This article is for Dungeon Masters who have to create a shop on the fly, and haven’t had time to make a note on each item’s price.
We’ve all been there, when a player is desperate to sell a random item they found on their adventure so they can free up space in their backpack. They might even try to make a surprise offer to an NPC.
Rogue’s should know the ball-park price of any item, but that doesn’t mean the player does.
Bookmark this page so when your players try to shift their item or buy one off a random NPC, you have some standard figures to offer.
Magic Item Pricing 5e
Pricing your magical items is easy. Each time should already be rated by it’s rarity, and you can find that information next to the item’s name. Once you know that, just follow this table:
|Very Rare||27,500 gp|
Neither table gives you a standard basic pricing to whip out randomly, which is why I wanted to create an easy one-look table for you. Instead, the Magic Item Base Price table is for players who want to make a quest out of selling an item, and the Magic Item Rarity table gives you a range of prices to choose from. The range is a good way to know if you have lowered your price too much, or bought an item for more than it’s worth, but not for a quick price that you can refer back to.
Want to know how to make selling an item into a quest? Check out our page Turn Buying And Selling Into An Adventure 5e.
Non-Magic Item Base Pricing 5e
Surprisingly, non-magic items (also known as mundane items) are more difficult to price. It’s because almost anything can fall into the category of non-magic, from a tankard to a battleship.
Instead, you will need to think about five factors that go into making a non-magical item. These are the materials they are made out of, the usefulness of the item, the rarity of the item, the size of the item, and how long it took the creator to make this item.
These factors will help you edit a spellbook value from a classic history book and a notebook with detailed plans on killing a king.
Using the tables below, follow this equation to price your non-magic item quickly:
(Material Worth + Rarity + Size) x (Usefulness x Time to make)
What Is The Item Made Of?
An item made of wood will be cheaper than an item made of gold. But if your campaign is set in the gold mines of Eldorado, whose land is infertile, then wood might be worth so much more!
Knowing your campaign, follow this table to figure out the material’s worth:
|Common (wood, cotton, paper, copper, etc.)||1 gp|
|Uncommon (steel, silver, flowers, etc.)||5 gp|
|Rare (gold, dragonscale, giant crocodile tooth, etc.)||30 gp|
|Very Rare (platinum, dragon hide, etc.)||200 gp|
|Legendary (Aboleth hide, Gem from a God, etc.)||1,000 gp|
How Rare Is The Item
Because we are using a different type of table, you shouldn’t use the rarity guideline for magic items above. Mundane items can still be hard to find (like a ruby necklace), so this needs to be factored into our equation.
What Size Is The Item
|Tiny (thimble, dice, pins, ring, etc.)||1|
|Small (fork, necklace, ring, map, etc.)||2|
|Medium (chest, chair, painting, etc.)||1|
|Large (wardrobe, door, cart, etc.)||5|
|Huge (house, boat, etc.)||10|
|Gigantic (town, castle, farm, etc.)||20|
How Useful Is the Item?
Battle enhancing items are super useful and tend to cost more, but beautiful art can also bring a high price tag. Items we use every day, like a knife and fork, are amazingly useful, but they are so expected that they are worth next to nothing.
Follow this table to gauge how to price the item’s usefulness:
|Everyday Item (fork, coin purse, plain clothes, etc.)||0.3|
|Expected Item (Wardrobe, backpack, chest, etc.)||0.5|
|Helpful items (hireling, wheelbarrow, tool kit, etc.)||1|
|Weapon (sword, longbow, shield, etc.)||2|
|Travel (horse, cart, boat, etc.)||5|
|Beauty (necklace, ring, portrait, etc.)||5|
|Fortify (drawbridge, Ballista, assassin, etc.)||10|
How Long Would It Take To Make This Item
We can be vague with how long it takes to make an item. We can assume that building a house might take a month, but crafting a basket might take an hour.
I don’t want us to be smart with this answer either because this table is meant to be quick. It doesn’t matter how skilled the person is, if they take breaks, or how many people help them create this item.
We are going to use generalizations to make this an easy equation.
|Time to Make Item||Value|
Example Items Using These Tables
In our first example, I compared a spellbook, a classic history book, and a notebook detailing how to kill the king.
(Material Worth x Rarity x Size) x (Usefulness x Time to make)
I’ll use the tables to figure out their worth quickly.
(Paper 1gp + Common 1 + Small 1) x (Weapon 2 x Week 7) = ?
(1 + 1 + 1) x (2 x 7)
3 x 14 = 42
Using this equation, a blank spellbook is worth 42 gp. Usually, a blank spellbook could cost 50 gp. But this equation is meant to make creating values quick and easy. If the value of an item already exists, and you know it off the top of your head, then use that value. If not, this equation is a good back up.
Classic History Book
(Paper 1gp + Common 1 + Small 1) x (Expected Item 0.3 x Three Months 84) =
(1 + 1 + 1) x (0.3 x 84)
3 x 25.2 = 75 gp 6sp
Notebook With Plans To Kill The King
(Paper 1gp + Very Rare 10 + Small 1) x (Weapon 2 x Three Months 84)
(1 + 10 + 1) x (2 x 84)
11 x 168 = 1,848 gp
Your players might want to sell this information to the king, and seeing as it has a lot of interested parties in the margins, they could try and bump the price to 2,000 gp. Or the guards might suggest that the notebook is a fake and try to reduce the cost to 1,500 gp.
As a Dungeon Master, either way, you have a guide price for this plot thickening item!
Bookmark this page so you can make up pricing at any time!