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

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
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?
Very, very, little (compared to the awful suggestions in the dmg). PCs earn alliances, contacts, favors, and resources, and sometimes modest monetary rewards. I also rescale some stuff so that PCs aren’t “the wealthy elite” because they have 200 gold and a good wagon.
Most of my games do eventually get a big break where the bad guy had a chest full or rubies and a mansion full of precious art that the PCs can now claim as reward for saving the city, or whatever, but I tend to just handwave expenses after that and just use it to say to the players that we have left the pet of the campaign where liquid funds actually matter.

How much of your treasure is magic items vs non-magic?
Magic items tend to be inherited, crafted, or pried from the cold dead hands of a foe that just tried to kill you with it.
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.
See above
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?
It’s usually just evenly divided by value.
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?
Pretty hard. I treat magic items as very hard to damage, and I just don’t have fun taking their loot from them, especially when most of their gear is stuff they inherited, made themselves, or
Can magic items be bought, sold, or traded; and if not, why not?
Mostly by commission, but common magic items are available at the local mercado or bazaar, or at various shops and such that sell supplies for whatever the item is useful for.
Some worlds do have magic shops, run by enchanters usually.
There. That ought'a get us going. :)
A fun idea for a thread!
 

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hopeless

Adventurer
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.

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.


Started in 1990 with 1E. In prior groups, it was always a pick system: you got a magic item or you got extra loot. Sometimes no one wanted an item, so it got sold instead, which is fine. While 5E doesn't have good options for selling items, it's not hard to implement a barter system to trade out undesired items for other ones (I do this when I run games, and the other DMs in my group sometimes do similar).
Yes that happened to me back in 3e.
Ran a Halfling Sorceror who owned only one magical item a Cloak of Elvenkind.
Had to skip a session only to return to discover they had handed my character's only magical item to the party rogue so he could "stealth" better ignoring the fact the halfling was better at Stealth than he was.
The DM offered me a duplicate item in return but I turned him down, why bother if the next time they need to they'll just steal that too?!
That annoyed the hell out of me!
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Yes that happened to me back in 3e.
Ran a Halfling Sorceror who owned only one magical item a Cloak of Elvenkind.
Had to skip a session only to return to discover they had handed my character's only magical item to the party rogue so he could "stealth" better ignoring the fact the halfling was better at Stealth than he was.
The DM offered me a duplicate item in return but I turned him down, why bother if the next time they need to they'll just steal that too?!
That annoyed the hell out of me!
I could see the party doing this as a one-time loan if the Rogue needed to augment his stealth for a specific mission e.g. scouting ahead, and your cloak would help with such. As long as the Rogue then gives it back afterwards, no worries.

But a permanent transfer of ownership without a) your input and b) any recompense coming the other way from the Rogue? That's just bad form all round.
 

hopeless

Adventurer
I could see the party doing this as a one-time loan if the Rogue needed to augment his stealth for a specific mission e.g. scouting ahead, and your cloak would help with such. As long as the Rogue then gives it back afterwards, no worries.

But a permanent transfer of ownership without a) your input and b) any recompense coming the other way from the Rogue? That's just bad form all round.
That wasn't the only occasion except in that other case I was running a human Cleric of Helm whom had the feat to be proficient in his faith's favoured weapon the bastard sword.

Both armour and weapon had to be bought and paid for their +1 enchantment with the sword bearing a special enchantment instead of a +2 it gained the ability to be treated as a+5 weapon for the purposes of ignoring a foe's DR.

I returned from a missed session to discover they had given someone else my character's sword and lumbered my character with a sentient weapon that would have otherwise been considered cursed given the crap they spouted.

The worst part the player who gained that weapon had to ask what that special ability was even though the DM should have full well known and they mentioned it would have been useful in their fight with a golem!

I got crap for failing to break the enchantment on that sentient sword and gave it up regaining my character's true weapon apparently they thought I would reconsider despite the fact my character is NOT proficient with long swords the DM apparently decided my character's Martial Weapon proficiency with bastard swords applied to all swords.

The character got killed by an assassin whilst visiting a church of Helm by an assassin posing as a cleric of said deity and it eventually was the only time I regretted agreeing to having a character raised!

Sorry I thought I'd forgotten about that!
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
That wasn't the only occasion except in that other case I was running a human Cleric of Helm whom had the feat to be proficient in his faith's favoured weapon the bastard sword.

Both armour and weapon had to be bought and paid for their +1 enchantment with the sword bearing a special enchantment instead of a +2 it gained the ability to be treated as a+5 weapon for the purposes of ignoring a foe's DR.

I returned from a missed session to discover they had given someone else my character's sword and lumbered my character with a sentient weapon that would have otherwise been considered cursed given the crap they spouted.

The worst part the player who gained that weapon had to ask what that special ability was even though the DM should have full well known and they mentioned it would have been useful in their fight with a golem!

I got crap for failing to break the enchantment on that sentient sword and gave it up regaining my character's true weapon apparently they thought I would reconsider despite the fact my character is NOT proficient with long swords the DM apparently decided my character's Martial Weapon proficiency with bastard swords applied to all swords.
In fairness to the DM on a small issue (among bigger bad things that happened here), bastard swords and longswords have sometimes been seen as interchangeable when the bastard sword is being used one-handed. I know we've always had it that proficiency in either longsword or two-handed sword also gives proficiency in bastard using the same number of hands; that might be a houserule or might have been taken from some article somewhere way back when.

So, in this limited case your DM had it right; though he took it too far when saying your bastard proficiency extended to all swords. It doesn't help with, say, a broadsword or a shortsword or a cutlass.
 

ccs

41st lv DM
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?
As the DM;
*To this day I'm still using my 1e treasure charts when writing my own stuff. I've gone through my non-1e MMs & added in the treasure type notes.
*If I'm running some module you'll get whatever's listed. (assuming you find it of course)
*If there's some plot item that'll get added in as needed.
*Sometimes I just MStuffUp....

As a player? I like treasure. and magic. But I'm not picky & will make use of whatever without worrying much about how the DM determined it.
Usually when I'm a PC though we're playing some PF AP - so there's generally enough loot.

How much of your treasure is magic items vs non-magic?
See above.
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.
Yes to all of those + some of it's being used against the party. It really just depends upon what makes sense.
Yes, I expect the PCs will miss some of it occasionally. Sometimes they've even intentionally left some of behind.
How does your group divide treasure and who decides the method used? Also, how often (if ever) does your group divide treasure?
Roughly equally concerning $. Items are offered to whomever can best use them 1st. After that there's some negotiation.
Loot is usually split up towards the end of the session - assuming the action didn't end on a cliff hanger.
Who owns the treasure before division? After division?
The party.
Whomever claimed it.
Sometimes there's also a general party fund where unclaimed/yet to be claimed stuff resides.
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?
Whatever makes sense.
For the most part. It's just loot. There'll be more.
Can magic items be bought, sold, or traded; and if not, why not?
Absolutely. Though doing so is more involved than just bookkeeping at the end of the evening.
 

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