Inspired by a post over at Dungeon Fantastic, I got to wondering how my players record their loot.
I’m the kind of guy who tries to fill the dungeon with “interesting” treasure, rather than just piles of coins. Sometimes, I feel like it’s a little wasted, since I expect the players will end up classifying everything as either “stuff to keep”, “quest coupons”, or “pawnable”. There’s some value in that extra level of detail beyond what the players care about, as camouflage for clues and so forth, but in the end, that gorgeous piece of treasure is going to turn into a pouch full of coins, which will itself turn into a barrel of beer and some enchanted ironmongery for the knight. At any rate, I know my players would be happier if the treasure came pre-sorted into bundles of magic items and stacks of coin.
So, I wondered: what have they been writing down, when I describe the loot?
Luckily, I can check. My group elected one player (Rho/Kadabra/Mississippi Jim’s) as the keeper of the list of shared treasure. (They also elected him chief mapper, and thus far, he’s been handling the selling of loot back in town. Really, they decided that he was going to be the guy with the pencil and the calculator.) He keeps his party notes in a particular notebook, which goes in the party folder, which gets stored on my shelf in between games.
What I found in the notebook surprised me. At first, I thought I wasn’t going to find what I was looking for. All I found was scratch paper and rough maps. Finally, I discovered a couple of lists, folded up in the back of the notebook.
The answer to the immediate question is, yes, my players write down “comb 1500 silver”, just as Mr. Dell’Orto observes. Drat, they’re not taking notes on all my boxed text. Oh, well, that’s pretty much what I expected. So long as they’ve got enough notes to let me track down which item they’re actually talking about, they’re OK. If they find one harp on a given trip, they just need to know “the harp”; if they find two, they need to be able to tell me if they’re selling “the one with the carvings” or “the one glowing with obvious magical power”. If that gets noted as “harp” and “glowing harp”, great.
But then I took a closer look.
It seems that someone found a “fine turnip”, right around the time of the fight with Ghorbash. I’m not sure who put points into Connoisseur (Root Vegetables), but they estimated its value at $10 million.
I bet Gabby made off with it.