07 October, 2011

Musing on Low-Magic

I've said in here before that my new gameworld is to be low-magic: that is, there aren't going to be six-packs of Wands of Fireball to be had, and any magical sword (or, even rarer, miscellaneous weapon!) you may find has a specific origin, purpose, and name. But there are a lot of really nifty magical items out there. A flip through the Rules Cyclopedia shows me interesting scrolls that can map areas or draw things for you. The Book of Marvelous Magic has a plethora of wild items I'd love to use. But doesn't that fly in the face of 'low-magic'?

I could redefine my term and say that magic is not prevalent, and keep my current treasure chart, but allow, on occasion and with reason, some of these more interesting items to crop up. I could certainly place individual items for specific reasons. But in a place where the society doesn't use a great deal of magic in their day-to-day lives, where returning the dead to true life is something of a miraculous occurrence, how much sense does it make to have a Broom of Flying, as a mundane example, sitting unknown in someone's stable? Or am I falling prey to the 'it has to make sense!' pitfall I'm so prone to?

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