The Common Commoner - Page 16


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  1. #151
    Quote Originally Posted by LostSoul
    There's no evidence to suggest that it takes any sort of effort, either. There is some kind of limit on casting spells that seems to come from nowhere - you can increase your spells per day by doing things like killing goblins, or sneaking back home past curfew, or winning the hand of Snow White. There's nothing to suggest that the number of spells you can cast per day is tied to anything except the number and difficulty of challenges you've faced in your life.
    Technically, your ability to swing a greatsword really, really fast is also tied to killing goblins, and, if your DM is generous with non-combat XP, sneaking home past curfew and/or winning the hand of Snow White. Greatsword-swinging ability just advances slower than the spellcasting limit.

 

  • #152
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    Um, no. The rules do not say that, at any rate. They do say that there are clerics who, rather than devote themselves to a particular deity, but "to a cause or source of divine power". Not *something*. There's nothing to suggest that a guy who believes the world was created by sentient bananas gains spellcasting abilities simply because he REALLY believes it. I mean, if you want your world to work that way, great, but that's not what the rules say.

    They say that there exist sources of divine power besides the gods. That doesn't mean that anyone can make up any source of divine power anytime they like, just by wishing really hard.
    Well, since the final call is up the the DM as to what qualifies as a cause or a source of divine power, you're right. But I like to encourage even wacky creativity, so I'm inclined to judge that if someone devoted themselves to advancing the word of their hand puppet, that's enough to qualify as a cause.

    It's remarkably ambigious, and is left up to DM definition (as it should be, I feel). The rules don't forbid getting divine power from a handpuppet, as long as the DM sanctions that puppet as a source of divine power.

    People will still see that some people's worldviews result in them getting free power, and some people's worldviews do not. This is different than anything that happens in our world, and it's unlikely that a world that demonstrates such behaviour would resemble ours. And I submit that such demonstrations of power will not supply the human need to believe in something greater than we can comprehend.
    You're extrapolating based on the real world. This thread is about 10% rationalization based on the rules that exist, and about 30% speculation on what might be.

    Of course it wouldn't resemble ours. That's like imagining aliens have the same definate 'intelligence' that humans do. Of course they won't. It's absurd to think that extraterrestrial life will even have eyes. But that doesn't make it easy to play an alien in a sci-fi RPG. It's like trying to analyze the psychology of elves. You can only go so far based on the loose information presented. I think speculation on the nature of religion, which isn't even in consensous as existing in the real world, could be usefully applied to a fantasy world. Find out what you want, make sure it makes sense, and that's about all ya need, right?

    People will still see that some people's worldviews result in them getting free power, and some people's worldviews do not.
    Doesn't it require training to develop the rituals needed to summon divine energy for a mere instant? Or is it truly free to you? Because it doesn't have to be that way, and I think you'll find some of the problems evaporating if it's not. These are areas that the rules don't codify, only suggest, so there's lots of room for interpretation. But the world seems to make more sense if it requires as much training to summon the healing powers of the gods for a mere instant, rather than being "huh, my hands glow and heal wounds, ain't that a kick in the pants?"

    If we go by the rules, there is no effort involved (except for the fact that there's nothing else you can do). If you want to extrapolate from the rules, for either physical actions (save for movement) or for spell casting, that's fine; but it isn't in the books.
    Yup, it's extrapolation based on what the rules suggest. The rules suggest that spells are more than just things that happen with some fancy words. They suggest they're more than effortless. Or at least, there is nothing to suggest that they are any less effort than running 20 ft. in plate mail, as a for instance. If you'd like to suggest that running 20 ft. in plate mail is effortless because someone could do it all day without a penalty, go for it. But I find the world makes more sense if you decide that spells aren't effortless...and it makes magic seem far less trivial. Trivial is OK, but it's hardly implied, just because you take no penalty for doing it.

    There's no evidence to suggest that it takes any sort of effort, either. There is some kind of limit on casting spells that seems to come from nowhere - you can increase your spells per day by doing things like killing goblins, or sneaking back home past curfew, or winning the hand of Snow White. There's nothing to suggest that the number of spells you can cast per day is tied to anything except the number and difficulty of challenges you've faced in your life.
    Challenges hone your body and your mind more than sitting in your room reading scrolls all day, in D&D. Higher levels mean you can handle more mental stress, and thus use more mental powers than those who have not endured such challenges. You simiply do not know mental pain until you've seen the horrors of a goblin up close. Until then, no matter how much you read in your tower, you are ignorant to the way the world truly works. Until you have lived life on the edge, you have never truly lived.

    You only have the energy to harnass the divine powers a few times per day. No more -- your mind simply won't let you overwhelm it like that.

    OR

    I wave my hands and stuff happens. I got this power, mostly just 'cuz I really like the gods and believe in them and they like me. Need a cure? No sweat! The gods listen to me...at least, for a few times each day.

    Both are valid interpretations of the rules as written. Which one you prefer is largely up to you. I think the world is more interesting with the first option, though. Miracles are not something that just happen with the twinkling of fingers, and to assume that spellcasting is effortless is to dismiss the hours of preparation and years of training that go into even harnassing the minor powers of the mind, the spirit, and the will.

    You like the second better? Sure. But then, why don't the clerics heal every broken toe that comes to them? That question remains, if magic is effortless. It is dealt with if it is not.
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  • #153
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  • #154
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    One reason for a spellcaster not to spend all his spells is that he might have an early errand the next morning and can't afford to:

    A) Rest for 8 hours;

    B) Spend an entire hour preparing his spells;

    Also, spells with material components mean that the caster has to buy spell component pouches (this hurts arcanes more than divines but still...).

    BTW, this is my favorite thread in a while! Kudos to all!

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    Quote Originally Posted by barsoomcore
    They say that there exist sources of divine power besides the gods. That doesn't mean that anyone can make up any source of divine power anytime they like, just by wishing really hard.
    IMC, belief creates divine power. So yeah, you can make up divine sources by wishing really hard!

    Of course it takes a lot of people wishing the same sorts of things, but it's possible.

    PS

  • #156
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kamikaze Midget
    But such is not the case, when following the rules as they are written for generating towns, for the income of commoners, for finding out how common to the everyday commoner magic really *is* in D&D. So I present to you my findings, based on the Rules As Written.

    My thesis: Magic isn't common to the everyday person, but it is common to the PC's, who AREN'T everyday people.
    I disagree, based on the RaW. I think magic is common, but not understood, much like televisions and microwaves.

    As per the DMG, following the Rules As Written:
    * "Small communities are much more common than larger ones. In
    * 70% of all communities have populations 2,000 and below. Their
    I agree with this and from my previous posts I go so far as to say that 70% of the populace live in communities under 1,000.

    * There is precious little magical power in these towns.
    In that 50%, the presence of spellcasters is minimal.
    Aaaaand now I start disagreeing.

    Using a Thorpe (-3 modifier) there is a 50% chance of a bard, 50% chance of a cleric, 50% chance of druid, 50% chance adept, 25% chance wizard, and 25% sorceror. This means:

    87.5% chance of a divine caster
    93.75% chance of a caster who can use CLW
    71.875% chance of an arcane caster
    96.485% chance of there being *any* caster in the community
    plus the 5% wildcard chance of having a >8th level druid

    The quickly start approaching 100% at the village level. With less than 5% of communities not counting a caster as a neighbor, I can't see the commoner not being familiar with seeing it. It maybe like fireworks and laser light shows drawing oohs and aahs, but it isn't screams of terror and people panicking.

    * With this capacity, half of the places in the entire world do not have access to 2nd level spells.
    Each thorpe has a 33% chance of 2nd level spells. Assuming each thorpe is within easy access of 2 other communities, more than 70% of the population can get 2nd level spells. (See post 103 http://www.enworld.org/forums/showpo...;postcount=103)


    * Assuming a lot of the people can get a special discount on the spellcasting services (Would you charge your own mother for magic?), this still changes the world in no discernable fashion. So the druid's uncle never has to worry about a drought...4 gallons of water a month isn't going to save the field of every commoner, or even most of them. This is assuming 0 monsters...but....
    I agree. The amount of spells available (several hundred people vying for maybe three dozen spells/day) and cost (even after discounts) means there isnt' much magic to go around.


    * Monsters raid your village about twice per day. Now monsters enter the equasion. The random wilderness encounter table says that in verdant/civilized areas, there's a 10% chance per hour of having 'an encounter.' Which is extrapolated to once in every 10 hours, or about twice per day.
    * The fuedal system protects you from monsters. Assuming the place is a farm, the Plains will probably be a reasonable environment for the encounter table, ne?
    Agree and disagree. Yes, 10%/hour roughly equates to 2 encounters/day. *BUT* I think it should be off the "Civilized" region table, not the wilderness tables. Commoners don't live in the wilderness; they hide behind the wall of soldiers and pay taxes.

    * Commoners need BAB and HD too! This is also where the people of the town gain their XP. People in D&D town aren't all pushovers...there's one ninth level commoner in over half of the communities on the earth, and that guy got his XP from someplace
    The average level in a thorpe is 7th and it goes up to 13th! See my previous posts about how an orc band will wipe out on a village.

    * They've never seen a magic sword in their lives.
    Nahh, they probably see one every year at the regional fair. A glowing sword makes for a handy item of rank so the Baron probably has one as a sign of office. Touched one? Maybe as a child, but probably not.

    So, all that in mind...here's your life of your Average D&D Commoner
    - Lives in a "Village"-level town
    or smaller. Likely smaller.

    - The only full plate he's ever seen is on that fighter that the king sent to deal with the gnolls.
    Probably sees it at the fair on the magic-sword weilding Baron.

    So IMO, the common man knows at least one caster by name (and vice versa) and knows the names of a couple more that live in nearby communities. There's a couple of older farmers and some militia members who are able to keep most of the wandering toughs (bandits and adventurers) from getting uppity when the patrols aren't around.

    Most encounters are smaller wild animals, people (including bandits) or people with templates (ghosts, vampires, etc). (See post 103 http://www.enworld.org/forums/showpo...;postcount=103)
    Maybe every other day there's something that *could* go badly but usually there's enough resources in the community to slow the threat down until help can be summoned.

    Of course, that means help must be close enough to be summoned so communities tend to be close, likely only a few hours away to the nearest small community and definitely no more than 2 days oxen-travel away from a town which is 1 day's hard ride by horse. The close proximity also makes regular patrols possible.

    Out past the perimeter the world immediately turns to "there be monsters" and most anyone who lives beyond the patrol zone is considered crazy or tough as nails.
    James McP

  • #157
    I quite like this thread.

    Of course, it should be mentioned that if an NPC lives in or near a kingdom dominated by a secretive evil wizard guild his attitude towards magic is likely going to be quite different then what you're writing about here. At this point, your 1st-2nd level wizard/sorcerer is probably either: a) a lowly emissary from the Guild whose wiling away the hours in this outpost, probably on punishment duty, b)a spy for the Guild operating undercover to dig out info, or c) a good or neutral Obi Wan type who is probably hiding out and looking over his shoulder for a) or b).

    Also, evil wizards are probably not going to allow too many magic items, friendly priests, and anything that can cause the populace to think there's any chance of taking down said evil wizards...

    (And let's be honest here--there are enough of them to trouble adventurers and the world at large, so they must be affecting things...)

  • #158
    Quote Originally Posted by Rhialto
    I quite like this thread.
    I like it also.
    Areas of strong physical or magical energy may make teleportation more hazardous or even impossible. -Teleport

  • #159
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhialto

    Of course, it should be mentioned that if an NPC lives in or near a kingdom dominated by a secretive evil wizard guild his attitude towards magic is likely going to be quite different then what you're writing about here.
    I tried to avoid discussing the like/dislike and more the amount of knowledge they have. There is a difference between "She's a witch, burn her!" and "She's a black Sorceror of Mum-Ra! Burn her!"

    Also, evil wizards are probably not going to allow too many magic items, friendly priests, and anything that can cause the populace to think there's any chance of taking down said evil wizards...
    True, but that's region specific and detailed to a given setting. I'm of the opinion the High Council of Evil Wizards probably made deals with the Grand Convention of Evil Clerics to take over the area. Clerics are just too useful *not* to have them. And dark wizards tend to be impatient and not fond of the time it takes to heal naturally.

    I do have a region IMC where the populace is generally not allowed to be armed and priests can only be of the official religions. Ironically, there are *more* priests and wizards because they are agents of the state. The players are just arriving so we'll see how they deal.
    James McP

  • #160
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    So IMO, the common man knows at least one caster by name (and vice versa) and knows the names of a couple more that live in nearby communities. There's a couple of older farmers and some militia members who are able to keep most of the wandering toughs (bandits and adventurers) from getting uppity when the patrols aren't around.
    Right, but this means that "every peasant has a +5 sword for sale at the closest shop in normal D&D", as hyperbolically suggested, really is out of the water.

    People in D&D have seen magic. But people in the real world have seen UFO's. Magic is no less mysterious than that.
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