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The General Store: Fantasy coins to US currency

I’m currently working on Black Powder, Black Magic Vol.4, which is the ‘delving’ issue. In addition to mine hazards, ley line nodes, and demon shrines, I want to include some new equipment (such as TNT), plus a list of the standard equipment with US dollar prices.

Looks like we’ll need a Fantasy Coins to US Currency conversion list, so here’s what I propose…

Fantasy Coins to US Currency

  • Platinum Piece = $100
  • Electrum Piece = $10
  • Gold Piece = $1
  • Silver = $.10
  • Copper = $.01

Copper coins would easily be confused for pennies. Silver dollars are a thing, so that’s a possibility. Gold is more complicated, due to multiple values, but in the late 1800’s the most common denomination of gold coin was the $20. In fantasy games, the gold piece is the standard, so let’s just equate that to $1 for now, and see how this compares to the standard equipment list in the Dungeon Crawl Classics Core Rulebook.

A regular horse is 75 gp, or in US currency, $75. My research uncovered that a riding horse in 1850 cost about $75. Amazing! A saddle and saddlebag was $25, and it’s listed as 30 gp in the Core Rulebook. A warhorse in the Core Rulebook is 200 gp, and a superior riding horse was $185. A pack horse was $25, which is comparable to the pony price in the Core Rulebook of 30 gp. Again, amazing!

So, if you wanted to buy a decent revolver, that’s going to cost about $25. A torch will cost just a penny, a small hammer is 50 cents, a lantern $10, and a backpack $2. Nine good cigars only costs 25 cents. If you consider a cowboy could make about $1/day in the 1800’s, this all seems to be a good equation. 

Now head on over to the bank and trade those clunky coins for some bills.

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Troglodytes and bone tomahawks

After watching the movie Bone Tomahawk, I decided I should write a varmint entry for the troglodyte for Dungeon Crawl Classics. It’s a perfect fit for the Black Powder, Black Magic setting.

If you’re adventuring in the mines of Brimstone, you may find these guys on just about any level. They can also be found in remote caves beyond Brimstone.


Init +1; Atk bone tomahawk +3 melee (1d6+3); AC 16; HD 2d8+2; MV 30’; Act 1d20; SP infravision 60’, Throat Whistle; SV Fort +2, Ref +0, Will +1; AL L.

The forsaken tribe of cannibalistic, demon worshipping natives (commonly called troglodytes) can be found in wilderness caves and the tunnels beneath Brimstone. They mark their territory with effigies of slain interlopers. Should these effigies be disturbed, the troglodytes may muster a hunting party to venture into town to capture their next stock of food and breeding selections.

In addition to seeing well in the dark, the troglodytes can hear frequencies similar to canines. They have a mutation, a bone protrusion in their throat, that allows them to communicate over many miles. When first encountered, a troglodyte or group of troglodytes will use their throat whistle to call for aid or warn their brethren. One additional troglodyte per average level of the party will arrive 1d4 rounds later. Reinforcements will not use this ability, as there are no reinforcements for reinforcements.

The bone tomahawks carried by troglodytes are studded with the petrified talons of demons. Troglodytes use sap from the roots of the World Tree, hardened by fire, to fuse the talons to their tomahawks. On a natural attack roll of 20, the victim suffers a devastating wound, and that character’s hit point total is forever reduced by 1d4 HP. Players may opt to permanently reduce their Luck score by an equivalent amount to counter this.


Common (DC10): Name, visual description, origin

Uncommon (DC15): Infravision, throat whistle

Rare (DC 20-25): bone tomahawk special damage

Obscure (DC30): Troglodytes all worship Ushtooth the Usurper, an elder brain. Clerics with this knowledge may attempt to turn the troglodytes.

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Coming Soon: The Treasure Vaults of Zadabad for Swords & Wizardry

Eric and I feel that TVoZ is an ideal candidate for play with Swords & Wizardry. Eric’s converted all the monsters, items, and entries, and I’ve redone all the maps and put everything into a new layout. As of this post, we’re at the final proofing stage.

Eric will have some review copies with him at this year’s GaryCon, so if you’re in attendance, be sure to find him and ask to thumb through it. At 64 pages, there’s a boatload to do on the island of Kalmatta!

Below are some samples of the cover and interior:




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