Discussion:4e Poison Pricing
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Variances in Price
Dracomortis 13:12, 25 February 2009 (MST)
The pricing for poisons in 4e seems to vary greatly between the Dungeon Master's Guide and the Adventurer's Vault. My specific example is the level 13 bloodstinger poison from Adventurer's Vault: it costs 650 gp per dose, makes an attack at +16 vs. Fortitude, and causes ongoing 5 poison damage on a hit. Compare this to dark toxin, a level 10 poison from the Dungeon Master's Guide, which costs 1,250 gp per dose, makes an attack at +13 vs. Fortitude, and causes ongoing 5 poison damage -- it's less accurate and has the exact same effect, but costs almost twice as much. The problem seems to be that the poisons in the Dungeon Master's Guide are priced somewhere between permanent items and consumable items, whereas the poisons from the Adventurer's Vault are decidedly priced as consumables. What is the community's view on this -- should homebrew poisons follow the pricing of the Dungeon Master's Guide or the Adventurer's Vault? I feel the Adventurer's Vault is more accurate, but it's also not core.
I think that you are right; its something I have wondered about myself. I think they must have changed their mind on how poisons work when they did alchemical items. I think the problem with poisons is they cost too much; otherwise they would be fine-ish. Poisons cost 1/4 the cost of a magic item of their level. They should probably cost the same as an alchemical item of their level... a variant rule is needed, maybe? The poisons are just as good, but the pricing is off (in the DMG). Another thing is that supplements seem to be considered as official as core, so the officialness of AV is not really an issue.
Dracomortis 16:13, 25 February 2009 (MST)
Even within the alchemical items, there seems to be some variation in price. For all those level 16 and above, the price is 1/25 the cost of a magic item of the alchemical item's level. There are two exceptions to this.
- The first is goodnight tincture which always costs twice as much as other alchemical items of its level (2/25 the cost of a magic item of the same level), presumably because of its long duration.
- The second is beastbane, which usually costs twice as much as alchemical items of its level but is sometimes slightly more (see, for example, level 19 beastbane which costs 9,400 gp, whereas other level 19 alchemical items cost 4,200 gp). I would assume beastbane is more expensive because of its area and moderately long duration, but I can find no reason for the variance in its price - it was not changed in the errata, so I have to assume it was intentional.
For those below level 16, however, the price varies -- most fall somewhere between 1/27 and 1/24 the price of an equivalent magic item, but some are as much as 1/5 the cost. The quick-fix variant rule would be to set all consumable items (including poisons) at 1/25 the cost of a magic item of their level, which seems reasonable -- you can either grab a permanent magic item or 25 one-time use items of the same level for the same price.