D&D 5E Please un-NERF Magic Items in 5e


First Post
Well then the obvious solution in my mind is to ditch the +s.

+3 shield, +5 wand, +6 sword, +4 armor, +2 amulet, toss them all out the window. Any magic item whose sole function is to give a + to things like attack rolls, or saves, or whatever the new system use, go out the window and magic items from that point on are all about abilities.

Amulets of natural armor, belts of giant strength, and such get ditched in favor of necklace of fireballs and belt of one mighty blow.

log in or register to remove this ad


First Post
I couldn't agree less with the OP.

The focus should be on the character's abilities, not a generic Belt of Giant Strength which doubles his strength.

No creatures should require a spoon of +1 to hurt it.

I want magic items to be rare, named, with histories (akin to artefacts).

I have no idea how a magic item takes focus AWAY from a character's abilities, since their job is to enhance them.

I can only imagine the sales pitch to create or buy a belt of giant strength..
"OK, so I get 1 shot a day out of it and little better at 1 skill, FOR HOW MUCH?"


All i can say, i hope they carry over the Common/Uncommon/Rare magic items, and create the game in some a way...and thoroughly explain in the DMG...how to run a low magic or high magic game. There must be some way to appease both camps in the same game without having "one right way" hardcoded in.


First Post
Another advantage of ditching the plusses. The game doesn't require them for characters to be balanced at higher levels so a DM can include the items or not.


Ideally, for me anyways, they'd be a player customization outlet as much as DM handout. Bought treasure (which would have no markup comparatively to found treasure) could just as easily be special training or naturally developed skills as an enchanted item, while treasure given out could be items (if the DM wanted it to be), "boons", a "training manual" that gives the PCs the ability to do something special, or whatever.

Of course, none of this actually requires *rules* (beside the previously noted lack of a sale markup), but it would be nice if it were spelled out.


Just to get that out of the way: Did any 4E GM ever hand out "wish lists" to players? I sure didn't. If something like that is suggested in the PHB I never noticed.

One thing 5E has to do is give the DM the tools to adjust the encounters to the amount of stuff the PCs carry. Some groups like tons of magic items and find them fun. Some groups like to play with none at all. Either should be possible.

It's not that hard. There should be a "standard expected equipment", which can be similar to 4E. However, if the group carries less or no magic items, they get an XP bonus. It's straightforward - obviously it's harder to defeat a monster with a mundane sword than a flaming sword +3. If a monster is worth more XP, this will also effect the (4E-style) encounter XP budget. PCs in a low-magic campaign will face somewhat weaker monsters, to create the same level of challenge.

All it needs is a table in the DMG that helps the DYm determine how well his party is equipped compared to a "standard party", and what the XP adjusgment should be.

This foupd be adjusted during a campaign. If the PCs are stranded on an island without any gear, each monster they defeat is worth more XP than before.


First Post
This almost feels like punishment for having magic, I think Firelance's level adjustment would work better. Since you are in a higher level adventure because of the magic items, you would, by design, get more XP because of the harder monsters.

Hey, I just noticed I'm 2nd level now, there's 8 years worth of hard work :p


If the players are expected to choose the level of risk they are willing to face, and therefore the level of rewards they are going to gain, you don't have to worry about powerful magic items. Players will naturally play up or down to their own level of competence.

For example: the dungeon "The Blight of the Blind Elf" has 5 levels. The first is suitable for 3rd-level characters (in terms of risk and reward). The fifth is suitable for 8th-level characters (again, risk & reward). The PCs can access levels one, two, or four. If you have magic items or other abilities that make you feel like your 2nd-level PC can hit level four, then go for it.

On the other hand, if the DM is expected to create encounters that carry a level of risk and reward tailored to the PCs, things get a lot trickier. For one thing, since the choice is out of the player's hands, an encounter that's too easy or too difficult means the DM screwing up the game. You need to have guidelines that will help the DM out here; that means standardized ways of determining PC power levels.


First Post
I see no problem with the players communicating with the GM which/what sort of items they might like to have woven into the campaign for their characters.

As an aside, I like the idea of characters having a few signature magic items which scale in power (and possibly gain additional powers) as the character does.


First Post
I think magical items should be cool and give not boring plusses. Occasional extra dice of damage is fine, but not generic numbers

Cool powers and "How do I use this?" powers are critical.


As an aside, I like the idea of characters having a few signature magic items which scale in power (and possibly gain additional powers) as the character does.

Did that a lot in my last campaign (1st to 30). If a player found an item they liked, I would raise its level every few adventures and add the difference in value as a parcel.

And yes, wish lists really helped me in that game.


First Post
I would prefer to do away with + bonuses, as they are boring and can be accounted for in different mechanics. But, when running a system that currently requires + bonuses, I at least try to make things interesting. It might be +1 leather on paper, but I give it to them as armor made of living, interlocking beetles. The beetles can be commanded to "dispose" of rotting flesh, leaving clean bone behind. Is the power useful? No, but it isn't "simply" just +1 leather. So, if you must have generic + items, give a system or a recommendation or something for adding flavor.

Epic Threats

An Advertisement