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Let's say I want to DM a hypothetical, low-magic, homebrew D&D 5e game, that pits weapon-wielding heroes against supernatural foes and evil sorcerers. Think Conan the Barbarian or Game of Thrones or LotR maybe. PCs should have access to little-to-no magic. Magical power should feel rare and valuable.

I have two options how to achieve this: a) outright banning all spell-casting classes or b) removing spell-casting abilities from classes

I choose option b and introduce a simple but far-reaching house-rule:

  • All spells are removed from all class-spell-lists (including cantrips)
  • Player characters have a maximum of 0 spell slots

Other magic or magic-like abilities still work (for example channel divinity). Means of acquiring spells that don't require them to be learned/prepared from a class's spell list still work. Means of casting spells without expending spell slots still work.

My question: How will my house rule affect the balance between classes? A cleric without spells is worthless compared to a cleric with spells, but how is it in a game where no-one gets any spells?

What I'm not looking for in answers:

  • Wizards & Sorcerers: Obviously, taking away 99% of what a class does demotes it to "trash-tier". Full-power sorcerers and wizards should be reserved for the BBEGs anyways.
  • Fighters, Barbarians, Rogues: Obviously these classes are affected only very little by the nerf.
  • Whether or not this is a good idea, if players would like it, how to balance the campaign/encounters/monsters, better game-systems to achieve my goal etc.

What I'm looking for in answers:

  • Is the remaining 1% of Wizards & Sorcerers of any value (e.g. as a multiclass dip, lets say divination wizard for portent) or if hard-banning these classes would have virtually the same effect.
  • Most of the other spellcasting classes have strong utility and magical abilities even without spells. But is it enough to keep them relevant?
  • Weak subclass options that might become stronger choices: I'm thinking specifically Four-Elements Monk, but there might be others. Does stepping out of the shadow of "real" casters allow these options to shine or are they bad regardless.

Consider the following:

  • Assume the campaign goes from level 1-10
  • Assume only PHB races and backgrounds
  • Assume the campaign has combat, social interactions and exploration
  • Assume the campaign will be balanced around the fact that the players have little-to-no access to magic

Some related topics:

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    \$\begingroup\$ Just for the sake of clarity, are you also banning cantrips from class lists? \$\endgroup\$ Mar 14, 2022 at 14:55
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm seeing people downvoting this, and I'm not sure why-- I'd like to remind everyone that downvoting is for poorly written or non-stackable questions, not just questions that you dislike. Regardless of whether anyone thinks this is a good idea, it's an interesting question, and seems fully stackable to me. \$\endgroup\$
    – Cooper
    Mar 14, 2022 at 15:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Cooper I didn't downvote, though this is bordering on "no research effort". A quick scan over the level-up chart at the beginning of each full spellcaster (and half-casters, really) would show how many dead levels this would cause. \$\endgroup\$
    – Red Orca
    Mar 14, 2022 at 16:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ Recommend changing "Sword & Sorcery" to "Sword & Sandals". The former implies spellcasting as a protagonist option. The latter better matches the described rule change. \$\endgroup\$
    – ValhallaGH
    Mar 14, 2022 at 16:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ @WakiNadiVellir Yes, these loopholes are intentional. The whole "point" of this rule (instead of straight just banning spellcasters) is that some rare magic is still allowed. The consensus seems to be though, that it is too few and far between to matter \$\endgroup\$ Mar 16, 2022 at 9:26

6 Answers 6

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Ok, as you've focused down the question, let's look at class by class balance. As you stated in the question, Wizards and Sorcerers are obviously useless now--and classes that already had no or only sub-class level access are largely unaffected.

But here's the core problem: without access to magic, the rest of your formerly-magical classes must now compete with classes that were designed from the ground up to function without magic. In short, you are removing a major class feature and expecting these characters to still perform like a full class. They won't.

There's a reason that classes tend to be defined as "Non-caster, Half-caster, Full-caster." Spellcasting is not a minor component of these classes; it is pivotal to their function.

Balancing this anyway...

If you wish to proceed, you will need to accept a few things as almost certain fact.

First, your players will almost certainly not play any class that you removed spellcasting from. Your party will consist of Fighters, Monks, Rogues, and Barbarians.

Even for players who won't go down to brass tacks analyzing balance and functionality--if you tell them "you can play any class you'd like, but Spellcasting or Pact Magic is removed from your class," they're going to pick classes that don't have those features. I mean...who wants to play a class that had one of its defining ability sets ripped out.

Second, unless you go into some of the suggestions I offer below, your party will be extremely vulnerable to being overrun by mobs. The vast, vast bulk of AoE capability in D&D comes from magic. Without Area of Effect abilities it is very difficult to clear large groups of weak enemies. At the least, ensure your party has access to choke points or other means to reduce the risk of getting swamped.

Experiential Suggestions

All of this to say, I have once run a 'non-magic' game in 5th Edition. However, I did it differently than you're suggesting.

  • Spellcasting classes were simply forbidden. Rather than leaving gutted classes available for someone to pick and end up miserable playing, I just banned any class that used magic.
  • Go homebrew digging. In order to compensate for the lack of magic, I went digging for homebrew content that could fill in the lack. Ultimately, I found a Warlord and a Psion class that I was happy with, providing a 'martial healer' and 'non-magic spellcaster' option so the party could still have main-class access to healing and area-effect abilities. There are also some decent "Non-magic Ranger" homebrews out there.
  • Avoid mobs: I almost wiped my party with a swarm of Blights--but this is the case any time you have a party short on AoE ability.

With this set up, the game worked. My players did, however, miss having access to magic and we did not turn this game into a long-running campaign.

Honestly, that first bullet point is my strongest suggestion to you. Don't offer your players gutted classes. If you're going to ban spellcasting, just ban spellcasters.

Class by Class...

Let's break it down. At the start of each class, I'll note how many levels this class now has where it gets nothing because its class feature would be tied to spellcasting.

Artificer

Dead Levels: 3 (4 if you don't consider Magical Tinkering to be useful enough)

As a half-caster who can create magic items, the Artificer is probably the most magical thing left to the game--and if you're going for a minimal-magic feel, they don't really fit the tone of the world.

That said, the Alchemist and Artillerist take a hefty nerf as their key feature requires a spell slot to use more than once a day...and the Battle Smith has lost the ability to repair their Construct.

Bard

Dead Levels: 3

The Bard can kind of function without magic, but not terribly well. They are full-casters so the bulk of their functionality is tied up in their spellcasting. What you ultimately end up with is a skill-monkey that is better at unskilled checks than a Rogue, can pass out a few buffs, and is mediocre-at-best in a fight.

Even the more martial subclasses (like Valor or Swords) don't hold up as a straight combatant when compared to pure-martials.

Cleric

Dead Levels: 5

A Cleric without Spellcasting is able to turn/destroy Undead, but is otherwise nothing but its subclass. So you essentially have 5 levels worth of class features to try to compete with all the class features in a purely martial class.

This is further exacerbated by the fact that most subclasses have features that tie into spellcasting, or are limited by how often they can Channel Divinity (twice per short/long rest). By your subclass choice, you'd end up with something like a Life Domain (so you have some healing to work with) but are limited to simple weapons and medium armor or you go War Domain and are a very-very discount Paladin.

Druid

Dead Levels: 9

Druids are the next best thing to useless...either you get a low-powered wild shape and a whopping 4 levels worth of class features (many of which are tied to spellcasting, and thus doubly useless), or you go Moon Druid and can be kinda effective as an animal, but totally useless if you get knocked out of Wild Shape or run out of uses.

Also of important note: a Druid that cannot cast spells has no features at all at level 1 besides an extra language.

Paladin

Dead Levels: 3

As a half-caster, Paladins suffer from losing spellcasting less than some of the others. But they lost the feature that most makes them powerful: Divine Smite.

What's left is a discount Fighter who generates some buff auras. However, of these 'nerfed' classes...Paladins remain useful for precisely one reason: Lay On Hands. They are one of the few options that remain that offer on-demand healing.

Ranger

Dead Levels: 3

Of the spellcasting classes, Rangers probably suffer the least...but it's still enough to cripple their utility compared to other classes. They are left with less skill utility than a Rogue, less combat ability than a Fighter, and no spellcasting to make up for their lack.

Warlock

Dead Levels: 8

Most Warlock builds are primary spellcasters and are thus now useless. You're essentially left with the Hexblade as the only thing that's still useful. But...a Hexblade with no spellcasting is little more than a crappy Fighter that can use Cha for their attack rolls.

Other noteworthy callouts

The usefulness of sub-classes like the Way of the Elements monk is not really improved by this. From my interactions with players and looking at the class itself, its main problem is that it is an inefficient sub-class. It burns Ki Points at a much higher rate than other Monks, for less effect.

Removing spellcasters from the game may cause players to feel like they have to play a subclass like Way of the Elements, just so the party isn't completely without area of effect attacks...but that doesn't mean the subclass is actually good now. Just that the players are desperate.

There is, however, a subclass whose comparative utility has skyrocketed--the Way of Mercy Monk. Of everything that is left, this is the class/subclass that has the most reliable and most frequently usable healing without accepting the burden of playing a class missing a core feature.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Excellent answer, excellent analysis, +1 for the area of effect callout. \$\endgroup\$
    – Novak
    Mar 14, 2022 at 21:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ Also ban half-casters. Because either you nerv them into the ground, or you allow their other "not word by word spell"-features and thereby still allow powerful magic in your part \$\endgroup\$
    – Hobbamok
    Mar 15, 2022 at 12:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Rad80 Thanks for the suggestion...reordered my content to put what used to be the end up near the top. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 15, 2022 at 18:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ As far as the “digging for homebrew” goes, I did this. Came up with barbarian, monk, rogue and fighter as classes, allowed one level dips into Paladin, and then added a Doctor class, the spell-less ranger class and a homebrew spell-less Paladin. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 15, 2022 at 23:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ Warlocks get some nifty invocations, including some which grant at-will or non-spell-slot spells, so I wouldn't quite call a Hexblade just a crappy fighter. A Tiefling Hexblade could still get for example the dreaded Darkness + Devil's Eyes combo. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 16, 2022 at 9:36
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This is functionally equivalent to outright banning class options.

Wizards, Sorcerers, Clerics, Bards, and Druids, the so-called "full caster" classes, are hurt the most. The first two, Wizards and Sorcerers, become completely useless, since many of their class and subclass features interact with their spellcasting. Clerics and Bards are also essentially useless, but more of their class features remain useable. But again, still useless. Druids still get Wild Shape, which is neat, but again, having a full array of spell slots is a huge portion of what the class can do.

The half casters, rangers, paladins, and artificers, aren't hurt as bad as the full casters, but ranger and paladin become "fighter, but worse" because their spellcasting makes up for the lack of martial features compared to the fighter. The artificer is probably the least hurt of the half casters, as they can still make magic items, and their class features are generally not spellcasting-dependent, but they still lose a good chunk of their utility with spellcasting.

None of these classes are worth using without their spellcasting features, except maybe the artificer, and even then, would easily be the weaker than any martial class.

Warlocks may still be serviceable, but still lose a lot. You can build a warlock around being a strong melee combatant, but taking away eldritch blast removes their best ranged option, and they lack the additional utility their Pact Magic feature brings to the table.

To be clear, there is nothing wrong with wanting a low-magic game with martial-heavy characters, and this rule will certainly get you there. If you are pitching this game to anyone, just be sure to tell them your expectations before they show up for the first session or session 0. You said you wanted "Sword & Sorcery", and I'm afraid there won't be much sorcery from this one. To speak in terms of "balance", if no one is playing a caster class, you can expect things to be balanced just fine (as long as you respect their lack of a healer in your encounter design). If someone wants to try to play one of the casters anyway, expect them to be severely inferior in their utility both in and out of combat.

Finally, I want to showcase just how bad things get for wizards in particular. Take the Evocation Wizard. Here is the list class features that remain useable under your house rule:

Proficiencies

Armor: None
Weapons: Daggers, darts, slings, quarterstaffs, light crossbows

Literally every single class and subclass feature of an Evocation Wizard depends on being able to cast spells, except for their underwhelming weapon proficiencies. A Wizard becomes a highly intelligent commoner. And this why in my header I say this rule is equivalent to a ban:

What do I get if I play a Wizard?

A dagger.

What can I do with the dagger?

Poke.

Like, lots of pokes?

One poke.

And no magic?

I said one poke.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Perhaps worth noting...A few sub-classes (Life Cleric, Dreams Druid) plus the Paladin are now the only source of instant healing. For most of these, that means playing a character with a lot of their key features removed in order to get Healing. This makes Martial Sub-classes that can heal more valuable as they can provide healing without being a massively nerfed class. Only two that immediately come to mind are the Purple Dragon Knight Fighter or Way of Mercy Monk. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 14, 2022 at 17:01
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    \$\begingroup\$ I agree, this is functionally the same or nearly the same as banning any class or subclass with the Spellcasting or Pact Magic features, plus a few others like 4 elements monk. I guess this leaves you with just (selected subclasses of) barbarian, fighter, monk, and rogue as viable classes? \$\endgroup\$ Mar 14, 2022 at 21:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ Also thematically: Some of those subclass features feel a lot like the direct magic OP wanted to ban, so just leaving them as-is feels kinda weird \$\endgroup\$
    – Hobbamok
    Mar 15, 2022 at 12:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Downvoted because, although it's well-thought-out and well-written 1) You talk a lot about how Wizards & Sorcerers are nerfed, and the OP said he already knew that, 2) you don't address how the 90% lack of healing affects combat and recovery 3) I thought the Warlock's Eldritch Blast was unrelated to spell slots. Am I wrong? \$\endgroup\$ Mar 15, 2022 at 20:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ShawnV.Wilson My laughably long to do list includes adding a discussion of healing to this answer. As for Eldritch blast, all spell lists are empty, and the warlocks class description says “ You know two cantrips of your choice from the warlock spell list.” \$\endgroup\$ Mar 15, 2022 at 20:24
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Your primary question is:

How will my house rule affect the balance between classes?

Currently, 5e classes are reasonably well balanced. To the best of my knowledge there's no equivalent of the tier list post. Some subclasses are known to be good or bad, but there's not a major imbalance where (eg) wizards are considered to be strictly better than fighters.

You're proposing to nerf a bunch of classes. The classes you nerf will be much worse relative to the classes that were not nerfed. If your players are paying any attention at all, they will refuse to play the classes that were nerfed.

You've added three new questions:

Is the remaining 1% of Wizards & Sorcerers of any value (e.g. as a multiclass dip, lets say divination wizard for portent) or if hard-banning these classes would have virtually the same effect.

Remember that, after your nerfs, all of your player characters are martial characters: fighters and rogues and barbarians and monks.

In standard 5e, it's fairly rare for martial characters to take multiclass dips into spellcasting classes. Right now, any fighter could choose to take a two-level dip into divination wizard to get the Portent feature, but very few fighters want to do that. You're proposing to nerf the divination wizard, and then you're asking: "well, after I nerfed it, maybe my fighters will want to multiclass into it now?"

They won't.

Most of the other spellcasting classes have strong utility and magical abilities even without spells. But is it enough to keep them relevant?

No. They were balanced before you nerfed them, and then you nerfed them, and now they are no longer balanced.

Moon Circle Druids would be okay around levels 2-4, since they tend to spend that time in wildshape form and don't spellcast much anyway. But the wildshape thing doesn't scale very well with level, and nobody should play it in a game that goes to level ten.

Weak subclass options that might become stronger choices: I'm thinking specifically Four-Elements Monk, but there might be others. Does stepping out of the shadow of "real" casters allow these options to shine or are they bad regardless.

Currently, nobody wants to play a Four-Elements Monk because other kinds of monk are better. After you nerf casting classes, that will still be true.

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    \$\begingroup\$ "In standard 5e, it's fairly rare for martial characters to take multiclass dips into spellcasting classes." I was unaware that this is the case. Is it because of multiclassing requirements, or is there a different reason? \$\endgroup\$ Mar 14, 2022 at 19:46
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    \$\begingroup\$ @flaszlok The utility gained from a few cantrips and a couple of 1st level spell slots is generally not worth pushing your main class's features back a level or two. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 14, 2022 at 20:00
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Frame Challenge You'll likely be better served using a different system than D&D (any edition) for a no magic (or almost none) campaign. Magic and spellcasting are pretty inextricably tied into the game and assumptions about how it'll be played. Removing player's access will make it harder for them, but also harder for the DM since it'll require much more in the way of balancing to not overwhelm the players who will have lost the majority of their access to healing.

Some other systems you might consider: Adventures in Middle Earth (inherently a low magic setting), Burning Wheel might be another good option, especially if you want a crunchy system. Band of Blades could also potentially be a good fit. Finally, you might consider some of the Generic systems like GURPS/Fate/Savage Worlds.

Edit to add: Also Modiphius has a Conan RPG which I haven't played but might fit the bill. If you're interested in Game of Thrones style political machinations you might want to check out The Sword, The Crown and the Unspeakable Power a PbtA game which handles that really well.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm curious about Burning Wheel.. what do you mean by it being a "crunchy" system? \$\endgroup\$ Mar 15, 2022 at 21:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ D&D is one of the more complicated games out there (onboarding is easy since so many people play it and it's kind of synonymous with RPGs, but it's still ridiculously complicated) ... most modern TTRPGs tend to be a LOT simpler, indie games especially focusing often more on Genre-emulation then video-game like leveling mechanics. BW is a lot simpler than D&D but it's still on the crunchier end of the spectrum compared to say PbtA or FATE. My favorite description of the axis is Crunch vs. Chrome for helping differentiate between heavy mechanics and heavy story/narrative focus in RPGs. \$\endgroup\$
    – aslum
    Mar 15, 2022 at 21:42
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    \$\begingroup\$ "indie games especially focusing often more on Genre-emulation then video-game like leveling mechanics" [emphasis added] I agree with your overall point, but I'm not sure the direction of inspiration for those leveling mechanics goes in the direction you think it does. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ray
    Mar 16, 2022 at 16:20
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Erik: "crunch" is how complex / interesting the rules are mechanically. Like how many decisions you get to / have to make in terms of mechanics, not just RP. reddit.com/r/rpg/comments/4pcba8/definition_of_crunch \$\endgroup\$ Mar 16, 2022 at 16:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ray Oh I know the origin goes the other way, but I couldn't think of a clearer way to put it and keep within the 600 character limit. \$\endgroup\$
    – aslum
    Mar 16, 2022 at 19:11
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This functionally bans casting classes, but it’s worse than that...

As the other answers have pointed out, this guts the full casters, and makes most of the half-casters very weak, to the point that nobody who understands how the game works will want to play them.

However, this will have a huge number of secondary effects on how an intelligent group of players play the game. Just off the top of my head:

  • Expect most characters to take a level of Fighter just to pick up Second Wind. Without readily available on-the-spot healing, this becomes essentially mandatory, as it’s the only way to reliably get healing for yourself that can be used as a bonus action.
  • Expect to see at least one Purple Dragon Knight Fighter and/or Way of Mercy Monk. Maybe you’ll see a Celestial Warlock with Pact of the Blade, but probably not (the Fighter and Monk are simply better). Those are essentially the only options for healing allies without any spells being available (Life Domain Clerics can do so too technically, but they can only top people up to 50% and that's essentially all they get other than Turn Undead, so not really worth playing).
  • Expect the party to be actively more risk-averse. This is simply a result of the fact that if characters need to pull out a potion on their turn to heal, combat becomes much more dangerous. This goes both ways though, so the resultant shift will likely be such that the players actively favor short, decisive combats over long, inconclusive ones.
  • Large groups of enemies will be more dangerous (beyond the above point). Essentially all AoE and multi-target things in the game are spells, which means that your players will have almost no options to deal damage to multiple targets in the same turn unless they are either a monk or high enough level.
  • Swarms will be more dangerous. Pretty much all of them have resistance to all physical damage (Bludgeoning/Piercing/Slashing), and the lack of spells means that the only ways to get nonphysical damage are magic items and a couple of class features. This is compounded by the lack of splash weapons in 5e (which would be the normal way for a martial character to deal with swarms in previous systems).

There are likely many more things that I’m not thinking of that this will change, but even just the above points outline a pretty significant shift from ‘normal’ D&D 5e gameplay, especially at later levels (where spellcasting, and especially healing, are more significant).


Addendum in response to comments from the OP

The first point above is a major issue from a player perspective in terms of balance. It means that unless you are a fighter, you either have to choose to be risky and full power (within the constraints of the setting) for your class, or you take an option that gives you a bit more safety (not much, but about the best you can get with the described constraints) and then be objectively weaker than someone who is purely one class for the rest of the game. This has to do with how multiclassing works in 5e, in particular the fact that ability score increases are tied to class levels and not character level (IOW, you have to be a level 4 in any one class before you get an ASI, not a total of level 4 as a character, unlike in previous editions).

The second point is also a bit problematic from a player perspective, because it makes the general requirement that the party have a healer even more restrictive. Normally, the healer has at least four classes to choose from (Bard, Cleric, Druid, Paladin, possibly Ranger if they’re a masochist and the party is willing to tolerate limited healing), plus the three specific sub-classes I listed in that point. However, three of the four standard healing classes are essentially useless with these constraints (Bard, Cleric, and Druid), leaving the player with the option of being a Paladin and doing almost nothing but healing until they get to higher levels, or picking one of the three sub-classes I listed above and being stuck with only one way to play.

The final three points above are not necessarily good or bad from an objective perspective, the important thing is that they are significantly different from normal D&D 5e gameplay. They functionally mean that conventional tactics and strategy for 5e will not work under the stated constraints. The GM needs to account for this in encounter design (meaning that you need to handle encounter design differently from the norm), and the players need to account for all of this otherwise no amount of GM effort in encounter design will save them.

Irrespective of how good or bad the above points are though, the GM should be up front about all of this, before session zero (IOW, you need to be covering these aspects as part of the pitch when searching for players), because some people will simply not want to play in a game like this.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ About the last two bullet points: Someone in this world will invent Greek Fire or Molotov cocktails. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 15, 2022 at 20:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Your answer seems to suggest that these secondary effects are bad, but to me they sound like exactly what I want: Deadlier combat, limited access to healing and encounters that are not trivialized by spells \$\endgroup\$ Mar 16, 2022 at 9:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ @flaszlok I’ve updated the answer to include more in depth explanation on each of the points. I do consider the first two points bad, but was not trying to imply one way or the other WRT the last three. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 16, 2022 at 16:53
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I have two things that could be useful to answer your question.

First the Unearthed Arcana Ranger, not the revised, the other one, the one without spells! This could give you an idea of how much power is needed to give to the ranger in exchange to his magic. Just to set an example when their write this they decided to give it 2d6 as his HD. Sadly this UA just covered the first five levels, but I think it's a unique, and almost official, way to measure the removal of spellcasting feature.

Assuming this UA Ranger and the PHB Ranger are balanced, and that the features are a good metric to mesure the balance, we could say that an Non Spellcasting Ranger, in his five first levels, is 5 features less powerful (HD improve, 1 tool proficiency, Ambuscade, Skirmisher’s Stealth and Spirit Path) than the rest of the classes. Sadly is hard to generalice that idea to the Paladin (the other half caster) and even harder to the other casting classes.

Second The Adventurer (version 2.3.0). I like the idea of a 5e classless system, similar to what M&M 2e whas to DnD 3.5. A month ago I found this beautiful homebrew who blow my mind. The Adventurer, a custom class (made by aeyana) who let you build all of the basic classes of 5e. How, thanks to feats, aeyana (and probably some other good willing helpers) rebuild every feature of every class in to feats. In particular, they redefine the spellcasting system as a series of progressives feats. I think this could be a good metric to calculate what to give to a class in exchange for spellcasting.

Assuming balance between the Adventurer and the rest of the classes, you could calculate the unbalance generated at removing the spellcasting to a certain class (in a certain level), by counting how many feats are needed to spend by an adventurer to get the same casting that you want to remove.

For example, if you take a level 5 Wizard Abjurant, to simulate his spellcasting you will need to take: Spellbook, 1st-Level Spellcasting (twice), Arcane Ward, 2nd-Level Spellcasting (twice), and 3rd-Level Spellcasting , so if you make an Abjurant Mage without casting spells, it's 7 feats behind the other classes.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This doesn't seem to directly address the question of "How does class balance change when I remove spellcasting?". It's tangentially related at best. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Mar 15, 2022 at 1:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ You present two ideas about tools that could help the querent, but you should also conclude how to apply them and not only why they will help solve the problem that the querent is facing. Imagine presenting a fishing rod to a hungry person and telling them that they can fish with it, but not telling them how exactly they do that. \$\endgroup\$
    – Akixkisu
    Mar 15, 2022 at 7:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast, you're right, I replied focusing on maintaining the power of a class when removing his spellcasting, instead of measuring the change in balance it generates. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 15, 2022 at 13:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Akixkisu I will add some straightforward examples of how to apply both document to measure the inbalance. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 15, 2022 at 13:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ Also, the Hunter subclass of Ranger has an AoE option at lvl11: Volley (one range attack against every target within 10ft of a point) or Whirlwind Attack (one melee attack at every creature within 5ft). That's too late for this campaign, but maybe swapping things around to give it earlier could give the party some an AoE capable spell-less ranger for lower-level play. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 16, 2022 at 17:02

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