Life in the Realms


There are five basic levels of coinage in use on the Sword Coast: copper pieces (cp), silver pieces (sp), electrum pieces (ep), gold pieces (gp), and platinum pieces (pp). Copper and silver are generally used for everyday purchases, while gold is reserved for bigger ticket expenses. Electrum pieces aren’t minted on the Sword Coast, but they are often brought north by merchants from Amn and Calimshan. Platinum coins are typically used by the wealthy for major transactions.

Because such a variety of coins are in circulation on the Sword Coast, most people simply use whatever coinage passes by. A coin’s value is expressed in the weight of the precious metal of which it is made. The current regional standard is:

Coin Value (gp) Nickname
cp 1/100 copper thumbs
sp 1/10 silver shards
ep 1/2 blue-eyes
gp 1 gold lions
pp 10 platinum suns

Crime and Punishment

Every community along the Sword Coast has its own code of justice, though all share similar prohibitions on theft, assault, murder and the like. However, the manner in which these crimes are prosecuted can vary widely, from a full court proceeding to summary judgment. The wilds of Faerûn have their own laws as well, often enforced by the strong upon the weak.


The most widely spoken language in Faerûn is Common, a trade dialect that knits the continent together. While most cannot read or write the language, generally, the people of Faerûn will be able to converse with each other in Common. However, dozens of other languages continue to be spoken on Toril.


The quality of life one can enjoy in the Realms is based on income and station. Below is a rough guide to the different levels of lifestyle people on the Sword Coast can enjoy, and at what cost.

Lifestyle Price/Day Price/Year
Squalid 1sp 36gp
Poor 2sp 73gp
Modest 1gp 365gp
Comfortable 2gp 730gp
Wealthy 4gp 1460gp
Aristocratic 10gp minimum 3650gp minimum

It is possible for those who fall into a little money to live beyond their means for a time, only to sink back down once the money runs out. Those who fall into a lot of money can often permanently raise their standard of living, though their rise might not be welcomed by their new peers.

Trade and Services

Normally, adventurers can sell their treasures and trinkets in a town or other settlement, provided that they can find buyers and merchants interested in the loot.

As a general rule, undamaged weapons, armor, and more mundane equipment fetch half their cost when sold in a market. Weapons and armor used by monsters are rarely in good enough condition to sell.

Gems, jewelry, and art objects retain their full value in the marketplace, and can either be traded in for coin or serve as currency for other transactions. For exceptionally valuable treasures, it is often necessary to find a buyer in a large town or larger community.

Outside the major cities, many people conduct transactions through barter. Like gems and art objects, trade goods—bars of iron, bags of salt, livestock, and so on—retain their full value in the market and can be used as currency.

Selling magic items is much more problematic. Finding someone to buy a potion or a scroll isn’t too hard, but other items are out of the realm of most but the wealthiest nobles. Likewise, aside from a few common magic items, you won’t normally come across magic items or spells to purchase. The value of magic is far beyond simple gold and should always be treated as such.

People who are able to cast spells don’t fall into the category of ordinary artisans. It might be possible to find someone willing to cast a spell in exchange for coin or favors, but it is rarely easy and no established pay rates exist. As a rule, the higher the level of the desired spell, the harder it is to find someone who can cast it and the more it costs.


The settlements of the Sword Coast are linked by a network of roads kept in moderately good repair. Below is a short summary of land travel times along these roads, which are approximately the same for mounted and dismounted travelers.

Distance Traveled per…

Pace Minute Hour Day Effect
Fast 400ft 4mi 30mi -5 passive Wisdom
Normal 300ft 3mi 24mi
Slow 200ft 2mi 18mi Able to use Stealth

Life in the Realms

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