Zeroing in on Magic Item Changes for LFR

by Ameron (Derek Myers) on October 22, 2010

It looks like the LFR Global Admins have pretty much nailed how magic items will work after D&D Essentials becomes part of Living Forgotten Realms. Yesterday M. Sean Molley (posting as soccerref73) provided us with a preview in the article LFR Campaign Guide: Upcoming Magic Item Changes. Although the details are still not 100% finalized, this looks and sounds like a solid model and they pretty much say that in the article.

They’re never going to please everyone, but I think these changes sound fair and will please most of the people most of the time. They are still asking for your feedback so be sure to leave your comments. They’re especially concerned about gaps or loopholes that they might have missed.

Below are the main points copied directly from the article. I’ve added my comments underneath each point if I had something to add or critique; however, a lot of these points are pretty straight forward and don’t really require much explanation.

Core concepts

  • Characters still have one found item slot per character level, which does not interact with the rarity system.
  • Common items are unrestricted.
  • Uncommon items are somewhat restricted.
  • Rare items are extremely restricted.

Rules about finding magic items at the end of an adventure

  • At the end of each adventure, the DM will tell you how much XP and gold your character earned, and will also give you a list of available Treasures.
  • You can choose a Treasure from the tier you played or from any lower tier.
    This always bugged me with the existing rules. Often the difference between low-level and high-level treasure was the difference between a +1 or +2 item. But when the bundles were actually different items, I felt cheated that I couldn’t down-step and take the lower item. Good call on this.
  • You can never find a magic item more than four levels above your character level, even if it’s one of the listed Treasures for the adventure.
  • If you choose to find a magic item as your Treasure, that item takes up one of your character’s found item slots, regardless of its rarity.
  • Instead of a listed Treasure, you always have the option to find a Common or Uncommon item of your choice, within certain level limits.
    HUGE improvement. Sometimes getting a simple +1 weapon, armor or neck item is better than anything else in the mix. Being able to choose common or uncommon as a bundle regardless of whether or not it was listed makes things a lot better. Now I don’t have to play adventure X just to get a +2 sword.

Rules about buying and selling magic items on the open market

  • You can buy Common magic items, if you have enough gold.
  • Characters may not purchase or craft Uncommon items unless they have campaign documentation that says otherwise.
  • Rare items always require campaign documentation.
  • You can sell items for their market price, which is based on rarity.

Rules about how many of a particular type of item you are allowed to own

  • You may not possess more Uncommon items than your character level, regardless of whether you buy or find them.
    This is clearly in there to stop abuse. I play with a few guys who stock up on +1 implements and then swap them around to maximize their daily power benefit. With the removal of daily power limitations this kind of power gaming was bound to become problematic.
  • You may not possess more than one Rare item (total) per tier.
  • You may not have more than one copy of any specific Uncommon or Rare magic item, regardless of whether you found, bought, or borrowed the item.
    This I absolutely disagree with. If I’m playing a two-weapon melee character and I want two Flaming long swords I should be able to have them. As long as I didn’t violate any rules in acquiring it, it shouldn’t matter specifically what I have.
  • Two magic items are considered the same if they are the same base item, even if they take different forms or have different enhancement bonuses.
  • Ammunition and alchemical items are considered Common unless otherwise specified.

Other things that need to be mentioned but don’t fit neatly into one of the previous categories

  • You may pay to upgrade an existing item’s enhancement bonus, regardless of its rarity.
    I’m glad this is specified. How much would it suck to get an awesome +1 rare item and then have no way to improve it as your character gained levels.
  • Knowing that I can pay to get it upgraded is a tremendous relief.
  • Mounts are not magic items.
  • Divine Boons, Grandmaster Training, and similar magic-item-like rewards count as Uncommon items for purposes of determining the total number of Uncommon items you can possess.

What are your thoughts on these changes? Most of them aren’t earth shattering, but there were a few surprises. Will these changes impact your desire to play LFR? Do you see these changes as an improvement or do you think this is just making things worse?

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1 j October 22, 2010 at 1:52 pm

hey i dont know if you knew this yet but the deleted all of the rpga items, traps, etc from ddi tools (character builder and compendium). when they update the monster builder the monster will be deleted as well.

2 Syrsuro October 22, 2010 at 9:26 pm

The prohibition on more than one of the same uncommon or rare (you can have multiples of common items) is there precisely to stop the abuse you describe (swapping items for the Dailies) and thus is, in general, a good idea.

But I did point out that the rule went far beyond the purpose of the rule (to prevent daily item abuse) and suggested that they change the rule to ban multiple copies of uncommon or rare items with daily or encounter powers. There is no reason to worry about these items and they are no more unbalancing then the were before – they are merely being banned as a side-effect of the new rule.

Unfortunately, my proposal didn’t seem to get much traction.


3 Syrsuro October 22, 2010 at 9:29 pm

Grrr. I intended to indicate that there is no reason to worry about items that do not have these properties (as opposed to the items with these properties which is what I wrote). Carl

4 Brian October 23, 2010 at 4:12 pm

How timely. Just last week I blogged about the differences between LG and LFR, and wondered where the magic item rules were going. I do see the point about two weapon fighters, but tend to agree with Syrsuro re: swapping multiple same items = abuse. It’s a trade off, I guess. Besides, if I was a two weapon fighter, I’d probably want two DIFFERENT weapons to maximize my chances of getting through resistances.

5 mysticknight232 October 25, 2010 at 2:51 pm

In regards to buying magic items, are you still restricted to buying items of your lvl or lower only or can you now purchase common/uncommon magic items of up to your lvl +4 like found magic items?

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