View Full Version : Idea for handing out treasure in a low magic game (does this work?)

2011-01-19, 10:48 AM
Okay, I have a campaign setting I'm working on, and I've decided to use the 3.5 rules for it, even though Iron Heroes does low-magic better. (I'm a masochist, so sue me:smalltongue:)

Anyways, I've eliminated most spellcasters from the game, and everything seems to run pretty smooth, until I came to treasure.

Now normally (correct me if I'm wrong) treasure in a DnD game takes the form of magic items and treasure with which one buys said magic items. This is built into the system such that a 15th level warblade or rogue or such who is simply wearing the best dang armour available and wielding a masterwork weapon couldn't hope to face a level appropriate encounter.

One idea I have to maintain low magic atmosphere (I'll admit not really a new one) is to scrap the *buying* of magic items and make them something the player's find in far off corners of the world, in forgotten ruins of a lost age. That +2 sword is just any +2 sword, it's Helmhewer, the sword that felled King Hector XIII in the battle of Kelnum Dell, and now holds mystic power from spilling the blood of a true royal in the name of . . . you get the point. Basically I do this as the pcs advance, matching WBL roughly.

Another idea, one I'd probably combine with the former idea, is that the PCs equipment slowly becomes "magical" as they advance, as they get better and better with the equipment. The paladin's armour slowly becomes more and more resilient, owing to the pally's purity of heart and such.

What does everyone think? Anyone have other ideas?

2011-01-19, 10:58 AM
Combine those ideas, yes. You might say that in addition to rare items the PC's find, they each get the Ancestral Relic feat (BoED) for free. That let's the PC's power up a piece of their equipment as they level, adding new powers to it slowly, and placing a cap on how powerful it can be.

2011-01-19, 11:01 AM
Give them bonuses roughly equivalent to the magic items they should have as they level up. That way their power is in them, not in the equipment they carry.

2011-01-19, 11:01 AM
Maybe give each character several Weapons (or other) of Legacy for which they can found legacies as they go.
(to combat the suckiness of them, my system of replacing the mechanical costs with roleplayey ones ("kill all x creature when you see them", "be nice to halflings", that sort of thing) seems to go down well, or you could just remove the costs completely)

2011-01-19, 11:02 AM
It's similar to Weapons of Legacy in fluff.
I like it. Go for it. Jump on the tiger.

2011-01-19, 11:07 AM
I've always run my D&D games such that you have limited options for purchasing magic items, and that's worked well. Of course, that also requires that I look out for my players best interests and not rely entirely on random rolls. I make sure they get things they need and want as they go along.

2011-01-19, 12:09 PM
A while back I ran a low-magic campaign. This one was a military campaign, but you can do some similar things. Basically, in this world some catastrophic event had seriously dampened all magic in existence. In this way, any magic items that you found were 1. extremely valuable and 2. in another time and place had been extremely powerful. All lower magical items had basically had the magic sucked out of them and were reduced to masterwork weapons and armor.

In response to this, some people throughout the world still wanted the same sort of ability from their weapons, but without magic to power them they had to get them some other way. So, I added a mechanic that would bestow a craftsman bonus. It basically works like a magic bonus, but the premise is that the weapon/armor is just so well made it happens to add a bonus to damage and attack.