For my purposes, this applies explicitly to running a published adventure like Out of the Abyss, but a general answer would also be useful.

When the party has a random encounter with a non-humanoid away from it's home/lair, is it supposed to have treasure? If so how is this implemented? Most monsters don't generally walk around with a money purse or carrying magical trinkets or spare weapons or any "treasure" whatsoever. I have done the trick of having the party find treasure on the monster's previous victims in the past, but for many random encounters where the creature is not "at home" even that doesn't make sense.

The DMG treasure table (p. 136) suggests that any monster of a given CR should have a random number of coins according to its CR, but that doesn't really "make sense" for a lot of random encounters.


1 Answer 1


You're not required to give the monsters treasure. If it doesn't make sense for the monsters to have treasure, don't give them any. The players will at least receive XP. However, if you want to reward the players further, you can do that if you get a little crafty.

Firstly, you can have the monster's lair somewhere nearby. Should your adventurers consider the possibility of its existence and search for it, they would find the treasure there (and perhaps even more monsters).

If you don't want to make a lair, but you still want to avoid your adventurers finding coins in monsters like they're your classical RPG Pinata, you could count up all the coins that the monsters would have had and have those appear somewhere more appropriate. Perhaps the party stumbles upon a thief's stash. Perhaps the chest they find in a dungeon a few days later contains more gold than a normal chest would. You can often find a convenient place to belatedly reward your adventurers.

Wherever you choose the coins to appear, make sure the party has the same chance at noticing them as they would if the coins were with the monsters that you rolled them for. Maybe even make them easier to notice, as you'll probably group up multiple monster's worth of coins in a single stash, and it would be unfair to miss the entire stash because of one bad roll.

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    \$\begingroup\$ If you go back to the Troll encounter in The Hobbit, they defeated the three trolls and then had to go and find their stash. (It wasn't far away, but it was a separate event: defeat monster, find treasure/trash hoard). \$\endgroup\$ Oct 5, 2015 at 13:52

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