GRENDEL MENDEL II: An Applied Example of Punnett Squares For Monster Design

Good enemy design, enviornmental complications,
& NPC goals make for good fights

Here is a practical application of my Punnett Squares For Monster Design idea.

In a few posts I have alluded to trying to design a dungeon called The Black Keep. The first level of that dungeon is a classic ruined moat-house-turned-bandit-camp. So there is a lot of opportunity for bandits to appear and and a lot of opportunities make them a bit better than the standard stat block below:

Bandit: AC 13, HD 1, 1 x weapon (1d6), MV 40, ML 8

Looking back at the Punnet Square post we have four categories again: melee x damage, melee x special, ranged x damage, ranged x special

Right off the bat I don't want to have to think about making groups bandits. I want to be able to roll 3-6 d8's for hit-points and go from there. How about hit points rolled determine the catagory on the Punnet Square?

Given that ranged enemies require extra effort for PCs to get to them and melee enemies need some extra HP to get to survive first contact, we can arrange things like so that "ranged" is the lower 50% of hit die and "melee" is the upper 50%. I like putting the "specials" on the end of the hit die, upper and lower 25%, allowing for a strong flavor in those catagories with them appearing too frequently.



Developing "mobs" and the "leader"

The Rot Hounds are people overtaxed, pushed off lands, and/or former rank-and-file military who have been screwed by nobility. They also have a supply of carnivorous frogs. So this can inform the square.

Rot Hounds Punnet Square 
Behavior: Can be bribed; capture magic-users for Henry

1-2 hp Ranged x Special: AC 10 Spear +Frogling 1x attack 
3-4 hp Ranged x Damage: AC 12 Short Bow & Dagger; will stay at range then run if able
5-6 hp Melee x Damage: AC 12 Sickles & Spears
7-8 hp Melee x Special: AC 14 Two-handed axe, +1 HD


The leader of this group is Henry Hounds-Head, a cursed former pikeman who blames the nobility for his ruin. Now robs the rich to build an army and seeks to undo the curse.

Like the Hounds, I tried to conceptualize around a known D&D monsters. For Henry Hounds-Head, I chose the beserker.

Beserker: AC 12, HD 1+1*, 1 x weapon (1d8), MV 40, ML 12;
Rage: +2 to-hit against humanoids

I was particularly drawn to the to-hit bonus as a way to express Henry's rage again the nobility. But we can make this leader a little more dynamic in both personality and behavior on the field. When creating a singular monster, I like to each cross as a reminder to include melee, range, and specials in a singular creatures. This is because they have to face off against generally a party of 4-6 PCs with some combination of melee, range, and magic and an HD total of 4-6!

Henry Hounds-Head
Behavior: Wants to recruit & will capture magic-users; hates nobility & connected to The Order

AC 14, HD 4, 1x as weapon, MV 40, ML 10

Melee x Damage: Two-handed Axe (1d8), not "slow"
Melee x Special:  On a "1" damage, weapon is stripped from PCs hands
Ranged x Damage: Spear (1d6)
Ranged x Special: On a miss of 11+, PC saves vs Paralysis or be knocked prone

RAGE: +2 to-hit against humanoids
KEEN SENSES: Animal-headed & suprised only on a 1-in-6
SOUND of BATTLE: 4 Bandits in the area after 1 round of battle

I chose 4 HD because by OD&D standards this confers "hero" status. I guess I could add some +X hp in order to keep him out of range of Sleep, but I am writing a 1st level adventure so maybe don't want to go too hard.

Related to the "hero" staus, I could either give Henry an additional attack per round or could even go so far has allowing a division of attacks equal to HD among non-hero targets. But I dunno, if I got that route he might be too tough.

WHAT DO YOU REPRESENT?: A Good Collection of OSR PC Miniatures

QUICK BASICS OF A GOOD MINIATURE

Just as there are differences in the OSR vs 5E aesthetic in terms of art and adventure design, the same is true for miniatures that represent PCs. This in part is due to the increase of cheap, but sturdy plastics which allow for very dynamic poses. These dynamic poses are great for singular display, but sometimes provide too much action when moving around exploring. PC miniatures for 5E are in a perpetual state of charging or a swirl of magical energy. This just cuts against my desire for a more classical feel. 

I have some other qualifications for miniatures. Monster miniatures are the best when they can represent a sorta range of monsters not just the one specified on lists on the box. Or PC miniatures that can represent a variety of classes. A hooded figure with a staff could be a magic-user, elf, or druid. A figure in helmet, full plate, and a sword could be a variety of class types from fighter to paladin, elf, and any mix of gender.

Basically, the most archetypical the miniature is, the more bang for your buck I think you can pull out of it. Because it just needs to be a good representation, not a perfect replication. This also prevents the miniature from interfering with your world-building and means you have to haul around fewer plastics. This last bit is especially important with terrain (hint: use aquarium plants from pet shops)

Human Fighter by Bobby Jackson

Elf Wizard by Bobby Jackson


BUT ARE THERE ANY REALLY GOOD OSR MINIATURES?

I think I've found some in the Henchmen & Hirelings pack, again, from Reaper Miniatures and by Bobby Jackson (see a trend). Which seem to sell for $40 for 13 miniatures or ~$3 each. But looks like shopping around you can get some cheaper. 

The first awesome thing about this set is that many of the characters are holding both a weapon and equipment! A couple of minis even have 10ft. poles.

The second thing is that despite this set being billed as mainly hirelings, these miniatures look like first or second-level characters. The equipment is not perfect and a lot of the characters seem to me to have vestiges of former (failed) professions. And there is enough variety that you can see that magic-users, thieves, and fighters are represented. True there is no strong cleric or demi-human character but its a good collection. This would also be perfect for DCC.

The third thing is that the expression on each character's face and their stance is more of a mix of wariness, fear, and uncertainty than heroic bravado. This, combined with their gear, gives the set a bit of a Black Adder feel which is kinda how I like to frame my games. Kinda like you're a former pig farmer in a fairy tale setting who is pretty sure this talking fish you just caught is trying to screw you over. But you really need the cash so you're gonna go along with the fish's stupid plan anyway. Maybe get a title out of it.





NIGHTWICK ABBEY: The Purple Eater of People, Session 19

 

Country Roads...corrected


Previously in Nightwick...

Corfu (Dwarf 1)

Mayfly (Magic-user 3)
Ianthi (Changling 1)
Grant (Fighter 1)
Sotar (Cleric 2)

At the Medusa's Head...

A bounty has gone out:

A daring frogling who calls himself Hoppin in the Hood has attacked several caravans with his band of happy frogs. The van Toad trading house has offered 150 knots (1500 SP) for his capture or proof of slaying.

The party is interested in this coin because being rich is second only to being alive as a preferred state in the Dark Country. Or maybe that is just Mayfly's feelings about the matter. Actually, Mayfly would prefer "power" over "riches".

Silver is tossed about by Ianthi and Sotar to gather information pertaining to this bachtrachian brigand. And they uncover the following rumors and tales:

"He's got a band of 30 happy frogs, but don't be fooled, he's a sadist and look my ear clean off!"

 "Given the where the attacks happen, I am sure he is based 'round the hamlett of Vollage"

And what does the party know about the hamlet of Vollage? Corfu knows a bit about the world and remembered that not long ago (by dwarf standards) a tower was being constructed by a knight of Lychgate but The White Lady, a powerful witch, attacked and burned it to the ground. Those who died inside became ghosts that haunt the ruins.  

(PC NOTE: Dwarves in Nightwick have a unique ability called There When the World Was Made which is a 2-in-6 chance to know lore about a place or events. Nice way to provide lore without a dump.)



HEXCRAWL TIME!

THE DECISION- FIGHT AN UNKNOWN NUMBER OF IMMORTALS or A KNOWN 30 MORTALS? The party figures that there is no way they are going to be able to take on 30 "happy frogs" with a penchant for ear removal. So, they decide to travel to the hamlet of Vollage to check out the ruins. Why not go "up" in a cursed tower instead of "down" in a cursed abbey for a change. So they hit the road.

THE SWINE HERDER...or SOMETHING ELSE?: About midday on the road, they run across a swine herder who offers up that rain is due soon and there will be no doubt strange things that await the party. That earned some side-eye, but Mayfly flips the herder a silver, just in case he was something in disguise.

THREE DISCARDED...SKINS?: The drizzle turns to rain as the party come upon three sets of clothing in the road. Grant makes a closer inspection and confirms they are in fact human skins, but removed as if clothing, and with such a deft execution the whole piece seems to be uncut or unruined by removal. Although a clear congealed mass and black hairs around the mouth confirm one thing...werewolves. 

Mayfly wanted to take the skins as leverage to use them again the frog bandit. Sotar commented that to apply that leverage, the party would have to come up with a way to make getting the skins more difficult f to get rather than straight-up murdering us. Point Sotar.

A ROADSIDE SHRINE with... SPRITE CRUCIFIXION? With the rain now a downpour and visibility nil, Mayfly casts ESP given the prior two ominous encounters. A 60' range, but better than being set upon by werewolves at 0' feet. Soon the party sees a small light bobbing up and down at an unknown distance. Drawing within the range of the spell, Mayfly is overcome with a strong sense of sadness. Will-o'-Wisp?

Imploring the party to stop, the group sees the light is in fact a sobbing sprite. The spite is floating in front of an obvious shrine to The Lady but adorned with two small sprite skeletons with tiny wooden halos (Sotar the cleric: That is f------d).

Mayfly asks what can be done to help. Bleed from the ESP maybe? The sprite perks up.

"Oh yes! You can eat them! I'll help you take the halos off!!"

Corfu speaks up, "I'll eat one"

"No! Not you" the sprite shouts, "nor you either" pointing at Ianthi. Clearly only those not of farie blood can consume the skeletons.

"Well first what is your name?", asks Mayfly

Amused the sprite replies: "I can't tell you that silly"

"Okay well, how about 'Raindrop'?"

The sprite repeats this over and over, until turning back to the questions of skeleton eating.

Hard "no" comes from Sotar and Grant, but Mayfly has heard stories about men gaining power through the consumption of magical beings and/or their organs. Any studying has been painfully slow. 

(PC NOTE: Also, Mayfly's WIS is 07 (-1) so impulsiveness and lack of patience is a trait)

"Sure, I'll do it." and Mayfly swallows the first skeleton goes down with surprising and disturbing ease.

(PC NOTE: Along with a failed save throw)

THE FIRST BARGAIN: Mayfly remembered tails of faerie bargains. Maybe not as powerful as those made with the infernal creatures of The Pit, but less likely to completely lose your soul.

"Now, since I did you a favor, I should get a favor in return. It is only fair," states Mayfly

"Ugh. Fine." Raindrop says with an eye-roll

A discussion follows that establishes (in the pouring rain) Raindrop knows who "Hoppin' Hood" is and where he lives. So Mayfly states the following: 

"Bring me the smallest thing he values the most."

"Done!" And Raindrop flies off.

(PC NOTE: Any people think old-school D&D is just grey corridors and hack & slash. Here we have a prime example of diplomacy and necrophagy. What's not to love! This was a great situation as a player. A creepy ask by an NPC combined with a drop of in-world knowledge about what could be an outcome: power. Already Mayfly has used soul-coins to gain a tutor, so why not eat a sprite skeleton? But this situation is another nice example of using IRL myths and stories about creatures to govern their in-game behavior. So, I chose to try and deal with this creature as a thing of myth not a "D&D monster on pg XX". Finally, the bargain we were able to make was also to help us with another problem- the frog bandits. So PCs, factions, verbal deals, and the mixing of IRL myth and in-game lore all smashes together. Perfect D&D cocktail.)

THE SECOND BARGAIN: The party makes it to the hamlet of Vollage, soaked through, but with dry silver. The local inn provides the party with plates of cooked cabbage and cooked eel- the majority go with the cooked eel. Not much is learned from the locals and the party decides to bunk down in the common room for the night along with to men-at-arms of the bishop (PC NOTE- sus).

One of these men-at-arms wakes the party up screaming... at Mayfly's glowing chest. Mayfly feels the glow moving up into his throat like an overactive glob of cabbage. Mayfly begins scrambling for wine, water, or anything to swallow this thing.

Adding to the panic and confusion, a small glow starts loudly rapping at the window so the party and a gagging Mayfly scramble out of the common room and into the storm. Two almost simultaneous things happen:

Mayfly hits the ground and coughs up... another faerie while feeling all the new magic he's learned recently drain from him!

Raindrop then informs the party of what "smallest and most valuable thing" has been taken... Hoppin Hood's remaining eye!

"You owe me!" Mayfly horsely barks at the new faerie. "I gave you life by my own essence and you owe me an equal favor in return! The eye was *just* for eating the skeleton."

"Ugh" the new sprite said with a stamp of a tiny foot.

It was discussed that the favor was to be determined later. The new sprite, named by Mayfly for the spell now lost to him- Espy, handed over a small flute made from her own rib. Then Raindrop tries once more.

"Okay who wants to eat the other skeleton?!"

...End Scene

(PC NOTE: What happened when the faerie was coughed up? Level drain
Yes, that feared and hated, in equal amounts, old school mechanic of the undead. Did I feel "cheated", naw. I could have chosen Mayfly to not have eaten the skeleton in the first place. Then, I could have said my character was gonna do everything to keep this high-in-calcium snack down. Instead, I chose to have Mayfly cough it up like a hairball because he was in the presence of the faerie who held its end of the bargain. Might be bad to double-cross a being who could be useful. Also, I thought level drain was really well employed in the moment by a creature not normally known for that sorta thing. It was a very interesting, entertaining session and what drove that-- educated risk-taking and "endangering" the PC. And despite being level-drained, I feel like my character still has gained a lot through this set of actions-- the character is building strong in-game history through action.
)

NIGHTWICK ABBEY: The Purple Eater of People, Session 18


After weeks of study, Mayfly returns to these hell-haunted halls...


Previously on Nightwick...

Cherwe (Cleric 1)
Sotar (Cleric 2)
Corfu (Dwarf 1)
Mayfly (Magic-User 2)
Ianthi (Changling 1)
Jek (Fighter 1)

Hirelings: Tieze, Cunrat, Bartel, Mach, Assmus, Pawel, Grolmus, Manhardus

AT THE MEDUSA'S HEAD...

Mayfly walked into the bar sporting two new silver daggers with deerman antler handles. 
(PC NOTE: Adornment X SP = 1/2 XP up to 200 SP/week; but just 50 XP shy of Mayfly leveling so have to delve at MU 2)
The group decides that they want to explore the West Tower again given the previous success in engaging deermen. Plus, most of the party wanted to take a second crack at the screaming heads.

...THEN DOWN TO THE ABBEY...

WEST TOWER: The party drops down into the Abbey and heads south without incident stopping in the very familiar DINING ROOM. So far, so good...

DINING ROOM: The room contains four doors. The north door is how the party arrived into the room. South door leads to parts unknown. East door, the party feels, will just lead toward the EAST TOWER which is not where they want to go. West door seems to lead closer to The Butcher given the THWACK! THWACK! that can be heard on the other side. The party chooses to head through the south door.

FOUR COLUMN ROOM: Through the south door leads to a smallish room with stairs to the south, a statue to the east, and more stairs to the west. The south stairs just lead to another scabbed-over wall such in the way of Nickwick Abbey. The party turns west up the short flight of stairs and finds themselves in a long hallway echoing with the THWACK! THWACK! THWACK! of the Butcher.

LARDER, RUINED SHELVES, & ROTTEN FIREWOOD: Traveling north up the long hallway, the party sticks to the exploration of three west-facing doors that open into mostly empty rooms of supplies for the Butcher. traveling north the THACK! lessens.

DOUBLE DRAGONS: The players reach the top of the hallway and are confronted by two stone dragon mouths sticking out of a wall- east and west. Ahead, north is a door. Glurp confidently steps forward...a "click" is heard...and jets of flame erupt from the dragons' mouths! Glurp's frog reflexes cause him to leap backward, but alas he falls unconscious with a hideously burned arm (PC NOTE: 11 weeks Gurp will be resting and sometimes a statue of a dragon's head is just that and sometimes it does breath fire.)

A little messier this time


F*%&^KING DEERMEN: The party did not want to leave empty-handed so they returned to the DINING ROOM to try one last recon effort up a small stairwell to the northwest of the ALTER ROOM. Up the stairs and turning west they encountered a filthy room with ochre plasma on the floor and the littering of deermen. Continuing west they are greeted by deerman arrows! Manhardus kills one but is slain in the following volley. The party's counterattack is effective with Cunrat, Lanthe, and Sotar each putting one in the grave. In a surprise, the deermen seemingly had collected 300 SP worth of silver baubles.

With Glurp groaning in pain and a good bit of silver gained, the party decides to head back. Mayfly casting floating disk to carry Glurp.

But the Abbey would not release the group just yet. Another herd of deermen met the party just right before the entrance. Mayfly cast light to blind the lead monster, but the magic seemed to slide off of it. Ianthi followed up with sleep, dropping 5 of the 8 deermen which sent the rest running! (PC NOTE: Seriously, morale checks are a key component to, especially, low-level play)

...BACK TO THE MEDUSA'S HEAD

PC NOTE: Not a lot of silver but enough to get Mayfly to level 3! And what new spell did Mayfly learn from his new mentor Halfdan? I was given a choice between detect invisible or ESP. Since the deermen have been a constant source of problems for the party, I chose Mayfly to ESP.  Might be useful to have a passive radar potentially.

NIGHTWICK ABBEY: The Purple Eater of People, Session 17

 

Another session Mayfly has to miss out on...

Previously in Nightwick...

Mayfly joins his compansion at the best and only bar in Nightwick village to raise a glass to their safe return and hear about their adventure. Complicated studies with the wizard Halfdan has kept Mayfly from returning to those hellish crypts. Here is the account of their 5th of Youngers delve :

The Party

Glurp (Frogling)

Corfu (Dwarf)

Ulf (Magic-User)

Ianthe (Changeling)

Jek (Fighter)

Hirelings: Cunrat, Pawel, Mach, Heyno, Ticze, Bartel, Assmus


Into Nightwick Abbey…


The Ratmen: The party decides to return, through the western tower, to the room with the four great columns where they fought the deermen a few weeks back. The room is still empty and the party explores to the south, Ianthe poking her head in. There’s an alcove where the walls have fleshy tumors coming out of them. Glurp and Cunrat approach the walls and 8 knee-high ratmen with the faces of old men burst out of the tumors. The two groups are unsure of how to regard the others and Corfu, hesitant to harm any spawn of the stone, tosses them a ration in a diplomatic effort. Unfortunately, this only angers them, prompting them to attack. Fortunately (for them), the ratmen were each “birthed” holding stone daggers. After a full round of misses, Ulf casts light on one of the creatures, blinding it. Cunrat is stabbed in the calf and then he, Corfu, and Bartle all fell a old-man ratman with a single hit each.

At this, their morale is broken, but with nowhere to run they cower in a corner. Corfu interrogates one, “What have you done to the stone?” The ratmen don’t (can’t?) say anything, merely making hand gestures almost resembling devout prayers, and the group decides to put an end to the rest of them. Ulf notices that not blood, but a cloudy liquid is pouring out of them and he collects a sample. At this point, Jak and Assmus show up, having been left behind at the tavern when they went to relieve themselves. [Jak’s player had to show up late to the session]. Ulf studies the creatures further while Jak is being caught up to speed, and identifies them as Mites, also known as Dregs - beings that are spontaneously generated in ruins of a certain age.

The Mounted Heads: The party then goes north, past the room where they fought the deermen and go down a new corridor. They stop at the entrance to a room, across from them is a doorway filled with a fleshy, purple substance, like they’ve encountered elsewhere in the abbey. On either side of the door are a total of 16 women’s heads, mounted on the wall. Glurp and Cunrat step inside the room carefully and the heads start screaming immediately, the sound reverberating through the abbey. Glurp chops one of the heads off, revealing that it was connected to some sort of bloody stump running through the stone wall, and it stops screaming. They step back out of the room and the mounted heads immediately stop screaming. The party quickly realizes that these heads will likely alert someone or something to their presence, so they leave the area, thinking of ways to come back later and bypass the security system. They go back south and then east, into a familiar room with large columns, depicting stairways up to heaven with alcoves holding icons of the saints. Some of the party had previously been in this room, but had come in from the East Tower - they had now mapped out a path underground between the two towers. They go north into the mirrored room, some of the party members cautiously, remembering what had happened last time they were here, but no mirror-version of any party members materializes and they pass through peacefully. Corfu, through his dwarven heritage, recognizes the room as a representation of the Inverse of the God of Law and connects that Mayfly had the copy of himself made last time because he had committed a mortal sin previously.


Onto the Room of Sinners Listening at the door beyond the mirror room, Jek hears sounds which, as a woodsman by trade, he recognizes as a wounded deer. The party makes a plan, and, as soon as Jek opens the door (revealing numerous deermen in the room beyond - just as suspected), Ulf and Ianthe throw flaming oil at the first ones they see. Ianthe then casts sleep over 6 more deermen, causing the rest to flee to the east - the sound of their hooves clopping fading away until it is suddenly cut off.


The layout of this room mirrors the room to the south depicting the God of Law, only this room - its floor is painted to depict a dragon’s mouth, the giant pillars in the room show sinners descending into its open maw. The ceiling depicts the night sky, with a faint twinkle seen in the torchlight. The party realizes that it’s the twinkle of gems embedded in the ceiling and they carefully, hoping that the deermen don’t return, extract a total of 20 gems - not a bad haul considering the previous week they had found almost no treasure. They then decide to return to town through the East Tower to see if that did anything (it didn’t) and celebrated the haul over drinks at the tavern.

Before Mayfly can inquire any more, he spots again a black bear and darts off... 

TREASURE STOCKING: Is There A Better Way?

 

A classic example of interesting treasure

Quick note: I'm not even sure I am happy with the below solution, but at least I get my thoughts out there.

SO WHAT IS TREASURE GOOD FOR IN D&D? The explicit metapurpose is to gain XP to level up. But treasure also serves purposes of worldbuilding, plot movement, antagonism (e.g. cursed weapons), and provides broad tools to help the PCs plunge deeper into the dungeon. Helpful when characters are randomly determined.

I think that "good" treasure placement in a dungeon is achieved when all tthe above points are satisfied when looking at the whole level. By ensuring that the treasure placed in the dungeon serves multiple play and character functions, I think we maintain momentum within the classic playstyle on a per session basis.

Why is this "momentum" important? Because unlike the 1970's of D&D's development, we now live in a world with more time constraints and increased entertainment competition. D&D was developed in an environment where Gygax and Arneson were playing weekly games lasting between 8-12 hours as reported in Game Wizards, Playing At The World, and The Secrets of Blackmoor. At best I am able to pull a weekly 2-4 hour session, maybe an additioal twice monthly game.

Also, in the grand scheme of things I as a DM want to bring aspects of higher level play "down" into the lower levels. Interacting the the fantastical should not have to wait until 5th or 6th level. First level play should also astound in the same manner even if you only have 3 hp. And in truth, most players don't have that sort of real-life time.

Intersting treasure serves both purposes it allows for steady character progression while also providing resources for the party to (hopefuly) take educated risk in the setting be it exploration or "social".

So what specifically is a "good" treasure spread? And I am trying to arrive at something similar to the overloaded encounter die or dungeon checklist of treasure. This is to say both a way of ascertaining if a dungeon level has good treasure and a easy procedure by which to generate it.

LEVEL 1 TREASURE

While I don't think we need to go level by level to illistrate the point, here is what I think is good treasure in a level 1 dungeon:

  • Provide enough GP for a party of 4 fighters to advance to level 2 if all treasure is found
  • 50% of the treasure should serve other purposes (notable art, notorious signet ring)
  • At least 2 spells the MU does not currently have in their spellbook
  • 3 potions that overcome dungeon obstacles
  • Magic damage that is 1-shot or disposable (silver arrows or +1 sling pellets)
So how can I place this treasure easily? Right now the method of dungeon generation is to place the important treasure, monsters, and/or factions first then randomly stock using this classic table:

Roll 1d6 for contents & treasure for each room
1,2 | Monster    (3:6 treasure)
3    | Trap          (2:6 treasure)
4,5 | Empty       (1:6 treasure "hidden")
6    | Special      (no treasure)

If the room contains a monster then you use the treasure type found in its entry, otherwise there is a second treasure table that is for non-monster guarded loot:

For each non-monster guarded treasure
  • 1d6 x 100 SP
  • 1d6 x 10 GP (50%)
  • 1d6 gems (5%)
  • 1d6  pieces of jewlery (2%)
  • Magic item (2%)
This is okay, but I feel it runs the risk of making a dungeon anemic in terms of both treasure and items which can help overcome dungeon obsticles. And I can't stand the monster treasure tables. I almost just think it makes more sense to write some average treasure haul in each entry like HP.

MY POSSIBLE SOLUTION

After placing important noteworthy treasure, monsters, and obsticles, I propose the following:

First: I want to ensure that all the treasure on X level can advance the characters to the next level if they find most of it. To calculate this, I just use the XP progression for a fighter. For four fighters moving from level 1 to level 2 that is 8000 GP in total treasure.

Second: by BX standards, treasure comes as coin, gems, jewelry, scrolls, potions, & a wide variety of magic items (which is inversly related to how often randomly rolling will bring them into play). Since I want to test all of this out, I am just going with the bog-standard BX stuff and see if I can put a few intresting twists on them. Here is also a fantastic way to spice treasures up using spark tables!

Third: I want to give each of those catagories a context by pariring them with room contents. So, only certain treasure will be found in the context of certain rooms instead of it being anything.

For instance, I think a trap in a lst level dungeon is going to be guarding jewlery or magic because no one would trap something they are going to access frquently like loose coin-- you use guards instead. Also traps allow the thing to be visable because it could serve a symbolic purpose, but protected. So, the jewlery could be a crown or septor with some significance in the region. If magic, maybe this is a one-use javlin of lightinging forged to kill a demon but only in a "In Case of Emergency, Break Glass" way. Or maybe it is a small stash of healing potions that only clerics can touch.

Fourth: I want the specific treasure to be as easy to generate as the the Room Contents x Treasure table above. I really hate  rolling a monster then 6 different percentages of its treasure type then rolling on a sub table. If its a lair, fine, but rarely is that the case. And really if it is a lair, its contents should be more intentionally placed. And I want the treasure table to change between level 1-4 "hero" & 5-8 "super hero".

Here is my combination table:

LEVEL 1-4 ROOM STOCKING: Roll 1d6 for contents, treasure, & treasure type for each room
1,2 | Monster    (3:6 treasure)                   Coin (1-3) || Gem/Jewelry (4-6) 
3    | Trap          (2:6 treasure)                   Gem/Jewelry (1-4) || Magic Item (5-6)
4,5 | Empty       (1:6 treasure "hidden")   Gem/Jewelry (1-2) || Scroll (3-4) || Potion (5-6)
6    | Special      (no treasure)                    The room itself is a treasure in some fashion (e.g. alter)


Once again I find myself writing a lot of words for what is essentially a small table. I dunno if this had solved my "problem" but at least I feel like I've aired my thoughts.


NIGHTWICK ABBEY: The Purple Eater of People, Session 16

 

Previously in Nightwick... 

And if you want to catch up on *all* the previous fun? 
"Weeknights in Nightwick" archive here.

At the Medusa's Head...

The dwarf Corfu recounts the last delve to Mayfly:

We headed back to the west tower in search of the cleaner. The corpses in the west room of the west tower seemed to have been ... slurped up by something. 

We heard water running through pipes to the south and found an empty room with 2 baptismal fountains with imagery of the first person to be baptized in the name of Law(?). 

The room to the south had almost a dozen black-robed skeletons sitting in pews with one standing at a podium. We killed them, but not before one ran south with Gerard's knocked out body. By the time we caught up to him, he was already butchered on the table in the room you had previously cast a Fireball scroll into. ;_;7

Before Mayfly could ask more he catches sight of an ambling black bear outside the inn and dashes off...