Handling a dragon lair’s treasure consistently with treasure parcels

It’s my first time as the DM of a D&D campaign and I’m planning an encounter against a dragon in his lair. Since dragons hoard large amount of treasure, I would like to know how you deal with all this treasure once the PC’s have slain the dragon.

The way I see it, it would make them way too wealthy to let them leave with everything but I can’t think of a logical way to prevent them from taking everything.

I’m considering using a level 15 adult red dragon along with some minions. The party is level 16.

How to add a magical composite bow to a treasure haul?

This is a matter of clarity in writing.

When I have a Composite Sortbow with a strength rating of +2 and a +1 magical enhancement, what is the clearest way to write this on a loot list? Precedent is obviously preferred.

I’ve considered:

  • Composite Shortbow +2, +1
  • Composite Shortbow +2 (STR), +1
  • "A composite shortbow with a +2 strength requirement and a +1 magical enhancement bonus."

Can I replay an AL module with the same character to get a treasure I missed?

I was wondering about the rules on replaying an official D&D 5e Adventurer’s League module with the same character:

If I am willing to forgo taking anything with me during the initial session (ie, no xp, rewards, DT days, renown, gold etc), can I run it a second time with the same character?

The reason being that this is the only module in all three seasons that has a weapon my character is able to use, and I’d like a second chance at rolling for it.

How to fast play Traps/Loot/Hidden treasure

As new players, we ran our first dongeon and the session left me a bitter taste. Some part lasted a long time without being usefull, those parts were when we were searching for treasures or traps.

Indeed, before entering EVERY room the group was : "we look at the door/every tile we step on/wall to determine if there is a hidden trap", and the DM to reply "OK roll for an investigation/perception". And actually there were only one trap for the full dongeon…

Then when we entered a new rom, EVERY player were asking the DM : "I am searching for a hidden treasure/loots/secret door". And the DM, one player at a time : "ok roll", just in order to loot a few pieces from the dead bodies or nothing most of the time…

My questions is : how to manage Traps/Loots/Hidden Treasures without rolling everytime for everyone and avoiding (as much as possible) to miss a secret door/treasure/hidden trap ?

How to handle friendly NPC treasure

I’m a relatively new DM – I ran some games back in the early 80’s, basic dungeon crawls and we had a great time. Today, I’m starting with some of the intro 5e campaigns. I’d like to get an opinion on this scenario:

My party is doing well with talking to NPC’s using persuasion and intimidate and moving the story along by obtaining all the necessary information. They will be coming upon a rather strong adversarial NPC that where they will use the same techniques (instead of killing) and will likely convince this powerful NPC they are friends.

The NPC has a treasure chest with a key item to the story that can easily be handed over. The treasure chest also contains some nice items that the party would benefit to have. If the party and NPC are on friendly terms, what (if any) method or role play should be used for the NPC to hand over the other items (assume no killing)? The NPC is friendly, but, he certainly wouldn’t hand over his magic items or the sum total of his wealth in gold pieces.

How is Challenge Rating (CR) calculated for a mixed group of multiple monsters in regards to the Treasure Table?

I understand that encounters are balanced around exp thresholds in the DMG (e.g. https://rpg.stackexchange.com/a/105360).

With that said, there are loot tables in the DMG 136-139 that have “Challenge Rating” ranges for how loot should be distributed.

I understand CR is not supposed to be summed or multiplied, but if the party kills 20 CR 3 monsters, in the loot table, what would the challenge rating range be for these monetary loots?

As a tangential note: the DMG item loot tables don’t really explain which table to use “A vs B vs J, vs K…”.

Is there an official treasure generation method to limit magic item rolls based on dungeon level or some other factor?

I’m running an AD&D campaign for a party of usually-three PCs, who were first level until our most recent session. (As for what they are now, we’ll get to that…) I have the 1e DMG (door cover) and Unearthed Arcana, and a Monster Manual that might be older than that, judging by its condition. The players are using the 2e PHB; these are all inherited books, and the previous owner only ever DM’d in 1e and PC’d in 2e.

My issue is with treasure generation– I’ve been using the standard dungeon generation tables from the DMG, and it works well except for the outcome of treasure rolls. Specifically, magic items don’t seem to be segregated by dungeon level. That first-level party happened upon a Mirror of Mental Prowess, which had some fairly powerful effects but nothing game-breaking, and was worth five thousand experience. Divided among the party, this alone was enough to bring the priest and rogue to second level. Combined with the remainder of the treasure, those two reached level three, and the ranger reached level two.

Now building a dungeon for a later adventure, another magic item roll came up, resulting in… a Ring of Three Wishes. I simply vetoed that and re-rolled, getting something more reasonable this time, but now the question is in my mind of whether this is actually correct.

So, the simple version of the question:
Is there a method in AD&D to limit magic item rolls for treasure based on dungeon level or some other factor, or does this need to be created manually by the DM?


Note that this is not the same question as “What can I do when I accidentally gave out an overpowered item?” This relates purely to the RAW methods for generating magical treasures.

Are GMs obligated to hand out all possible treasure and loot in an adventure, or can GMs deny PCs printed loot?

I was wondering as GM and long time player, are the PCs entitled to all the loot and treasure that they could find in location and or after looting the bodies of fallen foes?

Example: In Pathfinder’s Giantslayer Adventure Path I once GMed and am currently playing in, I noticed that the GM would award only one use items, skip items that were used during the encounter that were not one shot items, or not even give any loot after a skirmish or searching a room that I knew was loaded with good loot and gear.

I never brought it up ’cause I didn’t want to call them out and kill the game. When I ran the Adventure Path I very much remember handing out all the loot or treasure that could be found in a location, barring the PCs making the checks to find them, as well as anything they could find after looting the bodies of defeated foes, with the exception of one shots like scrolls and potions.

Is this fair, or as GMs are we allowed to deny PCs these listed items from the Adventure Path?

Magic equipment vs sellable treasure in 5e

My group recently finished playing through the Tomb of Annihilation published adventure. It was most of our players’ first time with 5e (including mine), and one of the differences I noticed compared with previous editions was how limited the availability of magic items appears to be. In 4e, characters regularly collect powerful magic items as quest and combat rewards. They are expected to have, at minimum, a magic weapon, magic armor, and a magic neck slot item; and typically have many more (arms, feet, head, waist, etc). But by the end of ToA, we were level 9, yet not all characters even had a magic weapon, much less armor or protective items. We did pick up some items, but most were not broadly useful and would have been classified as “Wondrous Items” in 4e.

I’m not sure if this is a limit of the adventure, an accident of how my party approached the adventure, or an attribute of the 5e system itself. ToA doesn’t provide much equipable treasure from encounters; most of its rewards are miscellaneous sellables. Additionally, my group accidentally took the most direct possible path through the adventure, bypassing almost all sidequests and spending little to no time in any location other than the Tomb. So we were never in a position to sell those various gems and artworks, either to buy gear or do anything else.

However, from what I’ve read of 5e overall, it’s a much lower-magic system than previous editions. Magic items are considered rare and priceless, and there are few places to buy or sell them. On top of that, 5e’s “bounded accuracy” model means the system doesn’t expect players to stack up lots of small bonuses. This suggests 5e doesn’t require players to wield powerful magic weapons to fight high-level mosters; or to wear powerful magic armor to defend against deadly attacks. But that raises the question of, what are all those sellables for, if not to buy magic items?

I’m considering running a game in a homebrew setting, and trying to decide whether 5e is the right system to use (versus attempting to run 4e without access to all those lovely but unfortunately Silverlight-based web tools). The setting is fairly high-magic but does not contain a lot of large cities where players could do anything useful with sellable treasure, or find those rare few places to buy magic gear or other items.

Is it expected in 5e that players mostly receive sellables as rewards? If so, are players expected to sell the sellables for cash and then buy magic items? (And if so to that, then where do players buy magic items?) Or are players expected to not ever need magic items, and any cash they can get from sellable rewards is just a nice retirement cushion?

On the other hand, is Tomb of Annihilation an outlier in treasure distribution and in a different setting, players could expect to receive more magic items directly?