Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Game Props Part 3: Coins

Nearly every fantasy game uses a gold, silver, copper monetary system.  And we talk about them some more.  I only did this once, but it seemed to have a significant effect on the players and that was to throw a money pouch onto the table as the offered reward.  It's one thing to say, "And if you do this heroic thing the lord will pay you 250sp as a reward."

Meh.

But!  Try this.  Find an old Crown Royal bag (you know you have one somewhere) or a regular old dice bag, fill it with pennies (more on this later) and "If you do this heroic thing the lord will pay you..." then drop the bag of coins on the table.  There will be a visceral reaction.  There is something about the sound of metal coins thudding, followed by the clicking and sliding of metal on metal.  Now the players are no longer dealing with an abstract.  They have the coins sitting in front of them.


I know there are many coin props out there.  I just don't like plastic.  While it might have the look, it's the sound and weight that sells it.  There also metal coins available out there.  But for me, I haven't found any I like and they are a bit pricey.  Many of them look great, but they often have weird denominations on them and that doesn't work in my game.  I don't want a 5 scrawled on a silver coin.  A silver coin is just that, a silver coin.

A more affordable option is raid your coin jar for its pennies.  Get some silver and gold spray paint and go to town.  Copper, well since they're pennies...   If you want to get really fancy smancy you can take a hammer to them and squish them a bit.  Make their shape a little wonky.  Doing this gives you an inexpensive way to bring a cool prop to the table.

As I mentioned before, using dice bags are cool as money purses.  Or if you have someone at home that can craft some homemade ones even better.

While I have only used the coins during one adventure, it was very cool to see the players react to the actually coins being presented to them.