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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Treasure: coin-to-other ratios

    After seeing the XP to Level 3 on their custom loot table

    Spoiler: This one, but not required viewing
    Show


    I've been thinking of drawing up my own for rolling treasure tables.
    This is less to do with magic item roll tables and more just how much stuff there is in a treasure pile is in relation to the amount of coinage there is.

    Think of your go-to mental image of a treasure pile, and try to break it up into its make-up.

    Coins to gems/jewellery
    Coins to tiny objects (eg: goblet, daggers, scroll, bottles)
    Coins to small objects (eg: shield, bolt of silk, lute)
    Coins to medium objects (eg: barrel, plate armor, rolled up rug)
    ... and larger if you picture it.

    define in any measurements that make sense to you: number-to-number rations, objects per cubic feet, etc.

    The value is less important that the general physical make-up for this, as I'll probably make up a different roll table to have the value/quality of the objects based on the value of the hoard.

    edit: example objects and sizes reworded to be consisted with 5e's object sizes in the DMG

    edit 2: Context of what the objects actually are in the pile will be added later in the project, so it doesn't need to be defined as precisely as how many dagger/scrolls/bottles, etc. Those would ALL just be defined vaguely as 'tiny objects'.
    Same for the value of the vile, that's a later concern. This is just trying to gauge a reasonable distribution by volume of objects to coins. All coins (be it gold, silver, copper, etc) are just counted as 'coins'.
    The idea I'm going with is having custom roll tables made up that I can use for scaling up and down treasure hoard sizes and not having everything as just 'coins and 1d4 magic items', but before I get to that later scaling based on creature size/type/CR/DMG hoard value, I want to get a bare bones framework of what distributions to aim for:

    For every [X] Coins there are [x] gems/jewellery
    For every [Y] Coins there are [y] tiny objects
    For every [Z] Coins there are [z] small objects
    For every [W] Coins there are [w] medium objects

    or

    For every volume of [A] dimensions of treasure there are [a] gems/jewellery in the pile
    For every volume of [B] dimensions of treasure there are [b] tiny objects in the pile
    For every volume of [C] dimensions of treasure there are [c] small objects in the pile
    For every volume of [D] dimensions of treasure there are [d] medium objects in the pile

    ^ This is the type of information I'm looking for
    Last edited by Zhorn; 2020-09-01 at 06:27 PM.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Treasure: coin-to-other ratios

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhorn View Post
    Think of your go-to mental image of a treasure pile, and try to break it up into its make-up.
    Problem is, there is none. Treasure shouldn't be just lying there outside of context - someone gathered that treasure, for some end or another. Is it a collection of a patron of arts? Remnants of a workshop of famous painter? Armory of elite squadron of a kingdom? Vault of a bank? Dragon hoard, where random stuff got added in as hapless adventurers brought it?

    All of these will have different things in them and different proportions of items.


    Quote Originally Posted by Zhorn View Post
    Coins
    It bears mentioning that coins doesn't mean gold, there will be a lot of silver and copper in a random treasure hoard, possibly even majority. Most day-to-day transactions normal people do are in silver or copper, so that's what they will have on them.

    Another coin issue is that there will be not that many of them unless in specific circumstances. Gold that's just lying about isn't doing you much good, unless you are a pre-modern bank or kingdom, and even then not always. Most people will invest majority of the gold into property, various undertakings, trade or objects that interest them, not many are interested in just staring at a hoard.

    The exceptions are bank vaults, mints and a few chests of gold that rich people keep, just in case.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhorn View Post
    Coins to gems/jewellery
    Raw gems will be found never outside of mines and workshops. Lone gems that were polished and whatnot will only be around if they are exceptional finds.

    Most of the gems will be parts of jewellry, and some of that jewellry will be made in service to a single, central really nice gem.

    That said, while there should be some of it in almost every treasure hoard, as it is cultural and everyone will have some of it, there won't be that much of it, unless you have someone incredibly wealthy who receives a lot of it as gifts, or if you are in a workshop. Half a dozen pieces per person in possession of a treasure is probably a solid rule of thumb.

    Nota that Erebor specifically was a manufacturing centre of jewellry, one of the items that was made but not delivered is even a minor plot point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhorn View Post
    Coins to tiny objects (eg: goblet, daggers, scroll, bottles)
    Coins to small objects (eg: shield, bolt of silk, lute)
    Coins to medium objects (eg: barrel, plate armor, rolled up rug)
    This division by object size isn't very useful. It appelas to our inventorizing brain, but ultimately, treasure is about what's in it, not what dimensions those object have, exactly. A category like weapons, books, art objects, fabrics or spices are much more useful when creating your treasure hoard, if only because one of these categories will likely be the focus of the treasure, and therefore what the treasure has most of.

    In that focal category, you will have at least a half of the treasure value, with the rest being scattered among others, or in raw gold. Besides, bolt of silk is the exact same thing as rolled up rug in terms of dimensions and weight, and yet here they are in different categories.

    Last thing to think about is the portion of treasure that is not useful or ruined. Childhood mementos, knick knacks from travels, things damaged by fighting, fire or moisture, that sort of thing. Meechanically speaking, these eshould not be part of the treasure, but having them makes treasure seem more real.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhorn View Post
    The value is less important that the general physical make-up for this, as I'll probably make up a different roll table to have the value/quality of the objects based on the value of the hoard.
    Be careful with quality and value. Once you get past about a hundred gold, there is rarely any increase in quality (unless we're talking galleons or houses or something), the extra cash is there to pay for decoration only. A look at medieval prices tells us that what we could call masterwork items cost about double of their more mundane counterparts, beyond that, it's usually just bling.
    That which does not kill you made a tactical error.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Treasure: coin-to-other ratios

    IMO only an actual dragon hoard would be a pile of treasure. The dragon wants a bed of treasure to sleep on.
    In any other context you wouldn't just take your most valuable items and throw them into a pile, you put them where they belong. Swords go into a sword rack, books into a bookshelf, silverware into a display case, gold coins into a chest, jewelry into a jewelry box, armor on a mannequin, etc.

    If you put the items into hidden or semi-hidden locations then you can turn the treasury into a minigame, you can even put above WBL items in there that they can only find if they are especially lucky or crafty.
    Black text is for sarcasm, also sincerity. You'll just have to read between the lines and infer from context like an animal

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    Default Re: Treasure: coin-to-other ratios

    I think that the only variable you should consider is coin/weight ratio and/or ease of transport.

    DM: "You find 500gp worth of stolen jewellery, goblets, candelabra, paintings and tapestry."
    Players: "Splendid, we loot everything and go home."
    DM: "Actually, you're in a sewer segment that you reached through a manhole. The stolen goods weight approximately 800 pounds(a value your generator calculated for you)... how are you going to transport them back to the surface?"

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    Default Re: Treasure: coin-to-other ratios

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Greywolf View Post
    Problem is...
    No problem, just talking a generic treasure pile. Don't overthink it.
    Imagine a pile of treasure, any context you like, it doesn't matter for what I'm asking.

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Greywolf View Post
    It bears mentioning that coins doesn't mean gold
    Yes, that's why I said coins.
    Don't over think it.
    Just describe your mental image of ANY treasure pile.

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Greywolf View Post
    Raw gems will be found never outside of...
    Sure, doesn't matter, fantasy world.
    Don't over think it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Greywolf View Post
    This division by object size isn't very useful.
    For the purposes of what I have in mind, it is to me.
    I have not covered all the details of what I'm aiming to do, just covered the bare basics to ask my question.
    What I don't find useful is massive responses that only serve to deter from letting people attempt what they want to work on in their own time, and deter other posters from just looking at answering the question being asked. Thank you for your concern, but I just want to gather some info on people's mental depictions of treasure piles.
    Realistic, unrealistic, don't care, just what people mentally picture.

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Greywolf View Post
    Be careful with quality and value.
    Not worrying about value at this stage, hence saying "general physical make-up"
    again, don't overthink.
    Just imagine a treasure pile
    then describe by preferred scale of measurement how often there are non-coins of x y z sizes. Add context for your own benefit if it helps you sleep at night, I'm just interested in collecting data.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mastikator View Post
    IMO only an actual dragon hoard would be a pile of treasure.
    It's a fantasy trope
    ... then again remembering the state of their rooms some friends kept in their teens, maybe it is based on reality...
    heh "mount washmore"... memories

    Quote Originally Posted by evilmastermind View Post
    I think that the only variable you should consider is coin/weight ratio and/or ease of transport.
    nah

    I'm sure you all mean well, and I appreciate the sentiment behind trying to help in those other ways. but I'd rather just get answers to the questions I'm asking.
    Last edited by Zhorn; 2020-08-28 at 05:33 AM.

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    Default Re: Treasure: coin-to-other ratios

    opening post edited to include an example format of the type of information I'm looking to gather.

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    Default Re: Treasure: coin-to-other ratios

    Quote Originally Posted by evilmastermind View Post
    DM: "You find 500gp worth of stolen jewellery, goblets, candelabra, paintings and tapestry."
    Players: "Splendid, we loot everything and go home."
    DM: "Actually, you're in a sewer segment that you reached through a manhole. The stolen goods weight approximately 800 pounds(a value your generator calculated for you)... how are you going to transport them back to the surface?"
    What the heck kind of pile of valuables is only worth 6 sp a pound? A heap of 40,000 copper pieces? If you want to make treasure that much of a pain in the ass you might as well pay them with fifty cows, one hundred and seventy pigs, five hundred goats, twenty-five thousand chickens, or a cargo ship loaded with two hundred and fifty tons of grain.

    That actually sounds hilarious.
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    Default Re: Treasure: coin-to-other ratios

    Er, but to answer the OP's Question...

    Quote Originally Posted by Zhorn View Post
    For every [X] Coins there are [x] gems/jewellery
    For every [Y] Coins there are [y] tiny objects
    For every [Z] Coins there are [z] small objects
    For every [W] Coins there are [w] medium objects
    ^ This is the type of information I'm looking for
    For every 100 Coins (2 pounds, a two handed-handful), there is 1 gem or jewelry object.
    For every 1,000 coins (20 pounds, a satchel's worth) there is 1 tiny object.
    For every 10,000 coins (200 pounds, a sizeable chest) there is 1 small object.
    For every 100,000 coins (2000 pounds, A four-foot tall heap) there is 1 medium object.

    So a hoard of 50,000 coins would fit in two chests and a loose heap, containing an additional two small objects (Could be the chests themselves, could be pottery or a cauldron), fifty tiny objects (statuettes, goblets, daggers), and five hundred gems or pieces of jewelry. That sounds about right to me.

    I get the objections of others that treasure rarely comes in mixed quantities, but those rarities are the bread and butter of dungeoneering. Dwarf treasure rooms and Burial goods are arranged in this kind of mixture to give the impression of haphazardly luxurious wealth. Treasure just looks more impressive when it's all mixed together like this, so any case where the owner would want to impress is a valid case to use these proportions. Plus dragon hoards, of course. Really, any monster hoard: trolls, ogres, kobolds, ettercaps, and so on all like their shinies.
    Last edited by Dr paradox; 2020-09-01 at 07:07 PM.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Treasure: coin-to-other ratios

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr paradox View Post
    For every 100 Coins (2 pounds, a two handed-handful), there is 1 gem or jewelry object.
    For every 1,000 coins (20 pounds, a satchel's worth) there is 1 tiny object.
    For every 10,000 coins (200 pounds, a sizeable chest) there is 1 small object.
    For every 100,000 coins (2000 pounds, A four-foot tall heap) there is 1 medium object.
    Thankyou Dr paradox.
    I like the 100:1 for gems/jewellery, that seems like a good ratio. Good visual presence while not being overwhelming.

    100,000:1 for medium objects might be a bit steep.
    Just going by raw coinage using the 5e DMG, a hoard large enough to get one of those wouldn't come into play until CR 17+, and even there it's an outside chance (12d6 x 1,000 GP + 8d6 x 1,000 PP, averaging ~70,000 coins).
    Could probably build off your other comment about objects potentially containing additional treasure themselves? Drop the ratio down for how often they are included, but in turn have a chance to bring the total coinage/size of the hoard up? Just spit balling ideas.
    Last edited by Zhorn; 2020-09-01 at 09:25 PM.

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    Default Re: Treasure: coin-to-other ratios

    I'm pretty unclear what a medium object would be in this context. A sarcophagus? A statue? Value aside, the aesthetic demand of a hoard suggests the volume of the coinage should exceed the volume of objects within the hoard, otherwise it's an object with stone loose treasure instead of a treasure that includes an object.
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    Default Re: Treasure: coin-to-other ratios

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr paradox View Post
    I'm pretty unclear what a medium object would be in this context. A sarcophagus? A statue?
    In my initial post above the edits I included a list of example objects for scale (mostly taken from/based on 5e's DMG p247 where it lists some objects by size).

    tiny objects: goblet, daggers, scroll, bottles
    small objects: shield, bolt of silk, lute
    medium objects: barrel, plate armor, rolled up rug

    So to use one of your examples; a sarcophagus would be big enough to fit a medium sized thing inside it, so that would mean it would be a large object

    When populating out the larger table, I'll probably draw from multiple older editions, but generally the size scale I'll try and keep consistent with the above.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr paradox View Post
    Value aside, the aesthetic demand of a hoard suggests the volume of the coinage should exceed the volume of objects within the hoard, otherwise it's an object with stone loose treasure instead of a treasure that includes an object.
    Not just the coinage, but also the collective amount of the smaller treasures would be taken into account when visually comparing to the larger things in the pile.
    Gems/jewellery are out-volumed by the coins.
    Tiny objects are out-volumed by the collective of gems/jewellery and coins.
    Small objects are out-volumed by the collective of tiny object, gems/jewellery and coins.
    etc
    etc

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    Default Re: Treasure: coin-to-other ratios

    Ahh, that'll teach me to read the OP carefully...

    You're probably right that my number for Medium items is too high. Maybe trim it in half?

    For reference, I'm working off my own calculation which suggests a Gold Piece is roughly the size of an American quarter dollar. The math works out different for silver and copper pieces, since all coins are 1/50th of a pound, but I'm just gonna assume a uniform size for the purpose of this experiment.
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    Default Re: Treasure: coin-to-other ratios

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr paradox View Post
    For reference, I'm working off my own calculation which suggests a Gold Piece is roughly the size of an American quarter dollar. The math works out different for silver and copper pieces, since all coins are 1/50th of a pound, but I'm just gonna assume a uniform size for the purpose of this experiment.
    For sure establishing coin sizes would be in order.
    As I've covered in a previous thread
    https://forums.giantitp.com/showthre...Based-on-coins
    My size of choice is based on the 3.5 Draconomicon for all coins
    • 1 coin = 1 inch diameter, 1/10th of an inch thick
    • 50 coins or gems = 1 pound

    For a Space-Australian like myself, this size is easy to gauge for my players as it's VERY close to the dimensions of an Australian One Dollar.
    Plus I get to use a whole lot of other volume values from that book and maintain size consistencies.
    Any time there's a point raised on "different metals has different densities and so would have different sizes" I just chalk it up to it being fantasy gold
    "Magic. God wizards got sick on the complex math and made currency metals the same weight for their convenience"

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