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

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
IMO this is a natural outgrowth of 5e not having magic item pricing.

If items had set prices you could get everything evaluated once back in town, add the grand total value, split that value between the characters, and then each character can claim items up to their share value but no more; with the remainder being made up in cash. This method has worked for us for 40 years now.

Without item pricing the best you can do is a draft or pick system, but (and believe me, I've seen it!!!) greedy players/PCs can easily game this too, by claiming the highest-value or most useful item even if they can't use it themselves and then bartering a "better deal" for it so they come out ahead.

Me, if I were a Thief in that party I sure know who my number one target would be; even if I just went all Robin Hood up this and did some redistribution from the rich to the poor... :)
 

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ECMO3

Hero
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.

Not for most of us. We know what everyone has because we find items but for the most part we do not look at everyone else's sheet.

However I do see everything this particular player has because he has a disability and can't use his hands well, so I write on his character sheet and throw dice for him and keep track of his hps and such. So I actually do know everything he has on his sheet.
 
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@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.

Dude what?

That's obviously going to make the problem worse.

For the love of God people, all you need to do is have a friendly chat with your other players about how to divide up Loot, that everyone is on board with.

If the dude remains an obnoxious turd, and keeps demanding more than a fair share, or starts stealing from other PCs (and thats against the social contract of the table), or similar toxic behavior, just boot them from your game.
 

ECMO3

Hero
Thanks for the responses everyone. I really appreciate the advice and it is all good advice.

I might start speaking up a bit more when we find stuff tht other party members would be better with - "I think the Paladin would do better with that", but I am probably not going to rock the boat any more than that.

Overall I am less frustrated than I was yesterday when it was fresh and I have cooled down a bit. At the end of the day I am having fun and I don't want to ruin that. No game is perfect and this game is still great overall. I still love to roleplay my character and I for the most part love the group dynamics.
 
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Dude what?

That's obviously going to make the problem worse.

For the love of God people, all you need to do is have a friendly chat with your other players about how to divide up Loot, that everyone is on board with.

If the dude remains an obnoxious turd, and keeps demanding more than a fair share, or starts stealing from other PCs (and thats against the social contract of the table), or similar toxic behavior, just boot them from your game.
Six of one half dozen of the other! Take them to task I say!!!!!
 

ECMO3

Hero
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)
He is a Sorcerer and at one point he took a magic short sword he was not even proficient with.

He did later use the training rules to become proficient in it.
 


Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
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.
Gather the group together to vote on how to distribute magic items. Make it so that if you have one, you don't get a second one until everyone has one or you give yours up to someone who wants it, and you can't take an item that isn't useful to you. If he loses the vote(and he will), he will be stuck with the system the group has chosen and won't be able to hog stuff.
 



beancounter

(I/Me/Mine)
He is a Sorcerer and at one point he took a magic short sword he was not even proficient with.

He did later use the training rules to become proficient in it.

Then, IMO, he seems like a greedy jerk. I'm surprised the other players haven't said anything. Time to cut him off at the knees.
 

I'd say bring it up in-game, perhaps during a moment where all of you are sitting in a tavern or around a campfire or something along that situation or perhaps even privately when the two of you are taking watch. You could possibly create a great role-playing opportunity out of this or encourage scenes like this going forward. That way its likely cooler heads will prevail since you are speaking and acting out in character rather than player-to-player which is more personal.
You could highlight the benefits of sharing the party treasure or at least cement a plan going forward. My table did that during downtime - they drew up a contract for how party treasure and individual treasure get apportioned.
 
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aco175

Legend
If you do not want to have a direct or table discussion, you could be more passive aggressive. Say things like;
"Sorry paladin about the fireball, bet you wish you had a ring of resistance about now."
"Hey fighter, how many times the monsters going to hit you by one, you should get a ring of protection."
"Hey cleric, don't you have other spells except healing, or at least give the front liners some protection from fire or boost the AC."
"I have a plan, but I need you to hold your bag of holding and jump into the portable hole."
"Trust me!"
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
IMO this is a natural outgrowth of 5e not having magic item pricing.

If items had set prices you could get everything evaluated once back in town, add the grand total value, split that value between the characters, and then each character can claim items up to their share value but no more; with the remainder being made up in cash. This method has worked for us for 40 years now.

Without item pricing the best you can do is a draft or pick system, but (and believe me, I've seen it!!!) greedy players/PCs can easily game this too, by claiming the highest-value or most useful item even if they can't use it themselves and then bartering a "better deal" for it so they come out ahead.

Me, if I were a Thief in that party I sure know who my number one target would be; even if I just went all Robin Hood up this and did some redistribution from the rich to the poor... :)
This is but one way among many of distributing items. I've played editions that did have magic item pricing and used other methods. Yes, this does reduce the number of way to divide by one, but since there are still many ways to divide this isn't a root cause of the issue.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
If you do not want to have a direct or table discussion, you could be more passive aggressive. Say things like;
"Sorry paladin about the fireball, bet you wish you had a ring of resistance about now."
"Hey fighter, how many times the monsters going to hit you by one, you should get a ring of protection."
"Hey cleric, don't you have other spells except healing, or at least give the front liners some protection from fire or boost the AC."
"I have a plan, but I need you to hold your bag of holding and jump into the portable hole."
"Trust me!"
Taking shots at another player does not increase the net fun for the table. Even some of the other players may be made uncomfortable about it. If you are willing to be forward enough to be passive-aggressive, just be forward enough to talk to the player about changing what they are doing first. All this does is reduce fun for a while until it finally brings it to a head but now emotions are involved and the player is both angrier and more defensive - not the position to get to a satisfying-to-all conclusion.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
This is but one way among many of distributing items. I've played editions that did have magic item pricing and used other methods. Yes, this does reduce the number of way to divide by one, but since there are still many ways to divide this isn't a root cause of the issue.
Were those other methods game-able by a greedy player? Every time we've tried any other method it's ended in disaster, mostly because someone* a) looked for, b) found, and c) used some means of gaming the system.

The beauty of our method is that it's nigh un-game-able. The only recourse a greedy player (or, more commonly, greedy PC) has is outright theft, which has its own in-character pitfalls and consequences and - given the relatively easy access most parties have to item location and detection spells - even at the best of times can be bloody difficult. :)

* - and not always the same someone.
 

Were those other methods game-able by a greedy player? Every time we've tried any other method it's ended in disaster, mostly because someone* a) looked for, b) found, and c) used some means of gaming the system.

The beauty of our method is that it's nigh un-game-able. The only recourse a greedy player (or, more commonly, greedy PC) has is outright theft, which has its own in-character pitfalls and consequences and - given the relatively easy access most parties have to item location and detection spells - even at the best of times can be bloody difficult. :)

* - and not always the same someone.
yours has a HUGE flaw though...

lets say 5 players find a +2 longsword worth 8,000gp and a ring of prot worth 2,000 gp and 4 scrolls/potions each worth 100gp and 6 gems worth 25gp each and 400gp in coins... grand total 10,950gp... divide by 5 and that is 2,190gp each... BUT one item alone is worth 8,000. So nobody gets the +2 longsword.
if you sell it for half value (4,000 gp) you just lowered EVERYONE's share from 2190gp to 1,390gp... but now that ring of prot is too much for anyone to take by 650gp (maybe someone has 650gp but if not) that means got to sell that for 1,000gp and that brings each share down to 1,190 gp.

Your way just cost the party 5,000gp of value... but MORE important the use of the fighter having the +2 long sword hitting more often for more damage (aka improving odds of every fight) and the cleric can't have the +1 AC and Saves that again would improve odds of fight

in order to make it seem fair your party is making every adventure harder on themselves
 

Thanks for the responses everyone. I really appreciate the advice and it is all good advice.

I might start speaking up a bit more when we find stuff tht other party members would be better with - "I think the Paladin would do better with that", but I am probably not going to rock the boat any more than that.

Overall I am less frustrated than I was yesterday when it was fresh and I have cooled down a bit. At the end of the day I am having fun and I don't want to ruin that. No game is perfect and this game is still great overall. I still love to roleplay my character and I for the most part love the group dynamics.
you should not wait for item claiming. You should try to establish a new way BEFORE it comes up again
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
yours has a HUGE flaw though...

lets say 5 players find a +2 longsword worth 8,000gp and a ring of prot worth 2,000 gp and 4 scrolls/potions each worth 100gp and 6 gems worth 25gp each and 400gp in coins... grand total 10,950gp... divide by 5 and that is 2,190gp each... BUT one item alone is worth 8,000. So nobody gets the +2 longsword.
if you sell it for half value (4,000 gp) you just lowered EVERYONE's share from 2190gp to 1,390gp... but now that ring of prot is too much for anyone to take by 650gp (maybe someone has 650gp but if not) that means got to sell that for 1,000gp and that brings each share down to 1,190 gp.
Ah - I should probably mention we use a single-value system for items (i.e. you can usually sell it for the same value as you'd buy it for, meaning that for treasury purposes the value is the same whether it's claimed or sold); largely because of how, when we did use a high-low value system, the changing values affected shares and as a side effect made some treasuries take ages to divide. Single-value also makes in-game sense when you realize the primary market is probably going to be other adventurers anyway, who would be expecting to pay full price.
Your way just cost the party 5,000gp of value... but MORE important the use of the fighter having the +2 long sword hitting more often for more damage (aka improving odds of every fight) and the cleric can't have the +1 AC and Saves that again would improve odds of fight
Two other things here: if some or all of the rest of the PCs are willing to loan the fighter funds such that he can afford said +2 sword, that's entirely up to them; as is later repayment etc. And yes, sometimes items are just too expensive for a party to keep; and I don't mind this as it occasionally allows me-as-DM to plant something big in an adventure that'll help with that adventure but that I (probably) don't have to worry about long-term.
 


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