New Economy


General Discussion


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I think its one of the smaller changes but I feel like, and the group I play with seems to agree, that the change in economy (GP to SP as base coin) really helps the immersion. Suddenly copper are viable coinage, gold feels likes it worth something and platinum isn't just what you've got shoved in your back pocket to save a few pounds when the hordes of coin become too much to realistically carry. Also it helps to make survivability outside of being an adventurer/noble more explainable. When a dagger cost 2 gold pieces its weird to think that almost every street urchin, farmer, and basket weaver would splurge on one when they've got things like food and tithes to worry about but when you see a dagger costing 2 silver pieces its like yeah okay I can believe that Billy Boberton the peaceful rancher might have one or two, or heck even a short sword if he lives in a dangerous area.

Small change but huge impact, at least at my table.


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Agreed. I'm a big fan as well.

Exo-Guardians

I was actually excited when my Blacksmith Monk earned something like 13 Silver Pieces for her weekly pay.


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1 gold should be 100 silver,
1 silver should be 100 copper also

That way a poor meal can be a copper or two, or a candle and full plate would not be a chest full of gold but rather 15GP if we use the old price of 1500GP


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I very much like this change. Things costing gold by default was hideously immersion breaking for me, especially as a GM who likes worldbuilding.


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If we look at today prices of copper,silver,gold and platinum and make a coin of same size(volume) and start with copper, then

silver is almost exactly 100 copper
gold is 145 silver, this can be minted in smaller coins to get ×100 value
but platinum is only 0,75 gold.

We can say that in middle ages or and d20 realm platinum is worth a lot more, but best solution would be:

1. Silver standard

2. One silver is 100 copper

3. One gold is 100 silver or 10.000 copper coins.

4. Gold coin is about 70% volume of silver/copper

5. If we take 9g for silver as standard we have:

Copper coin 7,7g
Silver coin 9,0g
Gold coin 11,6g(70% volume of other 2 coins)

or if we want same weight coins for calculating bulk, then we go with standard 9g per coin and we get

Silver(standard): 9g, 1× volume, or if we go with 2 euro coin that is 2,2mm thick as standard we get diameter about of 2,2cm

Silver: 9g, 22*2,2mm
Copper: 9g, 24*2,2mm
Gold: 9g, 16*2,2mm


I also dig this change, I house-ruled my D&D campaigns to a Silver Standard (well, not Dragonlance or Dark Sun), years ago.

I've heard some are bothered that they also changed the prices, makes converting APs and such more difficult.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Now this is something i can agree with, i find it very meaningful to change to silver, and i also vote for the exchange rate of 1/100. I already did that concearning platinum in PF 1, but with an exchange rate of 1000 Gold being 1 platiunum as to make it a bit rarer.


Vic Ferrari wrote:

I also dig this change, I house-ruled my D&D campaigns to a Silver Standard (well, not Dragonlance or Dark Sun), years ago.

I've heard some are bothered that they also changed the prices, makes converting APs and such more difficult.

I made a formula for AP gold income conversion a while ago. It's not perfect, but it's accurate enough while still being acceptable to memorise:

Quote:
PF2sp=(PF1gp*LV)/20

It works well enough up until level 15-17, at which point the difference starts being too wide and accuracy drops - a second formula gives high level conversions:

Quote:
PF2sp=PF1gp*(LV-13.5)/5

This one works fairly well as long as you're level 15 or higher.

Keep them around and you have a decent way to convert APs. I might revisit them to see if they still work once release hits, I have a few things I'm working on for AP conversions :)

Note that the formulas work well to determine how much you should convert a certain amount of treasure to, at the level the PCs are expected to be when they find it. Don't use it for market prices or item value (unless it's a gold statuette or jewelry I guess). Use the price tables for those!


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I like that silver is made the standard currency, but I HATE that pricing uses more than one currency. I'm dyslectic and liable to misread this A LOT. Of course, that could give me some hefty discounts on magic items...


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This is a place in the game where a text based symbol would be nice the cent symbol for copper and the dollar symbol for silver would be very legible.


I've always understood the flat rate of 10 of x is 1 of y as a ease of use thing so shopping math doesn't bog down the game while everyone calculates change. So I've never really had an issue with it even if it's not entirely accurate (but then the game has dragons and people who can shoot death beams from their hands so whats a little fudging on precious metal worth) but I really like the idea of 100 of x is 1 of y. Sure a gold being worth 100 copper might get some notice if someone starts flashing it but a gold being worth 1000 copper is probably going to get the mouth watering of anyone who catches a view of it especially poorer N/PCs. It keeps with the flat rate ease of use but helps to add some real value to those higher up coins


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Starfox wrote:
I like that silver is made the standard currency, but I HATE that pricing uses more than one currency. I'm dyslectic and liable to misread this A LOT. Of course, that could give me some hefty discounts on magic items...

Yes! I came to post this sentiment as well. Once base currency only silver or gold I don't really care.

Grand Lodge

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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Since there's so much agreement in this thread, I'll speak up and say I hate this change. Changing the basis for the economy feels to me like change for the sake of change.

The #1 reason why I don't like this change is because it adds yet another hurdle to converting adventure material. Unfortunately, this change is more involved than "all things that were gp are now sp" because the prices (in sp) are also different.

Also, we'll have 12 years of established Golarion setting material that assumes gp are the standard. Now, everyone wakes up one morning and everything is silver pieces? The time to have made this change was during the build-up to PF1 when the backlog of adventure/setting content was smaller.

It's just churn to me and another reason not to bother with switching to PF2.

-Skeld


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Bardarok wrote:
Starfox wrote:
I like that silver is made the standard currency, but I HATE that pricing uses more than one currency. I'm dyslectic and liable to misread this A LOT. Of course, that could give me some hefty discounts on magic items...

Yes! I came to post this sentiment as well. Once base currency only silver or gold I don't really care.

Very much this.

Base the economy on gold or silver or copper or 'good vibes' or whatever else, but set all pricing by the same currency. Magic costs 10x as much as mundane is fine, but put that extra 0 there so directly comparing prices is quicker.


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As a counterpoint to the above: I like it that magical / alchemical items are priced in a different currency than mundane stuff. I helps setting the notion that magic is special, not something you'll buy next to a bottle of milk and basket of eggs in the weekly market.

Now of course I can recognize that's it's not the most practical for some people. Conversion between the two is easy, though.

From a flavor perspective, I would prefer a 1/100 conversion rate, which would make a gold piece something truly impressive. I would also remove platinum, which always felt to me as a needless complication, as well as an unwarranted intrusion from the 19th or 20th century into a fantasy setting.


Yes, I made this change to my home campaign a long time ago. It was just as shocking to my players then but we got used to it.


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While I'm overall a fan of this new silver standard, since the thread title just mentions the economy, I do have to say that I'm still a bit disappointed in how extreme the price differences between things gets at higher levels.

Like, a high potency weapon is practically mandatory at higher levels due to how influential it is on damage. When comparing weapon potency runes to the cost of living table, a single +4 rune is worth over a year of extravagant living, which increases to a bit more than 10 years of extravagant living for a +5 rune. I may be alone in this, but I never really liked the idea that high level characters are casually carrying decades worth of the best lifestyle on their person, especially as part of their mandatory expected gear.


Ediwir wrote:
Vic Ferrari wrote:

I also dig this change, I house-ruled my D&D campaigns to a Silver Standard (well, not Dragonlance or Dark Sun), years ago.

I've heard some are bothered that they also changed the prices, makes converting APs and such more difficult.

I made a formula for AP gold income conversion a while ago. It's not perfect, but it's accurate enough while still being acceptable to memorise:

Quote:
PF2sp=(PF1gp*LV)/20

It works well enough up until level 15-17, at which point the difference starts being too wide and accuracy drops - a second formula gives high level conversions:

Quote:
PF2sp=PF1gp*(LV-13.5)/5

This one works fairly well as long as you're level 15 or higher.

Keep them around and you have a decent way to convert APs. I might revisit them to see if they still work once release hits, I have a few things I'm working on for AP conversions :)

Note that the formulas work well to determine how much you should convert a certain amount of treasure to, at the level the PCs are expected to be when they find it. Don't use it for market prices or item value (unless it's a gold statuette or jewelry I guess). Use the price tables for those!

How important has the formula adjustment been? I've just been dividing gold rewards by 10 from the AP I converted, but I dunno if that's strictly the best call. I haven't been sweating it too much since this campaign runs a much less conventional economy.


I don't mind the shift, but I'd really prefer consistency in whatever base unit is used for pricing. I do tend to lock my players into barter and trade negotiations for pricey things though, so gold coin cost is just a reference sheet for me.


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People may be interested in the old British system, variants of which ran for about 1000 years.

It is loosely based on earlier Roman, and still earlier Babylonian and Sumerian systems. The Sumerian system is sexagesimal, in which the currency is donated in multiples or divisors of 60.

The reason this is good is that there are many factors that go into 60 - hence it is great for creating fractions, which people need in real trade (before computers).

It's easy to pack say 6 eggs, or 12 eggs, but not say 5 eggs. Thus the British system had 6 pence piece so you could swap 1 coin for half a dozen eggs.

The first main *silver* coin is the shilling. This is 12 pence (or twelve coppers if you prefer). The pence is donated by the symbol d (likely taken from the old Roman Denarius).

The gold unit of account is the pound. There are 240 pence in one pound, thus making 20 shillings (20 silver coins) in one pound. Again notice the multiples/divisors of 60.

Hence you have

12 copper = 1 silver
20 silver = 1 gold

I think 100 silver pieces for 1 gold coin in a bit too much and not that historically accurate. However, interestingly in the *very early* stages of the British system one pound actually donated 1 one pound of weight in gold, though nobody carried around a pound coin.

Today in 2018. The British "pound" is only worth about 1.30 USD. While a mere ounce of gold is about 1070!

By the way if you ever find old British Shillings (12 pence). They are worth 1.50 USD each for the silver content alone, in other words more than the current so called British "pound".


Captain Morgan wrote:
How important has the formula adjustment been? I've just been dividing gold rewards by 10 from the AP I converted, but I dunno if that's strictly the best call. I haven't been sweating it too much since this campaign runs a much less conventional economy.

What you need to realise is that the economical growth is different. Finances advance more quickly in PF2 than in PF1, and that difference varies a lot across levels. However, the silver standard means that the baseline is a lot lower. The result is that conversions basically need to diminish the amount of money early on, then gradually reach a balance, and ultimately increase the total.

I have spreadsheets, but not on my phone, so I can’t send them to you, but if you try to convert wealth linearly you’re likely to run in a few issues, like people buying way above their levels early on and not being able to buy anything after a while.

Dark Archive

I would prefer 100 silver 1 gold 100 gold 1 platin. But I am fine with just using gold. I don't like the version used in the playtest, these silverpieces should just be the number after the dot.


Ediwir wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
How important has the formula adjustment been? I've just been dividing gold rewards by 10 from the AP I converted, but I dunno if that's strictly the best call. I haven't been sweating it too much since this campaign runs a much less conventional economy.

What you need to realise is that the economical growth is different. Finances advance more quickly in PF2 than in PF1, and that difference varies a lot across levels. However, the silver standard means that the baseline is a lot lower. The result is that conversions basically need to diminish the amount of money early on, then gradually reach a balance, and ultimately increase the total.

I have spreadsheets, but not on my phone, so I can’t send them to you, but if you try to convert wealth linearly you’re likely to run in a few issues, like people buying way above their levels early on and not being able to buy anything after a while.

Hmm, that's a shame. I was hoping to get away with minimal adjustment. Still, if I know what my goal posts are I can always grant cash infusions. We converted at level 8.


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Might also be worth remembering that a copper coin is rarely (even in ancient times) made of copper - they were usually alloys.

Silver coins were also generally alloyed - certainly one of the "hidden" reasons for the decline of the Roman empire after about 150AD was that the imperial mint systematically reduced the silver content in coins.

In fairness, gold was generally gold, but not always.

So direct comparisons of the value of copper to silver to gold are probably not necessary.

I too like the idea of 100 cp to 1 sp

Generally, I'm happy with 10 sp to 1 gp, but 100 sp to 1 gp might be more explainable if you assume the coins are alloys.

I never bother with platinum coins - I don't feel the medieval fantasy World would have the technology to extract platinum.

Like most everyone on this thread, I am delighted that the basis for the PF 2e system is silver - way more believable when you consider that the total amount of gold (above ground) in the modern World is estimated to be able to fit in a cube just 20 metres by 20 metres by 20 metres!!


Timothy Ferdinand wrote:
Like most everyone on this thread, I am delighted that the basis for the PF 2e system is silver - way more believable when you consider that the total amount of gold (above ground) in the modern World is estimated to be able to fit in a cube just 20 metres by 20 metres by 20 metres!!

Weird, I just mentioned this very thing to my lady, yesterday morning, the cube analogy; lesson: Hold onto gold.


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Bruntfca wrote:
The reason this is good is that there are many factors that go into 60 - hence it is great for creating fractions, which people need in real trade (before computers).

You know what's even beter than 60? 100. Metric is a beautiful thing.

Quote:


The first main *silver* coin is the shilling. This is 12 pence (or twelve coppers if you prefer). The pence is donated by the symbol d (likely taken from the old Roman Denarius).

The gold unit of account is the pound. There are 240 pence in one pound, thus making 20 shillings (20 silver coins) in one pound. Again notice the multiples/divisors of 60.

Hence you have

12 copper = 1 silver
20 silver = 1 gold

I think 100 silver pieces for 1 gold coin in a bit too much and not that historically accurate. However, interestingly in the *very early* stages of the British system one pound actually donated 1 one pound of weight in gold, though nobody carried around a pound coin.

That's a fascinating history lesson, but a frankly awful thing to put into a game. It's just another thing to learn with arbitrary numbers and makes conversions significantly more difficult than "chop a zero or two off the end."


My house rules for a silver standard in 1e:

1 gp = 50 sp = 250 cp

Silver and copper are 200 to the pound, but gold is only 100 to the pound. (So it's worth 25 times as much as silver by weight)

And for converting prices, if the price is a large number listed in gold, divide by 25. If the price is a small number listed in gold, double the number and change the unit to silver. If the price is listed in silver, change it to copper. And if it was already listed in copper, just handwave it.

This all makes the currency reasonable historically accurate, as well as giving gold a decent amount of purchasing power that seeing someone pay for something with a single gold coin is suddenly a momentous occasion. (At low levels) Also, new silver pieces are close enough in size to dimes and the same weight that I literally have a bag of $5 in dimes as a prop.

Also, interesting gaming history lesson- the urban legend for why Gygax made a gold standard with 0.1-pound coins was to make Smaug-sized hoards remotely possible.


Ediwir wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
How important has the formula adjustment been? I've just been dividing gold rewards by 10 from the AP I converted, but I dunno if that's strictly the best call. I haven't been sweating it too much since this campaign runs a much less conventional economy.

What you need to realise is that the economical growth is different. Finances advance more quickly in PF2 than in PF1, and that difference varies a lot across levels. However, the silver standard means that the baseline is a lot lower. The result is that conversions basically need to diminish the amount of money early on, then gradually reach a balance, and ultimately increase the total.

I have spreadsheets, but not on my phone, so I can’t send them to you, but if you try to convert wealth linearly you’re likely to run in a few issues, like people buying way above their levels early on and not being able to buy anything after a while.

I wanted to touch on this again-- how did you account for the magic items the WBL charts now use? Did you average the costs of items of a given level?

I'd love to see those spreadsheets, if you don't mind. I'm gonna have some pretty big pay days coming up and should probably account for this a little bit.


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RazarTuk wrote:

My house rules for a silver standard in 1e:

1 gp = 50 sp = 250 cp

Silver and copper are 200 to the pound, but gold is only 100 to the pound. (So it's worth 25 times as much as silver by weight)

And for converting prices, if the price is a large number listed in gold, divide by 25. If the price is a small number listed in gold, double the number and change the unit to silver. If the price is listed in silver, change it to copper. And if it was already listed in copper, just handwave it.

This all makes the currency reasonable historically accurate, as well as giving gold a decent amount of purchasing power that seeing someone pay for something with a single gold coin is suddenly a momentous occasion. (At low levels) Also, new silver pieces are close enough in size to dimes and the same weight that I literally have a bag of $5 in dimes as a prop.

Also, interesting gaming history lesson- the urban legend for why Gygax made a gold standard with 0.1-pound coins was to make Smaug-sized hoards remotely possible.

why complicate as 1:100:10000 in nice, metric and intuitive?

And easy to calculate back and forth between copper:silver:gold.


I like the change to a silver based price system for several reasons.

Almost all circulated coinage was and is an alloy. I could go on but the reasons are well known. Usually 75%-95% of the base metal is used in old coins. Some roman rapscallions used 50% or less... Modern coinage is more advanced and has a notable nickel content.
For a game I don't know that getting into the exact alloy has any significance other than to say it is an alloy of mostly the base material and barely suitable as a material component in spellcasting.

As for exchange rates between coinage? hmmm... 1::100 is nice as well as 1::60. A 1::100 makes notation easy using a decimal point. Otherwise you can use base 64 (lol). Using weights and a simple scale which is what most merchants will use on dubious coinage, a few standard coins(1, 2, 3, 5, 10, 12) can balance an unknown coin(s) to obtain a close weight.


My homebrew campaign has (had, since I don't run it anymore) a silver based economy. Or at least I used sp to base prices for typical stuff.

I used 10x for the factor between cp:sp:gp and introduced a low-grade cp that was half value, more for flavor than a thing for DM/PCs to keep track of.

I also kept magic priced in gp, so suddenly magic was a thing to covet instead of the whole WBL vibe that required the "magic mart" to keep PCs viable in combat as they leveled up.

Martial weapons beyond the simple ones (club, staff, sling, etc.) were changed to the sp economy but cost 10x to help explain why every village isn't armed to the teeth.

I used platinum as a unit of trade rather than it being just another coin. Mind, pp's were a thing but used by merchants at the wholesale level for major trade transactions. And top end jewelry was often platinum.

As you might guess I did a ton of "flavor" stuff with my campaign that players/PCs didn't need to know to be effective in-universe but could learn and use such things for RP options. I used experience points to track PC levels and around half the points I awarded were for RP, and the more flavor one used the better the reward. There was at least one "AP" where I'd guess 70% of the points awarded were for non-combat actions.


Skeld wrote:

Since there's so much agreement in this thread, I'll speak up and say I hate this change. Changing the basis for the economy feels to me like change for the sake of change.

The #1 reason why I don't like this change is because it adds yet another hurdle to converting adventure material. Unfortunately, this change is more involved than "all things that were gp are now sp" because the prices (in sp) are also different.

Also, we'll have 12 years of established Golarion setting material that assumes gp are the standard. Now, everyone wakes up one morning and everything is silver pieces? The time to have made this change was during the build-up to PF1 when the backlog of adventure/setting content was smaller.

It's just churn to me and another reason not to bother with switching to PF2.

-Skeld

Agreed. We are fighting monsters, dragons and what not, tossing around Fireballs, Raising the Dead (either in a good way, or a bad/undead kinda way) and doing all sorts of super hero magical stuff BUT a Gold standard messes with 'immersion' for some?

Seriously? It's a fantasy game - and more tuned to High Fantasy than low/gritty fantasy.

The less continuity between one edition and the next helps make my decision easier though. It's one more nail....


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Dracovar wrote:
It's a fantasy game - and more tuned to High Fantasy than low/gritty fantasy.

[citation needed]

Maybe the casters are, but when taking a high-level fighter's sword away drops them to a third of the damage they're expected to be able to do, I question what actually makes them high level.


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Starfox wrote:
I like that silver is made the standard currency, but I HATE that pricing uses more than one currency. I'm dyslectic and liable to misread this A LOT. Of course, that could give me some hefty discounts on magic items...

I'm not dyslexic, but I still agree with this wholeheartedly. I remember looking at the special materials and thinking "wow, these sure are cheap" before realising they were in gold rather than silver.


I think I would love if the game final economy used copper/silver/gold in multiples of 100. While I do not have an issue with pricing being shown in GP or SP, I believe there should be a clear benchmark - like, everything that costs more than 1000sp goes to gold.
That, together with the 100x, would help make things clearer - if you read something costing 90sp and the next one costs 11gp, you might miss the letter but still feel like something’s off, prompting a recheck.

Alternatively, it could be ‘all items level 11 or higher are priced in gold’.


Personally I use the notation #,#,# when I write down prices for items on my sheet, where each number stands for gold, silver and copper pieces, respectively. Perhaps a notation like would be easier to read at a glance. Also, all prices fall into neat columns for easy addition.

1,2,0
0,2,0
5,0,0
0,0,2
_______
6,4,2


on notation, in PF1 with GPs $1210.94 meant 1210 GP (some may be in PP), 9 SP and 4 CP. On my character sheet I separate it out if needed. Some cultures use commas but that would get confusing with Paizo's standard format for writing values such as 1,000,643 GP. Colons are good and used in time stamps for human eyes. Slashes or backslashes might get a bit confusing given html parsers.
I've always used; Pt, Au, El(electrum), Ag, Cu, Bs(brass), Bz(bronze), Fe.

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