*what if*we used monster-keyed treasure types in the dungeon anyway?

There is an undeniable attraction to that idea. In particular, the treasure types system seems to give a certain "flavor" or preference to the treasures commonly found with different types of monsters. For example: Men (Type A) have large amounts of treasure and prisoners. Dwarves (Type G) have large amounts of gold, and reject any baser metals. Dragons (Type H) have overwhelmingly huge piles of treasure. Rocs (Type I) may have gems but can't collect coins. (Note the extreme specificity of those latter types; the monsters I just named are the

*only*ones keyed to those treasure types.) On the other hand, a great many monsters are entirely lacking any keyed treasure type; e.g., skeletons/zombies, most fliers, extradimensional creatures, oozes, insects, and animals.

### Expected Values

As a lead-in, it may be helpful to inspect the expected values of each of the different treasures possible. In each case this is done via the Arena code package, with the unit tests built into the appropriate code modules, which perform simple Monte Carlo simulation methods. Expected value for dungeon treasures, by level (rounded to two figures of precision):And here the same for monster treasure types:

Note, however, that all rolled values are

*highly*variable; in particular, the vast majority of expected value comes from the rare and high-value gems and jewelry (esp. the latter) in each case. For example: At the 1st dungeon level, 95% of treasures lack any jewelry, and such treasures have an expected value of only 90 gp. On the other hand, the 5% of 1st-level treasures that do include jewelry have a class expected value of 12,000 gp. In this perspective, we might say that the core D&D game is one of PC adventurers searching strictly for jewelry -- after about 10 treasures (at 1st level) they have a 50% chance of having secured jewelry and so leveling up; whereas any other treasure is effectively negligible. (Later levels have somewhat less variance than this, as the chance of gems/jewelry rises; but note that chance maxes out at 50%.)

We might compare the average treasure-type values seen here to the similar chart presented in Moldvay's Basic rules, p. B45 (repeated in Cook Expert, p. X43). He has overall lower expectations (about half what we see here), and yet the main treasure type table looks to have copied all the entries from OD&D, even adding new columns for electrum and platinum. This would seem to imply equal or higher value, so how can that be? Again, this is explained by the majority of value residing in the gems/jewelry. Moldvay has modified the gems table -- emphasizing chances for the lower-valued types; and even more radically restricted the jewelry -- allowing

*only*the lowest-value category from OD&D. And hence overall lower expected values for the same treasure types.

### Adventuring Demographics

Using the current Arena program, it's simple to explore using the two different treasure tables; by default the dungeon treasure system is used, while the**-t**switch forces use of the monster treasure types instead.

Note the following: When dungeon treasure is used, it is generated for every encounter (waived the 50% for treasure, but also not including any DM-placed high-value "important treasures"). Likewise, if monster treasure types are switched on, then we consult the type table for every encounter (waiving the "% In Lair" chance designed for wilderness adventuring). On the other hand, we honor the

*Monster Manual*rule that monster treasure types be scaled in proportion to the average monster number appearing in the wilderness; whereas there is no such suggestion for dungeon treasures, whose distribution is thereby fixed (regardless of monster numbers). Note that since we scale monster numbers by party size, the average

*shares*of monster treasure stay fixed for larger parties, but shares of dungeon treasure decrease for larger parties.

The following repeats (from the last few posts) the demographics from parties of size 4 adventuring in our dungeon, with monster numbers fixed in proportion to party size (no variation), using the default dungeon-treasure setting (Arena switches

**-n=10000 -v -z=4 -rs**):

And here are the demographic results if we instead use the monster treasure types (adding the

**-t**switch):

Conclusions: First of all, the monster treasure types generate significantly

*less*treasure than the dungeon treasure system. This is reflected in the fact that dungeon treasure supplies about two-thirds of XP when in use; but monster treasure supplies slightly less than half. That might come as a bit of a surprise -- I think there are some misconceptions, based on impressions of the very large Dragon treasure (for example), forgetting that the vast majority of monsters in the system have little or no treasure whatsoever.

Secondly, and as a result of that, the use of the monster-treasure system would make it harder to advance in levels past the 1st. Comparing the two charts above, the monster-treasure population has roughly half the numbers at levels 3-5 (as compared to the top dungeon-treasure chart); and only about one-fifth the numbers at levels 6-7 (and in fact, the solitary 7th level character may be something of an outlier, with their excellent Dexterity and Constitution scores).

In summary: While there is some charm in the flavor of bending the rules to use monster treasure types for dungeon adventures, this results in overall less treasure, and makes things even harder on the PCs in terms of advancement opportunities (and is also more calculator-intensive, in that it requires scaling down from the table in proportion to number of monsters encountered). We would recommend sticking with the OD&D Vol-3 dungeon-treasure tables for underworld adventures.

### Important Treasures

A final consideration; granted that we plan to follow the dungeon-treasure placement rules in Vol-3, it is important to recall (again) that the foundation for that system starts with the DM placing "important treasures" by fiat, prior to any random methods being used (p. 6):So: How big should these important treasures be? (We ask, of course, because this can have a larger impact on PC survival and advancement than anything else we've analyzed in the system to date.) If we take literally the recommendation that they include "large amounts of wealth in the form of gems and jewelry", then we note the following. A dungeon-treasure including gems has an expected value ofIt is a good idea to thoughtfully place several of the most important treasures, with or without monsterous guardians, and then switch to a random determination for the balance of the level. Naturally, the more important treasures will consist of various magical items and large amounts of wealth in the form of gems and jewelry.

*double*the basic treasure; and a treasure including jewelry has an expected value of

*twenty times*the base. So it would be legitimate to glance at the dungeon-treasure expected values above, and place special treasures (including gems/jewelry) at something like a 10-fold or 20-fold multiplier (or more) on each level. Be sure to stoutly guard such treasures with copious monsters and fiendish traps, of course!