Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Gamemaster's Guidepost: Dungeon Fantasy CER-based Treasure


When I wrote "It's a Threat!" for Pyramid #3/77: Combat one of the things I had in mind was to have a lengthy box explaining how you can turn the CER of a monster into a way to determine what treasure it might have on it. I talked about it a bit here, but didn't really get into the "nitty-gritty" of it. First, determine the CER of the encounter normally. Next, multiply the CER by a fixed ratio:

Nuisance: x0.25.
Fodder: x0.50.
Worthy: x1.
Boss: x5.
Epic: x20.

Next, multiply the modified CER value by $5 (or 0.005% of starting wealth if the TL is different). rounded up. Use this value to determine the minimum value of any treasure found. This does not include any equipment they had on them and used against the player characters.

For example, a small horde of goblins have a total CER of 121 and are considered a Fodder-level encounter to the player characters. The GM should make sure the goblins have at least $608 worth of valuable objects: 121 (CER) x 0.5 (Encounter level modifier) x $5. Optionally, instead of determining what was found by GM fiat, use GURPS Dungeon Fantasy 8: Treasure Tables. Record the value of each item rolled until the total sum is equal to (or greater if the last roll is an item of larger value than the remaining sum) the total value determined by the CER of the encounter.


Picking Over the Bones
I really wish I had included something like this in my article (along with a dozen other things), but word count was just too tight. A clever man could even create an old "treasure table" like AD&D had (you know of what I speak. the A, Z, and R-type treasures) based on CER levels. But that would be a bigger project than I'd like to undertake at the moment. How do you determine treasure in your Dungeon Fantasy campaigns? Any rhyme or reason to it or just what feels right?

9 comments:

  1. Brilliant! Now I really need to get a print copy of It's a Threat! For reference...

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    1. Some of my better work there. Wrote it in 10 terrifying days under a helluva deadline. Made it work though. :-D

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  2. The last time I was a GM I took the time to buy equipment for my challenging encounter. Basic stuff was there. Any leftover funds was used for the "good stuff." Weapons, armor, and other stuff that the players wanted. If two players wanted a magic sword, I would put one nice one in the treasure. Some people would give up the rest of their share of loot to get that one good sword. Others come down with a case of the "mine's." It was sad when that happened. -tired of running

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    1. I don't deal with the "mine's" very well. When there is an argument...I settle it. After that the topic is verboten.

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  3. Or, dispense with the table above. Take the CER of the encounter, square it, then divide by the CER of the party. Then, instead of a fixed $5 multiplier, multiply by an amount that reflects how likely it is to have treasure. Animals and Slimes have nothing, and neither do unintelligent foes like crushrooms or golems. Maybe IQ/2 or something like that as a guideline.

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  4. I like the idea, but I wouldn't scale it by the CER of the party. Otherwise, the system only works if you are scaling treasure to the relative threat to the party. That's one use. But having a system that says Threat X = Treasure Y, regardless of how hard or easy the encounter is, means you can set up encounters without knowing who will encounter it. I'm not sure how you'd do that, though, but you might.

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    1. Hmmm. I'll think about it. There must be a way. I shall ponder this.

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    2. Yeah. You need it for sandboxes, otherwise you get the oddity that either you set treasure according to initial party power, or it scales. The first means you have some very rich weak guys, eventually, who need picking off. The second means the sooner you kill the dragon the more money it has, which just weird.

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