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I'm planning a campaign and I want to have a village where magic doesn't work. You can't cast spells, magical items lose their ability, things like that.

I am fairly new to the lore and mechanics of the D&D world so I don't have a good grasp on how to do this. I could say the village is cursed but that opens up who and why questions I don't want my adventurers distracted by. I want something more like, the village happens to lie in a pocket that is disconnected for the magic plane (if that's a thing). How could that work?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Note, there isn't one D&D world. They certainly have similarities, but that's because the game system is designed to tell stories in a particular type of world. \$\endgroup\$
    – T.J.L.
    Apr 2 '20 at 18:23
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    \$\begingroup\$ Reminder: This is not a world building or narrative brainstorming site. Please restrict answers to mechanics, published lore, or experiential GMing advice. \$\endgroup\$
    – Novak
    Apr 2 '20 at 19:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ well bugger, I think I may have messed up then \$\endgroup\$
    – Keverly
    Apr 2 '20 at 19:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ @keverly, I personally think you're okay, but borderline. Others may disagree. In borderline cases what sometimes happens is that (in a sense) the quality of the answers retroactively determines the quality of the question, or the action taken on a question. My non-diamond-mod intent is to remind people to keep the quality of the answers high. \$\endgroup\$
    – Novak
    Apr 2 '20 at 20:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Make sure this ends up being equitable to your players! They might end up making an all-wizard party. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 5 '20 at 7:35
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You aren't limited by existing mechanics when worldbuilding

That's the joy of worldbuilding, the world you build is the world you build. You can explain it narratively however you like and the world just is.

However, what you may be looking at mechanically is an enormous antimagic field (PHB, 213) in terms of what happens when they try and utilize magic in the town.

But you can really make it however you want for whatever reasons you want. Just be consistent if it's wider ranging than just the town so players understand what's happening and can learn to prepare or react accordingly.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Not sure if it is worth adding, but DMG 109 says Dead magic zones use antimagic field. \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil
    Apr 2 '20 at 22:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Someone_Evil Sorry for not getting to this yesterday, got caught up. But looks like Enkryptor put up an answer with it, so not sure if I should still add. \$\endgroup\$
    – NautArch
    Apr 3 '20 at 13:07
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Dead magic zone

DMG page 109 provides the "Weird Locales" list, which can be used for adding more interesting wilderness features:

Weird locales make the fantastic and the supernatural an intrinsic part of your wilderness adventures.

The first option is so-called "Dead magic zone", a place where magic does not work:

1 -2 Dead magic zone (similar to an antimagic field)

It seems your village is located at such zone. In terms of mechanics it works exactly like antimagic field, but covers a larger area.

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This is a cool idea, but I don't think that there's an answer that doesn't involve some sort of story element that the players will be distracted by/try to turn to their advantage.

If you don't want it to be something the players can remove, think about having some sort of natural feature exclusive to that particular area that causes the null-magic zone. Possibilities include:

  • There was an intense magical battle fought in the distant past, and it was so fierce it permanently disrupted the weave of magic in that area

  • There are some sort of strange crystal growths in and around the town, and they have some sort of radiating aura that disrupts magic. All attempts to harvest them by traditional means have failed thus far, due to an incredibly tough structure, even adamantine has proven ineffective in so much as scratching the surface.

  • There's a curse on the town, but it requires something nearly unattainable for mortals in order to be broken.

It doesn't have to be something that actually exists in a rulebook somewhere, this is world building after all, you're allowed to make stuff up.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Good point on the distraction. Thank you for the suggestions! \$\endgroup\$
    – Keverly
    Apr 2 '20 at 18:42

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