Sunday, March 16, 2014

Interesting Non-Magical Treasure, Part III

This is really an appendix to the other two parts (one and two) of this series.

Only the players' opinions matter

In other words, only the players determine if they are interested or not. All the GM description in the word, all the clues, all the signals - it doesn't matter. Treasure that interests the players is interesting.

You can't always predict what that will be. You can try - the "clue forward" approach I mentioned last time is at best a strong signal.

You can even go as far as writing out the description and printing it out, attaching a picture, and handing it to the players and say "This is important and interesting!" but it won't guarantee they are actually interested. They still might not care.

And that's fine. The goal is to make it possible for a treasure to be interesting for more than its sale value, but you can make it so anyone cares. If you do all the tricks I mentioned last time and they still write "comb, 1500" on their sheet, so be it. Let it go and move on, and try a different item or a different approach next time.


  1. "Only the players' opinions matter" is probably the best GMing advice anyone can ever give.

  2. One reason I like to use a pseudo historical setting is that the treasure can be interesting in and of itself. You can break out your old history books from college and add interesting stuff. I also like to use books about gems and jewelry to add interest to treasures as well. I think that treasures that are from the real world add more interest because you can show pictures. The same is true of religious artifacts, the real world has a lot of awesome cool stuff. In short making treasures cool and interesting is the main reason I like real world religions and historical backdrop.

    1. My point, though, is that it still depends on the players caring about the detail. Realistic or not, real world or not, if they only care about the cash value, that's all that matters.

    2. If your players really don't care about details then why not just put a magic credit card as treasure? That way they could just use the money without the hassle? My guess is that even though your players just say they only care about the money and not the details they would be bored if their treasure was just an increase in their balance sheet without any treasure details.

    3. Just because players might only care about the final value doesn't mean they don't care about the appearance. That's not the same thing as saying the details are more than just color. The color matters, but unless it has actual in-game use it's just color - kind of the point of all three of these posts.


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