D&D General What does "magic" mean? [Read carefully, you can't change your vote]

What does "magic" mean?


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Yup. It's a god. It can literally, by definition, do anything it wants to.

Yup. It's a god. It can literally, by definition, do anything it wants to.

Yes, it's a god. It can literally, by definition, do anything it wants to.

And, considering that a cleric can remove curse on that cursed yellow sword, I don't know how you could possibly argue that it's not magic. At what point is a cursed magic sword not a magic sword?

Like I said, it's all just magic.

But, ki is absolutely the best example of a "different" type of power source that is totally orphaned. Nothing in the game, outside of monks, references it. Nothing. No monsters, no NPC's, no settings. It doesn't exist anywhere other than for one specific class. If you removed it from the game, absolutely nothing would change. It it pure flavor text and has no impact whatsoever. Call it ki, call it a mocha java power. Doesn't matter. It's just magic by another name. And, like any other "magic by another name" power source, it's completely pointless. It adds nothing to the game and is simply a color text.
okay then if all magic is the same why do we seem to have so many magic classes should we not just pick one?
Yes qi and prana and other real world and fictional conceptions like the force think of life energy and vital force as a natural part of the universe that can do fantastic things and that in general people could be trained to use it (although the force and magic sometimes have a big genetic component for accessing it). In D&D anybody with enough intelligence and training could in theory become a wizard, anybody with enough wisdom could become a cleric, anybody can make a pact with an entity and gain arcane warlock magic.
cleric normally requires a god first to want the cleric, A wizard requires training and for the magic to work as a science or at least an empirical reliable process.

hence my belief that should we ever get a psion to put it thematically between monk and wizard.
 

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Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
This is just so bizarre.

The gods create the universe in D&D. They create all the living things in that universe. But, for reasons, psionics isn't part of the universe? Umm, what?
Gods don't always create the universe in D&D.
Gods don't always create anything that came from other universes.

For example in the 4e default setting. The primordials created the universe and the other things created the Far Realm. So elemental and psionics power sources are completely divorced from and foreign to the gods.

In most settings. psioinics isn't natural and came from somewhere else. It's Lovecraftian/GOO/Star/Ctan/Alien/Other energy. So its source isn't magic in those settings and thats why psions and psioniccreatures are even more rare. This is why most of them are aberrations: they break even magic law because their supernaturalness isn't powered by magic.

5e only has 2 nonmagical classes because everyone wanted to play a caster. Note, even AD&D only had 2 completely non-caster classes - fighter and thief. Rangers and paladins both had spells and monks had lots of magical abilities. So, it's not like things have changed all that much. Granted, totally true that 5e cranks the dial way up and pretty much everyone is a caster, fair enough. I've always argued that 5e was Potterverse.

D&Dgives everything magic frank because its easy. You describe the ability once and reuse it a lot.

D&D used to, when it wanted tosell a whole book, create whole new classes with fully written features. And many times used get nonmagical classes like psions, barbarians, crusaders, and warlocks.

5e decidedto not create new classes and effects and reused the same classes, features, and spells over and over and over and over. Hence 11 magic classes.
 

Hussar

Legend
okay then if all magic is the same why do we seem to have so many magic classes should we not just pick one?

Because having different classes is interesting? After all, all fighters and rogues are non-magical, so, should we do away with them? They play pretty differently, despite being 100% identical in the source of their class abilities. It's almost as if things like "where does magic come from" doesn't actually matter.

cleric normally requires a god first to want the cleric, A wizard requires training and for the magic to work as a science or at least an empirical reliable process.
Explain Sorcerers then. And, how do Warlocks cast arcane magic if dieties have no access to arcane magic, only divine. Since deities cannot, apparently, have any affect on psionics, how are they giving warlocks spells that they cannot give to their clerics?

hence my belief that should we ever get a psion to put it thematically between monk and wizard.

Fair enough. I wouldn't mind that at all. But, if getting a psion means that we must add a completely new system just to accomodate it, then, no, I have zero interest. It will just be yet another book that I will automatically ban at my table because I have zero interest in doing the work for it. If they give use psionics the way it's been presented in Tasha's, then, groovy. No problems. It works with existing mechanics and I don't need to futz about with trying to pound square pegs into round holes for no real benefit.
 

Hussar

Legend
/snip

D&D used to, when it wanted tosell a whole book, create whole new classes with fully written features. And many times used get nonmagical classes like psions, barbarians, crusaders, and warlocks.

5e decidedto not create new classes and effects and reused the same classes, features, and spells over and over and over and over. Hence 11 magic classes.
Yup, and those classes received zero support, were almost always instantly orphaned and relegated to gathering dust because, outside of a few die hard fans, nobody even bothered remembering they existed most of the time.

4e, by the tail end of the edition, had what, 30+ different classes, all told. It was a complete mess. Totally unnecessary. The idea that every single concept needs a complete class for it has been the bane of the game for many editions. Add in a subclass? Sure, it's using the same base mechanics of an existing class so it fits in pretty easily. Force me to try to remember twenty different classes and what they do? Bugger that.

Heck, the fact that you consider warlocks, psions and crusaders non-magical means that we're simply not speaking even remotely the same language.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Yup, and those classes received zero support, were almost always instantly orphaned and relegated to gathering dust because, outside of a few die hard fans, nobody even bothered remembering they existed most of the time.
Well that's a whole different problem.
If a class is orphaned it still existed.

Choosing to forget them an retcon them by the IP holders is a conscious decision.

4e, by the tail end of the edition, had what, 30+ different classes, all told. It was a complete mess. Totally unnecessary. The idea that every single concept needs a complete class for it has been the bane of the game for many editions. Add in a subclass? Sure, it's using the same base mechanics of an existing class so it fits in pretty easily. Force me to try to remember twenty different classes and what they do? Bugger that.

Unnecessary? That's like your opinion, man.
TSR and WOTC only getting creative late in an edition every single time.

Everything doesn't need to be a separate class. However if TSR/WOC thought up a new idea that works with the lore,they thought up a new idea that works with the lore. I mean the whole "rangers and paladins cast spells" is due to the designers or each edition not wanting to make a scaling crafting and practice system and just reused the spell system.

It's the same thing every edition. TSR/WOTC reuse the spell and magic item system to recreate the classics. Then midway in the edition, they flood the game with magic items, spells, and creatures. Finally late in the edition, in order to sell new books (since everyone is tired or disappointed with the magic flood), new nonmagical and magical concepts are explored.

D&D always waits to the end of an edition to let the creative juices flow and usually doesn't take much of the previously created ideas to the start of a new edition.

Frankly I'll take 20 classes with 3 subclasses each over 13 classes with 7-10 subclasses that jump all over the place.

Heck, the fact that you consider warlocks, psions and crusaders non-magical means that we're simply not speaking even remotely the same language.
Well only Star/GOO Warlocks. I'd separate them into their own class.

But since you don't think psions and psionic crusaders are non-magical in the sense of how D&D describes magic, then we are far apart on what we see magic is structurally.

But I'm rather Hard Magic in the way I see D&D magic and my ideas would jive with Soft Magic fans.
 

Because having different classes is interesting? After all, all fighters and rogues are non-magical, so, should we do away with them? They play pretty differently, despite being 100% identical in the source of their class abilities. It's almost as if things like "where does magic come from" doesn't actually matter.


Explain Sorcerers then. And, how do Warlocks cast arcane magic if dieties have no access to arcane magic, only divine. Since deities cannot, apparently, have any affect on psionics, how are they giving warlocks spells that they cannot give to their clerics?



Fair enough. I wouldn't mind that at all. But, if getting a psion means that we must add a completely new system just to accomodate it, then, no, I have zero interest. It will just be yet another book that I will automatically ban at my table because I have zero interest in doing the work for it. If they give use psionics the way it's been presented in Tasha's, then, groovy. No problems. It works with existing mechanics and I don't need to futz about with trying to pound square pegs into round holes for no real benefit.
okay if that is true would not having some classes that run on a different casting system also logically be interesting?

sorcerers are born magic or artificially made magic like how deadpool got his power they are really the born special trope made flesh.
 

AD&D DMG, pg 118, fifth paragraph.
AD&D PHB, pgs 14, 83-84.
AD&D DMG, pg 125.

What are you seeing? I'm looking at the page and don't see dwarves mentioned anywhere. The fifth paragraph talks about druids making items applicable to their profession, but, again, not really applicable to how dwarves or elves make items. And, note, other than, "items of the highest quality", there's no actual money mentioned. Nor, again, what the applicable spells actually are. What spells make an elven cloak? A girdle of dwarfkind?


Ok, racial level limits. I know. Which means no PC clerics, so a PC dwarf can never craft magic items. And, again, how do they enchant a magic ring when clerics don't have any of the requisite spells? And yup, page 84 is Enchant an Item, which Dwarves can never cast.

Never minding that Enchant an Item specifically requires permanancy, which neither elves nor dwarves can ever cast. So, again, how do they make the items?


This is the listing for potions. :erm:

So, yeah, I'm going to keep right on saying that the rules here are pretty much nonexistent.
Seriously?

Okay- Surely I'm not the only DM that allowed dwarven clerics when the table stated that they existed. (1) I surmise that they were "NPC only" because a dwarven cleric would never fail a Poison / Death saving throw. Notably, all such race / class combinations were clerics or druids. It seemed that Gary recognized that all races would have a faith, but didn't like them "on stage" for whatever reason. So, yes, let's presume a dwarven cleric for a moment. Now, the rules do say that the minimum clerical level is 11th for item enchanting. (2) I did indeed bend this for dwarven clerics at first, although later this restriction was restored when class and level limits were later adjusted in Unearthed Arcana (3). At this point PC dwarven clerics were explicitly allowed.

Clerics and druids making an item which is applicable to their profession must spend a fortnight in retreat, meditating in complete isolation. Thereafter, he or she must spend a sennight fasting. Finally, he or she must pray over and purify the item to become magical (this process takes but a day). Of course, the item must be of the finest quality just as detailed in the enchant an item spell description. Thereafter the cleric or druid must place the item upon his or her altar and invoke the direct favor of his or her deity to instill a special power into the item. There is a 1% per day cumulative chance that the item will then be empowered as desired, providing the cleric or druid has been absolutely exemplary in his or her faith and alignment requirements. Furthermore, if the item is one with charges, the cleric or druid must then take it into seclusion and cast the requisite spells upon it, doing so within 24 hours of its being favored by the deity. In other cases, the item need only be sanctified to the appropriate deity in order to complete its manufacture. (4)

That's what I'm seeing. The cleric spends three weeks in seclusion and fasting, ritually cleanses the item, and then prays upon it until the god empowers the item. This should take 10-14 days on average. So plan on 5-6 weeks of down time for the cleric. And, since it needs to be said, clerics don't need enchant an item they just follow the guidelines regarding item quality.

Okay, that covers talent and time, what about money? What are the costs? That's pretty vague for this example, definitely. If I had chosen something else it would be better covered. Costs for potions, scrolls, and spell research are pretty explicit. If you look on the "potion list" page, in the upper left had quarter you will see the list III.H Miscellaneous Weapons (5). Result 63 - Hammer +3, Dwarven Thrower, GP Sale Value 15,000 gp. Here is the guidance for cost. Determine some percentage that is reasonable. This is the cost for not only the mundane hammer but also the incense, chanters, food during seclusion, &c. And, since it's a fancy hammer, allocate another month of time for the hammer to be forged once all of the special components have been delivered to the NPC dwarven master smith.

Therefore, you need a PC dwarven cleric, 11th level (18 Wis), two months of time, and 15,000 gp, rounding up. With one caveat, although with guidance, all explicitly by the rules of AD&D.

Is it as tidy and straight-forward as 3e? Certainly not. That the AD&D DMG needed serious editing is no news. But it's there.


(1) - AD&D PHB, pg 14, Race Table II
(2) - AD&D DMG, pg 116, first column, eighth paragraph
(3) - AD&D UA, pg 8, Table II.A: Dwarves
(4) - AD&D DMG, pg 118, first column, fifth paragraph
(5) - AD&D DMG, pg 125, first column, Table III.H Miscellaneous Weapons
 

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