OSR: 1d100 Coins

So your party has found a cache of coins in the ground. What's the deal with them?
Silver Tetradrachm, Egypt, 305 BC


I use a simplified currency system, where 1gp = 10sp = 100cp, and 1cp = $1 modern American dollar = 1 medieval denier for the purposes of eyeballing costs.
1d10 Material Value
1 Unknown Varies (reroll secretly)
2 Wood or Paper Worthless
3 Pewter Nearly worthless
4 Tin Nearly worthless
5 Copper 1 cp
6 Brass 1cp
7 Bronze 1cp
8 Silver 1sp 
9 Electrum 1.5 sp or 1sp if lazy
10 Gold 1 gp
Silver Stater, Attica, 500 BC

Size and Shape

Roll twice, once for size, once for shape.
1d4 Size Shape
1 Fingernail Blobby
2 Nostril Round
3 Grape Round and ridged
4 Thumb Octagonal
Gold Florin, Florence, 1347 AD

1d100 Coins

Roll once, or roll once for the obverse and once for the reverse. I've also listed the actual identity of the coin if you want to look it up.

"Symbols" refers to letters, numbers, astrological signs, runes, or other marks.

You might want to edit the descriptions to fit the location. A tomb built by snake-men isn't going to have humans on the coins inside.

1d100 Obverse (Heads) Reverse (Tails) Actual Identity
1 Many symbols, evenly spaced Pyramid with symbol Byzantine, milaresion, 815 AD
2 Man's head with laurel wreath and beard Man lounging on a shield Rome, brass sestertius, 140 AD
3 Man's head with laurel wreath Large round building Rome, brass sestertius, 80 AD
4 Woman's head with many symbols Building, some symbols Rome, silver denarius, 45 BC
5 Woman's head with helmet Startled owl, some symbols Athens, silver tetradrachm, 510 BC
6 Man's head, holding symbol, head on Symbols, large and small Byzantine, bronze 40 nummia, 538 AD
7 Man with crown, ring of symbols Woman with crown Naples, silver carlino, 1503 AD
8 Man's head with long hair, bow and spear Goat's head, symbols Himyaria, silver denarius, 100 AD
9 Crowned man and woman facing each other Quartered shield, stars Spain, double excellente, 1480 AD
10 Man and woman with strange hats, head on Pyramid with symbol Byzantine, gold solidus, 635 AD
11 Man's face, long straight hair Man on horseback Ferrara, silver testoene, 1530 AD
12 Man's head with crown, mustache Symbols, ringed by vines British India, 1/4 Anna, 1919 AD
13 Man in a boat, holding a shield 8-pointed star England, gold noble, 1360 AD
14 Bell being run by 3 hands, over a city Shield with many symbols Brunswick, silver thaler, 1643 AD
15 Bearded man with lantern and spear Man with sword, symbols India, gold stater, 127 AD
16 Man with pointed beard, ringed by symbols Quartered, with buildings Brabant, philippsdaaler, 1557 AD
17 Symbol, 2 rings of symbols Symbol, 2 rings of symbols France, silver gros tournois, 1270 AD
18 Man in armour being crowned by a woman Man with robes, head on Byzantine, gold solidus, 675 AD
19 Bowl with three legs, some symbols Obverse, but indented Croton, silver stater, 500 BC
20 Building with columns, ringed by symbols Symbol, ringed by symbols Frankia, silver denier, 820 AD
21 Woman with curled hair, some symbols Large rat with leaves Canada, 5 cent nickel, 2017 AD
22 Man's head, ring of symbols Woman seated on chair Rome, copper as, 40 AD
23 Woman's head with helmet Realistic crab Acragas, silver tetradrachmm, 450 BC
24 Man with rolled hair, head on Pyramid with symbol Byzantine, gold solidus, 714 AD
25 Winged horse with tiny legs, single symbol No design (punch mark) Corinth, silver stater, 550 BC
26 Man with crown and staff, head on Death holding a scepter Austrasia, gold solidus, 540 AD
27 Lion's head facing a bull No design (punch mark) Lydia, silver siglos, 550 BC
28 Man in armour on horseback, with sword Lion in front of a building Flanders, franc a cheval, 1360 AD
29 Cross-legged man, ribbons Man with trident and bull India, gold dinar, 110 AD
30 Man's head with long curly hair, symbols Crowned circle with wings France, 1/2 ecu aux palmes, 1694 AD
31 Two figures holding two shields 12-pointed star France, salut d'or, 1446 AD
32 Two lions holding a crown 16-pointed star Hainault, double royal, 1380 AD
33 Man's head with laurel wreath and cloth Skeleton, sitting figure Rome, silver denarius, 75 AD
34 Man's head with hood, some symbols Hammer, bag, vines Rome, gold aureus, 46 BC
35 Naked man, long hair, stag, some symbols Obverse, but indented Caulonia, silver stater, 500 BC
36 Eagle with shield holding arrows and branch Woman with banner USA, silver dollar, 1842 AD
37 Man with robes and staff Leaf with some symbols Florence, gold florin, 1251 AD
38 Lion, glowering, head on No design (punch mark) Rhegium, silver tetradrachm, 445 BC
39 Man's head, stacked hair, many symbols Symbols and flowers Mercia, penny, 786 AD
40 Crowned man and woman, side by side Crowned shield Antwerp, gold sovereign, 1612 AD
41 Column covered in leaves Quartered circle with birds England, silver penny, 1060 AD
42 Lion holding a sword and shield Wreath around symbols Leyden, paper 28 stuivers, 1574 AD
43 Man's head with flat hat, ribbons Man holding a staff Bactria, silver tetradrachm, 170 BC
44 Man with thin moustache, curly hair 4 pointed star, 4 crowns France, 8 louis d'or, 1640 AD
45 Woman's head with headband Eagle, many symbols Egypt, silver tetradrachm, 40 BC
46 Woman's head with long hair and helmet Large symbols with wreath Confederate, copper penny, 1861 AD
47 3 faces, head on, with buildings Symbols and braids Fritzlar, gold bracteate, 1235 AD
48 Man's head with beard Man riding horse, stars Macedon, silver tetradrachm, 340 BC
49 Man aiming bow at lion Man standing on dead lion Gupta Empire, gold dinar, 380 AD
50 Man's head with laurel wreath Man seated on chair Rome, silver denarius, 15 BC
51 Man's head with bag and staff Three tiny figures, symbols Rome, silver denarius, 42 BC
52 Man's head with hide helmet Warrior woman with bird Egypt, silver tetradrachm, 305 BC
53 Man with sword, head on, on a throne Braids and columns Brandenburg, gold bracteate, 1180 AD
54 Woman's head with helmet, some symbols Lion fighting bull Acanthus, silver tetradrachm, 520 BC
55 Woman's head with laurel wreath Lion's head with 3 fishes Leontin, silver tetradrachm, 440 BC
56 Man's head with long hair and ribbon Bird with leaves USA, quarter, 1995 AD
57 Man on throne, head on, scepter and orb Shield with 8 rings England, gold sovereign, 1490 AD
58 Man's head with beard Naked satyr with bowl Naxos, silver tetradrachm, 470 BC
59 Braids and dots, abstract No design (punch mark) Britain, gold stater, 50 BC
60 Man's head with ringed hair and ribbon Winged woman with tablet France, ecu constitutionel, 1792 AD
61 Bald man's head with stars and symbols Gate with two chains Ghana, cupro-nickel threepence, 1958 AD
62 Man's head with thick scarf Eagle, many symbols Egypt, silver tetradrachm, 300 BC
63 Man's head with curled hair Square columned building USA, copper penny, 1991 AD
64 Eagle carrying a snake Winged woman, seated Olympia, silver didrachm, 450 BC
65 Man with scepter and crown 8-pointed star France, masse d'or, 1296 AD
66 Man's head with short hair and armour Man with banner on horse Piacenza, silver scudo, 1626 AD
67 Man holding a sword on shoulder Quartered circle with dots Aquitaine, silver demi-gros, 1370 AD
68 Bearded man with lantern and spear Woman with two bulls India, gold stater, 200 AD
69 Man's head, many symbols Two daggers, bell Rome, silver denarius, 43 BC
70 Woman's head with helmet Cow with some symbols Thurium, silver tetradrachm, 410 BC
71 Man with two heads Ship's prow Rome, bronze as, 289 BC
72 Lady's head with laurel wreath and 3 fishes 4-horse chariot, lion below Syracuse, silver decadrachm, 479 BC
73 Grinning lion's head No design (punch mark) Lydia, electrum 1/2 stater, 600 BC
74 Satyr's head with beard, beetle, some symbols Man seated on chair Atena, silver tetradrachm, 480 BC
75 Man with staff, head on, on bridge Symbols, braids, and dots Efurt, gold bracteate, 1145 AD
76 Woman with curled hair, some symbols Bear on ice Canada, 2 dollar "toonie", 2017 AD
77 Man's head with laurel wreath, robes 2 men holding a staff Brindisi, gold augustale, 1231 AD
78 Man's head with short hair and laurel wreath Man on horse with sword Great Britain, crown, 1818 AD
79 Man's head with swan's body Two tiny warriors Rome, silver denarius, 94 BC
80 Peacock on a shield Crowned shield Antwerp, silver penny, 1612 AD
81 Woman in robes, holding child Shield with wreath Hungary, silver denar, 1530 AD
82 Palm tree with two crossed swords Symbols Saudia Arabia, guinea, 1957 AD
83 Three decapitated figures, holding heads Man with hat, devils Zurich, silver thaler, 1512 AD
84 Man's head with beard and robes 2 figures, furnace Rome, brass sestertius, 118 AD
85 Man's head with long straight hair Domed building USA, nickel, 1961 AD
86 Man with wings holding spear Shield supported by lions England, gold angel, 1500 AD
87 Man's head with long curly hair and ribbon Woman with a harp Great Britain, copper, 1717 AD
88 Young man with wild hair, head on 4 horse chariot, tangled Catana, silver tetradrachm, 415 BC
89 Man with robes, ring of symbols Woman holding dagger Parthia, silver octadrachm, 100 AD
90 Man's head with short hair and laurel wreath Eagle on drums and scroll Prussia, silver thaler, 1764 AD
91 Man's head with short hair and laurel wreath Woman with trident Great Britain, copper twopence, 1797 AD
92 Man's head with short hair Torch and two plants USA, dime, 1965 AD
93 Sea turtle with ridged back No design (punch mark) Aegina, silver stater, 600 BC
94 Bearded man with a bow and spear No design (punch mark) Persia, gold daric, 515 BC
95 Woman with short hair, tiara Bird in water with island Canada, 1 dollar "loonie", 1988 AD
96 Woman with hood Bird standing on thistles Milan, silver testone, 1480 AD
97 Man's head with long curly hair and robes Shield within a shield, lions Sweden, silver riksdaler, 1707 AD
98 Wreath, many symbols Many symbols Rome, bronze dupondius, 20 BC
99 Symbol, ringed by symbols Symbol, ringed by symbols Frankia, silver denier, 780 AD
100 Cow with horns, licking its own foot Cuttlefish Eretria, silver tetradrachmm, 450 BC

Gold Sovereign, England, 1490 AD

Bonus Coin Facts

Coins were mostly known by their designs. If a modern coin changes designs overnight, people still accept it as valid. But if an ancient coin changed, people might start to question if it was actually worth - in silver or gold - what it says it was.

Imitation mints - not forgeries, but imitations - were common. If one city was known for very good coins, and their coins had a crab on them, you'd better make sure your coins had a crab on them too. This could lead to a string of imitators, with the original design being morphed by a game of telephone into something quite strange.

These tokens would make a very interesting treasure hall in a puritanical, time-traveling, or otherwise hilarious game.

Adulterating the currency was a common way to raise money in the short term and crash your economy in the medium-to-long term. The government only accepts payment in one type of silver coin. It then melts the coins down and reissues a larger number of smaller or mixed-metal coins. If you took in $100 of silver coins, you could issue $120 of adulterated coins, or issue $100 and keep $20 for your own needs. 

This means any given treasure haul could contain coins that are far better or far worse than coins currently in circulation in the area.


  1. This is interesting. But how gamable is it?

    1. No idea, but I figure it's good to add to a binder called "Tables", to reference as needed. The little details really help sometimes.

  2. Your work is unique and excellent. You are among the best of us. If anyone can figure out how to squeeze something out of the several kinds of real world coins, it is you.