Hoo boy.

So I hacked together a magic item stat block. I wish I were happier about that, but magic items are one of my least favorite parts of any tabletop roleplaying game. Don’t get me wrong, I like treasure. I just hate equipment systems.

Maybe the equipment system I threw together will be different?

I was thinking this morning about how much it might cost to “gear up” before embarking on an adventure using the equipment system I devised. I feel iffy about charging the PCs for the gear since the rate of consumption is variable.

Roll a 1 on a skill check, and the gear die erodes.

Since the party shares gear, that means anyone could wind up accidentally costing the group money. Maybe it would introduce an interesting dynamic whereby the PC who uses the most gear pays for it? I think players might do that.

What I came up with for cost was basically, “some amount of GP times the number of die faces.” So it’s ordinarily some number times six to get the upgrade from d4 gear to d6 gear. Except maybe you only have to pay the difference?

Let’s say it’s 10 gp per die face.

d4 … 0* gp
d6 … 60 gp
d8 … 80 gp
d10 … 100 gp
d12 … 120 gp

* d4 is the smallest your gear can erode.

Does that sound right for outfitting a party of five adventurers? At any level? I don’t know. Really, I don’t know. Maybe the cost to refresh gear should be level-based, such that higher-level adventurers require more expensive gear?

Then again, if the party has a mix of adventurers of various levels, how do you determine the cost of gear? Do you average the party level? That sounds too much like math — and as much as I personally enjoy math, I won’t force it on anyone.

Here’s the thing — if I use the GP-to-XP system, when the party spends money refreshing the gear, that’s money they aren’t spending on personal advancement or hiring NPC meat shields (or converting into ritual effects).

Where do magic items comes into play?

Well, individual players have to contend with their weapon dice eroding, the group as a whole has to worry about their gear eroding — magic weapons are presumably immune to some of these problems.

That first plus-one sword will be a big relief.

So maybe, in the grand scheme of things — it’s a good idea to keep “gear refresh” costs pretty low? I don’t know if they’ll be quite as low as they are in my example above, because I think those first few levels ought to have a bit of a struggle.

I’ll probably figure out costs for magic items and make sure that refreshing gear never costs more than the least valuable magic item sells for — so you can at the very least, trade a plus-one sword to refresh the party’s gear. Sound fair?