December 14, 2013

How much treasure is in a random 1e AD&D dungeon?

Average Treasure per room (multiply by level of dungeon)
0.035 Gemstones (that fraction is worth 14gp)
0.0105 Jewelry objects (that fraction is worth 36.75gp)

If you convert all that to it's value in gp, then...
Dungeon Level 1 = 115.825gp per room
Dungeon Level 2 = 231.65gp per room
Dungeon Level 3 = 347.475gp per room
and so on...

So, if dungeon level 3 has 40 rooms then on average 13,899gp worth of treasure will be available for plunder on that level of the dungeon (3 X 115.825gp X 40 = 13,899gp).  This total does not include the occasional magic item or treasure map which turns up just as often as a piece of jewelry (a little over 1 such item per 100 rooms).

I arrived at this average total by running out the numbers from the random dungeon creation tables in the DMG (specifically V.F. and V.G on pg171).  I also used these values for average gems and jewelry that I found over on Dragonsfoot.  I should note that you can't get mixed treasure if you actually use the charts in the DMG.  Each treasure horde would be a single thing, like a pile of copper pieces, or a sack of silver coins, or d4 gems, or a piece of jewelry; never a big mixture of treasure.

According to those charts, 5% of the rooms have unguarded treasure and another 15% have larger treasure piles guarded by monsters.  That leaves 80% of the rooms devoid of treasure.  So, in the average random dungeon the party would actually have the opportunity to find a treasure horde in every fifth room.  The average treasure horde on dungeon level 1 would be...
0.175 Gemstones (that fraction is worth 70gp)
0.052 Jewelry (that fraction is worth 183.75gp)

Total value = 579.125gp

I'm not sure what I'm going to do with these numbers, if anything.  I was thinking of houseruling some treasure tables when I went off on this side quest.  I did find the results interesting, so I thought I'd share them.