Magic Item Analysis

Let's take a look at the Magic Items packet, shall we?

There are some absolutely great ideas in this packet, mainly in the small details and flavor. Randomly generated creators, natures, minor properties, and minor quirks are excellent concepts that manage to keep randomly generated magic items fresh and exciting. Obviously, if the Dungeon Master wants to give the players a specific item during an adventure, they can use these tables to give extra flavor to their creation, or they can make up their on minor properties. I can see this helping new DMs considerably. The only issue is that some of the properties are more useful than others - I can see characters coveting initiative bonuses more than being able to sense north.

The idea of attunement seemed very promising at first - limit characters to about three key magic items, and have all other items grant minor benefits only. However, almost all of the best magic items do NOT require attunement, only very powerful items like staves and powerful weapons. It only really serves to limit casters to a certain number of extra spells per day - but the Ring of Wizardry doesn't require attunement, so that's a bust. The mechanic is sound, but the implementation is not.

The lack of "magic-marts" will make some players and DMs happy, but I'm a bit sad to see it go. Some of my favorite settings ike Ptolus and Eberron, have magic items as an integral part of the culture, and even Forgotten Realms and Greyhawk have places where magic items can be traded and sold. I'm not saying there should be stores on every corner, but anything between a port city and a metropolis should have at least one store dealing in magic items, even if the ones they have for sale are Common or Uncommon, with the occasional Rare for large cities. If you can find a pile of saphires worth 50 gold pieces and sell them, you should be able to buy and sell a magic item worth 50 gold pieces. It makes sense.

Some ideas in this packet are not so great. I don't think Magic Item Rarity is a good idea. While I know some DMs will love it, and some players will love the excitement of finding new magic weapons and trinkets, it's skewed heavily towards MORE items rather than BETTER items. The "Christmas Tree" effect (characters with dozens of minor magic items) was one of the main downsides of 3rd edition, since it requires so much more bookkeeping. 5E isn't fixing this problem, it's making it worse.

I dislike the idea of attack/defense bonuses from magical items. Some people might enjoy them, but I think it throws off bounded accuracy to no end, especially when paired with the random nature of loot. A Rogue who picks up some +1 Leather Armor and a +1 Shortsword is going to break away from the bounded accuracy guidelines - since monsters aren't designed with expectations that players will have +X items on hand. I'd rather have magic items be composed of other useful bonuses and benefits, perhaps conditional advantage and access to limited uses of spells, rather than flat bonuses.

Belts of Giant and Ogre Strength have to go. Flat increasing a stat to a certain level is ridiculously powerful. As many playtesters have already pointed out, it makes dexterity-based Fighters WAY more powerful, since they can dump Strength and focus on Dexterity, then increase Strength to incredible heights later on with a fairly common magic item. I'm okay if they increase carry capacity or feats of strength, but they shouldn't exist in their current form. Imagine if there was a version for each attribute - after about 7th level, starting attributes wouldn't matter at all.

Magic item rules are yet to be included, but they'll have to cover a wide variety of abilities to choose from, essentially everything that's available as an items should be able to be crafted at some point (except perhaps Legendary or Artifact-level items). I'm interested to see how they manage to pull it off without unbalancing the system and/or economy.

Below are my changes that I would implement with D&D Next's Magic Item System 

1) Magic items of a certain rarity or less can be bought and sold in cities of a certain size. Small cities should be able to handle anything Common or Uncommon, and have a few selections on hand as well. Large cities should have enough funds to buy Rare items, and have a few on hand. Capitols or Metropolises shoudl be able to handle Very Rare items, and should be well stocked with all Common and Uncommon items. Interplanar locations like Sigil should be able to buy and sell even Legendary items, and anything Rare or less should be easily found there. Artifacts should only be acquired as part of a LONG quest, and they should be game-changing in nature.

2) Players must attune to ALL their magic items. They can use a number of items at once equal to 2 + 1/4 their character level, alternatively, their Charisma modifier (minimum 1) plus 1/4 their character level. This won't stop players from hoarding items, nothing can stop that, but it can restrict them to choosing a specific set of items for each adventure.

3) Magic Item Rarity is specifically tied to character level. For every 2 character levels, (1-2, 3-4, 5-6), there is a table with % chances of finding specific rarities of items. For example:

Level 1-2: 1-50 No Item, 51-75 One Common item, 76-95 1d2 Common items, 96-100 1d2-1 Uncommon Items (min 0, if 0, then one Common item)

Level 7-8: 1-25 No Item, 26-50 1d3 Common items, 51-70 1d2 Uncommon Items, 71-85 1d2-1 Rare items (if 0 then 1 Uncommon item), 86-95 1d2-1 Very Rare items (if 0, then 1 Rare item), 96-100 1d2-1 Legenday Intems (if 0, then 1 Very Rare item)

And so forth. The DM is the final arbiter on whether a given encounter might have a magic item as a reward. They can choose to grant magic items as they wish, regardless of the table, but the table should serve as the default reward system for a DM who wants to keep balance in their campaign.

4) For each rarity, there are 100 items of that rarity on a table. The DM can choose to give one of those items (or a group of them, for example one option might be 3-5 potions), or instead they can select one of the options on that table and give it to the players. It's the DM's discretion.

5) Magic items never grant a flat bonus to attack, AC, skill checks, or saving throws. They can grant situational advantage, or a bonus a limited number of times per day, but there's no such thing as a +1 Longsword. You might instead find a Longsword of Sharpness (+1d4 slashing damage with a change to inflict Bleed damage on a critical), a Longsword of Bane (+1 to hit and damage a specific kind of creature), or a Longsword of FlameTongue (Three times per day on command, you can fire a cone of Fire like the Burning Hands spell, using your Weapon Attack -2 to determine the effectiveness).

6) Every character in the game should be able to take a feat in order to create magic weapons and items, not just spellcasters. Spellcasters should have the exclusive ability to create Wands, Staves, Scrolls, Potions, and Rods, but everything else should be accessible to a Fighter or Rogue who takes a Feat. With a specific Specialization, even Fighters and Rogues should be able to craft spell-completion items.

That's my analysis and the fixes I would personally make. What do you think? Do you agree with my ideas, or do you have your own "fix"?

Thank you for reading and commenting. 
What are your thoughts on the +3 great sword that's not really a +3 greatsword. The one that gives you 3 points to work with and than lets you move them between three categories. 
What are your thoughts on the +3 great sword that's not really a +3 greatsword. The one that gives you 3 points to work with and than lets you move them between three categories. 



Correction. It lets you move them between 2 categories: 'Attack and Damage' and 'AC'.

You do not split them between Attack and Damage. 
Well that's less entertaining.
What are your thoughts on the +3 great sword that's not really a +3 greatsword. The one that gives you 3 points to work with and than lets you move them between three categories. 


I see I'm not the only person who read that interpretation from the current wording of that item's description.  Thank God.  It was getting lonely over here.
What are your thoughts on the +3 great sword that's not really a +3 greatsword. The one that gives you 3 points to work with and than lets you move them between three categories. 


I see I'm not the only person who read that interpretation from the current wording of that item's description.  Thank God.  It was getting lonely over here.



You know what they say, "Generic Paladin portraits think alike!"
 
What are your thoughts on the +3 great sword that's not really a +3 greatsword. The one that gives you 3 points to work with and than lets you move them between three categories. 


I see I'm not the only person who read that interpretation from the current wording of that item's description.  Thank God.  It was getting lonely over here.



You know what they say, "Generic Paladin portraits think alike!"

 

Danny

The Ogre/Giant Strength items would still be awesome, without being problematic, if they read something like this:

This item needs to be attuned.

This item gives you X Strength for the purpose of calculating carrying capacity.

Once per day, you may treat your Strength score as being equal to X for a single attack, Strength check, or Strength based skill check.


Now it could be once or twice per day, or once for 3 rounds or whatever. That's what playtesting is for. But by making it a limited use (but not expendable)  item it eliminates the problem of "negating" dearly paid for starting stats.

Plus it presents the interesting choice, what do you want to wear in that slot, an item that has a modest but consistent benefit, or an item that is kickass but only occassionally?


(As an aside: anyone have any speculation why they went out of their way to make all of the Giant Strength items grant odd numbered strength scores?)
How about actual guidelines for no, low, medium, and high magic settings.

My setting as a DM is medium. +1 items are common enough that every bad guy and his lieutenants have them but +3 and flame tongue are quested for. So my game could assume every major humanoid has 1d4-2 magic items whereas someone else's low magic setting has to roll 90+ on a percentile die to get anything and 95+ for rare or better.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

It would be far more simple to not apply any arbitrary ability to attack modifiers.

Then we wouldn't care of a Str 56 Belt of the Adrenalized Cosmic Squirrel.
It would be far more simple to not apply any arbitrary ability to attack modifiers.

Then we wouldn't care of a Str 56 Belt of the Adrenalized Cosmic Squirrel.




That kind of misses the point. These items existed in D&D longer than most people who play have been alive.  Making them more like they used to be isn't so much the problem as the bonuses that are tied to them, although in AD&D the difference between to hit and damage was pretty small at these levels. 

The game has survived +12 damage bonuses before and even encouraged them in at least one iteration so the problem seems to be one where someone doesn't like it because it makes soeone else better than they aught to be.

"How dare the woosy wizzard be as strong as the bitchin' barbarian."

I mean really people, and the worst of it is if the DM plays by the book no one will ever have a girdle of cloud giant strength anyway. 
The Ogre/Giant Strength items would still be awesome, without being problematic, if they read something like this:

This item needs to be attuned.

This item gives you X Strength for the purpose of calculating carrying capacity.

Once per day, you may treat your Strength score as being equal to X for a single attack, Strength check, or Strength based skill check.


Now it could be once or twice per day, or once for 3 rounds or whatever. That's what playtesting is for. But by making it a limited use (but not expendable)  item it eliminates the problem of "negating" dearly paid for starting stats.

Plus it presents the interesting choice, what do you want to wear in that slot, an item that has a modest but consistent benefit, or an item that is kickass but only occassionally?


(As an aside: anyone have any speculation why they went out of their way to make all of the Giant Strength items grant odd numbered strength scores?)



This. 

There are various possibilities.  It might be good to allow it for 1 round plus your con mod in rounds and if you exceed the limit then you make an endurance check each round DC equal to the strength granted by the belt or suffer weakness until yoiur next short rest or possibly some hit point damage.

Why? Just to be able to give out the item even though you feel the original is too powerful?

The easy solution is then to not give the players the item. (If you feel that it is inappropriate, just leave it in the list)

The next best solution is to call that hard-balanced once-per-day version "Lesser Belt of Giant Strenght" or something. Then you can give that out without ruining the real item.

There is no problem whatsoever with having any powerful items in the list.
There might be a problem if a character gets a powerful item by mistake, but really..  it's not the end of the world.

If this was in the list, would that have to be nerfed aswell?

Rod of the Emperor
Once per round as a free action you may use the rod to force obediance by every creature you choose within 50ft. Creatures affected must make a Wis-save versus 12 + your Cha mod, or be charmed until next sundown or sunrise.

or maybe this?

Ring of Invincibility
The wearer can not be hurt by weapons or spells.

No.. because they hurt noone in the list.
Use the items in the list if they add to your campaign, otherwise dont.
It's a play test the Devs have asked us to complain about this stuff!

It's the bloody 'everything wizards does is perfect and questioning it makes you a bad gamer' crap that's unhelpful.
The Ogre/Giant Strength items would still be awesome, without being problematic, if they read something like this:

This item needs to be attuned.

This item gives you X Strength for the purpose of calculating carrying capacity.

Once per day, you may treat your Strength score as being equal to X for a single attack, Strength check, or Strength based skill check.


Now it could be once or twice per day, or once for 3 rounds or whatever. That's what playtesting is for. But by making it a limited use (but not expendable)  item it eliminates the problem of "negating" dearly paid for starting stats.

Plus it presents the interesting choice, what do you want to wear in that slot, an item that has a modest but consistent benefit, or an item that is kickass but only occassionally?


(As an aside: anyone have any speculation why they went out of their way to make all of the Giant Strength items grant odd numbered strength scores?)



This. This is an example of good item design. It makes you as strong as a Hill Giant (or something else similar) without breaking attribute balance over its knee like a twig. The once per day ability is just gravy, and honestly I'd almost rather have Hill Giant strength with a bonus I can use 5 times per day than Storm Giant strength I could only activate once per day. That idea of opportunity cost makes the item even better.


Orzel, I agree that guidelines of no, low, medium, and high magic settings would be incredibly useful. You could take the concept I proposed, of having specific magic item chance by level (1-2, 3-4, 5-6 etc) and have different progressions for the different settings. A Low magic setting might never see an item higher than Rare, maybe a single Very Rare that would be the goal of an entire story arc. Medium would use something like what I've presented. High magic might have Common items showing up very frequently, and Legendary/Artifact items be present even at levels as low at 9 or 10.


Tlanti, I think the main issue is more "I put a 17 in Strength, that cost most of my attribute points, so why does the Wizard who put a 9 into Strength now have a 19? That's not fair!". And while some might call that whining, I think it's fairly justified. The Wizard in the party is TOTALLY allowed to put a 17 into Strength if he wants to, but he won't because he's going to put everything he's got into Intelligence and leave just enough in other stats so he's a functioning, maybe above average person without any glaring flaws.

If there was an item that gave Illithid Intelligence (21), then I think people would complain that it benefits Grognak the Barbarian too much when the poor Wizard had to spend so many points in Int.


Sesdun, the point of designing magic items to hand out is so that they're balanced. You can argue for days that it's up to the DM's decision, and that the DM can choose to not allow any items that are too unbalancing, but it doesn't matter, because that's bad design. Good design is making sure that all items within the same Rarity class are roughly equivalent in power and scope. If I made a +10 Longsword a Common item, that's poor design, because it isn't keeping with what Common items are and should do. Sure, the DM would probably ban it from the game, but I can prevent those kinds of ruling from needing to be done by making GOOD rules BEFORE the DM gets his hands on them.

I think that the Belts of X Strength are very, very powerful items because they give a large stat bonus, and are unbalanced with other items of their rarity. I think even a 21 Strength belt is a Legendary item. I personally think stat items should be in the +1/+2/+3 range at best (at rare/very rare/legendary), and that they should require attunement to use properly.


I think the magic items are interesting, and there's a lot of effort put into the system. I get the feeling that some of the items are iconic weapons, armor, or rings that the developers got when they played and wanted to make sure were in 5th Edition, and that's encouraging. It shows they're really caring about the quality of the experiences players will have when they play this edition.
If they're gonna modify actual ability scores with magic items, which I am not a fan of by the way, they really shouldn't use this set number concept, it creates this wierd situation where the people who derive the greatest benefit from the item are those who have not invested in the stat modified, so a fighter can pick up gloves of ogre power and get the equivalent of +2 if he had a str of 17, while the cleric or rogue who invested in other stats and only has a 15 str get's an effective +4 bonus.

 So the guy who uses his strength the most gets the least benefit from a strength boosting item.
Some of the magic items are cool, but these things are way too good. I'd gank a party member for them in a heartbeat  (if playing an evil character). 
'That's just, like, your opinion, man.'
Some of the magic items are cool, but these things are way too good. I'd gank a party member for them in a heartbeat  (if playing an evil character). 

This is kinda how ai feel about a lot of these items.

They are cool and all - but what use are a bunch of magic items that I wouldn't let a 5th level character near  when I don't have rules for character's over 5th level yet. 

Sure - it's nice to see where they are going (and I like the old school vibe of many of the items - obvious imbalances and all).  But I'll have to go through the list to figure out which ones are useful right now and which are not.

Carl
So if the problem is a non melee type getting their hands on something like this maybe they should put class restrictions on them like they did in AD&D. If the issue is a magic user getting a pair of gauntlets then make it so the guy can't use them. It makes sense since they have spells and items only they can use.

All I can say about people getting bent over the barbarian getting an item that boosts intelligence because the player had to spend points to get his score that high is that they need to get over it. That is the most childish thing I ever heard, I mean think about it.

Is this where the average D&D player is emotionally? Actually feeling resentment and jealousy over some numbers on a piece of paper or pixels on a monitor? Are peopel really that self centered and selfish as to begrudge others of having something better than them?



 
So if the problem is a non melee type getting their hands on something like this maybe they should put class restrictions on them like they did in AD&D. If the issue is a magic user getting a pair of gauntlets then make it so the guy can't use them. It makes sense since they have spells and items only they can use.

All I can say about people getting bent over the barbarian getting an item that boosts intelligence because the player had to spend points to get his score that high is that they need to get over it. That is the most childish thing I ever heard, I mean think about it.

Is this where the average D&D player is emotionally? Actually feeling resentment and jealousy over some numbers on a piece of paper or pixels on a monitor? Are peopel really that self centered and selfish as to begrudge others of having something better than them?



 



Restricting by class gets a little complicated, since there's going to be quite a few classes, and you'd have to errata the items every time a new class came out that could use them. Good idea, but the execution would be harder.

Your argument is flawed. Put yourself in this position, you're starting up a new game, and your DM tells your group "Everyone's level 9, starting with five Rare, six Uncommon, and ten Common items... except for you." he points at you "You're starting at level 1. No items. Roll up your character". How would that make you feel? Resented? A little jealous of your other players? It might even make you quit the game.

[sarcasm] Not you, though. Naturally, you'd play that character at level 1, with no equipment, because after all, who'd be so self-centered and selfish as to begrudge others of having something better than him?

After all, good roleplaying is about ignoring all the numbers, and character deaths you suffer, and how useless you are, and focusing on the things that are REALLY important. [/sarcasm]
"Are peopel really that self centered and selfish as to begrudge others of having something better than them?"

Welcome to our planet, visitor!  Enjoy learning about the fascinating animal "Human"!
I like powerful magic items. What I don't like are inconsequential ones. I'd rather not have any. I don't mind if a magic weapon blows through bounded accuracy. A magic item should feel magical after all. 

It probably should have some rule to limit its use though. Not once a day, that's horrible. Maybe something like a cool down, based on how many times you did use it in a row. Call it use points, or something. You accrue one each time you use the item, and it takes time to remove them.  Use the item once, gain a use point. If you have one point, you can remove it after letting it sit a round. If you've gotten to two points you have to wait a minute to get back to zero. (likely end of encounter).  If you've used it three times, maybe an hour.  Four times, the rest of the day. Then you can put a cap on the number of use points total before the item becomes unusable. For example, 4 total, and then the item is inert until the cool down period is over.  You could use it up to four times consecutively in a single encounter, but if you did you would have to wait until the next day to use it again.  If you spaced out the use every other round, then it might still be good to go for the next encounter.

I like powerful magic items. What I don't like are inconsequential ones. I'd rather not have any. I don't mind if a magic weapon blows through bounded accuracy. A magic item should feel magical after all. 

It probably should have some rule to limit its use though. Not once a day, that's horrible. Maybe something like a cool down, based on how many times you did use it in a row. Call it use points, or something. You accrue one each time you use the item, and it takes time to remove them.  Use the item once, gain a use point. If you have one point, you can remove it after letting it sit a round. If you've gotten to two points you have to wait a minute to get back to zero. (likely end of encounter).  If you've used it three times, maybe an hour.  Four times, the rest of the day. Then you can put a cap on the number of use points total before the item becomes unusable. For example, 4 total, and then the item is inert until the cool down period is over.  You could use it up to four times consecutively in a single encounter, but if you did you would have to wait until the next day to use it again.  If you spaced out the use every other round, then it might still be good to go for the next encounter.




That's actually not a bad idea. You could work downwards instead, maybe items have charges, and the number of rounds the item isn't used determines how quickly those charges recover.

1 charge spent - 2 rounds
2 charges spent - 1 minute
3 charges spent - 5 minutes
4 charges spent - 30 minutes
5 charges spent - 2 hours

It's not perfect, but it's an interesting mechanic. It's similar to the Winged Boots, if you look at them. I think they're near the end of the playtest.

I'm still in favor of bounded accuracy. I think magic items should serve to expand and enhance a character's existing abilities, but not IMPROVE them. That is, more damage is fine, but an extra bonus to-hit is not. 
I want to stay away from everything needing to be attuned. I like the idea of attunement releasing more powers though. I also enjoy minor magic items that function like gadgets.
"Are peopel really that self centered and selfish as to begrudge others of having something better than them?"

Welcome to our planet, visitor!  Enjoy learning about the fascinating animal "Human"!



I have a link in my sig... even monkeys resent unfairness.
  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
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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."

 


Restricting by class gets a little complicated, since there's going to be quite a few classes, and you'd have to errata the items every time a new class came out that could use them. Good idea, but the execution would be harder.

Your argument is flawed. Put yourself in this position, you're starting up a new game, and your DM tells your group "Everyone's level 9, starting with five Rare, six Uncommon, and ten Common items... except for you." he points at you "You're starting at level 1. No items. Roll up your character". How would that make you feel? Resented? A little jealous of your other players? It might even make you quit the game.

 Not you, though. Naturally, you'd play that character at level 1, with no equipment, because after all, who'd be so self-centered and selfish as to begrudge others of having something better than him?

After all, good roleplaying is about ignoring all the numbers, and character deaths you suffer, and how useless you are, and focusing on the things that are REALLY important.



Actually there are four classes. All you need to do is add one of those keywords 4e players are so fond of that designates them as sub classes of the main class like they did in the beginning and there's no need to errata anything. of course keeping the class bloat to a minimum would be a better idea. I'm not joining the book of the month club again, especially since 6e will be hot on the heels of 5e. I wonder if it will take them even three years before the next version is on it's way.

But seriously I don't get to play a character when I do D&D or pathfinder. I find playing a single character very boring. I liked AD&D multiclassing because it gave me the chance to play a less resticted character. 

Actually I have started a campaign several levels behind the rest of the party and without magical equipment. It took three sessions before I caught up, although I had to use a hand-me-down +1 sword and wound up with the left overs for a while but it was fun even dying a couple of times, the party cleric was kind enough to raise me each time and then charge me for the privelege. I didn't like the group though since they did little to help me feel comfortable or try to be welcoming so I let the character die and went on to bigger and better things. 

As for your example That kind of thing would be reason enough to go home and has absolutely nothing to do with what I was saying. I was talking about a group that is the same level and has access to pretty much the same thing. Broken systems aside there are differences between the classes that will never be reconciled. The nature of spell casters vs non-casters is a wide gulf that became wider by the misguided removal of all of the things that made spell casters undesirable. Once it was appealing to the masses and all of the checks and balances were removed the monster reared it's ugly head. Adding a crap ton of extra classes that have their own issues only added to the problem. 

The developers tried to make the problems go away by making everyone the same but different and all that did was make most of their customers go away.


I just think it's poor item design. 

I mean why make a stat boosting item that gets weaker the more points someone has in the stat being boosted? 

I mean really if thor's belt worked like that he'd hit the gym and have didtched the stupid thing before the baldur incident. (and before anyone uses the 'he's a god' argument on me I'll remind you that the norse gods have about as much in common with the DnD gods as the olympians do with tolerable people)

Frankly I think they're missing an opportunity here.

See with the belt of giant strength being broken up into multiple items what they should do is consider breakign them up not just by Str bonus/number but narrow that range and give interesting secondary abilities based on the type of belt.

So maybe gauntlets of ogre power give +1/+2 str.

The basic belt of giant strength/ belt of hill giant strength gives +2/+3.

The belt of stone giant strength might give anywhere form +2 to +4 and the ability to throw big rocks at people.

The ice and fire giant variants might give an equal or smaller bonus, but offer elemental protection or the ability to wreathe a weapon in fire/ice for x attacks per day.

The cloud version would offer a bit bigger bonus and ... something,  I never really GOT cloud giants.

The storm giant version would offer bonus as big, or maybe 1 higher than the cloud version, and the ability to toss some lightning around a couple times a day.
As for your example That kind of thing would be reason enough to go home and has absolutely nothing to do with what I was saying. I was talking about a group that is the same level and has access to pretty much the same thing. Broken systems aside there are differences between the classes that will never be reconciled. The nature of spell casters vs non-casters is a wide gulf that became wider by the misguided removal of all of the things that made spell casters undesirable. Once it was appealing to the masses and all of the checks and balances were removed the monster reared it's ugly head. Adding a crap ton of extra classes that have their own issues only added to the problem. 

The developers tried to make the problems go away by making everyone the same but different and all that did was make most of their customers go away.


+1
 
I also don't understand an item of Ogre Power/Giant Strength giving someone a Strength score higher than the ogre or giant in question. I think these numbers should be corrected pretty quickly. Did they accidentally take these Strength values from 3E or 4E values?

Frankly I think they're missing an opportunity here.

See with the belt of giant strength being broken up into multiple items what they should do is consider breakign them up not just by Str bonus/number but narrow that range and give interesting secondary abilities based on the type of belt.

So maybe gauntlets of ogre power give +1/+2 str.

The basic belt of giant strength/ belt of hill giant strength gives +2/+3.

The belt of stone giant strength might give anywhere form +2 to +4 and the ability to throw big rocks at people.

The ice and fire giant variants might give an equal or smaller bonus, but offer elemental protection or the ability to wreathe a weapon in fire/ice for x attacks per day.

The cloud version would offer a bit bigger bonus and ... something,  I never really GOT cloud giants.

The storm giant version would offer bonus as big, or maybe 1 higher than the cloud version, and the ability to toss some lightning around a couple times a day.


I don't think that just giving a bonus to Strength in an way gives someone Ogre Power or Giant Strength; it needs to be the Strength value of the specified creature. That means the actual value given to the creature; not a value higher than the specified creature, as are the current values.

Plus, these items are designed to give an increased strength equal to the specified creature, not any special abilities associated with those creatures. Although Ogre Power might imply such, if ogres had any such special abilities.

I know what the items are currently designed to do, I just think it's stupid and have presented an alternate design paradigm.
I just think it's poor item design. 

I mean why make a stat boosting item that gets weaker the more points someone has in the stat being boosted? 

I mean really if thor's belt worked like that he'd hit the gym and have didtched the stupid thing before the baldur incident. (and before anyone uses the 'he's a god' argument on me I'll remind you that the norse gods have about as much in common with the DnD gods as the olympians do with tolerable people)



I liked the suggestion where unless you had 14 strength you couldnt attune the ogre strength item.
  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."

 

Why did you feel the need to quote me for that?

 
Why did you feel the need to quote me for that?

 


hmmm not sure ... maybe it was someone else with the generic paladin icon who originally mentioned the idea to reign it in.
  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."

 

Yeah, I'm pretty dead set against the static strength scores granted by the current items and rather than trying to solve the individual symptoms caused by poor design, I find it more generally useful to use good design.
Perhaps gauntlets of ogre strength could just increase the strength score by +2 (but not increase the maximum strength score beyond racial maximums).
A Belt of giant strength could  increase the maximum strength score to 21,23,25,27, and 29 (instead of 20) but not actually provide any bonus to strength by itself.  The two magic items could stack.

Require attunement. 

A character with a 20 str could then attune both the gauntlets and the belt to reach very high strength scores at high levels.   
I like the new direction.  I am glad the magic item wish list is gone.  I am glad that a +1 longsword is a bonus and not required for pc survival at higher levels.  The magic bonuses baked into the combat mechanics is gone, I like that.  I think this approach allows more flexability for gaming groups and dms to incorporate magic items into thier campaign as they see fit. 

I like the focus on story.  Attunement mechanic reinforces a lot of story, especially certain attunement requirements.   I think from now and release the devs could work out many of the kinks in specific mechanics.

I like the availability scale, common to artifacts as well as the tables, both give inexperienced and experienced dms a scale on how frequently such items could be available. (or just go random like my uncle 30+ years ago).  I would hope to see various tables for different campaign styles from low magic to high magic.  Dm A does a gritty low magic Darksun campaign this week and dm B does a high magic Ebberon campaign nexr week.
I like the new direction.  I am glad the magic item wish list is gone.  I am glad that a +1 longsword is a bonus and not required for pc survival at higher levels.  The magic bonuses baked into the combat mechanics is gone, I like that.  I think this approach allows more flexability for gaming groups and dms to incorporate magic items into thier campaign as they see fit. 

I like the focus on story.  Attunement mechanic reinforces a lot of story, especially certain attunement requirements.   I think from now and release the devs could work out many of the kinks in specific mechanics.

I like the availability scale, common to artifacts as well as the tables, both give inexperienced and experienced dms a scale on how frequently such items could be available. (or just go random like my uncle 30+ years ago).  I would hope to see various tables for different campaign styles from low magic to high magic.  Dm A does a gritty low magic Darksun campaign this week and dm B does a high magic Ebberon campaign nexr week.



This...

I disagree with just about every point made by the OP. magic items are supposed to be "slightly" unballencing. I hate the idea of people buying magic items at the multiversal trading company. I want the girdle and belts that I love and have loved for 32+ years left in the game.

In our house games, unless you were taking on an elder worm dragon or some other creature that had a good possiblity of killing off half the party you almost never just found magic items sitting around, magic items were something to be researched, quested after, and after many adventures where great sacrifices were made, you just might find that +3 great sword, at which point you name it and feel like a total bad ass. Thats the way its supposed to be.  
"The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules." Gygax
That works fine for you.

Some of us play in toril and eberron however. 
They could give choices on how the DM wants these belts and gauntlets to work in the first place. For example, they could have where belts give +X to strength rather than a flat score as one choice, a flat score as another choice, and X times a day as another choice, while explaining what effect each type will have on your game. The DM decides and everyone is happy.

Almost everyone, that is. A few will say "Bad design shouldn't exist" with bad design being whatever they feel is bad design. If what everyone felt was bad design went away, we wouldn't have Next at all. Just because you don't feel one type of strength belts is good design doesn't mean other players shouldn't have that option.
Do you have an opinion on what campaign settings should be printed in D&D Next? If so, please cast your votes in this poll! Poll: What campaign settings do you want to see printed in D&D Next?
I like the new direction.  I am glad the magic item wish list is gone.  I am glad that a +1 longsword is a bonus and not required for pc survival at higher levels.  The magic bonuses baked into the combat mechanics is gone, I like that.  I think this approach allows more flexability for gaming groups and dms to incorporate magic items into thier campaign as they see fit. 

I like the focus on story.  Attunement mechanic reinforces a lot of story, especially certain attunement requirements.   I think from now and release the devs could work out many of the kinks in specific mechanics.

I like the availability scale, common to artifacts as well as the tables, both give inexperienced and experienced dms a scale on how frequently such items could be available. (or just go random like my uncle 30+ years ago).  I would hope to see various tables for different campaign styles from low magic to high magic.  Dm A does a gritty low magic Darksun campaign this week and dm B does a high magic Ebberon campaign nexr week.



This...

I disagree with just about every point made by the OP. magic items are supposed to be "slightly" unballencing. I hate the idea of people buying magic items at the multiversal trading company. I want the girdle and belts that I love and have loved for 32+ years left in the game.

In our house games, unless you were taking on an elder worm dragon or some other creature that had a good possiblity of killing off half the party you almost never just found magic items sitting around, magic items were something to be researched, quested after, and after many adventures where great sacrifices were made, you just might find that +3 great sword, at which point you name it and feel like a total bad ass. Thats the way its supposed to be.  



Sirkaikillah, I agree that the game is better off without requiring magical items, ESPECIALLY the creep of more powerful versions of existing items. I also agree that story-based mechanics, like rolling for the item's origin and quirks, are incredibly useful and I suppor them 100%. However, I don't agree on how magic items are handled - an Easy, Average, or Tough encounter is too subjective. Having tables for specific level ranges and low/medium/high magic worlds would be the best move I think.


Ballbamoth, I disagree with pretty much all of your points. Magic items should make an impact on a game, but they should not be significantly unbalancing. They should grant the character more resources they can spend (like extra uses of a spell each day, or extra round of rage), or they should expand what a character's capable of performing (a bag of holding increases your carrying capacity, a pair of Winged Boots let you fly for a short while, a cloak that turns you Invisible, etc). Since those effects already exist in-game, they don't unbalance the system, they just make the character better at what they can already do - but in a way that doesn't just give them a flat +1 to something. Numbers aren't as fun as a unique item that does something cool, like let you breathe underwater, or make you nearly immune to poisons.

I like the idea of magic items being able to be bought, sold, and traded. I've read the paragraph from AD&D that stated that magic items were not viable products, but I disagree. In a medium to high-magic setting, I can see artificers crafting Rings of Fire Resistance for lieutenants in a war against the Burning Legoin, I can see magic potions being mass-produced for battle medics and town priests who run out of cure spells, I can even see extravagent nobles comissioning a Wizard to craft them a Dancing Sword so as to impress people at parties. I get that magic items would be rare and hoarded in a low-magic setting, but in anything from Greyhawk to Eberron, it would be ludicrous to assume that NO-ONE would try to work in such a lucrative market. Even if it were a sort of Black Market, it should still exist in some form.

I'm not saying every store should have every magic item, far from it. If you read my original post, you'll see that I recommended that small cities deal mainly in common and uncommon items, and that only a capital or metropolis would have such a large stock as to have many items from the list. Still, a small city, perhaps a port city with much trade, should have a shop with a dozen or so magic items for sale and trade. Thinking along these lines, it might also be possible for characters to hire the service of an artificer or blacksmith to create a specific magical item for the character. The price might be high, higher than the item's value for sure, and it might involve finding particular reagents and materials - but that's kind of what D&D is about, finding reasons for going on adventures, having a motivation for what you're doing. And I'll tell you right now, greed is an excellent motivator, and players will always work harder and travle farther when they have a specific reward in mind - not an amorphous promise of future loot that may or may not be important to that character.

Finally, while nostalgia is a powerful force, and I'm sure the D&D Next designers have it in mind, I believe that there's alwyas room for innovation. Admittedly, if AD&D was perfect, then you wouldn't be interested in D&D Next, you'd be playing that game instead. The old Belts of Hill Giant Strength and so forth may have worked in that system, and I'm not contesting that, but D&D Next is a whole different beast, and it requires different math in order to work. I'm hoping that the next update will fix the Belts of X Strength so that they work better in the system, while still giving off that old-school vibe players treasure. But stating that nothing needs to be changed isn't helping anything.
One of the reasons I like the add-on effects based on the giant tribe is because I find flat bonuses boring.

That said static numbers are just as boring and make no sense unless you're building an army of sentient squirrels.
That works fine for you.

Some of us play in toril and eberron however. 



Remember that Eberron's availability and use of magic items is at the far end of the spectrum.  When the setting first came out, that was one of the reasons Magic-Punk was coined as a term.  It outstripped anything seen before for World Settings in general and not just PC's decked out with anything they could beg, buy, borrow or steal.

I am confident that when they update Eberron for this edition, and they will, it will maintain the expected level of magic and magic item use.  I mean, otherwise the Artificer is kinda worthless, and the setting has an entire House based off the class. 

 For DnDNext, these rules are an excellent starting point.  It needs refinement, but that will come.  Begining at the Low availability spectrum allows them to measure just how these Items will affect games.  And ultimately, how common or available an item is comes down to the DM, and what they're willing to allow.