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Recent Posts

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1
The woke view of race is absolutely a rubber costume. Its mascot is Trudeau in black face. They don't want to roleplay as an elf, they want to cosplay as an elf. The Kryptonite to this horror show ideology is genetic differences hardwired into the system. We have passed the point in 5e (with the latest updates) where there is more diversity in terms of genetic differences in real world human populations than there is between the fantasy RPG world "races".
2
Sometimes the way people around here use tenses confounds me.  Is destroying?



Is this in the same way that in the picture above the proliferation of nuclear weapons are destroying the earth?

When has it ever been different?  There were articles about how to apply the logical consequences of Magic in Dragon in the 80s.  Continual Light spells for streetlamps and the like.
Continual light, at least in 3e, only becomes practical if you ignore the 100 gp ruby dust material component cost.

With the component cost you could run an oil lamp for 4000 hours (500 nights) for the same price and, if someone steals the lam, you can replace it for a few silver pieces and all the thief has is a few silver pieces of tin and oil to show for it instead of an easily portable item you could sell to an adventurer for enough gold to feed your family for a year.

The main reason magic items don’t replace common technology, even in 3e/4E when you can build them yourself is they’re so damnably expensive that leaving them anyplace unsecured is an invitation for someone to steal it and guards to guard esch continual light lamp are way more expensive than a commoner who goes around just before dusk filling and lighting ALL the town’s lamps.

A noble or adventurer with a continual light lamp they have for personal use? Sure. They’ve already got guards protecting their person or are skilled at putting pointy things into places would-be thieves would find unpleasant so the risk their light will be taken is minimal. For everyone else, oil lamps are going to be much more economical to maintain.
3
Fighting and heroics is broadly the same and both are male domains.

They are not even remotely the same. Lots of villians fight, and not all heroes are fighters.

4
Fantasy is not modern by any means. I don't know what you'd qualify as fantasy, but bear in mind that its origins can be traced to Greek and Roman myths, the Homeric works, the Nordic sagas, Arthurian and medieval chivalry romances, the Quixote, fairy tales, folklore, and many others which I'm probably forgetting right now. Fantasy is far from being modern.

Don't get me wrong; I never advocated for a "random" or nonsensical approach to magic. My point is, don't bother explaining how it works. Magic may follow a few rules or arbitrary steps, but we do not know its inner workings. If we approach it as a natural phenomenon, it doesn't make sense. It's better to just leave it as a mystery for the sake of the lore and the fun of the story/setting.

Far from being scientific, magic was never really explained. They may have followed certain rituals or patterns, but that does not make it science. You gave the example of hermetic magic; why is writting symbols important? What sort of natural force would care about how we drew a few symbols? How did the spell work before that language was developed? At what point exactly did it become valid? Why does a ball of hydrogen (in the case of Jupiter being a gas giant), minerals or ice have any effect on your personality?

None of the books I quoted were considered reliable, hard science at all. If it were, then you'd expect they had been taken seriously, to the point of casting massive spells to destroy enemy armies (which probably happened, though, but would have disproven them). Not all people believed in those things. Don't underestimate the people of the past; Greek philosophers already scoffed at what they called "superstition", and Romans openly questioned the existence of their gods.

You also mentioned chi as an example of how Easterners approached magic as a natural, flowing substance (something which does have its parallels in western esotericism; aether, orgon, astral fire, pneuma, animal magnetism, etc.), but take a look at feng shui. They literally believed that if the shape of a place resembled a particular animal, it could be auspicious; for example, if a group of mountains reminded them of a dragon, it was better to build a village on its tail so that the dragon would lead. This is far from naturalistic; it's sympathetic magic. Why would a substance care about how a group of people perceive a range of mountains to look? And how would an impersonal force shape the world in a way that those people deem "auspicious"? It's all really subjective, personal experience rather than an objective phenomenon that's outside of their own heads.

Anyway, don't tell me this animist is anything close to an engineer or a scientist:
   


Racists may see an animistic shaman, but I see an engineer, a philosopher and a doctor...

Just because it makes sense to them doesn't mean it is rationalistic. You see things through the eyes of a 21st century, educated Western man. Don't expect other cultures to follow your same notions of what's reasonable.


Apart from that, why did you put "[double to delete]"? What do you want to delete?


Here's another quote, this time from a tv show, that expresses how we should approach magic in fiction:

If you're wondering how he eats and breathes, and other science facts (la la la), Just repeat to yourself "It's just a show, I should really just relax!!!!!!!
5
Within animation, the thin-line "Cal-Arts" style of animation isn't just cheap to produce -- it also allows more dynamic animation. In a lot of animation with more realistic art, the cost is prohibitive, so you end up with a lot of characters standing stock still as just their lips move or other minor adjustments. The Cal-Arts calls back to earlier thin line styles like Looney Toons when the animation is more the focus, and you can get a lot more dynamic action in a scene. I don't like a lot of modern shows - but then, I thought the animated shows of my youth in the 1980s were even worse.

No, it does not "allow" more dynamic animation.  It makes it cheaper and faster to make frames (which is what I said above and you repeated).  The dynamism is not a feature of the style.  A company can choose to create more expensive dynamic animation not using that style if they want.  Cal-arts is low effort and low quality.

But in practice, companies don't just accept paying vastly more for animation. Generally, what they do is cut costs in other ways - like by having fewer character moves, fewer characters, re-using sequences, etc. That has a lot of effects not just on the look of the show, but on the stories that get told. The choice isn't between a thin-line style and naturalistic style with the same amount of animation. Instead, given budgets, the choice is: (a) a thin-line style with a lot of unique movement and dynamic scenes, or (b) a more naturalistic style with much less movement and dynamics.

The fundamental that I dislike is judging animation based on the look of screenshots. Animation is about being *animated*, so the quality and amount of movement has a lot to do with the quality of a show or movie. Kids can see this. A show with a lot of movement and character expression is more engaging -- especially to kids -- than one with a lot of fixed poses and drawn-out shots.

I don't like much of the newer animation, but it isn't all lazy or low-effort. For example, my ex's kids really liked The Amazing World of Gumball - which is typical of newer styles. I saw a bunch of episodes and didn't like it, but I could see that a ton of effort went into it. Each episode has a lot of stuff constantly happening, and they often would pull in unique changes, like having live puppets in an episode, for example. I think the fast action and abrupt changes is aimed more at low attention span. But that takes effort.

---

To connect this back to RPGs -- I feel similarly about arguing about the art in isolation of the game play. RPG art isn't just about generically looking good - it's about supporting game play. Back in the original old-school, a lot of material had bad or uneven art - with amateur black-and-white sketches and typewriter layout. The DIY aesthetic is that the art isn't definitional - it's stuff you can use or not use. For me, the best use of art for D&D was the POV illustration of dungeon elements like in Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan.
6
No. Not really. I mean SCIENCE demands methodology and if magickal phenomena will be not possible to scrutinize under such methodology - because spirits of underworlds hate scientists, and it's their call what will happen, then you can have merely history of magickal occurences, but never science of magick - because you cannot experiment on that, not really. Maybe only to get conclusion it's not possible to examine it's scientificaly

Shitload of people using magick in history, despite very dubious and unreliable results beg to differ.

People only used magic in history because they were either desperate or deluded. They couldn't apply scientific methods to it because nothing actually happened.

But you can't make an RPG where magic-users have a magic system that does nothing. Because games have rules and the rules would clearly show that spells had no actual effect.

While it is possible to design a magic system where the players seek to influence "spirits of the underworld", the actual powers and abilities of such spirits could themselves be studied through scientific methods. All you've done is added another layer between the user and the "forces of nature".
7
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As soon as any form of "magic" becomes demonstrable, it becomes a science. Regardless of how it's described.

No. Not really. I mean SCIENCE demands methodology and if magickal phenomena will be not possible to scrutinize under such methodology - because spirits of underworlds hate scientists, and it's their call what will happen, then you can have merely history of magickal occurences, but never science of magick - because you cannot experiment on that, not really. Maybe only to get conclusion it's not possible to examine it's scientificaly :P

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If magic worked in an RPG the same way it works in our world then no one would bother being a magic-user. Magic has to be repeatable and predictable or it won't be used.

Shitload of people using magick in history, despite very dubious and unreliable results beg to differ.
And in a world without modern ways of communication. Oh boy.

8
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Please, Tolkiens Dwarves are inspired/themed around Scottish people:  They love to fight, they love gold, they love riding on battle pigs and they speak with scottish accents.

Would a jewish dwarf ride on a battle pig?  Thats just not kosher.

Those are all Peter Jackson's heresies and lies :P
9
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It's been theorized that, given the little genetic difference in our make up, we could probably interbreed with chimps and/or bonobos. Probably the offspring would turn out to be sterile. Long standing barrier between two closely related species is being able to procreate fertile offspring.

Well sure but what bonobos have to do with our discussion.

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Now, being humanlike (humanoid) and being human isn't the same thing by a country mile.

Well that depends. If we have species, biological being which is very human like (we can safely say most humanoids are way closer to human than theoretical chimps) then it's quite close there. Because biological species are ruled by certain rules. And humanoid species are ruled by what such form can realistically aquire. (That's why realistic dwarves should use spears not axes in melee ;) )

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I know how D&D treats Elves and the rest, which is why I specify this is MY rule on MY games. I tend to make all different species, unable to interbreed, because?

But I do not seek explanation of why they are sterile - that's your fiat I guess, there are many easy explanation - you've given them.
I speak more about matter of how cultures evolve depending of conditions of life - and it's on purely biological perspective inevitable.
So let's see:

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Convergent evolution

Well and convergent evolution causes non-closely-related species to operate with simmilar modus operandi. Great sea lizards and great predatory whales. Real dogs and dog like hyana species.
Giant sea sloths and sirens. Falcons and hawks. Herons and storks. So still if elves are convergently evolved gazellas, and dwarves are convergently evolved crocodiles - if they evolved to human like shape, and human like intellect I expect them to be very human-like in modus operandi. So their desert, seafaring, forest, highlander, steppe cultures would share much between species based on living conditions and necessities it bring with.

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A very distant common ancestor but so far back they can't interbreed anymore.

As said above.

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Thier deity created them ex nihilo like that, and all their characteristics are hard coded by said creator.

As I said Glorantha like setting where elves and dwarves are very specific divine creations fits that, and sure then you can hard boil very rigid psychology that would be hindering for natural intelligent species with aspirations of spreading and advancement.

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They don't but their inherent glamour is used to seem like humans.

Fine by me. Then they are something inhuman and they should have inhuman ways of life.

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The last one I'm using on a human centric game where all other species are nothing but types of Fey and evil, just like in the original folklore. But this game is in it's very early stage of development and only 4 people so far have played in a world that had this type of creatures and that was just a setting for D&D.

That's fine. As I said - if elves are fey by nature I have no qualms about their mentality being unrealisticly rigid for natural intelligent species. That's totes fine.
10
Magic should not a physical phenomenon

Magic is described the way it is in the real world because, in the real world magic doesn't actually work. Magic on our Earth cannot be a physical phenomenon because it doesn't exists.

As soon as any form of "magic" becomes demonstrable, it becomes a science. Regardless of how it's described. If magic worked in an RPG the same way it works in our world then no one would bother being a magic-user. Magic has to be repeatable and predictable or it won't be used.

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If there is only one magic sword, one big evil wizard, one fairy pond, an occassional miracle, etc. every instance becomes special.

No. I've heard this argument a thousand times wrt D&D and it just isn't true. It doesn't matter of there are only 4 elves in the entire universe, if all four of those elves are PCs, then elves are mundane. If the only magic sword in the game world is a +1 sword, it still only affects combat 5% of the time which is statistically insignificant.

For magic to be special it must have an affect on the game world that is significantly powerful and not replicate-able by mundane methods.
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