backpack and coins


Rules Questions


How many coins can you put in a backpack? i know that 50 coins weigh 1 pound but i cant find how much weight a backpack can hold.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Depends on the coins.

Also, depends on the backpack.


It's undefined by the rules. Your GM will have to make a ruling, or just fake it.

The Exchange

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the issue will be weight, rather than volume. i know from experience that a too-heavy backpack can hurt- i once got bruises on both shoulders after carrying an overloaded backpack full of books back to my car from a library book sale.

the rules only say 2 cubic feet. this is 2409 pounds. you can get fewer coins per cubic foot due to shape however. there is no mention of a weight limit, but this may depend on material used.

so lets just round down to a ton of gold, 2000 pounds. at 50 coins per pound, that 100,000 gold coins. you need a strength of 20 just to drag that much weight.

so the practical answer- the backpack holds as much as you can try to carry.


For that matter, if you're finding that many coins, unless you've raided a copper piece mint ... you're probably at a point where you can get a Bag of Holding or a Handy Haversack.


Zhayne wrote:
For that matter, if you're finding that many coins, unless you've raided a copper piece mint ... you're probably at a point where you can get a Bag of Holding or a Handy Haversack.

Thank you that was very helpful info.


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This reminds me of the old Everquest noob trick of leaving a pile of copper coins somewhere to root the noob to the ground after picking them up.

The Exchange

Which, in turn, reminds me of an old Order of the Stick strip - one of the Dragon ones - describing copper pieces as "the most cunning trap in all of D&D."

Ironically, it seems likely that the limitations here - given a high-Strength character - aren't going to be encumbrance or cubic capacity, but the strength of the stitching on the straps of the backpack in question. Rrrrip!


Lincoln Hills wrote:

Which, in turn, reminds me of an old Order of the Stick strip - one of the Dragon ones - describing copper pieces as "the most cunning trap in all of D&D."

Ironically, it seems likely that the limitations here - given a high-Strength character - aren't going to be encumbrance or cubic capacity, but the strength of the stitching on the straps of the backpack in question. Rrrrip!

Except there are no actual rules for fabric strength... So by RAW, if you can put them in the backpack, the only limitation is if you can pick it up and carry it.

The Exchange

You're right - sorry, I was thinking in terms of realistic simulation and this is not the House Rules or Advice area of the boards. Stitched leather is infinitely strong for the purposes of the rules-as-written. (Just like the wrist tendons of anime swordsmen!)


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Adamantine Dragon wrote:
This reminds me of the old Everquest noob trick of leaving a pile of copper coins somewhere to root the noob to the ground after picking them up.

Haha I remember doing that, "You're in LOCKDOWN bish!"

Masterwork Backpack capacity is 2 cubic feet. Assuming 20 quarter sized coins to the cubic inch, that's 1728 x 20 quarters per cubic foot, x2, for a capacity of 69120 coins at /50 = 1382 lbs.

So, assuming slightly better than normal materials, the backpack straps would equate to leather/rope, figuring +1 for masterwork. Rope Hardness:3, dc to burst 24, hitpoints 3. To pick up the backpack, you need a 29 strength to shift/drag that much weight. On average, a yank from a 29 strength pack baboon is going to do 1 point plus 9 strength damage, or 7 points over hardness per yank. So 10 points damage vs 3 hardness + 3 hit points = burst straps. Reverse mapping the item to see how much it really can carry without shredding: 4 hps damage vs MW backpack (3 hardness + 1.5 hp to be unbroken with 1.5 hp left) = 18 strength = 300 lbs heavy load x 50 coins/lb = 15000 coins per backpack. So, you could put more in it but be limited to scooching it across the floor until it abraids the materials and shreds, for 1.5 hps damage.

Sorry, I love math.


Heimdall, I certainly appreciate your impressive efforts to apply RAW to the question of whether a backpack could hold that many coins, but the problem is that you are still making assumptions that are not supported by RAW. There is nothing but GM fiat to suggest that a backpack strap "would equate to leather/rope". Sure, it "makes sense" but so does the assumption that the backpack stitched seams would burst. And if you're going to start GM fiat, you may as well just be as simulationist as you want to be.


40lbs worth, or 2000gp.

Not going to find it in writing in Pathfinder, but it was given in early 3.0 ed and many have houseruled this forward ever since.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:


Except there are no actual rules for fabric strength... So by RAW, if you can put them in the backpack, the only limitation is if you can pick it up and carry it.

I disagree with this line of reasoning. RAW explicitly allows for GM interpretation in the interests of verisimilitude and common sense, under the heading of "The Most Important Rule."

If there are no rules for fabric strength, RAW is not "the fabric is infinitely strong" but "the fabric is as strong as the GM rules it to be."

This is an important distinction that a lot of people on this forum seem to miss. There's don't need to be formal rules to cover every aspect of everything. The GM explicitly "adjudicates the rules and controls all of the elements of the story and world that the players explore." Not the rulebook, and not the Paizo publishing team. If the rule books are silent on a particular real-world limitation, that does not mean that the rules imply that limitation does not exist.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:


Except there are no actual rules for fabric strength... So by RAW, if you can put them in the backpack, the only limitation is if you can pick it up and carry it.

I disagree with this line of reasoning. RAW explicitly allows for GM interpretation in the interests of verisimilitude and common sense, under the heading of "The Most Important Rule."

If there are no rules for fabric strength, RAW is not "the fabric is infinitely strong" but "the fabric is as strong as the GM rules it to be."

This is an important distinction that a lot of people on this forum seem to miss. There's don't need to be formal rules to cover every aspect of everything. The GM explicitly "adjudicates the rules and controls all of the elements of the story and world that the players explore." Not the rulebook, and not the Paizo publishing team. If the rule books are silent on a particular real-world limitation, that does not mean that the rules imply that limitation does not exist.

And yet again we have someone who simply cannot seem to fathom that "Rules As Written" refers to "Rules As Written."

Sure, everyone knows that the GM can make stuff up Orfamay, and everyone knows that the rules do not cover every conceivable possibility. But when somene is asking what the RULES mean in the RULES forum, it is reasonable (and in fact pretty much required) to not say "Well, you're the GM, and rule Zero says...." since that response pretty much turns the entire forum into "you're the GM! Do what you want!"

Besides, several of us DID say "hey, the rules don't cover this, so be as simulationist as you like."


Adamantine Dragon wrote:


And yet again we have someone who simply cannot seem to fathom that "Rules As Written" refers to "Rules As Written."

Yes, I know, which is why I was trying to educate you so you didn't make that particular mistake again.

Quote:


Sure, everyone knows that the GM can make stuff up Orfamay. But when somene is asking what the RULES mean in the RULES forum, it is reasonable (and in fact pretty much required) to not say "Well, you're the GM, and rule Zero says...."

Actually, it's much more reasonable to say that than it is to say (quoting from upthread), "Stitched leather is infinitely strong for the purposes of the rules-as-written." There is no text to support the idea that stitched leather has no breaking point.

Basically, you're making the assumption that in the absence of a rule, RAW demands a specific interpretation that imposes minimal limits on the player. There is, in fact, no text that supports this assumption. So what you're suggesting as RAW is not actually RAW at all. What is RAW is rule 0.


Orfamay Quest wrote:
Adamantine Dragon wrote:


And yet again we have someone who simply cannot seem to fathom that "Rules As Written" refers to "Rules As Written."

Yes, I know, which is why I was trying to educate you so you didn't make that particular mistake again.

Quote:


Sure, everyone knows that the GM can make stuff up Orfamay. But when somene is asking what the RULES mean in the RULES forum, it is reasonable (and in fact pretty much required) to not say "Well, you're the GM, and rule Zero says...."

Actually, it's much more reasonable to say that than it is to say (quoting from upthread), "Stitched leather is infinitely strong for the purposes of the rules-as-written." There is no text to support the idea that stitched leather has no breaking point.

Basically, you're making the assumption that in the absence of a rule, RAW demands a specific interpretation that imposes minimal limits on the player. There is, in fact, no text that supports this assumption. So what you're suggesting as RAW is not actually RAW at all. What is RAW is rule 0.

Orfamay, just for future reference, do me a favor and if you're going to quote a post in a debate with me, make sure you're quoting ME since I have no desire to defend someone else's comments. What I said was this:

Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Except there are no actual rules for fabric strength... So by RAW, if you can put them in the backpack, the only limitation is if you can pick it up and carry it.

Which is exactly true. Of course I would probably be a simulationist GM and have the backpack split along the seams or something, but that's not a "rules as written" judgment, that's a GM fiat.

And yes, "GM Fiat" itself as a CONCEPT is "Rules as Written." But to constantly point that out (or feel a need to constantly point that out) is pretty much the definition of pedantic. It is fairly well understood by most of us that the "Rules" forum is meant to discuss actual rules that are NOT GM Fiat, and, as in this case, point out when GM Fiat of some sort is probably going to be required.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:


Orfamay, just for future reference, do me a favor and if you're going to quote a post in a debate with me, make sure you're quoting ME since I have no desire to defend someone else's comments. What I said was this:

Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Except there are no actual rules for fabric strength... So by RAW, if you can put them in the backpack, the only limitation is if you can pick it up and carry it.
Which is exactly true.

No. You would have been correct if you said that "by RAW, if you can put them in the backpack, the only limitation is if you can pick it up and carry it unless the GM imposes other limitations."

GM fiat is itself rules as written. If the rules as written are silent on an issue, then RAW does not say "the only limitation is ..." That implies, incorrectly, that if you can meet that specific limitation, RAW suggests that the GM should allow you to do what you want.


FIGHTfightfightFIGHTfightfightFIGHTfightfight.

(No, I never help with anything; not even once during my life, in fact.)


Rules as Written means Rules as Written. If the DM is making a ruling or judgment call, then he is not using RAW.

We aren't saying this is impermissible or even a bad idea. We're saying it's not RAW, which it isn't.


Wouldn't just using platinum pieces make this a lot easier??


IQuarent wrote:
Wouldn't just using platinum pieces make this a lot easier??

Sure, but you don't always have them. If you slay a troll and find a pile of 3,000 gold coins, you cannot just write 300pp on your sheet just because you would rather have platinum. Well, I know some gaming groups do this, but that's more like a house rule and would be equivalent to finding a +1 battleaxe and when your character takes it you write "+1 longsword" on your sheet because you would rather have a longsword.

You find what you find. And if it's a pile of gold, or a pile of copper, it's up to you to figure out how to get that back to town and exchange it for platinum, or better yet, for gems, to make it more portable.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Also, the assumption that the coins are the size of quarters is a bit of a mistake too.

1 Pound of Gold is about 1.44 cubic inches of volume.

That's NOT a lot of volume (if it helps to visualize it, a golf ball is 2.48 cubic inches in volume). So, a little more than half the volume of a golf ball.

I'd say each of those gold coins (50 per pound) is more like the half the size of a dime.


mdt wrote:

Also, the assumption that the coins are the size of quarters is a bit of a mistake too.

1 Pound of Gold is about 1.44 cubic inches of volume.

That's NOT a lot of volume (if it helps to visualize it, a golf ball is 2.48 cubic inches in volume). So, a little more than half the volume of a golf ball.

I'd say each of those gold coins (50 per pound) is more like the half the size of a dime.

This was so much simpler back when we had electrum pieces. :P


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Yeah, the 50 coins = 1 pound rule is an abstract to be sure. Nobody makes coins that small; too easy to lose them. Gems that small are meant to be set into bigger things like rings or other jewelry, but coins are meant to be kept lose and "liquid" for easy trade; that's what they're for. So they're bigger for a good reason.

I just bought 100 ounces of silver rounds. They're a bit larger than a quarter, each "round" being coin shaped at exactly one ounce. Each "round" is roughly the size and shape of old gold dubloons or more modern gold Krugerrands. That's 100 coins weighing just over 6 pounds. Of silver. I threw them into a coin purse and tossed them to my players at the game table. They were, shall we say, taken a bit by surprise by the volume and weight.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

For those that are curious :

1 lb of silver takes up 2.64 cubic inches (slightly bigger than the aforementioned golf ball)

1 lb of platinum takes up about 1.29 cubic inches (slightly less than gold)

And yes, before you ask, platinum is denser than gold (thus the smaller are it takes up per lb). Gold is a very dense metal, it's not the densest metal (which some pretty dense people have argued with me about before).

1 lb of copper takes up a whopping 3.1 cubic inches (about two golf balls worth).


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
DM_Blake wrote:

Yeah, the 50 coins = 1 pound rule is an abstract to be sure. Nobody makes coins that small; too easy to lose them. Gems that small are meant to be set into bigger things like rings or other jewelry, but coins are meant to be kept lose and "liquid" for easy trade; that's what they're for. So they're bigger for a good reason.

I just bought 100 ounces of silver rounds. They're a bit larger than a quarter, each "round" being coin shaped at exactly one ounce. Each "round" is roughly the size and shape of old gold dubloons or more modern gold Krugerrands. That's 100 coins weighing just over 6 pounds. Of silver. I threw them into a coin purse and tossed them to my players at the game table. They were, shall we say, taken a bit by surprise by the volume and weight.

Wish I had enough money to do that. :)

But yeah, I think 10 coins per lb would be more accurate, and put them in the kugerand/dubloon range for silver/gold, and the Pirate's of the Carribean Cursed Gold Jar lid range for the coppers. :)


Adamantine Dragon wrote:
Lincoln Hills wrote:

Which, in turn, reminds me of an old Order of the Stick strip - one of the Dragon ones - describing copper pieces as "the most cunning trap in all of D&D."

Ironically, it seems likely that the limitations here - given a high-Strength character - aren't going to be encumbrance or cubic capacity, but the strength of the stitching on the straps of the backpack in question. Rrrrip!

Except there are no actual rules for fabric strength... So by RAW, if you can put them in the backpack, the only limitation is if you can pick it up and carry it.

yeah but just because there is no published weight limit doesn't mean that if Thor drops his hammer from the sky as he dies in battle and you manage to catch the 2 ton piece of steel in yur hemp backpack that you can carry it around for the rest of yur life. It simply means the DM must make a ruling on the weight limit


mdt wrote:
DM_Blake wrote:

Yeah, the 50 coins = 1 pound rule is an abstract to be sure. Nobody makes coins that small; too easy to lose them. Gems that small are meant to be set into bigger things like rings or other jewelry, but coins are meant to be kept lose and "liquid" for easy trade; that's what they're for. So they're bigger for a good reason.

I just bought 100 ounces of silver rounds. They're a bit larger than a quarter, each "round" being coin shaped at exactly one ounce. Each "round" is roughly the size and shape of old gold dubloons or more modern gold Krugerrands. That's 100 coins weighing just over 6 pounds. Of silver. I threw them into a coin purse and tossed them to my players at the game table. They were, shall we say, taken a bit by surprise by the volume and weight.

Wish I had enough money to do that. :)

But yeah, I think 10 coins per lb would be more accurate, and put them in the kugerand/dubloon range for silver/gold, and the Pirate's of the Carribean Cursed Gold Jar lid range for the coppers. :)

a quarter weighs about 7g meaning it takes about 64 quarters to weigh 1 pound. 50 coins to a pound would be slightly larger than a quarter which is just fine a size for trading. Even a silver dollar, a rather large coin, weighs less than an ounce. So even one of our largest coins would be more than 10/lb


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
jimibones83 wrote:
I believe an american quarter weighs about 7g, so 4 quarters in an ounce. 4 quarters x 16oz= 64 quarters weighs a pound. A quarter is the largest common coin over here so 50 coins weighing a pound seems just right

That really doesn't make sense.

If you think it does, try taking 50 .38 rounds and pulling the lead out. Then see if they weigh the same as those 50 quarters. About the same amount of metal, but the lead weighs a LOT more than the quarters.

That's the whole point of half the thread, that gold is significantly more dense.

A quarter is mostly copper with nickle coating. So those 50 coins are ok for copper coins being a pound.

Silver is slightly denser than copper, and would weigh about half again as much.

Gold, on the other hand, you'd have to have coins the size of your pinkie nail to get a 50 to a pound.

I suggest you reread the whole thread, including the volumes I posted up thread for various bits of metal.


It holds as much as the GM says it does not a coin more
But i like the 40lbs rule in an earlier post so i would go with that it just "feels" right


mdt wrote:
jimibones83 wrote:
I believe an american quarter weighs about 7g, so 4 quarters in an ounce. 4 quarters x 16oz= 64 quarters weighs a pound. A quarter is the largest common coin over here so 50 coins weighing a pound seems just right

That really doesn't make sense.

If you think it does, try taking 50 .38 rounds and pulling the lead out. Then see if they weigh the same as those 50 quarters. About the same amount of metal, but the lead weighs a LOT more than the quarters.

That's the whole point of half the thread, that gold is significantly more dense.

A quarter is mostly copper with nickle coating. So those 50 coins are ok for copper coins being a pound.

Silver is slightly denser than copper, and would weigh about half again as much.

Gold, on the other hand, you'd have to have coins the size of your pinkie nail to get a 50 to a pound.

I suggest you reread the whole thread, including the volumes I posted up thread for various bits of metal.

sorry I edited my post on u there without realizing u already quoted me. Anyway, I'm actually reading that gold weighs about twice as much as copper. I had to look up the weight of a dime but it apparently weighs about 2.2g. So 50 coins would weigh a pound if copper were slightly larger than a quarter and gold coins were somewhere between the size of a nickel and a dime. Don't know about silver but if what u said about weight being between copper and gold is correct then it certainly could be made at appropriate size for trading at 50/lb as the other 2 can be as well


Although I think in a land of giants and eldritch might, the number crunching specifics and differences in weight of metals used in currency is not important. I do however agree that it should be feasible that 50 coins could weigh a pound. I believe it to be feasible though and that's the reason for my input


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
jimibones83 wrote:
sorry I edited my post on u there without realizing u already quoted me. Anyway, I'm actually reading that gold weighs about twice as much as copper. I had to look up the weight of a dime but it apparently weighs about 2.2g. So 50 coins would weigh a pound if copper were slightly larger than a quarter and gold coins were somewhere between the size of a nickel and a dime. Don't know about silver but if what u said about weight being between copper and gold is correct then it certainly could be made at appropriate size for trading at 50/lb as the other 2 can be as well

Since you didn't go back and read the aforementioned post, I'll repeat it here.

ME! wrote:

Also, the assumption that the coins are the size of quarters is a bit of a mistake too.

1 Pound of Gold is about 1.44 cubic inches of volume.

That's NOT a lot of volume (if it helps to visualize it, a golf ball is 2.48 cubic inches in volume). So, a little more than half the volume of a golf ball.

I'd say each of those gold coins (50 per pound) is more like the half the size of a dime.

Again, your 50 gold coins per pound would take up the volume of half a golf ball. Now, imagine a golf ball, cut it in half. That's how much gold it takes to get a pound.

Each coin would be about half the size of a dime.

Cut a dime in half, or just take one out and imagine it...

ME AGAIN! wrote:


For those that are curious :

1 lb of silver takes up 2.64 cubic inches (slightly bigger than the aforementioned golf ball)

1 lb of platinum takes up about 1.29 cubic inches (slightly less than gold)

And yes, before you ask, platinum is denser than gold (thus the smaller are it takes up per lb). Gold is a very dense metal, it's not the densest metal (which some pretty dense people have argued with me about before).

1 lb of copper takes up a whopping 3.1 cubic inches (about two golf balls worth).

So, that silver takes up about twice as much as gold, making them about the size of a dime.

Platinum takes up slightly less than the gold.


Actually I only assumed that COPPER coins were about the size of a quarter. the volume of a dime is .02 inches so 50 of them is exactly 1 cubic inch meaning if u took the volume of a half a golfball you could use that material to make 50 dime sized coins and still have some left over.like I said, they would be between the size of a nickel and a dime. Thanx for reposting the volume of 1 pound of gold. It was very useful in my arguement, and I believe that's checkmate


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Ok, grant you the dimes are good for gold coins. However, a quarter has a volume of 0.049, or about 2.5 times that of a dime. Which means it wouldn't be big enough for 50 copper coins (3.1 cubic inches). It's actually closer to correct for Silver (2.64 cubic inches). Coppers might be closer to 50 cent pieces (0.0969 cubic inches), but those come out at 4.8 inches per 50, which is over our copper rating of 3.1 cubic inches. So coppers are somewhere around a volume of 0.62, or thereabouts. About one-third of the way between a quarter and a half-dollar.


I agree. like I said before it would take 64 quarters to equal a pound so a cp would be slightly larger than a quarter. I'm unaware of any coins that would be a perfect comparison to each coin in game but my goal was just to explain that they could certainly make 50 coins of each denomination adding up to 1lb and while each denomination would be a different size, they would still all be appropriate for trade


The hand was waived many years and editions ago: despite the differences in actual density of 100% pure elemental metals, for game purposes, the coins of the realm are actually impure/alloys, effectively working out to roughly 50/lb and a size of roughly 1 US $0.25 piece.


TwoWolves wrote:


The hand was waived many years and editions ago: despite the differences in actual density of 100% pure elemental metals, for game purposes, the coins of the realm are actually impure/alloys, effectively working out to roughly 50/lb and a size of roughly 1 US $0.25 piece.

I happen to go the same route. All we did was hash out that if you wanted to go a more realistic route that 50/lb can still apply. I still stand by my statement earlier about it not being important in a land of giants and eldritch might though


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

It can make a difference though, if you're describing a dragon's hoard and it has '5,000' gold coins, '10,000' silver coins, and '40,000' copper coins, then you kind of need to be able to get a grip on how much room that requires to carry out. Even with bags of holding, you're going to be hard pressed to put them all in your bags, unless you have them dripping off of every hook. Most people only have a handy haversack too. A haversack only holds 120 lbs.

100 lbs of gold coins
200 lbs of silver coins
800 lbs of copper coins

A group of four, assuming their haversacks are utterly empty (a big stretch) only has enough room to carry 480 in their haversacks. So, you need to carry 320 lbs in coins. Now, most people I know are going to put the gold in the haversacks (easier to carry if they need to drop the backpacks for combat), and the silver as well. That means the rest of the coins (copper) are going in haversacks and backpacks. How many coins can you fit in a backpack? Well, 50 coins take up 3 cubic inches... If your backpack is normal (say 12 inch thick, 26 inches high, and 16 inches wide), then you have 12x26x16 = 4992 cubic inches.

So, you can put those copper coins in one backpack if you want, but that's 800lbs on one person. :) But it means you can put 200 lbs in each person's packs and everyone is heavily encumbered, but they can still move. More likely, it's going to be something like 500 lbs in coins (some room in haversacks, but not empty) so everyone get's another 125lbs on them. But it's only taking up a small portion of their backpacks.


In my opinion Zhayne's and mdt's posts are about the only good posts on here I'd say.

As said, rules are undefined, and bag of holdings and/or handy haversacks are very helpful. That aside:
I'd rule that a backpack can hold as much weight as the character can carry at heavy encumbrance, minus of course any other weight he's currently carrying. It's a house rule, but it makes absolutely perfect sense. Backpacks are for carrying things on your back — if you need to drag it on the ground it ain't gonna work! Stronger people will be carrying stronger and larger backpacks (which interestingly enough don't cost anymore :P)

So, in a sense, no limit; in another sense, the limit is the bag can't be dragging on the ground — you have to carry it via encumbrance.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber
jimibones83 wrote:
TwoWolves wrote:


The hand was waived many years and editions ago: despite the differences in actual density of 100% pure elemental metals, for game purposes, the coins of the realm are actually impure/alloys, effectively working out to roughly 50/lb and a size of roughly 1 US $0.25 piece.

I happen to go the same route. All we did was hash out that if you wanted to go a more realistic route that 50/lb can still apply. I still stand by my statement earlier about it not being important in a land of giants and eldritch might though

/thread necromancy

...because I was curious...
http://imgur.com/NZbCcfp
Comparison to US Quarter adjusting Thickness or Diameter to compensate for densities.

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