A "Why Oh Why" RPG Thread [+]

Emoshin

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
Wait .... that's a euphemism, isn't it!

That's our druid, always going on journeys of self-exploration, polishing the ol' shillelagh, gettin' wild shape happy again.
It's my go-to in-fiction explanation for how PCs go up in levels or when they cross over to new editions. They have a mid-life crisis, they eat, they pray, they love, and when they come back, they are somehow changed

(Ok not really, but it could be!)
 

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Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
Supporter
It's my go-to in-fiction explanation for how PCs go up in levels or when they cross over to new editions. They have a mid-life crisis, they eat, they pray, they love, and when they come back, they are somehow changed

(Ok not really, but it could be!)

It would explain the high cost of leveling in AD&D (1e).

In the late 70s and early 80s, it was received wisdom that self-love carried a high price.
 

Emoshin

So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish
It would explain the high cost of leveling in AD&D (1e).

In the late 70s and early 80s, it was received wisdom that self-love carried a high price.
These days are kinder. Now self-love means practicing self-compassion. Which leads to personal growth. So obviously you go up a level faster.
 

The Dungeons & Dragons wizard is actually inspired by the wizards of Jack Vance's Dying Earth series. Gygax explained the four cardinal types of magic in literature: those systems which require long conjuration with much paraphernalia as visualized by Shakespeare in Macbeth and Robert E. Howard in Conan, those which require short spoken spells (like Jack Vance's Dying Earth series), ultra-powerful magic typical of DeCamp and Pratt in the "Harold Shea" stories, and "generally weak and relatively ineffectual magic (as found in J.R.R. Tolkien's work)." Taking into account the need for speed and balance, Gygax chose the most expedient form of spell casting, Vancian magic.

So basically: Elizabethan was too slow, DeCamp/Pratt was too powerful, and Tolkien was too weak. Vancian was (1) fast and (2) intermediate in terms of power.
Where does the magic in 'A Wizard of Earthsea' fit in? I don't think it's too powerful.
 


It's been a long time since I read those, but I don't recall it being quite as systematically defined as Dying Earth, which may have made Dying Earth more attractive to someone designing a game.
The Dying Earth isn't really very systematic either. It's specified that a wizard can hold maybe four spells in his head at a time, six at the maximum. But we really only see a few examples of actual spells, and there's no real guidance about what sorts there are.

Then in the last book, Vance tossed everything out the window and redefined magic in terms of binding spirits to contracts. (Why he bothered to call it the same setting mystifies me.)
 

not-so-newguy

I'm the Straw Man in your argument
Why oh why do I occasionally see threads that say not to talk about The Forge website?

I feel that I'm treading on a inflammatory topic. i have no idea why people need to mention the caveat and I'm honestly just curious. I also know nothing about The Forge website.
 

Why oh why do I occasionally see threads that say not to talk about The Forge website?

I feel that I'm treading on a inflammatory topic. i have no idea why people need to mention the caveat and I'm honestly just curious. I also know nothing about The Forge website.
The Forge was an RPG theory forum - may still be, haven't looked lately. They produced many lasting innovations and some useful terminology, but also ruffled a great many feathers. Some statements by some notable names over there were... needlessly inflammatory... and turned a lot of people violently off.
 

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