Your Adventuring Party Discovered Treasure. Now What?
Have you ever been attacked and robbed by bandits while returning from a long forgotten dungeon, losing an entire week’s worth of adventuring profits?
Has your personal treasure stash ever been stolen while you were out on a loot run?
If so, you need to read these tips on how to manage your treasure.
Transporting Your Treasure
Treasure is a major motivating factor for adventurers, with the lure of royal jewels, ancient circlets, and piles of gold inspiring hundreds of adventurers. While dreams of a dragon hoard flit through every adventurer’s head, what exactly do you do once you defeat the dragon? Far from civilization, dragon hoards are a logistical nightmare to transport.
Often weighing several tons, hundreds of carts would be required to transport the treasure by land. As all adventurers know, large caravans full of treasure are hardly inconspicuous, making them likely to be attacked and raided before they reach their destination. So, how exactly should you transport treasure?
The easiest and safest way to transport this much treasure is obvious: magic. Utilizing spells such as teleportation circle, teleport, gate, or plane shift enable you to move large volumes of treasure to a new location.
If you don’t have a wizard, or access to a wizard-hireling, you may be able to use magic items to transport your treasure. A handy haversack, bag of holding, or portable hole can easily be filled with treasure. Since these items are bigger on the inside, you can fit a large amount of treasure in a small, lightweight item.
Because the treasure is much less conspicuous, you are unlikely to garner unwanted attention. Though it may take several casts, and/or several trips, eventually you can ferry all of your treasure to a new location.
If you must use mundane means to transport treasure, consider one of the following distractions to prevent robbers from noticing your caravan:
Transport the treasure during a festival, where a large number of carts may go unnoticed.
Distract nearby villages with a bardic performance or play that draws crowds.
Come up with a story that explains the origins and cargo of your caravan, such as a silk route train, or medicine for a nearby plague, which may be less valuable to robbers.
Disguising your caravan as a traveling circus may also be less suspicious, where enclosed wagons can effectively hide and provide security for treasure.
When transporting treasure, caravans should be guarded 24/7 by well-paid guards, in addition to party members. It is crucial to ensure all hired guards are trustworthy, well-paid, and immune to corruption or blackmail by outside parties. If you hire the wrong kind of guard, you treasure falls prey to treachery from the inside, which is much more dangerous than an attack from a random bandit party.
Once your treasure reaches its destination, it is important to store or distribute it effectively. The long-term storage of treasure is best done by professionals, such as an underground dwarven bank, which have physical and magical protections in place.
While it may be tempting to store treasure yourself and avoid the monthly fees of well-established banks, the up-front cost of erecting your own fortifications can be incredibly large. Then again, if you just robbed a dragon of their loot, it may be an option you want to consider.
Protecting Your Loot: How To Create Your Own Dungeon
Treasure may be stored on your personal estate, which offers ease of access, or stored in a remote location, which may have better natural fortifications. Examples include the inside of a volcano or even an abandoned shipwreck deep under the sea.
Regardless of the location you choose, you will need to put in place powerful physical and/or magical barriers to protect your treasure. As an adventurer, you have exposure to a wide variety of magics and monsters that most people never see, granting you the opportunity to create unusual and creative defenses.
For example, you could collect monsters from your travels and use them to defend your treasure. By creating several rooms with your treasure at the center, you can force intruders to fight through multiple dangerous monsters before having the opportunity to steal your treasure. Creating a maze with a medusa or minotaur inside, filling a moat with water weirds, or stuffing your plumbing with basilisks are all effective ways to prevent or dispose of thieves.
When deciding on which fortifications to erect, think about how you would break into a location like this one, and ensure that you have defenses in place to protect against each method.
Finally, carefully placed magical defenses, such as glyphs of warding, with high amounts of damage, can dissuade robbers. In addition, hiring an architect to build mundane traps, such as pit traps, rolling stone boulders, or trapping door handles with poison needles, can add another, less expensive line of defense. Ensure that all monsters, traps, and magical defenses are regularly fed, reset, and inspected by a team of expert hirelings.
Upkeep comes at a cost, but may be worth it to store your treasure on your own terms.