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Author Topic: Ye Old Magic Shoppe  (Read 1086 times)

rytrasmi

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Re: Ye Old Magic Shoppe
« Reply #15 on: May 11, 2022, 11:01:15 AM »
There's a difference between strong opinion and declaring that things that did happen never happened because you disapprove of them or prefer that history played out a different way. Even if it makes no sense for monsters to collect so much treasure the reality remains that that was a staple of old school gaming since the game's inception, even if the old school revisionists of today would like to erase that from history in favor of their version of what "old school" play should be.

As to how magical items can still be found in lairs despite adventurers clearing them out, the possibilities include several:

1) Adventurers in possession of magical items get killed all the time, and their friends might not always be able to reclaim their bodies, cuz sometimes they get killed as well, often by...
2) Intelligent monsters capable of using them also desire them as well, so they also hunt for treasure and may reclaim them from the bodies of dead adventurers.
3) Magic users have the ability to create magical items, so they're still in production, leading them to be in circulation, leading to more of 1 and 2.

Granted, some people may take issue with that last one, preferring that the creation of magical items be this obscure secret forgotten in the distant past, or the result of strange circumstances that imbue certain items with power. But the fact that some people may prefer things to be that way doesn't change the fact 1) the ability for magic users to create their own magical items has been part of the game for a long time, and 2) declaring that not to be so on the basis that you'd prefer it not to be (for anyone other than your own camping) would be prescriptive.
The original question was very broad. How do you handle the selling of magical items in your OSR game? You're against prescription, but you're using this opportunity to prescribe what OSR is. (I have no desire to rehash that old debate, so don't bother.) There is an enforcement aspect to prescription. Prescriptive grammar was enforced by the switch. How do you or I enforce our prescriptions on an internet stranger? We don't because we can't.

As for 1-3, I agree these are possible and good ideas, but these are also possible where magic is not a commodity. They don't necessitate an abundance of magical items. To me, in my opinion, everyone walking around with an overabundance of +1 or +2 items is silly and amounts to little more than some added arithmetic. If magic is commonplace it is mundane. Nothing you've suggest requires commodity magic.

« Last Edit: May 11, 2022, 11:05:34 AM by rytrasmi »
This post is opinion and if it sounds like something more you are misreading it or perhaps I'm just a jerk. Q.E.D.

rytrasmi

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Re: Ye Old Magic Shoppe
« Reply #16 on: May 11, 2022, 11:11:54 AM »
The challenge with strong opinion is the harder the push, the harder the push back. Your strong opinion comes down to preference, setting, and perhaps shared beliefs with your gaming group. All 100% legitimate.

Monsters hoards, items lying around on dungeons, and why risk one’s life are all easily explained by setting. I cannot tell by your examples of insurance and reverse adventurers if you are being humorous (how I’m taking it) or you are just over the conversation. But if you are genuinely curious, I can expand.

Agree on shopping simulator. I do not care to spend any significant game time at the general store. Rations, water skins, etc. Who cares? Get me your list off-session, or bring it with you to the game and give me a quick update.

Haggling with the sage to find out how much exp your newly acquired items are worth, when done correctly, IS dramatic. Not life and death as the combat waged/dungeon explored to obtain them, but finding out the exp rewards is compelling. It is also necessary to give proper weighting to the treasure tables used in early D&D.
Yes, very true. I find that nuance sometimes gets lost, so my mistake for going headlong into it. And yes, my examples were an attempt at humor.
This post is opinion and if it sounds like something more you are misreading it or perhaps I'm just a jerk. Q.E.D.

FingerRod

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Re: Ye Old Magic Shoppe
« Reply #17 on: May 11, 2022, 11:59:56 AM »
Yes, very true. I find that nuance sometimes gets lost, so my mistake for going headlong into it. And yes, my examples were an attempt at humor.

I found it funny. It conjured an image of Tom Selleck telling old adventures the many benefits of putting magic items back in the dungeon lol.

SHARK

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Re: Ye Old Magic Shoppe
« Reply #18 on: May 11, 2022, 12:04:09 PM »
Greetings!

How many adventuring groups are out there in the wilderness and in the different dungeons at any given time?

As for "Old School" assumptions, looking through my AD&D Dungeon Master's Guide, refer to the random wilderness and random dungeon creation and encounter tables. Encountering parties of various NPC's and groups of adventurers is in fact, a fairly frequent occurrence.

Next, refer to the Adventurer Party creation tables in the same sections, paying attention to the equipment and magic item gear tables. Yes, by honest random rolling, most of these NPC parties and adventurer groups will be fucking decked out in magic items like fucking Christmas Trees.

So, just stop with all the whining about "Magic Shops" and selling or buying magic items. BY THE BOOK, there's obviously going to be a market for magic items, and a group of Player Characters are themselves going to come into possession of HUGE collections of magic items that they don't need and don't use--hence, they are often going to seek to sell such items. Even if a "Magic Shop" market didn't previously exist, it is certainly natural and reasonable to assume that such a kind of market would be quickly developed and organized.

Fit that into your campaigns however you want. Yes, fiddle with it, and go ahead and interpret it however you deem appropriate. But geesus, it is a very real dynamic that exists and has been established from the beginning in the AD&D Dungeon Master's Guide.

Semper Fidelis,

SHARK
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Ghostmaker

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Re: Ye Old Magic Shoppe
« Reply #19 on: May 11, 2022, 12:59:06 PM »
A fast and dirty way to come up with a selection, if you're not keen on giving the players access to the entirety of the magic item list: pull up the treasure tables, and roll appropriately for their CR. Don't bother with coins -- just check magic items.

The party I'm currently GMing for lucked out early on and was able to secure an immovable rod (and even if you don't subscribe to silly physics bullshit, the rod is a remarkably useful bit of gear). But the last time they tried to purchase magic items, the roll was weak and all they could find were three potions of heroism.

GeekyBugle

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Re: Ye Old Magic Shoppe
« Reply #20 on: May 11, 2022, 01:44:52 PM »
Magic items in old school games were so rare, practically all modules had them, many monsters (particularly high level ones) had at least a chance of having some in their possession, and one of the primary goals of the game was to raid dungeons for treasure in the hopes of finding them. Don't let prescriptive notions about how the game is "supposed" to be get in the way of what you want to do or what makes sense for your campaign.

If PCs have excess +1 swords nobody else in the group needs there's no logical reason you can't sell them off. And if there are enough magical items in your game for PCs not to need that extra +1 sword, the same will be true for other adventurers in the game world, considering that PCs will certainly not be the only ones. So there absolutely could be a market for them, even if they're limited in stock and relegated to obscure shop keepers and collectors, dedicated to a select clientele. And the idea that PCs are "supposed" to have henchmen and they're supposed to give it to them instead of selling them won't stop that from happening or produce these trusted henchmen out of the ether if the PCs don't have them.

Granted, magic items will probably still be uncommon and expensive enough that not every shop keeper in town will necessarily have them or be able to afford them. So it might be possible that PCs will need to travel and make connections to find people involved in the magical item trade. Which could be an adventure on itself, or alert thieves to the fact that PCs have excess treasure on them, opening up additional possiblities.

If PCs have excess +1 swords The GM is not doing his job, lets assume you roll for your loot (as you should), and then another +1 sword gets rolled, you re-roll or just go and change it for something else.

Not foprgetting that +1 anything is boring, you need to make it unique.
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Trond

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Re: Ye Old Magic Shoppe
« Reply #21 on: May 11, 2022, 02:05:46 PM »
We had magic shops in some games going back at least to around 1990, I think we were a bit influenced by Hero's Quest (Quest for Glory I), the Sierra PC game. I'm pretty sure we just talked about items being "very rare" or "superb" or "protective", only handling the numbers when you finally put it down on paper.

FingerRod

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Re: Ye Old Magic Shoppe
« Reply #22 on: May 11, 2022, 03:39:46 PM »
We had magic shops in some games going back at least to around 1990, I think we were a bit influenced by Hero's Quest (Quest for Glory I), the Sierra PC game. I'm pretty sure we just talked about items being "very rare" or "superb" or "protective", only handling the numbers when you finally put it down on paper.

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FingerRod

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Re: Ye Old Magic Shoppe
« Reply #23 on: May 11, 2022, 03:53:51 PM »

If PCs have excess +1 swords The GM is not doing his job, lets assume you roll for your loot (as you should), and then another +1 sword gets rolled, you re-roll or just go and change it for something else.

Not foprgetting that +1 anything is boring, you need to make it unique.

Agreed. And another area where 0e D&D does some nice things. Finding a magic sword can be downright terrifying.

Sacrificial Lamb

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Re: Ye Old Magic Shoppe
« Reply #24 on: May 11, 2022, 04:44:31 PM »
"Magic Shoppes" are definitely old school, and they make a great deal of logical sense.....although the places in which such things are sold won't necessarily be overtly called "magic shoppes". The point here, is to ignore the grognard whiners who try to engage in historical revisionism and pretend that old school D&D doesn't have institutions for buying, selling, and identifying magic items. They're wrong.

Take note that most magic items in AD&D (for example) have a "Gold Piece Sale Value", which LOGICALLY implies that magic items are BOUGHT and SOLD. And taking human nature into account, a market for magic items will be created.....since if you read old school adventure modules, you'll find them stuffed to the gills with tons of magic items.

Magic items are NOT rare in "default" old school D&D. What you do in your own campaign, is of course....your business, and your choice. Now the question is.....how do you buy and sell this stuff? If I were to guess:

(1.) Sages: A sage with expertise in the right fields of study will probably know if an item is magical, and what it does. At least, this would be the case in AD&D.

(2.) Wizards' Guilds: They can absolutely identify almost anything that isn't an artifact, but they'll usually charge you for it. You'd probably need to have a cordial relationship with a Wizards' Guild, for this to happen though. If so, it will probably be pretty easy to sell magic items to them. Whether or not you get a good price is another question entirely.

(3.) Alchemists: They can probably identify most potions. It's safe to say that they sell magic potions.

(4.) Merchants & Auction Houses: These sell magic items, and have their abilities pre-identified and pre-catalogued. There will be reputable auction houses and magic shoppes that sell magic items, and other "shady" auction houses....that you cannot fully trust. The magic shoppes might not actually be called "Magic Shoppes"; they might be called something else. Take note that many places will not sell magic items openly, due to some places having strong social prohibitions against wizardry. In other words, you're probably not gonna find a "magic shoppe" in your typical farming village....so you'll have to go somewhere else to buy or sell magic items.

Another thing is that not every magic item you want is going to be available when you want to buy it. In fact, most magic items that you might want at any one moment probably won't have instant availability. Many magic items will be nearly impossible to buy, like say.....a Ring of Three Wishes. On the other hand, getting hold of most magic potions and oils should be hilariously easy.....if you have money. Likewise, getting your hands on weapons and armor BELOW a +3 should be pretty easy, considering how common they are in adventure modules.....provided that you can afford it. After that, magic item availability gets kinda murky. Wizards' Guilds will probably be very discriminating in regards to whom they sell wands, staves, and scrolls to. And you obviously won't just find a Ring of Three Wishes just sitting there in some rinky-dink magic shoppe somewhere.

If I were to guess, I'd say the "Gold Piece Sale Value" in the DMG is a guideline. You'll occasionally pay less, but you'll often pay more. Some vendors will permit haggling, while others won't. If you want to roleplay this stuff, go for it. If not, you can just do this stuff "off-camera". Some people enjoy this stuff, while others don't. Just remember that the people who buy magic items from adventurers probably have both multiple contacts and MONEY. As always, YMMV.

Aglondir

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Re: Ye Old Magic Shoppe
« Reply #25 on: May 11, 2022, 04:54:07 PM »
Question back to Aglondir—how have you set up healing potions in your campaign? Who makes them? How much do they cost?

Hi FingerRod,

Honestly, I don't know! It's been some time since I ran D&D. Usually I run other genres. I'm still in the process of setting up the campaign world, so I thought I would seek the sage counsel of The Site. I need to ramp up quickly. Here's what I've got so far:

System: Labyrinth Lord (and Advanced)
Feel: Points of Light, from 4E (minus Eladrin, Dragonborn,Tieflings, etc.)
Setting: Nentir Vale, from 4E
Town: Fallcrest from 4E, population 1350 (+900 outside walls.) 


So with that in mind:

1. There is one apothecary, where you can buy/sell potions. 
2. There is one armorer, where you can buy/sell magic weapons and armor.
3. There is one high-level wizard. You can try to buy/sell scrolls. Good luck.
4. You can try to buy/sell other magic items with the nobility. No one else will have the coin.
5. Items sell at list value. Items are bought at half value.
6. One and two don't require role-playing. Just "I sell X and buy Y." Three and four do.

I think this makes sense for the size of the town. It's not Waterdeep.

Shasarak

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Re: Ye Old Magic Shoppe
« Reply #26 on: May 11, 2022, 04:56:15 PM »
Ye Olde Magic Shoppe you say?

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Aglondir

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Re: Ye Old Magic Shoppe
« Reply #27 on: May 11, 2022, 04:58:41 PM »
"Magic Shoppes" are definitely old school...

Sacrificial Lamb,

Great post. I typed mine before I read yours, but I think it's on the same page (adjusting for a town the size of Fallcrest.)


Aglondir

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Re: Ye Old Magic Shoppe
« Reply #28 on: May 11, 2022, 05:05:09 PM »
I'm thinking of running an OSR game. It seems to me that selling magical loot is an expected part of it. How do you handle that in your OSR game? Do you have a "magic shop" that buys and sells magic items? Do merchants know if items are magical, or do they employ wizards? Do they buy at list price or half list price? Do they sell at list price, or sell at all? Do your players role-play it out, haggle?

Or is all of that thinking about it too much? Is it "We sell the thing; Done?"


TBH, last time I ran an OSR Fantasy game, 2nd Edition was in circulation. However back then, a +5 Holy Avenger would be nothing but legend. Most magic items were rare so the party typically didn't part with them. In some larger cities the Mages Guild might be able to arrange a purchase, assuming they weren't aligned with a thieves guild who would attempt to steal the item. (I did that rarely, but the players were always paranoid after that.) The church would buy them at the lowest price they could (Usually 25-50% listed value), assuming it was an item aligned with their philosophy, and the seller was a member of the sect. Of course there was the obligatory 10% tithing taken at the end.

Hi Godsmonkey,

My goofy example of selling the +5 Holy Avenger was just trying to make a funny "Pawn Stars" reference. I seriously doubt treasure of that rarity will show up in this campaign!

Aglondir

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Re: Ye Old Magic Shoppe
« Reply #29 on: May 11, 2022, 05:10:48 PM »
Which means that:
- Basic mundane is bought and sold as expected.
- Middle made by magic stuff is in the "art auction, rare goods" category often, though can also be found in the proper shops.  There's no "magic shop" as such, but you can buy a +1 sword from a master smith directly.
- Real magic is the stuff of legend, and fits my attitude on old school outlined above.  Every buy/sell is a one-off, and thus rare, even when you can find the item.

Hi Steven,

Love the three categories! I did not see it before I posted my brainstorm on Fallcrest, but I think we're using the same principles.