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Old 08-15-2020, 07:40 PM   #11
Anthony
 
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Default Re: How Much Treasure?

It's less important to worry about baseline treasure than the rate of escalation. The problem with giving out big rewards is that next time to equally motivate the PCs you have to give out even bigger rewards, so you have more room for expansion if you start small. On the other hand, you do need to have rewards large enough to actually motivate the PCs. I'd generally start out with rewards of at least $500 per PC, and gradually work up as the campaign proceeds. This does not apply if the PCs aren't expected to be loot motivated in the first place.
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Old 08-15-2020, 07:53 PM   #12
Mister Negative
 
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Default Re: How Much Treasure?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Malfi View Post
What about the way dnd more or less has done it? The treasure is loosely connected to how dangerous the monsters or challenges are?
Adnd 1e and 2e connected treasure tables to specific monsters, while DnD3e edition connected it to monsters challenge rating.
Is there a way you can do this in DF?
Two things. You can* and "Are you sure you want to?"**

*DFRPG doesn't have the calculated Challenge Ratings that D&D does, and one big reason for that is DFRPG doesn't have calculated levels for PCs either. There's a difference in a 250 point character, and a 260 point character, but it's not as clearly demarcated as level advancement. Add on top of that the fact that some monsters are trivially defeated by some tactics (mindless undead vs. a Cleric with Turning, etc.) and Challenge Ratings are way less 'objective' than hard numbers might make them seem. Do you give a monster a high Challenge Rating even though the right tactics will defeat it quickly and easily? Do you peg the CR at the difficulty YOUR party has with it, which means that they may get rewarded for winning despite poor tactics and dumb strategy?

**Giving out treasure in correspondence with Challenge Ratings can lead to weird, even immersion-breaking, events. Tough, but unintelligent monsters who don't have a lair might have great loot (why does the Purple Worm have two magic swords?), and easily defeated but smart and greedy enemies may have no worthwhile loot (we caught the smugglers and they were smuggling oats? Who has a black market for oats?).
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Old 08-15-2020, 08:06 PM   #13
Kromm
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Default Re: How Much Treasure?

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Originally Posted by Mister Negative View Post

Giving out treasure in correspondence with Challenge Ratings can lead to weird, even immersion-breaking, events. Tough, but unintelligent monsters who don't have a lair might have great loot (why does the Purple Worm have two magic swords?), and easily defeated but smart and greedy enemies may have no worthwhile loot (we caught the smugglers and they were smuggling oats? Who has a black market for oats?).
This is just HUGE, and why I said, "I don't assess treasure on the basis of what I want the PCs to have, but on the basis of what makes sense."

I don't care at all – not one bit – how hard the fight was, how dangerous the traps were, or how annoying the journey was. None of that bears on loot.

Greedy people with the brains to smuggle, cheat, and sort the wheat from the chaff might well know nothing about traps, fighting, etc. and may be tactical morons who don't even think to hire security. Huge, tough, scary monsters might not even be able to see shiny or know a magic sword from a tree branch. The individual orcs of a horde might be pushovers, but they're still part of a horde that sacks empires, so they need piles of loot. Some ancient undead thing might have totally transcended the mortal sphere and have no need for material goods.

So I just aim to have the loot make sense for the sake of the story. Players who wants to moan about how everybody nearly died and all they got was a lousy T-shirt can find another GM. Those that know me, though, will realize that there might be a huge haul waiting on the next adventure, guarded by a couple of lame-duck foes who won big at cards.
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Old 08-15-2020, 09:52 PM   #14
Anthony
 
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Default Re: How Much Treasure?

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Originally Posted by Mister Negative View Post
**Giving out treasure in correspondence with Challenge Ratings can lead to weird, even immersion-breaking, events.
The reverse does too, though. In general for any treasure you have the question of "why hasn't someone else already gotten it", and "Terrifying monster that can lay waste to armies" is a pretty convincing answer. Probably most reasonable to treat power-equivalent as a ceiling on likely treasure.
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Old 08-15-2020, 10:55 PM   #15
WhiteLily
 
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Default Re: How Much Treasure?

People are more motivated towards random rewards.

Let's say we want to give each adventurer $500 an adventure.

I'm considering an approach that would maximize randomness by embracing cursed magical items. Getting cursed, would prompt one to get uncursed. Just using a Remove Curse scroll for benchmark to get fixed, those cost $200 for an uncharged one.

So if a player returns with three items that cost $250 and one cursed ones that will cost them -$200, then you get a decent $550 per adventurer.

Of course, you can make the curse a lot harder than being removed by Remove Curse.

I'm thinking of putting some time into fleshing out this concept, because I think cursed magic items don't get much play in most games. In general, more variance in a role playing game is a good thing. Cursed items often have hilarious consequences.

Also, I could see the possibility of cursed magic items reducing the overall reimbursement value for magic items in general; a shop would not be willing to pay as much to get an item if it might turn out to be a bad rather than a good.

This could allow for the distribution of items with a higher book value to the group.

Last edited by WhiteLily; 08-15-2020 at 11:20 PM.
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Old 08-16-2020, 03:29 AM   #16
Malfi
 
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Default Re: How Much Treasure?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Negative View Post
Two things. You can* and "Are you sure you want to?"**

*DFRPG doesn't have the calculated Challenge Ratings that D&D does, and one big reason for that is DFRPG doesn't have calculated levels for PCs either. There's a difference in a 250 point character, and a 260 point character, but it's not as clearly demarcated as level advancement. Add on top of that the fact that some monsters are trivially defeated by some tactics (mindless undead vs. a Cleric with Turning, etc.) and Challenge Ratings are way less 'objective' than hard numbers might make them seem. Do you give a monster a high Challenge Rating even though the right tactics will defeat it quickly and easily? Do you peg the CR at the difficulty YOUR party has with it, which means that they may get rewarded for winning despite poor tactics and dumb strategy?
CR's will never be objective and neither will point costs. It still worth it to have some metric.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Negative View Post
**Giving out treasure in correspondence with Challenge Ratings can lead to weird, even immersion-breaking, events. Tough, but unintelligent monsters who don't have a lair might have great loot (why does the Purple Worm have two magic swords?), and easily defeated but smart and greedy enemies may have no worthwhile loot (we caught the smugglers and they were smuggling oats? Who has a black market for oats?).
Hence I said loosely connected. In all editions of dnd, power isn't the only measure of the treasure a creature has. In 3e dnd dragons had triple the treasure and puple worms 50% in precious stones (IN MA BELLY) and no items. The issue was treated simirarly in earlier editions.
Again having a metric doesn't mean it has to be followed absolutely .


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kromm View Post
This is just HUGE, and why I said, "I don't assess treasure on the basis of what I want the PCs to have, but on the basis of what makes sense."

I don't care at all – not one bit – how hard the fight was, how dangerous the traps were, or how annoying the journey was. None of that bears on loot.

Greedy people with the brains to smuggle, cheat, and sort the wheat from the chaff might well know nothing about traps, fighting, etc. and may be tactical morons who don't even think to hire security. Huge, tough, scary monsters might not even be able to see shiny or know a magic sword from a tree branch. The individual orcs of a horde might be pushovers, but they're still part of a horde that sacks empires, so they need piles of loot. Some ancient undead thing might have totally transcended the mortal sphere and have no need for material goods.

So I just aim to have the loot make sense for the sake of the story. Players who wants to moan about how everybody nearly died and all they got was a lousy T-shirt can find another GM. Those that know me, though, will realize that there might be a huge haul waiting on the next adventure, guarded by a couple of lame-duck foes who won big at cards.
I don't disagree with this, this is how you keep games alive instead of rigid and dead, though I still believe that stronger and more dangerous creatures owning or guarding treasure of higher value, is part of all the things you mention and "what makes sense". Maybe not the absolute arbitrator but still an important factor.
That said I have no idea how to actually make the connection between them and do it well. I remember an attempt to connect CER with treasure in a blog post, but it was based on the relative power the pc's had to the enemies and that makes little sense to me, then again attempting to connect CER to absolute treasure awards didn't work out for me either.

Last edited by Malfi; 08-16-2020 at 03:37 AM.
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Old 08-16-2020, 07:23 AM   #17
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Default Re: How Much Treasure?

The issue of leveled treasure reminds me of a bizarre element in the latest edition of The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh. An alchemist, wanting to falsely claim that he had developed the philosopher's stone, had a set of solid-gold objects crafted to make it seem like he had transformed them. The book describes them as solid, life-size, and "pure gold." But, because it is a 1st level adventure, their values are absurdly low. The solid gold apple was worth 5gp and the human skull was worth 20gp. (An apple made from five D&D gold pieces would have a diameter of roughly 2/3 of an inch.) One would need to conclude that the workmanship was so terrible that these objects were actually worth far less than the volume of gold that they contained. Or maybe the ostensible philosopher's stone was also a stone of shrinking.


If you want solid gold objects in an adventure, then they should be worth their weight in gold (at a minimum). The challenge then is to place them in a way that it is plausible that they would have been untouched by others.
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Old 08-16-2020, 09:56 AM   #18
Mister Negative
 
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Default Re: How Much Treasure?

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Originally Posted by Dalin View Post
The issue of leveled treasure reminds me of a bizarre element in the latest edition of The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh. An alchemist, wanting to falsely claim that he had developed the philosopher's stone, had a set of solid-gold objects crafted to make it seem like he had transformed them. The book describes them as solid, life-size, and "pure gold." But, because it is a 1st level adventure, their values are absurdly low. The solid gold apple was worth 5gp and the human skull was worth 20gp. (An apple made from five D&D gold pieces would have a diameter of roughly 2/3 of an inch.) One would need to conclude that the workmanship was so terrible that these objects were actually worth far less than the volume of gold that they contained. Or maybe the ostensible philosopher's stone was also a stone of shrinking.


If you want solid gold objects in an adventure, then they should be worth their weight in gold (at a minimum). The challenge then is to place them in a way that it is plausible that they would have been untouched by others.



It's amusing to me the coincidence that you would mention that particular adventure. I'm prepping the original Saltmarsh to run in GURPS (which works great, as the original really emphasizes thinking and NOT killing stuff). In the original, the wizard was an alchemist and had transformed objects into gold, but the apple was worth 150 gp, and the skull was worth 750gp. Given the size of a human skull, and the value of gold, that would be an insanely valuable lump of gold in any GURPS/DFRPG system, but it is at least a little more in line with standard D&D gold valuation and weight. I wonder what the heck happened?

Looking at it now, the original Saltmarsh is written much more in line with Kromm's line of thinking on loot placement. If the low level D&D characters (as low as level 1 each) play smartly, they can apprehend smugglers and not only get several gold objects, they can acquire an entire sailing vessel and all the cargo. Even after the excise paid to the town, and sharing out lots with the town excisemen who help them, they can get huge monetary rewards, and may not have to fight more than 2 gnolls, 2 wizards, and some smugglers (who will surrender readily if badly outnumbered as well). It's immense rewards against people who weren't expecting to fight anyone, and who have little reason to be strongly geared up for a fight.
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Last edited by Mister Negative; 08-16-2020 at 10:01 AM. Reason: Additional thoughts
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Old 08-17-2020, 05:58 AM   #19
ArchonShiva
 
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Default Re: How Much Treasure?

Don’t forget to sell your PCs expensive stuff like houses. Let them renovate dungeons as HQ. Let them get married!

Also, remember that you can have multiple reward types. Money is the primary motivator for PCs while cp is for players, but you can reward PCs with lands, reputation (a positive reaction modifier with a specific group), bonuses their next request for intervention by specific gods, sources for cool gear (being able to buy something rare as a separate reward from the money to buy it), possible hirelings (NPCs more competent than 62-points willing to work for them), discounts on literally anything, exceptional training access, free skill points (cook you saved will give you a 1 cp cooking skill without paying cp for it), bonus cp for specific uses (Ranger you saved will train you in Absolute Direction for 3 cp, effectively a conditional +2 cp), there are *so many ways*.

Note: if you use the not uncommon house rule of letting people reduce skills to increase attributes as long as nothing drops, be careful not to give “free points” in places that can be cashed back unless you want to. Giving new skills at [1] is safe, as are most advantages, but going from Occultism [4] to Occultism [8] is just asking to be folded back into IQ.
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Old 08-17-2020, 11:27 AM   #20
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Default Re: How Much Treasure?

Dungeons can go through multiple owners as well. Why does the brainless giant monster have a lair full of expensive art? Because it ate the thieves who were using it as a store house and it doesn't smell like food. Weird, seemingly out of place loot (that has a hidden story behind it) can be fun head scratchers if your players enjoy that, its something that Bethesda is famous for in its games.
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