Question about Low Magic campaigns

I’m considering making a low magic campaign based around swashbuckling pirates, with magic being so subtle that there aren’t really any “sorcerers” per se - at most, there might be a perk to be able to see and talk to spirits. How would this affect attributes, seeing as non-exceptional attributes would now have a lot more points put into them? I’ve already noticed that before characters reach level 8, they will already have maxed most of their attributes (if I’m understanding the system correctly) - should I lower the amount of points gained per level? Also, while you are at it, are there any additional tips you would give for this kind of campaign?

The extraordinary attributes don’t have to be magic. Influence could be personal charm, energy things like grenades or tasers. You just flavor them to match your world.


Ponix is correct. Extraordinary Attributes do not equal magic. And I would be very impressed to see a character with several maxed Attributes at level 8.

The max at level 8 is only attribute 8 (have to be level 9 to get an attribute to 9), but even considering that, you would only have at most 2 attributes at 8 and one at 7, and that would mean no attributes in anything else.

I think you might not be understanding the cost related to attribute points maybe?

But even given that, you can play a world with 0 magic and still 100% use the Extraordinary Attributes.

Let’s take an extreme example that would be hard to quantify. Prescience.

So in a non magical, and even non-high-tech world, at first Prescience seems very hard to justify.

You could create a character around Prescience, but flavor it as luck.

##Lucky Jack the Swashbuckling Pirate
Prescience 5
Attribute Sub II (Prescience into Agility) [He uses his luck to help him fight]

Favored Boons
Bolster: Jack’s keen insight into luck allows him the edge when fighting, or just the right words to shout to an allow so they get that extra push. Grants Advantage 1 to himself or an ally
Blindsight: Somehow, even in the darkest of places, Jack manages to not bump into things, Lady Luck guides his steps, and even his strikes if he needs to in the darkness.
Detection: Lady Luck, ever on Jack’s side, causes him to take a moment to consider the objects or people he is about to interact with.

##Everything is Flavor
It is easy to get stuck in the mindset from D&D or other RPGs, but OL is all about how you flavor your feats, boons, banes, and attacks.


I was thinking in the mindset of if one were to remove the extraordinary abilities, which would mean that there’d only be a total of ten attributes to spend points across. I guess flavoring at as something more mundane could work - however, doesn’t mean that you’ll still have to ignore/ban certain boons and banes, like for instance flight or teleportation? Those in particular seem difficult to flavor.

It’s really down to the players to keep the Roleplay in check, so for instance Teleport could be used as a character sneaking away, flying could be used as swinging from ropes or flying away from big explosions. in the end, as long as the players use these boons in the correct way for the setting I feel like extraordinary attributes could fit in nearly any setting. Just to reiterate, its down to the players to decide what their character can and cannot do thematically, just because they have access to flight doesn’t mean their character should be able to use it and it’s down to the player to not use it. tell your players what you expect and believe they will keep to it.

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Removing the Extraordinary is never recommended. There are always ways to implement them, and better to not take away from the players.

For certain settings/worlds/campaigns, yes, it might make sense to limit or remove a few banes that just don’t fit. That’s always something up to the Campaign creator (or GM) for the world that you are in.

Flight and Teleportation could be hard to flavor, but even those could be done. Flight could be achieved through wings like those wing-suits that people base jump with, and teleportation can be used to describe fast movement. Sometimes it just takes looking outside the box.

And remember, OL is about self-limiting. I know someone described their teleportation for a character as fast movement, which means even though he has access to teleporting to somewhere he can see, he limits himself to having to be able to transverse the ground, and not able to just go through a solid object, but around them for movement.

Just b/c an attribute gives you access to a bane or boon, it might not make sense for the character (especially one that is in a setting with none/low magic and low tech) to be able to do the bane or boon.


Fair enough. Thanks for the reply!