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D&D 5E No Magic Shops!

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There is no lack of magic shops in 5e if you, as a DM, don't want there to be. Hell, Xanathar's has a whole section on buying/selling/creating magic items.


I am very much relieved that there are no magic shops in 5e. Magic items feel special again. Finding them is both a cause for celebration and an opportunity to find creative uses for them.

That said, I like the downtime rules in XgtE for buying and selling items. While I'd change the prices a bit, I think it is the right way to implement a magic item market.

I would also like to see some tables for creating a common magic item shop. One that some common items from XgtE as well as the weaker potions and scrolls.


I've done all right, I think, implementing a magic item store. Still, I would like a more robust system that I could drop in without much work.

I LOVE the fact that there are no magic item shops. Even the most innocuous ones ruin the economy. I've removed Potions of Healing from the equipment list, and replaced it with healing herbs (basically the same, but take 1 Minute instead of an Action) so that potions are valuable and treasured. Since I do random magical treasure (removing anything I don't want in my campaign), I've modified the Xanthar's downtime to work for a trade/barter system for magic items. This allows people to trade away items they don't use for something they might, or to seek out specific items they want, so long as they're able to trade enough away.


Magic Wordsmith
I'm playing it as written, thank-you-very-much:

DMG, page 136: "In your campaign, magic items might be prevalent enough that adventurers can buy and sell them. Magic items might be for sale in bazaars or auction houses in fantastical locations, such as... the planar metropolis of Sigil."

I'm dead set against magic shops.

In the thread(s) about copy spellbooks I argued that the rules would lead inevitably to a "market" for copying spells, and that the price per level in that market would be cheap. My point (generally not understood, from what I can tell) was not that this is a balance problem, but that it's a flavor problem: I like it being rare and cool and special and exciting when a spellbook is acquired and the players get to mine it for new spells. This happens even though they probably already have most of the spells they want and need. It's just fun to add to the toolbox.

Same thing for magic items. Given that magic items are relatively permanent and abundant (yes, even in 5e. Adventurers are common enough that it's a "profession", and adventurers tend to get a few magic items over a career; ergo there are oodles of magic items) one would expect, given the rules, that there would be a market...black or otherwise...for magic items.

And yet...I like my magic items to be only discovered, never "shopped for". I could see a magic item being offered for sale as part of the plot of an adventure, but I would never encourage or facilitate players saying, "I really want a Bag of Holding. I'm going to see if I can find somebody who has one for sale." Yes, given RAW and economic truths that's not an unreasonable thing to do or expect, and yet it defies everything I want to be true about magic items.

The only kind of magic shop I could see having, in a large city, would be one selling supplies to wizards: scroll paper, rare inks, material components for spells, etc. A shop like that might have a scroll or two, or some potions, hidden away for the right customers.

I loathe most magic item shops. I don't mind if the PCs hunt down a specific individual or collector, as an adventure unto itself, who might--might--trade for something. And I'm willing to make exceptions for, say, Sigil or the City of Brass. But otherwise? No thank you.

I do, however, wish there was more for PCs to spend gold on. Just not magic items.


Prefer it as is with maybe the occasional magic item for sale if the pics put effort into finding a stellar.

Still can't buy exactly what you want though.


41st lv DM
As a player? I don't care one way or the other if there's Magic shops.
If there are? Then I'll make use of them.
If there aren't? Then I'll rely upon whatever I find & if I really want something specific then I'll make it a character goal to track the whatever down. I AM an adventurer after all, so just point me in the direction of whatever tomb I need to raid/dungeon that needs delving/ dragon I have to slay....

As a DM?
Sure. Whatever edition we're playing, there's a few specific places in my worlds where you can buy/sell/trade magic items.
But you have to be there to do it.
And what exactly is "In Stock" & what's currently being bought and for how much? That's all up to me. :)

Mr. Wilson

My magic shops are just fine, thanks for asking. In my home campaign, I had 20 years of a Wizard's School running all the magic shops, so I'm not going to let an edition change fundamentally change the dynamics of my world.

You may not find exactly what you want at a magic shop (or really anything over the Rare category), but they exist because of course they would if a college of wizards monopolized magic item creations. They do, however, take commissions if you supply the right ingredients. For instance, Alis' Thundering Bowstring or Roarin' Raughley's Rampart, both of which required my player's to quest for what the wizard's needed to create those items.


I like the idea of magic shops that resemble modern antique shops to be present. If you go into the shop looking for something specific, you'll almost always be disappointed. When you find something, it's entirely possible that it's not what you or the owner think it is. You'll almost never be able to buy the exact same thing twice unless it's part of a set... and sets will often be missing components.

Magic items are interesting because of what they do, not where they're found, or what they did prior to the adventurers having them.


My magic shops are just fine, thanks for asking. In my home campaign, I had 20 years of a Wizard's School running all the magic shops, so I'm not going to let an edition change fundamentally change the dynamics of my world.

It's an interesting decision point, whether to let the narrative drive the system, or letting the system drive the narrative. I went the opposite direction as you when I transitioned from 4e to 5e. Magic items were pretty common in my 4e campaigns. As part of switching systems, I invented a major world event to account for their relative dearth using the standard assumptions of 5e.


I prefer common and uncommon magic items for sale.

They are still relatively cheap and I guess not hard to make.

anything above that should be not for sale or regular crafting on an ensemble line.

I never gave players access in any edition of D&D to magic item shops that just happened to stock anything and everything they were wanting to buy. If a player wanted something special, then he or she had to earn it.


I much prefer players to tell me they are looking for a magic item that does x and y. M

Then i can custom make an item fir that player and determine how they come upon it and what kind of price they must pay