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D&D 5E Sane Magic Item Prices

Saidoro

Explorer
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.
If you play by rules that are not the rules that are in the book it is unsurprising that the results you received were not the results generated by the rules in the book.
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.
Which would be a houserule. And honestly, a less effective one than the houserules you can easily access by clicking a link in the first post.

Putting all the flying stuff aside as it isn't the main point of the thread.
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.
Except it kinda does because of what happens when the PCs go back to town and realize that the price that people will give them for that potion is completely ludicrous. And that they can use it to buy mercenaries or elephants or castles or other things which actually have a hell of a lot more utility to them as adventurers than the potion ever could have.
 

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SkidAce

Hero
If you play by rules that are not the rules that are in the book it is unsurprising that the results you received were not the results generated by the rules in the book.

What rules did I violate? There is absolutely nothing in the books that says all magic items are all available.

I was just offering advice, a way to tune it so the inconsistencies would not be glaring.

Game on!
 

Which would be a houserule. And honestly, a less effective one than the houserules you can easily access by clicking a link in the first post.
Honestly... never clicked. The negative attitude of the first post entirely put me off. The tone was too hostile and laced with hyperbole for me to be interested in the linked rules.
 

Saidoro

Explorer
What rules did I violate? There is absolutely nothing in the books that says all magic items are all available.

I was just offering advice, a way to tune it so the inconsistencies would not be glaring.

Game on!
I apologize, I was overly terse in my previous post. There is nothing in the text in 3.5 to indicate that certain items may cause problems moreso than others do and nothing to indicate that certain magic items should be available at the listed prices while others are not. Additionally, the natural reading of the text seems to be that magic items in general are available for purchase by default as evidenced by the fact that that seems to be the way that the majority of players and DMs who I have communicated with seem to do things. I've tried to improve on this somewhat by dividing the items by category and listing items likely to cause problems for the GM separately for special consideration. If you have any further insights about how I could improve my system I would be interested in hearing them. (And will try to be less rude.)
Honestly... never clicked. The negative attitude of the first post entirely put me off. The tone was too hostile and laced with hyperbole for me to be interested in the linked rules.
As I saw things I made a list of statements about the rules in the DMG and then made one joke. Could you perhaps point to what about it that you found so objectionable that you could not bear to look upon the rules presented?
 

Hussar

Legend
/snip

As I saw things I made a list of statements about the rules in the DMG and then made one joke. Could you perhaps point to what about it that you found so objectionable that you could not bear to look upon the rules presented?

If I may?

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.

Read more: http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?462510-Sane-Magic-Item-Prices#ixzz3ePxmrKL7

is probably the source of the view.
 

Inchoroi

Adventurer
Honestly, for the moment, my game's prices are as printed, save for unnamed ammunition, scrolls, and potions. Ammunition and scrolls are 3/4 the listed price, and potions are half the listed price. Its worked out fine to this point. I've been considering lowering them a little bit...but things get weird. For example, an Adamantine Breastplate, if I, for example, lower the cost to half for magic items, costs less than a non-magical breastplate. Which is simply weird.

In hindsight, now, I'm not even sure the magic item costs need to be changed, save for as listed above. Maybe make ammunition and scrolls half rather than three-quarters...
 

SkidAce

Hero
I apologize, I was overly terse in my previous post. There is nothing in the text in 3.5 to indicate that certain items may cause problems moreso than others do and nothing to indicate that certain magic items should be available at the listed prices while others are not. Additionally, the natural reading of the text seems to be that magic items in general are available for purchase by default as evidenced by the fact that that seems to be the way that the majority of players and DMs who I have communicated with seem to do things. I've tried to improve on this somewhat by dividing the items by category and listing items likely to cause problems for the GM separately for special consideration. If you have any further insights about how I could improve my system I would be interested in hearing them. (And will try to be less rude.)

No worries. All is good.

Buying magic items in general as default is one way of doing things (and is neither right nor wrong). My experience has been more moderate, some DMs allowed it, while others didn't. Its a campaign building decision, much like allowing or not allowing certain classes. There is no guideline saying "watch out for this or that". Just trial and error, common sense, and other folk's experiences.

The main point I was trying to make was if you found pricing/inconsistancies among the flying items that seemed wrong, then take steps to fix it. Much like you are.

However, if I had found the pricing issues you found I would get rid of the items that made no sense. Perhaps Brooms of Flying do not exist. In otherwords, prune the items list until you get a set of items that increases in value, and in utility, making more sense for your campaign. I like fly to have duration, so most "always on" items either do not exist in game, or have to be discovered via quests or rp, at which point they have earned it.

I look at items the same way I do "problem" spells, they are dials I can tweak to get a certain flavor of game, OR resolve inconsistencies that bug me or my players.

A final example. Nobody alive in my campaign world knows the teleport spell. Legends talk of it, but nobody knows it. Now, there are one or two cities that have ancient teleport circles still active, so they became centers of trade and commerce. So in this campaign, any issues with readily available teleport never come up. In other campaigns we were teleporting all over the place, and the DM had to modify his style.

Full circle back to your pricing and magic items of flying. What you discovered about price and usefullness seems valid to me. Hence my suggestion, slightly modified;

Either remove items that make no sense in your buy/sell magic world, or change the price/rarity around until it makes sense, for you and your friends.

Long winded for a short answer.
 

DaveDash

Explorer
After a while gold becomes meaningless anyway.

My characters (giving out 0.5x the number of hoards recommended in the DMG) have about ~90,000GP each. And that's after spending gold on strongholds. Once you start getting above level 12, the difference between 500gp and 5000gp is not even worth considering.

Unless you're running Hoard of the Broke Queen....then even probably 500gp is insurmountable even if the entire party pool their resources together. And it's not like you will get enough downtime to craft anything anyway.

Long story short, gold isn't a great balancing mechanism for items in D&D. It's not even in modern MMO's game theory, which is why some of them are/have moved away from that model.
 


Saeviomagy

Adventurer
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.
Until you go to sell it and find no one can afford it.

Or until you go to exchange it for an army's worth of brooms of flying and other knick-knacks.

Or you say to the DM "We sell this pile of stuff that we don't want" and he says "sure, just use the book prices" and you make out like bandits.

Sure, the rules work fine for an attentive DM who micro manages everything. But I'm a lazy DM, and sometimes I want to skip over boring stuff, like selling things that the party consider junk.
 

Until you go to sell it and find no one can afford it.
This assumes they're going to sell or want to get rid of the very rare and useful potion. That's a pretty big "if".

Or until you go to exchange it for an army's worth of brooms of flying and other knick-knacks.

Or you say to the DM "We sell this pile of stuff that we don't want" and he says "sure, just use the book prices" and you make out like bandits.
This not only assumes the existence of magic shops - which are not assumed - but shops with 5,000-50,000go worth of stock. Even if one does exist, the players need to make a DC 20 Intelligence check to find it, wasting 1d10 day. (see page 130) Then they need to make a Charisma check to modify the price they can get for the item; if they can get a DC 20, statistically they'll have a choice to sell the item at half price (or regular price to a shady person).

Sure, the rules work fine for an attentive DM who micro manages everything. But I'm a lazy DM, and sometimes I want to skip over boring stuff, like selling things that the party consider junk.
If you let the players take advantage of a small hole in the system then the fault is as much with you as the rules.
 

jgsugden

Legend
IN MOST GAMES: The sane approach to standard pricing of items - is not to have a standard price. It isn't like there is a wide market for these things or a huge supply. Anyone selling is going to be trying to get whatever they can for the item. Anyone buying is going to have to decide how much they're willing to give up to get something. It is more like buying or selling a house than buying or selling something at a flea market.

As the DM, if the PCs wish to buy a particular type of item, you should decide how hard it is. You should use the guidelines in the DMG to give you an idea, but it is up to you, as the crafter of the story outside the actions of the PCs, to decide what will make for the best game.
 

Saeviomagy

Adventurer
If you let the players take advantage of a small hole in the system then the fault is as much with you as the rules.
My players aren't paying me to DM.

I AM paying someone to write the rules.

There's a bit of a difference in expected standard there.

Further to that, it's far more useful to me if the D&D community admits that there's something screwy with the magic item prices and actually assess the impact of house rules in those areas than crusade onwards with the attitude that since a good DM can fix all the rules themselves the rules are perfect and noone should publish improvements to them.
 

Saidoro

Explorer
The main point I was trying to make was if you found pricing/inconsistancies among the flying items that seemed wrong, then take steps to fix it. Much like you are.

However, if I had found the pricing issues you found I would get rid of the items that made no sense.
I've actually been trying for a hybrid, the bulk of the work is in assigning prices, but I've got some of the items which seem most prone to cause problems in a separate list which is specifically marked as such to make things easier for the GM. If you've got any ideas on the subject of items that should be in that list I'd love to hear them.
After a while gold becomes meaningless anyway.

My characters (giving out 0.5x the number of hoards recommended in the DMG) have about ~90,000GP each. And that's after spending gold on strongholds. Once you start getting above level 12, the difference between 500gp and 5000gp is not even worth considering.

Unless you're running Hoard of the Broke Queen....then even probably 500gp is insurmountable even if the entire party pool their resources together. And it's not like you will get enough downtime to craft anything anyway.

Long story short, gold isn't a great balancing mechanism for items in D&D. It's not even in modern MMO's game theory, which is why some of them are/have moved away from that model.
The funny thing is, we do have some idea how much gold players will have in a typical campaign. It's certainly less consistent game to game than in 3.5 and 4e, but we can take a guess and the GM is free to scale prices up or down if they expect to be giving out a bunch or a pittance of gold. And I think you're misinterpreting the MMO thing, it's pretty obvious that gold isn't a bad balancing method because of some inherent property of "goldliness", it's got to be bad because of some property of how they either hand it out or have people spend it. And MMOs and D&D use different models for that.
This assumes they're going to sell or want to get rid of the very rare and useful potion. That's a pretty big "if".
A potion of flying is 25,000 gold and can be sold for full price with a bit of patience. An Airship is 20,000 gold, and since it's not a magical good is perfectly available for purchase under most circumstances.
If you let the players take advantage of a small hole in the system then the fault is as much with you as the rules.
Personally I'd put the blame on the person who sold you a rule system claiming it worked when it actually doesn't.
IN MOST GAMES: The sane approach to standard pricing of items - is not to have a standard price. It isn't like there is a wide market for these things or a huge supply. Anyone selling is going to be trying to get whatever they can for the item. Anyone buying is going to have to decide how much they're willing to give up to get something. It is more like buying or selling a house than buying or selling something at a flea market.
The thing is, that model produces much, much higher prices for a lot of basic magic items than those in the DMG. And it still doesn't explain all the items that are in blatantly the wrong place relative to one another. I can absolutely accept that the dagger of venom sells for 5,000 gold(enough to buy a guildhall). I can't really accept that the dagger of venom is selling for a guildhall while the broom of flying is only worth a good horse. Even with each being priced individually without full context or full information that just doesn't make much sense.
 

My players aren't paying me to DM.

I AM paying someone to write the rules.

There's a bit of a difference in expected standard there.
But do your players expect you to be an unerring slave to the rules? To never deviate or customize the rules?

Further to that, it's far more useful to me if the D&D community admits that there's something screwy with the magic item prices and actually assess the impact of house rules in those areas than crusade onwards with the attitude that since a good DM can fix all the rules themselves the rules are perfect and noone should publish improvements to them.
What's the difference? The D&D community is effectively a group of DMs. There's no practical difference between a DM fixing the rules themselves and tapping another DM to do so.

A potion of flying is 25,000 gold and can be sold for full price with a bit of patience. An Airship is 20,000 gold, and since it's not a magical good is perfectly available for purchase under most circumstances.
It's a lot harder to pull an airship out of your pocket in a dungeon when needed.

Plus, it's not like previous editions of D&D have made sense in this regard. The wealth of a high level PC in 3e/4e allowed them to buy multiple ships as they carted around several hundred thousand gp of magical gear.

Personally I'd put the blame on the person who sold you a rule system claiming it worked when it actually doesn't.
The rule system works just find.
A subset of a subsystem of the rule system has a slight quirk. That's nothing. A rule that occupies half a page of the 640-odd pages of rules doesn't cover all instances. That's 0.078% of the rule system. It's an insignificant portion of the rules.

Still, this really is a moot point. The rules give the baseline and assume the maximum, but page 135 makes it pretty clear there is a range of prices, which likely apply to the other pricing charts in the book.
Plus, there's this tidbit from the aforementioned page:
If your campaign allows for trade in magic items, rarity can also help you set prices for them. As the DM, you determine the value of an individual magic item based on its rarity. Suggested values are provided in the Magic Item Rarity table. The value of a consumable item, such as a potion or scroll, is typically half the value of a permanent item of the same rarity.
Emphasis added. So a potion would really be 2,500 - 25,000 depending on the level of magic in your campaign.
 
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Saidoro

Explorer
It's a lot harder to pull an airship out of your pocket in a dungeon when needed.


Plus, it's not like previous editions of D&D have made sense in this regard. The wealth of a high level PC in 3e/4e allowed them to buy multiple ships as they carted around several hundred thousand gp of magical gear.
PCs in previous editions weren't doing it by selling a single mid-tier one-use consumable. We're kind of looking at a problem of degrees here.

The rule system works just find.
A subset of a subsystem of the rule system has a slight quirk. That's nothing. A rule that occupies half a page of the 640-odd pages of rules doesn't cover all instances. That's 0.078% of the rule system. It's an insignificant portion of the rules.
The portion of the rules system that a rule makes up is not the amount of text that it covers, it's the portion of the play experience that it covers. A rule that covers 50% of the play experience with 20 lines is more important than the rule that covers 25% of the play experience in 50 lines. The ability of a player to gain and expend gold is, in many games, a reasonably large portion of the play experience. And the rules on this portion of that portion of the play experience are poorly written, regardless of how many lines they occupy.
Still, this really is a moot point. The rules give the baseline and assume the maximum, but page 135 makes it pretty clear there is a range of prices, which likely apply to the other pricing charts in the book.
Plus, there's this tidbit from the aforementioned page:
If your campaign allows for trade in magic items, rarity can also help you set prices for them. As the DM, you determine the value of an individual magic item based on its rarity. Suggested values are provided in the Magic Item Rarity table. The value of a consumable item, such as a potion or scroll, is typically half the value of a permanent item of the same rarity.
Emphasis added. So a potion would really be 2,500 - 25,000 depending on the level of magic in your campaign.
Gee, it's almost like they wanted people to decide on different prices for the items than the listed ones, sure would be nice if someone did that and shared their work so others can benefit. Though honestly, their version of letting people change the prices is still pretty dang anemic. A potion of flying being worth 5 times what a broom of flying does is better, but it's still pretty awful.
 
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Gee, it's almost like they wanted people to decide on different prices for the items than the listed ones, sure would be nice if someone did that and shared their work so others can benefit.
But you didn't come in here with a short post saying "I was a little unhappy with the magic item pricing so I decided to make my own list. Feedback please." Or even, "Here's my magic item chart. I was inspired by the curious prices of some items. Such as..."

Instead, you came here with a 500-word rant with such gems as "If the other side also has no good ranged attacks the flying team more or less wins automatically" and "this clear and present lunacy masquerading as legitimate rules text." The focus of the post was not your new pricing but the rant against flying magic items with the new pricing as an afterthought. I'd pretty much started mentally composing my reply before I reached your link.

You buried the lead, and came in hostile, putting fans of the game on the defensive.
 

spinozajack

First Post
My players aren't paying me to DM.

I AM paying someone to write the rules.

There's a bit of a difference in expected standard there.

Further to that, it's far more useful to me if the D&D community admits that there's something screwy with the magic item prices and actually assess the impact of house rules in those areas than crusade onwards with the attitude that since a good DM can fix all the rules themselves the rules are perfect and noone should publish improvements to them.

Agree.

It's a common refrain heard in virtually every single thread that brings up any major or minor flaw or oversight in the rules : a DM can fix it themselves, so it's not even a problem.

Meanwhile there are only two magic axes in the DMG, one of them is cursed and the other is legendary. So much for my dwarf wanting a magic axe to look forward to.

If there was any sanity in magic item pricing it would go by item utility. A ring of invisibility or winged boots should be up there. Why swing around a legendary sword in magic armor when you can just fly by all the monsters without them seeing you or being able to catch you?

Fly and invisibility are powerful spells, or rather, were in older D&D, because not only could you fly for hours, you could fly around invisible all day long. The perfect scout. Hijinx, ahh the memories of AD&D wizards dominating.

I find it surprising that often times you see the same people bemoan fighters being useless out of combat, but negate the utility of winged boots at such prices. And of course, completely forgetting all those years of discussions about casters and caddies, which were interminably dull but did serve to highlight how powerful those spells were and why they needed nerfing in duration and with concentration only having one at a time. Magic items that allow you to fly are quite powerful, and should be very rare and very expensive. Just like rings of invisibility.
 

DaveDash

Explorer
My players aren't paying me to DM.

I AM paying someone to write the rules.

There's a bit of a difference in expected standard there.

Further to that, it's far more useful to me if the D&D community admits that there's something screwy with the magic item prices and actually assess the impact of house rules in those areas than crusade onwards with the attitude that since a good DM can fix all the rules themselves the rules are perfect and noone should publish improvements to them.

Magic item prices are not balanced. Magic items are not balanced. Congratulations, you've uncovered this huge critical flaw in the game that prevents anyone from playing it... or not.

It really doesn't matter, at all, not in the slightest.
 

Saidoro

Explorer
But you didn't come in here with a short post saying "I was a little unhappy with the magic item pricing so I decided to make my own list. Feedback please." Or even, "Here's my magic item chart. I was inspired by the curious prices of some items. Such as..."

Instead, you came here with a 500-word rant with such gems as "If the other side also has no good ranged attacks the flying team more or less wins automatically" and "this clear and present lunacy masquerading as legitimate rules text." The focus of the post was not your new pricing but the rant against flying magic items with the new pricing as an afterthought. I'd pretty much started mentally composing my reply before I reached your link.

You buried the lead, and came in hostile, putting fans of the game on the defensive.

I accept the rebuke. The meat of the post was written as an introduction for the forum where I'm maintaining the tables, but looking back at it I can see how it would be less effective where people have to go to the extra effort of deciding to click on a link rather than automatically being presented with the more calmly worded readme and tables. In my defense, actually describing a representative example of the DMG system's failure is rather more convincing than just saying "Hey, I think the DMG's magic item prices are bad, take my word for it". The latter would likely have lead us along a different, but not particularly more productive path.
 

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