Gamox Murkcutter considered himself a sturdy goblin, and a worthy knight under Visefist the Goblin King. Gamox had grown up with both parents members of the city guard, and the three of them sparred often as a hobby, a way to pass the time. He began his defense training at twelve, two years earlier than most goblins. The training was intense for a goblin so much smaller than his comrades, but Gamox turned this to his advantage, focusing on nimble evasion turning the momentum of an attackers blows against them, throwing them off balance with the slightest motion. He had held on to this fighting style all his life, it now defined his very being.
Now he faced his greatest challenge so far. The king had requested Gamox visit the Dwarven people, competitors with the Goblins through ages past. Naturally the dwarves met announcement of Gamox’s arrival with the issue of a challenge from their greatest warrior. Gamox had no choice but to accept and found himself locked against a fierce dwarf, blade to blade. The combat had gone nowhere since its start an hour ago. Dwarven unity with the firm ground of the rocky arena held the dwarf fast against every unbalancing blow Gamox sent her way. At the same time, she could land no blow against him, every swing lightly parried, every stab evaded nimbly…
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!