Purchasing Magic Items


Reign of Winter


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

My players just finished the first book and they are sitting on a mountain of gold. Unfortunately none of them are taking item crafting feats and there doesn't appear to be a good place to go shopping for magic items.

Soon my players will be going to a large town but currently they are public enemy number one which could make acquiring items difficult.

How are other people handling purchase of magic items in their game.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

They'll be making contacts (hopefully) among the Resistance. Have those contacts help them through purchases. BTW, come book 3 they'll no longer be in Irissen and thus not Public Enemy #1, and in book 4 they'll have access to a mobile merchant.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Mahtobedis wrote:

My players just finished the first book and they are sitting on a mountain of gold. Unfortunately none of them are taking item crafting feats and there doesn't appear to be a good place to go shopping for magic items.

Soon my players will be going to a large town but currently they are public enemy number one which could make acquiring items difficult.

How are other people handling purchase of magic items in their game.

Tangent101 has the right of it, but let me expand on this in relation to The Shackled Hut, which is where I sense this question is hitting a rough patch.

Spoiler:
I was well aware that there is a tension between Whitethrone being under martial law and the party's ability to do any shopping.. and it falling right about the point when the PCs have some spending money.

Also, there is some free time available at one point, but there's not weeks and weeks of free time available for crafting.

That being said, let me point out where time and opportunity was made available in The Shackled Hut.

1.) Before they leave Waldsby in the beginning. This should be obvious, but before they undertake a wilderness journey, they should be stocking up on necessities!

2.) Once the PCs obtain their papers from Mortin the Forger and make their way to the Heralds is the one major chance to unload items and buy new ones. This can be played out in two different ways:

A.) The PCs allow the Heralds to act as their shopping proxies. That is, the Heralds find out what the PCs want, and sell their gear and make the purchases on their behalf.

B.) The PCs can go out and do that on their own behalf. Although, this carries a certain risk. Refer to the sidebar on page 30, entitled "Papers Please!" Really to purchase and sell magic items while the city is under lockdown, they should have credentials identifying them as stilyagi or a noble guest. If they get stopped while shopping, they could have their identities called into question and have some NPC try to arrest them. Depending on how much extra work you want to do and the temperament of your players, wrestling with that situation could either be good fun or a pain in the neck.

If you don't want to deal with the hassle, I would have the Hrralds offer to conduct the transactions for them. They have all kinds of black market and underworld connections and are practiced at staying beneath notice and scrutiny.

If the idea of side adventures sounds fun, shopping could be a source of extra adventure.

Either way I would STRONGLY suggest the players take this opportunity. It may not come around for awhile. I would also allow them convert coins into higher denominations and alternative currency, like platinum and gems/jewelry, so that they're not overburdened by weight. As GM, you need to strike the balance between realism and verisimilitude versus allowing the Players to take advantage of the rewards they've earned and outfitting their characters. Its perfectly alright to trust your instincts.

***********
After the Clocktower, the opportunity to shop is really diminished (to the point of being negligible).

So the best opportunity to enjoy some free time to explore Whitethrone and do some shopping is right when the PCs meet the Heralds.

Hope this helps!

Dark Archive

In later books, do whatever it takes to get your players to free the interdimensional merchant whose name I forget. Without him, it will be much harder to get new toys.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Thank you very much for the input everyone. I'm glad to have a couple of opportunities for them to get some magic items. Thankfully no one in the party is finding themselves desperately in need of a particular magic item to make their build work. *I'm looking at you agile enchantment*

I will probably present both options with the heralds. I'm very glad to have the advice as I glossed over this in my first skim through the book.

The party has a considerable amount of livestock with them after the first part of snows of summer. Their solution to the environmental problem was to buy a covered wagon, heat up the interior of it, and let the horses (who had more hp and better fort saves than they did) whether the elements). They have since lost the wagon but I think they will be trying to buy another one.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

My group OWN a covered wagon. It was from a previous encounter with a wizard who feebleminded a centaur... (I enjoy reusing old Dungeon magazine adventures, what can I say? ^^) needless to say, it's not going to make it into Irrisen. I mean, how'd they get it over the bridge, let alone through the snow? ;)


My players are entering the Howlings this weekend and will be wanting to spend their $ after getting their papers from Mort(in)/meeting Solveig. I fully plan on having the Heralds facilitate shopping for the party, though I have already explained that if any of them want to do any clandestine shopping on their own that they can. Of course they will run a huge risk of getting snatched up at check points etc (ie I am allowing them to do this, but strongly discouraging it. Side missions are anathema at my table unless the entire party is involved).

What about Firearms though? I have a Wizard (spellslinger)/Gunslinger who is going to want to upgrade (I imagine). As Firearms are "just emerging"in my game, how much leeway is feasible in finding anything suitable for a 5th Level PC? I'm torn between there being absolutely nothing (or next to nothing) available and giving the Heralds a Firearms specialist for the PC to trade/buy/sell with... Regardless, whatever is available I'm pretty positive none of it will be magical. Thoughts?


Your wizard does have [url=http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/ultimateCombat/ultimateCombatFeats.html#_gunsmithing]Gunsmithing/url], which allows him to build new guns himself as long as he can get the raw materials, and has the time to do it.

I would NOT expect to find firearms in Whitethrone - or if there are any, they are probably ludicrously overpriced.

If he doesn't have Crafts Arms & Armor himself, and the PCs have a spare day, he might able to get a Herald NPC to make a gun +1.

I'm not sure how much he should be encouraged to invest in his early firearms because, well, book 5.

I've told my player who's going to play a Black Powder Inquisition inquisitor that he really won't see a damn thing for gun treasure until book 5, at which point he'll get an absurd payoff. So he's at least aware that that'll be a thing. (I had informed my players back when I decided I'd be running RoW that they will eventually travel to Earth to fight Rasputin, for he is on Earth and he Must Die.)


Zhangar wrote:

Your wizard does have [url=http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/ultimateCombat/ultimateCombatFeats.html#_gunsmithing]Gunsmithing/url], which allows him to build new guns himself as long as he can get the raw materials, and has the time to do it.

I would NOT expect to find firearms in Whitethrone - or if there are any, they are probably ludicrously overpriced.

If he doesn't have Crafts Arms & Armor himself, and the PCs have a spare day, he might able to get a Herald NPC to make a gun +1.

I'm not sure how much he should be encouraged to invest in his early firearms because, well, book 5.

I've told my player who's going to play a Black Powder Inquisition inquisitor that he really won't see a damn thing for gun treasure until book 5, at which point he'll get an absurd payoff. So he's at least aware that that'll be a thing. (I had informed my players back when I decided I'd be running RoW that they will eventually travel to Earth to fight Rasputin, for he is on Earth and he Must Die.)

Yeah, this is my initial thought. I've prohibited Item Creation Feats other than Scribe Scroll and Brew Potion, so no, he won't be able to Craft anything magical. However, it's not a huge deal as he "magics" his Firearm via the Spellslinger abilities/spells. So, I guess he can try to make whatever gun he wants that falls under "early firearms" while shacked up with the Heralds, but it will be MW at best.

Contributor, RPG Superstar 2010 Top 4

1 person marked this as a favorite.
closetgamer wrote:
What about Firearms though? I have a Wizard (spellslinger)/Gunslinger who is going to want to upgrade (I imagine). As Firearms are "just emerging"in my game, how much leeway is feasible in finding anything suitable for a 5th Level PC? I'm torn between there being absolutely nothing (or next to nothing) available and giving the Heralds a Firearms specialist for the PC to trade/buy/sell with... Regardless, whatever is available I'm pretty positive none of it will be magical. Thoughts?

I am really reluctant to give anything like an official opinion on this, because as the GM you sort of opened the door to this a little when you allowed the player to take some gunslinger levels. With their class choice the player was telegraphing their future interests.

That being said.... (strictly my opinion).. I would not absolutely say no. There's a couple ways I could see spinning this.

Stilyagi are spoiled and rich. Hell, jadwiga are spoiled and rich, but just less inclined to show it. Before Elvanna started this rebellion, Whitethrone is/was a good place (canonically) to import rare and unusual items. The upper class has money to spend. Imports are hard to come buy, and many of the upper class have a taste for novelty—whether they show it or not.

I would make a deal about how lucky the Heralds were able to find the one black market dealer who actually has the one single magical gun in the whole city and surrounding region. Procured for a stilyagi whose parents said no, "There's too much unrest in the city right now, for you to draw such attention to yourself. Wait until we see how this plays out." Your black market importer is stuck with a rare expensive item with no buyer. With food being rationed to the merchant class and some of the lower classes going without—it might be worth him to sell this exotic item to the one lunatic buyer interested. Because cash is more useful than rare, attention getting, items. I would not, however, use that rationale to put the gun on discount though!

Or have one of the Heralds have Craft Magic Arms and Armor, and let them spend a day to have their existing weapon upgraded, as Zhangar suggested above.

A good GM strikes a balance between verisimilitude and actual fun. Sometimes you have to give a little, or get creative in your rationalization. This is coming from a rather traditional GM.

Shadow Lodge

I'm going to extend this to the rest of the campaign, if you don't mind.

spoilers for books 3+:
There is so much player wealth provided to the players in the form of gold and valuables, and Whitethrone is really the only place to spend it. Even then, the trip to Iobaria is one-way, since there are no activated keys that will take them back to Irrisen.

After book 2, Vurnirn is the only nearby settlement to trade at, and it's only a large town. Book 3 is the last time they can use teleport to get to any city they can think of. Book 4's Spurhorn, being a fortress under siege, doesn't have tons of money. I guess the PCs could go down to Cumo (woe betide GMs who don't read the gazetteer, though).

Book 5 is in the middle of the wilderness of a world that hasn't seen magic items for millennia, and Book 6 takes place entirely within the Hut. Freeing Zilvazaraat does absolutely nothing; mercanes deal solely in magic items, and never sell their wares to people for cash. The book even explicitly instructs the GM that this mercane is no different from the norm.

Even characters with the crafting feats don't get a break, since they don't directly turn gold into magic items, they need to use the gold to buy the necessary materials, which are then turned into magic items.

The only thing I can think of for characters wanting to spend the cash found in books 5 & 6 is to use the keys to go back to Iobaria/Triaxis, then teleport to a Golarion city/Cumo.

How did the authors and developers expect players to spend all their cash in books 3+?

How have GMs enabled their characters to spend the piles of gold that crop up during the adventure?


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Opportunities to buy/sell items:

The Shackled Hut:

Spoiler:
(As mentioned) Once they get into Whitethrone, until they assault Logrivich, they can either have the Heralds of Summer act as their agents or (with the appropriate disguise/papers) do their own buying and selling.

Maiden, Mother, Crone:

Spoiler:
(As mentioned) Vurnirn, while only a large town, also acts as a trade hub and can provide a decent selection (especially if the GM is willing to tailor what's available). Alternately, the PCs should be 9th-10th level at the end of the adventure installment, which makes teleport (with the appropriate study of other locations) a possible way to travel to larger markets.

The Frozen Stars:

Spoiler:
The PCs have a chance to rescue Zilvazaraat, who can both buy and sell some items immediately as well as becoming a resource for later adventure installments*. A short side-journey to either Cumo or Orlean (depending on the PCs' preferences) provides access to a large port city and associated markets; each is about the same distance from Spurhorn as Ivoryglass.

"From a campaign standpoint, Zilvazaraat can be used as a traveling “magic item shop” that the PCs can use wherever the Dancing Hut takes them. As they journey to ever stranger and more distant places, the PCs will have few or no opportunities to sell magic items or buy new gear... so Zilvazaraat can fulfill that role for the PCs. The mercane is equivalent to a large city in terms of his items available and purchasing power (base value 8,000 gp, purchase limit 50,000 gp). The PCs can send Zilvazaraat a “shopping list” using the obsidian raven. Once the mercane has gathered the necessary items (a process that takes 1d4 days on average, depending on the rarity of the items requested), he uses the obsidian raven to plane shift to the PCs with the requested items in his secret chest."

Rasputin Must Die!:

Spoiler:
Zilvazaraat is pretty much the only available option.

The Witch Queen's Revenge:

Spoiler:
The GM could expand on Mametqul's role in the adventure, using him in a similar fashion to Zilvazaraat (especially if they missed the chance to rescue Zilvazaraat, earlier), sending his servants to various planar markets, at least until the subsequent betrayal. While Buyan, as written, is only a village, a GM could expand it's role and upgrade it to a large town, similar to Vurnirn.

Shadow Lodge

Dragonchess Player wrote:


The Frozen Stars & beyond: ** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:
As stated earlier, mercanes have no interest in gold or valuables. They will only sell their magic items if you barter your own magic items.

Now, I know a GM could change this particular mercane to be so happy to be out of the gem that he'll change his rules for you, but the author went out of his way to tell GMs that this mercane isn't atypical in that respect.

The Frozen Stars wrote:

Zilvazaraat is willing to sell the PCs any of the items in his secret chest (see Treasure, below), and will even buy magic items from them, though he will need to leave and return

the following day (using plane shift) to get the required funds for payment. The mercane has no interest in mundane gear or valuables, only magic items.

Emphasis mine. This means that the PCs can trade in their old magic gear for new, but can't buy new stuff outright.

Note that, in order for PCs to create magic items, they need to have bought the necessary materials at the stated cost from somewhere. The process of magic item creation doesn't directly turn valuables into magic.

So, what did Mathew Goodall and the developers plan on having the PCs do with all their money in book 4? What about Brandon Hodge & Greg Vaughn in their books?


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Serum wrote:
Dragonchess Player wrote:


The Frozen Stars & beyond: ** spoiler omitted **
** spoiler omitted **Note that, in order for PCs to create magic items, they need to have bought the necessary materials at the stated cost from somewhere. The process of magic item creation doesn't directly turn valuables into magic.

In context,

Spoiler:
this is for selling the items specified in his secret chest or buying items from the PCs for himself. For acting as the PCs' agent, it's reasonable that he'll deal with coins, etc.; after all, it specifically states that he'll do so to buy items from the PCs, so why wouldn't he do so to buy items on their behalf?
Shadow Lodge

Dragonchess Player wrote:


In context, ** spoiler omitted **

Spoiler:
I never thought he'd act as an intermediary, given how their bestiary reads. Ah well.

Tangent101 wrote:

My group OWN a covered wagon. It was from a previous encounter with a wizard who feebleminded a centaur... (I enjoy reusing old Dungeon magazine adventures, what can I say? ^^) needless to say, it's not going to make it into Irrisen. I mean, how'd they get it over the bridge, let alone through the snow? ;)

I even remember that adventure. Was it called Centaur of attention?

I have also added some extra opportunities to trade, linked to a background story of one of the PCs. They actually met a foreign trader on their way to Whitethrone.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I honestly don't remember, though I followed it up with the "Name of the Rose" knockoff adventure that had healing waters. (Come to think of it, the group still has that water and hasn't used it yet...)

Shadow Lodge

How I plan on solving the lack of places to buy/sell:

Spoiler:

I'm considering moving Zilvazaraat the merchant from Frozen Stars to the beginning of Maiden, Mother and Crone so that they don't have to worry about shopping and traveling quite as much. Has anyone else done this, or have any reservations they want to mention before I move that encounter forward a module? (I don't think my party will fight)

Also, my party (still in Shacked Hut), just about to go into Whitethrone, is already complaining that they are below party wealth, probably because they don't know the value of these strange items. With a poor appraise, they don't know the value of things like the magical beartrap. They are likely to be duped when they try to sell it.

Also, I'm looking forward to them having to interact with witch storekeepers to buy stuff in Whitethrone. Anyone have any stories about how that went for you?

Spoiler:

I have a PC with a curse still (the "ring of regeneration"). I'm imagining them having to visit a witch to get rid of it. "Yes ma'am, I was cursed... not by a witch, really" It'll be fun.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Thanks to advice elsewhere on this board I looked into 'the Witchmarket' from the Black Market book and intend to have it be available for selling equipment from the end of book 2.

Basically in the dancing hut's library (which is always accessible in the hut thanks to the book portal) I will place a replenishing pouch full of green powder. When thrown into the library fireplace a portal opens to wherever the witch market is (Harry Potter style) and allows the PCs to access this black market full of fay and hags.

On the other side is a one-eyed hag statue that teleports users back to the hut, activated by the powder. This statue was bound to the market thanks to a pact between Aggys (the powerful green hag witch who runs the market) and Baba Yaga.

Of course the market has its own dangers, and strange prices and items can be bought and sold. I'm in the process of fleshing this out mixing ideas on this forum, black market and my own ideas. - my PCs are just entering the forest in Whitethrone.

As for book one I liked that they only had two small villages to shop within. It adds to the bleak desperate feel.

Book 2 I allowed my PCs to shop in Kizobran (a small town) and at a floating magic shop going upriver.

When they reached Whitethrone I ruled only three shops in the stilyagi district were being allowed to sell magic items and a small shrine to Pharasma. One shop sold magic clothes amongst extravagant costumes (the owner was genderfluid), another arcane items and was owned by a popular harrower among the silyagi. The third potions, but 50% of them did wild or superficial things (like youthful appearance and fly). The shrine only had a handful of divine scrolls and 2 wands (clw and lessor restoration). The sale of magic weapons and armor, or firebased items, was strictly forbidden at all.

I also had an encounter with a cold sister doing the rounds and fining the arcane shop owner for selling a scroll of fireshield. If the PCs had intervened things could have got messy

Shadow Lodge

mogmismo wrote:
Also, my party (still in Shacked Hut), just about to go into Whitethrone, is already complaining that they are below party wealth, probably because they don't know the value of these strange items. With a poor appraise, they don't know the value of things like the magical beartrap. They are likely to be duped when they try to sell it.

Coming back to this, I've been keeping track of my party's wealth, and having just finished Snows of Summer, the party owns 71900gp worth of gear and sundry. This even takes into account setting items that the party will never use as half value (sale value). Of this, 16200gp is money or trade goods, which could outfit almost 3 completely new level 4 characters. The value of the gear they have is insane!

Grand Lodge

Serum wrote:
mogmismo wrote:
Also, my party (still in Shacked Hut), just about to go into Whitethrone, is already complaining that they are below party wealth, probably because they don't know the value of these strange items. With a poor appraise, they don't know the value of things like the magical beartrap. They are likely to be duped when they try to sell it.
Coming back to this, I've been keeping track of my party's wealth, and having just finished Snows of Summer, the party owns 71900gp worth of gear and sundry. This even takes into account setting items that the party will never use as half value (sale value). Of this, 16200gp is money or trade goods, which could outfit almost 3 completely new level 4 characters. The value of the gear they have is insane!

Wow, that is a lot! Is that strictly from the book or did you add any items? I'm curious because my group just finished the first book and I didn't add anything except a side quest for the mantle in the Old Margreve.

Shadow Lodge

I've only added a 400gp spellbook.

I will note that 20,000gp of the total is consumable, but there's still 50,000gp that is permanent, or will be converted into cash for something permanent.


Yah as a player who's played this. It sucks. You really have to add multiple places to buy magic items.

Between 4+ players zilvazaraat's limit of 50,000 doesn't go far once you're like level 13 or 14. The items you get in the module aren't too useful either, everything is cold based and so has immunity to cold so a lot of times you can't do much with much of the bonuses.

It's incredibly frustrating on this end. You can't use the hut to travel because you use up the keys and you have no idea where to go.

So as a player, please just add in random trips to a major city or something. Basically at level 15 I had about 20k gold worth over wealth by level but I was actually only using about 30k of it (one of which was a ring of x-ray which only helps for somethings). I couldn't hit anything (monk) or do anything useful in combat except run around and take attacks of opportunity and provide flank.

Luckily the GM (after many of us being upset about all the useless crap we got) allowed us to spend months crafting stuff, and allowed me to use magic device and plane shift scrolls to actually spend money on stuff. So I picked up 200k+ worth of gear to bring me up to a real wealth by level. It was very nice being able to deal damage and feel useful.

Decent adventure, but this was one of the biggest issues.

Grand Lodge

I saw a great idea from another GM on this board that I intend to use in my campaign (just finished book one). Basically the party will have access to a black market shop via a fireplace where they throw magic powder in to create a portal to the shop. The fireplace will always be available in the hut. Of course, there will be a premium for such conveniences... and I see sooooooo many opportunities for some interesting side plots and quests....

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path Subscriber

PlaneShift + Teleport should work.

Note that Teleport by itself is useless (even in Book 3), as it has a range of 100 miles per level. Iobaria is easily thousands of miles from the nearest Avistan city (and the PCs should only be familiar with Irrisen, Taldor, and their respective backstories).

However, the Hut counts as an extradimensional space (it even mentions in book 2 that you can use Planeshift to visit parts of the hut currently inaccessible). So a party could planeshift from the Current version of the hut to Golarion, landing within 500 miles (per Planeshift) of their intended destination. Then Teleport gets them the last 500 miles (to Oppara in Taldor, most likely). The reverse trip is just a Planeshift back into the hut directly. Since the hut is much smaller than 500 miles in size, the inaccuracy of planeshift is somewhat moot.

Granted, not having access to these spells is a big limiter, but every AP I have played in, there were always players with these spells planned for the future - so many APs put you in the middle of nowhere for an extended period of time that you need a method to dump all the useless treasure you find (and turn it into useful treasure or crafting components). A cleric with the Travel domain is best :)

My gaming group had to use these techniques a lot in Serpents Skull, Wrath of the Righteous, Kingmaker, Giantslayer, etc. Players are generally OK with waiting until end of book to exchange loot - but that makes for a HUGE power swing at the start of the next book (it's ridiculous when the level 6 fighter goes from wearing a crappy suit of chainmail to Full Plate +2, because he didn't have access to a market for 4 levels).

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Adventure Path / Reign of Winter / Purchasing Magic Items All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Reign of Winter