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Magic Item Pricing - Demon Armor

seasong

First Post
Okay, surely I'm missing something in this...

Demon armor is:
MW full plate - 1,800 gp
MW d10 weapon claws - at a guess, 160 + 300 gp (460 gp)
+4 enhancement - 16,000 gp
+1 weapon enhancement - 2,000 gp
The contagion ability - the above leaves 32,000 gp

Contagion is a 3rd level spell. At the 52,000+ gp, it is unlikely that a fighter below 12th level will have this, so the fighter will have at least 3 "normal melee attacks" in a full round action.

So the armor casts contagion three times per round, unlimited use, no talk back... for 32,000 gp?

It's an instant spell. If we are generous, and assume that's a "duration measured in rounds", that's a total cost of 3 x 5 x 2000 x 4 = 120,000 gp. Except that it's better than that, because you can use it around 3+ times per round, and on different opponents.

A DC 14 isn't awe inspiring, by any stretch, but against anyone whose primary save isn't Fort, it represents around a 40% chance of failure at 12th level.

So what am I missing that drops the price down to a quarter of what it should be by the rules?

-seasong
 

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daTim

First Post
Well, this isnt really helping but there are two claws, each being +1 I would imagine with the contagion ability. As for why it is so cheap, no clue... maybe because it makes you look like a demon? Then again there should be some down side to it like -4 charisma etc...
 

seasong

First Post
Well, there is the negative level if you are nonevil, but... according to the SRD, that's only a 10% cost break.

Erg. There's a bunch of items like this, but the demon armor is the most grossly mispriced of them that I could find in a quick run through. I'm hoping that if there is some insight as to why it is priced the way it is, that would aid me with the others.
 

Grazzt

Demon Lord
seasong said:
Okay, surely I'm missing something in this...

Demon armor is:
<snipped>

So what am I missing that drops the price down to a quarter of what it should be by the rules?

-seasong


Maybe its a designer's judgment call. There are several items in the DMG that don't adhere to the formulas for pricing magic items. Call it "DM fiat." :)
 

Spatzimaus

First Post
So, the question is, why is it so cheap to get the Contagion effect? Possible reasons:

1> The DC is so low (this is typical of most items, though). An item costing 52k won't be used by anyone below 13th or 14th level, so even someone with a bad Fort save won't have many problems with a DC 14 save. Remember to add in items like Cloaks of Resistance... even with a bad Fort save, I've never seen anyone with less than a +10 by 15th level. That means 15% chance of failure.
2> Unlike the spell, you can't make a touch attack to deliver the Contagion. You have to make an "unarmed" melee attack, which not only means you have to worry about Armor and Natural Armor AC, it forces you to make do with the dinky +1 enchantment on the 1d10 claws, at a level when you're usually using a +5 weapon.
(This assumes you treat the claws as weapons; if they're a replacement for an unarmed attack you'd take an AoO every time too)
3> The armor can only be fully used by evil wearers, which means it's NPC gear in most campaigns. Price becomes irrelevant in those situations. While saying "good only" isn't really a downside in most campaigns and so shouldn't reduce price, saying "most people you'll run into can't use it" might be a little different. I wouldn't discount for this, personally...
 

Geoff Watson

First Post
Spatzimaus said:
So, the question is, why is it so cheap to get the Contagion effect? Possible reasons:

Contagion sucks.

If you're going to use a spell on someone in combat, use one that defeats them on a failed save, or still has some effect if they make the save.
Contagion seems to be more designed for non-combat use (infect someone, then send them back to their allies to infect them too).

Geoff.
 

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