• The Infractions Forum is available for public view. Please note that if you have been suspended you will need to open a private/incognito browser window to view it.

[Any][+/-] Magic Item Shops - Yay or Nay?

Airos

Actual tiger
Validated User
Inspired by another thread, (or rather, the musings of a member as an aside to the main topic of another thread), I'm interesting in reading what folks think about magic item shops in a "typical" D&D setting.

I say "typical" because there are settings in which such shops clearly don't belong, and others where they would be a foregone conclusion. I'm not particularly interested in debating the merits of settings at the extreme ends of the spectrum, and I will preemptively agree that if a DM is consciously and deliberately running a low-magic, "magic items are rare and unique" setting, then magic item shops don't belong. Similarly, if a DM is running Final Fantasy: the TTRPG obviously such shops are a core component of such a setting.

What I am interested in discussing the merits of is both what it means to the setting and what it means to the game to include or exclude magic item shops. How does it impact the difficulty of encounters? What does a world look like with such a shop in every city? How are the lives of the common folk affected?

Note that I do have a basic familiarity with the "tippyverse", although that seems to be shaped more by high-level casters than the availability of magic items, although if I misunderstand please don't hesitate to enlighten.

I've tagged this [Any], however I'm a 3.5 player through and through and my perspectives and opinions are colored by many of the core assumptions of that ruleset.
 

2097

Sandra
Validated User
Right but... you're an E6 player, too, right?
I think this is something that is not only setting specific but also ruleset specific.
I'm under the impression that magic items are a good fit to 3.5 E6.

Thematically, I'm concerned that such shops will make magic items into something... "ho hum, oh you found something weird, so what else is new?" less treasured.
 
Last edited:

Airos

Actual tiger
Validated User
Right but... you're an E6 player, too, right?
I think this is something that is not only setting specific but also ruleset specific.
I'm under the impression that magic items are a good fit to 3.5 E6.

Thematically, I'm concerned that such shops will make magic items into something... "ho hum, oh you found something weird, so what else is new?" less treasured.
At the moment? Yes. I'm also one of 3 DMs in my group, so not every D&D game we play is E6.

I recognize that the choice has an impact on both the setting and the rules, hence my question regarding how the inclusion or exclusion of shops impacts the game. Rulesets can be adjusted to accommodate impactful choices such as this, so by asking what the impacts are it helps to inform what other adjustments need to be considered to maintain a coherent, interesting and fun game.

More to the point, I'm not really looking for an answer to a specific question for my specific campaign for my specific rules, I'm looking for a general discussion.
 
Last edited:

Leonaru

Taxidermic Owlbear
Validated User
I'm okay with both having magic shops and not having magic shops, but be consistent. Don't do it like 2e and claim that a magic economy doesn't exist in the DMG only to bury the party under ten Swords +1 in the first dungeon. Claiming that magic items are too precious to ever be sold is not how humans work.
 

Airos

Actual tiger
Validated User
I'm okay with both having magic shops and not having magic shops, but be consistent. Don't do it like 2e and claim that a magic economy doesn't exist in the DMG only to bury the party under ten Swords +1 in the first dungeon. Claiming that magic items are too precious to ever be sold is not how humans work.
In a setting where a magic economy is embraced, how would you approach it? Would there be a "one stop shop" where all things magical are bought and sold, or would it be "the blacksmith is the only place to find magic swords, the leatherworker is the only place to find magic cloaks"?

Would such an economy be self-sustained outside of "adventurers", or would "shops" simply be adventuring parties selling the things they have no use for to other adventuring parties, (a.k.a. a Swap Meet)?
 

Sage Genesis

Two
RPGnet Member
Validated User
I'm okay with both having magic shops and not having magic shops, but be consistent. Don't do it like 2e and claim that a magic economy doesn't exist in the DMG only to bury the party under ten Swords +1 in the first dungeon. Claiming that magic items are too precious to ever be sold is not how humans work.
Yeah that's my take on it too.

I find it also helps to remember that noble titles and religious positions were for sale, although not in a Walmart. A magic item "shop" doesn't have to be a literal market stall, it can also be a more closed affair between people of power. I can see the objections against a magic Walmart, but one way or another magic items are for sale unless we're dealing with a very low magic setting.
 

R-90-2

Can it be SNEK TIEM?
Validated User
Yeah that's my take on it too.

I find it also helps to remember that noble titles and religious positions were for sale, although not in a Walmart. A magic item "shop" doesn't have to be a literal market stall, it can also be a more closed affair between people of power.
This is kinda how it works in Fantasy Craft- you can buy magic items, but not with money. Instead it's done though trading in on past favors or the character's prestige and renown.
 

Sage Genesis

Two
RPGnet Member
Validated User
This is kinda how it works in Fantasy Craft- you can buy magic items, but not with money. Instead it's done though trading in on past favors or the character's prestige and renown.
Sounds good. I really need to take a look at Fantasy Craft one of these days.
 

Leonaru

Taxidermic Owlbear
Validated User
In a setting where a magic economy is embraced, how would you approach it? Would there be a "one stop shop" where all things magical are bought and sold, or would it be "the blacksmith is the only place to find magic swords, the leatherworker is the only place to find magic cloaks"?

Would such an economy be self-sustained outside of "adventurers", or would "shops" simply be adventuring parties selling the things they have no use for to other adventuring parties, (a.k.a. a Swap Meet)?
Pretty much this:

I find it also helps to remember that noble titles and religious positions were for sale, although not in a Walmart. A magic item "shop" doesn't have to be a literal market stall, it can also be a more closed affair between people of power. I can see the objections against a magic Walmart, but one way or another magic items are for sale unless we're dealing with a very low magic setting.
If it was up to me, only large cities have a dedicated magic shop, and it's still not a Magic Morrisons. They will have potions, weapons and armour but they might not have this specific polymorph potion or that specific lance. Smaller cities may have an apothecarian with or potion or two, maybe a blacksmith who owns one or two magic weapons or a jeweller or private collector with a couple items.
 

ESkemp

Registered User
Validated User
This is kinda how it works in Fantasy Craft- you can buy magic items, but not with money. Instead it's done though trading in on past favors or the character's prestige and renown.
That's basically where I like it best. You don't really see magic items for sale for just plain coin, you see them as part of a high-scale barter economy where "adventure" is a valuable commodity. Or other magic items, too; if nobody in the party likes the magic trident you guys have, maybe visit the big temple to the sea god where they might have a hammer in the vaults that they keep basically to trade for other things they like better.
 
Top Bottom