Magic Item Treasure Conversion

I'm converting B10 Night's Dark Terror and some other old modules to ACKS. Forgive me if this is already answered somewhere, but when you are converting modules how do you account for the value of magic items relative to monster experience?

I'm under the impression that you want to keep a general four-to-one ratio of treasure to monster XP, but how do you account for magic items in this? A +1 sword might be kept or it might be sold for 5000 G.P. If they sell the item and never use nor even think of keeping that item do they get 5000 XP to divide amongst the group? I think I saw elsewhere that you can do a straight conversion for most modules, but if the players sell the magic items they'll get a lot more XP, no? Using this method, my impression is that B2 and some of the other old modules will have a much higher treasure to monster XP ratio than four-to-one and that they'll quickly outpace the modules if they're willing to forgo some of the items and are able to find buyers.

I could use some advice.

I have not done this yet, but it should be possible to look at the treasure types and their chance of magic items and calculate an average GP value per magic item rolled.

You can then figure out which relative treasure types you think figure prominently in your adventure (I’d probably stick to a single type myself for laziness), and look at its ratio of magic items to GP.

Magic item prices are not figured in to the average value if a hoard. If your players are looking to sell magic items don’t forget that:

  1. They don’t get XP if they’ve used the item, and
  2. It takes time to sell the items. I don’t have my book with me but there’s a section on selling magic items at the back of the Treasure chapter.

"If a hoard?" Maybe I should know, but I'm not sure how this concept slots in with the old modules. There's a +1 item in the wilderness near the keep that is "protected" by non-hoarder monsters (Treasure Type "C"). If sold and not used that magical treasure represents a more than thirty-to-one ratio of the XP gained from defeating those guardian monsters.

Any opinions from some of the old guard on where B2 falls on the Monte Haul scale? I started playing in 1980 but, prefering to make my own dungeons, I have limited experience with most of the modules.

I'm setting up an ACKS campaign with a home-brewed version of B10 at its core and B2 and a couple other B-series and/or AD&D modules mixed into my intital 25x16 sandbox of six-mile hexes.

I'm planning to take out the magic items and replace them with half as many that are twice as good and add some sort of small drawback or peculiarity to each, so I'm not exactly looking for exact numbers. My hope is that the potency, history & flair I put into each item makes it less likely that items will be shrugged at and sold.

I suppose I can compare B2 to Sakarra to get some ideas though Sakarra is more than a little bigger. I might also just re-do all of the treasure based on the ACKS method, but that will be a considerable effort atop my other conversions.

Bullgrit looked at treasure in AD&D modules years ago:

Keep on the Borderlands: 29,852 gp, 49 permanent magic items (PMI), 30 one-shot magic items (OMI)
Note that 28 of the permanent magic items are the amulets of protection from turning, and 6 are amulets of protection from good. I'm also counting cursed items, and ammunition is considered a one-shot item.

Temple of Elemental Evil:
The moathouse: 30,938 gp, 3 PMI, 9 OMI
Last Tower and upper rubble: 7,079 gp, 3 PMI, 13 OMI
Level 1: 29,686 gp, 13 PMI, 15 OMI
Level 2: 105,084 gp, 35 PMI, 28 OMI
Level 3: 183,279 gp, 28 PMI, 52 OMI
Level 4: 450,751 gp, 23 PMI, 54 OMI


Dreams in the Lich House estimated the gp value of multiple low-level modules:
Keep on the Borderlands: 31,000 gp
Palace of the Silver Princess: either 3,000 gp per PC or 9,000 gp plus 1,500 gp per PC
The Lost City: 71,000 gp
Horror on the Hill: 29,000 gp (plus 5-10k if the dragon is defeated)
Against the Cult of the Reptile God: 32,000 gp
Village of Hommlet: 36,000 gp


TSR modules tend to be much higher on both encounters and treasure than OSR modules. They range from 36% of rooms having a combat encounter (Reptile God) to 80% (Keep), so they're high-risk, high-reward adventures.

I've been running B10 recently with ACKS. The module needs virtually no conversion, and can be used almost entirely as is. That said, I've made changes to a number of key NPCs, as ACKS versions of them are stronger. Also keep in mind that ACKS PCs are more powerful at a given level than their B/X or BECMI equivalents.

"Of a hoard".  I was typing from my phone.  As far as I am aware the monetary value of magical items has *never* (I may be wrong regarding 1e, but since ACKS is clearly based upon B/X I'm confident in my statement) been counted as part of an average treasure haul.  p. B45 of the Moldvay Basic set (again, the rules upon which ACKS is based upon, and the B-series of modules largely written for) states that "These averages do not include the possible magic in the treasures."

So, I'm not quite sure what your concern is.  Yes, magical items found in a hoard (by this I mean a treasure that any monster has collected, not the ACKS distinction) are potentially worth far more than the gold and gems and whatnots.  So what?  If the PCs want to sell potentially valuable items let them go for it, just be sure to use the rules for selling magic items on p. 227 of the ACKS core rulebook.  It's not going to unbalance the game.

If anything, it'd probably make it harder for them, since magic items tend to be really useful.

B10 does sprinkle in a lot of magic items, but I'm not sure they're really off from ACKS' default assumptions. ACKS also tends to encourage more Henchmen, and the larger parties that result quickly absorb said items. I haven't found there's been much drive to sell them. The Judge's assumptions about Market Class for Kelvin and Specularum are going to have a large impact here, too. In my own game, Karameikos is really frontier territory (unlike in the Gazetteer line); Kelvin is Class IV, and Specularum is Class III. Only in the capital is there much chance of actually selling even +1 magic items, and PCs need to weigh the trip against the small chance of actually being able to unload said items.

Interesting! I'm running a campaign (I'm running a personalized version of Palace of the Silver Princess) currently in Karameikos and I have those market classes exactly the same.

Sorry for posting off topic... but just had to point that out.

Yeah, I favour something between the old Expert set descriptions and the GAZ1 version, but definitely closer to the former than the latter. There are all sorts of cool ideas and hooks in the Gazetteer line, but there are also a lot of problems with the demographic assumptions.