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Monday, 9th December, 2002, 04:56 PM #1
DM Advice on dealing with PCs buying/selling magic items
This has been an ongoing issue for me when I DM and I was wondering how others handled it when they are DM-ing.
Whenever the party finds treasure, some of the players immediately jump into what I call "bean-counter" mode. They start calculating the GP value of the items and figuring out what they can sell them for as well as what they might buy with the porfits (new magic items, etc.). Almost never do they actually want to keep the magic items for themselves; preferring the idea of getting items "custom made" or buying standard items from the DMG which they would prefer.
Now, I like how 3e has provided more detailed rules and prices on items than some other systems and versions of DnD, but a couple of my players are taking this further than I'm really comfortable with. They use the DMG like a "Kelley's Blue Book" for magic items and try and figure out to the copper exactly what their loot is worth and what they can afford to buy. When I tell them what they can sell an item for, and that their characters don't HAVE a DMG price list to go by, etc.; they constantly try to talk me up on the price. They also are always "hustling" for any price break or advantage they can get in buying items, etc.
If they would do these in game and in character, I wouldn't really mind; but it's always a flurry of between session phone calls & emails trying to get the "bookkeeping" out of the way before the next game (a motivation I applaud). The problem is they aren't willing to play out the transactions and use their character skills in a session for it and they don't like to just accept my rulings and cope when handling it "offline."
Sorry to babble on about this. I'm venting a bit. The players involved are friends whom I've gamed with a long time (decades!), but their bean-counting sucks a lot of the fun out of the game for me because:
1) it strains the credibility of the game world to have them be so "cut & dried" re: magicand
2) it stresses me out to have to constantly have to "hold the line" on them pressing for the advantage out of game.
I swear they take turns calling me to "wear me down" etc.
I know, I know, "Talk to your players and explain it to them. It's your game." etc. That's true, and I will talk to them. What I'm really wondering for you guys (and gals) is how you handle magic item values and buying/selling in your game? Is this kind of thing ever a problem for you? What do you find works for you?
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