Just another WordPress.com site

Treasure and rewards

Does anyone else have a hard time giving their players loot? I always feel a little awkward about giving monsters a stack of coins or something like that, in fact I’d like to keep gold as a reward quite rare in my campaign.

Last session I did spontaneously decide on a longsword with a jeweled hilt from some skeletons ripped out of the shadowfell, and I’m aiming for this to be quite a valuable item so I don’t have to give out too much at other times if I don’t feel it’s appropriate. I guess that’s a cost for picking a bunch of wilderness encounters.

My main feeling is that I should give any reward at least a chance of being significant. The sword they picked up doesn’t have any magic, but I am prepared to give it some backstory and drive into the plot if the players choose to investigate.

I also want to keep magic items kind of tight in hand, and have opted for the inherent bonuses described in the Dungeon Master’s Guide 2. I like the idea of characters holding up against the monster curve regardless of equipment they have; This leaves me the power to introduce more strategic items like the bag of holding.

I also like the idea of boons and grandmaster training… perhaps I should even drop hooks for players take training and gain boons that are their speed. Magic items are supposed to give players customization, but it’s no stretch to imagine meaningful story customization if they seek the favour of a particular god, or weapon training, or poison endurance strategies. The party has set themselves up for a clerical blessing against undead, and I’ll include a couple other boon hooks next session. I can really see this as path to character development; many trainers ask taxing tasks of their trainees, and a hunt for rare reagents puts story investment in that bonus! If the characters really dig it, you could find enough material and hooks to constantly be questing for development!

Advertisements

One response

  1. I struggle with meeting my players’ expectations about loot. I run Warhammer FRP, which is loot-light, and most of my players were new to RPGs when we began it, so the lack of loot didn’t bother them. But my husband, who played D&D for years and now plays Pathfinder, climbed the WALLS when he didn’t get items and treasure, largely because he saw items as a way to develop his character. He found it really frustrating not to have the additional incentives.

    I LOVE your idea of making loot a way to get into the backstory; not only does that encourage players to investigate, it also reinforces the feel of a “three dimensional” world.

    I think loot can work however you want it to work, but it only works well as long as you’ve trained your players to see it the same way you do!

    October 29, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s