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Party Treasure: How Do You Divvy?

Limper

First Post
Sometimes the metagaming of players can cause an inequity in the division of treasure that turns the actual character relationships upside-down, and a DM should have some options to steer the division, or to suugest to the players, so that they can best manage to survive through high levels in a campaign.


Its not the metagaming of the players that causes the imballance its the DM's choice of treasure.
 

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alsih2o

First Post

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dagger

Explorer
Yea this is what we have been doing for years as well:


"Two things you guys do that I really like:

1) Make sure new PCs and NPCs are properly outfitted. If you guys have something better already than what was found you almost always insist on new members of the party taking the new stuff so they can do a better job.

2) Hand-me-downs: If one PC picks and takes an item that he/she already has a less powerful version of, that PC puts their old one back into the mix to be divided. e.g. Ariel's character picks a Ring of Protection +3 but already has a Ring of Protection +2, you replace the +2 with the +3 and put the +2 back into the mix."
 

kigmatzomat

First Post
Kastil said:
A recent discussion came up amoungst online buddies of mine on how party treasure is divided between players.

Being naturally LN, I *want* a system like clark411 uses, especially as a player when the GM doesn't apply any logic to loot. I've been in games where one guy ends up with 85% of the party's wealth. I didn't like it, even when I was that guy. (As the fighter I got a ring of regeneration, the sentient mage-bane blade, spiffy armor, and by dint of being the only non-elf the ring of sustenance; the next best character had a sword +2, chain+2 and a cloak+1 at 9th level.)

It wouldn't have actually changed the distribution of wealth but maybe the GM would have gotten the hint when I owed the party 390,000gp.

In the games I run I keep a pretty close tab on the distribution of wealth. Ignoring party items that someone is just holding (rod of security, lantern of revealing, cube of force), I try to make sure that I don't give out too many arcane-only items or a single hyper-powerful weapon. Roughly every other level I run an audit to make sure everyone is in the same basic class of wealth and make whatever adjustments necessary to future treasure rolls to compensate.
 

Nifft

Penguin Herder
In the group that I DM, they seem to be very Communist -- "to each according to his need", and all that. What they can't use, they sell.

They never bother to add up exactly how much loot each one has -- and I exaserbate this by having non-DMG items as primary loot, such as multi-function items, Psionic tattoos and a symbiont. Generally, each one feels slightly poor but equal, which is how I like them. :)

-- N
 

Mark

CreativeMountainGames.com
Limper said:
Its not the metagaming of the players that causes the imballance its the DM's choice of treasure.

You'll have to be more clear.

Players' metagaming absolutely can cause an imbalance, as I stated. I've seen a six foot six inch tall, 250 lb. male shout down an entire table of smaller players regarding the distribution of treasure to get the best of the items despite his character being the lowest level, weakest character in the party, and supposedly not interested in wealth or treasure. Clearly a case where player metagaming changed the face of the game.

Whether through bullying or manipulation, greed of a player (rather than a character) often has an influence on how treasure is divided in gaming groups.

As to a DM's choice of treasure, I can see that as well but I'd say it is nearly impossible for treasure ever be available for perfectly equal distribution. So unless you are pointing out an extreme case I'm not so sure I am following your point. Can you elaborate?
 

diaglo

Adventurer
i've also seen DMs hand out magic hand over fist.

the one true munchkin in the group asked for as much as his character could carry. the rest of us more than oblige. we were initially planning on just selling the items as mundane. just to piss of the DM. ;)

but it was better to give it to the munchkin. that was what made him happy. and made the rest of us cackle with glee as the DM tried to give us more and more items. :D

edit: read the story hour in my.... ;)
 
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Leopold

Management(tm)
Sum of all loot/[(Total number of PC's+NPC's)+1 for the company treasure]


this way everyone who can get something get's something and in emergencies people can dip into the company treasure which constantly keeps getting refilled.
 

Urbannen

First Post
This is a system I worked out for one of my groups:

Depletable magic items are considered party treasure, unless taken specifically for personal use (i.e., potions of healing and scrolls to be added to spellbooks). The thinking is that until the party breaks up, all the depletable magic items are used to help the party, thus they shouldn't be counted against the character's share.

A tally is kept of the value of permanent items and personal use items taken by each character. When new items become available, an effort is made to balance out each character's tally.

Monetary party treasure is kept in the party until the party decides to split it up. Party expenses, including scrolls and potions, are bought with party treasure.


This system is not as strict as I would have had it - I prefer strict division of personal and group treasure. However the opposite end of the spectrum is the player that tries to use fast talking to get the party to finance things he's too cheap to buy for himself.
 

Limper

First Post
Mark said:
You'll have to be more clear.

Players' metagaming absolutely can cause an imbalance, as I stated. I've seen a six foot six inch tall, 250 lb. male shout down an entire table of smaller players regarding the distribution of treasure to get the best of the items despite his character being the lowest level, weakest character in the party, and supposedly not interested in wealth or treasure. Clearly a case where player metagaming changed the face of the game.

Whether through bullying or manipulation, greed of a player (rather than a character) often has an influence on how treasure is divided in gaming groups.

As to a DM's choice of treasure, I can see that as well but I'd say it is nearly impossible for treasure ever be available for perfectly equal distribution. So unless you are pointing out an extreme case I'm not so sure I am following your point. Can you elaborate?

Ahhhh your position now makes sense to me... I would call that Player intimidation not metagaming.


Sorry
 

howandwhy99

Adventurer
George Burns while Rome

diaglo said:
the one true munchkin in the group asked for as much as his character could carry. the rest of us more than oblige. we were initially planning on just selling the items as mundane. just to piss of the DM. ;)

but it was better to give it to the munchkin. that was what made him happy. and made the rest of us cackle with glee as the DM tried to give us more and more items. :D
You know I can't figure out who this is. Must be me, huh? ;)

Actually, our group doesn't really divide treasure equitably. We prefer a more realistic method. We give/take/fight/steal/and hide treasure from the other players. This gives us some incentive to find stuff before the others do.

Plus, we have a halfling carryall who willingly hauls all our loot in some magic bag. Currently, my PC has about 30 gp to his name (minus a few magic items). He's never really needed much, though, as this "Fiddle" character willingly buys him stuff. Not a bad deal really.
 


Xeriar

First Post
In the main world I play in (which spans several campaigns) my characters become a 'manager' of sorts. They have most of the equipment, money, jewelry etc.

It gets assigned according to party need, spreading around defense, offense and other magics as best appropriate.
 

Voadam

Hero
Starting in 3.0 we started having magic items we could sell, items we could buy, and other real uses for money such as spell buying and upgrading existing items.

My eldritch knight character is good but very mercenary, while the paladin is good but forgetful about details which led to some acrimony over items and gp splitting. i.e "My paladin will take the cloak of charisma +4, your wizard can have the dagger +1 and we each get 500 gp from this loot! Hmm, if I sell this cloak for 4,500 gp I can then get a . . ."

We settled on this system which has worked well for us:

1 healing wands and potions are considered party treasure and we keep a group store of diamond dust for restorations, just in case.

2 left over loot is split evenly among the party.

3 magic items are to be sold as a default and are valued at our fencing sale price not buying price (1/2 market price).

4 PCs can buy out loot items with their share of treasure at 1/2 market price (what we could fence it for).

5 plot artefacts do not count as treasure.

Usually we have enough cash to buy any loot items we want and usually there are specific minor items we'd rather buy than random more expensive ones we find.
 

ledded

Herder of monkies
Kastil said:
<snip>.

In my opinion, as long as the party as a whole is balanced, it shouldn't matter who has what and divvying down to every red copper is just insane. Perhaps if you were a band of mercenaries with no 'companionship-like' ties to one another, the nickel and dime system would be for you but most adventuring parties aren't like that. We all pay our dues and shed our blood for whatever task we take as a team and as a team, we all get our fair share. If not right away, it comes soon enough.

We do pretty much the same thing, though there is often some very fun in-character bickering that goes on over stuff. Some characters tend to hoard magic stuff they dont really need sometimes, while others will accumlate just a few things but they are the most powerful/expensive. Nobody really minds, though my only real rule is that if you claim an expensive magical item, dont use it, then sell if for huge cash the first time you get a chance then be ready to split that cash. Havent had to use that rule though, because we manage to do pretty well at splitting; however, our DM gives out scoop like the Governor of Texas gives out reprieves... :D
 

orchid blossom

First Post
Our group does what most of the others seem to, give out treasure according to need/best use and split money evenly.

Every few levels we do an accounting, adding up all our characters equipment, magical or mundane costing over something like 20gp. If anyone is far, far behind everyone else, we make sure they get special consideration the next couple times we divvy treasure.
 

Nighthawk

First Post
IME, the division of treasure usually produces strong reactions in the players. The only thing I prefer is that the players, with GM input if desired, discuss this issue before the campaign starts. Otherwise, it can become a sudden explosive issue in which people say and do things that may be regretted later (not to mention taking up far too much game time).
 

Shallown

First Post
My group has settled on this method as the differences in the division of spoils grew larger. During the adventure Items were given to whoever could utilize them best. This was often obvious and done without arguement. During time periods when the treasure was collected and fenced a character could throw in whatever items they had as part of the group then everyone figured out what they were worth and then group treasure was divided to even things out.

Example : Party goes through several adventures fighting a group of rogues and thieves so the rogues/scouts in the party rack up on stuff they can use best. After several many sessions (usually like 6-8) they get to a major city and settle up which means if you don't want to keep it you throw it in group treasure and then everyones personal wealth is computed. Most likley the rogue/scouts are still ahead with their newly found items so the Group fund is split so every one has an even share as possible. Ie the rogue/scouts may pick upmostly pocket change while the rest get enough to upgrade to match the Rogue/scouts. It is not a penny pinching nickel dime system just a ball park figure. Some items of use remain party treasure, like the folding boat which no one wants counted against thier peronal booty but is most useful to the group.
Also the party fund gets a share to buy general healing, ressurrects and pay group fares, taxes and other unexpected cost.

Just the way they do it in the Groiup I gm. Wasted a whole session figuring the system out and has only been applied once. Will be ineteresting in 5-6 sessions when they get to a time and place they can do it again.

Those that think the best items should go to the best suited hopefully realize that this distrubites the power/items evenly which in the long run makes the ability to work as a team better. If the party keeps ending up with killer fighter stuff and no mage stuff how does that help the party. Yeah in the short run dungeon day to day fight for life it does but when the dust settles it pays to have that power spread around and not have all the eggs in one basket.

later'
 

Steverooo

First Post
"Need over greed" sounds good, but doesn't always work... The last group I was in, we had a Human Paladin, my NG Elven Ranger, a Half-Orc Cleric of Gruumsh, a Dwarven I-don't-know-what spellcaster, a Human Fighter, and a Halfling Rogue. We killed a Boarclops (giant warthog-headed cyclops), a fireballing Troll, and his chain-shirt-wearing Lizardfolk allies.

Once the regenerating Troll was down, everyone else ran off, yelling "Somebody finish that off!", so I did, and searched the body. I found a rod-sized Wand of Fireballs (I knew what it was, as he'd used it on us, first, and I made a Listen check to overhear the command word), a pair of bracers (which magically resized to fit me, when I tried them on), a masterwork bow, and some other stuff.

After finishing the fight, we collected the gear from the Lizardfolk and others. The Paladin (wearing a chainmail shirt) said if any of these shirts were magical, he wanted it. I objected (being able to use only Light Armor), saying that if they were Mithril, I wanted it (he could have any magical steel).

Then, thinking our group the standard "All for one, and one for all" type, I revealed the goods I'd found, and that the bracers were magical. The Fighter immediately tried to lay claim to the bracers! This brought up how the treasure would be divided...

Meanwhile, the Cleric of Gruumsh was "secretly" casting Detect Magic on the bow, revealing it to be magical. He then tried to "pick it up out of the treasure pile" despite the facts that my PC had it, and had taken all the bows and put them into his Quiver of Ehlonna (after asking if anyone wanted one, and getting no answers).

I pointed out to the GM that spells must be cast "in a strong voice" (according to the Verbal Components section of the PHB), and that hearing NORMAL Conversation was DC:0, and asked to make a Listen check to hear it. Naturally, I succeeded, and the Spellcraft check to ID the spell did likewise...

I had asked, before this, if anyone could Detect Magic, and no one had said they could. Naturally, I was a bit disgusted with the HO, but I said nothing.

So we rode off. Along the way, the HO asked if he could "see the bow you took off that Troll". So my PC asked him, "You mean the one that's magical, that you weren't going to tell us about?"

Then, like an idiot, instead of keeping hold of all the magic items (and I believe that I had all of them, at that point), I re-opened the discussion on how to divide them, and in order to prevent anyone from thinking that I was trying to keep them all, I handed the wand to the Dwarf to see if he could use it (as the Halfling had no Use Device skill), gave the bracers to the Fighter, and the bow to the HO... That turned out to be a mistake.

After getting to the castle of the local lord, we agreed upon how the goodies were to be split. I asked to see the bow to Evaluate it, and the HO replied "Sure, come by my room, later... There's this trick we do with apples..." He then left the room, as I used my one rank of Sleight of Hand to pull the bow off his back.

A few rounds later, he was back, yelling and screaming, and attacked my character. I won initiative, and tried to tangle him. He was slowed, but not stopped. The councillor, there in the room with us, called for a halt (after the HO had taken his turn, and missed). I halted.

Then I get this E-mail from the HO's player, about how he really didn't care about the bow, and would drop this PC if it was a problem, and how he was only doing this (laying claim to the bow when, by the agreement we'd just hashed out, he wasn't entitled to it) because he was RPing his character, etc., etc., blah, blah, blah!

Next thing, in-game, his HO attempts to grapple my PC... by the neck!

At this point, after having just been through a bad gaming experience, and having already told the other players/PCs that I really wasn't interested in being part of another party that didn't work well together, I rolled a Tumble check to get under the table, and posted a note that I was gone, then dropped the game.

The division of treasure I left up to the remaining PCs. :p I suppose the Fighter kept the bracers, and the HO got the bow. Don'know what happened to the wand, as I was the only one who might have been able to use it (one Rank in Use Device), and knew the command word.

The game folded soon after, though...

Nope, "Need before Greed" just doesn't always work! :rolleyes:
 
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TuDogz

First Post
Step 1: Total cash, gems, artsy bits
Step 2: Total magic at 0.8 of DMG list

Add Step 1 & 2 then divide by number of party members.

This is your share.

Now, everyone interested in items rolls dice. High number picks first and run down through the numbers. Run through them again and again untill nobody is interested in remaining items. Items are purchased at .8 of DMG list and paid for out of your share and personal funds. Any unwanted items are sold off at 0.8 list (arrangements for easy fencing handled much earlier in the game via roleplaying).

This is our basic system. It is mitigated on occasion by items deemed "party use". Members frequently loan each other cash to allow them to purchase items beyond their means. It is a meta-game method but it is quick and keeps all the characters at the same financial/magical power level.
 

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