PC Magic Item Creation is Mandated by the Rules


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


So, I'm getting ready to run a big adventure that is suppose to go from levels 1-13 or so.

As a part of my game prep, I rolled up the magic items for sale in the town and surrounding area. Using the suggested spread for an area a size larger, there is a 75% chance any item of 4000gps or lower is available, plus 10 minor, 7 medium and 4 major magic items.

Without getting into the nitty-gritty, I rolled up a bunch of crap. Most of it was just potions and scrolls. The stuff that wasn't, half was still just crap no character in the group would want.

By the time they are 13th level, if they start packing close to 140,000gps a piece, they won't be worrying a whole lot about their 4000gp magic items.

Keeping up rolling randomly for treasure and the outrageous tedium of rolling up the items for sale if the party were to travel, I would spend hours making lists and it would still all be crap.

My point is, if you follow the suggestions in the book, the party would never have quality gear at higher level unless they make it themselves.

The only other option is for the GM to just use the hand of god to drop the party gear they want, or to constantly roll random gear for all the towns in the campaign until the party can find what they are looking for.


With that in mind, I would say let the PCs within reason (for instance, not in the tiny village full of magic hating yokels) find whatever they want pre-made and ready for sale and then just let them commission anything more exotic, perhaps at a faster than normal crafting speed rate.


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Hello! Welcome to the "Wealth by Level" discussion by any other name here on the messageboards. Where players, starting with Rise of the Runelords Adventure Path, complain that WBL compared to what actual treasure is in an Adventure Path, or randomly rolled up, is totally out of wrack. You've joined a long, long line of other characters and GMs that drool with envy over what a Level 15 character has on their stat sheet, only to look at the various Adventure Paths or even the homebrews and wonder just how that PC got to have that equipment.

Yes, I've played the crafter in nearly every game I've ever played in since 3.0 first came out. And now the rules say WBL is +50% if you craft it yourself. What they don't tell you is, your WBL will be -80% standard if you just wait for "monster drops" and normal village magic-shop limits. Once your character gets that first leather armor, or +1 longsword, you will wait a dragon's age before getting anywhere near a +4 keen longsword or +3 full plate armor. And all those special abilities for weapons and/or armor in the back of the Core rulebook or Adventurers' Guide or Ultimate Equipment? They are only found in dreams, not games!

So yes, as a GM you basically have to look your players in the eye and go "Give me a shopping list, by level, please." and tailor your monsters and towns and cities to it, or else become a player crafter. A crafter with Create Wondrous Item and Craft Magical Arms & Armor and Brew Potion and Craft Wand and Forge Ring and maybe, just maybe, by Level 13 you've got what it takes to deck out your character with what they really need/want.

And then there's the whole "you have to have the spell, and the caster level to cast it" problem. Take a Handy Haversack, one of the most necessary items in the game, and not too expensive at 2,000 gp. Of course, the Caster Level for that wondrous item is NINE, and there are no "stepping-ladder" spells to get to it, so your stickler of a GM can laugh at you behind the GM screen as your STR 10 Wizard struggles with a 100-lb pack until 9th Level. (Dreamscarred Press made the spell a 1st-level power, so at least you can make Belt Pouches of Storage before 9th Level.)

Which is why most PCs go "hog wild" crafting things at 7th-13th level, and GMs start to complain on the board that they can't motivate their players with loot anymore. Because once you get to the level where you can craft things that sell for some substantial coin to other players, why adventure? There's also lots of money-making loopholes in the rules, just search the messageboards here for them.

As a GM if I was starting a homebrew I would be inclined to start each character off with a "fund" of necessary, but expensive, magical items. The Fighter can have a "legacy sword". The Wizard can get a "Guildsman's Handy Haversack". The thief can get "Guildsman's Lockpicking Tools", etc. Probably a 5,000 gp limit, but it beats your standard 1st-level character bleeding out in the bear cave because they couldn't afford a single potion of Cure Light Wounds.

Give the PCs a major city say, a week from their normal adventuring location. Just far enough away that there's no competition, but close enough they can level up with their gold pieces without too much hassle. Put a magic shop in the small village that can buy things "on order" from the big city. And has occasional sales that will help PCs when they need a particular item(s) that game.


chaoseffect wrote:
With that in mind, I would say let the PCs within reason (for instance, not in the tiny village full of magic hating yokels) find whatever they want pre-made and ready for sale and then just let them commission anything more exotic, perhaps at a faster than normal crafting speed rate.

This...

normally this is not a problem in my group because between me and a friend of mine, one of us is always playing an arcane caster with CWI...

but if not the case, then Chaoseffect's solution is the most elegant and simple for everybody.

The Exchange

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Pcs tend to get most of their gear from looting treasure hoards or from the dead bodies of the enemies they defeat.

That s where you as DM can put in useful items.

It's unlikely that the owner of the +2 holy long sword is actually going to sell it in a civilised town. Most likely cos they still wan to use it. However, if it's in the hoard of so,e creature that killed the last paladin who came after it, then it makes sense.

Rolling randomly for settlements makes sense. Sometimes rolling randomly for loot in hoards makes sense.

Rolling randomly for NPC or enemy gear makes no sense at all. Give them the good stuff from corpses after it's been used against them.

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2011 Top 32

Personally I'm pretty strict about magic item shopping - 75% chance of anything below the base value, plus a scattering of random (usually) junk. Base values cap at 16k for most metropolises, can get up to about 25k for a major trade center. I use an online generator to roll up random items so I can generate a new town in seconds.

See, that allows +4 stat items, +4-5 armor, +3 weapons. That's pretty good stuff and certainly sufficient up to level 12-13 or so. If the PCs want the truly great stuff they can:

-find it
-craft it
-hire it crafted
-research it and go take it

And that's okay too.

Cranefist, remember that as your party gets up to level 9-10 that fast magical transportation becomes available. It's entirely possible that your players will want to do day trips to major cities for shopping.


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Pathfinder wasn't designed around random loot generation. It just doesn't work as a primary treasure mechanic. It can be fine for spicing things up a bit or hastily dealing with the PCs going way off the rails ("screw the king, let's go hunt wyverns for a while"), but you've already seen how badly the tables work when you use them exclusively.

GMs have total control over the treasure in their campaign, and it is the GM's prerogative to adjust that treasure to fit the party. Whether and to what extent such adjustments should be made is a matter of GM preference.


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I almost always add an NPC crafter so the party can commission items during downtime.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
jhpace1 wrote:
And then there's the whole "you have to have the spell, and the caster level to cast it" problem. Take a Handy Haversack, one of the most necessary items in the game, and not too expensive at 2,000 gp. Of course, the Caster Level for that wondrous item is NINE, and there are no "stepping-ladder" spells to get to it, so your stickler of a GM can laugh at you behind the GM screen as your STR 10 Wizard struggles with a 100-lb pack until 9th Level. (Dreamscarred Press made the spell a 1st-level power, so at least you can make Belt Pouches of Storage before 9th Level.)

Just to put this particular fire out:

Spellcraft DC for item = CL+5: 14. You can't get Craft Wondrous Item until at least 3rd level, so assuming a moderate Intelligence bonus of +3, a 3rd level wizard with 3 ranks in Spellcraft is ticking an easy +9 Spellcraft, which means he can take 10 on DC 19 checks to craft items and auto-succeed. Now, since he's missing the secret chest spell requirement, the DC is increased by +5, so that makes it... DC 19.

So, every single 3rd level wizard with Craft Wondrous Item, 1,000 gp, and 2 days to spare can make one of these.

[Edit: Because you don't have to have the caster level to cast the spell, or even the caster level of the item. You just need to be able to make a spellcraft skill check.]


Chemlak wrote:
jhpace1 wrote:
And then there's the whole "you have to have the spell, and the caster level to cast it" problem. Take a Handy Haversack, one of the most necessary items in the game, and not too expensive at 2,000 gp. Of course, the Caster Level for that wondrous item is NINE, and there are no "stepping-ladder" spells to get to it, so your stickler of a GM can laugh at you behind the GM screen as your STR 10 Wizard struggles with a 100-lb pack until 9th Level. (Dreamscarred Press made the spell a 1st-level power, so at least you can make Belt Pouches of Storage before 9th Level.)

Just to put this particular fire out:

Spellcraft DC for item = CL+5: 14. You can't get Craft Wondrous Item until at least 3rd level, so assuming a moderate Intelligence bonus of +3, a 3rd level wizard with 3 ranks in Spellcraft is ticking an easy +9 Spellcraft, which means he can take 10 on DC 19 checks to craft items and auto-succeed. Now, since he's missing the secret chest spell requirement, the DC is increased by +5, so that makes it... 19.

So, every single 3rd level wizard with Craft Wondrous Item, 1,000 gp, and 2 days to spare can make one of these.

+10. Also missing the CL requirement.

So DC 24. By third an int 18 wis should have a +10 to spellcraft. You could let them make a skill boosting item too.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Marroar Gellantara wrote:
Chemlak wrote:
jhpace1 wrote:
And then there's the whole "you have to have the spell, and the caster level to cast it" problem. Take a Handy Haversack, one of the most necessary items in the game, and not too expensive at 2,000 gp. Of course, the Caster Level for that wondrous item is NINE, and there are no "stepping-ladder" spells to get to it, so your stickler of a GM can laugh at you behind the GM screen as your STR 10 Wizard struggles with a 100-lb pack until 9th Level. (Dreamscarred Press made the spell a 1st-level power, so at least you can make Belt Pouches of Storage before 9th Level.)

Just to put this particular fire out:

Spellcraft DC for item = CL+5: 14. You can't get Craft Wondrous Item until at least 3rd level, so assuming a moderate Intelligence bonus of +3, a 3rd level wizard with 3 ranks in Spellcraft is ticking an easy +9 Spellcraft, which means he can take 10 on DC 19 checks to craft items and auto-succeed. Now, since he's missing the secret chest spell requirement, the DC is increased by +5, so that makes it... 19.

So, every single 3rd level wizard with Craft Wondrous Item, 1,000 gp, and 2 days to spare can make one of these.

+10. Also missing the CL requirement.

So DC 24. By third an int 18 wis should have a +10 to spellcraft. You could let them make a skill boosting item too.

What Caster Level requirement? There isn't one in the Requirements section of the item. Wondrous Items in general don't have a "must be Xth level to craft" restriction like weapons (exceptions exist like Bracers of Armor, which has it in the requirements line).


As Chemlak said. Also look at Ioun Stones for an example of a CL that is is requirement.


Chemlak wrote:
jhpace1 wrote:
And then there's the whole "you have to have the spell, and the caster level to cast it" problem. Take a Handy Haversack, one of the most necessary items in the game, and not too expensive at 2,000 gp. Of course, the Caster Level for that wondrous item is NINE, and there are no "stepping-ladder" spells to get to it, so your stickler of a GM can laugh at you behind the GM screen as your STR 10 Wizard struggles with a 100-lb pack until 9th Level. (Dreamscarred Press made the spell a 1st-level power, so at least you can make Belt Pouches of Storage before 9th Level.)

Just to put this particular fire out:

Spellcraft DC for item = CL+5: 14. You can't get Craft Wondrous Item until at least 3rd level, so assuming a moderate Intelligence bonus of +3, a 3rd level wizard with 3 ranks in Spellcraft is ticking an easy +9 Spellcraft, which means he can take 10 on DC 19 checks to craft items and auto-succeed. Now, since he's missing the secret chest spell requirement, the DC is increased by +5, so that makes it... DC 19.

So, every single 3rd level wizard with Craft Wondrous Item, 1,000 gp, and 2 days to spare can make one of these.

[Edit: Because you don't have to have the caster level to cast the spell, or even the caster level of the item. You just need to be able to make a spellcraft skill check.]

Not so fast. +5 per requirement not met. Caster level is a requirement, so +5 till lvl 9, so till lvl 9 DC 24. Doable, but not at lvl 3 probably.

Dark Archive

I never roll random for shops. I pick things that I think the PC's will want or find interesting and that fit with the theme of the area or shop/shopkeep. A Qadiran merchant is going to have different items for sale than a Taldoran one.


There has been a lot of discussion about magic items, magic items crafting, wealth by level and etc.

I am very on the fence about it: on one hand I am old so I like 'organic' loot. That is, loot found in game, and damn be WBL. On the other hand, I like letting PCs control their equipment. You don't put a race car driver into a '77 pinto and expect him to win do you?

But how do you give both to the Players (and to you, too, as loot should be a 'temptation' for the PCs) Simply allowing them to make whatever they want is...blah. Especially if that becomes the reason for existing: "This session will be spent maximizing gold value and time schedules." Fun game? Nope. Lots of bored, er, board games cover that genre.

One solution I have used when making a higher level party: I start rolling random items, one at a time until the value of random loot is equal to or greater than half the WBL. The difference to WBL is given to the PC to use as they see fit. If they want to dump some of the random stuff, they can. At 50% of market value.

How could you apply that to in-game, story based progression? One option is to simply add an enhancement bonus or effect to existing items. This is easy with Armor, or Shields. "Your continuous use of the Sword of Whazzifuzzles has awakened a deeper magic! It is now +2!" Not so easy with spontaneously 'born' items, "Suddenly your gramma's old wedding ring you thought a mere trinket glows and you now have Resist Elements: Fire/10 as long as you wear it!"


Something else is item commissioning. People are used to I going to Wal-mart, and if they don't have it, they don't have it.

Even today, a lot of special or rare items are comissioned. IE, I find a craftsman, I pay him 20-30% upfront, then I come back a month later, pay him the balance, and collect the item.

Once you get past the basics, a lot of shops simply cannot afford to keep rare goods in stock. A holy avenger +5 is worth more than most medium sized towns, no shop is going to keep that in stock just incase a wealthy paladin wanders by.


Quote:
Caster level is a requirement

It is only a requeriment if it is listed under "Construction Requirements". Which the sack doesnt.

Or, specified on the crafting rules, such as weapons/armor.


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If you have not seen it before check THIS. site out. Total Awesome and if you are not happy with the results as a DM just hit the button again. Kari Rage runs it from here on the forums and does a great job.


Actually in Golarion the base value can get up to 30K (30200 iirc), so that's a little more breathing room.
After that you just have to commision it (which means it would take some time for you to get your stuff), craft it yourself, make do with what the adventure gives you or start teleporting/greater teleporting to cities with major items and hope that there will be a roll that suits you.


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This is a houserule I use when i run an AP:

Once per Chapter of an Adventure Path (at the beginning of the Chapter), each player can request a certain magic item, not to exceed 1/3 of the WBL cost of the highest level you would achieve during that chapter; I will work that item in during that Chapter in some manner (either in a treasure hoard, an NPC you fight using it as part of their gear, automatically available for sale in a shop, etc.).

Most AP's start at 1st; at the end of the first Chapter, you are 4th; at the end of the second, 7th; third, 10th, fourth, 13th; fifth, 15th and sixth, 17th.

Obviously, if the item you request is expensive, you may need to wait till the end of the chapter to get it. That will be a balancing act for what you want; less expensive item you get earlier vs. more expensive item you may not get until the end of the chapter.

Example: Player with a rogue wants to be able to carry tons of gear but doesn't have the Strength score for a decent encumbrance. He requests a Handy Haversack (2000 GP) as his first Chapter item. The Haversack is just on the 1/3 WBL for 4th level, so I would place it in the treasure hoard of the final encounter of the Chapter.

This actually works out well; 1/3 WBL for a 4th level character is 2,000 GP, just the amount for a +1 Weapon. 1/3 WBL for a 7th level character (23,500 gp, rounded to 24,000 gp) is 8,000 gp, just right for a +2 weapon. It scales pretty well...


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Hogeyhead wrote:
Not so fast. +5 per requirement not met. Caster level is a requirement, so +5 till lvl 9, so till lvl 9 DC 24. Doable, but not at lvl 3 probably.

FAQ

Caster level is not a requirement unless it's listed under the requirements section.


Swashbucklersdc wrote:

This is a houserule I use when i run an AP:

Once per Chapter of an Adventure Path (at the beginning of the Chapter), each player can request a certain magic item, not to exceed 1/3 of the WBL cost of the highest level you would achieve during that chapter; I will work that item in during that Chapter in some manner (either in a treasure hoard, an NPC you fight using it as part of their gear, automatically available for sale in a shop, etc.).

Most AP's start at 1st; at the end of the first Chapter, you are 4th; at the end of the second, 7th; third, 10th, fourth, 13th; fifth, 15th and sixth, 17th.

Obviously, if the item you request is expensive, you may need to wait till the end of the chapter to get it. That will be a balancing act for what you want; less expensive item you get earlier vs. more expensive item you may not get until the end of the chapter.

Example: Player with a rogue wants to be able to carry tons of gear but doesn't have the Strength score for a decent encumbrance. He requests a Handy Haversack (2000 GP) as his first Chapter item. The Haversack is just on the 1/3 WBL for 4th level, so I would place it in the treasure hoard of the final encounter of the Chapter.

This actually works out well; 1/3 WBL for a 4th level character is 2,000 GP, just the amount for a +1 Weapon. 1/3 WBL for a 7th level character (23,500 gp, rounded to 24,000 gp) is 8,000 gp, just right for a +2 weapon. It scales pretty well...

Sounds good.


Dotting. Wall of text incoming in t minus for hours.


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The magic item availability is simply "what's already at market" when the players show up in town. Base value and purchase limit do not prevent the party from hiring the services of an NPC spellcaster to craft custom items for them at standard market value, provided there's a spellcaster capable of casting Xth-level spells in that city/town.

What does tend to prevent them? The time investment involved (though if your campaign's on that tight a timeline, you're not having any PC crafting either), the possibility of PCs being unfriendly with the locals, etc.


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jhpace1 wrote:
And then there's the whole "you have to have the spell, and the caster level to cast it" problem. Take a Handy Haversack, one of the most necessary items in the game, and not too expensive at 2,000 gp. Of course, the Caster Level for that wondrous item is NINE, and there are no "stepping-ladder" spells to get to it, so your stickler of a GM can laugh at you behind the GM screen as your STR 10 Wizard struggles with a 100-lb pack until 9th Level. (Dreamscarred Press made the spell a 1st-level power, so at least you can make Belt Pouches of Storage before 9th Level.)

There is far too much tizzy over WBL and crafting. First of all, you shouldn't be motivating your players with loot. You should motivate them with adventure.

Secondly, take a look at the settlement rules. A handy haversack is 2000gp. There is a 75% chance of a handy haversack being present and available in any large town.

Thirdly, use a generator like http://www.archivesofnethys.com/RandomItemGenerator.aspx. Do this as soon as you know your players will be in a particular town. They don't like anything on the list? Oh well. Time to travel to a new town if they want.

Now...when it gets ludicrous is when a wizard has access to several teleports per day, and has downtime. THEN he or she can theoretically teleport to any major city, and spend a few hours shopping on behalf of the party members. When THAT starts happening, you start bending the rules in favor of the party simply being able to buy whatever they can afford, so long as it's not a rare wondrous item. OR you can sit there at your computer and click on Nethys' generator for every major city he visits and tell him "that's what you find there this week."

What is important is creating a sense of scarcity and "I found this! Muahahaaa!" because it lends a certain verisimilitude to the adventuring world. When players CAN have whatever they want, an adventure becomes less appealing.

Wish Lists? Yes, I use those too.


bulbaquil wrote:

The magic item availability is simply "what's already at market" when the players show up in town. Base value and purchase limit do not prevent the party from hiring the services of an NPC spellcaster to craft custom items for them at standard market value, provided there's a spellcaster capable of casting Xth-level spells in that city/town.

What does tend to prevent them? The time investment involved (though if your campaign's on that tight a timeline, you're not having any PC crafting either), the possibility of PCs being unfriendly with the locals, etc.

Well said.


bulbaquil wrote:

The magic item availability is simply "what's already at market" when the players show up in town. Base value and purchase limit do not prevent the party from hiring the services of an NPC spellcaster to craft custom items for them at standard market value, provided there's a spellcaster capable of casting Xth-level spells in that city/town.

What does tend to prevent them? The time investment involved (though if your campaign's on that tight a timeline, you're not having any PC crafting either), the possibility of PCs being unfriendly with the locals, etc.

What also tends to prevent them is a willing GM to put a custom magic-item crafter-for-hire in their town. The magic item availability rules and the NPC spellcasting rules don't explicitly say this is an option, so GMs who want to rely on the default system wouldn't make this a thing. When I GM I do something similar, but it took me some gameplay fumbling before I decided to include the custom-item-maker-for-hire work around. I would prefer this option to be standardized so that new DMs have a more functional option for handling this.

As written, if the town doesn't have what you want, you pretty much have to wait a week and hope the GM doesn't roll over 75% again.


If you have ever hosted a party of evil characters there is a reason why magic items in town are limited.

Fun Fact: Casters can sell spells for hella cash according to the core rulebook

For Example: The selling price of a casting is CL x spell level x 10gp.

If the GM wants to call this bull please remember that price reductions in spell castings also benefit players, and that there are rules to bartering goods and services :D


Cranefist wrote:

So, I'm getting ready to run a big adventure that is suppose to go from levels 1-13 or so.

As a part of my game prep, I rolled up the magic items for sale in the town and surrounding area. Using the suggested spread for an area a size larger, there is a 75% chance any item of 4000gps or lower is available, plus 10 minor, 7 medium and 4 major magic items.

Without getting into the nitty-gritty, I rolled up a bunch of crap. Most of it was just potions and scrolls. The stuff that wasn't, half was still just crap no character in the group would want.

By the time they are 13th level, if they start packing close to 140,000gps a piece, they won't be worrying a whole lot about their 4000gp magic items.

Keeping up rolling randomly for treasure and the outrageous tedium of rolling up the items for sale if the party were to travel, I would spend hours making lists and it would still all be crap.

My point is, if you follow the suggestions in the book, the party would never have quality gear at higher level unless they make it themselves.

The only other option is for the GM to just use the hand of god to drop the party gear they want, or to constantly roll random gear for all the towns in the campaign until the party can find what they are looking for.

Consider that not everyone in the world is an adventurer (I know, crazy, right?) and that certain magic items might seem worthless to an adventurer that is a goldmine to an everyday worker.

Muleback Chords and Heavyload Belts are such items. I have never seen a PC want one of those items, because they occupy Big 6 slots, but an NPC who actually works for a living, like a merchant, would have great use for these items as it allows him so much more Strength for what he needs than a Belt of Giant Strength, and it costs only a fraction of the price.

Potions and scrolls are of the same use. To an adventurer, they may not be worthwile to stock up on Potions of Ant Hall, but to a laborer NPC it could cut his work day down by hours.

The really good adventuring items usually end up in parts of Dragon Hordes or Lich Treasuries, a place where adventurers would have been using such items.

If you play in a game where you actually enforce the guidelines on Magic Item Availability (and praise you for it) you are actually giving your players an avenue to expand on their role playing and give their characters something to do other than slash and hack their way through the campaign's story. Some people this works for, some it doesn't.

A great quest, and one that I'm using for my new group's 2nd level adventure, is to have a local caster/crafter enlisting adventurers to track down Talismanic Components for making specific magic items for custom orders. It's kind of a regular thing, a good place for adventurers to find work.

Using these rules enriches a campaign where the story falls flat and generic and gives the players something to remember the experience by.

The opposite of this rule's application results in what we refer to as 'Magic Mart' where players spend about 10 minutes in game going to a general store or trades place and get the exact item they want for exactly the amount of gold listed in the book. This style of play is favored by some (mostly power gamers) because it lets them get down to the story of the campaign and doesn't force them to role play through events that don't matter. By no means does this make it a bad system, it just depends on how the group likes to play the game. For different game worlds, the tone can be very different and that's okay.

You also have the ability to decide for yourself what items are and are not available based on the guidelines in the book. This is called 'fudging' the rolls and it is 100% covered in the Game Mastery Guide. Sometimes you end up rolling the same kinds of item over and over again and the game demands that you find something different. It's okay to not generate every item randomly, especially the kind of items that you specifically give away as combat treasure.

As for WBL issues. Sh*t be wack, yo. From the very beginning of the game, it has been shown (there's a thread somewhere where someone actually did the math on a level by level basis) that following the Wealth by Level chart does not match the Treasures by Encounter tables, and it does in fact fall way short. Part of this can be assumed that this comes from the game knowing that items are to be sold/crafted for half price and thus the game actually already has done the math for you if you feel the players are receiving too much wealth/too little in order to balance magic item crafting.

As for time spent, at later levels there are ways around that too.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
jhpace1 wrote:
And then there's the whole "you have to have the spell, and the caster level to cast it" problem. Take a Handy Haversack, one of the most necessary items in the game, and not too expensive at 2,000 gp. Of course, the Caster Level for that wondrous item is NINE, and there are no "stepping-ladder" spells to get to it, so your stickler of a GM can laugh at you behind the GM screen as your STR 10 Wizard struggles with a 100-lb pack until 9th Level. (Dreamscarred Press made the spell a 1st-level power, so at least you can make Belt Pouches of Storage before 9th Level.)

Before ranting it is a good idea to know the rules.

PRD wrote:

Note that all items have prerequisites in their descriptions. These prerequisites must be met for the item to be created. Most of the time, they take the form of spells that must be known by the item's creator (although access through another magic item or spellcaster is allowed).

The DC to create a magic item increases by +5 for each prerequisite the caster does not meet.
The only exception to this is the requisite item creation feat, which is mandatory.
In addition, you cannot create potions, spell-trigger, or spell-completion magic items without meeting their spell prerequisites.

The CL isn't even a prerequisite, it only set the DC of the crafting check.

PRD wrote:


Handy Haversack
Aura moderate conjuration; CL 9th
Slot none; Price 2,000 gp; Weight 5 lbs.
....
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, secret chest; Cost 1,000 gp

So, base DC 14, +5 for lacking the spell, total DC 19.

Taking 10 you can manage that with ease at level 3 with a intelligence based spellcaster, level 6 for one with intelligence 10 if he has maximized spellcraft.

The simple fact that you can make a magic item with a CL higher than your one has been confirmed several times by the developers.

Note this too:

PRD wrote:


A creator can create an item at a lower caster level than her own, but never lower than the minimum level needed to cast the needed spell.

The CL of the magic items in the manuals are typical CL, they aren't mandatory. As long as the item CL is high enough to allow the casting of the spell it respect the rules.

Relevant FAQ:

FAQ wrote:

Pearl of Power: What is the caster level required to create this item?

Though the listed Caster Level for a pearl of power is 17th, that caster level is not part of the Requirements listing for that item. Therefore, the only caster level requirement for a pearl of power is the character has to be able to cast spells of the desired level.

However, it makes sense that the minimum caster level of the pearl is the minimum caster level necessary to cast spells of that level--it would be strange for a 2nd-level pearl to be CL 1st.

For example, a 3rd-level wizard with Craft Wondrous Item can create a 1st-level pearl, with a minimum caster level of 1. He can set the caster level to whatever he wants (assuming he can meet the crafting DC), though the pearl's caster level has no effect on its powers (other than its ability to resist dispel magic). If he wants to make a 2nd-level pearl, the caster level has to be at least 3, as wizards can't cast 2nd-level spells until they reach character level 3. He can even try to make a 3rd-level pearl, though the minimum caster level is 5, and he adds +5 to the DC because he doesn't meet the "able to cast 3rd-level spells" requirement.

Edit:

Yes, I started my rant as soon as I read the second post, I see now that other people had already replied, but I have cited several piece of information, so I will leave my post.


Cranefist wrote:

So, I'm getting ready to run a big adventure that is suppose to go from levels 1-13 or so.

As a part of my game prep, I rolled up the magic items for sale in the town and surrounding area. Using the suggested spread for an area a size larger, there is a 75% chance any item of 4000gps or lower is available, plus 10 minor, 7 medium and 4 major magic items.

Without getting into the nitty-gritty, I rolled up a bunch of crap. Most of it was just potions and scrolls. The stuff that wasn't, half was still just crap no character in the group would want.

By the time they are 13th level, if they start packing close to 140,000gps a piece, they won't be worrying a whole lot about their 4000gp magic items.

Keeping up rolling randomly for treasure and the outrageous tedium of rolling up the items for sale if the party were to travel, I would spend hours making lists and it would still all be crap.

My point is, if you follow the suggestions in the book, the party would never have quality gear at higher level unless they make it themselves.

The only other option is for the GM to just use the hand of god to drop the party gear they want, or to constantly roll random gear for all the towns in the campaign until the party can find what they are looking for.

Why can't they go to a larger city with more items above the 4000 GP limit?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Cranefist wrote:

So, I'm getting ready to run a big adventure that is suppose to go from levels 1-13 or so.

As a part of my game prep, I rolled up the magic items for sale in the town and surrounding area. Using the suggested spread for an area a size larger, there is a 75% chance any item of 4000gps or lower is available, plus 10 minor, 7 medium and 4 major magic items.

Without getting into the nitty-gritty, I rolled up a bunch of crap. Most of it was just potions and scrolls. The stuff that wasn't, half was still just crap no character in the group would want.

By the time they are 13th level, if they start packing close to 140,000gps a piece, they won't be worrying a whole lot about their 4000gp magic items.

Keeping up rolling randomly for treasure and the outrageous tedium of rolling up the items for sale if the party were to travel, I would spend hours making lists and it would still all be crap.

My point is, if you follow the suggestions in the book, the party would never have quality gear at higher level unless they make it themselves.

The only other option is for the GM to just use the hand of god to drop the party gear they want, or to constantly roll random gear for all the towns in the campaign until the party can find what they are looking for.

Randomly generating stuff can be a source of inspiration when creating a NPC and is acceptable to determine what is available in a settlement, sometime it can even be fun if you assume that something is misidentified (in a 1st edition game I had an enemy with a worn cursed Scarab of protection that he thought was working properly, there was a heated discussion about who would get the powerful item [in 1st edition it was very powerful] a much dismay when the use later discovered it was cursed), but you must assume that the people wearing some gear will be wearing useful stuff.

The random tables are exactly that: random. As the number of magic items and powers increase it become more and more difficult to roll what your players want and what you want to give them.
So the GM need to evaluate what he want to put in an adventure.

The AP generally give a lot of basic stuff and what the author feel is necessary for the adventure, but, as the basic assumption is that there are magic shops in the world, generally the author don't try to give everything that the player can want.

Another way o get what they want is to commission items. Generally that is how magic items are created initially: someone want the item X and commission it. It would be a interesting piece of role playing to play finding and befriending someone capable to make the different items. It that don't interest the group a magic shop owner can work as an intermediary for them.


Another option between commissioning and shopping is the grey (or black) markets. Talk to someone who's good at finding things and let it be known that you're looking for something in particular. Roleplay it out. It could be that the local finder knows who to ask about this stuff and can dig around for a few days and, when a seller is found, hook you up--for a fee, of course. It also provides some choice adventure hooks. Maybe he seems to hook you up with some "sellers" only to find that he got a better deal setting you up for a robbery. Or the seller gets greedy and you end up having to dispatch them--woo, you get the stuff and you even get to keep the money. Or they rip you off by selling you a cursed item and you decide to teach them a lesson. Or a local crafter can make it for you more quickly and on the cheap if you can retrieve a special component for them.

These sorts of things require GM cooperation, but most worthwhile ventures do.

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