anyone who sets foot outside that country will find that their "money" is no good here.

In game mechanic terms, the other problem is that nobody takes the Forgery skill, which is necessary in order to detect a faked credit note...

(Which is why, in my setting where merchants on the "Trade Coast" frequently exchange letters of credit rather than coin or valuables, merchants do in fact take Forgery ranks. :smallsmile:)

DMGreg
2010-08-13, 08:36 AM
Short of specific world constructs, I think the idea of a magical ATM would be unneeded. In most fantasy settings, living in a city is the exception, not the rule. Now, depending on the society, you might have tradesmen who needed to keep money in a bank, but that would be for purposes of savings, not as a store for their everyday "walking around" money, as we often do with checking accounts.

On the concept of banking in general, though, banks, and even insurance interests, have existed in our world since at least the third millennium BC. Archeologists have found records of loans made in the 18th century BC. The use of depository banks and bank notes would not be out of place, therefore, in your typical high fantasy setting.

In one game I played in, an operative from a warring nation established a Ponzi scheme in the city that was our base of operations and ruined the local economy. We, as adventurers, found out who he worked for, but because of the wealth he was "generating" for people, no one would believe us. This was enabled because we were in a roman-level society that heavily relied on bank notes and loans to underwrite everything from building construction to trade. It seems sort of dry material, but banking and insurance concepts can lead to some pretty fun moments, though it does make it hard to maintain separation between your OOC understanding of economics and what your character knows! :smalltongue:

Psyx
2010-08-13, 08:52 AM
It begs the question: Why isn't there a purse of holding?


Given the size and bulk of coinage and the wealth of those who adventure, you'd have thought that there'd be a 'coins and gems only' variant of the classic bag of holding somewhere.

sdream
2010-08-13, 08:52 AM
Those magic summoning coins sound awesome.

I like crystals and gems, so in my game I made all gems alchemically tinted diamonds.

Diamond is inherently magical (hence why it is used for ressurections).

Diamonds of various sizes glow when you channel energy into them (as use magic device, but can be done untrained).

The glow fades quickly, but takes longer to fade as the gem gets larger, with a sharp increase at 100gp worth, where it does not fade at all and begins shimmering.

Much wealth is transferred in this form, as it is more expensive to fake this effect well than just to spend the real gems. Beings of great wealth and power (magi, dragons, djinn, etc) often hoard and trade a more advanced type of gem.

The next step up from diamond alchemically, 1000gp worth of spellgem provides the power to cast an extra spell (pearl of power 1). They are commonly found in higher denominations as well (3k - level 2, 9k - level 3, 27k = level 4, etc) although only very powerful entities can verify their value (by using them).

This sort of thing is really only needed for high powered games, or if you assume widespread magic (if casting any spell is a service that costs hundreds of gold pieces, either casters are so rare that finding one is the hard part, or wealth of society is significant).

I also like how this makes wealth much more portable, and also useful. A dragon alchemically transforms much of his horde into spellgems allowing him much expanded use of magic. Any caster may keep a good amount of spellgems, trading them later for other items, or holding onto them for their intrinsic usefullness.

Tetrasodium
2010-08-13, 09:21 AM
House Kundark(sp?) in Eberron essentially has a bank & debit card type system, I know one or more of the Eberron books describes some of the safeguards they have on the money.

Harris the Ford
2010-08-13, 09:26 AM
In Star Wars (not saga edition) they have the credit chit which works the same way as a debit card except you can do P2P transfers on it as well, something I'm waiting for our society to catch up to.

Cyrion
2010-08-13, 09:36 AM
Historically, while banking and loans are old concepts, fluid credit as we use it today is a relatively new idea. In part, it depends on a more stable valuation of goods, particularly gold (money). While there is no reason it couldn't work, the average person wouldn't even conceive of it and would prefer to have their coppers to hand.

Lysander
2010-08-13, 10:16 AM
It really depends on what magic is capable of. If the magic for credit cards exists and its cheap to use, yes, there will be magical credit cards. The same could be said about any piece of technology. Why not have magical computers? Magical airplanes? Magical elevators? If magic can accomplish the same as modern technology, you will have the devices of modern technology.
Generally in DnD magic is expensive, rare, and hard to produce on a mass scale. But magic is whatever you want it to be. If you want magic factories making magical iphones, that's totally doable.

arrowhen
2010-08-13, 11:00 AM
Yeah, and after you hit the magic ATM you can drive your magic SUV to the magic mall to buy magic tee shirts at Magicrombie and Fitch.

Or just, you know, play in a modern setting.

Saph
2010-08-13, 11:03 AM
I think Shamus Young summed it up pretty well in his commentary to this strip (http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=617):

"On one hand, it makes no sense for the monsters and encounter areas of the gameworld to come pre-stocked with loot. It also makes no sense for feral beasts and the shambling undead to walk around carrying fabulous cash prizes.

On the other hand, gold coins are shiny and make a fun jingling sound when you have lots of them."

Amazon warrior
2010-08-13, 11:05 AM
I've been gently coming up with a wealth system based on tokens that represent volumes of water, for a desert-world setting. The supply of tokens (and storage of water) is controlled by a hive-minded insect race. They can stay almost completely separate from most politicking between nations or factions simply because nobody wants to piss them off and then suddenly find that they can't access the water supplies (water=life). In theory, a character can present a token at any hive anywhere and receive that volume of water, or exchange a large number of small-volume tokens for one or two large-volume ones. Tokens can also be used as regular coins for the purposes of trading.

(Clearly, I also need a better word for them than "token". Hey, maybe Vols!)

ShadowsGrnEyes
2010-08-13, 11:15 AM
For the most part i find the usefulness of this in game to be questionable unless your running a slightly more advanced game than i'm typically involved in.

But I like the idea of the miniature portable hole for all my banking needs. it's just big enough to fit your hand into and can hold ALOT of money. . .i consider it a specialized magic item and it only holds money or valuables such as gems and gold bars.

Lysander
2010-08-13, 11:34 AM
I've been gently coming up with a wealth system based on tokens that represent volumes of water, for a desert-world setting. The supply of tokens (and storage of water) is controlled by a hive-minded insect race. They can stay almost completely separate from most politicking between nations or factions simply because nobody wants to piss them off and then suddenly find that they can't access the water supplies (water=life). In theory, a character can present a token at any hive anywhere and receive that volume of water, or exchange a large number of small-volume tokens for one or two large-volume ones. Tokens can also be used as regular coins for the purposes of trading.

(Clearly, I also need a better word for them than "token". Hey, maybe Vols!)

Just wanted to compliment you on an awesome idea. Of course, the water should be produced in some utterly disgusting way, like extruded from a worker drone's abdomen glands. But it's not like there's any other option so even if people found out there's nothing they can do.

Zaydos
2010-08-13, 11:36 AM
I've been gently coming up with a wealth system based on tokens that represent volumes of water, for a desert-world setting. The supply of tokens (and storage of water) is controlled by a hive-minded insect race. They can stay almost completely separate from most politicking between nations or factions simply because nobody wants to piss them off and then suddenly find that they can't access the water supplies (water=life). In theory, a character can present a token at any hive anywhere and receive that volume of water, or exchange a large number of small-volume tokens for one or two large-volume ones. Tokens can also be used as regular coins for the purposes of trading.

(Clearly, I also need a better word for them than "token". Hey, maybe Vols!)

Also remember to get rid of Create Water. You don't want an orison that undermines your entire economy.

Coplantor
2010-08-13, 11:39 AM
I once wantend to make a beholder run bank system. We'll watch it for you was their moto.

Lysander
2010-08-13, 11:42 AM
Also remember to get rid of Create Water. You don't want an orison that undermines your entire economy.

Well, it depends how common magic is. A level one cleric could create six gallons a day if they employ all their 0 level spell slots for Create Water. If there's only one cleric per five hundred people, those six gallons aren't going to go very far. Even if a few people can magically create a little water here and there you'd still need the insects to provide the overwhelming majority of it.

DMGreg
2010-08-13, 11:48 AM
I've been gently coming up with a wealth system based on tokens that represent volumes of water, for a desert-world setting.

If you've not read it, you should read Frank Herbert's Dune. You may be able to pull some inspiration from it. In Dune, the Fremen, desert people, have rights to a volume of water represented by tokens they can wear like beads on a necklace. They don't use it as a currency per se but it's an important aspect of their society.

Edit: Man, I really need to reread that book myself! They *were* used as a form of currency. See*:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fremen#Water_conservation
http://dune.wikia.com/wiki/Water_Rings

*It's a wiki source, so don't take it as gospel, but it might still give you some ideas :smallbiggrin:

Beleriphon
2010-08-13, 12:07 PM
I think Eberron has a system of banks and bank notes, as befitting it's Victorian theme.

Eberron does have a crude renaissance style banking system indeed. It includes notes of credit, and I believe the 3e published adventures had some as rewards.


House Kundark(sp?) in Eberron essentially has a bank & debit card type system, I know one or more of the Eberron books describes some of the safeguards they have on the money.

House Kundarak's safeguards are piles and piles of heavily armed dwarves, and more magic (developed by House Cannith I believe) that you can shake a very expensive stick at. In essence the Kundarak banks are more akin to massive safe deposit boxes, at least from the perspective of anybody that isn't a country, another Dragonmarked House or insanely wealth.

Mongoose87
2010-08-13, 12:16 PM
There used to be a banking system, but all the money they had in their deposits was lost to dungeons over 500 years ago, when the banks fell.

Lysander
2010-08-13, 12:19 PM
There's actually a simple technology people developed IRL to not have to carry gold around with them everywhere. Dollar bills. What's simpler, paying wizards to create hundreds of thousands of magical devices, or printing paper with tiny pictures and numbers on it? Currently we have fiat currency which isn't backed by anything but the government's power, but originally money was meant to represent gold held in a vault somewhere.

Mongoose87
2010-08-13, 12:22 PM
There's actually a simple technology people developed IRL to not have to carry gold around with them everywhere. Dollar bills. What's simpler, paying wizards to create hundreds of thousands of magical devices, or printing paper with tiny pictures and numbers on it? Currently we have fiat currency which isn't backed by anything but the government's power, but originally money was meant to represent gold held in a vault somewhere.

Who really wants to encounter a dragon lying on a pile of paper bills? He might burn them!

Bibliomancer
2010-08-13, 12:26 PM
Eberron does have a crude renaissance style banking system indeed. It includes notes of credit, and I believe the 3e published adventures had some as rewards.

Yeah, Eberron is rather document-focused, just to ensure that the life of a changeling rogue is 'vaguely challenging' as opposed to 'dead easy.'


House Kundarak's safeguards are piles and piles of heavily armed dwarves, and more magic (developed by House Cannith I believe) that you can shake a very expensive stick at. In essence the Kundarak banks are more akin to massive safe deposit boxes, at least from the perspective of anybody that isn't a country, another Dragonmarked House or insanely wealth.

The most important feature of House Kundarak's banking system is a series of safety deposit boxes that deposit goods in an extradimensional space which can be accessed from any of their branch banks, which would, in essence, function as an ATM (although less common).

Pink
2010-08-13, 12:30 PM
There's actually a simple technology people developed IRL to not have to carry gold around with them everywhere. Dollar bills. What's simpler, paying wizards to create hundreds of thousands of magical devices, or printing paper with tiny pictures and numbers on it? Currently we have fiat currency which isn't backed by anything but the government's power, but originally money was meant to represent gold held in a vault somewhere.

To a certain degree, D&D already has the different currencies based on the value of the metal used. The next step up from pieces are bars are such. For the average person, their wealth is manageable that using the actual valuable substance, instead of paper in place of it, is secure enough for them.

Anyway, Problem with paper currency starts with forgery. At least in forging metal coins, you have to use some amount of the same substance. If the paper isn't difficult enough to print, then not only can several skilled people forge notes, but magic could probably make wizards very rich. If you are either using a way to print very very complicated notes, or magically protecting or identifying them, you might make the process more expensive than what the money is worth.

Beleriphon
2010-08-13, 12:45 PM
Anyway, Problem with paper currency starts with forgery. At least in forging metal coins, you have to use some amount of the same substance. If the paper isn't difficult enough to print, then not only can several skilled people forge notes, but magic could probably make wizards very rich. If you are either using a way to print very very complicated notes, or magically protecting or identifying them, you might make the process more expensive than what the money is worth.

I like the way Eberron gets around this issue. House Sivis notarizes everything of import, like letters of credit. That way only one group has the skill and ability to mark documents as true. It doesn't prevent forgeries, or a rogue member doing it, but those people tend to get murderized pretty fast, and it makes for fun plots.

Sinfonian
2010-08-13, 02:24 PM
I've been gently coming up with a wealth system based on tokens that represent volumes of water, for a desert-world setting. The supply of tokens (and storage of water) is controlled by a hive-minded insect race. They can stay almost completely separate from most politicking between nations or factions simply because nobody wants to piss them off and then suddenly find that they can't access the water supplies (water=life). In theory, a character can present a token at any hive anywhere and receive that volume of water, or exchange a large number of small-volume tokens for one or two large-volume ones. Tokens can also be used as regular coins for the purposes of trading.

(Clearly, I also need a better word for them than "token". Hey, maybe Vols!)

I wanted to say how much I really like this idea. As an added bit of complexity, robbing someone becomes tantamount to killing someone by dehydration unless they can get some sort of charity.

Amazon warrior
2010-08-13, 03:03 PM
Just wanted to compliment you on an awesome idea. Of course, the water should be produced in some utterly disgusting way, like extruded from a worker drone's abdomen glands. But it's not like there's any other option so even if people found out there's nothing they can do.
Thanks! :D They're actually the only species able to tunnel down to the water table and able to construct water-tight underground reservoirs. Though having something disgusting like that as a rumour floating around would be hilarious!


Also remember to get rid of Create Water. You don't want an orison that undermines your entire economy.
No, I figured that. One of the current features of the world is that it does odd things to magic that involves water. This wasn't always the case, but the world is "broken" and has been so for about 1000 years. Everyone's nicely adapted to it now. Lysander makes a good point about the availability of magic too; although I hadn't envisaged a noteable shortage of casters in the setting, it's certainly something to consider.


If you've not read it, you should read Frank Herbert's Dune. You may be able to pull some inspiration from it. In Dune, the Fremen, desert people, have rights to a volume of water represented by tokens they can wear like beads on a necklace. They don't use it as a currency per se but it's an important aspect of their society.

Edit: Man, I really need to reread that book myself! They *were* used as a form of currency. See*:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fremen#Water_conservation
http://dune.wikia.com/wiki/Water_Rings

*It's a wiki source, so don't take it as gospel, but it might still give you some ideas :smallbiggrin:
Heh, good reference spot! :smallbiggrin: I've read Dune several times and the water storage/token idea is indeed loosely based on the Fremen system. I love the idea of folks showing off their "water wealth" on belts and chains, too. The rest of the world isn't intended to be particularly Dune-like (beyond being a desert world, natch), but I couldn't help putting this in. I'm still gonna check out those links though - they'll probably have stuff I've forgotten.

I'm actually planning on dropping a group of players into this world tomorrow. Should be fun! :smallwink:

ETA:

I wanted to say how much I really like this idea. As an added bit of complexity, robbing someone becomes tantamount to killing someone by dehydration unless they can get some sort of charity.
Thank you! Yes, so-called "water crimes" are typically punishable by death. After all, that's basically what you've inflicted on the victim(s).

OracleofWuffing
2010-08-13, 03:28 PM
I remember seeing somewhere in some old book- can't remember if it was third party or not- a gnomish "contraption" which was really just a wall with a slot and dispenser on it that concealed a gnome behind it, and the gist of the idea was that adventures would deposit their umpteen coinage and receive jewels worth the value deposited, which made things easier to carry without losing wealth.

...Of course, I recall the real gist of that was that the jewels were really rocks with some illusion on them to make them look like jewels, and the gnome runs off with all the money.

Yahzi
2010-08-13, 04:06 PM
Today, I was cursing my ATM because it tried to eat my debit card and I thought to myself "Why aren't there similar items/objects in a D&D environment?"
Go here and scroll down to "The Economicon: Making Sense of the Gold Standard."

Also, try to remember that ATMs are new. They exist because of our massive electronic (and photonic) infrastructure, which is also new. You know, when I was your age, they did not exist.

So asking why vaguely medieval D&D worlds don't have something that is new to people reading your post is just... bizarre. :smallsmile:

Randel
2010-08-13, 04:39 PM
I once had an idea for a post-apocolyptic setting (or at least a thought experiment) in which there was a magic vending machine that ran on glowing tokens.

The machine itself is kind of like a Create Food and Water trap in that it can create food and water instantly. However, it takes a while to recharge and can only create so many meals in a day. There are tokens that go with it, they look like metal rods with continual flame cast on them (or more like magical sunrods/glowsticks that never run out).
The tokens glow continuously until you bring them to the machine at which point the machine gives you a days worth of rations and water and the glowing stick goes dim until the following morning.

Thus, as long as you had one of the glowing sticks and access to the food making machine then you could eat a meal a day for the rest of your life.



Or, I suppose someone could start a Tippyverse economy that makes use of tokens.

Build a Create Food and Water trap and sell food and water for cheap using Tokens or bills as payment. Have a money changing station where people can exchange gold an/or coins or arcane components or whatnot for tokens. Then use the gold to buy the materials needed to make more magic traps. As long as you can provide goods and services and accept your own tokens as payment for them then its a form of currency,


Or, you could have something like magic or psionic energy be a form of currency. Get a Pearl of Power that generates X amount of power points a day and then make special coins that can store that energy for later use.

You start out with an empty stone (that is essentially a wallet) and then charge it up with power points. When you make a transaction, you touch two power stones together and transfer as many power points to the other as needed. The power points themselves don't weigh anything (although different types of stones might have different storage capacity). Anyone who needs magic or psionic energy for their trade can just dig into their supply of power to pull off magic tricks. There could be some psions that specialize in generating power and then buying stuff with it, and others who use their powers for stuff and receive payment (in power points) to do so.

Granted, having a currency that doubles as magic energy could have its problems... like having muggers knock people out with magic, steal all the magic energy in their victims wallet, and then continue onward. It would be equivalent of having everyone using bullets or gasoline as currency... bank robberies could get interesting.


Or

Blood Tokens-
For a vampire culture, there is a government controlled 'blood bank' where they keep various animals or criminals who are intended to be used as a source of blood for vampires. The blood bank distributes a supply of tokens which can be redeemed for an amount of blood supplied by the animals held. Killing a person with the intent of drinking their blood is a serious offense (killing an animal, less so) and the Blood Bank is set up to ensure that the vampires have a steady supply of blood to sate their hunger without them going crazy and murdering innocent bystanders.

The vampire Blood Bank might actively capture people, monsters, or animals to provide a steady supply of blood for the population, but the people in charge of this are licensed and trained for this task. If the vampire government enslaves you to become a food source for the population then its okay, at least you aren't being hunted down by creeps in the alleyways.

shadow_archmagi
2010-08-13, 05:32 PM
In my campaign, there are burlap sacks with dollar signs on them, full of coins. They're heavy.

Saph
2010-08-13, 05:38 PM
In my campaign, there are burlap sacks with dollar signs on them, full of coins. They're heavy.

Do they vanish and turn into game resources with a chinging noise when the PCs touch them? :smalltongue:

shadow_archmagi
2010-08-13, 05:59 PM
Do they vanish and turn into game resources with a chinging noise when the PCs touch them? :smalltongue:

Nope. The PC's add them into their inventory, like this

Moneybag, 35 lbs. Contains 1750 coins. Can be expended for a +5 to bluff or move silently.

Mark Hall
2010-08-13, 08:24 PM
Some of the people in our current C&C game have actually got involved in banking. Merchant concerns will take your money, and either invest it in a current concern (giving you a possibility of losing your money, or of gaining interest), or just use it as liquid cash (giving you no return, but no possibility of losing your money).

You can pay the temple of Waukeen 5gp to register such deals. If you do so, they'll enforce any deals you make.

semi
2010-08-13, 10:04 PM
Ok, I should make just a couple quick remarks...

First, yeah I know that ATMs and electronic deposits and all the like are modern inventions. I think that many times formalized education is over emphasized but I have a masters in economics so I have just a tad bit of information about monetary systems n' such including gold backed currency, fiat monies, even cultures that value the pigment of bird feathers (darker red being more valuable but also meaning that over time, all the feathers devalue due to natural decomposition) or rocks.

Second, I didn't really mean "Make an ATM by magic" but I was at the ATM when the idea crossed my mind. What I was meaning was if a typical world has magic versus technology and if carting around bags/boxes/etc. of coinage was an issue (and our DM loves to use encumbrance so it is) I was just thinking that a king/emperor/something might charter the development of something like a personal token or some such as had been proposed in earlier posts which links their personal monies and allows for the transferal of those funds. I also thought that I could see a humorous story involving a dragon that got mad at the local authority for removing coins that he/it could use for its hoard and instead he ended up getting a single gold coin/token that he sat on top of.

Third, I would like to say that I appreciate many of the posts I've read some, such as the fact that there isn't a need for it due to the average wealth of the citizenry just never came into my thinking and the others listing examples in fictional media (Dune, etc.) which use token based systems were very helpful as well.

semi
2010-08-13, 10:09 PM
In my campaign, there are burlap sacks with dollar signs on them, full of coins. They're heavy.

I played a game once where there was way too much herbal medicine being exchanged between the DM and certain players. For whatever reason, the DM ended up giving each member of the adventuring party "Midas Turtles". They had short range and only worked against small and medium creatures, but when you threw them and succeeded in hitting the creature, the critter would explode into, you guessed it... gold coins! Not enough to ruin an economy but just enough to be hilarious. The turtles were also cursed so that Paladins would only get copper coins instead of the uber gold the rest of us got.

Lysander
2010-08-14, 12:08 AM
That finally explains why random beasts carry gold.

"A wolf was carrying gold coins?"
"Don't be ridiculous. We threw a midas turtle at it."

Mando Knight
2010-08-14, 12:21 AM
Today, I was cursing my ATM because it tried to eat my debit card and I thought to myself "Why aren't there similar items/objects in a D&D environment?"

It seems that in a fantasy world with a fair amount of magic then some sort of magical debit card or similar object could exist and reduce the amount of gold/platinum/etc. pieces that individuals would have to carry around with them. Obviously this would only be implemented by the most evil of DMs as it would possibly remove a large section of loot to be found by adventurers but other than the removal of the 'fun' wouldn't this make at least some sense? And has it been implemented in a game or world (RPG, book, etc.) already?

Just me wondering. And if this is the wrong forum, let me know that too but it seemed to make more sense here than elsewhere.

Somewhere (or maybe it was in my own head), I saw an idea for the basis of such a system. And it's safer than almost any bank you've ever put your hard-earned fiat currency in, too. Comes equipped with a flying tank of death and everything.

It's called a dragon's horde. Dragons not interested with ruling countries but like keeping tabs on lots of cash would be the perfect banks in a fantasy environment. They could issue their own magical promissory/bank notes and everything, and your money would be safe until the next time the world's greatest graverobbers pick your fire-breathing buddy. Dragons would then issue interest rates based on their profit/risk calculations (hyper-smart flying death tanks, remember?), with the ones prone to kidnapping princesses carrying a much higher interest rate than the ones who are just hoarders of wealth.