More campaign decisions #DND #RPG #Pathfinder #MtG #Zendikar

Magic items, and how you deal with them, tells a lot of about your campaign. If you are playing a fantasy campaign one of the big questions you need to ask is how will magic items appear in your world? Are they common? Or are the rare items? And, more importantly, how can characters get these items?

One of the things that make Pathfinder fun is that it has some very explicit and granular rules on making magic items. Spending time with the rule book, and a calculator, and figuring out what powers you want your sword, armor, girdle, whatever to have. And then being able to put a price on that. It can be fun, like walking into the sporting goods store like the Terminator.

The drawback is that you end up with some heavily armed characters. Which begins an arms race between the players and the GM. Which the GM can always win of course, but that is not a lot of fun. The other downside is that it downplays the effect of having a magic item. Do you want a +3 Hackmaster  sword instead of a +1? Sure, just trade them in. Trading items in like a used car. And following the logic there would be spell casters who just sit around creating and enchanting items. Which would make for some rather odd economics, to be honest.

With D&D 5th Edition those rules are gone. There are some rules for creating items. But it is not nearly as simple or broken down like Pathfinder. This has the effect of making magic items rarer simply by virtue of the rules. Which makes things easier on the GM.

This also affects how a GM constructs their campaign setting. How often do magic items appear, how do characters  get those items, can they create them?

Well in my current setting I have intentionally made items rare. Keeping them out of their hands. And not even giving them the option of buying and building items. Which has been fun for me, although not so much for the boys. Although I hope that they enjoy the items that they have received even more.

One cool thing about this new setting is that I can scatter lots of magic items out there to be found. It would make perfect sense for them to find things out there. And with the potential difficulty being even higher they will need this stuff. But, as the setting is not as civilized there will be no enchanters sitting around making items.

All in all, that will make this game a far better setting for all of us. I can scatter magic items around. And yet they will have a need for those items.



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