View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next Magic Item Access through "Resource Points" or "Rescue me, I know a guy!"

Puh Laden
2017-05-28, 06:12 PM
Origin and Context

If you just want to see what the system is, skip this section.

This idea came to me as part of my 5e campaign where I'm adapting the classic "Against the Giants" adventure modules. Since it's 5e and since it's a series of classic modules, I wanted the campaign setting to be low-magic. Magic items and magic users are rare and always notable; you can't just buy magic items anywhere or go to any random town for a magic-user. However, two particular players of mine love magic items. And in the classic modules I'm running, there's a lot of treasure and a decent number of merchants and nobles you can free. They're supposed to reward the party with resources which, to my understanding, would have been in the form of henchmen or the funds needed to hire henchmen. Now, I just got my players through the first module and they ended up with about 30 fighting-fit orc allies. Now even though they always fought with the intent of escape, not victory, combats still take a long time. Not to mention handling a lot of tokens on the virtual table top is kind of a hassle. I don't want my players to hire henchmen, and I don't think they do either. But what of the merchants and nobles and their rewards? Enter "resource points."

What are resource points?

Resource points can be spent to gain access to magic items in settings where such commodities are not sold regularly. Resource points are acquired and spent as a party. They aren't used to purchase magic items, but are used to enable the party to purchase them. How rare resource points are and how many are needed to gain access to a particular rarity of magic item may vary depending on setting and campaign.

How are resource points acquired?

Resource points are acquired whenever the party could logically gain logistical help from an outside source. For example, if the party rescues or does a favor for a merchant, they could gain a resource point to represent the merchant's trade connections. (i.e. The merchant knows a guy who knows a guy.) If the party receives sponsorship from a kingdom that is at war, disrupting enemy operations could earn the party a resource point. (i.e. The sponsoring kingdom doesn't have to spend as many resources defending themselves and can therefore assist the party.)

How are resource points spent?

Resource points can be spent one-at-a-time or multiple at a time. Spending them requires the ability to contact one of the sources of the resource points. Once spent, it takes at least one in-game week for the magic item to be acquired. When the party spends resource points, they decide what magic item is acquired (with DM discretion), and they must also spend the item's DMG price in gold to purchase it. This gold represents either purchasing the item directly or the resources spent to retrieve it from a dangerous place. (i.e. If a party requested a magic item from a sponsoring kingdom, the gold might represent the resources needed to send a team of soldiers into a dungeon to retrieve the magic item.)

How many resource points does it take to purchase a magic item?

That depends on how rare you want them to be. For my relatively short, relatively high-level "Against the Giants" campaign, I figure I'll have fewer than 10 possible resource points that could be accumulated by the party. With that in mind, I decided on this exchange rate for my campaign:

Common - 0 resource points
Uncommon - 1 resource point
Rare - 2 resource points
Very Rare - 3 resource points
Legendary - 4 resource points

2017-05-28, 06:28 PM
For some campaigns, I can see this working very well. I like this.