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"Realistic" things that no-one actually wants to deal with in fantasy games

DarkStarling

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"Well, a man must be mad, or want money bad, for to venture catching whales.."

Those are generally much less involved in the minutiae than old-fashioned tabletop wargaming; how many of those games involve tracking whether you brought enough fodder to keep your horses at top form or the like? In any case, whether large-scale strategy games are niche or not, the D&D family of games weren't occupying the same niche as them for very long.
That's the song! Now we just need a rewrite for hirelings.
 

Dalillama

Registered User
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That's the song! Now we just need a rewrite for hirelings.
If I had the wings of a drake, my boys,
I would spread 'em and fly home.
I'd leave the Wyvern's rocky tor
For of treasure there is none.


And the weather's rough and the winds do blow
And there's goblins lurking here.
I'd sooner be snug in a Waterdeep pub,
A-drinkin' of strong beer.


Oh, a man must be mad or want money bad
For Adventure to sign on
For we may be well fall to an orcish band
Or be slain by a dragon.

Though the work seems grand to the young green lad,
And his heart is high when he goes,
In a very short spell he'll dread the yell
"An ambush! Up your bows!"

“We're running hard now, for Tyr's sake,
Move briskly if you can.”
And his legs are lead, with an aching head,
For his life he don't give a damn.

And high overhead the great wings spread,
When a dragon's swooping down
And soon the breath all filled with death
His maw spreads all around!

Well, these trials we bear Gods know how long
'Til the homeward bound is called
And for our risks there's danger pay
And an equal share of the gold

But when it's time to settle for the trip,
And we've find we're done right hard
For we've risked our lives, our souls and minds,
And earned not fifty shards!
 
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DavetheLost

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Did you find the dragon's treasure after you killed it? (You did kill it, right? If not, you're gonna have a reputation as either incompetent or a bad-luck officer). When you found it, how much did each of the 25% who survived get of it? Cos if they're in the taverns in fancy new togs, telling tales of adventure and derring-do, dripping with gold and buying rounds for the house, then yeah. You're gonna get plenty of takers for the next trip, cos they all wanna be one of those guys, and humans are really shit at risk assessment.
Did we mention the devaluation of gold and gems, rampant inflation, and general economic chaos that would likely result from hauling a dragon's hoard back to town would result in? Assuming you successfully felt with the logistical challenge of hauling said hoard in the first place...

But yeah, successful dragon-slayers will have no problem recruiting people for their next quest.
 

DarkStarling

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Validated User
Did we mention the devaluation of gold and gems, rampant inflation, and general economic chaos that would likely result from hauling a dragon's hoard back to town would result in? Assuming you successfully felt with the logistical challenge of hauling said hoard in the first place...

But yeah, successful dragon-slayers will have no problem recruiting people for their next quest.
Like was discussed in the hobbit? But yeah, they'll still be able to bring in trade from other places whatever the local inflation. They may need to work hard to KEEP their new wealth though. If only there were a band of heroic adventurers on hand...

Or a bunch of veterans of combat who had just gained renown by helping fight a dragon...
 

Dagor

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Speaking of realism, why do dragons always seem to come with hoards in the first place? Where do they even get all that stuff, considering that they're not usually exactly depicted as mining their own gold and silver, minting their own coins, and using their huge claws to assemble delicate pieces of jewelry in their spare time? Okay, there's always the traditional explanation that their hoard actually belonged to somebody else and they just stole it (or took over the place where it was lying around in the first place), but that in turn opens other cans of worms such as how many such treasures even can be conveniently available in a setting for some dragon or other to just move in and claim and just what the original owner(s) or their heirs may think if some random bunch of thugs kill the big lizard only to promptly turn around and help themselves to riches that never "really" belonged to it in the first place without so much as a by-your-leave...

So, yeah. For some reason few people seem to really want to worry about that -- or for that matter to encounter a dragon that actually guards no treasure whatsoever and just needs to be taken down for the problems it causes its involuntary neighbors. :geek:
 

Silvercat Moonpaw

Quadruped Transhuman
Validated User
So, yeah. For some reason few people seem to really want to worry about that -- or for that matter to encounter a dragon that actually guards no treasure whatsoever and just needs to be taken down for the problems it causes its involuntary neighbors. :geek:
Or a dragon that doesn't need to be taken down at all and fulfills some other roll in the story. :cool:
 

Dalillama

Registered User
Validated User
Speaking of realism, why do dragons always seem to come with hoards in the first place?
Because Fafnir and his brother Hreidmar were charged to guard their father's great store of wealth, but Fáfnir grew greedy, slew his brother, and took the gold away with him to hide in the wilderness. This unnatural action caused him to eventually become a great dragon, who perched atop his hoard poisoning the land around him until Sigurd Fáfnisbane came round and killed him with a stab to his vulnerable underparts. Tolkien nicked the highlights for Smaug, and the rest is fantasy.
 

Law Orc

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Because Fafnir and his brother Hreidmar were charged to guard their father's great store of wealth, but Fáfnir grew greedy, slew his brother, and took the gold away with him to hide in the wilderness. This unnatural action caused him to eventually become a great dragon, who perched atop his hoard poisoning the land around him until Sigurd Fáfnisbane came round and killed him with a stab to his vulnerable underparts. Tolkien nicked the highlights for Smaug, and the rest is fantasy.
Hoards cause dragons.
 
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Gogmagog

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Funny you should say that - my table found that D&D3.x strongly encouraged get one weapon and sticking with it. You got the weapon that allowed/was best for whatever feat chain you intended to abuse and you stuck with it. Having to buy Weapon Focus (and Specialisation, etc., if a Fighter) on a per-weapon basis further locked you in. The only characters that ever swapped weapons around were the caster types, who would simply use (more often just carry for ages and never use) whatever weapon they had proficiency in that was most magical or looked coolest.

Basic/Expert D&D with it's simple damage progression saw more changes in weapons, and you got things like a fighters with longswords for day to day use and a +1 dagger for those times when only magic weapons worked. AD&D1 saw some weapon swapping when that hit adjustment table was in use. AD&D2 disposed of the table, and everyone just used the highest damage weapon they could wield (which meant longswords for one-handed weapons almost all the time).

I remember Runequest 2 having a wide range of melee weapons in use, despite each one having to have its skill raised separately. Battle axes were popular (they did good damage), was as were bastard swords (if you had the strength and dexterity to use them) because they had good damage and were robust. Spears were also popular, for being cheap and having good reach. Big two-handed weapons were cool, but had the drawback that losing the use of either arm completely wrecked your offense and defence.
Another problem was the critters that needed slash/pierce/holy/cold iron/magic to pierce DR or else you are going to be smacking them with a wet noodle. Thus Sword Bag of Holding.
 

insomniac

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Because Fafnir and his brother Hreidmar were charged to guard their father's great store of wealth, but Fáfnir grew greedy, slew his brother, and took the gold away with him to hide in the wilderness. This unnatural action caused him to eventually become a great dragon, who perched atop his hoard poisoning the land around him until Sigurd Fáfnisbane came round and killed him with a stab to his vulnerable underparts. Tolkien nicked the highlights for Smaug, and the rest is fantasy.
You also have Beowulf, who slew a dragon but was mortally wounded in the attempt. As he lay dying, he asked his dear friend and true companion for the thing that would give him comfort and fulfilment in his final moments: one look at the dragon's kickass loot drop.
 
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