Magic Item Hate


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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In your game you can really do whatever you want. Per the CRB though, that becomes part of their wealth and gets weighed in the balance and no extra XP is awarded just for having it.


Buri wrote:
In your game you can really do whatever you want. Per the CRB though, that becomes part of their wealth and gets weighed in the balance and no extra XP is awarded just for having it.

it is only factored into their wealth if it is an immediately useful permanent magical item with truly tangible benefits.

consumables are lousy items unless your DM adjusts treasure to accomodate every consumable you blow through.

and i don't think a few emergency wands or potions should count towards WBL. nor should the noble title, the mansion that comes with the title, the fancy nonmagical clothes the PC with the title wears, nor the decorations placed upon the noble PCs mansion wall that provide no benefit to the noble PC while he or she adventures. similar circumstances of wealth that doesn't immediately help an adventurer kill stuff shouldn't apply either.

other examples of things that shouldn't be factored into WBL are

base nonmagical item prices. nonmagical ammunition, noncombat pets, tagalong children who serve no purpose but to play the role of helpless dependant NPC.


Lumiere Dawnbringer wrote:
Buri wrote:
In your game you can really do whatever you want. Per the CRB though, that becomes part of their wealth and gets weighed in the balance and no extra XP is awarded just for having it.
it is only factored into their wealth if it is an immediately useful permanent magical item with truly tangible benefits.

Very much agreed on this point. Your WBL only really counts if it comes in a reasonably useful form. If a wizard's "wealth" consists entirely of enchanted large-sized ogre hooks (which the GM won't let him sell), then the wizard doesn't really have any wealth at all. Sure, he has stuff that is theoretically valuable, but realistically it does absolutely nothing except take up space.


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Blueluck wrote:
PhelanArcetus wrote:

I like Blueluck's idea a lot, actually. Just divorcing magical equipment from the regular treasure helps a bunch, at least freeing up treasure for things other than more gear.

I liked your idea as well Blueluck, great thematically. It reminds me a lot of Earthdawn (by FASA). How did you set the magical allotment by level? Off the Pathfinder guidelines or another scale? So, the item crafting feats for gear really don't get used either(except potions/scrolls), removing a nice minor headache for the GM.

I simply adopted WBL as the magic allotment.

Yes, I simply dropped the item crafting feats. I had a sorcerer who wanted to craft his own magic staff - so he did. All the work (roleplaying) he put into working on his staff late into the night while sitting around the party's campfire made an excellent explanation for its increasing power.


Chengar Qordath wrote:
Lumiere Dawnbringer wrote:
Buri wrote:
In your game you can really do whatever you want. Per the CRB though, that becomes part of their wealth and gets weighed in the balance and no extra XP is awarded just for having it.
it is only factored into their wealth if it is an immediately useful permanent magical item with truly tangible benefits.
Very much agreed on this point. Your WBL only really counts if it comes in a reasonably useful form. If a wizard's "wealth" consists entirely of enchanted large-sized ogre hooks (which the GM won't let him sell), then the wizard doesn't really have any wealth at all. Sure, he has stuff that is theoretically valuable, but realistically it does absolutely nothing except take up space.

that was my point.


Lumiere Dawnbringer wrote:

it is only factored into their wealth if it is an immediately useful permanent magical item with truly tangible benefits.

consumables are lousy items unless your DM adjusts treasure to accomodate every consumable you blow through.

and i don't think a few emergency wands or potions should count towards WBL. nor should the noble title, the mansion that comes with the title, the fancy nonmagical clothes the PC with the title wears, nor the decorations placed upon the noble PCs mansion wall that provide no benefit to the noble PC while he or she adventures. similar circumstances of wealth that doesn't immediately help an adventurer kill stuff shouldn't apply either.

other examples of things that shouldn't be factored into WBL are

base nonmagical item prices. nonmagical ammunition, noncombat pets, tagalong children who serve no purpose but to play the role of helpless dependant NPC.

That's all well and good. As I said, you can play how you want. Per the term, you wealth is your wealth. The total value of everything you have or command contributes toward that. Having a mansion is just 1k gp for an entire month. It's nothing for an adventurer.

My level 10 summoner could have just "bought" one for an entire year from a recent loot split and still had cash to spare. However, something I am doing with that character is buying, rather than renting, a large building and am renovating it into a headquarters for his guild. Those investments certainly count toward my WBL as its a holding that can be sold, utilized for further gain as it contains alchemy labs, forges, etc. That goes into determining the entirety of what my character is worth.


Buri wrote:
Lumiere Dawnbringer wrote:

it is only factored into their wealth if it is an immediately useful permanent magical item with truly tangible benefits.

consumables are lousy items unless your DM adjusts treasure to accomodate every consumable you blow through.

and i don't think a few emergency wands or potions should count towards WBL. nor should the noble title, the mansion that comes with the title, the fancy nonmagical clothes the PC with the title wears, nor the decorations placed upon the noble PCs mansion wall that provide no benefit to the noble PC while he or she adventures. similar circumstances of wealth that doesn't immediately help an adventurer kill stuff shouldn't apply either.

other examples of things that shouldn't be factored into WBL are

base nonmagical item prices. nonmagical ammunition, noncombat pets, tagalong children who serve no purpose but to play the role of helpless dependant NPC.

That's all well and good. As I said, you can play how you want. Per the term, you wealth is your wealth. The total value of everything you have or command contributes toward that. Having a mansion is just 1k gp for an entire month. It's nothing for an adventurer.

My level 10 summoner could have just "bought" one for an entire year from a recent loot split and still had cash to spare. However, something I am doing with that character is buying, rather than renting, a large building and am renovating it into a headquarters for his guild. Those investments certainly count toward my WBL as its a holding that can be sold, utilized for further gain as it contains alchemy labs, forges, etc. That goes into determining the entirety of what my character is worth.

but that mansion and it's crafting resources aren't contributing to permanent adventuring bonuses. paying all the laborers to craft and all the servants to retain it, makes it a hinderance to your wealth by level unless you get huge discounts on extremely powerful items

otherwise, it is little different from paying a monthly fee to supply your own magic mart and backup PC generator.


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Not all choices you make with a character have to be rewarded or recognized. Some choices, even expensive ones, can be made for purely roleplay reasons and those should come from the character's pool of wealth. Not everyone plays to sandbag bonuses or magic items. Nothing should compel the GM to give you more, or the "party" because you're low, just because you make these decisions.


Wouldn't it be pretty easy to just port of book of exalted deeds' vow of poverty and run a low magic game? This is essentially what that feat was meant to do, replace all magic items 1-20 with inbuilt abilities. I ran the numbers a few times and you come out slightly ahead in the middle levels but pretty heftily behind in the later levels (like 180k gold or so).

It could use a little bit of buffing to convert to pathfinder but the basic framework is there and easily workable.


strayshift wrote:
Many good points, and I also like magic to be 'special', 'rare', 'valuable', etc.

This is why MMORPGs have won. The designers of MMORPGs understand that the challenge-reward cycle is vital to keeping interest, so early on characters get the chance to earn stuff that makes them better. Meanwhile tabletop GMs go on about how they hate magic, and maybe it the character hits 10th level they'll MAYBE think about letting them have a +1 sword. Maybe. And then they go online and complain about how nobody plays tabletop rpgs any more.


Buri wrote:
Not all choices you make with a character have to be rewarded or recognized. Some choices, even expensive ones, can be made for purely roleplay reasons and those should come from the character's pool of wealth. Not everyone plays to sandbag bonuses or magic items. Nothing should compel the GM to give you more, or the "party" because you're low, just because you make these decisions.

you give that opinion on a game designed around playing a group of glorified bandits whose sole purpose is to climb the ranks of wealth and power by murdering other intelligent beings to gain their stuff so they can climb higher in the ranks, kill stronger intelligent beings, loot their stuff in a perpetual cycle.

the Games CR system is based on the fact you would have a certain value in permanent magical bonuses to face your opposition

if you are even a copper piece or experience point behind the richest or highest level PC, the CR system falls apart and crumbles.

if you donate to a church regularly to help the poor, the church should keep a tally of their donations they recieve from you, and take half the funds at particular intervals to craft items for you, because the other half is plenty to feed the starving, and with those items the church crafts for you, you are expected to gather more wealth for donations and the church takes half those donations to craft your stuff. giving you your full WBL in gear, and keeping the poor fed at the same time. because the church recognizes your kindness.


Then I'm royally screwed. :D

Maybe that's how you run your games. Maybe you've had GMs that do that. Nothing forces that from the game.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
ericthetolle wrote:


This is why MMORPGs have won. The designers of MMORPGs understand that the challenge-reward cycle is vital to keeping interest, so early on characters get the chance to earn stuff that makes them better. Meanwhile tabletop GMs go on about how they hate magic, and maybe it the character hits 10th level they'll MAYBE think about letting them have a +1 sword. Maybe. And then they go online and complain about how nobody plays tabletop rpgs any more.

I can't imagine that the number of players who have ditched tabletop RPGs in favor of MMOs because they didn't feel they got the goodies they wanted is very high. MMO convenience is probably a much greater factor in MMOs "winning".


Buri wrote:

Then I'm royally screwed. :D

Maybe that's how you run your games. Maybe you've had GMs that do that. Nothing forces that from the game.

i subscribe to Alvena Publishing's blogs.

but so do my DMs, they utilize monsters that actually use the full extent of their available treasure, including consumables, to screw PCs over.


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ericthetolle wrote:
strayshift wrote:
Many good points, and I also like magic to be 'special', 'rare', 'valuable', etc.
This is why MMORPGs have won. The designers of MMORPGs understand that the challenge-reward cycle is vital to keeping interest, so early on characters get the chance to earn stuff that makes them better. Meanwhile tabletop GMs go on about how they hate magic, and maybe it the character hits 10th level they'll MAYBE think about letting them have a +1 sword. Maybe. And then they go online and complain about how nobody plays tabletop rpgs any more.

MMOs don't "win" because there was no conflict. They are different. Most table top players also play MMOs. MMOs aren't keeping people from real RPGs, that's ludicrous.

Have you considered people want to play their table tops with magic being rare and special because the MMOs and other games they play don't and they'd like a change of pace?

I mean, talk of reward cycles is lunacy in regards to table top games. The reward of a table top game is the game itself--the experience of it--the puzzles, the roleplaying, the socialization around the table. It's all things that are impossible in an MMO, which is why they need reward cycles in the first place.

When I want to play a game about obtaining magic items that I can use to obtain more magic items, I'll play an MMO. When I sit at a table, I don't want to play an MMO, so I don't want it to be about getting magic items that help me acquire more magic items.


mplindustries wrote:
ericthetolle wrote:
strayshift wrote:
Many good points, and I also like magic to be 'special', 'rare', 'valuable', etc.
This is why MMORPGs have won. The designers of MMORPGs understand that the challenge-reward cycle is vital to keeping interest, so early on characters get the chance to earn stuff that makes them better. Meanwhile tabletop GMs go on about how they hate magic, and maybe it the character hits 10th level they'll MAYBE think about letting them have a +1 sword. Maybe. And then they go online and complain about how nobody plays tabletop rpgs any more.

MMOs don't "win" because there was no conflict. They are different. Most table top players also play MMOs. MMOs aren't keeping people from real RPGs, that's ludicrous.

Have you considered people want to play their table tops with magic being rare and special because the MMOs and other games they play don't and they'd like a change of pace?

I mean, talk of reward cycles is lunacy in regards to table top games. The reward of a table top game is the game itself--the experience of it--the puzzles, the roleplaying, the socialization around the table. It's all things that are impossible in an MMO, which is why they need reward cycles in the first place.

When I want to play a game about obtaining magic items that I can use to obtain more magic items, I'll play an MMO. When I sit at a table, I don't want to play an MMO, so I don't want it to be about getting magic items that help me acquire more magic items.

MMOs started with Tabletop RP and many MMO conventions came from the Tabletop. such as Reward Cycles and better loot.


its simple because the maths!!

+5 bab, +4 str, +2 magic, +1 focus, +1d6 mythic, +1d8 hero plus d20 to attack

full bab 20th

str 22 (27 str item) +8
bab +20/+15/+10/+5
THW +5
Weapon Focus +1
Hero Point +1d8
Mythic Point +1d12

set max posibility to that attack

+54/+49/+44/+39 to attack plus d20


Lumiere Dawnbringer wrote:
Buri wrote:
In your game you can really do whatever you want. Per the CRB though, that becomes part of their wealth and gets weighed in the balance and no extra XP is awarded just for having it.

it is only factored into their wealth if it is an immediately useful permanent magical item with truly tangible benefits.

and i don't think a few emergency wands or potions should count towards WBL. nor should the noble title, the mansion that comes with the title, the fancy nonmagical clothes the PC with the title wears, nor the decorations placed upon the noble PCs mansion wall that provide no benefit to the noble PC while he or she adventures. similar circumstances of wealth that doesn't immediately help an adventurer kill stuff shouldn't apply either.

Dawnbringer,

You keep saying this and things like it, and you keep being wrong.

While I (and the groups I continue to play with) have discarded the entire WBL thing as a bad idea, AS WRITTEN, WBL includes ALL a character's wealth. Including mundane property, clothing and accessories, magical (and alchemical) consumables, etc.

THAT'S JUST THE WAY THE RULES ARE WRITTEN.

I really wish you'd quit making statements as if they were factual about what is/is not included in WBL. It irritates those of us who know what the rules are and potentially confuses people new to the game.


Cheeseweasel wrote:
Lumiere Dawnbringer wrote:
Buri wrote:
In your game you can really do whatever you want. Per the CRB though, that becomes part of their wealth and gets weighed in the balance and no extra XP is awarded just for having it.

it is only factored into their wealth if it is an immediately useful permanent magical item with truly tangible benefits.

and i don't think a few emergency wands or potions should count towards WBL. nor should the noble title, the mansion that comes with the title, the fancy nonmagical clothes the PC with the title wears, nor the decorations placed upon the noble PCs mansion wall that provide no benefit to the noble PC while he or she adventures. similar circumstances of wealth that doesn't immediately help an adventurer kill stuff shouldn't apply either.

Dawnbringer,

You keep saying this and things like it, and you keep being wrong.

While I (and the groups I continue to play with) have discarded the entire WBL thing as a bad idea, AS WRITTEN, WBL includes ALL a character's wealth. Including mundane property, clothing and accessories, magical (and alchemical) consumables, etc.

THAT'S JUST THE WAY THE RULES ARE WRITTEN.

I really wish you'd quit making statements as if they were factual about what is/is not included in WBL. It irritates those of us who know what the rules are and potentially confuses people new to the game.

there are multiple ways to interpret the same thing.

though the intention, was a factor of immediately useable permanent adventuring gear with tangible permanent benefits.

don't expect me to buy a mansion in your games.


there are multiple ways to interpret the same thing.

*Not in this case, without twisting the language beyond intelligibility.

though the intention, was a factor of immediately useable permanent adventuring gear with tangible permanent benefits.

*Citations, please, if you are claiming to speak to the intention of the authors!

don't expect me to buy a mansion in your games.

*I tend not to invite people who induldge in willful ignorance of RAW, so don't worry, you won't have to turn down the option.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, PF Special Edition Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber
Lumiere Dawnbringer wrote:

though the intention, was a factor of immediately useable permanent adventuring gear with tangible permanent benefits.

I thought there was some percentage of WBL explicitly called out as being for consumables? (When using it to equip characters beyond first level, anyhow).


Ashiel wrote:


The idea that you NEED X item in Pathfinder is mostly misplaced. There are a few of them that I really like, but the idea that you're useless without the same +X sword, armor, shield, cloak, stats is grossly exaggerated.

(Insert anecdote here)

Playing a group of 4 doing Skull and Shackles AP. We're 4th level and between us have one magic weapon (a +1 longsword, I think, and we just got some magic arrows), and have managed every difficult encounter with no deaths (barely. the lacedons were murder)

I don't think I've ever played a 4th level character in 3.x where I didn't have SOMETHING.

Now, in the interest of full disclosure...Master Summoner. We're surviving because of a well-constructed Master Summoner. Having cannon fodder on a guy that rolls 15+ more than 25% of the time (and thus hits a lot)...yeah, it's been a great equalizer. But still...


Cheeseweasel wrote:
Lumiere Dawnbringer wrote:
Buri wrote:
In your game you can really do whatever you want. Per the CRB though, that becomes part of their wealth and gets weighed in the balance and no extra XP is awarded just for having it.
it is only factored into their wealth if it is an immediately useful permanent magical item with truly tangible benefits.
You keep saying this and things like it, and you keep being wrong.

Cheeseweasel is right that there's nothing in the Wealth By Level rules explicitly stating that only adventure-usable wealth counts. On the other hand, there is ample ancillary evidence that this is the case.

Text in the Gamemastering chapter of the Pathfinder Core Book describes the division of WBL, "For a balanced approach, PCs that are built after 1st level should spend no more than 25% of their wealth on weapons, 25% on armor and protective devices, 25% on other magic items, 15% on disposable items like potions, scrolls, and wands, and 10% on ordinary gear and coins." This description leaves out the possibility of owning significant commodities, land, or other non-adventuring wealth. Other statements in that chapter also demonstrate that the wealth being referred to is "the amount of treasure they carry and use".

Text in other Pathfinder books also strongly implies that non-adventuring holdings are not considered part of a character's WBL. For example, the Kingmaker (and more recently Ultimate Campaign) rules for kingdom building don't count the value of a character's castles against their wealth. Many other published adventures give adventuring parties strongholds, lands, or titles without reducing adventuring gear to compensate.

The generally accepted intent of the WBL rules is that a character with significantly more or less gear than the expected amount will be commensurately more or less powerful an adventurer. Owning 10,000 head of cattle in a foreign land may make one "wealthy" but it doesn't help you fight a troll, and therefore does not need to be addressed by the rules of adventuring.

Shadow Lodge

memorax wrote:
What exactly are players supposed to do with all that coin. One can't carry too much coin or one becomes encumbered.

1. What people ACTUALLY would have done...spend it all on ale and wenches!

2. Ever hear of gems?


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Daethor wrote:

Ok, so the title is a bit of an overstatement, but here goes:

In going through these forums there seems to be a decent number of people (or a very vocal few) who don't like characters gaining power through magic items. They like to feel that their character's inherent abilities should be solely responsible for their power and that magic items somehow diminish their triumphs.

Obviously, this is an opinion, and a fine one to hold. However, in the interest of providing more perspective, consider this (in my opinion) excellent article that talks about how dependent humans are on tool use. You don't have to read the article, but it basically proposes that tool use has influenced our very evolution. More colloquially, one doesn't have to look far to see how dependent we are on tools in everyday life. From combat to transportation to medicine, we are extremely dependent on tools.

In short, I don't really have a problem with my character using tools to defeat monsters. My tools are a part of me and I don't think that using them diminishes my victories. Being able to create and use tools judiciously and creatively is one of humanity's great advantages over threats, and I for one like that this is part of the game. What do you guys think?

What this post did NOT argue: That magic items should necessarily be common/easily accessible, that people who don't like characters gaining power through magic items are wrong, etc.

I don't think anyone has argued that characters shouldn't be allowed to use tools/weapons to defeat their foes. I think the argument has simply been that the more dependent characters become on items rather than their skills and abilities, the less responsible for their victories they actually are. That and the more mundane we make magic the less wonderous and magical it is.

I've never seen any fantasy film nor read any fantasy book where every character in it had a veritable arsenal of magic items in it to choose from when dealing with a problem. in almost every case its been the hero's determination, skill and luck that has allowed him to succeed. And then there's the Monty Hall effect: Imagine if Aragorn was gifted with Anduril, the Flame of the West, and in response he decides to stick it in his bag of holding along with the other four magic swords he had - or perhaps he decided to go into the Mountain to sell it at the ghost magic store along with the elven cloak he has been gifted with and Arwen's magic pendant so that he could buy a really good sword.

Magic should be magical, and characters should be responsible for their successes and failures. That's my argument. No one's arguing against using swords.


ericthetolle wrote:
...tabletop GMs go on about how they hate magic, and maybe it the character hits 10th level they'll MAYBE think about letting them have a +1 sword. Maybe.

Yeah, I've never seen that.


Blueluck wrote:


Cheeseweasel is right that there's nothing in the Wealth By Level rules explicitly stating that only adventure-usable wealth counts. On the other hand, there is ample ancillary evidence that this is the case.

Text in the Gamemastering chapter of the Pathfinder Core Book describes the division of WBL, "For a balanced approach, PCs that are built after 1st level should spend no more than 25% of their wealth on weapons, 25% on armor and protective devices, 25% on other magic items, 15% on disposable items like potions, scrolls, and wands, and 10% on ordinary gear and coins." This description leaves out the possibility of owning significant commodities, land, or other non-adventuring wealth. Other statements in that chapter also demonstrate that the wealth being referred to is "the amount of treasure they carry and use".

Text in other Pathfinder books also strongly implies that non-adventuring holdings are not considered part of a character's WBL. For example, the Kingmaker (and more recently Ultimate Campaign) rules for kingdom building don't count the value of a character's castles against their wealth. Many other published adventures give adventuring parties strongholds, lands, or titles without reducing adventuring gear to compensate.

The generally accepted intent of the WBL rules is that a character with significantly more or less gear than the expected amount will be commensurately more or less powerful an adventurer. Owning 10,000 head of cattle in a foreign land may make one...

The issue with that is with liquidable assets. If you can keep owning lands, acquire manors and so on without it impacting your WBL, you can easily sandbag all kinds of resources all over the place and liquidate them for insane amounts of gold even if you only take a fraction of their actual worth. Nothing prevents this other than GMs not wanting to deal with a headache if it's not considered part of your WBL. If it is then it gets considered in the balance and everything evens out. Anything you own that has value should be considered part of that equation.

You cite Kingmaker and quite often I see threads where people take crafting rules to an extreme. I can see why GMs ask how to balance encounters in that campaign here if you're allowed to have your normal WBL just for your personal gear AND can bring to bear the resources several estates can bring. Your enemies are no longer facing a heroic PC but that and a vast array of resources behind them. This might make sense in Kingmaker but that's about it.


Buri wrote:
Blueluck wrote:
The generally accepted intent of the WBL rules is that a character with significantly more or less gear than the expected amount will be commensurately more or less powerful an adventurer. Owning 10,000 head of cattle in a foreign land may make one "wealthy" but it doesn't help you fight a troll, and therefore does not need to be addressed by the rules of adventuring.

The issue with that is with liquidable assets. If you can keep owning lands, acquire manors and so on without it impacting your WBL, you can easily sandbag all kinds of resources all over the place and liquidate them for insane amounts of gold even if you only take a fraction of their actual worth. Nothing prevents this other than GMs not wanting to deal with a headache if it's not considered part of your WBL. If it is then it gets considered in the balance and everything evens out. Anything you own that has value should be considered part of that equation.

You cite Kingmaker and quite often I see threads where people take crafting rules to an extreme. I can see why GMs ask how to balance encounters in that campaign here if you're allowed to have your normal WBL just for your personal gear AND can bring to bear the resources several estates can bring. Your enemies are no longer facing a heroic PC but that and a vast array of resources behind them. This might make sense in Kingmaker but that's about it.

I think that's handled by the "Don't be a jerk" clause.

The GM says, I'm not going to count roleplaying wealth (land & other non-adventuring stuff) against your WBL, allowing you to do the cool RP stuff you want without crippling yourself by having substandard gear for your level. In return, you don't decide to sell it all and turn it into personal magic items.


And should the part come up against something where they might need to sell some of those roleplay resources to help with adventuring? Maybe a group of thugs are demanding a reward for the "princess" they kidnapped from the party. Because she's a bona fide princess with lands and servants, the group can front that hefty amount they're asking for, too, right? What if part of those roleplay resources include a couple small standing armies that you might find a situation to legitimately use them? There are a lot of touchy scenarios where seemingly roleplay-only elements become benefits in ways other than just creating uber powerful magic items.


thejeff wrote:
Buri wrote:
Blueluck wrote:
The generally accepted intent of the WBL rules is that a character with significantly more or less gear than the expected amount will be commensurately more or less powerful an adventurer. Owning 10,000 head of cattle in a foreign land may make one "wealthy" but it doesn't help you fight a troll, and therefore does not need to be addressed by the rules of adventuring.

The issue with that is with liquidable assets. If you can keep owning lands, acquire manors and so on without it impacting your WBL, you can easily sandbag all kinds of resources all over the place and liquidate them for insane amounts of gold even if you only take a fraction of their actual worth. Nothing prevents this other than GMs not wanting to deal with a headache if it's not considered part of your WBL. If it is then it gets considered in the balance and everything evens out. Anything you own that has value should be considered part of that equation.

You cite Kingmaker and quite often I see threads where people take crafting rules to an extreme. I can see why GMs ask how to balance encounters in that campaign here if you're allowed to have your normal WBL just for your personal gear AND can bring to bear the resources several estates can bring. Your enemies are no longer facing a heroic PC but that and a vast array of resources behind them. This might make sense in Kingmaker but that's about it.

I think that's handled by the "Don't be a jerk" clause.

The GM says, I'm not going to count roleplaying wealth (land & other non-adventuring stuff) against your WBL, allowing you to do the cool RP stuff you want without crippling yourself by having substandard gear for your level. In return, you don't decide to sell it all and turn it into personal magic items.

Yep, exactly.

Should players attempt to convert their holdings into gear, a GM would, of course, count it against WBL or whatever measure he chooses to gauge the party's power by. Also, a good GM will turn the conversion itself into a story.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Cheeseweasel wrote:

Dawnbringer,

You keep saying this and things like it, and you keep being wrong.

While I (and the groups I continue to play with) have discarded the entire WBL thing as a bad idea, AS WRITTEN, WBL includes ALL a character's wealth. Including mundane property, clothing and accessories, magical (and alchemical) consumables, etc.

THAT'S JUST THE WAY THE RULES ARE WRITTEN.

I really wish you'd quit making statements as if they were factual about what is/is not included in WBL. It irritates those of us who know what the rules are and potentially confuses people new to the game.

And if you paid more attention to those rules you want to enshrine on stone tablets, you'd also realize that WBL is intended as tool, a guideline, to be used, modified, or discarded by the gamemaster as he or she sees fit. not Holy Writ. System mastery is not about seeing the gold piece value of magic items to measure balance, it's about gauging the items's impact itself on your campaign. The Duke's evil sword that no one would dare touch aside from mounting it on a wall or burying it in a dark and secret place, does not have the same impact on your campaign as the introduction of a Holy Avenger into your Paladin's eager hands, even if they are on the same "cost" level.


I'm with Dawnbringer. And when playing, thankfully, my DM is as well.

In our current game, we're refurbishing an airship for our own personal use. If we had to actually spend all our wealth to cover the costs of this endeavor, we'd have nothing left for any magic items at all.

Yes, once we're finished our adventuring party will be the owners of a very, very valuable property. But it still won't help us kill that troll. ;)


Blueluck wrote:
thejeff wrote:
Buri wrote:
Blueluck wrote:
The generally accepted intent of the WBL rules is that a character with significantly more or less gear than the expected amount will be commensurately more or less powerful an adventurer. Owning 10,000 head of cattle in a foreign land may make one "wealthy" but it doesn't help you fight a troll, and therefore does not need to be addressed by the rules of adventuring.

The issue with that is with liquidable assets. If you can keep owning lands, acquire manors and so on without it impacting your WBL, you can easily sandbag all kinds of resources all over the place and liquidate them for insane amounts of gold even if you only take a fraction of their actual worth. Nothing prevents this other than GMs not wanting to deal with a headache if it's not considered part of your WBL. If it is then it gets considered in the balance and everything evens out. Anything you own that has value should be considered part of that equation.

You cite Kingmaker and quite often I see threads where people take crafting rules to an extreme. I can see why GMs ask how to balance encounters in that campaign here if you're allowed to have your normal WBL just for your personal gear AND can bring to bear the resources several estates can bring. Your enemies are no longer facing a heroic PC but that and a vast array of resources behind them. This might make sense in Kingmaker but that's about it.

I think that's handled by the "Don't be a jerk" clause.

The GM says, I'm not going to count roleplaying wealth (land & other non-adventuring stuff) against your WBL, allowing you to do the cool RP stuff you want without crippling yourself by having substandard gear for your level. In return, you don't decide to sell it all and turn it into personal magic items.

Yep, exactly.

Should players attempt to convert their holdings into gear, a GM would, of course, count it against WBL or whatever measure he chooses to gauge the party's power by. Also, a good GM will turn the conversion itself into a story.

With you 110%, Blueluck.


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Lord Pendragon wrote:

I'm with Dawnbringer. And when playing, thankfully, my DM is as well.

In our current game, we're refurbishing an airship for our own personal use. If we had to actually spend all our wealth to cover the costs of this endeavor, we'd have nothing left for any magic items at all.

Yes, once we're finished our adventuring party will be the owners of a very, very valuable property. But it still won't help us kill that troll. ;)

Load it with gunpowder kegs, cast delayed fireball then fly off of it as you set course for it to crash into the troll den.


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ericthetolle wrote:
strayshift wrote:
Many good points, and I also like magic to be 'special', 'rare', 'valuable', etc.
This is why MMORPGs have won. The designers of MMORPGs understand that the challenge-reward cycle is vital to keeping interest, so early on characters get the chance to earn stuff that makes them better. Meanwhile tabletop GMs go on about how they hate magic, and maybe it the character hits 10th level they'll MAYBE think about letting them have a +1 sword. Maybe. And then they go online and complain about how nobody plays tabletop rpgs any more.

lol.

MMORPGs are also 'winning' because even if you have to role play via chat, and there's no opportunity for DMs to make your adventures unique...there's also no opportunity for DMs to make self-defeating boneheaded decisions! Like deciding that WBL is to be used in a strictly legalistic manner -- you want a castle with servants and tapestries? That's coming out of your WBL, sucker! And then they go online and rant about how players just want to be murderhobos. Oh, and how it's all the fault of MMORPGs and the next generation's ADD entitlement attitude.

Just kidding, everyone!

...Sort of.


Martial, Martial, Martial! wrote:
ericthetolle wrote:
...tabletop GMs go on about how they hate magic, and maybe it the character hits 10th level they'll MAYBE think about letting them have a +1 sword. Maybe.
Yeah, I've never seen that.

I have. I'm playing in a low magic game right now (Admittedly, it's 3.5 with some PF mixed in). My character is level 15. He has one magic item, and it's the equivalent of a bag of holding.

As for the Magic Item thing, I think the issue for me is this. Magic is part of the setting, magic weapons are part of the setting. Awesome loot is part of the reward cycle. That unfortunately results in magic items that SHOULD be impressive feeling like trinkets and a characters personal "Look how cool my weapon should be" sword being likely to get tossed the moment they pick up something better. It leads to the gear not feeling as "Special" as magic items should and it leads to "cool" items getting sold for numerical bonuses. I understand it mechanically but it really just doesn't FEEL right.


DetectiveKatana wrote:
Martial, Martial, Martial! wrote:
ericthetolle wrote:
...tabletop GMs go on about how they hate magic, and maybe it the character hits 10th level they'll MAYBE think about letting them have a +1 sword. Maybe.
Yeah, I've never seen that.

I have. I'm playing in a low magic game right now (Admittedly, it's 3.5 with some PF mixed in). My character is level 15. He has one magic item, and it's the equivalent of a bag of holding.

As for the Magic Item thing, I think the issue for me is this. Magic is part of the setting, magic weapons are part of the setting. Awesome loot is part of the reward cycle. That unfortunately results in magic items that SHOULD be impressive feeling like trinkets and a characters personal "Look how cool my weapon should be" sword being likely to get tossed the moment they pick up something better. It leads to the gear not feeling as "Special" as magic items should and it leads to "cool" items getting sold for numerical bonuses. I understand it mechanically but it really just doesn't FEEL right.

i had an oracle whom was 15th level and only had a single +1 dagger as her sole magic item, she was wearing the same scale mail she started with because none of the foes had full plate and the only people that had it were nobles whom were all 40th level or higher. she dealt more damage with her mundane glaive or sabre (Scimitar)

the party fighter, had a suit of leather armor that was ragged and smelly and 2 masterwork kukris he only had since 10th level

the party wizard. had nothing but his spellbook, familiar, and component pouch

the bard had a fancy dress, a dagger, and a light crossbow, none of it masterwork

the ninja still wore her sailor schoolgirl uniform and couldn't find a darn magic item she was proficient with, and her Wakazashi were shattered, so she had to use the bottom halves of the broken blades and hilts, which functioned as improvised daggers. at least she was able to trade poison use for trapfinding.

the barbarian had as the only items to his name, a kilt, and a Zweihander

the ranger, had Ratty leather armor, a Ratty suit of leather barding on his large jaguar, and a pair of mundane knives

the sorceress, literally, had nothing but a sundress and a dagger

the cleric, had shoddy scale mail, a holy symbol, a +1 longspear, an a mundane spiked gauntlet

the druid, had a ratty suit of leather, a ratty suit of barding on his pet jaguar, and nothing else

the monk literally Ran around in nothing but an obnoxious pair of purple and orange checkered boxer shorts

the cavalier had a suit of scale mail and a masterwork lance, his dagger was mundane, and his horse had shoddy leather barding

the inquisitor only had a sundress and a +1 sabre (Scimitar)

the witch only had a kimono and a straw doll

the samurai only had a pair of pajamas and a longsword

the magus only had a purple nightgown and a book she bludgeoned people with

a party of 16 PCs all 15th level, with nothing to their name.


Lumiere Dawnbringer wrote:
a party of 16 PCs all 15th level, with nothing to their name.

They had it easy!


Lumiere Dawnbringer wrote:
Words

In all fairness, my character has a lot of STUFF, just most of it isn't particularly useful for adventuring. He has basically his own little hilltop place where he leads what is practically a cult (Leadership Feat for the win) and has enough food and wealth in the form of food and liquor to last forever. He could very easily retire and never have to worry about adventuring again.


'Reward cycle'.

I suppose this sums the issue up really. What is the 'reward' you want from playing a game?

Outside of face to face roleplaying games I don't consider any character I've played a 'character' as good as some crpg's etc are.

For me the immersive element of playing round a table is a reward, an exercise in communal story-telling. Escapism.

And as other people have pointed out that involves the communal creation of a 'credible' game world environment.

But here's the tension, that creation of an alternate reality can be undermined by the very rules framework that you collectively use to create it.

And that is what I feel this discussion is really about, how do you see your heroes, and how do your games negotiate the rules/imagination tension?

Too many magic items kills the very concept of 'magic' being 'magical', distract from a 'hero' being 'heroic' and move the game from being a wondrous exercise in near communal psychosis to a battle of accountancies.

My reward cycle? A fun evening spent with friends being a 'hero' in a 'magical' world thank you very much.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:

Magical items that give a numerical boost to an attribute are, imho, the absolute worst sorts of magic items imaginable. They add nothing to the game since it is assumed the character will obtain one and then the difficulty of the opposition is boosted to compensate. They add nothing to the character since all they do is maintain that character's fundamental capability in comparison to their peers. They add nothing to the character's abilities since they essentially do nothing but take up space.

.....
If I were designing the game myself a +1 sword would be an artifact and other magic swords would have a specific ability they provided, but would not otherwise boost a character's combat expertise or effectiveness. This would mean that a martial character could pick up just about any sword in the game and be effective with it. Just like they tend to do in literature.

I do a similar thing to this already. I try to put out +1 or +2 weapons that are considered "artifacts", with abilities that aren't something you can't just make normally. The only person that has a problem with this is my power gamer. He feels that every campaign needs three Bags of Holding Type IV, everyone decked out with +4 keen weapons with an elemental property and/or a alignment property, and everyone's armor decked out with Heavy Fortification. Then, give each person an item that increases three stats by +6, depending on what you are.

It's not that I hate magic items, I just hate the idea that you need all those magic items to survive. Do you need some? Sure you do; even Conan needed to rely on some magic weapons, despite his distrust of all things magic. But to have every character decked out to that extreme...that's what I don't like.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Mikaze wrote:
I would jump for joy if something like this was given an official treatment.

are there any drawbacks to this feat?


messy wrote:
Mikaze wrote:
I would jump for joy if something like this was given an official treatment.
are there any drawbacks to this feat?

that you have to blow a feat and sacrifice money to get your bonuses.


Daethor wrote:
What do you guys think?

What do I think? If I am in a low magic campaign, I'm playing a caster. And, I'll quickly pass the martials in power. Great idea - lets make the casters even better....No.

Silver Crusade

messy wrote:
Mikaze wrote:
I would jump for joy if something like this was given an official treatment.
are there any drawbacks to this feat?

No switching out stuff on the fly, leaning harder towards a dedication to choices made. Removal of wealth and all the options that opens up not emulated by those rules. Remaining vulnerability to dispel suppression of emulated abilities. There's also the option to keep the acquiring of karma points tied exclusively to story/deeds rather than the usual WBL grind.

Totally worth it for a functional character that actually feels right, IMO. :) I could make a monk that actually stays in the spirit of the monk in my head* with those rules, whereas the bling-dependancy makes me feel like I'm faking it. It winds up feeling hollow.

*Regarding gear-independency that is.

is extremely hopeful about those meditation options coming in Faiths & Philosophies


I like magic items, mainly because I like system depth, and I like getting loot. Magic items satisfy both of these needs. System depth comes in the form of deciding just which magic items best suit my character build (and there are plenty of slots besides the standard defensive slots), and getting loot comes from, well, getting loot. :p

I also have never found it difficult to have standard magic in a campaign and "special" magic items. My current DM is very good about this. Each of his PCs gains a special "heirloom magic item" which is something along the lines of a minor artifact, and has a backstory. In our last campaign my paladin had a shield that was a holy relic of his god.


Buri wrote:
Not all choices you make with a character have to be rewarded or recognized. Some choices, even expensive ones, can be made for purely roleplay reasons and those should come from the character's pool of wealth. Not everyone plays to sandbag bonuses or magic items. Nothing should compel the GM to give you more, or the "party" because you're low, just because you make these decisions.

Yes, we should totally punish people for roleplaying their characters, because that will certainly make people pay less attention to the mechanics and more to roleplaying. What?


Yes, because that's totally what I said.


In a game I am currently playing my character has a family ring which can (command word cast) Swift Girding 1/day. It isn't hugely powerful and it has a story related to the character and his brother fighting over it. In my opinion this is the sort of background and relationship a character should have with a magical item. The 'off the shelf to compliment my build' design approach really should be challenged for the sake of making the game about more than the numbers.

And before player control and enjoyment gets thrown in here you can enjoy yourself with an effective but 'sub-optimal' character.


strayshift wrote:
3.5's Vow of Poverty was WAY overpowered!

Not at all...

The only time VoP even remotely became a problem was when it was on a Druid (but druids were OP as it was anyway so that really is kinda moot) or with a Binder from the Magic of Incarnum book (kinda funny since you can have some powerful "armor" and "weapons" for free AND have the Vow Bonuses xD)

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