log in or register to remove this ad

 

Is "A Wizard Did It" Acceptable Worldbuiling?


log in or register to remove this ad


Tallifer

Adventurer
In my game, there is a chance a wizard did it, but it is more likely that the gods, demons, primordials, dragons, conjunction of a million spheres, strange rays from outer space, dreams, cracks in reality, living magical energy, technology from before the universe began, magic from before the universe began, mutations, celestial toymaker, Q or Atlanteans did it.
 



Hoffmand

Explorer
If a wizard did it, I'd want to be able to say which wizard, and what their motivation was. Even 'madness' has motivation: paranoia, rage, homicidal pleasure, etc. (Of course none of these have much relation to real mental health problems.)
"Oh, that's an owl-bear. You'll find a lot of chimeric creatures around here, from when old Archmage Halitosus Flemfromage used to live up in the castle. He was experimenting with combining unrelated biologies. The fish-squids in the lake are edible, but watch out for spiderbats."
It was the wizard in the dark tower with a cauldron
 





Davinshe

Explorer
If a wizard did it, I'd want to be able to say which wizard, and what their motivation was. Even 'madness' has motivation: paranoia, rage, homicidal pleasure, etc. (Of course none of these have much relation to real mental health problems.)
"Oh, that's an owl-bear. You'll find a lot of chimeric creatures around here, from when old Archmage Halitosus Flemfromage used to live up in the castle. He was experimenting with combining unrelated biologies. The fish-squids in the lake are edible, but watch out for spiderbats."
What a great example! With just the tiniest amount of detail, you can go ahead with all the silly, gonzo wizard nonsense you want and it serves to actually pull the players into the world rather than break verisimilitude. As a player, I really appreciate this sort of detail, and as a DM, I actually think it helps when creating an adventure. Magus Flemfromage there causes me to think of half a dozen ideas for interesting encounters that some generic wizard would not. I feel like there's this idea that adding details just makes the DM's job harder, but I honestly feel like it's usually the opposite.
 


Hoffmand

Explorer
Wizards doing it and verisimilitude. This game might just be too fantasy. Next thing you know u will have teleporting, mind control, flying, and invisibility.
 

Saelorn

Hero
When do you think it peaked?

Recall that we started with the likes of Blackmoor, Glorantha, Tékumel, and, for that matter, the Forgotten Realms.
Maybe 1980? Greyhawk was alright. The Forgotten Realms wasn't out until 1987, and it wasn't great then, but it's done nothing but become more bloated and convoluted over time.
 

Hoffmand

Explorer
Maybe 1980? Greyhawk was alright. The Forgotten Realms wasn't out until 1987, and it wasn't great then, but it's done nothing but become more bloated and convoluted over time.
Greyhawk has good more scattered out. I particularly love the tension between the baklunish and suel pantheon. And I like setting where you have to dig for the more scattered between various books and articles. It feels more like a scholar or antiquarian trying to understand the setting.
 


TaranTheWanderer

Adventurer
I never understood why a wizard would protect his laboratory with a puzzle door. Answering the puzzle gives anyone access...and you already know the answer. Why?
If I was designing a trap for my laboratory, the solution to the puzzle door would trigger the trap. The actual answer would be something completely random. A puzzle dungeon with the wrong answers to every puzzle. A wizard did it.

oh crap. I forgot my password to this room. How do I reset this thing? My mother’s maiden name?....
 

prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Supporter
I never understood why a wizard would protect his laboratory with a puzzle door. Answering the puzzle gives anyone access...and you already know the answer. Why?
If I was designing a trap for my laboratory, the solution to the puzzle door would trigger the trap. The actual answer would be something completely random. A puzzle dungeon with the wrong answers to every puzzle. A wizard did it.

oh crap. I forgot my password to this room. How do I reset this thing? My mother’s maiden name?....
Not the usual meaning of "wrong answers only," but I have a tendency to think the same way.
 

Fanaelialae

Legend
I never understood why a wizard would protect his laboratory with a puzzle door. Answering the puzzle gives anyone access...and you already know the answer. Why?
If I was designing a trap for my laboratory, the solution to the puzzle door would trigger the trap. The actual answer would be something completely random. A puzzle dungeon with the wrong answers to every puzzle. A wizard did it.

oh crap. I forgot my password to this room. How do I reset this thing? My mother’s maiden name?....
Sure, in a realistic sense. Also, all lethal traps ought to be unavoidable instant death. No half measures.

In a literary sense or a game sense, that would be terrible though.

Can you imagine if the fellowship reached the Mines of Moria but had to give up the quest because the password to "speak friend and enter" was the elven word for rhubarb? That's doubly bad in a game (where there should be a reasonable solution if the players need it to proceed).

Ultimately, it can be explained rationally.

It could be that it wasn't ever intended to keep out thieves (or that was only a secondary purpose). Perhaps it was simply a test for apprentices. Until they solved the puzzle, they weren't considered worthy of entering the lab.
 


Most Liked Threads

Advertisement2

Advertisement4

Top