I'm currently in a Rise of the Runelords Pathfinder 1E campaign. I understand that being an earlier campaign it is fairly magic item starved. My character is at level 10 and I have been absolutely dying to just purchase a belt of dexterity +2, headband of wisdom +2, or even bracers of armor +1 or +2. After a long stint away from Magnimar dealing with the concerns around the Turtleback Creek area (during which we leveled up twice, possibly thrice) we will now be making a pit stop in Magnimar before continuing on to our next time-sensitive task.

Our DM laid out Magnimar's economical stats: Base Value 12,800 gp; Purchase Limit 75,000 gp; Spellcasting 7th

Does this mean that even at level 10 in this campaign I am still unable to purchase any of these mainstay items? Bracers are listed at CL 7, the headband and belt at CL 8. So this means a city the size of Magnimar does not have a simple headband of wisdom +2? It seems frankly absurd to me that a caster would need to be at caster level 7 or 8 to create a simple bracer of armor +2 or headband of wisdom +2, as well as absurd that a level 10 character in a campaign is still missing any of these things from his equipment.


2 Answers 2


There seems to be a misunderstanding here.

Let's take a look at the explanation of settlement statblocks:

Base Value and Purchase Limit: This section lists the community’s base value for available magic items in gp. There is a 75% chance that any item of this value or lower can be found for sale in the community with little effort. If an item is not available, a new check to determine if the item has become available can be made in 1 week. A settlement’s purchase limit is the most money a shop in the settlement can spend to purchase any single item from the PCs. If the PCs wish to sell an item worth more than a settlement’s purchase limit, they’ll either need to settle for a lower price, travel to a larger city, or (with the GM’s permission) search for a specific buyer in the city with deeper pockets. A settlement’s type sets its purchase limit.

First, there's a flat 75% chance of any item below the Base Value being there. This means that +2 stat items, which only cost 4000 gp, have great odds of being there, and you can retry in a week to get them if they're not.

Spellcasting: Unlike magic items, spellcasting for hire is listed separately from the town’s base value, since spellcasting is limited by the level of the available spellcasters in town. This line lists the highest-level spell available for purchase from spellcasters in town. Prices for spellcasting appear on page 159 of the Core Rulebook. A town’s base spellcasting level depends on its type.

Secondly, the spellcasting line isn't the caster level limit of the town, it's the highest level spell you can buy services for. This means that the highest caster level available spellcasting services is, at minimum, 14 (the level a spontaneous caster needs to cast 7th level spells, and higher for 4th and 6th casters as all of their spells are available). The caster level for purchased spellcasting services could even be higher as there's no minimum set for them, but it's also reasonable for a gm to restrict this.


When talking about magic, you always need to distinguish the level of the spell and the level of the spellcaster.

Spellcasting 7th means that there's nobody in Magnimar that will cast a level 8 (or higher) spell for money.

If you need somebody to cast a level 7 spell, they will be at least a level 13 full caster 1.

This has nothing to do with the caster level required to craft some specific items2 and, while I would expect that no sorcerer 16 is around (or you'd have somebody able to cast 8th level spells, unless it's a sorcerer with 17 Charisma - but I digress) this doesn't stop people from importing items from places that do have those exceptional casters.

  1. We call full casters caster classes who have the potential to reach level 9 spells, like wizards, sorcerers, clerics or druids just to name the core ones. Every other caster we calla half caster. Half casters might stop at level 4 spells, level 5 spells or at most level 6 spells, so half casters won't ever be able to cast a level 7 spell.

  2. Most items have a caster level of their own, which is used to determine how hard they are to dispel or the strength of their magical effects, but this is not a requirement for the crafter. Some items instead list a minimum crafter's caster level as a requirement.


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