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I am running a campaign and happen to use the Hoard of the Dragon Queen to get the campaign going. My players will be trying to infiltrate the castle in Episode 6 soon. When reading the adventure I stumbled across something I haven't been able to figure out thus far. It may very well be a remnant of DnD Next so I am asking for some insight.

On page 53 in section 1Q Great Hall, the text reads:

Characters get [list of loot]. Alternatively you can create your own expert-level hoard.

Referring to the tables in the DMG I can piece my own loot together but there is no such thing as an expert-level hoard loot table. As characters are supposed to be level 5, I'd use the appropriate table. However, using it I would roll for money and magic items and come up with substantially more (at least on average) than what the list suggests.

While the DMG notes that hoard loot might be broken down, the adventure text does not make any allusions to this. Hence my question, what is considered an "expert-level" loot and, should that be an entry lost in translation, would using the appropriate level-based table from the DMG be appropriate?

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You are quite right, there is no such thing as an expert-level hoard in D&D5. This is because Hoard of the Dragon Queen was written before the D&D5 rules were finalised and presumably "expert-level hoard" was a thing at that time.

It would probably be appropriate to use the level based loot in the DMG but the DMG is far more parsimonious than the module is at giving out loot. This means you are probably not going to make your PCs overpowered but they could be underpowered!

Alternatively, you could take the list you are given and swap out items of equivalent rarity but perhaps more utility for your party.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for your answer. However, it seems that the loot from the DMG would be more gratifying then what the mentioned loot would give you. All coin and gem values are inferior to what the DMG can offer as far as I see and it only offers 1 Greater Healing Potion whereas the DMG table seems to have a fair chance of 1d6 magic items. Also, thank you for adding "parsimonious" to my vocabulary! \$\endgroup\$ – Eric Oct 15 '15 at 13:41

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