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....
Design Flow: One on One Play
20 hours ago