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ZEITGEIST Magic Items in 5e Conversion


Hi all!

After a long and very successful game of WotBS, my group is looking now to do Zeitgeist. For WotBS I converted to 5E by hand, since that's what my players were familiar with, but for this one I'm figuring we'll use the official conversion.

I've read through the players guide, and I'm concerned about some of the information around the quantity of magic items the PCs can requisition, it seems fairly out of step with the standard magic item philosophy for 5E which is that you want them more than you need them. I'm wondering if anyone has experience running the 5E version, and has thoughts they can share on how to keep the magic item situation making sense.


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To give this a bump, I would also be interested in hearing and "lessons learned" or recommendations regarding magic items. The biggest concern among my players as I've introduced this campaign is that I told them they can't be "murder hobos" who get to keep all the stuff of anyone they murder. Everyone likes treasure, so the idea of it being requisition-based instead of keeping everything they find is creating anxiety.


Hey! I am about 10 sessions into my campaign at this point, and here's how I've decided to handle this. The problems, as I saw them are

1) There's the whole requisition / handing over evidence thing
2) They give the PCs absolute buckets of gold and nothing to spend on.

For 1) I keep a spreadsheet of confiscated items that the flint RHC is holding onto, along with their rarity and how many there are (I keep a near unlimited supply of healing potions and lv1 scrolls in there). I've got a thing set up where based on their prestige (I tweaked the numbers from the rules given) they can have a certain amount of each rarity checked out at a time. I also make sure to let my players keep anything given to them as a gift (this is super important, as some plot items are gifts, and it also introduces opportunities for grift, which might come up in the Audit). This has been working, and presents my players with the following pros and cons:
  • I occasionally add items to this list, to reflect other groups picking up loot and adding it
  • The RHC will identify any items they turn over free of charge
  • The RHC will automatically confiscate and make available magic items belonging to any persons the party rightfully arrests (such as Renard Woodsman, who my party detained in adventure 2)
  • They don't get to keep everything they find
  • I occasionally have NPC constables check out items to keep things interesting.

As for 2) I'm introducing 3 gold sinks for the campaign:
a) Their ship. I've decided to use The Naval Code as my naval combat rules, and I've modified it to let the PCs upgrade their ship from unrated to 2nd/1st rate, and buy cannons and whatever. Over the course of the game this will be a considerable gold sink
b) Travelling merchants. I have a rotating catalogue of magic items available for purchase. I hand pick these semi-randomly, making sure to only include items that I think will make the game more fun. These are offered for sale for gold, with the caveat that any item may leave the rotation at any time (I change what's available roughly 2-3 times per adventure). Players have the option to buy these, as well as to pay 10% of the price to hold the item indefinitely (make it never go away), or they can pay a fee of a few thousand gold to send a merchant looking for something specific which they'll then have to buy (they'll never get exactly what they wanted, but they'll get something similar)
c) After adventure 6, I expect to have Tinker's inventions serve as a gold sink, by which the PCs can buy either high-tech enhancements for their ship or high-tech enhancements for their bodies.


My plan at the moment is to use the stipends to allow the PCs to "rent" their gear. Essentially, the PCs pay gp out of their stipend for each item, and they get the gp back when they return the item. The amount of the stipends roughly corresponds to what the player's guide says they should have based on their prestige level. Check my post here for a more detailed breakdown.


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