Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Skinning the Dead for Fun and Profit

Regular readers will know that I consider Classic D&D's Treasure Types to be a horrible, irredeemable mess that should have died a final death around 1989. So it should come as no surprise to hear I've been tinkering with treasure generation yet again.

Semi-related to which, here's a half-formed thought occasioned by the monster Yield mechanic of Hackmaster 4E and by the Egg Hunter campaign concept from Noism's epic Let's Read the Monstrous Compendium.*

Skin/gut/nest-rob a treasureless beastie: a party can garner 10 x lvl^2 gp per turn of gutting, up to a maximum gp value = its XP.

The form this treasure value takes is dependent upon the creature type (hide/fur, feathers/scales, organs/secretions, eggs/young, etc.), but usually has to be hauled back to town and converted to hard cash at a market.

Bigger, more dangerous creatures are worth more to interested purchasers (fur traders, tanners, haberdashers, corset-makers, wizards and what-not), but take longer to render down into sweet convertible value.

Why a value per turn? Coz more experienced adventurers are more practised in skinning and jointing beasties purely as a function of their experience as scavenging murderhobos. Pay a time penalty: derive extra loot.

And that is how you get value out of whales, beavers, owlbears, and similar loot-less beasties. 


* On the subject of Let's Reads. Yes, LRM will be returning. I intend to finish it if it drives me mad.

Pic Source: wikimedia commons.


  1. Love this idea. Once upon a time I made a fantasy jungle campaign setting based on the 19th century Rocky Mountain fur trade. First the adventurer must survive the battle with the monster. Then survive transport of the harvest to Rendezvous. Then survive the Rendezvous itself!

  2. In our last campaign we always looked at dead beasties as what could be made from them, ie displacer beast skins for displacer cloaks. Even a dead war elephant could be turned into a couple tons of elephant jerky.

  3. Yeah, our group also used animals and creatures for their skins, meat, bones, etc.

    Remember, magical creatures are magically delicious.


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