D&D 5E magic items prices


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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.
 

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