Monday, June 7, 2010

The minutiae of gaming - money changing

I listen to a few gaming podcasts, and I will write about those another time. Now I wanted to talk about something that they spoke about on RFI issue 15, namely  money changing fees.

Why haven't I used money changing fees? Imagine delvers coming back from the dungeon, and their packs are filled with gold minted during bygone eras. If you want to compare the classic fantasy gaming era with the middle ages of earth history, money was often used by weight. Not always were the minted coin worth anything because of the emperor whose face was stamped into the metal, but the metal itself. If you care about "realism" then somebody with scales who will give you some usable change or be able to buy some old coins for their true value would be a natural part of the campaign. Also, the existence of money changing fees are in the AD&D DMG, which is reason enough for some people.

So. Why haven't I bothered with things like that?

Twenty years ago, I would have said that interacting with merchants, money changers and such people was roleplaying. Back in those days we had endless swaths of free time and equipping for adventure could easily take a session. We engaged in interaction with every facet of the imaginary world. Now when I think of money changing fees and encumbrance I just sigh.

The thing is I could easily see the value of these kinds of things in the game world. Encumbrance is another resource management, and paying fees and taxes are reasons for players to get inventive. But, is it still worth it when sessions are shorter and far and few between?
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