Thursday, May 10, 2012

Player-Made Treasure

Last session the party made it back to, what seems now like, an abandoned pirate cove.  They'd taken some gold from it before.  Now that they knew about the hidden cove they docked in it and finished exploring. 

I had down a gold amount that the pirates were worth based on their xp times 3. Last visit they found about half of it in silver coins and general goods.  This time I didn't want to just say "you find 400 more sp."  But I hadn't prepped enough to have interesting treasures ready.  And it was late, the end of the session, and to make them wait to see what they had found would be completely anti-climactic.  So I asked my players "If you could find one cool piece of jewellery what would it be?"  I was remembering back to my early D&D days when gems to me were not just something to be cashed in I decorated my cloak pins, and weapons with them etc.  So I was thinking the players might actually want to keep and wear something they chose themselves.  One picked a diadem, another an onyx ring, an emerald ring, and can't remember the last.

This isn't something I'd want to do often.  Exploration is my big love and for exploration to work you have to believe there is something there to find.  If I let you tell me what you find every time, I don't know, exploration ceases to exist in some way.  So, if I do this again it will be rare.  But it was a cool change and the party seemed to like the chance to choose their winnings.


  1. Another way to do this without breaking the fourth wall is to have NPCs that will give rewards based on what the PCs want. For example, a rich merchant could commission custom jewelry for the PCs. That being said, I realize that this was an explicit exercise in breaking the fourth wall.

  2. Hey, thanks for that. How do you usually work that though, have it as a reward up front with an adventure hook?

    1. It could go either way. I have done it up front (that gives players a chance to negotiate) or surprise them after they have accomplished something.

  3. Actually, i thought your solution was on the one hand elegantly used and on the other has lots of potential - just how, exactly, did your adventurers' hearts' desires just happen to be in that treasure? my first thought was that there was some treasure-producing entity within the room, unseen, fabricating those things your adventurers wanted - and that carrying such items (or illusions of items?) would have some sort of consequences in future sessions (good or bad).

  4. Cool. Maybe the pirates are actually compelled to steal the party's most desired items.