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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 9:58 am 
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I note in the description of Diseases that all characteristics apart from Looks recover at 1 per week.
(The excellent document by Wayne Imlach has a few diseases that cause permanent loss of other characteristics.)

In a world where severe wounds can be treated with magic,* the inability to recover Looks seems a little harsh. A few doses of The Pox is more debilitating than most of the creatures in the Bestiary.
* At least, for those lucky few (most likely adventurers) who know a friendly mid-rank Sorcerer or Warlock.

Looking through the spell lists, I can see only Cure Disease and Purification that can stop a disease in its tracks (but don't recover characteristics already lost), and Miracle Cure that can deal with a loss of Looks.

How has anyone else approached this?

(I'm tempted to leave it as it is. There's something that appeals about a desperate character's quest to seek a Rank 9+ Sorcerer who will cure his pox-ridden, or leprous, appearance...*)
* Just how much are the prepared to go through / pay to recover their lost good looks? Vanitas vanitatum, omnia vanitas...


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 11:45 am 
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Truth is the wounds you take should be more terrible to take and recover from. Way the system is, its like a video game with the way the sorceror can do what Gatanades does in a matter of moments. Sort of makes the religion less impressive that it would be in the real world.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 6:00 pm 
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Sort of makes the religion less impressive that it would be in the real world.

Not really. In the early centuries CE, debate in the Christian Church focused primarily on the nature of Christ, his message and his nature (and relation to God). If you read the (apocryphal) Acts of Peter and Acts of John you'll see that bringing people (and smoked fish!) back from the dead, making animals talk, &c. was not restricted to Christ alone. (Did you know that referring to Christ's miracles was discouraged until St. Augustine of Hippo 'allowed it' in the 4th Century? The reason - most Pagan sorcerers were believed to be able to do pretty much anything Christ did; His 'miracles' were not considered particularly exceptional.) With magic being 'real' in Legend, I expect the message of the True Faith would focus more on the message rather than the actions of the Saviour...

Just to illustrate what Pagan sorcerers were believed to be capable of, here's a story from the Pseudo-Clementine 'Recognitions and Homilies':
Dositheus, when he perceived that Simon was depreciating him, fearing lest his reputation among men might be obscured (for he himself was supposed to be the Standing One), moved with rage, when they met as usual at the school, seized a rod, and began to beat Simon; but suddenly the rod seemed to pass through his body, as if it had been smoke. On which Dositheus, being astonished, says to him, 'Tell me if thou art the Standing One, that I may adore thee.' And when Simon answered that he was, then Dositheus, perceiving that he himself was not the Standing One, fell down and worshipped him, and gave up his own place as chief to Simon, ordering all the rank of thirty men to obey him; himself taking the inferior place which Simon formerly occupied. Not long after this he died.
An example of the spell Intangibility (Mystic, Level 8), perhaps? ;)

But all that's a bit of a digression! :roll:

Try running a DW game or two without a Sorcerer and the game quickly ceases to feel like a video game...*
* A criticism that could be levelled at a good many other games, btw. Anywhere there's a 'party healer'.

The Sorcerer does fail a bit when it comes to Disease, though. Hence my question...


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 29, 2018 2:41 pm 
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Kharille wrote:
Truth is the wounds you take should be more terrible to take and recover from. Way the system is, it's like a video game with the way the sorcerer can do what Gatanades does in a matter of moments.

I agree - rapid, zero-cost healing is one of the high fantasy elements (like PC elves!) that sort of spoils DW for me, which is my I've largely eliminated it from my game.

Combat is an easy way to consume a lot of game time without having to create any narrative content. However, if healing isn't plentiful, the GM can't just throw a load of combats as part of the evening's entertainment, which makes a time-poor GM's job a lot harder - it's the non-combat encounters that take the time to sculpt. Combats should be meaningful to the story rather than just being padding for a shallow narrative but, then, I'm as guilty as the next GM of throwing a combat at my players when inspiration runs dry!

I guess I should be thankful that, even with a sorcerer's healing powers, DW is still far from the fantasy super-hero murder-hobo system so many people seem to love.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:49 am 
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Cobwebbed Dragon wrote:
I guess I should be thankful that, even with a sorcerer's healing powers, DW is still far from the fantasy super-hero murder-hobo system so many people seem to love.


As opposed to D&D, which, as well as having powerful healing spells, allows characters to recover all HP from a 'long rest' - 8 hours sleep. Ridiculous!


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:05 am 
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Seem to be unwilling to use healing potions myself. I figure they're expensive and could be sold for a good bit of coin. In the games I play, usually we use it on unconscious sorcerors.

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2018 10:01 am 
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Acoma wrote:
As opposed to D&D, which, as well as having powerful healing spells, allows characters to recover all HP from a 'long rest' - 8 hours sleep. Ridiculous!

I know I'm digressing a little, but it's interesting to observe how computer games attempted to replicate the tabletop RPG gaming experience but now it is tabletop RPGs trying to replicate the video RPG gaming experience and the level of fantasy just gets higher and higher.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 5:16 am 
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In my games (outside of conventions which are very different) I encourage a mindset where while sorcerers certainly can heal people very impressively (and it is one of their greatest powers and gifts) they are encouraged to husband their spells and avoid wasting them - using magic to heal somebody, unless they are on the verge of death is seen as profligate of power. There is also always the risk - relatively slight in some places but always there - of getting into difficulties with those who do not like 'witches'.

Two conversations between Mistress Marta (8th Rank Sorceress) and her apprentices:

******

Eadweard ran out the door. He was back in less than three minutes. Rodbard was with him, and Mistress Marta ran and grabbed the boy. “Are you hurt?”

“No, Mistress. A knight...”

Sir Emmett of Mantrel walked into the room. He was bleeding heavily and his left arm hung limp. “Mistress, the boy here” – he gestured with his right hand, which still clutched a sword, streaked with blood at Eadweard. “said you could help me.” He pitched forward with a crash of metal. He was in full armour. And he was now unconscious.

Mistress Marta knelt down next to him. “Help me get these plates off him.” She obviously knew how armour worked. Eadweard said “I put all the healing I had into him, Mistress.”

“All of it? You little fool, Eadweard. You're useless now.”

Eadweard looked stung but said “Yes, Mistress.”

Mistress Marta was examining the man's wounds, and said “Well, Eadweard, redeem yourself.”

“My guess – he's been Shadowbolted. But there's a bit of cheating there – Rodbard saw it and described it. Jalena got Inflicted. No doubt on that. Gudwina – maybe a Transfix. I'm not sure, that's a hard one.”

“It is. That's my best guess as well so I can't fault you for not being sure. And it's not cheating to use information wherever you get it. Good. Not useless. But think next time – you need to carefully preserve your power.”

“It's late.”

“Not that late.” She began casting magic to seal the man's wounds. “Who Shadowbolted him?”

“The woman who grabbed me,” said Rodbard. “When we got outside, the Knight came out of an alley, and attacked the woman.”

“It was a man,” said Jalena.

“It wasn't!” said Gudwina and Rodbard. “It was a little old lady like Mistress...” said Rodbard

“It was nothing like the Mistress. She was very pretty!” said Gudwina.

“Thank you, Gudwina,” said the Mistress. “All of you – go with them Eadweard – get parchment and ink and come back here and write down what you remember without any further talk about it.”

They left – and came back in only a few seconds. Three men in dark clothing walked into the room. One of them wore a deep black cloak, with a dark red jewel at his neck.

“Get out!” said Mistress Marta. “Get out of my school, right now!”

The man raised a hand. “I am Garnet...”

“I know what you are. Get out!”

“I only want to know that... the children are all all right.”

“They are.”

“I can take them somewhere...”

Mistress Marta pointed at him. The man and his companions turned and fled.

“Mistress,” said Leo. “I think that he was...”

“I know exactly what he was, Leo. Now be silent on it.”

The Knight was now sitting up. “Thank you, Mistress. For whatever herbs and completely mundane methods of healing you just used to save my life.”

“Who are you?”

“I'm Sir Emmett Mantrel.”

“What do you say happened, Sir Emmett?”

“I saw a boy being dragged down the street by a man who he did not seem to want to go with. I stepped out to stop this happening. There was a brief fight. I succeeded in securing the boy's release, but I was wounded. I wounded the man as well, but he got away. Then this man turned up” he pointed at Eadweard, “and I started to fall over. He helped me here.”

“We owe you our thanks.”

“Nothing more than my duty, Mistress Marta?”

“You know who I am?”

“Doesn't everyone in this part of the city?”

“You're not from this part of the city.”

“I've been spending some time here recently.”

He stood up and looked at his discarded armour. “You didn't have to cut a single strap.”

“I'm used to stripping down Knights to heal them.”

He grinned, “I'm a lucky man, then. Thank you, Mistress. I must go, and see what I can find out about the person who hurt me. I owe them a bit more than I was able to give them.”

*****

It was halfway through the morning when the door opened and Mistress Marta was standing there. Everybody rose to their feet, but she gestured at them to sit down – “Leo, come with me.” He followed the Mistress into the library – was he in trouble? Then he saw that the Mistress had blood on her sleeves and on the front of her gown. “Mistress, are you hurt?”

“No – this is Nodar’s blood?”

“How hard did you birch him?” It just slipped out, but Mistress Marta treated the question seriously.

“I didn’t. Somebody else beat him. Quite badly. I’ve bandaged him up and given him a draft that will calm him. He’s all right.”

“Beat him badly? And you bandaged him up? Why bandages, why not use sorcery to heal him?”

“He wasn’t seriously hurt enough for me to spend power on him, and…”

Leo looked at Mistress Marta and he swore at her.

“Leo, if you speak to me like that again, I will make you eat soap.”

Leo looked at her. And used the very worst word he knew. She almost rocked back in surprise.

“You’re going to make me do it, then?” she said. “Children hardly ever do, you know.”

“If I can make you do anything, then heal Nodar!”

Mistress Marta looked at Leo, and shook her head slightly. “If Nodar was in need of it, of course I would used a healing spell on him. But bandages sufficed. This is a lesson you must learn Leo – your powers are not to be wasted. A Sorcerer can so easily become useless if they cast spells they do not need to. I have great power – but even I can be drained of it. You drained me yourself last week when I had to follow you to and bring you home from Cranwell. But – regardless of that – we need to be careful about who we let see us casting spells, and there are also… limitations to magic. I did not neglect Nodar. I bathed and bandaged his cuts and bruises and I summoned help from the Convent of Saint Ashanax. Nodar is fine. Sister Namalia and Perfidy are both with him now in my room. Now, my concern is with you. Nodar did something very foolish – but also very brave. He realised somebody was following all of you this morning and that’s why he had you all separate – to see specifically who was being followed. When he realised it was you, he doubled back and tried to confront them. They didn’t like that and they decided to teach him a lesson.”

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 10:01 am 
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That's an interesting post (and fun to read).

I am finding that this whole "Sorcerers are witches" attitude that appears to be gaining ground in the 'new' Dragon Warriors jars a bit with the way Legend used to be portrayed. Taking, for example, this extract from Book 6 (which can still be found in the new rulebook):
"One feature of travel not covered elsewhere is the disputation. A powerful character – often a Knight, but in a few instances a Sorcerer – sets up a pavilion at a crossroads, bridge or ford and challenges all comers to single combat. This occurs rarely, but nevertheless may lead to an entertaining encounter."
(The section then proceeds to describe how a Sorcerers' disputation would play out.)

If Sorcerers are so secretive, why would such things exist at all? Not to mention, how does Ulric get to keep his tower? Or Sengool his castle? I find the excuse "they are powerful" doesn't really hold water - especially in a world where there are Crusades and warriors prepared to die. Everyone knows a magician can be killed...

I've always taken the view that Sorcerers (and other magicians) are rare, often distrusted (because the unknown is scary), but rarely the subject of outright witch hunts. While overt, aggressive use of magic is unwise (someone may decide the Sorcerer is a threat), careful and helpful magic would not be so frowned on. Essentially, a Sorcerer has to be careful of his reputation - so that he remains viewed as one of the "good ones" and not one of those who consorts with devils and the like.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 10:17 am 
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Starkad wrote:
I've always taken the view that Sorcerers (and other magicians) are rare, often distrusted (because the unknown is scary), but rarely the subject of outright witch hunts. While overt, aggressive use of magic is unwise (someone may decide the Sorcerer is a threat), careful and helpful magic would not be so frowned on. Essentially, a Sorcerer has to be careful of his reputation - so that he remains viewed as one of the "good ones" and not one of those who consorts with devils and the like.


That's pretty much how it works in my games, in fact. At least in Albion. But while there aren't any major witch hunts happening right now, people are aware that that could change, and could change very quickly if the attitude of Church officials moves away from their current tolerance, to one of repression. People have heard what has happened in Algandy (although nobody really expects the Algandarve Inquisition to come to Albion...)

So many Sorcerers do try to, if not actually keep their powers secret, at least try to ensure there's enough ambiguity about them, that if it ever comes to it, they have a chance of being able to deny it.

Or if they are open about it, they make sure they are very, very clear that they are not heretics.

*****

'You shall not suffer a witch to live.' was the Priest's text of the day, and he was explaining that this did not mean that all who practiced magic had to die. Leo had actually wondered about that. Everybody knew that the King had a Sorcerer in his court just up the river, and there were a few others around as well. Nobody seemed to be trying to execute them though. According to the priest, if a wizard was an honest adherent of the True Faith who didn't go around pretending to be something he or she wasn't, it was all right. Working for the King so everybody knew you were a witch seemed to be all right. Leo wondered how much of this really just had to do with the fact that King probably would not like somebody trying to hang or burn a member of his Court, and the witch was probably easily able to stop anybody who tried anyway.

*****

“It's simple enough. There are laws on the books that allow a person to be burned at the stake for witchcraft, and on that desk, there's proof enough for me to have you charged with it, and a careful word to the Bishop – well, at least hanging is clean and over fast, if it's done right. But... I can also offer you the chance of learning how to master the talents you've obviously got. I can get you apprenticed to somebody who can teach you sorcery – and I will if you help me.”

*****

She lead him into the room and said “Sit down for a moment. I have to find a particular book.” Leo sat down as Blinda went over to a cupboard and opened it with a key she had on a chain around her neck. He could not see into the cupboard but when Blinda walked towards him with the largest book he had ever seen, he wondered what else might be in the cupboard that made that hard to find.

She put it on a table, and gestured to him to come over. He looked at it. It wasn't really a book – more like a book shaped chest made of some sort of metal – lead, he thought. The cover, or lid, had a large crucifix etched into it. There was no writing. Blinda looked at him.

“If Mistress Marta finds out I've shown this book to you, I will be birched. You might be as well.”

“Why are you going to show it to me, then? And where is she?”

“She's out obviously. That's why I couldn't send you to see her yet. I'm showing you because with the questions you are asking, if I don't show you, she will. And when she has to show anybody this book, it will be accompanied by a birching, because it happens when you've asked too many questions and you won't shut up about them and in your case, I guess it would happen by next Wotansdae at the latest. And she'd probably show you more of the book than I am going to, and believe me, you don't want to see it.”

“What is it?”

“Inside there are drawings. They are copies done by some Monks. Some really awful Monks.

There's a priest in Algandy called Father Alexandro. He's a mad man. These pictures are drawings of what happens to people who come up against him, or the others like him.”

Blinda took a deep breath and opened the cover. And Leo found himself looking at a picture. It was a woodcut engraving, he'd seen such before but this one had been coloured by hand. And most of the colour was red. Blood and fire. There were people being burned in a bonfire and they were still alive. And there were children – children with their left hands hacked off. One, a girl was having her hand stretched across a block as a man held an axe above it. There was writing underneath that Leo could not read. The letters were right, but the words made no sense which he found surprising because many of them weren't long words.

“I can't read it.” he said.

“It's in Algandarve, not Elleslandic. Same alphabet but the words are different,” said Blinda.

“Can you read it?”

“I can puzzle it out. It's a lot like Bacchile... what it says – well, the people in the fire were burned for witchcraft. But the children lost their hands just because they were left handed.” She slammed the book shut. “You can't afford to be left handed, Leo. Do you understand?”

“Mistress Marta is.”

Blinda grabbed him by the shoulders and shook him. “Say that again, and I'll...” she took a breath and released him. “Say that to anybody except somebody you know – KNOW – you can trust, and I don't know what I'll do to you, Leo. You can trust me. But if Mistress Marta let you see that, she let you see it for a reason.”

“Lots of people are left handed.”

“About one in every nine or ten. Yes, but you can't be left handed and... well, if you're left handed, you have to be completely normal. You have to be completely talentless. And it's best if you're also not very clever. Do you want to go through life pretending you don't have any talent, Leo? Do you want to go through life pretending that you're stupid? Isn't it better to just pretend you're right handed?”

“Like you.”

“Yes, like me. Exactly like me.”

“Like us.” Mistress Marta was standing in the doorway.

******

To some extent, what I am sharing gives a bit of an exaggerated idea of how sorcerers behave - with the exception of Mistress Marta, these are all children and her apprentices and she is very very careful to protect them. In her own case - everybody of consequence in Ongus knows she's a powerful sorceress. And none of them would say so unless absolutely necessary. It's an open secret - but she also knows that if it came down to it, she has powerful people who would protect her. But it probably won't come to it.

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co-author Friends or Foes
co-author Dragon Warriors Players Guide


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