Saturday, November 10, 2018

Creating a Catacomb Hoard


In a recent session the party came upon an ancient burial. Each of the eighty bodies had a weapon, wore armor, shield and each one had a coffer under their head. For sadistic reasons I decided I'd roll each of the corpses separately to determine and exact loot. I should add I am using the B/X Essentials ruleset.

One of the things I needed to determine was the condition of each piece of equipment. I had recently bought Table Fables by Madeline Hale, she had a straight 1d6 table to determine condition. But since these items were hundreds of years old, I wanted the results to skew towards broken or damaged. Here's what I came up with.

2d6     Condition
  2       New
3-4     Used
5-6     Poor (-1)
7-8     Damaged (-2)
9-12   Broken

The condition changes the protection of the armor and damage of the weapons. In my game the poor quality items can be repaired for 10% of the original cost, and damaged items can be repaired for 20% of the original cost. Broken items could be sold for scrap. (i.e. A poor quality suit of chain mail protects at +3AC, not +4, but could be repaired for

Then I created tables for armor type and weapons. For the shield, I created a table to determine the material. 

2d6     Armor
  2       Padded Cloth (+1 AC)
3-6      Leather (+2 AC)
7-8      Studded Leather (+3 AC)
9-10    Chain Mail (+4 AC)
 11      Scale Male (+5 AC)
 12      Plate Mail (+6 AC)

2d6     Weapons
 2-3     Two-handed sword
 4-5     Battle Axe
 6-8     Long Sword
 9-10   Spear
11-12  Bow

2d6     Shield Material
 2-3     Bronze
 4-6     Iron
7-11    Wood
  12     Steel

This system worked well. I considered any 'new' condition result as that item was magical or made of hard silver, a material in my campaign. Hard silver takes on enchantments.

Then to decide what was in the coffers I used treasure type C from the 1st edition Monster Manual. I use a silver standard, if electrum was rolled I replaced it with hard silver pieces. The Northmen used this as a special currency. For game terms, 1hsp equals 5sp. If enough hard silver is collected they can be made into a weapon, armor, or whatever item the players want. I also changed the amounts of coins from the 1000s to 10s.

Copper: 20% chance to find, 1d12.
Silver: 30% chance to find, 1d6.
Electrum (turned into hard silver): 10% chance to find, 1d4.
Gems: 25% chance to find, 1d6.
Jewelry: 20% chance to find, 1d3.
Maps of Magic Items: 10% chance to find, any 2.

With the jewelry and gems, I used the condition table to determine the value. If broken, the metal was scrap or the broken gems could be used as a spell component. On a damaged result the value was in 10s, poor in the 100s, used in  the 1000s, and the result was new, I considered the gem or jewelry magical.

If corpse came up empty, I created mundane items. Some worth something, most were token items. A poor Northmen gets a pint of ale and drinking horn at the minimum. For the mundane items opened different books picked out an item here and there then added them to mix.

It took a lot of time to create this list, but it worked well. The players will need the resources for the next leg of the campaign. They are 2nd and 3rd level characters attempting to establish their  a temple, a mage tower, and a trading post in a very hostile region.

Disclosure 
The links are affiliate links. I like both products a lot. If you do go for B/X Essentials I suggest the print option, then you get the PDFs for free. Well worth it.

And if you like Table Fables, there is a second book, conveniently named Table Fables II, that focuses on World Building. Also worth grabbing.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Anatomy of Adventure Writing, Part 2: Room Description



I did a second part to my series, Anatomy of Adventure Writing where I break down an adventure into parts. This one focuses on room description. I come at this from my perspective and how I prefer and how I think good adventures are written. And if you missed part one, Introductions and GM Notes, here is the link.