D&D General The Crab Bucket Fallacy


Well, healing potions are just standard adventuring equipment nowadays, you don't even need to have a magic mart to get them. Even in a low magic game, I'd expect that they'd be fairly easy to acquire.

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I’m trying and failing to sleep off a sinus infection so my dumb, suffering brain says “lets look at ENW for a moment.”

I see this thread. Oofta, que?

This is some pretty serious insight I think.

In all my B/X games, all my RC games, my looooooong 3.x FR game continued from late 2e (/killme), my Shadow of Yesterday game, my multiple 4e games, the 5e game I co-GMed through level 18, my multiple Dungeon World/Stonetop games, my multiple Torchbearer games, my one-off Burning Wheel/Cortex Fantasy Heroic/13th Age/Beyond the Wall games…

Not a one of them featured prolific healing potions that could be “bought by the pallete.” Never a “magic-mart” was there.
And if there ever was either of those things (forget both…either), I wouldn’t for a moment conceive of my game as “low magic.”

This could be revelatory in the same way that “oh..6-8, resource-draining, combat encounters a day is totally legit…not awkward as hell to resolve with any consistency nor crippling to pacing (table time pacing specifically or pacing of unfolding fiction generally)” is. Is this a thing out there in D&D meatspace? Healing potions by the pallet + magic-marts? And then the calculation yielding = low magic?

If this is common feature/conception of games out in the wild, then man does it explain a lot about various divides (both in outcomes and in the process that derives those divergent outcomes).

I totally understand the phenomena of GMs extrapolating fictional backstory to executing blocks on powerful spellcasters (well of course my BBEGs enclave and every antagonist ever would have the full suite of Anti-Wizard9000 measures! Of course they would…no security measures are ever foiled, breached, or faulty in the real world! And medieval cultures were cleverer-er!). I obviously don’t agree with it, but I know how it works, and I know that it happens, and I know the role it plays in the discussion.

But I had no idea about the above. I’d love to hear more and I’d love and love to hear other testimonials on the subject.

Thread necromancy is strong today! ;)

In any case, healing potions are just considered common items in 5E. Also relatively low magic world is just that, relative to other campaigns. Relative to FR where there's an archmage in every other pub? Eberron with magic trains? Planescape with, well Plancescape stuff? It's relatively low magic.

It's not that my world is not imbued with magic, it's just that it's more subtle and for the most part focused more on practical implementations of magic. But that's a whole other topic.

I have a limited magic mart because A) I want to give people something to spend gold on B) I rarely do dungeon crawls and treasure hordes tend not to be a thing C) Because magic items effectively last forever. Especially with that last one, people may not be cranking out magical swords on a regular basis but that enchanted sword from may have been in a shipwreck for 300 years but it still won't show a spot of rust. Most people would find a cold storage chest far more useful than a +1 sword, so the sword gets sold.

P.S. Good luck with the sinus infection. I used to have them a couple times a year before I started irrigating my nasal passages with salt water using a devices that's basically a water pick for your nose.


The EN World kitten
P.S. Good luck with the sinus infection. I used to have them a couple times a year before I started irrigating my nasal passages with salt water using a devices that's basically a water pick for your nose.
I recommend sleeping next to a humidifier; that solved a lot of sinus problems for me.


Be sure to purchase a good one and clean it regularly. Those can cause all kinds of health problems if you dont.
I've actually had the most luck with a larger full house model with integrated humidistat. You want to get some bacteriostatic additive to keep them clean, but then you can just set an appropriate humidity and keep your living space there consistently.

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