"Downgrading" a magic item parcel and granting more gold: Good idea?

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Greetings, all. As I'm looking at my party's wish lists, I'm seeing several items (that would be cool) that may not get rewarded before my party runs over the level. In one circumstance, early in the campaign, I took a level 3 treasure parcel, "downgraded" it to level 2, and gave the difference in gold to the party.

So, is this approach wise? Can anybody forsee massive problems? 

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57019168 wrote:
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I've done this a few times, and never gotten any complaints (as well as some upgraded a level). It may cause some small issues if you're swapping between levels with different bonuses. So if they were supposed to get a level 6 item that would give +2 enhancement, getting level 5 that would still be +1 may leave your players a little behind.

Depending on how your players feel about rituals or consumable items that may also be a good way to fill in parcel budgets if you don't want to just be handing out gold.
As long as you're staying within enhancement brackets, you're probably okay. It might be better to split a level 5 item into two level 2 items since the cost is almost the same and it allows two people to get items at a point when they're otherwise rather scarce.

As an alternative, downgrade the level 3 item to level 2 and upgrade the level 4 item to level 5. The items will have the same overall value and should work about as well for the party.
They treasure guidelines are pretty loose, and with the exponential growth, there's plenty of wiggle room.  You could probably get away with giving out 1/2 or 2x the amount they suggest without unbalacing thing too much.

Also, i usually count things on the wishlist as a level or 2 higher then they really are.  Because i'm sure the +2 wishlist item will be more powerful in character's hands then the +2 generic item.

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F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

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I don't see how just giving them gold and letting them buy items is different than them giving you magic item lists which was the original suggested method in the DMG.  Assuming of course that WotC's 4E magic item format has allowed them to make them balanced and you don't have to micromanage that, right?  If anything it plays better winning a dragon's horde with gold and them going and buying the item than it would play finding a dragon sitting on the 5 exact items the party was after.  Imagine that!  The dragon had godplate of awesomeness just like I wanted!  It's even pixie sized!  And the codpiece is triple extra large, just like I need!  Best!  Dragon!  Ever!

@mikemearls don't quite understand the difference

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Give gold.  A character wants something you don't foresee to be in your treasure?  Let them buy it with that extra gold.  Then it doesn't have to fit the parcel package.  Tired of giving gold?  Give treasure they don't want to trade toward items they do.  They may even find they really wanted the item they didn't ask for.  Not alot of magic items to be sold in your world?  Use some sort of Streetwise check to find a source with the item in question, even if it's just someone "passing through."  Add a Black Market (or still use Streetwise) skill for fencing and finding items.  Skill check DC effected by magic item level.
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