18  Treasure

“Your idea was good, Darion,” said Morningstar after we had turned the sarcophagus lid halfway around. “You just got in a bit of a hurry to try it.”

“Indeed,” I said, feeling foolish. I looked into the sarcophagus; lying atop the mummified remains inside I saw a sword, held in both bony hands with the point toward the corpse’s feet. The golden blade was untarnished; the huge ruby set into the crossguard shone in the torchlight.

I didn’t reach for it, though I found myself sorely tempted. “Barthal,” I said, “tell me, is it safe to reach within?” The Halfling climbed up onto the edge of the platform and leaned over the sarcophagus, peering around within.

“I don’t see a trap,” he remarked after careful study. “Do you think the dead one, there, will rise up if you touch his sword?”

“He might,” answered Apoqulis, “but I doubt it. The skeletons were likely the only guardians in this tomb.”

All eyes seemed to be on me. Reluctantly I reached within, grasping the sword by the blade with my mailed glove so as to avoid touching the corpse. The long-dead chieftain didn’t want to part with his weapon, but after a bit of twisting I worked it loose.

Shaking bits of desiccated flesh from the hilt, I grasped the weapon properly and held it aloft. It felt good in my hand… I wondered what magic it might contain?

Barthal’s voice shook me out of my contemplation. “Look here!” he said, and I looked down. He had opened a secret panel in the platform… and as I looked on, gold and silver coins began to spill out. Barthal cried out gleefully, “Jackpot!”

Distribution of Treasure

Some adventurers choose to adventure to battle evil, while other seek to attain glory or power… but others go in search of treasure, gold and jewels and magical items. Below is the information the Game Master will need to satisfy the greedy.

Random Treasure Generation

The tables below describe the various treasure types assigned to monsters, as well as unguarded treasures appropriate to various dungeon levels. To generate a random treasure, find the indicated treasure type and read across; where a percentage chance is given, roll percentile dice to see if that sort of treasure is found. If so, roll the indicated dice to determine how much.

Tables for the random generation of gems, jewelry (and bejeweled art pieces), and magic items are provided after the main treasure tables.

Placed Treasures

The Game Master is never required to roll for treasure; rather, treasure may be placed, or random treasures amended, as desired or needed for the purposes of the adventure. Special treasures are always placed; for example, a special magic item needed to complete an adventure.

Adjusting Treasure Awards

There will be many cases where random treasure generation is not the best method to employ. For instance, a larger than average treasure assigned to a smaller than average lair of monsters might need to be reduced. It is up to the Game Master to decide how much treasure he or she wishes to allow into the campaign. Too much gold (or other treasure which can be converted to gold) may make things too easy for the player characters. Similarly, too many magic items may also make things too easy.

If you are a novice Game Master, remember that you can always give more treasure, but it can be difficult to drain treasure from the party without angering the players… particularly if you use heavy-handed methods. Start small, and work up as you gain experience.

Treasure Types:

Lair Treasures

Type 100’s of Copper 100’s of Silver 100’s of Electrum 100’s of Gold 100’s of Platinum Gems and Jewelry Magic Items
A 50% 5d6 60% 5d6 40% 5d4 70% 10d6 50% 1d10 50% 6d6, 50% 6d6 30%any 3
B 75% 5d10 50% 5d6 50% 5d4 50% 3d6 None 25% 1d6, 25% 1d6 10% 1 weapon or armor
C 60% 6d6 60% 5d4 30% 2d6 None None 25% 1d4, 25% 1d4 15%any 1d2
D 30% 4d6 45% 6d6 None 90% 5d8 None 30% 1d8, 30% 1d8 20%any 1d2 + 1 potion
E 30% 2d8 60% 6d10 50% 3d8 50% 4d10 None 10% 1d10, 10% 1d10 30%any 1d4 + 1 scroll
F None 40% 3d8 50% 4d8 85% 6d10 70% 2d8 20% 2d12, 10% 1d12 35% any 1d4 except weapons + 1 potion + 1 scroll
G None None None 90% 4d6x10 75% 5d8 25% 3d6, 25% 1d10 50% any 1d4 + 1 scroll
H 75% 8d10 75% 6d10x10 75% 3d10x10 75% 5d8x10 75% 9d8 50% 1d100, 50% 10d4 20%any 1d4 + 1 potion + 1 scroll
I None None None None 80% 3d10 50% 2d6, 50% 2d6 15%any 1
J 45% 3d8 45% 1d8 None None None None None
K None 90% 2d10 35% 1d8 None None None None
L None None None None None 50% 1d4 None
M None None None 90% 4d10 90% 2d8x10 55% 5d4, 45% 2d6 None
N None None None None None None 40%2d4 potions
O None None None None None None 50%1d4 scrolls

* Type H treasures are specifically dragon treasure; the chance of each type of monetary treasure ranges from 35% at the second age category to 85% at the seventh, while the odds of gems, jewelry, and magic items are 5% per hit die of the monster. Hatchlings do not usually have any treasure.

Individual Treasures

Type Pieces of Copper Pieces of Silver Pieces of Electrum Pieces of Gold Pieces of Platinum Gems and Jewelry Magic Items
P 3d8 None None None None None None
Q None 3d6 None None None None None
R None None 2d6 None None None None
S None None None 2d4 None None None
T None None None None 1d6 None None
U 50% 1d20 50% 1d20 None 25% 1d20 None 5% 1d4, 5% 1d4 2%Any
V None 25% 1d20 25% 1d20 50% 1d20 25% 1d20 10% 1d4, 10% 1d4 5% Any

Unguarded Treasures

Level 100’s of Copper 100’s of Silver 100’s of Electrum 100’s of Gold 100’s of Platinum Gems and Jewelry Magic Items
1 75%1d8 50%1d6 25%1d4 7%1d4 1%1d4 7%1d4, 3%1d4 2%Any 1
2 50%1d10 50%1d8 25%1d6 20%1d6 2%1d4 10%1d6, 7%1d4 5%Any 1
3 30%2d6 50%1d10 25%1d8 50%1d6 4%1d4 15%1d6, 7%1d6 8%Any 1
4-5 20%3d6 50%2d6 25%1d10 50%2d6 8%1d4 20%1d8, 10%1d6 12%Any 1
6-7 15%4d6 50%3d6 25%1d12 70%2d8 15%1d4 30%1d8, 15%1d6 16%Any 1
8+ 10%5d6 50%5d6 25%2d8 75%4d6 30%1d4 40%1d8, 30%1d8 20%Any 1

Note: Unguarded treasures should be rare; see the Game Master section, below, for advice on placement of unguarded treasure.

Gems and Jewelry

Use the tables below to determine the base value and number found when gems are indicated in a treasure hoard. If the number generated in the main table above is small, roll for each gem; but if the number is large (10 or more, at the GM’s option), after each roll for Type and Base Value, roll the indicated die to see how many such gems are in the hoard.

d% Type Base Value in Gold Pieces Number Found
01-20 Ornamental 10 1d10
21-45 Semiprecious 50 1d8
46-75 Fancy 100 1d6
76-95 Precious 500 1d4
96-00 Gem 1000 1d2
Jewel 5000 1

The values of gems vary from the above for reasons of quality, size, etc. The GM may use the table below to adjust the values of the gems in the hoard, at his or her option. This is why there is no die result given in the table above for Jewel; on a roll of 12 on the table below, a Gem can become a Jewel.

2d6 Value Adjustment
2 Next Lower Value Row
3 1/2
4 3/4
5-9 Normal Value
10 1.5 Times
11 2 Times
12 Next Higher Value Row
d% Gem Type
01-05 Alexandrite
06-12 Amethyst
13-20 Aventurine
21-30 Chlorastrolite
31-40 Diamond
41-43 Emerald
44-48 Fire Opal
49-57 Fluorospar
58-63 Garnet
64-68 Heliotrope
69-78 Malachite
79-88 Rhodonite
89-91 Ruby
92-95 Sapphire
96-00 Topaz

Standard items of jewelry are valued at 2d8x100 gp value. The table below can be used to generate descriptions of the items themselves.

d% Type d% Type
01-06 Anklet 56-62 Earring
07-12 Belt 63-65 Flagon
13-14 Bowl 66-68 Goblet
15-21 Bracelet 69-73 Knife
22-27 Brooch 74-77 Letter Opener
28-32 Buckle 78-80 Locket
33-37 Chain 81-82 Medal
38-40 Choker 83-89 Necklace
41-42 Circlet 90 Plate
43-47 Clasp 91-95 Pin
48-51 Comb 96 Sceptre
52 Crown 97-99 Statuette
53-55 Cup 00 Tiara