How much Magic is too much Magic?

These are my views, no one else’s, there have been numerous posts regarding this subject recently offering many different system based ideas, but this is just a suggestion.

So you’re a DM, and you’ve created a wonderous world, ready for your players to inhabit, the adverntures are set and ready to go…

Then the though occurs to you “What magical items should I give to my players??”

So, what magical items do you give to your players? After hours of playing, they will expect some rewards. There is a fine line between giving them what they want and giving them what you think they deserve.

Low Magic Campaign:
In a low magic campaign your players get the bare minimum of treasure, they may feel like they never get a break. Yet, every +1 Longsword will seem like a great treasure, something to tell stories about, but your players will truly seem like they are getting a really bad deal.
I’ve run a campaign like this, no one had any magic because everyone thought magic was bad, kings and leaders had magical sword, only they never knew they were magical, they as someone said recently “worked better”.

High Magic Campaign:
Or, as the DM guide called it, the Monty Haul Campaign, your players get everything they could ever dream of, +5 swords are bountiful, everyone has a magic sword/staff whatever, and knows how you use them.
It’s great as a player (although it gets boring sometimes) but as a DM it’s a real challenge, how you do beat the last treasure? How do you stop your almost invulnerable PC’s, its easy to get here just by feeling you owe your players something.
I’ve played in a campaign like this, it got so boring, even wizards were tanks, nothing was a challenge, we killed a traasque in a few rounds, and it wasn’t really a challenge. Despite what anyone says this is not the campaign for role playing.

The ideal is somewhere in the middle, it takes years of practice and I don’t think I’ve ever mastered it myself, this is the art of a true DM. On the other hand you could choose to run the low or high magic setting as a choice, it may be better to warn your PCs beforehand.

So anyway, you’ve decided what level of magic you are going to allocate to the PC’s next you need to decide where it comes from.

Artifacts from a long lost age:
The magic items in your campaign are remnants of a long lost empire, made by long forgotten mages who could have harnessed the power of the gods themselves, the restrictions placed on modern mages didn’t apply.
There’s a problem with this idea, progress happens, the items they used in ages past would be just that, a relic from the past, why would anyone use an ancient weapon unless it was handed down from father to son maybe?
Of course, any weapon a player finds in a long forgotten hoard maybe something he is unfamiliar with, this would of course create great role playing opportunities, something a player can work with, an item which they would treasure.

Created by current mages:
These items are created in the current day, they are up to date, latest technology, but who creates them? The 2Ed players handbook is a little vague, but reading through the lines creating an item gives a 5% chance of losing a point of Constitution when combined with enchant an item (not 10 years of line as has been stated previously and what I did myself), why would the class who is typically down on this attribute voluntarily lose a point of constitution?

So these are just a few thoughts, maybe you agree with them, or you think they are stupid, either way comment if you can…

Jen, 12th April, 22:35 GMT.

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