Yes, Exploits are in play. Nobody should be forced to spend a feat just to be proficient with something.
Wealth by level is stupid, because:
- There are like a dozen ways to get infinite wealth (some of which IK takes care of, by dint of banning the spells), so money should never equal power
- Any king would be an idiot to spend a million GP training and outfitting ten thousand soldiers when he could spend that on having someone outfit his best knight in Epic gear or having a Wizard build a device that constantly spits out Wishes or whatever.
- Players are incentivised to strip the gold plating off statues, and to loot the worthless junk off corpses to help turn them into a further +1
- If you have it at all, it should always scale with your level
The Tome rules for wealth are basically:
- Mundane: either "what the MC says" if you're in a wilderness survival game, or "Whatever" if not (particularly if higher level).
- Minor/Lesser magic items all just have a scaling bonus according to your level to some stat or other, and maybe a weak trick (a Cantrip at will, a small weapon property). You start getting them when you're still clubbing seals/goblins. By level fifteen you practically have as many as you want. These CAN be bought for money, and cost just a few thousand gold apiece.
- Moderate magic items have the bonus and a much better effect, or they are things like Rods of Metamagic or Flying Carpets. You will always find them useful, in other words. You start getting them before level 10, but you can't buy them for
love nor money. Either you find them, or you do something for someone (complete a quest for a Wizard (or Artificer in this case), or trade Raw Hope to a Genie).
- Major magic items do things so crazy there should be a law against it, so come into play after level 10, when "it's crazy land anyway". Major Magic Weapons usually have some form of "Save or die" effect, other items grant blanket immunities or high level spells or class features. These are really legendary things so don't even think about putting a price tag on them, but you can expect to end up with one or two eventually.
- You can't stack multiple abilities up, usually - it's okay to have one item that does the job of two Minor Items and have it worth two Minor Items, but you can't say "I don't care about the abilities, I just want two stat bonuses on this Minor Item" or "Instead of a Moderate, let's just give it 3 Minor traits!"
For the record, although you have "enough money for whatever", please do list the mundane gear being carried, as Iron Kingdoms is the kind of game where you might end up stranded out somewhere or under siege or similar. It's also the kind of game where you can go "Hahaha, let us travel to all of these places and buy all the soap! Now we can wait a few weeks and corner the market!"
And though it doesn't make too
much of a difference, most gear you find in-game will actually be mechanical, not magical. As this is IK, where magic items are rare and a little bit scary, but technology can just about do most of the same things.
Glyphstone: go ahead and take Jack Enhancements to the tune of 10,000 GP, and call that "two Minor Items" - for the third Minor you can boost that to 15K if you like. You can certainly have a Bag of Infinite Coal to give to a cohort or follower, and a Moderate Magic Weapon. For the enhanced mental faculties, go for Wisdom and Charisma 10, with one of them having +1 per 3 HD (round up), and the ability to add Hit Dice based increases to them. From there, you could use a Minor Magic/Mechanical Item to add the usual booster. That can be the other Moderate Item, given it starts with a big bump to them.
I like those feats, consider them approved.
ulthakptah: you can go ahead and pitch an idea to me. No guarantees, of course. That said, keep in mind the range of IK deities and the pain of healing.