Reducing Dwimmermount's Excess Gold

In the general Dwimmermount forum I raised the issue of making the Level 1 treasure approach the ratio of GP to XP from combat that ACKS carries on from Moldvay B/X.

When I was thinking that the problem was going to be adding GP to a dungeon which was short on gold - which is the usual thing that’s a concern when converting to ACKS - my idea was that there would be a market for maps of Dwimmermount. One or more NPCs in the Fortress of Muntsburg would pay adventurers for maps of the dungeon, and the amount paid for a complete map of each level would work out to be whatever was necessary to achieve the 4:1 ratio.

In order to maintain the essence of Dwimmermount as written, I don’t want to add or subtract treasure or monsters when it can be avoided. However, James’ post on rival adventuring parties already has a mechanism for adding more XP from combat - the arrival of rival adventurers - and also for removing treasure from the dungeon - the chance that these rivals will have looted a room’s treasure.

I will have to see the stats for the rival parties to do the math about how these factors will balance out. The answer is probably “not precisely”, but the approach of using rivals to address the treasure-to-combat ratio seems like the most promising solution.

My idea for how to make this work out more precisely is based on Charlatan’s great Mule post about tracking notoriety. Note that James’ chances for a room to be plundered won’t normally come up on a d100; the roll has to be modified by the number of unexplored rooms.

For the ACKS conversion, I am thinking I’ll keep the idea of allowing parties to sell maps. (Among other things, this creates a nice option for the treasure map found in the dungeon; do the players choose to pursue it to a treasure worth 16,000, or sell it for some fraction of that value?) Although this increases the too-many-GP problem with the ratio, it will tend to smooth out the advancement; when I’ve run the first level, many groups came away with minor treasure at best and will thus benefit from having an additional source of income from selling maps.

The kicker - and the reason I put this in the spoiler forum - is that each map sold creates an additional positive modifier to James’ table for the depradations of rival parties. Thus, adding a way for the party to get GP from explorations that don’t yield treasure encourages them to increase the chances of a rival party making off with the big treasures on the first level!

The thing I like best about this is that the treasure isn’t gone - it is just in someone else’s hands. As the Fortress of Muntsburg and the rival parties get fleshed out, many adventure possibilities spin off of the attempts to find out where a rival is keeping the treasure that they took out of the dungeon, what is happening to the gold that they spend as it moves through the local economy, etc. Not all of these possibilities require the adventurers to law-breakers. Maybe the caravans that are shipping Dwimmermount’s gold from the local merchants in Muntsburg to the city-state of Adamas are being hijacked by bandits, monsters, etc. Recovering these shipments would be a side adventure that would tend to involve defeating as many XP worth of hijackers as is necessary to hit the 4:1 ratio for the treasure they stole!