View Full Version : Help with Pricing an Item

2007-12-26, 09:37 PM
I'm about to DM for a player who wants to know if her character could buy a pair of boots like the "Journey Boots" featured here (http://www.rhjunior.com/totq/00045.html), and what they would cost. I'm fine with her getting them, but I'm horrible at pricing items. How much should these cost, (keeping in mind that she's starting as a 6th level character and can't put all her money towards these)?

2007-12-26, 09:59 PM
Hmm. They appear to break down roughly like this:

Jump and speed bonus: Boots of Striding and Springing, 5,500 gp (not the same degree of power as exhibited in the comic, which would take something like Boots of Speed + a ring of Jump, and would be significantly outside a 6th level character's cash.)

Run up walls: Slippers of Spider Climbing (limited- can't stand upside down) or grant a bonus feat: Up The Walls [item contains its own psionic 'focus', so is always active] 4,800 base book value; should have a reduction for being less useful than the unmodified item.

Walk on water: Ring of Water Walking, 15,000 gp (limited- user makes contact with the surface, so damaging things like acid or lava still do damage, and must not end her move standing over a liquid surface).

That's a 25,300 value with just summing up the component items. There would be an adjustment upward for having all of the properties in one item, and some adjustments downward for the more limited versions of the powers contained in the boots; simplest to call it a wash and go with the base price. Too costly for 6th level, unfortunately. Taking out the Water Walk portion of the powers would drop it down to the realm of possibility.

2007-12-26, 10:18 PM
Thanks for the help so far.

Hmmm. Is there a way that it could be brought down to a price she could afford? Would a 10 rounds/day limit work (which, IMO, should bring down the price of the water walking significantly)?

Alternatively, is there an item somewhere that fits close enough to count?

2007-12-26, 11:05 PM
What if you powered it with spell slots instead of charges per day? I'd have to get out some books and work the numbers out to be sure, but I think that magic items that use the wearer's spells typically cost less than an ordinary use-activated type of item. Also, I would try to relax the cost of the walk-on-water feature by stipulating that you must run or make a full move (perhaps in a straight line or with limited turning) and a jump to keep from falling beneath the surface.

PS - You could further justify reducing the price by adding a possibility for mishaps into the rules - it would fit well with the comic's presentation.

2007-12-26, 11:15 PM
That all sounds good, but how much of a price reduction should that give?

I'd DM fiat it, but she wants to use the same character to jump into an ongoing campaign that's just hit level 6. That DM is fine with custom stuff, but is a real rules stickler, and I don't want him just to reject the boots because they're not priced right.

Edit: Also, she's still deciding, but I don't think she wants to play a spellcaster. Would a HP cost (-1 HP each round used, or the like) fall under any published rules?

2007-12-27, 10:10 AM

2007-12-27, 10:33 AM
Depending on how much of a stickler the DM is, I always price things by getting the XP value and multiplying it by 5-20x, depending on how powerful the item is. (This is how they priced things in 2nd Ed, btw, I'm not just making stuff up.) As this item is fairly powerful, I would, for example, price this at about XP x 10-15. This gives the DM fairly broad discretion, however I'm not sure you can do it in versions after 3.0.

2007-12-27, 11:04 AM
From the comic description, it sounds to me like these are a "Charges/day" sort of item. They'd have maybe 10 charges/day total. Jumping would cost one charge, a 3-round burst of +100 to movement would cost 3 charges, spider climb would cost two. Pass Without Trace is permanencied on them.

2007-12-27, 11:04 AM
You can probably save money making an item of 3/day Jump, Expeditious Retreat, and Spider climb. It isn't exactly the item in the comic strip, but it grants 9 spells per day. I think that's 1200 gp for the jump and expeditious retreat each. Actually, you'd probably do well with 1 charge of expeditious retreat (1 minutes = 10 rounds), so that's 400 gp. Give them the ability to use it spread out instead of as one casting for double price (seems fair) and make it 800 gp. Then take 50 charges of spider climb for 6000 and you've got 8,000gp boots that give you running, jumping, and some spider climbing. That's the price of a +2 stat item, isn't it? That's not terribly cheap or over expensive, is it? I dunno, I sort of winged it.

2007-12-27, 11:10 AM
No matter how it breaks down, this is probably going to end up costing more than a 6th level character reasonably has to spend.

That said, why are you worrying about price at all? If you are ok with her having them, and don't think it will break the game, just give them to her and worry about what other gear she will need to keep from getting killed easily. So long as you make sure the rest of the party isn't made useless by her having an item above their WBL I wouldn't worry about it.

Admiral Squish
2007-12-27, 11:16 AM
Make it 5-15 round duration/day and make it divisible as she chooses, with activation a free action (clicking the heels together).

I like up the walls as the power, go with that. For those of you who don't know what that is, I'll include a link (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/psionic/psionicFeats.htm#upTheWalls).

Definitely +10 to jump, minimum, and probably double your land speed for the purpose of determining run speed. And don't forget, no ending your move on water.

2007-12-27, 11:20 AM
Thanks for posting the webcomic link by the way. Reading it through at the moment, it's great.

2007-12-27, 02:17 PM
+10 to jump, Spider Climb OR while running works as Boots of Skating (psionics) which takes care of the water and tracelessness. Running activates the Expedious Retreat as well.

1,000 gold for the jump bonus.

2,000 for Skating, 12,000 for spider climb.

2,000 for expedious retreat.

so, 12,000 +3,000+3,000+1,500 = 19,500 for the boots. Make it work only 3/day.... and it breaks down to 11,700...

If the feat 'Up the Walls' can be incorperated into the boots somehow, then there'll be no need for the Spider Climb, and the price plummets from 11,700 to 3,900 + the cost of the feat. That should be workable.

Edit: Curses, ninja'd on the Up the Walls.

2007-12-29, 02:43 AM
No matter how it breaks down, this is probably going to end up costing more than a 6th level character reasonably has to spend.

AKA makes a good point. When you stack that many spells onto an item, it starts to really add up, even at low levels. At 6th level, something that really closely captures all the features in the comic isn't really a candidate for basic equipment. If you and your player really want it, you should consider introducing it as a component of the campaign, or at least the current plot your PCs are pursuing. I agree it doesn't seem to be game-breaking in and of itself, but if you go by the magic item creation rules and set the price that way, it might harm your balance simply by giving your player a big blank check for X 10,000s of gp. I would make sure there is a clear reason that they shouldn't, or can't, sell them.
As for adjusting the price with a mishap table, I'm really not sure. Like I said, I'd have to find an item that clearly factors in a such a table, and then work out the price of it based on the rules for creating magic items, and see how much my result differs from the listed price. The Rod of Wonder is the first thing that comes to mind, but it's description is brief enough that it's difficult for me to tell where the cost comes from. It's based on the spell Confusion, which is available to seventh level bards as a third level spell. It seems to be use activated, so that's 3 * 7 * 2,000 = 42,000 gp. The list price is 12,000 gp, a little less that 30% of 42,000 gp. I'd guess that a large part of that adjustment is based off of the extremely erratic behavior of a Rod of Wonder, but it does give a decent upper bound for that type of price reduction; 70%.
Risky items seem on par to me with alignment- or class-restricted items, which carry a 20% or 30% reduction, if I recall. So, without further research, I would place the price reduction between 20% and 70%, depending on how risky your mishap table is, and how dire the circumstances of a bad roll are. If a mishap is just an accidental activation, I would give no more than a 45% reduction, even if the odds of a mishap are spectacularly high. A mishap that deals an amount of damage significant to a PC with d8-or-larger HD at the level the item is intended for would maybe merit more, up to 60%. For the whole 70%, I would say there needs to be a distinct risk of the user being reduced to 0 HP or dying outright.

PS - Up the Walls is definitely a good model of the intended behavior, but it requires psionic focus. If Up the Walls is the thing the item is going to be based off of, and the user isn't required to be psionic, I think it should probably be counted as two feats for the purpose of determining the price. Psionic focus is a fairly significant restriction for abilities associated with it, and ignoring that part of the rules for Up the Walls makes it considerably more powerful than your typical feat.