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Thread: Adurian power/Gunpowder
11-30-1996, 12:00 AM #1
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> 'Magicians' were often 'scientists' and vice versa in our own history, when
> magic was still seen as more real, and where one left off and other began
> unclear and magic does follow rational principles in most campaigns where it
> is used. I think wizards would be 'scientists', a basic understanding of
> magic would probably be a prerequisite for any scholar or academic, even a
> naturalist, as magic offers so much assistance to other lines of inquiry.
> So the inventor of new technology would usually be a mage.
Hmmm... I suppose so, but would they be the kind of people to get
their discoveries out in the open market, so to speak? Or would they
keep it to themselves and their own advantage in the usual magical
power plays...... I dunno.
> Even if mages nonetheless tried to suppress gunpowder it would be about as
> effective as attempts to suppress crossbows, dum-dum bullets, poison gas or
> land mines. Mixed at best. Only weapons everyone capable of accessing
> agrees carry too high a price to use, or are not actually important enough
> to argue about, or have offensive moral implications out of proportion to
> their military value can be banned. A world that has even a few magicians
> running around is hardly likely to decide gunpowder is such a terrible
> menace - at least not before it's too late.
Aaah, but it's not the world that might decide. The wizards
themselves could well see it as a threat to their livelihoods.
Supressing it would be difficult, I agree, unless it was nipped in
the bud, so to speak, or unless horribly powerful
'erase-someone-from-history' type magic was employed.
> A better control on gunpowder in fantasy setting is the availability of fire
> magics that make carrying gunpowder hazardous.
That's a very Paranoia R&D thing you have there...... hmm......
I suppose, when it all comes down to it, it's just whether the
individual GM wants gunpowder or not. Personally, I tend not to
(although finding alternatives when you ~really~ want something blown
up can be a nuisance) because I have a sneaking suspicion that my
players would try their best to get away with anything they could
with the stuff, and I don't need that added hastle. Mind you, the
idea of 'the Ignitor' pyromancer arch-enemy is an interesting way
around that........ ;-)
"Once I was a lamb, playing in a green field. Then
the wolves came. Now I am an eagle and I fly in a
"And now you kill the lambs," whispered Dardalion.
"No, priest. No one pays for lambs."
- David Gemmel, Waylander
10-24-1997, 02:27 AM #2Robert HarperGuest
I don't find the 'suppression of technology' by jealous wizards argument
very persuasive. We see magic and technology as opposed things because our
society views one as unreal and the other as real and having displaced the
first. If both were real, one displacing the other would not be an issue
anymore than geology displaces biology.
'Magicians' were often 'scientists' and vice versa in our own history, when
magic was still seen as more real, and where one left off and other began
unclear and magic does follow rational principles in most campaigns where it
is used. I think wizards would be 'scientists', a basic understanding of
magic would probably be a prerequisite for any scholar or academic, even a
naturalist, as magic offers so much assistance to other lines of inquiry.
So the inventor of new technology would usually be a mage.
Even if mages nonetheless tried to suppress gunpowder it would be about as
effective as attempts to suppress crossbows, dum-dum bullets, poison gas or
land mines. Mixed at best. Only weapons everyone capable of accessing
agrees carry too high a price to use, or are not actually important enough
to argue about, or have offensive moral implications out of proportion to
their military value can be banned. A world that has even a few magicians
running around is hardly likely to decide gunpowder is such a terrible
menace - at least not before it's too late. When it's first invented no one
will likely realize how far things will go, it will be decades at least
before even crude usable weapons result and casting cannon will come later.
A better control on gunpowder in fantasy setting is the availability of fire
magics that make carrying gunpowder hazardous.
Burning Hands, Lightning Bolt, Fireball, Flaming Sphere etc etc would all
trigger the gunpowder in early weapons (without sealed shells, the powder
being loose), and if they penetrated a powder horn - oooooh, nasty for
whoever carried it. Similarly, the large quantity of gunpowder required on
hand for cannons etc. would make that a very tempting target for a mage.
Unless your gunpowder is magic-proofed, it is of very limited use and no one
is going to want to be very close to any quantity of it. It would have use
in traps and other 'fixed' situations, some use in mining and 'industrial'
applications but cramming castles or ships full of it would be begging for
I do use gunpowder weapons in a fantasy setting, but a dwarven merchant
house invented a process called 'nulling' which renders objects magic
resistant and almost all gunpowder is nulled. It also can't be teleported,
kept in extradimensional spaces etc, as a result.
| We ask ourselves if there is a God, how can this happen? |
| Better to ask, if there is a God, must it be sane? |
| Lucien LaCroix |
10-24-1997, 05:26 AM #3Brian StonerGuest
Although I know this thread was started by me, I just thought of one
possible answer to the worry of contamination... That is not allowing
the use of gunpowder to spread to Cerilia from Aduria (if we decide they
can use it). Gunpowder and true magic don't mix...at all. Whenever
magic is used in the presence of gunpowder it set it off. Realm magic
will set off all gunpowder in the provence (or any provence that the
spell is cast). This will make for an interesting situation should
anybody decide to take it to Cerilia. If the Adurians don't use true
magic (as was assumed for the thread), they don't need to worry about
it...until they take on the Cerilians wizards. Perhaps the use of
gunpowder on anything magical will result in something akin to a
wildsurge as per the wild mage stuff in the Tome of Magic. Thus, it is
dangerous to try and blast open the magically sealed chest.
10-24-1997, 10:54 PM #4James RuhlandGuest
> Aaah, but it's not the world that might decide. The wizards
> themselves could well see it as a threat to their livelihoods.
> Supressing it would be difficult, I agree, unless it was nipped in
> the bud, so to speak, or unless horribly powerful
> 'erase-someone-from-history' type magic was employed.
How many True Mages are their in Aduria? Enough to make their wishes felt
against the wishes of the king and his cronies? As for magicians, they're
unlikely to have the clout nessisary to block such an inovation, especially
since though they contribute greatly (no doubt) to the strength and power
of the royal secret police, they can't contribute much to his armies. So
horribly powerful magic would be unlikely to be employed, and by the time
the global center of magecraft (Cerilia) found out about this inovation, it
would probably be widespread throughout Aduria. Just Philosophic ramblings
on my part, though, 'cause I don't wanna see gunpowder introduced in any
10-25-1997, 07:13 PM #firstname.lastname@example.org (LyndonGuest
I like the reminder that magicians were often scientists. In our most
documented of worlds (Earth) where I am typing, intense seekers of
knowledge tended to be curious in anything they could get their hands
on. Sir Isaac Newton worked on prisms and gravity and telescopes and
trying to calculate the size of the beast's horn in the book of
Revaltions and dabbled heavily in illegal alchemical experiments.
Before that Kepler developed his laws of motion as an aid to atrology.
Later chemistry and earlier alchemy were inextricably mixed for
centuries (millenia) as was medicine and religion. The Museum of
Alexander was ostensibly dedicated to goddesses (the Muses), etc. =20
Creative curisoity tends not to respect boundary but burst out all
over. Creative genius tends to find connections where none was
visible before (such as the falling apple in the garden and the moon
overhead). If there were magical phenemna avaible attentive creators
would have searched them out. Leonardo da Vinci dissected human
corpses to learn about anatomy. If there were spells available would
he have not sought knowledge of them too? (One good feather fall plus
his existing designs would probably have made a workable flying
Illusionists depend on a knowledge of light, would they not seek out
anything they could learn about optics, prisms, lenses? And from that
eventually you get magnifying glasses, burning lenses, and telescope
and microscopes (what each would reveal in Cerillia is a good
Would druids be uninterested in long term effects of events on the
community they are interested in? Ecology and Mendelian genetics
could be developed legitimately from their interests. Etc.
Alchemist will mix up anything they can get their hands on. Something
will go boom! Most booms will not be cost effective without a lot of
reseach (i.e. is powdered flame-red ruby a key ingredient or not), but
unless chemistry works drastically differently something will go boom.
An enjoyable depiction of a mage was in Barbara Hambley's Darwath
books, where an overriding charestic of the mage was insatiable
When I dig up any of my copies of THE TWO TOWERS I will work on
limitations of mages researchs.
10-27-1997, 08:12 PM #6Glenn RobbGuest
Hmm. I must remember that the next time I make a PC mage with 16
intelligence. Insatiable curosity. Bring on the reign of science in BR!=
the way, Alchemists would do that, even if they arn't skilled in relating=
to the physical universe.
=97 Elton Robb
"Your Generously liberal GM."
> An enjoyable depiction of a mage was in Barbara Hambley's Darwath
> books, where an overriding charestic of the mage was insatiable
10-28-1997, 03:08 AM #email@example.com (LyndonGuest
Of course if intelligence exceeded constitution (or wisdom) you could
easily get a character who started lots more projects than he finished
On Mon, 27 Oct 1997 13:12:25 -0700, you wrote:
>Hmm. I must remember that the next time I make a PC mage with 16
>intelligence. Insatiable curosity. Bring on the reign of science in =
>the way, Alchemists would do that, even if they arn't skilled in =
>to the physical universe.
>=97 Elton Robb
>"Your Generously liberal GM."
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