D&D 5E Magic Item Stacking

Li Shenron

Legend
And then there are minor magical items. These don't have a +X bonus, and they might be more limited in their effect.
Items in this category should concentrate on capabilities and focus. These are the bread and butter of your magic-as-technology settings.
We live in world of technology. But we don't have items that make us better at fighting. We have *tools* and *conveniences*. Even in a fantasy world with a lot of fighting most of the magical items aren't going to be about fighting. They'll be the things that everyone uses, or everyone wants to need.
Examples of the sort of things that PCs might keep from this category:
* A quiver that can make an arrow five times a day. Each one vanishes if it isn't used within 10 minutes.
* A suit of armour that grows spikes when the wearer is grappled
* A ring that allows you to set mundane objects on fire (they have to have fuel to burn, though) or put out small fires
* A cloak that keeps everything you wear under it spotlessly clean
* Anything generated by the random magical item rules in the playtest, but without any +X or greater features added.

These sounds really very good ideas to me... the problem is that I am a fan of "magic as wonder" ;)

It remains to be seen if the fans of "magic as technology" would be happy enough with items that don't enhance combat, or if instead what they really want is +s, or at least crunchy features that can be used in a fight.
 

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Starfox

Hero
It remains to be seen if the fans of "magic as technology" would be happy enough with items that don't enhance combat, or if instead what they really want is +s, or at least crunchy features that can be used in a fight.

I think my "magic as technology" friends would accept this, yes.

Its tricky in that no-one I know is entirely "magic as technology" inclined. Some of the most "magic as wonder" players still want magic to step in and fill such needs as we have become used to from technology - communication mainly, but also creature comforts. So it is not exactly reliable when I call them 'my "magic as technology" friends'. But around here cutting down on the "crunch " items and increasing the utility items would probably work.

The beauty of this idea is that it has very little impact on "game balance" as far at combat goes, yet can still make a big change in the virtual lives of characters. In other words, it is modular - you can remove or add it with small repercussions on the rest of the game. What it can change is playstyle - for example, scouting is much more viable if the scout has reliable real-time communication to the rest of the team.
 

delericho

Legend
I agree, but I don't expect it to ever happen. +X magic items are too much of a sacred cow.

Ah... is it +X items that's the sacred cow, or is it the sword +1 specifically? I suspect that it may well be the latter, and that they could actually get rid of everything else. And the weapon +X could be fixed by a simple change: the bonus applies to damage only, not attack rolls (damage bonuses being much easier to balance for).

There are two other changes they would need to make, though: the cloak of resistance and the ring of protection would need to be redefined. But even that can work to the game's advantage - power phrased as "once per round you can..." are more interesting (but generally less powerful) than a static +X bonus to something.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
Ah... is it +X items that's the sacred cow, or is it the sword +1 specifically? I suspect that it may well be the latter, and that they could actually get rid of everything else. And the weapon +X could be fixed by a simple change: the bonus applies to damage only, not attack rolls (damage bonuses being much easier to balance for).

There are two other changes they would need to make, though: the cloak of resistance and the ring of protection would need to be redefined. But even that can work to the game's advantage - power phrased as "once per round you can..." are more interesting (but generally less powerful) than a static +X bonus to something.

Yeah I don't think it's "+1 Glaive, +1 Handaxe, +1 Whip" and all that stuff that is the sacred cow, it's the +1 sword, perhaps the +1 dagger/short-sword (both from The Hobbit). And making them a bonus to damage only works fine too.
 

Starfox

Hero
Yeah I don't think it's "+1 Glaive, +1 Handaxe, +1 Whip" and all that stuff that is the sacred cow, it's the +1 sword, perhaps the +1 dagger (both from The Hobbit). And making them a bonus to damage only works fine too.

I disagree; whatever weapon one fancies is the sacred cow. Anything else is a concept tax.

On the other hand, the +X armor, shield, ring of protection, etc, can probably go the way of the dodo.
 

On the other hand, the +X armor, shield, ring of protection, etc, can probably go the way of the dodo.

Not until D&DN gives level-based defense bonuses. (The +X shield actually died in 4e, and I don't think it's coming back in 5e either.)

Ah... is it +X items that's the sacred cow, or is it the sword +1 specifically? I suspect that it may well be the latter, and that they could actually get rid of everything else. And the weapon +X could be fixed by a simple change: the bonus applies to damage only, not attack rolls (damage bonuses being much easier to balance for).

There are two other changes they would need to make, though: the cloak of resistance and the ring of protection would need to be redefined. But even that can work to the game's advantage - power phrased as "once per round you can..." are more interesting (but generally less powerful) than a static +X bonus to something.

I'd like to see changes like that, but players have very little control over their PC's defenses except to hoard defensive items.
 

Starfox

Hero
Not until D&DN gives level-based defense bonuses.

I was speaking as a self-nominated spokesman for the magic-as-technology crowd, trying to judge which items add to the play experience. I offer no judgement on whether 5E needs defensive bonus items. If such items do exist, they will be hoarded, that is a given.
 

delericho

Legend
I disagree; whatever weapon one fancies is the sacred cow. Anything else is a concept tax.

I think there's a nitpicky little distinction there. I think the sword +X may be the sacred cow... and because we have to have that I think we therefore have to have the whip, glaive, handaxe +X as well. You're right about the "concept tax" thing, but I also don't think people have the same emotional attachment to a whip +1 as to a sword +1.

Though once we're down to "nitpicky little distinctions", I'm not sure it's worth arguing about. Either way, the game needs to have them.
 

Starfox

Hero
IMC, in my homebrew, the only magic weapon is indeed a +1 magic sword (adding only to damage).

The wizard is considering a +1 scythe (scythe is the heaviest category of magic focus), but currently prefers just to create foci as he goes. He could not do tat with an enchanted focus item.

Which all supports your claim.
 

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