D&D General D&D, magic, and the mundane medieval

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That depends on the world, but it makes zero sense to me that magic would be as rare as all that. PCs aren't special, and even if they were, where did  they learn magic from?
I don't know. Where did they in your campaign?

(It's not that rare in my campaign either, just exaggeration to make a point. Sometimes magic is rare.)
 

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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
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edit: and even in game worlds with rare casters (and that is a rare setting today) I don't know any that has 1 per kingdom, heck most have more then 1 per city

I think he said "county" not "country".

The rub is, in the end, in two places:
1) rarity, as others have noted. Some folks treat PCs as special, others not. That's a setting assumption the rules don't actually cover.
2) is that 1st level spellcaster really going to devote themselves to farm work? As if there aren't higher paying jobs that can use the same spell slots to good effect? If nothing else, couple "Mending" with just about any tool proficiency, and you have and improved craftsman pay rate instead of an improved manual laborer pay rate.
 

pemerton

Legend
I agree with your last paragraph that we project ourselves into the setting but I think that is perhaps true to the extent we are the audience for the game. To the extent we are the authors of the game I think we are perhaps attempting to create a setting that is consistent with our values and our understanding of how the world works. I don't see much if any conflict between those.
That is not the case for me in RPGing.

I won't bore you with a full autobiography! But almost all RPGing I'm involved in makes assumptions about the permissibility of the use of lethal violence that are not consistent with my values, and almost all of it involves imagined societies that are not consistent with my understanding of how the world works.

Which is not to say that it has no bearing on the world: just as The Hulk posits a world of gamma rays and shapechanging and the US Army inflicting massive destruction chasing a monster across the US desert, yet is actually a story about Ego (Thunderbolt Ross), Id (The Hulk) and Superego (Banner), with Doc Samson as the therapist who in the fiction administers his therapy by punching things; so the tropes, motifs, events etc of a RPG might help us reflect on the real world although the internal logic of the fiction departs from reality in various ways (beyond just "what if" counterfactuals).
 

That is not the case for me in RPGing.

I won't bore you with a full autobiography! But almost all RPGing I'm involved in makes assumptions about the permissibility of the use of lethal violence that are not consistent with my values, and almost all of it involves imagined societies that are not consistent with my understanding of how the world works.

Which is not to say that it has no bearing on the world: just as The Hulk posits a world of gamma rays and shapechanging and the US Army inflicting massive destruction chasing a monster across the US desert, yet is actually a story about Ego (Thunderbolt Ross), Id (The Hulk) and Superego (Banner), with Doc Samson as the therapist who in the fiction administers his therapy by punching things; so the tropes, motifs, events etc of a RPG might help us reflect on the real world although the internal logic of the fiction departs from reality in various ways (beyond just "what if" counterfactuals).
That's fair. I omitted the thought the settings were elements in a game and that they were fiction and "consistent with" is probably too strong. When I GM a homebrew setting I am honest with the players that the setting will reflect my values and my understanding of how the world works to the extent it can and still be playable in-game.
 

but if it is a learned skill that 1 guy can teach how many apprentices? and they can teach how many more? even an Int 8 commoner CAN learn it in theory without caster stat checks'
I think that was their point. If just anyone can learn magic, then it is indeed a learned skill and can indeed multiply exponentially until everyone is a wizard.
If magic is less common, and being a PC-level wizard is something fewer people have the potential to become, then this will have knock-on effects. Hence why how common magic is being an important part of worldbuilding.

That depends on the world, but it makes zero sense to me that magic would be as rare as all that. PCs aren't special, and even if they were, where did  they learn magic from?
In some settings.
In others, PCs are special. In Eberron for example, most people can learn to do magic in specific, limited ways, but actually being a PC-wizard-comparable spellcaster is very unusual.
 

Levistus's_Leviathan

5e Freelancer
The biggest thing for me that comes out of that thread is that D&D relies on many non-modern, non-liberal moral tropes.
Absolutely. The gods in most D&D worlds can literally come down from the heavens and declare mortals as their chosen champions. Magical bloodlines (Sorcerers and Planetouched) are proven to exist and certain actions can be made to keep the bloodlines "pure". There are sentient people that have been cursed by gods for crimes their ancestors committed (Drow, for example). The afterlife objectively exists and most people know where they will go after they die. There can be wars where one side is completely in the right and the other is completely in the wrong and all deaths caused by that war are completely morally unambiguous (the War of the Lance, for example). People got pretty inventive with different types of corporal punishment and torture back then, and magical forms of torture would be worse than anything we've come up with on Earth. The worst dystopian societies ever could exist because of enchantment and divination magic (scrying sensors, detect thoughts, modify memory, etc).

D&D's built-in assumptions for how the worlds work create a setting that would be a really bad place to live and is very anti-progressive. Medieval Europe was already a pretty bad place and time to live, but magic would just make that worse.

I'm kind of surprised that D&D and the fantasy genre overall haven't gotten the sort of "look at how bad this world would actually be" approach that the Superhero genre has (Watchmen, The Boys, Umbrella Academy, etc).
 

I think he said "county" not "country".

The rub is, in the end, in two places:
1) rarity, as others have noted. Some folks treat PCs as special, others not. That's a setting assumption the rules don't actually cover.
2) is that 1st level spellcaster really going to devote themselves to farm work? As if there aren't higher paying jobs that can use the same spell slots to good effect? If nothing else, couple "Mending" with just about any tool proficiency, and you have and improved craftsman pay rate instead of an improved manual laborer pay rate.
my mistake on kingdom...

but I have to say this touches on something I don't get about modern D&D... some players/characters find themselves motivated by money.

I played in a game where the DM would be like "I will pay you 25 thousand gold to split" and other players would be salavating... but I can't make a character think that way without a lot of hoops jumped through.

In the real world 70ish% of what I do is based on needing money or wanting money or spending money. I live in debt (revolving debt and I own things for it) If I could do a 1 week super dangerous (but some how in my broken capabilities) job for $25,000 that would be game changing. that would be life altering... if I could do that 2 or 3 times I could be set for life. I don't know that I WOULD do more then once.

D&D money is weird though

Lifestyle Expenses
LifestylePrice/Day
Wretched
Squalid1 sp
Poor2 sp
Modest1 gp
Comfortable2 gp
Wealthy4 gp
Aristocratic10 gp minimum
if I want to live 'comfortable' for 2gp a day so about 700gp a year and I assume I am 15 and going to live to be 70 that is 55 years so I need 40,000gp to live my life with comfortable money if we assume I am never going to make money or work again... if I have half that and can use that as a seed to start a farm, a bar, any business' really that is a set up for life and my family after I pass.
 

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