In defense of magic shoppes


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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memorax wrote:
bookrat wrote:


Thanks for generalizing people and stereotyping them.

Agreed and seconded. Since it's only D&D players that behave badly at gaming tables.

no no--those vampire the masquerade folk are about as bad.


Rocketman1969 wrote:
He's the guy who takes down every last copper piece and records it and then gets angry when they can't pack 100 000 of them on a horse.

But...a heavy horse can carry 1,200 pounds of material without issue (just a heavy load so the horse moves at a speed of 40 ft. instead of 50 ft.). That only leaves 800 lbs. of coin left to distribute. If you have the horse drag it (such as by tying a chest or satchel to the horse's saddle and letting him pull it across the ground) the horse can drag up to 6000 lbs or roughly triple the amount you mentioned. That's just one horse. If everyone in a typical party has a horse (4 people) they could carry 240,000 copper pieces without having to drag a thing.


This:

Abraham spalding wrote:


I didn't realize that people said 'magic shop' and immediately meant everything was on the table to be bought. I always thought it was a more generic term meaning, "the magic items available for sale in the town as is determined by the rules for settlements".

Yeah I can see why people would have issues with people thinking everything is always on the table right when you want it.

I always see 'the magic shop' as more like an actual store -- they have hours of business, a set location and only so much and specific types of merchandise, and you (the adventurer) have to live with that.

Agree, not immediately on the table, but eventually.

Saying a party of level 11 characters is having trouble finding a +3 sword is just silly (unless it’s a part of a plot). For crying out loud, they can teleport, raise dead, fly, plane shift and have a cup of coffee with some angels of even their God, why the h*ck shouldn’t they be able to find a simple +3 sword? Sure, not ‘immediately’ but within a day or two wouldn’t be a problem. More odd stuff like a +2 furious might have to get crafted, but that isn’t a big deal is it? Get a +2 weapon and add furious. Will take some time, but hey.


ZZTRaider wrote:
Alzrius wrote:
Zark wrote:

True, the rules does not say: you need to make sure the PCs have +3 weapons and armor, not just +2", but the difference between having a +3 or a +2 weapon is much bigger than +3 vs. +4 weapon.

Same as the having a +1 weapon instead of a MW weapon could be the difference between a TPK and no TPK. Sometimes item X is – more or less- mandatory.

You're not backing up this statement; how is the difference between a +2 and a +3 item bigger than the difference between a +3 and a +4 item? The difference in both cases is +1.

Likewise, saying that "that +1 could be what stops a TPK from happening" is tangential to the issue, since no matter what your total bonuses are, there'll always be cases where the die roll is one point away from what you need it to be - it's more germane to ask how much of an impact the loss of a +1 on a specific kind of roll has on the PCs average for those rolls over the course of a campaign (and, more generally, how much difference that impact had).

I believe Zark may be referring to the ability of some levels of enhancement bonuses to bypass damage reduction.

+1 is a huge deal, since it lets you affect incorporeal enemies and bypass DR/magic.
+2 is nice, but there's no further effect on DR, so all you're getting here is the hit and damage bonus.
+3 isn't as important as +1, but it's better than +2 since it allows you to bypass DR/silver and DR/cold iron.
+4 is still useful, but since DR/adamantine isn't as common as silver and cold iron, it's not quite as important as +3.
+5 is about as huge as +1, since so many things (especially at high levels) have DR/alignment.

Obviously, you can deal with all of this in other ways, but the ability to just ignore those types of damage reduction passively without any sort of preparation is rather nice.

@ZZTRaider. Thanks, that is exactly it.


Ashiel wrote:
Rocketman1969 wrote:
He's the guy who takes down every last copper piece and records it and then gets angry when they can't pack 100 000 of them on a horse.
But...a heavy horse can carry 1,200 pounds of material without issue (just a heavy load so the horse moves at a speed of 40 ft. instead of 50 ft.). That only leaves 800 lbs. of coin left to distribute. If you have the horse drag it (such as by tying a chest or satchel to the horse's saddle and letting him pull it across the ground) the horse can drag up to 6000 lbs or roughly triple the amount you mentioned. That's just one horse. If everyone in a typical party has a horse (4 people) they could carry 240,000 copper pieces without having to drag a thing.

Amazing. If someone in my party went to trouble of figuring that out i'd have to kill their horses--just on principle.


Okay, let's try this.

Here is the SRD page for magic items. About two thirds of the way down the page is a section headed "Purchasing Magic Items".

Does anyone have a problem with these guidelines, as written, for a game which has no reason to vary from the assumed magic level (eg, all magic items are made by one family of dwarves)?

If so, please detail these objections (too restrictive, too permissive, etc) so that they may be debated reasonably.


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Rocketman1969 wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Rocketman1969 wrote:
He's the guy who takes down every last copper piece and records it and then gets angry when they can't pack 100 000 of them on a horse.
But...a heavy horse can carry 1,200 pounds of material without issue (just a heavy load so the horse moves at a speed of 40 ft. instead of 50 ft.). That only leaves 800 lbs. of coin left to distribute. If you have the horse drag it (such as by tying a chest or satchel to the horse's saddle and letting him pull it across the ground) the horse can drag up to 6000 lbs or roughly triple the amount you mentioned. That's just one horse. If everyone in a typical party has a horse (4 people) they could carry 240,000 copper pieces without having to drag a thing.

Amazing. If someone in my party went to trouble of figuring that out i'd have to kill their horses--just on principle.

Wait, why? For doing math?


shallowsoul wrote:
ZugZug wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:

Magic Item Marts are a blight to a campaign.

Let's look at a few reasons why.

1: They essentially become expensive common items. You might as well go with 4th edition's design and put all magic items in the PHB.

You might as well put magic items into the standard gear column of the PHB and enable themto purchase the items at the start of the campaign.

Edit: It becomes an arms race.

K, I gotta ask.

Do you have a Pathfinder Core Rulebook?
Cause all the Magic Items ARE in there already.

They might not be in the "Standard Gear" column (well, some of them are already), but they are in the Book.

I might be missing your attempt at Sarcasm though. But its hard to translate it sometimes. Especially when you're using it as a Reason to defend why you dislike something.

I own lots of Pathfinder books actually.

The thing is the magic items are in the DM section, chapter 12+, of the book. Paizo decided to cut down on two books so they shoved them all into one. If they were two books then magic items would be in the DMG.

There is no sarcasm. I'm not sure if you own the 4th edition Player's Guide but it contains magic items while the Dungeon Master's Guide does not. The game itself was specifically designed where PC's must have magic items because it is thoroughly built into the system so they moved the items to the player's book.

I do own the 4th Ed PHB. I own the 4th Ed DMG.

I own the PF CRB. I do NOT own the PF Game Mastery Guide, which I assumed was the equivalent to the 4th Ed DMG.

If the reason PF put the Magical Items in the CRB to eliminate the "Game Masters Book", why did they then publish a "Game Masters Book" anyway?


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Rocketman1969 wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Rocketman1969 wrote:
He's the guy who takes down every last copper piece and records it and then gets angry when they can't pack 100 000 of them on a horse.
But...a heavy horse can carry 1,200 pounds of material without issue (just a heavy load so the horse moves at a speed of 40 ft. instead of 50 ft.). That only leaves 800 lbs. of coin left to distribute. If you have the horse drag it (such as by tying a chest or satchel to the horse's saddle and letting him pull it across the ground) the horse can drag up to 6000 lbs or roughly triple the amount you mentioned. That's just one horse. If everyone in a typical party has a horse (4 people) they could carry 240,000 copper pieces without having to drag a thing.

Amazing. If someone in my party went to trouble of figuring that out i'd have to kill their horses--just on principle.

Translation : Anyone who backtalks me in my game is going to have rocks fall, you all die, happen to them.

My own personal opinion is, anyone who pulls junk like this isn't a good GM. They're not even a bad GM. A bad GM is someone who just isn't good at GMing. They're a **** GM. I honestly thought that particular critter was a myth, but I guess I've had a bigfoot sighting.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
ZugZug wrote:


I do own the 4th Ed PHB. I own the 4th Ed DMG.
I own the PF CRB. I do NOT own the PF Game Mastery Guide, which I assumed was the equivalent to the 4th Ed DMG.

If the reason PF put the Magical Items in the CRB to eliminate the "Game Masters Book", why did they then publish a "Game Masters Book" anyway?

The Gamemastery Guide is NOT a DMG. It's not anything close to a DMG.

It's more like a 'Idiots Guide to Being a GM'. It has all sorts of dissertations on how to run a game, pointers, things to help out new GMs, etc. It might be closer to the 3.5 DMG2, in some respects. But it's not anything like the 3.5 or 4.0 DMG.


Rocketman1969 wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Rocketman1969 wrote:
He's the guy who takes down every last copper piece and records it and then gets angry when they can't pack 100 000 of them on a horse.
But...a heavy horse can carry 1,200 pounds of material without issue (just a heavy load so the horse moves at a speed of 40 ft. instead of 50 ft.). That only leaves 800 lbs. of coin left to distribute. If you have the horse drag it (such as by tying a chest or satchel to the horse's saddle and letting him pull it across the ground) the horse can drag up to 6000 lbs or roughly triple the amount you mentioned. That's just one horse. If everyone in a typical party has a horse (4 people) they could carry 240,000 copper pieces without having to drag a thing.

Amazing. If someone in my party went to trouble of figuring that out i'd have to kill their horses--just on principle.

Yes, how dare I know what the carrying capacity of my mount is and divide the number of coins by 50 to arrive at their weight. The nerve! What a terrible person I am!

I don't think you'd have to worry about it for long. If that's the sort of thing you'd kill my mount on principle for, well, I imagine you wouldn't have to put up with players for long.


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mdt wrote:
ZugZug wrote:


I do own the 4th Ed PHB. I own the 4th Ed DMG.
I own the PF CRB. I do NOT own the PF Game Mastery Guide, which I assumed was the equivalent to the 4th Ed DMG.

If the reason PF put the Magical Items in the CRB to eliminate the "Game Masters Book", why did they then publish a "Game Masters Book" anyway?

The Gamemastery Guide is NOT a DMG. It's not anything close to a DMG.

It's more like a 'Idiots Guide to Being a GM'. It has all sorts of dissertations on how to run a game, pointers, things to help out new GMs, etc. It might be closer to the 3.5 DMG2, in some respects. But it's not anything like the 3.5 or 4.0 DMG.

That's right on the money. The PF GMG is a great resource for beginner GMs (at least, I think it would have been great when I started out), but if you're not a beginner, you really don't need it. Although, I do own it, and I did like reading it. The only thing that I've actually put into my games from that book was the chase rules and the addiction rules - both of which I think are fantastic.

But it is certainly not an equivalent to a DMG. The CRB has everything the player and GM need, it's both the PHB and DMG combined.

Silver Crusade

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Zark wrote:

This:

Abraham spalding wrote:


I didn't realize that people said 'magic shop' and immediately meant everything was on the table to be bought. I always thought it was a more generic term meaning, "the magic items available for sale in the town as is determined by the rules for settlements".

Yeah I can see why people would have issues with people thinking everything is always on the table right when you want it.

I always see 'the magic shop' as more like an actual store -- they have hours of business, a set location and only so much and specific types of merchandise, and you (the adventurer) have to live with that.

Agree, not immediately on the table, but eventually.

Saying a party of level 11 characters is having trouble finding a +3 sword is just silly (unless it’s a part of a plot). For crying out loud, they can teleport, raise dead, fly, plane shift and have a cup of coffee with some angels of even their God, why the h*ck shouldn’t they be able to find a simple +3 sword? Sure, not ‘immediately’ but within a day or two wouldn’t be a problem. More odd stuff like a +2 furious might have to get crafted, but that isn’t a big deal is it? Get a +2 weapon and add furious. Will take some time, but hey.

So the right gear at just the right time as you level suddenly becomes available at shops you go to?

"Lads, I just reached level 12. Let's head back to the city and buy some appropriate gear."

"We were there the last game session and we bought what we needed."

"Yeah but there is a 75% chance we will find what we need."

Yeah, I really enjoy games like that.


bookrat wrote:
mdt wrote:
ZugZug wrote:


I do own the 4th Ed PHB. I own the 4th Ed DMG.
I own the PF CRB. I do NOT own the PF Game Mastery Guide, which I assumed was the equivalent to the 4th Ed DMG.

If the reason PF put the Magical Items in the CRB to eliminate the "Game Masters Book", why did they then publish a "Game Masters Book" anyway?

The Gamemastery Guide is NOT a DMG. It's not anything close to a DMG.

It's more like a 'Idiots Guide to Being a GM'. It has all sorts of dissertations on how to run a game, pointers, things to help out new GMs, etc. It might be closer to the 3.5 DMG2, in some respects. But it's not anything like the 3.5 or 4.0 DMG.

That's right on the money. The PF GMG is a great resource for beginner GMs (at least, I think it would have been great when I started out), but if you're not a beginner, you really don't need it. Although, I do own it, and I did like reading it. The only thing that I've actually put into my games from that book was the chase rules and the addiction rules - both of which I think are fantastic.

But it is certainly not an equivalent to a DMG. The CRB has everything the player and GM need, it's both the PHB and DMG combined.

That sounds exactly like the 4e DMG though. I felt the same way about that book, it was very well written, lots of useful tips, but 20 some years of experience kinda killed its usefulness to me. The "Useful" stuff was for the most part in the PHB.

But that still goes to the Crust of the matter. IF the CRB had all the DMG stuff stuffed in it, TO PREVENT A "Game Masters" book from being done (which was another posters argument), and one was done anyway (Note, it doesn't mean done well), how does that argument really hold up?

To further my point, if you take the Chapters in the CRB that were in the 3.5 DMG out (so chapters 11+), what would the 3.5 DMG book look like. There were still chapters in that book, beyond the "5", that would still exist. It wouldn't be a good book anymore. But it would still exist.

IMO, Paizo could have sold quite a few more books. A 380 page "PHB" and a 520 page "DMG" as opposed to a 572 page CRB & 320 page GMG doesn't change the page count overall. Add them together, they're still 900 pages (give or take). Most players (note not DMs) would probably not buy the GMG as made, but if it had the sections on Prestige Classes, NPC Classes & Magical Items, I think the sales for it would be much higher, because there would be a lot of players would have bought the GMG BECAUSE it had the Magical Items Section in it. I know that held true to 1e, 2e & 3e (it didn't in 4e, because they weren't there).

4e & PF made a "DMG" that was ONLY useful to DMs. 1e, 2e & 3e made a DMG that was useful to DMs & Players.

So, back to the original point, the CRB is the PHB. The Magical Items aren't in a different Book. They are in the book the PLAYERS WILL USE to play the game. They aren't in a "Special DM only section that you need your DM Decoder Ring to open". They are in the Main book. Same as in 4e (and this was the actual discussion point). The APG follows the same guide as the PHB2 in 4e as well. The Magical Items (for the most part) are ones that work well with the Classes presented in that book.

And yeah, there are Magical ItemS in the General Equipment Section. But I'm sure they've been HouseRuled Out of some peoples games already.


I totally get your point.

To make an excuse, I've barely read 4e stuff; I've only been in a handful of 4e sessions. I was more comparing the CRB to previous editions.

Silver Crusade

Ashiel wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
There's also how amazingly worthless 300,000 gp is when you can't do a darn thing with it.

Depends on what your playing. Not everyone kills then buys stuff. Wash, rinse, and repeat.

Paladins and clerics can donate the gold and be rewarded in other ways for example.

How handy for Paladins and Clerics. I guess their churches give them...what? Are the churches packing item creating dwarfs in the basement who use their so closely guarded that they don't even really know secrets of craftsmanship to produce magic items for the clerics and paladins or something? How might they be getting rewarded in "other ways"?

You can retire on 10,000 gp. The moment you have 10,000 gp worth of loot, according to the rules, you can live a comfortable normal lifestyle at 10 gp/month for about 83.3 years and that includes minor expenses like eating out. Which means adding the absolute minimum lifespan for an adventurer (again based on the rules) of 15 years, you'd be 98 years old before you ran out.

You're expected to amass 10,500 gp worth of treasure by 5th level. That's even counting consumable magic items that got dumped along the way (because the actual amount you're likely to get by that level, based on the treasure by encounters table is more like 13,800 gp (if you fight nothing but NPC-geared foes you get double this amount but sell for half price to equate to the same amount).

If you can't reasonably be expected to convert treasures into magic items you end up with an excessive amount of wealth with nothing really to spend it on. The most expensive masterwork armor is 1650 gp. Four different masterwork weapons is less than 1,400 gp. Some fine heavy warhorses are 300 gp. Another 150 gp covers most every piece of adventuring gear you will ever need, and 300 for some consumables; leaving you 10,000 gp of your share to retire on until the age of 98+ years old.

Which means it gets really, really, reaaaaaaally boring to find treasure after a...

You do realize that when you add "for example" after a few examples it doesn't have to stop there.

Fighter: Can donate to churches, purchase some retainers, buy some contacts, or go out and commission something to he made.

Rogue: Start up his own guild, buy contacts, commission something to be made, use his newly aquired contacts to find a certain type of item etc...

You claim to be such a pro at the game. All it takes is using your imagination, unless you are so wrapped up in the rules that you can't see what's beyond the book.


Ashiel, kmal2t, would you say that you find the guidelines in the core rulebook regarding purchasing magic items too permissive? If so, can you suggest changes you would make to bring them more in order with what you see as the default magic level?

Or do you feel that while the suggested values are fine, GMs in general tend to be even more permissive? Or a combination of the two?

I apologize for the presumption; I am not trying to put words in either of your mouths, I just want to understand your positions.

EDIT: And I would like to apologize to you, kmal2t, for implying you called all those who use magic shops lazy. In fact, you said that the inclusion of magic shops can seem lazy, a subtly different statement. I agree, poorly done magic shops can indeed seem like a lazy plot device.


My comment was directed to Adamantine Dragon, not you Gaekub. there were so many comments I didn't even see yours. And it goes beyond magic items to the entire game.

And it really comes down to the shift of DnD toward more instant gratification of having more powerful characters with a slew of nifty powers and options and feats and money and items available than they used to. Characters advance faster and are more powerful. You used to not f~!# with dragons till the mid teens nor a troll till what? Level 8?

This change is somewhat understandable since 2E had you roll for hp at first (though I never played a game where the Dm didn't house rule max hp for at least 1st-2nd level). This usually meant you had a good risk of dying until like 5th level. Obviously there are a number of Players who wouldn't like that.

In itself this isn't bad. 3.x+ fixed a lot of the problems of two but definitely buffed a lot up. It just means bad guys and challenges have to be proportionally harder thus the game is more "epic" than it used to be. 4e is epic to the point of absurdity if you ask me.

If you get epic too quickly you're rolling handfulls of dice at low levels and nothing is challenging by mid-high levels unless you want to roll 40d6. I'm glad they put the slow advancement in and I hope PF doesn't get crazy with new builds and spells and items and options to where Players get spoiled and more demanding and Pf ends up at 4E. I hope that long rant answered your question


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Okay. Seriously. I don't have the kind of time to read this whole thread, but I want to say a few things.

The problem here is not whether a 'magic mart' would arise -- the problem is suspension of disbelief. See, this is supposed to be a medieval society, in a world where technology obviously exists (even if gunpowder doesn't work, the crossbow does, and you can get quite advanced just based on the kind of technology of the crossbow's level). And here's another thing -- most worlds have existed for a couple of thousand years with no societal or economic development. It's all still based on a medieval level. Even fashion doesn't go much beyond Renaissance levels.

And this is not the way the real world works.

Even without technology, ideas still emerge that will transform the world from a medieval level to a more modern level. Even something so simple as division of labor, taken to its logical conclusion, will lead the society out of a medieval base and into something more resembling 18th Century availability of goods.

See, the reason the Medieval Ages lasted so long in our world wasn't stagnation of ideas, it was the constant wars and plagues and other catastrophes that drained the population of the brainpower to develop these ideas fully and the labor to exploit these ideas fully. Only when the wars and plagues subsided did the Renaissance happen, then the Industrial Revolution was a natural outgrowth of that.

But this doesn't happen in a standard fantasy campaign. Why not? There's usually no great wars going on (as most fantasy milieus don't want to become strictly military campaigns). There's no great plagues (magic usually keeps them from becoming too obnoxious). We have the brainpower to come up with ideas, and we have the labor to develop them -- heck, we even have fantasy monsters that can be used for specialized labor forces. We already have this happening -- there are cobblers in most medieval fantasy settings, for example.

Given this sort of thinking, it's only natural that things like supermarkets are going to develop. A group of merchants get together, form a co-op, start selling their goods all under one roof? Natural thought. The guild mentality might prevent this from happening up until the first group that tries it and finds out how to make it profitable -- and in the kind of history that most fantasy worlds have, there has been plenty of time for someone to do exactly that.

I'm not talking about developing a technological base, though lord only knows why not. If gunpowder doesn't work, magic certainly does, and there's going to be enough development into magic to make it cheaper and easier to use. I'm talking about ideas like division of labor, like economic theory, ideas that came out of a medieval setting, yet changed our world. Read Adam Smith, and remember that he came from a time much like the base world of Pathfinder.

No, what's needed is suspension of disbelief -- the willingness to accept that these things did not happen despite the overwhelming impetus for it to happen. This just isn't something you can do with an internet discussion, because we-as-humans base so much of our arguments on our world and our experiences with our world. In order to develop this argument, you have to be willing to ignore your experiences with the world, and base your arguments on sheer speculation.

Now, that being said, it's time to move onto my actual point.

Magic items in a fantasy world are almost never seen as mystical treasures that are rare and fantastic -- they're equipment upgrades, pure and simple. Power advancement in Pathfinder is based on this assumption, that as your character gains in level, his equipment will also gain in power. If you want to change this basic concept, you have to seriously edit the game. Monsters have to become weaker in order to compensate for the loss of upgraded equipment, and so on.

Your average +1 weapon, +1 armor, or minor skill-bonus magic items are just what I said they were -- equipment upgrades. By their very nature they have to be (relatively) cheap to make for those skilled enough to make them. If they aren't cheap to make, then they aren't cheap to obtain, and you won't find them in treasure hordes, because they were guarded better than that.

Now, I can hear some of you saying 'You call 2000 gold cheap?!?' Yes, according to adventurer economy. Adventurers in fantasy RPG settings are all rich bastards. They go out, go on a few adventures, and come back with enough money to live comfortably for the rest of their days, doing nothing -- but they don't do that, since they've discovered the quest to save/rule the world. So they go on more adventures. And they become richer bastards. And they start looking for ways to spend all this money. Equipment upgrades are the natural target for all this cash, because rich bastard adventurers don't have day jobs and hobbies. They need better gear to keep themselves alive and do their jobs better. They'll eventually be able to afford some seriously expensive stuff -- but they're all rich. Dropping 2000 gold on a magic sword is nothing to them.

So, this stuff has to be cheap enough for rich bastards to be able to buy them. Cheap means lots of them are going to be made. And these rich bastards are going to keep wanting to trade up. So they ditch their 2000 gold-costing +1 sword for a +2 sword. Where's that +1 sword end up?

And here's the thing -- you've had a fantasy world that's been around for quite some time. Lots of rich bastards have come and gotten their cheap +1 swords and gone on and traded up. These things circulate. Someone's going to get their hands on quite a few of these. This might be a way to side-step the whole concept of the cheap magic sword -- but there's still going to be quite a few of them circulating. Someone's going to open a shop.

Let's maintain suspension of disbelief and ignore the concept of chain stores, of franchises, and of transportation networks. Someone's still going to open a shop where he sells used swords -- and the +1 swords might be in the back, but he's going to make it known that he has them. There isn't going to be a private collector for these things that you have to search out, because these aren't pieces of art -- they're equipment upgrades. Instead there's going to be a shop in a big town where someone sells +1 swords. You might have to travel a bit to get to it, but eventually you'll get there and you'll be able to buy your +1 sword.

Until someone else realizes what a lucrative business this is, selling used equipment upgrades to up-and-coming rich bastard mercenaries, and they're going to open their own shop. This is the sort of thing that would be covered under suspension of disbelief, but it's just too much to be suspended -- this kind of business is obviously lucrative, and it's expecting too much that someone else isn't going to get some money and start selling +1 swords too. There's suspension of disbelief, and there's willing belief in sheer lunacy.

So, are you going to have magic shops? Yes, you are. But these are going to be merchants who got a little money, bought some +1 swords cheap, and sell them as equipment upgrades. They might have branched out and picked up +1 armor, or even some boots of elvenkind or rings of protection, but it's the same thing. They sell low-grade equipment upgrades for those who can afford it. And there's enough low-grade equipment upgrades circulating out there that there's going to be a large number of these stores, certainly in most major cities.

As your magic items get more powerful, they become harder to find -- but your rich bastard mercenaries have more means to search and find these more powerful items. I'd just think the two forces -- rarity vs. more advanced search and retrieval methods -- would cancel each other out. So these shops probably also sell +2 swords, +2 armor, etc., because it's still equipment upgrades. Someone made it, someone used it, and then traded it in for better, later on. It circulates, and that means someone's going to sell it.

This breaks down when you start talking about specific magic items -- you can find a +2 sword pretty much anywhere, but asking for a +2 flaming orcbane sword is a little specific. There might be one or two floating around out there, but you're more likely to get one by finding a wizard who can make you one. However, you're not going to get that wizard to make you one unless you make it worth his while, so you pay the wizard the same as if you were buying it from a shop.

Now, wizards who can make +2 flaming orcbane swords and are willing to do so for the money are going to advertise their services. They might even be willing to travel to you. Especially given that they're probably skilled enough to cast Teleport and get to you with very little fuss. And there might be some rich bastard mercenary wizards who got tired of the quest to save/rule the world and decided it was just easier making +2 flaming orcbane swords for other rich bastard mercenaries -- certainly one or two. Since their wares are so specific, maintaining a shop is pointless, but hey, they'll come to you, make you a +2 flaming etc. etc. for the same time and effort of buying one from the magic shop in town. (And they probably rely on said magic shops to send and receive messages, too.)

The really powerful items -- the +5 Axiomatic Holy Avengers? Well, there aren't that many floating around, and they're carefully guarded, because these aren't just equipment upgrades, they're weapons of mass destruction. These fall into the category of 'If your GM wants you to have this, then you get it, and not a moment before'. These aren't purchasable, so don't even bother. They don't circulate, because they're used and then returned to storage for the day when they'll next be called for, or they're stolen and destroyed so they can't be used again against whatever forces they were designed to defeat. If you could purchase these items, then those latter forces would just buy them to get them out of the hands of the people they don't like.

If you want to change this facet of your game world, a few things have to happen.

First, magic items can't be equipment upgrades any more -- they're bonus items. Your challenges will have to be defined carefully so that player characters do not need magic items to defeat them. In this case, a +1 sword is nice to have, but it's not absolutely required in order to adventure.

Second, magic items have to become rarer. They have to become harder to craft, which means they become more expensive. Now merchants can't afford them, which means no shops arise. Merchants may acquire one, and sell it to the right buyer, but they're not going to advertise that they have +1 swords for sale. They're going to take the initiative and listen for news of someone who wants a +1 sword, and then set up a meeting.

And third... um... NO ONE EXPECTS THE SPANISH INQUISITION!!! (Okay, I got nothing.)

Now, if we eliminate the suspension of disbelief of this argument, then I'm afraid that Magicmarts do in fact become reality within your typical fantasy campaign. It's human nature: Someone, out there, wants to own all the money in the world. They're going to amass a large chunk of change, buy magic items from crafters using division of labor and assembly line manufacturing, and then undercut other vendors until he's driven them out of business -- whereupon he raises prices to whatever the market will bear. This is standard business practice, and someone's going to come up with the idea.

But if we eliminate the suspension of disbelief, your typical fantasy milieu stops being a medieval setting and transforms into a post-Industrial Revolution game, quite possibly more steampunk than fantasy. We can speculate at that point, it's probably easier just to play Pure Steam than Pathfinder.


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Wow. That's a wall of text. Not a bad read, either. It's well said. I only want to add to the first paragraph, as it reminds me of this:

"I don't get why people see D&D or it's derivatives as medieval European.

You have medieval knights (500-1500 AD) wearing renaissance era armor (1400-1700 AD), wielding roman era falcatas (500 BC - 500 AD), worshiping Greek gods (800 BC - 600 AD), traveling with Native American shamans (12,000 years ago - today) wearing the hides of Saharan beasts, who transform into prehistoric dinosaurs (200 Million years ago) who are accompanied by modern Japanese schoolgirls wielding Tokugawa era daisho (1600-1800 AD) and wearing black pajamas, and old men wearing robes and pointed hats who chant mathematical equations to control reality, on a journey to kill brain eating space aliens, giant sentient fire-breathing spell-casting reptiles, and sentient jellos." Link (not mine, but I made slight modifications)


Yeah got to say people not understanding capitalism and how it's the most base form of economic principles out there causes me problems with suspension of disbelief in reality.

The idea that somehow people won't do exactly what people will do for a buck is ludicrous. Almost every 'evil' in the world is supported by a capitalistic system and will continue to be because that's the natural working of the world.


Abraham spalding wrote:

Yeah got to say people not understanding capitalism and how it's the most base form of economic principles out there causes me problems with suspension of disbelief in reality.

The idea that somehow people won't do exactly what people will do for a buck is ludicrous. Almost every 'evil' in the world is supported by a capitalistic system and will continue to be because that's the natural working of the world.

....you do realize the idea of capitalism and liberal theory is a more postmodern concept do you not?

The idea of free market economy and capitalism as you know it is predated by the idea that aristocrats and nobles having the natural right to rule and own land (which was the most important commodity) not the selling of goods. Class structure and laws protecting those of high birth outweighs bucks in this system.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
kmal2t wrote:
Class structure and laws protecting those of high birth outweighs bucks in this system.

Are you sure? Have you looked at Andoran and Qadira?

Grand Lodge

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shallowsoul wrote:
So the right gear at just the right time as you level suddenly becomes available at shops you go to?

No, but as you level you get access to new areas that have wider arrays of things.


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Good points shallowsoul. Reminded of pc rogues who have started their own guilds and got so much done. So many eyes and ears everywhere. Or PC fighters who open their own melee academy. Training the next generation. Good stuff.


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The equalizer wrote:
Good points shallowsoul. Reminded of pc rogues who have started their own guilds and got so much done. So many eyes and ears everywhere. Or PC fighters who open their own melee academy. Training the next generation. Good stuff.

Good stuff, if that's the direction you want to go with your game. Everyone settling down and devoting most of their time to managing others, training others, whatever. Instead of adventuring.

It's not usually what I want to spend my game time doing.


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TriOmegaZero wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
So the right gear at just the right time as you level suddenly becomes available at shops you go to?
No, but as you level you get access to new areas that have wider arrays of things.

Seconded verymuchso! Again, I can only speak for my own game, but in my games I have yet over the past few campaigns to hand out the "right gear at the right time" through a shopping trip. Oh sure, the barbarian focused on axes found an axe in a dragon's hoard, the mage who was getting pounded on from range found a "mistcloak" (provides concealment) amid a ruined monastery, but when they go to the market square they don't find these things.

And my players are ok with that.

Also as I mentioned before; each settlemnet is good for certain kinds of gear. Staghorn Reach, home to rangers and an Erastilin shrine of some note (Holy Site in the stat block) is a great place to have a magic bow made or purchase some magic arrows. It's a horrible place though for the dwarf fighter in the party who wears tank armor and is weapon focused on the warhammer.

Now the first couple levels this party couldn't stray very far from a town. As such their options were limited by randomness and economy. They mainly only had the need and cash for consumables though so this wasn't really an issue. However a couple games in the wizard wanted to buy some spells and make contact with arcanists who would teach him to make wands. There wasn't anything like that where they were but they were powerful enough to journey through the wilds a few days to Arabellyn, the "City of Mages" where he was able to hob-nob with wizards and seek out the spells he wanted. Ok, I guess THERE I gave the PCs something they wanted at the right time on a shopping trip, but still no items.

Now while AT Arabellyn the monk commisioned a wand of prestidigitation to keep her clean (vow of cleanliness). She was able to purchase one, but only after having it made special; it wasn't just laying out on a merchant's counter the MOMENT she walked up. Then they headed back to Staghorn Reach. On the way back through a new section of wilderness they encountered a dwarven patrol from a reclusive hall of the bearded folk. The party charmed the kilts off the soldiers and they got invited to dinner and granted free passage upriver to speed their journey. While there the party asked about items to buy but all they had at that particular moment was an axe and a tower shield; not useful to anyone at the time. However the Frostbeard Falls dwarves are now considered allies of the party and will work on commission.

Where does this bitter mentality come from that magic shoppe = players win forever and get whatever they want, whenever they want it?

This does not occur in my games. It hasn't occurred in my friends' games for 20 years. I haven't heard from my friends of this happening in games they've played in w/their friends. And it's certainly not RAW EXCEPT in the case of the largest cities; otherwise there's rolls involved and roleplaying to do and ALL that. Nowhere in the rules for settlements does it give a ROCK-SOLID guarantee the players get what they want - it's not a sure thing no matter how likely the 75% chance makes it.

By the time the players 1. get teleport, 2. are able to obtain/transport huge wads of cash and 3. have been around the game world enough to know where the good magic item shops are to teleport to, I suppose that if they just kept hunting and hunting eventually they'd run into someone who had what they were looking for. I don't call that winning though; I call that playing the game. Just as much as it would be playing the game to 1. beg the gods for the item and go on a quest for it, 2. commission the thing from a trusted artisan contact 3. ask the GM for it out of character and hope it drops in a hoard 4. make it yourself or 5...whatever.

Last but not least, the players have a say. I don't run a game FOR them in that it's not JUST an alternative to TV for my players' passive entertainment. I also don't just run MY game like a dictator. This is a hobby for all of us at the table to collaborate on. If they WANT to play a game where item acquisition is non-fantastic and they can buy whatever they want to do that...so be it, I can deal. If however they want low-magic where every magic item is sacred then I can roll with that too. Personally I'm weighted in the middle but neither extreme will truly destroy my game either way.

Silver Crusade

thejeff wrote:
The equalizer wrote:
Good points shallowsoul. Reminded of pc rogues who have started their own guilds and got so much done. So many eyes and ears everywhere. Or PC fighters who open their own melee academy. Training the next generation. Good stuff.

Good stuff, if that's the direction you want to go with your game. Everyone settling down and devoting most of their time to managing others, training others, whatever. Instead of adventuring.

It's not usually what I want to spend my game time doing.

That's why you have lieutenants who do that for you while you stop in every now and then to check on everything.

Silver Crusade

I think some of you are way off base when it comes to using GM and dictator in the same sentence.

I run my games a certain way and players know this. If you don't like what I present to you then don't play in it.

Don't come to me with a prebuilt character that requires a certain item at a certain level to make your build work the way you want it to. Now if specialize in axes or something then I willmake sure you come across one but if you have a list of items that synergize optimally with each other and you need them at sspecific times then you are SOL.


shallowsoul wrote:
thejeff wrote:
The equalizer wrote:
Good points shallowsoul. Reminded of pc rogues who have started their own guilds and got so much done. So many eyes and ears everywhere. Or PC fighters who open their own melee academy. Training the next generation. Good stuff.

Good stuff, if that's the direction you want to go with your game. Everyone settling down and devoting most of their time to managing others, training others, whatever. Instead of adventuring.

It's not usually what I want to spend my game time doing.

That's why you have lieutenants who do that for you while you stop in every now and then to check on everything.

Again, great fun if that's what you want to do.

But if it's all about hiring someone to run a school (or a keep or a guild) for you, where's the fun? What is it except a money sink? And should it be a sink? Shouldn't it start turning a profit?

At which point the question comes up again. What do you do with all the loot? And now the profit from your earlier investment.


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shallowsoul wrote:

I think some of you are way off base when it comes to using GM and dictator in the same sentence.

I run my games a certain way and players know this. If you don't like what I present to you then don't play in it.

Don't come to me with a prebuilt character that requires a certain item at a certain level to make your build work the way you want it to. Now if specialize in axes or something then I willmake sure you come across one but if you have a list of items that synergize optimally with each other and you need them at sspecific times then you are SOL.

Sorry; dictator descriptor came from another person on this thread and I was mirroring it. I am honest when I say I don't want to heap on any negativity in this thread.

That aside...do players actually do this? They hit the table saying "by level 12 the only way my build works is to have a pair of agile shock daggers and a strength belt +4" because if they do:

1. I have been fortunate enough to avoid them

2. My response would be "then you better start crafting/researching these itmes now at first level."

Another example from my own games: at level 1 the party did something heroic and I rewarded the party w/masterworks specially made for them. When they turned level 4 they survived an epic encounter AND ended a major plot point; I rewarded them with imparting magic in their itmes and promising more since the items are now Legacy Items. They never had to ask, I didn't have to tell them, and there was no conversation around "tell me what you'll need by 4th level". On the flipside my archer-cleric of Erastil was gettng frustrated with her lack of damage so I politely reminded her that her mentor, a 12th level cleric, was also an expert bowyer and leads a guild of fletchers. She did a service for the church and now is having some magic arrows crafted.

All the while the alchemist in town continued to make and sell a couple random, minor potions alongside her vials of fire and ice; the cleric of Saranrae who visits the town consistently had healing potions, and the gypsies had a fixed array of magic items when they arrived in town and none of these turned out to be what the party wanted - since no one else in town came or left w/any significant items, the gypsies have now left town with those items with them.


Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
Shadow, do you have a link to your house rules? I'm curious and guessing there are a lot based on this and other threads.

Would knowing the rules be too much of a reveal for your players and others?


kmal2t wrote:
Abraham spalding wrote:

Yeah got to say people not understanding capitalism and how it's the most base form of economic principles out there causes me problems with suspension of disbelief in reality.

The idea that somehow people won't do exactly what people will do for a buck is ludicrous. Almost every 'evil' in the world is supported by a capitalistic system and will continue to be because that's the natural working of the world.

....you do realize the idea of capitalism and liberal theory is a more postmodern concept do you not?

The idea of free market economy and capitalism as you know it is predated by the idea that aristocrats and nobles having the natural right to rule and own land (which was the most important commodity) not the selling of goods. Class structure and laws protecting those of high birth outweighs bucks in this system.

See I never said free market and with good reason. The very concept of a "free market" is actually abhorent to capitalism.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
ZZTRaider wrote:
Alzrius wrote:
Zark wrote:

True, the rules does not say: you need to make sure the PCs have +3 weapons and armor, not just +2", but the difference between having a +3 or a +2 weapon is much bigger than +3 vs. +4 weapon.

Same as the having a +1 weapon instead of a MW weapon could be the difference between a TPK and no TPK. Sometimes item X is – more or less- mandatory.

You're not backing up this statement; how is the difference between a +2 and a +3 item bigger than the difference between a +3 and a +4 item? The difference in both cases is +1.

Likewise, saying that "that +1 could be what stops a TPK from happening" is tangential to the issue, since no matter what your total bonuses are, there'll always be cases where the die roll is one point away from what you need it to be - it's more germane to ask how much of an impact the loss of a +1 on a specific kind of roll has on the PCs average for those rolls over the course of a campaign (and, more generally, how much difference that impact had).

I believe Zark may be referring to the ability of some levels of enhancement bonuses to bypass damage reduction.

+1 is a huge deal, since it lets you affect incorporeal enemies and bypass DR/magic.
+2 is nice, but there's no further effect on DR, so all you're getting here is the hit and damage bonus.
+3 isn't as important as +1, but it's better than +2 since it allows you to bypass DR/silver and DR/cold iron.
+4 is still useful, but since DR/adamantine isn't as common as silver and cold iron, it's not quite as important as +3.
+5 is about as huge as +1, since so many things (especially at high levels) have DR/alignment.

Obviously, you can deal with all of this in other ways, but the ability to just ignore those types of damage reduction passively without any sort of preparation is rather nice.

Okay, that's stated a lot more clearly.

In this case, that's a good point, but it's also a minor one, and somewhat oblique - remember, I was discussing that Trailblazer makes a mathematically-sound case for the "big six" magic items (and, by extension, the necessity of holding to the wealth by level tables) being much looser guidelines than they're generally thought of.

In this case, while it's certainly convenient that magic weapons (which are only one part of the "big six") of higher enhancement bonuses defeat broader kinds of damage reduction types, this isn't a necessity; indeed, it's a convenience. It's virtually always far less expensive to have different weapons of lesser enchantment and made of different special materials, for example, than to have a +5 weapon.

More to the point, though, is that this doesn't cripple a character's effectiveness to anything close to a serious degree if they don't have higher-enhancement bonus weapons as a method of overcoming DR. It's a slight reduction in offensive capability, sure, but it's by no means a fatal - or even very serious - one.


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TriOmegaZero wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
So the right gear at just the right time as you level suddenly becomes available at shops you go to?
No, but as you level you get access to new areas that have wider arrays of things.

Not even this TOZ.

It's downright asinine to say someone is running their game so that the GM says 'Oh, well, you are level 7 now, +2 weapons are now in shops'. It's just plain dumb.

People in my games walk into a shop that sells magic items at level 1, they see the gleaming +1 swords on the wall, and the case in the back with the +2 or +1 flaming bardiches, and they look at their purses, with 200gp in them, and reluctantly go to the 1st level potions on the shelf near the counter and buy two or three healing potions.

Shallowsoul constantly tries to portray everyone else as running a video game world, when they don't. The shops have all those nifty +1's and +2's and even a few +3's the entire time. You don't control access to them by not having them in the store, you control it by the fact the PCs don't have 50,000 gp at level 1 to buy them.

The shops have what they have, things you want, things you don't, things you can afford, and things you can't afford for 10 levels. If everyone wants to pool their money and get the Barbarian a +2 bastard sword at level 4, and everyone else uses MW items for 2 more levels, go for it, the group's WBL is on target, they chose to get the tank the big bad sword. It's a perfectly valid tactic, until you're the guy in MW leather getting hit by +1 magic swords.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
mdt wrote:
Not even this TOZ.

My bad, I was basically saying what you did, I just worded it poorly.

I blame posting it after just waking up. Doesn't mean that was the problem, but I'm blaming it on it anyway. :)


mdt wrote:
Rocketman1969 wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Rocketman1969 wrote:
He's the guy who takes down every last copper piece and records it and then gets angry when they can't pack 100 000 of them on a horse.
But...a heavy horse can carry 1,200 pounds of material without issue (just a heavy load so the horse moves at a speed of 40 ft. instead of 50 ft.). That only leaves 800 lbs. of coin left to distribute. If you have the horse drag it (such as by tying a chest or satchel to the horse's saddle and letting him pull it across the ground) the horse can drag up to 6000 lbs or roughly triple the amount you mentioned. That's just one horse. If everyone in a typical party has a horse (4 people) they could carry 240,000 copper pieces without having to drag a thing.

Amazing. If someone in my party went to trouble of figuring that out i'd have to kill their horses--just on principle.

Translation : Anyone who backtalks me in my game is going to have rocks fall, you all die, happen to them.

My own personal opinion is, anyone who pulls junk like this isn't a good GM. They're not even a bad GM. A bad GM is someone who just isn't good at GMing. They're a **** GM. I honestly thought that particular critter was a myth, but I guess I've had a bigfoot sighting.

Man--that's just a bit literal minded of you nehy? It was a joke. Based on a joke--spawned by a joke. I'm sorry you didn't get it. But since I've been doing this GM thing for 32 years and have to turn folks away from my campaigns with people who have been gaming for comparable lengths of time--I'll go with disagreeing with you on my ability as a gm. Let me be more specific to clarify without the dry sarcasm--I don't bother that much with money in game because it isn't the point of the game for the vast majority of my players. When it is required it is because getting money is part of a specific game goal to accomplish something. In one case--paying a ransom --in another buying a trading vessel. The accumulation of wealth for wealth's sake is not a common goal--but if it is--then that is a defining characteristic of the character as discussed with me. The wealth per level thing just for the sake of wealth isn't a concern for me or my players. I'm there to facilitate a good time--thus I'm quite conscious of the rewards and I find folks happy to work for them in game. I'm relying on a more literature based approach to fantasy--as opposed to the given in game dynamic. Can we just go with some of us have different goals--and as for killing the horses--no--but if one character decides to disrupt an entire session to nickle and dime ( copper and silver piece) the session to the detriment of everyone elses good time--something does need to be done. Rewarding it leads to repeat behaviour. Having said that--if you want magic shops in your game that is fine--I just don't like the feel of them in my game. If you want to measure success by set gp per level markers--go for it--as long as everyone in your game is good with it too.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber

I'd have to say that upon reading AD's initial assumptions and topic line when this started, I was heavily in the "NO WAY" camp. While I do not agree at all with AD's (and some others') preference of "Players have THE RIGHT to..." line of thinking, I understand better the idea of how a "Magic Item Shop" notion could be implemented without cheapening or outright relegating magic items to just rope and trail rations picked up on the way out of town. Maybe. Possibly. Somewhere there's a grey area between the consumables + basic enchantment items (probably requiring the "big six" sigh) and the rest of it. Part of me still hates the "emporium" concept, but it does fall in line with other magical developments, such as why castles would never use torches in sconces (they wouldn't) in place of Continual Flame spells (duh). At some level of the game world, how magic influences folks in an everyday sense is interesting to bring out, including (grudgingly) some form of magic item shop.

Gaekub wrote:

Okay, let's try this.

Here is the SRD page for magic items. About two thirds of the way down the page is a section headed "Purchasing Magic Items".

Does anyone have a problem with these guidelines, as written, for a game which has no reason to vary from the assumed magic level (eg, all magic items are made by one family of dwarves)?

If so, please detail these objections (too restrictive, too permissive, etc) so that they may be debated reasonably.

To your point Gaekub, this is the line I can't get over since converting to Pathfinder a few years ago (from 2nd Edition):

SRD wrote:
There is a 75% chance that any item of that value or lower can be found for sale with little effort in that community.

It's such a cop-out line. Honestly. If there were ANY qualifiers on this line in the book about consumables vs. non-consumables, difficulty of item's construction, rarity of components needed to make the item, knowledge of the "characters" to even know what exists and what doesn't, then it would be fine. The line doesn't say that though - just a cheap 75% generic calculation vs. the community size, and it's a RAW free-for-all. The rest of it with random items based on minor/medium/major category levels is workable, but gets preempted by the other "rule" for availability.

Even the awful "75% available with little effort" rule wouldn't be so bad if there was some other limiting RAW rule for players in interpreting that their characters "know" every magical item possibility because it's in the PHB (or Ultimate Equipment Guide, or whatever the group uses). Every group plays a different way and deals with meta-gaming issues in their own way, but if by RAW players play their characters with Knowledge checks on what they know or don't know about the world (monsters, lore, etiquette, etc.), it stands to reason they don't know about ALL magic items. If they don't know about every magic item in the books like some department store catalog, it would be much easier to swallow. Unfortunately, RAW doesn't place any limitations on what magic items the characters would treat as common knowledge. So it's ALL common knowledge apparently, which leads to possible player abuse in a meta-game sense, which leads to GM's like me trying to scale things back to something more reasonable.


kmal2t wrote:

wow AD you really are a tool aren't you? Are you going to read through the rest of your PHIL 102 class notes on here? I don't think you've used a single one of those fallacies correctly....I said it's being lazy which isn't an unrelated attack calling you a sheepf!@+er or something else. I also explained why as it pertained to the conversation. Quit trying to sound like a grand debater. It's really sad and makes you sound like an idiot savant.

Also, unless magic shoppes are pretty much just antique collectors or like Pawn Stars, they're producing them as well. I know I saw people talk about having people produce items for their shoppes. If you have a whole line of +1 swords on the wall that you made (or an associate), and its not tailored to you (as handcrafted goods used to be i.e. guitars) then its a common commodity like carpets or pots or meats that are produced in bulk and really not that valuable. Obviously more expensive, but not really special.

If I go to a magic shop...can I go like Costco and buy in bulk at 20% off?? Do they have 2 for 1 specials? How about clearance sales? Do Mom and Pop Magic shoppes get forced out of business by larger Walmart-esque shoppes?

I don't have a jihad against magic shoppes. Just the idea is silly and to be used more sparingly than what some people seem to be using them.

You do realize that within the game framework, a 5th level caster can create a +1 weapon in one day by taking a 10 on his DC check for whichever skill he needs? All he needs is either the 1000gp of stuff to make a masterwork weapon +1, or the 1000gp of stuff, and the 300gp of stuff to make any POS weapon Masterwork and the Masterwork Transformation spell. Without that spell, the only slowing down the production of magic weapons is that it takes longer to produce a masterwork weapon than it does to enchant it, at least at low levels of enchantment.

I had friends go through one AP, and in one section they ended up with IIRC 64 +1 weapons of some sort. They ran into 8 groups of 8 creatures, and each one had a +1 weapon.

Now if in your world that you GM in, if you don't want a proliferation of magic items, you had better change the magic item creation rules, and look at what "monsters" are armed with.

As for a "Walmartesque" store, it can't really exist. The infrastructure to get merchandise from point to point doesn't exist in most fantasy worlds. Plus since nearly all fantasy worlds are working on a feudal system, most rulers aren't going to allow it. It would be a threat to their power.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Rocketman1969 wrote:


Man--that's just a bit literal minded of you nehy? It was a joke. Based on a joke--spawned by a joke. I'm sorry you didn't get it.

This is a text medium dude, if you want to have a one line joke, it needs to either be so popular in the culture that it can be seen a mile away, or you need to put some indicators of joking on it, like :)'s or </humor> or something.

Otherwise, people will assume that what you state is what you meant.

As to gold, it's just like anything else, it's a resource. If the adventurers were in it for the money, they'd retire about 5th to 8th level as a local lord or rich merchant. As a resource, it's only as good as you allow it to be. If you only allow them to spend it on things that aren't really helpful, then you're going to have to adjust difficulty of encounters to compensate. Now, that's a perfectly valid way of doing it, and I don't have a problem with it. What I do have a problem with is people posting 'you are having badwrongfun and you are dudi head', and with GMs who throw hissy fits and screw over the players if they don't do what the GM wants. I've had one GM like that, and I will never be that GM if I can help it, and am happy to call people **** GMs if they do it.


Vorduvai wrote:


To your point Gaekub, this is the line I can't get over since converting to Pathfinder a few years ago (from 2nd Edition):

SRD wrote:
There is a 75% chance that any item of that value or lower can be found for sale with little effort in that community.

It's such a cop-out line. Honestly. If there were ANY qualifiers on this line in the book about consumables vs. non-consumables, difficulty of item's construction, rarity of components needed to make the item, knowledge of the "characters" to even know what exists and what doesn't, then it would be fine. The line doesn't say that though - just a cheap 75% generic calculation vs. the community size, and it's a RAW free-for-all. The rest of it with random items based on minor/medium/major category levels is workable, but gets preempted by the other "rule" for availability.

Even the awful "75% available with little effort" rule wouldn't be so bad if there was some other limiting RAW rule for players in interpreting that their characters "know" every magical item possibility because it's in the PHB (or Ultimate Equipment Guide, or whatever the group uses). Every group plays a different way and deals with meta-gaming issues in their own way, but if by RAW players play their characters with Knowledge checks on what they know or don't know about the world (monsters, lore, etiquette, etc.), it stands to reason they don't know about ALL magic items. If they don't know about every magic item in the books like some department store catalog, it would be much easier to swallow. Unfortunately, RAW doesn't place any limitations on what magic items the characters would treat as common knowledge. So it's ALL common knowledge apparently, which leads to possible player abuse in a meta-game sense, which leads to GM's like me trying to scale things back to something more reasonable.

There are absolutely no rules on "difficulty of item's construction" other than caster level and other requirements and cost. "rarity of components needed to make the item" can be assumed to be covered in the cost, rare components being more expensive.

I guess they could add a subsystem for "knowing of the existence of various magic items". It would of course be scaled to the cost of the item, so that characters would in general be able to look for most items they could afford. I'm not sure what benefit this would really add: "Do I know if there's a +1 Shock greatsword?" Rolls: "No."
"Do I know if there's a +1 Flaming greatsword?" Rolls: "No."
"Do I know if there's a +1 Frost greatsword?" Rolls: "Yes."
"Great. I go look for one of those."


Mark Hoover wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:

I think some of you are way off base when it comes to using GM and dictator in the same sentence.

I run my games a certain way and players know this. If you don't like what I present to you then don't play in it.

Don't come to me with a prebuilt character that requires a certain item at a certain level to make your build work the way you want it to. Now if specialize in axes or something then I willmake sure you come across one but if you have a list of items that synergize optimally with each other and you need them at sspecific times then you are SOL.

Sorry; dictator descriptor came from another person on this thread and I was mirroring it. I am honest when I say I don't want to heap on any negativity in this thread.

That aside...do players actually do this? They hit the table saying "by level 12 the only way my build works is to have a pair of agile shock daggers and a strength belt +4" because if they do:

1. I have been fortunate enough to avoid them

2. My response would be "then you better start crafting/researching these itmes now at first level."

Another example from my own games: at level 1 the party did something heroic and I rewarded the party w/masterworks specially made for them. When they turned level 4 they survived an epic encounter AND ended a major plot point; I rewarded them with imparting magic in their itmes and promising more since the items are now Legacy Items. They never had to ask, I didn't have to tell them, and there was no conversation around "tell me what you'll need by 4th level". On the flipside my archer-cleric of Erastil was gettng frustrated with her lack of damage so I politely reminded her that her mentor, a 12th level cleric, was also an expert bowyer and leads a guild of fletchers. She did a service for the church and now is having some magic arrows crafted.

All the while the alchemist in town continued to make and sell a couple random, minor potions alongside her vials of fire and ice; the cleric of Saranrae who...

Most of the time, I don't know what classes I'll be at 12th level when I start the game. I certainly don't know what magic items I'll have or even want. If I knew I had a player that planned to have a certain magic item at a certain time, he would likely find himself facing someone immune to it's special power shortly there after.


mdt wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
shallowsoul wrote:
So the right gear at just the right time as you level suddenly becomes available at shops you go to?
No, but as you level you get access to new areas that have wider arrays of things.

Not even this TOZ.

It's downright asinine to say someone is running their game so that the GM says 'Oh, well, you are level 7 now, +2 weapons are now in shops'. It's just plain dumb.

People in my games walk into a shop that sells magic items at level 1, they see the gleaming +1 swords on the wall, and the case in the back with the +2 or +1 flaming bardiches, and they look at their purses, with 200gp in them, and reluctantly go to the 1st level potions on the shelf near the counter and buy two or three healing potions.

Shallowsoul constantly tries to portray everyone else as running a video game world, when they don't. The shops have all those nifty +1's and +2's and even a few +3's the entire time. You don't control access to them by not having them in the store, you control it by the fact the PCs don't have 50,000 gp at level 1 to buy them.

The shops have what they have, things you want, things you don't, things you can afford, and things you can't afford for 10 levels. If everyone wants to pool their money and get the Barbarian a +2 bastard sword at level 4, and everyone else uses MW items for 2 more levels, go for it, the group's WBL is on target, they chose to get the tank the big bad sword. It's a perfectly valid tactic, until you're the guy in MW leather getting hit by +1 magic swords.

Or what you end up with if you are in a smaller town, is the Joe behind the counter where you have dropped a few grand in cash over the previous few months notices that you now have cash to buy better stuff than he has. So what does Joe do, he tells you about his cousins in the big city that have a shop like his, except they have better stuff, or he offers to have it shipped here from their shop. Or they know a guy that wants to sell his +3 sword because he is retiring and wants to build his wife a castle.

It isn't that things appear as you level, so much as opportunities appear as merchants realize you have the cash to spend. While that merchant won't get all the cash from you, a commission from someone else is better than nothing, and will bring you back.


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Vod Canockers wrote:


Or what you end up with if you are in a smaller town, is the Joe behind the counter where you have dropped a few grand in cash over the previous few months notices that you now have cash to buy better stuff than he has. So what does Joe do, he tells you about his cousins in the big city that have a shop like his, except they have better stuff, or he offers to have it shipped here from their shop. Or they know a guy that...

What? Have things in a game work like real life does? I didn't think that was allowed. :)

But yes, exactly, I agree and you are right, all sorts of things can address what's going on. There's no need to justify it in game, beyond what would be expected in real life. :)

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber
thejeff wrote:
There are absolutely no rules on "difficulty of item's construction" other than caster level and other requirements and cost. "rarity of components needed to make the item" can be assumed to be covered in the cost, rare components being more expensive.

Agreed. There are no rules on it ... but that's also my point on the lack of any qualifying limitations as it stands now. To your point creating all kinds of bulky subsystems to clarify what's available between players and GM's in an urban location sounds like a cumbersome exercise in "waste of time" land, and certainly nothing that would be adopted in a core rules set. So for GM's that want more limitations in what's available besides the 'Item Value + Pop. Size vs. 75% roll' ... well I guess that falls to the GM to make "arbitrary" judgment calls on those limitations, which makes some GM's perceived as squashing player rights, justified or not.

My Campaign Example:
Player in my game playing a Wizard/Rogue wanted to find a Wand of Fireballs in a Metropolis setting. He has Fireball so obviously knows it can be done. Well that's 11250gp and under the 16000gp value cap for finding items with a 75% chance, right? Yet, there's NO WAY I saw that a magic items "shop" would sell him that - if for no other reason he could just light up the town with it! Would he? Of course not. But they don't know that. It just didn't make sense, so I ruled it out. I never made the % roll. He didn't raise a fuss, and went on to buy something else that was useful, but it was a denial per RAW.

To your example on player knowledge vs. character knowledge on items, I imagine it was never considered because it creates ridiculous gaps in knowledge (my guy knows flaming swords exist, but wouldn't know a shocking sword could be made?). It can also be meta-gamed around ("hey Wizard Bob just Take10 on your Knowledge: Arcana roll already so we can go find that Amulet of Mighty Fists for Monk Joe!"). I don't have a good answer to this, other than it just seems ridiculous that the fighter in the group knows what a Helm of Brilliance is without in-game context or direct observation to back it up...and that he needs it before his next adventure at the undead tomb, even if he has the cash.

I've tried to deal with this issue in my game through limitations on character knowledge vs. "rarity" of the item (beyond implied rarity based on gp value). At some stage that gets pretty arbitrary though.

Silver Crusade

Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
Shadow, do you have a link to your house rules? I'm curious and guessing there are a lot based on this and other threads.
Would knowing the rules be too much of a reveal for your players and others?

My players always know whats coming ahead of time. I present my game and the players decide if they want to play or they dont.

Silver Crusade

Question.

How do PCs know its suddenly time for them to upgrade?

Also, how would your PC describe needing those specific items that are required of a certain build? How does your PC know to go into a shop looking for an agile weapon when they have probably never heard of one?

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
shallowsoul wrote:

How do PCs know its suddenly time for them to upgrade?

Also, how would your PC describe needing those specific items that are required of a certain build? How does your PC know to go into a shop looking for an agile weapon when they have probably never heard of one?

1. Usually when they have a big pile of gold sitting around and they wonder what they should do with it.

2. Knowledge checks. Character knowledge passed on through mentors. Helpful NPCs.

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