If the Wealth-By-Level is an indication of the value of Magic Items for Player Characters to use in combat, does the WBL for NPCs have the same purpose, or is it there for some other purpose (to provide treasure for PCs, say).


1 Answer 1


WBL for NPCs

The WBL for NPCs is largely to give NPCs the kind of adventuring gear expected (or required) by adventurers to present a challenge (either to PCs, or as allies when fighting other NPCs). A Wizard without a spellbook, or a Fighter without arms and armour are easy meat and do not correctly reflect their Challenge Rating.

The WBL for NPCs is not intended to override the normal treasure guidelines in the WBL entry in terms of loot for encounters/expected WBL, and NPCs receive less WBL than PCs partially due to this concern.

  • \$\begingroup\$ @jack_lesnie does this mean that a tricked out NPC defeated by players would present a larger treasure reward because it contains the normal treasure from the encounter + the NPC gear? Should this be mitigated by a few treasure less fights to make up for the NPC horde? \$\endgroup\$ Mar 29, 2016 at 8:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ There is no +. The NPC has its WBL, and the PCs find the loot they are entitled to. You can use some of the NPC's WBL on temporary effects like potions, and "burn" it ahead of time, or simply give less wealth in further encounters. If the NPC uses items the PCs can't use, they have to sell them for half price, and so get less value as well. \$\endgroup\$
    – SPavel
    Mar 29, 2016 at 13:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ To make it absolutely clear: The NPC's WBL is the treasure that PCs get for defeating them. If part of an NPC's wealth is something players can't claim (perhaps because it's a large, fixed structure in a collapsing demiplane), that part doesn't count as part of the NPC's wealth - but anything the players can shove into their bag of holding before running to the exit portal does. \$\endgroup\$
    – GMJoe
    Mar 30, 2016 at 2:54

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