D&D 5E How many magic items should a 4th. lvl PC have?

My local campaign is in the Forgotten Realms and we are currently lvl 4, on the cusp of getting lvl 5. However, the DM wants to be VERY stingy with loot and we have not gotten very many magic items at all. Some of our PC's still have no magic items as yet.

How much do you feel is appropriate for PC's going into lvl 5 in the Forgotten Realms?
Well, by the treasure tables in the DMG, you should have an item from treasure table A, two from B or C, and two from F or G. So 3 or so temporary items and a couple permanent items.

But if your DM wants to give out less, that's their prerogative.

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First Post
Back to the question of what makes a D&D game fun for players, and the role of magic items in fun:

My 4th level PC has three magic items. None of them is game-breaking or game-changing.

One of them is a gift from an Archfey lord. It's an elven cloak, plus a blessing for +1 AC. It's nice, since my PC has expertise in Stealth and already acts as scout. It's more significant, though, as a statement of relationship with that Archfey lord, and if I ever wanted to multi-class as warlock, that lord would become Patron.

Another is a dagger of venom. The DM had the certificate because it's a hidden treasure item in HotDQ. The PCs didn't search the right place to find it. Later on, and as pure RP, my PC composed a political satire about the rulers of Phlan, and I wrote out four stanzas of it, and had the PC perform it (while in disguise) at taverns. The DM ruled that the "Welcomers" of Phlan (who are partly a thieves' guild and partly a resistance movement) gave the dagger to the PC as a gesture of goodwill. The PC, in downtime days, then established a message-drop location with them, under the code name Venomfang, and offered to cast Invisibility when a Welcomer is planning to raid the Black Fists.

I've only rarely since then had occasion to make a Stealth roll with Advantage from the cloak, and I haven't yet had occasion to activate the venom on the dagger. My PC, however, would not trade either of those items for an Instrument of the Bard, because they're *gifts* and they carry the meaning of the relationship.

The third item is a studded leather armor, +1... made from a regular leather armor +1, but studded with bone, because the PC multiclassed as Druid and thus wears armor made entirely with materials from living creatures. (Who would ever bother enchanting plain leather armor to +1, when one can gain the same increase in AC by adding metal rivets?) So, again, it carries a meaning - in this case, the "flavor" of bone reinforcement rather than metal studs - which is particular to the character, and not just a generic boost to stats.

Do you catch my drift? Those items increase my enjoyment of D&D as a player, and NOT in their function as a generic boost to stats.


You don't need any for 5e to work. Personally I'd expect that PCs in a setting like FR would likely have gained a couple consumables each, several PCs would have a +1 weapon, and there might be a couple other permanent items. My 1e games tend to have more magic weapons than other gear and I'd expect similar in 5e. Once gained those weapons typically stick with the PCs for the campaign though.


First Post
I would not worry about the rate of magic items, versus the type of magic items that are appearing in the game. So if the wizard is finding new spells every level, then at least the rest of the non-casters should be finding consumables or lesser items by 4th. As long as the DM treats magic items and spells on equal footing then it is up to your character motivation to gently nudged the DM in a certain direction.


My players recently hit 4th level. Until then, they'd had zero magic items. At 4th they each got a pretty sweet uncommon bordering on rare item (I modified existing, created new, or migrated items from 3.5E for a few of them). If I recall correctly, the DMG rated uncommon items as appropriate for player levels 1-5, rare for like 6-10, etc. Can't recall exactly, as I'm at work. I could've and actually had intended to go with like two'ish items by now, but instead opted to give them one semi-powerful and long lasting item instead. By the time they hit 5th level, I plan to hit them all with another minor item (ie a +1 weapons, armor, a few pots and scrolls, etc).

We play in the Forgotten Realms. Definitely "magic heavy". Me and my players share the opinion that a "magic lite" setting or campaign is not fun. I don't advocate the Monty Haul campaign by any means, but I also want my players to have plenty of (fun!) tools in the toolbox.

I see the guidelines laid out in the DMG as just that - guidelines. And they're very helpful! I'm glad they were there and I'm happy I'm pushing the outer edge of that first tier. But if they start plowing through encounters with ease, I guess I'd say this stuff ain't rocket surgery: I'll just make their opponents a little tougher (more of them, or higher HP's, or more damage, or whatever).

I will always err on the side of making it (really) fun for my players as opposed to me having to do some minor tweaks. *shrug*

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