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The Common Commoner

d4

First Post
VirgilCaine said:
Why is it so hard for people to understand this?
Enrichment says "plants"--not "crops", "plants" production is enriched. AFAIK, weeds were plants.
the spell specifically says it increases the productivity of plants in the area of effect; not size, not quantity.

the productivity of a weed = zero, because by definition a weed doesn't produce anything useful -- no fruits, no nuts, no edible material.

thus, you can surmise that enrichment does not increase the number or size of weeds.
 

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VirgilCaine

First Post
d4 said:
the spell specifically says it increases the productivity of plants in the area of effect; not size, not quantity.

the productivity of a weed = zero, because by definition a weed doesn't produce anything useful -- no fruits, no nuts, no edible material.

thus, you can surmise that enrichment does not increase the number or size of weeds.

www.dictionary.com

pro·duc·tiv·i·ty ( P ) Pronunciation Key (prdk-tv-t, prdk-)
n.
The quality of being productive.

Weeds do produce something--seeds (or whatever) that increase the amount of weeds. So if you don't get all the weeds, you'll have more next season.
 

d4

First Post
productivity in the economic sense means producing something that's useful to the consumer. weeds are obviously not useful to people, so they aren't considered productive.

no farmer is going to call a field full of dandelions productive, just because they are all producing seeds. in fact, that's exactly opposite of a productive field.

since the plant growth spell is being cast (and was presumably created by) a person, it is more likely that this is the definition of productivity that is being used. it doesn't help the caster at all if the spell increases the quantity of weeds in the fields.

while we're quoting dictionaries, here's what Merriam-Webster (http://www.m-w.com/) gives as one of the definitions of productive:

3 a : yielding results, benefits, or profits
b : yielding or devoted to the satisfaction of wants or the creation of utilities
again, weeds don't fit that definition.
 


kigmatzomat

First Post
Remathilis said:
Using the Core D&D Deities and excluding racial deities, the evil gods are Nerull, Vecna, Hextor, and Erythinul. (One could reasonably clump Wee Jas in here as well.)

Three of those deities deal in aspects of death, so I really can't see their priests offering healing except to thier servants/lackeys. Almost all of them cannot organize in typical settings (cities, etc) unless the city is extremely tollerant (Sigil) or evil. That adds a risk of danger to these priests operating in view, and selling their services would make them targets.

I believe there would be small (heavily monitored) public temples to the evil gods even in neutral and good-aligned cities simply to sell indulgences and protections from the evil god's domain. Think of them as bribes, if you will. To Nerull may prevent untimely death, Hextor for fortune in battle, and Vecna for a boon when searching for lost knowledge.

These would be the public faces for the religions. In reality they are probably little more than a socially-acceptable sources of funding for the well-concealed and actively evil temples.

This naturally excludes theocracies.
 

kigmatzomat

First Post
Raven Crowking said:
Don't know where you're writing from, d4, but while dandelions aren't native to North America, we've certainly got a lot of them. This is because dandelions were brought over from Europe as a hardy, fast-growing food crop. Heck, dandelions are still eaten in many places. I can go to my local grocery store and buy dandelion greens today.

Here in the US south, dandelion salads aren't unheard of. They aren't exactly common, but I heard of 'em. :)

"Weed" is in the eye of the beholder.
 

I'm A Banana

Potassium-Rich
Riiight. Whatever happened to the idea that you don't sacrifice or even say the name of evil gods?
You're thinking monotheism. You're thinking exclusionary religion. That's not classic polytheism as it is represented in D&D.

The idea that a Everything can also = Good as represented in Judeo-Christianity is a relatively recent and strange idea. The most powerful being in existence is benevolent -- that's frickin' radical, and goes against what most people would consider common experience ("if he's all-powerful and good, why do bad things happen?"....it takes impressive theological philosophy to wrap your mind around that, not something that a lot of societies can really afford the time for...people today even struggle with that Problem of Evil).

So if Everything is not Good, if all power is not also all benevolent, it makes sense that Evil would have some power. You can't banish Evil from the world, because Good doesn't encompass It All. As represented in the PHB, there's no Good Tyranny. There's no Good Undeath. There's no Good Assassin Deity. These are things Evil has power over, and Good has no power over...

So if you want to avoid those things, it makes sense to not only make those gods happy, but also the gods opposing them happy. For instance, if you wanted to make sure your grandma wasn't re-animated as a zombie, you'd sacrifice to Nerull (so that he doesn't hate you for not sacrificing to him, and re-animate your grandma out of spite), and Pelor (so that if Nerull wants to animate her, her can help lay her to rest again). If you want to avoid tryanny, you sacrifice to Hextor ("please do not empower your servants to rule over us") and to Heironeous ("please give all our leaders divine guidance").

Just because you don't like the god doesn't mean you can ignore them...they have a real and measurable power in the world.

There are, of course, exceptions. No high elf of goodness prays to Lolth, becauase she has been excommunicated, so to speak. The elves have disdained all use of spiders, poison, dominatrixes, etc. that Lolth represents. They have no use for a god of that because as far as they are concerned that does not exist; it's not part of their world, and it's not part of reality, and to note it is to give it power. They don't pray to Lolth to not sick spiders on them, because in their mind, Lolth has no power over spiders.

But Nerull isn't an outcast from the pantheon. He may not be nice, but he governs a force that really is in the world. And powerful figures will destroy those they don't like, if they can. They can destroy you. You stop that only by making sure Nerull doesn't hate you -- by sacrificing to him.

Of course, this is in the view of the commoner. The cleric probably has a very different view of the situation.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Weeds

I'd like to weigh in on the weeds/plant growth question.

Weeds ARE in the eye of the beholder, as I found out from the farm my family has, as well as from a stay in Kansas in my early teens. A crop is a uniform, cultivated field of plants that are meant to be harvested by sentient beings for their purposes. ANY plant not part of that cultivation plan is, at some level, a weed to THAT farmer because it uses resources that he would rather have going to his crop.

So, as my alfalfa farming teacher in Kansas pointed out, the marijuana that grew alongside it symbiotically was a weed. :D

So, a stalk of corn in a vinyard would be a weed, as would the grapevine in the cornfield.

As for things that many people consider to be weeds outright...Dandelion salads can be quite tasty, as can tea made from that plant. And Kudzu, scourge of the South, has recently been discovered to be appetizing to sheep and goats. If that doesn't detrimentally affect their flavor, we may see an increase in both of those creatures on the menu.

Like the man said- weeds produce seeds, flowers, leaves, etc. They may even produce fruit, like the nightshade plant (a family, which, BTW includes potatoes and tomatoes)- but it may not be of use to THAT person.

So, by a strict reading, the plant growth spell would increase the productivity of both crop and weed.

However, since the first thing a farmer does is remove unwanted plants from his field, and repeats the action on a regular basis, a crop would be relatively weed free. So, if the farmer & his hands had JUST performed a good weeding before the hired spellcaster laid some carefully targeted spells like plant growth, etc., he would get a much higher level of food production from his crop- which is exactly what a smart farmer would do.

While there may still be weeds present even after the labors of the farmer & his crew, the tradeoff would probably be worth it.

On the other hand, ticking off a spellcaster might also get your crops devoured by creeping doom or a giant locust.

Or turned into a Shambling Mound.

Or just fireballed.

Probable High-Tech vs Magical food production ratio- 1:1

(Besides, if I properly recall, earlier interpretations (1st and 2nd Ed) of plant growth allowed the spell to be used to increase the HD or heal things like Shambling Mounds and other sentient plants.)
 


kigmatzomat

First Post
MavrickWeirdo said:
And now the question that just makes it worse

What about Elven population?

This bugged me too until I stopped and did the math. The "eternal" races stay away from humanity because the side-effects of humanity slaughter them. Wars and plagues screw with the long-lived races far more than it does the humans.

Let's look at pretty much any period in earth history. There's been a significant plague every 2-3 human generations (50-60years) for virtually ever. Every 1-2 human generations (20-50years) you have a war (or worse, a multigenerational war like the Hundred Years War or the War of the Roses).

The magic we've seen at the commoner level may help them survive individual infections, but plagues will overwhelm the available magics in no time flat.

In the century it takes elves to reach maturity there have been 2 plagues and 2-5 wars (we'll say 3). With a 10% mortality rate for each event, an elven child raised in close proximity to humans will only have a 60% chance of reaching adulthood, which ignores the rigors of childbirth.

Assuming elves take 50 years on average before they have their first child, and only 43% of elves reach child-rearing age. This ignores the elven frailty and the fact the elves are more susceptible to diseases and have few hps than humans!

The only way the elves and halflings can survive is to pull back. Dwarves and gnomes are tougher than humans (high con, bonus to saves) so they probably fare better in mixed communities, though war is equally devastating since humans will have 2+ generations for every long-lived generation to repopulate.

Overall, the long-lived races will have boom/bust type populations where it slowly swells, suffers a plague/war, then swells again. Elves and dwarves probably rely heavily on long-running mystical defenses of their territories to make their borders seem more fordible than their population could justify. (golems, summonings, area effect mind-affecting enchantments, permanent symbols, etc) Elven skirmishers with bows can harry much larger forces in their forests while the shoulder-to-shoulder dwarves can generally defeat opponents due to superior tactics and competence.

The one advantage the elder races possess is superior historical information. Old elves and dwarves have more exposure to wars than any human so even an elven commoner will be a more than competent tactician.

But this means the long-lived races are in a holding action, waiting to gain territory when humans are weak and expecting to lose it when a nasty bug gets through their borders.

The baelnorn starts looking like a very logical maneuver since it creates a plague-proof continuum of knowledge that can help the long-term survival of the race vs. the high-speed breeders.
 

VirgilCaine

First Post
kigmatzomat said:
This bugged me too until I stopped and did the math. The "eternal" races stay away from humanity because the side-effects of humanity slaughter them. Wars and plagues screw with the long-lived races far more than it does the humans.

The only way the elves and halflings can survive is to pull back. Dwarves and gnomes are tougher than humans (high con, bonus to saves) so they probably fare better in mixed communities, though war is equally devastating since humans will have 2+ generations for every long-lived generation to repopulate.

Overall, the long-lived races will have boom/bust type populations where it slowly swells, suffers a plague/war, then swells again. Elves and dwarves probably rely heavily on long-running mystical defenses of their territories to make their borders seem more fordible than their population could justify. (golems, summonings, area effect mind-affecting enchantments, permanent symbols, etc) Elven skirmishers with bows can harry much larger forces in their forests while the shoulder-to-shoulder dwarves can generally defeat opponents due to superior tactics and competence.

The one advantage the elder races possess is superior historical information. Old elves and dwarves have more exposure to wars than any human so even an elven commoner will be a more than competent tactician.

But this means the long-lived races are in a holding action, waiting to gain territory when humans are weak and expecting to lose it when a nasty bug gets through their borders.

The baelnorn starts looking like a very logical maneuver since it creates a plague-proof continuum of knowledge that can help the long-term survival of the race vs. the high-speed breeders.

So this equates to halflings and elves being the reclusive sylvan types, Dwarves and Gnomes being somewhat mixed with humans, and half-orcs probably being the most common non-human PCs.
 


kigmatzomat

First Post
Raven Crowking said:
How does this align with the short-lived races (i.e., goblinoids)? Are you suggesting (as I imagine) that humans should just stay away from them, apart from the occasional adventurer, in order to maximize their breeding potential? And, like humans to elves, those pesky orcs keep pushing into our territory....!

Basically, yeah, but less so.

Orcs likely have 15-year generations (just guessing based on the age reduction of Half-orcs vs humans) so orcs have 4 generations to ever 3 human ones. 4:3 isn't nearly the same as the 5:1 elf:human or 2:1 halflings:human ratios. Humans might not notice the birthrate advantage of orcs if they live in a mixed community. It's not like your orcish neighbor's newborn will grow old and die in the time it takes you to go from middle-aged to old. That kid will have a (natural) lifespan of 50-70 vs your kids 70-110 and most of the age difference will be at the "Venerable" level.

Orcs don't have any particular advantage compared to humans on the plague front, but their high strength might increase their odds of surviving battles. I toss it out as a wash, given their chaotic-evil society and say orcs and humans have the same general mortality.

Now the orc:elf generation ratio is 7:1, giving orcs a significant advantage. This could be why the orcs target the elves; in a half dozen generations the orcs could actually wipe out an elven community and take their land. Of course, this would require orcs maintaining a plan for more than a century, but what the heck, it could happen somewhere.
 

D+1

First Post
VirgilCaine said:
Why is it so hard for people to understand this?
Enrichment says "plants"--not "crops", "plants" production is enriched. AFAIK, weeds were plants.
What I understand is that the purpose of the Enrichment effect is NOT to exacerbate the proliferation of weeds. As you yourself point out the net effect of enhancing the output of weeds along with "crops" is ZERO. Pretty spiffy effect for a 3rd level spell - one which is going out of its way to provide very seperate effects, one for "attack" and one for general BENEFIT.

If you insist on your interpretation of the spell, by all means go ahead. After all, from a real-world botanists POV you are undoubtedly correct. But it sure does seem to make it a thoroughly pointless effect, and from the D&D spellcasters POV, IMO you're just plain wrong in how it ought to, and does work.

D&D is NOT meant to have too much reality applied to it at virtually ANY point in the rules. At every turn it is in fact attempting to dodge the un-fun and brutality of reality. That's something that should be kept in mind throughout a thread like this - D&D rules are NOT structured to withstand the scrutiny of extended application of real-world physics, or sociology, or even logic in general. That's why it's fantasy roleplaying, not hard SF.
 
Last edited:

Elder-Basilisk

First Post
Even his version of the Plant Growth spell does actually provide benefits. It allows land that could not be productively farmed to be productively farmed and allows more production per unit of land. Neither of these are an issue in open and fertile land but where arable land is at a premium, they are a significant benefit. Even if the spell doesn't change the amount of labor necessary per unit of food, it would change the amount of food producable per unit of land. And that would be very significant in any number of situations from medieval Japan which supported a lot of people on a small amount of land to areas where farming is not normally viable.

D+1 said:
What I understand is that the purpose of the Enrichment effect is NOT to exacerbate the proliferation of weeds. As you yourself point out the net effect of enhancing the output of weeds along with "crops" is ZERO. Pretty spiffy effect for a 3rd level spell - one which is going out of its way to provide very seperate effects, one for "attack" and one for general BENEFIT.
 

I'm A Banana

Potassium-Rich
D&D is NOT meant to have too much reality applied to it at virtually ANY point in the rules. At every turn it is in fact attempting to dodge the un-fun and brutality of reality. That's something that should be kept in mind throughout a thread like this - D&D rules are NOT structured to withstand the scrutiny of extended application of real-world physics, or sociology, or even logic in general. That's why it's fantasy roleplaying, not hard SF.
Which is why it's a bit risky, but I thought puzzling out the life of a common commoner was worth it, since there seemed to be some pretty big misconceptions about 'em. :)

I'd say, yeah, a pre-weeded field would produce more crops as a result of plant growth. But plant growth is a third level spell -- the only fields that would benefit from it are the fields of larger cities, which would require the extra yield to feed people on a lot less land (since more of the land is dedicated to living space), for instance.

And as for other races......hoo boy, that's a whole 'notehr can of worms. :)
 
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Fieari

Explorer
I wish people would stop chiming in with "D&D rules aren't SUPPOSED to make sense!"

It's been said. All you who believe this, you are welcome to it, please be on your way. For the rest of us, we're fascinated by this stuff. I've been following this thread since it was 4 pages. I'm currently embarking in some world building, so all this debate is proving wonderfully useful. I'd -love- to be able to create a world at least marginally internally consistant, and that's what I'm going for.

That comment on longer lived races is quite neat as well... fits in spectacularly I think. It -is- a whole nother kettle of worms, of course.


One of the things my group has been considering for our collaborative homebrew is making the majority of magic users in the realm artificers instead... we haven't worked out class specs exactly yet, but the thought is that they spend more time building and making stuff than going around casting spells... if in fact they can cast spells directly at all. I (and my group) personally think that this does wonders towards keeping levels low. All that xp spent on making stuff! On the other hand, it does make magical items slightly more common, but only slightly... it's still bloody expensive as far as your regular joe is concerned.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
More Weeds

Just reread the 3.5Ed version of the spell Plant growth.

Plant Growth has 2 different effects, chosen by the spellcaster at the time of casting. It either causes normal vegetation ("grasses, briars, bushes, creepers, thistles, trees, vines") in the targeted area become overgrown and thick enough to hinder movement or causes plants to increase their potential productivity 33% above normal in the next year.

Now, we could get all lawyer-y about the distinction between the use of "normal vegetation" or "plant" in the text, but it wouldn't get us anywhere, since a crop could be a grass, bush, vine, tree, etc.

It is more useful to distinguish based on the 2 effects. The first effect only enhances GROWTH, the other, PRODUCTIVITY. The former is just a simple measurement of plant size, the second would be a measure of fruiting, seeding, leafyness, and other measurements of lushness of the foliage.

Basically, by a straightforward reading of the spell, it should affect any plant in the area of the spell.

Thus, if the second version is cast upon a well-tended field, the result is a net increase in the harvest from the crop. If cast upon an ill-tended field, the weeds would benefit just as much, and the farmer's neighbors would be P-Oed as the weeds spread their increased seed production over the area.

(And, unlike certain previous interpretations I recalled, it does not affect plant creatures.)

As for:
D&D is NOT meant to have too much reality applied to it at virtually ANY point in the rules. At every turn it is in fact attempting to dodge the un-fun and brutality of reality. That's something that should be kept in mind throughout a thread like this - D&D rules are NOT structured to withstand the scrutiny of extended application of real-world physics, or sociology, or even logic in general. That's why it's fantasy roleplaying, not hard SF.

That is just a cop-out. The magic system must have an internal logic. If there is insufficient internal logic in the magic system, the game breaks down because it is no longer able to model effects consistently.
 

Fingol

First Post
D+1 said:
D&D is NOT meant to have too much reality applied to it at virtually ANY point in the rules. At every turn it is in fact attempting to dodge the un-fun and brutality of reality. That's something that should be kept in mind throughout a thread like this - D&D rules are NOT structured to withstand the scrutiny of extended application of real-world physics, or sociology, or even logic in general. That's why it's fantasy roleplaying, not hard SF.

I don't necessarily disagree with the above; but how do you 'play smart' in a game world where players can not draw links between cause and effect? For if the rules can not withstand scrutiny of logic how can the world make sense? How can a player avoid appearing like a bull in a china shop? What does a player do if his DM insists that his players should play smart but that the relationships between cause and effect are such personal opinions in any game world? If your DM keeps on insisting where does the fun go?
 

kigmatzomat

First Post
D+1 said:
What I understand is that the purpose of the Enrichment effect is NOT to exacerbate the proliferation of weeds. As you yourself point out the net effect of enhancing the output of weeds along with "crops" is ZERO.

Not zero in total, but zero from a *manpower* standpoint.

It works out perfectly from a *druid's* point of view. Enrichment means every 3 acres produces 4 acres worth of food. It just means you need 4 acres worth of farmers on the 3 acres. So if you have 400 farmers working 400 acres, you can now put them to work on 300 acres producing the same food but freeing up 100 acres to be returned to nature.

The farmer has a potent ally in a 5th+ level druid, has less perimeter to deal with, and probably cuts off a hundred yards worth of walk each day. That may not seem like much but slogging through the rain or carrying bushels of grain a hundred yards is a real pain. It also means they won't pay as much for ploughing; one of the biggest expenses. Net wealth increases for the same effort and more convenience.

Odds are the farmers and the druid split the difference so if the farmers get an extra 25 acres of pasture land they can keep animals on or plant a cash crop so they've just increased their total potential wealth. Especially when that 25 acres produces the equivalent of 33 acres; they just need an additional 33 acres worth of manpower to capitalize on it.
 

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