Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Stocking the Megadungeon - 1st level treasure

This is the second post detailing how I stocked the first level of my dungeon. The first post detailed my philosophy. This post deals with rolling up the rooms and their treasure. The third post will deal with the monsters and assigning them in the various rooms.

I decided to use my wandering monster charts to stock the monster of the dungeon, figuring that if they're wandering around, then they probably live there. To determine what was actually in a room I used the dungeon stocking chart from the Rules Cyclopedia. I made a total of 44 rolls before I remembered that my first level only has 36 rooms. If the roll indicated a monster, I rolled on my wandering monster chart. Had I rolled an NPC Party I had planned to roll on the level 2 chart, but it never came up.

When I initially rolled it I just rolled to see what was in the room generally. Does it have a monster? Treasure? A trap? And I noted that down on my paper. Then I went and rolled the treasures that weren't attached to the monsters. Then I rolled the monsters, and their treasurers. Finally I started looking at the totals, and I realized that I had rolled 32 gems for the level. That's 32 individual gems that I need to roll for.

So I did, using the chart from page 226 of the RC.

The first column is the gem number, the second the percentile roll, and the last column the gp value per the Rules Cyclopedia.

 1      1      10
 2      1      10
 3      1      10
 4      5      50
 5      5      50
 6      11      100
 7      15      100
 8      19      100
 9      25      100
 10      26      500
 11      26      500
 12      37      500
 13      38      500
 14      39      500
 15      43      500
 16      44      500
 17      47      1,000
 18      52      1,000
 19      54      1,000
 20      58      1,000
 21      58      1,000
 22      58      1,000
 23      60      1,000
 24      69      1,000
 25      70      1,000
 26      72      5,000
 27      74      5,000
 28      81      5,000
 29      81      5,000
 30      82      5,000
 31      82      5,000
 32      83      5,000

For those of you keeping track at home that's 48,030gp worth of gems.


Clearly that is WAY too much wealth for a level 1 dungeon. What's a DM to do? There were a couple of options. I could just drop the gems, or I could adjust their value or their placement. I decuided that I liked the idea of lots of gems, and so I opted to adjust the gem values! This is the same chart as above, but an additional column has been added showing the adjusted values.

 1      1      10      10
 2      1      10      10
 3      1      10      10
 4      5      50      50
 5      5      50      50
 6      11      100      50
 7      15      100      50
 8      19      100      50
 9      25      100      50
 10      26      500      100
 11      26      500      100
 12      37      500      100
 13      38      500      100
 14      39      500      100
 15      43      500      100
 16      44      500      100
 17      47      1,000      250
 18      52      1,000      250
 19      54      1,000      250
 20      58      1,000      250
 21      58      1,000      250
 22      58      1,000      250
 23      60      1,000      250
 24      69      1,000      250
 25      70      1,000      250
 26      72      5,000      500
 27      74      5,000      500
 28      81      5,000      500
 29      81      5,000      500
 30      82      5,000    
 31      82      5,000    
 32      83      5,000

Now since I'm not using all 44 of the rooms I rolled, and one of the rooms I'm not using had 3 gems, I can lop 3 gems off the bottom of the list! Then I just hacked at the values till they resembled what I was looking for. This total comes to 5,280gp, which is significantly more reasonable.


Has anyone else run into situations like this? How did you handle it? If you haven't, how would you in the future?

2 comments:

  1. Gems have always been tricky for me because in my game their monetary value is only part of it. Some gems can be used as components or a part of an alchemical recipe. But when I do have a bunch of gems I generally give them a generic value (talking about a 1st level party) of 10 to 250. Then I will add a couple that might be worth more because of the type of gem it is. Maybe there is a mage in town who is buying all the emeralds he can find for some weird thing he is doing in his tower, but he is paying 2x the coin value.

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  2. Has anyone else run into situations like this? How did you handle it? If you haven't, how would you in the future?

    Yep. My personal answer was to conceal the treasure in secret compartments within hideously trapped, carefully hidden areas of the level. It became essentially a meatgrinder of a sub-level; a place that laughed pitilessly at the very concept of 'level appropriate'.

    You weren't obliged to go in there, but the rewards if you did, looked carefully and then made it out alive...

    A big score requires big risks and careful planning.

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