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muir
Seeker

Canada
27 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2018 :  05:23:57  Show Profile Send muir a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
My current Great Dale-centric campaign is winding down, and a player approached me with a request for the next one. Intrigued by the Golden Way, he asked about the possibility of a trade-centric game, set shortly after Azoun's crusade.

I have ideas a-plenty spinning up, but one problem I can see is that he (and the other players on-board with this) want to have less-abstract economics, hearkening back to our early 2nd ed. games when everything was tracked to the last copper. But...I am bad at making up balanced trade prices.

I know economics was a cornerstone of Ed's worldbuilding, and I am hunting through the So Saith Ed archives for useful tidbits. I found the 'Trade with Kara-Tur: Why?" thread interesting. What other resources can the assembled scribes recommend?

I have Spellbound, Kara-Tur, and The Horde box sets coming my way around Christmastime. And Al-Qadim; a Joyful Voyage spell if they cross the wrong Thayan could result in seeing a rather different caravan.

sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7509 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2018 :  13:30:18  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
One thing to heavily bear in mind is what kind of cost difference are you going to have with magic items and will you be very frugal with magic items. In an economy where a simple single use cure light wounds potion (3.5 50 gp) or scroll (3.5 25 gp) can cost more than a sword (3.5 longsword 15 gp) or a greataxe (3.5 20 gp), trying to track say the sale of cloth becomes time consuming. At the same time, making sure that creatures have weapons that are of a "lesser grade" such that they sell for so cheap (say 1/5 the cost of a regular sword) makes murdering a bunch of hobgoblins for resale of their weapons a bit bothersome. Also, noting that things like goblinoid armor may have to be sold to be used as cut up components simple because of the sweat having filled it (the scent may be acceptable for use lining a garbage wagon, or to make cheap bags for use in an open air smithy to hold charcoal or raw ingots, etc... but no one will want to use it as their own armor, clothing, or furniture from). By making things so cheap, it makes the concept of trying to strip a bunch of goblins to make every penny count not worth the effors (for instance, I've had players that wanted to pay peasants to make goblin jerky out of the dead bodies to sell to Thayan enclaves to feed their gnolls and orcs, and then sell them the goblin skeletons for reanimation as disposable labor that could be used to say carry explosives into a mine, or simply as emergency available animation material in a crisis... because a couple wands of animate dead in the hands of some apprentices can keep undead streaming to the walls of a stronghold if there's a few hundred available skeletons)


Of course, that's with 3.5 economics, and things vary between editions... for instance, the concept of that wand of animate dead in 5e would be harder to do as it would probably have to be attuned to the person and they can only have so many attuned items, but scrolls are more expensive.

And with all of this, I'm sticking to the most base magic items, once you start getting into the high end items and their costs, the differences are dramatic. Personally, I think the economy system is a bit broken where anything mundane is relatively cheap, and I've only come to that realization late in my life. The cost of plate armor and chain armor should be prohibitive, and few creatures should have it. There should also be "variations" of these things like plate armor that allow better craftsmanship to improve the dexterity bonus allowed to the wearer. Thus, it should be possible to have a non-magical suit of plate armor that is better for the character than a magical suit simple because it allows more freedom of movement or is made of an alloy or some special metal that requires training on how to craft with it compared to simple iron and steel. Finding craftsmen able to make these fine suits should be hard, and it should take them a long time to make such a suit as well (though said work might be able to be sped up by paying some spellcasting apprentices to aid them, but that should raise the cost as well). In fact, a standard +1 suit of armor may just be armor that's been crafted with the aid of apprentice spellcasters to speed up the creation by making it harder without the smith having to refine the shape by tinkering forever. Especially in the 5e environment, I think this concept of "grades" of armor would work well, since making a +3 suit of armor may take years to do. Having an "improved" version that improves the dexterity bonus by 1, an "advanced" version that improves the dexterity bonus by 2, a "superior" version that improves the dexterity bonus by 3, and a "masterwork" version that improves the dexterity bonus by 4. Consequently, the more naturally improved an item is made by an artisan, the LESS magic can improve upon it, such that perhaps a "masterwork" version can only have up to a +1 item enchantment, and a "superior" or "advanced" version might be unable to go beyond +2. This would make there still be a market for +3 armor... for those warriors without a high dexterity bonus... and for those WITH a high dexterity bonus, they may look for better crafted armor with a more moderate magical bonus and get it a little cheaper. Still, these more advanced armors should have a much higher cost.

Along these lines, cloth armors or other light armors might similarly be improved somehow by making the same armor made of silk or some special hide with fine craftsmanship, but rather than improving the dexterity bonus go up, they may simply increase the armor's base AC. However, these specially crafted items should also come with a similar high cost.

This would help remove the need for magic armor in the economy and provide the onus back to the craftsmen. Some small villages may even be setup with the express purpose of aiding some master craftsmen. He may have dozens of junior apprentices who help him. He may have a handful of paid tradesmen whose job is to procure special materials. He may have farmers whose job is simply to make enough food to feed all his servants and raise enough sheep for wool, cows for leather, giant spiders for silks, etc... Such a village might have a dark secret, such as buying living humanoid "nuisances" to feed their giant spiders a diet of blood, and then their pigs the leftover flesh.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
5306 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2018 :  14:42:29  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I agree sleyvas but it was 3E that mucked the idea of "special" crafted armor and weapons with "magic" weapons and armor up. Describing things like "adamantine" weapons (and giving them a +1 to hit enhancement bonus) raised that great unanswered question: what happens when you make a +1 longsword out of adamantine? Is it +2 to hit or not? I think the system is do-able as you describe but you have to give a clear indication of what occurs when these masterwork techniques or exotic materials are used to make "real magic items".

-- George Krashos


"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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TBeholder
Master of Realmslore

1743 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2018 :  15:12:29  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

I agree sleyvas but it was 3E that mucked the idea of "special" crafted armor and weapons with "magic" weapons and armor up. Describing things like "adamantine" weapons (and giving them a +1 to hit enhancement bonus) raised that great unanswered question: what happens when you make a +1 longsword out of adamantine? Is it +2 to hit or not?

Well, yeah. Normally in d20 they shouldn't stack.
IIRC, adamantine is considered enchantment-receptive. At very least it should count against the component price. Perhaps then one just shouldn't pay for that "free" +1 and could just take +1 worth of a special property instead of it? Or for a more general solution, count "being made of adamantine" as the cost of +1 enchantment against the item's total price?
It's reasonable to give it ''some'' advantages when making a magical weapons and armor.
Also,
1. There are effects acting only on enchanted or un-enchanted objects, and
2. Nothing says we couldn't still give adamantine saving throw bonuses vs. acid, magical fire, lightning and disintegration (immunity to normal fire probably would just translate to DR). Which alone could make a significant difference. Nobody wants to lose enchanted stuff, after all.

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

Edited by - TBeholder on 18 Oct 2018 15:30:52
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7509 Posts

Posted - 18 Oct 2018 :  19:33:45  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

I agree sleyvas but it was 3E that mucked the idea of "special" crafted armor and weapons with "magic" weapons and armor up. Describing things like "adamantine" weapons (and giving them a +1 to hit enhancement bonus) raised that great unanswered question: what happens when you make a +1 longsword out of adamantine? Is it +2 to hit or not? I think the system is do-able as you describe but you have to give a clear indication of what occurs when these masterwork techniques or exotic materials are used to make "real magic items".

-- George Krashos





Yep, I agree, but perhaps the answer shouldn't be "this is made of adamantine so its got a +1 bonus".... but let's further the discussion and see if we can improve upon what I started above.

An "advanced" set of armor might be because its made of mithril making it lighter, or it might be because its an alloy of steel with a thin coating of adamantine. Some smiths may do it one way, others may do it another. Meanwhile, a "masterwork" set of such armor may contain a mix of mithril for lightness, adamantine for all the major bolts and the mass areas that don't need to be flexible, and maybe some other material to allow it to take a magical enhancement (arandur, darksteel, dlarun, etc), and the magical enhancement extends outward as a mild repulsion/force type effect.

In the end, I don't think we really need to know WHAT it is (though it would be good to setup some "standards" for generalities sake, and if we were to setup trade in rare metals). You just need to set a standard that maybe combines two categories. First being the "level of craftsmanship" (i.e. advanced, improved, superior, and masterwork), and the other being a "type" of improvement... such as "Durable", "Flexible", "Alloyed", and "Magically Pliant".


These concepts would be that Durable armor improves its base AC, Flexible armor allows for a higher dexterity bonus to be used, Alloyed improved both base AC and dexterity bonus (and can maybe only be superior or masterwork), and Magically Pliant would be armor that can achieve certain levels of enhancement bonuses AND possibly other abilities. So, for fun... lets throw these out, and you guys correct my concepts. Also, I'm not extremely fond of those names, so if someone has something better in mind, I'm listening (for instance, in my mind alloyed implies metal, so a better term for "mixed").

Advanced Durable - improves the base armor class of the armor by 1 and cannot take on a magical enhancement bonus

Improved Durable - improves the base armor class of the armor by 1 and can take on as much as a +1 magical enhancement bonus

Superior Durable - improves the base armor class of the armor by 2 and can take on as much as a +1 magical enhancement bonus
Masterwork Durable - improves the base armor class of the armor by 2 and can take on as much as a +1 magical enhancement bonus, and may also have additional magical abilities added per the normal magical item creation process


Advanced Flexible - improves the dexterity modifier max of the armor by 1 and cannot take on a magical enhancement bonus

Improved Flexible - improves the dexterity modifier max of the armor by 1 and can take on as much as a +1 magical enhancement bonus

Superior Flexible - improves the dexterity modifier max of the armor by 2 and can take on as much as a +1 magical enhancement bonus

Masterwork Flexible - improves the dexterity modifier max of the armor by 2 and can take on as much as a +1 magical enhancement bonus, and may also have additional magical abilities added per the normal magical item creation process


Superior Alloyed - improves the dexterity modifier max of the armor by 1 and the base armor class of the armor by 1 and can take on as much as a +1 magical enhancement bonus

Masterwork Alloyed - improves the dexterity modifier max of the armor by 1 and the base armor class of the armor by 1 and can take on as much as a +1 magical enhancement bonus, and may also have additional magical abilities added per the normal magical item creation process


Advanced Magically Pliant - can take on as much as a +1 magical enhancement bonus

Improved Magically Pliant - can take on as much as a +1 magical enhancement bonus, and may also have additional magical abilities added per the normal magical item creation process

Superior Magically Pliant - can take on as much as a +2 magical enhancement bonus, and may also have additional magical abilities added per the normal magical item creation process

Masterwork Magically Pliant - can take on as much as a +3 magical enhancement bonus, and may also have additional magical abilities added per the normal magical item creation process




So, with the above concept in mind, you could have craftsmen making armor that's almost as good as +3 armor, and that can take on a light enough enchantment that it can ACT like +3 armor without the spellcaster spending a lifetime doing it. However, this armor should carry a price tag MORE THAN the equivalent armor, since this bonus would A) work in an anti-magic field and B) adding a reduced enhancement bonus on top of the craftsmanship is cheaper and takes less time (i.e. the craftsman put in the time, NOT the spellcaster). It should also not be a matter of a few months to make. This stuff might take them years to finish, and the process may not be able to be sped up because the materials may need to soak in vats of XYZ for a month to absorb QRX from the surrounding oils... blah blah...

The main thing is that in the end, the max bonus is still +3, its just now whether that +3 bonus comes from the item's enchantments, the materials, and/or the craftsmanship. The next step would be defining what's the cost bonuses and/or multiplication modifiers for making armor of each type (i.e. advanced durable may be a flat cost bonus based on armor weight... say +300 gold for medium armors and +1000 gold for heavy armors <so advanced half-plate might be 750+300= 1050 gold>, but improved durable may be double that flat cost PLUS everything multiplied by 2 <so improved half-plate might be (750+600)x2=2700 gold>, and so on moving upwards with MUCH bigger for superior and masterwork each by a factor of 10. Noting, following this standard, making "lower grade" armors(splint, chain mail, chain shirts, scale mail, breastplate) that are advanced or improved etc... can make since because they have a better base AC than plate at a cheaper price and depending on the level of refinement could get a minor enchantment to them as well.


Of course, those who like the simpleness of 5e will probably be hating the above concept, but for those of us who are more inclined to a bit more realism and having craftsmen actually shine... I think this might work. In the above, along with the crunch, we could put some kind of general fluff information as well such as "advanced durable metal armors are generally made of steel that is treated with certain powders or additional folding of the metal" whereas things like the superior might say "superior durable metal armors are generally more powerful due to their materials, such as adamantine, which generally take longer to work than standard steel" and then the masterwork might be the same materials but also including many of the folding, bending, blah blah hard work, takes a master craftsmen years to learn.





Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 18 Oct 2018 20:01:35
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George Krashos
Master of Realmslore

Australia
5306 Posts

Posted - 20 Oct 2018 :  00:28:06  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In my Swords of Impiltur work I had dabbled with different metal properties and came up with the following:

Mithral weapons: All weapons made from this metal have the Finesse property [Cost x 50].

Adamantine weapons: Have and retain a very keen edge. If a damage roll is a 1 it is counted as a 2 [Cost x 100].

Hizagkur weapons: All weapon attacks that hit to an extra +1 lightning damage [Cost x 25].

Darksteel weapons: Any weapons weighing 5lbs or less are considered Light. Any weighing more than 5lbs that are Heavy, lose that property [Cost x 50].

Arandur weapons: All weapons made with this metal that have the Thrown property add +10 to their short and long range increments [Cost x 25].

Cold Iron: All weapon attacks that hit to an extra +1 cold damage [Cost x 25].

-- George Krashos

"Because only we, contrary to the barbarians, never count the enemy in battle." -- Aeschylus
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Lord Karsus
Great Reader

USA
3195 Posts

Posted - 20 Oct 2018 :  16:51:05  Show Profile  Send Lord Karsus an AOL message Send Lord Karsus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
-I'm pretty sure it was the 3e FRCS that had a nice trade map, showing the flow of all kinds of goods around the continent.

(A Tri-Partite Arcanist Who Has Forgotten More Than Most Will Ever Know)

Elves of Faerūn
Vol I- The Elves of Faerūn
Vol. III- Spells of the Elves
Vol. VI- Mechanical Compendium
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muir
Seeker

Canada
27 Posts

Posted - 21 Oct 2018 :  16:56:49  Show Profile Send muir a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Some interesting discussion!

Yes, magic, and non-earth materials present some challenges. On the magical front, it helps that the players don't want to break the game. Permanent magical items tend to be a rarity in my games.

When I speak of things being tracked to the last copper...more, spending time on what to order in an inn, haggling for spell components, etc., than dismantling dungeons down to their roots for maximum value.

I suppose what I am looking for is sensible ways to generate costs for facility rentals/leases, how currency equivalents are tracked across the Hordelands, a range in which trade good prices might fluctuate...
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7509 Posts

Posted - 21 Oct 2018 :  22:46:49  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by George Krashos

In my Swords of Impiltur work I had dabbled with different metal properties and came up with the following:

Mithral weapons: All weapons made from this metal have the Finesse property [Cost x 50].

Adamantine weapons: Have and retain a very keen edge. If a damage roll is a 1 it is counted as a 2 [Cost x 100].

Hizagkur weapons: All weapon attacks that hit to an extra +1 lightning damage [Cost x 25].

Darksteel weapons: Any weapons weighing 5lbs or less are considered Light. Any weighing more than 5lbs that are Heavy, lose that property [Cost x 50].

Arandur weapons: All weapons made with this metal that have the Thrown property add +10 to their short and long range increments [Cost x 25].

Cold Iron: All weapon attacks that hit to an extra +1 cold damage [Cost x 25].

-- George Krashos




In the below, I'm just tinkering, so take it with a grain of salt. If it improves things great... if I miss something, make a note to me.

Cold Iron is just supposed to be iron that's not steel as I understand it (cold forged iron), so I'd just be inclined to let it overcome certain damage resistances and be relatively cheap as an add on. However, the ideas behind the others are interesting. Its also worth looking at the 3e and VGtatM versions of the metals to see the differences and maybe try to meld the two.

Arandur in 3e is the preferred substance for keen blades, so I'd recommend changing the wording for adamantine (just the wording, maybe say its "harder" or "more dense" or something). Maybe in 5e Arandur could increase the die size for any critical damage inflicted (for instance, if you're doubling the damage of a weapon which does 1d6 damage normally, a crit would do 1d6 + 1d8). Thus, people making a rapier that's magical and adding the equivalent of keen might consider arandur. Also, since this bonus isn't so great, having another ability from 2nd edition might be nice (specifically a minor reduction in force damage), and it could also be interesting if it helps enhance force effects by making shield spells last an extra round and adding +1 damage to the total of a force spell.

On Darksteel, oddly in 2nd edition it blocked lightning, but in 3rd edition they gave it acid resistance... but they also had it doing lightning damage on a hit. I like what you did, but I'd probably recommend some other abilities just to make it more versatile in use. For instance, I'd probably have it provide a minor reduction in lightning damage, and I'd also have it function well with the lightning spells, giving the wielder a +1 to lightning damage dealt, and specifically have it function for use with the shocking grasp cantrip.

Hizagkur was the one that I found so different between 3e and 2e that I would really recommend leaning towards a mixture of the two. In 2e, its a metal used for sheathing of doors to reflect all magic, but in 3e, it does fire and lightning damage and grants minor cold resistance. I'd recommend leaning away from the lightning piece and focus on the heat / cold resist and the spell reflecting piece. So, maybe it provides some minor cold damage reduction by naturally absorbing heat, maybe it gives the wielder a +1 to all fire damage dealt by spells, and maybe anytime the wielder makes a save versus a spell on a targeted spell, if he succeeds on the saving throw with a natural 19 or 20, the spell is turned back on the caster.



Again, this would probably drive the 5e people crazy, as its not simple, but I always liked those little bonuses.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7509 Posts

Posted - 23 Oct 2018 :  14:28:46  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
By the way, on the above, I always loved the 2nd edition descriptions that say things like arandur must be tempered in the blood of a red or blue dragon. I would personally make it more available and allow things like behir blood, hell hound blood, etc... simply because this opens up a market for such odd things (but maybe such lesser bloods only allow less special versions of items... and arandur dagger might be able to be made with behir blood, but not a longsword, etc...).

Similarly, things like the idea that certain alchemical items and the application of a moderate heat source can allow one to recast darksteel into a new form without disrupting its enchantments in things as simple as a sand mold. What are these alchemical items? Might there be a market for them for other reasons?

Also, in 3e, we didn't really see the stuff in use because it was specifically noted as a non-armor or non-weapon metal, but I like the concepts behind things like Dlarun, wherein having an item made from it might provide a +1 bonus on saves versus enchantment and mind reading. I can picture Dlarun being a thing that common folk might wear as simple pendants, torcs , earrings, and circlets(noting it has a look kind of like ivory). Another metal, telstang, in 2e gave an incredible bonus by making the person incapable of being polymorphed, but also incapable of accepting good state changes like spider climb, etc... The concept when toned down would be great for 5e, in that it might simply give a bonus to saves versus effects which alter the shape of an individual or changes their substance (so alter self, polymorphs, and petrification type effects) but also inhibiting any magic to improve their physical ability scores.


Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
31591 Posts

Posted - 23 Oct 2018 :  15:06:26  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

By the way, on the above, I always loved the 2nd edition descriptions that say things like arandur must be tempered in the blood of a red or blue dragon. I would personally make it more available and allow things like behir blood, hell hound blood, etc... simply because this opens up a market for such odd things (but maybe such lesser bloods only allow less special versions of items... and arandur dagger might be able to be made with behir blood, but not a longsword, etc...).



That's long been one of my few complaints about the 3.x ruleset: by going with the one-size-fits-all approach to magic item creation, they removed a lot of the flavor and wonder from it. They removed the magic from magic items.

Given that, if I was DMing, I'd allow the rules-as-written approach for magic item creation -- but going closer to the Volo's Guide to All Things Magical (formerly a suppressed work ) approach would allow for the creation of unique one-offs that didn't fit the 3.x and later's RAW, or that would make for more powerful versions of the same items.

So, using RAW, someone could create your standard, 3.x and later wand of lightning bolts. But someone using the VGTATM methodology could recreate the 2E wand of lightning, which included shocking grasp in its functionality.

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Misereor
Learned Scribe

161 Posts

Posted - 24 Oct 2018 :  09:17:35  Show Profile Send Misereor a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
That's long been one of my few complaints about the 3.x ruleset: by going with the one-size-fits-all approach to magic item creation, they removed a lot of the flavor and wonder from it. They removed the magic from magic items.



"Sorry Wulfgar. Bruenor is not a 5th level caster, so no Aegisfang for you."

Agreed.

What is dead may never die, but rises again, harder, stronger, in a later edition.
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7509 Posts

Posted - 24 Oct 2018 :  20:31:26  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Its kind of funny, but Bruenor making Aegisfang is one of those exact things that appeared in my head when I was talking about the various types of "expertly crafted" pieces of armor above... even though its a weapon.

That being said, George did an excellent job above of giving some general ideas of what might be achievable SIMPLY through craftsmanship and maybe some use of different materials for weapons. So, just as a general concept, if we were to make something similar to the above for weapons, wherein its not all about "hey its made from X", but rather "hey what are some general things that superior craftsmanship and the inclusion of various types of special materials can provide".


So, to list out some options

extended range on thrown weapons
extended range on ranged weapons
additional damage corresponding to weapon or ammunition type
weapon has the finesse property
weapon is quick loading, allowing for the use of double attack
weapon gains the versatile property
weapon gains the reach property

weapon can expense and light flammable liquid via a button a specified number of times before needing to be refilled

weapon can expense poison via a button a specified number of times before needing to be refilled

When a critical hit is performed, additional blades, etc.. may be deployed to increase critical damage


Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

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31591 Posts

Posted - 24 Oct 2018 :  20:41:47  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I once pondered writing up an article on how dwarven craftsfolk could, as a divine blessing, make one-off magical arms and armor. It was inspired largely by Aegis-Fang and the DL novel Stormblade. I had a lot of it planned out, but then I realized it had pretty much 0 game utility, and abandoned the idea.

(This was also in 2E, when dwarves couldn't be wizards, and had issues using magical items)

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Bragi
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USA
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Posted - 24 Oct 2018 :  23:37:29  Show Profile  Visit Bragi's Homepage  Send Bragi an AOL message  Send Bragi an ICQ Message  Send Bragi a Yahoo! Message Send Bragi a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by muir

My current Great Dale-centric campaign is winding down, and a player approached me with a request for the next one. Intrigued by the Golden Way, he asked about the possibility of a trade-centric game, set shortly after Azoun's crusade.


My campaign is in the same region though we're just starting on 1359 DR. They started in Telflamm and are slowly making their way east. Currently they are in Rashemen approaching the city of Thasunta.

quote:

I have ideas a-plenty spinning up, but one problem I can see is that he (and the other players on-board with this) want to have less-abstract economics, hearkening back to our early 2nd ed. games when everything was tracked to the last copper. But...I am bad at making up balanced trade prices.



One of the things that I emphasized which might be helpful to you is in taking inspiration from Ed's use of local currency. The rules for currency inside and outside of Thay made for some great encounters.

quote:

I know economics was a cornerstone of Ed's worldbuilding, and I am hunting through the So Saith Ed archives for useful tidbits. I found the 'Trade with Kara-Tur: Why?"



You might want to start with regional trade first and build your way up to more distant lands. My party could have made a small fortune exporting jhuild out of Rashemen since it has such a high export value.

quote:

thread interesting. What other resources can the assembled scribes recommend?

I have Spellbound, Kara-Tur, and The Horde box sets coming my way around Christmastime. And Al-Qadim; a Joyful Voyage spell if they cross the wrong Thayan could result in seeing a rather different caravan.



There are some mercantile themes in the published adventures for the region. The first half of "The Road to Rashemen" in Spellbound has the group traveling with a caravan over the Golden Way after the horde invasion. I think you'll find that useful when you get a chance took at the Spellbound Boxed Set.

There are several Living Forogotten Realms adventures set along the Golden Way that may be useful to you as well. At the least it will give you a good feel for the region. Specifically, you might want to check out CORE 4-1 Eastern Carnivals.

http://www.livingforgottenrealms.com/

In Pursuit of Better Worlds,
Bragi of Erin
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TBeholder
Master of Realmslore

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Posted - 25 Oct 2018 :  13:18:18  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

That's long been one of my few complaints about the 3.x ruleset: by going with the one-size-fits-all approach to magic item creation, they removed a lot of the flavor and wonder from it. They removed the magic from magic items.

I see this argument often (and seen before 3.x), but still don't see any sense in it.
d20 item creation is not much better or worse than ancient Glantri item creation, or Players' Options point based character creation - if used as a skeleton for in-Universe things (to appraise costs of components GM should pick, etc), rather than direct "gold piece magic" way.
It's very crude (impossible to make old style crystal balls and glow-globes without costs making them nonsensical), but that's mostly from lack of limitations and other discounts and tweaks in the core version and "we can't be arsed to actually write up or even convert stuff, so we'll just leave Monster Summoning I from blank template here" every other time.

quote:
Given that, if I was DMing, I'd allow the rules-as-written approach for magic item creation -- but going closer to the Volo's Guide to All Things Magical (formerly a suppressed work ) approach would allow for the creation of unique one-offs that didn't fit the 3.x and later's RAW, or that would make for more powerful versions of the same items.

It could be done by adjustments such as "material X counts as N times greater worth of components for such and such purpose".

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

I once pondered writing up an article on how dwarven craftsfolk could, as a divine blessing, make one-off magical arms and armor. It was inspired largely by Aegis-Fang and the DL novel Stormblade.

Didn't creation of Aegis-Fang involve a scroll?
quote:
(This was also in 2E, when dwarves couldn't be wizards, and had issues using magical items)

But then, there were fancy kits for everything.Various artificer kits weren't done officially probably only because making things was seen as NPC thing (non- hack & slash) and it caused fits among the "this offends holy Balance!!1" pearl-clutchers. After all, magic item creation rules did exist in AD&D2 core, but the way it was done... how many people have actually used these?

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sleyvas
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Posted - 25 Oct 2018 :  14:49:07  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I'll agree heavily with TBeholder on one thing. I didn't CREATE a lot of magic items in earlier editions (unless you count constructs, in which case my characters created many). I very much appreciated the level of effort that the 3e folks went towards for item creation in specifying spells needed, etc... That being said, after having dealt with it, some of the "requirements" could have been more genericized (for instance, an item that might deal with fire may require fireball being cast... whereas a general statement of a spell which caused fire damage of X level or higher may have been a better fit). It was also this "opening up of the mystery of magic item creation" that I think fueled a lot of the Thayan enclave ideas and the establishment of magic shops that were more common. Since this discussion is on trade, I think that's a worthwhile discussion to add.

BTW, rituals were developed in 4e, and towards those ends, were there very many rules developed in 4e that "fleshed out" ritual components? Honestly, I can see this being another thing in a trade heavy campaign that might be worth documenting up. For instance, are the eyes of a medusa expensive or cheap? What about the lungs of a gorgon? The teeth of a vampire or lyncanthrope? The brain of an illithid? The properly preserved heart of a troll? Tressym feathers? Unicorn mane? Black dragon acid? What about alchemical components?

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 25 Oct 2018 :  18:59:55  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The generic, one-size-fits-all approach has its merits, certainly. My issue is that they decided that ALL magic items would fit this one generic approach, and magic items from prior editions that didn't fit this approach were either shoe-horned in (wand of lighting) or entirely dropped from the game (my beloved wand of misplaced items).

So while it became easier to create generic magic items by just following some simplistic "Cast Spell A into Doohickey B" formula, it removed the possibility of having anything that didn't fit into some nice neat category of "this item replicates this exact spell".

Magic items became mundane items. Every ring of whatever was going to be functionally identical to every other ring of whatever, and they'd all exactly duplicate some common spell. No variations, nothing unusual -- stripping out the wonder of something strange and unknown. The magic of magic items was gone.

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 25 Oct 2018 19:06:52
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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 25 Oct 2018 :  19:06:04  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas


BTW, rituals were developed in 4e, and towards those ends, were there very many rules developed in 4e that "fleshed out" ritual components? Honestly, I can see this being another thing in a trade heavy campaign that might be worth documenting up. For instance, are the eyes of a medusa expensive or cheap? What about the lungs of a gorgon? The teeth of a vampire or lyncanthrope? The brain of an illithid? The properly preserved heart of a troll? Tressym feathers? Unicorn mane? Black dragon acid? What about alchemical components?



This is part of my complaint. What's the point of collecting these exotic materials when all magic items are just a spell cast into an item? If gorgon's blood has no use, the PCs have less reason to go hunting for gorgons. And monsters that previously had very valuable organs and pieces-parts become little boxes of XP and HP -- insert sword, collect gold, move on to the next box of XP and HP.

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George Krashos
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Posted - 25 Oct 2018 :  23:55:45  Show Profile Send George Krashos a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ed's magic item creation process in "Volo's Guide to All Things Magical" remains in my view the gold standard for PC magic item creation in a campaign. It should be bloody hard! As for NPCs making magic items, who cares how they've done it? It's only the novels that have highlighted "issues" in this regard and I've well and truly got over the multitude in the fan base who pore over the fiction through the lens of the game rules. Don't really see the point. Mind you I'm in the minority who think that gods should not have stats and NPCs you aren't intending to "kill and get their stuff" (ala El, Khelben, Vangey, the Simbul, etc.) shouldn't have stats either. They are plot elements, not kobolds with Type C treasure.

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Wooly Rupert
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Posted - 26 Oct 2018 :  03:04:11  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I don't mind there being some items that are easily created -- I just dislike the idea that all magical items follow the one formula of "Spell + item = magical item"

I want odd things that don't fit that pattern. I want a wand that has two related powers, not just one. I want something that can't be replicated with a common spell. I want two apparently identical items to have been created in different ways, with one being more powerful or having an additional effect.

One size fits all is fine for the low-end magical items that are discarded by 5th level. When PCs start gaining real might and branching off from the generic starting archetypes, their magic should do the same.

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muir
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Posted - 26 Oct 2018 :  05:07:44  Show Profile Send muir a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Bragi

One of the things that I emphasized which might be helpful to you is in taking inspiration from Ed's use of local currency. The rules for currency inside and outside of Thay made for some great encounters.




Yes, if I can keep the various currencies straight! I am thinking of making some models to keep on the table as reminders for all.

The Thayvian currency rules you mention are in Spellbound, I presume? I am currently drawing on the FRCS, Power of Faerun, and EGGtEFR. Most of the currencies mentioned there seem to be in use primarily west of the Sea of Fallen Stars.

quote:


You might want to start with regional trade first and build your way up to more distant lands. My party could have made a small fortune exporting jhuild out of Rashemen since it has such a high export value.




The main idea being batted around at present is that one character is the scion of a Sembian merchant house with an outpost in Telflamm (with Telflammar partners, of course!) Senior merchants in the priakos are gambling that the Tuigan Horde will be broken by Azoun's crusade, and that trade across the Wastes, disrupted by the Horde, will be viable again, with opportunities for new ventures with established traders dead or fled. The character will be directed to scout out such ventures. We may have a few breaking-in sessions, focusing on local trade.

quote:


There are some mercantile themes in the published adventures for the region. The first half of "The Road to Rashemen" in Spellbound has the group traveling with a caravan over the Golden Way after the horde invasion. I think you'll find that useful when you get a chance took at the Spellbound Boxed Set.

There are several Living Forogotten Realms adventures set along the Golden Way that may be useful to you as well. At the least it will give you a good feel for the region. Specifically, you might want to check out CORE 4-1 Eastern Carnivals.

http://www.livingforgottenrealms.com/




Thank you! I had not thought to check the adventures.
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sleyvas
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Posted - 26 Oct 2018 :  12:35:23  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas


BTW, rituals were developed in 4e, and towards those ends, were there very many rules developed in 4e that "fleshed out" ritual components? Honestly, I can see this being another thing in a trade heavy campaign that might be worth documenting up. For instance, are the eyes of a medusa expensive or cheap? What about the lungs of a gorgon? The teeth of a vampire or lyncanthrope? The brain of an illithid? The properly preserved heart of a troll? Tressym feathers? Unicorn mane? Black dragon acid? What about alchemical components?



This is part of my complaint. What's the point of collecting these exotic materials when all magic items are just a spell cast into an item? If gorgon's blood has no use, the PCs have less reason to go hunting for gorgons. And monsters that previously had very valuable organs and pieces-parts become little boxes of XP and HP -- insert sword, collect gold, move on to the next box of XP and HP.



Yeah, I agree, but what I was saying about 3e is that I appreciate that they STARTED going down that road. They made it a bit formulaic with the "requires this spell and blah blah". Also, there was the "it requires X amount of gold" and you know it wasn't that they were "pouring gold into it". So, the gold was there to represent you having to go buy some unicorn mane, etc... But honestly, in my view, 3e was the first system to try and catalog what you needed to make a given magic item for more than just a handful of items, and they made it a requirement for anything created. Now, if you as a DM didn't want to handle all the background stuff of converting X gold into Y components, this worked, and the game moved on. What I would have liked to have seen might have been an article which offered up something like "these are some commonly used components which can take the place of gold in certain magic items".

For instance, a medusa eye would obviously be useful in magic items involving petrification OR removal of petrification, but maybe it can also be a generic item for use in any item involving stonework. Tressym, griffin, or pegasi feathers might be useful in anything involving flight (yeah, I'm on a tressym kick), but might also be useful in items which control wind. Now, in truth, how many people do I see using this level of detail in their games? Honestly, I don't know... it might be something that if someone put in the effort, it would catch on, spurring adventure concepts of "magical component gathering societies" like we actually saw in some of the dragon articles. But noone to my knowledge has taken and gone that next step. The closest thing to it was VGtatM, and it was a valuable and useful first step, but like all things... it was a first step and then people who follow behind would naturally improve the concept. By that, I mean Ed's work pointed out special materials like metals, woods, alchemical treatments, gems, etc... but it didn't go heavily into how collected components from living magical creatures could be used (I won't say it didn't have any of that, because I'm sure it did).


So, that being said, it could be a relatively easy concept to throw out there for folks to just list out things that MIGHT be of use from creatures.... I think it could even be fun for some of us... I think I'm gonna start another thread for that purpose.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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dazzlerdal
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Posted - 26 Oct 2018 :  13:02:03  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I loved the 3e way of making everything possible. Magic items however was a half finished concept.

I use the go requirements but then allow reagents to substitute the gold required based upon the CR of the creature and it's rarity.
Acquiring those reagents requires a skill check based upon the CR of the creature and it's rarity.

So when my pcs kill a monster they will hack it apart for reagents. But thus takes time and attracts other monsters so they only do it for the rare and powerful monsters.

I also made magic items more modular so you can add any number of magical properties if you can afford the cost.

3e was a great basis for a system, it just needed finishing off

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Bragi
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Posted - 26 Oct 2018 :  20:23:09  Show Profile  Visit Bragi's Homepage  Send Bragi an AOL message  Send Bragi an ICQ Message  Send Bragi a Yahoo! Message Send Bragi a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:

The Thayvian currency rules you mention are in Spellbound, I presume?



It's not in Spellbound. I'm not sure where I got that from. When I started my campaign I went through many sources including some novels. I think that currency from outside of Thay is illegal within Thay. I did find a reference to another country. In Empires of the Sands it states that currency minted in Amn is the only official legal tender for that country.

quote:

I am currently drawing on the FRCS, Power of Faerun, and EGGtEFR. Most of the currencies mentioned there seem to be in use primarily west of the Sea of Fallen Stars.



EGGtEFR is the best source so you're on the right track. There was a small section from FRA that had different currencies. It was expanded upon and is referenced here

http://www.angelfire.com/on/ebonwolf/coinage.html

quote:

The main idea being batted around at present is that one character is the scion of a Sembian merchant house with an outpost in Telflamm (with Telflammar partners, of course!) Senior merchants in the priakos are gambling that the Tuigan Horde will be broken by Azoun's crusade, and that trade across the Wastes, disrupted by the Horde, will be viable again, with opportunities for new ventures with established traders dead or fled. The character will be directed to scout out such ventures. We may have a few breaking-in sessions, focusing on local trade.



You might want to play up the presence of the Shadowmasters' Guild since they control some of the trade in Thesk. The Zhentarim will probably have interests in trade of the region as well. The Valliant Warriors is a mercenary company based in Telflamm whose purpose is to establish trade routes in to some of the wilder areas. You could easily use them as a rival group or maybe they are the partners that the group has in Telflamm. There is a nice write-up about them in the original gray Forgotten Realms boxed set. I'm not sure if they appear anywhere else.


In Pursuit of Better Worlds,
Bragi of Erin

Edited by - Bragi on 26 Oct 2018 20:36:48
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