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GURPS Dungeon Fantasy Treasures 1: Glittering Prizes, Matt Riggsby 18 December 2015

This Dungeon Fantasy supplement deals with the thing closest to a dungeon-delver's heart: money.

Disclaimer: I received playtest credit in this book and therefore did not pay for it.

This is essentially a treatise on fantasy numismatics, dealing with coin material, purity, size and weight, and denomination – with handy tables linking the latter, so that if you want a silver coin that weighs 144 to the pound, you can quickly work out that it'll be worth $6.94 (standard GURPS dollars) and be about 2/3 of an inch across. It then branches out, mentioning the utility of recently-minted high value coins as precision measuring instruments (as they're of an exact size and weight), impractically large money (up to the rai of the Yap islands), the condition of coins (worn, clipped, overstruck with a new image, or even sharpened for use in a fight), and their decoration.

Paper money gets shorter shrift, with notes on why it won't be popular with delvers even if it's lighter than the precious metals. The book then moves on to evaluation: given a sack of coins, how long does it take to establish its face value, and what skills do you need? How about working out purity and metal value? This is Dungeon Fantasy, though, and while there's a note on systems of currency it mostly comes down to weight of precious metal.

Getting away from cash, there are random tables for motifs (for coins, banknotes, or anything else decorates) and colours (with a note that some of these may be unique to particular regions); fasteners and fabrics, and even implausible materials such as solidified flame or insect husks. This leads into a note on building cultures around their artefacts, with several examples of preferred materials and motifs. That's possibly a bit subtle for your typical dungeon bash, but could be quite useful in a broader campaign.

This is probably the least Dungeon-Fantasy DF book so far, and as a result I'll probably get more use out of it than I do from most of them. Both currency systems and patterns of motifs are helpful ways to add flavour to a culture even if it doesn't just exist to be looted. Dungeon Fantasy Treasures 1: Glittering Prizes is available from Warehouse 23 and the designer's notes are here.

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