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

Xetheral

Three-Headed Sirrush
That's about the same as how it goes here.

This is something else I specifically try to avoid: bidding wars. Why? Because it breaks the single-value mold, and if nothing else makes treasury division an absolute beast in that every time the bid goes up, everyone's share value changes.

I've always kind of seen it that the greatest demand for most magic items is likely to come from adventurers, be they PC or NPC, or nobility; meaning most transactions are likely either going to be a) private deals with contacts you've made during training or through guilds or wherever or b) direct sales to the crown or a temple or some other high mucky-muck. Some class-based guilds (e.g. a mercenaries' guild, or a wizards' guild) might act as clearinghouses and-or contact points, and occasionally buy or sell things as a guild, but that's it.

There's no "magic shop" as such.
There's no magic shop at my table either. The Great Market I referenced consists of thousands of individual dealers in various sorts of goods (everything from basic commodities, to futures, to priceless treasures) and the even larger network of middlemen and agents who try to connect buyers and sellers.
 

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Hussar

Legend
In my current campaign, magic items can be constructed, but, require what I call Dust (from the magical Chaos Star that fell from the heavens and created the Chaos Scar). I simply repurposed the rules of Residuum from 4e. Works fantastic. You can drop Dust as a reward in treasure hoards and the group then has some thing to collect and keep track of if they want to buy magic items. I simply use the GP value in the DMG for the amount of Dust needed to craft that item which can only be created in specially designed kilns controlled by the Mages guild and some churches.

IOW, I made the magic item economy totally independent of gold. Because the local area is so dangerous, no one will sell magic items that could be used for defense. There's no point in selling an item for gold when you cannot buy another item.

This was one area where 4e really got it right.
 

akr71

Adventurer
In fairness, for new players I'd explain that this is something that kinda has to be done and step them through it - maybe even make each of them the party treasurer for an adventure to get a sense of how it works.
Yep, I admit I dropped the ball there. However, when I was asked to show some new folk how to play, I brought in some seasoned players to help me teach them the game. I think I might have relied on them a bit too much. Lesson learned.
 

akr71

Adventurer
Being polymorphed into a literal fish out of water would not kill the creature. When the creature reaches 0 hit points from suffocation, it reverts back to its normal form and the hit points that it had when it was polymorphed.

Putting it in the bag of holding works because it would revert to its normal form, then suffocate again (I note that this seems a very cruel form of execution... :-/ ). The polymorph just makes it easy to get it in the bag.

So does its normal form's size fit within the bag of holding? Remember it is only 64 cubic feet in size inside. To give you an idea what that is, it is a cube 4 feet to a side (though I rule the exact shape of the interior is amorphous within that volume limit). What would happen if you polymorphed the tarrasque into a mouse and placed it into the bag? When it reverts to its normal size, would the tarrasque be sent to the Astral Plane? Would the bag be rent asunder and destroyed? Or would the tarrasque be violently expelled out of the bag?
Yes, they likely thought it through, being that is one of their go to tricks. The cruelty of it doesn't seem to phase them much, but then again, who is overly sympathetic to a Yeth Hound and other horrible creatures. The space limit has come up, more that the size of the creature won't fit through the opening of the bag. The first time they handled it creatively by reaching into the bag and dismembering it inside the bag and pulling it out a bit at a time. Whether its RAW or not, I let it fly. They now had blood and gore soaked treasure.

The second time they clued into the fact that if you just turn the bag inside out (push the bottom of the bag out the top of it, all the contents spews out.
 



Lanefan

Victoria Rules
A fair point, but the description of the bag of holding in both the 3.5e and 5e DMGs specifies a limited air supply for creatures within the bag.
I don't think I've ever DMed anyone trying to put a creature into a BoH, and thus I've never had to rule on it.

As I've always envisioned "bagworld" as being in effect empty space with the bag's contents floating arond, I think I'd rule it'd be like being put into airless space for a creature, i.e. almost-instant death.
 


Raunalyn

Adventurer
Heh. Reminds me of a campaign where we had a semi-sentient bag of devouring. We fed it the bodies of everything we killed in return for it acting like a Bag of Holding for us. So long as we kept it fed, worked great. :D We left the absolutely cleanest dungeons behind us. Half the campaign we were acting like it was Viscera Cleanup Detail.
Was that Storm King's Thunder? I don't quite recall.

It wasn't semi-sentient, though...it was fully sentient and would sometimes have full conversations with the party, including asking for different things to eat.
 

In my last 1-20 campaign I handed out a lot of magic. Too much. But only because by Tier 4 it started losing meaning to the players. "A vorpal sword? Thanks but no thanks. I think I'd rather keep my flametongue."

That said, I still like handing out a lot of magic items. It's part of what makes D&D...D&D. But next time out I want magic items to be more central to the story. You don't randomly find a flametongue in a red dragon's treasure hoard -- instead, you seek out that dragon specifically because they have a flametongue in their hoard.

Also, I specify who gets what magic items. I don't let players decide that for themselves. There's always one person who gets exactly what they want and another person who doesn't get anything at all. I can't abide that.

Same with cash treasure. I just tell players: "You find treasure worth 200 gp each." Done.
 


Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Also, I specify who gets what magic items. I don't let players decide that for themselves.
I'd have a rebellion on my hands if I ever tried that, and were I a player I'd quickly join said rebellion.

Treasury division, no matter what else or how else things work, is a player-side affair; preferably done in character but it doesn't have to be.
There's always one person who gets exactly what they want and another person who doesn't get anything at all. I can't abide that.
Then the person who doesn't get anything should do a little in-character advocacy - ideally with some support from the rest of the party - and make the case that s/he should get something.
Same with cash treasure. I just tell players: "You find treasure worth 200 gp each." Done.
For coins this would work. The only thing I'd worry about there would be that now you're asking each player to make a note every time, rather than just one treasurer; and you just know some players will forget... :)

For gems, jewelry, etc. they don't know the exact values until they get back to town and get it evaluated; with the rare exception being if someone in the party has gemsmith or jeweler as a past profession/secondary skill (and is halfway good at it) and can provide evaluations on the fly.
 

I run published modules, so most of the GOOD treasure is already listed. However, sometimes players come up with ideas where I have to create a hoard. At that point, I use the charts for 5E. I also sometimes create a randomized roll when players don't automatically find the good stuff, or at least not the REALLY good stuff.

Monetary loot is distributed equally to everybody that had a hand in the battle/discovery. Gems/potions/magical objects are rolled for, with the people that have previously gotten first pick dropped to the end of the line until everybody's gotten first pick once.

We do have a couple of party pieces that we have to wait for a chance to sell in order to split them up. For that, I use Xanathar's guidelines.
 

There's not actually any guidelines in 5e for how much to give out but the 2edmg had a great section about giving out treasure that still holds true. I tried for probably a year or two to push players towards giving treasure distribution, but the magic item budget is so low with 5e designed to assume n feats & no magic items that there is not much room for them to save for anything do I can't really blame them for not caring much if they don't do a split at the end of the session like always seemed to happen when I ran past editions/pf. Eventually I got to the point where I didn't really care & just told them that they could buy reasonable stuff with a bill to their boss if they pretty much ignored it.
I use Xanathar's guidelines as to how much magical goods to dole out. Of course, half of the stuff I prepare for, they don't actually end up finding/buying. Lol!
 

I have a hard limit of 1,000 gold coins that can be carried by a player at any time (regardless of strength) before they are encumbered and 5,000 total (again regardless of strength). This means they are encouraged to keep some gemstomes and art objects on them if they want to carry more wealth around. The local dwarven town has a "vaultery" which operates like a bank.
We have a bank that I got from DM's guild, where they can store just gold and gems or pay more for storing larger objects. The original had it where you could access the bank at any point through a magical bag, but I changed it so that there are local branches in most of the major towns. (I want item weight to still be an issue.) Those branches can then access the vault magically.
 

Another group I am in does something I absolutely abhor, and asks the players what items they want for their characters in the next session or two. Those items then ”just happen” to show up as the session’s treasure. Not a practice I am fond of at all, and don’t do as a DM. In my games, if you want a specific item, you either follow tales or rumors that should lead you to such a treasure, you might be able to acquire it through trade or purchase, or you might be able to consign a craftsman to make it (if you can supply the raw materials). It doesn’t just “randomly” appear in treasures just because you wished for it.
There are times I will ask my players what magical items they would like. This is usually when a benefactor is going to give them something, though, and I want them to have time to think about it, even though I don't tell them when or why it is going to happen.
 


I'd have a rebellion on my hands if I ever tried that, and were I a player I'd quickly join said rebellion.

Treasury division, no matter what else or how else things work, is a player-side affair; preferably done in character but it doesn't have to be.

Then the person who doesn't get anything should do a little in-character advocacy - ideally with some support from the rest of the party - and make the case that s/he should get something.
That would be nice. But in my experience I haven't seen it. Usually there are 1 or 2 players who are very assertive in knowing what they want and claiming it. And then there are 1 or 2 players who do not know what they want and are not assertive. It's just a matter of temperament. And over time the effectiveness of assertive players' characters begin to grow...and the effectiveness of passive players' characters begin to shrink.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
That would be nice. But in my experience I haven't seen it. Usually there are 1 or 2 players who are very assertive in knowing what they want and claiming it. And then there are 1 or 2 players who do not know what they want and are not assertive. It's just a matter of temperament. And over time the effectiveness of assertive players' characters begin to grow...and the effectiveness of passive players' characters begin to shrink.
Which might be a good reason to suggest to the non-assertive players that they a) be a bit more assertive and b) push for an equal-value division system.
 

Which might be a good reason to suggest to the non-assertive players that they a) be a bit more assertive and b) push for an equal-value division system.
I can't change people. I just try to do my best to maximize enjoyment for the greatest number of people. Obviously you and I seem to have different ways of achieving that.
 

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