© Wizards of the Coast by Cliff Childs

Starting Gold by Level in DnD 5e – Table for Levels 1 to 20

The equipment and gold your players have when starting out can be instrumental to the balance of your game.

It’s common for DMs to wonder, “How much gold is too much?” or “Am I giving out the right number of magic items to start out with?”. 

This guide will provide a reliable approach to starting gold at any level that’s based on the core rules and balance of DnD 5e while allowing you alter that balance for your world. 

Remember, if you’re trying to find out how many gold pieces to add to your character sheet you should always check in with your DM.

This guide is an excellent place to start even for players, but your DM will have the final say over your starting wealth. 

Level 1 Starting Gold in DnD 5e – Options

DnD 5e offers two main ways to determine Level 1 starting gold. You can either roll a set of dice or you can take the standard starting equipment according to your class and background.

Taking the standard equipment generally gives you the most value, but what you get is what you get. On the other hand, rolling for gold means you could get anything you want, but there’s always a danger of rolling low. 

A third homebrew option that I like is to take your starting equipment and then trade in any items you don’t like for items of comparable value.

DnD Beyond offers a searchable list of DnD equipment with their costs if you don’t have the Player’s Handbook handy.

If you want to roll for your starting wealth, consult the table below.

You roll different sets of dice depending on the class, and (with the exception of monks) multiply the result by 10. 

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

If you decide to just take the standard equipment, your wealth is determined by your background.

Below is the amount of wealth each background grants. Keep in mind that each background also grants certain items, and some grant abilities.

The full details of each background can be found on most DnD 5e wiki sites, like DnD Beyond and Wikidot’s DnD 5e page

BackgroundStarting Gold
Acolyte15gp
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
Noble25gp
Outlander (PHB)10gp
Pirate (PHB)10gp
Sage10gp
Sailor (PHB)10gp
Soldier10gp
Urban Bounty Hunter (SCAG)20gp
Urchin (PHB)10gp
Uthgardt Tribe Member (SCAG)10gp
Waterdhavian Noble (SCAG)20gp

Starting Gold for Levels 2 and Above

While determining the starting gold for Level 1 characters is simply a matter of choosing one of the two optional rules, your campaign might not start out with Level 1 characters. 

For higher level characters it obviously wouldn’t make sense to start them out with less than 200 gold pieces worth of wealth and equipment. 

DnD 5e simply isn’t balanced around having higher level characters have so little wealth.

When designing the game’s challenge rating system and deciding the strength of the monsters players would fight, certain assumptions were made about what resources characters would have. 

Some of these resources are simply class abilities or spells, but higher quality armor, utility items, and even magic items all impact the balance of the game.

It is important to keep this balance in mind when allocating wealth for characters starting at higher levels. Otherwise, your players might have a hard time getting past what should be easy encounters. 

There are several resources you can consult when estimating what the player characters’ starting wealth should be.

Below is a table from the DMG which provides estimates for starting equipment and wealth based on the tier of play characters are starting at and the setting of your campaign.

Character LevelLow Magic Campaign Standard CampaignHigh Magic Campaign
1st – 4thNormal Starting Equipment & GoldNormal Starting Gold & EquipmentNormal Starting Equipment & Gold
5th – 10th500 gp plus 1d10 x 25 gp, normal starting equipment500 gp plus 1d10 x 25 gp, normal starting equipment500 gp plus 1d10 x 25 gp, one uncommon magic item, normal starting equipment
11th-16th5,000 gp plus 1d10 x 250 gp, one uncommon magic item, normal starting equipment5,000 gp plus 1d10 x 250 gp, two uncommon magic items, normal starting equipment5,000 gp plus1d10 x 250 gp, three uncommon magic items, one rare item, normal starting equipment
17th+20,000 gp plus 1d10 x 250 gp, two uncommon magic items, normal starting equipment20,000 gp plus 1d10 x 250 gp, two uncommon magic items, one rare item, normal starting equipment20,000 gp plus d10 x 250 gp, three uncommon magic items, two rare items, one very rare item, normal starting equipment

If this chart isn’t helpful enough, there are other ways of determining roughly how much wealth a character should start out with.

Here is a chart we have put together for you based on our own experience as well as research into the average treasure that is awarded at each level.

You can find information about average treasure per level in this forum post, though remember, it does not correspond exactly to starting wealth.

Starting wealth is usually much lower. 

Character LevelLow Magic Campaign Standard CampaignHigh Magic Campaign
1st and 2ndNormal Starting Equipment & GoldNormal Starting Equipment & GoldNormal Starting Equipment & Gold
3rd and 4th250 gp, normal starting equipment250 gp, normal starting equipment 250 gp, normal starting equipment, one common magic item
5th and 6th500 gp plus 1d10 x 25 gp, normal starting equipment500 gp plus 1d10 x 25 gp, normal starting equipment500 gp plus 1d10 x 25 gp, one uncommon magic item, normal starting equipment
7th and 8th2000 plus 1d10 x 25 gp, normal starting equipment2000 plus 1d10 x 25 gp, normal starting equipment2000 plus 1d10 x 25 gp, one uncommon magic item, normal starting equipment
9th and 10th4000 gp, normal starting equipment4000 gp, one uncommon magic item, normal starting equipment4000 gp, two uncommon magic item, normal starting equipment
11th and 12th5,000 gp plus 1d10 x 250 gp, one uncommon magic item, normal starting equipment5,000 gp plus 1d10 x 250 gp, two uncommon magic items, normal starting equipment5,000 gp plus1d10 x 250 gp, three uncommon magic items, one rare item, normal starting equipment
13th6,000 gp plus 1d10 x 250 gp, one uncommon magic item, normal starting equipment6,000 gp plus 1d10 x 250 gp, two uncommon magic items, normal starting equipment6,000 gp plus1d10 x 250 gp, three uncommon magic items, one rare item, normal starting equipment
14th10,000 gp plus 1d10 x 250 gp, one uncommon magic item, normal starting equipment10,000 gp plus 1d10 x 250 gp, two uncommon magic items, normal starting equipment10,000 gp plus1d10 x 250 gp, three uncommon magic items, one rare item, normal starting equipment
15th and 16th15,000 gp plus 1d10 x 250 gp, one common magic item, one uncommon magic item, normal starting equipment15,000 gp plus 1d10 x 250 gp, three uncommon magic items, normal starting equipment15,000 gp plus 1d10 x 250 gp, three uncommon magic items, two rare items, normal starting equipment
17th20,000 gp plus 1d10 x 250 gp, two uncommon magic items, normal starting equipment20,000 gp plus 1d10 x 250 gp, two uncommon magic items, one rare item, normal starting equipment20,000 gp plus 1d10 x 250 gp, three uncommon magic items, two rare items, one very rare item, normal starting equipment
18th30,000 gp plus 1d10 x 250 gp, two uncommon magic items, normal starting equipment30,000 gp plus 1d10 x 250 gp, two uncommon magic items, one rare item, normal starting equipment30,000 gp plus 1d10 x 250 gp, three uncommon magic items, two rare items, one very rare item, normal starting equipment
19th40,000 gp plus 1d10 x 250 gp, three uncommon magic items, normal starting equipment40,000 gp plus 1d10 x 250 gp, three uncommon magic items, one rare item, normal starting equipment40,000 gp plus 1d10 x 250 gp, three uncommon magic items, two rare items, one very rare item, normal starting equipment
20th50,000 gp plus 1d10 x 250 gp, two uncommon magic items, one rare item, normal starting equipment50,000 gp plus 1d10 x 250 gp, three uncommon magic items, one rare item, one very rare item, normal starting equipment50,000 gp plus 1d10 x 250 gp, three uncommon magic items, two rare items, two very rare items, one legendary item, normal starting equipment

As a DM you can decide where your party should fall on this chart and how much more or less wealth you want your players to start out with. 

With these charts you should be able to get a feel for how much wealth your players should start out with. 

Magic Items for Characters Level 2 and Above

We recommend that at higher levels, characters start out with a few magic items. But magic items can be trickier to balance in your campaign than starting wealth. 

According to Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, for a “standard” game of DnD magic items are meant to always be an additional help, rather than necessary to survive an encounter. 

However, if there are no magic users at your table then certain monsters with immunity or resistance to non magical damage may become much harder than expected.

And a DM can always make an encounter more or less difficult. So many games of DnD will be “non-standard”

Because magic items have such a distinct effect on not only the character’s, but the entire party’s power level, it can be difficult to know how many magic items are too many.

You want to be careful to make sure that players don’t become too powerful too quickly. At the same time, it’s important to give your players the ability to solve your challenges.

Determining how many magic items player characters should start out with is a balancing act between the power of the party and the challenges that party will face. 

Below are two tables from Xanathar’s Guide to Everything that explain how many magic items of each rarity type the Dungeons and Dragons 5e team expects a party to acquire at each tier of play.

The numbers on the table are for the entire party, not individual characters. 

The Minor Magic Items table refers to those magic items listed on tables A through E in the Dungeon Master’s Guide, while the Major Magic Items table refers to magic items found on tables F through I in the same book.

These tables are not a guide to the number of magic items player’s should start out with. They provide a way to assess how powerful DnD 5e considers minor and major magic items at each rarity. 

Minor Magic Items

Level/CRCommonUncommonRareVery RareLegendary
1-4th62100
5-10th1012510
11-16th36951
17+00496

Major Magic Items

Level/CRUncommonRareVery RareLegendary
1-4th2000
5-10th5100
11-16th1221
17+0123

Another way to judge what magic items player’s can start out with is to consider their prices. You might want to say that players can “buy” any magic item under a certain cost before the start of your campaign.

The DMG provides a rough guide to magic item costs by rarity (see below), but the ranges it gives are rather broad. 

RarityCharacter LevelValue
Common1st or higher50-100 gp
Uncommon1st or higher101-500 gp
Rare5th or higher501-5,000 gp
Very Rare11th or higher5,001-50,000 gp
Legendary17th or higher50,001+ gp

Picking a cost for a Rare or higher magic item can be pretty difficult with this table. 

Thankfully, this forum post on Giantitp provides a useful “sane” guide to magic item prices. The guide can also be found in PDF form here.

While the numbers provided can be changed according to your setting and economy, this guide does provide an excellent way to assess the relative value of magic items. 

For example, a magic item that you can use to aid you in combat will be worth a lot more than a utility item that is only helpful in certain circumstances, even if both items are “Very Rare”.

The guide even provides page numbers so you can read more about each magic item in the PHB without having to search its index! 

Additional Resources for Characters Level 2 and Above

Whether it’s gold pieces or magic items, starting a character out with the appropriate amount of resources is always a question of balance and narrative. 

Your players might be just starting to get to know their characters, but if they’re starting at Level 10 then those characters certainly have their own in-world history. Leaving them bereft of money or magic items doesn’t make much sense. When you understand the role that starting gold and magic items play in DnD, you can begin to consider alternatives. 

You may decide that because of your setting or the story you want to tell characters in your campaign should start out with a lot less wealth or without magic items. 

Instead, you can offer your characters other kinds of resources to keep the game balanced and to help everyone’s characters feel more real.

Characters could have a history with a merchant, could be familiar with the local Thieves Guild, or could be owed a favor from a famous Bard.

Once you get the hang of making sure your players have enough resources for the challenge’s you’ve planned, you can offer them resources in other forms. 

These are definitely trickier to handle and balance. There aren’t straightforward rules for what an old friend should say when you ask them for a forged invitation to a nobleman’s party.

But for more advanced DMs, and even players, resources other than gold or magic items can provide a great way to create backstory, narrative, and build your character’s character. 

Conclusion 

DnD 5e offers players and DMs several ways to determine their starting wealth, and lot’s of room to mix things up. 

For Level 1 characters, figuring out your starting wealth can be as simple as rolling a few dice or finding out how many gold pieces your background gives you. 

As players start making characters that start above Level 1 though, DMs should consider their setting and the difficulty of their planned challenges.

While there are lots of ways to estimate how much wealth is just the right amount to start out with at every level it’s important to tailor these suggestions to your story. 

Remember, magic items and other resources can add extra opportunities for player creativity, or just help your players defeat the next encounter. 

The starting wealth of your characters can be tricky to try to figure out alone, but now you know DnD’s rules for starting wealth and how you can build your own rules for starting wealth at higher levels!