log in or register to remove this ad

 

D&D 5E magic items prices

talwynor

First Post
So I must be missing something right in front of my eyes, but can't for the life of me find the prices for magic items like a simple +1 sword. Where should I be looking?
 

log in or register to remove this ad

dragon_eater

First Post
The standard assumption in 5th edition is that magic items are very rare and are not standardly bought and sold. However there are rules on p135 of the DMG about the possible range of values for magic items based off their rarity and rules on p129 of the DMG about players trying to sell their magical items.

A +1 weapon is an uncommon tier magical item so it is worth somewhere between 101-500gp based off those numbers.
 

DMG notes that it might be possible to find them for sale in cities large enough to have Magic Academies or Major Temples, but the book also mentions it's likely an an invite only market and likely to attract thieves.
 

In general, it's best to assume the magic item cannot be sold.

I would say they can donate it to someplace if they wish; having a temple or arcane university seriously in your debt for getting rid of an excess magic item is worth a lot more than mere gold.
 

Chocolategravy

First Post
In general, it's best to assume the magic item cannot be sold.

I would say they can donate it to someplace if they wish; having a temple or arcane university seriously in your debt for getting rid of an excess magic item is worth a lot more than mere gold.

In general it would be extremely irrational to assume magic items cannot be sold as they are very valuable, very useful and at the prices listed in the DMG, they are dirt cheap. Any NPC with 100 GP on their hands would buy an uncommon from you without a second thought. They would be a complete fool not to. Unless your world is populated only with complete fools, selling a magic item would be extremely easy.

But then, why would a PC sell a magic item for this worthless gold they have piles of already which they can't spend on anything useful?

And you're right back at the problem 1E had by assuming magic items were super rare and couldn't really be bought which went away as later supplements came out, because it really makes no sense. Ever since it's been standard for magic items to be as common as other magic until 5E came along to repeat mistakes.

Just assume magic items can be bought and sold, most tables I've seen here already do and as more supplements come out with magic shops written right in the system will be assuming it does too.
 

Flexor the Mighty!

18/100 Strength!
Default assumption appears to be that there isn't an active market for magic items due to them being rather uncommon outside the rare groups of madmen that take trips into deep dark pits of evil to recover rare lost treasures. Its your game though so if you want every city to have its own Diagon Alley then there are some rules to help you come up with prices in the DMG, though they are far too low IMO. Then again I hate the magic Walmart stuff so I'm fine with 5e's default assumption.
 

In general it would be extremely irrational to assume magic items cannot be sold as they are very valuable, very useful and at the prices listed in the DMG, they are dirt cheap. Any NPC with 100 GP on their hands would buy an uncommon from you without a second thought. They would be a complete fool not to. Unless your world is populated only with complete fools, selling a magic item would be extremely easy.

But then, why would a PC sell a magic item for this worthless gold they have piles of already which they can't spend on anything useful?

And you're right back at the problem 1E had by assuming magic items were super rare and couldn't really be bought which went away as later supplements came out, because it really makes no sense. Ever since it's been standard for magic items to be as common as other magic until 5E came along to repeat mistakes.

Just assume magic items can be bought and sold, most tables I've seen here already do and as more supplements come out with magic shops written right in the system will be assuming it does too.

Giving the benefit of the doubt for now, but your opening almost calls for a hostile reply.

The prices listed in the DMG are an optional rule. And, as you have noted, they are a rule that really tends to punish players for trying to sell magic items; even within the optional rules, the system is designed under the assumption that the PCs won't sell magic items.

As for magic shops coming out: Why do you assume such will happen? Basegame 5E, it might not happen at all; it probably will happen with Eberron, but that's because you can't really do that setting without them or without massive availability of magic items.

And as for repeating the mistakes of the past: They do that every edition. Just a different mistake. If this is the mistake this time around, then we're lucky; just take a look at the prior two editions to see how much worse of a mistake they could make. And I see how they could easily make this work for them and stick with it for base DnD.
 


Gecko85

Explorer
In my game I've decided the more mundane magic items (+1 weapons, etc.) might be found in a large city, but only if you know where to look. It's going to take some time to find the right contacts and build up goodwill. Those with better magic items aren't going to part with them. Now, those that are *stolen* from them...that's another story. But those are going to be even harder to find, since the thieves aren't going to want the rightful owner to find out who stole their prized possession. Most likely the better items will be traded with a guild from another city. Again, though, it's not going to be easy to gain access to the loot, and they're not going to be cheap.
 

In general it would be extremely irrational to assume magic items cannot be sold as they are very valuable, very useful and at the prices listed in the DMG, they are dirt cheap. Any NPC with 100 GP on their hands would buy an uncommon from you without a second thought. They would be a complete fool not to. Unless your world is populated only with complete fools, selling a magic item would be extremely easy.

Do you own your own fully automatic machine guns, attack helicopter, and armored personel carrier? If not then you should sell your house, car, and anything else of value and try to buy them. If you don't then you are a fool.

Would you consider that reasonable?

Many common magic items are useful as deadly weapons or as items of personal defense. The average NPC, much like the average person in our world, doesn't risk his/her life against horrible monsters on a daily basis and would flee a battle rather than seek one out.

Lets say Joe the NPC, a typical town resident, actually has 100+ gp to burn. He could possibly buy a +1 sword, but WHY would he? For that money he could buy a whole set of finely made tools for his craft which would help him earn more money. What would he DO with a +1 sword? Hang it on his wall to impress guests? If he ever actually had to fight, he is an untrained craftsman with a handful of hit points. He will be dogmeat, magic sword or not.

So no I do not agree that any NPC who wouldn't buy a magic weapon is a fool. Quite the opposite actually.
 



ranger69

Explorer
To me it's likely that there would be at least a black market for magical items. The difficulty would be to access those markets. Having the right contacts would be of great help. Step forward the Criminal background.
It would be interesting to make buying and selling magic illegal. Therefore it would create interesting moral dilemmas for some characters. Perhaps the only legal way to get rid of magic items would be to donate them to the ruler and/or a temple. Maybe turf wars would break out over "fencing" magic items.
Illegal possession of magic items could lead to punishments from fines, through whipping, to death.
Perhaps registered "family heirlooms" would be allowed so long as they are not used.
Possession of magic items would perhaps be a gift from the King. His bodyguard for instance would have magic armour and swords.
 

JTorres

First Post
Do you own your own fully automatic machine guns, attack helicopter, and armored personel carrier? If not then you should sell your house, car, and anything else of value and try to buy them. If you don't then you are a fool.

Pardon me sir, but I have just completed the sale of all my belongings and will be purchasing a Bell AH-1Z Viper Attack Helicopter just as soon as I get the rest of the millions of dollars required. Now we'll see who the fool is.
 

Flexor the Mighty!

18/100 Strength!
To me people who go into lost forgotten tombs and pull out various lost magic are a very very rare breed and there isn't a deluge of magic items brought out from dungeons.
 

Pardon me sir, but I have just completed the sale of all my belongings and will be purchasing a Bell AH-1Z Viper Attack Helicopter just as soon as I get the rest of the millions of dollars required. Now we'll see who the fool is.

You should just buy machine guns and ammo, they are a lot more cost effective for someone of your limited means. If you're really poor, invest in knives instead.

Meanwhile I'll be driving my car to work and eating food out of my fridge. So, more knives for you. ;-)
 

Pardon me sir, but I have just completed the sale of all my belongings and will be purchasing a Bell AH-1Z Viper Attack Helicopter just as soon as I get the rest of the millions of dollars required. Now we'll see who the fool is.

You don't want a Viper. When firing any weapon, the craft tend to pull to the left a bit. This can cause you to miss your target widely.

I'd suggest going for an old Apache instead.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to launch a sidewinder at a neighbor. They keep playing their music too loud, so I'm going to turn it down for them. Permanently.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
So I must be missing something right in front of my eyes, but can't for the life of me find the prices for magic items like a simple +1 sword. Where should I be looking?
5th edition unfortunately does not support a magic item economy. At least not yet.

Furthermore, 5th edition bases prices on rarity rather than function, which further removes the edition from a functioning magic item market.

A rarity based market is what you see in our world's antiques and arts markets. Craftsmanship and "beauty" plays a part, of course, as does trends and national pride, but in the end it boils down to the fact that people desire what others don't have. Objects need to be rare.

But magic items doesn't work that way. Magic items are tools, with very tangible abilities. These tools let you fly or become strong as an ogre. The most basic example is the magic sword without which you can't kill the monsters.

The 5e price scheme implies you only buy magic items to put on your mantlepiece, or to hang as art on your walls. But rich noblemen isn't the customers here, YOU are. And since your life as an adventure hinges on having the right tools for the job, you don't care about esthetics - you care about function.

So you can't say "rare items cost 5000 gold" or somesuch. Not if you want something that holds up to scrutiny.

So unfortunately my best advice is to use the 3E prices as your baseline. While this is far from perfect, it can't be worse than the rarity-based approach.

The good news is that, of course, all of it is available online, for free:
http://www.d20srd.org/indexes/magicItems.htm
 

Joe Liker

First Post
A rarity based market is what you see in our world's antiques and arts markets. Craftsmanship and "beauty" plays a part, of course, as does trends and national pride, but in the end it boils down to the fact that people desire what others don't have. Objects need to be rare.
The traditional approach to the creation of magic items holds that the item to be enchanted must be of masterwork quality, and additionally should be a work of exquisite aesthetic design. These things do not just "play a part," but they are an absolute minimum requirement.

But magic items doesn't work that way. Magic items are tools, with very tangible abilities. These tools let you fly or become strong as an ogre. The most basic example is the magic sword without which you can't kill the monsters.
And if just anyone could get their hands on one, the world wouldn't need adventurers.

The 5e price scheme implies you only buy magic items to put on your mantlepiece, or to hang as art on your walls. But rich noblemen isn't the customers here, YOU are. And since your life as an adventure hinges on having the right tools for the job, you don't care about esthetics - you care about function.
The default assumption in most editions of D&D has been that "you" are a rare breed. Because there are so few adventurers in the world (and no modern communication networks whatsoever), it makes perfect sense that a magic item economy never evolved. Chances are, in most towns, the only people with any use for magic items are the people you rode into town with.

Your world may be different, but it's unfair to say the default situation in the rulebooks doesn't make sense. When both adventurers and magic items are extremely rare, and there's no such thing as the Internet, there can be no "magic item community" or the economy that would come with it. The only NPC who might possibly have ever seen a magic item is the strange old hermit in the tower on the hill, and he gets really cranky if you ask him about it because do you have any idea how long it takes to make a simple wand of nymph summoning?

(Answer: He started making one in his youth, and now that it's finished, he no longer remembers why he wanted it in the first place.)
 

But magic items doesn't work that way. Magic items are tools, with very tangible abilities. These tools let you fly or become strong as an ogre. The most basic example is the magic sword without which you can't kill the monsters.

The 5e price scheme implies you only buy magic items to put on your mantlepiece, or to hang as art on your walls. But rich noblemen isn't the customers here, YOU are. And since your life as an adventure hinges on having the right tools for the job, you don't care about esthetics - you care about function.

EXACTLY! Look at the number of people in the world that have a need for that functionality. How much of an economy can a few adventuring groups in an entire kingdom provide?

Magic items are either forgotten treasures in out of the way places, or crafted specifically on demand by an adventurer or other individual with the cash. There isn't enough demand to justify mass production.
 

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top