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5E Looting Monsters?

nobody69.420

Villager
I did one adventure, as a beginner DM, where I let my players loot monsters that they kill of their weapons and armor, but they can only sell it for 1/4 of the original price. They still ended up getting too much money, so I stopped doing that, but I want know how other people do looting monsters, or if you do at all?
 

Hriston

Explorer
I follow the Basic Rules guideline that weapons and armor used by monsters is generally in too poor a condition for resale.
 

the Jester

Legend
I follow the Basic Rules guideline that weapons and armor used by monsters is generally in too poor a condition for resale.
This. With rare exceptions, the only time pcs loot gear off of monsters is if they want to use it themselves.
 

Hriston

Explorer
This. With rare exceptions, the only time pcs loot gear off of monsters is if they want to use it themselves.
They can pick up and use the weapons, sure, but if they bring them to market, weapon dealers will turn their noses up at “foul orc-make” or whatever. And I use the variant that requires found armor to be tailored to the individual for 10-40% of market value before it can be used.
 

ad_hoc

Explorer
This is the sort of minutiae I'm not interested in, in this sort of game.

Doesn't feel very heroic to scavenge like that.
 

CleverNickName

Adventurer
We use the optional rules for encumbrance. Having the players track their carry weight really does cut down on the amount of battered junk getting hauled around to be sold.
 

Draegn

Explorer
Technically there are four categories of looting that my players involve themselves in. First loot for themselves, which is the rare magic item, large amounts of coin or high value jewelry, art, etc... The second is loot to use as gifts to major NPCs. Third loot that they let their hirelings, henchmen, retainers and men at arms take for themselves. Lastly loot that they use as parts and materials to make something else.
 

ccs

39th lv DM
Why would I stop the players from having their characters loot things?

Of course we also play with a vague nod to encumbrance.... we don't track it - unless it starts getting ridiculous. Then we'll do the rules & math.
But until then? If it seems reasonable, go for it. Carry all the battered junk you like around.

Now at some point this will become a transport problem for you to solve.

And on my end? I have the best deterrent of them all. I'm the DM. All the $ in the game comes from me. I play the merchants your characters will deal with in order to sell the junk. And my merchants aren't buying. Doesn't matter that the book says x can be sold for 1/2 value etc., the books not the DM, I am. And I say that the merchant tells you "Sorry, there's no market for crappy goblin swords." & refuses to buy them.

But if you persist - and I've had players do that - I'll have the merchants give you the grand run around. "Hey! Maybe Franco over on Water street." Franco then sends you to his cousin Bob. Etc Etcetc And eventually you run afoul of the Arms & Armour merchants guild, get arrested for selling without membership & fined at about 65% of the value the junk would've cost if it weren't junk. Oh, and it gets confiscated.
So you can go on a grand futile quest to sell random junk, or you can go on a real adventure. Either ways OK with me - afterall, it's all adding to the story....

But I'm not going to stop you from carrying looted junk around if that's your thing.
 

nobody69.420

Villager
This is the sort of minutiae I'm not interested in, in this sort of game.

Doesn't feel very heroic to scavenge like that.
That's not a problem with one of my players. His character is a Rogue Thief, and he doesn't believe in heroism, so he would like to steal all the useless junk he can get his hands on.
 

Shiroiken

Explorer
The biggest issue with looting non-magical equipment is transportation. Even without using the Encumbrance variant, there are logistical issues with carrying a single extra suit of armor, let alone a dozen or two. Unless someone strong is willing to use both hands to carry a stack of them (thus being useless for a lot of exploration as well as some combat until they can drop the stuff), they need a cart or some other container to carry/drag it all in. In general I'm often willing to let PCs sell the equipment they find on fairly civilized opponents (including bandits and such) for 25%-50%, but I'm a stickler on how they get it home.
 

Horwath

Explorer
We sell it from 1/4 to 1/2 price.

In 3rd edition component cost was 1/3 of the complete item.

So any metal weapon could be sold to a blacksmith as a simple iron raw material if end product is of poor quality.
That is why we recycle today. Iron in unwanted item is like 20x cheaper than mining it out of the ground as raw ore.

You just need to threw it in a forge, melt it and cast it as a new ingot ready to be forged into a new weapon/armor.

Poor bows/crossbows/wooden shields are another matter as they can be used only as firewood.
 

Sacrosanct

Slayer of Keraptis
My players really don't have that issue or desire to loot regular items like that for a couple reasons:

1. encumbrance. That stuff adds up quickly, and it's not very easy to move and explore a dungeon when you're trying to carry all those weapons and armor
2. Market. even if they do get out with all of that gear, there isn't a real market for it. They'd have to go into a city which may or may not be pretty far away to find anyone who would be willing to buy that stuff, and have the coin to do so. Regular Joe in the town or village doesn't have the money for goblin or orc weapons and equipment. He barely has a few spare coppers to get supplies to continue his existence.
 

ad_hoc

Explorer
That's not a problem with one of my players. His character is a Rogue Thief, and he doesn't believe in heroism, so he would like to steal all the useless junk he can get his hands on.
I mean heroic more broadly.

Is he a thief or a scavenger?

When I think of a Rogue I don't imagine a character who carries around scrap metal in a cart.

I think of an infamous cat burglar who is known kingdom wide and makes people lock up their valuables tight.

This sort of thing is in character in a post-apocalyptic game. To me, not so much in heroic fantasy. I think that is why the default in 5e is to do away with such looting.

If that is what excites you though then by all means.
 

jasper

Rotten DM
Random replies to the thread.

Ccs …merchants give you the grand run around…about 65% of the value the junk would've cost if it weren't junk. Oh, and it gets confiscated…. KISSY KISSSY (in Ms Piggy’s voice) an nicely evil dm.
Other have brought encumbrance use it. It becomes a quick issue no matter which rules you use.
Ad_hoc .. infamous cat burglar…. Pussy Galore who would steal shiny cheap trinkets and blank spell scrolls. She Never knew why all the rest of the rogues would never let her play rogue games.

hriston...“foul orc-make... HMM EVIL DM THOUGHT. Orc merchants will not buy pc's loot. WHAT. You trying to sell my that "city folk sword. Get out my tent!"
Since I DM Adventure League You can loot and keep for the session only.
 

iserith

Explorer
I did one adventure, as a beginner DM, where I let my players loot monsters that they kill of their weapons and armor, but they can only sell it for 1/4 of the original price. They still ended up getting too much money, so I stopped doing that, but I want know how other people do looting monsters, or if you do at all?
What Hriston said - most monsters' stuff is just junk. There are some exceptions that I will make an effort to describe, such as a hobgoblin in plate armor or the like. Sometimes I'll describe something resplendent a monster wears that would be damaged in combat and made less valuable in order to set up a challenge for the players to take out the monster without damaging their loot. It makes them switch up their tactics which is fun from time to time.

But generally speaking, my monsters do not have anything of value on them. I award XP for combat challenges and social interaction. I award treasure for exploration challenges. So if you want to get rich in my game, you have to poke around and look for it, not kill things and take it.
 

Bitbrain

Explorer
Yes, in my campaigns the PCs can loot the corpses of those they defeated in battle. I encourage it. That’s how the two fighters obtained their magic weapons last session.

The halfling Champion Fighter in particular takes it a step further, and will tear off chunks of flesh from the fallen if they were particular difficult to take down (the whole “consume the flesh of your enemies to get stronger” trope) . . .

as far as selling used items, I just have the merchants offer to buy it from you for half the original price seen in the PHB.
Resources are scarce in my setting, so the merchants aren’t going to turn down an offer to buy something if they know for a fact that they can just turn around and sell that same item for twice what they originally paid for it.
because resources are scarce and someone is definitely gonna want to buy it from them sometime in the next hour.
 
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Tonguez

Adventurer
IMC the fine motor skills of Orcs is only quarter that of humans and as such their weapons and armour tend to be crude and ill formed. An Orc cleaver will certainly hurt when they're hacking in to your flesh, but theyre too cumbersome and rough for other races to use or want to purchase.
 
That sort of scrounging play style is like nails on a chalkboard for me. That’s one of the reasons I almost never dispense bags of holding. I might let them snag some arrows or bolts for their own usage, but anything not already covered as treasure by me is generally too junked up by the time combat is over.
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad day
I did one adventure, as a beginner DM, where I let my players loot monsters that they kill of their weapons and armor, but they can only sell it for 1/4 of the original price. They still ended up getting too much money, so I stopped doing that, but I want know how other people do looting monsters, or if you do at all?
I let them look monsters just fine. I don't play with strict encumbrance, but a common sense approach if they are trying to carry too much like several sets of armor.

Using them yourself - go for it. Giving them to villagers to help protect themselves against the raiding hobgoblins - sure! Selling on the other hand isn't always as easy. In smaller settlements there is limited call for weapons and limited funds. A blacksmith might not even have enough ready coin to by them for bulk metal prices to melt down into plowshares and need to give half now and half at the end of the season.

Also, if money gets to be a problem either way - too much or too little - I control all of the loot and can have periods of plenty or famine to balance it out.

I find that the "loot all" tends towards one of three things.

1. Players trained by video games. Loot everything, sell the grey vendor trash. A quick talk can let them know there is a different baseline in D&D and a single gem can be worth more then all of that looted mundane junk and to spend their efforts accordingly.

2. Players trying to "maximize" play. For some acomment that it's not needed will do, others a reminder that I control all loot and adjust is enough to stop it, for others it's just an instinct and I do adjust.

3. A character who is particularly interested in money and is being played that way. Go for it. You are taking on extra bookkeeping and selling duties to be true to your character that will have little effect on total gold once the level gets up some.
 

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