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

Vaalingrade

Legend
And how is this different from being a mundane warlord? It isn't like the Roman Generals assassinated the Emperor so often because they found it funny.
It was, on occasion, hilarious.
Whenever someone gets power, others will put themselves against them to take that power.
Mutually assured destruction.
You proposition seems to assume that no magi could gain power, because other magi would tear them down.... but wouldn't the winner of a magi vs magi fight to determine who is in charge end with a magi in charge?
There's never a winner. Just gridlock ad a lot of funny old men in increasingly elaborate hats kill and get killed.
I also don't see the rocket launcher on the PHB inventory. Could you tell me which page you are pulling that from and how the common people of a kingdom somehow all have rocket launchers that only work against magi, and that magi can't use, to allow the muggles to be the ones who rule?
Vallcorp International is not responsible for lack of imagination in the PHB. The antimatter rifle in the DMG will have to do.
 

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EzekielRaiden

Follower of the Way
Alright. I'm done. I tried to engage. Literally every point I've made is either ignored or treated with "but isn't it possible" or dismissed with "but...spellcasters are just always better period, no matter what, all the time, everywhere, always."

There's no more discussion to be had. If you think absolute magocracy is completely inevitable, fine. Knock yourself out. I want no part of this You-Know-Who-ish business.
 

jgsugden

Legend
Every setting will have their own answer, but in mine: Power is not a measure of what you control, it is a measure of what you can control less the cost to maintain it.

A powerful wizard that wishes to maintain control over a vast populace will be required to spend vast amounts of their power to maintain control. As the size of a controlled populace grows, the difficulty to maintain it grows faster. In the end, to those with other routes to power, it is a fool's game. The cost of winning the game far exceeds the benefit.

The most powerful beings do not often want to rule vast empires,. They keep their sphere of control optimized for benefit over cost. The charismatic might find that they can hold large populations in their sway - but a wizard with more book smarts than charm might find it far easier to have only a few followers and instead focus on their personal advabcement without caring about the people around them. It is all a product of their capabilities.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
Show of hands: given phenomenal cosmic power and a lack of itty bitty living space, who here would actually tie themselves to governing this dying blue marble and the insane bald apes on it?

Keep in mind that part and parcel of this power is the ability to just leave. Like, just grab the kids and the wife and bugger off into the planes where you can shop at the city of Brass, grab a drink in Sigil, then enjoy an eternal sunset on Bytopia without listening to the petty sadness of the goofs who thought books were for losers and called your sweet beard scruffy.
 

Ixal

Hero
A powerful wizard that wishes to maintain control over a vast populace will be required to spend vast amounts of their power to maintain control.
Why? Why would a noble that is a spellcaster have any more problems keeping order than a noble that can't cast spells? Especially as the ability to cast spells sets him apart from other people and would be another argument as for why he should rule over others.
 
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Zubatcarteira

Now you're infected by the Musical Doodle
Yeah, if you wanna rule a kingdom, you'd need to be a spellcaster, have spellcasters working for you, or have enough magic items to make up for them, the advantages magic gives are just too immense.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Show of hands: given phenomenal cosmic power and a lack of itty bitty living space, who here would actually tie themselves to governing this dying blue marble and the insane bald apes on it?

Keep in mind that part and parcel of this power is the ability to just leave. Like, just grab the kids and the wife and bugger off into the planes where you can shop at the city of Brass, grab a drink in Sigil, then enjoy an eternal sunset on Bytopia without listening to the petty sadness of the goofs who thought books were for losers and called your sweet beard scruffy.

Do we have the power to make the rulers who annoy us vanish with no one knowing who did it... ooh, the temptation...
 


Warpiglet-7

Cry havoc! And let slip the pigs of war!
Other mages prevent mages from taking over the world…

Clerics too. Deities are…pretty strong.

For almost every power/alliance there is another to check it.

I also like to think there are not a ton of high level characters, let alone spell casters running around. There are a handful of them and higher numbers of mid level npcs.
 


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