DM of the Rings CXI:
You Can’t Take it With You

By Shamus Posted Monday Jun 11, 2007

Filed under: DM of the Rings 137 comments


Aragorn tries to wrangle some loot out of the king of the dead.

You can give your players incentive to do things, but if it’s not the incentive they’re looking for they will probably demonstrate it by their in game actions. Some examples of player incentives include:

  1. Loot
  2. Treasure
  3. Money
  4. Riches
  5. Gold
  6. Lucre
  7. Boodle
  8. Booty
  9. Dough
  10. Graft
  11. Goods
  12. Items
  13. Moolah
  14. Pillage
  15. Plunder
  16. Prizes
  17. Spoils
  18. Swag
  19. Bling
 


From The Archives:
 

137 thoughts on “DM of the Rings CXI:
You Can’t Take it With You

  1. Culinte says:

    Maybe “Gold” needs to be on the list more than once… ;)

  2. Arbaal says:

    Ha ha ha this is so classic! FIRST!

  3. Eorl de Jonge says:

    Nice on Shamus!

  4. -Chipper says:

    I notice in that list of motivations only one item that is not money related – booty… oh wait.

    Great comic. Good to see Staragorn’s player has his priorites straight. :-)

  5. Susano says:

    And if the king of the dead tells Aragon “We don’t have any treasure”, what next? Is Aragon going to say “Well, we don’t need your help”?

    Wait… I got it! The treasure is all of those skulls from the extended edition!!

  6. Wraithshadow says:

    I have to admit I’m utterly amazed.

    They actually got it through his head about the whole curse and army thing? I figured that’d require a lot more work.

  7. Cenobite says:

    Hahahahahaha!

    I think that a better ending could have been done like this:

    The King of the Dead: “Look, are you REALLY the king?”

    Aragorn: “I dunno. Am I really the king?”

    DM: “Don’t talk to me as a DM, roleplay already!!!”

    Aragorn: “Sigh. Okay, out of character for just a second here…am I really the king?”

    DM: “Yes! Yes you are! What, I haven’t shoved this fact into everybody’s faces enough times?”

    Legolas: “But you never act like a king.”

    Aragorn: “Because then I’d actually be roleplaying.”

    Gimli: “Which he never had incentive to do before. Good tactic there, laddie. Make the DM beg for roleplaying out of us, in return for some loot.”

    DM: “Rocks fall…”

  8. Toshibi says:

    Love this comic. It takes me back to when I used to role play years ago.

  9. Catri says:

    Long time lurker, first time poster.
    Beautiful as always! :)I love the look on the dead kings face in the last panel.

    Oh and you forgot ‘Bling’ in your list

  10. Nogard_Codesmith says:

    wait…. you forgot the other half of the player motivation table. XP, Power, prestige, influence, sway, clout, reverence, notoriety…

    I love this comic.

  11. Roxysteve says:

    [Shamus]

    19: Spondulix (SPON-dew-licks)
    20: Dosh

    Two from the UK.

    Magnificent “take” by the King of the Dead there on panel three.

    Steve.

  12. Roxysteve says:

    Intolerable! I post the tenth comment and get 2D8 instead of my well-deserved D10.

    Bah.

    Steve

  13. Roxysteve says:

    How did that happen? I was tenth a second ago and now that sneaky bugger nogard_codesmith stole my spot.

    Obviously the Isengard Public Lavatories have seen some clandestine action again.

    More intolerable!

    Steve.

  14. Browncoat says:

    Chipper (#3) –

    I had the same thought re: “booty”. (well, they *are* about to become pirates, aren’t they? Leggy *did* ask for parlay, didn’t he?) I recalled Shamus’ words below “Girl Trouble”: [quote]90% of the players out there will simply let her join without a second thought. The other 10% will try to have sex with her first.[/quote]

    Shamus – 10 XPs to you for your wicked use of a thesaurus.

  15. elda says:

    that was really good as always. the green bubbles are they just for the army of the dead, or is that the color of the npc bubbles now?

  16. It’s really not surprising Aragorn is positive about being king. He strikes me as the kind of guy who’s seen Ghostbusters. When someone asks if you’re a king, you say . . . YES!

  17. Shamus says:

    RoxySteve asks, “How did that happen? I was tenth a second ago and now that sneaky bugger nogard_codesmith stole my spot.”

    Some people’s comments are moderated. (Brassbaboon is the most common victim. No matter how many times I approve his comments, WordPress still shoves his stuff into the queue for me to review.) I don’t know why WordPress picks on some people and not others. Sometimes it seems to be related to their homepage / email.

    Anydangway, when I free one of these trapped comments, the poster keeps their original timestamp and jumps into the thread where they “should” be, thus displacing later people. Culinte got first post, and it re-numbered the list when I approved that comment.

    Now you know.

    1. DaveMc says:

      Well, that’s 49 to 51 percent of the battle.

  18. Browncoat says:

    Well, then my previous post refers to Chipper of comment 4, not 3.

    Until someone else posts first again. :)

  19. Telas says:

    If you link to http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?cat=14, you get the “Table of Contents” of DMotR….

    It’s what I bookmarked in my “Comics” folder.

  20. Cat Skyfire says:

    I dunno…the fact that he demands money as well pretty much proves he’s a king. :)

  21. Zaghadka says:

    Where are the Platinum, gold, silver and copper dragons in that list?

    Last I knew, that was pretty good incentive to run.

    (I really want to know what this “Aragorn” would do with a demi-lich! )

  22. Lyz says:

    You could possibly also add platinum, electrum (am I dating myself? I’m still young!), silver, (copper is never an incentive, even in large amounts) gems, jewelry, and various magic items.

    Plus for one of my favorite old characters fame, and the chance to play a funny trick on a snotty person, but that would kind of mess up your theme. :D

    Beautiful stuff. I continue to really enjoy it. Thanks, Shamus.

  23. brassbaboon says:

    Heh, I go with Cat. How could he be king and NOT ask for the old king’s treasure? Oh, we’re supposed to be dealing with “heroic kings” not “actual kings” here. That’s the difference.

    Aragorn’s got a point though. If the dead king was a king, he had a lot of stuff at one point. What he should tell Aragorn is that Sauron took all his stuff and to get it back, he’ll have to defeat Sauron.

  24. Yue Ryong says:

    I dunno. You forgot XP.

  25. brassbaboon says:

    Shamus, perhaps my comments keep going into the bit bucket because I don’t have a wordpress account on this site? I can’t figure out how to apply for one.

  26. brassbaboon says:

    Lyz:

    Heh, my players tend to leave the copper pieces behind when they loot a treasure pile. I think that’s hilarious. My next treasure chest is going to be full of 10,000 copper pieces. Heh.

  27. Jindra34 says:

    Fame often drives PCs, or titles, or lands to rule. But in the short run its all Money and Xp.

  28. Zaghadka says:

    Sesame noodles. You forgot sesame noodles.

    1. Another Scott says:

      I think that counts as “graft”.

  29. Lee says:

    Shamus, I’ve been reading these from the beginning, and it’s required reading for me now. I even read your blog posts now. In fact, I’m also watching you sleep right now, so that’s pretty exciting for me.

  30. brassbaboon says:

    Every now and then you find a player that actually plays their character. I try very hard to do that. I don’t think any of my characters are driven by greed for money.

    My 12th level evil wizard is driven by one overriding purpose. He wants to create artifacts. You could call this an obsession in fact. It’s not so much that he wants to become famous, as he just wants to become the most powerful creator of magical items in the world. Of course the rules of D&D say that he cannot create artifacts, but he hasn’t read the rules. He knows they exist, he knows they were created by powerful mages in the past, and he reasons that more can be created in the future. Pretty much his entire motivation revolves around that goal.

    My 14th level lawful good Illusionist is not interested in such arcane intellectual pursuits. His goal is to fight for good and defeat evil. He appreciates treasure as a means to further those ends. But he isn’t after money for money’s sake.

    My 2nd level druid (half elf, half dryad) doesn’t really even understand the concept of money that well yet, she is more than a little perplexed by the obvious fascination of her party members for little round pieces of metal. The party’s rogue is right now trying to get her to understand that with enough of these little round pieces of metal, she can purchase magic items that will help her pursue nature’s balance. But she’s having trouble buying that argument (pun intended).

    Now I’m not the world’s best role player, but at least I role play that much.

  31. Floffonlajn says:

    If the DM wasn’t so amusingly playing into his evil players’ hands, he’d point out that if the PC’s save the world, they’ll be at the top of the biggest, richest nation in the world…

    …but that wouldn’t be as much fun. :-)

  32. GEBIV says:

    Why am I put in the frame of mind that if these adventurers were dropped into a sea-shell based economy that they’d immediately find the shortest route to the shore and spend the rest of the time wading around in the surf with shovels?

    Or would they just sack the local clam-shack instead?

  33. Matt says:

    Aw, I can’t see it for some reason. And I really wanted to show these to a friend today. Oh well, I’ll try again later.

  34. Raved Thrad says:

    “Are you really the king?”

    Now _that_ was one punchline I wasn’t expecting :))

    A sure sign your GM just failed a SAN check is when the NPCs stop “speak-acting” and start speaking like the rest of the PCs :))

  35. Woerlan says:

    Lol. Lawful, neutral or chaotic. Doesn’t matter. All players are GREEDY.

    Word of advice. If players play like this: LET THE ORCS WIN.

  36. txknight says:

    Floffonlajn Says:

    “If the DM wasn't so amusingly playing into his evil players' hands, he'd point out that if the PC's save the world, they'll be at the top of the biggest, richest nation in the world…”

    And it would be funnier when at the end DM says “Well, the good news is you are now in charge of the richest nation of men. The bad news is the campaign just ended. Now anybody up for a pirate based adventure? I have this new…”

  37. Scarlet Knight says:

    “Chipper Says:I notice in that list of motivations only one item that is not money related – booty”

    Ah, yes! Chipper must be referring to that famous line by Aragorn when he spied Eomyn in episode LXII : “Actually, you can keep the gold. I want something else.”

    “Browncoat Says:well, they *are* about to become pirates, aren't they?”

    Works for pirates in training, too. (“Chest overfowing with golden coins, Golden-hair flowing upon chest? Hmmm, which booty first? So hard to choose…”

  38. Poet says:

    Bling works rather well as a reward in d20 Modern adventures.

  39. Al Shiney says:

    All of my players happily accept everything on the list, but what they really are TOYS (i.e. high powered magic items) … even the dwarven characters want them, go figure.

    That’s why I always give them a Wand of Wonder and wait for hilarity to ensue. It would be fun if the King of the Dead were suddenly enveloped by a swarm of butterflies, wouldn’t it?

  40. Aaron says:

    My players are all about “Shineys” (misspelling intended). Shineys can be anything from rather expensive gems to ridiculously powerful magic items. One of my favorites to let them play with is the Deck of Many Things. Ohhh the adventures I’ve started (and ended) with that …

    A

  41. Stranger says:

    And sad news, I can’t get the comic to appear at all now, Shamus.
    Why? I suspect it’s because I’m running a Mac . . .

    Why am I running a Mac? Because my Windows PC is giving me serious hardware problems in the last six months and I don’t know WHAT exactly the problem is. Just everything keeps breaking.

  42. Weldun says:

    Don’t worry stranger, I’m running a PC and I’ve got the same problem here. I too, cannot see what everyone else is enjoying. All I can see is the list, and then the comments.

  43. TheDarkOne says:

    Dear God, this comic is better than Order of the Stick. It improves with every strip. I am mostly WoD player, but this here is a masterpiece!

  44. Roxysteve says:

    Shamus Says:
    RoxySteve asks, “How did that happen? I was tenth a second ago and now that sneaky bugger nogard_codesmith stole my spot.”

    Some people's comments are moderated. (Brassbaboon is the most common victim. No matter how many times I approve his comments, WordPress still shoves his stuff into the queue for me to review.) I don't know why WordPress picks on some people and not others. Sometimes it seems to be related to their homepage / email.

    Anydangway, when I free one of these trapped comments, the poster keeps their original timestamp and jumps into the thread where they “should” be, thus displacing later people. Culinte got first post, and it re-numbered the list when I approved that comment.

    Now you know.

    Intolerable! Except the bit about moderating Brassbaboon of course.

    Steve.

    :o)

  45. brassbaboon says:

    Deck of Many Things… Ah the memories. The void… A Wish… loads and loads of fun.

    Virtually all of my players have always exhibited greed almost exclusively over magic items. They always LIKE money, but nothing gets their blood flowing like a magic ring….

    Which sort of amazes me, they always have visions of “ring of three wishes” and I’m usually giving them things like “ring of feather fall” or “ring of guidance.”

    When I play instead of DM I always assume even the magic items are going to be pretty low-level, at least when my character is low level. I think Tolkien ruined it for everyone giving Frodo a +3 short sword with enemy detection, a ring of invisibility and chain mail armor +5 for a first level rogue. Sigh…

  46. brassbaboon says:

    Heh, I wondered if you’d let Shamus’s brassbaboon comment slide…

  47. MycroftB says:

    Oh gosh, I can see it degenerating.

    “Well how did he get to be king?”

    “I didn’t vote for him.”

    “You don’t vote for kings!”

    etc.

  48. brassbaboon says:

    Oh, lest I forget…

    Shamus, that last panel is screen-cap-fu of the highest order. I don’t know how you do it.

  49. GEBIV says:

    “How can you tell he’s a king?”

  50. Kageryu says:

    Screw the loot, where’s my next button?

  51. PinkCoder says:

    I love the list of incentives. But I must admit when reading a site named “Twenty sided” and then seeing a list of only 19 items, I feel like something is missing. Couldn’t come up with one more? How about Magical Weapons or Toys?

  52. orcbane says:

    Personally, I’m a fan of Swag. But loot and booty work, too!

  53. Melfina the Blue says:

    It’s obvious. All the skulls that fall are like this skull…http://www.cnn.com/2007/SHOWBIZ/06/01/skull.art.reut/index.html
    I’d be happy with that loot.
    By the way, the last few comics have been wonderful.

  54. John Thompson says:

    Actually, D&D needs a mechanic (of which there was something in the First Edition) whereby fame/status/glory etc becomes marketable somehow. Otherwise, so many players seem so uninterested in anything other than gold. In other words, ‘let’s do this’ and the King might give us estates/tax breaks (and Players DESERVE taxes), vassals or bargains on construction material…

  55. Scarlet Knight says:

    Face it, after you play a few characters always chasing loot, the greedy lust for gold changes. Who wants to play the same character over and over? So you start with a wizard who lusts for power, then a knight who lusts for lost glory, or a bard who just…lusts. But as brassbaboon points out, gold always helps a character achieve their goal even if the gold itself is uninteresting to them. The wizard can buys scrolls, the knight weapons, the bard, satin sheets. Still, it's always fun to play a monk refusing reward, just to watch the thief's eyes bulge out!

  56. brassbaboon says:

    Scarlet:

    That’s sort of how my druid acts. When the local mayor offered the party a reward of gold, she essentially said “what do I need gold for? Does it make trees grow? Does it feed the animals?” The rogue did, in fact, do a double take, pulled me aside and said “hold on, let’s work this out.” He ended up with “Go ahead and take it, and let me hold it for you.” I thought it was hilarious.

    The masterwork bow they Mayor handed her was another matter altogether. She liked that.

  57. One of my favorites to let them play with is the Deck of Many Things

    In my current campaign my rogue is carrying around a Deck of Many Things. I have yet to be even slightly tempted to deal a card, and can’t understand when it would ever be rational to do so. Maybe if you’re hanging around a peaceful city between campaigns with a high-level cleric who can undo so many of the bad effects to really change the odds, but otherwise, I just don’t get it.

    I’ve gotta say, my sympathies are 80% with the players on their perpetual search for loot. I’m in a very long-term LOTR-style railroad campaign– deep into enemy lands with no surviving mounts, a need for stealth, no possible place to spend any of the treasure we do get, and a constant need to give up anything we’re managing to carry because we bump up against encumbrance limits and need to carry life-saving stuff. We’ve left behind three huge treasure troves, carrying the gems basically as fuel for future spells and a few hundred platinum. We’ve been acquiring magic goodies all along, but we’re incredibly cash-poor and wouldn’t be able to use the money anyway.

  58. Dragonbane says:

    I clicked in through the Livejournal RSS and the comic was not present. I had to click on the Ring to get back to the table of contents, then click back into the comic, in order to see it. This may be an issue with the work firewall, but if anyone else is experiencing this problem please chime in. :)

  59. EmeraldTiara says:

    Just how many thesauruses did you go through?

  60. rosignol says:

    Why? I suspect it's because I'm running a Mac . . .

    Nope. I’m also on a Mac, no problems with the strip.

    Mayhap you have your browser set to not load images hosted on a server that has a different URL? The strip is being loaded off a mu.nu server…

  61. This is absolutely my favorite DnD comic. Well right next to Goblins, but Shamus doesn’t miss updates.

  62. UltimaGecko says:

    Well, the mention of d20 and the list containing a mere 19 items piqued my interest. Thus, in the interest of appeasing those with OCD (and potentially giving future DMs something with which to confuse their players): Aurum. Latin for gold, the whole reason we have Au on every periodic table.

    Not particularily something I’d expect in a thesaurus.

    Also…same old ‘read them all, first post’ stuff everyone breaks out. This is one of those things that – were copyright infringement not an issue – would make a good book to throw in with a few D&D rule books.

  63. Selki says:

    Hey Dragonbane,

    Clicking through from the LiveJournal syndication worked fine for me. Firefox 2.0.0.3. E.g., clicking on the link to this DMotR entry (?p=1195) when http://syndicated.livejournal.com/twentysidedtale/107008.html showed up in my friendslist.

  64. Scarlet Knight says:

    “EmeraldTiara Says:Just how many thesauruses did you go through?”

    A lot more now that I have Greater Cleave…

  65. Late post :D

    Another great one!

    And just as I expected, I love the Ghosts!

    :D

  66. David Brown says:

    Of course I’m the King. I’m the only one not covered in sh*t.

  67. Arcanum says:

    Gold and such is one thing. Be very afraid when your PCs start looking for rewards like unspecified favors in the future, titles, and land. It means they’ve started thinking ahead and planning things that will probably break the world.

  68. sleepyfoo says:

    I give you a friend of mines take on in-character alignment based reasons for looting things.

    http://wulftheyounger.vox.com/library/post/justifications-for-looting-a-corpse.html

  69. Genuwine says:

    Been watching this story for a long time, just never posted. Keep up the good work, I’m loving it.

  70. Zaxares says:

    As I tend to play either crafty wizards who value gold only as a means to an end, or froth-spitting barbarians who really care little for gold, my characters don’t typically value treasure in the classical sense. Instead, I typically aim for intangible rewards like favors, titles and indentured servants/creatures. *evil grin*

  71. Alexis says:

    L45t!

    I proffer “bread” for spot #20. Just to round out the “random player motivation” chart. It’s cockney.

  72. Casper says:

    Arcanum Says: Be very afraid when your PCs start looking for rewards like unspecified favors in the future, titles, and land. It means they've started thinking ahead and planning things that will probably break the worl.

    I would consider that a good thing- they are finally paying attention to politics of the world and does something more then just walking around and collecting shiny stuff.
    And it's a great way to railroad the players:

    Me: The orcs are planning an invasion in the kingdom!
    PC: So what? It's not my problem.
    Me: But your castle and villages will be the first ones pillaged.
    PC: Er.. Let's go get them!

  73. Jeff says:

    Funny, my Aereni wizard tried to do that as much as possible, but I never got much of a chance to do power-plays. Generally we just got rewards… he was all about building up connections (LN and 24 Int) but we didn’t have much of a chance to.

  74. Scarlet Knight says:

    “Alexis Says:I proffer “bread” for spot #20. Just to round out the “random player motivation” chart. It's cockney.”

    Cool! Here in the good ol’ US of A, we used that when I was young back in the …uuh,hmmm, bummer,man. Anyone hungry?

  75. Browncoat says:

    64 UltimaGecko Says: June 11th, 2007 at 7:39 pm
    “Well, the mention of d20 and the list containing a mere 19 items piqued my interest. Thus, in the interest of appeasing those with OCD . . .”

    I have CDO. It’s like OCD, but in alphabetical order–the way it *should* be.

  76. Alasdair says:

    RE: Shamus’ list of rewards: what about ‘wealth’ or ‘property’? Pretty much the same thing.

  77. Shad says:

    The undead owe taxes for centuries. Can Ara-gorm go IRS on them?

  78. CyberGorth says:

    As your new King, my first order is….GO GET ME SOME SHINIES!!!

  79. Bex's says:

    Just bloody fantastic mate, wonderful, I take my tri cornerede hat off to ye ;)
    xxx

  80. capitain says:

    “Look are you really the king?”
    “of course I am!”

    Now the Undead King will probably give Staragorn the bad news:
    “Well. Didn´t your Father tell you? – The Dead only fight for loot. We take all and give nothing back! (sorry had to do this) That´s the way it has ever been…”

    Great one by the way.

  81. Roxysteve says:

    Browncoat Says:
    I have CDO. It's like OCD, but in alphabetical order”“the way it *should* be.

    Well done that man.

    I thought CDO was yet another way SONY, BMG et al could circumvent the perfectly good Compact Disc specification in order to make you buy the disc but rent the music on it, resulting in a disc that will play on your Hi-Fi, will not play in your car stereo and will cause your computer to replace the microcode in your DVD/CD Burner with a version that cripples it.

    Steve.

  82. Roxysteve says:

    TheDarkOne Says:
    Dear God, this comic is better than Order of the Stick. It improves with every strip. I am mostly WoD player, but this here is a masterpiece!

    I started reading [The Strip That Must Not Be Named] by following a link from this site. In my view they are quite different species of D&D parody, and not really comparable. It’s like rating Larson (The Far Side) by referencing Watterson (Calvin & Hobbes): both do the “same job” but do it in a very different way, allowing enjoyment of both.

    Because I find DMotR to be hysterically funny, and something I recommend widely, I find it sad that Shamus cannot capitalise on his brilliance in the way that Burlow has. DMotR is one of the most original ideas I’ve seen in yonks, and the guy that thought it up deserves better than web-kudos imagi-points.

    Steve.

  83. Angcuru says:

    How about web-kudos…and a beer?

  84. Thenodrin says:

    I created a fighter based on Fred Fredburger from Billy & Mandy. The first “hire the adventurer” conversation went like this:

    NPC: “Our village took up a collection, and we can pay you 500 gold pieces to help us.”
    Me: “Yes!”
    Paladin: “Your village is poor and should keep its money.”
    Me: “Yes!”
    Rogue: “But they went to all that trouble, it would be insulting to refuse.”
    Me: “Yes!”
    Paladin: “Knowing that your village is safe is reward enough for us.”
    Me: “Yes!”
    Wizard: “Of course, some of that money could pay our expenses, recouping equipment used in defense of your homelands.”
    Me: “Yes!”

    Theno

  85. Scarlet Knight says:

    “Roxysteve Says:I find it sad that Shamus cannot capitalise on his brilliance in the way that Burlow has.”

    Maybe he can. Harvard Lampoon made a profit with “Bored of the Rings”. Why not Shamus?

    By the way, Shamus, how are the DMotR(TM) shirts & mugs selling? I need to ask for SOMETHING for Christmas, now that the “Minions of Steve” playset has been recalled…

  86. Destroy Gundam says:

    This reinforces my theory that it doesn’t really what class you choose – you all end up becoming mercenaries at some point.

    1. WJS says:

      Is that surprising? “Soldier of Fortune is another term for an adventurer or mercenary” (wiki)

  87. Avaz says:

    12 Roxysteve Says:

    Intolerable!

    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

    >_>;

  88. Dave says:

    ok.. ok.. I wasn’t gonna add one of these.. but everyone else was… though I feel it’s a bit disrespectful to the DM.. but then again.. I suppose that’s the point.. so..

    21. Sparklies

    But the one the elf really plays for… Killin’ stuff… no.. stabbing stuff… STAB.. STAB

  89. Dave says:

    Wow.. 92 looks like my new favorite.. 4 natural 20s and a 12!! Sweeeeeet.

    BTW I think brassbaboon is filtered because he’s hit his limit. Anyone that posts more than once should be… damn.

  90. Dave says:

    Akk.. 4 20s an 11 and a 1… akk.. now I’m posting more that brassbaboon.. over some silly dice.. akk!!

    lets see 93.. 4 20s.. a 10 on a d10.. and a 3 on a d8??

  91. Gadush Kraun says:

    I must say i do like loot. and gold.

  92. Dinkleberg says:

    You forgot “shinies”.

    Great comic, as always :P

  93. Luke (Thrythlind) says:

    will the shinies eat us?

  94. Just for the record, it should be noted that ancient armies ran on loot. If the king’s player had a little more history, he would be demanding that everyone make sure to honor his right to all the loot after the battle (and he would then distribute 50% and keep 50%).

  95. Jindra34 says:

    hehehe almost at 100 over discussing synonyms for money…-

  96. jperk31260 says:

    Our GM did give us 100,000 copper pieces once and we made a map and sold it to an NPC as a copper mine for 100 gold.

  97. jperk31260 says:

    should Pillaging really be on the list… isn’t it more the act of taking loot not the loot itself

    1. WJS says:

      Call it “Pillage” then. I’m pretty sure that works as a noun.

  98. Roxysteve says:

    Avaz Says:
    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

    >_>;

    You send me a “Madonna Tan-Line” emoticon??!!!

    Intolerable!

    Steve.

  99. Medium Dave says:

    Players don’t love treasure, they just say that to get it into bed with them.

  100. Shamus says:

    Roxy: You don’t need me. You have enough funny for yourself and a family of four. I hope you have a blog somewhere, cuz you’re squandering your talent here in my comment threads.

    “Madonna Tan-Line”

    Bwahahaha!

  101. superfluousk says:

    So much for “roleplaying!”

  102. Al Shiney says:

    Since the original “Al Shiney” was a Call of Cthulhu shoggoth, the answer to Thrythlind’s question is “YES, we will eat you with relish … and ketchup.” Bwwwwoooohaahaa

  103. Lou says:

    You need 20 on the list so you can generate player goals randomly.

  104. Relo says:

    You forgot about
    20. XP’s

  105. Thandruin says:

    Nah… no one would be forgetting such important matters.

  106. SnarkHunter says:

    Oh, good… I was starting to run out of ways to phrase “Piles o’ swag” in ways that would interest my players. Many thanks!

  107. Cernenus says:

    personally my characters have always learned to like gems.. so much more portable.. inconvenient when it comes to getting ‘change’ for your purchase, but the value to encumberance ration can’t be beat.

    but if you can’t have gems, well that’s why higher level wizards always ended up buring off a few first level spell ‘slots’ memorizing Tensor’s Floating Disk…. the ultimate lewt recovery spell.. (well that or a portable hole)

  108. Kdansky says:

    Interesting. My group is the complete opposite of this. Gold never motivates them, no matter the amount. Which is very annoying, as it is such an accessible plot hook. My players always want to go for the greater good, which is a lot harder to incorporate all the time…

  109. Dwemor says:

    Shamus, you brighten my day :-)

    btw – i wonder why “Prreciousss” didn´t come up … :-)

  110. Seve says:

    Greater good? Who would like to do all that saving of the for being all goody good… Boring done that and it didn’t pay a friggen dime. Didn’t even get kiss from that wench who gave us that mission. Antiheroes are the best characters.

    Ofcourse there is alternate of all players picking fanatical paladins on crusade to rid the world of all evil with mindset of end justifies the means in good ol machiavelian way. That can actually be quite funny too and them paladins never take loot for themselves as all money goes to train more paladins for growing army of evil riddance.

  111. Seve says:

    Blody tags got some of text removed from above.
    It should go like this:

    …saving of the |insert name of place here| for being all goody good…

  112. Toil3T says:

    I don’t know if anyone has already pointed this out, but what about platinum?
    And I agree with brassbabboon and scarlet knight. My druid is more interested in xp and magic items than gold. It’s been a while since we bought anything. I’ll probably get a new set of clothes and a new holy symbol, made out of a rare wood or some other druid-y equivalent of a gold one. Then I’ll burn the old clothes.

  113. ” My druid is more interested in xp and magic items than gold. ”

    Bear in mind that that may due to the fairly pedestrian nature of the magical items you’re getting. If you got +5 shock keen claws that rended flesh and thereby applied a 75 DC Fort save bleed effect that was designed to work with your wildshape, you may do some stuff for it.

    But yeah, I generally agree. Equipment is usually at least in theory duplicatable. Powers ain’t. If I have a choice between a new ability and a new item, 99.99999999% of the time I choose the ability, and would only not do so if the item gave me some RARER ability.

  114. Cathulhu says:

    You forgot the lupins. Lupins are a prime piece of loot.

  115. Wannamingo says:

    I think you forgot ‘Experience points’.

  116. Mally the Black says:

    Yeah, definitely need to add 20. XP

    Make it a d20 table to roll on.

    I know my players start slavering whenever mention of leveling up or getting paid comes up.

  117. Gryphon says:

    You forgot ‘shiny bits’ on that list…

  118. valjean says:

    You left out wenches.

    Well *some* players consider that an incentive…

  119. the Tinman says:

    #8 should read “Booty- both kinds”, and yes, gold should be listed multiple times, for the greeding impaired

    Shamus, you rock! Keep these coming!

  120. DenverT says:

    my group also would follow anything with a proof of more than 1%

  121. Max says:

    I have to confess I never played D&D (except its PC incarnations) but I DM’ed some The Black Eye campaigns and I am a bit confused about the way you are depicting DMing. It seems as if you really made a tight script where most of the dialogs are pre-written.

    My DMing was usually some key events and some outline of the country-side and the rest was on the go. Perhaps I have had luck with my role-playing group, which was more interested in story and plot than loot and fighting (which is the major difference between TBE and D&D) – might also be because there were two girls in the group that this played out vastly different.

  122. Nacata says:

    FUNNY! So FUNNY! HAHAHA!

  123. Xagyg says:

    All these years, and nobody’s called into question the ‘accent’ of the King saying “Wait a seciond?” as being a typo. Or at least ASKING if it’s a mistake? Wow.

    Great strip, btw…I found you via TvTropes and I’m enjoying every bit of it, having been playing DnD since the early 70s, and most everything since. ;)

  124. Matt says:

    This list of priorities is wrong. XP/levels needs to be in there; I know I was usually more concerned with how much xp was left til my new feat/prestige class/what have you rather than the random garbage from a small encounter. My most recent dm didn’t give out battle loot til the end of the dungeon/quest (which we then got loads of).

    But yeah, XP. Especially from mr. “arcane archer”….

  125. Sheanar says:

    If my players ever ask for “Swag” …there’s going to be a maximized fireball landing on them, followed by falling rocks. I will then need to be placated with a large pile of books before I will game with them again.
    The End.

  126. WJS says:

    I’m guessing that the DM is unfamiliar with the concept of Tribute. In some cultures, swearing fealty to an emperor without paying a matching tribute was considered a sign that you weren’t really serious about it!

  127. The dude says:

    What about experience?

    1 experience
    2 level up fuel
    3 stuff that makes you more powerful

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