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


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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
In this case yes. A basilisk is clearly a magical creature and therefor can be interpreted to have magical blood.
Oh can it? the D&D examples all seem to be character abilities and spells. (some of the latter like ranger abilities in 5e do not seem like they even should be spells)
This is nothing against the rules with this ruling.
That is not the point remaking casters to all be encounter powers is not "against the rules" because dms can do whatever they want.

(I would bet that 15 out of 16 DMs do not even think of a solution outside of spells when the spells are explicitly listed and the ones that do seen the solution from an earlier edition)

I think its just another something increasing the brain burden on the DM.

I find it sad not giving non-casters an option is evidence that counts as the game not really supporting non-casters... in fact they explicitly REMOVED the mention of that which you restored.
 

dave2008

Legend
Nope. I mean that the classes all felt the same mechanically. The all had at-will, encounter, and daily powers. The differences mainly hit at the role level: defender, controller, etc. That just filled a mechanical niche. 4e was great for uniform experience. It forced a average playing and GM experience and smoothed the poor or great experience. I think it did have an effect of protecting players from poor and terrible GMs by creating a lane for the game.

I am not attempting to edition war. I was, admittedly, not a fan of 4e and my impression of the classes was that it forced a style of gaming. It was a tactical skirmish game. That is fine but 3.5, 4e, and Pathfinder burned me out to the point where I never want to see a grid or mini again.
You can, and we did, play 4e without a grid or minis. It worked really well TotM. You also seem to be completely disregarding essentials classes which did not all use the AEDU structure.

I just didn't personally experience that 4e forced us to play a particular way. We played 4e like we played 1e, like we play 5e.
 


dave2008

Legend
Oh can it?
Absolutely.
the D&D examples all seem to be character abilities and spells. (some of the latter like ranger abilities in 5e do not seem like they even should be spells)
It specifically says "other magic," not spells. And I can interpret that as examples and even justify non-magic options if I want.
I think its just another something increasing the brain burden on the DM.
This is what makes D&D sing to me. As a DM I want that creative avenue. Please don't give me all the answers. I understand others want something different.
I find it sad not giving non-casters an option is evidence that counts as the game not really supporting non-casters... in fact they explicitly REMOVED the mention of that which you restored.
Non casters do have an option. I just explained how. IME, there is always another option when your playing D&D.

PS As far as I remember it is the same option martials had to get rid of petrified in 4e as well. At least that is how we played.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
I can see where people interpret that as it has to be magical, but it doesn't say those are the only options.

The examples definitely seem to be all be teaching DMs to not consider non magic
Also, what is magic is up for interpretation.
Is that really the case in 5e? because if all the examples ever mentioned are explicitly created magic items and spells the more flexible thinking is being discouraged. I could be misremembering something though.
 
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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Absolutely.

It specifically says "other magic," not spells. And I can interpret that as examples and even justify non-magic options if I want.
Only you would consider that an example.

Yes we gave an open ended one about magic so a magic item can do the trick or a monster with magical abilities could do it but some how Dave considers it an example that opens up non-magic
 
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Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Non casters do have an option.
We called that DM may I as an option in 1e land and the DM is being taught to answer no since the system removed the non-caster method explicitly defined in 4e and maybe 3e.
This is what makes D&D sing to me. As a DM I want that creative avenue.
yeh but how do you encourage that by never mentioning non-caster/non-magic options?
Please don't give me all the answers. I understand others want something different.
They gave the caster explicit options... just fine and somehow that did not remove your creativity
(and casters can use your non-magic option just fine and I bet at most tables have a higher chance of knowing it too)
I want the game providing non-casters the same privilege of having the game explicitly supporting them.

Magic item dependency is also the other foot of the issue ... technically the blood of that beast in your story (and mine) is also a magic item. For me what makes it acceptable is that if you know it then its high situational need is offset by its accessibility.
 
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dave2008

Legend
The examples definitely seem to be all be teaching DMs to not consider non magic

Is that really the case in 5e? because if all the examples ever mentioned are explicitly created magic items and spells the more flexible thinking is being discouraged. I could be misremembering something though.
I am not here to try and defend 5e. I am just explaining there is another way. One we use and it accomplishes the task some people are looking for. This is just how we play and how we have played since 1e.
Only you would consider that an example.

Yes we gave an open ended one about magic so a magic item can do the trick or a monster with magical abilities could do it but some how Dave considers it an example that opens up non-magic
I doubt I am so creative to unique in this ability. It is rather a common troupe that magic creatures have magic body parts. The idea of magical blood goes back even further (Greek and Norse mythology at least). Seems many people with knowledge of these sources would come to a similar idea. And that is in fact what happens at our table. It is not me that comes up with these ideas, it is my players. So, no I am not the only one who comes up with these ideas, my players do all the time!
We called that DM may I as an option in 1e land and the DM is being taught to answer no since the system removed the non-caster method explicitly defined in 4e and maybe 3e.
4e is may favorite edition of D&D, but I don't remember it handling this situation any different. I know we definitely played it the same way in 4e that we do in 5e. Can you remind me how 4e handled this differently?
yeh but how do you encourage that by never mentioning non-caster/non-magic options?
It is a DM book, the players don't know what is being encouraged. They are they are the one's coming up with the ideas on how to handle these situations.
They gave the caster explicit options... just fine and somehow that did not remove your creativity
(and casters can use your non-magic option just fine and I bet at most tables have a higher chance of knowing it too)
I want the game providing non-casters the same privilege of having the game explicitly supporting them.
I am sorry you feel 5e doesn't do that for you, but I thought 4e was the edition you played anyway? It this just a rant to relieve stress?

I guess, IMO, the paucity of the example actively encourages finding another answer or excepting harsh realities. My current group (2 fighters, a rogue, and a wizard) doesn't have anyone that can cast greater restoration or another spell that necessarily makes sense (at least that I can think of) or any magic item. They have 2 options:
  1. Except their fate and be petrified.
  2. Find a creative solution
My players almost always chose option #2. IMO the game, and by game I mean D&D (any edition) and RPGs in general, encourages creativity. That is the whole point of playing the game for us, to be creative and imaginative.

However, I understand your point that explicitly providing options is helpful to some and likely wouldn't negatively affect my group. So I hope you can enjoy an edition or game that more fits your taste or 1D&D changes more to your liking. I don't see any good in getting stressed by a game that is about having fun.
 

CreamCloud0

One day, I hope to actually play DnD.
It is a DM book, the players don't know what is being encouraged. They are they are the one's coming up with the ideas on how to handle these situations.
I think the point is that as a DM book it is influencing and telling DMs what to be inclined to accept, the description of ‘greater restoration or equivalent magic’ is not suggesting they accept any sort of mundane solutions, I’ve missed if cockatrice blood as a petrification solution was from the book or someone here’s own initiative but on my own judgement that blood is not ‘an equivalent magic to greater restoration’ nor would be the medicine skill or healers/herbalism kits, those mundane solutions are not implied by the book as an equivalent alternative to a 5th(?) level spell to the DM, who therefore if adhering to the RAW, would not accept those mundane alternatives as valid solutions.
 

Xamnam

Loves Your Favorite Game
It may be slightly tertiary to the fundamental concept being discussed here, but processed Basilisk blood GULLET OIL is explicitly called out as a potential solution in its monster manual entry, with no mention of the blood oil as inherently magical, versus the supernatural power of its gaze.
 
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Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
It may be slightly tertiary to the fundamental concept being discussed here, but processed Basilisk blood is explicitly called out as a potential solution in its monster manual entry, with no mention of the blood as inherently magical, versus the supernatural power of its gaze.
I realize emotions and fixed ideas run high here, so I’m not trying to persuade anyone, but personally I would interpret using the blood of a magical creature as “using magic.” Heck, maybe even using the blood of a mundane creature as part of an elaborate ritual.
 


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...
Sorry if this is a repeat. I am short on time.

But perhaps this preference comes from age? Brains develop to want cohesion, not flights of fancy: relationships, work, social customs, etc. As we age, we see the more grit, instead of wishing, as working well. It doesn't mean some don't see the beauty in the grit, many do. But they all require cohesion, and maybe that spreads into our gaming imagination?
 
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James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
Sorry if this is a repeat. I am short on time.

But perhaps this preference comes from age? Brains develop to want cohesion, not flights of fancy: relationships, work, social customs, etc. As we age, we see the more grit, instead of wishing, as working well. It doesn't mean some don't see the beauty in the grit, many do. But they all require cohesion, and maybe that spreads into our gaming imagination?
See for me, it's the opposite. As I get older, the world we live in wears on me. I lack the power to change it, and it makes me tired and sad. It's better to envision a fantastic, magical world, with it's own problems, to be sure, but one that you can change, and make better, just by walking outside of your house and facing down those who oppress others, or despoil the land, or set themselves up as false prophets.

In our world, I don't have much chance of forcing people to change their hearts and minds by talking- but as a Bard, gifted with an almost superhuman level of eloquence, maybe a I could make a high Charisma roll and make rival nations sit down and discuss peace!

Maybe with the sword, I could tame the wild lands, and stop the predations of unnatural beasts!

And maybe with incantations and magic, I can solve the ills of the world. Why would I want to make my fantasy worlds any more like ours than they need to be?
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
But perhaps this preference comes from age?
I am sure that is some of it. For example, I have books I loved as a kid to young adult, but now I am middle aged (getting closer to grumpy old man LOL), a lot of those books don't appeal to me anymore. I have found memories of them, but when I've tried reading them over the last 10 years or so, I just can't get into them or enjoy them as much.

The other part (I'm certain) is there is WAY TOO MUCH magic in 5E's classes, races, and subclasses. NO fighter or rogue should have magic IMO. If you want magic, multiclass a bit once in a while.

Let's look at Arcane Trickster, for example. Rogues have a LOT of class features. Enough IMO that subclasses aren't even needed really. But, with AT, you get all those class features and the spell casting of a 7th level caster (even if a bit restricted). By comparison, would a Rogue/Wizard 13/7 be as good as a Rogue (AT) 20? It would be an interesting comparison....

Magic is also too easy. There is little (if any) chance of a spell being interrupted by an attack, making concentration checks happens more often than not, spell components have largely gone by the wayside due to spell casting foci and component pouches. Being also to cast spells "at-will" from prepared list instead of preassigning to specific slots makes magic even more versatile.

Supposedly these sorts of changes were "asked for" by players, but that was never my experience so I have no clue where WotC got that impression from...

See for me, it's the opposite. As I get older, the world we live in wears on me. I lack the power to change it, and it makes me tired and sad. It's better to envision a fantastic, magical world, with it's own problems, to be sure, but one that you can change, and make better, just by walking outside of your house and facing down those who oppress others, or despoil the land, or set themselves up as false prophets.

In our world, I don't have much chance of forcing people to change their hearts and minds by talking- but as a Bard, gifted with an almost superhuman level of eloquence, maybe a I could make a high Charisma roll and make rival nations sit down and discuss peace!

Maybe with the sword, I could tame the wild lands, and stop the predations of unnatural beasts!

And maybe with incantations and magic, I can solve the ills of the world. Why would I want to make my fantasy worlds any more like ours than they need to be?
I understand this completely. But I like my game to be 80% realistic so it is well-grounded enough that I can truly imagine it. The other 20% is the fantastic. Think of the movie Dragonheart (if you're a fan). If you take the dragon out, the rest is all "realistic", but throw the dragon in and it becomes "fantastic".
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
I am sure that is some of it. For example, I have books I loved as a kid to young adult, but now I am middle aged (getting closer to grumpy old man LOL), a lot of those books don't appeal to me anymore. I have found memories of them, but when I've tried reading them over the last 10 years or so, I just can't get into them or enjoy them as much.

The other part (I'm certain) is there is WAY TOO MUCH magic in 5E's classes, races, and subclasses. NO fighter or rogue should have magic IMO. If you want magic, multiclass a bit once in a while.

Let's look at Arcane Trickster, for example. Rogues have a LOT of class features. Enough IMO that subclasses aren't even needed really. But, with AT, you get all those class features and the spell casting of a 7th level caster (even if a bit restricted). By comparison, would a Rogue/Wizard 13/7 be as good as a Rogue (AT) 20? It would be an interesting comparison....

Magic is also too easy. There is little (if any) chance of a spell being interrupted by an attack, making concentration checks happens more often than not, spell components have largely gone by the wayside due to spell casting foci and component pouches. Being also to cast spells "at-will" from prepared list instead of preassigning to specific slots makes magic even more versatile.

Supposedly these sorts of changes were "asked for" by players, but that was never my experience so I have no clue where WotC got that impression from...


I understand this completely. But I like my game to be 80% realistic so it is well-grounded enough that I can truly imagine it. The other 20% is the fantastic. Think of the movie Dragonheart (if you're a fan). If you take the dragon out, the rest is all "realistic", but throw the dragon in and it becomes "fantastic".
And if that's the level of fantasy you're comfortable with, that's perfectly fine. But D&D has always been magical to me. Evil wizards, undead, dragons, monsters who can instantly rust metal, disintegrate things with eye lasers, conjure profound darkness, or instantly heal sword wounds are common things encountered.

Weird crypts carved from the earth, with strange magical defenses and ancient treasures from a long lost golden age abound. Calling upon your gods, or unlocking the cheat codes of reality by studying ancient tomes can perform miracles, and magic exists that can bolster and enhance one's skills in and out of combat.

I mean, from the very beginning, we knew that there was something special about D&D heroes- there's absolutely nothing realistic about a 10th level Fighter wading through hordes of goblins, fighting skyscraper-sized monsters, and being punted off high cliffs and not only surviving, but winning!

If that's not indicative of a kind of magic, I'm not sure what is, even if the Fighter's sword isn't glowing with eldritch fire, and he's not chanting words of power in battle.

When I was young, I had the wonderful opportunity to devour a bookshelf full of pulp fiction novels. Conan, John Carter, and Doc Savage were early heroes, and each of them has extraordinary qualities, and encounters things beyond mortal understanding.

Even works of low fantasy, like Thieves' World, had wizards aplenty, and an immortal swordsman doomed to heal from any wound, alongside it's jumped up street thieves, underworld businessmen disguised as innkeepers, and humble seeming storytellers who see more than one might suppose.

D&D has long kept the trappings of a medieval world, despite it's technology level constantly rising to the edge of the Renaissance, with castles and galleons, and other things that don't make sense in a magical world- because these things are familiar and expected.

But yes, the world is too magical for these things to make sense- it's a paradox. The realization of that fact is jarring, and can destroy immersion to a logical mind- you can't help but think, if magic can do X, then why is Y? If the King of Cormyr is a 20th level Fighter, then why is he asking my 5th level Paladin to save his kingdom?

To resolve this paradox, I feel D&D worlds need to reflect these truths. Keith Baker showed us one way that D&D's magic would create a world, but a lot of people found it too fantastic, too unlike the D&D worlds they prefer.

But the existence of magic makes those worlds impossible, really. You have to use deus ex machina like "the gods say so" or "people distrust wizards" or even "these are my houserules that limit PC's to using no higher than 5th level spells".

The paradox- to make a world feel more like "classic" Dungeons and Dragons, one must change what Dungeons and Dragons is.

Because D&D has, for a very long time now, had crashed alien spacecraft, all powerful artifacts, and magic that lets a wooden galleon sail among the stars.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
And if that's the level of fantasy you're comfortable with, that's perfectly fine. But D&D has always been magical to me. Evil wizards, undead, dragons, monsters who can instantly rust metal, disintegrate things with eye lasers, conjure profound darkness, or instantly heal sword wounds are common things encountered.
Oh, I have evil wizards, undead, dragons, etc. in my game world as well, but the difference is rarity... they are definitely not "common things encountered" because if they were, the world would like be hell to live in for everything else, it would be constant war, etc. So, for my worlds, these things are uncommon to extremely rare depending on their power level (so to say...)

Because D&D has, for a very long time now, had crashed alien spacecraft, all powerful artifacts, and magic that lets a wooden galleon sail among the stars.
Yep, and I've had all of those things in my games at one point or another as well.

But again it is the amount of "magical" things when they are too common that takes the magical wonder out of it for me.
 

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
The other part (I'm certain) is there is WAY TOO MUCH magic in 5E's classes, races, and subclasses. NO fighter or rogue should have magic IMO. If you want magic, multiclass a bit once in a while.

While I personally agree, I see no reason to impose that limitation on others. Keep magic out of the base class, and those of us who prefer our rogues to not have magic don't have to choose the magic subclasses.

If somebody else, even at my own table, chooses a magical rogue subclass, why should that bother me any more than if they multiclass?
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
While I personally agree, I see no reason to impose that limitation on others. Keep magic out of the base class, and those of us who prefer our rogues to not have magic don't have to choose the magic subclasses.

If somebody else, even at my own table, chooses a magical rogue subclass, why should that bother me any more than if they multiclass?

I always feel different about this when I switch from last having read something more S&S or gritty like Black Company or Conan or whatnot to having seen/read something Wuxia like Crouching Tiger or Art of Prophecy.
 

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