what book should have magic items.

I did a search and couldn't find a mention of this so here goes. What book do you think magic items should be in. I prefer them in the DMG. I like to surprise the players. I felt 4th got away from that.
Agree completely. 

I really don't care for the way 4E handles traesure and magic items at all.  
Agree completely. 

I really don't care for the way 4E handles traesure and magic items at all.  



I Have thought that from the beginning when you have players constantly asking for this of that. I enjoy the mystery that a well placed majic item can provide.  
I'm sure we'll get some spoilsports who say "My character isn't my character unless I control every atom of everything remotely pertaining to him, so I must have complete information on all magic items, so that I can pick out the exact ones the DM will have me 'earn'."

Or - "Since I long ago spoiled being a Player for myself by looking up all the monsters and all the items, and I like it that way, we should by default put the items in the PHB, because everyone else should have the mystery spoiled too."

On the other side, you'll have:

"I'm trying to delude myself into believing that it's still possible to retain some mystery."
Or-
"They're elements of the game world, not the characters, and I only DM because I hate players, so I'm keeping them all to myself, hahahah!" 

I think that covers most of the conversation, in the most uncharitable ways possible. 

Personally, I think they should go in the DMG. 
This is one area where walking it back a bit, edition-wise would make me very happy.

And I'm generally pretty progressive on the edition wars front. 
Player's Handbook.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
The DMG.

This of course won't stop the players from knowing each & every item anyways.  It never did back in AD&D/2e/3x.
But it did force everyone to buy an extra book.


My personal opinion?
I don't care if they know what the items do, or want certain ones, but players have no bussiness buying their way through the lists of magic items.  This stuff isn't standard equipment.  So if you want it?  Go adventuring.  RP for it. Etc etc etc.

 
I'd prefer that Players don't need to find magic items at all. Their armor and weapons and so forth are perfectly fine as is, and the only real use for magical items is utility or occasional Villainous Plot Immunity.

Then I can stop worrying about getting another +1 on my sword and instead look for an Eversmoking Bottle or something fun like that.

And I don't care where they go because I play and DM so I'll be looking them over anyway. I'll say Player's Handbook because I really don't mind players looking for specific items.
Oh - I'd like to say the DMG again, because I'd like artifacts to be with the other magic items. Also, because I'd prefer the various magic-item creation modules be with the items. And because I think the treasure distribution rules modules should also be with the treasure that's being distributed. Basically, everything that modifies or creates or distributes items is probably going to be in the DMG, so it makes a little sense to put the actual items there, too.
Really before we can answer this question we need to know if the posession of copious magic items is an assumption of the system math.

Scenario one: Posession of magic is assumed by the system math and if you fall behind the curve your character becomes sub par. This is the 4th ed approach. Under this logic I favor the PHB as the residing place for magic item lists.

Scenario two: magic is rare, precious and does not really affect the core math of the game. Then you should put it in the DMG with strong advice to the DM on how to pick magic items that will be useful to the characters and complement the theme the player is developing. This advice is necessary as there are few things more demotivating than getting a short sword of fiery impact when no-one in the party can use the thing effectively. Queue magic shops and vendors and the PCs try to hock the thing off so they can buy somthing useful.
I prefer magic items to be found in the Dungeon Master Guide and other Treasure derived manuals (Tome of Magic, Adventure Vaults, or Mordenkainen Magnificient Emporium etc..)

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

Purchasable magic items in the PH, everything else in the DMG.
4e D&D is not a "Tabletop MMO." It is not Massively Multiplayer, and is usually not played Online. Come up with better descriptions of your complaints, cuz this one means jack ****.
DMG.  It's usually the thinnest of the three anyway, so there's no point in moving content out of it.
As generally harmless as the Sears Catalog is, there's little to be gained by making the default assumption.
Purchasable magic items in the PH, everything else in the DMG.


I wish not. 
I don't want the books to decide which magic items are purchasable IMC. I prefer they left this assumption entirely to the DM personally.

Yan
Montréal, Canada
@Plaguescarred on twitter

DMG.

Magic items shouldn't be a commodity that PCs require to maintain balance or feel entitled to--they should be fun rewards and/or plot points.
DMG.

Magic items shouldn't be a commodity that PCs require to maintain balance or feel entitled to--they should be fun rewards and/or plot points.



Which has exactly squat to do with where they're found in the books.  They should be in the PHB for the same reason the spells and class and race abilities and every other piece of equipment the PCs have is there; there will generally be multiple PHBs floating around a table, but usually only one DMG.  If a player needs to look up something his character can do, it'll be a lot easier for him to do so if he doesn't have to ask the DM for his book in the middle of whatever, or make the DM stop and read it to him.  He can easily look it up between turns, or while another player is doing his thing.

There's also the 'if a player wants to make a magic item, he'll need to know what it is he can make' thing as well.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
They should be in the Magic Item Compendium, of course.

Seriously though, I'm for Magic Items in the DMG.  It goes hand in hand with the philosophy that Magic Items should be nice, not necessary.  Also, some people and groups (me and mine included) enjoy variants and identification -- implicitly, anything written in the DMG (even if the players have memorized it cover to cover) is essentially subject to change by the DM without warning, while material in the PHB is "public" as should be any campaign alterations to it.  Thus, putting Magic Items in the DMG allows their mystery to be preserved.

Of course, some groups will want to play a more "Monty Haul" style campaign, or start at such a level where the party cold be expected to own fully identified magic items at the start.  Or, they might just not like identification and mystery.  For those parties, I say let the pages of the DMG be thrown open.  this is because, well, you can't put the toothpaste back in the tube: the parties that wan't to play with public and/or common magic items can do so with magic items in the DMG, but those who don't are disadvantaged by magic items in the PHB.

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DMG... while it won't make a huge difference, the less the players see of the magical items, the more exciting they will be when introduced.


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putting magic items isn't going to keep players from seeing them. it'll just be inconvienent for the reasons salla's listed.

if you want to have the players be surprised by items, put some rules for creating balanced and unique items in the DMG.
Since they are part of a character's build, and they would be in the character builder, I think the PHB makes the most sense, although I agree having them in the DMG makes them feel more special.

I'd like to see a lot less magic items - I think they should be unusual to find - perhaps one or two per adventure. At the moment there are literally 1000s of magic items in 4e and characters need them in most slots to keep up with the power curve. This feels a bit crazy to me.
Since they are part of a character's build, and they would be in the character builder, I think the PHB makes the most sense, although I agree having them in the DMG makes them feel more special.

I'd like to see a lot less magic items - I think they should be unusual to find - perhaps one or two per adventure. At the moment there are literally 1000s of magic items in 4e and characters need them in most slots to keep up with the power curve. This feels a bit crazy to me.



I agree that if magic items are like 4e or Pathfinder, assumed/necessary for characters to keep up, they need to be in the PH.

I also agree that items should NOT be like this in Next. Since the developers seem to be leaning this way, I would be cool with them being in the DMG, as long as I can have an appropriately butt-kicking Barbarian or Monk hero without them.

But won't magic items just be in the Character Builder, anyway?
The same book they put the gods in ... see gods are very campaign world specific so are magic items.
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"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

 At the moment there are literally 1000s of magic items in 4e and characters need them in most slots to keep up with the power curve.



Utter nonsense... what 3 slots have significant power curve impact and that is undermined completely via the inherent bonuses rule.

It goes beyond power too, 4e characters have a alot of inherent cool that you arent begging the DM for, without magic items not so of 1e and 2e or 3e martial characters.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

I'm sure we'll get some spoilsports who say "My character isn't my character unless I control every atom of everything remotely pertaining to him, so I must have complete information on all magic items, so that I can pick out the exact ones the DM will have me 'earn'."

Or - "Since I long ago spoiled being a Player for myself by looking up all the monsters and all the items, and I like it that way, we should by default put the items in the PHB, because everyone else should have the mystery spoiled too."

On the other side, you'll have:

"I'm trying to delude myself into believing that it's still possible to retain some mystery."
Or-
"They're elements of the game world, not the characters, and I only DM because I hate players, so I'm keeping them all to myself, hahahah!" 

I think that covers most of the conversation, in the most uncharitable ways possible. 

Personally, I think they should go in the DMG. 


Wow, that was a pretty good summary. I think this needs to happen at the outset of every thread, just so the people who will post the obvious realize they are about to post the obvious.

Practically speaking, I don't think it matters which book they are in, or even that they appear in the core 3. I wouldn't care if "Adventurer's Vault" or "Magic Item Compendium" books became the primary source for magical treasure. As long as the PH has an abundance of options and the DMG has a lot of good advice, ideas, and tools, I don't care about which book I need to reference for magic items (especially if there's a Character Builder - good catch, whoever pointed that out).

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PHB, so I don't have to buy the DMG.
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DMG.

Magic items shouldn't be a commodity that PCs require to maintain balance or feel entitled to--they should be fun rewards and/or plot points.



Which has exactly squat to do with where they're found in the books.  They should be in the PHB for the same reason the spells and class and race abilities and every other piece of equipment the PCs have is there; there will generally be multiple PHBs floating around a table, but usually only one DMG.  If a player needs to look up something his character can do, it'll be a lot easier for him to do so if he doesn't have to ask the DM for his book in the middle of whatever, or make the DM stop and read it to him.  He can easily look it up between turns, or while another player is doing his thing.

There's also the 'if a player wants to make a magic item, he'll need to know what it is he can make' thing as well.



I think this gets to the heart of it.  Whether they are looking to buy, quest for, or craft a magic item, it helps to know what is possible.

The reason given most often so far in favor of having items in the DMG (Having them there keeps them more secret and thus more exciting for players) don't hold up to scrutiny.

In practice, it doesn't matter where they are. You could keep them in a password protected site (and only DMs have the password); players who want to find out about magic items will do so. In my current group, none of the players have any interest in reading about magic items. They enjoy being surprised, and so they just don't read the section on magic items.  (And I should note that what I said above actually happens in my game.  They have tons of money, because they don't know what they can spend it on!  Every so often I make a short list of items I think they might want.)
The DMG isn't some top secret tome; anyone who wants to look in it can look in it.  Especially because people often switch up DMing.  Say I start as the DM, and then a few months later I switch out.  Now I am a player, but I have full knowledge of all the magic items.  If I can do that without hurting my ability to be a player, so can anyone.

Now, the more practical reason is one of cost: should DMs be forced to buy the PHB so that they can have access to magic items?  Well, I could be wrong (I wonder if there is any data on this out there), but I would guess that nearly all DMs own all three core books anyway.  The DM is the guy who brings in new players, and you can't do that without a copy of the PHB.  The DM is also the guy who wants to know about what the players can do, and you can't do that without a copy of the PHB.  Lastly, the DM is the guy who typically knows the rules pretty well, if not the best, and you can't do that without a copy of the PHB.

On the other hand, players (those individuals with no interest in DMing) most often own just the PHB (out of the core 3).  Thus it seems like a good idea to keep magic items in the PHB.

Finally, because I like to be my own devil's advocate with these issues, if the items were in the DMG it could improve the game.  Players who want to know about magic items would have to buy the book (more sales means the game is more successful, means they will continue to make support, means better game).  Players who have the DMG will read the DMG, and that will lead to more people deciding to DM.  More DMs = Better game.  The potential downside of this is if people think WotC is just "money grabbing", something they seem to be accused of at the drop of a hat.  But seeing as how magic items were in the DMG for each past edition, this accusation would fall flat.

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... I think that covers most of the conversation, in the most uncharitable ways possible. 

Personally, I think they should go in the DMG. 

Wow, that was a pretty good summary. I think this needs to happen at the outset of every thread, just so the people who will post the obvious realize they are about to post the obvious.

Wonderful!

Personally, I don't care which book they're going to be in. My groups read all the books cover to cover anyway. And I often hand out an index card with the specifics of the item when a PC ends up with a magic item -- a quick reference, and a neat reminder of what he has.

In memory of wrecan and his Unearthed Wrecana.

Adventurer's Vault, which should include mundane objects, prices for buying strongholds and taverns, artifacts, making objects, vehicles, and hiring henchmen and livestock.  Heck, I'd even consider putting rules for mounts and animal companions in here as well.

By putting it in a separate book teeming with options, the gaming group gets to decide whether access to items is controlled by the players or DM.
@wrecan
I might call it treasure vault but I wouldn't be against it.  My fear is that is now a fourth book required to even play the game on day one.   Maybe the DMG has enough items to run the campaign to level 3.

@others
If my choice is PHB vs DMG then I say DMG.  DM's should tell their players what items do when they discover that inside the game.   I'm for notecards etc... if the DM decides to reveal everything all at once.

 
Adventurer's Vault, which should include mundane objects, prices for buying strongholds and taverns, artifacts, making objects, vehicles, and hiring henchmen and livestock.  Heck, I'd even consider putting rules for mounts and animal companions in here as well.

By putting it in a separate book teeming with options, the gaming group gets to decide whether access to items is controlled by the players or DM


Which does increase the number of required books from 3 to 4. 

Two ideas.

The first might be to have common items, the very basic magic items in the PHB. This would also include standard adventuring gear and alchemical items as well as some simple wands and potions. That way the basics of magic item creation or use can be included for the players, so they know how to use items and what types of items exist.
Meanwhile, anything uncommon or rare could be in the DMG where it's inclusion is optional and the details can kept secret. They could reprint the content from the PHB as well for the sake of comprehensiveness. 

My other idea, which I've been pushing for a while, is having the first 5e book be a single Core Rulebook with all the basic rules, classes, and starter modules. So magic items would be there. The DMG, with its expansive optional rules modules, could be a nice place to put the rest of the magic items, or the aforementioned item book where they could be expanded and many item and magic creation modules could be included.

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DMG.

Magic items shouldn't be a commodity that PCs require to maintain balance or feel entitled to--they should be fun rewards and/or plot points.



Which has exactly squat to do with where they're found in the books.



Well, if magical items are not part of the expected baseline for chracter balance and it's possible to run a game without their inclusion, then it makes sense for them not to be in the PHB. Not only does that free up a good deal of space in the PHB for more player resources, it also allows DMs to have the option to keep magic items in the realm of "mystery and awe" instead commonplace and mundane should they choose.

They should be in the PHB for the same reason the spells and class and race abilities and every other piece of equipment the PCs have is there; there will generally be multiple PHBs floating around a table, but usually only one DMG.  If a player needs to look up something his character can do, it'll be a lot easier for him to do so if he doesn't have to ask the DM for his book in the middle of whatever, or make the DM stop and read it to him.  He can easily look it up between turns, or while another player is doing his thing.



However, if magic items aren't necessary for the balancing of the game, they're not required to be a player resource or for players to have a crap-tonne of them (potentially requiring frequent reference to be less necessary). Inclusion in the PHB, again, also causes the exclusion of other potentional options for players--be that more races, classes, powers/spells, themes, backgrounds, feats, combat options, playing advices, etc.

Also, asking the DM (or whoever else that may have it) to hand over the DMG is no more disruptive than asking to pass the Spell Compendium (or other resource) for asking to borrow more dice to roll your sneak attack, spell/power damage or whatever. While the goal of trying to minimize the amount of books necessary for a player to reference in-game is a noble goal, trying to keep it to one book, or even to books that there will always be multiples of, is something of an object lesson in futility as splatbooks will make a quick death of that.

There's also the 'if a player wants to make a magic item, he'll need to know what it is he can make' thing as well.



As the ability for PCs to craft magic items looks like it may be entirely optional, so that's not a strong argument for putting them in the PHB.

EDIT: WotC, please replace your forum software with something that doesn't suck.
Should WotC decide to put the magic items in the PHB, the first thing I'll do as DM is change all the numbers and names and abilities so the information is useless, or, in fact, lethally misleading. Because I hate players, and want them to fail and quit my game so I can't play anymore. Or because the feeling of discovery is quite possibly the most enjoyable part of the game for me and my friends. One or the other. 
I did a search and couldn't find a mention of this so here goes. What book do you think magic items should be in. I prefer them in the DMG. I like to surprise the players. I felt 4th got away from that.



Definately the DMG.
I would like to play a low magic game where weapons are mysterious and unpurchasable.

Therefore I would like the items to go in the DMG. 

 
DISCLAIMER: I never played 4ed, so I may misunderstand some of the rules.
> The first might be to have common items, the very basic magic
> items in the PHB.
>
> Meanwhile, anything uncommon or rare could be in the DMG

I agree with Salla's viewpoint: putting things that the players will end up using (regardless of how they're obtained) in the DMG is a bad idea for logistical reasons, and all of the nostalgia in the world doesn't change that.


But besides that point, the one thing I'd really want is for the collectibles-rarity approach (and terminology) to die in a fire.

That won't happen in Next, by the look of things. Maybe in The One After That...
However, as you further mentioned, in practice it's rather pointless.  If a player wants to see a magic item list, he's either gonna buy the DMG or flip through it at the bookstore, whether or not the DM wants him to see them.

Let's not pretend, for any amount of time, that the DMG is a sacred tome of forbidden lore.

The DMG is the appropriate place for magical swag, simply because it's the appropriate place for describing the placement and purpose any other adventuring rewards.
DMG

Magic items should be lost, historic relics, found as a by product of adventuring in exotic locales. At least by default. If your group prefers the magic mart model then by all means, put them up for sale in every mercantile and bakery.

Magic items should never be part of anyone's character concept, and should not be required by the math to play the game. You should feel grateful for finding that tuning fork of ear-splitting thunder, no matter what character you have envisioned.





DMG.
I would like to play a low magic game where weapons are mysterious and unpurchasable.

Therefore I would like the items to go in the DMG. 

 



So, I guess everyone gets to be a monk?
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

I would like to play a low magic game where weapons are mysterious and unpurchasable.

Therefore I would like the items to go in the DMG. 

 



So, I guess everyone gets to be a monk?



You can purchase monks ;)
Both.  Basic magic item properties, like the idea that a flaming sword deals an extra die of fire damage, should be listed in the PHB, since its more or less obvious.

Then there should be a second part in the DMG for properties like "on a crit versus undead, deals double max damage instead of max damage" or "if used against an elf, the user takes 2d6 damage."

That way you can hand the player an interesting and usable weapon, and hold back the interesting parts until such a time as it becomes relevant.