D&D General Time to divide loot, treasure, items….

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
In 3E, I played in a group that was insanely strict on perfectly equal division. Since magic items had a cash value, if you wanted an item, you had to reduce your share equal to the amount. This led to some insane situations that I strenuously objected to, but was outvoted. We sold a suit of Plate Mail +1 of Acid Resistance... so that our fighter had enough money to buy a suit of Plate Mail +1. We sold off a powerful staff that could only be used by our wizard, because it was worth more than the wizard could cover (it was almost twice as valuable as the entire horde), then later suffered because we didn't have that staff.
This is exactly the sort of choice I'd like to see them have to make. Something like that wizard's staff could have been bought by a group of characters*, or taken out of treasury and carried forward, or - as happened - sold off. Just giving it to the wizard introduces a serious wealth imbalance within the party.

* - I've seen this done many a time with items too useful to let go e.g. a Ring of Regeneration or a Flying Carpet: four or five characters will lob in equal shares to buy the item, then one character will eventually buy the others out later as funds permit.
I understand the desire to be as equal as possible, but this level of selfishness was taken too far.
Call it selfishness if you will, but if the wizard gets the 40,000 g.p. staff (and can then turn around and sell it later!) and the fighter gets the 2,000 g.p. longsword then someone's getting the short end of the stick here.
 

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Clint_L

Hero
Depends on the group, I suppose, but to me this is and always has been part of the game; so as DM I let it go. That said, if the characters want to fight about it in-character, I let that go too.

The only hard rule is that what happens in character stays in character. No hard feelings at the table.
I'm talking about beginner groups of teenagers, some who have never played an RPG, many of whom are not already friends, and some of whom have weak social skills. So it inevitably spills over into hard feelings. We talk about it in advance at Session 0 when we agree on the ground rules, but quite often someone gets overly excited or just decides they really want that thing or whatever, and then I intervene right away and remind them of the "no stealing from the party rule" and why we have it.

There could, of course, be situations where this rule would be violated because of story reasons, but in those situations I just make sure that it is obvious why the rule is being violated and no one gets upset.

TLDR: working with brand new teenaged players, some of whom have autism and other neural differences, means that sometimes you have to make things a bit more explicit.
 

cbwjm

Legend
Typically coin/gems, etc, is divided evenly by the groups I play in or run.

Magical items will be traded around the party, typically going to whomever can make best use of the items, sometimes going to someone as a back up item.
 


Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
In D&D we do what most people here seem to do: the players talk, and whoever needs it the most gets it. Nothing much to say, really.

Now, raid loot in World of Warcraft, on the other hand, gets interesting, both from game theory and sociological perspectives.
 

Call it selfishness if you will, but if the wizard gets the 40,000 g.p. staff (and can then turn around and sell it later!) and the fighter gets the 2,000 g.p. longsword then someone's getting the short end of the stick here.
I actually called it stupidity at the time, but I argued for the Wizard to owe the group the difference. He wouldn't get any treasure until he paid the party back the difference, but 2 other players argued against. IMO it's always better to keep items whenever they're useful, since you sell for half the value, but have to buy at full cost. In the case of the fighter getting the longsword, he's going to get his share of coin, even if it takes a little longer to do so.
 

Items acquired through party loot or group gifts (rather than as gifts etc to a specific party member) go to whoever wants them and can most effectively use them. (As an aside, the attunement rules make for much less drama in this department, because one PC CAN'T usefully hoard all the magic items)

After that, stuff gets pooled and sold and the loot divided equally. Oh, and we often have NPCs travelling with us, they adhere to the same process and get the same shares even if they're only hired tundra guides or whatever.
 

Call it selfishness if you will, but if the wizard gets the 40,000 g.p. staff (and can then turn around and sell it later!) and the fighter gets the 2,000 g.p. longsword then someone's getting the short end of the stick here.
If I'm the fighter, I'm happy the wizard has that staff. You know, given that we're a party of adventurers presumably cooperating to accomplish shared goals. The wizard's luck in obtaining that staff just made my job (and survivability) that much easier. They really want to sell it later? Then perhaps they have a good reason or perhaps the rest of the party can convince them otherwise or...

TL;DR: Sometimes the concept of "balance" gets in the way, IMO.
 

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
Call it selfishness if you will, but if the wizard gets the 40,000 g.p. staff (and can then turn around and sell it later!) and the fighter gets the 2,000 g.p. longsword then someone's getting the short end of the stick here.

If I ever found myself thinking/worrying about such things I would stop playing D&D.
 

Gold value is divided equally, magic items are talked over, with any conflicts being resolved by a simple roll-off.

One thing I've learned is that if the DM puts a magic item out there for a specific character, deliver it directly to them, rather than just putting it in the pile and hoping that the right character gets it. Too many times I've seen someone get grabby hands and the cloak of elvenkind that the rogue would've benefitted most from ends up being worn by the fighter in platemail.
 

RoughCoronet0

Dragon Lover
This tends to depend on the characters in the party, but often my group has a designated treasurer who holds the party’s loot that they receive for completing quests. They are often the one who holds whatever bag of holding/portable hole the group receives at a later date as well. This means they are in charge of tracking all party loot not immediately divvied up. Items and gold given to a single character for a solo task remain with that character unless they wish to add it to the party loot.

For magic items, my group knows I like to sprinkle items meant for certain characters among more general use magic items and they are very good at ensuring that magic items go to who can best use them.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
So in every adventuring party there is that moment when tangible rewards of encounters get divided out.

What are methods your party is using currently?

Do you keep a separate share for group funds or everyone pays their own and loot divided out equally without a separate party fund?

Suppose money is evenly divided, how about items? Do you do a bidding system from your own loot share back to the rest of the group? Do you just say whomever can best use it gets it? What’s the agreement if it is some utility item that multiple people can use? Or just finders keepers?

Etc

What is your current party doing?
My players just decide who can best use what and divvy it out that way. In the unusual even that two or more players all really, really want the same item, they roll percentile dice and the high roll is the one that the group decides should get the item.
 

aco175

Legend
I have noticed in 5e that gold has less value to some of the players and it gets freely used more. The bandits might jump out on the road and the PCs just give them the 50gp instead of fight them. The Pc walks into the bar and throws 20gp down to buy food and drink for everyone. Dividing treasure and just cross off 20gp to pay for the next town food and sleep. that kind of stuff.
 

ad_hoc

(he/they)
Gold value is divided equally, magic items are talked over, with any conflicts being resolved by a simple roll-off.

One thing I've learned is that if the DM puts a magic item out there for a specific character, deliver it directly to them, rather than just putting it in the pile and hoping that the right character gets it. Too many times I've seen someone get grabby hands and the cloak of elvenkind that the rogue would've benefitted most from ends up being worn by the fighter in platemail.

Wouldn't that help the whole party be able to be sneaky?

I forget the abilities of the cloak but if it adds to stealth I would prefer the plate mail fighter have it rather than the rogue succeeding even more.
 

Yeah, I suppose it wasn't the greatest example. Howabout when the rogue who doesn't yet have a magic item and the wizard that never melees wants the dagger of venom?

Wouldn't that help the whole party be able to be sneaky?

I forget the abilities of the cloak but if it adds to stealth I would prefer the plate mail fighter have it rather than the rogue succeeding even more.
 



That has happened on a few occasions, totally. And it's generally worked out in the end for the party.

I mean, that could be a fun roleplaying scene. Ideally, the party discusses it and the wizard gets outvoted.

Sometimes, absolutely. Some players just don't play well with others and never well. But sometimes it's also young players (in age and/or game experience) that get grabby hands and just want all the magic items period. Most of them just need time and experience to grow out of it.

Yeah that is indicative of an unhealthy game dynamic.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I actually called it stupidity at the time, but I argued for the Wizard to owe the group the difference. He wouldn't get any treasure until he paid the party back the difference, but 2 other players argued against. IMO it's always better to keep items whenever they're useful, since you sell for half the value, but have to buy at full cost.
Ah, there's the rub. I did away with that two-value system, and made it that an item sells for the same as you buy it for (which makes sense given that I assume most magic item sales are private deals between adventurers; and if you're selling me a longsword and I pay you 2,000 g.p. for it, you should get all that 2,000; half of it doesn't just vanish into thin air).

Why did I do this? Because using the two-value system made finalizing a treasury division nearly impossible, as every time something was claimed from treasury everyone's shares changed.

An item's value is set by a combination of what it costs to make it and its usefulness in the field.
In the case of the fighter getting the longsword, he's going to get his share of coin, even if it takes a little longer to do so.
Good. :)
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
If I'm the fighter, I'm happy the wizard has that staff. You know, given that we're a party of adventurers presumably cooperating to accomplish shared goals. The wizard's luck in obtaining that staff just made my job (and survivability) that much easier.
My own survivability would be greatly enhanced by having the funds on hand to commission a better suit of armour. :) Instead, all those funds are tied up in a staff I can't even use.
They really want to sell it later? Then perhaps they have a good reason or perhaps the rest of the party can convince them otherwise or...
We're a bit more individualist, also in our multi-character multi-party campaigns there's not often any guarantee the whole party is going to remain together from one adventure to the next.

In a game I play in, we spent last session in town doing treasury and training - after which two characters left the party and a third got promoted from hench to full-member status. We could have swapped out another: my previous character lost her mind and so I rolled up and brought in a replacement; now my original has her mind back but the new one's showing some real promise, so I stuck with her and sent the first one down the road (but fear not, she'll reappear at some point!). Had I been allowed to play both, that's what I'd be doing now.
 

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