4E Points of Light, Dawn War, and Magic Item Economy (4e)

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I'm not sure what this means or why I should be ashamed.
Humor eh... I was saying it was your choice (not something to blame on system when the system gave plenty of precedence in the players handbook and in the artifact rules for doing it differently if you wanted to) AND Also in all the NPC abilities are not defined the same as the PCS abilities the system has.
The Evil Talking Ring had its roots in a Dungeon Delve adventure. AIR it could talk a good game telling the wearer to come over to the Dark Side, but had no actual mind control powers. It was a bit of a comedy item in a generally pretty grim campaign.
As I said if everyone thought if fun cool beans it is a win.
 

S'mon

Legend
If you are at a point where digs at mental health seem like a good idea, it is time to leave the thread.
Humor eh... I was saying it was your choice (not something to blame on system
I wasn't blaming the system for anything, of course it was my choice. (I like 4e a lot for what it does).
I know you have some mental health issues so I'm not too annoyed but I do get puzzled!
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I suppose one way of looking at it is that the implications of the "economic" system of the game is complex enough that it is very easy to miss what they are even realizing how diverse they are and how much DM say is actually involved are both missed at times. I think that it doesn't even take a game world economy if you want to support characters buying/creating exactly what they want is a fair thing to point out.
 
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It's a bigger option than buying, at an additional 10-40% markup! In 4e you sell or convert to residuum at 20%, you craft at 100%, you buy at 110-140% unless the GM decides you can buy at 100% (presumably a merchant has the item in stock).
Right, it is HELPFUL, but look at it this way:

The average level 5 treasure (this is using the tables on Page 300 of RC Appendix 2) will consist of the following
1. 90 GP
2. 62.5 GP worth of gems
3. 50 GP worth of art
4. 4800 GP worth of magic items

This makes the ratio 4.2% of all treasure is money, 95.8% is magic. A level 5 magic item is worth 1000GP, so you would have to find FIVE level 5 treasure troves to reach the value of one level 5 item. This equates to being able to construct two at-level items per level, or purchase a bit less, on average. Either way, the vast bulk of all items will come from finds, not purchase or enchantment. If the party disenchanted, on average, half their finds (all the common items by RC rules) they would be able to convert that into the enchanting of 2 more level 5 common items, or possibly the purchase of one level 6 item. Naturally all this assumes the PCs have ZERO other expenses, and both rituals and consumables will be competing for that cash.

One can easily see that NOW AND THEN a party might sell/disenchant and then purchase/enchant something, and they might enchant an item now and then from cash income, but the game is pretty restrictive about this kind of thing! By design there are few items to be purchased or made, and many out there to be found. Selling will be reasonably common, but generally a level 5 party would be parting with items of levels 1-4. A level 4 item will only bring 168GP, useful if you have no reason to keep the item around, but only a modest source of income.

I'd also note that in RC's system rarity means PCs can NEVER purchase/enchant anything but a very very limited repertoire of items (basically vanilla items and a very few low power items of other types, generic stuff). A generous GM might allow for ways to create more interesting items at times, but by RAW they can only be found or possibly made by very specialized and rare NPCs. All things considered purchase/enchantment basically, at least in RC rules, are a stopgap that allows a PC to be equipped with a vanilla version of a necessary weapon, implement, armor, or neck item, required to meet basic bonus expectations for their level. I'd think that any GMs still running 4e at this point are using inherent bonus anyway, so even that is fairly questionable. Your characters are probably just as well off using their cash to throw drinking parties and horde ritual components.
 

S'mon

Legend
Right, it is HELPFUL, but look at it this way:

The average level 5 treasure (this is using the tables on Page 300 of RC Appendix 2) will consist of the following
1. 90 GP
2. 62.5 GP worth of gems
3. 50 GP worth of art
4. 4800 GP worth of magic items

This makes the ratio 4.2% of all treasure is money, 95.8% is magic. A level 5 magic item is worth 1000GP, so you would have to find FIVE level 5 treasure troves to reach the value of one level 5 item. This equates to being able to construct two at-level items per level, or purchase a bit less, on average. Either way, the vast bulk of all items will come from finds, not purchase or enchantment. If the party disenchanted, on average, half their finds (all the common items by RC rules) they would be able to convert that into the enchanting of 2 more level 5 common items, or possibly the purchase of one level 6 item. Naturally all this assumes the PCs have ZERO other expenses, and both rituals and consumables will be competing for that cash.

One can easily see that NOW AND THEN a party might sell/disenchant and then purchase/enchant something, and they might enchant an item now and then from cash income, but the game is pretty restrictive about this kind of thing! By design there are few items to be purchased or made, and many out there to be found. Selling will be reasonably common, but generally a level 5 party would be parting with items of levels 1-4. A level 4 item will only bring 168GP, useful if you have no reason to keep the item around, but only a modest source of income.

I'd also note that in RC's system rarity means PCs can NEVER purchase/enchant anything but a very very limited repertoire of items (basically vanilla items and a very few low power items of other types, generic stuff). A generous GM might allow for ways to create more interesting items at times, but by RAW they can only be found or possibly made by very specialized and rare NPCs. All things considered purchase/enchantment basically, at least in RC rules, are a stopgap that allows a PC to be equipped with a vanilla version of a necessary weapon, implement, armor, or neck item, required to meet basic bonus expectations for their level. I'd think that any GMs still running 4e at this point are using inherent bonus anyway, so even that is fairly questionable. Your characters are probably just as well off using their cash to throw drinking parties and horde ritual components.
Well I ran 4e 2017-18 without Inherent Bonuses, it worked ok.

Generally (leaving aside RC & using PHB/DMG) I'd say item purchase & enchantment is something that happens in Paragon & Epic Tiers, when PCs typically have enough cash to do so. And enchantment is much more common than purchase unless the GM is allowing free purchase at 100% rather than 110-140%, or for some reason no one has the Enchant Item ritual. Tier II-III PCs probably have found all the stat boost items they need in a regular campaign, but may occasionally create/buy a stat boost item a few levels below their level. More common IME was purchase/craft of useful items that let you do stuff like see in the dark. A level 20 PC might buy/craft a useful level 10 item.

I think the original 4e system works ok - PCs typically find/are gifted items 1-4 levels above their level, while they purchase or craft items typically 5-10 levels below their level. Occasionally a group may pool resources to craft/buy an item of close to party level, or there may be a GM-determined special event where the PCs find a huge pile of treasure outside the normal reward system. I like how the latter does not break the game - a level 1 party that acquires several thousand gp in a treasure hoard, & has free purchase, is functionally the same as the GM allowing them a wish list of their level 1 (item level 2-5) items. This robustness was one of the things I always enjoyed about 4e. Of course it comes at the price of 4e items not being terribly exciting.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I know you have some mental health issues so I'm not too annoyed but I do get puzzled!
Mod Note:
Folks,

Just to be abundantly clear - digs at mental health are not acceptable. It will earn you a ticket out of the thread.
 
Well I ran 4e 2017-18 without Inherent Bonuses, it worked ok.
Sure, it works fine, was the original way of doing things... I just mean that, generally speaking, most people STILL playing 4e are into it for reasons that involve a real interest in/love for that system, and it is generally a little more interesting with inherent bonuses. Anyway, they have been pretty popular for years.
Generally (leaving aside RC & using PHB/DMG) I'd say item purchase & enchantment is something that happens in Paragon & Epic Tiers, when PCs typically have enough cash to do so. And enchantment is much more common than purchase unless the GM is allowing free purchase at 100% rather than 110-140%, or for some reason no one has the Enchant Item ritual. Tier II-III PCs probably have found all the stat boost items they need in a regular campaign, but may occasionally create/buy a stat boost item a few levels below their level. More common IME was purchase/craft of useful items that let you do stuff like see in the dark. A level 20 PC might buy/craft a useful level 10 item.
There is really, mathematically, very little difference between DMG1 and RC in parcel value and distribution. I only chose to use it in my analysis since it forms the most updated version of the rules. Total parcel value and ratio of magic to treasure is pretty much identical between them. Yes, there are some items which are useful to PCs of any level and don't decline in value. These are often the best and most frequent targets for production/purchase. Still, there are only so many such items out there. More importantly, if you don't use the RC parcels and rarity rules then you shouldn't use the RC rules on daily item uses (it is all a big package). In that case most of the items you refer to become MUCH MUCH less valuable, as they suddenly require fairly rare and valuable daily use slots which players are loathe to expend on fairly minor effects! This is what was wrong with the whole system, it discouraged the use of these interesting, but not critical, items. Not to say they NEVER see use, but there's a reason to only make items of this ilk MUCH lower than your level, they're cheap and you can carry a lot of them in the hopes one comes in handy. The alternative is to master a lot of rituals, or buy a lot of consumables (though neither of those options can reproduce all the desirable powers).

I think the original 4e system works ok - PCs typically find/are gifted items 1-4 levels above their level, while they purchase or craft items typically 5-10 levels below their level. Occasionally a group may pool resources to craft/buy an item of close to party level, or there may be a GM-determined special event where the PCs find a huge pile of treasure outside the normal reward system. I like how the latter does not break the game - a level 1 party that acquires several thousand gp in a treasure hoard, & has free purchase, is functionally the same as the GM allowing them a wish list of their level 1 (item level 2-5) items. This robustness was one of the things I always enjoyed about 4e. Of course it comes at the price of 4e items not being terribly exciting.
Again, I think post-RC items ARE more interesting, potentially. The system could have been better had it been really polished from the start is all. It is a very robust and self-correcting system. Even if you gave out a HUGE treasure 5 levels higher than normal, it would simply fade into insignificance in 8 levels or so and the game would really barely change at all. We need only recall the term "Monty Haul" to recall that previous systems had no such characteristic! lol.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
This is what was wrong with the whole system, it discouraged the use of these interesting, but not critical, items.
If they are interesting but not critical I actually suggest enabling the healing surge in place of the item daily for that item or removing the restriction for that item specifically I do not see that I see ham handed design with rares being selected for tradition etc
 
If they are interesting but not critical I actually suggest enabling the healing surge in place of the item daily for that item or removing the restriction for that item specifically I do not see that I see ham handed design with rares being selected for tradition etc
It is actually a pretty sticky design problem. There are MANY examples of items which are fairly innocuous, until you have a dozen of them. I'd have to go back through some of the old examples, but the problem is fairly thorny in a surprising number of cases. Numerous items that fall into the "it doesn't really matter what level this is" category. Remember the problems with the Healing Potion? Its rather the same sort of thing.
 
Well I ran 4e 2017-18 without Inherent Bonuses, it worked ok.
Generally (leaving aside RC & using PHB/DMG) I'd say item purchase & enchantment is something that happens in Paragon & Epic Tiers, when PCs typically have enough cash to do so. And enchantment is much more common than purchase unless the GM is allowing free purchase at 100% rather than 110-140%, or for some reason no one has the Enchant Item ritual.
I'm not sure where I got the impression make/buy were both at 100%, but the markup on the latter seems unanimous, so I guess it must be somewhere. It does make a certain 4th level ritual a big deal, though. :🤷:
Tier II-III PCs probably have found all the stat boost items they need in a regular campaign, but may occasionally create/buy a stat boost item a few levels below their level.
Stat boost items?
More common IME was purchase/craft of useful items that let you do stuff like see in the dark. A level 20 PC might buy/craft a useful level 10 item.
I think the original 4e system works ok - PCs typically find/are gifted items 1-4 levels above their level, while they purchase or craft items typically 5-10 levels below their level. Occasionally a group may pool resources to craft/buy an item of close to party level, or there may be a GM-determined special event where the PCs find a huge pile of treasure outside the normal reward system. I like how the latter does not break the game - a level 1 party that acquires several thousand gp in a treasure hoard, & has free purchase, is functionally the same as the GM allowing them a wish list of their level 1 (item level 2-5) items. This robustness was one of the things I always enjoyed about 4e. Of course it comes at the price of 4e items not being terribly exciting.
It certainly works as a game. And I guess it's not as bad as I was thinking as far as implying an economy at odds with the PoL theme is concerned.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Stat boost items?
Agreed huh? Perhaps thinking 3e?
You could make a quasi - stat boost item that created an enhancement bonus (hence it would not combine with a weapon bonus ) + item bonus to appropriate skill and raw stat roll bonus.
I have considered making a true Giant Strength Girdle (STR) OR Ring of the Earth Gods. (CON) since they feature only 1 skill a piece that is an item bonus to attribute check and 1 skill check and an Enhancement bonus to Attack Damage. It might be 2 or 3 items worth. With one of the 3 being a Primary item.
 
Agreed huh? Perhaps thinking 3e?
You could make a quasi - stat boost item that created an enhancement bonus (hence it would not combine with a weapon bonus ) + item bonus to appropriate skill and raw stat roll bonus.
I have considered making a true Giant Strength Girdle (STR) OR Ring of the Earth Gods. (CON) since they feature only 1 skill a piece that is an item bonus to attribute check and 1 skill check and an Enhancement bonus to Attack Damage. It might be 2 or 3 items worth. With one of the 3 being a Primary item.
I think the problem was well-known with this type of item, that it becomes effectively mandatory since it would offer a path to an increased bonus which cannot really happen any other way (although somewhat lesser versions would become obsolete due to ASIs the bad part is that they would be really good on secondary and tertiary stats!).
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I think the problem was well-known with this type of item, that it becomes effectively mandatory since it would offer a path to an increased bonus which cannot really happen any other way
Well I just partially elaborated a way ;) it involves "named bonuses" - enhancement bonuses and item bonuses and similar. Remember if you have a game with inherent bonuses and they pick up a weapon with higher enhancement bonus than they have inherent you get the weapon enhancement bonus or vice versa depending on which is higher.
 
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Voadam

Adventurer
If I had to justify it to players though, I'd say to look at the post-Soviet economies where there was no functional civilian industry but you could have all the rusty AKs you wanted at fire sale prices: the war is over, the civilization consumed itself trying to win it, and farmers are going to be rooting +1 Flaming Longswords out of fallow fields for the next 10 generations.

This leaves you with a plausible setup for an economy where there's a glut of low-grade magical war items on the market (i.e. "within a few days of travel if you've got the leisure time to do that") even though the economy produces little for trade but clothes and food, which is a decent description of the magical item setup in the PHB.
This works pretty well coneptually with the 4e default last human empire having ended by being overrun by gnolls and the previous dragonborn and tiefling superpower empires having ended in all out high magic war. Wars require putting resources into weapons so it makes sense they would have made as many as they could particularly as things turned worse.
 
Well I just partially elaborated a way ;) it involves "named bonuses" - enhancement bonuses and item bonuses and similar. Remember if you have a game with inherent bonuses and they pick up a weapon with higher enhancement bonus than they have inherent you get the weapon enhancement bonus or vice versa depending on which is higher.
Right. Although I would note that 4e turned out to be fairly poor at managing bonus stacking in the end. Bonus stacking control also paradoxically leads to 'meaningless' items in that you always get the full stack of bonuses 'somehow' (4e detractors often call it the 'treadmill' but it is not at all unique to 4e).
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Right. Although I would note that 4e turned out to be fairly poor at managing bonus stacking in the end.
Compared to what?

Bonus stacking control also paradoxically leads to 'meaningless' items in that you always get the full stack of bonuses 'somehow'
That somehow being different flavor is presentation (4e makes underlying numbers explicit )
Anything perceived as required is also exactly not meaningless so eh...
That said perhaps something-role - like needs to affect item effects too...hence having expected and meaningful variations within a range. Keeping heros within a range of effectiveness for their level is useful for challenging them with generic things like purchased adventures and the like... its also about having level be meaningful rather like how you have people leveling up for "significant" items. ->similar function different presentation.

Roles allow expected variations within an over all contribution by balancing things around different parameters... the striker doing a lot more damage than the defender is distinct.
 
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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
The thing is I see item importance or not importance in fiction to be character specific ... that is the inherent to the hero vs external to the hero variation not the actual divergence. Excalibur allowing arthur to blind enemies or bend them to his will is item centered ability Lancelot berserkergang is self derived.

Does this feat occur because of my magic item or does it occur because of my heroic awesome? Characters need to be within a range of ability and so they all have about the same number of feats regardless.

Speaking of economy and presentation. One of the reasons I like my abstraction of Karma points for wealth... it can allow as little or much physical wealth to be granted as feels actualy appropriate to the situation while keeping "treasure" parcels under the hood consistent.

In old terms its no more valuable at a general level to rescue the princess than it is the peasant... in social terms its different at presentation level its different... but in terms of game economy the two are rewarded much the same.
 

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