I know that 5e magic items are supposed to be very rare and not for sale, yet both the DMG and XGtE list magic item prices based on rarity. We’re going to be doing a series of one-shots with the same characters and have been put on a very low initial budget for items (no items from background or class), but are allowed to buy magic items with this money.
Magic item cost in both the DMG and XGtE only references the rarity of a magic item. Unless I’m missing a rule somewhere, this has the strange consequence that a commonly enchanted plate armor (100 gp) is (a lot) cheaper than a non-enchanted plate armor (1500 gp).
- Am I missing something?
- If I’m not missing something: is this a design oversight or has there been an official comment on this?
The prices given in the DMG/XGtE are guidelines for a DM to come up with their own prices if items are available for sale.
As you said, 5th Edition did away with the old Magic Item Economy where, if you had the gold, you could just buy a magic item. In short, unless the DM says otherwise, magic items just aren’t for sale.
Unless you decide your campaign works otherwise, most magic items are so rare that they aren’t available for purchase.
DMG Chapter 7
The rules that cover rebalancing this to where it ‘makes sense’ as is the case with Plate Armor of Gleaming are mentioned here
You can decide that certain items also require special materials or locations to be created.
DMG Chapter 6, Crafting a Magic Item
In which case, as the DM, you can easily say “Well, to make the Plate Armor of Gleaming, you…well…need some plate armor. Then there’s the Xgp materials cost of actually enchanting it. So, Gleaming Plate Armor costs the price of a suit of plate, plus the cost of the enchantment.”