D&D 5E The Role of Magic Items in early D&D (and today!)


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aco175

Legend
Newer editions seem to have watered down the power of the DM over the players and classes by expanding the class and giving the complexity to the player. 5e magic is not the toy in the Cracker Jack box like it was in earlier editions. There are now feats and sub-classes that expand the character and allow for impossible things the PC can do over another PC of even the same class. There is no need to multi-class to fit a concept or hope you get a magic item to allow you to do something cool.

There is still something cool about getting an item, but just not as cool as it was.
 




Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
yes,

but you had rituals that transferred enchantments from one item to another?

What, we got some useless club, but it's +3 flaming? 8hrs later... Look my brand new +3 flaming greatbow.
The residuum you’d get out of disenchanting a magic item wasn’t enough to enchant another of the same rarity. It was functionally just a more flavorful version of buying and selling magic items in 3.Xe.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
I've found the magic items have gotten progressively less exciting.

I've expounded on how magic items were one of my biggest disappointments in 4e, and in 5e, they're so... timid. Like even after making them optional, unbuyable (in any reasonable way) and locked to DM fiat, they still fear making them too powerful or interesting.

The bland, blank +X weapon is still there and even worse as they're not allowed above +3, most items are Long Rest locked, which is one of the problems which was a problem back in 4e, they aren't allowed to provide actual bonuses because bounded accuracy--meaning a booster item is usually useless to the characters that would want them because they set the score you've been pumping all game instead of giving a bonus, and then some of them have the outright gall to be 'minutes per long rest', requiring pointless bookkeeping in the game that simplified away bookkeeping that had a point.

And there's way fewer of them even a decade in.

I want good items back. I want purchase and crafting back.
 

billd91

Not your screen monkey (he/him)
Newer editions seem to have watered down the power of the DM over the players and classes by expanding the class and giving the complexity to the player. 5e magic is not the toy in the Cracker Jack box like it was in earlier editions. There are now feats and sub-classes that expand the character and allow for impossible things the PC can do over another PC of even the same class. There is no need to multi-class to fit a concept or hope you get a magic item to allow you to do something cool.

There is still something cool about getting an item, but just not as cool as it was.
While I agree there are other options to increase a PC's utility in oddball ways compared to AD&D, I am finding that getting a magic item is back in the cool category since they're no longer quite so market driven. Finding something cool and interesting is, once again, worth something, even if it wasn't part of your character's preconceived mojo.
 

ad_hoc

(they/them)
I love how 5e has handled magic items. They are not character options by default.

I use random treasure tables and it is up to the PCs to work with what they get. This is all part of adventure, not knowing what will happen and how it will change your character.

As a side note, when people say D&D is too easy or doesn't work after being pressed for details often they have magic shops in their game (some form of the players choosing magic items for their characters. Sometimes this takes the form of them expecting the DM to place the items they want in the adventure for them to 'find'. It all amounts to the same thing).

There have even been long threads on message boards about how a DM is flat out bad or mean for not providing the items the players want. It is a common view of 'optimizers'.
 

Horwath

Legend
Because they served 2 purposes

Enchant Magic Item was to empower players to get the magic items and effect they wanted.

Disenchant Magic Item was to empower DMs and ensure that treasure rewards were always stronger than crafted items.

It's an option that is sorely missed by me.
moving magic.png
 

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