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

Rupert

Active member
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Back in the pre-3e days it was "immune to weapons under +1 magic" (or +2 or whatever). No cold iron, etc.
 

Dalillama

Registered User
Validated User
Back in the pre-3e days it was "immune to weapons under +1 magic" (or +2 or whatever). No cold iron, etc.
Nope. Most therianthropes could be hit by silver, and IIRC Wolfweres could be hit by cold iron, although I don't think that was ever defined. I swear there was one variant were thing that needed gold or magic to hit, but not what. Greatwr seawolf maybe. Or a Ravenloft werewolf with a French name.
 

Agemegos

All out of spoons
RPGnet Member
Validated User
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.
And at one further remove the dragon represents the funeral pyre that consumes the king and guards his grave-goods.
 

mindstalk

Does the math.
Validated User
In Basic some monsters needed silver or magic, while others needed magic. Magic trumps silver. Your other exception would be some oozes but that just means fire, and lots of it.

IIRC hirelings could be hired for a set rate, but also didn't expect to be in the line of danger. You lose 75% of those, and I'd expect the pay rate to have to go up a lot. Henchmen had actual classes and combat but would want half a share in any treasure; those can die but replenish for the same reason PCs died and replenished: the allure of filthy lucre[1]. There was still mention of the effects of pay and treatment on them or their Loyalty/Morale.

[1] In 1493, Mann writes of the Chinese colony at Manila occasionally getting wiped out by Spaniards having a fit, but there were always more Chinese merchants to fill their place, presumably hoping to get out with a boatload of American silver before the next genocidal pogrom.
 

jamieth

Registered User
Validated User
Re: specific immunities, I'll be the "in Pathfinder..." guy for this thread:
In Pathfinder, weapons +3 and above count as both silver and cold iron automatically; +4 count as adamantine; and +5 count as either good, evil, lawful or chaotic, whichever would pass the DR.
 

DarkStarling

Brilliantly Crazed
Validated User
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:
That was another thing from a The Hobbit, who thought they were entitled to the gold drove the whole climax of the book... Of course, Bilbo actually gave away most of the loot from the trolls since he felt it had been stolen too recently, even if there was no way to return it to the owners. Who had been eaten in any case.

But yeah, most often the dragon is guarding ancient tomb goods and stuff. Just like Griffons.

“And besides, as everyone knows: gold, mysteriously obtained, if not positively ill gotten, is anyone’s for the taking. Unless the search is interrupted.”

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!
I forgot to mention, this is awesome! I love it.
 

Drogo

Unrepentant Gamer
RPGnet Member
Validated User
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.
Note that in the legends, this great hoard fit into the back of a wagon... Huge mounds of treasure had a different connotation way back then.
 

DarkStarling

Brilliantly Crazed
Validated User
Note that in the legends, this great hoard fit into the back of a wagon... Huge mounds of treasure had a different connotation way back then.
Yeah, Smaug has the wealth of an entire NATION. And a rich one. He was a special case.

My favorite offhand description, though? Late in the Iron Gods campaign you fight a vortex dragon. Galaxy wandering wormhole loving space dragon. So, cool. And you find it’s hoard, stupid amounts of gold and treasure stuffed into a giant portable hole.

It’s described as ‘a camp bed’. I cracked up.
 

Sauron's Ring

Registered User
Validated User
These things sometimes get addressed in play, but half-heartedly. Because in the end, it's just not fun to "simulate" too much! What do you think?

1. Coins and monetary system
Walk into a bar, throw down a coin that you just looted from the 2000-year old Tomb of the Demon King. It is of unknown weight and purity and has scary looking runes stamped onto it. The barkeep takes it no questions asked and gives you your change, which operates on a decile system - 1 demon-king gold coin, and a beer costs 1/10, so there's 9 silvers back.

2. Languages
Most games have more or less complex rules for which languages are known by whom to what level. In practice, everyone just talks the same language, though the NPC orcs might use broken English.

3. Hygiene
Getting a bath is never a priority, let alone intimate hygiene-related matters. Do the characters use toilet paper? Don't ask, don't tell. Just walk straight in to the throne room after a month in the wilderness without a change of clothes.

4. The logistics of wilderness trekking
Similar to the above, the extreme difficulty and unpleasantness of roughing it outdoors is usually elided into a couple of rolls for foraging and random encounters. No-one bats an eye at heading off into trackless wastes without so much as a bedroll. And it's kind of assumed that the backpack is as carefully designed, lightweight and waterproof as the most hi-tech products of the modern outdoor leisure industry,

5. Horses
Horses are just machines that transport PCs from place to place. They might not have names, they certainly don't get sick or injured, they always have enough food and water, and never make trouble. Operate at the maximum pace that the book says they can for 14 days straight? No problem.

6. Xenophobia
Half a dozen armed-to-the-teeth ruffians can walk into a small village in a place that's not even inhabited by their ethnic kinfolk and get a bed and a meal without a problem. There are a few racial prejudices played out in the most exaggerated way to make a point, but as for general stranger-wariness and shunning of outsiders, it's not an issue.

I like all of that, though.
 
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