### Post by Finarvyn on Nov 22, 2009 10:24:30 GMT -6

Before I start, it's only fair to note that I don't pay much attention to "scale" in RPGs. I don't worry a lot about how many seconds per turn, how many pounds one can carry, actual miles per hour for speeds, and so on. This is another "relative scale" problem that I typically don't think much about, but today it bothered me again so I thought I'd start some discussion on the topic. I think there was a thread that touched on this a while back, but in re-reading

To elaborate, take the Orc as an example and M&T suggests 30-300 of them and Type D treasure. The 30-300 number is clearly not designed to be on the "dungeon" scale but instead represents more of a "wandering in the wilderness" scale.

1. Assuming that I actually roll 30d10 (which the book never actually explains, so it could be 30*1d10) I would get an average encounter of 165 orcs.

2. What about their treasure? 10% chance of 1d8*1000 CP equates to (.10*4.5*1000/100) 4.5 GP worth of copper, assuming that 100 CP is one GP. 15% chance of 1d12*1000 SP equates to (.15*6.5*1000/10) 97.5 GP with of silver, assuming that 10 SP is one GP. 60% chance of 1d8*1000 GP equates to (.60*4.5*1000) 2700 GP. Total average loot (excluding gems, jewelry, and magic) comes out to roughly 2800 GP in value. More with good rolls, less with poor ones. This comes out to roughly 17 GP per orc.

The problem is that there really isn't a guideline for typical encounters in the dungeon. The 165 orc encounter is probably going to represent a "village" or orcs or the entirely of a place like Moria, not another random room in a dungeon.

Imagine a couple of 2nd level characters in an adventure.

My solution now, as it has been for 30 years, is simply to modify the numbers. My dungeon key might say "8 orcs" or maybe "3d6 orcs" or some such. But then at the end of the encounter I often take the lazy way out and roll Type D treasure which gives those 2800 GP as a prize for killling a dozen or fewer orcs, which is most likely not the intent. On the other hand, the only way to advance in levels is through XP and XP is based on gold, so a party of 4 1st level characters kill those dozen orcs they probably deserve to get 2800/4=700 XP each for their efforts.

While I don't mind giving out a little too much treasure to my players, it does seem odd that one scale is given so much space while the other is essentially ignored. The fact that we can encounter 1d4 dragons and 1 dragon has the same treasure as 4 of them.

In general I just don't worry about it, but I'd be curious as to how anyone else handles this.

**Monsters & Treasure**I encountered an issue that has troubled me occasionally for over three decades.**How many monsters? How much treasure?**To elaborate, take the Orc as an example and M&T suggests 30-300 of them and Type D treasure. The 30-300 number is clearly not designed to be on the "dungeon" scale but instead represents more of a "wandering in the wilderness" scale.

1. Assuming that I actually roll 30d10 (which the book never actually explains, so it could be 30*1d10) I would get an average encounter of 165 orcs.

2. What about their treasure? 10% chance of 1d8*1000 CP equates to (.10*4.5*1000/100) 4.5 GP worth of copper, assuming that 100 CP is one GP. 15% chance of 1d12*1000 SP equates to (.15*6.5*1000/10) 97.5 GP with of silver, assuming that 10 SP is one GP. 60% chance of 1d8*1000 GP equates to (.60*4.5*1000) 2700 GP. Total average loot (excluding gems, jewelry, and magic) comes out to roughly 2800 GP in value. More with good rolls, less with poor ones. This comes out to roughly 17 GP per orc.

The problem is that there really isn't a guideline for typical encounters in the dungeon. The 165 orc encounter is probably going to represent a "village" or orcs or the entirely of a place like Moria, not another random room in a dungeon.

Imagine a couple of 2nd level characters in an adventure.

**DM:**"You go down the stairs and come to a door."**Players:**"Draw swords! We open the door!"**DM:**"You encounter..." (rolls dice) "...165 orcs."My solution now, as it has been for 30 years, is simply to modify the numbers. My dungeon key might say "8 orcs" or maybe "3d6 orcs" or some such. But then at the end of the encounter I often take the lazy way out and roll Type D treasure which gives those 2800 GP as a prize for killling a dozen or fewer orcs, which is most likely not the intent. On the other hand, the only way to advance in levels is through XP and XP is based on gold, so a party of 4 1st level characters kill those dozen orcs they probably deserve to get 2800/4=700 XP each for their efforts.

While I don't mind giving out a little too much treasure to my players, it does seem odd that one scale is given so much space while the other is essentially ignored. The fact that we can encounter 1d4 dragons and 1 dragon has the same treasure as 4 of them.

In general I just don't worry about it, but I'd be curious as to how anyone else handles this.