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D&D 5E How much for a Wand of Sleep?

Tom Bagwell

Explorer
My players came across a Wand of Sleep (6 charges). They need the money and would like to sell it. Is there any guideline on how much they might get for this?
 

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FitzTheRuke

Legend
5e design has mostly discouraged the buying and selling of magic items, at least when compared to 3.x and 4e. So they've given precious little guidance. What guidance there is exists in Downtime Activities in the DMG and Xanathar's.

The wand ought to be an Uncommon Magic item, which the DMG lists as costing about 500gp to craft. So someone ought to pay anywhere between 250gp and 750gp, depending on if you want the PCs to take a loss, or make a profit on what it's "worth". (Again, earlier editions usually assumed selling items would be at a loss, but 5e suggests that Magic Items should be exciting commodities in the world, and buying or selling them should be a big deal, fraught with potential peril/swindling/interaction.

I'd go with the above as a baseline, and increase it based on good roleplaying (and perhaps a few charisma (persuasion, performance, deception, or intimidation) checks depending on the situation during the sale negotiations. A really good outcome could go as high as 750gp, while a bad outcome they'd still sell it, but only get around 250gp. In the middle, 500gp.

Or just pick what you'd prefer. Have fun!
 

Tom Bagwell

Explorer
That works out well. I decided on 500 gp at the moment based on what little I could find. That allows the buyer to re-sell for a profit.

Regardless of the intentions in 5e, there's no way something like that wouldn't be bought and sold, so guidelines would really be helpful. It actually gives the group just enough to buy passage to somewhere they need to get to, so it works out well.
 

That works out well. I decided on 500 gp at the moment based on what little I could find. That allows the buyer to re-sell for a profit.

Regardless of the intentions in 5e, there's no way something like that wouldn't be bought and sold, so guidelines would really be helpful. It actually gives the group just enough to buy passage to somewhere they need to get to, so it works out well.
I think there are guidelines in xanathar's guide for buying magic items. What is noteworthy is that it might result in action, vecause the buyer/seller might try to trick you or a third person might try to steal it.
 

My players came across a Wand of Sleep (6 charges). They need the money and would like to sell it. Is there any guideline on how much they might get for this?
Without any kind of wealth by level table to aim a proper level of funds at the players it's kinda tough to price much of anything. I hook them up with some kind of well off patron& a metaphorical credit line/company card that goes to the boss to cover anything they think they can fit on it largely based on if I feel it's reasonable at their level & how much they have been using it for.. I wish there were some kind of inbetween & very much want a wbl but don't think 5e is capable of supporting it right now given so many of the questionable design choices in 5e intersecting with the needs
 

For the party selling the item, I would suggest a vendor would initially offer 200 gp, but be willing to pay up to 400 gp on a DC 15 Persuasion check. Note that most vendors are unlikely to have much more than that available in cash, although they might make a trade.
 

aco175

Legend
The cost to make could be 500gp, but the resell price should be higher. A cobbler makes a pair of shoes to sell and needs to make a profit. The grocery store sells a can of Coke for $1.00, but bought it for much less depending on contracts and volume buying. Plus, the buying pool for a magic item is much less than a can of Coke- which can be for good or ill. Traditionally nobody would make one unless they already had a buyer and an agreed upon price. I would likely put that sell price around 1,000gp. The negative problem is that few people may want to buy a 2nd hand item. You may want to sell it for 1,000gp but have to settle on less, maybe 1d4x100gp less.

You can also have a few checks or side quests tied to selling an item to find a buyer to increase the price. Maybe the head of a thieves' guild wants one and could try to steal it or is willing to purchase it, same with the captain of the guard. In my game, the players may just want to hire a merchant to sell it and pay his commission.
 

jgsugden

Legend
Role play it out. It doesn't need to be an epic conversation, but rather than just saying, "You get X gold for it", give them a chance for a quick exchange with an NPC and then consider if you can use that in storybuilding.

Where are they? Is there someone there that really wants it? Can the PCs figure out someone that might want to buy it? If so, what would they use it for and what is that worth to them?

If they're in a small village, the potential buyers would be very limited. Maybe they can get the village mayor or the constable to buy it to provide crowd control or protection if the village is attacked. Maybe they need to travel someplace else to find a buyer. Even if they find a buyer, is it going to be the best price?

If they're in a huge town, there might be other adventurers that want it - or the thieves guild might want it for when a job goes wrong.

If the PCs are known to have it, and then it is used in a robbery, or by the adventurers when they do something wrong, that can be used to pull the PCs into a storyline you have for them. What if a cult ends up with it and uses it to kidnap local nobility?

And if you want to steer clear of this level of detail, give them a chance to meet a broker. That gives you the chance for a role play and perhaps a way to sell the item for a better price than they can get locally.
 

hopeless

Adventurer
Who actually owns the wand?
If they're a wizard they might be able to exchange it for access to new spells for instance.
It might be exchanged instead of paying money on taxes, to actually sell it they'd need to find someone willing to act as a buyer or function as a go between for someone who might be interested in buying it.
My initial reaction was 300 gold.
Then there's the details behind that item.
Who crafted it?
Is there a story behind its creation?
Perhaps there's more to that wand than they understand.
For example maybe it was created by a Wizard with the aid of a Fey pixie who employed fey magic to enchant the wand and tracing its history back could allow their buyer or even a PC WIzard or Fey Warlock the means to barter for something much more important if say returning that wand might merit a meeting with that Pixie's superior who would gladly recover the fey magic used to enchant it for something else they're developing...
Maybe a bit too much, but has anyone developed the history of a magic item?
 

FitzTheRuke

Legend
There's no way something like that wouldn't be bought and sold, so guidelines would really be helpful.
Agreed. They sure would!

I wish there were some kind of inbetween & very much want a wbl but don't think 5e is capable of supporting it right now given so many of the questionable design choices in 5e intersecting with the needs
Yeah, it's strange when the designers stubbornly stick to their guns with a decision when there's a lot of need/desire for change. Obviously we don't all agree on what those needs are, but in this case... anyone who didn't want the buying and selling of items could easily not use it. The downtime rules (spread across two books work, but they are not very clear on exactly how they work without a lot of head-scratching, IMO.

I would likely put that sell price around 1,000gp.
As a retailer, I agree with this entirely. I hate selling things that cost me more than half of retail. The only reason I said 750gp above is that I don't think the designers intend for the 5e magic item economy to go that high, based on the information given. (They make the cost of crafting items similar to the cost of buying them, which is weird for sure, but appears to follow their intent.)

All of the above advice is very good, IMO.
 


hopeless

Adventurer
3.0 version would have been 1x1x750 or 750 gp for a wand with 50 charges as I recall so would cost then 375gp and 30xp.

I don't have the 5e books handy, but is this wand one of those you can use so many times and then wait for the next day to recharge it?

I know some might turn into its opposite on a slight chance if reduced to 0 charges.
 

Yeah, it's strange when the designers stubbornly stick to their guns with a decision when there's a lot of need/desire for change. Obviously we don't all agree on what those needs are, but in this case... anyone who didn't want the buying and selling of items could easily not use it. The downtime rules (spread across two books work, but they are not very clear on exactly how they work without a lot of head-scratching, IMO.

.
Its especially obnoxious in this case because they

  • A: have one class with a gold consuming class ability
  • B Have a wide range of spells with hardcoded gp component value
  • C Insist on providing pricing numbers.
  • D Declare "magic items are optional" seemingly without understanding or at east not accepting the important role they played in past editions as even rising to the level of "valid fun"
  • E Design the math for everything to be balanced against "but what of the gm decides there are no magic items.[think of the fighter]" without much consideration for how magic items change things or seeming to even realize that magic items affect different classes and archetypes different in objectively tangible levels
C makes a hash of everything else as is. Providing A & B the WBL they need on some level would be admitting that coding so strictly in support of D&E were quixotic at best. Providing a WBL that supports E would be admitting that wotc's own guidance in the matter up till now is reprehensible. Doing either would reveal how problematic streamlining everything in support of D while saying "but you can homebrew stuff" was when the system is setup to fight any attempts to change that. The baby step of a babystep optional rules & caster focused magic items in tcoe made it pretty clear that wotc's not ready to make the changes needed to make a WBL chart without magnifying the consequences of ill considered decisions made in 5e itself. They could maybe fix A&B with an alternate currency like magic stones or something, but that runs into trouble because the spell component costs are largely a holdover from past editions with things like WBL & even rules for pricing scrolls/spellbook access as an almost mundane activity.
 

Regardless of the intentions in 5e, there's no way something like that wouldn't be bought and sold, so guidelines would really be helpful.
Part of the issue is the fact that it can break the economy, which is already pretty questionable in D&D to begin with. I believe Eberron has done a good job of making it work, but I'm not informed enough to know for certain.

I normally use a bartering system, where players can use downtime to trade item with NPCs who have other items. This allows players to get rid of unused items for things they might use. Of course the barter isn't in their favor (according to the DMG), usually downgrading a rarity or trading a permanent item to a couple of consumables. Still works out amazingly well, since the players can either ask for something specific or just see what they can get.
 



Eis

Explorer
I lie in bed and think of her

sometimes I even weep

then I dream of her behind the wand of sleep

(with apologies to The Smithereens, RIP Pat DiNizio)
 

jayoungr

Legend
See this thread (there's a link in the first post):

 


J.Quondam

CR 1/8
Wand of Sleep!

LOL! I initially read Wand of Sheep! Imagine: cluttering caves, corridors, paths, roads and bridges with hoards of summoned sheep to foil the movement of foes! 🙃 j/k :)

Ah, ye olde Wand of Flock:

9ozk02-5bK_UGbV0DHggukXSAY0nGPGIXzWZQtqRRJs.jpg
 

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