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

5ekyu

Hero
Yep, my player absolutely did with fabricate. We have both made a gentlemen's agreement. I say he is "very rich", which comes with some perks, he doesn't try to break it.

So basically...I handwaved it. But its left a taste in my mouth I don't like, hence the thread.
Really by the time most PCs hit 7th level they can have more things that are more society impactful than fabricating to save time on crafting.

Sending with good travel and setups with a number taverns and you get telegraphs going, especially thru say major organizations like temples.
 

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ccs

41st lv DM
Quote Originally Posted by Kobold Stew View Post

This to me is the central issue.

Have your players' characters tried to do this?


Yep, my player absolutely did with fabricate. We have both made a gentlemen's agreement. I say he is "very rich", which comes with some perks, he doesn't try to break it.

So basically...I handwaved it. But its left a taste in my mouth I don't like, hence the thread.

Another logical consequence is:
As the wizard is ruining the livelihoods of a great # of Smiths, Armorers, assorted craftsmen. etc? They take up this issue with their respective guilds. Who in turn take it up with the wizard. Possibly the churches/temples. Possibly those who supply the wizard. Possibly the King.
Or just the Assassins Guild....

And as this is D&D? It's not implausible to imagine cities/groups etc having the actual support of patron deities!
Enemies/rivals might also have (and express) their opinions on the increasing military build up.

And thus one way or the other the wizards economy warping is reigned in.
 

cbwjm

Seb-wejem
I used to think this as well, but at 50gp a light, I'm not sure it's worth the infrastructure costs. I know as a PC how hard it is to scramble together that much cash for such an item. It's possible, certainly, but it requires a huge up-front investment.

That's a good point. I readily admit to completely missing the component, especially the fact that it is consumed with each casting. That's a lot of rubies that would need to be crushed to light up a town. It could mean that anyone found tampering with them would have to pay a hefty fine if a town or city did set up street lights. I could still see a wealthy town centre having lights but perhaps nothing as elaborate as the street lights that we all take for granted.
 

flametitan

Explorer
A couple things limit magic breaking the economy entirely (mainly that unless you are a player character or a particularly wealthy noble, magic is really bloody expensive), though it does warp things in my setting. For Plant Growth and Fabricate specifically, there's a couple things going on:

1. Druids are superstitious and paranoid about others learning their magic and using it against them. As a result, while there might be a couple here or there boosting production on fringe border towns, they're absolutely not willing to share their magic on such a scale as to really push population density up.

2. Not only does the rarity of the caster matter here, but generally, if you're able to cast spells on the power level of fabricate, you've got the eyes of the nobility and/or other wealthy persons on you. And you're not being hired to flood the market with plate armour. You are there to provide the magical goods and services they need. Usually it's managing a private teleportation circle, scrying on political enemies, protecting them from being scryed upon, being a personal sending relay... If you choose not to be hired, well, now you actually have to figure out where you're getting that gold to actually start your great scheme of flooding the market and by extension devaluing the product you're creating.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
This to me is the central issue.

Have your players' characters tried to do this? If they haven't (the focal characters of the world), then why would anyone else?

For me the transformative spell is Lesser Restoration -- curing blindness by third-level clerics. When I've tried to play this, it's been frustrated. But it's prepared every day by my clerics and druids. I would love a party to use the spell to attempt to remove blindness and disease from a kingdom or a continent.

And every Paladin can cure diseases, at least once per day.

Also, Detect Disease and Poison. It identifies the disease. This pretty well inherently means dnd clerics have at least a Paracelsus level of understanding of toxicology.

Prestidigitation lets you clean stuff, and make food safe. It’s a cantrip.

Shape Water combined with any knowledge of hydraulics means indoor plumbing, good sewage systems, and irrigation.

Fantasy world populations are far too low, even if all magic users make up only 1% of the total population.
 

S'mon

Legend
For just 1 spell and 10 minutes a day, in a few years a 7th level wizard could become rich beyond imagining.

Well maybe, but this requires a few things.

1. There has to be expensive armour in the setting - fine, this is the default.
2. The PC must have the proficiency to make that expensive armour naturally.
3. They must have easy access to all the materials necessary.

By default I would probably limit the results of Fabrication with tool proficiency to the default 5e rules for item crating, ie you can produce 25gp/day of stuff - make it 25gp per casting with 12.5gp of raw materials. But sure if the PC is built as a master armoursmith (eg they're a Forgepriest Cleric)
AND they they are a Wizard 7+ then they are going to be able to make Plate armour.

They'll get rich.
All the soldiers will wear plate armour.
The value/cost of plate armour will drop dramatically.

After a shortish time the setting will resemble Europe ca 1500, with 'foundry plate' indeed ubiquitous and pretty cheap. I'd probably set the cost of plate to 60gp, since that happens to be the cost in Classic D&D, or 50gp I think it is in 4e. I doubt the raw materials will cost much less than that.

At this point the Wizard-7 armourer probably has the wealth of a Tier 3 character, and the local city/dukedom has a lot of very well armoured* soldiers. But it's not Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. The setting is not broken.

*Hm, I think this explains how all those hobgoblin leaders & orogs in the MM wear plate armour... a BBEG wiz-7 is Fabricating it! :D

Re 'very rich', the DMG suggests that skilled mundane crafters are making net 2.5gp/day after materials costs. Eg you can make a healing potion in 10 days for 25gp and (hopefully) sell it for 50gp. I can see the Fabricating wizard making ten times that much (eg 5 times per casting) in line with the rules for magic item crafting. So they make 750 gp/month, when a wealthy lifestyle is only 200gp. They are certainly very rich. But the King is likely pulling in a lot more.
 
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S'mon

Legend
Sending with good travel and setups with a number taverns and you get telegraphs going, especially thru say major organizations like temples.

Having Sending as a level 3 spell widely available - all Clerics get it on their spell list - is definitely the thing that has the most setting impact IME. Seen this in my 5e Wilderlands campaign. When armies are at war the level 5 Clerics (or just the MM Priests!) become incredibly important for coordination and communication. Assassins bump off those guys as a high priority, much more than the enemy generals. :D

Apart from Sending, the other spell with big setting impact is Raise Dead. If level 9 Clerics are rare, that just means the wealthy dead will be brought a long way to get them Raised, under Gentle Repose if necessary.

In 4e D&D I recall the ease of using Linked Portal for long distance travel - explicitly a setting element, too - meant that logically all high value or long distance cargo would use Portals, not roads or ships.
 
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S'mon

Legend
Fantasy world populations are far too low, even if all magic users make up only 1% of the total population.

I suggested to James Jacobs of Paizo that this dire lack of people in the setting (Golarion) was likely due to setting cultural norms - like widespread birth control, Right to Choose, same sex or trans marriages, women in the (adventuring) work force...

...He didn't seem too impressed. :D
 


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