The Common Commoner


Imagicka said:
Curse Disease. Why? Well, first of all, there wouldn't be an lepers to frolick with. The first sign of any life threatening disease, the clerics/druids would be right in there frolicking away. You don't need a potientally deadly disease spreading around the community.

Unfortunately, cure disease won't stop plagues or illness. 5th level casters aren't common enough to be available everywhere. I'll grant you that most people live within a day of someone who can, however that's one day's travel while well and in typically nice weather. Diseases bloom most in the wet and cool periods when travel is slower and the act of traveling increases the risk to the patient. Spending the day outside may be more fatal than just toughing out the illness. And if it is flu season, there's a good chance the cleric's not at temple and is off helping someone else.

Furthermore, cure disease doesn't prevent re-infection so a given person could catch the plague time and time again. Additionally, diseases generally rack the body causing stat loss, so you'll need to add some Restoration magic into the mix. Yes, possible, but it cuts the number of people that can be healed down.

I believe Cure Light Wounds is still the biggest one. Eliminating the site of infection goes a long way to preventing many infections. Lesser Restoration would be a close second since it provides a divine boost, fixing the damage done by a disease and reinforcing the patient until their own immune system throws it off.

Do the commoners of our D&D world think that diseases are punishment from the gods? Would they have all these fear-based superstitions based around disease?

Actually, they *know* many diseases are punishment, or at least attacks, from the gods. There is always a plague god (Nerull has that in the default pantheon, I believe).

As long as you agree with the RAW on the class-distributions, you won't see many disease curing clerics around. They will cut down on the number of people who die due to secondary infections or individual infection however a plague will rapidly overwhelm the casters' abilities.


Also, the economic reasonings for D&D I think are seriously flawed, along with what constitutes for 'commoner' and 'average level of commoners'. But more on that later after I've read the rest of these posts and written a ridiculously huge reply...[/QUOTE]

I admit that I do not use the RAW where commoner levels are concerned. I believe about 50% of the commoners tend are in the 4th-6th band and are in the 25-45 age bracket. But those are house rules and I generally don't see the point in arguing the distribution since there are so many reasonable ones that any one will do for coming up with a process to extrapolate the rest of the culture.

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First Post
Here's one that hasn't been discussed but would probably make a difference: Bestow Curse.

How many fairy tales revolve around a curse like someone's nose growing every time they lie or the evil fairy queen cursing someone to only wake at night and to sleep before the sun rises (usually while cursing their fated husband or wife to sleep as soon as night falls and not wake until the dawn). The fairy tales make interesting stories and at least half of the curses seem as much about moral instruction as about anything else. Perhaps that's how good clerics and wizards would use the spell. (And remember, if most people live within a day's travel of someone who can cure disease, they probably live within a day's travel of someone who can bestow curse). There's plenty of room for curses to be a part of the official justice system too. I would imagine that treaties between people who didn't trust each other would often be enforced with a Mark of Justice on the signatories (failing to have anything like Paradigm Concepts' Sarishan Oaths in the core rules). And, of course, all of the evil curses and hexes that our ancestors got so worked up about would actually be real too. I wonder about the implications of that.

And, since we're talking about Cure Disease--remember, there's also Contagion. There are plenty of people who would have arranged for their enemies to catch a disease if they could. There were and are plenty of people who have actually taken steps to do that--from suicide bombers strapping vials full of blood from AIDS patients to their bodies to try to infect survivors and making sure the screws in their bombs are rusty to people sending smallpox blankets to the Indians or before that, tossing dead and rotting corpses over the walls of castles with catapults. With Contagion, there would be a more effective (and less risky) way to spread disease to your enemies. Who knows but that the old beggar who rants in an unfamiliar tongue and paws at you ostensibly for a donation is actually a priest of Nerull using you as a vector to bring some disease back to your community? And if you don't have a priest of Nerull around, well, it's a domain spell for St. Cuthbert as well.


Agreed. Curses at the high end, arcane marks at the low (i.e. Scarlet Letter) and Mark of Justice for seriously binding tasks. Geas would also be used in legal fashion to enforce compliance.

The legal system is probably both more straight forward and even more convoluted. I'd imagine a zone of truth pretty much simplifies the bulk of cases where magic isn't likely to be involved but then you get to the weird stuff.

Would you trust what you see from a scrying done by the god of illusions? The god of good? The god of warfare? What about a wizard? Glamours and transformations make all evidence questionable since you can magically turn yourself into an exact physical duplicate so even truth magics merely prevent someone from saying what they know to be false.

Imagine the legal wranglings between a church and a wizard's guild! I'm sure it's a king's nightmare.

I'm A Banana

On Disease

1) Cure Disease is a pretty high-level spell. Not a lot of places have it.

2) Cure Disease is exactly as common as contagion. Assuming they're cast on a one-for-one basis, the eventual effect is a 0, or perhaps slightly more in favor of contagion (it's a lot easier to spread disease from one person to many than it is to heal one person, and have them heal others -- getting infected requires no special talent).

3) While it's not part of the RAW at the moment, the Nyambe idea of giving diseases an SR goes a long way to making sure that even once cure disease enters the picturer, plagues are still common.

There's plenty of room for curses to be a part of the official justice system too.
Love this idea...yoink!

I have one comment on religion at the lowest level and that's the existence and role of pantheists. IMC, most adepts are followers of an entire pantheon, calling on Erynull for attacks, Yolanda for healing, Correlon for protection, Boccob for divinations, etc. Clerics are god-specific or serve a purpose (Good for it's own good, if you will). Adepts have contact with many gods and that dilute connection explains why they cannot control undead without magic; they have no particular "polarity" for positive/negative energy.
Bingo, that's my take on it, too. Adepts worship the pantheons, clerics worship the gods, druids worship the forces...of course, there's overlap, alteration, etc. Adepts may like one god over others, clerics may devote themselves to forces, druids may decide to start worshiping a nature god, etc.


First Post
I would imagine that Zone of Truth would be a part of most serious trials--after all, there's someone who can cast it in nearly every village and it seems like it would be irresponsible not to. On the other hand, in most villages, it can only be cast at 3rd-5th level which is hardly enough time to cover the trial proper and will have a DC of 13-15 (2nd level spell+1-3 for wisdom and possibly spell focus) which an ordinary commoner can resist about 30-40% of the time. So, while it might have some effect, I would think that it would be more use in evaluating confessions and during interrogations than during the actual testimony. It might be used after all testimony was completed for the day. ("In the sight of Pholtus, I hereby solemnly certify the truth of my testimony. I have told the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth." And if the person can't say this, they're charged with perjury). That way, it would raise the bar for people attempting to give false testimony because they would not only have to worry about being caught in a lie ordinarily, they would also have to worry about failing the save and making it clear that they had perjured themselves even after a successful lie. The knowledge that lying would face the risk of magical detection after the fact might well be more effective than simply having the zone of truth active in the courtroom to begin with. (If it's active, you could test your resistance with a little lie before saying anything that could be prosecutable and your hearers might be less wary because of the zone of truth).

Of course, the skilled liars present in each village (lets say a 4th level commoner with a decent wisdom, iron will, and the deceptive feat or skill focus: bluff) would be able to get away with lying as often as not and unusually skilled liars (6th level bards or clerics with the trickery domain aren't that uncommon and could succeed at the save most of the time) would usually be able to evade the magic. Consequently, I don't think that there would be much less discussion about the reliability and trustworthiness of witnesses than there is IRL. After all, the guys who won't make the save often (Com 1 with an 8 wisdom) are generally the guys who aren't very good at lying to begin with (His bluff would max out at 7+cha mod even if he had Skill focus: Bluff and Deceptive). The guys who you're actually worried about (the com 4 with his +8 or +9, the bard with his +15 bluff, or the cleric with his +12-+14 bluff) are the least likely to be deterred by the zone of truth. The real effect would be to further separate the petty liars from the skilled ones rather than to prevent lying in general.


First Post
animals help towns?

About the economic system used in the book, I tend to think of it as a guide to the adventuers. Think about it: these guys have huge flaming swords, shiny armor, and their money pouches jingle with every step they take. Therefore, I can see the people all raising their prices because these people can obviously afford it, but they don't want to raise it too much in case these adventuers are evil. I was somewhat surprised that no one mention a wand of cure light wounds or disease, a few of those could keep a village in good health for a very long time.

One thing I think your forgetting about with the attacks on town is that people will most likley have some type of domesticated animal/magic beast or whatever. Cave men had hunting dogs, and the animal trainers do exist in D&D, therefore I think we can assume that towns would have some animals that would help significently in the defense of the town.

I am not going to go into the different dieties of D&D because I am rather new to the game, only been DMing for almost 2 years now I think.

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