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How do I divvy up items?


Beginner Box

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Like if there is a sword in the chest, who gets it? I can see splitting up XP, coins, even potions (fudge it so each person gets 1 or something, or just let a magic-user or whoever IDs it have it), but what about the big items?


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Let the players/characters hash it out. Most likely stuff will go to whoever can use it best or needs it most.

If there's a magic sword and one sword-using thug in the group, it's pretty easy to see who should get it.

Some groups come up with elaborate rules for dividing treasure. Some are more relaxed. It's pretty much up to the players unless it's really causing problems.

As a GM, about all you can do is see that there's stuff for everyone over the long haul, whether through placing treasure directly or by letting them buy or make stuff.


Indeed What thejeff said. Players need to figure that out for themselves.


You don't divvy up "stuff". That's what players do.


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That's Player Business.

GM's to stay clear of that part... well well clear.


The GM should focus on ensuring the treasure generated doesn't favor one player or another.

For example, if an adventure has two magic longswords but only one party member can use longswords, the GM can swap out one longsword for an equally priced magical item used by a different player. If they want. Otherwise the players get it as loot and can sell it (for half price as all player-sold loot goes for half price when sold to merchants) back in town.

Taldor

I havent messed with the beginner box, but the way I handle treasure in game is I break the entire treasure down to gold. Divvy the gold, then any player can buy the item from the treasure.

IE:

The treasure off the Gelatinous Cube was a potion of healing, a longsword +1, and 300 gold.

Total gold in rewards:50g(Potion)+2316g(+1 longsword)+300g=2666

Split between 4 players=666.5

3 of the players want the 1 potion of healing. I allow each of them to buy one for 50 gold. One of the players wants the +1 sword, he pays his 666.5+1649.5 out of pocket.

Disclaimer: Math and prices may be off, but ya get the gist.


One way I have done this in groups was to have everything belong to the group. Things like potions and stuff like that tend to be cheap and common enough that whoever would be served best by them holds onto them. With other items like say a +1 longsword let the person who can use it to help the group use it. However if that player decides to sell the item the money gets divided among the group rather than that one player. We started doing this because in several adventures it seemed that the only big expensive items that were being found were only useful to one person so everyone else was left behind in terms of wealth.


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In Character. What would the characters do if they found a magic sword. Go from there. As players of games we want things equitable and fair and evenly divied out. The players some of whom are selfish jerks want what they can get when they can get it period. Typically those who can use the sword look at each other and base it off who is going to get the most use out of it. The ranger can use it but he is a switch hitter, the barbarian on the other hand melees all the time so it would best serve everyone if he had it. Unless it is more important for whatever but let the personalities of the characters work it out. I have played multiple characters in the same campaign and they handle finding treasure differently.

1- The thief keeps what he can whenever he can
2- The paladin keeps it all to equitably divy out . . . though no one told him not to take the tithe out of his own stash.
3- The bard keeps a good mental track of where things went but made sure one of the heavys carried as much as possible because he was always weighed down.

Sure this might cause some kerfluffle in character but that is part of the fun.


This is a big decision, and each group has to decide on its own. My own group just finished a week long debate on the two types: purchase the item from the group so that the other members do not lose out on the money they would otherwise have recieved if the item was sold to a store, or hand the item to the character who can best use it for the good of the group. (in the end we had a 2v2 tie vote, and the GM cast the tiebreaker)

Each way has pros and cons. I personally like the purchase option, as it ensures everybody gets at least something and lessens the chances of arguements. But the other way is quicker and more friendly.

As others have said though, if you are just going to hand out the items to characters, be aware that some classes tend to have more things available to them than others.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

As the GM I allowed the players to figure it out.

As a player I always liked the "Who can best use it?" route. I figured I did not care the fighter recieved both magic armor and magic sword as this will help keep me alive as well.


Yep, of late I've been tailoring the magic weapons around, the players use a lot of different types, so they are steadily getting cool stuff for all.

Now in a party that doesn't wear much armour, like this one, they find a lot more armour than they can use. That gets converted to wealth, but carrying it can be a problem.


Gnomezrule wrote:

In Character. What would the characters do if they found a magic sword. Go from there. As players of games we want things equitable and fair and evenly divied out. The players some of whom are selfish jerks want what they can get when they can get it period. Typically those who can use the sword look at each other and base it off who is going to get the most use out of it. The ranger can use it but he is a switch hitter, the barbarian on the other hand melees all the time so it would best serve everyone if he had it. Unless it is more important for whatever but let the personalities of the characters work it out. I have played multiple characters in the same campaign and they handle finding treasure differently.

1- The thief keeps what he can whenever he can
2- The paladin keeps it all to equitably divy out . . . though no one told him not to take the tithe out of his own stash.
3- The bard keeps a good mental track of where things went but made sure one of the heavys carried as much as possible because he was always weighed down.

Sure this might cause some kerfluffle in character but that is part of the fun.

I quite agree. Also, if playing a thief or such in a scouting role, be sure to take and hide small concealable and valuable things from the other players. Consider it a trap-finding tax. It is staying in character after all.

If someone brings it up, encourage them to stay in character, they don't know what he did when he was rooms ahead. Don't take too much game time stealing all the loot though.

Then spend it on hookers and ale.

Shadow Lodge

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Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Cards, Companion, Maps, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber

As a GM, I'd suggest you crack down on any player who attempts to use the "it's what my character would do!" excuse for behaviour that is likely to lead to friction between players.


Are you saying thieves shouldn't steal shiny baubles and keep them for themselves?

For some chars, loot isn't really a motivation, for some it is a large part and they might not be so good as to always declare and share what they have found.

There is a real possibility dms can be too vigiliant in preventing party conflict. If a dm wants to crack down on rogues being rogues, or greedy adventurers being greedy adventurers, he could take away the rogue all-together as a player class, and perhaps set the game in a convent were everyone only does good and goes to confession for even having harsh or selfish thoughts.


3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Are you saying thieves shouldn't steal shiny baubles and keep them for themselves?

If it is at the expense of the rest of the party then no, they shouldn't. This is a social game. There is no place in it for a character that seeks to backstab his fellows, be it literally or figuratively.

Underhanded tactics like that should be used against NPCs, not the other PCs that make up the group.


Shifty wrote:

That's Player Business.

GM's to stay clear of that part... well well clear.

What he said.


Pcs can be really dark and dodgy which may not sit well with a good aligned pc. Siding with npcs is rare but it does happen.


There is no backstab here, that is an entirely separate thing, and limited to previous editions, lol.

It is profiteering, now the members of the group want to profit (or don't if they are vow of poverty monks), but they are also individuals. Most certainly so since the chars are run through separate players. If one scouting rogue goes I'll just take this, and not declare it, maybe make a bluff later, that is just a rapscallion being a rapscallion, a bounder being a bounder, a rogue being a rogue.


To add, you can't expect all characters to act lawful and put the rest of the group before them, because not every char is lawful with a wish to put the group before their interests.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Cards, Companion, Maps, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Are you saying thieves shouldn't steal shiny baubles and keep them for themselves?

If it's going to lead to player friction, then no - they shouldn't.

If everyone at the table is happy for a character to be played that way, then fine. But most of the time somebody is going to object (out of game). You can't simply justify it by "it's what my character would do!", because nobody forced you to build a disruptive character. It's all too often simply an excuse for being a jerk, and doing things that you know will piss off other players.


It is not only what their character would do, if they do it well, the complainer has no reason to complain, because the character they are playing doesn't know it happened.

Now if the party finds out, and decides to hang the thief, well actions have consequences don't they?

Make a plead for your life check thief. Oh, pcs are immune to social checks, lol.


3.5 Loyalist wrote:

It is not only what their character would do, if they do it well, the complainer has no reason to complain, because the character they are playing doesn't know it happened.

Now if the party finds out, and decides to hang the thief, well actions have consequences don't they?

Make a plead for your life check thief. Oh, pcs are immune to social checks, lol.

With respect, your arguments are entirely without merit. It is not a matter of a rapscallion being a rapscallion, a bounder being a bounder, or a rogue being a rogue. What you are describing is simply an a&! being an a&!. I'm talking about the player, not the character.

If you are not willing to be a team player, you have no business playing this game. Such players are the primary cause of friction around a game table, and a responsible GM will not tolerate this kind of behavior.


LOL! D&D has a lot of danger, it makes perfect sense for a thief to look out for themselves and seize wealth to turn it into a higher chance of survival or to enjoy the life they still live. Saying this is without merit is ridiculous, you want to force all chars to be team players and the same on this point.

Weird totalitarian impulses here, in saying the group is more important than the individual. I play characters, and sometimes, they simply care more about stashing the jewels for their own ends, than sharing everything they come across. Merit? We are often playing tomb robbers people and not every char is NG pure good, or strongly LG and always lawful and good.

And on team players, how do you resolve this and determine what is the team, if there are only two pcs? :D
Even more this brings it to light that the players are individuals and they should concentrate on their interests first, less they be slaves to a group of others.

Or, another one, most of the team is dead, but one char remains. What is the will of the team then? They are dead, they don't get to speak in game through their characters, there is only one char rocking and all they take and do is their business.


3.5 Loyalist wrote:

LOL! D&D has a lot of danger, it makes perfect sense for a thief to look out for themselves and seize wealth to turn it into a higher chance of survival or to enjoy the life they still live. Saying this is without merit is ridiculous, you want to force all chars to be team players and the same on this point.

Weird totalitarian impulses here, in saying the group is more important than the individual. I play characters, and sometimes, they simply care more about stashing the jewels for their own ends, than sharing everything they come across. Merit? We are often playing tomb robbers people and not every char is NG pure good, or strongly LG and always lawful and good.

And on team players, how do you resolve this and determine what is the team, if there are only two pcs? :D
Even more this brings it to light that the players are individuals and they should concentrate on their interests first, less they be slaves to a group of others.

Or, another one, most of the team is dead, but one char remains. What is the will of the team then? They are dead, they don't get to speak in game through their characters, there is only one char rocking and all they take and do is their business.

This is not a one-man show. If you believe it is, you've missed the point of the game entirely. You are working with everyone at the table to tell a story.

The players seated around the table are the team. The status of their characters is irrelevant. This is a social game first and foremost, and you need to be a team player or you need to get out. A responsible GM will recognize this; if you tried to pull this stuff at my table you'd find yourself prevented from doing so; if you tried to justify your attempted actions as "it's what my character would do," I'd show you the door.

The game has no place for disrespectful players. The type of play you describe does not contribute to the story, breeds ill will and resentment among players, and has a negative impact on the group's ability to address the challenges they will face as part of an adventure. It is essentially sabotaging your own group and setting the other players up to fail. This is the attitude of the lowest common denominator, and it should neither be encouraged nor tolerated.

Cheliax

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I find the rogue taking a thief tax to be no different than if the cleric demanded a healing tax or any other ridiculous such thing. If they want to play the game that way then I'd make sure that every character I made would steal as much from them as possible. I mean all is fair right as long as it is "what my character would do," right? In all seriousness though if they don't want to play a group game than they can go play by themselves, I'm not about to waste my time on them.


What we have is games run with different gming styles. I've seen a dodgy rogue/marshal take more than his fair share of loot. My character wasn't at the scene and didn't know about it. Later, the other pcs and npcs figured it out and the hobgoblin npc confronted him. No resistance on his end, he just turned over some of the additional share he had taken. The rest had been spent on other stuff. It created conflict among certain npcs but no so much from the other pcs. Thats another thing, what sort of characters are in the party? That can really affect how much conflict comes out of this. Granted, this may cause dissent among some players and is a really fine line to draw. The line between role-playing a character and a player being a deliberate ass. As stated previously, actions have consequences. It could end really badly for the thief. How that goes down happens in-game. Its something among the other pcs to work out. DM stepping in to directly punish that player is a bit odd. I'm reminded of another thread where there was discussion of "who should get the powerful ancestral blade?" Now, whoever wields it is going to be taking more than their fair share of loot. A lot more. So the DM decides that the gp value of it is too high and it must either be sold or given to an npc to be used mainly as a plot device. However, the party barb or fighter or other melee character decides to wield it. What then? Does fire and lightning descend from the sky, disintegrating that pc? The player is then given the door? Thats another thing to consider. How much in excess is taken? Is it a bit? Alot?

I can understand other pcs and npcs getting really annoyed and becoming confrontational. In that scenario with the party rogue/, thats what happened, though it was mainly from one npc. The other thing to consider is the players gaming experience. Are they new to the game? Or are they veteran gamers who play that sort of character all the time. I've noted some players who do it all the time and it doesn't end well for their characters, at times. The consequences of their actions however, happened in-game. If this is a trend with a particular player, the DM should sit them down at some point and explain that its not a default accepted way of role-playing. If its only with select characters with specific backgrounds, thats cool. Party will eventually deal with them. That would be how I distinguish between an a$#~+%! player and a good role-player.


Maybe I am taking this whole roleplaying thing to seriously? How I see it, an honourable adventurers should be that, a do-gooder should be concerned with others, a thief should be motivated by gps and may even have a distaste for violence ("a clean coin is less hassle than a bloody coin, remember that young Mosca." "I will pa!").

By all means don't rob everyone across all characters, that can get old. It is sad to see when someone plays the same char time after time. They need a push to try new things, perhaps even by not playing by the rules of the team. CG mavericks and selfish NE thieves unite!

An entirely selfish group that doesn't share loot but does cooperate can also work. Something like viking raiders.

Axl'Korr Grundismith: alright, we hit the shore in an hour. Kill the armed men, steal everything you can and meet back at the boat as quick as you can. We are gone by sun's rise. Got that?
Crew: arrrrr!

A dungeon bash can work like that. To the victors go the spoils, and each take what they want and can.


3.5 Loyalist wrote:

Maybe I am taking this whole roleplaying thing to seriously? How I see it, an honourable adventurers should be that, a do-gooder should be concerned with others, a thief should be motivated by gps and may even have a distaste for violence ("a clean coin is less hassle than a bloody coin, remember that young Mosca." "I will pa!").

By all means don't rob everyone across all characters, that can get old. It is sad to see when someone plays the same char time after time. They need a push to try new things, perhaps even by not playing by the rules of the team. CG mavericks and selfish NE thieves unite!

An entirely selfish group that doesn't share loot but does cooperate can also work. Something like viking raiders.

Axl'Korr Grundismith: alright, we hit the shore in an hour. Kill the armed men, steal everything you can and meet back at the boat as quick as you can. We are gone by sun's rise. Got that?
Crew: arrrrr!

A dungeon bash can work like that. To the victors go the spoils, and each take what they want and can.

Except that a campaign doesn't work that way. The game rules begin to break down, because you are behaving in a manner the game is not designed to support. It skews the wealth by level and makes some players less effective while at the same time making others stronger. You create a weak get weaker, strong get stronger scenario. The game cannot function in such a situation.

RP what you will, but realize cooperating with the others at the table takes precedence. You don't hide things from your teammates. You can play a selfish rogue that is motivated by wealth, but when it comes to sharing the spoils you need to do so openly. It actually improves your party's chances of success further down the road, thereby improving the selfish rogue's chances of surviving and gaining more wealth.

RP pertains to your character. The division of wealth and resources is an OOC consideration. It is something you decide among the players, not among the characters.

Osirion

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Also, remember that this is a Beginner Box question. Players new to the game of Pathfinder (and maybe even role playing) should really work as a team to start off and not "be a rogue for rogue's sake".

Later, when the players are more seasoned, maybe they can do that, but if they are playing under the Beginner Box rules, I would not allow any sort of "tax" and would stress the importance of cooperative play.

EDIT: Grammar.


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I think that OOC rules on dividing treasure are a subset of general OOC rules about in-party backstabbing. If you're playing an Evil campaign, it gets a bit weird if PCs aren't allowed to screw each other over, for example by not honestly divvying up treasure, but perhaps also by blackmailing, conspiring with NPCs against other PCs and all that. Playing a game like that is something that everyone needs to be OK with OOC.

It's not strictly limited to Evil campaigns. If the other players are on board OOC with not everyone being upright with each other all the time, then this can work out just as well in a Neutral or even Good party (a CG rogue might think he can decide how to fund charities better than the paladin, and just doesn't feel like having the argument openly, so he deducts a charity tax...)

Because this depends on the players and what kind of game everyone is okay with, you can't hand down a divine commandment that Rogues Shall Not Deprive The Party Of Treasure and expect that to make sense all the time. Your game isn't the same as everyone else's game.

So, how to go about this as a GM? Have a group talk with the players to decide OOC comfort zones. Your job is to aid the discussion, but the players should have the final say.

THEN, how the party decides to arrange things IC is entirely out of GM hands. The limit is that IC behavior must stay within the agreed OOC comfort zone. But if OOC stealing is allowed, then the rogue's player is within his rights to ignore whatever IC arrangements have been made as long as he stays in the OOC limits.

---

When a rogue does so, play fair as a GM. Don't try to punish the player for violating IC trust; you're not allowed to play favorites. But on the other hand, a rogue stealing things without telling the party has a real risk of picking up cursed items; we have lots of movies about that.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion Subscriber

The game assumes that the players and GM and a cooperative bunch of people intent on having fun together, not a clique of moustache twisting jerks who enjoy shoving pointed sticks up each other's anuses.


Ascalaphus wrote:
So, how to go about this as a GM? Have a group talk with the players to decide OOC comfort zones. Your job is to aid the discussion, but the players should have the final say.

You are failing to recognize that the GM is a player as well, and needs to have equal say in these matters.

You are also neglecting to recognize that the game is not designed to support this type of selfish play. It makes the job of the GM incredibly more difficult, if not impossible. It is the GM's job to balance encounters with the general strength and power of the party. If the power of the individual characters varies due to withholding wealth and other goods from one another, you cannot create a scenario that is an adequate challenge for everyone. There are certain limitations built into the system that require goods and resources to be shared. It's an inherent component of the game's design.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I think this question has gotten too focused on the "black or white" of the thief's actions.

For me and my games, the thief keeping a little of the stuff he finds seems to work because the player does nto keep all of it or even a majority of it. In addtion, it is nto uncommon for the thief to pull out healing potions etc and use it for the party members and they assume he "borrowed" them when they were in town.

I think the overall idea hat a party should work together and treat each other fair is a good idea. But to take it to the level of "the theif can't act liek a thief ever" is as silly as a thief steeling all the time from the party. Both are too artificial and can kill the feel of the game.


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Heaven's Agent wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
So, how to go about this as a GM? Have a group talk with the players to decide OOC comfort zones. Your job is to aid the discussion, but the players should have the final say.

You are failing to recognize that the GM is a player as well, and needs to have equal say in these matters.

The GM has a say in how dark/evil campaign he wants to run, but it doesn't stretch much farther than that. How the party runs things internally should be up the PCs in that party and their players.

Heaven's Agent wrote:
You are also neglecting to recognize that the game is not designed to support this type of selfish play. It makes the job of the GM incredibly more difficult, if not impossible. It is the GM's job to balance encounters with the general strength and power of the party. If the power of the individual characters varies due to withholding wealth and other goods from one another, you cannot create a scenario that is an adequate challenge for everyone. There are certain limitations built into the system that require goods and resources to be shared. It's an inherent component of the game's design.

I think you're exaggerating this.

A rogue doesn't necessarily steal everything; he steals things that won't be missed when the party comes along later. He also has to be careful because he can't always deal with a treasure's guardians on his own. The most important treasures are usually guarded too fiercely to make easy targets of opportunity. All in all he's gonna be a little bit richer but it won't totally change the entire game, not on its own.

I also don't think it's going to make the GM's job impossible; it's not the GM's job to make sure the party manages its resources well enough. If the party can't figure out sharing resources on its own, it'll get in trouble; natural selection in action.

Sure, some characters may become more powerful than others due to some stealing, but other characters can have windfalls as well. Maybe the cleric gets some stuff on loan from a temple for example. Every character can have sources of income/stuff the others lack.

And that's not the only source of inequality; if characters level at different times, they'll also not be strictly equal. That doesn't make GMing impossible; else why do level-draining monsters even exist? Do you give everyone equal XP regardless of whether characters live or die and players attend the game or not? I don't. I don't believe that the balance between PCs is quite that fragile.

Cheliax

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I feel that even in an evil campaign you don't steal from the party. No matter who you are you have people that you don't cross. It's like how a thieves' guild doesn't steal from its own members. The only way an organization works is if you don't have to worry about the guy at your back.


Ascalaphus wrote:
Heaven's Agent wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
So, how to go about this as a GM? Have a group talk with the players to decide OOC comfort zones. Your job is to aid the discussion, but the players should have the final say.

You are failing to recognize that the GM is a player as well, and needs to have equal say in these matters.

The GM has a say in how dark/evil campaign he wants to run, but it doesn't stretch much farther than that. How the party runs things internally should be up the PCs in that party and their players.

Wrong. Entirely, utterly wrong. The GM has as much invested in the game, if not more than, the players themselves. He needs an equal say in how the story unfolds, as well as what is and isn't permissible within the group. Like the players, the GM needs to find the game experience to be enjoyable, and excluding the GM from such decisions is a quick way to find yourself with a dissatisfied referee. In the best case scenario, the game simply ends when the GM loses interest. Worst case, the GM becomes vindictive, and the campaign turns into the GM versus the PCs.

Ascalaphus wrote:
Heaven's Agent wrote:
You are also neglecting to recognize that the game is not designed to support this type of selfish play. It makes the job of the GM incredibly more difficult, if not impossible. It is the GM's job to balance encounters with the general strength and power of the party. If the power of the individual characters varies due to withholding wealth and other goods from one another, you cannot create a scenario that is an adequate challenge for everyone. There are certain limitations built into the system that require goods and resources to be shared. It's an inherent component of the game's design.

I think you're exaggerating this.

A rogue doesn't necessarily steal everything; he steals things that won't be missed when the party comes along later. He also has to be careful because he can't always deal with a treasure's guardians on his own. The most important treasures are usually guarded too fiercely to make easy targets of opportunity. All in all he's gonna be a little bit richer but it won't totally change the entire game, not on its own.

If you think I am exaggerating this, it is clear you have not experienced it yourself. I have, both as a player and a GM. All you have to do to see practical illustrations of this is run a search for threads about crafted item wealth discrepancies. Pathfinder, and D&D 3.5 before it, are extremely gear dependent games. It is true there are other factors that can disrupt intra-party balance, but unequal distribution of wealth is probably the most common and most damaging.

Quote:
I also don't think it's going to make the GM's job impossible; it's not the GM's job to make sure the party manages its resources well enough. If the party can't figure out sharing resources on its own, it'll get in trouble; natural selection in action.

In which case the GM loses; this is a cooperative storytelling game. The GM has as much to lose from a mismanaged party getting wiped out as the characters' players do.

Actually, allow me to correct that statement: The GM almost always has more to lose than the characters' players. Far more to lose. The GM is not only the one putting in the time, sweat, and tears needed to get the game off the ground, he or she often also bears the brunt of the blame when the party fails. On top of this, the GM suffers the dissatisfaction of not seeing the adventure, often hours upon hours in planning, reach its conclusion.

Quote:
Sure, some characters may become more powerful than others due to some stealing, but other characters can have windfalls as well. Maybe the cleric gets some stuff on loan from a temple for example. Every character can have sources of income/stuff the others lack.

Yes, but these alternate avenues of wealth should never be allowed to destabilize the balance of wealth in the party. They should instead be utilized to correct identified discrepancies, and carefully managed by the GM. They should never be left to the players to decide upon.

Quote:
And that's not the only source of inequality; if characters level at different times, they'll also not be strictly equal. That doesn't make GMing impossible; else why do level-draining monsters even exist? Do you give everyone equal XP regardless of whether characters live or die and players attend the game or not? I don't. I don't believe that the balance between PCs is quite that fragile.

It is interesting you use character death and disproportionate leveling as an example of another system that destabilizes game balance. It is actually one of the least destabilizing occurrences that can be experienced as part of regular play, and is even largely self-correcting. This is not a game-breaking issue unless you are totally house-ruling the system. Wealth imbalance is.


Gorbacz wrote:

The game assumes that the players and GM and a cooperative bunch of people intent on having fun together, not a clique of moustache twisting jerks who enjoy shoving pointed sticks up each other's anuses.

Indeed! But sometimes the players enjoy playing characters that are a clique of moustache twisting jerks who enjoy "sticking" it to each other in a 'He who cons/filches/extorts most wins' kind of play.

However, in responce to the original post... I think thejeff answered it best. And this will even cover groups that wish to play "me Me MEE!" style. For my groups, the discussion are usually resolved OOC (out of character) and then roleplayed to make the IC (in character) fit. But the group decides with very little input from the GM.

thejeff wrote:

Let the players/characters hash it out. Most likely stuff will go to whoever can use it best or needs it most.

If there's a magic sword and one sword-using thug in the group, it's pretty easy to see who should get it.

Some groups come up with elaborate rules for dividing treasure. Some are more relaxed. It's pretty much up to the players unless it's really causing problems.

As a GM, about all you can do is see that there's stuff for everyone over the long haul, whether through placing treasure directly or by letting them buy or make stuff.


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Heaven's Agent: my GMing experience has been more with Vampire than with Pathfinder, that's true. Which is why I'm not so nervous about in-party backstabbing.

I don't think you're interpreting me correctly. I never said the rogue got to keep ALL the treasure or even the majority. I think if a rogue collects 10% more loot because he skims some unattended jewelry while scouting, that's not really cause for alarm.

If as a GM you notice that there's a significant wealth disparity in the party, AND that it's causing real trouble, you can intervene subtly. The cleric/paladin's order gives them a magical weapon needed for the current quest, while the thieves' guild says they have other things on their mind right now, or are just not trusting enough to hand over something powerful. The result is that the cleric/paladin is rewarded for being virtuous while the rogue is rewarded for rogue behavior; both players got to play in the style of their class. I like that much better than OOC forbidding the rogue from stealing like a rogue.

You can also point out to the rogue player that you're fine with him getting some more loot, but you do want to keep WBL in balance, and that he should find some cool things to spend it on that don't really affect his relative anti-monster potential compared to the rest of the party. Result: the rogue is spending a lot more on booze and loose women than the paladin, but overall WBL stays the same in the party.

Worried that the others won't get enough money? Put a bit more treasure in the adventure so that the net treasure gain for the party gets back on track; there's just a bigger difference between gross and net loot because it's not being spent optimally.

---

I agree that Pathfinder is a cooperative game, but you can overdo regulating it OOC. You have to be able to count on people in battle, and they can't screw you over totally in the loot department, but that doesn't have to mean they're entirely honest with you. That's a matter of how comfortable the players are with a bit of in-party backstabbing; some people enjoy it, others don't.

Frankly, to me it looks to me like YOU hate it. But that doesn't mean it's bad for everyone.

A lot of people enjoy backstabbing. It's just a matter of limits; me against my brother, my brother and I against my cousin, my cousin and I against the world...


Heaven's Agent wrote:
3.5 Loyalist wrote:

Maybe I am taking this whole roleplaying thing to seriously? How I see it, an honourable adventurers should be that, a do-gooder should be concerned with others, a thief should be motivated by gps and may even have a distaste for violence ("a clean coin is less hassle than a bloody coin, remember that young Mosca." "I will pa!").

By all means don't rob everyone across all characters, that can get old. It is sad to see when someone plays the same char time after time. They need a push to try new things, perhaps even by not playing by the rules of the team. CG mavericks and selfish NE thieves unite!

An entirely selfish group that doesn't share loot but does cooperate can also work. Something like viking raiders.

Axl'Korr Grundismith: alright, we hit the shore in an hour. Kill the armed men, steal everything you can and meet back at the boat as quick as you can. We are gone by sun's rise. Got that?
Crew: arrrrr!

A dungeon bash can work like that. To the victors go the spoils, and each take what they want and can.

Except that a campaign doesn't work that way. The game rules begin to break down, because you are behaving in a manner the game is not designed to support. It skews the wealth by level and makes some players less effective while at the same time making others stronger. You create a weak get weaker, strong get stronger scenario. The game cannot function in such a situation.

RP what you will, but realize cooperating with the others at the table takes precedence. You don't hide things from your teammates. You can play a selfish rogue that is motivated by wealth, but when it comes to sharing the spoils you need to do so openly. It actually improves your party's chances of success further down the road, thereby improving the selfish rogue's chances of surviving and gaining more wealth.

RP pertains to your character. The division of wealth and resources is an OOC consideration. It is something you decide among the players, not among the characters.

I reject your rules. There is a difference between cooperating and getting along with the other players at the table, and role-playing your character, which may indeed hide things from others (such as their backstory, what they did with their down-time, where their funds have gone). The rogue doesn't have to tell the party they bought a new dagger of ultra-shivving as a back-up, and the group have no right to be told if they ask. Privacy people. Can you imagine how weird it would be if you were an adventurer, a freebooter, and a group of people you go out and adventure and loot with, wanted to know everything about you, all that you pick up and do, with nothing hidden? Tell them in game, in character, to back off.

You do not need to share openly, you can hide whatever you want, because it is your character, not the groups or the dms. If you are scouting ahead or watching the rear and going thoroughly through an area, and you find something, it is yours. If they don't know and didn't find it, of course it is yours. Why would you give it to the group if you aren't playing that type of character? It can be that simple. Roleplaying can be very simple, play the rogue, or the honourable fighter, or the tax accountant wizard.


Heaven's Agent wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
So, how to go about this as a GM? Have a group talk with the players to decide OOC comfort zones. Your job is to aid the discussion, but the players should have the final say.

You are failing to recognize that the GM is a player as well, and needs to have equal say in these matters.

You are also neglecting to recognize that the game is not designed to support this type of selfish play. It makes the job of the GM incredibly more difficult, if not impossible.

No he isn't. If a party of adventurers sit down, and work out how they are going to divide up the loot, who is the dm playing amongst them?

No one. He isn't there. He is the world around them, and every npc they meet, but he has no say on how they divide up their loot. The dm is not a player, they are a dm.

It is not incredibly difficult or impossible to let the players choose how they divide the loot, and have this impacted by personal-individual wishes, rp and relevant checks. I've done it for years and seen other dms take a laissez-faire approach of letting the players entirely do as they will with their loot and its accumulation.


Lastly, as a player of characters that have been separated from the party, I would in no way demand to be given a share of what the group found while my char was away. Likewise, what my char found, and risked their lives to get while alone is not the party's either. Perhaps by sneaking in, snatching it and running away to then tell the party the location of the enemies. Whether it is a room or a stretch of country-side, who dares wins (and profits). Similarly, if I missed a few sessions, I would not ask for added loot and demand I be balanced to their wealth. It is way too meta-gamey, I'm just here to play the char and have fun chaps.

[Pic changed to represent my roguish ways]

Heaven, you made a point on crafting wealth disparities and this as a reason all must share? Just ban magic item crafting feats, the game gets more exciting, they really want to get into the powerful enemies loot room, there is less accounting and waiting, and you avoid the spellcaster turning their wealth into magic items for half the cost. Another wise solution I read, was a chap that made the cost to manufacture magic items 95% of the total price. So they can make the items, but it burns through their wealth quick. That is also a solution.

While I was scouting ahead, I also found this scroll of other solutions, but I'm not handing it over.


3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Heaven, you made a point on crafting wealth disparities and this as a reason all must share?

Not a reason, an example. To be precise, an example of how disruptive imbalance across character wealth can negatively impact play. Even a difference of 1000gp can marginalize a player at 5th level. That's only 10% below the wealth the game assumes players should have that point, but it can make the difference between contributing to the party and being unable to do anything of merit. An industrious thief can easily pocket 1000gp worth of goods that would normally be shared amongst the party in five levels.

I do hate this type of play. I was the character that was 1000gp behind at level five because of the party rogue. I could literally do nothing; I was totally and utterly ineffective. That 1000gp made all the difference, and once the rogue relinquished his ill-gotten gains I was able to purchase the goods I needed to function at the expected level.


Could you elaborate on that event? I just don't quite see how being just a bit below parity in wealth would completely marginalize you. What happened?


"Unable to do anything of merit"? What an exaggeration.

I've had players rock on when varying in actual level and being quite different in wealth level. This isn't more of the, everyone must have optimised and at the same level of gear or they are useless argument is it? Lot of gear obsession on these forums.

Last pathfinder game I was in, had good wealth, lowest ac, low number of magic items (he didn't spend his wealth on magic times) and I was more than fine. My mobility and combat potential came from a good selection of feats and smart skirmishing tactics.

"I do hate this type of play. I was the character that was 1000gp behind at level five because of the party rogue. I could literally do nothing; I was totally and utterly ineffective. That 1000gp made all the difference, and once the rogue relinquished his ill-gotten gains I was able to purchase the goods I needed to function at the expected level."

Ahhh, I see we now have the relevant intel. You met a rogue playing a rogue. You were 1000gp behind, I fail to see how that makes you unable to make checks and effect the game. 1000gp isn't even a +1 sword. A lot of emotion and some sort of bad experience is driving you here, but a 1000gp difference doesn't make a character useless or unable to act. So you are in medium armour not heavy, you are behind on a few potions, how did this shut you down? I don't get it, but I'll listen.


3.5 Loyalist wrote:
Ahhh, I see we now have the relevant intel. You met a rogue playing a rogue. You were 1000gp behind, I fail to see how that makes you unable to make checks and effect the game. 1000gp isn't even a +1 sword. A lot of emotion and some sort of bad experience is driving you here, but a 1000gp difference doesn't make a character useless or unable to act. So you are in medium armour not heavy, you are behind on a few potions, how did this shut you down? I don't get it, but I'll listen.

The rogue was playing a thief. There's a big difference there, and your statements that rogues are simply being rogues by playing thieving scoundrels demonstrates a lack of both experience and imagination on your part.

Now, 1000gp may not be a +1 weapon, but it can be part of a magic weapon. I was playing a fighter. I couldn't afford a magic weapon; I was about 920gp short, and no one had the coin to lend me.

Well, the rogue did, but he wasn't speaking up.

Monsters hit a threshold at around CR 4, after which their offensive and defensive abilities start to increase in ways that require the use of specific strategies and the possession of specific items to overcome. I could not afford to buy a weapon to address that threshold point. As a result I simply could not hit our enemies reliably, sometimes without rolling a critical hit, and even when I did successfully hit the target my attack was often mitigated by defenses I had no way to overcome. Everyone in the party was doing more damage than me, including the support-focused cleric.


Errrgh, enough with the insults. Yes, he was playing a thief, and there is nothing at all wrong with that because it is rp, but not team-playing. If you got robbed and you don't know it happened, deal with it and move on. Go SEIZE the wealth and improve your equipment if it matters so much.

As for +1 and not having +1, consider your tactics and the environment. I'll use ogres as an example, if you are unlucky, closing in and meleeing ogres can lead to dead pcs, whether you have a +1 or not. Their to hit and damage can clean out magic bearing pcs if their hp or ac isn't so great. So what you want, is to hurt them over time and avoid damage, and think of how you can accomplish that (a party in a line of hidden crossbowmen 200 feet out can do that, yes, even with non-magical crossbows).

920gp, take a powerful compound bow and a lot of arrows, you now fill a support role till you can afford the magic melee stuff, when it is required. If players die because you weren't in the front line, the problem will correct itself as you inherit their gear. lol.

DR can be over-used, especially in pathfinder. It isn't your fault here as its a complain made against many dms, oh we levelled, now everyone has DR, joy. Try to use the environment rather than running at it with a non-magical weapon. Drop rocks, cause cave-ins, distract it, taunt it and go defensive. Shift rolls and tactics until you have the magic item you desperately need. Without a magic item, a character can still use skills and feats (trip the damn thing! Grapple it up and hold it in place). Not sure what your char was feat wise, but you were not out of possibilities, you were obsessing over loot and seeing your char as worthless without possessing what everyone else had. I don't mean this critically, this is a REAL problem in pathfinder gaming and D&d more generally.

That "scout" I mentioned above. Get this. He was a rogue that didn't wear armour. Non-magical or otherwise. :O
He did the most, and killed the most. His low use of magic didn't slow him. He refused to be slowed down. He could have got a +2 weapon, but he didn't care, he opted for a +1 and non-magical weapons.

Also had two similar chars, a ranger and a scout that did well without much magic protection. It can be done.


I apologize for the insult, but I had had it with your repeated "rogue playing a rogue." It overlooks the issue, and does so with a narrow perspective that fails to address the breadth of what can and does occur in the game. I was voicing a very real concern, which you stated as nothing more than exaggeration.

I've played and run non-standard characters before. To great effect, though I have occasionally run into gearing issues with them as well.

But this time I was playing, and had built, a garden-variety fighter. My build was focused on using a specific type of melee weapon in combat, as is typical for basic fighters. I had a bow, but I wasn't any good with it. I tried other tactics, but with a build emphasizing the use of melee weapons my results were lackluster at best in those roles.

For his part my GM tried to get me the weapon I needed. He added it to a pile of loot the group earned, and I was the only member of the party that used short swords. However, the rogue tucked it away immediately after we downed the boss and before we could examine our gains. The bugger sold it the next time we were in town and pocketed the coin for himself; I was only around 1000gp below the expected wealth level, but the rogue had squirreled away over 2.5K gold that the rest of the party didn't know about; we were aware he was sneaking some coin, but were instructed we could not act upon it because that would be metagaming. And we had no idea how much of our loot he had appropriated, all while claiming an equal share of our divided gains as well.


Did he have ranks in gardening?

I've got to say, I'm a bit jealous of this sneaky rogue. It would have been even better if he sold it, then gave you just the wealth you needed so as to buy it, as a friend, so you are indebted to him, and then referred you to the shop, and took a cut from the seller to get an immediate buyer.

Dm is right, got to know it to act. Sad but true.


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While some may think it's "within character" to steal from the party as a thief. It is counter productive to the party as a whole, not only in game but outside of game as well.

In game... you're screwing over the people who help to keep you alive.

Out of game.. it's bound to cause hard feelings if you are totally ripping them off.

I for one, kill any thief when my character finds out, irregardless if they "pay up or not" ( I tend to the evil side of things ).

As a GM I've seen this multiple times where 1 player "skims off the top" thousands of gold from the party coffers, and plays the downlow to hide it for a while, then wonders why he's in deep trouble when the jig is up.

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