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Mark Hall
2008-11-03, 10:32 AM
Something I came up with while perusing the "Magical Society" thread.

Given 3.x rules for magic item creation, do you think it would be reasonable for nations to punish magic-users by requiring them to make certain magical items, such as prestidigitating, self-cleaning, cobblestones, magical streetlamps, or the infamous resetting create food and water trap?

Tempest Fennac
2008-11-03, 10:34 AM
That could work. You're refering to punishing them for crimes rather then for being spellcasters, right? (This would be in a setting where magic isn't normally used for everything?)

Mark Hall
2008-11-03, 10:58 AM
That could work. You're refering to punishing them for crimes rather then for being spellcasters, right? (This would be in a setting where magic isn't normally used for everything?)

Right; punishing them for crimes that might cost others jail time or a big fine... instead, they have to build a magic item, costing them time, money, and experience.

Tempest Fennac
2008-11-03, 11:06 AM
Thanks. That would be a good punishment idea. Who would benefit from the items, though?

afroakuma
2008-11-03, 11:06 AM
Enforcement is an issue; also, the fine would have to be greater than the personal expenditure imposed.

And I think resetting "traps" with beneficial spells should see themselves out the door of most respectable campaign settings. It is a gross exploitation of the rules to create untenable situations.

AKA_Bait
2008-11-03, 11:16 AM
Seems reasonable to me. It could also exist as a kind of community service. Many countries have a mandatory service requirement of some kind. Perhaps in a nation that requires a year of service in the army or the watch would also allow a 'buy out' in the form of magical items created. This could make an interesting class dynamic in a setting too, with wizards that do so perhaps looked upon by some the way draft dodgers are in the US.

UglyPanda
2008-11-03, 11:17 AM
Dude, it's the DM making those traps and it's a thought simulation. Who'd kick him out of the pretend game?

I'd think that punishment would work pretty well. It's much better than the idea I had for my campaign setting: Force prisoners to constantly turn a giant set of gears that would extract magical energy from them through magical dynamos and the prisoners own suffering.

Fax Celestis
2008-11-03, 11:20 AM
The question then becomes, "Where Are They Getting The XP Needed To Craft This Stuff?"

And, if you're in the lower planes, the answer is right in the BoVD: "Souls."

Zeful
2008-11-03, 11:20 AM
Enforcement is an issue; also, the fine would have to be greater than the personal expenditure imposed.

Enforcement is easy, other higher level wizards with a "Comply or be melted into slag/instantly vaporized" deal.

Mark Hall
2008-11-03, 11:37 AM
Enforcement is an issue; also, the fine would have to be greater than the personal expenditure imposed.


Base it on the usual street value of the item (which comports nicely with the 5GP per 1 XP rules). As for enforcement, remember that you can start making this an option as of 3rd level... a slew of potions, or minor magical items. At 5th level, you get magical weapons and wands as options. If you've got twenty years of wizards making wands for your magical enforcement groups, suddenly enforcing things on low to medium level wizards is a lot less difficult.

Dervag
2008-11-03, 02:15 PM
The question then becomes, "Where Are They Getting The XP Needed To Craft This Stuff?"

And, if you're in the lower planes, the answer is right in the BoVD: "Souls."Or they're just getting it from themselves- the penalty for some magical crime is to work at making magic items for the state until your powers are so drained that you can no longer do so.

Telonius
2008-11-03, 02:25 PM
The fact that they've been convicted of a crime means that they've actually done something.

A wizard convicted of murder might be sentenced to produce magical stuff worth up to the value of the XP he gained from his victim.

hamishspence
2008-11-03, 02:31 PM
shouldn't be too hard to frame someone- give them memories of committing the crime using magic- and give compulsion to confess. Unless Zone of Truth works on lies you don't know are lies but believe to be true. Confessions might mean no double-checking.

It all seems pretty dystopian.

Duke of URL
2008-11-03, 02:38 PM
It doesn't have to be a punishment, just a tax.

hamishspence
2008-11-03, 02:40 PM
Didn't somebody say all criminals get mindwiped "re-education"?

Doug Lampert
2008-11-03, 03:03 PM
shouldn't be too hard to frame someone- give them memories of committing the crime using magic- and give compulsion to confess. Unless Zone of Truth works on lies you don't know are lies but believe to be true. Confessions might mean no double-checking.

It all seems pretty dystopian.Why would this be easier or more common than OTHER methods of convincing someone he owes you money or an item of value?

There's only ONE spell in core that gives false memories. (Other than wish, limited wish, or miracle being used to emulate that spell). It's a Bard spell and requires a 10th+ level bard, so not many people can do it. The memories are of only 5 minutes, so the "crime" needs to be a quicky crime of impulse.

And the duration is permanent (not instant), so anyone doing a detect magic, ever, on your target will spot the presense of the spell and the school and may figure out what it is. And the target can also figure it out with spellcraft when he thinks about what he did (like say when he confesses), spellcraft is a surprisingly common skill amoung item makers.

There's NOTHING in core that would give a compulsion to confess that wouldn't work equally well to force the guy to do other stuff (like just making him give you items), and all the spells that would work the guy will know what happened when the duration expires.

Broadly just mugging the guy is FAR easier than exploiting this sort of system.

Inyssius Tor
2008-11-03, 03:06 PM
Unless you can go outside of core and you have programmed amnesia or mind-rape or something, in which case you may as well just be the sacred god-king of whatever country you happen to be in anyway.

Fax Celestis
2008-11-03, 03:17 PM
Why would this be easier or more common than OTHER methods of convincing someone he owes you money or an item of value?

There's only ONE spell in core that gives false memories. (Other than wish, limited wish, or miracle being used to emulate that spell). It's a Bard spell and requires a 10th+ level bard, so not many people can do it. The memories are of only 5 minutes, so the "crime" needs to be a quicky crime of impulse.

And the duration is permanent (not instant), so anyone doing a detect magic, ever, on your target will spot the presense of the spell and the school and may figure out what it is. And the target can also figure it out with spellcraft when he thinks about what he did (like say when he confesses), spellcraft is a surprisingly common skill amoung item makers.
Or a scroll or wand or rod would suffice nicely. Further, you can detect an aura, sure. But there are a lot of different kinds of Enchantment spells out there, and there's no reason you couldn't tell him to say, "Oh, that. I have something of a mental disorder, and I went to magical psychotherapy."


There's NOTHING in core that would give a compulsion to confess that wouldn't work equally well to force the guy to do other stuff (like just making him give you items), and all the spells that would work the guy will know what happened when the duration expires.
Aside from the expiration time, charm spells should do nicely--one planted right before going on the stand in a trial would make for an excellent fall-guy.

Even just glibness would work, and he wouldn't have any leftover magical traces from your insane bluff check--"I didn't kill him--you did." Bluff 1d20+30 glibness+3 Cha+10 ranks means you're rolling between 44 and 63. Meanwhile an equally-leveled defender will roll 1d20+3 Wis+10 ranks+20 "incredibly difficult to believe" (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/skills/bluff.htm)--if he's focused on defending, putting him between 34 and 53: a failing score half the time. Someone more pliable (read: lower Wis, less ranks) will roll 1d20+3 Wis+3 ranks+20 "incredibly difficult to believe" for a roll of 27 to 46: failing only when you roll a one or a two and they roll a 19 or 20.

Mark Hall
2008-11-03, 03:22 PM
The fact that they've been convicted of a crime means that they've actually done something.

A wizard convicted of murder might be sentenced to produce magical stuff worth up to the value of the XP he gained from his victim.

So, if I kill a bunch of unimportant, low-level NPCs, while being a 20th level wizard, I don't have to pay anything because they're too far beneath my CR to give me XP?

Coidzor
2008-11-03, 03:26 PM
So, if I kill a bunch of unimportant, low-level NPCs, while being a 20th level wizard, I don't have to pay anything because they're too far beneath my CR to give me XP?

The most elite of the wizards would have to be given special privileges not to just leave the society. Especially since they probably set it up in the first place. So not necessarily, but potentially, yes.

Emperor Tippy
2008-11-03, 04:17 PM
Well I tend to just use Mind Rape. Casters and other PC classes have too much potential value to society to be left to rot in prison and just killing them doesn't stop resurrection or the like. I would say cram them in little crystal vials with Smokey Confinement but they aren't really being punished (being in stasis) and what happens when someone decides that a prison break is a good idea and releases a thousand years worth of the most evil criminals? So the criminals just get Mind Raped into believing that they are good and helpful members of society. You keep access to their skills and abilities while ensuring that they don't commit future crimes.

And well, if society needs cheap magic items then you just alter the mind rape slightly so that they believe that it's their divine duty to produce magic items for society and that their god came down and gave them this mission personally.