D&D 5E Discussing Worldbuilding: Why Don't The Mages Take Over The World?

Fanaelialae

Legend
Already addressed the "just because PCs can doesn't mean others can"

I did forget that this was just for Tools and Languages, but you can also get feats via training, skilled is a feat that gives three skills. So, it is still obviously possible to learn new skills, we just don't have as clear a timeline. So, do you think it should be twice as long for a skill? Three times? Tools are basically skills, so how much more difficult should it be?
No, you can't train feats. If I'm wrong (pretty sure I'm not) feel free to cite the page number so I can see that rule for myself.
 

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Okay, but these are two ENTIRELY separate points. They aren't even related points.

The age isn't an argument for how common magic-users are. It is an argument set-up as a counter-point to "But it takes a decade of study to even be a 1st level wizard, so no noble could ever have the time". Well, if we can demonstrate that "those who have an aptitude to begin with" can go from level 1 to level 12 in the span of a decade or two, then we can demonstrate that going from level 1 to level 5 shouldn't take more than a couple of years.


Your problem with that seems to be that those people won't be common. But there is a significant problem with that theory. Firstly, there are multiple different styles and sources of magic. We have humanoids like orcs, goblins and gnolls which use magic in their leadership, yet have no formalized structures like education. We have faith based magic. Music based magic. Nature based magic. And, most fundamentally problematic for your argument, we have wizard/artificer magic and Warlock pacts. Wizard/Artificer magics are EXPLICITLY learned skills. They simply require someone to be taught how to use them.

Now, I know you are bound up with this idea that not everyone can learn everything, but I fundamentally reject that assumption. There is no one in this world who cannot be taught to read. There is no one in this world who cannot be taught to do math. Yes, Dyslexia and Dyscalcula exist, but people with those learning disabilities can still read and can still do math, even if it is harder for them. There is not something special about the brain of a surgeon that allowed them to learn medical knowledge. There is no something special about the brain of an astrophysicist that allowed them to learn complex astrophysics. ANYONE could be taught these things. Some people simply find these things easier or harder, and then generally if they find it too hard and have no driving reason to learn it, they give up.

But there is a driving reason to learn magic. Magic has practical applications. The biggest impediment to teaching someone advanced knowledges is "when will I ever use this". There is no "practical application" for understanding space-time and gravity waves. However, understanding magic gives you practical applications.


And all of this, ALL OF IT, ignores that you don't even need to learn anything to be a Warlock. Someone who is deaf, blind and mute can make a deal with a great power and become a warlock. All it takes is the ability to accept a deal. And every mortal has that.

So, who has the aptitude to gain magic? Everyone. It is a magical world. Some people are born with it, others need to study it, and still others just pick up a weapon which accepts an ancestral pact and get magic.
You are making a lot of campaign specific assumptions about spell casters here.

There is a lot of room for interpretation about warlocks in particular.

“In your study of occult lore, you have unearthed eldritch invocations, fragments of forbidden knowledge that imbue you with an abiding magical ability.”

“Your arcane research and the magic bestowed on you by your patron have given you facility with spells.”

There is also text about adventuring etc.

My only point here is that no where is it suggested warlocks are passively getting powerful: tutored and rewarded? Sure. But you can make a good case that they are actively pursuing knowledge.

You can also see that they adventure.

I don’t get the feeling that shiftless lackwits get 5, 10 or 15 levels of power—-just like that—-that the local rat catcher is suddenly formidable as a rule (without risk and adventuring).

In short: I don’t think this means spellcasters of high level are common. Nor that those that exist just happen due to patron whim. Maybe a low level one can happen like that but no ability likely means no advancement.

How common is a high charisma? I suppose you could get to high level with a 10….that would quite the feat! And once there your charm or command would not knock all of your foes down…

So if magic use is “common” in your world that does not presuppose that powerful magic users are. Think about the he local militia guy vs. the 10th level battlmaster. The former is common but does not mean the latter would be.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
....

Because nine years old. That's why. Children do not generally get advanced educations. And everyone agrees, the fluff of the wizard indicates it requires an advanced education just to get started. That the Wizard is the fantasy equivalent of a doctor, lawyer, theologian, or other "professional" degree.

Where are you getting nine? I said they looked TWELVE to THIRTEEN. That is a far cry from NINE.

Also, guess what? Noble children WERE getting advanced educations. You know that many "children" in medieval times were considered entering into adulthood by thirteen right? And they were expected to have begun their formal training because the were definitely adults by 16 or so. Training including philosophy and a bunch of other advanced educations. By 16 many of the second sons were moving on to being journeymen for jobs like lawyer or theologians.

Also, you have to remember that in 5e, level 1 is still an apprentice, not a full fledged wizard. So, yeah, they are just a ittle bit into their formal training. These numbers line up. It is you making things up like claiming the youth in the picture is nine years old, or that thirteen year old nobles weren't getting advanced educations.

And yes, I do have a problem with you using a Magic the Gathering-based supplement. Y'know, a world where literal children can become godlike world-shaking spellcasters and, in particular, referencing a fantasy wizard college that intentionally blurs the line between the medieval fantasy of D&D proper and attending college IRL.

Right, because we don't have a god-like world-shaking child spellcasters in DnD. Like in Eberron. Wait, is this where you got nine from? From the High Priestess of the Silver Flame in Thrane? The explicitly DnD character.

All I used the strixhaven art for was the age. And, you know, wizard colleges exist in DnD. You know, like in Eberron. Even have artwork of it, but those are students riding the magic brooms, not faculty, so I decided not to use that picture.

But fine, we won't use the art from Strixhaven. Let's use the art from Hoard of the Dragon Queen, where we have Thayan red wizards. Also high level, also in their mid 20's to mid 30's. Does that make you happier that I can point to artwork from the Forgotten Realms too? Do I need to scour every book and find every spellcaster? Compare their ages to your standard of them all having to be in their 50's or 60's to be "true mages"?
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
I don't assume every noble is exactly the same as the sample from the book, assassin is a general term. If an assassin gets past the guards of a king, I assume they'll be prepared to take out your wizard. Rulers don't die by the bucket load because they have the state to protect them, even if the ruler is killed the odds of getting away are minimal. The odds of being assassinated is incredibly low for most nobles. If there's a .05% chance of being assassinated changing the odds to .01% doesn't really mean much.

You're proposing an incredibly extreme static and unrealistic world. One where the only possible "noble" is the one defined in the book (does that apply to newborns?) with no classes while your wizard noble has HP and defenses. Except it's quite the conundrum. Once the wizard is made a noble doesn't that mean, by your logic, that they are now defined by the noble stat block? After all if they can't be a champion and a noble, they can't be both a wizard and a noble, right? :unsure:

Have fun defining the rules of every campaign in such static terms. I don't see the point.

Wow. I know you sometimes make incredibly disingenuous arguments, but this takes the cake.

No, I don't assume every noble is identical. I also don't assume every ogre is actually identical. But I also would find it incredibly strange for you to say that Ogres have a strength of 26, or to ask if baby ogres have 60 hp and a strength of 19. I used the noble statblock because, well, it is the noble statblock. If you have problems with that statblock, then you need to talk to WoTC, not me. That is the CURRENT model for what nobles look like in the game. The game were spellcasters aren't generally in-charge.

I've also never claimed that rulers die or are assassinated by the bucketload. You are making up that argument. It is a nice strawman, but irrelevant. And it is strange, the argument I was replying to told me that wizards are highly stabbable, and that's why they won't be in charge, bcause they would be stabbed to death. Now I am finding that stabbings are hardly a threat at all, because the state will protect them. Strange how the state wasn't protecting them BEFORE I showed that wizards would be better equipped to handle potential stabbings than the standard noble.

But hey, you mention the champion right? That's what, a 13th level fighter? I'm AFB at the moment, so I can't check. Do we often find that 13th level fighters have as many options for shaping the world and being incredibly powerful as 13th level casters? Or is this special pleading? Is the argument that being a fighter is so easy, and so simple, that despite the fact that 13th level requires 120,000 for both that a noble could easily and quickly train to be a 13th level fighter, but training to be a 13th level wizard would be so hard as to be impossible for them?

XP has been standardized between the classes for three editions now, there is no longer a reason to say that becoming a wizard takes longer or more effort. Unless you want to trivialize what it means to be a fighter, but hey, we are fine saying that no spellcaster would bother to rule, because they have more important things to do, so why not continue to denigrate and insult martials?
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Yeah, even looking to our own world, simply imagine how much worse things might have been if someone like Hitler, Stalin, or Nero could cast 9th level spells. I can imagine the people in a world where something like that happened making darn sure it could never happen again.

It would be quite a reasonable justification for laws that outright forbid MUs from holding positions of authority. Not unlike Dragon Age or The Wheel of Time, where mages live in service to the people (at least in theory).

And simply imagine how much better things might have been if Walt Whitman had been able to cast 1st level spells while working as a battlefield nurse. Or if people from the American First Nations could have cast lesser restoration. What if Abraham Lincoln had been able to cast False Life, Mage Armor and Shield and survived assassination, meaning "Reconstruction" and Jim Crow never happened?

It is trivially easy to say that bad people shouldn't have nukes. But to say no ruler should ever have magic is a lot harder, because GOOD RULERS EXIST. Good people exist. Not everyone who gets the ability to cast magic is going to start enslaving people, or trying to overthrow the gods.

It would be reasonable to restrict access to spells over 5th level. 6th through 9th level magic is extreme, and you should restrict access to it. Making laws that forbid magic-users from holding positions of authority is much, much harder. Because you immediately disqualify anyone from ruling who can use magic. And while that may work for a single nation, you can't disqualify any High Elf who knows magic from becoming a noble. You can't disqualify anyone chosen by their God to be a cleric, paladin, aasimar, sorcerer or warlock from getting a position of authority in the church. It just doesn't work large scale, unless you have a very narrow setting and very narrow magic. Neither of which work for DnD.
 

Oofta

Legend
Wow. I know you sometimes make incredibly disingenuous arguments, but this takes the cake.

No, I don't assume every noble is identical. I also don't assume every ogre is actually identical. But I also would find it incredibly strange for you to say that Ogres have a strength of 26, or to ask if baby ogres have 60 hp and a strength of 19. I used the noble statblock because, well, it is the noble statblock. If you have problems with that statblock, then you need to talk to WoTC, not me. That is the CURRENT model for what nobles look like in the game. The game were spellcasters aren't generally in-charge.
So ... nobles aren't all identical but they use the same stat block because that's the default entry? So every male in the U.S. is 5'9" and 197.9 pounds (thanks google) because that's the average? You were the one making the claim that nobles would be easier to kill because your wizard has 22 HP and the noble only has 9, not me. 🤷‍♂️

I've also never claimed that rulers die or are assassinated by the bucketload. You are making up that argument. It is a nice strawman, but irrelevant. And it is strange, the argument I was replying to told me that wizards are highly stabbable, and that's why they won't be in charge, bcause they would be stabbed to death. Now I am finding that stabbings are hardly a threat at all, because the state will protect them. Strange how the state wasn't protecting them BEFORE I showed that wizards would be better equipped to handle potential stabbings than the standard noble.

But hey, you mention the champion right? That's what, a 13th level fighter? I'm AFB at the moment, so I can't check. Do we often find that 13th level fighters have as many options for shaping the world and being incredibly powerful as 13th level casters? Or is this special pleading? Is the argument that being a fighter is so easy, and so simple, that despite the fact that 13th level requires 120,000 for both that a noble could easily and quickly train to be a 13th level fighter, but training to be a 13th level wizard would be so hard as to be impossible for them?

XP has been standardized between the classes for three editions now, there is no longer a reason to say that becoming a wizard takes longer or more effort. Unless you want to trivialize what it means to be a fighter, but hey, we are fine saying that no spellcaster would bother to rule, because they have more important things to do, so why not continue to denigrate and insult martials?

Nobles were rarely assassinated because personal combat capability of any individual is not particularly relevant when it comes to the functioning of a nation. Either every noble is the same or they are not. Either individual prowess at combat matters for most nobles or it does not. Choose a lane. Local warlords may need fighting prowess (whether martial or arcane), rulers of larger nations do not.

As far as the rest, I have no idea where you're coming from. If we assume that the individual combat expertise of a noble matters, there's no reason to believe that any PC class has a particular advantage. Back when leaders did go to battle*, they were there primarily as moral support and to inspire the soldiers. I think in many cases the soldier is going to be more motivated seeing a leader that's a fighter than someone running around twiddling their fingers.

But it's not particularly relevant. The power of the state does not lie in an individual except for the fact that an individual is a figurehead and symbol. People lined up for blocks to see Queen Elizabeth's coffin because she stood for something greater than the woman. She was a symbol, an idealized embodiment of national pride. She was beloved and, last I checked, she had nothing that would qualify her for combat duty even if she did join the armed forces for a period of time.

P.S. I was, again, using champion as a generic term as in the subclass of fighters and an off the top of my head example of a fighter not trying to one-up your wizard example. You're picking on minutiae instead of the content of the posting.

*Which died out by around 1500ish. Even before then most were never truly on the front lines, or if they were they were surrounded by the best troops available.
 

Fanaelialae

Legend
And simply imagine how much better things might have been if Walt Whitman had been able to cast 1st level spells while working as a battlefield nurse. Or if people from the American First Nations could have cast lesser restoration. What if Abraham Lincoln had been able to cast False Life, Mage Armor and Shield and survived assassination, meaning "Reconstruction" and Jim Crow never happened?

It is trivially easy to say that bad people shouldn't have nukes. But to say no ruler should ever have magic is a lot harder, because GOOD RULERS EXIST. Good people exist. Not everyone who gets the ability to cast magic is going to start enslaving people, or trying to overthrow the gods.

It would be reasonable to restrict access to spells over 5th level. 6th through 9th level magic is extreme, and you should restrict access to it. Making laws that forbid magic-users from holding positions of authority is much, much harder. Because you immediately disqualify anyone from ruling who can use magic. And while that may work for a single nation, you can't disqualify any High Elf who knows magic from becoming a noble. You can't disqualify anyone chosen by their God to be a cleric, paladin, aasimar, sorcerer or warlock from getting a position of authority in the church. It just doesn't work large scale, unless you have a very narrow setting and very narrow magic. Neither of which work for DnD.
It's about checks and balances.

A battlefield nurse having cure wounds is almost unquestionably a boon. But she doesn't wield great authority.

On the other hand, giving a leader magic is quite questionable. Sure, if they are pure and benevolent, they will likely never misuse such power. Ever heard the old adage about power corrupting?

A leader already wields tremendous power via their authority. However, there are checks on that power. If a leader commands the general to do something heinous, that general might refuse. Now imagine if that leader could Gate in an army of fiends? Or had his own private army of bound elementals on standby? No checks whatsoever.

There is little to no more good that a leader could do by having magic himself, versus having skilled mages in their employ. And the fact that the leader would have some of their power checked by having it in the hands of someone other than the leader would be a good thing.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
I already debunked that actually. You cannot learn new skills from training, only tool proficiencies and languages.

Please don't perpetuate misinformation.

If I am the one who is mistaken, please let me know where I can find the relevant rules so that I can be corrected. However, if it's from the Downtime Training section in Xanathar's, it clearly states that it only allows you to learn tool proficiencies and languages, not skills.

As an aside, even if you house rule it to allow skills, four times more for NPCs is not reasonable. Under these rules, a fairly intelligent PC could learn blacksmithing in 8 workweeks. In medieval times, a blacksmithing apprenticeship lasted somewhere around 8 years (roughly 400 weeks). That would mean that taking 50 times as long for an NPC to learn something is not unreasonable, at least if you extrapolate from the rules as you were doing. Though I don't actually agree that it's reasonable or sensible to try to derive NPC "rules" from rules built to serve PCs. It seems obvious that the 10 workweek rule in Xanathar's exists as a nod to verisimilitude, but is so short because otherwise training would be pointless in most campaigns.

I'm not perpetuating misinformation, I'm replying to posts as I read them. And trying to hold multiple different conversations. I addressed your point earlier on how I missed that the rule only applied to tools and languages.

Of course, you have to be train to learn a skill. Otherwise, no one would have any skills. It isn't like you are born with them after all. It is just a question of how long it would take.

Also, it isn't really reasonable to say that PCs are learning 50 times faster than everyone else. That's a bit ludicrous. And while a blacksmithing apprenticeship may have taken 8 years, that doesn't mean it took 8 years to learn the skill. See, going to How to Become a Blacksmith 2022 (Things To Know) it turns out that in the modern world it can take a TWO year vocational degree to learn to become a blacksmith.

Are we FOUR TIMES smarter than everyone from the past, able to learn at a vastly accelerated rate?! Probably not. More likely, the 8 years for an apprenticeship was more of a financial compensation to the teacher, who after taking the time to teach an apprentice would have free labor working for them, and not have a rival taking their business. It also may have been additional labor given in exchange for the tools that apprentices were often gifted.

So, if you want to use the two year model of modern blacksmithing teaching, we have roughly 100 weeks, which is back down to that 20 times faster number. And it turns out, modern education doesn't have you learning only a single skill, in dedicated focus, for the entire time. You often are only going to a specific class for an hour a day, and that two year program involves a lot of non-blacksmithing classes. So the time frame is likely even smaller than the 100 weeks. Unless you feel that knowing literature is a requirement for blacksmithing.
 


Ixal

Hero
So ... nobles aren't all identical but they use the same stat block because that's the default entry? So every male in the U.S. is 5'9" and 197.9 pounds (thanks google) because that's the average? You were the one making the claim that nobles would be easier to kill because your wizard has 22 HP and the noble only has 9, not me. 🤷‍♂️



Nobles were rarely assassinated because personal combat capability of any individual is not particularly relevant when it comes to the functioning of a nation. Either every noble is the same or they are not. Either individual prowess at combat matters for most nobles or it does not. Choose a lane. Local warlords may need fighting prowess (whether martial or arcane), rulers of larger nations do not.

As far as the rest, I have no idea where you're coming from. If we assume that the individual combat expertise of a noble matters, there's no reason to believe that any PC class has a particular advantage. Back when leaders did go to battle*, they were there primarily as moral support and to inspire the soldiers. I think in many cases the soldier is going to be more motivated seeing a leader that's a fighter than someone running around twiddling their fingers.

But it's not particularly relevant. The power of the state does not lie in an individual except for the fact that an individual is a figurehead and symbol. People lined up for blocks to see Queen Elizabeth's coffin because she stood for something greater than the woman. She was a symbol, an idealized embodiment of national pride. She was beloved and, last I checked, she had nothing that would qualify her for combat duty even if she did join the armed forces for a period of time.

P.S. I was, again, using champion as a generic term as in the subclass of fighters and an off the top of my head example of a fighter not trying to one-up your wizard example. You're picking on minutiae instead of the content of the posting.

*Which died out by around 1500ish. Even before then most were never truly on the front lines, or if they were they were surrounded by the best troops available.
Being led by a guy flying through the air throwing fire at your enemies sounds a lot more inspiring than your leader being just another guy with a sword.

Yes, the queen was a symbol. And in the past nobility went so far as to claim being chosen by god or even being divinity themselves to appear as a symbol.
Imagine how much better that works when they can wield supernatural abilities through spellcasting.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
You are making a lot of campaign specific assumptions about spell casters here.

There is a lot of room for interpretation about warlocks in particular.

“In your study of occult lore, you have unearthed eldritch invocations, fragments of forbidden knowledge that imbue you with an abiding magical ability.”

“Your arcane research and the magic bestowed on you by your patron have given you facility with spells.”

There is also text about adventuring etc.

My only point here is that no where is it suggested warlocks are passively getting powerful: tutored and rewarded? Sure. But you can make a good case that they are actively pursuing knowledge.

You can also see that they adventure.

I don’t get the feeling that shiftless lackwits get 5, 10 or 15 levels of power—-just like that—-that the local rat catcher is suddenly formidable as a rule (without risk and adventuring).

In short: I don’t think this means spellcasters of high level are common. Nor that those that exist just happen due to patron whim. Maybe a low level one can happen like that but no ability likely means no advancement.

How common is a high charisma? I suppose you could get to high level with a 10….that would quite the feat! And once there your charm or command would not knock all of your foes down…

So if magic use is “common” in your world that does not presuppose that powerful magic users are. Think about the he local militia guy vs. the 10th level battlmaster. The former is common but does not mean the latter would be.

I'm not making nearly the number of assumptions you think.

Anyone can get magic by making a pact. This is true. Maybe you make a pact to be taught magic and it takes you time after the pact to learn any magic, but the Hexblade's patron is a weapon, and the GOO patron may not know you exist. Additionally, level 1 and 2 are explicitly apprentice levels. Basic beginning point for a class is supposed to be level 3. So, level 5 is just an experienced member of the class.

And I'm not going beyond 5 in most of my examples. The local military guys are about as good as a level 1 fighter, and I don't care about the level 10 battlemaster. I'm looking for the level 5 character. Which if we just use extra attack as our measure, is not that uncommon. They are uncommon, it isn't like every guard is a 5th level fighter. But it isn't like a 5th level fighter is some figure of legend who only serves as the greatest champion of the king either. It wouldn't be that uncommon for a captain of the guard to be a 5th level fighter, for example.

These are assumptions, but they aren't major ones. And since I'm not talking about 10th or 15th level characters, we don't need to worry as much about the rarity. 3rd to 5th level characters would be uncommon, but not unheard of.
 

Fanaelialae

Legend
DMG page 231 I believe, it is the rule I was referencing.
That's specifically called out as a special reward, not unlike a magic item. It's not something where any character (not even a PC) can just go out and find the right trainer to train them.

There might be an exceptional teacher out in the world who could easily teach quantum mechanics to anyone. Just because one such individual might exist does not mean it's reasonable to infer that quantum mechanics is either easy to teach or easy to learn.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
So ... nobles aren't all identical but they use the same stat block because that's the default entry? So every male in the U.S. is 5'9" and 197.9 pounds (thanks google) because that's the average? You were the one making the claim that nobles would be easier to kill because your wizard has 22 HP and the noble only has 9, not me. 🤷‍♂️
\

No, I was responding to the claim that noble wizards are more easily stabbed than muggle nobles.

But yes, you seem to have grasped the basic concept of what an average is and what a stereotype is. I didn't think this had to be a lesson on what "representative" meant, but here we are.


Nobles were rarely assassinated because personal combat capability of any individual is not particularly relevant when it comes to the functioning of a nation. Either every noble is the same or they are not. Either individual prowess at combat matters for most nobles or it does not. Choose a lane. Local warlords may need fighting prowess (whether martial or arcane), rulers of larger nations do not.

I've picked a lane.

Magic is useful to a ruler. I've noticed no one jumping up to tell me how the muggle rulers can unspoil grain or unpoison a well. Combat magic is still useful, even if far less so, because it makes you safer. Sure, only 1% of all nobles are killed violently, but the magical noble will not be part of that 1%. And over generations and generations of time, that selection pressure is likely to make a difference.

This isn't a bold claim, I'm not vacilating, I'm just responding to people's counter-arguments. Most of which have been "But the wizard would get stabbed! Because they can't fight!" Which, as you point out, is a non-issue, because personal combat ability doesn't really apply most of the time in the running of a state.

As far as the rest, I have no idea where you're coming from. If we assume that the individual combat expertise of a noble matters, there's no reason to believe that any PC class has a particular advantage. Back when leaders did go to battle*, they were there primarily as moral support and to inspire the soldiers. I think in many cases the soldier is going to be more motivated seeing a leader that's a fighter than someone running around twiddling their fingers.

But it's not particularly relevant. The power of the state does not lie in an individual except for the fact that an individual is a figurehead and symbol. People lined up for blocks to see Queen Elizabeth's coffin because she stood for something greater than the woman. She was a symbol, an idealized embodiment of national pride. She was beloved and, last I checked, she had nothing that would qualify her for combat duty even if she did join the armed forces for a period of time.

P.S. I was, again, using champion as a generic term as in the subclass of fighters and an off the top of my head example of a fighter not trying to one-up your wizard example. You're picking on minutiae instead of the content of the posting.

*Which died out by around 1500ish. Even before then most were never truly on the front lines, or if they were they were surrounded by the best troops available.

Situation 1: "Look boys, see that armored figure? That's our king, using his ancestral sword and fighting beside us. How inspiring!"

Situation 2: "Look in the sky, you see that? That's our King, he's watching over us, risking the arrows of the enemy. And when we charge, hes going to throw an orb of elemental flame at our enemies to break their formation. Look at him up there, and remember, he is fighting for us just as we fight for him."

See, the problem with "twiddling their fingers" is that it is usually followed by "and flies into the air like a bird" or "and kills six men in an explosion of flames" or "And brings back the dead". DnD magic isn't small and subtle. It isn't an old man muttering in the corner and causing a slight chill in the air. It is flashy. It is noticeable.

Additionally, why can't magic-using rulers be symbols? Why can't "they have mastered secrets beyond our understanding, and they have a plan" not be inspiring? Why can't they be embodiment of national pride? You keep making this claim that rulers are more than combat ability, but then you don't expain how being a magic-user cuts you off from those qualities of a ruler.
 

This entire thread is about campaign specific assumptions.
Casters rarity or overruling the world are campaign or world building decisions.

Why these are not proposed that much in official setting is more a question of marketing and players interests. I guess that is more easy for players to shine and be special in a world where magic is less dominant and overruling.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
It's about checks and balances.

A battlefield nurse having cure wounds is almost unquestionably a boon. But she doesn't wield great authority.

On the other hand, giving a leader magic is quite questionable. Sure, if they are pure and benevolent, they will likely never misuse such power. Ever heard the old adage about power corrupting?

A leader already wields tremendous power via their authority. However, there are checks on that power. If a leader commands the general to do something heinous, that general might refuse. Now imagine if that leader could Gate in an army of fiends? Or had his own private army of bound elementals on standby? No checks whatsoever.

There is little to no more good that a leader could do by having magic himself, versus having skilled mages in their employ. And the fact that the leader would have some of their power checked by having it in the hands of someone other than the leader would be a good thing.

How many nations are ruled by leaders where if the general refuses they are executed or removed from power?

Also, Gate is 9th level. Planar binding is 6th level. Read my post, spells of 6th through 9th level should be restricted access. Of course, we have to ask WHO is restricting access to these spells. How are they telling the rulers of nations "no" when they demand access? But assuming a functioning checks and balances system (which not every medieval nation had) then that still doesn't prevent 1st, 2nd and 3rd level spells, the one's I've been talking about.

I'm not saying checks and balances are impossible, or that they aren't a good idea, but you seem to be assuming every single functioning nation is ruled by muggles, who keep checks on the power of spellcasters, because to do otherwise would lead to leaders abusing their powers and well.... how many evil nations exist in Greyhawk again? How many evil city-states exist in the Forgotten Realms? Why do these evil, power-hungry rulers care so much for preventing rulers and leaders from getting too much power and abusing their authority?
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
That's specifically called out as a special reward, not unlike a magic item. It's not something where any character (not even a PC) can just go out and find the right trainer to train them.

There might be an exceptional teacher out in the world who could easily teach quantum mechanics to anyone. Just because one such individual might exist does not mean it's reasonable to infer that quantum mechanics is either easy to teach or easy to learn.

So, because it is possible for someone to find a trainer to teach them a skill, but it is listed as a special reward, it is impossible for someone to find a trainer to teach them a skill?

This is circular reasoning. Here's a different take.

It is incredibly difficult and expensive to find someone who can teach you a skill. They may ask for lots of money. Wealthy people have lots of money, so it will be easier for wealthy people to find that teacher tot teach them that skill.

Unless every single person capable of teaching that skill is a hermit who eschews the wealth of society and believes in being humble. Which.... kind of strange, isn't it? EVERYONE who can teach magic hates wealth and wants to be humble? In the entire world? I kind of doubt that.
 

Shadowedeyes

Adventurer
A lot of the arguments on both sides require interpretation. Warlock pacts for example. I wouldn't tend to assume that the patrons have an open door policy on pacts, so the idea you can just find one and they will say yes as a matter of course. Likewise, in my own campaign settings gods are picky about handing out divine power to someone, for various reasons that are not necessarily in line with another DM or setting's vision.

How impressive/inspirational magic would be is also opinion. In a high magic setting, which is the one where mages ruling everything would be more likely, magic is probably less impressive in the first place since even the common people have encountered it more regularly anyway.

In my opinion, the most important thing for a ruler to have is to have access to money, the right connections, and is good at managing public opinion of his rulership. Magic doesn't guarantee any of these things, although it might help sometimes, especially on the money part. I don't think mages(or any other spellcasting class) cannot and would not ever be a ruler, but I don't think spellcasting is so important to achieving rulership that it is a requirement.
 

Fanaelialae

Legend
So, because it is possible for someone to find a trainer to teach them a skill, but it is listed as a special reward, it is impossible for someone to find a trainer to teach them a skill?

This is circular reasoning. Here's a different take.

It is incredibly difficult and expensive to find someone who can teach you a skill. They may ask for lots of money. Wealthy people have lots of money, so it will be easier for wealthy people to find that teacher tot teach them that skill.

Unless every single person capable of teaching that skill is a hermit who eschews the wealth of society and believes in being humble. Which.... kind of strange, isn't it? EVERYONE who can teach magic hates wealth and wants to be humble? In the entire world? I kind of doubt that.
High level characters have more money than they know what to do with. My high level character can spend all of their "useless" gold to buy unlimited skills and feats in your campaign? I don't know any DM who would allow that, but if you do that's your choice.
 


Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Wow. I know you sometimes make incredibly disingenuous arguments, but this takes the cake.

Mod Note:
Yeah, guess what? The personal attack isn't going to do you much good, because it just got you removed from this discussion.

Next time you want to make an argument, make it about what was written, not about the person who wrote it.
 

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