Good ways to handle the "Magic Shop" problem.


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Shadow Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

In the past, I've run with the assumption that players can buy or sell whatever items they want, pretty much as written in the rules. When you get 4,000 gp, you head to town and buy your custom +2 ability score slotted item, no questions asked, et cetera. I've done this mostly out of convenience, since it requires no effort and just lets the players run wild.

Unfortunately, it makes magic items totally uninteresting. A huge drive of mine is to make magic items more "special." I want the players' +2 longsword to have a story, maybe even a name. Magic items are a wonderful fantasy staple, but in Pathfinder, they're a commodity, not a story piece.

At low levels, this is easy to avoid. The players simply can't afford too many expensive toys, and the encounters don't assume they're bedazzled in ioun stones and gleaming, winged armor that lets you shoot lasers out of your eyes.

In higher level games, though, how do you strike a balance between giving the players access to the toys they want and keeping them from cherry-picking items out of the rulebook?


Well, you can houserule things to make your toys more interesting, such as making them scaling and giving them interesting effects that way the longsword cast light then daylight and goes up in enhancement so its not replaced by the next +3 longsword they find.

Or you can just move to another game because this one runs on a treadmill and your gear is supposed to be replaced to keep up with expectations. Your bonus isn't really a bonus because you get the bonus to play catch up. Nice right?

Edit: oh! And some people remove some of the +1's and their related items to get rid of the magic item needs and give that scaling inherently that way they can only include magic items with interesting effects and people aren't just automatically filling their shoulder slot with a +x cloak of resistance to stay alive.

Silver Crusade

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Two issues:

1. How to make magic interesting. House rule (see suggestions forum) to incorporate "plus" items into leveling. The current Pathfinder system does not bode well for giving "plus" items a story. No matter how interesting you make that +2 sword's background, it's gone the minute a +3 weapon comes along. That +2 Belt of Strength was worn by the famous General Armageddon when he slew the Pit Fiend Malicious, thus saving the world from a demon war? That's great, but I'm pawning it off so I can buy a +4 Belt. Don't bother with a story, I'm moving to +6 as soon as I can.

2. The Magic Shoppe? An eternal question on these forums. Since the game is pretty much fashioned mechanically on the idea players will get "plus" items and be more likely to die if they don't, you can't restrict too much on those. Just have the players role-play their search for items, whether by barter, trade, or other ways. If you don't approve of what they want, don't let it into the campaign.


Its not too hard to have scaling items. Rather than hand out treasure handout out magic experience. 5000 gold = 5000 magic experience. Then you have a choice. Either let the players apply that how they want to their items maybe require them to have the appropriate crafting skill or come up with a list of advancements for each magic item and when they turn in experience you tell them who their weapon gets better.

All this is really doing is skipping the middle man of the PCs going to town finding a wizard and paying her to upgrade their item. They will still get other treasure at say 1/2 of WBL and can buy unique items or occasionally find unique items.

Combine this with some backstory and a cool name for the items and players won't want to exchange their old sword for a new sword.


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It's quite easy, and requires only two steps:

Dump magic items you know they want, assume the rest will be sold.

Make a good number of the items "unique'. For example, that +2 LS is +3 vs Orcs. It's -3 if wielded by any but a ".....". Thus, the sales price is crud. I'd even make it more unique.

"Orc-slayer is a +2 LS, +3 vs Orcs, and glows when they get within 60'. It is made of a unique fey metal alloy, making it a additional +5 on hardness and +10 HP, but weighs 1# less. The wielder gets +2 on all saves vs orc spells, etc, and has +2 perception vs orcs. If wielded by any but one of elf bllod , it's merely a +1 sword, with only the add'l metal traits. There are rumors of a special ceremony that can make this weapon +3 or even a Bane weapon, which will require considerable sacrifice or quests."


One idea I've played with (but never implemented) is to make "plus" weapons nonmagical. Rather than enchantments, the "plus" rating represents weapons and armor of increasingly cunning craftsmanship. At +5, you're talking about the work of one of the great masters.

A second idea ... is that you can simply rule that beyond a certain "plus" level, certain magic items are just hard to come by in your world.


I've had the same problem (and desire) as the OP and the way I got around is sort of combining some of what has been mentioned.

You have to make the players want to keep them. Couple ways I do it

1) Add unique special powers that you know a player will want. Doesn't have to be combat based. It can be aesthetic, it can enhance a non-combat ability/skill they like to use. Use your knowledge of the PC to make them WANT to keep it.

2) Provide PCs with magical gear they don't want, expecting them to sell, and provide opportunities to enhance current item (which should be cheaper than buying all new. e.g. " That +2 Belt of Strength was worn by the famous General Armageddon when he slew the Pit Fiend Malicious, thus saving the world from a demon war? I will enhance it to a +4 and add my story to it"


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
The Morphling wrote:


In higher level games, though, how do you strike a balance between giving the players access to the toys they want and keeping them from cherry-picking items out of the rulebook?

Pretty simple. Get rid of them. Or almost all of them anyway.

Pathfinder and dnd before it have a basic assumption of alot of wealth in magic items representing a significant portion of a character's power as he levels up.

I've created a set of house rules to toss that out the window. The players get the majority of that 'power' in the form of abilities they get to choose from as they level up.

On the other hand, magic items are drastically changed. No permanent magic item can be crafted by normal means. They are rare and unusual. And since all the +x comes from abilities they get inborn, all those items are compeltely non-existant. There is no +2 swords. There is ingnus the flaming blade, weilded by the barbarian king of [insert setting reference], or Arcanus, the holy bow of [insert setting reference]. But they are just a flaming sword and a holy bow, no +x in there.

Consequently the magic items players find, remain with them. They become a part of the character and their story. And there is the expectation that characters will only get a handful (2-5 depending) of magic items through their whole career.

Potions, scrolls, and wands I leave alone for the most part, but magic items cant be bought or sold. Its like trying to move the mona lisa (if say a private collector had possesion of it). Yes its valuable, but its also a priceless piece of history, and probably would garner alot of both positive and negative attention if you tried to sell it. You would have to make contacts and go through a whole song and dance to either try and sell, or try and buy it.


Do a secret roll whenever they buy some magic item from a store or cart or whatever to determine if it is cursed. After all, mundane folks can't check to see if it is not and a lot of shopkeepers don't make the items themselves. Also even if they are spellcasters, how often have they actually checked to see if a magic item from a store was what it really was instead of just trusting the shopkeeper?


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Differentiate hard between "everyday" magic items und "special" stuff.
Keep the WBL system as it is but handle it out of play, via email or such stuff, so that the business-like nature of standard equipment stays away from the gaming table, therewhile putting a higher emphasis und the exotic and wonderful stuff that has been found during the actual game.

Grand Lodge

Quote:
Unfortunately, it makes magic items totally uninteresting. A huge drive of mine is to make magic items more "special." I want the players' +2 longsword to have a story, maybe even a name. Magic items are a wonderful fantasy staple, but in Pathfinder, they're a commodity, not a story piece.

In Pathfinder World Magic items and Magic is much much more common then say in Lord of the Rings. It just depends on the fantasy realm really.

But Pathfinder does have a Low magic Point Buy system and you as the DM can alter all loot drops to make magic items more uncommon. Like they might be able to buy those 4k magic items...but those 20k+ items arent in every shop and typically created by powerful casters...so those powerful casters have those items...If they want that +6 Int headband then they are going to have to defeat some guy/thing wearing a +6 headband of Int because no shop has over +2. Perhaps a dragon who has been hoarding one for 500 years.


Or that +6 int headband is in store and it is actually a cursed -6. Put it on and you're too dumb to realize it is making you dumber and think you are actually smarter, so you don't want to take it off.


I see two similar problems here masquerading as the same issue.

What used to be the role of magic items back in 2nd ed is now the role of artifacts. Some people don't understand that a change happened. Some people do and like it. Some people do and don't like it.

The other issue is magic item shops. This runs into the problem of not making any sense, as the amount you would have to invest in avoiding theft is prohibitively expensive. I haven't ever seen a magic item shop in published material that wasn't also a church or magic school, but they have long been rumored to exist, so I assume I just never read that supplement.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Gregory Connolly wrote:

I see two similar problems here masquerading as the same issue.

What used to be the role of magic items back in 2nd ed is now the role of artifacts. Some people don't understand that a change happened. Some people do and like it. Some people do and don't like it.

The other issue is magic item shops. This runs into the problem of not making any sense, as the amount you would have to invest in avoiding theft is prohibitively expensive. I haven't ever seen a magic item shop in published material that wasn't also a church or magic school, but they have long been rumored to exist, so I assume I just never read that supplement.

I am pretty sure there are places to buy magic items in sandpoint arent there? That and the magic shop you can build in kingmaker/ultimate campaigns kingdom building rules. So it is there, unrealistic economy and all.


Actually, the core rules do have a solution to "ye old magic shoppe" in the game mastery section. It may not be a perfect system but I've never had problems with it.

game mastery section wrote:


Base Value and Purchase Limit: This section lists the community's base value for available magic items in gp (see Table: Available Magic Items). There is a 75% chance that any item of this value or lower can be found for sale in the community with little effort. If an item is not available, a new check to determine if the item has become available can be made in 1 week. A settlement's purchase limit is the most money a shop in the settlement can spend to purchase any single item from the PCs. If the PCs wish to sell an item worth more than a settlement's purchase limit, they'll either need to settle for a lower price, travel to A larger city, or (with the GM's permission) search for a specific buyer in the city with deeper pockets. A settlement's type sets its purchase limit.

Using your own example, when someone gets 4000 gp they need to go to a small city (loosely defined as more then five thousand people) and even then there is a 25% chance that the item that they're looking to get isn't there. Looking in anything less then that means that you have a pretty abysmal chance of finding it as the total number of magic items above that is randomly generated (I personally roll on the random loot tables when generating these items, but your mileage may vary).


Robot_nachos wrote:
Actually, the core rules do have a solution to "ye old magic shoppe" in the game mastery section. It may not be a perfect system but I've never had problems with it.

Imo, that's really not a solution. Its actually really not that great because it means what +1's your party gets are luck based. Nine times out of ten I've found it aggravating more than anything. Doesn't do much to give players what you want, what they want, or make them special. I don't know why making your ability to finding items luck based would be. Doesn't help a lot of martials really only want one type of weapon, the one their specialized in. So great, the store has or an enemy dropped a +2 Guisarme! Too bad I use a scimitar and burned my feats on using the scimitar.


Another option is to seriously limit the magic items available to the PCs, and then weaken/edit the monsters & challenges to compensate for it. All this talk of PCs needing to have a + whatever stat booster is predicated on the fact that the PCs will be facing monsters as stated. Simply weaken them and then lower the amount of magic items found, all set.


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A GM I once played with managed to subvert this in the most awesome way I ever saw.

His world had a g$! d#%n economy that was different from place to place. In one place, potions were half off. In another, magic armor was discounted 30%. In yet another city, magic weapons were three-for-two.

He was also really good at handing us way more wealth than we should have and then taking it away before we could spend it.


One possible incentive to keep magic items and to increase the enchantment on items currently possessed is a magic item registration kind of system. Rulers of cities and empires, wizards' guilds, and BBEGs have a vested interest in knowing who has what powerful magic items. Think of it like registering a car at the DMV, the government wants to know who owns what vehicles. Buying and selling magic items is tracked by major players in the world. You can buy and sell items at Ye Olde Magick Shoppe, but the dragon or lich will know about those bane weapons before you arrive. This provides an incentive to 'level up' items and discourages frequent buying and selling of magic items.


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MAGICAL ITEMS: There are no generic +1 items. Each and every item has a history (like all the items from the Baldur's Gate computer game series). YOMS has a list of specific items in stock (takes a lot of work on my part) but is fun. If a player holds any magical item until the end of the campaign their time with the item is added to the history and the player gets to add “future” history. What I mean by that is the player chooses what happens to the weapon up to the point where it can be rolled as random treasure again. For instance, “My vorpal katana, Le Lame Cuisinart, is handed down to my daughter, and to her son, and down through my family for five generations until the city is razed by a horde of hobgoblins and seized by Scorg, who, with the use of Le Lame Cuisinart, rises to the position of tribal chieftan. In order to fuse the warring tribes together, Scorg's shaman suggested he undergo a pilgrimage to gain the blessing of their dark god. Scorg never returned and the blade (which, in French, is the word “lame”, btw) has been lost since then.”

And if a player wants something that YOMS doesn't have, then the shopkeeper can always place an order with the supplier, but it'll take a few weeks to get there and then a few weeks to get a response. In light of the impending doom looming over the frightened peasants, can the party afford to wait "6 to 8 weeks for delivery?"

My groups are primarily ROLEplayers and I have found that they generally enjoy it a lot. The versimilitude of having only some items from which to choose instead of just anything from the books appeals to them quite a bit. Also, as they level, you should swap out some items and replace stock with better items (basically, treat it as a real store with actual inventory instead of a wish list).

This solution may not work for ROLLplayers. It really comes down to talking to and knowing your players. If you think they'd see it as realism and enjoy it as part of a good story, then do it. If, however, they'll see it as punitive restrictions just so they can't have their cool stuff, then I might avoid it.

One thing I've found is that when they save the princess or undo the wizard's experiment gone wrong and the High Muckety-Muck commissions a magical item tailored for the player, they enjoy that item far more than had they just spent jeeps on it.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

The way I work it is that there are no dedicated magic shops.

There are alchemists who can sell standard potions (i.e. from the Core Rulebook), and magic supply shops usually have spell scrolls for sale of CL 5 or lower... Again, only spells from Core.

I roll for a random number of items otherwise available somewhere in town, but PCs usually need to make Diplomacy (gather information) checks to find the sellers. And then, standard prices are 150% of list, which can be haggled down.

If a PC wants a specific item, she'll have to commission its manufacture... Requiring a price negotiation, then 50% down and 50% on delivery. I then make the various checks to see if the item has a curse, drawback, or enhancement. Often, my players will pay to have their existing gear upgraded. Of course, that takes time, and they'll be without it while the crafter has it.

At the same time, I ask my players for an item wish-list periodically, and try to make sure that they get some of what they want as loot.

This also encourages PCs to take item creation feats.


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Players tend to liquidate items that are:

Unattractive. A +1 Khopesh is not going to kept for very long when no one in the party uses or is interested in khopeshes.

Wildly expensive compared to their WBL: A Buccaneer's Breastplate is a great find for a level 3 party. That said, selling it for 12k GP will buy the whole party a +1 weapon and a set of +1 armor - arguably a much better deal than a +1 breastplate and circumstantial access to Water Walk.

The best way to limit the shopping syndrome is to give the party items they will actually want to use. Instead of dropping a +1 Khopesh, make it a +1 Greatsword for the barbarian. Instead of a Buccaneer's Breastplate, make it a small armory stash with a set of +1 armors and a bandolier filled with useful potions.

The other day I looked over a friend's character sheet from a campaign we played years ago and I realized that most of the magic items he was carrying had little notes next to them detailing where and how he found it.

Personally I find it much more interesting when the 12th level paladin of Iomedae fights with the same +1 longsword he found in the catacombs of Wrath at level 2 (appropriately upgraded, of course) than when he swings by ye olde magic shoppe and grabs a generic weapon because all the RNG is throwing at him is Lucerne Hammers.

Liberty's Edge

In my homebrew campaign, I tell players flatly that they can't just walk into "Ye Olde Magick Shoppe" with a shopping list. Adventurers are fairly rare, let alone casters of high enough level to make magic things. They are around, if you can find them, but they don't go around making things on speculation.

Divine scrolls, wands and potions are another matter, especially potions. They are generally available at temples.


Our GM also uses the wishlist as mentioned above, as well as dropping items that we want/will use vs. generic loot.

Archer finds a +X Composite Longbow
Barbarian finds a +X Bastard Sword
Fighter finds a +X (insert weapon of choice)
etc...

Personally I love the idea of weapons with a compelling backstory that I can add to. Just as long as I can reasonably upgrade the weapon to stay competitive.

In the last campaign I played, nobody in a party of 5 had any of the "big 6" magic items. Instead we all had items that we found/won that played to our specific character concept. Did this require extra work for our GM? Yes. Did we appreciate those items more? Absolutely.


I just say, "There are no magic shops. Earn your magic, not buy it."


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I think the best way to do it would be to incorporate the boring +1's and the big six into the characters themselves rather than having them be drops or purchases that you have to get as a tax to keep up with CR.

The reliance on wearing a bunch of fancy magical items in Pathfinder is one of my biggest grievances with the system, really. How many great heroes in fantasy/mythology do you know that did anything resembling that? Most heroes have their one Legendary Weapon that carries them through the day; Arthur has Excalibur, Bilbo has Sting. If the boring and generic items were removed from the game and just became things that you got naturally as you level up and become more legendary heroes then that Ultimate Hammer of Evil Smashing the Barbarian just found will have a lot more meaning, because he knows something this kickass is unlikely to be replaced. It becomes his signature weapon, and in years to come bards will sing of how he totally crushed a tarrasque's face with it and it was awesome.


Make the items upgreadable. @TOUC@ That +2 Belt of Strength that was worn by the famous General Armageddon when he slew the Pit Fiend Malicious, thus saving the world from a demon war, can be selled, yeah, but if you offer a X% discount for upgrade it, you have the trick. Calculate the money they will get, the money the will spent, and apply the little discount. Example: the belt they have costs 4000 gp, so they can get 2000gp. The belt they want costs 16000, the diference is 14000. 5% discount because blablabla, they obtain it for 13300.(hey, its something!) Now we have the +4 Belt of Strength that was worn by the famous General Armageddon when he slew the Pit Fiend Malicious, thus saving the world from a demon war. It can be Role played by a lot of forms, like "reforging" dented old swords of the past, "awakening" dormant powers, whatever fits your campain/world.
PD: Even you can let them "remake" a bastard sword to a scimitar, ala 13h warrior film. :/


What if you made some stats for various Wizard shops? Maybe the wizard is level 5 and now runs a shop. What would he make? Scrolls maybe potion? You have a level cap and you could scale it up.

The PC want a magic weapon or armor. It takes two people to make that work. One to make the item the other to enchant it. Is the Blacksmith in town good enough to a masterwork item?

Not every town/village/city/hamlet will have what the PC wants. That make the item creation feats more important. Then when the Wizard is making something you can have the other PC do a small side quest. Like the Wizards needs a rare component that the other part members could get.

When PCs have to work for something it becomes important to them. Use that.


Fencer_guy wrote:

What if you made some stats for various Wizard shops? Maybe the wizard is level 5 and now runs a shop. What would he make? Scrolls maybe potion? You have a level cap and you could scale it up.

The PC want a magic weapon or armor. It takes two people to make that work. One to make the item the other to enchant it. Is the Blacksmith in town good enough to a masterwork item?

Not every town/village/city/hamlet will have what the PC wants. That make the item creation feats more important. Then when the Wizard is making something you can have the other PC do a small side quest. Like the Wizards needs a rare component that the other part members could get.

When PCs have to work for something it becomes important to them. Use that.

I like and usually make the things that way, but the rules about towns specify the items available by price in each by number of inhabitants. Use it as a reference, but remember that, as a GM, you can change whatever you like, for the sake of the game.


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In my World of Battersea, a magic shop can only be found in a city, and the only items they would have on the shelf ready to sell are expendable items of types that non-adventuring aristocrats and merchant princes are likely to want - which means mostly healing and love potions. Anything else is just too expensive to produce if you haven't already got a buyer waiting (and paying for the materials up front).

A few magic shops also serve as brokers to bring together people who want to buy and sell other items. Selling something this way will take several weeks minimum and probably lots of roleplayed negotiation. Buying something that you're not too picky about ("I want a magic sword that isn't cursed") would be about the same. Buying something more specific is likely to require months or years of searching, or finding somebody to make it for you.

Battersea, the greatest city in my world (pop. about 550,000) has perhaps half a dozen "magic shops" as I've described them, with maybe 2 of them able to deal in anything more than potions and the occasional scroll.

If you're not in the big city, there won't be any magic items ready for sale at all, although you can always see if there's a local hedge wizard who can brew a potion or two for you (payment in advance, of course).

Of course, this also means that magical treasure the party finds is never rolled randomly, but chosen to fit the characters (and my knowledge of what they will need to face upcoming challenges).


One way to do a "Magic Shop" is to stylize it after some merchantile/brokerage houses. Through use of magic they communicate with other such shops/academies around the world. Making one place a kind of Ebay/Amazon of the magic item world.

We used to have this place we went to, sometimes traveling for weeks to go there to sell our stuff. The GM/Players kept a running log of items found & made and sold there. So all of our loot and items we made that we sold to the shop was listed in our journal for future players/characters down the road. We had like a 40% chance the item was sold upon asking for it and if so it was crossed off the list.

Also we had a pretty cool thing going for buying/making items there. There were many craftsmen/caster types around there and things could be commissioned. I don't know what our percent chance was to flat out buy something we wanted, but there was times you were able to walk out with it and other times you walked out with a Map of where to find it. You paid the same price for the Map as you would for the item.

This was a really cool thing to do IMHO. Treasure of a kind that your character wanted, that was guaranteed at the end of the quest. We loved it, and it also made for great banter between players when things were going hard, we'd yell "I lost my mount for your damn Monk's Robe" etc... it was pretty fun. We had this random dungeon & monster encounter generator for the map and it's denizens. Sometimes the damn thing had no monsters but all traps and secret rooms etc..., this was used mainly for a Rogue/Monk special item, other times you needed a particular spell caster to get through it. Like the time the Wizard wanted a Ring of Wizardry, we really, really needed him with us to get through the dungeon. He couldn't just pay us to do it for him while he crafted/researched stuff.


I'm sorry but the 75% chance as presented in the core rules is in no way "luck based". The PCs can come back a week later and try again. It will most certainly be available at that point. If you run that system exactly as written, and your PC group has no crafting ability to amount to anything, you'll be fine. Seriously, by RAW, the best thing in Magnimar for example might be nothing more than a +2 Glamered Longsword (at 11,000). The Base total is only 12,800 gp (via M,CoM).

If you want to go to the trouble of finding out which, if any, Medium or Major items are present above the bases total, why it's absolutely no trouble to do so. Have a look at the Iconics, they certainly look as if they adhered to this sort of system as they made their way up from 1st level (one imagines).


The problem is not just the magic shops, magic items are too easy to make in Pathfinder. The players don’t need to find a magic shop to get items they can just make them. You would need to remove the magic shops, and change the craft rules. You could add the experience requirement from 3.5 back in, or eliminate the craft feats you don’t like, maybe scribe scroll and craft potion are ok with you, but craft ring is not. Or keep all the feats but add a house rule that crafters can only make an item worth 500 gp per cast level.


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Thiles Targon wrote:
The problem is not just the magic shops, magic items are too easy to make in Pathfinder. The players don’t need to find a magic shop to get items they can just make them. You would need to remove the magic shops, and change the craft rules. You could add the experience requirement from 3.5 back in, or eliminate the craft feats you don’t like, maybe scribe scroll and craft potion are ok with you, but craft ring is not. Or keep all the feats but add a house rule that crafters can only make an item worth 500 gp per cast level.

Or, with a little creativity, add some special material requirements unique to each item. For example, maybe a flaming sword requires fresh blood from an efreeti prince. Nobody is going to be selling that at any price; you have to go get it yourself.

I would only bother to decide what special materials are required for those items that a PC caster has expressed an interest in creating, and I would probably require them to spend some time and make some spellcraft rolls in the library (possibly requiring a trip to another city) to discover the exact recipe for the item.

The idea is not to keep the PCs from getting the item they want, it's to give them a chance to earn it rather than just make a trip down the road to Magic-Mart.


The problem isn't the pathfinder system it's trying to play a game that isn't pathfinder while using pathfinder rules. I've seen many of these threads about how easy magic items come and go and "Ye Olde Magic Shoppe", but the fact always remains that some people want something that is not inherent to the system they're playing.

This doesn't mean it's not achievable it just means it would take a fair amount of work to make the alterations to give pathfinder a lord of the rings feel or any other fantasy world with low levels of magic.

An idea I've been toying with is giving experience to items. Ie the history of the item gives it bonuses and the players using them adds to the items experience and eventually an item can level up. This can also be augmented by creating unique quests to allow items to acquire more power. Under this premise I would have items of a certain quality be able to become receptacles for magic only, disallow magic item creation rules, and limit magic shops to consumables.

This gives control to the GM for what items a party can attain, creates easy plot hooks to advance stories and character development, allows uniqueness to items as the history of an item grows with a character, and still allows for wish lists. The biggest draw backs will always be the amount of extra work required of the GM.


If a place has a shop owner that is a wizard and able to do +5 enchantments, he is powerful enough to solve the city's problem that gives the PCs their quest. Why risk these guys if you have such a powerful wizard in the city just running a shop? If there is a magic store, likely it is a low level wizard or just a shop keeper ordering stuff in from people picking off of bodies and tomb raiders. And again, if it is just a shopkeeper looking for a quick buck, chances are he doesn't understand cursed magic items. Throw those in there sometimes as they are really fun and makes players cautious about the apparent +5 enchanted item in a store.


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Jaçinto wrote:
If a place has a shop owner that is a wizard and able to do +5 enchantments, he is powerful enough to solve the city's problem that gives the PCs their quest. Why risk these guys if you have such a powerful wizard in the city just running a shop? If there is a magic store, likely it is a low level wizard or just a shop keeper ordering stuff in from people picking off of bodies and tomb raiders. And again, if it is just a shopkeeper looking for a quick buck, chances are he doesn't understand cursed magic items. Throw those in there sometimes as they are really fun and makes players cautious about the apparent +5 enchanted item in a store.

That is based on the thought that the rules are the basis for a simulation and reflect anything in universe at all.

Luckyly, no-one ever confirmed this way of thinking as the baseline assumption for gaming in either a rule book or a setting book.


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Jaçinto wrote:
If a place has a shop owner that is a wizard and able to do +5 enchantments, he is powerful enough to solve the city's problem that gives the PCs their quest. Why risk these guys if you have such a powerful wizard in the city just running a shop? If there is a magic store, likely it is a low level wizard or just a shop keeper ordering stuff in from people picking off of bodies and tomb raiders. And again, if it is just a shopkeeper looking for a quick buck, chances are he doesn't understand cursed magic items. Throw those in there sometimes as they are really fun and makes players cautious about the apparent +5 enchanted item in a store.

DC of a magic item is 5 + caster level of the item. The caster level to add enhancement bonuses to weapons must be 3 times the bonus. You can add a +5 penalty to the DC for lacking a prerequisite like caster level.

A +5 weapon for a first level wizard is a DC 25.

Class skill +3
Int bonus +3 (modest 16)
Ranks +1
Crafters fortune spell +5 (as a career crafter you would have this)
Masterwork tools +2
Traits can get you +1/+2 or inner beauty for a once per day +4
Helpers with cooperative crafter feat add a +2 per helper (+4 from a halfling helper)
Take 10 for your skill

All of those make it easy for a level 1 wizard to make +5 weapons. The assumption that magic shops require some grand wizard is false. Just takes money and time.

As a career crafter the first things you would make are an item to grant a bonus to your Spellcraft checks and then something to boost intelligence. 2500gp (1250gp for the crafter) gets you a +5 competence bonus to Spellcraft. 4000gp (2000gp for the crafter) gets you a +2 int headband.

The developers have personally said that magic is easily available and crafting items is easy to do because they intended it to be so and the game reflects that.


Khrysaor wrote:

The developers have personally said that magic is easily available and crafting items is easy to do because they intended it to be so and the game reflects that.

This is obviously the case for their world. If you create your own world, as many of us do, things can be completely different.


JoeJ wrote:
Khrysaor wrote:

The developers have personally said that magic is easily available and crafting items is easy to do because they intended it to be so and the game reflects that.

This is obviously the case for their world. If you create your own world, as many of us do, things can be completely different.

"This is obviously the case for their game system." FTFY

Edit: the entire context of the statement is to show the falsity of a shop run by a low level wizard not having the capabilities to make +5 weapons.


On this que, idd like an opinion and advice on this idea:

Say i'dd give my players "enhancement bonus" for free on all their Proficient attacks, at a rate of +1 per 4 levels, starting at 3 (so +5 at 19).
Say i'dd give my players the same for AC but at 2nd level (so +5 at 18th level).
And finally saves +1 per 4 levels, starting at 2nd (so +5 at 18th).

How much would you drop gold generation to accommodate for this change?


@Khrysaor I don't think removing 4 or 5 feats is a fair amount of work.


@tsuruki:

Not very much, as those changes are worth nearly nothing.
Also, I predict that the player of the sorcerer/wizard/witch will flipp you the bird.


The money and time issue is certainly something that the DM can and should control regardless of whether or not you have crafting characters in your party. Realistically, most PC crafters will be Wizards and every Craft feat that they take, ratchets their personal power down. Khrysaor makes a good point that it's supposed to be easier than it was in 3.5 (though a 1st Lv wizard can't craft a +5 sword, any sword really. He has to be Lv 5 to get the feat. The DC will also bump up since you don't have the prereq Level; a special rule for weapons).

Control the money, control the PCs time and you shouldn't have any problems with crafting. Same is true with the core system in the GM Guide.


Thiles Targon wrote:
@Khrysaor I don't think removing 4 or 5 feats is a fair amount of work.

Removing the item creation feats doesn't solve the problem of making items feel unique or the magic shop problem which is what I was answering to the OP. Removing those feats doesn't affect anything other than stopping PC's from crafting items.

scadgrad wrote:
stuff

haha my mistake. Obviously has to be a 5th level caster to qualify for the feat to craft weapons and armor. Or that 3rd level dwarf cleric archetype. I was just trying to show the ease that you can meet DCs to make things and clarify, as you noted, that the rules are made to be PC friendly when it comes to crafting. The comment it was aimed at was that a wizard able to create a +5 weapon could solve all the towns problems. I haven't known any level 5 wizards to be able to solve all problems.

A level 1 wizard also wouldn't have the wealth to open a shop in a town with enough people that sells items. It'll take cash to own a storefront and to make some product to sell unless everything is done on commission in which case that solves the magic mart by making everything commission based.

@everyone

What exactly is so disenchanting about PC's getting items at a magic mart or making their own items? A player will play their character how they choose their character would act and will chase the items that will benefit their concept. If the GM isn't helping the players enjoy their concept in an adventure you're not being a good GM.

I personally don't care about magic mart or item crafting as it doesn't detract from the main story that all players are a part of by forcing down time for commission items or side tracking stories that some players may not be interested in.


I will fix that by giving the items intelligent. Any +2 or above items will have intelligent and will have characters. This way, player will be bond with the items, if one wish to get a better items, he get sell the items/friend he has and buy a new one. However, those items will count as NPC, so they will react to what the players did to them which makes the players think how to get rid of them without hurting their feelings and treat them more than just an item. Another way would be when one spend enough time and bond with a item, the item grow stronger with the PC. Even +1 items. Say a fighter who treats his masterwork scythe very well and he never left him by his side even when everyone else having +3 or higher items, the bond between them is strong. When a PC treats his weapon as a friend, I often reward those players and have their weapons power up as part of the story.


I found that using don jons magic shop generator helps rather than rolling for percentage of whats there it stocks a shop of inventory.

My pirates in my Skull & Shackles just went to a village best item on the list Oytugh.hide.


Taube wrote:

@tsuruki:

Not very much, as those changes are worth nearly nothing.
Also, I predict that the player of the sorcerer/wizard/witch will flipp you the bird.

I like his idea. It's pretty simple tsuruki, just figure the cost of the +defensive times (which everyone wants) and subtract that.

Also, folks, there are some classes & feats from 3.5 that allow a PC to enhance one special item. The Kensai, the OA Samurai, and a feat from BoED.


Am I really the only one that thinks putting cursed items in a store is a bad idea? It just makes sense to me to do this. Caster messes up his roll (wether they know it or not depending on how cocky they are about their skill) and wants to make money, so they put it up for sale. Not their fault you can't roll high enough to properly inspect it. Like people that don't check the expiration dates when they buy groceries cause they just trust the store.


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I think poisoning the well is a bad idea unless the players have ways to find out, or at the very least reasons to suspect, that the products they're purchasing will not be up to code.

Selling magic items is a bit like selling climbing or diving equipment. If you sell shoddy gear, word is gonna get around fast, and odds are you're gonna have some pissed off customers at your door.

And pissed off adventurers is frequently really bad for your health or the health of anyone in the immediate vicinity.

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