Why DMs Don’t Like Magic Marts


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It’s not because Magic Marts polish the authentic patina of medieval rust off of our lovingly crafted campaigns. Think about it; we accept all kinds of other anti-medieval trappings in our campagins: anyone of any relavance seems to know how to read and write -- even druids and simpletons. D&D women are only expected to fill medieval gender roles if they’re unwilling to wear or unattractive in a chainmail bikini. And let’s not forget that just about everyone -- even moronic orcs -- are bilingual. Even pegasi understand the common tongue, for Io’s sake!

So don’t kid yourself that Magic Marts ruin the medieval theme. No, the real reason we DMs don’t like Magic Marts is that they create a point buy subsystem. And all patriotic and red-blooded DMs instinctively know that point buy systems are Evil. Search your heart; you know this to be true.

If you still don’t see the light, I’ll explain. What happens in a Magic Mart campaign? Your players go into a dungeon, steal or loot as much junk as they can stuff into their bags of holding, and then they head back to ye olde towne Magic Mart. They sell all the treasure you gave them in the dungeon, in exchange for points [coins], and then they buy better bonuses and powers [items] with those points [coins].

And like all point buy systems, Magic Marts increase the potential for both under- and over-powered PCs in your game. One player might decide to dump all of his points into offense [a magic weapon] while ignoring defense [AC items]. And because AC is 90% dependent on items, that PC becomes a glass cannon. Which in turn results in very short encounters, frequent resurrections, and probably massive annoyance.

See what I mean? Magic Marts are just a front for point buying, and point buying is the enemy of D&D. It’s everything that mustache-twirling villains stand for, and they’re using Magic Marts to subvert innocent D&Ders into point buyers. So be vigilant, and don’t let the other-skins win!

This message is brought to you by your friendly neighborhood fun police.


Eh

I'd argue that Magic Marts are a symptom, not the real problem - the problem is the neccesity of magic items.

The cure isn't to just remove Magic Marts or item crafting, it's to impliment inherent bonuses and to kill the +1 sword, so that all the magic items that are found are all unique and weird.


ProfessorCirno wrote:

Eh

I'd argue that Magic Marts are a symptom, not the real problem - the problem is the neccesity of magic items.

The cure isn't to just remove Magic Marts or item crafting, it's to impliment inherent bonuses and to kill the +1 sword, so that all the magic items that are found are all unique and weird.

good point, Cirno-Sama. the neccessity of magic items was a trope that started back in the days of the red box and never got cured. i hate the idea of having to rely on the +1 sword, the +2 (insert clothing article here) of (insert class relevent stat here), the +1 (insert bling here) of (insert defensive bonus here), the +5 (insert accessory here) of (insert key skill bonus here) and (insert garment here) of (insert helpful required spell effect here). why can't most of these be inherent bonuses here


Shuriken, Prof I agree with you. Now the question this leads me to is what is holding a d20 system variant back from making the move from a heavily gear dependent to a more gear independent model?

Is it a fear of backlash, of alienating the players?

I mean those of us who have played for a while know the "epic envy" did not have its genesis in MMO's.

How do we encourage the compnaies that this is a line of development that may be worth persuing?


Hnn. I have a fistful of houserules that mostly revolve around things that happen during critical hits that are meant to get around PC dependence on magical items.


Dragonsong wrote:

Shuriken, Prof I agree with you. Now the question this leads me to is what is holding a d20 system variant back from making the move from a heavily gear dependent to a more gear independent model?

Is it a fear of backlash, of alienating the players?

I mean those of us who have played for a while know the "epic envy" did not have its genesis in MMO's.

How do we encourage the compnaies that this is a line of development that may be worth persuing?

Number one guess: It's for the newbies. I'm sure everyone remembers the rush of getting that first permanent magic item. Oh, sure, the potion of <temporary buff> was nice when you needed it, but then you got that bonus in every fight. And it. was. awesome.

With inherent bonuses over magic items, a new player has to wait a lot longer to get that rush.


What are you talking about, Mr. Sunrise. Can I call you Tequila?

Anyway, I'm a GM and I don't mind "Magic Marts".

I mostly ignored the limits in 3.x, and I mostly ignore them in PF. The thing I do is that standard stuff is usually widely available, it's +4 defending speed throwing spiked chains you probably won't be able to just buy.

And for things like weapons and armour, I'm introducing a magic gem system where gems contain the magic, not the weapon/armour/bracers/belt/ring/whatever. With a bit of time, you can take those gems off that longsword and put them onto your scimitar.

That way, the players get to use the kinds of armour and weapons their sense of style of powergaming prefer.

Sure, the game might be more fun if the system didn't require all that magic bling, but nobody seems to mind the mass-produced magic items to the point where they want to do the math and change the system to accommodate campaigns without magic stuff, and they never seem to interfere with the story, so Magic Marts it is.

Sczarni

Well, for the most part I agree. Having Ye Olde Magic Marte in town makes it a lot easier for players to get what they want from their characters. That is both a good thing and a bad thing.

Good, because now the players can play the game how they want to; bad, because it definitely rewards Character Optimization and "Getting The High Numbers" hugely.

In the past (and currently), I have run with the rule, "So long as it's under the appropriate value for the community, you can probably get XYZ item."

In the future (once we finish Kingmaker, and that's its own ball of wax with essentially unlimited gold & time for the discerning magic item crafter), I will most likely institute a "no items for sale" policy.

Instead, the PC's will obtain specific quest rewards that will replace the #'s assumed by the system. That does not mean that everyone will be getting +5 Amulets of Natural Armor & +6 Headbands of Mental Superiority right off the bat, of course, but will be receiving class & level appropriate bonuses as they level.

Each PC will have to pick his favored "Schtick" at the start of the campaign (Melee Combat Weapon, Ranged Weapon, AC, Saves, Super High Save DC's) and that will be the primary focus of his/her "boons" (for lack of a better term.)

Items will still come up, but less so, and (I hope) will be all the cooler and more fun for it.


I'd give up all my items but im using them as a crutch to stay alive against all manner of insane beasts and outsiders right now. Can you come back in like 10 minutes?


ProfessorCirno wrote:

Eh

I'd argue that Magic Marts are a symptom, not the real problem - the problem is the neccesity of magic items.

The cure isn't to just remove Magic Marts or item crafting, it's to impliment inherent bonuses and to kill the +1 sword, so that all the magic items that are found are all unique and weird.

Have you seen Iron Heroes?

Shadow Lodge

Going off of the, "So long as it's under the appropriate value for the community, you can probably get XYZ item," rule, I like the variation that says, "If it's under the gp limit for the community, there's an X% chance that you can get a given item at cost +/- Y%." The numbers are somewhat arbitrary. So, in one Large Town, you might have a 70% chance of being able to buy a +1 weapon, and they'll probably sell it to you at cost +/- 15%, but in another, you might have a 25% chance of being able to buy it, and they'd sell it to you at cost +/- 50%.

Available resources would figure heavily into whether a magic mart would be able to exist and what they'd have. A community in the deep forest might have an excellent shop for Potions, Wands, and Scrolls, but little in the way of magic Weapons or Armor. A mining community might have just the reverse.

I'm not particularly opposed to the idea of the Magic Shoppe, but I would restrict what it has access to. It's not like all Magic Shoppes would have a hundred slaved casters in the back room manufacturing magic items, but they might have a number in the community and they might get things in from other adventurers.

2cp

Grand Lodge

ghettowedge wrote:
Have you seen Iron Heroes?

Beat me to it...

This was the first thing I thought of after reading the post you quoted... :-)


Meh, there are other ways to keep a throttle on the proliferation of magic items, but there are no magic marts in my campaigns.

Doesn't mean you cant get stuff, you just wont be getting a +5 Axe Mace Combo of Underwater Breathing and Treasure Detection with a hotdog and slurpee from 7/11.


ProfessorCirno wrote:

Eh

I'd argue that Magic Marts are a symptom, not the real problem - the problem is the neccesity of magic items.

The cure isn't to just remove Magic Marts or item crafting, it's to impliment inherent bonuses and to kill the +1 sword, so that all the magic items that are found are all unique and weird.

I disagree with this...

How come people also say that in higher level campaigns (i.e. 15+) that they have to super power up the monsters to compete?

For example in the Advice threads re: "Is Summoner Overpowered" it was said many, many times you couldn't take a regularly CR 20+ monster out of the book and play "as is" without taking there gold to buy magic items, or sometimes even people wishing to add on a template without adjusting CR.

So I find this is false...

I can also cite people in podcasts who work for Paizo (IIRC) who stated you don't need to give everyone the "big 6" to compete in Pathfinder. The reason I am pretty sure is the game is balanced around 15-20 point buy characters, fighting APL+1 to APL+3 or slightly higher opponents, and them not having a magic mart.

The item creation rules for cities/villages/etc even indicate this if you follow the charts most places will have between 1/4 to 1 dozen magic items.

....

Now playing devils advocate against myself, there if "fluff" that says you can purchase any magic item that could be made, or has been made in Kalpesh for just a slight increase in cost (10% IIRC) as long as it doesn't cost more than 100K gold. But there is a lot more sources that indicate a low magic world, with limited availability of magic items than sources indicating very high, or complete magic item availability.

And of course whatever works for the GM and players in your game is how things should be played, because everyone should have fun.

But to say it's a flaw in the system when that is not 100% agreed on needs to be mentioned.


but without all that gear, it would be the other way around.

the big 6 are a neccessity.

and because the big 6 are a neccessity, so is allowing the utilization of the frequently disliked concept of "magic mart."

monsters and pcs play the game of "rocket tag"

denying the big 6 denies the pc's the right to compete in this game.

levels 13 and after are designed with the intent that a well built martially inclined entity can drop any level appropriate or lower entity in a single round of full attacks. denying the pcs access to this power denies them thier survivability. because even if you can't drop a level appropriate monster into negative hit points in a single round, they can drop you in that round, even if your defenses are ludicrously minmaxed. tis the reason that minmaxed composite longbow wielding archery based fighters are a popular optimization choice. more margin of error due to theoretically having more potential chances to take your foe out before he takes you out. the game past level 13 or so is designed around "can i drop my foe before he drops me?" and when your foe can drop you in a single round, you have to have that exact same privelege or else your are screwed.

players need to be able to control how they distribute thier wealth for the purpose of survivability.

my saturday DM by requiring diplomacy checks of (30+caster level) and a 1 on a d10 roll to even buy any gear at all. we have poor distribution of our wealth and are wasting more resources than we should on a per encounter basis because we have no control over the distribution of our wealth. it's not just the amount of wealth that matters, it's how well you can control how you distribute it.

Contributor

The trouble with mage marts is when they have an infinite supply capacity of any items a PC might want to buy and worse, an infinite buying capacity where they will automatically buy any and all magic items for 50% of list price, no questions asked. You have a dozen Iron Golem manuals? Sure! We'll take them all!

Instead, I tell players what items are available in any town, depending on the local trade, and moreover, make it so that high ticket items are not immediately salable to be turned into more useful Big 5 items.

Depending on the world, I've outlawed handy haversacks by Imperial decree (they're called "smugglers packs" and are contraband items), removed them from the universe by just changing the metaphysics so that they don't exist, or use them as written with the understanding that they're there so I don't need to bother with enforcing encumbrance and they're one of the few items all mage marts will happily buy and just as happily sell.


Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:

The trouble with mage marts is when they have an infinite supply capacity of any items a PC might want to buy and worse, an infinite buying capacity where they will automatically buy any and all magic items for 50% of list price, no questions asked. You have a dozen Iron Golem manuals? Sure! We'll take them all!

but sometimes you have to do that, despite it hindering your immersion because the rules assume that pcs will have a certain series of bonuses that they can actually use. the big 6 just represent these bonuses.

that infinite supply and buying capacity is just something you have to ignore and just accept that it's there.

don't think of it like walmart

think of it like a market or bazaar

and think of the market also selling "exotic goods" appropriate to each stall. that's what gold piece limits are for.

if an item seems to be like it would be unavailable at the bazaar. turn it into a commission that will take a great deal of time. maybe attach a 10% broker's fee if that helps you.


Agreed with Prof Cirno.

I've heard the "you don't need +X items" assertion quite a few times, applied to every single edition, from OD&D to PF. But unless the speaker is talking about some kind of inherent bonus house rule, I find this assertion highly suspect. +X items are either a necessity to make the game math work and/or they're just plain overpowered. (Clearly 4e RAW falls in the former category, while other editions are less clear.)

In a game about killing things, anyone who claims that a +X to attacks/damage/defenses item is just another item has my immediate skepticism. If a game dev says that, I'm prone to think they must not think much about rules.

Freehold DM wrote:
Hnn. I have a fistful of houserules that mostly revolve around things that happen during critical hits that are meant to get around PC dependence on magical items.

Care to share? You know I can't resist talking house rules!

KaeYoss wrote:
What are you talking about, Mr. Sunrise. Can I call you Tequila?

I prefer Easy Rockin' Eagle or Lieutenant Hangover.

(Or just TS. Whatever lights your dynamite.)

KaeYoss wrote:


And for things like weapons and armour, I'm introducing a magic gem system where gems contain the magic, not the weapon/armour/bracers/belt/ring/whatever. With a bit of time, you can take those gems off that longsword and put them onto your scimitar.

That sounds cool. Didn't WotC start printing magic gems that grant weapon properties near the end of 3.5?


Though switching "+1" bonuses in magic items with weirdness and the need for "+1" things as a means of becoming more powerful with some kind of built-in additional character advancement is a fun-sounding idea, I think the notion that these things are merely a crutch is misguided.

Experience of 31 years has taught me without a shadow of a doubt, that players love each and every "+1" they find, buy, or steal, just for being a "+1." Plusses are the currency of greatness a player most quickly understands, and so are as glorious and sweet to the average player as would be any real-life treasure.

They clutch their chubby little hands together beneath their smiling chins with enthusiastic anticipation, waiting to see just how many plusses they'll get this time!

Contributor

Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:

The trouble with mage marts is when they have an infinite supply capacity of any items a PC might want to buy and worse, an infinite buying capacity where they will automatically buy any and all magic items for 50% of list price, no questions asked. You have a dozen Iron Golem manuals? Sure! We'll take them all!

but sometimes you have to do that, despite it hindering your immersion because the rules assume that pcs will have a certain series of bonuses that they can actually use. the big 6 just represent these bonuses.

that infinite supply and buying capacity is just something you have to ignore and just accept that it's there.

don't think of it like walmart

think of it like a market or bazaar

and think of the market also selling "exotic goods" appropriate to each stall. that's what gold piece limits are for.

if an item seems to be like it would be unavailable at the bazaar. turn it into a commission that will take a great deal of time. maybe attach a 10% broker's fee if that helps you.

If the players require enough "Big 6" items to compete, it's my job as GM to salt treasure hoards with these items or make them available for gold from other sources, including crafting by the party mage. I don't have to make every merchant in the galaxy ready, willing and able to buy what's basically a white elephant, that being an item worth more for its sale value than its actual usefulness. Letting the players figure out uses for the white elephant encourages more creative play than just autoselling stuff like in a computer game.

The Exchange

I am unsure if I have ever done a "Magic Mart" Wow I need to rectify this. The main counter clerk is named Ashley and has but one hand.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

It has always bothered me telling player's they find a +2 sword or +1 breastplate because I feel it takes me and the player's out of the game. You craft an encounter and describe the encounter to create a mood and then you tell them they discover a +3 battleaxe. As was suggested above I like to describe it as some unique item like the battle axe "Orc Cleaver" once wielded by the lost dwarven king Gregar Stonecutter or something along those lines. But if all the characters have to do is go to a big city and find a +3 battle axe at Seamus' Magic Emporium then it loses some of its mysticism.

I try doing this in my games but then you end up with characters with all these magical items like Gregar Stonecutter's "Orc Cleaver" and the breastplate of High Lord Telmar, wearing a cloak made by the elves of the Mordant Spire and wearing the ring of the Fallen Mage. You get my meaning.

I guess I would like to have a little less need for magic for the characters to still be able to survive. That is one thing I liked about Iron Heroes. I am considering adding Defense bonuses like Iron Heroes and seriously limiting magical armor and other changes that will help me limit magic so even higher level characters may have only 2 or 3 magical items total. Potions and scrolls I don't mind being available.

One question, what are the "big 6"?

Sczarni

BYN wrote:

It has always bothered me telling player's they find a +2 sword or +1 breastplate because I feel it takes me and the player's out of the game. You craft an encounter and describe the encounter to create a mood and then you tell them they discover a +3 battleaxe. As was suggested above I like to describe it as some unique item like the battle axe "Orc Cleaver" once wielded by the lost dwarven king Gregar Stonecutter or something along those lines. But if all the characters have to do is go to a big city and find a +3 battle axe at Seamus' Magic Emporium then it loses some of its mysticism.

I try doing this in my games but then you end up with characters with all these magical items like Gregar Stonecutter's "Orc Cleaver" and the breastplate of High Lord Telmar, wearing a cloak made by the elves of the Mordant Spire and wearing the ring of the Fallen Mage. You get my meaning.

I guess I would like to have a little less need for magic for the characters to still be able to survive. That is one thing I liked about Iron Heroes. I am considering adding Defense bonuses like Iron Heroes and seriously limiting magical armor and other changes that will help me limit magic so even higher level characters may have only 2 or 3 magical items total. Potions and scrolls I don't mind being available.

One question, what are the "big 6"?

Ring of Protection +X

Amulet of Natural Armor +X
Stat Boosting Item +2/4/6
Cloak of Resistance
Armor +X
+X weapon

(If I am remembering correctly.)

Basically, the "always on" items that provide the most efficient way to increase basic survivability & maximize PC role "output."

Their importance is pretty much inversely proportional to your personal abilities as a spellcaster. (i.e. Fighter without them = sad fighter. Wizard without +1 Sword? Not so very sad, eh?)

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Thanks Psionichamster.

Shadow Lodge

Shuriken Nekogami wrote:
Kevin Andrew Murphy wrote:

The trouble with mage marts is when they have an infinite supply capacity of any items a PC might want to buy and worse, an infinite buying capacity where they will automatically buy any and all magic items for 50% of list price, no questions asked. You have a dozen Iron Golem manuals? Sure! We'll take them all!

but sometimes you have to do that, despite it hindering your immersion because the rules assume that pcs will have a certain series of bonuses that they can actually use. the big 6 just represent these bonuses.

that infinite supply and buying capacity is just something you have to ignore and just accept that it's there.

don't think of it like walmart

think of it like a market or bazaar

and think of the market also selling "exotic goods" appropriate to each stall. that's what gold piece limits are for.

if an item seems to be like it would be unavailable at the bazaar. turn it into a commission that will take a great deal of time. maybe attach a 10% broker's fee if that helps you.

Except the game is actually designed so you generally can't have the infinite magic mart. There are rules governing not just the highest value items you can buy, but how much the community can spend on buy-back. If there was a Magic Mart of Infinite Magic, it would quickly end up running a Plutocratic World since they would be able to unilaterally determine who lives/dies, who wins/loses, etc.

Going off the previous example, it's more realistic to say, "You have a dozen Iron Golem manuals? Well, those are interesting. But I only have enough gold to buy 3 of those. Maybe I could interest you in a trade? I have a couple of amulets one of my suppliers brought in I might be able to trade you. Toughen up your skin, make it strong like dragon scales (Amulet of Nat Armor +3)." And even then, to have the gold necessary to buy even 3 Iron Golem Manuals, you're already at a large city. A Metropolis could purchase 5. Large Town or smaller? You couldn't sell them for 50%. You'd be taking a loss on everything of that level that you sold.

One of the few exceptions to this idea is the city of Katapesh. The structure of the Bazaar and the amount of Inter-World and Inter-Planar trading gives it some better chances that you can find a given item, but even there you'd be limited in how much you could sell to any one person or even to the community.

For another example of the lack of MageMart, look at the way the APs are designed. From what I've seen so far (admittedly I haven't read all of them), they have very few opportunities for "Our selection is unlimited," and those seem to be gift-rewards from people of very high power (i.e. The "Monarch" of "Country" letting you pull one item of choice up to Xgp limit from the royal treasury).


Actualy I 'hate'(hate is too strong of a word...I hate it is there just for PCs convience) the magic mart idea because I don't think magic items should be anywhere that common you can just run down the street and buy a +5 sword. I am actualy fine with the magic item in the game. It reflects what it is trying to intimate....lets be honest fantasy has always been about the magic bling...without it your turns mundane class (like the fighter) into super heroes...and I really don't want superman...Spider-man...etc in my fantasy game.

Also...I don't find it suspect about a game that does not require the 'big 6' as I have played characters without all 6...I sorta find it sad when people can't imagine a game without them..I mean really just scale back the power of the creature by adjusting CR...it really is not that hard(I know it told you how in the 3.5 DMG...I don't know if it is in the PF corebook)


KaeYoss wrote:


And for things like weapons and armour, I'm introducing a magic gem system where gems contain the magic, not the weapon/armour/bracers/belt/ring/whatever. With a bit of time, you can take those gems off that longsword and put them onto your scimitar.

That way, the players get to use the kinds of armour and weapons their sense of style of powergaming prefer.

So, like materia from Final Fantasy 7?

You could even fuss with the number of "slots" for magic gems each item/ weapon has (like FF7 did). That way, players would still have a reason to be interested in gaining new weapons rather than just more gems for their old ones.

"Oooh, that falchion has 5 slots! Now I can fit my 3 +1 gems and the flaming burst gem I stole off that lich!"


Tequila Sunrise wrote:

It’s not because Magic Marts polish the authentic patina of medieval rust off of our lovingly crafted campaigns. Think about it; we accept all kinds of other anti-medieval trappings in our campagins: anyone of any relavance seems to know how to read and write -- even druids and simpletons. D&D women are only expected to fill medieval gender roles if they’re unwilling to wear or unattractive in a chainmail bikini. And let’s not forget that just about everyone -- even moronic orcs -- are bilingual. Even pegasi understand the common tongue, for Io’s sake!

So don’t kid yourself that Magic Marts ruin the medieval theme. No, the real reason we DMs don’t like Magic Marts is that they create a point buy subsystem. And all patriotic and red-blooded DMs instinctively know that point buy systems are Evil. Search your heart; you know this to be true.

If you still don’t see the light, I’ll explain. What happens in a Magic Mart campaign? Your players go into a dungeon, steal or loot as much junk as they can stuff into their bags of holding, and then they head back to ye olde towne Magic Mart. They sell all the treasure you gave them in the dungeon, in exchange for points [coins], and then they buy better bonuses and powers [items] with those points [coins].

And like all point buy systems, Magic Marts increase the potential for both under- and over-powered PCs in your game. One player might decide to dump all of his points into offense [a magic weapon] while ignoring defense [AC items]. And because AC is 90% dependent on items, that PC becomes a glass cannon. Which in turn results in very short encounters, frequent resurrections, and probably massive annoyance.

See what I mean? Magic Marts are just a front for point buying, and point buying is the enemy of D&D. It’s everything that mustache-twirling villains stand for, and they’re using Magic Marts to subvert innocent D&Ders into point buyers. So be vigilant, and don’t let the other-skins win!

This message is brought to you by your friendly...

This message is full of falsehoods and opinions stated as facts. In other words the OP and his message have been weighed and found lacking.


Eh. I mostly agree. But PCs should EARN IT! And not with money, but with sweat, blood, and sacrifice! "But we don't have the money to buy enogh potions/wands/scrolls!" Well, them's the brakes.


You know what my biggest beef with the "magic-mart" is? The random generation of X items of X power level. And the Y% chance to find anything else.

Which results in the following problem: The existence of items for sale that no-one demands, and the lack of things that EVERYONE would like. Completely disregarding the concept of supply and demand, making me think that each and every item-creating spellcasting NPC is pants-on-head retarded.

Our GM is using this system and randomly generates items for sale. And every time we are handed a list of items available, or he rolls strangely, flow and immersion is broken for me like a wine-glass taking a 100' drop onto concrete.

So far, my lv10 paladin has not seen a single full-plate in-game. Nevermind a mithril one, which he (and most every other high level fighter on the planet) would REALLY like.

This is to me like the equivalent of coming into a pharmacy and ask for pain-killers, cough-syrup and toothpaste, only to find that they do not have any of those. But they DO have a remedy for Rickets, two pairs of water-skis and a parachute repair kit.


Ironicdisaster wrote:
Eh. I mostly agree. But PCs should EARN IT! And not with money, but with sweat, blood, and sacrifice! "But we don't have the money to buy enogh potions/wands/scrolls!" Well, them's the brakes.

I think if they can kill the monsters they have earned it. That is the blood, sweat, and tears part. They then get the money to buy the items.

Now if the players just expect the money to fall into their laps that is a different story.


Kamelguru wrote:

You know what my biggest beef with the "magic-mart" is? The random generation of X items of X power level. And the Y% chance to find anything else.

Which results in the following problem: The existence of items for sale that no-one demands, and the lack of things that EVERYONE would like. Completely disregarding the concept of supply and demand, making me think that each and every item-creating spellcasting NPC is pants-on-head retarded.

Our GM is using this system and randomly generates items for sale. And every time we are handed a list of items available, or he rolls strangely, flow and immersion is broken for me like a wine-glass taking a 100' drop onto concrete.

So far, my lv10 paladin has not seen a single full-plate in-game. Nevermind a mithril one, which he (and most every other high level fighter on the planet) would REALLY like.

This is to me like the equivalent of coming into a pharmacy and ask for pain-killers, cough-syrup and toothpaste, only to find that they do not have any of those. But they DO have a remedy for Rickets, two pairs of water-skis and a parachute repair kit.

If it helps, think of the random stuff nobody wants as being the stuff they have on hand currently precisely because nobody wants it and everybody else already bought the popular stuff. Stores run out of stock of popular items and end up trying to push the unpopular stuff all the time in real life. The better merchants don't do so very often, but everyone ends up doing so at some point.

On the point of magic marts in general, the rules are pretty good at containing the explosion of magic items to reasonable levels, the problem is many groups (and their DMs) just assume that everything is automatically going to be available all the time and ignore the guidelines in place that contain the christmas tree effect. And special materials need to be at least somewhat rare in order to be special, not something your neighborhood general store is selling publicly on racks.


My two c.p. on the mage mart is that it is a needed thing because otherwise your players are so depowered they have a real trouble surviving.

However my DM has pretty much halfed our money so that things like magic tombs and permanent stat items are not affordable even if we craft them ourselves.
I still find some creative things to do to get some nice items and as long as he doesn't feel it's too over powering he's open to allowing us the players to be creative.

My clerics combine the greater holy symbol from complete divine with a true holy symbol from the planar handbook into an awesome combo called a true greater holy symbol that runs you about 6K but makes you an undead turn/destroying beast, I have to create the item myself since it's so unsual but it's worth it.

Here's the thing to remeber about "magic-marts" they allow the party to over come challenges that could otherwise be unsumountable.

No rogue in the party thats fixed by a chime of opening rather than forceing a player to play a class he doesn't like.
No fighte or melee class again no problem, a weapon enchantment that allows proficency to anyone that weilds the weapon and you too can have a wizard with a 16 str useing a two-handed battle-axe to mow down the mooks without haveing to waste his spells until it's really important.
no cleric, hello belt's of healing.
We as a party have had to back out of a dungeon on more than one occasion because the traps were just too tough and we ran out of undead or summoned monsters to trip them or a chime of opening to open them.

So you see by useing the system already in place about wealth and magic item availability you allow the players the freedom they need to make it fun and isn't that the point?


Kamelguru wrote:
You know what my biggest beef with the "magic-mart" is? The random generation of X items of X power level. And the Y% chance to find anything else.

Ah, the Diablo phenomenon.

Yeah, that's absurd. Your DM thinks he's adding 'realism' to the game, amiright?


Tequila Sunrise wrote:
Kamelguru wrote:
You know what my biggest beef with the "magic-mart" is? The random generation of X items of X power level. And the Y% chance to find anything else.

Ah, the Diablo phenomenon.

Yeah, that's absurd. Your DM thinks he's adding 'realism' to the game, amiright?

Personally, I see that as what is currently available. Anything else up to the community's price limit could still be commissioned, it just wouldn't be immediately available. If I ever get to a point that I actually have to use those rules, I would make sure that some common armor or weapons choices would be in that mix, but I wouldn't worry about if they were the exact ones that the party was using.


Tequila Sunrise wrote:
Kamelguru wrote:
You know what my biggest beef with the "magic-mart" is? The random generation of X items of X power level. And the Y% chance to find anything else.

Ah, the Diablo phenomenon.

Yeah, that's absurd. Your DM thinks he's adding 'realism' to the game, amiright?

But this brings up the weird question of how realistic it is that literally one of everything the PCs need/want is available, even if they can't afford it.

In my games, magical items tend to be available by commission or rough inheritance.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Personally I plan going forward to adopt a heroic distinction (listed by someone else in another thread on this) system. Basically at every level starting at 3rd characters can pick 1 bonus based on the big six (magic weapon, magic armor, stat boosting, save boosting, ring of protection/amulet of natural armor). If you set proper limits (level restrictions on the stronger bonuses) it removes all the +x items, and it removes the NEED for magic items, but leaves the want. So you can have Gracnors famous flaming sword. And it is a flaming sword with no +x on it. But the boost to numbers the characters need is still present through the distinctions. And then you dont need a magic mart, because you can scale down treasure and just have it come up for interesting items like a handy haversack or the cloak of the bat or something.


sunshadow21 wrote:
Kamelguru wrote:

You know what my biggest beef with the "magic-mart" is? The random generation of X items of X power level. And the Y% chance to find anything else.

Which results in the following problem: The existence of items for sale that no-one demands, and the lack of things that EVERYONE would like. Completely disregarding the concept of supply and demand, making me think that each and every item-creating spellcasting NPC is pants-on-head retarded.

Our GM is using this system and randomly generates items for sale. And every time we are handed a list of items available, or he rolls strangely, flow and immersion is broken for me like a wine-glass taking a 100' drop onto concrete.

So far, my lv10 paladin has not seen a single full-plate in-game. Nevermind a mithril one, which he (and most every other high level fighter on the planet) would REALLY like.

This is to me like the equivalent of coming into a pharmacy and ask for pain-killers, cough-syrup and toothpaste, only to find that they do not have any of those. But they DO have a remedy for Rickets, two pairs of water-skis and a parachute repair kit.

If it helps, think of the random stuff nobody wants as being the stuff they have on hand currently precisely because nobody wants it and everybody else already bought the popular stuff. Stores run out of stock of popular items and end up trying to push the unpopular stuff all the time in real life. The better merchants don't do so very often, but everyone ends up doing so at some point.

On the point of magic marts in general, the rules are pretty good at containing the explosion of magic items to reasonable levels, the problem is many groups (and their DMs) just assume that everything is automatically going to be available all the time and ignore the guidelines in place that contain the christmas tree effect. And special materials need to be at least somewhat rare in order to be special, not something your neighborhood general store is selling publicly on racks.

Why do special materials have to be special? why can't I play in a world with lots of common special metals that are more rare and expensive. ARe you telling me I am having wrongbadfun becuase I like specail materials and want to play in a world with lots of mithral armor cold iron arrows and things like that? And if I also like playing at low levels so I cannot just teleport to that area. Hell I want a freaking special materails available more than some magic items because I think special materails are awesome.


doctor_wu wrote:
Why do special materials have to be special? why can't I play in a world with lots of common special metals that are more rare and expensive. ARe you telling me I am having wrongbadfun becuase I like specail materials and want to play in a world with lots of mithral armor cold iron arrows and things like that? And if I also like playing at low levels so I cannot just teleport to that area. Hell I want a freaking special materails available more than some magic items because I think special materails are awesome.

There is nothing wrong with making some of the special materials relatively common, but to think that you can walk into any town and find the specific weapons and armor you are looking for already made in the special material you are wanting is a bit of a stretch. They should be fairly easy to commission in the proper size towns with access to the proper mines and artisans, but they should generally take time to make, since I don't see too many artisans using such materials for bulk public sales product in any but the largest of cities. Also, they should be reasonably difficult to find. Finding a lot of any of them in an average human town that does not have much trade with others is a little hard to believe. They might have some, but not a whole lot, and getting someone to part with it should reflect that. Trade towns or towns near the source should be easier to get in both time and price, but even then, expecting to walk into a new town as a complete stranger and expecting to get automatic access to those materials is something that should not happen except in very rare cases.


Magic items should be equally limited in my view. Finding the low level stuff, like +1 or +2 items, and other items in that price range should be doable in the right communities, at least by commission if it not immediately available, but anything higher is going to be largely commission work by specifically trained craftsmen, but still doable up the price range of medium wondrous items with some work and time. Major items should be limited to loot, quest rewards, and convincing the masters of their fields to make.


Point buy systems p0wnz jo!!!11

Shadow Lodge

Saying "I heroically slew the brutish orc warrior after it had beheaded two of my compatriots, and took this sword with the blade of enchanted obsidian from his rotting corpse" is, in my less-than-humble opinion, much cooler than saying "I heroically placed a few thousand gold pieces down in front of the merchant, and he gave unto me this sword of generic enchantment."

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

+1 to Kthulhu.

Shadow Lodge

+1 (Kthulhu + TriOmegaZero)


This just in: some GMs are control freaks who feel the need to have absolute power over what sort of magic items their PCs have access to.

2nd edition did that just fine, tyvm.

The Exchange

jlighter wrote:
+1 (Kthulhu + TriOmegaZero)

+1 to that +1


Moro wrote:

This just in: some GMs are control freaks who feel the need to have absolute power over what sort of magic items their PCs have access to.

2nd edition did that just fine, tyvm.

You don't have to be a control freak to dislike the magic mart economy.

An old campaign I ran was devoid of Magic Marts and Crafting both. However, the PCs got the items they wanted though use of research and divination. I'd drop pseudo-random treasure in general encounters (trying to make sure it was sensible and usable, hitting most of the high notes), but if a player said 'I want +1 Mithril Plate Mail of Speed!', then they could spend some gold and some time to learn exactly where 'The Legendary Armor of Thranurian, Dwarf-Friend' was lost, and go get it. As long as the item was reasonable, then the challenge to get it would be appropriate.

It was a campaign where the PCs were exceptional, as there simply were no high-level PC-classed NPCs hanging around to craft and cast to create that type of economy. It also made things much more reasonable... when the kobold invasion threatened the town, the 4th level PCs were the most powerful people there, there wasn't an old wizened magic-item peddler cranking out CL17 items with a stick up his butt that prevented him from just fireballing the invasion to death.

It works well and doesn't mean the DM is a jackhole control freak that won't let his players have nice things.


Marshall Jansen wrote:
Moro wrote:

This just in: some GMs are control freaks who feel the need to have absolute power over what sort of magic items their PCs have access to.

2nd edition did that just fine, tyvm.

You don't have to be a control freak to dislike the magic mart economy.

An old campaign I ran was devoid of Magic Marts and Crafting both. However, the PCs got the items they wanted though use of research and divination. I'd drop pseudo-random treasure in general encounters (trying to make sure it was sensible and usable, hitting most of the high notes), but if a player said 'I want +1 Mithril Plate Mail of Speed!', then they could spend some gold and some time to learn exactly where 'The Legendary Armor of Thranurian, Dwarf-Friend' was lost, and go get it. As long as the item was reasonable, then the challenge to get it would be appropriate.

It was a campaign where the PCs were exceptional, as there simply were no high-level PC-classed NPCs hanging around to craft and cast to create that type of economy. It also made things much more reasonable... when the kobold invasion threatened the town, the 4th level PCs were the most powerful people there, there wasn't an old wizened magic-item peddler cranking out CL17 items with a stick up his butt that prevented him from just fireballing the invasion to death.

It works well and doesn't mean the DM is a jackhole control freak that won't let his players have nice things.

I'm not saying that playing that way can't be fun, but you'll find that running the game with the rules exactly as they are written works just fine without having a giant magic item emporium on every corner. If you take a little closer look at the Purchasing Magic Items section you may find that the rules have a happy medium available that provides plenty of restrictions, with cheap minor magic items in abundance in the largest of communities; medium and major items, not so much.


Moro wrote:


I'm not saying that playing that way can't be fun, but you'll find that running the game with the rules exactly as they are written works just fine without having a giant magic item emporium on every corner. If you take a little closer look at the Purchasing Magic Items section you may find that the rules have a happy medium available that provides plenty of restrictions, with cheap minor magic items in abundance in the largest of communities; medium and major items, not so much.

The vast majority of games I've played in/gm'd have been RAW as far as it comes to magic item crafting and purchasing.

However, with magic item crafting and purchasing comes the expectation that every major city has sever CL17+ dudes cranking this stuff out. And again, if there are several CL17+ dudes doing this, then the PCs aren't all that special.

Playing a game where in a large town a 4th level character is a super-power, and a 1st level spell is a miracle is really pretty cool.

I don't see much difference in being a control freak that needs to have absolute power over what sort of magic items PCs have access to (while allowing the players to get what they want in ways other than plunking down gold), and being a control freak that needs to have absolute power over what character creation method is used, what non-core classes and options are allowed, what encounters are encountered, etc etc...

The DM having a throttle control for items is no big deal... as long as the players enjoy it, handle magic items the way you want. I personally think it's more fun as a player and a DM to not have crafting and magic marts in the game, but it's not so much more fun that I feel it's a requirement, and again, it's more work for the DM to not have Magic Marts, so I usually take the easy out and allow them.


Personally, I don't mind magic items being sold here and there and given the setting, in smaller or bigger quantity. The idea of a magic-mart is sickening, but there's always a backroom in that library, a fancy display at the weapon shop, the "suspicious old man's shop of antique and curios" the "special customer chest" in the wandering halfling caravan and the old fortune-telling ladies with her potions and amulets - to fit your needs in magic items.

What I do mind is that the system encourages the players to buy the same generic items over and over again.

In short, I don't mind the players purchasing feather tokens (hell, give them a 10% discount if they buy the complete kit!), but I'm not a fan of selling your sword +2 in order to buy a new sword +3.

'findel

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