Darkest Age: A gritty Low magic Conversion for 5e

Darkest Age: A gritty Low magic Conversion for 5e

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Darkest Age: A gritty Low magic Conversion for 5e


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So you've decided to run a gritty, low magic game. Your healing rate is glacial, your coin has been set to a silver standard, and you even differentiated bronze and steel weapons, but there is just one niggling point...

You want a low magic game, but not a NO magic game. Corrupt sorcerers with human sacrifices wriggling on their altars need to exist out there, but the Wizard, Sorcerer, and even the warlock are just too flashy, have too much magic... enter, The Magician.

Using a variant of the spell points system and fully empowered to keep up with short resting classes, the Magician stands ready to deliver the narratively impactful amount of magic you want to see in a game. Specialize your Magician in one of three archetypes:

Conjurors seek power at any price, making bargains with entities from beyond this world, relying upon their familiar and what energies they can conjure forth to see them through the rigors of battle.

Enchanters warp men's minds, controlling and altering the thoughts of those foolish enough to stand in your way. Silver tongued and manipulative, even a losing battle can feel like a victory for these schemers.

Necromancers can control life and death, literally sucking the souls from their enemies and offering great boons to those who help them attain their goals, even able to restore life, or a semblance of it, to the dead.
  1. Capn Charlie
    I have been tinkering with an app or two, and for any of those interested that use the Fifth Edition Character Sheet app, I have put together a custom json file that will allow you to quickly and easily import both this class, and my Godsman class. (Low magic replacement for cleric).

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B9...0diWHFxR0Y4b2c

    The easiest way is to just click that link, and save a copy to your own google drive, then in the app go to custom info, and import from there. Alternatively just get that link and put it in the url bit of the custom info dialog.
  2. fuindordm
    Pretty cool class. Thanks for uploading it!

    The only issue I have is that all the subclasses feel rather... evil. The conjurer COULD be allied with neutral or benevolent spirits in principal, but has some hardwired abilities that are evil. So a few spell options and variant powers catering to more benevolent casters would be nice. And since this is presumably the only spellcasting class in the campaign, there's nothing wrong with plundering the cleric's list for spells such as augury, bless, and maybe even cure wounds.

    Hmm, now that I'm thinking about it, all three subclasses could be given options that are attractive to more neutral PCs. For example, the necromancer's vampiric touch, instead of just duplicating the spell, could work both ways--so the PC can give up their HP to heal someone. The enchanter could be given some bardish spells/abilities to buff allies with emotion or inspiration. And so on.

    But I really like the overall structure.

    --Ben
  3. Capn Charlie
    Quote Originally Posted by fuindordm View Post
    Pretty cool class. Thanks for uploading it!

    The only issue I have is that all the subclasses feel rather... evil. The conjurer COULD be allied with neutral or benevolent spirits in principal, but has some hardwired abilities that are evil. So a few spell options and variant powers catering to more benevolent casters would be nice. And since this is presumably the only spellcasting class in the campaign, there's nothing wrong with plundering the cleric's list for spells such as augury, bless, and maybe even cure wounds.

    Hmm, now that I'm thinking about it, all three subclasses could be given options that are attractive to more neutral PCs. For example, the necromancer's vampiric touch, instead of just duplicating the spell, could work both ways--so the PC can give up their HP to heal someone. The enchanter could be given some bardish spells/abilities to buff allies with emotion or inspiration. And so on.

    But I really like the overall structure.

    --Ben
    Well, it makes more sense in the context of the setting. The magician is supposed to be kind of sinister thematically, but not inherently evil. If there had been stats for something like a lantern archon or some low end quasit level celestial I would have had that as an available familiar option, but opted for the quasit as a strict familiar upgrade (using the variant quasit familar rules in the MM) that make dealing with the vile little creatures troublesome and frustrating.

    The necromancer, from 6th onward, can pass out piles of temp hp if they are killing people, and has a few healer type spells and abilities. One of my biggest concerns with running a gritty low magic game comes back to healing, so I don't want a lot of it running around, and there is a fair amount on some other classes.

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    The choice not to give the magician any divination relied mostly on the fact that it is the core focus of my godsman class, and I didn't want to step on toes. The conjuror still gets guidance and true strike, eventually getting the ability to cast either as a bonus action, I view this thematically as them having spirits whispering in their ears.

    I am glad you like it, though, I feel like it is a furtherance of what the sorcerer class started with their sorcery points, just taken to an extreme with a full SP system. Honestly, most of my low magic classes I don't think could go toe to toe with traditional classes, but this one might be able to do it.
  4. MostlyDm
    Fantastic, man. Just fantastic. Not just the Magician, the other ones too.

    I wish I was planning on starting up a new low magic game in one of my old campaign worlds, so I could use these classes immediately.

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