The actions of player characters should have consequences. This is one of the things that makes or breaks a game of Dungeons and Dragons. Combat rules handle impose consequences for fighting in terms of damage and resource consumption. The Dungeon Master is responsible for imposing consequences on a larger scale. Right now, I’m particularly interested in the consequences of salvage.
Here are the general consequences I would impose on PCs for harvesting materials from monsters they have killed. As a general rule the consequences only arise when other intelligent beings are aware of the party’s actions. This could happen either through recognizing the products of harvesting or direct reports or rumors of the party’s actions.
Consequences: Rules of Thumb
- Any creature with an Intelligence 8 or above will respond negatively to PCs that have harvested/salvaged the body parts of creatures of the same type. Without any mitigating factors, they will be hostile.
- Lawful beings and societies (good or evil) will respond negatively to PCs that have harvested body parts of any creatures that are members of the society. Transgressors should expect hostility from individuals, and law enforcement actions to be taken against them.
- Good beings and societies will respond negatively to PCs that have harvested body parts of any creatures that are members of the society. Transgressors should expect hostility from individuals up to and including violence.
- Chaotic beings and societies will take a negative view of the practice of harvesting parts from intelligent creatures, regardless of alignment. This act violates the value chaotic creatures place on individual liberty. They will respond with distrust and ostracism, but not necessarily hostility.
- Creatures with noble backgrounds will generally take a negative view of PCs involved in harvesting the body parts of other creatures. This is in keeping with how they would see any other low-status individual as being uncouth.