Since my second dungeon generator, I’ve regarded treasure as a constant.

The idea was present during my development of the original dungeon generator, but I hadn’t fully embraced it. Treasure must be a constant — it’s practically the thesis of a dungeon. Because without it, there’s no adventure.

If you, as a dungeon master, create a dungeon without treasure . . . you have failed your players. Without a hope for reward, there’s no reason to enter.

You can leave out practically any other element — monsters, traps, puzzles, secrets, whatever — but if you leave out the treasure, your players have no incentive to risk their characters’ lives. There’s no glory to be won.

Forget fighting monsters as an impetus for adventuring.

If you want to fight monsters, you can trawl the wilderness. You can coat yourself in barbecue sauce and park yourself outside the dragon’s lair. Fighting monsters comes with the territory of treasure-hunting.

Now, using treasure as a reward isn’t the same as giving players treasure. No, the point of the adventure is to find treasure. They have to at least pick it up off the floor. Or pry it out of a wall or chest. It’s a great way to start the game.

So, if treasure is going to be a constant, how much do you need?

Let’s start by finding the amount of treasure a group needs to advance one character level, adding 15-20%, and then littering it around the dungeon? That way, the players can miss some without it being the end of the world.

When you combine the (K) constant of treasure with the dungeon approaches I mentioned in my previous post, then you have an idea about how to distribute the wealth in the dungeon, and what it will be guarded by.

In a lair, treasure is guarded by monsters. In a death trap, treasure is guarded by traps. In a maze, the treasure is probably in the middle somewhere (perhaps accompanied by a snorting minotaur).

In a heist, part of the setup is knowing where the goods are. So when your dungeon is a Forced Stealth Mission, you almost certainly know where the treasure is — the hard part is getting out. (Isn’t it always?)

Part of the beauty of the procedure is knowing what to do with all the parts.

And that all the parts have a function, even if they’re relegated to a supporting role in this dungeon. (There are plenty of other fish in the sea.)


So, treasure is a constant, and the approach to the dungeon tells you where to put the treasure (once you have a map) and what guards the treasure (once you have a list of traps and/or denizens).

With all this taken care of, I can go back to speculating on Dungeon Classes, and how they need to change to fit the new attributes.