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D&D 5E Sane Magic Item Prices

Saidoro

Explorer
The magic item price rules have been compiled into an excellent pdf by Inconnunom.

Let's talk about flying items. There are a few items which give the ability to fly in the 5e DMG. Among the first I came across were the Winged Boots and the Broom of Flying. The Boots give a fly speed equal to your walking speed for 4 hours per day divisible into 1 minute chunks while the broom gives you a flat 50 foot fly speed all day long, decreasing to 30 feet if you are particularly heavy. Both are clearly very powerful, if you've got two sides in a combat one of which can fly and one of which can't the flying side has a huge advantage. If the other side also has no good ranged attacks the flying team more or less wins automatically. Yet both the Boots and the Broom are uncommon, they only cost 500 gold, pretty much any adventurer who decides they want one should be able to get their hands on one if they really want to.

Right under the Winged Boots are the Wings of Flying. The Wings give you a fly speed of 60 feet for one hour but then require a 1d12 hour cooldown period after each use before they can be activated again. Again, a pretty powerful item, but probably less useful than either the Broom or the Boots for most practical purposes. The higher move speed will occasionally pay off, but usually the ability to fly whenever you want will win out in terms of practical utility. At most, it's definitely not better than either the Broom or the Boots. The Wings of Flying are a rare item. They are worth 5,000 gold, 10 times what the boots or broom are worth.

The next item I found was the boots of levitation. These boots let you use levitate as the spell at will. Levitate moves you straight up or down only. It can never move you more than 20 feet off the ground or more than 20 feet up or down at a time. It has a similar weight limit to the Broom. It consumes your Concentration slot. You can't use it for longer than 10 minutes on end without returning to the ground. The boots of levitation are rare items. They are worth 5,000 gold, just like the Wings of Flying. 10 times more than the Winged Boots or the Broom.

The next item I found was the potion of flying. The potion of flying gives a fly speed equal to your walk speed the same as the Winged Boots do. It lasts one hour like the Wings of Flying, and can only be used once ever. The potion of flying is Very Rare. It is worth 50,000. 100 times what an item that gives precisely the same effect 4 times every single day forever does.

When the red mists had receded and I was once again able to speak in words other than the incoherent babblings of a shattered mind, I set about fixing this clear and present lunacy masquerading as legitimate rules text.

The fixed prices are located here. Please comment either here or there telling me what you think, if I've blatantly miscalculated the value of an item I'd like to know about it.
 
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Very rare items range in price from 5,001gp to 50,000. The differ in price between rare wings and the very rare potion might be only 1gp.

And flying is also hardly auto-win. Melee PCs still have to be close enough to hit, so flying isn't of any combat advantage safe avoiding terrain. To a ranged character flying helps, but they'd likely be far out of melee range anyway (and behind a tank) so whether they're touching the ground or not is often irrelevant.
 

Saidoro

Explorer
Very rare items range in price from 5,001gp to 50,000. The differ in price between rare wings and the very rare potion might be only 1gp.

And flying is also hardly auto-win. Melee PCs still have to be close enough to hit, so flying isn't of any combat advantage safe avoiding terrain. To a ranged character flying helps, but they'd likely be far out of melee range anyway (and behind a tank) so whether they're touching the ground or not is often irrelevant.

The price to craft a very rare item and the base price upon selling a very rare item are 50,000. While it's presented as a range, the claim that it actually is one is just flat-out incorrect.

And sure, a single melee focused character may not automatically win all fights as a result of being able to fly. (Though they'd still get a massive advantage with the ability to start out of reach, move into reach to attack twice, and then move back out of reach in the same turn.) But any character at all with the ability to fly and at least one ranged attack gains the ability to singlehandedly defeat any opponent who cannot fly or make ranged attacks, which is quite a fair number of them (any beast, any giant bug, a whole bunch of monstrosities). And anyone flying and focusing on ranged attacks can generally beat most encounters made of creatures which have ranged attacks, but not strong ones. And if the whole party can fly those sorts of encounters just become trivial.
 

Zaran

Adventurer
Very rare items range in price from 5,001gp to 50,000. The differ in price between rare wings and the very rare potion might be only 1gp.

And flying is also hardly auto-win. Melee PCs still have to be close enough to hit, so flying isn't of any combat advantage safe avoiding terrain. To a ranged character flying helps, but they'd likely be far out of melee range anyway (and behind a tank) so whether they're touching the ground or not is often irrelevant.

Even if they were the same price, it's still a consumable that is lost while the boots of flying are not.

Saidoro, I think you just need to ignore those prices and come up with something that makes sense. The DMG was made last and it has Mearls level inconsistencies. For one thing, consumable items are probably no where near the cost to buy or create but are still have the same rarity as permanent items. As for the other items. Just boost what items you think are more powerful to the next category.
 


ninjayeti

Adventurer
they only cost 500 gold, pretty much any adventurer who decides they want one should be able to get their hands on one if they really want to.

Except 5E does away with the idea that magic items are a simple commodity that can be easily bought and sold. If you don't want your players to have a given item ... don't make it available. There is certainly no reason players should be comparison shopping between a half dozen flying items trying to decide which is most cost efficient way to "auto win".

Obviously you can decide that magic items are more commonly available in your campaign than is the norm - but you are also free to decide that the prices reflect your evaluation of the items power.
 
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Fanaelialae

Legend
The price to craft a very rare item and the base price upon selling a very rare item are 50,000. While it's presented as a range, the claim that it actually is one is just flat-out incorrect.

Actually, all it means is that the craft/sell price isn't directly based on the buy price, but rather on the rarity. Personally, I'd simply ignore the DMG and base them on the buy price. The buy price is quite clearly a range.

And if the whole party can fly those sorts of encounters just become trivial.

This is one of those prime examples of why magic marts can be a bad idea. (Which is not the same as never allowing the players to buy magic items.) You should control what is available. If a GM lets everyone in the party buy a Broom of Flying, then what happens as a result is on him. It would be no different than if a slain dragon's horde contained a Broom of Flying for every member of the party. On the other hand, if there are only two flying items available in that part of the campaign world (whether as treasure or for sale), then suddenly it becomes much harder to break the game with flight.

Having one or two items that can confer flight is fine. The wizard in my campaign has a Broom of Flying, and it hasn't caused any issues. It's true, there are some encounters where he's not threatened at all, but the same can't be said for the rest of the party. And there are plenty of encounters where I can challenge him just fine using ranged attackers and flying creatures. Particularly in the case of flying creatures, flight can actually become a hindrance since the warriors in the party can't get to him to interpose themselves while he's in the sky.
 

Saidoro

Explorer
Except 5E does away with the idea that magic items are a simple commodity that can be easily bought and sold. If you don't want your players to have a given item ... don't make it available. There is certainly no reason players should be comparison shopping between a half dozen flying items trying to decide which is most cost efficient way to "auto win".


Obviously you can decide that magic items are more commonly available in your campaign than is the norm - but you are also free to decide that the prices reflect your evaluation of the items power.


Let's put it this way: Players can sell magic items. It's really impossible to remove that capability from them without removing every single intelligent NPC they ever interact with. When players sell a broom of flying, they get 500(ish) gold. By contrast, when they sell a suit of plate mail they get 750 gold. This is obviously absurd. If you want to go out of your way to prevent your players from getting their hands on magic items that's your business and I say as much in the readme, but any world where you're using the prices in the DMG for ANYTHING is an absurd one. Furthermore, not every GM is going to be great at evaluating what the items they're tossing around are going to do to the party's power level, and these prices can give a rough guideline. Finally, let's say that your PCs meet someone else with a magic item. Now obviously, in your setting magic items are much too valuable to be sold for gold, but equally obviously that does absolutely nothing to stop people swapping magic items with each other like trading cards if they both want to. Given that world, do you think anyone will EVER trade a broom of flying for a potion of flying? If no, why is the potion 50 times more valuable if you do ​try to turn it into gold and if yes, why?
 
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Saidoro

Explorer
Having one or two items that can confer flight is fine. The wizard in my campaign has a Broom of Flying, and it hasn't caused any issues. It's true, there are some encounters where he's not threatened at all, but the same can't be said for the rest of the party. And there are plenty of encounters where I can challenge him just fine using ranged attackers and flying creatures. Particularly in the case of flying creatures, flight can actually become a hindrance since the warriors in the party can't get to him to interpose themselves while he's in the sky.

In those encounters where the wizard is not threatened, why does the wizard not just tell everyone else to leave while he handles things? I know exactly why he doesn't do that from an OOC standpoint, but from an IC tactical one the party is just making a horrible decision by putting people at risk when they don't need to be.
 

pming

Hero
Hiya!
[MENTION=6704530]Saidoro[/MENTION], are you taking into account anything other than "in combat how effective would this be"? If you are, then ok, off you go. :) If you aren't, then you are only half-way there.

For example, there is the whole "attunement" thing. That's a pretty big one. Also, if you rule that potions that duplicate spells follow the same Concentration restrictions; that makes a big difference. Additionally, say, the Broom of Flying; easy enough to just rule that when you are flying it, you need to have both hands firmly grasping it to control and steer it, and/or you need to Concentrate. POOF! No more casting spells with Concentration requirement, or Somatic requirements, no shooting bows, etc; basically, its a means of transportation. Period.

Of course, my "fixes" are only needed if it's a problem in a game to begin with. In my game, it's not. I think in the 10 (?) months we've been playing (me DM'ing every single game), my players have found a grand total of about 6 magic items. I think there was a cloak, a staff, a dagger, and a couple of potions. Lack of magic items hasn't made a lick of difference.

That said, I took a look at your price list. If you want to do the whole "Magick Shoppe" thing for your campaign, it looks like you at least have a good solid base price list that you are happy with. It is much more detailed than that in the DMG, so it should be easy for you to adjust as needed much easier. The only thing I'd look into is the spell-scrolls and potions; they seem a bit cheap, overall. A spellcaster being able to spend a few hundred (or thousand) gold to permanently increase his spell-count in his spellbook is a huge thing.

^_^

Paul L. Ming
 

Fanaelialae

Legend
In those encounters where the wizard is not threatened, why does the wizard not just tell everyone else to leave while he handles things? I know exactly why he doesn't do that from an OOC standpoint, but from an IC tactical one the party is just making a horrible decision by putting people at risk when they don't need to be.

Because monsters typically don't stand by idly while the rest of the party strolls away? Because if the wizard could do that, and a flying/ranged enemy showed up during the encounter, the wizard would be toast without the party's support? It's not uncommon in my games for the noise of combat to attract additional attention.

Final answer: because the wizard isn't suicidal. ;)
 

Saidoro

Explorer
For example, there is the whole "attunement" thing. That's a pretty big one. Also, if you rule that potions that duplicate spells follow the same Concentration restrictions; that makes a big difference. Additionally, say, the Broom of Flying; easy enough to just rule that when you are flying it, you need to have both hands firmly grasping it to control and steer it, and/or you need to Concentrate. POOF! No more casting spells with Concentration requirement, or Somatic requirements, no shooting bows, etc; basically, its a means of transportation. Period.

Of course, my "fixes" are only needed if it's a problem in a game to begin with. In my game, it's not. I think in the 10 (?) months we've been playing (me DM'ing every single game), my players have found a grand total of about 6 magic items. I think there was a cloak, a staff, a dagger, and a couple of potions. Lack of magic items hasn't made a lick of difference.

That said, I took a look at your price list. If you want to do the whole "Magick Shoppe" thing for your campaign, it looks like you at least have a good solid base price list that you are happy with. It is much more detailed than that in the DMG, so it should be easy for you to adjust as needed much easier. The only thing I'd look into is the spell-scrolls and potions; they seem a bit cheap, overall. A spellcaster being able to spend a few hundred (or thousand) gold to permanently increase his spell-count in his spellbook is a huge thing.

The problem is, that's not actually how the broom of flying works. The broom of flying doesn't even require attunement, and there's nothing in its rules text to suggest that it particularly requires either use of your hands or your concentration, at least no more so than doing anything in combat does. Yes, you CAN apply these sorts of spot patches to every magic item in the game, but by the time you're doing that , you aren't really saving any effort over what I've done.

Still, if you're having fun without really interacting with magic items in any bigger way that's fine too. :)

Yeah, I'm thinking of tweaking the scroll prices a bit. I'm not sure that adding to the spellbook is really a huge deal given that cleric is a thing, but the lower end ones are seeming a bit to common on further inspection.
 

brehobit

Explorer
Answer: much of the item rarity stuff is messed up. Just ignore it. And I _think_ consumables are priced via a different table. Otherwise they are really really messed up.

Also, the items in this edition feel fairly flat. Less flat than 4e, more than 3e. They just aren't all that cool in description or power. 1e is still the best at having cool items that don't have all the crunch but are cool.
 

Hussar

Legend
This might be a holdover from 3e. Both broom of flying and winged boots in 3e are the same price (well 16k and 17k) while Wings of flying are 54 k. Considering the item descriptions are almost word for word the same from 3e, it appears that that's what they went with.

Funny enough, despite being exactly the same in 3e, they weren't a problem.
 

fuindordm

First Post
I've noticed these discrepancies too, but after combing through the magic item list and trying to build a more sensible price table, I came to the conclusion that there weren't too many things that needed adjusting. I did divide each rarity range into three prices, and flag some items as being at the high or low end.

Anyway, items that give flight were definitely the category that needed the most adjustment, and it's ridiculous that two of them were only uncommon rarity. Here's the list I came up with:

Boots of Levitation (rare -- low) 1000 gp
Broom of Flying (rare -- high) 5000 gp
Carpet of Flying (very rare -- medium) 25,000 gp
Cloak of the Bat (rare -- medium) 2500 gp
Winged Boots (rare -- medium) 2500 gp
Wings of Flying (rare -- low) 1000 gp
 

Saidoro

Explorer
This might be a holdover from 3e. Both broom of flying and winged boots in 3e are the same price (well 16k and 17k) while Wings of flying are 54 k. Considering the item descriptions are almost word for word the same from 3e, it appears that that's what they went with.

Funny enough, despite being exactly the same in 3e, they weren't a problem.

Well, apart from that thing where in 3.5 everyone started flying around like superheroes all the time past level 10 or so. Either way, "3.5 made this mistake first and we grandfather it in" isn't a convincing reason for this sort of silliness.
 

SkidAce

Hero
Well, apart from that thing where in 3.5 everyone started flying around like superheroes all the time past level 10 or so. Either way, "3.5 made this mistake first and we grandfather it in" isn't a convincing reason for this sort of silliness.

I didn't see this problem IME. Likely because we edited the magic items list. Not everything in the book existed in the world, and even if a particular thing did exist, we had to discover it in character.
 

vandaexpress

First Post
I can see why the OP chose to bump up the rarity. In my experience, one item that made me scratch my head in WTFness was the Doss Lute under instrument of the bards. I recently awarded one to my party, but I treat it as a higher rarity level because even if it's the weakest of the bardic instruments, there is no way it's in the same league as a wand of detect magic. Disadvantage to resist charm, fly, invisibility, and a slew of other spells... Uncommon? Okay....
 

The price to craft a very rare item and the base price upon selling a very rare item are 50,000. While it's presented as a range, the claim that it actually is one is just flat-out incorrect.
Ignoring the optional crafting section, yes, they do have a range. The crafting section likely went high to semi-discourage crafting, but for a campaign with more magic the middle or lower values can easily be swapped in.

And the crafting rules are a little... light. The cost of making a consumable shouldn't be as high as making a permanent magic item. That's a pretty annoying omission.

And sure, a single melee focused character may not automatically win all fights as a result of being able to fly. (Though they'd still get a massive advantage with the ability to start out of reach, move into reach to attack twice, and then move back out of reach in the same turn.)
While provoking an Opportunity Attack for leaving a creature's reach.
And also leaving the creature free to go attack allies.

But any character at all with the ability to fly and at least one ranged attack gains the ability to singlehandedly defeat any opponent who cannot fly or make ranged attacks, which is quite a fair number of them (any beast, any giant bug, a whole bunch of monstrosities). And anyone flying and focusing on ranged attacks can generally beat most encounters made of creatures which have ranged attacks, but not strong ones. And if the whole party can fly those sorts of encounters just become trivial.
But the game is not played solo. There's an entire party at the table. If the monster can't attack one, it moves after another. While the flying rogue is untouchable, he'd be just as untouchable behind the cleric.

If the whole party can fly the DM - who gave out 3+ flying items - deserves what they get.

Still, I've played a fair bit of high level Pathfinder where everyone is flying and half the minis are on dice boxes to denote elevation and it wasn't a huge problem. Some encounters they slapped around, but that's okay. Not every fight has to be a gritty fight to the death. And at that level, most monsters do have a ranged option. And many fights were in a dungeon with low ceilings, or against large creatures with lots o' reach, so flying didn't impact the power much

Even if they were the same price, it's still a consumable that is lost while the boots of flying are not.
The price of consumables is a little funky. A price adjustment (x.25 or something) should be all that's needed. Still only a problem with using the optional crafting rules or buying, which won't affect many games. The fact a potion of flying is unusually expensive doesn't matter when you find it in a dragon hoard.
 

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