Party Treasure: How Do You Divvy?

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  1. #1
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    Kastil's Avatar

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    Jun 2002
    Central PA

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    Party Treasure: How Do You Divvy?

    A recent discussion came up amoungst online buddies of mine on how party treasure is divided between players. They are in a game I choose not to participate in (trying to limit myself to two games a week) and some of the other player's suggestions threw them for a loop.

    For example, one suggested they use some sort of buying system. Meaning, you have to buy said item at PHB price or some such and there can be bidding 'wars' ALA E-Bay. If you can't buy it then and you're the only person the party capable of wielding it, the item is loaned to you until you pay it in full. All money found is split equally.

    Okkkaaay....that said (the short and skinny of it anyways), I will now state the way every group I've ever played in divvies treasure:

    As above, all money is split equally. Gems, with the exception of useful ones like pearls for the mage's Identify spell, are sold for 'cash'.

    If an item is useful to any party member, it is given to said party member especially if it will enhance the party as a whole. Basically we share the wealth and don't bicker (MUCH) like children.

    Same goes for any magicial items. Granted, it took some heavy convincing to tell the fighter of the group a magical bastard sword is better suited to them than the rogue of the party.

    Do some of the party members have magicial items while my character doesn't? Yes. Do I care? Not really.

    In my opinion, as long as the party as a whole is balanced, it shouldn't matter who has what and divvying down to every red copper is just insane. Perhaps if you were a band of mercenaries with no 'companionship-like' ties to one another, the nickel and dime system would be for you but most adventuring parties aren't like that. We all pay our dues and shed our blood for whatever task we take as a team and as a team, we all get our fair share. If not right away, it comes soon enough.
    Trouble suits me

  2. #2
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    Gallant (Lvl 3)

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    I talk fast and see how much I can manage to weasel away with!
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  3. #3
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    My favorite method of dividing treasure is to roll for initiative.

    Losers weepers.
    /ˈwərmˌwo͝od/ noun. a state or source of bitterness or grief.

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    The Great Druid (Lvl 17)

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    Most of the money goes into a group fund for the party to decide to do with later. Items go to whomever needs them.

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    Magsman (Lvl 14)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crothian
    Most of the money goes into a group fund for the party to decide to do with later. Items go to whomever needs them.
    That's essentially what we do. Although we deviate substantially from the "kill a monster, take it's treasure" paradigm anyway, so it's not as much of an issue as it would seem.

    "I realize that I am generalizing here, but, as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care." Dave Barry

  6. #6
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    Two games, two very different methods of dealing with it.

    In the Freeport game, it's very loose. Items are swapped, sold, traded, given to cohorts, all with the thought that it will even out in the end. Since there's only two players, they're probably right.

    In the online Planescape game, we tally up the total value of the treasure and split it into 7 parts - one for each member and one of 'party funds' which go towards things that benefit the party as a whole - rent on our 'home base', items that benefit everybody (like the lenses of identify that we bought, since we lacked a wizard). If someone wants a particular item, they 'buy' it at book value. Anything we don't want, we sell. This works OK because it's a high-level game, and the treasure isn't largely bound up in a single item like it might be in lower levels.


  7. #7

    Henry's Avatar

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    My communities:

    Money is split equally.

    Magic Items usually follow the policy of Need before Greed; the person to get the unarguable best use out of an item (say, a plate-mail wearing fighter getting the ring of swimming) gets it, then it's down to personal preference and bargaining with your share of the money.

  8. #8
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    Acolyte (Lvl 2)

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    Character Wealth System

    Fundamental Concepts
    All Items have a value equal to .5 market price.
    All Cash Items have a value of 1.0 market price.
    All Items bought at character creation have a value equal 0.0 market value.
    All Items acquired out of encounters (say, by followers, rogue solo spelunking) equal 0.0 market value.
    Save unique situations, Character Wealth never decreases. CW the history of what you've earned in adventuring, not what you have on you at any given minute. Selling 2 .5 value shields at .25 to buy a .5 value sword (at full 1.0 market price) does not lower your CW, for example.

    Step 0- Sort out obvious items from non obvious items and Cash
    In this step, the Paladin gets the Holy Avenger.. The Ogre hatin' ranger gets the +5 Dagger of Ogre Slaying.. the Wizard gets the Scroll of Prismatic Wall.

    Step 1- Evaluate Character Wealth (CW = sum of market value)
    Step 2- Lowest Wealth Character picks item.
    Step 3- Re-Evaluate Character's Wealth.
    Step 4- Return to Step 2 until no items remain.
    Step 5- Divide Cash items (art, gems, coin) until all Characters are as close to even as possible.
    Step 6- Record Character Wealth for each character at the end of the game session.

    Step 7 (for Some)- Question why you put the LN Cleric with a tendency towards fairness and bookkeeping in charge.
    Last edited by clark411; Thursday, 6th November, 2003 at 07:54 AM.

  9. #9
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    All items, magic and mundane, are divided based on who needs/can use them most. Sometimes one character comes away with more loot than another, but it all evens out in the end. Items that no one wants are sold or donated to local folks who need them (like MW weapons to the local militia).

    Coinage and gems are added together for a total value (those 100 gp pearls excluded), which is divided by the number of characters to determine everyone's share, and then everyone rolls a d20. Highest roll gets dibs on the nice gems and platinum pieces...the poor schmuck with the lowest roll is left with the silver and copper after everyone else is done picking out their share.

    We've found this to be the easiest and quickest method with little arguing involved. We all hate dividing treasure - takes time away from the crux of the game - so we aim to get it done as painlessly as possible. We also deem one player (me) to keep track of the treasure so there's no, "What about that shortsword we got off the bugbear?" "No, that was a longsword!" "I thought it was a scimitar..."


  10. #10
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    All money is divided equally among the party members.

    Gems and art objects are sold off, and the money divided up among the party members.

    When magical items are found, they are usually given to the person who can get the most use out of them, such as the party's archer getting the Quiver of Ehlonna. Magic items that are of little or no use to anybody in the group (such as a +1 Guisarme) are sold off and the money divided among the party members.
    -Dark Jezter

    "He who does not punish evil commands it to be done."
    -Leonardo Da Vinci

    "Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing."
    - Robert E. Howard, The Tower of the Elephant.

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