Monetary unit

Money is a complicated thing. The value of money across time is very difficult to assess. The relative values of currencies, gold and silver has always been turbulent. Fortunately there was a coin minted in Bohemia that was used for daily purchases and had worldwide influence -- the Joachimsthaler -- which became shortened to the thaler. The thaler was circulated around Europe as a reference standard.

When Spain ruled the seas and had access to large amounts of silver in the New World they started to mint silver coins of similar value to the thaler, or dollar, that Europe was used to. The peso, as it was called, was worth 8 Spanish reals; thus its common name, the "piece of eight." The world started to use these pesos as a standard for international trade. Due to its similarity to the thaler, these coins became known an Spanish Dollars. Asia, which had largely traded in bulk silver to this point, modeled the Japanese Yen and Chinese Yuan off of this coin. The fledgling United States, without the resources and credibility to create it own currency, used the Spanish Dollar until it was able to mint its own silver dollars of parity value.

Eventually the world would move onto the gold standard based on the value of their silver piece when they switched over, and then on to the far more controlled fiat currencies of today, but the silver dollar makes for a good reference of value. One can assume its value to be fixed against non-debased intrinsic value currencies and use the price of silver to determine its conversion rate for floating currencies (approximately 25g fine silver).

We will use the ($), first used with the Spanish dollar, to indicate silver dollars. Many nations, including Mexico and the USA, decimalized the dollar into 100 cents, here we will do the same.

In a fantasy setting, the dollar makes a good value for a silver piece.

What about Gold?

Spain also minted the famed doubloon, worth 32 reals, 4 Spanish dollars, which was ~7g gold and had the trade value of 2 ducats, an older trade coin standard of gold. The ducat was defined as 3.5g of .986 pure gold.

What about an energy based economy?

This can be kind of a cool idea for a SciFi game. This system places the rate at about $0.01 per MJ. Which is best illustrated with the hydrogen pricing. The energy you get from perfectly combusting 1 kilo of hydrogen is about 140MJ. Of course, once you introduce fusion into the equation this economy may break down, but it still could be cool for story purposes.

Currency Conversions

In a campaign the GM may want to use some alternate form of currency. This table gives some sample currencies and the conversion rates. US dollar prices are based off the price of silver.

Currency Value Cost multiplier
Gold Doubloon $4 1/4
Gold Ducat $2 1/2
Gold Florin $2 1/2
Peso $1
Piece of 8 $1
Spanish dollar $1
Silver trade coin $1
US Silver Dollar $1
Thaler $1
Silver Yen $1
Silver Yaun $1
Silver Penny(Dinar) $0.06 16.67
1 cent $0.01 100
US dollar(<1933) $1
US dollar(1933-1970) $0.66 3/2
US dollar(1970s) $0.33 3
US dollar(1980s) $0.14 7
US dollar(1990s) $0.25 4
US dollar(2000s) $0.14 7
Silver market(X $/Kg) 40/X X/40
Silver market(X $/oz t) 5/(4X) (4X)/5
fantasy gp $10 1/10
fantasy sp $1
fantasy cp $0.1 10
GJ $10 1/10
MJ $0.01 100

Base Pay

The character's base pay is what they should make each month, if they are employed in a job fitting their class and level. It can also be scaled to determine reasonable reward or fees for contract work.

The system also makes use of base pay for determining the value of the character's time in the crafting system.

Cost of Living

A character has certain things they need or want in their life. These are expressed in the Cost of Living calculation. This shows how much money is spent each month by the character to maintain their life style.

Expense Cost
Ingredients (requires Craft skills)
Good (fresh food) $50/month
Common (fresh frozen) $30/month
Poor (canned/dried) $10/month
Good (4-star dining) $150/month
Common (restaurants) $90/month
Poor (fast food/cafeterias) $30/month
Good (MREs) $150/month
Common (trail mix/jerky) $90/month
Poor (hardtack) $30/month
Clothing(by style)
Out of style $4/month
Recently out of style $20/month
In style $100/month
High fashion $400/month
1 room studio $75/month
2 room $150/month
4 room Flat $300/month
Penthouse $750/month
Row House $300/month
Duplex $350/month
House $400/month
Large House $600/month
Mansion w/ house staff $4000/month
Hotel (includes maid service)
Camp Ground $45/month
Barracks $60/month
1 room studio $150/month
2 room $300/month
4 room Flat $600/month
Penthouse $1500/month
Broadcast data service (Newspaper, Periodicals, Radio, TV, Cable) $10/month
Home communication service (Phone, Internet) $10/month
Personal Comm service (Cellular Phone) $10/month
Vehicle fuel and maintenance (vehicle cost/100)/month
Loans ($1 per $100)/month
Medical insurance
Insurance Other
Regular employee Class base pay

Starting Funds

A character should have equipment totalling their level plus one times their base pay. So a first level character would start with twice their base pay. A character should use these funds to purchase their equipment.

Funds = (Level + 1) * Base_Pay


Skill Kits & Tools Cost
Skill Kit, Improvised $0
Skill Kit, Common $30 per +1 over +7 (minimum $30)
Skill Kit, Masterwork $500 + $30 per +1 over +7 (minimum $530)
Ingredient, Masterwork $50 per use
Tool, Masterwork $500
Be specific and descriptive, this will determine when the tool can be used.
Services Cost
Hireling(One time contract)
Cast a spell
Craft an item Twice item cost
Perform a skill
Use a feat
Delivery Cost
Package(per kilo)
Improved Quality Item Cost Increase(Double for weapons)
Masterwork $3000
+1 $10000
+2 $40000
+3 $90000
+4 $160000
+5 $250000
+6 $360000
+7 $490000
+8 $640000
+9 $810000
+10 $1000000
Metals Cost per Kilo
Silver $40
Gold $600
Platinum $900
Palladium $300
Copper $4
Iron/Steel $0.30
HQ Steel $1
Aluminum $2
Titanium $23
Mythril $500
Admant $1000
Combustibles Cost per Kilo
Fire Wood $0.20
Coal $0.30
Oil $0.45
Natural Gas $0.50
Hydrogen $1.40
Animals Cost per Lvl
Wild (Lions, Bears)
Domesticated (cattle, chickens)
Labor Trained (Plow ox)
Skilled (Hunting Dog)
War Trained (Warhorse)

Communications Equipment Cannot be easily priced across tech levels as tech level increases more information can be transmitted for cheaper. The GM should determine prices and avaiablity for each campaign. crystal AM Radio $7 Radio $200 Record Player $100 Record Recorder $200 Record $20 Communication Radio $50 per .5 miles range phone call $1 periodical $2 Telegram
local $1 per word Trans-Atlantic $5 per word

Hardware locksmith's tools

chisel set $5 hacksaw $5 file $2 wire cutters $2 crowbar $40 glass cutter $5 ratchet set $200 adjustable wrench $2 tape measure 200' $2 surveying equipment $200 hammer $5 screwdriver set $50 rope $20 for 50' wire& cable $4 for 100' Hand drill $30 25' ladder $50 spikes $1 mallets $7 hooks $1 pulley $2 Safety goggles $1 gasoline blowtorch $100 pliers $4

Security lock $3 padlock $3 chain heavy $3 per foot light $1 per foot

Medical & Scientific adhesive pads $10 bandages $5 gauze pads $5 adhesive tape $5 scale up to 5kg $10 Up to 200kg $100 splints $3 sterile gloves $5 test tubes $3 per dozen scissors $5 forceps $7 thermometer $10 hypodermic syringes $15 atomizer $10 needle $1 for 5 razor blades $2 for 5 pins $1 for 50 scalpel $4 bed pan $15 wheel chair $100 probe $2 metal crutches $40 straight jacket $50

Wilderness matches/100 $5 sleeping bag $30 tent one-man $100 5man $200 circus $1400 Grappling hook $13 Canteen $6 Compass $4 lighter, refillable $10 lighter fluid, liter $5 Tackle box $35 fishing rod $20 small animal trap(2d6) $20 large animal trap(5d6) $50 fishing line $15 for 50 m cooking kit $50 camp stove $50 gas lantern $30 small propane tank $10 refill $8

Household items candles table $1/5 scented votive $1/2 large scented $5 sewing needle 4 $1 thread $1 soap $2 per bar Men's Toilet Set $20 Women's Toilet Set $50 make-up kit $50

Optics Tough palm-size flashlight $12 Heavy Flashlight(1d6) $23 Weapon mounted Light $50 Head-mount Light $17 Hand held Search light $70 Dark room Equipment $500 chemical refills $150 Laser Pointer $44 Emergency strobe $70 microscope $300 telescope $200 binoculars $25 magnifying glass $2 camera $150 camera, concealable $350 36 pictures $5

Books & Diversions mah jong set $30 playing cards $2 Ouija board $5 Unabridged dictionary $25 Encyclopedia $10 per volume World Atlas $25 Paperback fiction $6 Textbook $50

Clocks wrist watch $30 pocket watch $100 Grandfather clock $500 wall clock $25 Hour glass $20

Containers Weapon Holster $15 travel bag/backpack $20 Briefcase $35 saddle bags $40 trunk wood(5 sp) $20 metal(10 sp) $50

Office supplies paper, ream $5 pen 10 $1 typewriter $150

Other whistle $1 Aqualung $100 recharge $20 umbrella $10 Gas Mask $30

Optic mount helmet $2,000 targeting sight +5% to hit $2,000 night sight $1,500 thermo-imagery $1,000 infrared $1,000 ultraviolet $1,000 telescopic $500 microscopic $500 Video recorder $200 media $30 per memory unit TV screen $100 range finder $100 camera $100 polarized lenses $75 color filter $50

Other Equipment Magnetic media eraser $60 Tactical Search mirror $10 Badges $30 Hand cuff key $1 Belt conceal Hand cuff key $8 Handcuff shim pick(+50%) $4 Handcuffs $12 Hinged Handcuffs(-15%) $19 Leg cuffs $24 Thumb cuffs $8 Small Fire Extinguisher $12 Police Whistle $3 Hand Held Battering Ram(+30%) $299 Universal Garage door opener $399r Standard Lock Picks(+5%) $34r Master Lock Picks(+15%) $60r Padlock picks(+25%) $10 Lock pick Gun(+50%) $130r Slim Jim(+50%) $17r Automotive Lock Picks(+25%) $70r Telephone Voice Changer $60 Mini Bug Scanner(+60%) $109 Telephone Scrambler(-80%) $150 Telephone Recorder $50 Pay phone recorder $49 Microphone $10 Pen-Mic $30 Mini-recorder $99 Lineman's telephone $99 Pinhole camera $149 Hooded Winter field jacket $89 Sniper Veil(+10% Hide) $9 Gas Mask $14 Sunglasses $34 Gloves(-15%) $30 Sap Gloves(+1 damage,-40%) $52 Police search gloves(-0%) $50 Tactical Equipment Harness $75 Smoke Grenade(+10%) $7 Hand-Held Metal Detector(+60%)$148 Walk Through Metal Detector $2800 Light Sticks $1 Night Vision Binoculars $2300 Binoculars $70 Self Lighting Compass $74 Folding Saw $20 Thief Detection Powder/Stain $20 Sonic nausea device $99 Chemicals Stink(-15%) $9 Flatulence inducer $9 Vomit inducer $9 Burning/itching(-20%) $9 Ultra laxative $11 Lock Freeze(-90%) $11 Liquid Coagulator $11 Sneezing Powder $9 Blood Capsules $3 Water Purification tablets $5 for 50 quarts worth Rappelling Harness $72 Rope $1 per m Canteen(2 qt) $5 1 day Rations $2 lasts up to 20 years