Magic Item Rarity: A returning 4e DM seeks help

8 posts / 0 new
Last post
Hello DM Forumites!

I was very excited about 4E when it was in production and jumped in with both feet when it released. My group played together in 4e for about seven months before I had to move. Between then and now, I've fallen away from the game as no one in the area played.

Now I'm back in an area with a regular group, running a bi-weekly game. I'm trying to wrap my head around the magic item rarity from the back of the Rules Compendium. I really like the treasure charts, feels much more D&D than what was in the first DMG. My problem is figuring out what rarity each item is in the pile of supplements this group has. I don't see rarity mentioned in any of the Player's Handbooks or Adventurer's Vaults. If one of you folks could point me towards a resource for this, I'd be much obliged.
Rarity was a new rule system added with the release of the Essentials product line. That's why you can't find anything for it in the older books.

While there have been smatterings of information released to help pull the older items inline with the new rules, there has yet to be (to my knowledge that is) any compiled resource that gives a rundown on every currently published items rarity value. The Insider Compendium has a rarity filter in the items section though, so I suppose you could use that to help you try and figure things out. Alternatively, you could do what many people do and not use the rarity system.

Happy Gaming
Thanks for the speedy reply. I actually rather like the rarity system and most of the essentials line. 4e is great for the busy DM who doesn't have a lot of free time to plan, and rarity could be a big help with that if it gets fleshed out for prior publications.
Thanks for the speedy reply. I actually rather like the rarity system and most of the essentials line. 4e is great for the busy DM who doesn't have a lot of free time to plan, and rarity could be a big help with that if it gets fleshed out for prior publications.

I like rarity, too. In general, you can assume most items to be Rare. The exceptions are a handful of Rares like the Gauntlets of Ogre Power and a few common items such as Potions of Healing, +1 Swords, and such.

There are lists of Common and Rare items drifting around out there, so you should be able to work out from that which items are what rarity.
The online compendium has updated rarity for items. 
I read somewhere that almost all magic items that were created before the rarity system are uncommon items.
Get your Microsoft Word Monster Statistics Block Template here! My Campaign
I read somewhere that almost all magic items that were created before the rarity system are uncommon items.



A few items have been adjusted in other soruces, so unless you keep up with the rarity changes, it's hard to tell what is and is not using that old quick-fix.
A great thing about the item rarity stuff is that part of the rule is that you can modify it how you want.

For example:  Flaming, Thundering, Frost, etc. weapons are Uncommon by default.  However, I'm running an Eberron game, so I said "actually, elemental damage weapons are common in my game, so go nuts"

Basically, from what I've seen, if a player can make a build that uses the item (Frostcheese, for example), or having more than one grants a massive boost to the player's power (Orbs of Dragonkind), they are either uncommons or rares.

Staples, like Potions of Healing, are commons.  Or not; again, you as a DM have full control in the rules to say "actually, that specific item is going to be uncommon/rare" in my game. 
Salla, on minions: I typically use them as encounter filler. 'I didn't quite fill out the XP budget, not enough room left for a decent near-level monster ... sprinkle in a few minions'. Kind of like monster styrofoam packing peanuts.