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Friday’s 4e Freebie: Treasure Generators

Contentment is the greatest treasure. ~ Lao Tzu, Chinese Philosopher
Outta my way, that treasure is mine! ~ Every Dwarven Philosopher

Creating Treasure, in my opinion, is possibly one of the most obnoxious tasks I have to do as a DM.  The only other thing that could rank higher on my list of “annoying DM things” is Mapping.  I love writing content, plotting adventure arcs, creating encounters and new monsters – heck I even enjoy making up new magic items – but I hate the tediousness of figuring out what to hand out after the dust settles and the blood stops flying around the combat.

Cash treasures are easy, they are pretty much a no-brainer.  But those Magic Item Parcels can be really tedious sometimes.  And compounding the problem of creating Treasure Parcels is the vast number of sources  for Magic Items that D&D 4e DMs have access to: Player’s Handbook, Adventuer’s Vault, Adventurer’s Vault 2, Dragon Magazine, et cetera, et cetera.  Throw in Third Party Content under the 4e GSL, and now you’re swimming in piles of books, and scrounging through Dragon Magazines, and you wonder why you volunteered to be DM in the first place!

Thankfully, there are a couple good choices out there to save time and effort when it comes to creating Treasures, and so I am dedicating this Friday’s 4e Freebie to Random Treasure Generators!

Random Treasure Generator v2.3 by Shawn Pflueger

I stumbled across this generator on the EN World forums and had to check it out.  As anyone having read last week’s Friday Freebie on Weather Generators knows, I have a personal preference for downloadable applications, as opposed to web-based apps, so that I can use them at any game I bring my laptop.  Random Treasure Generator v2.3 is available for download at Dark Tales and Good Times website and consists of two files: Random Treasure Generator v2.3.zip and Treasure.zip.  Make sure to scroll down to pick up and install Treasure.zip as it contains a lot of additional source material from Dragons 365 & 369, Adventurer’s Vault and Adventurer’s Vault 2, Player’s Handbook 2, Manual of the Planes, and Buck-A-Patch Magic Armor.  You just unzip the generator, then the additional source treasure, make a short cut, and you’re ready to make piles of loot.

One additional and really quite exciting feature I should mention here is the ability to modify the random tables to include homegrown magic items you create, or those you find in Third Party GSL sources.  There is a pdf instruction manual for doing this in the Treasure.zip download, and it’s a pretty straightforward process.

The interface is simple and easy to use, and you can select, via checkboxes, the sources you do not want to use.  It generates 10 Treasure Parcels based upon the Level of the Adventurers and the number of Heroes you have in your group.  You can remove from the random mix certain Item Types (like orbs or bracers), or even specific Weapon and Armor Categories (like Javelins and Starweave Armor), so you can make a set of treasure parcels more in line with the Class Types you have in your campaign.  Once you generate a list, you can “copy/paste” the output in plain text to add to whatever document writer you use when authoring your adventures.  Here is a sample output of Treasure Parcels generated for a First Level Party of Five Adventurers:

  • 1: [Level 4] Bloodcut +1 Leather Armor (Player`s Handbook p. 227, Player`s Handbook p. 214)
  • 2: 1 Potion of Healing (Player`s Handbook p.255), 130 gp
  • 3: 100 gp + 200 sp
  • 4: 1 Potion of Healing (Player`s Handbook p.255), 70 gp
  • 5: 60 gp
  • 6: 40 gp
  • 7: 1 [Level 5]Alchemical Silver (Adventurer`s Vault p.23), 150 gp
  • 8: [Level 5] Heroic Stag Helm (Adventurer`s Vault p. 145)
  • 9: [Level 2] Razor +1 Scale Armor (Player`s Handbook p. 231, Player`s Handbook p. 214)
  • 10: [Level 3] Wand of Radiance +1 (Adventurer`s Vault p. 112)

The only flaw I found, and I consider it fairly minor, was that Treasure Parcels were not generated in order as they would appear in the DMG, which can make it a bit tricky if you’ve already assigned a particular parcel to an Encounter, and then generate it randomly using the application.  But that aside, this is a very nice app to have behind the DM screen, and I definitely hope the author keeps up with future Official content.

Quartermaster by Ian Toltz

Quartermaster is a webased random treasure generator located on Asmor.com under the Scripts & Programs section.  I found this web app while I was downloading his Monster Maker application, and he has a number of apps that are worth taking a look.  Quartermaster has many of the same features as Random Treasure Generator v2.3, such as filtering and excluding Treasure sources, Item Types, and Weapons (but not Armor), but one of it’s best features size of its list of sources.

In addition to the sources referenced in the previously mentioned treasure generator, Quartermaster includes the Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide, Dragons 364 to 371, and Dungeons 155 to 162 are all included, as well as magic items from modules like P1 King of the Trollhaunt Warrens, P2 Demon Queen’s Enclave and Treasure of Talon Pass.  While you can’t add in homegrown or other magic items to the random tables, the sheer volume of source material is pretty amazing.  Those filter checkboxes can really come in handy if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed!

The output is standard webpage HTML, which admittedly can be a pain to remember to filter out when you copy/paste.  But conveniently, each item has a link to DDI Compendium, so that you can look it up if you happen to be a D&D Insider subscriber.  And another nifty feature is the ability to re-roll any magic item, by simply clicking a little dice icon next to the items name.   Here is a sample output from the script:

  1. [Level 5 Magic Item]: Tattoo of Vengeance (Dragon 370, page 32 [Playtest: Adventurer's Vault 2]) (DDI)
  2. [Level 4 Magic Item]: Symbol of Vengeance +1 (Adventurer’s Vault, page 91 [Holy Symbols]) (DDI)
  3. [Level 3 Magic Item]: Master’s Wand of Thunderwave +1 (Adventurer’s Vault, page 110 [Wands]) (DDI)
  4. [Level 2 Magic Item]: Rod of Deadly Casting +1 (Dragon 365, page 14 [Playtest: Artificer]) (DDI)
  5. [201.6 gp]: 160 cp + 2 pearl gems (100 gp each)
  6. [180 gp]: 178 gp, 16 sp, 40 cp
  7. [122.4 gp]: 15 gp, 70 sp, 40 cp + 1 turqoise (100 gp)
  8. [122.4 gp]: 17 gp, 47 sp, 70 cp + 1 amber (100 gp)
  9. [57.6 gp]: 54 gp, 33 sp, 30 cp
  10. [43.2 gp]: 38 gp, 49 sp, 30 cp

You’ll note that Quartermaster keeps the output of the Treasure Parcels in order, which was a minor flaw in the previously generator.

Conclusion

So whether you prefer to use downloadable applications or web-based ones, both of these programs have a lot to offer to a busy DM who wants manage his adventure authoring time better and more effectively.  Drawing from a wide array of Official source materials, your Treasure Parcels are guaranteed to be filled with exciting variety, and will keep your Player’s guessing what the heck they just found!

And so until next blog, I wish you Happy Gaming!


About The Author

Editor-in-Chief
Michael is an Adept of a Secret Order of Dungeon Masters, and dwells in a hidden realm with his two evil cat-familiars, deep within the Vale of Wolverines, called by some "Michigan". He has been esoterically conjuring D&D Campaigns for nearly a Third of a Century, and has been known to cast ritual blogs concerning Dungeons & Dragons every few days with some regularity. Michael has freelanced for Wizards of the Coast, and writes reviews of D&D and other Role-Playing Game products on EN World News.

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