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The Alexandrian Remixing Avernus – Addendum: Soul Coins

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Fri, 04 Mar 2022 04:25:56 +0000harvestmoonfriends

Descent Into Avernus - Soul Coins

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Soul cash are one of many cool concepts bouncing round Descent Into Avernus. The essential idea is that souls damned to Hell are cast into cash on Minauros, the third layer of the 9 Hells, after which “used for items and providers, infernal offers, darkish bargains, and bribes.”

That is nice worldbuilding each actually and metaphorically: Devils making offers for souls is an epistemological satire of business dealings, and the buying and selling of souls as literal forex merely extends that satire. But it surely additionally simply logically is smart that devils, having obtained a soul, would need to package deal it into as handy and comparatively compact a kind as attainable. And the common kind is resembling to dehumanize the victims by establishing that the person holds no significance to the satan.

The complete perform of soul cash is described in “Commerce” (DIA, p. 78), “Soul Gas” (p. 217), and “Soul Cash” (p. 225).

Sadly, the e-book’s dealing with of soul cash is somewhat flawed.

First, the precise worth and rarity of soul cash is all around the map. They’re both very uncommon and extremely troublesome to search out or extremely frequent and the idea for all commerce in Avernus. In some locations their worth is pegged at being roughly equal to six sp, however elsewhere an NPC will supply 100 gp price of gems for each soul coin the PCs can discover for him.

It appears pretty clear that a few of the writers on the e-book thought the soul cash have been meant to be the de facto forex of Avernus, whereas others considered them as uncommon magical artifacts. Or maybe they began as the previous, however then somebody alongside the road received chilly ft as a result of… nicely… they’re souls aren’t they? Wouldn’t they be fairly uncommon? (Not essentially. Eternity throughout probably infinite planes could make souls as frequent or as valuable on Avernus as you want.)

Second, there are inconsistencies by which capabilities of a soul coin require expenses and/or what number of expenses it takes to exhaust a soul coin. For instance, the stat block of a soul coin says every time you query the soul contained in the coin it prices a cost (and every coin solely has three expenses), however there’s additionally an NPC with a soul coin assortment that they chat with on the each day.

Third, at first look Descent Into Avernus additionally does a intelligent factor by making soul cash the gas for numerous infernal machines, creating an moral dilemma for PCs who’ve to decide on between not utilizing these machines or actually burning up the souls contained in the cash.

In observe, although, the one factor it actually appears to do is actively discourage any non-evil character (and, realistically, prohibit any good character) from using kick-ass conflict machines throughout the Avernian plains. And, I’m going to be sincere, the conflict machines are lots fucking cooler than the moral dilemma.

Fourth, there’s some metaphysical vagueness, which is happily pretty simple to clear up. Are the cash cast solely from evil souls or are some good souls illegitimately captured? And, equally, do the bottom order of evil souls despatched to Hell find yourself as lemures or cast in soul cash? In each instances: Why not each? Within the latter case, it’s simple to think about that there all method of Hellish intakes for brand spanking new souls. (You would even perhaps think about a special one for every of the 9 Layers.)


I’d make two changes to the cash:

  • Speaking to the soul inside doesn’t require expenses.
  • Expending all the fees in a coin (or utilizing it up as gas for an infernal machine) burns out the coin, however doesn’t destroy the soul inside. (Such cash should be taken again to Minauros to be reforged, with the soul being transferred to a brand new coin.)

My targets listed here are twofold:

First, it’s fascinating to speak to the souls contained in the cash, so I don’t need to discourage it. Equally, NPCs with collections of cash that they chat with or often seek the advice of/torment are cool.

Second, I need to uninteresting the moral conundrum for PCs utilizing soul cash. There are nonetheless loads of moral conundrums right here: Do you have to free them? The souls, uh… scream if you use them as gas. But it surely’s not simply an prompt no-brainer for anybody who isn’t evil.

ALTERNATE FUEL: Devils want soul cash to gas their war-machines as a result of they’re not mortal. Mortals just like the PCs, nevertheless, can instantly gas the war-machines. The mortal suffers 1d10 factors of injury and fuels the war-machine for twenty-four hours. This injury can’t be healed by regular means, however returns at a fee of 1 hit level per day. A larger restoration instantlty restores these misplaced hit factors.

This additionally means that you may have devils using throughout the Avernian plains with screaming individuals strapped to their war-machines Mad Max-style.


Design Observe: My objective, clearly, is to present PCs the choice to drive war-machines with out exploiting trapped souls. You may require them to trace down (and set up) a converter to take action, however I don’t suppose it’s essential.


Each soul coin is a singular NPC. I like to recommend leaning into this.

WHO THEY ARE: Try 51 Soul Cash as a very good supply for random soul coin characters. The gathering is a restricted in its vary (that includes virtually 51 Soul Coinssolely common individuals who received gulled by a satan), so chances are you’ll need to broaden its scope (with, say, historic figures, those that damned themselves to Hell with out the assistance of a satan’s contract, good souls who have been captured and compelled right into a coin, and so forth).

WHAT THEY KNOW: Soul cash are continuously conscious of their environment, making them a probably useful supply of data. Let’s give them a 1 in 6 probability of getting helpful data (i.e., roll on the Avernian rumor tables).

COIN MADNESS: Being locked up inside a coin for eternity just isn’t conducive to a sane thoughts. Many soul cash have had their sanity shredded to the purpose that they’re now not coherent or intelligible (see desk beneath), and even those that are able to conversing might show unusual tics of habits and misery.

d8Insanity 1Hysteria 2Amnesia 3Hallucinations 4Mania 5Logorrhea 6Paranoia 7Echopraxia 8Catatonia


If you need soul cash to be prized as gas for the war-machines, then they will’t be frequent sufficient to function coinage in Avernus. Which is a pity, as a result of the usage of an alternate forex could be a wonderful alternative to alienate and disorient the gamers (and their characters). “What do you imply I can’t pay with gold?”

As I describe in Random Worldbuilding – Cash & Forex, cash is usually a highly effective channel for conveying details about the world to the gamers. And this might be a strong one: Not solely clearly signaling that “you’re not within the Realms any extra,” but in addition viscerally signaling how Hell is basically constructed upon the struggling and exploitation of mortal souls.

So right here’s my suggestion:

  • Soul cash are price roughly 50 platinum items in buying energy. They’re not often utilized in precise commerce, and as a substitute serve primarily as a coin of account.
  • Spent soul cash are extra frequent, accumulating over millennia of soul cash getting used up that aren’t necessary sufficient to reforge. They’ve a buying energy roughly equal to 1 platinum piece.
  • Obsidian chits are the frequent forex of Avernus, with a buying energy of 1 gold piece. These chits are issued by numerous Dukes and warlords and backed by stockpiles of soul cash. Mad Maggie, for instance, has a small stockpile and points her personal chits, as does the Wandering Emporium.

You possibly can typically problem about 1,000 chits per soul coin. (That’s greater than the strict conversion fee, however welcome to the great world of being a banker.) If you wish to get extra sophisticated, you can postulate low-cost chits or bull-chits — chits which have been circulated by Avernian powerbrokers who now not exist or whose soul coin stockpile was misplaced. These are nonetheless perceived as having some worth and may very well be used because the equal of copper items.

Design Observe: Such low-cost chits is also a window into Avernian historical past. Or simply easter eggs. For instance, the PCs may discover low-cost chits that have been issued by Gargauth when he was Treasurer of Hell.


As described in Descent Into Avernus, p. 226, the soul inside a soul coin could be freed by casting a spell that removes a curse. A freed soul is launched to no matter planar afterlife it belongs in… which signifies that for many soul cash the soul is simply churned again by means of Hell’s consumption for brand spanking new souls.

USING THE SOUL: A soul coin can be used along side animate useless or create undead to bind the soul to the undead created. Such undead could be managed by anybody holding the soul coin they have been created from. If the undead are destroyed, the soul is launched to whichever planar afterlife it belongs in (see above).

In case you are in Hell, you may equally solid infernal calling (from Xanathar’s Information to All the things, p. 158) along side a soul coin to rework the soul inside the coin right into a lemure. The soul coin is destroyed within the course of. (You’ve kind of simply created the lemure the soul would have change into if it had entered Hell by means of Avernus somewhat than Minauros.)

Go to the Avernus Remix

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