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  1. - Top - End - #151
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    Yora's Avatar

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    Default Re: World-Building Turn-Offs

    Communication would be possible. Because almost everyone except for recent immigrants knows Standard German and can speak it reasonably well, even if most of us don't use it at home. It could be difficult depending on how strong the regional accent of a given person is, but if you have a reasonably good pronounciation as you learned in language classes, everyone would be able to understand you.
    In urban centers, it is much more common to be around people from other parts of the country, so urban people unconsciously switch to Standard German pronounciation and have lots of practice in it. In rural areas that have basically no "foreigners" moving there, people speak dialect almost all the time, so they have almost no practice with the standard pronounciations. And that can be quite difficult.
    But you can read all books and newspapers, listen to radio shows, and watch TV, unless it's specifically made to use a regional dialect. Because Standard German is the common language that everyone knows in addition to their regional local dialect.
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  2. - Top - End - #152
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    TheWombatOfDoom's Avatar

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    Default Re: World-Building Turn-Offs

    So to be more on topic - Standard German is "Common" in the setting of "Germany", and the regional dialects would be perhaps "undercommon" or a variated dialect. Then you have foreigners who speak other languages or "other races that speak their own languages".

    So, in this case, I actually agree with D & D's thing with this, save perhaps making a ruling or guidelines for subsets of language for advanced DM's.

    I'd say the simplification is fine for normal or beginner DM's, but there could be an optional thing to go into, such as regional speak for each language and so on. Or perhaps on a DM's discretion, they can implement it on their own accord.

    I'm reminded of this by: I once had the DM hand off the reigns to a party to me by throwing the group (save mine) through a dimension door into another world. The common was completely different and no one understood them. They managed to get an item that could comprehend languages for them, but they were costly. I also messed around with the values of their money, multiplying their money by ten since the former DM was skimpy on character worth and they were severly disadvantaged in that area. The solution was simple - metals had a different worth there! I do that often within the same world too. Different nation? Different worth. Maybe not 10 times as much, but variancies.
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  3. - Top - End - #153
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    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Re: World-Building Turn-Offs

    It gets odd when you conciser pictographic languages like the Chinese script. They don't tell you how to say them, they just have a fixed meaning; if you know that meaning then you can read them without knowing a single word of any of the spoken Chinese languages, an actual Chinese person would read the same meaning from the same words but in a completely different language. The Japanese do it all the time.
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  4. - Top - End - #154
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    Daemon

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blightedmarsh View Post
    It gets odd when you conciser pictographic languages like the Chinese script. They don't tell you how to say them, they just have a fixed meaning; if you know that meaning then you can read them without knowing a single word of any of the spoken Chinese languages, an actual Chinese person would read the same meaning from the same words but in a completely different language. The Japanese do it all the time.
    Technically Chinese script does tell you how to say it since every symbol has its own pronunciation (unlike in Japanese where they can have two or three) but only for a given dialect. Thus a Cantonese and a Mandarin speaker can read the same text with unambiguous pronunciation on their in their own languages but still be completely unable to communicate with each other.



    This is probably one of those things that would be decried as imerssion breaking in a setting (this is one town over and they use the same text, how come they can't understand what I'm saying!).

    Similarly, causing evil for evil's sake happens in the real world, mainly as a form of psychological empowerment for the perpetrator against someone 'beneath them. Bullying, which is a very similar thing, happens all the time, even moreso among those society considers 'pure' i.e. children and animals. While it does have some rule in establishing and enforcing a social structure, this isn't always apparent even to the perpetrators.

    As for personal guns, it's surprising they developed in the real world, let alone a fantasy one. While cannon were useful in sieges, early guns were slower, less accurate, no easier to use and more temperamental than the crossbows and longbows they were supporting. The only real advantage was that they made a big scarey bang that could theoretically scare horses. Eventually they became cheaper and easier to use as anti armor weapons, but even then they weren't much better than a 'poor man's longbow' for centuries.

    Also, remember that in the d&d world there is more focus on using legendary heroes than there is in arming the masses to deal with a problem. At times in real history this was almost the case, but there could never be the same distinction between peasant levies and elite knights as there is in d&d (even before you bring mages and magic weapons into the picture, which favor even more elitism).

    In the real world two handed swords, rapiers and fullplate were post-gunpowder weapons, but which would your PC rather have, those, or the awful DMG renaissance muskets and pistols?



    Personally I think a little lack of apparent verisimilitude is a good thing. The characters can't always know how the world works, and the real world has things that don't seem to make sense until you dedicate a lot of thought and reaserch to them (which typically makes other stuff not make sense) but too much can be a problem.

  5. - Top - End - #155
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    Default Re: World-Building Turn-Offs

    All the talk of German/Common and dialects make me think that it would be a good idea to include Int checks of DC 20 or so to determine if you can understand someone speaking in a different dialect from yours (or different from standard German/Common at all, at least).

    It also makes me wonder if I should try my hand at a low-magic, low-level game about some rural folk getting into some serious* adventuring business.


    *I had to retype this word twice, because I kept spelling it in other languages.
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  6. - Top - End - #156
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    Default Re: World-Building Turn-Offs

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    Here's a scene from a north german movie and they all really get into it. The two guys at the table are rather moderate, but that old farmer is hardcore. Even I only understanf 90% of what he's saying. I would guess most people who don't speak German wouldn't even guess that it could be German by the sound of it.
    I wonder if Eldan can understand anything of it.
    Part of it. The young ones work. The Old farmer, I understand some single words and sometimesI can puzzle together a sentence. Not any more of it.

    Let's see for counterexmaples.
    A totally overdone cliché TV ad in a moderately understandable dialect.
    And a synchronized classic in a dialect I barely understand. Though there's harder ones than that.

  7. - Top - End - #157
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    Yora's Avatar

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    Default Re: World-Building Turn-Offs

    I understand Kaffe, Teelöffel, heiß Wasser, Zucker, natürlich, and Milch. But that's because of the visual clues. Audio only, I wouldn't understand a word.
    Written down in standard spelling, I probably would understand everything.
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  8. - Top - End - #158
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    Eldan's Avatar

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    Default Re: World-Building Turn-Offs

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    I understand Kaffe, Teelöffel, heiß Wasser, Zucker, natürlich, and Milch. But that's because of the visual clues. Audio only, I wouldn't understand a word.
    Written down in standard spelling, I probably would understand everything.
    Well, thats not bad. Me and my brother here watched the Werner clip three times until we were sure what the first sentence was (Lasst mal den Kopf nicht hängen). And that was the only sentence we got.

  9. - Top - End - #159
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    Zombie

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blightedmarsh View Post
    It gets odd when you conciser pictographic languages like the Chinese script. They don't tell you how to say them, they just have a fixed meaning; if you know that meaning then you can read them without knowing a single word of any of the spoken Chinese languages, an actual Chinese person would read the same meaning from the same words but in a completely different language. The Japanese do it all the time.
    Chinese characters actually have a lot of phonetic components, but you don't need to know them to learn the meanings of the characters. Understanding those phonetic components does help to explain some of the odd combinations of characters.

    A small minority of characters are purely symbolic like "sun" or "tree". A larger minority are ideograms like "'rest' is made from 'man + tree' to represent a man resting by leaning on a tree". A majority are basically equivalent to things like spelling "I love you forever" in English as "Eye heart U 4ever". For example, if you look at the numbers from 1 to 4, you'll see that "one", "two", and "three" are just one, two, or three lines. The character for "four" is 四, which is derived from a picture of a nose because the word for "four" rhymes with the word for "nostrils".

    Sometimes when you see a character made by combining two simpler characters, it represents a concept by example (such as "man + tree = rest"); however, it usually means "a concept related to this symbol that rhymes with the word represented by this other symbol". For example, "water" + "tree" means "to wash yourself", because you use water to wash yourself and the verb "to wash yourself" is pronounced just like the noun "tree". "Tree" + "tree" means "small forest", but "water" + two "trees" means "to pour" because that's a liquid related word that rhymes with the word for forest.

    Of course, this only makes sense in the original Chinese as spoken by the people who wrote the characters in the first place. If you use those characters for a different language like Vietnamese, Japanese, or Korean, you end up with a lot of people saying "Damn, this is confusing!" That's why Vietnamese is now written with a phonetic Latin script, Korean has a purely phonetic syllabary, and Japanese uses a phonetic syllabary to write the pronunciations of rare or unusual kanji so people will recognize the word (or at least know how to say it so they can ask "hey, what does X mean?").

  10. - Top - End - #160
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    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Re: World-Building Turn-Offs

    I always imagined the elvish script as something like this. It would be complicated and artistic to the point of being next to impossible for anyone who hasn't spent centuries immersed in it to get a full read of it. Its another way of excluding other races from elven culture and knowledge.
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  11. - Top - End - #161
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    Yora's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    Well, thats not bad. Me and my brother here watched the Werner clip three times until we were sure what the first sentence was (Lasst mal den Kopf nicht hängen). And that was the only sentence we got.
    You can write it down in non-standard spelling and then the differences become apparent.
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    - Nu lat mal dat Kopp nie hängn.
    - (Nun las mal den Kopf nicht hängen.)

    - Ick hebt da een Lied kompiziert, dat is lustich, dat speel ick ji nu för.
    - (Ich hab da ein Lied kompiziert, das ist lustig, das spiel ich euch jetzt nun vor.)

    - Na, dann nich. Ick setz zu nu erstmol ein in.
    - (Na, dann nicht. Ich gieß euch jetzt erstmal einen ein.)

    - ??????

    - Nu riet di mol tosomm, dat gift schlimmres.
    - (Nun reißt euch mal zusammen, das gibt schlimmeres.)

    - Ick kann ji da och ni hölpen. Ick? Nenene... Ick hevt och nich jümmers wat in kopp. Morgen sücht de Wült ganz anners ut.
    - (Ich kann euch da auch nicht helfen. Ich? Nenene. Ich hab auch nicht immer was im Kopf. Morgen sieht die Welt ganz anders aus.)

    - Wat...? Wat...? Mönsch, da wer doch wat. Mönsch, Kinnech, da wer doch wat. Wer dat dor? Ne, dor wer dat nich. Oh, wo wer dat denn? Wer dat dor? Ne, dor wer dat och nich. Zun rotzedorigen schitt, wer wer dat denn?
    - (Was...? Was...? Mensch, da war doch was. Mensch, Kinder, da war doch was. War das da? Ne, da war das nicht. Oh, wo war das denn? War das da? Ne, da war das auch nicht. Zum [rotzedorigen] Schei0, wo war das denn?)

    - HOLD DIEN SABBEL!!! Ick hef dat glieks. ... Dat wer damols. Damols wer dat. In'n Kriech. Nu weyt ick dat. Nu weyt ick wo dat wer.
    - (HALT DEINEN MUND!!! Ich hab das gleich. ... Das war damals. Damals war das. Im Krieg. Nun weiß ich das. Nun weiß ich wo das war.)

    - Oh, nu issas wieder wech. Wo wer den denn?
    - (Oh, nun ist das wieder weg. Wo war das denn?)

    - Jau, da wer dat. Nu hebt ick dat weder. Dat wer so:
    - (Ja, da war das. Nun hab ich das wieder, das war so.)
    - Wat wer so?
    - (Was war so?)

    - Ick sücht dat noch ganz genau, als wer dat hüt. Da wer op eenmol, son' swatte Wolk an'n Himmel. An denn is he avsmeert. Dat wer een Ami west.
    - (Ich seh das noch ganz genau, als wäre das heute. Da war auf einmal so eine schwarze Wolke am Himmel. Und dann ist er abgeschmiert. Das war ein Ami gewesen.)

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    Last edited by Yora; 2012-10-27 at 06:39 AM.
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  12. - Top - End - #162
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    Eldan's Avatar

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    Yeah, if you spell it out, it becomes easy. Don't even the standard version, the written dialect is decipherable.

    Swiss counter-example:

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    I ha scho gäng gseit
    Ich habe schon lange gesagt
    I've said it for a long time

    Äs feins Caffee
    Ein feiner (fein heisst hier schmackhaft) Kaffee
    A good coffee

    Isch schnäu gmacht
    Ist schnell gemacht
    Is easily/quickly made

    Zwee löffu Incarom, häiss wasser
    Zwei Löffel Incarom, heisses wasser
    Two spoonful of Incarom, hot water

    Chli zucker, wemme ma
    Ein bisschen (klein) Zucker, wenn man mag
    A little sugar, if one likes that

    Uh natürli cli möuch, Gäu lieseli?
    Und natürlich ein bisschen milch, gell (nicht wahr) Liese?
    And some milk, right, Liese?


    But that is a sort of special Swiss Advertisement dialect. People dediced, at some time, that Bernese is the most sympathetic, calm Swiss dialect that other Swiss people most like to hear on TV. This is a sort of cleaned up, easier to understand version of it. Doesn't include any dialect-specific words that wouldn't show up in other dialects.

    This is the extreme opposite. Same dialect, but read by a comedian who is trying to build an entire text only made up of words no one outsid the dialect will get. In fact, he invented a lot of them himself, but did a good enough job that some of htem were integrated into the dialect as new words (Trischaage: to annoy).
    Last edited by Eldan; 2012-10-27 at 06:55 AM.

  13. - Top - End - #163
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    Default Re: World-Building Turn-Offs

    Quote Originally Posted by Rainbownaga View Post
    As for personal guns, it's surprising they developed in the real world, let alone a fantasy one. While cannon were useful in sieges, early guns were slower, less accurate, no easier to use and more temperamental than the crossbows and longbows they were supporting. The only real advantage was that they made a big scarey bang that could theoretically scare horses. Eventually they became cheaper and easier to use as anti armor weapons, but even then they weren't much better than a 'poor man's longbow' for centuries.
    guns were much cheaper to produce and easier to learn then long bows and you are vastly underestimating the psychological effect of guns. Scare horses nothing scare people. Think about it your some peasant conscript all the bad guys line up in a row and then suddenly boom a a thunderous roar like nothing you have every seen before a vast cloud of foul smelling smoke and a bunch of your buddies just drop dead.

    the psychological effect of massed fire was far more effective then it's raw killing potential.

    edit
    something that bugs me is when a setting does not explore how their magic or different species would affect their setting. for example dnd setting where people make use midevil tactics despite having wizards and clerics running around.

    Or even worse a setting where only one person has ever done any kind of inovation
    Last edited by awa; 2012-10-29 at 06:05 PM.

  14. - Top - End - #164
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    Inglenook's Avatar

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    Default Re: World-Building Turn-Offs

    re: the topics of dialects and stuff on the previous page …

    I know there are huge dialectal differences within countries. The point I was trying to make was not that everyone in Germany speaks the same language, but rather that "Common" couldn't function the way C.J. described.

    Someone who speaks the type of Common (Essex) could get talk to someone who speaks Common (U.S. South) with relatively little difficulty—mostly just different accents and a tiny bit of different vocab. But someone who speaks Common (Essex) isn't going to be able to communicate with someone who speaks only Common (Japan). The trouble isn't that each region hypothetically has its own version of Common like C.J. said, but rather that all versions of Common are lumped into a single entity and the game doesn't distinguish between them.

    I think the Common-is-an-ill-defined-blob thing is mostly a homebrew issue, though, as far as I can tell. I'm only overtly familiar with Toril, but the Faerûn version of Common is a trade language/lingua franca (not an every-region-has-a-different-Common thing), and there are actual regional languages. WotC actually did an okay job on this front.
    Last edited by Inglenook; 2012-10-29 at 11:28 PM.

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  15. - Top - End - #165
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    Default Re: World-Building Turn-Offs

    A disadvantage to ever nation having it's own language and no common tounge is languages are hard to learn in dnd. Your average human fighter will have one unless he want to blow all the skill points he got for a level on a cross class language skill

  16. - Top - End - #166
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    Inglenook's Avatar

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    Default Re: World-Building Turn-Offs

    Yeah, it's definitely a good solution for ease of play. The concept of it just bugs me, is all.

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    its like forcing players to purchase a balnced diet of the entire food pyrmid every time they gather supplies in town or hitting them with scurvy shure its realistic and sometimes realism can improve imersion. But furstrating mechanics can break imersion even faster regardless of how realistic they are.

  18. - Top - End - #168
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: World-Building Turn-Offs

    In defense of some of the flawed parts to world creation, especialy on language, the creation of a world gets complex enough as it is. As someone who finds world creation fascinating I have often tried to create worlds that have good solid foundations and it makes the adventure slow, simply because of overcomplication. Basicly a "homebrew" world that has one common tongue may get on peoples nerves, but the adventurers trying to peice together the different languages would get rid of the suspention of disbelief even more. Furthermore some of the annoying aspects of campaigns that you discussed are simmilair, they are just ways that people simplified a world, they are all valid but have simply been used too many times and have become cleched (sorry about the spelling).

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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    I hate it when one type of magic is deemed inherently evil, like necromancy or blood magic in Dragon's Dogma.

    If I'm trying to protect a bunch of villagers from some darkspawn or whatever, why is it evil to use blood magic to do so? People are going to die if I fail, and I'd like to have every edge I can get. Sure it means I could take over the minds of others if I wanted, but the potential to do evil does not make blood magic evil anymore than the potential to kill another makes swords inherently evil. I understand that there'd be a general unease towards it, considering how dangerous it could make you, but I shouldn't be labeled evil by the game for trying to protect myself.

    And necromancy. I get that stealing another's corpse and making it your slave is a bad thing. But what if the man or woman donated their body to medical research, and you reanimated their body for research into how their musculature functioned? Or maybe some little village couldn't properly protect themselves from the orc raids, so they'd raise the bodies of their fallen soldiers to help protect themselves. Or maybe a university keeps the willing souls of their deceased as resources for information.

    Really, I don't like it when an action is taken to be immoral with no consideration for ones intention or the consequence of said action. Magic is just the biggest offender I know of.

    I actually have a setting idea where in one part of the land, there's a small city that protects itself by placing portions of souls of their best soldiers into metal automatons. These would stand guard, and in times of war would be tireless warriors, calling upon the instincts of great deceased masters of martial warfare. Truly powerful one would be created upon the death of the high priest of their god, the death of the high king (who would also be their general), or the death of a master wizard. In such a case, a year long tournament would be held. The twelve best warriors, if they are willing, would be sacrificed, and an automaton containing the souls of 12 martial masters and one master wizard/high priest/general would be made. I also think the city folk should be terrified of leaving their city, because something outside the walls made such drastic measures necessary. Maybe their civilization was responsible for igniting war with the fey, who were once the dominating group on the continent, and both groups became decimated in the resulting 47 year war.

  20. - Top - End - #170
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    Default Re: World-Building Turn-Offs

    personally i don't mind if a magic is evil or considered evil.
    inherently dangerous magics like in 40k or cthulu mythos which can corrupt a user.

    magic like defilers in dark sun setting where you can gain extra power if you
    are willing to destroy the very fragile environment possible leading to mass starvation.

    even magic cast by sacrificing virgins has it's place in the right setting

    now i don't mind subversion like a good necromancer but it make sense in the right settings.

  21. - Top - End - #171
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    NecromancerGuy

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    Eh, energy is energy. Just becuse you run off negative rather then positve don't mean yer evil.

    Also, Blood magic. I love stuff like dat. Biological energy used for magical purposes. Nothing "evil" about it. If you only use your or volenteers anyway
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    Default Re: World-Building Turn-Offs

    in the right setting.

    enslaved children and a wind mill both provide energy. one may be considered less good then the other

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    NecromancerGuy

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    Yup, thats what I'm going for.

    Is the energy merely tapping into the Arcane wellspring/winds of magic/whatever poorly worded metaphysical plot device you get yer mojo from, a Leech (think divine caster), or do you rip, tear and maim your energy from somewhere?

    Windmill? Good source of renwable enegy. Not as much at once, but good in the long term. Those enslaved kids? Big short term gain, you lose long term (supply, corruption, heros etc...)
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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Quote Originally Posted by awa View Post
    personally i don't mind if a magic is evil or considered evil.
    inherently dangerous magics like in 40k or cthulu mythos which can corrupt a user.

    magic like defilers in dark sun setting where you can gain extra power if you
    are willing to destroy the very fragile environment possible leading to mass starvation.

    even magic cast by sacrificing virgins has it's place in the right setting

    now i don't mind subversion like a good necromancer but it make sense in the right settings.
    See, I don't think it does make sense. Magic, to me, is a tool. I can call you, your means and methods, and your goals evil. I can say you're evil 'cause you kidnap virgins, sacrifice them and trap their souls to fuel your own life force, thereby continuing your reign over your evil empire. But I can't call the metaphorical hammer you use evil. Dangerous, maybe. I don't mind if the NPC's think you're evil for using "evil" magic. But when the fluff or the GM tells me the magic is evil, or that I can't have a chaotic good alignment because I'm building a necromancer, I start to get annoyed.

    I'm also increasingly annoyed with morals in general. Mostly in video games, though. I'm often labeled evil for things I have no problem with (will not go any further than this to avoid argument about real life morals).
    Last edited by crayzz; 2012-11-04 at 11:08 PM. Reason: Typo

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    Default Re: World-Building Turn-Offs

    that is one valid interpretation of magic but it's certainly not the only one.

    lets use necromancy as a possible example. Creating a zombie might cause damge to the soul of the creature you summon. The magic used to make undead may be a corruption on the land blighting crops causing deformities or even tipping the scale in some cosmic balance of good and evil. It might leave stray scraps of negative energy that accumulate to create uncontrolled ghouls that run around eating people
    Now lets say their are lots of other safe magics out their someone who deliberately chose to consistently use a more dangerous form magic when safe alternatives were available might not be evil but their certainly not good.

    alternatively the very nature of the magic could be corrupting such as in the Dresden file universe where use of evil magic actually alters your personality you might start out trying to use it for a good purpose but that wont last as each use corrupts you a bit more.

  26. - Top - End - #176
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    Default Re: World-Building Turn-Offs

    Quote Originally Posted by awa View Post
    that is one valid interpretation of magic but it's certainly not the only one.
    You're right, I should have been more specific. I dislike it when some form of magic is arbitrarily deemed evil. If it harms others and there is no way around this, then sure, it's evil.

    But even then, it seems like an ass pull sometimes. It can be done right, but to me it usually isn't. I don't think The Dresden Files ever actually explains why breaking the 7 laws changes you. It still comes across as the author telling me that this type of magic is evil without showing why. He's just given it a bit of a hand wave.

    And in the end, there are all kinds of ways magic can be evil. But it's almost never really the magic, it's the side effect of the magic. Maybe I learn the magic just in case, for those few cases where I'd need it, to avert some greater disaster (like the evil lich's tomb can only be open via necromancy and if we don't stop him soon he'll kill millions). I might just end up with a risen ghoul nearby, and some poor boy might lose his mother, but at least he didn't lose his entire country (including himself). But no, I studied and used necromancy, I'm evil.
    Last edited by crayzz; 2012-11-05 at 12:27 AM.

  27. - Top - End - #177
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    Default Re: World-Building Turn-Offs

    Quote Originally Posted by crayzz View Post
    I don't think The Dresden Files ever actually explains why breaking the 7 laws changes you. It still comes across as the author telling me that this type of magic is evil without showing why. He's just given it a bit of a hand wave.
    He does, sort of. Spoilered for Dresden Files tangent.
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    First of all, not all of the Laws are about evil; the last three (no necromancy, no time travel, no summoning Cthulhu) don't make you evil, they just tend to lead to Bad Things happening as a side effect.

    For the first four Laws, it's all about intentions. Dresden Files magic relies on belief and state of mind, and mind-control magic is evil because (A) to perform it you have to completely believe that your own will is more important than your victims' and (B) using it leads to using more of it, which causes a vicious cycle of evil. As Dresden explains in Proven Guilty:

    “It…” I frowned. “Getting into someone’s mind like that is difficult and dangerous. And sooner or later, while you’re changing them, you start changing yourself, too. You remember Micky Malone?”

    Murphy didn’t exactly shudder, but her hands stopped moving for a minute. Micky Malone was a retired police officer. A few months after he’d gotten out of the game, an angry and vicious spiritual entity had unleashed a psychic assault on him, and bound him in spells of torment to boot. The attack had transformed a grandfatherly old retired cop into a screaming maniac, totally out of control. I’d done what I could for the poor guy, but it had been really bad.

    “I remember,” Murphy said quietly.

    “When a person gets into someone’s head, it inflicts all kinds of damage—sort of like what happened to Micky Malone. But it damages the one doing it, too. It gets easier to bend others as you get more bent. Vicious cycle. And it’s dangerous for the victim. Not just because of what might happen as a direct result of suddenly being forced to believe that the warlock is the god-king of the universe. It strains their psyche, and the more uncharacteristically they’re made to feel and act, the more it hurts them. Most of the time, it devolves into a total breakdown.”
    Same for killing, shapechanging others, and mind-reading. Giving a violent/unstable/inexperienced/etc. person the freedom to spam dominate person, detect thoughts, finger of death, and baleful polymorph is a Bad Idea by itself, and the fact that casting them makes you want to cast them more just makes things worse.
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    Default Re: World-Building Turn-Offs

    The Dresden files gets some stuff right for this one. I don't think it's totally wrong, but I'm pretty picky. Mind control magic I can see changing you. It makes sense. When you invade another's mind, your own becomes vulnerable
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    like when Lash makes a heel face turn after being in Harry's head for way to long
    . Murder and the like changing you doesn't make as much sense to me.

    And the Dresden Files admits it's 7 Laws system is flawed.
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    Ebenezar is the Blackstaff, is capable of doing the most evil magic without being harmed by it, and is supported by the council to do so if need be. The enforcers of the 7 Laws admit the system is not perfect.
    This isn't a case where the author is dictating to me what is good and what is bad. So that I don't mind. Now, were I to play a game based on the dresdenverse and have the GM argue with me about my alignment after I mind control someone to stop killing hundreds of people, I'd be annoyed. True, I'm taking a risk using dangerous and potentially harmful magic, but c'mon. People will definitely die if I don't act.

    Really, I don't like cumbersome alignment rules that cannot be adjusted for the extreme cases. If I'm playing a morals heavy game, the only fun cases are the extreme cases. And I like my morals heavy games.

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    Default Re: World-Building Turn-Offs

    This is going to sound crazy, but I would argue that it's possible for a good person to use evil magic for good reasons in circumstances like those you describe. It hinges on the principle of "lesser of two evils". For example, breaking the law is wrong, but breaking the law is less wrong then, say, turning Jews over to the Nazis searching for them (which was the choice for a lot of Germans). So using evil magic to, and only to, stop a far greater evil might be actually a good (or at least justified) action.
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    Default Re: World-Building Turn-Offs

    even in dnd one use of an evil spell will not make you evil its repeated use of the magic that's the problem. particularly when there are other alternatives.

    so assuming not a jerk dm (and the dnd alignment system) you would not turn evil over that one event but if you repeatedly used it to stop mass murderess it would twist you. Soon you would need less and less justification to break out the mind control. Eventually if not stopped you might start grabbing politicians to try an enact the types of laws you favor justifying it as preemptive life saving. And then before long you just decide to become good king of the world because if you control the entire world and every one is your mind slave no one will get murdered.

    an alignment change for repeated use of mind control seems perfectly logical within the setting.
    Last edited by awa; 2012-11-05 at 12:16 PM.

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