D&D 5E magic items prices


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KarinsDad

Adventurer
Bilbo didn't get into enough fights to make it to 3rd level. At the rate he was literally being handed and tripping over magic items he'd have had several hundred by 20th level.

This is really funny. I've always thought this. He had a magic short sword, a mithril shirt, and an artifact (or minimally a legendary item) and got into what, three fights total? He even acquired the Arkenstone which was not only a very valuable jewel, but the one that gave a dwarf the authority to be king. And he had plot immunity from a dragon.

And then Frodo got the ring before setting foot outside the door. Later on, he got the sword, the shirt, an elvencloak, and the glowing Phial of Galadriel. He got into something like five fights total and had five items.

What's so rare and special about that? :lol:


I find it really amusing when people try to support the D&D supposition that magic items are special and rare, and should not be bought or sold. Anything valuable will be bought and sold by humans. It's what we do. It's laughable to think otherwise.

And players love to acquire magic items, be it by finding them, or buying them. It's cool. :cool:

I cannot ever remember a single player saying "Yeah, I got this magic shield, but I had to buy it, so it's not that special.". :lol:

There is absolutely nothing wrong with playing a D&D game where the PCs can buy and sell magic items. There is nothing BadWrongFun about it. If a given DM does not want that for his game, that's fine. But people shouldn't drink the koolaid that not buying and selling items is the way the game is meant to be played. I've played in dozens of campaigns for nearly 40 years and I cannot remember one where buying and selling magic items could not be done (not necessarily using magic item shops though). It's one major way to get rid of all of the other non-magical wealth that PCs acquire. For some tables, not buying and selling magic items is the exception, not the rule.
 
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Joe Liker

First Post
Yeah, you (and others) keep saying so...

...but this still does not answer the question "in previous editions we enjoyed buying magic items for our gold, but now we can't find anything worthwhile to spend gold on" assuming a party that doesn't enjoy downtime or castle building.

The DMG completely fails to provide an alternative for when you have 40000 gp and tomorrow enter the Dungeon of Slaughter.

Previously, you could whet your appetite for a +3 Axe of Slaying or another equally functioning item.

Now, not so much. In fact, not at all. All options either mean doing downtime stuff, or adding rules that merely act as a money sink. (Why hand out that much gold if all you can do with it is pay a trainer to level up?)
If better gear is literally all you care about, then presumably you will spend your mountains of gold to employ a network of information gatherers and sages to help you find more gear. They might even be able to help you track down specific items if you pay them well enough.

It's functionally the same as having a magic market, but it does require a modicum of role-play and effort. I don't think the DMG should facilitate the complete removal of RP from the game, so this might be as good as it gets for that kind of play style.

If your group really does hate role-playing all that much, I have to wonder why they choose to play a Role-Playing Game?
 

KarinsDad

Adventurer
If better gear is literally all you care about, then presumably you will spend your mountains of gold to employ a network of information gatherers and sages to help you find more gear. They might even be able to help you track down specific items if you pay them well enough.

It's functionally the same as having a magic market, but it does require a modicum of role-play and effort. I don't think the DMG should facilitate the complete removal of RP from the game, so this might be as good as it gets for that kind of play style.

If your group really does hate role-playing all that much, I have to wonder why they choose to play a Role-Playing Game?

Yeah, I don't buy this logic.

The game can be fun either way, and just because there are magic item shops (or alternatively, easier ways to acquire or get rid of magic items) in a game does not mean that the players are not role-playing or that the other poster's group hates role-playing.

Yes, a DM can use your approach if he does not want magic item shops, but not doing so does not mean that people aren't role-playing.


Course, I don't buy his logic either. The DMG is not gospel. If a DM wants to have easy ways to buy and sell magic items, either use the rarity rules/costs in the DMG, or use the GP costs from earlier editions of the game. Just because the default DMG rules do not directly support a given play style does not mean that it isn't easy to modify it.
 

Of course your strawman isn't reasonable, you made it as idiotic and unrelated to the argument as you possibly could.

Oh it was directly related. A normal non-adventuring person in a fantasy world has the same level of need for magic weapons & gadgets as a normal person in our world has for the items I mentioned. An economy on any sort of scale needs more than a half dozen or so people to support it.
 

SkidAce

Legend
Supporter
The DMG completely fails to provide an alternative for when you have 40000 gp and tomorrow enter the Dungeon of Slaughter.

Previously, you could whet your appetite for a +3 Axe of Slaying or another equally functioning item.

Since the rules say buying and selling is up to the DM, they could (using the guidelines that were provided)...with 40,000 gp...

Buy at least 400 common magical items (at 100 gp) etc.
Buy 80 uncommon items.
Buy 8 rare items.
Buy potentially 8 very rare (low end) or just 1 very rare item.
Save their money because they don't have enough for a legendary item.

DMG pg 135 said:
Unless you decide your campaign works otherwise, (emphasis mine) most magic items are so rare they aren't available for purchase.

I see some of your points, but I wouldn't say that the "DMG completely fails".
 

I don't see a reason the two philosophies being debated here can't coexist on a campaign by campaign basis. If some people want to play in a magic-rich environment, so be it. Use the DMG rules or something else and go with it. If other people want to play in a rare magic milieu, that's okay, too.

The argument that economies will force the creation and propagation of magic items is ludicrous, IMHO. The average worker makes 1sp a day, or 36gp a year. Magic items require mystical components, obscure instructions, highest quality materials and spellcasters who have better things to do with their time than sinking weeks and weeks into creating a Ring of Feather Fall to put on Ebay.

On the other hand, if you want to have magic be 'mundane' in your campaign, go for it.

The issue at discussion isn't the idea it can't coexist, but that the rules seem to assume it can't coexist and that one of them is worse than the other. Which, honestly, is kinda a bad approach.
 

KarinsDad

Adventurer
Oh it was directly related. A normal non-adventuring person in a fantasy world has the same level of need for magic weapons & gadgets as a normal person in our world has for the items I mentioned. An economy on any sort of scale needs more than a half dozen or so people to support it.

Yeah, but there is a major societal difference between the two which make them non-related.

In the real world, adventurers do not walk around in body armor and powerful weapons, infiltrating into areas which are none of their business, killing and looting; at least in a significant portion of the planet.

The laws of society in an adventuring world tend to lawfully allow PCs to do this in any area outside of civilization. Monsters and many other creatures are considered outlaws (i.e. outside the law), they have no right to life, and most DMs do not have kingdoms who punish PCs for doing this.

Since it is a game that allows for breaking and entering, murder and theft as part and parcel of the fun and escapism, comparing magic items in a fantasy world to modern weapons in the real world is nonsensical.
 

Yeah, but there is a major societal difference between the two which make them non-related.

In the real world, adventurers do not walk around in body armor and powerful weapons, infiltrating into areas which are none of their business, killing and looting; at least in a significant portion of the planet.

The laws of society in an adventuring world tend to lawfully allow PCs to do this in any area outside of civilization. Monsters and many other creatures are considered outlaws (i.e. outside the law), they have no right to life, and most DMs do not have kingdoms who punish PCs for doing this.

Since it is a game that allows for breaking and entering, murder and theft as part and parcel of the fun and escapism, comparing magic items in a fantasy world to modern weapons in the real world is nonsensical.

The analogy had nothing to do with any legal implications. It is a simple matter of non-adventuring persons in a fantasy world having better things to do with their money than buy gear that they won't be using. This leaves very few people (adventurers) in the population to support a magic item economy.

Perhaps if there were numerous items of magic that would help normal folk such as brooms of sweeping, hammers of forging, towels of cleaning, and so forth and these items were inexpensive enough for a good potion of the populace to afford them then a magic item economy would be more likely, with some shops having items of interest to adventurers in addition to the bread and butter items.

The idea of magic shops all over the place carrying only adventuring gear for the few adventurers in the population isn't a sustainable model for the merchants.
 

Joe Liker

First Post
The game can be fun either way, and just because there are magic item shops (or alternatively, easier ways to acquire or get rid of magic items) in a game does not mean that the players are not role-playing or that the other poster's group hates role-playing.

Yes, a DM can use your approach if he does not want magic item shops, but not doing so does not mean that people aren't role-playing.
I directly quoted a post where he said his group did not enjoy "downtime" activities or building buildings or basically anything other than combat and character advancement. I wasn't trying to disparage anyone's play style; I merely referred to the play style he himself described. I certainly didn't imply that his play style wasn't fun.

I do realize that occasionally speaking in character is enough to qualify as role playing in some people's eyes, but that's not what I was talking about. Perhaps I could have been more accurate in my wording -- how about character development (as opposed to character advancement)? Or more simply, "the bits of the game that happen outside the dungeon"?
 

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