Wealth Balancing System Proposal - Page 2
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  1. #11
    A similar system to my original proposal was asked in this month's Dragon Column ~ Save my Game.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Radney-MacFarland
    Magic Item Misfits

    My group has been playing 4th Edition and having a blast with it, but my players have brought up a concern regarding magic items, and I was wondering how we could deal with it. Right now we are in low-epic levels and my players are distressed that they cannot hit anything without their magic items. Any level-appropriate challenge becomes extremely difficult if they are not using their best stuff. This is a problem for my players, who like to carry different assortments of weaponry (and sometimes armors) for different situations, especially for the fighter who likes to use different weapons for different effects with his powers. My players argue that at such high levels they should be able to stay relevant with ordinary equipment and that magic items should be a nice bonus. One player expressed that magic items don't feel special because they are a requirement for the character just to be viable.

    Do you guys have any optional rules or anything of that sort that could resolve this before I have a full-scale mutiny on my hands? I have considered using the magic item threshold rules for NPCs from the Dungeon Master's Guide (page 187) to give the players a flat bonus as they level up that wouldn't stack with the enhancement bonus of magic items. Would this be a reasonable optional rule in your opinion?

    -- Spill-All-You-Know Crow

    Well, we wouldn't want a mutiny, would we? While we have some optional rules lying here and there on desks (we are all game designers, developers, and editors, after all), your basic solution of using the magic item thresholds for NPCs should work reasonably well. If you want a system that is low magic or where the majority of the magic of an item resides in its powers and properties, you can also just assume that all items have the baseline bonus for magic for that level. This would make those super-generalist characters more powerful than the baseline D&D characters, but it sounds like that's what your players want out of their epic play.

    Be careful, though. If this issue is enough to really cause a mutiny, I have a sneaking suspicion that you have a power gamer (or many power gamers) on your hands. You'll want to make sure that they don't push to add magic bonuses on top of the assumed enhancements or try to get you to relax the restrictions on magic item daily powers. Make sure your game is fun, but that it's fun for everyone, not just the person with the loudest or most persistent arguments.

    This is very similar to what I was proposing with a little more grace.

  2. #12
    So essentially we would be dismissing the + whatever number system? Why wouldn't every high level character carry around a golf bag of different weapons ready to use where appropriate.

    Ahar, vulnerable to cold hey? Let me break out my frost weapon, etc.

    I cannot see how this is desirable, to a certain extent PCs should be restricted to one or two powerful weapons in my book. Gone is the hero and his few treasured weapons.

    Why would anyone have a simple + weapon instead of a frost or flameing weapon? There would be essentially no price difference - or so little at high level it would not matter.

    I'm sorry but PCs should not be able to take on Balors without magical items. I'm afraid I strongly dislike that idea. Can someone provide a link to the thread where it was voted for?

  3. #13
    Acolyte (Lvl 2)

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    Block Dunamin

    To get a sense of how far ahead/behind a PC is on items and wealth, isn't it generally enough to refer to the guidelines on creation of higher level PC? (DMG p143)

    That one's pretty simply: A level n PC should have a magic item of level n-1, one of level n, and one of level n+1, and additional wealth totalling the price of an n-1 item (which may be other magic items as well).

    So a DM could just check the PC's approved sheet at last level-up, see how well the PC's economy roughly matches these terms, and reward accordingly?

  4. #14
    My original proposal was made in the Economics thread which dealt with this exact topic. The thread proposes three options for balancing magic items. I suggested two others, the final one was spoken of and voted on I believe in the long Discussion thread.

    The summarized version is that at the conclusion of an adventure, a PC's equipment would be increased in magical bonus up to a level bringing the character in line with the math of the system. Attacks and Defenses are based off a mathematical formula and in a Living World there exists the possibility that a PC will fall off the curve if their equipment is not at a minimum level. The increases at the end of adventures allow a DM to raise the characters up to the level that they should be as outlined in a table that we provide. It is similar to the NPC magic item threshold numbers but different. There was also a suggestion that this be tied to fluff around the gods or some other higher body deciding upon completion of a significant challenge the hero was worthy of their attentions, gaining boons in the form of increasing magic item power.

    Note this is different than the quote I provided above and I can see the issues that you pointed out in that particular option.

  5. #15
    Ah okay, thanks for breaking that down for me a little Erekose. Now my question is if I as a PC use my gold to purchase every available weapon type wil level up? If I buy 4 flameing weapons and just swap them out after I use the daily power do they all count as being appropriate to my level?

    Or do we come up with ring system where one weapon, one set of armor, etc., is of your level?

    Sorry if I am getting this totally wrong, but I am a little befuddled.

  6. #16
    Ah, I see that you can only use a certain number of Magic Item Daily powers a day, which addresses part of my worries.

  7. #17
    Defender (Lvl 8)

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    Block covaithe

    For myself, I just don't see why it's that big of a problem if a PC moves away from the specified equipment power level for a while. If their equipment is more powerful than it should be for their level, DMs should notice this and tweak their treasure awards so that the best stuff is more appropriate for other players. If their equipment is below where it should be for their level, DMs can include better treasure for them. If DMs fail to notice either of these things, judges or players can point it out to them. In any case, I just don't see it as that big of a deal.

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