Not so long ago, our pals in the Anti-Party encountered an adamantine door. Judging by the number of you guys excited at the prospect of becoming fantasy copper thieves, stealing the “inconvenient treasure” from dungeons seems to be a popular pastime.

Adamantine doors specifically are a form of Dungeon Bypass (warning: TV Tropes link). The schtick is that rather than risking life and limb against horrors, tombs, and tombs filled with horrors, the party just steals the door. All you have to do is take a pickaxe to the dungeon stonework, rent a U-Haul, and drive away with a king’s ransom worth of precious metal. Assuming your GM hasn’t instituted a jerk-face blocking maneuver (“You fools! Adamantine cannot be reworked once it’s forged!”), you can all retire your characters and live like kings. That is, over course, assuming you can get 1,630 lbs. worth of door back to town.

You begin to see where I’m coming from with “inconvenient treasure.” The category includes antique furniture, delicate scientific apparatus, and all valuable schwag too cumbersome to fit in a bag of holding. Turning all that potential wealth into cold, hard cash is often its own adventure. And very often more trouble than it’s worth.

I have fond memories of this biz in my own games. Way back on Level 1 of my the Dragon’s Delve megadungeon, for example, the party encountered the following. Courtesy of Monte Cook:

Throughout the chamber, old but still serviceable wooden furniture can be found: a divan here, a bureau there, a wardrobe, a credenza, a few tables of varying sizes, and a massive, sumptuous bed. Even a marble bathtub hides behind a folding wooden screen next to a silver-plated rack for hanging towels. 

If you heard that quest text and imagined Peter and Brian getting the couch out of the Death Star, you’re not alone. Cook made sure to point out that the room’s contents would be worth at least 2,000 gp, but only if someone actually managed to get all of it out of the dungeon.

There are ten pieces that would require some-one of at least average strength to carry, five pieces that require two to carry (even a supernaturally strong character would need help, not from the weight but the unwieldy nature of it, drawers and doors opening, and so on), and two pieces—the bed and the tub—that very likely needs four people to carry it. For the average adventuring party, it’s fairly unrealistic that they could pull off such a thing and get it all the way back to town.

My players tried anyway. Fighting against an indoor blizzard, giant scorpions, and a constant barrage of random encounters, they slowly but surely maneuvered the goods the several miles back to base. It was an impressive feat for a first level party. And being a jerk-face of the first order, I took great delight in introducing the wizardly owner of all that furniture one level later. The party wanted to get in her good graces, and so had to track down the new owners of all that furniture, buy it back, and schlep it once more into the dungeon. Fond memories, y’all! Good times were had by me.

How about the rest of you dungeon delvers? Have you ever dealt with logistics issues getting your trade goods to market? Tell us all about those metric tons of gold, overfilled portable holes, and suits of colossal-sized mithral full plate down in the comments!


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