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The Common Commoner

Dyir

First Post
But Barsoomcore doesn't the Alignment-based cleric option take care of the "false deity" problem? I mean, what if I'm a cleric that really believes in a god of purity and goodness, which in fact, does not exist? Wouldn't I then be worshipping Good (as in the alignment), if in a very unusual form? I could do anything a cleric of Pelor could do, but my god doesn't really exist. Basically, the only way that I could be proven wrong is for some really powerful celestial creature to tell me so whenever I summoned them, and by that point I'd have to be pretty high-level. I'd have invested so much into worshipping that "deity" that I might still not believe him (even if he was a Solar).
Just a thought.
 

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DarkMaster

First Post
In D&D beliving or not in the gods is not an issue you see their powers very often through at least the adept in your town. Also any Church should have a cleric able to plane travel (9 or 11 level don't remember if it's a 5 or 6 th level spell) This cleric can then go and verify by himself the existence of the god.
 

I'm A Banana

Potassium-Rich
Spellcasting

Except for opportunity cost. They can swing a sword around, but while they do that they aren't doing anything else. So how will they afford to feed themselves?

Whereas spellcasting doesn't take much time at all. Up to an hour to prepare your spells for the day, then a few minutes at most (for almost all spells). So the opportunity cost of spellcasting is very low.
Casting a spell takes the same amount of time it takes for a trained warrior to slash his 6-foot hunk of steel five or more times.

Grab a six foot hunk of steel, and swing it five times, as if you're hitting something, and tell me you're not a little fatigued. Bonus points if you can do it in 6 seconds, and still have time to run five feet. ;)

Just because it only takes 3-6 seconds to cast the spell doesn't mean it's effortless. Just like just because there is no penalty for swinging around a six foot hunk of steel for nearly days in a row under D&D rules. That doesn't mean it's effortless, though. That doesn't mean it's a wave of the hand. It's as mentally draining as, say, taking an exam.

Except that's not how D&D works. You just can't cast spells beyond your limit, period. You can't even try.
Right, because your brain won't let you exhaust yourself...it's like how you can't hold onto a pot that's burning you, you can't even try...your body won't let you. Casting a spell is the equivalent of sticking your hand on a stove's burner. You don't WANT to do it. And your body won't LET you do it for more than a second.

It doesn't have anything to do with your body or mind; all spellcasting does is take away your ability to cast more spells. So there's something expended there, in the amount of spells you can cast per day, but that's it.
I'd say this is too metagame to be the explanation for spellcasting. Think of what those spells represent, of why they have those limits, of what you're actually doing when you're casting the spell, and think of that as as much, if not more effort, than taking a test in 6 seconds, swinging a six foot peice of steel five times and then running five feet in the same time, or just sprinting 30 feet.

That's not effortless. That's not even close. Players may see them as just power to spend. The average NPC adept sees that as an extra 30 feet they have to sprint if they want to do it.

There's no evidence suggesting that it's effortless, that it's just a wave of the hand. In fact, if you think of why, in the world, this limit on spells per day exists, it suggests that it's considerably harder than spending the same amount of time doing anything else. Your body will let you thrust a hunk of steel more than once per day....it won't let you cast spells more often.

they consume zero resources on the part of the spellcaster and so the spellcaster has no reason to NOT cast them. He or she gains nothing by withholding those spells.
You assume spells take no effort to cast. This is a pretty big assumption. If they take as much effort as I'm suggesting above, then there is a pretty obvious reason not to cast them. Whether they do or not seems particularly up to the campaign -- nowhere is it suggested that it's strenuous, but nowhere is it suggested that it's effortless, either. If you need a reason, there is one. If you don't need a reason, no one's trying to convince you. ;)

In contrast to the moron who spends all day swinging his sword in pointless circles around him -- he's NOT eating, NOT killing bad guys (or good guys), NOT making friends and influencing people, NOT putting away a little for a rainy day, NOT helping out his community -- he's just obviously a mental case. Casting spells accomplishes stuff AND costs nothing. We don't have anything like that in our world.
The comparison was for effort. Only if you assume that spellcasting is as easy as wiggling your fingers does it suggest that they have no reason to use them. But then, it also suggests that they should be able to do it more often -- how many times can you wiggle your fingers each day? Why would casting a spell require any less effort that swinging a 6 foot hunk of steel within the same interval of time?

Your entire argument about this falls apart if you consider the option (not stated, but having evidence that could support it in the rules) that spells are not as easy as a wave of the hand. In that case, there is plenty of reason to not cast a spell -- it's hard work, and no one wants to do hard work when they don't have to.

If I were king, I'd ORDER everyone to learn magic. Especially if even my big cities are getting attacked by deadly creatures on a daily basis. Your society could easily take the short-term effort of getting everyone at 11 or higher Intelligence or Wisdom casting spells for the long-term benefit of having thousands upon thousands of spell-casters available throughout the kingdom. It just makes sense.
Why would you order them to learn magic when you're having trouble feeding everyone? Just because monsters are attacking you doesn't mean you don't still have a population of hundreds or thousands to feed. If one village falls, there has to be enough food for the refugees, and for the rest of the people there.
 
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MoogleEmpMog

First Post
D&D religion is more like politics.

Dragonlance actually captures this flavor fairly well, in the eras when its gods aren't popping in and out of availability. You don't have to be much of a believer to know that one side of the pantheon grants miraculous power to the people, goblinoids, dragons and assorted nasties trying to conquer the world, and the other side grants it to those trying to stop them in their tracks. It's us vs. them. And it, basically, works.

Does this suffice for a religious experience? Hard to say. History seems to indicate that humans need more than secular nation-states or concepts to cling to and defend, but do they need more than demonstably immortal and nigh-all-powerful beings? We have no way of judging from historical evidence, because immortal and nigh-all-powerful beings don't subject themselves to the kinds of rigorous pseudo-scientific testing D&D gods do. ;)
 

barsoomcore

Unattainable Ideal
Dyir: Yeah, that'll work, as long as you're actually worshipping Good in such a fashion as to generate divine energy (or however that works). It still means you can identify people who are just wrong about the way the world works -- people whose behaviour does NOT generate such energy. You'd still have a distinction that we don't have in this world -- between folks who are "onto something" (even if they're misguided as to what it is) and folks who are just loonies.

You're pointing out what becomes another interesting distinction in a world where the former distinction exists -- but the former distinction still exists.
 

MoogleEmpMog

First Post
Kamikaze Midget said:
Casting a spell takes the same amount of time it takes for a trained warrior to slash his 6-foot hunk of steel five or more times.

Grab a six foot hunk of steel, and swing it five times, as if you're hitting something, and tell me you're not a little fatigued. Bonus points if you can do it in 6 seconds, and still have time to run five feet. ;)

That's a spiffy Barbarian/Fighter/Shou Disciple build you've got going there, doing a flurry of blows with a greatsword. But he'd be better off if he had at least 6 levels of monk - then he could use greater flurry and swing his 6-foot hunk of steel six times ;)
 

I'm A Banana

Potassium-Rich
Church & Corruption

That's a spiffy Barbarian/Fighter/Shou Disciple build you've got going there, doing a flurry of blows with a greatsword. But he'd be better off if he had at least 6 levels of monk - then he could use greater flurry and swing his 6-foot hunk of steel six times
Yeah, I should've said swing it once and run 20 ft. in full plate. Still, the basic principle stands.

still means you can identify people who are just wrong about the way the world works -- people whose behaviour does NOT generate such energy. You'd still have a distinction that we don't have in this world -- between folks who are "onto something" (even if they're misguided as to what it is) and folks who are just loonies.
You can believe in a philosophy. Or a force. Or an abstract concept. As long as you believe in *something*, divine magic works for you. You could believe you're the second coming of Christ, and you'd have spells that you grant yourself. :)

That's how small-scale corruption can exist in churches. Just because two people share an alignment doesn't mean their goals and duties are the same, and they might not even share an alignment (actual clerics would, but adepts, the experts who serve as clergy....?).

The line is drawn at large-scale corruption, which must happen from the 'top down' to be effective. It's easy to find the one evil cleric who's not part of the group. It's harder when they're all running the church, know they're evil, and don't really care...the peasants don't know any better, after all...

But when you could just go off and found your own Church of Big Badness, and have thousands of followers of various wicked peoples within a week or two, there's no real reason to corrupt -- if you can heal, power is yours for the taking, even if your heal because of your devout belief in nihilism. :p
 

barsoomcore

Unattainable Ideal
Kamikaze Midget said:
As long as you believe in *something*, divine magic works for you.
Um, no. The rules do not say that, at any rate. They do say that there are clerics who, rather than devote themselves to a particular deity, but "to a cause or source of divine power". Not *something*. There's nothing to suggest that a guy who believes the world was created by sentient bananas gains spellcasting abilities simply because he REALLY believes it. I mean, if you want your world to work that way, great, but that's not what the rules say.

They say that there exist sources of divine power besides the gods. That doesn't mean that anyone can make up any source of divine power anytime they like, just by wishing really hard.

People will still see that some people's worldviews result in them getting free power, and some people's worldviews do not. This is different than anything that happens in our world, and it's unlikely that a world that demonstrates such behaviour would resemble ours. And I submit that such demonstrations of power will not supply the human need to believe in something greater than we can comprehend.

And what sort of moron joins a Church of Big Badness, anyway? Where's the fun in being bad if everyone else is bad -- they'll just be bad to you, and your badness won't give you any advantage. Being bad is only advantageous as long as most other people are being good.

It's like driving on the shoulder of the road. Sure, you can zip by all the suckers who are playing by the rules -- as long as they keep playing by the rules. Once everybody decides to break the rules, nobody gets ahead by breaking the rules, so there's no real incentive to breaking the rules. So what's the incentive to join up with a bunch of rules-breakers? Well, you might be stupid, I guess. Never been a shortage of stupid people around.
 

VirgilCaine

First Post
barsoomcore said:
Um, no. The rules do not say that, at any rate. They do say that there are clerics who, rather than devote themselves to a particular deity, but "to a cause or source of divine power". Not *something*. There's nothing to suggest that a guy who believes the world was created by sentient bananas gains spellcasting abilities simply because he REALLY believes it. I mean, if you want your world to work that way, great, but that's not what the rules say.

:lol: :lol: :lol:

People will still see that some people's worldviews result in them getting free power, and some people's worldviews do not. This is different than anything that happens in our world, and it's unlikely that a world that demonstrates such behaviour would resemble ours. And I submit that such demonstrations of power will not supply the human need to believe in something greater than we can comprehend.

Good point.
 

LostSoul

First Post
Kamikaze Midget said:
Casting a spell takes the same amount of time it takes for a trained warrior to slash his 6-foot hunk of steel five or more times.

Your original argument compared chopping down trees all day to casting all your spells. That argument doesn't make sense because you can't cast spells all day (unless you're casting one of the few spells with longer casting times). There's no opportunity cost to casting spells, except the hour or so it takes you to prepare them in the morning. The same doesn't go for chopping down trees all day.

If we go by the rules, there is no effort involved (except for the fact that there's nothing else you can do). If you want to extrapolate from the rules, for either physical actions (save for movement) or for spell casting, that's fine; but it isn't in the books.

Kamikaze Midget said:
Right, because your brain won't let you exhaust yourself...it's like how you can't hold onto a pot that's burning you, you can't even try...your body won't let you. Casting a spell is the equivalent of sticking your hand on a stove's burner. You don't WANT to do it. And your body won't LET you do it for more than a second.

Haven't read Dune lately, have you? ;) "What's in the box?" "Pain."

Kamikaze Midget said:
I'd say this is too metagame to be the explanation for spellcasting. Think of what those spells represent, of why they have those limits, of what you're actually doing when you're casting the spell, and think of that as as much, if not more effort, than taking a test in 6 seconds, swinging a six foot peice of steel five times and then running five feet in the same time, or just sprinting 30 feet.

So casting a spell is about as effortless as swinging a baseball bat. Cool. ;)

Kamikaze Midget said:
There's no evidence suggesting that it's effortless, that it's just a wave of the hand. In fact, if you think of why, in the world, this limit on spells per day exists, it suggests that it's considerably harder than spending the same amount of time doing anything else. Your body will let you thrust a hunk of steel more than once per day....it won't let you cast spells more often.

There's no evidence to suggest that it takes any sort of effort, either. There is some kind of limit on casting spells that seems to come from nowhere - you can increase your spells per day by doing things like killing goblins, or sneaking back home past curfew, or winning the hand of Snow White. There's nothing to suggest that the number of spells you can cast per day is tied to anything except the number and difficulty of challenges you've faced in your life.

Extrapolating is good for the game, but if you want to get all anal retentive (and apparently I do), that's what we're left with. ;)
 

MoogleEmpMog

First Post
LostSoul said:
There's no evidence to suggest that it takes any sort of effort, either. There is some kind of limit on casting spells that seems to come from nowhere - you can increase your spells per day by doing things like killing goblins, or sneaking back home past curfew, or winning the hand of Snow White. There's nothing to suggest that the number of spells you can cast per day is tied to anything except the number and difficulty of challenges you've faced in your life.

Technically, your ability to swing a greatsword really, really fast is also tied to killing goblins, and, if your DM is generous with non-combat XP, sneaking home past curfew and/or winning the hand of Snow White. Greatsword-swinging ability just advances slower than the spellcasting limit.
 

I'm A Banana

Potassium-Rich
Um, no. The rules do not say that, at any rate. They do say that there are clerics who, rather than devote themselves to a particular deity, but "to a cause or source of divine power". Not *something*. There's nothing to suggest that a guy who believes the world was created by sentient bananas gains spellcasting abilities simply because he REALLY believes it. I mean, if you want your world to work that way, great, but that's not what the rules say.

They say that there exist sources of divine power besides the gods. That doesn't mean that anyone can make up any source of divine power anytime they like, just by wishing really hard.
Well, since the final call is up the the DM as to what qualifies as a cause or a source of divine power, you're right. But I like to encourage even wacky creativity, so I'm inclined to judge that if someone devoted themselves to advancing the word of their hand puppet, that's enough to qualify as a cause.

It's remarkably ambigious, and is left up to DM definition (as it should be, I feel). The rules don't forbid getting divine power from a handpuppet, as long as the DM sanctions that puppet as a source of divine power.

People will still see that some people's worldviews result in them getting free power, and some people's worldviews do not. This is different than anything that happens in our world, and it's unlikely that a world that demonstrates such behaviour would resemble ours. And I submit that such demonstrations of power will not supply the human need to believe in something greater than we can comprehend.
You're extrapolating based on the real world. This thread is about 10% rationalization based on the rules that exist, and about 30% speculation on what might be.

Of course it wouldn't resemble ours. That's like imagining aliens have the same definate 'intelligence' that humans do. Of course they won't. It's absurd to think that extraterrestrial life will even have eyes. But that doesn't make it easy to play an alien in a sci-fi RPG. It's like trying to analyze the psychology of elves. You can only go so far based on the loose information presented. I think speculation on the nature of religion, which isn't even in consensous as existing in the real world, could be usefully applied to a fantasy world. ;) Find out what you want, make sure it makes sense, and that's about all ya need, right?

People will still see that some people's worldviews result in them getting free power, and some people's worldviews do not.
Doesn't it require training to develop the rituals needed to summon divine energy for a mere instant? Or is it truly free to you? Because it doesn't have to be that way, and I think you'll find some of the problems evaporating if it's not. These are areas that the rules don't codify, only suggest, so there's lots of room for interpretation. But the world seems to make more sense if it requires as much training to summon the healing powers of the gods for a mere instant, rather than being "huh, my hands glow and heal wounds, ain't that a kick in the pants?"

If we go by the rules, there is no effort involved (except for the fact that there's nothing else you can do). If you want to extrapolate from the rules, for either physical actions (save for movement) or for spell casting, that's fine; but it isn't in the books.
Yup, it's extrapolation based on what the rules suggest. The rules suggest that spells are more than just things that happen with some fancy words. They suggest they're more than effortless. Or at least, there is nothing to suggest that they are any less effort than running 20 ft. in plate mail, as a for instance. If you'd like to suggest that running 20 ft. in plate mail is effortless because someone could do it all day without a penalty, go for it. ;) But I find the world makes more sense if you decide that spells aren't effortless...and it makes magic seem far less trivial. Trivial is OK, but it's hardly implied, just because you take no penalty for doing it.

There's no evidence to suggest that it takes any sort of effort, either. There is some kind of limit on casting spells that seems to come from nowhere - you can increase your spells per day by doing things like killing goblins, or sneaking back home past curfew, or winning the hand of Snow White. There's nothing to suggest that the number of spells you can cast per day is tied to anything except the number and difficulty of challenges you've faced in your life.
Challenges hone your body and your mind more than sitting in your room reading scrolls all day, in D&D. Higher levels mean you can handle more mental stress, and thus use more mental powers than those who have not endured such challenges. You simiply do not know mental pain until you've seen the horrors of a goblin up close. Until then, no matter how much you read in your tower, you are ignorant to the way the world truly works. Until you have lived life on the edge, you have never truly lived.

You only have the energy to harnass the divine powers a few times per day. No more -- your mind simply won't let you overwhelm it like that.

OR

I wave my hands and stuff happens. I got this power, mostly just 'cuz I really like the gods and believe in them and they like me. Need a cure? No sweat! The gods listen to me...at least, for a few times each day.

Both are valid interpretations of the rules as written. Which one you prefer is largely up to you. I think the world is more interesting with the first option, though. Miracles are not something that just happen with the twinkling of fingers, and to assume that spellcasting is effortless is to dismiss the hours of preparation and years of training that go into even harnassing the minor powers of the mind, the spirit, and the will.

You like the second better? Sure. But then, why don't the clerics heal every broken toe that comes to them? That question remains, if magic is effortless. It is dealt with if it is not. :)
 

Wombat

First Post
Ever wonder what a Sunday-Go-To-Meetin' Evil person is like in these worlds?

"Oh, yeah, th' wife likes t'go t'temple nouw an' agin, but I'm no' tha' much in'trested in the sacreefisses an' all tha'" ;)
 

Klaus

First Post
One reason for a spellcaster not to spend all his spells is that he might have an early errand the next morning and can't afford to:

A) Rest for 8 hours;

B) Spend an entire hour preparing his spells;

Also, spells with material components mean that the caster has to buy spell component pouches (this hurts arcanes more than divines but still...).

BTW, this is my favorite thread in a while! Kudos to all!
 

Storminator

First Post
barsoomcore said:
They say that there exist sources of divine power besides the gods. That doesn't mean that anyone can make up any source of divine power anytime they like, just by wishing really hard.
IMC, belief creates divine power. So yeah, you can make up divine sources by wishing really hard! :)

Of course it takes a lot of people wishing the same sorts of things, but it's possible.

PS
 

kigmatzomat

First Post
Kamikaze Midget said:
But such is not the case, when following the rules as they are written for generating towns, for the income of commoners, for finding out how common to the everyday commoner magic really *is* in D&D. So I present to you my findings, based on the Rules As Written.

My thesis: Magic isn't common to the everyday person, but it is common to the PC's, who AREN'T everyday people.

I disagree, based on the RaW. I think magic is common, but not understood, much like televisions and microwaves.

As per the DMG, following the Rules As Written:
* "Small communities are much more common than larger ones. In
* 70% of all communities have populations 2,000 and below. Their

I agree with this and from my previous posts I go so far as to say that 70% of the populace live in communities under 1,000.

* There is precious little magical power in these towns.
In that 50%, the presence of spellcasters is minimal.

Aaaaand now I start disagreeing.

Using a Thorpe (-3 modifier) there is a 50% chance of a bard, 50% chance of a cleric, 50% chance of druid, 50% chance adept, 25% chance wizard, and 25% sorceror. This means:

87.5% chance of a divine caster
93.75% chance of a caster who can use CLW
71.875% chance of an arcane caster
96.485% chance of there being *any* caster in the community
plus the 5% wildcard chance of having a >8th level druid

The quickly start approaching 100% at the village level. With less than 5% of communities not counting a caster as a neighbor, I can't see the commoner not being familiar with seeing it. It maybe like fireworks and laser light shows drawing oohs and aahs, but it isn't screams of terror and people panicking.

* With this capacity, half of the places in the entire world do not have access to 2nd level spells.

Each thorpe has a 33% chance of 2nd level spells. Assuming each thorpe is within easy access of 2 other communities, more than 70% of the population can get 2nd level spells. (See post 103 http://www.enworld.org/forums/showpost.php?p=1710259&postcount=103)


* Assuming a lot of the people can get a special discount on the spellcasting services (Would you charge your own mother for magic?), this still changes the world in no discernable fashion. So the druid's uncle never has to worry about a drought...4 gallons of water a month isn't going to save the field of every commoner, or even most of them. This is assuming 0 monsters...but....

I agree. The amount of spells available (several hundred people vying for maybe three dozen spells/day) and cost (even after discounts) means there isnt' much magic to go around.

* Monsters raid your village about twice per day. Now monsters enter the equasion. The random wilderness encounter table says that in verdant/civilized areas, there's a 10% chance per hour of having 'an encounter.' Which is extrapolated to once in every 10 hours, or about twice per day.
* The fuedal system protects you from monsters. Assuming the place is a farm, the Plains will probably be a reasonable environment for the encounter table, ne?

Agree and disagree. Yes, 10%/hour roughly equates to 2 encounters/day. *BUT* I think it should be off the "Civilized" region table, not the wilderness tables. Commoners don't live in the wilderness; they hide behind the wall of soldiers and pay taxes.

* Commoners need BAB and HD too! This is also where the people of the town gain their XP. People in D&D town aren't all pushovers...there's one ninth level commoner in over half of the communities on the earth, and that guy got his XP from someplace

The average level in a thorpe is 7th and it goes up to 13th! See my previous posts about how an orc band will wipe out on a village.

* They've never seen a magic sword in their lives.

Nahh, they probably see one every year at the regional fair. A glowing sword makes for a handy item of rank so the Baron probably has one as a sign of office. Touched one? Maybe as a child, but probably not.

So, all that in mind...here's your life of your Average D&D Commoner
- Lives in a "Village"-level town
or smaller. Likely smaller.

- The only full plate he's ever seen is on that fighter that the king sent to deal with the gnolls.

Probably sees it at the fair on the magic-sword weilding Baron.

So IMO, the common man knows at least one caster by name (and vice versa) and knows the names of a couple more that live in nearby communities. There's a couple of older farmers and some militia members who are able to keep most of the wandering toughs (bandits and adventurers) from getting uppity when the patrols aren't around.

Most encounters are smaller wild animals, people (including bandits) or people with templates (ghosts, vampires, etc). (See post 103 http://www.enworld.org/forums/showpost.php?p=1710259&postcount=103)
Maybe every other day there's something that *could* go badly but usually there's enough resources in the community to slow the threat down until help can be summoned.

Of course, that means help must be close enough to be summoned so communities tend to be close, likely only a few hours away to the nearest small community and definitely no more than 2 days oxen-travel away from a town which is 1 day's hard ride by horse. The close proximity also makes regular patrols possible.

Out past the perimeter the world immediately turns to "there be monsters" and most anyone who lives beyond the patrol zone is considered crazy or tough as nails.
 

Rhialto

First Post
I quite like this thread.

Of course, it should be mentioned that if an NPC lives in or near a kingdom dominated by a secretive evil wizard guild his attitude towards magic is likely going to be quite different then what you're writing about here. At this point, your 1st-2nd level wizard/sorcerer is probably either: a) a lowly emissary from the Guild whose wiling away the hours in this outpost, probably on punishment duty, b)a spy for the Guild operating undercover to dig out info, or c) a good or neutral Obi Wan type who is probably hiding out and looking over his shoulder for a) or b).

Also, evil wizards are probably not going to allow too many magic items, friendly priests, and anything that can cause the populace to think there's any chance of taking down said evil wizards...

(And let's be honest here--there are enough of them to trouble adventurers and the world at large, so they must be affecting things...)
 


kigmatzomat

First Post
Rhialto said:
Of course, it should be mentioned that if an NPC lives in or near a kingdom dominated by a secretive evil wizard guild his attitude towards magic is likely going to be quite different then what you're writing about here.

I tried to avoid discussing the like/dislike and more the amount of knowledge they have. There is a difference between "She's a witch, burn her!" and "She's a black Sorceror of Mum-Ra! Burn her!"

Also, evil wizards are probably not going to allow too many magic items, friendly priests, and anything that can cause the populace to think there's any chance of taking down said evil wizards...

True, but that's region specific and detailed to a given setting. I'm of the opinion the High Council of Evil Wizards probably made deals with the Grand Convention of Evil Clerics to take over the area. Clerics are just too useful *not* to have them. And dark wizards tend to be impatient and not fond of the time it takes to heal naturally.

I do have a region IMC where the populace is generally not allowed to be armed and priests can only be of the official religions. Ironically, there are *more* priests and wizards because they are agents of the state. The players are just arriving so we'll see how they deal.
 

I'm A Banana

Potassium-Rich
So IMO, the common man knows at least one caster by name (and vice versa) and knows the names of a couple more that live in nearby communities. There's a couple of older farmers and some militia members who are able to keep most of the wandering toughs (bandits and adventurers) from getting uppity when the patrols aren't around.
Right, but this means that "every peasant has a +5 sword for sale at the closest shop in normal D&D", as hyperbolically suggested, really is out of the water.

People in D&D have seen magic. But people in the real world have seen UFO's. Magic is no less mysterious than that. ;)
 

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