Delvers love loot. Players seem to love harvesting monster parts are loot.
The problem my players have is a mix of the following:
- lack of meta-game knowledge of what's valuable and of the relevant rules (Dead Monster Bits, Exploits, p. 24)
- lack of in-game knowledge of what's valuable;
- lack of proper skills (Surgery, Alchemy, Physiology, etc.);
- lack of proper tools (using swords, axes, and knives to do the work of surgical tools, scrapers, and alchemy kits);
- determination to take and sell bits that aren't especially valuable as if they were;
- a tendency to hack monsters to well past -5xHP and often past -10xHP, decapitate them, burn them, kill them with alchemist's fire; lightning; and brutal skull hits; and then hope to carefully harvest full-value internal organs and skin.
Add that to random guesswork ("I'm sure the legs of a Death Brain are valuable!" or "Take every single part of this dragon back home, every ounce is salable" or "I'm sure people want to eat owlbear meat from that one we killed with explosive spells") and what do you get?
What I get is a lot of PCs taking random monster bits home and trying to sell them.
I'd like to simultaneously punish their lack of the proper skills (and unwillingness to try them) and excessive "kill it past death" methods of pre-harvesting murder and reward their efforts.
So why not use the Scrap rules?
Dead Monster Bits
As written, but add this to the end of Mundane Parts:
Delvers may try to sell any sort of monster bits in town, even those not especially prized. A Naturalist or appropriate Survival roll will allow the PCs to extract the bits they want without destroying them; at a -1 to -5 for inappropriate tools, excessive damage to the corpses, use of fire or corrosion damage, etc. Success means they gather the bits they want - if choosing at random, this will be 1dx10% of the weight of the intact corpse. Failure means they aren't able to gather anything useful. Critical failure means what they have appears valuable, but is damaged beyond sale, and they may be contaminated with bits that attract burrowing grubs, plague flies, carrion-eating corrosive cave snails, attacks by the dreaded leaping ethereal dungeon shark, etc.
To sell the bits in town, make one Merchant or Cooking roll at the end of the adventure. Success means someone wants those bits for something (better not to ask why); price is $1dx10 per 100 pounds of material. Take it or leave it, and the material will spoil before you get another buyer!
Heh. So, worth the try, sort of. And you may choose the right bits, and make the right rolls. You're still better off actually using your skills, and probably better off leaving the dead monster where it is. Just because something has teeth and skin doesn't mean its teeth and skin are valuable loot. Bring back roadkill opossum bits and badger teeth and deer feet from your next hike and try to sell them.