Yesterday I discussed one possible solution to the problem of slow advancement due to small amounts of treasure in AD&D. As I mentioned, this was a problem that particular loomed over my Nightwick Campaign. I found this somewhat odd as I was generating treasure more or less by the book, so I decided to look into it. Yesterday's solution focused on increasing the amount of xp a single gold piece provides. Today I'll talk about the method I'm actually using in the Greyhawk campaign: increasing the amount of treasure.
This method is not without precedent. Quasqueton at EN World was kind enough to do some of my work for me. Since it is a starter module written by Gary Gygax and designed specifically with AD&D in mind I'll be primarily focusing on T1: The Village of Hommlet. According to Quasqueton's figure, whcih I sadly have not had time to confirm, the total value of the treasure in the module is 30,938gp.
A large sum, especially when compared to the amounts suggested for a first level dungeon in the DMG. In total, the moat house consists of 35 rooms, well below the hypothetical 100 I used for yesterday's example. It somehow manages to provide ten times the amount of treasure that would be allowed using the DMG's method. How do we square this?
It's likely that Gygax was aware of the slow pace of advancement with the above system and that he inflated the treasure to compensate. The method I used in my version of Castle Greyhawk provided a similar amount of treasure. Obviously that's a much bigger structure, but there is quite a bit more empty space in it than there is in the moathouse.
This method works best if one maintains the other rules as they are. Upkeep and training are designed to take away this excess coinage so that the players don't screw up the campaign economy -- which is different from the economy of the milieu. It strikes me that Gygax likely sought to solve the new problem created by training costs rather than changing everything over to a silver standard. I'm not sure what his motivation would be, but I've more or less replicated his fix so I can't complain too much.
Now to put a fly in the ointment. Yesterday, -C commented "I thought AD&D changed the rules so that you recieved 1xp per 5gp, so that you would accumulate more money between levels, allowing you to pay for things like training." This makes some sense; however it wouldn't solve the bigger problem of the pace of advancement. If you use the rules in the DMG as is, it would take even longer to level up because each PC would still be only getting 600gp on the first level. Now they only have 120xp from gold. Even the inflated amounts don't hold up to this metric. The moat house would only give a total of 1,031xp for treasure, which isn't even enough for a thief to level off of.
Ultimately, I think it's best to use whatever works for your campaign and your group. If you're looking for a more realistic economy, then increasing the xp from gp is probably the way to go. If you prefer piles of coins to realism, then it's probably better to just use the rules as is and up the treasure substantially.