Do coins take up inventory space?



I am planning a small little dungeon for some new players, at the end is a treasure room.
I don’t want to give them 10,000 coin on the first game so i was going to set a timer that brings the whole place down, limiting the time they have to fill their pockets and get out, but it got me thinking…

Do coins take up inventory space?

Right now I am thinking I will do sacks of 100 take up a slots just to have something for now.
I used to run Basic Fantasy, and in that I did give coins a weight, based on what they was made of, and the kingdom they came from, and would limit how many a bag would hold based on volume and weight.
That doesn’t feel right for this game.


I’ve seen games use the 100 coins use one inventory slot. I also used it. I feel it is a fair number and works OK.


IIRC gold has a density of just over 19 grams per cubic centimeter, nearly twice that of silver or copper. For simplicity’s sake, let’s say our fantasy coin is 24K pure gold (impractical, but let us handwave it) and about the size of a US half dollar, about 30mm across and perhaps just a hair thicker at 2.2mm. These coins would weigh just over 1 (avoirdupois) ounce, and a sack of 150 of them would weigh ten pounds.

In my home game, I let players carry up to three such sacks—450 coin in standard ICRPG currency—in one inventory slot. That’s a thirty-pound coin purse! If they are carrying loads of cash, I ask the party to devote additional slots.

Even after a lucrative dungeon run, the PCs are rarely carrying more than this much gold each, and when they need to transport large sums, they usually convert a portion of it into gemstones.



200 coins is the limit! Shad said so! :laughing:


I like this a lot.
Thank you.
7 points.


Fun Fact: Traded today, that ten-pound bag of about 150 one-ounce gold coins would be worth well over a quarter million US dollars ($0.26 million)…


I like the idea that a loot slot holds one loot, as in the coin pouch, satchel, or box from the shabby loot table takes up a slot each. If you follow that thinking through, then a box can hold up to 36 coins.


And this is why I use the silver shilling as the basis for costs :wink: It’s also more historically accurate. Gold SHOULD be a rarity. Ah, here it is : Delta’s D&D on Money

On Money Part 2 : According to research, the average coin weighed (using silver groats and such) roughly 6.5g. 70 coins weighed about a pound.

So, to answer the OP : If you used the silver standard? An adventurer could carry a fair amount of COIN.

Which, I should add (as much as I love Shad) : 1,000 historical units of COIN would be about 15 pounds. Depending on your encumbrance? Could be uncomfortable. but that’s why mage’s don’t wear armor, and Shad beautifully demonstrates why gold should not be the standard :slight_smile:

E3 : E1 and E2 trying to get the links to work xD I’m not the brightest of bulbs.


And something just occurred to me, so I want to address, both coinage and how many slots a sack of coins take from my POV.

  1. Coinage. If one is persistent and demands a gold standard with realistic weights? Perhaps (and I’m spitballing because humans be smart), they divided up the gold : 1 talon is 1/5 of a gold is 1 gold piece. 1 claw is 3/5 of a gold or 3 talons is 3 gold pieces. A hand/solarius/whathaveyou is one actual gold piece worth five gold pieces. That cuts your weight by 1/5. If weight is your concern.

  2. Slots. I usually refer to a military standard (US and Roman) : A soldier carries 75 pounds (roughly) of gear and is moderately (using D&D terminology with a Str of 13) encumbered. So, a completely unencumbered Str 13 soldier would be able to carry 150 pounds before becoming overencumbered. There are 10 slots of CARRIED. Each slot, to me, is 15 pounds, an item less than 15 pounds or a bundle of items that fit within 15 pounds of a carried unit, but that’s because I discount EQUIPPED items. However, if I were to include both together : 7.5 pounds per slot or, per above, 525 (500 to keep maff easy) COIN per inventory slot between EQUIPPED (10 slots, though I would rule one sack in each hand is the limit) and CARRIED (10 slots). Whether or not you say carrying a sack in each hand counts as EQUIPPED is up to you. :slight_smile:


I always loved the system in the link above for coin. It’s very ICRPG flavored on how simple yet elegant it is.


A medieval period Anglo-Saxon mancus or Islamic dinar contained about 4.25 grams of fine gold and was about the size and weight of a modern US nickel, or about 5 grams and 20 mm diameter.

So 100 gp would be about the size and weight of two and half rolls of forty US nickels, and weigh 500 g, or a little more than 1 pound avoirdupois. And, in historical terms, would be worth about 8 years’ income for a skilled worker.


100 coins feels good. Extrapolating that number of coins onto the ICRPG economy, that’s enough coin for about three and a half months’ room and board, or enough to outfit a party of 4 with +2 armor and military weapons. It’ll get you halfway to an epic LOOT item.

That seems like a worthy use of an inventory slot. A Cosmic Gem or a Diamond Tiara are technically more efficient ways to store your wealth, but try getting your bartender to make change for that, and he’ll ask you if there’s dirt under his fingernail.


Yeah to echo some other comments on coins vs. slots

100 is a solid number for one slot especially if you are using the progression via purchase rules.

I’ve also used 500 a slot, with the wink and a nod that other one slot items are like - a small boat, a tent, and several other big heavy items. Kind of all over the place.

I’d shoot for 100 per slot, then see how it goes in your game.

P.S. Different currencies and weight - you that gets complicated and highly specific quick for a game that uses abstraction for most of its rules, i.e. a dagger and a broadsword use the the same damage die, ammo isn’t really tracked, and no one cares if you have enough rations to get back - you just do okay! lol


One thing just occured to me. If you’re going to make coin a part of day-to-day life for your characters(if they need to think about paying for room and board, or they’re regularly buying supplies), maybe give them a limited amount of free storage. Even if it’s just ten coins or something. It might be kind of a bummer if they’re always down a carried slot just to meet their basic needs.


@KaneDriscol did an excellent video on the entire money topic: