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  1. #1
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    This is slightly off-topic, because it doesn't directly involve Birthright, but what other low-magic settings are there for (A)D&D? I could only come up with Birthright...and that's about it. Greyhawk isn't overly high-magic, but I wouldn't call it low-magic either. Planescape, Spelljammer, Forgotten Realms, Mystara...they're all high-magic. Heck, whole 3rd edition D&D seems high-magic and high-fantasy to me...

    Isn't it odd that D&D currently has no setting that appeals to fans of old-school, LotR-like, low-magic settings? Is that fanbase such a minority?

    - Azulthar

  2. #2
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    Dark Sun was a lower magic item setting. But this was replaced by psionically enchanted ones.
    Duane Eggert

  3. #3
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 12:26 PM 7/9/2004 +0200, Azulthar wrote:



    >Isn`t it odd that D&D currently has no setting that appeals to fans of

    >old-school, LotR-like, low-magic settings? Is that fanbase such a minority?



    I can`t think if any, honestly.... I think it`s even a little debatable

    whether BR is low-magic per se. It is by comparison to other D&D settings,

    certainly, but if one were to compare it to non-D&D campaigns/rules or even

    fantasy literature then its pretty high magic/fantasy in several aspects.



    In all honesty, when I`m looking to play something that is truly low magic

    I don`t turn to D&D. The rules themselves are (as you note regarding 3e)

    more geared towards high magic settings. The use of 3e/D20 to portray less

    magical environments (D20 Modern, Traveller, even some of the superhero D20

    rules) are rather shaky IMO. Don`t get me wrong, one can certainly enjoy

    playing them, but I don`t know if they are particularly apt as a basic game

    mechanic for other settings. When it gets right down to it 3e/D20 uses a

    fairly limited set of game mechanics (task resolution based on 20-sided

    dice, level based character progression) that are dubious in other

    circumstances. From what I can tell the balance of the system is based on

    a relatively short "window" of scale. That scale is a bit broader,

    probably, than the +/- 4 character levels suggested by the 3e encounter

    design rules in the DMG, but not very much broader. Things get even dicier

    at the epic level.



    All that aside, the magic system really is at the heart of D&D. It`s the

    aspect of the game that is largest in the core texts and most elaborated

    upon throughout all of gaming. It`s stilted, sometimes nonsensical and

    even goofy in many regards, yet it has a certain inexplicable

    appeal. Maybe it`s position early in gaming is responsible? Maybe its

    just too big to ignore? I don`t know. Despite the fact that one really

    should know better its still something people want to use... like the

    embrace of an abusive parent....



    Gary

  4. #4
    Senior Member RaspK_FOG's Avatar
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    Originally posted by "At 09:30 PM 10/9/2004@ Gary wrote:"
    Despite the fact that one really should know better its still something people want to use... like the embrace of an abusive parent....
    How true that may be...

  5. #5
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    I'd say that considering the free magical item at the start of play makes BR a higher magic setting than many other campaign worlds.

  6. #6
    Thats only for regents though, not for all characters, as it is a family heirloom.
    "Who was the first that forged the deadly blade? Of rugged steel his savage soul was made." --Tibullus

    "Qui desiderat pacem praeparet bellum." --Vegetius

    "Men grow tired of sleep, love, singing and dancing sooner than war." --Homer

  7. #7

    Thats only for regents though, not for all characters, as it is a family heirloom.
    Plus, if that is the only magical item they get for five or six levels, then it is still low magic (and they'll tresure that one item all the more).

  8. #8
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    To a certain degree Dragonlance can be played as a low-magic campaign, especially in certain periods of Krynn's history.

  9. #9
    Birthright Developer irdeggman's Avatar
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    And in 2nd ed a non-blooded character gained a 10% exp bonus. You had to be blooded to be a regent. And you had to be a regent to gain the starting magic item (or bonus equipment - it was the player's choice) and bonus 10 hit points, scion that weren't regents did not gain these things.
    Duane Eggert

  10. #10
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    I generally agree with Gary that Birthright is not really a low-magic world. Rather it is rare-magic, where it is far between but very powerful when encoutnered.

    As vary similar game would be Midnight by Fantasy Flight Games. It has a very tolkienesque feeling to its dark world, and some have even said it can be played as middle earth where Sauron actually won. Magic is rarer in that game as well, but can also be very powerful.

    A new game that I have great hopes for is the upcoming A Song of Fire and Ice game based on the books with the same name by George R R Martin. The story has a very low magic world, and I can only hope they manage to convey this in an interesting and playable way with the D20 mechanics.

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