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Chapter 5 - Containers


Coinage is the easiest way to convert wealth into a portable form. Throughout the world there are many types of currencies and styles. When considering coins and similar things such as gems and treasure how it will be carried is important. To make things streamlined and ease of game mechanic the following rules about coins apply all over the world.

Each Coin is:

  • .02 pounds in weight
  • 1 1/2 inches in diameter
  • .1 inch thick
  • .177 inches cubed in volume
  • 15.66 is the specific gravity

This creates a simple volume rule for how much space a pile of coins takes up.

  • 10 stacked coins high per inch
  • 4 loose coins per inch cubed

These numbers are presented on the list of containers so that no math is required.

Ingots of similar metals are easily converted. The volume of an ingot can be found by multiplying the volume by 1.75 or by dividing by the specific gravity of .566.

Beyond how much space coins take up is the issue of what they are worth.


Some of the many types of coins found throughout the world include:

Western WorldKara Tural-Qadim
Platinum PiecesCh'ien-
Gold PiecesTaelDinar
Electrum PiecesCh'ao-
Silver PiecesYuanDirham
Copper PiecesFenBits

There are several exchange equivalents that characters can depend on.

In the Western World there is a standard exchange rate between the types of coins:

1 PP = 5 GP = 10 EP = 50 SP = 500 CP

for the most common exchanges

10 CP = 1 SP and 10 Sp = 1 GP

Coins are produced by governments which adds in a complication that characters might have to deal with. One government might not take gold pieces produced by another government or give a penalty on an exchange rate of GP to GP. There are several known standards in coinage throughout the Western World that can help the forewarned character.

  • Terraguardian
  • Small Kingdoms
  • Wolfspack
  • Red Gold (Drow/Underdark currency)
  • Seagate/Island Kingdoms

Each of these standards has its own sub-types which can make naming a complicated process. Using 2 Svort Gold Krops to exchange for 20 Blackwater Silver Hiltors is descriptive and accurate although many characters will abbreviate that transaction of 2 GP for 20 SP.

In the areas that use currency from Kara Tur

1 Ch'ien = 10 Tael = 10 Ch'ao = 200 Yuan = 1000 Fen

There is also a standard to the barter system used in many communities.

Koku5 ch'ien
sheep, goat5 Tael
Horse2 Ch'ien
Cloth, common bolt1 Ch'ien
Cloth, silk bolt3 Ch'ien

The Koku is a measure of the rice required to feed one person for a year. It is approximately 5-6 bushels. This is just above subsistence living. A bolt of cloth contains 20 yards of material.

There is a no easy way for individuals from the Western World to transfer wealth to individuals in Kara Tur but there is a rough exchange rate that merchants have worked out in the course of trading on the silk road.