Sunday, July 7, 2024

I Don't Think Gamerant Gets D&D Treasure

I Don't Think Gamerant Gets D&D Treasure
I haven't picked up Baldur's Gate 3 (yet) but  came across this Gamerant article regarding the distribution of loot in the game vs. TTRP D&D. The title was total clickbait (well, at least clickbait to the likes of me): Baldur's Gate 3's Approach to Treasure is a Great Lesson for D&D DMs

Now I read the article and I don't think the author gets it. The core of the article, and coincidentally my problems with it can be summed up in just these two sentences from the article: "Crates, buried chests, and specialized loot containers are at every turn in the slice of Faerun players can access, something that greatly encourages exploration and thorough investigation. This is in contrast to the way many DMs approach loot, reserving piles of gold, consumables, equipment, and magic items for the post-boss treasure hoard."

Even in video games, and especially in TTRPGs, I don't think players should be rewarded with loot simply for walking around. Sure....walking around might lead to opportunities to adventure and acquire loot, but you shouldn't be picking up loot simply because you wandered around and tripped over some boxes. Sounds more like smashing every pot & crate in The Legend of Zelda.

I think that some of the best loot should be reserved for a post-boss treasure hoard. I mean, think about it.....the BBG (Big Bad Guy) is generally large & in charge, right? If he/she/it wasn't then there's nothing for the party to contend with. As the BBG, a good percentage of the available loot is going to be taken up to be hoarded or used. Sure, some items may be farmed out for minions to use, but the good stuff should be hoarded from and used against the party.

WTF would the BBG take all of the good stuff and box it up and store "at every turn....of Faerun"? If that was the case, wouldn't somebody else....hell, everybody else, be rooting around smashing & grabbing what they can?

I mean I kind of get wanting to have the players explore everything that the GM (or in the case of BG3, game designers) has created, but you know....that's not what being a GM/DM is. I do not feel it is the GM's job to get the players to explore every nook & cranny. The GM can dangle some threads for the players to pull on, but they should be running the show...making the actual decisions. Sure, there is some expected back & forth, but when the GM starts pushing the players to basically show off....that's not the name of the game here.

Personal Note: This is going to be my last regular post here at Tenkar's Tavern. I'm not even sure how many years I've been posting on Sundays, but I feel like the reasons I started doing so aren't relevant anymore and posting here has become a bit much for me. I'd like to get back to my own blog and doing reviews, free GM resources, and whatnot and honestly after posting on Sundays I'm not feeling like doing more over at my own space...

No worries. Erik & I are good and I'm grateful for the opportunity he gave me to share my thoughts here.


  1. Sorry to see you go. Ad the blog here has moved mostly towards video content I always appreciated your Sunday Posts.

  2. I read Gamerant's take on Baldur's Gate 3's loot system, and I disagree. Rewarding players just for exploring diminishes the thrill of earning loot through significant challenges like boss fights. The best treasures should be a reward for overcoming tough obstacles, not just stumbling across crates.


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