So, a few sessions back, my DM allowed us to fill our Portable Hole completely with gold coins and various other valuable trinkets and loot from a treasure room we discovered. We have yet to set out and count all of the gold and discover each trinket, bobble, or other piece of loot, but I believe it is safe to say that you can comfortably ignore the small amount of items that are not gold coins and still receive a fairly accurate approximation, as the DM stated that it is mostly consisting of gold coins.
Here is my math:
- A Portable Hole is a 6' diameter hole, and it stretches 10' down.
To figure out the volume (or how much gold can be held in the hole), the formula is Volume = π * radius squared * height. π = 3.14 and the radius is half of the hole's diameter (which is 6'), so the radius is 3', and the height is 10'.
-So the formula would be: 3.14 * 9 * 10 = 282.6 cubic feet available to fill inside the hole.
A cubic ft of Gold is 1,206 lbs. Now, obviously this is a solid, dense block of gold, but this is just an approximation of gold coins.
With there being 282.6 cubic feet available in the hole, that equals out to 282.6 * 1,206 = 340815.6 lbs of gold.
Since the PHB states that there is 50 GP to each lb of GP, that will become: 340815.6 * 50 = 17,040,780 gold pieces.
I ran this math by the DM, and he says that this checks out by his calculations, give or take a small percentage being non-gp items, and also accounting for the spaciousness of gp as opposed to the solid mass of a gold block, we could even say that this is anywhere from 10 – 15 million gp, which is still a huge amount of gold. Also, non-gp trinkets and items may even be worth more than the gold.
I conveyed my concerns to my DM that this is far too much gold for five 6th level characters, and he continues to say that we'll just be rich from now on, and has stated to me that there is no trickery about the gold and that it really is just that much GP.
I'm quite concerned that this may impact our game very negatively. Personally, my character shuns gold and does not possess a value over treasure, but there are several members of our group who are completely driven by it. I'm scared what could possibly be done with this much gold, as I am fairly new to D&D and I don't quite know what is available to those with heavy coin purses.
I'll add that only 2 of our players are keen on this amount of gold, and the other 4 (including our DM) are not so gung-ho about said loot. He told me later on the side that he had a planned out this room of treasure in the full intention of us not claiming a single coin, as the room was a trap room. However, one of our money hungry players simply mage-handed the portable hole into the room and filled it up. Now, we are simply trying to figure the impact of the game as several of us are new to D&D as a whole and don't quite know the potential of the game. Just looking for some fun or interesting options for us and my DM to possibly take.
Be not afraid; pursue fun
You need to discuss this with your group first.
You won the lottery, so you now get to role play the answer to that question.
Studies have been done on lottery winners, which found that quite a few have blown their winnings and been back where they were to start with within a year or so of winning. Your objective? Don't be that guy! Make something with this windfall rather than blowing it on (whatever).
Decide as a group
From your comment/amplification, 4 out of 6 are worried that this is too much gold - the DM being one of them, as he didn't foresee the use of a portable hole in that trap room. You don't have to keep it if your collective brainstorming session within the group on what to do with it gets overwhelmed by the order of magnitude involved. Find a cave, dump most of it or all of it down a deep hole, and let fate take care of the rest. Spread rumors of cursed gold if you like.
But if you choose to keep it, or most of it ...
The number of mundane things you can purchase with that much gold is impressive: ships, small castles, iron mines, gold mines, wagons to start a caravan business, horse flesh of the highest quality, raising an army to accomplish (mission X). The list is bounded only by your imagination. These are but a few things to start investigating which might also lead to further adventure.
"Hey, someone hijacked our silk shipment last week. Let's get after them and get it back, and see which crime lord (or commercial rival) is behind it!"
Your DM is inducting you into a time tested mode of play that I am very familiar with, called
"Give 'em enough rope!"
The operating theory is that, as a DM, you give your players enough rope to play with. They'll either hang themselves or make a hammock with it. Either way it can result in some memorable fun.
Bottom Line: what you do with this is Have Fun with this new pile of loot.
Coda: for the DM
Since the DM didn't figure out how you'd get past his treasure room trap, the DM can easily rule/retcon that 99% of it is actually iron pyrite aka fools' gold. This is a reasonable retcon, based on how the gold was collected. The player with the mage hand didn't see through the illusion in the room that made all of the gold look like the real stuff: the DM intended this to be a trap room, right? The players will find out that when they try to spend it that "your money is no good here" is a common response. Savvy merchants notice that the coins are not real gold. Alternately, all of it is copper with the thinnest of gold veneer/plate, which was meant to lure the greedy and unwary ...