The limiting drawback of character customization

Yaarel

Adventurer
I think of them as Daemonic perhaps as in having life of their own and being part of the worlds cycles like living being are as well. Keying them as symbols abstracts a bit far for me.
The problem with using Greek terms is they inevitable cause people to assume a Greek (polytheistic) worldview.

In an animistic worldview, objects are the actual objects themselves, whether trees or stones or thunderstorms.

The minds of these nonhuman objects may or may not take on the form of a human, just like a human mage may or may not take on the form of a wolf.

These nonhuman objects are at the same time minds.



The best way to create a ‘magic item’ in D&D is the same way that any spiritual tradition does: a dreamlike conflation of related symbols.

For example, the ring that drips gold rings.

This magic item conflates the following symbols:
• endless seasonal cycles
• solar corona around the sun
• Óðinn as an aspect of the sky whose calendar ‘regulates’ (advises or rules) other objects of the sky
• Óðinn understood as a Jarl ‘chieftain’, who the other skyey objects elected
• The chieftain as a giver of a gold ring to reward a loyal supporter



So in the creation of any D&D magic item. Brainstorm a free association of concepts. Look at the results. Tie together the ones that are interesting. This diagram defines both the form of the magic item and the kinds of magical powers that it will have. The diagram will also show who created the magic item.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
The problem with using Greek terms is they inevitable cause people to assume a Greek (polytheistic) worldview
D&D has a pretty long term polytheistic view ;p ... That said for me Daemonics are less part of any divine hierarchy and as I understand it they are perhaps part of the creation process or spin offs of it and a back end of those objects (the mind which manifests the physicality as you put it). More animistic even if it is from Greek origin. To me seeing pantheons as people is not just anthropomorphism but heroic transcendence a solid D&D theme where in the manner you spoke the hero becomes the symbol.
 

Yaarel

Adventurer
D&D has a pretty long term polytheistic view ;p ... That said for me Daemonics are less part of any divine hierarchy and as I understand it they are perhaps part of the creation process or spin offs of it and a back end of those objects (the mind which manifests the physicality as you put it). More animistic even if it is from Greek origin. To me seeing pantheons as people is not just anthropomorphism but heroic transcendence a solid D&D theme where in the manner you spoke the hero becomes the symbol.

The Greek term Daimon means ‘nature spirit’. Customs preserve an echo of having once been animistic cultures. Nevertheless, by the Classical Age (Archaic Period, Hellenistic Period, Roman Period), Greeks formally worshiped nature spirits via cultic offerings, and referred to dryad (trees), nymph espeically naiad (wellsprings), and so on as ‘gods’.

It is better to think of such beings as trolls and elves, aspects of nature that might be dangerous or helpful. The ethical goal of the animist is to coexist peacefully (or at least constructively) with other beings.

Better yet, is to think of such beings as entirely nonanthropomorphic. They are the actual object. A beautiful majestic mountain has a mental impact − namely, a psychic presence.



When a specific human becomes a specific feature of nature, they can remember being a human but they are no longer a human. For example, in Norse animism, Skírnir (cloudless sky) is apparently a human who became an agent of Freyr (fertile weather). The converse can happen too: actual fire, Logi, manifested as a human and became an ancestor of a human family famous for their beauty and muscularity. Humans too are a kind of nature spirit, and the different kinds of nature spirits can intermingle, even immigrate from one to an other. An other example is Barðr, who is a specific mountain in Norway. This mountain manifested outofbody (or rather the mind of the mountain manifested out-of-mountain) in adopting a human form. He traveled with humans to Iceland, but there gave up human life, and became the mind of the glacial cap of a volcano in Iceland.

Despite the possibility of mental connectivity and outofbody manifestations, these minds are physical objects of nature.
 
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That is because of the modernistic technobabble. Where ‘psionics’ equals ‘psyche + electronics’.
Well, yeah, that's where the term came from. In the 50s, when they were appending -onics' to anything, the way were doing ".com" not so long ago.

These were modern parapsychology attempts to quantify scientifically human worldviews that continue to exist since prehistoric times even until today.
Or since the terms was coined in the publishing arena, to render supernatural storylines acceptable to an audience that was starting to respect science fiction as something more legitimate than pulps, but still dismissive of fantasy.

But ultimately, the word ‘psion’ seems redeemable because it literally means ‘the moving of the soul’ (psykhe - ion). The personal conscious soul can make things move. The form of the mind can influence.
It might be closer to animistic worldviews to use the term ‘mindforces’ or ‘dreamtime’ or so on, instead of ‘psionics’.
That's a much better take on it, for D&D purposes, sure.

I was fine with Mystic - I retreaded psionics in my 2e campaign as a school of mysticism, so, hey - but with virtually the full history of the game behind it it's surely too late to un-seat or re-define 'psionics.'
 

Yaarel

Adventurer
I was fine with Mystic - I retreaded psionics in my 2e campaign as a school of mysticism, so, hey - but with virtually the full history of the game behind it it's surely too late to un-seat or re-define 'psionics.'
Yeah. If 5e now uses the ‘Mystic’ and ‘mysticism’, to mean ‘Psion’ and ‘psionics’, that is great. It fits better for a medievalesque setting, and other settings too.

They would need to double down on clearly conveying how, for D&D, ‘mysticism’ means mental powers. But that can happen seemlessly by using terms like ‘consciousness’, ‘mind forces’, ‘mind magic’, ‘dream’, ‘trance’, ‘outofbody’, ‘form’, ‘self’, ‘self-image’, ‘identity’, ‘enlightenment’, ‘rapport’, ‘thought’, ‘empathy’, ‘compassion’, and so on.

Referring to the Mystic class and the mystical archetypes of the classes in the Players Handbook also sounds fine.

Some years ago, I was using the term Mystic to refer to a psionic Cleric. So it works well.

Sorta like ‘Drow’ are occasionally referred to as ‘Dark Elves’, it is possible to normally call mind magic ‘mysticism’ and occasionally mention the term ‘psionics’.
 
Back in the day, if you were a fighter, it didn’t matter what magic item you found. Axe? Mace? Pole arm? You used it without a second thought because you were equally skilled in all weapons and armor
Pish. Back in the day if you were a fighter playing the rules as written you specialised in either longswords or greatswords because they were clearly the best weapons mechanically for several reasons:
  1. A mace might do d6+1 damage vs a longsword's d8 against medium sized targets, but the longsword was doing d12 as against d6 against large targets.
  2. The magic items tables dictated that there were more longswords than magic weapons of all other types combined (oD&D), 40% of all magic weapons were swords (1e), or they were three times as common as spears, four and a half times as common as scimitars or daggers, and at least nine times as common as everything else (2e) and they had better abilities.
  3. The fighter types (and thief) effectively had "ability to wield longswords and greatswords" as a class feature - or more accurately clerics were banned from edged weapons as a balance feature to prevent them using swords. It was subtle and kicked in more at high levels both as magic weapons became more common and you became more likely to face big foes.
  4. Polearms real advantages came when you were acting as part of a large unit - which was something you mostly did at low levels, hirelings being about as effective as tissue paper at high level.
It was only one of the D&D 3.0 failed attempts at balance that didn't take the entire system into account that tore out this system entirely and made weapons mechanically equivalent, while making them equal in terms of what magical abilities they were likely to get.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Pish. Back in the day if you were a fighter playing the rules as written you specialised in either longswords or greatswords because they were clearly the best weapons mechanically for several reasons:
  1. A mace might do d6+1 damage vs a longsword's d8 against medium sized targets, but the longsword was doing d12 as against d6 against large targets.
  2. The magic items tables dictated that there were more longswords than magic weapons of all other types combined (oD&D), 40% of all magic weapons were swords (1e), or they were three times as common as spears, four and a half times as common as scimitars or daggers, and at least nine times as common as everything else (2e) and they had better abilities.
  3. The fighter types (and thief) effectively had "ability to wield longswords and greatswords" as a class feature - or more accurately clerics were banned from edged weapons as a balance feature to prevent them using swords. It was subtle and kicked in more at high levels both as magic weapons became more common and you became more likely to face big foes.
  4. Polearms real advantages came when you were acting as part of a large unit - which was something you mostly did at low levels, hirelings being about as effective as tissue paper at high level.
It was only one of the D&D 3.0 failed attempts at balance that didn't take the entire system into account that tore out this system entirely and made weapons mechanically equivalent, while making them equal in terms of what magical abilities they were likely to get.

There was D&D before weapon specialization (see my reply to another poster above). Back in the day to me means every weapon did d6 damage and there were no things like weapon specialization (OD&D and B/X).
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
There was D&D before weapon specialization (see my reply to another poster above). Back in the day to me means every weapon did d6 damage and there were no things like weapon specialization (OD&D and B/X).
Describe that one minutes worth of attacking the way you like and move on.....
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I like magic items that will transform to fit the wielder like a one ring that changes size.
Most wearable magic items in our games do this, at least to some extent.

Making "magic" and magic items inflexible out of some simulationist urge (what are you simulating science?) doesn't appeal at all.
As a matter of fact, yes I do see magic - or the study and-or control of it - as another branch of science. Stay-at-home lab wizards are simply scientists studying magic: they develop the theory, and adventuring wizards put it into practice.

And sometimes the dividing line between magic and science is very fuzzy indeed.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Edit: Besides if you have a powergamer, the answer is never to just cripple the character
Seems a better option than crippling the player.......

Keeps you out of jail, too. :)

Just like we can take my example above in good or bad faith, in this case we can also ask: Is it about game verisimilitude or the DM is just too lazy to change what is written on the adventure?
Assuming the DM's running a canned module, of course, then if it ever becomes known the DM changed out the loot then she's potentially opened up a can o' worms:

a) she changes the loot to be more in line with what (a) character(s) specifically want, risking accusatons of favouritism if done badly and making the game seem more "pre-packaged" in any case
b) she changes the loot to be less in line with what (a) character(s) specifically want, risking accusations of denying players the items they (think they) need to realize their concept
c) she changes the loot to be different but equally in line with what (a) character(s) want, what's the point?

Also, chances are that a DM who's running a canned module is doing to in order to save some time and effort, so accusing said DM of laziness for not putting in some of the very time and effort they're trying to save seems a bit off somehow.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
The problem with using Greek terms is they inevitable cause people to assume a Greek (polytheistic) worldview.
>shrug<

I just assume that anyway, and have done with it.

Most ancient cultures were polytheistic to some degree or other, not just the Greeks.
 

Garthanos

Arcadian Knight
Most ancient cultures were polytheistic to some degree or other, not just the Greeks.
and those that became monotheistic began polytheistic but he is talking about earlier yet.
Most wearable magic items in our games do this, at least to some extent.
The word I think of is "ergonomic"... and it's not just about wearables it's the entire relationship between magic and its users/wielders which is different which is why I mentioned fated wielders and items that grow with the users and items which become magical from the enemies they kill and items that reform to users needs and items that cleave to bloodlines and so on magic was more alive back when. I think treating it as just "tech" really misses out on story and distinctions that show sure science may have eventually said no it doesn't work that way but that measured and disciplined / controlled thinking wasn't part of a lot of human history when the concept of magic was very dominant.
 
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MoonSong

Rules-lawyering drama queen... Be nice plz n_n
Seems a better option than crippling the player.......

Keeps you out of jail, too.
Maybe some communication is better? like:
"Hey you are drawing the fun away from the table. Maybe you should tone it down?"
instead of:
"Well, your character is a combat beast, so I just won't give you the magic weapon you need to hit a monster ever again"


Also, chances are that a DM who's running a canned module is doing to in order to save some time and effort, so accusing said DM of laziness for not putting in some of the very time and effort they're trying to save seems a bit off somehow.
Just changing "dagger" for "glaive" or "sword" for "morningstar" if nobody on the party uses daggers nor swords?
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Just changing "dagger" for "glaive" or "sword" for "morningstar" if nobody on the party uses daggers nor swords?
While I see your point, I much prefer if the game world just neutrally is what it is without regard for whatever particular PCs might be running around in it at the moment.

Find a bunch of magic daggers that nobody can use?* Fine. Have your glaive-wielding PC claim them from treasury, take 'em back to town, and trade 'em in as down payment on commissioning of an enchanted glaive. (if the DM doesn't allow items to be commissioned you've got a bigger problem; all these magic items come from somewhere, which by logical extention means that 'somewhere' can build you a magic glaive)

* - given that nowadays pretty much every class in the game can use daggers and that it was on almost every class' permitted list even in 1e, dagger might not be the best example of a weapon that needs to be swapped out. :)
 

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