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

Democratus

Adventurer
I usually go "by the book" for treasure. If a dragon has a Treasure Type of "H", then I roll the dice and see what results.

There is a dragon not too far from the player's base (PC levels 1-3) that has over 50,000 coins in his horde. This isn't really a big problem if you track encumbrance. A PC got a run at the pile of treasure and could only leave with 1,600 coins because that was the most they could carry.

One tweak that I apply is that all magic weapons have a name and a history that can be discovered through research and magical inquiry.

When it comes time for the party to split up treasure, they go to the local moneychanger/jewler figure out a way to divy things up evenly. Magic items are distributed by negotiation. Since we are playing West Marches all treasure has to be divided at the end of each session, since there is no guarantee the same characters will be together on the next adventure (15+ players in the game so far).
 

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el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
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.

Every group I have every played in or run, treasure distribution was separate from item distribution. And I have the opposite of greedy players across the board since the 90s with totally different groups. A lot of, "No, you take it!" "No, no I insist! You should keep it!" Then again, as I mentioned in my original post, the selling of magic has generally been frowned upon in my games, especially between PCs.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
As far as possible we try to do it in character.
If you can get agreement that's prefered. But we usually do it out of character so that everyone is satisfied. Having an ongoing irritant such as one player unhappy with how treasure is divided is actively losing the game - with winning defined as having fun. Since different personality characters can easily want to do it in different ways, we smooth it out, often in session 0. Just like our usual no PvP rule includes no stealing from other PCs.

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 :) )
No problem looting the bandits and then turnign them in for a reward. It's just gold gotten earlier, good for the party. I can easily adjust future loot if it's a game changing amount, but otherwise be enterprising and clever.

It's artificial in the same way AC is. And they have rather different outcomes and non-monetary results, no one would mistake one for the other.

4e introduced the concept as treasure packets, where you aren't locking players into certain types of actions and plans to get material rewards. It's extremely freeing in how you play your character. Otherwise you get what you reward and players will often eschew options like stealth, diplomacy, bribery, or even just avoiding encounters strategically because they don't want to miss out.

I find old school "if you do any solution but combat you will be penalized by missing out on rewards" games to be stifling now that I've experienced the freedom treasure packets brought in 4e.

Interesting. I'm guessing this is a short-ish campaign?
The Masks of the Imperium just about to hit the one year mark and there's plenty ahead of them. The last three D&D/D20 campaigns I ran were 4 years (D&D 3.0->3,5), 7 years (D&D 3.5) and 4.5 years (13th Age), so I wouldn't expect it to be a short campaign. Curious what makes you think that?
 
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TwoSix

Unserious gamer
My last few games have been similar, in that they were high-level games set in magic-rich settings (Ravnica and Eberron), so I used pretty similar principles for both of them.

1) Treasure tended to be concentrated on humanoid enemies, who would have their own coin reserves and their own magic items.
2) Magic items can usually be harvested for useful reagents by skilled magical item crafters.
3) Getting your own magic items made requires calling in favors, a chunk of cash, some time, and help tracking down special reagents for rare and up items. It doesn't matter if you have 200,000 gp, to get that holy avenger you need a flawless Siberys dragonshard and some special metal gathered in Irian, the plane of Light. Better get questing!
4) Finding reagents for crafting (like a canister of pure blue mana) is just as good as an item.

My next game is going to be much lower power, and magic items are needed to unlock class abilities, so the placement there will be much less player-facing and more deliberate.
 

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.
That's interesting, it's like a separate cultural tradition (one that rather relies on magic items have pretty clear, fixed and known prices I note, otherwise it seems like the game would become an episode of one of those reality shows featuring an awful lot of price negotiation). I've played since 1989, and like Blue I've never actually seen it happen, I think because in Ye Olde Dayes of early 2E, we liked to act like magic items didn't have fixed, precise, known values, and after that it just would have been a big hassle (and in no edition of D&D have I ever seen gold to actually be worth much, once you get beyond a few thousand - I suspect it might have been worth more in 1E).

There's also this issue:
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.
Which I think would be the deciding factor that would prevent us adopting it even in an OSR-ish game.

The alternative would be that you could force items on people and put them in "debt" if they didn't have the cash, but that is not likely to end well, in my experience. I've seen similar things with MMORPGs and Dragon Kill Point-type systems. Some guilds used to have people able to force-assign items to people, people who might otherwise save up their DKP to buy a different item, because those guilds wanted people to make the guild group stronger, but this always ended in acrimony to some significant degree.

Whereas if you just hand it to the best person to use it, that's likely advantaging everyone and not causing acrimony.

With any kind of "pay for it system", unless you're swimming the pay resource, you risk situations where someone refuses a very good item which would be a big benefit to the party because they want to reserve the pay resource for something else. It also relies on the gold costs of the items being sensibly apportioned by the designers.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
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:
Instead of adding that extra step, isn't is easier to just polymorph the monsters into fish or something else that can't breathe air, and kill 'em that way? :)
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.
So, no cash or other equalization of values?
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).
Even with all those developments it sounds a bit more linear than what I'm used to.

Here, each player has a number of PCs in the setting who often get cycled in and out between adventures depending on some combination of who best suits the mission and who they feel like playing at the time; meaning that unless two adventures are somehow directly connected - as in one leads into the next, or there's clear and obvious story continuation - I'm usually looking at about 1/3 of the party turning over between each adventure. Never mind that because we can only play one group at a time, parties get put on hold so we can play/catch up different parties or PCs who may have (or may be about to) interacted with other groups of PCs - and bought/sold/traded items with each other.

Given all of that, nailing down treasury division and who owns what becomes rather essential if only to avoid arguments later. :)
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I usually go "by the book" for treasure. If a dragon has a Treasure Type of "H", then I roll the dice and see what results.

There is a dragon not too far from the player's base (PC levels 1-3) that has over 50,000 coins in his horde. This isn't really a big problem if you track encumbrance. A PC got a run at the pile of treasure and could only leave with 1,600 coins because that was the most they could carry.
That's one thing that has always bugged me a bit: coins are mostly way too heavy, I think.
One tweak that I apply is that all magic weapons have a name and a history that can be discovered through research and magical inquiry.

When it comes time for the party to split up treasure, they go to the local moneychanger/jewler figure out a way to divy things up evenly. Magic items are distributed by negotiation. Since we are playing West Marches all treasure has to be divided at the end of each session, since there is no guarantee the same characters will be together on the next adventure (15+ players in the game so far).
You're doing one adventure per session? Yeah, I can see how treasuries there would need to be kept straight. :)
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Every group I have every played in or run, treasure distribution was separate from item distribution. And I have the opposite of greedy players across the board since the 90s with totally different groups. A lot of, "No, you take it!" "No, no I insist! You should keep it!" Then again, as I mentioned in my original post, the selling of magic has generally been frowned upon in my games, especially between PCs.
Curious: why would it be frowned on between PCs?
 

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
Curious: why would it be frowned on between PCs?
It wouldn't occur to them to sell things to their friends? It was more like, "If you need X and I have X, I'll give you X." In rare cases where two people really wanted the same thing, they might roll off for it with the loser getting first pick next time or something. But usually, it really was "I'd like the longsword +1" "Oh, I wanted that." "Okay!"

It might help that in my games magical items are more likely to be gifted to specific characters and tailored to them to some extent than they are to just be found. Heck, in one of my games they got items from their own future selves creating a mind-bending paradox at one point!
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
If you can get agreement that's prefered. But we usually do it out of character so that everyone is satisfied. Having an ongoing irritant such as one player unhappy with how treasure is divided is actively losing the game - with winning defined as having fun. Since different personality characters can easily want to do it in different ways, we smooth it out, often in session 0. Just like our usual no PvP rule includes no stealing from other PCs.
Fair enough. It's anything goes here, and though we (nowadays) meta-sort it out up front there's still always the possibility that in-character a character or even entire party might change it up, and as treasury division is up to the players I can't and won't stop them.
4e introduced the concept as treasure packets, where you aren't locking players into certain types of actions and plans to get material rewards.
Benefits and drawbacks here. You've pointed out the benefits. The main drawback is a sense of artificiality and pre-packaged-ness*, that no matter what you do or how you do it you're going to get this much reward after this much time.

* - an issue I have with much of 4e's IMO overly-small-g-gamist design.
It's extremely freeing in how you play your character. Otherwise you get what you reward and players will often eschew options like stealth, diplomacy, bribery, or even just avoiding encounters strategically because they don't want to miss out.

I find old school "if you do any solution but combat you will be penalized by missing out on rewards" games to be stifling now that I've experienced the freedom treasure packets brought in 4e.
You're selling old school way short here.

True old-school eschews the combat where possible, and instead just sneaks in and steals the treasure with no-one the wiser. If you end up in combat you've made a mistake somewhere. :)
The Masks of the Imperium just about to hit the one year mark and there's plenty ahead of them. The last three D&D/D20 campaigns I ran were 4 years (D&D 3.0->3,5), 7 years (D&D 3.5) and 4.5 years (13th Age), so I wouldn't expect it to be a short campaign. Curious what makes you think that?
What made me think that was as a player I'd find the Masks concept really cool for a while - maybe 6 months or a year - and then quite likely find it really stifling after that; as I'd probably get bored playing the same character with the same one magic item following the same story.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
That's interesting, it's like a separate cultural tradition (one that rather relies on magic items have pretty clear, fixed and known prices I note, otherwise it seems like the game would become an episode of one of those reality shows featuring an awful lot of price negotiation). I've played since 1989, and like Blue I've never actually seen it happen, I think because in Ye Olde Dayes of early 2E, we liked to act like magic items didn't have fixed, precise, known values, and after that it just would have been a big hassle (and in no edition of D&D have I ever seen gold to actually be worth much, once you get beyond a few thousand - I suspect it might have been worth more in 1E).
Even though I tend to dislike artificiality, I long ago artificially fixed magic item prices in that no matter where you go or what you do item x will always both buy and sell for price y.

I did this specifically to stop some players playing buy low, sell high with magic items and so far it's worked like a hot damn.
There's also this issue:

Which I think would be the deciding factor that would prevent us adopting it even in an OSR-ish game.

The alternative would be that you could force items on people and put them in "debt" if they didn't have the cash, but that is not likely to end well, in my experience.
It doesn't. What ends up happening instead is that if there's someting the party just can't live without but no single character can afford it, either the party keeps it with everyone owning equal shares (characters leaving the party are bought out), or a group or consortium of characters buy equal shares in it. In either case, eventually and inevitably as more loot comes in one character will slowly buy up all the shares from other characters.

That said, I like it when the party have to make choices like this: can we afford to keep it or do we have to sell it.
I've seen similar things with MMORPGs and Dragon Kill Point-type systems. Some guilds used to have people able to force-assign items to people, people who might otherwise save up their DKP to buy a different item, because those guilds wanted people to make the guild group stronger, but this always ended in acrimony to some significant degree.

Whereas if you just hand it to the best person to use it, that's likely advantaging everyone and not causing acrimony.
Oh, it'll cause acrimony once the players realize that character A has accumulated 45000 worth of magic and character B has 12000 simply due to "that's what each can use best".
With any kind of "pay for it system", unless you're swimming the pay resource, you risk situations where someone refuses a very good item which would be a big benefit to the party because they want to reserve the pay resource for something else.
Exactly. I'm more than fine with this.
It also relies on the gold costs of the items being sensibly apportioned by the designers.
There is that. I'm no expert designer but I have gone through and re-priced absolutely everything (using the 1e DMG as a baseline), while also increasing the size of the magic items table - particularly weapons and armour - by a huge amount. There's still a few prices that aren't right but they're locked in now by precedent until-unless I ever start another campaign/setting.
 

Instead of adding that extra step, isn't is easier to just polymorph the monsters into fish or something else that can't breathe air, and kill 'em that way? :)

So, no cash or other equalization of values?

Even with all those developments it sounds a bit more linear than what I'm used to.

Here, each player has a number of PCs in the setting who often get cycled in and out between adventures depending on some combination of who best suits the mission and who they feel like playing at the time; meaning that unless two adventures are somehow directly connected - as in one leads into the next, or there's clear and obvious story continuation - I'm usually looking at about 1/3 of the party turning over between each adventure. Never mind that because we can only play one group at a time, parties get put on hold so we can play/catch up different parties or PCs who may have (or may be about to) interacted with other groups of PCs - and bought/sold/traded items with each other.

Given all of that, nailing down treasury division and who owns what becomes rather essential if only to avoid arguments later. :)
God did I hate the DKP... the solution we found was to have an enchanter to disenchant the unwanted item and everyone would roll for the shard.

As for our topic. Forcing items unto a player? If something is not wanted, it will simply be sold and the resulting gold divided between each group members.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
It wouldn't occur to them to sell things to their friends? It was more like, "If you need X and I have X, I'll give you X." In rare cases where two people really wanted the same thing, they might roll off for it with the loser getting first pick next time or something. But usually, it really was "I'd like the longsword +1" "Oh, I wanted that." "Okay!"
As a player, unless I'm playing an unusually altruistic character, I'd generally look for compensation in some form if I'm yielding an item to someone else, as in during treasury division "I'd like the longsword +1" "Oh, I wanted that." <roll off> "Okay, you win; but I get its value in g.p. instead." or on getting to know a new character "You'd get better use out of my +1 longsword than I've been getting, what are you willing to trade me for it?"
It might help that in my games magical items are more likely to be gifted to specific characters and tailored to them to some extent than they are to just be found.
True. In my games personally-gifted items like that are very rare.
Heck, in one of my games they got items from their own future selves creating a mind-bending paradox at one point!
That's cool! How on earth did you pull it off?
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
God did I hate the DKP... the solution we found was to have an enchanter to disenchant the unwanted item and everyone would roll for the shard.
What's DKP?

If it's anything to do with online MMORPGs just say so and stop there, as I avoid those things like the plague. :)
As for our topic. Forcing items unto a player? If something is not wanted, it will simply be sold and the resulting gold divided between each group members.
Here I think the idea is that the item is too useful to the party to let it go, everyone (or almost everyone) wants to keep it, but either no single character can afford to claim/buy it or any characters who can afford to do so have other plans for their money.

This comes up all the time in my games where players in-character have to decide between spending their money on useful items or on training.
 

What's DKP?

If it's anything to do with online MMORPGs just say so and stop there, as I avoid those things like the plague. :)

Here I think the idea is that the item is too useful to the party to let it go, everyone (or almost everyone) wants to keep it, but either no single character can afford to claim/buy it or any characters who can afford to do so have other plans for their money.

This comes up all the time in my games where players in-character have to decide between spending their money on useful items or on training.
Basically the equivalent of company scrip applied to loot gathering activities that require large groups of people who may or may not personally be interested in the possible results of that activity. participate in it & you get a given amount each time, claim one of the items & you need to spend the points. in 5e terms gold is about the same value where it's either entirely without value or mustneedwantnow depending on the circumstance. When Adventure league tried the whole treasure points thing there were a lot of similarities
 

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?

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

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.

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

Who owns the treasure before division? After division?

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?

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

So my process works basically like this. Using (a modified form of) the algorithm from red box D&D, I'll prepare to stock a dungeon by rolling 2d6 for each room:

First Roll … Room Contents … Second Roll
1 or 2 … … Empty … … … … … Treasure present on a 1
3 … … … … Trap … … … … … … Treasure present on 1–2
4 or 5 … … Monster Lair … … Treasure present on 1–3
6 … … … … Special … … … … Treasure present on 1–2

Then I'll list out all the rooms like so, coding each one "E" for empty, "T" for trap, "M" for monsters, "S" for special, with a "$" tacked on if treasure is present:

1. M
2. E
3. M$
4. T$
5. T
6. S
7. E$
8. E
9. S
10. S$
etc.

(Before I actually decide what monsters and treasures go where, I'll "dress" the dungeon with a combination of random tables—Courtney Campbell's "Tricks, Tracks, & Empty Rooms" is one of those invaluable resources, and the 1e DMG helps too—and whatever the dungeon seems to need, or what strikes my fancy. But that's not terribly relevant to the matter of treasure-placement.)

Next, I'll decide how much treasure I want on the dungeon level. (I don't use the random treasure tables in dungeons, for either monster lairs or unguarded hoards. I really only use those for singular monster lairs in the wilderness.) If it's a 1st level dungeon floor with, say, 50 rooms, I'll make sure to place enough cash treasure to advance ten 1st level fighters to 2nd level, so 2,000 × 10 = 20,000 g.p. A 30 room dungeon level might have 15,000 g.p. of treasure, while a deeper dungeon level will of course have more (appropriate to the expected level of the characters). Then I'll count up the number of "$" marks on my room key—that's the number of hoards on the dungeon level—and I'll just divide my treasure total in half a number of times until I have sufficiently many hoards to fill the dungeon, according to this method from the B/X Blackrazor blog (kudos to JB for coming up with it).

For each hoard, I'll roll a d6 to see what form the treasure takes (gems, jewelry, high-value coins, low-value coins, art objects, trade goods), and for the coin hoards I'll roll some extra d10s so that the number of coins present isn't belief-beggaringly round.

Next, for every 20 rooms on the dungeon-level, I'll put maybe 1 or 2 permanent magical items and about 2d6 consumable magic items (with magic-user scrolls being more common than potions, and potions more common than clerical scrolls), always either well hidden or in the possession of intelligent monsters. The monetary treasure may be well-concealed behind secret doors or hidden cubbyholes, under flagstones, buried in the ground, owned by monsters and left in sacks, locked in chests, grave goods interred with corpses, or even openly on display, depending on context.

Operating under the assumption that the players definitely will not find all of the treasure on a given dungeon-level, I always try to generously overestimate how much treasure to place—and to periodically restock the dungeon with treasure as well as monsters, because after all, low-level characters need a place to adventure when they join the campaign, even if it's ground that the campaign's longtime veterans have already covered many times.

Since I tend to play red box D&D more than I play AD&D, XP generally gets awarded for non-magical treasure only, and dividing the money and claiming magical items are two entirely separate matters. The monetary treasure nearly always gets divided as evenly as possible (full shares to player characters and half shares to their sidekicks and henchmen, if any, with the remainder going to pay for expenses, specialists, men-at-arms, etc.), and it must be divided up (not pooled) for the characters to earn XP for it.

Magical items usually go to whoever can use them, with an eye toward splitting the loot as evenly as possible. (If a party with a fighter, a cleric, and a mage come away from the dungeon with two nifty new magical swords, the fighter is getting one of them for sure, and the other will likely be passed to a henchman in the service of either the cleric or the mage—thereby benefiting the player character by both making the henchman more effective and further securing that henchman's loyalty!)

Magical items are generally regarded as priceless and are rarely sold. Except for potions and scrolls, they generally can't be purchased in a town or a city, and selling one is always a troublesome process of finding a private buyer and then avoiding gossips, frauds, thieves, intermediaries, bureaucrats, legal authorities or other interested parties who try to claim ownership of the item for one reason or another, etc. (Characters do earn XP for immediately selling a magical item that they find as treasure, but only one-twentieth the g.p. value in XP, so it's really just something characters do if they desperately need funds for whatever reason.)

Players are at least somewhat discouraged from the practice of willy-nilly passing magical items around, either trading them or lending them. (They're supposed to be precious beyond belief, after all.) It's generally not too big a problem, as most players are all too happy to cling to their magic items like Smaug sitting on a hoard of dwarf-gold. I would only have to step in as DM and say, "No, you can't do this," if a player running more than one character somehow got it into their head that all of their characters' items belonged to them, the player, rather than to the individual characters; and that they could just heap the whole pile in rotating fashion on whichever of their characters they happened to running for that adventure. This is, of course, the very thing that the "no sharing magical items!" rule from AD&D is intended to prevent. But I haven't actually encountered that problem too much, because most players are perfectly happy to regard their magical items with appropriate levels of in-character cupidity. :)
 
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Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Benefits and drawbacks here. You've pointed out the benefits. The main drawback is a sense of artificiality and pre-packaged-ness*, that no matter what you do or how you do it you're going to get this much reward after this much time.
No, not time. You're going to get this much reward after this much success. You will get rewards for your successes, just like you do in murderhobo play. It is exactly the same thing as "you will get this much reward after killing this many monsters", except that it also rewards other methods of success.

You're selling old school way short here.

True old-school eschews the combat where possible, and instead just sneaks in and steals the treasure with no-one the wiser. If you end up in combat you've made a mistake somewhere. :)
You're right, I should have said murderhobo play.

But sneaking and getting the treasure is succeeding - it's rewarding the same thing I am.

What made me think that was as a player I'd find the Masks concept really cool for a while - maybe 6 months or a year - and then quite likely find it really stifling after that; as I'd probably get bored playing the same character with the same one magic item following the same story.
Well, playing the same character for years is a common in my groups. Not sure where you think it's a single story, it's a whole campaign. Every character has at least one arc, some more than one, that I'm weaving alongside everything else that's happening. There are multiple stories being told outside of that. I throw far more hooks at the players then the characters could ever resolve and character interest guides where the focus goes next. I pay attention to what the players are interested in and craft that into stories. Plots they ignore can unfold into something greater - or be solved by others if they players find other things more interesting. I can go on, but I can't even envision myself running a campaign that's only a single story, it's why I homebrew everything. It's also why I average five years a campaign, with every one since 3.0 came out coming to successful conclusions.

And also (a) the magic item grows with them, so it's like many magic items just in one slot, and (b) I don't know where you got the idea there isn't other magic. Just that the party was the least interesting in going after loot for loots sake. Items are rare, and are determined to make sense which usually means being useful to whomever has it as opposed to being tailored for particular party members, but that doesn't mean there's no magic. Or no loot - they have some, and have found it useful when they can't get something from the government, or can't reveal they are Mask Bearers.
 

S'mon

Legend
I did this specifically to stop some players playing buy low, sell high with magic items and so far it's worked like a hot damn.

Conversely, I find players love it when they occasionally manage to do something like this, they feel they've "beat the system". It should never be routine or mechanistic, but if the players put the effort in to pull it off, I enjoy it as much as they do.

One good thing about 5e D&D is that the game doesn't break from PCs getting a big pile of gold, by whatever method. It only breaks if you ignore all the guidelines and allow free purchase of all magic items (don't do this, folks). :)
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
So my process works basically like this. Using (a modified form of) the algorithm from red box D&D, I'll prepare to stock a dungeon by rolling 2d6 for each room:

[...long and impressive dungeon generation method...]
That's way more formal than anything I ever do. :) When designing a not-gonzo adventure it's almost always based on some particular group of inhabitants; be it Ice Trolls or Beholders or Zombies or a boss Giant plus underlings or etc., plus whatever else might reasonably be expected to live in there with them.

Then I'll give a bit of thought - not much, but a bit - to what treasure and-or items those creatures might have accumulated or, in the case of something like the Zombies, what they might have (or be guarding) without knowing they have it. For coinage I'll almost always make it some uneven number e.g. 126 c.p., 321 s.p., 45 e.p., etc. unless there's a reason for it to be a round number e.g. the Giant boss just received a tithe of 500 g.p. from someone.

I honestly can't remember the last time - if ever - I used a random treasure table such as the one in the 1e DMG.
Players are at least somewhat discouraged from the practice of willy-nilly passing magical items around, either trading them or lending them. (They're supposed to be precious beyond belief, after all.) It's generally not too big a problem, as most players are all too happy to cling to their magic items like Smaug sitting on a hoard of dwarf-gold. I would only have to step in as DM and say, "No, you can't do this," if a player running more than one character somehow got it into their head that all of their characters' items belonged to them, the player, rather than to the individual characters; and that they could just heap the whole pile in rotating fashion on whichever of their characters they happened to running for that adventure. This is, of course, the very thing that the "no sharing magical items!" rule from AD&D is intended to prevent. But I haven't actually encountered that problem too much, because most players are perfectly happy to regard their magical items with appropriate levels of in-character cupidity. :)
I've had one or two players try this in the past. If there's a good in-character reason for it e.g. the player's two PCs are brother and sister then I can't complain too much as it's what the characters would do; but if there isn't then out comes the smackdown hammer.

Having an inactive character lend items to either a) an active character run by another player or b) an entire party to use as they see fit, is also something I can't complain about if it makes sense in character. Of course, the risk the lender takes is that those loaned items might get blown up in the field..... :)
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Conversely, I find players love it when they occasionally manage to do something like this, they feel they've "beat the system".
Oh, I'm sure they do, as would I. I just came to loathe DMing it after a while, as it wasn't occasional; some players would try it with every single item they could get their furry little mitts on.
It should never be routine or mechanistic, but if the players put the effort in to pull it off, I enjoy it as much as they do.

One good thing about 5e D&D is that the game doesn't break from PCs getting a big pile of gold, by whatever method. It only breaks if you ignore all the guidelines and allow free purchase of all magic items (don't do this, folks). :)
If by "free purchase" you mean a la 3e where the item and price lists were player-side and they could freely choose whatever they could afford, I'm right there with ya.
 

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