Author Topic: Need help collapsing a D&D empire  (Read 8426 times)

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weenog

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Re: Need help collapsing a D&D empire
« Reply #20 on: September 22, 2011, 03:17:38 PM »
Depends on how horribly, we talking Resident Evil wrong or LHC theory wrong?

What about a zombie so heavy it collapses under its own weight and takes the planet with it?
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Littha

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Re: Need help collapsing a D&D empire
« Reply #21 on: September 22, 2011, 03:56:55 PM »
Depends on how horribly, we talking Resident Evil wrong or LHC theory wrong?

What about a zombie so heavy it collapses under its own weight and takes the planet with it?

don't be silly... what would you animate to do that?
 :p :lol

Hansie

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Re: Need help collapsing a D&D empire
« Reply #22 on: September 22, 2011, 04:07:38 PM »
Magic resistance won't crash a civilisation.
Spellcasters have two aspects:
Weapon of Mass Destruction
Utopia Enabler

Magic resistance may crash a civilization if that civilization is a magic-enabled Utopia.

Magic is the oil of a high-magic civilizations.  What happens when the oil runs out? 

PhaedrusXY

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Re: Need help collapsing a D&D empire
« Reply #23 on: September 22, 2011, 04:13:39 PM »
Magic resistance won't crash a civilisation.
Spellcasters have two aspects:
Weapon of Mass Destruction
Utopia Enabler

Magic resistance may crash a civilization if that civilization is a magic-enabled Utopia.

Magic is the oil of a high-magic civilizations.  What happens when the oil runs out? 
I don't buy it. Most of the spells used to enable a high-magic civilization don't target people at all.
[spoiler]
A couple of water benders, a dike, a flaming arrow, and a few barrels of blasting jelly?

Sounds like the makings of a gay porn film.
...thanks
[/spoiler]

veekie

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Re: Need help collapsing a D&D empire
« Reply #24 on: September 22, 2011, 08:29:35 PM »
Besides, running out isn't resistance. Its outright magic failure.
The mind transcends the body.
It's also a little cold because of that.
Please get it a blanket.

I wish I could read your mind,
I can barely read mine.

"Skynet begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th. At 2:15, it begins rolling up characters."

[spoiler]
"Just what do you think the moon up in the sky is? Everyone sees that big, round shiny thing and thinks there must be something round up there, right? That's just silly. The truth is much more awesome than that. You can almost never see the real Moon, and its appearance is death to humans. You can only see the Moon when it's reflected in things. And the things it reflects in, like water or glass, can all be broken, right? Since the moon you see in the sky is just being reflected in the heavens, if you tear open the heavens it's easy to break it~"
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Khiliarkhou Astrape!
[/spoiler]

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Hansie

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Re: Need help collapsing a D&D empire
« Reply #25 on: September 22, 2011, 11:20:58 PM »
Sure, my idea would require an expanded definition of "resistance," either in the form of proliferating fields of anti-magic or an increased "resistance" to magic from the world itself.  Also, if only non-targeted spells work anymore, mages become vulnerable to radical anti-magic sects, out to bring down the machine.  Luddites!

It's basically just a flipped version of magic being a resource that gets used up.  Magic is a gap in reality, and if it's used too much, reality closes that gap in one way or another.

But hey, if you don't like it, you don't like it.  The main reason I like it is that it could enable present-day adventurers to look back on magic in a similar way to how we look back on it.  People's ideas of what is real and possible change, and history becomes myth.  Ancient texts describe powerful Wish spells, but everyone knows that if Wishes were horses, we'd all be eating steak.

PhaedrusXY

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Re: Need help collapsing a D&D empire
« Reply #26 on: September 23, 2011, 04:35:28 AM »
Some of what's being discussed here reminds me of this game I was in for a while on here...
[spoiler]
A couple of water benders, a dike, a flaming arrow, and a few barrels of blasting jelly?

Sounds like the makings of a gay porn film.
...thanks
[/spoiler]

archangel.arcanis

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Re: Need help collapsing a D&D empire
« Reply #27 on: September 23, 2011, 10:24:27 PM »
No one has had the simple epic spell development gone wrong? You get enough people doing research someone is going to screw up horribly. Add to that that any research worth doing is being pushed to higher levels of raw power and you are going from "oops I blew up my tower" to "the planet just lost weight due to vaporizing a lot of it"
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bihlbo

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Re: Need help collapsing a D&D empire
« Reply #28 on: September 29, 2011, 03:49:02 AM »
Along with what Veekie says, perhaps the overuse of magic is creating dead magic zones? Or, perhaps, overuse of conjuration magic weakens the planar barriers and the Blood War finds its way onto the Plane...
The problem with that is that it's hard to find anything in the rules that say overusing magic creates dead magic zones. If I were to add it in, then I might as well just hand-wave the whole thing or blame it on zombies.

Its mostly because mages, other than the ability to edit physics at their word, are basically people in every sense of the word. They are not compelled to be magical or to use magic, and thus its just another tool. The only way around the people using the tool being at fault is the tool itself being inherently corrupt, misunderstood, misused or failing.
I don't think this last statement is true. Some spells either do too much, are too dangerous, or are too poorly-defined and are therefore Highly Problematic. Take storm of vengeance. If clerics started going to war with each other by using this spell in a town, one casting is going to kill all of the smaller animals and most of the big ones, kill all plants that aren't tree trunks, destroy most roofs, and kill anyone without at least 3 character levels. It stands to reason therefore, that clerics are going to treat this spell with kid gloves... until someone gets mind-controlled / makes a scroll that ends up in the hands of an anarchist rogue / decides his side is losing, so no one gets to live there anymore / is just really dumb. It doesn't have to be corrupting or failing for this spell to be problematic.

And that's why it's a useful spell for this exercise, because the only way to prevent it from ever being a huge problem is by removing it. Therefore it will certainly be a problem.

No one has had the simple epic spell development gone wrong? You get enough people doing research someone is going to screw up horribly. Add to that that any research worth doing is being pushed to higher levels of raw power and you are going from "oops I blew up my tower" to "the planet just lost weight due to vaporizing a lot of it"
There's a lot of potential with that route, but PF doesn't have epic-level stuff out (yet?) so I'm a little weary of letting this play center stage.
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bihlbo

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Re: Need help collapsing a D&D empire
« Reply #29 on: September 29, 2011, 04:59:04 AM »
Unintended and mostly unavoidable consequences are mainly what I'm looking for here. Some RL examples:

  • Dams are a great idea because they make water supply more reliable and flooding less of a problem > The redistribution of weight is causing the Earth's rotation to slow. Also, the salmon now can't spawn.
  • Absinthe becomes the most popular alcoholic drink in the world > Cheap knockoffs include minerals that cause it to look green but cause hallucinations and madness.
  • Home ownership is a good thing and should be available to everyone, even if giving the person a loan is ridiculous! > Well, you know what happened
  • Fighting bacteria in hospitals keeps people healthier > SUPER BACTERIA
  • Labor unions are a great way to keep people in power from abusing people without power > Now union bosses have power, and are as abusive and corrupt as corporations
Dulce et decorum est pro alea mori

veekie

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Re: Need help collapsing a D&D empire
« Reply #30 on: September 29, 2011, 07:39:56 AM »
Its mostly because mages, other than the ability to edit physics at their word, are basically people in every sense of the word. They are not compelled to be magical or to use magic, and thus its just another tool. The only way around the people using the tool being at fault is the tool itself being inherently corrupt, misunderstood, misused or failing.
I don't think this last statement is true. Some spells either do too much, are too dangerous, or are too poorly-defined and are therefore Highly Problematic. Take storm of vengeance. If clerics started going to war with each other by using this spell in a town, one casting is going to kill all of the smaller animals and most of the big ones, kill all plants that aren't tree trunks, destroy most roofs, and kill anyone without at least 3 character levels. It stands to reason therefore, that clerics are going to treat this spell with kid gloves... until someone gets mind-controlled / makes a scroll that ends up in the hands of an anarchist rogue / decides his side is losing, so no one gets to live there anymore / is just really dumb. It doesn't have to be corrupting or failing for this spell to be problematic.
Nuclear power analogy. AND, while that spell looks impressive on paper, its LESS harmful than a RL cruise missile. Given the damage, most stone and brick structures remain standing, civilians have plenty of time to get out of the way too(though a 16th level caster coming to eat their ass is a different problem), since they have a whole round to run before anything damaging happens, and then the second round is mildly damaging acid. It kills crops maybe but you can do that with less effort with a torch and some oil.

For the most part, you can disregard war spells. Damage and destruction won't matter, we have those and they destroy far more effectively than magic does. If you're looking at destructive or harmful magic, it boils down to "People are jerks". Mind control spells do not go the distance, most of them are single target, and you have to renew them, so a thought control society is out.

Maybe someone started up a zombie economy.
Maybe someone made use of a Bound outsiders economy.
Maybe someone itemized <insert spell that was not meant to be at will here> and it changed everything.
The mind transcends the body.
It's also a little cold because of that.
Please get it a blanket.

I wish I could read your mind,
I can barely read mine.

"Skynet begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th. At 2:15, it begins rolling up characters."

[spoiler]
"Just what do you think the moon up in the sky is? Everyone sees that big, round shiny thing and thinks there must be something round up there, right? That's just silly. The truth is much more awesome than that. You can almost never see the real Moon, and its appearance is death to humans. You can only see the Moon when it's reflected in things. And the things it reflects in, like water or glass, can all be broken, right? Since the moon you see in the sky is just being reflected in the heavens, if you tear open the heavens it's easy to break it~"
-Ibuki Suika, on overkill

To sumbolaion diakoneto moi, basilisk ouranionon.
Epigenentheto, apoleia keraune hos timeis pteirei.
Hekatonkatis kai khiliakis astrapsato.
Khiliarkhou Astrape!
[/spoiler]

There is no higher price than 'free'.

"I won't die. I've been ordered not to die."

oslecamo

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Re: Need help collapsing a D&D empire
« Reply #31 on: September 29, 2011, 08:34:20 AM »
Nuclear power analogy. AND, while that spell looks impressive on paper, its LESS harmful than a RL cruise missile. Given the damage, most stone and brick structures remain standing, civilians have plenty of time to get out of the way too(though a 16th level caster coming to eat their ass is a different problem), since they have a whole round to run before anything damaging happens, and then the second round is mildly damaging acid. It kills crops maybe but you can do that with less effort with a torch and some oil.

For the most part, you can disregard war spells. Damage and destruction won't matter, we have those and they destroy far more effectively than magic does.

O'rrly?

First allow me to point you to Apocalypse from the sky from BoVD, that deals "just" 10d6 acid, fire, sonic or sonic damage, with a Fort negates. The spell description then continues on how "This damage typically levels forests, sends mountains tumbling, and wipes out entire populations of living creatures".

Now can you carry a cruise missile inside your pocket? Can you carry a full battery of cruise missiles inside your pocket?
Can you fully replenish your stock of cruise missiles in 24 hours with little material cost? Because those things aren't cheap at all.

What you may lose in nova capacity, you more than make up for it with the consinstency of a single psycho being able to level down cities again and again whitout any need of pesky infrastructure or logistic support.

veekie

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Re: Need help collapsing a D&D empire
« Reply #32 on: September 29, 2011, 12:08:16 PM »
Apocalypse from the Sky isn't exactly cheap to cast either without screwing with the component and Eschew Materials. Its extremely high level(and thus rare), a society with large numbers of people with the necessary bang to have a psycho survive to the level necessary, also has a larger population of similarly powerful people who can survive it, fix it or the like.

Look more to Control Weather for your 'wreck city' needs.
Don't forget you only need a mid level caster to start off a wightpocalypse or start binding outsiders.
You only need low level casters in bulk to flood the market with magic items in PF, since they only cost gold to make and you get that back by selling that shit.
The mind transcends the body.
It's also a little cold because of that.
Please get it a blanket.

I wish I could read your mind,
I can barely read mine.

"Skynet begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th. At 2:15, it begins rolling up characters."

[spoiler]
"Just what do you think the moon up in the sky is? Everyone sees that big, round shiny thing and thinks there must be something round up there, right? That's just silly. The truth is much more awesome than that. You can almost never see the real Moon, and its appearance is death to humans. You can only see the Moon when it's reflected in things. And the things it reflects in, like water or glass, can all be broken, right? Since the moon you see in the sky is just being reflected in the heavens, if you tear open the heavens it's easy to break it~"
-Ibuki Suika, on overkill

To sumbolaion diakoneto moi, basilisk ouranionon.
Epigenentheto, apoleia keraune hos timeis pteirei.
Hekatonkatis kai khiliakis astrapsato.
Khiliarkhou Astrape!
[/spoiler]

There is no higher price than 'free'.

"I won't die. I've been ordered not to die."

skydragonknight

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Re: Need help collapsing a D&D empire
« Reply #33 on: September 29, 2011, 01:45:01 PM »
Look more to Control Weather for your 'wreck city' needs.
Don't forget you only need a mid level caster to start off a wightpocalypse or start binding outsiders.
You only need low level casters in bulk to flood the market with magic items in PF, since they only cost gold to make and you get that back by selling that shit.

I love it that the term I coined has proliferated so well.  The exact level to be fearful of is level 7, which is when the Enervation spell comes online as well as when Holy/Unholy weapons can be made (instantly slaying a 1 HD character of the wrong alignment who holds it via a negative level).

An Artificer can make Holy/Unholy arrows at 5th level, so that would likely be the best benchmark for this.
It always seems like the barrels around here have something in them.

oslecamo

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Re: Need help collapsing a D&D empire
« Reply #34 on: September 29, 2011, 03:19:24 PM »
Apocalypse from the Sky isn't exactly cheap to cast either without screwing with the component and Eschew Materials. Its extremely high level(and thus rare), a society with large numbers of people with the necessary bang to have a psycho survive to the level necessary, also has a larger population of similarly powerful people who can survive it, fix it or the like.
Bad news for you, as you get exp for killing stuff, murdering psychos have a much higher chance of being the first ones to reach high level, in contrast to altruist people.

Look more to Control Weather for your 'wreck city' needs.
Why not simply look at fireball? At CL 10, it deals just as much damage as AFTS, just in a smaller area. Thus by the usual extrapolations used in this kind of D&D discussions, fireball spam can cause all the devastation of AFTS.

Don't forget you only need a mid level caster to start off a wightpocalypse or start binding outsiders.
Screw wights and calling effects. I rise you a master of shrouds that can summon shadows at 5th level, much faster, cleaner, and considerably harder to stop.

You only need low level casters in bulk to flood the market with magic items in PF, since they only cost gold to make and you get that back by selling that shit.
How does that colapses anything again? All the piles of magic treasure on the land had to come from some place. Shit gets sundered, disintregated and disjoined.  And we have multiple monsters out there that actualy have magic items as their primary diet.

veekie

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Re: Need help collapsing a D&D empire
« Reply #35 on: September 29, 2011, 04:01:30 PM »
^^
You generate huge stacks of Holy/Unholy weapons. Make Create Water devices etc etc etc. Come on you don't even have to think that hard to screw up a world with those unintentionally.

I'm trying to focus on the ways you can unintentionally, or even with the world's best interest, screw up the world badly.
Everything else boils down to: People are jerks. Like nuclear power, magic does nothing on its own, but must be wielded.
The mind transcends the body.
It's also a little cold because of that.
Please get it a blanket.

I wish I could read your mind,
I can barely read mine.

"Skynet begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th. At 2:15, it begins rolling up characters."

[spoiler]
"Just what do you think the moon up in the sky is? Everyone sees that big, round shiny thing and thinks there must be something round up there, right? That's just silly. The truth is much more awesome than that. You can almost never see the real Moon, and its appearance is death to humans. You can only see the Moon when it's reflected in things. And the things it reflects in, like water or glass, can all be broken, right? Since the moon you see in the sky is just being reflected in the heavens, if you tear open the heavens it's easy to break it~"
-Ibuki Suika, on overkill

To sumbolaion diakoneto moi, basilisk ouranionon.
Epigenentheto, apoleia keraune hos timeis pteirei.
Hekatonkatis kai khiliakis astrapsato.
Khiliarkhou Astrape!
[/spoiler]

There is no higher price than 'free'.

"I won't die. I've been ordered not to die."

oslecamo

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Re: Need help collapsing a D&D empire
« Reply #36 on: September 29, 2011, 06:36:26 PM »
You generate huge stacks of Holy/Unholy weapons. Make Create Water devices etc etc etc. Come on you don't even have to think that hard to screw up a world with those unintentionally.

I'm trying to focus on the ways you can unintentionally, or even with the world's best interest, screw up the world badly.
You can look at our own world. We could easily feed everybody out there and give them medicine with our current technology. But we don't, because it wouldn't be profitable.

We know how to make artificial diamonds, but we still send people down to the mines and get "natural" diamonds that are much more expensive, and guess what, people still buy them for the extra price!

Meanwhile trillions of dollars are spent developing new and more sophisticated ways of killing ourselves, and the only reason we didn't glass our own planet is, ironically again, it wouldn't be profitable (a glassed region is a region where you can't set up shops).

To add to the crazyness, all of this is be done for pieces of paper and virtual numbers. We have atomic bombs and bombers and whatnot, yet we don't trade them in some kind of rare substance that is impossible to duplicate, but in mass-produced pieces of paper and floating numbers in computers.

So no, simple mass production of magic items won't be enough to colapse the world just like mass production of technology didn't colapse ours.

Now what colapses the world, is if a serial murderer can grow nukes out of his pockets if the police doesn't catch him soon enough (aka murdering psycho geting to enough level to start casting the big spells by himself).

Like nuclear power, magic does nothing on its own, but must be wielded.

Those are both blatant lies and you should feel ashamed of yourself for saying those.

The sun? It works on nuclear fusion. The Earth?  Natural fission of elements heats up the interior and slows down the cooling. Whitout either, our planet would be a frozen ball and we wouldn't be having this discussion.

D&D magic? It animates by itself. Not all monsters are the result of bored wizards, far from it. Plenty of monsters are basically magic gone wild and developing a will of its own.

Lycanthromancer

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Re: Need help collapsing a D&D empire
« Reply #37 on: September 29, 2011, 11:07:14 PM »
One word: wightocalypse.
[spoiler]Masculine men like masculine things. Masculine men are masculine. Therefore, liking masculine men is masculine.

I dare anyone to find a hole in that logic.
______________________________________
[/spoiler]I'm a writer. These are my stories. Some are even SFW! (Warning: Mostly Gay.)
My awesome poster collection. (Warning, some are NSFW.)
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[spoiler]
+1 Lycanthromancer
Which book is Lycanthromancer in?
Lyca ... is in the book. Yes he is.
 :D
shit.. concerning psionics optimization, lycan IS the book
[/spoiler]