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

DavetheLost

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Also that healing magic is divine only. Arcane casters are never allowed to have actual healing spells.
But the actual mechanics of divine magic and arcane magic are the same. The spells are written in the exact same format, both have saving throws to avoid their effects, both are limited to a small number of castings per day. In most editions both were fire and forget. Clerics getting healing and Magic Users getting fireball was a difference in spell Iists, not anything intrinsic to the mechanics of how spells actually worked. If you were to write up a totally original spell, never seen before in standard format it would not be possible to tell from reading it if it was a divine or arcane spell. In 5e all the spells are listed together in alphabetical order. Without the spell lists there is no way to know which spells go with which class or which are divine or arcane.

To say that healing magic is divine only, not arcane is a distinction you can only draw by looking at the spell lists. You can't tell from reading the rules for the spells.

This is what I mean when I question whether the distinction is even real in D&D. Spells all work exactly the same way. It is purely cosmetics whether they are divine or arcane. There is not even a written rule stating that all healing magic must be divine because arcane magic can't do that effect. there is no reason an AD&D Magic User couldn't create a new healing spell with the mechanics of the Clerical Cure Light Wounds spell, except Dungeon Master fiat saying "No, you can't do that." Nothing in the rules would prohibit it.
 

DavetheLost

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I can't speak to the newer editions, but 2e and before absolutely did prohibit it in the rules.
In what way? What was the rule that specifically prohibited it? Please give a quote.

The AD&D DMG in the section on spell research says nothing to prevent it. Perhaps this sentence from page 115 of the 1e AD&D DMG is what you are thinking of "Once you have the details of the spell, compare and contrast it with and to existing spells in order to determine its level and any modifications and additions you find necessary in order to have it conform to "known" magic principles." However this does not in fact prevent a Magic User from researching a cure wounds spell. In fact it permits it. "Cure Light Wounds" is a necromantic spell, as is the Magic User spell "Clone". This demonstrates that Magic Users can research and use spells of the necromantic type, thus placing a Magic User's wound healing sell within the "known magic principles". In fact a Magic User researching a Cure Light Wounds spell could produce a spell that conformed in every way to the clerical spell of the same name. There are a multitude of examples of spells that are the same in both Clerical and Magic User versions and say simply "See the MU spell of the same name". Cleric spell Feign Death "Except as noted above, this spell is the same as the third level magic-user spell, feign death (q.v.)."

The 1e PHB even takes great pains to emphasize the fact that all spells in the game are described in the exact same manner and function in the same way. The AD&D PHB draws no distinction between Arcane and Divine magic. In fact the word "arcane" appears once, as an adjective in lower case. The word "divine" appears twice. Once in the description of the Augury spell and once in description of the Divination spell. There is no distinction drawn between "Arcane" magic and "Divine" magic.

QED
 
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FoolishOwl

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I think there was some sourcebook that included spells invented by The Simbul, that included a healing spell. It was significant by way of exception, though.
 

DavetheLost

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Going back to the original post, I ran a long campaign where all of the money was real.

I got a variety of coins — mostly coppers of various denominations, but also out of circulation ones like thruppny bits, farthings, halfpence coins, random foreign coins of no real value that I picked up at carboot sales — and gave them out whenever the characters got money. Each player had an actual coin purse, and we had a box of little bags labelled with things like "hidden under my bed" or "behind the skirting" for money they weren't actually carrying. If a player found something ancient or weird I gave them weird coins, which made it easy to remember to have people treat them funny when they tried to spend them at the bar. I even managed to slip them the occasional fake, clipped, or marked coin when they got change from somewhere; which caused all sorts of trouble when they used them later.
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Stormbringer included a good variety of coinage, including the Melnibonean Gold Wheels massive gold coins one of which was carved to commemorate the reign of each emperor. That was a really distinctive coin.

I would often try to dress up my treasure hoards by having coins of different metals and different denominations. Some of which were worth more than the metal/face value to collectors.

I never was able to run a game where all the money was real. It sounds like great fun. You must live where it is easier to get odd coins than I do. We get US and Canadian coins, and they often trade at par, regardless of the official exchange rate, but that is about it.
 

mindstalk

Does the math.
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Then there's 3e, where bards are arcane casters, but have access to Cure spells. Likewise Pathfinder witches.
 

Rupert

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Then there's 3e, where bards are arcane casters, but have access to Cure spells. Likewise Pathfinder witches.
Which to me makes the idea that a wizard can't reverse engineer those spells pretty questionable. They're cast using the same source of power as the wizard uses, and wizards are supposed to be the premier academic casters.

Of course, in 5e it's the bards that can learn spells from anywhere, not wizards. Apparently being a jack-of-all-trades and a magpie for little bits of data makes you better at working out how other classes' magic works than actually knowing how magic works does.
 

Dagor

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And, of course, Greek myths have surprisingly little to do with Greek religious practices.
Which as far as my original argument that religion with demonstrably real gods would function rather differently from religion without them goes is something I'd consider rather telling in its own right. :sneaky:
 

DarkStarling

Brilliantly Crazed
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That's normal for a lot of religions, and "Here's a prayer for rain, along with the specified sacrifice, so now we expect you to fill your side of the bargain and provide rain", effectively the same as casting a magic spell where you follow the rules and the god(s) are compelled to also do so and provide the specified result in exchange for your prayer wasn't uncommon either.
WELL... yes and no. Mostly no.

Yes, in that specific prayers and rituals and sacrifices are indeed a thing. But no, that's not all there is too it. The more numinous aspects, or for that matter the spiritual aspects of the rituals, are also there and important. You've got people whose main job is to commune with the divine, and lead others in spiritual experiences. Talking about it as if it's a spiritual supermarket with no particular value or inspiration is actually pretty insulting, since it's an accusation that Christians have been making for ages.
 

insomniac

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Supposed to yes, but that’s not really the point. The point is that they have seen what, to their satisfaction, are miracles. And if other people see the same events and don’t acknowledge it that’s their problem. They do act like they’re in a magical and divine world and they can see the proof of it. So their situation is the same as someone in a fantasy world with gods and Gods that are much more...noisy.
"What happened here was a miracle and I want you to fucking acknowledge it!"
 
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