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Pathfinder: Mundane/non-full caster only game

   
Mundane/non-full caster only game

If you want to run a game with only mundane and minor-casting classes (like Ranger or Paladin casting, but not Bard casting), what do you have to watch out for?
Of course full casters are still there as NPCs or enemies, only PCs aren't allowed to take those classes.

3.P, of course.

ToB is allowed.

It will be a normal game (probably in FR). It's not Mundane World, it's just that I'd like to not have the casters solve every problem with one or two spells.

Magic items are available, but not just like that, but through crafters. They'll have to order the item and wait for it's completion. And of course they'll have magic items in loot.

You'd gear the encounters to reflect their lesser access to magic. ToB makes it more worthwhile with the delay in magic item acquiring since you do have something to tide you over for a small time. No strong thoughts on what to watch for, but best wishes.

Keep in mind that encounters with anything other than humanoids and natural beasts will be much harder. The difficulty goes up exponentially with level: high-level encounters in fantasy RPGs assume magic is readily available. By limiting it, you are effectively running a low-magic game.

You may want to look at the rules for "Epic 6" games. These limit the power levels by capping character advancement at Level 6.

I don't like E6. I don't want to limit power, just spells.

Is it really low-magic when the whole setting is still using magic normally?

At that point, why are you playing D&D? It's an extraordinarily high-magic system, and E6 is one of the few elegant ways to even begin to get around that. You'd be better off with something like Burning Wheel or Pendragon or L5R.

Also? If a GM tells me the PCs aren't allowed to be full casters in order to create a low-magic setting, and then has full casters as NPCs and enemies, I'm pissed. You're denying me over half the classes in the game (literally), and most of the material in the game. That's not something I'll let over easy.

If you want the game to not work like D&D, play not-D&D.

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At that point, why are you playing D&D?
I like. I know it. My friends play it. Pick whichever you want.

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If a GM tells me the PCs aren't allowed to be full casters in order to create a low-magic setting, and then has full casters as NPCs and enemies, I'm pissed.
Who said that I'm creating a low-magic setting? I just want to have more-or-less mundane team of PCs that will have to deal with challenges in different ways than "just the right spell".

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You're denying me over half the classes in the game (literally), and most of the material in the game. That's not something I'll let over easy.
I don't force you to join my game if you can't live without spellcasters.
Just like some people have the need to play a caster-only game, I have the need for a mundanes-only game. I don't get why one is accepted and the other frowned upon.

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If you want the game to not work like D&D, play not-D&D.
There's no One True Way of playing D&D. Limiting players to mundane classes as a kind of challenge or change of pace, isn't less D&D than how D&D was intended to be played. Especially that most people here are playing it vastly differently than other people.

And I didn't post this topic to discuss about this idea. I asked a question and would like to get some answers. If you don't have anything constructive to say on the topic, say nothing.

There's no reason why you can't do this and succeed. So long as everyone knows going in that you're not allowing full casters but the game isn't low magic, there shouldn't be a problem. People who are offended by that won't apply, and you'll still find plenty of takers.

The things you need to watch out for are critters with abilities that magic specifically make significantly easier to defeat. It's not that you can't use them, they'll just be harder. I'm not experienced with PF, so I can't offer specifics for that, but a comparable example in 3.5 would be low level characters (before they can afford magic weapons) encountering a critter with DR x/magic. With full casters, you have Magic Weapon, Magic Fang, and a variety of damaging spells that can be whipped out. Without full casters, they have to be able to deal a crapload of damage, which low level characters are not very good at doing.

That's the kind of stuff you have to watch out for.

+1 to daupinous' comments.

There's nothing inherently wrong with what you're suggesting, but it does alter the basic underpinnings of how 3.5 works. You'll actually have an easier time of this at lower levels, where full casters (OK, wizards) are little more than commoners with a Good progression on their Will Save. Magic is less important here. Monsters tend to have fewer hit points, reasonable AC, and few (if any) special attacks. Once you edge past Level 6 or so, however, you're going to find that lack of full-on magical support will require you to be very careful in building your encounters. You'll need to give the PCs terrain they can exploit, consider expanding what they can accomplish with skill use, and give them a way out when things go bad.

You may want to remind your players that running is a viable tactical option. A lot of D&D gamers tend to think the DM would never intentionally kill a PC or put them into an encounter they cannot win through combat. However, there are very famous literary characters that actually spend more time running than they did fighting. Conan, for all his butt-kicking for goodness, what little more than a thief with a big-ass sword. He spent a lot of time running from sorcerers and superior force of arms.

dauph's example of DR X/Magic is a great example of what I'm talking about. With averaged damage around 7 or 8 (figure 1d8 damage die and a +4 damage modifier), DR 5 means each PC does only 2 or 3 points of damage per attack per round. Without terrain advantage, a single 2HD creature with DR 5/Magic suddenly becomes a serious threat in a toe-to-toe battle. Toss in some blocking terrain to give archer types s a few rounds of safe fire, stuff for the rogue to dart around to gain Sneak Attack, and a pit or a large rock and the encounter becomes an interesting game of cat-and-mouse.

A thought that comes to mind, on the MW wiki, is sub-classes. You could limit casters to being the sub-class to a noncasting class. That might not be what you desire, but the notion's there if you want it.

While it will be difficult, as the other gentlemen said, you just need to be careful with encounter creation, and maybe give the group surprise on occasion. A low-level creature with the right abilities will destroy the party if you are not careful. From experience, this does work. I ran a Rogue-only game offline and a Ranger-only game as well and both went quote well. The success of it is in your hands. The characters know their limits and wouldn't run headlong into a no-win encounter. If a situation comes to that, give them a plausible escape to rectify the bad encounter. In the end, its about everyone having fun.




 

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