D&D 4E 4e's Inorganic Loot System: Yay or Nay?

eleran

First Post
That doesn't make any sense. Why would a level 1 kobold receive more a benefit from a +4 weapon than a demon lord? Is it because the demon lord is so powerful that the magic weapon doesn't affect its abilities nearly as much as it would a kobold's? Because I could see the reasoning behind that.

Try to think of it less as you and more as your character. He/she will never know that the item you took off the kobold was less more magical in the hands of the kobold. He just knows he has a shiny flaming sword now.

I am beginning to be of the opinion that simulationists do way too much metagaming.
 

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vazanar

First Post
To be completely fair, the new definition of "organic" originated from sense "forming an integral part of the whole" rather than the chemistry sense.

Well , we will have to disagree on that. Since that sense was a misuse of the word to begin with. However, like all science words it takes new meaning in the general population. I know my wife loves some of my popular use of art terms. It's the same in most fields. After all we have a living language. :)
But this is way off topic anyway, and could take up things. (Actually Ive seen a book or two on the subject)

On topic the parcel system is a guideline for dms. For players who like monty haul games, it sucks. Honestly, cept for specfic or odd items my players just sell excess items which just eats up game time. With most of our schedules, it's just not worth it. So even if it's gamey, it can work in the story.
 

Danzauker

Adventurer
The key is that these things all take place behind the DM's screen, so their realism doesn't matter.

Quote for truth.

The fact that PCs get exactly the items they want/need is as verisimilitude breaking as Frodo getting the One Ring out of all halfl... er hobbits of the Shire.

See, it happens he's the main character of the story. If Pippin happened to be Bilbo's nephew, then the Eye would have happliy reigned on Middle Earth.

The parcel system is there to give easy and concise ways to gauge how much magic to give the players. How to phisically place it is in the story's (read: DM) hands.

Treasure isn't there waiting for characters in dungeons just because. It's there because a DM put it there. And the PC, at least I hope, go to that particular dungeon because they followed a map or had tales told to them.

Regarding hidden treasure I think just needs some extra consideration by the DM. Important items and treasure should not IMHO be hidden in places so thet a botched search roll can prevent the players to get them, just like a failed skilled challenge should not compromise a whole adventure.

If PC just miss some minor object or some gold, it's ok.
 

robertliguori

First Post
Try to think of it less as you and more as your character. He/she will never know that the item you took off the kobold was less more magical in the hands of the kobold. He just knows he has a shiny flaming sword now.

I am beginning to be of the opinion that simulationists do way too much metagaming.

OK. I, as a character, know how well most kobolds fight. I know how well I fight without said magic sword. I know that if I use the sword, I will be better at fighting by a given amount. I know that if I pass this sword to my companions, they will gain an exactly-equivalent bonus from the sword.

None of this adds up to expecting anything less than the sword adding that same combat potential to any given kobold that picks it up, including the kobald I took it from. In fact, expecting the magic item to change in capacity depending on whether an NPC was using it as flavor to describe a wrinkle in a combat encounter or when I am using it as loot would be the very essence of metagaming.
 

BeauNiddle

First Post
OK. I, as a character, know how well most kobolds fight. I know how well I fight without said magic sword. I know that if I use the sword, I will be better at fighting by a given amount. I know that if I pass this sword to my companions, they will gain an exactly-equivalent bonus from the sword.

None of this adds up to expecting anything less than the sword adding that same combat potential to any given kobold that picks it up, including the kobald I took it from. In fact, expecting the magic item to change in capacity depending on whether an NPC was using it as flavor to describe a wrinkle in a combat encounter or when I am using it as loot would be the very essence of metagaming.

You know how well a fighter fights with the sword. You know how well the wizard fights with the sword. You know how well a rogue fights with the sword.

How do you know what level and 'class' the kobold was?

If there is any doubt about that then how can you state how useful (or not) the sword was.

Maybe this kobold was the student of the last one you killed. The last one was more skilled with a normal blade but since this one was using a magical blade he fought with the same skill (and tactics) as his master.
 

eleran

First Post
OK. I, as a character, know how well most kobolds fight. I know how well I fight without said magic sword. I know that if I use the sword, I will be better at fighting by a given amount. I know that if I pass this sword to my companions, they will gain an exactly-equivalent bonus from the sword.

None of this adds up to expecting anything less than the sword adding that same combat potential to any given kobold that picks it up, including the kobald I took it from. In fact, expecting the magic item to change in capacity depending on whether an NPC was using it as flavor to describe a wrinkle in a combat encounter or when I am using it as loot would be the very essence of metagaming.

This is what I am talking about. You're using your player knowledge to inform your characters knowledge.

Unless you're running Rainman the Fighter you cannot tell that that Kobold is only getting a +1 to hit and damage from what turns out later to be a +2 sword.

I call metagaming on this one.
 

Arbitrary

First Post
I think you guys are really thinking too hard about this.

Monsters are (supposed to be) tuned as appropriate for their level. If you give a monster a magic weapon it makes it more challenging but that isn't reflected in its exp value. If you raise the exp value than you really should just use a higher level monster that has more hit points and higher defenses.

The magic threshold just allows items to be included that don't make encounters more difficult than their numbers represent. It serves as a little warning that the +2 or +3 hard encounter is even yet harder because extra bonuses are being stacked on top of already (supposedly) balanced encounters.

Personally I don't add any bonus for magic but enemies totally use the item's powers.
 

eleran

First Post
I think you guys are really thinking too hard about this.

Monsters are (supposed to be) tuned as appropriate for their level. If you give a monster a magic weapon it makes it more challenging but that isn't reflected in its exp value. If you raise the exp value than you really should just use a higher level monster that has more hit points and higher defenses.

The magic threshold just allows items to be included that don't make encounters more difficult than their numbers represent. It serves as a little warning that the +2 or +3 hard encounter is even yet harder because extra bonuses are being stacked on top of already (supposedly) balanced encounters.

Personally I don't add any bonus for magic but enemies totally use the item's powers.


This
 

Zinovia

Explorer
The other day I caught one of my players ticking off the packages the party was receiving from the back of his character book. To be sure they got them all. And it did seem to me that it was breaking suspension of disbelief a bit - mine if not the players.
I was rather surprised when I first read the treasure parcel system, but I think I'll come to like it provided that it's not followed blindly. If one of my players were ticking off treasure parcels, I'd smack him upside the head and tell him to stop meta-gaming (well, I'd have a monster smack his character - the monsters hit harder than I do.) I'm also not sure about wish-lists for items. I'm more inclined to choose items that I think the characters would like and want to use, and place them in the adventure.

I have no intentions of telling my players about the treasure parcel system. The treasure parcel mechanic is something that goes on behind the screen. Just as I won't take the time to explain the details of how encounters are designed, I won't be explaining how treasures are placed. It's not that I will go out of my way to keep that particular mechanic a secret from my players; I simply don't expect them to buy the DMG or to read it. They really don't need to. Of all of them, only my husband DM's, and he already knows about it. He's not going to give me grief if the characters don't receive every parcel due them, or if they get two items of the same level in the course of an adventure. If any of the players were to meta-game to the extent of ticking off parcels from a list, a simple statement of "They're more guidelines than actual rules" would suffice.

I honestly don't think they will see anything different in the way that treasure is handed out compared to how it's always been. I'll be dividing up the parcels in ways that make sense to me, putting small amounts of coin on more creatures, so there will not be 10 discrete parcels. Certainly the DMG recommends mixing it up in that way. Furthermore, if they don't search for stuff, they will be missing out on some treasure - primarily monetary in nature. If a particular magic item can be used by one of the foes, then it's far better off being worn/used in combat, keeping the magic threshold in mind. Having their enemy use a special power from an item will definitely pique the interest of the characters. As for items the NPC's have, such as the wyrmpriest's staff, I'm going with the explanation that it's just a staff, the magic is in the priest, not the implement.

The system will make it much easier to figure out treasure, and to keep it balanced by the rules. If I want a reduced magic game, I can figure out how far below the curve I am, and reduce creature stats by an appropriate amount to compensate. I've always played in lower magic games, so to me getting 4 permanent magic items for the party at first level *seems* really powerful. We only ever got potions, scrolls, wands and other consumable items at that low a level. Certainly 1st level in 4E is more like 3rd or 4th level in prior editions, so perhaps the magic needs to be considered in light of that. I may try it out as written, just to see how it plays. The players will think I'm a Monty Haul GM compared to my hubby though. :D
 

Quote for truth.

The fact that PCs get exactly the items they want/need is as verisimilitude breaking as Frodo getting the One Ring out of all halfl... er hobbits of the Shire.
I am beginning to believe that a problem is that "too many" EN Worlders are Gamemasters, that believe their players see the same things they can see, and would know everything is smoke and mirrors. (And also assume that the players deeply care about this). And they believe the system can hide the smoke and mirrors from them. But it can't. Rolling random treasure is no less smoke & mirrors then treasure parcels.
 

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