I received a box of Campaign Coins for review and they are fun, high quality game props. They must be great because the box packaging has no less than six exclamation marks in the text. :)
Each box contains 121 detailed coins depicting four metal types in 1, 10, 100, and 1000 denominations and 1 random 500 denomination collectible coin.
- Copper: 10×1, 10×10, 5×100, 5×1000
- Silver: 10×1, 10×10, 5×100, 5×1000
- Gold: 10×1, 10×10, 5×100, 5×1000
- Platinum: 10×1, 10×10, 5×100, 5×1000
- One random 500 piece
The coins look and feel like metal, and they have a wonderful weight to them. They also have awesome designs that will add atmosphere to your games. Reviewers before me have gone into great detail about this game master prop, so I won’t cover old ground. They get a thumbs-up from me. For more information, check out the reviews below.
7 Gamey Uses
So you’ve purchased a box of Campaign Coins, and maybe an expansion pack or two. What can you do with them other than the obvious pile of coins on the table treasure use? Here are several ideas to help you get more long-term value out of them as you game master.
1. Gamefull Props
Add an element of gameplay to the standard use as a treasure prop to make these coins even more entertaining.
- Improve presentation by putting the coins in an interesting container. Use a dice bag as an NPC’s coin purse and toss it to a player when it’s been found. Get a cheap jewelry box and place coins in the “chest.” Bury a coin in a plate of spaghetti and ask a searching player to put their hand into the “monster guts” to see what their character finds.
- Create several coin purses with different total coin values in them. Put the purses on the table and have players pick the one their PCs find. Do they pick the small purse with few coins in it, the large one that jingles merrily, and that weird small box? Put notes inside purses for special events, such as trap or magic effects. Add glass beads to act as gems. Add dollhouse miniatures and toys to depict magic items or interesting clues.
- Make them cursed coins, ala Pirates of the Caribbean. Use pennies, bottle caps, or poker chips to supply lots of coins, and save the Campaign Coins as a special, cursed set of legend. Perhaps the coins have a compelling boon, which makes the decision to keep or toss them difficult. Perhaps whoever touches a coin first cannot get rid of it no matter what they do, and the coin attracts monsters or brings bad luck. For additional fun, try to hide coins on player to trap them with the curse. For example, sneak them into their dice bags, knapsacks, cell phone holders, or jacket pockets.
Here’s a tip from Djoc via the Paizo message boards:
“Here’s how I use them: I combine them with item cards in small pouches, and give them to my players when they search a room or monster. With denominations, I can easily produce treasures that have very big amounts of some coins, without having to buy a truckload of coins of each metal. With the 120 coins provided in this product and a couple item cards packs, I can prepare a whole dungeon’s treasures. And since I let my players count the money, they actually count for a minute or two, not for an hour, if there are 1387 gp and 3253 cp in the box they open….”
2. Use Them For Quests
Make the coins objects of a quest. Can the PCs collect them all? Maybe they need to find the collectible 500 one that comes in the Campaign Coins box? Or perhaps they have to collect all the platinum ones.
Here’s an example quest. The Coins of Avandra have been sprinkled throughout the kingdom by the god of luck. They are in forgotten dungeons, buried in nobles’ vaults, and lost in old collections. The coins have magic properties that manifest when they are “spent” by flicking them into the air with your thumb. Better magic effects are possible by spending several coins at once. It’s up to the PCs (and their rivals) to collect the coins and decide when to cash them in for desired effect.
Possible coin effects might be:
- 1 coin = +1 luck
- 5 coins = magic healing
- 10 coins = roll on a random table like that for Wand of Wonder or Deck of Many Things
- 50 coins grants the big spender an audience with the god of luck
Another way to build that chart above is to use total value spent instead of the number of coins. This gives you more options to mix and match coin placement. For example, instead of 10 coins getting a roll on a special effect table, the PCs must spend 5,000 gp value of coins.
The coins disappear after use, and they actually return to the god of luck who then hides them again in a hundred years or so elsewhere in the kingdom for rediscovery.
3. Create a Backstory
The coins have various art and graphics on them. These icons and symbols are perfect for storytelling. Use them to reveal the history of your world or a cool portion of an adventure backstory. Perhaps gameplay requires PCs to have to show the rights coins to the right NPCs to get the whole picture for a grand clue. Or maybe all the symbols create a gate-opening password.
On a more mundane level, ask why did the coinmaker craft the coins with this specific art? Who commissioned the coins? Are they currently in circulation or are they from a past age? What information can be gleaned, and what story elements can the PCs link together, when you hand each coin type out for playerinspection?
The coins are worth more as clues than as exact currency in your campaign. While the total value of coins in a box is considerable, making exact change might be difficult and time consuming. For example, a treasurehorde of 121 coins would knock out your whole supply, including the collectible coin.
Instead, use the coins as clues for your encounters and adventures. Perhaps the coins discovered in treasure piles or on bodies tie eventually to an NPC. Perhaps the coins are of a foreign mint, providing a clue of origin for whatever context in which the coins were found. Perhaps the coins are the call sign of a villain the PCs are after, and the NPC delights in leading the PCs alonginto a trail of challenges and traps.
On a meta-game level, the coins are big enough to serve as excellent markers during combat. Coins can be used as minis, or with minis to mark effects or statuses.
In my campaigns we use pocket points. Campaign Coins would make excellent pocket point markers. Some game systems have action points or player points. These coins would be great for tracking those as well.
6. In-Game Games
If you have gambling games or betting games in your campaigns, such as poker or casinos, these coins make excellent player props that will add atmosphere as characters ante into the pot or play the slots.
7. Real Player Pick Pocketing
Campaign Coins make a satisfying clinking sound because they actually are metal. Next time a character picks a pocket, try a real life player challenge. Put a dice bag with a few coins in it in a coat pocket, slightly sticking out. If the group hears any clinking as the player tries to remove the bag from the pocket, then either the attempt fails or the following dice roll for the actual attempt gets a penalty. If the player succeeds, then either his character succeeds or he gets a +5 on the roll.
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