Random Encounter Item Drops

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I put this list together for my players so that when they finish an encounter there is always a chance that they will get some good gear. I wanted to make it so that there is roughly a 1/1000 chance of getting an Artifact (which seems high, but I'm fairly sure it will rarely / never happen... my dice don't like the players that much.)

The aim of this system is to roll this BEFORE the encounter starts and allow the most powerful target in the group, that way the players can have a chance to see the item in use prior to the fight... it also makes it possible for a Troll to be wielding a Vorpal Blade... which I think might be funny.


Random Loot Drop Formula
1-5 Nothing
6-7 Equipment
8 Armor
9 Weapons
0 Magic Item



Armor Type
1 Cloth Armor
2 Leather Armor
3 Hide Armor
4 Chainmail
5 Scale Armor
6 Plate Armor
7 Shield
8 Reroll



Weapon Type
1 Simple Melee Weapons
2 Military Melee Weapons
3 Superior Melee Weapons
4 Ranged Weapons


Simple Melee Weapons
1 Club
2 Dagger
3 Javelin
4 Mace
5 Sickle
6 Spear
7 Greatclub
8 Quarterstaff
9 Scythe
0 Reroll


Military Melee Weapons
1 Battleaxe
2 Flail
3 Handaxe
4 Longsword
5 Scimitar
6 Shortsword
7 Throwing Hammer
8 Warhammer
9 War Pick
10 Falchion
11 Glaive
12 Greataxe
13 Greatsword
14 Halberd
15 Heavy Flail
16 Longspear
17 Maul
18 Reroll
19 Reroll
20 Reroll


Superior Melee Weapons
1 Bastard Sword
2 Katar
3 Rapier
4 Spiked Chain


Ranged Weapons
1 Hand Crossbow
2 Sling
3 Crossbow
4 Longbow
5 Shortbow
6 Shuriken



Magic Item Random Roll Listing


Magic Item Type (1d100)
1-5 Cursed Item
6-39 Mundane Item
40-59 Magic Armor
60-79 Magic Weapon
80-89 Magic Item (Holy Symbol, Orb, Wand, Rod, Staff, etc)
90-95 Magic Gear (Arm, Feet, Hands, Head, neck, Waist, etc)
96-99 Wondrous Item
100 Artifact


Item Level: (1d20)
1-2 -2 Levels
3-6 -1 Levels
7-14 0 Levels
15-18 +1 Levels
19-20 +1 Levels


Magic Armor Table (Roll for Armor Type as above)
Roll dice appropriate for the item's Magic Level by how many there are. (Dice as mentioned)
1 Item - No roll
2 Items - 1d4 (1-2/3-4)
3 Items - 1d6 (1-2/3-4/5-6)
4 Items - 1d4 (1/2/3/4)
5 Items - 1d10 (1-2/3-4/5-6/7-8/9-0)
6 Items - 1d6 (1/2/3/4/5/6)
7 Items - 1d8 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/Reroll)
8 Items - 1d8 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8)
9 Items - 1d10 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/Reroll)
10 Items - 1d10 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/0)


Magic Weapon Table (Roll for Weapon Type as above)
Roll dice appropriate for the item's Magic Level by how many there are. (Dice as mentioned)
1 Item - No roll
2 Items - 1d4 (1-2/3-4)
3 Items - 1d6 (1-2/3-4/5-6)
4 Items - 1d4 (1/2/3/4)
5 Items - 1d10 (1-2/3-4/5-6/7-8/9-0)
6 Items - 1d6 (1/2/3/4/5/6)
7 Items - 1d8 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/Reroll)
8 Items - 1d8 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8)
9 Items - 1d10 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/Reroll)
10 Items - 1d10 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/0)


Magic Item Table (1d10)
1-2 Holy Symbol
3-4 Orbs
5-6 Rods
7-8 Staffs
9-0 Wands


Holy Symbol Table
Roll dice appropriate for the item's Magic Level by how many there are. (Dice as mentioned)
1 Item - No roll
2 Items - 1d4 (1-2/3-4)
3 Items - 1d6 (1-2/3-4/5-6)
4 Items - 1d4 (1/2/3/4)
5 Items - 1d10 (1-2/3-4/5-6/7-8/9-0)
6 Items - 1d6 (1/2/3/4/5/6)
7 Items - 1d8 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/Reroll)
8 Items - 1d8 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8)
9 Items - 1d10 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/Reroll)
10 Items - 1d10 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/0)


Orb Table
Roll dice appropriate for the item's Magic Level by how many there are. (Dice as mentioned)
1 Item - No roll
2 Items - 1d4 (1-2/3-4)
3 Items - 1d6 (1-2/3-4/5-6)
4 Items - 1d4 (1/2/3/4)
5 Items - 1d10 (1-2/3-4/5-6/7-8/9-0)
6 Items - 1d6 (1/2/3/4/5/6)
7 Items - 1d8 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/Reroll)
8 Items - 1d8 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8)
9 Items - 1d10 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/Reroll)
10 Items - 1d10 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/0)


Rod Table
Roll dice appropriate for the item's Magic Level by how many there are. (Dice as mentioned)
1 Item - No roll
2 Items - 1d4 (1-2/3-4)
3 Items - 1d6 (1-2/3-4/5-6)
4 Items - 1d4 (1/2/3/4)
5 Items - 1d10 (1-2/3-4/5-6/7-8/9-0)
6 Items - 1d6 (1/2/3/4/5/6)
7 Items - 1d8 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/Reroll)
8 Items - 1d8 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8)
9 Items - 1d10 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/Reroll)
10 Items - 1d10 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/0)


Staff Table
Roll dice appropriate for the item's Magic Level by how many there are. (Dice as mentioned)
1 Item - No roll
2 Items - 1d4 (1-2/3-4)
3 Items - 1d6 (1-2/3-4/5-6)
4 Items - 1d4 (1/2/3/4)
5 Items - 1d10 (1-2/3-4/5-6/7-8/9-0)
6 Items - 1d6 (1/2/3/4/5/6)
7 Items - 1d8 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/Reroll)
8 Items - 1d8 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8)
9 Items - 1d10 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/Reroll)
10 Items - 1d10 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/0)


Wand Table
Roll dice appropriate for the item's Magic Level by how many there are. (Dice as mentioned)
1 Item - No roll
2 Items - 1d4 (1-2/3-4)
3 Items - 1d6 (1-2/3-4/5-6)
4 Items - 1d4 (1/2/3/4)
5 Items - 1d10 (1-2/3-4/5-6/7-8/9-0)
6 Items - 1d6 (1/2/3/4/5/6)
7 Items - 1d8 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/Reroll)
8 Items - 1d8 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8)
9 Items - 1d10 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/Reroll)
10 Items - 1d10 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/0)



Magic Gear Table
1 Arms Slot
2 Feet Slot
3 Hands Slot
4 Head Slot
5 Neck Slot
6 Waist Slot


Arms Slot Table
Roll dice appropriate for the item's Magic Level by how many there are. (Dice as mentioned)
1 Item - No roll
2 Items - 1d4 (1-2/3-4)
3 Items - 1d6 (1-2/3-4/5-6)
4 Items - 1d4 (1/2/3/4)
5 Items - 1d10 (1-2/3-4/5-6/7-8/9-0)
6 Items - 1d6 (1/2/3/4/5/6)
7 Items - 1d8 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/Reroll)
8 Items - 1d8 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8)
9 Items - 1d10 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/Reroll)
10 Items - 1d10 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/0)


Feet Slot Table
Roll dice appropriate for the item's Magic Level by how many there are. (Dice as mentioned)
1 Item - No roll
2 Items - 1d4 (1-2/3-4)
3 Items - 1d6 (1-2/3-4/5-6)
4 Items - 1d4 (1/2/3/4)
5 Items - 1d10 (1-2/3-4/5-6/7-8/9-0)
6 Items - 1d6 (1/2/3/4/5/6)
7 Items - 1d8 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/Reroll)
8 Items - 1d8 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8)
9 Items - 1d10 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/Reroll)
10 Items - 1d10 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/0)


Hands Slot Table
Roll dice appropriate for the item's Magic Level by how many there are. (Dice as mentioned)
1 Item - No roll
2 Items - 1d4 (1-2/3-4)
3 Items - 1d6 (1-2/3-4/5-6)
4 Items - 1d4 (1/2/3/4)
5 Items - 1d10 (1-2/3-4/5-6/7-8/9-0)
6 Items - 1d6 (1/2/3/4/5/6)
7 Items - 1d8 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/Reroll)
8 Items - 1d8 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8)
9 Items - 1d10 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/Reroll)
10 Items - 1d10 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/0)


Head Slot Table
Roll dice appropriate for the item's Magic Level by how many there are. (Dice as mentioned)
1 Item - No roll
2 Items - 1d4 (1-2/3-4)
3 Items - 1d6 (1-2/3-4/5-6)
4 Items - 1d4 (1/2/3/4)
5 Items - 1d10 (1-2/3-4/5-6/7-8/9-0)
6 Items - 1d6 (1/2/3/4/5/6)
7 Items - 1d8 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/Reroll)
8 Items - 1d8 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8)
9 Items - 1d10 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/Reroll)
10 Items - 1d10 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/0)


Neck Slot Table
Roll dice appropriate for the item's Magic Level by how many there are. (Dice as mentioned)
1 Item - No roll
2 Items - 1d4 (1-2/3-4)
3 Items - 1d6 (1-2/3-4/5-6)
4 Items - 1d4 (1/2/3/4)
5 Items - 1d10 (1-2/3-4/5-6/7-8/9-0)
6 Items - 1d6 (1/2/3/4/5/6)
7 Items - 1d8 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/Reroll)
8 Items - 1d8 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8)
9 Items - 1d10 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/Reroll)
10 Items - 1d10 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/0)


Waist Slot Table
Roll dice appropriate for the item's Magic Level by how many there are. (Dice as mentioned)
1 Item - No roll
2 Items - 1d4 (1-2/3-4)
3 Items - 1d6 (1-2/3-4/5-6)
4 Items - 1d4 (1/2/3/4)
5 Items - 1d10 (1-2/3-4/5-6/7-8/9-0)
6 Items - 1d6 (1/2/3/4/5/6)
7 Items - 1d8 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/Reroll)
8 Items - 1d8 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8)
9 Items - 1d10 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/Reroll)
10 Items - 1d10 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/0)



Wondrous Item Table
Roll dice appropriate for the item's Magic Level by how many there are. (Dice as mentioned)
1 Item - No roll
2 Items - 1d4 (1-2/3-4)
3 Items - 1d6 (1-2/3-4/5-6)
4 Items - 1d4 (1/2/3/4)
5 Items - 1d10 (1-2/3-4/5-6/7-8/9-0)
6 Items - 1d6 (1/2/3/4/5/6)
7 Items - 1d8 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/Reroll)
8 Items - 1d8 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8)
9 Items - 1d10 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/Reroll)
10 Items - 1d10 (1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/0)



Artifact Table
There is no Artifact Table. Rather, when you roll an Artifact it is your duty as the DM to distribute one Artifact to a player of your choice. This item can be literally any item that will help progress the story and does not necisserily have to be amiable to the player who receives it. Examples of Artifacts include: Blessed Defender of Law, The Sunsword, Book of Infinate Spells, The Deck of Many Things, Hammer of Thunderbolts, Jacinth of Inestimable Beauty, The Shadowstaff, Shield of Prator, and many others. All Artifacts should contain some story behind them, so when designing a custom Artifact for players, be sure to include information that they can roll skill checks and in the future be able to have others tell them about the item.


 
This looks like a great idea for a computerized type game.  Not so much for 4e.  Really, you should have a firm grip on what you are giving your players and this sort of goes directly against that idea.

But, to each their own I guess. 
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Or you could simply use the random loot tables in the DM's Kit....

Or the parcel system provided in the DMG....

Both of these provide the expected amount of treasure for the players (or near enough) without dropping "vendor trash."

Vendor trash is fine in mmos and computer games where you are expected and encouraged to grind away for the chance at the "phat lewtz."

You only get together with your friends once or twice a week for a few hours of your time, wouldn't you rather be having an awesome role-playing session instead of a grindfest? If you were planning on grinding away encounters for cool drops, you could have all stayed at home, logged into WoW and teamed up on-line.

Our sessions can be so much more memorable and meaningful, thanks in large part to the efforts of the DMs who take the time and care to craft great stories with great encounters and great rewards.

I look at it this way. Arthur was trained and squired as a swordsman. What if, that day, he had gone to the stone expecting to find Caliburn, and instead he received Axcalibur, a weapon for which he was untrained and unsuited, and not the Sword of Kings?

Time to come out of the seventies. Treasure selected and placed with care by the GM beats random drops any day of the week.
What Malak said.
The aim of this system is to roll this BEFORE the encounter starts and allow the most powerful target in the group, that way the players can have a chance to see the item in use prior to the fight... it also makes it possible for a Troll to be wielding a Vorpal Blade... which I think might be funny.

I like this part. It's cool to incorporate the loot into the encounter so the party can get excited.

Unfortunately, it's hard to get excited about something you can't use, and it's not fun for anyone to spend 20% of the session on what's basically bookkeeping. Making things too random is going to hurt the party - game math assumes the party is getting decent equipment they can use as they level up. This is assuming you're talking about 4e here.

I prefer making short lists of items appropriate for each character in the party, and then cross-referencing those with what would actually make sense for them to find in that setting.
I put this list together for my players so that when they finish an encounter there is always a chance that they will get some good gear. I wanted to make it so that there is roughly a 1/1000 chance of getting an Artifact (which seems high, but I'm fairly sure it will rarely / never happen... my dice don't like the players that much.)



Yeah, no.

At ~10 encounters per level, in every tier you should expect a 10% chance of an artifact dropping.  That's pretty high.  The odds of a character *not* seeing a randomly dropped artifact in his lifetime is only about 70%.

Also:  While I abhor the phrase "vendor trash", that's kinda what this is going to produce.  Still, there's nothing wrong with some parts of the cash value of things found being in the form of "things that need to be sold", and that often means magic items.  And I don't mind dropping a "useless" magic item or two, as long as it's clear that the useless item isn't occupying a treasure slot, it's occupying a 20% (or 50%, if you're using that) cash slot and if the players find a use for it then yahtzee, they profit.
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There is a 1/10 chance that you get ANY magical item and a 1/100 chance that you get an Artifact. I know I failed math, but 1/10 and 1/100 equals up to 1/1000. Not sure how you guys got your math done, but that's how mine rolled.

ANYWAYS!

I have a slight update for specific groups, that one was a bit computerized. Now I go through their characters and find level appropriate items that they can use and I make a full list of them. I try to get 2 items per character plus a few items that they might be able to use (healing potions and such). Then when an encounter is over I roll a D20, if it's >5 then I roll the D10 and see what magical items there are to be found. Works out rather nice and it makes it so that my team is quickly gaining magical items. We've done five encounters with this system and so far four items have been divied out.

On a few encounters (like ones where they are facing a powerful alchemist or another paladin) I will include a magical item automatically, but for the most part with small random encounters, this system is working out quite nicely. 
The current chart I'm using for my L1 Essentials group is thus

1 - Plate Armor of Cleansing +1
2 - Heavy Shield of Deflection +1
3 - Hearthroot Staff +1
4 - Cloth Armor of cleansing +1
5 - Hexer's Rod +1
6 - Hero's Cloth Armor +1 
7 - Chainmail Armor of Durability +1
8 - Holy Symbol of Life +1
9 - Potion of Healing
10 - Dungeon Map

When an item is claimed, I either add in a mundane item or I make the reward something simple like extra gold or an item that players may be able to use to help with a further quest. 
There is a 1/10 chance that you get ANY magical item and a 1/100 chance that you get an Artifact. I know I failed math, but 1/10 and 1/100 equals up to 1/1000. Not sure how you guys got your math done, but that's how mine rolled.


Yes, you did fail at the math, because they said exactly what you said, but applied it to more than a single encounter.

And at 10 encounters per level, that's 10/1000 = 1/100 chance of getting an artifact per level.

And at 10 levels per tier, that's 10/100 = 1/10 = 10% chance of getting an artifact per tier.

Which, if you want that sort of thing, is fine.

A couple of questions:

(1) Is this a single roll for the entire party, or one for each PC, or one for each NPC?

(2) What do you mean by "Roll dice appropriate for the item's Magic Level by how many there are. (Dice as mentioned)" because all of those charts that have that subtitle are identical and they don't make any sense at all as to what you're actually rolling for or why.

(3) Regarding your "updated" system:
(a) How many players are in your group?
(b) When you say you roll a d10 after rolling the d20, are you rolling against the specific-item list (like you show in post #8) or are you back to rolling on one of those other lists?

If it's the former (I'm guessing it is, but I may have misunderstood utterly), that's a 75% chance of getting an item per encounter, or 750% chance over the course of a level.  Which means that, unless you have a Party of 4, you're not going to succeed in getting your characters their 2 items per level that you're aiming for.  (Which is twice as high as what the game's designed for, but, again, some people like lots of loot, so more power to you.)

As for the naysayers:
The random loot system, for magic items, is the same for every level: on a 13 or higher on a d20, a magic item is part of the reward for the party.

Which means that it's a 40% chance of getting a magic item for each encounter, assuming a party of 5 (±10% for each player over or under that amount).  Half of the chances are Common, one less than half are Uncommon, and 1 chance out of however many is Rare.

Using the Party of 5 as the default, that's a 20% chance at a Common magic item, 15% chance of Uncommon, 5% chance of Rare, per encounter.

Over a Level, that's 50% chance of getting a Rare item, 150% chance of getting an Uncommon, and 200% chance of getting a Common item.  Per player, that's:  10% for Rare, 30% for Uncommon, 40% for common.

Thus, if the roll Gage is talking about is per player per encounter, there's only a slightly lower chance for someone to get a magic item at all (100% for his system, 80% for the random loot system).  And matching odds for a Rare item in the random loot system vs an Artifact in Gage's original system.  And, frankly, there's not much difference between the two, as far as I'm concerned.

(Note:  Yes, I know that I fudged those statistics some; but it was a quick and dirty work-up.  It's fairly obvious what I was meaning when I said what I said, and I don't need any statisticians coming through and picking nits.  It serves the purposes of what was needed.)
There is a 1/10 chance that you get ANY magical item and a 1/100 chance that you get an Artifact. I know I failed math, but 1/10 and 1/100 equals up to 1/1000. Not sure how you guys got your math done, but that's how mine rolled.



I'm counting the number of rolls.

At 1/1000 chance of an artifact, that's a 999/1000 chance of NOT getting an artifact, per encounter.

At 10 encounters per level, that's a (999/1000)^10 chance of NOT getting an artifact, per level.  Which is about 99%

At 10 levels per tier, that's a (999/1000)^100  chance of NOT getting an artifact, per tier.  That's about 90%.

At 3 tiers per L1-30 character lifetime, that's a (999/1000)^300 chance of NOT getting a random artifact.  Which is about 70%.

Now I go through their characters and find level appropriate items that they can use and I make a full list of them.



That's a better way of doing things
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