Monsters & Treasure
TREASURE TYPES, MAGIC/MAPS DETERMINATION, MAGIC ITEM TABLES
The second half of this volume details Treasure. The section is launched with a table and guide on randomly determining the types and amount of treasure typically found in a monster’s lair. Nothing profound, but the footnotes concerning number of prisoners held by Men in their lair breaks down the areas in which those earlier monster entries are holed-up.
Land - Brigands, Bandits, Berserkers, Cavemen.
Desert - Nomads, Dervishes.
Water - Pirates, Buccaneers, Mermen.
The section continues with tables for determining the types of items discovered in treasure caches. Of note is that one-quarter of all items found, those listed as ‘any’ in the TREASURE TYPES table, are in fact maps. The nine tables that follow help determine the individual items within the various categories of treasure. Many of the items on these nine tables are not described or mentioned again in the subsequent EXPLANATIONS OF MAGIC ITEMS section which follows, leaving the referee to simply use the entry on these tables and go from there.
Of the 75% of magic items found, those which are not maps, fully 20% are Swords, thus, 15% of all items are Swords. This observation of course discounts the many specific entries denoted as Potion or Scroll, which indeed make those two consumable magic items more common when using these guides. Armor and Weapons are possible results, but clearly Swords hold an important place in the hierarchy of Magic Items in this original version of D&D, as I shall explore further in the upcoming explanation of Swords.
While 15% of such items are Swords, the categories of Rings, Wands/Staves and Miscellaneous Magic combined only account for a mere 11.25% of all items, or 3.75% each. Swords, Armor and Miscellaneous Weapons account for 30% of all items, and we already know that one-half of those are Swords. OK, moving on to the individual tables.
“SWORD:Did you know that 7% of all items found are a Sword, +1, or that 3.4% are a Sword -2? Neither did I, but I do now.
01-35: Sword, +1
84-00: Sword -2 (Cursed Sword)”
None of the Swords found upon this table are individually described in the later section of explanations. The referee is left to his own devices when judging exactly how some of these unique Swords work. For example, Locating Objects Ability, Charm Person Ability, and Life Energy Draining Ability are not defined. The implementation of these powers is left to the discretion of the referee.
“ARMOR:”Armor entries are simply that, not defined as either Leather, Chain or Plate. Shields may be found singly, or paired with Armor.
“MISCELLANEOUS WEAPONS:”All magic Daggers are enchanted in such a way that their bonuses only apply to specific targets, there is, for example, no good old Dagger, +1. There is also no Mace, +1. All magical Maces are +2. Magic Arrows and Magic Bows are described thusly, without the plusses they posses. I like this fact, and wish there were more such examples, the Axe +1 and the Mace +2 could also simply be Magic Axe or Magic Mace, for example. Lastly, we find the Dwarf-only War Hammer +3, 6” Throwing Range with Return. This item is of nearly epic, artifact proportions in the original D&D, with but a 1% chance on this table, based on the previously established numbers, that equates to but a .0375% chance of this item resulting from a roll on the magic items table. 1 in 2,667 rolls, in other words. This chance is shared by 15 other items in this volume, so in fact these 15 entries are the rarest of rare.
The Rarest of Rare in Monsters & Treasure:
War Hammer +3, 6” Throwing Range with Return
Ring of Spell Storing
Ring of Many Wishes
Staff of Wizardry
Crystal Ball with ESP
Censor Controlling Air Elementals
Stone Controlling Earth Elementals
Brazier Commanding Fire Elementals
Bowl Commanding Water Elementals
Helm of Teleportation
Drums of Panic
Horn of Blasting
Mirror of Life Trapping
The above could form a decent collection of unique, singular artifacts for a D&D campaign.
“POTIONS:”There are nine entries upon the Potions table not defined in the subsequent descriptions which follow. Most are self-explanatory, but the omitted Poison Potion is of interest to me. A footnote tells the referee that he should mislead or disguise when this item is discovered, but its effects are not detailed. I rule that this deadly item is a Save vs. Poison or die effect, but one could just as easily assign it dice of damage instead, with a Save vs. Poison for one-half damage result. Sipping a Poison Potion might further mislead a character, as Potions must be consumed wholly to take effect.
~Sham, Quixotic Referee