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5E Frustrated with 5E magic items

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
yeah this is what causes players to create murder hobos. When they’ve done the hard work and earned the cash and weak npc peons think they can chisel the PCs, you’ll soon have dead npcs and newly minted murder hobos.
I’ve never had a player at my table react to being asked to pay taxes as anything like being shaken down.

The world exists, and they live in it. They buy horses to travel faster, pay porters to carry thing from the shop to their apartment in town, and happily pay taxes to pay for work on the Old King's Road.
 

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CapnZapp

Legend
Kind of looking for some assistance with how to handle magic items in my 5E games. Right now, I'm converting "Red Hand of Doom" from 3E to 5E, trying to whittle down the magic items from the 3E assumptions. Even with doing treasure 5E style, I find my players having a lot of money and not much to spend it on. There's magic item buying rules in Xanathar's, but those require more downtime than the players are going to get in this adventure.

I'm finding myself missing the 3E DMG city detail, with max gold for items that could be found there. Magic item pricing that followed some sort of scale. A reason to have +1 half-plate over +2 scalemail or whatever when they have the same AC.

I'm curious how other people have made the transition from more structured magic item and treasure editions like 3E and 4E over to a looser system like 5E.
Basically, by doing all the work yourself that WotC refused to do for you.

That is, we didn't "transition" as much as readd back the utility based pricing of magic items; making gold useful again.

Either that or switch to PF2 - Paizo didn't abandon gold like WotC did.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
Search for "Sane Magic Item Prices"--it's a free PDF, and I believe ENworld has a copy for download somewhere. It can help you get a handle on how much things should cost.
In itself it is a good start, and it sure is a good recommendation.

In the larger picture, however, it's unfathomable it remains just about the only useful advice even after 5th edition existing for so many years.

It's authors basically disappeared shortly after releasing it. There is zero healthy forum discussion regarding 5E magic items pricing

WotC has never had to own up to the fact gold is basically useless. It is by far the edition's biggest failure.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
In itself it is a good start, and it sure is a good recommendation.

In the larger picture, however, it's unfathomable it remains just about the only useful advice even after 5th edition existing for so many years.

It's authors basically disappeared shortly after releasing it. There is zero healthy forum discussion regarding 5E magic items pricing

WotC has never had to own up to the fact gold is basically useless. It is by far the edition's biggest failure.
Xanathar's has a section on buying and selling items. You may not like their implementation, that doesn't mean there isn't one. Basing price on rarity and luck is about as logical as anything else.

For my campaign I broke it down a bit more into minor an major items.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
Xanathar's has a section on buying and selling items. You may not like their implementation, that doesn't mean there isn't one.
None of which changes anything I stated in my post.

Basing price on rarity and luck is about as logical as anything else.
No, it is a shitty alternative to properly pricing items on their usefulness. If Paizo can do it right, so could WotC - they just couldn't be arsed to make the effort.

The result is a decidedly worse game, where gold is essentially useless unless you involve significant amounts of downtime in your campaign - which official campaigns pointedly does not.

The result is WotC wanting to have the cake (the classic game) but eating it too (not investing the man-hours needed for a proper, Paizo-style, implementation).

But you knew this already Oofta. Why? Because I've explained it to you many times over. So let's not pretend you aren't one of WotC's staunchest defenders, regardless of how many cakes they eat while keeping... :-/
 

Krachek

Adventurer
I think fixed accurate price list is almost impossible.
What is the price of a flame tongue sword in a short thematic adventure where you will fight Trolls and evil fey?
What is the price of a warning weapon for a party that already rely on scouting and ambush and most of the time are those who make the surprise?

items price depend on party strength and weakness, adventure theme, style of play, type of monster encountered. Creating a more accurate list will lure inexperienced Dm into false assumption of balance.
 
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Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
None of which changes anything I stated in my post.

No, it is a shitty alternative to properly pricing items on their usefulness. If Paizo can do it right, so could WotC - they just couldn't be arsed to make the effort.

The result is a decidedly worse game, where gold is essentially useless unless you involve significant amounts of downtime in your campaign - which official campaigns pointedly does not.

The result is WotC wanting to have the cake (the classic game) but eating it too (not investing the man-hours needed for a proper, Paizo-style, implementation).

But you knew this already Oofta. Why? Because I've explained it to you many times over. So let's not pretend you aren't one of WotC's staunchest defenders, regardless of how many cakes they eat while keeping... :-/
Umm ... you were complaining about magic item pricing. They exist. Chapter 2 of Xanathar's Guide. You may not like the implementation but your statement is simply wrong.

As far as not having things to spend money one, meh. That was an issue in previous editions as well if you didn't want to build a keep. They kind of "fixed" it in 3 & 4 by having a magic item treadmill. Didn't really solve anything, just put you in a never ending cycle of buy more crap so you can survive so you could buy slightly better crap. The monsters just kept getting ratcheted up as well so you just treading water.

There are two options in 5E. Open up the magic mart using XGTE price guidelines or, radical concept, don't hand out gold like candy on Halloween.

As far as 5E being perfect? Nah. I have plenty of issues with it, I'd just rather find solutions than whine about things.
 


Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Then why does the DMG tell you to? Besides, "the game made gold worthless. so let's just stop handing out gold" is a crappy solution even on a good day.


:rolleyes:
You can always find ways to get people to spend gold if they want to expand the game a bit. I've never had an issue. Either limit the amount I hand out, have them helping to lead a resistance movement and choosing to either buy something bright and shiny or fund the militia. Strongholds are an option as is using funds for bribery.

Or just open up the magic mart. Let people stock up on those +3 items. Just remember to kick up the threat level of the encounters a level or 10 to compensate.

At a certain point you have to adjust the game to suit your campaign and style, nobody s going to do it for you.
 

5e assumes no magic mart. Without a magic mart you don't need a menu of prices. In fact, in practice, a menu of prices leads to a magic mart.

If you have limited opportunity to find items and limited agency in picking which items you find, the price ranges in the DMG are more than enough information. They do not need to be well ordered.

This does not mean gold is worthless. It means gold isn't better than an equal value magic item, like 3e, much of 4e (pre essentials) and Pathfinder. Gold is instead usually worse than a magic item of the same value.

But not worthless.

When there are items for sale, be they what they are, without gold you don't get them.

Maybe you'll be offered mithral chainmail, or white dragon scale armor, and you are like "I would prefer mithral plate". But mithral plate isn't for sale.

With a price list/magic mart, you spend in the optimal item for your build. With capricious items and price ranges, you get opportunities to convert gold into gear, and take them or leave them.
 
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Xeviat

Adventurer
Basically, by doing all the work yourself that WotC refused to do for you.

That is, we didn't "transition" as much as readd back the utility based pricing of magic items; making gold useful again.

Either that or switch to PF2 - Paizo didn't abandon gold like WotC did.
I'll be trying out PF2 for my next game. For this, the group wanted 5E. Two of the players prefer the simplicity of 5E.
 

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