An Old Guy's BIGGEST 5e Request, No Magic Item Dependence!

I am an old player, having played many versions of this game from decades back.  My biggest single request for the next iteration of D&D is a simple one:

Balance the game such that characters are balanced against appropriately levelled threats based on their abilities and stats alone.

I love a magic sword as much as the next guy.  But I want that magic sword to be an edge, and not a requirement.  I don´t want my adventuring heroes to become a christmas tree of magical bling.  I especially don't want to be required to have a certain plus (+) on all my gear at specific levels because the mathematics that the system is balanced upon will punish me if I don't.  My great heroes should be able to pick up sword from his fallen enemy, and kick butt to make his escape!  Sure, he is better with his magical greatsword (even a lot better), but he is by no means hamstrung if he doesn´t have it.

In short, magical gear should be an edge, and not a requirement to stay relevant.

Thanks.

update:  To clarify, I'm not talking about removing plus 1's and all that, and I'm not even talking about low-magic campaigns.  I like that there is magical bling, I just don't want it to be required just for my character to remain useful.  I want the balancing to be done before magic items are tacked on, with those items just being an additional edge.  The mathematics of the system should not require them.
what about needing a +1 or better to be able to hit a monster, like in 1e?
I am an old player, having played many versions of this game from decades back.  My biggest single request for the next iteration of D&D is a simple one:

Balance the game such that characters are balanced against appropriately levelled threats based on their abilities and stats alone.

I love a magic sword as much as the next guy.  But I want that magic sword to be an edge, and not a requirement.  I don´t want my adventuring heroes to become a christmas tree of magical bling.  I especially don't want to be required to have a certain plus (+) on all my gear at specific levels because the mathematics that the system is balanced upon will punish me if I don't.  My great heroes should be able to pick up sword from his fallen enemy, and kick butt to make his escape!  Sure, he is better with his magical greatsword (even a lot better), but he is by no means hamstrung if he doesn´t have it.

In short, magical gear should be an edge, and not a requirement to stay relevant.

Thanks.



High Five!  Anyway a lot of people want that, simply put it cleans up math and reduces magic item clutter.  I just like it when a magic item has a cool ability over adding damage and attack.  I don't want all to hit magic items go away but we do not need more than one with a small bonus.  
I think that depends largely on the game world the DM is trying to create.

I don't have a problem with a +1 or better item being needed to hit a certain magical creature. It doesn't have to go from that to a Christmas-tree effect. Some creatures should be dangerous and feared, and not everything the PCs come across has to be balanced to their combat level, as though combat is the only resolution to any problem. If you are running a game where magic items are rare, then creatures that can't be hit by mundane weapons are all more forbidding and other-worldly. I like it. 
This is not a reasonable or even viable request whatsoever. While you might enjoy games where +1 daggers are treated like artifacts, a lot of us prefer games where characters go to the magic mall every weekend to have a shopping montage and decide which magic shoes they're going to wear to the magic ball tomorrow. While setting like Dark Sun require your style of play, that kind of balance makes running other settings like Eberron basically impossible to balance.

The best that we're going to get is rules right there in the DMG for how to properly convert campaign balance based on magic item presence. That way the game can be balanced both for low- or no-magic games and for high-magic games. Hoping for either at the exclusion of the other just sounds selfish to me at this point.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
I agree, that's part of the reason my group in 4e had started using the inherent bonuses so that you automatically kept up with it.

I like the concept of removing "+"s from magic items as a whole - this way players can find a firey magic sword and it is likely what they will use througout their career because they don't "out grow" the + on it.

Edit: I am fine with the game being built either way as long as rules are provided to get around the situation if you would rather play it differently.
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This is not a reasonable or even viable request whatsoever. While you might enjoy games where +1 daggers are treated like artifacts, a lot of us prefer games where characters go to the magic mall every weekend to have a shopping montage and decide which magic shoes they're going to wear to the magic ball tomorrow. While setting like Dark Sun require your style of play, that kind of balance makes running other settings like Eberron basically impossible to balance.

The best that we're going to get is rules right there in the DMG for how to properly convert campaign balance based on magic item presence. That way the game can be balanced both for low- or no-magic games and for high-magic games. Hoping for either at the exclusion of the other just sounds selfish to me at this point.



He isn't talking about removing magic items, but removing the bonuses from hit and damage from them.  Unless I'm reading it wrong, but I've reread it twice now.
This is not a reasonable or even viable request whatsoever. While you might enjoy games where +1 daggers are treated like artifacts, a lot of us prefer games where characters go to the magic mall every weekend to have a shopping montage and decide which magic shoes they're going to wear to the magic ball tomorrow. While setting like Dark Sun require your style of play, that kind of balance makes running other settings like Eberron basically impossible to balance.

The best that we're going to get is rules right there in the DMG for how to properly convert campaign balance based on magic item presence. That way the game can be balanced both for low- or no-magic games and for high-magic games. Hoping for either at the exclusion of the other just sounds selfish to me at this point.



He isn't talking about removing magic items, but removing the bonuses from hit and damage from them.  Unless I'm reading it wrong, but I've reread it twice now.



The issue really is the requirement.

Currently in 4e, the math assumes that at level X you will have +# to your attack roll, partly from stats and feats, and partly from magical items. 

If you use an inherent bonuses system where you have the minimum +# regardless of if you have magical items or not, you can then layer back in +Weapons.  If you happen to have a weapon with a higher +, great, you use the higher bonus.  If not, you aren't any worse for it. 
Welcome to ZomboniLand - My D&D Blog http://zomboniland.blogspot.com/
I'm not talking about removing plus 1's and all that, and I'm not even talking about low-magic campaigns.  I like that there is magical bling, I just don't want it to be required just for my character to remain useful.  I want the balancing to be done before magic items are tacked on, with those items just being an additional edge.

...and just for the record, rare and weak, with a +1 dagger being an artifact is not all that fun.  Just so no more of you try to put words in my mouth, I like my magic items to be rare and powerful.
I am an old player, having played many versions of this game from decades back.  My biggest single request for the next iteration of D&D is a simple one:

Balance the game such that characters are balanced against appropriately levelled threats based on their abilities and stats alone.

I love a magic sword as much as the next guy.  But I want that magic sword to be an edge, and not a requirement.  I don´t want my adventuring heroes to become a christmas tree of magical bling.  I especially don't want to be required to have a certain plus (+) on all my gear at specific levels because the mathematics that the system is balanced upon will punish me if I don't.  My great heroes should be able to pick up sword from his fallen enemy, and kick butt to make his escape!  Sure, he is better with his magical greatsword (even a lot better), but he is by no means hamstrung if he doesn´t have it.

In short, magical gear should be an edge, and not a requirement to stay relevant.

Thanks.

update:  To clarify, I'm not talking about removing plus 1's and all that, and I'm not even talking about low-magic campaigns.  I like that there is magical bling, I just don't want it to be required just for my character to remain useful.  I want the balancing to be done before magic items are tacked on, with those items just being an additional edge.  The mathematics of the system should not require them.

Definately.

I play 4E with the inherent bonuses, but also give out magic items. If you find/quest for or make  a magic item over your level, you might end up ahead of the curve for a bit (which I'm fine with), but you dont need any specific opiece of gear to meet expectations.
I want the balancing to be done before magic items are tacked on, with those items just being an additional edge.

Why? Why not instead have the balancing be done before magic items are tacked on AND after some magic items are tacked on AND after even more magic items are tacked on? We CAN have all of the above.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
well hraf, not only do me otto and others here and 87% of all D&D players agree with you, but the lead designer of 5e Monte Cook totally agrees with you as well...

"First, treasure ends up being a part of the characters' advancement track, not a reward. If the core story of D&D is that adventurers go down into a dungeon to fight monsters and gain treasure, the monsters and the treasure should be story elements, not mechanical elements. What I mean by that is that they should be driven by the logic of the world, not the needs of the game system."

www.wizards.com/dnd/Article.aspx?x=dnd/4...
"The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules." Gygax
87% of all D&D players agree with you

I would avoid using those poll results seriously. They are far from scientifically conducted, what with their leading wording and excessively polarizing answer options.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
As a player I hate the focus that game has taken towards magical items requirements.  What do I hate even more?  Inherent bonuses.  It makes the game seem less organic and makes any magic item I do get completely unimportant.  A magic item should feel special, it shouldn't be part of what a character "should have".  It isn't magical if it's commonplace, or worse, expected.

If a game is in a high-magic setting, that is math that should be done DM-side.  A simlpe static +whatever (or -whatever) to attacks and defenses on the DM-side keeps makes the game feel seemless for the players.  With the preperation I tend to do as a DM, it isn't even any extra work to change the defenses and hit bonuses on the stat blocks.
Any +s to accuracy and defense that aren't built into leveling, should be purged vigourously from the games.

+ accuracy and defense items should be eliminated
+ accuracy and defense feats should be eliminated
+ Combat Advantage as an always on Power or Perk should be eliminated

There should be nothing that adds +1 accuracy or defense because they are way to powerful and your character is way to broken if you don't take them. It's past the point of optimizing in 4e to the point of if you don't take them by Paragon, you can barely hit and you'll always be hit.

Not to mention that enemies are leveling with you and they should fall in the same range on a d20 at any given level no matter the skills and feats or the game starts to shut out people who were building for flavor rather then optimization.

1 - is always a miss 
2 thru 5 - Hits crippled, helpless
6 thru 8 - Hits average people
9 thru 10 - minions
11 thru 12 - Non-Special Mages
13 thru 14 - most monsters
15 thru 16 - Elites
17 - Bosses
18 thru 19 - End Game Bosses
20  - Everything

That of course will swing a little depending on classes, Ranger may be a smidge more accurate or burst heavy mages might be a smidge less accurate and tactics used ofvcourse will adjust to make things easier to hit.

It shouldn't swing heavily if I don't have my proper feats picked out, bosses and end game bosses go from having a reasonable chance to hit to needing twenties.

This would also allow people to play magic item heavy games or magic item light games with no need to futz with the math, magic items become flavor and fun and definitely an advantage but not necessary to even function.

+ items and feats suck. 
A magic item should feel special, it shouldn't be part of what a character "should have".  It isn't magical if it's commonplace, or worse, expected.

Why? Do you consider your cell phone to be magic or special? What about your car? What about your television? What about your computer? No. Those things are commonplace and expected, despite the fact that very few people have any idea how to explain how any of those thigns work. There is a significant portion of the D&D population that wants magic items to be just like that because of how that attitude towards magic items makes them unimportant to the narrative and therefore makes the characters themselves the center of the story.

If a game is in a high-magic setting, that is math that should be done DM-side.

Why? Why should the DM have to do that if the game can just be balanced for it in mind? Not all DMs are experienced enough to be able to adjust the game's balance like that on a whim, you know.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
This is not a reasonable or even viable request whatsoever. While you might enjoy games where +1 daggers are treated like artifacts, a lot of us prefer games where characters go to the magic mall every weekend to have a shopping montage and decide which magic shoes they're going to wear to the magic ball tomorrow. 




And there's a lot of us who don't. 

I believe gear and treasure should stay seperate. Some of us think that keeping our games grounded in the normal and mundane makes finding a magical item special and it becomes a reward in itself.

There is also the fact that if there aren't potions and rings and wands of every description available at every shop in town players have to find other ways of doing things, and the DM doesn't have to deal with situations that make designing adventures, or controlling fights near impossible. 

If a setting is designed where it is necessary for the players to own a hundred different items, then give them the items. There's no reason for a tenth level character to need +3 weapon and two wands of cure moderate wounds and a dozen other items just to meet the next challenge. 
And there's a lot of us who don't.

Uh, yeah, I know. That's what I'm saying. We CAN have it both ways. Read the rest of my post that you quoted. You can play the game that you want to play, and I can play the game that I want to play. The game just needs to be balanced with multiple possible levels of magic item presence in mind. Requesting that the game be balanced for one specific sort of magic item presence level at the exclusion of being balanced for other sorts of magic item presence levels, that just sounds selfish.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
Yeah, I'm all for stripping the necessity of magic items to make characters just be able to play the game. In fact, I'd go farther and say that if a magic item doesn't add color and flavor to the game, we don't need it. The robe of useful items is great! The portable hole is awesome. The ring of sustainance is fantastic. These things don't so much give stat boosts as they inject a feel of wonder and fun into the game. Now yeah, a belt of giant strength is going to make you stronger and it should do that--but things that have +1 bonuses to saves, AC or attack/damage should be given a healthy dose of flavor to make them actually mean something or they're just another shiny ornament on the tree. Shield amulets are neat in that they form a magical forcefield around the character--but would be so much better if it was treated like a forcefield around the character first and a +1 to AC or saves second.

It just seems like so much game design is aimed at success in the dungeon first and foremost, at which point it's tried to be written as flavorfully as possible within those constraints...and it feels a little like cart before the horse thinking, and really the root cause of the whole "magic item christmas tree" issue.
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I agree with both sides of the discussion.

For my own personal games - I use treasure as a reward, I write stories for each magic item (something I picked up from Baldur's Gate and older D&D cards) that the players find. 

But at the same time I do respect the players who have a concept with their character and that may require certain types of magic items to proceed - and the story may not make sense for the character to go through the hassle of crafting a magic item.

Both playstyles should be made possible.

For any old D&D players, you may even want to play in a completely non-magical world with no arcane or divine characters - the playstyle should be possible there as well.

From my standpoint - regardless of the playstyle, the DM should be able to pull a monster from a monster manual and not worry if the players will even be able to hit it. 
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Yeah, I'm all for stripping the necessity of magic items to make characters just be able to play the game. In fact, I'd go farther and say that if a magic item doesn't add color and flavor to the game, we don't need it. The robe of useful items is great! The portable hole is awesome. The ring of sustainance is fantastic. These things don't so much give stat boosts as they inject a feel of wonder and fun into the game. Now yeah, a belt of giant strength is going to make you stronger and it should do that--but things that have +1 bonuses to saves, AC or attack/damage should be given a healthy dose of flavor to make them actually mean something or they're just another shiny ornament on the tree. Shield amulets are neat in that they form a magical forcefield around the character--but would be so much better if it was treated like a forcefield around the character first and a +1 to AC or saves second.

It just seems like so much game design is aimed at success in the dungeon first and foremost, at which point it's tried to be written as flavorfully as possible within those constraints...and it feels a little like cart before the horse thinking, and really the root cause of the whole "magic item christmas tree" issue.



Just going to say that I don't like the ring of sustainance.  It is one of those items that falls into the world of either useless (no one cares about keeping track of food) or game breaking (keeping track of food is important).  Otherwise I agree with you, just saying my opinion.  Magic items are a lot cooler if they have an ability like flaming sword lights on fire converts damage to fire damage, no extra damage or to hit, casts light like a torch.  (Yes I know the 4th ed does this, but it also requires you to have it to keep up).
 I agree with the intent the OP is stating and I agree with many that the best way to do this is to remove the need for +x to attack/defense as part of the characters advancement track, build the math into the character classes. 

 This way you can make magic items that have cool effects and give the player an edge but that the (perhaps temporary) removal of does not make the heros  unable to be heroic.  There would still be a need to balance all magic effects but thats true already.  This system would work equally well in a low, middle or high magic setting.
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Balance the game such that characters are balanced against appropriately levelled threats based on their abilities and stats alone.

...

In short, magical gear should be an edge, and not a requirement to stay relevant.

...

update:  ... I just don't want it to be required just for my character to remain useful.  I want the balancing to be done before magic items are tacked on, with those items just being an additional edge.  The mathematics of the system should not require them.



 This seems contradictory to me.  If something is giving you an "edge", it's having an effect on the balance of the game. 

I think magic items *have* to be figured into the balance.  A 5th-level character without an "edge" can face 5th-level challenges, but a 5th-level character *with* an edge can face 6th-level challenges (or higher, depending on how much of an "edge" the character has).

On a related note, I don't even begin to understand the logic of people who don't want magic to be able to affect attacks and/or defenses.  That would be taking magic completely away from the fictional magic system(s) that inspire it in the game.
That was what I liked about the Iron Heroes variatn rule system - it was all about the man, not the sword.

4E's treasure just doesn't feel like treasure any more.  It is one part of 4E that annoys me.
Why? Why should the DM have to do that if the game can just be balanced for it in mind? Not all DMs are experienced enough to be able to adjust the game's balance like that on a whim, you know.



Think about this for a second. If the game is designed where a DM has to give his players level appropriate gear all the time, he spends too much of his time digging around in the lists trying to find stuff to give the players. This certainly isn't going to help a new or inexperienced DM, it's going to overwhelm him. I know I hated it. Instead of writing dungeons I wound up tying to keep my game from getting unplayable. (It didn't help that fights took so long nothing else ever got done).

Another aspect of this approach is that there is never any really cool items available because really cool stuff breaks the carefully orchestrated supply of gear needed to keep up with the increasing difficulty of the things they fight.

Once the player gets loose in the treasure chest there's nothing for the DM to do but throw thousands upon thousands of coins at them so they can do it again between adventures. It's just plain dumb. Every item in the book looses it's specialness. There is really nothing to adventure for. The chase for the next level up becomes the reason for playing and that gets old fast. 

Somewhere along the line the whole reason for playing the game has gotten lost or twisted. Some people actually play the game to have fun with their friends, some of us have chosen to take on the more difficult role of dm to give our friends the chance to play the game. When the people who supply the materials we use decide that the tried and true methods aren't good enough things get broken. 

It's time for them to get fixed. If the fixing isn't good enough then the game is doomed.
The one issue with magic items is a balance against monsters. If you balance monster stats against PCs with magic items, then the magic items are required (like in 4E). If you balance monster stats against PCs without magic items, then when a character gains a magic sword, then he or she is more powerful then a monster on the same level.

It's the reason I'm proposing to make all magic items temporary just for one or two levels. When a character gains a magic sword for complete a hard quest, then he or she gains it as a true reward for one or two levels (in  fact, for the next adventure). Character will have easier life for a moment, and the magic item will feel like a true reward. And when the character completes the next adventure, the magic item becomes just a common item (a common sword, for instance). Now the character needs to be a true hero once again to gain another magic item!
The one issue with magic items is a balance against monsters. If you balance monster stats against PCs with magic items, then the magic items are required (like in 4E). If you balance monster stats against PCs without magic items, then when a character gains a magic sword, then he or she is more powerful then a monster on the same level.

It's the reason I'm proposing to make all magic items temporary just for one or two levels. When a character gains a magic sword for complete a hard quest, then he or she gains it as a true reward for one or two levels (in  fact, for the next adventure). Character will have easier life for a moment, and the magic item will feel like a true reward. And when the character completes the next adventure, the magic item becomes just a common item (a common sword, for instance). Now the character needs to be a true hero once again to gain another magic item!



Your idea might work well as a optional rule for low magic settings but many players want thier own "excaliber" and to be honest I do to, also the concept of magic items as part of your characters "inventory" is too iconic for the devs to mess with too much.
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The one issue with magic items is a balance against monsters. If you balance monster stats against PCs with magic items, then the magic items are required (like in 4E). If you balance monster stats against PCs without magic items, then when a character gains a magic sword, then he or she is more powerful then a monster on the same level.

It's the reason I'm propose to make all magic items temporary just for one or two levels. When a character gains a magic sword for complete a hard quest, then he or she gains it as a true reward for one or two levels (in  fact, for the next adventure). Character will have easier life for a moment, and the magic item will feel like a true reward. And when the character completes the next adventure, the magic item becomes just a common item (a common sword, for instance). Now the character needs to be a true hero once again to gain another magic item!




I think it's easier to use a slightly more difficult monster or give the thing a +1 sword too. 

It is only a +1 by the way nor an aditional + per 5 levels and the other junk that is added like stronger armor and more healing and items to buff strenght and intelligence and dexterity and to make you a better sneal and ... see where this is going. Why does a character need a +50 to hit and an armor class 42?

Once apon a time a giant spider was the size of a cat now they are the size of a house. Why? Because some genius decided that the only way to make them more dangerous was to use this brilliant new monster advancement system where the bigger a critter got the tougher it was.  

It's way less unbalanced just to let the fighter have the damned +1 sword. 
If the game is designed where a DM has to give his players level appropriate gear all the time...

I don't know why you're directing this premise at me, because I am suggesting no such thing. What I am suggesting is that DMs have the option of giving their players however much gear they want to give them.

Every item in the book looses it's specialness.

THIS IS WHAT I WANT. I don't want for magic items to be special. My character shouldn't be any more defined by its magic items than I am defined by my cell phone, car, television, computer, etc. The reason that I'm not defined by those things is because they're not special.

There is really nothing to adventure for.

That's absurd. Adventuring for magic items is and always was a waste of my time. I will never play a campaign where magic items are all that I adventure for, because that's boring. I adventure to be badass and save the world.

The one issue with magic items is a balance against monsters. If you balance monster stats against PCs with magic items, then the magic items are required (like in 4E). If you balance monster stats against PCs without magic items, then when a character gains a magic sword, then he or she is more powerful then a monster on the same level.

The solution is to make monsters easily scalable to whatever magic item level you desire for your campaign.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
Oh, then never mind. 

 
Why? Do you consider your cell phone to be magic or special? What about your car? What about your television? What about your computer? No. Those things are commonplace and expected, despite the fact that very few people have any idea how to explain how any of those thigns work. There is a significant portion of the D&D population that wants magic items to be just like that because of how that attitude towards magic items makes them unimportant to the narrative and therefore makes the characters themselves the center of the story.



I guess I'm not really getting your point.  I don't consider my character's writing material or transportation or entertainment to be magical either.  And I certianly don't consider the items you mentioned to be magical because they aren't magical.  While I don't know how precisely they work, I have a pretty good understanding of the fundamental concepts.

If you don't want magic items to be part of the story, then why have them at all?


I guess I'm not really getting your point.  I don't consider my character's writing material or transportation or entertainment to be magical either.  And I certianly don't consider the items you mentioned to be magical because they aren't magical.  While I don't know how precisely they work, I have a pretty good understanding of the fundamental concepts.

If you don't want magic items to be part of the story, then why have them at all?



Because they are fun.

Crimson wants to play in a game where magic is as common place as everything else, by doing this they are taken out of the story - and the story is about the characters and what they do - not what they found.    You could probably tell the same story by simply removing magic items - but again, magic items are fun.  What the heck else are you supposed to do the zillions of gold pieces you find. 

And it's not necessarily a "powergamer" mindset either - I don't believe he is necessarily advocating to make all the characters super powerful so they steamroll encounters.

I understand what he's looking for (I think at least), it's not my playstyle but I agree that the system should be able to support his play style as well as mine. 
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If you don't want magic items to be part of the story, then why have them at all?

Because they add flavor to the campaign world. The flavor of a campaign setting like Eberron is far different from the flavor of a campaign setting like Dark Sun, and that it in large part exactly due to the difference in how those campaign settings treat magic items.

People have this magic items thing backwards. People keep saying that they want to play low-magic games so that the focus is on the characters themselves and because high-level games put too much focus on a character's gear. I could not disagree more, because it's the other way around. When magic items are special, rare, and unique, they take the spotlight away from the heroes. Heroes have to dedicate adventures to them, and they become central to the plot. Other the other hand, when magic items are commonplace and unremarkable, they cease to matter. The heroes don't dedicate adventures to them anymore because there's no point in doing so, so the heroes have more time to adventure to directly stop the villain or save the world. Magic items stop becoming important to the plot because it makes no sense for them to be, so they stop pulling the spotlight away from the characters themselves.

It may be counter-intuitive, even qualify as ironic really, but the more magic items you have, the less important they become. It's like there's an inverse relationship between how important they are to your character sheet and how important they are to the game. I don't like for them to be important to the game, at least certainly not more important than the heroes themselves, so I put them everywhere I can.

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
Because they add flavor to the campaign world. The flavor of a campaign setting like Eberron is far different from the flavor of a campaign setting like Dark Sun, and that it in large part exactly due to the difference in how those campaign settings treat magic items.



That's fine.  The baseline should be the absence of what I like to call "mundane magic items" in the math of the game.  If the Eberron setting needs players blinged out in magic items, adventures and stat blocks for that setting should fix the math to allow for the added bonuses the players will have.


People have this magic items thing backwards. People keep saying that they want to play low-magic games so that the focus is on the characters themselves and because high-level games put too much focus on a character's gear. I could not disagree more, because it's the other way around. When magic items are special, rare, and unique, they take the spotlight away from the heroes. Heroes have to dedicate adventures to them, and they become central to the plot. Other the other hand, when magic items are commonplace and unremarkable, they cease to matter. The heroes don't dedicate adventures to them anymore because there's no point in doing so, so the heroes have more time to adventure to directly stop the villain or save the world. Magic items stop becoming important to the plot because it makes no sense for them to be, so they stop pulling the spotlight away from the characters themselves.



Did Excalibur take the spotlight away from Arthur?  Did The One Ring take the spotlight away from Frodo?


It may be counter-intuitive, even qualify as ironic really, but the more magic items you have, the less important they become. It's like there's an inverse relationship between how important they are to your character sheet and how important they are to the game. I don't like for them to be important to the game, at least certainly not more important than the heroes themselves, so I put them everywhere I can.



They should be important.  They shouldn't be necessary.
Did Excalibur take the spotlight away from Arthur?  Did The One Ring take the spotlight away from Frodo?

Of course! Absolutely!

Why, yes, as a matter of fact I am the Unfailing Arbiter of All That Is Good Design (Even More So Than The Actual Developers) TM Speaking of things that were badly designed, please check out this thread for my Minotaur fix. What have the critics said, you ask? "If any of my players ask to play a Minotaur, I'm definitely offering this as an alternative to the official version." - EmpactWB "If I ever feel like playing a Minotaur I'll know where to look!" - Undrave "WoTC if you are reading this - please take this guy's advice." - Ferol_Debtor_of_Torm "Really full of win. A minotaur that is actually attractive for more than just melee classes." - Cpt_Micha Also, check out my recent GENASI variant! If you've ever wished that your Fire Genasi could actually set stuff on fire, your Water Genasi could actually swim, or your Wind Genasi could at least glide, then look no further. Finally, check out my OPTIONS FOR EVERYONE article, an effort to give unique support to the races that WotC keeps forgetting about. Includes new racial feature options for the Changeling, Deva, Githzerai, Gnoll, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Kalashtar, Minotaur, Shadar-Kai, Thri-Kreen, Warforged and more!
If you don't want magic items to be part of the story, then why have them at all?

People have this magic items thing backwards. People keep saying that they want to play low-magic games so that the focus is on the characters themselves and because high-level games put too much focus on a character's gear.



People are not saying they want to run low magic campaigns (at least in here they aren't) they just want the assumption of the players getting a certain number of magical items to be removed from the balance equation for the core game, and I agree. For a system to be modular, like 5E is proposed as being, it makes far more sense to start without factoring magic items, and add it in later. On the issue of granting magic items to characters then unbalancing the encounters, all it takes is a caveat in the DMG: IF YOU GRANT YOUR PLAYERS MAGICAL ITEMS OFTEN, THEY WILL BE ABLE TO DEAL WITH HARDER ENCOUNTERS.

I´m partially agree. The DM guide ought to give you the tools to find a right balance of power if you want a low-magic-level campaign like sword and sorcery genre (and Dark Sun, Conan the barbarian, Lord of the Rings, Song of Fire and Ice, King Arthur and Camelot, Historical medieval age..) or high magic+clockpunk (Eberron, Planescape or Spelljammer). 

It´s very different when PCs are in a world where healing potions aren´t usually sold or if they have got all the skin with magic tattoos of healing spells.   

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)

 

Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"

 

"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

My group is ONLY using the inherent bonuses system, and abandoned the Wal-Mart of magic items for all characters system unanimously. If a character has a magic item in one of our campaign's it is very special and has a reason to be with that character or part of the story. 

In our group, a magic sword that just produces magical light when an enemy target type is near is a really big deal. 
I'm not talking about removing plus 1's and all that, and I'm not even talking about low-magic campaigns.  I like that there is magical bling, I just don't want it to be required just for my character to remain useful.  I want the balancing to be done before magic items are tacked on, with those items just being an additional edge.

...and just for the record, rare and weak, with a +1 dagger being an artifact is not all that fun.  Just so no more of you try to put words in my mouth, I like my magic items to be rare and powerful.



I think there really is something here. The classes should be balanced both with and without magic items, and there should be an effort (at least) taken to avoid items built for specific builds (or if there are, they should be available at about the same level.) In 1st and 2nd edition, wizards were even more unbalanced without magic items, since there were plenty of monsters which were immune to non-magic weapons.

In 4th edition, there were really great items which fit particular builds, and I don't know if there were builds for which there were no such items. 
If you don't want magic items to be part of the story, then why have them at all?

Because they add flavor to the campaign world. The flavor of a campaign setting like Eberron is far different from the flavor of a campaign setting like Dark Sun, and that it in large part exactly due to the difference in how those campaign settings treat magic items.

People have this magic items thing backwards. People keep saying that they want to play low-magic games so that the focus is on the characters themselves and because high-level games put too much focus on a character's gear. I could not disagree more, because it's the other way around. When magic items are special, rare, and unique, they take the spotlight away from the heroes. Heroes have to dedicate adventures to them, and they become central to the plot. Other the other hand, when magic items are commonplace and unremarkable, they cease to matter. The heroes don't dedicate adventures to them anymore because there's no point in doing so, so the heroes have more time to adventure to directly stop the villain or save the world. Magic items stop becoming important to the plot because it makes no sense for them to be, so they stop pulling the spotlight away from the characters themselves.

It may be counter-intuitive, even qualify as ironic really, but the more magic items you have, the less important they become. It's like there's an inverse relationship between how important they are to your character sheet and how important they are to the game. I don't like for them to be important to the game, at least certainly not more important than the heroes themselves, so I put them everywhere I can.



Ok, I get this and it's how I run my games as well. You get what you want for your character, aslong as they're reasonably balanced to each other it's all gravy to me. But I don't understand why taking out the number bonuses (+1 swords and rings of protection and what have you) really works against your idea here. You still have magic weapons (to bypass resistance or damage reduction maybe?) and armor, rings of invisibility, wondrous statues, eversmoking bottles, and all that other good stuff. Magic can still be commonplace, or you can take it out and all the PCs have lost are some additional options. If anything I would think it would help enforce your point that magic items do not define your heroes, because they'd be just as badass without them.
Did Excalibur take the spotlight away from Arthur?  Did The One Ring take the spotlight away from Frodo?

Of course! Absolutely!



Alright, it seem we have different definitions of spotlight.  For me, the spotlight means the focus of the story is on the actions the characters make.  I'm not sure what your definition is, and I don't want to get into some sort of straw man fallacy, but it seems you are focusing more on the spotlight being on the characters being more about the simplification of protaginist (the characters) vs. antoginist (main villian).

In any case, the argument posted in this thread is about the math.  As a baseline for the game, we don't want it to be included "expected" magic items.  We want magic items to be a reward not an expectation.  A character can still have all sorts of bling with full plate armor, spring-loaded knives in the sleeves, flasks of greek fire, etc.  But if it's a magic item, please, make it magical. 
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