4e Wealth by Level

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kordak
Joined May 2002
15 Posts
Hi Everyone,

I searched the boards for this and someone has probably done something like this before but I was unable to find it.

I understand that wealth by level is not as important in 4e as it may have been in previous editions, however, our group has grappled with the issue of how much each character, in general, should be equipped with.  We had been using the starting character values for each level on level up (4th column in chart below), but when comparing to how the parcel system works it appears we are well behind the idealized curve.  I put together a quick comparison chart to detail the differences.  I'm not sure if I did this correctly.

Edit:  Added "Party of 6" breakdown and cleaned up the columns to just show the cumulative totals.  Adjusted levels 29 and 30.

 Character Wealth at Start of Each Level Party of 4 Party of 5 Party of 6 Level Magic Item Cost party gp at start of level using parcels (DMG p126) wealth by character (gp) using starting character values (L-1, L, L+1 items and L-1 gp) cumulative wealth by character (gp) using parcel values (DMG p126) cumulative wealth by character (gp) using parcel values (DMG p126) cumulative wealth by character (gp) using parcel values (DMG p126) 1 360 100 100 100 100 2 520 720 1,920 870 852 840 3 680 1,040 2,560 2,000 1,924 1,873 4 840 1,355 3,200 3,649 3,443 3,306 5 1,000 1,680 4,480 5,819 5,539 5,353 6 1,800 2,000 6,400 8,669 8,339 8,119 7 2,600 3,600 9,600 12,519 12,099 11,819 8 3,400 5,200 12,800 18,169 17,459 16,986 9 4,200 6,800 16,000 26,419 25,059 24,153 10 5,000 8,400 22,400 37,269 35,539 34,386 11 9,000 10,000 32,000 51,519 49,539 48,219 12 13,000 18,000 48,000 70,769 68,339 66,719 13 17,000 26,000 64,000 99,019 95,139 92,553 14 21,000 34,000 80,000 140,269 133,139 128,386 15 25,000 42,000 112,000 194,519 185,539 179,553 16 45,000 50,000 160,000 265,769 255,539 248,719 17 65,000 90,000 240,000 362,019 349,539 341,219 18 85,000 130,000 320,000 503,269 483,539 470,386 19 105,000 170,000 400,000 709,519 673,539 649,553 20 125,000 210,000 560,000 980,769 935,539 905,386 21 225,000 250,000 800,000 1,337,019 1,285,539 1,251,219 22 325,000 450,000 1,200,000 1,818,269 1,755,539 1,713,719 23 425,000 650,000 1,600,000 2,524,519 2,425,539 2,359,553 24 525,000 850,000 2,000,000 3,555,769 3,375,539 3,255,386 25 625,000 1,050,000 2,800,000 4,912,019 4,685,539 4,534,553 26 1,125,000 1,250,000 4,000,000 6,693,269 6,435,539 6,263,719 27 1,625,000 2,250,000 6,000,000 9,099,519 8,785,539 8,576,219 28 2,125,000 3,250,000 8,000,000 12,005,769 11,635,539 11,388,719 29 2,625,000 4,250,000 10,000,000 15,287,019 14,885,539 14,617,886 30 3,125,000 5,250,000 11,500,000 18,943,269 18,435,539 18,097,053 3,125,000 6,250,000 3,125,000 3,125,000

borg285
Joined Jan 2008
3020 Posts
Don't know how much this matters, but often the party will usually just sell the parcels at 1/5th and buy what they want.  Almost everything the DM gave us was useless.  Most of the time I'm simply upgrading what I have.
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kordak
Joined May 2002
15 Posts
Thanks for the reply.  I see how every group could be doing things differently, however, it was helpful for me to compare the way we were doing it as our DM really doesn't give out magic items.  We are able to requisition what we need for each mission from our vast company storehouse.

We don't go overboard with that, however, we do work from the budget in column 4.  We are now level 9 and notice that monsters are getting significantly tougher to hit and they are able to hit us easily.  We started wondering if an equipment deficit could have anything to do with it, hence the comparison above.  It looks like we are about 10,000 gp (or 60%) behind what we would be if we used a cumulative parcel system.  That is the way the parcel system is supposed to work, no?

In your case, it looks like you're about 80% behind.  Do you notice any increase in difficulty for encounters as you move up in level?

Thanks again,
Kordak
pathanus
Joined Aug 2002
83 Posts
I tried to make a spreadsheet a while back with wealth by level, based on the parcel rules in the DMG. Excel (acually OpenOffice Calc) may not have been the best thing to use though. Regardless of not planning it out to the max it looked okay.
This looks similar but I'm away from computer to look at tables vs. Spreadsheet.
I think it is useful to follow the guidelines for wealth and rebalance the amount to standard every few levels. Meaning that after a few parcels have been sold off at 20% value, give treasure later to makeup the gap.
Its easier said than done and would require group cooperation to avoid abuse.
Some problems would be:
Handling of consumables
Adding or subtracting party members along the way
Non-item use of gold, like bribes/donations/etc

Is there a CharOp vector you want to head toward with this thread?
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grizley
Joined Oct 2002
1931 Posts
Don't know how much this matters, but often the party will usually just sell the parcels at 1/5th and buy what they want.  Almost everything the DM gave us was useless.  Most of the time I'm simply upgrading what I have.

That is DM failure though.  It's assumed that you're finding stuff you'll actually use.  That doesn't mean that as of 3 months ago all you should find would be Reckless/Bloodclaw weapons but in a party without a rogue or sorcerer a dagger isn't worth handing out.  Same thing with heavy armor if nobody in the party can/wants to wear it.
ChaosMage
Joined Apr 2001
2840 Posts
Don't know how much this matters, but often the party will usually just sell the parcels at 1/5th and buy what they want.  Almost everything the DM gave us was useless.  Most of the time I'm simply upgrading what I have.

Jeez, you're going to be way behind your expected items if that keeps up.  The DMG recommends giving items useful to players, even suggesting that players give the DM a wishlist for him to choose items off of to put in parcels.  You may also be able to save some money if you get the Transfer Enchantment ritual; if the DM gives you an enchantment you like on a weapon nobody uses, you can transfer the enchantment to another weapon.

As far as the usefulness in determining total value of your items, it might be interesting to add a column that assumes you're selling any item more than, say, 5 levels below you for 1/5 the gold piece value, to try to show that the useful items you were using more that 5 levels ago probably aren't useful anymore.  You're not going to keep your +2 sword on you for your entire career.
Mengu74
Joined Nov 2007
3328 Posts
The table is a nice ball park to gauge whereabouts a character/party should be (would love to see the 6-man party break down too though). I just checked our two parties, and both are slightly under par, but this is natural because of old items that get sold, consumables, and other expenditures.

There are a lot of outside factors that can affect this. Sometimes I make monetary rewards variable based on degrees of success, this can increase treasure a bit. Sometimes magic items get lost. Sometimes a character dies, and suddenly their equipment becomes loot. And sometimes you want to introduce a particularly powerful/intelligent item into the game, at least temporarily, which can throw numbers off for a bit.

In any case, as long as your total wealth is somewhere between a level or so below and a level or so above, it's all good.
kordak
Joined May 2002
15 Posts
I tried to make a spreadsheet a while back with wealth by level, based on the parcel rules in the DMG. Excel (acually OpenOffice Calc) may not have been the best thing to use though. Regardless of not planning it out to the max it looked okay. This looks similar but I'm away from computer to look at tables vs. Spreadsheet. I think it is useful to follow the guidelines for wealth and rebalance the amount to standard every few levels. Meaning that after a few parcels have been sold off at 20% value, give treasure later to makeup the gap. Its easier said than done and would require group cooperation to avoid abuse. Some problems would be: Handling of consumables Adding or subtracting party members along the way Non-item use of gold, like bribes/donations/etc Is there a CharOp vector you want to head toward with this thread?

I used Excel to make the table and it seems to be working well.  I agree that gaps can, and probably should, develop organically as a story unfolds.  As I said earlier, our group doesn't really abuse any of the magic items and although, I review the Character Optimization threads regularly, my characters are not really optimized - I just like to see what the opinions are on various options in the game.

Which leads me to why I posted in the CharOp threads - I noticed that a number of the builds had a monetary value associated with their equipment and it looked to be significantly more than what we were using (the character starting amounts at each level.)  So, I thought it would be good to post here for feedback and possible level-setting in the various builds.  If everyone has the same budget to purchase items from, it might make for better comparisons between builds?  Maybe?  :-)

If not, no big deal as well.

kordak
Joined May 2002
15 Posts
The table is a nice ball park to gauge whereabouts a character/party should be (would love to see the 6-man party break down too though). I just checked our two parties, and both are slightly under par, but this is natural because of old items that get sold, consumables, and other expenditures.

There are a lot of outside factors that can affect this. Sometimes I make monetary rewards variable based on degrees of success, this can increase treasure a bit. Sometimes magic items get lost. Sometimes a character dies, and suddenly their equipment becomes loot. And sometimes you want to introduce a particularly powerful/intelligent item into the game, at least temporarily, which can throw numbers off for a bit.

In any case, as long as your total wealth is somewhere between a level or so below and a level or so above, it's all good.

I very much agree with what you are saying.  There are times over the course of any given adventure when we are not able to call in a drop, or get back to our homebase, and we will still use equipment requisitioned from when we were lower levels.  I think if we are somewhere in the ball park, we'll be fine.

My intent with the chart was to find out exactly where we measured up with the parcel method - it looks like we weren't even in the same city as the ball park tho.  :-)

Also, I do have the breakdown for the 6-man group.  Will update the post above momentarily.

Thanks.
CubeKnight
Joined Dec 2003
333 Posts
I'm fairly sure someone already did something similar to this on ENWorld. IIRC, adding a L-2 item fixed the difference between loot gained with treasure parcels and loot gained when creating PCs above level 1.
sinner666
Joined Jul 2008
89 Posts
One suggestion I posed to a DM who was dead set on handing out story driven magic items only and very little monetary rewards, at the same time he used monsters that fit the story not necessarily monsters we could actually fight, was that at every other level or every two levels we would scrap all our magic items and remake the charaters using the rules for characters starting above level one.

This seemed to work well so long as the three items you got for free were always weapon, armor, NAD enhancer. All other items needed to be religated to your gold pool. The only place were this became a problem was for anyone that wielded two weapons/implements as either their NAD's or AC suffered.

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superklaus
Joined Oct 2009
81 Posts
This is an extremely good idea, OP, and should be stickied.  I calculated the numbers myself through level 20 once because I was sure the item+1, item, item-1 x2 formula from the DMG screwed players hard past level 10 or so.  Your figures agree with mine.  Anyway, congrats again.

The only thing is that PCs starting at higher levels and using this gold table should add 4/5 the cost of lower-level versions of their present equipment to accurately represent the buying and selling that would have happened in actual play.  Like add 4/5 the price of a +1 sword and 4/5 the price of a +2 sword to the price of a +3 sword at level 16 or so.  Of course that's a huge pain in the rear so just using this table as a ballpark is probably best.
MektonZero
Joined Jun 2008
365 Posts
I'm fairly sure someone already did something similar to this on ENWorld. IIRC, adding a L-2 item fixed the difference between loot gained with treasure parcels and loot gained when creating PCs above level 1.

I say it doesn't need to be fixed at all.  Players getting parcels are going to have costs; potions, scrolls, ammunition, expendables and ritual components should be a big expense along the way.  A player using two potions of their level (which is roughly one potion for every five encounters), for every level up to 29, is going to spend roughly 650,000 gp on them.  Also, players getting parcels are going to lose 4/5th of each item's value when they get a new item.
kordak
Joined May 2002
15 Posts
I'm fairly sure someone already did something similar to this on ENWorld. IIRC, adding a L-2 item fixed the difference between loot gained with treasure parcels and loot gained when creating PCs above level 1.

Hey thanks for the info!  I haven't been to ENWorld in ages.  I just went over and checked out the thread - "Wealth per level Guidelines?" and noticed that he had started that yesterday as well.  That means it probably isn't the thread you were referencing though and I don't have the ability to search on that site.  If you have a link I would definitely check it out.

kordak
Joined May 2002
15 Posts
One suggestion I posed to a DM who was dead set on handing out story driven magic items only and very little monetary rewards, at the same time he used monsters that fit the story not necessarily monsters we could actually fight, was that at every other level or every two levels we would scrap all our magic items and remake the charaters using the rules for characters starting above level one.

This seemed to work well so long as the three items you got for free were always weapon, armor, NAD enhancer. All other items needed to be religated to your gold pool. The only place were this became a problem was for anyone that wielded two weapons/implements as either their NAD's or AC suffered.

This is essentially what our group does at every level as far as equipment goes.  We usually swap out one of the big three you mentioned and then we have 800 more gp to buy an additional item(s).

We didn't have much problems up through levels 7.  I think we might be getting into trouble now though as encounters are getting much tougher (e.g. many times we need 16s to hit, while our opponents need 5s).
kordak
Joined May 2002
15 Posts
This is an extremely good idea, OP, and should be stickied.  I calculated the numbers myself through level 20 once because I was sure the item+1, item, item-1 x2 formula from the DMG screwed players hard past level 10 or so.  Your figures agree with mine.  Anyway, congrats again.

The only thing is that PCs starting at higher levels and using this gold table should add 4/5 the cost of lower-level versions of their present equipment to accurately represent the buying and selling that would have happened in actual play.  Like add 4/5 the price of a +1 sword and 4/5 the price of a +2 sword to the price of a +3 sword at level 16 or so.  Of course that's a huge pain in the rear so just using this table as a ballpark is probably best.

Thanks for the kudos!  I'm also glad to know that my numbers match what you had done before.

I don't want to get things too complicated, so I'll probably talk to our group about just trying to set a number in between the two options (starting level and parcel methods) and use that for a budget.  Maybe parcel method minus 20-30% for each level?  That way we can take into account consumables...Either way it will be better than where we are at right now.

As an aside, I really appreciate how elegant the 4e math works.  Especially around encounter level, monster XPs, hp, AC, etc.  It may not be the case, but it seems to me that a designer really put some thought into how it all meshes together mathematically.

Thanks again,
Kordak
kordak
Joined May 2002
15 Posts
I'm fairly sure someone already did something similar to this on ENWorld. IIRC, adding a L-2 item fixed the difference between loot gained with treasure parcels and loot gained when creating PCs above level 1.

I say it doesn't need to be fixed at all.  Players getting parcels are going to have costs; potions, scrolls, ammunition, expendables and ritual components should be a big expense along the way.  A player using two potions of their level (which is roughly one potion for every five encounters), for every level up to 29, is going to spend roughly 650,000 gp on them.  Also, players getting parcels are going to lose 4/5th of each item's value when they get a new item.

I'm not sure I follow what you are saying.  In practice, when you use parcels, don't you defeat the encounter -> find a dusty Rage Fury +3 Executioner's Axe (cause it's been on your wishlist for awhile now) and then sell the well-used Rage-Fury +2 Executioner's Axe at 1/5 of the cost?  Doesn't this net you +1/5 of your original equipment?

Or if it is a loss of 4/5, and if the "wealth target" is relatively constant at a particular level won't you make up for it eventually over time?

LordOfWeasels
Joined Apr 2009
7919 Posts
I'm fairly sure someone already did something similar to this on ENWorld. IIRC, adding a L-2 item fixed the difference between loot gained with treasure parcels and loot gained when creating PCs above level 1.

What do you mean, "fixed"?  Creating a PC above level 1 is supposed to leave you equipped enough to be effective, but far enough behind that your abililty to just pick your items isn't an overwhelmingly good advantage.
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Alficles
Joined Aug 2007
274 Posts
So, as a general rule, how much of a player's wealth are they expected to spend each level? I plugged a few extra numbers in. If players spend 15% of their total wealth each level (including the 'cost' of selling/disenchanting old items) and 1/5th of their new items turn out to be not useful (immediately sold/disenchanted), then the math works out pretty close to even.

Maybe 15% each level and 1/5th each level isn't reasonable. If not, what numbers are reasonable?
Chandrak
Joined Aug 2005
880 Posts

I say it doesn't need to be fixed at all.  Players getting parcels are going to have costs; potions, scrolls, ammunition, expendables and ritual components should be a big expense along the way.  A player using two potions of their level (which is roughly one potion for every five encounters), for every level up to 29, is going to spend roughly 650,000 gp on them.  Also, players getting parcels are going to lose 4/5th of each item's value when they get a new item.

This actually makes me curious.... how many people reading this ACTUALLY buy consumables AND use them regularly, apart from the occassional Salve of Power or Solitaire usage that thier character concept specifically makes use of?

In the games I run, we almost NEVER use any kinds of consumables. Even Ritual compenents are almost never used.... nobody makes much use of Rituals in the first place, and if there is absolutely a need for one, they usually can get an NPC to do it for them.

Anyway, I see the above as a justification all the time about the discrepancy between the creation rules and how much PCs actually get if they were to level from 1 to 30. But in my play experience, nobody really ever uses consumables unless thier character specifically revolves around it somehow.
x3nth10n
Joined Jan 2008
1237 Posts

I for one know that nobody in our parties EVER use consumables.  Its just money down the toilet for most of them.  Certainly not two per level.

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MindWandererB
Joined Apr 2005
2716 Posts
I've seen consumables used when:

- It's a really, really tough battle coming up and the party knows exactly what they'll need (e.g. resistances, tanglefoot bags) in time to shop for it
- The campaign is ending and they have no reason to save their cash
- It's life-or-death (usually a healing potion, here)
- It revolves around a certain combo
- The ritual is cheap and is clearly useful under the circumstances

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grizley
Joined Oct 2002
1931 Posts
Other than say, Acidic Whetstones for Trollhaunt Warrens or something like that I've never seen a consumable used.    For the most part they suck, take time you don't have, are too expensive or all three.
Alficles
Joined Aug 2007
274 Posts

I for one know that nobody in our parties EVER use consumables.  Its just money down the toilet for most of them.  Certainly not two per level.

Since I like the way appropriate use of consumables can change an encounter, I've made them unsellable. Then, when they get potions as loot, they can use them or ignore them. Since ignoring them is clearly suboptimal, the powergamers find cool ways to use them.

Of course, they've stopped putting water in their waterskins. All they drink is potions of clarity, all day long. :P
MektonZero
Joined Jun 2008
365 Posts

I for one know that nobody in our parties EVER use consumables.  Its just money down the toilet for most of them.  Certainly not two per level.

I don't pull my punches as a DM and I roll my dice in the open; a quick route to a TPK in one of my games is to assume that monsters aren't trying their level best to kill the party.  Smart opponents will be played smart and aren't shy about stacking the odds in their favor.  Hard encounters are actually hard and potions are a heck of a lot cheaper for a group than raising players from the dead.

Players with soft DMs will have a lot more gold over their careers, but on the other hand, they really won't need it because they're playing on Easy Mode the whole time.

taenia
Joined Aug 2002
752 Posts

As a DM the only time rituals seem to come up is either the enchant/disenchant magic item, free so people use them, or plot driven.  Generally plot driven ones will involved at least some of the reward going to the ritual components assuming they aren't given it by the DM.

kordak
Joined May 2002
15 Posts

I for one know that nobody in our parties EVER use consumables.  Its just money down the toilet for most of them.  Certainly not two per level.

I don't pull my punches as a DM and I roll my dice in the open; a quick route to a TPK in one of my games is to assume that monsters aren't trying their level best to kill the party.  Smart opponents will be played smart and aren't shy about stacking the odds in their favor.  Hard encounters are actually hard and potions are a heck of a lot cheaper for a group than raising players from the dead.

Players with soft DMs will have a lot more gold over their careers, but on the other hand, they really won't need it because they're playing on Easy Mode the whole time.

This is how our DM plays as well.  We have a party of 4 characters and each session we have at least 1 (many times 2) characters who are unconscious and dieing.  More-so lately as we've moved up in levels.

As far as the consumables question, I actually had to think hard to come up with instances where we've used them.  For our particular group, I think we've only ever really used healing potions (sometime we don't even have time to get to those before dieing) and our ranger likes to use the various alchemical arrows.  My invoker has used one healing potion and has never cast a ritual through 9 levels.  So you've definitely given me more to think about.  Maybe the 20% - 30% for consumable is much too high (I'm thinking more like 5% now.) Gosh, what was I thinking before?

Thanks,
Kordak
awaken_D_M_golem
Joined Dec 2006
2937 Posts
Hey Good Stuff !!
I luv it when someone thinks a little like me.
I had a thread early on, and there were some other threads, banging out exactly this type of info.

I still can't make heads or tails of what LFR is doing, so maybe I shouldn't care.
DMG2 changes a few things.
Companion Characters can change some of the early money flow situation, but not most of it.
Boons significantly change things.
There's no real way to calculate the value of a boon, or know exactly how long it sticks around (dm fiat).
The Low Magic variant (-ish) double Boons thingy, without any real magic items, is beyond the pale.

Times up ; I'm out.
EDIT - weird board biff on the link fixed.

Here comes your 19th forums breakdown ... ohh who's to blame, it ain't 5E driving you insane.

LordOfWeasels
Joined Apr 2009
7919 Posts
Thing #1!

This is how our DM plays as well.  We have a party of 4 characters and each session we have at least 1 (many times 2) characters who are unconscious and dieing.  More-so lately as we've moved up in levels.

Thing #2!

As far as the consumables question, I actually had to think hard to come up with instances where we've used them.

I suspect these two are connected!

(Seriously.  Even for characters with surge values 2-3 times the value of a Potion Of Healing, the ability to "waste" 2/3 of a surge to get healing when you wouldn't already do so?  Is amazing!  Especially when you are pouring the "10HP" potion down the throat of a Fighter who's at -40, which means his Surge-for-10 is actually absorbing *50* damage that hit him and not someone else.)
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x3nth10n
Joined Jan 2008
1237 Posts

I for one know that nobody in our parties EVER use consumables.  Its just money down the toilet for most of them.  Certainly not two per level.

I don't pull my punches as a DM and I roll my dice in the open; a quick route to a TPK in one of my games is to assume that monsters aren't trying their level best to kill the party.  Smart opponents will be played smart and aren't shy about stacking the odds in their favor.  Hard encounters are actually hard and potions are a heck of a lot cheaper for a group than raising players from the dead.

Players with soft DMs will have a lot more gold over their careers, but on the other hand, they really won't need it because they're playing on Easy Mode the whole time.

Well, maybe its just a difference in players, DM's, and what guidelines you follow.  Once we get past the lower levels, my groups get increasingly more difficult to drop.  Everyone in our group is an optimizer, and frankly level +3 encounters barely even make them sweat, and certainly don't drop them often.  I ran a level 22 encounter against a level 15 party, and using no consummables, they won.  I will admit, it was VERY close, and literally one lucky roll stopped a player from death, but then again it was a level + 7 encounter, with a powerful enemy with at-will dazing AoE.

I roll into the open, and play most monsters very tactically, as long as it makes sense (read: not berserkers, mindless undead, etc.)  But the simple truth of the matter is that the monsters presented as being anywhere near "comparable" to players are a joke, and the game is not challenging for optimizers unless you throw vastly more powerful enemies than are suggested.  The number of ways that players can begin to trivialize monsters or even entire encounters becomes staggering between massive damage novas, stuns, several-turn lockdowns, huge party buffs that last the entire encounter, and so on.
A note to all who think I am being aggressive or angry- 99% of the time, I do not intend to be. I apologize if you think I am attacking you, odds are very strong that I am not. The only exceptions are when people become extremely uncivil to me, and even then I usually ignore them. I think it is very obvious when I am really mad; if I just seem generally abrasive, it is a reflection of my thought process rather than a state of emotion. I have the greatest respect for those who can debate rationally, even if we come to different conclusions.
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MektonZero
Joined Jun 2008
365 Posts

Well, maybe its just a difference in players, DM's, and what guidelines you follow.  Once we get past the lower levels, my groups get increasingly more difficult to drop.  Everyone in our group is an optimizer, and frankly level +3 encounters barely even make them sweat, and certainly don't drop them often.  I ran a level 22 encounter against a level 15 party, and using no consummables, they won.  I will admit, it was VERY close, and literally one lucky roll stopped a player from death, but then again it was a level + 7 encounter, with a powerful enemy with at-will dazing AoE.

I roll into the open, and play most monsters very tactically, as long as it makes sense (read: not berserkers, mindless undead, etc.)  But the simple truth of the matter is that the monsters presented as being anywhere near "comparable" to players are a joke, and the game is not challenging for optimizers unless you throw vastly more powerful enemies than are suggested.  The number of ways that players can begin to trivialize monsters or even entire encounters becomes staggering between massive damage novas, stuns, several-turn lockdowns, huge party buffs that last the entire encounter, and so on.

One of the harder parts of being a DM is finding out what an "average" encounter means for your group.  For your group, 3 levels above their level is average.  For an encounter 3 levels above, I'd give them xp as if they beat a same level encounter.  This isn't unfair, XP is about challenge, not about total XP of monsters beaten.  A level 25 Wizard could beat 10,000 Goblin Cutters in a fight, that doesn't mean the wizard learned anything useful from the experience and certainly doesn't deserve 25,000 xp from the battle.

Joined Aug 2008
461 Posts
@Mekton: 1 Wizard v. 10k Goblin Cutters can be awfully harrowing if you use a crit table ;)

That aside, I'm of the position as a player that consumables are worth more than 1/5 their value in flexibility, so I keep them. A cheap-o potion of heal is always better than a heal check to stabilize if your only leader is down early in the fight, especially if it's late in the day and you've already spent your reserve power-based healing.

As a DM, I don't hand too many consumables out, but my players appreciate them when they get them. Resist fire potions are commonly found on baddies that hide out in a volcano where it might be useful, for example. Even so, I find my players do indeed spend money to make sure they all have at least a healing potion or two because they know I play harball with them. I guess they'd need them less if I only threw cupcakes at 'em.
pathanus
Joined Aug 2002
83 Posts
I modified my Excel file since I had the values a little off.
The amounts are reflecting the amounts at time when all parcels have been gained over the course of the level.
Example, the level 1 party starting out and done some adventuring and found their Parcels of N+4,N+3,N+2,N+1 and gold equalling N*2.  So they are some portion of the way towards level 2, probably close to it.

ZIP file of 6134 bytes, md5 hash: bd622ce101debd96603a85d0a07656d9
(hash generated from www.md5generator.com/index.php) *I haven't shared things to know if this is best way to generate this or not but I figured I'd add it here incase people are interested in checking it, I hope I did it right.

www.mediafire.com/file/njz1zgtzowm/wealt...

The average wealth per person for a level 30 party of 5 I'm coming up with is 22,185,540* gp using 100gp starting gold and the 1-30 parcel tables on DMG 126-129.

*edit: to clarify this is the end game amount of wealth a level 30.99 (end of career) character will have.  The level 29 (in spreadsheet) value is what one would want to use for wealth of a "just turned level 30" character or 18,435,540gp.
"There has to be some more Panacolo around here... bah i'll just create some," [poof, shazam] "...mmm, Panacolo." ☪ - Caramon Brooke, Archmage of the Empire
kordak
Joined May 2002
15 Posts
Thing #1!

This is how our DM plays as well.  We have a party of 4 characters and each session we have at least 1 (many times 2) characters who are unconscious and dieing.  More-so lately as we've moved up in levels.

Thing #2!

As far as the consumables question, I actually had to think hard to come up with instances where we've used them.

I suspect these two are connected!

(Seriously.  Even for characters with surge values 2-3 times the value of a Potion Of Healing, the ability to "waste" 2/3 of a surge to get healing when you wouldn't already do so?  Is amazing!  Especially when you are pouring the "10HP" potion down the throat of a Fighter who's at -40, which means his Surge-for-10 is actually absorbing *50* damage that hit him and not someone else.)

I think we're talking about two different things here.  I wouldn't argue that the humble healing potion is not a valuable consumable (in fact, that is the one consumable that everyone in our party does have - so very valuable.)  And the reason is precisely for the situation you mention above, however, IMX, using the potion is not as practical during combat as it seems (and especially in a party of 4.)

To use it in that manner, a fellow compatriot will need to burn their entire round of actions (i.e. move to the downed character's position, use a minor to retrieve the potion, use a standard to administer.)  This also assumes that they can get to the downed character (in range, no bad guys surrounding them, etc.)  This has happened to us one time.  All of the other times, we were carefully watching the death saving throws and gauging how quickly we could take our remaining foes down (planning on using the healing potion after the 2nd death save miss.)  These other times, we either finished the combat in a few rounds or the character rolled a 20 (happened once) to rally themselves on their own.

To sum up, I agree with you that the healing potion is the most valuable general-utility consumable (assuming you don't know ahead of time what you're going to be running into).  However, if even that is so difficult to use during combat due to the action cost, then what does it say regarding the utility of other "less-useful" consumables?

I'm still leaning toward using a 5-10% "wealth tax" to account for consumables (i.e.  using the parcel monetary value and subtracting 5-10% use the gp value to spend on whatever you wish.)

Next question...what does everyone think about the maximum level magic item a character should have?  Looking at the parcel method a party of 4 (starting 4th level) would have the following items available to them:

1  L+3
2  L+2
2  L+1
3  L
3  L-1
3  L-2

It seems that L+2 would be the maximum level magic item available to the party on average.  Let me know your thoughts please.

Thanks,
Kordak
kordak
Joined May 2002
15 Posts
Hey Good Stuff !!
I luv it when someone thinks a little like me.
I had a thread early on, and there were some other threads, banging out exactly this type of info.

I still can't make heads or tails of what LFR is doing, so maybe I shouldn't care.
DMG2 changes a few things.
Companion Characters can change some of the early money flow situation, but not most of it.
Boons significantly change things.
There's no real way to calculate the value of a boon, or know exactly how long it sticks around (dm fiat).
The Low Magic variant (-ish) double Boons thingy, without any real magic items, is beyond the pale.

Times up ; I'm out.
EDIT - weird board biff on the link fixed.

Hey thanks!  I searched for other threads but didn't find yours...will check out the link in a few.

kordak
Joined May 2002
15 Posts
I modified my Excel file since I had the values a little off.
The amounts are reflecting the amounts at time when all parcels have been gained over the course of the level.
Example, the level 1 party starting out and done some adventuring and found their Parcels of N+4,N+3,N+2,N+1 and gold equalling N*2.  So they are some portion of the way towards level 2, probably close to it.

ZIP file of 6134 bytes, md5 hash: bd622ce101debd96603a85d0a07656d9
(hash generated from www.md5generator.com/index.php) *I haven't shared things to know if this is best way to generate this or not but I figured I'd add it here incase people are interested in checking it, I hope I did it right.

www.mediafire.com/file/njz1zgtzowm/wealt...

The average wealth per person for a level 30 party of 5 I'm coming up with is 22,185,540 gp using 100gp starting gold and the 1-30 parcel tables on DMG 126-129.

I knew others had to have done stuff on this question before.  Thanks very much for the info.  can you tell me how you came up with 22,185,540?

I came up with starting wealth for 30th level as 18,435,539 by adding up the value of 4-30th level items (4*3,125,000 = 12,500,000) and the monetary amount from the 29th level chart (DMG p129 - 5,250,000) then divided by 5 (characters in party).  This gives 3,550,000 for the increase in wealth going from lvl 29 to lvl 30.  Adding that number to the previous amount that each person in the party had (14,885,539) gives the starting wealth per character at 30th level.

Thanks again,
Kordak
pathanus
Joined Aug 2002
83 Posts
My calc's in the file are all for wealth gained by acquiring each level's worth of treasure parcels over time, not anything like "when creating a new level 30 character you get xyz items and gold to use to pick your stuff."

It assumes all characters start at level 1 with only 100g and then gets treasure from adventures.

I think technically if you start at level 30, you do not have the level 30 parcels, since those are found over the course of your adventures while at level 30 (and on the way to imaginary next level).

If you want to use the method that a 'new' character is starting at level 30 and has already gained treasure parcels from levels 1-29, thus they have the wealth of a level 29.99 person (they are finding level 30 parcels over the course of acutally adventuring while level 30), which the spreadsheet gives as 18,435,540 (for 5 person party), that is the amount you'll have when you ding to 30 more or less, the level 30 value (22 million one) is when you end your career at level 30.99 or whenever you've gained the last parcels in level 30 table.

That has numbers similar to mine and may offer a more mathematical explanation than i'm capable of.

*edit: I made the spreadsheet more for wealth balancing for campaigns than for new characters, so a DM can look at baseline wealth for party and see if there are differences.
"There has to be some more Panacolo around here... bah i'll just create some," [poof, shazam] "...mmm, Panacolo." ☪ - Caramon Brooke, Archmage of the Empire
pathanus
Joined Aug 2002
83 Posts

I just realized that all my stuff is based on 'end of level' and looks to jive with your numbers in the OP tables if using N-1 value as level in spreadsheet, where N is 'beginning of level' level wealth one is looking for.  (so use 29 in spreadsheet for level 30 starting wealth).

I didn't realize this until later on and didn't think to reformat my spreadsheet to do start-of-level wealth, I should have explained things more clearly at the start.
"There has to be some more Panacolo around here... bah i'll just create some," [poof, shazam] "...mmm, Panacolo." ☪ - Caramon Brooke, Archmage of the Empire
kordak
Joined May 2002
15 Posts
My calc's in the file are all for wealth gained by acquiring each level's worth of treasure parcels over time, not anything like "when creating a new level 30 character you get xyz items and gold to use to pick your stuff."

It assumes all characters start at level 1 with only 100g and then gets treasure from adventures.

I think technically if you start at level 30, you do not have the level 30 parcels, since those are found over the course of your adventures while at level 30 (and on the way to imaginary next level).

If you want to use the method that a 'new' character is starting at level 30 and has already gained treasure parcels from levels 1-29, thus they have the wealth of a level 29.99 person (they are finding level 30 parcels over the course of acutally adventuring while level 30), which the spreadsheet gives as 18,435,540 (for 5 person party), that is the amount you'll have when you ding to 30 more or less, the level 30 value (22 million one) is when you end your career at level 30.99 or whenever you've gained the last parcels in level 30 table.

That has numbers similar to mine and may offer a more mathematical explanation than i'm capable of.

*edit: I made the spreadsheet more for wealth balancing for campaigns than for new characters, so a DM can look at baseline wealth for party and see if there are differences.

Hey Pathanus, thanks very much.  That thread is perfect.  I wish I had found that before but it looks like it is 2 years old.   Also, I needed to search for "Economy" or "Difference Engine" (the first word I could have got, but never would I have searched for the second string).

Now to read 28 pages.  Thanks again, very much appreciated!

Kordak
x3nth10n
Joined Jan 2008
1237 Posts

One of the harder parts of being a DM is finding out what an "average" encounter means for your group.  For your group, 3 levels above their level is average.  For an encounter 3 levels above, I'd give them xp as if they beat a same level encounter.  This isn't unfair, XP is about challenge, not about total XP of monsters beaten.  A level 25 Wizard could beat 10,000 Goblin Cutters in a fight, that doesn't mean the wizard learned anything useful from the experience and certainly doesn't deserve 25,000 xp from the battle.

I do completely agree with that; however, the main problem with that is that consummables are more balanced with the "expected" level of challenge of encounters.  If the damage of monsters is drastically above the expected damage for that level, a potion of that level will be far less valuable in general.  If monsters frequently do far more damage than the healing value, and will hit far easier, then it can often be wasted because the player will just drop to sub-zero again.  If you have to use higher level consummables, then we are talking about throwing off the wealth curve, which was sort of my point.

I'm not saying that there is no use for consummables, I just said that my groups don't usually use them at all, and was basically told that "Obviously I'm playing 'Easy Mode'".  I simply disagree, and I think that even-leveled components are less valuable if your party effectively has a higher level because they are so optimized.  But wealth is based on actual level, not effective level.
A note to all who think I am being aggressive or angry- 99% of the time, I do not intend to be. I apologize if you think I am attacking you, odds are very strong that I am not. The only exceptions are when people become extremely uncivil to me, and even then I usually ignore them. I think it is very obvious when I am really mad; if I just seem generally abrasive, it is a reflection of my thought process rather than a state of emotion. I have the greatest respect for those who can debate rationally, even if we come to different conclusions.
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