D&D General DM's: How transparent are you with game mechanics "in world?"

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Wrong on one count: Aragorn doesn't want the Witch-King's powers because he's smart, he doesn't want the Witch-King's powers because he's good.
It's also because he's not stupid. I'll grant you the good part as well, but even if he wasn't good I doubt he'd want to be enslaved to Sauron and that side effect was known to him. It wasn't known to the kings of men when the Nazgul got their rings.
 

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Lyxen

Great Old One
It doesn't really matter where they are. We know they exist. Even orcs could do magic.

We have definitely not read the same book and watched the same film. When does this happen ?

We know that 1) magic is learnable

And where do we know this from ?

You never read the Silmarillion did you?

I actually did, you know, but all the examples that you show prove exactly the contrary of what you are trying to prove.

She was more powerful than many, if not most of the Maiar. Luthian, a half-elf/half-maia was able to enchant Morgoth, a Vala.

And again, how does this prove that men can use magic ? She was a real demi-goddess.

Fingolfin, Galadriel's brother took on Morgoth in combat and wounded him forever 8 times. He only lost because he stumbled and fell.

Yes, with his sword. Where is the magic here ?

Galadriel was a match for Sauron(no ring), Gandalf and the others and would easily have matched Sauron(with the ring) if she had taken the One Ring.

Again, power is not the issue here, it's the type of power. So far, all the examples that we both have given show that certain individuals, and only those, because of their lineage or because of prophecy, can use certain types of power. I don't see ANY of the humans/hobbits in LotR showing the slightest possibility of getting the power exhibited by NPCs/Adversaries, that's all.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
We have definitely not read the same book and watched the same film. When does this happen ?
Gandalf can't have tried their spells if they couldn't do the magic. He says it in both the book and the movie as I quoted to you earlier.
I actually did, you know, but all the examples that you show prove exactly the contrary of what you are trying to prove.
Except not. You declaring that they are contrary does not make them so.
And again, how does this prove that men can use magic ? She was a real demi-goddess.
Maia are not gods. Vala are not gods. Eru was god. She was not a demi-goddess.
Yes, with his sword. Where is the magic here ?
Now you're moving the goalposts. We're discussing power levels right now and Fingolfin's power level was such that he was confused with one of the other Vala by those who saw him riding towards Morgoth to challenge him. He was not simply mundane.

"He passed over Dor-nu-Fauglith like a wind amid the dust, and all that beheld his onset fled in amaze, thinking that Oromë himself was come: for a great madness of rage was upon him, so that his eyes shone like the eyes of the Valar. "

Galadriel has magic power. One of her titles is the Mistress of Magic.
 

Galandris

Foggy Bottom Campaign Setting Fan
Luthian, a half-elf/half-maia was able to enchant Morgoth, a Vala. Fingolfin, Galadriel's brother took on Morgoth in combat and wounded him forever 8 times. He only lost because he stumbled and fell.

JRR was really an adversarial DM. He took badly to Fingolfin using action surge and insisted on the playing having critical failures from then.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
Gandalf can't have tried their spells if they couldn't do the magic. He says it in both the book and the movie as I quoted to you earlier.

The fact that he pronounced the spell in orcish does not prove that there were orc wizards. It's ridiculous to claim that there were when there is not even the hint of one in all the books. It's far more probable than it's because there are concepts there that cannot be expressed in other tongues.

Maia are not gods. Vala are not gods. Eru was god. She was not a demi-goddess.

The Maiar were primordial spirits created to help the Valar first shape the World. They were not mortals and were of divine essence.

Now you're moving the goalposts. We're discussing power levels right now

No we are not. You are trying to draw the discussion in that direction just because you can't prove that there are paths which are closed to some characters. Again, it's not a question of the level of power, but of the fact that some NPCs have powers that PCs will never have.

Galadriel has magic power. One of her titles is the Mistress of Magic.

And once more, it just proves that, in LotR, where no-one who could be considered a "PC" has magic powers, there are a number of NPCs with magic powers (including some of mortal descent) which the PC simply cannot have, they simply cannot be trained.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
The fact that he pronounced the spell in orcish does not prove that there were orc wizards. It's ridiculous to claim that there were when there is not even the hint of one in all the books. It's far more probable than it's because there are concepts there that cannot be expressed in other tongues.
Right, because maia just went around casting spells in orcish a lot :rolleyes:

As for concepts, he's literally talking about spells of opening and all the tongues of elves and men and orcs. No reason to make it in orcish if you have elvish and the languages of men. Unless of course orcish spellcasters have the spell and he learned those at some point.

The men of Numenor were able to create magic items. You think they just snapped their fingers and made those? Or do you think they used magic to make them? Aragorn says this about them,

"Doubtless the Orcs despoiled them, but feared to keep the knives, knowing them for what they are: work of Westernesse, wound about with spells for the bane of Mordor."
The Maiar were primordial spirits created to help the Valar first shape the World. They were not mortals and were of divine essence.
They were angelic and their power ranged from not very powerful to Vala(archangel).
And once more, it just proves that, in LotR, where no-one who could be considered a "PC" has magic powers, there are a number of NPCs with magic powers (including some of mortal descent) which the PC simply cannot have, they simply cannot be trained.
They can have it, they just haven't been taught. There nothing to indicate that they are only for NPCs.
 

Galandris

Foggy Bottom Campaign Setting Fan
The fact that he pronounced the spell in orcish does not prove that there were orc wizards. It's ridiculous to claim that there were when there is not even the hint of one in all the books. It's far more probable than it's because there are concepts there that cannot be expressed in other tongues.
Err... isn't that stretching the credibility? Occam's razor favors the explanation that some spells are in orcish because they are chanted by orcs first. At least, you should propose that Gandalf was trying to convince an orcish-speaking door to open.
 

billd91

Hobbit on Quest (he/him)
Galadriel has magic power. One of her titles is the Mistress of Magic.
Yeah, Galadriel (the niece of Fingolfin, not his sister) has magical power - but aside from seeing into the hearts and intentions of people, nothing is enumerated or on display. So exactly how much power she has or whether or not she'd be a match for Sauron is nothing but wild conjecture.

On the power of Fingolfin, keep in mind that at the time he faced Morgoth, he was the High King of the Noldor. Tolkien puts great store in power belonging to those with right - Fingolfin would have been at the absolute apex of his might - probably considerably greater than Fëanor's. And he still, inevitably, failed because Morgoth would always be able to outlast his best efforts.

Honestly, this whole debate is kind of silly because it's SO FULL of massive assumptions.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
Right, because maia just went around casting spells in orcish a lot :rolleyes:

Gandalf is not the usual wizard (but then there are only five). But once more, where are all these orcish spellcasters ? With all the orcs that we see, and all these armies, there is not a single one of them, not the hint that there could be one apart from Gandalf who is the only wizard to have made a study of such "lesser" things.

"Doubtless the Orcs despoiled them, but feared to keep the knives, knowing them for what they are: work of Westernesse, wound about with spells for the bane of Mordor."

And again, no proof that these can be taught to anyone. And forging is again another matter, look at what dwarves did for example, and of course, we see entire regiments of dwarven spellcasters. :p

See for example: "Magic in Middle-earth was explained as an innate ability set of the Ainur and the Firstborn, to the exclusion of other peoples. Regardless, The Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings both contain descriptions of special items and weapons that are said to have been crafted by Men and Dwarves, such as the dagger wielded by Merry which stabbed the Witch-king and Angrist."

They were angelic and their power ranged from not very powerful to Vala(archangel).

Yes, angelic, "divine", in essence not mortal and therefore not PCs.

They can have it, they just haven't been taught. There nothing to indicate that they are only for NPCs.

And yet, factually, they are, in all the books, and you have absolutely zero proof that they can be taught. It's rather the contrary, have a look at letter 155 and things like: "At the end of the draft noted as Letter 155, he wrote "a difference between the use of 'magic' in this story [The Lord of the Rings] is that it is not to be come by by 'lore' or spells; but it is an inherent power not possessed or attainable by Men as such."

Mentions are all over the place about the fact that not everyone can do everything.
 



Chaosmancer

Legend
You win. Par for a golf course is 70-72. The score of the average golfer is 96.

And so if you played and got 70, you won the game. What happens if you score 50? You super-win? If your personal average is 60, and you get a 72, did you still win?

Again, I find the idea of "winning" golf to be a bit silly. It seems to apply as much as winning does to DnD.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
Again, I find the idea of "winning" golf to be a bit silly. It seems to apply as much as winning does to DnD.

Golf is by nature a very individualistic game. Basically, you can play against the par, totally on your own, trying to get better. Of course, you can also compete against someone else. So in a sense, yes, you can win, against the par, against yourself, against someone else.

But there is zero element of collaborativeness, for me it's near the total opposite of the scale compared to D&D. Yes, you can play D&D competitively, but it's really not my conception of the game, and neither is it that of the developers of 5e (I won't say all the editions, because 3e was designed to be competitive, and you can feel it in the design).
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
And so if you played and got 70, you won the game. What happens if you score 50? You super-win? If your personal average is 60, and you get a 72, did you still win?

Again, I find the idea of "winning" golf to be a bit silly. It seems to apply as much as winning does to DnD.
In sports the person who scores the best, wins. So it's a "super win" I suppose if you get a 50 and choose to look at it that way. 🤷 And yes, if you hit par, but didn't do as well as you usually did you still win. That's what par means. Winning at golf is no more or less silly than winning at football or tennis or any other sport. The only real difference is that you can win solo.
 
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You are very much ignoring the point. The point Lanefan and Maxperson are making isn't that every path to power must be open to the PCs, but that paths of power must be potentially open. The example with Orcus is actually the prime example here, you say that the DM declares that Orcus won't make a PC a Chosen One, and then act like that refutes their point. But it doesn't. In fact, I'd say Max and Lanefan both would agree that it is the DMs prerogative to have Orcus deny the PCs access to his power. The point is though, that if the PCs DID gain his favor, and become his chosen one, then they would gain those powers.
I think the question is “To what extent?” To take a concrete example, the bandit captain enemy is pretty much a 10th level fighter.

Except if you were to actually build a 10th level fighter, it would differ from the captain in some important ways. Fighters are a d10 class, the captain has d8. Fighters get proficiencies in 2 saves, the captain has 3. To do 3 attacks in a round, the fighter needs both an Action and their Bonus Action, the captain just uses their Action. The Fighter has Action Surge and Second Wind, the captain has neither.

These changes make the captain much easier to run, particularly if the DM is also running 3 bandits and their pet guard drake and making sure the players don’t screw up any rules.

Overall, to me, this approach is a net positive, and one that we see in 5e for all humanoid enemies.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
Golf is by nature a very individualistic game. Basically, you can play against the par, totally on your own, trying to get better. Of course, you can also compete against someone else. So in a sense, yes, you can win, against the par, against yourself, against someone else.

But there is zero element of collaborativeness, for me it's near the total opposite of the scale compared to D&D. Yes, you can play D&D competitively, but it's really not my conception of the game, and neither is it that of the developers of 5e (I won't say all the editions, because 3e was designed to be competitive, and you can feel it in the design).

That has nothing to do with the point. Max claimed that all sports are about winning.

Golf is a sport. It isn't about winning. In that it is not about winning, it is like DnD.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
In sports the person who scores the best, wins. So it's a "super win" I suppose if you get a 50 and choose to look at it that way. 🤷 And yes, if you hit par, but didn't do as well as you usually did you still win. That's what par means. Winning at golf is no more or less silly than winning at football or tennis or any other sport. The only real difference is that you can win solo.

No, that isn't how it works, because if it did then most people would "lose" golf, and that isn't how most people would describe playing golf. Since your view isn't shared by the majority of people in the sport, then I don't understand why you think you can override their understanding of their sport.

Not all sports are about winning. In fact, many people will tell you that they don't participate in a non-professional sport because they have a desire to win, simply because the game is fun.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
I think the question is “To what extent?” To take a concrete example, the bandit captain enemy is pretty much a 10th level fighter.

Except if you were to actually build a 10th level fighter, it would differ from the captain in some important ways. Fighters are a d10 class, the captain has d8. Fighters get proficiencies in 2 saves, the captain has 3. To do 3 attacks in a round, the fighter needs both an Action and their Bonus Action, the captain just uses their Action. The Fighter has Action Surge and Second Wind, the captain has neither.

These changes make the captain much easier to run, particularly if the DM is also running 3 bandits and their pet guard drake and making sure the players don’t screw up any rules.

Overall, to me, this approach is a net positive, and one that we see in 5e for all humanoid enemies.

Not to the extent of being identical, but it is actually nearly trivial to copy the Bandit Captain. Extra attack at level 11, as you noted allows the PC to get 3 attacks. And a feat at any level gives a third save if you take resilient. The PC is perfectly capable of matching the power of the Bandit Captain.

The point isn't that they must be identical in all ways, but that there is a path to getting those abilities. More attacks and more saves are things PCs can easily get.

And the PCs getting MORE stuff isn't even close to a problem. In fact, it helps show that they are more highly trained than the Bandit Captain, which is a boon, because they should be.
 

I am not going to allow a player to choose to be a mind flayer as their race.

I just don't see how that creates inconsistencies in the fiction of the world.
I don’t check who write the first sentence, but having a mind flayer player can be an amazing story arc. We can imagine a deficient breeding where the host mind partially survive, the character been cast away or let to die and than manage to survive. A amazing plot to explore and develop the mind flayed world,
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
No, that isn't how it works, because if it did then most people would "lose" golf, and that isn't how most people would describe playing golf. Since your view isn't shared by the majority of people in the sport, then I don't understand why you think you can override their understanding of their sport.

Not all sports are about winning. In fact, many people will tell you that they don't participate in a non-professional sport because they have a desire to win, simply because the game is fun.
"Its scoring is similar to match play, except each player compares their hole score to the hole's par rating instead of the score of another player. The player "wins" the hole if they score a birdie or better, they "lose" the hole if they score a bogey or worse, and they "halve" the hole by scoring par."

Google tells me that you are wrong. It also tells me that I was wrong. Par isn't winning, either. You have to beat par to win.
 

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