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Am writing an adventure for a group of level 1 characters.

I have decided to roll randomly for treasure as per the tables on page 52 & 53 of the DMG. However I cannot see how I use tables 3-6: Gems & 3-7: Art Objects?

So far for a EL2 encounter I have generated 2 Art. Am I then supposed to roll on table 3-7 to work out how much each Art piece is valued at? and does this mean that technically it could generate a 2d6x1000gp art piece if I roll 100 on the table (Seems a bit much for Level 1 characters)?

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

Yes, that's exactly what they earn. Two art objects, each of which might be worth a ton if they are lucky.

However.

This happens very infrequently - you have a 5% chance to get an art reward at all, and then only a 1% chance to roll the 2d6*1000 result. That's 1 in 2000 chance, and a typical PC will have about 270 encounters in their entire career from level 1 to 20.

Thereafter, the PCs need to appraise the artwork. Since nobody puts ranks in Appraise and a 12,000gp artwork is going to be very rare and exotic, you have every right in the world to set the DC at "DC 15, 20, or higher." If the PCs fail, they don't know what their art is worth.

If the PCs do learn the item's value, they now need to carry the object across (presumably) vast and dangerous wilderness, just so they can try and find someone who will buy it from them. That sounds like a hilarious campaign in its own right. Can the PCs pawn their Mona Lisa before dragons, international art thieves, and the police find them? Will the merchant they sell to hoodwink them, and what will the PCs do once they find out?

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No-one puts ranks in appraise? Huh. I've always seen players put exactly one rank in it, since failing a trained roll in that skill is as good as succeeding at an untrained roll. – GMJoe Mar 21 at 23:19
    
@GMJoe Actually, you got it slightly wrong. There is two tiers of items: Common and Rare. Common you can get no value (untrained failure), approximate value (trained failure), or true value (success). Rare you can get no value (failure), approximate value (untrained success), or true value (trained success). – Nibelung Mar 22 at 2:06
    
@Nibelung Looking at d20srd.org/srd/skills/appraise.htm, you're absolutely right. Even so, that's a big difference between being trained and being untrained... Honestly, it's not my favourite skill; As there's no rules or guidelines for paid appraisal or selling incorrectly-appraised goods, it's hard for a GM to make a failed appraisal roll matter in play. – GMJoe Mar 22 at 2:18

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