Upgrading gear in campaign play (Questions from a PFS GM)


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I've been GMing for a while, but have only ever done PFS which has some specific and very open rules around purchasing/upgrading equipment. I'm planning to run a module in the near future as a home game / "campaign mode" game. However, I am unsure what modules assume about PC equipment access.

I'm looking for some common guidelines on how purchases are usually handled, with the goals of 1) Being realistic on what might be available in a rural area, 2) Not ending up with PCs who posess significantly more equipment than the module assumes, and 3) Not unnecessarily hampering players characters.

It seems clear that pretty much any mundane gear is available.

According to the stat block for the town, there is an x% chance of any requested wondrous item being available for purchase in a given week. How does this work out in practice for the "must-have" items like belts and headbands? Do PCs just not have the opportunity to purchase them?

How do you typically handle requests for specific items? My thought was to roll the availability to see if it happens to be onhand somewhere, or else to have one of the shopkeepers offer make it to order (available in X days), assuming the item is of a level the shopkeeper could craft. Under this scheme, many high level items will not be available at all because of the required caster levels.

Dragon's Demand spoiler:


Normally, I might expect that PCs would just travel to the nearest city to get the item they want, but that would be contrary to the plot.

All the action takes place in and around the Small Town of Belhaim and there is really only one opportunity to leave the town to purchase equipment elsewhere. And that opportunity doesn't happen until about 2/3 of the way through the module.

Current casters in the town are an Alchemist(5), a Cleric(4), and IIRC, a Druid(3).

Also a related question: I assume that all XP and gold rewards listed in the module are the party total, not the awards for each PC, right?

Must haves aren't really must haves.

The players will just have to deal with what they get. In between modules (the way I'm running it) they'll have time to buy things, and pretty much once you make it to Absalom you can get anything short of artifacts.

Also dragon's demand is flush with gear, the players WILL NOT need to leave the town to be more than wealthy. The module assumes you have just bookoos of gear and you will.

And all the XP and rewards are group rewards. So divide as needed.

Or better yet, ditch Xp and level as appropriate, give them interesting loot rewards, and adjust encounters however you because that is the beauty of home games.

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