I've been thinking about creating some more detailed random treasure hoard tables for Savage Worlds, as a kind of expansion to the system given in the Fantasy Companion. The rules there go into incredible depth for randomly selecting magic items (as is traditional in fantasy RPGs), but all other treasure is described simply as "Silver & Gold". Which definitely has the advantage of simplicity. However I personally rather like to at least have the opportunity to roll on tables for gems, jewellery, books, maps, and other miscellaneous items of value. I like the feeling this gives to a campaign - that the PCs aren't just racking up chests full of gold pieces - that a painting or a bracelet or a pouch of herbs are all valuable too. So far this is what I've thought:
I'd like to keep the simplicity of the system, by determining the total value of a treasure hoard, excluding magic items, by just rolling 1d10 and multiplying by the magnitude of the hoard. So that'd be the first step, as normal. But then it'd be nice, once the total value has been determined, to have some more tables to roll on to determine exactly what the valuable items are. Something like:
Hoard contents (1d6):
1-3 Just coins
4-5 Coins + one valuable item
6 Coins plus multiple valuable items
For a hoard with one or more valuable items, we need to determine what proportion of the hoard's total value is made up of coins, and what proportion is made up of the valuable items. A simple system is to say that the extra items are worth d10 x 10% of the hoard's total value. The remainder is coins.
Obviously if a hoard contains just one valuable item, its value can be easily calculated. Multiple items have proportional values as follows:
Multiple items' proportional value (1d6):
1 Two items - 50 / 50
2 Two items - 25 / 75
3 Two items - 10 / 90
4 Three items - 33 / 33 / 33
5 Three items - 20 / 40 / 40
6 Three items - 10 / 10 / 80
A Worthwhile treasure hoard has a total value of 1d10 x $100. Say we roll a 7, meaning that it's worth $700. We then roll to see if there are any special valuable items in the treasure hoard. A roll of 1d6 results in a 6 - multiple valuable items. 1d10 is rolled to determine what proportion of the hoard's value is made up by these valuable items - a result of 5 means 50% = $350. A further roll of 1d6 - resulting in a 3 - denotes that there are two valuable items, with proportional values of 10% / 90% of the valuable items sub-total (i.e. $35 and $315).
So the hoard contains $350 worth of coins, an item worth $35 and an item worth $315.
Well, perhaps that all sounds a bit complicated. But I think it'd work smoothly enough in practice, and I can't think of anything easier for now!
Of course there'd also need to be a set of tables to determine what exactly these "valuable items" are! This is the fun bit. Here's a simple table for starters:
Valuable items (1d8):
5 Art / furnishings
6 Fur / cloth
7 Herbal / alchemical