The next adventure I’m going to be running for the 5th level group in my Parsantium campaign is Goodman Games’ Scions of Punjar, one of their 4th edition Dungeon Crawl Classics. Today, I went through the adventure looking to swap out some of the magic items with things that the PCs in my campaign would find useful. As I was doing this, it became obvious that the adventure gives away far too much treasure as it stands. I’d already made a note to myself that the reward of 1,000 gp each offered by the patron at the start needed to be 1,000 gp for the whole party but there were numerous other examples of over-generosity. As well as many NPCs carrying +1 weapons – something that might have been necessary in 3.x to get enemy attack bonuses up enough – there is about three times too much monetary treasure in the adventure (including nearly 8,000 gp in the final section) and, my favourite, a 19th level magic item (a portable hole) at the end!
I’m not mad keen on the 4e “treasure parcels” system but it does make it reasonably easy to avoid giving out too much treasure to PCs and then having to come up with ingenious ways to get rid of it later. It looks like Scions of Punjar, although a good adventure, was written without any reference to these rules, either because the writer didn’t have access to them – possible as it came out in 2008 – or chose to disregard them. Whichever it was, I’ve had to do quite a bit of work taking treasure out as well as tailoring the rewards to my party. Let’s hope the same isn’t true of Thrones of Punjar….