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Magic item rarity revision forthcoming?

Felon

First Post
My understanding is that magic items are seeing a revision that will designate them as common, uncommon, or rare. Do we know if this will be retroactively applied to existing items in some publication, and if so, when?
 

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renau1g

First Post
Soon... ;)

TBH I haven't heard a specified time or even if it will be applied. The new CB has them pre-loaded so I'm not sure if they'll release an official list
 


Joshua Randall

Adventurer
FYI (copy/paste from something else I was writing for people):

With the release of D&D Essentials (Rules Compendium, Heroes of the Fallen Lands, etc.) there were some changes made to the way existing things work to bring them into line with the Essentials rules. Those updates are in this document. (Warning! Direct link to PDF.) There's a list of magic item rarity on page 3 of that document.

Yet more Essentials-related upates are in this other document. (Warning! Direct link to PDF.)
 

fba827

Adventurer
as Joshua Randall's link points out, the majority of previously published magic items are uncommon. A couple dozen exceptions (listed in the above link) have been decalred common.
 

Felon

First Post
Hmm. I like the overall idea, but doesn't that reduce the number of items that are available for purchase rather small? The DM dispenses uncommons and rares, right?

Also, the list doesn't cover what items are now rare.
 

Mirtek

Adventurer
Hmm. I like the overall idea, but doesn't that reduce the number of items that are available for purchase rather small?
Yes, currently it's much too small. At some levels you have the choice of only a single item per slot (your level 8 paladin in plate and heavy shield better takes the +2 elven cloak with it's +2 stealth for one of your 3 item slots, because the only other alternative would be a plain +2 cloak with no property whatsoever)
The DM dispenses uncommons and rares, right?
Yes
Also, the list doesn't cover what items are now rare.
New rares (and uncommons and commons) will be introduced in new books/magazines.

A select few of the old uncommons have been updated to rare status (actually updated only refers to being called rare while still haven their stats unchanged from when they were first published in PHB1) in HotFL and HotFK.

As to why WotC only rates the old items in such a blanket approach: Why should WotC put any effort in cleaning up the items they have already sold us anyway, when the can just sell us a book with new items?
 

MrMyth

First Post
Hmm. I like the overall idea, but doesn't that reduce the number of items that are available for purchase rather small?

It does - though I think the goal going forward will be for a greater balance of common and uncommon items. And, honestly, a DM can find a good number of existing items to designate common if desired. I think the mass declaration of most existing items as uncommon was done because it was the easiest way to prevent abuse with the designers needing to do the least amount of work.
 

zoroaster100

First Post
As I understand it, the items that would qualify to be common must not have any daily powers, and must have properties that are always on. Some items which meet these requirements might still be uncommon if they are otherwise special or complex in some other way, perhaps, but if an item has a daily power of any kind, it cannot be common.
 

Jhaelen

First Post
I doubt that they will provide any reclassification beyond the one they already did.
This. They'll leave it up to the DM.

New (or reprinted) items will of course get classified. But they won't invest precious time in thinking too hard about items from old source books.

Just look at their approach to dealing with new monster design guidelines. You don't generate profits by supporting books people already bought.
 

Joshua Randall

Adventurer
Even though I posted the links --

You can completely ignore rarity and it won't adversely affect your game in any way. The default 4e magic item guidelines were and remain fine.
 

MrMyth

First Post
Even though I posted the links --

You can completely ignore rarity and it won't adversely affect your game in any way. The default 4e magic item guidelines were and remain fine.

Well, yes and no. You can ignore rarity and leave the daily magic item limit in place. If you ignore rarity and remove it... the game can be fine, but it opens up a lot of room for abuse with various cheap daily powers and consumables and other items. As long as your players are willing to do their best to avoid the worst such abuses, you should be fine, but it does require paying a bit of attention to these things one way or another.
 


Felon

First Post
As to why WotC only rates the old items in such a blanket approach: Why should WotC put any effort in cleaning up the items they have already sold us anyway, when the can just sell us a book with new items?
New (or reprinted) items will of course get classified. But they won't invest precious time in thinking too hard about items from old source books.

Just look at their approach to dealing with new monster design guidelines. You don't generate profits by supporting books people already bought.
This seems an odd sentiment in light of how they've put rather large efforts into revising existing classes, races, powers, feats, and magic items in nigh-monthly updates. Clearly, they don't have a "what's done is done" attitude when it comes to content.
 
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Felon

First Post
Even though I posted the links --

You can completely ignore rarity and it won't adversely affect your game in any way. The default 4e magic item guidelines were and remain fine.
Well, that's one perspective. Personally, I find the current system of placing everything that's not an artifact on the rack as leaving something to be desired, and would thus like to see my game affected by the new rules, just in a comprehensive way rather than the scattershot one we seem to be handed. Good concept, lacking execution.
 

MrMyth

First Post
This seems an odd sentiment in light of how they've put rather large efforts into revising existing classes, races, powers, feats, and magic items in nigh-monthly updates. Clearly, they don't have a "what's done is done" attitude when it comes to content.

Oh, sure, and I would certainly have liked to see them give a more thorough classifying of existing material. But I think it is partly a workload thing - tracking unbalanced elements and spot-fixing them as necessary is probably less time consuming than going through and classifying every single pre-Essentials item, especially when they can easily toss the bulk of them into a relatively appropriate category. I think the approach they've taken works.... albeit not as well as if they really were thorough in going about it.
 

lonebrendan

First Post
So ritual casters can't make uncommon items from scratch? How will we get them? A new dm chosen quest for each one, or just put them on our wish lists and hope they fall into our laps?
 

Chzbro

First Post
So ritual casters can't make uncommon items from scratch? How will we get them? A new dm chosen quest for each one, or just put them on our wish lists and hope they fall into our laps?

I think this is one of the reasons the new system is there. While not everyone will agree, from my perspective (both as a player and a DM) the original system left the players too much freedom in selecting magic items.

Typically, characters I created (beyond those at first level, of course) never wanted to replace any of their items unless it was with a more powerful version of the same item. The magic items were so important to character optimization that a different magic item (even if it were a higher level) could actually reduce a character's effectiveness. And I don't think that's the effect the designers were going for.

Personally, I like to min/max, but when it gets to the point that I'm never interested in any magic item that I didn't hand pick to enhance my build, it makes finding magic stuff pretty boring. So I like that now I can only buy/craft common items. Now if I want something more powerful, I have to find it or make do with what I have. No more Lasting Frost + Cold weapon right out of the gate (or any number of similar shenanigans), which I think ultimately is a good thing. But if you don't, you can just ignore the rarity system and keep right on doing what you're doing. Win-win(-win).

On a related note, even though there aren't many common items now and I suspect more are coming, I think expecting a list of several commons to choose from at each level is kind of missing the point. It's true that there might not be a level 8 neck that's good for a paladin beyond the plain old +2 at level 6, but I think that's kind of the way they want it. Common items will work a little like inherent bonuses: they keep you current with the game math, but that's about it. If you want cooler stuff, you're going to have to go out and find it.
 

Felon

First Post
Typically, characters I created (beyond those at first level, of course) never wanted to replace any of their items unless it was with a more powerful version of the same item. The magic items were so important to character optimization that a different magic item (even if it were a higher level) could actually reduce a character's effectiveness. And I don't think that's the effect the designers were going for.
So, according to this whacky theory, iron armbands and staffs of ruin are privileges, not rights? Heresy! ;)

Seriously, your post handily encapsulates my POV.
 

So, according to this whacky theory, iron armbands and staffs of ruin are privileges, not rights? Heresy! ;)

Seriously, your post handily encapsulates my POV.

Yeah. I think the way they did the "most things are uncommon" was the smartest way to do it. The DM can adjust, and they can always shift a few more things into common or make a few more generic common items. No longer will ever fighter have IAoP etc. Things like shields might even get some spot time. Though honestly they need to figure out how to make some good ones...

Trying to hastily rate all 4000 existing items by rarity individually would have just been insane. The result would still be 90% uncommon and they'd have been bound to make mistakes. Better to make them on the conservative side, much easier to fix.
 

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