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A new article on magic item rarity was just released on the Wizards web site.
Seems like it will require some changes for LFR. At first glance you might assume it would be fairly easy to incorporate, perhaps something like the following:
* No changes to bundles that offered Uncommon items.
* Can't craft Uncommon items anymore.
* Rare items will occasionally appears as bundle choices, but you can only choose 1 per tier.
* Can't own duplicates of items (to prevent people from buying them and hoarding them before the rules change goes into effect).
However, a system like this one wouldn't be perfect. Since rare items will be so valuable and sought after it means that people will go through all the mods and figure out which ones offer them, making sure to play them, and even adapting their PC builds according to what is offered. I mean more so then they already do today
That said, I think there is some real potential for rare items in LFR. For example, the legendary longsword Faervian seems like it should be a 'rare' powerful item (though certainly today it isn't).
It's already being discussed (with some comments already from Greg) in this thread:
If I were in charge (and I'm most emphatically not!), the rules I'd make would be:
* You can only craft and purchase common items.
* Any time a mod says 'Any item of type foo' (like, Any weapon or implement or armor), you can take common or uncommon items.
* Rare items only can be gotten as specific listed rewards in a mod.
* Items still consume one slot per level. (Way too hard to retrofit anything else at this point.)
It would be nice if the items offered in the mod were interesting, but I've found in practice that secondary items (neck, waist, helm type stuff) are, but for weapons, implements, and armor, people tend to play Spec mods that allow a choice and get the optimized item they want.
Sure, people would request specific mods for a specific rare item, but that's not likely to change the dynamic of people running mods for the rewards already.
There's another side to this question that I haven't seen addressed anywhere. Access to Common items is very important, obviously, yet there's no complete,authoritative listing of Common items. The Essentials books have examples so far, but no full listing. They don't have any Wondrous (non-slotted) Items yet, for example. Bag of Holding and Handy Haversack ought to be available, at least. Any others you can think of?
I know that there was a WotC-issued document with a list of Essentials-based changes to the previously-published rulebooks, including a list of all items from those books which were now considered to be Common. Alas, I can't now find it on the WotC D&D site. :-(
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