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D&D General Treasure - how much, how often, and how does your group divide it

J.Quondam

CR 1/8
How much do you-as-DM tend to give, either overall or relative to guidelines? Flip side: how much do you-as-player like to get?

I try to stick to the guidelines of the system. I've been burned in the past trying to fit my aesthetic sense to designers' intentions. (* cough* 3.5e/PF1 * cough*) If the system is flexible, then it's just down to whatever's appropriate for the setting.

How much of your treasure is magic items vs non-magic?

Prefer to err on the side of placing less, but more unique, magic. Again, though, this is tied to setting and system.

How do you "place" it in adventures? By this I mean is it sitting there easy to find, is it hidden, is it always guarded, is your expectation that the PCs will find all of it or miss some, etc.

I don't mind a party missing treasure at all: behind secret doors, in monster gullets, other side of illusory projections, disguised as mundane. And I've got no compunction against placing big, bulky treasure (furniture, piles of commodities, murals, etc) that they can't realistically take. But PCs are rarely hindered by "realistically", lol.

How does your group divide treasure and who decides the method used? Also, how often (if ever) does your group divide treasure?
Every group I recall divvied up "the good stuff" basically on the spot, according to whatever makes sense; and the rest was distributed more or less evenly, with the agreement that some fraction was the party fund. So if a character fell into lava, the party fund would melt accordingly.

How easy is it in your game for treasure and-or PC-carried possessions to be destroyed, stolen, or lost? Are your players cool with possession loss and if not, why not?

Personally, I don't mind destroying or losing loot. But ime players generally aren't too keen on that, especially when it comes to favored or especially valuable items. But if you fall in a river full of quippers, yeah, you're probably going to lose a pouch or staff or sword or something. (Of course, the One Ring might find you at some point, too, so there's that.)

Can magic items be bought, sold, or traded; and if not, why not?

Depends on the setting. My personal tastes call for limited opportunities for magic trade (mainly because magic itself is limited). But some settings obviously call for it. And again, IME, players tend to prefer/expect "ye olde magicke shoppe".
 

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Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Feel like I'm filling in a questionnaire lol!
Sorry 'bout that - when banging together the OP one question just sort of led to another. :
1) I tend to eyeball treasure rather than follow guidelines in 5E because like, it doesn't really matter that much. 5E doesn't have good rules or even guidelines for spending money (unlike, say Worlds Without Number), doesn't do treasure XP, and by default you can't easily buy/sell magic items (I usually provide some opportunity to do this in a campaign, but it tends to be limited).

In 3E and 4E I tended to carefully follow guidelines because they operated on different principles. 2E I used a lot of tables, but also eyeballed it.
Ditto; I use published 0e-1e modules as a rough guideline as those are closest to what I'm running, and just eyeball it from there.
As a player, interesting treasure matters hugely more than amount of treasure, unless the edition has specific expectations/requirements money-wise (i.e. to buy magic items, level-up training or the like). Only in the latter case do I care. Otherwise I'd much rather have a minor and interesting magic item (even like, really minor) or some cool piece of jewellery than XXXX GP.
I guess as a player I want both. I need money for training, and magic for both usefulness and fun. I rarely if ever give much thought to claiming non-magical jewelry etc.; maybe I should.
2) I love to hand out interesting and niche magic items, often that I've made up, and which are often not directly useful for adventuring, because I love to see how players use them, so I think maybe more of it is magic items than some groups, but perhaps fewer permanent-and-powerful ones (permanent and semi-useless/niche though, plenty!).
Ditto; and sometimes they find some amazing uses for such items in the field that I simply never saw coming.

I also give out lots of useful items, knowing there's going to be turnover as items get destroyed or consumed.
4) Since my wife started playing (early 4E) there is always one player who has "the treasure sheet" which lists all the loot and who is carrying it and so on.
That's almost always my role in any game I play in. :)
Coin is usually divided up on the spot unless there's an awful lot of it. Never seen them not do an even split, and magic items are typically just handed to the person who can use them most with no regard for value (this has been true across an awful lot of groups), though there can be some "discussion" if someone seems to be getting "too many" magic items (which has lead to a PC who was maybe the second-best person to have one using it).
Cool.
5) The individuals own the treasure after division, unless they're putting money into a pot for something like repairs to an airship or buying a stronghold or a resurrection fund, in which case all will contribute equally to it.
Nice. Right now - no kidding - in the game I play in we're looking for a stronghold in which to hide an airship..... :)
6) Relatively hard/rare for stuff to be destroyed/lost, as per rules approaches in 4E/5E which suggest this. It's not invulnerable but the rules basically strongly promote the idea that you can't just break people's stuff with rando spells or attacks, nor declare items to have fallen down a hole or whatever without good reason. True stupidity will of course have an impact - like the genius who insisted he was going to carry all the party's potions in his backpack because he was the cleric, and who then fell 30' off a rope he was climbing, and logic dictated he'd land on his back...
:D
7) Can magic items be traded or sold? Yes, it's not like there's a divine edict preventing it, and if you can sell a nuke, you can certainly sell a +3 Shortsword or whatever. However, in practice there tend to be relatively few opportunities to do this in my 5E campaigns. It's much easier to sell or trade than it is to buy a specific item. Items with less practical use or demonstrable powers will be harder to move (meaning you'll need to accept a lower price, or wait for the right buyer). Magic items are pretty high-value for their bulk so are good targets for thieves, so whilst it's unlikely they'll mess with adventurers going about their business, if the adventurers are hanging around trying to sell stuff, they may need to take precautions.
Yep, sounds 'bout right. :)
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I mean, you say that and I totally believe you feel that way, but I've played with a lot of D&D groups since 1989, and not a single one of them didn't have an approach that was basically identical to what you're describing (i.e. gold splits evenly, magic items go to whoever can use them best, people who don't get as many get left-over stuff they can use, etc.). That said the six weeks w/o splitting is mildly surprising - virtually every group I've played with splits monetary treasure or gems (where practicable) at the soonest possible opportunity - but harder to move items like jewellery, furniture, golden ewers, dragon-hides and so on get held until they can be moved (or indefinitely).
How often it gets split depends on how long the adventure takes to finish. If it's a 10-session adventure - not at all uncommon - then they'll divide all that adventure's loot in session 11 (and probably take all night doing it).

We split evenly by value, so no matter what specific things you end up with your "net earnings" are the same as all the other members of the party...with one common exception: a character only along for part of the adventure only gets part of a share.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
One other thing, we have a "If it is not written down it is lost" table rule.
Same here. They've learned.
So, no asking me to go back into the module notes and try to remember what they found if they can find no record of it.
The bigger headache is when their records and my records don't match, which happens occasionally due to simple human error.
For magical items of consequence (so everything but potions and scrolls), I make up an item card and possession of the card equates possession of the item.
We use an item numbering system. Every item gets a unique number, recorded both in my notes and the players' when first found (hence the occasional error as noted above); which makes it way easier for either to look up if needed.
It also allows the items to be traded easily. So when Bark the Barbarian says "I give Dinkle the Dwarf my magic axe" the player passes a card over and we don't accidentally end up with two magic axes because someone forgot to erase it from their sheet or something.
Good idea. More work than I'd like to do, though. :) I just make sure to remind people to make the relevant notes on their sheets.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
How much do you-as-DM tend to give, either overall or relative to guidelines? Flip side: how much do you-as-player like to get?
I give less. 5e if you follow the treasure tables drowns you in gold.
How much of your treasure is magic items vs non-magic?
I make magic items a lot rarer, but much better. Rather than 5 minor items that each do something small, I'd rather give one item that has multiple abilities and is going to be treasured. It works really well. My players love the items that they get.
How do you "place" it in adventures? By this I mean is it sitting there easy to find, is it hidden, is it always guarded, is your expectation that the PCs will find all of it or miss some, etc.
I mix it up. Usually it's with creatures. Sometimes it's hidden well. Rarely it will just be sitting there for the taking. I once ran an abandoned temple that had been abandoned for so long that everything was rusting and falling apart. They got to a workshop and on a table was a bright, shiny steel shield+1 just sitting there for the taking. They didn't bother to detect magic and left it there because shields don't sell for much.
How does your group divide treasure and who decides the method used? Also, how often (if ever) does your group divide treasure?
They generally come to a decision about who can best use the item. If nobody wants it, it gets sold and the money divided amongst the group. If more than one want an item, the players will generally roll percentile dice with the winner being the one that the group decides in game will receive the item.
Who owns the treasure before division? After division?
Before the party. After division it's the PC.
How easy is it in your game for treasure and-or PC-carried possessions to be destroyed, stolen, or lost? Are your players cool with possession loss and if not, why not?
It's not often, but they are cool with it when it happens.
Can magic items be bought, sold, or traded; and if not, why not?
Sold certainly. Bought and traded rarely. Magic items are rare and there aren't many around for sale or trade, but it does occasionally happen.
 

Two or three threads have recently drifted into covering very similar territory around treasure in the game, so I thought starting one just for this topic might make sense.

So, treasure. Lots of questions here just to get things rolling.......

How much do you-as-DM tend to give, either overall or relative to guidelines? Flip side: how much do you-as-player like to get?
I usually try to stick close-ish to the guidelines, but I like to give players 'signature items' that can grow and change with the characters. These often end up counting as several items, so the total number of items is low, but the total power of items is about right.
How much of your treasure is magic items vs non-magic?
I like to ramp up the cash by mid-levels. At that point, wealth becomes more fun and opens opportunities.
How do you "place" it in adventures? By this I mean is it sitting there easy to find, is it hidden, is it always guarded, is your expectation that the PCs will find all of it or miss some, etc.
I usually don't hide much - maybe cash or random items. If the pc's explore the whole dungeon, they'll find all the treasure.
How does your group divide treasure and who decides the method used? Also, how often (if ever) does your group divide treasure?
Varies, but 1) as a dm, this isn't my job nor really my business and 2) as a player, I usually focus on what's best for the team. If an item would be useful to multiple party members, we hash out how best to distribute. The only major variation in treasure-distribution I've seen is whether there's a party fund for resurrections/group purchases or not.
Who owns the treasure before division? After division?
Usually we divide after adventures, so it's essentially party loot before. After it's either that pc's or the group's.
How easy is it in your game for treasure and-or PC-carried possessions to be destroyed, stolen, or lost? Are your players cool with possession loss and if not, why not?
I don't really do that as a dm, because I never really enjoy it as a player. You need to give out a lot of magic items for it to not feel like a big letdown when your magic item goes away. I find that if you have that many magic items they lose all sense of impact. I'd much rather have fewer, more interesting and impactful items, which precludes losing them under normal circumstances.
Can magic items be bought, sold, or traded; and if not, why not?
Technically yes, but I model it after the market for fine art and major antiques. You don't go to a shop or bazaar. You go to a broker who connects with other brokers until he finds a count or someone who can actually afford to buy or trade for something as exceptionally pricey as a magic item. Then the brokers work out a deal (and take a cut.) In a really big city there might be an auction house, but that's effectively the same process just more condensed.

If you're connected to the market, you can also let your broker know you're interested in buying a specific piece.

Potions are an exception, but even the weakest ones are still a major purchase for most people.
There. That ought'a get us going. :)
 

Your "once they realize the way things are structured" note sounds from here like your players have seen just a bit too much behind the curtain. Are your players also DMs?

Also, 5e only allowing three attuned items does kinda chop down hard on what you-as-DM can do with them, as they're always going to go for only the best - any thoughts of easing that restriction or even removing it entirely so as to allow them to carry things other than just "the best"?

As for the one-time-use item issue, if the risks are that low maybe beef 'em up a little? :)
Looking back at my 5e campaigns, I almost always have one player who has or does also GM but those individuals tend to be more willing to engage in that kind of stuff than the only ever been a player types. The pure player types might ask for a +1/+2/what about a frostbrand but unlike in the past they lack any kind of gateway drug to start their imaginations tinkering around the edges like 4e's brutal/defensive/high crit/etc* or 3x's crit mod/crit range/asf/acp/slot affinities & meaningful damage types or whatever so they never really get into the mindset of trying to think about anything but ordering something directly out of the catalog as is. The fact that the 5e system mechanics don't really leave any room for that kind of stuff beyond objective +N die size AC number of dice & if its magical or not along with yes/no is it magical doesn't help matters. "the way things are structured" was more in reference to the 5e mechanics themselves.

I've tried forcing body slots with sheets like this to ease the limits but things then mostly come down to 5e's unsupported "optional" feats & magic items being overbudget the second players have one wolverine/deadpool/loons toons levels of durability & lack of any real hooks in the system or ways of inducing churn while leveling so they pretty much became a one or two & done thing.

It doesn't help that with dndbeyond not even supporting wotc's own optional rules it makes any new rules systems or bolt ons come off looking like some ikind of abomintion that sullies the purity of 5e's simplicity for simplicity at all costs purity no matter the rule

* I mostly skipped 4e
 

TheSword

Legend
If this works for your group, cool. We once tried an item draft system here - by player decision, as with yours - for a few adventures with one party, and it was a foursquare disaster. Never again.
What were the main challenges with it for you? Items not having balanced values?
And that nice weapon has no mechanical advantages in battle? Got it. (though if it's that well made I'd probabl give it a small bonus on any saving throws it had to make)

Sounds like you're approaching 3e's masterwork system only without mechanical benefits. Masterwork as a concept was and still is a good idea.
Yeah. It’s that idea but not advantages. I guess it’s a bit like a skin in a CRPG. A nice collectible or worth more to sell but no intrinsic mechanical benefit.
What about blowing it up, as in the character fails to save and gets the full blast of the Black Dragon's acid breath; do you force item saves at this point (RAW be damned)?
Probably not, unless they were using the item to protect themselves or hide. I kind of rule that cloaks, backpacks etc cover stuff up. I just think it’s unpleasant losing stuff like that. Maybe if I was more generous with replacements it would be ok.
 

Were you ever forced to give your magic items to another PC? This happens in my group, if an item is "better" for another PC for the group. I've had this happen to me, and I've argue against taking an item from someone else. They treat magic items as a group commodity, regardless of who actually has it, which irks me.
What counts as "your" magic item here though? Like, an item you "felt" was yours "by right" or something, or you were simply the person who picked it up, or do you mean an item that your character had had for ages and been using, but that they took away? It seems like they're taking basically a military approach here, where magic items are the equivalent of weapons/ammo/body armour/grenades and will be redistributed to benefit the squad.

Personally I've never seen what you describe happen with an item that isn't being directly replaced and I don't understand the situation that would cause it to happen, from a logical perspective. Like, if you had a ring of invisibility you'd been using for a while, presumably when you acquired it, other candidates were considered and rejected, given the military distribution approach, why would they then go back on that and redistribute it to someone else?

I've seen military-style distribution of stuff, but the only time things get given away is if someone literally can't use them, like, you've just been distributed/given cloak of uberness and are wearing it, but you also have cloak of okayness, and another party has no cloak magic item at all, if you don't give him that cloak of okayness, it brings into question why you'd received the cloak of uberness - even if it's not seen as military style distribution, they're clearly perceiving part of the bargain for you receiving the item is turning in the old one for redistribution. That's what I have seen happen - if someone takes an item as an upgrade and can no longer use another item at all because it's the same slot and "always on", it's an expectation that the old item be redistributed. And no-one even seems to think twice.

In real life, I wouldn't give out my laptop to someone simply because I'm using my new tablet instead. Even if I wasn't actually using the laptop at all, it's still too valuable to just give away. Most people aren't this generous in real life, and so when my group does this, it breaks the suspension of disblief.
As for giving someone a laptop because you had a better laptop, well, I've seen that happen among friends/family IRL an awful lot of times (it's not automatic but it does happen - particularly with expensive kitchen stuff like high pots/pans, weirdly) and you're saying it doesn't happen, soooooo... (laptop vs tablet isn't the same though, those serve similar but different purposes/roles, but we're talking like for like, like with two cloaks). And in any kind of military or even paramilitary or faux-military squad, if you got given a better gun and there was a dude with no gun, you can sure as hell bet people would expect you to give that dude your old gun - either that or you wouldn't get given the better one - it should go to the guy with none (even if you'd make better use of it), because otherwise you're going to pointlessly hoard the items, weakening the party overall. I also feel like most parties would have pretty intense emotional bonds given the extreme danger and brutal close-combat situations they've been in, so friends/family is probably not a bad comparison point (if anything this is something often overlooked in RPGs). Also this is life-and-death, not just like "Oh I'd like a backup to do watch Netflix on!".

Sorry, not trying to say your PoV is invalid. I don't think it is, but I think there's a fairly straightforward flipside to this, and as soon as you start accepting items because you're "the best person to have them" you're essentially buying into this military redistribution deal, and then it's live by the sword, die by the sword. To avoid this you'd have to never buy into it, and make it really obvious that you didn't, and not even accept given items, always demand an exchange (I'm reminded of a Faction in Planescape, possibly in one of the later books...).
 

cbwjm

Hero
Not sure how much I give out, so I'm now going through my sessions and having a look. When the game first started, the players were level 3.
  • Adventure 1: A planar shard of the shadowfel (attaches to a weapon to give it +1d6 necrotic damage, also makes the weapon magical, bypassing resistance), and chainmail +1 (useless for the party of non-heavy armour wearers so it was later sold), 2 scrolls (bane, lesser restoration).
  • Adventure 2: A sentinel shield, 2 scrolls (conjure minor elementals, mind-spike), A platinum book on an ancient dragonborn knightly order (worth 4000gp to the right seller), a doss lute, a dragonfang dagger (dragonborn gain the ability to smite using their breath weapon), A wand of storms (grants access to a cantrip and a spell, both homebrewed), a pearl of power.
  • Adventure 3: A chime of opening. Some miscellaneous items that they were able to buy (+1 dagger called spite, I think a +1 shield, a few scrolls/potions), a badge of Tymanther (a symbol showing the great service they did for the city, grants a +1 bonus on saving throws).
  • Adventure 4: A ring of speech (cast tongues 3/day). The artificer is also making a couple of scrolls during downtime.
They're now level 6. I already know what the druid in the party is going to get in the coming adventure, not sure about the others. There may be an opportunity for some consumables from one encounter and they'll soon be in the city of Trademoot though I don't think they'll be able to get much there.

Players tend to talk about who should get the items within the group and tend to divide gold evenly.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Okay, different groups handle this different ways. It's actually usually something we settle as players, not characters. In general magic items are by who can best use them/needs something, and funds are pooled to a lesser or greater extents.

As a DM, I give out around the Xanathar's suggestions by tier, perhaps a little more generous with wonderous items, and a little less generous with consumables and "plus X" weapons/armor. Most items are where they are for a reason, so often are used against the party before the group can get them. I expect players will miss items - when I say "give out", that doesn't include items that aren't given out because they are missed.

Tangentially, I use story/pacing based leveling, and follow the same idea with items - there are many routes that can lead to successfully overcoming challenges, and I'm not going to penalize a group simply because they didn't approach a challenge in a way to beat people up and take their loot. For example, you might kill a bunch of bandits and take their loot. Or capture them and get a reward. Or join them and have a share stealing from the tax collector.

I've got one unusual group that's worth discussing on how it mutates the loot expectations. One group's origin was that they all "awoke" these powerful mask relics of the Imperium. There were less than a hundred Masks in the whole Imperium, and accepted Mask Bearers were sworn in and given authority - their personalities were accepted by the Masks which protected the Imperium, causing these artifacts to awaken.

Anyway, from level 1 they could requisition and mundane equipment, and they had a personalized magic item that would grow with them. They have been the absolute least murder-hobo party (and I've played with all of the them in other campaigns). They dont' do random sidequests for loot. It's just not a big deal. Well, the elven archer ranger really wants a magical bow, but besides that, they are not loot-inspired. It's drastic.
 

I give out a lot of esoteric items just to see what the party does with them. Beyond that, I give out a good amount of wealth and then have magic marts so they can get what they want to make up for me foisting experimental weirdness (and bags of holding to remove any need for me to pretend to care about encumbrance) on them.

Treasure comes at milestones where it makes sense for them to find wealth, which means when they fight people instead of mounters or get a reward for something.

I tend to give a heavier than normal amounts of treasure because my players tend to pick up a lot of pets and allies to outfit and recently had started adopting towns that they then build into cutting edge cities with the latest magic amenities or airships to trick out.

Occasionally, they get so caught up in improving lives that I have to give out basic magic gear to keep them in line with adventurer loadout by level.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
What were the main challenges with it for you? Items not having balanced values?
Greedy characters, in character, drafting for value rather than utility.
Probably not, unless they were using the item to protect themselves or hide. I kind of rule that cloaks, backpacks etc cover stuff up.
So do I, meaning those sort of things* have to save first and if they succeed anything inside is considered safe, but if they fail we move further "inward". So for example if you're wearing any sort of armour it's usually assumed in includes commensurate gauntlets, thus if your armour saves any rings on your fingers are fine but if the armour fails then the rings need to save.

* - except cloaks, usually; they're often flimsy and only mostly cover one side of you so they don't offer much protection to what's inside.
I just think it’s unpleasant losing stuff like that. Maybe if I was more generous with replacements it would be ok.
I'm pretty generous with giving stuff out and players always like finding new stuff, so while an occasional item meltdown can certainly suck it's not the end of the world...though the resulting wild magic surges if a bunch of magic items go up can present a serious hazard, or a serious benefit, or both, or neither... :)
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I've seen military-style distribution of stuff, but the only time things get given away is if someone literally can't use them, like, you've just been distributed/given cloak of uberness and are wearing it, but you also have cloak of okayness, and another party has no cloak magic item at all, if you don't give him that cloak of okayness, it brings into question why you'd received the cloak of uberness - even if it's not seen as military style distribution, they're clearly perceiving part of the bargain for you receiving the item is turning in the old one for redistribution. That's what I have seen happen - if someone takes an item as an upgrade and can no longer use another item at all because it's the same slot and "always on", it's an expectation that the old item be redistributed.
The only part of that which doesn't ring true here is the word "give". Replace it with the word "sell" and you're pretty close to what happens (usually) in my games.

Why "sell"? Because if something's yours it's (almost*) certain you paid money to acquire it, either by claiming it as part of a treasury share (and thus getting its value less in coin) or by buying it externally. Therefore, if say I've got a Ring of Protection +1 that I paid 3000 for at some point in the past and I claim and win a Ring +2 in the treasury now (which will cost me 8000), it only makes sense that I'm going to a) sell the Ring +1 to try and get my 3000 back and b) offer to sell it to other party members first before putting it on the open market.

But if I'd paid for the Ring +1, won the Ring +2 and paid for that, and was then expected to give away the +1 for nothing? Not happening. :)

* - the exceptions being stolen and gifted/reward items, but those are rare.
 

cbwjm

Hero
The only part of that which doesn't ring true here is the word "give". Replace it with the word "sell" and you're pretty close to what happens (usually) in my games.

Why "sell"? Because if something's yours it's (almost*) certain you paid money to acquire it, either by claiming it as part of a treasury share (and thus getting its value less in coin) or by buying it externally. Therefore, if say I've got a Ring of Protection +1 that I paid 3000 for at some point in the past and I claim and win a Ring +2 in the treasury now (which will cost me 8000), it only makes sense that I'm going to a) sell the Ring +1 to try and get my 3000 back and b) offer to sell it to other party members first before putting it on the open market.

But if I'd paid for the Ring +1, won the Ring +2 and paid for that, and was then expected to give away the +1 for nothing? Not happening. :)

* - the exceptions being stolen and gifted/reward items, but those are rare.
Oh wow, I don't think I've ever run or played in a game that ran like that. Always the items get given to the ones best able to use it and any money is divided by the party, if something can't be used and is sold, then that gets divided between party members.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Okay, different groups handle this different ways. It's actually usually something we settle as players, not characters.
As far as possible we try to do it in character.
In general magic items are by who can best use them/needs something, and funds are pooled to a lesser or greater extents.

As a DM, I give out around the Xanathar's suggestions by tier, perhaps a little more generous with wonderous items, and a little less generous with consumables and "plus X" weapons/armor. Most items are where they are for a reason, so often are used against the party before the group can get them. I expect players will miss items - when I say "give out", that doesn't include items that aren't given out because they are missed.

Tangentially, I use story/pacing based leveling, and follow the same idea with items - there are many routes that can lead to successfully overcoming challenges, and I'm not going to penalize a group simply because they didn't approach a challenge in a way to beat people up and take their loot. For example, you might kill a bunch of bandits and take their loot. Or capture them and get a reward. Or join them and have a share stealing from the tax collector.
Would the amount "earned" be arbitrarily made about the same, though, whether they looted the bandits, got a reward for the bandits, or joined the bandits? If yes, that seems a bit artificial. (never mind the most profitable route is to defeat and loot the bandits without killing them and then turn them in for the reward as well :) )
I've got one unusual group that's worth discussing on how it mutates the loot expectations. One group's origin was that they all "awoke" these powerful mask relics of the Imperium. There were less than a hundred Masks in the whole Imperium, and accepted Mask Bearers were sworn in and given authority - their personalities were accepted by the Masks which protected the Imperium, causing these artifacts to awaken.

Anyway, from level 1 they could requisition and mundane equipment, and they had a personalized magic item that would grow with them. They have been the absolute least murder-hobo party (and I've played with all of the them in other campaigns). They dont' do random sidequests for loot. It's just not a big deal. Well, the elven archer ranger really wants a magical bow, but besides that, they are not loot-inspired. It's drastic.
Interesting. I'm guessing this is a short-ish campaign?
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Oh wow, I don't think I've ever run or played in a game that ran like that. Always the items get given to the ones best able to use it and any money is divided by the party, if something can't be used and is sold, then that gets divided between party members.
We do it this way because any other way simply isn't equitable as per net value.

Example: if the treasury item I can best use is a 20K g.p. Staff of Wizardry and the item you can best use is a 10K suit of Plate Mail +1, Fire Resistance then however else you slice it I still come out 10K ahead. Highly relevant if I then turn around and sell said Staff of Wizardry or trade it for other items of equal value, which - once it's mine, after division - nothing stops me from doing.

If each character's share is 21500 then in the above example you should get 11500 in cash etc. to top up while I only get 1500; and if each character's share is onlu 17500 then unless I've got a spare 2500 somewhere I'm probably going to have to borrow from someone to make up the shortfall.

And sure you could say that maybe next treasury it'd reverse and my best-use item might be worth 10K less than yours, but long-time experience tells me that doesn't happen very often. The items most useful to some classes (usually casters) are simply costlier overall in general than the items most useful to other classes (usually warriors or thieves); and it could be argued that as casters already have enough going for them, why give them this benefit too?
 

Li Shenron

Legend
How much do you-as-DM tend to give, either overall or relative to guidelines? Flip side: how much do you-as-player like to get?

I don't pay much attention to the guidelines. Mostly I play conversions of older-edition adventures, and basically give out whatever treasure they indicate, and for those occasional homebrew scenes in between I roll treasure from DMG tables. As a player, whatever the DM does is ok for me.

How much of your treasure is magic items vs non-magic?

No answer makes sense for me, because the PCs ignore most of the non-magic/non-precious stuff they find in treasure. Yes, at low level they might choose to pick up some mundane weapons dropped by enemies, but soon enough they won't bother.

How do you "place" it in adventures? By this I mean is it sitting there easy to find, is it hidden, is it always guarded, is your expectation that the PCs will find all of it or miss some, etc.

In most cases it is either being actively used by enemies, or stashed hidden and protected.

How does your group divide treasure and who decides the method used? Also, how often (if ever) does your group divide treasure?

Equal parts for cash and precious items which have a clearly defined value. Magic items don't have a price tag, so besides the fact that PCs don't take what they can't use (example: if we find 10 scrolls that only the Wizard can use, the Wizard takes 10 scrolls, we don't divide 2 scrolls each to 5 PCs), if there are multiple PCs who can use a magic item, they decide how to share them in the smartest way.

Who owns the treasure before division? After division?

It's ok to think your PC own their stuff, but it doesn't really matter much unless the PC leaves the party.

How easy is it in your game for treasure and-or PC-carried possessions to be destroyed, stolen, or lost? Are your players cool with possession loss and if not, why not?

Rarely, but it does happen. Powerful magic items come with a fail-safe that, if it turns out they are breaking the game, the game will break the magic item as part of the narrative. It is also a possible bargain I can offer in exchange for PCs death or TPK, when the players wants to keep playing the same PCs.

Can magic items be bought, sold, or traded; and if not, why not?

Bought/trade yes, but absolutely no a-la-carte availability by the book. What you find for sale is usually random, unless you commission it (but that's a longer, sometimes quest-like, affair). Selling almost never happen.
 

S'mon

Legend
The items most useful to some classes (usually casters) are simply costlier overall in general than the items most useful to other classes (usually warriors or thieves); and it could be argued that as casters already have enough going for them, why give them this benefit too?

Party survival? Unless you have very easy item purchase, a powerful useful item in the hands of the PC best suited to it is a big positive for the whole group.
 

akr71

Hero
So the Bag of Holding is party-owned, then?

What about something anyone can make good use of e.g. a Ring of Invisibility or some sort of flying device - how do they decide who gets that?

And on a broader scale, how much character turnover is there? If for example everyone kinda meta-knows it's going to be the same party all the way along then party-owned items make tons of sense; but if there's more of an expectation that characters will come and go and be replaced, what then?
Yes, the bag of holding is a party item. The tricky party is nailing down who is carrying it, so they all can't say "I reach into the bag of holding and pull out x." They just obtained a second one, but from the sounds of it, they intend on using the second one for storing 'harvested materials' so they can commission their own magic items. That and a death chamber for polymorphed monsters :rolleyes:

If there is an item that could be useful by more than one character, they talk it out and try to make a decision that is best for the party, even trading items every once in a while. It usually starts with "Who wants it?" & progresses to "What do you have currently & how many require attunement" and then "alright you take x, but can I have y?" The only time I have sensed regret was when the ranger realized that the sunblade he was ignoring could be used as a finesse weapon - once the paladin picked it up, her face lit up, she's never giving it up.

The downfall is that consumables tend to just get stuffed into the BoH, with the exception of Healing Potions. They've collected a decent number of potions and scrolls that could have been useful, if they had distributed them.

One player has left & one has joined. One player has changed characters a couple times - once because it was the merger of two groups and it was a convenient time to change, the other time was because that character wasn't working out. A charisma/social pillar based character in a dungeon crawling/combat pillar heavy campaign (I don't want my players to play a character they're not having fun with). When characters leave, they leave with their current equipped gear unless their is a discussion amongst the players and they tell me otherwise. There has only been one character death, which was weirdly just before the merger of the two groups (some of the players were in both groups).
 

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