The cap is 2147483647 gold pieces. If you try to have more than that, you would have negative money!
A fast way to earn gold is to have a few scrolls of return, your house on a tile beside Port Kapul, and a storage house on a tile beside Noyel. Buy all the Snowman, and Christmas tree cargo you can afford from the trading vendor (shops reset if you are not in the town for 4 days). Once you've spent all of your gold, use your scroll of return and go to Port Kapul. Go to the trading vendor there, and sell off all of your cargoes. If you repeat this enough, you can make 10+ million gold in a few real life days. For those with high Charisma, chasing tail is a great way to make money: just find a shopkeeper and give him/her booze and fire away. They usually drop between 1/3-1/2 of their gold, but note there is a minor karma penalty for doing so. Also the stamina requirements are stiff and there is a good chance that the shopkeeper will stop the action and not give you anything. You can also become Sick while chasing tail.
Doing the Yowyn The Harvest Time quest can be quick and easy for those who are strong and have gardening. With low fame you'll get 25.0s quests that can be done in 1 pick up (monstrous sized). Weak characters will gain strength from these quests just by picking up the veggies.
Puppy Cave: The Puppy Cave respawns every time you enter and go up/down stairs. This means you can run through the dungeon collecting everything you can for sale. Once you have identified all the items expect to start making a profit. (Identify once to learn the "price" of the item). Joining the Fighter guild will halve the cost.
Dungeons: Level 1-10 dungeons are pretty easy mid game and you can fly through them. After getting the Bejeweled Chest, take them to a 100+ Dungeon and open them. This will give you 8K+ gold and decent loot, as oppose to 1k gold and trash.
Gold and Taxes
Taxes are always holding you down. How to make the most of what you have.
Fame: Every 10 fame cost 8g per month (10g cost -2g income). At 50k fame that's a 40k tax. At 50k challenge and Panic quests are available usually netting 8-10k gold as oppose to 1-3k. Fame is more about your ability to cope with higher difficulty. Fame will also increase Rogue Boss levels about 1K = 1 level. Elona+ removes this kind of tax and only looks at how much gold you have in hand.
Gold in Hand: Holding 1,000,000 gold is going to cost you 1,000 gold in taxes which isn't much. However, a bank is no issue.
Your Home: Cost between 0-5000, best to avoid upgrading if money is an issue.
A new low circulation currency bronze coins has been added, similar to Small Medals.
Additionally, changes to gold earning methods include:
- Trading between Port Kapul and Noyel won't get nearly as much money, since your can't return if your cart is beyond overweight.
- Performing nets a lot less gold than it used to.
- Saving bejeweled chests to open in higher level dungeons no longer gives you more money or better loot.
New methods of making gold:
- Putitoros: If you have Cooking of at least 20, Gene Engineer of at least 5, and Fishing at at least 1, you can steadily make money with a ranch which has a putit as its breeder. Use "design" to make a water square in the ranch, fish out of it with the cheapest bait, and use a pot for fusion to combine the fish with the putit corpses to make putitoros, which sell for thousands of gold (remember to identify one of them first).
- Wood craft: if you have Carpentry of at least 2, Alchemy of at least 2, Axe of at least 10, a bardish, a carpenters tool, and a Pot for fusion, you can cut trees and combine them with Wood Pieces into wooden furniture to sell (remember to identify one of each type of furniture first). Higher skill levels produce more valuable furniture. Always collect and save Wood Pieces you find in the wilderness--items you craft from Carpentry can go for as much as 40,500 gold.
- Stone craft: like wood craft above, but with Jeweler and gem cutter instead of Carpentry and carpenters tool, and Mining instead of Axe of at least 10 plus a bardish. Combine stone materials from mining in tower/fortress dungeons with throwing stones into stone furniture.
- Waste art: Waste art will also give a lot of experience for the materials used, it uses up garbage and is a carpentry item.
- Ensemble/Preaching: Ensemble and Preaching Special Actions are based on the Performer and Faith skills respectively. They are much more effective than Performing with an Instrument.
- Equip make: The new equipment crafting system from 1.71 onward, allows for making of many miracle level or above items. The most valuable of which, panty, was previously the main craftable for selling en masse for your shop. This is no longer a viable method, but equip make and selling off the bad results in the player shop is still a decent enough source of income. It is a good idea to have a hermit crab ranch to ensure a steadier supply of stardust.
- Crafting Cargo: When you visit a town that desires specific cargo, you can craft it on the spot for some easy money. Empty the buyer's gold out each time you visit, also trains negotiation.