Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I'm Bored With My Treasure Parcels...

After the first few sessions of my current D&D campaign, I was unhappy with how the loot was turning out. I was following the information in the Dungeon Master's Guide on setting up the parcels, but it felt too generic and was easy on the players. On my next visit to my Friendly Local Game Store, I came across something that changed all that: GameMastery Cards.

These cards are great! I still give out the parcels but do not include all the gold or artworks that are expected. I replace those items by dealing out one treasure card per PC. Once the party starts checking out the goods and rolling Arcana checks, I roll a d20 to see if the item in question has magical properties (DC 15). Sometimes, depending on the actual item, I may "take a 20" if I come up with a good idea for it, but most of the time the magical properties are determined on the fly.

The party loves these cards and have even worked some of them into their back stories. Our Ranger has been looking for his father who had went away to war but never returned. One of the item cards was a military medal and upon seeing it, the player exclaimed "Hey! That's my dad's medal!"

Even though I have given these treasure card items values worth what should have been in the parcels, the players were not just happy to sell the loot and move on. The campaign is based around the merchant town of Everlund and like all good adventurers, the party wants the maximum payout for the stuff they bring back to town. So, instead of selling the loot, they've setup a shop in the market square and left the Dragonborn behind to run the shop (read: the player of the Dragonborn PC's work schedule changed and can't play but we didn't want to kill off the character). They check-in on the shop periodically to restock it with strange things found while adventuring, pickup their cut of what has sold since the last visit, and gather any new information the Dragonborn may have procured in their absence.

If you're ever in Everlund, be sure to stop by Thunderheart's Oddities and Antiquities in the market square. There's always something interesting to find and the old Dragonborn Paladin has some great stories to tell anyone willing to listen.

  • Are you content with the way the treasure parcels are setup in 4E?

  • What have you done to spice up your treasure parcels?

  • Have you used other decks or cards for anything in your games?

Let me know in the comments!

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