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BRC
2010-09-13, 01:56 PM
Iíd like to discuss the Magic Item Shop, you know the one. The one that stocks every item, from potions of CLW to +5 Gnomebane Dire Flails, all at exact DMG prices. The one that, no questions asked, buys any items, art objects, gemstones, dragon eyes, or whatever else the PCís need to unload. And they always have enough gold on hand to buy it all. It shows up in any town, village, or hamlet, no matter how impoverished, terrorized by nearbye ogres, or oppressed by an evil empire. Less a place than an idea, you rarely roleplay the PCís coming in and saying ďHi, Iíve got this gem-encrusted statue here to sell, and Iím looking to buy a helmet that lets me see invisible things, and also shoots lasersĒ, and being told to take the statue to the desk over there labeled ďSale/ExchangeĒ, and that helmets are in aisle 2.
We use this for a reason, itís easy and convenient. You donít want to spend a session trying to find somebody to sell you a +2 sword, you want to spend it killing things with that sword. Similarly, you donít want to have to find somebody to buy that tapestry for the DMG price, you just want to write how much gold you got on your character sheet.

But, does anybody here have experience with other methods of handling this. Do DMís roll up the stock of a given magic item shop, make you find that dwarven hermit who lives up a mountain and is the only one skilled enough to make that +4 sword you want? Would you rather play in a setting where that mythical shop is readily available around every corner, or one where turning your gold into useful items could be an adventure in of itself?

shiram
2010-09-13, 02:02 PM
I am planning a 3.5 campaign and i am trying to think up a way to make the magic shop interesting.

I will add a Wirt-like( From Diablo) NPC, basically you can buy magic items from him, but there is an entry fee. Also items are magical but not identified... so there is risk, and the items will have a rounded down average cost.

Anyways i am still thinkering, but i am working on a spreadsheet so that items can be rolled with a d100 roll as well.

Paladineyddi
2010-09-13, 02:04 PM
In my group magic is supposed to be a bit mysterious
so yes we go to that big mountain to look for that dwarf who can make a huge blinging +4 sword called gnomeeater

having a magic shop like you describe is sort of like watching a movie get really immersed and then somebody comes along every 5 minutes and shatters the TV with a hammer

shadow_archmagi
2010-09-13, 02:05 PM
99% of "Magic Item Shops" in my games have existed only in player's backstories, because they only accept WBL and not treasure gained ingame.



Of course, sometimes I will have a merchant approach the PCs with a choice of two or three items I think will be nifty, and let them bicker over which one is the key to the next puzzle.

SigCorps
2010-09-13, 02:06 PM
Usually you only find the more common magics in the shops. Low level scrolls, potions, maybe a few wands and wonderous items. Not going to find that +4 vorpal blade though. For that head up the mountain.

Tyndmyr
2010-09-13, 02:09 PM
Iíd like to discuss the Magic Item Shop, you know the one. The one that stocks every item, from potions of CLW to +5 Gnomebane Dire Flails, all at exact DMG prices. The one that, no questions asked, buys any items, art objects, gemstones, dragon eyes, or whatever else the PCís need to unload. And they always have enough gold on hand to buy it all. ...make you find that dwarven hermit who lives up a mountain and is the only one skilled enough to make that +4 sword you want? Would you rather play in a setting where that mythical shop is readily available around every corner, or one where turning your gold into useful items could be an adventure in of itself?

Neither. The idea of having to do an entire adventure for the fighter to get a moderate upgrade seems less than fantastic.

It also seems ridiculous that the best magical items are available only from some loner who apparently doesn't really want to do business. More populous places have more things for sale, and better things. This is actually in the rules, and is remarkably realistic.

Snake-Aes
2010-09-13, 02:17 PM
In my Long group there are thresholds. Items worth up to a few thousands are easy to sell/buy in an appropriately large settlement. For really expensive stuff (say, a +4 weapon), you'll have only one or two places where you can find those without a big deal (for example, the freaking flying city that connects worlds and lives from its commerce). For the REALLY big stuff? You'll have a quest's worth of finding a buyer or seller.

Within dm discretion, items of the expensive kind require a couple checks while the group spends their day off. We enjoy this process.

Ajadea
2010-09-13, 02:20 PM
In my magic-restricted worlds, you make do with the rusty old +2 keen shortsword with the pink pompoms on the hilt, or you run around with the +1 weapon, which may or may not have a weak enchantment (one of those with a +1 bonus price) on it.

In the 'magic is common' worlds, there IS a magic item mart. Try to steal ANYTHING and the owner, a high level caster, kills you or sics his/her iron golems on you. Fun. It's in the big metropolis, and yes, you have to go there yourselves, and no, he doesn't accept dragon eyeballs and old statues as proper payment, though dragonhide works.

If you're in the middle of nowhere, then yeah, no. The adepts at the temple can make you low-level scrolls and potions!

Schylerwalker
2010-09-13, 02:22 PM
Even in small towns, I usually have at the very least a 1st level adept who can make scrolls of cure light wounds. In larger towns, you have wizards with a small shop who sell scrolls, potions, and minor wondrous and alchemical items. Then there's temples where you can buy varying magic items for a modest "donation."

I wouldn't be surprised, for example, if there were guys at a Temple of Moradin with Craft Magic Arms and Armor, or a guy at a Temple of Boccob who could make staffs and rods and whatnot. It shouldn't just be "What level the PC's are," but also "Where the PC's are, and what the area they're in is like."

Zaydos
2010-09-13, 02:23 PM
In one campaign I had:
A kind of cranky old mage that ran a magic shop (ask and it might be there). Met the PCs when they were investigating him for suspected murder, he had a staff of disintegration and they decided not to mess with him. Sold odd items mostly.
A traveling goblin artificer who probably had the most "whatever you want" inventory in the setting, but they only bought dragon eggs from him.
Connections via the world spanning anti-aberration organization they were in that let them order magic items from the mages that worked for the organization, although that took time.

Edit: And now I want to put a magical Wal-Mart in a game.

BRC
2010-09-13, 02:29 PM
Usually you only find the more common magics in the shops. Low level scrolls, potions, maybe a few wands and wonderous items. Not going to find that +4 vorpal blade though. For that head up the mountain.
Which brings up an interesting points, higher level play.

Your standard town magic item shop can stock a couple +1 weapons and suit of armor, a shelf of low-level potions and scrolls, maybe a few wondrous items., and this is fine for a low-level party.

However, once the party gets to higher level, when the contents of that shop become useless. When the loot has been divided, and it's time to go shopping, does the Fighter have to go to that dwarven hermit to buy a better sword while the wizard needs to persuade the arcane university to part with their high-level scrolls. Does the party head to the four corners of the earth between each adventure to get the equipment they need. Even if there is no more monsters between them and the item in question, there is still the matter of distance.


Neither. The idea of having to do an entire adventure for the fighter to get a moderate upgrade seems less than fantastic.

It also seems ridiculous that the best magical items are available only from some loner who apparently doesn't really want to do business. More populous places have more things for sale, and better things. This is actually in the rules, and is remarkably realistic.
okay, so anything the PC's need can be found in the Big City. Makes sense, such places are a center of commerce, if I had a magic sword to sell I'd take it there.

However, such an arrangement can still be problematic. The PC's are waaay out there in the wilderness, can they afford to take a couple months to go on a shopping trip. Does the DM just say "You head back to the city without incident, then return to wherever you were before"?
(I'm being the devil's advocate here).

Really, this is about opportunity vs Convenience. By limiting which items the PC's have access to you can make things much more fun, it opens up more potential for gameplay, can make things more challenging. If you don't limit their access to items, either with the theoretical magic item shop described in the OP, or by handwaving lengthy trips to and from urban centers, you streamline gameplay, but lose that opportunity. The last campaign I played was a zombie-apocalypse type affair, civilization was collapsed, and there were dangers everywhere. One adventure consisted of us breaking into a dwarven noble's house in order to find enough diamonds to resurrect fallen teammates, and we had fun with that. My character was an Archivist, and any time I got the opportunity to loot some scrolls my eyes lit up. Any other campaign and I would have taken that for granted. Any scrolls I find would just be scrolls I wouldn't have to buy later.


And here comes another question, must a campaign be all or nothing. Unlimited access or limited.
Could a DM let the party make those shopping trips to the big city without incident six times, and then throw in a complication the 7th time? As I player, I would find that frustrating, like the DM was infringing on my rightful access to magic items.

aeauseth
2010-09-13, 02:36 PM
I'd caution against roleplaying too much with the buying/selling of items. I'm currently playing with a new DM (new to me, been a DM awhile) that likes to roleplay EVERYTHING. He does a fantastic job with the storyline and characters, but in one case it took 2+ hours to buy/sell items. Our VoP character might as well gone home. The rest of us waited our turn until the DM got to use so we could interact with the shops.

DND is about roleplaying and rolling dice, not shopping. Try to keep any in-game shopping time down to a minimum.

What works well in my previous campaigns? Do shopping leveling off-line, between sessions, limited to no rolplaying with shopkeeps. Shackled City had a pre made store with 2d8 days of waiting to get something imported. Another required DC checks & guild membership to purchase high powered guild related items.

Skorj
2010-09-13, 02:50 PM
I always have three tiers of shops when I DM, because realistically you can't sell magic items unless you are powerful enough to keep potential customers from stealing from you!
Low-level items are available from anywhere there's civilization - any town, occasional wandering merchants through villages, etc.
Mid-level items are available in cities, and anywhere mages would gather - the arcane university bookstore, for example.
High-level items are only to be found in invitation-only shops, which you might have to quest to build favor with (preferably before you reach high level), because it's really hard to keep a high-level D&D Wizard from robbing you, short of running your magic shop from an invitiation-only demiplane or something like that. You will need to do something to convince the high-level shops that you're worth taking the risk of doing business with.

Tyndmyr
2010-09-13, 02:56 PM
okay, so anything the PC's need can be found in the Big City. Makes sense, such places are a center of commerce, if I had a magic sword to sell I'd take it there.

However, such an arrangement can still be problematic. The PC's are waaay out there in the wilderness, can they afford to take a couple months to go on a shopping trip. Does the DM just say "You head back to the city without incident, then return to wherever you were before"?
(I'm being the devil's advocate here).

Well, Im generally DMing. Once they have access to Teleport, this is indeed what happens. Before then, it happens when they make it happen.

They're aware of the nature of what they've looted, in a general sense, and usually have a rough idea as to it's value. They're also aware that pothole towns have a lack of gp there. Whenever they feel it necessary to make the effort to go there, they can. Generally, they won't bother until it's a good stash of loot or they run low on capacity.

A good thing too. Shopping trips eat through gameplay time like mad, and the more you roleplay it out, the more it does so. The tale of "how I got 15% off a +1 sword" generally isn't a great one. Sure, roleplaying can be fun, but it's best to gloss over the mundane aspects of life. This is why PCs never, ever have to visit the bathroom unless it's dramatically appropriate.


And here comes another question, must a campaign be all or nothing. Unlimited access or limited.
Could a DM let the party make those shopping trips to the big city without incident six times, and then throw in a complication the 7th time? As I player, I would find that frustrating, like the DM was infringing on my rightful access to magic items.

If it makes sense, sure. If the town you normally visit gets overran by the invaders from X that you failed to stop, well, such is life. It shouldn't be about the DM preventing the players from getting magical items. It should be about the repercussions of in game events.

SigCorps
2010-09-13, 03:25 PM
Aye in high level play, convenience usually trumps over "reality". My players might have to head to the wizards college to get that specialty item or to sell one, but thats a 2 minute side bar in game most of the time.

Snake-Aes
2010-09-13, 03:29 PM
Aye in high level play, convenience usually trumps over "reality". My players might have to head to the wizards college to get that specialty item or to sell one, but thats a 2 minute side bar in game most of the time.

Well, if trading is done mostly offscreen, it doesn't "have" to break reality. After a while your contact network does improve!

SigCorps
2010-09-13, 03:44 PM
Aye, they do get better, you may not be buying from the shop, but the guy running it might know a buyer, or seller of what you need.
But a shop with a stand full of +5 swords is just a tad unrealistic.

Schylerwalker
2010-09-13, 03:46 PM
Well, could you imagine how long it would take to buy a +5 sword anyways? Isn't that 50,000 gp? A thousand POUNDS of gold? Sure, you could have a bag of holding or three, but that must be one patient shop owner, as you pull out handful after handful of gold to buy this metal stick. And if you don't have a bag of holding? Wheelbarrows, my friend. Wheelbarrows.

Tyndmyr
2010-09-13, 03:53 PM
but that must be one patient shop owner, as you pull out handful after handful of gold to buy this metal stick. And if you don't have a bag of holding? Wheelbarrows, my friend. Wheelbarrows.

Why would this patience be unusual?

Do shopkeepers hate players lugging in wheelbarrows filled with gold to their shop or something? In my world, they would be rubbing their hands in glee.

Schylerwalker
2010-09-13, 04:00 PM
Do you have any idea how long it would take to count out 50,000 gold pieces?

Tyndmyr
2010-09-13, 04:02 PM
That's what scales are for, my friend.

Also, we have PP and jewels, for once GP are too unwieldy.

tyckspoon
2010-09-13, 04:11 PM
Why would this patience be unusual?

Do shopkeepers hate players lugging in wheelbarrows filled with gold to their shop or something? In my world, they would be rubbing their hands in glee.

About as much as real-world merchants enjoy having big-ticket items paid for in change, I suspect. It's not that they're unhappy about making the sale... they'd just really prefer you paid in some more convenient and more readily negotiable form, be it a credit card, check, or, in a fantasy world, perhaps a small sack full of precious stones or a letter of deposit from a bank (D&D tends toward mid-late Renaissance in its social structure. If you can have a 100k+ population city that supports magic item shops.. you can dang well have banks that will be happy to hold your piles of gold.) When you come in with the sack'o'gold they have to very carefully count to make sure you're actually paying the full price (gods help you if you lose count on GP 15,602 of 50,000) and then they have to figure out wth to actually *do* with that much gold. And hope the next person through the door doesn't just mug it out of them.

Cieyrin
2010-09-13, 04:26 PM
About as much as real-world merchants enjoy having big-ticket items paid for in change, I suspect. It's not that they're unhappy about making the sale... they'd just really prefer you paid in some more convenient and more readily negotiable form, be it a credit card, check, or, in a fantasy world, perhaps a small sack full of precious stones or a letter of deposit from a bank (D&D tends toward mid-late Renaissance in its social structure. If you can have a 100k+ population city that supports magic item shops.. you can dang well have banks that will be happy to hold your piles of gold.) When you come in with the sack'o'gold they have to very carefully count to make sure you're actually paying the full price (gods help you if you lose count on GP 15,602 of 50,000) and then they have to figure out wth to actually *do* with that much gold. And hope the next person through the door doesn't just mug it out of them.

I believe there are cantrips for counting out coins and whatnot, so I think that's not exactly the biggest issue here so much as the security of the location and what you do if customers get belligerent and try to take advantage of you and your shop.

Oracle_Hunter
2010-09-13, 04:41 PM
For D&D3.x games I recommend having a Magic Item Shop of some sort. Don't worry about items lists and so forth - just make someplace where people can convert wealth into magic as per the price guide in the DMG.

This can range from The Bazaar at Deva (a dimension-wide shoping district run by master merchants who can get anything) to The Magic Pond (a sentient and enchanted pond that accepts valuables and awards magical items) but you need something to keep the non-casters running. The game is simply not designed to support folks without magical healing; additionally, non-casters need large amounts of magic-item support to keep up with casters in mid-to-late game play.

For D&D4 games I prefer to include appropriate (if not optimal) magical items in adventure loot as per the DMG and to provide known areas where Ritualists of given power-levels are available to accept components or valuables to create desired goods. Magic Item Marts are neither necessary nor wise when items can be disenchanted into more portable (and concealable!) Residuum and sufficiently skilled Ritualists can produce items on demand. Finding these Ritualists can range from the trivial (e.g. low-Heroic stuff in a major city) to adventures in their own right (e.g. traveling to the City of Brass).

SigCorps
2010-09-13, 04:42 PM
It would be more along the lines of bartering for it, but since that really bogs down play we use the gp conversion and throw a lot of logic out the window. It is a game though so we can allow that.

JonestheSpy
2010-09-13, 04:46 PM
Liking low-magic games, I'm pretty dead-set against MagicMart, though the odd little shops selling interesting low-level curios are okay. An alchemist selling poison antidotes, Soveriegn Glue, and Universal Solvent, is fine; walking in picking out +5 swords with custom enchantment combos is a big no way.

Really, for high level play it's pretty basic - the DM spends some time and planning planting magic treasures the players will find interesting and want to keep, instead of viewing magic as just another trade commodity to be cashed in ASAP.

The challenge then becomes giving players something to do with their gold. Bilbo went on one big adventure then retired comfortably. Folks like Conan and the Gray Mouser blow through their treasure on wine women, and song - which is fine if your players want to play it that way, but it's probably not too cool for the DM to simply announce "After 3 weeks of non-stop partying you're broke again". Back in AD&D players had the goal of building a keep at high enough level to encourage them to save up and value their imaginary gold, so something similar could work.

SigCorps
2010-09-13, 04:55 PM
Keep building, aye there is that. Or build and run a tavern.

Yuki Akuma
2010-09-13, 04:55 PM
When the PCs are a sufficiently high level where nothing in the local magic shop is good enough, they Plane Shift to Sigil and shop there.

some guy
2010-09-13, 04:56 PM
Usely I don't play out shopping and bartering. If I notice that a player wants to roleplay it a bit I go along.

Spoiler for details about magic item dispersion in my game:
In my campaign, the players started at level 1 and are now currently level 9. The travel in a fixed area with 3 large cities.
The largest city does not stock items with a value over 10.000 gp (one magic shop, few temples and other things spread out).
The hidden gnome city has fewer magic items, but possibly with a higher value. The last city has only few magic items with a low value.
The towns spread between these cities don't sell magic items (there might be one in possession of certain persons). They might not even sell some curious things like thunderstones and whatnot. Also, somewhere in the region there's a mad magic dwarf hidden in a strange hill selling custom magic armor and weapons (wich could be of a high value).

So yeah, there are restrictions in my campaign, but with a little effort my players can usely find what they want.

Kantolin
2010-09-13, 05:14 PM
If my PCs want an item, unless I'm running a game where your supplies are explicitly limited, they can get it.

Sure, you can get thirty scrolls and two +2 kukri. Whatever! It wouldn't be terribly exciting for me to go through that exchange thirty two times, nor does it really help me if you can only get 28 at this store and have to go elsewhere for the last one. If it's unbalancing for you to have 30 scrolls, then I'll tell you it's unbalancing for you to have 30 scrolls and we'll move on. Just mark the gold off your sheet, maybe a sentence will be said on the subject, and hey.

The exchanges between shopkeepers, then, are saved for fun occasions. In one of my games, the dragons and the gods were opposed, and the group was approached by a dragon shaman who offered them god-theft staves (Basically divine runestaves) for a price - he had three of them, the players bought one of the three after quite a bit of back and forth. When they saved a town from destruction, the extremely grateful townsfolk made it a big deal that they could stay at the inn for free whenever they wanted, and fell over themselves helping them out with discounts and the like on their inventory. When they went to look for an item that's common among drow but nonexistant everywhere else, the drow didn't like that the party had elves with them and thus were extremely difficult to get 'Where IS it?!' information out of, and then rather blatantly overcharged the group for it. When the silver mine blew up, all of a sudden it was fairly hard to get silver in that area, which made the lycanthropy problem harder (and highly suspicious).

All of these are neat, and all of these are /rare/. Sure, the fighter can get his +5 Holy Keen Flaming Burst scythe if he wants it - I don't care! If it's imbalancing then I'll tell him so. If I want the party to quest to the top of Mt. HardToClimb for a sword for the fighter, it's gonna be for Excaliber, and part of a multi-run series of neat events happening before he can pull the sword from the stone. I don't want to have to run events for the upgrading-so-I-don't-suck equipment, the I-thought-it-would-be-cool-to-have-a-merciful-scythe equipment, nor the 'Dangit, I want three 7th level spells and I only have two. I'll go buy a scroll'.

Now, the group has quested for really neat unique spells that don't exist anywhere else and the like, and summarily cannot get more scrolls of it without a bit of work.

I suppose as a last statement, if a reason against the magic item shop is game balance, then why not just enforce game balance? Saying 'you have to quest for everything' means that book-savvy players will find ways to deal with it without having to ask (For example, there are a lot of ways of getting more wizard spells on level up), while the more casual players will find themselves constantly undergeared (And without any of the fun gear that comes with having enough funds to splurge).


Edit: Now, if I'm running a monopoly-esque game where you own property a'la the DMG2 rules (I've done that before), or playing in a game where the group is trapped on an abandoned wasteland plane and is struggling to find food to survive (I've done that too), then it can become harder to find basic gear. But by their very natures, those are the exceptions, not the rules.

Jack_Simth
2010-09-13, 05:22 PM
For those of you having trouble with the Magic-Mart from a feasibility standpoint:

There's a way to do it (spoilered for length).

At the shop, here's how it works:
1) The store doesn't actually stock the magical items. There might be a few things in the front, but those aren't useful - they're a few selected cursed items that exist for no other purpose than to bait shoplifters. Go ahead. Steal one. Have fun when you turn into a 7 foot tall pink rhododendron the first time you actually try to use it.
2) There are two actual magical items of use in the store. The first is one half of a Ring Gate (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/wondrousItems.htm#ringGates). The other is a cursed portable hole; anything placed inside of it is harmlessly ejected five rounds later, landing adjacent to the portable hole.
3) The shopkeeper is just a front man. He writes down what you want, takes your payment, and goes into the back of the shop. There, he puts your payment and the note into the portable hole, and tosses the *weightless* item through the ring gate. He waits a bit, and the portable hole is tossed back through, now containing the item. The guy then waits for the thing to pop out of the portable hole, and he takes it out to the purchasers.
It doesn't matter if he's exchanging items for cash, or cash for items; it works the same way. If you try to rob the merchant? You get... the cursed items out front, the stuff the guy had on him (which isn't much - he's not a high level NPC by any stretch), and some rather useless items.

On the other end of the ring gate:
1) The ring gate is mounted such that it's pointing away from the main chamber, into an area filled with a bunch of Symbols, Spell Glyphs, and other traps both magical and mundane set to go off when anyone not specifically authorized is in the area.
2) When a portable hole goes through the ring gate, a bell goes off, and the high-level caster/artificer running this looks down that particular passageway, and waits for the portable hole to expel it's contents.
3) When the contents are out of the cursed portable hole, the person running the place casts Analyze Dweomer on anything that came out. Assuming nothing's not as expected, he has an Unseen Servant fetch and hold up the note, which he reads through a spyglass.
4) If everything is in order, he does the actual work of the exchange through either his Ring of Telekinesis, or another Unseen Servant. If anything of note is not in order, he has the Unseen Servant Stamp "NO" on the sheet in red ink.
5) He then loads up the appropriate cash/items/objects of art/whatever into the Portable Hole (by way of his Ring of Telekinesis, or his Unseen Servant spell; for particularly heavy items, he stocks a few golems) and has it tossed back through the Ring Gate.
6) He does all this while Mind Blanked, and on the inside of a Permanent Mage's Private Sanctum (the Sanctum does not include the area of the ring gate drop-offs).

You expend 60k market value for each 'front'. Each 'center' is as expensive as you want, but can have any number of 'fronts', provided that the guy running it doesn't run out of Analyze Dweomer castings, and all 'fronts' are within 100 miles of the 'center'. Heavy setup costs, but hey - that's why you sell at half market, and he sells at full market. Oh yes, and one center can service an area up to 31,415 (and some change) square miles (100 mile radius). That's roughly half of England (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/England).

The guy running it is reasonably secure. The 'front man' is a target, yes, but there's no real prize for taking him down, and you'll anger the guy running the show in doing so (it's just good business to take out anyone who's taking down your front men, as otherwise you'll run into problems with getting replacement front men, plus a front is expensive to set up), and the guy you're angering by taking down the front men is a powerful Wizard/Artificer/Whatever with a LOT of resources behind him.

Edit: Oh yes, and just for grins: Note that the only required component for this that is not Core is the cursed portable hole. And the curse on that thing is really just for convenience and to keep players from making good use of it; the curse itself is unnecessary.

WarKitty
2010-09-13, 05:33 PM
I just say after a certain point, magic items are typically custom-built. Sure there's a few magic pawnshops and such where you can sell your goods. They *might* have what you want. But most sales are controlled by the local guilds. You order your item and it's custom-made for you. Helps with the immersion problem a bit.

mobdrazhar
2010-09-13, 05:46 PM
Do you have any idea how long it would take to count out 50,000 gold pieces?

That is where they players bring in platinum and the such... which would make the shop keep weep with joy even more than the piles of gold because it means that if the PC's can bring in Platinum they must be well of

Tyndmyr
2010-09-13, 05:49 PM
Hello, good sir! I hate to bother a busy shopkeeper like yourself, but dya suppose you could give me a hand with all these sacks of platinum? I've got a wagon outside, and I'm afraid it's broken down from the weight. If you've got better things to do, though, it's ok, I understand.

Ormur
2010-09-13, 06:31 PM
I have mostly managed to evade the supposedly unrealistic magic mart model without preventing my players from spending their WBL from level 4 through 11. They've been traveling through a pretty densely populated area and they usually have some contacts in the cities they stop in.

For the past few levels they've been based in a metropolis that has the headquarters of the mage guild and one of the characters is a member so I've just presumed they'd be able to get their mid-level stuff from it's vaults. It's not unreasonable they'd have some items on hand.

Previously they've dealt with the armourers of the nobles they've been working for and in one occasion with a shady back room magic item dealership in another metropolis that mostly dealt in low-level items.

I imagine the use of teleport and the access to the mage guild should be enough to keep them stocked for a few levels more. Even after that stuff like +6 stat boosters should be available but more world changing items might have to be commissioned from the most powerful NPC's or require quests. I'm not sure how I'll deal with the outer planes but I imagine just going shopping there would be the equivalent of a side quest at least.

My DM has an actual magic mart in the biggest city of his campaign setting, run by a very powerful elf wizard that has used the last 500 years gaining a monopoly on selling magic items. We still have to roll for items and commission him for those that aren't on stock. Although considering how time-critical the campaign is I can't see me getting that headband of intellect +6 before the world is destroyed if I wait for the 36 days of crafting.

bokodasu
2010-09-13, 07:29 PM
I will admit that way back in the dark ages of OD&D I actually rolled to see what magic items shopkeepers had. But that was ok, nobody could afford anything anyway because everyone always died by third level.

Now I just use the city size rules, theoretically, although I've found there tends to be one guy in the party who wants to be a crafter, so mostly the other PCs get their nifty stuff through him.

My current DM doesn't even bother with that amount of paperwork; we get WBL and every magic item is assumed available between sessions (even custom stuff, which I guess makes up for the lack of ph4t l3wt in the dungeons).

Zore
2010-09-13, 07:42 PM
I just always have a Sigil like city in my cosmology, if not Sigil itself, that the players hit up once they reach about 13th level or so. Before that their local towns and cities have almost everything they want.

DanReiv
2010-09-13, 07:45 PM
Well in my current campaign I tried to follow the average D&D guideline mixed with common sense.

Low cost items are easily available and/or "craftable" in short time.

Everything else goes from unique sell, barter, auction, commission and so on.

I assume no caster is going to waste 1k xp just for the sake of creating a +5 gnomebane direflail and then pray to find some use for it or a buyer :smallwink:

Hence there's no magic items wal mart in my world, but my players are still very close to their WBL (around 75%) with interesting stuff, ranging from the funny to the bottom-line useful.

Hague
2010-09-13, 07:51 PM
If you have millions in gp and you are doing your own shopping then I don't know what to say. Dump all that cash into developing your own affiliation that makes your magic items for you. Congrats! It'll take some time, but you'll eventually get lots of benefits like the ability to custom-order fine magic items or have your army of elite hirelings populate the random encounter lists around the dungeon of your choice. Wealth has lots more value than in what magic items you can buy with it. Buy your way into the mayoral race in your favorite city. Then restructure the whole output of the town into making high-powered magic items. Offer tax breaks for artificers and make your city into the magic-crafting capital of the world.

Then again... in my campaigns the PCs have lots of down-time that I simulate with a point system. Turns out people that don't need to eat, drink, or sleep have a lot of time to kill.