Monday, November 14, 2011

Two More Megadungeon Musings

- It can be worthwhile to total up an estimate of the gold piece value of the treasure on a level and compare it to how much XP a character of the appropriate level need to gain a level, that way you can figure out "This region for 6th-level character has enough treaure XP for 10 6th level characters to reach 7th level."

- When you're generating treasure hoards with multiple gems and jewelry (such a treasure type 5-30 gems and 10-60 jewelry) save yourself some hassle and make one gem or jewel of incredible worth; i.e. instead of rolling for 20 gems rolls one gem and multiply the value by 20. This way you end up with fabulously valuable treasures that may have rumors about them.


  1. That first piece of advice is especially useful. I need to learn to think more in terms of XP.

  2. I don't worry at all about the approxiamte XP value for a level. It is what it is, much like the monsters that may or may not out-class the characters.

  3. In 1E, which we're currently playing, tallying the level's treasure is important. You need to offer enough for them to level up enough to continue downward. Ideally, they will get bored with a level and delve deeper before completely exploring it.

    You need to consider hidden treasure (such as behind a secret door) as perhaps half value, because not all of it will be located. If the treasure is along a main route and they will pass frequently, I would count the treasure therein as full value for the tally because the party Elf will eventually sniff it out with his 1 in 6 chance.

    I think an ideal dungeon structure allows for descent to any arbitrary dungeon level (sublevels aside) so the players can choose the danger level they want to face. On the other hand, if they must map carefully and navigate quickly through previous levels on each expedition in order to hit the desired depth, and likewise escape at the end, that could be fun.

    In 1E, note that you should use the GP sale value for the tally of total XP value of the level. That is, if they find an item with 1,000 XP and 5,000 GP values, they will get 1,000 XP if they keep it or 5,000 XP if they sell it. Keeping the item means they're more powerful than their level would indicate, while selling it means they have more XP and wealth. If the PCs keep everything, you may find they're too low-level for the dungeon level they are able to explore: this is because they are tougher for having all those magic items. This is why you give fewer XP for a 5th level PC killing a 1 HD monster, while a 1st level PC killing a 5 HD monster gets just the normal amount.

    The second piece of advice is completely awesome. It's always more impressive to find a single high-value piece than multiple low-value ones. It also introduces complications: how do you split up this treasure? Do you waste much of its value and just break it apart, or try to sell it somehow? If you sell it as a recognizable piece of jewelry, the townsfolk will hear that you came out with a really fancy earring worth 10,000 GP. Claimjumper roll! It also involves less book-keeping.

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