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Moginheden
2010-09-14, 12:07 PM
I'm a new DM and I sent a minotaur at my group. When they killed it they took it's greataxe and gold as I expected, but they also tried to loot it's horns, (ok, I gave them a survival check, they cracked one but got both horns.)

Then the Druid in the group decided to keep going, trying to loot it's skull, and as much of it's skeleton as he could. He got decent roll so I gave him the skull and the torso, but said he destroyed the limbs.

Now I'm trying to figure out:
A.) What other weird things players might be looting out of my bugbears, ice elementals, and white dragon in the next session, and what to do about it. Should I have told them you can't loot a skeleton since this is supposed to be a good party? (Although the minotaur was hired by an NPC who was upsetting the balance of nature, thus the druid was pissed off. Also the druid does have bone carving as a skill.)

B.) How much a partial minotaur skeleton is worth, (including one intact and one cracked horn.)

Christopher K.
2010-09-14, 12:12 PM
A) I'd assume that your players aren't going to stop at skeletons now that you've let the druid get away with that. Expect them to be trying to get pieces of ice from the elementals, and probably a bunch of scales, teeth, and possibly bones from the dragon. Also, they might try to skin it to make the hide into armor. I wouldn't think of this being an alignment question unless the monster they were looting were evil, or even neutral.

B) I'd make a shifty necromancer NPC who would offer them a level-appropriate hefty sum of cash, but give the players obvious reasons to be reluctant to sell the skeleton.

Halaster
2010-09-14, 12:13 PM
I'd say you have two options:
- reward their persistence and give them at least some gold. Problem: They'll just get weirder and weirder. "How much for that demon's liver?"
- probably better: give them a small amount for the horns from a collector, and have an NPC tell them that the bones are worthless or at best a few coppers to a knacker. After all, there's nothing special about minotaur bones, they're as good or bad as cow or human bones.

If the druid wants to use bone carving, well, that's a craft, I don't know the rules for that, but there ought to be some. Again, mino bones are as good as any.

Kelb_Panthera
2010-09-14, 12:13 PM
If you want to avoid this becoming a problem. Give them a pittance for the inanimate, partial skeleton. Not more than a handful of gold, and probably less than that.

JellyPooga
2010-09-14, 12:15 PM
I'm a new DM and I sent a minotaur at my group. When they killed it they took it's greataxe and gold as I expected, but they also tried to loot it's horns, (ok, I gave them a survival check, they cracked one but got both horns.)

Then the Druid in the group decided to keep going, trying to loot it's skull, and as much of it's skeleton as he could. He got decent roll so I gave him the skull and the torso, but said he destroyed the limbs.

Now I'm trying to figure out:
A.) What other weird things players might be looting out of my bugbears, ice elementals, and white dragon in the next session, and what to do about it. Should I have told them you can't loot a skeleton since this is supposed to be a good party? (Although the minotaur was hired by an NPC who was upsetting the balance of nature, thus the druid was pissed off. Also the druid does have bone carving as a skill.)

B.) How much a partial minotaur skeleton is worth, (including one intact and one cracked horn.)

Well pretty much every part of the Dragon is going to be (potentially) worth something to one wizard or another...finding a buyer cuold be a quest in and of itself, let alone preserving the various parts until said buyer can be found...

The value of a Minotaur skeleton? Not a great deal, I shouldn't think, unless he was a Half-Fiend Minotaur or otherwise exceptional. The best bits would likely be the horns and skull, but even those shouldn't be more than a couple of GP. As an ad hoc estimate, I'd probably value the whole skelton at no more than about 20gp, less 5 or 6 because it's not in good condition, less another 3 or 4 because it's incomplete and then halved because my merchants are cheapskates and another gp taken off because I'd want to discourage such flagrant idiocy...so I'd let my party sell it for about 3 to 4gp tops.

Oracle_Hunter
2010-09-14, 12:15 PM
I'd ask the Players why they bothered to dissect the body. If their reasoning is acceptable to you, then plan ahead for more of these sorts of encounters. If their reasoning is unacceptable, tell them straight up and they won't bother doing more of it.

There could be Alignment issues here, but I wouldn't get into them unless they start doing terrifying stuff (like vivisection).

Zaydos
2010-09-14, 12:15 PM
Well there are rules for looting dragon scales in the MM/DMG, and much more extensive ones for making things from dragon parts in the Draconomicon so you might want to look into that. Also a Dragon Magazine had an issue on "Power Components" for magic item creation and replaces XP costs, or even the Mw component of Mw weapons so you might could look into those.

Honestly for an incomplete/damage skeleton I'd say probably not much. The horns are probably worth the most, them and the heart (a traditional part of making potions of Bull's Strength).

lsfreak
2010-09-14, 12:16 PM
They're mutilating the body of a sapient creature. It would be like de-skeletonizing a bandit. I'd say that from now on, they need a good reason to do that, unless racism (especially against the 'monster' people) is commonplace (it often is).

As for price - probably worthless. Tell me, how many people are you know in America or Europe that are going to want a partially-complete wolf or bear skeleton? If certain parts of it are in good condition, a hunter/collector/taxidermist/museum curator might take it, but more than likely, it's pretty much worthless.

hamishspence
2010-09-14, 12:17 PM
Maybe there are collectors of exotic items?

A stuffed rarity (or a very well assembled and repaired skeletal rarity) might sell well to a fantasy museum.

Tamora Pierce's The Emperor Mage novel has an imperial university with large quantities of magically assembled dinosaur skeletons (and some stuffed prehistoric elephants).

Making for a good army when the heroine needs it.

Dr.Epic
2010-09-14, 12:17 PM
I'm a new DM and I sent a minotaur at my group. When they killed it they took it's greataxe and gold as I expected, but they also tried to loot it's horns, (ok, I gave them a survival check, they cracked one but got both horns.)

Then the Druid in the group decided to keep going, trying to loot it's skull, and as much of it's skeleton as he could. He got decent roll so I gave him the skull and the torso, but said he destroyed the limbs.

The druid wanted to tear a creature a part and sell its bones? That doesn't appear to be respecting nature. I would ask why and see if they could talk their way out of that. Also, they rolled good enough to get the torso but not the limbs. I would imagine the limbs would be easier to retrieve.


B.) How much a partial minotaur skeleton is worth, (including one intact and one cracked horn.)

I would assume not much. A complete skeleton could be reanimated as a skeleton. Bone golem (if they exist, not sure what book), but finding a buy is not going to be easy.

Zore
2010-09-14, 12:18 PM
Is animate dead a common spell in your world, and one the PCs have no objection to? If so whole corpses are probably worth a good chunk of change especially if they're from decently powerful races. It also gives you a direct way to regulate your players, make an authority that regulates the sale of bodies and body parts for obvious reasons.

Moginheden
2010-09-14, 12:18 PM
ok, I'll set the skeleton to be worth 50sp if they try to sell it, and make most people not want it (they are level 6) but where can I read up on bone carving? I'd like to know what kind of things the druid might be able to make, and what it would take.

The horns I'd expect would be more commonly used, is there an actual price for them somewhere?

hamishspence
2010-09-14, 12:20 PM
I would assume not much. A complete skeleton could be reanimated as a skeleton. Bone golem (if they exist, not sure what book), but finding a buy is not going to be easy.

They exist pre-3rd ed, and post-3rd ed (BECMI D&D had them, and 4E does) but I'm not sure if any were in a 3rd ed book.

Fang Golems in one of the later MMs were made of bones- but only long, pointed teeth.

Draconomicon has rules for using dragon parts to make more powerful magic items- including dragon bones.

Premier
2010-09-14, 12:25 PM
Now I'm trying to figure out:
A.) What other weird things players might be looting out of my bugbears, ice elementals, and white dragon in the next session, and what to do about it.

Once they figure out that NO, NPCs are NOT going to jsut buy random junk off of them, they'll stop doing it.


Should I have told them you can't loot a skeleton since this is supposed to be a good party? (Although the minotaur was hired by an NPC who was upsetting the balance of nature, thus the druid was pissed off. Also the druid does have bone carving as a skill.)

I fail to see the relevance of group alignment.


B.) How much a partial minotaur skeleton is worth, (including one intact and one cracked horn.)

The real question of is: who would WANT to buy one in the first place? The head with the horns, sure; a collector or - if they're lucky - an innkeeper might take a fancy to it as decoration. But this is not a computer "RPG" where you can haul your big bag of utter useless crap into town and automatically sell it at the shop.

- If they're going to a village or town, they won't find anyone willing to buy something like that. What would a peasant or a blacksmith do with a minotaur skeleton, especially a partial one?

- If you want to be really generous, then maybe a collector or a university might be interested, BUT... one, they're only going to be found in the largest cities of the known world, and two, they'll want a full one. And a partial one is not going to be, say, 75% useful to them so they'll pay 75%; a partial one is going to be 0% useful to them, so they won't buy.

- Also, how are they going to transport the thing? You can't just take the almost ful skeleton of something that's larger than a human and conveniently assume that it all fits in their pockets or in the unused spaces in the backpacks. Enforce some COMMON SENSE.

EDIT: - Oh, and carrying it around in the city on a cart is going to RAISE QUESTIONS from the City Guard. They're not going to be happy at the thought of a bunch of vagabonds stirring up the local monster population by hunting them: lots of trouble for the farmers and travellers, possibly even the prospect of monster raids against the city. And it's going to be THEIR problem, so they won't take too kindly to the troublemakers (a.k.a. the PCs). Also, some of the more ethically flexible guards at the gate might decide that the party's certain to make a tidy profit off this thing, and why, I just remembered there's a tax on importing trophies...

ashmanonar
2010-09-14, 12:28 PM
Option A: Reward them for their disgusting ideas. ingenuity.

Result: Be prepared for your PCs to become dealers and artisans in the viscerally terrifying arts. Dragonscales? No problem! Ogre spleens? ...Okay.

"I did hear that humans have a superb amygdala--Oh, are you still here?"

Option B: Reward them for their disgusting ideas ingenuity in stripping the sapient cowman of his bones and horns by sticking them with an arrest warrant in the nearest town. Generally, bones, skin, organs, and other various parts from a sapient creature require the murder of said creature.

"Murder's frowned on in these parts, friend. So's choppin' up the body and sellin' its bits and bobs."

Either option should give you the creep factor you're looking for. (Either your PCs become fleshdealers and creep the hell out of every NPC they meet, or your players realize just how creepy taking the parts off a dead humanoid is. Win-win!)

democritic
2010-09-14, 12:30 PM
Have the BBEG buy them off the party for a reasonable amount, for use in his BBE plan. You can have them recognize how integral they were to the plot when they recognize that the _________ is made out of assorted bones and has electricity arcing from it's two minotaur horns (one broken) atop it.

bokodasu
2010-09-14, 12:35 PM
Also, youtube is your friend here. Make your players watch some videos of, say, those beetles they use to clean skeletons at the Smithsonian and some of what happens to meat when it rots. Possibly a documentary on rat mummification. Oh! And especially that Mythbusters where they let the pigs rot in the car.

Then explain that that's what they're carrying around in their packs, and make them make fortitude saves against the stench daily, lower their CHA, and make them burn all their non-metal equipment that comes in contact with the... fluids.

It should cure them of trophy-hunting fairly quickly. (Or encourage them to put points in craft: taxidermy, but hey, that's all right then.)

Jack Zander
2010-09-14, 12:36 PM
A completely intact minotaur skeleton (or corpse) would be valuable, as a necromancer could animate that thing and have a nice mid-level minion. However, they've broken the hons, so it losses its gore attack, and the skeleton is not fully intact (read: destroyed) so its not even possible to animate anymore. The entire thing is worthless. At best they can grind the horns and bones for some material components which already have no value to them. Congratulate your PCs for wasting their time.

shadow_archmagi
2010-09-14, 12:43 PM
Collecting trophies from powerful mythical creatures is a traditional part of mythology.

I say that parts from more magical creatures should have some inherent power (Having a shard of ice from an ice elemental lets you hurl it into a large body of water and freeze the whole thing) or something.

Sometimes, things like Basalisk livers and whatnot should fetch a small pile of gold (10-30 coins) if the wizard's guild requests it.

If you can make the players happy by having them spend inordinate amounts of time on dissection, do so!

DanReiv
2010-09-14, 12:48 PM
Maybe some (weird) decoration, but then its limbless and hornless.

I'd say they now have a bunch of improvised weapons, and may carve objects from them, like fishing hooks, trophies, trinkets and such.

No real value here, who'd bought that ?

Also a moral point. Minotaurs are sentient humanoids and not mere animals, nobody objected this course of action ? (especially for such a measly benefit, couple of useless bones)

Telonius
2010-09-14, 12:51 PM
I'd suggest describing the skeleton with a particularly jagged gash where one of the players killed it. Let them sell it. The next time you fight a Necromancer, one of his minions is a minotaur skeleton with a particularly jagged gash.

"You wouldn't believe how easy it's been to find these things! Usually I have to skulk around for months just putting together a dwarf. But some adventurers have been flooding the market with this stuff. I mean, just look at the quality on that fibia! My only problem is keeping the rest of the Order from finding out about it. If they ever do, this place will be crawling with necromancers looking for a deal."

Shademan
2010-09-14, 12:53 PM
Horns: totally
skull: eh, some, but less without horns
rest of the bones: no

stuff that kinda WORK as TROPHIES should net them some silver

DanReiv
2010-09-14, 12:55 PM
Nice one :smallamused:

Also since its limbs and horn are missing maybe some sort of bone golem with distinctable features from the minos they killed is in order (like an hornless minotaur's head)

Liked the speech.

Ravens_cry
2010-09-14, 01:00 PM
If you can find a necromancer or golem forger who takes parts, you might get a few gold. Otherwise, sell it to an unscrupulous lye maker for a few copper.

Snake-Aes
2010-09-14, 01:46 PM
Unless you or a player have some personal problem with players scavenging bodies, I don't think you should just come and shut them from the option. But that does not seem to be the case anyway!

Dealing with creatures has sort of a double standard. It's perfectly fine to kill a cow for food, but not something intelligent? And what if you killed the cow because its spleen makes fireballs 10% stronger? Define whether or not it is fine, alignment-wise, to mess with bodies to make something useful out of them.
Hints: Alignments are not defined by culture or gods. They are universal and above everything. That doesn't change whether or not others will like it.
Generally, unless the players are messing with people with the purpose of getting "components", it shouldn't be a problem.
-------------------
Don't give it too much power or things will get out of hand.
An ice elemental's preserved spleen cools your drinks. This is good.
An ice elemental's preserved spleen freezes water. This is probably bad (players will start learning taxidermy to explode stuff)
-------------------
Market value is much more complicated than just selling to NPCs. A body is worth what people can make of it. Food? Its edible weight's worth of meat. Weaponcraft? Some silver for the better bones. Decoration? A spare bone or piece, will be worth a gold piece or two.

A full body is useful for few things: Decoration, Animation and Study being the core examples. Here you can expect 2 digits of gold coins, but not much more.

A rare creature won't be any more expensive as food unless it has some extraordinary characteristic, like feeding hundreds with a small bit, or being "so damn tasty wars are waged for a piece of this meal", but will certainly be more valuable to the right scholar or collector.
-------------------
They are transporting complicated stuff. Bodies rot, so they have to expend an effort in preserving those.
Small or larger creatures are heavy, and won't fit in backpacks. Characters without extradimensional space and/or a cart and a mule will have trouble transporting the corpses.
If the creature was sapient, your players can expect retaliation on the short or long term.


All in all, it's a nice idea to work with, just don't let it get out of hand.

BeholderSlayer
2010-09-14, 01:56 PM
-2 charisma for carrying it around :smallbiggrin:

Zaydos
2010-09-14, 01:57 PM
Dragon Magazine issue #317 had an article all about what you could make from cutting up monsters, with suggestions for extending on it, GP value by CR, and the DC to do so properly (Craft (Alchemy) or Survival), how long they retained their magical potency, and how to preserve them to prolong this (Gentle Repose was the main method, although BoVD has an orison version that only works on 1 organ).

Also Draconomicon has rules for making a bunch of things from dragons, even core has dragon scale armor and shields... so yes the rules do support hacking up sentient creatures for their body parts.

WarKitty
2010-09-14, 02:06 PM
To be fair, I made a strong argument with my last druid that "desecrating a body" like that is *exactly* what a druid would do. After all humanoids are just another part of nature, I don't see why you chop up cows all the time but get so upset over a minotaur just because it's more intelligent. It's not like intelligence confers some mystical moral value.

Marnath
2010-09-14, 02:15 PM
May I just chime in to say only an imbecile could damage the limbs but get the torso? Ribs are a lot more delicate than arms or legs, and they're all hooked together. I've seen a butcher work before and also seen my untrained father do the same thing, and anyone who takes the time to do it right(take 20) will definately get something chopped apart without damaging much of anything.

As to buyers? I wouldn't think a minotaur head would be worth anything without the corresponding humanoid body to prove it isn't a bull.

*edit unless we're saying a mino skull is easily differentiated from a bovine skull in which case, I'd see lots of people wanting it as a curiousity.

Project_Mayhem
2010-09-14, 02:20 PM
I'm of the general opinion that

A) other than the cool stuff like horns, nobody's going to buy it.

and

B) It's only an alignment issue if thy are going out of their way to murder things for their bodies.

Zeful
2010-09-14, 02:26 PM
A completely intact minotaur skeleton (or corpse) would be valuable, as a necromancer could animate that thing and have a nice mid-level minion. However, they've broken the hons, so it losses its gore attack, and the skeleton is not fully intact (read: destroyed) so its not even possible to animate anymore. The entire thing is worthless. At best they can grind the horns and bones for some material components which already have no value to them. Congratulate your PCs for wasting their time.

This. A preserved head would fetch some gold, the skull might be worth something to someone studying anatomy, but the body is only worth anything if it's undamaged and complete.

Oracle_Hunter
2010-09-14, 02:27 PM
It's not like intelligence confers some mystical moral value.
Er... it does.

"Good" implies altruism, respect for life, and a concern for the dignity of sentient beings. Good characters make personal sacrifices to help others.
While respect for life is absolute, Good characters need only be concerned for the dignity of sentient beings. You can read "dignity" in many ways, but chopping sentient beings up for kicks probably fails to show sufficient concern.

Druids are bound by the Nine Alignments System as much as anyone else. A Neutral (G/E Axis) Druid could very well espouse your belief, but a NG one could not. And even a Neutral (G/E Axis) Druid wouldn't support wontonly butchering Innocent life; although Innocent here may reasonably include animal life, at the character's discretion.

WarKitty
2010-09-14, 02:40 PM
Er... it does.

While respect for life is absolute, Good characters need only be concerned for the dignity of sentient beings. You can read "dignity" in many ways, but chopping sentient beings up for kicks probably fails to show sufficient concern.

Druids are bound by the Nine Alignments System as much as anyone else. A Neutral (G/E Axis) Druid could very well espouse your belief, but a NG one could not. And even a Neutral (G/E Axis) Druid wouldn't support wontonly butchering Innocent life; although Innocent here may reasonably include animal life, at the character's discretion.


Corpses don't have dignity. It's dead, it isn't sentient anymore. In fact it's an insult to a sentient being's dignity to attempt to unnaturally preserve the corpse instead of allowing it to return to and give back to nature.

Granted, this would then imply limits on what could be done to the bones. No trophies, and definitely no selling to necromancers or golem-makers or such types.

Oracle_Hunter
2010-09-14, 02:48 PM
Corpses don't have dignity. It's dead, it isn't sentient anymore. In fact it's an insult to a sentient being's dignity to attempt to unnaturally preserve the corpse instead of allowing it to return to and give back to nature.

Granted, this would then imply limits on what could be done to the bones. No trophies, and definitely no selling to necromancers or golem-makers or such types.
Well, I'd argue that the fact that most cultures (fantasy and IRL) have some manner of death-rite that is designed to honor/show respect for the person rather than the body indicates that the corpse is still considered the person even after the person has died. And, of course, bodies are still potentially "persons" what with Resurrection magic about.

Plus, we're talking about showing concern for the dignity of sentient beings; flatly stating that it's wrong for sentient beings to consider their corpses as themselves doesn't show a whole lot of concern.

All-in-all, I think it'd be hard for a NG Druid to go about harvesting sentients in the same manner they harvest animals. And, my main point, that sentience does provide a "mystical moral value" within D&D continues to stand :smallsmile:

WarKitty
2010-09-14, 02:52 PM
Well, I'd argue that the fact that most cultures (fantasy and IRL) have some manner of death-rite that is designed to honor/show respect for the person rather than the body indicates that the corpse is still considered the person even after the person has died. And, of course, bodies are still potentially "persons" what with Resurrection magic about.

Plus, we're talking about showing concern for the dignity of sentient beings; flatly stating that it's wrong for sentient beings to consider their corpses as themselves doesn't show a whole lot of concern.

All-in-all, I think it'd be hard for a NG Druid to go about harvesting sentients in the same manner they harvest animals. And, my main point, that sentience does provide a "mystical moral value" within D&D continues to stand :smallsmile:

I tend to consider a central tenent of druidism that civilization is frequently wrong in their concept of morality.

But in case you hadn't noticed I really really hate the alignment system. I always end up forced into things I think are plain stupid because that's what the game designers thought of as good.

hamishspence
2010-09-14, 02:53 PM
Hmm- is cruelty to nonsentients an evil act- on a "Evil implies hurting and oppressing others" and if you hurt and oppress something, even something nonsentient, without reasonable justification, it might be construed to be "acting in an evil fashion"?

How about "debasing the innocent for fun/profit"? After all an animal has no moral capacity in D&D- which might therefore make it "an innocent".

So, good and neutral characters might actually have to be more careful not to mistreat or abuse animals and the like- because they might qualify as "The Innocent"

An interesting possibility.

Oracle_Hunter
2010-09-14, 02:53 PM
I tend to consider a central tenent of druidism that civilization is frequently wrong in their concept of morality.

But in case you hadn't noticed I really really hate the alignment system. I always end up forced into things I think are plain stupid because that's what the game designers thought of as good.
Well, to be fair your character would make a fine Neutral Evil Druid :smallbiggrin:

EDIT: @Hamishspence - yeah, I hadn't thought about animal abuse but it fits. Good folks wouldn't abuse animals while Evil people would have no inherent qualms about doing so; fits pretty well with expectations if you ask me.

WarKitty
2010-09-14, 02:56 PM
Well, to be fair your character would make a fine Neutral Evil Druid :smallbiggrin:

Which is the problem. I tend to end up neutral-to-evil on the D&D scale, depending on what acts we're considering. A lot of it comes from my view on animals; I tend to accord animals far more moral status than many people.

In all seriousness, though, does it actually say that respect for the dead is part of a Good alignment? There are certainly cultures that believed the proper respect for dead bodies was to allow them to be eaten by wild animals. Along with a few where refusing to cannibalize the corpse was the height of disrespect.

hamishspence
2010-09-14, 03:00 PM
Good folks wouldn't abuse animals while Evil people would have no inherent qualms about doing so; fits pretty well with expectations if you ask me.

One of the common serial killer stereotypes is they start off abusing animals, before eventually moving on to people.

Not sure how realistic it is though.

You could have an NPC who has no qualms about abusing one section of "the innocent" (animals) in secret, but, at least at first, has serious qualms about harming other "innocents" to any major extent.

Marnath
2010-09-14, 03:00 PM
There are certainly cultures that believed the proper respect for dead bodies was to allow them to be eaten by wild animals. Along with a few where refusing to cannibalize the corpse was the height of disrespect.

The stumbling block here for you is probably that D&D is largely based off of english/american culture, which is a lot more about respecting people alive and dead than animals. I'd say more but I don't want to veer into politics on one of my usual derails.

hamishspence
2010-09-14, 03:03 PM
Some semi-good (or at least, ruled by good paladin leaders) D&D cultures, like Mulhorand in Faerun, practice necromancy to a limited extent- making their dead into mummy monsters.

So, creating undead might still be compatible with a nonevil D&D culture.

Not sure how the paladins put up with it though. Of course, one of the major paladin deities of Mulhorand, is basically undeadlike- Osiris.

Zaydos
2010-09-14, 03:03 PM
I've had a game where the PCs skinned the avatar of a banished and depowered aberration god (based off of the Hounds of Tindalos from the Cthulhu Mythos) and made items out of it. I think they might have taken a piece of another really magical creature and done the same.

I had another game where they were lugging around:
Pieces of a necrotic blob that had appeared in the Fey Woods (some of its blood, some of its flesh)
Vials of Dragon Blood.
And the blood from some other creature.
It was the CE (later NE, and eventually NG) dread necromancer who kept harvesting things... with the help of the good aligned druid (who went along with harvesting it but had some definite distaste for performing the act).
They traded/used most of the blood to get a drow to perform a demon sealing ritual on a PC who came back from the dead with a tag along demon (he asked for a tag along spirit, when asked what kind and given options he chose demon that would tell him to do evil acts... then he got upset there was a demon in his head telling him to commit evil...).

Snake-Aes
2010-09-14, 03:12 PM
I had another game where they were lugging around:
Pieces of a necrotic blob that had appeared in the Fey Woods (some of its blood, some of its flesh)
Vials of Dragon Blood.
stuff...

My character (and the other guy's, an (pf)artificer wizard) is immune to paralysis. When we fought in a mansion that had a colossal gelatinous cube, we scraped samples so now Aya has a Diminutive gelatinous cube pet :D
Our wiz also keeps a small sized vat with gelatinous cube in it. We use it as improvised poison and prank implement.

sciencepanda
2010-09-14, 03:12 PM
Create a taxidermist NPC who is willing to buy the stuff off of the party.

Have him continuously show up, seemingly by coincidence, always willing to buy odd body parts off the party.

Eventually reveal him to be a necromancy who is using all of these pieces for malicious purposes.

Oracle_Hunter
2010-09-14, 03:13 PM
In all seriousness, though, does it actually say that respect for the dead is part of a Good alignment? There are certainly cultures that believed the proper respect for dead bodies was to allow them to be eaten by wild animals. Along with a few where refusing to cannibalize the corpse was the height of disrespect.
It certainly does not, which is why I haven't spoken in absolutes, only probabilities.
Basically, the argument is that showing respect for the dead is an intrinsic part of the "dignity of sentient beings." No culture (IIRC) just throws corpses out as if they were trash - they have special rules for dealing with the death of an individual and what must be done with a corpse. Treating the corpse of a sentient being as no more than trash despite knowing that sentients, generally, treat them specially shows a lack of concern for the dignity of the now-dead sentient.

Now, this is not to say that Good people must give each sentient being they find a proper burial (by their or other cultures) but at the very least they should not take actions that they should know are disrespectful of that former sentient's corpse. So mounting heads on sticks for mockery and the like are not actions that Good creatures would take. However, leaving corpses where they fall or even just disposing of them without rancor (e.g burning, mass burial, etc.) are fully appropriate for anyone (though it is more typical of Neutrals than either Goods or Evils).

Additionally, beings treating enemy corpses as they'd treat their own is within Good guidelines - they'd be showing respect within their conception of the term. Cannibals, therefore, can ritualistically devour the corpses of their fallen enemies to "gain their power" or whatnot and still be Good; explictly hunting down sentients for sport or personal gain starts falling into more Neutral and Evil territories of course.
Yeah, that got long :smallredface:

WarKitty
2010-09-14, 03:14 PM
One of the common serial killer stereotypes is they start off abusing animals, before eventually moving on to people.

Not sure how realistic it is though.

You could have an NPC who has no qualms about abusing one section of "the innocent" (animals) in secret, but, at least at first, has serious qualms about harming other "innocents" to any major extent.

Quite, actually. I don't know about serial killers per se, but one of the biggest predictors of future spouse and child abusers is animal cruelty.


It certainly does not, which is why I haven't spoken in absolutes, only probabilities.
Basically, the argument is that showing respect for the dead is an intrinsic part of the "dignity of sentient beings." No culture (IIRC) just throws corpses out as if they were trash - they have special rules for dealing with the death of an individual and what must be done with a corpse. Treating the corpse of a sentient being as no more than trash despite knowing that sentients, generally, treat them specially shows a lack of concern for the dignity of the now-dead sentient.

Now, this is not to say that Good people must give each sentient being they find a proper burial (by their or other cultures) but at the very least they should not take actions that they should know are disrespectful of that former sentient's corpse. So mounting heads on sticks for mockery and the like are not actions that Good creatures would take. However, leaving corpses where they fall or even just disposing of them without rancor (e.g burning, mass burial, etc.) are fully appropriate for anyone (though it is more typical of Neutrals than either Goods or Evils).

Additionally, beings treating enemy corpses as they'd treat their own is within Good guidelines - they'd be showing respect within their conception of the term. Cannibals, therefore, can ritualistically devour the corpses of their fallen enemies to "gain their power" or whatnot and still be Good; explictly hunting down sentients for sport or personal gain starts falling into more Neutral and Evil territories of course.
Yeah, that got long :smallredface:

Yeah this is pretty much where my own personal morality and D&D morality start having issues. I tend to figure, whatever happens after death is, well, irrelevant, not to mention the fact that preserving corpses in large cemeteries with permanent monuments is a terrible waste of the limited resource that is land space. Marnath has a good point, a lot of D&D morality is based off traditional european/North american morality, and it doesn't always have a lot of room for other ways of approaching it. D&D's morality system IMHO is designed for a heroes-and-villains world, where you don't have to worry about whether it's ok to kill those orcs and take their stuff.

That and the Druid really doesn't fit that well within the alignment system in the first place.

hamishspence
2010-09-14, 03:15 PM
Create a taxidermist NPC who is willing to buy the stuff off of the party.

Have him continuously show up, seemingly by coincidence, always willing to buy odd body parts off the party.

Eventually reveal him to be a necromancy who is using all of these pieces for malicious purposes.

A transmuter specializing in Polymorph Any Object could play a similar role.


Quite, actually. I don't know about serial killers per se, but one of the biggest predictors of future spouse and child abusers is animal cruelty.

Might be an interesting dilemma for a paladin to run into a young NPC which is this- a character who is enough of a "harmer of the innocent" (animals, in this case) to qualify as evil- but has not yet moved on to people. What steps can they take, if the evildoer has broken no local law?

Hague
2010-09-14, 03:21 PM
Armok would be disgusted by this discussion! All bones are perfectly fine for carving into things. The minotaur bones can be made into a crown or mask that grants the wearer immunity to Maze spells or lets them discern where they are inside a labyrinth. I'd also let them use the bones as materials for masterwork components to be added to an object (the rules never said you can't have 40+ masterwork components built into your longsword, did they?) Perhaps a bone carver can make little masterwork charms to dangle from cords for every monster you've killed. A horn makes an excellent cup and you could make a magic item that turns the water or wine poured into it into a potion of heroism every day. The huge minotaur femur could be hardened with a spell and carved into a wicked axe or mace.

Also, the druid really wouldn't have a problem using all the bones. Now taking the bones and selling them for a profit is very sketchy, but using the bones themselves? Nah. Now, the druid probably should've used Gentle Repose and dragged the corpse back to be safely processed and used as rations for the druid, at least. I'd believe the druid would be loathe to waste perfectly good food.

lsfreak
2010-09-14, 03:34 PM
I tend to figure, whatever happens after death is, well, irrelevant, not to mention the fact that preserving corpses in large cemeteries with permanent monuments is a terrible waste of the limited resource that is land space.
Well, two things. One is you're assuming it's okay to violate tenants of another person's culture purely for the reason that it's not your culture. You have not considered that burial rites heal psychological damage for having their love one lost, and similar things. I'd agree that in purely theoretical discussions, what happens to a body is of no importance, the problem is that it could inflict severe damage on others if rites are not carried out.

Also, you're assuming bodies are buried. Look at Zoroastrian and Tibetan rights, that involve the body being stripped by vultures.

WarKitty
2010-09-14, 03:46 PM
Well, two things. One is you're assuming it's okay to violate tenants of another person's culture purely for the reason that it's not your culture. You have not considered that burial rites heal psychological damage for having their love one lost, and similar things. I'd agree that in purely theoretical discussions, what happens to a body is of no importance, the problem is that it could inflict severe damage on others if rites are not carried out.

Also, you're assuming bodies are buried. Look at Zoroastrian and Tibetan rights, that involve the body being stripped by vultures.

Well, since that is a real-world belief, I'd just say that was an extreme oversimplification. Of course if there's other things going on those would have to be taken into consideration. I've never really thought about it that much because, well, I have absolutely no control in real life over what happens to anyone's body.

HunterOfJello
2010-09-14, 04:30 PM
I see a big Druid issue in a Druid who wants to kill something and then sell its bones off to someone. If the bones aren't going to be used to create tools or serve a positive purpose, then it's unnatural to desecrate a creature's remains in that manner.

I don't think it's fall worthy, but if the PC continues unnatural behavior like that, then they might fall.

Marnath
2010-09-14, 04:57 PM
I see a big Druid issue in a Druid who wants to kill something and then sell its bones off to someone. If the bones aren't going to be used to create tools or serve a positive purpose, then it's unnatural to desecrate a creature's remains in that manner.

I don't think it's fall worthy, but if the PC continues unnatural behavior like that, then they might fall.

Druid =/= paladin. They don't fall. They can lose their spellcasting if they cease to revere nature, but that's such a broad thing as to be undoable.

dgnslyr
2010-09-14, 06:30 PM
Hrm, the horns might be worth a few GP at the most, and the partial skeleton would be similarly worthless. I'm sure there are some local recipes involving the parts of magical animals. Quite costly for the local farmer, something that they'd eat on a special occaision, but a piddling for an adventurer. Minotaur Bone Broth? Sounds pretty good. As for dragons, I'm pretty sure there are rules for dragonscale, which is valuable, and other parts are probably also worth something.

Randel
2010-09-14, 06:57 PM
My thoughts:

1). If the body is cut up enough to get the skeleton then is there any real way to tell if its a genuine minotaur skeleton? How do the buyers know that the PCs didn't just butcher a bull for its horns and skull and then grabbed a bunch of orc bones as well? If the legs (and hooves) are gone as well then it should be hard to tell the minotaur skeleton from a regular humanoid one.

Frankly, the hide of the minotaur sounds like it would be worth more (like a minotaur-skin rug or something).

I've read that lions are often sold on the black market because some people thing the heart of a lion is an aphordesiac or something (or its just rare and interesting) the sellers keep the whole lions body preserved and chilled when they make the sale so the buyers can be certain its a genuine lions heart (and not a pigs heart or something) and they remove it themselves. Then the sellers can sell the hide or teeth or whatever.

2). Minotaurs are intelligent beings, would anyone miss this guy enough to want to ressurect him? If so then how would they react to seeing his corpse mutilated like that? I mean, if the plaers just skinned him and took his horns that's one thing but removing his skeleton has a whole new level of dismemberment involved.

Imagine someone tracking them down because they can't ressurect one of their best hitmen and want to find out exactly where all the minotaurs bodyparts are.

3. Finding a buyer shouldn't be easy. Most people would maybe pay the same cost as cow bones or whatnot. People who actually need the bones of an intelligent monster would be necromancers or the like.

Sure, they might run into a little hunchback3ed lab assistant who says "Oh yess... a minotaur skull. That will do nissely, hehe. I'll pay you a little bit for it but if you can bring back the whole monster it will be much better. Hehe, the master will be pleased. Oh, and if you can find a brain then it would be just super. Preferably one from a powerful spellcaster. I'll pay 3,000 gp for a nice spellcaster brain."

Then after a few times of dealing with him then they find out that a gigantic five headed supermonster chimera is rampaging through the city and crushing all in its path.

4). Very few dead bodies are worth their weight in gold. The best way to get a good price for monster parts is to bring the whole monster in. However, whole monster corpses are heavy and bulky. If they start lugging around dead minotaurs then they may find that they don't have room to carry all the other loot they run into.

5). If they have some kind of craft skill then I'm sure they could make money off of it. If they sell the stuff as raw materials then they won't get much. If they turn the raw materials into stuff then they can get more and probably sell it easier.

Marnath
2010-09-14, 07:58 PM
My thoughts:

1). If the body is cut up enough to get the skeleton then is there any real way to tell if its a genuine minotaur skeleton? How do the buyers know that the PCs didn't just butcher a bull for its horns and skull and then grabbed a bunch of orc bones as well?

This is what I was thinking, but then I took another look at the picture in the monster manual, and decided their horns are way too big around to be mistaken for a bull.

Coidzor
2010-09-14, 10:49 PM
Wasn't there some kind of feat or skill trick that allowed the creation of totems or something from the bodies of slain enemies for aid in intimidating other future enemies?

Gave a gp price for the created talismans/fetishes, as well.

Talakeal
2010-09-14, 11:20 PM
Stripping a skeleton is hard work, and very time consuming. Museums have colonies of flesh eating beetles to do this work for them over time because it is simply too much effort to do by hand.

Also, skeletons aren't worth very much at all, and adventurers can be making far more money for that amount of time and effort. If your players really insist on looting everything like this just start enforcing encumbrance.

The Mentalist
2010-09-14, 11:31 PM
Stripping a skeleton is hard work, and very time consuming. Museums have colonies of flesh eating beetles to do this work for them over time because it is simply too much effort to do by hand.

Museums have beetles, I have homebrewed spells.


Also, skeletons aren't worth very much at all, and adventurers can be making far more money for that amount of time and effort. If your players really insist on looting everything like this just start enforcing encumbrance.

I agree with this.

To weigh in on things I don't think that the druid should be penalized for it. They eat meat? Use every part of the Buffalo (or Minotaur) they don't really need to see the body as anything sacred unlike most clerics. They wear leather armor too. Use the body, it's dead, it doesn't matter.

Randel
2010-09-15, 12:52 AM
Remember, every spell you use to clean the skeleton you intend to sell is a spell that you aren't using to protect your own tasty flesh from getting eaten by monsters.


Also, speaking as a person who has helped butcher farm animals, cutting up an animal is both time consuming and very messy. If you are cutting it up then the smell of blood will be in the air and you'll likely get alot of it on you if you aren't careful.

Thus, if the party is skinning and butchering the creatures they kill then they'll be cutting it up and the smell of blood and meat will be in the air for the rather long time they'll be working. If there are any creatures with a strong sense of smell nearby then they should notice (carnivores because they think dead bodies are yummy, herbivores because dead bodies means that whatever killed the poor guy might be nearby, and scavengers because they can eat the remains).

So, harvesting parts from a body is going to take time and attract attention from pretty much any intelligent or unintelligent creature in the area. Also, they'll need to get cleaned up afterwards to get the stench off or they'll be easy to pick up by scent or gross people out. A Prestidigitation effect should be able to clean the party up afterwards but that does mean you're using up spells (which could be used for other stuff... who knows if a Detect Magic or other cantrip could have been useful for spotting traps or similar later on instead of cleaning up unnecessary blood).

hamishspence
2010-09-15, 02:50 AM
Druid =/= paladin. They don't fall. They can lose their spellcasting if they cease to revere nature, but that's such a broad thing as to be undoable.

Or, if they teach the Druid Secret Language to anyone not a druid.

If in Faerun, violating their deity's tenets may also count.

According to FRCS, Faerun druids normally have to have a deity, though Champions of Ruin gives an example of a druid lich who has discovered how to access druid powers without a deity.

Marnath
2010-09-15, 10:33 PM
Or, if they teach the Druid Secret Language to anyone not a druid.

If in Faerun, violating their deity's tenets may also count.

According to FRCS, Faerun druids normally have to have a deity, though Champions of Ruin gives an example of a druid lich who has discovered how to access druid powers without a deity.

I know, my point was that looked like one of the paladin falls posts, and I wanted to point out how absurdly difficult it is to reach a point where you can't justify something based on a vow that encompasses everyone from hippie to eco-terrorist.

Coidzor
2010-09-15, 10:48 PM
Especially since druids have no obligation to humanoids. Which are what minotaurs are.

So yeah.


Remember, every spell you use to clean the skeleton you intend to sell is a spell that you aren't using to protect your own tasty flesh from getting eaten by monsters.

A Prestidigitation effect should be able to clean the party up afterwards but that does mean you're using up spells (which could be used for other stuff... who knows if a Detect Magic or other cantrip could have been useful for spotting traps or similar later on instead of cleaning up unnecessary blood).

Honestly, if they're doing this in the middle of a dungeon crawl or something, yeah, it's a waste of spells, but if it's the end of the day anyway, it's not exactly a sin to make use of one's left over spell slots.

Marnath
2010-09-15, 10:52 PM
Honestly, if they're doing this in the middle of a dungeon crawl or something, yeah, it's a waste of spells, but if it's the end of the day anyway, it's not exactly a sin to make use of one's left over spell slots.

Not to mention that not every adventurer has great common sense, most of them aren't going to be super tactical geniuses and won't consider wasting spells might cause their deaths.

Zen Master
2010-09-16, 02:51 AM
You can feed the bones to pigs. I bet a poor dirt farmer would trade them for a few apples.

Shenanigans
2010-09-16, 10:03 AM
So am I the only one who, upon reading this thread, envisioned a shady, trench coat-wearing figure standing on the street corner, saying "Pssst! Hey buddy,you want to buy a Minotaur skeleton?" while opening holding open the one side of the coat, displaying a collection of bones?

Abies
2010-09-16, 11:10 AM
You can feed the bones to pigs. I bet a poor dirt farmer would trade them for a few apples.

Why not just feed the pigs the apples?

Snake-Aes
2010-09-16, 11:11 AM
Why not just feed the pigs the apples?

Surplus? Apples + Bones > Apples + Apples.

Marnath
2010-09-16, 12:02 PM
Surplus? Apples + Bones > Apples + Apples.

This. I have to ask though, what are you going to do with the jawbone? They don't eat those, or at least I've never seen them do anything but push it off to the side along with the floating ribs...I guess they don't taste good. >.>

Worira
2010-09-16, 12:59 PM
Kill a thousand men, obviously.

Abies
2010-09-16, 01:08 PM
Kill a thousand men, obviously.

That only works with the jawbone of an ass (which has no doubt been filtered, so suffice to say, synonym for donkey). This is a Minotaur's jawbone, you could easily kill a million men with that.

As an aside, I find it amusing that more recent translations/interpretations of that story have seen fit to specify the donkey was already dead when Samson took the jawbone. Apparently some folks thought the imagery of the hero ripping a donkey's face off to kill folks with it was too disturbing.

oh wow no filter on that, that's reassuring

aeauseth
2010-09-16, 04:45 PM
Collecting monster parts isn't really part of core gameplay.

If you want to discourage it then offer little for the parts (say 1gp per CR). For example the party disects the CR12 dragon (using the appropriate skill) and they find 12g worth of dragon parts to sell at the local apothacary. These dragon parts would be about 10% of the total weight of the monster. So 40 lbs for a large dragon? And of course they can preserve (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/gentlerepose.htm) these parts, if not then drop the value in half.

If you like the idea of monster parts then increase the gp value as you see appropriate (maybe by a factor or 10 or 100). Give them some credit when crafting suitable items. So dragon parts gets you 25% off on crafting dragon armor becuase you already have most of the raw material.

If your a nasty DM the put in a swarm of parasites (beatles?) that emerge from the un-preserved parts in 1d4 days.

Is there a skill for disection? If not just use the appropriate Knowledge skill DC=10+HD. Maybe add a bonus for every 5 points over DC.

Tetrasodium
2010-09-16, 07:15 PM
ok, I'll set the skeleton to be worth 50sp if they try to sell it, and make most people not want it (they are level 6) but where can I read up on bone carving? I'd like to know what kind of things the druid might be able to make, and what it would take.

The horns I'd expect would be more commonly used, is there an actual price for them somewhere?

I can think of a headdress similar to this (http://www.cherokeespirits.com/bearskinheaddress.htm) for sorta kinda druidish outfit sort of thing, might look strange without the horns though. Anime and sometimes movies have people wearing an animal's skull/partial head as a headdress/hat sort of thing, could be the player's inspiration. I guess it might be possible to make a flute/ocarina/wind instrument perhaps? The druid could probably come up with convincing things to use the various bones for, that whole no-metal armor & weapons bit helps give even better weight...

of course it depends on what he does with it... weapons, a magical headdress, or even just a decorative one, might be just fine and have the whole "yes, we killed him and did things to his body... we recognized how powerful a warrior he was and wanted to honor him in battle somehow" type excuse if anyone ever comes to inquire about their associate/friend/relative/etc. A chamber pot is almost certain to attract the attention of someone or something displeased with that fact however, there aren't too many ways to weasel out of that one even if their only involvement is to sell it to someone with a grudge against minotaurs.

Coidzor
2010-09-16, 07:20 PM
Is there a skill for disection? If not just use the appropriate Knowledge skill DC=10+HD. Maybe add a bonus for every 5 points over DC.

I'd roll it in with Profession: Taxidermist or Butcher.

Marnath
2010-09-16, 08:50 PM
For example the party disects the CR12 dragon (using the appropriate skill) and they find 12g worth of dragon parts to sell at

items. So dragon parts gets you 25% off on crafting dragon armor becuase you already have most of the raw material.


Lol wut? there are rules for making armor from dragon scales/hide. That stuff is more valuable than that by a lot. And it would be more like 75% or 100% off the price because you have all of the material, and may or may not have the required craft skill yourself.

ericgrau
2010-09-16, 11:42 PM
Ya crafting rules alone where materials cost 1/3 of the final armor would peg the dragon hide at much higher than that. But they should get less unless they skin the dragon before selling.

For skeletons/zombies I'd guess around a similar price to a summon monster scroll, minus the material component or 0.8 x 0.8 x (25 gp x HD x (HD - 1) - 25 gp x HD) / 2 = 8 gp x HD x (HD - 2). Or 0.8 x 0.8 x (25 gp x HD x (HD - 1) - 50 gp x HD) / 2 = 8 x HD x (HD - 3) if it's outside of the HD. The 0.8 is b/c the CR of skeletons is about 80% of 1/2 the HD intead of simply 1/2 the HD. So a CR 3 ogre with 4 HD might be worth 8 x 4 x 2 = 64 gp if fully intact. Partial skeletons are probably worthless, and a bag of bones that needs to be re-arranged probably isn't worth as much. The ogre normally carries 900 gp worth of treasure, so if the PCs go through all that trouble then giving them another 64 gp isn't a big deal. A CR 20 dragon with 30 HD would yield 8 x 30 x 27 = 6,480 gp. A typical CR 20 encounter has 80,000 gp and a dragon 240,000 gp, so again it's not that big of a deal if the PCs go through the phenomenal effort of preserving and transporting it in one piece all the way to a buyer (or re-assembling it later).

The undead obviously last longer than a summoned monster, but at least that gives a ballpark figure that seems to be level appropriate. You can adjust it however you want, changing "8" to a different number.

Ya, the whole necromancy is evil bit adds more complication depending on how you handle it in your campaign. That's another topic.

Zen Master
2010-09-17, 01:55 AM
Lol wut? there are rules for making armor from dragon scales/hide. That stuff is more valuable than that by a lot. And it would be more like 75% or 100% off the price because you have all of the material, and may or may not have the required craft skill yourself.

So what are you saying? The one armor smith in the kingdom highly skilled enough to work dragonskin is going to do it for free if you have the materials?

I think 25% would be pretty accurate. Typically, material costs for manufacturing factor in at something like 10%-25% of the total cost. The rest is man hours.

Not counting stuff made in China. Is this a chinese armor smith? =)

Mark Hall
2010-09-17, 02:13 PM
It somewhat depends upon the group, but there's few things to keep in mind.

1) If the group is good, who are they going to be selling this to? I mean, there's not a huge call for skeletons amongst the pure and righteous, and even neutral people may be wary of selling a lot to Creepy McNecropants.

2) The trade in some of this may be illegal. Even if they're not nice, being known as the person to get bones from is a bad idea. Trade in necromantic components is usually frowned upon; even if they're not always grabbing something necromantic, it's not the rep you want.

Truthfully? I'd just run with it. If they want to start selling body parts, let them. Occasionally make it an issue, but let it be a revenue stream for the party, and start guestimating prices, based on the HD and frequency of the target, and their magical abilities.

Marnath
2010-09-18, 10:44 AM
So what are you saying? The one armor smith in the kingdom highly skilled enough to work dragonskin is going to do it for free if you have the materials?

I think 25% would be pretty accurate. Typically, material costs for manufacturing factor in at something like 10%-25% of the total cost. The rest is man hours.

Not counting stuff made in China. Is this a chinese armor smith? =)

Noo, I'm saying some PC's take craft skills. You don't have to pay yourself.