05
Jun
11

treasure of the sierra loco

John Huston seems like the kind of DM who would make you count torches

While Tavis chills with Paul Jaquays, I spent the weekend with another gaming luminary, my mother, who was my very first player for all of ten minutes in 1985.  Mama Nostack’s verdict on Frank Mentzer’s Basic Set?  “This game is too complicated.”  (The breaking point was the 10% XP bonus calculation for having a high prime requisite.)

Anyway: my mom leads to Netflix leads to Bogart leads to Treasure of the Sierra Madre.  Throw a little At the Mountains of Madness in there, and you’ve got a basis for an Expert level adventure or two.

Douglas Niles’s much-maligned Dungeoneer’s Survival Guide devotes seven pages to mining as the basis of a campaign.  Naturally it’s hard to get title to land in civilized areas, so you’d have to light out for the borderlands or the unsettled wilderness, probably several days of overland travel during which time encumbrance might be a major issue.  There would, of course, be bandits and monsters in the wilderness requiring guards and Fighting Men.  You’d need trustworthy hirelings to work the mine (morale and charisma matters).   When you get back to town, there would be problems with tax collectors and claim jumpers eager for news of a profitable mine.  Inevitably the mine hooks into some lost mega-dungeon.

Come to think of it, dungeoneering is presumably the equivalent of mining in D&D World.  You follow a rumor of some tomb laden with riches, you delve into it repeatedly at great risk, and then you’ve got to cart your winnings back to town to replenish supplies without tipping off the Thieves Guild or rival adventurers keen to exploit the find for their own profit.

joesky tax: disgruntled hireling chart

When your hirelings (or henchmen) (or retainers) (you know what I mean) fail a morale check as a result of dungeoneering or mining, roll 2d6 + PC’s loyalty bonus to see how he or she breaks.

2 Hireling gets treasure-madness. Kills one or two NPC’s in the night, drives off the horses, and absconds with as much of the loot as possible.
3 to 5 Hireling feels his share isn’t commensurate to his hard work. Steals treasure from other hirelings. When the loss is discovered, hirelings must make a new morale check due to outrage and suspicion.
6 to 8 Hireling is grumpy and bitches about PC’s. Other hirelings swayed by his words.  Any hirelings who make a morale check after this guy get a -1 to the roll until conditions noticeably improve.
9 to 11 Back at town, hireling is indiscreet and blabs location of dungeon (mine) (etc.) at the local tavern. Next wandering encounter in the dungeon area is with NPC adventurers acting as claim jumpers.
12 Back at town, hireling tries to make himself feel better by spending ostentatiously. Attracts attention of tax collector, church, or Thieves Guild who wants a cut.

 

 


2 Responses to “treasure of the sierra loco”


  1. 1 Adam
    June 5, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    Nifty post, and a nifty table. That said, I have a suggestion for result 9-11: As it reads currently, it affects the nature of the next random encounter, but doesn’t actually add any additional peril/problem for the PCs. Instead of meeting an owlbear in the woods or whatever, they meet claim jumpers instead. To my mind, this should be an additional encounter. Next time the PCs approach the dungeon/mine/whatever, they meet a party of claim jumpers.

    (If you felt like being baroque, this could be the next random encounter, but increase the odds of random encounters for X period of time, which has much the same effect, but that seems unnecessarily complicated.)

  2. June 5, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    Yes, the old “random event” tables. Not to be a heretic, but I prefer the GURPS method; failure checks that allow the GM to do whatever he wants within certain degrees of failure.


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