Treasure for non-monster obstacles

Hey guys, the Torchbearer book has good guidelines for loot when encounter monsters. How do you handle loot for other challenges? Obstacles that require particular skill tests to pass, or puzzles to solve? Do you have any rules of thumb?

I’ve just been going with one roll on the planned treasure table per non-combat obstacle.

That’s where I’d start. pg 144.

You’re supposed to do this?

A single orc is three rolls, so I feel like it should be about that for an average ob (3-5), and then shifted up or down as the Ob is higher or lower.

Well that’s part of what I’m asking, but why would you get treasure for fighting an orc and not for navigating past a deadly trap?

Orcs tend to have personal belongings, even if it’s only a sack of teeth and their favorite dolly.

I place treasure in my dungeons where it makes sense. See Loot as Planned on page 144. I would not, however, give the players treasure for successfully leaping a pit trap or climbing a slick wall. By the same token, if the players flee a monster I don’t let them loot. If they drive it off, they can have any loot it was protecting, but not anything on its person.

As noted above, I wouldn’t give treasure just for doing a thing. There needs to be a reason, or purpose as to why it was there. I might however, throw some random stuff in the mix. Say your group managed to climb a particularly nasty cliff, you might notice a torn sack of coin snagged on a rock. Make a perilous swim through a nasty river, you might notice something shiny on the river bank.

The one thing I will know I need to keep in mind though, is that treasure seems to make the game easier, so if I give out too much, I am basically gimping the world against the players. Every time they return to town, they have everything they need to come out fresh again.

Right, I don’t mean just handing them treasure for succeeding in a test. I think it’s not clear what I’m asking so let me expand.

It says under Loot as Planned: “For planned problems in which the players are victorious, choose loot found or roll 2d6 on Loot Table 1 a number of times equal to the level of might of the opposition.” However when designing an adventure you include other, non-monster problems. Traps, environmental problems, etc. Those things do not have an order of might, so as a result I don’t know what to roll on the loot table for them. That could mean that you only ever roll on the loot table for monsters. I suspect this isn’t the intention though! I think a trap heavy, monster light dungeon should have about as much treasure as a trap light, monster heavy dungeon.

I think the Loot as Planned section has good guidelines for providing treasure where monsters are involved. But one thing I am never confident of in loot-based games is how much I should be giving the players, so I was just looking for advice since most dungeons, including mine, involve non-monster hazards as planned encounter (per the Adventure Design section) and so I was wondering they were taken into consideration when placing treasure and if so how?

I’m with Bret in that regard. I expect to be working on making a Torchbearer adventure this weekend and one big concern is having the right balance of loot. Not too much, not too little.

Thor has mentioned before that 20D or a little over is typical “planned loot” for an adventure for a party of 5. (In addition to “wandering loot” that comes attached to wandering monsters.)

Aha, here it is, in the thread “Amount/Frequency of Loot”.

I realize that doesn’t give an Ob -> Loot ratio, but it might help from a more holistic perspective.

He also mentions that a lot of the loot is difficult to find and/or transport–say, something hidden, or requiring a Laborer test to get out of the dungeon.

The 18D - 20D he mentions is total loot hauled out, rather than the 24D planned of loot (plus incidental from wandering critters) that is in there.