I’ve had a few questions about treasure in adventures of late, so it’s worth going over a few points about how to handle treasure in the D&D Adventurers League. Many of these questions have been previously answered in the AL Player’s Guide or FAQ, but it’s worth the reminder! (Check those links just confirm what I say; I may have misinterpreted something. If I have, let me know!)
Can I take the items used by the monsters?
Sort of. Arms and armour taken from defeated monsters are worthless and cannot be sold. However, for the duration of the session in which you find the items, you can use them. At the end of the session, they break.
The basic idea is that items in monster stat-blocks can’t be taken permanently (or sold).
There are exceptions, but they’ll be called out in the adventure.
Some of the published adventures (such as The Rise of Tiamat) mention that there is treasure without detailing what it is. How do I handle that?
In those cases, you may use the random tables in the DMG to award gold and consumable magic items. You may not award permanent magic items.
Out of the Abyss instructs you to roll on the Magic Item tables to determine what magic items are found. How does that work?
Instead of randomly rolling, the Adventurers League uses a predetermined set of results. You can find the list here: Out of the Abyss amendments.
Can I modify an adventure?
Yes, to some extent.
As the DM, you should be attempting to keep the game enjoyable for the players. The most common problem an adventure will have is an encounter that is too difficult or too easy for the group. In this case, you can add or subtract monsters (or adjust their hit points). If you add monsters, adding more monsters of types that are in the encounter already is preferred. If that isn’t possible, use monsters found elsewhere in the adventure – random encounter tables are a good starting point. Use the guidelines for scaling encounters in the DMG to help you adjust things, but don’t abandon your common sense!
You should never completely change an encounter. “I don’t think goblins are tough enough. I’ll replace them with beholders!” is going too far.
Note that the “Scaling the Adventure” sidebars in D&D Expeditions adventures are guidelines, not rules. You should feel free to adjust encounter difficulty to fit your group, not blindly use what the adventure sets down. You should aim to not make things too easy or too difficult.
You may also need to cut down adventures to fit the time available. It’s a skill which comes with experience.
What if the players go off track?
Do what you need to get them back into the adventure, inventing material as required. Although you’re not meant to add monsters, adapting Random Monster encounters is fine.
Can I add treasure?
No. There are times when you need to determine what it is (as described above), but you aren’t allowed to just add more treasure to an adventure.
If I add monsters, do I also award more XP?
Yes. Note that D&D Encounters and D&D Expeditions adventures have hard caps on how much XP the players can gain. These caps aren’t present in the published adventures.