Life in a magic rich world.


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

51 to 97 of 97 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

Said light sources would likely be the first targets whenever a town is raided by light-hating foes like orcs or drow.


Ventnor wrote:
Said light sources would likely be the first targets whenever a town is raided by light-hating foes like orcs or drow.

So have the light sources be the whole metal light poles, or, for wider areas, horizontal metal tubes, say 20 foot long.

While the raiders are wasting their time on the light sources, we are wasting the raiders.
I should point out that I don't think these most of these light sources are not going to be bright enough to dazzle your Drow.


Actually, Con Flame might not be that common. You need rubies and the world would quickly run out of rubies if even a city used that much light. That's a bit too expensive. If Con. Light was still around, though....


Daw wrote:
Ventnor wrote:
Said light sources would likely be the first targets whenever a town is raided by light-hating foes like orcs or drow.

So have the light sources be the whole metal light poles, or, for wider areas, horizontal metal tubes, say 20 foot long.

While the raiders are wasting their time on the light sources, we are wasting the raiders.
I should point out that I don't think these most of these light sources are not going to be bright enough to dazzle your Drow.

I dunno. Pre-emptive strikes to remove all illumination from an area (stuff like Darkness spells might work better than actually destroying the light sources) gives enemies who don't need light to see their foes a big advantage.

There'd probably end up being an arms race of some kind in communities menaced by orcs or drow to create better countermeasures against darkness and to suppress light.


Rich cities have Permanent Sphere of Annihilation sewage-treatment.

Poor cities...smell bad.

Liberty's Edge

Chuck Mount wrote:
Actually, Con Flame might not be that common. You need rubies and the world would quickly run out of rubies if even a city used that much light. That's a bit too expensive. If Con. Light was still around, though....

Summon Monster fixes this problem, Lantern Archons have Continual Flame as an at will SLA.


That goes into higher level spells. I was assuming only nobles and governments would have access to those spells on a large scale... of course, a city is normally ran by the government, so yeah... Lantern Archons. There ya go. :)

Poor city streets could be clean, as I suggested earlier. There could be sewage crews in poor cities that could use Summon Monster 2 and summon water elementals to push the sewage to a collection area and Unseen Servants can bring it to be used in the fields for fertilizer.


Slim Jim wrote:

Rich cities have Permanent Sphere of Annihilation sewage-treatment.

Poor cities...smell bad.

This is what gelatinous cubes, slime sand oozes were developed for weren't they?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Magic would be adapted to controlling the masses. Mind control on a population-wide scale is not very practical, so in cases where it turns out to be necessary to give the common people the illusion of self-rule, disinformation campaigns would be carefully tailored to have the best compromise of wide effect and subtle manifestation -- Illusions would be used on a massive scale to spread untrue accounts of events. Votes would be held, but votes would be counted by magic and quietly changed by magic. Of course, it's also easy enough to make sure that those who vote the wrong way can't cast their vote in the first place -- simply due to numbers, magically altering voter records and/or voting officials' minds, and even ballot boxes (if such still existed(*)) is easier than magically altering voter's minds.

(*)In that case, "accidents" involving gelatinous cubes, slimes, and other oozes are an option as well.


Ventnor wrote:
Said light sources would likely be the first targets whenever a town is raided by light-hating foes like orcs or drow.

I suppose so, but I don't see how that would be something that would mean people would discourage their use. The same measures that would make stealing them impractical would also serve to stymie many efforts to put them out without using magic.

Plus, having street lights doesn't preclude soldiers and guards from having their own light sources, and if they're spending actions on the light sources, they're not spending actions to kill your dudes.

Chuck Mount wrote:
Actually, Con Flame might not be that common. You need rubies and the world would quickly run out of rubies if even a city used that much light. That's a bit too expensive. If Con. Light was still around, though....

You don't need rubies, you need Planar Binding and Lantern Archons. At least for the mass-produced stuff. For stuff that's more difficult to counter, then you want a Wizard with Heighten Spell and False Focus or the like.

Ventnor wrote:

I dunno. Pre-emptive strikes to remove all illumination from an area (stuff like Darkness spells might work better than actually destroying the light sources) gives enemies who don't need light to see their foes a big advantage.

There'd probably end up being an arms race of some kind in communities menaced by orcs or drow to create better countermeasures against darkness and to suppress light.

Those are some super organized and competent Orcs, then. If they're that organized and able to successfully infiltrate the city to simultaneously turn off all the lights, then, hell, they deserve the win.


Coidzor wrote:
Ventnor wrote:
Said light sources would likely be the first targets whenever a town is raided by light-hating foes like orcs or drow.

I suppose so, but I don't see how that would be something that would mean people would discourage their use. The same measures that would make stealing them impractical would also serve to stymie many efforts to put them out without using magic.

Plus, having street lights doesn't preclude soldiers and guards from having their own light sources, and if they're spending actions on the light sources, they're not spending actions to kill your dudes.

Chuck Mount wrote:
Actually, Con Flame might not be that common. You need rubies and the world would quickly run out of rubies if even a city used that much light. That's a bit too expensive. If Con. Light was still around, though....

You don't need rubies, you need Planar Binding and Lantern Archons. At least for the mass-produced stuff. For stuff that's more difficult to counter, then you want a Wizard with Heighten Spell and False Focus or the like.

Ventnor wrote:

I dunno. Pre-emptive strikes to remove all illumination from an area (stuff like Darkness spells might work better than actually destroying the light sources) gives enemies who don't need light to see their foes a big advantage.

There'd probably end up being an arms race of some kind in communities menaced by orcs or drow to create better countermeasures against darkness and to suppress light.

Those are some super organized and competent Orcs, then. If they're that organized and able to successfully infiltrate the city to simultaneously turn off all the lights, then, hell, they deserve the win.

Scarred Witch doctors are all about that Intelligence nowadays.

I just think it would provide an interesting encounter for PCs visiting one of these cities. "Suddenly, all the lights around you seem to disappear at once. What do you do?"

Dark Archive

PrinceRaven wrote:
Chuck Mount wrote:
Actually, Con Flame might not be that common. You need rubies and the world would quickly run out of rubies if even a city used that much light. That's a bit too expensive. If Con. Light was still around, though....
Summon Monster fixes this problem, Lantern Archons have Continual Flame as an at will SLA.

Creatures summoned by summon monster cannot use spell-like abilities that replicate spells with expensive material components.

It's at the end of the second paragraph in the spell's description.

, unfortunately, so you'd have to call the lantern archon with a lesser planar ally/binding type spell. For 100 gp (1/2 price for a non-hazardous task, double that if you summon the archon into a dangerous place!), you can get 70+ castings (1 minute / caster level) of continual light, assuming you have the items you want lit up right there for the archon to cast continual flame upon, so it's definitely cheaper than doing it yourself at 25 gp apiece. If you want to light up an entire city in one go, spending 500 gp grants hours / level worth of non-hazardous service, and 1000 gp grants 1 day / level of non-hazardous service (which might be the best bet if the 'street-lights' are large fixed objects already in place around the city). So, for 1000 gp, a 7th level cleric can spend an entire week wandering around the city placing continual flame on various statues and building facades and whatever.

He'd need to be able to summon good creatures, so Cheliax and the church of Asmodeus need not apply. Yet another reason why evil cities are such festering hives of scum and villainy...

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16

Daw wrote:
Slim Jim wrote:

Rich cities have Permanent Sphere of Annihilation sewage-treatment.

Poor cities...smell bad.

This is what gelatinous cubes, slime sand oozes were developed for weren't they?

Otyugh pits.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Running water for sewage and bathing and evocation-based heating or cooling would be well-received. Decanters of water can supply aqueducts and help maintain farmlands and cities in conjunction with river or lake-water.
If magic can move in currents (or at least evocation magic can), you can replicate lightbulbs by having electricity, or more magically, have the material of everburning torches built into the interiors of houses and institutions.

But that's all magicking the modern world. It'll look different if the ideas are more organic and flavorful (instead of magical lightbulbs/magical air conditioners). The best way is to take a spell and go wild with it.
I'll focus on arcane magic here; divine magic works as a counterbalance to it, and is regulated internally by divine/nature's will, and does not usually lend itself to be commercially exploited (even to gods of business). This fact alone causes socio-political fallout.

Commercially, certain magic items will be very popular.
1. Detect Magic Charms. To counter false coinage or magical deception in shops, detect magic charms (or simply plants that react naturally to magic, a la litmus indicator) would be installed in shops, schools, and anywhere and everywhere if convenience allows it. Think Japanese paper talismans.
2. Druid Soil. Druids will be respected by rural folk; a happy druid is one who may enrich your crops, and an angry one could do the opposite. A pouch of soil from druids can be the form of the item.
3. Permanent Food/Water. The rich and powerful can afford to purchase plates that cast Create Food, goblets that cast Create Water, and salt-shakers that sprinkle Prestidigitation flavors on either. At some point, however, these things become empty and old-fashioned. What becomes popular later is having a hunting trip into the fey realm or other dimensions. Who tried bear steak from the dimension of chocolate?
4. Alter Winds sails. Sails that attract mage-wind and could take the ship wherever it wishes to go will likely be an expensive, but useful feature in a ship. This, of course, opens up the first step to airships.
5. Teleportation circles and gate spells may be expensive, but they are better than anything we can conjure up in the real world. You could expect to see one in the richest country's capital city, which can be used for dimensional travel for diplomats, instantaneous travel for armed forces, or even for dimensional trading.

When it comes to security, warding services will be a necessity. Magic circles and spells built into the bricks of buildings will likely cover the following issues:
1. Anti-Undead abjurations in graveyards (disrupt undead trap over every grave for minor necromancers, and an alarm in all cases). An Undeath-to-Death trap over crypts of important peoples.
2. Magic Circles in homes. Warding away evil creatures and hexes (especially evil eye) will be a must for new households and offspring. Having a child consecrated/baptized might provide limited protection from spells until they are of age (which will then require another spell). This will cause a surge of religiosity in nonmagical populace, who might, over time, consider divine magic good, and arcane magic neutral (at best). This has social implications, of course.
3. Remove Curse amulets. Against curses, getting a Remove Curse or Break Enchantment is too expensive. It is cheaper to approach a diviner or priest and ask for advice. It is wiser to be careful, however, and purchase charms to ward off curses. Do they look like pentagrams or David's star?

Socially, mages will have a great deal of prestige and obvious political importance. This brings witch-hunters into the game, as nobles, councilors, and maybe even parents all fear what magic can do to them or their own.
Considering caster-martial disparity, this will create a bitter sub-culture of those who don't have the aptitude (sorcery), education (wizards), or evil (witches) to pursue the magical path.
If we go with the idea that people prefer the more buff/healing-based (and predictable) divine magic over curse/damage-based (and unpredictable) arcane magic, this will also cause an increase in general zealotry, granting churches more influence in the public sphere, and causing temporal rulers to grant them more concessions in matters of state (mandatory baptism, regulating wizardry, witch-hunts, crusades, general 'greater good' stuff). In matters of druidic faiths, self-isolation and political neutrality will be the name of the game for druids, hunters, rangers, and pioneers/settlers.

Politically, magical scrutiny will be heavier. Mage-kings are not only powerful socially, politically, and very easily militarily (in form of summoned soldiers and called advisers), but also personally. A mage high-king, witch-queen, or sorcerer-sultan cannot be easily assassinated, and can crush armies by themselves, or cause tremendous political damage on their own (either through illusions and enchantments, conjuring demons to corrupt a rival, or flat-out blowing them up).
There is no counter to a powerful caster except another powerful caster or team of non-casters. Casters will learn after a few centuries (and good storylines) with the threat of Mutually-Assured Destruction by vassal mages or witch-hunters, or form a regulatory body to form a united front and self-regulate (a la Dresden Files' White Council, or the Witcher's Lodge of Sorceresses/Council of Mages).
This affects normal people in the form of rumors, explained phenomena attributed to the wizard-ruler, or unrest in the various realms when it comes to actions against a sorcerous liege.

Wars that have magic on either sides will hurt. A lot. Battlefields will be haunted with the ghosts of the dead, ruined mage towers soon attract dimensional beings, and old castles become abodes of the mage's undead servants, now filled with treasures and curses.

The Revolution will be brutal in case of actions of a frightened populace against a mage-king. One one side, the mage can easily infiltrate their leadership (via divination), charm/murder/manipulate/demoralize in ways that make current politics seem like child's play. Don't think bomb barrels, think demonic hordes or undead unleashed on populace. Don't think explosive letter packages or engines, think meteors.

Most revolutions will employ witch hunters, churches, or rivals of the mage (other mages, demons who have been abused, etc.) to even the odds. In such cases, regular people huddle in warded basements with their Create Food plates.

However, one issue arises that might counterbalance mage-rulers; they need to study. They could go into long periods of absence in study, leaving the state in regency, or they could stay as the power behind the throne (where they retain freedom and power).


Don't forget... Non-Detection in the bathrooms. :)

Arrius, that's why I would limit a heavy magic culture to a single city or two in the whole world. An entire world of heavy magic would be difficult to keep track of. I would stick with minor magic (0-3rd level spells) as pretty common, but becomes more rare as it increases in level. I would also limit the number of super high level mages to recluses or government men. I'm a bigger fan of the little things magic can do, like Harry Potter or Disc World.

Every play would rely heavily on illusions for background and costumes. For that matter, you might find entertainment establishments where each room is the equivalent of a holo-deck. Many a sheep and goat will be going nekkid... a LOT.

Every business would have an Alarm.

Candy and ice cream carts where everything is made with prestidigitation. Obviously magic ice cream with sparkles or appears to be on fire that tastes like anything you can imagine. If it melts and makes a mess, no big deal. It'll be gone in an hour anyway.


Quote:

Crops

With spells like create Demi plane, you could have crops that (g)row all year long...

And since this is such a powerful and personalized spell, it also means said crops could be held hostage.

-----------------------------------------------------

Anyone recall the Principalities of Glanrti or the Alphatian Empire from the old D&D Gazetteer series? One a kingdom of wizards for wizards, if you were mundane you had extremely reduced rights, slavery not unheard of. The other was ruled by a council of 1,001 18th level wizards, and though a little more benevolent than the other, still put spellcasters at a "higher caste."

Dark Archive

You dont have to call them. You cast mount and alter summon monster. Easy peasy.


PrinceRaven wrote:
Chuck Mount wrote:
Actually, Con Flame might not be that common. You need rubies and the world would quickly run out of rubies if even a city used that much light. That's a bit too expensive. If Con. Light was still around, though....
Summon Monster fixes this problem, Lantern Archons have Continual Flame as an at will SLA.

Summon monster wouldn’t solve it. The light spell would end when the archon unsummoned. You’d have to use a calling circle and barter with the archon.

There are 1001 ways to get around it though. The simplest being false focus.
Also blood Money.
A custom at will magic item. Expensive at first, but a city would theoretically only need one.
Etc.

Dark Archive

Tiny Coffee Golem wrote:
A custom at will magic item. Expensive at first, but a city would theoretically only need one. Etc.

A custom item that can cast continual flame once a day would get the job done, eventually, and probably be much more reasonably priced.

I'm sure that in magic-loving 'magical elite' places like Nex, continual flame would be considered gauche and 'common,' and unique and specialized variations that appeared as floating sculptures of light, or chained bolts of harmless electricity, or permanent dancing lights that followed people around, would be all the rage. When one would use continual flame it would be in decadent sorts of ways, like on an ice sculpture (which will be melted by the end of the party) or on the wine being served (which will be consumed in an other wise unlit gathering, so that, as the drinks wind down, so do the lights...), or on the backs of beetles or wings of butterflies or moths that flutter around the area garden, or on tiny scuttling clockworks that move around the room on the walls in precise mathematical patterns (and maybe can be taken home as 'door prizes' by guests).

Variations based on cultural preferences might also abound. In Nex, where necromancy's the bee's knees, a necromantic spell that generates 'corpsefire' from a bit of bone or flesh (slowly consuming it in the process) might be more popular and on-theme. In some temples of Asmodeus, lanterns of hellfire might require pain and sacrifice as fuel, being lit for an hour by each hit point of damage they inflict to a living creature, with low-level acolytes being tasked to 'feed the fires,' which they can do by sticking a hand in the flame, or finding a criminal or unbeliever to 'feed the flame' for them...


I guess this would depend on the game world.

Perhaps I misunderstand but I thought most NPCs had NPC classes and did not advance above 10th level.

So, Adept would be the most common spell-caster; e.g. the local priest is probably an Adept VMC with Cleric.

At 10th level, the adept (and most other spell-casters) do NOT have access to many high level spells. Let's assume the spell-casters have just enough in the spell-casting stat to have access to all their spell levels.

So, very low level magic and magical items might be almost common maybe?


Set wrote:

{. . .}

Variations based on cultural preferences might also abound. In Nex, where necromancy's the bee's knees, a necromantic spell that generates 'corpsefire' from a bit of bone or flesh (slowly consuming it in the process) might be more popular and on-theme. {. . .}

That's Geb, not Nex. Considering the past devastating war between these nations, people in Nex would probably be very suspicious of such a thing . . . .

Dark Archive

UnArcaneElection wrote:
That's Geb, not Nex. Considering the past devastating war between these nations, people in Nex would probably be very suspicious of such a thing . . . .

Yeah, my bad, considering it followed an entire paragraph on options for Nex, you'd think it would have been a no-brainer for me not to call Geb Nex in the next paragraph. Meh. The rubbish that is my brain.

Grand Lodge

People often comment on the "hypocrisy" of people who are fine with rapiers in a medieval fantasy settings but feel like muskets alter the 'flavor' too much. The argument is that in the real world muskets changed conflict dynamics and resulted the rapier being a viable sword design. However, in my mind magic missile and other magical attacks would cause similar results.

Not to say people can't play their gunslinger, just pointing that people who don't want to play gunslingers aren't being a hypocrite when they arm a character with a rapier.


Remember that using the npc array (13,12,11,10,9,8), or even just 10s & 11s across the board, every single member of a race without a mental ability penalty has the potential to cast 0-level spells.


Wandering Loon wrote:
Daw wrote:
Bill Redford wrote:
So then those who show no talent for magic get tossed aside, banished or killed at birth. Interesting...

Being deliberately provocative, are we?

OK then, in this (arguably real) world, people judged as deficient are sidelined and often sequestered. Go talk to any of the groups trying to get support for special needs. Look how poorly we do it even in the wealthy nations. You think it will be any different in your posited world?

The inability to sense magic will be analogous to blindness or deafness in being able to recognize magic environmental threats. If flight is the norm, then stairs and walkways are just inefficiencies, unless you are one of the few who need them....

Well considering this is a one possible hypothetical option (that I posited, not the OP) for a fictional scenario in a fictional setting - yes - that would be very unbalanced and could lead to a great deal of abuse by the magically gifted. This leads to a plethora of story hooks and RP options for the players. Which is what we look for in these games.

If folks haven't read the Darksword Trilogy it's a great series. The sequels were okay as I recall. Not bad, but hard to follow the original trilogy.

The original books were written by Margaret Weis and Tracey Hickman.

When I saw the thread title, my first thought was "Darksword Trilogy." The first two books are among the best ever written by Weis and Hickman. The third is good until it takes a *HARD* about-face roughly halfway through. The sequel/fourth book was forgettable after the events of book 3.

In any case, for those who haven't read the series or don't want to look it up on Wikipedia, almost everyone in this society has some form of magic. Those few who lack any magical ability are pronounced "Dead" and cast out of society. Magical ability is finite, and some people have the talent to "recharge" depleted mages. This talent is known as "giving life." All in all, a fascinating series, at least until the major plot twist in the third book.


So unless someone has 9 or less in all 3 mental stats, they can cast some spells. This is standard quasi-vancian spells.

Cultists and non vancian conjurers could still do magic, at great risk.

Scarab Sages

Arrius wrote:

Running water for sewage and bathing and evocation-based heating or cooling would be well-received. Decanters of water can supply aqueducts and help maintain farmlands and cities in conjunction with river or lake-water.

If magic can move in currents (or at least evocation magic can), you can replicate lightbulbs by having electricity, or more magically, have the material of everburning torches built into the interiors of houses and institutions.

But that's all magicking the modern world. It'll look different if the ideas are more organic and flavorful (instead of magical lightbulbs/magical air conditioners). The best way is to take a spell and go wild with it.
I'll focus on arcane magic here; divine magic works as a counterbalance to it, and is regulated internally by divine/nature's will, and does not usually lend itself to be commercially exploited (even to gods of business). This fact alone causes socio-political fallout.

Commercially, certain magic items will be very popular.
1. Detect Magic Charms. To counter false coinage or magical deception in shops, detect magic charms (or simply plants that react naturally to magic, a la litmus indicator) would be installed in shops, schools, and anywhere and everywhere if convenience allows it. Think Japanese paper talismans.
2. Druid Soil. Druids will be respected by rural folk; a happy druid is one who may enrich your crops, and an angry one could do the opposite. A pouch of soil from druids can be the form of the item.
3. Permanent Food/Water. The rich and powerful can afford to purchase plates that cast Create Food, goblets that cast Create Water, and salt-shakers that sprinkle Prestidigitation flavors on either. At some point, however, these things become empty and old-fashioned. What becomes popular later is having a hunting trip into the fey realm or other dimensions. Who tried bear steak from the dimension of chocolate?
4. Alter Winds sails. Sails that attract mage-wind and could take the ship wherever it wishes to go will likely be an...

The black jewels series actually touches on a non-magical vs magical revolution. Whole series is quite interesting and the magic system is rather different (you have non magic peasants and the magic "nobility". Mage status is a mix of your caste and your magical power).

Anyway towards the end of one set of books the prophesized "witch" (a being born from the dreams of all the magic users not all of which are human) steps up to wipe out the corrupt magic users who are abusing their gift. He retalation wipes them out which cuts the amount of magic users basically in half and then the non-magic users after years of abuse rise up to fight back. I'll post the relevant section as its only briefly referred to not focused on except as in the long term implications.

Still shaken by the storm of power that had destroyed half the Blood in Dena Nehele only a few days before, the rouges came down from their camps in the Tamanara Mountains to face an unexpected enemy.

The landens, who had been brutalized for generations by the "care-takers of the Realms," hadn't wasted time. When they realized the surviving Blood were stunned by the violent loss of Queens and courts, they rebelled - and decided that dying by the thousands was an acceptable price to pay in order to wipe out the Blood in Dena Nehale.

So the landens died during those first days of the uprising. Oh, how they died.

But so did the Blood.

The males in the Blood's towns and villages died as they exhausted the power that made the Blood who and what they were, until even the ones who wore Jewels and had a reservoir of power had used up everything they had in the effort to defend the women and children who didn't have the strength or skill to defend themselves.

When that power that lived within them was gone, they fought with weapons like any other man. But hte landens kept coming, kept fighitng - and the Blood, outnumbered had no chance of surviving.

Women and children died, along with the men. The ladens, steeped in their hatred for the Blood, set fire to the buildings, turning entire villages into funeral pyres.

Then the rogues, trained warriors who had refused to serve any Queen, came down from the mountains - and the battle for Dena Nehele really began.

So a group of non-magic users attacking a stunned and untrained populace lost thousands as they fought back with instinctual power use and then LOST when actual trained warrior mages showed up to join the battle.

Even more worrying when you consider that the most powerful of these rogues is barely on the upper middle end of that worlds magic scale and most are middle to low. The top level most powerful magic user (after the main female lead who wiped out every single corrupted magic user in 3 realities while holding back to avoid killing everyone) has in the past literally wiped out an entire civilization. By wiped out I mean they are gone, their island is gone, every single book, painting, musical instrument or other object that they created and was shipped outside their borders is gone including ones in heavily warded locations that should have prevented magic penetrating it. Against someone like that rebellion is pretty much a no-go no matter how many you bring to the table.


Sounds like the Fen who built The Cleaves.
There are traps and cursed items specifically targeting barbarians.
The only surviving Fen are undead and the stray intelligent magic items.


I could easily see diseases rapidly becoming a new threat. We know Spell Resistance is a trait that crops up (un)naturally in some species. Viruses, bacteria, parasites, etc could all begin to develop levels or resistance to cope with the overuse of magical healing to address every illness much like how we are seeing antibiotic resistance becoming more and more common in the real world.

Undead as cheap labor would certainly become common. Massive farms with a tireless undead population might at first seem distasteful but as resistance to necromancy fades they would likely become increasingly common. That in turn would have a massive impact on the economy, with cheap food increasingly available and (if we are starting from an agrarian pseudo-feudal society like most table-top settings) a huge swelling of the out of work urban populations as land is bought up and farming communities run out of work and displaced into urban centers.


mardaddy wrote:
Quote:

Crops

With spells like create Demi plane, you could have crops that (g)row all year long...

And since this is such a powerful and personalized spell, it also means said crops could be held hostage.

-----------------------------------------------------

Anyone recall the Principalities of Glanrti or the Alphatian Empire from the old D&D Gazetteer series? One a kingdom of wizards for wizards, if you were mundane you had extremely reduced rights, slavery not unheard of. The other was ruled by a council of 1,001 18th level wizards, and though a little more benevolent than the other, still put spellcasters at a "higher caste."

Alphatia was 1000 36th level wizards (the level cap in Basic DnD) IIRC.

In our campaign there was a horde of demons unleashed upon the Known World. Glantri City was one of the few places able to hold out until the PCs were able to close the portal letting them in. The portal was from the Broken Lands, just to the south. The clerics from darokin and the wizards put their differences aside to stop the horde. Imagine high level arcane + divine casters casting a damaging version of Hydraulic Torrent using holy water from the battlements surrounding the city.

And I've just realized that I "invented" the Worldwound three decades before Paizo. Insofar as I also borrowed a commonly used trope for my campaign :P.

Liberty's Edge

Hi, Bill Retford. First of all I think would be better ask u the pourpose of your question: you want to create a setting? It is a theoretical question for the sake of intellectual exploring or you have a more specific pourpose? So me and the others could answer in a more specific and linear way.
Sec, I'll excuse if I don't write the full answer because here it's late night and I excuse if I'll answer a bit now and a bit then with hours of shiftings.
Third of all, if I'm not fully intellegibile for some linguistic incomprehensions please (not speaking wery well common tongue XD) said me.
If your pourpose it's for he creation of a setting, as it seems me to be, or for your curiosity, as it may be, maybe could be useful to you a brief view of a setting I've created and that I've beeen using for a lot of adventures with my crew.
So, the first thing that you may understand when you add a lot of magic in your setting is that a lot of things you may have thought not being involved start changing; that's could be very impactating in a classical medioevali/ modern age fantasy.
(I'm thinking of a world in which Hight Magic is present and if low magic is not properly industrialized it's not vert secretive but quite known by, let's say 1-2% of popoulation)
So, in this case you have to ask things like: why trying to murder someone like a king or a rich merchant if it would be certainly bring back? why building city walls if you can pass through them with teleporting our dig under them? why there are armors and knights if magic is much more devastating than modern shotguns?
If you go far beyond some limits you should answer to hundreds of questions like this to create a credible world and if you go even rarer you should have paradoxes like: why the world isn't doomed by strong souls of all the ancient people like kings and mages that transferred their minds in intelligent indestructible artifacts and perceives and manipulates reality with the use of avatars or divinations plus other spells?
I think you should be quite sure you do not go farer of the first examples of paradoxes (that you can solve: special murders can be done with special weapons or poisons that prevents resurrections; even city walls are magic and resilient to magic; armors and knights exists because powerful mages aren't involved in battles or the magic-based nations uses them as a shield while mages are fighting each other's the rears) unless you want to create something very different from a classic fantasy setting. But remember, every thing you introduce in your world may affect it in many ways, but just a bit of logic may explain why it affects you in the way you desire.
Coming to the setting I've created...

Scarab Sages

Also if your not familiar with it take a look at the eberron setting from DND it's got industrial magic showing one person's view of a high magic society in great detail.

Liberty's Edge

I premit it's a world with more or less 1.5 billions inhabitants (so twice Planet Earth in Classic Roman Age and 3-4 times Golarion); the planet is a lilttle bigger then Earth and that there are a SuperContinent mostly filled with Asian Cultures and a cluster of five little insular continents quite related. The SuperContinent (in which there are the sub-continents of Zymenia, Melania, Parradesh, Zyionia) is quite far from the others, so leave it apart.
The cluster of the other continents includes a sub-polar barbarican one a bit greener and smaller than Antartica (Farnort), an Australian-size quite insulated land populated by xenophobic blue-skin elves (Admeria), a jungle covered great as centroamerica and populated by tribes, elves and lizardfolk (Jull or Cambria), a classic fantasy-low magic Canada-size quite wild quite forested and mountain covered with some creepy kingdom (Isvara); and the MAIN ONE for this discussion: Misvara a quite flat, quite populated continent (dicotomically west part eavily civilized and east part mostly wild) insular continent, a little bigger than North America.
The civilization is more or at less rinascimental or '600 technological level and his civil it's flourished after a millennium of cultural darkness, after the subitanean falling of the gargantuan Mirarae human Empire, which used to rule half planet and had colonies and out posts in many other planes and spheres of parallele d&d/Golarion worlds and that had developed space travels thanks to the magic Metal Oricalcus, that's allowed them to build their Empire and was spelled in hundreds of worlds. Mirarae people where Hight trained in magic (and war; and arts) but their magic was based on the Oricalcus that practically disappeared in one day, after a catastrofic releasing of all the magic potential of all the Oricalcus present in the planet, due to an Alien invasion from another universe.
So, the world had to adapt and to re-discover the ancient elven magic and to try to apply Mirarae innovation to the art in this new world.
For the sake of our discussion there are two regions of interests (we are 15 centuries after the Mirarae Fall):
1^ An Empire that Tries to Emulate the Mirarae one (but that is only a pale shadow of it); that has more or less one third of the Misvaran inhabitants and surface (so this Empire has more or less 80 millions inhabitants and a surface a bit lesser then the USA one), whose name it's Imperium; more or less in the same situation there are dozens of lesser kingdoms; with the same magic acknowledgements, but different obtained practical deals, due to the different size, richness and power.
Consider that under the scenes of this Imperium operates Blizzard; probably the one of the most powerful Arcanists of all times in all universes (Elminister is a dude in comparison); but he does not appear a lot and after some saltuary indirect actions useful to create this world and two centuries as Advisor of the Emperors, he probably lost interests in politics and in this world and went away traveling in time and universes 3 centuries ago.
Now Imperium is quite senescent and next to collapsed itself.
2^ Magocratia. A magocaratic republic more or less of Italy's dimensions and with 6 millions inhabitants (I think a bit more than Andoran, to have a comparison) in with mages rules with the motto "magic for magic sake". This Nation is very reclusive and insulated by a magic barrier, that makes pass just who the magocrates want to pass. Their magic acknowledgment and power is much greater than the rest of the world's one, but, due to their reclusive nature and their philosophy that privileged stability over vastness they have little impact on world's affairs.
So, to come back to YOUR QUESTION, here it is him magic affects life
1 in Imperium and the minor kingdoms of Misvara
2 in Magocracy
...

Liberty's Edge

1-IMPERIUM
Magic it's for riches
Just the richest peoples and cities has access to this wonders
(So starving people and open air sawers are the rule, and teleported exotic food and magically destroyed wastes, for example, the exception)

1-Metereologic control: in the Inner Imperial City of the Old Capital and in the New Capital and even in some Manors and Ranchs you can force weather in an endless winter, with no storms and other unlovable things.

2-Magic portal allows a little amount of goods to be traded instantly from distant lands, other continents or even planes; so it's possible to eat bananas or Faerian wine if you pay enough; but just for very luxury goods; other are traded with ships and carriages.

3-Transport: most vessels hires diviners to predice weather and reduce risks and possibly elementalist to summon wind or sea forces to give an help to the sails. To expensive to be used for commercial porpoises, Military Marines includes some dozens of flying ships. Aristocracy uses to fly with flying monsters such as dracos, hippogriphos or gryphons or, if they are in hurry or very rich uses teleportation to travel from one place from another. So luxury turism is quite active.

4- A lot of magic means a lot of magic control: normal people can be surveilled with divination or psychomancy scrolls; so important people uses objects to prevent this and uses to makes unscrutable their oldings.

5-Except from some rare incurable diseases and death for decrepity or murders with special items tha prevents resurrection rich people AREN'T ILL and DOESN'T DIE until they are very old. Yes they can't die.
So if the son of the Baron breaks it's neck falling from his horse; no probl: papa will hire a cleric or a wizard and his lover will come back (it's stupid thinking an adventurer can be resurrected at every moment and not, for example, a Prince). That's the same for illness. So, if you born rich, probably you will live for 100-120 years. And you will be more prone to dangerous sports or do not mind consequences of unprotected sex.

6-For the pleasement of the ladies, you can have a better makeup with illusions and, instead of modern plastic surgery you can change parts of the body you don't like with transmutation spells: you can become taller, thinner, blonde instead than brunette or viceversa, you can be ven decide to have more exotic traits if you like. And, yes; sex. You can change sex, for the pleasure of one night and or forever, you can use mental sourceries to fell what your woman feells and fell the pleasures or pains of many people at the same time, you can assume the form of an angel or a beast, you can do a lot of hentai things or augment the pleasure for you and your partner.

7- Magic can be used to produce ordinary objects: why do not use a premanent magic door to bring away the smoke of a big bricks factory or elemental of fire to obtain Highter temperatures and better metallic alloys. You can use it to produce stintetic or new materials or to produce better or in a safer or cheapest way others.

8- Military. Not to explain that military art quite changes and that you are quite f&&!ed if you don't have mages that can solve a simple force wall. You don't need epic spells to change the course of a battle: a simple force wall can be used to incanalate enemies where you want, interrupt a Calvary Charge, divide your enemies, protect you from their projectiles or deviate the course of a river. So do not underestimate effects of relatively common spells.

9-Common People takes countermisures to common magic: traps or superglue for invisible intruders and so on.

10-Farming transfiguration can be used to create new species or variants of vegetables, wheat, or animals, that after that reproduces normally. Such as a wheat that require lesser water, big bunnies with very long hair, strange spices, very strong bulls or so on.
For the same reason if slavery is common you can breed stronger or particular slaves.

11-Housing. You can ignore some architectural physic laws; such as the way of building a dome, strange or thinner columns or integrate architecture with illusion or elemental decorations or transmutations that gives strangers aspects or qualities to the materials.

12-Police and Justice. Judges can use certain procedures to make the minde of the criminals reade; to know what they have done; guards can ask the help of oracles and dividers even for prevent and not just avenge crimes

And this is Just the life in a medium-Hight magic setting such as Imperium.
Tomorrow i'll speak about Hight magic. Such as in Magocaracy ...

Liberty's Edge

*you can force weather in an endless spring I meant


Why couldn't an intelligent magic crown be king?
To get zombies or skeletons to tend crops you have to research a new version of animate dead. You are better off making Strawmen to do your grunt work.


Well, while were here,

In my game, the party just defeated a vampire + her minion.

I've put in the lair a captive human, bound by hand with chain to the celling. From the vein in her arm I've put some instrument to keep a bleeding wound open. (Just think of anything that can do that, I don't have a specific tool in mind)

The human have a ring of substance + amulet of fast healing +1.
Free blood for all vampire! Forever! Well, until the human die of old age.


People keep talking about magic leading inevitably to slavery and reduced rights for muggles. That's certainly a possibility, but by no means inevitable.

Readily available magic means that the society as a whole has more power and is better off. This in turn can mean that individuals are better off. It's nice to live in a society where it's easy to keep things clean. It's nice when you don't have lice. It's nice when safe drinking water is readily available, or when hot running water is. It's nice when child mortality rates are drastically reduced. It's nice not to fear smallpox. It's nice when food is cheap because druids magic the land. It's nice to have enough light at night. It's nice to have pretty sparkly illusion-entertainment. And all those effects are pretty low-level in PF terms.

Magic can make people's lives better, and the most likely result of readily available magic is a society that is vastly better off in terms of quality of life. Of course, it may be ruled with an iron fist by a network of divination wizards or something, but it's also pretty plausible to think that people will on the whole be happy that their civilisation is a comfortable place to be. People like comfort and not dying. Most people given a choice between living completely free and completely independent in a wood somewhere and living someone bound by rules (and with dubious authority figures) in a comfortable civilisation with central heating and running water... will actually choose the latter.

Liberty's Edge

Lucy Valentine. Magic is power. As technology is power. It's not good and it's not bad. In can be used to do Nice things or to annichilite free will. I guess people will accept gladly surveillance or social control in change of security and wealth. Didn't they do then in our contemporary world? Unless you want to create consciously a positive utopia or a negative distopy there will always be good aspects and bad aspects in an Hight Magic society.
So there will be less crimes and hot water *and* mind control or at least surveillance.


Considering that this is an adventure game, the characters would have to be part of the secret police.

Rule 1 is fun.:)

Liberty's Edge

Coming back to my Magocratia.
2-MAGOCRATIA

First a brief explaining. Magocratia was founded in the very beginning of the age of Darkness after the Mirarae Empire falling, by a group of powerful mages who wanted to preserve the Art from the apocalyptic devastated world. What at the beginning was a safe sanctuary for exoteric students than grew as an independent nation. But their aim was always the same: to build a safe place where the Art could be studied and grow older. For this reasons the social stability was a must and they understanded that all the folk as to be happy, not to be a threat for sorcerers , so that all persons needed to make things that will be a waste of energy to do with magic are glad to be social useful. For this reason, even if in Magocratia the cost of living is higher than usual, the per capita income is much more, so that even a commoner can buy goods and services that elsewhere are prerogative of the elites, in a similar way to western standards of living; but of course mages has a much better access to real luxury goods. this is a very multiethnic and tolerant society, with humans being just the half of population an commoners and sorcerers of nearly any known race and culture. From a politic point of view there are two principal forces: The Tower of the Arcane of Zokk and the Seven Families(six are human and one elfic). Magic bloodlines are very important in Magocratia, and, even if capable students or paying pupils come from all over the world, a lot of power is in the end of a lot of magi-aristocratic families; and most of it in Seven Great Families that dates the times of Magocratia foundation. To understand this you have to know that in M. they developed a sort of "magic capitalism", thanks to the Quarzine, whose production it's a secret well keep in Magocratia, that permit, in massive and economic way to store crude magic potential to be used for rituals or charged in chargeable magic items. They are used even as a parallele monetary unit and so, ancient families can use them even to hire sorcerers to produce sources of Magic income. And consider that the Government demands taxes to commoners in gold, but to sorcerers in Quarzin, that are charged with part of their daily power. So the government has got huge resources for big projects, daily needing, as a payment form and as a magic reservoir.
So the other power is the Tower, where more than 20.000 towsand peoples studies magic in every moment. Consider that many of them are classic wizards, but a lot arcanist, because the prolonged use of magic through generations create magic bloodlines. In this Tower mages studies decades to pass a theoretical test that it's like a degree that abilitate them to practice magic or to apply for some public jobs. Usually you have to be at level 6-8 to degree. More than 20.000 people in this storic moment are graduated. You can even take specialization courses in: Illusion, Transmutation, Divination, Evcation, Invocation, Necromancy and (even if it is not a proper school of specialization is taught as if it were) Psycomancy.
If you wan't to apply for the Must important jobs (of politic and academic importance) and have the right to brevet new spells or magic techniques you have to take a bachelor; which means a practical proof that, if failed, costs you life, and presupposes a blind faith in magic and important abilities. (At least level 12-13 to make it). 4.000 people have the bachelor.
Than there are more or less two hundred Magisters (and a similar number of other figures of similar power in the private sector and one hundred more in the public one) with at least 15-18 levels of sorcerers and often at least one or two as archimages.
In each e generation there are at least 20-30 epic sorceres.
From a formal point of view all powers are in the hands of a council made up of: 7 representative of the 7 families; 7 Hight Masters of the Tower, 7 Prefects (elected in complicated ways by the common folk and lesser Magic families); the Hight-Priest, The Merchant Guild Rapresentative and the non-magic aristocracy rapresentative. Plus the Archi-Magister as Head of the council. Those have the right of vote. Than there are other figures with right to partecipate and speak in the Council; but not to vote.
Magocratia has got even a magic police, an army mixed with soldiers, mages and war mages.
The Capital has got 2.6 millions inhabitants, so it's a Megalopolis for pathfinder standards.
Here it is how they live in such a place.

Liberty's Edge

1-Defenses: First of all a magic barrier surrounds all the State, and can be implemented to make impossible to pass for everything except they open some gates from the inside. This and the reliance on magic defenses makes useless city walls, so, with the exception of two ancient towns, neither the Capital Emmanu, neither other towns has got walls. A part from some thousands of professional soldiers equipped (a part from conventional weapons) with three different wands, an item to stabilize them in case severely injured an another to mentally communicate with their official (so that all manouvres are well coordinated), there is a special body: the War-Mages, that, after their bachelors trained for some years in a Tower in which they have to train with realistic illusion and than send in a Matrix like Pycomantic war scenario, this for many and many times, than they train in use of conventional weapons and are physically empowered by trasfigurators and imbued with elemental forces and necromantic ones to rapidly heal. Diviners give them a little of prescience. There are just 40-50 War-Mages, but they are lethal and just a near to epic adventurers party can defeat one of them.
Magocratia has even flying ships and carpets, mass teleporting capacity, a lot of offensive items such as folgorators and a huge quantity of crude magic stored, that, if released in great quantities, can have effects much more devastating than a thermonuclear weapon.

2-Natural landscape. Grasslands are embellished with eternal flowers that can sing, that allows peaceful dreams to travelers, with amazing colors or that dances with the wind, sky has been made more brilliant and clouds are strange (but this is unintended and due to great latent magic quantities in the air), blue trees in the deep forest or trees able to change color expressing the mood of the travelers, beautiful hills have been erected in panoramic points. And beautiful birds created to fly in the skies.

3-Housing commodities. Even if the climate in the intere region has been tempered, so that is never freezing or boiling, most homes have elemental stones to warm or at least to cook, and medium classes magic plumes to make gentle winds in summer. All houses, even in villages has a magic sistema that soffucates incontrollabile fires. All, exept the most insulated farms, the buildings are linked to public pipes, in city and in villages. The water is generated with water elemental little portals and the pression brings it to 3^ floor. In higher floors you can bring it with little localized inversion of gravity permanent spells localized in the pipes or, some towers, have an independent portal on the top of the building and the water falls down in the pipes. Higher towers has got big moving discs of Tenser as elevators. Luxury manors or apartments has got illusory winds showing incredible landscapes, or (the most expansive) real permanent portals as winds or doors in different cities or places in all Magocratia (it's forbidden to have privacy portals outside the country). Medium classes has got permanent unnoticed servants as butlers. Fruit-trees or vegetables or flowers (usually in gnomes and elves homes) can grow directly in interior walls floors or roofs. Magic passwords can ensure no one is entering without your permission.

4-Architectures Amazings: The Tower of the Arcane of Zook is 1.7 km Hight, with 7 impossibly curved arms as minor towers sprouting like branches from the major one. The Tower has hundred of levels, each one containing places such as multi floors bourghs, gardens, or libraries. A central internal well for the main part of the principal Tower. The Tower is able to house 60.000 people.
Many are the amazings in the Capital.
The Tower of the Great Family Zook (omonymous), more tha 1.2 km Hight and pals mated in smooth stone and gems.
The Covaoro Manor, a cube of 300 m per side, impossibly standing on an edge, with each side of the inclinated cube hosting a gravity self oriented garden and palace.
The Theatre of Wonders, made up of a living matter, similar to a green armadillo back.
(And famous for drammaturgic plays with illusory settings)
The Elven neighborhood, located between the fronds of three gigantic trees.
The Dwarwen Marble Hill.
Hundreds of unic colored buildings.
The fluctuating castle.
The underconstruction City in The Clouds.
Extradimensional rooms and buildings.

6-Travels. Portals links all the main cities and neighborhoods of the capital city and many private villas. Teleportation outside the barrier is possible just in some points and undercthe surveilllance of the frontierman police. Flying carriages whizzing in the Capital. Even commoners can buy speed clogs. And there are flying carpets and brooms.
Government has also got five flying vessels with unconventional shapes (a cigar, a spear, a ball, two specular accacked vessels) able to trael through planes and in the space, and even in other Spheres and so d&d/ pathfinder alternative worlds. They have runes able to protect them from near every possible danger and a strong offensive capacity. There are even magi roads that you can travel faster.

7-Food and parfumes: nearly every sintethic food or exotic food or illusory foods not to become fat.

8- Personal slaves created with transmutation of objects.

9-Divinators able to prevent any main criminal offense.

10- Objects than can be created on demand.

11-Even commoners doesn't go ill and live more than a century (or the equivalent if not humans).

12- Powerful sorcerers can prolungate their life with transfiguration or become legally undeath. Special laws in this case to ensure legacies to their descendants and they leave public charges.
A lot of law specific for magic situations
(Ex can an intelligent objec acquire rights and juridical personality?)


very cool


Why do people assume 'high magic world' means 'wizard-ocracy dystopia'?

Did all the L/C/N-Good clerics just up and vanish?

Considering a wizard is limited to learning whatever spells they can find , steal, trade or research while clerics (and druids) get access to their entire spell list, Plus each religion has an entire organization backing them (while wizards are for the most part pretty insular) AND the moral/divine mandate to spread their philosophy, a high magic world is more likely to be divine magic heavy rather than arcane.

Especially from clerics of gods/religions that promote societal good, development of civilization or tyranny(out of the E religions LE is the most likely to organize and develop megitech for the 'benefit' of society).


Natan Linggod 327 wrote:

Why do people assume 'high magic world' means 'wizard-ocracy dystopia'?

Something something something wizardspwnLOL!!!!212111!

Short answer, because certain people read what is possible by RAW and entirely ignore setting and assume everyone is a self-absorbed 100% tacticool a++%*#@! at all times.


Natan Linggod 327 wrote:

Why do people assume 'high magic world' means 'wizard-ocracy dystopia'?

Did all the L/C/N-Good clerics just up and vanish?

Considering a wizard is limited to learning whatever spells they can find , steal, trade or research while clerics (and druids) get access to their entire spell list, Plus each religion has an entire organization backing them (while wizards are for the most part pretty insular) AND the moral/divine mandate to spread their philosophy, a high magic world is more likely to be divine magic heavy rather than arcane.

Especially from clerics of gods/religions that promote societal good, development of civilization or tyranny(out of the E religions LE is the most likely to organize and develop megitech for the 'benefit' of society).

I think "wizard" is just generalist magic user for this discussion. Sorcerers, oracles, clerics, psychics, etc would all qualify to contribute to a high magic world.

The only "issue" with clerics I can see is that their use of magic will vary wildly depending on the deity. Clerics of Abadar are likely to be very helpful with building cities whereas the CE deities followers not so much. I suppose Wizards would work similarly, but on an individual basis vs as a group.


Rulers would have to have the support of spell casters at least.
Nobels might have some spell casting ability.

51 to 97 of 97 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder First Edition / General Discussion / Life in a magic rich world. All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.