log in or register to remove this ad

 

D&D 5E Sane Magic Item Prices

Chaosmancer

Legend
Sorry, I thought you were talking about large hoards. Page 38 of the DMG doesn't agree with you on gold by the way. Nor do these players who worked out math based on the books.


DMG page 137 does agree with me. And I'm not sure you can call 700 cp, 7,000 sp, 2.100 gp, 105 pp multiple gems/art objects and multiple magical items a "small" hoard. Sure, they aren't as big as they get at the next stage where you are going to be walking away with no less than 30,000 gp before items, or even the top tiers where you average 320,000 gp easily before items.

Also, not sure why you decided to reference "starting equipment" for talking about treasure hoards. Maybe because I mentioned starting with the money instead? But the whole reason I bring up hoards is because all of the issues having a lot of money could bring to the table... can happen whenever you have the money. It isn't like there are character creation specific uses for money that can't be done mid-game.

Also, your bounded accuracy statement is off. It 1) fails to take into account resistance, 2) fails to take into account special abilities which will wipe out swathes of little guys in seconds, 3) assumes for some reason that they all hit, 4) assumes that NPC putzes all have nice damage bonuses, and 4) assumes that all of them will be able to attack in the first place. The reality is that most of those attacks are going to miss. Those that hit will do half damage. Most of the attacks probably won't even have a damage bonus. And it's unlikely that many situations will even allow half of them to get in attacks, let alone all 60.

1) I didn't account resistance because that is easy. Divide by 2.

2) I see, so you assume that the scouts with longbows are standing within 60 ft in fireball position instead of... scattered about so that exact thing can't happen. Also, plenty of monsters don't have AOEs. And even if they die, what does that matter to the person who can just buy more bodies to make more attacks?

3) Because we had no AC, obviously some of them miss. That is how the game works.

4) Yes, because I was showing an optimal condition. You also realize that there is still an entire party of player characters, who are mid to high level, who might be able to set up things or employ tactics to make this happen. Again, this is basically just a money based "Skeleton Archers" argument. We don't need to rehash every aspect of that scenario. People are familiar with skeleton archers, and if they aren't any discussion of the necromancer and skeleton archers can inform them of the tactic, its plays and counter-plays.

5) All 60? OH, you didn't read the name of the statblock as a name. I said "Scout" for a reason. Monster Manual pg 349, the Scout is CR 1/2, makes 2 attacks with a longbow, +4 to hit and 1d8+2 damage.

And, again, yeah, damage resistance and missing is a thing. But, let us take something really scary like a CR 9 Bone Devil. They have about 145 hp, assuming they need a 15 or better to hit is a 30% hit rate, ignoring crits we have these archers dealing about 54 damage.

Then the players get to go.

But ignoring the players this bone devil can still only kill two of these guy's a turn, if it doesn't miss and if it can reach them. It isn't going to survive three rounds.

Again, this entire strategy gets argued ad nausem for Skeleton Archers. This is the same set-up (actually more powerful) and here is my point. Max, I'm stating my point right now. This is the point. -> ->Players don't typically hire 30 scouts to fight their battles for them anyways. <-<-

Even if it is effective, players don't do it... because they want to be the ones fighting the monsters. It isn't a lack of money, it is a lack of reasons to do it. Argue into the ground about the play and counterplay and the lack of this and the ability to use these tactics and at the end of the day, the entire point is that it never happens. Not because the players are too poor, clearly, but because it isn't fun for them to do so.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Actually, I had two players very recently tell me, pretty much word for word, that I was engaging in badwrongfun because I wasn't making magic items fungible. The second that anything remotely resembling an official price list comes out for magic items, there is going to be a non-zero number of players who will straight up demand to be able to buy magic items.
I 100% concur.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
DMG page 137 does agree with me. And I'm not sure you can call 700 cp, 7,000 sp, 2.100 gp, 105 pp multiple gems/art objects and multiple magical items a "small" hoard. Sure, they aren't as big as they get at the next stage where you are going to be walking away with no less than 30,000 gp before items, or even the top tiers where you average 320,000 gp easily before items.

Also, not sure why you decided to reference "starting equipment" for talking about treasure hoards. Maybe because I mentioned starting with the money instead? But the whole reason I bring up hoards is because all of the issues having a lot of money could bring to the table... can happen whenever you have the money. It isn't like there are character creation specific uses for money that can't be done mid-game.
I referenced it, because that's the assumed amount of money for a character of that level to have accumulated. Those hoards by the way, are pretty hard to come by. You need to take out an entire tribe of orcs or a dragon or something. But okay, so the group now has 3500 gold. I'll be generous and assume 4000 from some individual treasures. You want to hire 50 mercenaries at.....you tripled it to 6g each in total due to officers, so 300 per day. Now, you aren't generally going to find a dungeon or other similar threat that you'd want 50 mercs for close to town, but for kicks let's say that they are pretty close and they are a week away. 300 a day x 14 days(there and back) is 4200 gold. You're 700 in the hole and that's if you get there and then turn right around.
1) I didn't account resistance because that is easy. Divide by 2.
Right, so damage is half what you stated as many, if not most things start having resistance.
2) I see, so you assume that the scouts with longbows are standing within 60 ft in fireball position instead of... scattered about so that exact thing can't happen. Also, plenty of monsters don't have AOEs. And even if they die, what does that matter to the person who can just buy more bodies to make more attacks?
Once or twice with that many casualties and that kind of attitude about their lives and you will find the pool of mercs dry up. You'll get a reputation for being death and they want to make money, not die.
3) Because we had no AC, obviously some of them miss. That is how the game works.
Yet your damage number assumed a 100% hit rate, instead of a hit rate that will be lower, maybe considerably lower than 50%.
4) Yes, because I was showing an optimal condition. You also realize that there is still an entire party of player characters, who are mid to high level, who might be able to set up things or employ tactics to make this happen. Again, this is basically just a money based "Skeleton Archers" argument. We don't need to rehash every aspect of that scenario. People are familiar with skeleton archers, and if they aren't any discussion of the necromancer and skeleton archers can inform them of the tactic, its plays and counter-plays.
Your assumed optimal condition will rarely come to pass. It's basically white room arguing and white room stuff isn't helpful.
5) All 60? OH, you didn't read the name of the statblock as a name. I said "Scout" for a reason. Monster Manual pg 349, the Scout is CR 1/2, makes 2 attacks with a longbow, +4 to hit and 1d8+2 damage.
Oh. So you aren't getting them for 300 per day. 300 per day assumes bottom of the barrel mercs, not scouts which are all the equivalent of 3rd level characters. So now the 4200g cost for that close 1 week out and 1 week back trip just shot up in price. You can no longer afford it, not that you really could before, either.
And, again, yeah, damage resistance and missing is a thing. But, let us take something really scary like a CR 9 Bone Devil. They have about 145 hp, assuming they need a 15 or better to hit is a 30% hit rate, ignoring crits we have these archers dealing about 54 damage.
Sure. I personally wouldn't have a problem with it. If you wanted to shell out what is probably going to be 10k in gold to kill one bone devil, go for it.
Even if it is effective, players don't do it... because they want to be the ones fighting the monsters. It isn't a lack of money, it is a lack of reasons to do it. Argue into the ground about the play and counterplay and the lack of this and the ability to use these tactics and at the end of the day, the entire point is that it never happens. Not because the players are too poor, clearly, but because it isn't fun for them to do so.
First, it is a lack of money. At least at low levels. A 5th level group isn't going to want to shell out 5-10k in gold(pretty much all they've earned to this point) just to win one encounter. Second, it's not really that effective. You're rarely going to get optimal conditions, and you're rarely going to get a monster stupid enough to sit out in the open against 50+ guys. That bone devil has a 13 Int and has lived millennia. It's not going to fight your small army. It's going to leave and come back later. Or more likely, leave and then bribe the leader of your mercs with a deal with the devil to turn on you and then your up a creek. Those devilish devils!
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I also think rolling for random magic items does more harm than good on the long run. Worse it gets elevated as some kind of "a real man(gm) would" gold standard of quality decision making for a gm to misguide inexperienced GM's still trying to grow their wings into making damaging decisions for their game time after time.

Rolling is great to fill some random clutter you expect to get sold/unpurchased once you pick stuff reasonably equitable & targeted for the needs of the party itself but exclusively relying on it can easily give players a bad taste in their mouth and creat frustration over getting the poo end of the stick too many times or having their class needs not met even slightly(monks &wizards tend to get shafted hard here).
For me it's situational.

If I'm generating what's available to purchase in a town then it's all random all the way, and the sky's the limit.

If I'm "placing" (a term I really haven't ever liked) treasure in an adventure then it'll also be somewhat random* but probably at least vaguely level-appropriate, and with any luck will also make sense as being reasonable to find there.

If the PCs are being specifically rewarded e.g. by a town or divinely then the items given will be suitable for each character (and usually such items bypass treasury and immediately come under the ownership of the receiving character).

* - random in that it won't be tailored to/for any specific character or even class of characters, as 99% of the time when designing the adventure I've little to no idea which PCs will be in it. On those occasions where I think about it, I try to spread it out such that some items will be of the sort useful to anyone while some others will be more class-specific.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
For me it's situational.

If I'm generating what's available to purchase in a town then it's all random all the way, and the sky's the limit.

If I'm "placing" (a term I really haven't ever liked) treasure in an adventure then it'll also be somewhat random* but probably at least vaguely level-appropriate, and with any luck will also make sense as being reasonable to find there.

If the PCs are being specifically rewarded e.g. by a town or divinely then the items given will be suitable for each character (and usually such items bypass treasury and immediately come under the ownership of the receiving character).

* - random in that it won't be tailored to/for any specific character or even class of characters, as 99% of the time when designing the adventure I've little to no idea which PCs will be in it. On those occasions where I think about it, I try to spread it out such that some items will be of the sort useful to anyone while some others will be more class-specific.
I agree that the two are different & considered going on to talk about how whatever happens to be in shops being random when players haven't previously tried doing some kind of work/purchase order they are coming back for as agreed or something but the post was getting kinda long & there wasn't much to say on that so I just kept to magic items in treasure since it seemed more relevant
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
1) I didn't account resistance because that is easy. Divide by 2.


And, again, yeah, damage resistance and missing is a thing. But, let us take something really scary like a CR 9 Bone Devil. They have about 145 hp, assuming they need a 15 or better to hit is a 30% hit rate, ignoring crits we have these archers dealing about 54 damage.
You should never give resistance to nonmagical bludgeoning piercing & slashing even slight concern though because wotc goes out of their way to tell you that in at least 3 publications so far
1619672454606.png
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
@tetrasodium - there's some immediately-obvious-to-me big holes in those excerpts you've posted.

First, everywhere except one place they refer to items as being common, uncommon, rare etc. except under Renown Magic Items they refer to "your character gains access to basic magic items" without saying how "basic" relates to commonality or to anything else. So, what does "basic" mean here and how does it relate to pricing? Are Bags of Holding supposed to be as common as +1 weapons?

Second, a Bag of Holding - the single most useful item in the whole damn game and by far the most in demand by any adventurer anywhere with even a shred of wisdom, hence hella expensive and hard to get - is a basic item that anyone can get at 5th level just by choosing it? Wtf? Or am I missing something big somewhere?

Third, those suggested value ranges under Magic Item Rarity are almost less than no help at all. 501-5000 and 5001-50000 are huge ranges, leaving the DM still faced with building her own price list either completely, ahead of time, or piecemeal item by item as they are discovered and valued during the campaign.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
@tetrasodium - there's some immediately-obvious-to-me big holes in those excerpts you've posted.

First, everywhere except one place they refer to items as being common, uncommon, rare etc. except under Renown Magic Items they refer to "your character gains access to basic magic items" without saying how "basic" relates to commonality or to anything else. So, what does "basic" mean here and how does it relate to pricing? Are Bags of Holding supposed to be as common as +1 weapons?

Second, a Bag of Holding - the single most useful item in the whole damn game and by far the most in demand by any adventurer anywhere with even a shred of wisdom, hence hella expensive and hard to get - is a basic item that anyone can get at 5th level just by choosing it? Wtf? Or am I missing something big somewhere?

Third, those suggested value ranges under Magic Item Rarity are almost less than no help at all. 501-5000 and 5001-50000 are huge ranges, leaving the DM still faced with building her own price list either completely, ahead of time, or piecemeal item by item as they are discovered and valued during the campaign.
On your first part about common & uncommon magic items... They also provide a price range. Do you consider that101gp-500gp range hurdle? Even Wotc's extremely sparse gold & treasure allocation doesn't have much trouble reaching that well before tier 2 or tier3. The words uncommon & rare could be replaced with anything and the absurd pricing is still present. A GM could ignore it if they want & many do, but WotC clearly doesn't expect a very high bar & even urges a gm "to be generous with magic weapons or avoid using such monsters" as the xge136 sidebar shows. The fact that AL forbids houserules & just tosses out magic weapons like a pediatrician does lollipops certainly doesn't give reason for much thought to how resist nonmagic b/p/s factor into play either

Second, Yea that's how AL works & if you run AL/non-AL side by side it's pretty obvious the last few HCs are being written for how AL handles magic items without providing guidance for non-AL gms.

Third, Yea they are such a wide range that they are effectively useless(hence the thread). 😜
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I just started a treasury-related thread here:


That way maybe this one can get back to talking about item pricing. :)
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
On your first part about common & uncommon magic items... They also provide a price range. Do you consider that101gp-500gp range hurdle?
Those ranges are narrow enough it's hard to really go too far wrong.
Even Wotc's extremely sparse gold & treasure allocation doesn't have much trouble reaching that well before tier 2 or tier3. The words uncommon & rare could be replaced with anything and the absurd pricing is still present. A GM could ignore it if they want & many do, but WotC clearly doesn't expect a very high bar & even urges a gm "to be generous with magic weapons or avoid using such monsters" as the xge136 sidebar shows. The fact that AL forbids houserules & just tosses out magic weapons like a pediatrician does lollipops certainly doesn't give reason for much thought to how resist nonmagic b/p/s factor into play either
Still doesn't tell me what they mean by "basic". :)
 



S'mon

Legend
Those ranges are narrow enough it's hard to really go too far wrong.

Still doesn't tell me what they mean by "basic". :)

They meant the stuff on the following list.

One thing this thread has helped teach me is that if I run a WoTC hardback again, I need to add in my own treasure hoards to at least 1/5 of the encounters. I thought POTA was terrible for lack of treasure, but it sounds like it only got worse from there.
 


tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Those ranges are narrow enough it's hard to really go too far wrong.

Still doesn't tell me what they mean by "basic". :)
Other than "basic rules" it's the only instance of the word basic in the adventurers league players guide v10. There's a few other types of magic items like faction magic items & GM rewards & those are the only ones that don't take significant work like many sessions or a good bit of AL GM time so most likely similar to if a hiker said basic camping supplies & they list the things considered basic in that little snippet as someone else mentioned. It's six pages so don't expect too much if you download it
 



Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
<<facepalm>>

I mean, seriously: who comes up with this stuff? It's like they asked a bunch of players what their favourite items are and then chopped the price down so that everyone could have one, rather than leaving them as special and unusual finds.
Who actually wants a broom of flying, though? I've hated that ridiculous item since I first saw it. Give me winged boots, a carpet of flying, ring of air elemental command or something else. "Look ma! I'm riding a broom!" just doesn't cut it for me.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest
Who actually wants a broom of flying, though? I've hated that ridiculous item since I first saw it. Give me winged boots, a carpet of flying, ring of air elemental command or something else. "Look ma! I'm riding a broom!" just doesn't cut it for me.
Classic witch trope. You'd prefer they ride in iron kettles or with their mortars and pestles?
 


An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top