Many an rpg campaign takes place in an apocalyptic or post apocalyptic age populated with mutant beasts warped by sorcery or science in a landscape strewn with ruins of empires haunted by the undead or radiation. I got thinking what if the ruin and desolation crept into the coin purses, treasure chests and markets and came up coins and kit for a grotty age.
The lowliest coin of them all is the Gubbin, handfuls and piles of gubbins would need to be exchanged for all but the cheapest of purchases. The Groat is the coin meant to be in the middle the largest the lowly will ever likely see and the unit of concern to all but the highest born (other folks have used it for their dark/dung age campaigns so I went with them here). The quality and nature of the metals used isn't really of concern they are mostly small and cheap with 200 to a pound.
Coin Conversion table
Gubbin= 1/2 spangle or 1/5 Groat or 1/100th of a Zlotz
Spangle= 2 gubbins
Nubbin= 3 gubbins or spangle &a gubbin
Baub=4 spangles or 8 gubbins
Groat= 5 spangles or 10 gubbins
Shearlin= 6 nubbins or 18 gubbins or a groat &a baub
Lucre= 7 nubbins or 21 gubbins or a groat,baub & a nubbin
Mark= 8 baub or 64 gubbins or a dozen groats & a baub
Gilder= 9 baub or 72 gubbins or 4 shearlin
Zlotz= 10 groats or 50 spangles or 100 gubbins
Gilders may occasionally appear by the coffer full but a few will ever see more then handful of Zlotz at any one time.
As a note of general value 3 groats will keep a man fed, housed, and in drink/smoke for a week.
Quality of kit and arms
In a grotty age things have been used and reused many times over and it shows the quality of a character's equipment is of concern.
Duff: -1 to use/hit/damage, auto-break 1 and 20, Sv: 13+
Shonky: autobreak on 1 , save vs downgrade on a 20, Sv: 12+
Bodge: auto break on 1, save vs wear on a 20, Sv: 11+
Fit: save vs downgrade on 1, save vs wear on 20, Sv: 10+
Brill: save vs downgrade on 1, sv: 8+
Ace: save vs wear on 1, Sv: 6+
Break: out right busted no use at all,reworked at 1/3cost 50/50 chance of reforged being same quality as unbroken item or one lower.
Downgrade: item shifts in general quality to lower grade, can be reworked at 1/5 cost 1-2 no improvement.3-6 improved.
Wear: for weapons -1 to hit, -2 hit and damage, -3 hit,damage, and save, wear beneath this is broken. Can be mended 1 step for 1/20th cost.
When to check for wear and tear:
Weapons are checked every round they are used.
Armor should be checked the 1st time their wearer suffers damage in excess to their level in a combat and after any combat lasting 5 rounds or longer.
Boots/shoes require a check be made each day of travel.
Other equipment should be checked when used in times of stress, roll a d20 and check on the table above (recomend checkign anytime a character fails a save vs fireball or other such area attack).
Cost of goods and gear.
Duff goodscosts as 1/2 the number of standard D&D price in g.p. of groats
Shonky goods cost x1
Bodge goods cost x2
Fit goods cost x5
Brill goods cost x10
Ace goods costs x20
(example a Duff Sword would be 5 groats and an Ace Sword would be 200 groats if the rulebook has a price of 10 g.p. for a sword).
Food should be really cheap but also risky and even riskier in dungeons and exotic villages. (probably do more on dodgy food and drink in a future post).
Experience and treasure:
No one earns experience points for finding treasure alone but you do gain experience points spending loot.
If a character has got it they can spend up to100 groats a week per level to gain 100 exp. These groats must be spent on buying fit or better gear, feasting, carousing (gambling, fornication, and worse), gifting to NPCs, buying property, and sacrificing to the petty gods of the grotty age. Spending in more then one area is allowed to gain experience points but doing so can (and should) ay DM's discretion expose the character to hazards of such indulgence.