Is this too evil?

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My PCs are just about to entounter their first Dragon (Dracolich actually) and her hoard.  They've heard the typical stuff about a dragon suposidly living nearby with a hoard worth millions of GP.

Once the PCs and defeat the dragon, is it too evil to literally make her hoard a hoard?  Which would ultimately be worth millions of GP, even sold at 20% market price.  You know, carts, wheelbarrows, pickled herring from 1300 years ago, a couple couches, and so forth.
Its not too evil.  Be prepared for your players to have access to a lot of items and options they wouldn't normally have, and possibly ask why no other groups got this thing sooner with so much money under it.  Its going to come down to how they get the items out.  Maybe make some bags of holding, or use those carts they found in the hoard to cart out the other stuff.  Depending on the magic they have access to a simple magic circle to keep other looters out, and a couple castings of linked portal, and they are good.  Maybe hire a wizard to cast true portal a few times for them for a cut of the profit.  They have plenty of options, but this will ultimatly be more evil for you when you have to hand wave the selling of the stuff, or drag the party through markets and customers.  Then you need to deal with the sudden wealth of the your players, on a scale where they can hire other adventurers to clean out dungeons for them and take all the profit while going into a seperate dungeon for themselves and buy enough magical items for it to not matter about found or dropped gear for possibly two tears of play.
 
Nah, it's much more fun to give them a horde of gold, let them figure out how to carry it, let them figure out how to guard it, and let them figure out how to spend it.

Heck, it could be a level's worth of adventure by iteself.

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Surround the area just beyond the dracolich's lair with ravenous rust monsters created by the dracolich's rival, a crazed lich that specializes in transmutation who lives in a tower of bones not far away. He created the rust monsters as a stab at his old enemy.

While the dracolich and its servants were still living, they managed to keep the nasty critters away from the hoard. With the dracolich dead, it's up to the PCs to protect their winnings from being eaten.

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Nah, it's much more fun to give them a horde of gold, let them figure out how to carry it, let them figure out how to guard it, and let them figure out how to spend it.

Right, especially if it's not a hoard but a horde as in "a moving pack or swarm." The gold is enchanted and every piece of it flies around the chamber like a hive of bees. Don't make it angry....

I like the idea of the junk hoard. A dragon in Diane Duane's "So You Want To Be a Wizard" had become demented and had a hoard that was a mixture of junk and valuables. I suggest you do something more along those lines:
mix in valuables with a sea of junk. Pulling out the potentially valuable goods, getting them cleaned up, and transporting them to the eccentric collectors who will actually pay for them can be the backdrop of many adventures.

By the book, mundane items aren't really considered to have a resale value. You're welcome to alter that rule, of course.

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I recommend the golden rule in the DM's essentials guide: always have a twist. I've read about a similar situation where the party encountered more treasure than was appropriate for their level, and what one "evil" DM did was have the dragon's existence and subsequent slaying known. Once word got out that it was dead, suddenly every 2-bit bandit and other greedy ne'er-do-well wanted a piece of the treasure.

Suddenly you pit the PC's greed against their common sense; do they defend this treasure from the constant wave of freeloaders, or will common sense win the day with the PC's taking what they can, leaving everyone else to slug it out in a gold-crazed bloodbath?
So long as you let them sell it for actual gold at some point I think its funny and neat. Using it as a method to just be a jerk to the players is pretty lame though.

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I say let them live as the most wealthiest players in the world. I want to see what they can do with alll that money? 

Buy a castle?
Pimp it out?
Start a business.
Make millions more.
Start a war!
Kill some more dragons.
Start a world war!
Invade Realms.
And now I'm dead.  
I always think messing with a Dragon's hoard is a good way to throw off any pretenses a group has about the world and the creatures in it. I once let my PCs hunt down a Dragon to take it's "hoard". Their faces when a horde of Orcs swore fealty to them for slaying their wicked overlord was priceless XD
That's not too evil at all.  It would be far more evil to do what I heard about a while ago.  Make the hoard worth millions of GP, but make it copper pieces and then ask the party how they're going to transport it.  They will simply hate you if they don't have bags of holding.
..I clicked the link, and if you are actually refering to the uh.. ..mental illness - i think that would be AMAZING.. ..players often make characters with umm idio synchrasies, flaws, traits quirks.. ..why not an intelligent monster.. ..if I was playing in your campaign and came across that, it would be something I would never forget..


In the Draconimonoomonoicon or however you say that, it says on page 277 -

The three basic components
of a treasure hoard are coins,
goods (gems and art objects),
and items (mundane and magic).

..I did a little research on hoarding and usually the first thing listed (im just using the quote from your link for convinience) -


Tend to hold onto a large number of items that most people would consider not useful or valuable.


..lets face it, dragons are not most people.. ..in the Draconimonoomonoicon or however you say that, it says on page 25 -

If dragons
have anything in excess, it is time...

"What I do not have is an excess of these broken wagon wheels, cause you never know when you are going to have to cart of dead adventurers!"
- Pothoc Rasvim, Elder Red Dragon


..I say do it!

A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men. - Willy Wonka
The hoard doesn't actually have to be worth millions of GP (rumors don't always have to be 100% true and accurate), but giving the PCs a pile of junk is just going to annoy them.

A more appropriate middle ground is that the dragon was a genuine collector - the value of that collection is something better matched to the PCs' level and circumstances, but it isn't just a pile of gold and gems.

It could be things that have actual art value (tapestries, statuettes, musical instruments), or things that are primarily of scholarly interest (letters, maps, books), or some combination thereof (a collection of musical instruments that are organized by culture or that once belonged to various famous performers).

(Historical footnote: 2E's electrum dragons were actually known for this sort of hoard-gathering.)

This gives the hoard (and its keeper) an unusual character, allows it to still have value (even if the PCs have to look around a bit for a buyer), and maybe serves as a source of later plot hooks. (Better ones than "oh yeah, you're fighting bandits all the way home now".)

Depending on how you (and the players) approach it, it could even end up with the dragon commissioning them to go out and obtain more pieces for its collection rather than being a combat opponent!
The hoard doesn't actually have to be worth millions of GP (rumors don't always have to be 100% true and accurate), but giving the PCs a pile of junk is just going to annoy them



..I could not agree more..


It could be things that have actual art value (tapestries, statuettes, musical instruments), or things that are primarily of scholarly interest (letters, maps, books), or some combination thereof (a collection of musical instruments that are organized by culture or that once belonged to various famous performers).



..that defeats the purpose and underlying stigmata of hoarding, their things have no intentional wealth.. ..they just simply can not live without these things..


This gives the hoard (and its keeper) an unusual character, allows it to still have value (even if the PCs have to look around a bit for a buyer)...



..I totally agree..


..now, imagine for a moment that you lived for 10,000 years, and you could not stand to throw away a single plate, or cup, or utensil no matter how damaged it was.. ..you would have artifacts that span countless generations, societies, dynasties - imagine having the entire set of eatery that was used at Jesus' last supper.. WHAAAT!

..perhaps clothing is your thing, picture having a closet full of all the original millitary uniforms of ancient rome, egypt, sumeria.. so-on and so-forth..


..I totally think he should do it, just the way he posted it..


A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men. - Willy Wonka
I am totally going to do it.  They do have Bags of Holding, and I'm going to let them take as much of the hoard as they want, but only what can fit into the number of BoHs the have.

The compendium says "This bag can hold up to 200 pounds in weight or 20 cubic feet in volume, but it always weighs only 1 pound."  That means they'll have to pick and choose which items they'd like which should be quite interesting...
I am totally going to do it.  They do have Bags of Holding, and I'm going to let them take as much of the hoard as they want, but only what can fit into the number of BoHs the have.

The compendium says "This bag can hold up to 200 pounds in weight or 20 cubic feet in volume, but it always weighs only 1 pound."  That means they'll have to pick and choose which items they'd like which should be quite interesting...



A ritualist would ruin this scenario. Ain't nothing stopping one from spending some of that GP immediately to make a new BoH with the enchant magic item ritual.

Really, if you're going to put a hoard together, make it so they can take it all. No need to short change clever PCs who can overcome a cave of complex security traps and a badass dragon. Instead, make getting out with the hoard more of a challenge than getting to it. Nothing like a group of PCs finding out the dragon they slew earlier was simply another thief to a much more dangerous dragon's hoard ;)
That means they'll have to pick and choose which items they'd like which should be quite interesting...

... to the DM. I would not find it interesting at all.

Or... the only interest I would have is in overcoming the DM's attempt to screw us over (I'm not saying that is what you are doing, but that the players could perceive it as such). And then I would be walking out with more loot than you intended. Which screws you over.

Make the take-able treasure exactly the amount you want them to have. To create that sense of "you can't have it all" make a few of the things simply un-transportable -- perhaps a real ship too big to fit through the entrance (and that can become a research project), a teleportation pad engraved in the floor, or a magic mirror in the cavern wall that will obviously break if removed, etc.

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  • All of Chapter 9 [Combat] (p 264-295)
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My PCs are just about to entounter their first Dragon (Dracolich actually) and her hoard.  They've heard the typical stuff about a dragon suposidly living nearby with a hoard worth millions of GP.

Once the PCs and defeat the dragon, is it too evil to literally make her hoard a hoard?  Which would ultimately be worth millions of GP, even sold at 20% market price.  You know, carts, wheelbarrows, pickled herring from 1300 years ago, a couple couches, and so forth.



It might be evil, but I find it absolutely hilarious as well as plausible.  Being undead really warps what was important to you!
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^^Wow, is that really how I came across in that personality thing or was this chosen at random?
Okay, so I ended up using it, and only now have the time to explain the awesomeness that encounter was.

First off, I want to give a huge shout out to the donjon; 4e Treasure Generator.  If you want to do this to your players, write 10 in the first box, then select 30 in the next one, and then select 100% in Trade, finally select combine individual hoards into one hoard.

 Scroll down to Salvage and you've got yourself one hell ofa hoard!

The two dragons they were fighting kept yelling about how the PCs will never have their couch.  "You can'ts has my couch!" and "Our couch is ours theys wants to steals the couch!" spring to mind as great material the dragons were screaming in Dragonic.  (In other words, the group's Dragonborn Paladin could understand they were yelling this at each other, but to the rest of the group the dragons are uttering words of power beyond their imagagination.

When they finally killed the dragon, they began sorting through the hoard.   I made it a mini skill challenge, where they roll Perception, Athletics, Endurance, Acrobatics or Thievery in order to check over any given area for 5 minutes.  As you expect, a failed roll ended up in them rolling a saving throw in order to see if they just take massive poison/acid damge or contract a disease.  For the successful rolls, I had them roll a 1d100.  On 94 and lower, I gave them 5 counts of items from my given list.

For instance, one player manages to avoid contracting Tetnis when going through a pile of burned out bedding, with exposed, rusted, bed springs.  They roll 1d100 and end up with a 74.  "Hmmm..." I utter, pretending to refer to an imaginary table I've created on my Macbook.  "74 you said?  Or 76?"  "...74..." they reply sheepishly."

"Okay, got it.  74!  You have found yourself


  • 77 x Andirons and Spit (10 gp)

  • 333 x Bag of Rare Spice (10 gp, 1 lb)

  • 204 x Bottle of Fine Wine (10 gp, 4 lb)

  • 10 x Cheap Wig (1 sp)

  • AND

  • 455 x Pair of Oars (4 gp, 20 lb) (Half broken)"



The Players then burst out laughing.  It continues down the table.  When one rolls of 95 and up, I give them useful stuff, and plenty of it.  I'll also just give some useful mundane and magic items throughout the dig as well, even if they fail the check and gets poisoned or contracts a disease.  Then I play it up as they saw something worth risking their body to gonorrhea in order to grab. 

This continues until one of your players says, "Dude, we should use their couch as the dragon's funeral pyres.  The gods will surely favor us then!"  Then the laughter continues even to your wife who isn't playing, but instead watching "Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIHM" in the adnoining living room.

My players were also able to discern that the dragons were literally hoarders and mentally ill thanks to the Dragonborn Paladin, but that ony made it more fun, IMHO.  One of my players actually said, "These dragons are hoarders!  Imagine what we're going to find!"  Some one else chimed in, "Good thing I have a bag of holding!" And still another, "Me too!"

Cut to the following week, and my players managed to totally screw up one of my encounters but using some of the random crap I gave them against me.  Note to other DMs: Don't give out a ton of nets.  Your traps will soon turn into the PC's trap for the monsters.

So in summary...

ALL DMs MUST DO THIS IN THEIR GAMES.  THE HUMOR IT CAN ADD TO ANY TYPE OF GAME WILL BE WORTH ALL THE RANDOM JUNK YOU GIVE TO YOUR PLAYERS!
My party completely destroyed a pair of black dragons once (i have a party of 8, double solo fights aren't rare), so I had their hoard turn into a Hoard Golem, its in one of the published 4e adventures.


Just have them carry it out of the lair before it attacks, they'll be shocked when all their gold and items start forming a dragon-shaped blob that wants to add their gear to it.


Maybe make the entire hoard its phylactory, and the hoard golem is actually the dracolich's spirit possessing it.     
Can you find me that stat block?
(snip) Just have them carry it out of the lair before it attacks, they'll be shocked when all their gold and items start forming a dragon-shaped blob that wants to add their gear to it.

Maybe make the entire hoard its phylactory, and the hoard golem is actually the dracolich's spirit possessing it.     



I love this idea, especially making the hoard golem also the phylactery. Good stuff!
Cheers Imruphel aka Scrivener of Doom
Hear me out on my malevolent idea.  Give the players this hoard of loot.  But make one item cursed so that the person holding (or carrying it) believes that all of the items belong to them (and anyone else who goes near is trying to steal from them).  This would create hilarity and prevent them from carrying too much (out of fear of the magic).
..man that is SOO awesome, I told everyone that I game with, what you said, and he said, and she said and they said and then again what I said.. ..and so-on and so-on.. ..and they all thought it would be awesome.. ..im so glad you got to break the metagame thinking and have some truely original fun with it..

..SOOOoo awesome!



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A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men. - Willy Wonka