Assassin 3, Bard 3, Sorcerer/Wizard 3; Domain: Metal 3, Trade 2
Casting Time: 1 Standard Action
Components: V, S, M/DF
Target: Up to 1000 coins per caster level up to 10,000 maximum, coins must all be in a single bag or container.
Saving Throw: None; Spell Resistance: No
This spell, beloved of adventurers who often find themselves with a lot of small change, transmutes coins of one sort into coins of another, ‘rolling up’ their value. It will turn 10 copper pieces into a silver piece, or 50 silver pieces into five gold pieces.
The spell requires a coin of recent mintage, of the highest value desired (for example, a silver coin will allow copper to become silver, but not gold or platinum). Having multiple coins (1 each of silver, gold, and platinum) is ideal. The “target” coin must have been minted in the past year and must be a common coin in an area within 10 miles of the caster; this spell cannot be used to turn copper pieces into antique coins worth far more than their metallic value. Indeed, the coins created by this spell, while of the proper weight and purity, are generally worn, nicked, and otherwise seemingly well-used (this is by design, as a sudden flood of glistening, newly-pressed coins in the hands of disreputable wandering mercenaries is likely to raise eyebrows).
A “tax” of 1% of the total value of coins transmuted is enacted by the spell; this raw material is part of what powers the transmutation.
All coins to be transformed must be in a single container, be it a sack, chest, box, and so on, including extradimensional storage. The spell affects 1,000 base coins per caster level and begins with the cheapest coins, seeking to combine them into the highest value possible. Hence, a fifth level caster with 5500 copper pieces and 100 silver pieces would end up with 4 platinum pieces, 9 gold pieces, 500 copper pieces, and 105 silver pieces. (At fifth level, the spell will “look” only at the first 5000 coins — 5000 of the copper pieces. One percent of this, the spell’s “tax”, is 50 copper pieces, or, five silver pieces. The 4,950 copper coins become 4 platinum pieces (consuming 4000 of the copper), 9 gold pieces (consuming 900 copper), and 5 silver pieces (consuming 50 copper))
False coins (as determined by their metal content, not necessarily their mintage) are not affected by this spell, making this an interesting way to sort out shaved coins, or coins containing admixtures of base metals. The spell can work on small pieces of pure metals not necessarily minted into coins, but cannot affect any piece weighing more than an ounce.
There is a legend that a powerful trickster-mage authored a reversed version of this spell, and tricked a dragon into casting it, thus entombing the dragon under a mountain of copper pieces. This reversed spell, if it ever really existed, has been lost to common knowledge.
This arose from last night’s PF game, where I realized it was a shame to leave low-value coins just lying around because they were heavy and bulky and even a portable hole only holds so much, especially when you dump a petrified mammoth into it. (Don’t ask.) It occurred to me that this would be a useful spell, and so, I wrote it up. Now, any spell that deals with precious metals is an open invite for a clever player to find ways to completely crash your game world’s economy, and so, I tried to find appropriate limits that would keep it at the “handy utility” level, and not the “hyperinflation level”. Many obvious combat uses are nullified by the simple expedient of the spell rolling up, not down — otherwise, you could bring a sack of 10 platinum pieces, cast this, and shower 10,000 copper pieces down on some unsuspecting enemy. The fact it costs 1% of the total wealth imposes, well, a cost on the spell, making it at least a tiny decision to use it or just get bigger bags or more hirelings. (I might kick it up to 5% or 10%, as I think about it.) The need to have local, current, coins is there because the first exploit I thought of is creating coins whose value to historians or collectors greatly exceeds their metal value. The idea that it could be used to “filter” fake or tampered coins was a happy inspiration as I thought about exactly what the magic could and couldn’t do, and how it would react to lead slugs in the coin bag.
Thoughts on other possible loopholes which could/should be capped, or non-exploitative but clever uses, are welcome.
I can see why it would be attractive from a player’s point of view, but isn’t the whole point of having bulk low value coins lying about to make it difficult for the players to haul all their loot out of the dungeon? By contrast, if the spell scaled only down instead of up that seems more interesting to me. It could lead to all kinds of clever and interesting uses, and has a built-in cost – the players will find it hard to recover the treasure they use in the spell.
Actually, Horde Contraction is the spell that lets you take a dozen orcs and combine them into one ogre. The spell you have should be called Hoard Contraction.
@Yeoman, it’s part of the arms race between people that want to to keep their treasure and people who want to steal it.
Oh for bloody frakking… sigh. Wow. That’s what I get for just dashing something off without proofing. Thank you for catching that. That’s embarrassing. It has been edited. Again: Sigh. Really, really, careless on my part.
I do like the idea for turning five orcs into one ogre, though. A good evil wizard (erm… you know what I mean…) might research it.
I happens to the best of us. Sadly, spell check doesn’t find homophones. 🙂
Hmm… I just thought of an interesting fight. The party comes across a giant. As they hurt it, it gets smaller and goblins pop out of the wounds. That would certainly get the players wondering.
And I know a few player groups that would want to learn the spell just so they could get all the party members together to form Voltron.
If you used the spell on 5 different elementals, would you get captain planet?
You’d need the ultra rare love elemental 🙂
This is a great utility spell – it deals with something that comes up again and again in my games (either because I’m rolling for treasure randomly, or because I’m using a published adventure). Honestly, when I’m making my own adventures or side quests I sometimes wonder why I’m bothering to put a mountain of copper in – I like the verisimilitude but it seems like a waste of everyone’s time.
@Yeoman – I think this spell still preserves that function. It is still difficult to get the loot out, this just gives PCs a way to manage resources that maximizes looting. Remember, this spell uses up the coveted 3rd level spell slot – that’s a fireball the party is sacrificing to get all the copper and silver they would normally leave behind.