D&D 5E Why Has D&D, and 5e in Particular, Gone Down the Road of Ubiquitous Magic?

OB1

Jedi Master
Have really been enjoying this discussion. For me, I like the fact that 5e can accommodate a wide range in party makeup and level of magical vs mundane. I'm currently involved in three campaigns, and only one of them I would consider highly magical.
Sorcerer, bard, barbarian, shadow monk/rouge assassin.
The other two campaigns have only one half caster each.
Rouge assassin, battle master fighter, hunter ranger.
Open hand monk, champion fighter, paladin.

On the other hand, I also get the appeal of the old school version of magic. It doesn't seem like it would be too difficult to modify to get a similar effect. Off the top of my head I would remove all attack cantrips (except Eldridge blast for warlock only). Full casters bump base save DC to 12 from 8, half casters to 10. EK and AT stay at 8 but get 1 attack cantrip. Full casters also can concentrate on multiple spells (equal to prof bonus) and can spend a bonus action to relight one if they lose concentration the previous turn. Probably need to allow for more magic item creation by PCs (at least scrolls) to move some magic back into the utility belt.
Is this too nerfed?
 

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ccs

41st lv DM
I suggest a comprehensive reading of the 4E PHB, page 54, the sidebar titled 'Power Sources'. That should clear up any confusion you have.

There's no confusion. You can call it whatever you like, but if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, looks like a duck, etc? Then it's a duck. Or in this case magic/spell.
 

Fanaelialae

Legend
There's no confusion. You can call it whatever you like, but if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, looks like a duck, etc? Then it's a duck. Or in this case magic/spell.

So are the 5e Fighter's Second Wind and Action Surge abilities magical? They are encounter (short rest) abilities after all.

Is the 5e Barbarian's Rage a magical ability? It is a daily (long rest) ability after all.

I don't believe that non-magical classes must be limited to at-will abilities in order to be considered non-magical.
 

MechaPilot

Explorer
There's no confusion. You can call it whatever you like, but if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, looks like a duck, etc? Then it's a duck. Or in this case magic/spell.

Tell that to the people who still think 3e's Ex abilities are non-magical.
 

discosoc

First Post
Because they wanted to bring action parity to all classes. They figured that if a fighter gets to swing a sword every round, casters should be able to cast something every round. It cheapens the concept of a wizard or cleric, IMO, for the sake of making it more balanced.
 

Fanaelialae

Legend
Because they wanted to bring action parity to all classes. They figured that if a fighter gets to swing a sword every round, casters should be able to cast something every round. It cheapens the concept of a wizard or cleric, IMO, for the sake of making it more balanced.

Some might substitute the word "fun" for "balanced" there.
 

ccs

41st lv DM
In early editions, the awe-inspiring instant-win spell was Sleep. In 3E, it was Color Spray.

Magic Missile was a weird design option. It basically existed as something for high-level wizards to spend their low-level slots on. It's not an example of the topic at hand.

It's ideal use in 1e is to disrupt enemy casters spells when using weapon speed/casting time inititive rolls.
More than one high lv fight has been swung by our fighter/MU Elf flinging Magic Missles near the top of the order instead of stabbing or casting something more destructive....
 

discosoc

First Post
Some might substitute the word "fun" for "balanced" there.

And those people would have been best served playing a fighter or rogue, since those classes got to do stuff every turn. But sure, let's just homogenize the stuff that makes different classes unique.

Actually, out of curiosity, I just tallied up the total number of class/specialization choices for magical and non-magical effects. If you want to play a non-magical specialization, you have 7 options. The remaining 20 options incorporate magic spells or spell-like effects (such as two monk traditions). I also only counted clerics and wizards as 1 each, rather 1 per domain/school.

I find it pretty crazy that there is such a huge focus on magic abilities, and I definitely agree with the opinion that it makes it all feel less magical as a result.
 

MechaPilot

Explorer
And those people would have been best served playing a fighter or rogue, since those classes got to do stuff every turn. But sure, let's just homogenize the stuff that makes different classes unique.

Actually, out of curiosity, I just tallied up the total number of class/specialization choices for magical and non-magical effects. If you want to play a non-magical specialization, you have 7 options. The remaining 20 options incorporate magic spells or spell-like effects (such as two monk traditions). I also only counted clerics and wizards as 1 each, rather 1 per domain/school.

I find it pretty crazy that there is such a huge focus on magic abilities, and I definitely agree with the opinion that it makes it all feel less magical as a result.

Then it's a good thing that DMs who feel that way can simply ban whatever magical options they wish to. It's not like a DM has to allow magical subclasses to be chosen by those who take non-magical classes (i.e. a DM doesn't have to allow the fighter's EK option if she doesn't want to).

Rarity of magic in the world is something that is inherently in the hands of the DM running the game, regardless of whether that's disallowing certain class/subclass options, or refraining from handing out so many magic items.
 

Hussar

Legend
I feel the reason is quite simple: What would you have players that choose to play a caster class do in combat other than casting magic? Make a feeble attempt at stabbing something in the kidney with a d4 dagger that they're barely proficient with, only to most certainly be hit like a truck due to their abysmal AC and pathetic hit points?

But, that's pretty easy to fix. It's not like genre wizards are useless in combat. Gandalf was a pretty dab hand with a sword after all. And, remember, in earlier D&D, doing a d6 with a staff or a couple of d3 with darts was pretty significant. When your ogres only have 19 hp, dealing 5 or 6 damage isn't too shabby. It was 3e, with its greatly inflated HP, and later editions that made wizards pretty much useless in combat. Even clerics, back in 1e were only a step or two behind fighters in combat - similar HP, similar damage output. Lower, sure, but, they did get spells after all.

All of these things tend to interrelate and all of these knock on effects have resulted in the notion that unless a wizard is hitting something with a spell, she might as well not even bother playing.
 

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