A Review of the Role Playing Game Supplement The Mother of All Treasure Tables

The Mother of All Treasure Tables is a role playing game supplement published by Necromancer Games that was intended for use with the Dungeons & Dragons 3.x system. As a result, the supplement was originally written for the d20 License, but is now covered by the Open Game License and some of the material is therefore considered to be Open Game Content. This is a collection of treasures that can be found.

The supplement is available as a bookmarked PDF from RPGNow for $15.99 but it was purchased at the reduced price of $11.99. Hardcopy versions can still be found from sites such as Amazon. The PDF is the version reviewed. This is a 162 page PDF, of which two pages are the colour front and rear covers, one page is the front matter, one page the Table of Contents, five pages are ads for other supplements and one page is the Legal Appendix, which includes the Open Game License.

The Mother of All Treasure TablesThe Introduction explains the book and how it is intended to make treasure more interesting. There are section on ways to use the book and what it is not – there are no magical items included in any of these treasures. There are suggestions on how to make changes to treasures to remove any that aren’t suitable, or for monsters to actually use some of them. How to roll for treasures, or pick them is covered, and this is followed by several examples on how to do this. The Introduction also references treasure levels per encounter, which can also be found in the relevant Dungeon Master’s Guide.

The majority of the book is taken up by the various treasure tables, of which there are ten. The tables are divided by gp value, with each table covering a different range – each result on a table might not be worth the same as the general amount.

The first table covers treasures that are worth under 10 gp, and cover that range. These are the types of items that could be found in a pocket or pouch.

Tables II to IX cover different ranges; 50 gp, 100 gp, 500 gp, 1,000 gp, 10,000 gp, 30,000 gp and 50,000 gp. The treasures on Table II are pretty close to 50 gp in value, with only minor fluctuations; Tables II to IX vary by 2% from the table’s value either way.

The final table, Epic Treasure, is treasures with a value of more than 100,000 gp, often much, much more, with some being worth over 1,000,000 gp.

Tables I to VI each have 100 results, with a d100 being used to select them. Table VII has only 50 results, rolled on d100. Tables VIII and IX have 20 results, rolled on d20 and finally Table X has 10 results, rolled on d10.

Rather than being one single treasure worth that amount, each result is divided into different valuable items, some more than others. Some may have effectively one whilst others may have many more. The valuables range from simple coins to gemstones to jewellery to containers, decorative items, statues, furniture, trade goods and many other items. Each item has a listed value, from perhaps on a single copper piece to many tens of thousands of gold pieces. Even extremely valuable treasures may have some low-value items in them.

The descriptions do not just list the item either; they go into detail about what they look like. Each result is designed to be read out loud to players, describing what they find. There are italicised portions in brackets for GameMaster use only, which includes values.

The Mother of All Treasure Tables in Review

The PDF is bookmarked with the different tables and the Introduction linked. The Table of Contents covers a similar level of detail. Although this doesn’t result in much bookmark depth, it really isn’t possible to do a more in-depth result. Navigation is therefore fine.

The text maintains a two column format and a few minor errors were noticed. The table entries have an alternating background, from the white of the rest of the book to a grey colour, which makes it easy to tell the different results apart. There are some black and white illustrations, but none of them appear to be custom for the text.

This may be aimed at Dungeons & Dragons and related systems but really it’s far more generic than this might suggest. In fact, it can easily be considered system-neutral and is usable for any fantasy system which uses the standard coinage system. It could be adapted to others as well. Yes, the tables and results are based into categories based on a D&D 3.x premise, but that doesn’t mean they have to be used that way.

Individual results can easily be used from any table to make any treasure hoard or discovery more interesting, as the descriptions go into detail, sometimes extremely loving detail, about what the treasures are. There may be no magic items, but the descriptions can certainly be used to build a memorably described magical item. For example, “a longsword with a leaf-shaped pommel, slightly longer and more slender than the average blade. Its keen edge and elegant lines show it was obviously made by a master’s hand” will make a much more interesting item than a longsword +1. Items could also be used as a source of adventure hooks, as suggested in the Introduction. Finally, even though the book is divided into tables, and the tables into specific descriptions of piles of treasure, this doesn’t mean that the results can’t be essentially scavenged for parts, and individual items can be used to create new treasures hoards.

The Mother of All Treasure Tables is a really nice collection of extremely well detailed that can be used to enhance the discovery of treasure and it can be found by clicking here.

 

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