Category Archives: Silliness

TOP TEN Alternate “TPK” Terms

Sometimes things don’t go well in an RPG, and all the player characters die. This sad event is often known as a Total party Kill, or TPK.
But what ELSE could you call it, if someone asks you what your game was like the day after a wipeout?

TOP TEN ALTERNATIVES TO CALL THE GAME IF IT WAS A TPK

10. The ultimate validation of our sense that our characters faced real risks during gametime.
9. Teambuilding exercise to all travel beyond the pale.
8. Once-in-a-lifetime investment prospect involving buying a farm together.
7. Impressive group effort to push up ALL the daisies.
6. Six-way tie of the world “playing opossum” championships.
5. Story-driven opportunity for everyone to make new characters.
4. Achievement of biological function zero.
3. The “Last Stand of the Swiss Guard” memorial game session.
2. An involuntary change of the campaign to an all-outer-planes petitioners game.
1. Unscheduled playtest of the we are all dead and dying and not coming back rules.

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Words of Wisdom. Sort of.

For more than a decade now, I have been collecting the most profound things I have written online.
Here’s a sample of more than 140 of the best examples.

“Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds. Goblins are the screaming, burning chaos of little minds.”

A rolling d20 gathers no moss… and delays the game until it stops %*#^ing rolling!”

A picture is worth 1,000 words. A clear, accurate, useful map is priceless.

Edition Wars were BETTER back in my day!

A fool and his money are a miniatures games company’s target audience.

A cynic is a man who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing. A gamer is the same, but also wants to tell your company with a decade or more of experience how you could do things soooo much cheaper.

A game worth playing, is worth playing badly, on the path to playing well.

If a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, I now understand why player characters often burn down kingdoms…

Better the devil you know than the one you don’t. At least then you know what bypasses its DR.

A house divided against itself cannot stand… unless that’s just step one of transforming into a robot.

A closed mouth gathers no foot. But with enough force, you can JAM one in there.

A good lawyer makes a bad neighbor, especially if actually they’re a superhero and villains keep dropping buildings on the law firm but some rubble crosses onto your property.

Editing (or being edited by) your spouse leads to a much closer understanding of each other… or divorce. There’s no middle ground there.

Theory: Sailor Moon is actually a were-sailor. She was bitten by a rabid sailor which is why she transforms into a hybrid scout/sailor form.

When you have a cat in your home, you MUST delight in every precious moment. Because one day you’ll wake up to a hairball in your eye.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single Google Maps search.

*Absinthe* makes the heart grow fonder. Any other claim is a typo.

Moving is like doing homework so that you can exercise too hard in painful positions with the main reward being massive inconvenience.

What if you only lose your soul if picture’s taken while sneezing and no one says “bless you”? We’re one coincidence from zombie apocalypse!

It’s beginning to look like the term “testerical” may be my longest-lasting legacy. … I’d be okay with that.

A man cannot serve two masters. Well, he can, but it eats into Netflix time.

I plan to seed the ground above my burial site with caltrops.
So just LET my enemies dance on my grave…

I think Luke Skywalker has probably upgraded his prosthesis a few times since Empire Strikes Back. I think of that as my Personal Hand Canon.

I have no option about whether the chicken or the egg came first. I’m eggnostic.

I’m sorry the release date of the new RPG/Movie/Novel you were looking forward to got delayed, but…
Shift Happens.

I’m pretty sure my patronus is a fat badger. So far it doesn’t chase off dementors, but just kinda shows up and disapproves of them.

As a security measure, I like to keep passwords on post-it notes scattered around my desk. They just aren’t passwords I use for anything.

There are many ways in which game designers are like cats. Mostly, these are not related to being adorable.

Oh Fine. Apparently mixing dragons and turtles or dragons and lions is classic, but my Dragon Lobster is “dumb” and Dragolverinne “silly.”

If someone stabs you instead of crying out “touché!,” the correct response is to yell “Ouché!”

It’s hockey mask and machete, right? No wearing a human-flesh-face-and-chainsaw until after Memorial Day, as I recall Slasher Etiquette.

A man is known by the company he keeps. At least, he is if his company’s advertising budget is big enough.

A man who represents himself in court has a fool for a client. His lawyer’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer, either.

A man’s home is his castle. And the heating bills on castles are outrageous. I recommend renting a small fort or keep, instead.

“I’ve been trying to figure out how to attack this stronghold, but I’ve had to reconsider every plan…
“Of COURSE you have. What do you expect from a redoubt?”

A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing. A college-level course can be catastrophic.

Honesty is the best policy… but honestly how many companies do you know that actually follow their own policies?

You can’t judge a book by its cover. Sentencing is even more complex, and allows an appeal.

Familiarity breeds contempt. Familiars mostly breed with fairy-dragons. And a few imps. Maybe a brownie.

All good things must come to an end. An unfortunate number of terrible things just go on, and on, and on…

Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. Or at least wash it off first.

Too many cooks spoil the broth. And is it too much to ask for SOMEONE to make a salad for table 7 if we have so many damn cooks?!

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Or… isn’t broke? What if it’s broke but kinda works? What if it’s not but it’s crappy. This proverb sucks

Cleanliness is not next to Godliness. Unless your dictionary only has 7 entries.

You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs. Unless you use an ostrich egg. Then it just takes the one.

Keeps your friends close, and your enemies closer. “Prayer” only has a 40-foot-radius.

Birds of a feather flock together. Dinosaurs of a feather engage in sudden but inevitable betrayal.

People who live in glass houses should not throw stones. Unless it’s bulletproof glass. In that case, go ahead.

The squeaky wheel gets the grease. The squeaky kobold gets a fireball!

Jumping to conclusions can be bad exercise. Also, it provokes attacks of opportunity.

Don’t learn safety rules on accident. I mean, that’s better than not learning them at all, but still.

The heaviest thing to carry is a grudge. Though it still doesn’t slow down dwarves at all. which explains a lot, actually.

One thing you can’t recycle is wasted time. Another is glossy magazine covers. A third is bad olives.

Your mind is like a parachute. Always pack it yourself, don’t wait too long to use it, and it’s better with a giant picture of Daffy Duck.

Dress for the adventure you want to go on, not the adventure in your zip code. As long as the adventure you want to go on is HR appropriate.

Labels are for cans, not people. Nutritional information should be universal. If you’re on a desert island you need to know who to eat first.

If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen. Also the forge, volcanoes, the Elemental plane of Fire, and Arizona.

It isn’t whether you win or lose that counts, it’s how you play the game. Although constantly losing may suggest you suck at playing the game.

Always get your ducks in a row. Then, one lightning bolt later, fried duck!

Wake up and smell the coffee. Because apparently you have the technology or contacts to have coffee get made while you are still sleeping.

A bird may love a fish, but where would they live? I mean, sure a houseboat, but let’s be real even most humans can’t afford a houseboat.

“Flopportunity” – A chance to make something that could be extremely unsuccessful.

“Evil Stew” – A thick soup made from everything in the house that is “about to go bad.”

Early to bed and early to rise doesn’t actually mean you’re getting any more work done.

“Like a bat out of a handbasket.”

You reap what you sow. Which means there’s a skull with a scythe and robe that’s quietly going around sowing the heck out of things.

You have to take the bad with the good. The facts of life. The facts of life.

“You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” but “You’re never too old to learn.” Which tells me the old dog’s teacher sucks.

You can’t have your cake and eat it, too. So you need two cakes, which explains the American obesity epidemic.

You can lead a horse to water. Actually, can you? I am sure a few of you can, but it’s not as common a skill as it used to be.

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. That’s just how the pyrotechnics spell works.

When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Play musical instruments as the place burns to the ground.

The way to a man’s is through his stomach. The way to a man’s stomach is for a facehugger to burst out of a yonic egg and mouthfuck him.

Variety is the spice of life. So it comes from worm butts on a desert planet.

A picture is worth a thousand words. Unless you are paid by the word, in which case for SOME reason, it doesn’t count. 😛

Two heads are better than one. Though an ettin is only CR 6 and a hill giant is CR 7, so maybe one head is actually better.

Too many chefs spoil the soup, but not enough chefs ruin the restaurant.

There’s no fool like an old fool. Well, except a young fool which, just by process of basic logic, we can determine has some similarities.

There’s more than one way to skin a cat, but less than three to pet their belly.

There is no honor among thieves. Which may be true, but my MAIN issue with them is that they steal things.

Strike while the iron is hot. It’s more likely to give into your union demands if it’s uncomfortable.

The squeaky wheel gets the oil, but the squeaky mouse gets eaten by the cat.

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. And bad intentions. And anything else the devil can get his hands on, he’s a pragmatist.

Rome was not built in a day. But it sure burned down fast.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating. The proof of the pie is in the radius.

Keep the home fires burning. That way your enemies have no place to sleep or change their shoes.

Practice makes perfect. I suspect that’s why so many doctors and lawyers think they’re perfect.

Possession is nine-tenths of the law. Which is why the Devil’s Advocate is such a good lawyer,

The pen is mightier than the sword. But not the vorpal sword.

One swallow does not a summer make. Which is either profound on a ‘winter is coming” level, or the tagline for bad porn.

One man’s gravy is another man’s poison. Especially with Vishkanya. Though “Vishkanya Gravy” sounds like a nasty euphemism

One good turn deserves another, but you’re just as likely to roll a 1 next turn.

Old habits die hard. I think they’re mostly worn by vampire nuns and you have to stuff holy wafers in their hems after you deravelcate them.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Which I think means all venturing is painful, according to that other proverb…

Nothing hurts like the truth. Especially +1 keen flaming truth.

No pain, no gain. Of course there’s plenty of pain that ALSO produced no gain, so fuck that.

No news is good news.

No, seriously, nowadays none of the news is good.

Necessity is the mother of invention. But does invention ever call? Ever write? Nooooooooo…

Money doesn’t grow on tree. Except black walnut. Those things are cash cows.

Misery loves company. But honestly most company is kinda sick of misery.

A man is known by the company he keeps. Unless they’re idiots and never noticed him.

Look before you leap. It’s nice to at least know where you are going to go splat.

Love is blind. Love makes the world go ’round. Which may explain why we seem to be headed to hell in a handbasket.

Lightning never strikes twice in the same place. Because if your enemies line up for a lightning bolt, they quickly learn to spread out.

A leopard can’t change its spots. A cuttlefish can. A cuttlepard is CR 5.

It takes two to tango. Also, to flank.

Man does not live by bread alone. Normally he’s also near some other stuff. Maybe a chair, or a tree.

Good things come in small packages. So do evil things. Package size is a terrible gauge for moral value.

Don’t judge a book by its cover – there are critics that will do it for you.

Don’t cry over spilled milk. You’ll get your tears in it and make it salty.

Blood is thicker than water, and harder to get out of the carpet.

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush, but the CR isn’t as high.

Clothes make the man. A woman probably made the clothes.

Beauty is in the eye of the generic non-IP floating eye-monster with ray attacks.

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. That’s what catapults are for!

Actions speak louder than words. Full-round actions, especially.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Unless it’s the heart that’s absent, which makes the body grow colder.

A watched pot will not toke.

A lion won’t eat where it sleeps, but a spider must. A spiderlion is CR 5.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Or a teleport spell. Plane shift works, too. Or just summon giant eagles.

If you love your job, you’ll never work a day in your life. Unless what you love is working, in which case apparently you’re screwed.

The friends of our friends are our friends. Except Arlo. Fuck that guy.

A single stick is easily broken. A bundle of sticks is difficult to break. A stick golem is CR 5.

War has no eyes, and justice is blind. Leaving both vulnerable to sneak attack.

If you use your wealth, it diminishes. If you use your wits, they expand. If you use the critical hit deck, you lose a hand.

The foolish build walls. The wise build bridges. The wizard builds a staff of blasting.

The idiotic speak. The wise listen. The rogue rolls for initiative.

Wisdom is like a baobab tree; no one individual can embrace it. But you CAN tongue-kiss it.

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, bring a cleric. And a summoner, preferably with one of the broken archetypes.

“If you wait long enough by the riverbank, the bodies of your enemies will float by. But writers don’t have that kind of time.

Can you imagine if dead souls had access to social media?
“Still in Limbo. Working off sins of things I did when I was, like, 8. Really??”

Hcum gnihton spelled backwards is nothing much.

The Black Pudding is not NEARLY as evil, NOR as moist, as the Ochre Bunt Cake!

People need priorities.
Arguing about a game online with people who don’t even play with you should never be at the top.

Go home spellchecker. Your drank.

Any popular game that has human interpretation of rules is inevitably going to have people bitch about how those rules are interpreted.

I am well aware that nearly everything I do could be done by a million monkeys pounding on a million typewriters.
As a result, my career is based in large part on flinging less poo than they would.

Mint absinthe. It’s the ghost of Christmas Passed Out.

“I kept thinking a shark fin was following me, but it was just a fluke.”

Never complain about anyone but yourself. And your dice. And fascists, because frak them.

A clean conscience makes a soft pillow. But so do the corpses of your enemies.

A smile is worth a thousand words. But for some people’s smiles, those are all words of warning.

Life is more than just surviving. That’s why we have refrigerators.

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BEHOLD THE MIGHTY CAPIEKIE!

So, we took a capiekie to the 4th of July gathering we went to.

That’s a cake, stuffed with a pie, stuffed with cookies.

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It seems complicated, but making one isn’t that difficult.

The first step is always to pick complementary flavors. In this case, it’s a rum-glazed yellow cake, stuffed with a cherry pie, that is itself stuffed with chocolate cookies. Cream pies don’t work well for this. Sometimes, to see if it’s a good three-way match, I ask myself if there’s one flavor of ice cream or sauce that would go with all three dessert elements.

So, construction is in steps.

First, bake your cookies. It’s okay if they are only lightly done. Then bake the pie crust by itself, without filling, in a pie pan. Then make the cake batter, and pour about 1/3 of it into a springform pan. Then lift the crust out of its pie pan, and settle it into the batter. Then a layer of pie filling goes into the pie crust, then a layer of the cookies (just one layer—you can set the rest aside for a second capiekie if you want), then the rest of the pie filling. Then the top crust of the pie (just set it on, no need to crimp it or anything), and then the rest of the cake batter, which should cover the pie crust.

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Then, cook as directed for a square cake, though realistically you’ll need to check doneness with a toothpick at the edge (since the center is gooey pie when the cake is solid).

In this case we went with a rum glaze, but you could frost it. Just… only frost the top. A capiekie’s sides don’t have a lot of structural support.

Then cool in the fridge overnight, and remove from springform pan after a good 12 hours of cooling.

Make sure you are taking this thing to a party. It’s not a leave-it-on-the-house-to-snack-on kind of dessert.

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The Shape of Gelatinous Evolution

Idea: Gelatinous Oozes change shape from cubes as they age, and gain special powers, based on their shape.

Gelatinous Torus: Gets increased speed and Spring Attack
Gelatinous Pyramid: Gets Spell Resistance equal to 15 + CR
Gelatinous Reuleaux Triangle: Gains the power of two other oozes, selected as random.
Gelatinous Apollonian Gasket: Can cast enlarge and reduce person, even on oozes, at will
Gelatinous Hyperboloid: Can cast haste and slow at will, and time stop once per day
Gelatinous Lemniscate: Gains the ghost’s rejuvenation ability.

Patreon: I have one. Please join, and support me being able to p[ost things like this! (And more serious ideas, too.)

“Far Alamo”: A Really Wild West-esque Video

This video is exactly the sort of thing I’d want to see in a Really Wild West campaign! My complements to the creator! (And to the people who created the thigns that inspired the video!)

And the amazing “Dinosaurs of the Wild West” are ALSO perfect for this setting hack!

New Video: The Aftergame (episode 1)

I’ve uploaded to YouTube the very first of my gaming-and-geekery podcasts, The Aftergame… still in Beta!
This is a special episode filmed at the magnificent AFK Tavern in Washington State, with special guests Mercedes Lackey, Chris Pramas, Larry Dixon, Jacob Blackmon, and DJ Trishy!
No specific topic (not with THAT list of guests!), but a lot of Q&A, and interviews with fabulous creators, and a Crown of Bacon!
(And discussion of the Eagles from the Hobbit, and new book series, and RPG plans and products, and freelancing, and tons of other stuff!)
Want to see more content like this? You can support me through my Patreon!

More Species-Based Insults and Exclamations for the Starfinder Roleplaying Game

My post on a d6 each worth of species-based insults and exclamations for androids, shirren, humans, and ysoki from yesterday was much more popular than I expected (I picked up three new backers for my Patreon in one day).
So, even though no one asked for them, let’s round out the Starfinder Roleplaying Game core races with kasatha, lashunta, and vesk!

Species-Specific Insults

Kasatha
1. Faceless coward
2. Hat-rack
3. Spikehead
4. Hipless freak
5. Brain-slicer
6. Dust-muncher

Lashunta
1. Mind-peeper
2. Bug-elf (or) Dwarf-beetle
3. Lizard-lover
4. Data-licker
5. Cantrip-Humper
6. Meritrollop

Vesk
1. Heatless lump lizard
2. Pea-brain
3. Deathmongering war-worshipper
4. Walking suitcase
5. Doshclod
6. Cloac-er (Short for cloaca-frudder)

Species Specific Exclamations

Kasatha
1. Lips!
2. Sandhead
3. By the long journey
4. Slivers!
5. Doyen-sucker
6. Waster (or) Waste of Space (or) Useless Waste

Lashunta
1. Ignorance-eater
2. Mindblind
3. Sewer-head
4. LYING!
5. Meritless (or) Unwarranted
6. It’s a Gift of Nothingness, and You Took It.

Vesk
1. Loser (or) Coward
2. Weaponless Wonder
3. Timid Teeth
4. By the Three Blades!
5. Backstabber (or) Traitor (or) Backstab!
6. Cloac-er (Still short for cloaca-frudder)

Patreon

Even more directly than most, this post is brought to you by the backers of my Patreon! Especially Copper Frog Games, a new Sponsor! You can find them or on Facebook at facebook.com/copperfroggames, and appearing at PAX East in the Indie Megabooth with “Pigment”, and “Chiseled” (Kickstarting this summer!).

Species-Based Insults for the Starfinder Roleplaying Game

In a podcast I was doing, someone claimed they’d throw Patreon money my way if I’d post 1d6 (each) curse words for Androids, Ysoki, Shirren, and Humans. Not one to pass up a writing challenge that involves making money, I here I am doing that.

But.

I’ve talked about fictional cursewords before and, while I wish it went without saying, it seems prudent to mention that there are pales fictional swearing shouldn’t go. Yes, people cuss. Yes, that can be a useful and interesting part of roleplaying. But especially when looking at species-based cussing, never bring gender, real-world ethnicity, socio-political position, religion, or anything else rooted in reality into it. We should be roleplaying to have fun, and that needs to stay away from language that uses real differences between us as insults or stand-ins for bad language.

No one should be so attached to fictional deity Klono that explaining Holy—Klono’s—Iridium—Intestines!” is going to upset anybody. But as soon as you use any real-world (or even thinly veiled from real world) elements in your cussing, you are risking other people’s feelings in the name of a drop of color for a not-real person, and that’s not cool.

With that said, here’s four d6 lists of:

Species-Based Insults

Androids
1. Piece of Synth
2. Circuitface
3. Custom-built slave labor
4. Milk-for-guts*
5. Rent-a-soul**
6. Digi-brain
*Assuming the android leaks white goo like the ones from Aline/Aliens do. This doesn’t have to be true, just a common cultural opinion.
**Based on dislike of the android renewal process

Shirren
1. Boneless wonder*
2. Spiderbait
3. Hiveless drone
4. Fangneck
5. Chitten-butt
6. Buffet-stuffer**
*Assuming they have exoskeletons
**A suggestion that the shirren is food, and belongs on a buffet.

Humans
1. Mindblind lashunta
2. Worldless
3. Breeder
4. Sweat factory
5. Clawless/toothless/tailless
6. Spunthole

Ysoki
1. Rat-tailed
2. Fleabag
3. Scavenger
4. Hairball
5. Plaguemouth
6. Junk-waffle

And then four 1d6 lists of:
Species-Specific Exclamations!

Androids
1. Slaver
2. Meatbags
3. Genebait
4. Glitching (or) Son-of-Glich
5. Sparks
6. Sagging (or) Wrinkled*
*Since androids don’t show signs of age.

Shirren
1. Swarming (or) Swarmed (or) Swarm-mind
2. Repetitive (or) Predictable (or) just Reps!
3. Thoughtless
4. Parasites!
5. Compound Stupid*
6. Webbing! (or) Webhole (or) Webtastic
*As in, stupid seen through a hundred compound eyes

Humans
1. Frudd
2. Godsdammerung
3. Lose it! (or) Lost!
4. Genejoke
5. Twist (or) Twist You (or) This is twisted!
6. Spunthole

Ysoki
1. Traps!
2. Fleabag
3. Itches (or) Itch-laden (or) Son-of-an-Itch!
4. Hairballs
5. Matted
6. Pinkies

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Jooooooooooin uuuuuuuussssss….

Top Ten Signs You’ve Woken Up in a MMORPG

The idea you might wake up and find yourself living in a MMORPG for no conceivable reason, generally as a powerful hero, seems increasingly common these days. (Especially in anime.) For those of you worried you might not immediately grasp what has happened to you if this should occur, we present:

Top Ten Signs You’ve Woken Up in a MMORPG

10. Smashing random people’s wardrobes, chests, flower-pots, and vases is a reliable and reasonable way to make money. Also, no one ever complains about it. Even if they’re standing right there when you smash their stuff.
9. You have one job. It’s healing people, drawing the attention of the enemy, or killing things. That’s it. As a hobby, you may make multidimensional bags and sell them in the only auction house in the universe to have perfect security.
8. You can picture the most important lore of the world as clearly as if you had watched it on a screen, but rarely know the names of the townspeople you meet or have any idea why they are paying you to kill 60 wolves.
7. There’s no refrigeration that you can see, but your food never spoils. Or goes stale. Or leaves stains on your gloves, even when you are eating Hero Quest Stew without benefit of a bowl or spoon.
6. It takes you hours or even days to gather the materials needed to make something (no matter how simple it is), but only 7 seconds to actually make it (no matter how complex it is).
5. While the exact range varies by foe, as long as you stand far enough away from someone they don’t react at all when you kill their friends and countrymen. You can see them, so they can see you, but it’s like the Batlovian guards don’t care how many Batlovian wolf-trainers you slaughter.
4. When you check the body of the wolf you killed, you find a rusty dagger, some magic pants, and a well-worn book.
You have NO idea where the wolf was keeping these things, or what use it had for them.
3. The absolute limit of what you can carry is not based on total weight or size of your gear, but just how many individual things you have. Fifty greatswords? Fine. Fifty horses? Sure. Fifty-one pebbles? Impossible.
2. Aside from a few close friends, everyone else in the world seems to either only say the same three things, or constantly cuss, insult each other, and talk about stupid political ideas.
1. After 10 months of quests and battles you finally grasp the Artifact of Unlimited Power, which is the most effective magic augmentation you can even conceive of. Then, 12 months later, you begin picking up random loot that is far more powerful. But NOW you are on a mission to acquire the Relic of Incomparable Potency. … Which will also turn out to be eclipsed by random things you find in wolf pelts a year or so later.

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Dirty Delvers Treasure Division

Two things are on my mind at the moment. “Dirty Santa” style gift –exchange games, and treasure division in dungeon-delving style fantasy RPGs. These two things have nothing to do with each other, and yet…

Let me interrupt my own train of thought to point out that I’m not claiming this is a good idea. I strongly suspect it’s a bad idea. But, it IS an idea, and sometimes those demand our attention.

So, let’s combine Dirty Santa and Treasure Division.

Decide how many items there are to be divided. We’ll call this the number of “picks.” If there’s money or other bulk valuables you can divide the total value by the number of people in the party who get treasure (we’ll call them folks), and treat each amount of that value as one pick. (So if there is 2400 gp of coins and gems, and five folks dividing the treasure, that’s five picks worth 480 gp each.)

Divide the total number of picks by the number of folks, and round up.

Double that number, and each of the folks get that many takes. A take represents selecting an item of loot to keep. They should track their takes.

To decide who gets to spend a take first, players all secretly bid how many takes they will spend for that privilege. Then reveal the bids. Whoever bid the most goes first, and the order after id determined by who bid the 2nd most, and so on. In case of ties, roll off to see who goes earlier.

The person who goes first expends 1 pick to select an item. At least for the moment, it is theirs.

The next person may expend 1 pick to select an item left in the pool, or may expend TWO picks to take the item already selected by the person who went first. If that happens, the person who went first gets one pick back.

Proceed in order. On each turn, a folk can do one of these things:
A: Expend one pick to select an item no one has selected yet.
B: Select an item someone else has. This requires you to spend a number of picks equal to 1 + the number of people who have already picked it. So if two people have already picked it, you have to spend three picks. No matter how many picks you spend, one pick goes back to the person you take it from.
C: Select an item someone else has that you were the very first person to pick. This costs only one pick, no matter how many people have picked it since.

Repeat this process until you run out of items, or everyone runs out of picks. If you run out of items, the process is over. If everyone runs out of picks when there are still items left, everyone gets back all the picks they began with, and keep going.

Speaking of Ideas

Here’s an idea; why not support my Patreon? It’s the main way to encourage me to produce more blog posts so if you enjoyed this, maybe it’s worth a dollar a month?