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 playing.

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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