D&D 5E The Decrease in Desire for Magic in D&D

Voadam

Legend
You could always play the game as it was originally intended and that was with three levels. The only reason they added more levels was because of AD&D.
Most young people today don't realize that D&D in it's current form is still the Advanced version which is why there is bell curve to comprehend and retain the rules and mechanics to some extent.

Anyway it's probably too late to do these kinds of restrictions, since video games enable you to play godlike characters and real gods.
OD&D from 1974 was not limited to 3 levels. It has charts for 16th level Magic-Users.

You might be thinking of the 1981 Moldvay Basic Set which covers 3 levels but even that has some (incomplete) rules and references for some higher level stuff and notes there is an Expert Set covering levels 4-14.
 

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Belen

Explorer
So, this post by @James Gasik really hit home and got me thinking about something...


For some reason (I really cannot tell you why!) the last few years I've been playing 5E I've desired a "low-magic" style setting/game. I have been all of keeping it more mundane, heroic but not "superheroic", keeping magic and magical items rare, making the game gritty with easier death and harder recovery.

And I don't know WHY I have felt this way... :unsure:

I began decades ago with B/X and AD&D and I was perfectly happy up to 3rd edition with flying wizards, teleportation, and similar magic mention in the quote above. I never had any problem with mighty magic weapons and regions of mystical mysteries lost for ages, where strange and unusual were common occurrences.

But, for some unknown reason, in 5E I don't seem to want it anymore, while it is part of the game (as James says...) and has been for years.

So, I am not seeking answers, but if anyone has thoughts or wants to discuss it, please let me know. It would be nice if I could find a reason why...

Concentration is a massive check on magic in 5e. Many of the spells require it. It allows for disruption. I do miss the flavor and consequences of magic pre-3.5, but concentration does a really good job of balancing it in the game.
 

Belen

Explorer
That was the idea of 4e. State and deliver a clear vision. Provide a solid, functional core. Test it to make sure it works as intended. Fix it when it doesn't. Outside the intended areas of focus, give clear and effective advice and examples and get out of the way.

I'm not usually one to make arguments of this kind, but...if the influential and vocal minority responded so badly before, what would make that change now?

It was not a minority. A huge base of players jumped ship and went to Pathfinder. D&D works best as a kitchen sink system that incorporates multiple styles of play. 4e was a system where only one style was allowed.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Concentration is a massive check on magic in 5e. Many of the spells require it. It allows for disruption. I do miss the flavor and consequences of magic pre-3.5, but concentration does a really good job of balancing it in the game.
It definitely has an impact on magics causing compounding effects or even different effects ... the advantage/disadvantage system also has a "similar effect" ie fairrie fire and being proned will both make you vulnerable to melee attacks but not doubly so.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
D&D works best as a kitchen sink system that incorporates multiple styles of play.
What qualifies as a "style of play"? AND how much DM work do you think is acceptable to achieve it?

There are a ton that I consider a style of play which I cannot do well in 5e without ummm hacking the game to pieces and rebuilding.

In comparison to 4e and 3e (according to 3e fans on here), Just achieving tactical play in 5e let alone strategic requires what feels like a ton of adjustments to the game starting with monster rewrites and many many rules tweaks. CR is extremely unreliable when compared to the 4e methodologies... so predictable encounter difficulties useful for both game oriented play and narrative does not seem well supported.

And even small elements like fully supported story driven number of encounters / short rests in your play fights against what passes for class balance of 5e. I do not see that as supporting narrative gaming.

I do not see 5e actually supporting a lot of styles its more of an advertisement than a reality. And the DM tools for adding in alternative rules are more of a head nod at it, lacking any sort of indicator about the implications of how the rules changes might interact.
 
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dave2008

Legend
yes, I would think that is obvious. we aren't talking about house rules here.
Do you consider 3PP house rules?

Of course you can adjudicate almost anything with the rules and guidelines provided, but it relies on the DM more than what you are looking for I am guessing.

For example, the basilisk's Pertifying Gaze says: ... On a failure, the creature is petrified until freed by the greater restoration spell or other magic.

IMO, as DM, it is within the rules and guidelines of the game to allow an arcana or nature check to allow the PCs to learn that washing a petrified victim with 2 pints of fresh basilisk blood within 24 hrs of petrification reverses the effect. From the DMG I would assign the following DCs*:
  • Blood reverses petrification: DC 10 arcana, DC 15 nature
  • 2 pints of blood are required: DC 15 arcana, DC 20 Nature
  • 24 hr limit of effectiveness: DC 15 arcana, DC 20 Nature
*These values might change based on the type of campaign I am running.

That is all without house rules IMO. It is just adjudicating actions.
 

dave2008

Legend
What qualifies as a "style of play"? AND how much DM work do you think is acceptable to achieve it?

There are a ton that I consider a style of play which I cannot do well in 5e without ummm hacking the game to pieces and rebuilding.

In comparison to 4e and 3e, Just achieving tactical play in 5e let alone strategic requires what feels like a ton of adjustments to the game starting with monster rewrites and many many rules tweaks. CR is extremely unreliable compared to the 4e methodologies.

And even small elements like fully supported story driven number of encounters / short rests in your play fights against what passes for class balance of 5e. I do not see that as supporting narrative gaming.

I do not see 5e actually supporting a lot of styles its more of an advertisement than a reality. And the DM tools for adding in alternative rules are more of a head nod at it, lacking any sort of indicator about the implications of how the rules changes might interact.
Many people had the same complaints of 4e and I think both opinions are lacking.
 

Do you consider 3PP house rules?

Of course you can adjudicate almost anything with the rules and guidelines provided, but it relies on the DM more than what you are looking for I am guessing.

For example, the basilisk's Pertifying Gaze says: ... On a failure, the creature is petrified until freed by the greater restoration spell or other magic.

IMO, as DM, it is within the rules and guidelines of the game to allow an arcana or nature check to allow the PCs to learn that washing a petrified victim with 2 pints of fresh basilisk blood within 24 hrs of petrification reverses the effect. From the DMG I would assign the following DCs*:
  • Blood reverses petrification: DC 10 arcana, DC 15 nature
  • 2 pints of blood are required: DC 15 arcana, DC 20 Nature
  • 24 hr limit of effectiveness: DC 15 arcana, DC 20 Nature
*These values might change based on the type of campaign I am running.

That is all without house rules IMO. It is just adjudicating actions.
dave, what is the point of this? I am saying I want WotC to support a diffrent style of play, one I have spelled out. are 3pp house rules, not but they also are not WotC
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
dave, what is the point of this? I am saying I want WotC to support a diffrent style of play, one I have spelled out. are 3pp house rules, not but they also are not WotC
For your sake I hope I'm wrong, but I am very confident WotC is not going to support the style of play you want, unfortunately. It appears that it's just not popular enough. If it's WotC or the highway for you, I can point you to an on-ramp.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
That is all without house rules IMO. It is just adjudicating actions.
Yes making up and adding your own rules counts as making up rules ...house rules
because washing with blood isnt magic.... and only magic can undo magic is the 5e presented method.

In effect that kind of thing is part of having to remake the monster manual because it does not suit my narative.

Because in 5e land not using magic is supposed to make the game 10 times harder the players handbook says so.
 
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It was not a minority. A huge base of players jumped ship and went to Pathfinder. D&D works best as a kitchen sink system that incorporates multiple styles of play. 4e was a system where only one style was allowed.
Nope. We've literally gotten explicit confirmation from actual company employees that 4e did just fine. It even outsold each of 3e and 3.5e. The "everyone jumped ship to PF because they hated 4e" thing is a myth.

The only reason PF "overtook" 4e in physical-book sales* is because (a) they put out an absolute flurry of their own products, and (b) WotC stopped publishing new 4e books. It's a bit hard to keep up sales numbers for physical copies when you completely stop making new product.

*As opposed to the various digital revenue streams. Like DDI. Which we actually had numbers for, before WotC obliterated their forums and such. $15 a month, and we had verifiable data that there were tens, even hundreds of thousands of users.
 

Nope. We've literally gotten explicit confirmation from actual company employees that 4e did just fine. It even outsold each of 3e and 3.5e. The "everyone jumped ship to PF because they hated 4e" thing is a myth.

The only reason PF "overtook" 4e in physical-book sales* is because (a) they put out an absolute flurry of their own products, and (b) WotC stopped publishing new 4e books. It's a bit hard to keep up sales numbers for physical copies when you completely stop making new product.

*As opposed to the various digital revenue streams. Like DDI. Which we actually had numbers for, before WotC obliterated their forums and such. $15 a month, and we had verifiable data that there were tens, even hundreds of thousands of users.
lets not forget that "we are number one by a few feet... but if we win them back we can be number one by a mile" greed mentality
 

Belen

Explorer
dave, what is the point of this? I am saying I want WotC to support a diffrent style of play, one I have spelled out. are 3pp house rules, not but they also are not WotC
You are the GM, you set the rules, tone, and story. While I often work with players ahead of time on the type of game or characters they want to play, every campaign I have ever run has started with a 1-page introduction with the limits I set on the game. This includes classes, races, feats, spells, backgrounds...

As the GM, if I am fronting the majority of the work of running the game, then I am going to run something that gives me joy. A GM burned out and not enjoying a game is a disaster. Personally, I have not been a player in more than a decade so, while I intend to make things fun for the players, they also have to compromise if they want to be players rather than the GM.

5e absolutely supports low magic. The GM can approve any spell, feat, subclass or item used. You can set the game so that very few people in the setting ever get leveled much less high level. 5e supports it. I usually run it. No one ever buys a magic item in my game. If they want it, then they find it or build it. If they want a spell, they research it or find it (hey, I populate the treasure). I often create lists of "lost" or "undiscovered" spells.

The point of D&D is to build unique story experiences for cooperative play.
 


Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Characters should have to make some coordinated rush maneuver (possibly guided by a leader) involving all of them being truly simultaneous instead of stretched out over the 6 seconds based on their initiative... ie to restrict the combatants response to a limited number of opportunity attacks. It should take some effort and group coordination unless the dice simply say he missed (which would mean an accidental coordination).
Agreed; and one of the biggest problems I have with strictly-enforced turn orders is that two or more PCs (or opponents, for that matter) can't co-ordinate to do something simultaneous - even something as simple as moving simultaneously such that one can draw fire away from the other.

One of the bigger player-DM arguments I've seen came when playing 3e (or 3.5e?) in a fog-shrouded combat, my character and another wanted to move through the fog together, hand-in-hand so we wouldn't lose each other. (the higher-initiative character delayed to the slower character's initiative) Not allowed, says the DM; you can only move on your turn and turns cannot be simultaneous. Cue an hour-long argument, which we players ultimately lost...and sure enough, we then got separated in the fog.
This is one example of what a Warlord is for planning/triggering that dynamically and an example of why the Battlemaster does not feel like one.
There's no need for a traffic-cop class for this to work. Allowing simultaneous initiatives, or characters to delay such that their initiatives become simultaneous, is all it takes.
 

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