Thursday, January 20, 2011

Random Treasure Generation Spawning Adventure Hooks

So, I picked up the Gems and Jewels treasure supplements from Faster Monkey Games today.  Great supplements.  I'm heading off to Colorado for the weekend for a wedding, so between that and schoolwork, I doubt I'll have time to write a review for the blog.  Still, they are a combined $4 and provide some neat flavor for the game.  What I didn't expect was it can also generate some plot hooks!

I really dig Swords & Wizardry's random treasure system, so I used it for this experiment.  I just picked an Ogre Mage at random from the monster list, which gives a 600gp base.  I got one 100gp trade out that ended up being 142gp worth of gems and jewelry.  I picked a 100gp gem and 42gp worth of jewelry.

Before I share the results, I'm using the alternate currency system from an issue of Footprints which will have my Sovereign Crowns (the gold piece) worth 250 Silver Pennies, so the final numbers might look a little strange.  Anyway, here is what we've got:
  • 20 Sovereign Crowns
  • A huge (egg-sized) Blue Spinel, with a Star of poor quality (4 Crowns)
  • Man’s Heraldic Banded Copper Ring with a Shield Pattern with an 8-point Coronet  (Size 2) (30 Pennies)
  • Woman’s Plain Silver Signet Ring (40 Pennies) with a channel of 20 Flawless Pea-Sized Onyxes (10 Pennies each)  (Size 2) (1 Crown, 40 Pennies)
An 8-point Coronet on a ring is significant, since the system can only generate up to 9-point coronets.  This is likely the ring of a Prince.  Why would a prince have such a ring of such low value?  I have two thoughts:

1.) It's really old--before the Kingdom had really nice things.
2.) It's simple because of modesty/piety of the prince OR it was his "war ring," since he wouldn't take his really nice things on campaign with him.

Either way, it'll be very difficult to pawn the Prince's jewelry.  How the Ogre Mage came into possession of the ring is curious and can generate stories.  The woman's ring, on the other hand, could very well be the ghetto fabulous accoutrement of a wealthy merchant's wife.  Would the merchant want the ring back?  Is his wife alive?  Did he feed her to the Ogre Mage?

Or, you could reverse engineer the adventure from these--Maybe the prince or wife commissioned the PCs to look for the items.  Maybe their families were concerned about their absence.  What did the Ogre Mage DO with the bodies?  Are they dungeon dressing?  Slaves somewhere?  Willing co-conspirators?

Anyway, check out the treasure generators.  I love them.