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.