View Full Version : D&D 3.x Other Option points. An attempt to make low magic item games work better. (Help wanted!)

2016-07-14, 02:23 AM
Everyone's seen a person or been a person trying to deal with running a low gear or low magic item game in the 3.X system. And there are some known balance issues because of the magic mart and wealth by level assumptions built into the game. And it's particularly brutal if the whole game is low magic meaning fewer or no Casters who are friendly to the party to help them out.

So, I'm here to try and hammer out a solution.

Rather then a total retool, here is the proposed fix. When the DM awards gold, he will also award an additional number of points. These points are known as option points. They can be redistributed for effects in the versos ways gold can be normally for magic items. And the costs of effects mirror's the cost of magic items.

This allows for a set up were you don't have to worry about item slots, you don't have to worry about magic marts, and you don't have to worry about your characters gear doing all the work.

However, you also don't have to rebalance the whole game, because the various bonuses and abilitys assumed by the system are available too your party.

For games that go into higher levels, certain assumptions may need to be made. That a certain skill levels warriors just can fly, or that there's enough inherent background magic in the world that skill monkey's can learn to tap it and use super speed in bursts so effective it's like teleporting.

These could be mitigated with Epic 6 rules to a degree. Though in that instance I'm not sure were the cap should be for Option Points vs. Gold acquisition due to the nature of Epic 6 progression after level 6. I am open to input there. However once that detail is worked out, Epic 6 or Epic 6 Gestalt with this system in play should really capture the Robert E. Howard Conan or Tolkine Lord of the Rings feel, with few and rare magic items and mages, and often needing much time to do anything really, really big, but there rare and yet, powerful. Were warriors and those of skill can at the same time accomplish nearly super human feats of combat ability.

3 points I have already considered regarding this proposed change to the rules.

1: It assumes magic items are rare and few and far between, if available at all. There should be little to know item crafting. Mundane effects should stack with the not quite magical effects your buying, so that +1 bonus on your sword should actually in this instance stack with the master work bonus on the sword.

2: It also assumes your bonuses are no longer item bound. You don't have to wear a belt of Giants Strength to get a +4 Str. You don't have to have a very specific +1 Flaming weapon to get the benefits of the investment in the +1 and Flaming weapons property. And as said, they should actually stack with mundane gold effects that are relevant like Masterwork, or with special materials which should also not be common, like Adamantine.

3: Gold should still matter. It's just that now, because you don't have to spend it on personal magic items, you should be able to do other things. Donate to charity. Hire and train and outfit an army. Build a nation or a sanctum sanctorum or a tower fortress. Bribe political types generously. Buy ships, heck, start your own pirate fleet. Get creative with it!

Alright, so, I'm open to input and still hammering the idea out, it's not fully baked just yet. Please give me thoughts or insights!

2016-07-15, 05:32 AM
Interesting topic and one that has been the target of home brew quite a few times... such as for example..."chopping down the Christmas tree" et.al.

I like your approach...

My thoughts on the subject are these...

Make it skill (skill or similar, you could call it abilities for example) based (some of the other fixes does this as well)
Fluff it like it's a mind over matter thing

For example have a skill named running and then allow more and more extreme effects based on "rank" the "rank" could then be bought using special points gained at level up as opposed to regular skill points or charecter points as in besm d20

The advantages of using separate points for those ranks are..
- complete control of how much characters may gain of these magic like abilities (or skill tricks if you prefer)
- avoid min max that could happen in besm d20
- drop in replacement of magic gear for any d20 game

2016-07-16, 05:08 AM
Alright, the idea of it being a designated stat or skill works.

It would still need to be noted as a variant stat/skill, similar to the Honor or the Sanity or the Taint stat rules, though with out as many ways to diminish it.

I'm, how do I say this, I'm less interested in in point control of the PC's by the DM, and more interested in just shifting the source of the power. Power is sort of the point of being a PC. Sure, there are DM's that will want to make things more low power when they try to go with low magic item/low magic games. The point of this however is to make sure that when there doing that, there not hampering certain classes more then others.

This is so that when Fighters, Barbarians, Warblades, Rogues, Rangers, Scouts, Bards, Factotums, Swordsages, Paladin's, Knights, Crusaders, Duskblades, Alchemists, Magus's and so forth get told low magic, or low magic items, Wizards, Archivists, Druids, Clerics, Sorcerer's, Favored Souls, Summoners and Spirit Shamens don't proceed to then just become more powerful by comparison and not less. (And it does hurt casters more then anyone by making item creation feats not a thing thus meaning that even if they can off-set the XP costs or it's Pathfinder and those are already gone, they can't just make there own half price or less items, meaning they can leave the party in the dust at there leisure, low magic/magic items game or not.)

Particularly if the DM is not Retooling every single encounter in the game to account for low magic and low magic items, and is trying to run normal monster encounters for the most part with just less in the way of magic items and services for sale and in dropped loot. This system is meant to be a fast way to simply do away with the need for that step.

The mind over matter flavor suggestion was good though.