Thinking about possible progression avenues for Obsidian. She has two basic paths: pure wizard, or wizard/bard. I went ahead and did "rough" progressions of her in both incarnations, so I could compare them at leisure and think about where her strengths and weaknesses are, as well as her priorities as a character.
So last night I'm looking at Obsidian's theoretical future, and examining one of those traditional wizard accoutrements, the bracers of armor. These suckers are prohibitively expensive, especially for the benefit they provide:
Slot wrists; Price 1,000 gp (+1), 4,000 gp (+2), 9,000 gp (+3), 16,000 gp (+4), 25,000 gp (+5), 36,000 gp (+6), 49,000 gp (+7), 64,000 gp (+8)
Why would anyone spend that kind of money when a scroll of mage armor is 25 gp (or 12 gp 5 silver if you craft it yourself) and lasts an hour? Or even better, with the Craft Wondrous Items feat, you could create a robe of mage armor for (best estimate) somewhere around 900 gp (base price 1,800 gp) or even less if you limited it to a certain number of uses/day. That would have the added bonus of going into the body slot, which most wizards/sorcerers never use anyway, freeing up the wrists slot for something potentially more interesting.
I cannot think of an in-game reason why such a magic item doesn't exist. +4 armor, no arcane casting penalty, no armor check penalty, negligible weight? Yes please! With a market cost of 1,800 gp, who in their right mind would ever wear a chain shirt again? Or pay 4,000 gp for bracers of armor +2?
Of course, I can think of a perfectly good out-of-game reason: namely that it's totally broken! 'cause with a market cost of 1,800 gp, who in their right mind would ever wear a chain shirt again? Or pay 4,000 gp for bracers of armor +2?
These are the kinds of issues that reduce game designers to gibbering husks, late at night.