Magic Item Creation (4e)

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Hi everyone,

I'm brand new to being a DM. I have played through 2 sessions with my friends and so far we are really enjoying it. However, having read more and more of the rules, I want to start handing out treasure for my party. I understand how to roll a d20 for gold, gems, and art pieces, but I'm having a bit of trouble with Magic Items. I understand the roll structure (odd = common, even = uncommong, 20 = rare). However my question is this:

How and/or where do I go about finding magic items (weapons, armours, potions, etc.)?

I have the Rules Comendium as well as the "Heroes of..." book and the DM Book. They all give examples of specific magic items as well as the properties that magic items should have at certain levels (e.g. Level 1-5 Hide Armor should have +1 enchantment bonus, +3 Armor bonus). Are these all the magic items I can use or am I missing something? Where do I find magic items with crazy and cool properties and powers? Do I make them up myself?

I really tried to search on Google for this answer but I couldn't find one that covered all the bases I'm looking for. Sorry for the long post, but I just wanted to ask everything in one shot.

I'd be very grateful for any help.
The original PHB, Adventurer's Vaults 1 and 2, Mordenkainen's Magical Emporium.
There is also, of course, the Compendium, which your Insider membership gives you access to.
Also, random treasure is stupid.  Give 'em what they want.

Cry Havoc!  And let slip the hogs of war!

Also, random treasure is stupid.  Give 'em what they want.



Random treasure is not inherently "stupid".  Treasure the players don't want is not, however, treasure.

Which means that sure, toss in useless crap sometimes.  Drop in a L+2 item that gives a flat bonus to a single skill!  Let the PCs find a disturbing hoard of Vicious Daggers +1 at L12.  Toss in Jester's Shoes with a caveat that no matter what you do, they *must* be Big Floppy Shoes that look ridiculous.

And, just remember that those those?  Those things are NOT "magic items".  Those things are "the sell value in GP with flavour", and if the players manage to make them useful they've made a profit, more power to them.

But only things that the players are interested in and excited to use count as "magic items" and can fill your expected L+X slots.
Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.
Also, random treasure is stupid.  Give 'em what they want.



Random treasure is not inherently "stupid".  Treasure the players don't want is not, however, treasure.



This.

If no one in the party is using an axe, it's pointless to give them a magic axe.    But if a player was using a sword, I might pick out interesting magic swords (that are upgrades) and have the party find one of those.   I would never ask the player "which magic sword do you want?" and then have that appear.   That would be boring, IMO.



Also, random treasure is stupid.  Give 'em what they want.



Random treasure is not inherently "stupid".  Treasure the players don't want is not, however, treasure.



This.

If no one in the party is using an axe, it's pointless to give them a magic axe.    But if a player was using a sword, I might pick out interesting magic swords (that are upgrades) and have the party find one of those.   I would never ask the player "which magic sword do you want?" and then have that appear.   That would be boring, IMO.



It Depends.  I love "Wishlists" because they tell me what the players will be excited to see - and in general I'll make sure the enemy uses it against them so they're all "Oh holy crap, that goblin general has a flaming sword!  Kill him and GET IT!"

As well, the idea of questing for a specific magic item is Older Than Dirt.  Your mid-Paragon Paladin wants a Holy Avenger?  That's a quest hook!  Make him go fight a Dracolich for it.

But yeah.  The whole point of "treasure packages" is that, on average, 80% of the party finds an above-level upgrade that they are happy to gain, every level - and the other 20% get enough cash to get an of-level-or-lower upgrade of their choice.  If your party is all "Welp, that's our L+3 parcel, store until until we can legally trash it three levels from now because nobody gives a crap"?  That's a problem.
Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.
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