On Mon, 16 Oct 2000 15:33:07 -0700, Gary Foss <Geeman@LINKLINE.COM> wrote:
>In the new 3e DMG there is a nice, handy list of magic items and
>their "typical" market price. Of course, BR is a non-typical
>setting in which aspects of magic use are more restricted than
>they are in "typical" D&D settings, but that doesn`t mean that
>there should be no quantitative way of determining the market
>price of magic items in the setting.
>There will, of course, be folks out there who think that no magic
>items will ever be sold in the BR setting because the magical
>restrictions of the setting makes them so amazingly rare and
>unique that no one in their right mind would ever part with one
>for any amount of money. I could point out that such a
>perspective is rather naive given the nature of market forces and
>the way everything is a commodity on one level or another, but
>I`d really prefer not to engage in this kind of thematic debate,
>so if you`re of this opinion let`s try to keep on the topic of
>quantifiable interpretations rather than qualitative/idealistic
>That said, there are several factors that we should keep in mind
>regarding pricing of magic items. Some of them increase the
>scarcity of magic items in BR (making them more expensive) other
>others decrease scarcity (making them less expensive.) Among
>those that increase scarcity are things like:
>1. The lack of human wizards. Because true magic requires a
>bloodline, there are something on the order of 4-10% of the
>wizards as there would be in a typical setting with a similar
>population. (That`s using the old 2e figures I had. Now that
>the 3e DMG has a whole section on demographics that might change
>a bit.) This would make magic items more rare and, therefore,
>more expensive.
>>2. History. Casting true magic is a relatively new thing to
>humans. Therefore, magic item creation based on true magic will
>have a definable beginning where in other campaign worlds magic
>creation could have been happening for millennia. This means
>there will be fewer "ancient" items (excepting those created by
>demi-humans and priestly magics.)
>>3. Third edition rules changes. It now costs XP to create magic
>items. That means the magic item "factories" envisioned in many
>2e campaigns will have to be changed to reflect that one person
>can`t simply spend all his/her time creating magic items without
>engaging in some sort of experience earning activity to gain the
>XP required. This will make magic item creation less of a
>manufacturing process and much more of an individual effort after
>adventuring. In 2e it was possible for a character to reach a
>level and then set up shop, creating items forever. He even
>earned XP for doing so. Now it costs XP, so the same character
>has to spend a certain amount of time out of the laboratory to
>gain the power required to create items.
>>Influences that decrease scarcity are:
>>1. Market forces and alternative magics. Since magic items are
>more scarce and, therefore, more expensive due to the limited
>number of true mages, other character classes that are capable of
>creating magic items would step in to fill the gap. Among
>humans, priests would be more likely to create magic items since
>they could garner a greater profit from doing so and don`t have
>to face competition from wizards. Those with elven blood and the
>talent would find themselves more in demand and, therefore, more
>likely to engage in magic item creation. Other character classes
>can also step up to do so. While a paladin taking on a creation
>feat might be rare in a typical campaign, it would be less rare
>in a BR campaign for the same reasons expressed above.
>>2. Third edition rules changes. It is now "easier" to create
>magic items. The potential to permanently lose a point of con is
>gone, one can begin creating certain items at lower levels, class
>restrictions are history. While it was difficult to imagine a
>character engaging in magic item creation (mostly due to the
>vague rules for doing so in 2e) it is now much more possible.
>Magic item creation, therefore, is more likely.
>There are other factors, though most of them tend to be
>variations on the above. The big question, however, is how do
>you see these factors influencing the cost of magic items? Off
>the cuff, I`m tempted to just set BR magic item costs at ten
>times the standard cost because it has nice round math and seems
>to fit in nicely with the opposing market forces. (Standard GB
>costs still apply for determining XP costs during item creation.)
>What do you guys think?

Simply use the rule of thumb already in the 2E Book of Magecraft, p. 65:
"Because true Wizards are so rare in Cerilia, players and DMs should add
15-25% to XP and gp values of items listed in other products (such as the
DMG and Encyclopedia Magica volumes) when using them in a Birthright campaign."
IMO this rule could simply be copied into the 3E draft 0.0

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