Are there any rules, official ones, that eliminate the need of magic item use? Vow of Poverty is out of the question, is there anything else?

The reason why i do not want anything homebrew is that my Dm would not allow it, i had a problem trying to convince him to let a class from Tome of Battle into the game, and then he banned Vow of Poverty(tweeked) that i used, and wanted to take again.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Can you clarify "need" in this instance? \$\endgroup\$ – Brian Ballsun-Stanton Feb 9 '12 at 16:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ I mean having a character that does not use magic items but is as potent as one that does. Like vow of povertie's bonuses to attack/damage rolls, defenses and atributes. Obviously without magical benefits like flaming on weapons. Something like 4th edition's inherent bonuses. \$\endgroup\$ – Khaal Feb 9 '12 at 17:12
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ It's a little hard to achieve this in 3.5... Many monsters are balanced assuming that the PCs have access to certian kinds and amounts of magic equipment (especially magic weapons), and any attempt to replace magic items with character abilities will tend to cause the party to have more money... which it can use to buy more magic items. Vow of Charity solved this (to some extent) with the requirement that the character's loot share be given to charity, but methods like that are few and far between. It might help if you'd tell us why your character doesn't want to use magic items. \$\endgroup\$ – GMJoe Feb 10 '12 at 5:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ If i replace magic items with inherent bonuses, the character won't use magic items. In game the reasons i have are mostly the belief in martial strength (fighters/swordsage are favourite classes) and feeling that the need to use magic to enhance your martial prowess is unacceptable. My problem is more of a mechanical/flavorfull one ooc. I never liked the use of magic items other than artifacts. Having a belt of giant strength, a light fotification armor, a flaming keen booming magic weapon, boots of speed and the helmet of disintegration on one char never appealed to me.(ench are fictional) \$\endgroup\$ – Khaal Feb 10 '12 at 12:12
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ This is definitely unofficial, but if the GM made sufficient training options available so you could directly trade GP for improvements to stats, damage, hit chance and just say it was training for role playing purposes, this would probably get what you want while still achieving balance. The way to ensure it isn't easily stacked with magic items to create characters that are too powerful is to make this training a fair bit more expensive than the equivalent magical item. \$\endgroup\$ – TimothyAWiseman Mar 20 '12 at 19:50

Not that I've ever seen. I've seen many builder books, some of them having different rules to have bonuses to players but never anything from WotC myself. Though, I have heard of d20 settings that make a point to get rid of magical items, such as Iron Kingdoms. So maybe they have something in there that helps get rid of magic and scales the power/to-hit/ac of characters.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Iron Kingdoms doesn't get rid of magic items. Pure magic items are rare, but mechanika items are pretty common. Mechanika is a combination of magic/engineering which grants the items stats/abilities. It also allows a player to swap an item's abilities with the proper materials/time. \$\endgroup\$ – Ellesedil Nov 24 '13 at 1:42

THe single way I can think of in 3.5 without going to 3rd party supplements is to play a monk... Even then, the "hits as" mode only applies unarmed.

My advice is to find a different group, rather than trying to bludgeon a GM unwilling to bend to concept characters with rules that he's going to reject anyway.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I play with friens, so finding another group is highly unlikely. I do understand that asking for things that one does not perceive as necessary can be boring and frustrating, but every one has to play something he enjoys. \$\endgroup\$ – Khaal Feb 9 '12 at 21:00

Edit: Note that these are unofficial fixes, meant more for the whole group/campaign than a single character. There is no official way that I know of, besides Vow of Poverty, which has its own balance issues.

Stat Boosting

In the past, I have changed the level progression slightly to include static bonuses to replace the core set of magic items (stat boosters, magic weapons/armor/shields, cloaks of resistance). This is unofficial / homebrew, but it is relatively well balanced, and follows normal equipment progression. It gives players something plenty to look forward to when leveling. It has proven relatively successful (for me at least).

  • Feats every odd level (1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th...)
  • Ability Score increases every even level (2nd, 4th, 6th, 8th...)
  • +1 to Attack and Damage every four levels (3rd, 7th, 11th 15th...)
  • +1 to Armor and Shield AC every four levels (4th, 8th, 12th, 16th...)
  • +1 to all Saving Throws every four levels (5th, 9th, 13th, 15th...)


The Midnight OGL role-playing game by Fantasy Flight Games has a very cool mechanic called Heroic Paths. These are chosen in addition to a character's class, and grants them spell-like abilities that level along with them.

This could help replace the multitude of options and abilities granted by magic items.

  • \$\begingroup\$ But I should say, these options would be better balanced if used for the entire group as a whole, rather than a single player. \$\endgroup\$ – oldrobotsneverrust Feb 9 '12 at 18:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes i have that in mind. The reason why i do not want anything homebrew is that my Dm would not allow it, i had a problem trying to convince him to let a class from Tome of Battle into the game, and then he banned Vow of Poverty(tweeked) that i used, and wanted to take again. \$\endgroup\$ – Khaal Feb 9 '12 at 19:15

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.