D&D General Vote Up A 5e-alike, Part 1: Tone -- Gritty/Low Magic

How do we want to do gritty/low magic?


  • Poll closed .
I come from the Barrier Peaks generation. The idea of a grounded D&D seems pretty alien (and a bit dull) to me. I'm not even sure what you are aiming for here.

I might have voted for miscasting spells, which sounds like it could be fun, but frankly, in my experience, no one wants to play wizards as it it stands.

I guess when it comes to monsters, most of the foes in a grounded, low magic D&D should be human.
 

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mamba

Legend
My favorite option is not there.
Dont allow spell over 2th level for PCs.
wow, that is drastic, not even third… with a somewhat better curated list I don’t think I even mind 5th

Yes, limiting spells by level and/or narrowing down lists certainly are viable options for the poll
 


Faolyn

(she/her)
"Other" all over the place. Even the options I voted for come with qualifiers. :)

"All caster classes allowed but reduced number of spells" - full caster classes yes but drop a few half-casters, to the point where it's pretty much just Rangers (maybe) and Paladins as the half-casters. Also, instead of reduced number of spells (available) I'd go for reduced number of spells (castable in a day) and no at-wills of any kind.
Do you mean give full casters half-caster spell progression? Don't forget, 5e casters actually have fewer spell slots than their 1e/2e versions do.

"Spells require roll to cast properly with potentially dire consequences if miscast" - a spell cast under no duress shouldn't require a roll, and in many cases it shouldn't be possible to cast a spell at all while under duress e.g. in melee or while being jostled etc. The potentially dire consequences: an interrupted spell can (but doesn't always) cause a wild magic surge, with possible results limited only by how big a table you're willing to design/roll on for effects. And while the consequences of a WMS can be dire, they can also be highly beneficial...or, most of the time, simply amusing or inconsequential.
I've never been a fan of wild magic myself since it is often too lolrandom for my tastes. But I could definitely see some sort of backlash. In fact, backlash (or a wild magic table) could be done per magic school. Getting a fireball because you miscast silent illusion doesn't make sense to me, but having your illusion come alive, having it duplicate you but not be under your control, turning you into an illusion, etc., would make sense.

"Other" - there's no need to soft-limit the types of monsters encountered by labelling something as 'primary'; in fact I'd go the other way and enxourage DMs to mix up the monsters over the course of the campaign.
Fair enough. Having primary monsters lends itself to an implied setting. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but might not be what we want.

"Other" - implement a wounds-vitality or body-fatigue hit point system and make wound/body points much more difficult to recover or cure than vitality/fatigue points.
I've seen a lot of suggestions for something like this over the years. Usually it involves Con indicating how many Wounds you have. What would you have as the hit point-to-Wound ratio? Or would it be that only certain types of injuries inflict Wounds?

"Other" - find some way (and this would be new to D&D) of making it so a character at 1 hit point isn't as fully-functional as a character at half h.p. or at full h.p. The 4e 'bloodied' mechanic can be a starting point here, but with more gradations e.g. half h.p., 1/4 h.p., and 1/10 h.p. Intent: ultimately (and ideally) to make losing the first few hit points just as important as losing the last few.
I like that, although it's usually a pain to keep track of.

Howzat for a start? :)
Not bad!
 

Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
Do you mean give full casters half-caster spell progression? Don't forget, 5e casters actually have fewer spell slots than their 1e/2e versions do.


I've never been a fan of wild magic myself since it is often too lolrandom for my tastes. But I could definitely see some sort of backlash. In fact, backlash (or a wild magic table) could be done per magic school. Getting a fireball because you miscast silent illusion doesn't make sense to me, but having your illusion come alive, having it duplicate you but not be under your control, turning you into an illusion, etc., would make sense.


Fair enough. Having primary monsters lends itself to an implied setting. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but might not be what we want.


I've seen a lot of suggestions for something like this over the years. Usually it involves Con indicating how many Wounds you have. What would you have as the hit point-to-Wound ratio? Or would it be that only certain types of injuries inflict Wounds?


I like that, although it's usually a pain to keep track of.


Not bad!
I've always liked the idea that crits inflict wounds, including attacks that count as crits. Having a wound would be a thing outside of hit points, and how many wounds you can take before you're actually in danger of dying would be determined, say, by your Con bonus (minimum 1 of course).
 

Faolyn

(she/her)
I come from the Barrier Peaks generation. The idea of a grounded D&D seems pretty alien (and a bit dull) to me. I'm not even sure what you are aiming for here.
Well, more limited-magic than grounded. D&D magic is just everywhere, especially with the PCs, and IMO, that makes magic very un-magical.

Like, look at the D&D movie. Technically, the party should have had three full-casters (sorcerer, druid, bard) and one half-caster (paladin), but only Simon the sorcerer really cast spells; Doric was limited to wildshaping, Xenk only did a smite (and lay on hands? I can't remember), and Edgin could have been a rogue with the Entertainer background for all the magic he used. There was lots of background magic, some of which was very powerful, but party was doing the adventure mostly without spells, which made their actions (and subsequent hijinks) a lot more fun and, well, grounded.

That's what I would like to see, but we'll have to see what the consensus ends up being.

I might have voted for miscasting spells, which sounds like it could be fun, but frankly, in my experience, no one wants to play wizards as it it stands.
Really? Huh--in my group, wizards are... not super-popular, but not unpopular either.
 


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