In a couple of different groups that I've played with, there is one player who takes more than their fair share of loot. Is there a good way to deal with this?

Group 1 is a homebrew campaign that is online. In this group I am one of the players. The sorceress took multiple magical cloaks. Obviously, she cannot wear multiple cloaks at the same time. Instead of giving the unused cloak to one of the other players (who do not all have cloaks), she put the unused cloak in her pack. Later, she essentially destroyed the extra cloak to use as scrap fabric. This character also claims magic items (they will literally say "gimme gimme") that are clearly meant for other classes. This character also hides in combat and contributes the least (although in their defense the player has really bad luck when rolling dice).

Group 2 is in person. In this group I am the DM. In the last session, the cleric took ALL of the treasure - a wand of secrets, two potions of healing, and two silver daggers. The cleric did not share the wand or the potions, even though the warlock was the one who identified the wand. The cleric did finally share one of the daggers, but only when the group encountered a lycanthrope, and even then only with the husband's character.

As a player, I want to distribute the magic items in the way that benefits the group. Ideally, that distribution would also be fairly even.

As the DM, I want all of my players (not just one) to feel that they are receiving a fair share of the loot. At the same time, I don't feel comfortable stepping in and divvying their loot up for them.

Note: This is Fifth Edition, so magic items are less common than previous editions of Dungeons & Dragons. Both are home games, not Adventurers League organized games.

Each group is a circle of friends. I don't believe that the issue in either group has escalated to the point where I would exclude a player.

I've so far discussed the issue with only one of the players (my fiancee, who has played in both groups). Based on the answers below, I should discuss with other players as well.

Edit: I've played with someone before who I did believe made the game toxic. I don't consider either of these players to be toxic. The 1st scenario is more about improving my personal enjoyment of the game. In the 2nd scenario, I am actually concerned about players being less engaged in the game. I believe that the group as a whole will be more engaged, if they are encouraged to "share" the loot.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Have you discussed this matter with the rest of the group (in group 1) or with the greedy player? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 6, 2020 at 13:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ What's been the reaction to this behavior from the other group members? Has anyone said anything about this at the (virtual) table(s)? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 6, 2020 at 13:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ for group 2 Is there a reason the other players did not say anything. As DM it is not up to you to do everything. \$\endgroup\$
    – John
    Commented Jan 6, 2020 at 19:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ Answerers, please remember our citation expectations. Just throwing out random ideas and suggestions isn't helpful. You need to back those suggestions up with experience that shows you understand the problem and how to deal with it. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 7, 2020 at 0:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ There was a similar question in 2018: How to handle loot disputes as the DM? \$\endgroup\$
    – RobertF
    Commented Jan 7, 2020 at 1:43

9 Answers 9


There are two things I'd advise here:

Talk in character:

If there is a greedy character in a group, who takes all the items and never shares, the natural thing is that sooner or later, their companions will comment on that and discuss this with them.

Since some groups consider any kind of intra-party friction to be anathema to the play style, you should start such a conversation being extra polite, even if it's not quite in character. Let them know that that the other characters are not okay with this behaviour. Ask the character to explain their motivation in being that greedy. (While it might be unlikely, one should never automatically assume the player knows their character's behaviour is frowned upon).

Should the character refuse to share, even after an discussion, you should as player make sure that you don't respond too extremely to this refusal. This is not only to prevent out-of-game animosity, but also to stay in character: Would your character really try to stab the greedy guy in the dark just to get a magical cloak?

When it comes to splitting up magical items, make sure to not go into a "loot screen" where things are discussed on a meta-level. Consider the fact that the characters are literally standing somewhere, with a pile of treasure, and probably are discussing that problem of dividing up the spoils just like you players are. So don't feel bad for speaking up when one character grabs all items before the others have a chance to react: This is actually in character.

If the in-character dispute does not result in a good solution, including things like characters no longer wanting to adventure with the greedy one, then it is time to

Talk about it out of character:

After a session, bring up the topic for discussion. Be polite, don't accuse, but state your opinion. "Your guy keeps stealing all the stuff" is confrontational and will not endear the problem player to hearing you out. "I'm not happy that your character took both potions today" is better, because they can't dispute your feelings. Ask them for their viewpoint and motivations, and don't dismiss their opinions as invalid.

Make sure to involve everyone at the table, not just yourself and the one you consider a problem. See what the group opinion is. Maybe the others don't care, but maybe they do, and just haven't spoken up yet, either.

Probably, there is some kind of basic misunderstanding about the kind of game that is being run. Maybe the player doesn't consider the whole game as cooperatively as the other players. Maybe they consider acquiring everything as their "win" condition.

Try to find some kind of compromise. If it doesn't work out, then follow the adage "No roleplay is better than bad roleplay" and split the group in some way. If the group consensus is that the greedy player is the problem, they should be excluded. If you find yourself isolated in the discussion, it will probably be time to find a new group.

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    \$\begingroup\$ So don't feel bad for speaking up when one character grabs all items before the others have a chance to react: This is actually in character. Big plus one just for that line. It makes sense that the other characters would be a little upset at the constant loot grabbing, so expressing that upset is perfectly in character. \$\endgroup\$
    – dwizum
    Commented Jan 7, 2020 at 16:52

You tell them they either stop it or you're dropping out

I've seen this as both a DM and a player. We've had oneshots with greedy players, campaign with greedy players, the lot. And I can tell you from experience that this sort of thing will eventually escalate out of control, create some sort of out-of-character drama and can cause entire friendships to end.

Now, sometimes it isn't a big deal if somebody is hoarding items. If everybody is okay with it and it fits with the character, whatever, no harm, no foul. The party is less effective as a result, but if nobody cares, why worry?

Clearly however, you care. And that's where I'm going to give you the most valuable line of information you can have when it comes to playing D&D:

No D&D is better than D&D you are not enjoying

If this problem bothers you so much that you've come online to ask for ways to solve it, it's pretty serious. So confront the party as a whole and tell them that this is influencing your fun as a player. It doesn't matter if the other player now counters with "but it's what my guy would do", because it just shows they're the kind of obnoxious player who will hide behind My-Guy syndrome to justify being an ass to other players.

Kindly explain them one time that they're the ones who made their character a magic-hungry lootmonkey and if they refuse to change it, simply drop the game if you feel strongly enough about it. Don't bother getting into discussions about it in character, this is a problem with a greedy player using weak excuses to be a greedy character. If they had wanted to play a greedy character without being a douchebag about it, they would have talked about this in Session Zero.

If you are DMing, you are in the perfect position to explain to the player that this kind of behaviour isn't tolerable and that they need to either shape up or you'll be replacing them with somebody else. Make sure to first communicate this with the rest of your party, however. Sometimes friendships can result in people insisting an otherwise poor player should stick around.

There's plenty of other D&D campaigns where people do treat their party and friends with respect and it's not worth losing sleep over.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This is great answer (+1), but only addresses Group 1; in Group 2, the OP is the DM. Even if the answer is basically "leave the group or kick out the offending player" instead of just "leave the group", I still feel like this could be improved by addressing Group 2 specifically; meaning, how to handle the offending player as the DM. (I admit that this comment might hinge on me interpreting "simply drop the game if you feel strongly enough about it" to exclusively refer to leaving the game as a player...) \$\endgroup\$
    – NathanS
    Commented Jan 6, 2020 at 16:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ Probably best to talk to them before dropping the ultimatum... \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 6, 2020 at 23:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ The only thing I don't agree with is your title sentence: I have far too often seen the "if you don't change I am leaving" thing turn into "OK, see the door over there? Bye." (And not just in gaming). Beyond that, you have some good stuff here. (already Plus one from yesterday) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 7, 2020 at 20:06

Session 0 Loot discussion

How to handle loot should really be discussed Out of Character in session 0. If you didn't have one (or didn't discuss it) it's not too late to have a "state of the campaign" talk at the start of (or instead of*) a session. There are a few different ways you can handle loot distribution, but agreeing both in and out of character ahead of time will help stop a lot of headaches and make the game more fun for everyone. Here are some possible ways to handle it (not an exhaustive list though):

  • Strictly even All treasure is split as evenly as possible. Magic Items are "bought" from the group (so in a 5 person party, you'd pay 80% of cost (20% goes to yourself)). If multiple players want an item it's auctioned between them.
  • Pirate Style Like above, except some characters get multiple shares (Captain gets 5, 1st mate gets 4, other PCs get 3 each, hirelings (NPCs) get 2 each)
  • Utilitarian Even Magic items are given to whomever will get the most use (or sold and profits split). Treasure is otherwise split evenly.
  • Party pool Everyone has a small personal stash of money (say 50 gold) for expenses, everything else goes into a combined pool. All expenses and purchases must be approved by everyone.
  • Evil Smart The (hopefully) most tactically knowledgeable character gets all the loot, and decides how to spend it, aiming to equip the party for maximum effectiveness.
  • Chaotic Selfish What OP currently has. Every player is out for themselves, and the sneaky (or vocal) players are going to get more than their fair share. This can be entertaining for a session or two, but will quickly start to become unfun for most of the party well before the end of the campaign. I recommend only doing this with OOC agreement beforehand, and only for 1 shots or very short (3-4 session) campaigns.

*Depending on how many other things are grinding people's gears, a State of the Campaign session could take 15 minutes, or the entire time.

State of the Campaign Meeting

Before playing again, get everyone together and talk about this loot division (and any other problems AND successes of the campaigns) and don't continue play until the method is resolved and acceptable to all players. If your campaign is going to run long, it's good to have periodic State of the Campaign sessions. At least halfway through, but also when problems start to crop up. However these aren't JUST to fix problem. Figuring out your successes, and where people want to focus going forward can be as equally important. Depending on individual factors you might to have these kinds of meetings more or less frequently, but if you skipped session 0, it's a great excuse to make up for it now.

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    \$\begingroup\$ @Tom Yeah, metagaming is an important tool and often gets a bad rep. \$\endgroup\$
    – aslum
    Commented Jan 7, 2020 at 17:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ @korvinstarmast Thanks. I expanded and "personalised" it. Good call though. \$\endgroup\$
    – aslum
    Commented Jan 7, 2020 at 17:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ Side comment: It is impossible to play D&D without meta. People who say "meta is bad" make me laugh sarcastically ... unless they really do not know any of the rules (which creates problems). \$\endgroup\$
    – Catar4
    Commented Jan 7, 2020 at 19:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ Ooh, nice job taking that suggestion and making it way better. :-) \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 7, 2020 at 19:39

As the player: Talk first

How has this been addressed? Have you talked to them out of game about this situation? That should be the first step in my opinion. Maybe they feel it is okay to do this because no one objects. They might not even realize they are causing issues with other players.

If that fails, try an in-game solution. Did you character notice they had 2 cloaks? If so, press the issue by asking for the other cloak and say so-and-so could really use it.

You also might have a group vote that the loot goes to a specific player (not the problem one) and they are the trusted responsible one for giving the loot fairly to the party.

As the DM: Stage in game solutions

Since you aren't wanting to step in and give loot to the players individually, then you have to get creative. There are any number of creative ways to instill that could prevent the PC from taking it all. Curses, bonds, restrictions, etc. This will be entirely at your discretion though. There isn't a set way to handle this.

It would still benefit you to talk to the players about this. And if no resolution presents itself, force your hand. This is where you might have to go to a loot system where you give them each their own stuff. As a DM explain that you want the game to be fair to all players, and the fact that some players don't get any loot because one person is hording it and then subsequently getting rid of is (breaking it down or selling) is breaking the fairness of the game. As a PC I would be VERY annoyed if after every campaign the loot that we had earned as a group was not being shared. 3 weeks+ for someone else to get all the spoils? "That's a no from me dawg"

  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast that seems pretty aggressive and sounds like it would lead to real life conflict. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 6, 2020 at 18:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ Querent described someone who has already initiated a PvP, hostile attitude, in situation 1. How to solve the problem? There are a lot of ways to do that. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 6, 2020 at 19:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ As a DM one of the simplest things you can do is next time they do it is look at the other players and say "Are you OK with this?" \$\endgroup\$
    – John
    Commented Jan 6, 2020 at 19:59

PvP: this player (situation 1) has already started it ...

... so your group, if you all agree, can finish it.

This answer comes from experience, but whether or not this works for your group depends on how the rest of the group feels about this character/person doing this magic item theft/hoarding thing.

Step 1: ask the rest of the players if they care.

If they are not as upset as you are, then stop reading here. You are done with this line of inquiry, and you need to decide for yourself if you want to raise this issue one-on-one with that player, in terms of their anti-team, anti-social behavior. For that, see the other answers.

Step 2: set up an intervention, Out-of-Character

If, on the other hand, the rest of the group are also upset, then you can set up an out-of-character intervention. With all players present, make your case that they are harming the fun of all other players: share or leave the group. You all have to agree that this is what you want, or it won't work. Then, proceed to the "DM" answer section and get into a "how do we share the loot" agreement for the group.

Two talking points to remember to bring up: (1) the game is supposed to be fun for all of the players, and (2) D&D is 5e built as a team game. The whole party had to defeat enemies and challenges to get the magical treasure; it is neither fair nor fun to have one person reap all of the in-game benefits.

See what the reaction is. (And see "Then What?" in this answer).

Step 2a: set up an intervention, In-Character

A possible sequel to step 2, or a stand alone course of action.
This approach takes a united front to pull off, and it can work, but it entails some risk.
With D&D 5e's bounded accuracy, it is pretty sure to succeed.
After the next encounter, as / when loot is being divided, in-character have one of the PC's instigate a "you are holding out on us, cough it up" dialogue with the offending PC.
If they refuse, begin combat and in-character subdue the PC by dropping them to 0 HP (using the knock out rule helps here). Then, loot their belongings. Take what you like and leave the rest to the sorcerer. Then, assets permitting, revive them with a healing potion or a healing spell.

What, you propose that we gang up on this one person?

Yes, because that is what an intervention is, in real life. A bunch of people who care for a person with a terrible habit - I have seen this done with both drug and alcohol habits IRL, and it often is not pretty - gang up on them and confront them with their problem.

  • It sometimes works, and it sometimes does not. No matter what happens there is some pain involved. If I am never involved in one again it will be too soon.

    You all are dealing with a game - nothing of serious importance.

This character, and more importantly, this person, has already initiated a PvP style, anti-group attitude by taking and holding, and destroying, magic items that the group earned together. This is not a team player. As described, this is a toxic player.

Yes, approach (2a) has risks: dealing with real people often does

Yes, this approach recommends responding to PvP with PvP.
Yes, this approach may cause hurt feelings.
Yes, this player has already caused a problem for your group; a problem for you (else you would not have asked for a solution here) and perhaps for other players in the group.

  • Note: if your number one priority is not to cause hurt feelings, then course of action 2a is not for you, and you will certainly not solve this problem. Even with course 2 you may end up with hurt feelings.

Then what?

They either quit the game / leave the group, in which case you have gotten rid of a problem player, or, they learn a lesson and perhaps become a better team player thanks to your group letting the player know that their behavior is outside of this gorup's acceptable limits. Hard to say. People can respond to peer pressure in non-linear ways.

I have seen this approach work out in one of two ways.

  1. In some cases, the person can't handle the chastisement and quits the group. And where we all knew each other, some friendships got harmed, but the tension had already been present due to this anti-social behavior. (arrgh, late teen / early adult egos clashing ...)

  2. In others, they accepted that their peers sent a message that they had stepped out of line and they adjusted their behavior. Peer pressure can work in a positive way, sometimes.

    I can't predict what their reaction will be, but it will most likely be one of the two that I mention.

You already have a toxic player.

If the other players don't mind that they are playing with a toxic player, you have to decide if you want to play with this group or not. You can walk, perhaps, which means that you need to find another game. But if they don't mind, and you want to keep playing with this group, then just deal with the fact that this PC is not to be trusted with loot and take such precautions, in-character, as needed. This can work out, but in my experience that is the exception not the rule.

There is no Easy Button

You have to decide how much of that kind of behavior that you are willing to put up with.
To quote an old, old sorceress: the choice, Willow, is yours.

For your DM role (situation 2): delegate loot division to your players.

It's their problem to work out. I have an answer for that here, in detail, on why you ought to delegate this to the players.

Here is a portion of that answer:

  • Have the players in the party establish a loot division method.
    Loot division is best arrived at through an intra-party consensus. It's heavy handed for the DM to dictate to the players how loot will be divided among them. The DM has enough work to do already. The first step is an Out-of-Character step. If necessary, the players can apply any In-Character steps.

    Before play starts for the next session, invite all of the players to get involved in a discussion for how the party divides up loot. Let them kick it around. Once they come to an agreement, have them formalize it, write it down. Notes on a card or a sheet of paper suffices. You can participate in the discussion, if you like, but don't dictate; address various options and their benefits as they come up.

    Respect their decision, and as the neutral referee make a note of it. See how it plays out during the next session. If you want to offer a nudge to one of the other players, you can offer a passive Perception or Investigation check and tell the player something like "you noticed the Barbarian looting during the battle." See what kind of in-character discussion or interaction takes place. Let the PCs interact to resolve the conflict, if any arises.

    If the rest of the players don't take action on such prompts, then there isn't a problem to solve, yet, since it isn't important enough (from their perspective) to take action. Let them apply peer pressure to inform any change if they aren't happy with the status quo.

    Your role as DM is to act as neutral mediator to any such discussion, and to calm things down if any of this discussion gets heated.

You, as a DM, have enough to worry about.

  1. The "obvious" solutions are in-game.

    If one character is hogging the loot and that behavior is not okay with the other characters, then someone speaking in character might say something like "No, you don't get to have all the cloaks, and if you're going to be greedy about it, you won't get to have the choice of cloaks either", and then one of the other aggrieved PCs says "Yep, no way are you keeping two cloaks". It's not typically the case that one PC can impose their will on the others if the rest of the party stand up to them. (Even a PC that's very strong in combat has got to sleep.)

    With players that are happy with some intragroup conflict that confrontation can work.

    The difficulty is that in many groups almost all of the the players will respect the social contract (internally, the unexpressed reasoning might go "we're all here to have fun, and bitterness and infighting is not fun for most of us, so we don't play our PCs that way"), so one player who will happily ruin other people's fun for their own enjoyment (i.e. will ignore the social contract) can get their way over and over.

    In that case, you have several options.

  2. Raise it in "session 0"

    Before a campaign starts, many groups have a session where the group agrees what's okay and what's not, what style of game it will be. In particular, if it hasn't already been discussed, it might start with the GM outlining the general tenor and theme of the game she plans on running and the players indicating what kind of things they're looking for in a game.

    Then GM and players get a chance to talk about what they're not happy to have up in game. (One campaign our GM gave us a one page questionnaire and then led off a round-table discussion from those answers before the discussion opened up more broadly to other topics. That worked quite well, because we were already talking. In that game we agreed that there were some topics that would either not come up at all or over which the GM would "fade out" when the story got to points where they would come up, so that they happened off camera.)

    Another thing that comes up in such a session if it hasn't been raised already is that the GM might discuss character creation (what's okay and not okay in her campaign).

    Interparty conflict should be raised at some point in those various topics (usually when discussing what's okay and not okay, but it might come up in discussing character creation).

    We usually end our session 0 by making characters (the GM is right there, so it's a good time to get it done).

    It's useful to write down the major decisions and record it in a document everyone can read, and which can be given to new players when they join the group. If you have some online location where campaign information is kept, that's a good place for it.

  3. A session 0-type discussion during the game.

    Now if you're already in the campaign, there's nothing wrong with calling a hiatus in the game and discussing those topics mid-campaign; I've recently played in one game where that happened. If you do this it's generally better to avoid finger pointing while still discussing what each player feels is okay or not okay.

    One particular thing that can be discussed out of character (say in "session 0") - or in character, when the PCs first start acting as a group - is exactly how loot will be divided. When I am a player, if it hasn't already come up I try to raise it (in character) the very first time there's anything to be shared out. This sometimes leads to a small bit of conflict if the greedy PC has already grabbed some stuff, but it's best to get it out of the way immediately; usually feelings are less ruffled if it happens right away, at the earliest moment. If players don't think to raise it or seem unwilling to, the GM should prompt a discussion, as early as possible.

There are ways to make sure that everyone gets at the least what they perceive as a "fair share"* (their fraction of the total value as they perceive it) - e.g. via the use of a form of sealed bid second price auction with the payments by successful bidders (or possibly their IOUs) being allocated to party funds, and the resulting cash combined with any other fungible loot and proceeds from selling stuff nobody wants to keep being divided equally.

However, many parties can happily manage to divide items up in simple ways, since it's usually pretty clear how to divide things so that the PCs can do the most cool stuff, even if it's not "optimal" in some sense.

Often there needs to be one person (agreed between the players) who manages communal things that have not yet been divided or sold (and from which group expenses might be taken).

What's important is not so much exactly how such a division occurs, but that the players are not stuck playing in a game that's making them unhappy. For many players this will necessarily involve agreeing a way of dividing things up that has some degree of "fairness", but the precise mechanics are up to each group.

* (if they don't try to game the system and screw themselves out of value)


Group 1: If the group or it's individuals aren't mature enough to handle this problem, leave.

Group 2: Why are you trying to make loot distribution fair? If players don't like that a single character takes all the loot, there is obvious recourse - hire a rogue or challenge them on the spot. Don't discourage selfish play, just make it have realistic consequences.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPGSE Sandy. The tour and the help center offer guidance on how to get best value out of an SE site. Thanks for joining in. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 7, 2020 at 3:14

It should be noted here, there is nothing in the rules that prohibits a character from wearing two cloaks, and receiving the benefits of both (as long as they aren't the same cloak) other than the desire to not look foolish. Obviously, you cannot wear multiple pairs of gloves, or boots, but you can wear multiple rings, or necklaces, for example. Robes may be worn over armor, and you may certainly wear two cloaks, always under the auspices of rule 0. Dms word is law, but RAW, there is no mechanics prohibiting it, other than the limitations on attunement slots.


Talking to your players about the problem is an obvious solution, and probably the best solution to any problems you have in D&D.

As a DM...

But as the DM, you can always be as petty and sneaky as they want:

  • A magic axe is stuck in a rock, only the party barbarian is strong enough to pull it out. Are they really going to hand it off to the sorcerer after that?
  • The rogue finds a trap and locates the mechanism, only to find a magic dagger lodged inside.
  • The wizard finds an obelisk inscribed with a spell that they wanted, they copy it down to their book directly.
  • The party find an awesome spear but it weighs 30lbs so only the fighter can carry it. The spear gets lighter over time with use.
  • After defeating a heretical foe, a sunbeam descends deep into the dungeon, bearing a shining set of armor for the cleric.
  • A demonic staff curls and whips, attacking anyone who comes close, but the warlock binds it to their will.
  • A cursed robe will cause nearby weapons and armor to rot, luckily the party monk has neither
  • Oops, limited carry weight, you can't carry anymore greedy guts!
  • The fighter defeats the enemy champion, before the champion flees they gift the fighter their sword and vow they will take it back one day.
  • The party will think it's cool that the magic amulet becomes red hot when dragon magic is nearby, but the greedy sorcerer won't even be able to touch it.
  • Two cloaks are positively and negatively charged. If they are within 5ft of each other they begin visibly tearing each other apart with magical flux.
  • The NPC offers each PC 1 item from their store as a reward for completing the quest.
  • An NPC complains that the cleric is a thief and pays the rest of the party 1000gp to beat the shit out of them

As a player...

In your question you say:

As a player, I want to distribute the magic items in the way that benefits the group. Ideally, that distribution would also be fairly even.

But remember that D&D is a roleplaying game. You can talk about these perceived issues out of game, or you can embrace them and use roleplaying to build a solution. Are you a lawful fighter who believes in fairly sharing the loot? Are you a good cleric who doesn't want to see their friends being left out? Are you a greedy halfling who wants treasure for themselves?

  • Wait for your turn on watch then rob the offending player blind while they are sleeping.
  • When they are low on hp "miss" your AoE ability and down them, then rob them blind.
  • Go behind their back and organise a beat down.
  • Don't ever let them hold anything, always pick up loot immediately.
  • Roll a melee character and start searching bodies before the fight ends (rogues are great at this).
  • Before any chest is opened use sleep on the offending player.
  • Take levels in classes where items are less important.
  • Play more conservatively so that defensive items are less important, and you can optimize as a glass cannon to increase effectiveness.
  • Grab the loot yourself, failing that, wrestle the loot out of their hands
  • Confront them in character, admonish their selfish behavior and demand they share.

In my experience...

Personally I have come up against this problem many times, as any D&D player has. I have been on both sides of it. One thing to remember is that stealing ingame loot is an in game problem. You can try and get the player to change the way they play by telling them out of character, or you can use in game mechanisms as this post details.

A story about being stolen from

Once we had a chaotic witch that would steal everything. They were being played by my good friend. They were an asset to the party thanks to their sleep spells, but we decided we had enough of their sticky fingers. When they fell asleep we grabbed them and tied them up, told them we'd had enough, and then shook them down. To our surprise far more loot than we expected fell out. After that the witch's behavior changed and they were reigned in.

This was a good and fun roleplaying experience for everyone. An in game problem was solved with an in game solution. The problem and solution were both things motivated by the players and characters.

A story about stealing

I once played an old man halfling that would take everything and mail the items to their grandkids. Eventually the party adapted to the elder. When they handed the halfling an item they made him swear not to mail it, they bargained with him and explained that if he used the magic item then he could steal a lot more, they refused to give him anything that they otherwise couldn't convince him not to take.

Stealing things was a core part of why this character was interesting, and he remains a much beloved character by everyone in the group - despite stealing the prince's prized rapier. The ongoing roleplay problems around a character that steals things positively impacted the group, everyone enjoyed the banter.


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