I DON'T want Magic Items to be "magical".

There's been a lot of talk about how D&D Next will handle magic items, and I have to say that I'm pretty displeased with the talk. It's all a bunch of, frankly, cliche talk about magic items being "magical" (whatever that even means), characters not being magic item christmas trees, or magic items being a big deal within the game world. I must say that this totally clashes with my vision of D&D, and this is why:

I want magic items not to be a big deal. I want characters to frequent the magical bazaar where they can find the right pair of magic boots that matches their magic gown so they can attend the magic ball in style later tonight. Why do I want this? Because I don't like for magic items to take up a very big part of my stories. Think about real life. Do you think that you're defined by your computer? Your cell phone? Your car? Of course not, because those things are everywhere. The same goes for magic items in a fantasy world. The rare and powerful artifact here and there aside, when magic items are common, they stop being a big deal.

Yeah, so what if you have a +1 flaming sword? Those are standard issue for the police department. When magic items are rare, when they're a big deal, characters become defined by which ones they have. King Arthur is defined by Excalibur; Harry Potter is not defined by the Nimbus 2000 (though better examples should be so minor that I can't think of them!). I don't want any characters that I play or any characters in campaigns that I run defined by their Wand of Shocking Grasp; I want to treat that like a tazer, because that puts the focus on the ingenuity of the character as opposed to the might of his magic item.

Then there's the issue of motivation. I think that being motivated by riches, particularly in magic items, is the most boring possible character motivation. Characters risk opening the chest just because it might have that Amulet of Natural Armor +1. They go on entire adventures just looking for a +2 Dagger. This simply will not do for my characters or my campaigns. I don't want magic items to be motivation, so that means that they need to become unremarkable, just another part of character customization, like feats. We're playing heroes! They should be motivated by defeating the evil lich or ending the war or saving the world! Not a couple of shiny rings. When magic items are common, these motivations can be tossed aside far more easily in favor of much more original and heroic character goals.

Now, here will be the test to see if you read the entire post: The above is just my personal preference, and I do not think that this should necessarily be the default way that the system is designed or balanced. I would be absolutely perfectly happy with a high-magic re-balancing variant as an optional module (though I would prefer it be available soon upon Next's release so that I don't have to suffer though low-magic campaigns for very long). Indeed, it makes perfect sense to me for the game to be designed by default around low-magic when it comes to magic items.

So what's my point then? Well, my point is just that I don't think that the question of what to do about magic items is as clear as everybody seems to be discussing it as being. If Next is really going to be able to accomodate all playstyles, then it needs to be able to accomodate people who like to play at different levels of magic item prevalence. It needs to be able to accomodate both people who want Excalibur and people who want the Nimbus 2000, people who want Dark Sun and people who want Eberron, people who want crafting magic items to be an ancient lost art and people who don't even bother with it because they can just visit Jim, the level 1 commoner that lives down the street with the magical trinket stand at the bazaar.

Balancing these different possibilties will not be easy. In fact, if it is easy, then they've surely done it wrong. But it needs to be done if Next is going to deliver on its promise to let us all play the characters and campaigns that we want to play.

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 hate these threads... They remind me that both high magic and low magic settings are fun and that I can't have both at the same time.
I hate these threads... They remind me that both high magic and low magic settings are fun and that I can't have both at the same time.

4E handles it rather well.  Unfortunately, though, a ton of balancing must be done in every facet of the game to allow for this.  This also can leave the DM a lot of extra work making sure that he/she distributes an abundance of magic items on a very regular basis.

My answer would be to design 5E as a mid-magic setting that does not rely on +X magic items for balance and then provide guidelines how to add magic to be high magic and how to remove magic from it to be low magic.

As someone that always runs low-magic campaigns exclusively, I think it would be a fair compromise.

Celebrate our differences.

It seems your looking for the difference between "which magic item you have defines your character" and "whether you have magic items defines your character."

Am I defined by my car?  Yes and no.  I'm not defined by the fact I have a car (in comparison to my current peers), as we all do.  I'm defined by which car I have.  But yes, I completely agree with the points you're making here on supporting high-magic and low.

Given that they are planning on removing presense or lack of presense of magic items from the game's assumed balance and power progression, it sounds like they are trying to support both playstyles.

We honestly don't have enough information to know if that includes things like removing pluses to magic items across the board and making them effect based, or what.  And without that specific implementation information, we can't comment on their direction much.

But I do think they're trying to accommodate both styles.

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I feel that 3/3.5E did well with high vs low-magic campaigns. If you wanted magic items pervolent then just throw them on your monsters and in shops. If you don't then let them be rare. The reason they cost so much is because with either easy to come by or difficult, the cost wizards a lot to make them. Wether it be XP costs or in 1/2E age. If you happen to be running a high magic item campaign then chances are half the magic items are being sold and that means the characters are rich. If running a low magic item campaign then it works as the characters wont have as much and magic items will actually be expencive.
Personally, like this post is about personal preference, I prefer low magic settings. And, it's easier to add magic to a setting than remove it.
 
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There's been a lot of talk about how D&D Next will handle magic items, and I have to say that I'm pretty displeased with the talk. It's all a bunch of, frankly, cliche talk about magic items being "magical" (whatever that even means), characters not being magic item christmas trees, or magic items being a big deal within the game world. I must say that this totally clashes with my vision of D&D, and this is why:

I want magic items not to be a big deal. I want characters to frequent the magical bazaar where they can find the right pair of magic boots that matches their magic gown so they can attend the magic ball in style later tonight. Why do I want this? Because I don't like for magic items to take up a very big part of my stories. Think about real life. Do you think that you're defined by your computer? Your cell phone? Your car? Of course not, because those things are everywhere. The same goes for magic items in a fantasy world. The rare and powerful artifact here and there aside, when magic items are common, they stop being a big deal.

Yeah, so what if you have a +1 flaming sword? Those are standard issue for the police department. When magic items are rare, when they're a big deal, characters become defined by which ones they have. King Arthur is defined by Excalibur; Harry Potter is not defined by the Nimbus 2000 (though better examples should be so minor that I can't think of them!). I don't want any characters that I play or any characters in campaigns that I run defined by their Wand of Shocking Grasp; I want to treat that like a tazer, because that puts the focus on the ingenuity of the character as opposed to the might of his magic item.

Then there's the issue of motivation. I think that being motivated by riches, particularly in magic items, is the most boring possible character motivation. Characters risk opening the chest just because it might have that Amulet of Natural Armor +1. They go on entire adventures just looking for a +2 Dagger. This simply will not do for my characters or my campaigns. I don't want magic items to be motivation, so that means that they need to become unremarkable, just another part of character customization, like feats. We're playing heroes! They should be motivated by defeating the evil lich or ending the war or saving the world! Not a couple of shiny rings. When magic items are common, these motivations can be tossed aside far more easily in favor of much more original and heroic character goals.

Now, here will be the test to see if you read the entire post: The above is just my personal preference, and I do not think that this should necessarily be the default way that the system is designed or balanced. I would be absolutely perfectly happy with a high-magic re-balancing variant as an optional module (though I would prefer it be available soon upon Next's release so that I don't have to suffer though low-magic campaigns for very long). Indeed, it makes perfect sense to me for the game to be designed by default around low-magic when it comes to magic items.

So what's my point then? Well, my point is just that I don't think that the question of what to do about magic items is as clear as everybody seems to be discussing it as being. If Next is really going to be able to accomodate all playstyles, then it needs to be able to accomodate people who like to play at different levels of magic item prevalence. It needs to be able to accomodate both people who want Excalibur and people who want the Nimbus 2000, people who want Dark Sun and people who want Eberron, people who want crafting magic items to be an ancient lost art and people who don't even bother with it because they can just visit Jim, the level 1 commoner that lives down the street with the magical trinket stand at the bazaar.

Balancing these different possibilties will not be easy. In fact, if it is easy, then they've surely done it wrong. But it needs to be done if Next is going to deliver on its promise to let us all play the characters and campaigns that we want to play.



The issue here is that you dont like magic items in your game.

And I dont see any reason to discuss your personal preferences

Magic items are magical. The rarity of such items and how necessary they'e for the adventures should be handled by the DM and setting.

 
4E handles it rather well.



I recently discovered the subtle details of D&D Essentials and I must say I am very pleased with what I'm reading.

It didn't handle it well at all before supplements like Mordenkainen's Magnificent Emporium. But I agree with you, it does handle it pretty well now.
I don't have a specific preference in the item department. I like low magic settings and settings where the magic is basically the same (if not more) as sci-fi technology.

Maybe I like the second even better (plenty of magic gadgets and trinkets!), sadly  rarely I see it well done...

What I hate? How D&D handles magic items by default. The items are generally just flat and boring bonuses, a +2 Dagger is just dull. What's the point to even have those? Just work it in the general progression of the character and be done with it...
I would prefer more (and cheaper) "utility" items and less "Big Sticks of Doom" in D&D Next, sadly the direction seems to be the opposite :S
In my opinion, none of the editions I played (for instance, 2e AD&D, 3e, 3.5e and barely 4e) handled magic items well, although each one had merits and flaws. I'll talk spcefically what I think was most problematic for me: weapons.

I can't say I have a clear opinion about 2e, because there's been so long time since I last played it that I've almost forgotten how it works. But for what comes to my mind, magic items were rare and more difficult to handle.

My largest experience with D&D was in 3/3.5. In both, the problem was that the monsters were designed assuming that the characters posessed magic weapons. You woudn't dare to fight that zombie with DR 10/+1 if you don't have a +1 weapon in lv1, and this dependance scaled to higher levels too. It was limitating, for the DM had a lot of work to suit the monsters to the adventure, or was forced to throw more powerful magic items at the table.

3.5 fixed much things, so it wasn't impossible to defeat a certain creature without the correct magic item. The game was scaled down, but the problem of the assumption of characters relying on magic items/ weapons to overcome chalenges was still there. 

In 4e, magic items were builded into character advancement. As every power require an attack roll, dependability on magic weapons/implements was even increased! 

I like high magic as much as low magic campaigns, but I think that the DM, not the game design, should handle magic weapons. The DM should be able to introduce any creature/NPC he wants in his game without requiriments of certain type of magic weapon or buffing the characters with other magic stuff. Of course, anything can be turned into a new adventure, even the seach for some magic boost. Just don't make things mandatory. 'hum, It would be very nice if I could throw them a white dragon, but they are so low on magic weapons that facing one is a certain party-wipe'. This kind of thing sucks.

 
Ok, I see your point and I will raise you mine.

Your view is flawed. You live by the assumption that if you get a computer that is, logically, what SHOULD happen. When in reality if you spent a fair bit of money and bought yourself a computer, you would be pretty excited about it. Characters aren't "defined" by their magic items, and they never have been. What they want is for you to get excited about finding one again.

Yes a +2 longsword's marvel, no matter what the game, will fade in time. But what they want you to do is be excited to get one, not just assume that if you don't the DM is doing something wrong. 
My two copper.
Yes a +2 longsword's marvel, no matter what the game, will fade in time. But what they want you to do is be excited to get one, not just assume that if you don't the DM is doing something wrong. 



I agree.

Another thing I consider when using magic items that give flat bonuses is: Why?

Take the +2 longsword, for example; why is it +2? Maybe it feels/seems/becomes perfectly balanced, for anyone who wields it. Maybe it feels/seems/becomes extremely easy to wield (lighter than normal, barely any resistance, etc.), for anyone who wields it. Maybe it has a supernaturally keen edge, one that is sharper than a weaponsmith can get from normal means, an edge that never dulls under normal use.

Any one of these traits could result in a +1 as a result; having two of these traits might mean a +2 to results, etc.

This gives even a magic item that has only a flat bonus some story value as well. Making them more interesting, even if they are prolific within the setting.
Actually more often than not the magic items do in fact help to define the characters.  Who is Thor without his gloves, belt, and hammer.  Whos is Tony Stark without his magic armor.  Who is Indiana Jones without the hat, gun, and whip.  Seriously think of many of the heroes and stories you know of.  A large portion of the characters in those stories will have some item that is associated with them.  Just start pulling out characters and you will find that they have some item that helps define who they are as a character, or was at least pivotal to their success in their adventures.

Making these Items rarer and more important is a feature I enjoy the prospect of.  I don't want the players to be able to go down to the corner store and get a Vorpal sword.  I want that to be something they quest after so that they might use it to slay a medusa.
Now we're getting to the point: It's all about the feeling.

If in your campaign everything is magical, your players won't give attention to any thing not above usual item or magic.


So that's why I would choose to follow the DMG from 2e, ever.There, if you still have one, you should read again its chapter about rewarding magic items, you can find explanations about why you should handle carefully the magic items to players to keep them excited and motivated. Otherwise, you might get ironic quotes about their 4 vorpal sword.
I feel that 3/3.5E did well with high vs low-magic campaigns. If you wanted magic items pervolent then just throw them on your monsters and in shops. If you don't then let them be rare.

That has nothing to do with 3.5. You can do that in any edition. However that's not enough. For DMs that don't know the finer details of the way that the game is balanced, they're not sure how to adjust encounters to take account more or fewer magic item wealth than what it detailed on the expected wealth table. Halving or doubling magic item prevalence had a profound effect on the game's balance, but the game gave you no hint as to what that effect was. You had to figure it out yourself.

What I mean by this thread is that I want all of these different levels of magic item prevalence to be taken into account in advance, for the game to tell me what to expect at different levels, not for it to simply pick one to balance around and then assume that I can figure the rest out myself. Maybe some of us have no problem figuring it out ourselves, but a lot of us can't.

You live by the assumption that if you get a computer that is, logically, what SHOULD happen.

It is what should happen. I go to work every day as I am expected to, I get get a paycheck every so often as I am expected to, and computers are widely available for me to purchase whenever I wish. There's nothing at all mystics about them. Every step of my obtaining and operating a computer is unremarkable, expected. If anything, if a computer is what I want, it's practically owed to me.

What they want is for you to get excited about finding one again... But what they want you to do is be excited to get one...

That's exactly the problem. I don't want to get excited about finding one. I don't want my players to get excited about finding one. I want it to be trivial, and there are legitimate campaign reasons for wanting that.

I don't want the players to be able to go down to the corner store and get a Vorpal sword.

Not only do I want players to be able to go down to the corner store and get a Vorpal sword, I want for that occurance to be so unremarkable that we spend zero game time on it. That can just be something that a player tells me that his character did between sessions while their Fighter happened to be in town.

These preferences contrast so much that it's hard to imagine rebalancing for each one to be a simple matter, which is why I fear that they won't put in the effort to really make it work for everybody the way that they claim.

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 want the option to run one campaign where magic items are incredibly rare, and another campaign where magic items are incredibly common. I want the rules to support both options as well as the in-between.
There's nothing inherently wrong with the "Sears Catalog" method, guys.
Of course, if Ye Olde Wal-Marte is selling Vorpal swords by the six-pack, chances are pretty good the "bad guys" have piles of them as well.
This is a case where 'it's easier to add than to subtract' comes in.  If the base assumption for 5e is that magic itens are rare, then there can just be a module for 'magic items are common' games, or CC can just throw heaps of them into his game.  Extracting them from a system that assumes they're common would be more difficult.

Personally, I wouldn't mind being able to play or run in a D&D game without coming across a single magic item, so long as the game balance takes that into account.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
I just long for a game system where both of us are happy. 3e and 4e favoured you a little more, with the required gear to be the appropriate power level. 4e especially made magic into mundane expected gear. 
If magic is more optional for the math and balance then its easier to make it special or just hand it out at stores. 

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Or, maybe, the dm can handle it, helped by some tables and little suggest. Magical item are, by the very name, magical. And is the setting that defines it.

To add, for some characters, richness IS indeed the reason they start adventures. Not all are heroes after all, and not all campaigns involve saving the world. 
4e especially made magic into mundane expected gear.

Thus, adding exorbitant loot when the system expects less is far less likely to result in a Total-Party-Kill than would curbing loot in a system that expects more.

It's far better overall to let the PCs curbstomp some peons while adjusting those peons up over a few encounters, than to have to immediately nerf those same peons during an encounter when they unexpectedly massacre the party tank.
4e especially made magic into mundane expected gear.

Thus, adding exhobitant loot when the system expects less is far less likely to result in a Total-Party-Kill than would curbing loot in a system that expects more.

It's far better overall to let the PCs curbstomp some peons while adjusting those peons up over a few encounters, than to have to immediately nerf those same peons during an encounter when they unexpectedly massacre the party tank.


Well, the 4e system doesn't serve either need particularly well. 

It makes magic expected and less interesting. The books say the DM has to give the party a +2 item at level 2 and they pretty much sit on the item treadmill after that. 
If you give out no items then the party accuracy and survivability suffers. But if you give too many it breaks the very careful balance of 4e (as does letting your party just go shopping as they cherry pick items to compliment their build).

5 Minute WorkdayMy Webcomic Updated Tue & Thur

The compilation of my Worldbuilding blog series is now available: 

Jester David's How-To Guide to Fantasy Worldbuilding.

There's been a lot of talk about how D&D Next will handle magic items, and I have to say that I'm pretty displeased with the talk. It's all a bunch of, frankly, cliche talk about magic items being "magical" (whatever that even means), characters not being magic item christmas trees, or magic items being a big deal within the game world. I must say that this totally clashes with my vision of D&D, and this is why:

I want magic items not to be a big deal. I want characters to frequent the magical bazaar where they can find the right pair of magic boots that matches their magic gown so they can attend the magic ball in style later tonight. Why do I want this? Because I don't like for magic items to take up a very big part of my stories. Think about real life. Do you think that you're defined by your computer? Your cell phone? Your car? Of course not, because those things are everywhere. The same goes for magic items in a fantasy world. The rare and powerful artifact here and there aside, when magic items are common, they stop being a big deal.

Yeah, so what if you have a +1 flaming sword? Those are standard issue for the police department. When magic items are rare, when they're a big deal, characters become defined by which ones they have. King Arthur is defined by Excalibur; Harry Potter is not defined by the Nimbus 2000 (though better examples should be so minor that I can't think of them!). I don't want any characters that I play or any characters in campaigns that I run defined by their Wand of Shocking Grasp; I want to treat that like a tazer, because that puts the focus on the ingenuity of the character as opposed to the might of his magic item.

Then there's the issue of motivation. I think that being motivated by riches, particularly in magic items, is the most boring possible character motivation. Characters risk opening the chest just because it might have that Amulet of Natural Armor +1. They go on entire adventures just looking for a +2 Dagger. This simply will not do for my characters or my campaigns. I don't want magic items to be motivation, so that means that they need to become unremarkable, just another part of character customization, like feats. We're playing heroes! They should be motivated by defeating the evil lich or ending the war or saving the world! Not a couple of shiny rings. When magic items are common, these motivations can be tossed aside far more easily in favor of much more original and heroic character goals.

Now, here will be the test to see if you read the entire post: The above is just my personal preference, and I do not think that this should necessarily be the default way that the system is designed or balanced. I would be absolutely perfectly happy with a high-magic re-balancing variant as an optional module (though I would prefer it be available soon upon Next's release so that I don't have to suffer though low-magic campaigns for very long). Indeed, it makes perfect sense to me for the game to be designed by default around low-magic when it comes to magic items.

So what's my point then? Well, my point is just that I don't think that the question of what to do about magic items is as clear as everybody seems to be discussing it as being. If Next is really going to be able to accomodate all playstyles, then it needs to be able to accomodate people who like to play at different levels of magic item prevalence. It needs to be able to accomodate both people who want Excalibur and people who want the Nimbus 2000, people who want Dark Sun and people who want Eberron, people who want crafting magic items to be an ancient lost art and people who don't even bother with it because they can just visit Jim, the level 1 commoner that lives down the street with the magical trinket stand at the bazaar.

Balancing these different possibilties will not be easy. In fact, if it is easy, then they've surely done it wrong. But it needs to be done if Next is going to deliver on its promise to let us all play the characters and campaigns that we want to play.



Huzzah!

I loves my magic bizzares.

What they want is for you to get excited about finding one again... But what they want you to do is be excited to get one...

That's exactly the problem. I don't want to get excited about finding one. I don't want my players to get excited about finding one. I want it to be trivial, and there are legitimate campaign reasons for wanting that.

I don't want the players to be able to go down to the corner store and get a Vorpal sword.

Not only do I want players to be able to go down to the corner store and get a Vorpal sword, I want for that occurance to be so unremarkable that we spend zero game time on it. That can just be something that a player tells me that his character did between sessions while their Fighter happened to be in town.

These preferences contrast so much that it's hard to imagine rebalancing for each one to be a simple matter, which is why I fear that they won't put in the effort to really make it work for everybody the way that they claim.



Furthermore, I totally agree with this as well.

I like getting new things and all, but I'm not going to jump up and down and get all squeally, I'm going to get down to business and use my new tools.

4e especially made magic into mundane expected gear.

Thus, adding exhobitant loot when the system expects less is far less likely to result in a Total-Party-Kill than would curbing loot in a system that expects more.

It's far better overall to let the PCs curbstomp some peons while adjusting those peons up over a few encounters, than to have to immediately nerf those same peons during an encounter when they unexpectedly massacre the party tank.


Well, the 4e system doesn't serve either need particularly well. 

It makes magic expected and less interesting. The books say the DM has to give the party a +2 item at level 2 and they pretty much sit on the item treadmill after that. 
If you give out no items then the party accuracy and survivability suffers. But if you give too many it breaks the very careful balance of 4e (as does letting your party just go shopping as they cherry pick items to compliment their build).



two more things: Inherent bonuses make the worry of not giving items out disappear, as does the boons.  Second thing, letting them shop means making up lists of the items up for sale in this particular town, and handing it to them.  Hand written in ink is awesome, especially on parchment, but printed out on plain paper works just as well.   Also note, prices within the book for any object is suggested price, and some places have a higher or lower price based on the local economy, supply and demand, etc.

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quote author=56832398 post=519321747]Considering DnD is a game wouldn't all styles be gamist?[/quote]
I hate these threads... They remind me that both high magic and low magic settings are fun and that I can't have both at the same time.



I thought the same thing. 

Both can be extremely fun.
I see where the OP is coming from as it represents a style of world design I used a while back.  I essentially made a fantasy version of modern America and used a type of "magic" (not the arcane D&D type) to replace current energy sources as well as coming up with special materials.

There is a down side to this that few ever consider:  It really influences the type of setting you have and therefore changes the stories you can tell and how they are told.

Castles and towns probably will not have walls.  Vehicles and/or portal transportation will make travel mundane.  Not only does this mean that there are no long, time consuming trips, it means events a world away can instantaneously affect the PC's kingdom.  PC's reputation and news will travel very fast.

Armor, as we know it ceases to exist.  Swords will play second fiddle to other weapon types.  Healing may well advance to the point that medikits can replace the healing classes.  Ditto, security and entry magics breaking the thief classes.

The access to information can completely change a story from something like Tolkien to that of Star Trek.  Devices that can scan monsters for weaknesses (Tricorders and Pokedexes) will tip the scales of a battle.

Spell books probably get replaced by devices just as computers can substitute for books now.  Wizards may even go from a type of creator to more of a hacker's role depending on just how prevalent the magic is.  In this kind of set up, material components and Vancian magic becomes more difficult to justify within the setting's concepts.

If folks can walk into a store and buy magic, it is not awe inspiring.  The bad guys will have the goods too.  The DM will have less recourse in controlling magic item proliferation as a result.

Many campaign hooks that drive stories lose their pull such as plagues (Why can't it be cured?), lack of food (Create food and water should be easy), and so on.

The fact is, get enough "magic" into the mix and the setting transitions from fantasy to sci-fi.  There is nothing wrong with this, and it can be very fun, but it isn't everyone's cup of tea.

Inherent bonuses and 4e was trivial to make item independent .. the so called 4e is worse than previously stinks of hoo hah.
  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."

 

Whos is Tony Stark without his magic armor.



A genius, billionaire, playboy philanthropist.

Tongue Out




That being said, I agree with the OP.  I would like to see all the game styles have a chance to be played even if I am using the high magic module at my table.

I also would like access to items that do define a character, the Batmans gadgets, the Ironmans suit, the Thors hammer but I am willing to have those as moduler add ons.

Member of the Axis of Awesome

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Homogenising: Making vanilla in 31 different colours
Iron Man's armor is magic?
Iron Man's armor is magic?


"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
Iron Man's armor is magic?



Considering it also appears to be a Ironsuit of Physics Immunity, actually yes.
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
Iron Man's armor is magic?



Considering it also appears to be a Ironsuit of Physics Immunity, actually yes.



It's a comic book character. That would apply almost universally. :P That's pulp, not magic.

There is a rather nice ironman write up around... here works rather interestingly actually invokes Warmachine Rhoades rather more than Tony

edit:added link 
  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."

 

Eberron makes more sense, IMO, than FR.

You might be able to guess from that where I fall on this debate.
 

I'm not defined by my car. Not by the fact that I have one, nor the by which car I have. There are people in our world for whom that isn't the case, and I don't understand them in any way.

When I didn't care to drive, and instead walked/biked/got the bus places, not having a car was part of my social identity. In some groups, that could have been a large negative, but in my group, it wasn't a big deal. I was just known as one of the couple of people in the group that hadn't gotten around to getting a license. I didn't do so until I was looking at a place across town from where I worked, with my work not being near a bus stop. I made it to 26 never having a driver's license. That made me an oddity, just like my friend that still doesn't have a cell phone, or my sister who can barely use her computer.


That's what magic should be like, IMO.


Now, other people should be able to play in the opposite kind of world.

Even a completely magic item free world should be possible in dnd.

But if they don't support, in an easily workable way, a high magic item DnD, I've already got an edition I like, thanks.

Actually more often than not the magic items do in fact help to define the characters.  Who is Thor without his gloves, belt, and hammer.  Whos is Tony Stark without his magic armor.  Who is Indiana Jones without the hat, gun, and whip.  Seriously think of many of the heroes and stories you know of.  A large portion of the characters in those stories will have some item that is associated with them.  Just start pulling out characters and you will find that they have some item that helps define who they are as a character, or was at least pivotal to their success in their adventures.

Making these Items rarer and more important is a feature I enjoy the prospect of.  I don't want the players to be able to go down to the corner store and get a Vorpal sword.  I want that to be something they quest after so that they might use it to slay a medusa.



Indiana Jones didn't have to quest to get his hat or whip. (I'd hardly call his gun something that defines him. He barely uses it.)

Thor didn't have to quest for his items of power. He paid some dwarves to make them for him. Same thing with Odin's stuff.

Also, without the magic armor, Tony Stark is still a millionaire playboy philanthropist, remember? :P

Seriously, though, he made his armor. He didn't have to delve into a dungeon, he just made it, and then used it. The story could have just as easily have been that Pepper Pots made it for him, and he's the one with the reflexes and yadda yadda to use it properly, so she made it for him. Hell, it's comics, so that could someday be the ret-conned origin.

Just look at DC right now....guh... nevermind. I don't dislike any of you enough to wish that on you.

Poor Harle....she'd be better off if they'd just killed her.

Anyway, all of those examples are closer to the Magic Item Shop scenario than they are to the low magic, go quest to find some long forgotten item of power...thing.


Also, I detest, with a nigh unfathomable level of ire, the "The world used to be awesome, but now it sucks" fantasy trope.

I can't describe my hatred while staying within the rules of these forums, so I won't try.


now, I do want my players to get excited about that new many pocketed cloak. In the same way that they would get excited about a new jacket, IRL.


There's no good reason that the system can't provide rules and guidelines from at least three levels of magic proliferation, with none being the default.

And that's exactly what they should do.
Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome

two more things: Inherent bonuses make the worry of not giving items out disappear



     It also takes the magic out of them.  If you are objecting to generic magic being dull, inherent bnuses are dullness defined.  They are generic generic.








two more things: Inherent bonuses make the worry of not giving items out disappear



     It also takes the magic out of them.  If you are objecting to generic magic being dull, inherent bnuses are dullness defined.  They are generic generic.










They're a mechanical tool that allows groups to never again worry about having or not having enough magic items, making it easy to play a campaign where magic items don't exist, are rare, or are fairly common but are chosen based on the cool things they do, with no regard to keeping the numbers up.

It's pretty cool that I can play a fairly optimized 4e game, and have my 3 magic items for starting at level 8 be a cloak and two wondrous items, one of which will never directly impact combat, and the system doesn't punish me.

that's what inherent bonuses are.
Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
In every example DoctorBadWolf cited, he is 100% correct, in those cases, making/buying items not only makes sense, it is mandatory.

Notice the genres mentioned:  Mostly Modern Era Comics and pulp.

As we slide down the tech level, so to say, the "quest for it" concept makes more sense.

I am with DoctorBadWolf in that the old, "Grim World of Dark Peril" trope is way over used.  One can have a "quest for it" type campaign in a rising culture or even in Sci-fi.  Stargate is an example of a modern "quest for it" type setting, though, especially near the end, team members learned how to modify and even make the tech they previously had to quest for.

As far as D&D 5e goes, while I tend to prefer "Quest for it," there needs to be solid, functional, and creative item making and modification rules that is balanced, fun and fair.  Such a system should be listed as optional as determined by group/campaign choice.  That way, both camps are accommodated.
Works for me.

Except that I'd prefer for neither to be the default assumption, if possible. :P
Skeptical_Clown wrote:
More sex and gender equality and racial equality shouldn't even be an argument--it should simply be an assumption for any RPG that wants to stay relevant in the 21st century.
104340961 wrote:
Pine trees didn't unanimously decide one day that leaves were gauche.
http://community.wizards.com/doctorbadwolf/blog/2012/01/10/how_we_can_help_make_dndnext_awesome
In every example DoctorBadWolf cited, he is 100% correct, in those cases, making/buying items not only makes sense, it is mandatory.

Notice the genres mentioned:  Mostly Modern Era Comics and pulp.

As we slide down the tech level, so to say, the "quest for it" concept makes more sense.

I am with DoctorBadWolf in that the old, "Grim World of Dark Peril" trope is way over used.  One can have a "quest for it" type campaign in a rising culture or even in Sci-fi.  Stargate is an example of a modern "quest for it" type setting, though, especially near the end, team members learned how to modify and even make the tech they previously had to quest for.

As far as D&D 5e goes, while I tend to prefer "Quest for it," there needs to be solid, functional, and creative item making and modification rules that is balanced, fun and fair.  Such a system should be listed as optional as determined by group/campaign choice.  That way, both camps are accommodated.




Basically I'm just happy that they have completely decoupled the magic items from character progression.  Now you can sprinkle them in as you wish.
4E magic items are a placebo.  They make the players think they are getting something special when they are really getting something that is required by the game.  I prefer 4E flavored with the low magic option/inherent bonuses.  That way, when a player gets a magic item, it is truly special.

That's personal preference.  I like magic to feel rare and wondrous, not something so common that it's virtually mundane.

Celebrate our differences.

Say NO to Vorpal Sword Commerce!

Protect the Jabberwockies!! dont buy Vorpal Swords!!Everytime you buy a Vorpal Sword you're contributing to the extinction of these lovely creatures.

 
4E magic items are a placebo.  They make the players think they are getting something special when they are really getting something that is required by the game.  I prefer 4E flavored with the low magic option/inherent bonuses.  That way, when a player gets a magic item, it is truly special.

The core magic items were kind of boring but I dont give out any of those. (at minimum mix more than one item together in thematic ways). Beyond that the 4e DMG2s alternate rewards mechanics all over the place, from item boons gained via events where you slay the Salamander and its life force clings to the blade which took its heart... to semi permanent enchantments, grandmaster training and so on.

I particularly like magical power that litterally leaks out of the characters (in some ways you could envision inherent bonuses that way) ...his heirloom blade is awesome because he is awesome.  

Note inherent bonuses work right along side the normal items (the effects dont stack), its having your cake for some folk and being able to eat it too. To this end I would like to see inherent bonuses more completely developed and integrated.
  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."

 

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