A kingdon without magic can survive in a war against a magical one?





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  1. #1
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    A kingdon without magic can survive in a war against a magical one?

    I'm creating a game where there are two mains regions, one ruled by the humans, and other by the elves.
    The humans, in general, hate magic and fear it as a diabolic thing (a kind of blind faith) that can only bring pain. The elves and other magic-lovers, otherwise, believe magic is a natural thing, related to the most pure expression of freedom.
    The problem I've been dealing is exactly that: the two regions are in conflict, in the edge of an imminent war, but, in spite of the quantity vantage on the human side, I don't think they can fight against the ones who use magic.

    What do you folks think about that? I would enjoy receive some tips to help me dealing with this situation!

 

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    Does their hatred of magic include divine magic?

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    Re: A kingdon without magic can survive in a war against a magical one?

    Originally posted by DocMoriartty
    Does their hatred of magic include divine magic?
    My thought exactly. If the humans use "miracles" and "faith" instead of "magic", the ideological debate and conflict still stands but the power base would be roughly equal. There was a thread on the possible outcomes of this scenario a while back (don't remember the link).

    If you're talking strictly no magic on the human side, then perhaps they have found a way to use their superior numbers and guerilla warfare against the elves. This poses a problem however, because traditionally NO ONE should be better at forest warfare then elves and if you choose to keep this paradigm - the humans wouldn't have a chance.

    Then again, the "traditional" human advantage over other races has generally been adaptability. Perhaps they find ways to counter elven magic - say when they wear a certain type of armor and use a certain type of weapon (traditionally iron - but can be anything); the elven magic fails or has a much lesser effect.
    Last edited by Mort; Thursday, 11th April, 2002 at 08:06 PM.

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    Re: Re: A kingdon without magic can survive in a war against a magical one?

    Originally posted by Mort


    If you're talking strictly no magic on the human side, then perhaps they have found a way to use their superior numbers and guerilla warfare against the elves.

    And of course, you could use technological advantages such as superior weapons (i.e. elves only have access to simple or martial weapons) and building materials (admantite? mythril?)

    What about giving the magic-users a weakness such as reliance on an energy source (sunlight, mana, spice, caffeine) for the ability to use magic. (This could dove-tail into material components if you need a game-play rationale). Another weakness could be philosophical such as the ability to use magic positively, but not to harm.

  • #5
    If the question is "Can a large army without magic defeat a smaller army with magic?", I guess we have to ask how large the human army is, and how much magic the elf army wields. A few 1st-, 2nd-, and 3rd-level Wizards and Druids might not even slow down the emperor's legions.

    If you'd like to keep the two sides a bit more even, but you'd like to downplay the effectiveness of the elven magic, you have a few options. First, as a few people have already pointed out, you can match elven arcane magic against human divine magic. I find that a bit of a cop-out unless you tweak divine magic to seem less magical -- but that's quite doable. Just restrict the human spellcasters to spells with no discernable effects (e.g. Aid rather than Cure Light Wounds).

    Another option is to give magic a cost. You can require rare material components or use a Cthulhu-esque sanity cost (or more mundane ability-score costs). You can make spellcasting classes Prestige Classes, so a high-level "wizard" is really only a 3rd-level D&D Wizard; his first seven levels are in Expert.

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    Ignore Hejdun
    Limit material components, or have the humans do it.

    Have human rogues sneak into mage tents and steal their spellbooks and/or components. Torch them all. Magic has a hard time detecting mundane practices such as a rogue hiding, so send all the rogues you have at them. Sabatage magical devices, steal material components, assassinate leaders.

    Why doesn't the U.S.A.F. have millions of planes? It takes components to build, so take away what fuels the elves magic. Go on a massive campaign to destroy what fuels their magic. Make a concerted effort to kill every single bat you see. Go into caves and slaughter the bats, and torch the bat guana while you are at it. Can't fireball all that much when you need to search for days just to find the material component.

  • #7
    Absolutely - wars between nations-states are fundamentally about the staying power of those nations. Typically the one that ends up winning the war is the one that is best able to fund the war.

    That being said, it is important to understand that magic is simply another resource - like steel, horses, etc. - and all resources cost money to support/apply. Further, (IMO) Magic tends to be a very costly resource to apply - making it a powerful, but limited capability. Thus, you as a nation need to ask your self - do I spent my populances taxes on creating a battalion of Infantry or 2-3 wizards.

    Some examples that could give the humans an overwhelming advantage over the elves.

    - Central Control of Militaty - basicaly a General Staff - where as the Elves are a loose colection of Lords reporting to a Kings.

    - Larger Merchant Class - This allows the Leaders of the Humans the ability to borrow a larger amount of money to fund thier war than the elves can draw on

    - Larger Population - Obviously if both side take 10-15% of thier population out of the economy to fight - both economies will take a roughly similar hit, but the Humans army would be comparatively higher.

    - Resorces allocated to mundance military purposes (the armies are equiped in leather rather than padded as would be normal)

    - Enhanced Automation of agrarian activities (Allowing for more than 10-15% of the population to be called to arms)

    - geographic positioning

    - quality of Leaders

    - Access to Mercenaries (again since the humans are not spending money developing magic, they have money to spend on other items - all things being equal)

    Throughout Human history (so in a fantasy setting YMMV) technologicaly advanced (or by extension magically enhanced) nations do not always win the war. The country best able to fund and "out-last" thier opponents win the war.

  • #8
    BTW, I would encourage you to read Paul Kennedy's excellent book, the "Rise and Fall of the Great Powers" - the first 2/3 of the book are a great resource for understanding how nation-states actually fought wars - the last 1/3 deals with post WWII that has become a might dated.

  • #9
    Humans can capitalize on four big points...

    Undying determination

    Out-breeding the Elves

    A willingness to die for what they believe in

    Fighting Dirty (when have humans ever really fought fair in a war when the chips are down?)

    Cedric

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    Aye... you've stumbled on one of the worst blunders in history. The first being, Never get into a land war in Asia... but that's second only to, Never get involved in a war with humans in general... we tend to be very numerous and vicious...

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