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PxcL
2013-10-11, 08:49 PM
Hi! :)

I'm leading a campaign (Pathfinder) for a group of players with a somewhat tricky political system; arcane magic is outlawed by a powerful faction.

The short story is that there once was a devastating war some centuries ago between powerful groups of magicians. When the war ended, magic was considered too powerful for anyone to wield at a whim. Benevolent deities are trusted with imbueing their faithful followers with divine magic but arcane magic was considered corrupting since it isn't controlled directly by any god.

They're all playing two characters each that I put into two different groups. Both groups experience different sides of the same story through crossovers and indirect consequences of their actions. We've already been playing for a few sessions, and the players seem to enjoy the setting/story.

Now, with their rebellious arcane-caster group, however, they're in a pinch with some authorities. As an almost inevitable trial is approaching, how should one proceed?

Here's a few issues I'm having:

How to tell if someone casts divine/arcane magic? By incantations?
What kind of magical items / enchantments would be outlawed.


Any ideas are welcomed with open arms and big thanks. ^_^

The Fury
2013-10-11, 09:31 PM
Well, just off the top of my head as far as items that would be banned/illegal to own-- arcane spell scrolls and wizard spell books. Ownership of either one implies very heavily that someone is an arcane caster or knows an arcane caster.
Also, is it the society or the gods it serves that consider arcane magic to be corrupting? If the latter I could see the gods granting a spell/class feature that allows their followers to identify people of a Sorcerer bloodline.

PxcL
2013-10-11, 09:48 PM
There's a guild of inquisitors called the Inquisition that was previously active in rooting out arcane practitioners. They are the ones that made the statement that arcane magic is corrupting. At the time, it seemed a reasonable conclusion for most people, and the fear of another great war was what made it outlawed. The gods have nothing to do with this.

It would be interesting if a spell like detect magic could detect an effect as arcane or divine, but I'm afraid to include something that would be somewhat OP against arcane casters. I need a way to determine a way to identify an arcane practitioner under certain circumstances without implying that all sorcerers should be extinct by now because it's too easy to find them. A zone of truth (cleric/paladin spell) is the only thing I've come up with so far, but I don't know.

Items like arcane scrolls or a wizard spell book would indeed imply illegal arcane practice. ;) But how would it be with wands? Would it depend on the effect? Healing wands might is ok, but wand of burning hands is not? Should wondrous items be categorized by how the spells show up in either an arcane of divine spell list "game mechanic"-wise?

erikun
2013-10-11, 10:02 PM
Wands that are not of Clerical spells would clearly be illegal. I mean, if the wizards' spells were causing the problem, then wands of wizards' spells would be just as problematic.

The most obvious way to try a person would be to present evidence against them. Spellbooks and spell components to arcane spells would be clear evidence. I would assume that judges would have sufficient ranks in Spellcraft and Kno: Arcana to identify them as such. It could also provide some interesting form of "legal defense", as if the PCs can get rid of the obviously illegal materials, then there isn't as strong of a case against them.

If someone can prove that the PCs can cast spells, it could be a legal requirement to cast a Cure Minor Wounds spell on a willing target with their choice of holy symbol. Doing so would prove that they are "not an arcane spellcaster" as clerics can do so spontaneously. (Or perhaps Inflict Minor Wounds, for evil characters.) A spellcaster who cannot cast healing/inflict spells after a full night's rest would clearly be an arcane spellcaster, or as least not a divine caster who gets spells from deities, and be subject to the same laws.

TuggyNE
2013-10-11, 10:15 PM
How to tell if someone casts divine/arcane magic? By incantations?

Somatic components (hand motions and such like) are demonstrably different for arcane magic, since they suffer spell failure chance from armor, and must thus be more complex than divine somatic components, which don't.

Material components also tend to be a fairly strong indicator, since divine magic doesn't use most of them.


What kind of magical items / enchantments would be outlawed.

Well, anything that requires arcane spells in its prereqs, or is only useful to arcane casters (so hand of the mage, bags of holding, necklace of fireballs, etc; headbands of intellect would probably be controlled, since they do have other uses than wizardry, but are pretty strongly tied).


Any ideas are welcomed with open arms and big thanks. ^_^

If you want, you could borrow my school focus idea, which would make it even more obvious when someone is an arcane caster: they have a collection of specially-designed "devil's implements" or whatever you want to call them. Optionally, make Eschew Materials harder to get.

The Fury
2013-10-11, 10:17 PM
There's a guild of inquisitors called the Inquisition that was previously active in rooting out arcane practitioners. They are the ones that made the statement that arcane magic is corrupting. At the time, it seemed a reasonable conclusion for most people, and the fear of another great war was what made it outlawed. The gods have nothing to do with this.

It would be interesting if a spell like detect magic could detect an effect as arcane or divine, but I'm afraid to include something that would be somewhat OP against arcane casters. I need a way to determine a way to identify an arcane practitioner under certain circumstances without implying that all sorcerers should be extinct by now because it's too easy to find them. A zone of truth (cleric/paladin spell) is the only thing I've come up with so far, but I don't know.

Items like arcane scrolls or a wizard spell book would indeed imply illegal arcane practice. ;) But how would it be with wands? Would it depend on the effect? Healing wands might is ok, but wand of burning hands is not? Should wondrous items be categorized by how the spells show up in either an arcane of divine spell list "game mechanic"-wise?

I'd imagine that if any item allowed casting spells that are only on the Sorcerer/Wizard spell list are just flat-out illegal. That said, there do exist some spells that both arcane and divine casters have access to. If pending trial is going to be a fair one any spell/effect that cannot be proven as arcane in nature would have to be dismissed as evidence. That would probably extend to magic items to, right? If you can't conclude that an item was made by an arcane caster you must assume that it wasn't. Again, that's assuming you want a fair system.
All that being said, I have some idea of where Druids/Clerics and Sorcerer/Wizards fit in here-- but what about Bards? I guess they're technically arcane casters too but they're secondary casters and usually harmless.

Beige Dragon
2013-10-11, 10:31 PM
2 stages of trial. Stage 1: Proving they use magic. Stage 2: Proving their magic is arcane, not divine. For the first one, evidence of rare materials like bat guano, having things like spell books, eyewitness' of casting spells, artifacts/wands/scrolls of arcane spells. For the second one, having them rest up, then asking them to cast certain clerical spells. Check their hand movements against arcane scriptures, check if they have spell components, check they have registered as a cleric of a certain god, at the temple they claim to be.

PxcL
2013-10-11, 10:36 PM
Good ideas.

I suppose I'll just keep to the list, then. It would make it a whole lot easier for the players if I say that any spell that doesn't show up on any divine spell list would be illegal. Any NPC with a decent Know: Arcana or Spellcraft could notice the difference.

Cool list, TuggyNE! I'll have a closer look at it.

Thanks a lot for input all! This is really helpful. :D

Warlord476
2013-10-11, 10:48 PM
Here's a few thoughts, hopefully constructive.

1. The Wizard Guild(s) are completely outlawed. Any "world-shaping" that powerful wizards may have done otherwise hasn't happened. However, it's hard to imagine that all wizards lost all power. Maybe the wizard's guild now occupies the kind of niche that in other worlds is reserved for evil demon-worshipers? Well underground, relying on powerful corrupt men, with taboo sources of (in this case) components.
2. It's not just the outward props of wizardry that are hunted down, any distinct components are watched and may draw the attention of the inquisition.
3. Consider the roles of "classes" that aren't fully approved by the divine schola such as bards, monks, rangers and druids (just to take the core classes). Bards would be especially at risk, because they actually do use mage-type spells. But in the spirit of "those who are not for us in the fight against [magick] are against us" almost any class that has any power not 100% "lawful" would be likely to be hunted and burnt as the [magickers] they are. Probably with divine-approved drones.
4. Consider alignment in your world. If you are an outlawed arcane spellcaster you are not lawful, and by definition can't be neutral (see previous). Detection spells are guaranteed to catch you. So your only recourse is to hide.

Ravens_cry
2013-10-11, 10:57 PM
A DM I had tried this for a campaign. My biggest question was how the heck it was enforced.
"Sorry, Mister Mighty and Powerful Sorcerer and/or wizard, but we don't like that arcane magicy type stuff, so . . . could you please just stop? Um, don't kill us?"

erikun
2013-10-11, 11:05 PM
All that being said, I have some idea of where Druids/Clerics and Sorcerer/Wizards fit in here-- but what about Bards? I guess they're technically arcane casters too but they're secondary casters and usually harmless.
If we're talking about a divine-power faction who is using the excuse of "only power granted from deities is to be trusted", then I don't think that they would have much consideration for fairness towards Bard. Or towards Druids, for that matter. If a legal defendant cannot cannot prove themselves capable of casting a spell that all clerics (allowed spellcasters) are capable of doing, then they'd be charged with "Arcana" and punished appropriately.

It probably wouldn't matter if they were a Bard with CLW or a Druid who has been put in metal armor and thus lost their spellcasting for 24 hours. In fact, that might be a method unscrupulous courts use to deal with "competition" in the form of Druids.

TuggyNE
2013-10-11, 11:11 PM
A DM I had tried this for a campaign. My biggest question was how the heck it was enforced.
"Sorry, Mister Mighty and Powerful Sorcerer and/or wizard, but we don't like that arcane magicy type stuff, so . . . could you please just stop? Um, don't kill us?"

Divine casters are reasonably competent at dealing with arcane, especially if they can divide and conquer or if they outnumbered them to start with. (And, of course, assuming you don't have Tippy-style invulnerability shenanigans... though even there an equally-optimized collective of Clerics might do well enough.)

oudeis
2013-10-11, 11:51 PM
If one of the players was caught displaying spell-like abilities, and they aren't priests of one of the known and permitted religions, that would be considered incontrovertible proof of arcane power. If they claimed to be Favored Souls or some such then the Inquisition would merely bring the matter to a high-level Priest/Cleric of whatever god the player purports to serve: "Forgive me, O Lord, for daring to inquire of your workings on this lowly world, but is this guy one of yours?"

The party could claim to be agents of a foreign or obscure god, which could lead to some interesting roleplaying and extemporizing moments... Remember also that while the PCs might be exceptional they are not unique in that regard: others with similar powers have come before them and been dealt with by this system. If this war happened long ago and the ruling faction hasn't just recently come to power, it will be well-versed in the detection and neutralization of any signs of arcane ability. Wizarding knowledge and traditions would be banned. Sorcerous bloodlines would be carefully monitored and, if necessary, truncated, and any manifestations or stigmata of sorcerous ability would trigger forceful intervention on the part of the State, up to and including the equivalent of a Divine SWAT team.

There are a couple of possibilities that might help the PCs. One is that the Inquisition has been infiltrated by arcane casters, a faction within the faction that is trying to protect its own. Another is a resistance movement similar to the Underground Railroad in the United States or one of the groups that tried to protect Jews during World War II. Infiltrating the Inquisition is impossible due to strict divine magic tests but espionage, bribery, and collaborators in other positions have given them the ability to work within the Faction and use it against itself.

Anyway, that's just my tuppence.

Ravens_cry
2013-10-11, 11:57 PM
Divine casters are reasonably competent at dealing with arcane, especially if they can divide and conquer or if they outnumbered them to start with. (And, of course, assuming you don't have Tippy-style invulnerability shenanigans... though even there an equally-optimized collective of Clerics might do well enough.)
It's still making some very powerful enemies who likely either have a lot of connections or are very, very smart. Or both in the case of Bards.

Arbane
2013-10-12, 01:01 AM
It's really gonna suck to be a Sorcerer.

Best survival strategy: Multiclass to get one level in Cleric, if any god will have you.

Otherwise, go Ur-Priest at the earliest possible opportunity.

EccentricCircle
2013-10-12, 06:50 AM
I've been running a campaign where arcane magic is illegal for a while and have addressed many of these issues.
We figure that any magical item that requires arcane magic to be created is by definition illegal, as it had to be made by a sorcerer. that doubles the cost of magical items as they can only be bought on the black market, and a large part of the inquisition's job is hunting down those who smuggle them.

the inquisition have a council of powerful scryers (commonly called the Abyss Gazers) who's job is to sweep the nation with detect magic spells to catch anyone useing sorcery. They pinpoint the location and then inquisition witchhunters go in on the ground to look for rogue magi.
Arcane casters can train themselves not to set oft the inquisitions scrying net, but it takes a feat to do so. (as a result everyone gets a bonus feat at first level, arcane casters take the concealed spellcasting, other characters have something relating to their background and place in the world).

Mark Hall
2013-10-12, 09:53 AM
Since this is Pathfinder, you may want to consider the legal status of Use Magical Device. Since it is used to either activate the foul arcane magic, or use power from the gods that they did not grant you, UMD might fall under the prohibited skills. Knowledge Arcane and Spellcraft, as well, though to a lesser extent.

Ravens_cry
2013-10-12, 11:41 AM
The last two skills are vital for knowing 'Is he a godly priest that isn't wearing armour about to heal my affliction by the grace of the gods, or is he going to use his foul magics to corrupt my soul'?
Such a society would certainly put a ban on research into developing arcane power, but one needs to know certain things in order to know thy enemy. It might restrict things somewhat, but if it does too much, their enemy might slip by due to ignorance, though too lax and the knowledge could become a temptation to pass into the waters of iniquity, verily, and even unto the abomination of arcane magics.

Emmerask
2013-10-12, 12:23 PM
Hm I would say pretty much all magic items would not be allowed, you are either using items made by the evil wizards or you are using items from god without consent from the god or its church?

As for a way to tell if someone uses arcane or divine magic well...
if you are absolutely certain that said person has used magic but cant produce any hard evidence like a spellbook or component pouch then you could just ask the god(s) if they had it from them [with commune or similar spell assuming d&d].

I would assume that the suspicion of using arcane magic, given the settings history, is enough to warrant such actions :smallsmile:

/edit


If one of the players was caught displaying spell-like abilities, and they aren't priests of one of the known and permitted religions, that would be considered incontrovertible proof of arcane power. If they claimed to be Favored Souls or some such then the Inquisition would merely bring the matter to a high-level Priest/Cleric of whatever god the player purports to serve: "Forgive me, O Lord, for daring to inquire of your workings on this lowly world, but is this guy one of yours?"

so basically what oudeis already said!

oudeis
2013-10-12, 12:43 PM
Hm I would say pretty much all magic items would not be allowed, you are either using items made by the evil wizards or you are using items from god without consent from the god or its church?

As for a way to tell if someone uses arcane or divine magic well...
if you are absolutely certain that said person has used magic but cant produce any hard evidence like a spellbook or component pouch then you could just ask the god(s) if they had it from them [with commune or similar spell assuming d&d].

I would assume that the suspicion of using arcane magic, given the settings history, is enough to warrant such actions :smallsmile:You don't say.

Emmerask
2013-10-12, 12:52 PM
You don't say.

ah sorry I missed your post :-/
will edit to change that mistake asap.

oudeis
2013-10-12, 01:00 PM
ah sorry I missed your post :-/
will edit to change that mistake asap. It's just that... it hurts to be overlooked... and it feels like... no one cares... what I have to say sometimes... *breaks down sobbing*

:smallwink:

Seriously, it's cool. In fact I owe you an apology for being snide without provocation. Sorry.

The Fury
2013-10-12, 01:04 PM
Hm I would say pretty much all magic items would not be allowed, you are either using items made by the evil wizards or you are using items from god without consent from the god or its church?


If the church really is that hardlined, I'd suggest that they have their own magic item workshops with their own maker's marks. Any item that doesn't have a maker's mark from a church-approved workshop is illegal to own and should be turned over to the authorities at once.
The only reason I'd suggest this over a wholesale ban on magic items is just because PCs are so dependent on their magic items. Banning them altogether just seems unfair.

Agrippa
2013-10-12, 01:10 PM
A DM I had tried this for a campaign. My biggest question was how the heck it was enforced.
"Sorry, Mister Mighty and Powerful Sorcerer and/or wizard, but we don't like that arcane magicy type stuff, so . . . could you please just stop? Um, don't kill us?"

Simple, hold the mighty sorcerer's/wizard's children, friends and or other loved one's hostage and start executing them one a day. Then take down the bodies, toss them on to the ground and encourage children to hit tehm with stick as a game. Do this untill the powerful arcanist either turns him or herself in, commits suicide or raizes your city.

QuintonBeck
2013-10-12, 01:20 PM
I'm currently running a campaign where the massive church forces decry arcane magics as blasphemous and unholy but arcane casters simply moved away and hide behind several nations that don't want to relent to Church control and provide said nations with magic and magic items that has kept conflict at a relative standstill/cold war.
Also arcane magic is a relatively new discovery (last 100 years or so) so it isn't quite at the level where wizards can tippyverse everything though I may take it that direction if the world doesn't get destroyed during the current campaign.
Magic crafted items therefore are available but it's just different areas you have to go to find what you're looking for a Cloak of Charisma can be found anywhere magic items are sold since Eagle's Splendor is on Sor/Wiz and Clr spell lists whereas a Periapt of Health would only be available in Church lands.

peacenlove
2013-10-12, 01:24 PM
Simple, hold the mighty sorcerer's/wizard's children, friends and or other loved one's hostage and start executing them one a day. Then take down the bodies, toss them on to the ground and encourage children to hit tehm with stick as a game. Do this untill the powerful arcanist either turns him or herself in, commits suicide or raizes your city.

Unless the populace is thoroughly cowed or supporting an evil religion, most Gods/organizations/people in general would be pissed off on such displays and persecution of innocents.
Also what if said arcanist had influential connections? wouldn't that be more trouble than it's worth? Wouldn't a common agreement be more feasible?

oudeis
2013-10-12, 01:38 PM
A DM I had tried this for a campaign. My biggest question was how the heck it was enforced.
"Sorry, Mister Mighty and Powerful Sorcerer and/or wizard, but we don't like that arcane magicy type stuff, so . . . could you please just stop? Um, don't kill us?"You kill them before they get that powerful, at least if they are natives. The rulers will be on the lookout for any sign of arcane magic, so it's unlikely that a practitioner of the art a will have the chance to use his craft enough to get good at it. A foreign wizorcer :smallcool: would have to get past whatever detection methods would be employed at the border to find arcane types, and if one managed to get past that and was discovered within the kingdom they would get swarmed by squads of clerics trained specifically to deal with the threat.

Mark Hall
2013-10-12, 02:07 PM
If you wanted to stop wizards, you could always bind a race of air elementals to invisibly watch all uses of magic, driving unauthorized users insane over time.

It has worked before.

Ravens_cry
2013-10-12, 02:19 PM
You kill them before they get that powerful, at least if they are natives. The rulers will be on the lookout for any sign of arcane magic, so it's unlikely that a practitioner of the art a will have the chance to use his craft enough to get good at it. A foreign wizorcer :smallcool: would have to get past whatever detection methods would be employed at the border to find arcane types, and if one managed to get past that and was discovered within the kingdom they would get swarmed by squads of clerics trained specifically to deal with the threat.
That rather assumes this legislation has been in place for all time, forever and ever, amen. However, at the time it was put in place, the native arcane magic users would have been just as powerful as the foreigner, and they would have been very resistant to the idea.

Agrippa
2013-10-12, 02:23 PM
Unless the populace is thoroughly cowed or supporting an evil religion, most Gods/organizations/people in general would be pissed off on such displays and persecution of innocents.
Also what if said arcanist had influential connections? wouldn't that be more trouble than it's worth? Wouldn't a common agreement be more feasible?

Just convince the people that these people you're executing are guilty by close association to the arcanist you to capture. The only way they can repent is the mage's death. Basically anti-witch hysteria as mentioned in this review (http://www.minmaxboards.com/index.php?topic=10950.0).

Mark Hall
2013-10-12, 02:31 PM
That rather assumes this legislation has been in place for all time, forever and ever, amen. However, at the time it was put in place, the native arcane magic users would have been just as powerful as the foreigner, and they would have been very resistant to the idea.

But, the OP says it was put in place after a war against magic-users, implying, at least, that the magic-users were either beaten or in the process of being so.

Ravens_cry
2013-10-12, 02:45 PM
But, the OP says it was put in place after a war against magic-users, implying, at least, that the magic-users were either beaten or in the process of being so.
Then you have to win against said magic users. No small feat if you want to have a kingdom left at all after.
"You have to be clever to refrain from doing [magic] when you knew how easy it was. There were places in the world commemorating those times when wizards hadn’t been quite as clever as that, and on many of them the grass would never grow again."

Arbane
2013-10-12, 03:26 PM
Just convince the people that these people you're executing are guilty by close association to the arcanist you to capture. The only way they can repent is the mage's death. Basically anti-witch hysteria as mentioned in this review (http://www.minmaxboards.com/index.php?topic=10950.0).

Lawful Good at its finest, ladies and gentlemen.

(And people wonder why so many D&D characters are orphaned murderhobos...)

oudeis
2013-10-12, 03:58 PM
Then you have to win against said magic users. No small feat if you want to have a kingdom left at all after.
"You have to be clever to refrain from doing [magic] when you knew how easy it was. There were places in the world commemorating those times when wizards hadn’t been quite as clever as that, and on many of them the grass would never grow again."Per the OP the wizorcers were defeated, so evidently the populace found a way. Whether you think that's a likely outcome is not germane to his question.

Ravens_cry
2013-10-12, 05:26 PM
Per the OP the wizorcers were defeated, so evidently the populace found a way. Whether you think that's a likely outcome is not germane to his question.
I think it is germane. My issue is it's plot by fiat. Now, this can work, especially if its an event so out of context it changes the whole setting. Like "Suddenly, the magic goes away!" or "Suddenly, zombies!" Why or how isn't important, what is important is peoples reactions and adaptations to the situation. However, basically an anti-arcane pogrom has human players who instigate it and human players who would be resisting it. It's almost as if the main thrust of a setting was 'two guys take over the world'. It might not immediately be known to the players or their characters why or how, but asking for there to be a reason and method is, I do not think, too much to ask.

oudeis
2013-10-12, 06:50 PM
If you were a player in this game- if I was a player in this game- then yeah, expecting a more detailed/plausible explanation than 'this is what happened' wouldn't be at all out of line, so we're in agreement there. I don't think that what the OP laid out strains credulity, though, so I would probably want more details for roleplaying purposes and to find loopholes. :smallsmile:

If you were to accept the basic premise, how would you as a GM flesh it out? What would you as a player accept as a credible sequence of events to bring the campaign up to the circumstances outlined by the OP?


See what I did there? See how subtly I turned his objections against him to keep this thread on track and help out the OP at the same time?


Obviously, the above is of course pure bull**** and I AM KIDDING :smallsmile:, though I am indeed curious about this.

ReaderAt2046
2013-10-12, 07:32 PM
A few other effects: First, acquiring arcane spells would be extremely difficult, so possibly consider cutting the number of spells wizards get at level-up, since they have no easy way to learn new spells.

Also, have there be divine spells capable of ascertaining if someone has arcane spells prepared or able to cast, as well as a special variant of Detect Magic that can identify when arcane magic has recently been used.

But most important, make it clear to your players that if any normal person sees them using aracana and survives to tell authorities, they will have enemies way above their CR chasing down and crushing them. If their arcana becomes known, every normal citizen will either try to kill them or run from them, and they will be cut off from healing, food, shops, everything. Make it clear that arcane casters must be paranoid as hell to survive in this world.

Agrippa
2013-10-12, 08:22 PM
Lawful Good at its finest, ladies and gentlemen.

(And people wonder why so many D&D characters are orphaned murderhobos...)

Could you explain these comments a little bit?

Arbane
2013-10-12, 09:53 PM
Could you explain these comments a little bit?

The whole "Either you surrender or we KILL EVERYONE YOU KNOW AND LOVE" ultimatum seems rather out-of-tune with what Lawful Good (or ANYTHING Good, for that matter) would allow.

But hey, maybe all the surviving religions in the world are Lawful Evil. I dunno.

Agrippa
2013-10-12, 10:46 PM
The whole "Either you surrender or we KILL EVERYONE YOU KNOW AND LOVE" ultimatum seems rather out-of-tune with what Lawful Good (or ANYTHING Good, for that matter) would allow.

But hey, maybe all the surviving religions in the world are Lawful Evil. I dunno.

I figured almost as much. I thought were talking about so called "Lawful Good" PCs acting like they're Lawful Evil. Second, why would this be the reason most PCs are orphaned muder-hobos?

Arbane
2013-10-13, 12:17 AM
Second, why would this be the reason most PCs are orphaned muder-hobos?

Because no relatives = no family for the GM to kill off.

Ravens_cry
2013-10-13, 06:49 AM
If you were a player in this game- if I was a player in this game- then yeah, expecting a more detailed/plausible explanation than 'this is what happened' wouldn't be at all out of line, so we're in agreement there. I don't think that what the OP laid out strains credulity, though, so I would probably want more details for roleplaying purposes and to find loopholes. :smallsmile:

If you were to accept the basic premise, how would you as a GM flesh it out? What would you as a player accept as a credible sequence of events to bring the campaign up to the circumstances outlined by the OP?


See what I did there? See how subtly I turned her objections against him to keep this thread on track and help out the OP at the same time?


Obviously, the above is of course pure bull**** and I AM KIDDING :smallsmile:, though I am indeed curious about this.
Well first I . . . * reads spoiler* Well, dang it. Still, if you want some of my ideas, read the spoiler.
Well, first, I'd work out why the gods are suddenly hating on Arcane magic. I could go the lazy route and try and make an analogy to certain historical events, but I think it would be more interesting to make it a conflict where each side has a perfectly rational, reasonable reason for doing what they are doing that most people would at least sympathize with. It's not 'grr, tyrannous religious government outlawing magic powers, grrr,' and all that.
Instead, though this is a little cliché in itself, maybe the arcane power is somehow infringing on the divine power.
For example, in Iron Kingdoms, human magic use is apparently killing the last remaining elven god, so, as you can guess,the elves are right peeved at humanity, and human magic users in particular. Something similar here could be why the gods are all 'Oh hells nah!' all of the sudden. You could also have an element of betrayal to help explain why the wizards lost. An arcane magic user who wants to be the best in the land decides to betray their fellow magic users in return for certain . . . considerations. Big fish in a small pond and all that. Whether they reward him as a traitor deserves or keep their word is an interesting question. I like the idea of the latter if only because they would be an awesome NPC.

oudeis
2013-10-13, 07:07 AM
I was completely serious about wanting to read your ideas, so go ahead and de-spoiler yourself.

Since most game settings keep the gods at arm's length from the world I interpreted the op to mean that it was humans that decided to purge arcane practices. If the prohibition is divinely ordained, as you suggest, I could see the gods wanting to protect their worshippers from the unconstrained and irresponsible use of arcane power by wizorcers. They might also view wielding the elemental forces of the universe as trespassing on their purview.

Ravens_cry
2013-10-13, 07:36 AM
I was completely serious about wanting to read your ideas, so go ahead and de-spoiler yourself.

Since most game settings keep the gods at arm's length from the world I interpreted the op to mean that it was humans that decided to purge arcane practices. If the prohibition is divinely ordained, as you suggest, I could see the gods wanting to protect their worshippers from the unconstrained and irresponsible use of arcane power by wizorcers. They might also view wielding the elemental forces of the universe as trespassing on their purview.
I'd personally like a bit more than the 'Man was not meant to know' vibe of the latter, though I like the former if there was a history of mage wars that left the air contaminated and the land befouled. Imagine if the world went through several cycles of the equivalent of civilisation ending nuclear war, only with wizards and sorcerers and al the creativity that entails. Now, just as civilisation, such as it is, is starting to get on its feet, old bloodlines are resurfacing and new, worse spells are being researched. The world may not survive another cycle, or so the gods fear.

Omegonthesane
2013-10-13, 12:07 PM
Simple, hold the mighty sorcerer's/wizard's children, friends and or other loved one's hostage and start executing them one a day. Then take down the bodies, toss them on to the ground and encourage children to hit tehm with stick as a game. Do this untill the powerful arcanist either turns him or herself in, commits suicide or raizes your city.

What, you mean mighty wizards have children, friends and loved ones who aren't other mighty wizards!? Seriously, if I were even a 3rd level Wizard and wanted to live any kind of life other than "solitary murdering hobo" I'd be refusing all spouses who did not first successfully reach Wizard 3, and I'd see to it that my children were at least full-fledged level 1 Wizards in their own right before puberty. Anyone with both an inkling of human nature and an inkling of how brutal D&D Land is knows that's just what it takes.

Omegonthesane
2013-10-13, 12:11 PM
A few other effects: First, acquiring arcane spells would be extremely difficult, so possibly consider cutting the number of spells wizards get at level-up, since they have no easy way to learn new spells.
Actually, don't. No, really, seriously: DON'T. Those 2 spells a level (maybe it's more in PF) are meant to be what you pulled directly from your rectum researched independently, without the blessing or the help of any other being in the universe, in your downtime. External sources are called "buying arcane scrolls" and "trades with NPCs" - the free spells a level are as much a Wizard class feature as your spellcasting and your familiar.

endoperez
2013-10-13, 01:02 PM
What, you mean mighty wizards have children, friends and loved ones who aren't other mighty wizards!? Seriously, if I were even a 3rd level Wizard and wanted to live any kind of life other than "solitary murdering hobo" I'd be refusing all spouses who did not first successfully reach Wizard 3, and I'd see to it that my children were at least full-fledged level 1 Wizards in their own right before puberty. Anyone with both an inkling of human nature and an inkling of how brutal D&D Land is knows that's just what it takes.

There are at least two problems with this approach:

1) How long are you prepared to stay celibate?

2) Roy Greenhilt, the son of a mighty wizard, didn't want to be a wizard

The Fury
2013-10-13, 01:49 PM
Simple, hold the mighty sorcerer's/wizard's children, friends and or other loved one's hostage and start executing them one a day. Then take down the bodies, toss them on to the ground and encourage children to hit tehm with stick as a game. Do this untill the powerful arcanist either turns him or herself in, commits suicide or raizes your city.

...Or clerics built to be mage-killers works too. Also it would arguably be more fun, (if harrowing,) to fight platoons of tough clerics than being blackmailed and watching your characters close friends and family get offed.

Agrippa
2013-10-13, 04:43 PM
...Or clerics built to be mage-killers works too. Also it would arguably be more fun, (if harrowing,) to fight platoons of tough clerics than being blackmailed and watching your characters close friends and family get offed.

You're thinking abot it in a meta game sense while I'm thinking more in game. Clerics are warrior monks and priests. You don't just churn them out like regular soldiers. You'll need a combination seminary training and millitary instruction. Not only that clerics require special divine insight and favor. They're prophets and living saints as much they are warriors. Holding the suspected witches friends and family hostage isn't as time or labor intensive as training one cleric.

Omegonthesane
2013-10-13, 04:52 PM
There are at least two problems with this approach:

1) How long are you prepared to stay celibate use protection?
All eternity if that's what it takes. Though for some reason my mage characters have a tendency to come out asexual in any case.


2) Roy Greenhilt, the son of a mighty wizard, didn't want to be a wizard

"It's not about what you or I want, it's about what you need to do to live. I'm not driving you into Wizard out of pride, I'm driving you into Wizard because otherwise you will be captured, tortured, and killed the moment you're out of my sight." OotS is far safer than any campaign where your family is in actual danger, and clearly secretly uses houseruled classes so that Wizard isn't the absolutely only choice for someone who does not want to either be a god's bootlick, another person's slave, or a rotting corpse.

To be fair, insisting they have to be Wizard, specifically, is a function of 3.5 mechanics being so biased. I'd give less of a stink-eye if Roy was a Tome Fighter instead of a PhB Fighter.

The Fury
2013-10-13, 06:10 PM
You're thinking abot it in a meta game sense while I'm thinking more in game. Clerics are warrior monks and priests. You don't just churn them out like regular soldiers. You'll need a combination seminary training and millitary instruction. Not only that clerics require special divine insight and favor. They're prophets and living saints as much they are warriors. Holding the suspected witches friends and family hostage isn't as time or labor intensive as training one cleric.

I'll admit my idea's somewhat implausible but sometimes believability can take a back seat to Rule of Fun. Yeah, it's metagame as all get out but I don't really see that as a bad thing. Yeah, holding a suspect's friends and family is a reasonable course of action but executing them to goad someone to surrender-- again, metagame point of view, that just seems mean-spirited.
If a force of Cleric enforcers is too big of a stretch, maybe Cleric squad leaders could work.

Ravens_cry
2013-10-13, 06:24 PM
For rank and file, maybe homebrew an NPC Acolyte class, that gets a limited spell list and progression, like a divine version of the Magewright of Eberron.

AMFV
2013-10-14, 01:40 AM
There are several reasons why the arcanists would not fare so well following a war, the first of which is that during a war, wizards and sorcerers act as artillery, and battlefield control, stopping this sort of thing is absolutely to victory therefore arcanists with their low hit dice are more likely to be targeted by the enemy and more likely to die in most situations.

The second reason is similar, Wizards have low fortitude saves, and are therefore more likely to die simply from the rigors of war, they cannot cure their dysentery with magic and they are more susceptible to it. As a result many of them would die.

Thirdly, Arcane casters tend to be less organized than divine casters which prevents them from organizing a resistance movement as quickly as the clerics could stomp them out. Basically in this sort of affair moving with rapidity and organization is superior to having greater individual power.


I'll admit my idea's somewhat implausible but sometimes believability can take a back seat to Rule of Fun. Yeah, it's metagame as all get out but I don't really see that as a bad thing. Yeah, holding a suspect's friends and family is a reasonable course of action but executing them to goad someone to surrender-- again, metagame point of view, that just seems mean-spirited.
If a force of Cleric enforcers is too big of a stretch, maybe Cleric squad leaders could work.

I can present what I think may happen in such a scenario, although it may not be the OP’s vision, also it’s more plausible hopefully.
After the great war devastated the region, a secret council of clerics and the temporary military government met. “Never again”, were the words on everyone’s lips, this kind of devastation could be tolerated, never again. They decided that the only way to deal with this sort of problem was a terrible and decisive solution, a final one, if you will.

The first actions were taken against the more powerful wizards the next morning, overwhelming them with force of number, divine casters were able to subdue and kill most of them, moving as quickly as possible to prevent any kind of organized resistance. The few high level wizards who had divined what was coming immediately went into hiding, realizing that overt resistance was now impossible, given their already significantly depleted numbers.

Then came the culling, mid-level wizards were slaughtered wholesale by conventional forces and certain divine clerics. Unable to find any help and too powerful to easily hide, they were wiped out, put into camps and then forbidden their spellbooks. Sorcerers faced a much worse fate, they were either killed on the spot, or blinded and deafened, certainly sterilized to prevent them spreading their genes onto the next generation. Bards were mostly subjected to the same, although they found it easier to hide given their exceptional social skills.

Finally even low level wizards and hedge wizards were found and killed, the frightening secret police constantly using divination spells to monitor for any sign of increased arcane casting, and moving ruthlessly to abduct even those accused of any association with wizards, have created an environment where most of the common folk would rather turn in any arcane casters they find rather than risking imprisonment or death themselves.

The aftermath is complicated. Most wizards are gone, and the economy has collapsed as a result, reinforcing the strength of the military government and the clergy. However the good gods have ceased to grant spells to most, if not all of their clergy, as a result of the euthanasia and massacres that have wracked their faiths. The number of worshippers of evil Gods have vastly increased, mostly in secret, disguising themselves as followers of the more accepted Gods. Over several generations sorcery is almost completely extinct, since manifestations begin in an involuntary way and with the suppression they are mostly taken by the government to places unknown. (A possible plot hook could involve using them to hunt other arcanists.) Bards are now the most plentiful arcane casters with their greater ability to hide and their weaker casting ability.

Also if I could plug an NPC, I once noticed that Sentinal Of Bharrai (BOED) can remain a bear indefinitely therefore some high level wizard could have been living as a bear for an extended period, just an awesome option. Because bears are wicked cool.

Eric Tolle
2013-10-14, 10:17 AM
I'dd simply say that there were no mages above 10th level before the war, and none over 7th level afterwards. That would be the main way a ban would be feasible.

As for determining whether someone is an arcane user? That's simple, Just take a page from real life and torture them until they confess. That method can have a 100% success rate. Trial by combat works well too; if they use magic to survive, they are an arcanist and are executed, if they sure they are innocent and rest in the living care of the gods.

There's also some other sure-fire methods for detecting ar canists:
* People who criticize the church
* Older women who own cats- familiars!
* Elderly women who mutter and curse at people, especially if something bad later happens- they must have cast a curse!
* People who are unusually successful. It's not jealousy, they must be using sorcery to get ahead!
* Base-born people who can read.
* People, especially single women, who own particularly attractive pieces of property.

These are the signs of an arcanist who may be hidden among the people of your village! Remember, they could be anyone! Be vigilant!


Don't forget to seize the property and goods of arcanists to defray costs. In order to facilitate justice, a method of sharing the processes between the Church and the accusers will probably be found. It's for the greater good of course.

veti
2013-10-14, 05:24 PM
If someone can prove that the PCs can cast spells, it could be a legal requirement to cast a Cure Minor Wounds spell on a willing target with their choice of holy symbol. Doing so would prove that they are "not an arcane spellcaster" as clerics can do so spontaneously. (Or perhaps Inflict Minor Wounds, for evil characters.) A spellcaster who cannot cast healing/inflict spells after a full night's rest would clearly be an arcane spellcaster, or as least not a divine caster who gets spells from deities, and be subject to the same laws.

It could be difficult to make such a test definitive. Bards can cast Cure Light Wounds, and something like 'Shocking Grasp' might be hard to distinguish from Cause Light Wounds.

Basically, a lot depends on the nature of your Inquisition. Is it weighted towards Rooting Out The Guilty Wherever They May Hide, or is it concerned with Giving A Fair Trial And Not Punishing The Innocent? Is it, in short, LG, LN or LE?

Marcelinari
2013-10-15, 04:47 PM
I am struck by the impression that a lot of you are misinterpreting the OP. I don't mean to cause offense, but I'm going to try and take a stab at what I think happened in the setting's history, as I understand it from the OP's few posts.

Some centuries ago, powerful groups of wizards, sorcerers, bards and/or witches began to argue. There were more than one of these groups, naturally, and the dispute became so heated that it turned into a conflict. Instead of raising armies and marching on each other (because lets face it, even if arcanists pump charisma the first resource they reach for is magic), this Wizard's War became a magical melee.

Arcanists are not as a rule known for their stealth and subtlety. Some may have thought ahead, some may be illusionists by trade, but as a whole a Wizard's War is going to turn into a super-powered slug-match. Their magics came with collateral damage, villages were destroyed, and bystanders were caught in the crossfire.

The upshot is, the arcanists attacked and destroyed each other. We all know that the best way to beat a wizard is to be a wizard, so it shouldn't be hard to accept that there were significant losses on all sides. In the aftermath, with only a few arcanists left standing, and given that arcane magic had just devastated the country, public opinion was understandably against them.

Enter the Inquisition. They leverage public opinion against the arcanists and bring their own divine powers into play. Divine magic is safe, only given out to those deemed responsible by the gods. But arcane magic, that stuff anyone can get their hands on. Best to hunt down anyone who dares use it. Ban the stuff. Everyone will be safer for it.

With the people against them, the wizards cannot recoup the materials and resources they lost in the war without resorting to international or extraplanar locales. Those with the ability to leave, leave. The rest go into hiding, because if there's one thing an Inquisitor is good at doing, it's hunting you down, no matter where you run.

As for the OP, I would say that a lot of what has been said is very valid. Arcane texts, scrolls, wands or staves would be seen as very suspicious if not outright damning. Eye-witnesses are also going to be key evidence, despite their ability to be bought off. The paraphernalia associated with magic will be considered evidence, as is any pet that could reasonably be considered a familiar.

Since you are running Pathfinder, however, it would be remiss of me to not point out Arcane Sight (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/all-spells/a/arcane-sight), which explicitly allows you to determine whether a person's magical abilities are arcane or divine. Note that it is available to Alchemists, Magi, Sorcerers, Wizards, Witches... and Inquisitors. I believe it becomes available at level 7.

Edited to fix the link.

awa
2013-10-15, 09:18 PM
first that was my impression of the op argument as well not cleric vrs wizard (at least not initially)
second in regards to all children of wizards being at least level 1 by puberty the earliest a human can hit level 1 as a wizard is 17 on average the apprentice wizard is gonna be 22. they arnt sorcerers they need years of training to be able to cast even the simplest spells

Wizards are powerful at high level at level 1 they are a push overs for an angry mob armed ready to stone them to death.

PxcL
2013-10-16, 11:26 AM
Sorry about being inactive. I've been busy playing Pathfinder and Skyrim doing important stuff.

Marcelinari more or less nails down how it happened. The war was primarily between arcane casters. When the war neared its end, when the arcane ministries and cults were severely weakened, divine casters took control by causing a common disdain for arcane magic. A witch-hunt follows where civilians are told to either co-operate with the newly-established, internationally-approved Inquisition or to be branded outlaws. There is a lot more that happened during the war, but I feel going into that would be to stray too far away from my question.

To be honest, I haven't given the gods that much consideration regarding the war and it's outcome. Thanks for mentioning it, Ravens_cry. :) I'll be sure to look into that.

Just a quick notion, the campaign is not epic-level. The most common powerful people out there are around level 15. A few individuals are up towards level 20. I do plan, however, to let the players reach level 20 near end-campaign. That's when crap really hits the fan, but that's another story.

Crafting magical Items
From what I understand, any divine caster (even some people with Master Craftsman) can craft virtually any magical item they want (unless it perfectly replicates a spell not on their spell repertoire). If they want to craft a headband of intellect, they add +5 to craft DC since they don't have Fox Cunning. Then how should one distinguish legal from illegal magical items based on an arcane/divine perspective?

Since it would be hard to know if an item, such as a ring of protection +1, has been made by a cleric or a sorcerer, I guess the easiest option would be to compare the magical effect with what kind of spells are easily related to arcane magic. Evocation and illusion comes to mind. Necromancy would also be illegal for obvious reasons. Conjuration and Transmutation would probably be on a case-by-case basis(?).

Naturally, a cleric wouldn't be denied to cast evocation or illusion spells himself, but crafting an item to do so would be illegal, seeing as it would be dangerous should it fall into the wrong hands. I don't see why a wand of healing should be illegal. Use Magic Device could be seen as an person having knowledge about magical crafting, aka legal as long as the item itself is legal. Items that aren't natural for clerics to craft would, of course, be rare. Most such items that still exist today would be remnants from the war that are not considered illegal. Bag of holding, for example.

Detecting arcane casting
The mentioning that arcane casting has issues with [arcane] spell failure chance is a great point! Making it a Spellcraft (DC 10) check to determine whether a spell being cast is arcane or divine would mean that common people wouldn't be able to tell the difference. They would simply react based on the outcome of the spell that is cast (probably with some inconsistency if the spell is in a grey area).

Most divine casters would sometimes use some holy symbol while casting, maybe even the incantation is a quick prayer. An arcanist should be able to fool a non-scholar easily.

Inquisition, search and destroy
The war was eight centuries ago, so yes, they have been in power for some time. However, the Inquisition doesn't have direct power on the whole continent. They reside in their own hold in the north-west and have barracks stationed in almost every city in most of the other holds/countries. Their strong political ties to the hold's leaders, as well as general support from the people, is what fuels their influence.

Oudeis's ideas of having the Inquisition monitoring sorcerer bloodlines as well as the "divine SWAT team" are awesome (so I'll take 'em!). I also was completely unaware that inquisitors had access to the Arcane Sight spell! Oh my deity, that changes everything! Also, having certain dedicated roles in the Inquisition is cool: one to search, one to destroy, maybe more(?).


Thanks a lot for the replies, everyone. You're giving me gold here.

Segev
2013-10-16, 02:44 PM
The easiest test I can think of for arcane magic is to require anybody proven to be capable of spellcasting to don full plate and cast a series of spells. Failure to comply is demonstration that they suffer Arcane Spell Failure, which, notably, is only applicable to Arcane spellcasters.

TuggyNE
2013-10-16, 04:11 PM
Crafting magical Items
From what I understand, any divine caster (even some people with Master Craftsman) can craft virtually any magical item they want (unless it perfectly replicates a spell not on their spell repertoire). If they want to craft a headband of intellect, they add +5 to craft DC since they don't have Fox Cunning. Then how should one distinguish legal from illegal magical items based on an arcane/divine perspective?

Since it would be hard to know if an item, such as a ring of protection +1, has been made by a cleric or a sorcerer, I guess the easiest option would be to compare the magical effect with what kind of spells are easily related to arcane magic. Evocation and illusion comes to mind. Necromancy would also be illegal for obvious reasons. Conjuration and Transmutation would probably be on a case-by-case basis(?).

Ring of protection is actually made with shield of faith, so it's more divine than anything. And divine clerics do have fox's cunning, it's just that they benefit very little from +Int, while wizards benefit a lot.

As far as cross-crafting in general goes, I suppose you could up the DC increase or just make it impossible again like 3.5.


Thanks a lot for the replies, everyone. You're giving me gold here.

:smallsmile:

ReaderAt2046
2013-10-16, 04:51 PM
Also, have the Inquistion's highest few clerics make frequent use of AMF. If you take magic off the table, clerics have better hit dice, BAB, saves, and weapon and armor proficiencies. A single one of these elite clerics could probably take any wizard that's likely to exist in this world.

In the same vein, throw in a sub-order of the Inquisition that specializes in spamming Dispel Magic and Greater Dispel Magic (depending on level), and holds feats to boost caster levels so they can succeed on their dispel checks. That wizard isn't so impressive when everything he tries to cast gets counterspelled.

Finally, one of the best ways to fight a wizard if you have numbers is to have several lowish-level archers ready to fill him with arrows and force Concentration checks as soon as he tries to cast.

Marcelinari
2013-10-16, 04:54 PM
I would actually suggest that most wondrous items, magical arms and armor, and even magical rings would be 100% legal, provided they have a passive effect. These items can be made by a variety of people, last for a very long time, and do basically nothing to influence or harm others.

As a corollary, any magical item that can use magic actively would be frowned upon (or even flat out illegal), regardless of whether it is divine or arcane. I might be projecting some of my own interpretation onto these events, but if wizards aren't trusted because arcane magic isn't regulated by the gods, the same should apply to magical items.

Even a divine wand of Call Lightning can be used by a rogue to kill, after all.

Actually, the lack of injunction on passive items would suggest to me that it wouldn't be too difficult for an arcanist to use magic in his everyday life, provided it was neither ostentatious nor active. It's easy to denounce a witch for throwing lightning, but harder to accuse a musician of bardery when all she did was look a bit more attractive than usual (a simple Eagle's Splendour away).

Your players might feasibly get away with subtle, passive magics in the general populace... at least until an Inquisitor decides to randomly sweep the crowd with Arcane Sight.

Also to note is that in a small community, the above might not hold true. If the winsome musician suddenly shows an alarming aptitude for gemcraft, courtesy of a quick Fox's Cunning, that she's never revealed before, it might look quite suspicious. Ditto the scholar who always seems so comfortable in the hot summer sun.

veti
2013-10-16, 08:52 PM
The easiest test I can think of for arcane magic is to require anybody proven to be capable of spellcasting to don full plate and cast a series of spells. Failure to comply is demonstration that they suffer Arcane Spell Failure, which, notably, is only applicable to Arcane spellcasters.

... and druids, with that test.

And quite possibly, depending on setting - some clerics' deities may have their own rules about that sort of thing. Gods can be funny like that.

Try again. :smallbiggrin:

AMFV
2013-10-16, 09:07 PM
The other important thing to remember is that with a foolproof test the players have no way of avoiding detection, there is no way to build an effective resistance force. Since that's a part of the plot we can't have the enemies all be mindreaders with the ranger ACF that grants favored enemy arcanist and the nemesis feat. Which if you ported that from 3.5 gives immediate instantaneous detection of any arcane casters within 30'. So that would be as they say "Game Over, Man."

But if it's game you can no longer win, it ceases to be as much fun, so I would make it more based on hearsay and that sort of thing rather than any infallible practicable method.

Segev
2013-10-17, 09:30 AM
... and druids, with that test.

And quite possibly, depending on setting - some clerics' deities may have their own rules about that sort of thing. Gods can be funny like that.

Try again. :smallbiggrin:

Ah, right. Druids.

Okay, WOODEN heavy plate. It doesn't have to be practical.

I find the "some gods might take issue" argument spurious, as it's injecting house rules not previously in evidence into the equation.

Omegonthesane
2013-10-17, 09:37 AM
Also, have the Inquistion's highest few clerics make frequent use of AMF. If you take magic off the table, clerics have better hit dice, BAB, saves, and weapon and armor proficiencies. A single one of these elite clerics could probably take any wizard that's likely to exist in this world.
All those 17th level Clerics whose god doesn't want them fighting 17th level fights like "prolong the Blood War" or "destroy Not-Xykon", yes. But that's a result of trying to think too hard about just how hardcore high level characters really are and what's in the setting...


inally, one of the best ways to fight a wizard if you have numbers is to have several lowish-level archers ready to fill him with arrows and force Concentration checks as soon as he tries to cast.
This basically only works if you've hounded the wizard long enough to wear out her escape buttons - and once she can rest 8 hours in a Rope Trick you'll be hounding her a very long time, as her rest periods are spent beyond your reach.

(And are potentially 16 hours per day, because there is likely no consistent wording that allows unrealistically lazy Wizards to not prep their spells twice a day during intensive periods, and there certainly isn't consistent wording in the SRD. But let's not go too far down that hole.)


Ah, right. Druids.

Okay, WOODEN heavy plate. It doesn't have to be practical.
Alternately the Inquisition intentionally does it with metal knowing about the most likely false positives because screw the druids.

Segev
2013-10-17, 10:00 AM
True. The Druid proves he's a Druid by having class features stronger than the clerics' entire class. What does he care if he can't cast in metal? He'll just Wild Shape out of it!

AMFV
2013-10-17, 11:11 AM
True. The Druid proves he's a Druid by having class features stronger than the clerics' entire class. What does he care if he can't cast in metal? He'll just Wild Shape out of it!

I'm fairly sure that Clerics tend to beat out Druids. Domains offer a lot of nice spells, and the Cleric spell list beats the snot out of the Druids', especially at higher levels. When comparing tier ones having a more versatile and diverse spell list is really the winning comparison point.

mikalife1
2013-10-17, 02:11 PM
alright so the persecuted classes would be
wizard
witch
sorcerer
magus
bard
psionics(if in use)
qingongmonks(they have arcane spell like abilities)
rogues(if they take the SLA talents)

the maybe persecuted classes would be
alchemists(its not technically arcane magic but how do you prove that?)
oracles with the wrong mystery's

and my inner cynic says that these would be persecuted
clerics of the god of magic/wrong god in general(if that exists)
paladins(because this is clearly not a Good crusade/persecution)

russdm
2013-10-17, 02:22 PM
paladins(because this is clearly not a Good crusade/persecution)


How is this not a good crusade? There is nothing in the paladin code that would forbid it, and plenty of other paladins would have to deal with already by this point. Unless, none actually ever showed up which is unlikely. Just have the churches declare that arcane casters are evil and the paladins won't ever care. Unless the god the paladin serves makes them fall for attacking an arcane caster, I don't see it being an issue at all.

hamishspence
2013-10-17, 02:25 PM
Code of Conduct
A paladin must be of lawful good alignment and loses all class abilities if she ever willingly commits an evil act.

Additionally, a paladin’s code requires that she respect legitimate authority, act with honor (not lying, not cheating, not using poison, and so forth), help those in need (provided they do not use the help for evil or chaotic ends), and punish those who harm or threaten innocents.

Innocent arcane casters being persecuted qualify as being "in need" - and the paladin has an obligation to help them, as well as to punish those harming or threatening them.

russdm
2013-10-17, 02:37 PM
The OP has said:


Marcelinari more or less nails down how it happened. The war was primarily between arcane casters. When the war neared its end, when the arcane ministries and cults were severely weakened, divine casters took control by causing a common disdain for arcane magic. A witch-hunt follows where civilians are told to either co-operate with the newly-established, internationally-approved Inquisition or to be branded outlaws. There is a lot more that happened during the war, but I feel going into that would be to stray too far away from my question.

Inquisition, search and destroy
The war was eight centuries ago, so yes, they have been in power for some time. However, the Inquisition doesn't have direct power on the whole continent. They reside in their own hold in the north-west and have barracks stationed in almost every city in most of the other holds/countries. Their strong political ties to the hold's leaders, as well as general support from the people, is what fuels their influence.

I have bolded an important part. If there was anything wrong with this Inquisition, then there would be no paladins. If there are paladins, then its fine.

A note regarding the Paladin Code: Arcane Casters are rarely Lawful, most tend to be Chaotic and do Chaotic stuff. Most Arcane Casters aren't really great in the whole Not harming the innocent or threatening them.

If "Innocent" Arcane Casters are an issue, then the Inquisition could have not remained in power for as long as it has. Every paladin would have put a stop to it and so, clearly something about it is acceptable for paladins or paladins simply don't exist.

hamishspence
2013-10-17, 02:43 PM
A Chaotic person can be innocent (some elves), for example - helping a persecuted elf caster in need may qualify.

In a big organization, a paladin may be unaware of evils committed by some of its members - thus, you could have a paladin inquisitor who only goes after arcane casters he's certain need to be arrested rather than exiled - and doesn't know about other inquisitors killing innocents.

russdm
2013-10-17, 03:00 PM
A Chaotic person can be innocent (some elves), for example - helping a persecuted elf caster in need may qualify.

In a big organization, a paladin may be unaware of evils committed by some of its members - thus, you could have a paladin inquisitor who only goes after arcane casters he's certain need to be arrested rather than exiled - and doesn't know about other inquisitors killing innocents.

And so there wouldn't be a problem for the paladin being a part of the crusade. So, clearly Paladins could be a part of it and it works out fine. At least until the paladin found it, which had to have happened before and then the paladin would have tried to fix things within the law. Its what they do, mind you.

awa
2013-10-17, 04:04 PM
except a wizard in this system would never be innocent unless he was over 800 years old because if magic is outlawed he is breaking the law just by being a wizard and if he defends himself he is resisting arrest.

A guy building nukes in his back yard is not innocent just because he hasn't fired it yet the mere act of attempting to build one was is a violation of the law you don't wait until he can level the city before you try and stop him. And building a nuke in his tower in the woods is not really better.

even a guy like a sorcerer is not innocent because every time he casts a spell he is willfully choosing to break the law he could choose to just be a commoner with a good will save and more weapon proficiencies that's still better off then most of the population.

TuggyNE
2013-10-17, 06:25 PM
True. The Druid proves he's a Druid by having class features stronger than the clerics' entire class. What does he care if he can't cast in metal? He'll just Wild Shape out of it!

Metal disables all (interesting) Druid class features, not just casting.
A druid who wears prohibited armor or carries a prohibited shield is unable to cast druid spells or use any of her supernatural or spell-like class abilities while doing so and for 24 hours thereafter.

But I agree that the false positives are likely to be acceptable collateral.


except a wizard in this system would never be innocent unless he was over 800 years old because if magic is outlawed he is breaking the law just by being a wizard and if he defends himself he is resisting arrest.

A guy building nukes in his back yard is not innocent just because he hasn't fired it yet the mere act of attempting to build one was is a violation of the law you don't wait until he can level the city before you try and stop him. And building a nuke in his tower in the woods is not really better.

even a guy like a sorcerer is not innocent because every time he casts a spell he is willfully choosing to break the law he could choose to just be a commoner with a good will save and more weapon proficiencies that's still better off then most of the population.

You're conflating legal innocence with moral innocence; while Paladins are Lawful, they are Good first. If a system unjustly labels arcane magic as illegal, it's perfectly possible to be a convicted criminal and still innocent. Similarly, even if something is illegal, it doesn't mean the penalties are just either; Paladins would rightly be very uncomfortable with bringing in, say, disturbers of the peace for execution.

PxcL
2013-10-17, 07:52 PM
Also, have the Inquistion's highest few clerics make frequent use of AMF. [...]

In the same vein, throw in a sub-order of the Inquisition that specializes in spamming Dispel Magic and Greater Dispel Magic (depending on level), [...]


Groups, or squads, of clerics/inquisitors aiming at fighting arcanists with dispel spells is a good idea. AMF (I'm guessing this is "Antimagic Field") is probably what the most powerful clerics can cast, thus not common among the usual "divine SWAT teams". Still, it would be a viable weapon should some magicians get particularly hard to combat.


I would actually suggest that most wondrous items, magical arms and armor, and even magical rings would be 100% legal, provided they have a passive effect. These items can be made by a variety of people, last for a very long time, and do basically nothing to influence or harm others.

As a corollary, any magical item that can use magic actively would be frowned upon (or even flat out illegal), regardless of whether it is divine or arcane. I might be projecting some of my own interpretation onto these events, but if wizards aren't trusted because arcane magic isn't regulated by the gods, the same should apply to magical items.

Having most magical items with passive effects be legal while activated items illegal would surely make things much easier. Now I just have to read up on what items there are before I make it a rule.

Passive items enhancing witchcraft, sorcery or evil spells would naturally be illegal. What about enchanted weapons? Weapons are already dangerous, so I'm thinking that including a spell wouldn't make it too bad (depending on the enchantment).

Could staves, rods and wands with benevolent effects, such as healing, be legal somehow? What if clerics would need some certificate to wield it, or something?


alright so the persecuted classes would be
[...]

the maybe persecuted classes would be
alchemists(its not technically arcane magic but how do you prove that?)
oracles with the wrong mystery's

and my inner cynic says that these would be persecuted
clerics of the god of magic/wrong god in general(if that exists)
paladins(because this is clearly not a Good crusade/persecution)

Alchemist class is legal since it is hard to separate that from "normal" potions and medicine. Mutagens are highly frowned upon, but still legal. As a result, many previous wizards took up this profession when their earlier practice was banned.

Since the god of magic (Nethys) is considered a heinous god by most now, the clerics worshiping him, or any evil deity, are persecuted just like arcanists. Same goes for Oracles with wrong mysteries.

Paladins are not persecuted, unless they work actively against the Inquisition. The Inquisition may be hard against those who are unfortunate enough to be born with magical abilities (sorc/bard), and then be discovered misusing them, but common people genuinely believe they are doing the right thing. These are people that are convinced they are doing the right thing, regardless of whether it truly is [right]. Of course, there may be Paladins for other gods than the Inquisition's Lawful-Neutral god.

awa
2013-10-17, 09:22 PM
You don't have to be a magic user even a sorcerer can choose not to use magic.

The thing to remember is we are talking about people devoting large portions of there life to breaking the law. They are actively perusing a life style they know is at odds with both the moral and legal beliefs of the land and consider themselves above the law. If a person spends a large portion of there life studying and practicing ways to break the law its probably pretty safe to assume they plan on using those skills to do illegal things.

No arcane magic is not an unjust law, just like a law that says private citizens are not allowed to own nukes. You don't wait for the crazy hermit with yellow cake and plutonium to blow up a city you stop him before he has a working weapon.

Original i thought of a nuke as an extreme example but on further thought a nuke can only destroy a single city a high level wizard is far more dangerous control weather or wights can wipe out an entire city with a single spell just in core with no optimization or long term planning.

oudeis
2013-10-17, 09:48 PM
So you are envisioning an underground criminal society? They would probably have a name for themselves. How about 'The Magia'? :smallcool:

awa
2013-10-17, 10:48 PM
are you referencing something there?

Ninja Bear
2013-10-18, 01:06 AM
are you referencing something there?

"Don Sorcleone, I am honored and grateful that you have invited me to your home today on the day of your daughter's wedding... and I hope that their first child, has taken the Precocious Apprentice feat."

No? I'll work on it.

Omegonthesane
2013-10-18, 04:21 AM
HERP DERP DERP HERP
Link to original post left in case people wish to dispute my assessment of the post's content.

You haven't in any way addressed the actual point. Paladins are Good first, Lawful second. Their directly and specifically don't give a monkey's left testicle if you are following the law so long as you are not doing Evil - and the game breaks down into Evildar Genocide if merely "detecting as Evil" is Evil enough for them to act.

Also, it's not only whether or not it's unjust to ban something, but the punishment entailed. If the punishment mandated for owning bits of a nuke having owned bits of a nuke until we took them away from you and put you in custody where you are no immediate threat arcane practices is DEATH, then that's going to lead to injustice. The paladins might take less issue if either the holy law or the actual practice was take the nuke away and reeducate the hermit take the spellbook away and rehabilitate the arcanist.

As it happens, a nuke is a ridiculously extreme example, simply because high-level wizards have bigger wars to fight - and in any case get their jollies in a harem of cocaine and planar-bound succubi, not on the rampage against soft targets.

This remains my only objection to a high-level concept of this - as soon as Plane Shift kicks in, people start having bigger things to fight for than their home plane. It may be a trickle at level 9 but it's a flood by level 17.

awa
2013-10-18, 07:18 AM
If you spend your life based around an activity considered recklessly dangerous to the general good in pursuit of power that's a sign you are going to do bad things with it.

Arcane magic was decide by all the peoples of the land to be to dangerous for people to use. People with arcane magic can harm others in ways that are at low levels nearly undetectable and at higher levels nearly impossible to stop with out preventative measures.
wizards are so powerful and dangerous that the only reliable way of taking them down is a preemptive strike. locking them up is only a short term solution.

you don't need to be level 17 to wipe out a city none of the spells i mentioned were 9th level. Although your right a hermit with nuke is not a good comparison for a level 15 wizard is more like a man who can build a handful of nukes or biological weapons every day and can deliver them undetectable at will anywhere on the planet in a way that is virtually impossible to detect or stop and can hide himself in locations virtually impossible to get to in between bombing runs.

At the end of the day a good person has more responsibility to protect the thousand of innocents living their lives obeying the law then the madman building a bomb in his basement.

The idea that at high level wizard will clearly not be a dangerous to any one on the prime because he will disappear on planner adventures never to be seen again is at best very setting dependent.

Omegonthesane
2013-10-18, 10:45 AM
If you spend your life based around an activity considered recklessly dangerous to the general good in pursuit of power that's a sign you are going to do bad things with it.
That disingenuousness wouldn't even pass in a court of law let alone a paladin's code. If you want to impose penalties you need proof of already-done wrongdoing - not signs that it might happen, not even certain knowledge that it will, but knowledge that it ALREADY HAS.


wizards are so powerful and dangerous that the only reliable way of taking them down is a preemptive strike. locking them up is only a short term solution.
I already addressed this - even if I conceded all of your points, the Good solution is to rehabilitate and/or regulate the would-be arcanist, not to murder them. What is "put them through corrective therapy while they're still level 2 and haven't hurt anyone" if not a pre-emptive strike?


you don't need to be level 17 to wipe out a city none of the spells i mentioned were 9th level. Although your right a hermit with nuke is not a good comparison for a level 15 wizard is more like a man who can build a handful of nukes or biological weapons every day and can deliver them undetectable at will anywhere on the planet in a way that is virtually impossible to detect or stop and can hide himself in locations virtually impossible to get to in between bombing runs.
...and who has, literally, no motive to do so, because he also has the ability to spend practically every instant of his life snorting interesting substances off the erogenous zones of extraplanar beings, and a second spent on yellowcake is a second not spent on that.


At the end of the day a good person has more responsibility to protect the thousand of innocents living their lives obeying the law then the madman building a bomb in his basement.
A paladin cannot make that choice. It is against his code. If he commits even the slightest evil against even the closest to deserving target for the greater good he has broken his code.


The idea that at high level wizard will clearly not be a dangerous to any one on the prime because he will disappear on planner adventures never to be seen again is at best very setting dependent.
The more general idea that a high level wizard will clearly not be dangerous to anyone on the Prime who does not provoke him, on the other hand, is simple logic - they have better things to do with their life than go around hurting plebeians.

ReaderAt2046
2013-10-18, 10:56 AM
If you spend your life based around an activity considered recklessly dangerous to the general good in pursuit of power that's a sign you are going to do bad things with it.

Arcane magic was decide by all the peoples of the land to be to dangerous for people to use. People with arcane magic can harm others in ways that are at low levels nearly undetectable and at higher levels nearly impossible to stop with out preventative measures.
wizards are so powerful and dangerous that the only reliable way of taking them down is a preemptive strike. locking them up is only a short term solution.

you don't need to be level 17 to wipe out a city none of the spells i mentioned were 9th level. Although your right a hermit with nuke is not a good comparison for a level 15 wizard is more like a man who can build a handful of nukes or biological weapons every day and can deliver them undetectable at will anywhere on the planet in a way that is virtually impossible to detect or stop and can hide himself in locations virtually impossible to get to in between bombing runs.

At the end of the day a good person has more responsibility to protect the thousand of innocents living their lives obeying the law then the madman building a bomb in his basement.

The idea that at high level wizard will clearly not be a dangerous to any one on the prime because he will disappear on planner adventures never to be seen again is at best very setting dependent.

For the reference? I think that you are right and Omega is wrong. Two specific subpoints.

1. As a case can clearly be made either way, it is clear that this law is not axiomatically wrong in the same way that, say, the Holocaust would be. Ergo, some paladins will agree that arcanists should be punished for breaking this law.

2. My understanding of Lawful Good is that a Lawful Good character should not break the law unless the law directly and unavoidably compels him to personally do evil. Any law that he thinks is wrong but does not do that, he attempts to change via intralegal means. So a paladin who feels that the law is not being fair to wizards would probably put in for a transfer to demon-smiting and petition the authorities to change the law.

awa
2013-10-18, 10:58 AM
I supposed i could continue discussing with you but honestly your rather rude. I thought about saying some other things as well but at the end of the day i would just be repeating the things you failed to address in a meaningful way other then just saying no this is wrong just in an increasingly impolite way.

So ill end it here



2. My understanding of Lawful Good is that a Lawful Good character should not break the law unless the law directly and unavoidably compels him to personally do evil. Any law that he thinks is wrong but does not do that, he attempts to change via intralegal means. So a paladin who feels that the law is not being fair to wizards would probably put in for a transfer to demon-smiting and petition the authorities to change the law.

I agree i wouldn't say a paladin would fall for not chasing down every arcane caster he saw but merely that he would not fall for obeying the law. In particularly I think classes like warlocks and sorcerer who did not go out of there way to break the law but just kind stumbled into it at (on average much younger age) in particular would be more sympathetic.

on a unrelated note
Some one would need to check there books but i think you can create a wight (and thus a city destroying threat) by level 3. With fell drain and a 0th level spell (i think that's what its called)

Omegonthesane
2013-10-18, 11:22 AM
I supposed i could continue discussing with you but honestly your rather rude.
Oh no, I spoke too loudly on the Internet.

We're not discussing politics, I never personally attacked you, so "wah wah you're rude" is in no way a legitimate line of argument.


I thought about saying some other things as well but at the end of the day i would just be repeating the things you failed to address in a meaningful way other then just saying no this is wrong just in an increasingly impolite way.

You claimed paladins could make greater-good calls. I addressed this by pointing out no, they can't.

You claimed that dealing with arcanists pre-emptively was justified if you already feel they are evil. I actually conceded this - I only objected to the implicit bit where you felt their crimes demanded murder. Reread my post, you might notice that.

You claimed that practising arcane magic in a setting where it was illegal automatically and with 100% certainty made you "not innocent" for the purpose of the Paladin code. I challenged this claim, and your defense was that practising illegal and dangerous crafts was a "sign" of evil intent, and that it was "probably pretty safe" to shoot first and ask questions later. I challenged this defense, on the basis that paladins cannot kill the innocent based on "signs"; they need "certainly absolutely safe", not "probably pretty safe". You did not meet this challenge.

I made a counterpoint that wizards of 9th or higher level have better things to do with their life than destroy the lives of peasants. You challenged this with the claim that at least some don't, and did not justify this claim.

So tell me, what are these claims you have made that I have not addressed?

Marcelinari
2013-10-18, 11:41 AM
Passive items enhancing witchcraft, sorcery or evil spells would naturally be illegal. What about enchanted weapons? Weapons are already dangerous, so I'm thinking that including a spell wouldn't make it too bad (depending on the enchantment).

Could staves, rods and wands with benevolent effects, such as healing, be legal somehow? What if clerics would need some certificate to wield it, or something?

Anybody who could back up the claim that they are the agent of a god (or other similarly responsible supernatural being) would be universally allowed to wield magic, by spell or by staff or by wand or what have you. If the gods trust them with magic, why shouldn't we?

There might still be rogue priests, crazy druids, or malicious oracles, but those are dealt with in the usual manner - hire some adventurers to deal with the problem and pay them for their troubles. No use legislating where they're clearly lawbreaking anyway.

On the subject of Paldinic obligation - recall that the injunction on arcane magic is justified not just in theory but in fact. There WAS an arcane war, it DID involve mass destruction, and by gum, we will NOT let that happen again. Protect the innocent, protect the defenceless - though both may be innocent, the commoners are far more defenceless than the arcanists. The Wizards of the War didn't go out with the intention of destroying the countryside and killing villagers and wrecking towns, but arcane magic is so powerful and arcanists by temperament so focussed on the task at hand that they managed to cause such devastation ACCIDENTALLY.

Paladins, in my opinion, should always deal with things on a case-by-case basis. I know that the rules frame the Code as fact, but it really ought to be a guideline. Keep in mind that this is not a theoretical discussion, but is an actual (fictional) country and world, and the GM might not agree with your assessment of the Paladin's code. Then again, they might not agree with me either.

The Inquisition's goal, as far as I can work out, is less to eradicate arcane magic as a whole (although radical factions, who knows) and more to limit the numbers and power of the users of said magic, thus eliminating the possibility for mass devastation by irresponsible 40-year olds with the power to bend space and time.

Omegonthesane
2013-10-18, 12:05 PM
On the subject of Paldinic obligation
Since this was what drew me (back) in, remainder of quote cut for length and linked to for integrity.

If the Inquisition are capable of arresting a mage, and putting them in irons in order to prove their non-divine-ness, then once they have the mage helpless it is Evil to kill them. Not merely because it is Evil to kill the helpless, but also because less destructive solutions exist. Even within RAW, with the right provocation even a natural-born Sorcerer can retrain as a World's-Prettiest-Fighter, or a Paladin or Ranger if they get the call, or a Cleric if they get the call and have the Wisdom, or a Bard if bards aren't considered dangerous enough to cockblock with the same extremity.

If they die resisting arrest, well, this is D&D, death happens. Under that circumstance killing them is not evil. But essentially you don't get to both have 100% of the tropes of systematic evil that potentially apply when you start throwing around "Inquisition" and have RAW Lawful Good Paladins who work for that Inquisition.

Frozen_Feet
2013-10-18, 12:27 PM
Paladins may be good first, but they are lawful second. Most paladins simply wouldn't turn a blind eye to consistent and intentional law-breaking. Your alignment might have "good" following that "chaotic", but you can be sure you'll be at least chastized. On the other hand, you can be fairly certain the paladin will try to appeal any penalties that are out of proportion. Still, you aren't getting away with it. Paladins aren't just crusaders, they are also police officers.

Marcelinari
2013-10-18, 12:49 PM
I disagree about the morality of executing known arcanists. Consider that the Inquisitors do not necessarily go person-by-person checking for arcane magic, but only begin their hunt when there is reason to believe they have something to find (usually that magic has been used and that that is against the law).

Subsequently detaining and prosecuting the suspected arcanist carries its own dangers, as you've mentioned, and once found guilty, they would be subject to the penalty prescribed by law: in this case, apparently, death.

You claim that an arcanist can be reformed, motivated to become fighters and clerics and even farmers and locksmiths - but the courts cannot ensure their reformation, cannot spare a sleepless watcher to act as parole officer for the arcanist, cannot reliably imprison the magician, and even if they take up a different trade they cannot give up the magic they have learned. It will alway be at their fingertips, offering to lift that little load, sweep the floors clean, light that fire, make you stronger, open that door, create a wall for you, let you see through those illusions, kill that orc, turn you into iron, or grant your every wish. It's insidious, and once you've learned to use it, once you've demonstrated the willingness to use it, then you can never be trusted again. You must be executed.

awa
2013-10-18, 01:47 PM
on top of all that it takes the average wizard 7 years in a normal setting having a mentor and with out being hunted to learn how to cast spells they are unlikely to be able to give up something they spent so many years acquiring not when it's sitting there tempting them combined with how hard it would be to detect a wizard "falling off the wagon" would make the odds of a wizard reforming extremely unlikely

TuggyNE
2013-10-18, 08:05 PM
You claim that an arcanist can be reformed, motivated to become fighters and clerics and even farmers and locksmiths - but the courts cannot ensure their reformation, cannot spare a sleepless watcher to act as parole officer for the arcanist, cannot reliably imprison the magician, and even if they take up a different trade they cannot give up the magic they have learned. It will alway be at their fingertips, offering to lift that little load, sweep the floors clean, light that fire, make you stronger, open that door, create a wall for you, let you see through those illusions, kill that orc, turn you into iron, or grant your every wish. It's insidious, and once you've learned to use it, once you've demonstrated the willingness to use it, then you can never be trusted again. You must be executed.

"We can't cure your addiction to using harmless magic, so you have to die."

OK then. :smallconfused: That's definitely LG.

PxcL
2013-10-18, 08:36 PM
I was about to make a somewhat long input about Paladin's morality and the way they can justifiably follow the law, but Marcelinari made some perfect comments that I stand by wholeheartedly. Thank you(!).

Murder is indeed evil, but an execution is not equivalent to murder. You don't go all "poor guy who used to be a death machine" simply because his spellbook is taken away, and he's about to get his head chopped off.

To be fair, being in possession of something magical (items/abilities) doesn't necessarily spell out death for the accused in my campaign. A paladin may make a plea to the court to allow a low-level wizard to go free in order for that person to be reformed, but trusting a high-level arcanist to do the same would be to put a great number of lives at risk (at least from the society's point of view). It works on a case-by-case basis with the law and idea in mind that uncontrolled magic is bad.

Being born with arcane abilities (sorc/bard) isn't illegal, as long as they don't refine their ability by using and honing these skills. As I said, it is simply a matter of being a possible danger to society. Acquiring powerful, uncontrollable, magical abilities makes you a potentially dangerous person.


"We can't cure your addiction to using harmless magic, so you have to die."

OK then. :smallconfused: That's definitely LG.

It's about trust. If it truly is harmless, then that would help the arcanist's case to be reformed instead of being executed. He may prove he is indeed willing to give up his arcane powers before they cease to be harmless and instead become a potential danger to society.


Anybody who could back up the claim that they are the agent of a god (or other similarly responsible supernatural being) would be universally allowed to wield magic, by spell or by staff or by wand or what have you. If the gods trust them with magic, why shouldn't we?

Good point, but what would one do if a rogue with UMD had gotten his hands on a wand of healing? He isn't trusted, but what harm could he seriously do, except healing an enemy of the law? I feel I'm in a grey area when it comes to whether or not benevolent [magical] items could be sold freely by clerics.

I've got the same uncertain issue with magical weapons. Weapons are already dangerous, so would some fire really change it that much?

Marcelinari
2013-10-18, 10:46 PM
"We can't cure your addiction to using harmless magic, so you have to die."

OK then. :smallconfused: That's definitely LG.

I see it as more like "we can't stop you from using potentially devastating magic if you want to, so you have to die." Which is absolutely LN. Like the inquisition. Unfortunately for paladins, there's no real LG solution to the problem. Except maybe forcing the unfortunate arcanist to disjoin an artifact? Which is hugely impractical.

Reading through, it turns out that the courts are rather more lenient than I had originally thought, so good on them! Reformation is a tough task to see through, but if you're low enough level and they've got your name and face, it might be feasible to track your movements and restrict your access to possibly proscribed tomes.

I can see your point about healing wands and flaming swords, PxcL. I think that both of those categories would be legal, and perhaps wands of healing/remove disease/remove blindness/deafness, and other such spells might even be commonly sold to the public. There's really not an awful lot of harm you could do with them - there are vanishingly few cases where they are a detriment to society. Maybe if a powerful warlord is struck down by demon shakes only to be cured by one of your very own wands! The tragedy!

Weapons too would be given a pass on destructive effects. A weapon is a weapon, and a magical weapon is just souped up a bit. It's also rather hard to do collateral damage with a melee or ranged weapon short of an enchantment with an area effect. I can't think of any if those.

And I'm glad to see we're thinking on the same wavelengths, PxcL. It's really quite satisfying to hear that I'm in agreement with the OP.

It occurs to me that a particularly good way of avoiding prosecution for illicit magic is to hide away your spell book in a safe, retrievable place, prepare multiples of a harmless and helpful spell, and plead yourself off as a nascent sorcerer. You get registered, you get warned, and you get to leave town to 'reform' yourself. Grab your book on the way out and skedaddle.

TuggyNE
2013-10-18, 11:09 PM
It's about trust. If it truly is harmless, then that would help the arcanist's case to be reformed instead of being executed. He may prove he is indeed willing to give up his arcane powers before they cease to be harmless and instead become a potential danger to society.

"If you don't stop using prestidigitation, we'll consider that proof positive that you are going to go on an arcane murder spree, and accordingly execute you."

I can understand this viewpoint. Unfortunately, I can understand it only from the perspective of follies common to human(oid) decision-making. So while it is indeed a realistic attitude for the society to have, it's not one that a Paladin can endorse without falling.

Compare and contrast, if you will, to the case of the Nuclear Boy Scout (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Hahn), where someone was conducting experiments with homemade reactors that were demonstrably not harmless, definitely illegal, and seemingly rather obsessed. Was he executed? Did he even serve time for that? No to both; he spent 90 days in jail for larceny, not for nuclear experimentation.

russdm
2013-10-18, 11:32 PM
I thought I would throw a few bits regarding paladins:

Paladins can atone with the atonement spell. Also, its not likely that the Paladin is being sent on crusades to kill mages. Its more likely they are tasked with helping to arrest them. That's well within the Paladin's code of conduct. Also, by breaking the law, it makes the person no longer an innocent. You are not innocent when you are breaking the law, you are a criminal. So for some mages, yeah the paladin would try to help them out by encouraging them to stop using/learning arcane magic. Paladins are bound by their code of conduct to report the mage as well, once the mage begins demonstrating trust issues or inappropriate magic use.

Paladins always are making Greater Good Calls. They do that when they go kill evildoers. Especially when what they should be doing is having them arrested instead. A paladin that knowingly allows someone to go free or to jail that can escape and do harm to innocents is indirectly guilty of the crimes. By taking a stand against evil, a paladin has an obligation by their code to take actions that are for the Greater Good. Some monsters have a nature that requires that the paladin must end them, like vampires for example or were-rats or orcs; if the paladin can't handle this kind of responsibility then the paladin should have not been one.

Also, power corrupts and nothing is a faster corrupting kind of power than arcane magic. It doesn't take a lot for a mage to get an army of undead or take over a nation or kingdom. Going by core, a 1st level wizard can do things and by 5th level, the wizard can make people obey him. At 7th level, the wizard can start making an undead army with animate dead. At higher levels, there is more power and more possibility of being corrupted. I can see that being a concern.

awa
2013-10-18, 11:40 PM
someone who refuses to stop breaking the law is still breaking the law even if it's not a major violation.

he was trying to build a reactor not a bomb, if he were trying to build a bomb and had a chance of successes they may have been a great deal harsher.

A final thought the one that really sets the difference between d&d land and the real world is ease of containment. In the real world if you luck up a criminal you can pretty reliable hold him there and in the very rare times that a prison break does occur the damage they can cause is typically fairly minor.
A wizard can escape relatively easily is much harder to re-catch and can do massive damage in a short amount of time

ReaderAt2046
2013-10-19, 12:03 AM
"We can't cure your addiction to using harmless magic, so you have to die."

OK then. :smallconfused: That's definitely LG.

I think that the reasoning is more "you persist in using this godless illegal power that can and has resulted in massive death and destruction, so you have to die."

TuggyNE
2013-10-19, 12:44 AM
Also, by breaking the law, it makes the person no longer an innocent. You are not innocent when you are breaking the law, you are a criminal.

Here again this odd conflation of "illegal" (i.e., will not be released by the legal system if properly tried by the laws) and "wrong". Paladins, while they do normally respect laws, are not supposed to uphold unjust ones, and are supposed to disapprove of even minor injustice. For example, suppose it's illegal in a given kingdom to worship god X, which, as it so happens, is the one a Paladin worships. Are they supposed to turn themselves in?

But what I'm hearing is "there is no possible injustice in killing someone for refusing to stop casting prestidigitation, move along".


someone who refuses to stop breaking the law is still breaking the law even if it's not a major violation.

True enough. Just like someone who persists in brawling every weekend and bashing in noses or whatever. "Illegal" does not mean "execute with extreme prejudice".

Well, OK, if you want a nice harsh LE medieval feel, maybe it does. At least be honest about the society's unjust laws, though.


he was trying to build a reactor not a bomb, if he were trying to build a bomb and had a chance of successes they may have been a great deal harsher.

Estimated 40000 people exposed to unsafe levels of radiation from his experiments.

Next question: how dangerous is this caster, and how likely are they to snap and go nuts? Assumption seems to be "very dangerous, no matter what, like a nuclear bomb that can't be disarmed" and "very likely, in all cases" — not merely for the society's viewpoint in question, which I can understand, but as the ideal that you're putting forth for how that society should be!

Eric Tolle
2013-10-19, 04:04 AM
I would consider paladins to be the ICBMS of the church. They would be only used in a "clear and present danger" situation, against obviously evil foes. Someone slaughtered a farm steading and pinned up the corpses in pentacles? Send in the paladins. A wealthy farmer is accused of arcana by his neighbor and his lands would be split between the accuser and the Church? Ehhh... best to use that inquisitor who has a better awareness of grey on grey subtleties.

Occasionally, it's sad to say, paladins go insane. They will go on a mission, and exposure to the malign energies of the occult will cause them to start saying insane nonsense like "This sorcerer is completely innocent! I see no evil in this man!" Tragically, these paladins invariably commit suicide or fall prone to accidents like falling down stairways onto crossbow bolts.


(In other words, Player one is a wizard; player 2 is a paladin who is quite bewildered and angry at the fact that nobody is listening to her, and people dressed in church garments are trying to kill her.)

Also, check out the anime Scrapped Princess- it has an interesting take on a similar idea, including the fact that very good people could work for an evil system.

TuggyNE
2013-10-19, 04:42 AM
I would consider paladins to be the ICBMS of the church. They would be only used in a "clear and present danger" situation, against obviously evil foes. Someone slaughtered a farm steading and pinned up the corpses in pentacles? Send in the paladins. A wealthy farmer is accused of arcana by his neighbor and his lands would be split between the accuser and the Church? Ehhh... best to use that inquisitor who has a better awareness of grey on grey subtleties.

Occasionally, it's sad to say, paladins go insane. They will go on a mission, and exposure to the malign energies of the occult will cause them to start saying insane nonsense like "This sorcerer is completely innocent! I see no evil in this man!" Tragically, these paladins invariably commit suicide or fall prone to accidents like falling down stairways onto crossbow bolts.


(In other words, Player one is a wizard; player 2 is a paladin who is quite bewildered and angry at the fact that nobody is listening to her, and people dressed in church garments are trying to kill her.)

Wise words, and a good consideration for the game's players in the last bit especially.

Marcelinari
2013-10-19, 07:34 AM
Good points on all sides, I think. Well said.


Here again this odd conflation of "illegal" (i.e., will not be released by the legal system if properly tried by the laws) and "wrong". Paladins, while they do normally respect laws, are not supposed to uphold unjust ones, and are supposed to disapprove of even minor injustice. For example, suppose it's illegal in a given kingdom to worship god X, which, as it so happens, is the one a Paladin worships. Are they supposed to turn themselves in?

I agree wholeheartedly with this sentiment, and I think it's entirely valid for a Paladin in this campaign to refuse to participate in the pogrom against arcanists. However, this law is justified, even if it is not explicitly just, so I think it's equally valid for a Paladin to uphold this law.

In addition, the case could be made that this law is not actually unjust. The arcanists are not prosecuted for having arcane power, but for using it - they can avoid punishment by abiding by the law and living their lives as usual. Just as a professional hunter can use his weapon for animals or for humans, but if hunting is illegal he can put down the gun and start learning to mend shoes. The issue comes when he has an assault rifle built into his arm. Sure he could not use it, but it's impossible to stop him from killing a bunch of people if he wanted to. <- this metaphor may have gotten away from me somehow.

The law is not unjust - the punishments given out have the potential to be, and are not in all cases. As said by PxcL, reformation is an option. The unjust person in this situation is the judge sentencing a sorcerer to death for using an instance of prestidigitation.


Next question: how dangerous is this caster, and how likely are they to snap and go nuts? Assumption seems to be "very dangerous, no matter what, like a nuclear bomb that can't be disarmed" and "very likely, in all cases" — not merely for the society's viewpoint in question, which I can understand, but as the ideal that you're putting forth for how that society should be!

I'd like to point out that while I agree with the necessity of this law, I don't think it's virtuous. There's a wide gap between 'in this setting there is a massive bias against arcane casters' and 'arcane caters everywhere in every setting should be summarily executed'. And that bias, I reiterate, has a basis in history. Blow up my country and kill thousands of innocent civilians once, shame on you; blow up my country and kill thousands of innocent civilians twice, shame on me.

I've also had a paladin character for whom a summary execution of prisoners was not off the table. If a captured individual was too dangerous to retain as a captive, if they closest legitimate law system was too far away, or corrupt, or had no jurisdiction, my paladin saw it as necessary to offer the prisoner a chance to explain himself, find him guilty, sentence him to death and deliver that sentence, all without input from codified laws or legal systems. There's more than one mindset for Paladins.

Edit: knew I forgot something. Check out the Sleepless Detective (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/prestige-classes/other-paizo/s-z/sleepless-detective) prestige class - now you have non-divine seekers and questors who can be used as, well, detectives. Sometimes inquisitors are a tad too valuable to investigate every little incident.

As for avoidance tactics for your players, I suggest some research into a 'magic aura' equivalent that might mask the spell casting ability of whoever casts it from detect magic and the like. Hell, after 800 years, there might be one floating around already.

PxcL
2013-10-19, 09:40 AM
I would consider paladins to be the ICBMS of the church. They would be only used in a "clear and present danger" situation, against obviously evil foes. Someone slaughtered a farm steading and pinned up the corpses in pentacles? Send in the paladins. A wealthy farmer is accused of arcana by his neighbor and his lands would be split between the accuser and the Church? Ehhh... best to use that inquisitor who has a better awareness of grey on grey subtleties.

Yes. The inquisitors aren't bound in the same way of a codex as the paladins to do being all-good. The just serve the cause of the Inquisition. Some paladins, however, might choose to look the other way if he/she trusts a prestidigitation-casting sorcerer enough to let that case slide, yet exhort them to be secretive about it.

I'm sure that the NPC paladins in my campaign are having a similar discussion to this anti-arcane law like the one on this thread. The law might be justified from a historical setting, but it is hard to truly uphold it justly. All the paladins can do is to try and understand each case correctly as they wish no harm upon those who truly aren't (and hopefully never will be) corrupted by arcane power. The same can't be said for inquisitors, however, as it says in the class's description: "Grim and determined, the inquisitor roots out enemies of the faith, using trickery and guile when righteousness and purity is not enough."

With that, I must ask that we let the discussion of paladin morality and codex slide. I -have- gotten a better perspective on the paladin's role in all of this (which is great!), but what I'm more concerned about is what the law specifically says regarding magical items, and how persecution and trials work out in practice.

So far, I've made up my mind about these things:

Legal magical items:

Passive enchantments that are not evil and do not enhance arcane abilities. (I'm a bit uncertain about details)
Potions and not-over-the-top alchemical items.

Persecution:

Surveillance of sorcerer bloodlines.
Specialized teams for detecting magical items, combating magicians (divine "SWAT teams), detectives, etc.
The Inquisition does not perform perfect sweeps regularly, but rather responds to rumors, accusations and the sorts.

Trails:

Evidence based on possession of magical items, material components for spells.
If lacking strong evidence (i.e. only have supposed eye-witnesses), a zone of truth may be used.
May be sentenced to death if the accused arcanist has a high level of arcane power, or an obvious neglect for the law.

There's probably more. I should make a list on my first post to sum up what I've gathered in this thread. :)


I can see your point about healing wands and flaming swords, PxcL. I think that both of those categories would be legal, and perhaps wands of healing/remove disease/remove blindness/deafness, and other such spells might even be commonly sold to the public. There's really not an awful lot of harm you could do with them - there are vanishingly few cases where they are a detriment to society. Maybe if a powerful warlord is struck down by demon shakes only to be cured by one of your very own wands! The tragedy!

Weapons too would be given a pass on destructive effects. A weapon is a weapon, and a magical weapon is just souped up a bit. It's also rather hard to do collateral damage with a melee or ranged weapon short of an enchantment with an area effect. I can't think of any if those.

Good point. Enchanted (non-evil) weapons and obviously benevolent, [activated] magical items should be legal.



Edit: knew I forgot something. Check out the Sleepless Detective (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/classes/prestige-classes/other-paizo/s-z/sleepless-detective) prestige class - now you have non-divine seekers and questors who can be used as, well, detectives. Sometimes inquisitors are a tad too valuable to investigate every little incident.

As for avoidance tactics for your players, I suggest some research into a 'magic aura' equivalent that might mask the spell casting ability of whoever casts it from detect magic and the like. Hell, after 800 years, there might be one floating around already.

Cool class! It's a spell-like ability but hey, as long as the Inquisitors are able to reach their goal, right? ;)

The Mask Dweomer (http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic/all-spells/m/mask-dweomer) spell is only for witches, but I see no reason why wizards and other arcanists haven't been able to develop similar magical spells. Maybe even a spell similar to the AMF to obscure magical auras inside.

Regarding the activated/passive magical items, there is one thing I think is a bit tricky. Take the case of a "hat of disguise". Not only is it a replica of an arcane spell, but the user activates it in order to change appearance. What if the players make (or buy) a hat that works similarly, except you always have the same alternative appearance (aka passive item). It would, naturally, not be as useful as the activated version, but still be considered legal by authorities. I might be overreacting, but my spider sense is tingling all over this.

ReaderAt2046
2013-10-19, 09:48 AM
Next question: how dangerous is this caster, and how likely are they to snap and go nuts? Assumption seems to be "very dangerous, no matter what, like a nuclear bomb that can't be disarmed" and "very likely, in all cases" — not merely for the society's viewpoint in question, which I can understand, but as the ideal that you're putting forth for how that society should be!

I think you may be misunderstanding. The argument as I understand it is:

1. If arcanists were actually this dangerous, the paladins would be justified in hunting them.
2. The paladins believe the arcanists are actually this dangerous, and presumably the gods have not corrected them (otherwise the clerics and such would never have started this society in the first place).
3. Ergo, the paladins are, as far as they know, acting in justice.

Also, what else can you do with arcanists other than kill them? Wizards you could in theory stop by burning their spellbooks and throwing them in a dungeon, but with sorcerers even that won't help, because their power is part of them. You can't have a high-level cleric watch every captured arcanist at every moment, and you can't keep them locked up without such.

Marcelinari
2013-10-19, 05:50 PM
So, magical item legality, persecution of arcanists, and trials in a court of Law. Got it.


So far, I've made up my mind about these things:

Legal magical items:

Passive enchantments that are not evil and do not enhance arcane abilities. (I'm a bit uncertain about details)
Potions and not-over-the-top alchemical items.

Persecution:

Surveillance of sorcerer bloodlines.
Specialized teams for detecting magical items, combating magicians (divine "SWAT teams), detectives, etc.
The Inquisition does not perform perfect sweeps regularly, but rather responds to rumors, accusations and the sorts.

Trials:

Evidence based on possession of magical items, material components for spells.
If lacking strong evidence (i.e. only have supposed eye-witnesses), a zone of truth may be used.
May be sentenced to death if the accused arcanist has a high level of arcane power, or an obvious neglect for the law.

For the inquisitorial hit-squads, take a look at Ultimate Combat's Inquisitor archetypes - they are almost all geared towards magic-hunting in some capacity.

Any 'reforming' arcanists would be documented thoroughly, restricted in any academics they approach, and assigned a parole officer to check in with every once in a while. Maybe they get scanned with Arcane Sight once a year? Just to check they haven't advanced their magical capacities. And as you and others have said, arcane bloodlines and genealogy would be closely watched.

As for zone of truth, I suspect that it would most often be used on witnesses, who themselves have sworn to accept the magic's effect. That way the witness is considered trustworthy. Using the magic on the suspect might mean that it would be resisted, and the testimony would bring you no closer to the truth.

Inquisitors themselves might have a strange relationship with the trials. They're the detectives and prosecutors, and they are usually pretty sure that they've got the right culprit. I don't know whether they're empowered to be the judge as well, and in such a case, how does a citizen's arrest go about functioning? "I saw this guy using magic on a hoodlum, so I tackled him, had someone call the watch, and now he's in court. What do you mean, am I an inquisitor. No, I'm just some guy. Wait, you're not an inquisitor either? So who the hell is qualified to keep this guy in custody?"

Cue the dramatic escape, the real Inquisitors are sent for, and the chase is on.

I like that scenario a lot better now, actually. You should roll with that.

Remember that evidence is not only magical items and material components, but also arcane apparatus like lab gear, instructional texts, and other potentially damning evidence like a spellbook, familiar, or arcane focus. Anything that is or can be in the public consciousness associated with arcane casters would be potential evidence.


Regarding the activated/passive magical items, there is one thing I think is a bit tricky. Take the case of a "hat of disguise". Not only is it a replica of an arcane spell, but the user activates it in order to change appearance. What if the players make (or buy) a hat that works similarly, except you always have the same alternative appearance (aka passive item). It would, naturally, not be as useful as the activated version, but still be considered legal by authorities. I might be overreacting, but my spider sense is tingling all over this.

Hmm. An interesting point. In this particular case I would say that the item would be disapproved of and its alternate description recorded, but not actually illegal. There might be dispute over the handling of these items in the system, some judges considering them acceptable and others totally illegal. There doesn't have to be universal assent on these things even within the universe. I just think that the 'passive=legal, active=illegal' sentiment should be a rule of thumb.

Edit: Ultimate Combat. The Ultimate Combat archetypes.

PxcL
2013-10-19, 06:27 PM
So, magical item legality, persecution of arcanists, and trials in a court of Law. Got it.

For the inquisitorial hit-squads, take a look at Ultimate Magic's Inquisitor archetypes - they are almost all geared towards magic-hunting in some capacity.

Any 'reforming' arcanists would be documented thoroughly, restricted in any academics they approach, and assigned a parole officer to check in with every once in a while. Maybe they get scanned with Arcane Sight once a year? Just to check they haven't advanced their magical capacities. And as you and others have said, arcane bloodlines and genealogy would be closely watched.
I love those archetypes!

Rechecking 'reformed' arcanists is cool, and could be an interesting event during a quest for the rebellious player group consisting of mostly arcane casters (note: the players play two characters each, one for each of the two PC groups).


As for zone of truth, I suspect that it would most often be used on witnesses, who themselves have sworn to accept the magic's effect. That way the witness is considered trustworthy. Using the magic on the suspect might mean that it would be resisted, and the testimony would bring you no closer to the truth.

Inquisitors themselves might have a strange relationship with the trials. They're the detectives and prosecutors, and they are usually pretty sure that they've got the right culprit. I don't know whether they're empowered to be the judge as well, and in such a case, how does a citizen's arrest go about functioning? "I saw this guy using magic on a hoodlum, so I tackled him, had someone call the watch, and now he's in court. What do you mean, am I an inquisitor. No, I'm just some guy. Wait, you're not an inquisitor either? So who the hell is qualified to keep this guy in custody?"

Cue the dramatic escape, the real Inquisitors are sent for, and the chase is on.

I like that scenario a lot better now, actually. You should roll with that.

Hahaha. I'll totally roll with that at some point!

Zone of truth for the witnesses is way better than my idea. Casters are naturally the ones who are most resistant against mind spells. The witnesses wouldn't be 100% reliable, as they might believe they saw someone cast spells that they confuse with the accused. Still, eye-witnesses are highly overrated still today so expecting a medieval society to be any better is too much, I suppose. Ah, the intrigue!



There doesn't have to be universal assent on these things even within the universe. I just think that the 'passive=legal, active=illegal' sentiment should be a rule of thumb.
Good point. Having such a simple rule of thumb is probably best to make it easier for the players, then just make them aware of the general dislike of arcane-like effects.


I don't have anymore questions, it seems. That must mean you people are the best ever (yes, ever). If you have anymore ideas, I welcome them happily.

If anyone, on the other hand, would want me to write up a description of my campaign, in addition to loads of story secrets and plots, let me know. Maybe it will prove helpful for someone else out there. If I'm asked, I'll make a new thread as I know that at least one of my players is reading this thread. Can't risk having any spoilers in here, can I? ;)

If I ever meet any of you guys, beer is on me!

Eric Tolle
2013-10-19, 11:57 PM
One of the problems the Church will have to face is that if an Arcanist is hunted, and the hunt fails, the Arcanist's potential for destruction will increase. Also, a single word from an Arcanist may disable an entire hunting group. So targeting Arcanists will probably involve overwhelming force, surprise, and not allowing them to get a word in.

There is of course the potential for Geasing Arcanists, and using them to hunt other Arcanists. That's a very dangerous ploy, of course.