November 9, 2008: A contractor found $182,000 dating back to the Great Depression when tearing down a bathroom wall, but because he couldn't agree with the home owner how to distribute the money, the case landed in court and the heirs of the person who stashed the money demanded shares as well. As a result, both the contractor and the home owner ended up with only a fraction of the money after paying the legal fees.
Game and Story Use
- Player characters, especially in a fantasy setting, might not pay attention to the legal niceties of whom the money and treasure they looted actually belongs to. Try to hit them with a lawsuit - or other legal meddling by the authorities - sometime:
- The ruin they looted once belonged to a certain aristocratic family that lost their property to orc raids. But they still have the legal claim - and so anything taken out of these ruins belongs to them.
- The bandits they defeated recently raided a rich merchant caravan. Now the merchant caravan wants the loot they have taken back.
- Depending on the circumstances, the exact demands may vary. The aggrieved party may demand it all back, may consent to giving the PCs a "finder's fee", split the loot, or agree to leave them most of the loot for an unspecified favor or two.
- The behavior of the PCs will likely play a significant role in these demands.
- If the other group is wise, they will likely point out that they could demand more from the PCs, but are willing to drop parts of the demands to maintain good relations with the PCs (who might be local heroes).
- The group with the demands might try to mollify the PCs with other favors or a job offer in exchange for the loot.