Finding Magical Weapons


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion


just out of curiosity, how do you guys handle giving out magical weapons as loot.

do you always drop weapons that the pc's have proficiencies with or actually use. and are you ever concerned about exotic weapons and the chances of finding them? If one of your PC's is a samurai whose traveled a long way from home, do you have them encountering katana's for loot even if its an item thats not common in the region.

and what if a player wants a specific magical weapon those there actual character wouldn't have knowledge of.

see I'm kind of torn, on the one hand I feel the story is stronger if the player actually finds the magical weapon and its a specific magical weapon. on the other hand a player may want a particular magical weapon so they may want to just buy it with the gold they've purchased. do you have magic users in cities and towns that can create magical weapons upon request.

so yeah, whats you're favourite way to handle magical weapons.


I go with magic weapons of a type they want; such as Longsword or Dwarven Longhammer, but for the effect, I keep that myself; if they want to change it, they can seek out a caster (Though my group usually has someone who wants to craft items)


You could get around part of the specificity problem by occasionally having them find an enchanted blade - no hilt, crossguard, pommel, scabbard or other parts, just the blade. This way they're going to need to have it fixed/modified by a blacksmith anyway - probably wouldn't be too difficult to reshape it from a bastard sword to a longsword at the same time...


I usually go with something that they can use. If the current possessor is capable of using it though, I have them use it. Thus it is a bit harder for the character to acquire it. I have also used "rumor" of a magical weapon as an adventure seed to get the players into a dungeon in the first place. With a little creativity you can place a weapon, for example a katana far away from where it would normally be found. For example an old man may remember stories of a haughty arrogant samurai who years ago went into the ancient ruins alone......and never came out.


It depends on the group, and it depends on the campaign.

Personally, I try to limit magical items that are anything beyond a simple +1 or +2 to being rare and unique, and not purchasable at Ye Olde Magic Shoppe.

Players who have a character who researches ancient lore, delve into ruins, and adventures can have a chance to come across information that can lead them to some unique magical item the players knows about but the character doesn't.

Doesn't hurt to talk to your group and see what they're interested in. Some expect the Big Six, some don't.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Once you realize (and accept) that in Pathfinder wealth is a second XP track and that gear is as much a part of character progression as feats and levels, everything else falls into place.

In Pathfinder, saying that you'll need to find someone to commission the weapon you want to spend your gold on is like saying that you'll need to find someone to commission the spell you wanted to spend your XP on learn when you leveled up. In Pathfinder, saying that you can't shop for that magic item because you've never heard of it is like saying you can't take that feat because you've never heard of it.

That's why so many people (including Paizo) have come up with houserules and variants to eliminate this aspect of play so that treasure can be treasure again.


Jiggy wrote:

Once you realize (and accept) that in Pathfinder wealth is a second XP track and that gear is as much a part of character progression as feats and levels, everything else falls into place.

In Pathfinder, saying that you'll need to find someone to commission the weapon you want to spend your gold on is like saying that you'll need to find someone to commission the spell you wanted to spend your XP on learn when you leveled up. In Pathfinder, saying that you can't shop for that magic item because you've never heard of it is like saying you can't take that feat because you've never heard of it.

That's why so many people (including Paizo) have come up with houserules and variants to eliminate this aspect of play so that treasure can be treasure again.

could you give me examples of some of these house rules?


I believe Unchained has optional rules for adding incremental bonuses to your character as you level that are intended to take the place of the bonuses you would accrue on your weapons, armour, stat bonus items etc. under normal circumstances. That or there was some heavy discussion about such a system right around the time of Unchained's release. I didn't really follow it because my home group likes the system we have in place for our game but I think I recall something of the sort.

You could also do a search on the homebrew page. This is not an uncommon topic of discussion so I imagine you could find a small assortment of interesting results there if you looked.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Leonhart Steelmane wrote:
Jiggy wrote:

Once you realize (and accept) that in Pathfinder wealth is a second XP track and that gear is as much a part of character progression as feats and levels, everything else falls into place.

In Pathfinder, saying that you'll need to find someone to commission the weapon you want to spend your gold on is like saying that you'll need to find someone to commission the spell you wanted to spend your XP on learn when you leveled up. In Pathfinder, saying that you can't shop for that magic item because you've never heard of it is like saying you can't take that feat because you've never heard of it.

That's why so many people (including Paizo) have come up with houserules and variants to eliminate this aspect of play so that treasure can be treasure again.

could you give me examples of some of these house rules?

There's a handful of different variant options in Pathfinder Unchained, though I don't know the details of them.

I heard of one guy (Kirth Girsen, I think?) who replaced the accumulation of wealth with "mojo points" that you spend to acquire new abilities, possibly as part of the narrative. Like, "Hey look, that fight puts me over 6,000 mojo, so I'll say that I've started feeling the familiar presence of my ancestors in my morningstar; their spirits imbue it with ghost touch from now on."

Others take all the boring numerical items that are part of the game's math (like cloaks of resistance, etc) and just say that everyone gets such-and-such a bonus at such-and-such a level, then loot is stuff with actual interesting abilities.

I'm sure there are others, but hopefully that helps. :)


Jiggy wrote:
Leonhart Steelmane wrote:
Jiggy wrote:

Once you realize (and accept) that in Pathfinder wealth is a second XP track and that gear is as much a part of character progression as feats and levels, everything else falls into place.

In Pathfinder, saying that you'll need to find someone to commission the weapon you want to spend your gold on is like saying that you'll need to find someone to commission the spell you wanted to spend your XP on learn when you leveled up. In Pathfinder, saying that you can't shop for that magic item because you've never heard of it is like saying you can't take that feat because you've never heard of it.

That's why so many people (including Paizo) have come up with houserules and variants to eliminate this aspect of play so that treasure can be treasure again.

could you give me examples of some of these house rules?

There's a handful of different variant options in Pathfinder Unchained, though I don't know the details of them.

I heard of one guy (Kirth Girsen, I think?) who replaced the accumulation of wealth with "mojo points" that you spend to acquire new abilities, possibly as part of the narrative. Like, "Hey look, that fight puts me over 6,000 mojo, so I'll say that I've started feeling the familiar presence of my ancestors in my morningstar; their spirits imbue it with ghost touch from now on."

Others take all the boring numerical items that are part of the game's math (like cloaks of resistance, etc) and just say that everyone gets such-and-such a bonus at such-and-such a level, then loot is stuff with actual interesting abilities.

I'm sure there are others, but hopefully that helps. :)

yeah it does, I don't know if I like those ideas though to be honest. I kinda like 'new' things. either getting a new weapon or some force enchants your preexisting weapon. as opposed to just getting better at it and developing some kind of magical prowess with it to make it flaming sword or something. thanks again though.


first of all everyone, thanks for the advice and input. and I'll be honest. I don't actually know what unchained is. its something I may have to look up. thanks.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Pathfinder Unchained is a new book Paizo released a month or two ago, that includes all kinds of alternate rulesets for different styles of play. It's actually quite interesting - worth the look.


Rennaivx wrote:
Pathfinder Unchained is a new book Paizo released a month or two ago, that includes all kinds of alternate rulesets for different styles of play. It's actually quite interesting - worth the look.

okay cool, thanks.


I kind of like the idea of something like gem slots- where magic items are not magic themselves, but they can be fitted with a gem or charm that makes them magic.

This could simplify things- when the party finds a nice magic weapon that is a type they don't use, they just pop the gem and use that in their preferred weapon (is also lowers the amount of silliness of carry loot and golf bagging-they do not need to carry a second great sword with ghost touch...heck, they could even just carry a hammer and switch their main enhancements to it when skeletons show up).

And masterwork weapons are defined as weapon that include a slot for a gem by default (and maybe something like magic conducting circuitry to carry the affect throughout- enough workmanship and technique to justify the regular bonuses from masterwork)

And you could have something like this for all of the item slots.

Of course, as far as specific magic effects...I would just give them appropriate +'s as random drops (so they are generally up to par), and force them to look for specific effects on their own (quest, magic merchants, party crafter, etc)


lemeres wrote:

I kind of like the idea of something like gem slots- where magic items are not magic themselves, but they can be fitted with a gem or charm that makes them magic.

This could simplify things- when the party finds a nice magic weapon that is a type they don't use, they just pop the gem and use that in their preferred weapon (is also lowers the amount of silliness of carry loot and golf bagging-they do not need to carry a second great sword with ghost touch...heck, they could even just carry a hammer and switch their main enhancements to it when skeletons show up).

And masterwork weapons are defined as weapon that include a slot for a gem by default (and maybe something like magic conducting circuitry to carry the affect throughout- enough workmanship and technique to justify the regular bonuses from masterwork)

And you could have something like this for all of the item slots.

Of course, as far as specific magic effects...I would just give them appropriate +'s as random drops (so they are generally up to par), and force them to look for specific effects on their own (quest, magic merchants, party crafter, etc)

that actually is a really awesome idea. kinda like materia from Final Fantasy. thanks, I might definitely have to steal that haha.


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I generally DON'T worry about the magic items/weapons from the PCs point of view as to what consconstituts "usefull".
Nor do I feel any obligation to simply provide certain items just because a player wants it. Or because people believe that the game math requires it.

If I've got an idea for a plot or adventure that involves something specific? Then that thing is included in the game.

Next up are my NPCs. If I've got some specific task or image in mind for them? Then they will be equipped accordingly. If I dont? Then I'll just roll loot from the tables as needed.
And my NPCs & intelligent monsters DO use any items they're capable of.

Treasure hoards. I roll them up randomly. It's up to the party to make what they find usefull.

So how do players go about getting specific items in my games? Well, they play the game...
●They take the initiative & have their characters go of on adventures/quests for them.
●They can try & barter/trade with various NPCs.
This may/may not work, might take awhile, might well lead to some further plots/risks (one pc contracted the thieves/sssassins guild to aquire a certain sword for him in one game).
●They might commission the crafting/enchanting of something. This will take time....
●Very rarely the PCs themselves will do the crafting/enchanting. Most of the players in my games only ever bother making their own potions/scrolls.
●What DOESN'T happen in my games is: player opens book, looks through list, selects an item, crosses off x GP, says "Now I have a ____" & is set to play the next session.

Oh and if you're that guy who picks a weird/exotic weapon & then adventures far far from home? Yrah, you're odds of finding another (let alone magical) one are extremely poor.


ccs wrote:

I generally DON'T worry about the magic items/weapons from the PCs point of view as to what consconstituts "usefull".

Nor do I feel any obligation to simply provide certain items just because a player wants it. Or because people believe that the game math requires it.

If I've got an idea for a plot or adventure that involves something specific? Then that thing is included in the game.

Next up are my NPCs. If I've got some specific task or image in mind for them? Then they will be equipped accordingly. If I dont? Then I'll just roll loot from the tables as needed.
And my NPCs & intelligent monsters DO use any items they're capable of.

Treasure hoards. I roll them up randomly. It's up to the party to make what they find usefull.

So how do players go about getting specific items in my games? Well, they play the game...
●They take the initiative & have their characters go of on adventures/quests for them.
●They can try & barter/trade with various NPCs.
This may/may not work, might take awhile, might well lead to some further plots/risks (one pc contracted the thieves/sssassins guild to aquire a certain sword for him in one game).
●They might commission the crafting/enchanting of something. This will take time....
●Very rarely the PCs themselves will do the crafting/enchanting. Most of the players in my games only ever bother making their own potions/scrolls.
●What DOESN'T happen in my games is: player opens book, looks through list, selects an item, crosses off x GP, says "Now I have a ____" & is set to play the next session.

Oh and if you're that guy who picks a weird/exotic weapon & then adventures far far from home? Yrah, you're odds of finding another (let alone magical) one are extremely poor.

While I do keep an eye toward whether or not the pcs can use an item, we'll just have to agree to disagree on that one, I agree with most everything else that you wrote. I never have been too keen on going into swordmart and plunking down the gp for the special weapon of the month, but there are instances when buying a magical weapon will speed things along.

I definitely don't let anyone just open a book and say now I have such and such an item. I am in complete agreement with you there.

I prefer to use powerful items as goals or adventure seeds. One time a player wanted a certain type of sword and in the course of adventuring they encountered a Dryad that told him that if he performed a certain heroic deed for her he would find the sword. After the adventure during which the characters didn't find the sword, he angrily went back to the Dryad to complain. She just smiled and pulled it out of a hollow tree telling him that she had to know that he was worthy of it.


I've decided to use the Automatic Bonus Progression from Unchained. Solves all kinds of problems.


I use a variation of the Unchained method. I found it somewhere on these boards and it predates Unchained. Instead of automatic bonuses, character receive Heroism Points when they level up. A point = 1k gold and you get points based on 2/3 or 3/4 your WB (can't remember which). Then players spend the points to get "Big 6" bonuses. It is like Unchained, but allows more flexibility/player customization.

When you give out treasure, you give about 1/3 and any magic items become something really special. It has worked extremely well.


I prefer to only include spell components, and lesser consumable items to be available in magic shops (for the most part magic shops don't exist in my games). One can get a smith and an artificer to create magic items for you, but nothing can be bought "off the shelf" everything is custom made.

Most of the magic items, including weapons in my games are found items as loot. To include weapons that nobody in the adventuring party as feats to use well, just creates items that must be sold later (which really isn't a fun aspect of gaming). So why not only include items that the PCs can use - insure any item placed has at least one PC who'd want to use it.

I actually subtract the value of the loot magic items from the available wealth by class level - so PCs don't feel they get extra gold for not having to pay for these magic items as loot.


Player wants magic item. (to old to tired to care about the fuss)

So usually goes like:

1-5 th level = Player gets whatever happens to drops
6-10th level = Player adventure for it.
11-15th level = Player Crafts it themselfs or they pay someone to craft it for them. With small delay in time for it being made.
16th + level = Plane shift to = Mega Mega Wal-Mart International = Every been to a Mega-Mall = Has everything for sale, just scrach off your gold amount, item is yours, now lets go use it till it breaks :D

.........................

Ps... I like Shopping at Wal-Mart: They have the stuff i want, without the bloody Haggling that i can not stand.


Oliver McShade wrote:

Ps... I like Shopping at Wal-Mart: They have the stuff i want, without the bloody Haggling that i can not stand.

I very, very rarely shop at Wal-Mart. While its true its difficult to find non-Chinese made products anywhere in America these days, I know Wal-Mart is nothing but, so if I can purchase something elsewhere instead of going to Wal-Mart, I will.

There is no Magic-Mart anywhere in my games, not in 35 years of playing.


gamer-printer wrote:
Oliver McShade wrote:

Ps... I like Shopping at Wal-Mart: They have the stuff i want, without the bloody Haggling that i can not stand.

I very, very rarely shop at Wal-Mart. While its true its difficult to find non-Chinese made products anywhere in America these days, I know Wal-Mart is nothing but, so if I can purchase something elsewhere instead of going to Wal-Mart, I will.

There is no Magic-Mart anywhere in my games, not in 35 years of playing.

Because all the items are made in Tian Xia?


Leonhart Steelmane wrote:
see I'm kind of torn...

There you have it. Right there.

You (and your players) must decide which kind of game you want.

On one extreme, your characters are just a pile of statistics. Finding a magical sword lets you change some statistics. Going up a level lets you change some statistics. Buying new armor lets you change some statistics. Taking a new feat lets you change some statistics. Etc. In this kind of game, you make new items available to players exactly as easily as you make new feats and new character abilities. Don't hold back - give them access to the stuff they need to make better statistics.

On the other extreme, your characters are (imaginary) living breathing creatures in a realistic world that doesn't care about them at all - the world keeps on doing whatever the world does, and while these characters can influence that world, the world does NOT exist for them. In this kind of game, monsters have some treasure because they killed somebody who had it, and that guy had whatever he had because it was HIS wealth - it fit his "build" and was what he wanted to use and carry. Chances are, that dead guy fits the campaign theme and the culture of the area and world where he lived and died. If there are no samurai in this culture, then he didn't have lamelar armor or a katana. If there are no gunslingers, then he didn't have a gun. If everyone around here are pirates, then he probably had light armor and a cutlass. Etc.

Somewhere in the middle is probably where most games lie. It's a world and the characters are in it, but divine destiny guides their fate. If a character is a samurai, then maybe, from time to time, he does fight a katana in a pile of loot, even if this part of the world has no samurais in it - if the character can be a far wandering samurai adventuring here, then maybe some other far-wandering samurai used to adventure (and die) here too. Call it fate, call it destiny, call it divine favor, call it what you like, but fortune (or plot) seems to smile on these characters.

You and your players decide just where you like it, and make yourselves happy. That's what it's all about.


I'm in the process of dropping scaling weapons/items for my PCs. I have been planting one scalar per module so they can slowly add them to their party. If they want to buy something specific - it all depends on where they're located.

The campaign is based in Nirmathas, so if they have specific magic item requests, they may not be fulfilled because the options just aren't available in that area. When they travelled to Kaer Maga, I told them they could find anything they wanted.

In some instances, I might make them jump through a hoop or two to get something, just to make them appreciate it.

The players really like the scaling weapons/items, even though they haven't leveled to the point where the special abilities start to come into play yet. I don't just give them a scalar either, I usually have it in the possession of the Big Bad, so they have to really earn it.

If you want to add some flavor to your campaign, I highly recommend picking up the Purple Duck Games series on scaling weapons/items - "Legendary Weapons." PDG has all of their PDFs on sale at 50% off until July 1st so you can grab those supplements for about $2 each right now. Start with the first one and see what you think.

Interjection Games has a supplement for designing your own scalars (called "One Bling To Rule Them All") and allows the PC to customize the options a bit more.


Leonhart Steelmane wrote:
lemeres wrote:

I kind of like the idea of something like gem slots- where magic items are not magic themselves, but they can be fitted with a gem or charm that makes them magic.

This could simplify things- when the party finds a nice magic weapon that is a type they don't use, they just pop the gem and use that in their preferred weapon (is also lowers the amount of silliness of carry loot and golf bagging-they do not need to carry a second great sword with ghost touch...heck, they could even just carry a hammer and switch their main enhancements to it when skeletons show up).

And masterwork weapons are defined as weapon that include a slot for a gem by default (and maybe something like magic conducting circuitry to carry the affect throughout- enough workmanship and technique to justify the regular bonuses from masterwork)

And you could have something like this for all of the item slots.

Of course, as far as specific magic effects...I would just give them appropriate +'s as random drops (so they are generally up to par), and force them to look for specific effects on their own (quest, magic merchants, party crafter, etc)

that actually is a really awesome idea. kinda like materia from Final Fantasy. thanks, I might definitely have to steal that haha.

Interjection Games has a supplement for slotted magic items so the rules are already out there.

Sovereign Court

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gamer-printer wrote:


There is no Magic-Mart anywhere in my games, not in 35 years of playing.

Just because you can buy whatever you want sans fuss - doesn't mean there's a 'Magic-Mart'. I'm playing through Legacy of Fire right now - and the GM basically lets us buy what we want between books with a gp limit depending upon where we are.

For example: Between book 1-2, nearly a year passed. Based upon the town we were in, the gp limit was 1k, but it was a trading post town (think a silk road stop) so he doubled it to 2k (we didn't bother rolling for the few better items). Nowhere in town is a magic-mart, but over that year we were able hunt down/have enchanted whatever we wanted within that limit. Heck - in the fluff my character's sword is extremely magical, but its magic was locked away when his family was disgraced - so he paid to have a bit of that magic 'unlocked'. (cost 2k to get it up to +1)

We could have RP'd it out in detail - but that's boring, and we'd rather spend out limited game time adventuring - not shopping. I don't even like shopping much when I end up with real things at the end of it - why would I want to play 'pretend shopping'?


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I have a houserule that every magical weapon, shield or armor has some kind of "focus" (a gem, a bone, a holy symbol) in which the actual magic resides.
Those can be separated from the weapon and attached to another one in a process that takes one hour per +1 enchantment, costs 100 gp per +1 and needs a spellcraft-check with a DC of 15+ enchantment bonus.
Every item can have only one focus attached and must be masterwork.
Foci can be merged in a process that takes 1 hour for every +1 of the end product, has a spellcraft DC of 15+1 per enchantment of the end product and needs magical materials worth the difference between the combined worth of the original foci and the end product.
While combining or transfering foci, the crafter can decide to keep the original magical effect or turn it into a flat enhancement of appropriate strengt (so a +1 flaming focus could be made a +2 focus). None of these rules can be used to exceed the usual limitations on item enchantment.
If the spellcraft check fails by 5 or more, the foci are imbalanced by the process and are inert for 24 hours.

This solves the problem of believability, lets the players keep their "ancient familiy heirloom sword TM" and even gives them the option of switching a focus between weapons if they have a lot of time to prepare for a fight and know about a certain DR or somwthing but also carries the risk that they botch the roll and are completely bereft of their magical weapon for a day.

Also it adds cool details to the weapons, because every Focus is unique and you might end up with a fighter in shiny armor who has a focus made from a human fingerbone attached to his weapon, because he took it from a goblin chieftain.

Scarab Sages

Kalridian wrote:
I have a houserule that every magical weapon, shield or armor has some kind of "focus" (a gem, a bone, a holy symbol) in which the actual magic resides.

I do something very similar to this. As time goes on, I drop fewer specific items and give out more "magical juju ingredients" like enchanted gems, secret runes of power, weird bits of monster anatomy, etc, which they can use to enhance the gear they already have and allows them an easier path to crafting what they want.


Charon's Little Helper wrote:
gamer-printer wrote:


There is no Magic-Mart anywhere in my games, not in 35 years of playing.
Just because you can buy whatever you want sans fuss - doesn't mean there's a 'Magic-Mart'. I'm playing through Legacy of Fire right now - and the GM basically lets us buy what we want between books with a gp limit depending upon where we are.

Of course not, I was simply responding to someone else's post who stated that at a certain higher level his characters are essentially going to Magic-Mart - I was simply stating that at no point in my game is there some place that powerful magic items can be easily acquired. In many of my games the especially powerful magic items listed in PF guides, there's only one version of that item in existence in the universe (not that others could not be created, rather one cannot buy them at any price.) Of course none of my settings have hundreds or thousands of people above 15th level (more like dozens), 99% of the population don't have anything above 5th level as an NPC class. There simply are not enough people of high level to create a market for powerful magic items. Most very high level wizards create their own stuff, and do not make it available for anyone else to buy or use. If you want them, you need to kill the wizard and take his stuff, or find it in old dungeon, where someone/something else killed him, and there it is on the floor.

While there certainly must be some artificers driven by greed wanting to make vast amounts of gold selling stuff, the majority of high level creators of magic items create them to support a personal agenda, and tend to be paranoid of other equally powerful beings, and has no interest in helping their cause by provided tools that could compete with their level of power. Obviously, I don't play in Golarian.


In my experience, the only reason "Magic Marts" exist is so that players can spend their gold with a relatively low amount of fuss and in-game time. I can understand the appeal of that after having one or two GMs who made shopping such a long, convoluted process that it could easily eat up an entire session.

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gamer-printer wrote:
Obviously, I don't play in Golarian.

Indeed! In Golarion, you can walk into any major metropolis and immediately sell a magic item for up to 100,000gp, then ask about any given item costing up to 16,000gp and have a 75% of it sitting on the shelf, ready to buy (and if it's not, come back in a week and they'll probably have one in stock then). Then you can head across the street and buy a casting of resurrection, mind blank, or greater planar binding.

:/


Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber
Leonhart Steelmane wrote:
Jiggy wrote:

Once you realize (and accept) that in Pathfinder wealth is a second XP track and that gear is as much a part of character progression as feats and levels, everything else falls into place.

In Pathfinder, saying that you'll need to find someone to commission the weapon you want to spend your gold on is like saying that you'll need to find someone to commission the spell you wanted to spend your XP on learn when you leveled up. In Pathfinder, saying that you can't shop for that magic item because you've never heard of it is like saying you can't take that feat because you've never heard of it.

That's why so many people (including Paizo) have come up with houserules and variants to eliminate this aspect of play so that treasure can be treasure again.

could you give me examples of some of these house rules?

maybe

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

When I see a +1 Longsword in a loot, my players get 1157.5gp. On the rare occasion that a monster drops a weapon that the players want (almost always happens on scimitar wielding bads), I might have someone pick it up if they don't already have a +1. It becomes a non-issue by level 6 when everyone has a +1 of their primary weapon.


Chengar Qordath wrote:
In my experience, the only reason "Magic Marts" exist is so that players can spend their gold with a relatively low amount of fuss and in-game time. I can understand the appeal of that after having one or two GMs who made shopping such a long, convoluted process that it could easily eat up an entire session.

Or you can simply find the artificers you need, contact them, pay them up front and get a date when the commissioned item will be ready. Then go to your next adventure (because it will take some time, possible delays, before its ready to pickup), and on your next trip home between adventures pick up the item you ordered - easy peasy. Many commercial services work that way in the real world. No need for long sessions, just don't expect to pay for something and get to use it today.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

I like to give them what they can use. It's no fun to present loot and have players be unexcited about it because they'll have to sell it.

A couple of weeks ago I had a scene in which the fighter could take any weapon from the baron's armory, and the coolest thing there was a Frost Brand.

"So it's a longsword?"
"Yup."
"My feats are glaive focused, I'll just take the gold reward."
"I misspoke, it's actually a glaive."


Petty Alchemy wrote:

I like to give them what they can use. It's no fun to present loot and have players be unexcited about it because they'll have to sell it.

A couple of weeks ago I had a scene in which the fighter could take any weapon from the baron's armory, and the coolest thing there was a Frost Brand.

"So it's a longsword?"
"Yup."
"My feats are glaive focused, I'll just take the gold reward."
"I misspoke, it's actually a glaive."

Exactly. Why place treasure for magic items and weapons that the characters can't use? That's a waste. Whenever there is found treasure consisting of magic items and magic weapons, they are always whatever is preferred among PCs, or part of the game plot.

In some of my worlds selling magic items will get you arrested without a license from the state, and those with licenses are often a monopoly, so just because you can purchase a license, doesn't mean one will be granted to you.


I like shopping at Wal-Mart, and K-Mart, and CVS, Wal-Greens, Freds, Dollar General, and Dollar Tree.

................

What amaze me is that you have Wizards and Cleric, running around using 6-7 or 8 th level spells, in a Fantasy world. And no one is able to start a simple magic business..... just because.... because it is... MAGIC.

I mean i do not mind that you do not allow magic shops.... it just encourage and gives a reason to player to take craft magic item feats.

... but then if your player are taking the feat, the so should your NPC, in which case your back to the point of ..... Why is non of your NPC starting a Magic shop, and running and import/export trade business of usable magic items.

................

Kind of like me saying.... You are not allowed to Buy a Car. You may go out and build Your own car, but your not allowed to Buy a car from someone else. Just because. It is two expense and rare an item, for you to be allowed to have.

Now you might find a car, and it might not be the right make/model/or color you want... but well your stuck with it. Your not allowed to sale it, just because, it is rare/expensive. Your not allowed to get the car you want, just because it is rare/expensive.... even if you have 3 times the cost in your bank account.

................

I guess what i am saying is... Not having Magic Shop... IS Meta-Gameing.

It makes no since, why there would not be a Magic-Mart in some location, once player hit the 15+ level mark...

9th level cleric can plane shift across worlds
11 th level druid can Transport via plant to anywhere on the planet
13 wizard/14 sorcerer can plane shift across worlds or Teleport without error long distance.
13 th level bard can Shadow Walk long distances.

I mean, you can travel to other planes of existence.... But no one has the ability to start a Magic shop ;(

just boggles the mind.


Oliver McShade wrote:
I guess what i am saying is... Not having Magic Shop... IS Meta-Gameing.

I might be an outlier, but as stated, there are probably less than 100 people in my entire game universes that are above 15 level. Yes, there are clerics and wizards casting 8th and 9th levels spells, but there are only 6 of them total. One of them has not decided to go into business selling to the other five - as their only available customers. Rather they are in competition (if not opposing) anyone not an ally, and don't want to share their level of power (outside their allies). Its not Meta-Gaming if there is no market for it - not that people don't want it and other people can't create it, but creators don't want to sell their creations, they were created to advance their agendas only, not to become a commodity.

Its like nuclear weapons, aside from the Iran and N. Korea's of the world, many countries make nukes, but none of the non-rogue states want to sell them (criminals and terrorists might), but a normal nuke market doesn't exist.


Not in my current world, but in the past I have played with having a few magic shops in major metropolises that require a license from the king, or mayor, or whomever is in charge of the city. Of course this drives the price up, but it keeps any retired spellcaster from opening up a magic shop unless he/she pays for the license to do so. The local guilds also get a cut of the licensing fee, so they too have an interest in keeping the shops down to a few. Like liqueur licenses in our world, the only way to get one is to buy a license or petition the local government for additional licenses. Of course this also produces a black market, so buyer beware.


gamer-printer wrote:
Why place treasure for magic items and weapons that the characters can't use? That's a waste. Whenever there is found treasure consisting of magic items and magic weapons, they are always whatever is preferred among PCs, or part of the game plot.

When you walk into your local 7-11 (or any other store in the world) because you really really want a bag of M&M's, why are there Snickers and Three Musketeers and Twix and Kit-Kat and Skittles and all the other kinds of candy?

Because it's a real world where some things happen that aren't about you. Aren't about me. Aren't about any one person, or ay one adventuring group, at all.

If this world, our real world, worked so that every time you wanted a bag of M&M's and walked into your local store, if all you found were M&M's and NOTHING ELSE, wouldn't the world feel a little fake to you? Wouldn't you feel like you were in some kind of hidden-camera prank?

I would think that would be weird. As much as I might like M&M's, if every store only sold M&M's (when I want them; but tomorrow when I want Skittles, the same stores only have Skittles) I would think that this life was all a big scam.

It wouldn't be real.

And to do that in a game is also not real. Or realistic, or pseudo-real, or fantasy-real, or verismilitudinous, or whatever-form-of-real-fits-a-fantasy-game.

I'm not saying you're wrong.

I am saying that there are reasons why published adventures have pre-generated treasures (instead of saying "GM: insert important player loot here"). There's a reason why some GMs who write their own adventures just might give a Frostbrand to a glaive-wielding fighter - because that adds a sense of verisimilitude to the game.

gamer-printer wrote:
In some of my worlds selling magic items will get you arrested without a license from the state, and those with licenses are often a monopoly, so just because you can purchase a license, doesn't mean one will be granted to you.

Wow. That's really cool. I like it. (No, I'm not being sarcastic). I love it when a GM goes to the effort to make realistic non-generic game worlds and put a great deal of thought into how they can make them realistic. Well done.

But...

Doesn't it seem weird to you to put that much work into details to make your world realistic, then throw that realism right out the window with scripted party-only loot?

Again, not saying you're wrong. I'm just wondering at the apparent incongruity of having two wholly different levels of verisimilitude.


Oh.. that reminds me. My local Dollar General, stop selling the Lay Down bags of M&M Peanut's. They still sale the little candy rack bags, but not the 11 oz bag anymore :(

Hope it is just temporary.


DM_Blake wrote:
...stuff...

While I agree that limiting magic item treasure to what PCs actually want or need diminishes verisimilitude to a degree, D&D/PF is not a game about buying and selling, or really even about building wealth. So not accommodating the "oh, I found this +1 longsword, even though we are all at 9th level, and +1 enchantments aren't worth putting into our hands, compared to what we already got" doesn't become a thing you have to nor want to deal with. Its not verisimilitude that I need, nor will improve the game - so chucking it doesn't seem a problem.

When I drop in a sword or specific magic item that doesn't fit with PC needs, its probably a plot element - a curse, trap, haunt, something the villain needs, etc.

Aside from that, yes, I enjoy building realism or specific unique rules that make each fantasy world a very different place from the other - and having a reason to exist.

In Kaidan, only onmyoji wizards are legally allowed to caste arcane spells or produce magic items, for example, every other arcane spellcaster is breaking the law.


gamer-printer wrote:
Chengar Qordath wrote:
In my experience, the only reason "Magic Marts" exist is so that players can spend their gold with a relatively low amount of fuss and in-game time. I can understand the appeal of that after having one or two GMs who made shopping such a long, convoluted process that it could easily eat up an entire session.
Or you can simply find the artificers you need, contact them, pay them up front and get a date when the commissioned item will be ready. Then go to your next adventure (because it will take some time, possible delays, before its ready to pickup), and on your next trip home between adventures pick up the item you ordered - easy peasy. Many commercial services work that way in the real world. No need for long sessions, just don't expect to pay for something and get to use it today.

Depends on how involved the process of finding an artificer and putting in the order is. After all, if the process takes a couple minutes per piece of gear you order the time needed can easily add up once you have 4+ PCs all ordering multiple items.

As long as it's kept to the simplicity level of:
PC: "I go to that blacksmith I'm friends with and order X, Y, and Z."
GM: "He takes your money and says he'll have that ready in two weeks."
Then it seems to keep the simplicity of the "Magic Mart" system while adding an extra flourish some gamers enjoy. Personally, I'm not picky about how shopping is done so long as the group doesn't spend a ton of gametime playing Sales and Shopkeepers instead of Pathfinder. After all, shopping's usually just a distraction from the main plot of the game.


I'd think the first time you meet some artificer, you'd take the steps and time to RP it, and that would be true for multiple artifers, smiths and craftsmen for all your needed enchanted and mundane equipment. As long as you have a homebase/hometown to return to with each adventure, the structure has been put in place, in future needs for equipment, you state what your PC is doing, but hand-wave it actually happening so you don't get bogged down in unnecessary transactions that have to be played out with every purchase.


gamer-printer wrote:
I'd think the first time you meet some artificer, you'd take the steps and time to RP it, and that would be true for multiple artifers, smiths and craftsmen for all your needed enchanted and mundane equipment. As long as you have a homebase/hometown to return to with each adventure, the structure has been put in place, in future needs for equipment, you state what your PC is doing, but hand-wave it actually happening so you don't get bogged down in unnecessary transactions that have to be played out with every purchase.

That seems like a reasonable way to handle it. When I run campaigns with a fixed base of operations I do tend to include a cast of supporting NPCs that includes a couple friendly crafters.


Chengar Qordath wrote:
gamer-printer wrote:
Chengar Qordath wrote:
In my experience, the only reason "Magic Marts" exist is so that players can spend their gold with a relatively low amount of fuss and in-game time. I can understand the appeal of that after having one or two GMs who made shopping such a long, convoluted process that it could easily eat up an entire session.
Or you can simply find the artificers you need, contact them, pay them up front and get a date when the commissioned item will be ready. Then go to your next adventure (because it will take some time, possible delays, before its ready to pickup), and on your next trip home between adventures pick up the item you ordered - easy peasy. Many commercial services work that way in the real world. No need for long sessions, just don't expect to pay for something and get to use it today.

Depends on how involved the process of finding an artificer and putting in the order is. After all, if the process takes a couple minutes per piece of gear you order the time needed can easily add up once you have 4+ PCs all ordering multiple items.

As long as it's kept to the simplicity level of:
PC: "I go to that blacksmith I'm friends with and order X, Y, and Z."
GM: "He takes your money and says he'll have that ready in two weeks."
Then it seems to keep the simplicity of the "Magic Mart" system while adding an extra flourish some gamers enjoy. Personally, I'm not picky about how shopping is done so long as the group doesn't spend a ton of gametime playing Sales and Shopkeepers instead of Pathfinder. After all, shopping's usually just a distraction from the main plot of the game.

That's pretty much the way my groups do it. Sometimes subbing "you put in an order at the mage's college, they'll whip those up as part of next week's exams"


I'm pretty much doing an Unchained thing, so they don't need to worry about it. When they do come across something, a +2 longsword for instance, it's still got potential to become something significant by doing a quest for a special something or other - in this case it was the bone shard of a saint to turn the sword into a Holy Avenger.

My games don't tend to have a lot of down time, so there's little opportunity to craft, order items, etc. What they find is usually going to be something that helps them, or is intended to point them into a particular encounter ("A +1 jewel-encrusted dagger of venom? I can't use this. I'm Good!" So they take it to a shop-keeper in the nearby town and are attacked by the local Thieves' Guild who steal it and draw them into the storyline I have set there.)

My players also have received various items and boons from the emissaries of deities they have helped. So, again, no real need for them to go shopping.

I agree that shopping is not a fun part of adventuring. I try to balance player's desires with what fits the campaign, and weigh it more in favor of the latter. They have control over their build. I have control over the goodies that can support it. And while they may not get the "magic X" that they think would be so cool, they do get plenty to allow them to be heroic and special.

And - heck! - they keep wanting to play, and they're having fun, and that's what matters.

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