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To keep things simple:

In a party of adventureres, there are 2 rogues; we'll say one has an initiative of 20, the other of 10.

The rogue with the initiative of 20 kills the second-to-last enemy minion, and doesn't use their movement as they are offering flank advantage to another member of the party.

On the 10-initiative rogue's round in combat, they kill the final enemy minion, and then use their movement once "combat had ended" to rush to the boss and loot before anyone else had the chance to.

The DM allowed this as it was "part of their turn to move". But if all of these actions are happening within the same "6 second time frame" that "rounds" work with, the rogues would have killed their targets at the same time, both would have noticed that combat was over, and both could have made a rush to the boss loot.

I was not either rogue in this situation, but from watching from the side, I feel like the 20-rogue got put-down for having a better initiative. Looking for thoughts / rulings on how this should have gone down.

This is a loot handling problem, yes, but I'm just wondering if what happened has basis on any certain rules, or if was just the DM's idea of doing things.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ How long does it usually take to loot a defeated enemy at your table? Is there a "standard time" or does it vary? \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jul 27 at 0:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ Does your party typically just let whoever gets to the loot first take all of it instead of some other method of distributing loot? \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 Jul 27 at 1:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ Seems like the 20 rogue has the advantage because he can shot the 10 rogue in the back of the head first. \$\endgroup\$ – Dale M Jul 27 at 1:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ The boss was basically a rich noble who flaunted their expensive cloak covered in jewels a lot when we were talking to him, so that was the item that was rushed, and then the "group" looting took place after that. \$\endgroup\$ – TheZappa6995 Jul 27 at 1:29
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    \$\begingroup\$ This doesn't seem a problem of turn order or initiative, but a loot handling problem. E.g., rpg.stackexchange.com/q/123566/43856 \$\endgroup\$ – HellSaint Jul 27 at 2:50
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As far as the rules go, this is perfectly reasonable. The 20-Rogue did not get put down for having better initiative; it's just that this battle happened to take a certain number of actions that caused it to end during the turn of the 10-Rogue.

Combat can end after any number of actions; which means it can end on any player's turn, regardless of their initiative. Higher initiative is still an advantage, as a player with higher initiative can never have fewer turns than a player with lower initiative, but he can (as in this scenario) have an equal number of turns, in which case combat ends on the lower initiative player's turn.

Assuming that it's possible to loot an item as a free-object-interaction (which is a DM ruling depending on the type of object) then the other Rogue will be allowed to do this, because the first Rogue decided against it.

What this, of course, really means is that the 20-Rogue was being a team player and the 10-Rogue was being selfish, and that's something the two of them need to settle when combat ends. (Or on the next turn, if the 20-Rogue is particularly trigger happy or fed up with the other guy). But being a team player or being selfish is something you can do regardless of your initiative.

This isn't a video game where the first player to click the item gets it. There can be real, in-game consequences to grabbing loot and saying "nuh uh you can't have it, I got there first" isn't the end of that discussion. (Unless the table has decided it is, in which case next time the 20-Rogue should probably be less of a team player as well)

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  • \$\begingroup\$ That said, like others commented before, the actions are not sequential they are all happening at the same time. The mechanic of initiative is just that, a mechanic to make managing the fight possible, when in reality both rogues kill their enemy in the same "6 seconds delay". So there is no logical reason why one would be first. In the context of the question, the GM basically gave a free move action to the 10-Rogue and/or a free "out of combat round" that the others did not get ... which can be frustrating for others. \$\endgroup\$ – Catar4 Jul 29 at 21:19

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