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Clutches at Greatness
Seeker

Germany
25 Posts

Posted - 17 May 2018 :  11:52:37  Show Profile Send Clutches at Greatness a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
How much should a wand of silence cost, that allows bards to cast silence at will. What would be the appropriate rarity?

I'll be right back, after I caught that piece of string

TBeholder
Master of Realmslore

1725 Posts

Posted - 17 May 2018 :  12:13:22  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Wands normally are with charges, so it's indeed unusual.
With silence of all things, even more rare. In that since proliferation of devices too useful against spellcasters is obviously against the wizards' interests, these should appear on "open market" (which already means "if the buyer knows where to ask" in places like Halruaa, Nimbral, Sshamath, etc) very rarely and stay there very briefly.
Most rare things many wizards obviously would want to get probably are not sold even there, only exchanged for other rare magic.

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch
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Clutches at Greatness
Seeker

Germany
25 Posts

Posted - 17 May 2018 :  12:53:42  Show Profile Send Clutches at Greatness a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Hmm, wand of magic detection allows casting at will, and probably some others?

I would like the price rather as a mean to prevent myself from equipping NPCs unwittingly with king's bounties worth of legendary items, just to solve a simple logic problem in story cohesion.

I'll be right back, after I caught that piece of string
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7425 Posts

Posted - 17 May 2018 :  13:28:51  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
the "at will" part is the part that creates the issue. If it were turned into X uses per day (say maybe 3), or in the 5e vernacular have charges that refill over time, or in the 3e vernacular a set number of charges that run out.... it would be more palatable. Furthermore would come "can anyone use it, or only those spellcasters that can already cast silence". If anyone, this becomes WAAAYYY more valuable. Oh, and if in 5e, does this wand require attuning the item?

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 17 May 2018 13:32:15
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
31496 Posts

Posted - 17 May 2018 :  14:17:27  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Why would a bard, of all classes, desire silence?

Me, I'd do it as a ring or something instead, usable just a few times a day. Rings are better for the at will stuff, and really, there's not likely to be much call for using that spell more than say 3 times a day.

An earring might be thematically appropriate for that.

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 17 May 2018 14:18:04
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Clutches at Greatness
Seeker

Germany
25 Posts

Posted - 17 May 2018 :  18:07:37  Show Profile Send Clutches at Greatness a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

Why would a bard, of all classes, desire silence?




Don't ask me, why the availability for the Silence spell is for Bard, Cleric, Ranger. Bard is the only arcanist at offer, so I assumed he/she would be the most likely creator of such a wand.

And as making a wand for a spell, that the wielder has no natural access to is more complex, I also assumed that a silence wand for a bard would be less complex to make, than one, that is free for all comers.

ALso bards aren't by law forced to run around and play orchestra music all the time. If you look at their skill and spell selection, they can be quite sneaky gits.

Whats the use of casting silence repeatedly? The duration of the silence spell is 10 minutes. If you would want to keep, say a prisoner from shouting for help for a day, you would have to cast it 144 times. (6 times per hour x 24)

Ring or wand isn't that important. Reskinning stuff is easy enough. I would actually prefer to have the effect on a rune on the floor.

And,... maybe 3 uses per day? That's cheap. All the other wands in 5e at least get 7 uses, so you guys should grant me at least that.

I'll be right back, after I caught that piece of string

Edited by - Clutches at Greatness on 17 May 2018 18:21:33
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
31496 Posts

Posted - 17 May 2018 :  19:15:18  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Clutches at Greatness



Whats the use of casting silence repeatedly? The duration of the silence spell is 10 minutes. If you would want to keep, say a prisoner from shouting for help for a day, you would have to cast it 144 times. (6 times per hour x 24)




If that's your objective, a simple gag would be a lot easier, and cheaper.


quote:
Originally posted by Clutches at Greatness


And,... maybe 3 uses per day? That's cheap. All the other wands in 5e at least get 7 uses, so you guys should grant me at least that.



I'm not a rules guru at all -- but 7 at will uses for anything seems like a lot.

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Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 17 May 2018 19:50:15
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Clutches at Greatness
Seeker

Germany
25 Posts

Posted - 18 May 2018 :  05:21:05  Show Profile Send Clutches at Greatness a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

If that's your objective, a simple gag would be a lot easier, and cheaper.


Great idea! Now, what would be a quick and simple way to gag a treant, that you caught in a huge pit trap, and want to keep hidden until it finally fails his wisdom or con save against your repeated attempts of cursing/enchanting/enslaving?

Or say, you trapped a banshee... or you need to absolutely secure a guard post from harpys or some other creatures, which may sneak up at any time to use sonic attacks as main weapon .... or you just need to hide the loud rumbling of your infernal device from the ears of the city guard.... or you need ways to cross through the maze, that is guarded by creatures with blindsight or tremorsense...
Franky, I think the "Such an aberration must not exist, because no one will ever want to use it" argument just doesn't hold much water.

I am not convinced by the "but this could be used against spellcasters! what spellcaster would agree to THAT!" argument either. It's not like all the spellcasters in Faerun would be part of a huge brotherhood, that upheld a mutual non-agression pact.
There are spells named "counterspell" and even "antimagic field", that were exclusively developed for use against spellcasters, so why would the lvl 2 bard/cleric/ranger spell "silence" be treated as a banned weapon and possible war crime, just because it can interfere with verbal components of casting?



Oh, and its not "7 at will uses", it's either or. 7 charges per day is the common capacity of the majority of wands in 5e, at will casting is granted, for example, by the wand of detect magic.



P.S: Sorry if I sound slighly annoyed, but the answers so far gave me a bit of that "the DM detests your attempts at player agency" vibe, reinforced by an echo chamber effect. I don't understand how all this objections against the basic idea of a "wand of silence" would help me gauge an appropriate price.
To make the situation more clear. In this case, I am the DM myself, trying to prepare an adventure module. If you want to convince me, that this object would irrevocably wreck the balance of my camapaign if it ever fell in player's hands (or the campaign of any other DM, that the PCs may join later on), MAYBE arguments along the line of "Do that, and you can forget against using a, b or c as challenges for your players ever again" COULD work. Ideally followed by an estimate what minimum level players should have to have a chance of owning that, so it wouldn't wreck the overall power balance.

I'll be right back, after I caught that piece of string

Edited by - Clutches at Greatness on 18 May 2018 06:13:47
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Farrel
Learned Scribe

United Kingdom
238 Posts

Posted - 18 May 2018 :  08:09:03  Show Profile Send Farrel a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well met, Clutches

According to the 3.5 DMG a Wand of Silence has a market value of 4,500 gp

I'd suggest you do whatever you feel is right and fits the theme of your game...

I love your Aboleth scroll by the way - very interesting!

Edited by - Farrel on 18 May 2018 08:09:42
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Clutches at Greatness
Seeker

Germany
25 Posts

Posted - 18 May 2018 :  12:30:17  Show Profile Send Clutches at Greatness a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well met Farrel, thanks for the heads-up, that was quite helpful to cope with growing frustration.

Thanks to Wooly Rupert as well, you are right. If magic can't solve the problem according to the rules, go lo-tech. If a gag doesn't work, good old soundproof walls will do..., and a giant oversized sling trap to rope the treant in.

To everyone in this threat, who I offended with my above outburst, please excuse my lack of manners.

I found the solution for my problem, have a nice day, all!

I'll be right back, after I caught that piece of string
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LordofBones
Senior Scribe

826 Posts

Posted - 18 May 2018 :  12:32:03  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
An at-will item of silence is 160,000 gp going by napkin math. That's in 3.5e.

Edited by - LordofBones on 18 May 2018 12:32:20
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Clutches at Greatness
Seeker

Germany
25 Posts

Posted - 18 May 2018 :  12:53:17  Show Profile Send Clutches at Greatness a Private Message  Reply with Quote
thx LordofBones

I'll be right back, after I caught that piece of string
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TBeholder
Master of Realmslore

1725 Posts

Posted - 18 May 2018 :  14:09:39  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Clutches at Greatness

Or say, you trapped a banshee... or you need to absolutely secure a guard post from harpys or some other creatures, which may sneak up at any time to use sonic attacks as main weapon .... or you just need to hide the loud rumbling of your infernal device from the ears of the city guard....
Sure, there's demand. But except the "Guy Fawkes goes overcomplicated" scenario, those don't require specifically a wand or basic silence spell.
An item with permanent effect would be better, and being less compact is not a serious disadvantage.
Wall Against Noise (Arabian Adventures) and Zone of Silence (Song and Silence, PHB 3.5) can protect area without inconveniences of having everything inside silenced.
If it's merely "we need windows enchanted so that we could have fresh air and good view without worrying about harpies" - that should not be too exotic as such things go.
quote:
or you need ways to cross through the maze, that is guarded by creatures with blindsight or tremorsense...

Levitation?
quote:
Franky, I think the "Such an aberration must not exist, because no one will ever want to use it" argument just doesn't hold much water.
It probably exists - there are far stranger and infinitely more abominable things, after all.
It just should not be treated like something common.
quote:
I am not convinced by the "but this could be used against spellcasters! what spellcaster would agree to THAT!" argument either. It's not like all the spellcasters in Faerun would be part of a huge brotherhood, that upheld a mutual non-agression pact.

But that's exactly why.
All spellcasters who lived to create items can be presumed to have at least some shred of self-preservation.
And on the average wizards strongly tend toward "the more you know, the worse your sleep is":
quote:
Volothamp Geddarm wrote in Volo's Guide to All Things Magical

It has been said that one of the defining characteristics of a wizard is paranoia: the suspicion that most
other living things in Faerūn are against you, watching and preparing for the best chance to strike you
down when you are asleep, hurt, under attack from another foe, or otherwise vulnerable. Whatever the truth in this
belief, many mages do feel this way. I should know -- I am one of them.

Many people have it, but there's difference between limited resource at the expense of other things and spamming it.
Of course, a lot of wizards don't give too much of a damn about specific problems like silence because it doesn't matter too much in their situation (e.g. magic artisan surrounded by construct bodyguards, living in a policed area of the city) and their paranoia is already a lap or three ahead of this (since too many people have it anyway, one "just had to" keep dispel silence/vocalize/contingencies/mind-links/... ready anyway), but the common approach should be rather cagey.

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch
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Clutches at Greatness
Seeker

Germany
25 Posts

Posted - 18 May 2018 :  18:20:06  Show Profile Send Clutches at Greatness a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I think we will clearly keep a difference of views on that one. I think the problem is to understand, where the self-identification of wizards (or in the case of the silence spell, rather bards, as it is still a bard spell, that wizards can't even cast, which would make item production for them rather inconvenient) lies.

Imagine, they are citizens of a human kingdom at war with, say, drow and undead. Would the mystical artisan rather think: "These drow and liches sure field a lot of arcane magic against my fellow human citizens. I will support my nation by producing items, that help my fellow soldiers suppress that magic, so they can protect themselves, and in consequence me" or rather "If I provided our troops with abjuration items, those could one day fall in the hands of the unwashed masses and be used against me. Nay, I won't allow that." or even "I better don't make anti-magic available for use against the drow and the Lichking's troops, else the drow and liches may feel encouraged to use more abjuration magic themselves, and thus reduce the effectiveness of our front-line casters as a result, which in turn might put harm on their reputation and my business interests".

Both of the latter line of thoughts sound to me, like the mystical artisans in question feel, that they have a lot more in common with the enemies' spellcasters, than with their own countrymen. The second one also buries the hidden premise, that abjuration magic would be the worst and most horrible thing, that a drow caster or a lich could use her magical resources for, way worse than say, frying people with arcane energies or trapping them in webs for slaughter.

I mean, some amount of paranoia may come with practicing the trade, but if that paranoia starts to make you deny to help your friends, allies and/or customers to the best of your abilities, out of fear that they might one day turn against you, you are already alignment-shifting quite hard towards chaotic-evil, and frankly, insanity. That quote sounds to me like Mr Volothamp Geddarm should spend some time counting his marbles, as he might be already missing a few. And yes, that may not put us in the best position, relying heavily on his guides.

The "this shouldn't be common" thought is pretty much the general idea of low-magic campaigns. Looking at the Forgotten Realms fluff, I am not sure, that those are so typical for the setting. If we were talking Dark Sun or some dark-ages scenario, where any magic use could end you on the next available stake, I would totally accept that premise, but on Faerun, where numerous established arcane colleges exist and existed thoughout history? As for keeping the unwashed masses at bay, that is what those exorbitant prices are for. A low-level spell scroll at 500 gc is already the equivalent in value of two royal outfits, enough equipment to staff a complete alchemists lab. or half a family house. 4500 gc will buy you a keep, 160 000 gc will buy you a small fiefdom.

I'll be right back, after I caught that piece of string

Edited by - Clutches at Greatness on 18 May 2018 20:26:38
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Anon in Alaska
Acolyte

USA
1 Posts

Posted - 21 May 2018 :  05:05:56  Show Profile Send Anon in Alaska a Private Message  Reply with Quote
501-5,000 GP, the same as any other Rare magic item, given the level of the spell it can cast. It should require attunement by a spellcaster, but not be bard-only. [5e]

"I have been nothing but compassionate and understanding. I mean, all you had to do was to admit you were wrong and I was right and everything would've been fine."
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Thraskir Skimper
Learned Scribe

195 Posts

Posted - 13 Jun 2018 :  23:49:21  Show Profile Send Thraskir Skimper a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Any wand maker that has the power to remove spells from some Magi can expect to cease to exist in short order. Add a bounty for the return of all such wands and they will be both unwanted and too expensive for most.

Thay Red
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Ceranai
Acolyte

5 Posts

Posted - 14 Jun 2018 :  11:30:24  Show Profile Send Ceranai a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Try googlig sane magic item prices, there is a good forum thread, i forget which, that gives lots of examples you could use as a guideline
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