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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Imp

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    Default [3,5] Low magic-item world

    After a long hiatus, I have picked up my old fantasy world. I did run a 3.0 campaign many years ago, but wasn't happy with the high amount of magic and magic items thats essential to DnD at mid levels. It didn't fit with the campaign world as I had envisioned it.

    So I thought I would give it a new shot. What I want is a 3.5 homebrew that is mid magic and (very) low on magic items, but that keeps the core system intact, i.e. balance between classes and the challenge rating system.

    Most magic users will be gone or heavily modified, but the world will contain sorcerers and some wizards. I have been inspired by E6 but will use a level lap of 10 instead, so no spells over level five.

    No, having looked around on a number of forums, it seems that people have different opinions about cutting out magic items from 3.5, from very reckless ("just multiply CR with 4/5") to very negative ("it can't be done in a balanced way, play something else").

    But it occurred to me that something like this could do the trick:

    {table=head]Level|Feats|Ability Scores|Dodge bonus to AC|All Saves

    1st|
    1st, 2nd
    ||
    +1
    |

    2nd||||

    3rd|
    3rd
    |
    Increase any TWO
    ||

    4th|||
    +1
    |

    5th|
    4th
    |||

    6th||||

    7th|
    5th
    |
    Increase any TWO
    ||

    8th|||
    +1
    |

    9th|
    6th
    |||

    10th||
    Increase any TWO
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    [/table]

    Since I haven't played DnD that much (on c 55 gaming session long campaign many years ago), I think I am quite out of my depth here. But maybe someone here could give me some solid advice.

    Would such an progression - with more feats, more stat increases, and dodge bonuses to AC (for all classes) - balance the lack of magic items (there will be virtually none of those) and keep all classes roughly on par with each other?

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    gkathellar's Avatar

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    Default Re: [3,5] Low magic-item world

    Quote Originally Posted by Skarpskytten View Post
    After a long hiatus, I have picked up my old fantasy world. I did run a 3.0 campaign many years ago, but wasn't happy with the high amount of magic and magic items thats essential to DnD at mid levels. It didn't fit with the campaign world as I had envisioned it.
    I'm actually going to just recommend any number of third party d20 systems before I say anything else. I love 3.5 dearly, but it's really, really bad at doing low-magic games and requires extensive fixing to do otherwise.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skarpskytten View Post
    So I thought I would give it a new shot. What I want is a 3.5 homebrew that is mid magic and (very) low on magic items, but that keeps the core system intact, i.e. balance between classes and the challenge rating system.
    It's worth noting that core classes aren't really balanced against each other. At all. This problem only gets worse after level 1, but it's there well before it becomes truly horrifying.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skarpskytten View Post
    Most magic users will be gone or heavily modified, but the world will contain sorcerers and some wizards. I have been inspired by E6 but will use a level lap of 10 instead, so no spells over level five.
    I hope you're planning on giving non-spellcasters some way to compete without extensive magic items, because by level 7-8 flight is mandatory and the Christmas Tree Effect has been turned on.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skarpskytten View Post
    No, having looked around on a number of forums, it seems that people have different opinions about cutting out magic items from 3.5, from very reckless ("just multiply CR with 4/5") to very negative ("it can't be done in a balanced way, play something else").
    It can be done in a balanced way, but it requires a lot more work than just increasing numerical bonuses. The higher your level, the greater need for immunities, abilities (like flight) and ways around very specific game-ending effects. Magic items typically provide those.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skarpskytten View Post
    But it occurred to me that something like this could do the trick:

    {table=head]Level|Feats|Ability Scores|Dodge bonus to AC|All Saves

    1st|
    1st, 2nd
    ||
    +1
    |

    2nd||||

    3rd|
    3rd
    |
    Increase any TWO
    ||

    4th|||
    +1
    |

    5th|
    4th
    |||

    6th||||

    7th|
    5th
    |
    Increase any TWO
    ||

    8th|||
    +1
    |

    9th|
    6th
    |||

    10th||
    Increase any TWO
    |
    +1
    |
    +1
    [/table]

    Since I haven't played DnD that much (on c 55 gaming session long campaign many years ago), I think I am quite out of my depth here. But maybe someone here could give me some solid advice.

    Would such an progression - with more feats, more stat increases, and dodge bonuses to AC (for all classes) - balance the lack of magic items (there will be virtually none of those) and keep all classes roughly on par with each other?
    The bonuses your table is giving out don't keep up with magic items. By tenth level, a +4 dodge bonus, three bonus feats, a +1 to their primary ability and a +1 to saves is pitiful and insufficient. At the very least, you need to provide the Big Six number boosters for everyone (this does that reasonably well). Even if you do keep up with numbers, though, the other problems still exist.

    EDIT: Also, just cut out DR X/magic. It's probably the single most irrelevant piece of game design ever conceived. By the time it appears, everyone can get past it.
    Last edited by gkathellar; 2010-12-12 at 04:44 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by KKL
    D&D is its own momentum and does its own fantasy. It emulates itself in an incestuous mess.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Imp

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    Default Re: [3,5] Low magic-item world

    Thanks for the input, gkathellar.

    Quote Originally Posted by gkathellar View Post
    I'm actually going to just recommend any number of third party d20 systems before I say anything else. I love 3.5 dearly, but it's really, really bad at doing low-magic games and requires extensive fixing to do otherwise.
    I guess that Conan d20, Iron heroes or d20 Modern are popular choices. But I want to keep some magic, and throw out (almost) all magic items.


    Quote Originally Posted by gkathellar View Post
    It's worth noting that core classes aren't really balanced against each other. At all. This problem only gets worse after level 1, but it's there well before it becomes truly horrifying.
    I guess I haven't noted this, with only one campaign, with rather non-min/maxing players. What I did mean, is that compared to Basic Roleplaying clones, which I mostly have played, 3,5 gives all characters something to do in combat - and the possibility to survive combat.

    Also, I hope that a level cap at ten will solve some of these problems. As I understand it, the problem is (apart from the much maligned bard, I guess), that the spellcasting classes will in the end make the other classes pretty redundant.

    Quote Originally Posted by gkathellar View Post
    I hope you're planning on giving non-spellcasters some way to compete without extensive magic items, because by level 7-8 flight is mandatory and the Christmas Tree Effect has been turned on.

    It can be done in a balanced way, but it requires a lot more work than just increasing numerical bonuses. The higher your level, the greater need for immunities, abilities (like flight) and ways around very specific game-ending effects. Magic items typically provide those.
    I will cut down the number of spells available, including Flight. But that is something I think I will tackle after (if?) I get the numbers somewhat right.

    Quote Originally Posted by gkathellar View Post
    The bonuses your table is giving out don't keep up with magic items. By tenth level, a +4 dodge bonus, three bonus feats, a +1 to their primary ability and a +1 to saves is pitiful and insufficient. At the very least, you need to provide the Big Six number boosters for everyone (this does that reasonably well). Even if you do keep up with numbers, though, the other problems still exist.
    Well, I did find this, http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Virtual...e_Variant_Rule), which seems to me to be somewhat correct at least.

    So, let me give it a second try:

    {table=head]Level|Feats|Ability Scores|Dodge bonus to AC|All Saves

    1st|
    1st, 2nd
    ||
    +1
    |

    2nd||||

    3rd|
    3rd
    |
    Increase any TWO
    ||

    4th|||
    +1
    |
    +1

    5th|
    4th
    |||

    6th||
    Increase any TWO
    ||

    7th|
    5th
    |||

    8th||
    Increase any TWO
    |
    +1
    |
    +1

    9th|
    6th
    |||

    10th||
    Increase any TWO
    |
    +1
    |[/table]

    It seems to me that with eight extra points on stats at level ten, this would compensate for the lack of items that boost those; you can have a score of 22 in your most important stat if you start at 18.

    The +2 in saves should compensate for the lack of cloaks of resistance ... or should I add another point at level ten?

    The +4 in Dodge bonus should compensate for the lack of rings of protection and amulets of natural armor, and to some extent also for armor/shield bonuses. The rest could come from slightly boosted masterwork armor, as perhaps an extra point of damage. And I also think that some of the fighter feats could be tweaked, to allow for more damage and better chances to hit.

    Quote Originally Posted by gkathellar View Post
    EDIT: Also, just cut out DR X/magic. It's probably the single most irrelevant piece of game design ever conceived. By the time it appears, everyone can get past it.
    Well, I never did understand why they bothered with DR in the first place ...
    Last edited by Skarpskytten; 2010-12-13 at 12:39 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Imp

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    Default Re: [3,5] Low magic-item world

    One last *bump*

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