Dungeons & Dragons Online

Capping Spells Learned on Level-Up to Fit Setting [5e]

Content of the article: "Capping Spells Learned on Level-Up to Fit Setting [5e]"

I am currently in the process of writing a campaign setting, and had an idea for a possible mechanical restriction that I would like some other opinions on. It sounds a bit ludicrous when explained without context, so I'll summarize the important world history below before the concept.

The world was once filled with high level magics and advanced technology that made the civilization present advanced unlike any in history. One fateful day, a gateway to the Plane of Water was opened, unleashing upon the world a flood on a scale never seen before and condemning the world to the depths of the sea, along with the technology and arcane techniques they used. This set the civilizations that remained on islands and untouched lands back hundreds of years in terms of magic and technology, where it has yet to return from in the era of a campaign.

I thought it might be interesting to restrict learning higher level spells (5th and up) on level up to reflect this. You still get the slots for upcasting lower level spells, but you can't learn any spells of that level alone due to the loss of the techniques. The spells can still be learned later, though it would be done by delving through ruins or interacting with beings of great power (dragons or immortals, for example). This goes for all casters, including divine and innate (sorcerers). Though this puts a damper on caster power initially, I think that having this cap provides an incentive for parties to seek out knowledge of the old world, as well as drive home the impact that the flood had upon the world now.

Read more:  Struggling with a group of players with very diverse wants and seeking advice.

This is just a purely hypothetical thought that came to mind, but my relative inexperience as a DM (as compared to others on this sub) makes it hard for me to accurately gauge the impact on player experience. I feel like it might be good to encourage interaction with the world, but I don't know. Players would definitely know about this up front when joining a campaign that might reach those levels, though. What do you all think? If not this, could introducing a "glitch" system for higher levels have a similar effect?

TL;DR: Writing a campaign world in which higher-level magic techniques were lost from the modern world, but can be found in the ruins of the old. Would restricting spells learned past 5th level without delving into ruins/interacting with beings of great power be a bad idea if they still get slots to upcast?

Source: reddit.com

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