As people explore the World of Alidor, I let them buy magic items, if they can afford them, and if the player can role play out the purchase with the local shop keeper or fence. Towns have gold piece limits on what people can buy or sell an item for. Also I add in the chance the item is not available; I roll a d6, if a 1 comes up then the item the PCs want is in town. I do the same for NPCs to decide if a local wizard will make the item. A PC or Parties reputation modifies the NPCs decision but never lower than 1 on a d6 = yes; sometimes a wizard has to eat.
I also encourage players to enchant their own gear.
One fun thing I also do is that a divine caster can sometimes draw magic back into a “found” mundane but masterwork item. I give a base d100 chance of 10% plus primary ability (wisdom) modifier and 1% per level. If the PC can hit that number or lower with a roll the item awakens and become magical. This doesn’t happen much but some of my games get real hairy for the PCs and once in a while this has helped the players with a quest or goal.
As for thieves stealing from shops, I let them try; it all comes down to choices and dice rolls; I mean what is a shop keeper going to do? not everyone one is an epic level archmage or demi god some oar just good business men who like to stay alive and or in business. I have laws and the games can get interesting later on when a bounty hunter catches back up with the thief or he gets caught and has to spend his days in the town stockade. I will roll a d6 for this too which is how long in game session before a parties misdeeds catch up with them. When the law does catch up it doesn’t have to be a battle either bribes and ransom and even a warning to not return to town again will do the trick over all out combat.
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