View Full Version : [4e] Random Treasure

2009-06-10, 05:23 PM
This is an attempt to reduce the DM's workload. It deals with magic item treasure -- cash treasure remains the same.

Random Treasure
For each PC, roll 1d4. Add their level. This is the level of the item you are going to generate "for" that PC.

Next, roll 1d4 on the following table:
1: Weapon/Implement
2: Armor
3: Necklace
4: Misc

That is the category of magic item.

Next, look at the PC. Do they have a clear 'best' or 'preferred' choice of weapon/armor/etc? If so, pick that. Pay no, or very little, attention to what gear they already have. That isn't your job.

Now pick an item from that category that is appropriate for your PC of about that level.

Add that item to the treasure parcels for this level.

Do not force the PCs to give that item to that PC.

Advanced Tricks:
If there is a more appropriate item a level or 2 under, you can downlevel your random item.

Take an item of level X, and split it into an item of level X-1 and X-4. These add up to about the same value. Do it more than once if you think an item 2 levels under what you rolled would be ideal.

Do not feel any need to do this. Reroll the type of the new 'spawned' items.

Goals and Justification:
You end up handing out a bit more magic treasure, but it isn't all that tailored to PC needs. This 'lossage' should make up for the extra treasure.

This system is stateless, so you don't need to bother tracking what PC got what when. And each PC gets an item that is somewhat tailored for them, so you don't end up with "nobody uses a short sword" syndrome.

This system doesn't rely on cheesy "wish lists" from PCs. PCs should be characters, not mount points for item combos. Items don't arrive because "they deserve it", they arrive because they took it from the cold, undead hands of their enemies.

Players are expected to be able to use transfer enchantment, create magic item, and disenchant (and the like) in order to fill in gaps. You leave the process of juggling magic items to PCs.

You can use the items you roll a seeds for encounters. If you roll a suit of plate and an axe, creating an axe-wielding plate clad elite monster would be quite appropriate.

Balance-wise, 4e is quite resistant to having a modestly higher or lower item budget. Crunching the numbers, it ends up being on the order of a +1/2 to -1/2 level's worth of power if you have 2x or 50% as much treasure as you should.

Cash treasure should probably be split into 'pocket change' and 'big items'. The budget for that is easy (twice the cost of a magic item of the party's current level). Assign 80% to 'big budget' item (big golden idol etc), and the other 20% to petty cash you scatter around -- so if the PCs don't search every nook and cranny and go through every orc's pockets, they don't lose their treasure share.