Sunday, August 31, 2008

Phat Lewt

I'm not so sure about the treasure "generation" system in 4e. It feels far too easy to either give out solely what your PCs want ("I sure wish my warlock had a Rod of Corruption to amp up his curse.... oh look! A Rod of Corruption in the treasure hoard!") or overcompensate by only placing rewards that don't play to the party ("Oh boy, another orb for the staff wizard and the warlock to not fight over.").

On the other hand, it's not like I build adventures full of randomly generated monsters (well, not entire adventures), so why shouldn't I expect to also place non-random treasure? If the party has no wizard to lay down area effect damage it's probably best to hold back on throwing tons of minions at the party, so why not keep orbs out of the treasure hoards for the same reason?

And really, it wouldn't be that hard to build some tables of level N magic items to place as randomized parcels. That would keep the treasure balanced (at least on paper) and inject some luck of the dice into the proceedings. In fact, for the last adventure I prepped I did almost that. After determining that I needed to place one item each of levels 4 through 7, I simply noted that there were about ten item types of those levels (no rings) that the group could use (no orbs or rods) and rolled four separate d10s. Each d10 pointed me at a table, and I took the item of the appropriate level from each table.

Of course, I gave most of those items to monsters that could also use them....

5 comments:

Questing GM said...

Good idea! Give the players what they want, gives the DM a little fun of rolling dices and adds a splash of logical consistency of what's in a monster's hoard.

Gregor LeBlaque said...

We'll see this afternoon whether the already tough encounters I have planned prove to be too much when the big bruiser is wearing.... well, that would be telling, wouldn't it? I've made a note to myself to analyze the effect of the items in my campaign log post.

Micah said...

I don't give much random treasure at all anymore. I give lots of stuff that they might want (magic daggers with a variety of effects, fun for all ages!), and slip in a few that they'd especially love.

Still, this is from 3.5, not 4E, and I agree that the guidelines for 4E treasure just seem too linear. Why does every treasure horde always have exactly the items I wanted? Still, I'm guessing most players won't get too angry over that ;)

Gregor LeBlaque said...

Session just ended, and while I don't think Gauntlets of Ogre Power and a basket of Everlasting Provisions were exactly what they wanted, they weren't complaining much either.

It probably helps that the provisions helped explain how the secret cabal was able to operate without going into town, and the gauntlets were worn by the kind of bruiser you'd expect to wear such a thing.

ChaoticBlackSheep said...

You know, it hadn't occurred to me that the secret cabal should have needed to go into town for provisions. I guess I'm just not that observant. The party hasn't really kept up with the logistics of food and sustenance because it's a pain so it's not something I think much about in game.