Yesterday, I put the finishing touches on a basic “hoard” generator using the 5e treasure tables from the Dungeon Master’s Guide. I modified the algorithm because I feel the DMG tables are unnecessarily complicated when it comes to determining gems, jewelry, or other art objects.

My next step is to combine my treasure generator with my NPC generator so that when I pull up a random NPC adventuring party, they’ll be all set to go–whether it comes to blows, or the players rob the NPCs or barter with them. You know, lots of different things could happen at that point.

Since my character generator also estimates CR, I can have treasure for an NPC adventuring party based on their CR (meh), or… as the focus of my next algorithm… based on their hypothetical adventures.

It’s one thing for NPCs to carry “leveled loot,” per video game norms… but my intention is to simulate the “adventuring” process via algorithms, in order to give NPCs much more interesting inventories.

In the end, a lot of it will come down to what is easiest for the Dungeon Master to use in the game. Right now, my program generates the bare bones of characters between levels 3-18 (makes sense in context), and treasure for encounters of any CR. Combining the two only makes sense.

As for character details, in the near future I hope to add automated NPC backgrounds (per the backgrounds listed in the Player’s Handbook) so that NPCs can spring “fully formed” with equipment, experience, and treasure.

I still have to implement class archetypes, as well… which will be a little tricky.

Right now, I have wizards choose one of the eight schools of magic at random (1d8). As I go along, I imagine I will either come up with a more interesting or sophisticated algorithm for choosing schools… actually, let me spell out some of it here:

Magic School Selection
* You have to figure that either the majority (40%), or a significant minority (20%), of wizards choose the divination school. If I have to explain this to you, I recommend you do your own research into the history of mysticism and the occult. Let’s just say there’s a lot of business in fortune-telling and finding water.

* Enchantment and illusion will probably be the next most common (not exceeding maybe 15% though), since they deal with manipulation: they are “conjurers of cheap tricks,” if you will. Since there are a significant number of spells dedicated to mind control, you have to figure this is where a lot of power-hungry magic-users go to first.

* Abjuration, evocation, and transmutation are probably tied in this third tier of school selection (no more than 10%), since they’re “useful” schools. Usefulness seldom wins the day though, when it comes to life choices: even brilliant minds like your typical wizard will seek the fast and easy route to power (ie. mind control).

* Finally, the two least common schools will probably be conjuration and necromancy (no more than 5%). Not merely because they relate to taboo subjects (demons and the undead), but because life expectancy for conjurers and necromancers tends to be pretty short. Probability suggests they tend not to live very long as adventurers.

Anyway, I expect to run into more weird problems as I progress through the classes, which is part of the reason I put wizards on a simple “d8” for magic school, and left everyone else in “default.” It just isn’t a priority.

I’m looking forward to writing my “treasure dispersal” algorithm for NPC adventuring parties though — I already have some ideas that I’ve been mulling over the last few months, and I’m sure they’ll move along quickly once I get started.

Ah, there is one half-step to take care of before any of that: it’s to setup a specific method to output treasure to a file (in a handy spreadsheet) so I can quickly search and sort treasure for an entire region.

I’m sure my players will be more interested if the prospect of finding say, a Staff of Power, practically on their doorstep.