Item Slots

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A (surprising to me, anyway) CS ruling about item slots was brought up by one of my RPGA DM's.  I'd taken the phrase from the RPGA/LFR Character Creation Guide
You can only possess a number of found magic items equal to your character level. In 4th Edition D&D, your character finds about one item every level or so. Therefore, in Living Forgotten Realms, characters cannot possess more found magic items (that is, items acquired at the end of an adventure) than their level. If you sell or discard a magic item you’ve found, it still counts against your total number of found magic items. Make wise choices about what magic items you select, and remember if you can’t or don’t want a magic item you can always select another option. Every adventure contains an option to select more gold, and many contain options to select consumables (such as potions) plus gold or rituals. Rituals, formulas, and consumables do not count against the found magic item limitation.

to mean that a character starts with one magic item slot and gains a new slot with each level gained.  These slots may be filled at any time; a fourth level character has four slots, and may pass on all magic item parcels through character levels 1-3 and fill all four slots over the course of four fourth-level adventures.

CS disagrees.  Here's the DM's communication with Customer Service:
Customer (XXX)04/02/2010 09:19 AM
So, just so I am 100% clear, and I can quote this thread and print it up and show it to players and never have this argument again, I would greatly appreciate it if you could just reaffirm the following statement:

A player is allowed to select one magic item bundle per level. A player may have a maximum number of "found" magic items equal to their level, but might have less: if a player, for whatever reason, chooses no magic item bundle during the course of a level, that found magic item "slot" is lost forever. A player may never select more than one magic item bundle per level, even if the character has below the maximum number of allowed found magic items.

Is the above statement factually correct in the current RPGA & LFR rules?

Thanks so much! 
Response (Support Agent)04/02/2010 09:38 AM

That is correct. See 'Treasure and Rewards' on pages 7 and 8 of the RPGA Character Creation Guide for more information. You can find a link to it at www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/lfrx/2....

Take Care and Good Gaming!

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Paul
Online Response Crew
Wizards of the Coast

So, a fourth level character doesn't have four magic item slots.  He has one first level slot, one second, one third, and one fourth level slot.

Really?
AFAIK, they are wrong.
So, a fourth level character doesn't have four magic item slots.  He has one first level slot, one second, one third, and one fourth level slot.

Really?

No.  Like a substantial number of answers about basic game rules and the overwhelming majority of answers about RPGA/LFR rules, CustServ does not have the slightest idea what they are talking about.

However, according to the RPGA rules, they are an official rules source, equal to any published book or the CCG itself, and as they are giving a specific rules interpretation of the CCG, arguably the most binding statement on the matter.

... until someone asks them a better leading question and gets a directly opposite answer.  Then the DM gets to pick whichever rule he likes.  Should your DM prefer the first ruling, he is free to go through your logsheet and disallow all items which were selected as a second pick during a level, even if you had found magic slots open.

Let's hope CCG 2.0 does a better job on how to deal with CustServ.
He wasn't pushing an agenda -- that was a "really?" type follow-up question.  His earlier question / response:

What I need a simple answer on is this situation: let's say there is player who starts a brand-new character and who plays through 3 RPGA adventures, eventually rising from level 1 to level 2. During the course of level 1, that player chooses NOT to take a magic item bundle from any of the adventures he plays in. Now his character is level 2 and has no "found" magic items. Can he take 2 magic item bundles during the course of level 2?

Response (Support Agent) 04/01/2010 08:07 AM 
XXXX,

No he cannot take two magic items at level 2.

Take Care! and Good Gaming!

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Paul

 This contradicts the FAQ in this forum, which if incorrect, has been incorrect for a very long time.


Q. So how does this one magic item per level and "found item slot" thing work?



A. First, the restriction on magic items is only for items you take from treasure bundles at the end of an adventure. You can purchase as many as you wish (following the normal restrictions on doing so as listed in the CCG). So at first level you can have 1 found magic item. You can have 2 at 2nd level, etc. once you use a slot to take an item, that slot is gone forever, even if you sell the item off. This type of allegory has been used previously to explain how the system works: Whenever you gain a new level, you gain a found item slot. Think of it as a ticket. So when you level you get a ticket. You can exchange that ticket for a magic item that is part of the treasure bundles at the end of a mod or you can hold onto it to exchange at a later time. Once you turn in the ticket for the item, the item is yours. If you get rid of the item in some way (sell it, destroy it, lose it, drop it on purpose, etc.) you do not get your ticket back. So choose wisely.





Edit to add:

So, a fourth level character doesn't have four magic item slots.  He has one first level slot, one second, one third, and one fourth level slot.

Really?



No, I think what you can best interpret this answer as is: "He has at best one first level item, one second level item, one third level item, and one fourth level item." But again, fairly sure that's wrong.
So, a fourth level character doesn't have four magic item slots.  He has one first level slot, one second, one third, and one fourth level slot.

Really?



Your DM is wrong. General rule of thumb - garbage in, garbage out. What your DM did was misquote the rule - you are not actually told that you are 'allowed to select one magic item bundle per level'

If you want great responses from CustServ, you need to do the following:
Quote the rule that you think is problematic.
Show any possible rules that might go for or against that position(with page numbers)
Say "Does this rule mean:
X...
Y...

(edit: that was also the problem with his first question as well - not quoting the rule - if you get a bizarre answer, you need to be specific and ask them to quote the rule that says specifically that it is not allowed...)

Customer Service is definitely wrong on that answer as the admins had a long discussion at the start of the campaign on what that rule was.  Chris Tulach is off on the con circuit and he is probably the only one who can tell CS they messed up that answer. 

Keith
Keith Hoffman LFR Writing Director for Waterdeep
[snip]
 Should your DM prefer the first ruling, he is free to go through your logsheet and disallow all items which were selected as a second pick during a level, even if you had found magic slots open.


No, he's not.  It's the DM's job to run the game, not trying to enforce clearly wrong CS interpretations of the LFR rules.  This isn't LG -- the campaign allows complete rebuilds (or almost complete).  The days of character audits, etc. are over. 

If a DM even tried this (which I doubt would ever happen), after I got through laughing I would either:  a) just say no you can't see my log sheets; b) go talk to the senior DM/Organizer; or c) either switch tables or just leave the table.

Of course, I think this is really just a hypothetical situation anyway.  Most LFR players/DM understand the correct rules on items and I don't see many people at all inclined to ask for logsheets, much less checking them for item selections.

Daren
 

If a DM even tried this (which I doubt would ever happen), after I got through laughing I would either:  a) just say no you can't see my log sheets; b) go talk to the senior DM/Organizer; or c) either switch tables or just leave the table.



I would ask you to leave the table for unsportsmanlike conduct, thats just awful. 
If a DM even tried this (which I doubt would ever happen), after I got through laughing I would either:  a) just say no you can't see my log sheets; b) go talk to the senior DM/Organizer; or c) either switch tables or just leave the table.

I can't say I'd recommend a DM enforcing nonsensical rules, but if I were DMing and you refused to even show me your log sheets, your leaving the table wouldn't be in question.

While you are correct that no RPGA/LFR rule mandates logsheet audits, it is also true that no RPGA/LFR rule mandates that a particular player can require a DM to run an adventure for him.  I think a DM always has the right (if not the responsibility) to make sure that he has a table full of legal LFR characters.

I have questioned someone's item selections before, having them change their logsheets before proceeding with the module.  One was a "WEEK1-1 gave out any "magic armor +2", so my DM said it was fine if I took +2 dwarven plate; I believe the other was an item with a weapon/armor property that wasn't legal for that particular weapon/armor, like a +2 resounding longsword.

You may believe the campaign rules are loose enough that it's fine that a player walk around with items that the DM believes violate the rules without anyone being able to do anything to permanently correct that situation.  That may very well be true, but they aren't so loose that I am forced to allow such a character to play at any table I run.
I can't say I'd recommend a DM enforcing nonsensical rules, but if I were DMing and you refused to even show me your log sheets, your leaving the table wouldn't be in question.
[snip]
You may believe the campaign rules are loose enough that it's fine that a player walk around with items that the DM believes violate the rules without anyone being able to do anything to permanently correct that situation.  That may very well be true, but they aren't so loose that I am forced to allow such a character to play at any table I run.


I played at a con last weekend and one of my friends not only didn't bring his log sheets, he forgot his character sheet.  He scrawled his powers out on a handwritten sheet of paper.  Then he just wrote out his LFR reward cards on strips of loose leaf paper.  No DM said a word.  I have seen much more of this mentality than people questioning item selections.  I was just trying to point out that the odds of an LFR DM ever saying take some items back there are illegal is virtually nil.

Daren
I played at a con last weekend and one of my friends not only didn't bring his log sheets, he forgot his character sheet.  He scrawled his powers out on a handwritten sheet of paper.  Then he just wrote out his LFR reward cards on strips of loose leaf paper.  No DM said a word.  I have seen much more of this mentality than people questioning item selections.  I was just trying to point out that the odds of an LFR DM ever saying take some items back there are illegal is virtually nil.



I'd ve very unlikely to query a person unless there was something illegal to anyone (a grasping bow, for example). If someone forgot his sheet, I'd definitely cut them a lot of slack -- like the GMs at this con. I don't think there's any conflict between checking things that look fishy and helping honest people have fun. 
I was just trying to point out that the odds of an LFR DM ever saying take some items back there are illegal is virtually nil.

The odds of an LFR DM enforcing this particular CS interpretation is virtually nil.  I would not, however, say that the odds an LFR DM asking you to correct your character sheet/log sheet if he thinks you're breaking the rules is nil, nor do I think the DM would be incorrect to require you to do so.

Are you telling me that if a player sat down at a table you were running, and used a Vecna's boon of diabolical choice (it's in the Character Builder, taken from an epic-level Dungeon magazine module and even there it's only supposed to be awarded by the DM to one PC as a one-shot consumable instead of being able to be purchased), claiming that because it was in the CB it was legal, and since it has a 0 gp value he can buy one every module, you wouldn't bat an eye?

Sadly, the above scenario is not fictional.

And, unfortunately, every DM has their own line of what they consider to be obvious and true interpretations of the rules.

If you believe that a PC is not allowed to purchase a Vecna's boon of diabolical choice, can't take a +2 flaming weapon when the adventure hands out a +2 magic weapon, and can't have seven found magic items as a 2nd level character (and all of those are so obvious that if you don't believe that, you shouldn't be DMing), I think it's entirely reasonable for you to tell a player they need to correct their character before they play at your table.

If you honestly believe that CustServ is correct, the same principle applies.

My initial point wasn't that I think any reasonable LFR DM is ever going to do this, more about the inanity of giving CustServ the power to makes rules proclamations like this that are binding on the campaign.
the inanity of giving CustServ the power to makes rules proclamations like this that are binding on the campaign.



This. On the other hand, it means more freedom for the DM: whenever custserv contradicts itself (and they often do), then the DM can pick whichever interpretation he prefers.
The POC for Waterdeep confirms that CS was mistaken. 
I assure you, you can have one found magic item per level, but you don't have to take one at each level, and can use previously open slots at higher levels

So what does this mean for those who are bringing their Encounters characters over to LFR?  I don't believe there's any such limit for found magic items in Encounters and a first level character may arrive with two or three, depending on how his party decided to divide the goods.
So what does this mean for those who are bringing their Encounters characters over to LFR?  I don't believe there's any such limit for found magic items in Encounters and a first level character may arrive with two or three, depending on how his party decided to divide the goods.

Until the LFR CCG is updated, D&DE characters are not legal in LFR.  When it is updated, I would expect that we will have rules on how to deal with D&DE characters.

And to preempt the question: Yes, various announcements about D&DE might say that characters can be ported over to LFR, but that's as meaningless as the CB saying a character is legal for LFR or my declaring that my home game characters can be played in LFR, since none of those are legal sources for campaign rules.
CS is ill-equipped to answer anything related to living/organized play. They are really only equipped to work on core rules issues. While they get very few RPGA-related questions that are repeated on the boards, those that are have been right 0% of the time - they just don't seem to understand RPGA/LFR at all.

That's really ok, since the CCG is pretty clear on these types of issues and admins clear most other issues fairly quickly. However, it would be nice if they would just clear any RPGA question in a different way. They almost need a top-level process. Is this related to organized play/RPGA/living x? If no, proceed. Frankly, it isn't a bad thing to send any and all RPGA questions over to these forums - we are more qualified as a group to answer these things than CS. Unlike rules questions, where CS is much closer to the devs and can eventually get to the current "truth" within WotC, with RPGA questions the "truth" tends to be based on a lot of historical precedence, the CCG, and comments by admins.

It would be ridiculous to think that we could ask CS about authoring XP budgets, Warforged wearing Canith goggles, or the transition from D&D Encounters - they just have practically nowhere to go to answer the question outside of Tulach (and he has better things to do). Send any questions over here. "For RPGA and Organized Play questions, please see our excellent forums, accessible through this link..."

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