3
\$\begingroup\$

I'm going to use diamonds as an example, but other spell component gems may have the same problem and solution.

The DM Guide outlines specific tables for random generation of gems. Diamonds at specific values are required for multiple spells of interest, e.g. revivify (300 gp of diamonds) and other resurrection spells at higher amounts. The only diamond available in the the random gem tables is a 5000 gp diamond.

Obviously, as the DM, I'm going to make lower denomination diamonds available to my party. However, the way I do this is to award a "50 gp diamond" or "100 gp diamond," when, RAW, diamonds are not defined as allowed at those denominations.

Am I missing something or is this just a gap in the rules?

\$\endgroup\$
2

1 Answer 1

8
\$\begingroup\$

The 5000 gp diamond is the only diamond on any of the DMG treasure tables.

As you have observed, the only diamond on the Gemstones tables in the DMG is the diamond appearing on the 5000 gp Gemstones table. If you are strictly using the treasure tables in Chapter 7 for loot, then you will not be giving the players any diamonds unless you hit on the 5000 gp diamond. However, it should be simple enough to swap in diamonds for some of lesser-value gems found in the gem hoards and caches. It is worth echoing here the introduction to the Dungeon Master's Guide:

The D&D rules help you and the other players have a good time, but the rules aren’t in charge. You’re the DM, and you are in charge of the game.

There is simply no rule which restricts the DM to only using the treasure hoard tables, so there is no sense in which even a strict rules-as-written approach to running the game should prevent you from just giving out some lower tier diamonds to your players. That said, treasure hoards are not the only canonical source of gemstones in the world.

You let them buy what they need at the market.

Gemstones are like large-denomination bills in the economy of D&D 5e:

Gems, Jewelry, and Art Objects

These items retain their full value in the marketplace, and you can either trade them in for coin or use them as currency for other transactions.

-Player's Handbook, "Selling Treasure"

Fortunately, as the Dungeon Master, you are not restricted to following the written guidance and rules to the letter, in fact, if you did, your world would be woefully incomplete. Gems are "trade goods" in the economy of D&D 5e, and any sufficiently large town or city is certain to have a shopkeeper that deals in precious gems. If a cleric needs a 300 gp diamond for revivify, they should typically be able to find one at the Waterdeep Zales outlet for 300 gp.

\$\endgroup\$
7
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast A good, obvious point. I've added it in, thanks. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 1, 2021 at 12:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ Your last sentence sounds like you are talking about a particular instead of a generic cleric, and while I thoroughly enjoy Waterdeep Zales outlet, it made me re-read the question because I thought I had missed something. (if [a], [they] would probably leave me less confused.) -upvoted either way \$\endgroup\$
    – Akixkisu
    Nov 1, 2021 at 12:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ This answer is good advice for a new DM on how to take the books and apply DMness to them. 👍 This related answer may also be helpful, in terms of providing a reference to a table from a previous edition. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 1, 2021 at 13:12
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I think it's worth noting that RAW does not prevent you from choosing to award lower-value diamonds. The DMG says "you can use the following tables to randomly determine the kind of gemstones". It doesn't say that you must use the tables. So even strictly within RAW it is perfectly acceptable to simply choose to provide a 50 gp diamond if you roll a 50 gp gem on a loot roll. My guess is that they left diamonds off the lower-value random gem tables on purpose so that DMs would have the choice of exactly how much value in diamonds to provide to the party. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 1, 2021 at 13:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ Appreciate this answer, and yes, I am not limiting myself to just the strict tables. I guess I just wanted to make sure that there wasn't some other random table out there I was missing. You see, I'm building a few software tools to help me run my games, and I'm incorporating the tables into them. Just seemed like an obvious gap I never noticed before since I just made sure lower tier diamonds were in the world. :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Trekkie
    Nov 1, 2021 at 16:24

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .