Do Players ever USE magic items?

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jojodogboy
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Joined: 2017-09-04 12:05
Do Players ever USE magic items?

During my Dwimmermount campaigns (admittedly only about 10 sessions), both sets of players would much rather sell any magic item they find for the gold and XP then use them. I mean they go out of their way to say 'Wait, don't use it! Wrap it up and lets sell it at that Class II market'.

Now I am totally o.k. with that.  It drives their behavior and interest and gives them a reason to go back into the dungeon.  It is, however, unlike anything I have ever seen in my over 30 years of gaming.

Maybe it's the fact that most of the players are used to systems without gold=xp.  Maybe they have already decided that combat = dangerous = low xp.  Maybe it's the fact that even as 'old junk' magic, it's worth a lot of XP and gold.  They are even willing to wait the 4 to 6 months for their XP until they can find a buyer (They found an specifically created NPC who would sell it for an equal share of the GP).  

Has anyone else had this experience with their players?  Is this unique to ACKS, a feature of a Dwimmermount campaign, or just my players?

GMJoe
Joined: 2013-01-04 12:56

That does sound pretty strange to me. My players have been jealously holding on to the few magic items they've found, and strongly resent the one time a dwarven vaultguard (whose player was leaving the campaign) claimed the party's only magical sword, declared "this belongs in a museum!" and left with it, never to be seen again.

They've also been actively trying to buy magic items, specifically scrolls, with the non-magical treasure they have. Between not visiting high-class markets and poor luck with the dice, they've not found any of the scrolls they've been looking for, though.

Jard
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Joined: 2012-07-11 23:23

odd, my players have access to a class II market as well, and while they sell most potions and scrolls they find, they end up using anything more permanent because the chance to sell it is so low.

wmarshal
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Joined: 2012-04-08 15:12

My players have been eager to sell items. They've sold not just potions, but +1 arrows as well. I find it annoying, and I'm considering a house rule by which sold magicnitems don't count for XP, or do so at a rate reduced by 80%.

DrPete
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Joined: 2011-07-13 13:22

I don't love the rule about selling/not selling magic items.  I feel like it's very game-y.

I prefer to give characters 10% of the gp value for magic items as xp, once they know what it is.  They can figure that out via experimentation or identifiaction.

Weron
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Joined: 2013-10-07 06:44

How do you handle the cost of identification of the magic item? Assuming the buyer is not willing to just take your word for what the item is.

Properly identifying a magic item requires an arcane caster of level 5+ or 9+ (depending on what section in the book you follow), 1000gp, two weeks and a successful magic research throw unless it is a potion, scroll, or "common" magic item. What a common magic item is is undefined, but if you consider weapons, armor and such common, you still will not know the actual bonus of the item without identification.

My players never bothered to sell items for xp because of the high cost of identification.

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

In all the ACKS campaigns I have run, only one group has ever sold an item, and then it was only one item. 

That said, I am (like Weron) brutal about identification. For instance, at one point a party handed over a ring to be identified. When two weeks later, they went back to find the sage to whom they'd given the item, they kept getting lost, and when they tried to scry him, they couldn't remember what he looked like, nor what the ring had looked like... Eventually they deduced that they accidentally handed over a ring of wishes to be identified and one of the wishes had been used by the sage to make it impossible for them to ever find the sage again. 

 

bobloblah
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Joined: 2013-03-22 16:16
That is beyond hilarious! Warms the blackened cockles of my Judge's heart. My own players in my current campaign have sold only a couple items; between the difficulties of identification, and finding a buyer, they've simply found it more effective to keep the majority of what they find. This is in spite of the fact that I am by no means averse to them selling items that they find. I think the players from the original post may be outliers. I also think they are eventually going to run into more and more situations where the items would've made more of a difference than the additional XP...
Dave
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Joined: 2013-03-17 15:23

Mine keep almost everything they find.  I'm used to it now, but I had expected them to sell more than they did.

jojodogboy
Patreon Supporter
Joined: 2017-09-04 12:05

 

How do you handle the cost of identification of the magic item? Assuming the buyer is not willing to just take your word for what the item is.

Properly identifying a magic item requires an arcane caster of level 5+ or 9+ (depending on what section in the book you follow), 1000gp, two weeks and a successful magic research throw unless it is a potion, scroll, or "common" magic item. What a common magic item is is undefined, but if you consider weapons, armor and such common, you still will not know the actual bonus of the item without identification.

My players never bothered to sell items for xp because of the high cost of identification.


-Weron

Both groups of players have only found common items so far.  They have had lucky alchemy and magical engineering rolls.  The only rare item was a scarab of death.  They took it to be identified, and while taking it out of its chain mail bag with their bare hand, it immediately burrowed into the PC theif's hand.  The party immediately said they threw him down and chopped off his arm with an axe, so I gave him a save, which he made.

As for chance to sell, if you remain in the market the chance increases every month.  They have a dealer now in the class two city selling it for them, so in about 4 months they'll have their XP.

I did port over a version of identify the first level arcane spell. For a 100 GP gem they get a chance to learn one thing about a magic item. It cost the party a trade of their most powerful spell (summon berserker) but they did it.

 

 

 

jojodogboy
Patreon Supporter
Joined: 2017-09-04 12:05

That is beyond hilarious! Warms the blackened cockles of my Judge's heart. My own players in my current campaign have sold only a couple items; between the difficulties of identification, and finding a buyer, they've simply found it more effective to keep the majority of what they find. This is in spite of the fact that I am by no means averse to them selling items that they find. I think the players from the original post may be outliers. I also think they are eventually going to run into more and more situations where the items would've made more of a difference than the additional XP...

-bobloblah

When they run into groups of undead, they'll be sorry they sold that +1 short sword.  I can't believe they are planning on selling a +2 ring of protection! At least they've kept the wands.

Jard
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Joined: 2012-07-11 23:23

In all the ACKS campaigns I have run, only one group has ever sold an item, and then it was only one item. 

That said, I am (like Weron) brutal about identification. For instance, at one point a party handed over a ring to be identified. When two weeks later, they went back to find the sage to whom they'd given the item, they kept getting lost, and when they tried to scry him, they couldn't remember what he looked like, nor what the ring had looked like... Eventually they deduced that they accidentally handed over a ring of wishes to be identified and one of the wishes had been used by the sage to make it impossible for them to ever find the sage again. 

 


-Alex

 

You'll be delighted to hear that, when the evil advisor to the duke offered to identify any of the party's magic items for free, my players happily handed over like 10 items.  I'm trying to figure out how much havok he can wreak in the 20 weeks they expect him to take.

Alex
The Autarch
Joined: 2011-06-30 18:10

 

 

In all the ACKS campaigns I have run, only one group has ever sold an item, and then it was only one item. 

That said, I am (like Weron) brutal about identification. For instance, at one point a party handed over a ring to be identified. When two weeks later, they went back to find the sage to whom they'd given the item, they kept getting lost, and when they tried to scry him, they couldn't remember what he looked like, nor what the ring had looked like... Eventually they deduced that they accidentally handed over a ring of wishes to be identified and one of the wishes had been used by the sage to make it impossible for them to ever find the sage again. 

 

 


-Alex

 

 

You'll be delighted to hear that, when the evil advisor to the duke offered to identify any of the party's magic items for free, my players happily handed over like 10 items.  I'm trying to figure out how much havok he can wreak in the 20 weeks they expect him to take.


-Jard

 

Ahahahah, masterful.

bobloblah
Patreon SupporterDomains At War ContributorSinister Stone of Sakkara ContributorLairs And Encounters Contributor
Joined: 2013-03-22 16:16

That is beyond hilarious! Warms the blackened cockles of my Judge's heart. My own players in my current campaign have sold only a couple items; between the difficulties of identification, and finding a buyer, they've simply found it more effective to keep the majority of what they find. This is in spite of the fact that I am by no means averse to them selling items that they find. I think the players from the original post may be outliers. I also think they are eventually going to run into more and more situations where the items would've made more of a difference than the additional XP...

-bobloblah

When they run into groups of undead, they'll be sorry they sold that +1 short sword.  I can't believe they are planning on selling a +2 ring of protection! At least they've kept the wands.


-jojodogboy
Exactly!
Harrowed
Joined: 2017-01-03 22:04

My players have looked at it much more practically, towards what the group needs. I'm running the Dwimmermount dungeon and they made a trip up to Level 0 which was a bad idea but they retreated from superior OPFOR like smart players. However they cam down with one of the Astral Helmets. A powerful magic item but of little use to them so off to the auction block it goes.

Speaking of which that's how I handle the sale of expensive magicial items. They send out messengers with what they have for sale, after having it identified by a reputable mage who will be on hand to speak to it, and set up a place and date. This requires security, usually hiring other adventuring groups and a significant amount of time to wait. Usually a 25K-50K magicial items with take about 5K-10K in costs to sell and about three months of time.

LyricAsylum
Joined: 2013-05-19 01:26

I just imported the Identify spell from 2nd edition D&D. Casters in my world charge 50gp for Detect Magic (cast on the whole treasure hoard) and 100gp per magical item to identify.