D&D 5E Best way to deal with greedy players and magic items in a fun game.

ECMO3

Hero
I am playing in a long term campaign (currently on month 18) and one player really wants to hoard the magic items. A lot of really cool stuff came up but I never say I want it if someone else is interested. I always let it go (mostly to the guy who wants everything). I don't really fight it because I enjoy the campaign, as an example he had a portable hole already and we found a bag of holding back when we were like 3rd level and that character was like - "i want the bag of holding" even though he already had the PH. Another example, his character is never in melee and has fire resistance as racial feature. We found a ring that required attunement and gave +1AC and fire resistance, I am in melee periodically (Rogue) and could have used it better I think. The paladin in the group gets attacked all the time and gets targeted with like every AOE and could have really used it, but we gave it to this guy because he said he wanted it (actually said in game "I am taking the ring" after it was identified).

We only play once a month. Right now we are 10th level my character has 2 magic weapons (+1 dagger, vicious whip) and nothing with attunement. At this point the other guy has all his attunement slots filled and he personally has as many total magic items as the rest of the 5-person party combined. We found a really good attunement magic item that gives resistance to all elemental damage and magic resistance. This guy basically said: I want to give up the other item (+1 and fire resistance) and attune to this item.

This really bothered me and I feel like this is the straw that broke the camel's back so to speak. I don't want to cause a fight and end the campaign, my character is cool and fun even with no items and honestly I am probably not the best person for this new item anyway since I have evasion, but he isn't either.

I know I should not let it bother me but it really annoyed me.

I know one thing I did when I was DMing for children (literal children) - they got temporary use of magic items until a break (cleared the dungeon, rescued the princess, freed the town ...) at that point all the loot would go into a pile we would splut the magic items and everyone would roll. Highest die picks an item, 2nd highest picks an item .... If we had less players than items we made shares of gold equivalent to value of the least magic item or all the gold split if it was less than the least item. If we had more items than players when we got to the bottom it went in reverse - so the last guy picked his item, then he picked first in the next round, then the second to the last picked etc. This worked well for children .... although it seems childish and was certainly not optimal from a party perspective.

Mostly venting but advice would be welcome.
 
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I've always used a pick system, determined by random lottery.

At the end of a session, the magic items found are pooled, and then players select (in list order) from those available. Once we reach the bottom of the list, we go back to the top.

When it's your turn to pick, you have to take an item, (or alternatively you can swap the item for a pick or picks with another player if they really want the item).

For example. it's the Rogues turn to pick, and there is a +2 Greatsword. He can either take the Greatsword, or let the Fighter take it, in exchange for one (or more) of the Fighters future picks.
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
I like the idea of a pick system, randomly determined order reach session.

That way, you're not singling the guy out - your just implementing a new, fair, distribution system.
 


GMMichael

Guide of Modos
I am playing in a long term campaign (currently on month 18) and one player really wants to hoard the magic items. A lot of really cool stuff came up but I never say I want it if someone else is interested. . .

I know I should not let it bother me but it really annoyed me.
"Hey One Player, I'd really like this magic item."

"Oh, yeah, sure. I'm glad you said something. Otherwise I would have claimed it."
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
Has the DM not weighed in at all? You'd think after the second third or especially fourth time, the DM would take the player aside and say "hey, stop trying to grab up all the treasure, your one person in the group!"
 

niklinna

Legend
Risk speaking up—particularly if this player seems to be intimidating other players into giving them what they want or not allowing any discussion. If an item would better serve the whole party in another character's possession, say so. Do it as soon as you know, and solicit opinions from everybody. Don't give the greedo a chance to pounce. "Oh that ring would be great for our front-line paladin. What do you think, wizard, barbarian?" Start if possible with characters other than yours, of course, so it isn't you vs. the hoarder.

It's a shame this person managed to dominate loot for so long (this should have been nipped in the bud, hard, when the hoarder demanded a redundant storage item), but it sounds like you are at a breaking point, which means the odds are at least one other player is at a breaking point, too.




If you wanna be a total stinker, by the way, you might consider tricking the hoarder into putting the bag of holding inside the portable hole.... 😈

Edit for clarity.
 
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iserith

Magic Wordsmith
Ultimately, this is just one of those things that needs to be decided by the players prior to the adventure or campaign in my view. That way everyone knows how it's going to be going forward. With my regular johns, for example, they figure out who would benefit the most individually and how it would best suit the party, then assign the magic items accordingly.

At this point in your game, it seems a bit late to me to raise it as a serious issue, but you certainly can do so, preferably not during the game itself and not in a medium where tone can be misinterpreted (email, text, etc.).

It sounds like you're a very agreeable person and, while that can be nice, people who are too agreeable tend to get resentful in my experience until that final straw - often something relatively insignificant - breaks the camels back. It's okay to be assertive and just say "No" sometimes. You just have to pick your battles.
 

I suggest showing your DM this thread, if they are a fairly chill person. You have good phrasing in your opening post, explain the situation and your concerns clearly, and they will be able to read the possible solutions that get mentioned here.

In addition to the usual "Talk it out with the other players and your DM" advice, one thing you can do is actively jump in: "Oh, X can use that too! Are you interested in it, X? Cool! Rock paper scissors?" or "I would love that too! Rock paper scissors?" It doesn't have to be rock, paper, scissors of course. But it offers an immediate way to resolve the conflict, instead of awkwardly waiting for someone to defer or look to the DM for resolution.
 
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I like the idea of a pick system, randomly determined order reach session.

That way, you're not singling the guy out - your just implementing a new, fair, distribution system.

We keep the same order from session to session, and it just picks up from where it left off last time (like initiative order during a combat).

All items are included in the pool, and at the end of the session, we look at the next name on the list, and they pick from those items.

Players who really want an item (when its not their pick) can exchange a future pick (or picks) for that item if the person whose pick it is agrees (or can exchange something of value to the player who gets the item as normal obviously, like GP or whatever).

I did once see a bidding war for a Staff of Power that was selected by the party Fighter (the other items were scrolls and other minor stuff) between the party Warlock and Wizard. It eventually went for 5 future picks (and because it was late game, those items were pretty ace every time they came up!)
 

Stormonu

Legend
Back in the old 1E DMG, there were several options mentioned for splitting treasure. When it came to magic items, one of the options was that a player would have to reduce their share (splitting the money to others in the group) to lay claim on magic items. It could either be equal to a part or the full value of the magic item (in GP), or it could be done as bidding (P1: "I'll bid 100 GP for the ring; P2: "150 GP for me"; P3: "151 GP!"). Another option was that once a character acquired a magic item, they couldn't choose a second until everyone else had claimed one - or were the last one without an new item and passed on taking the item (P1: "Bob, everyone else got an item and this time around we found a wand - do you want it?" P2:"Nah, I've already got one - I'll pass on my turn this time." "P3: "Okay, that'll start the second round. I'll take the wand." P2: "Fine. But I get first crack at the next item.")

Also, sounds like you might want to speak up the next time an item comes up, and involve the whole group if you do (and the DM, if need be). Sometimes just letting others know you are interested is all it takes for others to reconsider taking an item - or perhaps swapping lesser items around to others if they're picking up something stronger.
 

@billd91 has the right idea. Pretty sure the rest of the players feel the same as you. Id confront him immediately as a group before the next game and make him give up some of his magical items so everyone in the party has an equal share. If that doesnt work as a group confront him in game when hes vulnerable, such as when hes sleeping, as long as he doesnt already have a magical item that prevents him from needing sleep or doesnt try and sleep in his portable hole. This is pretty funny to me, in all my years of gaming Ive never encountered anything like this, and Im very surprised the DM has let this go on for 10 levels. If this guy is hoarding items I can imagine he'd be the first one to either turn tail and run or betray the party at the first sign of certain doom. Pretty sure if I were DM Id have given him a talking to a long time ago to make things right and asked them to leave the game if that didnt work.
 

Just talk to the player in question. alone preferably. 90% they don't have any idea that thier actions are causing grief.
If it doesn't get resolved then I'd go to the rest of the table for resolution.
 

dave2008

Legend
IMO, this (magic item distribution) is something that should have been brought up in session 0 so the whole party could discuss it. I would ask your GM to bring it up now and have the group discuss it.
 
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Can everyone see what everyone else has? It might be worth getting everyone to make a list of what items their character has for the sake of knowing each other's capabilities.
Failing an encounter, or only getting through with much sacrifice, and only then remembering that you had something that would have made it much easier is something I, (and I'm betting lots of other people) have done.
 




beancounter

(I/Me/Mine)
A lot of good advice. I would also suggest seeding the loot with items that the player's character can't use (e.g. if he's playing a fighter, have the loot contain scrolls or wands)
 

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