Party Treasure: How Do You Divvy?


Our group is running a pretty militant communism. Everything we find (with the exception of what the rogue finds when hes not in visual range of the party) is marked down into "the ledger".

All items we find are distributed to the person most likely to use it. For items everyone could use we put our head together to figure out who is will MOST benefit. All gold/gems/art/etc is kept in a huge bag of party treasure and you can dip into the bag to buy something at any time without asking.

When the bag starts to get full, we stop in somewhere and purchase some items with the loot that fill in gaps that need filled (i.e. making sure everyone has a magic weapons and a couple healing potions).

The rogue has his separate list thats "his" that he picked up out of sight.


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No Trouble at All
Firstly, mmadsen that's a great link. Yoink'd with a Thank You.

The group I GM is interesting to me. They are very easy going about it, perhaps because much of the magic has been obviously a match for a player or for none at all. One PC has become the keeper of the loot, and seems to have been (in-character) browbeating or subtly gathering nice stuff. Which is probably very well balanced by the fact that he's the one burning XP to make them things on a regular basis too.

Most campaigns I've been in of late are not typical "adventurers" out for the heroics, but people pulled in by fate. The exception is a space-opera game in which I would have loved to have found mmadsen's pirate link, since I was the captain laying down the rules for splits and such.



Journeyman Linguist
My group uses Voadam's system to great success, although we didn't know that it had a name when we came up with it. :)



First Post
IMC, gems that aren't usable as components are sold, total gold is divided into # of party members, plus one share for the group fund. Items are distributed according to need, and the party attempts to find buyers for those that aren't useful.


Another commie here. :D
Both in the campaigns I DM and in those I play in, the party divides loot according to who needs what or who can make the best use of what. Neither me, nor the other DM put treasure in the adventure according to the PCs' classes and skills; we put what's logical for the adventure to be there.

This means that often the party lacks key magical items, or has useless stuff. The junk will be sold, the missing gear will be bought. No formal rules really, a typical division of loot would go something like "can I take the bracers? I only have AC 15..." "sure" "hey, what's the situation with potions of healing?" "only one" "get three, I'll get the last one" "anyone wants a dagger +1?" "nah" "ok, I'll keep it as a side weapon" "take the gems, we'll sell them later" "wizzie, want this scroll?" "I already know that spell" "I've got UMD, can I keep it?" "fine"...
We've never had any real problem.


First Post
I've had a lot of bad experiences with terrible treasure distribution. From the character that was carring 400,000 GP worth of magic items, while the rest of us were underequipped for our level (6 - I'm not kidding - this was one of those games where a big charismatic guy talked his way into getting stuff before anyone else could get a word in) to the games where the 'neutral' characters start looting while there's still fighting going on (and entirely looting a character is a standard action it seems...) and refuse to help pay for things the party needs (most recently the party needed to take a ship down a coast to try and and catch some slavers who had captured an important npc - the 'neutral' characters insisted that we could take horses and refused to pay for the voyage [it had been made clear that while landbound travel WAS possible it was a lot slower and more dangerous than taking a ship..] - the end result was that the good characters basically had to pay over every cent they owned while the rest tagged along for free. What else could the good people do? We needed the ship, and we needed the neutral people to take on the slavers...)


First Post
Greybar said:
Firstly, mmadsen that's a great link. Yoink'd with a Thank You.
You're very welcome, Greybar.

For those not familiar with Pirate Articles, here's an excerpt from the page describing them:
In the second half of the 17th century, buccaneers began operating under a set of rules called the Chasse-Partie, or Charter Party, which for a season even held legal weight in the Jamaican court system. This later grew into the Articles of Agreement, which basically explained the standard operating procedures for all pirates involved. To "go on the account" usually meant that a person signed the articles and was declaring their membership with a group of pirates.
These seem appropriate for pirate crews, mercenary companies, or adventuring parties:
Article One
Every man shall obey civil command; the captain shall have on full share and a half in all prizes. the Master, Carpenter, Boatswain, and Gunner shall have one share and quarter.
Article Two
If any man shall offer to run away, or keep any secret from the Company, he shall be marroon'd with one bottle of powder, one bottle of Water, one small Arm, and shot.
Article Three
If any Man shall steal any Thing in the Company, or game, to the value of a piece of Eight, he shall be Marroon'd or shot.
Article Four
If at any Time we should meet at another Marrooner (that is, Pyrate) that man shall sign his Articles without Consent of our Company, shall suffer such Punishment as the Captain and Company shall think fit.
Article Five
That man that shall strike another, whilst these Articles are in force, shall receive Moses's Law (that is 40 Stripes lacking one) on the bare Back.
Article Six
That Man that shall snap his Arms, or smoak Tobacco in the Hold, without cap to his Pipe, or carry a candle lighted without lanthorn, shall suffer the same Punishment as in the former Article.
Article Seven
That Man that shall not keep his Arms clean, fit for an Engagement, or neglect his Business, shall be cut off from his Share, and suffer such other Punishment as the Captain and Company shall think fit.
Article Eight
If any man shall lose a joint in time of Engagement, shall have 400 Pieces of Eight: if a limb, 800.
Article Nine
If at any time you meet with a prudent Woman, that Man that offers to meddle with her, without her Consent, shall suffer Death.


my own group works on the basis of a hockey pool. The money and equipment that no one wants is devided up equally with one share going to the resurection fund.

After that a list is made of all magical items and grouped into like items (all arcane scrolls are 1 lot, the 3 500GP gems are 1 lot ect.). Our group has 5 members in it (NPC's recive a 3/4 share of mundane treasure but are not allowed to participate in an item pool) so we make sure there are at least 7 different item lots, and no more than 10.

Everyone then rolls a D20 and the highest roller picks first going down the list untill the last person gets to pick, then the list is reversed, the lowest roller gets to pick again and it goes up the list from lowest roller to highest.


Kastil said:
If an item is useful to any party member, it is given to said party member especially if it will enhance the party as a whole. Basically we share the wealth and don't bicker (MUCH) like children.

Do some of the party members have magicial items while my character doesn't? Yes. Do I care? Not really.

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.

That's an important statement, but "as long as the party as a whole is balanced" can mean different things to different players. Besides, this way of dividing the treasure is heavily dependent upon the DM of giving away 'customized' treasure (magic items especially).

I play in a campaign where DM'ing is rotated and published adventures are often used. While DM'ing is rotated, the PCs in a party are rotated as well, meaning what is balanced in one combination can be unbalanced in another.

Besides, I must say I felt pretty neglected when during last adventure (wherein my PC gained two levels) one character of the party could use about 90% of the magic items we found, while my character could use nothing, and the other characters maybe 10-20%. That 'fortunate' character got to enjoy the items during those sessions, but if he also walks away with 80% of the treasure after dividing the shares (putting him far over the advised g.p. limit, just because the items are of no use to the other PCs) I would feel more than a little miffed. :mad:

I also would not feel good I my character was to play second fiddle to one super-character just because that character got all the 'right' magic items, even if it does enhance 'the party as a whole' with him having all those items.

The rule is there to protect the players more from DM stupidity/carelessness, or from published adventures that give out magical items that will unbalance a previously balanced party. To prevent potential bickering, not to encourage it.

I can remember the 2nd edition days when every fighter specialized in a longsword because most magical weapons were longswords. If you specialized in an exotic weapon, chances were that you never got a magical version of you favored weapon.... :)


Sabathius42 said:
All gold/gems/art/etc is kept in a huge bag of party treasure and you can dip into the bag to buy something at any time without asking.

How do you deal with situations where one character dips into the bag to spend his money on ale, whores and gambling, while another builds a temple or a magical laboratory?

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