The Common Commoner - Page 17




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  1. #161
    Quote Originally Posted by Kamikaze Midget
    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.
    Part one, definitely. I've rarely seen a campaign where +3 or better weapons were available outside of maybe the capital city of each country, if that.

    Part two... ehh, not quite. While the number of people who've seen/claimed to have seen UFOs may be equivalent to the number of practitioners of magic, the number of people in a standard D&D world who've seen magic used is much, much greater. And while enough doubt exists about UFOs that well-informed people can make logical arguments against their existence, anyone with any kind of knowledge of the world can't logically deny the existence of magic in a D&D world.

 

  • #162
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    One last thing to consider: Caster Alignment. Not all clerics or wizards are going to be the kind willing to cast thier spells for altrustic purposes. Only LG, NG, and maybe CG/LN will be willing to perform civic duty. So even if the town has 15 wizards in it, you can sure bet a fair number won't be offering their services, except to the highest bidder.
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  • #163
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    Quote Originally Posted by Remathilis
    One last thing to consider: Caster Alignment. Not all clerics or wizards are going to be the kind willing to cast thier spells for altrustic purposes. Only LG, NG, and maybe CG/LN will be willing to perform civic duty. So even if the town has 15 wizards in it, you can sure bet a fair number won't be offering their services, except to the highest bidder.
    And people of that power are likely to derive their sustanence from more sophisticated means than subsistance. The high-level wizard may run a school. The high-level bard commands large commissions for performances. Let's face it, nobody wants to spend their days churning out wish after wish. There naturally could be professional wizards, but you can be sure they'd rather be spending their days on the golf course. As for clerics, would the flock accept the monetization of spiritual acts?

    Also, power has a way of removing itself from the mainstream. Even celebrities and politicians, though visible, live in a basically untouchable world. There may be 15 wizards in a given city, but they don't all involve themselves in local affairs. At any given time, half of them are probably traveling, with an equal number of non-local wizards taking their place in the city. Still lvl15 wizards, but unlikely to be making their abilities widely available.

    And those that do, probably are not at the grass-roots level; they're organizing or funding, not walking around offering resurrections to the murdered.

    Just because it's there, doesn't mean everybody gets access to it. Not everything is bought or sold. Not everything is available for the asking. There are a lot of resources out there, but most of them are controlled by a very few people.

  • #164
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    Part two... ehh, not quite. While the number of people who've seen/claimed to have seen UFOs may be equivalent to the number of practitioners of magic, the number of people in a standard D&D world who've seen magic used is much, much greater. And while enough doubt exists about UFOs that well-informed people can make logical arguments against their existence, anyone with any kind of knowledge of the world can't logically deny the existence of magic in a D&D world.
    True, it was hyperbolic...perhaps a better equivalent might be "People in the real world have seen heart surgery." or "People in the real world have seen complex physics equasions."

    Sure, they exist, and people believe in them (or those that don't are considered wierd). But that doesn't make them well-understood or even accepted by individuals at all...average cleric explaining casting a cure light wounds may be like a doctor explaining how, exactly, antibiotics works on a chemcial level. Just take the pill, give me the gold, and make way for the next laughing boy.

    In fact, the clerics = doctors and wizards = scientists comparison can be perhaps quite useful...high-level magic has impacted the world like quantum physics and open-heart surgery. That is to say, it definately has, and it has reprocussions for everyday folk, but there are still many parts of the world that would simply ascribe it to being a miracle, and even in the "enlightened world," it's not well understood or even bothered about on an everyday basis. But you know a doctor can help make you feel better. And you know that your scientists have made inventions that make life easier. In fact, something like a Hippocratic Oath may be very similar accross faiths for those gods of healing that exist...and yet doctors, even with that oath, which they are to cling to as doctrine, don't work for free. Neither do scientists.

    Hmm....health insurance and 'quality of living' in D&D....? Naaah, pretty sure those concepts haven't entered their minds yet...
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  • #165
    Quote Originally Posted by kigmatzomat
    One other assumption I made is that while magic increased production per acre, it did not increase production per person. I.E. plant growth causes crops *AND* weeds to grow so it requires more manpower to control the weeds, keeping the manpower-bushel production the same.
    You might want to read that again because you're thinking of the older versions. Plant Growth has two seperate effects. First is Overgrowth which would do what you say in a smaller area. Second is enrichment which only increases the plants productivity over time but over a much wider area and longer period of time. That is, a plant is producing its nuts, fruit, grains, etc 1/3 over normal for the next year. Weeds won't be affected.
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  • #166
    Quote Originally Posted by FreeTheSlaves
    If our modern real world has huge issues providing for our populations, how bad is the D&D default worlds situation.
    Well, we don't have a huge problem providing for our populations as a rule. Look at what living at "poverty level" generally really means in a country like the US. You have housing, food, TV, telephone, etc. and a spectacular ability to improve your lot in life. It's quite easy to show that government assistance is often counter-productive in trying to eliminate the remaining stigma and tribulations of poverty by encouraging dependancy - but that's another thread.

    The D&D world is arguably little different. Where you have an active, beneficial but nonetheless even minimal caste of clergy you easily combat injury, disease, and so forth just as modern medicine, modern farming practices, etc. do IRL. That's actually part of the problem. We generally WANT to see our D&D worlds as pseudo-medieval or at least pre-renaissance, but examining the "logical" consequences of D&D rules tends to suggest that these real-world stages of development have been easily surpassed.

    Personally, my approach is largely handwaving it. Although my D&D worlds could and even SHOULD be more advanced the various factors that would contribute to major advances in areas such as political theory, agriculture, economics, higher education, etc. simply have not yet done so - but they very well COULD and even MIGHT as the campaign unfolds. I think it makes for a more exciting, dynamic campaign world when it is perpetually on the cusp of great leaps forward even as it teeters on the brink of collapse.
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  • #167
    Quote Originally Posted by Kamikaze Midget
    I use this rule too, and I'd encourage those who use disease instead of monsters as the mitigating factor to do so, lest cure disease makes the first cleric with it into a saint.
    But... The first cleric with Cure Disease SHOULD be a saint. That's the whole point, IMO.

    Just because the D&D rules CAN extend up into epic levels doesn't mean that every campaign can and MUST do so. While you can fill your world with megalopolis fantasy cities you can also fill it only with thorps and small towns, thereby forcing the "world leaders" to be very low level. When the PC's and their nemeses come along they at least CAN be breaking new ground that the world has never before seen or possibly even imagined.
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  • #168
    Quote Originally Posted by D+1
    Well, we don't have a huge problem providing for our populations as a rule. Look at what living at "poverty level" generally really means in a country like the US. You have housing, food, TV, telephone, etc. and a spectacular ability to improve your lot in life. It's quite easy to show that government assistance is often counter-productive in trying to eliminate the remaining stigma and tribulations of poverty by encouraging dependancy - but that's another thread.

    The D&D world is arguably little different. Where you have an active, beneficial but nonetheless even minimal caste of clergy you easily combat injury, disease, and so forth just as modern medicine, modern farming practices, etc. do IRL. That's actually part of the problem. We generally WANT to see our D&D worlds as pseudo-medieval or at least pre-renaissance, but examining the "logical" consequences of D&D rules tends to suggest that these real-world stages of development have been easily surpassed.

    Personally, my approach is largely handwaving it. Although my D&D worlds could and even SHOULD be more advanced the various factors that would contribute to major advances in areas such as political theory, agriculture, economics, higher education, etc. simply have not yet done so - but they very well COULD and even MIGHT as the campaign unfolds. I think it makes for a more exciting, dynamic campaign world when it is perpetually on the cusp of great leaps forward even as it teeters on the brink of collapse.
    Poverty exists in the real world, despite our technological and economic ability to house, feed, clothe, and educate the world.

    Poverty exists in the D&D world, despite magic's ability to house, feed, clothe, and educate the world.

  • #169
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    Quote Originally Posted by Remathilis
    So even if the town has 15 wizards in it, you can sure bet a fair number won't be offering their services, except to the highest bidder.
    While this may be true for Wizards, it doesn't need to hold true for Clerics. Clerics have different motivations, and that may mean that Chaotic Evil Clerics will be willing to cast Cure Disease and even Raise Dead for free.
    Last edited by LostSoul; Saturday, 21st August, 2004 at 05:52 PM.
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  • #170
    Quote Originally Posted by silentspace
    Poverty exists in the real world, despite our technological and economic ability to house, feed, clothe, and educate the world.
    And always will. The point is that while poverty is no fun, it is largely not as debilitating or long-lasting a social condition as it was even only a matter of decades ago and that needs to be understood. One of our greatest governmental initiatives to eliminate poverty actually ended up making aspects of it worse.
    Poverty exists in the D&D world, despite magic's ability to house, feed, clothe, and educate the world.
    Well, I'll buy the feed part, but there isn't much (any?) practical D&D magic devoted to housing, clothing, or education of the masses. Feed only gets credit because of Create Food & Water and Plant Growth. When was the last D&D campaign where the clerics went about casting yearly Hand-me-down-clothing spells for a village? Or a Bard Builders Brigade that travels the countryside with an orchestra of lyres of building to turn mud farm huts into wood and stone mansions? Or a Mass Instruction spell?
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