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

Todd Roybark

Adventurer
Or maybe it fits the player’s character.

If a PC Card Shark Swindler type character ‘rigs’ a card game in a tavern, that other party members are participating in...is that PvP or character building?

What about a Paladin of the Oath of Devotion insisting that a Rogue give back what the Rogue stole from pickpocketing in a tavern? Is that PvP?

What if the Rogue was willing to share their ‘extra-curricular’ monies as part of group treasure, and still the Paladin insists that the monies be returned. Is the Paladin in effect stealing from the group?
 

MonkeezOnFire

Adventurer
I voted for other. Generally in our games most loot found during adventuring is expected to be shared. But what does sometimes happen is PCs will get personal side quests, or gifts from NPCs they've befriended that would be personal to the PC. Those types of rewards are the result of individual PCs and not the group so those are not subject to sharing.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Or maybe it fits the player’s character.
"But that's what my character would do!" is the oldest, and probably worst, excuse for treating other players poorly.

If a PC Card Shark Swindler type character ‘rigs’ a card game in a tavern, that other party members are participating in...is that PvP or character building?
Order of operations matters.

If Johnny Cardshark starts up a game, and the other PCs come by and insist on playing, despite Johnny's discrete warnings of what's going on here... then Johnny can abandon his swindle for now. Or, he can cheat such that one of the party members win big - preferably some honor-soaked type who will donate it to the party funds.

If the PCs are in a game, and Johnny Cardshark steps up and starts rigging the game against the PCs, that's pretty much stealing from the other PCs.

What about a Paladin of the Oath of Devotion insisting that a Rogue give back what the Rogue stole from pickpocketing in a tavern? Is that PvP?
If you have set up a game with no-PvP agreement - there should have been a discussion with the players about what that means before play begins. Did you have that discussion, such that the players of the rogue and paladin understood that actions that would outright generate conflict should be avoided?

If you had that discussion, someone in this scenario is guilty of violating a table agreement. Not cool.

If you didn't, the responsibility for the issue rests on the GM who failed to have that discussion.
 

Celebrim

Legend
I'd say that I'd never put this in terms of "PvP" precisely to avoid the vagaries of understanding you here in outline.

If there is a table contract to work together then stealing from party members without explicit consent violates that contract.

Claiming it is about "PvP" would only encourage intraparty conflict because those prone to "starting something" would see the PvP terms as explicitly allowing them to get away with that without consequence.
 

Todd Roybark

Adventurer
Or, he can cheat such that one of the party members win big - preferably some honor-soaked type who will donate it to the party funds.
This is the scenario I was thinking of, similar to a scene in the movie Rounders. Let us say PC Lando the (card) Shark stacks the deck so fellow PC, Roland the Good wins all the big pots.

If Roland the Good has sworn to never cheat or steal, is this a form of PvP by the player of Lando?

and/or

is this a set up for the player of Roland, to actually role play his character in a fairly open scenario?

It strikes me that inherent to the ‘No PvP’philosophy, is a strain of thought that one Player should not be able to impact another Player. Certainly not in the way that a player can commonly effect the ‘environment’.

It requires a sacrifice of potential drama between PCs to ensure that there is no drama between players.

It seems similar to an Improv class with ground rules that prohibit making acting choices that might require your scene partners to react.

Some Players/ tables would hate that type of limitation. It is possible to role play tense moments between PCs, without that tension sprinkling over to the players.
 

aramis erak

Adventurer
In re PVP enhancing the story
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.
Depends highly upon the setting and the players. One of my players has pointed out that she likes having the middle schooler's character in the party, despite constant arguing with said character in character.

They are working in tandem but the story is enhanced by their in-party not-usually PVP actions. But she makes certain to remind him that she enjoys having the bickering relationship.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
If Roland the Good has sworn to never cheat or steal, is this a form of PvP by the player of Lando?
I don't see how. Roland was not the one doing the cheating, and he didn't know it was happening.

is this a set up for the player of Roland, to actually role play his character in a fairly open scenario?
So long as Roland doesn't whack Lando upside the head for it, or something, yes. If Lando comes to Roland after the card game and says, "Okay, now hand over my ill-gotten gains!" Roland is entirely inclined to be furious, chew Lando out up one side and down the other, and go deliver the ill-gotten gains to some charity that will gall the heck out of Lando (like the local Constabulary Benevolent Society or something).

It strikes me that inherent to the ‘No PvP’philosophy, is a strain of thought that one Player should not be able to impact another Player.
What? No! That's... a very limited view of human interaction.

I mean... I have a great deal of impact on my wife's life. Not a whit of it is what we'd call "PvP". I never intentionally take actions that would make her life more difficult, or hurt her.

It requires a sacrifice of potential drama between PCs to ensure that there is no drama between players.
Sure. But, that's about par for the course, no? We all take limits on our behavior to limit drama with the people around us every day. That's just part of being a cooperative member of society. And a group at a table is just a little society.

It seems similar to an Improv class with ground rules that prohibit making acting choices that might require your scene partners to react.
Well, no. Improv certainly does have ground rules. They are there not to make it so the others don't have to react, but they work to help focus reactions into things that build the scene, rather than work to the scene's detriment. "Yes, and..." for example, comes directly from improv. You aren't supposed to outright negate what your partner puts into an improv - you are supposed to accept and move forward. This actually forces them to react to what you do, and they are supposed to do so in a constructive manner.

Some Players/ tables would hate that type of limitation. It is possible to role play tense moments between PCs, without that tension sprinkling over to the players.
Sometimes. But, the problem is there's no generalizing on that, and you can't typically predict when it will go well, and when it won't. Some folks are fine with it all the time. Others some of the time. Yet others never.
 
Last edited:

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I play with a group that has been playing together for several years, some of us for more than 30. You can play any character you want, but the other PCs can react however they want. A PC can pocket goods, but if caught the others can do anything from turn that PC in to the authorities, chop off a hand, or inform the thief that he is no longer welcome in the party(new PC time). An understanding of the potential consequences tends to keep thievery down. I think only one PC in the last 3 campaigns has pocketed goods and that was just a few small things here and there, and only when he was alone and took the risks himself.
 

Istbor

Dances with Gnolls
If the rogue or whichever character is out there on their own, and acquire gear or money. I put it to them to decide whether they want to split that with the group or not. Same as if a member was a blacksmith or any profession. What you have gotten on your own time without the support of others is yours to do with.

After the same fashion, I marked other for things like, searching where no one wants to search. Recently, an enemy was effectively turned into a puddle of gooey flesh-stuff by being smashed. No one really wanted to search through that, except the ranger. He kept for himself what he found, and the party did not consider that bad or selfish, as he had gone out of his way to find it. Each of the others, having that same opportunity.

In these instances, I don't think this is PVP. Stealing from another player with no intention of giving it back, or express ill intention toward your fellow party members however would be talked about. Generally through our session zero, it is established that the group knows one another well enough to go into dangerous life-threatening situations together. And they trust each other to not actively harm one another*.

* There are exceptions if they are communally discussed and agreed upon, or if a player desires to re-roll, I will sometimes use their old player as an NPC or villain. With their buy-in.
 

Todd Roybark

Adventurer
What? No! That's... a very limited view of human interaction.
Let me rephrase to what I intended to write: Do players have an obligation to restrain their actions, (both PC and ‘Real World’), to allow others the opportunity to play/develop their character?

(The question is not just directed at Umbran 😊)

I am also curious, for those that feel the benefits of a Rogue’s, extra curricular activities should be counted as ‘party treasure’, does the same also apply to other Downtime Activities?

Does a character with the Entertainer background keep the gig money, they make for offscreen activity, or is that, also considered ‘Party treasure’?

As a DM, that is, (to me at least), a Player Group decision. My personal attitude is generally the results of offscreen actions are considered ‘Player Gold’.

A PC, riffling through rooms, in an Inn, the adventuring group is taking a long rest in,
is little different than a PC singing in the Inn’s common room, and making some ‘Player Gold’.
Both are just a quick series of rolls, done while other players are picking spells, or using some other minor skill or action during that rest.

Anything found the next day, on the job in the Haunted Manor,(even in secret hidden compartments that only one character finds), is booty, and ‘Party Treasure’.

I am personally fine, playing the game with the safety off, Full PvP. I just insist (as a player and as a DM), that the two Real Life Players talk, before any dice are rolled for the PvP-ery.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Let me rephrase to what I intended to write: Do players have an obligation to restrain their actions, (both PC and ‘Real World’), to allow others the opportunity to play/develop their character?
Okay, the "to allow others..." is throwing me off.

I was speaking in a context of a campaign that was agreed by all parties to be non-PvP - it is part of the table's social contract. You have an obligation to uphold your end of such an agreement.

Now, most of the time I have seen such an agreement, it is not "to allow others the opportunity to play their characters", except in the sense that they have an expectation that you won't remove their character from the game by killing them, or some other nastiness.

I have not seen such a thing implemented for the purposes of, say, making it so the rogue can go out and steal stuff, kill NPCs, and otherwise make themself a public nuisance, and not have repercussions coming from the party. While technically "no-PvP" may do this, that's not why I see it used.

I typically have a separate part of the table agreement for that - you are going to play a character that generally wants/needs to work with others, and will behave accordingly. This covers both the party rogue and the paladin - the rogue will keep their extracurricular activies to a dull roar, and the party paladin will not insist on their expulsion from the party if they do so.

I am also curious, for those that feel the benefits of a Rogue’s, extra curricular activities should be counted as ‘party treasure’, does the same also apply to other Downtime Activities?
Broadly speaking, in terms of being fair to the fellow players, the party has right to the proceeds to extent they were put at risk. It doesn't matter if it is the rogue doing crime, or the wizard making a magical item.

Does a character with the Entertainer background keep the gig money, they make for offscreen activity, or is that, also considered ‘Party treasure’?
Did the Entertainer do a number mocking royalty, so the Duke tossed them in jail and now the party has to bail them out or help them escape?
 
Last edited:

Todd Roybark

Adventurer
Did the Entertainer do a number mocking royalty,
If it was me,I probably impugned the reigning monarch’s favorite horse’s parentage as well.

I’ve had my share of antics, blow up in my face, where I have paid penalties and expenses, as called for in the adventuring charter we drew up.

Getting arrested is certainly not ‘Offscreen’...😀
 

Advertisement

Top