The Norse do not use the standard copper, silver, and gold piece standard. Instead, they operate on the silver standard, using silver pennies (sp) and gold marks (gm). One mark is worth 8 pennies, and there are 400 coins to the pound. Convert Player’s Handbook prices in gold pieces to prices in silver pennies for this campaign (in most cases; see below), and starting funds are generated in silver pennies as well.

When dealing with prices less than one sp, the Norse also use hacksilver, measured in hacksilver bits (hb), which is exactly what its name implies: irregular bits of metal hacked off of silver jewelry, silver bars, or the like to come up with a smaller amount of silver than a single penny is worth. One silver penny is worth 20 bits and there are 8000 bits to the pound.

It is extremely rare that a Norseman would carry enough coins or bits to make a noticeable dent in his encumbrance; most of the time, a character can ignore the weight of the his currency unless he is carrying a truly ridiculous sum like a wyrm’s hoard or a king’s ransom.

Iron Age Value

Animals and goods containing large quantities of iron are the major exception to the statement above that PHB prices in gold pieces are converted to prices in silver pennies. Any goods made entirely or almost entirely out of metal such as swords, mail armor, or chains are priced in marks instead of pennies (and are thus 8 times the normal price), and the same applies to rare or good-quality animals such as a prized stallion or a captured dire eagle. Any goods containing a notable quantity of iron such as axes, scale armor, or barrels have a price in marks equal to half their price in pennies (and are thus 4 times the normal price), and the same applies to common or low-quality animals such as a pack mule or domesticated goats.

Starting Wealth

Each character starts with a certain number of silver pennies, according to their primary class; jarls begin play with triple the given amount.

Class Starting Wealth
Spirit Shaman, Totemist 80
Wizard 120
Barbarian, Bard 160
Binder, Cleric, Incarnate, Rogue, Scout, Warblade 200
Duskblade, Factotum, Fighter, Ranger, Soldier 240


Saga of the Northlands PsychicTheurge