I understand that encounters are balanced around exp thresholds in the DMG (e.g. https://rpg.stackexchange.com/a/105360).

With that said, there are loot tables in the DMG 136-139 that have "Challenge Rating" ranges for how loot should be distributed.

I understand CR is not supposed to be summed or multiplied, but if the party kills 20 CR 3 monsters, in the loot table, what would the challenge rating range be for these monetary loots?

As a tangential note: the DMG item loot tables don't really explain which table to use "A vs B vs J, vs K...".


Loot flows from the leader

The DMG section on Treasure is a bit jumbled, probably because they had to fit in a bunch of tables and I know from experience that's hard to do. There's is however guidance on how to use the tables.

From page 133 of the DMG:

When determining the contents of a hoard belonging to one monster, use the table that corresponds to that monster's challenge rating. When rolling to determine a treasure hoard belonging to a large group of monsters, use the challenge rating of the monster that leads the group. If the hoard belongs to no one, use the challenge rating of the monster that presides over the dungeon or lair you are stocking. If the hoard is a gift from a benefactor, use the challenge rating equal to the party's average level.

These tables include entries where you roll on Magic Item Table X N times (X = A, B, C, ...) and N is determined by a die roll. This is clarified ahead of these tables aswell:

When you use a Treasure Hoard table to randomly determine the contents of a treasure hoard and your roll indicates the presence of one or more magic items, you can determine the specific magic items by rolling on the appropriate table(s) here.

Dungeon Master's Guide, p. 144


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