Magic items make you more acurate....Why?

I hear that magic items are part of the modular system, as in they are not required as part of character progression.

If this is the case then can we have say...a +4 magic longsword give only a bonus to damage? I am fine with proficiency bonuses, but it sure seems like they are mandatory when you are missing out on a +4 or +5 to hit bonus.

and also if it is on weapons, there sure as hell better be an accuracy equivilant for the caster characters.

though I honestly woule like to see accuracy removed from magical items. especially if you claim the characters don't need the items late game.
So 'why' in the mechanical sense...

Magic items can add to attack rolls just to make them desireable or useful.  In 3e and 4e, magic item costs, wealth by level, and monster progressions prettymuch dictated that you needed the best magic weapon you could afford to stay more or less on par with the monsters.  3e also has monsters with such high and varied resistances that you /also/ needed a variety of weapons, and you couldn't afford to have them all to that same standard, so you invariably fell short.  4e had a similar consequence due to a math gaffe, but it was kludged with some feat taxes.

In earlier eds, you needed magic weapons to be 'in' some fights at all because there were many monsters that were invulnerable to normal weapons - and a few that were invulnerable to weapons that weren't high enough '+'s. 

So magic weapons have always been built into the game.  If 5e changed that by removing excessive resistance, 'hit only by' mechanics, and enhancement bonuses figured into character v monster progression, it'd be nice.  It would give the DM more latitude over how much magical junk he wants floating around his campaign, diluting those items he wants to be part of the story.  Of course, it 'wouldn't be D&D.'


As to caster accuracy, it's entirely possible casters will be back to needing no attack rolls in 5e.  But, since you bring it up, it illustrates another of the double-standards aplied to casters and non-casters.  If non-casters get some toy that casters don't, it's loudly demanded until the casters get it too.  In 4e, that list includes weapon focus, expanded crit feats, accurate & superior implements, & competative melee basic attacks, among other things.  Conversely, if casters get some new toy, non-casters are unlikely ever to get an analog to it, and if non-casters ever get anything remotely close to something casters do, there's a hew and cry over it (XOMG, fighters cast spells in 4e!  It's the end of D&D!).



 

 

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I hear that magic items are part of the modular system, as in they are not required as part of character progression.

If this is the case then can we have say...a +4 magic longsword give only a bonus to damage? I am fine with proficiency bonuses, but it sure seems like they are mandatory when you are missing out on a +4 or +5 to hit bonus.

and also if it is on weapons, there sure as hell better be an accuracy equivilant for the caster characters.

though I honestly woule like to see accuracy removed from magical items. especially if you claim the characters don't need the items late game.

You are approaching the concept of hitting and doing damage in D&D from the wrong perspective.

A miss in the game isn't a physical whiff.  It is a failed attempt to press your advantage and strike at your opponent's hit points (which in turn aren't really a total measure of physical health as much as skill at avoiding a killing blow).

Therefore, the bonus to hit on magical weapons just symbolizes the item's ability to be more effecting as doing its job than a non-magical version.  Imagine it as a "luck bonus" enabling the weapon to find armor ****s and exploitable holes with greater ease.  Maybe the sword is magically sharper, cutting through armor better; or maybe the odd magical radiance of it weakens your opponent's resolve faster, letting you press your attack better.  Maybe the thing just happens to be on fire and that freaks the hell out of whatever you are fighting and it makes stupid moves which open it to deadlier strikes.

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@mikemearls I think Perkins would throat punch me if I ever tried that. And I'd give him a glowing quarterly review for it.

Magic Weapons make it easier to hit because, big cumbersome heavy armor that slows you down, makes you harder to hit.

Logically Heavy armor would make you easy to hit but hard to hurt.

It works this way because the roll to hit isn't so much a roll to hit as a roll to hurt.  Like HPs it's meant to be an abstraction.  In a round of combat you are assumed to swing and hit several times but the roll is to see if you actually managed to inflict any harm against your foe.

A Magic weapon makes it easier to harm your foe and dose more damage when it dose.
well being the 'dnd next mechanics' forum i'm speaking about mechanics.    A +5 weapon can do an additional 5 damage without the +5 to hit and still be the flavor of DnD.

However if it gives an equal bonus to hitting then the entire idea of 'Modular magic items' is thrown out the window.

Basicly i'm saying "are magic items required? YES or NO?"

if they keep the accuracy then they are required....that simple.

I would like a system where they are not required.
Because the wizard is throwing a pile of dice around that pretty much always do at least half of what's rolled.  That's why.

The melee guy, however, rolls for all-or-nothin before he rolls the "all".  If he's not skewing the numbers upwards of 25 percent, he may as well not even be there - especially if he's a poor sap in one of those classes that doesn't even get full BAB advancement.
well being the 'dnd next mechanics' forum i'm speaking about mechanics.    A +5 weapon can do an additional 5 damage without the +5 to hit and still be the flavor of DnD.

However if it gives an equal bonus to hitting then the entire idea of 'Modular magic items' is thrown out the window.

Basicly i'm saying "are magic items required? YES or NO?"

if they keep the accuracy then they are required....that simple.

I would like a system where they are not required.



The 4e builder has (or had?) a checkbox for inherent bonuses so that characters gain enchancement bonuses as they level up rather than needing them from weapon/implement, armour, and neck slot. If characters were made with that, such magic items' bonuses would be redundant or at best a discrepancy of +1 for a few levels.
Because the wizard is throwing a pile of dice around that pretty much always do at least half of what's rolled.  That's why.

The melee guy, however, rolls for all-or-nothin before he rolls the "all".  If he's not skewing the numbers upwards of 25 percent, he may as well not even be there - especially if he's a poor sap in one of those classes that doesn't even get full BAB advancement.



^^^
this has nothing to do with my point of items being required or not.   and having not seen the new game you can not assume any of those things.
well being the 'dnd next mechanics' forum i'm speaking about mechanics.    A +5 weapon can do an additional 5 damage without the +5 to hit and still be the flavor of DnD.

However if it gives an equal bonus to hitting then the entire idea of 'Modular magic items' is thrown out the window.

Basicly i'm saying "are magic items required? YES or NO?"

if they keep the accuracy then they are required....that simple.

I would like a system where they are not required.



The 4e builder has (or had?) a checkbox for inherent bonuses so that characters gain enchancement bonuses as they level up rather than needing them from weapon/implement, armour, and neck slot. If characters were made with that, such magic items' bonuses would be redundant or at best a discrepancy of +1 for a few levels.



good post!  but becasue those values were identified to the point of characters can scale with 'inherent' bonuses...What would be wrong with just removing those bonuses from all aspects of the game?   Then Wha-La! Magic items are suddenly optional!
I myself DO NOT want to see another inherent bonus option. 
People want magic items......
People don't want to NEED magic items.

good post!  but becasue those values were identified to the point of characters can scale with 'inherent' bonuses...What would be wrong with just removing those bonuses from all aspects of the game?   Then Wha-La! Magic items are suddenly optional!
I myself DO NOT want to see another inherent bonus option. 
People want magic items......
People don't want to NEED magic items.



I suspect that most enjoy the bonuses from them, actually. People like to level up, and magic items are another level up in a sense. Traditional D&D has influenced computer/console rpgs for characters to trade up their equipment in order to keep pace with challenges, and that now feeds backwards since those new to D&D have likely played video games with item smorgasboards.
I'm somewhat ambivalent on this whole matter.


good post!  but becasue those values were identified to the point of characters can scale with 'inherent' bonuses...What would be wrong with just removing those bonuses from all aspects of the game?   Then Wha-La! Magic items are suddenly optional!
I myself DO NOT want to see another inherent bonus option. 
People want magic items......
People don't want to NEED magic items.



I suspect that most enjoy the bonuses from them, actually. People like to level up, and magic items are another level up in a sense. Traditional D&D has influenced computer/console rpgs for characters to trade up their equipment in order to keep pace with challenges, and that now feeds backwards since those new to D&D have likely played video games with item smorgasboards.
I'm somewhat ambivalent on this whole matter.




I'm not foreign to videogames, but I know of many successful games where people work for months to get an item that has a measly 1 higher damage, or even for an item thats a reskin and not even functionally better.

As I said I'm fine with the damage side increasing with the plus 1, 2, 3...etc. This has a very marginal effect on overall game scaling.   The accuracy however is an entirely different monster. 
I think those people who like item leveling will be satisfied with only the damage leveling.
In most videogames the items are not giving you accuracy anyway. Only damage is the norm.
this has nothing to do with my point of items being required or not.

Yes it does.  That's why they are required.

Magic items are a problem on both fronts.
If the mechanical effects are assumed as you level, then you need to have them as you level in order to hit and do enough damage to be effective.
If the mechanical effects are not assumed as you level, then the DM has to take every magic item into account when trying to balance encounters.  This also means module encounters cannot have any kind of "encounter level" because magic item distribution will be so variant from game to game.

It essentially comes down to force the player characters to buy the items or force the DM to spend more real-world time learning to balance encounters so his boss monsters aren't pimpsmacked by the rogue with +6 brass knuckles.  The only other option is to keep the actual bonuses from magic items low (anything above +3 would be epic), and then why bother having them at all?

There are a great many problems that can be circumvented by players and DMs having a mature discussion about what the game is going to be like before they ever sit down together to play.

 

The answer really does lie in more options, not in confining and segregating certain options.

 

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I am personally in favor of to-hit bonuses on magic weapons and implements if they stick around. It is simple enough to make the basic game not require items that give to-hit bonuses. Will that mean that groups that use weapons/implements that have to-hit bonuses might have an easier time? Yes, but it also means that they can keep that same +1 frost short sword for their entire career. 
I hear that magic items are part of the modular system, as in they are not required as part of character progression.

If this is the case then can we have say...a +4 magic longsword give only a bonus to damage? I am fine with proficiency bonuses, but it sure seems like they are mandatory when you are missing out on a +4 or +5 to hit bonus.

and also if it is on weapons, there sure as hell better be an accuracy equivilant for the caster characters.

though I honestly woule like to see accuracy removed from magical items. especially if you claim the characters don't need the items late game.


How would you represent magical weapons mechanically?
Why should a fighter search for a legendary sword to kill a legendary monster if it doesn't help him hit that monster more accuratelly and kill it faster?


I would represent it through different abilities. Flame tongue swords that do fire damage and set the target on fire on a crit. Maybe a shield that reflects a small portion of whatever damage the wielder sustains. I think effects like that are a lot cooler than "here's your +3 sword and your +2 armor".
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Magic items are a problem on both fronts.
If the mechanical effects are assumed as you level, then you need to have them as you level in order to hit and do enough damage to be effective.
If the mechanical effects are not assumed as you level, then the DM has to take every magic item into account when trying to balance encounters.  This also means module encounters cannot have any kind of "encounter level" because magic item distribution will be so variant from game to game.

It essentially comes down to force the player characters to buy the items or force the DM to spend more real-world time learning to balance encounters so his boss monsters aren't pimpsmacked by the rogue with +6 brass knuckles.  The only other option is to keep the actual bonuses from magic items low (anything above +3 would be epic), and then why bother having them at all?


I hadn't even thought about this. I definitely like that idea of taking away the requirement of magic items from leveling. But in doing that, it seems like you would have to eliminate magic items. One of the things I liked best about 4e, was how easy it was to design encounters. But that is assuming that all parties of a certain level, have a certain level of power. When you allow magic items in a game that does not require them, then you risk having overpowered parties, with no simple way to balance encounters for them.

There a few ways I could think of to handle this. One is to have 2 or 3 different XP budget tables, for games with different amounts of magic items. But obviously this just oversimplifies. The goal should be for DMs to use magic items however they want, and not have them affect the balance of the game. Another would be to add a certain number of XP points to the budget, based on the enchancement bonus total for the party.  I don't know enough about the math of this system to say if the number per point, could be static, or if it would have to scale across levels. If it has to scale across levels, or even number of players, the resulting table would have to be huge, and possibly more complicated than I care to deal with.

I'm definitely curious to see how they handle this now. 
The goal should be for DMs to use magic items however they want, and not have them affect the balance of the game.

Because, as we all know, no DM has ever tweaked any published encounter to adjust for the party.

The goal should be for DMs to use magic items however they want, and not have them affect the balance of the game.

Because, as we all know, no DM has ever tweaked any published encounter to adjust for the party.



I'm not talking about tweaking published encounters. I'm talking about the system for building your own encounters. This system is based on the idea that a part of a certain size and level, will have a relatively static power level. In 4e this assumption can be made, because you either give out magic items according to the treasure parcels, or you use the inherent bonuses rule. In general, you can make a solid assumption about how much magic bling a level 4 party will have. When you eliminate the need for magic items, without banning them outright, you eliminate the ability to make this assumption.
There are lots of cool magical features a weapon could have, apart from +x/+x. 
The goal should be for DMs to use magic items however they want, and not have them affect the balance of the game.

Because, as we all know, no DM has ever tweaked any published encounter to adjust for the party.



I'm not talking about tweaking published encounters. I'm talking about the system for building your own encounters. This system is based on the idea that a part of a certain size and level, will have a relatively static power level. In 4e this assumption can be made, because you either give out magic items according to the treasure parcels, or you use the inherent bonuses rule. In general, you can make a solid assumption about how much magic bling a level 4 party will have. When you eliminate the need for magic items, without banning them outright, you eliminate the ability to make this assumption.



Yup similar to Wealth.... Wealth is a form of power which includes access to hirelings and rituals and other plot power not just magic items...  if the designers fail to account for the amount of wealth the party has level looses some of its general measure of capability value. The game should allow sliders on generocity with regards to magic items and wealth as well... though I like using boons and inherent enhancement and basically all the DMG2s alternate rewards recomendations.
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Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

Magic items are a problem on both fronts.
If the mechanical effects are assumed as you level, then you need to have them as you level in order to hit and do enough damage to be effective.
If the mechanical effects are not assumed as you level, then the DM has to take every magic item into account when trying to balance encounters.  This also means module encounters cannot have any kind of "encounter level" because magic item distribution will be so variant from game to game.

It essentially comes down to force the player characters to buy the items or force the DM to spend more real-world time learning to balance encounters so his boss monsters aren't pimpsmacked by the rogue with +6 brass knuckles.  The only other option is to keep the actual bonuses from magic items low (anything above +3 would be epic), and then why bother having them at all?


I hadn't even thought about this. I definitely like that idea of taking away the requirement of magic items from leveling. But in doing that, it seems like you would have to eliminate magic items. One of the things I liked best about 4e, was how easy it was to design encounters. But that is assuming that all parties of a certain level, have a certain level of power. When you allow magic items in a game that does not require them, then you risk having overpowered parties, with no simple way to balance encounters for them.

There a few ways I could think of to handle this. One is to have 2 or 3 different XP budget tables, for games with different amounts of magic items. But obviously this just oversimplifies. The goal should be for DMs to use magic items however they want, and not have them affect the balance of the game. Another would be to add a certain number of XP points to the budget, based on the enchancement bonus total for the party.  I don't know enough about the math of this system to say if the number per point, could be static, or if it would have to scale across levels. If it has to scale across levels, or even number of players, the resulting table would have to be huge, and possibly more complicated than I care to deal with.

I'm definitely curious to see how they handle this now. 



I don't think they can,  I think this is wishful thinking.

As the poster you quoted notes,  the variance between what a character could have is too wide.  It requires DM's to go along with the idea of not handing out magic items very often,  which honestly,  will not happen.  Further,  Players will be bored by never finding anything exciting.  So games will end up handing out Magic Items as normal,  and they're just going to end up with monster's getting run over.

Further,  Magic Items are the gateway for a number of classes to keep up with Mage's progression.  The Mage gets more powerful through leveling,  but the other classes are at least partially defined by their Magic Items.

There's going to be a comprimise made somewhere,  it'll either be they have to sacrifice either their idea of a relevant Orc for many levels,  or rebalance with some level of Magic Items in mind at higher levels.

Removing the "Loot-carrot" is just not going to work.

As far as doing something different with them goes,  it doesn't matter.  As long as they give you some bonus to something,  they're going to have to be accounted for in that subsystem.  There's no subsystem where they could be added,  but wouldn't require rebalancing to account for their effect,  without getting into DM's making arbitrary calls.   
I was just thinking that if you nix the accuracy end of a +6 weapon then we would be ok.......
the +6 damage is really not a big deal late game.
the +6 to hit is extremely important!

So if we have 2 fighters in the same world, one with the +6, and one with a mundane weapon...  The system will still work just fine. 

but if you add the 'to hit' on the back end, then suddenly they are in two different leagues.

the plus 6 damage is really not a big deal.
I was just thinking that if you nix the accuracy end of a +6 weapon then we would be ok.......
the +6 damage is really not a big deal late game.
the +6 to hit is extremely important!

So if we have 2 fighters in the same world, one with the +6, and one with a mundane weapon...  The system will still work just fine. 

but if you add the 'to hit' on the back end, then suddenly they are in two different leagues.

the plus 6 damage is really not a big deal.



that does depend on the numbers involved quite a bit... in a game where weapon attacks do 6 points of damage +6 is a huge deal....  where as when do 24 or more points of damage it is starting to fade.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."

 

I was just thinking that if you nix the accuracy end of a +6 weapon then we would be ok.......
the +6 damage is really not a big deal late game.
the +6 to hit is extremely important!

So if we have 2 fighters in the same world, one with the +6, and one with a mundane weapon...  The system will still work just fine. 

but if you add the 'to hit' on the back end, then suddenly they are in two different leagues.

the plus 6 damage is really not a big deal.



that does depend on the numbers involved quite a bit... in a game where weapon attacks do 6 points of damage +6 is a huge deal....  where as when do 24 or more points of damage it is starting to fade.



yeah I didn't think of that....good point. If the damage level never really ramps up, then that +6 IS a big deal.

the Idea was mentioned that weapons can do other things than just add damage and accuracy...but that is the realm of 4th edition and the items mere honestly boring as hell IMO.
If its similar to 3rd and a cold weapon adds a d6 of damage to each swing the damage will get pretty high.
someone without the item could potentially be doing 20 to 25 less damage.

It seems that we are at an impass with magic items being optional or modular.  You have them and your awesome or you dont and you suck.

back to the old inherent bonuses again....man inherent so boring.

if they can make magic items modular I would love to see how. As I have NOT A CLUE how to do it with any current incarnation of the game.
I remember reading in one of the seminar transcripts that they were considering including 4e style proficiency bonuses. With those in play there will likely be a fair amount of numerical leeway in the monster defenses. Not to mention the fact that it is entirely possible to adjust monster AC by the amount you see fit. 
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