Finding the Treasure Chest
The Lost Art of Finding a Chest Site (Without Using an Archive), by Blackheath

This is an edited version of the lecture I gave during the THB first anniversary treasure hunter's clinic. I have had a few requests to post it here, so here it is. I hope this helps a few of you find a new way to enjoy t-hunting.

Why would anyone want to find a chest spot without using an archive? Good question. One reason is it may be necessary. If you can't access the archive for some reason, if the map you are looking for isn't there, or if it is but the coordinates are wrong, you either find the spot yourself or you don't dig up the treasure.

Another reason of course is that you might find it fun. There is a certain satisfaction in it. And of course anyone who is seriously role playing a pure treasure hunter might consider it mandatory.

I am going to go off on a tangent and take a little trip down memory lane here, looking at the early days of treasure hunting and the building of the archives in use today. Back when treasure hunting first started there was no such thing as a map archive. We all had to go out and find the chest spots on our own. There was a treasure hunter's board on the original Great Lakes Tribune, and the map archive associated with that is the first archive I was aware of.

There was a bit of controversy back then over the best way to mark a spot. Many t-hunters took the coordinates after the chest was up while they stood to one side of it. Naturally, this resulted in the numbers being off by a small amount. Since all treasure hunters had mining in those days, it was not a big problem, but nevertheless, the numbers posted were not always 100% accurate. Some of the errors made back then may still be around in other archives, depending on where they got their information from and how much if any updating has been done to them.

The Great Lakes Tribune archive is still in use today. It is the one that is found on the Crossroads of Britannia's site. Many of us who read the treasure hunter's board contributed coordinates to that archive. We had a lot of fun doing it, and it was a bit like a competition to see who could get a particular map in there first.

I am going to tell you a couple of the methods we used to find those spots.

First, I will assume you already know how to find the general location of a map; that is, is it near the crossroads? Which island is it on? etc. Comparing the treasure map to a larger map of Britannia can help you with that.

So, you are in the general area, now what? Well, there are two ways you can do this. The first method requires you to bring along a few blank maps. Yes, you can actually use cartography for something practical! *grins*

Stand in one spot, preferably close to where you think the spot should be, and draw a detail map. Don't move from that spot. Open the map you just made, and use "plot course" at the top of the map. Put a pin in each corner diagonally so that you have an "X" across the middle of the map. You will be standing at the centre of that X.

Compare where you are to where the base of the pin on your treasure map is. (Note: by "base of the pin", I mean where the pin enters the map, just above the shadow.)

You should be able to tell how far away you are and what direction you need to move in. Make as many maps as you need till the centre of your X looks the same as the base of the pin on the treasure map. You may still need to move around a bit while digging if your mining is low (or non-existant).

Some people find it useful to put some kind of marker on the ground such as a bandage or fish steak to tell them where they started their search. That can keep you from wasting time going over ground you have already tried.

If you don't feel like carting a bunch of maps around with you, you can find your spots using UO Automap as well. In the automap menu under "map", uncheck "tilt" and check "hide statics". Zoom the map to 1/2 and you have the same view that is used for the treasure maps themselves.

The yellow lines along the coast on automap are the same as the solid coastline on your treasure map, and the brown lines outside them are the same as the little squiggly "hair" lines.

When you compare the t-map to automap bear in mind a few things:
On the treasure maps; roads, rivers and coastline are all drawn very accurately and are good reference points. Any dungeons, shrines towns and mountains are NOT drawn accurately. They are there to help you determine the general location of the chest. You are probably all familiar with maps on Bucaneer's Den, and how the town looks much closer on the treasure map than it is in reality. You will notice however, that the coastline is accurate for your spot.

So, if you make a straight line east/west from the base of your pin, and one north/south, you should be able to find an outstanding feature along each line. Find the same feature on automap and head to the place where the two lines intersect.

Keep moving closer and comparing both lines until you are where you want to be, at the treasure site. Again, for those with low mining you may need to walk a few paces in each direction until you find it.

(you can use anything with a straight edge to make your lines, I have a flexible plastic 8" ruler that I find ideal for the job)

Using either of these methods will help you find any chest anywhere. Finding spots on your own can add a feeling of adventure and accomplishment, and also turn you from a treasure "digger" into a true treasure "hunter"!

One thing to note: while it can be fun and rewarding to find the spots without an archive, it is NOT fun trying to do it while you have an eager party with you that is growing more impatient as you spend more time looking. That can make a very frustrating situation for you. If you are taking people with you, let them know what to expect.