5E Burning books question
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    Burning books question

    Considering that book burning has happened in real life, would it happen in dnd? Any blessings/curses activated by said burning?

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    Book burning has definitely happened in D&D.

    In one campaign, our party was kidnapped and stripped of their belongings. They escaped and fought against their captors. My character fireballed the tent which, unbeknownst to us, contained the party's belongings. Including my character's spellbook.
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    Sure, it's a method of controlling information, and therefore controlling people. So ya know, if you have anyone with a vested interest in controlling others, destruction of books is a good way to do that.

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    I think that if your PHB spontaneously combusts, WotC will replace it for free
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    Quote Originally Posted by jaelis View Post
    I think that if your PHB spontaneously combusts, WotC will replace it for free
    You know what I mean!

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    It also depends on how literate your campaign world is. In medieval Europe (the basis for most campaigns), very few books would even exist, held closely by the rich and powerful. The average person couldn't read, and probably couldn't count much higher than 10 or 20 due to lack of education. In my Greyhawk, most people are illiterate, so burning books would be unnecessary for information control (burning bards would be more effective).
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    It would be effective just like IRL for the same reasons. The key difference is magical protections and guardians. That librarian could be a silver Dragon. Some libraries would be warded vs fire.

    Literacy was also higher in parts of the world than expected so the population can probably read better than IRL due to things like God's if knowledge. So unless you have an equivalent if the dark ages RL conditions won't apply.
    Last edited by Zardnaar; Friday, 24th May, 2019 at 11:49 AM.

  8. #8
    In an official D&D comic the famous wizard Elminster had to burn a spellbook because it was a lich's phylactery.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shiroiken View Post
    In medieval Europe (the basis for most campaigns), very few books would even exist, held closely by the rich and powerful.
    That's true, so mass book-burnings to suppress political dissent might not happen.

    On the other hand, there are wizards whose power is embodied in their spellbooks. So maybe a book-burning raid could be a way to deal with a powerful wizard, if the opposing faction don't want to resort to outright murder.
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    Quote Originally Posted by abe ray View Post
    Considering that book burning has happened in real life, would it happen in dnd? Any blessings/curses activated by said burning?
    If you have played Witcher 3, you would see an excellent example of this in fantasy fiction. Not only book burning, but the burning of witches at the stake. It would be easy to create a whole pogrom against a particular group. Even in a setting such as the Forgotten Realms, which is a Renaissance setting, it would not be unheard of for inquisitions to take place.

    What that has to be balanced against is other perceived threats in the setting.

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