Well, this turned out to be tremendously boring once I had done it twice. So I introduced an algorithm. In the game file, chest X has 10000 gold worth of treasure, and the game would generate the treasure automatically. Much less boring.
My current algorithm is to generate items randomly (less than the amount of treasure), until we get somewhere between 50% and 75% of the desired total amount, and give the rest as coins. Here's an example:
In this case, 10000 gold was desired, and we ended up with:
- A Greatsword +5, worth 2350.
- A Masterwork Greatsword, worth 350.
- A Quarterstaff +5, worth 2300.
- A scroll of Ice Storm, with 800.
- And 4200 in gold.
So, that works OK. And I'm definitely not going back to the "by hand" method! But, this method has a tendency to generate a bunch of mediocre to poor items. It would certainly be more exciting if one good item were to turn up more often (at the expense of all the blah items). It would be super-exciting if, once in awhile, a great item (worth more than 10000 gold, even) showed up.
Anyone have any experience with RPG treasure generation that they liked? Other thoughts?