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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:18 pm 
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Kharille wrote:
One way to look at it. We have sorcerors. I mean, ok, no big deal, its known and I can't see how a 'witch hunt' is going to happen when there are so many sorcerors and warlocks about.

Are there? I tend to run very low-magic, low-fantasy campaigns so sorcerers (and especially warlocks, for which I don't even have an equivalent profession) are exceptionally rare. Plus, sorcery itself is blasphemous, so whilst being a sorcerer is not a crime (assuming the patronage of a baron or equivalent), although it is often sufficient to warrant significant suspicion, using sorcery certainly is*, so even what few sorcerers there are will either hide their profession or refrain from using it openly.

* "Why so?" I hear you ask? Because anything that does, or could, challenge the power of the nobility or the Church is a crime. The stability of the feudal system depends on people's dependency on the land and the hierarchy of autocrats that control it.

Kharille wrote:
I mean, who is gatanades when some wandering low rank sorceror produces a BANQUET here and there.

But who, other than the very desperate or the cursed, would even consider eating such blasphemy-tainted food? Now Gatanades, his miracles were divine and incorruptable, but those heinous acts of sorcery will be the ruin of us all...

Kharille wrote:
Wouldn't mind having a medica profession but he would be outshone by the sorceror.

Enter the priest! And what is the cost to one's soul of being healed by sorcery? What dark pact transpires when one accepts the unnatural extension of life at the hands of the demon-granted powers of a sorcerer? Better to live a short, natural life with the glory of the afterlife to which to look forward than prolong one's life with only the brimstone of Hell to accompany you into eternity.

Kharille wrote:
I might recommend some form of 'scout' profession, ... [with] simple climbing and swimming skills ...

Be careful awarding skills to one profession that could actually be performed by anyone. With the introduction of the Hunter profession, parties that had previously happily foraged for food in the wilderness suddenly started starving to death for want of a Hunter. You don't need a new profession that can swim to introduce swimming into the game. Any character can learn to climb, forage, orate, swim, etc. - well, they could if there was a decent skills system in DW...

Anyway, I guess you can see where I'm coming from - in a high-fantasy game like D&D, your points are entirely valid. Magical healing (and magical everything) is so plentiful and accepted that society would be entirely unrecognisable to us muggles - why learn to dress wounds, grow crops, domesticate animals, etc., when healing spells, magical servants, and created food are pretty much available on-tap in any settlement? Which is why high fantasy isn't for me - better to create a believable backdrop with only a thin wash of supernatural tropes splashed across the fringes, from which the good folk of Legend naturally retreat for fear of its corrupting touch. The rules might not reflect that (which is a pity, but probably necessary to ensure it got published) but it's written bold as brass between the lines.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:27 pm 
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Oh yeah, I remember Nim created a game where everyone were knights and we actually had to roleplay rather than display our range of superhero powers. One of the reasons I love palladium 1ed is that there was a good skill system where everyone could learn to dress wounds, but priests and wizards were better at it. Perhaps if the sorceror healing spells were removed entirely it would make a healer profession more valid.

I'll need to reread hunter and priest profession again sometime.


Thinking back to the old days when I owned and respected wfrp. How about a beggar profession? What a great character class for city adventures... You'd wonder who in their right mind would travel with such a person. Unless he's a disguised assassin.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 7:27 pm 
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...Unless he's a disguised assassin.

And, indeed, that would be about the only point of playing a "beggar" in a party.

Mind you, it's not a terribly good disguise, is it? A well-equipped party of knights and squires canters by, accompanied by... a beggar?! Hmm. The Assassin could really only get away with that disguise when on his own, away from the party.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 8:38 pm 
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hermes421 wrote:
Starkad wrote:
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I always liked the Volucreth as a species; their brief description in Book 1 left just enough for me to conclude that they were a genuinely "other" intelligent race, one which simply did not think like humans do.

I agree. I've never used them (my campaigns have never run that far south), but I'd like to someday.

Hi all my pc was out of order. And my first sentence is hello, and I agree with volucreth as an intelligent race. If anyone created professions for this species, feel free to share it, :).


I'm doing some and will share when done :)


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:47 pm 
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Cobwebbed Dragon wrote:
Are there?


I like this sort of question. Trawling the available information lets us make an estimate of things that aren't stated in the books (such as that there are about 150 million florins in circulation in Ellesland, for instance, which I did once before).

If we take the population of Ellesland to be 2 million people, we know the maximum number of sorcerers cannot exceed the number of left-handed people who are adults with a psychic talent of 9 or above. About 10% of people are left-handed. The proportion of people with a Psychic talent of 9 or above is 74%. The adult population of Ellesland is hard to compute but if we base our numbers on current developing nations we get about 65% being 17 years and above.

Assuming left-handed people on average have the same psychic talent as right-handed people, we get:

2,000,000*0.10*0.74*0.65=96,200

So the absolute maximum number of sorcerers is 96,200 or about 4.8% of the population. Of course in reality the number will be much smaller, probably at least an order of magnitude smaller.

Another way to work this out is from the random encounter tables in the Bestiary. In open country, when encountering humans the chance of encountering adventurers is 5 in 37 or 13.5%. Of these, 17% will be sorcerers. On the surface this gives us a proportion of sorcerers in all human encounters as 2.3%. However this doesn't take into account the different sizes of the groups of humans encountered (adventurers are encountered in groups of 2-8 for instance). Once we crunch all the numbers we get a chance of encountering a sorcerer of 1.9% in any human encounter.

What other factors would further reduce these high-end estimates?

Cobwebbed Dragon wrote:
Plus, sorcery itself is blasphemous, so whilst being a sorcerer is not a crime (assuming the patronage of a baron or equivalent), although it is often sufficient to warrant significant suspicion, using sorcery certainly is*


If using magic is a crime, what's difference does it make if you have the patronage of a baron etc or not? A sorcerer who can't actually use their magic (including alchemy and artifice) isn't much use to a noble or anybody else, surely?

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:10 pm 
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If we take the population of Ellesland to be 2 million people...

If... The population of England in 1086 is estimated to be about 1.5 million (source: Domesday Book Online), so I'd say that's actually not a bad assumption for Ellesland in 993A.S.

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So the absolute maximum number of sorcerers...

Presuming that everyone capable has the opportunity to train as one. As you say, the actual number is likely to be an order of multitude smaller as the opportunity (or the will) would not present itself to the majority of candidates...

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What other factors would further reduce these high-end estimates?

In two words: training, opportunity.
A sorcerer needs to be trained by another sorcerer. There are no schools of magic in Ellesland (or, it would appear, outside of the New Selentine Empire). Thus, training to be a sorcerer requires to be an apprentice of another sorcerer... Who, by their nature, appear to be a reclusive and secretive bunch. A candidate would have to be "found" by a willing tutor. They'd then need to survive and pass their apprenticeship...

It might be better to approach this problem by comparing sorcerers to a "secretive" society... Looking at Freemasons (purely for example), out of a population in the UK of approximately 65 million in 2016, the number of Freemasons was 7,401; or 0.01% of the population. THEN you'd add on the need for secrecy due to religious persecution... Numbers would be small.
(You would also have to allow for the numbers of "sorcerers" who are not real sorcerers in game terms - i.e. those who never make it to Rank 1 or above...)

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If using magic is a crime, what's difference does it make if you have the patronage of a baron etc or not?

A quite massive difference! Lords administer justice on their lands (for all crimes that don't need to be tried at the King's Bench or under Canon Law), so they can dismiss all charges brought against their favourites.
In addition, "might makes right" in many parts of Legend - so having a powerful patron ensures security (as long as you stay on his good side).

Even a baron may struggle to quell discontent if there was an overt demonstration of sorcery. Most people probably assume there's a certain amount of "fooling around" and "make believe" involved... Rather like the "sorcerers" and "wizards" that frequented royal courts in our real world upto the 17th Century (and, possibly, beyond).*
* Consider Nostradamus (c.1503 - 1566), for example.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 2:14 am 
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Now I'm inspired to think about 'encounters' for players that involve peasant superstition and lynchings. Imagine a farm, an old grandfather's cow suddenly dies. Then a bunch of loser (adventurers) show up. Is it possible that this old guy might have the authority to associate the death of his prized cow with the presence of this collection of idiots? Maybe less so if its composed of knights, but if you have a weird band of beggars and bandits...

Even if a child stays over with relatives in the next village the players may be accused of their death. I know, its not exactly heroic but in a way realistic.

Perhaps we should consider a series of npc professions. I joked about merchants. Not necessarily a profession to play, but one that would have links to equipment. Perhaps given 2 weeks advance notice they can increase the probability of there being a crossbow available by 10%? I'd say its more about fluff writing. What about other services? Perhaps there would be an apothecary where they can sell exotic cures like leeches, dried leeches, vinegar preserved leeches, dead weight women and other bloodsuckers.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 6:35 am 
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Starkad wrote:
Quote:
If we take the population of Ellesland to be 2 million people...

If... The population of England in 1086 is estimated to be about 1.5 million (source: Domesday Book Online), so I'd say that's actually not a bad assumption for Ellesland in 993A.S.

Quote:
So the absolute maximum number of sorcerers...

Presuming that everyone capable has the opportunity to train as one. As you say, the actual number is likely to be an order of multitude smaller as the opportunity (or the will) would not present itself to the majority of candidates...

Quote:
What other factors would further reduce these high-end estimates?

In two words: training, opportunity.
A sorcerer needs to be trained by another sorcerer. There are no schools of magic in Ellesland (or, it would appear, outside of the New Selentine Empire). Thus, training to be a sorcerer requires to be an apprentice of another sorcerer... Who, by their nature, appear to be a reclusive and secretive bunch. A candidate would have to be "found" by a willing tutor. They'd then need to survive and pass their apprenticeship...

It might be better to approach this problem by comparing sorcerers to a "secretive" society... Looking at Freemasons (purely for example), out of a population in the UK of approximately 65 million in 2016, the number of Freemasons was 7,401; or 0.01% of the population. THEN you'd add on the need for secrecy due to religious persecution... Numbers would be small.
(You would also have to allow for the numbers of "sorcerers" who are not real sorcerers in game terms - i.e. those who never make it to Rank 1 or above...)


Yeah if I had to guess, I'd put the total number of sorcerers in Ellesland at maybe 1 in 10,000 or about 200 sorcerers. It couldn't be much lower (like, one in a million) because that wouldn't gel with the adventure scenarios, random encounter charts etc. It could be a bit bigger but I'd be surprised if there were even 2000 (one in a thousand) sorcerers in Ellesland. It doesn't seem like (as you say) the opportunities would support that number.

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If using magic is a crime, what's difference does it make if you have the patronage of a baron etc or not?

A quite massive difference! Lords administer justice on their lands (for all crimes that don't need to be tried at the King's Bench or under Canon Law), so they can dismiss all charges brought against their favorites.
In addition, "might makes right" in many parts of Legend - so having a powerful patron ensures security (as long as you stay on his good side).[/quote]

Understood. Its illegal except if the lawmaker says so. I buy that. That's not how its presented in DW of course but I can see that as working in your game world.

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Even a baron may struggle to quell discontent if there was an overt demonstration of sorcery. Most people probably assume there's a certain amount of "fooling around" and "make believe" involved... Rather like the "sorcerers" and "wizards" that frequented royal courts in our real world upto the 17th Century (and, possibly, beyond).*
* Consider Nostradamus (c.1503 - 1566), for example.


What happened to Nostradamus? I'm not aware of any reliable accounts of him getting into serious trouble for practising magic (actually astrology and soothsaying in his case I suppose).

Cheers,

-Kyle


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 8:51 am 
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Now I'm inspired to think about 'encounters' for players that involve peasant superstition...

Not unreasonable. Adventurers, being often outside the normal fabric of society, might well be blamed for anything going wrong in the area. Whether the local people or lord does anything about it would depend on your scenario...

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I joked about merchants. Not necessarily a profession to play...

Perhaps not, but might be fun to expand for NPC material.

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...or about 200 sorcerers

Seems reasonable to me. Spread out over the whole of Ellesland, 200 is not a large number.

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Its illegal except if the lawmaker says so. I buy that.

That's pretty much how it was in the early Middle Ages (by all accounts). There were laws, and most people abided by them, but powerful lords could do as they pleased - unless a more powerful lord, or the king, took notice.

Quote:
That's not how its presented in DW of course

Are you sure?

True, while DW claims the lands are in an early Feudal stage of development (DW book 6, page 103), the court system it describes is actually a much later version (late Medieval). That said, the King's Bench is effectively the same as the King's (Circuit) Court and the Eccliastical Court is that which deals with Canon Law.

Sorcery is not specifically presented as a crime in DW; that appears to have cropped up in more recent discussion and supplements. Thus, we have to decide what kind of crime it is? Does it warrant the death penalty? If so, then it has to be tried by the Circuit Court. Is it a heresy? If so, then that’s the Ecclesiastical Court (DW book 6 avoids giving rules for that court).

The issue here is how it would be dealt with in "real" terms...

Assuming it's a Heresy, then the Church would get involved. This then depends on the power of the Church in your area. If the local has retained the right of Advowson (the right to appoint an abbot),* then the abbot would be reminded to whom he owes his position – irritating the lord by accusing his "personal sorcerer" wouldn’t be something taken lightly. In addition, there's a reasonable chance that the local abbot or bishop is a relative of the lord (this wasn't uncommon in the real world), and he would have to consider carefully the ramifications of acting against his own family... (Remember that he’s accusing that lord – his own family – of harbouring a heretic.)
* In what is now France, some lords retained the right to appoint Bishops** too. I'm not sure when this changed, sometime in the 11th-12th Centuries, I think?
** The bishop was in charge of a city's defence so, as often as not, the appointment was of a military (rather than religious) nature.

Then there's realpolitik. Can the Church actually deal with the lord in question?

Consider the story of Fulk III Nerra, Count of Anjou (972 – 1040 AD).
Campaigning in the Touraine area, the canons of the St. Martin's basilica refused him entry so he sacked the church. Realising this was probably a Bad Thing, he went on pilgrimage to Jerusalem, bought a piece of the True Cross and, on his return, founded the abbey of Beaulieu. The Archbishop of Tours, not surprisingly, refused to consecrate the abbey; so Fulk went to Rome where he obtained that a Papal Legate would do it instead - to the fury of the Frankish clergy. Content that he'd made suitable amends, he then returned to sack the lands of the Archbishop of Tours around Montsoreau, Candes, Chinon and Azay. Promptly excommunicated, this didn't prevent him going on to beat his enemies at Pontlevoy in 1016. In 1025 he took Saumur: in the course of the attack he expelled the priests of St. Florent and burnt the monastery to the ground. To make amends, he built a new church in Angers... (And so on.)
Source: "La Chevalerie et les Chevaliers Brigands de la France au moyen âge" by Thierry Ribaldone, 1988.

The Church in Legend, however powerful you might have it in your campaign world, might be wary of challenging a powerful lord. Especially if that lord has not done something overtly heretical. I suppose it's complicated and, as Dave Morris says, can't be governed by a set of tables - such situations would have to be role-played.

Quote:
What happened to Nostradamus? I'm not aware of any reliable accounts of him getting into serious trouble for practising magic (actually astrology and soothsaying in his case I suppose).

Nothing. That was my point (sorry if it wasn't clear). Here was a man who practiced alchemy (heretical) and dabbled in prophesy (also heretical) and yet survived in the days when the Inquisition were active. It can't have harmed his cause that he was admired, and had as a patron, Catherine de Medici (wife of King Henry II of France). Not every sorcerer gets burnt at the stake... ;)

However, if he had performed overt sorcery,* in the presence of witnesses, then it's likely that no patron could have saved him. If a sorcerer is in the public eye, he has to be subtle.
* If he had somehow blasted Hellfire from his fingertips, for example.**
** No, I'm not saying he could; I'm just giving a fantasy example.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2018 12:29 pm 
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Starkad wrote:
Sorcery is not specifically presented as a crime in DW; that appears to have cropped up in more recent discussion and supplements. Thus, we have to decide what kind of crime it is? Does it warrant the death penalty? If so, then it has to be tried by the Circuit Court. Is it a heresy? If so, then that’s the Ecclesiastical Court (DW book 6 avoids giving rules for that court).


Which supplements do you have in mind? Discussions on these forums are non-canonical so unless there's something I've missed something in one of the later published books (very possible), I'd go with the rulebook's portrayal of sorcery as being a distrusted and disreputable, but not actually illegal, activity.

Cheers,

-Kyle


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