Dungeon Master's Guide 5e

(Joyce) #1


electrum pieces are moons, gold pieces are dragons,
and platinum coins are suns. The city's two local coins
are the toal and the harbor moon. The toal is a square
brass trading-coin pierced with a central hole to permit
it to be easily strung on a ring or string, worth 2 gp in
the city and nothing outside Waterdeep. The harbor
moon is a flat crescent of platinum with a central
hole and an electrum inlay, named for its traditional
use in the docks for buying large amounts of cargo at
once. The coin is worth 50 gp in Waterdeep and 30 gp
The northern city of Silverymoon mints a crescent-
shaped, shining blue coin called an electrum moon,
worth 1 gp in that city and 1 ep elsewhere. The city also
issues a larger coin called an eclipsed moon, which
looks like an electrum moon combined a darker silver
wedge to form a round coin worth 5 ep within the city
and 2 ep outside it.
The favored form of currency in the kingdom of
Cormyr is the royal coinage of the court, stamped with
a dragon on one side and a treasury date mark on the
other. There, coppers are called thumbs, silvers are
silver falcons, electrum pieces are blue eyes, gold pieces
are golden lions, and platinum coins are tricrowns.
Even city-states mint their own copper, silver, and gold
pieces. Electrum and platinum pieces are rarer in these
lands. Smaller states use coinage borrowed from other
nations and looted from ancient sources. Travelers from
certain lands (notably the wizard-dominated realms of
Thay and Halruaa) use the currencies of other realms
when trading abroad because their own coins and
tokens are feared to be magically cursed, and so are
shunned by others.
Conversely, the coins of long-lost, legendary lands
and centers of great magic are honored, though those
who find them are wise to sell them to collectors rather
than merely spending them in markets. The coins of the
old elven court of Cormanthyr are particularly famous:
thalvers (coppers), bedoars (silvers), thammarchs
(electrum), shilmaers (golds), and ruendils (platinum).
These coins a re fine, numerous, a nd sometimes still
used in trade among elves.





Trade Bars. Large numbers of coins can be difficult
to transport and account for. Many merchants prefer
to use trade bars-ingots of precious metals and alloys
(usually silver) likely to be accepted by virtually anyone.
Trade bars are stamped or graven with the symbol of the
trading company or government that originally crafted
them. These bars are valued by weight, as follows:

  • A 2-pound silver bar is worth 10 gp and is about 5
    inches long, 2 inches wide, and 1/ 2 inch thick.
    A 5-pound silver bar is worth 25 gp and is about 6
    inches long, 2 inches wide, and 1 inch thick.
    A 5-pound gold bar is worth 250 gp and is about the
    size of a 2-pound silver bar.
    The city of Baldur's Gate mints large numbers of
    silver trade bars and sets the standard for this form of
    currency. The city of Mirabar issues black iron spindle-
    shaped trade bars with squared ends weighing about
    2 pounds each, worth 10 gp in that city, markedly less
    in nearby trade centers, a nd as iron is normally valued
    elsewhere (1 sp per pound).
    Odd Currency. Coins and bars aren't the only forms
    of hard currency. Gond bells are small brass bells worth
    10 gp in trade, or 20 gp to a temple of Gond. Shaar
    rings, pierced and polished slices of ivory threaded
    onto strings by the nomads of the Shaar, are worth 3 gp
    per slice.

As shown in the previous examples, currency doesn't
need to obey a universal standard in your world. Each
country and era can have its own coins with its own
values. Your adventurers might travel through many
different lands and find long-lost treasures. Finding
· six hundred ancient bed oars from the rule of Coronal
Eltargrim twelve centuries before offers a deeper sense
of immersion in your world than finding 60 sp.
Varying names and descriptions of coins for the
major contemporary and historical realms of your world
adds an additional layer of texture. The golden lions of
Cormyr convey the noble nature of that kingdom. If a
nation mints gold coins stamped with leering demonic
faces and called torments, that currency expresses a
distinct flavor.
Creating new coins connected to specific lo cations,
like the toals ofWaterdeep or the eclipsed moons of
Silverymoon, provides another level of detail. As long as
you keep the value of these new coins simple (in other
words, don't invent a coin worth 1.62 gp), you add local
flavor to key locations in your world without adding
undue complexity.

Languages and Dialects

When fleshing out your world, you can create new
languages and dialects to reflect its unique geography
and history. You can replace the default languages
presented in the Player's Handbook with new ones, or
split languages up into several different dialects.
In some worlds, regional differences might be much
more important than racial ones. Perhaps all the
dwarves, elves, and humans who live in one kingdom
speak a common language, which is completely different
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