Starting Gold By Level 5e Guide – Dungeons & Dragons

August 5, 2023
Confused about the starting gold amount in D&D? Check out this guide to find out!

If you are a beginner to tabletop games like Dungeons and Dragons then it is important for you to decide the amount of starting gold for the game. Most players get confused and think that they get a random amount of starting gold and the equipment for their background and class for their character class but the reality is different as it’s a choice.

This guide will tell you everything you need to know about the starting gold in Dungeons and Dragons.

Starting Gold By Level 5e Guide

According to the official rules, you can choose between a random amount of starting gold or the starting gold and equipment from the background and class. The first option involves rolling a die to determine the amount of initial gold to purchase your equipment or choosing the equipment based on the background and class of your character.

When using the random starting gold method, you will be making a number of D4 rolls depending on your starting class to determine the amount of initial wealth. This method is riskier, as there is a chance of rolling much more gold but the average gold rolls will be about the same or less than taking the basic starting equipment option.

This roll is multiplied by 10 to get the amount of initial wealth in the game with the only exception being Monks as they roll five d4 but don’t get to multiply it. These rolls should be made in front of your Dungeon Master

A pool of gold will be created and it will be used for the purchase of your initial equipment. Any leftover money that will be utilized will be left as the starting gold. You can refer to the table below to get an estimate of the gold pool for each character class:

ClassStarting Gold Pool
Barbarian2d4 x 10gp
Bard5d4 x 10gp
Cleric5d4 x 10gp
Druid2d4 x 10gp
Fighter5d4 x 10gp
Monk5d4 gp
Paladin5d4 x 10gp
Ranger5d4 x 10gp
Rogue4d4 x 10gp
Sorcerer3d4 x 10gp
Warlock4d4 x 10gp
Wizard4d4 x 10gp

The Artificer class was recently added and there is no official mention of the starting gold for this class. If you are looking for the starting gold amount for this class then it’s best to make the same rolls as the Wizard which is 4d4 x 10gp. The Artificer has higher material costs in comparison to other classes since it also needs armour.

The second method involves selecting the starting equipment for each class as well as specific background-related items. Each background has a different starting gold amount in addition to the class starting gold.

Each option will fetch a pouch of gold coins that can vary according to class and background. Starting gold and equipment depend on the chosen background and class. Higher-level characters may have options for more gold and equipment.

 Some of the things that you need to pick for your character are:

  • Armour (if worn)
  • Melee and Ranged weapons
  • Survival gear based on your setting such as rope or backpack

Here is the complete list of gold based on your background:

BackgroundStarting Gold Pool
Anthropologist (ToA)10gp
Archaeologist (ToA)25gp
Charlatan (PHB)15gp
City Watch / Investigator (SCAG)10gp
Clan Crafter (SCAG)5gp gem and 10gp
Cloistered Scholar (SCAG)10gp
Courtier (SCAG)5gp
Criminal / Spy15gp
Entertainer (PHB)15gp
Faction Agent (SCAG)15gp
Far Traveler (SCAG)10gp jewelry and 5gp
Folk Hero10gp
Gladiator (PHB)15gp
Guild Artisan/Merchant (PHB)15gp
Haunted One (COS)None
Hermit (PHB)5gp
Inheritor (SCAG)15gp
Knight (PHB)25gp
Knight of the Order (SCAG)10gp
Mercenary Veteran (SCAG)10gp
Outlander (PHB)10gp
Pirate (PHB)10gp
Sailor (PHB)10gp
Urban Bounty Hunter (SCAG)20gp
Urchin (PHB)10gp
Uthgardt Tribe Member (SCAG)10gp
Waterdhavian Noble (SCAG)20gp

If you are starting on a higher level character which is greater than level 1 then you can consult your Dungeon Master to allow you to get some extra gold based on the levels below. These tables specify the gold options based on low, standard and high magic campaigns:

Character LevelLow Magic CampaignStandard CampaignHigh Magic Campaign
1st – 4thNormal Starting Equipment & GoldNormal Starting Gold & EquipmentNormal Starting Equipment & Gold
5th – 10th500gp plus 1d10x 25gp, normal starting equipment500gp plus 1d10x25gp, normal starting equipment500gp plus 1d10x25gp, one uncommon magic item, normal starting equipment
11th-16th5,000gp plus 1d10x250gp, one uncommon magic item, normal starting equipment500gp plus 1d10x250 gp, two uncommon magic items, normal starting equipment5,000gp plus1d10x250gp, three uncommon magic items, one rare item, normal starting equipment
17th+20,000gp plus 1d10x250gp, two uncommon magic items, normal starting equipment20,000gp plus 1d10x250gp, two uncommon magic items, one rare item, normal starting equipment20,000gp plus d10x250gp, three uncommon magic items, two rare items, one very rare item, normal starting equipment

Choosing between the two options to determine the amount of starting gold can be a bit difficult. It depends on your playstyle and how flexible your Dungeon Master is It is better to roll for starting gold in the following cases:

  • If you are using a build with obscure or specific equipment needs
  • Starting equipment packages give more gold pieces worth of stuff on average than rolling.
  • Rolling may be better for builds using equipment not found in class or background packages.
  • Rolling may be better for classes like Bard that get more gold on average when rolling.
  • If your build uses cheaper packages. Cheaper options in class packages may not be worth it compared to rolling for gold.

On the other hand, you can choose the equipment method in the following cases:

  • If you are short on time and want to start the game quickly
  • If you wish to stick true to the roots of your character for a realistic gameplay session
  • If you want a set gold amount instead of risking it in the roll method

That’s it, now go ahead and choose the method that best suits your playstyle and character background!