Grow your real-life personal finances with these great savings challenges for D&D players!
Hey, fandom isn’t just awesome for your imagination, your creativity, and your lifelong friendships. It’s awesome for your wallet too. These D&D savings challenges are a great way to grow your personal savings while you’re doing what you love.
Ready, set, save!
1. The no-spend challenge
Sometimes there are long bouts between when your character gets to resupply on equipment or weapons. You can’t visit that magic shop for scrolls and potions or even get a decent meal and mug of mead at the local tavern.
This savings challenge involves those times.
If your character doesn’t get to spend any coins because they’re in a dungeon for two nights — or maybe they’re traveling between cities, hitting that random encounter chart for five straight days — you match them.
When they don’t spend, you don’t spend. Welcome to questing life.
For the same number of days they go without spending any coins, you don’t spend any either. No eating out, no coffee from the coffee shop, not even a bag of chips from that vending machine.
Three days without coffee? That’s about $4 a day. No pizza? That’s $10 or more when you include a tip. Oh, and those chips or that candy bar? That’s another $2 a day. For those three days alone, you’d put up around $30.
Do that once a month, and you’ll save $360 in a year. That’s $360 you normally wouldn’t save, and depending on your adventures, it could be a lot more. Hey, my DM used to keep us traveling for weeks at a time — I started hating those random encounter charts.
If your DM is the same way, modify the challenge in any way that makes sense. (Keep buying groceries. Change your tires if they need changing. Let’s be safe out there.) Just put up the money you would have spent on things you don’t really need.
Have fun gaming and watching your savings grow!
2. The game night challenge
Here’s another savings challenge for you. Whether you have a regular group you game with or you show up at the local comic shop every week for adventure league play … maybe you and your friends run a game online with Roll20 or maybe your group is your family.
No matter how often you play or who you play with, decide on a set amount to put into savings every game night.
If you head into a D&D session every week, maybe $5 is the right amount for your budget. Is your game “night” one weekend each month? Maybe $20 is the way to go. If you’re in college and you can only afford $2 per session, no problem. That’s your number.
Whatever works for you, pick your number and stick to it. At the end of the year, it will add up.
3. The D-20 challenge
We love them. We hate them. No matter how many we have, we still want more.
That’s right. I’m talking about dice.
Hopefully this challenge will help you save enough money to buy a set made out of precious stone. Every time you meet to play, or maybe once a week whether you play or not, roll that D20. Whatever you roll, put that much into savings.
Let the dice decide your fate as they have so many times before.
This is one time that the dreaded 1 fumble might not be so bad. But if you’re feeling ambitious, roll two D20 and add them up.
Want to save even more? Roll the whole set. 1d4, 1d6, 1d8, 1d10, 1d12, 1d20. Maybe even the 1d10x10s. (Look at you, big saver!)
The possibilities are endless, as are the savings.
4. The XP challenge
How does your DM award XP?
I’ve played a lot of different campaigns with a bunch of different types of players and DMs. I’ve played in campaigns where the DM created so many role-playing opportunities for us, trying to turn every game into an epic story, that sometimes there wasn’t even a single battle. I’ve played in campaigns where every session was only battles with no role playing whatsoever.
In each of these, XP was rewarded so differently. In one campaign we might get 1,000 XP for good role play. In another, we could fight a dragon, a beholder, and a pack of werewolves and somehow the DM only gave us 500 XP.
How the XP is awarded will play into this challenge.
If you have a DM who only awards around 500 XP per session, move that decimal over two spaces and put up $5. If you want a challenge that saves more, just move it over one spot.
Now, if you have a DM who’s giving you 10,000 XP and a unicorn with a flaming horn to fight by your side, you might have to move it over four decimals. You’ll know what suits you best.
Then, no matter how your session goes, even if you never make it out of the tavern, you’ll know you’re saving some real life coins.
5. The D&D merchant challenge
You know what all D&D merchants seem to have in common? A healthy dose of greed. I don’t think I’ve ever run into a merchant who didn’t want every copper they could get out of me — except maybe the ones played by those squishy DM’s.
Seriously. They want five times the value for that 10-foot pole, and ten times that again for the 11-foot pole. (You all know the joke — for the things you wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole.)
Not to mention that special magic item that’s just out of your price range even after you use your charisma check to haggle the price down.
So here’s a challenge you can role-play your way into. Pick a high-priced item the merchant seems enthusiastic about. Ask them the price, and let the haggling begin.
When you finally reach their lowest price, subtract that from the price you started with (to figure out how far you bargained them down) and match that amount with real money, putting it into your savings.
If the bargaining goes badly, put the amount they raised the price into your savings.
The great part is you don’t even have to buy it, and your savings challenge can become an ongoing part of your game’s role-play. If you make the bargaining fun, your group will look forward to it every week, and you don’t even have to share your motive if you don’t want to.
6. The “Why am I rolling so low?” challenge
Uh oh. Your group’s in serious trouble. The dragon is down to 9 hit points, but so is almost everyone in your party. Now, it falls on your fighter to kill it before it spews fire across your whole group turning them into ashes. But you haven’t been able to hit its armor class the entire battle.
You need an 18, even with all your bonuses. You toss your favorite D20. It’s tumbling around, and at the last second, it lands miraculously on a 19.
With your strength and weapons bonus, you have + 7. You’re happy you chose to go shieldless and use your bastard sword. You’re rolling your 10-sided die for damage and it lands on…
Yep, a 1. You only do 8 points of damage.
Well, maybe the DM will be nice and make the dragon fly away, creating a nemesis for the group. But probably not. The entire battle and you only did 8 points of damage!
And that’s the savings challenge. Put $8 in your savings.
You can work this challenge all kinds of ways. Use your total damage done for one battle or maybe for the whole night, that’s up to you.
“But, wait! I’m a healer!” Then do the same thing for the amount of healing done.
On a night when your seventh-level characters are plowing through 300 kobolds, change the challenge to how many you down. Twenty kobolds down, $20 into savings.
7. The RL merch challenge
Okay, this one will work for almost every player I’ve ever played with because we all like cool stuff. That retro Dungeons & Dragons t-shirt. The new miniature of your character. Even though you have two already, this one has the other battle look.
Or everyone’s biggest weakness — a new set of dice. You can’t only own one set.
Now, feel good about those purchases by matching whatever you spend and putting it into your savings!
New dice set, $20. New dice bag, $10. New notebook for the character I just started, $1. That’s $31 going towards savings. Not enough? Get the metal dice set and the mimic dice bag. Bam. $121 headed toward savings now.
I have a friend who gets the new modules as soon as they come out. That’s $30 to $50 toward your savings right there.
Feel good about that merchandise you’re getting and about saving toward your future too. If you want more opportunities to put more money up, then count any other merchandise you associate with Dungeons & Dragons.
That Witcher figurine you bought to go on your shelf? $35 toward savings. The Lord of the Rings replica Sting sword? $120 toward savings.
I mean, you could go as far as the chips and dip you bought for the group and the Starbucks you drank on the way here so you could get that caffeine fix to play that hyper rogue. $15 towards savings.
Honestly, all these challenges are for you. Use them however you want to, or make up your own. I’d love to hear about them and maybe even post them on here.
Dungeons & Dragons is a game we all love. It has helped us build lasting friendships and escape the pressures of life. It allows us all to be something we aren’t — or maybe something we really are.
It’s such a big part of our lives, why not let it help us save toward our future, so we can keep playing and rolling those dice until we’re level 100 and beyond.
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