Too Little Treasure
In the case of a tight-fisted DM, the most obvious signs that the players are
not having fun are frustration, cynicism, and low expectations. If the
characters are not finding treasures commensurate to the risks they took, the players
are going to wonder if all the effort of playing is really worth it. They become
frustrated when, upon solving a devious trap, they discover a pittance, or
nothing at all.
Their cynicism shows as they start to make snide remarks about the level of
rewards they have received or are likely to get for future efforts. Finally, they
just begin to expect less and less from the DM's campaign, until it reaches
the point where they expect nothing and they go home! In such a campaign, the DM
may have a fine time, creating detailed settings and elaborate adventures. But
if he does not have the enthusiasm of his players, there isn't much point in
Such a campaign can succeed if there are other rewards that involve the
players in the game. Perhaps there are ample opportunities for character advancement
or personality development. The characters may have the opportunity to play a
decisive role in world affairs. These things are possible, but only a DM of
extraordinary skill can overcome the drawbacks he has created.
Fortunately, the problems of too little treasure are easily fixed—simply
introduce more treasure into the campaign. No adjustments need to be made to the
characters. The treasures available in the game world can be increased without the
players even aware that the change has been effected.
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