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

Tony Vargas

Legend
Compared to what?
Compared to the beginning. At first, there weren't a lot of untyped bonuses flying around. Powers granted power bonuses, Feats granted feat bonuses, items granted item bonuses, Enhancement/Inherent bonuses were baked in, circumstantial combat bonuses were mostly folded into CA.
"in the end" expertise feat taxes, other feats, items, powers, more items, and whatnot were throwing around untyped uber-stacking bonuses like candy to force significance in lieu of being interesting in their own right, and thus guarantee that anyone who picks 'em up is "just better."
 
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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Compared to the beginning. At first, there weren't a lot of untyped bonuses flying around. Powers granted power bonuses, Feats granted feat bonuses, items granted item bonuses, Enhancement/Inherent bonuses were baked in, circumstantial combat bonuses were mostly folded into CA.
Ah... yes compared to with cruft added.

"in the end" expertise feat taxes,
Bah strip the numbers off and some of those are cool.

in lieu of being interesting in their own right
I continue to assert that story is what really makes items interesting and I am starting to think Abduls idea of putting maneuvers (or techniques) as learned and discovered things in the story just like spells were... is not only a massive throw back but more interesting as time goes by - that said player agency of just being able to choose the feats/powers etc that you have is pretty important in some ways too, juggling act. I guess letting / ensuring the player chooses the story works for some of that.
 
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Compared to what?


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.
What I mean is, we replaced enhancement bonus with an inherent bonus, because the idea that 'magic items made you better' was meaningless in a system where there was a fixed expected bonus at a given level. The items were meaningless, they only existed to convey an expected game benefit.
I'm not against expected ranges of values, but OTOH it has an impact on the flavor of the game!
 

Ah... yes compared to with cruft added.


Bah strip the numbers off and some of those are cool.


I continue to assert that story is what really makes items interesting and I am starting to think Abduls idea of putting maneuvers (or techniques) as learned and discovered things in the story just like spells were... is not only a massive throw back but more interesting as time goes by - that said player agency of just being able to choose the feats/powers etc that you have is pretty important in some ways too, juggling act. I guess letting / ensuring the player chooses the story works for some of that.
The way I see it, if the GM and players are engaging in something along the lines of the @pemerton (ian) story building exercise, these things will 'just work' as I intend. That is they will be a story-building element used by the whole group together. Honestly, you can be a perfectly 'classic' DM and do this, and many an AD&D campaign was run in this sort of fashion where the loot was pretty much determined by where the players decided to go to find it (and they were cognizant of the choices).
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
What I mean is, we replaced enhancement bonus with an inherent bonus, because the idea that 'magic items made you better' was meaningless
I like level being meaningful... which is it? Not sure you can have items that are not geared in without level being turned into meaingless fluff, like it was in AD&D
 
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I don't think level was 'meaningless fluff' in AD&D at all. In fact, it wasn't THAT much different in meaning than in 4e, mostly it signified a transition in the thematics and flavor of the game, though that was partly accomplished by a change in the numbers.
 

sabrinathecat

Explorer
I just made it so that if a character had an item, when s/he leveled up to the next level version of the item, it leveled up as well. I.E. if they had a lvl5 +1 Radiant Weapon, it became +2 at level 10 unless they wanted a completely different item--then they had to find it. Heroic Gauntlets of Blood became Paragon Gauntlets of blood when the character made lvl14. Sometimes people changed. Sometimes I'd throw a different item into the mix to see if they wanted it. When it came time to looting dragon hordes or wealthy fey baron's treasuries, I'd say something like "You each get a lvl 15 item, and 3 heroic items" just so they'd find some oddball stuff. Sometimes I'd limit it to "3 heroic wonderous items". Or just "11k gp of non-magical equipment", but they had to be able to carry it or use some of it to carry the rest. Oh, and there were only so many carts, wagons, carriages, coaches, or charriots.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I don't think level was 'meaningless fluff' in AD&D at all. In fact, it wasn't THAT much different in meaning than in 4e,
Ask the level 12 thief and the level 10 wizard which had more impact... then add an artifact potent item to the 9th level fighter and a stingy list of spells that missed the most powerful ones to the caster... it very much could be fluff but whatever. Level did not really mean relative power between characters and in a monty haul campaign it meant nothing like in another conservative game. No it was very close to meaningless both because of classes not really being balanced and because of capriciousness in magic items (which included what spells the mages knew) and magic items potentially making massive significance in power.
A DM on here commented that giving a Holy Avenger weapon to a paladin at level 6 was entirely within scope since most campaigns only went to name level or so... blink blink.

Point being - You end up needing some separate measure of character power if you want to not correlate gear with level.... then what meaning is level if you need to compute something else to measure power?
 
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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
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. :🤷:
A level 4 practice for finding contacts to better sell exotic things which allowed 100 percent return would seem appropriate wouldn't it.
 

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