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I understand how to roll a magic item from the all the tables Core Rulebook includes, but what I don't know is when I should begin giving them chances at random medium or major armor and weapons.

Is there a specific level recommendation or is it more of a feel-it-out thing?

We will be starting a medium speed game (in terms of money and exp rewarded for each encounter) from level 1 and go as far as we can.

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

You will find all the relevant rules on pages 400-401 of the book. Here is a summary.

  • The basic rule is that an encounter only give you a stack of gold:

    A lvl8 encounter gives you 3350gp of gold and jewelery, and that's it.

  • However, the DM is encouraged to add Magic Items to the treasure.

    The DM thinks that the characters could benefit from let's say, a +1 longsword after their lvl8 encounter. He checks the Magic Items section, and find that a +1 longsword is worth roughly 2000gp. The treasure for the encounter is then 1350gp and a +1 longsword.

  • Finally, if the DM wants to add random treasure, there is a table giving you the average price of each category: 1000gp for Minor Items, 10000gp for Medium Items, and 40000gp for Major Items.

    After the lvl8 encounter, the DM could decide that the treasure is 2350gp and a roll on the Minor Items list, or even 350gp and three rolls on the Minor Items list.

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