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D&D 5E Looting during combat wtf ?


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I would say your group members have been trained well by the video games they play, where a single click collects all the loot from a body, and then it is on to the next target a second later. So unless you like playing a tabletop game like it is a PC/console game, everyone needs to have a talk about how much time checking for and collecting loot actually takes in-game.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I strongly disagree with this given the OP, and here's why: the player is upset here, not the character.
Ayup - many's the time I've been seriously pissed off as a player by something done in-game, but to be true to my character I just have to suck it up if going along with the situation is what my character would do.

I've role-played myself right out of games this way; games that I-as-player otherwise didn't want to leave.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
Ayup - many's the time I've been seriously pissed off as a player by something done in-game, but to be true to my character I just have to suck it up if going along with the situation is what my character would do.

I've role-played myself right out of games this way; games that I-as-player otherwise didn't want to leave.
This shouldn't happen. A social contract that requires you to remain silent is unhealthy and needs to be changed or left. The game is not an agreement where you have to put up with this.
 


Mort

Legend
I'll strongly disagree right back. While there are clearly situations we need to deal with as players that are impacting the story, this is a situation where a solution should start in the game if at all possible - and it seems incredibly likely to me that it is as discussed below.

D&D is an RPG. A role playing game. Characters play a role in a story. Stories have ups and downs. As players, we get invested in the situation. That is a hallmark of a good game. We, as people, will be impacted by the game as our PCs face struggles - sometimes of their own making, sometimes from fellow PCs, often from NPCs or monsters. That does not mean that we should halt the story and revise the situation out of character every time the story impacts us as players in a negative way. The struggle to overcome negative situations is part of telling a good story. And it is desired.

Go look on your character sheet. What do you see right beneath Bonds? Flaws. Characters are meant to have flaws. Flaws are things that make them problematic. Look at the sample flaws in the PHB. Read them. PCs are intended to have some of these types of behaviors - to start. They'll have a chance to grow and evolve over these flaws.

This obviously has limits, and those limits are going to differ from table to table and situation to situation. So the DM and player need to make the call here if a player raises an issue. However, if you read the OP, the OP is talking about what the character should do - in game - to respond to the situation. The starting point for the player is in game, and I believe that if their first inclination is to address it in game, we are not over that threshold here.

The OP stated he is new to D&D and that this game is only 6 months old. He's trying to resolve it "in game" because the other players are looting "in game" but the player is the one that's upset, not his character.

If the player is upset, especially in a new game, he should bring it up above game and see where the other players actually stand. Working out player issues through your character is not a good place to go!

For a further example of what I am discussing: Go back and look at Critical Role campaign 2 as another example where something similar took place. While the Mighty Nein broke into a politician's home to frame them (ahhh ... heroes), Caleb found some scrolls. While the group knew it was important not to leave a trace (which they'd already messed up), Caleb wanted the scrolls. It was part of his PC's personality and backstory to be desperate for power (at that point in time, at least). He took the scrolls, and his loyal ally Nott (who also needed him to become more powerful for selfish reasons) had his back. The rest of the PCs present were insistent that he leave them behind. Despite argument, he took them. This situation was handled by the PCs in the moment, discussed by the PCs in character down the road, and resulted in conflict that played a role in the development of the PCs. It was a fairly significant story development that forced them to consider what being in a group meant and triggered character growth.

The players involved have all been friends and playing together for a LONG time (as opposed to about 6 months). They have had a long time to establish the player/character divide and know what they are comfortable with - Liam and Sam particularly are good friends who are simply NOT going to offend each other in game.

If you're going to bring in Critical Role, a much better example is the players' reactions (in campaign 1) to the player of Tiberius. You could tell the players and DM were visibly irritated by his antics to the point where they (professional actors) were having a difficult time keeping their expressions in check on camera. They clearly did not keep it "in game" as by episode 28 he was out.

If a player is uncomfortable with the actions going on in game, it needs to be brought up out of game and addressed.
 

jgsugden

Legend
You've badly mistaken me. I'm saying that the discussion should happen at the table rather than actions taken in the game, not who's right and wrong. And I think that shunting real life interpersonal interactions onto a game not a healthy approach.

Further, I think the idea that it's the GM's job to monitor the interactions of other adults and be the authority figure at the table is very unhealthy as well. Just because a person is willing to take on the GM's role in a game does not qualify them as the right person to handle interpersonal issues in real life. Nor should it obligate them to. I stridently believe that this blurring of authority from a game role to real life and the placing of the GM as the de facto authority for real life issues at the table is a primary cause of a lot of the dysfunction our hobby experiences. It disempowers players in the social group. It's quite simple to let everyone know that they have the ability and even duty to raise concerns at the table level about play, and to have a reasoned discussion without being told what will happen by the GM -- again, a person selected usually for reasons that have nothing to do with managing social situations.
I didn't say it is the DM's job. I said this is a character interaction, and that the players can resolve it in game. Again, that was the first impulse of the author. They asked what their character should do (or he flans to launch a fireball into the room with hid S&S group - that should be discouraged).

If we stop a game to have people speak for themselves about everything that their characters are doing you will ruin the vermisilitude of the game by slaughtering the flow.

This is not a situation where a player is directly offending another player with offensive language. This is not a player being lewd to another player under the guise of a PC interaction. This is not cruelty. This is PCs being greedy - something that we clearly encourage in the rules in the flaws section of PCs. This is something the PCs play in this game because it is a designed option within the game encouraged by the design of the game and, unless there is a player with an unusual situation involved, is not offensive - just frustrating.
 

jgsugden

Legend
...If a player is uncomfortable with the actions going on in game, it needs to be brought up out of game and addressed.
So, is your position that it is impossible for the situation to be resolved in character in a way that makes the player happy?
If you're going to bring in Critical Role, a much better example is the players' reactions (in campaign 1) to the player of Tiberius. You could tell the players and DM were visibly irritated by his antics to the point where they (professional actors) were having a difficult time keeping their expressions in check on camera. They clearly did not keep it "in game" as by episode 28 he was out.
This is a horrible comparison, and you do not know the full extent of that situation. However, they did address the in game situations in game. They addressed the larger situation out of the game.
 

There are not right or wrong answers here, just suggestions. There are ways to handle this sort of thing in-game. There are ways to handle this sort of thing out-of-game. Only the OP knows the full situation, all the background, and the personalities/relationships involved.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
This shouldn't happen.
Why not? I'm there to play a character, not play myself. I can be myself the rest of the week.
A social contract that requires you to remain silent is unhealthy and needs to be changed or left. The game is not an agreement where you have to put up with this.
Bugger the "social contract". If I'm to be true to my character I have to put my-as-player feelings aside and instead act on what it would be feeling.

The alternative is that I'll end up projecting my own feelings into my character, which - while it can certainly be great catharsis sometimes - largely defeats the purpose of playing someone other than myself.
 

Mort

Legend
This is a horrible comparison, and you do not know the full extent of that situation.
I am 100% aware of the EXACT circumstances. The player was 1. cheating 2. being a complete spotlight hog. The player was also going through some fairly serious stuff out of game and letting it bleed into his behavior during session.

The point is the behavior, during the session, was disruptive and irritating to the players themselves. We don't know what's going on around the OPs actual game, we do know, he, the player, doesn't like the other players' behavior.

However, they did address the in game situations in game. They addressed the larger situation out of the game.

They did a fairly quick, "..and here's what happened to tiberius" in game - because they had too - it's a show.

They addressed the true problem outside of the game - because it was an out of game, not in game, problem.
 

aco175

Legend
Cunning action lets the rogue pick a lock or pick a pocket as a bonus action. I would think looting a body may be about the same unless there is gold teeth or a prison-pocket involved. Other PCs may need their action to do the same. I can see monsters getting an opportunity attack when the PC moves to loot.

The problem comes when the player is upset and says that his barbarian picks up the halfling and shakes him over. Then the halfling player wants to role initiative or says that he dodges. There was a large thread about PvP a couple months ago.
 

jgsugden

Legend
I am 100% aware of the EXACT circumstances. The player was 1. cheating 2. being a complete spotlight hog. The player was also going through some fairly serious stuff out of game and letting it bleed into his behavior during session.
That is far from 100% of the situation. There was a lot more to it that fans uncovered and shared. While they've requested we not speak of the details, there was more to it than what was seen at the game table.
The point is the behavior, during the session, was disruptive and irritating to the players themselves. We don't know what's going on around the OPs actual game, we do know, he, the player, doesn't like the other players' behavior.
Go back and read the post.
They did a fairly quick, "..and here's what happened to tiberius" in game - because they had too - it's a show.
That is not what I am discussing. The annoyance at the table was addressed in character, outside of a few rule corrections out of character (which are appropriate, obviously).
They addressed the true problem outside of the game - because it was an out of game, not in game, problem.
Yes, but not for the reasons you mentioned.

You did not address my question when you responded to my other point: Is it your position that a player's discomfort can't be addressed by in character actions within a game? I can tell you that this has been done at tables that I have been at a number of times. I have experienced it as a DM and as an offended player, and I have seen it implemented by players and DMs alike.
 

Mort

Legend
That is far from 100% of the situation. There was a lot more to it that fans uncovered and shared. While they've requested we not speak of the details, there was more to it than what was seen at the game table.
I covered what I felt was relevant here. There is no need to bring anymore into this discussion.

Go back and read the post.That is not what I am discussing. The annoyance at the table was addressed in character, outside of a few rule corrections out of character (which are appropriate, obviously). Yes, but not for the reasons you mentioned.
No it really wasn't. The PLAYERS started taking pot shots (snyde remarks etc.) at the offending player, in AND out of character. It was borderline uncomfortable on an otherwise very easy going and professional show. People noticed the out of game tension.

You did not address my question when you responded to my other point: Is it your position that a player's discomfort can't be addressed by in character actions within a game?
If the discomfort stems from an out of game problem, then 100% absolutely not.

So let me put it this way: If the OP has problems with character actions, maybe this can be addressed in the game. If the OP has a problem with the players' actions - then the problem needs to be addressed outside of the game

Let's say a player, through his character, is making wildly inappropriate remarks to/about another player's character. If the receiving player is comfortable and thinks it's all roleplaying (she knows the other player and recognizes it really is all in good fun) and chooses to address it in character - well ok (though the player making the remarks better be REALLY sure of the situation).

If, on the other hand, the receiving player is NOT comfortable with the remarks? This needs to be addressed above game immediately.

I can tell you that this has been done at tables that I have been at a number of times. I have experienced it as a DM and as an offended player, and I have seen it implemented by players and DMs alike.

I'm not going to speak as to your experiences - I wasn't there.

I can, however, tell you that, MY experience is that trying to solve out of game problems, in game, is at best futile and at worst exacerbates the situation and makes it worse.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
I didn't say it is the DM's job. I said this is a character interaction, and that the players can resolve it in game. Again, that was the first impulse of the author. They asked what their character should do (or he flans to launch a fireball into the room with hid S&S group - that should be discouraged).

If we stop a game to have people speak for themselves about everything that their characters are doing you will ruin the vermisilitude of the game by slaughtering the flow.

This is not a situation where a player is directly offending another player with offensive language. This is not a player being lewd to another player under the guise of a PC interaction. This is not cruelty. This is PCs being greedy - something that we clearly encourage in the rules in the flaws section of PCs. This is something the PCs play in this game because it is a designed option within the game encouraged by the design of the game and, unless there is a player with an unusual situation involved, is not offensive - just frustrating.
Oh good grief. We're not stopping to chat about everything, we're stopping because someone has done something that has upset a player. How this is somehow subordinate to the game I do not understand. This is, largely, part of what's wrong with the hobby -- we expect people to sit there and shut up and go along to get along. This is what gets people who have been playing for a few weeks/months to quit and the people doing the things that should be addressed to never realize that they're reducing the fun of others.

Look, if you're just going to keep going on about how the game is more important, that's fine. Let's agree to not respond to each other because this is going to piss me off.
 

Mort

Legend
Why not? I'm there to play a character, not play myself. I can be myself the rest of the week.

Bugger the "social contract". If I'm to be true to my character I have to put my-as-player feelings aside and instead act on what it would be feeling.

The alternative is that I'll end up projecting my own feelings into my character, which - while it can certainly be great catharsis sometimes - largely defeats the purpose of playing someone other than myself.
It is you not "your character" that decides what kind of character to bring in in the first place.

If you bring in a disruptive, inter-party conflict causing character - the resulting disruption and conflict is 100% on you.

For ex. If the party is 100% elves and you bring in, as you're new character, a PC who's whole deal is hates elves and tries to kill them on sight - the resulting problems are on you.
 

jgsugden

Legend
....
I can, however, tell you that, MY experience is that trying to solve out of game problems, in game, is at best futile and at worst exacerbates the situation and makes it worse.
Go back and read the initial post, please.

I agree that if one player is doing something to another player in a situation removed from the game entirely, there is little (but I will not say absolutely no) room to address and resolve it in game.

Here, the player described what his PCs did, what the other PCs did, and then asked what his character should do. He essentially asked if he should return the favor in kind to the other PCs.

The player did not at any point indicate that they were angry, frustrated, traumatized or otherwise requiring personal aid. I thoroughly believed that the player was frustrated by the situation, and posted because of frustration, but if you're indicating that a group discussion needs to be held any time a player is frustrated, and that the frustration needs to be resolved to the satisfaction of the player, you're going to fail to meet your objective as there are plenty of times two players will disagree oppositionally and resolving the frustration for one will increase the frustration for the other intrinsically.
 

jgsugden

Legend
Oh good grief. We're not stopping to chat about everything, we're stopping because someone has done something that has upset a player. How this is somehow subordinate to the game I do not understand. This is, largely, part of what's wrong with the hobby -- we expect people to sit there and shut up and go along to get along. This is what gets people who have been playing for a few weeks/months to quit and the people doing the things that should be addressed to never realize that they're reducing the fun of others.
There is a spectrum. Treating every frustration like it is a dire circumstance is problematic for the reasons I have addressed. You're not recognizing the difference. Look at the initial post again. Really read what the player is saying.

There is nothing in it that indicates to me that it can't be addressed completely and satisfactorily within the game in a way that is good for everyone. My guidance to that player is to attempt to do so. Talk it out in character and see what happens.
 

Mordhau

Explorer
I actually think this is probably worth bringing up in character first. Just to see what happens. It's always possible that players are just doing this because everyone else is and there has been no pushback. At the very least it would show up more clearly what the players actually want (which will often not really be what they say they want if asked directly).

Moving it to an out of character discussion can tend to escalate the importance of things, and that may not necessarily be helpful - especially if the problem is immaturity among the problems (although if your goal is to most quickly determine whether it's worth sticking with the game or just walking away then this is probably the quickest most direct way).
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
I actually think this is probably worth bringing up in character first. Just to see what happens. It's always possible that players are just doing this because everyone else is and there has been no pushback. At the very least it would show up more clearly what the players actually want (which will often not really be what they say they want if asked directly).

Moving it to an out of character discussion can tend to escalate the importance of things, and that may not necessarily be helpful - especially if the problem is immaturity among the problems (although if your goal is to most quickly determine whether it's worth sticking with the game or just walking away then this is probably the quickest most direct way).
Right, yes, because any problem that will be escalated because you try to have a respectful discussion about it will never ever have any chance of escalation if you deal with it in game. Sarcasm off, if the other person is so immature that a discussion will derail things, there's nothing in game that will not do the same thing, and only lead to the situation becoming worse.

So, have a discussion before the next game. With the player. Don't wait and plan an in-game action for if/when it happens again, because that will absolutely escalate things UNLESS you have pretty easy-going and mature players -- the exact kinds that aren't going to have a problem if you bring it up at the table.
 

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