I have been playing this game for a long time (mostly playing, some DM time) and our party always seems to run into the problem of monty haul characters. This typically happens when the main DM is busy and someone else in the group offers to DM and they are a little loose in the magic giving department. It happens to a lot of groups. Now a lot of DM's can just zap it away and no biggie, but our DM's don't like to be callous that way even if it starts making it difficult to challenge the party.
So this got me thinking, why would high level wizards not have agents at every major city casting detect magic and gathering intel on adventure groups coming to town for training or identify spells, etc.? It seems like a sort of mafia style organized crime syndicate would evolve and those characters that had magic that was way over balanced for their level would soon loose it by the forces imposed by the wizard (his henchment, summoned monsters, geased individual. etc) or from the wizard himslef. This would stop 6th level fighters from having +3 swords or plate armor +5. Or stop a 4th to 5th level group from having a rope of entanglement. The high level wizards would want these types of items to arm their own henchment to protect themselves. However, a 12th level group with these items might make the wizard look for greener pastures and easier targets.
Good way to keep the campaign balanced although it may cost a character their lives once in a while.
It might also make characters not go into cities at low levels for those exact reasons or make them bury their magic items before they do.
The simplest way of not having characters with overly powerful magic items is to not give them to the characters in the first place. That solves a whole lot of problems. Another thing is that just because an item is listed in an adventure it doesn't mean the DM can't take them out of the adventure or power them down either. Very simple things. The best thing to do is to get your DMs together and set some ground rules about the magic item content. Either that or just stick with the one DM who is not so loose with the magic items and keeps things challenging.
As to powerful wizards hording items, well, they do. The ones with morals and ethics simply won't go taking items from people as that would draw attention to them, and summoned *monsters* or a flesh golem running amok taking items from people is going to draw attention too. Just one wizard doing something like this would bring down a hell storm of backlash upon all wizards, whether it is because they are strong arming law abiding citizens, taking useful items from somebody else's minions, or just plain horning in on the bread and butter of every professional thief, the representative guilds of whom will surely find said wizard and either very succinctly point out the error of their ways or just outright kill them. Clerics are certainly known for their zealousness, and they would be even better magic items collectors I think, as they have the power of an organization at their back(not all wizards do). This is a pretty heavy handed method of magic item control though. It might fly in the Theocracy of the Pale(with its screwy Pholtan clerics) or in Keoland where agents of the Silent Ones(Keoland's very own screwy mages) might strong arm somebody, but it's not likely to happen many other places. Of course if you wander into a land where the rule of the sword in effect anybody can take anything they want to, if they simply have the ability to do so.
Other than that, you could have laws in most major cities(usually ones that have a mages guild) that either limit the possession of dangerous magic items or impose a fee or tax on all magic items brought into the city to begin with. Remember those item saving throws too, as being involved in combat can winnow away many a magic item all by itself. _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
Last edited by Cebrion on Thu Mar 19, 2009 3:47 am; edited 1 time in total
Thanks Cebrion, I appreciate the reply. And I agree with you on the DM thing. I wish everyone would be on the same page onthese things. Yu gave me something to consider as to a response if mages tried to do these things.
Another thing I always considered was why Giants would not be extinct in D&D. It seems to me high level mages would hunt giants for sport. Imagine, improve invisibilty, scrying, teleport, phantasmal killer, stoneskin, and few good wands and Giants would not be long for the world. They have such great treasure too.
So the minons would only detect adventure groups? I'm sure that wouldn't be a secret for long and then the minions would have to check everyone coming into town. I doubt there are enough minons to detect magic on everyone coming or going into town all day long.
That sounds like a lot of payroll to payout for what? I few trinkets and an occasional goodie.
Considering adventuring groups are not a dime a dozen, yes, you could check just them. Barring that, anybody walking through the gate looking like wizards(again, not very common) could be checked.
Then again, you really don't have to do this all that often just by putting in place a law stating that any undeclared magic items with dangerous usages can be confiscated upon discovery and the owner jailed, as well as anyone aiding said offender in any way. You'd have mages guilds self regulating themselves then for fear of having some miserly fool bring down the authorities upon them all. Then there are ways of creting permanent detct magic effects on items that can be transferred from watch captain to watch captain from shift to shift. A few hits and the cost of that single item is covered, let alone any money gained from taxes/fees on those who are found to possess any magic items to begin with. Mo money, mo money, mo money!
There are smart ways of doing things here, but once again, the DMs being on the same page is the better solution. _________________ - Moderator/Admin (in some areas)/Member -
Last edited by Cebrion on Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:21 pm; edited 3 times in total
Well, as a City of Greyhawk wizard-of-note, I must admit that yes, I do hoard magic items.
I use Maldin's shop in Greyhawk to purchase or trade items (always to the PC's disadvantage) as well. Particularly useful because PCs IMC must pay for training, and often need the cash from item sales to pay for it.
Other classic ways of getting items away from characters that shouldn't (other then me just stealing them from you) if you really need to get something out of the PC's hands... It just disappears!! If the PC finds a way of scrying its location, they find out that they were the victim of a random wish spell. Someone elsewhere (maybe not even on the same planet or plane) wished for an item and the wish was fulfilled by "stealing" it from a random person in the multiverse. The PC may take a while before he becomes high enough level to pursue the new owner and take back the item. By that time, the PC may actually "deserve" the item.
Dire rustmonsters, phase-disenchanters, and epic puddings and oozes, anyone? (because the standard versions are usually too weak to be any threat to the PCs - or their items - at that point)
Denis, aka "Maldin"
Maldin's Greyhawk http://melkot.com
Loads of edition-independent Greyhawk goodness... maps, magic, mysteries, mechanics, and more!
IMC I once had a Wizard organization pop up to stem the tide of magic items in D&D, called the High Ring. They were a union of Guilds across all the Flanaess' major cities/nations. They were created with a mandate that only spellcasters were learned and skilled enough to possess most magic items. This effectively shut down the GH City magic item industry and if custom items were crafted for people they ALWAYS had side effects that prevented their use against wizards (kinda like the Sword of Kas vs Vecna) Soon I had adventurers skulking about with their newly found items anytime they came to town for fear of being ratted out to the High Ring's acquisition patrols. Poor PC Wizards had to join the High Ring and uphold their ideals or face expulsion from their guilds and be blacklisted. Those were tough times!
Eventually they got too greedy and soon felt ony spellcasters should be smart enough to rule nations (Rary was instrumental in that cause) and so was Prince Lakaster, Kermin Mindbender and others). That's when the High Ring was brought down so I made a game controlling issue into a plot point, it was fun.
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