In certain styles of games finding treasure and looting the dead play an important part of the game. Unless handled carefully this can lead to the characters gaining a large pile of wealth and equipment cards, which can be unwieldy for the player to handle and may distort the game.

Generally, the equipment and money that a character finds as part of adventuring is mundane equipment. The character may pick it up but they do not gain a card for it even if the previous owner had spent CP to acquire it. It is through the collection and sale of the best of these items that the character can always afford sufficient funds for their daily food, lodging and mundane equipment. The 6d6 RPG simply glosses over the tedium of everyday life.

The Game Leader may choose to add cards with a CP value into the game as a reward for the players. To avoid confusion with normal equipment these cards have the Treasure keyword.

Unlike other equipment with a CP value, treasure does not become part of a character. The characters can use the card and pass it between themselves but once it is lost or used up the card goes to the Game Leader. Characters do not automatically recover treasure the way they do equipment.

It is recommended that most treasure takes the form of cards with the Discard keyword, such as wealth or magic potions. This allows the players to be rewarded for their efforts but prevents the characters becoming too powerful too quickly. Treasure that gives the characters abilities they did not previously possess and makes the characters more flexible is often the best form of reward.

A minority of treasure can be permanent, reusable items but the focus here should be on distinctive equipment. A character with a bag full of identical magical swords is dull but someone with a single, character-defining sword is interesting. Permanent equipment can also act as useful hooks for adventures. The more interesting the treasure is, the more potential it has for future stories.

Making Treasure Part of A Character

Occasionally, a character will want to convert an item of treasure into a permanent part of their character. Depending on the type of object and how long the character has had the treasure the Game Leader may allow this. However the player must spend CP equal to the CP value of the treasure exactly as if they were buying the card as part of character creation or development.

Trading in Treasure

Long-running characters inevitably end up with treasure they have no use for and wish to sell or trade for something more useful. How this is handled depends on the nature of the game being played.

In many settings, there are no bring-and-buy shops for that short of item. Fantasy cities do not have magic weapon emporia where characters can trade in their old magic sword like a used car. Neither are there shops in the modern world which will buy up a character's spare copy of the Necronomicon.

There are other obstacles as well. Often characters are working for third parties, such as government agencies, which may take a dim view of their agents selling off spare equipment. The treasure might even be illegal in the setting, making finding buyers even harder. There may be paperwork involved, such as proof that character owns the treasure. This can be hard to come by if the item was taken from the still warm body of an enemy.

In short, the major problem the characters face when selling equipment is finding someone willing to buy it at a meaningful price. The more expensive, rare and extreme the treasure is, the harder it will be find a buyer.

However, characters should be able to do something useful with the treasure.

At the Game Leader's discretion, they can trade it in for wealth. Treat the equipment card as a wealth card and follow the procedure for exchanging wealth cards. This is the least desirable option for players or the Game Leader.

Alternatively they may trade the item with another character. In these private deals between characters, players can set their own terms.

The best way of handling the treasure is for the characters to give it away. A magical sword is a good birthday gift for a powerful Lord. The donation of an arcane tome to a university library will win the character new friends. These acts of generosity will bring indirect benefits to the character, opening new doors, winning allies and enabling the character to move on to bigger and better adventures.

When characters do give away items, the onus is on the Game Leader to make it worthwhile. The contacts the characters make and the goodwill they earn should be worked into the game, either when the characters need a favour or as a route to new adventures.

Gifts may also have more direct benefits. A character who wants to learn a secretive style of martial arts has to be buy the right Path card, but the Game Leader may not allow it if no one is willing to teach the character. Through a well chosen gift to the head of the dojo, the character gains admittance to the school. The character can now buy the Path card with their CP and begin their training.

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open/mechanics/universal/treasure.txt · Last modified: 2012/02/10 12:47 by tregenza
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The 6d6 RPG tabletop store is owned and operated by Chris Tregenza. Who also owns and runs Myomancy, a site about ADD / ADHD medication, Autism and Dyslexia Treatments and also site called Poosk. Chris also provides copy-writing, web design SEO advice to sites like Dingles' Games pathfinder rpg resources.