If there’s one thing Playable Characters like more than setting things on fire, it’s treasure. It’s an incredible motivator and not giving out enough treasure is a great way to make PCs grumpy. Give out too much, though, and suddenly their power will spiral out of control! Here are some tips to help you give out just the right amount of treasure in your game.
- Money is always good. If you don’t know what sort of loot the players want, money is an easy solution.
- Consider what level the players are when handing out rewards. D&D 5th edition doesn’t have a “wealth-by-level” table like previous editions, but common sense suggests that a 1st level party shouldn’t be taking home 50,000 gp treasure hoards.
- Not all enemies “drop gold” when they die. Rewards can be squirreled away in hidden alcoves, treasure rooms, and in trapped chambers. What other creative ways can you think of to make collecting treasure a puzzle of its own?
- Players love magic items and equipment.
- It’s easy to tell how valuable a certain piece of magical equipment is. In D&D, it’s by its rarity tag. Common and Uncommon treasure is fit for low-level characters, and Rare and Very Rare for high-level characters. Save Legendary and Artifact items for major plot events.
- Don’t dole out big rewards too often, or they start to lose their impact.
- Don’t be afraid to make your own loot! If you’re worried about balance, there are plenty of RPG gurus online who will be happy to help you balance your item.
- Money and magic are the most obvious rewards, but what about other forms of treasure?
- Bonus experience can be a great incentive for plot-related achievements.
- Art pieces and contraband can be seeded with plot hooks for future adventures.
- Political alliances and favors are great for campaigns that focus on war or intrigue.
- Boons, such as powerful charms, holy blessings, and mutations give players a very personal reward.
- New forms of transportation, such as flying mounts (to take a page from World of Warcraft), as they are both practical and serve as a status symbol.
Of course, these are just the basic tips written out in a handy list format. If you need more detail, check out the video above with Critical Role’s illustrious DM, Matt Mercer.
We’ll have more Game Master Tips every Friday, so stay tuned!!