Pathfinder, creating a magic item inventory

During our ongoing Pathfinder campaign, with the large 10 player group, we encountered a challenge.  The group, having advanced a bit in levels, and acquired a bit of treasure, entered the city of Magnimar.  Very soon, the thought became “what can we spend out money on?”  For an experienced group, not a big deal, everyone would grab their rulebooks or already know what they were interested in.  For a brand new group of players however, many of which do not own the rulebooks, the game immediately ground to a halt.

Baseline item count
Minor
Medium
Major
Thorp
5
0
0
Hamlet
10
0
0
Village
20
1
0
Small Town
25
5
0
Large Town
30
10
1
Small City
35
15
5
Large City
40
20
10
Metropolis
60
30
15

At the time, I addressed it with very basic items – +1 weapons and armor are simple enough for generic guidelines.  However, I wanted to come up with a better system, so that the group could truly customize their gear, and have a reasonable access to the various options.  I also didn’t want it to turn into “everything is available” type of game – I have never really cared for that, but haven’t had a solid process to generate town inventory quickly and reasonably.

My solution was a bit of a compromise.  Utilizing the very solidly programmed Archives of Nethys website, using the Random Magic Item generator set for Kingdom generation, I was able to generate a “seed” inventory for the city or town.  Completely arbitrarily, I set the count of items as listed

That generating a large list of magic items available in the town at the time the group arrived, and provides a reasonable number of options for most groups to spend their cash on.

From there, I made another arbitrary decision that every given campaign day, there was a 5% chance of a given item being sold to someone other than the group.  Thus if the group doesn’t purchase an item when they find it, it may not be there when they come back, and after several weeks, the entire inventory would have turned over to be regenerated.  If the group purchases an item, obviously it would be regenerated as well, with inventory “regrowing” at the same rate of 5% per day.

Is this official mechanics? No, but I think it will work well for my group, and likely I will use a similar system for future campaigns including with more experienced groups.  It allows for a reasonable number of options, refreshes on a not to quick pace, and limits the min-maxing that typically happens with an everything-available system.

As an example, attached is the baseline list for Magnimar, where the Rise of the Runelords campaign is located currently.  I will post further lessons learned as we experiment with this system during the game.

Magic Items – Magnimar

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