Champions of the Titan's Eye
I believe Vincent introduced the intrinsic wealth mechanic to reduce headaches surrounding magic items and “Wealth By Level” in D&D. You either get MagicMarts that seem neigh-futuristic in their convenience, pricing and security, or magic items are rare and casters have a monopoly on game-changing magical effects. And if you happen to run a few adventures without a lot of explicable treasure, the players are suddenly underpowered for their level. And the worst part, IMO, is all the game time spent shopping instead of doing the adventure.
Automatic, fair, self-updating wealth
So, instead of Vincent having to calibrate treasure along with everything else, we went with a system where slotted magic items don’t exist. Instead, PCs (and important NPCs) have inherent powers that reflect the abilities granted by magic items. The flavor of how that power manifests is up to the individual player, but mechanically it works the same for everyone. For the most part, act as though you’re simply allocating regular magical items on a character during character generation, except the “items” reflect the character’s power instead of the item. For instance, if a character has a +1 Flaming Weapon, any weapon he wields is +1 Flaming.
- The total treasure value of all your “inherent magic items” equals your wealth by level, following the Wealth By Level table in the DMG pg. 135.
- One item can cost half of Wealth By Level or less. All other items must cost one fourth of Wealth By Level or less.
- Items take item slots, like normal (throat, rings, shoulders, et cetera). You can have one item per slot. “Weapon” is a slot that applies to all weapons you use. “Shield” and “Armor” follow the same principle.
- You also have one “slotless” slot, where you can include one item that would normally not occupy a slot. For instance: an Ioun Stone. Slotless items that need to be wielded, like a Rod, require you to wield some non-magical focus similar to the magical item in question in order to use its power.
- Noting the above exception, slotless items and consumable items follow the regular magic item rules in D&D. You buy them with money, as normal.
- Use Magic Item Compendium and Dungeon Master’s Guide rules for combining items.
- Custom magic items still require my permission (and are often dubious), but skill boosting items +20 and below are explicitly allowed.
When you level up
- Update your Wealth By Level
- Update your intrinsic items. This is the only time you can change your intrinsic wealth allocation. You can remove items.