Role-playing Games Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for gamemasters and players of tabletop, paper-and-pencil role-playing games. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

In a campaign I will be playing in soon, we are starting with 10k experience apiece (this is to have a higher-stakes campaign, and the reason we get a set amount of xp instead of levels is that different classes take different amounts of xp to reach the same level). Is there a guideline to how much money and how many magic items we should receive?

Note: At the moment, we are using a provisional rule of 1k gc and 1k experience worth of magic items, with more for different classes. Official guidelines would be better though.

share|improve this question
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Nope. Guidelines for how wealthy or magic-powered PCs were didn't really become important until 3e introduced a system that cared about balance enough to need official guidelines. In 2e, everyone just winged it and it worked fine.

Your provisional rule is pretty much how it was always done: pick some numbers, play! The actual numbers picked are pretty much a matter of taste, reflecting how much or how little magic and money you want to be laying around at the start. Go for it!

share|improve this answer

Update: I am mis-remembering slightly. This answer definitely applies to AD&D 1E DMG (I have now just seen a copy), but the same tables may not be available in the 2E DMG. If that is true I suspect groups I played in used it to help build higher level parties in 2E, effectively using the 1E DMG as a sourcebook for some of the extra tables. 1E and 2E AD&D are no more different than 3E and 3.5E D&D - a few rules and numbers changed, but enough remained the same that most material for 1E works without modification for 2E.

There is a listing of probabilities to have various starting magical gear in the DMG. It is quite conservative, and you need to be around 10th level before you are guaranteed some basic items.

Essentially the rule lists probabilities, by class, of having various types of magic item. Typically you roll D100 several times, looking to score less than some small multiplier of your level (e.g. a 7 x level % chance of a +1 weapon). Because you get a number of tries, it is normal to end up with one minor magic item as starting gear for a mid-level character. With 10k experience, your chances are probably quite low however, and it is likely some characters start with no magic items.

I no longer have the books. A quick search suggests that the rules I am remembering are in Appendix P of the DMG 1st Edition (I have not found them in 2nd Edition, but also not seen "proof" that it was only 1E).

So there are "official" rules for starting gear at higher level, but you shouldn't feel that you have to use them if you prefer to figure something else out. In fact, as they were published in 1E, and not available in 2E it is questionable whether they are considered official. However, early runs of D&D did not have quite the same emphasis on RAW 3E onwards, rulebooks were written with a lot of space for DM and player interpretation, and many rules were open-ended advice. That includes this Appendix P - it makes suggestions for how to start a higher level party, such as simply rolling a D3 to see what level you started at!

share|improve this answer
I can only find Appendices 1-3 in the 2nd edition DMG. Are you sure you're not thinking of 1st edition? – Dakeyras Feb 13 '14 at 8:16
You may be right. I found "Appendix P: CREATING A PARTY" in an online copy of 1E DMG (which I cannot link, sorry). And I thought I was playing 2E . . . well, I should check and update this answer. – Neil Slater Feb 13 '14 at 8:44
@Dakeyras: You are right, I have updated my answer. – Neil Slater Feb 13 '14 at 8:58

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.