[RPG] How to give strong weapons to enemies without the players looting them


If I give an enemy NPC a Meltagun in combat, nothing prevents the players from taking the weapon after they kill him, which leads to the inevitable snowballing: they get stronger, I need stronger enemies, they loot stronger enemies and so on.

How do I prevent this from happening without lame methods such as self destructing weapons, fleeing enemies or simply not allowing them to loot?

Best Answer

I had a group of 4 PCs taken down by two NPCs wielding Power Axes, light armour. One PC named Garret had Power Armor and full health with a man-portable lascannon. I think his BS was 70 and he was famous for taking down several tanks and even War-Walkers.

Another time I had a first time player have a demon intrude on his ship the first time he ever entered the warp. I decided to simply not tell him, having the demon hide amoungst the crew. However he wanted to expiriment with his navigator power, 'Gaze into the abyss', and happened to reveal the demon. I decided the teach him a lesson about this game, by having him die, spawning Warp Predator (Ebon Geist) whom has killed many good players (and has no weapon).

My plans were ruined when he passed the fear test and, with a pistol, scored 3 Righteous Furries and did something like 100 damage.

Just let the players play, I say. The dice will make the decision in the end. It's better when players blame the dice anyway.