Real Treasure in Cawood Publishing’s Treasured Finds is Storytelling Gold

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The fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master’s Guide describes two types of adventures: location based, and event based. But after looking through a new product from the Dungeon Master’s Guild, my takeaway is a third type of adventure — treasure based. Treasured Finds from Cawood Publishing presents organized loot for 5th Edition, and for my 2 cp it’s the storytelling elements hidden in these random tables that’s the real treasure. But the chests stuffed with magic items aren’t too shabby either.

Treasured Finds Cawood Publishing D&D random treasure
Give players the loot they deserve! There is a lot of great loot in the DMG, and Cawood Publishing organized it for you! Click the image to check it out. [Art by Travis Hanson]

D&D random treasure for days

Treasured Finds comes in around 50 pages and if you like random tables you’re in for a treat. The goal of the book is to be a resource for Dungeon Masters to save time coming up with treasure rewards. The book is cleanly laid out and designed, with writing by Andrew Cawood, cover illustration by Travis Hanson and design and layout by Gordon McAlpin. Andrew sent me a copy to check out, and I’m happy to share my thoughts on the newest product from a creator whose work I enjoy quite a lot.

The first set of random tables are for individuals, with tier-appropriate coinage to be found on singular creatures. I like that Andrew takes the time to lay these all out, and there’s a sense of freedom for a DM to let the dice determine how much wealth adventurers find. Including electrum pieces is cool, because frankly I don’t see these coins used very often and they’re neat. Part of me would like to see even the higher tier tables include enormous amounts of copper pieces, because it’s funny to imagine powerful adventurers stymied by a pile of 120,000 cp. Old school!

Next up there’s Individual Magic Item tables, and here’s where things start to get juicy. I suspect (and a little dirty math bears it out) Andrew used the guidelines in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything to develop these tables. If I’m honest, at first seeing things like a mace of disruption on a Challenge 0-4 table made me do a double take, but this is in line with the info in XGtE. Attention Dungeon Masters I play with — hand out a rare magic item during Tier 1 play once in a while, will ya?

The Treasure Hoard tables are where I really started getting excited. Each one includes a description of the contained these treasures are found in, which is a really nice touch. Details like this speak to the storytelling elements I mentioned earlier. At the very least, this helps paint a more complete picture of the surroundings. Taking it a step further, these could inspire more ideas for your campaign like how an ancient dwarven iron chest with runes on it got there. Each chest also has a quick die roll to determine if it’s locked or not, plus a trap (if you decide the chest ought to be trapped). Including a DC for the lock would have been a nice extra, but as it stands it gives these chests some built-in flexibility for a DM. Some of the treasure results include several magic items. So if characters gaining lots of magic items isn’t your thing, keep this in mind. Personally, I love getting and giving magic items so a treasure hoard with several powerful items sounds good to me.

The random tables for Monster Guardians is pretty cool, and they’re not all what you might think either. For example a Challenge 11-16 treasure might have 1d10 commoners for guardians. Who are these commoners, and why are they the guardians of such powerful treasure? Any of the results can inspire storytelling for your group, but these unusual matchups stand out as opportunities. Of course, adventurers might just slay whatever guardians are in their way. At any rate, random tables like this can win up creating some interesting funhouse-style adventures. Why is a vampire guarding a treasure in a giant’s vault? I don’t know, why not?

Next up there’s NPC Guardian Stat Blocks. Each one includes a sidebar with a bio for the NPC with their personality, appearance, and characteristics to help roleplay them. The stat blocks are sort of a hybrid between player character and creature, featuring particular subclasses and related class abilities. I was surprised the NPC Guardians aren’t included in the tables for Monster Guardians, but if you pair these up with the next sections of the book, you’ll find a resource akin to random adventure generation coming together, and that’s really cool.

The Miscellaneous Treasure Tables are robust and varied, with tables to determine locations, container, traps, tricks and all manner of contents. See what I mean about storytelling elements? A few rolls on these tables can generate answers to a lot of the 5W’s of a quest, which is a great way to organize and your thoughts for adventure seeds.

This dovetails with the idea of treasure-based adventures. I am already imagining a campaign of treasure seekers, or perhaps recovery teams similar to Lara Croft or Indiana Jones. The adventurers set out to find and retrieve different treasures, and with all the tables in Treasured Finds you can generate new quests with just a few dice rolls.

However you choose to use Treasured Finds, if you’re a fan of random tables like I am you’ll certainly discover lots of opportunities to use this material in your games. It’s available on the Dungeon Master’s Guild as a PDF for $5.95. Head on over there and see if Treasured Finds is something you’d like to add to your digital bookshelf. And let me hear some of your tales of treasure in the comments!

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Nerditor-in-Chief Doug Vehovec is a proud native of Cleveland, Ohio, with D&D in his blood since the early 80s. Fast forward to today and he’s still rolling those polyhedral dice. When he’s not DMing, worldbuilding or working on endeavors for Nerdarchy he enjoys cryptozoology trips and eating awesome food.

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