Say hello to Joe the Farmer, everyone!
Joe the Farmer is a Level 0 Commoner with 4 HP. While walking in the woods yesterday, Joe has found himself a +4 Vorpal Sword!
Ayup, this seems t'be a magic sword just lost by someone in these here woods!
Joe knows it's magic because he's swung it around a few times for fun and he notices that with the magical bonus granted by the sword he somehow seems to know what the fuck he's doing with it. His stance is good, the swings are aimed right. When he tries the same with a tree branch just to see if he somehow picked up fighting skills thanks to his daydreamings, it doesn't work. 'Tis a magic sword alright!
From 'Castles & Crusades: Monsters & Treasure' (And many other OGL games):
Joe is very lucky in that he has a nephew in the city who trades and sells things to adventurers and criminals in the black market. Joe could sell this magic sword, even with the cut his nephew would take it would certainly be enough to retire! (Joe doesn't know this yet but the sword is worth 38 750 GP!)
I'm sure there are some dangers to face in avoiding being backstabbed or stolen from while selling the sword, but overall if Joe can pull this off, his life is about to be amazing! Right? Well, not according to the Lamentations of the Flame Princess Referee book!
Let me just add now that this is all in good fun and I love LotFP. Now let's proceed. I know the way Joe stumbled upon the sword already contradicts the style and treatment of magic items in LotFP, but that last sentence specifically is the whole reason why I came up with Joe in the first place. In some ways that last sentence seems like a comdemnation of how other versions of D&D treat magic items. And I suppose this is my reply to that statement.
What is Joe supposed to do with this sword if not sell it? He's a farmer. He's got 4 HP. Oh sure, some adventurers start with about that amount but my point is that Joe never intended to be an adventurer, it's just not in him. Having the ability to swing a sword like a 3rd or 4th Level Fighter (depending on your ruleset of choice) is not gonna change much when there's stuff like this out there in the dungeons he'd have to go to in order to gain even more gold:
Besides, by selling the sword he'll already be rich. Why risk his life? Only adventurers remain unhappy after a jackpot of over 35 000 GP! Does having the sword make him one of these guys?:
Sure, I can see the argument coming that if he did go out there with that sword and survive long enough, he'd eventually BECOME one of those guys. But that sword doesn't make him a god. He's just like any other starting Level 0 or 1 out there. The difference is in the mindset. Joe the Farmer never wanted to go risk his life in dark dungeons. He just wants to not have to farm anymore. And despite what LotFP's Referee book would claim, EVERYTHING has a price! All of the guys above would love to buy that sword and they will very likely be able to amass enough gold to get it too!
And let's not forget that his relatively amazing skill with the sword comes entirely from that specific sword. What if he comes across a Disenchanter or some other magic-destroying creature?
"Yum, this magic shield tastes like the tears of a Player Character!"
Hell, let's forget about the high-level adventurers and special monsters, what about just a bunch of goblins?
Does Joe have 25 GP to spare to buy even the most basic leather armor? I'm sure a bunch of goblins can easily shank him in one round even as he manages to slay a single one of them. Then the goblins can bicker and stab each other over who gets to keep that fancy sword.
All of this is obviously in good fun, I love LotFP and I get the point it is trying to convey. And yes I know that PCs are (normally) not farmers who just want to avoid danger and retire as soon as possible. But I insist, everything has a price and the reality is that even for PCs there's gonna be magic items they might just not need for their purposes, just like Joe the Farmer does not need a freaking Vorpal Sword, despite it being arguably one of the best weapons you could get. But everyone needs GP!