low-magic in dnd
Okay, so I'm creating a campaign world set at the very end of the stone age. This is an idea I've been wanting to do for a long time and actually got from a friend of mine. I want it to be almost brutally realistic, focusing on the savagery of a world in transition, but also, if the PCs go all explorer, have a large amount of mystery concerning the past of the world, finding long forgotten human and other civilizations even when the current is very much hunter-gatherer/tribal. Because I want to emphasize the brutality, because it makes sense, and because I don't like magic items, I really want to do this low-magic. However, I'm not really sure as to how to keep things balanced. Because I want this to be more realistic, upgrading non-magic classes isn't really an option. I'm thinking no magic items (other than what is found out in the wild, which would be very rare) and downgrading the spellcasting classes offered, which would be the bard, cleric, druid, sorcerer, warlock, and spirit shaman. I also have, of course, a few classes that don't focus on magic but use it and have it as part of their class features, these being the ranger, hexblade, and assassin (found in the Assassin's Handbook, published by Green Ronin). I was thinking that the easiest method would be to just eliminate certain spell levels and then stretch the progression, perhaps changing spell slots and spells known and all that, and just striking spells period from the classes that don't focus on it. But, if anybody has any more original and/or interesting ideas I'd love to hear about them. Any ideas, suggestions or thoughts (even if they don't relate to the magic idea but to the stone age one)?