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Low to mid magic world...does ya want it?

Low magic world; Yay or Nay?  

128 members have voted

  1. 1. Low magic, meaning magic items are more customized and meaningful upon acquisition or tons of generic loot?

    • yes
      112
    • no
      16
  2. 2. Make gold meaningful and economies realistic? [only wealthy merchants have enough to buy magical gear due to its value and rarity] (the ghetto shouldn't be littered with gold and wolves have no business carrying coins)

    • yes
      116
    • no
      12


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I, shamefully, used to be one of those @ssholes who wanted every single corner of the world to be littered with magical items...until i learned. I learned the glory of the low magic fantasy setting.

 

now this doesn't mean there is no magic, on the contrary, there are mages of great power, but they are few and far between.

 

It doesn't mean there are no liches, dragons and demons...it just means that when you meet one you will likely crap your pants rather than foolishly believe you can tackle an insurmountable challenge, especially with your low level gear (forcing you to reevaluate your options)

 

It doesn't mean there are no magic items, it just means that when you FINALLY get that +1 RatsBane you will be the biggest Billy Badass for a hundred miles in every direction. This also means you have to rely more on your brain - tactics, traps, deception and ambushes rather than simply charging in to a den of bandits who are probably as well equipped as you.

 

This means that the few magic items you DO get will be well earned and highly appreciated...and even the low level magic items will give you a significant edge in an encounter. Finding that legendary artifact? that would be endgame material and would literally make you one of the most formidable people in that world.

 

Low magic also implies low gold: You will not be paid 100 gp for delivering a man his lucky socks, it will be more like 3-5 gp. Random barrels throughout a city won't be loaded with gold, neither will crates (remember how in BG2 you could collect 20,000 just by scavenging the poor parts of town without doing a single quest? this doesn't happen, its absurd)

 

Regular items in stores cost a reasonable amount compared with what you are able to make as a low level mook. A potion of healing? 10 gp, pricey but easily manageable by killing 2 or 3 Gnolls.

 

This type of world lends itself to more manageability and believable economies. And once you do become high level you will CLEARLY stand above the rest, not because you took advantage of wolfs and kobolds that drop gold for no reason, but because you quested and earned your place among the elite.

 

 

so what say you? should the world be littered with magical artifacts, every bandit has an enchanted blade or should such items of power be few and relegated to elite foes and hidden in dangerous dungeons?

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It doesn't have to be super low magic or even have a hardcore economy with tons of money sinks -- and I know plenty of people who don't find those kinds of games fun -- but if they can make magic items feel special and if the economy is tight enough that you have to make hard choices then that should be enough.

Edited by nikolokolus
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Agree with OP. Completely


* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

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From the way you frame the question, sure.

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"Things are funny...are comedic, because they mix the real with the absurd." - Buzz Aldrin.

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You can certainly take this idea to the point that it becomes burdensome to play, as nikolokolus points out, but I think it's important for magic to be rare enough to be meaningful. Or, more accurately, it's important for powerful magic to be rare enough to be meaningful. I'm fine with large swaths of the world and their denizens being imbued with some minor magical nature, like the ability to detect a magical presence, or having a number of denizens of the gameworld being able to cast something like a light cantrip, or do some other minor magic that may have a slight effect on the world, but not a major effect. Being a major magical badass (whether it's you as the player or an NPC you encounter) should be something that requires serious work and study (and/or a freakishly uncommon natural talent), and as such should be relatively rare.

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From the way you frame the question, sure.

 

I agree the questions are pretty loaded. Generally, I'd like magic, artifacts, etc to be less common. However, I do not want piles of junk or ridiculous amounts useless gold. If there is a lot of gold in the game then I need lots of reasons to spend on wants (customization) or needs (quests/plot related)


esse quam videri

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I'd like to see some magic that is useful outside of combat and healing. Also the occasional big spell that need collected componets, special locations, conditions, etc. These in my mind would be connected to special events or big battles.


esse quam videri

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Low magic also implies low gold: You will not be paid 100 gp for delivering a man his lucky socks, it will be more like 3-5 gp. Random barrels throughout a city won't be loaded with gold, neither will crates (remember how in BG2 you could collect 20,000 just by scavenging the poor parts of town without doing a single quest? this doesn't happen, its absurd)

 

I'd go further than that and implement gp/sp/cp (gold/silver/copper). This isn't pen and paper, there's no cost to keep track of this stuff. I expect to find only a few miserable copper on low-level goblins/thugs, versus a purse of silver for doing some important mission for a local noble, versus the kings ransom in gold (still only a few hundred sovereigns) if I ever sold a rare powerful (late-game) artifact. It makes the world a little more realistic; real people use varied coinage and large numbers (tens or hundreds of thousands) of coins seems out of place in a medieval setting.

Edited by Starglider

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I'll aways vote for low fantasy, Magic should be what it is in folklore: strange, rare, terrifying and powerful.

Making magic a common, every day thing takes away from the impact of including it at all.


The call of the deep.

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Hahaha sorry about the loaded questions...I just like to "subtly" persuade people over to my way of thinking :cat:

 

Low magic also implies low gold: You will not be paid 100 gp for delivering a man his lucky socks, it will be more like 3-5 gp. Random barrels throughout a city won't be loaded with gold, neither will crates (remember how in BG2 you could collect 20,000 just by scavenging the poor parts of town without doing a single quest? this doesn't happen, its absurd)

 

I'd go further than that and implement gp/sp/cp (gold/silver/copper). This isn't pen and paper, there's no cost to keep track of this stuff. I expect to find only a few miserable copper on low-level goblins/thugs, versus a purse of silver for doing some important mission for a local noble, versus the kings ransom in gold (still only a few hundred sovereigns) if I ever sold a rare powerful (late-game) artifact. It makes the world a little more realistic; real people use varied coinage and large numbers (tens or hundreds of thousands) of coins seems out of place in a medieval setting.

i really like that they did this in DA:O

 

I remember the first time i collected a bunch of coins, i thought "damn, i'm gonna buy a crapload of potions before heading out...only to find out it was just a mess of coppers that could barely fetch me 1.

 

but this really worked out because it meant i actually had to worry about getting hurt in combat and could only use that potion when ABSOLUTELY necessary.

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I don't think a magic-centric world could/should meaningfully be low magic. So, everybody has special soul powers but enchanting is impossible?? The two are hard for me to reconcile.

 

We should instead focus on making a high-magic world that makes a lot of high-magic sense. Let's even get beyond the traditional RPG campaign setting like the forgotten realms, and instead focus on PS:T for our model. In PS:T the ENTIRE WORLD was magical. Everything was literally brimming with some spectacular aspects to it, and it was a very special experience. So, how can we recreate that?

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There's a really elegant solution to keeping magic magical while still having upgradeable gear.

 

Upgradeable non-magical items. Materials - iron vs steel. Quality - regular vs. masterwork.

 

And then when you have an enchanted item it can be unique with history and made for a purpose. ("Sting" that glows when orcs are near).. not just +1.

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My favorite fantasy settings are ones were magic in some form is pretty much ubiquitous, so I'm going to vote no on the low-fantasy, not that I think this means magical weapons specifically have to be all that common. I don't really see what low/high magic has to do with tons of generic loot.

Edited by limaxophobiacq

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There are 6 characters in your party, hopefully with as many inventory slots as in the IE games.

I want to make choices like... "who gets what". Sometimes magic items are harder to distribute -- especially if they are rarer and hard to come by. That makes it more interesting.

Voted Yes for both options on the poll.

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I always prefer when magic is a big deal. Everyone heard of it, not many have seen it.

 

Magic could be rare in civilized parts of the world and more common in less civilized parts. In some form of wild magic, that is untamable and dangerous. With some frontier villages having strange (maybe occult) traditions.


Red Mage of the Obsidian Order

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"In the arena of logic, I fight unarmed."

Red Mage, Episode 835: Refining Moment

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I think perhaps that the way the questions are asked lead towards one set of answers. I am not saying I disagree with your selling point, but its just an observation.

 

Maybe:

 

Magic Level:

 

Low, Mid, High

 

Gold Level:

 

Rare, Moderate, Plentiful?

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I want high level magic working up to god slaying levels by the end of the story / series. I dont care about finding a magic sword in a barrel but I do like encouters like in BG2 where you can stumble across a random room and loe-and-behold theres a Litch in there or a hard battle that yields the Staff of the Magi.


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Ideally, I'd have magic weapons be rarer, skip the +1/+2 swords entirely (replacing them with excellent quality non-magical swords and swords made from some rare metal if you have to), and have the magic weapons that do exist actually be impressive.

 

Less +1 (whatever), but keep Dak'kons Karach blade, Crom Faeyr, & the Flail of Ages.

Edited by limaxophobiacq
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I am a bit ambivalent about this.

 

GIven the world, i would say that it should not be low magic. However, the powerful magic should be rare and not a dime a dozen. Basically, i don't mind if every shop has some magic trinket. Hell, even if there is next to no "nonmagic" gear. However, the good stuff should not be close to that easy to get.

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Agree that a 'low magic' (or mid-magic) world is more fun, since it comes down to how well you plan ahead. The trouble with this though is that 99.99% of the time, your party is pretty bad at doing what they're supposed to (even when you mess with their AI, if it's customizable at all).

 

That said -- it would be much more engaging of a world if it wasn't as easy to find the really good magic stuff...

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