5E How do you handle the "economy killing spells" in your game?

dnd4vr

Adventurer
Is there a limit to who can wear plate? A strength limit or something in 5e I seem to remember. Not sure how many guards will have the needed strength if so.

I checked you need 15 strength. Admitedly I have no idea how you determine stats for guards.

Ok I found guard stat block they have strength 13 so they can't use the plate mail.
If you do not have the required STR for an armor, your speed is reduced by 10 I believe, but you can still wear it.

So your belief is that it would be impossible for our world to provide sufficient resoures that everyone could have all the basics - food, shelter, water, healthcare ... the truh is that if we had an efficient allocation of resources and smoothly functioning economies with an educated and willing workforce expectation from every person, there is no reason why - globally - we could not (within a few years) provide the basics for everyone, rising everyone above what is currently considered the US poverty line.
Bold emphasis added. There are too many people who are unwilling to do their share and wish instead to rely on government programs for their well-being. Very true, some have little choice and offering them opportunities would turn things around, but there are many who feel entitled and don't want to be part of the workforce. Others feel you get what you earn or inherit and see no reason to give away much of their wealth to support others totally unconnected to themselves.

And the current poverty line in the U.S. is WAY ABOVE what most people of the world live in. Many people in other countries subsist on a USD or two a day, but costs of food and other things are also much cheaper--it isn't a great living in most cases, but they certainly don't need the funds to be above the U.S. poverty line.
 

jgsugden

Explorer
Bold emphasis added.
Then remove it. You can't change the assumptions to counter an argument. Yes, the wealthy and the poor would all need to change how they live in order for nobody in the world to starve, to lack healthcare, to have clean water, to have food, etc... but we're on the verge of a politics discussion and I'm not terribly interested in that...

My point is that in the real world, there are a lot of people with the power to solve a lot of problems. If people changed their priorities, we'd live in a Utopia. If all the wealthy shared their resources, if all the unemployeed put their unusued time to volunteering, if everyone put the Needs of the Many above the Needs of the Few, or the One..... Well, we'd have a lot less misery.

The same should be true in a fantasy world. The wizard or druid that volunteers their time to help the farmers, etc... would be the exception, not the rule. Magic is power, just like money in the real world is power. People do not share power, or give up the majority of their power often.
 
1) Plant Growth: If one 5th druid decided to "help the farmers", and enrichs a different area everyday, they could effectively add over 150,000 acres of farmland to a kingdom (the true answer is 183, 468...but inevitably travel time, vacations, etc play in).

Further, its a reasonable thing for several druids to consider, enriching the land is a very drudic thing to do.

So the idea of the poor fuedal farmer barely holding on in 5e campaigns with druids doesn't really hold up. Farmers would be the equivalent of modern agribusiness, with incredible productivity and crop yields.
Which drive down prices, enabling a minor population explosion. Now if the druids ever stop, people starve. Poor farmers, can't win.

This also means kingdoms don't follow fuedal population numbers, they should be significantly larger becomes food is more prevalaent.
Or, I suppose, all those nasty monsters with a taste for people could keep the population down.

2) Fabricate: No craftsman in the world can compete with a 7th level wizard....in fact, its easy to ask "why would there even be regular craftsman in such a world?". In 1 day, a 7th level wizard with proficiency can craft two full items in an hour and 20 minutes (needs a short rest for arcane recovery for that second spell).
Well, you'd need real craftsmen to train those wizards, I suppose. More likely, Fabricate becomes a specialty for commissions that have to be turned around all but instantly.

Now for context, by downtime activities, it takes 300 days to make plate mail. In that 300 day period, 1 wizard could make as much plate mail as 600 armor smiths. 600!
The inevitable question then becomes the smith:wizard:knight ratio.

It also seems likely that wizards are unwilling to do stuff like that systematically, they have arcane stuff to do. The game declines to model that - one could add "downtime rules for casters" that make it clear the spells/day thing is peak casting ability when adventuring or otherwise doing something vitally important, not something they can keep up month after month.


1) "There are just not that many high level casters". Is that the case in most of your campaigns...so would a 7th level PC really be the most powerful person on the planet in all of your worlds?
Maybe the most powerful willing to cast Fabricate every day instead of whatever it is wizards actually want to do...?


2) "High level wizards have more important things to be doing".

Now sure, sometimes the high level wizard (and again we are talking 7th here, not like 15th) has to save the kingdom, beat back a monster, slap down a wizard duel against his nemesis, research the next great spell, etc. And during those times it makes sense that he wouldn't be crafting.
What if just staying a wizard requires a lot of downtime up-keep?

Ultimately I almost come back to... yeah, I can always find a hand wave to explain why it doesn't happen. But it always feel contrived. In certain campaigns, they are magically restricted enough that it makes sense why it wouldn't happen. But for the standard dnd magic level, and standard level ranges in the world....I just can't see why it wouldn't go that way.
If you look at myth/legend/literature, you often see a mage or other supernatural do something analogous to fabricate - make an item appear out of thin air, build himself a tower overnight, whatever - thing is, by the end of the story, that thing is often gone, dissolved into mist, dispelled by sunlight, revealed to be an illusion, destroyed by demons, whatever...
...or turns out to be cursed.
 
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MichaelSomething

Adventurer
I don't think Plant Growth would be a big problem. For every nice Druid who help a poor farmer, there's a nasty Druid who would blight the crops. It evens out in the end.

Better yet, a Druid could agree to up the food production of an entire kingdom if they agree to turn some land into a nature preserve.
 
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I

Immortal Sun

Guest
Answers are of course, IMHW (In My Homebrew World):

1: Druids are a very closed group. Yes, one druid can fertilize a lot of crops, but there really aren't a lot of druids, and few of them are very keen on human civilization, with many of them busy dealing with the various threats to nature they don't really have time to send someone out to water some crops. It's not easy to go out and become a druid either, there aren't exactly monasteries and even if you do find a druid willing to teach you...you may no longer want to come back to civilized lands.

So all the feudal stuff still holds up.

Though to be fair I actually prefer to run more Renaissance-era campaigns, which only pushes Druids further to the fringe and makes them even less inclined to help civilized lands.

Nothing stopping a player from doing it I suppose, but I tend to provide small, intermittent down time and I have few druid players and even fewer of them who are interested in watering farmlands.

2: Wizards have better things to do, like investigating the magical mysteries of the universe. Wizards tend to be uninterested in the mundane "jobs" of life. Sure, a Wizard could do all the things you suggest. But...why would they? Now, if the King wants the wizard to design some kind of magical armor that does something crazy, that's the kind of job a wizard would undertake.

Also: I generally rule that Fabricate makes "generic" items. Yeah, it's clothes. Yeah, it's armor. But there's no style, no pizzazz, no detail work. It's just "yeah there's your shirt now get out." Even the spell says you need to make a crafting checking to put detail into it. That's where the "trained craftsmen" play into the picture. And quite frankly, to make something nice even with magic, you'd have to be a trained craftsman in the subject.

And then at that point you're combining magic-user arrogance with skilled artisan arrogance and yeah.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
When you get to a certain level, defeating/killing a single goblin is hardly dangerous or suicidal.

It is a flaw in the system IMO that you continue to earn XP for very easy encounters, and as I understand it our DM doesn't award XP if the encounter's XP total doesn't reach at least Easy.
For example, a couple Hell Hounds (CR 3, worth 1400 XP total) would not be enough to meet the 1800 XP to warrant an Easy encounter for three 10th-level characters.
I think this is really a mountain(20th level) out of a molehill(goblin). This is a rulings over rules game and if someone is importing a single goblin every day for his morning goblin murder, and it's not even remotely close to rising to the level of an easy challenge, I'm not giving experience for it.

If this person is going out seeking goblins to kill, then he's engaging in dangerous behavior, because instead of 1, it might be 100 today. And that's if he can even find one that day. The whole scenario seems silly to me.
 

Radaceus

Villager
and aside from all of the above, we haven't even mentioned the issues regarding clerics and paladins healing and curing everyone.

Why does a paladin and cleric not just stick around at the watering hole and cure disease on the populace for donations to the temple?

perhaps, all paladins are gnomes and gnomes only swing rapiers with abandon?
 

Zardnaar

Hero
The problem is mainly us applying industrial scale production in a pre industrial world.

There's probably not enough Druids to do plant growth en masse. A wizard would need to know how to make armor, be powerful enough to cast the right spells and be inclined to do it.
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
Then remove it. You can't change the assumptions to counter an argument. Yes, the wealthy and the poor would all need to change how they live in order for nobody in the world to starve, to lack healthcare, to have clean water, to have food, etc... but we're on the verge of a politics discussion and I'm not terribly interested in that...

My point is that in the real world, there are a lot of people with the power to solve a lot of problems. If people changed their priorities, we'd live in a Utopia. If all the wealthy shared their resources, if all the unemployeed put their unusued time to volunteering, if everyone put the Needs of the Many above the Needs of the Few, or the One..... Well, we'd have a lot less misery.

The same should be true in a fantasy world. The wizard or druid that volunteers their time to help the farmers, etc... would be the exception, not the rule. Magic is power, just like money in the real world is power. People do not share power, or give up the majority of their power often.
I didn't change a word, I added the emphasis to show why your idea won't work, most likely ever. So, why should I remove it when I added it for MY argument, not yours?

There is no such thing as a Utopia and if you want one, stick to your fantasy world. Of course, even there, people are people--and that means many are selfish and care little for people outside their own circle. But yes, those people with power (or money) rarely share it and are the exception. Often if they do share any of it, it is not enough for them to miss it really so they are happy to appear generous.

It is a pity. I am a volunteer, I work with adults and children teaching math and GED classes. It is only a few hours a week, but I know it makes a difference to the people I am helping--and thus many people who care about those individuals. I've lived overseas (also as a volunteer) and worked in prisons. I know people can be happy and get by with "less", but not many seem willing to do it.

That's my point. Of course, if you aren't interested in the discussion, don't reply. It's pretty simple. I don't mind discussing it or talking about such things (obviously LOL!). :)
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
I think this is really a mountain(20th level) out of a molehill(goblin). This is a rulings over rules game and if someone is importing a single goblin every day for his morning goblin murder, and it's not even remotely close to rising to the level of an easy challenge, I'm not giving experience for it.

If this person is going out seeking goblins to kill, then he's engaging in dangerous behavior, because instead of 1, it might be 100 today. And that's if he can even find one that day. The whole scenario seems silly to me.
I agree it is very silly, but the point is it is possible and at some tables (not ours) you have a 9th-level cleric in every town to raise a fallen friend, and wizards to teleport a party, or whatever. Anyway, it is why our DM often narrates encounter that are very easy and doesn't award XP for them since there really was no threat to the PCs.
 

Sword of Spirit

Adventurer
First, I assume that spellcasters of up to about 5th level aren't very rare. The typical priest running a church is a 5th level cleric (or equivalent), and there are multiple lower-level acolytes and junior priests for each 5th level and above cleric. Wizards and druids tend to be rarer (you won't have one in every village), but have a higher average level, since they don't have as many low-level wizards per higher level wizard as is true of clerics. Spellcasters with access to 4th level spells and higher are rarer.

I would explain plant growth by saying that villages that have good relationships with a druid do get their crops blessed and have productive yields. I don't recall ever having read an adventure where a village with a friendly druid had a famine going on (unless it was supernatural in nature). For that matter, shortage of food is rarely an issue in D&D in general. That's probably because of all of those plant growth spells being routinely cast.

When it comes to industry, like with the fabricate spell, you get into the power level where casters are rarer. Wizards generally aren't known for being the most humble and pliable of people. Or for being interested in boring mundane chores. They study magic! I could see exactly what you described happening under the right conditions. If a wizard wanted to equip his own private army, for instance. But he'd have to be really committed to that goal, and he's sacrificing that time he could be doing wizardly things. Rulers know better than to ask their court wizard or whoever to do that sort of thing. Well, they know better than to ask them more than once.

In general, the major disincentive to turning yourself into a magical industrial machine is the opportunity cost. While you are doing that, you are not doing other things you want to. And those other things are almost always more interesting to you. In fact, you could even make adventures out of the exceptions and use that to bring up the reasons for why most casters don't do that sort of thing.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I agree it is very silly, but the point is it is possible and at some tables (not ours) you have a 9th-level cleric in every town to raise a fallen friend, and wizards to teleport a party, or whatever.
Sure. Many tables create their own issues, and for many other tables those aren't issues at all.
 

Stalker0

Adventurer
In general, the major disincentive to turning yourself into a magical industrial machine is the opportunity cost. While you are doing that, you are not doing other things you want to.
This is an argument I have heard many times, but I still don't agree with.

Its 10 minutes a day...that's it. A wizard can pay someone to do the selling and fetching and all of that. It cuts into the profits, but he still makes a killing...for 10 minutes a day. He comes in, casts the spell, and leaves.

For 10 minutes a day, a wizard can have as many spells in his spellbook as he can find.

For 10 minutes a day, a wizard can have access to any magic component money can buy.


And then for the entire rest of the day, can go about regular wizarding.


We are playing a game where adventurers are literally willing to throw themselves head first into danger to strike it rich. But the wizard can make that much (maybe even more), sitting in a lounge chair. And then after his little "break" he can go about his normal spell research and the like. I feel that people are seriously underestimating how quick and easy fabricate is.
 
1) Plant Growth: If one 5th druid decided to "help the farmers", and enrichs a different area everyday, they could effectively add over 150,000 acres of farmland to a kingdom (the true answer is 183, 468...but inevitably travel time, vacations, etc play in).

2) Fabricate: No craftsman in the world can compete with a 7th level wizard....in fact, its easy to ask "why would there even be regular craftsman in such a world?". In 1 day, a 7th level wizard with proficiency can craft two full items in an hour and 20 minutes (needs a short rest for arcane recovery for that second spell). Or if hes feeling lazy, 1 item a day for 10 minutes.

...

So those are just a few wild thoughts. What do you do in your campaings...do you restrict these spells somehow, incorporate them into your economies, just pretend they aren't a thing...etc.
I do nothing, because I do not play an economy simulation game, I play a game of adventures.

A PC doesn't become a Druid so that she can work as a farmer, or a Wizard so that she can work as a carpenter...
 

S'mon

Legend
If I was running Mystara in 5e I'd definitely have Alphatian mage-smiths Fabricating away happily. The Alphatian economy is based off magic.

In most settings, possibly not a single Wizard knows the spell Fabricate. It's not something I've ever seen a PC Wizard research.

I definitely find that it is Cleric spells that are the issue. Most settings have Priests like the MM level 5 caster be pretty common. If they are like PCs they have access to the full Cleric spell list and can swap out every time they finish a long rest. Major temples may have *lots* of Priests and even a level 9+ high priest. This is where the GM really needs to be careful when it comes to world building, and think about how much magic he wants in his campaign world.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
This is an argument I have heard many times, but I still don't agree with.

Its 10 minutes a day...that's it. A wizard can pay someone to do the selling and fetching and all of that. It cuts into the profits, but he still makes a killing...for 10 minutes a day. He comes in, casts the spell, and leaves.
Makes a killing or gets killed anyway. PC actions don't generally happen in a vacuum. What the wizard is doing will be negatively impacting many craftsmen and their families, which means revenge from some of them.

For 10 minutes a day, a wizard can have as many spells in his spellbook as he can find.

For 10 minutes a day, a wizard can have access to any magic component money can buy.


And then for the entire rest of the day, can go about regular wizarding.
And hopefully he has spells left to fight the assassins with.

We are playing a game where adventurers are literally willing to throw themselves head first into danger to strike it rich. But the wizard can make that much (maybe even more), sitting in a lounge chair. And then after his little "break" he can go about his normal spell research and the like. I feel that people are seriously underestimating how quick and easy fabricate is.
He'd best be checking that chair for traps. I think people are seriously underestimating how dangerous it is to screw with the livelihoods of hundreds of people.
 

Dausuul

Legend
e are playing a game where adventurers are literally willing to throw themselves head first into danger to strike it rich. But the wizard can make that much (maybe even more), sitting in a lounge chair. And then after his little "break" he can go about his normal spell research and the like. I feel that people are seriously underestimating how quick and easy fabricate is.
He also has to learn blacksmithing and how to make plate armor, which is not easy and does not take 10 minutes. Granted, it's a one-time investment, but it's not quite as trivial as you make it sound. Furthermore, his income is limited by his customer base. Materials costs set a floor of 750 gp on the price of plate; the wizard can only sell as much armor as there are people willing to shell out that kind of cash. If he wants the full 1500 gp, that's even more limiting.

But never mind all that. The question is, even assuming the wizard makes the investment and finds the customers, how is this "economy-killing?" The wizard might kill the careers of some elite armorers, but the business model doesn't scale. It's the fat profits from making top-end goods that justify the whole scheme; you don't clear 750 gp a pop making farm tools for peasants, or furniture for minor merchants, or chain shirts for random guards. The folks making those things - who constitute the overwhelming majority of craftspeople - have nothing to fear from magical automation.
 
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