The Common Commoner - Page 20




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  1. #191
    Quote Originally Posted by kigmatzomat
    This bugged me too until I stopped and did the math. The "eternal" races stay away from humanity because the side-effects of humanity slaughter them. Wars and plagues screw with the long-lived races far more than it does the humans.

    The only way the elves and halflings can survive is to pull back. Dwarves and gnomes are tougher than humans (high con, bonus to saves) so they probably fare better in mixed communities, though war is equally devastating since humans will have 2+ generations for every long-lived generation to repopulate.

    Overall, the long-lived races will have boom/bust type populations where it slowly swells, suffers a plague/war, then swells again. Elves and dwarves probably rely heavily on long-running mystical defenses of their territories to make their borders seem more fordible than their population could justify. (golems, summonings, area effect mind-affecting enchantments, permanent symbols, etc) Elven skirmishers with bows can harry much larger forces in their forests while the shoulder-to-shoulder dwarves can generally defeat opponents due to superior tactics and competence.

    The one advantage the elder races possess is superior historical information. Old elves and dwarves have more exposure to wars than any human so even an elven commoner will be a more than competent tactician.

    But this means the long-lived races are in a holding action, waiting to gain territory when humans are weak and expecting to lose it when a nasty bug gets through their borders.

    The baelnorn starts looking like a very logical maneuver since it creates a plague-proof continuum of knowledge that can help the long-term survival of the race vs. the high-speed breeders.
    So this equates to halflings and elves being the reclusive sylvan types, Dwarves and Gnomes being somewhat mixed with humans, and half-orcs probably being the most common non-human PCs.
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  • #192
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  • #193
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raven Crowking
    How does this align with the short-lived races (i.e., goblinoids)? Are you suggesting (as I imagine) that humans should just stay away from them, apart from the occasional adventurer, in order to maximize their breeding potential? And, like humans to elves, those pesky orcs keep pushing into our territory....!
    Basically, yeah, but less so.

    Orcs likely have 15-year generations (just guessing based on the age reduction of Half-orcs vs humans) so orcs have 4 generations to ever 3 human ones. 4:3 isn't nearly the same as the 5:1 elf:human or 2:1 halflings:human ratios. Humans might not notice the birthrate advantage of orcs if they live in a mixed community. It's not like your orcish neighbor's newborn will grow old and die in the time it takes you to go from middle-aged to old. That kid will have a (natural) lifespan of 50-70 vs your kids 70-110 and most of the age difference will be at the "Venerable" level.

    Orcs don't have any particular advantage compared to humans on the plague front, but their high strength might increase their odds of surviving battles. I toss it out as a wash, given their chaotic-evil society and say orcs and humans have the same general mortality.

    Now the orc:elf generation ratio is 7:1, giving orcs a significant advantage. This could be why the orcs target the elves; in a half dozen generations the orcs could actually wipe out an elven community and take their land. Of course, this would require orcs maintaining a plan for more than a century, but what the heck, it could happen somewhere.
    James McP

  • #194
    Quote Originally Posted by VirgilCaine
    Why is it so hard for people to understand this?
    Enrichment says "plants"--not "crops", "plants" production is enriched. AFAIK, weeds were plants.
    What I understand is that the purpose of the Enrichment effect is NOT to exacerbate the proliferation of weeds. As you yourself point out the net effect of enhancing the output of weeds along with "crops" is ZERO. Pretty spiffy effect for a 3rd level spell - one which is going out of its way to provide very seperate effects, one for "attack" and one for general BENEFIT.

    If you insist on your interpretation of the spell, by all means go ahead. After all, from a real-world botanists POV you are undoubtedly correct. But it sure does seem to make it a thoroughly pointless effect, and from the D&D spellcasters POV, IMO you're just plain wrong in how it ought to, and does work.

    D&D is NOT meant to have too much reality applied to it at virtually ANY point in the rules. At every turn it is in fact attempting to dodge the un-fun and brutality of reality. That's something that should be kept in mind throughout a thread like this - D&D rules are NOT structured to withstand the scrutiny of extended application of real-world physics, or sociology, or even logic in general. That's why it's fantasy roleplaying, not hard SF.
    Last edited by D+1; Tuesday, 24th August, 2004 at 12:50 AM.
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  • #195
    Even his version of the Plant Growth spell does actually provide benefits. It allows land that could not be productively farmed to be productively farmed and allows more production per unit of land. Neither of these are an issue in open and fertile land but where arable land is at a premium, they are a significant benefit. Even if the spell doesn't change the amount of labor necessary per unit of food, it would change the amount of food producable per unit of land. And that would be very significant in any number of situations from medieval Japan which supported a lot of people on a small amount of land to areas where farming is not normally viable.

    Quote Originally Posted by D+1
    What I understand is that the purpose of the Enrichment effect is NOT to exacerbate the proliferation of weeds. As you yourself point out the net effect of enhancing the output of weeds along with "crops" is ZERO. Pretty spiffy effect for a 3rd level spell - one which is going out of its way to provide very seperate effects, one for "attack" and one for general BENEFIT.

  • #196
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    D&D is NOT meant to have too much reality applied to it at virtually ANY point in the rules. At every turn it is in fact attempting to dodge the un-fun and brutality of reality. That's something that should be kept in mind throughout a thread like this - D&D rules are NOT structured to withstand the scrutiny of extended application of real-world physics, or sociology, or even logic in general. That's why it's fantasy roleplaying, not hard SF.
    Which is why it's a bit risky, but I thought puzzling out the life of a common commoner was worth it, since there seemed to be some pretty big misconceptions about 'em.

    I'd say, yeah, a pre-weeded field would produce more crops as a result of plant growth. But plant growth is a third level spell -- the only fields that would benefit from it are the fields of larger cities, which would require the extra yield to feed people on a lot less land (since more of the land is dedicated to living space), for instance.

    And as for other races......hoo boy, that's a whole 'notehr can of worms.
    Last edited by Kamikaze Midget; Tuesday, 24th August, 2004 at 07:48 AM.
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  • #197
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    I wish people would stop chiming in with "D&D rules aren't SUPPOSED to make sense!"

    It's been said. All you who believe this, you are welcome to it, please be on your way. For the rest of us, we're fascinated by this stuff. I've been following this thread since it was 4 pages. I'm currently embarking in some world building, so all this debate is proving wonderfully useful. I'd -love- to be able to create a world at least marginally internally consistant, and that's what I'm going for.

    That comment on longer lived races is quite neat as well... fits in spectacularly I think. It -is- a whole nother kettle of worms, of course.


    One of the things my group has been considering for our collaborative homebrew is making the majority of magic users in the realm artificers instead... we haven't worked out class specs exactly yet, but the thought is that they spend more time building and making stuff than going around casting spells... if in fact they can cast spells directly at all. I (and my group) personally think that this does wonders towards keeping levels low. All that xp spent on making stuff! On the other hand, it does make magical items slightly more common, but only slightly... it's still bloody expensive as far as your regular joe is concerned.

  • #198
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    More Weeds

    Just reread the 3.5Ed version of the spell Plant growth.

    Plant Growth has 2 different effects, chosen by the spellcaster at the time of casting. It either causes normal vegetation ("grasses, briars, bushes, creepers, thistles, trees, vines") in the targeted area become overgrown and thick enough to hinder movement or causes plants to increase their potential productivity 33% above normal in the next year.

    Now, we could get all lawyer-y about the distinction between the use of "normal vegetation" or "plant" in the text, but it wouldn't get us anywhere, since a crop could be a grass, bush, vine, tree, etc.

    It is more useful to distinguish based on the 2 effects. The first effect only enhances GROWTH, the other, PRODUCTIVITY. The former is just a simple measurement of plant size, the second would be a measure of fruiting, seeding, leafyness, and other measurements of lushness of the foliage.

    Basically, by a straightforward reading of the spell, it should affect any plant in the area of the spell.

    Thus, if the second version is cast upon a well-tended field, the result is a net increase in the harvest from the crop. If cast upon an ill-tended field, the weeds would benefit just as much, and the farmer's neighbors would be P-Oed as the weeds spread their increased seed production over the area.

    (And, unlike certain previous interpretations I recalled, it does not affect plant creatures.)

    As for:
    D&D is NOT meant to have too much reality applied to it at virtually ANY point in the rules. At every turn it is in fact attempting to dodge the un-fun and brutality of reality. That's something that should be kept in mind throughout a thread like this - D&D rules are NOT structured to withstand the scrutiny of extended application of real-world physics, or sociology, or even logic in general. That's why it's fantasy roleplaying, not hard SF.
    That is just a cop-out. The magic system must have an internal logic. If there is insufficient internal logic in the magic system, the game breaks down because it is no longer able to model effects consistently.

  • #199
    Quote Originally Posted by D+1
    D&D is NOT meant to have too much reality applied to it at virtually ANY point in the rules. At every turn it is in fact attempting to dodge the un-fun and brutality of reality. That's something that should be kept in mind throughout a thread like this - D&D rules are NOT structured to withstand the scrutiny of extended application of real-world physics, or sociology, or even logic in general. That's why it's fantasy roleplaying, not hard SF.
    I don't necessarily disagree with the above; but how do you 'play smart' in a game world where players can not draw links between cause and effect? For if the rules can not withstand scrutiny of logic how can the world make sense? How can a player avoid appearing like a bull in a china shop? What does a player do if his DM insists that his players should play smart but that the relationships between cause and effect are such personal opinions in any game world? If your DM keeps on insisting where does the fun go?

  • #200
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    Quote Originally Posted by D+1
    What I understand is that the purpose of the Enrichment effect is NOT to exacerbate the proliferation of weeds. As you yourself point out the net effect of enhancing the output of weeds along with "crops" is ZERO.
    Not zero in total, but zero from a *manpower* standpoint.

    It works out perfectly from a *druid's* point of view. Enrichment means every 3 acres produces 4 acres worth of food. It just means you need 4 acres worth of farmers on the 3 acres. So if you have 400 farmers working 400 acres, you can now put them to work on 300 acres producing the same food but freeing up 100 acres to be returned to nature.

    The farmer has a potent ally in a 5th+ level druid, has less perimeter to deal with, and probably cuts off a hundred yards worth of walk each day. That may not seem like much but slogging through the rain or carrying bushels of grain a hundred yards is a real pain. It also means they won't pay as much for ploughing; one of the biggest expenses. Net wealth increases for the same effort and more convenience.

    Odds are the farmers and the druid split the difference so if the farmers get an extra 25 acres of pasture land they can keep animals on or plant a cash crop so they've just increased their total potential wealth. Especially when that 25 acres produces the equivalent of 33 acres; they just need an additional 33 acres worth of manpower to capitalize on it.
    James McP

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