By RAW the only thing I know of that reduces the market price of magic items is the 10% or 30% discount item restrictions in the creating magic items section of the Dungeon Master's Guide page 282. Is there anything else that explicitly effects the market price of magic items?

Everything else I can find is about reducing the cost of creating items rather than the market price. Only one of those explicitly states that the market price doesn't change (the affinities granted by weapon/armor templates in the Dungeon Master's Guide II page 274). Should we assume any such creation cost reduction that doesn't explicitly state the market price doesn't change does affect the market price? Or not?

The market price is generally accepted to be twice the creation cost. Realistically if you could create items for less than your competitors you wouldn't necessarily sell them for less, mostly depending on supply and demand. But D&D's economy in no way is, or attempts to be, a realistic market.

In any case, if there is more than one way, how would they stack, if at all?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Just to be clear: Are you looking for a mechanical way for a character to purchase already created magic items at less than market price? Or are you looking for a way to reduce the magic item's market price in advance so that, by extension, the magic item's cost to create is reduced? \$\endgroup\$ Jun 10, 2022 at 20:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @HeyICanChan The former, or more specifically not already created items but items the character would commission. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kuro_Neko
    Jun 10, 2022 at 20:44

2 Answers 2


Feats providing market price discounts

Except in the last case, each of the following feats provides the creature that possesses it a market price discount on magic items. The last feat must be possessed by the magic item's creator instead.

  • The Greyhawk regional feat Celestial Scion (Torquaan) (Dragon #315 52) "allows you a 10% discount on all purchases made anywhere the influence of House Torquaan is known," therefore applying pretty much wherever the DM says it does. Unlike the rules for regional feats in the Forgotten Realms campaign setting that were updated by the Player's Guide to Faerûn, Greyhawk regional feats can be taken by anyone who has a feat slot open and at least 2 ranks in a specific Knowledge (local), in this case one or more of Knowledge (Ablissa, North Kingdom, or Solnor Compact local). Still, this feat is limited to 1st level characters.

  • The general feat Favored (criminal guilds) (Cityscape 61, 87) gives a creature a 5% discount on magic items the creature purchases from the guild, but a particular minor magic item is available only 50% of the time, a particular medium magic item only 25% of the time, and a particular major magic item only 10% of the time. When the guild's inventory is updated is unmentioned by the text; ask the DM. Also, goods purchased through the criminal guild are illegal or stolen, and this can be a problem.

  • The general feat Favored in Guild (Complete Psionic 51) for the criminal guild Gnawbones (Waterdeep: City of Splendors 56–7) or the special guilds the Harpers (73–4) or Tel Teukiira (75–6) allows the character to purchase a magic item with a market price of 50,000 gp or less at 75% of market price… once per character level.

  • The Forgotten Realms regional feat Mercantile Background (Player's Guide to Faerûn 41), among other benefits, allows a creature to, "[o]nce per month,… buy any single item at 75% of the offered price." It is available to 1st-level dwarves from the Sword Coast or the Darklands section of the Underdark; gnomes from Lantan or the Northdark section of the Underdark; halflings from Amn; and humans from Amn, the Lake of Mists section of Hordelands, Lantan, Sembia, Tashalar, Tharsult, Thesk, Turmish, the Vast, or Waterdeep, or as a Shou Expatriate.

  • The ceremony feat Ritual Transference (Player's Handbook II Web enhancement "Magic Items: Transferring XP Costs") in its Special, in part, says, "If you are commissioning the creation of a magic item from an NPC with this feat (for which you are providing spells), a discount consistent with your contribution and type of magic item is subtracted from the final market price (see Table 7-33: Estimating Magic Item Gold Piece Values, page 285 of the Dungeon Master’s Guide)." Thus a creature can commission a magic item from a creator who possesses this feat then help that creator create the commissioned magic item by casting spells. Doing so entitles the creature to a discount on the commissioned magic item's market price.

    This is the best way of getting a market price discount on magic items, but this way does require pretty much moving in with the creator while the magic item's being created and casting spells to assist in the magic item's creation. Further, the DM may not have incorporated these obscure rules into the campaign setting.


  • Diplomacy: "When discussing the sale of an item or service, you can attempt to lower the asking price with a Diplomacy check made to influence NPC attitudes…. If you… adjust the vendor’s attitude to helpful (most vendors begin as indifferent), the vendor lowers the asking price by 10%" (Complete Adventurer 98–9 and link added).


  • Nightsong Guild: "Many places of business in the city offer 10% discounts on services, goods, and equipment to Nightsong Guild members" (Complete Adventurer 178).

Note: It's unlikely given its provenance that the DM will allow the feat Guild Discount (Planewalker Web article "Guild Discount"), and it's pretty specific anyway. Thank you, Peregrine Took, for having me look at Complete Adventurer. Thank you, Prevarications, for the suggestion of the feat Mercantile Background.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Mercantile Background, from Player's Guide to Faerûn, is extremely potent. Sell items back at 75% value instead of 50%, once a month buy an item at 75% list price, and start with an additional 300 gold. As you mentioned, FR regional feats can be restrictive; luckily this one is in the same book with the rules for regional feats. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 11, 2022 at 15:13

About the different “prices”

You seem to be conflating “base price” and “market price”—which is fair, since the rules totally do too.

Every item must have a single—fixed—“base price.” Nothing can change this because it’s an intrinsic property of the item. The rules in the Dungeon Master’s Guide you refer to affect this, because you are talking about different items with different properties, and how those different properties change these separate items’ value relative to one another. (Those rules are also extremely questionable in general, at least if a player is looking at them, but that’s neither here nor there.)

On the other hand, “market price” is, or should be, what NPCs charge PCs to buy the item. (It is also presumably what NPCs charge one another but the rules don’t really care about that.) And the rules state that

For many items, the market price equals the base price.

Because of this statement—and because it’s usually true—the rules are not very careful about using “base price” and “market price” consistently. In fact, I can’t think of a single instance under the rules where they actually differ—the distinction between them exists almost entirely for the sake of DMs who are trying to bring their world to life by making something scarce and valuable, or plentiful and cheap, in particular areas. These kinds of mark-ups or discounts don’t affect the base price. But the rules also never bother themselves to establish any of these, because the rules are very general and don’t get into these kinds of local differences very often. (I’m less familiar with premade modules—it’s entirely possible that Wizards of the Coast did this kind of thing in an official adventure at some point.)

The rules are more careful about the price to craft or create an item, which is usually but not always half the base price. Market price doesn’t come into this, because it’s a question of how hard it is for a PC to create an item with this value—and the single, intrinsic value that every item has is its base price. So, as you note, you have many feats and the like that can change the creation cost of an item—without changing the base price (or, presumably, the market price).

So in short:

  • Base price is a single, fixed value for each item. If two items have different base prices, they must necessarily be different items, because the difference in base price reflects some difference in their power or “value” as perceived by the author who developed the item. In some sense, the base price is a metagame concept, though it affects in-character values.

  • Market price is usually the same as base price, and pretty much always the same as the base price in the published rules. The market price is the in-character reflection of the metagame evaluation of the item known as the base price. Any difference between base price and market price is left up to DMs, not codified in rules. (Published adventures may also include some differentiation here as part of the workload they take over for the DM’s convenience.)

  • Creation costs are a function of base price, another way that metagame evaluation is reflected by in-character realities. Many feats and the like exist to change creation costs, as you note.

Buying low

Comments suggest it is this middle point that you are most interested in: is there anything that says you buy stuff for less than normal?

The answer is yes—but it’s extremely rare, and extremely limited. The thunder guide (Explorer’s Handbook) can gain the ability to buy keiros leaves and covadish leaves at half price in Pylas Talaer, and/or the ability to buy up to 2 healing potions and a Quaal’s feather token at half price in one of the villages on the island of Seren. This is the kind of thing for which market price can diverge from base price.

I could swear there was another prestige class that allowed you to purchase things—anything, apparently—at a small discount (maybe 5%?) in one particular region, probably in Faerûn. I have not been able to find this prestige class as of yet.


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