View Full Version : My Alternate Pricing for Magic Weapons/Armor

Fiery Diamond
2008-03-01, 01:12 AM
So, this came up because I DM, and one of my players had a "completely clueless" DM in the past who didn't know how to calculate magic item prices for weapons/armor/shields. When the a couple members of the group decided to magickify their masterwork weapons (at 5th level), this player wanted to be able to have a +1 special ability. Now, as written in the DMG, he would have to shell out 8000 GP for this - the equivalent of a +2 weapon; this is because the weapon needs an enhancement bonus (regular +1) before it can be given a special ability. We had a long discussion about this. His "clueless DM" had allowed them to get the +1 bonus for free along with the +1 ability, and then used a faulty system of stacking on the price of the next highest whenever increasing the power of the item. If viewed using the normal rules for pricing, but with the modified numbers, this results in a table like the following (I assume they never messed with stuff high enough to realize the ultimate downfall of this system):
Crappy Table For Pricing (A Bad Idea)
{table]Bonus | Price
+1 | ---
+2 | 2,000
+3 | 10,000
+4 | 28,000
+5 | 60,000
+6 | 110,000
+7 | 182,000
+8 | 280,000
+9 | 408,000
+10 | 570,000[/table]

This is, of course, completely nonsensical. It's cheaper at low power levels, but insanely more expensive at high power levels. I didn't even ask how they did armor, but I assume it was similar.

HOWEVER, I liked the concept of getting things cheaper at low levels (because, let's admit it, a +1 enhancement bonus is pretty much nothing by itself, as compared to a shocking weapon), but didn't want to make them consistently cheaper at high levels. I liked the idea of higher power being more expensive to balance it out. So I created my own pricing list for both weapons and armor, as well as trying to take into account the fact that some abilities are listed with a set price rather than with a modifier - I wanted to allow access to those at low level as well, but not keep them on the cheap when anything but the first special ability a weapon/armor has. So, I thought it out and came up with this, which I use with my group. I thought I'd share it with you all, since some of you probably get upset about low level characters having boring weapons too.

Table: Weapon Pricing
Note: An ability with a set price costs 6,000 less when added as the only special ability to a +1 weapon.
{table]Bonus | Price
+1 | 2,000
+2 | 2,000
+3 | 10,000
+4 | 28,000
+5 | 50,000
+6 | 76,000
+7 | 106,000
+8 | 140,000
+9 | 178,000
+10 | 220,000[/table]
This results in +3 at 8000 cheaper, +4 at 4000 cheaper, +5 same, +6 4000 more, and so on.

Table: Armor/Shield Pricing
Note: An ability with a set price costs 2,000 less when added as the only special ability to a +1 armor or shield.
{table]Bonus | Price
+1 | 1,000
+2 | 2,000
+3 | 5,000
+4 | 14,000
+5 | 25,000
+6 | 38,000
+7 | 53,000
+8 | 70,000
+9 | 89,000
+10 | 110,000[/table]
This results in +3 at 4000 cheaper, +4 at 2000 cheaper, +5 same, +6 2000 more, and so on.

Personally, I rather like this fix, as it makes things more available at lower levels, but balances with higher prices when the characters have more cash to spend on magical doodads.

-Fiery Diamond