@prokopetz
David J Prokopetz
Posts
24626
Last update
2021-10-24 05:16:13
    anonymous

    do the Tiny Frog Wizards literally derive some of their power from wearing hats or is it a confidence thing? I figure the latter but honestly I wouldn't be surprised it it was both

    (With reference to this post here.)

    Assuming you're talking about the dice-rolling mechanics, it's the former: the wearing of a wizard's pointy wizard hat is meant to be understood as a literal source of power. A tiny frog wizard cannot score a free die on spellcasting rolls by imagining a hat really hard; the next revision of the game will, however, include rules for using improvised, borrowed, or substitute hats.

    prokopetz

    I’m not sure if it’s the writer or the artist or what, but somebody who was involved with producing the introductory cutscene to Eye of the Beholder II was definitely horny for their cool wizard OC.

    prokopetz

    The way it’s framed is just: “Is his robe not regal? Are his forearms not jacked? Are his hands not beautiful? Let us spend a full minute watching the the firelight dance in his soulful eyes.”

    prokopetz

    You think I’m joking.

    (Wizard appreciation hour begins at 1:31, for the impatient.)

    kliffwilliams

    I think literally every time I’ve seen Khelben Arunsun, especially as the Blackstaff of Waterdeep, he’s always been this etherially handsome. Almost unnaturally so.

    prokopetz

    While criticisms of Ed Greenwood as the reigning Horny Old Man of Dungeons & Dragons literature are, in main, well justified, you can’t deny that the guy knows how to design a DILF.

    prokopetz

    My dudes, if you’re going to pop into the notes on somebody’s post and nitpick their use of the term “wizard” or “sorcerer” or whatnot, you need to understand that the definitions you’re using are, nine times out of ten, artefacts of the game mechanics of Dungeons & Dragons. Rigorously subdividing “wizards” from “sorcerers” from “warlocks” and so forth has little basis in fantasy literature, and even less in historical occult practice, and giving folks a hard time over not adhering to one specific tabletop RPG’s taxonomy of magic isn’t a great look.

    (Heck, even within the scope of Dungeons & Dragons, the definitions often drift over time or change radically between editions. “Warlock” has meant at least four completely different things over the course of the game’s history!)

    If you look at how these words are used historically, the distinctions are more often cultural than formal. The English “sorcerer”, for example, is a corruption of sorcier, the French word for “wizard”. The term’s sometimes sinister connotation stems in part from the fact that French occultists historically had a reputation for being super into demonology – indeed, most of the long lists of named demons and their various purviews that you’ll find online ultimately trace back to medieval French sources.

    The term “warlock”, meanwhile, derives from the Old English wǣrloga, “one who deceives“. It was taken up by late medieval Christian authors as a term for Devil-worshippers, likely with reference to the alleged breaking of baptismal vows, and was later adopted by the modern Neopagan movement as a term for magical oath-breakers more generally. The notion of a warlock as one whose supernatural powers derive from making oaths rather than breaking them seems to be purely an invention of tabletop RPGs.

    (As for “wizard”, the word’s etymological derivation from roots roughly meaning “smartass” has, of course, been discussed in other widely circulated Tumblr posts, and will not be repeated here.)

    On the literary side, sources that finely subdivide disciplines of magic are rare, mostly post-dating and explicitly taking their cues from Dungeons & Dragons. Even among those that do classify magical practitioners in this way, what the various terms refer to often bears little resemblance to their D&D counterparts.

    For example, in Lyndon Hardy’s Five Magics trilogy, a sorcerer is a practitioner who performs mental manipulations – ranging from convincing illusions to outright mind control – by reciting incantations in a magical “programming language”, while a wizard is someone who summons and commands demons. “Magic”, meanwhile, refers to a completely separate discipline revolving around the crafting and use of enchanted items; a practitioner of magic is called a magician, and what sorcerers and wizards do is not formally classified as “magic”.

    Conversely, in Lawrence Watts-Evans Ethshar series, a practitioner whose power derives from crafting and using enchanted items is called a sorcerer, while a wizard is a sort of alchemist, and a warlock basically has comic book psychic powers, heavy on the telekinesis. The Ethshar series is also one of the very few literary sources that features anything resembling a D&D cleric, here termed a “theurgist”, though the particulars of the relationship differ somewhat in that the gods of Ethshar have no especial interest in human worship.

    Basically, there are no hard rules regarding which words describe what sorts of magical practices. Cite your sources if you’ve got ‘em, but don’t get hung up on the particulars – a “wizard” can mean someone who derives their power from wearing funny hats if that’s what your story needs!

    snommelp

    I actually had the exact opposite happen to me. Before I ever played D&D, I read a book where the author made the distinction that wizards were good and sorcerers were bad. That was it. Functionally identical, but a wizard was a good guy and a sorcerer was a bad guy. So, not knowing any better, I assumed that was the standard, accepted difference. Fast forward to my first D&D game, where I decided to play a wizard and my friend decided to play a sorcerer, and I responded with some sort of scandalized “but they’re evil!”

    prokopetz

    Elizabeth H Boyer, by any chance?

    My dudes, if you’re going to pop into the notes on somebody’s post and nitpick their use of the term “wizard” or “sorcerer” or whatnot, you need to understand that the definitions you’re using are, nine times out of ten, artefacts of the game mechanics of Dungeons & Dragons. Rigorously subdividing “wizards” from “sorcerers” from “warlocks” and so forth has little basis in fantasy literature, and even less in historical occult practice, and giving folks a hard time over not adhering to one specific tabletop RPG’s taxonomy of magic isn’t a great look.

    (Heck, even within the scope of Dungeons & Dragons, the definitions often drift over time or change radically between editions. “Warlock” has meant at least four completely different things over the course of the game’s history!)

    If you look at how these words are used historically, the distinctions are more often cultural than formal. The English “sorcerer”, for example, is a corruption of sorcier, the French word for “wizard”. The term’s sometimes sinister connotation stems in part from the fact that French occultists historically had a reputation for being super into demonology – indeed, most of the long lists of named demons and their various purviews that you’ll find online ultimately trace back to medieval French sources.

    The term “warlock”, meanwhile, derives from the Old English wǣrloga, “one who deceives“. It was taken up by late medieval Christian authors as a term for Devil-worshippers, likely with reference to the alleged breaking of baptismal vows, and was later adopted by the modern Neopagan movement as a term for magical oath-breakers more generally. The notion of a warlock as one whose supernatural powers derive from making oaths rather than breaking them seems to be purely an invention of tabletop RPGs.

    (As for “wizard”, the word’s etymological derivation from roots roughly meaning “smartass” has, of course, been discussed in other widely circulated Tumblr posts, and will not be repeated here.)

    On the literary side, sources that finely subdivide disciplines of magic are rare, mostly post-dating and explicitly taking their cues from Dungeons & Dragons. Even among those that do classify magical practitioners in this way, what the various terms refer to often bears little resemblance to their D&D counterparts.

    For example, in Lyndon Hardy’s Five Magics trilogy, a sorcerer is a practitioner who performs mental manipulations – ranging from convincing illusions to outright mind control – by reciting incantations in a magical “programming language”, while a wizard is someone who summons and commands demons. “Magic”, meanwhile, refers to a completely separate discipline revolving around the crafting and use of enchanted items; a practitioner of magic is called a magician, and what sorcerers and wizards do is not formally classified as “magic”.

    Conversely, in Lawrence Watt-Evans Ethshar series, a practitioner whose power derives from crafting and using enchanted items is called a sorcerer, while a wizard is a sort of alchemist, and a warlock basically has comic book psychic powers, heavy on the telekinesis. The Ethshar series is also one of the very few literary sources that features anything resembling a D&D cleric, here termed a “theurgist”, though the particulars of the relationship differ somewhat in that the gods of Ethshar have no especial interest in human worship.

    Basically, there are no hard rules regarding which words describe what sorts of magical practices. Cite your sources if you’ve got ‘em, but don’t get hung up on the particulars – a “wizard” can mean someone who derives their power from wearing funny hats if that’s what your story needs!

    prokopetz

    I’m not sure if it’s the writer or the artist or what, but somebody who was involved with producing the introductory cutscene to Eye of the Beholder II was definitely horny for their cool wizard OC.

    prokopetz

    The way it’s framed is just: “Is his robe not regal? Are his forearms not jacked? Are his hands not beautiful? Let us spend a full minute watching the the firelight dance in his soulful eyes.”

    prokopetz

    You think I’m joking.

    (Wizard appreciation hour begins at 1:31, for the impatient.)

    prokopetz

    I’m not sure if it’s the writer or the artist or what, but somebody who was involved with producing the introductory cutscene to Eye of the Beholder II was definitely horny for their cool wizard OC.

    prokopetz

    The way it’s framed is just: “Is his robe not regal? Are his forearms not jacked? Are his hands not beautiful? Let us spend a full minute watching the firelight dance in his soulful eyes.”

    anonymous

    For Costume Fairy Adventure, are we meant to show players things like NPC and Location powers, or are those hidden until they activate?

    Costume Fairy Adventures assumes total game-mechanical transparency by default. Unless explicitly noted otherwise, NPC and Location Powers are written under the assumption that the players can see their stats.

    prokopetz

    People joke about how silly the idea of being an atheist in a Dungeons & Dragons style fantasy setting is, but if you think about it, empirical proof of a supernatural being’s existence doesn’t tell you anything in particular in a setting like that, does it?

    There are lots of creatures in a D&D style fantasy setting that could credibly pull off impersonating a god in a way that your average human would have no reasonable way of fact-checking – and I’m not just talking about supernatural con artists, though there is that.

    D&D proposes a milieu in which there’s a whole ecosystem of things that magically pretend to be other things.

    Imagine being a D&D cleric and discovering one day that the thing you’ve been worshipping and that grants you your magical powers is actually just a really big mimic, is what I mean to say.

    prokopetz

    Like, I don’t mean a sapient mimic, either – that puts us back in “supernatural con artist” territory. I mean go full Blindsight: imagine a creature with roughly the sentience of a particularly dull-witted toad that just happens to be biologically adapted to mimicking gods. It seems to be responding to prayers and such in a cogent fashion, but really it’s just burping out omens and miracles and messages to its followers in a stimulus-response fashion, with all the real comprehension of a predictive chatbot trying to steal your credit card information – and if the results are frequently a little bit nonsensical, well, humans are great at seeing patterns in random noise.

    People joke about how silly the idea of being an atheist in a Dungeons & Dragons style fantasy setting is, but if you think about it, empirical proof of a supernatural being’s existence doesn’t tell you anything in particular in a setting like that, does it?

    There are lots of creatures in a D&D style fantasy setting that could credibly pull off impersonating a god in a way that your average human would have no reasonable way of fact-checking – and I’m not just talking about supernatural con artists, though there is that.

    D&D proposes a milieu in which there’s a whole ecosystem of things that magically pretend to be other things.

    Imagine being a D&D cleric and discovering one day that the thing you’ve been worshipping and that grants you your magical powers is actually just a really big mimic, is what I mean to say.

    prokopetz

    I don’t disagree that shows that are released at a rate of one episode per week seem to develop more robust fandoms than shows that drop all at once, and the idea that this is because it gives the material more time to percolate is plausible, but anecdotally, going on a random hiatus of indeterminate length right in the middle of a major story arc seems to work almost as well for this purpose as a sensible release schedule does.

    lakidaa

    In my experience it seems to foster more slavering insanity, but yes.

    prokopetz

    I didn’t say it was healthy, I just said it was effective!

    I don’t disagree that shows that are released at a rate of one episode per week seem to develop more robust fandoms than shows that drop all at once, and the idea that this is because it gives the material more time to percolate is plausible, but anecdotally, going on a random hiatus of indeterminate length right in the middle of a major story arc seems to work almost as well for this purpose as a sensible release schedule does.