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In an Adventurer League game, while we were starting a session, a player I didn't know until now plays a cleric. He told everyone at the table that unless they gave him 300 GP at the start of the adventure, he wasn't going to bother casting revivify, should that person die. His reason was he wasn't going to lose gold just because someone acted stupid.

This felt like he was extorting my character. I also didn't want to risk losing my character, so I subtracted 300 gold and gave the cleric the diamond.

What I wish to ask is:

  1. what was the appropriate reaction for this situation?
  2. Should I have reported this to the head GM or something similar?

As to answer the comments: After the session as per the rules of the Adventurers League, the diamonds were returned and we are not playing in season 8.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Well, which season are you playing in? Rules on treasure etc. change per season. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk Jan 27 at 16:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ If you want to be AL-legal and you are playing after August 30, 2018, then you are bound to season 8 rules, regardless of what season the module you are playing was released for. \$\endgroup\$ – mdrichey Jan 27 at 19:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ If this question is current rather than historical (as the asking time seems), if you are not using the Season 8 rules, you are not playing D&D Adventurers League at all. There is no such thing as DDAL Lite, or DDAL Retro, or DDAL Precursor, or any other "DDAL-but-not-using-Season-8-rules". If you are not using the current rules, you are not playing DDAL at all, but a regular homebrew game with a set of homebrew rules borrowed from an old season of DDAL. The text of the question should reflect this reality. \$\endgroup\$ – T.J.L. Jan 30 at 16:36
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My insurance company? New Ork Life, why do you ask?

There are a number of Q&A's on this site that ask "What good is gold in 5th edition?" since the Wealth By Level (WBL) framework is no more. Our first group discovered that as we went up in levels, and needed our casters to cast higher level spells, gold was needed to buy spell components for certain spells. (The point on revivify in your question being one we ran into).

My Fighter always carries at least one diamond on his person

In a subsequent campaign, I made sure to pool my money and buy a diamond as soon as I could (revivify cost) and later a larger one when our cleric got raise dead. Having that attitude has helped me be raised promptly twice now, and another party member as well using my spare diamond. (When I can afford to I carry a pair of 500 GP diamonds. Less encumbrance that way also ...)

Be Prepared using the Five P's

What are the five P's? Prior Planning Prevents Painful Predicament

If you've got the diamond on your person, any cleric with the the spell can cast revivify or raise dead on you. Be Prepared! (Boy Scout Motto)

How does this apply to Adventurer's League?

If you are not always playing with the same group, keeping a diamond handy on your person for that purpose is like buying a life insurance policy. Any cleric, PC or NPC, can cast the spell since you have the component ready for them to use.

  • For season #8 in particular, Chris Kelly shows why gold pieces are not to be squandered. Casting of spells with expensive spell components has become a financially risky pursuit.

    There is a chance to go into TCP debt (Treasure CheckPoint debt) if you can't afford the spell casting service up front. Chris Kelly explains it here:

    When things go bad, they go bad hard. These are the only Spell Casting Service you can actually go into TCP debt for.

    Raise Dead SCS 10 TCPs or 1,000gp available for all Tiers
    Resurrection SCS 16 TCPs or 1,500gp available for all Tiers
    True Resurrection SCS 16 TCPs or 30,000gp available for all Tiers

    Reference: Season 8 AL DM Guide, page 3.

    Dead Character Pays for Raise Dead. Dead characters that can’t afford the gp cost of the service or treasure checkpoint cost of a spell scroll may incur a treasure checkpoint debt as needed to purchase one. This debt must be satisfied before treasure checkpoints can be used for anything else.

What should I do?

  1. What was the appropriate reaction for this situation?

    the diamonds were returned (your comment)

    Keep that diamond with you. You may need it in a future adventure for the same purpose.

  2. Should I have reported this to the head GM or something similar?

    You can, but since the material was returned to you, there doesn't seem to be much for a head GM to do in terms of action. That diamond is, as I described above, something like your character's life insurance policy.

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This was entirely appropriate. You have nothing to complain about.

Do you think spellcasters should spend their own hard earned gold to help you out? Spellcasters are generally the only ones that significantly need gold in AL play. Having people set aside gold if they think they'll need Revivify is a good suggestion on the cleric's part. I'm sure others could pitch in to Revivify a poor character if they want, but why should it all be on the back of the cleric? And should you also force your party to lose money because you can't/won't budget for it? If I were the cleric I'd just let you go into TCP debt to get an NPC Raise Dead afterwards if you were going to try to force me to pay for your Revivify. (Treasure Checkpoints and debt for raises is explained in the AL rules.)

If he had just taken the money and kept it that would be one thing, but since he returned it at the end of the session, it was basically just ensuring you had the necessary material component on hand and weren't going to be a mooch. (I'm not sure why you needed to give him 2 up front, though, you could have just given him one and then given him another if you got Revivified the first time - you'd still need to have the dough and have procured 2 300gp diamonds, however.)

You could argue "well, just take it off my body if it's needed to heal me." That'd work fine for an after-combat Revivify. But depending on how strict your particular DM is about things, it'd complicate an in-combat rez, so having it already in the cleric's hands is most prudent. And if you're going to get it back guaranteed because of AL rules, I'm not sure what the problem is.

You should get really used to it, because now in Season 8 they changed the gold rules to where people don't really get gold except fixed amounts at level-ups, so everyone is more gold poor, and spellcasters are the only ones that need much of it, so things like Revivify will be even tighter and everyone less able to chip in in the future.

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As of Adventurers League Season 8, characters cannot give treasure to other characters.

Rewards and equipment can’t be given to another character, except as follows:

  • You may lend equipment and magic items to other characters at your table but must return it at the end of the session unless consumed (like a potion).
  • Permanent magic items may be traded (see below).
  • Characters may choose to divide the cost of NPC spellcasting services obtained during an adventure.

-Forgotten Realms Adventurers League Player's Guide v8.2, p. 3

If you are playing an AL-legal game after August 30, 2018, which is the date Season 8 began, you are bound to Season 8 rules, regardless of when the module you are playing was released. Note that the last bullet point quoted above specifically regards spellcasting services by an NPC (not a PC).

But if you are carrying suitable diamonds for casting revivify, you can of course "lend" the diamonds to the cleric, as per the first bullet point quoted above. If you did this at the start of the adventure, then the cleric would have to give them back to you at the end, if he didn't consume them through spellcasting. Clearly it would make more sense to just give him the diamonds if and when they are needed.

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What did he do with it?

Since he was effectively getting a deposit on spell components for casting the spell, and the gold was returned to you at the end of the adventure, then he committed nothing wrong. You "lent" him your gold/ diamond to use on you during the adventure (just like you could lend a sword, a rope, or a bag).

The cleric player assumed the money would be returned automatically at the end of the adventure if it was unused. This means your character should have extra 300gp, since you did not need the revivify!

Tale of the oldendays

I have seen (though not in AL) similar cases when a player waited for the cleric to raise dead him, then claimed he had no money to pay for it (he was saving his money for some other item). The party was forced to pay the 5,000gp for his sorry rear-end. Lucky for us, the GM took his share of the gold from the adventure (which was around that). We promptly placed that guy on our "don't play with him anymore" list.

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    \$\begingroup\$ OP stated that the diamonds were returned at end of session. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Jan 28 at 21:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ there is a question somewhere about a cleric who refused to raise someone as nobody else would pay for the diamond, his friends are still teasing him about it years later. It is very good to be upfront. \$\endgroup\$ – WendyG Jan 29 at 10:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch It was edited since to add that section. It was not there at the time. \$\endgroup\$ – JP Chapleau Jan 29 at 18:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ It was edited prior to your answer (edit was 2 days ago, but your answer was only 21 hours ago), but either way you should probably adjust your answer based on that information. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Jan 29 at 18:06

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