View Full Version : Help me help my friend[3.5e]

2010-10-19, 11:21 AM
Howdy y'all,

A friend of mine is planning to host a PbP DnD campaign in the near future. I think he's pretty experienced (after all, he was the one who introduced me to DnD) but he's a bit averse to optimsation. There's no problem with that, as long as everybody is having fun.

There's one small thing about his campaign though: It's low magic, and I mean low magic. Any character that can cast even a single cantrip/orison and all ToB classes are banhammered, and magic items are only available through quests (ie. Go look for the ancient sword of warrior king Mooghballah and stuff like that). I don't have any problems with the latter (magic-marts make the game feel less epic), but the former is a glaring problem. No magic means no buffs, no utility spells and most importantly: no healing. He also doesn't have any alternative to healing (so no wands, staves or even potions), except for salves which grant excellerated natural healing. Which means that instead of resting 1 week after a single encounter you'll only have to rest 3 days.

I'm not criticising my friend and his low magic approach to DnD could prove interesting, but the no-heal factor is such a glaring flaw that it just has to go wrong, and I want to prevent that. I've tried pointing this out to him but he's still not convinced. Maybe you, the playgrounders, can help me either convince him of the glaring flaw in his no-magic system or come up with a better alternative to magical healing?

EDIT: The only books that are allowed are core, PHB II and the Complete series. Oh yeah, did I mention it's an all dwarf campaign?

2010-10-19, 11:46 AM
Suggest a trial run or two first, with some typical encounters.

2010-10-19, 02:05 PM
Perhaps suggest he supplement low-magic by adding a higher level of technology? Flintlock longguns, blunderbusses, and pistols are a nice power-up in place of magic.

Duke of URL
2010-10-19, 02:07 PM
Suggest the vitality and wound points (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/adventuring/vitalityAndWoundPoints.htm) system as an alternative. It makes low-magic settings work much better.

2010-10-19, 02:39 PM
You might wish to check the list of houserules in my Campaign Journal; we've been playing low magic with those and it's been a blast thus far. Real injuries do happen and they take time to heal. Poisons are scary, and the game still flows nicely. I figure we might even implement "permanent damage"-types of WP hits like losing an eye or having an arm severed. It's only natural in such a harsh world.

2010-10-19, 03:17 PM
Suggest the vitality and wound points (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/adventuring/vitalityAndWoundPoints.htm) system as an alternative. It makes low-magic settings work much better.

That system is ..... perfect!
Thanks alot dude :) one internet for you!

I'll link it to my friend and tell you how it turned out as soon as I get his reaction.

EDIT: Minor problem: how does this system deal with ability damage, negative levels and poison?

2010-10-19, 04:05 PM
They suck, and you just have to deal with them. However, having a couple people in the party with a maxed-out Heal skill can mitigate the effects of poison. If healers rush over to tend the poison after combat, using beefy Heal checks in place of Fort saves will prevent any secondary damage from the poison (and Heal checks don't auto-fail on a natural 1). Further, if a Healer tends you overnight, healing of ability damage increases to double or triple normal. That is usually enough to get you up and going within a day or two.

Negative levels...well, you're just going to have to roll your Fort save and hope for the best. I'd suggest that without magic, undead capable of inflicting negative levels or ability damage are some of your most difficult and dangerous opponents, and you should use cleverness and advanced tactics (as if you were badly outnumbered) in every encounter against them, even if you think you have the advantage.

2010-10-19, 04:13 PM
1 Dragon Shaman level helps slightly for healing up to 1/2 max.

So only 1/2 casters allowed?
Mystic fire Knight (Paladin)

2010-10-19, 04:26 PM
^The implication was no casting, but otherwise...^
Have a paladin/ranger/etc (Dread necro would be perfect, too bad it's in another book). :smallbiggrin:

2010-10-19, 04:29 PM
^The implication was no casting, but otherwise...^
Have a paladin/ranger/etc (Dread necro would be perfect, too bad it's in another book). :smallbiggrin:Dread Necromancer is a full caster.

2010-10-19, 04:31 PM
Dread Necromancer is a full caster.

But has no cantrips. So it doesn't fulfills the letter of the ban, but does fit the spirit of the ban.

Aron Times
2010-10-19, 04:36 PM
Try to convince him to make the magic items more interesting than simple mechanical bonuses. It doesn't feel very rewarding when you defend a village against the zombie apocalypse and your reward, "a powerful, ancient magic sword passed down through the generations," turns out to be a +1 sword.

Remind him that just because something looks awesome on paper doesn't automatically mean that it will be awesome in practice (see: Communism).

2010-10-19, 04:42 PM
It sounds like he wants to play a Pendragon campaign. Advise him to pick up a system made for this sort of thing, whereas 3.5e most definitely isn't?