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5E Limited Magic and Magical Items Campaign

Li Shenron

Adventurer
I wouldnt eliminate any of these things from the game completely just find a way to make the less common so less accessible to players. The less they can just get healing magic and magic in general on a whim it may make them consider how theyre going to have a party member healed, cured from diseases, regenerate lost limbs, etc. If they pledge fealty to a patron or church, it might make them a better party. As I said above there are some problems with the group dynamic so Im giving this thought as a possible solution.
I think you are already aware of what to do and not to do, and you are focused on the positive aspects of your campaign decisions.

So I am confident that even if you go hardcore and just say "no spellcasting PCs", you'll do fine.

The need for HP healing is dependent on how many combat encounters you have per day, so the DM can just plan adventures accordingly, by spacing the encounters more across multiple days or even farther away in time. This can actually help against the "I have more levels than years of age" syndrome.

Non-HP healing is also not as critically required as someone may think. Yes, there are monsters and spells which cause paralysis, poisoning, blindess etc. but most of them are temporary effects that will go away before the next encounter. No restoration spells for an immediate fix? Good! Finally those temporary effects will mean something and won't last less than a round :)

Resurrection? That's not normally something you have until higher levels. Ok, there is revivify already at fairly low level, but once again this is something dependent on the combat encounter rate per day. If someone sees revivify being used regularly in their game, and you take the spell away, again reduce the number of daily combats i.e. space them out more across different days. And by the way, we've spent years talking about how resurrection spells are almost a cheat, how to mitigate the triviality of a Raise Dead by requiring a quest instead of a GP price tag... so I don't think we should worry about missing resurrections capabilities in the game.

And maybe, how about just letting the PC die once in a while? PCs don't want to die anymore these days... :D

All in all, I think you should try out this sort of campaign without worry. Think of it as an opportunity to learn more about the game, the worst that can happen is a TPK... and what exactly is a problem with one of those, once in a while? Maybe it'll be something that will make you all laugh around the table and put some spirit back into the group. If the experiment doesn't work, it's not like you have to stick with it for the rest of your days anyway ;)
 

R_J_K75

Explorer
And maybe, how about just letting the PC die once in a while? PCs don't want to die anymore these days... :D

All in all, I think you should try out this sort of campaign without worry. Think of it as an opportunity to learn more about the game, the worst that can happen is a TPK... and what exactly is a problem with one of those, once in a while? Maybe it'll be something that will make you all laugh around the table and put some spirit back into the group. If the experiment doesn't work, it's not like you have to stick with it for the rest of your days anyway ;)
I think you summed up a few things I was thinking but just didnt put into writing. I had one of my players say to me that things seemed too easy. I think that was me trying to preserve the campaign which Im beginning to think is a mistake. Sometimes I think as DMs we take our campaigns too serious. Ive never been one to force it down my players throat, railroaded them, always given them options and have adapted to their actions, but sometimes Ive lost sight of what it is that makes the game interesting and fun to them. But that works both ways if they dont give you much to work with as far as backgrounds and goals then your left to your own devices to come up with a game that you think they will like. Think Im going to start adding a little more intentional humor into our games. If I go with more of an episodic style game I might pick one PC to die in some miraculous fashion at the end of each episode only to have them reappear next game as if nothing had happened. Spinal Tap anyone?
 

R_J_K75

Explorer
Yup. Death can happen. Players behave differently when they can't simply rez. ;-)
I just looked up the 5E resurrection spell vs. the 2E one. 5E, 1000 gp diamond as opposed to 2E, 3 years off the casters life. This has definitely made me realize that there needs to be be some thought given to what spells the PCs will have access to through NPCs.
 

ccs

39th lv DM
Before you invest alot of time.... Have you checked with your players to see if they're cool with playing in a low magic, limited spell casting game?

Even if they are "casual" players as you've put it, they still should be consulted.
 

R_J_K75

Explorer
Before you invest alot of time.... Have you checked with your players to see if they're cool with playing in a low magic, limited spell casting game?

Even if they are "casual" players as you've put it, they still should be consulted.
Ive already planned on this.
 

S'mon

Legend
Before you invest alot of time.... Have you checked with your players to see if they're cool with playing in a low magic, limited spell casting game?

Even if they are "casual" players as you've put it, they still should be consulted.
I find it's best to offer to run what excites me, and recruit players who find that exciting too. Don't want to be stuck running something just for someone else's benefit. Although I do run several campaigns at once - 4 currently - and I will do a bit of "Judith should like this one" ..."Jelly should like this one" ... "Bill should definitely like this" ... "Keelia can play in this". But I definitely don't try to fit every game to every player.
 

R_J_K75

Explorer
Good. Too often I see DMs who forget this key step.
Even though I dont ever remember it being exactly stated in the DMG its kind of always been DM 101 to me. I can see how new DMs could overlook this. What I find is that players are usually uncomfortable giving criticism good or bad on the game theyre in, so they quit without saying anything. Further because of lack of said criticism I've assumed that things must be going great, which isnt always the caase, so Ive learned that periodically taking the pulse of the game and making adjustments as necessary.

I find it's best to offer to run what excites me, and recruit players who find that exciting too. Don't want to be stuck running something just for someone else's benefit. Although I do run several campaigns at once - 4 currently - and I will do a bit of "Judith should like this one" ..."Jelly should like this one" ... "Bill should definitely like this" ... "Keelia can play in this". But I definitely don't try to fit every game to every player.
Ive run games at stores that went OK but generally because the players just want to play they dont want to take the time upfront, I'll run whatever. If Im running games for my friends, which I what I do now, I try and reach a happy median if at all possible.
 

S'mon

Legend
If Im running games for my friends, which I what I do now, I try and reach a happy median if at all possible.
I generally find friends & family don't have compatible desires - eg the kind of light, fairly linear, relaxed game that suits Kimberly & Philippe has little interest to a char-op crunch-loving die-hard like Judith. Jelly likes romance and drama, James likes to hit things. Bill loves dragons and dragonborn, refuses to fight Tiamat & her dragons.
Plus scheduling & locale - some players work weekends, some can only do weekends. Some are in other countries and can only do online, others don't like online, but like pubs & beer.
 

R_J_K75

Explorer
I generally find friends & family don't have compatible desires - eg the kind of light, fairly linear, relaxed game that suits Kimberly & Philippe has little interest to a char-op crunch-loving die-hard like Judith. Jelly likes romance and drama, James likes to hit things. Bill loves dragons and dragonborn, refuses to fight Tiamat & her dragons. Plus scheduling & locale - some players work weekends, some can only do weekends. Some are in other countries and can only do online, others don't like online, but like pubs & beer.
Ultimately I've resigned myself to just playing among friends. For the few hours we play, probably 20% of that time is spent other than gaming, grabbing a round of beers, or a quick unrelated conversation such as sports. This conversation has made me take a step back and look at things from a different point of view. We all like to have a few drinks while we play, we all watch sports, maybe incorporating the things we all have in common into a less serious game could make for a good experience. In a game with limited magic I can keep them off the front lines of the major conflicts and put them in more covert situations that some subterfuge can be used resolve the threat at hand by games of chance, feats of strength, gnome tossing or a good old fashioned deadly game of lacrosse. This might re-invigorate the game. Obviously I'd use this minimally, but not every campaign has be on an epic scope where the fate of the world hangs in the balance.
 
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