D&D 5E 5E Without Magic (PCs)

Stormonu

Legend
So, being specific, if one was going "no magic", would these be the class/subclasses?

BARBARIAN
- Beserker

FIGHTER
  • Battlemaster
  • Cavalier
  • Champion
  • Samurai

ROGUE
  • Assassin
  • Inquisitive
  • Mastermind
  • Skirmisher
  • Swashbuckler
  • Thief

I would think the Monk's various Ki abilities would count them out, are there any other class/subclasses missing from the list?
 

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Tony Vargas

Legend
Exactly this. "Hey guys, we're going to play 5e but with 80% of the options removed because of <compelling reason>" is a tough sell unless <compelling reason> is pretty damn compelling. Adding in a bunch of new options as part of <compelling reason> has a way better chance of getting acceptance.
Just playing a different game that isn't as dependent on magic to provide interesting/viable options to the players would be easier than adding enough non-magical options to 5e to make up the difference.

It's not just the number of options, either, but the versatility/power of those options. You'd have to re-introduce the martial/caster gap, with Warlord/Marshal, WuXia Martial-Artists, or the like taking the place of the casters. You couldn't even direct-port the 4e Warlord, it wouldn't be powerful enough.

(I suppose it's worth noting that banning the few non-casting sub-classes wouldn't hurt 5e range of options much - and would probably only result in parties being more capable, overall)
 

Oofta

Legend
So, being specific, if one was going "no magic", would these be the class/subclasses?

BARBARIAN
- Beserker

FIGHTER
  • Battlemaster
  • Cavalier
  • Champion
  • Samurai

ROGUE
  • Assassin
  • Inquisitive
  • Mastermind
  • Skirmisher
  • Swashbuckler
  • Thief

I would think the Monk's various Ki abilities would count them out, are there any other class/subclasses missing from the list?

PCs in D&D are always going to be a bit supernatural or you need to look for a different game altogether. It's really just where you draw the line.

I think you could add more in, like a totem barbarian if you just ban some optional features such as the 14th level eagle totem which allows you to fly. I'd personally still allow monks, just limit a handful of features.
 

Reynard

Legend
I think if you cap this thing at, say, 11th level, some of the more problematic class and subclass abilities take care of themselves, and much of the rest you can reflavor as extraordinary but ultimately non magical.

The real question I was asking is: can you play 5E with no casters?
 

TwoSix

Uncomfortably diegetic
Just playing a different game that isn't as dependent on magic to provide interesting/viable options to the players would be easier than adding enough non-magical options to 5e to make up the difference.

It's not just the number of options, either, but the versatility/power of those options. You'd have to re-introduce the martial/caster gap, with Warlord/Marshal, WuXia Martial-Artists, or the like taking the place of the casters. You couldn't even direct-port the 4e Warlord, it wouldn't be powerful enough.

(I suppose it's worth noting that banning the few non-casting sub-classes wouldn't hurt 5e range of options much - and would probably only result in parties being more capable, overall)
Oh, I'm not saying it's a good idea to run a non-magic 5e. I'm just saying that if you do, you should at least try to sweeten the deal a little for the players.
 

Stormonu

Legend
I think if you cap this thing at, say, 11th level, some of the more problematic class and subclass abilities take care of themselves, and much of the rest you can reflavor as extraordinary but ultimately non magical.

The real question I was asking is: can you play 5E with no casters?
Sure you can. You can also push your car to work instead of driving it.

Moreover, can you get an enjoyable experience out of a "no magic" D&D? I think the answer is yes, but you've got to have the right players (& DM) for buy in.
 

TwoSix

Uncomfortably diegetic
I think if you cap this thing at, say, 11th level, some of the more problematic class and subclass abilities take care of themselves, and much of the rest you can reflavor as extraordinary but ultimately non magical.

The real question I was asking is: can you play 5E with no casters?
"5e with no casters" is a very, very different proposition than "5e with no magic". I would happily play in a game with no official "casters", as long as there's some other underpinning for preternatural or supernatural abilities.

In my classless 5e game, for example, there's no "casters" or spell slots, but there's plenty of magic abilities.
 

Tony Vargas

Legend
The real question I was asking is: can you play 5E with no casters?
You can play any game any way you like with enough effort from the GM and cooperation from the players, sure.

You can absolutely play 5e without casters, it just will play very differently. The power level of the party will be much lower because you're on the wrong side of the martial/caster gap. The players will have only a fraction of the usual choices available to them - not just in the sense that there are so many more magic-using classes & sub-classes, but because a casting class chooses from many spells, while martial classes choose from handfuls of class features, if they choose at all. The versatility, power, and general capability & resilience of the party will be much lower, so you'll have to be more careful when curating challenges for them if you don't want TPKs. Pacing would likely need to be slower, to allow short-rest healing & recharging, and because HD become more significant and are the slowest-recharging resource in the game.

And that's too bad, because there are many sorts of adventure and campaign ideas that could be explored if less or no magic - or even more problematic for 5e, no magic on the party's side - were more practical. 🤷
thus other games that aren't D&D (including, of course, the famously not-D&D 4e D&D ;P )
 

Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
So, being specific, if one was going "no magic", would these be the class/subclasses?

BARBARIAN
- Beserker

FIGHTER
  • Battlemaster
  • Cavalier
  • Champion
  • Samurai

ROGUE
  • Assassin
  • Inquisitive
  • Mastermind
  • Skirmisher
  • Swashbuckler
  • Thief

I would think the Monk's various Ki abilities would count them out, are there any other class/subclasses missing from the list?

Barbarian Battlerager and Zealot works too (it gets a bonuses due to its zealotry but no actual spells)

Fighter Banneret is also technically not magical

Monk has Drunken Fist, Kensai, Open Hand and Way of Mercy (even things like purity of body (immune to poison) and diamond soul (all saving throws) can be explained as extreme discipline, healthy living and meditation. Only Empty Body relies on magic)
 
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Oofta

Legend
I think if you cap this thing at, say, 11th level, some of the more problematic class and subclass abilities take care of themselves, and much of the rest you can reflavor as extraordinary but ultimately non magical.

The real question I was asking is: can you play 5E with no casters?
Been there, done that, it worked fine.
 

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