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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default 4ed Inherent bonuses for magic-low campaign

    So I was messing around in the DnDI Character Builder and noticed an Inherent bonuses box I could mark for a magic-low campaign. I was thinking of doing a Black Company-like campaign where magic is rare and something to be feared. So an evil pally or warlock are rulers of nations just knowing a bit of magic. And a magic sword is sought out like Excalibur, a magic ring is something to be feared like 'My Precious'.

    Only thing is does this work mechinically. I plan on The players only getting a couple of magic items through their career and only if they search them out. Will this change dmg output/survivability drastically?
    Last edited by incubus5075; 2010-01-06 at 11:36 AM.

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    Default Re: 4ed Inherent bonuses for magic-low campaign

    If you give the mechanical bonuses every time the players reach a certain level, thus giving them [sort of] something they could have in a "normal magic" campaign, then it could work, yup.

    I'm sure the 4E math wizzies in the Playground like Yakk and Gralamin could give you the numbers.

    About the items being desired as something epic, to do that they have to be more than just magical items, they'd need to be artifacts (which is what the One Ring, which you used as an example, is). Well, maybe they don't need to be world-shattering artifacts, but having something a bit more than just +1 to-hit and damage and some sort of standard daily/encounter power. Well, at least it is how I did when I wanted to spice up magic gear.
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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: 4ed Inherent bonuses for magic-low campaign

    I like the artifact idea. Especially since artifacts in 4th are not thatover powered anyway. Maybe make a post apocalyptic world where all magic turned into an explosion where the only items left are those powerful enough to survive it. Something like that. I planned on using a slightly modified version of the Dark Sun campaign to do so.

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    Default Re: 4ed Inherent bonuses for magic-low campaign

    If you follow the rules for Inherent Bonuses and remove all the pluses from magic items, you have a working system.

    So a Frost Longsword +1 just becomes a Frost Longsword - it still has its +Crit damage and other effects.

    The Inherent Bonuses fix all of the mechanical issues you'd worry about; removing the pluses is to keep magic items from double-counting.
    Last edited by Oracle_Hunter; 2010-01-06 at 08:09 PM.
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    WhiteWizardGirl

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    Default Re: 4ed Inherent bonuses for magic-low campaign

    One thing to note is that without magic items you have less utility powers, so you might want to allow extra utility powers at each level, or possibly one normal and one of the skill-powers.
    Last edited by Kylarra; 2010-01-06 at 08:11 PM.

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    Default Re: 4ed Inherent bonuses for magic-low campaign

    I have a question about inherent bonuses too. Does the inherent bonus improve magic item properties that scale with the item's enhancement bonus. Say a Cloak of distortion worn by a level 24 character provides a +5 to all defences against ranged attacks?
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    Default Re: 4ed Inherent bonuses for magic-low campaign

    Quote Originally Posted by cupkeyk View Post
    I have a question about inherent bonuses too. Does the inherent bonus improve magic item properties that scale with the item's enhancement bonus. Say a Cloak of distortion worn by a level 24 character provides a +5 to all defences against ranged attacks?
    Yeah, it would follow.

    Of course, the Inherent Bonus system already allows things called "boons" to mimic those miscellaneous magical effects. Still, I guess it's not something to worry too much about.

    EDIT:
    @Kylarra - Boons compensate for the "lost" Utility Powers.
    Last edited by Oracle_Hunter; 2010-01-06 at 08:27 PM.
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    Default Re: 4ed Inherent bonuses for magic-low campaign

    Huh, so they do. Loss of flexibility is still a bummer, but I guess them's the breaks in such a campaign.

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    Default Re: 4ed Inherent bonuses for magic-low campaign

    Quote Originally Posted by Kylarra View Post
    Huh, so they do. Loss of flexibility is still a bummer, but I guess them's the breaks in such a campaign.
    Yeah - the whole point of a low-magic campaign is scarcity, after all.
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    Default Re: 4ed Inherent bonuses for magic-low campaign

    Quote Originally Posted by Kylarra View Post
    One thing to note is that without magic items you have less utility powers, so you might want to allow extra utility powers at each level, or possibly one normal and one of the skill-powers.
    That's a great idea - I might start using it in my low-magic game. Because boons are supposed to be rare, so giving out enough of them to keep up would make them boring. Using skill powers to fill in the gap is a great idea both to preserve the flavor and encourage characters to take them.
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    Default Re: 4ed Inherent bonuses for magic-low campaign

    There is one main problem with the Inherit Bonus system as is, and that is criticals. If you have a +6 magic weapon, you deal +6d6 damage on a critical. With the Inherit Bonus rules, you instead have... Nothing. This throws the math off slightly, but can easily be fixed by just ruling that all characters get +1d6 damage on critical hits per plus to attack and damage.

    However, if you are doing this anyway, I suggest dropping the Weapon Expertise feat and the Weapon Focus feat (And similar for implements), and simply designing "Masterwork Weapons", which roll the +1 to hit per tier, +1 damage per tier, and extra critical damage together. Do the same for Implements, Ki Focuses, etc. And suddenly you have a nice mundane system.

    For example, if you were to make Masterwork Longswords, they might look like this:
    {table=head]Item Name|Item Level|Bonus Damage|Bonus To Hit|Critical Bonus
    Balanced Longsword|6|+1|+1|+2d6
    Tempered Longsword|11|+2|+1|+3d6
    Wondrous Longsword|16|+2|+2|+4d6
    Demonhorn Longsword|21|+3|+2|+5d6
    Dragonbone Longsword|26|+3|+3|+6d6[/table]

    Quote Originally Posted by cupkeyk View Post
    I have a question about inherent bonuses too. Does the inherent bonus improve magic item properties that scale with the item's enhancement bonus. Say a Cloak of distortion worn by a level 24 character provides a +5 to all defences against ranged attacks?
    Nope. Magic Items aren't made to work with inherit bonuses, and nothing in the text indicates it would do such.
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    Default Re: 4ed Inherent bonuses for magic-low campaign

    Ages ago, before inherent bonuses became a variant, I made this set of houserules that take care of basic magic item bonuses for low magic campaigns. You might want to check them out.

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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: 4ed Inherent bonuses for magic-low campaign

    That was one thing that bummed me, no masterwork items. Sure you can get masterwork armor but those are underpowered without the magic bonuses. Some weapons are highly made though mundane, ie masterwork, and are sought after. Not so in DnD 4ed apparently. A rusty bastard sword and a katana made by a master blacksmith have the same stats, i feel this should not be so. In my campaign I follow the rules without any house rules and use the DnDI character builder to settle debates. If the builder allows it I allow it, if not it is obviously not ment to work. The inherent bonus for a magic-low system needs improvement though.
    Last edited by incubus5075; 2010-01-07 at 09:31 AM.

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    Default Re: 4ed Inherent bonuses for magic-low campaign

    Quote Originally Posted by incubus5075 View Post
    That was one thing that bummed me, no masterwork items. Sure you can get masterwork armor but those are underpowered without the magic bonuses. Some weapons are highly made though mundane, ie masterwork, and are sought after. Not so in DnD 4ed apparently. A rusty bastard sword and a katana made by a master blacksmith have the same stats, i feel this should not be so.
    Underpowered?

    Weren't Masterwork items in 3.5 either +1 to hit OR +1 to damage? Or -1 Armor Check Penalty?

    I mean, aside from being made from exotic materials, Masterwork Armor in 4E can give bonuses to certain NADs as well as being better at protecting you. Seems pretty useful to me.
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    Default Re: 4ed Inherent bonuses for magic-low campaign

    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle_Hunter View Post
    Underpowered?

    Weren't Masterwork items in 3.5 either +1 to hit OR +1 to damage? Or -1 Armor Check Penalty?

    I mean, aside from being made from exotic materials, Masterwork Armor in 4E can give bonuses to certain NADs as well as being better at protecting you. Seems pretty useful to me.
    Masterwork armor: -1 check penalty
    Masterwork weapon: +1 to hit
    Masterwork tools: +2 to checks

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    Default Re: 4ed Inherent bonuses for magic-low campaign

    Quote Originally Posted by incubus5075 View Post
    So I was messing around in the DnDI Character Builder and noticed an Inherent bonuses box I could mark for a magic-low campaign. I was thinking of doing a Black Company-like campaign where magic is rare and something to be feared. So an evil pally or warlock are rulers of nations just knowing a bit of magic. And a magic sword is sought out like Excalibur, a magic ring is something to be feared like 'My Precious'.

    Only thing is does this work mechinically. I plan on The players only getting a couple of magic items through their career and only if they search them out. Will this change dmg output/survivability drastically?
    Drastically, no. Notably, yes ... so if your PCs can handle CR+2 threats in a full-magic game, you might give them CR+1 or +0 instead. I bet you'll be able to adjust the difficulty before any character suffers for it.

    One way to impress players with the life-changing importance of magic items is to design paragon paths and epic destinies around them. (I'm assuming here that you won't try to have those hard-earned items stolen away or destroyed.) Consider a paragon path that any martial class can enter, with a prerequisite of owning a particular item, but it has very attractive powers and special abilities as long as you use that item ... perhaps powers that also come with drawbacks, like the Blood Magus wizard paragon path, only more harsh.

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    Default Re: 4ed Inherent bonuses for magic-low campaign

    Make campaign focal points being the hunting down of these rare magic items or ways to make your weapon magical. Travel to the grave of the ancient king to find his sword or through the mountains to find the Spring of the Gods, rumored to be able to make mere cloth into a material able to repel arrows.

    Instead of giving new weapons, let the ones thay have slide up automatially at certain points and only allow the less 'obvious' ones. For example, no flame tongues, but Adamantine or Battlemaster's would be appropriate.

    Heroes are the 'above and beyond' of the world. if magic items are rare, who better to have them than the heroes and what better plot hook to have than to have to hunt them down

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