Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Where does the treasure go?

Heroes, as we know, require treasure, yet there are obvious problems with that. They receive it by the bucket load, yet there they are at the start of the next adventure needing more. What is happening to it in the meantime? Some possibilities:

1. They’ve been paying it into a pension scheme that hasn’t been doing well, what with the economic problems caused when the dragons started just sitting on their wealth again rather than investing it.
2. They put it all on red in the kingdom’s largest casino, which seemed like a good bet until they realised that was not ‘mindlessly bloody slaughter’ night after all.
3. Since traditional barbarian skills don’t include much in the way of tax accountancy, they might be paying it all straight to the treasury as a way of making up for past defaults (and robberies).
4. It might have been turned into small cupcakes by passing leprechauns eager to ensure that the value of the gold at the end of their rainbows keeps appreciating.
5. A very large team of pickpockets might have been very busy for about half an hour.
6. They might be statutorily obliged to spend ninety percent or more on wine, women and song. Which could be a problem for your tea-total and tone deaf barbarian.
7. Large queues of charitable organisations might form the moment a quest is successfully undertaken. After all, without someone paying for a new temple roof, how will the priests of Xxllzgl ever get back to their traditional pastimes of sacrificing people, bringing reigns of terror, and winning scrabble competitions?


John Wiswell said...

I always liked the Indiana Jones model of the hero pursuing specific treasures for an endless goal. He wants to add to academia and knowledge, so just finding the Ark isn't enough. It's also a more admirable trait than somebody who wants to get rich.

stu said...

My problem with Indiana Jones is very simple: the man doesn't carry a trowel. What kind of so called archaeologist is not in possession of a B&Q pointing trowel at all times?

David Jace said...

8. They sell/spend the treasure on bigger, badder weapons and armor.

9. They are using it to decorate their house. Christmas requires lots of shiny flashy things, you know!

10. They store it safely under their mattress, guarded by their pet dragon. However, while they are off adventuring, heroes from other cultures (goblins, orcs, etc) are raiding their house to acquire treasure. Thus, it is all in an endless circle.

stu said...

I once pointed out the essential problem with number eight in a short story, which is that at the point where heroes actually need weapons and armour, they still haven't won the treasure to pay for it. Some kind of system of credit is required.

David Jace said...

Ewww! not credit. If they're buying their weapons on credit, no wonder they need so much treasure!

I play an rpg adventuring game called Elven Fire and the basic weapons (simple sword, bow with arrows, etc) are really cheap. They could easily do some odd jobs in town to earn the startup money to go adventuring, and then buy better equipment as they *ahem* "acquire" treasure.