A starting gold 5e guide can tell you right away what your cash situation is. Depending on where the DM sets the story, starting with gold can make or break a D&D game.
Most DMs won’t put a lot of weight on starting gold. But there are a few who focus on it and make expensive inns the only place to stay in a town. But this is rare, so I wouldn’t focus too much on the starting gold.
In early games, there is a wide range of starting gold. Some may start with 5gp, while others may start with 200gp. It all depends on the class, background, and method that you and your dungeon master choose.
- Starting Gold 5e in Short
- What Decides 5e Starting Gold?
- Making Gold in DnD 5e
- Does Starting Gold in 5e Matter?
Starting Gold 5e in Short
- In 5e, there are two ways to figure out how much gold you start with: by chance or by your background and class gold.
- You can’t get gold from both ways at the same time. The DM can tell you which one to use or let you decide, if that’s okay with them.
- In 5e, the characters that start with the most gold are the Bard, the Cleric, the Fighter, the Paladin, and the Ranger.
The Monk starts with the least money, an average of 12.5gp, which is ten times less than the other classes.
What Decides 5e Starting Gold?
In Dungeons and Dragons 5e, you can choose how much gold you start with based on your class and background, or you can roll a die. There are other ways to use the DM, but these are the most common ones.
Now, each class doesn’t start with gold, but they can roll dice to get a random amount of gold in exchange for their starting tools. If you choose to keep the gear, you only get the gold from your background.
There are two official ways to decide how much gold you start with, but there is a third way. Your dungeon master chooses how much gold you get in the third option. This is generally a number picked at random, or everyone gets the same amount of gold.
If you’ve been going on adventures together for a while, this makes sense. Most groups divide their gold in half.
So, if you both start out with the same amount of gold, it just means that you split the money you earned together.
Level 1 Starting Gold
In DnD 5e, there are several ways to figure out how much gold you start with. When you first make your character, this is done by class, which is probably the best way to do it.
Each character class has a certain amount of random gold that comes with it. They can roll on the chart or take the average, and then go straight to the DM to buy their starting gear.
This could get the player much better tools and gold, or it could leave them with just enough gold and equipment to get by.
|Barbarian||2d4 x 10 GP||20gp||80gp||50gp|
|Bard||5d4 x 10 GP||50gp||200gp||125gp|
|Cleric||5d4 x 10 GP||50gp||200gp||125gp|
|Druid||2d4 x 10 GP||40gp||80gp||50gp|
|Fighter||5d4 x 10 GP||50gp||200gp||125gp|
|Paladin||5d4 x 10 GP||50gp||200gp||125gp|
|Ranger||5d4 x 10 GP||50gp||200gp||125gp|
|Rogue||4d4 x 10 GP||40gp||160gp||100gp|
|Sorcerer||3d4 x 10 GP||30gp||120gp||75gp|
|Warlock||4d4 x 10 GP||40gp||160gp||100gp|
|Wizard||4d4 x 10 GP||40gp||160gp||100gp|
Starting Equipment and Gold by Background
When a player starts with the usual starting equipment, they get a certain amount of gold based on their background. It’s a set amount, so players will know exactly how much they’ll get at level one.
With the basic equipment, players can usually choose a starting weapon and some tools to use. All of this is basic gear that is great for beginners.
After picking their starting gear, players can choose a background that gives them a certain amount of gold to start with.
|City Watch / Investigator (SCAG)||10gp|
|Clan Crafter (SCAG)||5gp gem and 10gp|
|Cloistered Scholar (SCAG)||10gp|
|Criminal / Spy||15gp|
|Faction Agent (SCAG)||15gp|
|Far Traveler (SCAG)||10gp jewelry and 5gp|
|Guild Artisan/Merchant (PHB)||15gp|
|Haunted One (COS)||None|
|Knight of the Order (SCAG)||10gp|
|Mercenary Veteran (SCAG)||10gp|
|Urban Bounty Hunter (SCAG)||20gp|
|Uthgardt Tribe Member (SCAG)||10gp|
|Waterdhavian Noble (SCAG)||20gp|
This might be the best choice for most people. For example, a Monk can start with an average of 13gp if they don’t have any weapons. But the small sword is worth 10gp on its own.
All 12gp for the Dungeoneer’s Pack, and you’re already above the Monk’s maximum starting fold. This might not work with every class, but most of the time it does. Still, it isn’t always the best.
You start with the things you do for a reason. If you have a high Charisma, the first thing you can do is go to a shop and sell your stuff so you can buy only the most important things. But this can go wrong if the DM starts you out outside of town.
Starting Gold By Levels
What happens, though, when you start people at higher levels?
Good question, dear friend. It depends on the DM, but the Dungeon Master’s Guide can help if you’re out of ideas.
If you start out at a higher level, they have a list that will help you figure out how much tools and gold you need.
You can look below or on page 38 of the Dungeon Master’s Guide for a quick reference.
|Character Level||Low Magic Campaign||Standard Campaign||High Magic Campaign|
|1st–4th||Normal starting equipment||Normal starting equipment||Normal starting equipment|
|5th–10th||500 gp plus 1d10 × 25 gp, normal starting equipment||500 gp plus 1d10 × 25 gp, normal starting equipment||500 gp plus 1d10 × 25 gp, one uncommon magic item, normal starting equipment|
|11th–16th||5,000 gp plus 1d10 × 250 gp, one uncommon magic item, normal starting equipment||5,000 gp plus 1d10 × 250 gp, two uncommon magic items, normal starting equipment||5,000 gp plus 1d10 × 250 gp, three uncommon magic items, one rare item, normal starting equipment|
|17th–20th||20,000 gp plus 1d10 × 250 gp, two uncommon magic items, normal starting equipment||20,000 gp plus 1d10 × 250 gp, two uncommon magic items, one rare item, normal starting equipment||20,000 gp plus 1d10 × 250 gp, three uncommon magic items, two rare items, one very rare item, normal starting equipment|
Starting with Silver, Copper, or Platinum
One platinum piece is worth ten gold pieces, so it is possible to start the game with platinum. If you would normally start with 100 GP, the DM may let you start with 10 platinum instead.
It makes sense to start with platinum because it is lighter, but this makes it hard to pay for things. Most inns only take silver and copper, so having platinum would be useless unless you were buying nice gear.
Then, it makes sense to use silver and copper instead of gold because these are the currencies you need the most. I could also see it being used in the background of a character who only wants to use copper.
I like quirky things like this. It’s not fun to carry around thousands of gold coins, but it’s even worse to carry around tens of thousands of copper pieces. But if it’s all for acting, I’m down with it.
Making Gold in DnD 5e
Your “class” may determine how much gold you start with, but it won’t tell you anything about your social class. You can start making gold right away, but how you do it depends on how you play the game.
Now, going on quests is the best way to make cash. This could be done through bounties, royal tasks, or raiding dungeons.
But everyone knows about these things, and they’re usually forced on people. They’re not the only ways to get gold, though.
Fighting – Gladiator Style
In Dungeons and Dragons, fight pits are a great way to make money. You might think that only Fighters or Barbarians would do well, but give that some thought.
Even if you can’t use magic, a random street fighter is probably going to get ripped apart by any class. Even though you are only level 1, you are still an explorer. Party members are not like most people.
Using Your Craft
If you belong to an artisan’s guild or something similar, you already have a skill you can use to make money. If you’re not, you have to think of something else. Say, for example, you’re a normal Rogue.
At first glance, you might not seem to have a special skill, but you can do a lot with lockpicking. Or maybe you are a Druid who can sell a lot of really good berry wine.
If you’re lucky or good at Sleight of Hand, gambling is an easy way to make money. For the second, you have to lie. If you’re okay with that, you can make a lot of gold coins at the right table.
But you will have to get lucky if you don’t want to cheat. Bards can get lucky, but they have to figure out how to make an ability check in order to do so.
So, you can use the extra if you know how to play cards or dice well.
The best class for this is the Bard, but anyone with a high Charisma can make money this way. Just play an instrument, sing, or do something else to entertain people on the street.
You should be able to get jobs at the palace so that you don’t have to depend on tips.
Most of the time, these jobs are flat-rate jobs where you can make a lot of money each night. The more popular you become, the more jobs you’ll get.
Buying (or Stealing) and Selling Goods
I prefer to buy and sell things, but you can steal if you are good at Sneak and Sleight of Hand. Stealing is a much better way to make money, but it is also riskier. I like the Charisma path better.
Use Persuasion to talk to shop owners about deals. Then, sell what you get in a different town at a higher price.
Even if you steal, it may not be easy to make money back fast, but over time, you can make a lot of money this way.
Teach or Tutor
In DnD, you can teach anything you want. If you know how to do something, you can teach it to someone else. You can either work with one person at a time or teach a group.
You can teach anything you can think of, like how to fight or make potions. I’d pick a few choices so you can always find students and let them choose the one that pays the most.
Farm – The Old-Fashioned Way
That’s not what I mean. I mean animals and food from farms. Produce won’t make you much money, but if you can start a sheep farm, you can hire someone to look after the sheep and keep coming back to check on them.
So, you can get lamb, hooves, and wool, which you can use or sell. It’s never a bad idea to start your own business that runs itself, even if it won’t be your main source of income.
When I say “party,” I mean “host,” not “go to.” Pick a busy city and throw a party that everyone wants to go to. Have a fee to get in, and have your Barbarian friend make sure people pay it.
You can do this in any city, but make sure it’s exciting enough to attract NPCs. You can have the most interesting person at the party ask people, which will make each person feel like a star.
Does Starting Gold in 5e Matter?
At the end of the game, starting with gold won’t make a big difference in how things go. Even if you are a poor Monk, you can quickly make as much as the highest-level character starts with.
In most missions, you don’t even need gold for a while. You only need one or two silver coins to get a place to stay and food to eat. Anything else is a bit of a luxury.
After the game starts, I’d rather focus on making gold. You can buy a weak potion with the gold you get at the start, but once you start exploring, you start making real money. In D&D, you decide what road to take.
Does Starting Gold 5e Matter?
Most of the time, it does not matter. It can if everything goes right, but most of the time, if your goal is to make more gold, you can double your gold in one session.
Who Gets the Most Starting Gold 5e?
Choose Bard, Cleric, Fighter, Paladin, or Ranger as your class if you want to start with the most gold available. Adding that to the Knight background will give you an easy 150 or more gold to start with.
How Much Starting Gold Should I Have in 5e?
Even though it changes, each player should start with about 50gp. This can be less or more, but if you want to give everyone the same amount of gold, it’s a good starting point.
How Much Starting Gold for Higher Levels in 5e?
This isn’t in the Player’s Handbook, so DMs have been making it up. You can start with the same amount or a multiplier based on your job and background, with gold at level 1 for everyone.
How Much Starting Gold Does Artificer Get?
In 5e, the Artificer doesn’t have a set amount of gold to start with. Most DMs end up using the Wizard’s way because it’s a good average. The random amount is 4d4 x 10gp.