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Is a Rogue “skimming” treasure as he finds it “Role playing” or is he stealing from his adventuring companions?


Advice

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This actually happened to my group, and really it brings up a couple of problems:

1) Rolling a rogue does not make 'steal everything' IC. That said, 'steal everything' is a very reasonable character flaw, so in this circumstance I would oocly point this out but allow players to do it. It is a game after all. I'd also point out that it's very 'IC' to react negatively, and metagaming to allow it without reacting if caught.

2) Stealing from the whole group in general can have implications for the GM when he has to balance encounters around a blinged rogue and a party of poverty stricken other PCs. So yes, a GM does have reason to step in.

3) This type of behaviour can be anti-social in a very social game. If one player is using "IC" as an excuse to be a jerk/ play competitively in a co-operative game, it can ruin the fun for players. This depends on your players, but yes, this is another reason why a GM can and should intervene.

In short, use your judgement. If it will have out of character ramifications, handle it out of character. If it has in character ramifications, encourage it to be handled in character.

Dark Archive

D: That sounds awful.

The inter-party relations are a decent chunk of the game.

Glad you're not my GM. (Though usually I'm the GM) - You wouldn't like that I dont make the players play in that particular style, and let them go nuts and all act independently and make character who may not always get along. I wouldnt have it any other way, as a DM or a Player.

Now it takes a player going out of their way to be disruptive or rude, or a player who deliberately makes a character for no reason other than to be a jerk, before I intervene.

I've had more problems with zealot paladins than rogues who rob the party.


I don't see a token item or a few imaginary gold pieces here or there a big deal, or worth getting noses bent out of shape over.

That said, an enterprising roguish character would be well served by having their own scams and profiteering schemes on the side they can rely on to feel as though they're getting their villain-on. This can be run in a couple different ways pretty easily, and as long as it doesn't come back to haunt the group as a whole too much it shouldn't be an issue.

Then again, I think wealth per level is a guide and am not into the idea of holding profit-minded and enterprising characters back (as long as it's in character and makes sense within the context of the campaign), but I don't often have as much magic shops in my homebrews.

Liberty's Edge

He is stealing.

This happened in a couple of my groups. I was originally of the "resolve in-game conflicts in-game" school of thought, but having seen it play out a few times changed my mind.

As a DM, I saw the other PCs start to get ticked off. Their characters would start to do things that didn't make sense: following the rouge around, asking what *exactly* was found to force a Bluff check, etc. It became pretty obvious that the rouge's PC was causing everyone to have a crummy time. Eventually he died and all that loot he was squirreling away was lost with his corpse. He was rather irate that no-one wanted to attempt to raise his character.

As a PC, I would have been okay with this if the DM had actually given the other PCs all the checks they would have been entitled to. Instead, it was treated as "You failed your Perception check? You have no idea what happened." Really? My wizard with permanent Arcane Sight doesn't notice the new magic ring on the rogue's finger with that powerful aura? What about the next day? The day after that? What does he say when I ask him about it? As a PC I'm not bound to follow my Sense Motive checks, so why do I have to believe him?

My basic assumption is that the party will work together as... well, as a party. They don't have to agree on everything, but when they actively undermine each other the game becomes petty and tedious.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

This reminds me of game we had years ago back in the 2E days when only thieves could climb. There was 3 thieves in the group as well as fighter/mage, paladin, and cleric. In this room there was pillar that look like it had a opening at the top. It was 60' up and one of the thieves climbed to the top. On top was stash gold discs worth 100 gp each and there was 10 in total. The first thief pockets 5 of them. The other two thieves arrive at the top where their tells them he found 5 gold disc. They as group decide to each keep one and tell the party they found 2 gold discs.

I had no issue with being the fighter/mage who was scammed but then that was more due to 2E where gold didn't mean much as you pretty much couldn't buy magic items. But the thieves, they got bonus XP for stealing gold.

In Pathfinder I can where it's expected you can buy magic items then wealth in gold actually does mean something and I'd be upset in character if my character found out. But as player I'd be fine with it. The rogue just better be careful though.

Shadow Lodge

its funny actually, this question is very similar to my game last night.

we have an order of the sword cav in my party. an enemy knight wants to have " an honourable death" so he attacks my character. the order of the sword cavalier tells me, "i will not interfere with you duel" even though it wasnt a duel.

the gm gives me some bull s+~& about "he hit you in the throat, so now you have to make concentration checks to cast spells" so im already at a disadvantage.

we kill the knight, the party ranger helped, then i say out of game " i just want to let everyone know im not mad out of game"

they look at me funny and say "ok", then i cast create pit under the cavalier, him falling 30 feet in (full plate), then i cast aquatious orb and hideous laughter. the player was rolling up a new character in 4 rounds.

anyway my point is that if you care about roleplaying, you should handle any events in a mature manner. you may think my killing the Cav was unnecessary, but remember it wasnt player mad at player2 so i killed his character. it was character 1 did something that, in character 2's eyes, warrented him dying.

in game actions get in game concequences.

Scarab Sages

I wonder what the rogue would think if other classes used their class abilities to get extra loot. When no one else was around, a Bard casting a Suggestion spell to say, "It would be better for all of us if I was the one who got that new ring," followed by Modify Memory, would likely be seen in an entirely different light. Mages and clerics can certainly come up plenty of options, too (What? No I didn't cast Teleport Object on that chest. It must have had some kind of ward on it."). For some reason players with Rogue characters are more likely than any other class to feel that stealing from the rest of the party is acceptable.

Should a player be inclined to do this, the GM should instead provide opportunities for the the Rogue to pick up some extra loot when away from everyone else. That way the group won't feel like one is taking what all earned.


I find this sort of behavior problematical, but prefer to resolve the situation in-game instead of out of game. In my games we are all adults. If I were running a game with children I would ban this sort of behavior and if a character attempted to steal from the party I'd explain that such behavior is not a good role model for children and if he didn't stop, he'd be asked to leave.

But for adults... it's an in-character thing. I don't want to tell a player "you can't play your character as a greedy back-stabber." There are ways to have some real fun with greedy back-stabber characters in the party. Plus I just like to run different sorts of campaigns. One of my most engaging and entertaining characters is an evil wizard who would not hesitate to pull one over on the rest of the party.

This isn't a rogue issue either. In fact I've found that wizards are better party thieves than rogues generally. Or at least their equal. I suspect if my druid turned her efforts to evil, she'd be a pretty formidable thief as well. And my ranger? Please.

But I want to be sure that the player group can handle this. But to have an announcement of "in this campaign, stealing from the party is allowed" is only going to start the campaign with everyone looking over their shoulders at everything.

I am in a game right now where our rogue is playing this way. My druid is blissfully naive and trusting I'm afraid, and even though I am quite well aware of his shenanigans, my druid treats him like a trusted ally, because so far, that's all she's seen.

But I've told the player... the day my druid discovers his thieving ways, he can expect to be eviscerated immediately by my tiger, blasted by my druid, and if he survives, he will be stripped naked and kicked out of the party.

The player is OK with that. So is the GM. I'm sort of looking forward to that day.


ElyasRavenwood wrote:
Is a Rogue “skimming” treasure as he finds it “Role playing” or is he stealing from his adventuring companions?

If you were part of a 4 man team, and one of your members was secretly taking a % of your overall pay or compensation in addition to his share without telling you, what would you call it?

Quote:
If you have a player doing this, is this something you need to take care of as a GM?

I find just not protecting him when the party finds out tends to sort it out. They will always find out. Best case scenario for them, their friends abandon them on the side of the road for being a betrayer of trust to those who risk their lives for him/her, and then continue the adventure without that PC.

Quote:
How about if you are a player and another player is doing it? How do you deal with this?

It begins with coup and ends with grace. Unless it's one of my Good characters. Then I just petition to get the dirty thief kicked out of the group. Even if that means leaving myself to make a point. Generally given the option of kicking out the thief, or kicking out the person who doesn't steal from you and genuinely has your back, most people will choose the obvious.

Quote:
And what if you are playing a rogue who is “Skimming”? does anyone have the right to tell you how to “role play” your character?

No they don't. Just like I don't have the right to tell them their characters would continue to protect or even not kill me for being a thieving moron. Don't bite the hand that feeds you.

Quote:
What do you all think? Thank you.

I think characters who steal from their allies are dumber than bricks.


STEP 1) Ask the player if the theft is a role playing choice. If it isn't a role playing choice remove him from the group.

STEP 2) Tell him he can tell the others OOC or you will so they can know out of character. I mean we're role playing here. Some players will remain blissfully ignorant, some will choose to become suspicious. Some of those suspicious people will be hyper violent barbarians, and the problem will resolve itself.

Don't let the player hide behind role playing, have him falling onto a sword named role playing.

Stealing from people who kill for a living is a timebomb, don't keep resetting the timer by not telling the party OOC.


jemstone wrote:


So, way back in 2E, I played in a Greyhawk game, in which all of the characters came from lower class backgrounds, we had no Cleric, and our Wizard couldn't be bothered to deal with "trivial" things like keeping account of our finances. It fell to my character, a former street-thief, prostitute, and drug addict, to handle the accounting. Why? Because she was "good with sums and had contacts in the moneychangers guild." Both of those things were true - she was incredibly good with sums.

This whole story sounds like one of the examples of ethics issues from my accounting courses AKA why you should never trust any single person to be honest with money. Even if they are a good person some emergency will come up some day where they can justify borrowing just a little bit this one time, and then often it manages to turn into a regular thing for reasons that the person feels entirely justified in. So basically if you're worried about this, incorporate some basic accountability into your parties' looting and partitioning processes, and get a second person involved as soon as possible. Because before you do that, you should expect to be stolen from. Of course at this point you're playing accountants and dragons, but this sort of behavior is in character for a LOT of PCs.


I've actually had worse than this - the party rogue stealing items from other PCs. Our rogue with the party from 12th to 13th level looted 3 scrolls of Resurrection, a fully charged ring of three wishes, and at least a dozen potions from the party or loot the party found. Really rather frustrating.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Peter Stewart wrote:
I've actually had worse than this - the party rogue stealing items from other PCs. Our rogue with the party from 12th to 13th level looted 3 scrolls of Resurrection, a fully charged ring of three wishes, and at least a dozen potions from the party or loot the party found. Really rather frustrating.

Holy crap! The group was blissfully unaware? No perception rolls?


I prefer not having player vs player conflict when I run my games. There's enough people out in the world to try and kill them or screw them over. The last thing I need is for one of those people to be a PC. Some people enjoy interparty conflict and that's perfectly okay. I'm just not one of those people. If I'm in a group that's okay with it, then that's all fine and dandy since it is not causing anyone any issues. But, I tend to just nip these things in the bud.


PJ wrote:
Peter Stewart wrote:
I've actually had worse than this - the party rogue stealing items from other PCs. Our rogue with the party from 12th to 13th level looted 3 scrolls of Resurrection, a fully charged ring of three wishes, and at least a dozen potions from the party or loot the party found. Really rather frustrating.
Holy crap! The group was blissfully unaware? No perception rolls?

He was the night watchman for the party, and did most of his larceny at night. The only item he actually stole with other people awake, much less in the same room, was the ring, which he found invisible on a corpse we looted. He looted the body while the rest of us checked the room out.

Because of the medium we play over (MIRC + PBP, with sheets posted online on a forum) the DM was able to simply remove the items he stole, which meant people didn't notice things were gone until they went to use them - at which point they had no idea when they'd vanished. The last of the lefts didn't come up until a few weeks ago, when the fighter went to use a potion of enlarge self that he... suddenly lacked on his sheet.


Peter Stewart wrote:
PJ wrote:
Peter Stewart wrote:
I've actually had worse than this - the party rogue stealing items from other PCs. Our rogue with the party from 12th to 13th level looted 3 scrolls of Resurrection, a fully charged ring of three wishes, and at least a dozen potions from the party or loot the party found. Really rather frustrating.
Holy crap! The group was blissfully unaware? No perception rolls?

He was the night watchman for the party, and did most of his larceny at night. The only item he actually stole with other people awake, much less in the same room, was the ring, which he found invisible on a corpse we looted. He looted the body while the rest of us checked the room out.

Because of the medium we play over (MIRC + PBP, with sheets posted online on a forum) the DM was able to simply remove the items he stole, which meant people didn't notice things were gone until they went to use them - at which point they had no idea when they'd vanished. The last of the lefts didn't come up until a few weeks ago, when the fighter went to use a potion of enlarge self that he... suddenly lacked on his sheet.

I'd casually use some of my downtime to pay some clerics do divine the thief. Walk into a temple, lay down a crapton of gold and start asking for auguries. "Did party member X steal these?", "Did party member Y steal these?", "Did party member Z steal these...", and so forth, and ask a couple of times to get an accurate reading. When your suspicious were confirmed; kill him in his sleep and take your expended gold out of his corpse; before you burn it.


Played with a rogue who had sticky fingers. Everything worked out just fine. This was the same game with the fee crafter. lol


Ashiel wrote:
I'd casually use some of my downtime to pay some clerics do divine the thief. Walk into a temple, lay down a crapton of gold and start asking for auguries. "Did party member X steal these?", "Did party member Y steal these?", "Did party member Z steal these...", and so forth, and ask a couple of times to get an accurate reading. When your suspicious were confirmed; kill him in his sleep and take your expended gold out of his corpse; before you burn it.

Eh... not really that type of game. The party had no reason to suspect an otherwise loyal member of the party of such actions. The thief in question later selflessly sacrificed himself (beyond the point of resurrection) to rescue the soul of one of his friends from an ancient evil.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Asking 'who stole this item from me' is just as valid. As is locate object pointing directly to the rogue.


I think its possibly human nature; but when in the game a player is wronged by another party member, it immediately adds an element competitive play, Basically PvP to a game that I feel was designed for cooperative play.

Again, there is all sorts of ways to play, but I don't really like PvP all that much. I think this is what it comes down to. What you like.


ElyasRavenwood wrote:
Is a Rogue “skimming” treasure as he finds it “Role playing” or is he stealing from his adventuring companions?

I don't see how it wouldn't be considered both.

Quote:
If you have a player doing this, is this something you need to take care of as a GM?

You take care of it by making sure everyone else gets the allowable spot checks / etc to notice the guy taking it. Just like you would if he were pickpocketing another PC.

Quote:
How about if you are a player and another player is doing it? How do you deal with this?

Roll better on your spot check, and when you spot him, kill him.

Quote:
And what if you are playing a rogue who is “Skimming”? does anyone have the right to tell you how to “role play” your character?

No, but you absolutely do NOT have the right to whine and complain if they run you through when they catch you doing it.

I don't see how this is a difficult issue. Don't see how it's gone on for 250 posts either.


ElyasRavenwood wrote:
Is a Rogue “skimming” treasure as he finds it “Role playing” or is he stealing from his adventuring companions?

Potentially, both.

ElyasRavenwood wrote:
If you have a player doing this, is this something you need to take care of as a GM?

No. As the DM, be fair and neutral. If the thief gets caught, he gets caught. If not, then not.

ElyasRavenwood wrote:
How about if you are a player and another player is doing it? How do you deal with this?

If only the player knows - I would probably do nothing. If my character knows, what he does depends on the character's personality and alignment. If the chaotic neutral thief is "just roleplaying" when he steals from the party, he shouldn't be upset if I roleplay my PC's response.

ElyasRavenwood wrote:
And what if you are playing a rogue who is “Skimming”? does anyone have the right to tell you how to “role play” your character?

I wouldn't do this as its (IMO) a stupid thing to do. When you rely on people to save your bacon in deadly situations, doing them dirty to gain a few extra gold is not in your own interest.

Does anybody have the right to tell you how to roleplay your rogue? No. But then don't complain if someone else's idea of roleplaying is to expel your character from the party - or to cut his fool head off.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I read some of the posts here and it just makes me think the Wizard charging for crafting is minor issue compared to this.

Shadow Lodge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

There are no 'minor issues'. Roleplaying is serious business.


A Rogue who "skims off the top"...

I knew a player who did that. He doesn't play with our group anymore. In fact, we will never let him play with us again.

There is no "Skimming off the top". It's unacceptable, it's bad for a party, and it's never actually "skimming off the top."

My personal favorite is when I was playing a Monk, and he was playing a Rogue, and he tried to take my share. After all, I was just giving mine to charity, and he would be the charity.

Then, he got angry at me for not letting him take my share. After all, I was Lawful Good, and that meant I had to "be a sap."

Then again, he was the worst gamer and RPer I've ever met. Ever.

I was able to introduce him to the "Monk is great against light targets" concept right after that. Fun times. :D

"Skimming off the Top" tends is bad for the game, and bad for the players. Never allow it without a damn good reason.


There is a reason for the cliche 'honor among thieves'. Because without it, there would not be a guild of thieves or a gang; merely a lot of corpses. Your average adventuring party is like a small mafia family: you might wind up doing horrible things to other people, but that is business. Among yourselves, you don't steal, you don't lie, and you don't cheat (well, except at cards). Otherwise, you are liable to wind up sleeping with a horse's head or swimming with concrete shoes.

The type of players that get a kick out of 'skimming off the top' are not the kind of guys I like playing with. When I am part of a group, I fully expect my teammates, my comrades to have my back, just like I have theirs.

No, it is wrong. And anyone doing this to our party will be divested of the ill-gotten gains and then expelled from the group.

Master Arminas


I know that when I DM, I request that players make characters that harmonious with each other and that PvP does not occur. In real life, I am a social worker and I spend my work time dealing with dysfunctional people all the time, the last thing I would enjoy doing is adding 3 to 5 more cases to my current case load :)

I do understand why people play that way and I can admit that that there can be added depth to human interaction, so I would not fault someone for running or wanting to be in that style of game. I also do think that there are a myriad of other ways of enjoying and exploring complex human interaction without a PvP element.


Yes of course it is roleplaying and yeah he is by definition stealing from the party.

Ehhh.... It can be a very very good thing to find these players early on and identify if they belong in your group.

Some groups will take a rogue stealing a few extra coins and do little more than shrug and make comments about those pesky shifty rogues. Others break out the rope and head for the nearest tree.

It really depends on your group.

The question of whether or not a dm should step in is a tough question. I am of the party that states that a dm should never dictate a characters actions unless there is a dominate effect running around. On the other hand warning a player that their characters actions may have extremely adverse effects isn't telling them what to do.

If your group is likely to go for the hanging option then I'd sit down and discuss the negative fallout likely to come from his actions. Much like a dm might warn a wizard that while efficient animating the corpses of the goblins to carry back the treasure the party paladin might find it somewhat amiss. If said player insists on their course of action then you've got a choice to make preferably with the rest of the group.

Let them and let the dice fall where they may instigating perception checks whenever applicable and wait for it or sit down and have a heart to heart with the player and talking about roleplaying styles and how in some groups some styles simply don't work well. The player in question is welcome to change roleplaying styles, character concepts, or groups ideally without hard feelings.

The majority of us are over fourteen we should be capable of talking this out rather than forming a lynch mob against the player. There is nothing inherently wrong with this play style. It just doesn't fit some groups.

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