5E How do you handle the "economy killing spells" in your game?

Stalker0

Adventurer
Some campaigns couldn't give a hoot about economics, in which case this discussion isn't really for you.

But many campaigns go half way, they don't try to replicate a full world economy or anything, but they try to establish some reasonable economics, at least enough so that players can amass and spend their gold, buy services from time to time, etc.

A question that comes up in every edition, how does the economy work when certain spells arive? 5e is no exception, for example...there are two spells in particiular that I think are low enough level that you would see them "a fair amount", and powerful enough to turn an economy upside down. These are certaintly not the only economy killers in the game, but ones that I think are poignant. I am curious how you handle such spells (or other ones) in your campaigns.


1) Plant Growth: If one 5th druid decided to "help the farmers", and enrichs a different area everyday, they could effectively add over 150,000 acres of farmland to a kingdom (the true answer is 183, 468...but inevitably travel time, vacations, etc play in).

Further, its a reasonable thing for several druids to consider, enriching the land is a very drudic thing to do.

So the idea of the poor fuedal farmer barely holding on in 5e campaigns with druids doesn't really hold up. Farmers would be the equivalent of modern agribusiness, with incredible productivity and crop yields.

This also means kingdoms don't follow fuedal population numbers, they should be significantly larger becomes food is more prevalaent.


2) Fabricate: No craftsman in the world can compete with a 7th level wizard....in fact, its easy to ask "why would there even be regular craftsman in such a world?". In 1 day, a 7th level wizard with proficiency can craft two full items in an hour and 20 minutes (needs a short rest for arcane recovery for that second spell). Or if hes feeling lazy, 1 item a day for 10 minutes.

So in a standard business week, that's 5-10 items.

Now for context, by downtime activities, it takes 300 days to make plate mail. In that 300 day period, 1 wizard could make as much plate mail as 600 armor smiths. 600! Just one wizard in a city could make enough armor to stock the stores of his city, and probably every city in the region...hell maybe the whole world!

This means that any kingdom with just 1 loyal decently leveled wizard that wants to help his kingdom, by himself, could equip entire army regiments with plate mail in the span of a year. And that's just 1 wizard, if a kingdom had just 2-3 your entire army could have plate mail. You could argue that wizards are rare, and wizard that have armorsmithing proficiency are rarer still....but it only takes 1 to completely change how the armor economy of a kingdom works.

So fabricate should create an interesting shift compared to normal economics. On the one hand, wizards should put all common crafters out of work. Only if you live in the boonies where there are no wizards would you be able to make a living.

But second, in theory what should happen is....the price of labor is rock bottom, and the price of materials is sky high. Mining should be where the real money is made! When manufacturing becomes trivial, its value decreases. No one would care about the craftsmanship of a jewel (that's just 10 minutes work!), but getting the raw jewel in the first place would be where all of the struggle comes from in theory.



So those are just a few wild thoughts. What do you do in your campaings...do you restrict these spells somehow, incorporate them into your economies, just pretend they aren't a thing...etc.
 

DM Dave1

Adventurer
1) Plant Growth - one might say that NPC Druids have zero interest in annual crops. Instead they are more interested in using this spell to restore ecosystems damaged by industry, magic, and/or corrupting auras of monsters. Now, if a PC Druid wants, on a regular basis, to help out some farmers instead of adventuring, then one might consider some better hooks for adventures.

2) Fabricate - the wizard proficient with smith’s tools still needs to be provided with the raw material to create hundreds of suits of plate. Surely this might start some kind of resource struggle between kingdoms. Sounds like the start of an adventure hook beckoning the PCs to prevent the domination of said kingdom. Usually, though, I’d say the generation of mundane objects is beneath most scholarly wizards who care far less about the wealth of nations and more about the power of knowledge.

I’m confident that there are plenty of other creative ideas out there for DMs to employ to keep spells from ruining a fantasy economy, if that’s a big concern. Like the DMG says, the DM is the Master of Worlds - make some shiitake up that holds up in the fantasy world without worrying if it makes sense from the perspective of our IRL economic paradigm. Personally, I’m less concerned with the details of economic realism, even though one of our campaigns is ostensibly about the flow of commerce throughout the land. It’s really just a backdrop to help explain some NPC motivations while the real story is the heroic journey of the PCs.
 

Satyrn

Villager
Some campaigns couldn't give a hoot about economics, in which case this discussion isn't really for you.

. . .

So those are just a few wild thoughts. What do you do in your campaings...do you restrict these spells somehow, incorporate them into your economies, just pretend they aren't a thing...etc.
I don't give a hoot about the economics, no, but I have found myself wanting to explain the effect of spellcasters on other parts of the setting though. My solution still probably isn't very helpful to you, but here it is:

I decided that the vast majority of clerics/druids/wizards in the world aren't spellcasters. They might know a ritual or two, but even they're extraordinarily rare. Like, the druid in your example would be a unique individual, and I'd wind up writing a plot hook about how some evil faction is looking to exploit him.

And from my own game, the prime example is the King's Royal Wizard . . . who is a sage with no spellcasting ability at all.

As I said, probably not an answer that will help you, but it's what I do.
 

Voort

Villager
Make the populace superstitious of mages & magic. ‘Druids on the farm? That’s how you get werewolves!” “You couldn’t give away a magic-made weapon in this town. Folks say the blade will turn in your hand and kill you if it sees moonlight.” A lot of those crazed high level caster villains started out as aspiring merchants who just had too many bad retail customers...
 

S'mon

Legend
Since I've never seen PCs attempt to do either of these things, it seems to be a non-issue.

Fabricate requires the actual raw materials, eg making plate armour requires (a) the PC could actually make plate armour normally and (b) they have the high quality steel and all the other bits & bobs necessary - eg leather, cloth padding etc. Usually in D&D this stuff costs half as much as the final object, though for jewelry it might cost a much higher proportion. Also the spell only creates one object "the fabricated object".

Basically the spell appears to be more a time saver, and since IMC a long rest is 7 days, not necessarily even that much of a time saver! The spell could certainly make a wizard-smith rich. I'm sure in my Varisia campaign the Golemworks wizards use this sort of magic routinely. But all that is necessary to prevent abuse is for the GM to read the spell and be reasonably conservative in interpretation.
 
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Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
My world has plenty of magic, but higher level PC type casters are rare. So yes ... agricultural land is more productive because it's blessed but you still need people to harvest the crops. To counter the blessed fields there are magical means of harming crops as well. Not to mention verdant farms that are abandoned because of that ankheg infestation. So agriculture can be slightly more dense but planting and harvesting are still labor intensive. In addition, as others have posted druids are not in the agri-business.

As far as fabricate, wizards that can cast 4th level spells are not common. Wizards that can cast 4th level spells that also know how to fabricate a decent suit of armor? Pretty much non-existent. Yes, they can craft crude bridges or clothing but not at a volume that's going to change the balance of an economy.

Which is not to say magic doesn't affect crafted goods, it does. It's just more subtle. A master craftsman uses magic without explicitly knowing it, and their swords don't rust quickly if at all. The baker's cookies really are magically delicious.

But remember this is a world where there are significant threats to humanity's survival. Magical apocalypses every few centuries, trolls, orcs, ghouls and other nasty things that go bump in the night. If it weren't for a little help from magic, humanity wouldn't stand a chance.
 

S'mon

Legend
Plant growth - all this spell does is double land productivity. Which is a lot less than the difference between wheat farming and rice farming! So you get fat happy peasants for a generation, population doubles, back in the Malthusian Trap. Then the druid dies and famine strikes... :D
 

Satyrn

Villager
Which is not to say magic doesn't affect crafted goods, it does. It's just more subtle. A master craftsman uses magic without explicitly knowing it, and their swords don't rust quickly if at all. The baker's cookies really are magically delicious.
Sweet!

Also: This.

Just yesterday, I mentioned here that the guns in my game are a dwarven blend of clockwork and magic. They were crafted by smiths who weren't wizards.
 

Tonguez

Adventurer
Plant Growth - Druids do help with farming and as a result life in fantasy worlds is much much better than it is in real medieval earth, Populations are bigger, the peasantry is much healthier, cities less squalid and there is enough social mobility that small parties of wandering mercenaries can make a good living being hired by mayors and village chieftains to fight off orc raiders and explore abandoned ruins.

Also in one game I was playing there was a PC Druid Farmer who used his spells to become wealthy and buy up all the land around a town earning himself a barony. However as his farm experiments expanded he came into conflict with the local Dryads and Druids Council due to his expansionist exploitation of nature

Fabricate - I changed all the 'Skill spells' so they add +10 bonus to Skill, so you will still need to have a Blacksmith to craft armour, but the spell makes it a much easier tasks.

But second, in theory what should happen is....the price of labor is rock bottom, and the price of materials is sky high. Mining should be where the real money is made! When manufacturing becomes trivial, its value decreases. No one would care about the craftsmanship of a jewel (that's just 10 minutes work!), but getting the raw jewel in the first place would be where all of the struggle comes from in theory.
Mining is where its at - why do you think there are so many underground dungeons? Of course there are barriers to people wanting to set up a new mine - Mines can only be put in certain places and the subterranean races (including Dwarfs) tend to defend those resources fiercely
 
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Kurotowa

Explorer
It really depends on what demographic assumptions the DM builds their world around. How common are NPCs with PC class levels? Of those NPCs who have them, how many levels do they have in their PC class?

In your DM's home campaign setting a 7th level Wizard might be the highest level arcane caster of fixed address in the Barony, someone who divides his time between personal research into the mystic arts and acting on retainer to the Baron as his sage adviser. In Eberron, House Cannith is absolutely using Fabricate on an industrial level to produce their wares, it's one of the cornerstones of the setting. In the Forgotten Realms it seems like half the innkeepers and tavern masters are retired adventurers with PC class levels in the low teens, but the FR have never made much sense that way.

So pick your poison. Either casters with PC levels of sufficient number are rare enough that they have more pressing demands on their time that they can't significantly impact the setting that way, or the setting is actually built with the assumption that people like that are part of the economy and goes from there, or you just sort of hand wave the issue and get on with the adventure.
 

the Jester

Legend
So those are just a few wild thoughts. What do you do in your campaings...do you restrict these spells somehow, incorporate them into your economies, just pretend they aren't a thing...etc.
Well, in my setting, if you want a 3rd level spell cast for you, you probably need a pc to do it- there just aren't many npc spellcasters out there. But my setting is atypical and includes probably a dozen or more players and around 30 pcs that coexist, mostly in and around the same city. (...cuz it's the last city to exist.)

As for plant growth, the likelihood of druids working to help civilization encroach on wilderness are pretty low in my game. They're more likely to hit the surrounding wilds with plant growth to deter the clearing of wilderness and the creation of new farm land. That said, if a pc wants to do this kind of thing, great! Go for it!

I have no issue with the "farmer barely scratching by" trope not existing in a given area if the pcs want to expend resources on it.

Re: fabricate- Same kind of thing. If a pc wants to do this, go for it! (Though they would likely run into trouble with the guilds that protect various types of craftsmen, and have other political issues arise from it.) But there simply aren't any npcs out there doing this kind of thing; the few spellcasters of high enough level to cast this are all pursuing other agendas.
 

5ekyu

Adventurer
1) Plant Growth - one might say that NPC Druids have zero interest in annual crops. Instead they are more interested in using this spell to restore ecosystems damaged by industry, magic, and/or corrupting auras of monsters. Now, if a PC Druid wants, on a regular basis, to help out some farmers instead of adventuring, then one might consider some better hooks for adventures.

2) Fabricate - the wizard proficient with smith’s tools still needs to be provided with the raw material to create hundreds of suits of plate. Surely this might start some kind of resource struggle between kingdoms. Sounds like the start of an adventure hook beckoning the PCs to prevent the domination of said kingdom. Usually, though, I’d say the generation of mundane objects is beneath most scholarly wizards who care far less about the wealth of nations and more about the power of knowledge.

I’m confident that there are plenty of other creative ideas out there for DMs to employ to keep spells from ruining a fantasy economy, if that’s a big concern. Like the DMG says, the DM is the Master of Worlds - make some shiitake up that holds up in the fantasy world without worrying if it makes sense from the perspective of our IRL economic paradigm. Personally, I’m less concerned with the details of economic realism, even though one of our campaigns is ostensibly about the flow of commerce throughout the land. It’s really just a backdrop to help explain some NPC motivations while the real story is the heroic journey of the PCs.
Fabricate is not much of an issue for me. The combo if 7th levrl plus wizards eith the proficiency in plate mail willing to spend their time in a fixed spot on such pursuits is so low as to not be setting breaking. You dont generally get to tier 2 and up by being the type who sits around having loads of mundane stuff brought t them. The materials needed for a suit of plate a day is very significant and not something too suitable for non-stationary pursuits.

Plant growth, seems like something druids would love to do if there was a need. If there was a sudden shortage or crisis, sure. But just producing more and more food for sale or to prop up more folks than the land can normally handle, nah. If they did, others might see need to step in.
 

Draegn

Explorer
If there were a wizard using mend, which was putting a damper on the Tailor's Guild ability to make money, the Tailor's Guild might hire someone like me to gut the wretched arcanist one evening. I do believe that people have been killed for less.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
Eberron is the only published setting that handles this in a consistent, logical, easy to run way.

In my home campaign, all magic, other than clerical magic from followers of approved gods, is illegal. This is enforced by a powerful and zealous organization of inquisitors, local law enforcement, and pious/superstitious mobs.

The gods and their followers are have religious reasons for not intervening in the natural order and just doing things for you. Most clerics are lower level. But even their spells are seen as miracles, to be given to faithful, in times of need. Not to be used frivolously or used for cash. Of course a huge, powerful, rich, and often corrupt religious organization does sell or make available higher level magic for the powerful. But, ultimately, the gods control the availability of divine magic. So abuse is curtailed, and there is also incentive for unscrupulous people to secretly prey to dark gods.

Wizards, Druids, Warlocks, and Sorcerers are exceedingly rare and conduct their work in hiding.

Of these, sorcerers are most common, though most of these are discovered and killed at a young ages, as their powers manifest. In my home campaign, the only non-cleric magic user was a sorcerer and I had a custom wild-magic table for the campaign.

The games in my homebrew campaign usually fall into one of two main flavors:

1. The party are inquisitors / monster hunters / or mercenaries -- non-clerical magic is mainly encountered as something evil. This can be like Conan or like Van Hellsing.

2. The party are magic users in hiding, looking for lost tomes and artifacts, going up against what they perceive as a corrupt, totalitarian, theocratic regime.

In official WotC games, I don't think about it. I just run the adventures as is.

In my current campaign, which is the 5e version of Rappan Athuk, low level magic is rare. Common enough for those with money to take advantage of it, but not something everyone, everywhere has access to.

This is realistic to me. Even in our world of modern, industrialized agriculture, iPhones, and medical miracles, there are still far too many people without access to clean drinking water, who suffer from famine, who still farm using animals and manual labor, not much different to how it was done centuries ago, and do not have access to basic health care.

If we can't distribute our modern scientific miracles to everyone, why would magic be different? Even moreso with magic. Perhaps magic resources are such that it is difficult to get the economies of scale that mechanization provides? Perhaps not just anyone can learn magic. So you have a very small number of people, limited by spell slots and time. Many of whom have interests beyond casting mending all day.
 

Dausuul

Legend
So the idea of the poor fuedal farmer barely holding on in 5e campaigns with druids doesn't really hold up. Farmers would be the equivalent of modern agribusiness, with incredible productivity and crop yields.
Malthuus is a cruel master. Boosting the productivity of farmland is great in the short term, but over time, population growth will quite literally eat up all the benefits. Then you're right back to poor feudal farmers barely holding on; it's just that there are now a whole lot more of them. Oh, and every kingdom on earth lives under the iron (wooden?) fist of the druids, since the druids need only withdraw their magic to inflict famine on a colossal scale.

Alternatively, the druids read their Malthuus, recognized that the long-term benefit to humanity is zero, also recognized the impact of such a large population on the natural world (all those people will want houses and roads and things), and decided, "Nah, we're good." Plant growth is thus used sparingly in times of severe famine.

2) Fabricate: No craftsman in the world can compete with a 7th level wizard....in fact, its easy to ask "why would there even be regular craftsman in such a world?". In 1 day, a 7th level wizard with proficiency can craft two full items in an hour and 20 minutes (needs a short rest for arcane recovery for that second spell). Or if hes feeling lazy, 1 item a day for 10 minutes.
This is like asking "Why don't bars just hire NFL linebackers as bouncers?" The relatively small number of 7th-level wizards in the world have better things (and far more lucrative ones) to do with their time than make mundane craft goods.

Now, in the case of a few specific items like plate armor - where the item has both great intrinsic utility and is incredibly time-intensive to create - yes, you might have a wizard-smith cranking it out. Or... you might not. How much would it cost you to hire a 7th-level wizard, who is also trained in armorsmithing (a requirement of the spell), for a year? It's probably cheaper to hire 600 mundane armorers.
 

cbwjm

I can add a custom title.
Like many others who have already posted, I don't think druids would be out and about enhancing crops, my druids tend to be if not openly hostile to civilisation clearing land for crops at least not willing to help. However, the priests of an agricultural god who have access to the nature domain probably would go about enhancing cropland but they might be tied to an area (their local parish) so even then it might only be a small percentage of farmland being enhanced. They might not even spend a lot of time enhancing cropland. If the land is fertile and yields are already great they may not see it as necessary to cast the spell. In areas where the land is not providing good yields is more likely where they focus their attentions.

For the fabricate issue, I just assume that not that many wizards are trained in the tools that are required to fabricate something of quality. Most wizards are trained by other wizards and tend towards sages rather than blacksmiths. However, I can certainly see an enterprising wizard more concerned with money than magic realising the potential of this spell and starting up a guild of wizardly craftsmen. It would be a cool addition to a setting to include the new "Wizardly Guild of Magical Craftsmanship" in a city with a handful of wizards focused on crafting quality goods with magic.

There has to be a bunch of other spells that would affect the world as well. I'm going to have to have a run through lists to find some.
 

Ashrym

Adventurer
Some campaigns couldn't give a hoot about economics, in which case this discussion isn't really for you.

But many campaigns go half way, they don't try to replicate a full world economy or anything, but they try to establish some reasonable economics, at least enough so that players can amass and spend their gold, buy services from time to time, etc.

A question that comes up in every edition, how does the economy work when certain spells arive? 5e is no exception, for example...there are two spells in particiular that I think are low enough level that you would see them "a fair amount", and powerful enough to turn an economy upside down. These are certaintly not the only economy killers in the game, but ones that I think are poignant. I am curious how you handle such spells (or other ones) in your campaigns.


1) Plant Growth: If one 5th druid decided to "help the farmers", and enrichs a different area everyday, they could effectively add over 150,000 acres of farmland to a kingdom (the true answer is 183, 468...but inevitably travel time, vacations, etc play in).

Further, its a reasonable thing for several druids to consider, enriching the land is a very drudic thing to do.

So the idea of the poor fuedal farmer barely holding on in 5e campaigns with druids doesn't really hold up. Farmers would be the equivalent of modern agribusiness, with incredible productivity and crop yields.

This also means kingdoms don't follow fuedal population numbers, they should be significantly larger becomes food is more prevalaent.


2) Fabricate: No craftsman in the world can compete with a 7th level wizard....in fact, its easy to ask "why would there even be regular craftsman in such a world?". In 1 day, a 7th level wizard with proficiency can craft two full items in an hour and 20 minutes (needs a short rest for arcane recovery for that second spell). Or if hes feeling lazy, 1 item a day for 10 minutes.

So in a standard business week, that's 5-10 items.

Now for context, by downtime activities, it takes 300 days to make plate mail. In that 300 day period, 1 wizard could make as much plate mail as 600 armor smiths. 600! Just one wizard in a city could make enough armor to stock the stores of his city, and probably every city in the region...hell maybe the whole world!

This means that any kingdom with just 1 loyal decently leveled wizard that wants to help his kingdom, by himself, could equip entire army regiments with plate mail in the span of a year. And that's just 1 wizard, if a kingdom had just 2-3 your entire army could have plate mail. You could argue that wizards are rare, and wizard that have armorsmithing proficiency are rarer still....but it only takes 1 to completely change how the armor economy of a kingdom works.

So fabricate should create an interesting shift compared to normal economics. On the one hand, wizards should put all common crafters out of work. Only if you live in the boonies where there are no wizards would you be able to make a living.

But second, in theory what should happen is....the price of labor is rock bottom, and the price of materials is sky high. Mining should be where the real money is made! When manufacturing becomes trivial, its value decreases. No one would care about the craftsmanship of a jewel (that's just 10 minutes work!), but getting the raw jewel in the first place would be where all of the struggle comes from in theory.



So those are just a few wild thoughts. What do you do in your campaings...do you restrict these spells somehow, incorporate them into your economies, just pretend they aren't a thing...etc.
1) Plant Growth -- as others have stated, population increase evens out the benefit naturally, and would also create a dependency on the druids. Either the druids would understand this and not do it or the eventual effect will be famine when the druids become unwilling or unable to continue at some point. Best case scenario is breaking ecen with a healthy population and magical dependency. Druids in my games simply know what to expect.

2) Fabricate -- You are assuming materials supply exceeds demand. Reverse that assumption to where raw materials are not available beyond the current rate of production and it becomes impossible to do as you suggest. IE if there are enough raw materials to make 3 suits of armor it is possible to make 3 suits of armor regardless of how fast each is made.
 
War, natural disasters, artificial disasters, politics, and monsters tend to keep the highest level spellcasters busy.

Raising children and disciples as well as pursuing personal projects will also eat up time.

Market balancing forces also exist in a dynamic economy to offset magical advantages in any particular field.
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
I've played in campaigns where major cities are lit by thousands of Continual Light spells dimmed like hooded lanterns to games where magic is so rare some cultures consider it a myth.

Personally, I don't like magic-heavy campaigns and run my own games where 5th-8th level characters are rare and 9th-level+ are very rare, maybe one in a kingdom per class or so. When PCs reach these levels, they are truly heroic and rank among the most powerful individuals in the region. By the time a PC reaches 13th-level, they are potentially known powers throughout the realm.

Such characters, even NPCs, have better things to do with their time then churn out plate armor or monitor the crops for a fiefdom. Sure, they will help out if that is in their personality, but generally unless it is a crisis they will let the populous do for themselves.
 

Stalker0

Adventurer
First of all, thank you for a large series of well written and constructive responses. It continues to reinforce why I love EnWorld:)

You guys have sold me on Plant Growth, thank you. However, I'm still not convinced on Fabricate.

This is like asking "Why don't bars just hire NFL linebackers as bouncers?"
This quote was cool and stuck out at me. The answer in this case would be: "If an NFL linebacker could do the bouncing of 600 bouncers, would you hire him?" That answer is almost certainly yes. (for real life reference based on the googling: Bouncers make an average salary of $27,000 / year. 600 bouncers would cost 16.2 million. An average linebacker makes $7 million a year. So its an incredible savings to hire this one "ultra bouncer", the regular bouncers wouldn't survive in that economy!


So I'm seeing several common responses, so let me respond to them:

1) "There are just not that many high level casters". Is that the case in most of your campaigns...so would a 7th level PC really be the most powerful person on the planet in all of your worlds?

I agree that high level characters are "rare", but the truth is it only takes a small handful of such characters to do the economic changes that I am describing. And if high level characters are "non-existent", than you have other problems when a player gets to not even mid levels and now is more powerful than everyone else on the planet" There is nothing wrong with that campaign, but I doubt its the norm.


2) "High level wizards have more important things to be doing".

Now sure, sometimes the high level wizard (and again we are talking 7th here, not like 15th) has to save the kingdom, beat back a monster, slap down a wizard duel against his nemesis, research the next great spell, etc. And during those times it makes sense that he wouldn't be crafting.

But Wizards like gold too, and plenty of it. In fact, they are the only class whose power is directly tied to gold (as acquiring spells by default in your spellbook costs gold).

For just 1 spell and 10 minutes a day, in a few years a 7th level wizard could become rich beyond imagining. They could have magical components shipped to them from all over the world. They would have all of the ink to scribe spells they could ever want. Heck they could just pay non-wizard adventurers to go kill all of the important monsters they need for components.

Now if you operate in a world where wizards are literally adventuring 365 days a year, than more power to you. But if we assume a wizard has any downtime on their hands...and it requires so little effort to generate so much money....why wouldn't they?


3) "NPCs wouldn't do it, but if PCs would more power to them"

This is a similar notion to my thoughts on Item 2, but now its the PC that gets all of the crazy benefits. If we assume a world where gold is useful (can buy you favors, spells, maybe have some adventurers bring you some magical components), and that PCs have at least some downtime here and there....than for a 7th level wizard this seems so powerful you would have to be an idiot not to do it.

For one little old proficiency the wizard during his downtime generates more gold than entire adventures. He has more money than the rest of the party combined.

And not just money....fame. Take that armor example I mentioned before, imagine the prestige that wizard would have. The king himself would invite him to his castle to stay, and would ensure every need of his was provided for. He would become one of the most important people in the kingdom...maybe the world. The other party members....nay, not so much.


Ultimately I almost come back to... yeah, I can always find a hand wave to explain why it doesn't happen. But it always feel contrived. In certain campaigns, they are magically restricted enough that it makes sense why it wouldn't happen. But for the standard dnd magic level, and standard level ranges in the world....I just can't see why it wouldn't go that way.
 

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