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trading magic items

October 12th, 2012 by paul

More quotes from Sepulchrave's D&D stories:

Finally, note that the magic item exchange is fairly typical of my campaign. I never allow such things to be purchased on the open market, and generally insist that they are either made by the characters (as time permits), or are exchanged for like items. It tends to effectively limit items in circulation.

This seems like a great idea, and is much more palatable to me as a DM than a world with a magic item store. Trade means that players can still get what they want, but they potentially have to trade away a piece of their own power (a magic item.) It also helps introduce a stable of NPCs with whom the PCs have relationships.

Here's one of Sepulchrave's PCs proclaiming his trade goods to a prospective deal partner:

"An Iron Horn, Winged Boots and a bag of emeralds to the value of twenty-eight thousand gold crowns," Ortwin said in a matter-of-fact way.

Clearly, money can't be used to buy magic items outright, but it can still be used to sweeten a deal.

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3 Responses to “trading magic items”

  1. Philo Pharynx says:

    Money would likely always be part of such an exchange. It’s rare that people would simply have items the each party thought were equal value. (and that neither wanted to haggle for a better deal).

    On the other hand I would doubt that nobody would ever buy magic items for other valuables. It may be rare enough that there’s no “magic item store”, but it should still happen once in a while. Not allowing this would feel like an artificial limit.

  2. Tom Coenen says:

    I tend to agree with @Philo Pharynx
    There are magic item stores (collector’s stores) in my lower level campaigns.
    These only have a select few items which can be purchased for gold.

    This limits magic items in circulation and introduces NPCs with whom the PCs have a connection.

  3. I have used the trade of magic items since my first D&D campaign, twenty years ago. I think a much better approach than selling items.

    And in my campaigns, items have no set value – every item is equally rare and valuable, the exchange is made ​​only in accordance with the interests of those involved.

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