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I've only recently started playing 5e, and have played through 2 season 8 modules in AL at a local game store.

So far, my character is level 2, and needs 2 more advancement checkpoints for level 3.

During the second adventure, our party found a brooch of shielding.

As I understand it, this item is now unlocked for purchase using treasure checkpoints.

Much like my advancement checkpoints, I earned 4 treasure checkpoints in the first adventure, and 2 in the second.

However, the brooch of shielding is in treasure list F, which means it costs 16 treasure checkpoints for me to purchase.

If treasure checkpoints and adventure checkpoints accumulate at roughly the same pace, I will be able to afford the brooch around the time I enter Tier 2 play at level 5.

If instead I opt for a minor magic item (tables A,B, or C), I can buy one for 8 treasure checkpoints. This should occur when I hit level 3.

According to Xanathar's Guide to Everything, a recommended guideline is that a character should accumulate about 9 minor and 2 major magic items by the time they graduate from tier 1 to tier 2.

That seems quite a discrepancy: 1 major magic item or 2 minor magic items by the end of tier 1 in season 8 AL, vs 9 minor and 2 major magic items by the end of tier 1 in XGE recommendations.

Am I understanding this right? Is season 8 AL particularly magic item poor, or does it ramp up in later tiers? Or are my expectations about the pace of advancement checkpoints and treasure checkpoints accumulated in tier 1 incorrect?

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You're misinterpreting the XGE tables

The XGE "expected magic items" table is for an entire party, not an individual character. Assuming a standard 4-person party, then, each character should have approximately 2¼ minor items and ½ a major item. ^_^

I'm not familiar with AL play, but it sounds like that's approximately in line with the treasure points you're expecting to accumulate.

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