House Rules for reducing the need for magic items

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So for my upcoming game, I want to try to see if it's possible to keep the magic items down to a minimum. At least I don't want players to feel like they need them to get by.

So, beyond Inherent Enhancement bonuses, is there anything you've tried in other games to put more power on the PCs without defaulting into the christmas tree effect? 
Inherent Bonuses are def the way to go. For me it opens up room to give them really powerful short-term stuff. Like I might throw one of them a potion that lets you fly for 24 hrs, or turns your next hit to a crit or whatever. One and done effects. Ritual scrolls are fun for the same reason; consider dropping the requirement to pay component costs for using scrolls. Also use more wondrous items, stuff that isnt combat related. You can also look at OLD editions for some of their out of combat type items and get a lot of ideas for stuff that isnt "plus"-based.
Inherent bonuses. And maybe give the PCs an extra lv 1 daily at paragon and another at epic, if you mean really low magic items.
This is totally dependant on the Setting.  The player accessibility to magical items = World Setting availability of magic & magical items.  If magic is readily available and easily accessible, then players will expect magic items to be readily available.  If magic is rare and far between, then players will expect magic items to be rare and far between.  Anything else, the players will curse your dm name for being a cheapo behind your back.

I enjoy rare magic world setting, playing a knight like Old England or Arthurian setting at times, where magic is considered witchcraft, and magic items how ever small are legendary items.  Its a cool World Setting.
 
If you are going to use non-humanoid fantastic races in your party, then you'll have to plant them in that rare magic world setting.  Usually I would accomplish this via dimensional portal to a whole new world where magic is almost non-existant.

For instance, porting a Dnd party into 21st century...New York, todays date, time under today's geo-political situation.  In game news is real current news for the players.  They can even visit their own address, pc's meet up with their own real person in game.Surprised 

Now, survive the police, military chase and get back home somehow!  :p

The setting will lend itself to all sorts of weird memorabilia from their adventures, from the mystical to the technological, to the unknown in-between.

My first hope is to reduce the need for the items to begin with. Since it's going to be a fast past game, I wouldn't want everyone to have to deal with 10-20 item cards by the time we're done.

Consumable and one-off effects seems like an interesting way to allow some crazy drops to show up while still keeping the number of things the players have to keep track of to a minimum.

I would much more prefer the players have a small number of truly significant items than having a bunch of little ones just to stack tiny bonus after tiny bonus. 

Inherent bonuses, as everyone else is saying. Not much need to balance beyond that (magic items powers are normally not that significant anyway). But if you want you may also consider some of the boons found in the DMG2 in the alternative rewards chapter. 


The nice thing about the boons is that thay are permanent enhancemets/powers on the character self (which could be bestowed by the gods or some other sources), so they are a nice way to avoid the Christmas Three effect.

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