So, you're against characters wearing armor before they are engaged in combat? They shouldn't put on the chainmail when entering the dungeon, but rather when they encounter the monster? Likewise, that they shouldn't use a shield if they are equipped with a helmet--because they already have an armor rating provided by it? How about that shield only being usable against three attacks, then wearing off?
No. I'm against people putting armor on top of their armor, with an underlayer of armor. The point was the redundancy. Not "you can't use magic to do anything that something else already does." But rather, "buffs shouldn't simply be nothing more
than a bunch of redundant, simplistic effects."
You already have armor for armor. And you have weapons for damage. And you have stats for various factors (speed, resistances, defenses, etc.). There's no reason the system YEARNS for some magical extra bit of every single one of these. "You've got 18 INT? Now you've got 20! And that plate armor you have is NOW +3, because magic! Also, your Constitution already makes you highly resistant to poison? Now you're even MORE resistant to poison! You move pretty fast? Now you move even faster! You do 15 damage? Now you do 17 damage!"
Why stop at 2? Why not items that do all that, too? "I put some oil on my sword, so it does +2 damage. Also, it magically does +2 more damage. Also, since my STR is magically boosted right now, it does +2 MORE indirect magical damage. Also, my sword now gets an ethereal clone sword, so that everything I hit, I hit twice! Also, I have 4 arms, so I can wield 4 swords! Just temporarily, though, u_u... I mean, we wouldn't want to get ridiculous
here or anything."
Ridiculous, yes. Where does it get ridiculous? That's what I'm getting at. That's worthy of consideration. I'm simply trying to point that out. The reason for magical buffs isn't "redundancy is good!" But they're also not JUST redundant. But, there needs to be more consideration put into their design than just "let's have a bunch of magical effects that further boost things that other factors already boost! Just because boosting things is nice! 8D!"
So, yes, I think stacking 10 effects on people before entering combat is as ridiculous as putting on 9 extra sets of armor before entering combat. However, pulling a shield out instead of that second weapon, to prepare for upcoming combat, isn't ridiculous. Pulling out 3 shields, dual-wielding two and strapping one to your face, to maximize defense? Back to ridiculous again. See? If you could just dual wield weapons AND still get the benefit of dual-wielding two shields, AND wear heavy plate armor AND get the benefits of wearing light, padded armor, then what's the point in the distinctions in the first place? When does it get ridiculous, and what causes it to become ridiculous? That's the important question.
It works the same way with magic. There's no reason you should be able to buff character A to have as good of defenses and attack values and resistances and such as character B, just because. There's no need for that level of magical augmentability. I'm not against it altogether, and I'm not against entire types of effects being anywhere close to redundant.
Well, on that note (specifically, the one, simple example of armor, with magic armor on top), look at the spell Mage Armor, in D&D. It wasn't just extra armor for all. If you already had a certain AC, then it had no effect. And if you already were close to that AC, it only took you TO that AC, rather than giving you the -4 bonus. It wasn't sheerly
redundant. Had it been, it would've been a bit silly. "Okay, everyone wearing full plate +5? Good. Now let's just sprinkle on an extra -4 to everyone's AC. Annnnd done! ^_^ Yessss, you're all IMPOSSIBLE to be hit now, because magical redundancy! 8D!"
That's the best example I can give, really. And I still would've preferred something like Mage Armor to be more than just "you're harder to hit for a duration," instead being breakable or something, like the Wizard's Arcane Veil seems to be in PoE. Now it's strategic. I don't want it to just literally function exactly like armor, but be temporary. That's boring. It can provide the same effective protection
as armor (to the, say, unarmored Wizard), but with its own quirks because it's magic. Unlike armor, it's powered. It's energy. It's not just metal that's sitting there, lifeless, being beaten on and having physics dictate that you're not hitting it hard enough to break it. Etc.
That's just one example, though (for how Mage Armor could work in a more interesting fashion than just "you get a number boost for a duration"). "You're passively better, but it's only temporary" is just a very bland place to draw the line around buff creativity, and designing the system to just allow a bunch of redundant, passive augmentations to beef everyone up before combat is bland, as well. That's just a roundabout way of giving everyone 8 more stat points at character creation, with durational upkeep.