Am I holding my players' hands too much


Advice


I'm starting to wonder... yeah if I'm holding my players' hands too much, mostly in that I, the GM, keep track of the treasure and then sell and hand out the gold after each dungeon instead of making them track and distribute their own treasure


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I trust my players to do their own bookkeeping, and have been fortunate to have never been in a situation where I've felt it necessary to audit them. I have enough prep-work to do during and between sessions without tracking their wealth and expenses.

It'll take a load off your mind to let your players handle this bookkeeping, so I would recommend discussing such a change with them.


I distribute loot and such at the end of each adventure. I don't keep up with who chose what; that's their job.


On one hand, I don't think you're damaging your game by doing some of the book work for them.

On the other hand, you've got enough book work to do yourself. I don't think it would be asking too much to have them step it up and take some of that off your shoulders.

On the other-other hand, I know how frustrating it can be, waiting for newer or less crunchy players to get all their paperwork done; I'm nine sessions in with a group of all-new players, and we're still at the "which one's the d20" phase. I can usually calculate their AC, saves, attack bonus or skill modifiers from memory faster than they can find it on their character sheet.
It adds to the strain of running the game, but I'm also operating on a pretty tight schedule, so it's worth the headache.


Some additional questions to consider:

1. Are all your players committed? What happens if someone leaves mid dungeon?

2. What happens if a character dies mid dungeon?

3. Do players need the rewards mid dungeon to remain motivated?

I don't think there's a universal answer. Low commitment players can cause more hassle by poorly tracking treasure than they will save you by doing it themselves.


The opposite of your problem is much more common. There's usually one player so hell bent on squeezing out a little more than everyone else, who is willing to do all the book keeping just to take the spillage.

I would recommend relegating the roll of book keeping and sales to an NPC who is taking a cut rather than doing it all yourself. It gives them the choice of either continuing not to care about loot at a cost, or take over to save some of their treasure.


ErichAD wrote:
The opposite of your problem is much more common. There's usually one player so hell bent on squeezing out a little more than everyone else, who is willing to do all the book keeping just to take the spillage.

If that sort of thing is common or usual in your experience, you have my condolences.


blahpers wrote:
ErichAD wrote:
The opposite of your problem is much more common. There's usually one player so hell bent on squeezing out a little more than everyone else, who is willing to do all the book keeping just to take the spillage.
If that sort of thing is common or usual in your experience, you have my condolences.

Exactly my thinking. Pull that kind of stuff at my table, you'll find yourself without a group. It boggles my mind that people think this is even remotely okay; that the Golden Rule somehow doesn't apply when you're gaming.


It hasn't been a problem for years, but came up frequently in my teens. I had one DM solve the problem with the accountant NPC and it worked out really well (He had a massive bag of holding, a magical calculator, and an undead bodyguard who clearly came from a 1940s Germany where Hugo Boss had a thing for katana wielding pirates).

When it cropped up in another group I joined later, now 19 and fully expecting this problem not to exist anymore, I took over the role by being able to carry more loot and making the accounting open enough that the players expectations for what accounting should look like changed. And I didn't even need a time lost undead 40k Commissar as a bodyguard.

Now I'm old, and haven't had the problem in a couple decades, so no need for pity at this point.


I see... so far it's worked and I don't do much more besides tracking loot and experience to save time.

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