Support the GITP forums on Patreon
Help support GITP's forums (and ongoing server maintenance) via Patreon
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 30 of 48
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Gender
    Male

    Default The value of magic items

    Just out of curiosity, what kind of monatary value do you place on magic items? Do you keep it as per the published books? Do you mark it up, not feeling that thousands of gold (more then 100 or commoners make in a year) is not enough? Do you charge less? How often do you throw in magic items in random treasure?

    As a player and a DM, I've seen everything from less then 50 magic items in entire existance on a whole world. (This was 2nd edition where magic was even more needed for groups. We didnt have no fancy DR to try to overcome, when a creature was immune to weapons, it was IMMUNE. Nor did we have VOP. AND WE LIKED IT THAT WAY!!!) I've seen magic as commonly bought and sold to events like this were common place.

    Scene: A human male, elven female, and two halfing adventures walk into a building.

    Store Clerk: Hi! Wealcome to McArcane'n More. Can I take your order?
    Human: Ya, can I get 2 belts of battle, a ring of protection +5, boots of speed, 4 healing potions, and oh ya, do runestaffs still come with the childrens meals?
    Elf:Honey, your diet.
    Human: Fine, make one of those healing potions a minor please.

    Ok, maybe not that bad, but still.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Elfin's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The value of magic items

    I like making magic items very rare, but all very potent. My players might go through all the low levels without seeing so much as a Cloak of Resistance +1, but then while at 7th level unearth a +4 sword or the like.
    Gives magic items a much greater "wow" factor.
    I do tend to use a lot of special substances, though- mithral, adamantine, cold iron, darksteel, etc.

  3. - Top - End - #3

    Default Re: The value of magic items

    Magic Mart. WBL.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Mongoose87's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The value of magic items

    Most of the campaigns I've played in give them out like free candy, but I really like it better if they're more rare - it makes them much more special.
    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Roc View Post
    Ring of Evasion means never playing a monk with monk levels again. There is just no reason to dip that stuff. I know we're all about using every part of the buffalo here, but can we just admit that it's inedible?

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    R 124C41+

    Default Re: The value of magic items

    Depends on what sort of game I'm going for.

    If it's more towards the "dungeon punk" level of stuff, then magic items are common, at least the weaker variations.

    If I'm not, however, I try to make magic items both a) rare and b) cool. The rare part is pretty easy, but it's the cool part which is hard. Just giving them weird and wonderful abilities isn't enough, you also have to give them interesting stories.

    But, let's face it, players often have blinders to anything that doesn't have to do with the group and, more specifically, their character. If you write out an intricate 20 page background for the Gronk-Slaying Sword of Power, your players are probably going to go "Powerful magic sword, got it!"

    Ah, but why hand out magic items? We know what the wealth by level is, so why not have the weapons gained by the player's own actions?

    The paladin slays a major demon in single one-on-one combat. With his last ounce of strength, he stabs his sword into the fiend and calls out to the heavens above. And the heavens answer. Power flows through his body and through the sword. Now the sword burns with white-hot flames, the essence of demonic flames purified to serve a higher purpose.

    The character goes out of his way to find a famous swordsmith who has retired. Through a series of adventures and philosophical debates, he is able to convince the swordsmith that his need for a weapon is great and the swordsmith makes one last weapon. "If on your journey you should encounter God, then God will be cut".

    You could make a weapon with a pre-built backstory, but you should make the player earn it. "This is the Gronk-Slaying Sword of Power, wielded by the demigod Zadriel and passed down through the generations. I am the last of his descendants, and now I seek a worthy heir to this sword. Whoever can impress me will be the new holder of the Gronk-Slaying Sword of Power!"

    Or even just something as simple as the fact that the wizard has been lugging around this one staff for so long a time, that it's started to have residual arcane energy in it (and when the wizard realizes this, you might have an adventure that he goes on to unlock the full arcane potential of the staff or whatever).

    And there's nothing preventing you from doing the same in a "dungeon punk" setting. While the common magic items are common, powerful items are still rare so why not make them special?

    I guess my point is, common or rare, that doesn't inherently make magic items special or meaningful to the players. It's everything that surrounds the magic item that does.
    Last edited by TooManySecrets; 2009-08-15 at 12:31 AM.
    Smart is knowing that Frankenstein wasn't the monster. / Wise is knowing that Frankenstein was the monster.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Titan in the Playground
     
    tyckspoon's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Indianapolis
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The value of magic items

    If I'm running Generic Psuedo-Medieval Fantasy, I do it more or less by the Book- or more accurately, the Tome as per the Economicon. Minor magic is readily available for gold (or other liquid assets, as even a 'cheap' 1,000gp item represents a rather silly amount of raw gold.) and priced at book value or even cheaper, given the ease of creation and usefulness of the stuff when going by RAW. Moderate magics can be bought with gold alone, but expect to pay significantly over book value for the most effective items- this is verging on serious power-signifier stuff, and anybody who has one is probably making a play to be in the big leagues and won't give it up easily (although anybody who already *is* in the big leagues will give it up almost as easily as minor magic, since they can have about as much of this stuff as they want. They probably use it to convince lower-level people to do their errands, in fact.)

    When you get into major magic, nobody trades in gold or gold-equivalent goods any more. This stuff you have to work for- you trade in favors, or souls, or raw bits of magic, or.. pretty much anything you could describe as being worth more than any amount of gold. These items actually take a significant amount of time and power to create, and getting somebody to sell them to you requires something to trade that is worth that power. So instead of looting a dragon's horde for the sake of getting enough hard cash to upgrade their swords, your players may instead need to Mind Rape the dragon for X gp worth of secrets to trade in an information broker's society. This has the pleasant side effect of making it fairly safe for the players to acquire really significant treasures, since they can then go on to use it to do nifty stuff in the world instead of worrying about new magic stuff (say the book says it takes about 500,000 GP to pay peasants to build you a castle. Without something like the Economicon scheme, no sane PC will ever pay for that.)

    If I'm *not* running GPMF, I do whatever fits the tone of the world I'm trying to evoke. It does tend to easier availability of magic just because D&D is built that way, however- if I want rare magic and special items, I do it in systems that aren't quite so obsessed with stuff.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Doc Roc's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The value of magic items

    Buy them, commission them, maybe do a small quest, or go to Sigil and hunt down the excellent items you desire. It's really no biggie. More player control is almost always a huge win.
    Lagren: I took Livers Need Not Apply, only reflavoured.
    DocRoc: to?
    Lagren: So whenever Harry wisecracks, he regains HP.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Doc Roc's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The value of magic items

    Quote Originally Posted by sofawall View Post
    Magic Mart. WBL.
    You mean Sigil, right, berk?
    Lagren: I took Livers Need Not Apply, only reflavoured.
    DocRoc: to?
    Lagren: So whenever Harry wisecracks, he regains HP.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Troll in the Playground
     
    BlueWizard's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The value of magic items

    Only wealthy wizards have magic shoppes in my world, and even then they have their own overhead they must look into, that includes keeping their wares safe.

  10. - Top - End - #10

    Default Re: The value of magic items

    Well, I prefer to think of it as... Every single town has a shop that sells every single magic item in existence, as well as having infinite gold to buy unwanted items with. Yes, even that little 3 building hamlet.


    Also, has anyone noticed that upon describing a town, if you even obliquely mention a blacksmith, players will go there, immediately? Even before the Inn?

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location

    Default Re: The value of magic items

    Well generally they are encumbered from carrying around all the full plates from their beaten foes.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Deepblue706's Avatar

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    New York, USA
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The value of magic items

    I don't really like the "Magic Mart" idea, but I'm rather certain the game's balance requires everyone getting magic items (it's especially important in the case of non-casters). And, I price them according to the RAW because I'm not entirely sure of how to compensate for drastic changes.

    Generally, I have most exceptional equipment either found, or acquired from very powerful people (lords, very successful merchants, awesome wizards). I think if you find a way to present it better than "Magic Mart", the players won't really care about the rarity of items (none of my players have ever complained, anyway). Perhaps merely suggesting rarity is good enough, if they're into that. I mean, Heroes are rare too. Heroes doing rare things, finding rare things...it all goes together. And stuff.
    Last edited by Deepblue706; 2009-08-15 at 12:51 AM.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    DwarfClericGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    Default Re: The value of magic items

    Quote Originally Posted by sofawall View Post
    Also, has anyone noticed that upon describing a town, if you even obliquely mention a blacksmith, players will go there, immediately? Even before the Inn?
    Yes. It doesnt matter if that blacksmith is in a small village he damn well will be able to craft weapon and armor. Not only that but he will have greatswords and fullplate ready and available. ITs not like he would have to spend is days making things his village actualy needs. Things like nails, horse shues, barrel hoops, tools, pots & pans, spades and the like. The closest this village blacksmith would make to an actualy weapon would be arrow heads, knives, spear heads, and axe and hatchet heads.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Doc Roc's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The value of magic items

    Solution:
    Make villages so boring that people stick to the big cities.

    OR

    Run settings where large cities are accessible, fun, and interesting.
    Lagren: I took Livers Need Not Apply, only reflavoured.
    DocRoc: to?
    Lagren: So whenever Harry wisecracks, he regains HP.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2007

    Default Re: The value of magic items

    A weird, half-formed and poorly thought out alternative to Magic Mart follows.

    I've got a character who, through Truenaming, the Fiendbinder class and DM leeway, 'owns' a low-level demon with the Possession abilities outlined in the Eberron Campaign Setting.

    Possessing fiends, if they cooperate, can be used as stat-boosting items, or they can possess objects and turn them into magic weapons and armor. Also, they come with a handful of useful spell-like abilities, and most of their effects get more powerful as the fiend gains HD.

    Finangle it right, and I bet you could use a fiend or three to replace all of the boring and 'mundane' magic items that everyone needs.

    How about a game where the PCs make a deal with a devil? Instead of levelling up, going to the local blacksmith, selling your +1 flaming sword and buying a +1 shocking burst sword, your fiendish companion who's been taking a portion of your soul and grows in strength with you, becomes powerful enough to offer you a new service, if you'd care to re-negotiate their 'agreement' for another 'small favor'...

    Or if you suddenly and desperately find yourself needing a ghost touch kobold-bane sword: "Oooh, that's not in our contract, Master, but I'm sure we can work something out..." One round of 'willing' possession for each round of emergency improvised magic item?
    Last edited by Fishy; 2009-08-15 at 01:21 AM.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    Morandir Nailo's Avatar

    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Stygia

    Default Re: The value of magic items

    In my games they're around, but most carry a drawback/curse of some sort. Either they do damage if you're the wrong alignment, or they attempt to take control of you, or using their powers forces a series of saves lest you turn into something nasty. I have to say, adding curses to items gives players a healthy fear of the arcane - they're distrustful of everything they come across now. They've even started burning spellbooks - even the MU!

    There are few items that just grant a bonus, all magic swords are intelligent (having a demon or spirit trapped within), and they aren't sold by anyone, as no one is willing to buy something that is probably cursed. The trick is that they aren't just laying around - if they're in civilized lands they're already in the treasure-houses of the rich and powerful, and if they're in the wilderness, well, there's all those monsters to worry about.

    I'm running OD&D, so items aren't needed like they are in 3.x. The group (all lvl 3 or 4) currently has between them a +2 sword (with a host of useful powers but an insanely high Ego and the ability to speak - and boy is it opinionated), a Cloak of Resistance, a spear that can shoot lasers (a piece of space alien tech), and a ring which gives the wearer psionic powers, but forces a save each time one is used - fail enough of them, and you become a Wraith. The guy wearing it doesn't know that yet, though.

    Mor
    Last edited by Morandir Nailo; 2009-08-15 at 01:27 AM.
    Avatar by Haruki-kun

    The tests say...
    I am a Black Dragon. I am a d8: deep, dark and cynical. I am a NE Human Necromancer, follower of Velsharoon.
    Stats: Str 12/Dex 11/Con 11/Int 14/Wis 16/Cha 15.

    In memoriam E. Gary Gygax 1938-2008, and Dave Arneson 1947-2009. We are forever in your debt.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    TheCountAlucard's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The value of magic items

    Generally, my shopkeepers have a very small amount of magic gear available, but the PCs can usually request an item to be made, provided they make some down payments. One of the PCs even made his own magic item that lets him bless water twice a day without risking heavy metal poisoning (I mean, five pounds of powdered silver to turn one pint of water into holy water?!? ).

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2009

    Default Re: The value of magic items

    I've got an entire excel document with complicated charts and tables that calculate availability, tax, supply and demand, and haggling. Generally I charge a 10% sales tax on magic with this price fluctuating depending on where you are (evil societies charge 50% tax on magic!). Minor items usually have an additional 10% increase and this triples for moderate and major magic items further modified based on the town you buy it from. I roll a secret charisma check against the shop keepers charisma to determine discounts.

    Its long and complicated but I like the simulation feel of it. One of my first campaigns in 3E had the players buying some thirty thousand worth of gold from a single shop keeper in a large coastal town. They left for a week and came back to find half the town owned by the shop keeper they purchased stuff from and everything was more expensive because a single person now controlled the means of production.

    I think they ended up burning down his warehouse and nearly killing the guy. Ah, good times.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Knaight's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2008

    Default Re: The value of magic items

    I tend to avoid having a lot of magic items, and they certainly aren't available to buy, at least in most settings. The ones that remain are very unique, very cool, and never have a focus on damage. Odds are that even in fantasy games one or two PCs have magic items at all, and very few NPCs have them. But I don't play D&D if I can avoid it, and there are exceptions.
    I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums.

    I'm not joking one bit. I would buy the hell out of that.
    -- ChubbyRain

    Current Design Project: Legacy, a game of masters and apprentices for two players and a GM.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Apr 2007

    Default Re: The value of magic items

    Quote Originally Posted by sofawall View Post
    Well, I prefer to think of it as... Every single town has a shop that sells every single magic item in existence, as well as having infinite gold to buy unwanted items with. Yes, even that little 3 building hamlet.


    Also, has anyone noticed that upon describing a town, if you even obliquely mention a blacksmith, players will go there, immediately? Even before the Inn?
    Surely a "Magic Mart" would have to be like Fort Knox; even a small shop would have hundreds of thousands of gp-worth of stuff in it. In a world were people can turn invisible, walk through walls, mind-control guards and otherwise enter secure places easily, protecting it is going to be hard.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Ogre in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location

    Default Re: The value of magic items

    In Eberron you could just have a central warehouse, magical transportation through the banking system is cheap and quick.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Titan in the Playground
     
    lord_khaine's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Default Re: The value of magic items

    risking heavy metal poisoning
    Silver is pretty unreactive, and not consideret a heavy metal.

    that aside, i have either let my players find their loot, or commision the crafting of it from the major temples in large cities.
    thnx to Starwoof for the fine avatar

  23. - Top - End - #23

    Default Re: The value of magic items

    Quote Originally Posted by Kami2awa View Post
    Surely a "Magic Mart" would have to be like Fort Knox; even a small shop would have hundreds of thousands of gp-worth of stuff in it. In a world were people can turn invisible, walk through walls, mind-control guards and otherwise enter secure places easily, protecting it is going to be hard.
    I personally make the defenses of every magic shop, big shops have better defenses, little shop have worse defenses.

    They have yet to succeed at breaking into a Sharn (Eberron) magic Shop :D

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BlueKnightGuy

    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The value of magic items

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawriel View Post
    Yes. It doesnt matter if that blacksmith is in a small village he damn well will be able to craft weapon and armor. Not only that but he will have greatswords and fullplate ready and available. ITs not like he would have to spend is days making things his village actualy needs. Things like nails, horse shues, barrel hoops, tools, pots & pans, spades and the like. The closest this village blacksmith would make to an actualy weapon would be arrow heads, knives, spear heads, and axe and hatchet heads.
    "Gosh darn it, this is not the time for rational thought. I don't care if the new school needs nails. I have 7 sets of full plate mail to unhail before the magic mart closes. I'll take no less then 3/4's book price for them. I'm an adventurer D#*% it, take care of me first."

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    TheCountAlucard's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The value of magic items

    Quote Originally Posted by Hawriel View Post
    Yes. It doesn't matter if that blacksmith is in a small village; he damn well will be able to craft weapon and armor. Not only that but he will have greatswords and full plate ready and available. It's not like he would have to spend his days making things his village actualy needs... things like nails, horse shoes, barrel hoops, tools, pots & pans, spades and the like. The closest this village blacksmith would make to an actual weapon would be arrow heads, knives, spear heads, and axe and hatchet heads.
    By the way, just gotta say, I'm going to have to steal this one of these days. My PCs are actually pretty good about this trope, but I'm still going to need to steal this.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2008

    Default Re: The value of magic items

    One of the problems with having the Magicmart is that almost every single item you give players will be thrown into one of their "packs", never to see the light of day until they can hock it to buy other stuff. In my group, anything that the DM gives them is instantly given a gold piece value and it ceases to exist. Now, stat adders are some of the most bang for your buck items but it is sort of depressing when the party defeats the evil vampire and treat him like archaeology:

    DM: The vampire falls to a pile of dust. You attacked him sooner then he had expected, so his coffin is not that well hidden.
    Party: Awesome! We ganked a vampire!
    DM: Searching through his possessions, you come across a sword. It radiates magic.
    Party Wizard: 1 Identify, coming up!
    DM: It is a +1 Flaming Longsword. The blade seems to be weathered, as if it were ancient though it is still in perfect condition. Strange runes encompass the blade though they seem to be inert and -
    Party: Ok, so that's 1,000 gold and spare change for each person. Moving on.

    You have to wonder if it is even worth giving out special items to the party when they are just going to treat it like a check that is made out for cash. That said, it is better for the players to have a Magicmart because it gives them more options and doesn't have them be completely controlled by the DM of what they are going to get. Having played a Dwarf Fighter who used a Dwarven Waraxe, I know that finding an upgrade in a dungeon is not going to happen unless the DM plants one.

    Best of luck y'all!
    -Eddie
    Last edited by Zergrusheddie; 2009-08-15 at 09:06 AM.

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Banned
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Flawse Fell, Geordieland

    Default Re: The value of magic items

    Quote Originally Posted by Korivan View Post
    Just out of curiosity, what kind of monetary value do you place on magic items?
    "You want? What you got?"

    Make the players ask what this or that item is worth to them. WBL and item cost are no more than suggestions as far as I'm concerned.

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Proven_Paradox's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The value of magic items

    The setting I do most of my DMing in is very high magic. I like high-fantasy, and that means a lot of magic for everyone. In said setting, each nation has a capital city, and within said city, anything worth <= 20,000 gp or so is not going to be hard to find. Look around a bit and you'll probably find stuff work up to 50,000 before I start thinking that you may just not be able to find what you're looking for. The local artificers do a lot of business, you see. And typically, things will go for the prices stated in the books.

    Naturally, getting further away from the cities means this changes. Still, anything more than a really small town is probably going to have a Wizard, Artificer, or Cleric (which I houserule to be NPC classes, as these are people who have things to do besides adventuring) who might be willing to deal with them.

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    PairO'Dice Lost's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Malsheem, Nessus
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: The value of magic items

    I usually run high-magic worlds, so I tend to cut costs down quite a bit so there isn't such huge price inflation; also, anything from the books is available (though generally on a special-request or mail-order-catalog basis, not in a magic shop). However, the ones in the books are just the common ones, and every nation (and often every city) has some unique items or unique spins on standard items.

    For instance, there's a town on the edge of the jungle whose artificers make Couatl's feather tokens instead of Quaall's feather tokens, with very different effects, and another town run by lizardfolk and yuan-ti whose tiny snake amulets and charms carved of ivory have a wide variety of mostly-unheard-of magics. If the PCs identify an item and I don't just name something from the books, they sit up and take notice instead of just selling it at the next town.
    Last edited by PairO'Dice Lost; 2009-08-15 at 02:06 PM.
    Better to DM in Baator than play in Celestia
    You can just call me Dice; that's how I roll.


    Spoiler: Sig of Holding
    Show

    Quote Originally Posted by abadguy View Post
    Darn you PoDL for making me care about a bunch of NPC Commoners!
    Quote Originally Posted by Chambers View Post
    I'm pretty sure turning Waterdeep into a sheet of glass wasn't the best win condition for that fight. We lived though!
    Quote Originally Posted by MaxiDuRaritry View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by PairO'DiceLost View Post
    <Snip>
    Where are my Like, Love, and Want to Have Your Manchildren (Totally Homo) buttons for this post?
    Won a cookie for this, won everything for this

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Default Re: The value of magic items

    I really don't like the magic mart world too much. Playing in a campaign like that, when I pick up a +2 flaming burst longsword, it feels more like a sword of 16157.5 gold pieces instead of the awesome weapon it really should be.

    Generally I prefer it when straight + items can be bought, but anything with special abilities has to be found.
    Last edited by Moriato; 2009-08-15 at 02:33 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Saph View Post
    What does "too evil" mean, anyway? Too evil compared to what? Is there a Recommended Daily Allowance of evil?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •