View Full Version : Underage Puchases [4e Whetstones, Reagents and Consumables]

2008-12-16, 06:08 PM
We were playing a session of DND 4e last weekend. It was a lot of fun. My human wizard managed to get in a lot of damage with his Flaming Sphere daily, and good times were had by all. Until, that is, upon returning to town after the defeat of the mighty White Dragon, my DM told me my level 4 wizard couldn't buy the 100 gp Reagents I wanted to make my Flaming Sphere more potent. He told me that since I was not level 7, items, of any worth, were off-limits for purchase, and could only be acquired as treasure. Surely, I thought, consumables must be the exception? When you reach the "appropriate level" they aren't even particularly useful anymore! And what about Potions of Healing? Are we not allowed to purchase those for our level 4 characters? Realistically, a town would not spontaneously begin to carry new level-appropriate items each time you level up, and shopkeepers won't stop you from buying something you can afford. Magic Items I can see the excuse; they're fairly unique, and not exactly commonplace. It takes some effort to find some even that are a bit weaker than you are. But potions and alchemical ingredients? They're pretty standard fare.

I apologize for my wall of text. Any thoughts?

2008-12-16, 06:12 PM
Item level is purely a meta-concept for gauging relative power. While it's a good idea to keep item level near player level, it's unnecessary, especially in the case of consumables. At least in my opinion.

2008-12-16, 06:13 PM
That is totally, totally, not how it works. At all. If you have the money you should be able to buy the equipment. I don't know what your GM was doing, but it makes no sense.

Kurald Galain
2008-12-16, 06:27 PM
There's a couple of convoluting points here.

(1) the game does suggest that items, including consumables, can only be bought or created if you're of sufficient level
(2) but, the game also suggests that such items should not be found in treasure parcels unless you're of sufficient level (minus 3 or 4, you're supposed to find higher level stuff)
(3) healing potions are an exception to pretty much everything.
(4) reagents are, indeed, no longer worth it at the appropriate level
(5) almost without exception, consumables are a really bad investment
(6) the DM does appear to take a strict rules approach over an "if it's cool I'll allow it" approach, which is a matter of taste

So strictly speaking, the DM is following the rules. Also, strictly speaking, that particular part of the rulebook is poorly thought out.

The cheapest "rules legal" way I can think of to boost your flaming sphere is to buy veteran's armor; for the price of only a handful of reagents, you can cast two flaming spheres per day permanently.

2008-12-16, 08:36 PM
I felt this applied (http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/comics/stolen-pixels/5086-Stolen-Pixels-7-Vulture-Milk). And yes, I know it isn't WoW, but some features that are only there for game balance really resemble it. Unfortunately.