Magic Item Progression

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Hello everyone!

I am finally in the process of using this new packet (first attempt at the Playtest for us) and this is the first thing that made me pause...

Magic Items.

LOVE the flavor of everything and that they truly seem MAGIC again. Bravo.

But where is the item progression? I think we (my players and I) are used to seeing the +1/+2/+3 etc. longsword (regardless of special properties) as we go along. Always something to look forward to as the items scaled along with you most times. Is there just the +1 item that, although awesome, becomes +3 when attuned and then that's it?

Is this intent still present? Again, love the items included in the magic item list, but there is a line that states: A basic suit of armor is +1 and higher bonuses are unusual. I get that the DM can MAKE a +2 longsword of inbetween-ness for his party, but I find it odd that it is lacking.

If this has been discussed before, I apologize, but does anyone know the intent of magic item progression?

Thanks so much and Happy New Year to my fellow DMs and players!

May you have a happy new year as well.

Don't forget this is still a playtest. I'm sure the final version will include many more items (including +2 ones), but the intent is here to stay.
The basic magic item is of +1 bonus. An item with a higher bonus will also have special abilities (attunable or otherwise), there will never be +2 or +3 items with just the bonus.
The list of items atm includes only the powerful +3 items, as it is they that must be tested and balanced. There's nothing to fine-tune in a +1 item with no special abilities, and once you have fine-tuned the most powerful +3 items, intermediate +2 ones are easier to introduce at the appropriate power level.

As the DM, you can of course introduce a +2 item, but to be consistent with the game's spirit, it should also have some special ability.
alright, so they have stated that
a) they are making magic items not the default
b) they are trying to avoid +x weapons


my take on it is that item effect and +x bonus are seperate. the +x comes from the physical structure and construction of the weapon (so time to improve on the masterwork weapon) so completely non magical, just well built. and the magical effects are the magical enhancements placed on the weapon.

i have no restriction on 'at least masterwork items are required to enchant' but in general would you really waste your magical enchantment on a rusted dagger?
Its also helpful to remember that they are using "bounded accuracy" now.  I.E. The average high level monster will have much the same AC as a lower level monster.  This means that you don't need to get ever increasing item bonuses to stay balanced (like 4th edition) but it also means that bonuses which are too high will break the monster math.   I dont know how they will deal with magic item progression but as people mentioned above it will probably not be with higher +x bonuses.  
Thank you for the replies!

I went ahead (didn't know the term beforehand, so my search didn't yield the appropriate results) and read up on the bounded accuracy debate. Wow.

I actually agree with most of that article, and love the ensuing debate by the community here. We have some passionate and well-spoken fans! I love it!!

Does anyone else feel that the "flavor" options (origin, materials, etc.) are meant to take the place of +1/+2/+3 in this case? In other words, do I  have my players questing to get that same +1 Flametongue, but this new weapon has some extra added flair to make it more interesting? Granted, my storytelling and the campain affect all of this, but I think you see my point.

Thoughts?
The idea in Next is that once you have a magic item, you don't let it go. Once you have a magically flaming sword, you don't need to go questing for the same thing but better. Instead you go questing for a magically freezing sword to go with it. Then a lightning sword, an acid sword, a psychic sword, and when you get bored of swords, you look for nightvision goggles, cloaks of resistance, a hat of disguise, gloves of rage, a mouthguard of enhanced spitting distance... It's super easy to churn out magic items that enhance the players without being just upgrades. In the worst case scenario, players will have to choose which of their eight pairs of magic panties they wear today, and that's the sort of wardrobe decision that keeps games interesting.
The idea in Next is that once you have a magic item, you don't let it go. Once you have a magically flaming sword, you don't need to go questing for the same thing but better. Instead you go questing for a magically freezing sword to go with it. Then a lightning sword, an acid sword, a psychic sword, and when you get bored of swords, you look for nightvision goggles, cloaks of resistance, a hat of disguise, gloves of rage, a mouthguard of enhanced spitting distance...



I was hoping they do rules for "long, family magic weapon" thing, you know, sword that on levels 1-5 gives you just +1, but on levels 6-10 starts to add fire damage. The thing to make magic weapon truly unique, but also "progressivly" better, so to stick not to "Sword of Flames" but "Ilurdrin, Flame Fury". This is what I was hoping with whole attuning thing was... Undecided
The idea in Next is that once you have a magic item, you don't let it go. Once you have a magically flaming sword, you don't need to go questing for the same thing but better. Instead you go questing for a magically freezing sword to go with it. Then a lightning sword, an acid sword, a psychic sword, and when you get bored of swords, you look for nightvision goggles, cloaks of resistance, a hat of disguise, gloves of rage, a mouthguard of enhanced spitting distance... It's super easy to churn out magic items that enhance the players without being just upgrades. In the worst case scenario, players will have to choose which of their eight pairs of magic panties they wear today, and that's the sort of wardrobe decision that keeps games interesting.


Ooooo dress up for D&D! :D 
IMAGE(http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y152/RockNrollBabe20/Charmed-supernatural-and-charmed_zps8bd4125f.jpg)
I'm fairly glad they're starting to look for ways around the +X scale for magic weapons for one specific reason.

If we introduce +X back into the loop then we have the same issues with monsters and players as before; scaling. Wizards will then need to scale their monsters in accordance with how high weapons can reach (up to +5 or +6, I can't recall at the moment), otherwise the monsters will be steamrolled into the grid by people who have these weapons, and no doubt they probably will because, at the moment, it's the norm to give players these +X weapons as they progress through levels. But then the problem arises that people who don't have these weapons become mundane as they either can't hit AC due to not having the extra +X, or they don't deal as much damage to monsters.

I absolutely, and I mean ABSOLUTELY, love the way magic items work in Next. I love how flavorful items can be as Dwarven weapons aren't destroyed so easily, or how Giant weapons are larger like it's Final Fantasy, or how Drow weapons take damage in sunlight. I love how weapons can present themselves with these great innate abilities that players have to seek out themselves. I love how I can give my players items that they can grow attached to and not just look at them as stat sticks. 
I'm a huge fan of the direction magic items are moving in next, especially with flavor. The extra minor abilities and creation backgrounds are pretty boss too. The fact that you may never know all of your item's properties is just fantastic and keeps things magical. It actually allows for interesting things to happen at key moments that no one expected, which is a great part of storytelling.



I was hoping they do rules for "long, family magic weapon" thing, you know, sword that on levels 1-5 gives you just +1, but on levels 6-10 starts to add fire damage. The thing to make magic weapon truly unique, but also "progressivly" better, so to stick not to "Sword of Flames" but "Ilurdrin, Flame Fury". This is what I was hoping with whole attuning thing was... 



I like that idea too, and I am thinking of incorporating something similar in my games. I really liked the idea behind legacy weapons in 3.5e, but the implementation was very unimpressive to me. The idea though, combined with what Next already has, is something I want in my games.

I was thinking everyone in my game will have ONE magic item that grows more powerful as they do. They won't know what properties it will gain. It will always be either things that really work with their character concept, rather its class, race, philosophy, makes sense with the item, or things that have extreme cool factor. They'll gain a few other magic items here and there too, but not many.

Key parts of the story will increase one character's item somehow, someway. Perhaps it absorbed the essence of blah blah blah, or it's just now trusting their companion more to show him or her more power, etc. For a warrior, maybe its a sword. Maybe its a shield. Maybe its a suit of armor. Maybe it started as a sword, but it can turn into a rapier OR a club, once it trusts you more. After a quest in the plane of fire, the sword could gain the ability to catch itself on fire, and do an extra few points of fire based damage. After fighting many devils, it could "learn" how to combat them more, hitting devils more often.

I also want to make it so that each item is a quest in and of itself to get. In my world, many famous and infamous adventurers, end up with one signature weapon of this type. It's part of their character. It's part of what makes them unique.
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 just started a new playtest campaign with a group of players who have varying levels of experience with different editions, and I can't wait for them to find their first magic items.  4e made magic equipment part of the character building process, and that has its place, but I'm really looking forward to magic equipment feeling like a fabulous prize again, rather than a build component you select from a menu of options.  I like being excited about the prospect of the party finding treasure again.  The absence of item scaling is part of what makes that possible.


"When Friday comes, we'll all call rats fish." D&D Outsider
TheLyons mentioned the Weapons of Legacy in passing. This is something that I was thinking about. It seems to me that the designers took a base idea from that and made some tweaks so that the following doesn't always happen. for example, a player gets a +1 weapon fairly early in their career, tosses it aside a few sessions later for the +2 weapon that the DM had to provide in order for the character to be happy (and continue to be able to handle the monsters in the encounters). Instead the character cherishes the weapon (or other item) because as the character grows so does the weapon/item and it becomes exciting to them. One of those "I better hold onto this because who knows what it's gonna do next" type of things. Anyway, I absolutely love the concept and can't wait for them to flush it out a little more.
I would like to see them take it further too for those who want it. I liked the idea of Weapons of Legacy in 3.5e, but the implementation I wasn't a fan of. You had to burn a few feats to get the most out of your weapon.

I've been thinking about my players and things I might give them. It's an idea, but one I want to see how it goes. I'll make sure it doesn't get out of hand for their level, and if I regret adding a feature to their weapon, you know what, it ran out. They'll know this beforehand, some features will be permanent others not so much, and you never know which is which until its gone (if ever). What they won't know is I'll be basing that off of if they are overpowered or not.


Here are some ideas I am kicking around for my playtest group over the course of their careers.

Healer cleric - I am thinking of making his holy symbol his item of power. Particularly devout (and fated) followers get extra powers from their holy symbol. I was thinking of giving it powers over time such as light equal to a torch at will, extra range to a small number of heal/buff spells a day, ability to cast a few heal/buff spells at range a day, extra few damage to undead when casting cure spells on them, and the ability to cast one buff spell a day that normally has a range of personal instead on an ally only it lasts half as long.

Melee Fighter - I am thinking of making his weapon his signature piece. It will start a sword, and eventually it can turn into a mace. Later, it can also turn into a dagger. I want it to eventually get the ability to add many damage types, at the least fire, ice and lightning, but only a small percentage of the total damage will be of this type if it is at will. I want to also give it the ability much later on to act as a dancing weapon, but only X rounds per level, at the most 1 round for every 2 levels, maybe less.

That's just the two I've thought about a little. I have a rogue and wizard in the group too. I am thinking the wizard's spellbook for his signature piece and for most wizards signature piece if they ever get one. Some wizards bond with their spellbooks more than others, especially the "fated", aka, the PCs (and a few NPCs of all alignments). I'm still thinking about the rogue. His weapon seems like an obvious choice, but its a little too obvious and that's just not roguish (unless you are fighting based mainly, and he's not). This player is more concerned about stealth and the like, and if he can end an encounter without fightint, he will. Perhaps his boots?
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?
TheLyons mentioned the Weapons of Legacy in passing. This is something that I was thinking about. It seems to me that the designers took a base idea from that and made some tweaks so that the following doesn't always happen. for example, a player gets a +1 weapon fairly early in their career, tosses it aside a few sessions later for the +2 weapon that the DM had to provide in order for the character to be happy (and continue to be able to handle the monsters in the encounters). Instead the character cherishes the weapon (or other item) because as the character grows so does the weapon/item and it becomes exciting to them. One of those "I better hold onto this because who knows what it's gonna do next" type of things. Anyway, I absolutely love the concept and can't wait for them to flush it out a little more.



It sounds good in theory,  and since the playtests only last a short time it seems to work incredibly,  but IMO this is a system that's going to end up falling flat on it's face long term.

There's a major problem with this sytem,  indirectly introduced by bounded accuracy.  It reduces the excitement of loot.  If I find a items that grow with me over time,  what is it that's going to be generated by loot that's going to excite me?  At some finite point in more extended campaigns,  probably a very early point,  I'll stop caring what's in the treasure hoard because I'm not going to find anything that helps my character.  It all just becomes some ever increasing number I put on a sheet of paper that doesn't have any real use,  because I'm not going to be trying to find a magic item to buy either.

Sure,  we can do as a poster earlier noted.  Collect a sword of fire,  a sword of frost,  a sword of acid,  but then that becomes very rote.  Every campaign becomes:  Collect your element weapons,  done.  Sure,  they can have random powers,  and that's not a bad thing,  but there's limited progression in what you've found.

At some point,  it's very possible that Players will cease to care about what loot they find from an encounter,  and may even stop searching for loot.  If a player can't obtain a sword that's obviously better than the one they have,  will they bother to search that weapon rack?  If there's nothing to gain but some additional gold they can't really use,  because there aren't obviously better items,  will they risk death and dismemberment doing a side quest to kill a dragon? 

Perhaps they have some as yet hidden component of this system that they'll roll out,  but at present,  I fear this system is ultimately going to be harmful to the game as it currently looks to me like it'll end up killing the excitement of loot.
TheLyons mentioned the Weapons of Legacy in passing. This is something that I was thinking about. It seems to me that the designers took a base idea from that and made some tweaks so that the following doesn't always happen. for example, a player gets a +1 weapon fairly early in their career, tosses it aside a few sessions later for the +2 weapon that the DM had to provide in order for the character to be happy (and continue to be able to handle the monsters in the encounters). Instead the character cherishes the weapon (or other item) because as the character grows so does the weapon/item and it becomes exciting to them. One of those "I better hold onto this because who knows what it's gonna do next" type of things. Anyway, I absolutely love the concept and can't wait for them to flush it out a little more.



It sounds good in theory,  and since the playtests only last a short time it seems to work incredibly,  but IMO this is a system that's going to end up falling flat on it's face long term.

There's a major problem with this sytem,  indirectly introduced by bounded accuracy.  It reduces the excitement of loot.  If I find a items that grow with me over time,  what is it that's going to be generated by loot that's going to excite me?  At some finite point in more extended campaigns,  probably a very early point,  I'll stop caring what's in the treasure hoard because I'm not going to find anything that helps my character.  It all just becomes some ever increasing number I put on a sheet of paper that doesn't have any real use,  because I'm not going to be trying to find a magic item to buy either.

Sure,  we can do as a poster earlier noted.  Collect a sword of fire,  a sword of frost,  a sword of acid,  but then that becomes very rote.  Every campaign becomes:  Collect your element weapons,  done.  Sure,  they can have random powers,  and that's not a bad thing,  but there's limited progression in what you've found.

At some point,  it's very possible that Players will cease to care about what loot they find from an encounter,  and may even stop searching for loot.  If a player can't obtain a sword that's obviously better than the one they have,  will they bother to search that weapon rack?  If there's nothing to gain but some additional gold they can't really use,  because there aren't obviously better items,  will they risk death and dismemberment doing a side quest to kill a dragon? 

Perhaps they have some as yet hidden component of this system that they'll roll out,  but at present,  I fear this system is ultimately going to be harmful to the game as it currently looks to me like it'll end up killing the excitement of loot.



The problem with this argument is that magic weapon progression is ultimately down to the GM. Bare in mind that not every magical item is included in the playtest, and the playtest even gives you some vague guidelines to create your own magical weapons / armor.

In terms of losing interest in magical items... that can be applied to previous editions. As soon as you find a +6 weapon, you lose interest immediately; you've no need to care about any other magical weapons besides what is considered your "Best in Slot" based around your build (4E frostcheese anyone?)

In Next item progression is still there. Just not in the usual conventional manner. Let me elaborate with an example;

A fighter finds a normal +1 longsword, a nice start.
He then finds a +1 Dwarven longsword that can take more punishment (assuming in this case you play broken equipment rules)
He then finds a +1 Elven Longsword that's lighter, so he has a choice or, ultimately, keeps both.
He then finds a +1 Dwarven Greatsword, so now he can choose to go longsword or greatsword. 
He then finds a +1 Giant Greatsword that does extra damage to undead. 
He then finds out that his +1 Elven Longsword can be attuned to, which now becomes +2 and does more damage against Orcs.
His Elven Longsword gets destroyed or somewhat lost, so he then must switch back to another weapon.

And so on, and so fourth. Ultimately the playtest packet does not outright state that weapons of +5 or +6 or whatever are nonexistent. Ultimately, it's down to your GM as to how he handles magical items, whether it be through this new system or the progressive +X system.

TheLyons mentioned the Weapons of Legacy in passing. This is something that I was thinking about. It seems to me that the designers took a base idea from that and made some tweaks so that the following doesn't always happen. for example, a player gets a +1 weapon fairly early in their career, tosses it aside a few sessions later for the +2 weapon that the DM had to provide in order for the character to be happy (and continue to be able to handle the monsters in the encounters). Instead the character cherishes the weapon (or other item) because as the character grows so does the weapon/item and it becomes exciting to them. One of those "I better hold onto this because who knows what it's gonna do next" type of things. Anyway, I absolutely love the concept and can't wait for them to flush it out a little more.



It sounds good in theory,  and since the playtests only last a short time it seems to work incredibly,  but IMO this is a system that's going to end up falling flat on it's face long term.

There's a major problem with this sytem,  indirectly introduced by bounded accuracy.  It reduces the excitement of loot.  If I find a items that grow with me over time,  what is it that's going to be generated by loot that's going to excite me?  At some finite point in more extended campaigns,  probably a very early point,  I'll stop caring what's in the treasure hoard because I'm not going to find anything that helps my character.  It all just becomes some ever increasing number I put on a sheet of paper that doesn't have any real use,  because I'm not going to be trying to find a magic item to buy either.

Sure,  we can do as a poster earlier noted.  Collect a sword of fire,  a sword of frost,  a sword of acid,  but then that becomes very rote.  Every campaign becomes:  Collect your element weapons,  done.  Sure,  they can have random powers,  and that's not a bad thing,  but there's limited progression in what you've found.

At some point,  it's very possible that Players will cease to care about what loot they find from an encounter,  and may even stop searching for loot.  If a player can't obtain a sword that's obviously better than the one they have,  will they bother to search that weapon rack?  If there's nothing to gain but some additional gold they can't really use,  because there aren't obviously better items,  will they risk death and dismemberment doing a side quest to kill a dragon? 

Perhaps they have some as yet hidden component of this system that they'll roll out,  but at present,  I fear this system is ultimately going to be harmful to the game as it currently looks to me like it'll end up killing the excitement of loot.



The problem with this argument is that magic weapon progression is ultimately down to the GM. Bare in mind that not every magical item is included in the playtest, and the playtest even gives you some vague guidelines to create your own magical weapons / armor.

In terms of losing interest in magical items... that can be applied to previous editions. As soon as you find a +6 weapon, you lose interest immediately; you've no need to care about any other magical weapons besides what is considered your "Best in Slot" based around your build (4E frostcheese anyone?)

In Next item progression is still there. Just not in the usual conventional manner. Let me elaborate with an example;

A fighter finds a normal +1 longsword, a nice start.
He then finds a +1 Dwarven longsword that can take more punishment (assuming in this case you play broken equipment rules)
He then finds a +1 Elven Longsword that's lighter, so he has a choice or, ultimately, keeps both.
He then finds a +1 Dwarven Greatsword, so now he can choose to go longsword or greatsword. 
He then finds a +1 Giant Greatsword that does extra damage to undead. 
He then finds out that his +1 Elven Longsword can be attuned to, which now becomes +2 and does more damage against Orcs.
His Elven Longsword gets destroyed or somewhat lost, so he then must switch back to another weapon.

And so on, and so fourth. Ultimately the playtest packet does not outright state that weapons of +5 or +6 or whatever are nonexistent. Ultimately, it's down to your GM as to how he handles magical items, whether it be through this new system or the progressive +X system.




I agree that in previous editions a +1 longsword was pretty useless when you had a +3 longsword,  other than sale value.

But with the example you illustrate,  is this an improvement in extended play?  In that example,  the prime differentiating factor is that a couple of those weapons do extra damage versus a creature,  which seems to me very reminiscent of Asheron's Call.  I'm going to go ahead and assume that no one else played it extensively and explain...

In Asheron's Call,  generally speaking one sword is equivalent to the next in it's base form (Since spells are ubiquitous,  and I'm generalizing a little since things like damage are randomized).  So you find a sword with maximum values,  and give it one of several enchantments...

Armor Rending,  Critical Hit,  Critical Blow,  Damage type rending,  and/or creature type slaying. 

Ultimately,  a Sword using character in Asheron's call ends up carrying around about a dozen different swords (Two dozen if he's dual wielding),  so he can switch weapons based on the creature he's fighting.

Your example seems to be leading in that direction,  where instead of generalized weapons that are better across the board with one or two exceptions (Flame toungue,  Frost),  we have highly specialized weapons that are situationally better.  I can envision melee characters all resting and pulling things out of a bag of holding that contains an arsenal equivalent in size to what an army might need.

Further,  Asheron's Call's system was one in which you would keep the same weapon for many levels,  originally you'd keep it for the life of your character.  No one bothered to loot anything after awhile,  because there was 0 chance of you finding anything that would be better,  and nowhere to buy anything that was better than what you already had.  Of course,  that existed in previous editions,  but it generally happened late in the game where this system seems to me to be similiar to Asheron's Call where it happens very early in the game. 

I'm just unconvinced that this system is a healthy foundation,  but we don't know the full implementation yet.  I'm just worried that this could prove to be a bad path to walk from past experiences with systems that used situational weapons and/or had systems with little magic item progression. 

I agree that in previous editions a +1 longsword was pretty useless when you had a +3 longsword,  other than sale value.

But with the example you illustrate,  is this an improvement in extended play?  In that example,  the prime differentiating factor is that a couple of those weapons do extra damage versus a creature,  which seems to me very reminiscent of Asheron's Call.  I'm going to go ahead and assume that no one else played it extensively and explain...

In Asheron's Call,  generally speaking one sword is equivalent to the next in it's base form (Since spells are ubiquitous,  and I'm generalizing a little since things like damage are randomized).  So you find a sword with maximum values,  and give it one of several enchantments...

Armor Rending,  Critical Hit,  Critical Blow,  Damage type rending,  and/or creature type slaying. 

Ultimately,  a Sword using character in Asheron's call ends up carrying around about a dozen different swords (Two dozen if he's dual wielding),  so he can switch weapons based on the creature he's fighting.

Your example seems to be leading in that direction,  where instead of generalized weapons that are better across the board with one or two exceptions (Flame toungue,  Frost),  we have highly specialized weapons that are situationally better.  I can envision melee characters all resting and pulling things out of a bag of holding that contains an arsenal equivalent in size to what an army might need.

Further,  Asheron's Call's system was one in which you would keep the same weapon for many levels,  originally you'd keep it for the life of your character.  No one bothered to loot anything after awhile,  because there was 0 chance of you finding anything that would be better,  and nowhere to buy anything that was better than what you already had.  Of course,  that existed in previous editions,  but it generally happened late in the game where this system seems to me to be similiar to Asheron's Call where it happens very early in the game. 

I'm just unconvinced that this system is a healthy foundation,  but we don't know the full implementation yet.  I'm just worried that this could prove to be a bad path to walk from past experiences with systems that used situational weapons and/or had systems with little magic item progression. 



Sure enough I think the system is flawed in respect of lugging around your own personal armory, nothing that carry-weight number changes can't solve though, or even equipment weight. But, I think I prefer your way as opposed to +X stat scaling. The more I think about it, the more I believe that your argument would apply more so to the +X scaling that of the Next system. 

I think the intent of saying that magic items are pure bonuses was to "free" DMs a bit to introduce those magic items however they wish. You can give party members weapons that scale with time, weapons that gain attunement, or just a progression of cooler weapons (a +1 sword, then flametongue, then vorpal...) or you can mix it up within one party (so the samurai unlocks the power of his ancestral blade while the treasure-hunter seeks out powerful relics on his travels).

The downside is that this gives the DM less guidance on how to balance encounters.
One thing I'm going to explore with my next game that lasts a while, whether it is Next or not, is really limiting the amount of magic items that the players find, but letting the players upgrade their items.  So, instead of the players finding a new magic weapon in a dungeon, they might find an elemental forge, and they can throw a piece of equipment on there and improve it.  Or if a player's weapon becomes important to his character and he has some character development, maybe the weapon will reveal new properties.  I think I'm going to stick with +1 weapons for the most part and not improve them except in extreme circumstances - I have always liked properties more than + number anyways.

One experiment I'm playing with is an item a rogue player found in a previous game.  He's a rogue and found a masterwork pick in Blingdenstone.  Because it was boring, I said it wasn't enchanted but had him roll on the random charts to see if he found anything cool.  He found it was a Pick of Song - so it was a masterwork pick of the bards of Blingdenstone, and over time had inherited their love for song.  When he kills enemies with it, it reveals pieces of a legendary song to him.  I'm going to have him keep track of enemies defeated, and if he ever reaches some arbitrary point I set, maybe it'll have revealed the entire song and I'll give it a new property.  This is cool, because if all of that does happen maybe it would convince his character to take a level of Bard as a multiclass.

Sorry, that got long, but I like the way Next is taking it because I feel like it gives far more options than in 4th, and I was always frustrated with being forced to give out magic items in order for players to keep up.
The difference between a +1 weapon and Excalibur is not in its intrinsic power but in its history and it's that symbolic meaning to the people it belongs too.  What that means is that the creation of a powerful magic item is not in an ever increasing power base but in how you weave that item into the storyline.  If the item is one everyone sees as very important, just possessing the item makes the character shine that much more.  "The One who pulls this sword from the stone shall be King."  I dont think anyone cared what the sword did, just the possession of the sword made it very desireable.
On what levels PCs should get any magical items? I preper for runing second session of Caves of Chaos and thinking about giving Pelor's Holy Symbol to cleric player that will be progressivly better - maybe one extra Channel Divinty per day?
I was unimpressed with the magic item PDF. I like the minor and background trait tables, but in the end all that is fluff. The items provided now seem like minor artifacts, given the amount of rules and text each have. Items like the belts of giant strength unnecessarily go back to an unsatisfying 2E way of setting attributes rather than improving them. The lack of typed bonuses and item slots is troubling, since it encourages ridiculous amounts of stacking. Also, I miss random loot charts, but I am sure that will be back when the list gets beefier.

I am more interested in low-level, common rarity items, and I have no idea what they plan to do about those. I like to be generous with loot, so I hope there are lots of cool, rules-lite trinkets I can give out without upsetting the balance or making players bored.
I am more interested in low-level, common rarity items, and I have no idea what they plan to do about those. I like to be generous with loot, so I hope there are lots of cool, rules-lite trinkets I can give out without upsetting the balance or making players bored.



I'd like to see an item charge system that can be applied when needed for lower levels or for really powerful items (a staff of disintegration with a single charge) That can either be exhaustive or have a cost process to recharge.
On what levels PCs should get any magical items? I preper for runing second session of Caves of Chaos and thinking about giving Pelor's Holy Symbol to cleric player that will be progressivly better - maybe one extra Channel Divinty per day?



The Caves of Chaos has treasure parcels already flushed out.  You might just want to stick to that, and see what your players do with the weapons they get.  I did that for the first five sessions, then threw a magic item into the merchandise in Finn's Shoppe though (The merchant you rescue in the Hobgoblin Cave).  The party bought the Mace of Disruption the next session.  I added the Staff of Ruin (ported from 4e) to the shop for session 7, and the party picked it up for 1000 gp.  

Why the staff?  I hate seeing a mage do one HP of damage with a spell.  Other than that I didn't see many balance issues in the party.