In the beginning, we killed things and took their stuff.
Some of us still do that. Others of us got this crazy idea that maybe our PCs could do some other things and have some complex motivations.
What’s the role of treasure in a game that follows that second path? Is it a reward? If so, it isn’t really the most appropriate one – an effective reward should correspond to the motivation of either the PC or the player.
There’s also no particular reason that treasure needs to scale with PC power level. That is a consideration of game and campaign design. You can have a (fun) game that has neither treasure acquisition nor necessary character advancement – Spirit of the Century is one example. Most superhero games don’t really have treasure acquisition. Why do we see it as necessary to fantasy?
In the D&D game Angela is running, treasure acquisition isn’t really a goal. The PCs were mostly motivated by trying to clear their names and to seek answers to some questions. As they found the answers, they found that their world was in danger and began to do what they could to help. I know that Angela has been having a hard time fitting treasure into the game. We don’t kill a lot of things and take their stuff. While treasure acquisition is an assumption of the game system, it isn’t really as appropriate to this campaign as it is in many others.
Yeah, we probably should be using a system other than D&D. Is that the answer here? Is there something that I’m missing?