Friday, January 11, 2019

Very Expensive Magic, Cheaper Mundane FAQ

Our last game session, we ended up discussing my post about changing the relative cost of magic items in DF/DFRPG and jacking up the loot found. Questions were asked and answered - here they are.

Starting Cash?

Unchanged. You start with $1000, unless you choose some variation of Poverty, Wealth, or Trading Character Points for Money. Since mundane item costs are unchanged, this should only affect starting characters in two areas:

- magical armor and weapons (already almost entirely out of reach anyway thanks to $20 x energy costs.)

- Paut and potions and scrolls (staples of starting wizards'/clerics' equipment lists.)

Notes - it's a tough call if paut and potions should be grandfathered in at the "old" costs just for starting characters, so they can still start with a Minor Healing Potion or a couple of Paut But then it's tempting to start with a Potion of Dexterity, or a scroll, for example, and try to sell it for 40% of the marked-up value. I could waive that off by saying you just can't do it, but it's probably better to say prices are what prices are.

Power Items

Power Item rules are unchanged. Cost to charge Power Items is 10x as much - $50/point.

Notes - I considered making it $5/point to charge Power Items. But that is effectively the same as making it $0.50 per point under the old values. And if all spells cast in town cost 10x, why isn't charging? It should be. I just would have to hold a hard line against players of spellcasters complaining it's not fair that their "ammunition" is 10x cost now, especially coupled with a likely lower willingness to just buy tons of Paut because of the relative cost vs. mundane upgrades. Still, the actual buying power is unchanged - you'd have more delves where you take home $2500 instead of $250, and if you spent 10 energy doing so you're still out 20% of your buying power. It's just that under the "bigger loot" approach you'd have more to do with the other 80%.

What counts as magic?

Magic items are magic; mundane items, no matter how fanciful (orichalcum, meteoric iron, dragonhide), are mundane and cost is unchanged. Magic items are priced at $200 per point.

Notes - This is kind of an odd question, but it came up in an oblique way. Only things that are priced as magic items are magic items.

Selling magic items

Magic items are sold based on their new prices.

Notes - yes, this does magic it much, much, much more tempting to sell a marginal magic item . . . or even a good one . . . to end up with scads of cash for mundane purchases. That $17,600 magic sword might be $170,600 instead, and fetch $68,240. You can equip a whole company of delvers for multiple delves with that. It's serious money.

This is still something I haven't done, although I got a lot of interesting discussion out of it. I also got some direct negative responses to it. And it would take some work to implement. Still, big piles of money - and much more money spent on mundane things* - is tempting.

* Maybe. Or maybe just giant scads of money hoarded because people need $50K for Puissance +1 or won't feel safe without $300K in the bank for Resurrection plus some replacement magical gear.

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