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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Casters In A World With No Magic (Help With Early Design)

    I don't know if there is something like this already on the site, but as I have stated before, I didn't think Investigation was a necessary skill.

    I'm in the process of designing a world that has been left depleted of magic. It once existed, and people thrived on it, but the Spellweave has been separated from the world. Meaning that no one, arcane or divine, can access magic anymore. And it all starts to go downhill from there. Ecosystems die, civilizations crumble, disease runs rampant, and so forth. But, with the way that 5e is designed, the core classes seem pretty integral to play. I mean, sure, I could design new classes, but balancing them is way too much. Archetypes are easier to design, so I set forth on that.

    It all started out peachy. I started with Wizard, because they seemed the easiest to go with. I based them around creating spell-like effects with different forms of technology. Y'know, Evokers get guns, Diviners get cerebral implants, that sort of thing. So, wizards are good. Sorcerers came next, and they actually break the mold of the world a bit. The Spellweave can sense that the world has been separated from magic, and it tries to fix that. So, once in every cosmic moment, a mortal is imbued with power from the Spellweave. Sorcerers then pick their archetype from different awakenings, manifesting themselves as a specific part of the Weave... like, some have a Burning Awakening, becoming manifestations of the Spellweave's wrath, and specializing in the element of fire. It'll sound smoother when I get it all written down.

    That's where I got stuck.

    I don't know how to handle Bards or Warlocks. Patrons for Warlocks can't really grant their followers too much magic, so they grew distant. And for Bards, I just throw my hands up. I thought about making them just enchanters, but it takes the feel away. Even worse is the divine classes. Clerics, in particular. In the lore of the world, when priests and other clergymen couldn't help the people with divine magic anymore, everyone gradually lost faith. When everyone stopped worship, the gods died. So, clerics? What do? I wrote up a Wasteland environment for Land Circle Druids, and by extension, Rangers, but they can't cast either. Paladins can swear fealty to those who need help, but where does their magic come in?

    Anything helps, you guys.
    Last edited by Zehridamus; 2016-07-11 at 11:02 AM.

    78% of DM's started their first campaign in a tavern. If you're one of the 22% that didn't, copy and paste this into your signature.

    I started my campaign at a public execution.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    MonkGuy

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    Jan 2016

    Default Re: Casters In A World With No Magic (Help With Early Design)

    How do monk's fare in this world? Ki isn't exactly magic. Start looking at 3.5's The Book of Nine Swords or Oriental Adventures.

    Good luck!

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Casters In A World With No Magic (Help With Early Design)

    Well. Interesting.

    Bards *could* get the same fiat as sorcerers. So could others.

    But maybe magic users are just... gone. Isn't that the point of the setting? To explore that angle? It would feel silly to say,"So, there's no magic in this setting, and we'll see what happens because of that. Oh, and by the way, all spellcasting classes are still available."

    As for clerics, plenty of people today believe in, serve, fight, and die for deities even though there is no personal proof of their influence or power.

    I have a few bits to think on in relation to the setting:
    -What happens when the whoever was imprisoned by magic through the centuries is released?

    - How long after the fall of magic are we talking here? Because I'm still waiting for my cerebral implant.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    ElfRangerGuy

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    Default Re: Casters In A World With No Magic (Help With Early Design)

    zeek0 made a spellless ranger. (Just have to eliminate the use of one of the archetypes.)

    Here it is the thread.

    One thing to consider is to just eliminate some classes. Bards, Clerics, Paladins, Warlocks.

    The othe is to offer to the players. Here is this world, it has no magic. If you want to fluff a magic class as something other than magic you can go ahead. Here are some of the things in the world...guns, implants etc.
    You surrender after you're dead. Lan Mandragoran

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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Casters In A World With No Magic (Help With Early Design)

    I've tried to work on something similar as well. A few notes:

    Bards - Could still exist, but replacing magical abilities with additional inspirational ones to still motivate through magic. Whole class would need overhauled, but maybe a few minor lingering magical effects from "Songs of Old" would still be available to them. Bards in Dragon Age might be a good place to research, they are more spies and assassins, then actual music playing bards.

    Druids - "Mother Earth" could still have a foundation in producing some magical effects, such as Wild Shape and you could again look at a non-spellcasting version, but maybe adding in "Nature Rituals" for spell-flavor.

    Clerics - Again, use rituals instead of spells for some effects, but otherwise determine if you have a Priest (non-combatant), Crusader (Fighting Cleric) or maybe a couple other Archetypes. Also, instead of spells, consider "Protections" won't deal any damage, but would instead produce a protection effect of the cleric or their companions.

    Monks - Don't use magic, but you could ban the Way of the Four Elements.

    Paladins - Maybe roll this class into cleric for a more "Crusader" style. Otherwise just keep smite and a few other abilities that aren't spells.

    Arcane Casters - Here is where the real problem lies. Sorcerers would be completely gone, since their origin for producing magic would also be gone. Warlocks could still have pacts with other creatures, but again consider a ritual type setup. Wizards could perhaps be Loremasters that can unlock "hidden secrets" to perform minor magical effects.

    Game of Thrones had a D20 RPG a few years ago and I felt that did a decent job at least with Clerics on how you can use minor non-magical effects to still have a priest type of class, might look there for inspiration.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Casters In A World With No Magic (Help With Early Design)

    Quote Originally Posted by zeek0 View Post
    -What happens when the whoever was imprisoned by magic through the centuries is released?

    - How long after the fall of magic are we talking here? Because I'm still waiting for my cerebral implant.
    Good questions. To answer the first one, I had an idea after being off the site for a few days. I don't know how feasible it is, but I'll let you decide that.

    I was working on another world that was utopian. In the universe, magic suffused both the world and the Outer Planes. But, when I made it, I also gave a world-changing event in the lore called the Severance, in which the world cut itself off from the influence of the Outer Planes by sapping all of the surrounding magic, leaving the other planes powerless, while the Material had access to magic that it had never dreamed of before. After that, it could sever its ties to the multiverse fairly easily. And, when it faced no outward threat, they slowly got rid of the things that harmed the world, until it was utopian.

    As a side to the same coin, I thought that this "world" could be the reflection: what happened to the multiverse after magic was gone? I had the planes collapse into one realm, where all divine beings shared the same home. However, with their source of power gone, they quickly began to lose their power, and eventually, they became shadows of their former selves. And, most importantly, they became mortal. Now the "divinity" could be easily snuffed from a Magic Missile from the average man.

    This in turn inspired the races of this dystopian world. I took various divine beings, celestials, fiends, and the like, and asked myself what would happen to them if they became powerless. I think it's neat, but I made it, so I would like a little feedback.

    As far as how long its been, its been thousands of years. The mortal world had a lot of wrinkles to iron out if it was going to become utterly utopian. And, it would probably take a long time for the gods to succumb to these effects, even if lesser beings like angels and demons fell long before they did. I figured at least two-thousand years would be enough to have even the greater deities fall due to their lack of former power. The difference between the two worlds is, the Material has made magic more advanced over that course of time, since it was so abundant and powerful. The dystopian plane, however, would need to develop other methods of power to stay relevant. I wanted different classes to explore what they thought a good substitute was, and, as the only Intelligence-based Full Caster in 5e, I thought Wizards would develop technologies.

    78% of DM's started their first campaign in a tavern. If you're one of the 22% that didn't, copy and paste this into your signature.

    I started my campaign at a public execution.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Casters In A World With No Magic (Help With Early Design)

    Quote Originally Posted by RATHSQUATCH View Post
    I've tried to work on something similar as well. A few notes:

    Bards - Could still exist, but replacing magical abilities with additional inspirational ones to still motivate through magic. Whole class would need overhauled, but maybe a few minor lingering magical effects from "Songs of Old" would still be available to them. Bards in Dragon Age might be a good place to research, they are more spies and assassins, then actual music playing bards.

    Druids - "Mother Earth" could still have a foundation in producing some magical effects, such as Wild Shape and you could again look at a non-spellcasting version, but maybe adding in "Nature Rituals" for spell-flavor.

    Clerics - Again, use rituals instead of spells for some effects, but otherwise determine if you have a Priest (non-combatant), Crusader (Fighting Cleric) or maybe a couple other Archetypes. Also, instead of spells, consider "Protections" won't deal any damage, but would instead produce a protection effect of the cleric or their companions.

    Monks - Don't use magic, but you could ban the Way of the Four Elements.

    Paladins - Maybe roll this class into cleric for a more "Crusader" style. Otherwise just keep smite and a few other abilities that aren't spells.

    Arcane Casters - Here is where the real problem lies. Sorcerers would be completely gone, since their origin for producing magic would also be gone. Warlocks could still have pacts with other creatures, but again consider a ritual type setup. Wizards could perhaps be Loremasters that can unlock "hidden secrets" to perform minor magical effects.

    Game of Thrones had a D20 RPG a few years ago and I felt that did a decent job at least with Clerics on how you can use minor non-magical effects to still have a priest type of class, might look there for inspiration.
    Lots of good inspiration here, I like it. GoT's Cleric was a nice headstart for me. Thank you! Now I just need to do some fluffing...

    78% of DM's started their first campaign in a tavern. If you're one of the 22% that didn't, copy and paste this into your signature.

    I started my campaign at a public execution.

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