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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default [3.5] Magic Item GP Cost: Am I Missing Something?

    I refer you to this:

    Other Considerations

    Once you have a final cost figure, reduce that number if either of the following conditions applies:
    Item Requires Skill to Use

    Some items require a specific skill to get them to function. This factor should reduce the cost about 10%.
    Item Requires Specific Class or Alignment to Use

    Even more restrictive than requiring a skill, this limitation cuts the cost by 30%.
    So technically shouldn't you always buy most of your magic items with these limitations so that you have to pay less? Why pay 2000gp for a ring of +1 Deflection AC, when you can pay only 1600gp while restricting it to your class?

    Looking through people's stuff around here (by which I mean some character sheet or outside stuff I glanced at), people are paying full price for these things when they don't have to!

    Is there something I'm missing?

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    Default Re: [3.5] Magic Item GP Cost: Am I Missing Something?

    Adding these restrictions carries two faults: 1. the crafter needs to fit the requirement; and 2. if you're in a bind and need to swap around some gear in order to take on an odd threat, you can't.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Magic Item GP Cost: Am I Missing Something?

    Beacuse the DM has final say if you can make it (which you have to do as they are non-standard and he doesn't have to have NPCs stock them) he can simply say "No, you can't" and have that be the end of the conversation.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Magic Item GP Cost: Am I Missing Something?

    All those things are, in fact, Guidelines, nay, Suggestions.

    As a general rule, I would never allow a player to design such an item, I would have them describe what they want to the DM and have the DM make it.
    Last edited by BRC; 2008-10-22 at 02:11 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Magic Item GP Cost: Am I Missing Something?

    So then technically these should be available and everyone should be getting them, it's just a matter of availability. So for example, if you're in Sharn*, then you'd be able to get all these reduced-cost items, yes?

    * - Massive metropolis in Eberron

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    Default Re: [3.5] Magic Item GP Cost: Am I Missing Something?

    Quote Originally Posted by Defiant View Post
    So then technically these should be available and everyone should be getting them, it's just a matter of availability. So for example, if you're in Sharn*, then you'd be able to get all these reduced-cost items, yes?

    * - Massive metropolis in Eberron
    Up until the point the DM goes ZOMGNO RAWKZ FALL EVRY1 DIEZ.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Magic Item GP Cost: Am I Missing Something?

    Quote Originally Posted by BRC View Post
    All those things are, in fact, Guidelines, nay, Suggestions.

    As a general rule, I would never allow a player to design such an item, I would have them describe what they want to the DM and have the DM make it.
    That tends to get a bit tedious, but fair enough.

    Now switch around to the DM perspective. How would I rule what's acceptable, available, and what the costs are? Perhaps based on my world, certain things would be less available (and thus cost more) than others?

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    Default Re: [3.5] Magic Item GP Cost: Am I Missing Something?

    Quote Originally Posted by Defiant View Post
    I refer you to this:



    So technically shouldn't you always buy most of your magic items with these limitations so that you have to pay less? Why pay 2000gp for a ring of +1 Deflection AC, when you can pay only 1600gp while restricting it to your class?

    Looking through people's stuff around here (by which I mean some character sheet or outside stuff I glanced at), people are paying full price for these things when they don't have to!

    Is there something I'm missing?
    Yes by RAW you are completely correct, and building your character this way would be a huge mistake unless you max UMD.

    You start buying class restricted items and the NPCs will start wearing them too. Guess which class is the only one not wearing class restricted items? (hint: it's yours)

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    Default Re: [3.5] Magic Item GP Cost: Am I Missing Something?

    This is only really bad when its abused. Having an item that only works for red heads named Bob who happen to be fighter2/barb2/ranger2/superslayerofall10 and conform to the CN alignment that says "Hail Cthulu" in pig latin 3 times before drawings it that costs 99.999% less than the standard item is blatent abuse.

    I could very well see organizations such as churches or Dragonmarked Houses put requirements on some of their stuff. Equipping your house guard with +1 swords that only work if the bearer of the sword has the appropriate house dragonmark, or a church that makes their gods favored weapon that may only be used by members of that church wouldn't be something outrageously crazy, and even discourage theft. Who's gonna fence goods that noone can use? I'd NEVER put more than a 10% discount on the item, and then only very specific items. Most characters wouldn't have more than 1-2 such items TOPS, simply because WBL is there as a guideline to help DMs gauge encounter strength. If you get too much loot, your party becomes stronger and requires more difficult challenges to overcome. It all works out relatively, but I think something like this adds great flavor.
    Last edited by Keld Denar; 2008-10-22 at 02:26 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Magic Item GP Cost: Am I Missing Something?

    Quote Originally Posted by Defiant View Post
    So then technically these should be available and everyone should be getting them, it's just a matter of availability. So for example, if you're in Sharn*, then you'd be able to get all these reduced-cost items, yes?

    * - Massive metropolis in Eberron
    Not really. Remember what influences Prices, Supply and Demand, and supplies are made to fill demands. The Demand for high-level magic items is fairly low, as only a few people have a use for them. With the exception of things like healing potions and wands, and maybe +1 weapons and armor, I believe that no magic item should be guaranteed to be found. Even in a city the size of Sharn, there is no guarentee that somebody will be selling a Ring that casts Overland Flight that can only be used by Fighters with four vowels in their name who were born on an unusually chilly tuesday in July. And Even if somebody is, whose to say the PC can find them, the city in question is HUGE, and the PC's will be looking by wandering markets and looking for this specific item, perhaps asking around. And supposing they DO find the item, whose to say the shopkeeper is selling it at exactly the price the book describes.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Magic Item GP Cost: Am I Missing Something?

    i must admit, i have allways thought items with restrictions should cost more than standard, since it is additional work to make sure it only work in the hands of a few.
    thnx to Starwoof for the fine avatar

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    Default Re: [3.5] Magic Item GP Cost: Am I Missing Something?

    I take those guidelines really to apply only to the resale value of items, and not to be abused by the players in crafting or buying.


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    Default Re: [3.5] Magic Item GP Cost: Am I Missing Something?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keld Denar View Post
    This is only really bad when its abused. Having an item that only works for red heads named Bob who happen to be fighter2/barb2/ranger2/superslayerofall10 and conform to the CN alignment that says "Hail Cthulu" in pig latin 3 times before drawings it that costs 99.999% less than the standard item is blatent abuse.
    HILARIOUS!

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    Default Re: [3.5] Magic Item GP Cost: Am I Missing Something?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fax Celestis View Post
    HILARIOUS!

    AILHAY THULUCAY! AILHAY THULUCAY! AILHAY THULUCAY!
    *draws sword*
    Your welcome! You'd have to use Pig Latin, or the Old One would hear you, stop by to see what's up, and probably drink all your beer.

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    Last edited by Keld Denar; 2008-10-23 at 02:17 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Magic Item GP Cost: Am I Missing Something?

    Quote Originally Posted by Defiant View Post
    Now switch around to the DM perspective. How would I rule what's acceptable, available, and what the costs are? Perhaps based on my world, certain things would be less available (and thus cost more) than others?
    The only way to correctly price a magic item is to price it at what players are willing (but not over-willing) to pay for it. If anyone who can use it will buy it, it's too cheap. If no-one who can use it will buy it, it's too expensive. Adjust until it's a tempting purchase, but not an essential one - that's the point at which it's right.

    There is NO mathematical formula to correctly price an item. None. The guidelines in the DMG are the loosest of loose suggestions, and should be taken as nothing more. You just have to learn to judge accurately. When in doubt, overprice rather than underprice; an overpriced item will be ignored, but an underpriced one will be exploited to the hilt, and it's very hard to take back once a precedent has been set.

    In terms of already-made custom items, they certainly wouldn't be readily available in a place like Sharn, for a real simple reason; there's an infinite number of item designs, and a finite (and not all that big) number of magic items on sale in the city. To find any real choice in custom items, you'd have to go to a place like Sigil, and even then, just because it exists doesn't mean you can find it.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Magic Item GP Cost: Am I Missing Something?

    Out of curiosity, how would most of these restrictions apply if the PCs were crafting their own items? I'm sure they'd be glad for the gold and XP cost reductions.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Magic Item GP Cost: Am I Missing Something?

    Quote Originally Posted by monty View Post
    Out of curiosity, how would most of these restrictions apply if the PCs were crafting their own items? I'm sure they'd be glad for the gold and XP cost reductions.
    Well, assuming the GM was silly enough to take the pricing suggestions as iron-clad rules, the PCs would use them for every single item they made, getting something for nothing. In turn, every other item crafter in the entire world would do the same thing, making it impossible for the PCs to use 90% of the magical treasure they picked up. ("Let's see, are you a chaotic evil worshipper of Gruumsh with orc blood? No? Then you can't use the weapon.")

    In the long term, this would probably actually hurt the PCs rather than help them, as most of their loot would be worthless and they'd have to make every item they wanted for themselves.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Magic Item GP Cost: Am I Missing Something?

    Generally, you don't design items in 3.5 that are just copies of an existing item made cheaper. The rules for designing items are meant for players to design unique items that don't exist within the book. Most DMs won't allow you to simply craft more cost-effective versions of items that already exist.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Magic Item GP Cost: Am I Missing Something?

    Hmmm...

    There's a reason why the rules for making magic items are in the DMG and not in the PHB. DMs are supposed to control what players can and cannot do, and players should not be able to gain reductions in cost for items based on making it so only they can use it.

    Of course, as has already been stated, using it as a DM so that you can give specific groups their own equipment is fine, and I would, in fact, allow the party to make items that only they can use for a 10% reduction in price.

    But, they would NEVER be able to sell them. Why would anyone else want to buy them? Hence, their items become even more of a gold sink than they were before.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Magic Item GP Cost: Am I Missing Something?

    Keep in mind that an Amulet of Truestrike(use-activated), Wraithstrike(use-activated), or Mage Armor(continuous) each costs 2,000 GP. They, in order, give you +20 to-hit, make all attacks touch attacks, and add +4 to AC(16,000 GP for Bracers of Armor that do the same thing). They're guidelines, and no one uses the reducers because those rules can be broken too easily. Even Munchkins have some honor.
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    Default Re: [3.5] Magic Item GP Cost: Am I Missing Something?

    TL;DR: Yes. DMs should say no.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Magic Item GP Cost: Am I Missing Something?

    This particular guideline for item pricing is stupid and whoever came up with it should feel stupid. DMs shouldn't let players craft custom reduced-price items in this fashion, and should even consider raising the price on existing items priced based on this guideline.

    Why? Because it's unbalanced. If you don't meet the requirements, you don't buy or make the item. If you do, you pay a reduced price for something that has a built-in security feature that prevents thieves from using it.

    If a wizard finds a special magic robe arbitrarily powered by his alignment and his being an arcane spellcaster, that's great for him, especially if it's a smaller share of his treasure than other comparably powerful items because the price was cut. If a party without an arcane spellcaster finds it, that sucks for them, because they can't use it, they can only sell it. It's inevitably a bit of a crapshoot how good treasure will be for a party, because not all gear can be used by everyone equally well. If no one's proficient with martial weapons, that greatsword isn't so much help. But why artificially exacerbate this problem? Why randomize the party's power level even more by turning magic items into even more of a lottery?

    The same principle applies to spell trigger items. They have a built-in restriction that just reinforces a spellcasters > skill-monkeys with UMD > chumps hierarchy. It's responsible for the chumps category there! Just let everyone use all the wands, that's more balanced and makes more sense.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Magic Item GP Cost: Am I Missing Something?

    A Ring of Protection is just a Shield of Faith permanently generated by an item. To make a Ring of Protection restricted to a certain class, you'd first have to research a spell which granted a Deflection bonus to AC which could only target members of a specific class....

    As a DM I ran into this problem, but I went ahead and let the PCs get their items custom-made at a reduced cost. Then every bit of magical loot in the next adventure had the same types of restrictions, none of which was usable by any of the PCs. They ended up selling their opponents' custom-cost-reduced gear for only 10% of the value, all the merchants would offer them, and decided to stop trying to beat the system. Just remember, anything the players try to pull the DM can do better.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Magic Item GP Cost: Am I Missing Something?

    Quote Originally Posted by lord_khaine View Post
    i must admit, i have allways thought items with restrictions should cost more than standard, since it is additional work to make sure it only work in the hands of a few.
    You could look at it another way: it's easy to make a glove that fits most people badly, harder to make a glove that fits one person perfectly, very very hard to make a single glove that fits everyone who might put it on just right. Maybe a magic item that can be used by anyone is more like the third case than the first: it takes extra work to make it generally usable. Or to put it in other terms, it's easier to write a program that solves a single problem on a particular system with a particular configuration than one that solves that general class of problem on most systems however they're configured.

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    Default Re: [3.5] Magic Item GP Cost: Am I Missing Something?

    What about warlocks they can use any magic item because of the Use magic item skill so how does the restriction apply to them

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    Default Re: [3.5] Magic Item GP Cost: Am I Missing Something?

    Quote Originally Posted by Godna View Post
    What about warlocks they can use any magic item because of the Use magic item skill so how does the restriction apply to them
    Everyone can Use Magic Device to overcome the restriction, though Warlocks are better at it than anyone else. Generally by 4th level a Warlock can pretend to be a Class, by 7th a Race, and by 9th an alignment, assumiong basic amounts of investment. Other classes are somewhat different due to the lack of an auto-10 mechanic, so they wouldn't be able to use the items until much later.
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