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Thread: Death Plague

  1. #1
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    I was just reading through the description of the Death Plague realm spell, and had a question that I would like some opinions one. According to the description, the spell drops the province level by 1, and for every 2 levels above 5th that the caster is, another province can be affected.

    My interpretation would be, instead of affecting another province, the original province could be struck extra hard. So, if a 7th level caster used the spell on 1 province only, the province level would drop by 2 points. Thus a high level caster could unleash such a plague that the entire province dies off (HMA eradicating all life in Abbatuor, for example).

    Now my question becomes: is this a reasonable interpretational variation of the spell, or does it make it too powerful? Of course, for each level of depopulation, the base cost would have to be paid, just as if affecting another province instead. What are your ideas? Thanks.

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    Senior Member Lawgiver's Avatar
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    This is actually the first time I have ever heard of the topic. Realistically it would be possible. Though the victim may not be really happy with the outcome. Perhaps if you focus it on a single province. It would decrease one level per turn unless Bless land, Dispel Magic or some other means ends the spell.
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    Well, I would have some concerns about small domains. In that variant, a
    powerful necromancer could just obliterate Ilien from the face of Anuire in just
    two months, while with the standard version of the spell, it would take much
    longer and give Count Aglondier a chance to fight back.

    It seems to me the standard version of the spell captures the nature of the
    disease too : the plague spreading to different areas, jumping over borders and
    culling a segment of the population everywhere, but never completely
    depopulating large areas (there are reports of the Black Plague destroying
    entire villages, but never whole regions). Of course there`s no good reason the
    magical effect should mimic that behaviour, but still it gives a more realistic
    feeling.

    Robin Cantin

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: Benjamin <brnetboard@TUARHIEVEL.ORG>
    To: <BIRTHRIGHT-L@ORACLE.WIZARDS.COM>
    Sent: Saturday, November 16, 2002 1:17 PM
    Subject: [BIRTHRIGHT] Death Plague [2#1093]


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    | Benjamin wrote:
    | I was just reading through the description of the Death Plague realm spell,
    and had a question that I would like some opinions one. According to the
    description, the spell drops the province level by 1, and for every 2 levels
    above 5th that the caster is, another province can be affected.
    |
    | My interpretation would be, instead of affecting another province, the
    original province could be struck extra hard. So, if a 7th level caster used
    the spell on 1 province only, the province level would drop by 2 points. Thus a
    high level caster could unleash such a plague that the entire province dies off
    (HMA eradicating all life in Abbatuor, for example).
    |
    | Now my question becomes: is this a reasonable interpretational variation of
    the spell, or does it make it too powerful? Of course, for each level of
    depopulation, the base cost would have to be paid, just as if affecting another
    province instead. What are your ideas? Thanks.

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    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    I think it is too powerful at the rate of +1 level for every two caster
    levels. Both in terms of its game effects, and because a disease has to work
    its way up the curve, so to speak. Those who die of a natural plague would be
    the weakest to begin with. The old, the very young, the very hungry, and the
    already ill. What we call "those with a comprimised immune system". Every new
    level has to kill healthier and healthier people, which must require more and
    more energy. I`d start my play testing at four additinal caster levels for the
    first additional level, six for the second and so on. No matter how virulent a
    disease, some people will always be immune, even if its 0.5% of the
    population. So like many 0-level provinces, there will still be people there,
    even if all the province levels are destroyed.

    In a computer gaming enviroment, where math was less of a limiting factor, I`d
    make disease based attacks easier at higher levels, and harder where difficult
    conditions already culls the population. Computer math would also allow
    decimal province levels.

    Kenneth Gauck
    kgauck@mchsi.com
    > Benjamin wrote:
    > is this a reasonable interpretational variation of the [Death Plague]
    > spell, or does it make it too powerful? Of course, for each level of
    > depopulation, the base cost would have to be paid, just as if
    > affecting another province instead. What are your ideas?

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    Also, how effective would plagues be in such a sparsely inhabited area as Cerilia, anyway? After all, population density is far below what it should be, so that means that epidemics will be much less destructive than they would in medieval Europe.

    So, it wouldn't kill everybody off. But...there would be significant economic dislocation as a result of plague. Yes, the elderly/young would die off first, but losing productive workers would hurt, and some would fall ill and die. There might be refugees and civil unrest as a result (sealing off entire towns and firing them to eradicate plague is, needless to say, unpopular), and that would kill the province levels. But there would still be people there, so it should be recoverable with effort.

    Brad

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    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    Miranystadt wrote:
    > Also, how effective would plagues be in such a sparsely inhabited
    >
    area as Cerilia, anyway? After all, population density is far
    > below what it should be, so that
    means that epidemics will be much
    > less destructive than they would in medieval
    Europe.

    It really depends on how the disease is contacted. If the disease is contracted by
    encountering other humans, then sure, lower population will lower the impact of epidemics.
    But, if the disease is water-borne, carried by insects, animals, or bad airs then low population
    is not by itself a problem for spread. Some diseases sit quite nicely in dormancy, too. In a
    fantasy world with a magically induced plague, there is no reason that diseases could not have
    characteristics not common in the real world.

    Kenneth Gauck
    kgauck@mcshi.com

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  7. #7
    Senior Member Lawgiver's Avatar
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    Hasn't anyone seen the movie Outbreak?

    We are talking about a magically induced disease/plague. Surely it would be able to effect a decent size of the population.

    Besides one must consider the ramifications for the wizard should he/she be discovered. People don't take killing thousands of people lightly. At some point there would be a reward large enough to draw bounty hunters from all over the galaxy...
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  8. #8
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    Hello!

    Kenneth Gauck wrote:

    >I think it is too powerful at the rate of +1 level for every two caster
    >levels.
    >
    Isnt´t it +1 for every 2 caster levels beyond the 5th, so 1 province
    level for a 5th level caster, 2 province levels for a 7th level caster
    and 3 for a caster of 9 th level?

    > Both in terms of its game effects, and because a disease has to work
    >its way up the curve, so to speak. Those who die of a natural plague would be
    >the weakest to begin with. The old, the very young, the very hungry, and the
    >already ill. What we call "those with a comprimised immune system". Every new
    >level has to kill healthier and healthier people, which must require more and
    >more energy. I`d start my play testing at four additinal caster levels for the
    >first additional level, six for the second and so on. No matter how virulent a
    >disease, some people will always be immune, even if its 0.5% of the
    >population. So like many 0-level provinces, there will still be people there,
    >even if all the province levels are destroyed.
    >
    >In a computer gaming enviroment, where math was less of a limiting factor, I`d
    >make disease based attacks easier at higher levels, and harder where difficult
    >conditions already culls the population. Computer math would also allow
    >decimal province levels.
    >
    When seeing that the province level do not represent the same number of
    people (as a level 10 province is described as 100000 but a province of
    level 1 is only around 2000 people, wouldn´t it be harder to kill the
    higher levels of provinces as that would need to kill considerably more
    people? Killing 20.000 people (reducing level 10 to level 9 province) is
    currently as difficult as killing 2000 people (reducing a level 2 to a
    level 1 province).
    bye
    Michael

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  9. #9
    Site Moderator kgauck's Avatar
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    > wouldn´t it be harder to kill the higher levels of provinces as that
    > would need to kill considerably more people? Killing 20.000 people
    > (reducing level 10 to level 9 province) is currently as difficult as
    > killing 2000 people (reducing a level 2 to a level 1 province).

    Not neccesarily. Many diseases need a certain population density to remain
    resident in the population. 2000 people spread across a single province can
    only be killed by diseases that require them to enage in some kind of unsafe
    behavior. People generally develope taboos to prevent such actions. People
    who are crammed together in a small space, like the City of Anuire, will pass
    disease around under the best of conditions.

    Osmund the Rjurik doesn`t see as many people to cough on as Arthur the Anuirean
    does. Without any additional magical effort, Arthur will spread more contagion
    that Osmund, simply because he sees more people who see more people, &c.

    Kenneth Gauck
    kgauck@mcshi.com

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  10. #10
    Site Moderator geeman's Avatar
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    At 10:50 PM 11/19/2002 +0100, Michael wrote:

    >When seeing that the province level do not represent the same number of
    >people (as a level 10 province is described as 100000 but a province of
    >level 1 is only around 2000 people, wouldn´t it be harder to kill the
    >higher levels of provinces as that would need to kill considerably more
    >people? Killing 20.000 people (reducing level 10 to level 9 province) is
    >currently as difficult as killing 2000 people (reducing a level 2 to a
    >level 1 province).

    The higher the population the more densely populated the area is and that`s
    the kind of thing that aids in spreading a disease, so one could
    rationalize the different in damage to population level (1-10) vs the real
    population numbers (2,000-100,000) that way.

    Gary

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