Alexander The Great's Loot

From here:

5000 tons of gold is 10,000,000 lbs, or, 1,000,000 stone @ 10lb/stone. That’s then 1,000,000,000 (one billion) gold pieces, theoretically.

Or, a billion XP.

I’m not necessarily gonna do the math here, but it’s likely Alexander’s actions were the root cause of the majority of the levelled NPCs in his empire (or in a direct hench-line from him) being levelled.

if those are spoils of war he’s likely divvying it up among his entire army and generals, though he does get the lion’s share of it. It would certainly be interesting to see how many of his units became veterans from that.

Right. This is why I laugh when people say “you could never have anything approaching a medieval or classical economy in a D&D world because all of the loot from adventurers would destroy the economy!” Such comments betray a gross misunderstanding of the fact that the Macedonian and Roman Empires WERE loot-based economies, as were many of the other great military empires’ economies, and they looted on a scale which makes a dragon’s paltry hoard look pathetic.

The only difference is that in the D&D earth Babylon, Rome, Macedonia, tenochtitlan, Paris, London are all sitting on top of cleared out mega dungeons. The impetus for empire is the need to support a powerful upper class when you can’t just send some 20-somethings underground to kill an ogre and bring his gold into the economy. Then, on the periphery of your empire some group of “heros” finds another vast complex and yet another middle of nowhere farming village is on its way.

I am suddenly unnerved by the realization that both Paris and Rome are, in real life, sitting on top of megadungeons.

Indeed. Alexander’s looting of the treasuries (yes, plural) of Persia caused a devaluation of gold. Prior to his conquests, it was worth around 25 times as much as the same weight of silver. Afterwards it dropped to about 10 times as much as the same weight of silver.

There’s also the underground city of Coober Pedy (which is the area where the film Pitch Black was filmed) which was built underground because of the summer temperatures that average 98F, the Cappadocian underground cities (Derinkuyu, Ozkonak, Kaymakli, and two hundred others at least two levels deep), the Campi Flegri under Naples, and Guanajuato Guanajuato (built over and through silver mines, also known for its super creepy baby mummies). Dover Castle is built on a six-level underground that includes a hospital and barracks.

Also Moscow, with the megadungeon vastly expanded in modern times (with the metro system and its alleged military counterpart possibly connecting into older tunnels).

I’m glad my post was interesting. Yes, it’s a massive amount of XP. But that’s just the gold, and just from one empire. The amount of money in play in that time period is just staggering - but if you’re funding an army, and battles are often won by bribing the other side’s men to join you, it’s merely a good start.

And yeah, to say the least, the money distorted the economies of the area. Inflation certainly occured, taxation spread, looting was rampant, and massive armies moved around. It kind of read like playing some old Koei games like Nobunaga’s Ambition played - money is the grease for war, and you always need more and prices always rise.

I highly recommend the book I referenced. I don’t have ACKS so I’m not sure how directly on topic it is, but man, it’s entertaining if you’re into watching people try to build empires out of another empire.