The Market - An ICRPG shopping Hack



Hi all,

I discussed this long ago on discord when I wanted some ideas on money and trade for my game. This is what we came up with and I have been using it at my table to great success from both enjoyment and prep time efficiency.

Felt it should be written up and shared as others might find it useful. If you want the PDF or have any suggestions please do let me know!

Do coins take up inventory space?
Question - How does money work as Loot?

This, plus paying your PCs 30 silver coins per adventuring day is the perfect way to handle merchandise in TTRPGs! Well done!


Hmm. How would you manage really large or really small sums of money?

  • In Wanderhome, small things are basically free of charge and everything with significant value is traded as barter. I guess there aren’t really extremes of wealth and poverty in that world.
  • In the real world, some rigid costs of just pennies can still pinch you (like payment on sites like Patreon), while on the other hand the super-rich have such mindbogglingly vast wealth that they are literally not able to spend it all. How many houses and yachts can a person buy? Some of them even have yachts-within-yachts. At that point they usually set up some charity foundation and make themselves look generous, all the while continuing to expand their wealth to even more useless extremes.

Obviously, we don’t want our RPG systems to be as complex as the real world, but do you still want some of that grimdark edgy dystopian mood to it? It seems like what you’ve got here feels a lot more like an egalitarian society. The amount of gold a rich person could carry around is only nine times more valuable than the amount of copper a poor person could carry. Even if they loaded up a carriage with their wealth, the difference would be nothing like we have in the real world.

  • What if the rich used a different set of bank tokens (“premium”, “platinum”, etc.) to represent portions of vast sums of wealth stored in their vault? These could function in the same way as your COIN system, but on a much more vast scale.
  • What if there were no banks, but people stored their money in magic item investments. Kind of like people buy gold today — the evil-rich might buy magic scrolls worth several bags of gold and flame swords worth many healing scrolls, not to use them but just to hoard their value. They might store them inside vaults in their home, or hidden away in dungeons, guarded by magic traps and stuff, and they might hire adventurers to steal from their peers on some fake moral pretext:

“Hello. My name is Count Vampula. I want to hire you to steal the Ring of Eternal Bliss from my friend/enemy Duke Ravenguard because he is an evil vampire who is using it to lure people to their doom in his mansion. If you do this, I will pay you 3 bags of gold and give 3 more to the orphanage near my castle, just to prove to you my good intentions.” (Wink wink.)


Short answer, I wouldn’t handle it for my game. Small coin items are just free or bundled together in bulk and we are not using anything above ultimate LOOT. I think If they had 20 items of LOOT at Gold Level they would be unstoppable!

But… you could scale it as far as you want. Your trade between coins could be 4:1 & you could have more tiers of coin values. If it was to be scaled, you might need to allow some extra slots on top of the current 20 but just for coin. This way you could do 4:1 trades and save up for platinum items.

I went with Copper Silver Gold due to the loot we have set out in our game and we are not focused on wealth as our story. For other stories though, wealth and riches could be more important!


Now on DriveThruRPG :grinning: