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


Advice

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the easy way to look at "magic mart" is not to look at it as "Wal-Mart" but to look at it as a marketplace or bazaar with multiple smaller shops, one of which might be able to provide the desired item with maybe the help of a commission or few.


Auxmaulous wrote:
Anzyr wrote:

Low magic has never been the default for D&D since ever. Not in 1E, not in 2E, and certainly not in Pathfinder. Seriously, this "back in my day it was low magic" is purely wishful thinking on some people's parts. Every adventure module released had loot crammed everywhere it could fit. Why? Because even old time GMs realized that getting loot is fun (and crucial to your advancement back far enough).

If you want to play low magic, D&D and it's progeny have never been the system you are looking for. That isn't to say you can't play them that way, but you are literally fighting the game and it's expectations every step of the way.

Certainly not in Pathfinder, I'll give you that - but since no one here is mentioning PF being a low magic game I don't know why you mentioned it. No one was auguring that it was at its default (unless I missed something)

As to 1e and 2e some facts from the 70's -90's disagree with you:

A) Not everyone ran modules
B) There was no mechanical need for gear as you leveled up besides the increasing +X needed to-hit for fighters. That was the closest thing to a Christmas tree effect for those systems.

Modules frequently broke their own rule of Monty haul-ism and are a terrible metric for continued campaign balance since they are all over the place. Also keeping in mind that while some adventures did give out quite a bit of loot - they also assumed party sizes of 6 to 8 people, so you needed more items to go around.

Going by some pre-made Module PCs is also a bad example (sticking to modules) since many were heavily outfitted with magic while others were woefully crappy in their gear... as in 7th level character with one solid reusable item and the rest expendables (potions and scrolls). Go back and re-read some of those pre-made characters, those +2's and +3s on armor you remember were also on armor that was subpar (fighters wearing +2 splint or chain, etc).

Looking at the Slavers series I can see more that a few 5th and 6th level characters...

And that was a big part of the weirdness with most of the modules. Playing through part one of the series would generally get you far more gear than the premade characters in part 2 started with.

But there was mechanical need for gear. You needed those magic weapons to do damage to monsters with the equivalent of DR. You still needed the utility items for the same reasons you need them in PF. It was all much less formalized, admittedly.


Not to mention you can use that to insert as much or as little RP and flavor as you want into the item creation.

I remember the crazed gnomish inventor with a thick russian accent (his name was Leninslov Little) asking me to help out with the forge because his idiot apprentice had joined an adventuring party. He made me my +1 back-up weapon. I spent 3 days helping him work the forge and listening to him yammer about his kin, arguing with him about his ideas of social justice, and playing poker with his Donkey Rat Familiar which cheated shamefully. You know what I DON'T remember? Where I got my primary weapon, it was some miniboss, but I can't remember if it was under the Sand Kraken's butt or being wielded by orcish miniboss #3 in the halls of blood.

Because the gnome managed to grab my attention, which was as much luck as anything else.

And to be honest, I do prefer to keep things commission-based, since it (among other things) discourages "robbing the shop" and helps explain why players get less than full price for re-selling their loot. The economy for magic items is still big money, so the larger items (relative to the size/economy of the town) don't move as easily.

But sometimes that crap is boring, because I don't care how you doll it up, buying a scroll of stoneskin is not going to be "magical" or "exciting".


blahpers wrote:
Anzyr wrote:
Give low treasure and you'll get a low metacritic score like Destiny.
Yes, yes, you've made it abundantly clear that your way to play is the only way to play. 9_9

Now say you've been doing it wrong all this time and apologize to all of us. Nothing fancy is required there, just a heart felt letter, perhaps tear stained, on some nice stationary.


Just wanted to point out higher level creatures particularly demons could only be hurt with a +3 or +5 weapon not resistant but totally immune. You could wale on that wolfwere all day long but if your weapon was +2 you could not hurt it. There's also the immune to magic and normal weapons spells. Cast both and you laugh at the puny fighters attacks, well until the immunity to magic weapons runs out I'm a few rounds.


wraithstrike wrote:
...
With that aside some people do not enjoy roleplaying shopping. They just want to get the item because it is a means to improve the chance to successfully advance the plot.
This is just me--->I don't like shopping in real life, so if I can just say I want ___ and get on with the game that is fine by me.
I can understand and agree with that. I am not trying to make it into an eternal shopping expedition. I would not enjoy that from either side of the screen.

Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:


But I also don't like every item I can dream up no matter how bizarre or unique is instantly available anywhere.

But the rules don't allow for that. They allow for most items to be available at least up to 100,000 depending on where you are. Beyond that you have to craft it or hope the GM allows you to commission items.


Buri wrote:

I hate them. I hate when players say 'I go buy/shopping for/want x' and immediately start marking the GP off their sheet. I hate that magic items are needed by the system.

For Pathfinder I would institute mage's guilds in the larger cities and run it as though they regulate the sale of non-trivial magic items going so far that they sack little town with their local government authority if reports that they're trying to be sold there.

I also hate them, hate them with a passion.

If they want magic items, go earn it, like heroes. Jeez.


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DM Under The Bridge wrote:
Buri wrote:

I hate them. I hate when players say 'I go buy/shopping for/want x' and immediately start marking the GP off their sheet. I hate that magic items are needed by the system.

For Pathfinder I would institute mage's guilds in the larger cities and run it as though they regulate the sale of non-trivial magic items going so far that they sack little town with their local government authority if reports that they're trying to be sold there.

I also hate them, hate them with a passion.

If they want magic items, go earn it, like heroes. Jeez.

I earned all this gold like a hero. Now I want to support my local economy. Like a hero.


Kullen wrote:
Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
Going to the opposite silly extreme does not invalidate someone's preference of something somewhere in the middle.
"Squatting in between those on the side of reason and evidence and those worshipping superstition and myth is not a better place. It just means you’re halfway to crazy town." --P.Z. Myers

A quote that applies nicely to religion and really not much else.


I got to thinking about something last night. There's lots of stories where the hero buys an item from a magic shop. Now usually these items carry some kind of catch or curse but that ends up being the hook of the story. In Brave for example Meridah has to buy a potion from a witch (along with hundreds of wood figurines!) but the potion doesn't work EXACTLY as she'd hoped.

That got me thinking though: if there are NPC crafters with item crafting feats in a gameworld, why WOULDN'T they sell their wares? This is their greatest means of income.

Or look at it from another angle. There's no crafters but there are magic items. An old adventurer found a +1 sword in his youth, retired and now has a family. Unfortunately his health is declining, his farm is riddled with blight and his kids are untrained farmers with few prospects in this pseudo-feudal world. If he sold his old sword that would pay for... everything.

I guess I'm just having a hard time wrapping my mind around why NPCs wouldn't sell their items in the first place. The only thing I could come up with was something terrible like demons roam the streets. If I had a +1 blade and evil outsiders were constantly harassing me heck yeah I'd hold onto this thing!

Finally one last thing to think about. If you can't buy magic items, then what about renting spellcasters? Seriously, if your players came to you and said that because they can't have an item buffing them 24/7 on their adventures they're going to look around for a hedge mage to hire on retainer and bring with them to the dungeon. Said hireling would then cast the spells on them needed for their survival and they would pay the hireling a bit now and more once they've acquired more loot. All of that is entirely in the rules and wouldn't require creating a new mechanic to do away with the "big 6" or whatever. Or would that again detract from the wonder of magic?


wraithstrike wrote:

wraithstrike wrote:

...
With that aside some people do not enjoy roleplaying shopping. They just want to get the item because it is a means to improve the chance to successfully advance the plot.
This is just me--->I don't like shopping in real life, so if I can just say I want ___ and get on with the game that is fine by me.
Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:

I can understand and agree with that. I am not trying to make it into an eternal shopping expedition. I would not enjoy that from either side of the screen.

But I also don't like every item I can dream up no matter how bizarre or unique is instantly available anywhere.

But the rules don't allow for that. They allow for most items to be available at least up to 100,000 depending on where you are. Beyond that you have to craft it or hope the GM allows you to commission items.

Agreed. Most groups I've met in recent years do not want to play by those rules. They consider them way too restrictive. They very nearly demand anything, anytime, instantly or they will sooner or later quit the group.

For example, one of the guys I know has spare time and would really like to play PF more often. But he refuses to even try PFS. Now I play PFS but I admit their are several things that are less than ideal. But his sole reason for not playing PFS is the restriction of magic item purchases based on fame level. I explained to him it virtually never comes up. By the time you have the cash for a purchase, invariably you also have the fame for the purchase. He will not listen. He might want to save his cash for 4 levels, while barely succeeding on all of them so he only has 9 fame, purchasing nothing, and then spend it all on 1 item. He probably wouldn't, but he might. There is a restriction, so it is unacceptable. Almost everyone at the table agreed that was perfectly valid reason to not play PFS.
PFS, where even some Monty-Haul GM's feel access to items is too easy, more than half the players in 2 different groups feel is too restrictive on purchasing magic items.

Mark Hoover wrote:

...

That got me thinking though: if there are NPC crafters with item crafting feats in a gameworld, why WOULDN'T they sell their wares? This is their greatest means of income.

Or look at it from another angle. There's no crafters but there are magic items. An old adventurer found a +1 sword in his youth, retired and now has a family. Unfortunately his health is declining, his farm is riddled with blight and his kids are untrained farmers with few prospects in this pseudo-feudal world. If he sold his old sword that would pay for... everything. ...

Very few of us are saying anything even close to nothing is available for purchase. Lower level and common stuff? Heck yeah.

With the way the system is set up, unnecessary +1 and +2 long swords and breastplates should be all over the place. Even falchion and full plate should be pretty common. But a +1 Haramaki of Ghost Touch and Shadows? Or a +1 Repeating Crossbow of Distance and Seeking? Seems to me like it should be just a bit more difficult to locate some thing that unique, specific, and powerful.

Mark Hoover wrote:
...Finally one last thing to think about. If you can't buy magic items, then what about renting spellcasters? Seriously, if your players came to you and said that because they can't have an item buffing them 24/7 on their adventures they're going to look around for a hedge mage to hire on retainer and bring with them to the dungeon. Said hireling would then cast the spells on them needed for their survival and they would pay the hireling a bit now and more once they've acquired more loot. ...

I don't have a problem with that realism wise. But I would worry that it would bog down the game. I'd be willing to give it a try though if the players wanted to give it a go.

Sovereign Court

Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
He might want to save his cash for 4 levels, while barely succeeding on all of them so he only has 9 fame, purchasing nothing, and then spend it all on 1 item.

As someone who likes to run the numbers (arguably too much) - the very idea of doing that makes me twitch.

First you get masterwork everything, then +1 weapon/armor/(if using) shield, then +1 AC ring, then +1 nat armor amulet etc. Then start back to the top. (obviously wiz/sor don't follow this formula, and the monk has to skip the nat armor if going unarmed)

Mechanically - you're hamstrining yourself if you spend all of your gold on one item even if you could.

*twitch*


chaoseffect wrote:
DM Under The Bridge wrote:
Buri wrote:

I hate them. I hate when players say 'I go buy/shopping for/want x' and immediately start marking the GP off their sheet. I hate that magic items are needed by the system.

For Pathfinder I would institute mage's guilds in the larger cities and run it as though they regulate the sale of non-trivial magic items going so far that they sack little town with their local government authority if reports that they're trying to be sold there.

I also hate them, hate them with a passion.

If they want magic items, go earn it, like heroes. Jeez.

I earned all this gold like a hero. Now I want to support my local economy. Like a hero.

Then invest it into the community, and not just a magic shop with an owner likely to store it off this plane for a rainy day.


Charon's Little Helper wrote:
Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
He might want to save his cash for 4 levels, while barely succeeding on all of them so he only has 9 fame, purchasing nothing, and then spend it all on 1 item.

As someone who likes to run the numbers (arguably too much) - the very idea of doing that makes me twitch.

First you get masterwork everything, then +1 weapon/armor/(if using) shield, then +1 AC ring, then +1 nat armor amulet etc. Then start back to the top. (obviously wiz/sor don't follow this formula, and the monk has to skip the nat armor if going unarmed)

Mechanically - you're hamstrining yourself if you spend all of your gold on one item even if you could.

*twitch*

He even said he wouldn't do that. But since someone might want to do that it was an unacceptable restriction.


DM Under The Bridge wrote:
chaoseffect wrote:
DM Under The Bridge wrote:
Buri wrote:

I hate them. I hate when players say 'I go buy/shopping for/want x' and immediately start marking the GP off their sheet. I hate that magic items are needed by the system.

For Pathfinder I would institute mage's guilds in the larger cities and run it as though they regulate the sale of non-trivial magic items going so far that they sack little town with their local government authority if reports that they're trying to be sold there.

I also hate them, hate them with a passion.

If they want magic items, go earn it, like heroes. Jeez.

I earned all this gold like a hero. Now I want to support my local economy. Like a hero.
Then invest it into the community, and not just a magic shop with an owner likely to store it off this plane for a rainy day.

I never said I was a philanthropist. Those kids need a new playground? Unless they're using that space to learn how to craft me magical items, they ain't getting a copper from me.


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Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:

Agreed. Most groups I've met in recent years do not want to play by those rules. They consider them way too restrictive. They very nearly demand anything, anytime, instantly or they will sooner or later quit the group.

For example, one of the guys I know has spare time and would really like to play PF more often. But he refuses to even try PFS. Now I play PFS but I admit their are several things that are less than ideal. But his sole reason for not playing PFS is the restriction of magic item purchases based on fame level. I explained to him it virtually never comes up. By the time you have the cash for a purchase, invariably you also have the fame for the purchase. He will not listen. He might want to save his cash for 4 levels, while barely succeeding on all of them so he only has 9 fame, purchasing nothing, and then spend it all on 1 item. He probably wouldn't, but he might. There is a restriction, so it is unacceptable. Almost everyone at the table agreed that was perfectly valid reason to not play PFS.
PFS, where even some Monty-Haul GM's feel access to items is too easy, more than half the players in 2 different groups feel is too restrictive on purchasing magic items.

Your guy doesn't want to play PF, he wants to win PF.


thorin001 wrote:
Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:

Agreed. Most groups I've met in recent years do not want to play by those rules. They consider them way too restrictive. They very nearly demand anything, anytime, instantly or they will sooner or later quit the group.

...

Your guy doesn't want to play PF, he wants to win PF.

It isn't one guy. That was just an example. All of the other players at the table (except for myself and one other guy) agreed with him.

It is most of the players I have met outside of PFS. And even then I don't think it is wanting to 'win PF' really. They don't mind hugely challenging missions and we've had some epic failures where fun was had by all.

But magic items must be instantly available in a big city. At least until you get to the minor artifact levels. That just seems to be the mind set.

Sovereign Court

DM Under The Bridge wrote:
chaoseffect wrote:
DM Under The Bridge wrote:
Buri wrote:

I hate them. I hate when players say 'I go buy/shopping for/want x' and immediately start marking the GP off their sheet. I hate that magic items are needed by the system.

For Pathfinder I would institute mage's guilds in the larger cities and run it as though they regulate the sale of non-trivial magic items going so far that they sack little town with their local government authority if reports that they're trying to be sold there.

I also hate them, hate them with a passion.

If they want magic items, go earn it, like heroes. Jeez.

I earned all this gold like a hero. Now I want to support my local economy. Like a hero.
Then invest it into the community, and not just a magic shop with an owner likely to store it off this plane for a rainy day.

If so - he's causing deflation and everyone else's money becomes worth proportionally more! :P


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chaoseffect wrote:
DM Under The Bridge wrote:
chaoseffect wrote:
DM Under The Bridge wrote:
Buri wrote:

I hate them. I hate when players say 'I go buy/shopping for/want x' and immediately start marking the GP off their sheet. I hate that magic items are needed by the system.

For Pathfinder I would institute mage's guilds in the larger cities and run it as though they regulate the sale of non-trivial magic items going so far that they sack little town with their local government authority if reports that they're trying to be sold there.

I also hate them, hate them with a passion.

If they want magic items, go earn it, like heroes. Jeez.

I earned all this gold like a hero. Now I want to support my local economy. Like a hero.
Then invest it into the community, and not just a magic shop with an owner likely to store it off this plane for a rainy day.
I never said I was a philanthropist. Those kids need a new playground? Unless they're using that space to learn how to craft me magical items, they ain't getting a copper from me.

If they want money, they need to earn it, like heroes. See also: Bootstraps.

Also, when I go questing for magic items to "earn them, like a hero" all I ever find are +(less than what I got) bracers of armor, Epically enchanted whips (no one plays a bard), 100000 copper pieces, and a thousand beautiful snowglobes.

Note that the above is ACTUAL STUFF that a PUBLISHED ADVENTURE PATH has dropped on me. There were also a lot of Rings of (you're already resistant to this) and poorly-enchanted axes when both martial-wielders were already wielding better.

For some reason I can min-max my abilities during character creation all day and all night, but finagling my equipment (which is an inexorable part of my character) into anything resembling something sensible is monstrous, demanding, whiny, entitled, and bratty.


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Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
It is most of the players I have met outside of PFS. And even then I don't think it is wanting to 'win PF' really. They don't mind hugely challenging missions and we've had some epic failures where fun was had by all.

As I'm someone who would fall into the category of players being discussed, I'll try to explain my rationale for feeling the way I do. Most likely in a semi-coherent fashion.

I like having my character run as a well oiled machine. I like knowing that he is as good as I was able to make him. That's why I spend a lot of time on builds. But then build isn't everything and you come to the realization that in order to realize the fundamental concept for your character, you are dependent on specific magical items so that you are viable.

And that's incredibly frustrating. Even more so when you realize you are playing in a game where you are most likely never going to get that one item you need for your build to actually work.

Really I see it like if I'm not going to be able to get the items a certain build requires then the build is unworkable and it makes me sad. Throw the mechanical concept in the garbage and come back with something cookie cutter, something bland but functional. I don't like doing that.

It's not that I want to "win;" I don't really care if I do. When things unexpectedly go to hell I find it hilarious most of the time. I just want my character to play as I envisioned him.


chaoseffect wrote:
Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
It is most of the players I have met outside of PFS. And even then I don't think it is wanting to 'win PF' really. They don't mind hugely challenging missions and we've had some epic failures where fun was had by all.

As I'm someone who would fall into the category of players being discussed, I'll try to explain my rationale for feeling the way I do. Most likely in a semi-coherent fashion.

I like having my character run as a well oiled machine. I like knowing that he is as good as I was able to make him. That's why I spend a lot of time on builds. But then build isn't everything and you come to the realization that in order to realize the fundamental concept for your character, you are dependent on specific magical items so that you are viable.

And that's incredibly frustrating. Even more so when you realize you are playing in a game where you are most likely never going to get that one item you need for your build to actually work.

Really I see it like if I'm not going to be able to get the items a certain build requires then the build is unworkable and it makes me sad. Throw the mechanical concept in the garbage and come back with something cookie cutter, something bland but functional. I don't like doing that.

It's not that I want to "win;" I don't really care if I do. When things unexpectedly go to hell I find it hilarious most of the time. I just want my character to play as I envisioned him.

If you require stuff that is very much outside of your control for your build to work then that is on you. You knew that there was a risk of never finding "The One Ring" or that it might get sundered. Conversely, your DM should work with you to make such an item available to you through adventuring. Any DM who misses out on a plot hook of that magnitude is not deserving of the title. But that does not mean that you will be handed the item at 1st level.


chaoseffect wrote:
Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
It is most of the players I have met outside of PFS. And even then I don't think it is wanting to 'win PF' really. They don't mind hugely challenging missions and we've had some epic failures where fun was had by all.

As I'm someone who would fall into the category of players being discussed, I'll try to explain my rationale for feeling the way I do. Most likely in a semi-coherent fashion.

I like having my character run as a well oiled machine. I like knowing that he is as good as I was able to make him. That's why I spend a lot of time on builds. But then build isn't everything and you come to the realization that in order to realize the fundamental concept for your character, you are dependent on specific magical items so that you are viable.

And that's incredibly frustrating. Even more so when you realize you are playing in a game where you are most likely never going to get that one item you need for your build to actually work.

Really I see it like if I'm not going to be able to get the items a certain build requires then the build is unworkable and it makes me sad. Throw the mechanical concept in the garbage and come back with something cookie cutter, something bland but functional. I don't like doing that.

It's not that I want to "win;" I don't really care if I do. When things unexpectedly go to hell I find it hilarious most of the time. I just want my character to play as I envisioned him.

I do think that's the big thing that creates this attitude. It's not video games. It's not entitlement. It's not even WBL or the existence of crafting rules or any of the other magic item avilability rules that changed from 2E to 3.0.

It's the build game. Before 3.0, there really wasn't a build game in D&D.(Actually it really started with 2E's kit books and the like, but that was more of a gradual slide.) With the customization and character design so intrinsic to 3.x, specific magic items become far more important than they used to be.


thorin001 wrote:
If you require stuff that is very much outside of your control for your build to work then that is on you.

Oh yes, I'm aware of the potential risks in some builds but to some extent it is unavoidable. It just makes me sad that I can come up with something I find very interesting that makes me happy only to find my dreams dashed because I can't possibly have access to one particular item. That's why I never play builds like that unless I have starting WBL to spend and I go out of my way to be as specific gear independent as possible. Having to worry about that just makes the game a much blander place for me.

thejeff wrote:
It's the build game. Before 3.0, there really wasn't a build game in D&D.(Actually it really started with 2E's kit books and the like, but that was more of a gradual slide.) With the customization and character design so intrinsic to 3.x, specific magic items become far more important than they used to be.

You summed up what I was trying to say quite succinctly, so thank you for that.


@ chaoseffect -- you're not by any chance in Western PA? I think you'd very much enjoy playing in my home game; the houserules emphasis is on being able to grow into exactly the character you envision.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
@ chaoseffect -- you're not by any chance in Western PA? I think you'd very much enjoy playing in my home game; the houserules emphasis is on being able to grow into exactly the character you envision.

I am as a matter of fact. Live a bit outside Pittsburgh. How about you?


(PMed to avoid thread derail)


thorin001 wrote:
Your guy doesn't want to play PF, he wants to win PF.

Lotta that going around...


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chaoseffect wrote:
thorin001 wrote:
If you require stuff that is very much outside of your control for your build to work then that is on you.
Oh yes, I'm aware of the potential risks in some builds but to some extent it is unavoidable. It just makes me sad that I can come up with something I find very interesting that makes me happy only to find my dreams dashed because I can't possibly have access to one particular item. That's why I never play builds like that unless I have starting WBL to spend and I go out of my way to be as specific gear independent as possible.

I've probably made at least a hundred solid character builds from level 1-20 (character building is one of my favorite past times) and only once have I ever included gear as part of what makes the character work - a Dex-based goblin fighter who fought unarmed. I get very interested in all the things a character can potentially do, but never get overly ivested in all the things a character can potentially buy. Two separate things, to me at least.


Wiggz wrote:
I get very interested in all the things a character can potentially do, but never get overly ivested in all the things a character can potentially buy. Two separate things, to me at least.

That's usually my perspective; I'm not saying I need a shopping list, just the one thing that ties the build together like your unarmed dex goblin fighter. If you make a build like that and can't get that item then it all just kinda falls apart.

Dark Archive

Liam Warner wrote:
Just wanted to point out higher level creatures particularly demons could only be hurt with a +3 or +5 weapon not resistant but totally immune. You could wale on that wolfwere all day long but if your weapon was +2 you could not hurt it. There's also the immune to magic and normal weapons spells. Cast both and you laugh at the puny fighters attacks, well until the immunity to magic weapons runs out I'm a few rounds.

You should also point out that those higher level creatures (greater Tanar'ri = Demons) still took half damage from silver weapons while lesser demons took full damage - magic or no magic, so the premise of your argument is false.

Wolfwere - you can wale on it with a cold iron weapon (no pluses) and it will be dead in short order.

So if you are arguing the difficulty of older editions I agree with you, the game was more challenging. Again - false.

That wizard with all those defenses - IDK what to tell you, have a caster on your side to cast dispel magic? Without you listing specific Schrodinger wizard spells (assuming older editions since that's what your post was referencing) I can't provide a solution. Not enough info to argue that false premise.

And all of that still doesn't mean you need magic shops to provide +X weapons for players in older editions of the game.
You do need a DM who is going to provide the tools (placed treasure/quested items) so the players are able to take on greater threats as the players advance in level and address greater challenges.

If you find that you have high level PCs in your game and they have no magic weapons with the expectation that they are going to regularly take on creatures that need to be hit with +2 or +3 weapons, you failed at your DM assigned tasks somewhere down the line.

Sovereign Court

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chaoseffect wrote:
Wiggz wrote:
I get very interested in all the things a character can potentially do, but never get overly ivested in all the things a character can potentially buy. Two separate things, to me at least.
That's usually my perspective; I'm not saying I need a shopping list, just the one thing that ties the build together like your unarmed dex goblin fighter. If you make a build like that and can't get that item then it all just kinda falls apart.

Exactly - some builds actually require specific items to work. For example - a throwing weapon build doesn't really work without a blinkback belt.


Charon's Little Helper wrote:
chaoseffect wrote:
Wiggz wrote:
I get very interested in all the things a character can potentially do, but never get overly ivested in all the things a character can potentially buy. Two separate things, to me at least.
That's usually my perspective; I'm not saying I need a shopping list, just the one thing that ties the build together like your unarmed dex goblin fighter. If you make a build like that and can't get that item then it all just kinda falls apart.
Exactly - some builds actually require specific items to work. For example - a throwing weapon build doesn't really work without a blinkback belt.

I would agree that there are a few specific builds that do practically require a specific magic item. Personally, I think that is a poor build and wouldn't play it myself. Regardless, I am more than willing to work with a player that wanted to play that. Maybe as he is going up through the levels he tries to make friends with a crafter and start a down payment layaway program. So that he can get it when it is affordable.

But if the player has agreed to play in one of my lower access to magic item campaigns, has done no work to grease the path, then suddenly demands that X weird/rare/unique item be instantly available...
Well I think that is kinda stupid on his part.


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Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
Kirth Gersen wrote:
... that's really what a lot of this thread is: some DMs hate their players and think of them as bratty, spoiled children who have to be punished and controlled (makes you wonder why they all hang out together). ...

Completely untrue as well as thoroughly and needlessly obnoxious.

I like the players and GM's in my groups or I would be in the group. I do not punish or control them. We talk about what we want to see in a campaign and all of us strive to provide that for everyone.

The majority of the group prefers nearly perfect accessibility to magic items so that is how we play. That doesn't mean I wouldn't prefer significantly less perfect accessibility, both as a player and a GM.

Your reaction to Kirth's response of "GMs punishing the players" is the same response I have when people cry entitlement for players.

No one likes assumptions being made about their play style. If players like more magic items, it may not even be because they are entitled spoiled brats. Which seems to be the idea coming from some of the GMs here. Magic items = entitlement, you can't min/max and roleplay... all bunk ideas spread by GMs that I feel have become so far disconnected from what it's like to be a player that it somehow becomes an us vs them, instead of a cooperative gaming style.

Now, if everyone wants magic to be rare and is told ahead of time, then that's awesome. Kudos to them. Despite my poor experiences with low magic settings, I'd even run a setting like that. I'd probably do a good job because I know what NOT to do with it. But this idea that players are entitled s@!$ birds that want all the magic items RIGHT NOW is as absurd as saying that all GMs that want magic to be rare are ego-fueled sadists punishing their players.

Shadow Lodge

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Simon Legrande wrote:
Kullen wrote:
Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
Going to the opposite silly extreme does not invalidate someone's preference of something somewhere in the middle.
"Squatting in between those on the side of reason and evidence and those worshipping superstition and myth is not a better place. It just means you’re halfway to crazy town." --P.Z. Myers
A quote that applies nicely to religion and really not much else.

It's simply a specific application of the Golden Mean fallacy.

Everything in moderation, including moderation.


In my 3.5 campaigns I gave out low amounts of treasure but allowed the party to magic mart. I found this less of a headache then coming up with a system of saying no.

In my current campaign its Pathfinder E6; all non-consumable magic items are "made to order". Either because you commission it, or you have to spend that many days searching for someone who had it for sale.
Hell the cleric who took heavy armor proficiency has to wait a month in game time for the team of armor smiths to make his masterwork full-plate.


Wiggz wrote:
I've probably made at least a hundred solid character builds from level 1-20 (character building is one of my favorite past times) and only once have I ever included gear as part of what makes the character work - a Dex-based goblin fighter who fought unarmed. I get very interested in all the things a character can potentially do, but never get overly ivested in all the things a character can potentially buy. Two separate things, to me at least.

So every single one of them specialized in unarmed combat and had a self-built means of defeating things like DR? Or are you conflating "needs one very specific magic item" with "needs something from a category of magic items to work".

A fighter has taken a host of feats dedicated to being a complete master at fighting with a sword. Then the DM gives him a +7 whip and snicker. This is not good role-playing, this is the DM being a jerk. And no one bats an eye at the fighter expecting his dang magic sword.

Also, funnily enough, nobody is too surprised at the plot twist that has the party stripped of their possessions (very important: temporarily) and having to face role reversals where the Main Battle Tank of a fighter is hiding behind the underpowered monk because he's naked and he never took improved unarmed strike.

The point is; if a player rests his hopes and dreams on a breakable magic item that's his lookout, if you never let him get or repair said magic item that's your lookout.


boring7 wrote:

...

Or are you conflating "needs one very specific magic item" with "needs something from a category of magic items to work". ...

The person we were responding to said he needed specific items not a category of items.

chaoseffect wrote:
... then build isn't everything and you come to the realization that in order to realize the fundamental concept for your character, you are dependent on specific magical items so that you are viable. ...
Charon's Little Helper wrote:

...

Exactly - some builds actually require specific items to work. For example - a throwing weapon build doesn't really work without a blinkback belt.

-------------------

boring7 wrote:

...

A fighter has taken a host of feats dedicated to being a complete master at fighting with a sword. Then the DM gives him a +7 whip and snicker. This is not good role-playing, this is the DM being a jerk. And no one bats an eye at the fighter expecting his dang magic sword. ...

Agreed the GM is probably being a jerk. He picked a common weapon for the area and it is reasonable to assume they are available.

However, if he is in an area modeled on Central Europe and he has made himself the master of the butterfly blade he should be expecting for them to be more difficult to locate. Because no one has one.


Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
wraithstrike wrote:

wraithstrike wrote:

...
With that aside some people do not enjoy roleplaying shopping. They just want to get the item because it is a means to improve the chance to successfully advance the plot.
This is just me--->I don't like shopping in real life, so if I can just say I want ___ and get on with the game that is fine by me.
Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:

I can understand and agree with that. I am not trying to make it into an eternal shopping expedition. I would not enjoy that from either side of the screen.

But I also don't like every item I can dream up no matter how bizarre or unique is instantly available anywhere.

But the rules don't allow for that. They allow for most items to be available at least up to 100,000 depending on where you are. Beyond that you have to craft it or hope the GM allows you to commission items.

Agreed. Most groups I've met in recent years do not want to play by those rules. They consider them way too restrictive. They very nearly demand anything, anytime, instantly or they will sooner or later quit the group.

For example, one of the guys I know has spare time and would really like to play PF more often. But he refuses to even try PFS. Now I play PFS but I admit their are several things that are less than ideal. But his sole reason for not playing PFS is the restriction of magic item purchases based on fame level. I explained to him it virtually never comes up. By the time you have the cash for a purchase, invariably you also have the fame for the purchase. He will not listen. He might want to save his cash for 4 levels, while barely succeeding on all of them so he only has 9 fame, purchasing nothing, and then spend it all on 1 item. He probably wouldn't, but he might. There is a restriction, so it is unacceptable. Almost everyone at the table agreed that was perfectly valid reason to not play PFS.

I see what you mean now.


chaoseffect wrote:
Kydeem de'Morcaine wrote:
It is most of the players I have met outside of PFS. And even then I don't think it is wanting to 'win PF' really. They don't mind hugely challenging missions and we've had some epic failures where fun was had by all.

As I'm someone who would fall into the category of players being discussed, I'll try to explain my rationale for feeling the way I do. Most likely in a semi-coherent fashion.

I like having my character run as a well oiled machine. I like knowing that he is as good as I was able to make him. That's why I spend a lot of time on builds. But then build isn't everything and you come to the realization that in order to realize the fundamental concept for your character, you are dependent on specific magical items so that you are viable.

And that's incredibly frustrating. Even more so when you realize you are playing in a game where you are most likely never going to get that one item you need for your build to actually work.

Really I see it like if I'm not going to be able to get the items a certain build requires then the build is unworkable and it makes me sad. Throw the mechanical concept in the garbage and come back with something cookie cutter, something bland but functional. I don't like doing that.

It's not that I want to "win;" I don't really care if I do. When things unexpectedly go to hell I find it hilarious most of the time. I just want my character to play as I envisioned him.

If you need an item to complete the build that is fine. I think the issue is with expecting any item to be there 100% of the time. Even in today's world of high manufacturing things are not always available.


Auxmaulous wrote:
The other thing I did was I stopped running PF/3rd ed based games. Life got easier after that.

LOL

And in response to those who are on the "you owe it to the Players" side of the argument: Yes, I do have them find unique, and often very powerful, items and artifacts. They have to adventure for them, however. They can't just go shopping for them.

And my low-magic campaign has needed TONS of house-ruling because it is contrary to standard PF. (No Item Creation feats; allowing more things to qualify as "magic" to overcome DR, etc.)

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