I’ve said before that I dislike treasure.

And I mean like, all treasure. Strictly from a GM perspective that is. I mean, I enjoy finding treasure, but determining a distribution of treasure is a pain.

4e was remarkable to me as the first time treasure ever felt “significant.” Because the math worked in such a fashion that treasure was necessary and required for success, it felt significant. And then I played for a while.

Playing 4e and Mass Effect at about the same time helped me realize how unfulfilling “XP for combat” feels. In our group’s Gloomwrought campaign, I had a very rich, very influential, and at the same time, physically weak character.

I received XP at the same time everyone else did — for fighting.

Now, maybe it was a sense of entitlement talking, but I felt I contributed a lot more to that campaign than “XP for combat” could accurately measure. I finally understood how “XP for treasure” rewarded cunning.

I get it — I get why treasure is significant. It isn’t actually about upgrading your character the way it was in 4e. That’s like, really shallow treasure. No, it’s like treasure is a way to “express” your adventuring.

And you should kind of have an idea about where you can find certain kinds of treasure, so you can seek it out. Hoards of treasure should have names and histories to some extent. Coins are for more than just counting.

Something else 4e had was the “parcel system” for treasure. It’s very tidy.

And it’s something I wish had been better preserved in 5e — though I have to admit there’s something I can really appreciate about the “new loot” system. Individual loot versus treasure Hoards.

It’s somewhere between 3e treasure-for-CR and 4e parcels.

Sometimes you just want to know know much coinage you’ll find on a random or wandering monster. And individual loot is super-helpful in this regard. Well, kind of — you still have to roll, which is a little less helpful.

And some of the more pertinent details related to distributing hoards are hidden in walls of text. I have to congratulate you if you found the reference to average treasure for a campaign on the bottom of page 133.

– seven CR 0-4 hoards
– eighteen CR 5-10 hoards
– twelve CR 11-16 hoards
– eight CR 17+ hoards

Generally, generally speaking, you find about 2.25 hoards per level.

That’s 45 hoards for a campaign overall. I thought I’d try just . . . rolling them all up at the same time. You know, to save some time and kind of just, assign each hoard to different dungeon. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

But I gave up about halfway through the first seven hoards.

I think at least part of the problem is the classic method of rolling up treasure in D&D is just too . . . granular. Roll d% on this table, then roll 2d4 of this and 2d6 somewhere else for that, then 1d3 items on another table.

Parcels in 4e really helped.

And what I mean by helped is, the parcel system told you how much treasure ought to be found over the course of a character level. Essentially the reverse of ‘so much treasure provides XP enough to level the party’ of editions past.

What I want to do then, is find a way to make treasure generation faster. And perhaps make it easier to come up with a “character” for a particular hoard.

I’ve talked about doing something like this before. Now it’s needed.