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D&D 3E
Is this wonderous item fair? 
9th-Oct-2005 10:07 am
wicked handclasp
Ok, I'm not great with magic items, but let's say I wanted to make a ring of cure light wounds that was command word activated. So we have 1800*spell lvl*caster lvl. This equals 1800*1*3 = 5400 gp to have basically unlimited healing at 1d8+3 hp per use. Our DM says that it is to powerful to have an item that can heal that much for only 5400, and has set the price at about 50,000. While I'm undecided if 5400 is fair or not (though I'm leaning yes), I'm not sure 50,000 is fair either.

What would you do?

EDIT: I thought about this after posting it, and it didn't take me long to change my mind. 50,000 isn't enough, it would be more like 200,000. An item like this makes any sort of healing ability useless and totally unbalances the game--if it is that cheap anyway. then I found the ring of regeneration, and saw that this logic was apparently supported by game designers. I just now got a chance to browse through replies, and it seems like pretty much everyone agrees. :)
9th-Oct-2005 03:01 pm (UTC)
If it uses charges, make it comparable to the wand with modification for the command word vs. spell completion.

If you can just do it any ol' time, I would make it worth even more than your DM.
9th-Oct-2005 03:09 pm (UTC)

The information here should already be obvious to you. A ring of that type would be a very valuable thing. Use common sense in pricing. 5400 for a ring of constant healing is too much of a bargain.
9th-Oct-2005 06:40 pm (UTC)
Easy compromise, limit it to something like five shots per day. Turns it into a palm-size cleric.
9th-Oct-2005 07:01 pm (UTC)
I have a feeling that the original poster wants more than that though.
9th-Oct-2005 07:03 pm (UTC)
Well, the rest of the thread states pretty plainly what more than that gets you. I didn't wanna be redundant.
9th-Oct-2005 07:05 pm (UTC)
The DM sounds like a sober fellow. *grin*
9th-Oct-2005 03:08 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't allow it into my game at any price. There are gods that don't have access to that much healing power.
9th-Oct-2005 03:12 pm (UTC)
A wand of cure light wounds, at 3rd caster level, is worth 2250, for 50 charges. And *that* is a spell completion item.

Twice cost (if I recall correctly) for a command word item, means a 50 charge ring is worth 4500.

(As a note, my low-level DnD group has gone through 3 wands of cure light wounds between levels 2 and 4. 30 charges in one combat.)

A ring that lets you cure light wound every round? I'm okay with the 50k price. I'm more in-line with a 22500 cost, though.
9th-Oct-2005 03:23 pm (UTC)
Compare it to a Ring of Regeneration (market price 90,000GP)

This white gold ring continually allows a living wearer to heal 1 point of damage per level every hour rather than every day. (This ability cannot be aided by the Heal skill.) Nonlethal damage heals at a rate of 1 point of damage per level every 5 minutes. If the wearer loses a limb, an organ, or any other body part while wearing this ring, the ring regenerates it as the spell. In either case, only damage taken while wearing the ring is regenerated.
Strong conjuration; CL 15th; Forge Ring, regenerate; Price 90,000 gp.

... then note that the proposed item does not have the restriction that you have to be wearing the ring when wounded i.e. it can heal the whole party between encounters.
9th-Oct-2005 03:51 pm (UTC)
No that's not fair.
9th-Oct-2005 04:13 pm (UTC) - magic Rings aren't Wondrous Items
I'd disallow the item at any price. In general, rings seem to be magic items which have a continuous effect that is activated when you put the ring on. Any spell with an instantaneous duration can't be made continuous (duration=0 cannot become duration=oo with any multiple). So a ring that mirrored a cure wounds spell would be outlawed.

Now if you wanted to make a different kind of item, effectively a wand that wasn't a spell completion item, I'd say use the wand pricing and then double the cost (like how a single-use, use-activated item is half the cost of a single-use, spell-completion item). Keep in mind this does give it charges like a wand.

So you could have a Stone of Healing, which as a standard action you hold to your wounds and it heals them (1d8+3), and can be used 50x before it's magic fades away entirely. It would cost then about 2250 I think (375*1*3*2).

9th-Oct-2005 04:57 pm (UTC)
Some magic items simply cannot be made. This may not seem "logical" to us as players, but it is necessary for game balance. I remember a player trying to convince me he could enchant his +1 bow with the spell "true strike" on command, thus making his +1 bow into a +21 bow. No.

Imagine what your DM would have to do if you had this ring. He would have to assume that between every encounter, your entire group would heal up to maximum hit points. (Every once in a while he could surprise you or keep you on the run while you are healing, and this could work for, say, a one-day game, but in a campaign these tricks would wear out quickly.)

In order to make the encounters challenging, therefore, he would need to make them tougher -- say, by at least 2 or 3 levels. Your 4th level party (just for sake of example; I have no idea what level your party really is) would have nothing but 7th level encounters. Instead of fighting gnolls and troglodytes, you're fighting trolls. Sounds cool, doesn't it?

Except that 7th level monsters assume the party has access to 7th level powers: the paladin can remove disease, the wizard can ice storm, and the cleric can cast restoration. But you won't have any of those powers; you'll just have a shitload of hit points. So when you fight those trolls, those trolls will tear you in pieces.

This is a long story, but the point is this: a magic item that allows you to heal everyone in the party in between encounters breaks the invisible rules on which the game is built. It makes the encounter level and CR system break down. It forces the DM to throw you in over your head. It makes it impossible for him to use any published adventure when DMing for your group.

Don't do this to him. Buy a wand of cure light wounds. They're cheap; buy two.

And, if you get the chance, check out "reserve points" in WotC's "Unearthed Arcana," a system which allows characters to automatically heal a certain amount in between each encounter. It's fairly close to what you describe, but isn't unlimited like your ring.

Hope this long discussion helps.
9th-Oct-2005 07:04 pm (UTC)
I could see a bow that allowed the user to use True Strike a certain number of times per day. That might be cool.
9th-Oct-2005 09:01 pm (UTC) - Yay, rules arguing!
About that bow...

A +1 bow that has a command-word or use-activated true strike isn't that bad--because it takes a standard action to use. Your PC could fire one arrow at +21 every other round; elven scouts probably have bows like this too, especially in elven nations that later give rise to Arcane Archers.

As for the ring in question--well, it's not bad, as far as magical items go. Sure, it lets the PCs heal at a rate of 6d8+18 per minute after a battle, but even in published adventures if the PCs have "minutes" between battles they can also just pull back for the day and heal to full. And in those situations where that isn't possible, making those five-minute heal stops after each battle likely can result in just as bad a problem.

A good "adventure" needs to have a reason for the party to go through at least 3-4 challenging encounters before resting, or else those invisible rules you're talking about also break down.

(Oh, and a good way to check on infinite-healing is to just make the players roleplay it. Each casting of CLW, each time they use the ring. Sooner or later they're going to grow impatient, just like their PCs would.)
9th-Oct-2005 05:36 pm (UTC)
That item is far more powerful than the symantics of the rules allow. You are giving someone the ability to cure at will (every round if need be) and making them virtually invulnerable.

Just call it the Ring of Limited Immortality and get it over with.

I would never allow that in one of my games, lest it be worn by a god, and have it only function for a god.

Considering the ring of regeneration (which is significantly LESS effective than your proposed item) costs that much, its unlikely that an item more versitle and more powerful should cost anything less than tenfold the price.
9th-Oct-2005 07:04 pm (UTC)
It would definitely be toward the epic area of power. Fast healing 5 is almost as good.
9th-Oct-2005 08:05 pm (UTC)
I think i'm missing something, but i seem to remember that items that normally come with charges (such as those that heal) which work infinatly (by command word or at will and never run out) are supposed to cost either 50 or 100 times the "final" cost.

In which case 50,000 is being very generous.

If i am able to double check the formula later i'll post again.
9th-Oct-2005 09:09 pm (UTC)
That'd be an intelligent design point. But that's not what's written--what's written is a x1/2 discount for charged items.

Another way of fixing these things would be eliminating Instantaneous spells from this catagory of magical item entirely. Sure, CLW is an exterme example, but name just about any instantaneous spell of 1st level and above and having it be unlimited uses per day causes harm to the game.

Think about it--what wizard wouldn't want to pay the measly 54,000 to be able to cast 10d6 fireballs once per round all day long? To say nothing of comparable items for magic missile, flame strike, dispel magic, or all the rest of the iconic spells.

10th-Oct-2005 12:24 am (UTC) - If a character in my game were wanting such an item,
he'd have to make it himself. And they'd spend much more than 50,000gp in trial & error completing it, and most likely a heavy XP loss.

Now, in order to have infinite uses, the ring would have to be intelligent and know the spell.

Basically, you want to find a cleric who knows cure light wounds (easy) and has the spell down enough to no longer need material components for it and doesn't need to study for it. This means you need a cleric with Spell Mastery (cure light wounds) and Eschew Materials.

Spell Mastery poses a small issue in that you need to be a wizard to gain that feat.

So what you REALLY want is a multiclassed wizard/cleric with Eschew Materials and Spell Mastery (cure light wounds).

Then you need to trap the dude somewhere, rip his soul out of his body, and plant it in a ring.

I don't really have the time to figure out exactly what that entails, but finding a level 3 character who has multiclassed in these classes specifically to get these two feats is a challenge, and finding a level 20 character with those two feats (less rare) is easier but harder to trap.

Then extracting the soul without killing it is probably a 1 in a 1000 chance.. and requires an XP drain to sustain the soul.

Then enchanting an object (ring) with the extracted soul will require an XP drain also to animate the ring with true life (as opposed to a simple animate object spell).

Does this sound a little more expensive to you than 5400gp? I'm in agreement with the sentiment that 50,000gp isn't enough either.

Personally, I'd toss the idea of "several millions of gp", "lots of time", and "a million or two XP" out, and once the PC started getting close to that, then I'd actually sit down and start thinking about it.

And with the chance of successfully extracting the characters soul without killing it... Yeah, you'll probably need to get a couple of Gods involved.
10th-Oct-2005 10:54 am (UTC) - See, this is why I dislike magic Items...
50,000 is a deal, no matter how you slice it. Formula aside, what your really talking about here is how do I munchkin for cheap. well simply put, you dont. Your DM is being unreasonably generous, and 5400 is just ridiculous. Your math is quite off.
On the other hand, I once took a quickened wand of true strike so I should probably shut up. Made it myself and damn was it fun.
10th-Oct-2005 12:21 pm (UTC)
If I was that DM, I'd let 'em spend 5400, then have the party get captured and the ring stolen. That kind of power doesn't escape notice for long.
10th-Oct-2005 12:54 pm (UTC)
Just to have some fun, I throw out the question of what the philosophical implications would be of such a ring. Healing magic is traditionally a power of the divine, brought forth by the faithful. (I'm ignoring alchemy and some arcane necromancy.) A deity grants the spell, but only in limited quantities (spells per day). The more faithful and devoted (higher level), the more times they are granted such gifts. An item that granted nearly unlimited but minor healing would be a slap in the face for the deity. Their "gift" has been reduced to a trinket.
10th-Oct-2005 04:20 pm (UTC)
Their "gift" has been reduced to a trinket.

Or that magical A-word that brings an evil laugh from GMs everywhere--"Artifact."
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