How many Magic Items?

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Simple curious question, by the end of Heroic Tier, how many magic items on average would you say each of your players characters would have at that point?
Take a look at your DMG - the treasure parcel system is described there and this is the recommended amount of magic items.  Alternatively, there are tables for random treasure in the DM Book from the DM's Kit that will give you roughly the same chance of scoring magic items that you had in the parcel system.

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Take a look at your DMG - the treasure parcel system is described there and this is the recommended amount of magic items.  Alternatively, there are tables for random treasure in the DM Book from the DM's Kit that will give you roughly the same chance of scoring magic items that you had in the parcel system.




Thanks but that wasn't really the question.
Simple curious question, by the end of Heroic Tier, how many magic items on average would you say each of your players characters would have at that point?

If creating a PC at higher than 1st level, DMG p.143 says: "choose one item of your level + 1, one item of your level, and one item of your level – 1. In addition, you have gold pieces equal to the value of one magic item of your level – 1. You can spend this money on rituals, potions, or other magic items"

fwiw: in LFR you get about about one magic item per level (i.e. about one per PC every 3 sessions). The magic item is often of the PC's level though, so many may no longer be used after a few levels.
Thanks again. I guess I'll elaborate. Out of curiousities sake, I would like to know on average, how many itemslots would your players have filled by the end of heroic tier. I don't want quotes from the DMG. I applaud youre helpfulness, but Im curious about everyones players in their games personally.
I play LFR, at lv10 I will have at least 10 magic items.
Not counting consumables.

Any player whose DM gose by the DMG will have about the same give or take one or two.   
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Thanks. Look forward to more replies, as I'd like to know.

See I wasn't asking because I wanted to know how many to distribute, I'm fine in that regard, I am curious to see everyone elses response, based on a bet I have with a friend.
It depends a little bit on your setting.  A high magic setting (like LFR) 10 magic items at the end of the teir should be right about average.  This also assumes you played from Level 1.

In my setting, were magic is a bit more rare, I intended to have the following be the max for each character:


  1. Helm

  2. Gloves

  3. Arms

  4. Weapon/implement

  5. Weapon/implement 2

  6. Armor

  7. Neck

  8. Boots

  9. Wonderous 

  10. Wonderous 2

So basically 10 items or thereabouts.  My PCs are just now entering Paragon Tier, so I need to have a good list of what they do and don't have.  If you want more info I'll give you exactly what each of my PCs have after I get done compiling the list.
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Sure Matyr that'd be great. and thanks.
Take a look at your DMG - the treasure parcel system is described there and this is the recommended amount of magic items.  Alternatively, there are tables for random treasure in the DM Book from the DM's Kit that will give you roughly the same chance of scoring magic items that you had in the parcel system.


Thanks but that wasn't really the question.


Actually, he gave you a perfect answer.  If you turned to the right page in the dmg, you would see 4 per level, plus items.  4 items times 10 levels is 40.  40 divided by 5 players is 8 items at after all the level 10 items are there..

I know, it was hard to do the math, but you wanted numbers.
Take a look at your DMG - the treasure parcel system is described there and this is the recommended amount of magic items.  Alternatively, there are tables for random treasure in the DM Book from the DM's Kit that will give you roughly the same chance of scoring magic items that you had in the parcel system.


Thanks but that wasn't really the question.


Actually, he gave you a perfect answer.  If you turned to the right page in the dmg, you would see 4 per level, plus items.  4 items times 10 levels is 40.  40 divided by 5 players is 8 items at after all the level 10 items are there..

I know, it was hard to do the math, but you wanted numbers.



Nope, that's not what I wanted, and I elaborated afterwards to be clear. I wanted averages from actual campaigns, as I said in the post.

Another thing this thread seems to show is, so many people here seem to have something to prove. I didn't ask for help, I didn't ask for advice, I didn't ask how to do something, I asked a simple question to fellow Dm's about their campaigns to settle a bet I had with someone, yet everyone felt they needed to tell me how anyways. the bet revolving around an actual average of magic items from real campaigns from DM's, and not just a basis from the DMG. not everyone follows the DMG. It's rediculous how hard it is get proper responses around here to incredibly simple questions with out people telling you you're doing something wrong, or answering with something incredibly unrelated. /rant
Here is what my players have at 10.  All of the numbers in () are the levels of the item.

Iris Stormborn
Head: Headband of Intellect (10)
Neck: Cloak of Distortion +2 (9)
Arms: Bracers of Escape (7)
Hands: Gloves of Eldritch Admixture (8)
Weapon/Implement 1: Bloodcurse Rod +3 (14)
Weapon/Implement 2: Rod of Beguiling (10)
Waist: Diamond Cincture (10)
Armor: Armor of Dark Majesty +2 (9)
Boots: Boots of Eagerness (9)
Tattoo:
Holy Symbol/Ki Focus:
Boon:
Other:

9 magic items, 9.5 Average Item Level, 86 total item levels.

Hiwi Deadgrove
Head: Circlet of Mental Onslaught (11)
Neck: Medallion of Death Deferred +2 (9)
Arms: Gleaming Diamond Bracers (9)
Hands: Gloves of the Healer (12)
Weapon/Implement 1: Alfair Spear+3 (13)
Weapon/Implement 2: Spring Renewal Totem (10)
Waist: Diamond Cincture (10)
Armor: Shallow Grave Scale Armor +2 (9)
Boots: Feystep Lacings (12)
Tattoo:
Holy Symbol/Ki Focus: Symbol of Victory +2 (9)
Boon: Windelle Screech (8)
Other:

11 total items, 10.2 average item level, 112 total item level

Toy and Amulet
Head: Horned Helm (6)
Neck: Badge of the Berserker +3 (12)
Arms: Iron Armbands of Power (6)
Hands: Strikebacks (10)
Weapon/Implement 1: Reaper's Axe +3 (15)
Weapon/Implement 2:
Waist: Belt of Feral Might (3)
Armor: Bestial Hide Armor +2 (8)
Boots: Boots of the Mighty Charge (10)
Tattoo:
Holy Symbol/Ki Focus:
Boon: Maghra's Insatiable Frenzy (13)
Other:

9 total magic items, 9.2 average item level, 83 total item level

Chunkus Boulderfist
Head: Coif of Mindiron (8)
Neck: Torc of Justice (10)
Arms: Hammer Shield (8) / Preservation Shield (2)
Hands: Parry Gauntlets (5)
Weapon/Implement 1: Maw of the Guardian +3 (14)
Weapon/Implement 2:
Waist: Belt of Blood (10)
Boots: Boots of Free Movement (6)
Armor: Lifefont Wyrxhide Armor +3 (14)
Tattoo:
Holy Symbol/Ki Focus:
Boon: Kresh'Sha'Chek's Sheltering Hand (10)
Other: Power Jewel (5)
11 total magic items, 8.4 average item level, 92 total item level.

Jack Kincaid
Head: Moriko's Circlet (15)
Neck: Cape of the Montebank +2 (10)
Arms: Bracers of Arcane Might (3)
Hands: Burning Gauntlets (6)
Weapon/Implement 1: Accurate Dagger of Speed +3 (15)
Weapon/Implement 2: Trickster's Dagger +2 (7)
Waist:
Armor: Armor of Sudden Recovery +2 (8)
Boots: Wavestrider Boots (4)
Tattoo:
Holy Symbol/Ki Focus:
Boon: Keitoch's Gamble (11)
Other: Dice of Auspicious Fortune (11)
10 total magic items, 9 average item level, 90 total item level. 
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Nope, that's not what I wanted, and I elaborated afterwards to be clear. I wanted averages from actual campaigns, as I said in the post.

Another thing this thread seems to show is, so many people here seem to have something to prove. I didn't ask for help, I didn't ask for advice, I didn't ask how to do something, I asked a simple question to fellow Dm's about their campaigns to settle a bet I had with someone, yet everyone felt they needed to tell me how anyways. the bet revolving around an actual average of magic items from real campaigns from DM's, and not just a basis from the DMG. not everyone follows the DMG. It's rediculous how hard it is get proper responses around here to incredibly simple questions with out people telling you you're doing something wrong, or answering with something incredibly unrelated. /rant



Actually, it seems that the only one with something to prove was you.

Your original question was kind of vague, and I was tempted to answer it in much the same fashion as the others, by referencing you to the relevant pages of the DMG. You gave no hint as to your intent or agenda. You claim to have asked a simple question, to which we gave you the simple answer. If we follow the guidelines in the DMG, this is what we give. It is after you received this simple answer that you decided to complicate the question.

My answer is that I generally follow the parcel system, as detailed in the DMG. However, with the items that the characters want to keep, I level them up instead of having them receive an item of the upgraded items level. By the end of Paragon, this means that I'm about ten items down without changing the balance of the game.



Nope, that's not what I wanted, and I elaborated afterwards to be clear. I wanted averages from actual campaigns, as I said in the post.

Another thing this thread seems to show is, so many people here seem to have something to prove. I didn't ask for help, I didn't ask for advice, I didn't ask how to do something, I asked a simple question to fellow Dm's about their campaigns to settle a bet I had with someone, yet everyone felt they needed to tell me how anyways. the bet revolving around an actual average of magic items from real campaigns from DM's, and not just a basis from the DMG. not everyone follows the DMG. It's rediculous how hard it is get proper responses around here to incredibly simple questions with out people telling you you're doing something wrong, or answering with something incredibly unrelated. /rant



Actually, it seems that the only one with something to prove was you.

Your original question was kind of vague, and I was tempted to answer it in much the same fashion as the others, by referencing you to the relevant pages of the DMG. You gave no hint as to your intent or agenda. You claim to have asked a simple question, to which we gave you the simple answer. If we follow the guidelines in the DMG, this is what we give. It is after you received this simple answer that you decided to complicate the question.




It was after recieving answers that I wasn't looking for, that I elaborated realizing I was vague, and I was relatively polite about it, still thanking them for the responses. It's only now that I'm getting annoyed by people like you telling me that i'm still in the wrong some how.

Thanks for the indepth reply Matyr, helps a lot actually. Cheers.
Thanks for the indepth reply Matyr, helps a lot actually. Cheers.


No worries.

I was actually doing my loot list for paragon when you asked anyway, so that made it pretty easy.  It should be noted that every one of those characters is a hair's breadth from level 11. 
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FWIW, unless you're using proper inherent bonuses, at the very minimum PCs should all have magic armour, implement/weapon(s) and neck slot by level ten, preferably +2 or even +3 - enhancement bonuses and crit dice are important to PC scaling, and if they don't have them, they won't fit the expect power curve.
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My numbers probably skew a bit smaller because players can request to level up an item rather than receive another item from their wishlist. So a lvl 3 magic sword might end up as a lvl 8 magic sword because the player really likes it and forgoes getting another item.

We are right at lvl 8, and most of the players have 4-6 magic items. I've actually been trying to give them more opportunities to find and purchase items because it does feel like I'm shorting the players, and as they increase in level their wishlists increase in length.
Simple curious question, by the end of Heroic Tier, how many magic items on average would you say each of your players characters would have at that point?



Honestly?  I don't remember - though everyone probably had around 5 or 6 with another 5 or so as a party resource. 
See, in the year long 4e campaign I ran I gave out magic items in a story related fashion, that fit the story being told.  Not at all in accordance with how the books recommend.  Hell, I made up items.  And I gave out items the books explicitly said didn't exist (magic arrows weren't in the game yet when 4e launched)....  Nor do I make any distinction between a "perminant" item & a consumable.
   
I actually follow the guidlines in the dmg...

A party of 5  finds 4 items per level according to the DMG, and in 10 levels that party has found 40 items, which should mean 8 items each.

Naturally, some of them got traded in for cash when new weapon/armor/neck upgrades came along, but by level 10 they are able to buy several low level items so it should even out.
So, i'd still say 8 on average, but kinda hard to say for sure, most of my heroic teir games end around 7-8 and these day we pretty much only play in paragon tier...
 
FWIW [4e designer] baseline assumption was that roughly 70% of your feats would be put towards combat effectiveness, parties would coordinate, and strikers would do 20/40/60 at-will damage+novas. If your party isn't doing that... well, you are below baseline, so yes, you need to optimize slightly to meet baseline. -Alcestis
It's rediculous how hard it is get proper responses around here to incredibly simple questions with out people telling you you're doing something wrong, or answering with something incredibly unrelated. /rant

I've gotta agree with Malak that you kind of instigated it by being cryptic and having some kind of unclear agenda involving a bet. That's just what happens here on the Internets.

Anyway, I try to give out roughly one magic item per character per level. I don't like the 4/5 rule cause it leaves someone out. So by the end of 10 my players would have 10 items each, probably much like Matyrs.

Now it's my nature to try to figure out what this bet is... I'm assuming someone is asserting that "real world" treasure allocation is typically lower than what the DMG recommends. In my limited experience, this is the case. The other DMs I know see looking up and choosing items as a chore, and so do most of their players, so wish lists are nonexistant. This is often excused by calling it a "low magic" campaign, without really understanding how that's supposed to work (inherent bonuses and abundant alternative rewards).

Characters fall behind item-wise pretty quickly, and it would be a big problem if they didn't reboot campaigns so often (generally after 3-4 levels of play). The three DMs I know best IRL, assuming they kept up a campaign for all of heroic tier (never gonna happen), would probably end up with about 3, 5, and 7 items per character, respectively.
For my group we have around 8 to 9 players at each session.  Since there are so many players I tend to give out a little bit less in number of magic items, but like others have said they do, I also like to allow the magic items to scale/grow with the players.

For example: Our groups Ranger received a +1 longbow at 3rd level but as he's been leveling up it grows in power as he does.  We play 3.5e and I like to use the Weapons of Legacy book to make weapons/armor/etc that are tailored towards the PCs character concepts and grow with them.

So by about level 10 each PC will have around 5 or 6 items for themselves, and they will probably have around another 5 or 6 group use items, and these aren't counting consumables like potions of cure lt/mod/ser wounds etc.
Lvl 10 Sentinel Druid|Cleric

9 11 magic items and using the inherent enhancement bonuses from DM2.  Most where purchased.

edit:
actually 11, but one is just magic chalk
IL8 Nightmare ward +2 (Hide armour)
IL7 boots of the fencing master
IL4 Battle staff +1 (quarterstaff)
IL4 Healer's Brooch +1
IL5 Bracers of Brachiation
IL4 viper belt - basilisk skin
IL1 eternal chalk (white)
IL5 Companion's Defender (on Taman - dire badger companion)
IL8 Sanctuary's Poise
IL5 Bag oh Holding (leather satchel)
IL7 Decanter of Endless Water
Yeah, after reading the initial post my first thought, like others in this thread, was to point the OP to the treasure parcels in the DMG. Ask a simple question, get a simple answer.

Most of the games I've run in the past the PC's started higher than level 1, so I have generally followed the +1/0/-1 & gold rule, bumping up the number of gold if it was a smaller group (run a few games with only three players so I had to bump up their power level a bit to compensate). I would let my players pick what items they wanted at the beginning, so usually they picked items they liked that fit the build of their character...Because of this, as they gained levels I would usually just let them bump their items up an extra +1 when appropriate. 

So, to answer the OP's question, my PC's would typically have at least 3-5 items each by level 10, depending on what level they started at, with each item being a higher level than they typically would be since my group's size was smaller than most groups.
My campaign is only mid heroic (just shy of level 6), and in total I've handed out less than 2 magic items per character.

By the end of of heroic, I'd expect each character to have obtained 4~5 each.

In fairness, I'm running a Dark Sun campaign so there is inherent bonuses, so most of the magic items are arm/feet/head and the like, rather than the standard sword & armour.
It seems like this shouldn't be very hard to address: if the PC's don't haven't gotten as much equipment in their adventures as others of a similar level are expected to have, then they'll just be more cautious about stronger monsters. If they've gotten better equipment than most other adventurers of a similar level, then they'll be more adventurous about stronger monsters.

You don't need to tailor what they are able to deal with to what you think they will try to deal with anyway, you just need to know whether they will evaluate what they try to deal with on whether they think they actually can.

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That makes sense. However, it is not fair to continually attack those that benefit for being, somehow, deviant for deriving enjoyment from something that you cannot. Instead, alignment is continually attacked...it is demonized...and those that use it are lumped in with it.

 

I think there is more merit in a situation where someone says "This doesn't work! It's broken!" and the reply is "Actually it works fine for me. Have you considered your approach might be causing it?"

 

than a situation where someone says "I use this system and the way I use it works really well!" and the back and forth is "No! It is a broken bad system!" -YagamiFire

It seems like this shouldn't be very hard to address: if the PC's don't haven't gotten as much equipment in their adventures as others of a similar level are expected to have, then they'll just be more cautious about stronger monsters. If they've gotten better equipment than most other adventurers of a similar level, then they'll be more adventurous about stronger monsters.

You don't need to tailor what they are able to deal with to what you think they will try to deal with anyway, you just need to know whether they will evaluate what they try to deal with on whether they think they actually can.



One of the issues here is that if your players feel like / know they are getting less than expected they can be unhappy.  Especially if the players need X + Y + Z to make their character "cool" or "powerful" for them.  You can also run into the problem of the players feeling like they have to play in the kiddie pool because their toys aren't cool enough.

Anther thing about this issue is "up to date" gear at level.  It isn't going to be something the player notices immediately that they have a -2 to hit because they are still using a longsword instead of a  +2 longsword.  They know they are taking the penalty, but the overall implications of just how big a difference that is in the long run may not be immediately apparent.  The lack of noticing is even bigger when you look at the difference between a +1 weapon and a +3 weapon unless you want something that is only available at +3 (Reaper's Axe comes to mind).

The last big issue is if one player has a better toy than everyone else, or everyone has a cool toy but that one guy.  Making sure you give them a good amount of loot (so they can take things the game is assuming they can take.  Inherent bonuses can go a long way to fix this in low-magic settings),  making sure what they are wearing is up to date (A Weapon/Armor/Neck shouldn't be more than 5 levels behind pretty much ever, other things are more flexible) and making sure they all have roughly the same level/amount of stuff are indeed important things to keep in mind.
Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
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Need a few pre-generated characters for a one-shot you are running? Want to get a baseline for what an effective build for a class you aren't familiar with? Check out the Pregen thread here If ever you are interested what it sounds like to be at my table check out my blog and podcast here Also, I've recently done an episode on "Refluffing". You can check that out here