Heh. Talk about different experiences.So something that's somewhat random counts as the DM playing favourites?
Sorry, not buying that.
And I can't speak for your game, but were a party with no magic to find a +5 holy avenger* here there's no way in hell one character could afford to claim/buy it from treasury; hence it's ironclad guaranteed it'd be sold during treasury division and the proceeds shared out.
* - a magic item I have never yet DMed lo these 37 years.
Our groups were completely socialist. Whenever we found an item that would best fit a particular PC, that PC got the item. If it benefitted multiple characters, we rolled for it. But, the idea that a PC had to "buy" an item from his or her share of treasure is something I've only ever seen from one player in all the years I've gamed. I was so taken aback by it when he brought it up to the group that he had to explain it to me three times before I understood what he meant.
Render unto Caesar and all that. Having a paladin with a holy avenger in the party makes the party SO much more powerful than one without that it wouldn't even occur to me to not give it to the paladin.
Does explain a lot of why we have such differing experiences. The only time we sold magic items was the "extra" ones that inevitably cropped up. That extra +1 sword that no one has a use for, that sort of thing.