Jump to content

Living in a magic rich society


Recommended Posts

This is a discussion on how magic would shape life in a magic rich world.

 

Eberron had some good ideas like magic carpet taxi and magical street lights.

 

So 1st I would say

 

Crops
With spells like create Demi plane, you could have crops that crow all year long, are secure from bugs and raiders/ thieves, and have limited access to only those you want. Plus they don't take up valuable land that you can use to expand your city.... Plus the area is no longer limited by natural features or weather conditions. You could have tasty secure crops all year long.

 

Transportation
Flying Cauldrons and brooms of flying. Wealthy noble children now have extreme sports involving personal conveyances. I can see drag races or just cruising around town in your pimped out flying ride...

 

Balls/parties
Alter self can make your hair/clothes and even you look different. I can see shops dedicated to alteration magic.

 

Culture
Prestidigitation can create objects that last for an hour and can heat and season them. So you could make food that tastes good and only lasts an hour that does not provide nourishment and thus does not make you fat. Noble Bulimics would find use for this...


Anyone one have any other thing that would fit here? What is your idea for a decadent magic based society?

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 29
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Are we limiting it to Arcane magic or Divine also?

 

If you have divine magic then disease and death would have much less hold over people in general. If you could go to the cleric and get a cure or a blessing or a raise dead then things like Cancer and particularly communicable disease would be much less prevalent. In fact much of the stigma of other diseases would be gone once the rich in particular could just get cured or healed. On the flip side if you have a grudge against someone it would be a snap to have a hex or curse put on them. 

 

Fear of magical repercussions or grudges would also create a trade for spells or wards, similar to the ADT security companies of today. 

 

Teleportation would make traveling easier and faster. 

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess the question is how hard/expensive it is to do certain kinds of magic.

 

if teleportation is cheep, then caravans/cargo ships are out of business, and import laws are nearly unenforceable. 

 

If geas is cheep you've got huge issues with contracts turning into slavery. 

 

if golems are cheep, you may not need laborers or massed footmen

 

polymorph would mean you need to sweep all living things out of a room to make sure there are not spies, assassins, or thieves. 

 

Scrying means you need to assume you every act is observed.

 

 

but the biggest thing if given all the magical ways to hurt someone, unless the head of state/ruling council is made up of crazy super wizards, you're going to need to anti-magic field up all the important buildings to prevent them from being compelled or killed. 

 

on the less horrible side:

prestidigitation would let everyone stay clean.

scrolls of heroes feast or create food and water would mean emergency rations would be less lousy

girdle of masculinity/femininity would be an absolute miracle for any transgender people

bags of holding would make it much easier to carry all the things you need for a day

 

 

  • Like 8
Link to post
Share on other sites

big question for me is: how powerful is the prevalent magic?

 

Eberron, for example, has incredibly prevalent magic, but most of it is 3rd level spells or less. The major Houses have a lot of high-level magic users, and the various churches have a few, but mostly the everyday citizen-mage has no need or means to progress past 5th or 6th level. This is why you don't see entire armies teleporting to within the city walls during a seige, and why Resurrection isn't used to prevent wars of succession. So the magic in use throughout the world is ingenious and useful, but rarely is it singularly earth-shaking.

 

I tend to think of Eberron magic as a science...so while we see people improvising and sometimes finding new things, we also see true magic engineers, who are the force behind using simple magic to create world-changing technology.

 

Put another way, very high-level magic appears vast, but it is often very personal: if we crush a fortune's worth of diamonds, we can raise this dude from the dead, or teleport these five people to the other side of the world. It's cost prohibitive to do this for anyone and everyone. Low-level magic seems relatively small, but that actually makes it globally applicable: Prestidigitation costs nearly nothing to cast and can do all sorts of things.

 

Mass-market products made using Prestidigitation:

.Tide stick single use stain remover

.champagne popper noisemakers

.glow sticks

.contact lenses that change your eye color, set to a si.gle color or to shift frequently.

.a stone that stays in your pocket and prevents the pocket from opening unless you speak a command word or tap your pocket in a certain way

.a coin purse that doesn't jingle, or that jingles hyperbolically

.a coin purse that automatically sorts and dispenses coins into a certain amount ( so it dispenses American quarters four at a time, for example)

.a liquid that, when it comes in contact with moisture (either any moisture or a specific substance) glows...this concept could be used to find leaks in air bladders, or as the flourescing stuff you see in CSI shows to find blood traces.

 

So a lot of small stuff that can have widespread use. It ends up being a lot like manufacturing today, where you have big brands and the like.

 

I have some other thoughts, too, stuff in this post I want to expand, so I'll post more when I am not on my phone...

.

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

Eberron is really good about that - with magic having prices that are deliberately kept high - less volume, but better profit.

 

In Sharn - the City of Towers - there are rules for falling off of the walkways, and just how likely you are to be hit with a Feather Fall before you hit the ground... The city has a standing award system for spellcasters catching folks before they go *SPLAT!* - you might even be hit by more than one....

 

One of the game changers is not even all that expensive - that old standby, Continual Flame/Light. Just like the gaslight changed the world, so too does the Continual Light spells, night becomes a valid working shift, and no chance of fire.

 

But Eberron is really closer to the 1930s than to a mediaeval society - the Great War is over, but the shadows of the next war are already dancing on the wall.


Which, by the by, is not a complaint - Eberron is, in some ways, a tribute to White's Corollary to Clarke's Law. (Any sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from technology.)

 

Flying as a means of transportation is something that people do - but is still a bit of a marvel. Having somebody navigate a broom around the world will be something that shows up in the paper. Taking the lightning rail is something to tell the kids about.

 

Using magic to talk across the continent is expensive enough that it is only used for special ocassions or by the wealthy - and I kind of suspect that sometimes the sight of a messenger from the communications company brings a feeling of dread - as the government 'regrets to inform' of a soldier's death to his family.

 

The Auld Grump - I like Eberron a whole lot more than either Greyhawk or Forgotten Realms - but I really, really expected to hate it. Being wrong in that regard made me very happy.

  • Like 8
Link to post
Share on other sites

Its interesting, I posted this thread in the Paizo forums too. Basically it was pointed out that magic like "create demi plane" would not be cost effective as it would take a 13th level caster and require about 200,000 gp to make an acre of farmable land... Still interesting.... I mean that one acre wont produce enough to get back the 200K but it is a dependable acre that is well protected and can produce (in theory) all year long.... and could produce in lands that are not capable... (frozen north, burning desert, etc...)

 

I do really like the concept of magic replacing technology... like in the Legend of Kora... you have a world that has kind of taken on a society of early 1900's based on what magic progressed in to....

 

Now I don't know if I want magic to be so common place that 13 level casters are everywhere... but I do like the idea of more mundane magic being seeped in everything... Low level magic replaces laundry, restaurants, etc... 

 

In our real lives you have 16 year olds getting Lamborghinis on their birthdays or spending a million bucks on their birthday... (That sweet 16 MTV show really irks me...) so I can see rich, bored, noble scions getting Couldrons of Flying and Racing brooms on their 16th birthdays... I used that and the brew mages in my homebrew campaign.  The Pc's managed to convince both groups to fight with them against the People who had taken over their city...

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes! Bored rich kids getting crazy magic items and doing stupid! This seems like a very real thing in a pervasive-magic society. I want to see illegal broomstick drag-races!

<><><>

 

So, one of the things I see in Eberron that reeeeeeally affects how pervasive magic is used in that setting is the presence of the Great Houses. They essentially form an economic Magocracy, where those twelve houses control so many aspects of everyday life they form a massive econopolitical powerhouse. In some ways, they are like the megacorporations of Shadowrun. Orien has a near-monopoly on overland travel/cargo (shared by Lyrandar's control of sea and air); Cannith creates all the appliances and machinery (think of them as GE, Ford and IBM rolled into one); Kundarak has a stranglehold on banking and wealth management; Jorasco is Highmark/Aetna/USAA all rolled together; Denieth and Tharashk together form a mercenary force that can take on nations.

 

If you remove the Houses from the equation, you're likely to see a more spread-out curve of development over history, because there's not a centralised push for a given field. Cannith's R&D developed (for example) the microwave oven, the lightbulb and the car; they did so because they perceived a need in one market and then pushed it to other markets. Without Cannith, a random hedge-mage might see the need for a microwave and develop it, but not push it beyond the five towns he can visit within a day. So if you don't have the large "corporate" magic Houses, you may have regional technology. This kingdom has a low concentration of evokers, but lots of abjurers, so their banks are quite safe and crime is low; another region might have a lot of conjurers, so their manufacturing is very efficient (but perhaps crime is higher).

 

Now, Eberron's Houses developed because the magic existed in specific bloodlines, so they naturally grouped together and focused their energies. In a world without blood-induced corporate structures, I'm sure like-minded groups of mage-engineers would still form, but there's nothing preventing several rival groups to form, all attempting the same thing. A Tesla/Edison rivalry could form around making mage-lights with conjuration vs evocation energies, for example. Or the many small "companies" might cooperate: to use the agricultural demiplane example, a group working on enhancing crops to be more hardy might team with a group developing planar magic to develop extraplanar greenhouses.

 

Also, how close to post-scarcity does the pervasive magic get? What resources are now effectively unlimited? Does the prevalance of "Heroes' Feast" mean that eating rat or crow is actually a luxury in some places? It's quite possible that a region suffered a giant recession or even depression when a group of mages discovered how to transmute stone to gold. If golems or even Invisible Servants are common, does the homeless population explode because there's less need for unskilled labor (or does a kingdom double down on education and training for those unskilled laborers, causing a new renaissance of development and prosperity)?

 

Whew. OK, I know I haven't given you a lot of specific "this thing exists" examples, but you got my big-picture world-building brain cooking a bit. I hope some of this is of interest!

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Smokestack said:

 

 

Crops
With spells like create Demi plane, you could have crops that crow all year long, are secure from bugs and raiders/ thieves, and have limited access to only those you want. Plus they don't take up valuable land that you can use to expand your city.... Plus the area is no longer limited by natural features or weather conditions. You could have tasty secure crops all year long.

 

This gives me a good idea for an adventure.

 

Party represent the "authorities," trying to track down an illegal grow operation whose greenhouses are on a demiplane.

 

EDIT: Or better, spread out over several demiplanes.

Edited by Bruunwald
  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Smokestack said:

Crops
With spells like create Demi plane, you could have crops that crow all year long, are secure from bugs and raiders/ thieves, and have limited access to only those you want. Plus they don't take up valuable land that you can use to expand your city.... Plus the area is no longer limited by natural features or weather conditions. You could have tasty secure crops all year long.

 

This sounds very much like claims made in our technological world in times past. "Everything will be better with new xxx". For crops, we have pesticides and Genetic modifications... and from here we get "unrealistic expectations" and "unintended consequences". If everything is easy, where is the money & governance coming from? 

 

Pretty much anything can work in a magic rich world. The real issue is the justification/reasoning behind it to make it believable. Maybe start with our a rough history line of our world and walk through major decision points where magic provided the answers instead of tech, and see where you end up? Or the other way around; take an idea you like then come up with the justification, and then tie it into the others you make. Either way, backstory ::D:

 

I would spend way too much time making such a world, and never get around to playing it :wacko:

 

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Smokestack said:

Its interesting, I posted this thread in the Paizo forums too. Basically it was pointed out that magic like "create demi plane" would not be cost effective as it would take a 13th level caster and require about 200,000 gp to make an acre of farmable land... Still interesting.... I mean that one acre wont produce enough to get back the 200K but it is a dependable acre that is well protected and can produce (in theory) all year long.... and could produce in lands that are not capable... (frozen north, burning desert, etc...)

 

I do really like the concept of magic replacing technology... like in the Legend of Kora... you have a world that has kind of taken on a society of early 1900's based on what magic progressed in to....

 

Now I don't know if I want magic to be so common place that 13 level casters are everywhere... but I do like the idea of more mundane magic being seeped in everything... Low level magic replaces laundry, restaurants, etc... 

 

In our real lives you have 16 year olds getting Lamborghinis on their birthdays or spending a million bucks on their birthday... (That sweet 16 MTV show really irks me...) so I can see rich, bored, noble scions getting Couldrons of Flying and Racing brooms on their 16th birthdays... I used that and the brew mages in my homebrew campaign.  The Pc's managed to convince both groups to fight with them against the People who had taken over their city...

how long does a demi plane exist? while the caster pays attention to it? till caster dies? forever? if it lasts forever it is super worth it! you're just making a very long term investment in the wealth of your family

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

My group rotates Dming. I am off for another 3 games. Most of the other Pathfinder games are adventure paths... Or conversions (we are finishing up Ravenloft right now) so I am just theorizing and letting my mind wonder right now...

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

I like the growhouse idea. Reminds me: crime is a frequent driver of invention.

 

I played in a game once where the players were trying to track down a swindler who conjured alcohol into his marks' stomachs before approaching them.

 

I saw an NPC interrogated by being forced to swallow the bead of a delayed-blast fireball; when he answered the questions, the wizard dispelled the bead before it went off.

 

A crime boss only ever appeared to his subordinates from the other side of a window in his office; it turned out he was a conjured image; the window prevented people from getting too close a look.

 

A recurring villain followed the party to the treasure; they caught him and fought him, but not before he chucked the macguffin through a Ring Gate, which was then tossed in a river. They eventually got the macguffin back, but the first baddie's boss led them to the item, rather than the other way 'round.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Werkrobotwerk said:

how long does a demi plane exist? while the caster pays attention to it? till caster dies? forever? if it lasts forever it is super worth it! you're just making a very long term investment in the wealth of your family

Duration 1 day/level or instantaneous (see text)

 

Bountiful: Your demiplane gains a thriving natural ecology, with streams, ponds, waterfalls, and plants. The demiplane provides enough plant-based food (nuts, grains, fruit, fungi, and so on) to support one Medium creature for every 10-foot cube of the demiplane. The demiplane does not have any animals unless you transport them there, but the ecology can sustain itself for as long as the demiplane exists without requiring watering, gardening, pollination, and so on, and dead organic material decays and returns to the soil in the normal manner. If your demiplane has ambient light, these plants are normal, familiar surface plants; if it is a realm of twilight or darkness, these plants are fungi and other plants adapted to near-darkness or underground locations.

 

You can make this spell permanent with the permanency spell, at a cost of 20,000 gp. If you have cast create demiplane multiple times to enlarge the demiplane, each casting's area requires its own permanency spell.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Smokestack said:

Duration 1 day/level or instantaneous (see text)

 

Bountiful: Your demiplane gains a thriving natural ecology, with streams, ponds, waterfalls, and plants. The demiplane provides enough plant-based food (nuts, grains, fruit, fungi, and so on) to support one Medium creature for every 10-foot cube of the demiplane. The demiplane does not have any animals unless you transport them there, but the ecology can sustain itself for as long as the demiplane exists without requiring watering, gardening, pollination, and so on, and dead organic material decays and returns to the soil in the normal manner. If your demiplane has ambient light, these plants are normal, familiar surface plants; if it is a realm of twilight or darkness, these plants are fungi and other plants adapted to near-darkness or underground locations.

 

You can make this spell permanent with the permanency spell, at a cost of 20,000 gp. If you have cast create demiplane multiple times to enlarge the demiplane, each casting's area requires its own permanency spell.

so. if I understand the economy of this place correctly that puts it roughly on par with a large public works project? 

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By Annie
      Hi chums!
       
      This is the latest Kickstarter project, expanding our fantasy range this time, and bringing light to the ones we have that might not have been noticed. Along with some super cool female minis, we have some brand new scenics too, and a whole bunch of add on bundles.
      I'll post more on the lead up, but for now if you're interested, could you click the "notify me" on the pre launch page and it will help the algorithms, and you know algorithms are the new gods!

      https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/badsquiddogames/definitely-not-damsels-28mm-women-warriors-for-ttrpg

    • By Darcstaar
      Next in line: 77049, Bones Arthrand Nightblade, Elf Ranger.
       

       

      I tried priming with a 1:1 mix of Blue Liner:White Brush On Primer.  There were a few mold lines and casting valleys that showed up.  I put a layer of Brush On Sealer on them.  We’ll see how that worked.
    • By Inarah
      Venomous Flowers by PrintYourMonsters.  These are 3d resin prints.  Of course, they might also be only harmless spring flowers on some sci-fi world. 
       

       
      The smallest one is a bit over 1" across, the largest is taller than a humanoid figure.  Overall I've been very happy with the Plants and Rocks files. 
       
    • By Darcstaar
      Taking a hiatus on the Mocking Beast.
      Trying to gain some victory in numbers on my Bonesium Horde.  I have completed the beetle swarms, spider swarms, and skeletons without WIP. 
       
      I’m going to do the goblins now.  I plan two batches: one yellow/ochre, and the other tangerine.  Some nice “non-Greenskins.”
       

       
      Several of these required boiling.  Some are still leaning.  The spears are straighter.  One of these was the beneficiary of a weapon swap.  I had given Danar, Male Assassin 77030 his shield for a spiked shield.  In return, we have a dual wielding goblin!
    • By Toben
      The finished version of the mini WiP I was sharing earlier today.
       
      I tried to use washes and played with basing this time around.
       
      Any suggestions would be great as I don't feel as proud for this one as I did the Dark Chronicler Astrid I did back on May.


  • Who's Online   14 Members, 3 Anonymous, 33 Guests (See full list)

×
×
  • Create New...