Gold, otherwise known as money, is the currency used in the Bard's Tale universe. A random amount of gold is gained at the end of Combat, assuming the party is victorious and is able to disarm any traps on Chests.
In the first installment, money is scarce for a starting party. Characters start with no equipment and a little cash: this must be used to scrape together some rudimentary armor and weaponry in order to survive the harsh encounters in Skara Brae. Starting gold won't be enough to buy the best gear from Garth - however, you can create throw-away characters, pool or trade their gold to other characters, and delete them to scrape up enough starting cash to get suits of Plate Armor etc.
A starting party can save a lot of gold spent on healing at Temples by using the Party Attack command, ordering all party members but the Bard to Defend during the first round (have the Bard play Bard Song #4, "Badh'r Kilnfest"), and then continue combat with all members defending until all damage is healed. When the party is fully healed, end combat, and take your Bard to a Tavern for a well-earned tankard of Ale! However, once the party gains access to Level 7 Magician spells and has a bit of cash saved up, a Restoration spell and a visit to Roscoe's are faster (and cost a mere 180 Gold compared to temple healing at 10 gold per HP!).
As most equipment upgrades will be obtained as loot drops in Dungeons, the main expenses in Tales of the Unknown are the costs for buying access to new spells from the Review Board, and paying for healing at a Temple, especially incurable Status Effects such as Withering and being turned to Stone. Note: the cost for healing status effects at temples rises with character level! Costs for spells are the same for each spell level, regardless of caster class:
- 2nd Level = 1,000
- 3rd Level = 2,000
- 4th Level = 4,000
- 5th Level = 7,000
- 6th Level = 10,000
- 7th Level = 20,000
The amount of gold dropped in fights is determined by two factors: where the party is, and how many monsters are killed. In Skara Brae during the daytime, monsters drop from 1-128 gold each: at night, and in dungeons, monsters drop from 1-256 gold each. As time goes on and the party grows stronger, money accumulation becomes quite easy, with the highest expenses generally being paying exorbitant sums to resurrect a dead character, cure an otherwise incurable Status Effect (such as Withering or being turned to Stone), or restoring a level that was drained from a character.
Gold Vanishing GlitchEdit
Tales of the Unknown saves your party at the Adventurer's Guild when they are [R]emoved from the party. If you turn off the game without doing this (perhaps to keep the game from saving when your party is about to wipe!), any members in the party at the time the game was turned off will lose all of their gold!
While Bedder's Bank for the Bold hadn't yet been invented in the first game, to avoid losing your gold in this way, you can create an auxiliary "Bank" character that remains saved in the Guild, but who can be brought into the party temporarily to pool the Party's gold and then be Removed to save him (and the party's cash). When you need cash later, bring him back in to trade gold to the Party, then put him back in the Guild when done!
The second Bard's Tale game is also fairly difficult to get going money-wise with a starting party, as again the party struggles to afford basic equipment and the costs of healing from encounters. Again, one can use character creation to create "throw-away" characters to pool their gold to buy more expensive starting gear, and the Party Attack/Bard Song Healing strategy to save money at Temples.
Like the first game, The Destiny Knight will not record a character's money on hand once they are loaded into the party; i.e. if the computer should be restarted for whatever reason without saving the character back to disk their money will be reset to zero. To compensate for this, there is Bedder's Bank for the Bold which allows players to deposit money in multiple accounts.
In Bard's Tale III, the money system is largely downplayed as almost inconsequential. There are still fees for providing healing services, and The Old Man will charge spellcasters fees for learning spell levels (as will the Review Board from the previous two games), but beyond this all that is required is money to learn the three mystery spells along the way and the two extra bard songs.