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View Full Version : [EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH] How do I divide my huge party's treasure



shadow_archmagi
2016-11-01, 10:17 AM
Background: I'm running an OSR-style Open Table game, which means that I don't have a traditional established party of 4-6. Instead, I have a group that technically contains 18 players- 9 of which have not yet attended a session but expressed interest, 2 of which have never missed a session, 2 of which have only attended once, and the other 5 are semi-regular.

This has a lot of advantages, but creates the question of how to equitably divide loot. I could divide everything completely evenly amongst all past and future party members, but if three people kill a dragon and then get 1/9th of its treasure each because we're setting gold aside for Steve in case he ever shows up again... that doesn't seem quite right.

I could divide treasure up amongst only the people at the table, but that feels unfair to things that happen across sessions- If Jackie decodes the map to the dragon's lair, helps outsmart the spiders of mirkwood, and finds the Key Golem to unlock the Dragongate, she's clearly contributed to the overall operation, even if she isn't there for the session where the dragon is slain.

On the other hand, a system where I have to maintain a running formalized list of every ongoing quest and everyone that's participated in those quests seems like a lot of extra bookkeeping.

ComaVision
2016-11-01, 10:19 AM
Easy answer: Let your players deal with it. Surely, in-character, the group would allocate some gold to Jackie if she was instrumental in locating the dragon's hoard. Even if they don't just naturally allocate some to Jackie, let them work it out IC.

Segev
2016-11-01, 10:26 AM
If letting your players deal with it on their own isn't satisfying everybody, you can assign an artificial currency. Call it "treasure points."

Each character that participates in an adventure gets a certain number of treasure points for that session. Then put up all the items that are to be divided, including reasonably-chunked piles of cash-items (art objects, trade goods, actual gp/sp/cp, gems, etc.) and let the players bid treasure points for each of them. Those who don't spend their treasure points retain them for later loot-distributions.


You can manipulate this system to allow for distributions to go to those who show up rarely, too, by handing out tp to those who aren't there at any given session, as well.



Heck, you could just have 1 tp = 1 gp in the following fashion: Take the loot pile for an adventure and calculate its gp value. Divide that gp value by the number of shares you want to have (whether you're including absent players or not), and give each player a share to record.

If you divide it between all players, the ones who show up rarely will have more to bid with on loot when they're there, giving them first "choice" but not necessarily more than their share (except when they have so much they can literally buy the whole thing...in which case the others will have more to spare next time). If you only give it to those present, then it's just a way of parceling out the loot.

Mark Hall
2016-11-01, 10:37 AM
The DM never divides treasure. The DM provides treasure, which the players (through their characters) divide. At most, I would say that you should argue on behalf of players/characters who are not there (i.e. Jackie who couldn't make the dragon-killing session), but it's not the DMs place to decide how treasure gets divided.

A tool for the argument? If GP = XP, point out that they may have way more treasure than they can reasonably get XP for, and that devoting a share to Jackie won't stop their XP gain.

kyoryu
2016-11-01, 10:40 AM
Background: I'm running an OSR-style Open Table game, which means that I don't have a traditional established party of 4-6. Instead, I have a group that technically contains 18 players- 9 of which have not yet attended a session but expressed interest, 2 of which have never missed a session, 2 of which have only attended once, and the other 5 are semi-regular.

...

I could divide treasure up amongst only the people at the table, but that feels unfair to things that happen across sessions- If Jackie decodes the map to the dragon's lair, helps outsmart the spiders of mirkwood, and finds the Key Golem to unlock the Dragongate, she's clearly contributed to the overall operation, even if she isn't there for the session where the dragon is slain.

Well, traditionally, open table games have been crawls through megadungeons, where each night's adventure is self-contained. That also solves the problems of getting PCs where they "should be" etc.

While going full on megadungeon may not be the ideal solution, trying to make things more self-contained will probably help.