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We are playing Hoard of the Dragon Queen. My PC's are only at level 3. They stumbled into a magic shop and asked for a Bag of Holding. I made the asker roll to beat a 15 and if he did I said that he could buy one. (He rolled a 17.) So then I proceeded to look for for how much one costs in the DMG, PHB & HotDQ. Magic item creation and endless tables were all I found. Someone found a D&D Wiki and said it was 2500 GP. I ended the game (about 15 minutes early) to do my homework. Am I missing something?

My question is:

Why is the Bag of Holding not listed in the Index of any book?

Where do I get price lists for magic items? Or if the answer is "It's at my discretion", what should I use as a guide?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ If you have to ask, you can't afford it. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Mar 8 at 5:28
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1. None of the named magic items are found in the index...

... annoying, but it seems only the categories of magic item (rings, rods, staffs, wondrous items etc.) are in the index, not the specifics. Instead of using the core books to search for specific items, I recommend using one of the SRD websites - I use 5thsrd.org to quickly search for individual rules.

2. By default, you can't buy most magic items

Default 5e assumes that "magic shops" pretty much won't exist, and even goes on to suggest that potions and the like be bought at alchemist's shops instead.

From the DMG, page 135:

Unless you decide your campaign works otherwise, most magic items are so rare that they aren't available for purchase.

and further:

If your campaign allows for trade in magic items, rarity can also help you set prices for them. As the DM, you determine the value of an individual magic item based on its rarity. Suggested values are provided in the Magic Item Rarity table.

The Bag of Holding is an uncommon item, therefore in the 101 - 500GP range. At this point, it is at your discretion.

Magic items in 5e

Unlike previous editions (particularly the 3/3.5/4 era) 5e is designed to depend much less on magic items. Together, the:

  • attuning rules (which limit the number of powerful items any individual character can have),
  • the expressly "lower magic" setting (which generally restricts the purchase - and sale! - of magic items),
  • and their "bounded accuracy" (lower difficulty, ACs and progression gradients)

...ensure that high level 5e characters are powerful because of their raw skill and ability, not the plethora of magic items they happen to be decked out in. This was a specific design decision going back to the very first D&D Next playtests. (As a side note, having your party find that Bag of Holding in some dusty and forgotten attic is also more rewarding than just stopping by the local Bags of Holding R Us and grabbing a few!)

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As previous answers have suggested, magic item prices are broadly at your discression, with suggested prices by rarity provided (DMG pg. 135). However, there is quite a convincing argument that some of the rarities are either too low or too high, possibly leading to very powerful items being too common, and therefore too cheap if you allow them to be bought. To this end you may want to look at a magic item power guide (such as this one on the 'Tribality' website) and the so called 'Sane Magic Item Prices' forum post on 'Giant in the Playground'.

The 'Sane Magic Item Prices' post suggests that Bag of Holding should be 4000gp, quite a step up from the 101-500gp suggested by the DMG.

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    \$\begingroup\$ As an interesting addendum: Before I looked at either of those websites, I gave my players a 'Weapon of Warning' at about level 3. It now transpires that it is probably one of the best, if not the best uncommon magic weapon, better than some very rare, or even legendary items. \$\endgroup\$ – Ladifas Jul 11 '16 at 10:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ Great insight! The links are very helpful. \$\endgroup\$ – Night Owl Jul 12 '16 at 11:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ +100 for linking in the Sane Magic Item Prices index--I've found that simply invaluable in running my games, and I think all 5e GMs should look at it at least once. \$\endgroup\$ – nitsua60 Jul 16 '16 at 13:28
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Simpler question first: the Bag of Holding is listed in the DMG page 153, as a "Wondrous item, uncommon". Wondrous item is its general category (as opposed to, say, armor or wand).

The reason you can't find an exact price is there isn't one. In 5e, magic is considered so rare that prices are always negotiated. There's a table on DMG page 135 that lists rough gold values for items. The Uncommon rating mentioned above puts it in the 101-500 GP range.

For more information on the expected count of magic items, check out the DMG table for starting equipment on page 38. Personally, as an old 3.5 player, it was quite a shock to see so few items.

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    \$\begingroup\$ +1, but I think you could improve this answer with a note on the "Magic Shop", since it's an important issue in the question. \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman Jul 11 '16 at 4:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Miniman Is it? To my reading, the question itself is "How much does this item cost?" and the context about a magic item shop is incidental. From a core rules perspective, it may as well be a traveling merchant or a someone fencing stolen goods. Then again, I don't know anything about HotDQ specifically, so I may just be missing context there. \$\endgroup\$ – Joel Harmon Jul 11 '16 at 22:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ It's not about HotDQ specifically, but the idea that magic items have a fixed price is intertwined with the idea that magic items can be bought in the first place - your answer addresses one but not the other. \$\endgroup\$ – Miniman Jul 12 '16 at 0:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ Only one answer on the page mentions magic shops. I agree with the poster that it is incidental. The questioner wants a guide for pricing more than anything else. Magic shops are de facto at this point in his campaign. \$\endgroup\$ – keithcurtis Jun 15 '17 at 0:02
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Actually bag of holding is listed aa an uncommon magical item which means it's between 100 and 500 gp

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    \$\begingroup\$ Where is it listed as being an uncommon magical item, and where did you find the list of values? \$\endgroup\$ – Thomas Jacobs Jun 14 '17 at 20:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasJacobs It's in the item description in the DMG right under the bag's name. Bag of Holding Wondrous item, uncommon There is another DMG table that summarizes cost based on rarity. DMG page 135 \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jun 14 '17 at 21:43
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    \$\begingroup\$ Chris, welcome to RPG.SE. Please take the tour and visit the help center to get an idea for how this Q&A site works. If you look at the other answers, you'll find that they went into enough detail to explain where the bag is found in the DMG and what its cost range is. Detailed and supported answers are what we call for at this SE. We are glad you joined us and hope you'll check out some of the other questions and answers on RPG topics of interest to you. Happy Gaming! \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Jun 14 '17 at 21:48
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Bag of holding, in my opinion, should be either hard to find and 1500gp.

I have played DnD for the better part of 25 years, all different kinds of games, some full of magic shops, some, where a +1 longsword was basically unattainable.

I have been fortunate enough that the DMs I had, were very imaginative, and even when allowed, magic items were very restricted. If not outrageously expensive, there would be some chance of it not we working correctly.

I myself, allow them in my games, 1d100 78 or better chance they can even find some for sale or a black market type deal.

When it comes to treasure, depending on the adventure, the foe, and the characters... I leave it all up to the dice.

The DMG has plenty of tables, for magical and non magical items. But I found, it makes it more fun when you leave a couple of character based Magic items along the way... after a main battle, the evil priest may have had three items, three out of the six characters could use...

To keep the party from getting to magic happy. There are tables for failed magic item use, other suggestions include not allowing them to be identified with a spell alone, they have to test them... say 50/50 something happens and the item either explodes or turns to ash.... rips a hole between two planes and sucks everyone within 15ft into the rift, casting them in a random location on the opposite plane of existence.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I just realized I didn't exactly answer the original question. Bag of holding, in my opinion, should be either hard to find and 1500gp \$\endgroup\$ – Dengar Kegbuster Mar 7 at 12:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ Hello and welcome! You can take the tour as an introduction to the site. Indeed, as you have noticed, this does not actually answer the question. This means that you should edit the answer to address this. Otherwise I am afraid the post will be deleted for not answering the question. Alternatively, you can also remove it yourself and look around the site for other questions to answer (or ask one yourself). Thank you for contributing and happy gaming! \$\endgroup\$ – Sdjz Mar 7 at 12:41

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