Treasure hunting is the game of finding and decoding treasure maps in the hope of locating buried treasure. It requires the Cartography skill to perform.
Most Treasure maps can be found by fishing with a fishing pole or as loot. Some treasure maps can only be found as a drop from a boss monster or a monster in a heroic or epic instance of a dungeon. Using a treasure map will give you co-ordinates that you can use a sextant or the In Wis spell to locate on the main continent of New Sosaria. The treasure (or lair) is found by digging with a shovel.
The first step is getting your hands on a treasure map.
The easiest way to obtain treasure maps is by fishing for them. Apart from being a good source of food, there is the chance that you will recover a treasure map from a bottle. The quality of the treasure map will be proportionate to your fishing skill.
Treasure maps can also be found as monster loot and inside other treasure chests.
Each treasure map is encoded with a certain difficulty (from 0 to 15). To determine where the treasure is, a treasure map must first be decoded using the cartography skill. The higher the grade of map, the more cartography skill is required to decode it.
Decoding (or attempting to decode) a treasure map can simply be done by read it (as you would a scroll, with r).
If your cartography is too low, the treasure map will be impossible to decode.
Also, successfully decoding a treasure map leaves it in such a sorry state that it will be destroyed and removed from your inventory.
Special or Fancy Maps
Rewards found from treasure maps increase with their level, ending in level 15 maps that require grandmastery in [Cartography] to read. However the best payoffs come from special or fancy maps such as blessed level 15 maps, crystal treasure maps, blood treasure maps and radioactive treasure maps with high or guaranteed chance of having an artifact or other special items as loot. Some of them can only be found on other continents or in heroic and epic dungeon instances.
Finding the Treasure
Once you have a set of co-ordinates, you'll need to locate them on the main continent.
Use a sextant or cast the In Wis spell to determine your current co-ordinates on the main continent. Move towards the co-ordinates you obtained from the treasure map.
The treasure will be buried near the co-ordinates from the map. The higher your cartography, the greater the accuracy of the decoded co-ordinates.
The real co-ordinates will always be on a part of the continent map that you can walk on. It won't be in the water or on other impassable terrain.
When you are near the co-ordinates, Use (u) your shovel and dig on the continent map around you. You may have to do quite a bit of digging before you locate the actual treasure.
When you find the correct location, you'll either uncover a chest or reveal the entrance to a hidden cave, which will contain a chest. This is where some security skills will come in handy.
Finally, sometimes the treasure is guarded. You should assume that the higher difficulty treasure maps will have some very dangerous guardians.