Need help understanding the purchase of magic items

I'm having a really hard time understanding the mechanics of this with regard to magic item availability.

I'm basically confused by this section;

There is a 75% chance that any item of that value or lower can be found for sale with little effort in that community. In addition, the community has a number of other items for sale. These items are randomly determined and are broken down by category (minor, medium, or major). After determining the number of items available in each category, refer to Table: Random Magic Item Generation to determine the type of each item (potion, scroll, ring, weapon, etc.) before moving on to the individual charts to determine the exact item. Reroll any items that fall below the community's base value.

I don't get this. Could someone explain it in a more newbie friendly way?

2 Answers

Basically, those rules say that you have a 75% chance of being able to purchase any magic item whose value is lower than the Base Value of the settlement. In addition, the GM rolls up a number of Minor, Medium, and Major magic items as listed on the table, which are also available for purchase. These bonus items must all have a higher value than the settlement's base value.

I'll run through an example, to hopefully make this a little more clear.

Xylitol the Wizard enters the settlement of Sugarfree, a Large Town. He wishes to buy a number of magic items. Specifically, he wants to buy a Potion of Cure Light Wounds, a Headband of Vast Intelligence +2, and a scroll of Magic Missile.

The potion is worth 50 gp, and the scroll is worth 25 gp. Since the Base Value of the settlement is 2000 gp, both of these items are potentially available. Xylitol (or his GM) should make 2 percentile rolls, each with a 75% chance of success. If the first succeeds, then Xylitol can buy the potion. If the second succeeds, then he can buy the scroll. If either fail, then Xylitol cannot purchase the item at this settlement at this time.

The Headband is worth 4000 gp, which is above the settlement's base value. The only way that Xylitol will find this item here is if the GM rolls it up randomly.

At this point, the GM should use the Random Magic Item Generation to roll up 3d4 Minor, 2d4 Medium, and 1d4 Major magic items. If the GM rolls up any items that have a value under 2000 gp (the base value of the settlement), those items should be re-rolled until all of these items are worth more than 2000 gp.

The items that the GM rolled are now available for purchase immediately. If the Headband happened to be on the list of items rolled, then Xylitol can purchase it. Otherwise, he'll have to leave and find a different settlement to buy it at.

• I think I get it, so in your example, for the GM to have the Headband of Vast Intelligence +2, he would first roll to see how many items there are in the town, let's say there is only 1 minor item, so then the % would have to come up as 92-100 for the wondrous item, then he would have to roll a 67 on the next % dice and that would mean the item is available? (These numbers are from the CRB) – Nerevar May 1 '14 at 0:49
• Yes, you have that exactly right. – DuckTapeAl May 1 '14 at 1:02

Availability To Purchase

This is a set of rules to determine what is available to purchase in the community, so that your fighter can't just wander into a hamlet and find an exotic Boartooth Cutlass +3 Flaming Wounding sitting there amongst the ancient cheeses and dire biscuits.

Most of that paragraph basically explains how you go about randomly generating the extra or 'weird' items that are for sale based on the community size. The odd jobs that you find that are above the normal 'price limit' of that community.

It uses the Random tables of magic items, which are sorted into Minor magical items, Medium magical items, and so forth.

The idea being that you roll a number of times on those tables to build a list of available magical items, rerolling if you get items that are too low in price.

The first part of the paragraph says that there is a 75% (i.e. 3 out of 4) chance that you will find any item that is below a specific price (there is a table of prices per community size) in that community.

So what happens is, the player goes ' I want to buy a Bull's Strength +4 belt' and you go 'okay, that's within the price range of what is available, so roll a d4, don't roll a 1' and then he goes 'okay' and gets a 3 and then it is in a store in the town, i.e. it is for sale there.

If the Belt is too high a price, you consult the list of magical items you rolled that are there above the price (the randomly generated one you made for the town) and if the Belt is on there, he can still buy it. If it's not, then too bad. If someone is looking for expensive magical items in the town, you can show them the list of what is available (again, the same one you randomly generated).