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Charity
2008-05-14, 01:59 AM
The article is up here

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4ex/20080514a

Looks quite interesting, some options for tweaking included... irritating obvious error on the XP table.

If anyone fancies prettying up the tables feel free, I am a lazy man...
heres the pretty picture though
http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/excerpt_4E_economy1.jpg
3rd Edition treasure works like this:

If I put 5th-level characters through 13-1/3 encounters of their level, theyíll gain enough experience to become 6th level. On average, theyíll also gain 21,333 gp, 33 sp, and 33 cp. Or thatís the goal, anyway.

In practice, the ochre jelly wonít have any treasure at all.

The young black dragon will have randomly-generated treasure worth 4,800 gp on average (triple standard), but depending on my dice it could come out to nothing at all, or the PCs could come away with a jackpot of over 50,000 gp in cash-equivalent treasure (coins, gems, and art) plus magic armor worth as much as 15,000 gp.

The 5th-level NPC bard will have 4,300 gp worth of gear (skewing heavily toward magic items that the characters will sell at half value).

If Iím a conscientious DM, I should add up the treasure value of all those 13-1/3 encounters and make sure it comes out somewhere close to the target 21,000 gp, so that my characters stay on track. Or else I can just do what most DMs do: trust that itís all going to balance out, and end up with characters that are under-equipped (nine times out of ten) for their level.

4th Edition treasure works like this:

If I put 5th-level characters through 10 encounters of their level, theyíll gain enough experience to become 6th level. Theyíll also gain four magic items above their level (one 6th, one 7th, one 8th, and one 9th), and total gold-equivalent treasure equal to double the value of a 5th-level magic item, or 2,000 gp. Thatís the goal, and hereís how it works out in practice.

When Iím planning those 10 encounters, I look at the 5th-level treasure parcels in the DMG. Thatís the treasure Iím going to give out, conveniently divided into ten chunks. The ochre jellyís not guarding any of that treasure, but the dragon has (letís say) three parcels.

The 5th-level NPC has a 6th-level itemónot because he needs it, but because itís one of the treasure parcels. The characters donít find magic items that are beneath their noticeóthey wonít walk out of the drow enclave with a wheelbarrow full of +1 rapiers.

I might even tuck some of that treasure away in a locked vault without a monstrous guard, and save a parcel or two for a quest reward.

Itís a lot easier to be a conscientious DM in Fourth Edition. I donít have to add up the value of all the treasure Iím giving out and make sure it adds upóI just have to check parcels off the list when I give them out, and make sure that Iíve crossed everything off the list by the time they hit 6th level.
--James Wyatt











Experience points, treasure, action points, and intangible rewards keep characters moving on from encounter to encounter, level to level, and adventure to adventure. Small rewards come frequently, while large rewards provide a big boost once in a while. Both are important.

Without frequent small rewards, players begin to feel like their efforts arenít paying off. Theyíre doing a lot of work with nothing to show for it. Without occasional large rewards, encounters feel like pushing a button to get a morsel of foodóa repetitive grind with no meaningful variation.

Characters gain experience points (XP) for every encounter they complete. They gain action points when they reach milestones, generally after every two encounters. They gain treasure as they complete encountersónot after every encounter, but sporadically over the course of an adventure. They gain a level after completing eight to ten encounters (including quests).

Gaining a level (see page 27 of the Playerís Handbook) is the most significant reward the game has to offer, but even that reward has its own tidal rhythm. Characters gain new attack powers at odd-numbered levels, and they gain new feats, ability score increases, and global adjustments to all their attacks and defenses at even-numbered levels. Both are exciting, but they feel different.

XP Rewards
The Experience Rewards table provides XP values for monsters of every levelóminions, standard single monsters, elite monsters, and solo monsters. Use the ďStandard MonsterĒ column for NPCs, traps, and noncombat encounters (skill challenges and puzzles).

Following is the first 10 levels of the Experience Rewards table.

Experience Rewards

Monster Level Minion Standard Monster Elite Solo
1 100 25 200 500
2 125 31 250 625
3 150 38 300 750
4 175 44 350 875
5 200 50 400 1,000
6 250 63 500 1,250
7 300 75 600 1,500
8 350 88 700 1,750
9 400 100 800 2,000
10 500 125 1,000 2,500

Quest Rewards
When the characters finish a major quest that theyíve been pursuing for several sessions, divide the XP reward among all the characters who participated in the quest, even those who arenít present in the particular session when the PCs complete it. Thatís only fairóa major quest is like an encounter that stretches over multiple game sessions, and everyone who participates deserves to share in the reward.

Following is the first 10 levels of the Quest Rewards table.

Quest XP Rewards

PC Level Major Quest Reward Minor Quest Reward
4 PCs 5 PCs 6 PCs
1st 400 500 600 100
2nd 500 625 750 125
3rd 600 750 900 150
4th 700 875 1,050 175
5th 800 1,000 1,200 200
6th 1,000 1,250 1,500 250
7th 1,200 1,500 1,800 300
8th 1,400 1,750 2,100 350
9th 1,600 2,000 2,400 400
10th 2,000 2,500 3,000 500

Awarding Treasure
While experience points are fundamentally an encounter-based (or quest) reward, treasure is a larger-scale reward doled out over the course of an adventure. You plan treasure in terms of the eight to ten encounters it takes characters to advance from one level to the next.

During the course of gaining that level, expect a group of five characters to acquire four magic items ranging in level from one to four levels above the party level. In addition, they should find gold and other monetary treasure equal to the market price of two magic items of their level. So a 6th-level party would find four magic items, one each of levels 7 through 10, and gold worth two 6th-level items, or 3,600 gp.

At the start of an adventure, look at the adventure in chunks of eight to ten encounters. (Include major quest rewards as if they were encounters, and if the party completes five minor quests, include those five rewards as a single encounter as well.) For each of those chunks, look at the treasure parcels on the following pages. Find the level of the characters as they work through those encounters, and note the parcels of treasure you will give out over the course of the encounters.


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Heroic Tier Treasure Parcels

Party Level 5 Total Monetary Treasure: 2,000 gp

Magic item, level 9
Magic item, level 8
Magic item, level 7
Magic item, level 6
550 gp, or two 250 gp art objects + 50 gp, or one 500 gp gem + 50 gp
500 gp, or one 250 gp art object + 250 gp, or five 100 gp gems
340 gp, or three 100 gp gems + 40 gp, or one 250 gp art object + one potion of healing + 40 gp
340 gp, or one 250 gp art object + 90 gp, or 300 gp + 400 sp
160 gp, or one 100 gp gem + 60 gp, or one potion of healing + 110 gp
110 gp, or one 100 gp gem + 10 gp, or one potion of healing + 60 gp

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Paragon Tier Treasure Parcels

Party Level 15 Total Monetary Treasure: 50,000 gp

Magic item, level 19
Magic item, level 18
Magic item, level 17
Magic item, level 16
14,000 gp, or 140 pp, or one 7,500 gp art object + one 5,000 gp gem + one 1,500 gp art object
12,000 gp, or 120 pp, or one 7,500 gp art object + 4,500 gp
8,500 gp, or one 7,500 gp art object + 1,000 gp, or one 7,500 gp art object + one 1,000 gp gem
8,500 gp, or one 5,000 gp gem + one 2,500 gp art object + 1,000 gp, or eight 1,000 gp gems + 500 gp
5,000 gp, or one 5,000 gp gem, or one 2,500 gp art object + one 1,500 gp art object + one potion of vitality
2,000 gp, or two potions of vitality, or two 1,000 gp gems

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Epic Tier Treasure Parcels

Party Level 25 Total Monetary Treasure: 12,500 pp

Magic item, level 29
Magic item, level 28
Magic item, level 27
Magic item, level 26
3,500 pp, or 20 ad + one potion of life + one 50,000 gp art object, or 30 ad + two potions of recovery
3,200 pp, or 20 ad + two potions of recovery + one 50,000 gp art object + 200 pp, or 30 ad + four 5,000 gp gems
2,000 pp, or 20 ad, or 10 ad + four 15,000 gp art objects + eight 5,000 gp gems
2,000 pp, or 1,000 pp + two 50,000 gp art objects, or four 50,000 gp art objects
1,000 pp, or one potion of life, or twenty 5,000 gp gems
800 pp, or five 15,000 gp art objects + one 5,000 gp gem, or one 50,000 gp art object + six 5,000 gp gems

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Commerce
Even small villages give characters ready access to the gear they need to pursue their adventures. Provisions, tents and backpacks, and simple weapons are commonly available. Traveling merchants carry armor, military weapons, and more specialized gear. Most villages have inns that cater to travelers, where adventurers can get a hot meal and a bed, even if the quality leaves much to be desired. When characters stop in at a settlement to rest and restock their supplies, give them a bit of local flavor, such as the name of the inn where they spend the night, and move on with the adventure.

Even small villages rely heavily on trade with other settlements, including larger towns and cities. Merchants pass through regularly, selling necessities and luxuries to the villagers, and any good merchant has far-reaching contacts across the region. When characters have magic items to sell, a traveling merchant is in townóor will be soonóto take it off their hands. The same applies to exotic mundane goods as well: No one in the village makes silk rope or has much use for it, but merchants making their way between major cities carry it all the time.

Traveling merchants are also a great way to introduce adventure hooks to the characters as they conduct their business. Since they make their living traversing roads that are not as safe as they used to be, merchants hire competent guards to keep their goods safe. They also carry news from town to town, including reports of situations that cry out for adventurers to get involved.

These merchants canít provide specialized services, however. When the characters are in need of a library or a dedicated sage, a trainer who can handle the griffon eggs theyíve found, or an architect to design their castle, theyíre better off going to a large city than looking in a village. These services are less important in the economy of the game than magic items and other goods, so you shouldnít feel as though you have to compromise your common sense for the sake of game play.

Of course, itís natural for characters to travel far beyond their native villages as they pursue adventure. When theyíre in the City of Brass, they should be able to buy even the most expensive magic items readily. If it doesnít interfere with the flow of your game, itís fine to expect that characters will travel to larger cities to do business as they reach higher levels and deal with larger sums of money.

The Magic Item Economy
Most of the time, characters find magic items on their adventures that are above their level. These are exciting items, and the characters have a strong incentive to keep these items and use them. As characters attain higher levels, the items they find might replace items they already haveóthe fighter finds a +3 flaming sword and no longer wants his +2 magic sword.

When this happens, the characters ordinarily sell those itemsóitís slightly more beneficial to do that than to use the Disenchant Magic Item ritual, because the characters donít have to pay the component cost. A merchant, agent, or fence buys items from the character at one-fifth the itemsí value, in the hope of selling them at significant profit (usually, above the itemsí value). Buyers are hard to find, but the profit to be made makes it worth the merchantís risk.

Characters can use the monetary treasure they find, as well as the gold from selling items, to acquire new magic items. They canít make items above their level, and canít often afford items more than a few levels above theirs. Itís to their benefit to use the Enchant Magic Item ritual for items of their level or lower, rather than buying these items from merchants, agents, or fences, because of the 10Ė40 percent markup over itemsí value that these sellers charge. When they want items above their levels, they have to go to merchants.

The game still works if you decide that magic items canít be bought and sold in your world. Characters can rely entirely on rituals to duplicate the economy of buying and selling without money changing hands.

The residuum they collect from disenchanting items provides the expensive ritual components they need for the enchanting ritual. If you want characters to rely entirely on these rituals, remove the cost to perform the Disenchant Magic Item ritual, making it just as efficient as selling.

On the flip side, you can drive the characters to markets instead of rituals by altering the prices they pay for magic items. You can remove the random markup, or even alter it to allow the possibility of finding items for sale below normal price. For example, roll 1d6 as usual, but a 1 means the item is available for 10 percent below the base price, a 2 means itís available for the base price, and 3Ė6 means a 10 percent to 40 percent markup. Items are readily available, and sometimes characters can get a good deal.


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quiet1mi
2008-05-14, 02:17 AM
hmm...4e seems good for starting DMs... I might just take some things from that new fangled edition and apply it to my trusty 3.5 edition.

The Sandman
2008-05-14, 02:19 AM
Looks like they cut back on WBL by quite a bit, unless I'm reading this wrong. Hopefully they made everything else more affordable to compensate.

kamikasei
2008-05-14, 03:28 AM
Huh, just had my first real "D&D is turning into WoW" moment.


The 5th-level NPC has a 6th-level itemónot because he needs it, but because itís one of the treasure parcels. The characters donít find magic items that are beneath their noticeóthey wonít walk out of the drow enclave with a wheelbarrow full of +1 rapiers.

I had an immediate bad reaction to this. I hope I'm being unfair. The NPC has an item "not because he needs it" - well, sure I might give an NPC an item with the intent that it be captured and used by a player rather than because the nature of the NPC demands he have the item, but I'll still give some thought as to why he has it and make sure it's something that he has a use for himself. "The characters donít find magic items that are beneath their notice" - fair enough if they're altering the magic item economy to make hoarding items too low-level for you to use for later sale a waste of time, but how are they to "not find" these items?

KIDS
2008-05-14, 03:30 AM
I threw the 3E rules for generating treasure out of the window for reasons described in this article (and PbP which screw up the routine even more), but I don't see myself recieving much help from 4E rules here. At best I'll know that there is much less material to screw up, compared to actual "gear checks" that exist in the current game.

However, the picture looks awesome, and the part on commerce is very well written too. And...

Disenchant Magic Item ritual
= WIN Finally it's included in D&D!!!

Rutee
2008-05-14, 03:34 AM
I had an immediate bad reaction to this. I hope I'm being unfair. The NPC has an item "not because he needs it" - well, sure I might give an NPC an item with the intent that it be captured and used by a player rather than because the nature of the NPC demands he have the item, but I'll still give some thought as to why he has it and make sure it's something that he has a use for himself. "The characters donít find magic items that are beneath their notice" - fair enough if they're altering the magic item economy to make hoarding items too low-level for you to use for later sale a waste of time, but how are they to "not find" these items?
This is also to an extent how 3e treasure works. I don't think the actual DMG will be so.. flippant about item placement, but it's hard to tell. Hate the attitude, and nothing of real interest to me in the article since WBL is probably the least interesting aspect of crunch in DnD to me.

Abardam
2008-05-14, 03:37 AM
Residuum is a goofy name but if it means that magic items don't need XP to craft anymore then I'll take it! (But it brings up the question, where did the first magic items come from? Was there a big pool of residuum or something?)


Be sure to return Friday for a look at the magic items and quests!Woot

Titanium Dragon
2008-05-14, 03:38 AM
I haven't used random treasure generation charts since second edition, but it looks vaguely more usable now. I doubt I'll really use it, but if the guidelines are good enough I might plunk out stuff according to them rather than making it up so much.

Rockphed
2008-05-14, 03:42 AM
They don't notice stuff that isn't worth their time because of the Magic Threshold they described a couple previews ago. Basically, a monster's innate magic overrides the effects of weak magic items.

On the other hand, I agree that all magic items should have a purpose for being carried(even if it is just "The last guy we bandits mugged had this funny trinket. We figured, since he was so annoying, it would look better mounted in his skull.")

However, the most important question has not been answered. Is that chick a human standing in front of a large chest full of money, or a Halfling standing in front of a smaller chest? The human is obviously the better option.Give it to me baby. Thats right, keep it coming! Give me the money!

MelkorsHalo
2008-05-14, 04:13 AM
However, the most important question has not been answered. Is that chick a human standing in front of a large chest full of money, or a Halfling standing in front of a smaller chest? The human is obviously the better option.Give it to me baby. Thats right, keep it coming! Give me the money!

Looks vaguely like Lidda to me, so i'm betting it's the latter.

Sebastian
2008-05-14, 04:39 AM
However, the most important question has not been answered. Is that chick a human standing in front of a large chest full of money, or a Halfling standing in front of a smaller chest? The human is obviously the better option.Give it to me baby. Thats right, keep it coming! Give me the money!

She have dreadlocks, she is obviusly a 4e halfling.

kamikasei
2008-05-14, 04:43 AM
They don't notice stuff that isn't worth their time because of the Magic Threshold they described a couple previews ago. Basically, a monster's innate magic overrides the effects of weak magic items.

Hrmmm...

So the idea is that, instead of fighting low-level soldiers who've been made slightly more challenging by giving them low-level magic items, you'd be fighting slightly higher-level soldiers with mundane items and innate bonuses?

I guess that could kind of make sense if magic weapons etc. are being treated as very much rarer than in 3.5e. I saw it as more a mechanic for more monstrous enemies, though, rather than humanoid foes. If every enemy is going to have nonmagical gear by default, bonuses from level, and then additional bonuses to match what players achieve via magic items, it could make a certain amount of sense, but I have (less severe) concerns about verisimilitude. (If the Drow Captain with his +3 keen rapier hits only as well as his mundanely-equipped lieutenant, I'm not wild about that. Of course, if the two drow both have +2 innate bonuses, so the captain's sword gives him an extra +1 and a higher crit range, that's not a bad distinction. I can see it leading to "boss" or "leader" enemies having items that provide special abilities in preference to raw numerical bonuses, which might be nice.)

Kurald Galain
2008-05-14, 04:54 AM
Okay, now they're down to taking their earlier product, 3E, out of context to make it look ridiculous. Nobody seriously plans sessions with the goal of giving players 33 copper pieces, and leveling them exactly every 13.333 encounters.

If 5th-level characters fight 5th-level monsters using their 5th-level powers and are expected to gain 7th-level items, then it would seem that they simply upped the level of all items by two in order to make them look "special".

Overall, the biggest mistake here lies in the apparent assumption that the players will get all those treasure piles. Which I'm sure that in most published modules, they do, but nevertheless it is railroading at its finest.

The system explained here isn't bad at all, but WOTC shows a shocking lack of understanding that people might, just might, play the game in a slightly different fashion than their R&D division expects. Incidentally this very sentiment is the exact cause for a number of problems with 3E; one might have expected them to learn from that mistake.



Other silly stuff: "Without frequent small rewards, players begin to feel like their efforts arenít paying off" - not where I'm playing, they won't.
"They gain action points when they reach milestones, generally after every two encounters" - if 50% of all encounters are considered milestones, that makes milestoning a meaningless metric.
I can see some munchkins using these tables as a substitute for the appraisal skill.

And is it just me or does this table indicate that, other than some healing potions, expendable magic items no longer exist?

Blanks
2008-05-14, 05:11 AM
However, the most important question has not been answered. Is that chick a human standing in front of a large chest full of money, or a Halfling standing in front of a smaller chest? The human is obviously the better option

How about someone tells me why all the races are so humanlike that you can't tell them apart? :smallfurious:

Elf - Human with ears
Dwarf - Human with beard
Halfelf - See elf
Halfling - short human
Halforc - Ugly human
Gnome - Human with big nose

The only race im positively sure what is when i see it, is a mindflayer :smallfrown:

Talic
2008-05-14, 05:43 AM
The system explained here isn't bad at all, but WOTC shows a shocking lack of understanding that people might, just might, play the game in a slightly different fashion than their R&D division expects. Incidentally this very sentiment is the exact cause for a number of problems with 3E; one might have expected them to learn from that mistake.
The way I see it, they did. They have options for people that want magic shop worlds, and those that do not, preferring their magic items to be a more special thing. They show how the rules can be altered to accommodate that preference. They then move on to present another modular system, the packets of treasure system. As 90% of people didn't follow 3rd edition's treasure system on the primary basis of its complexity and non-realism, it stands to reason that the next attempt will be to simplify and add clarity to the system. I think they've done that somewhat well. If you prefer the realism? They've shown how packeted they made the system, so that you can *YOINK* it right out and replace it with whatever method you deem best. By making the system modular, you can remove any modules that you find counterintuitive.


Other silly stuff: "Without frequent small rewards, players begin to feel like their efforts arenít paying off" - not where I'm playing, they won't.
"They gain action points when they reach milestones, generally after every two encounters" - if 50% of all encounters are considered milestones, that makes milestoning a meaningless metric.I think the designers have a slightly different idea than you. Their idea of a campaign seems to be that every other encounter should be devoted to furthering the story. While that may be a faster or slower pace, and the term "milestone" may be used a bit liberally, the concept of getting some information or accomplishment that furthers the story in half your encounters isn't a bad one.

Many of your other points are pretty much spot on, though.

SamTheCleric
2008-05-14, 06:17 AM
Quick post before I run out the door...

Gimmie those cookies!

http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/art_preview/20080514_114864_0.jpg

AslanCross
2008-05-14, 06:25 AM
She have dreadlocks, she is obviusly a 4e halfling.

That's what I was thinking too.

Anyway, I like how the treasure is handled. While generating random treasure in 3.5 is sort of fun, I sometimes get frustrated by the treasures I generate. A lot of times I just turn up lots of redundant scrolls. Of course I reroll, but I still find it unfair that most magical treasures at low levels are scrolls (they have the highest chance of appearing) and thus benefit only casters.

hewhosaysfish
2008-05-14, 06:35 AM
On the whole: this looks quite good. A simple system for divvying up loot by having explicitly defined parcels. Nice.
I also like the way that a 15th level party will only have several hundred times the yearly income of an average peasant, rather than several thousand times.

A few worries though...

1)
Treasure seems to be independent of the number of PCs. As they progress from 5th level to 6th level, a party of 4 PCs will find the same 10 treasure parcels that a party of 5 PCs will... despite the fact that the party of 5 will be fighting more monsters both overall and per encounter.
Or is this 10 parcels per PC?

2) I'm not sure about this whole "you never find magic items that aren't shiny enough" business.
If/When I DM I would be tempted to have the low level magic items abstracted away as part of the gems/art objects loot. They're still there but the have no purpose other than to be sold for cash - which is what happens anyway but we don't have to explain why none of the orcs that attacked our players had swords.

Of course, if the rules did explicitly lump useless gear in with gems and art then no doubt a few people would have went " They're giving out 'vendor trash' now?! 4e is turning DnD into a MOREPIG*!"


3)
And as for the whole "bard carrying an item he can't use" thing, I think it's dumb. Not because of anything that's changed: with a long tradition of random treasure tables also comes a long tradition of explaining why a grimlock barbarian was carrying a Rod of Extend Spell.
A conscientious DM would roll treasure beforehand and distribute it to sensible creatures/places, invent rationales for its presence, make intelligent monsters use is sensibly or -failing all that- swap it for something more characterful.
Of course the DMG only hints at such processes (correct me if I'm wrong, I'm AFB).
4e fails not because it does something worse but because it makes exactly the same mistake.


*If MMORPGs are Morepigs and CRPGs are Crappages, are TTRPGs Tarpegs?

AKA_Bait
2008-05-14, 06:35 AM
Honestly, the first thing I thought upon skimming this article was "wow the 4e OGL is going to suck."

They just posted 2 of the things they utterly refused to make part of the 3.x OGL, exp tables and wbl. They are now 'fair use' able. This really makes me worry about what the OGL is going to look like.

Jarlax
2008-05-14, 06:39 AM
ok cool, the new rewards system seems fine to me, they added more mechanical elements to gaining XP and stripped out the old system for monetary rewards, which was a total pain to use anyway.

the whole DEing (disenchanting for those not familiar with the process) items is a WOW element, it cant be disputed, but its a good element to include and its not "OMG such WOW rippoff", because enchanting is a completely different process in wow, even if DEing are very alike in both systems. i will probably rename residium to arcane dust, or void crystals or something cool wow already took.

but the principal is sound, don't toss or sell those three items we replaced last adventure, DE em, and forge a single new item equal to our level. although we don't know the specifics of these rituals yet, first impressions is that it beats the hell out of the 3e system for creating magic items. where the item cost is ((X+y)/B)*X and everyone would rather pay retail then waste time calculating the discount price or take the feats to make the items.

Chosen_of_Vecna
2008-05-14, 06:44 AM
So the article, stupid. The mechanics, more so.

"Players don't find small rewards/they get X from each encounter."

Uh huh, and since when exactly has a DM ever been able to stop the Players from facing weaker opposition sometimes. Is every bandit ever automatically level appropriate? What if they deal with someone of lower level? Why can't they get a barrel of +1 Rapiers?

Shops: So now Shop owners buy at 1/4th price and sell at over market price? That's dumb. In 3.5 I wondered why powerful people didn't kill shop keepers and take the items. The most obvious reason was because they had infinite wealth after level 9, the next would be because it wasn't that good a deal.

In 4E? Hell, anyone into Paragon levels with even a hint of evil has every reason in the world to kill shop keepers left and right for that gouging.

Tengu
2008-05-14, 06:45 AM
It's amusing that you get more experience for killing Solo if you're higher level.

As for the actual article, I was disappointed and misled by the title - I expected an article on costs of items and services.

Rutee
2008-05-14, 06:47 AM
Honestly, the first thing I thought upon skimming this article was "wow the 4e OGL is going to suck."

They just posted 2 of the things they utterly refused to make part of the 3.x OGL, exp tables and wbl. They are now 'fair use' able. This really makes me worry about what the OGL is going to look like.

Uh. Posting it doesn't make it Fair Use. Fair Use looks at intent as well. It's Fair use for a /while/ sure, but in any context where the OGL would be an issue (EG Game design), use of 4e mechanics stops being Fair Use.

In short, the 4 vectors under which Fair Use comes up, straight from the US Copyright Office:

1: Intent of the use (If you actually needed the OGL, you're boned here)
2: Nature of the Copyrighted work (Commercial, which is rarely a good sign for your use for other commercial reasons; I've heard it stated before that you can't copyright game mechanics, but I haven't the inclination to check this out myself. I will not accept it as true until then, so)
3: Amount and Substantiality of the work in question (You'd get off pretty well here, since it's only a fragment of the work)
4: Effect on Market Value (Reduces it through proliferation, albeit not by much).

Effectively, the previews have no effect on the OGL, or on Fair Use.




In 4E? Hell, anyone into Paragon levels with even a hint of evil has every reason in the world to kill shop keepers left and right for that gouging.
Ah yes, the school of "Kill it for the slightest insult" evil. I don't think you can really /make it/ to Paragon Levels with that kind of stupidity. Also, check out the gouging you see in the real world. You don't think CEOs have 50 million a year income, and even larger golden parachutes, because they're selling things at anything remotely close to the cost of production, do you?

Also, CoV, the tone is the only thing different here. By the books, 3.5 was the /exact freaking same/.

Starsinger
2008-05-14, 06:53 AM
I like this in theory. I do not think I'm going to like it in practice. While it's a step up from 3.5's WBL system (but then again, so few things aren't) it seems like it will become mindless and repetitive. If I run a bunch of games that upgrade from 5th to 6th level, the fact that the treasure parcels are the same everytime is going to grate on my nerves. Ah well, it still beats trying to figure of that +3 Flaming Ranseur is going to be used, and counted at full value, or sold and counted at half when determining WBL.

Oslecamo
2008-05-14, 07:04 AM
Rant:


Next week, it'll be revealed that each character can take two professions. They divide themselves in professions to gather materials and professions to transform said materials in usefull stuff.

Once a character picks a mildly usefull magic item, it glues itself to his soul and cannont be used by another character EVER !

There will also be online autcion houses where players can sell their magic items to other players worldwide.

Items will also get broken with use and will demand constant visits to specialized NPCs for repairment. No player character can ever learn the repair power,not even if they ascend to godhood.

Any similarity with Wow is PURE coincidence. (It's not like they even bothered to create a new name for the process)

Ok, now,who exactly follows the treasure rules to the letter in 3.x?

Also, it's not like there weren't other ways for PCs to gain money. Any half decent rogue could probably clean a village from anything valuable whitout fighting or performing quests or anything special.Just plain old stealing and runing away.

However,for what it seems, the only way one can get money is by killing monsters and making quests. And the monsters will NEVER again have loot that makes sense with them.

Because in 3e, at least,when you killed a monster wielding a +2 bastard sword, you would get a +2 bastard sword.

Now you kill an ogre with a +3 mace, the mace disapears in thin air and it's replaced with a +3 firesword.

Again,any similarities with Wow are pure coincidence.

Way to go Wotc, just when you were making me think taht 4e may actually be something really refreshing.

As a final note, if the only way they find to give the right treasure to the party is the DM having pre made all the rewards for all the battles the PCs are going to fight, well, it's hard to be cheaper.

End rant

SamTheCleric
2008-05-14, 07:10 AM
I have no feelings one way or the other on this.

The 3rd edition method of loot was stupid. This is one step up from stupid, which doesn't make it good.

I'll need to see it in practice.

RS14
2008-05-14, 07:11 AM
I think the new system for awarding magic items is probably an improvement. It will still be very much like 3.5 - There are rules for random generation of items, but in pracitce many DMs ignore them and just allocate wealth in each encounter (don't we?) - it works pretty well for a dungeon crawl. In 4e, I predict that many people will simply ignore the new treasure rules. Deciding on treasure for the next ten encounters simply isn't feasable in all games. Hell, I don't know what my players will be doing five encounters from now, but that's alright.

Disenchanting Magic Item rituals seem slightly too metagame-y for my taste, like the magic shop always has been. The ritual idea for disposing of them does seem intriguing though, and I can imagine using magic items as material components. I'll need to give this some thought.

kamikasei
2008-05-14, 07:12 AM
Because in 3e, at least,when you killed a monster wielding a +2 bastard sword, you would get a +2 bastard sword.

Now you kill an ogre with a +3 mace, the mace disapears in thin air and it's replaced with a +3 firesword.

Based on what?

Chosen_of_Vecna
2008-05-14, 07:41 AM
Ah yes, the school of "Kill it for the slightest insult" evil. I don't think you can really /make it/ to Paragon Levels with that kind of stupidity. Also, check out the gouging you see in the real world. You don't think CEOs have 50 million a year income, and even larger golden parachutes, because they're selling things at anything remotely close to the cost of production, do you?

1) You aren't killing them for insulting you. You are killing them because you can get 6 times you WBL in items by killing one shop keeper, since they charge you six times as much as they give you for the same item.

2) CEOs have protection, CEOs are distant not 5ft away, and the real World doesn't have adventurers who are quite literally capable of withstanding 30 times the damage that you can, while being able to deal 100 times more.

In real life, weapons are weapons and everyone dies, if life used D&D rules a Paragon level character could strap a vest of explosives to himself, then blow up a subway station, and everyone would be dead, except him.


Also, CoV, the tone is the only thing different here. By the books, 3.5 was the /exact freaking same/.

No, because in 3.5 you spent twice as much to get an item as you would get for selling it. In 4E you spend 6 times as much.

Oslecamo
2008-05-14, 07:41 AM
Based on what?

First, this excerpt from the srd that EVERYBODY always forgets:

Intelligent creatures that own useful, portable treasure (such as magic items) tend to carry and use these, leaving bulky items at home. Treasure can include coins, goods, and items.

Wich means the DMis suposed to roll the treasure before the battle,and if something usefull comes out that the monster could use during battle, then it will use it during battle.

However, as normal, players only read what they want to read. Nobody ever notices that rule, and then they blame Wotc for monsters don't using their own treasure,when it's their own fault that the monster isn't using the usefull parts of their treasure.

Now some even more specific monsters:

Erineyes gives automatically rope and a +1flaming composite longbow,plus treasure.

Balors give out automatically a+1 large vorpal longsword and a +1 flaming whip, providing you can disarm them before delivering the final blow,plus treasure.

Marilith's carry 1d4 magic weapons,wich comes in handy when you have 6 hands

Salamanders never have flamable treasure.

Tyger
2008-05-14, 07:45 AM
Based on what?

Why nothing, that's why its such an effective argument. :smallconfused:

All in all, it was an interesting read (the article, not the rant), but yeah, I haven't actually used a random treasure table in I don't know how long. If my goblins are going to drop a +1 flaming longsword, you can bet your ass that the chief goblin is wielding that sword. For intelligent creatures, it would only stand to reason that they would in fact use the items they have, so I choose my items appropriately. Sure, a dragon's horde may have things in it that he never uses, and quite likely can't, but they dragons are collectors, so there is still a rationale reason for it to be just sitting there under his left foot. :smallsmile:

kamikasei
2008-05-14, 07:50 AM
stuff

Uhm, I don't see how any of what you just said relates to my question. I was asking what basis you had for saying:


Because in 3e, at least,when you killed a monster wielding a +2 bastard sword, you would get a +2 bastard sword.

Now you kill an ogre with a +3 mace, the mace disapears in thin air and it's replaced with a +3 firesword.

Is your thinking that if you give a "treasure parcel" to a monster, somehow when the monster is killed its own, different gear will disappear, and it will be carrying the treasure?

I see nothing in the article on which to base that supposition.

Starsinger
2008-05-14, 07:51 AM
1) You aren't killing them for insulting you. You are killing them because you can get 6 times you WBL in items by killing one shop keeper, since they charge you six times as much as they give you for the same item.

2) CEOs have protection, CEOs are distant not 5ft away, and the real World doesn't have adventurers who are quite literally capable of withstanding 30 times the damage that you can, while being able to deal 100 times more.


Ahh yes, the "Might makes Mine!" attitude every player seems to succumb to once in a while... 4e isn't going to magically make such an attitude appear, my players do it already.

Rutee
2008-05-14, 07:53 AM
1) You aren't killing them for insulting you. You are killing them because you can get 6 times you WBL in items by killing one shop keeper, since they charge you six times as much as they give you for the same item.
You're making presumptions. You presume that because they can sell an item at 4 times what you can, that they A: Do so on a regular basis (I don't doubt that they do so when they get the opportunity; I suspect the market is small, though), B: Have the money on them (Which would be flatly stupid), C: Do not have protection (Which would be even more stupid in a DnD), and D: That it is not better for you in the long term to avoid killing (Highly unlikely; If your master plan for grand theft includes murder, you're probably not a criminal mastermind who can get away with it scotch free)



2) CEOs have protection, CEOs are distant not 5ft away, and the real World doesn't have adventurers who are quite literally capable of withstanding 30 times the damage that you can, while being able to deal 100 times more.
A CEO can, however, be counted on to not be able to defend themselves; You get no such guarantee from someone with a name in DnD world. And the level of gouging those folks pull off is still orders of magnitude above "I'll make a 300% profit off an extremely small section of the populace that's also swimming in cash"


No, because in 3.5 you spent twice as much to get an item as you would get for selling it. In 4E you spend 6 times as much.

I'm curious at how you arrived at "6 times as much", as that's rather curious math. 4 times is all we know; You're tacking on 50% for the sake of your argument. You're also ignoring the fact that you can Disenchant the stuff for much closer to Market Value. You're also ignoring that minutae like buyback price don't strictly factor into the basic system, which is what you were deriding in your post.

SamTheCleric
2008-05-14, 07:56 AM
Sounds like the Magic Item economy is the same principle that GameStop uses.

"I want to trade in this game."
"You'll get $5 credit."
"The game just came out yesterday"
"You'll get $5 credit."
"Fine..."
"Thank you, would you care to use that credit today?"
"Sure..." *looks at game* "WHAT?! I just traded this game in and you're selling it for $85, but only gave me $5."
"It's called supply and demand. God, take an economics class."

Starsinger
2008-05-14, 07:59 AM
On the subject of D&D economics, something I've never understood. Presumably there are other parties of adventurers around (or else the PCs are unique/special and as we all know that immediately means you're playing a videogame.), why bother with a shopkeeper when you can sell items to other adventurers for more money than you'd sell to a shopkeeper, but less than the shopkeeper would sell?

Rutee
2008-05-14, 08:06 AM
You have to be in the same place at the same time. Which can be a bitch with adventuring parties, whom are often on the move to their next big thing. STill leaves the question on why it isn't done during Downtime though.

The question is how the Shopkeeps get away with an effective consignment rate of 50%; In the real world, you usually see 10%.. At least I think so.

ShaggyMarco
2008-05-14, 08:07 AM
On the subject of D&D economics, something I've never understood. Presumably there are other parties of adventurers around (or else the PCs are unique/special and as we all know that immediately means you're playing a videogame.), why bother with a shopkeeper when you can sell items to other adventurers for more money than you'd sell to a shopkeeper, but less than the shopkeeper would sell?

Because, apparantly, all adventurers are willing to kill anyone who has stuff they want.

How do you know that you aren't just monsters in THEIR campaign.

Charity
2008-05-14, 08:11 AM
Oh how refreshing a WoW reference.



Ok, now,who exactly follows the treasure rules to the letter in 3.x?
So it's OK for 3e rules to be rubbish and just ignore them, but that cannot be applied to 4e.

Also, it's not like there weren't other ways for PCs to gain money. Any half decent rogue could probably clean a village from anything valuable whitout fighting or performing quests or anything special.Just plain old stealing and runing away.

However,for what it seems, the only way one can get money is by killing monsters and making quests. And the monsters will NEVER again have loot that makes sense with them.

Yup of course that will all be explicitly outlawed by 4e.


Because in 3e, at least,when you killed a monster wielding a +2 bastard sword, you would get a +2 bastard sword.

Now you kill an ogre with a +3 mace, the mace disapears in thin air and it's replaced with a +3 firesword.


Did I read the same excerpt as you, I don't recall where it said... well anything like this.

Starsinger
2008-05-14, 08:13 AM
Because, apparantly, all adventurers are willing to kill anyone who has stuff they want.

How do you know that you aren't just monsters in THEIR campaign.

It might just be the hour, it might just be the lack of caffeine, or it might just be one of those moments of perfect clarity... but that struck me as very deep. Also very awesome. Nexttime I run a game in the same world as another, the PCs are fighting their old characters.

horseboy
2008-05-14, 08:14 AM
What? Am I the only one annoyed at the "give them a taste of the local flavor by giving them the name of the inn they stayed in that night and get back to the killing!" bit? Bar sports were half the fun of D&D.
In all I don't like it. It's too...rigid(?), mechanical(?), Inorganic(?) I'm looking for a word, not sure which.

AKA_Bait
2008-05-14, 08:15 AM
Uh. Posting it doesn't make it Fair Use. Fair Use looks at intent as well. It's Fair use for a /while/ sure, but in any context where the OGL would be an issue (EG Game design), use of 4e mechanics stops being Fair Use.

In short, the 4 vectors under which Fair Use comes up, straight from the US Copyright Office:

1: Intent of the use (If you actually needed the OGL, you're boned here)
2: Nature of the Copyrighted work (Commercial, which is rarely a good sign for your use for other commercial reasons; I've heard it stated before that you can't copyright game mechanics, but I haven't the inclination to check this out myself. I will not accept it as true until then, so)
3: Amount and Substantiality of the work in question (You'd get off pretty well here, since it's only a fragment of the work)
4: Effect on Market Value (Reduces it through proliferation, albeit not by much).

Effectively, the previews have no effect on the OGL, or on Fair Use.




Perhaps I should have been more specific, posting makes it available for people to make fair use of it without buying the product. The reason that the OGL didn't contain this information in 3.x was because even though WotC was willing to put a fair amount of its IP out there, it still wanted to make sure that players needed to buy the core books.

I'm not talking about someone stealing or reproducing the mechanincs in a way that gains them a commercial benifit, I'm talking about how the availability of those mechanics on the internet to anyone who just 'wants to know' (free of charge and by a third party without a specific commerical interest in competition with WotC, like say d20srd.org) would undermine potential profits for WotC and Hasbro if the GSL content is close to as comprehensive as the OGL content.

This to me, says that WotC ans Hasbro are either going to be making other key information unavailable in the GSL or they are being very careless. Now, they have been careless in the past, they at one point posted the point by information and it came back to bite them a little, but I'd be very surprised if someone isn't either throwing a fit over at Hasbro right now and trimming the GSL content or smiling to themselves.

horseboy
2008-05-14, 08:21 AM
And the level of gouging those folks pull off is still orders of magnitude above "I'll make a 300% profit off an extremely small section of the populace that's also swimming in cash
300% isn't that uncommon a mark up in furniture. Let's talk the pure gravy that is Extended Service Plans. :xykon:

ShaggyMarco
2008-05-14, 08:22 AM
Any similarity with Wow is PURE coincidence. (It's not like they even bothered to create a new name for the process)

Um...the Artificer from the Eberron Campaign setting had a disenchant power to harvest XP for item creation. That book was released 4/1/2004 according to my sources.

WoW went live 11/23/2004, didn't it?

WOtC did it before WOW.

And I am quite certain, WOtC didn't do it first either.

The Faceless
2008-05-14, 08:27 AM
I really don't like the idea that any magic items are ever going to be beneath me. Even at higher levels, a wheelbarrow of +1 drow rapiers is going to have some use. (Bring them to the high elven king as a gesture of goodwill, give them to dwarven magesmiths to melt down into magic ingots, sell them to village militias...)

Mr. Friendly
2008-05-14, 08:38 AM
Um...the Artificer from the Eberron Campaign setting had a disenchant power to harvest XP for item creation. That book was released 4/1/2004 according to my sources.

WoW went live 11/23/2004, didn't it?

WOtC did it before WOW.

And I am quite certain, WOtC didn't do it first either.

Hush now - you are spoiling a perfectly good talking point.

Saph
2008-05-14, 08:41 AM
When this happens, the characters ordinarily sell those itemsóitís slightly more beneficial to do that than to use the Disenchant Magic Item ritual, because the characters donít have to pay the component cost. A merchant, agent, or fence buys items from the character at one-fifth the itemsí value, in the hope of selling them at significant profit (usually, above the itemsí value) . . .

Characters can use the monetary treasure they find, as well as the gold from selling items, to acquire new magic items. They canít make items above their level, and canít often afford items more than a few levels above theirs. Itís to their benefit to use the Enchant Magic Item ritual for items of their level or lower, rather than buying these items from merchants, agents, or fences, because of the 10Ė40 percent markup over itemsí value that these sellers charge.

Good grief. Remember how some people used to complain that you could only get half value for a magic item when selling it in 3.5?

Now, if you sell a 1000 GP item to a merchant, he'll buy it for only 200 GP, and then turn around and sell it for 1100-1400 GP in return. That's a total profit of 500%-600%. Merchants had better be well armed in 4.0, because they're making themselves real attractive targets. ;)

The Disenchant Magic Item ritual must be horribly ineffecient for selling items at this rate to be the better option.

- Saph

kamikasei
2008-05-14, 08:42 AM
I really don't like the idea that any magic items are ever going to be beneath me. Even at higher levels, a wheelbarrow of +1 drow rapiers is going to have some use. (Bring them to the high elven king as a gesture of goodwill, give them to dwarven magesmiths to melt down into magic ingots, sell them to village militias...)

Each +1 rapier will sell for over 1000gp, and they're a standard part of the drow statblock in order to get its attack and damage up to scratch. So if your players are higher-level than would have much use for a +1 weapon themselves, they're just a tedious source of money that it might seem wasteful to leave behind (and indeed, as part of an encounter's standard treasure, they're supposed to be hoarded and sold).

The idea I think is that items which are worth money to the players - which count towards the players' wealth - don't have to be handed out just to make the monster's stats compute. Now the drow can have a mundane sword but still get that +1 as an innate bonus. If you want the players to get a magic weapon out of it, you can make sure it's one they'll get use out of themselves. If they want to gift the swords of their fallen foes to a patron, they can do so with mundane weapons. But more importantly, if they want to continue on their adventure without stripping every corpse down to hair and teeth, they won't feel like they're screwing themselves out of the wealth the encounter was supposed to yield for them.

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2008-05-14, 08:51 AM
Hush now - you are spoiling a perfectly good talking point.

No need to despair, IIRC Diablo (2?) (by Blizzard) was published well before ECS, and had a disenchant mechanic. :smalltongue:

Have you quit smoking Mr. F?

Jack Zander
2008-05-14, 08:57 AM
Each +1 rapier will sell for over 1000gp, and they're a standard part of the drow statblock in order to get its attack and damage up to scratch. So if your players are higher-level than would have much use for a +1 weapon themselves, they're just a tedious source of money that it might seem wasteful to leave behind (and indeed, as part of an encounter's standard treasure, they're supposed to be hoarded and sold).

The idea I think is that items which are worth money to the players - which count towards the players' wealth - don't have to be handed out just to make the monster's stats compute. Now the drow can have a mundane sword but still get that +1 as an innate bonus. If you want the players to get a magic weapon out of it, you can make sure it's one they'll get use out of themselves. If they want to gift the swords of their fallen foes to a patron, they can do so with mundane weapons. But more importantly, if they want to continue on their adventure without stripping every corpse down to hair and teeth, they won't feel like they're screwing themselves out of the wealth the encounter was supposed to yield for them.

So becuase the Drow is using the rapier, it's a +1, but when he dies it becomes mundane and you find out he was carring a +3 flaming mace all along?

Grey Watcher
2008-05-14, 08:57 AM
I really don't like the idea that any magic items are ever going to be beneath me. Even at higher levels, a wheelbarrow of +1 drow rapiers is going to have some use. (Bring them to the high elven king as a gesture of goodwill, give them to dwarven magesmiths to melt down into magic ingots, sell them to village militias...)

Yeah, that's my one big issue, too. I just can't see the players who already bother going around snatching up every last masterwork item for the resale value being anything but frustrated by being denied that wheelbarrow full of low-level items by DM/author fiat. And the ones that'd be content without the wheelbarrow probably ALREADY ignore magic items beneath a certain threshold.

Mr. Friendly
2008-05-14, 09:04 AM
No need to despair, IIRC Diablo (2?) (by Blizzard) was published well before ECS, and had a disenchant mechanic. :smalltongue:

Have you quit smoking Mr. F?

I have to say, I do not recall a disenchant method in either Diablo I or Diablo II.

No; I failed my Will save vs. cigarette's addiction DC. So now I am just scaling back day by day and hoping for a reduced DC in a month. :smallbiggrin:

Azerian Kelimon
2008-05-14, 09:08 AM
See, THIS is the reason I give my high level PC's coins to the Mercane Market (TM). They can always sell the loot, no matter the place, they can get PRECISELY the loot they want, and it doesn't break the suspension of disbelief since there's people who are flying 24/7 without being birds, eternal lights made via magic, etc. Makes like a lot easier.

Tsotha-lanti
2008-05-14, 09:37 AM
Looks like they cut back on WBL by quite a bit, unless I'm reading this wrong. Hopefully they made everything else more affordable to compensate.

An excellent and absolutely necessary change. It also follows logically from giving all characters powers and abilities that are actually useful. In D&D 3.5, your character's abilities (unless a spellcaster) were determined entirely by your equipment. It sucked.

There's several d20 games where equipment isn't central or even detailed, and they tend to be much better, on average.


I had an immediate bad reaction to this. I hope I'm being unfair. The NPC has an item "not because he needs it"

I read this to be related to the above. Breaks down into two statements, the second following from the first:
1. Characters don't need magic items.
2. Thus, NPCs don't need to have magic items.

In 3.5, a character without magic items - whether PC or NPC - was SOL. In 4E, this will apparently not be so - they're a bonus, not a necessity or a defining aspect of your character. An NPC can certainly use the magic item, but because NPCs don't need magic items, you avoid the D&D 3.5 issue (and, to an extent, AD&D-era issue) of all those 6th-level fighter mooks having full +1 gear the PCs need to somehow drag along and find buyers for.

Little_Rudo
2008-05-14, 09:50 AM
I see a lot of dislike for merchants buying so low and selling so high, but to me, it makes sense. Assuming we're talking about your standard traveling merchant, he has his own cost of living, the initial investment of a cart, and the cost and upkeep of a horse (or horses) to pull his cart. If he's traveling through dangerous territories (as is likely in the Points of Light viewpoint), he's going to need at least a guard, if not several. This means wages, food and healing costs for the guard(s). Your average traveling merchant has a lot of costs he needs to cover.

Mr. Friendly
2008-05-14, 09:58 AM
Perhaps 'Travelling Merchant' is an Epic Destiny for Wizards. That's how they can buy so low and sell so high without fear of retribution.

kamikasei
2008-05-14, 10:08 AM
So becuase the Drow is using the rapier, it's a +1, but when he dies it becomes mundane and you find out he was carring a +3 flaming mace all along?

What? No.

The drow has a +1 bonus to attack and damage, innate to him, which is his "magic threshold" discussed some time ago in one of the other previews. That applies to any weapon he wields, but doesn't stack with magic weapons. If he uses a mundane sword, he has a +1. If he uses a +1 sword, he has a +1. If he uses a +2 sword, he has a +2 total.

Now, where does this "turns out he had a <whatever> all along" come from? If he's given a +3 flaming mace then the DM should bloody well let him use it and nothing in the article says otherwise. It'll give his attacks +2 over what they already had and set people on fire, and maybe be of interest to the party fighter as a new primary weapon.

Really, where is this idea coming from?

bosssmiley
2008-05-14, 10:19 AM
The post below is not a 4th Ed bash. It criticises the innovations shoe-horned into the latest version of Our Beloved Game(tm) on the grounds of their sheer b0rked thoughlessness. An intuitively sweet hack or a blasphemously kludgy fix remains so whichever version of the game you prefer to play. That caveat given, read on.

4th Ed Lidda is a definite improvement on the pointy-faced, red-nosed thing we were given in the 3rd Ed books. Shame she's still a verminous little kender rather than a member of a proper species though... :smalltongue:
.
XP rewards were much as expected. Yes, story/quest awards are explicitly reinstated at last (and with a table of their own no less. Can't get more concrete than that!). But stabbing the guards in the face - rather than sneaking past them - is still heavily incentivised by the balance of numbers.
.
Treasure parcels? *Meh* Makes semi-sense. Nothing revolutionary though.
.
Disenchant = Artificer's Reserve Essence ability. Meh. Ok, could be done better. But then I'm a Power Components fanboi.
.
The crowning folly: the ugly, ugly, ugly and artificial magic selling system. Yeah, even I can see that the item level stuff is logical. I mean, why would you care about risking life-and-limb looting items weak enough that you can create them yourself? But where is there even a whiff of inworld logic (or knowledge of Economics 101) in the "magic items have only 25% resale value"?

Something like a permanent magic item does not have a maximum resale value secondhand of 50% (pace D&D3) or 25% (D&D4). Why? Because its' market value does not degrade in any meaningful way through use, and there are not 'new and improved' model magic items being pumped out by item factories. A +2 sword that can lie in a tomb for a thousand years and still be perfectly usable does not suffer meaningful depreciation in a static pseudo-Dark Ages economy. Big ticket item like a magic sword goes for whatever you can get for it.

Oh, but market economics suddenly kick in when you want to buy an item. Then the asking price is 90%-140% of list. Roman emperors and medieval guilds ~wish~ they could set prices so good. You know, it actually looks like its the merchants, rather than the monsters, who are keeping the D&D world in the Dark Ages. :smallconfused:

In conclusion: "Adam Smith SMASH!!!" :smallmad:
.
And more from the decoupled 'used-vs-loot items' gobbledegookery that is treasure parcels. As for why we wouldn't turn Robin Hood and just gank merchants who think saying "25%. Take it or leave it" to people who kill things for a living is best industry practise. To quote someone on another board:


[It's worthless attacking price-gouging merchants for their items because] "...their 'trade' inventory is different from their 'corpse' inventory. If you kill them all they have is a rusty sword, a suit of leather armor and a aquamarine gem."


Kind of touching to see the WOTC boys have learned ~nothing~ of rudimentary economics since D&D3. In this financial climate that's a significant achievement in itself. It's almost like finding a colony of rare and exotic butterflies happily thriving on the slope of an erupting volcano. :smallamused:

2/10 - see me Wyatt.

wodan46
2008-05-14, 10:20 AM
1. WoW is based off of D&D heavily, not the other way around.
2. Taking ideas based on the refined party combat stuff that WoW has and using them to fix the often times stilted combat in D&D is a good idea.
3. Remember, this economic excerpt, and the Core Books in general, are based off of the default mode of the game, which is hack and slash dungeon crawls, and the books are designed to make this work in a more efficient, fun, and reliable manner than was true in past editions, and are willing to crib notes from Diablo and WoW if they have to.
4. They are by no means forcing you into this system. If you want to go ahead and have encounters that are realistically above or below normal level, and unpredictably get over or underpowered items, you can do that. That works when you are playing a campaign or a setting with lots of roleplaying, but would make a typical dungeon crawl irritating.

TwystidMynd
2008-05-14, 10:31 AM
No need to despair, IIRC Diablo (2?) (by Blizzard) was published well before ECS, and had a disenchant mechanic. :smalltongue:

Have you quit smoking Mr. F?

Backing up Mr. Friendly, I can't recall a disenchant mechanic in the Diablo worlds, either.

On a separate note, regarding the "buy ridiculously low, sell high" conversation line, and also in response to the "why don't PCs just gib the merchants for their loot" question, perhaps merchants are forced to have high profit margins to afford protection for themselves from greedy PCs? Expensive, high-level magic wards on their windows and doors that trigger automatic "Teleport Object" spells if ever an item is removed from the store without having the ward dispelled by the store's owner? Insurance money paid to the local thieves' guild, to keep their place from being ransacked, or maybe to hire them as protection? Plenty of useful things a clever merchant can buy with the types of jink they earn off of adventurers.

Kompera
2008-05-14, 10:38 AM
Edit: More fun with server lag.

Kompera
2008-05-14, 10:40 AM
Okay, now they're down to taking their earlier product, 3E, out of context to make it look ridiculous. Nobody seriously plans sessions with the goal of giving players 33 copper pieces, and leveling them exactly every 13.333 encounters.
I didn't take it that way at all. The article spoke of averages, and how silly it would be to give out that 33 copper per encounter, rather than have the Ooze be without treasure and the Dragon have a hoard.
All very logical, no matter which edition you are speaking about.
And, as a person who has never played in a 3.5 campaign in which my character had access to anything like the WBL described under 3.5, I think the system described for 4e shows a lot of merit. It makes it easy for the GM to ensure that the characters are where they are supposed to be with regards to wealth and wondrous items. Which is a far cry from and a needed enhancement to the 3.5 loot rules and WBL systems which were all intents and purposes different systems which the GM was completely left with the chore of making them magically intersect at just the correct point.


On the whole: this looks quite good. A simple system for divvying up loot by having explicitly defined parcels. Nice.

A few worries though...

3)
And as for the whole "bard carrying an item he can't use" thing, I think it's dumb. Not because of anything that's changed: with a long tradition of random treasure tables also comes a long tradition of explaining why a grimlock barbarian was carrying a Rod of Extend Spell.
A conscientious DM would roll treasure beforehand and distribute it to sensible creatures/places, invent rationales for its presence, make intelligent monsters use is sensibly or -failing all that- swap it for something more characterful.

4e fails not because it does something worse but because it makes exactly the same mistake.
I don't see this as the problem you perceive it to be. That NPC grimlock barbarian is a bad guy, living in the wild and preying on passing merchants and adventuring parties for his loot. Sure, he should have some class appropriate loot. As the leader of a bandit gang he grabs the best weapons and armor the gang manages to 'liberate'. But there's nothing illogical about a bandit having stolen something of value which he can not use himself but which the players may recover upon defeating said bandit. So he hasn't yet had a chance to fence it? That's not lacking in verisimilitude. Have him open the encounter with an attempt to sell it to the players... That's a lot better GMing than the typical "Bandits attack, what do you do?" routine...


Hell, anyone into Paragon levels with even a hint of evil has every reason in the world to kill shop keepers left and right for that gouging.
Of course. Because there are never guards for shops with valuable good. There is never a town watch backing up those guards. There is never a Prince's Own elite unit securing peace in the region for a town which has had a wealthy and respected merchant slaughtered and robbed. And there are never consequences for any poorly thought out actions on the part of the PCs. If your GM is a dishrag.

Heck, the first thing I would do as GM when the PCs decided to rob a NPC in a non-evil town is ask to see the character record sheets of all the players involved. Then I'd declare those characters to be NPCs, and offer to let the players roll up less asshat characters. The PCs are the good guys. The GM runs the bad guys. Look it up, it's in the rules of 3.5.


Because in 3e, at least,when you killed a monster wielding a +2 bastard sword, you would get a +2 bastard sword.

Now you kill an ogre with a +3 mace, the mace disapears in thin air and it's replaced with a +3 firesword.
Um, yeah. I didn't read the same thing you read, apparently. I saw nothing about a magically transforming item from something used against the characters into something they could use once they win the fight. Would you mind pointing that out for me? And 4e is quite obviously not WoW. It's a skirmish level tactical combat game, with enhanced character complexity and a role playing wrapper. :smallbiggrin:


However, as normal, players only read what they want to read.Still a man will hear what he wants to hear, and disregard the rest.
- CSN&Y The Boxer


Nobody ever notices that rule, and then they blame Wotc for monsters don't using their own treasure,when it's their own fault that the monster isn't using the usefull parts of their treasure.My GMs always use that rule. And when I GMed I also always used that rule. Come up with some other broad, sweeping, inaccurate statement, please?


What? Am I the only one annoyed at the "give them a taste of the local flavor by giving them the name of the inn they stayed in that night and get back to the killing!" bit? Bar sports were half the fun of D&D.
In all I don't like it. It's too...rigid(?), mechanical(?), Inorganic(?) I'm looking for a word, not sure which.
A lack or a lesser emphasis on fluff does not make for a hack and slash D&D game. Really. This is entirely up the the GM and the players. My group's last game was pure role play, no combat. That was probably intended by the GM, as the session prior to that one started with us outside of an enemy camp and the entire session was taken up by our planning and executing the attack on that camp. This could have taken place under D&D three booklet set, D&D blue book, AD&D, D&D 33, D&D 3.5, or D&D 4e. The game doesn't prevent role play. The players can, but the game does not. At any time one of us could have decided to draw their weapons kill a bar patron. But we didn't, because we are mature adults who both understand that there are consequences for poor choices in life and because we don't do stupid stuff like that just because it's been 30 minutes since our last combat in the game. We enjoy getting together to game once per month because life has a lot of demands on our time and attention and this is a great opportunity to keep in touch and see each other. And so for us any RPG system at all would suffice. It's all a matter of perspective, I guess, but I don't see D&D 4e as being any less conducive to role play than any previous iteration of the rules.

Duke of URL
2008-05-14, 10:55 AM
Is every bandit ever automatically level appropriate?

If you're turning the game into a tabletop strategy turn-based game, intended to be run as miniatures "skirmishes", yes.

Trog
2008-05-14, 10:57 AM
You can get whatever you want for magic items... provided you find the right buyer. Keep in mind the article only says what a traveling merchant is willing to pay for such an item. That's not the same as it's value. And the markup for items it what he is willing to part with it for.

The difference between the prices is probably a reflection of how much time it takes to unload an item. Traveling costs. Paying for information on where the heck to unload this Glaive-Gausiam +3. That sort of thing.

Really the system isn't flawed at all... it's just that the default merchants are incredibly stingy. :smallamused:

Probably set up that way to keep adventures adventuring instead of shopping. :smalltongue:

Grey Watcher
2008-05-14, 11:02 AM
...(But it brings up the question, where did the first magic items come from? Was there a big pool of residuum or something?)...

Well, if it isn't part of the canonical mythology, you can bet plenty of DMs, myself included, will add a Prometheus-type character who first brought magic items from the Gods or something (perhaps a few examples and a few crystals that amount to residuum tanks). There's something appealing about there being a finite (if insanely large) sum of magic items in the world.

Alternatively, there could be a wellspring of the stuff in... someplace really dangerous like the Elemental Chaos or something (which would explain why you don't have civilizations mass-producing magic items, since you either have to destroy existing items or make dangerous (and therefore expensive) trips to other planes for your raw materials).

Roderick_BR
2008-05-14, 11:07 AM
Huh, just had my first real "D&D is turning into WoW" moment.



I had an immediate bad reaction to this. I hope I'm being unfair. The NPC has an item "not because he needs it" - well, sure I might give an NPC an item with the intent that it be captured and used by a player rather than because the nature of the NPC demands he have the item, but I'll still give some thought as to why he has it and make sure it's something that he has a use for himself. "The characters donít find magic items that are beneath their notice" - fair enough if they're altering the magic item economy to make hoarding items too low-level for you to use for later sale a waste of time, but how are they to "not find" these items?
Would you throw away a valuable magic weapon, even if you doesn't use it? :smalltongue: In my games, I just roll the treasure beforehand, so anything useful will be used by inteligent NPCs. If it's not useful (like a weapon for a primary caster), he'll just hide it in the back and hope no one uses it on him.

RTGoodman
2008-05-14, 11:21 AM
Originally Posted by Jack Zander
So becuase the Drow is using the rapier, it's a +1, but when he dies it becomes mundane and you find out he was carring a +3 flaming mace all along?

Now, where does this "turns out he had a <whatever> all along" come from? If he's given a +3 flaming mace then the DM should bloody well let him use it and nothing in the article says otherwise. It'll give his attacks +2 over what they already had and set people on fire, and maybe be of interest to the party fighter as a new primary weapon.

Really, where is this idea coming from?


It's from the "D&D is becoming WoW!" camp, claiming that, like WoW, it doesn't matter what the enemy has as you fight it, when you loot it, it'll have completely different random treasure. I see no support for that at all, but that's the idea.


Overall, I'm not really impressed with this WBL replacement-type system, but it's not the worst thing I've ever heard, either. I mean, if I DM, a lot of times I just think of stuff the PCs can use, throw in some other interesting loot, and then maybe roll for some art, gems, potions, and stuff like that. I don't know anyone who has EVER used the full system from 3.x, so I imagine that no one will implement the 4E version exactly as-is, either.

MammonAzrael
2008-05-14, 11:37 AM
Of course. Because there are never guards for shops with valuable good. There is never a town watch backing up those guards. There is never a Prince's Own elite unit securing peace in the region for a town which has had a wealthy and respected merchant slaughtered and robbed. And there are never consequences for any poorly thought out actions on the part of the PCs. If your GM is a dishrag.

I agreed with most of what you said, but I have to disagree here. While the idea of high level protection is viable in 3rd edition, it doesn't really work in 4th's "Points of Light" concept. The PCs are like Olympic gold medalists (except better) compared to the normal population. There simply aren't as many high leveled people around, it's extremely rare. Any "high level" guards that merchants will be able to afford will likely get decimated in a fight against PCs. Having guards that can wipe the floor with the PCs destroys that "points of Light" idea. I'm not saying you'll be using that setting, but WotC obviously is, and their merchant economics simply doesn't work in that setting.

Taking it farther, the only way merchants could survive would be by being extremely powerful, otherwise, even if your PCs didn't jump him, bandits would have long ago. Even if they had to raid an entire town to do it. And you couldn't say the bandits didn't because it wouldn't have been worth it, because then the merchant wouldn't have anything the PCs would likely care about either.


Heck, the first thing I would do as GM when the PCs decided to rob a NPC in a non-evil town is ask to see the character record sheets of all the players involved. Then I'd declare those characters to be NPCs, and offer to let the players roll up less asshat characters. The PCs are the good guys. The GM runs the bad guys. Look it up, it's in the rules of 3.5.

The PCs are NOT the good guys. They are the players. If they were always the good guys, then they wouldn't be able to pick an evil alignment, which they can clearly do. The DM doesn't run "the bad guys," he runs the opponents. Which could very easily be creatures of good alignment.

Draz74
2008-05-14, 11:44 AM
I have no feelings one way or the other on this.

The 3rd edition method of loot was stupid. This is one step up from stupid, which doesn't make it good.

I'll need to see it in practice.
My thoughts exactly.


Sounds like the Magic Item economy is the same principle that GameStop uses.

"I want to trade in this game."
"You'll get $5 credit."
"The game just came out yesterday"
"You'll get $5 credit."
"Fine..."
"Thank you, would you care to use that credit today?"
"Sure..." *looks at game* "WHAT?! I just traded this game in and you're selling it for $85, but only gave me $5."
"It's called supply and demand. God, take an economics class."
And wouldn't you kill them and take their stuff in retribution, if you were Paragon Tier (and very few other people in the city were)? :smallwink:


Perhaps 'Travelling Merchant' is an Epic Destiny for Wizards. That's how they can buy so low and sell so high without fear of retribution.
LoL :smallbiggrin:

Now that makes more sense than anything else I've ever read on this subject. :smallcool:

Blanks
2008-05-14, 11:46 AM
I like a lot of what you wrote Kompera, but you're not very open (in your post) to different ways of playing.


Of course. Because there are never guards for shops with valuable good. There is never a town watch backing up those guards. There is never a Prince's Own elite unit securing peace in the region for a town which has had a wealthy and respected merchant slaughtered and robbed. And there are never consequences for any poorly thought out actions on the part of the PCs. If your GM is a dishrag.
What if the PCs are heroes. Not just heroes actually, but HEROES! What if their power is so immense, that kings tremble at their feet?
Thats not unrealistic in some campaigns. Are you still going to tell me they can't rob a merchant, if they put their mind to it?


Heck, the first thing I would do as GM when the PCs decided to rob a NPC in a non-evil town is ask to see the character record sheets of all the players involved. Then I'd declare those characters to be NPCs, and offer to let the players roll up less asshat characters. The PCs are the good guys. The GM runs the bad guys. Look it up, it's in the rules of 3.5. This is where i totally disagree with you. At least half of my campaigns have been evil aligned, so robbing merchants is just fine.
And the robberies my players have commited would stump sherlock holmes... (well some of them would.)

EDIT:
Semininjaed... but others sharing my view is just fine :)

Reel On, Love
2008-05-14, 12:56 PM
"D&D is WoW"? Again?

Jeez, come ON, guys.

Are you just allergic to 4E, or do you feel the need to sneeze out "IT'S WOW!" every time you learn anything about 4E, even when the same things existed in 3.5?

Squash Monster
2008-05-14, 01:09 PM
Today we see better, more streamlined mechanics that will be boldly misapplied in the same way that the old ones have and we see verisimilitude getting shot in the face.

So, pretty much what 4E is about, really.

I like the treasure parcel system, it's basically what I've been doing in 3.5 and I know it works. The shopkeeper markup is entirely realistic for dangerous goods with uncertain markets, and more importantly I assume it's what was needed to make wealth by level work right.

What still bugs me is the magic item power threshold and how monsters using equipment works. Do the Drow know they have a +1 innate bonus that doesn't stack with anything? What do they do when they find a +1 sword? Are they just assumed to all be using +1 weapons? If no weapons appropriate for my fighter have come up yet and we fight these guys, can he just grab one of the +1 swords we were ignoring?

It also bugs me that we keep hearing mention of how encounters are built and how much experience things are worth, but have yet to hear anything about using higher or lower level monsters in combat. It was in the rules in 3.5 that the DM should sometimes use encounters that are higher or lower level than the character level, and that's a good rule that should be preserved. Can we use a 10th level monster as a solo monster for a 1st level party? They're worth the same experience.

Chronicled
2008-05-14, 01:11 PM
I agreed with most of what you said, but I have to disagree here. While the idea of high level protection is viable in 3rd edition, it doesn't really work in 4th's "Points of Light" concept. The PCs are like Olympic gold medalists (except better) compared to the normal population. There simply aren't as many high leveled people around, it's extremely rare. Any "high level" guards that merchants will be able to afford will likely get decimated in a fight against PCs. Having guards that can wipe the floor with the PCs destroys that "points of Light" idea. I'm not saying you'll be using that setting, but WotC obviously is, and their merchant economics simply doesn't work in that setting.


Guards don't have to be humanoids/PC races. I've already had merchants who went to some expense to bind a demon, build/purchase a construct, or convince/trick an ogre for protection; after a player asked how many merchants were going to be able to bind demons, I came up with the Fast Insurance & Recovery Enterprise (FIRE)--a red dragon of sufficient strength (but insufficient hoard) had a setup where merchants all over the nearby countryside could pay him dues each year in exchange for his formidable protection. They got a glowing sign for their window/cart showing that attacking them was going to result in the dragon pursuing, roasting, and eating the criminals.

The king was fine with the dragon's existence, since even if it was inherently evil it helped deter crime, and didn't send knights/adventurers after it. The merchants enjoyed their deterrent. The dragon got an easy source of gold and items for his hoard, as well as a state-approved addition of humanoid to his diet.

Morty
2008-05-14, 01:11 PM
Heck, the first thing I would do as GM when the PCs decided to rob a NPC in a non-evil town is ask to see the character record sheets of all the players involved. Then I'd declare those characters to be NPCs, and offer to let the players roll up less asshat characters. The PCs are the good guys. The GM runs the bad guys. Look it up, it's in the rules of 3.5.


Huh? No, they aren't. No matter how hard WoTC tries to convince us otherwise, the PCs aren't automatically good guys. They don't have to be the bad guys. They might be just a bunch of people who make a living killing monsters and looting them afterwards.
Also, yay for 4ed=WoW arguments that allow other people to make "All who dislike 4ed are hacks using logical fallacies" rants.

Trog
2008-05-14, 01:12 PM
I agreed with most of what you said, but I have to disagree here. While the idea of high level protection is viable in 3rd edition, it doesn't really work in 4th's "Points of Light" concept. The PCs are like Olympic gold medalists (except better) compared to the normal population. There simply aren't as many high leveled people around, it's extremely rare. Any "high level" guards that merchants will be able to afford will likely get decimated in a fight against PCs. Having guards that can wipe the floor with the PCs destroys that "points of Light" idea. I'm not saying you'll be using that setting, but WotC obviously is, and their merchant economics simply doesn't work in that setting.

Unless he is smart enough to not have the expensive stuff on him in the first place.

"Look I can arrange for you to pick up the +4 sword back at the city in front of the castle guard barracks. I'll be there a week from now on Tuesday at high sun. Bring the amount we agreed on. I don't take chances with you sword-for-hire types. Or with my valuable merchandise."

kamikasei
2008-05-14, 01:13 PM
What still bugs me is the magic item power threshold and how monsters using equipment works. Do the Drow know they have a +1 innate bonus that doesn't stack with anything? What do they do when they find a +1 sword? Are they just assumed to all be using +1 weapons? If no weapons appropriate for my fighter have come up yet and we fight these guys, can he just grab one of the +1 swords we were ignoring?

This is what I wonder too. Well, one of the things I wonder. The thing that motivated my original post in this thread.

Oslecamo
2008-05-14, 01:15 PM
I'm curious at how you arrived at "6 times as much", as that's rather curious math. 4 times is all we know; You're tacking on 50% for the sake of your argument. You're also ignoring the fact that you can Disenchant the stuff for much closer to Market Value. You're also ignoring that minutae like buyback price don't strictly factor into the basic system, which is what you were deriding in your post.

I'm also curious, where did you get the exact mechanics for disenchanting? Because from what I understood from the article, disenchanting is so "efective" that selling the item for 20% of their cost is an equally atractive choice for players. Hardly close to their market value.

Mind you, the buy for 20%, sell for 90%-140% is actually pretty close to real world economies. Comerce is the most profitable business nowadays because companies sell their stuff for much more than they actually cost to produce.

Try buying a car. Put it into a super protected place for one year. Now try to sell it. You'll be lucky if you get 1/10 th the original price.

Vazzaroth
2008-05-14, 01:18 PM
I had an immediate bad reaction to this. I hope I'm being unfair. The NPC has an item "not because he needs it"

I could feel an angry nerd rant swelling up in side me the exact moment I finished reading this sentence in the article. I absolutely hate that they are turning it into more of a Boardgame with RPG mechanics, and less of a Roleplaying game. IMO, yes, there is a difference between RPGs and Roleplaying games. I can't believe they are expressing movement in "Squares" instead of Feet. :smallannoyed:

I actually really like the XP system. It's like the Unearthed Arcana individual monster XP variant, and I love that because I never fully understood the cryptic and backward DnD XP system w/o a online XP calculate. I like that it's like City of Heroes, with a number of tiers of monster types to kill. However, I hate how railroaded and unvarying they are making the Treasure system sound. This system would be a great variant for n00b DMs, but any group where the players are also DMs, like mine where almost all of us have been or are DMs and know the game inside and out, it's going to be predictable and boring. All we have to do is learn the charts, and Im sure that after a few meetings we'll have it. "Lets see. That was an encounter for our level, we already got our got 3 of our magic items and two GP packages, so It's either gonna be a lvl 5 one, or 500 GP and a potion."

As far as the breaking magic items down, they didn't give enough info for me to tell if I like it yet, but I will defenantly not like it if there is no way to generate more residuum. As in, the PCs start with 50 Res, and they only even get more by breaking more magic items. This implies that there is a finite amount of magic in the world, and it's just changing form like Matter. This is only acceptable if there is FAR more than we will ever utilize, so it might as well be infinite, again like Matter IRL.

It's only a matter of time before the Mini game, which I like for what it is, and the tabletop merge into one. :smallfrown:

Edit: Of course that's a halfling. The huge chest and tiny tools are how they almost always show them. Not to mention that she has the stereotypical Oval head of halflings.

Chronicled
2008-05-14, 01:23 PM
Unless he is smart enough to not have the expensive stuff on him in the first place.

"Look I can arrange for you to pick up the +4 sword back at the city in front of the castle guard barracks. I'll be there a week from now on Tuesday at high sun. Bring the amount we agreed on. I don't take chances with you sword-for-hire types. Or with my valuable merchandise."

I like this option too.



Meanwhile, I'm surprised to read how many people actually roll for treasure in any fashion. Unless it's been a module (I haven't seen any of these that have you roll for loot), all the treasure I give PCs has been selected by me.

SamTheCleric
2008-05-14, 01:23 PM
To be fair about the squares/feet thing...

This map (from the Keep on Shadowfell preview in the May and Beyond previews):

http://www.wizards.com/dnd/images/preview_h1_3.jpg

Specifically says 1 square = 5 feet. So perhaps describing movement and ranges in squares instead of feet is just a way to make it easier on those people who may not be great at math, or are young and haven't really grasped that 90ft = 18 squares. (Even I had to stop and think about that for a moment)

Human Paragon 3
2008-05-14, 01:33 PM
Try buying a car. Put it into a super protected place for one year. Now try to sell it. You'll be lucky if you get 1/10 th the original price.

OK, I just have to point out the ridiculousness of the above. You're trying to tell me that if I buy a $40,000 mercedes benz and keep it in mint condition without even putting a mile on it, I'll be lucky to sell it for $4,000 in a year? You have obviously never tried buying a car yourself.

On Topic: I doubt if I'll have magic item shops. I never have before. My PCs rarely craft them either. I'll probably just make it up as I go along, but the system described in the article is a little better than 3.x.

Mr. Friendly
2008-05-14, 01:41 PM
I can't believe they are expressing movement in "Squares" instead of Feet. :smallannoyed:

Except of course, as has been explained in other places, making it "squares" instead of "feet" makes for semi-faster conversions and calculations for everyone in the world who uses metric instead of imperial (which at last count was EVERY nation on Earth except the US and Liberia {and a couple others that use their own standards})


This system would be a great variant for n00b DMs, but any group where the players are also DMs, like mine where almost all of us have been or are DMs and know the game inside and out, it's going to be predictable and boring. All we have to do is learn the charts, and Im sure that after a few meetings we'll have it. "Lets see. That was an encounter for our level, we already got our got 3 of our magic items and two GP packages, so It's either gonna be a lvl 5 one, or 500 GP and a potion."

I don't know if you noticed the logical flaw with your arguement; chiefly that the "easy version for newbies" should be the "optional" version. As a general rule, rules are written for newbies, with optional rules for the "elite". Thus, it is easier to write the rules for people who have never played before and have optional and advanced rules for the more experienced. Otherwise, the newbies who try to learn and play will get overloaded with rules too advanced for them and (may) just give up on it.

Trog
2008-05-14, 01:49 PM
So now I'm really curious about making magical items. Seems to fall in the ritual category. And apparently requires residuum. Which, for some reason, I keep picturing as golden fairy dust or something. I wonder if you can use residuum and a ritual to, say, upgrade your weapon? Like change it from a +2 into a +3 when you reached the appropriate level.

And is anyone else having trouble wrapping their head around the whole "monsters don't use underpowered magical weapons" thing? I think there is some sort of system they are advocating here but damned if I can figure out what style of play it's supposed to fit.

Also, is it just me or does this seem to have a lot more magic items than normal? I usually run a lower magic campaign and giving out an item a person per level seems a bit... high. Granted it's lower than the "buy whatever you want out of the DMG" method of magic item acquiring... but still.

nagora
2008-05-14, 01:53 PM
The article is up here

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/4ex/20080514a


Truely bland and uninspired. Treasure is where it is for a reason, and that reason isn't "because I have to let the PCs level up every 10 encounters with 4 over-level items". Sure, some of the minor stuff can be assigned randomly just like most NPC bartenders don't need a back-story, but anything significant sould be, well, significant.

This is taking the worst style of DMing and enshrining in a bunch of tables. At least the purely-random placement of treasure could spark some unexpected plot twists for the players and DM alike.

This idea that treasure exists solely in order to fulfill the PCs' needs is moronic and symptomatic of the anti-realism stance 4ed has taken. If the PCs want more treasure, then they should go out and find something/somewhere bigger and tougher that has treasure to take/give, not wait for the DM to pass it along the bloody conveyor belt like some magic-item sushi bar.

Oh, and if you have a working market-place for magic items? You have too many magic items in your game.

Vazzaroth
2008-05-14, 02:01 PM
Except of course, as has been explained in other places, making it "squares" instead of "feet" makes for semi-faster conversions and calculations for everyone in the world who uses metric instead of imperial (which at last count was EVERY nation on Earth except the US and Liberia {and a couple others that use their own standards})



I don't know if you noticed the logical flaw with your argument; chiefly that the "easy version for newbies" should be the "optional" version. As a general rule, rules are written for newbies, with optional rules for the "elite". Thus, it is easier to write the rules for people who have never played before and have optional and advanced rules for the more experienced. Otherwise, the newbies who try to learn and play will get overloaded with rules too advanced for them and (may) just give up on it.

I guess the conversion problem is a valid argument. My main issue is that they were eradicating a conversion into real life measurements completely like I've seen in every one of these excerpts, but that picture linked proved otherwise. I'm slightly more OK with it then, especially with the non-imperial thing that I hadn't considered. (Our group always wonders how popular DnD is in other countries. We always ask the exchange students.)

And when I said that, I was thinking mostly about how they did the Mini's game, and how the first battle module says "For this fight, just the basic attack". When I talked about variant rule, I meant like the kind that are included in the starter set they always sell, a dumbed down approximation of the real rules to get you started.

Reel On, Love
2008-05-14, 02:35 PM
Truely bland and uninspired. Treasure is where it is for a reason, and that reason isn't "because I have to let the PCs level up every 10 encounters with 4 over-level items". Sure, some of the minor stuff can be assigned randomly just like most NPC bartenders don't need a back-story, but anything significant sould be, well, significant.
Except that you can put the parcels where it, you know, makes sense.
The magic items in question also aren't exceptionally significant.


This is taking the worst style of DMing and enshrining in a bunch of tables. At least the purely-random placement of treasure could spark some unexpected plot twists for the players and DM alike.
It's really not. Purely-random placement of treasure sucks. "Why do the ogres have Gloves of Dexterity" is a plot twist?

You know what happens if you give some enemies lots of stuff and some enemies no stuff? The PCs seek out the enemies with lots of stuff. They become glorified bandits. That, and they either have gear way above what they should, or way below.


This idea that treasure exists solely in order to fulfill the PCs' needs is moronic and symptomatic of the anti-realism stance 4ed has taken. If the PCs want more treasure, then they should go out and find something/somewhere bigger and tougher that has treasure to take/give, not wait for the DM to pass it along the bloody conveyor belt like some magic-item sushi bar.
Maybe you don't realize this, but the PCs are going out and killing big, tough things that have treasure. If they were sitting around, they wouldn't be getting any treasure. The PCs kill some drow... and take their stuff. They kill a dragon... and take it stuff. Killing things and taking their stuff is the essence of D&D. The only question is, how much stuff? In that regard, 4e has fewer and less-powerful items than 3E, but more common items than 2E. 2E's way of dealing with items sucked. ("You have a +1 sword! BE GRATEFUL!" "So rare! So precious! Despite the fact that there's spellcasters running around everywhere!") 3E's way sucked in a different way--for melee types, at least, the items were as important as the character, and everyone was coated in powerful items, some of which changed their capabilities entirely (like the Wings of Flying), as a matter of course, at higher levels.

4E falls somewhere between the two. You aren't going to have a character defined by his items. The items won't open up a whole new wooooorld... a new fantastic point of view. But in a world with spellcasters running around, spellcasters capable of making magic items, there will be magic items.



Oh, and if you have a working market-place for magic items? You have too many magic items in your game.
Or you have a high-magic world, with spellcasters who make magic items.
That said, 4e doesn't have a marketplace, it has independent contractors. Some merchants buy items off of adventurers, and unload them, at a high mark-up, to other adventurers (and, of course, anyone else who can afford them and wants them).
The PCs want magic items.
They're not the only ones.
Some people have magic items they don't really want anymore, or more magic items than they can reasonably use (how many +1 Frost swords can you haul around?).
Magic items are worth a lot of money.
There's supply, there's demand, and there's a healthy profit involved. Why wouldn't there be people specializing in the magic item trade?

nagora
2008-05-14, 02:43 PM
It's really not. Purely-random placement of treasure sucks.

It does, I only said it was better.


"Why do the ogres have Gloves of Dexterity" is a plot twist?

Of course! What a strange question. It must be a long time since you played with a decent DM.

SamTheCleric
2008-05-14, 02:46 PM
Of course! What a strange question. It must be a long time since you played with a decent DM.

If you consider that good DMing, I'm glad I'm not in any of your games...

Chronicled
2008-05-14, 02:50 PM
If you consider that good DMing, I'm glad I'm not in any of your games...

Quoted for Truth.

kc0bbq
2008-05-14, 02:55 PM
If you consider that good DMing, I'm glad I'm not in any of your games...Seriously. What's the plot for today? Let's roll a series of d100s to get a random magic item - instant plot right there!. Epic storytelling, epic realism.

Reel On, Love
2008-05-14, 02:56 PM
It does, I only said it was better.
Yeah, but it's not. The DM can look at how much treasure the PCs should be getting, and put it where it makes sense.


Of course! What a strange question. It must be a long time since you played with a decent DM.
Ah, yes, of course. Everyone who plays differently from you is having badwrongfun, and their DM sucks.

"Why do the ogres have gloves of dexterity" is not something I want my game to be about. You could turn it into something interesting, with work...
...or the PCs could be doing something interesting in the first place.

Blanks
2008-05-14, 03:03 PM
we have to take into consideration, that in a lot of campaigns, magic items is the equivalent of heroin

High markups, shady dealings, and deals gone wrong is to be expected.

I run a lowmagic world, and also a "poor" world, so often the PCs trade som minor items for identification and healing. That is, powerful wizards and powerful temples, which eliminates most of the robbing. Not all though :smallcool:

Bleen
2008-05-14, 03:11 PM
Pros: Oh hey, no more true-random generation that ends up with PC's being horrifyingly poor.

Cons: Except, now it sounds kind of stale and "Meh." Feels more like they went the other extreme with this whole "Packages" thing.

Not better, not worse, just..different.

Jayabalard
2008-05-14, 03:20 PM
Ah, yes, of course. Everyone who plays differently from you is having badwrongfun, and their DM sucks.You could play D&D by making paper airplains out of the character sheets, and doing complicated juggling patterns with minatures and dice. If that's what you enjoy, go for it... but most people are still going to say "You're doing it wrong"

Nagora doesn't say that all plot twists would be coming from the random tables: "the purely-random placement of treasure could spark some unexpected plot twists for the players and DM alike." ... that means that, from time to time, an unexpected item from a random roll can be turned into a plot element. Someone who cannot ever turn an odd item that shows up in randomly generated treasure into a plot hook is not a good DM.



What? Am I the only one annoyed at the "give them a taste of the local flavor by giving them the name of the inn they stayed in that night and get back to the killing!" bit? Bar sports were half the fun of D&D.
In all I don't like it. It's too...rigid(?), mechanical(?), Inorganic(?) I'm looking for a word, not sure which.Munchkiny perhaps?

What's a word that means flat, tasteless and totally devoid of anything that makes pen and paper gaming worthwhile?

Artanis
2008-05-14, 03:22 PM
/me skips three pages of what is undoubtedly a flamewar by now :smalltongue:


The article looks interesting. The impression I got was that while they're changing what treasure you end up - as is to be expected with an entirely new edition with new mechanics, of course - they're more improving how you get there. There's still a WBL-esque system underlying the whole thing, but it does a MUCH better job of ensuring that the players do, in fact, wind up at or close to that WBL.

The problem with a random amount is that on a given level, the law of large numbers doesn't have enough samples to take effect. Yes, if you randomly generate a hundred treasure stockpiles worth 100gp to 500gp each, you'll probably get an average of about 300gp each. But like it said, you're only getting 13ish encounters per level. 13 will usually get reasonably close to average, but all too often it won't...and once you level up, those 100-500 hordes aren't used anymore because you're using a new level of treasure and WBL. However, if you say "an encounter of this level is worth 300gp", you know the players will be at about WBL, which makes it easier to keep the game in balance.


tl;dr version: the end result is about the same, but it's both more consistent and easier to use, which is a Good Thing



As to the enchanting thing:

Yes, the mechanics look similar to WoW, but the result is very, very different. The impression I got was that unlike in WoW, the 4e version is NOT something you want to do if you can help it. In WoW, enchanting is such a boon that you outright farm items so that you can shard them into boosts for your better ones. However, in 4e, it appears that enchanting is a "Plan B", only to be used when you can't find anywhere to sell the d*** thing. It's an option, not a goal.


tl;dr version: 4e's enchanting may look like WoW, but its result is literally as different as it gets.

Rutee
2008-05-14, 04:07 PM
Of course! What a strange question. It must be a long time since you played with a decent DM.

Ah of course, you're using deadpan humor to make your position seem sarcastic, as you've abandoned it. Am I right?

[/quote]You could play D&D by making paper airplains out of the character sheets, and doing complicated juggling patterns with minatures and dice. If that's what you enjoy, go for it... but most people are still going to say "You're doing it wrong"[/quote]
Yeah, but that's not what anyone is talking about. People are just talking about playing DnD for a different purpose. DnD's purpose, as printed, is "Stab First, Greyhawk Second, never bother asking questions"> That's what the rules are built to support. I'm fine with that; Playing for other reasons can't possibly be /wrong/, can it? I mean really, with how much you downtalk DnD's munchkinism..

Reel On, Love
2008-05-14, 04:36 PM
You could play D&D by making paper airplains out of the character sheets, and doing complicated juggling patterns with minatures and dice. If that's what you enjoy, go for it... but most people are still going to say "You're doing it wrong"
Right, because that's obviously the same as just a different playstyle in terms of the system as a game vs. the system as a task resolution mechanism.


Someone who cannot ever turn an odd item that shows up in randomly generated treasure into a plot hook is not a good DM.
Just because you can doesn't mean you should. Sure, you could say the ogres have the item because they've been robbing caravans and someone needs to stop them.
Or you could, y'know, do that, or something more interesting, without rolling random treasure.

Starsinger
2008-05-14, 04:56 PM
that means that, from time to time, an unexpected item from a random roll can be turned into a plot element.

For items like the royal insignia of Silvermyr or something which obviously does not belong to an ogre. But Ogres should be able to have almost any regular magical item, I mean it's not like there isn't the precedent of a type of ogre with magical abilities. And heaven forbid an Ogre just had warlock or artificer levels. What a lame quest that would be.

"Why did these Ogres drop a cloak of charisma? Ogres use Charisma as a dump stat! Clearly this is a quest from our wonderful DM who doesn't need things like story or intrigue to make quests!" Only to find out that the Ogre was simply a warlock.

Jerthanis
2008-05-14, 05:46 PM
I don't understand how people can look at the nightmare of random treasure generation in 3rd edition, and say that this is honestly worse. At least this system has the potential for working for DMs too new to the game or too busy to plan individual treasures for each individual encounter. In 3rd edition, if you tried to use the system, it would be time consuming and not work most of the time. If you have the time and inclination to custom build every treasure horde from scratch, it's easy to use the 4th edition treasure generation system... you simply do what you did with any other edition's random tables and disregard them entirely.

I like how gold pieces seem less... numerous. In 3rd edition, by around 5th level or so, a treasure chest full of 1000 gold pieces would be pocket change to a group of 4 PCs. Whenever I run or play in 3.5, I have to suspend disbelief at certain points that the local barony is seriously paying 5000 gold pieces to solve some problem. With 5000 gold, it seems like they could pay, train, and equip a group of 50 1st level soldiers, and that'd help the barony much more in the long run than any group of 4 level 5 guys who will never be seen again could do. If a whole party gets 2000 GP from level 5 to 6, split four ways, this might lead to less of a problem with 3rd edition's "We've got to buy a wagon to put all out gold pieces, because I'm not carrying 32,000 gold pieces on my back!"

Then again... I don't know how much the Magic items are going to cost. If you could sell a level 7 magic item for 8,000 Gp... I take everything I said back.

I like the idea of Disenchanting, and an accepted economy of Magic item trade being hugely inefficient in terms of Adventurers doing it, because Magic Item Trade seems like one of those things that's only available in hugely prolific magic settings, like Eberron or maybe Forgotten Realms.

Cudoes, WotC. I look forward to June 7th more and more each day.

Yahzi
2008-05-14, 09:05 PM
I donít have to add up the value of all the treasure Iím giving out and make sure it adds upóI just have to check parcels off the list when I give them out, and make sure that Iíve crossed everything off the list by the time they hit 6th level.
:smallconfused:

This represents a style of DMing I just can't even imagine. It was bad enough in 3.5 that the players had to plan their careers out to level 20 so they knew which feats to take at level 1; now the DM is supposed to know what loot the players will have at every level?

Figuring out what loot they have is the player's job. My job is present an interesting world that's believable and compelling. I don't know what kind of magic items they want at 6th level; they do, and they'll do whatever it takes to get them. My job is to make that getting interesting.


Even small villages rely heavily on trade with other settlements,
This isn't even remotely medieval in flavor. Small villages made everything they needed; they only imported luxuries. This is how small villages could exist without giant federal governments making sure the lines of trade stayed open. And giant federal governments are pretty much the opposite of feudal government.

ShadowSiege
2008-05-14, 09:56 PM
:smallconfused:

This represents a style of DMing I just can't even imagine. It was bad enough in 3.5 that the players had to plan their careers out to level 20 so they knew which feats to take at level 1; now the DM is supposed to know what loot the players will have at every level?


I think you don't understand what is going on. There is a table with 10 packages for loot. As the players progress through a level, the plan is that they will get all 10 packages. The checklist he's speaking of is when you're making a single-level adventure, you have the table at hand to reference the treasure the players will get. 3 packages from a dragon, none from the ooze, 1 from the noble that tasked them with slaying the dragon, and 1 from the merchant whose daughter the party rescued from the dragon. And then 5 other packages wherever in the adventure.

It's meant to be (and looks like it will be) a hell of a lot easier to make sure the PCs have the appropriate amount of wealth. As opposed to having to tally up the entirety of the PCs wealth and the entirety of the treasure and try and hit the magic number of WBL, it's already been done.

xirr2000
2008-05-14, 10:12 PM
Hrmmm...

So the idea is that, instead of fighting low-level soldiers who've been made slightly more challenging by giving them low-level magic items, you'd be fighting slightly higher-level soldiers with mundane items and innate bonuses?


I think the idea is to create a system by which you can structure your parcelling out of gold and magic items to keep up with the PCs as they level. This info is just an example of how to make a checklist of what your PCs should expect to get as they level, and the DM can decide how to dish it out. Of course, any guidelines to loot distribution are always just that, guidelines. It will always be up to the DM to give gold and items out in a way that will make the campaign flow and hopefully keep the PCs challenged for whatever encounters lay ahead of them. The specific form that loot arrives in can be in whatever fashion the DM wants.

Rockphed
2008-05-14, 10:15 PM
:smallconfused:

This represents a style of DMing I just can't even imagine. It was bad enough in 3.5 that the players had to plan their careers out to level 20 so they knew which feats to take at level 1; now the DM is supposed to know what loot the players will have at every level?

Figuring out what loot they have is the player's job. My job is present an interesting world that's believable and compelling. I don't know what kind of magic items they want at 6th level; they do, and they'll do whatever it takes to get them. My job is to make that getting interesting.

So just, as they suggest, give out items that make sense, and check off each parcel as you give it out. The parcels are fairly easy to figure out, and the Monetary ones can be rearranged pretty easily. Besides, isn't deciding what loot is there the DM's job? Or do you just tell the players, "you just defeated a CR 7 encounter. Grab a level 7 treasure out of the book."



This isn't even remotely medieval in flavor. Small villages made everything they needed; they only imported luxuries. This is how small villages could exist without giant federal governments making sure the lines of trade stayed open. And giant federal governments are pretty much the opposite of feudal government.

And every village had a mine to get coal and iron out of? How about Salt? Weren't wars fought over salt at various times Sure, if your village had enough work for a blacksmith to work all year, you could have one on site, but otherwise you needed to go to the next town over or learn to do it yourself. How about Barrel or Wheel Production? Alcohol?

Also, LARGE CITIES need to get grain and meat from somewhere, and need to pay for it by exporting what you termed "Luxuries."

I think your problem comes from having a different idea of what "Medieval" means than WotC.

Mewtarthio
2008-05-14, 10:44 PM
I came up with the Fast Insurance & Recovery Enterprise (FIRE)--a red dragon of sufficient strength (but insufficient hoard) had a setup where merchants all over the nearby countryside could pay him dues each year in exchange for his formidable protection. They got a glowing sign for their window/cart showing that attacking them was going to result in the dragon pursuing, roasting, and eating the criminals.

I'd just like to say that this is totally awesome. :smallbiggrin:


What still bugs me is the magic item power threshold and how monsters using equipment works. Do the Drow know they have a +1 innate bonus that doesn't stack with anything? What do they do when they find a +1 sword? Are they just assumed to all be using +1 weapons? If no weapons appropriate for my fighter have come up yet and we fight these guys, can he just grab one of the +1 swords we were ignoring?

I believe the magic item threshold is more of a "don't bother with these weapons" concept. If you're fighting a paragon-tier battle, you really don't care all that much about a +1 sword. Thus, the tarrasque's lair may well be riddled with +1 swords from the fools who attacked it earlier, but your characters wouldn't bother with them any more than they'd bother with the very smooth stone on the cavern floor. If your players, for some reason, want to scavenge a sword, you can then mention the +1 swords all over the place, just like if they decide to celebrate their victory by skipping stones in the pools of the monster's blood you can mention that there are some smooth stones on the ground.


It also bugs me that we keep hearing mention of how encounters are built and how much experience things are worth, but have yet to hear anything about using higher or lower level monsters in combat. It was in the rules in 3.5 that the DM should sometimes use encounters that are higher or lower level than the character level, and that's a good rule that should be preserved. Can we use a 10th level monster as a solo monster for a 1st level party? They're worth the same experience.

You can use a 10th-level normal monster as a solo encounter for 1st-level PCs. It just isn't balanced as well. Solo monsters are designed to be fun fights for large groups of people. The dragon mentioned earlier, for instance, makes multiple attacks each round, effectively fighting for four normal monsters. A normal monster, on the other hand, is designed to go head-to-head with a single character. Thus, the fight will degrade to a boring repetition of every PC making an attack, followed by the enemy dropping a PC, repeated until either side is dead. They have the same odds of winning, but it's much more boring.

I believe they already have rules for higher or lower-level monsters. For instance, the recent excerpt on orcs defines the following 9th-level encounter (XP 2150):


1 orc cheiftain (level 8 elite brute)
5 orc warriors (level 9 minion)
1 dire boar (level 6 brute)
2 ogre skirmishers (level 8 skirmisher)


Looking at the XP table in today's excerpt, that gives us (1 * 700) + (5 * 100) + (1 * 250) + (2 * 350) = 2150 XP.

Note that, despite being a level 9 encounter, this group consists almost entirely of creatures below level 9 (only a few minions are technically level-appropriate). It makes up for that by having lots of monsters.

Jerthanis
2008-05-14, 10:47 PM
:smallconfused:

This represents a style of DMing I just can't even imagine. It was bad enough in 3.5 that the players had to plan their careers out to level 20 so they knew which feats to take at level 1; now the DM is supposed to know what loot the players will have at every level?

Figuring out what loot they have is the player's job. My job is present an interesting world that's believable and compelling. I don't know what kind of magic items they want at 6th level; they do, and they'll do whatever it takes to get them. My job is to make that getting interesting.


This is a perfectly legitimate complaint that comes from the opposite direction I come from. I tend to have one main problem with loot distribution in my games. For the most part, I am unable to deliver enough loot to keep the characters' pockets lined. I'm talking DM to Player A: "You need 50 gold to bribe the guard" Player A: "Uh... hey, Player B, can I borrow 16 gold?" level of unable to distribute sufficient rewards. This tends to happen in more urban campaigns about hunting murderers or politicians. The Parcel system might help to remind me, "Oh yeah, the party gets one of these parcels during XYZ event", it keeps me on track so I don't forget about monetary rewards completely. Not that this is some revolutionary new concept that will make my games awesome forever, I'm just pointing out how it could be useful.

You see, I run up against this problem because I'm so busy writing up NPCs that I think would be interesting, and making the world and events compelling that I often forget about rewards. I believe that's the point of this system being in place... so that DMs don't have to waste time thinking about what loot the players will have at what level.

I guess my point is that this doesn't really change anything for the people who already weren't using treasure generation tools, and who had players who sought out their own magic items, or who custom made their treasures... it's for the people who don't want to or don't have time to do so.

Jayabalard
2008-05-14, 10:50 PM
Yeah, but that's not what anyone is talking about. People are just talking about playing DnD for a different purpose. DnD's purpose, as printed, is "Stab First, Greyhawk Second, never bother asking questions"> That's what the rules are built to support. I'm fine with that; Playing for other reasons can't possibly be /wrong/, can it? I mean really, with how much you downtalk DnD's munchkinism..While there's alot more to the discussion, the specific piece that I was voicing a disagreement to doesn't have anything to do with that. Nagora said that randomly generated treasure can lead to interesting plot twists, ie, explaining why some monster has an "inappropriate" item. Reel disagrees. Nagora makes a remark about the skill level of Reel's DM if Reel's DM cannot turn randomly generated items into a plot element. Reel counters with a diversionary argument accusing nagora of criticizing him due to difference in play style when nagora is in fact criticizing Reel's DM for being unimaginative since Reel has implied that his DM can't take a randomly generated magic item and turn it into a plot element.

None of that really has anything to do with playing D&D for different purposes; it's all pretty clear to me that nagora is pointing out a possible "silver lining" that is a result of randomly generating treasure and Reel disagreeing and either misunderstanding or intentionally misrepresenting nagora's argument.

Keep in mind that I also think that randomly generating treasure sucks... it's just better than this garbage.

Maerok
2008-05-14, 10:51 PM
Rant:


Next week, it'll be revealed that each character can take two professions. They divide themselves in professions to gather materials and professions to transform said materials in usefull stuff.

Once a character picks a mildly usefull magic item, it glues itself to his soul and cannont be used by another character EVER !

There will also be online autcion houses where players can sell their magic items to other players worldwide.

Items will also get broken with use and will demand constant visits to specialized NPCs for repairment. No player character can ever learn the repair power,not even if they ascend to godhood.

Any similarity with Wow is PURE coincidence. (It's not like they even bothered to create a new name for the process)

Ok, now,who exactly follows the treasure rules to the letter in 3.x?

Also, it's not like there weren't other ways for PCs to gain money. Any half decent rogue could probably clean a village from anything valuable whitout fighting or performing quests or anything special.Just plain old stealing and runing away.

However,for what it seems, the only way one can get money is by killing monsters and making quests. And the monsters will NEVER again have loot that makes sense with them.

Because in 3e, at least,when you killed a monster wielding a +2 bastard sword, you would get a +2 bastard sword.

Now you kill an ogre with a +3 mace, the mace disapears in thin air and it's replaced with a +3 firesword.

Again,any similarities with Wow are pure coincidence.

Way to go Wotc, just when you were making me think taht 4e may actually be something really refreshing.

As a final note, if the only way they find to give the right treasure to the party is the DM having pre made all the rewards for all the battles the PCs are going to fight, well, it's hard to be cheaper.

End rant

What? No Skill Focus (Farming) or detect drop rates? :smalltongue:

Rutee
2008-05-14, 11:03 PM
While there's alot more to the discussion, the specific piece that I was voicing a disagreement to doesn't have anything to do with that. Nagora said that randomly generated treasure can lead to interesting plot twists, ie, explaining why some monster has an "inappropriate" item. Reel disagrees. Nagora makes a remark about the skill level of Reel's DM if Reel's DM cannot turn randomly generated items into a plot element. Reel counters with a diversionary argument accusing nagora of criticizing him due to difference in play style when nagora is in fact criticizing Reel's DM for being unimaginative since Reel has implied that his DM can't take a randomly generated magic item and turn it into a plot element.

None of that really has anything to do with playing D&D for different purposes; it's all pretty specific to nagora pointing out a possible "silver lining" that is a result of randomly generating treasure and Reel disagreeing.

I have tracked the conversation /quite/ well. I'm aware. Nagora has gone out of his way to talk about how other concepts of roleplaying games don't work. It's actually /pretty relevant/, considerring his statements.

Jayabalard
2008-05-14, 11:10 PM
And every village had a mine to get coal and iron out of? How about Salt? Weren't wars fought over salt at various times Sure, if your village had enough work for a blacksmith to work all year, you could have one on site, but otherwise you needed to go to the next town over or learn to do it yourself. How about Barrel or Wheel Production? Alcohol?Coal they mostly did without (you can work iron with charcoal or peat fires); iron and salt were indeed commodities that got traded fairly regularly (though neither was all that common and both were fairly expensive).

Smiths were pretty common which is why that surname is so common; most villages had one. Barrel makers were a bit less common (hence the surname "cooper" is not as common as "Smith" is), but they were less in demand. You didn't have to travel too far to find someone to buy barrels from.

Alcohol makers on the other hand... very common. Most villages had several people who made alcoholic beverages.


Also, LARGE CITIES need to get grain and meat from somewhere, and need to pay for it by exporting what you termed "Luxuries."Those large cities didn't have to go very far to get grain and meat

The point is: small villages not not rely heavily on trade with other settlements in a feudal society. They make nearly everything they use; the few exceptions are raw materials and most of those exceptions are fairly local.


I have tracked the conversation /quite/ well. I'm aware. Nagora has gone out of his way to talk about how other concepts of roleplaying games don't work. It's actually /pretty relevant/, considerring his statements.The response of mine that you quoted was strictly in response to that particular thread of conversation. If you want to argue with nagora concerning his other statments, you might want to quote and respond to something that would actually be relevant to that discussion.

Sstoopidtallkid
2008-05-14, 11:23 PM
Eh. I'm going to ignore this system more-or-less anyways, just like I did in 3.x. The only part that bugs me is the monsters weapons being magical only when held by that monster. There better be a non-setting specific justification for that so that it doesn't break versmillitude, and it will definitely make a low-magic campaign harder. The merchants buying and selling at Gamestop rate will be house-ruled away if possible, what worries me is that it might not be. The decrafting system being so bad for the PCs that 20% of value is an improvement leaves me with little hope for it either. All in all, most of this arcticle merely confirms that I'll be sticking to 3.x until I can move my group to a better system.

Reel On, Love
2008-05-14, 11:27 PM
Eh. I'm going to ignore this system more-or-less anyways, just like I did in 3.x. The only part that bugs me is the monsters weapons being magical only when held by that monster.
What? Where did you get that?

Sstoopidtallkid
2008-05-14, 11:45 PM
What? Where did you get that?The part where Drow opponents have an "innate magic aura" or somesuch that means all weapons they wield are automatically +1. It was only referenced in the OP, it was actually stated in one of the replies.

ShadowSiege
2008-05-14, 11:45 PM
What? Where did you get that?

I think he's thinking of the magic threshold for monsters. Except if he is, he has it exactly wrong. The threshold reduces the benefits conferred from the weapon to the monster. If the monster has a +2 threshold and it's wielding a +4 weapon, it only gains +2 from the weapon (4-2).

Or we could all be on different wavelengths here...

Reel On, Love
2008-05-14, 11:47 PM
The part where Drow opponents have an "innate magic aura" or somesuch that means all weapons they wield are automatically +1. It was only referenced in the OP, it was actually stated in one of the replies.

The weapon isn't magic. The monster is magic. It's a +1 Drow.

Sstoopidtallkid
2008-05-14, 11:57 PM
The weapon isn't magic. The monster is magic. It's a +1 Drow.The problem I have with that is that either PC Drow have it (which seems OP), PC Drow don't(which breaks versmillitude), or PC Drow only get it after a certan level(which is both clunky, useless for most of his career, and still breaks versmillitude unless Drow monsters only get it after a certain level).

Abardam
2008-05-15, 12:14 AM
The problem I have with that is that either PC Drow have it (which seems OP), PC Drow don't(which breaks versmillitude), or PC Drow only get it after a certan level(which is both clunky, useless for most of his career, and still breaks versmillitude unless Drow monsters only get it after a certain level).It's not Drow, it's monsters in general.


There's something appealing about there being a finite (if insanely large) sum of magic items in the world.I like this. It makes magic items seem more, well, magical. (But what would make them really magical would be their special properties and abilities, come on WoTC I can't wait for that preview)

Wender
2008-05-15, 12:14 AM
However, I hate how railroaded and unvarying they are making the Treasure system sound. This system would be a great variant for n00b DMs, but any group where the players are also DMs, like mine where almost all of us have been or are DMs and know the game inside and out, it's going to be predictable and boring. All we have to do is learn the charts, and Im sure that after a few meetings we'll have it. "Lets see. That was an encounter for our level, we already got our got 3 of our magic items and two GP packages, so It's either gonna be a lvl 5 one, or 500 GP and a potion."

If it's a great variant for n00b DMs, what other justification is necessary? They're the people who need systems and guidelines for apportioning treasure. If they outgrow it, great! They've grown as players. All that matters is that they have something to start from that gives them a sense of the power and equipment level that the game expects. Once they're comfortable, they can start tinkering.

It's a long, long way from the godawful (and almost universally abused or ignored) treasure types from the 1E DMG.

Aside: Halflings have huge chests and tiny tools? Uh, OK. ;)

Sstoopidtallkid
2008-05-15, 12:21 AM
It's not Drow, it's monsters in general.Then replace "Drow" with "Monster" in my post. Monster PCs need to be an option that doesn't break versmillitude or utterly suck. +1 Drow seem to make that harder, not easier.

Rutee
2008-05-15, 12:25 AM
The problem I have with that is that either PC Drow have it (which seems OP), PC Drow don't(which breaks versmillitude), or PC Drow only get it after a certan level(which is both clunky, useless for most of his career, and still breaks versmillitude unless Drow monsters only get it after a certain level).

I'm pretty sure Magic Threshold is both a PC and NPC concept.

Chronicled
2008-05-15, 12:27 AM
It's a +1 Drow.

Dangit, now you've reminded me of the one-shot I need to run where the PCs are intelligent weapons with huge ego scores. "Hey, check out my human of +1 walking! He can even cast spells!"


I like this. It makes magic items seem more, well, magical. (But what would make them really magical would be their special properties and abilities, come on WoTC I can't wait for that preview)

+1

Yahzi
2008-05-15, 12:37 AM
Besides, isn't deciding what loot is there the DM's job?
Oh, I know what loot all my NPCs have. The thing is, those NPCs have that loot for themselves, not for the players. I decide what loot an NPC has based on what that NPC would want, be able to use, and be able to get.

If the players want a magic item, it's up to them to go find someone who has it, and then convince them to give it up. I've got a whole world of NPCs to worry about - I can't be making decisions for the players too!

Mostly my games revolve around the players trying not to be killed. "Quests" are something they set up themselves - like questing to build a castle, or establish a kingdom, or get a specific item, or avenge themselves on the many, many NPCs who made their early life a living hell. You know, that sort of stuff.


And every village had a mine to get coal and iron out of?
Most medieval villages got by without coal. That's what charcoal is for. And yes, iron "mines" were often just pits in an old bog.

The concept of "self-sufficiency" was the norm in the medieval period.


Weren't wars fought over salt at various times
By large, federal governments (remember, the medieval ages represented a step backwards; feudalism is less advanced/efficient/effective than the Roman Republic or Athenian Democracy). But the whole point of the "thousand points of light" is that there are no large, federal empires. As Frank & K noted, D&D is set in the Iron age - a time of many isolated city-states, where sailing around and killing strangers and taking their stuff was a perfectly legitimate career path.


Sure, if your village had enough work for a blacksmith to work all year, you could have one on site, but otherwise you needed to go to the next town over or learn to do it yourself.
You know, smelting iron isn't rocket science. Nor is farming, when you don't have pesticides and fertilizers and bank loans to amortize. You can learn to do all this stuff, if you have too.

Remember that in the Renaissance, a person could graduate from college with at doctorate in everything - from agriculture to medicine to zoology - often before the age of 20. There just wasn't that much to know.


Also, LARGE CITIES need to get grain and meat from somewhere, and need to pay for it by exporting what you termed "Luxuries."
Being dependent on international trade is a modern phenomena. Self-sufficiency was the norm in the past - only imperial cities like Rome or Athens could maintain a population greater than what local farmers could feed.

And there just weren't that many empires. Or large cities.


I think your problem comes from having a different idea of what "Medieval" means than WotC.
Indeed - you may well be wholly correct here. However, my idea of medieval is based on this thing called "history," whereas WotC's is based on this thing called "dramatic license taken to a ludicrous extreme."

Or, far more likely, WotC simply doesn't feel any need to restrict themselves to a medieval flavor anymore.



it keeps me on track so I don't forget about monetary rewards completely.
If your players don't have enough money, they can cut their hair and go get a damn job. :smallbiggrin: Seriously, how much money a player currently has is the player's problem, just like how many hit points they currently have is their problem. If they don't like the gold/hit point situation, maybe they should make different choices.



The weapon isn't magic. The monster is magic. It's a +1 Drow.
Now that is funny! :smallbiggrin:

Also, sad, because it's true. "We're tired of you collecting buckets of +1 swords because we had to load up the mooks with them just so they could scratch your armor; so from now on, the mooks just get to be +1."

Bleh! It's like Tomb of Horrors, and its 10x10x10 foot adamantium door. A stupid dungeon with 200-300K gp of treasure, protected by a door worth billions. Our DM immediately said, "It turns to lead as soon as you remove it from the dungeon." And we didn't even argue with him: it was just too silly.

xirr2000
2008-05-15, 12:45 AM
"D&D is WoW"? Again?

Jeez, come ON, guys.

Are you just allergic to 4E, or do you feel the need to sneeze out "IT'S WOW!" every time you learn anything about 4E, even when the same things existed in 3.5?

Seriously, its a game. There HAS to be some way of dishing out loot and they're just giving suggestions. If you don't like it do it however you want.....

BTW, I think its much more fair to say that WoW owes a lot more to D&D than the other way around :smallsmile:

Mewtarthio
2008-05-15, 12:50 AM
I'm pretty sure Magic Threshold is both a PC and NPC concept.

I'd figured that it was just a sort of balancing tool used to automatically adjust the difficulty of an encounter to its reward. For instance, a +5 sword is extremely powerful at first level; therefore, a first-level encounter that yeilds a +5 sword should be a lot harder than one that yeilds normal rewards. Conversely, a +5 sword is just a slight bonus at twenty-fifth level, so a twenty-fifth-level encounter that yeilds one should only be slightly more difficult. By the same token, a +1 sword is worth nothing more than the scrap you can sell it for at twenty-fifth level, so including one in the encounter shouldn't make it any harder at all.

Yes, this means that monster Drow and PC Drow get different benefits from a +5 sword. However, the benefits are nothing more than "PC Drow swings slightly faster and harder than monster Drow." Nobody is really going to notice that. Combat is all abstracted anyways, so the only way you'll detect a difference through some means other than metagaming is via rigorous scientific experimentation, in which case the DM is well within his rights to lie and say everyone gets the same benefit (since your actions would be tantamount to sending commoners to fight monsters and measuring how quickly they get stronger).

In short: It's entirely a metagame concept, just like hit points and levelling.

Reel On, Love
2008-05-15, 12:56 AM
Then replace "Drow" with "Monster" in my post. Monster PCs need to be an option that doesn't break versmillitude or utterly suck. +1 Drow seem to make that harder, not easier.

Break verisimilitude? How? The PCs just know the drow are attacking, not whether they're +0 Drow, +1 Drow, or +2 Drow.

The PCs' magic threshold wouldn't come up, because they should have a magic implement by the time they reach it! If they don't have magic stuff, because you're playing a game without, slapping on inherent bonuses equal to what they'd have from their implements will keep the existing balance intact and let you dispense with the implements (same for other items).

Besides which, it's not like monsters functioning on different rules/assumptions from PCs is new.

You could also justify it. Can't be too hard, right? Here, let me try... PC drow focus on their PC class training, rather than developing their inherent abilities. That's why they're not +1 Drow.


"+1 Drow", of course, leads to obvious jokes about the "+1 Flaming Drow".

Starsinger
2008-05-15, 03:06 AM
"+1 Drow", of course, leads to obvious jokes about the "+1 Flaming Drow".

Or to steer that in a more tasteful direction, commoners now have to fear +1 vorpal house cats.

Chronicled
2008-05-15, 03:15 AM
Or to steer that in a more tasteful direction,

Wait, you weren't taking it literally and imagining a +1 drow running around, comically engulfed in flames? (I did.) Since it's a +1 drow, it takes no damage, of course.

Saeveo
2008-05-15, 03:21 AM
"+1 Drow", of course, leads to obvious jokes about the "+1 Flaming Drow".

+1 Dancing Drow. :smalltongue: ("Oh, sh*t, he's waltzing! Run away!!")

Reel On, Love
2008-05-15, 03:52 AM
+1 (Peachy) Keen Drow?

+1 Merciful Drow. Contradiction!

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2008-05-15, 03:59 AM
Charity could not have done this any better himself, except that we would have been in Vegas with "popcorn" instead of eating fruit of the Drow.

Charity
2008-05-15, 04:49 AM
http://carnell.files.wordpress.com/2008/02/derailed-train.jpg

Could you have a +1drow of drowbane?

Muyten
2008-05-15, 05:04 AM
Could you have a +1drow of drowbane?

Wouldn't that be kinda selfdefeating? :)

Lord Lorac Silvanos
2008-05-15, 05:27 AM
Could you have a +1drow of drowbane?

Only if it is also wielding dual scimitars....

Oslecamo
2008-05-15, 05:31 AM
I hate to breack your fun, but :

A monsterís magic threshold is an abstract representation of its equipment, power, and general effectiveness against characters of its level.

So, if a drow magic's treshold is +1, it's quite possible that it is indeed carrying +1 weapons, that turn to dust once it's defeated, replaced by the drow's loot.

Charity
2008-05-15, 05:48 AM
http://www.pagetutor.com/jokebreak/images/wrong_place.jpg

A monsterís magic threshold is an abstract representation of its equipment, power, and general effectiveness against characters of its level.
It is not a sword that mysteriously turns to dust.
If you want to roll/assign the drows treasure first he could even, you know, weild his loot.

ShaneLeahy
2008-05-15, 06:16 AM
I think it is funny that this whole +1 monster thing and such is using drow. When drow first came out, thier equipment did in fact lose its magic once exposed to sunlight.

Starsinger
2008-05-15, 06:26 AM
I think it is funny that this whole +1 monster thing and such is using drow. When drow first came out, thier equipment did in fact lose its magic once exposed to sunlight.

And isn't that something that some people who are used to older edition(s?) complain about? "WHAT?! Drow equipment functions above ground? They have ruined D&D forever!"

Mr. Friendly
2008-05-15, 06:37 AM
And isn't that something that some people who are used to older edition(s?) complain about? "WHAT?! Drow equipment functions above ground? They have ruined D&D forever!"

Honestly, I blame Drizzt for that more than the editions changes.

He apparently had "Aura of Awesome" which protected his equipment for years after he got to the surface.

Trog
2008-05-15, 07:18 AM
"+1 Drow", of course, leads to obvious jokes about the "+1 Flaming Drow".
"Hello thsailor!" :smallwink:

or the Vorpal Drow!

"Hello. Well met. I'm called... er... whoops. Sorry about your hand there. Happens all the time. There there *pats*

Whoops. Um... and about the rest of your arm. Really I'm not sure what to do to stop bleeding. I didn't take ranks in heal.

*scratches back of neck. Lops off own head*

horseboy
2008-05-15, 08:00 AM
Still a man will hear what he wants to hear, and disregard the rest.
- CSN&Y The BoxerI could have sworn that was Simon & Garfunkel
Try buying a car. Put it into a super protected place for one year. Now try to sell it. You'll be lucky if you get 1/10 th the original price.Of course, a pick-up that's 10 years old will easily get 1/3-1/2 their original price, depending on how well maintained it was.

Munchkiny perhaps?

What's a word that means flat, tasteless and totally devoid of anything that makes pen and paper gaming worthwhile?American Beer
No seriously, contrived(?)

I don't understand how people can look at the nightmare of random treasure generation in 3rd edition, and say that this is honestly worse. This is one of those "The lesser or two Evils is still not Good" moments. Yes, random tables are bad, but this isn't much better as it leaves a stale, mechanical feel. Then again, nothing I enjoy playing has WBL or the problems associated with it.

Rutee
2008-05-15, 08:18 AM
I'd figured that it was just a sort of balancing tool used to automatically adjust the difficulty of an encounter to its reward. For instance, a +5 sword is extremely powerful at first level; therefore, a first-level encounter that yeilds a +5 sword should be a lot harder than one that yeilds normal rewards. Conversely, a +5 sword is just a slight bonus at twenty-fifth level, so a twenty-fifth-level encounter that yeilds one should only be slightly more difficult. By the same token, a +1 sword is worth nothing more than the scrap you can sell it for at twenty-fifth level, so including one in the encounter shouldn't make it any harder at all.

Yes, this means that monster Drow and PC Drow get different benefits from a +5 sword. However, the benefits are nothing more than "PC Drow swings slightly faster and harder than monster Drow." Nobody is really going to notice that. Combat is all abstracted anyways, so the only way you'll detect a difference through some means other than metagaming is via rigorous scientific experimentation, in which case the DM is well within his rights to lie and say everyone gets the same benefit (since your actions would be tantamount to sending commoners to fight monsters and measuring how quickly they get stronger).

In short: It's entirely a metagame concept, just like hit points and levelling.

I might be using the wrong term. I'm referring to the fact that if you as a level 9 character pick up a normal sword, you're bad-ass enough to make it a +1 weapon.

Oslecamo
2008-05-15, 08:39 AM
A monsterís magic threshold is an abstract representation of its equipment, power, and general effectiveness against characters of its level.
It is not a sword that mysteriously turns to dust.
If you want to roll/assign the drows treasure first he could even, you know, weild his loot.

Why would a drow ever wield a +1 sword if it didn't give him any special bonus?

Drows made self destructing equipment in 3e. A really good strategy against adventurerd, that clearly got widespread by all the monsters in 4e.

But of course, ignoring the word "equipment" in there is just so much easier, right? Frees up time to search pictures of run over animals on the web, aparently. Why read an entire sentence when you can search for out of topic images anyway?

Jack Zander
2008-05-15, 09:17 AM
Yeah... I didn't quite get the roadkill image either...

But it did make me lawl. :smallbiggrin:

Ralfarius
2008-05-15, 09:46 AM
Honestly, I blame Drizzt for that more than the editions changes.

He apparently had "Aura of Awesome" which protected his equipment for years after he got to the surface.
Not to nitpick (too much), but basically everything that fella wears is no longer drow-made. In fact, if I recall correctly, there was a point where he was noticing how quickly his supercloak was going threadbare from all the exposure.

Muyten
2008-05-15, 09:51 AM
I hate to breack your fun, but :

A monsterís magic threshold is an abstract representation of its equipment, power, and general effectiveness against characters of its level.

So, if a drow magic's treshold is +1, it's quite possible that it is indeed carrying +1 weapons, that turn to dust once it's defeated, replaced by the drow's loot.

I think you misunderstand. If a creature (say a drow) has a Magic Threshold of +1 then yes it is possible that it carries a +1 weapon and is probably even wielding it. Where are you getting from that this weapon turns to dust and is replaced by loot? The weapon IS its loot. Magic threshold is just there to make sure the DM doesn't stack overly powerfull equipment on a creature.

Now if the characters are high enough level apparently such loot will be ignored (or perhaps rather be considered monetary loot instead of equipment), but that doesn't seem to be what you are talking about and has nothing to do with magic threshold.

kamikasei
2008-05-15, 10:06 AM
Why would a drow ever wield a +1 sword if it didn't give him any special bonus?

Who says they ever do? Maybe they only wield +1 flaming or similar swords, or swords of +2 or above, as a minimum.


Drows made self destructing equipment in 3e. A really good strategy against adventurerd, that clearly got widespread by all the monsters in 4e.

But of course, ignoring the word "equipment" in there is just so much easier, right? Frees up time to search pictures of run over animals on the web, aparently. Why read an entire sentence when you can search for out of topic images anyway?

You're trying to construct a rigorous argument that something absurd is the case, based on a handful of disconnected statements from fairly vague advertising copy. First you're taking it as given that a humanoid enemy with a +1 magic threshold achieves it by wielding a +1 weapon rather than via any innate, non-stacking bonus. Then you're looking at the statement that "the characters donít find magic items that are beneath their noticeóthey wonít walk out of the drow enclave with a wheelbarrow full of +1 rapiers" and assuming it means that the drow killed in the enclave won't have any +1 weapons to loot, and therefore that, putting these two statements together, the drow must have a +1 weapon which disappears when he's killed.

Consider two other interpretations: firstly, no, enemies/monsters don't need special equipment, they get innate bonuses that let them keep pace with the magical gear PCs acquire (my original understanding). Yes, this means that a humanoid enemy with a mundane weapon has the attack and damage of an equivalent PC with a magical weapon, but it's an abstract system and this is an acceptable fudge to me. (What I wonder is how such an approach would handle, say, a player giving his +1 sword to an NPC with a +1 threshold. Knowing that the NPC was as powerful as him beforehand, and that he's just given him one of the things that contributed to his own power, won't it seem strange that the NPC isn't any better off? But again, maybe the system will be abstract enough that this would be bald-faced metagaming.)

So under this approach, magic items are rarer. Your average enemy wouldn't have a magic weapon, only the occasional slightly-tougher challenge would, often with the aim of having the player defeat it and take the item. This doesn't seem like a bad idea to me, and could easily be explained in character with judicious use of non-numerical enhancements: the system may be too abstract for your characters to know that the mercenary captain's sword is a +2 weapon and hence giving him an additional +1 to attack over the mundane items his +1 threshold allies are wielding, but they can see that it radiates a burning cold (frost), or is rune-engraved and bitter-edged (keen), or whatever, and take it as bounty while leaving the others behind on that basis.

Secondly, it's possible that Wyatt was speaking imprecisely, and that your enemies may be carrying +1 weapons which aren't worth anything to you as weapons - but that these won't be considered part of their "treasure", and the default assumption will be that you'll leave them behind, rather than feeling obliged to loot every last copper from an enemy and sell off any items to bring you up to your WBL. I like that idea, too. It seems a lot more, well, dignified, and heroic too, and in keeping with fantasy themes for PCs to occasionally take items of conspicuous power or worth from their enemies and use them than to strip-mine every dungeon and its inhabitants and sell the gleanings just so they can afford their next batch of ammo.

(Actually, looking again, I rescind my earlier concerns about the statement "The 5th-level NPC has a 6th-level itemónot because he needs it, but because itís one of the treasure parcels." That looks to me now like Wyatt was saying, "an NPC doesn't have valuable items because they're necessary to keep his combat stats high enough. His stats will take care of themselves, even with mundane gear. You can spare yourself the hassle of filling the world with low-level magic items doomed to a fate as vendor trash just keep your players' pockets full, and instead give out items according to this schema, independent of the individual encounters, and allocate them wherever they'd make sense". And I like that, too.)

I don't mean to imply that the above is the clear logical implication of WotC's statements so far, or the only inference that can be drawn. It's partly charitable interpretation and partly wishful thinking, but I do think it makes sense based on what they've said, and it has the clear advantage of not being patently absurd on its face. My real point, though, is simply that your conclusions are not so iron-clad as you seem to imagine.

Mr. Friendly
2008-05-15, 10:12 AM
Not to nitpick (too much), but basically everything that fella wears is no longer drow-made. In fact, if I recall correctly, there was a point where he was noticing how quickly his supercloak was going threadbare from all the exposure.

Right, its all replaced, now, some, what, 20 years after leaving the Underdark?

And yeah, they dropped hints throughout the books that items were starting to fail, but he still had a lot of it until he arrived in Ten Towns. That was more than a year from leaving the Underdark until then.

Azerian Kelimon
2008-05-15, 10:17 AM
Nope, everything's in flames and useless by the end of the battle with the guys from Gehenna.

Ralfarius
2008-05-15, 10:19 AM
Right, its all replaced, now, some, what, 20 years after leaving the Underdark?

And yeah, they dropped hints throughout the books that items were starting to fail, but he still had a lot of it until he arrived in Ten Towns. That was more than a year from leaving the Underdark until then.
Yeah, it was holding together a lot longer than *Sunlight* *Pffaaahhhh* "Crap there goes my nifty drow gear." But then, I do recall him trying to avoid much sun in his early surface days. Of course, I could be totally wrong on that part.

Though, I'd more blame Jarlaxle for totally ignoring any of those good old rules. That cunning devil's piwafwi seems to be perfectly fine in spite of everything.

Azerian Kelimon
2008-05-15, 10:28 AM
Yeah, it was holding together a lot longer than *Sunlight* *Pffaaahhhh* "Crap there goes my nifty drow gear." But then, I do recall him trying to avoid much sun in his early surface days. Of course, I could be totally wrong on that part.

Though, I'd more blame Jarlaxle for totally ignoring any of those good old rules. That cunning devil's piwafwi seems to be perfectly fine in spite of everything.

Jarlaxle gets immunity because his gear was enchanted to stand the sunlight, and because he's an awesome magnificent bastard.

Charity
2008-05-15, 11:03 AM
But of course, ignoring the word "equipment" in there is just so much easier, right? Frees up time to search pictures of run over animals on the web, aparently. Why read an entire sentence when you can search for out of topic images anyway?

You in fact ignored the first point made in the sentence that you quoted; I highlighted it for you.
Just for fun lets quote that sentence again with no highlighting

A monsterís magic threshold is an abstract representation of its equipment, power, and general effectiveness against characters of its level.

Which part of that sentence is making the statement, and which part is providing examples of a point already made?

As to the image I was endeavouring to be humorous somthing I am often guilty of (attempting that is) you might want to try it sometime.

Trog
2008-05-15, 11:17 AM
As to the image I was endeavouring to be humorous somthing I am often guilty of (attempting that is) you might want to try it sometime.

Humor is just like WoW! :smalltongue:

Wait. What were we talking about again? :smallconfused:Oh yeah. Economics... Anyone? Anyone? Something-D-O-O Economics. Anyone? Anyone? Voodoo Economics.

Krrth
2008-05-15, 11:45 AM
I have to chume in with those that think something doesn't look right with the economics as posted. Why on earth would someone sell to a merchant at 20%, knowing they would turn around and sell it at 100% or greater? Forget adventuring, I wanna be a merchant!
Seriously, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. An adventurer with any intelligence should be able to sell a magic item for more than 20% of value. Just find a lower level party...." Hey, we've got this cool gear, but we can't use it. It's worth 10,000gp, but if you act now, well sell it to you for the low discount price of 5,000. But wait, there's more....."

Charity
2008-05-15, 12:03 PM
Krrth it is a demand issue.
Who wants that magic +1 sword?
Bill the farmer, Brian the baker, Bob th haberdasher? The default setting is ment to be points of light, if you are in the sticks trying to flog a magic sword to a bunch of peasants how much do you seriously expect to get for it?
Try going to a little villiage in the middle of Cornwall and see how much you get offered for your genuine Rolex, you'd be lucky to make 10%.

The travelling merchant has to travel down perilous roads, hire guards to protect him and his goods, all in the hope of finding a buyer, whom is almost bound to be a bloodthirsty adventurer ... you can bet he's going to want to make a tidy profit.

Krrth
2008-05-15, 12:26 PM
Krrth it is a demand issue.
Who wants that magic +1 sword?
Bill the farmer, Brian the baker, Bob th haberdasher? The default setting is ment to be points of light, if you are in the sticks trying to flog a magic sword to a bunch of peasants how much do you seriously expect to get for it?
Try going to a little villiage in the middle of Cornwall and see how much you get offered for your genuine Rolex, you'd be lucky to make 10%.

The travelling merchant has to travel down perilous roads, hire guards to protect him and his goods, all in the hope of finding a buyer, whom is almost bound to be a bloodthirsty adventurer ... you can bet he's going to want to make a tidy profit.

I know that part. THe part that I don't understand is why the party sells to the merchants. The party is suposed to be some of the baddest people available. So why do they let someone rip them off? They can move from town to town just as easily as the merchant. So, why can't they get a better price?

Trog
2008-05-15, 12:48 PM
So it sounds like the PCs would be better at being traveling merchants. You already are your own guard. You get the scoop on what's going on from place to place. You hob nob with rich people willing to buy magic items at a ridiculous mark up.

Hmm... and then you begin cutting in on an established merchant's territory. And he just might then take some steps to eliminate you. Hire some assassins. Pay off bandits to attack you instead. Thereby eliminating the (weak by the PC's standards) bandits and making his travels much easier and profits much higher. Then he reports the PCs to the guild and they pay off a noble to begin putting word out that he wishes to buy magical items and wait for the PCs to take the bait and eliminate them with an ambush.

Or something. Meh. Chances are the PCs will just hang onto the magic items they get, worthless or no, just like they always have in the past. *shrug*

Starbuck_II
2008-05-15, 01:11 PM
The Disenchant Magic Item ritual must be horribly ineffecient for selling items at this rate to be the better option.

- Saph

It isn't wholefully about efficiency: you can't enchant a magic item above your level, but you can sell a magic item (no one wants/needs in party).

By Disenchanting it: you can at least reuse it for future same level enchantmeants.

Basically, ony sell if item above or below level and no one wants in party. If it is equal to level, might as well sell it since it is more efficient (you could a made it).

Rutee
2008-05-15, 01:16 PM
I know that part. THe part that I don't understand is why the party sells to the merchants. The party is suposed to be some of the baddest people available. So why do they let someone rip them off? They can move from town to town just as easily as the merchant. So, why can't they get a better price?

Why not? It's up to you. I've never played with a party that cared that much. You're effectively payingf or the convenience.

And being powerful doesn't mean people won't try and profit off of you, sometimes vastly. I'm pretty sure it happens all the time int he real world.

Azerian Kelimon
2008-05-15, 01:24 PM
Yeah. Difference is, only a few people are above the law in the real world, and you don't screw them without paying horrifically. Same in D&D, rip and adventurer off and he or she'll have your ass before sundown.

Krrth
2008-05-15, 01:32 PM
Yep. My point, that I may not have made properly, is that the economics as written just doesn't seem to make sense. PC's, as written, are supposed to be whole levels of spiffy above mere mortals. Personally, if I were one of the PC's, I'd found an adventurers guild, and have magic item swaps. You get more for the item you sell, I get to pay less.
While you could do tis, and to me it makes sense, it's already moving into houserule territory. Which, since the books are not out yet, makes me wonder.

Rutee
2008-05-15, 01:34 PM
I'm pretty sure DnD's DMG has made it clear that it doesn't assume players get that much free reign, since there's a section on "When players go amok", and actually beating them down within the rules.

Norsesmithy
2008-05-15, 01:34 PM
Or you could have a merchant say something like, "I can't really afford to pay you more than that, and stay in business, buyers for treasures like that are few and far between, and travel is dangerous and expensive. I won't hold it against you if you don't want to sell it, but that is my final offer..."

How do good aligned or even neutral adventurers go after him and still sleep at night?

Azerian Kelimon
2008-05-15, 01:36 PM
I'm pretty sure DnD's DMG has made it clear that it doesn't assume players get that much free reign, since there's a section on "When players go amok", and actually beating them down within the rules.

Yes, the blue lightning returns! :smalltongue:

Azerian Kelimon
2008-05-15, 01:40 PM
Or you could have a merchant say something like, "I can't really afford to pay you more than that, and stay in business, buyers for treasures like that are few and far between, and travel is dangerous and expensive. I won't hold it against you if you don't want to sell it, but that is my final offer..."

How do good aligned or even neutral adventurers go after him and still sleep at night?

"That is not true. The market price is two and a half times higher than that, and there are plenty ways of increasing mobility. You're lying. Pay the real amount, cheat."

So says the Int 30something Wizard. See, they're useful.

Krrth
2008-05-15, 01:42 PM
I'm pretty sure DnD's DMG has made it clear that it doesn't assume players get that much free reign, since there's a section on "When players go amok", and actually beating them down within the rules.

If this wasn't in response to me, ignore the whole thing.
If players using more than two brain cells together is running amok, than this new edition will have more trains than you can fireball.

Don't get me wrong, I have high hopes for 4th. I just find some of the design (and fluff) choices....questionable.

Rutee
2008-05-15, 01:56 PM
If this wasn't in response to me, ignore the whole thing.
If players using more than two brain cells together is running amok, than this new edition will have more trains than you can fireball.

.....You pointed out a roleplaying solution and asked why that wasn't the default. I don't care about that. It should be obvious why it's not the default; Because it's a good idea and cool thing for your player to do. That was in response to the idea that you shouldn't try to, and I quote, "Rip adventurers off" because they can kick your ass. The DMG, in 3.X, has a section on "Players run amok" which deals with exactly that; PCs no longer behaving like civilized beings because they've got power.

Azerian Kelimon
2008-05-15, 02:12 PM
Mind, one thing is running amok on a CE power trip, another thing is exacting justice on someone who does a wrong. If you cheat a Good or possibly neutral adventurer, they're going to take the appropriate amount of money from you, plus a possible fine, which is a pretty logical and good behavior. An evil adventurer will just kill you or torture you exquisitely, of course, which IS more of the amok variety.

Artanis
2008-05-15, 02:13 PM
Regarding "below-threshold" magic items:

I just figured they'd be abstracted out as part of the cash because if a magic item is below threshold, then they'd be buying stuff that's higher level than it. When you're selling something your level, you'd probably be selling it to somebody who's going to buy it as a good, and thus give you half-price (or quarter-price or whatever). However, when you're selling something that far below your level, odds are you're already shopping somewhere that sells higher-level stuff and thus they're already giving you less than they would for a "typical" sellback.


A party of low-level adventurers raid a dungeon in typical adventurer fashion and come back with a +1 sword. Everybody already has +1-level stuff, and want to sell the +1 sword.

Party: Hey merchant, can we buy some stuff?
Minor Merchant: Step right up! My goods are well worth the price!
Party: Well, first I'd like to trade in this +1 sword. It's worth about 500gp
Minor Merchant: *thinks to himself* Wow, that's as good as all my other stuff! I have to find some way to make a profit from it...
Minor Merchant: I'll give you 250gp for it.
Party: ...well...alright. *gives +1 sword for half-price, and proceeds to buy Stuff*


A few levels later, everybody has stuff like +2 Flaming Burst Stabbythings. They raid a dungeon and come out with a wheelbarrow full of +1 swords that they want to sell.

Party: Hey merchant, can we buy some stuff?
Minor Merchant: Step right up! My goods...*is interrupted*
Party: Your goods are kinda wimpy.
BIG Merchant: How about me?
Party: You've got some good stuff! I'll take the +2 Full Plate.
BIG Merchant: That's 2000gp.
Party: Hey, we've got a couple of these +1 swords that are worth 500gp. Can we give you three of them and 500gp for the +2 Full Plate?
BIG Merchant: *thinks to himself* These guys are pretty loaded, and I really really want them to spend their thirty gajillion gp here, so...
BIG Merchant: Sure!
Party: Awesome! *trades 500gp and three +1 swords for a 2000gp +2 Full Plate, then proceeds to buy Other Stuff the same way*

Reel On, Love
2008-05-15, 02:14 PM
"That is not true. The market price is two and a half times higher than that, and there are plenty ways of increasing mobility. You're lying. Pay the real amount, cheat."

So says the Int 30something Wizard. See, they're useful.

"Look, I unload one of these every two months or so. Not everyone wants and can afford them. I need to make a big profit because I need to live off of it for a while. Try someone else; I can't belive you'll do much better."

Rutee
2008-05-15, 02:18 PM
Mind, one thing is running amok on a CE power trip, another thing is exacting justice on someone who does a wrong. If you cheat a Good or possibly neutral adventurer, they're going to take the appropriate amount of money from you, plus a possible fine, which is a pretty logical and good behavior. An evil adventurer will just kill you or torture you exquisitely, of course, which IS more of the amok variety.

Who's cheating an adventurer? They're selling the item at a 300% markup. They're different things.

Azerian Kelimon
2008-05-15, 02:19 PM
"Look, I unload one of these every two months or so. Not everyone wants and can afford them. I need to make a big profit because I need to live off of it for a while. Try someone else; I can't belive you'll do much better."

Cue putting a notice at the local tavern, and waiting for fellow adventurers to come and sell it to 'em.

Or, for the big cheese, cue a scroll to go to the Astral Sea or whatever's the name and head for Sigil.

Yeah, we're talkin' adventurers. Resourceful and creative are the second and third names, respectively. What a player wants, a player gets, one way or another.

Krrth
2008-05-15, 02:20 PM
"Look, I unload one of these every two months or so. Not everyone wants and can afford them. I need to make a big profit because I need to live off of it for a while. Try someone else; I can't belive you'll do much better."
The problem with this , is that if the demand drops, so does the cost. If there is a glut in the market, price goes down. If there is more demand, price goes up.

Rutee
2008-05-15, 02:23 PM
Then do it. You're asking why a merchant charges what they do. If you want to get around it, /go do it/. Don't say "Well I could do the things that you're charging me for, therefore, you can't charge me that much". It doesn't work that way. It's like when my dad was having his house built. He could do /most/ of the work himself, sure, but that would take forever. Therefore, even though he can lay bricks, he hires a brick layer. It's the same thing.


The problem with this , is that if the demand drops, so does the cost. If there is a glut in the market, price goes down. If there is more demand, price goes up.
I don't think you understand economics very well. When you work in a niche market (Low demand and supply overall, but those who /do/ have demand will have what you're selling), you sell at much higher then production costs, /because you can't feasibly make a living by low profit per unit, with high unit sales/.

Azerian Kelimon
2008-05-15, 02:25 PM
Who's cheating an adventurer? They're selling the item at a 300% markup. They're different things.

Cheating: As in, you buy at what is an insanely low rate, and the adventurers are forced to go with it (Because if disenchanting is the only other system and it's worse, it must be terribly cost inefficient. Seriously, if 20% of the price is the better alternative, the other one must be bad). You're selling at five times the price you buy. With the (Supposedly) low demand, you're uberinflating the prices.

If an adventurer doesn't like it, and is vindictive, it could get really messy, as a group creates a trade enterprise and destroys all the "Give what I want, sell at gross price" petty merchants.


Hmm...gotta file that as a campaign idea.

Rutee
2008-05-15, 02:33 PM
Cheating: As in, you buy at what is an insanely low rate, and the adventurers are forced to go with it (Because if disenchanting is the only other system and it's worse, it must be terribly cost inefficient. Seriously, if 20% of the price is the better alternative, the other one must be bad). You're selling at five times the price you buy. With the (Supposedly) low demand, you're uberinflating the prices.
Niche. Market. Take a look at pianos, or other instruments. They're sold at outrageous markups, because most of the populace doesn't /need/ them. And those outrageous markups frankly don't make most music sellers or manufacturers rich. Low demand means "Nobody really wants it". Magic Items are "Most people don't want it, but those who do would kill to get it". Literally in DnD.


If an adventurer doesn't like it, and is vindictive, it could get really messy, as a group creates a trade enterprise and destroys all the "Give what I want, sell at gross price" petty merchants.

So you'll make Wal-mart? I think you're not understanding why Merchants would make a 300% markup, since you keep refering to it as "Injust" or "Unfair".

Krrth
2008-05-15, 02:33 PM
Then do it. You're asking why a merchant charges what they do. If you want to get around it, /go do it/. Don't say "Well I could do the things that you're charging me for, therefore, you can't charge me that much". It doesn't work that way. It's like when my dad was having his house built. He could do /most/ of the work himself, sure, but that would take forever. Therefore, even though he can lay bricks, he hires a brick layer. It's the same thing.


I don't think you understand economics very well. When you work in a niche market (Low demand and supply overall, but those who /do/ have demand will have what you're selling), you sell at much higher then production costs, /because you can't feasibly make a living by low profit per unit, with high unit sales/.

Actually, I DO understand econ. This particuler set of issues is dependent on the Adventurers agreeing to the low price, instead of doing the intelligent thing. Even in the stated econ rules for 4.0. if the PCs want to drive up demnand, they simply disenchant the items. It's not as effective as selling, but it DOES lower the supply.
But as I said, the current teaser om economics, as presented in 4.0, does not seem to be well thought out. After all, they are *effectivley* cheating a group of people who go around and kill things for a living.

Azerian Kelimon
2008-05-15, 02:40 PM
Not to mention, adventurers are FAMOUS for changing things they don't like. Cheating them is like showing a really big, steroid filled, genetically engineered bull a red rag. It goes like this:

"...WHAT? 20%? Are you daft, man?"
"20%. Take it or leave it."
"Take it or leave it? You think you can bully me? You think you can bully me into taking your small change?"
"*Shrug*. Yes. You don't have another choice. What're you gonna do, start competing with me?"
"*Deathly cold tone*. Matter of fact, yes, we are."

*Five years later, there's a trade empire*.

"And now, you're an alcoholic waste of life. Shouldn't have messed with me, SUCKER!"

If an adventurer doesn't like it, you better change your ways, or you're gonna suffer it. Cheating an adventuring party is like cheating the mob.

Mewtarthio
2008-05-15, 02:43 PM
or the Vorpal Drow!

"Hello. Well met. I'm called... er... whoops. Sorry about your hand there. Happens all the time. There there *pats*

Whoops. Um... and about the rest of your arm. Really I'm not sure what to do to stop bleeding. I didn't take ranks in heal.

*scratches back of neck. Lops off own head*

Better yet: The Vorpal Gnome!

The giant screams, then picks up his gnome ally and hurls him at you. The soaring gnome grabs your head as he passes by and tears it clean off your neck. You die, no save.

Reel On, Love
2008-05-15, 02:45 PM
Cue putting a notice at the local tavern, and waiting for fellow adventurers to come and sell it to 'em.

Or, for the big cheese, cue a scroll to go to the Astral Sea or whatever's the name and head for Sigil.

Yeah, we're talkin' adventurers. Resourceful and creative are the second and third names, respectively. What a player wants, a player gets, one way or another.
Okay. You put up a notice at the local tavern, and chill in town for a month until a party of not-quite-equal-level adventurers comes through. Lower-level ones can't afford it; higher-level ones don't want it.

Maybe no one comes in a month. You hang around for another one until you can sell it. In that time, you haven't gotten done whatever you're supposed to, haven't saved whoever needed saving.

This is Dungeons and Dragons, not Markets and Merchants. You sell it to the guy in town because you've got better things to do than become a merchant yourself.



The problem with this , is that if the demand drops, so does the cost. If there is a glut in the market, price goes down. If there is more demand, price goes up.
That's true overall, but we're talking about an expensive good aimed nevertheless at a small percentage of the population, for which finding a buyer is hard. Doing so may involve travelling the (monster-infested) countryside from city to city, hiring protection that can't be cheap along the way; it'll also take a lot of time.

With all those things combined, I am Captain Planet no wonder the merchants buy for a fifth of what they sell it for. There's no cheating involved.

Rutee
2008-05-15, 02:46 PM
Actually, I DO understand econ. This particuler set of issues is dependent on the Adventurers agreeing to the low price, instead of doing the intelligent thing. Even in the stated econ rules for 4.0. if the PCs want to drive up demnand, they simply disenchant the items. It's not as effective as selling, but it DOES lower the supply.
It lowers the supply, but it also removes your demand (By giving you materiele to enchant with).


But as I said, the current teaser om economics, as presented in 4.0, does not seem to be well thought out. After all, they are *effectivley* cheating a group of people who go around and kill things for a living.
They pretty much can't be cheating off adventurers, if adventurers aren't making them rich. It doesn't matter what the markup is, in terms of cheating; It matters how wealthy it makes the merchant.

Frankly, if any magic item emporium was offering only 50% market value (The 3e standard), /that/ would be cheating. They make their living off magic items; They pretty clearly have a steady supply and a steady demand.


Not to mention, adventurers are FAMOUS for changing things they don't like. Cheating them is like showing a really big, steroid filled, genetically engineered bull a red rag. It goes like this:


There's no cheating. God in heaven, a high mark up done in the shallow hope of obtaining /any/ profit is not cheating! You're looking at the markup; Me and Reel are telling you to look at the actual profit margin. If a merchant only is ahead 12%, after a 300% markup, then he's pretty much doing exactly what he has to to have a reasonable business.

Edit: Here's an example to illustrate this. I'm a merchant. I make my money on Widgets. Let's say Widgets only come from the dark heart of the Congo, where for living life, a Congoese will find widgets under their pillow.. I buy my Widgets from Congoese people for 20 gold each. I then have to take them from the Dark HEart of the Congo to Citytopia. Citytopia is 2 months of travel away. Widgets are worth a lot of money in Citytopia, but not so much to the Congoese, who have no use for them. When I get to Citytopia, I sell my Widget for 100 gold. Sounds like a sweet deal, but it took 2 months of travel for me, I had to hire security, I had to pay for my horse and my own food, and I still only walk out with say, 2 gold a widget. For 2 months of work. Meanwhile the Congoese got 15 gold for a widget he didn't do any extra work for said Widget.

Azerian Kelimon
2008-05-15, 02:49 PM
Okay. You put up a notice at the local tavern, and chill in town for a month until a party of not-quite-equal-level adventurers comes through. Lower-level ones can't afford it; higher-level ones don't want it.

Maybe no one comes in a month. You hang around for another one until you can sell it. In that time, you haven't gotten done whatever you're supposed to, haven't saved whoever needed saving.

This is Dungeons and Dragons, not Markets and Merchants. You sell it to the guy in town because you've got better things to do than become a merchant yourself.



That's true overall, but we're talking about an expensive good aimed nevertheless at a small percentage of the population, for which finding a buyer is hard. Doing so may involve travelling the (monster-infested) countryside from city to city, hiring protection that can't be cheap along the way; it'll also take a lot of time.

With all those things combined, I am Captain Planet no wonder the merchants buy for a fifth of what they sell it for. There's no cheating involved.

You just autolost, d'you know? You said it, This is dungeons and dragons. If you sit down on the tavern dressed in black and sipping ale, adventurers flock to you. Go read some OoTS. :smalltongue:

And in case you didn't quite understand it, that first example was a joke. Sigil was serious, though.

Azerian Kelimon
2008-05-15, 02:55 PM
It lowers the supply, but it also removes your demand (By giving you materiele to enchant with).


They pretty much can't be cheating off adventurers, if adventurers aren't making them rich. It doesn't matter what the markup is, in terms of cheating; It matters how wealthy it makes the merchant.

Frankly, if any magic item emporium was offering only 50% market value (The 3e standard), /that/ would be cheating. They make their living off magic items; They pretty clearly have a steady supply and a steady demand.



There's no cheating. God in heaven, a high mark up done in the shallow hope of obtaining /any/ profit is not cheating! You're looking at the markup; Me and Reel are telling you to look at the actual profit margin. If a merchant only is ahead 12%, after a 300% markup, then he's pretty much doing exactly what he has to to have a reasonable business.

What matters is ONLY if the adventurers SEE it as cheating. It doesn't matter if it actually IS or it isn't. If an adventurer doesn't like it, he'll change it. Unlike the guy who sells the vegetables he farmed to the merchant for a small amount of money, adventurers CAN change things, and will do it if they don't find them appropriate to their tastes and likings.


Not to mention, the demand is insane. Unless 4e has done a sharp turn to sword and sorcery or low magic when I wasn't looking, demand is enormous, and so is supply.

Krrth
2008-05-15, 02:55 PM
I have time for one last comment before I head off to class, so I will not be able to respond for a few hours.

We don't know what the costs of reselling are. However, my point is this: both the supply AND the demand are by the adventurers. While some groups might very well sell stuff off cheaply just to get rid of it, not all will. If it becomes cheaper to rent a mule to carry the items than to sell at a 80% loss, then that is what will happen.

Frosty
2008-05-15, 03:04 PM
You know, whoever invents the magical equivalent of E-bay or Craig's List in the DnD world will be rich beyond her wildest dreams. Just taking like a 1% cut will be enough.

Rutee
2008-05-15, 03:06 PM
What matters is ONLY if the adventurers SEE it as cheating. It doesn't matter if it actually IS or it isn't. If an adventurer doesn't like it, he'll change it. Unlike the guy who sells the vegetables he farmed to the merchant for a small amount of money, adventurers CAN change things, and will do it if they don't find them appropriate to their tastes and likings.
Most adventuring parties with the ability to change it (Being an adventurer doesn't mean you have business sense) will see that there's not really any cheating involved. Those who have business sense will realize that there's no cheating. THat's not to say they won't get involved; There's still money to be had here, through the use of a more efficient process. But if they had any real hope of setting up a successful business, they'll recognize that there's not that much ill will involved. At least, not by default.



Not to mention, the demand is insane. Unless 4e has done a sharp turn to sword and sorcery or low magic when I wasn't looking, demand is enormous, and so is supply.
The demand is only ginormous in the Forgotten Realms, where you can't toss a tennis ball without it wanging off a 10th level something or other.

Azerian Kelimon
2008-05-15, 03:15 PM
Most adventuring parties with the ability to change it (Being an adventurer doesn't mean you have business sense) will see that there's not really any cheating involved. Those who have business sense will realize that there's no cheating. THat's not to say they won't get involved; There's still money to be had here, through the use of a more efficient process. But if they had any real hope of setting up a successful business, they'll recognize that there's not that much ill will involved. At least, not by default.



The demand is only ginormous in the Forgotten Realms, where you can't toss a tennis ball without it wanging off a 10th level something or other.

Nope, FR is only the exacerbation. See, D&D is high fantasy. One of the main characteristics of that genre is this: Magic is common. Magic is everywhere. Magic is readily accessible (Though it might not be cheap, if this weren't D&D). Because of this, magic items themselves are rather common. Thus, the supply is going to be huge, and the demand matches up to the supplies. Except when low magic is implemented, the default is that you're going to have a toothpick of +4 toothpickiness even as a level one adventurer (And as a commoner, you'll have a masterwork toothpick).

Douglas
2008-05-15, 03:24 PM
What matters is ONLY if the adventurers SEE it as cheating. It doesn't matter if it actually IS or it isn't. If an adventurer doesn't like it, he'll change it. Unlike the guy who sells the vegetables he farmed to the merchant for a small amount of money, adventurers CAN change things, and will do it if they don't find them appropriate to their tastes and likings.
And how would these adventurers go about changing it? I can think of two ways: kill and/or rob the merchant, or set up a competing business. For the first, any merchant in the business is going to have protection sufficient to defeat the level of adventurers that would be interested in his goods - the need for it is a major reason why the markup is so steep. For the second, the adventurers turned merchants will quickly find out the truth and be forced to either charge the same markup or take a loss. Either way, nothing's really changed.


Not to mention, the demand is insane. Unless 4e has done a sharp turn to sword and sorcery or low magic when I wasn't looking, demand is enormous, and so is supply.
That depends on what portion of the population is adventurers and the level distribution, both of which are heavily dependent on campaign setting.

Azerian Kelimon
2008-05-15, 03:32 PM
And how would these adventurers go about changing it? I can think of two ways: kill and/or rob the merchant, or set up a competing business. For the first, any merchant in the business is going to have protection sufficient to defeat the level of adventurers that would be interested in his goods - the need for it is a major reason why the markup is so steep. For the second, the adventurers turned merchants will quickly find out the truth and be forced to either charge the same markup or take a loss. Either way, nothing's really changed.


That depends on what portion of the population is adventurers and the level distribution, both of which are heavily dependent on campaign setting.

Can you say "We sell 'round the place, using our superior mobility, then, when we have enough money, we sell at a planar metropolis or the like, THEN we go back and kick the crap out of everyone else in the business in the starting area, and keep building up the trade empire from there?"

It takes time, but an adventuring party can and will do it if you don't give them their way.

Rutee
2008-05-15, 03:35 PM
Nope, FR is only the exacerbation. See, D&D is high fantasy. One of the main characteristics of that genre is this: Magic is common. Magic is everywhere. Magic is readily accessible (Though it might not be cheap, if this weren't D&D). Because of this, magic items themselves are rather common. Thus, the supply is going to be huge, and the demand matches up to the supplies. Except when low magic is implemented, the default is that you're going to have a toothpick of +4 toothpickiness even as a level one adventurer (And as a commoner, you'll have a masterwork toothpick).
You're confusing "High Fantasy" with "Magic is common". They're not necessarily the same thing. I'll pick two settings that either I recognize as high fantasy, or that others have.

The Nasu-verse, wherein Fate/Stay Night (Which Mewtarthio, at the least, labelled High Fantasy) and Tsukihime take place. Magic is everywhere; Magi draw mana from pretty much anywhere on earth. That doesn't mean Magi are common. The average person doesn't need magic, or know that it exists. What Magi can do is often different, but it's not necessarily better then what technology can do. Some of the more brutally effective maguses are the ones who use both. The characters often interact with magical or supernatural things, but they're not common entities in the world.

Exalted is definitely high fantasy. In its setting, common people may interact with what a Discworld fan would identify as a Small God on a regular basis. Or they may not. It's just as much a product of region and location as anything else. And common people don't often benefit from magic or sorcery beyond "You've given this god your worship and prayers, so he'll bless your fields". And a lto of common people won't even see /that/. A lot will though.

Dungeons and Dragons has almost never made magic something normal people see. They make it something the party will see as a matter of course, obviously, but we're not asking why the party behaves the way it does; We're asking why /normal people/ behave the way they do.


Can you say "We sell 'round the place, using our superior mobility, then, when we have enough money, we sell at a planar metropolis or the like, THEN we go back and kick the crap out of everyone else in the business in the starting area, and keep building up the trade empire from there?"

It takes time, but an adventuring party can and will do it if you don't give them their way.
So your parties do this as a matter of course?

Douglas
2008-05-15, 03:41 PM
Can you say "We sell 'round the place, using our superior mobility, then, when we have enough money, we sell at a planar metropolis or the like, THEN we go back and kick the crap out of everyone else in the business in the starting area, and keep building up the trade empire from there?"

It takes time, but an adventuring party can and will do it if you don't give them their way.
Ok. Given that the extreme markup is not cheating or price gouging in actuality, how do the adventurers achieve this without either charging the same markup or losing money instead of gaining it? The assumption for this argument is that the markup is only unfair in the adventurer's perception.

Rutee
2008-05-15, 03:44 PM
That I can answer; They can handle it with magic and PC Brute Strength. Merchants have to hire protection; Players don't. Players can do things like use the Ritual of Teleportation or what have you. Most Merchants can't. Etc. PCs typically have access to more efficient methods, and even if they didn't, they're removing one middle man.

Well, they remove a middle man until they run out of supply and realize it'd be more efficient to purchase from another Adventurer anyway.

Sstoopidtallkid
2008-05-15, 03:48 PM
Adventurer:"Wait, this is worth 5,000GP and your giving me WHAT?!?"
Merchant:"100 platinum. I have to cover costs, you know."
Adventurer:"Uh, no. I'm not paying that. No way."
Merchant:"Fine. Where do you plan to sell it, then?"
Adventurer:"I'll do better, I'll drive you out of business."
Merchant:"And just how do you plan to do that? :smallamused:"
Adventurer: *Goes to Sigil* *Hires expert with Pro:Shopkeep* *Has expert sell scrolls of Planeshift at cost, all other magic items at 75% of value, Buys at 50%* *PROFIT!!!*
Merchant:*Cries*

Really, would any group do differently, given the circumstances?

Azerian Kelimon
2008-05-15, 03:48 PM
Buy at slightly higher prices, sell at lower, to begin. Possibly 30% and 90%. You already have quite a few expenses covered by the fact you are your own protection, and you provide your mobility, etc. You should, at the very least, come off even and with the reputation on your side.

Then, you PROVOKE a demand. By any means you have. You use that demand to get money on one place, and get a place where there is abundant supply cheap to provide you with products. Slowly, you build up a reputation as someone who sells lower. The other competitors either go down to your level or go out of business, because you can't Higher Quality magic items and advertising cannot be done reliably. With the siezed market share, you slowly take out your competitors from business and expand. Once you are big enough, you sell in Sigil or Union or the like, where you can sell far higher and gain much more money. With that money, you work towards monopoly of a zone. Once you have it, you expand the zone. Repeat until satisfied.

Of course, this is much simplified, but in theory it should work.

Rutee: Yes, in fact, this would happen if I tried to rip off the players with greedy merchs. My players are proactive forces, not reactive a la superheroes. If they don't like it, they reshape it.

Trog
2008-05-15, 03:49 PM
It takes time, but an adventuring party can and will do it if you don't give them their way.
Unless the DM isn't a doormat. 9_9

Azerian Kelimon
2008-05-15, 03:54 PM
Unless the DM isn't a doormat. 9_9

Who loses more from not accepting that this is an exchange between equals? The guys who made one character each, or the guy who spent weeks designing hundreds of them and sees his work is all for naught?

Trog
2008-05-15, 04:02 PM
Who loses more from not accepting that this is an exchange between equals? The guys who made one character each, or the guy who spent weeks designing hundreds of them and sees his work is all for naught?

So you don't get your way so you threaten to leave the game? Is that what you are saying here? :smallconfused:

Rutee
2008-05-15, 04:03 PM
Rutee: Yes, in fact, this would happen if I tried to rip off the players with greedy merchs. My players are proactive forces, not reactive a la superheroes. If they don't like it, they reshape it.

You. Are. Not. Ripping. Off. The. Players. Ever. Player aren't owed fictional gold pieces for playing a game. Players /do/ need whatever they end up needing, in useful items (Which a GM will determine. Many prolly use WBL). It doesn't matter whether or not the characters get a good deal, given this. It matters whether or not the characters get what they need.

And god al-freaking mighty. You're getting snooty because your players won't, in your view, take crap from merchants? I'd rather get snooty because my players were off doing cool things, not becoming Rockefellers.

Azerian Kelimon
2008-05-15, 04:05 PM
Nope, what I say is that a DM is supposed to be the mood setter and to be the judge and arbiter when things go crazy (Pun Pun, for example). When a DM tries to limit the player in a fashion that is not completely satisfying, it leads to an escalation where everyone loses, but the DM loses the most.

Citizen Joe
2008-05-15, 04:05 PM
Don't think of it as selling the stuff, think of it as pawning it. When you go to a pawnbroker, he takes in your collateral (magic shiny) and gives you a loan at a fraction of the estimated value of the collateral. If you return within a specified time and repay the loan (plus interest) then you get your collateral back. If you don't, then the pawnbroker will try to sell it.

You aren't really trying to sell the item, just pawn it.

Now, if you are trying to really sell it, then you need to take it to an antiquities dealer for auction. You will need authentication documentation that the item is what you say it is and that it isn't stolen and that you have the right to sell it (which, if you killed someone for it, you don't have). In that case, yes, you can make more money. But it is an auction so you could make less. It depends on who is bidding and how much they can afford.

Douglas
2008-05-15, 04:06 PM
Buy at slightly higher prices, sell at lower, to begin. Possibly 30% and 90%. You already have quite a few expenses covered by the fact you are your own protection
You are attempting to compete with a merchant who deals in goods you yourself are interested in. To do so, you must deal in goods that adventurers of your level are interested in. What happens when an adventuring party 2 levels higher comes along? They're still low enough level that some of your stock should interest them, but they are fully capable of beating you into pulp. Relying solely on your own power is not sufficient protection.

, and you provide your mobility, etc. You should, at the very least, come off even and with the reputation on your side.
Some merchants can provide their own mobility too, even to the point of teleportation when you're talking about merchants with inventory that would interest adventurers capable of teleporting.


Then, you PROVOKE a demand. By any means you have.
Er, how do you accomplish this without resorting to criminal tactics that will eventually get high level bounty hunters tracking you down?


Rutee: Yes, in fact, this would happen if I tried to rip off the players with greedy merchs. My players are proactive forces, not reactive a la superheroes. If they don't like it, they reshape it.
Given the arguments you've presented so far, and the assumption that the ripping off is only in their perception, I would expect one of the following things to happen:
1) It works for a while, then a higher level adventuring party hears about the relative lack of protection for the quality of their goods and comes and takes everything.
2) They end up not actually undercutting the market.
3) High level bounty hunters kill them.
4) They restrict their business to relatively low level items, get tired of making little more than pocket change, and quit.
5) They restrict their business to relatively low level items and get stuck as minor merchants forever because they're not adventuring and gaining experience any more.

Trog
2008-05-15, 04:08 PM
Nope, what I say is that a DM is supposed to be the mood setter and to be the judge and arbiter when things go crazy (Pun Pun, for example). When a DM tries to limit the player in a fashion that is not completely satisfying, it leads to an escalation where everyone loses, but the DM loses the most.
(Emphasis mine) So... this escalates to... what exactly? :smallconfused:

Rutee
2008-05-15, 04:10 PM
Nope, what I say is that a DM is supposed to be the mood setter and to be the judge and arbiter when things go crazy (Pun Pun, for example). When a DM tries to limit the player in a fashion that is not completely satisfying, it leads to an escalation where everyone loses, but the DM loses the most.

How is it unsatisfying? Seriously? Do I care that A: My character makes a profit, or B: That my character gets whatever it is she needs? What do /your/ players care about? Are they playing Dungeons and Dragons to make a profit?

Azerian Kelimon
2008-05-15, 04:12 PM
Nope, they're playing D&D to be heroes. But it doesn't mean that the only thing they'll do is slay mobs and get stuff. They have goals, they try to make the characters behave like people. Realizing they're being ripped off and going out of their way to change it is perfectly good roleplay so I'm more than happy to screw and tweak rules for that.

Frosty
2008-05-15, 04:14 PM
How is it unsatisfying? Seriously? Do I care that A: My character makes a profit, or B: That my character gets whatever it is she needs? What do /your/ players care about? Are they playing Dungeons and Dragons to make a profit?

Some players like that kinda stuff. There can be entire adventures absed off of running a business, especailyl given the advent of the DMG2 (although the rules in there needs a bit of work IMO)

Rutee
2008-05-15, 04:21 PM
Nope, they're playing D&D to be heroes. But it doesn't mean that the only thing they'll do is slay mobs and get stuff. They have goals, they try to make the characters behave like people. Realizing they're being ripped off and going out of their way to change it is perfectly good roleplay so I'm more than happy to screw and tweak rules for that.

The heroes of prices? We're operating under an assumption that at a 300% markup, /merchants aren't ripping people off/, remember? And, again, anyone with the business sense to beat the merchant at their own game is going to know it. Obviously, it's fine to have whatever goals are found spiffy by the group, but don't go off into that "It's heroic to ruin merchants because they don't like their mockups" /again/.


Some players like that kinda stuff. There can be entire adventures absed off of running a business, especailyl given the advent of the DMG2 (although the rules in there needs a bit of work IMO)
Yeah, but you would come back to the point that Dungeons and Dragons is frankly awful at non combat, non-dungeon crawling.

Azerian Kelimon
2008-05-15, 04:26 PM
The heroes of prices? We're operating under an assumption that at a 300% markup, /merchants aren't ripping people off/, remember? And, again, anyone with the business sense to beat the merchant at their own game is going to know it. Obviously, it's fine to have whatever goals are found spiffy by the group, but don't go off into that "It's heroic to ruin merchants because they don't like their mockups" /again/.


Yeah, but you would come back to the point that Dungeons and Dragons is frankly awful at non combat, non-dungeon crawling.

I think we're working from different systems. To me, a 300% markup is actually grossly above the price an item should have because they're pkentiful and you can find them with your Happy Meals as toys. Things seem much clearer now.

AKA_Bait
2008-05-15, 04:28 PM
Yeah, but you would come back to the point that Dungeons and Dragons is frankly awful at non combat, non-dungeon crawling.

Well, I guess folks were hoping that it wouldn't be this time around. :smallwink:

Frosty
2008-05-15, 04:31 PM
Yeah, but you would come back to the point that Dungeons and Dragons is frankly awful at non combat, non-dungeon crawling.

Well, I'm perfectly willing to scrap bad rules and houserule in my own rules that make sense when the system fails. I still find the system fun enough to do so. Sprinkling a bit of free-form in between dungeon crawls does wonders.

Rutee
2008-05-15, 04:32 PM
I think we're working from different systems. To me, a 300% markup is actually grossly above the price an item should have because they're pkentiful and you can find them with your Happy Meals as toys. Things seem much clearer now.

To me, the markup doesn't matter. The final profit margin, relative to the amount of time it took to produce it, does.


Well, I'm perfectly willing to scrap bad rules and houserule in my own rules that make sense when the system fails. I still find the system fun enough to do so. Sprinkling a bit of free-form in between dungeon crawls does wonders.
No, I mean it has truly bad systems in place for things that aren't fighting, and aren't dungeon crawling. I'd rather use a system that handled things that weren't combat or dungeon crawling well in the first place, if I was going to run something that wasn't combat heavy.

Frosty
2008-05-15, 04:39 PM
I agree Rutee, which is why if I do run a merchant campaign, I may very well use the DMG2 as a base, and then homebrew a system up for running a business, while still preserving the underlying d20 mechanics so the players can still do a dungeon crawl now and then without switching systems.

Azerian Kelimon
2008-05-15, 04:41 PM
To me, the markup doesn't matter. The final profit margin, relative to the amount of time it took to produce it, does.


No, I mean it has truly bad systems in place for things that aren't fighting, and aren't dungeon crawling. I'd rather use a system that handled things that weren't combat or dungeon crawling well in the first place, if I was going to run something that wasn't combat heavy.

You didn't get what the huge supply means, right? Abundant supply means lowered prices. With abundant supply, a 300% price markup is gross, except in very few, hypothetical cases.

Rutee
2008-05-15, 05:04 PM
What abundant supply? You keep saying there is one, but aside from Forgotten Realms and maybe Eberron, there usually isn't.

Azerian Kelimon
2008-05-15, 05:13 PM
Look at the number of items an adventuring party runs through through 20 levels. Now, imagine 1 or 2% of the world's total population is adventurers. It's an impressive amount of items. Then, add that the heavens and hells are constantly churning out items, and that there are planar metropoli. It becomes awe inspiring.

Rutee
2008-05-15, 05:16 PM
1-2% of the population isn't adventurers. Class levels, maybe, but not adventurers. And that most of those Heavens and Hells-churned out gear gets destroyed by the Heavens and Hells..

Azerian Kelimon
2008-05-15, 05:18 PM
Cut it to 0.1-0.2%. Still gigantic. Hell, you could cut it to 0.0X% and it would STILL be a significant amount of items out there.

Rutee
2008-05-15, 05:31 PM
No, a multitude of magic items is fundamentally incompatible with peasants living anything resembling a medieval life. Which is /fine/, but it's definitely not what DnD tends to assume.

Azerian Kelimon
2008-05-15, 05:38 PM
D&D's stance on what the hell it's society is is something like the mix of Paranoia and WH40K but without the awesome sauce. That is, a convoluted mess.

Rutee
2008-05-15, 05:45 PM
"Medieval Peasant" is a convoluted mess to you?

Azerian Kelimon
2008-05-15, 05:49 PM
But D&D is NOT medieval. Large cities are not medieval. TRADE is not medieval. Heck, any kind of organization bigger than "Self sufficiency and small baronies/any other land owned by nobility" is not medieval.

Frosty
2008-05-15, 05:53 PM
Rutee, he's right. DnD isn't exactly historically accurate.

Rutee
2008-05-15, 05:58 PM
What, you think I don't know that it's not historically accurate? There /are/ cities, for crying out loud. But its' made it pretty damn clear that it sucks to be a common man, as ordinary people make /1 silver piece/ a day, which will let them live if they are self sufficient in little things like "Making their own clothing". That's pretty much the lot of a medieval peasant; Labor all day to come out with absolutely no luxuries and only barely pay for what you need.

Charity
2008-05-15, 05:59 PM
http://forumimages.footballguys.com/style_emoticons/default/TrainWreck1.gif

Just to chuck some fuel on the fires, you are all assuming there is only 1 merchant in the chain of markup, that would be unlikely, these guys would trade items with one another (suitably discounted of course) adding many layers of middlemen to the equation.


I can't believe anyone would care really what their character receives for a single item, if the DM wants you to have more cash you find more cash, if he figures you got too much, guess what you find less.

Jerthanis
2008-05-15, 06:01 PM
Coming at this from another angle: So let's say your party of adventurers embarks upon this adventure into bookkeeping and mercantilism. They buy a wagon and get some seed money and start putting the word out that they buy magic items at a higher price and sell for a lower one. They hang out in bars, rent apartments, and start putting down roots. They eventually build this reputation as fairer merchants of magic items... and start turning a healthy profit... but it's taken them three years to really establish themselves, and in three years of adventuring, they might've gotten to level 10 or 15, killed a Dragon and taken its stuff. Meanwhile they were making maybe 1000 GP a year or so and having to pay for living expenses, taxes ect the whole time.

Meanwhile, the level 15 party went through tens of thousands of gold pieces doing the exciting business of adventuring.

I'm not saying you can't have fun playing merchants and stuff... but have you considered the fact that you're probably playing the wrong game if you're using D&D?

Snooder
2008-05-15, 06:08 PM
I really don't see how a 300% markup is all that surprising or extraordinary to people.

Think of it this way, PC sells a sword to merchant A. The sword when originally made 100 years ago for Prince Deadngone of Lostlandia cost the prince 1000g.

Merchant A buys the sword from PC at 200g in boonietown.
- Why? because that's how much cash the merchant has on him to buy useless junk. Merchant A knows it's worth more, and so does PC, but that's the best price anyone in a week's travel will pay, and the PC doesn't really want to cart around several thousand pounds of loot forever.
Merchant A travels to Smallburg and resells the sword to Merchant B for 300g.
- Why? because nobody on Merchant A's route could ever possibly need/want/afford a gaudy useless magical sword.
Merchant B sells the sword to Merchant C for 600g.
- Why? Because Merchant C is a shipmaster and has to pay for the cost of both this successful voyage, as well and other unsuccessful ones. Both Merchant B and C know the sword is worth 1000g, but B isn't incurring costs, C is.
Merchant C then sells the sword to Sir Dragonslayer for 1000g.
- Why? Because it's the long lost sword (+1) of Prince Deadngone of Lostlandia.

Alternatively, Merchant B can't sell the damn thing, so he has it melted down into ingots and resold for 350g. Yes, this isn't theoretical price of the sword, but no merchant can hang onto non-selling merchandise forever. The PC's never see this cost, so they always pay the 1000g, but merchants do, so they lower the price for buying it to a much lower amount.


Remember, it's not as if the PCs are making this stuff, they're looting it. Whether they sell it at 200g or 1000g doesn't really matter, they still make a profit. And if it was worth 1000g, they'd just have much, much less of it, cause it'd be harder to get. Merchant A is like a fence, he's certainly not going to buy it for anywhere close to the price he can sell it for, if he can


BTW, yes the PCs can skip the middle man and try to sell to Merchant C. Doesn't mean a Merchant C will come for *this* item anytime in the next century. They'll probably get bored and end up melting it and selling it for scrap just like Merchant B, but with time wasted on their part when they could have sold it and gone on to loot more stuff.

Azerian Kelimon
2008-05-15, 06:10 PM
Coming at this from another angle: So let's say your party of adventurers embarks upon this adventure into bookkeeping and mercantilism. They buy a wagon and get some seed money and start putting the word out that they buy magic items at a higher price and sell for a lower one. They hang out in bars, rent apartments, and start putting down roots. They eventually build this reputation as fairer merchants of magic items... and start turning a healthy profit... but it's taken them three years to really establish themselves, and in three years of adventuring, they might've gotten to level 10 or 15, killed a Dragon and taken its stuff. Meanwhile they were making maybe 1000 GP a year or so and having to pay for living expenses, taxes ect the whole time.

Meanwhile, the level 15 party went through tens of thousands of gold pieces doing the exciting business of adventuring.

I'm not saying you can't have fun playing merchants and stuff... but have you considered the fact that you're probably playing the wrong game if you're using D&D?

Adventurers are badass enough to get to epic from, y'know, causing a worldwide sleeper upheaval which goes unnoticed by anyone not in the trade. 'Nuff said.

Rutee: If that some schmuck is poor and it sucks to be him is your best argument, then D&D is set on ultratech.

Irreverent Fool
2008-05-15, 06:27 PM
D&D is becoming more like an MMO. The 'reward' system that keeps players playing MMOs is being integrated into the core rules of the game. While this is advantageous for poor to mediocre DMs or DMs with poor to mediocre role-players in their game, I cannot help but feel it diminishes from what an RPG is.

I'm not trying to demonize 4th edition. It looks like a fine game and I'm excited to play it, but it is a vastly different kind of game than the D&D I've loved over the years. Granted, my opinion had been mostly negative but I've come around.

The game is now designed to keep players playing and to keep looking toward that last bit of xp or that new item. If you don't believe me, feel free to compare the information int he article to the researchers over at the Daedelus Project (www.nickyee.com). Accuse me of the Stormwind Fallacy if you must, but this detracts from a game which once the intrinsic reward was thwarting evil and exploring ancient ruins (and yes fighting monsters too)... where your greatest reward was discovering the purpose to the ancient temple and uncovering the bits of history. Being a hero.

4th edition is a pen & paper video game. Wizards just keeps proving this point.

Anima
2008-05-15, 06:33 PM
But D&D is NOT medieval. Large cities are not medieval. TRADE is not medieval. Heck, any kind of organization bigger than "Self sufficiency and small baronies/any other land owned by nobility" is not medieval.
I think you are dead wrong with this statement.
The Hanseatic League (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanseatic_League) was a powerful organization trough the middle ages.

Big cities had between 20,000 and 50,000 inhabitants, the biggest even 100,000. I am not sure what numbers are given in D&D, but one should consider that major diseases depopulated the towns regularly, sometimes killing more than half of the entire population. Such events are rarer in a world with a low level spell to cure diseases.

Even if we assume that a travelling merchant has the chance to meet 2,000,000 people, which is a rather unrealistic large number, he would meet only between 200 and 1000 adventures of various levels who might or might not be interested in this particular item. He takes a great risk, since he might not be able to sell the item and lose a great deal of money.
But the rules say nothing about selling to other heroes, just about selling to merchants. One might ad that the merchant has no guarantees that the item in question is not stolen or even a fake, which adds to the risk he faces.

Concerning extra planar cities, do we now how easy it will be in 4e to get there? And do they even exist in the points of lights setting?
Even then, in an medieval setting you can not simply open a shop. You need the approval of the local merchants guild, who set the prices for all merchants to prevent price wars. They would certainly be very antagonistic about such attempts.

Last but not least, I would like to remind you that D&D is not a game about a shopkeepers heroic haggling, but one about epic ass kicking (Not exclusively in the literal sense). Therefore the rules provide only what is needed for the games theme. If you think that this does break verisimilitude for you and your group, then by all means simply change the percentage and reduce the amount of money you give out by the same margin.

Rutee
2008-05-15, 07:03 PM
D&D is becoming more like an MMO. The 'reward' system that keeps players playing MMOs is being integrated into the core rules of the game. While this is advantageous for poor to mediocre DMs or DMs with poor to mediocre role-players in their game, I cannot help but feel it diminishes from what an RPG is.

I'm not trying to demonize 4th edition. It looks like a fine game and I'm excited to play it, but it is a vastly different kind of game than the D&D I've loved over the years. Granted, my opinion had been mostly negative but I've come around.

The game is now designed to keep players playing and to keep looking toward that last bit of xp or that new item. If you don't believe me, feel free to compare the information int he article to the researchers over at the Daedelus Project (www.nickyee.com). Accuse me of the Stormwind Fallacy if you must, but this detracts from a game which once the intrinsic reward was thwarting evil and exploring ancient ruins (and yes fighting monsters too)... where your greatest reward was discovering the purpose to the ancient temple and uncovering the bits of history. Being a hero.

4th edition is a pen & paper video game. Wizards just keeps proving this point.

Ah yes, because DnD 3rd ed didn't do ANY of these things. No sirree bob, it sure it didn't introduce WBL..

Azerian Kelimon
2008-05-15, 07:12 PM
D&D is becoming more like an MMO. The 'reward' system that keeps players playing MMOs is being integrated into the core rules of the game. While this is advantageous for poor to mediocre DMs or DMs with poor to mediocre role-players in their game, I cannot help but feel it diminishes from what an RPG is.

I'm not trying to demonize 4th edition. It looks like a fine game and I'm excited to play it, but it is a vastly different kind of game than the D&D I've loved over the years. Granted, my opinion had been mostly negative but I've come around.

The game is now designed to keep players playing and to keep looking toward that last bit of xp or that new item. If you don't believe me, feel free to compare the information int he article to the researchers over at the Daedelus Project (www.nickyee.com). Accuse me of the Stormwind Fallacy if you must, but this detracts from a game which once the intrinsic reward was thwarting evil and exploring ancient ruins (and yes fighting monsters too)... where your greatest reward was discovering the purpose to the ancient temple and uncovering the bits of history. Being a hero.

4th edition is a pen & paper video game. Wizards just keeps proving this point.

Urge to stop the stupid but fun nitpickery to form an unholy alliance rising...

Artanis
2008-05-15, 07:14 PM
One thing some people seem to be forgetting is the opportunity cost of shopping around for a better rate. You don't want to get 20% of the value when you sell an item? Sure, go right ahead and look for somebody who will give you 80%. But in that amount of time, you could just sell the item for 20% and then...you know...go raid another dungeon and make even more money that way.


As an illustration:


Party A goes to a dungeon and comes out with a 1000gp item they want to sell. The first merchant offers them 200gp for it. Party A says "eff that" and goes looking for a better offer. Two weeks later, they find a merchant who offers them 800gp. 80% is pretty good, especially on a used weapon, so they take the 800gp.

Thus, two weeks' worth of work gained Party A another 600gp.

BUT

Party B goes to a dungeon and comes out with a 1000gp item they want to sell. The first merchant offers them 200gp for it. Party B says "meh, fine", takes the 200gp, and goes off to their next adventure. Over the next two weeks, they raid a dungeon and come out with another item worth 1000gp (which they again sell for 200gp), 500gp worth of raw cash, some XP, and maybe a quest reward.

Thus, two weeks' worth of work gained Party B another 700gp AND some XP AND the friendship of whoever hated the dungeon's occupants.


Y'all can go ahead and be Party A if you want. Me, I'd rather be Party B and rake in even more cash.

Citizen Joe
2008-05-15, 07:33 PM
Big cities had between 20,000 and 50,000 inhabitants, the biggest even 100,000. I am not sure what numbers are given in D&D, but one should consider that major diseases depopulated the towns regularly, sometimes killing more than half of the entire population. Such events are rarer in a world with a low level spell to cure diseases.

NO! I deny you this. Remove Disease is a 3rd level spell. That means AT LEAST level 5 caster. It would also cost at least 150 gp a shot. Combine that with few people are adventurers. Fewer still are clerics. Fewer than that are level 5 plus. And then they still need at least a 13 wisdom. Finding someone capable of removing disease is not an easy thing to do. Finding commoners that can afford 150 gp for the spell is even rarer. The final part of the problem is that whatever is causing the plague can REINFECT the guy and it is affecting thousands of people compared to this one caster. Remove disease spell is insufficient to stop a full fledged plague.

Now, since you introduced magic to solve the problem, I can introduce magic to cause the problems. Maybe it isn't the plague, maybe a shadow got into town at night and killed a hundred people in their sleep. Then those killed a hundred people each the next night, etc. Where's your magic solution now?

Magic breaks the rules of nature, it doesn't change them. Most people still has to survive in a mundane world.

Anima
2008-05-15, 08:00 PM
Still better than having absolutely no cure for the plague, isn't it?
And then there is the heal skill, which helps also considerably. During a plague, I doubt that clerics would charge money for their help, when the victim can not pay. And wands are a further option, they are expensive, but it is a better trade for a city, since the alternative could be loosing half of it's inhabitants.
D&D Cities have even better sanitary facilities, also called sewers, which helps to prevent plagues in the first place.

The question should be, how large are cities in D&D. I do not know and I have no access to the DMG.

Artanis
2008-05-15, 08:21 PM
Even if the Clerics do the curing for free (or are paid by the government or whatever) and you break out the wands there's still the problems of sheer numbers and reinfection.

If you've got even 1000 people sick, it's going to take quite a few Clerics a very long time to cure them all even if they aren't contagious. Want to use wands? A Wand of Remove Disease costs 11,250gp. So curing all 1000 with wands will cost nearly a QUARTER OF A MILLION gold. Now what if there's 5000 sick? 10000? You might keep the death toll lower by a few dozen, maybe even a few hundred, but the people are effectively just as f***ed as if the magic wasn't there. And trying to fight it with magic may actually do more harm than good: that many spells and that much gold could buy a LOT of useful stuff like soldiers to defend your city in its weakened state.

And that's if, like I said, they aren't contagious. What if they are? What if you cure somebody, he goes home, and he gets sick again? That's another casting you need. So you need to break out the quarantines.

The Heal skill? Irrelevant because it's mundane, and thus probably more or less common to both DnD and the "real world". But let's say for the sake of discussion that it is relevant. However, even then it's not so great. It boosts the patient's saving throw against the disease, it doesn't cure it. And oh yeah, if the patient is contagious? The doctor gets sick too. So the Heal skill ain't gonna help a whole lot.

Jerthanis
2008-05-15, 08:25 PM
D&D Cities have even better sanitary facilities, also called sewers, which helps to prevent plagues in the first place.


Have you been in a D&D sewer recently? Trust me, they never help. They either become infested with Kobolds instantly, or open a passage to an ancient, forgotten evil. Heaven knows which one is harder to get rid of.


Even if the Clerics do the curing for free (or are paid by the government or whatever) and you break out the wands there's still the problems of sheer numbers and reinfection.


but for a kingdom that understands Quarantine, a quarter of a million gold could stop a plague before it really gets going. If you just lock down a village where it originates and force outgoing people to be subject to Remove Disease, it could help a great deal in the big picture.

Of course, then we're assuming they understand the way viruses and bacteria work, and at that point we're practically putting penicillin in their hands compared to a real medieval plague situation.

xirr2000
2008-05-15, 08:42 PM
I find it amusing how folks seem to be discussing the economics of this system as if you can actually apply rules of modern economics to a D&D campaign. The only market vagaries in a campaign are the DM, period, end, sentence. Prices will be whatever he wants them to be and players will either be able to buy them if they got enought loot from their last adventure (which is also a variable controlled by the DM btw) or not. To avoid people trying to bang their heads on a wall to come up with some numerical equation for prices where none will actually work, the designers of the game gave items a price to use as a baseline. All this supply and demand talk seems kinda ridiculous where the market is really 5-6 people sitting in a room conjecturing about the economics in a virtual world where real market issues will never appear, because its not real.

Sstoopidtallkid
2008-05-15, 08:56 PM
Yes, but I prefer a world that makes sense. As in, is internally consistant and logical. It's not much, but apparently too much for WotC.

Artanis
2008-05-15, 09:03 PM
but for a kingdom that understands Quarantine, a quarter of a million gold could stop a plague before it really gets going. If you just lock down a village where it originates and force outgoing people to be subject to Remove Disease, it could help a great deal in the big picture.

Of course, then we're assuming they understand the way viruses and bacteria work, and at that point we're practically putting penicillin in their hands compared to a real medieval plague situation.
Like I said, that's a quarter of a million gold - for just 1000 castings of Remove Disease - that could be used for a lot of other stuff that is really, really important when a city has actual neighbors it has to worry about.

Sure, Clerics and wands might mitigate the effects of a plague, but it's still going to hurt a hell of a lot. And when you pull those Clerics back? The Clerics that, at level 5, are WAY the hell at the top of the power curve? An opportunistic enemy is going to see that and send in their army with all their Clerics still around. Letting the plague do its thing would suck, but having your country sacked and burned and every last one of your citizens (the ones that survive the plague, at least) would suck even worse.

So say you use wands instead. You spend a ton of gold to cure 1000 people. Your neighbor spends that same amount of money to hire tens of thousands of soldiers. And then we go back to the sacking and burning thing.



I guess what I'm trying to say is that if you want to lessen the impact of the plague, you can use magic...but if you want your country to survive that plague, magic might very well do more harm than good because it's so expensive.

xirr2000
2008-05-15, 10:22 PM
Yes, but I prefer a world that makes sense. As in, is internally consistant and logical. It's not much, but apparently too much for WotC.

I'm curious what you found inconsistent or illogical about the way loot is presented? In a game where dragons are real, peolple use magic and demons affect things, saying that seems an overly broad criticism. Seemed very logical, until people start overthinking everything and wanting a level of detail that seems unrealistic for a game that was not designed for accounting.

Economics seems an odd thing to expect a high level of detail on from any game designer seeing as how most campaigns just do their own thing and make economies to suit the story. Most of the replies here seem to think it should be the other way around. I've been playing for 20+ years now and in any campaign I was in, if the DM didn't want me to get a +3 good aligned sword then it didn't matter how much $$ I had it wasn't going to be available without good cause.

Jack Zander
2008-05-15, 10:57 PM
Ah yes, because DnD 3rd ed didn't do ANY of these things. No sirree bob, it sure it didn't introduce WBL..

I'm pretty sure DnD has been becoming more like a video game ever since the release of 2nd Edition.

Artanis
2008-05-15, 11:08 PM
TBH, I honestly think the "they don't bother taking the stuff that's below their notice" comment in the excerpt made a great deal of sense when you think about it.

xirr2000
2008-05-15, 11:16 PM
I'm pretty sure DnD has been becoming more like a video game ever since the release of 2nd Edition.

I like video games. A lot.

Rutee
2008-05-15, 11:19 PM
TBH, I honestly think the "they don't bother taking the stuff that's below their notice" comment in the excerpt made a great deal of sense when you think about it.

Because PCs usually have stuff to do besides worry about things like selling unphat lewt?

Jack Zander
2008-05-15, 11:19 PM
I like video games. A lot.

Then maybe you should stick to them so the rest of us can still enjoy what used to be a good roleplaying time.

I like video games too. More than a lot. But I play a video game to mindlessly hack n slash my way through dungeons and build the most overpowered character I can imagine. I play DnD to create realistic and interesting scenarios for my friends and I to experience. I don't like the two to mix.

Jack Zander
2008-05-15, 11:21 PM
Because PCs usually have stuff to do besides worry about things like selling unphat lewt?

If I was risking my life everyday to even go into these places to find unphat lewts, I'd be taking every copper piece I could back with me.

This becomes even more true at higher levels when players can stuff everything they see into their bags of holding and worry about getting rid of it when they have to.

Norsesmithy
2008-05-15, 11:27 PM
I'm pretty sure DnD has been becoming more like a video game ever since the release of 2nd Edition.

It seems to me that all the OMBWTFBBQ MOREPIG FEATUERS (like disenchanting Magic Items for a substance you can use to further enchant another item, lol Artificers) that people have been decrying RE Fourth Edition were PIONEERED in one form or another in D&D , and adapted by MMOs later.

Vazzaroth
2008-05-15, 11:29 PM
I'm curious what you found inconsistent or illogical about the way loot is presented?

The fact that you can depend on getting a certain amount of stuff at each level. The problem is it's TOO consistent. Life is unpredictable.

Something my (normally irrational) friend said really rang home to me: "It seems like they are trying to remove the DM from the game."

ShadowSiege
2008-05-15, 11:35 PM
Then maybe you should stick to them so the rest of us can still enjoy what used to be a good roleplaying time.

I like video games too. More than a lot. But I play a video game to mindlessly hack n slash my way through dungeons and build the most overpowered character I can imagine. I play DnD to create realistic and interesting scenarios for my friends and I to experience. I don't like the two to mix.

Nice cognitive dissonance. You're playing D&D. A game about DUNGEONS and DRAGONS, where the closest we get to the former is a bunch of catacombs and caves (with almost never any loot and lacking in awesome traps and monsters), and the latter is a creature that is made up. Where the hell is the realism in that?

As for video games adversely affecting D&D, I'd say they have done far more good than harm to it. D&D has a lot of really stupid rules. If video games have inspired the D&D designers to go with a ruleset that will be simple, intuitive, and applicable to the entire gamut of tabletop gaming types from dungeon crashing to political intrigue, then good. Because gods knows the rules for all three previous editions were pretty much only about killing things and taking their stuff, and often times pretty damn poor at that.

Edit:


The fact that you can depend on getting a certain amount of stuff at each level.

You mean like WBL? From 3e? There's an awful lot of leeway in those treasure tables it seems to me. 4 magic items can be highly variable.

Snooder
2008-05-16, 12:07 AM
The fact that you can depend on getting a certain amount of stuff at each level. The problem is it's TOO consistent. Life is unpredictable.

Maybe this is where fans of 4e like myself depart. Personally, I don't find wild unpredictability to be a selling point for a rule system. The point of a rule system is to be able to predict and determine what effect certain actions have. The point of HP, AC and to hit is to be able to tell if a given combatant will win a fight with another combatant. The point of levels is to tell their relative strength.

WBL is a necessary part of D&D. It determines how much money/items a normal party should have to be at an equivalent power level to the encounters of their level. Obviously if the party is naked, they are weaker then the designers expect them to be, and if they are decked out in +20 gear, they are much more powerful than designers expect. There is no rule forcing you to put them at equivalent powerlevels, but the rule exists so that you KNOW that the party isn't as strong as the designer expected when monsters were created. That way you won't be surprised if the party fails to complete an encounter or blows it out of the water, or can adjust the encounter to suit.

Maybe it's just me as player, but I find it highly annoying and not fun at all when I'm carting around crap items and thus unable to succeed at the tasks I SHOULD be able to succeed at. I also find it rather dull when I'm overloaded with stuff that makes challenges trivial.



Something my (normally irrational) friend said really rang home to me: "It seems like they are trying to remove the DM from the game."

Of course. This is goal of any competent rule system, to reduce the need for arbitrary and summary rule judgments so that the DM can focus on the important part of creating the plot and story for players.

Jack Zander
2008-05-16, 01:13 AM
Nice cognitive dissonance. You're playing D&D. A game about DUNGEONS and DRAGONS, where the closest we get to the former is a bunch of catacombs and caves (with almost never any loot and lacking in awesome traps and monsters), and the latter is a creature that is made up. Where the hell is the realism in that?

I keep seeing this faulty argument come up. I'm pretty close to writing a fallacy for it.

Just because our world does not have things in it like fairies and magic, doesn't mean that it's not possible for the DM to create a world with these things in them that still feels realistic.

Read some Micheal Creighton books sometime. He often writes thrillers about technology that we don't have yet set in present day, but he writes about it in a believable way that almost makes you wonder. (EX: Jurassic Park could actually happen if we somehow had advanced enough computers and an ultra rich guy who wanted to blow all his cash into the project).

With that said, that's not even what I was referring to. I was comparing video game realism to DnD realism. When I'm playing a video game, I might know that the BBEG is really the Good King all along, but I can't do a thing about it except progress through the railroaded story and dungeons, level up, and get to the end where I finally fight him. If I'm playing DnD, I have the option of taking charge, coming up with my own plan, and executing it. And aside from a few RPGs, if I want to do anything other than talk to an NPC in a safe zone, tough noogies for me.


As for video games adversely affecting D&D, I'd say they have done far more good than harm to it. D&D has a lot of really stupid rules. If video games have inspired the D&D designers to go with a ruleset that will be simple, intuitive, and applicable to the entire gamut of tabletop gaming types from dungeon crashing to political intrigue, then good. Because gods knows the rules for all three previous editions were pretty much only about killing things and taking their stuff, and often times pretty damn poor at that.

Indeed. More power to Blizzards of the Coast on that goal. Unfortunately, I don't believe DnD is breaking out of the 'kill things and take their stuff' style it has created for itself.


Of course. This is goal of any competent rule system, to reduce the need for arbitrary and summary rule judgments so that the DM can focus on the important part of creating the plot and story for players.

Yes, please, simplify the rules as much as possible. But don't simplify them to a point where you break verisimilitude.

Starsinger
2008-05-16, 01:29 AM
video game DnD. video game, DnD,


Indeed. More power to Blizzards of the Coast on that goal. Unfortunately, I don't believe DnD is breaking out of the 'kill things and take their stuff' style it has created for itself.


No matter how "video game" the rules of D&D becomes, the essence of what makes a table top RPG, playing with your friends, won't change. The game my RL group has been using for a few months now is a Final Fantasy RPG (http://www.returnergames.com/ord/index.php/Third_Edition_Core_Rulebook) which feels very video gamey. And it tastes video gamey. Hell, we have to bust out calculators at times for some things (not my favorite part in along shot). But you know what makes it different from playing Final Fantasy by myself? It's not a question of "me vs. the machine" It's a question of "We". There's not a vs in there. Sure, there's a BBEG and the plot's a bit heavily rail roaded, but it's not about fighting him so much as it's surviving as a team. The characters range from BFFs to Nakama (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Nakama). And they get on together far better than most of the D&D parties I've ever seen.

I'm not making a sweeping statement that D&D is worse for roleplaying. I am however saying, that some of the best roleplaying I've seen from these people comes from a system that's designed to feel, look, and taste like a video game. Just a little food for thought.

Jack Zander
2008-05-16, 01:43 AM
video game DnD. video game, DnD,

Cute, but still does not refute any of my claims.


No matter how "video game" the rules of D&D becomes, the essence of what makes a table top RPG, playing with your friends, won't change. The game my RL group has been using for a few months now is a Final Fantasy RPG (http://www.returnergames.com/ord/index.php/Third_Edition_Core_Rulebook) which feels very video gamey. And it tastes video gamey. Hell, we have to bust out calculators at times for some things (not my favorite part in along shot). But you know what makes it different from playing Final Fantasy by myself? It's not a question of "me vs. the machine" It's a question of "We". There's not a vs in there. Sure, there's a BBEG and the plot's a bit heavily rail roaded, but it's not about fighting him so much as it's surviving as a team. The characters range from BFFs to Nakama (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Nakama). And they get on together far better than most of the D&D parties I've ever seen.

I'm not making a sweeping statement that D&D is worse for roleplaying. I am however saying, that some of the best roleplaying I've seen from these people comes from a system that's designed to feel, look, and taste like a video game. Just a little food for thought.

Let me chew that food and digest it for a bit then...

...

...

...

I don't doubt that you can have an awesome roleplaying experience while playing something that feels 'video gamey' (nice adjective, btw). I've played MMORPGs and all I did was roleplay with my friends there (good times). However, on a personal preference level, when I sit down at a table top to play Dungeons and Dragons, I play it because of the sense of realism it creates.

I've even played other table top RPGs just as a fun little video gamey adventure, but its a whole different level when I play DnD.