Exploring the Consequences of All things Magical


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Ok, a fun thread to discuss the odd consequences of magical things in the Pathfinder universe:

1) Can someone survive solely on summoned (not created as in create food and water) animals for food (if swallowed whole)?

Comment and add your own as you desire.


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Relevant

I would assume summoned creatures would vanish before you had time to derive any sustenance from them.


Between Mount and Alter Summoned Monster, you can get hour per level summons. Milk & eggs are reasonable. Swallow whole for smaller critters likely works as well.

/cevah


Dot


2) Maintaining territory is much more difficult. There are high-altitude fliers, people who can teleport, people who can burrow through the ground, and multiple separate planes of existence that people can travel between reliably. And there's still the "traditional" walk/ride to the territory en masse technique, and quite a few other threats.

None of these are even close to insurmountable problems, but defending against all of them simultaneously does require a significant investment of resources.


3) The 0-level spells "Purify Food and Drink" and "Create water" should mean that there should be very few if any communities without access to clean water. Granted this SOLVES problems instead of causing them, but considering how much of a global issue access to clean water is in OUR world this is a very big deal.

4) The 0-level spell "Mending" means that a lot of things that would be broken beyond repair are instead fixable. For example: an army has to have a LOT of supplies on hand to replace broken armor, weapons, etc. Simply by having a few level 1 spell casters with "Mending" you can have all of that equipment repaired, allowing the army to fight longer, hence this has the potential in increase warfare.

5) The 0-level spells "Detect Poison" and "Purify Food/Drink" means that ANYONE of significance who has any fear of being poisoned is going to have some level 1 spell caster on hand to go over all of their food. This means that assassination by food poisoning is not a viable strategy.

6) "Stone Shape", being a 3rd level cleric and 4th level sorcerer/wizard spell pretty much makes castle walls obsolete. You can either tunnel under the wall much easier than trying to dig a tunnel, or just make a tunnel through the castle wall.

7) A single arcane caster with a Wand of Fireball could decimate a good portion of an army by them selves. Take a CL5 Wand of Fireball(5d6, 20ft radious) doing an average of 6-10 damage per casting. With 50 castings that is a MINIMUM of 250 damage and a max of 1,250 damage, with the average being about 750 damage! A standard army of say lvl 2 warriors or fighters is going to have on average ABOUT 19HP each. Now these warriors can each take a few hits of fireball and an "army" is generally about 100 men. But since a CL5 Fireball has a range of 400+40*5=600ft the Mage is going to be able to have plenty of time to shoot a lot of fireballs at the army. Even IF they do not wipe out the army it would be significantly weakened, allowing allied forces to clean them up. Throw in a few more Mages with wands of fireball and you basically have a unite of Napoleonic Artillery vs people using melee weapons. It would be a slaughter. Yes Wizards and Sorcerers are supposed to be rare, but you would not even need that many. And keeping a few dozen Mages on hand would be cheaper in the long run than supplying hundreds if not thousands of men and horses.


8) "Remove Disease" is only a 3rd level cleric spell. While many magical diseases might require some kind of check of some kind, a mundane disease should not. This should greatly reduce the effects of plagues sweeping through lands and wiping out large portions of the population. Combine with "Purify Food/Drink" which would greatly reduced the potential of disease spreading via contaminated food and contaminated water and there is going to be a LOT less disease killing off people.


9) Clairaudience-Clairvoyance is a 3rd level Arcane Spell and has a Range of 400ft+40ft*CL, giving it a minimum range of 600ft at CL5. This means that a mage using this has the potential to observe anything within their radius. Spy on ambassadors, observe the princess meeting her secret lover, listen to the prince that you never really liked plot to the assassinate the King and blame it on you!


10) Charm Person is only a 1st level Arcane spell and while it does not give you control of a creature they are VERY friendly to you. How hard do you think it would be to convince your new best friend to do you a favor, especially if that favor messes with their boss that they never really liked in the first place. Charm Person is also the spell used to make the Elixir of Love. Just replace someone's drink with an Elixir of Love and boom, you just roofied somebody. Or just be a Bard, cast Charm Person on the pretty tavern waitress and then start flirting.

My point is that Charm Person is a lot more powerful and scarier than people give it credit for.


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Edward: 5). Two part poisons, neither toxic on their own. Any poison resistant to the spell.

The primary consequences of all things magical Is that Everyone will learn measures and counter-measures to deal with magic.
***Note that if your table believes that nothing should be allowed that interferes with caster superiority, read no further.***

Any army commander that doesn't have battle standards that protect from magic is negligent. He should have his own mages as well. Leaded arrows might get past mages lesser defenses, and would be cheap.

Walls can be warded to protect from magical sappers. For goodness sakes, if you build Castles to protect you from martials, why wouldn't you also incorporate magical defenses. (Because that would make the PCs feel less special?)


The question arises is just how prevalent are spellcasters that actually meet the requirements of all these beneficial spells. This, I think, would severely restrict the amount of 0-level/1st level spells available for these things.


Daw wrote:

Edward: 5). Two part poisons, neither toxic on their own. Any poison resistant to the spell.

The primary consequences of all things magical Is that Everyone will learn measures and counter-measures to deal with magic.
***Note that if your table believes that nothing should be allowed that interferes with caster superiority, read no further.***

Any army commander that doesn't have battle standards that protect from magic is negligent. He should have his own mages as well. Leaded arrows might get past mages lesser defenses, and would be cheap.

Walls can be warded to protect from magical sappers. For goodness sakes, if you build [i]Castles to protect you from martials, why wouldn't you also incorporate magical defenses. (Because that would make the PCs feel less special?)

I honestly think that people would probably stop with Castle walls for the same reason that we stopped using castles. They were more expensive than they were worth. We stopped making castle walls because cannons made them irrelevant. A few Mages with fly and wands of Fireball or stone shape would probably have a similar result. People would probably stop making huge fortified castles.

If you wanted to enchant your castle walls to be resistant/immune to stone shape that would make it a magic item. That means each individual piece of stone that makes up the castle wall is now a WONDROUS MAGIC ITEM! Think about how much the cost to your castle walls has now exponentially grown?!

Yes there are ways to block elemental damage, the lowest level options being resist energy. Resist energy 1, does not block all damage (but the minimum of 10 is plenty in this case) and 2, has a duration of 10 minuets per level. If you are using the Communal version than the duration is even lower. One solution would be to give each soldier a 2nd level potion of resist energy, costing 300gp per potion, or 30,000gp to give an army of 100 people one potion each! Sure that would make sure your army survives a single encounter, but all the mages have to do is wait an hour for the potion to wear off and then fireball away. You would be better off just spending that money on training and employing your own mages.

Because of this warfare should honestly be A LOT different than it is usually portrayed in this kind of fantasy world, OR there has to be an in world reason why people are NOT fielding armies of war mages at each other.

One GM I played with years ago had decided that YES every nation had units of war mages, but partially to deter the other person from using their own war mages. As long as nobody brought out their war mages then they fought conventionally. But if you were the unlucky one without war mages than you were going to get nuked.


Quintain wrote:
The question arises is just how prevalent are spellcasters that actually meet the requirements of all these beneficial spells. This, I think, would severely restrict the amount of 0-level/1st level spells available for these things.

Considering that literally every community of intelligent creatures seems to have at least one spell caster, and almost every community of decent size has a church lead by (in my experience) a cleric who more often than not can cast 3rd level spell, and that church is going to be full of adepts/clerics/etc who serve the church as acolytes who can also cast 0-1 level spells, these useful 0-level spells should be all over the place.


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11) Create Water: Make a water tower, have a level 1 cleric sit in a chair at the top and cast the 0-level spell "Create Water". Even at level 1, at a rate of 2 gallons per round, that is 20 gallons per minuet, 1,200 gallons of water in an HOUR! Supply your desert town with water, use the water for irrigation, but you should never have to worry about water again!


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12) "Circle of Truth" would probably effect how prisoners of war are interrogated. Instead of torturing them, take your prisoners, separate them into a number of groups based on how many casters you have that can cast "Circle of Truth" (it IS a 2nd level spell) and then start asking questions. Instead of spending days interrogating people you could get more reliable intelligence in a fraction of the time.

Plus there is the applications for crime investigation which is rather obvious.


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13) The prevalence of magic would make recovery from serious injury relatively easy. Why? Even thorps can attain first level casting services. Now, your farmers and commoners might have to give up a year's profits (or more) for a cure light wounds if they need it, a wealthy merchant or aristocrat can handle that more easily. So if someone fails a Handle Animal check and gets brained by a horse, they can recover pretty quickly if they end up going into negative hp...if they're willing to pay up, and if they're stabilized fast enough. How fast can you get the village healer again?

14) Bodyguards would likely look very different and perform differently than what we think of. Sure, you'll want some muscle. But you'll really need someone to cast some spells for you. Detect magic, see invisible, detect poison, detect-your-least-favorite-alignment.... these would be staples. And of course, so would countermeasures, which would make people suspicious. ("Why didn't he radiate magic when he's carrying around all those wands? Or those rings for that matter?"). More powerful magic will allow for more fun as spells like divination, augury, and scrying come into play. "Am I going to be attacked at the peace summit today?" "The gods say 'no'."

15) Building things can be done by hand. But just look at the uses of the animated dead or creatures called for the long-term, and think about the possibilities.

16) Given the destructive nature of combat magic, it is likely that most conflicts will be resolved in ways that don't involve armies. Wargames, tourneys, duels, skullduggery all come to mind.

17) Regions that are large and prosperous enough (or have say a druid as the high priest per UC rules) can be more prosperous...with just judicious use of weather magic and plant growth.


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18) The world is the de Beers cartel's dream: diamonds are being destroyed by spells as material components, used for magic items, hoarded by dragons etc. A good kimberlite pipe is a licence to print money and probably a place which needs fixed defences, even if they're hard to make useful.

19) (Some of the) dead can be raised or reincarnated. Reincarnation even resets your natural lifespan. I'm dubious that power-hungry monarchs or greedy merchant princes would let themselves be deprived of their possessions by inheritance. Unless an inevitable shows up to stop them (and maybe not even then if they're rich enough) sufficiently ruthless rich people can live forever.

20) Between the above, naturally long-lived races and actual immortals, history is largely about interviews and memoirs.


Edward the Necromancer wrote:
Quintain wrote:
The question arises is just how prevalent are spellcasters that actually meet the requirements of all these beneficial spells. This, I think, would severely restrict the amount of 0-level/1st level spells available for these things.
Considering that literally every community of intelligent creatures seems to have at least one spell caster, and almost every community of decent size has a church lead by (in my experience) a cleric who more often than not can cast 3rd level spell, and that church is going to be full of adepts/clerics/etc who serve the church as acolytes who can also cast 0-1 level spells, these useful 0-level spells should be all over the place.

While every community of intelligent creatures have at least one spellcaster, how many spellcasters do you know would basically enslave themselves to menial labor of spellcasting the same thing day in and day out.

Remember that spellcasters are the crème de la crème of the community. Unless enslavement is an option, just how much spellcasting can the community afford?


How many useless saves per hour should a pc make in your standard adventuring bar? between bards songs and charming adverts and bored detect thoughts going off surely most people will used to making low level saves most days, and even if they fail the consequences are not usually that bad if everything is magical and could be considered a minor annoyance.


Quintain wrote:
Edward the Necromancer wrote:
Quintain wrote:
The question arises is just how prevalent are spellcasters that actually meet the requirements of all these beneficial spells. This, I think, would severely restrict the amount of 0-level/1st level spells available for these things.
Considering that literally every community of intelligent creatures seems to have at least one spell caster, and almost every community of decent size has a church lead by (in my experience) a cleric who more often than not can cast 3rd level spell, and that church is going to be full of adepts/clerics/etc who serve the church as acolytes who can also cast 0-1 level spells, these useful 0-level spells should be all over the place.

While every community of intelligent creatures have at least one spellcaster, how many spellcasters do you know would basically enslave themselves to menial labor of spellcasting the same thing day in and day out.

Remember that spellcasters are the crème de la crème of the community. Unless enslavement is an option, just how much spellcasting can the community afford?

Considering that the whole reason priests/churches/religions spread in communities is because they help the community. It would not be a matter of enslavement, it would be work, aiding your community.

Some people are guards, some farmers, some blacksmiths, some spell casters. The usefulness of each occupation is directly related to how much you aid your community. The smallest of communities is probably going to have a single smithy, a single general goods store, and a single church. Just as a smithy has a master blacksmith and a few apprentices, the local church is going to have one head priest and a few acolytes. Since they live in that community AND want to spread their faith they are going to use their services to aid the community how ever they can.

That means casting "Create Water" to fill the town irrigation, purify food/drink to clean the town well water, mending to fix broken tools, stabilize on a person who hurt themselves, things like that. That is not slaver, it would literally be their JOB in the community they live in.


Lathiira wrote:

13) The prevalence of magic would make recovery from serious injury relatively easy. Why? Even thorps can attain first level casting services. Now, your farmers and commoners might have to give up a year's profits (or more) for a cure light wounds if they need it, a wealthy merchant or aristocrat can handle that more easily. So if someone fails a Handle Animal check and gets brained by a horse, they can recover pretty quickly if they end up going into negative hp...if they're willing to pay up, and if they're stabilized fast enough. How fast can you get the village healer again?

14) Bodyguards would likely look very different and perform differently than what we think of. Sure, you'll want some muscle. But you'll really need someone to cast some spells for you. Detect magic, see invisible, detect poison, detect-your-least-favorite-alignment.... these would be staples. And of course, so would countermeasures, which would make people suspicious. ("Why didn't he radiate magic when he's carrying around all those wands? Or those rings for that matter?"). More powerful magic will allow for more fun as spells like divination, augury, and scrying come into play. "Am I going to be attacked at the peace summit today?" "The gods say 'no'."

15) Building things can be done by hand. But just look at the uses of the animated dead or creatures called for the long-term, and think about the possibilities.

16) Given the destructive nature of combat magic, it is likely that most conflicts will be resolved in ways that don't involve armies. Wargames, tourneys, duels, skullduggery all come to mind.

17) Regions that are large and prosperous enough (or have say a druid as the high priest per UC rules) can be more prosperous...with just judicious use of weather magic and plant growth.

Large enough communities would probably have a few spell casters on hand to cast said spells. Most of the guards would still probably warrior types, but they would most likely be at least on caster in any kind of squad/patrol.

Unfortunately the Animated Dead has a few drawbacks. The biggest is the taboo thing. 'Oh you defiled Timmy!'. Spell level is less of an issue thanks to the "lesser" version of animate dead. The Biggest problem in my opinion though is that mindless undead are mindless. Meaning that even when preforming very simple tasks they require constant supervision. I DO see them being useful for some work, such as mining. But you are still going to need some kind of necromancer supervising them to give them orders. That also brings up the whole 'can control x/HD' amount of undead. Not saying it would not be done, Geb and Nex probably do that, but mindless undead solve some problems while creating others.


depends on how large a given community has to be to shelter how many spellcasters and of what power, spellcasters are PC level characters, and those are notoriously rare, unless you play in a world like the Forgettable Realms...


For instance, do we have an expert to tell us what spellcasters are living in Sand point at the start of the Rune Lords campaign?


Edward the Necromancer wrote:

Large enough communities would probably have a few spell casters on hand to cast said spells. Most of the guards would still probably warrior types, but they would most likely be at least on caster in any kind of squad/patrol.

Unfortunately the Animated Dead has a few drawbacks. The biggest is the taboo thing. 'Oh you defiled Timmy!'. Spell level is less of an issue thanks to the "lesser" version of animate dead. The Biggest problem in my opinion though is that mindless undead are mindless. Meaning that even when preforming very simple tasks they require constant supervision. I DO see them being useful for some work, such as mining. But you are still going to need some kind of necromancer supervising them to give them orders. That also brings up the whole 'can control x/HD' amount of undead. Not saying it would not be done, Geb and Nex probably do that, but mindless undead solve some problems while creating others.

I did note bodyguards, not guards. I'm thinking about the people protecting the royalty and the rich. I do imagine they'd have a spellcaster available at need though.

Fun thing about taboos: if enough people do something, people start saying, 'eh, it really isn't so bad' and start doing it. After all, we're discussing the consequences of using magic more in communities.

You would definitely need someone to supervise these undead. Then again, how many supervisors do you see in a workplace? Where I work, there are normally about 12-15 people working under 2 managers. Not much different, in terms of number of 'leaders' vs. 'minions'.


Edward the Necromancer wrote:


Some people are guards, some farmers, some blacksmiths, some spell casters. The usefulness of each occupation is directly related to how much you aid your community. The smallest of communities is probably going to have a single smithy, a single general goods store, and a single church. Just as a smithy has a master blacksmith and a few apprentices, the local church is going to have one head priest and a few acolytes. Since they live in that community AND want to spread their faith they are going to use their services to aid the community how ever they can.

That means casting "Create Water" to fill the town irrigation, purify food/drink to clean the town well water,...

Exactly. A job means a wage consumerate with the laws of supply and demand. Given the level of importance of certain spells, those that cast them will be able to demand higher wages depending on circumstances. So, how much spellcasting can a town afford?


Quintain wrote:
Edward the Necromancer wrote:


Some people are guards, some farmers, some blacksmiths, some spell casters. The usefulness of each occupation is directly related to how much you aid your community. The smallest of communities is probably going to have a single smithy, a single general goods store, and a single church. Just as a smithy has a master blacksmith and a few apprentices, the local church is going to have one head priest and a few acolytes. Since they live in that community AND want to spread their faith they are going to use their services to aid the community how ever they can.

That means casting "Create Water" to fill the town irrigation, purify food/drink to clean the town well water,...

Exactly. A job means a wage consumerate with the laws of supply and demand. Given the level of importance of certain spells, those that cast them will be able to demand higher wages depending on circumstances. So, how much spellcasting can a town afford?

Obviously it would vary from community to community, but lets pull a real life example, the Catholic Church. Catholic Churches "ASK" that you donate 10% of your earnings to the Church. So if you earned 1 gold piece in a week, THAT Church would ask you to "donate" 1 silver per week. In return that Church would offer what ever help it could to the community. Why would a 'fantasy' church operate much differently? The community gives them what they can, in return the church provides what services they can. Meaning that the Church casts "Create Water" and "Purify Food/Drink" for the community, in exchange the community gives some money to the church to keep them running.

But yes, a black smith will make horse shoes and sell them to the community because he needs that money so that he can buy food so that he does not starve to death. A spell caster still needs to eat, so he is going to offer his services because that spell caster still needs to eat. Even a 1st level sorcerer/wizard has to eat. So if they can make enough to avoid starving by casting "Mending" and "Prestidigitation" a few times a day than that spell caster is going to cast that spell. If the community values his services than they will make sure he does not starve to death. IF the mages gets all uppity and says 'you can not afford my services' than the community is not going to pay him, meaning the mage gets nothing, meaning the mage starves to death.

Part of the thing that people a lot of people forget about "supply and demand" is that the side providing the services has to keep their services affordable to those who would want to hire them. But lets not have this board devolve into an argument about social economic philosophy. There was a reason I kept MOST of my suggestions to low level spells. Those would be the spells provided by the lowest level spell caster, meaning their would be more of them, so their services would be cheaper.


Klorox wrote:
For instance, do we have an expert to tell us what spellcasters are living in Sand point at the start of the Rune Lords campaign?

According to the official Rise of the Runelords Anniversary Edition Adventure, Sandpoint is a "small town" and has a 4th level Cleric by the name of Abstalar Zantus, meaning he could cast 2nd level spells.

Imagine that YOU are a PC playing as Father Zantus and your goal is to improve Sandpoint as a 4th level cleric. There is a LOT that you could do with 2nd level spells and a few (mostly 1st level) acolytes (adepts/clerics) at your command.

Sandpoint also has Veznutt (Wizard2/expert4), Risa Magravi (Sorcerer 4), Alivar "Pillbug" Podiker (Alchemist 5), Kisk Tander (Alchemist1/Expert2), Chask Haladan (Bard3/Expert3), Cyrdak Drokkus (Bard 6), Ilsoaria Gandethus (Wisard4/Rogue2), Niska Mvashti (Druid3/Sorcerer4/Mystic Theurge1), Koya Mvashti (Cleric4), Ameiko Kaijitus (aristocrate1/Bard3/Rogue1), Daviren Hosk(Ranger 1-meaning 1st level spells), Gaven Deverin (Paladin 2/Expert3-meaning Lay on Hands), Jasper Korvaski (Paladin 3/Expert1-meaning Lay on hands), Hayliss Korvaski (Cleric2/Expert2), Kayew Tesarani (Rogue3/Sorcerer1), Vorvashali Voon (Wizard2/Rogue2/Expert2), Hannahg Velerin (Cleric3/Expert1). Even though all of these NPCs are lower level spell casters, a clever person could find a LOT of use out of the lower level spells to improve/help a community.

I am not saying that spell casters are average, but I think that they would be a lot more common than many players and GMs assume. Yes the "average" person (in America at least) does not have a 2 year college degree, but a 2 year OR more college degree is not exactly uncommon or unheard of. While not every town is going to have a Steven Hawking, almost every town you walk into will have a town doctor(college education), lawyer(college education), and schools which have teachers who all have a college degree. Considering that Wizards/Alchemists/Magus/clerics/Inquisitors/Bards would have to be trained by a master that means that their are schools training these people. These basically trained spellcasters then go and make a living as low level spellcasters and offer their services.


Lathiira wrote:
Edward the Necromancer wrote:

Large enough communities would probably have a few spell casters on hand to cast said spells. Most of the guards would still probably warrior types, but they would most likely be at least on caster in any kind of squad/patrol.

Unfortunately the Animated Dead has a few drawbacks. The biggest is the taboo thing. 'Oh you defiled Timmy!'. Spell level is less of an issue thanks to the "lesser" version of animate dead. The Biggest problem in my opinion though is that mindless undead are mindless. Meaning that even when preforming very simple tasks they require constant supervision. I DO see them being useful for some work, such as mining. But you are still going to need some kind of necromancer supervising them to give them orders. That also brings up the whole 'can control x/HD' amount of undead. Not saying it would not be done, Geb and Nex probably do that, but mindless undead solve some problems while creating others.

I did note bodyguards, not guards. I'm thinking about the people protecting the royalty and the rich. I do imagine they'd have a spellcaster available at need though.

Fun thing about taboos: if enough people do something, people start saying, 'eh, it really isn't so bad' and start doing it. After all, we're discussing the consequences of using magic more in communities.

You would definitely need someone to supervise these undead. Then again, how many supervisors do you see in a workplace? Where I work, there are normally about 12-15 people working under 2 managers. Not much different, in terms of number of 'leaders' vs. 'minions'.

Personally, my biggest issue with undead is the whole mindless thing. YOU could say, make a zombie ox to plow your field or a zombie miner to dig a tunnel, but beyond that a mindless undead is going to be less useful. I would even call into question how effective farmers mindless undead would make. Say you want your skeleton to pick fruit, but you only want them to pick the RIPE fruit. A skeleton is too stupid to tell the difference between ripe and unripe fruit. Mindless undead are literally too stupied to do most tasks.

Yes almost every job has managers, a lot of a manager is not to do the actual job or to micor-manage the worker (if the manager in micromanaging that either means dumb workers or more likely a bad manager) but to just make sure the workers are actually working and to do some quality control. Mindless undead have no skills, yes they will work non-stop but they are incapable of making actual decisions. How many random tiny decisions does a normal worker make while working? Now imagine a mindless undead in that same position who is literally incapable of thinking? Kind of defeats the purpose of having the minions of the manager is going to have to do everything for them anyway.


Quintain wrote:

Ok, a fun thread to discuss the odd consequences of magical things in the Pathfinder universe:

1) Can someone survive solely on summoned (not created as in create food and water) animals for food (if swallowed whole)?

You could, but the extradimensional energies would have side-effects. Do you like having chickenfeet because you keep eating otherworldy fowl?


I keep wanting to bring up economic ideas.
Until, of course, I remember that Pathfinder has no coherent economy.
Frontier doctors existed, and while life and death would suggest big money, since it is pay or die. Problem is, the money wasn't there usually, and most doctors are against letting people die. They generally like healing people. You know, a lot like spell casters.


avr wrote:

18) The world is the de Beers cartel's dream: diamonds are being destroyed by spells as material components, used for magic items, hoarded by dragons etc. A good kimberlite pipe is a licence to print money and probably a place which needs fixed defences, even if they're hard to make useful.

19) (Some of the) dead can be raised or reincarnated. Reincarnation even resets your natural lifespan. I'm dubious that power-hungry monarchs or greedy merchant princes would let themselves be deprived of their possessions by inheritance. Unless an inevitable shows up to stop them (and maybe not even then if they're rich enough) sufficiently ruthless rich people can live forever.

20) Between the above, naturally long-lived races and actual immortals, history is largely about interviews and memoirs.

Re diamonds: 1) I get your point, Diamonds aren't as rare as they seem to be. Diamond cartel (aka de beers) creates scarcity. 2) that being said real diamonds aren't being destroyed IRL. 3) Diamonds can be manufactured IRL. It's not even espically difficult. I imagine there's a magical equivalent. Spell component diamonds or diamond dust probably don't need to be perfect. And/or if they do there's probably a spell to improve diamond quality. A transmutation that realigns the carbon or what not. 4) not to mention access to the elemental plane of earth. There's probably centuries worth of diamonds available, not to mention areas that are hot+high pressure where diamonds are probably being made naturally much more rapidly than under Golarian.

I digress. /end rant


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Actually, RL they have been able to make better, more controlled (CCC) diamonds than you can mine for quite some time. Some of those diamonds can only be identified as manufactured because no natural diamond is ever that perfect. DeBeers associates, of course, legally or illegally, obtain the patents on the methods....

Now, in a fantasy world, you could rule that a natural diamond, formed over millennia, might have more "juice" to it than a manufactured one.

If magic is a thing, and common enough to actually have consequence, why aren't there Real specialists and "industrial" applications. Wall of Stone is an instant spell that merges to existing stone, lessening the need for skilled stonemasons, and, I suppose, limiting the effectiveness of that "godly" spell, Stoneshape. Really, all you need to do is to apply a seamless surface layer of stone over an existing stone structure, and voila, those "unstoppable" stone-shapers have to deal with volumes beyond their ability to affect. And this is from the base spell, not from any mythic specialist, who can make nearly indestructible structures. How about mage-masons skilled in invasive wall creation that merges actually deep into structures to reinforce their very fabric.

Magic is only godly and world order shakingly consequential if it is completely unopposed. You require it to be somehow so mysterious and unknowable that no one develops effective counters to it, but still common enough that there are enough practitioners about that it can't be dealt with by expedient assassinations. Essentially, I reject the assumption that the only magic that exists is that which is specifically laid out in the rule books, so, there are still castles, armies and societies not destroyable at the whim of a couple of wandering wizards. Society has more resiliency and sensibility than your average character in a slasher movie.


Quote:


Part of the thing that people a lot of people forget about "supply and demand" is that the side providing the services has to keep their services affordable to those who would want to hire them. But lets not have this board devolve into an argument about social economic philosophy. There was a reason I kept MOST of my suggestions to low level spells. Those would be the spells provided by the lowest level spell caster, meaning their would be more of them, so their services would be cheaper.

Absolutely. But one of the laws of supply and demand is that those with a monopoly of a needed commodity -- and by need, I'm not just talking convenience, but actual life-and-death *need*, are able to charge what they want, otherwise the consumer dies.

What I'm getting at is that I disagree with a lot with the basic premise of "unlimited low level spellcasting" being available "just because". The limiting factor of the vast majority of these things is basic human nature -- ambition, greed, altruism, supply, demand, etc.

Spellcasters aren't simple laborers that can be replaced like an intern at a major corporation. They are small businesses in and of themselves.

But this is hard to quantify. Since I've filed my objection, I'll let everyone else get onto the discussion :D

I'll also note that the average individual (9 int/ 9 wis/ 9 cha) wouldn't even be able to cast 0 level spells. Ability scores limit spellcasters to the higher echelon of ability scores.


First off, NPC spell casters are supposed to be Adepts right? So can they help out the way folks are saying with their spell list? Secondly, even a 0-level spell costs what, 5 GP to get someone to cast once?

Then there's the demographics per community in the GMG re: settlements. I think in the average village there's what, 3rd level magic? So imagine, even if there IS a bonafide PC class Witch and not just an Adept that calls themselves a "witch" in the village, they'll have at best level 3 spells that whole families would have to save for a year to get them to cast.

Is that really on par with world-altering, problem-solving magic?


Mark Hoover 330 wrote:

First off, NPC spell casters are supposed to be Adepts right? So can they help out the way folks are saying with their spell list? Secondly, even a 0-level spell costs what, 5 GP to get someone to cast once?

Then there's the demographics per community in the GMG re: settlements. I think in the average village there's what, 3rd level magic? So imagine, even if there IS a bonafide PC class Witch and not just an Adept that calls themselves a "witch" in the village, they'll have at best level 3 spells that whole families would have to save for a year to get them to cast.

Is that really on par with world-altering, problem-solving magic?

Yep, that's exactly what I'm getting at. The prices for spellcasting services are priced for those who can afford it i.e. adventurers. Your standard farming family makes single-digit gold pieces per year. So even your basic 1st level create water etc will be priced well outside of their ability to pay.

The only ones that will be able to afford spellcasting services of any sort of quantity would be nobles or guilds. Your basic peasantry are out of luck.


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Umm, so are we all supposed to be discussing what it would be like if every facet of the published rules were true, and applied universally?


Quintain wrote:
Mark Hoover 330 wrote:

First off, NPC spell casters are supposed to be Adepts right? So can they help out the way folks are saying with their spell list? Secondly, even a 0-level spell costs what, 5 GP to get someone to cast once?

Then there's the demographics per community in the GMG re: settlements. I think in the average village there's what, 3rd level magic? So imagine, even if there IS a bonafide PC class Witch and not just an Adept that calls themselves a "witch" in the village, they'll have at best level 3 spells that whole families would have to save for a year to get them to cast.

Is that really on par with world-altering, problem-solving magic?

Yep, that's exactly what I'm getting at. The prices for spellcasting services are priced for those who can afford it i.e. adventurers. Your standard farming family makes single-digit gold pieces per year. So even your basic 1st level create water etc will be priced well outside of their ability to pay.

The only ones that will be able to afford spellcasting services of any sort of quantity would be nobles or guilds. Your basic peasantry are out of luck.

Hence the reason why (in my observation, anyway) professional casters in Golarion tend to end up in places where people can afford their services, leaving villages and even small towns relatively mundane. There are a few casters here and there who have other priorities, support the locals in a "labor of love" sort of fashion, and so on.


I imagine there are a lot of materials that affect magic, such as lead and divinations. In addition to common spells that subtly protect against such things, though aren't in the books. Maybe glyphs that when drawn upon walls cause them to resist magical intrusion. Or even just non-magical cultural practices. No meerings outrise magically protected or lead lined rooms. Etc.

It my personal favorite: maybe where RL castles sites were chosen for their access to underground water and natural defensive location, Pathfinder castles are instead constructed on naturally occurring magical sites that seep into the construction by some otherwise "mundane" means for all kinds of beneficial purposes. Harder to scry as you get closer to the center, etc.

Actually, I like this and think I'll develop some house rules around it. The simplest would probably be to give the castle some sort of SR vs anyone casting spells from outside the walls. Perhaps the SR is based on strength of ley line and age if the castle. Hummm. This has merit I think. I think I'll make a new thread to explore this.

Edit: Created the thread here if anyone wants to explore this and contribute.


Granted this would be a 'rich person thing' but a mason could have faucets and fountains enchanted with create water. These pipes could also be enchanted with a spell like 'heat metal' to create hot water for baths. This is definitely a rich person thing but now I know what cool things to put into my mansion!

The Roman empire created miles and miles of aqueducts to supply their city with water. Have a few magic fountains making water in the town square and instead of having to maintain miles upon miles of aqueducts that can be destroyed you now have your own water source inside of the city!


Create food and water..

Really makes you wonder why there are farmers.
let alone sieges.


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because there aren't enough clerics to feed everybody, and it's economically and socially more productive to keep the masses occupied as peasants, and the clerics busy doing something else?


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Klorox wrote:
because there aren't enough clerics to feed everybody, and it's economically and socially more productive to keep the masses occupied as peasants, and the clerics busy doing something else?

This. Create food and water would be for emergencies and sieges only. Plus the food it creates is bland and tasteless.


Klorox wrote:
because there aren't enough clerics to feed everybody, and it's economically and socially more productive to keep the masses occupied as peasants, and the clerics busy doing something else?

Missing the point.

Have clerics, not farmers. Ie., in this world where food is an orisen and gods exist and you make more food with less work by the orisen - you'd have stacks of sweatshop monasteries with fields unplowed.


Perfect Tommy wrote:
Klorox wrote:
because there aren't enough clerics to feed everybody, and it's economically and socially more productive to keep the masses occupied as peasants, and the clerics busy doing something else?

Missing the point.

Have clerics, not farmers. Ie., in this world where food is an orisen and gods exist and you make more food with less work by the orisen - you'd have stacks of sweatshop monasteries with fields unplowed.

Purify food and water is an 0 level spell as is create water

Create food is a 3rd level spell


Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber
Edward the Necromancer wrote:


I honestly think that people would probably stop with Castle walls for the same reason that we stopped using castles. They were more expensive than they were worth. We stopped making castle walls because cannons made them irrelevant. A few Mages with fly and wands of Fireball or stone shape would probably have a similar result. People would probably stop making huge fortified castles.

Maybe, maybe not. A Lyre of Building costs 13,000 gp. It would take approximately 21 hours of playing to construct a small castle/keep which would house a single knight and his family & servants. Depending on the skill level and endurance of the lyre player that means an entire castle can be constructed every 3-12 weeks with a single 13,000 gp investment.


Perfect Tommy wrote:
Klorox wrote:
because there aren't enough clerics to feed everybody, and it's economically and socially more productive to keep the masses occupied as peasants, and the clerics busy doing something else?

Missing the point.

Have clerics, not farmers. Ie., in this world where food is an orisen and gods exist and you make more food with less work by the orisen - you'd have stacks of sweatshop monasteries with fields unplowed.

I understand your point, and from a pure Civilization™ strategy game point of view, it makes sense. Since I rather suspect that more people are capable of performing agrarian types of pursuits, than are able to possess sufficient devotion, obedience, understanding, divine connection, et al, your point falls apart in a world set attempting to portray, at some level, existance at an individual level.

Dark Archive

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Quintain wrote:

Ok, a fun thread to discuss the odd consequences of magical things in the Pathfinder universe:

1) Can someone survive solely on summoned (not created as in create food and water) animals for food (if swallowed whole)?

Comment and add your own as you desire.

Nah, the instant they reach 0 hp, long before you've gotten any sustenance from them, they vanish. And, in vanishing, create a void in your gut equal to the mass displaced, which is going to create a nasty 'reverse burp' and perhaps even a hernia of displaced tissue!

*Called* creatures would be edible, but eating outsiders has it's own risks (demon fever, devil chills, etc.), and that requires a much higher level caster, since even lesser planar ally/binding is 4th/5th level.

There's also the question of what such creatures really are. In Elysium, for instance, which might be where the 'celestial buffalo' you are calling to eat come from, the local animal life *is made of human souls.* Bad karma, man, bad, bad karma!

Edward the Necromancer wrote:
3) The 0-level spells "Purify Food and Drink" and "Create water" should mean that there should be very few if any communities without access to clean water. Granted this SOLVES problems instead of causing them, but considering how much of a global issue access to clean water is in OUR world this is a very big deal.

Yup. I consider such effects to be 'baked in' to the fantasy setting (whether in be Greyhawk, the Realms, Eberron, Sharn, Krynn or Golarion), so that the reason why some desert communities exist is because of create water spells (or decanters of endless water), and the reason why some foodstuffs might be able to be sent, unpreserved/pickled/salted across thousands of miles of caravan route or shipping, is because of purify food and drink.

And that could be a plot point, for the GM. A rival community steals your oasis town's decanter, and the oasis starts to dry up. The adept on board the ship is specifically targeted by an assassin from a rival shipping concern, and now your ship has to stop at random islands to find a resupply of fresh water (which they didn't need to carry, since they could just lower a barrel into the salty sea and have her purify it), and, oh, surprise, rival shipping company has an ambush prepared at the island you'll have to stop at...

Since these spells are 0 level, and even NPC adepts can often cast them, I'd assume that communities, and even big ships and caravans (and the trading companies that employ them) have at least one, if not many, on staff. 1st level clerics working for their temples might also get such 'scut work,' casting create water and purify food and drink, to earn money for their temples (for more mercenary temples, like that of Abadar) or, out of the goodness of their heart (within reason, even a temple of Sarenrae might only give out freebies on holy days to people who show up and listen to a sermon!).

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4) The 0-level spell "Mending" means that a lot of things that would be broken beyond repair are instead fixable. For example: an army has to have a LOT of supplies on hand to replace broken armor, weapons, etc. Simply by having a few level 1 spell casters with "Mending" you can have all of that equipment repaired, allowing the army to fight longer, hence this has the potential in increase warfare.

The long casting time at least prevents it from being rapid-fire cast, like create water, but it's still way, way faster than repairing many things by hand. Again, it could be a plot point. If an army is counting on someone to magically mend their weapons, and the enemy knows that they didn't bring anyone to *manually* perform that task, targeting the lowbie 'menders' with assassins can cripple them, as every arrow fired becomes an arrow lost forever.

Still, yes, major changes, particularly in the case of putting together damaged items of antiquity, repairing maps, refreshing faded books, and keeping clothing / boots / etc. intact over a period of time. (Prestidigitation also would be helpful here, to restore faded colors and dyes, in paintings, clothing, texts, etc.)

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5) The 0-level spells "Detect Poison" and "Purify Food/Drink" means that ANYONE of significance who has any fear of being poisoned is going to have some level 1 spell caster on hand to go over all of their food. This means that assassination by food poisoning is not a viable strategy.

Depends on how common casters are, but yeah, I'd expect kings and the like would be utterly safe. The further down the chain you go, the less likely it would be that the person in question has a magical food tester.

Still, there are other ways to kill a king.

"No sire, the treaty does not test positive for magic. It should be safe to read." (nondetection)
<<Boom!>> (explosive runes)

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6) "Stone Shape", being a 3rd level cleric and 4th level sorcerer/wizard spell pretty much makes castle walls obsolete. You can either tunnel under the wall much easier than trying to dig a tunnel, or just make a tunnel through the castle wall.

Spellcasting makes noise and creates visible magical 'glowy' effects, in Pathfinder, requiring special feats to 'hide.' If someone walks up to the base of your castle wall, even under cover of night, and begins muttering words, his hands surrounded by glowing magical runes, drop some boulders on his head to discourage that sort of thing. :)

Again, useful, but not a one-stop-shopping solution. It would require some thought, and an enemy could plan ahead and build his fortifications with layers (some medieval structures, for example, had two layers of wall, with a layer of something else sandwiched between, like dirt or rubble or even trash, make that something dangerous, like moldly dust that causes respiratory problems, or even just a thin layer of a cheapish metal, or something that flows out like sand or tainted, and you've either stopped the stone shaper, or possibly harmed them).

Again, best practice, IMO, is to assume that the world exists as it is *despite* these magical effects existing. They weren't just invented yesterday, so the people living in this world have had centuries to adapt their troop formations, castle construction, food production, water supplies, etc. to the 'world-changing' effects of these spells.

Thousands of years ago, they *did* change the world. In the 'present day' of the setting, they are part of how the world works, and few people are going to be surprised by them.

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7) A single arcane caster with a Wand of Fireball could decimate a good portion of an army by them selves. Take a CL5 Wand of Fireball(5d6, 20ft radious) doing an average of 6-10 damage per casting. With 50 castings that is a MINIMUM of 250 damage and a max of 1,250 damage, with the average being about 750 damage! A standard army of say lvl 2 warriors or fighters is going to have on average ABOUT 19HP each. Now these warriors can each take a few hits of fireball and an "army" is generally about 100 men. But since a CL5 Fireball has a range of 400+40*5=600ft the Mage is going to be able to have plenty of time to shoot a lot of fireballs at the army. Even IF they do not wipe out the army it would be significantly weakened, allowing allied forces to clean them up. Throw in...

Again, in a vacuum, that's cool. But, faced with such tactics, armies will likely be spread out more, in a fantasy world, because of lightning bolts and glitterdust and fireballs and acid fogs and dragonsbreath. Additionally, arrows (and siege weapons!) have a greater range than most wizards and sorcerers, and are often cheaper to field, to boot.

"Yes, the man with the wand. Archers! Fire!" <100 arrows fire. 50 miss completely, 30 of them plink off, the other 20 'disrupt his concentration' by killing him.> "Huh, guess he had protection from arrows up. Bring up the ballista, in case there's another one, and have the artillerymen hold fire and wait for a target, so that they can interrupt any pesky casting. Oh, and send one of the adepts familiars to retrieve that wand, it looks handy..."

That said, the existence of these area effect spells give forces who have access to them a solid reason to do everything in their power to channel their enemies into 'killing grounds,' so that these spells can be used to full effect, just as people who *don't* want to get their forces blowed up, have strong incentive to not march into said killing grounds (or to plug them up with expendables, like zombies or whatever, to eat up the fireballs, while their archers and artillerymen try to take out the fireball-throwers).

The existence of these spells will have the same effects as earthworks and murderholes and boiling oil and hand grenades and mortar fire and mustard gas have had on troop formations and assault strategies. Fortunately for us GMs (and tragically for real world soldiers), pretty much anything that there's a horrible murderous spell for, history probably has some horrible murderous military invention for, so we don't have to invent new tactics for how an army would function in the presence of poison clouds or fiery explosions or devices that throw sticky jets of burning liquid on people.


Edward the Necromancer wrote:
9) Clairaudience-Clairvoyance is a 3rd level Arcane Spell and has a Range of 400ft+40ft*CL, giving it a minimum range of 600ft at CL5. This means that a mage using this has the potential to observe anything within their radius. Spy on ambassadors, observe the princess meeting her secret lover, listen to the prince that you never really liked plot to the assassinate the King and blame it on you!

I would assume most royalty and high nobility will have invested in Rings of Mind Shielding and will likely make sure they have daily access to Non-Detection.

Court wizards would be a thing.


Daw wrote:
Perfect Tommy wrote:
Klorox wrote:
because there aren't enough clerics to feed everybody, and it's economically and socially more productive to keep the masses occupied as peasants, and the clerics busy doing something else?

Missing the point.

Have clerics, not farmers. Ie., in this world where food is an orisen and gods exist and you make more food with less work by the orisen - you'd have stacks of sweatshop monasteries with fields unplowed.

I understand your point, and from a pure Civilization™ strategy game point of view, it makes sense. Since I rather suspect that more people are capable of performing agrarian types of pursuits, than are able to possess sufficient devotion, obedience, understanding, divine connection, et al, your point falls apart in a world set attempting to portray, at some level, existance at an individual level.

This follows my earlier point regarding ability scores required to cast spells. A 10 is above average (assumind 3d6 standard rolls vs point-buy) and this eliminates a good portion of the population in your standard village.

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