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Dungeon Delving and Loot

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How are you GMs handling loot gained from dungeon delving?

Narrative wise, sure most gold and items can be obtained through "ill give you 600s to go do this" type quests, and then bought from local markets etc, but Terrinoth is full of items that simply can not be purchased, or random potions or other useful things that fit into 'stuff you find when grave robbing'.

I feel the GM is responsible for providing any items required for the story, but as for searching burial sites or forgotten tombs and temples, how are people handling 'random' loot that isn't 100% story related? 

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I've considered random loot, but for now I'm concentrating on items that are story-related. I've been focused on plot-heavy adventures, but I do like a good ole dungeon crawl every now and then. I'm running a mash-up of Genesys and Darkest Dungeon sometime soon, and will include random loot in that one.

Edited by verdantsf

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If I get around to run another fantasy campaign using Genesys, I'll probably use a random table for when the PCs find something or succeed at a Perception check. Then, if applicable, another roll for the craftsmanship/implement materials, and a third for attachments (if the PCs roll a Triumph, for example).

But, as Richardbuxton said, it's always good to listen to your players and what they have envisioned for their characters and I try to insert these items as fixed loot/rewards.

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I want to make my loot topical, so if I am going to roll for random loot, I will roll it beforehand and see if it's something I can fit into the locale. If it doesn't look like it fits, I roll again. Or I just cheat and pick something.

And put the loot that they will keep among stuff they will not, because context.

For example, in the next game my party will explore what is equivalent to a bronze age burial cave complex. To decide what loot they will find, I looked for information on bronze age burials. I learned that for one particular culture, almost every person would be buried with a pottery jug, a mug, and a bowl. Not valuable to the PCs, but it instantly creates the awareness that these people had a burial ritual and a system of beliefs about the afterlife.

10% of the people would be found to have bronze goods, with the men having knives and spearheads (all corroded by now), and women with jewellery in the forms of twisted bronze, and amber (which would be from Isheim, indicating the presence of a bronze age trade between these places). A little more valuable, provided the PCs can find a buyer, but here is a chance to sneak in some minor magical item, maybe in the form of a pendant that conferred some minor benefit to its wearer - out comes the random loot table, roll or pick something suitable.

Then, in the final burial chamber, we meet the prehistoric king of these people. What would someone like him have? A cool bronze age sword, of course! His helmet and armour are all corroded, but his sword... his sword still gleams as brightly as the day it was first wielded by the warrior-king, and the day it was given a final burnished before being placed beside him in the burial urn. I googled for a picture of a bronze age sword, and printed it out as a loot card for the PCs. In game terms it's a "+1 sword", but it has history, it has mystery, and its design looks so different from the standard Terrinoth sword that when a PC draws it, the enemies will notice it. Fellow warriors and NPCs who know about metals will marvel at how it has kept its keen edge over the centuries... Of course it has no sheath, so getting one for it will be a nice RP scene.

Oh and of course the people are undead and don't want their stuff taken. ?

 

In another game, I used a different mechanic for this. The party defeated a hag in her hut in the middle of the swamp (I know, I'm nothing if not original), and before they have a chance to celebrate, the hut begins to sink. The two PCs still inside have the chance to grab one item each from the piles of possessions left behind by the victims of the hag over the years before everything is swallowed up by the putrid water.

I asked each player: What did you grab?

One said a gauntlet, the other one a shield. I gave them what they wanted, and then asked them to roll on the minor benefits table (from this supplement I bought), and told them what the item did (or you can choose not to tell them and let them find out later, or make it a mini-quest to get them identified). I didn't like one of the results, so I asked for a re-roll - your players need to trust you.

 

So that's me. Hope it helps.

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I've always granted what I think makes sense for the situation. What should the Orc Chieftan being carrying as compared to a common Orc Warrior, for example. It also allows me to adjust wealth based upon the party being way too rich, way too poor, or a player finally getting a certain item he's been yearning for instead of leaving it all to a die roll.

Edited by Sturn

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On 7/3/2018 at 8:48 PM, Richardbuxton said:

I like to listen to the players, either during the game or when chatting amongst themselves, they often drop hints about the things that they would like to have for their characters.

A GM who doesn't listen to player chatter is leaving his most powerful tool back in the shed. I can't count the number of times I've been running something, they'll say something like "Man, I hope that X doesn't happen!" and X is a much better idea than what I had in mind. One quick course correction and we're off to the races!

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In all honesty, I don't randomize much of anything in this game, loot included.  During any given session I'll have a variety of plot points to cover, it's mostly up to the players how/when/if they are accomplished.  Money/rewards are factored into this from the beginning, and are typically fairly organic in their presentation. 

The party gets attacked by some bandits? they might have a couple of gold/silver on them, but the gear and such is mostly worthless.  Did they find the vampire's lair in the city? Sure, in their house in the Nobles quarter.  How exactly are you legally going to loot that again? They are hired by the Baron to investigate (true) rumors of a forgotten cache from the dragon wars?  Well, I'm sure once they find it they will get a cut, but that IS on the Baron's lands and therefore "his" property.  Significant wealth generally doesn't just lie around.  Not every monster will drop gold/loot either.  What use does a Chimera have for coins and swords and such?

I absolutely understand the legacy of "random" things in RPGs, like treasure and encounters, I just don't feel compelled to enforce them.  If there is a specific item that the PC'S want and it's not for sale, then that is the definition of a quest.

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