Monday, December 3, 2012

Roll Your Own Treasure Tables II - Dungeon-Specific Treasure Tables

To Part 1

The natural extension of the notion of creating custom treasure tables was to do so in a per-dungeon fashion, much as people do with random encounter tables.  This, however, seemed like it was going to be a ton of work, especially if I wanted to keep something resembling the original probability distribution for magic items.  Further, there are problems of variety with this approach.  It's reasonable for monsters for be very similar in a localized area, but finding a bunch of the same magic item strains the suspension of disbelief a bit; in particular, it seems like it could lead to some variety of an MMO-like "farming" ethos, where if you want item X you go to dungeon Y where it is known to 'drop'.  And that is something which I wish to avoid.

I think I have something of a solution, however.  Instead of building absolute lists for each dungeon, where an item can be found in the dungeon iff it's on the dungeon's list, I'm leaning towards instead building a "favored items" list for each dungeon.  In this case, the procedure would run as follows:
  • For each magic item, roll to see if it's a favored item with a ~20% probability at the same time that you roll for item type.
  • If the roll comes up unfavorable, roll as normal on the standard tables.
  • If it comes up favorable, check the dungeon favored items list, and see if the dungeon has a favored item of that type.  If it does, that item appears (or one selected at random from the set of favored items of that type).
  • If the dungeon has no favored item of the rolled type, proceed to the normal tables for items of that type.
This would let me add a degree of magic-item characterization to dungeons with little extra prep work, and with one additional roll made concurrently with the roll for item type.  Consider, for example, a list of favored items for a ruined temple of Artemis:

Potions: Animal Control, Healing
Ring: None
Scroll: Favored spell scrolls are Divine, written in Auran, and chosen from Bladedancer spell list, favored ward scrolls are against Lycanthropes.
Rod/Staff/Wand: Staff of Healing, one-time only.  None favored after Staff of Healing rolled.
Sword: None
Misc Magic: Eyes of the Eagle, Quiver of Many Arrows.  Both are one-time only.
Misc Weapons: Roll 1d20 on the Misc Weapons table (always magic arrows of some sort or another)
Armor: Favored armor is always Leather

So yeah, that took me about five minutes to throw together, and should do a nice job of somewhat altering the treasure distribution of the dungeon without turning it into a farm for a particular type of item (except possibly magic arrows, but the 20% chance of being favored is certainly not in the farmer's favor).

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