5E If you aren't buying magic items, where will you spend your gold?

KarinsDad

Villager
So continuing to site how this was so common and intended in 1e -as it was in 3 and 4e- is kind of...neither true nor fact.
It's more common if there is a "sell price" on the item. I don't know of 1E or 2E players who with 20,000 GP in their pocket (which was possible with the treasure charts in those editions) wanted to craft a magic item. It was way too restrictive and time consuming. They wanted to buy it. Not that the option was always available, but players are players. Such a common idea does not just occur at a few tables. The DM might nix the idea, but it's a fairly common idea.

The 1E DMG also discussed selling items in the "open market". Are people so lacking in NPC character motivation as to think that markets don't have trade in both directions?


The 2E concept that PCs and NPCs should never ever buy or sell magic items was a stupidly ludicrous one that totally ignored common motivations like greed.

If your game was so narrowly restrictive and did not have markets for pricey items, I can't help it. A lot of games did have it and I was in some of those games. It was rarely a "Magic Item Emporium Shop", but it was often a traveling merchant, or temple, or wizard's guild or whatever.

Btw, even before 3E, 1E had Alchemists in the DMG for hire. Forgotten Realms had a lot of magic items in the town material. Judges Guild had quiet a few (and the two City States had shops that handled some magical stuff). There were literally dozens and dozens of magic items listed in most TSR village or town products back in the day (like Gateway to Ravens Bluff, or Village of Hommlet). If an NPC was 4th level or higher, it was almost guaranteed that such a character had one or more magic items. How do all of these magic items get acquired without some form of trade? Did every single one come from an adventurer finding it in years gone by? There were some potion shops sprinkled around (Hommlet had one in Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil IIRC, but not in the original). The 2E Dungeon Master Option: High-Level Campaigns book had suggestions on how to have PCs buy magic items (not via a normal shop, but via haggling, bartering for other magic items, doing some type of service).


Of course not every DM allowed PCs to buy magic items, but many did. This was not a new idea that suddenly sprang into being with the release of 3E. The very reason that 2E DMG had an entire section on "Buying Magic Items" is because people were doing it in 1E. There was this whole badwrongfun idea in 2E that a lot of people here seem to jump on the bandwagon with as well.

Personally, I prefer plausible campaign settings, not implausible ones. The DM is still in control of how much wealth PCs acquire.
 

GameOgre

Explorer
I played in a D&D2E game for nine months(like 10 years ago) and I think every adventure was a store bought module/dungeon. We had so much treasure in that game that we literally had entire rooms set aside to hold our extra/cast off gear until we discovered a Magical Emporium that we could sell and buy magic items at.

If you go by the old adventures the sheer amount of magic and gold you could collect is staggering. Magic is for sure not rare and uncommon.

Don't even THINK about The Temple of Elemental Evil! That adventure alone will blow your mind with the amount of magic(My character got a named sword in it that struck last every round but always hit, Shout out to Fragarach! ).

Now I don't in general play those types of games anymore. Now days it's much more character oriented and stories that advance based on the characters actions and goals BUT...................I can certainly sympathies with gamers who want to relive the old days and style or who just find that style of play more rewarding.

Sigh, now I'm going to go find my notes on that character and read ol Fragarach one more time!
 
When Gary wrote in the 1e DMG that perhaps a PC could create a Ring of Wizardry by combining the magical ability of a scroll to hold spells with a very expensive ring appropriate to become a permanent item via means of a Wish, we must presume he was not trying to give spectacularly stupid DM advice on purpose. It was intended to be plausible to use at your table, and not tick of the PC's player as completely ridiculous. Gary was not known for beating around the bush, when he thought a DM should simply say N-O.

I would guess such would launch a discussion like "Well, I have 20,000 gold in my pocket, and I have done this city some favors. Perhaps the good fathers of the city could put a good word in for me with the local wizards, and some combination of gold and 'a little favor' could earn me that Wish?"

The idea of "buying" fantastic and powerful stuff, in some fashion, is implied by the 1e DMG, even if it is not explicitly required to be in your campaign.
 

steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
It's more common if there is a "sell price" on the item. I don't know of 1E or 2E players who with 20,000 GP in their pocket (which was possible with the treasure charts in those editions) wanted to craft a magic item. It was way too restrictive and time consuming. They wanted to buy it. Not that the option was always available, but players are players. Such a common idea does not just occur at a few tables. The DM might nix the idea, but it's a fairly common idea.

The 1E DMG also discussed selling items in the "open market". Are people so lacking in NPC character motivation as to think that markets don't have trade in both directions?
That's some really nice creative siting there. The "open market" is mentioned in relation to the PCs trying to sell SCROLLS. Nothing else. No other magic item section says anything about an "open market" for them (not even potions or rings or wands).

That same page you cherry-picked "open market" from says, quite explicitly, "Gold piece sale values are the usual sums which characters will be paid for magic items, and if so sold, the x.p. award should be based on the selling price of the items, not the x.p. value. Also remember that a character is assumed to retain an item, thus getting the low x.p. value for it, if he or she sells it to another player character." <emphasis mine>

Nowhere, no where, is there an indication that the gp sale price is for PCs to buy items. No mention that player's should use the gold sale value as their price tag for acquiring objects. No assumption in the game or direction for the DM that there are magic objects available for sale to the PCs.

Just knock it off. Stop making it sound like this has "always been around" in D&D. It's a 3e and 4e construct. I'm not trying to make an edition war/flame/thing here. Just accuracy. WotC brought it in and made it an integral part of their games.

If it was done in 1e, it wasn't "common" and most certainly was not intended, according to what is in the DMG, as part of the game assumptions. Site the editions that you are really talking about and stop making it sound like "the majority of editions did this, so 5e needs to give me this too."

1e didn't. [Removed due to confusion]. Them's the facts. Sorry.

[EDIT] So was magic item buying in 2e or not? You said before it was "discouraged" and repeatedly mention 1,3,4e. But 2e had a section about it?[/edit]
 
Last edited:

SkidAce

Adventurer
I do agree with [MENTION=92511]steeldragons[/MENTION] on the fact that I didn't see neither magic shops, nor buying magic items until 3rd edition.

There may have been individuals campaigns, I certainly believe you [MENTION=2011]KarinsDad[/MENTION] when you say you encountered them.


Its the inference that it was a common thing was what I am objecting to.
 
I do agree with @steeldragons on the fact that I didn't see neither magic shops, nor buying magic items until 3rd edition.

There may have been individuals campaigns, I certainly believe you @KarinsDad when you say you encountered them.


Its the inference that it was a common thing was what I am objecting to.
Sigil and Dis were popular places to head to to buy magic items in 2E. Planescape, Al-Qadim and pretty much every other setting has magic shops listed in their city source books etc. Totally SOP to buy magic items by the time 2E started.

Buying magic items was pretty much commonplace in later 1E as well. Not at first, but after books with hundreds of magic items in them came out and higher level adventures like Lankhmar and the Dragonlance series came out and PC games like Pool of Radiance and Neverwinter Nights, buying and selling magic items eventually became the standard later in 1E.
 

KarinsDad

Villager
I do agree with [MENTION=92511]steeldragons[/MENTION] on the fact that I didn't see neither magic shops, nor buying magic items until 3rd edition.

There may have been individuals campaigns, I certainly believe you [MENTION=2011]KarinsDad[/MENTION] when you say you encountered them.
We bought magic items before AD&D even came out. I don't even think that the blue book had costs in it for items and we still did it.

But again, it wasn't always shops per se.

Its the inference that it was a common thing was what I am objecting to.
And that's cool. :cool:


It's been too long and I don't remember that much from 3 to 4 decades ago, and I have no idea how common it was at other tables, but I do remember a few specific instances. It was definitely something I ran into enough that I remember it. I had a wizard who wanted a Staff of the Magi. He didn't find it in a dungeon or craft it, but he did eventually acquire it.

It's practically impossible to not run into it. So much gold was available back in the 1E days because of the treasure tables. The gold was practically flowing. So yeah, not every player wanted to build a castle (although we did that too). I don't remember there being a lot of ways to spend money back in the day. All of the resources that we have now on the Internet to give DMs direction on how to handle things were not there. But, the sell prices in the DMG were there. It was a pretty natural direction for players and DMs to take.

And it's pretty obvious that the reason that TSR put the "Buying Magic Items" section into 2E is because people were doing it in 1E. The game evolved back in the day. Ideas morphed. Not just the mechanics (which didn't evolve quite as much from 1E to 2E as later versions), but the entire culture of how to play RPGs. If you go read that section, the game designers were definitively telling DMs that this is badwrongfun. It's 100% obvious that the 2E designers yanked all of GP values out of the tables and wrote that section because they didn't think that people should be doing that at tables. They wouldn't have gone to that effort if buying magic items was rare. They had a finger on the pulse of the industry with Gen Con and surveys and such. They knew what was going on.
 

Advertisement

Top