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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Magic item costs

    Okay, I need some help figuring this out.

    I'm DMin' a game, and I've come across a problem. Or shall I say, it's not a problem yet, but it could turn into one.

    One of the players came to me, asking me about magic item creation, which he's been thinking about getting into. He asked me about items that can only used by certain races/classes/etc. Specifically, he wanted to know if there'd be a cost reduction in those sorts of items.

    My problem is, I forsee him turning every single item he crafts into a 'usable by only human wizards' to cut back on the costs by a bunch. Which personally to me, seems like a rather cheap way of abusing the system.

    Should I allow him the ability to do that when he's just crafting item for his own use? Would it be unfair for me to disallow that?
    "I am going to hack your computer. Into tiny pieces."

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Mewtarthio's Avatar

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    Default Re: Magic item costs

    It's not unfair at all. In fact, you should mark the price up for that: He's made it exlusive to himself, and so nobody else can take and steal it to use it against him.
    Quote Originally Posted by Winterwind View Post
    Mewtarthio, you have scared my brain into hiding, a trembling, broken shadow of a thing, cowering somewhere in the soothing darkness and singing nursery rhymes in the hope of obscuring the Lovecraftian facts you so boldly brought into daylight.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Magic item costs

    I was considering it.

    It's just that there is, by rules, a cost reduction for allowing only certain kind of people to use it. Which seems to be more what he's looking for, a cost reduction rather than something only he can use for other reasons.
    "I am going to hack your computer. Into tiny pieces."

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Magic item costs

    It's not unfair for you to disallow this at all. The reason?
    He could make a sword which will, conveniently enough, only work for a NG human fighter who was born in this specific town on this specific date who has brown hair and green eyes which, according to his logic, would make a +5 vorpal sword cost about 400g.

    While this is doubtless an exaggeration you can understand where I'm coming from and where this will lead. I agree it should be more expensive as it excludes other people from using it against him.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Magic item costs

    While I agree with the other posters, there's another reason this isn't unfair at all:

    You're the DM.

    You, as the DM, can allow or disallow anything you want, or change any rules you want, for any reason you want. Now, it's bad form to change things on the fly, without warning to your players, if you can possibly avoid it. But even there, it's allowed. And for things like this, where you're deciding in advance, and allowing the players to change their decisions based on the rules you set down? Perfectly fair.
    Time travels in divers paces with divers persons.
    As You Like It, III:ii:328

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  6. - Top - End - #6
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Magic item costs

    Very good point. I wasn't planning on springing this on him at random, no.
    "I am going to hack your computer. Into tiny pieces."

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Magic item costs

    Not unfair at all under the DMG item creation reduced costing mechanics which allow - 10% for a skill based reduction and a- 30% reduction for tying it to something like aligmenent just another reason to use a feat to acquire some kind of magical crafting feat..
    Last edited by CASTLEMIKE; 2007-12-05 at 12:43 AM.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Titan in the Playground
     
    tyckspoon's Avatar

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    Default Re: Magic item costs

    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyDPawn View Post
    I was considering it.

    It's just that there is, by rules, a cost reduction for allowing only certain kind of people to use it. Which seems to be more what he's looking for, a cost reduction rather than something only he can use for other reasons.
    They're really more.. guidelines.. than rules, hey? Yeah, there are suggestions in the crafting rules for a cost reduction for limited use. Following them strictly can completely destroy the concept of wealth by level, since characters end up acquiring gear for something on the order of 20-30% of its market value. If you're trying to work with the wealth guidelines at all, you probably shouldn't allow custom-limited items (or, at least, don't allow multiple limitations. You could let somebody craft, say, an item that requires the user to have or fake arcane spellcasting, but not also key it to their own alignment and race.). Crafters are already getting a good deal from the half-of-market-value discount for making it themselves.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Mewtarthio's Avatar

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    Default Re: Magic item costs

    I say ignore cost reductions for limitations entirely. They make no sense at all:

    > From a mechanical perspective, this type of item will only ever be purchased or crafted by one who can weild it. Therefore, the limitation only comes up if it gets stolen, or if the owner tries to give it away. The latter case is unimportant, as the owner probably knows someone of his race, alignment, or class who could use the weapon, so only the former case comes up. In effect, this rule creates a discount for preventing theives from using your items.

    > From a flavorful perspective, the crafter is going out of his way to add exclusions into the item. You'll note that the average item works for everyone: By default, the crafter doesn't have to go out of his way to include every class, race, and alignment. Therefore, the crafter does more work, but in less time and expending fewer resources.
    Quote Originally Posted by Winterwind View Post
    Mewtarthio, you have scared my brain into hiding, a trembling, broken shadow of a thing, cowering somewhere in the soothing darkness and singing nursery rhymes in the hope of obscuring the Lovecraftian facts you so boldly brought into daylight.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Magic item costs

    The use-restriction cost reductions make perfect sense. For market prices. A +2 sword useful to just anyone is going to be easier to sell than one only usable by female elves under 400 years of age with a particular birthmark. So it will sell for more, unless one goes to the trouble of finding a buyer who specifically wants those restrictions.

    For crafting cost, though, they're absurd. As others have said, it ought to cost more, not less, to add regulatory elements to an item.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    Jarchh's Avatar

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    Default Re: Magic item costs

    I'd allow him it the first couple of times on good faith and then if he starts abusing it stop allowing him. It's not a broken mechanic at all. As has already been brought up it reduces the cost that the items can be sold for equally, meaning that when the item gets redundent he's not making any money, nor is he making money if he's crafting to sell. But secondly it greatly reduces the effectiveness of the item. A ring of featherfall is great, but only allowing one person of the party to be able to use it when it's another member who needs it in a given encounter makes the item useless. So by putting restrictions on the item he's greatly reducing the parties options and thus the reduced price is fair.But then again if he starts to OVER use it... then it's a bit of a cheat on the system and you might wanna talk to him about it.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    confused Re: Magic item costs

    To put it bluntly, there's a difference between buying (free market) and creating.

    If someone wants to make a restricted item worth 1000gp, then it costs 1000gp to do so, but on the free market it is only worth 700gp.

    Look at it this way: Wizard A makes a longsword +1. Why would it be EASIER and cheaper to add on a restriction?
    If the sword is elf-only, that's an additional enchantment to stick onto the sharp piece of metal. In a predominantly elven society, it would still be worth the same as a longsword +1 without the additional enchantment, but it certainly would be worth less if you try to sell it in a market predominantly made up of humans.

    The guidelines (guidelines, not rules) are there to help DMs set costs, not to let Players make whatever they want.

    The restriction rules are more for if the PCs are trying to sell items than create them - if the DM tosses them an elf-only sword, then it's not worth as much as a normal magical blade.
    Jeff

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Feb 2007

    Default Re: Magic item costs

    I'd allow restrictions to reduce the cost if the restriction makes sense for the particular item.
    Eg: a +1 longsword only usable by fighters gets the discount
    but a +1 longsword only usable by wizards doesn't (but can still be made, just costs full price to do so).
    Also, I wouldn't allow the restrictions to stack discounts, so a +1 longsword only usable by elf fighters would only get the larger of the two discounts.
    And any custom restrictions (such as the ones others in this thread have been suggesting) should probably not be allowed at all, regardless of price adjustments.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Banned
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Magic item costs

    The problem I have with Price reductions is that I don't know how to stack them. Do the 10% for skill stack with the 30% for Class? Can you have Class and Alignment? What about Extraordinary Artisan Feat?

    Different ways to interpret it:
    1)Skill 10%/Class 30%/Alignment 30%/Extraordinary Artisan 25%=95% reduction to base cost. Then cut that in half again for actual crafting cost.

    Obviously crazy, no one would allow this.

    2)Skill/Class/Extraordinary=65% base reduction, then cut in half for craft cost.

    Still Insane.

    3)Class cuts 30% then that is reduced by 25% then that is reduced by 10%. I can't really tell what that works out to in an abstract sense, so given an example=Ring of Three Wishes 97,950gp.
    30%=68565
    25%=51423
    10%=46281
    Crafting cost=23140gp Seems pretty Crazy to me. But lets try a +5 Vorpal Sword since that's something we can assume a Fighter will get after spending a minimal amount on armor and other items (If he can get it early because the price is low enough)

    Price=200000
    30%=140000
    25%=105000
    10%=94500
    Crafting cost=47250gp

    Or if you allow class and alignment=33075gp

    So a Fighter could have a +10 Weapon at level 9 or 10 if he devoted all his Wealth to it. Ultimately that's not too bad. There are worse things. But it is a significant Power creep.

    And most importantly it's not the kind I like. I like the Characters to be powerful, but not because they have more money then average adventurers.

    I would disallow the reductions.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Magic item costs

    I'm with those who say these cost adjustments should apply only to the market value, not the cost to create the item.

    From a game-world standpoint, there's no reason an elf-only item needs to be cheaper to make than a usable-by-anyone item, but it will certainly sell for less due to the smaller market and correspondingly lower demand.

    From a balance standpoint, this is an obvious loophole in the rules that's ripe for abuse.

    (Of course, players might also try to buy items with such insane limitations as to slash the price below the cost of crafting. The proper reply to this is, "Not even the Magic Item Wal-Mart stocks that.")

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    London, England.

    Default Re: Magic item costs

    As many people have said, the price reductions only make sense for MARKET price.

    For creation price, adding restrictions should increase the price, not decrease it. There's absolutely no good reason, either in-game or balance-wise, for giving crafters discounts for creating items which are more effective.

    - Saph
    I'm the author of the Alex Verus series of urban fantasy novels. Fated is the first, and Book #10 in the series, Fallen, is out as of September 2019. For updates, check my blog!

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    DruidGirl

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    Jan 2007

    Default Re: Magic item costs

    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyDPawn View Post
    Okay, I need some help figuring this out.

    I'm DMin' a game, and I've come across a problem. Or shall I say, it's not a problem yet, but it could turn into one.

    One of the players came to me, asking me about magic item creation, which he's been thinking about getting into. He asked me about items that can only used by certain races/classes/etc. Specifically, he wanted to know if there'd be a cost reduction in those sorts of items.

    My problem is, I forsee him turning every single item he crafts into a 'usable by only human wizards' to cut back on the costs by a bunch. Which personally to me, seems like a rather cheap way of abusing the system.

    Should I allow him the ability to do that when he's just crafting item for his own use? Would it be unfair for me to disallow that?
    No there are actually feats that can reduce the cost of item creation feats, but the items he's thinking of ala cloak of elvenkind were designed that way to explain why they're called that instead of reducing the cost to make them I have heard somewhere of a halfling trying to make a cloak of halflingkind since they do have bonuses to hide but it boils down to the dm to decide one way or the other.

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