Turning Coins Into Bars?


Advice

Grand Lodge

Hey everyone!
I have a player who wants to smelt down his coins into bars (Gold bars, Silver etc.) He said that it is unrealistic that we are carrying around so many coins (I sort of agree with him), he wants to make it more manageable. Does anyone have any ideas on how many you would have to convert over to make a bar?
Any help would be great, thank you!


Trade Gems.
Gems resell at full value and are much more portable than coins in large quantities.

Grand Lodge

Interesting, I will look into that.


A trade note from a temple of Abadar is also a possible option, in a civilized kingdom.

Although, 50 coins is one pound... so that is pretty much going to be your baseline.


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Yeah Gems sell at full value. Most people probably carry gems to represent a majority of their cash.

Alternatively, Churches of Abadar serve as banks. Any large city is likely to accept a document from the church for goods, but would take longer to complete the transaction. This would probably be used for amounts of gold you just wouldn't want to keep on your person. Not even as gems.

As for making bars out of coins...50 gold coins weigh 1 pound. You really don't save anything by converting gold coins to gold bars. It's the same weight. You might save a little space, though space usually isn't as much an issue as weight.


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On a lighter less helpful note.

They're adventurers, adventurers don't melt coins into bars.
Adventurers SPEND coins IN bars.


Taken from "Letters of the Flaming Crab: Coins & Credit", a 3PP supplement from Flaming Crab Games. (EDIT: Tables don't copy over well, sorry for the mashed up mess.)

Container Type Max Coins Weight
Belt Pouch 500 10 lbs.
Leather Bag 3,000 60 lbs.
Backpack 56,000 1,120 lbs.
Chest (30 x 16 x 12 in.) 116,112 2,322 lbs.

Now for the magical ones.

Bag of Holding Type Max Coins by Weight
I 12,500
II 25,000
III 50,000
IV 75,000

If you get to the portable hole, you can fit enough gold in there to finance your own kingdom for awhile, so don't really need to worry about that one.

Simply put it is quite possible to transport large sums of money given a little forethought and investment. Of course I happened to create an inventory tracking sheet that tracked where I carried it on my person, so that might just be me.

Skipping that, using the modern gold bar used in international trade as a standard, it weighs about 12.4 kilograms and after some simple math that comes to about 1367 gold pieces.

Gems are a much more useful way to transport wealth though. Maybe promissory notes from a bank of Abadar?


If you look at Trade Goods, you can see what silver, gold and platinum are worth by the pound.

A "bar" is whatever size you want to make it, so decide whether you want to carry 1 pound bars, 5 pound bars or whatever.

Not sure why your player thinks this will be more convenient, as the weight and volume are the same either way. You might be able to pack bars more closely into a chest than coins, and thus save space within the chest even though the total volume of metal is the same...but if you pack the bars so closely you can't get your fingers between them, it's harder to get them back out.

Grand Lodge

All great points! Thank you for the help!


Daw wrote:

Trade Gems.

Gems resell at full value and are much more portable than coins in large quantities.

This is the answer to this problem. Buying gems makes your wealth more portable, weigh a lot less, and at times in real world history was the standard for carrying wealth.

Interesting idea that came to mind when people mentioned bank notes. With the Linguistics skill it is possible to forge documents. A bank note is definitely in the purview of someone trained in this skill. Which means, in a city that has bank notes, it is possible for someone trained in the Linguistics skill to create, really, an infinite supply of money. Especially since this: "Your Linguistics check is opposed by the Linguistics check of the person who examines the document to verify its authenticity." is true!!!! How many merchants are trained in the Linguistics skill? Even if they are, a PC that maxed out ranks in Linguistics has the potential to make the opposed DC so high that the NPC would have to be maxed out as well, just to try and beat it.

As I read the rules there could be some debate about whether you could take 20 on the forgery. The Linguistics rules specifically say the roll is made secretly, ergo the GM rolls it and adds your modifiers. But I don't see why a PC couldn't take 20 on that skill if they were locked up in a room with no distractions?

TLDR: Max out linguistics ranks, live in a city with bank notes = I'm rich!


i suspect that the Abadar temples lead the way on banknotes. I am sure they have Divination spells and items whose sole purpose is to detect forgeries. Even non-Abadar banking institutions will have something at least for high value notes.

Now, if you can get that merchant to accept a bogus note....

Edit/Add: To add to the risk vs reward, how much money is it worth to you to risk becoming an enemy of the faith to a church with large branches in nearly every city of note.


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You don't want to melt down coins. Coins almost always trade for more than their real value as metal. They're usually going to be adulterated with base metals to reduce wear if nothing else and will often have only enough precious metal to appear properly shiny while still trading at full nominal value if that's the rate at which the issuing government accepts them for tax payments.


MendedWall12 wrote:
Daw wrote:

Trade Gems.

Gems resell at full value and are much more portable than coins in large quantities.

This is the answer to this problem. Buying gems makes your wealth more portable, weigh a lot less, and at times in real world history was the standard for carrying wealth.

Interesting idea that came to mind when people mentioned bank notes. With the Linguistics skill it is possible to forge documents. A bank note is definitely in the purview of someone trained in this skill. Which means, in a city that has bank notes, it is possible for someone trained in the Linguistics skill to create, really, an infinite supply of money. Especially since this: "Your Linguistics check is opposed by the Linguistics check of the person who examines the document to verify its authenticity." is true!!!! How many merchants are trained in the Linguistics skill? Even if they are, a PC that maxed out ranks in Linguistics has the potential to make the opposed DC so high that the NPC would have to be maxed out as well, just to try and beat it.

As I read the rules there could be some debate about whether you could take 20 on the forgery. The Linguistics rules specifically say the roll is made secretly, ergo the GM rolls it and adds your modifiers. But I don't see why a PC couldn't take 20 on that skill if they were locked up in a room with no distractions?

TLDR: Max out linguistics ranks, live in a city with bank notes = I'm rich!

That's why, at the Church of Coin, the tellers are all (at least) third level clerics with Augury loaded:

"Should I accept this bank note?" It'll be accurate 73% of the time. However, if the note is for an exceptionally large sum, let's say, 5,000 jeeps or more, the teller has to get authorization from her supervisor. This supervisor might be using a scroll of Augury that's caster level 20, so that the accuracy is 90% or an actual higher level cleric who casts Discern Lies or an even higher one who casts Commune.


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MendedWall12 wrote:
Daw wrote:

Trade Gems.

Gems resell at full value and are much more portable than coins in large quantities.

This is the answer to this problem. Buying gems makes your wealth more portable, weigh a lot less, and at times in real world history was the standard for carrying wealth.

Interesting idea that came to mind when people mentioned bank notes. With the Linguistics skill it is possible to forge documents. A bank note is definitely in the purview of someone trained in this skill. Which means, in a city that has bank notes, it is possible for someone trained in the Linguistics skill to create, really, an infinite supply of money. Especially since this: "Your Linguistics check is opposed by the Linguistics check of the person who examines the document to verify its authenticity." is true!!!! How many merchants are trained in the Linguistics skill? Even if they are, a PC that maxed out ranks in Linguistics has the potential to make the opposed DC so high that the NPC would have to be maxed out as well, just to try and beat it.

As I read the rules there could be some debate about whether you could take 20 on the forgery. The Linguistics rules specifically say the roll is made secretly, ergo the GM rolls it and adds your modifiers. But I don't see why a PC couldn't take 20 on that skill if they were locked up in a room with no distractions?

TLDR: Max out linguistics ranks, live in a city with bank notes = I'm rich!

I'm going to say no. The way I've generally understood it is, you give the promissory note to the merchant. The merchant "reserves" the item(s) for you while the note's value is verified and the money retrieved. It's not like paper money. It's more like, "Here is a voucher signed by me for X amount of gold that I have with the Bank of Abadar." The voucher doesn't have any worth except to get the money out of the bank, so no one is likely to accept them for small quantities (not worth the hassle) and large quantities are going to be verified before merchandise is removed. You probably use actual coins for values up ~500gp (that's only 50 platinum which is 1 lb). You probably use gems for values up to several thousand GP. You probably put those gems and gold into the bank of Abadar at some point for safe keeping and use promissory notes to pay for items worth 10,000+ GP only, while keeping some gold and gems on you for lesser expenses. The only exception is going to be if there is bank of Abadar in your town where transactions can easily be verified that day.

As for the forgery aspect...well it would be on the bank of Abadar to determine if it was genuine. Of course, if they don't have a record of you having a bank account with that amount of money, the best forgery in the world wont do you any good because they're going to look up your account and how much money you have.


Atarlost wrote:
You don't want to melt down coins. Coins almost always trade for more than their real value as metal. They're usually going to be adulterated with base metals to reduce wear if nothing else and will often have only enough precious metal to appear properly shiny while still trading at full nominal value if that's the rate at which the issuing government accepts them for tax payments.

That's a fairly recent development (unless we assume heavily clipped coins).


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
The Sideromancer wrote:
That's a fairly recent development (unless we assume heavily clipped coins).

It was a big problem for the Romans.

Sovereign Court

Dave Justus wrote:
The Sideromancer wrote:
That's a fairly recent development (unless we assume heavily clipped coins).
It was a big problem for the Romans.

It depends upon the country.

I know that one way you can tell if something silver was made in Colonial America or early US is if it's coin silver, which was literally melted down silver coins. (The US didn't have any silver mines until the mid 19th century.) Slightly less % than sterling, silver smiths of the time made most stuff out of it because they didn't have to go out of their way to get it.


Claxon wrote:
MendedWall12 wrote:
Daw wrote:

Trade Gems.

Gems resell at full value and are much more portable than coins in large quantities.

This is the answer to this problem. Buying gems makes your wealth more portable, weigh a lot less, and at times in real world history was the standard for carrying wealth.

Interesting idea that came to mind when people mentioned bank notes. With the Linguistics skill it is possible to forge documents. A bank note is definitely in the purview of someone trained in this skill. Which means, in a city that has bank notes, it is possible for someone trained in the Linguistics skill to create, really, an infinite supply of money. Especially since this: "Your Linguistics check is opposed by the Linguistics check of the person who examines the document to verify its authenticity." is true!!!! How many merchants are trained in the Linguistics skill? Even if they are, a PC that maxed out ranks in Linguistics has the potential to make the opposed DC so high that the NPC would have to be maxed out as well, just to try and beat it.

As I read the rules there could be some debate about whether you could take 20 on the forgery. The Linguistics rules specifically say the roll is made secretly, ergo the GM rolls it and adds your modifiers. But I don't see why a PC couldn't take 20 on that skill if they were locked up in a room with no distractions?

TLDR: Max out linguistics ranks, live in a city with bank notes = I'm rich!

I'm going to say no. The way I've generally understood it is, you give the promissory note to the merchant. The merchant "reserves" the item(s) for you while the note's value is verified and the money retrieved. It's not like paper money. It's more like, "Here is a voucher signed by me for X amount of gold that I have with the Bank of Abadar." The voucher doesn't have any worth except to get the money out of the bank, so no one is likely to accept them for small quantities (not worth the hassle) and large quantities are going to be...

This is beginning to sound like the start of a great adventure that rogues will utterly excel at.

Rob the Bank of Abadar and the Wealthiest Merchant in the city with a slip of paper and a forged document in the Ababar record books.


Garbage-Tier Waifu wrote:

This is beginning to sound like the start of a great adventure that rogues will utterly excel at.

Rob the Bank of Abadar and the Wealthiest Merchant in the city with a slip of paper and a forged document in the Ababar record books.

Possibly. While Banks of Abadar are canonically a thing, they've never delved into what exactly their security measures are. Of course, since the banks have existed for a while I'm sure it's not an easy thing to do.

You would need to infiltrate the bank and change their documents (which brings up a question of why you don't take the gems/gold while inside) and then write up fake documents from a particular patron to take their gold.

I assume they have some sort of system to protect against simple forgeries.

It would be cool if Paizo wrote up an adventure that included defrauding a Bank of Abadar so that we could know exactly what kind of magical defenses they should have. But I imagine since it's going to be run by clerics it's going to have a good level of magical defense against such things.


Defrauding the bank of Avatar would be a very good get you to level 20 AP, since there is no way you're going to be able to play that character on Golarian again. Hard target too, this is an organization that might well be able to call the Hellknights sloppy. Well, not to their faces. I expect every tyrant worth their salt has Abadarian accountants that they keep very happy. Even Asmodeas probably brings them in to audit his own accountants.
I could see this AP having a higher kill rate than a Paranoia game, but it could be fuuuun.

I could see a very persuasive con artist getting a merchant to foolishly accept the scrip and not wait for conman to get the cash. People can get talked into very stupid things, sometimes.

Remember though, this is coming perilously close to forging currency, which has been a capital crime in many places and any times in history. No risk, no fun.


Our group has usually assumed diamond dust is a kind of adventurer currency. By the rules it should be able to be bought and sold with no loss because it is a gem, and players should also be able to make "change" with it unlike cut stones.

Bonus utility in that several spells call for diamond dust as a material component, so if your PC is carrying 90% of their wealth in dust you're unlikely to run out.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

For some reason, I'm imagining you melting down those fake gold-wrapped chocolate coins to make chocolate candy bars.

For my homebrew campaign, I'm going to introduce mithril coins (100 gp) and adamantine coins (1000 gp). They're not going to be common, but they're going to be a thing. The PCs will at least recognize they exist.


Wraithguard wrote:


Simply put it is quite possible to transport large sums of money given a little forethought and investment. Of course I happened to create an inventory tracking sheet that tracked where I carried it on my person, so that might just be me.

I've made an inventory tracking sheet sort of like that. Can I compare sheets with you somehow? I'd like to see if I can make improvements to mine.


GM Ryan wrote:

Hey everyone!

I have a player who wants to smelt down his coins into bars (Gold bars, Silver etc.) He said that it is unrealistic that we are carrying around so many coins (I sort of agree with him), he wants to make it more manageable. Does anyone have any ideas on how many you would have to convert over to make a bar?
Any help would be great, thank you!

Bars aren't going to make the weight more manageble. If anything they'll be even more problematic because a bar is a lot more rigid than a group of coins.

If he want's to reduce bulk that badly he should convert his currency to gems.


As others pointed out, gems are probably a lot better. However if you wanted to make bars I would just say say go by the amount of coins in them. So you melt 100 gold you get, "a gold bar worth 100 gold." If they do more it is just a bigger bar.


Ten'shun the Tengu wrote:
Wraithguard wrote:
Simply put it is quite possible to transport large sums of money given a little forethought and investment. Of course I happened to create an inventory tracking sheet that tracked where I carried it on my person, so that might just be me.
I've made an inventory tracking sheet sort of like that. Can I compare sheets with you somehow? I'd like to see if I can make improvements to mine.

I just made a spreadsheet with 6 sections, each including a heading to specify what sort of container it is and a weight total for each section. At the bottom of the sheet I included a section for carrying capacity as well as the total weight for all your containers.

Nothing special really. Just an expression of my attention to detail and too much time spent using Excel.


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Since the churches of Abadar act as banks, their tellers would be clerics with spells like Fairness, Abadar's Truthtelling, and Augury. They'd likely have wizards they hire to act as notaries with Arcane Mark (since that's a unique mark per wizard) and they're likely to have experts in spotting physical forgeries which are aided by magic.

I'd imagine that it would be very, very difficult to defraud them and they would NOT take kindly to you trying.


MeanMutton wrote:

Since the churches of Abadar act as banks, their tellers would be clerics with spells like Fairness, Abadar's Truthtelling, and Augury. They'd likely have wizards they hire to act as notaries with Arcane Mark (since that's a unique mark per wizard) and they're likely to have experts in spotting physical forgeries which are aided by magic.

I'd imagine that it would be very, very difficult to defraud them and they would NOT take kindly to you trying.

The problem is there isn't any official write-up about exactly what the "bank" of Abadar does employ to prevent forgery. You and I can use existing system knowledge to say, "well of course they'd have: A, B, C in place," but that's all speculation. Which means each table can handle it however they want, and I don't see anything stopping a table from having bank forgery be an adventure hook. It actually sounds like a pretty nice "evil campaign" adventure hook to me. Also, thieves throughout history have been manufacturing ways to overcome security measures. Whatever the church can come up with to protect their notes, can be overcome, because magic.

:)


Given Abadar's reputation I expect big things. His clerics are going to make it all but thief-proof, and anyone who even thinks of robbing the place are probably in over their heads.

Like, I bet they don't even have deadly traps. Just ones that contain people until a cleric arrives to hand them over to the guard. Because this is all due process and they can't just be killing people. But a lifetime behind bars should sort that would-be thief out.


Garbage-Tier Waifu wrote:
anyone who even thinks of robbing the place

Oh, dude! You just made me think of like some Minority Report level stuff. Like three oracles in a pool of water and they predict who would have robbed the bank before it happened. Some PC gets arrested while they're just strolling the market because they happen to see somebody purchase goods with a bank note, and the casual thought crossed their mind that those documents could be forged.


I get the feeling that is probably more likely to be practised in Cheliax than anywhere else.

The Abadar branch in Cheliax I mean. I don't think Asmodeus would make finding dissenters too easy. How else will people scheme? That'd just be downright boring and unproductive in corrupting mortals by signing deals for that kinda information. Giving it away to Oracles? For free? Madness.


Also keep in mind that currency does not necessarily contain it's mineral value in it's weight. Melting down the currency into a slag bar may very well lower it's value. The whole point of currency is not to have to carry and deal in large chunks of metal or stone... or entire cows in transactions.


Damon Griffin wrote:
but if you pack the bars so closely you can't get your fingers between them, it's harder to get them back out.

That's why you use mage hand. It prevents thieves with no magical training from taking your gold.


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I misread the title as 'turning coins into bears'. Now that is a way to protect your money!


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Umbral Reaver wrote:
I misread the title as 'turning coins into bears'. Now that is a way to protect your money!

Let's see, so for the sword, armor and ring that will cost 5000 gp, after taxes of course.

So here are 50 bears. Keep the change.


One thing to note: Gems as a trade good are subject to an Appraise check of DC 20 or more by the merchant buying or selling them. You might convert your 5,000 gold pieces into a bright clear diamond, only to find the next merchant offers you just 4,000 gold pieces in trade.


I'm just going to post the item first.

20. Gold Bricker's Lament
A gold brick worth 500 gold and weighing as much as that many coins. It's sitting right there on the floor. (It's also sitting on 2 electrical contacts so anyone who touches it takes 6D6 electrical damage. Good luck moving it off the contacts. If you take damage, you flinch involuntarily back.)

Here's the link if you want to see the other traps.
Cleaves Traps.

So how many pounds is that gold brick again?

Padded armor made entirely out of bar sized pockets would be much more defensive when filled with gold bars. Probably more like studded.


Apparently 500 gold coins weighs about 10 pounds in this game. Which makes gold coins about a 1/3 ounce per coin. Which for fun, means a gold coin in game is equal to about $300 in real money today. If it was pure gold.

That is a lot of approximating so don't take it too seriously though. Any way, what does that make a gold coin in pathfinder? Like the size of a nickle or something?


Lorila Sorita wrote:

Apparently 500 gold coins weighs about 10 pounds in this game. Which makes gold coins about a 1/3 ounce per coin. Which for fun, means a gold coin in game is equal to about $300 in real money today. If it was pure gold.

That is a lot of approximating so don't take it too seriously though. Any way, what does that make a gold coin in pathfinder? Like the size of a nickle or something?

You are forgiven for your approximations. The spot price for gold is hovering around $1,300 USD per ounce, last year I remember it being more like $1,100 USD per ounce. There is a fair amount of volatility in gold prices at the moment.

I don't see anything wrong with PCs turning coins into bars. I don't see what the benefit would be though.


MeanMutton wrote:

Since the churches of Abadar act as banks, their tellers would be clerics with spells like Fairness, Abadar's Truthtelling, and Augury. They'd likely have wizards they hire to act as notaries with Arcane Mark (since that's a unique mark per wizard) and they're likely to have experts in spotting physical forgeries which are aided by magic.

I'd imagine that it would be very, very difficult to defraud them and they would NOT take kindly to you trying.

I like these ideas, do you mind if I borrow them?


Boomerang Nebula wrote:
MeanMutton wrote:

Since the churches of Abadar act as banks, their tellers would be clerics with spells like Fairness, Abadar's Truthtelling, and Augury. They'd likely have wizards they hire to act as notaries with Arcane Mark (since that's a unique mark per wizard) and they're likely to have experts in spotting physical forgeries which are aided by magic.

I'd imagine that it would be very, very difficult to defraud them and they would NOT take kindly to you trying.

I like these ideas, do you mind if I borrow them?

Advice forum is for sharing ideas. I'd love to see what you come up with!


Lorila Sorita wrote:

Apparently 500 gold coins weighs about 10 pounds in this game. Which makes gold coins about a 1/3 ounce per coin. Which for fun, means a gold coin in game is equal to about $300 in real money today. If it was pure gold.

That is a lot of approximating so don't take it too seriously though. Any way, what does that make a gold coin in pathfinder? Like the size of a nickle or something?

10 pounds means that joybuzzer gold brick is too heavy to lift with mage hand (so the wizard can't just resolve it with a cantrip) and a 10ft pole is probably not good enough a leverage to even move it.

How annoying.


Garbage-Tier Waifu wrote:
Lorila Sorita wrote:

Apparently 500 gold coins weighs about 10 pounds in this game. Which makes gold coins about a 1/3 ounce per coin. Which for fun, means a gold coin in game is equal to about $300 in real money today. If it was pure gold.

That is a lot of approximating so don't take it too seriously though. Any way, what does that make a gold coin in pathfinder? Like the size of a nickle or something?

10 pounds means that joybuzzer gold brick is too heavy to lift with mage hand (so the wizard can't just resolve it with a cantrip) and a 10ft pole is probably not good enough a leverage to even move it.

How annoying.

Unseen Servant could lift it. :)

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