Aug 6, 2023


This week I read:

Roleplaying Games

The Halls of Arden Vul

Two weeks ago the players found a secret room, which turned out to be full of ghouls and they lost two party members. Last week, reinforced and prepared, the players returned to show those ghouls what-for (and to put to rest a friendly ghost who the ghouls had disturbed). And this week the players finally vanquished the ghouls, and buried the bones of the poor ghost who, as thanks, pointed out a secret panel concealing fabulous wealth!

It’s a nice cathartic conclusion to the ghoul saga. And they found a lot of treasure.

But that of course gives rise to its own problems. Just carrying it out of the dungeon would take multiple trips—which means significantly more risk of encounters—and the inn outside the dungeon is no place to store vast amounts of treasure, so they actually need to take it to the nearby town, a day’s walk away. So getting the treasure out and safely stored would take around a week, in the best case.

These are the things that balance large treasure hordes.

The players have spent multiple real-life and in-game weeks just dealing with the monsters, they had to spend money to do it (hiring and outfitting more retainers, and making some magical scrolls), and even with the monsters defeated there’s still logistical issues to solve. I don’t begrudge them their loot, if they manage to get it all out they’ve earned it!

You just don’t get this sort of fun in modern D&D, where the party is all but guaranteed to get a bag of holding in the first few levels (allowing them to carry all the treasure at once without even slowing down), where GMs don’t really do random encounters (making time not an issue), and where individual PCs are so strong they don’t need retainers (so the party keep all the treasure to themselves). Getting the treasure back should be a fun challenge too!

On their second trip down, they did have a random encounter.

They bumped into a patrol of beastmen, who warned them to stay away and cut down the rope bridge the players had previously strung up across the chasm.

So now half their treasure is stuck in hostile territory.


This week I finally gave up on the 50 or so books that I’ve had noted down as “missing” in bookdb since I moved here back in 2019. I think two boxes of books just got misplaced in the move somehow. They’re definitely not here, but fortunately none of them were books I cared about that much so I just deleted them rather than buy replacements. I also got rid of all the books I’ve had noted down as “to donate” (for about as long)—there’s nowhere around here that wanted them, and I also can’t recycle them because they’re glue-bound, so I just threw them out. None of them were rare or old books, so I don’t feel too guilty.

So now I’m down to a mere 959 books, the first time under 1000 in a while. But I’m pretty certain that all of those books are actually here, in this room, and not misplaced or unwanted. So that’s something.