How to determine loot

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I was curious to know how I should go about determining what monsters are carrying?  I know there's a "treasure" portion in the 3.5 Monster Manual; and I'm a newbie DM to the 4th edition (waiting on my redbox and dm kit)--can anyone give me a brief answer?  I was also wondering if there is some sort of roll (d20) or something that would determine if what a leader is carrying is a magic item or not.
For 4e: The Rules Compendium has a random treasure generator, and the first Dungeon Masters Guide has instructions for designing hoards that can be applied into encounters a little less randomly. There's nothing really that determines if an enemy has any loot or  magic items on it in a random sort of way, so if you and your players want it random, I'd go with the Rules Compendium route. Items don't affect monsters in 4e much, and they tend to clog up their mechanics more often than not in my own experience. Better to adlib a monster using an item than to have it actually use one.

Hope this helps. Happy Gaming
It does help, but how do PCs get geared?  Other than experience, what do they get rewarded at the end of a quest?  I suppose in a prepared adventure it's written, but if I created one... I would have to reference the rules compendium.  Is there anything in the DM Guide about it?
Well, if you map out events in an adventure like most printed material does, you can make a list of items to drop on the PCs at the end of encounters and just assign them to whatever encounter you feel like. If you'd like to just roll randomly and see where it goes, build a hoard as per the DMG's instructions and have players roll for loot every so often.

Personally, I  take a hat, write a treasure list up on some index cards, cut the treasure peices apart, mix them in the hat, and let the players pick one. You could also assign treasure faces on playing cards and have players draw a card from that limited selection. It's not hard to come up with something to just wing it. Hell, you could just leave it to "I'm feeling nice so here's treasure" is you wanted. As long as the PCs get their loot, how they acquire it only matters if they like getting it a certain way. If they like the excitement of finding random stuff, use a random route. If they'd prefer to buy their own stuff, just give them the fundage needed to do so and keep it as a side item in between adventures. And so on for any other kinds of options the players prefer.
An Orc with a pouch of golds is a lot richer tha na peasant with a hole in his coin purse...

I Go with the idea that the Adventure site is a community and determine its wealth thusly - so the poorest monster is likey to have a few coppers on him if he is going to spend them - else home under his pillow (if he values such things) and the BBEG is likely rolling around in the treasure vault Scooge Mc Duck style.
The Citadel Megadungeon: http://yellowdingosappendix.blogspot.com.au/2012/08/the-citadel-mega-dungeon-now-with-room.html
Well, if you map out events in an adventure like most printed material does, you can make a list of items to drop on the PCs at the end of encounters and just assign them to whatever encounter you feel like. If you'd like to just roll randomly and see where it goes, build a hoard as per the DMG's instructions and have players roll for loot every so often.

Personally, I  take a hat, write a treasure list up on some index cards, cut the treasure peices apart, mix them in the hat, and let the players pick one. You could also assign treasure faces on playing cards and have players draw a card from that limited selection. It's not hard to come up with something to just wing it. Hell, you could just leave it to "I'm feeling nice so here's treasure" is you wanted. As long as the PCs get their loot, how they acquire it only matters if they like getting it a certain way. If they like the excitement of finding random stuff, use a random route. If they'd prefer to buy their own stuff, just give them the fundage needed to do so and keep it as a side item in between adventures. And so on for any other kinds of options the players prefer.



Probably the best idea there is.  How do your players want their characters to get geared up?  Ask them, they can tell you more than we can.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
My group tends to do a mix between wish lists, random (or DM-choice based on what seems interesting or relevant to the encounter) treasure, and money with shopping opportunities. The pseudo-random stuff keeps things interesting, especially when the DM invents items, but the players also like to know that if they really want something, they'll eventually either find it or be able to buy it.
Awesome; I really appreciate all your guys ideas.  I like the idea of making a list and then having them choose at random.  I was also thinking of making a list and then having them roll a d20 and then divying it up that way.  But I think a draw system is better, and maybe more equal.

I also agree with you yellowdingo; a wizard or some bad ass chief would be more likely to have a magic item then a simple kobold or something 
I keep item wish-lists of my players and if these items fit into the story I might drop one of these. 2 of my 5 players dont have a list because they prefer to have "random" items dropped which are chosen by me. Non-magic items are in the loot sometimes, like a backpack or a canteen, ropes, tools, etc. More valuable things are silver & golden rings, necklaces, a crown maybe or a complete set of chess figures made of different valuable materials, precious hides etc.

Last time in a kobold lair I've dropped 2 different kinds of cheese... you cant imagine what this caused - the whole group was ripping the kobold lair apart to find the big cheese-hoard that the kobold boss was hiding somewhere, was really funny and I could add some nice situations.
Now my group owns the 2 great cheeses and is really proud of it... sometimes you dont need magic items to start a loot feverLaughing 
I cant seem to find the random option in the compendium, can anyone explain to me how to use the compendium to randomize gear.
I cant seem to find the random option in the compendium, can anyone explain to me how to use the compendium to randomize gear.



Rule's Compendium book, or the D&DI online Compendium?
Our DM generaly ask of use a list of 6 to 8 items from common to rare from our lvl or lower till our lvl +3.

So apart for the rare items who are generaly found in a chest in the boss room, or on the boss corpse, for the rest when searching the corpses for loot, we each throw the d20 and add the perception mod, depending on the results, you get only gold, a common item or a uncommon item, the Dm decides on the spot of what lvl, and all you have to do is checking your list to see what you can take.

Its a simple, yet effectif way to gear the characters, and it avoids to end up with something that no one in the group would use, because of various things.

In the end we end up with something we wanted, we don't get all the items we have on the list for the simple reason that the search roll wasn't high enough each time, but you can always re-use your list next time.

I generally go with a modified random system. I'll roll randomly to determine, but I filter the results, and skew them in favor of stuff the PCs will actually use. I also allow (potential) selling at full value, and pretty open buying. The idea being that the PCs can take the random stuff they find and use it if they want, but if they want some specific item, they can buy one next time they are in town. 

As for giving it out during the adventure, I might skip giving treasure after the "starving wolf ambush" encounter but drop double treasure when they defeat the evil druid forcing the wolves to attack. I try to drop enough that they stay near the expected wealth by level. I usually end up going 4-5 encounters with no loot, and dropping a bunch to make up on encounter 6. Then skipping encounter 7, and 8. Then dropping encounters 9 and 10 with expected loot. Maybe the PCs fight a bunch of corrupted forest monsters, giving no loot. Then the evil druid has tons. The last two fights are against the guys manipulating the evil druid, and then a boss battle with their boss. So only the druid, manipulators, and big boss have treasure for that level. 

Next level might be against a goblin mercenary troupe. Every one of them has magic gear, and worthwhile loot is dropped every encounter.  

"In a way, you are worse than Krusk"

"Can't say enough how much I agree with Krusk"

"Your advice is the worst"

I keep item wish-lists of my players and if these items fit into the story I might drop one of these. 2 of my 5 players dont have a list because they prefer to have "random" items dropped which are chosen by me. Non-magic items are in the loot sometimes, like a backpack or a canteen, ropes, tools, etc. More valuable things are silver & golden rings, necklaces, a crown maybe or a complete set of chess figures made of different valuable materials, precious hides etc.

Last time in a kobold lair I've dropped 2 different kinds of cheese... you cant imagine what this caused - the whole group was ripping the kobold lair apart to find the big cheese-hoard that the kobold boss was hiding somewhere, was really funny and I could add some nice situations.
Now my group owns the 2 great cheeses and is really proud of it... sometimes you dont need magic items to start a loot feverLaughing 



When you say cheese, do you mean actual cheese?
Cause that would be epic: ripping apart a dungoen just for cheese.
So going to do this with my players.

But treasure deviding with me is this: part wishlist, part just giving nice items and part knowing my players.
Example: when browsing through the adventurers vault i came across some gloves that boost fire spells. One of my players plays a pyromaniac wizard(what is it with wizards and fire XD, there are so much more options for a wizard) so i knew he would like it. Turns out he did, he actualy hugged me -.-'. I always try to keep magic items equally spread across the party so that it's even and not like player A has 1 item and player B 3. 
"Into the heart of battle, I shall walk In the eye of the storm, I will stand Onto the end of the earth, I shall hunt In defence of others, I shall fight For honour and glory, I will live And for justice, I would die"
Yea I mean cheese, like the stuff you eat. I used "Colby Cheese - 1/16th a cylendar of colby cheese. This cheese is similar to chedar but is softer and more moist." and "White Cheese - 1/16th a wheel of goat-cheese heavily salted. It is a soft cheese with a tart taste."

I'll also add a cheesecloth if they keep searching.
Our current DM just dropped a bit of loot that I thought was clever. A couple of expendable scrolls, with the ability to upgrade an armor or neck slot item with a +2 bonus to an equivalent item with a +3 bonus. The place we were looting wasn't big enough to contain actual armor, and shopping again is currently inconvenient, but a lot of people are happy with their current enchantments, so...