GMs: How do *you* handle magic item shops?


Advice

51 to 100 of 340 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | next > last >>
Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

1 person marked this as a favorite.
CraziFuzzy wrote:
I dislike the comments that 'magic items are required by the system'. A GM should be able to adjust encounters so that they are workable no matter what level of equipment is available.

Of course, and the speakers of those comments would agree with you. All that's meant to be pointed out by the statement "X is required by the system" is, in fact, that removing X requires the GM to (as you put it) adjust encounters so that they are workable no matter what level of X is available.

Your observation is in fact the point. See, if you're GMing a homebrew game, then you're making the encounters from scratch anyway, so it doesn't matter what's going on with the PCs - whatever they have, that's what you'll design around.

But lots of GMs use things like Adventure Paths because they don't have the time/creativity/interest for making up their own encounters. And if they have to "adjust encounters so that they are workable no matter what level of X is available", as you put it, then what was the point of buying the adventure in the first place? I sure know my Mummy's Mask GM wouldn't be interested in doing anything that forced him to adjust all the encounters.

That's what people mean when they talk about X being "required by the system". They mean "in order to play the game without having to make up all my own stuff, I need to use X". They're just saying that in order to run the game in a non-homebrew fashion, they have to give the PCs that which the adventure they're running assumes they have.

Did that make sense?


Kirth Gersen wrote:

I've done away with "gold = magic items." Instead, the characters gain their WBL equivalent directly as personal "mojo" and declare what items they are finding, and what their properties are, subject to that limit.

Say they've leveled (read: now have a higher mojo limit) and are in a crypt. I've described that there are iron torch-holders on the walls, etc. They kill some spectres or whatever, and it's time to look for loot. Mundane treasure is mundane treasure; they find what's there, and can spend it on hookers and blow or castles or horse food or whatever. But magic gear is special.

  • Rogue: "Using my awesome Appraise skill, I recognize that some of the jewelry is actually a necklace of fireballs. That still leaves me some extra mojo -- I'll think about it and get back to you, okay?"

  • Fighter: "Hmmm, I've got 6,000 mojo to burn. How about this: the essence of one of the spectres has infused my sword; it's now a +1 ghost touch sword instead of just being +1."

  • Cleric: "I've still got a huge pile of unspent mojo because I always forget to spend it. So here it is: I recognize one of the torch holders as my ancestor's mace of disruption, so this must have been a family crypt! I perform funerary rites over the spectres so their souls will rest easier, and I take the mace."

    This means that the PCs generally get the gear that they imagine themselves having, without me needing to include Ye Olde Magic Item Shoppe in every town, and without me needing to read their minds and specifically include this stuff as treasure.

    The catch is that the limits need to be enforced. If they loot the BBEG and take his magic items, and those items put them over their limit, then they don't have the personal mojo to actually hold onto and use the extra stuff, long-term. Maybe it just won't function for them. Maybe it gets destroyed by the next fireball. Maybe it manifests as a personality conflict with an intelligent item. Whatever.

  • I like this idea. I'm going to implement a version of this in my next game.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    CraziFuzzy wrote:

    I dislike the comments that 'magic items are required by the system'. A GM should be able to adjust encounters so that they are workable no matter what level of equipment is available.

    In our current campaign, we are sitting at about 1/4 or WBL, still have a ton of fun, and get more excited with the items we find, and the characters have adjusted to the items available. When the Urban Barbarian inherited a +1 Called Frost Earthbreaker, he immediately took Throw Anything...

    The very fact that you have to adjust the CR system to account for less magic items means that they are required by the system. And again, this hurts the martials disproportionately to the casters. If you are going to use such a system, at least have decency to use powerful and/or unique items. Taking longer to get a +1 whatever does not make the BMX bandit better, nor does it stop the Angel Summoner from summoning a horde of Angels.

    If you are going to bother changing it up, actually do something with it. Bake the big 6 in, make up new items, give people a magic weapon formed from their soul that grows as they do and is a character in and of itself. Whatever, just don't act like forcing the Barbarian down a suboptimal path with a bland item somehow makes things better.


    I run with the whole "if you can afford it, you can buy it" rules for general play. In an "open world" campaign where I am using my Hex Map of Golarion where the PCs can travel from countries or cities I usually either require PCs travel to capitols or large towns to buy their goods. This isn't a problem since, in most countries, all roads lead to Rome (the capitol). This typically means that a wait of 1 - 2 days or weeks can land adventurers in a caravan heading for the capitol if they don't want to hoof it alone.

    Lesser magic items can probably be found at smaller settlements. Moreover, since I actively encourage PCs to take Crafting Feats and Leadership buying magic items is almost never a problem. More than once the PCs have decided to settle down in a town after a particularly large treasure haul and craft for weeks at a time. This tends to end with them massacring the local problem races and bandit groups into submission using the downtime (help lower level characters to gain a Standard Encounter's experience) for a while and becoming local heroes who are given free room and board with the possibility of slaves or servants.
    One of the PCs decided to spend a year in a town that was constantly besieged by weak enemies and crafted low level Shield Guardian golems for all of the guard captains and commanders, hence making them more or less impregnable since golems never need to sleep and are more than a match for the attackers due to their DR and Fast Healing. The town paid for the materials, and the PC's Spark of Creation trait netted him a nice profit from it.

    Encourage crafting feats and things get so much easier. The most fun I've ever had was playing a money grubbing Ratfolk crafter who was obsessed with money and profited on everyone with his spark of creation.


    I roll some random magic items for the city (city/kingmaker rules) and they are available.
    Also low level potions/scrolls can be acquired at the local alchemist, academy etc. or sometimes at a second-hand dealer.

    If players want something special they have to have luck that this was rolled for this town or they have to find a magic item creator and ask him to create it (what could take some time).

    I don't really like this "magic item wall-mart" where you can find every magic item as long as you have the money.
    Magic items aren't that rare in Pathfinder but they should still be something special. :)

    And if you roll random, sometimes the shopkeeper come up with items no one really thought about, which then later become important. :)

    @BigDTBone:
    I don't really like this idea as random loot is part of the game for me (maybe because I'm an old PC RPG player^^) and it also creates sometimes some funny solutions if player have to get creative by solving the problems with unusual tools:)

    For Loot: I normally use random loot, but make sure every few levels the player got something tailored to their character, either as "quest reward" or "boss loot" (e.g. the dwarves thank the fighter by reforging their wepons into flaming weapons or the alchemist find some magic flask/lab in the BBEG lab).

    Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Tryn wrote:
    Magic items aren't that rare in Pathfinder but they should still be something special. :)

    I find this to be the crux of the issue. There's a (sometimes uncomfortable) tension there.

    By the book, even a 1st-level adept might have a magic scroll. A random 5th-level NPC cleric is wearing either +1 armor or a cloak of resistance or some such.

    It's not so much "magic items aren't that rare" and more "everyone but the pig farmers has magic items, and anyone who's even remotely important is dripping with them". That's Pathfinder's base assumption.

    On the other hand, the kinds of classic fantasy stories that folks are often trying to tell in a game of Pathfinder includes things where the hero finds the legendary magic item (Excalibur, Master Sword, Ring of Power, etc) and there's some awe and wonder to it. You can't produce that level of awe when a PC finds a level-appropriate item, especially given that (unless you find it at the very end of the campaign) it's actually going to end up outclassed and replaced.

    Threads like this one seem to usually center around finding ways to reconcile these two things: a system built around "magic is common" and using that system to tell "magic is rare and awe-inspiring" types of stories.

    Luckily, we've got some creative folks around who have shared several viable options: convert the role of gear into inherent level-based bonuses, let people find whatever they need and work it into the story, have a single mysterious shop that constantly changes location, etc.


    BigDTBone wrote:


    Yea! I mean... I know you have a +1 sword, and I know the Mage just told you that +3 swords will get through his DR just like it was made of cold iron, but how could you possibly know about +2 swords! FREEKING metagamers! This is getting out of hand!

    What do you mean you want a +2 cloak of resistance. You mean a "gracious cloak of avoiding harm of the 2nd circle?" Well you don't know about those! Metagame cheat game ruiner!

    Rod of metamagic quickening? Are you insane? How does your character even know about that? Oh? You have the feat? And you have extend? And a rod of extend? Natural conclusion?!?!! NO WAY!!!!!! NO MOAR MAGIC ITEMS! Magic items are the special precious flowers and snowflakes that litter my campaign world like a bad Longfellow poem. From now on you will take only what you get, and you will equip it, and you won't try to sell it, and you will like it, AND THERE WILL BE SANITY ON THE MATERIAL PLANE!!!!!! ROWAR!!!!

    Nowhere did I infer players wouldn't know about magic items. I inferred players having the full knowledge of the extensive array of magic items in the CRB and other books is the very definition of metagaming. You're free to disagree, but your attack on my opinion is extremely childish. You may have missed the "Help us keep the messageboards a fun and friendly place" rule.


    6 people marked this as a favorite.
    Zedth wrote:
    I inferred players having the full knowledge of the extensive array of magic items in the CRB and other books is the very definition of metagaming. You're free to disagree

    Thanks! I disagree.


    Personally, I hate the idea of magic shops. They do make magic items too convenient to acquire and implicitly allow a player to metagame. However, Pathfinder is played in Golarian, which allows magic shops, so I feel obligated to give the PCs in my games access to them.

    But, I make it difficult for these shops to be found.

    In my campaigns, low-level magic items (such as potions and scrolls, to name a few) are acquired at either temples or an arcane guild house. Simple magic items (+1 something or other) can be acquired from a blacksmith that specializes in making them. For these items I use the settlement rules for magic items. More powerful items can be found in a shop, but finding the magic shop isn’t as easy as walking to the market and asking a town guard for directions. These shops are constantly changing location (through mundane and magical means) and require somehow proving the need for an item the players seek. Somehow, the shops on Golarian know when a PC needs an item and when they want an item. The shops never have what the players want, but always have what they need. While this has at times been disappointing to the players, it has also created a sense of mystery when the PCs go shopping.


    blahpers wrote:
    I can get that. What's your take on crafting?

    Crafting becomes a great way for my players to obtain myriad trinkets to fill niches they desire. I allow for gathering/harvesting of magical components from creatures, rare plants, stones, etc.. which can be used as a significant share of the Gold Piece cost of the item creation.

    If the players want an item that is beyond their ability to make, I often make a side quest about searching out a rare component or a master artisan.

    Continuing my thoughts on the thread, the notion of magic shops being commonplace in most towns/cities doesn't make sense to me.
    -Why are these powerful items just sitting in a shop?
    -Why hasn't a lord, noble, or other adventurer already bought them?
    -Why would someone who has such power in their possession care about more gold? Even LOTS of gold?
    -The amount of security to properly guard a magic shop would be staggering.

    These things to me mean magic shops would be rare indeed, but not non-existent. I'm okay with the rare artisan craftsman being commissioned for things, but my players are rewarded with items more from bad guy loot and dungeon delving rather than ordering exactly what they picked out of a book. That said, if any of my players really wants something that has not been found by their character, I try to work it in or make it available in some way.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    blahpers wrote:

    I've come up with quite a few methods over the years for this, though I haven't tested many of them. My favorite one that spans multiple campaigns:

    Low-level magic items such as potions and the like can be found in most shops. For higher-end items, however, there exists a grey-to-black market network run by a mysterious merchant guild that caters exclusively to adventurers and other figures of more direct (as opposed to merely political) power. Access to increasingly higher-end goods requires commensurate proof of your exploits in the form of fame, records of the ruins you've delved or ancient dead gods you've seen, or perhaps undertaking a quest for the network to prove your capabilities.

    That's similar to how I do it. Lower level stuff is commonly found on store shelves. Mid level stuff can be commissioned, acquired through organizations that the PCs have worked with, or similar methods; it's still accessible with just a little bit of effort, but merchants aren't just going to be selling it to anybody walking in off the street. High level stuff typically requires DM involvement in order to highlight the fact that getting them requires meeting more requirements to get someone to make it for you or show you the recipe/plan so you can make it yourself.

    For story, I don't usually worry about it until the campaign starts getting into the +3 or equivalently priced items, though sometimes I'll do it with +2s or other specific items related to plot or character backstory; the items before that simply change too often to be worth while to worry about and are still within the price range of many nobles, making them likely to be reasonably common and not particularly unique.


    Jiggy wrote:
    Tryn wrote:
    Magic items aren't that rare in Pathfinder but they should still be something special. :)

    I find this to be the crux of the issue. There's a (sometimes uncomfortable) tension there.

    *snipped*
    Luckily, we've got some creative folks around who have shared several viable options: convert the role of gear into inherent level-based bonuses, let people find whatever they need and work it into the story, have a single mysterious shop that constantly changes location, etc.

    Concise and accurate analysis Jiggy.

    I endeavor to make magic items feel more special in my games by making them unavailable for purchase (though magic item trading is a much preferred and realistic option IMO), but that's not for everyone. That's the beauty of the system to me -- we all hold the same books but can play radically different games.


    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    Zedth wrote:
    BigDTBone wrote:


    Yea! I mean... I know you have a +1 sword, and I know the Mage just told you that +3 swords will get through his DR just like it was made of cold iron, but how could you possibly know about +2 swords! FREEKING metagamers! This is getting out of hand!

    What do you mean you want a +2 cloak of resistance. You mean a "gracious cloak of avoiding harm of the 2nd circle?" Well you don't know about those! Metagame cheat game ruiner!

    Rod of metamagic quickening? Are you insane? How does your character even know about that? Oh? You have the feat? And you have extend? And a rod of extend? Natural conclusion?!?!! NO WAY!!!!!! NO MOAR MAGIC ITEMS! Magic items are the special precious flowers and snowflakes that litter my campaign world like a bad Longfellow poem. From now on you will take only what you get, and you will equip it, and you won't try to sell it, and you will like it, AND THERE WILL BE SANITY ON THE MATERIAL PLANE!!!!!! ROWAR!!!!

    Nowhere did I infer players wouldn't know about magic items. I inferred players having the full knowledge of the extensive array of magic items in the CRB and other books is the very definition of metagaming. You're free to disagree, but your attack on my opinion is extremely childish. You may have missed the "Help us keep the messageboards a fun and friendly place" rule.

    So which items can I know about and not be a metagame cheat? Which items make me a metagame cheat?

    Sovereign Court

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Making a big deal out of finding magic shops & rare components etc is cool in theory. In practice - it's more trouble than it's worth.

    As either GM or player - I don't wnat to spend an hour dealing with some random stuck-up mage who has to be impressed enough to make magical gear.

    I also don't spend a bunch of time on making sure the pack enough provisions when traveling cross-county.

    I'd rather just assume that stuff happens in the background and get on with the real story.


    In our current (homebrew) game I started out with there being NO MAGIC ITEMS (no, seriously, I'm mean)

    But throughout the story they have gained allies and friends that join their organization and these people start providing items.

    Ex: the outcast dwarven smith can make masterwork items, later as the PC's save his sister from a forced marrige all the weapons he makes are Keen, after they finish his quest and reclaim his birthright he will use ancient rune magic to start adding other enchantments.

    There is also a mysterious mage that hides in the underworld and has a connection to the thieves guild, an old and battle-scarred tengu yokai hunter with knowledge of nature magic, a recovering alchemist with a chip on his shoulder about his parentage and a priest that is starting to reclaim old rites that the paladin brought him.

    So in general: in the start there is none, after some playing there is some, and in the end they are running a faction that has hired several specialists that provide a varied list of services.

    Right now though, a keen longsword and some lvl 3 scrolls is the best they can buy.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Jiggy wrote:
    You can't produce that level of awe when a PC finds a level-appropriate item, especially given that (unless you find it at the very end of the campaign) it's actually going to end up outclassed and replaced.

    Not necessarily true, if you get rid of slots and cost increases for combining slots and all the rest of that. I encourage the PCs to "discover" new properties of items they already have, rather than tacking on more items. So a character in one of my campaigns might end up with, say, +1 full plate armor of bull's strength +4, resistance +2, and flying -- rather than having +1 full plate and a belt of giant strength and a cloak of resistance and a carpet of flying. He ends up more like Iron Man and less like a Christmas tree.


    Jiggy wrote:

    Threads like this one seem to usually center around finding ways to reconcile these two things: a system built around "magic is common" and using that system to tell "magic is rare and awe-inspiring" types of stories.

    Luckily, we've got some creative folks around who have shared several viable options: convert the role of gear into inherent level-based bonuses, let people find whatever they need and work it into the story, have a single mysterious shop that constantly changes location, etc.

    I've found that the best way to handle this is to allow for both. Eberron did that quite well, and it's one thing I liked about it. Low level items were reasonably common and even predictable and mundane, but mid to higher level items and characters were far more scarce and/or unpredictable, retaining the sense of awe and mystery. Even many seemingly common things like trains and airships were owned and used by entire guilds, not individuals, and relied on either trapping an elemental and keeping it contained or convincing an elemental to fill that role voluntarily. This approach has the advantage of being both workable within the existing rules without having to make a ton of changes and believable at the same time.


    I follow the settlement rules for magic item availability. I also allow magic item crafting. That works pretty well.

    I tend to stop caring about magic item availability once the party has reliable access to Axis or its equivalent, though I usually require the PCs devise a way to track down whatever they're looking for an infinite city, and I'll simply tell them "no" if it's something that's too far out there.


    Jiggy wrote:
    You can't produce that level of awe when a PC finds a level-appropriate item, especially given that (unless you find it at the very end of the campaign) it's actually going to end up outclassed and replaced.

    I've actually found this to be a bigger problem when DMs insist on making every single magic item special and unique because players start to focus in on the numbers and mechanical effects while usually ignoring the story after the first couple. On the other hand, if you let the numbers and mechanical aspect be reasonably common like the system tends to assume, and then throw in a handful of items with a full and deep story, not only are the players more interested in the stories, but they actually stand out more for having the stories and special powers. Excalibur and the Ring of Power (along with the associated rings for the different races) still stand out, not because of mechanical strength, but because the story actual matters to the players; because the story matters, players are more likely to upgrade them and/or keep them around for the specific times they are needed rather than just try to sell them off for generic magic items.


    sunshadow21 wrote:
    Jiggy wrote:

    Threads like this one seem to usually center around finding ways to reconcile these two things: a system built around "magic is common" and using that system to tell "magic is rare and awe-inspiring" types of stories.

    Luckily, we've got some creative folks around who have shared several viable options: convert the role of gear into inherent level-based bonuses, let people find whatever they need and work it into the story, have a single mysterious shop that constantly changes location, etc.

    I've found that the best way to handle this is to allow for both. Eberron did that quite well, and it's one thing I liked about it. Low level items were reasonably common and even predictable and mundane, but mid to higher level items and characters were far more scarce and/or unpredictable, retaining the sense of awe and mystery. Even many seemingly common things like trains and airships were owned and used by entire guilds, not individuals, and relied on either trapping an elemental and keeping it contained or convincing an elemental to fill that role voluntarily. This approach has the advantage of being both workable within the existing rules without having to make a ton of changes and believable at the same time.

    That works well. One of my campaigns takes place in a fairly high-magic world, but most of the major feats (airships, floating castles, etc.) are enabled by mass cooperative casting, the careful application of miniature planar gates, and artifact foci found in ancient ruins. The casters themselves are pretty much never above 11th or so level, and even that high is exceedingly rare. If you want someone to craft a high-end item, you probably need the combined expertise of an entire academy and a major focus--something you can't just waltz in and order.

    Sovereign Court

    My current campaign is set in Faerun and based out of Waterdeep, so I'm using the Waterdeep: City of Splendors book as a guide, since it lists most of the known magic shops/wizard schools/places for adventurers to shop.

    As other people have said, I'm not letting those places be a "we carry everything" type store, I've rolled in advance and anything they don't have the players have to commission - usually costing 10-25% extra, depending on how well the players bargain.

    The Exchange

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    I actually use a hybrid of sorts. I do use the settlement rules for Metropolis. Smaller villages, however, usually only have a potion crafter (normally a druid who acts as the town healer), Towns have a library owned by a wizard for scrolls. Cities usually have a witch that runs a combination of all three + some minor wondrous items. For weapons, I tend to throw those in dungeons or tie them to the story. When I ran Haunting of Harrowstone, I actually gave the Warden's Sword a backstory, and our resident Rogue/Fighter treasured it. I described the item in detail, gave it an inscription, and a name. She cried later when the sword was dumped in a vat of acid and they were unable to retrieve it. (I've never seen that level of emotion over gear, So I must have done a good job.)

    For more powerful Items, or for Relics I might want to just "reward" the party with I use several... "destiny" npcs. I haven't given them a lot of story or explanation because I want them to remain mysterious even to myself.

    Bill The Traveling Salesman (A man who has a bit of everything stuffed into a backpack. Most of these items are cursed in hilarious ways. Such as a Flying Carpet that constantly bugs you to go zoom zoom.)

    Algernon the Tattoo Artist (though I use him mostly for psionic items, he usually has shops all over the world and runs them simultaneously, no one knows how he does this though.)

    Lady Z the Travelling Fortune Teller (While she does sell things or give clues, she also gives Harrow Readings, and she'll often present a contract that simply states "The signified of this document will take responsibilty for his or her own actions" then lets them draw from a Harrowed Deck of Many Things.)

    Harker the Tengu Caravan Leader (If a DMPC is required in the wilderness, it usually comes from his caravan. He is also known to give gifts to those who treat him with respect and enjoy the art of dignified haggling.)


    Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

    In the PF campaigns I participate in, we've done it a few ways depending on the GM and the specific setting.

    Shackled City (technically 3.5 but about the same) - there was one well-known magic shop and I adjusted its inventory every time the PCs leveled up, bought stuff from it, or sold stuff to it. Anything else had to be either commissioned from the local wizard academy or temples or had to be imported from another location. I didn't do too much to restrict what was available - just what was readily available.

    Council of Thieves - Generally followed the 75% availability rule but handled it via local shops. With Westcrown being such a metropolis (even if in decline), I thought it would be best to provide a local neighborhood of shops that the PCs would live around and provide them some local grounding. We role played out several meetings at shops with PCs asking about enchanted items. The local weaponsmiths had weapons, armorers had armor, and so on. A couple of curio places had more general and varied items. But the availability was based on the 75% guideline unless the items were particularly rare or silvered. Silvered items had to be obtained under the table and that meant forging a good relationship with the merchant first. Hey, it was in Cheliax, after all. If silvered weapons aren't controlled, they sure should be.
    One of the PCs - a dwarven monk - also took master craftsman and craft wondrous items so he could use his jeweler's skill to make general magic items.

    Skull and Shackles - in this case I'm a player so another GM is in charge. He has us basically gathering information if we're looking for specific items. That will clue us in on whether or not there's an item we want about and the owner is looking for buyers.

    And for a 3e-based classic modules campaign in which the PCs happened to do a major service for a wealthy and powerful merchant - I gave them discounts on any magic items commissioned through his firm. That gave them the chance to request what they want and get a price break not quite as good as if they had craft it themselves. In that campaign, I also let a sorcerer have a cohort mystic theurge who spent most of her feats on crafting. Obviously, they had a reasonably good source of custom magic items once that was in play.


    I use the settlement rules then randomly generate magic items from there. It results in a LOT of consumables like scrolls and potions.

    In my RotRL game for the month of Rova, Sandpoint has these items available:
    11 minor

    Wand (Endure Elements spell CL1) no clue to function [750 GP]

    Potion (Cat's Grace spell CL3) [50 GP]

    Wand (Fog Cloud spell CL3) with clue to wand's function [4,500 GP]

    Scroll (Produce Flame spell CL1) [25 GP]

    Potion (Detect Animals spell CL1) [50 GP]

    Scroll (Ray of Enfeeblment spell CL1) [50 GP]

    Scroll (Illusory Script spell CL5) [375 GP]

    Wand (Produce Flame spell CL1) with clue to wand's function [750 GP]

    Wand (False Life spell CL3) with clue to wand's function [4,500 GP]

    Wand (Ghoul Touch spell CL3) no clue to function [4,500 GP]

    Potion (Eagles Splendor spell CL3) [300 GP]

    2 medium

    Ring (Swimming, improved) [10,000 GP]

    Weapon (+3 Hand crossbow) [10,400 GP]

    I use the random tables to a point and then make choices where appropriate, like giving enchantment attributes that are in different books.


    Well if we're offering actual suggestions personally I don't use the you can buy anything up to GP limit either. Instead any specific given item e.g. longsword +2 has a % chance of being available. So you walk into town X and ask about a magical longsword (minor items have a base 75% chance of being available, medium ones 50% and major ones 25% modified by 5% per settlement size). I roll and see if that particular ones avialable or not. If it isn't you need to look elsewhere or get it made.

    The other thing I do is that items are upgradeable so long as you pay the difference in price. So you might find Ydrisel the blade of the Elven champion . . . lost when the last bearer fell in the dark woods of Mildred the grumpy. Now sure you could dump that blade and hopefully buy a new one or find a better one or you could take your funds and material to a magical crafter and get it enhanced so instead of a +1 longsword its now a +2 one, then a +2 flaming one. I have a whole bunch of resources that do different things depending on what the players are after so they can actually save money over a straight purchase if they quest for the reagents themselves.

    Lets say a +2 longsword is 4,000 GP and a +1 one is 2,000. Normaly to get a +2 one would cost you 3,000 + a trade in variance on your old one however if you bring the rare metals and reagents + gold to a magical craft you may well only wind up paying 1,500-2000 GP to get your sword magical enhanced. I also have a number of levels beyond masterwork and a points scale so a particularly well made sword might add to attack, damage and diplomacy but not be magical (finely balanced, sharp and beutiful to look at).


    The Morphling wrote:

    ...

    How have you handled the "magic item shop" syndrome in your games?

    Depends upon the group. The current group I play with is extremely pro- magic mart. They basically don't want to play if you ever even hint that you are going to restrict free access to purchase whatever they want.

    It is not my favorite way to play, but I'm not the only one at the table.

    So basically in any city bigger than a farming village I let them purchase whatever they want.


    I generally roll magic items as written, and adjust to make things interesting & relevant to the party. They're then scattered in important locations, temples, guilds, ect, and only available to players who explore those areas or ask about them.

    In addition, all large towns and greater, and anywhere else in the multiverse, might have Bingo's Magic Mart. Bingo's Magic Mart has a front room selling prank items such as whoopie cushions. If he notices you have any magic items on your person, he'll take you to the back room, where he has 5-10 magical items, always including some core-important things such as Amulets of Natural Armor, Cloaks of Resistance, and Headbands/Belts of Attributes. On request, he can 'go have a look' if another item is in the basement, which I might roll for or just decide.

    Bingo has a strict no-divination-spells policy while in the shop, including Detect Magic. Any attempts to cast such spells backfire horribly. No one is allowed in the basement. Who exactly Bingo is, what's up with his magical teleporting shop, and other such questions, are a mystery. Maybe the players will investigate it eventually, but for now they have a campaign to go through and he's just too convenient to question.


    5 people marked this as a favorite.

    Y'know what I think makes magic so dang commonplace where players lose their sense of wonder? Spellcasters.

    Seriously. All the magic shops in the world can't compete with a guy, in the party all the time, who with the right spell selection can do nearly anything everyone else can do and at least once/day win just about any fight.

    Also think about it. Even if you sold items to the party without spellcasters you could describe ANY effect they perform and it would seem amazing. "This blade is forever sharp, clean and pure. What's more it traps even the most miniscule motes of light from the deepest shadow and amplifies them so that it always glows from within!" Then the wizard steps up and goes "Prestidigitation and light? Big whup."

    Not having magic items being sold because it breaks player immersion or engagement or verisimilitude or whatever the right phrase here is just does not compute for me. If we want wonder at the power of magic then it can't be codified, quantified or even identified. Once it is, it's not wonderful anymore. Amazingly any spellcasting class, even bards, do this instantly just by existing.

    Anyway sorry again for the rant. Really, I'm sorry.

    Grand Lodge

    BigDTBone wrote:

    Replace the big 5 bonuses with inherent bonuses at level up.

    Reduce the price of magic items by 90%

    Remove all big 5 bonus items from the game. (Flaming sword is OK, no +3 flaming)

    Decrease treasure by 90%

    Increase service-based goods by 10x. (Meals/ inns/ masterwork items)

    Mundane goods keep book price.

    Increase starting level to level 4. (All adults in the campaign setting should be at least level 4, 3 is teenager, 2 adolescent, 1 child)

    Beginning characters have 1000gp.

    Watch your issue with magic item shops vanish.

    Watch your in-game economy begin to make sense.

    I want to see you elaborate on this. Do you have a link to a document or another forum post where you show your big 5 inherent bonus charts? Also, is changing the starting level to 4 really mandatory to getting the rest of it to work? I run and play in a two-year-long E6 campaign, so that's kind of a no-go for us, but the rest of your suggestions sound interesting.


    BigDTBone wrote:
    Replace the big 5 bonuses with inherent bonuses at level up. ...

    I have not really found that to be necessary. If you get rid of the big 5 (or 6 depending upon who you talk to) it doesn't matter all that much. For the most part they tend to cancel each other out.

    You have a + weapon and belt, the target has a + armor and ring.
    You have a + head band, the target has a cloak of resistance.

    The only thing you have to watch out for is possibly reducing the CR used a bit for creatures that don't use equipment. So the demon, dragon, and dinosaur just became a bit deadlier. So use a bit lower powered version demon, a younger dragon, or a smaller dinosaur.

    Might have to do a bit of nerfing on the summoning classes. Druids and summoners didn't happen to be an item of consideration when I did this before.

    Or not. Some groups like it to be really tough.

    I've run this way with a couple of groups over the years. It worked out pretty well with relatively few modifications.

    But like I said before. It is all group dependent. My current group does not like to play that way. They want the full magic mart experience. So that's what we do. Possibly some time in the future I will have a different group that is interested in a lower level of magic items.


    Mark Hoover wrote:

    Y'know what I think makes magic so dang commonplace where players lose their sense of wonder? Spellcasters.

    Seriously. All the magic shops in the world can't compete with a guy, in the party all the time, who with the right spell selection can do nearly anything everyone else can do and at least once/day win just about any fight.

    Also think about it. Even if you sold items to the party without spellcasters you could describe ANY effect they perform and it would seem amazing. "This blade is forever sharp, clean and pure. What's more it traps even the most miniscule motes of light from the deepest shadow and amplifies them so that it always glows from within!" Then the wizard steps up and goes "Prestidigitation and light? Big whup."

    Not having magic items being sold because it breaks player immersion or engagement or verisimilitude or whatever the right phrase here is just does not compute for me. If we want wonder at the power of magic then it can't be codified, quantified or even identified. Once it is, it's not wonderful anymore. Amazingly any spellcasting class, even bards, do this instantly just by existing.

    Anyway sorry again for the rant. Really, I'm sorry.

    Here's something that I think goes contrary to that idea. We always see claims that higher level spell casters are supposed to be super rare. I mean like 1:1,000,000,000 rare. If that's the case, how is the world littered with shops that sell equipment that only a high level caster could craft? (I'm not looking for an answer, it's just a counterpoint to the magic items everywhere idea).


    Ive never been a fan of the Magical Item shop. With as expensive as they are to craft and as long as it takes, I cant imagine a steady stream of product. But this is fantasy. When I run, if there is a Gold Piece limit or asset limit to the town I usually say you can afford anything up to that. Unless there are story reasons then I don't have magical items just laying around in shops for people to buy or to be pilfered.


    Simon Legrande wrote:
    Mark Hoover wrote:

    Y'know what I think makes magic so dang commonplace where players lose their sense of wonder? Spellcasters.

    Seriously. All the magic shops in the world can't compete with a guy, in the party all the time, who with the right spell selection can do nearly anything everyone else can do and at least once/day win just about any fight.

    Also think about it. Even if you sold items to the party without spellcasters you could describe ANY effect they perform and it would seem amazing. "This blade is forever sharp, clean and pure. What's more it traps even the most miniscule motes of light from the deepest shadow and amplifies them so that it always glows from within!" Then the wizard steps up and goes "Prestidigitation and light? Big whup."

    Not having magic items being sold because it breaks player immersion or engagement or verisimilitude or whatever the right phrase here is just does not compute for me. If we want wonder at the power of magic then it can't be codified, quantified or even identified. Once it is, it's not wonderful anymore. Amazingly any spellcasting class, even bards, do this instantly just by existing.

    Anyway sorry again for the rant. Really, I'm sorry.

    Here's something that I think goes contrary to that idea. We always see claims that higher level spell casters are supposed to be super rare. I mean like 1:1,000,000,000 rare. If that's the case, how is the world littered with shops that sell equipment that only a high level caster could craft? (I'm not looking for an answer, it's just a counterpoint to the magic items everywhere idea).

    Because:

    1. Casters aren't that rare. There's schools for Wizards and temples for priests. Hell even the Thistletop goblins can get a 4th level druid/rogue 1. And Sandpoint itself has multiple npc casters and a few alchemists for good measure.
    2. Magic Items never get old and rusty. Unless specifically destroyed (something no adventure has done willingly ever) they just continue to accumulate.
    3. The other planes of existence are things. Infinite things.


    Ideally, they don't exist, in any form that would be recognizable as a 'shop'.

    One, they're really just not financially viable. Very few people will ever be able to afford even the cheapest of magic items, and even fewer have cause to buy one. Farmer Brown having a Wand of CLW isn't going to get him very far.

    Two, related to one, is that there's simply no good reason to keep stuff lying around on shelves. Too tempting a target for thieves, plus most of it is just going to sit there accumulating dust for years.

    The closest I really do is you might find someone willing to create items on commission; you pay him up half up front, he makes it (if he wants to), then you pay the other half upon delivery of the item (plus a small overcharge for profit, of course).

    I also use Mythic Evil Lincoln's inherent bonuses system, so the PCs simply don't need so many magic items; anything they find or build is a bonus, not a requirement.


    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    Zhayne wrote:

    Ideally, they don't exist, in any form that would be recognizable as a 'shop'.

    One, they're really just not financially viable. Very few people will ever be able to afford even the cheapest of magic items, and even fewer have cause to buy one. Farmer Brown having a Wand of CLW isn't going to get him very far.

    Two, related to one, is that there's simply no good reason to keep stuff lying around on shelves. Too tempting a target for thieves, plus most of it is just going to sit there accumulating dust for years.

    The closest I really do is you might find someone willing to create items on commission; you pay him up half up front, he makes it (if he wants to), then you pay the other half upon delivery of the item (plus a small overcharge for profit, of course).

    I also use Mythic Evil Lincoln's inherent bonuses system, so the PCs simply don't need so many magic items; anything they find or build is a bonus, not a requirement.

    They are very financially viable in a world where there is a lot of adventure and thus a lot of adventurers. Now I know that absolutely no one here wants to play in that kind of setting, but lets go with it for minute. I mean sell a guy a magic sword for enough to live in luxury and then buy it off the guy who finds his corpse for half the price. And that's the nice thing about adventurer types. Their always off to find something to get them killed. Might as well make a buck on it. And honestly, security can be handled pretty easily, with larger institutions (like say those Wizard schools) charging shops a fee to use their vault. Now... you can try and rob the Wizard school if you want... in fact that sounds like exactly the sort of adventure that can get one killed. And thus the cycle continues.


    Headfirst wrote:
    BigDTBone wrote:

    Replace the big 5 bonuses with inherent bonuses at level up.

    Reduce the price of magic items by 90%

    Remove all big 5 bonus items from the game. (Flaming sword is OK, no +3 flaming)

    Decrease treasure by 90%

    Increase service-based goods by 10x. (Meals/ inns/ masterwork items)

    Mundane goods keep book price.

    Increase starting level to level 4. (All adults in the campaign setting should be at least level 4, 3 is teenager, 2 adolescent, 1 child)

    Beginning characters have 1000gp.

    Watch your issue with magic item shops vanish.

    Watch your in-game economy begin to make sense.

    I want to see you elaborate on this. Do you have a link to a document or another forum post where you show your big 5 inherent bonus charts? Also, is changing the starting level to 4 really mandatory to getting the rest of it to work? I run and play in a two-year-long E6 campaign, so that's kind of a no-go for us, but the rest of your suggestions sound interesting.

    Linky Linky

    If OP gives you grief about viewing the pages for some reason PM me and I will invite you into the campaign.

    House Rule
    New Gear &
    Class Changes

    are the sections you are looking for.

    I don't think you need to start at 4th to make the inherent bonuses work, but I find playing games lower level than that to be more tedious and less interesting. I fully accept that is just my preference and not a universal truth, but it means that when I run games (which is basically all the time) that I don't like to run them below that level.


    The more you restrict magic item availability, the more crafting becomes viable and less of a waste of a feat....several wasted feats if you want to really have any items you can think of.

    Allowing ease of crafting for your players, such as downtime between adventures and/or available "labs" for cranking out items, etc, makes it a lot less "Welcome to Magimart", as you have to account for the time it takes to work on these items and the purchasing of raw materials, etc.

    It also satisfies the player need to get what they want, at least eventually. I find it fosters connection between the martials and the casters, as well, as usually the martials are loaded down with gear from their party mates.

    Like anything else, this advantage can turn into a disadvantage quickly if you have a selfish player who decides he never wants to help his compatriots.


    thegreenteagamer wrote:

    The more you restrict magic item availability, the more crafting becomes viable and less of a waste of a feat....several wasted feats if you want to really have any items you can think of.

    Allowing ease of crafting for your players, such as downtime between adventures and/or available "labs" for cranking out items, etc, makes it a lot less "Welcome to Magimart", as you have to account for the time it takes to work on these items and the purchasing of raw materials, etc.

    It also satisfies the player need to get what they want, at least eventually. I find it fosters connection between the martials and the casters, as well, as usually the martials are loaded down with gear from their party mates.

    Like anything else, this advantage can turn into a disadvantage quickly if you have a selfish player who decides he never wants to help his compatriots.

    If by "connection" you mean "dependency" then ya sure, it fosters that. In spades.

    And getting something 50% off is hardly a waste of a feat. It's not like you have infinite money just because there are magic item shops.


    5 people marked this as a favorite.

    I think a lot of the idea of magic items being rare and magic shops being impractical is based on the idea that a given group of PC's are special snowflakes, when in reality they're not.

    Just looking at Golarion, there are countless organizations and guilds and nations and the like populated by people with class levels. Even people with NPC class levels are going to have magic items.

    Adventuring, crime, education, conquest, law enforcement, the military. These are all things that would involve themselves in a magic item economy. Economies that have been going on for thousands of years. There's going to be a pretty solid stock of magic items in the world, even accounting for ones lost in dungeons and the like.

    Sure, as the PCs rise in level they become more powerful figures in the setting, with effective wealth reflecting that, but they're still likely to have peers, even if just in regards to ancient heroes. And that means that items of their caliber would have existed.

    I mean, this is obviously relative to a given setting, but most of the well-known and often-played settings, including Golarion, are based in that kind of high-fantasy world.


    3 people marked this as a favorite.
    DethBySquirl wrote:

    I think a lot of the idea of magic items being rare and magic shops being impractical is based on the idea that a given group of PC's are special snowflakes, when in reality they're not.

    Just looking at Golarion, there are countless organizations and guilds and nations and the like populated by people with class levels. Even people with NPC class levels are going to have magic items.

    Adventuring, crime, education, conquest, law enforcement, the military. These are all things that would involve themselves in a magic item economy. Economies that have been going on for thousands of years. There's going to be a pretty solid stock of magic items in the world, even accounting for ones lost in dungeons and the like.

    Sure, as the PCs rise in level they become more powerful figures in the setting, with effective wealth reflecting that, but they're still likely to have peers, even if just in regards to ancient heroes. And that means that items of their caliber would have existed.

    I mean, this is obviously relative to a given setting, but most of the well-known and often-played settings, including Golarion, are based in that kind of high-fantasy world.

    Exactly!


    Simon Legrande wrote:

    Here's something that I think goes contrary to that idea. We always see claims that higher level spell casters are supposed to be super rare. I mean like 1:1,000,000,000 rare. If that's the case, how is the world littered with shops that sell equipment that only a high level caster could craft? (I'm not looking for an answer, it's just a counterpoint to the magic items everywhere idea).

    Except the world isn't, if you're using the settlement rules. Even a metropolis is only going to have a handful (around 1d4ish) of items worth more than around 36,000 gold a month. Also, CL is irrelevant for crafting 99% of the time. It's one of the most ignored requirements (which only raises the DC by 5).

    Shadow Lodge

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
    Anzyr wrote:
    DethBySquirl wrote:

    I think a lot of the idea of magic items being rare and magic shops being impractical is based on the idea that a given group of PC's are special snowflakes, when in reality they're not.

    Just looking at Golarion, there are countless organizations and guilds and nations and the like populated by people with class levels. Even people with NPC class levels are going to have magic items.

    Adventuring, crime, education, conquest, law enforcement, the military. These are all things that would involve themselves in a magic item economy. Economies that have been going on for thousands of years. There's going to be a pretty solid stock of magic items in the world, even accounting for ones lost in dungeons and the like.

    Sure, as the PCs rise in level they become more powerful figures in the setting, with effective wealth reflecting that, but they're still likely to have peers, even if just in regards to ancient heroes. And that means that items of their caliber would have existed.

    I mean, this is obviously relative to a given setting, but most of the well-known and often-played settings, including Golarion, are based in that kind of high-fantasy world.

    Exactly!

    This. Remember that the core assumption with a lot of Pathfinder is that you are effectively living in a midevil world with a large economy, where magic exists, and magical knowledge has supplemented/outright replaced mundane science as the source for societal advancement. Realize that effectively you live in a world where a 1st lvl cleric can end issues of drought with a wave of his hand and a wizard of 9th level (something a large town has regular access to) can literally bend space time to warp small groups of people across large swaths of a planet. They already can solve problems we still struggle with easily.

    Now that being said remember that there are a few easy ways built into the system that help stymie the removal of the mystic from all this.

    1. Settlement size: Bigger settlements equal bigger payouts with near anything being able to be found in a metropolis while barely a potion can be found in a throp. On top of that these places also only have so much money to buy stuff with. As a GM use this to your advantage. So your party has managed to get a hold of that awesome corrosive longsword in that dungeon? The nearest town to this lost dungeon is the tiny thorp they are staying in where THEY are literally the richest 4 people for a 100 miles. Remember that the story isn't over when they get fat loots, it ends when they get to sell them. On top of that it also helps show what separates a village like Sandpoint from a City like Magnimar. In Sandpoint you're lucky to find a +1 anything that matches your fighting style but in Magnimar your party will be able to get it freakin' sized and detailed for them.

    2. The 75% rule: I believe Evil Lincoln mentioned it earlier but it bears repeating. In the settlement rules they also mention that even if an item is within a settlements price range there is only a 75% chance that it's actually there. So you're player might want that new +2 full-plate but unfortunately they can't find any in town atm and will have to wait another week for it to come in. A lot of trouble can happen in a week or you can have them start looking for other, less scrupulous options.

    3. Cursed items: Often overlooked but incredibly useful cursed (or defective) items are something created by accident when a mages reach exceeds their grasp in terms of creating an item. Now I'm not saying punish players for wanting to just buy that magic item but you could start offering up these items at lower cost to tempt players and add flavor to the game. A +1 evil outsider bane greataxe that is only magical against it's chosen foe has a lot more potential narrative built into that mechanic than the vanilla and offers you the chance as a gm to make some interesting narrative around it. Like say said greataxe is crafted by a paladin from the axe of a demon worshipping barbarian and the defect is a test, when its wielder offers an evil outsider a true chance at redemption the penalty is cleared and it becomes normal again. That's just an example but run with it.

    4. Orders: The other way you can play that 75% option is that the settlement doesn't so much have the actual item they are looking for so much as the resources to make them. Realize that most of these place probably don't just have arms hanging on the wall like your local walmart and probably more run on commission with people (and organizations) putting in order requests and these smiths forging them. Full plate becomes much more special when you have to wait 5 months in game for that dwarf you saved to forge it for you.

    5. The other NPCs can see this wealth as well: Remember that actually owning a lot of this stuff sets the party apart from most of the general population on sight and is something all of them should be aware of quickly. That magical vestments that crackles with magic and is inset with precious gems is basically worth all the things most common folk will ever own and can illicit the appropriate responses. You become targets for bandits and the downtrodden will either look to them as resourceful faces for their causes or be embittered by their presence (aka how can you understand my suffering when you walk about in boots worth more than all the house in my village?) and everything in between.

    6. Learn the sunder rules: I know a lot of people might call this a bit dickish but it has been built into the game since core and bears repeating. Anything can be sundered, a lot of things are incredibly easy to do so to, and it is a viable strategy for a lot of people. Bows only have a hardness of 5 and 5 hp with no magic component and doesn't get much better as they get enchanted. A group of bandits who wants your loot and doesn't want to die doing it would totally rush an archer and break the very valuable bow and then run off to attack again if they think it can win them the rest of your parties gold. This may sound harsh but remember if you live in a world where magic is a semi common thing these options are totally within the scope for most people. If magic items are more common place then treat them like that, break em, smash em, let ogres use some for toothpicks. Otherwise how else are they just randomly sitting around in loot piles?

    Those are just some suggestions hope that helps.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    The city stats have a line that says:
    MARKETPLACE
    Base Value 12,800 gp; Purchase Limit 75,000 gp; Spellcasting 8th
    Minor Items 4d4; Medium Items 3d4; Major Items 2d4
    -----
    When the party asked if there are magical items for sale in a town I make a entry. I randomly roll up the magical items that can be found according to the Marketplace table.
    Each week that passes I replace 1 minor item, each month that passes I replace 1 medium item and every 6 months that pass I replace 1 major item.
    If the PCs sell items I add them to this list (and don't add new item to the market until, the item fall below the maximum amounts listed Minor (16), medium (12), Major (8)).
    The PCs can make contacts to have magical items created (church contacts, wizard guilds/academies) they change full price and take full time (no +5 DC for 1/2 time).
    I do, however, allow NPC friends (or cohorts) to make magical items. Friends change the 1/2 the base cost + 100gp per day (or 200gp/day for +5 DC).
    -----
    In our games we also don't allow the +5 to DC for not having one of the prerequisites. So a church/wizard guild would be able to make a rod of extend, but your cohort can't if he doesn't have Craft Rod & Extend spell.


    I don't have "magic shops" as such. Someone may have an item that can be bartered for, bought, or earned. Nosing around other magic using types might turn up some leads on something useful and where / how it can be obtained. Items can be crafted or commissioned. Some institutions (i.e. a temple or magical collegium) might have some minor items they might part with. Patrons may provide items to help in a mission or as rewards for completing it. In short, I avoid the I buy "X" for "Y" GP bit. My game is not as magic heavy as some. Most magic items turn up in treasure / loot. Some are useful and some are future bargaining chips.


    I don't make getting items that big of a deal. If you are asking for something fairly general that makes sense in the area (or you have the connections), you can find whatever for the most part. Yes, they have cloaks of resistance, magic arms/armor, popular rings/amulets/wondrous items, wands of cure light, cure potions etc.

    If you want something more exotic or highly specialized however, you have to find someone who would logically have it for sale (for instance, underground dwarves would definitely have some Delving armor sitting around), make it yourself, or just get it custom made by someone who can craft magic. It's not particularly hard.


    I do it a bit of a different way.

    For selling, you can sell quick for 50%. You can sell slow, taking a random number of weeks for 75%, (a broker finds a buyer for you and takes a cut). Or you can swap (takes an unknown amount of time, you swap for a similar priced item, usually used with weapons) costs 10% of the item value.

    For buying, if the item is present you can buy it for cost. For a specific item, you can commission it to be made, takes item construction time, or you can commission a broker to find it (takes time), costs +10% fee.


    The Morphling wrote:

    I'm looking ahead to the time when my players in an ongoing campaign will start being able to afford lots of magical gear. In past games I've let them have access to whatever items they wanted, as long as they could afford them, but I'd like to keep magical gear a little bit more "story-oriented" this time. That's certainly not to say I want to limit what they have access to - but I want the process of obtaining say, a +2 keen longsword to be a little bit more interesting than an out-of-character "I buy a +2 keen longsword, then we sleep for 8 hours." I'm looking for ideas to make magic item buying a bit more memorable and engaging, rather than turning it into a roleplay-free stat boost.

    How have you handled the "magic item shop" syndrome in your games?

    I would talk to your players.

    I hate shopping in real life, and I don't care for RP shopping in the game either. I just want to get my items so I can get on with the adventure.

    As for how I do it when I GM, I used to let players get whatever they could afford, but now I go by the rules. The exception is that I will allow them to have an item commissioned, but they have to pay a percentage(usually 50) up front. If the item is being upgraded then it is paid for in advance.


    Zedth wrote:

    I'm going to copy/paste/paraphrase some thoughts I've had on this subject from other threads.

    The primary reason I don't allow Magic Mart in my games is that is boils down to Meta-gaming. How would the players even know about these magic items existence? The CRB list of magic items is not the Sears Mail-order Catalogue of Adventurer Goodies. I strongly dislike the "ye old magic shop" mentality and I flat out don't allow it in my games. It leads to focusing on getting specific items instead of on RPing.

    To me this is an adventure game, not a "I get the exact items to fit my build and my idea of a cool character" game. It goes counter to every fiber of my GMing being to allow this nonsense.

    Less magic items/harder to obtain magic items = each item feels more special. Its a simple formula.

    The same way I know most magic items in the book. They were told about them. However this also depends on how prevelant magic is in your version of fantasyland, along with adventurers and villains.

    PS: Not everyone thinks making something rare equates to feeling special. The first time I open a new books I(the player) like it, but after that neither me nor my character really care about it.

    I am not saying your way is wrong. I just wanted to give you an alternate view.


    I make them find the stores.

    When I write up a settlement I specifically write down what stores will be selling the magic items and what sorts of items they sell. Then I make up the store owners and what it takes to actually find the store.

    Even after finding the store the owner isn't going to sell his best stuff right away. They have to Role-play and build up the relationship before he brings out the back room stuff.

    I don't name the items out of the book. The shop owner might indeed have "a magic belt that increases your strength" but concepts like +2 or +4 Strength arn't things people in the world use, and very few shop owners like you casting spells on their merchandise.

    Lastly, anything higher than +2 is a named item and rare as heck. You simply will not find them popping up in a store without some kind of story involved. That's just how I roll.


    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    Greylurker wrote:

    I make them find the stores.

    When I write up a settlement I specifically write down what stores will be selling the magic items and what sorts of items they sell. Then I make up the store owners and what it takes to actually find the store.

    Even after finding the store the owner isn't going to sell his best stuff right away. They have to Role-play and build up the relationship before he brings out the back room stuff.

    I don't name the items out of the book. The shop owner might indeed have "a magic belt that increases your strength" but concepts like +2 or +4 Strength arn't things people in the world use, and very few shop owners like you casting spells on their merchandise.

    Lastly, anything higher than +2 is a named item and rare as heck. You simply will not find them popping up in a store without some kind of story involved. That's just how I roll.

    So if I am reading this correctly a "business owner" is trying to not sell his better merchandise and make a profit?

    Now if the guy was an old adventurer with a sentimental attachment to some gear I would understand, but me and the owner in character would have a long talk about his logic.

    I understand about concepts like +2 not existing, but I assume my character says it in fantasy land terms just like when I roll a 35 on my diplomacy check, which I could never do in real life.

    Going back to these store owners I would make deal with them to bring them back some magic items I find while I was adventuring if they ease up on holding back on me. That way we both benefit.

    51 to 100 of 340 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | next > last >>
    Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / Advice / GMs: How do *you* handle magic item shops? All Messageboards

    Want to post a reply? Sign in.