Fitz has done a little research into the “10 coins per pound” rule by looking at some ancient Roman coinage and found that it’s not too far off. I’m not surprised.

Athenian tetradrachm from c. 490 BC

Athenian tetradrachm from c. 490 BC

I personally have waffled between 10 and 20 per pound, as a general rule, reckoning that typical coins are about the size of a US nickel.

As I’ve gone old school and the looting of hoards has taken precedence over story goals and other such elements, I’m wondering if smaller (say, dime-sized) coins at 100 per pound might not be in order. That seems a bit too small, though. Think how many it would take to make a bed for good old Smaug.

Labyrinth Lord uses 10 coins to the pound and rules that characters with more than 40 pounds of equipment lose movement rate.

Swords & Wizardry (both Core and White Box), on the other hand, uses the same 10 coins per pound rule but states that characters can carry up to 75 pounds before losing movement rate.

Sure, I could house rule the weight allowances in LL, but they actually seem closer to “reality” to me than the 75 pound limit. At the same time, characters seem overly-limited in the amount of equipment they carry to begin with by the 40 pound limit, and once the characters discover some treasure they immediately drop into the next-lower move rate because they’ve dropped items from their inventory in order to stay at a decent move rate.

Another consideration is that I plan on running both LL and S&W, and the wide discrepancy between the two on this matter may be confusing.

I haven’t quite decided what I’m going to do about this.

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One Comment to “Coin Size and Weight Limits”

  1. […] recent discussions of coins and weight reminded me of this creation from back in my early days of DMing. I can’t […]