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D&D 5E Sane Magic Item Prices

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
You realize that if he did ignore you... then he wouldn't be able to see your post here calling him out.
LOL Not laughing at you, just the confusion of terms. I said he ignored me, not that he put me on ignore. :p

He asked me for numbers and when I did, rather than discuss with me like a person should, he selected the one price that he felt(wrongly) was weak and attacked my pricing on it, ignoring all of the others. That was his purpose for asking for examples. He demonstrated his bad faith, so I won't be providing him with future examples if he asks.
 

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Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Now, I'd like to talk about why the community, DnD and ENworld, seems to have this idea that any form of making money that does not explicitly involve going on an adventure is bad. Why it ruins the game. Why it needs to be stopped on every front.
I'm pretty sure I at least already answered this, but will gladly do so again because the answer is very short:

Because it is - or very quickly becomes - boring.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
1: Because it does lead to "3e ish" desire from the PCs to buy their own magical items.
Only if the price list is player-side info. I posit it should be - must be - DM-only, for a variety of reasons of which your point is one.
1a: The existence of a price list is a rational conclusion that a magical item market (shops, regular auctions, guild mandated price, something) exist. Otherwise, how were the prices determined, in world? Value is determined by something, and that something is usually the market. I'm in a home right now. I could give you every detail of the home itself, and you would not be able to tell me its value... until you knew where the home was, then you could look up the market and see how much similar homes are being sold for in this part of town.

1b: Therefore, players will rationally conclude that such conditions exist.

1c: However, it is highly questionable that the existence of such a market does make sense. After all... who's paying for these magical items? Who keeps a price list?
A simple way of putting together a price list is to start by asking what it would cost to have this item commissioned and made. What would an artificer charge you. That's your baseline. On top of that you can - if you want - add on factors like demand, utility, rarity, etc.
2: Magical item pricing in this context is not a rational way to determine who should get what, item wise. If your party finds an axe +1, a pearl of power and a wand of fireball, and the party consists of a barbarian and a wizard... the wand and the pearl are worthless to the barbarian, but the axe she can use.
You've walked right into my number one reason why magic item pricing is essential: to make treasury division equitable and fair.

I'll pull some prices out of my hat here, but they're not far wrong:

Axe +1 - 2000
Pearl of Power - 10000
Wand of Fireballs (fully charged) - 6000

Total value 18000, meaning each of our two intrepid heroes should expect to see 9000 worth come out of this. So the Barbie gets the axe, with Wiz gets the wand, and maybe the Pearl has to be sold with the proceeds divided such that each ends up with their 9000 in total value.

Otherwise, the Barbarian here is going to get hella ripped off.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
So, it sounds like you don't want to be part of the solution. Duly noted.
Has anyone made any significant effort to a "solution"? I posted what I do a while back. You have what the OP posted.

Any price list will be largely arbitrary. 🤷‍♂️
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
The risk makes the reward earned. This is a game. Games come with challenges to succeed and get the rewards. For combat, the reward is experience and often treasure. For downtime, the challenge is a random range of money and for some, possibly loss of money, established by random roll.

It's also not just about risk. Amount is also a part. Obviously an orc is a risk to a level 1 adventurer. If he kills an orc and gets 10 million gold, it's going to break things pretty badly. That's why the amount of treasure found is tied directly to the CR of the challenge. There needs to be both risk and moderation(related to level) when it comes to money received.

And therefore we can't build business empires, play the rich kid who thinks money and fancy equipment can solve any problem...

See, this is a weird dichotomy. Because you are making Money the reward. It is Important.... and then we get complaints on spending it. You can't have a magic item marketplace to spend money on. You can't invest it in businesses. You have to find ways to "waste it" so that the party will go out and do the next adventure for a big reward of gold.... that then many DMs will tell you is worthless because it can't be used to do anything.

I'm not saying I agree with them, I can find uses for money as a DM and a player, but I clearly have to go outside of the expected rules to do so. While this is being presented as vitally important to the entire basis of the game. Money is why you adventure, because that is what you are risking your lives for. But if money isn't the point, if it isn't the goal... then it isn't the reward to the risk. It is... incidental. Who cares how much silver and gold the Orc Band was carrying, we didn't fight them for their money, we fought them to save the town where we live and our friends are. The money doesn't matter.

Sure it's nonsensical, and it's not my argument. They gave a range, because they felt rarity was the way to assess value(I disagree) and in order to encompass all of the varying degrees of power within a specific rarity, they had to go with a range and not a static number. They couldn't just say, "10,000g for any very rare item." If they did, it would fall apart since not all very rare items are worth the same amount of money.

But they could have just as easily said "10,000 gp for a flying carpet" and kept all the very rare items within the range. Instead they gave us a range and nothing else to work with. Which, is again, just causing issues for certain DMs who have no basis to figure out where in that massive range they should put the item.
 


Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I don't know what armor, amulet and gauntlets you are talking about, but I'll do the flight items and then be done. You aren't going to trick me into making your price list ;)

1. Winged Boots: 4 hours of flight that can be broken up into 240 one minute blocks, doesn't have to be carried around with bulk, like the carpet, doesn't have the same space issues the carpet has, but only for one person. 45K.

2. Wings of Flying: 1 hour of flight, but faster than the boots. Also just one person. 30k

3. Broom of Flying: bulkier than the two above. Doesn't allow much combat to happen as you have to balance yourself on a stick while you fight. Fighting on it is a great way to die from splat. Speed is in-between the two above. However, the flight is unlimited and the broom can be summoned to you from up to 1 mile away. No attunement. Still only 1 person. 35k.

4. Cloak of the Bat: 40 fly speed, but takes both of your hands and has to be in dim light or darkness, which greatly reduces its utility. You can polymorph into a bat, though, while in dim light or darkness and retain your mental stats. Unlimited night/dark flight. 25k.

5. Potion of Flying: 1 use for 1 hour at probably 30 speed. 2500.

6. Ring of Air Elemental Command: 100k It has much more than just flight, which is unlimited and not visibly the reason for the flight like the wings, broom, carpet and boots.
Your prices seem crazy-ass high even for me. :)

I'd put unlimited-use Winged Boots at about 20K. Anything with limits on use such as the Wings (which also don't work well in confined spaces) chops the price down a lot.

And flying brooms can usually carry a passenger plus the pilot - there's certainly space for one - unless the pilot is unusually heavy or overburdened. I seem to recall the payload limit for those things at least in 1e is something like 500 lb.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
It's not enough to meet the goal of this thread. If you don't want to contribute more than that, go make your own thread that's actually relevant to whatever it is that you want to accomplish... because it's not accomplishing adding to or revising the set price list of the original post.
So what in your view is the goal of the thread?

Surely you're not expecting us the posters to generate or rewrite the entire item price list...are you?
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
And therefore we can't build business empires, play the rich kid who thinks money and fancy equipment can solve any problem...
You can do whatever your DM allows you to. If you all want to play Business Empires and Loan Defaults, go for it. You can make the game whatever makes you happy. I'm just speaking to what the game has set up for downtime money earning. If you want to house rule that to be more, knock yourself out.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Your prices seem crazy-ass high even for me. :)
5e gives a lot of money. Hell, the price ranges in the DMG are outdated. If you look at Xanathar's magic items to buy as your downtime activity, you can spend as much as 300k on a legendary item. The asking price for legendary items is 2d6 x 25k.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
5e gives a lot of money.
This must be a recent development. :)

The 5e adventures I've seen/read are stingy to the extreme. All are fairly early-5e-era releases, though, so if the treasure's become more lucrative in recent releases I've missed it.
Hell, the price ranges in the DMG are outdated. If you look at Xanathar's magic items to buy as your downtime activity, you can spend as much as 300k on a legendary item. The asking price for legendary items is 2d6 x 25k.
High-end stuff is high-end stuff. I think if my item-generation program went nuts it could, in theory, spit out a suit of armour worth considerably north of a million g.p. using my pricing formulae.

Of course, with that much magic contained in one little suit of armour if it ever got destroyed the resulting explosion might resemble Krakatoa... :)
 

Azzy

KMF DM
So what in your view is the goal of the thread?
Ideally, to contact the original poster to see if they are willing to continue their project and accept feedback to revise and update the list. Failing that, either find another list that someone else has put together, or...

Surely you're not expecting us the posters to generate or rewrite the entire item price list...are you?
Well, we the posters are the only ones that available to take up the task. WotC obviously isn't going to do it, so it would have to be a community project.
 

This must be a recent development. :)

The 5e adventures I've seen/read are stingy to the extreme. All are fairly early-5e-era releases, though, so if the treasure's become more lucrative in recent releases I've missed it.
IME they somehow manage to find an even more extreme absence of coin as they progressed(especially after the AL treasure point debacle). Pretty much any encounter & most rooms can be assured to not have so much as a single copper or saleable trinket of trash to find except for a tiny handful (ie boss type monsters & maybe one hidden door you have little if any reason to look for). It winds up fostering this perverse vicious cycle of awful. Players feel compelled to metagame the locations so they can aim for what little non-quest completion coin/treasure with pinpoint laser accuracy rather than miss their one chance. Inexperienced GMs are left with no way to gain meaningful experience getting a feel for what reasonable treasure awards & how hidden is ok due to the seemingly telepathic ability of players to sniff out loot while ignoring dead ends with unerring accuracy.
 

Ideally, to contact the original poster to see if they are willing to continue their project and accept feedback to revise and update the list. Failing that, either find another list that someone else has put together, or
I did link to newer, better projects many posts ago. (nobody commented, so it probably got lost in the bickering). I'm not on a pc for most of the day, so won't be digging it up soon, but look for:
Blackball's Treasure (what I mostly use)
Magic Item Manual (from Wain Wright or something on DM's Guild)
Angry DM's crafting rules.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Only if the price list is player-side info. I posit it should be - must be - DM-only, for a variety of reasons of which your point is one.

A simple way of putting together a price list is to start by asking what it would cost to have this item commissioned and made. What would an artificer charge you. That's your baseline. On top of that you can - if you want - add on factors like demand, utility, rarity, etc.

You've walked right into my number one reason why magic item pricing is essential: to make treasury division equitable and fair.

I'll pull some prices out of my hat here, but they're not far wrong:

Axe +1 - 2000
Pearl of Power - 10000
Wand of Fireballs (fully charged) - 6000

Total value 18000, meaning each of our two intrepid heroes should expect to see 9000 worth come out of this. So the Barbie gets the axe, with Wiz gets the wand, and maybe the Pearl has to be sold with the proceeds divided such that each ends up with their 9000 in total value.

Otherwise, the Barbarian here is going to get hella ripped off.
But the sale price will not be as good on the pearl of power. The party as a whole is losing via these transactions.

(btw wands of fireball recharge themselves so the amount of charges left should not be a factor).
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
But the sale price will not be as good on the pearl of power. The party as a whole is losing via these transactions.
Not in my game. To get away from buy low sell high shenanigans I arbitrarily fix item prices at what they are. If you can buy a pearl of power for 10K you'll 99.5% likely be able to sell it for 10K, and if you then trip over another one later it'll also be priced at 10K.

Never mind that the party could always use the "sell" value as the item's in-treasury value, in a high-low system.
(btw wands of fireball recharge themselves so the amount of charges left should not be a factor).
Again, not in my game. Charges deplete; and unless time and money is spent on recharging (almost always a downtime activity only), when it's out, it's out.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
aaaal this being said, I think I'll outline the conditions under which items might be bought and sold and it would "make sense" in world.

In Yoon Suin, the Yellow City is a major port, and the only point of entry to the Purple Lands (aka Yoon Suin). The city is dominated by the slugmen, a somewhat long lived race who excel at magic - in theory, as many of them are bored hedonists. (the majority of the population are humans -essentially the slugmen houses are the nobility). The position of the city, not to mention local topaz mines, means that the average slugman is incredibly wealthy. (GDP is about 10 000 talents, or almost 68 million gp, I can show the math). The city is very old.

So amongst other things, slugmen collect magical items, and over the millennia they have accumulated many. They don't need them, but they like them. But from time to time, a slugman needs cash, and selling some of those items is a good way to do it.

So there is a quarterly auction. I roll for random magical items (the PCs can't pick and choose, usually about 6-10), and the PCs can also auction off items they don't want either. I randomly roll a selling price, and keep it secret, and the PCs put a max bid. If their max bid is above the price, they win the item (at the price rolled). If their max bid wasn't, they lose the auction.

This also allowed the PCs to socialized with "important people", which led to jobs, missions etc.

This set up avoided many of my misgivings about magical items shops - there is no guarantee that the PCs will get what they want. I feel that the random roll is very important.
 

That was his purpose for asking for examples
You know nothing of my purposes, so shut up.
I thanked you for your pricing, taking it into thought. I asked further into the shield (that you priced at 5K but kept referring to as 10K),because it made me question your insight into 5e. You showing you didn't grasp how the shield was very powerful for two handers just confirmed my suspicions.
Besides, you attacking me for not getting back to you on the flight items (which I did, if you bothered reading my posts) within 10 posts, is grand, considering you didn't get back to me before being prompted like 80 posts later (but maybe you didn't read the requesting post. Probably).

I won't be providing him with future examples if he asks
Don't worry, I won't.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
This set up avoided many of my misgivings about magical items shops - there is no guarantee that the PCs will get what they want. I feel that the random roll is very important.
Bingo! Sir, you have hit the jackpot! :)

Random determination of what's available for sale is crucial, and also kinda reflects how it likely would work in the setting. The way I see it, items for sale all probably come from some combination of a few sources:

Other adventuring parties (by far the most common source)
Estate sales
Artificers selling commissioned items that were never claimed
Artificers selling experiments (buyer beware!!!)
Wizard guilds (potions, scrolls, and spellbooks only, for the most part)

Whenever the PCs in my game get to any significant town they haven't visited for a while I get players clamouring for a "shopping list". I then do a bit of quick dice-rolling to give me an idea of how many items are for sale, after which it's Excel spreadsheets to the rescue: within a few seconds I can generate a weighted-random* list X items long, where X is the number of things my dice tell me are available at the moment, from a rather gargantuan items list that's being expanded all the time. A really big shopping list in a large city might have as many as 30 items, but that's unusual.

This list can also include cursed and-or useless items; and rather than just hand the list to the players I read out what's on it (and, if relevant, who's selling it), and once in a rare while they'll get ripped off by buying a cursed item or something that isn't what was advertised.

* - by this I mean the odds are set such that low-magic or common items (e.g. potions, scrolls, +1 whatevers) will in theory turn up much more frequently than high-magic or rare/exotic items. For example, the odds of a +1 Longsword being on a list are way way way higher than the odds of a +5 Longsword; while the odds of a +5 Trident are even lower as trident is a less common weapon than longsword.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
You showing you didn't grasp how the shield was very powerful for two handers just confirmed my suspicions.
I did show it....................in the price. You thinking that a normal range of AC was broken and warranted some super high price just showed you don't know what bounded accuracy is about. The two handed PC is doing that damage regardless of the shield. The shield just moves him up into a completely normal range of AC, which is a boon, but not the fantastic thing you make it out to be.

Edit: I checked and you never said a word to me about my pricing other than to attack me. You did thank Lanefan at one point.
 
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