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Copper Bits and Gleaming Hoards

Every D&D player loves treasure, but not every DM does a great job putting together great rewards for all that hard adventuring. As a DM, I was sometimes notorious for just forgetting to put the lesser treasures in, or making treasure too mundane.

Over time, I learned a few tricks, and I spill them like a fistful of jewels in the next installment of Adventure Builder.


( 6 sutras — Your wisdom )
Sep. 11th, 2006 09:49 pm (UTC)
Very good stuff, although I believe the proper spelling is phat l00tz.

Anyway, here's a question for you. What would you suggest in a situation where the PCs are going to just sell something or leave an item that they don't realize is important? Perhaps it's a powerful magic item or a plot device (or even a MacGuffin). Maybe they just couldn't make the checks, or simply don't make the connection that this item might be important somehow.
Sep. 12th, 2006 10:38 pm (UTC)
Tough call. Treasures that are really important sometimes go by the boards (An item of legend met that fate in a playtest of Expedition to the Demonweb Pits, alas). In that case, the players didn't recognize it's value, so the text changed before publication; sadly, not an option in most home games.

I guess you have a couple of choices:
  1. You can use the NPC they're selling it to as a foil who gives them a second chance. Maybe along the lines of a Loyal NPC Appraise who says "You're sure you want to sell *that*?". Or a weaselly, shifty NPC rogue who practically drools as she says "Oh, that piece of junk? Sure, let me study it overnight".
  2. Before they have a chance to sell it, the PCs inn/room/castle is broken into and only that item is stolen. Which simultaneously indicates it's importance and enrages most PCs ("How dare anyone steal what we looted from that tomb fair and square!").

    1. Bards are also a great way to dump random factoids into a party...
Sep. 13th, 2006 09:47 pm (UTC)
Good points. I've always avoided thus far the "steal it from them" approach to, well, anything, as I always imagine it will upset the players as well as the characters. But many, many people seem to use it and suggest it without too many others complaining about any downsides to it.
Sep. 13th, 2006 10:35 pm (UTC)
Oh, there are downsides, and my players HATE HATE HATE when stuff is stolen from them. I'd use that approach cautiously and rarely, and maybe just make it an attempted theft rather than an automatic success.

Plus, if they capture the thief alive and question them, the heroes might learn what's up. And even if the thief is dead, they may learn that the particular race or group that they stole it from wants something back pretty badly.

A Gather Information might also reveal that someone is paying a good "finder's fee" to any rogue or underworld type who can return the item.
Sep. 12th, 2006 04:55 am (UTC)
That is so rocking. THANK YOU!
Sep. 12th, 2006 10:39 pm (UTC)
You're so welcome. They're fun to write, and make me think about game theory and practice way more than the average "crunch" article does.
( 6 sutras — Your wisdom )

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