Currency in DnD is a coin-based system for making purchases and determining the value of goods. Most creatures in DnD use Gold Pieces or gp as the standard unit of value.
Typically, players will have a bag full of gold, silver, and maybe a few coppers when wandering around and take payment in gold.
Although most items are bought and sold with gold, that doesn’t mean everyone wanders around with wheelbarrows full of gold to make a purchase. There are also banks and lenders in most major DnD cities as well as powerful guilds or rulers who will be able to exchange money using gold bars or even lines of credit.
So, although the group may buy a castle or keep, they won’t have to actually find that many gold pieces. They could put up collateral or credit instead of trying to shift a dragon’s hoard worth of gold to make the purchase.
Standard Exchange Rates
As you can see, the Currency system in DnD 5e uses a similar system to the metric system but adds in multiples of 5 as well.
How to use DnD Currency in 5e
Currency, and paying your adventurers, is one of the easiest things to mess up as a beginner dungeon master. Oftentimes, players can be picky about their rewards, not understanding the currency system within the world, so they think that a few gold pieces aren’t worth their time.
An easy way to look at it is through the average daily cost of living.
|LIFESTYLE||COST / DAY|
When thinking about the average costs of goods and services, you can refer to this chart to get an idea of what to award your players and what some services will cost.
If you have a group of mercenaries that live comfortably, they may accept a job for 2-4gp per day. They wouldn’t accept a price that they would lose them money for a day’s labor.
Another way to look at it would be if a local lord is hiring the group for a quest. If the nearest large city or outpost is two days away, getting 5 professional troops to visit their land could be expensive.
5 x 2 = 10 gp
It would cost 10gp to simply get troops to visit. After that, the lord would need to pay them per day (or per contract) to do a job. Let’s say they get paid 4 gp (hazard pay) to hunt and track down a monster—a mission that would take around 5 days.
4 x 5 = 20 gp per day for a group of 5 professional soldiers.
20 x 5 = 100 gp for a group of 5 professional soldiers for one contract.
This is probably the easiest way to look at the currency within DnD. If the party shows up, the local lord would probably be willing to pay the same amount of money to have their problem taken care of quickly.
Before starting GameCows with his wife Kendra, he used to teach English Language Arts in the US. He combined his love of gaming with education to create fun game-based learning lessons until he eventually decided to run GameCows with Kendra full-time. He’s known for pouring over rulebooks in his spare time, being the rule master during game night, and as the perma DM in his DnD group. Bryan loves board games, writing, traveling, and above all his wife and partner in crime, Kendra.