A Heart of Gold



Each character starts with one HEART (or SACK?) of Coin. As long as you have at least 1 Coin, you don’t have to worry about day-to-day expenses.

Simple items might deal 0-1 pts of “Damage” to this HEART. Basic Loot, 1d4. Weapons or specialized tools, 1d6…

You probably see where I’m going with this concept.

When you hit 0 Coin, you are broke, and you can’t even afford a simple meal at the Tavern. You spend an action working (or begging, or stealing) and “heal” your HEART of coin.

This might be a case of solving a problem that no one has, but I don’t have a solid sense of what different items “should” cost, or how much treasure I should hand out during a session.

Since this idea works off of the same dice mechanics as combat it should be a little easier to estimate in the moment. It also seems like this might be a decent way to get some tension into wealth management without having to keep strict records.


I actually like this idea a lot and want to try it out sometime. I could see a group walking into a shop and you just roll the 1D4 and any Basic Items they want cost that much at that store, it can fluctuate and as the GM you just give a reason (greedy merchant, nicer store, low of stock, etc.). I think i would still allow for haggling, maybe a good CHA roll just subtracts -1 from the 1D4 roll.

And yeah i like the idea of escalating the die in relation to the items rarity. It would definitely save some front end work on deciding every item’s exact worth. Good idea friend!! I’ll let you know if i try this method out.


Thanks for sharing, this is an interesting simplified version of coin and is very ICRPG-like.

take a hero coin


Exactly, I feel like you have a ton of options open for either haggling and getting into nitty-gritty stuff, or boiling down a whole trip into town to one roll. But as a GM I don’t have to spend time figuring things out in advance.


I like this idea and would simplify it even further, taking the concept from MOUSEGUARD…

So you’d have stats like RESOURCES, CIRCLES, EQUIPMENT

You can add or subtract from these stats whenever but they’d perform just like a DEFENSE roll . You just add your stat vs a TN (the whole town could have a single TN depending on how friendly of a town it is, or similar).

So if I have a 2 in resources and I want to buy a sword… I’d just roll 1d20+2 and beat the TN. If I fail it probably means I could go down a point to succeed, or just fail. Harder to find items would be HARD, easy stuff like rope would be easy.

I do like the idea of working hearts of effort into stuff, perhaps for finding especially rare items (roll CIRCLES to find the sellers, applying effort each time)…


So RESOURCES is your cash, CIRCLES is who you know, and EQUIPMENT is what you have?



Resources for any time you have to spend money or question how much you have… just make sure you bump it up when appropriate (could just be a loot item… you find stuff worth +1 resources)

Circles for any time you have to find someone, making it easy or hard when appropriate (you know the person well, they are reclusive, etc)… just finish a quest for the king? You better believe that would give you some friends.

Equipment for checking… do I have torches left? Did I pack that one obscure item I need right now? Etc. I’d imagine having a ADVENTURER’S PACK would give you easy checks on this most of the time, perhaps meaning it’s destroyed on a nat1 or perhaps it starts taking damage once your stat is -1/-2/etc


I really like that! I think it’s exactly the direction I’m trying to move in.

It’s totally possible that I just need to give my players a flat amount of coins and then just hash out prices as we go, but that’s weirdly intimidating.


You go to town for a week, get work, +1 RESOURCES. You get mugged on the way back, -1 EQUIPMENT…


I think the other way to do this is like a arrow quiver “die”… start at a d8 or d6…f you ever roll a 1 it shrinks to a lower die … once on a d4 andyou roll a 1 on that you’re out of money/gear/friends

Doesn’t really interact w the icrpg tn system or easy/hard stuff though


Gives me some good stuff to think about. I think I’m about to need to manage a trip into town so it’s been on my mind.

I might start with the HEART idea and when that stops working ramp up to CIRCLES, RESOURCES etc. If I say you have 1 HEART of Coin, and 1 Coin is roughly equal to a day’s labor, then it should mesh fairly well with the ICME price tables, and still give us the flexibility to change stuff on the fly.

If you have 1 HEART of Health, 1 HEART of Coin, 1 HEART of Friends, then Supply could theoretically be used to restore any of those.


Great idea, man. This has HUGE potential for some REALLY fun stuff :slight_smile: Please share more if you develop it further.


I prefer a little bit more bookkeeping but this method reminds me of my Death Heart and my Supply Heart. One element that you might want to take into consideration is that HEARTS can be added over time as loot. Find a pile of coin? Add a SACK to your character sheet! You now have 20 HP worth of coin!

As for how things should cost, maybe use these tables of mine? :blush:

When a player is trying to buy something, determine if there is a chance of failure. If there is, then consider the scarcity of the something and its assigned TN before you ask the player to roll a D20.

Scarcity TN EASY/HARD modifier
Common 10 The group doesn’t trust you or they have a personal reason to oppose you.
Uncommon 12 There might be a shortage or the supplier only comes at certain times.
Rare 15 It requires hard-to-find resources to build or a level of profeciency that is not common.
Exclusive 18 The group is secretive or it is only handed out to allies.

On a success, or if there is no chance of failure, the player damages his SACK (:muscle:) with the appropriate amount of Effort:

Importance Effort Details
Simple D4 (2) Unskilled labour, one-note tasks, tip
Tiring D6 (3) Day-long repetition, encumbering, special conditions
Proficiency D8 (4) Long studies, practice or critical information is not shared around.
Emotional D10 (5) It’s been in the family for a very long time or it reminds the owner of an decisive event.
Large D12 (6) Building a room, long-range magic spells, mighty bodyguards

Importance is supposed to mean how essential the something is to the seller. But in trying to consider services as well I think that I may not have made a good column. :sweat: Feel free to modify it.

I have provided the average effort for each die as services generally have a flat cost. However, in certain situations the players could be made to roll dice to hire NPCs.

Don’t be afraid to make up a pool of dice when building a tower, gathering materials and hiring a horde of workers. Especially when the players have amassed plenty of SACKS for such projects. If the amount rolled is superior to their total SACK HP, then this is the opportunity for a quest!

What do you think? :smile:


That is AWESOME! Looks like you’re way ahead of me! I think the idea is right there, you’ve just nailed down some specifics that I haven’t had a chance to run into. I’ll definitely keep those tables in mind as well. Thanks for sharing!


I’m not ahead of you at all, we’re all just having fun making cool things up! But thank you for your compliment! :smile:

With all those special HEARTS however, I’m starting to get the feeling that we could totally make a HEARTS hack of Index Card RPG! ICRPG is so flexible & malleable, it’s a lot of fun to make things up with it!