Anyone Else Noticed This?


 While we all hangout torlling each other erm I mean constructively offering feedback on each others viewpoints a coupld of things I have noticed in D&DN change the dynamic of the game in ways which I'm not sure people are fully aware of. Maybe they have not tested the game that much. I'm not an expert by any means but I have noticed 2 things that have changed the dynamics of the game at least for 3.5/4th and Pathfinder players.

1. Wealth by level guidelines or equivilents have been tossed.
2. No more magic item crafting RAW atm anyway.

 This changes the game in several ways some obvious, others not so obvious. In the playtest packet for example I have raised my eyebrow at the amount of wealth that the module has in it. After a quick trip to the Caves of Chaos the PCs did not have that much wealth as such but they were all decked out in magic armor, weapons and a shield. I was joking with my players that in ealrier editions of the game kicking in the door would rain a +1 shield, weapon and 16 healing potions on you.

 My PCs are going to be rich at level 7 or so if they get most of the available loot from the Isle of Dread.  I already know what my PCs wil spend the money on. Most likely a townhouse, tower, keep, shipyard, boat or founding a town somewhere. If the PCs get a million gold pieces it is no big deal. Give the PCs a million gold pieces in 3.5/4th ed they are going to want to go shopping for magic items. If you want your PCs to have a castle or whatever in those editions you are better off giving them the castle than actual coins. A similar problem happened in Star Wars Saga. Give them a million credits to buy a luxury yachet or a small capital ship like a Corellion Corvette and one of them is going to get tempted with what else one could buy with a million credits. A suit of customised mandalorian battle armor, a tricked out light freighter like the Falcon/Ebon Hawk and a customised TIE defender were also options ones could buy with a million credits along with several thermal detonators and minature proton torpedo launchers.

 Whatever flaws 3.5 and 4th ed had they gave you alot of incentive to buy combat related magic items. RAW it was not hard to craft your own if the DM was not giving you what you wanted. Think of builds using 18-20 crit range weapons and the keen property in 3rd ed/PF and the frostcheese combo in 4th ed. Alot of those optimised builds do not work without speciific items or properties.

 I actually like this change in D&DN apart from the retro feel its something as a DM I was getting sick of since 3.0. Say no alot or watch PCs run amok was not really a great option. One can still powergame and optimise you will just have no expectation of getting exactly what you want or to try and craft it and hope your DM doesn't say no. You will have to use what your DM gives you.

 Another example would be the wealth levels and the impact it had on rituals One could have a very rich PC at low levels at least by modern standards. Rituals were not to well recieved in 4th ed for various reasons but a large element of that was they ate up gold which could be better spent on magic items. No more magic items and what else are you going to spend your copious amounts of gold on? Rituals if done well my actually work better in D&DN. 2nd ed had the elements of a ritual system in the High Level Campaigns book. 3.0 tried with the awful epic level spellcasting system in the Epic Level Handbook. It seemed like it was built on the 2nd ed idea but worse. To me rituals are things for warding houses/areas, translating languages off tombs and at high/epic levels for doing things like crafting portals, making a mythal, or cutting the top off a mountain making it fly and inverting it to build a city.

 Not every spellcaster may want to do these things of course  so it can be a feat. If it is powerful like 2nd eds 10th level spells and true dweomers make another feat (Epic ritual or something) that allows an epic caster to do so. Other factors apart fomr gold can also be used to make them interesting. Maybe interupting a evil ritual cast on the winter solstice  using the blood of a fallen angel to ressurect Vecna or something similar would make a decent plot device. If done well. Magic items can be interesting again as a magical singing bird doesn't divert gold from combat ability. If A DM wants to give a level 3 charactera +3 weapon so be it. They can always add an extra monster or 2 to an encounter to compensate if its an issue. Our D&DN wizard has the +3 staff of striking that the Caves of Chaos had in the evil temple. Every now and then he enters melee combat with it.

 This is one retro thing I personally do like. PCs can still craft items like in 2nd ed it is just not going to be easy like they made it in 3rd and 4th ed. Being free from the shackles of WBL guidelines and assumed bonuses to hit and certina levels seems a positive thing to me even for the players (indirectly). What are peoples  thoughts?

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

I always foung wealth-by-level guidelines to be some of the most contrived rules to come out of the game. Unfortunately, it was the only real way to ensure that the PCs kept up with the new-items-every-level paradigm (also horrible rules). I say good riddance to bad rules that make other bad rules even worse.
I always foung wealth-by-level guidelines to be some of the most contrived rules to come out of the game. Unfortunately, it was the only real way to ensure that the PCs kept up with the new-items-every-level paradigm (also horrible rules).

That's why it usually stuck in the DMG somewhere.

I always foung wealth-by-level guidelines to be some of the most contrived rules to come out of the game. Unfortunately, it was the only real way to ensure that the PCs kept up with the new-items-every-level paradigm (also horrible rules). I say good riddance to bad rules that make other bad rules even worse.



 Would it be fair to say it lets the DM choose how magic rich his world is without having to houserule it? Its a major change in PF I hate as they made crating items even easier and at half the price (you don't need the prerequisite spells anymore and it doesn't drain xp). 4th ed at least made it convenient to get what you want rather than offering half price items.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 


 While we all hangout torlling each other erm I mean constructively offering feedback on each others viewpoints a coupld of things I have noticed in D&DN change the dynamic of the game in ways which I'm not sure people are fully aware of. Maybe they have not tested the game that much. I'm not an expert by any means but I have noticed 2 things that have changed the dynamics of the game at least for 3.5/4th and Pathfinder players.

1. Wealth by level guidelines or equivilents have been tossed. 



1e had a wealth by level table it was called the experience table, you gained so little experience points for defeating evil and so much from wealth that it would be a multiplier of the experience points you have gained.  0.7 or something like that.
  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."

 

Not accounting for expected wealth if you actually use level as a measure of the characters general potency is denying that wealth conveys power.. it isnt realistic in game or out.
  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 always foung wealth-by-level guidelines to be some of the most contrived rules to come out of the game. Unfortunately, it was the only real way to ensure that the PCs kept up with the new-items-every-level paradigm (also horrible rules). I say good riddance to bad rules that make other bad rules even worse.



well i like guidelines for this but they should be in the DMG.
and maybe difrent wealth advancements based on what kind of game you are playing. 
In fact its more realistic to use the 1e method than none at all
  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."

 

A rich character in game is going to have advanatges over someone who isn't. You do not get extra xp for wealth in D&DN. I did let PCs buy and sell items in previous editions but it was find the right NPC, not head to the nearest market and dump all of your unwanted items, then goto the nearest town with a large enough population/gp limit and buy the exact item you are looking for. Or spend a few hours casting a ruitual in 4th ed and spending gold which eliminates the need for a town in he first place.

 I like it, don't expect everyone to agree with me and its somehting i noticed in the playtest packets. ALot of wealth and magic items. Unless the DM is being kind though don't expect to find a magic katana in the Caves of Chaos or Isle of Dread. I've always been a bit lenient with magic weaposn to some extent but good luck finding a holy avenger or frostbrand in previous ediitons for sale. I don't mind powergaming (I am a powergamer of sorts) but I do not like extreme powergaming if that makes any sense and 3.5 and 4th were kind of bad for that. A large part of that was based on getting the right equipment for your build.

 You don't walk into a shop, drop 100k and walk off with Excalibur.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

A rich character in game is going to have advanatges over someone who isn't. You do not get extra xp for wealth in D&DN.  



True... in 1e you barely got extra xp for defeating a monster... most of it was treasure... collecting treasure ummm was the core game and monster xp an after thought we joked about look I found a copper on the street .... hey I just got more skilled but since it was the DMs job to make sure there was an appropriate risk reward relationship between money gained and how it could be gained? it really wasnt significantly different except in flavor from tables showing gold vs level.
  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."

 

A rich character has more POWER than one who is not.... not just advantages unless I cant hire anyone or bribe anyone or buy any sort of supplies etc. hirelings are they useless just so we can pretend the rich have no power? or are we even a little pretending this is a real world.
  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."

 

A large part of that was based on getting the right equipment for your build.


I think you've really put your finger on the problem here.  I know I myself in my younger, more min-maxy days treated the wealth-by-level table and the magic items list as almost a point-buy system for character abilities.  And I do have to say that there is fun to be had in making those kinds of assessments to build the perfect character - I like Diablo II, I like Torchlight, I freaking love Dungeons of Dredmor.  But I believe that D&D is going for more verisimilitude and a focus on story, and I don't think such assumptions are appropriate for that kind of game.  Baldur's Gate had it exactly right, in my mind:  every really good item you found was a rare and wonderful surprise.  (On your first run, anyway; of course you could replay it and know where to get the stuff for your build.  But every D&D campaign is always a "first run", so that's no problem.)
Not accounting for expected wealth if you actually use level as a measure of the characters general potency is denying that wealth conveys power.. it isnt realistic in game or out.



What you mean I can't hire 50,000 1st level fighters to loot dungeons for me?Smile
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
What you mean I can't hire 50,000 1st level fighters to loot dungeons for me?

Wouldn't it be cheaper to hire 100 sappers to stripmine the dungeon?

What you mean I can't hire 50,000 1st level fighters to loot dungeons for me?

Wouldn't it be cheaper to hire 100 sappers to stripmine the dungeon?




Well first you clear the rabble out then strip mine, just makes it easier, or the miners get together and try to hire a pesky adventuring party and you are back at square one...Smile
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
One of my favorite systems is Savage Worlds: Beasts and Barbarians. Much like a Conan novel it is assumed you amass great wealth repeatedly over the course of your adventuring career. Also like a Conan novel your adventures seem to lose all their money again between adventures (the have rules for RP opportunity that explains why).

I hate magic mart game play and think 4e's inherent bonuses was one of the smartest innovations in the system.
Inherent bonuses was a brilliant idea.

While first introduced late in the 3.5 run they were executed best in 4th.

It'd be nice to say that "bounded accuracy" makes the idea unecessary, but the current settings for magic items makes that untrue so I hope to see that system back in Next. 
Wealth by level is really needed for players who begin the game after level one. Essentially giving the dm and player a guide for how many magic items they can buy. From experience this usually still has them weaker than everyone else but is still a good guide.
In second ed you just grabbed a few magic items (DMs discretion) and went for  it. Its not hard to put a rule like that in or a paragraph about starting above level 10.
IE.
 You may start the game with 3 uncommen magic items.

 I suppose do people like/hate D&DN magic items. Or are people quite attached to 3rd/4th ed magic item creation would be interesting to know. Its been a while since it was the default rules but I have persoanlly been enjoying it from the DM POV.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

Am I alone in thinking that "wealth by level" really should be "fudge it"?
I think wealth by level should be 0. Magic items should be earned. (I also think +X items are terribad game design).
I think wealth by level should be 0. Magic items should be earned. (I also think +X items are terribad game design).



Careful there, you're awfully close to implying Mearls is not a competent game designer.
I think wealth by level should be 0. Magic items should be earned. (I also think +X items are terribad game design).



Careful there, you're awfully close to implying Mearls is not a competent game designer.



Now who would possibly imply that?Wink
"Unite the [fan] base? Hardly. As of right now, I doubt their ability to unite a slightly unruly teabag with a cup of water."--anjelika
1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
I think that unless the players have a reason to spend their treasure regularly they really don't need to get rich by adventuring. 

I think that there should be times when the guy hiring them reneges on a deal or offers a pittance for their service (and you remain strict about the puny reward).

I think that after driving a couple of dozen kobolds from a cave complex the group should have found a lot of trash and useless garbage. The valuable stuff should be bulky and hard to transport and be of low value as well.

Why would you adventure if you made a killing at your last foray. living expenses are low but you have 3,000 coins you can't spend on anything. You have crooks trying to rob you, swindle you, or just cut your throat so they can have all that loot. 

If you need to use hat cash to train for your next level or tithe to your church, or to pay some ungodly taxes or other such expenses then it makes sense to have large treasures but if all your players do is stockpile coins then they really don't need them.

I guess it's a matter of how you see your world and how you reward the players for their trouble. I see the game itself as the goal and it's own reward and the junk you find is just the end result of finding a goblin lair to raid and collect up after you're done murdering them for their stuff. ( or what ever excuse you used to justify murdering them.)

If the sole purpose of raiding said goblin camp was in retaliation for raids or kidnappings then why would your "heroes" even care if they had anything worth taking?

Tying wealth to character level was a kludge used in other editions to continue the constant arms race necessary to balance the math so your characters weren't under powered or vulnerable when the next monster came along. In a game where there isn't any constant numbers bloat you don't need to constantly feed the players ever increasing amounts of money and goods to keep up. Only to feed their greed.
Am I alone in thinking that "wealth by level" really should be "fudge it"?


I've been thinking about implementing a very simple system for the next time I start off higher-level PCs.  Each PC gets two or three "cool things".  A cool thing can be a magic item, a cohort or companion, a castle, a guildmaster title, or any other sort of character-external benefit that the player can convince me is appropriate.  Every cool thing needs a backstory, and should ideally provide hooks for further adventures as well.  Basically, they should all be suitable as epithets:  you should be able to say "Borbas, Bearer of the Blazing Blade, Count of Cordar Keep, Chosen Champion of Choldoth" rather than just "Borbas has these seventeen assorted magic items".
Am I alone in thinking that "wealth by level" really should be "fudge it"?



 Thats the purpose of this thread. As long as it works and the PCs are happy theres no real problem with WBL or fudging it so to speak. It may be a difficult adjustment if you have only played 3rd ed onwards. I have actually enjoyed the playtest packets with the extra loot compared to later editions. It will be interesting to see the faces of some of my players who are used to 3.5 and 4th eds assumptions with loot. One of those hordes on the Isle of Dread is 40k worth roughly at level 5 maybe 6. They are already overequipped by modern standards.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

Looks like a prime candidate for modularity.
Default: Organic wealth progression, drop whatever loot in front of the PCs you care to.
Monty Haul: Christmas trees of magic items and hoardes of coin as far as the eye can see.
The High Cost of Living: Suggest wealth just enough to keep the pcs from starving, with extensive rules for coin exchange, taxes, and fees.
Ect...

Mind you, some classes are hurt more than others by a loss of wealth.
Wizards lose the least, just a few rituals, as thy are now.
Rogues next, for they use little money for gear, and can often "acquire" wealth easily.
Clerics lose gear options, but they still have miracles to fall back on.
Fighters are shafted, as they somewhat live in their gear, and better gear is very very expensive. 
I have an answer for you, it may even be the truth.

The thing that wealth by level does for me and mine was it provides us with a baseline for characters generated  at specific levels. I give them the starting wealth by level and let 'em buy whatever with the proviso that no more than a third of it can be invested in any one item, but once the game actually starts I don't use the wealth chart at all.


As for "magicmarts", I never use them. I tend to run a high magic campaign anyway but what I do is they have to find a mage or priest with the ability to make whatever it was they want and then negotiate a price in trade or cash. The price of the items in the book are guidlines but hardly absolute; prices tend to be more to do with how many practitioners are around who can make the item in question and how willing they are to deal with the PCs. There is also a delay in buying the item and when the item is actually ready because mages don't just go around making random magic in the hope that someone might buy it. Items they get that are particularly low demand only ever go for a fraction of the list price anyway (a folding boat might cost 5,000 gp to make, but very few people are actually willing to pay 5,000 for it).


It also means that any "magicmart" the PCs do find will be overloaded with random bric a brac like wondrous figurines, folding boats, potions of levitation, bracers of brachiation and other less popular items and actually very little that they're really after. We do allow players to upgrade exsiting gear to include baseline stat bonuses, but doing that requires they run without that item for the time the item crafter needs to augment the piece and there is a chance they'll reduce it to a pile of dust in the process. Players are often willing to take that risk and I never, ever let the whole duration of the item's augmentation process go without them needing to do something. That way, they upgrade items at their own expense both in terms of wealth and in terms of game advantage.


So yeah, wealth by level is a good character generation tool but once we're in play the wealth is pretty much regulated without that chart.

Inherent bonuses was a brilliant idea.

While first introduced late in the 3.5 run they were executed best in 4th.

It'd be nice to say that "bounded accuracy" makes the idea unecessary, but the current settings for magic items makes that untrue so I hope to see that system back in Next. 



Inherent Bonuses, and also Boons, please. Intead of "Lothar, Wearer of the Belt of Giant Strength," you could have "Lothar, the warrior as strong as a giant."
I would rather see a reputation system, based on level and deeds that would tie into high level play with castles, hirelings, etc. versus just an expected wealth by level. You could borrow from D20 modern where you had a certain wealth level, where you have the ability the access better items, or contacts, but you may not have an abundance of wealth to pull it off automatically.

1. Wealth by level guidelines or equivilents have been tossed.
2. No more magic item crafting RAW atm anyway.



1. Since magical items and enhancement bonuses are no longer factored into the progression of characters, it's not really needed anymore. As for if it was a good idea, I think it was. It takes into account that most characters have a history of exploration and adventuring and they probably would've come across a certain amount of gold along  their travels.

2. While the game doesn't technically need this, I know a lot of people will be turned off if this isn't somehow implemented into the game in some way. Be it a module or put into the DMG or another sourcebook (a brand new Arms and Equipment Guide) it should be included for people who enjoy crafting their own items and the items of their party. I think 3E's math for making them, however, should be better left removed from the equasion. The requirmeents and mechanics  going into 3E magic item design was convoluted, silly, and mathematically taxing. It was just too much work on the Player's end and taxing on the Character's end.
  

 My PCs are going to be rich at level 7 or so if they get most of the available loot from the Isle of Dread.  I already know what my PCs wil spend the money on. Most likely a townhouse, tower, keep, shipyard, boat or founding a town somewhere. If the PCs get a million gold pieces it is no big deal. Give the PCs a million gold pieces in 3.5/4th ed they are going to want to go shopping for magic items. If you want your PCs to have a castle or whatever in those editions you are better off giving them the castle than actual coins. A similar problem happened in Star Wars Saga. Give them a million credits to buy a luxury yachet or a small capital ship like a Corellion Corvette and one of them is going to get tempted with what else one could buy with a million credits. A suit of customised mandalorian battle armor, a tricked out light freighter like the Falcon/Ebon Hawk and a customised TIE defender were also options ones could buy with a million credits along with several thermal detonators and minature proton torpedo launchers.

 Whatever flaws 3.5 and 4th ed had they gave you alot of incentive to buy combat related magic items. RAW it was not hard to craft your own if the DM was not giving you what you wanted. Think of builds using 18-20 crit range weapons and the keen property in 3rd ed/PF and the frostcheese combo in 4th ed. Alot of those optimised builds do not work without speciific items or properties.

 I actually like this change in D&DN apart from the retro feel its something as a DM I was getting sick of since 3.0. Say no alot or watch PCs run amok was not really a great option. One can still powergame and optimise you will just have no expectation of getting exactly what you want or to try and craft it and hope your DM doesn't say no. You will have to use what your DM gives you.



I have absolutely no interest in buying or building a tower, keep, shipyard, boat or town. I don't want to be saddled with that sort of responsibility or have the mechanics to assume I'm going to want to put into that sort of ventures. This means that I will have to find something else to put my hard earned winnings to. If not magical items (which pleases me as a Player and DM) then what? 

Also, I like Magic-Marts. I run my campaigns in the Forgotten Realms and thus, magical items are in much abundance in towns for buying and selling. Magical items need to have prices for purchase and selling for campaigns like this. It doesn't have to be a hard-coded element but it should be included somewhere.   

I don't necessarily want to spend my time running a keep either, but that's what a senechal is for. They run it, you get the status, the DM gets all the story hooks accociated with stuff happening on the PCs' land.


I don't think anyone should be forced to be hands on with running their estate, but the fact that it's there for the people who do want to manage it is cool and there are mechanisms for folks who don't. The story benefits of a character with land and title are pretty cool.

@ kadim: mechanics for doing that sort of stuff is fine even if it isn't my thing. If they want to put that into the DMG or even a Chapter in the PHB, cool by me. But what is out there for PCs with thousands of Gold to spend that doesn't want tithes, taxes, upkeep, minions, etc? That's what I'm worried about, the ill be sitting on a pile of money that does me little direct good or benefit my character in a quick and direct way.
If there is nothing your character has a passion for, beyond magic items, perhaps that is his passion?  Instead of a shipyard, you could control a magic bazaar.  That doesn't mean you should get more magic item bonuses to attack and spellcasting and whatnot.  It does mean you should get a domain of power and expertise equivalent to guy running the shipyard.  He gets ships that travel to Ye Foreign Lands in 10 days time; you get access to teleportation every 10 days.  He gets pirates and merchants who owe him favors; you get nobles and wizards who owe you favors.  He gets a say in the development of the setting's economy; you get a say in the development of the setting's magic.
@ kadim: mechanics for doing that sort of stuff is fine even if it isn't my thing. If they want to put that into the DMG or even a Chapter in the PHB, cool by me. But what is out there for PCs with thousands of Gold to spend that doesn't want tithes, taxes, upkeep, minions, etc? That's what I'm worried about, the ill be sitting on a pile of money that does me little direct good or benefit my character in a quick and direct way.

As I said, your character goes ahead and gets themselves a stronghold and then hires a senechal to run the estate. They then gain access to goods and services within their demesne: temples, arms/armoursmiths, mystics, priests, traders, mages, warriors, experts. If they gain a good enough reputation and/or amass enough wealth to invest into expanding their influence, the quality of these goods and services get better and the power of the sorts of specialists that live in or around your territory get such that you can probably comission things you couldn't normally find or buy.


The amount of time the player spends on managing it is zero. The rewards are story rewards, so if you need to know what's beyond the western range, you hire some folks to go out and map it while you go do something else. You can at that point effectively be in two places at once, which is pretty awesome. Or you could use your reputation and influence to enter a foreign city without surrendering your arms at the gate. Or perhaps you need to commandeer some horses. Maybe a visiting lord will not listen to anyone unless they have a certain status.


I think the more difficult question is someone like a druid. They don't really want to build a fort, but they might go ahead and buy huge tracts of land to protect it and bribe officials to keep out of other areas. They could use their influence and wealth to buy ritual materials necessary to focus ley energies around a wild glade and turn it into a sanctum. The sanctum wouldn't need any upkeep, as such, but it also wouldn't really make gold either. You might have a follower manage the small circle of protectors that keep the wild places free of wood cutters and such. The follower could take care of everything; you just go adventure and know you've got somewhere to go home to, heal up, repair your gear and maybe even comission something you need made or send off a party to do something you can't be bothered with yourself.



The point of all this is wealth is a roleplaying tool. Even in the 2e days wealth and magic did sort of go hand in hand and I expect the same thing will happen in 5e but the nice thing is there is no balance requirement for everyone to have +6 to their primary stat by character level 15 or something weird like that.

I just need to say this, I have hated the concept of +1 weapons and armor since I started playing 2nd Edition D&D 20 years ago, and I still hate them in 4th Ed and in D&D Next.  It was illogical then and now.  In character discussions of the difference between a +1 and +2 sword always had to be vague allusions to the inherent betterness of the +2, which could never be referred to, because it was nonsensical.  My hope was with "Bonded Accuracy" we could finally be rid of boring, purely mechanical benefits that no in-game reference.  I like almost everything else about Magic Items in Next, outside of the horribly broken Belts of Giant Strength (which absolutely should not be in the game).
Belts of Giant strenght outside of 3rd/4th have always been broken. They should probably exist but be entirely up to the DM to hand out. They were there to kind of balance out spellcasters.

 Magic items were a litle bit boring in 3.5 ed, moreso in 4th ed. With some form of WBL guidelines though or assumptions like 4th ed about the gear there is a heavy incentive to sell "fun" items for a better + item. You actually get more magic items in earlier versions of the game  although that can be setting specific and evenin 2nd ed you could craft magic items, it just wasn't as easy as 3rd/4th ed and Pathfinder.

 Fear is the Mind Killer

 

I just need to say this, I have hated the concept of +1 weapons and armor since I started playing 2nd Edition D&D 20 years ago, and I still hate them in 4th Ed and in D&D Next.  It was illogical then and now.  In character discussions of the difference between a +1 and +2 sword always had to be vague allusions to the inherent betterness of the +2, which could never be referred to, because it was nonsensical.  My hope was with "Bonded Accuracy" we could finally be rid of boring, purely mechanical benefits that no in-game reference.  I like almost everything else about Magic Items in Next, outside of the horribly broken Belts of Giant Strength (which absolutely should not be in the game).



Of course everyone's entitled to their opinion but I've been wondering what's so offensive to a +x sword. It's only natural that someone might want to make a sword that simply performs better than one without magic; a +x sword fills that role. The mistake, I think, is when the game assumes you get these things at certain levels. If the game assumes nothing, people are free to disregard magic they don't like 'cause there's no balance reason for them to have it anyway.

I just need to say this, I have hated the concept of +1 weapons and armor since I started playing 2nd Edition D&D 20 years ago, and I still hate them in 4th Ed and in D&D Next.  It was illogical then and now.  In character discussions of the difference between a +1 and +2 sword always had to be vague allusions to the inherent betterness of the +2, which could never be referred to, because it was nonsensical.  My hope was with "Bonded Accuracy" we could finally be rid of boring, purely mechanical benefits that no in-game reference.  I like almost everything else about Magic Items in Next, outside of the horribly broken Belts of Giant Strength (which absolutely should not be in the game).



Of course everyone's entitled to their opinion but I've been wondering what's so offensive to a +x sword. It's only natural that someone might want to make a sword that simply performs better than one without magic; a +x sword fills that role. The mistake, I think, is when the game assumes you get these things at certain levels. If the game assumes nothing, people are free to disregard magic they don't like 'cause there's no balance reason for them to have it anyway.



The biggest problem with +x stuff for me is that they don't do anything in the eyes of the party memebers. Take for example an old wizard giving a fighter a +1 sword for his journey ahead:
WIZ: Here mighty hero take this enchanted blade, for your jouney ahead will be very dangerous.
Fighter: How, may I ask is this blade enchanted?
WIZ:Well... it cuts things better.
Fighter:So... you sharpened it? Great enchantment you really went all out on this one.
WIZ: I magically sharpened it, that's really hard to do you know.
Fighter: Right...

There is nothing tangeble about plus items that make them seem magical to the characters. The characters can't tell the difference between a +1 and a +2. The so called magicial item may as well be some well made tool, there would be no difference to the characters.

My biggest complant about Next's magic item is that as a DM i would never give them out. If the system is balanced around the players not having magical items, then why should they ever be given out? And if there is no obligated magic items then they could never balance the game around them; making magic items completely unessisary unless you want a really imbalanced game. This really cuts down on what rewards can even be given, if buying castles or whatnot has no value to the players.

What they could do is make magic items that don't make a player strictly more powerful, but change how they work. For example a fiery sword would go off in bursts whenever the fighter hits with it damaging both him and his opponent. That would make the item good, but give a cost to using it. There would be situations were the sword would make the fighter shine, against straw elementals lets say. But there would also be times were the sword is less good say against a fire resistant enemy making the flames mostly just hurt the fighter. At the same time the item would have interesting tactical situations for its use based on the fighter's HP and could even get the player to focus their character more tward defence. The weapon would significantly change the character without just making him better.

The fiery sword is just a simple example, but item could and should have interesting mechanical and story based drawbacks and advanteges that really let them shine past a very boring 5% better hit chance that a +1 gives.

Somewhere in 2e I remember reading about a +X sword simply guiding the hands of the wielder. I like that explanation.


I get what you say, but I've never had any problems with it. People get a magical sword +3, they feel stronger. The sword is obviously magical to the wielder because the blade is impossibly light and agile (+3 to hit), yet it pierces hard targets like butter (+3 to damage).


As for the magic in the playtest, I like the fact that there's no balance assumptions of magic. I want magic to break the game because I can then make encounters involve stronger enemies in larger numbers for a more protracted period between rests. Basically magic makes things feel more epic. I also like magic that changes how a character works and I want that too, but ultimately I want the character to be better at what they do and I want the player to be better at what they want to do in game.


The issue with the game being balanced around the idea that characters have magic items is that magic items don't feel special. The +3 sword doesn't feel more powerful because the improvement means they can fight monsters designed to challenge them adequately, and that's not very epic. Magic should enable characters to do more than what their base stats allow, and that was a big part of why magic in recent years has been kinda frustrating.

RE: enchantment bonuses

It should also be noted that due to bounded accuracy they're not needed in the game. By simply removing the +X bonus and keeping it's effect you can appeal to those who want more difference and those that enjoy making stronger PCs.
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