Hi everybody. I'm building a dungeon at the moment, and I have about 4,000 xp worth of monsters guarding about 16,000 gp worth of mundane treasure.
I'd like to throw in some fun magic items for the players to find, but when I rolled them up randomly I got some apparently overpowered stuff for a level 1-2 dungeon. I've decided to just set magic items equal in value to a portion of the mundane treasure.
Half of the value of mundane treasure, 8,000gp, would make room for magic weapons and such if I wanted, but it seems like a lot.
A quarter or third of the value of mundane treasure, in this case, maintains a much stricter "low magic" feel.
So here's my idea for 5,000 gp in magic items:
Potion of Cure Light Wounds (500gp)
Potion of Read Languages (500gp)
Scroll of Invisibility (1,000gp)
Ring of Shield (3,000gp) (for 3 rounds; 1x/week)
That's pretty cool for a level 1-2 party, I think, but how does "magic items equal to 1/3 of treasure" scale with levels?
Using the "1/3 rule," a weapon +3 worth 35,000 gp could show up alongside 105,000 gp in mundane treasure, which would accompany 26,250 xp worth of monsters.
131,250 xp divided five ways comes to 26,250 xp per player, which puts it in my reward range of parties about level 5.
But a single magic item is kinda boring, so if you want a little something for everybody, you'd want at least four magic items usable by different classes.
For example, if you want to give out 4 magic items worth about 35,000 each, you'd need monsters worth in total over 100,000 xp, and mundane treasure over 400,000 gp.
If you want your players to get their +3 weapons and fancy wondrous items around level 8-9, that seems about right.
This is keeping in mind that the players might "cash in" some magic items for gold and the accompanying experience points, instead of using them.
Personally, I like this way of doing things. It lets me introduce the magic items I like, while still keeping them fairly rare. My players aren't there yet, but I hope that they take the initiative in making their own magic items once they are able to.
Is there a recommended way to do this, or perhaps a sliding-scale model that maps onto different desired magic levels?