Monday, January 13, 2014

Shopping for Magic Stuff

When I started playing Pathfinder, the only rulebooks were the Core Rulebook and a bestiary.

The game provided a simplified and sane collection of "best of the game" D&D 3.5E rules for folks who wanted to keep playing that.

Players did not have as many options, but they were more-or-less balanced and sensible options all collected in one place for easy reference.

Since then, Pathfinder has jumped the shark.  It now has so many rulebooks that there is no point to owning them.  A player or GM needs to search through all the books to see all of the options for a situation.  This is best done online.

The same "too many books, too many broken combinations of options" problem that Pathfinder was created to fix has returned.

(The latest example is an eleventh level Half-Elven Oracle with Eldritch Heritage in the Arcane Bloodline who uses Paragon Surge to temporarily get Improved Eldritch Heritage or Expanded Arcana.  This character has nearly instant access to every Wizard and Cleric spell up to fifth spell level.)

The setting of Golarion also moves farther and farther from my kind of fantasy setting.  The world has increasingly dysfunctional economics because of how much wealth PCs are expected to gain.

As someone who grew up playing AD&D, even the idea of a "magic item shop" seems silly.  A lot of the fun of AD&D was finding creative ways to use the wacky assortment of strange items you found in dungeons.

In Pathfinder, adventurers instead sell (for half price) the items they will not be using daily and with that money the party Wizard crafts (for half price) more practical but boring magical equipment.

Now Pathfinder has an entire book devoted to magic item shops!

Perhaps I am too critical.  Maybe the book actually makes magic item shops someplace where Golarion's adventurers buy stuff, instead of only selling items there to get the gold the party Wizard needs for his crafting.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A tenth level magician enters a store of magic items. He notices some Bracers of Armor +5 that are sold for the tidy sum of 25,000 gp. "I have enough money to buy these bracelets." - he said. It then empty the contents of his Bag of Holding and his Handy Haversack on the counter: 17,500 gp (weighs 350 pounds) and 750 pp (weighs 15 pounds). Two hours and a half later the dealer ends to count all the coins (2 per second).

Before leaving the store, the magician announces to the the dealer that he will return in two weeks, with 42,500 gp and 1,250 pp (total weight: 875 pounds), to buy the Cloak of Etherealness that is exposed on the left of the fireplace.

Now imagine a group of four adventurers of the fifteenth level entering this store to buy magical objects worth 327,298 gp...