No PvP vs. Stealing loot

The group agrees no PvP & party loot, what taking loot would fall under party vs. party conflict?

  • Taking any loot without sharing is PvP.

    Votes: 24 51.1%
  • Any the party missed / wouldn't get is okay not to share (random pickpocket, missed hidden, etc.)

    Votes: 21 44.7%
  • When the rogue is taking the risk alone, anything is okay (looting while scouting, etc.)

    Votes: 12 25.5%
  • Stealing from fallen foes and other group endevours is okay.

    Votes: 1 2.1%
  • Stealing from party members is okay

    Votes: 3 6.4%
  • Other looting options I didn't think of is okay (please explain in comments).

    Votes: 4 8.5%

  • Total voters
    47
While every group I've played with has allowed PvP, I think the assumption of no PvP is that the game is fully cooperative. If theft is allowed, how would a PC get their loot back? They can't attack, since PvP isn't allowed. This would encourage super greedy characters that all have slight of hand and stealth.

One thing that I thought about is gifts. Gifts should not be considered loot, since they are directly meant for a single character, even if that means they gain "more" than everyone else.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
While every group I've played with has allowed PvP, I think the assumption of no PvP is that the game is fully cooperative. If theft is allowed, how would a PC get their loot back? They can't attack, since PvP isn't allowed. This would encourage super greedy characters that all have slight of hand and stealth.
Well, there are ways of defending one's possessions.

My favourite is a non-destructive but noisy and incapacitating glyph on warding on one's backpack.

One thing that I thought about is gifts. Gifts should not be considered loot, since they are directly meant for a single character, even if that means they gain "more" than everyone else.
There's a character in the game I play in who, around in-game Yule every year, reverse-pickpockets gifts (often potions) into the possessions or pocketses of those she likes.

The rest of the year she now and then rearranges everyone's possessions (to no net gain for herself) just for the hell of it.
 
I think part of the contract of "No PvP" should include "All the Player-Characters like each other enough that they would not steal or hurt each other." I would add into each of their backstory reasons that they like one another, or even life-debts.

I can think of a few of instances of PvP where it was necessary. Mage burns down the fighter's home town (Accidentally or through negligence), the fighter knocks him out, sows his eyes and mouth shut, and locks him in the dungeon.
The players find the genie that grants one wish and then leaves forever: Every single player fights to get the wish.

PvP should enhance the story, is the point there.

Ooh, one thing I've been doing lately is having players roll "Calm Checks" when they do something that is typically considered "Wrong or Evil." This is typically cannibalism or torture, but can also be things like Stealing from Friends. If the character fails, I tell them that "They've bitten off more than they can chew with this one," as they become visibly shaky and nervous, and may even come with a loss of sleep during a rest. They become distracted when doing similar checks for a short time, and i try to remind them of what they did often. Players can typically mitigate this by taking the "Deranged" flaw, but that comes with its own problems.

Hope that helps.
 

Nagol

Unimportant
Well, there are ways of defending one's possessions.

My favourite is a non-destructive but noisy and incapacitating glyph on warding on one's backpack.

There's a character in the game I play in who, around in-game Yule every year, reverse-pickpockets gifts (often potions) into the possessions or pocketses of those she likes.

The rest of the year she now and then rearranges everyone's possessions (to no net gain for herself) just for the hell of it.
Nagol, my M-U/Thief reverse pickpocketed gifts all the time and would become outraged if accused of it.
"Don't blame me! We must have camped too close to the faerie kind last night!"
"We spent last night in a temple."
"Maybe the god's spirits like you?"
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
I was torn on voting for the When the rogue is taking the risk alone, anything is okay (looting while scouting, etc.) option. On one hand, I agree with the idea that if a player takes on additional risk towards their character, there should be additional reward. On the other hand, I find standing by that opinion encourages negative behaviors in my thief players, where they deliberately leave the group behind to race forward and take loot for themselves.
This is insightful - on one side you have what seems correct - they took the risk by themselves so should be able to reap the reward by themselves if they want, vs. the thought that it will encourage a style of play that you don't want at the table.

I think I personally would go with your second part - don't having it so not to encourage racing ahead. But that's just a personal preference, not any bigger truth.
 

aramis erak

Adventurer
Group agrees no PvP during Session 0, and the characters are doing party loot. What level of "rogue steals loot" starts to impinge on that? Any stealing at all? Taking treasure the party (likely) wouldn't get? Taking loot from creatures the party defeats? Pickpocketing the party? It's all okay because PvP is explicitly combat?

This really is hypothetical, no need for advice on how to work it out.
The moment one deprives others of their share, one is engaging in PVP, because, in the postulate, one has agreed to the sharing. More correctly, one is being a jerk and a liar, and is genuinely acting against the other players as much as the character is working against the other characters.

I've booted players for that.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
The moment one deprives others of their share, one is engaging in PVP, because, in the postulate, one has agreed to the sharing. More correctly, one is being a jerk and a liar, and is genuinely acting against the other players as much as the character is working against the other characters.

I've booted players for that.
Yeah, gonna disagree with this. This seems excessively....hyperbolic to me. When you agree to sharing loot, there's an implication that all party members will also be sharing in participation to get said loot. If the rogue is able to find something where only they were at risk or participating to get the loot, let them decide.

Let's say you're in a committed relationship (married, partner, whatever). Most committed relationships have a social contract of sharing. If you happen to find $10 on the street, you're actively acting against your partner, and are a jerk and a liar if you decide to just pocket it? If my partner finds $10 outside, she's not actively working against me to keep it herself. If I got upset about that, I'd be the one who is a selfish jerk. Yeah, we agreed to split all the bills and finances, but that was something special she got to unexpectedly enjoy. It would be her decision to share or not.

Actively stealing from PCs is always a no go in my games, but I do not consider finding lost or overlooked loot, or a pick pocket to non PC member PVP because finding extra lost loot somewhere is not an active group thing. They weren't involved at all. Only the rogue. And it's a class feature of the rogue, especially the thief rogue. You're essentially telling the player that they are forced to always use their class features to help the rest of the party and not themselves. Talk about taking away player agency.

Imagine telling the casters that they can't cast any spells that don't actively help the entire party. Imagine all the down time activities eliminated by such an edict? Most of my players have individual backgrounds in the game, and during downtime a lot of things happen that connects to those backgrounds. You're saying that no PC can do anything on their own time that might further their individual story unless it also helps the rest of the party as well, or else that player is a liar and working against the party?

Again, pick pocketing or finding otherwise overlooked look is a class feature of a rogue. Let them have it as long as it's not adversely affecting the rest of the group. I certainly wouldn't use such strong language to call them liars who are actively trying to hurt me.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
The problem with the "when they take the risk alone" option are:

1) it assumes that the loss to the thief is no loss to the party.
2) It assumes that the thief's action does not have a foundation on what the party has already done.

If we have gone into the Tower of the Nameless Necromancer, and fought our way three quarters of the way up, and the thief finds the treasure room and risks its traps alone: First, if the thief dies, the party won't have those skills available for the top of the tower, any resources spent cannot be used for the party, and it isn't as if the thief isn't expecting healing if they come out alive, but hurt. Second, there's been a number of encounters that the other party members took risk in, and the payout just happens to be n the room where the rouge was alone? I don't think so.

If you are going off to do crime in downtime, and no consequences come back while the party's busy with other things, sure. But, in the middle of an adventure, you aren't really 'alone".

Mind you, I don't think this is "PvP". I think it is "greedy". There's a difference.
 

TwoSix

The hero you deserve
If you've explicitly disallowed PvP, then I'd say any stealing of shared loot is also off the table. One member going extracurricular to claim personal rewards that aren't acquired by group action is OK. Having the stealthy character act in their scout capacity for the party is not a solo extracurricular activity, though.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
IDK, I guess I have a hard time with Matt Mercer and the rest of the Critical Role crew telling Sam, "Hey, you're a liar who is actively working to hurt us, not just as PCs, but as players. If you don't share what you found, you need to leave and you're not welcome to come back."

For the record, I get how people might make an agreement and want to have everyone share everything. But I think calling people who don't do that as liars who are actively trying to hurt other players? That seems way over the top.
 

Eyes of Nine

Everything's Fine
If two players in the party fight, do all the other players have to declare alliance with either one so that various spells and effects can be parsed correctly?
(talking 5e rules)
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
If two players in the party fight, do all the other players have to declare alliance with either one so that various spells and effects can be parsed correctly?
(talking 5e rules)
Nah; far better if the other PCs stand aside and - as actually once happened in one of our games - hold up score cards like figure skating judges based on what's happening in the fight.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest
For the record, I get how people might make an agreement and want to have everyone share everything. But I think calling people who don't do that as liars who are actively trying to hurt other players? That seems way over the top.
Depends on the table rules. If the rule is no PvP and all loot gets distributed, then the player who transgresses that really may be a liar and manipulator and may be rightfully subject to a boot.
 

DwarfHammer

Explorer
As a DM I just start making sure the problem player doesn’t find anything and the other players start finding things. And traps start popping up and villains start targeting him. Now I only do that for douchbags I don’t want to play with anyway.
 
PvP should enhance the story, is the point there.
It rarely does. But then, ALL the involved players must agree it enhances the story. The thief player may believe stealing from friends enhances HIS story, but those he's stealing from may have a different view.

Second, if it's done for the sake of the story, you don't need to play it out by the rules. Bob the Fighter and Merlin the Wizard decide to have a fight. Narrating that the beat the cr4p out of each other already enhances the story, no need to actually run the combat, which by the way the rest of the players may not be interested in watching, and no need even to represent it with a loss of HP.

Last, PvP is really rarely motivated by enhancing the story. It's usually the result of a player wanting to prove his PC is better than others or wanting to impose his will. Or maybe said player is just bored and wants to cause some mayhem for his own amusement.
 

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