D&D 5th Edition Oct playtest magic items are legend---wait for it--ary!


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  1. #1
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    Oct playtest magic items are legend---wait for it--ary!

    I am SO happy with the new magic items! Finally, the wait is over, and the Holy Avenger, Vorpal Swords, and so on are back to being truly awesome.

    Also noted in this playtest packet, that Throwing Axes use Strength, but Throwing hammers use Dex? Kinda wierd, that one. Too bad the Dwarven Throwers are only in hammer version, no axes. (why not have both / either?).

    And the New AC tables are good too, very close to what I was hoping in fact! yay. You can really see the flat math at work here. The magic items seem iconic and powerful to me.

 

  • #2
    I certainly like the focus on flavor and variety, which looks fun.

    But the rarity tables are way out of whack. If magic items are supposed to be rare, 50% of Easy encounters should not include finding a common (or better) magic item -- it should scale both by level and difficulty.

    If we assume the old 3E rule of 13-15 encounters per level, that's 6-7 magic items gained per level, minimum -- actually more when you take into account that those 13-15 encounters are probably a mix of easy, moderate, and tough encounters.

    They'll need to tone the rarity down in actual play, I think, to make the assumed magic item economy (hard to buy or sell, unique quest to find a buyer, etc) work.

    Edit: Also, YAY! POTION MISCIBILITY!
    Last edited by Olgar Shiverstone; Tuesday, 9th October, 2012 at 01:15 AM.
    "The Soul of D&D? It's rolling a natural 20 when you're down to 3 hit points and the cleric's on the floor and you're staring that sunnavabitch bugbear right in his bloodshot eye and holding the line just long enough to let the wizard unleash a fireball at the guards who are on their way, because they're all that stands between you, the Foozle and Glory." - WizarDru

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    Quote Originally Posted by Olgar Shiverstone View Post
    If we assume the old 3E rule of 13-15 encounters per level, that's 6-7 magic items gained per level, minimum -- actually more when you take into account that those 13-15 encounters are probably a mix of easy, moderate, and tough encounters.
    The lack of level raised my eyebrows, too. Let's do some math and see how it actually works out. (tl;dr: it looks really good!)

    Dividing the character advancement table (Character Creation p4) by the encounter budget table (DM Guidelines p11) gives us this expected number of encounters, assuming you only get XP for killing things:

    Code:
    Level   Easy    Average    Tough
    1       16.3    10.0       6.5
    2       16.8    9.8        6.5
    3       12.1    7.4        4.9
    4       18.9    11.3       7.5
    Wow, that's all over the map. Well, let's assume 10 average encounters per level. That yields this treasure:

    Code:
    Roll      Occurs in      Yielding each time     Total haul
    01-25: 2.5 encounters    -
    26-50: 2.5 encounters    1 common               2.5 common
    51-70: 2 encounters      1.5 common             3 common
    71-90: 2 encounters      1.5 common             3 common
                             0.5 uncommon           1 uncommon
    91-96: 0.7 encounters    1.5 common             1.05 common
                             1.5 uncommon           1.05 uncommon
                             0.5 rare               0.35 rare
    97-99: 0.3 encounters    1.5 common             0.45 common
                             1.5 uncommon           0.45 uncommon
    100:   0.1 encounters    1.5 common             0.15 common
                             1.5 uncommon           0.15 uncommon
                             1.5 rare               0.15 rare
                             1 very rare            0.1 very rare
                             0.5 legendary          0.05 legendary
    (It looks like there's an item missing from the 97-99 line, actually, but we'll go with what it says.)

    So, over the course of a level, you're going to get, and assuming a four-person party:


    • 10.15 common items (2.5 per person)
    • 2.65 uncommon items (0.66 per person)
    • 0.5 rare items (0.125 per person)
    • 0.1 very rare items (0.025 per person)
    • 0.05 legendary items (0.0125 per person)


    Or, to put it another way, by the end of your first ten levels, your average PC will have found:


    • 25 common items
    • 6 or 7 uncommon items
    • 1 rare item
    • 1 very rare item in the entire party
    • and maybe, maybe, if you're lucky, one legendary item in the entire party


    I'm liking that distribution a lot, actually. Given that the common items so far are potions, that means you're getting less than one permanent item per level. Compare that to 4e, where each person is expected to find eight permanent items per level. Yep, I'm liking it.

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    The section on magic items gets quite a few thumbs up from me.

    I like the idea of attunement. It's not novel - certain magic items in older editions already required something similar to this before they could be used - but making it a generic mechanic is. I also like the "experimental" rule that a character could only attune a number of magic items equal to his Charisma modifier (minimum one).

    I also love the reference to Jabberwocky in the Vorpal Sword entry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Truename View Post
    Or, to put it another way, by the end of your first ten levels, your average PC will have found:


    • 25 common items
    • 6 or 7 uncommon items
    • 1 rare item
    • 1 very rare item in the entire party
    • and maybe, maybe, if you're lucky, one legendary item in the entire party

    I did the math on tough encounters, too. If you fight nothing but tough encounters for ten levels, in a four-person party, you'll have found this much by the end of the tenth level:



    • 22 common items
    • 8 or 9 uncommon items
    • 4 rare items
    • 1 very rare item
    • 1 legendary item in the entire party
    • and maybe, if you're lucky, one artifact in the entire party

    Still looks good to me.

  • #6
    If this were 1E, with 10th level "name level", I'd agree ... otherwise, I think it's 2-4X more magic items than I'd like to see given the assumed economy (or lack there of).
    "The Soul of D&D? It's rolling a natural 20 when you're down to 3 hit points and the cleric's on the floor and you're staring that sunnavabitch bugbear right in his bloodshot eye and holding the line just long enough to let the wizard unleash a fireball at the guards who are on their way, because they're all that stands between you, the Foozle and Glory." - WizarDru

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    I'm really happy with the direction they're taking magic items. I particularly like:

    * Magic items no longer cost more gold than the GDP of an entire kingdom. Even 10,000 gp is an astounding amount of money, a king's ransom. I much prefer that to items that cost hundreds of thousands or even millions of gp, as in past editions.

    * Magic items no longer grow on trees. Even +1 and +2 weapons and armor are rare, precious and awesome.

    * Attunment. I've wanted to see this rule for a long time. It puts a sensible limit on how many staffs, etc. a character can have at his disposal at a time, and it makes sense that many items have to be bonded to their owner before they can be used at full power. Very cool.

    * Staffs and wands recharge each day. Thank the gods, I hated these items when they were basically just 50 scrolls in the form of a stick. I don't like the rule that they can burn out when they run out of charges, but that's easy enough to ignore.

    There are a couple things that concern me, though, but they're minor compared to things I like:

    * No implements. Why don't staffs and wands add to spell attack/damage? This seems like a no brainer to me, and was one of the things I really liked about 4e.

    *Consumable Items are on the same price/rarity scale as permanent items. A potion or scroll I can use one time can cost the same as a staff or magic weapon? Bwuh?
    Last edited by Falling Icicle; Tuesday, 9th October, 2012 at 04:09 AM.

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    Ignore Gorgoroth

    .

    Armor rarity also seems to make no sense. E.g. if magic leather is "uncommon", and you roll 1-7 for that, but displacer beast leather is "rare" and yet you can get it on the table on a percentile roll of 8-21. Does not compute.

    Also, on the other end, plate is quote "very rare", rolled on 89-00, but splint is just "rare" and 82-88. If anything, it should be reversed. Resizing plate should cost less and / or be not do-able unless you're already very close to the original person's size.

    Also, the weights of the swords and axes needs down-justment. Someone else posted the link here on Enworld a while back:

    What did historical swords weigh? - The Arma.org

    And throwing axes are listed in the equipment.pdf as being 7 pounds, which is two pounds heavier than my replica of Anduril, which in itself is WAAAAY too heavy to be practical. Throwing axes are about one pound, I just watched a show about it. Being off by an order of magnitude is quite an error. Why not put real weights? It's not like we're trying to model the point of balance of the swords or their dynamic balance (which matters just as much if not more than the static balance, actually). We don't necesserily need to model everything ultra-realistically, but why base weapon and armor weights on museum pieces that are just for show?

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    I did just notice one problem item: belts of giant strength. Considering that PC ability scores can't go above 20, having a magic item that can boost your Strength to 29 is absolutely ridiculous.

  • #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Falling Icicle View Post
    I did just notice one problem item: belts of giant strength. Considering that PC ability scores can't go above 20, having a magic item that can boost your Strength to 29 is absolutely ridiculous.
    I think that's how they were pre-3e too.

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