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doomande

How do other people handle loot?

37 posts in this topic

This question comes from a little trend that I have found on this forum, the constant questioning and complaining around looting and how the acolytes always are "misusing" it, taking anything there isn´t nailed down with them, just to sell it in the next town so they can get some better gear.

 

One thing that I often wonder when I read that is why GMs even allow their players to loot in most cases. Think on it, if they loot anything from a loyal human (here coming to mind The Adeptus Arbites, The Admini stratum, The Adeptus Ministorum and all the other nice imperial cults) is it theft. Just because the owner are dead does it not stop being owned by the imperium, a lasgun is still the guards lasgun even if the soldier is dead, a sacred tome is still the church tome even if you have burned the building down and killed all the priests, that pair of handcuffs there is sitting around yours wrists are still the Arbiters even if you manage to run to the other end of the universe with them in your backpack.

 

So that deals with that, you can´t really use "loyal" equipment as loot, sure you can use it, there is after all not many who are going to point a finger at you because you took up your comrades melta gun when he had fallen, and many a mission ends with the acolytes using others resources to reach their goals. But, and here is the big but, they can´t really sell it and gain on it, at least not unless they go to the black market. Think on it, which honest salesman would buy a piece of armour with the Adeptus Mechanicus sigil on it? Which sane person would buy a piece of arbitor armour? And so on and so on. It is like with the real world, if I have gotten my hands on military gear, or from the police or from other originations like that would I not be able to go down into my local gun store and sell it, at least not without the owner of said store taking my name down and then call someone about it.

 

All of this have only dealt with "loyal" equipment, but what about all the other nice things then? Well what other things are there, there is xeno equipment, that is of course forbidden unless you are really really special. And the last category, equipment made and used by the Ruinous Powers. And do remember that each ganger, each mutant, each and every person who isn´t with the holy god emperor technically falls under this category in one way or another.

 

I do know that this minimises what a player can do in the universe, but it does also give him a whole new lot of things to work with. Now are there suddenly an extra reason to take a cleric with you, he can cleanse some of the weapons that the mutants and gangers walked with. The tech priest as well does now get a whole new role, he have to soothe the wronged machine spirits, and maybe does both even have to work together at times to purify that armour that the cult leader wore.

 

This is just my take on loot, and it is properly badly worded and are lacking some nuances and details, because I do know that there exist some "loot" that there are easily sold and brought on the open market, but I can´t properly explain how that fit into the greater system with my limited English skills.

 

As a little sidenote and extra question, how often do you fellow GMs think upon the rules for requisitioning when you are planning loot and such?

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Usually, I handle loot quite like purchasing.

Each item requires an Inquiry roll, modified by its avaibility on the market.

Time to find someone interested is the same as for buying it.

However, because looted items are ussually not first hand, I mostly consider it poor quality (or, at least, one level less) to determine how many Thrones the PC can earn by sending it.

Edited by DarkLoic
Cogniczar likes this

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Looting? Simple.

 

1. You can take with you whatever you want, just be prepared to face the consequences. Among them are...

- The machine Spirit applying Murphy's law

- The law cracking down on you, as you'll likely be operating undercover... sure, you could use the Get out of Jail free card, but good luck finding your cultists then :)

 

2. You want to sell stuff? Well, you can surely attempt it, but it's not going to be easy... and you might just bring the law to crack down on you once again.

 

3. On the matter of tainted/Xeno gear:

I don't think everything some cultist uses is immediately tainted. The Bolter might very well be well maintained, the machine spirit tended to etc., it just happens that whoever is using it wants the Lord Governor of his world dead. Xeno- and Daemonic Gear will get you branded a Heretic quite soon, which'll have it's very own consequences.

 

Other then that, I'm mercilessly enforcing rules for encumbrance, which tends to take care of the problem quite well (Armor + Weapons + Miscellaneous Items can get relatively heavy quite soon). Of course, you have the occasional beefy dude in the group, however, at the point the players have the strength to loot everything Diablo-Style is the point where it won't get them much further, as money likely isn't a problem at this point and the characters have whatever they need to decimate the Heretics. 

 

So, yeah, I don't think it's necessary to artificially stop them from looting, as using the background and rules correct does that quite well.

doomande and pearldrum1 like this

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It is completely immersion-breaking and silly. You're the Holy Inquisition, not a bunch of murder hobos.

Sorry, but which part of this is immension-breaking and silly?

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My players steal anything that's not nailed down. Actually that's not quite true- they carry enough tools to steal stuff that is nailed down, too. I hate it- it's a D&Dism that is at odds with all the accounts of the 40K =][= that I've read, but the way the DH1 system is set up, coins=combat power, so I can't really blame them...

 

Looking forward to losing individual coins as a game mechanic in DH2.

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Coins aren't a problem. Gms not using encumerance lends to overladen player characters. You can't really carry much without sustaining toughness tests and passing out from the sheer weight of gear. Good armor is going to cut a little over half of your normal carry weight.

 

Not to mention that items don't exist in pocket dimensions. The effects they have vary from world to world, gm to gm, but they certainly should raise a brow from authorities, citizens, and the bad guys. 

 

Looting isn't a DnDism. It's a player truism to carry as much gear as you can to survive in all situations, so long as you can get away with it. In games where it isn't a problem, or it has no negative effects, you'll get players looting everything regardless of it's a coin-based system or a placebo monetary system. The buying mechanic holds no sway on looting the enemies you clearly saw brandishing those autoguns, or that imperial carapace off the arbites. 

Cobra Commander and Braddoc like this

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While it may not be a D&D-ism, that game does not help fight the 'loot everything after killing stuff' mentality...I know my players come from a Shadowrun background, so they never really looted anything, if only once because it was fancy gear on a feudal world and they didn't want to simply have it lie there for any yokel to pick up (well, the TP didn't at least).  Even when I put it under their nose they stick with what they have.

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I think looting is absolutely a D&Dism. Early D&D/AD&D revolved around acquiring treasure, and modern RPGs were born from that DNA. Unless a game system includes specific mechanics that obviate the need for individual coins, of course players will use their previous gaming experience as a frame of reference and chase those coins.

 

I agree that encumberance is a GM's friend- I regularly call for 'encumberance audits' during down time to keep things from getting completely out of control; but since the weight difference between a good pistol and a great one is trivial, encumberance alone does not deter reverting to the D&D standard of looting bodies to horde coins.

Edited by Adeptus-B
bogi_khaosa likes this

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Regardless if you believe dnd is a culprit or not, the fact is a monetary system does not in itself encourage looting. Gms not adhereing to a setting do. There are plenty examples of games with monetary systems discouraging looting (Dark Heresy being one of them, due to the ultra-puritical and fascist nature of the Imperium), Shadowrun another. Point all you want to the FFG games where they have replaced it with PF, Infamy, or Logistics. Did that stop looting in the majority of groups? Not a damn bit. Just because they can't sell items, alot of players are canny enough to know having items to trade is the next best thing. 
 

Fact is, until you are playing a game where the possibility of killing an enemy doesn't exist, you're going to end up running into a few players who will want to loot religiously, because it's quite frankly, human nature to want to do the best you can in a game. 

 

Not to mention, hey, if your players are still looting after a session or two of any of the 40k lines, they probably havn't run into enough corruption point invoking things yet. =D

Edited by Cogniczar

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It is completely immersion-breaking and silly. You're the Holy Inquisition, not a bunch of murder hobos.

Sorry, but which part of this is immension-breaking and silly?

 

 

You are a member of a mixture between a religious order and the FBI.

 

If an FBI agent breaks up a drug transaction, does he get to keep the criminals' guns? If the Vatican cops bust a pickpocket, do they take his car?

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Looting isn't a DnDism. It's a player truism to carry as much gear as you can to survive in all situations, so long as you can get away with it. In games where it isn't a problem, or it has no negative effects, you'll get players looting everything regardless of it's a coin-based system or a placebo monetary system. The buying mechanic holds no sway on looting the enemies you clearly saw brandishing those autoguns, or that imperial carapace off the arbites. 

 

For some reason, people in the real world don't actually do this. :)

 

Which is why it is immersion-breaking. It is unrealistic behavior.

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It is completely immersion-breaking and silly. You're the Holy Inquisition, not a bunch of murder hobos.

Sorry, but which part of this is immension-breaking and silly?

 

 

You are a member of a mixture between a religious order and the FBI.

 

If an FBI agent breaks up a drug transaction, does he get to keep the criminals' guns? If the Vatican cops bust a pickpocket, do they take his car?

 

The thing is that we ain´t in the real world, we are in space, in the grim dark future even. Beside that does FBI agents not have to buy their own guns from their own paycheck, or their ammo or the rest of the gear that they are using, instead of acolytes. Neither do they have to ask their boss really really really nicely about if they can get any of the mentioned things though a petition.

 

But then again, this is my view on the world. If you play with no loot at all and leave all the weapons on the ground as you drop gangers and such, well that is your playstyle.

 

Not that I say that my players gets to keep their loot, not at all. At the end of this mission will all of their gear be withdrawn from them, it being material in the case that they work in. Of course will they be rewarded in thrones for such a good job, and can write some paper work asking to be given some of the weapons or other things when they leave on their next mission. But loot as we normally know it is completely gone from my game unless the players tries to cheat the system and keep something for themselves.

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Well I have to be honest that my Moritat is a looter

he takes blades from those we encounted, and very often returns them to other enemies.

 

Someday I swear he looks like this..2.jpg?type=w1

Thankfully I can carry it!!

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Looting isn't a DnDism. It's a player truism to carry as much gear as you can to survive in all situations, so long as you can get away with it. In games where it isn't a problem, or it has no negative effects, you'll get players looting everything regardless of it's a coin-based system or a placebo monetary system. The buying mechanic holds no sway on looting the enemies you clearly saw brandishing those autoguns, or that imperial carapace off the arbites. 

 

For some reason, people in the real world don't actually do this. :)

 

Which is why it is immersion-breaking. It is unrealistic behavior.

 

 

Real world covert operatives are expected to utilize localized resources. Real world example is the Mossad, a branch of Israeli operatives whose job it is to expidite jews from countries where Ailiyah programs are forbbiden, and after World War II ended in the persecution and extraction of wanted war criminals. Such agents were expected to maintain their own resources in cells and utilize whatever they can.

 

Just because you aren't knowledgeable enough to draw the parallels to real world agencies that do exist, and have existed, does not mean the behavior is unrealistic. It's just unrealistic for a normal citizen to engage in such behaviors (which Inquisitorial Acolytes are clearly not).

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It is completely immersion-breaking and silly. You're the Holy Inquisition, not a bunch of murder hobos.

Sorry, but which part of this is immension-breaking and silly?

 

 

You are a member of a mixture between a religious order and the FBI.

 

If an FBI agent breaks up a drug transaction, does he get to keep the criminals' guns? If the Vatican cops bust a pickpocket, do they take his car?

 

 

The FBI, and other police agencies do keep the criminal's guns and removes them from general population. Certain makes are refurbished to supply such agencies, while non-standard models are either destroyed or refurbished for commercial sale (granting the agencies further recurring revenue). 

 

In Florida, police are well within the rights to keep a vehicle from a drug-bust, which they either use to auction off or bolster their motor pool.

 

Undercover agents aren't provided much gear, but the agents are expected to be able to manage what they need and even commit petty crimes in the pursuit of higher tier criminals. 

 

Sorry mate, but that's how the world actually works. =P

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I talked things out with my players early in our DH campaign and we agreed that the characters should only loot gear to directly replace inferior equipment. Sure, they can loot every lasgun from every cultist they kill, but what will they do with the weapons? Sell them to an underhive weapons dealer, who will then turn around and sell the hardware back to other gangers and cultists? It would be like FBI agents selling confiscated weapons on the black market!

 

I don't have an issue with players taking weapons from their enemies if they actually intend to use them. I enforce a strict limit on how many weapons players can carry, so my group is reluctant to pick up anything they don't need. I also tend to arm grunts with powerful, limited-use weapons like hot-shot charge packs and grenades rather than giving boltguns to every enemy, so players don't acquire weapons beyond their Rank.

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Looting is absolutely normal for some places in real world. Even if we telling about official operation of somebody as FBI - if operative lose his gun or ammo (and it's kind of good gun and ammo!), he can take a weapon from killed criminal and use it. It's expected from him to return this weapon to his superiors with his report, but he can try to conceal such findings. And maybe to sell them to the loot sellers, whom he knows from his work. It's make him a crook, yes. But nothing non-possible, it's happens.

 

When we talking about such operations as undercover work - well, FBIs looting weapons, yes. Because one can't do undercover work with his FBI gun and bodyarmor that have big "FBI" letters on the chest.

 

But Inquisition is not something near FBI. Your Inqusitor superior may not notice that you have something stolen or looted. Or maybe he will even approve such resourceful acolytes. Well, agencies who should oversee and persecute looting, stealing or weapon traffic will be unpleased, but do you really care - about them or about law?

If you do - you will not looting and stealing.

If you don't - there is only one person who can forbid it to you. By idea.

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The last time I was an actual GM for this game, I used it the following approach with good results:


First and foremost, the characters were provided with the Basic gear to do the Job. I always had a list with gear at the ready that was either offered outright to them as part of the mission briefing or had a list at Hand at what they could easily "call for" from other places/authorities.

Not the "fancy" gear but the Basic gears. As a result, characters only tend to "go for a grap" if it was something fancy or highly valuable. They still looted every bit of "munitorium Standard ammo" they got there Hands on...unless they were already having three clips for their semi-automatic and five clips for there full automatics.

In addition to the basic gear came Basic funds. If that would not do the trick, they were meant to roll with the blow. But Basic funds "for bribes and further needed gear" was always provided(!) by the Inquisitor. The exact amount varied, and the way the characters acted last time was the Major reason for changes in budget.

I established early that most Inquisitors actually took "seizing of property of proven heretics" as an additional way of "funding" their operations. In turn, that meant that after each mission the characters were meant to bring their loot in. Of course, they were allowed and even expected to explain there Need (or desire) for certain items to become theres... and more often then not, they were granted the right to their '"spoils".

In addition, I made it clear that if they were able to "unlock" the talents to wield a certain weapons, they could Count on getting one of those if the mission would call for it.

This had lead to the following effects:

- the characters looted only choices pieces of Equipment, ammo and perhaps Money. All of that was listed apart from their belongings. It was some Kind of "mission pool"
- I never had to worry for "item x to unbalance my further games". If I feared so, the spoils went into the Inquisitors coffers.
- The Players did not loot anything off any corpse..because if the final cleaning would sweep in after them, it would be on the list, anyway! And if not...well,
- I actually had Players -cheer- when one such item that was stripped from them returned to them later.
- The Group (!) had a "trophy room" in their Major safe house (base of Operation). Before each mission they would choose if and what of that "Special gear" (xenos items, valuable and/or rare limited Equipment) would be taken along and who would carry it.
- None of my players felt that they would Need to "make coin to save for the next three clips of bolter ammo or that Energy Sword". If they would be able to wield it and it would be needed for the mission, they would have it.


 

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I have two anecdotes related to this topic:

One, I play an Arbite very closely based off of a certain Police Officer in the Dresden Files series. (It's fun.) At any given moment, unless trying to be subtle, she'll be armed with...

A Mesh Combat Cloak (I'm really not sure what these look like, so we as a group decided it was a bit like a wet-suit design,) beneath Arbite Robes, with a Cameoline Cloak draped over the back. (The cloak is optional.)

Brass Knuckles either in a pocket or on hand.

A knife on her belt. 

A shotgun over her back.

A sword at a hilt on her belt.

A Shock Staff, carried and used as a normal walking staff when not fighting.

A Stub Automatic in a shoulder-holster

And, a Compact Stub Revolver in a strap around her wrist. 

She's also wearing Photo-Contacts, (Best Quality,) carries around a camera who our Tech-Priest connected to a data-slate, a writing kit, two pairs of handcuffs, a medkit, and a few other small miscellaneous bits of gear. (Currently she also has six mangoes, but that's another story.)

 

The idea being, there is no situation that could possibly come up in which she isn't prepared for it. The only possible confrontation that I can't currently handle is a long-range sniper showdown, and we have two assassins for that. (Though one of our assassins is trying to kill the other, subtly...)

 

However, when I designed this, I made sure that all of this gear could reasonably be carried on a person, without looking silly. Every weapon has a holster, every piece of gear has a pocket or slot where it goes. She's pretty much coated in gear no matter where you look, but I made sure that there's nothing in hammerspace: If someone wants to know where my gear is, I have everything accounted for.

I feel like, as long as the players can give a reasonable explanation for how they are carrying their loot and gear, it doesn't pose an issue. However, if they are carrying around 2 shotguns, an autogun, a long-las, a couple revolvers, two pairs of Recoil Gloves, a dozen grenades, and a Great Weapon... That's a problem, whether or not they can carry the weight requirements.

 

 

Now, my second anecdote:

I was GMing a mission, and through various events one of my players managed to get access to a filthy rich baron's safe. The baron was a tech-heretic and was currently being arrested and sent for his execution, so the money was completely up for grabs. To keep things reasonable, he asked if he could just take out 12,000 Thrones. (4,000 for him, 2,000 for everyone else in the group.) I was conflicted about letting him take that much loot, but I decided to allow it.

Lo and behold... Things kept running smoothly. Everyone was able to buy gear that they wanted, (Except one player who had to pay for a new bionic arm,) but nobody was able to just go to town with their newfound wealth. 2,000 Thrones seems like a lot, but it's really only enough for one big purchase, and even that takes time and effort to do. (Since you have to find the thing.) Since then, we haven't had any instance of mission-wide loot going over 500 thrones, so I feel like it was a good choice to let the players splurge a little bit and either get one piece of really cool gear, (Synskin, or some fancy gun, etc.) or lots of utility gear that they wanted for their character. 

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Considering the prices of higher tier weapons or their continued supply (boltershells get very expensive very fast) 12k are, sorry for the choice of words, chickensh*t.

 

My group cleaned out a sub-captain of the Kasballica and (after wounding and threating his widow and daughter) walked away with over 175.000 Thrones. They spent about 30k alone for the necessary medical treatment (6 chars in the one digits or critical makes 3k per day for 10 days), another 25k for the curch in tithes, 60k for bribes and infos,  ... still some left for new equipment.

It just resulted in gaining some enemies among the Kasballica. Sure, they are clever enough to not outright kill members of the =I=, but they can still do some nasty things. Like telling their other enemies were they are.

See, my group is going on a trip to a feudal world on a transport ship filled with workers, agricultural experts, simple machines and such. And for SOME reasons a cabal of Dark Eldars the players had pissed off before knows that they are on that nice little not-heavily armed transport. So my players get a chance to use the new toys and armors they bought .... they will need them!

 

Nothing comes without a price.

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Considering the prices of higher tier weapons or their continued supply (boltershells get very expensive very fast) 12k are, sorry for the choice of words, chickensh*t.
 
My group cleaned out a sub-captain of the Kasballica and (after wounding and threating his widow and daughter) walked away with over 175.000 Thrones. They spent about 30k alone for the necessary medical treatment (6 chars in the one digits or critical makes 3k per day for 10 days), another 25k for the curch in tithes, 60k for bribes and infos,  ...

What level were these guys? My players were all somewhere around high 2 or early 3.

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4 when they got the money and 5 by now. They had dreams about bolt-weapons, carapace armor or similar gear.

Well, they got some of those. Their enemies are not slouches either.

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I follow two very simple rules.

 

I don't let my players break cover to go splash big money at high-end weapon dealers on-mission.

 

and

 

If I don't want my players to have something I don't give it to a soft, squishy NPC.

 

If you absolutely must have a piece of awesome gear floating about you can always gene-lock it, have it get damaged in the fight to take it or make it a unique variant with power balanced by irritating drawbacks.

 

One such variant of my own devising was the meat hammer, a five barrelled sawn-off shotgun that did an enourmous amount of damage (with 0 Pen) but all five barrels fired as one and had to be reloaded individually every time.

 

When all else fails, poor quality is your friend.

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