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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 10:48 am 
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That's pretty much how it works in my games, in fact.

Good stuff. That's not the impression I was getting from reading recent published supplements and topics, hence my comment.

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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.

I put up another post as I was wondering on why so much magic had been "lost". Church repression (either locally or on a wider scale) could have been one cause...

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...nobody really expects the Algandarve Inquisition

They wouldn't, because their chief weapon is surprise! Surprise and fear; fear and surprise! The two weapons are fear, surprise... and ruthless efficiency!
(Oh dear...)

Thanks for the text examples. Again, a good read.

I think we'd have to agree to disagree on an 'Algandarve Inquisition'. It's only the 10th Century and the Crusades but young - the society is probably not ready for such a determined and ruthless organisation to emerge from the Church (still far too much paganism and, in all probability, heresy around). I can see why a local uprising might have brought down tyrant mages, but people would also know that the knowledge held by some mages is also essential in keeping back the monsters of the woods. The Algandarve Inquisition does not exist in my version of Legend... although the temptation to include nice red uniforms is really very, very strong...

Bringing the topic back on track, I wonder if the ability to cure disease is something that was lost? This could be the subject for an adventure - a PC sorcerer finds a scroll that hints at the curing of an ailment. Or you could have someone important fall sick and the PCs tasked with finding a cure - this could mean a trip to the Otherworld and who knows what bargains they may have to make there?


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 11:07 am 
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Starkad wrote:
Good stuff. That's not the impression I was getting from reading recent published supplements and topics, hence my comment.


This is one reason why I'd like The Summoner's Tale to appear. There's a bit of exploration in that about the issue of the Church in Albion's attitude towards sorcery - normally very tolerant but there are limits :)

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 10:06 pm 
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Starkad wrote:
"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."

There are a number of places in which DW is inconsistent about whether Legend is a low-magic, low-fantasy realm, or something a little more fantastic. Sorcerous pavilions at crossroads, overt indirect magic, and elves as player characters tend to be the things I don't take across to "my" Legend. I wouldn't even, for example, go as far in my campaigns as Dreadnaught has in his with Mistress Marta's school for her apprentices but I don't see any inconsistencies with that approach either.

Sorcery, like anything different, powerful, little understood, and a potential threat to the authority and stability of nobles and churchmen is going to be in for a rough ride. And, because magic is not understood, it is an easy scapegoat for anything that goes wrong. Magic in Legend (well, in "my" Legend) is not integrated into society like it is in high-fantasy systems, where magic is prolific and utilitarian; I instead incorporate DW sorcery as frightening, treacherous, and blasphemous. However, like with most prejudice, it only really affects strangers - that wise woman who helps out locals with various problems isn't painted with the same brush of sorcery as some party of mendicants rucking through the village with talk of eldritch horrors and brazenly exhibiting sorcerous abilities. But what are the locals going to do? They won't confront the sorcerer directly, as they will be in as much fear of his powers as their imaginations will inspire, even the local priest is unlikely to know how to deal with such a creature. Maybe the lord would send some knights to investigate claims of sorcery within his domain (not a witch hunt, per se, but if a sorcerer caused enough trouble, they would warrant investigation - as, of course, would any character's antics if they were disruptive enough), or maybe he'd want to use the sorcerer for his own ends - perhaps the best the sorcerer could hope for would be to be manipulated like a pawn in the baron's political games.

In the end, the law is whatever the local baron chooses to enforce and depends on their particular experience and tolerance for magic. Sorcerers may be that necessary evil - often vilified as an easy patsy for the ills to befall an area through which the sorcerer has travelled but also sought out by the desperate as their last hopes to solve an impossible problem - or maybe, whilst not commonplace, magic is interpreted culturally as little more than just another tool, like a plough or sword. It doesn't really matter so long as the campaign realm is consistent, immersive, and fun. Of course, regardless of how a baron chooses to enforce any sort of prohibition on sorcery (officially sanctioned in law or otherwise), away from superstitious eyes, deep in the wild places and the dark underworlds adventurers tend to explore, anything goes!

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 11:14 pm 
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Maybe the lord would send some knights to investigate...

Actually, this sounds like part of the lord's duty anyway. A group of armed individuals enters his lands - they should either present themselves to the lord, or they would be deemed suspicious (and worthy of investigation). I expect lords would want to know of adventuring groups on their lands as, threat aside, such groups are known to find plunder - much of which is the lord's due if it is found on is lands.
(I tend to operate an 'unwritten rule' where the lord returns half the cash value of the goods and any magic items - but he doesn't have to. Such a rule encourages other adventuring groups to be honest in declaring their finds.)

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...perhaps the best the sorcerer could hope for would be to be manipulated like a pawn in the baron's political games.

I suspect this would be in a minority of cases, unless the lord is a baron (or greater). A lowly bachelor knight would probably be happy just to keep an eye on any adventurers (Sorcerers or otherwise) and be glad to see the back of them when they leave. Not every knight is involved (or wants to be involved) in delicate power games.
(Politics and intrigue were perceived as somewhat 'unknightly' activities - which is why, being good at that sort of thing, the Byzantines got a bad reputation and we got the pejorative adjective 'byzantine' meaning complicated & secret.)

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In the end, the law is whatever the local baron chooses to enforce...

"The king is far, and we are near"... Even the 'local' baron may be too far to deal with a minor Sorcerer and his entourage. Does the local knight really want to risk the ire of someone who can wield real magic (because, unlike our world, the people of Legend know that magic is real; with tangible effects)...?

Which brings me to Legend generally. Legend is a world where magic is not only real, it has been around since the dawn of time (there are hints of it being around well before the rise of Kaikuhuru). It may not be trusted, it may be feared, but it is a real force in the world rather than mere superstition. (Even the lowest of mages is effectively walking around with a flamethrower up his sleeves.) Added to that, Sorcery may not be understood but, equally, it is not unknown. Over the centuries, warriors who have adventured in the company of mages would, through observation, have gained some knowledge of their abilities (as fellow adventurers do) and these tales would spread... So there would be an understanding of the basic capabilities of mages among the more educated or experienced characters in the world.

I feel the attitude towards sorcerers might be one of wariness; the uncertainty of what these mages can do would lead to them being treated with caution and respect. Just how hostile the reaction would depend on the previous encounter the people had with a Sorcerer and how powerful they perceive the Sorcerer to be...*
* Which, in turn, might affect how the Sorcerer chooses to portray him/herself...


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 7:35 am 
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Starkad wrote:
Legend is a world where magic is not only real, it has been around since the dawn of time (there are hints of it being around well before the rise of Kaikuhuru). It may not be trusted, it may be feared, but it is a real force in the world rather than mere superstition.

To Dark Age folk in the real world, magic was a real force in the world, not just superstition (as we think of it today).

Starkad wrote:
(Even the lowest of mages is effectively walking around with a flamethrower up his sleeves.)

This is what I mitigate in my games. I have kept a few of the flashier indirect attack spells on which desperate sorcerers can draw, but they wouldn't be commonly cast by sorcerers.

Starkad wrote:
Over the centuries, warriors who have adventured in the company of mages would, through observation, have gained some knowledge of their abilities (as fellow adventurers do) and these tales would spread... So there would be an understanding of the basic capabilities of mages among the more educated or experienced characters in the world.

If even talking about magic has social consequences, if there is no written record, if there is a tendency to embellish, you just end up with rumours and heresay, much like there was for magic in the Dark Ages. Although there would definitely be different attitudes to magic in different cultures - I tend to set my campaigns in Albion (or neighbouring kingdoms) and keep it vaguely aligned (sometimes only very vaguely aligned...) to British Dark Age folklore.

Also, in my campaigns, I encourage narrative magic - the spells just provide the game effects. For example, if a dragonbreath spell kills someone, the sorcerer is free to narrate the death in any way they like, regardless of whether it uses the typical visuals (or, indeed, any form of indirect medium). Whilst the necessities of the game require spells to be mechanical and repeatable, within the narrative they should be anything but, so there will be no consistent record of what sorcerers are capable. Within a single adventure, a sorcerer may manifest a dozen different and bewildering magical effects, none of which are ever repeated in future adventures either.

Starkad wrote:
I feel the attitude towards sorcerers might be one of wariness; the uncertainty of what these mages can do would lead to them being treated with caution and respect. Just how hostile the reaction would depend on the previous encounter the people had with a Sorcerer and how powerful they perceive the Sorcerer to be...*
* Which, in turn, might affect how the Sorcerer chooses to portray him/herself...

In my games, sorcerers aren't dressed any differently from normal folk - no flowing robes and pointy hats, so nothing to mark them out as magickers of any description. Very few people would have had any previous encounters with sorcery (although they may think they have had - any misfortune can be blamed on sorcery) to have formed their own opinion - they would have an opinion formed from rumour and whatever a charismatic person told them to feel. Even in our age of free, accurate, and open information, Brexit and Trump have happened - we haven't really changed in a thousand years of social development.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 10, 2018 5:51 pm 
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To Dark Age folk in the real world, magic was a real force in the world, not just superstition (as we think of it today).

But not the same kind of magic as that portrayed in the game. Reading Beowulf, the Viking Sagas and some stories passed down through Breton history (as well as older fantasy literature) and you see that Sorcerers are easily killed. Very little by way of flashy spells, no ' force fields' - stick a sword in them and they will die. There may well be consequences later on (curses, geasa and the like, but the Sorcerer is still dead. Quite a different magic from that portrayed in this (and other) games.

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This is what I mitigate in my games.

Why? And how?
If a Sorcerer wants to blast all his power on Dragonbreath in my world he can - but he'd very soon be hunted down as the dangerous loony he is (and the local knights would gain the glory for slaying such a hellspawn). I don't limit the players - they know what they can do (from the rules) but they also know that actions have consequences.

Quote:
If even talking about magic has social consequences, if there is no written record, if there is a tendency to embellish, you just end up with rumours and heresay, much like there was for magic in the Dark Ages.

Only because it wasn't real (however much people might believe). Stuff that was real and observed tended to get talked about in realistic detail (q.v. the fights in the Laxardal Saga) - although there could be embellishment too (for the purposes of entertainment). But I strongly suspect that 'professional' warriors had a pretty good grasp of the realities of their situation - and the same would apply if they had chanced to observe magic 'at work'.

Quote:
Also, in my campaigns, I encourage narrative magic - the spells just provide the game effects...

This sounds more like "Mage" than Dragon Warriors. Although I quite like the idea that the actual visible effect can differ from sorcerer to sorcerer, this implies that the magic itself is not reproducible which, in turn, makes you wonder how Sorcerers pass on their knowledge? If a Sorcerer learns a spell from a grimoire, is his spell different to that which was written?

Quote:
In my games, sorcerers aren't dressed any differently from normal folk -

Very much the same in my games - especially for the low-level Sorcerers. However, those who have 'made it' or who have a position in society to maintain (e.g. 'court' sorcerers) may 'dress to impress'. The court of the young Louis XIII (under Marie de Medicis) had several individuals pretending* to be sorcerers and diviners who wore clothing to match what they claimed to be...
* Who knows? They may even have believed in themselves?

You might have a situation where a real Sorcerer dresses unobtrusively, while a mountebank puts on a pointy hat and a decorated cloak to impress the locals...

Quote:
Even in our age...

It's all about presentation... (see above) ;)


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