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 Vilhon Reach: Dots on the Forehead
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Hawkfeather
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Posted - 24 Nov 2017 :  13:56:41  Show Profile  Visit Hawkfeather's Homepage Send Hawkfeather a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Hello fellow scribes,

I read somewhere else here in the Candlekeep forums that the Vilhon Reach custom of wearing 3 dots on the forehead to indicate magical ability only applies to wizards (IIRC, was Thomas M. Reid who said this, after consulting with Ed himself).

But we know that arcane magic is feared and frowned upon in the Reach. So why any wizard would use the 3 dots in his/her forehead? It's my understanding that it's a crime to use more dots on the forehead than your actual learning degree, but nothing is said about using less dots...

dazzlerdal
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Posted - 24 Nov 2017 :  14:41:55  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Its probably not voluntary. The vilhon reach is divided into many states and each one likely has its own requirement but im guessing that if you display any magical skill then you are branded with these dots or other markings in accordance with the law (or the authorities could choo your hands off - your choice to wear the brand or lose your hands).

Just at a guess though. Not looked at the vilhon reach in any detail yet.

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Markustay
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Posted - 24 Nov 2017 :  17:49:26  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
And if you're just passing through?

Can you see someone telling Elminster, Khelben, or The Simbul they need 'dots'?

Or perhaps worse, someone like Manshoon (although in this one instance I think maybe The Simbul might be the greater threat)?

On the other hand, I can see El just waving his hand and casting a simple dweomer so it looked like he had his dots in place (illusion). I suppose many people of power may just do that,; not out of fear, but rather, just so they wouldn't have to got through the annoyance of dealing with local authorities when they have 'business to attend to'.

And aside from witnessing spell-casting, how is the local constabulary even going to know? Do they have Dragonball 'power level detectors'?

Homebrew:
IMG, I would just have it where it has remained 'fashionable' (perhaps even a sign of respect) to have them in-place in Turmish, but say that the practice has 'fallen out of vogue' elsewhere since the Spellplague.

I'd probably also have them do something - maybe connect them to a Turmish order of wizards that can use them for circle magic, or some-such.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 25 Nov 2017 18:21:12
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dazzlerdal
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Posted - 24 Nov 2017 :  18:55:17  Show Profile Send dazzlerdal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well its a similar thing for peace strings on weapons if no one knows about a concealed weapon then there is nothing they can do.

The mage dislike may only be chondath (what with the rotting war). And super powerful mages tend not to run around chucking spells everywhere, i expect them to be more reserved and cautious until absolutely necessary. The spell chucking bravado is for younger and less wise individuals, usually.


But like i said i havent read the region at all really so im just speculating why people would wear the dots if mages are disliked.

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sleyvas
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Posted - 25 Nov 2017 :  02:56:49  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Hawkfeather

Hello fellow scribes,

I read somewhere else here in the Candlekeep forums that the Vilhon Reach custom of wearing 3 dots on the forehead to indicate magical ability only applies to wizards (IIRC, was Thomas M. Reid who said this, after consulting with Ed himself).

But we know that arcane magic is feared and frowned upon in the Reach. So why any wizard would use the 3 dots in his/her forehead? It's my understanding that it's a crime to use more dots on the forehead than your actual learning degree, but nothing is said about using less dots...




Where exactly does it says that arcane magic is heavily feared and frowned upon in the Reach? I know they don't like red wizards, and the emerald enclave has heavy control..... but I'm not picturing anything like Amn or the city state of Luthcheq where wizards sometimes hide themselves, etc.....

I understand the stuff from the rotting war.... but honestly, since that was disease based, I'd equate it less with "wizards" and more of them not liking necromancy.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 25 Nov 2017 02:58:59
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Diffan
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Posted - 25 Nov 2017 :  10:06:25  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
From reading the Scions of Arrabar, I inferred the dots to be a sign of privilege and accomplishment. Also I think it refers to any magic-user as the main character of those novels seemed to be a sorcerer of some part.

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Hawkfeather
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Posted - 25 Nov 2017 :  12:41:08  Show Profile  Visit Hawkfeather's Homepage Send Hawkfeather a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thank you all for your replies!

quote:
IMG, I would just have it where it has remained 'fashionable' (perhaps even a sign of respect) to have them in-place in Turmish, but say that the practice has 'fallen out of vogue' since the Sepllplague.


I was thinking about the pre-Spellplague Realms. Sorry I didn't make it clear.

quote:
Where exactly does it says that arcane magic is heavily feared and frowned upon in the Reach?


Everywhere!

In the 3rd edition FRCS it says (pages 215-216): "Spellcasters are well advised to keep a low profile in the Reach, where mages have a reputation for capricious use of power. The folk of the Reach have no patience for displays of flashy magic, nor any tolerance for those who use their spells carelessly". From the same book (page 217): "Chondathans distrust wizards and the bold use of magic". Finally (page 218): "Magic is more deeply suspect in Sespech than it is elsewhere in the Vilhon Reach. Anyone using magic to harm another can expect a quick execution".

The 2nd Edition "The Vilhon Reach" sourcebook also says something along the lines cited above, for example: "Magic is feared in Chondath. (...) Executions of wizards are not uncommon in Arrabar and the other city-states of Chondath."

quote:
Its probably not voluntary. The vilhon reach is divided into many states and each one likely has its own requirement but im guessing that if you display any magical skill then you are branded with these dots or other markings in accordance with the law (or the authorities could choo your hands off - your choice to wear the brand or lose your hands).


I'm pretty sure that's a voluntary thing. Or, at least not extreme as to been branded (except maybe for slaves with magical aptitude?).

quote:
From reading the Scions of Arrabar, I inferred the dots to be a sign of privilege and accomplishment. Also I think it refers to any magic-user as the main character of those novels seemed to be a sorcerer of some part.


Oh sorry. When I said "wizards" I mean any kind of arcane spellcaster (wizards, sorcerers, warlocks).
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Markustay
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Posted - 25 Nov 2017 :  18:38:07  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Hawkfeather

Thank you all for your replies!

quote:
IMG, I would just have it where it has remained 'fashionable' (perhaps even a sign of respect) to have them in-place in Turmish, but say that the practice has 'fallen out of vogue' since the Sepllplague.


I was thinking about the pre-Spellplague Realms. Sorry I didn't make it clear.
No, I understood you (and I even edited my above comment a bit because I realized I wasn't clear).

My point was that it probably started in Turmish (I can see it being something dating back to Turami Shamans), and it became 'a thing' in the Vilhon Reach over the centuries. At first voluntary (actually, its always been voluntary), but then as the centuries past, and folks in the region got used to the 'dots', anyone casting spells without them automatically became suspect ("whats he hiding?") So after quite some time - perhaps a few thousand years - people expected to see the dots on mages. Thus, although it was still voluntary, it became almost compulsory through 'societal pressures'.

This would be the situation around 2e going into 3e.

Then the Spellplague hits (which I realize you are NOT concerned with, but I want to finish my train-of-thought LOL), and people have a lot more to worry about than who has dots on their foreheads (especially since the Spellplague seems to have focused on those people). What may have started out as fear at the beginning of the Wailing Years (mages and their stuff just blowing up or going berserk all over the place) may have turned into pity over time ("No wonder he don't have them dots no more... did you see what happened to the rest of his family? I'd try to hide to if that were after me!")

So in Turmish, where it was always a cultural thing, it probably persisted, but elsewhere in the Vilhon reach, where they missintepreted the dots for years anyway, people probably no longer care one way or the other. Too many other world-shaking events have transpired for people to be concerned with that (like genasi, Dragonborn, and tieflings appearing all over the place!). In fact, when they DO see the dots, they may now have the attitude, "well, at least he's human. If any of them dad-blasted critter-people come around he'll give 'em a what-for!"

Times change, people change. That's just how it is. Whether people act hostilely or not in your 2e/3e campaign is up to you - the attitudes probably vary from settlement to settlement (and much the same can be said about the Moonsea region, BTW... except they didn't have dots. They did kill anyone with RW tattoos on site, however... except in Mulmaster). Just about any insular region will be like that.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 25 Nov 2017 18:49:32
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sleyvas
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USA
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Posted - 25 Nov 2017 :  19:30:00  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Ah, I guess I read the aforementioned with a different viewpoint. Sure, the average folk there don't like flashy magic, but they're not going to criminally charge someone just for being a mage.... and a mage that doesn't hurl fireballs at everyone and instead works for the betterment of people might be respected. Hell, the leader of Arrabar is an archmage. I read it as they get skittish when seeing the world go awry as a result of magic, but not like the folk of Luthcheq who simply want to murder wizards just for being wizards. Now, they may want to murder wizards with undead servants or demons under their control, etc.... but again, I don't think that's too unusual. They probably don't want to see some illusionist putting on a show either. But, that guy who can freeze water into ice, or shape stone into a house, etc.... they probably think he's a good guy.... and if he can blast a tribe of goblins, great.

I compare this to say other places in the region, like Calimshan and Thay, which would have no problem with exotic displays of magical prowess (heck, they encourage it). In a somewhat similar way, Mulhorand is also fine with shows of magical power (arcane or divine) as long as it serves their country. Sembia is also fine with shows of magical power (in different ways pre and post spellplague). Cormyr, Damara, Tethyr, and Impiltur are probably more tolerant and would be the most "middle ground" in region for comparison I'd guess. Aglarond on the other hand is probably more inclined to being like the people of the Vilhon, despite having the Simbul as their Queen. Chessenta I see being split between magic haters (Luthcheq and somewhat Akanax), to those who like having mercenary mages (Mordulkin and Soorenar), to those who want mages in their city (Cimbar).

So, its all in how you want to run it, but I don't see the average person walking up and spitting on a mage or treating them bad. In fact, the stories may make people a little bit antsy around them, but ending up treating them with respect.... until they do something stupid to make the skittish people think they're in danger. Lord help the smug mage that tries to use charms to get his way. But, if one deals fairly with others, I don't see wizards in the Vilhon having to worry with much. In fact, this type of societal pressure may encourage certain types of wizards there. I can see transmuters, abjurers, and diviners doing well in the region, and evokers who aren't blasting everyone may also be respected. Now, necromancers... enchanters... illusionists... conjurers... they may be discouraged.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Markustay
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Posted - 25 Nov 2017 :  19:54:59  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well, maybe we can respin things a little, to make more sense, and merge the two takes: I've mentioned before that I don't think humans have a natural talent for magic. Thats why they created Wizardry, or what we call 'Vancian Magic'. Creatures with a natural gift for magic (like fey and dragons, etc) do Sorcery - they do not have to memorize complex formulae and gestures, and use components. Now, people with the right 'bloodline' CAN do sorcery (I believe thats even canon now). That means anyone who can do sorcery has some 'exotic' blood, and chances are, its ELVEN. And even if its not, average folks are going to assume it is (because they can't picture anyone having sex with a dragon, etc).

Hence, the attitude. Its not regular Wizardly (Vancian) Magic that bothers them so much, its just magic in general that makes people of the Vilhon reach so nervous. After all, the Elves of the Chondalwood wiped-out an entire human empire with magic. There's a damn good reason why it makes them uneasy! So if you aren't doing the 'normal' thing, and waving a wand, and reciting mumbo-jumbo and sprinkling a sparkly powder everywhere, they're going to think you've got some elf-blood, an thats something they HATE. What was that book I started to read like a month ago and the stopped myself*? the one that takes place around the Maerchwood? They absolutely LOATHE elves there (and supposedly, thats a common attitude in Chessenta).


*The Shadow stone, by Richard Baker. The name of the town was Maerchlin, and it appears on the 4e Chessenta map.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 26 Nov 2017 06:54:43
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TBeholder
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Posted - 26 Nov 2017 :  04:36:27  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Hawkfeather

I read somewhere else here in the Candlekeep forums that the Vilhon Reach custom of wearing 3 dots on the forehead to indicate magical ability only applies to wizards (IIRC, was Thomas M. Reid who said this, after consulting with Ed himself).
But we know that arcane magic is feared and frowned upon in the Reach.

Thus the third dot is probably more common in Turmish.
But since they aren't going to just move to Turmish...
quote:
So why any wizard would use the 3 dots in his/her forehead? It's my understanding that it's a crime to use more dots on the forehead than your actual learning degree, but nothing is said about using less dots...

Most probably don't. But it's a part of the larger tradition also still alive in Turmish, so it's not fading out.

quote:
Originally posted by dazzlerdal

The mage dislike may only be chondath (what with the rotting war).

Also, this problem can be easily blamed on Emerald Enclave in its entirety (and then some more), rather than partially, and this drastically changes the context.
Even if they must keep a low profile to avoid a bunch of traitors, they don't plan to stay bowed forever.

quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

[retroactive shoehorning skipped]
its just magic in general that makes people of the Vilhon reach so nervous. After all, the Elves of the Chondalwood wiped-out an entire human empire with magic. There's a damn good reason why it makes them uneasy!

Which didn't bother them half as much until the Rotting War by pure coincidence?
This issue can be turned the other around way very easily. In that there's Emerald Enclave, which is weakening the humans with raids and assassinations, but obviously doesn't seem to be bothered by the elves. Or even yuan-ti.
And if their elven member and ties to the Evermeet became known, this have to pour some oil into the fire.

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch
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sleyvas
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USA
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Posted - 26 Nov 2017 :  12:35:31  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay
That means anyone who can do sorcery has some 'exotic' blood, and chances are, its ELVEN. And even if its not, average folks are going to assume it is (because they can't picture anyone having sex with a dragon, etc).




I guess I'm not average..... bow chicka wow wow...

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Hawkfeather
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Brazil
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Posted - 26 Nov 2017 :  21:07:49  Show Profile  Visit Hawkfeather's Homepage Send Hawkfeather a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

quote:
Originally posted by Hawkfeather

Thank you all for your replies!

quote:
IMG, I would just have it where it has remained 'fashionable' (perhaps even a sign of respect) to have them in-place in Turmish, but say that the practice has 'fallen out of vogue' since the Sepllplague.


I was thinking about the pre-Spellplague Realms. Sorry I didn't make it clear.
No, I understood you (and I even edited my above comment a bit because I realized I wasn't clear).

My point was that it probably started in Turmish (I can see it being something dating back to Turami Shamans), and it became 'a thing' in the Vilhon Reach over the centuries. At first voluntary (actually, its always been voluntary), but then as the centuries past, and folks in the region got used to the 'dots', anyone casting spells without them automatically became suspect ("whats he hiding?") So after quite some time - perhaps a few thousand years - people expected to see the dots on mages. Thus, although it was still voluntary, it became almost compulsory through 'societal pressures'.

This would be the situation around 2e going into 3e.

Then the Spellplague hits (which I realize you are NOT concerned with, but I want to finish my train-of-thought LOL), and people have a lot more to worry about than who has dots on their foreheads (especially since the Spellplague seems to have focused on those people). What may have started out as fear at the beginning of the Wailing Years (mages and their stuff just blowing up or going berserk all over the place) may have turned into pity over time ("No wonder he don't have them dots no more... did you see what happened to the rest of his family? I'd try to hide to if that were after me!")

So in Turmish, where it was always a cultural thing, it probably persisted, but elsewhere in the Vilhon reach, where they missintepreted the dots for years anyway, people probably no longer care one way or the other. Too many other world-shaking events have transpired for people to be concerned with that (like genasi, Dragonborn, and tieflings appearing all over the place!). In fact, when they DO see the dots, they may now have the attitude, "well, at least he's human. If any of them dad-blasted critter-people come around he'll give 'em a what-for!"

Times change, people change. That's just how it is. Whether people act hostilely or not in your 2e/3e campaign is up to you - the attitudes probably vary from settlement to settlement (and much the same can be said about the Moonsea region, BTW... except they didn't have dots. They did kill anyone with RW tattoos on site, however... except in Mulmaster). Just about any insular region will be like that.



I just read in the Vilhon Reach sourcebook that the Academia Vilhonus started a the dots fashion in 300 DR and that this tradition began in Arrabar, not in Turmish. So it's really a chondathan thing that spread around the Vilhon Reach (probably because of the expansion of the lands and cities controlled by Chondath).

And see the point that "folks in the region got used to the 'dots', anyone casting spells without them automatically became suspect". Thats make sense.
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Hawkfeather
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Brazil
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Posted - 26 Nov 2017 :  21:11:47  Show Profile  Visit Hawkfeather's Homepage Send Hawkfeather a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Ah, I guess I read the aforementioned with a different viewpoint. Sure, the average folk there don't like flashy magic, but they're not going to criminally charge someone just for being a mage.... and a mage that doesn't hurl fireballs at everyone and instead works for the betterment of people might be respected. Hell, the leader of Arrabar is an archmage. I read it as they get skittish when seeing the world go awry as a result of magic, but not like the folk of Luthcheq who simply want to murder wizards just for being wizards. Now, they may want to murder wizards with undead servants or demons under their control, etc.... but again, I don't think that's too unusual. They probably don't want to see some illusionist putting on a show either. But, that guy who can freeze water into ice, or shape stone into a house, etc.... they probably think he's a good guy.... and if he can blast a tribe of goblins, great.

I compare this to say other places in the region, like Calimshan and Thay, which would have no problem with exotic displays of magical prowess (heck, they encourage it). In a somewhat similar way, Mulhorand is also fine with shows of magical power (arcane or divine) as long as it serves their country. Sembia is also fine with shows of magical power (in different ways pre and post spellplague). Cormyr, Damara, Tethyr, and Impiltur are probably more tolerant and would be the most "middle ground" in region for comparison I'd guess. Aglarond on the other hand is probably more inclined to being like the people of the Vilhon, despite having the Simbul as their Queen. Chessenta I see being split between magic haters (Luthcheq and somewhat Akanax), to those who like having mercenary mages (Mordulkin and Soorenar), to those who want mages in their city (Cimbar).

So, its all in how you want to run it, but I don't see the average person walking up and spitting on a mage or treating them bad. In fact, the stories may make people a little bit antsy around them, but ending up treating them with respect.... until they do something stupid to make the skittish people think they're in danger. Lord help the smug mage that tries to use charms to get his way. But, if one deals fairly with others, I don't see wizards in the Vilhon having to worry with much. In fact, this type of societal pressure may encourage certain types of wizards there. I can see transmuters, abjurers, and diviners doing well in the region, and evokers who aren't blasting everyone may also be respected. Now, necromancers... enchanters... illusionists... conjurers... they may be discouraged.



Totally agree with different views on different magical schools. But I think maybe evocation would be considered a little to flashy by the Vilhon Reach standards.
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Markustay
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Posted - 26 Nov 2017 :  22:15:56  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So whats the official take? Only three dots? And are they color-coded to represent the schools? That would be kinda cool.

I was picturing something 'new and different' for 5e (I've caught the bug!) - five 'dots' tattooed in circular pattern instead. The first one would be center, right at the hairline, then the next two just above the eyes, and the final left and right forehead.

Then when they have all five dots, they can perform a ritual where a Pentagram forms on their forehead (literally, 'connect the dots'), and it gives them some sort of cool ability, tied to their school. For example, if you specialize in summonings, maybe you merge yourself with some huge demonic creature (still with the glowing pentagram on your forehead - thats what keep it from taking you over).

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 27 Nov 2017 02:57:18
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sleyvas
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6491 Posts

Posted - 27 Nov 2017 :  01:47:20  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Hawkfeather

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

Ah, I guess I read the aforementioned with a different viewpoint. Sure, the average folk there don't like flashy magic, but they're not going to criminally charge someone just for being a mage.... and a mage that doesn't hurl fireballs at everyone and instead works for the betterment of people might be respected. Hell, the leader of Arrabar is an archmage. I read it as they get skittish when seeing the world go awry as a result of magic, but not like the folk of Luthcheq who simply want to murder wizards just for being wizards. Now, they may want to murder wizards with undead servants or demons under their control, etc.... but again, I don't think that's too unusual. They probably don't want to see some illusionist putting on a show either. But, that guy who can freeze water into ice, or shape stone into a house, etc.... they probably think he's a good guy.... and if he can blast a tribe of goblins, great.

I compare this to say other places in the region, like Calimshan and Thay, which would have no problem with exotic displays of magical prowess (heck, they encourage it). In a somewhat similar way, Mulhorand is also fine with shows of magical power (arcane or divine) as long as it serves their country. Sembia is also fine with shows of magical power (in different ways pre and post spellplague). Cormyr, Damara, Tethyr, and Impiltur are probably more tolerant and would be the most "middle ground" in region for comparison I'd guess. Aglarond on the other hand is probably more inclined to being like the people of the Vilhon, despite having the Simbul as their Queen. Chessenta I see being split between magic haters (Luthcheq and somewhat Akanax), to those who like having mercenary mages (Mordulkin and Soorenar), to those who want mages in their city (Cimbar).

So, its all in how you want to run it, but I don't see the average person walking up and spitting on a mage or treating them bad. In fact, the stories may make people a little bit antsy around them, but ending up treating them with respect.... until they do something stupid to make the skittish people think they're in danger. Lord help the smug mage that tries to use charms to get his way. But, if one deals fairly with others, I don't see wizards in the Vilhon having to worry with much. In fact, this type of societal pressure may encourage certain types of wizards there. I can see transmuters, abjurers, and diviners doing well in the region, and evokers who aren't blasting everyone may also be respected. Now, necromancers... enchanters... illusionists... conjurers... they may be discouraged.



Totally agree with different views on different magical schools. But I think maybe evocation would be considered a little to flashy by the Vilhon Reach standards.




Hmmm, in this edition of D&D and how they've defined the spells, probably so. A lot of what is defined now as transmutation would have been evocation in earlier editions, as it was both energy creation and control in earlier editions.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Markustay
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Posted - 27 Nov 2017 :  02:32:44  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've always played around with the idea of characters leveling by schools, rather than just 'Wizard' or 'Sorcerer'. Of course, that would be part of a classless system, and along with the eight schools (and four elemental schools), you would also have martial schools (off the top of my head, Melee and Ranged), Stealth, and Piety. And maybe psionics/mentalism as another school. Then each level you pick a 'devotion' (school) to level in, and you get benefits from that.

The cool thing about a system like that is that you can create 'synergies', so that some powerful spells might require you to be level 3 in one school and level 5 in another. You could get a bonus for summoning shadow creatures if you have levels of necromancy, or vice-versa (some schools will have overlap, and that's okay). Or maybe to resurrect someone you need levels in both piety and summoning (its both a healing and a soul-summoning).

Just another thing I like to mentally play with but never got around to do anything concrete with. To do it RIGHT, I'd have to build my own set of RPG rules from scratch, and who's got time for that?

I'd probably also separate-out 'summoning' - conjuration is just too powerful.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone


Edited by - Markustay on 27 Nov 2017 02:55:54
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TBeholder
Master of Realmslore

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Posted - 27 Nov 2017 :  15:01:24  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

So whats the official take? Only three dots? And are they color-coded to represent the schools? That would be kinda cool.


quote:
In the year 300 DR, a bardic college called the Acade-
mia Vilhonus started a fashion crave that continues to
this day. To separate the learned student from slaves and
other "lesser" people, the college began marking its stu-
dents with a single painted dot on their forehead. One
dot indicated that the person could read, two that they
could write, and three that they could use magic.
- Vilhon Reach, p.8

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch
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Zeromaru X
Senior Scribe

Colombia
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Posted - 27 Nov 2017 :  17:00:06  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So, was it a mark to separate plebs from the upper classes?

I guess I'm still not so fond of the pervasive racism and elitism that exist beyond the Western Heartlands...

Long ago, in the distant past, they fell into decay. The philosopher’s path... The river of glory... Even the saints resting in the darkness rise up without response and block the way...
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sleyvas
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USA
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Posted - 27 Nov 2017 :  19:28:35  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

I've always played around with the idea of characters leveling by schools, rather than just 'Wizard' or 'Sorcerer'. Of course, that would be part of a classless system, and along with the eight schools (and four elemental schools), you would also have martial schools (off the top of my head, Melee and Ranged), Stealth, and Piety. And maybe psionics/mentalism as another school. Then each level you pick a 'devotion' (school) to level in, and you get benefits from that.

The cool thing about a system like that is that you can create 'synergies', so that some powerful spells might require you to be level 3 in one school and level 5 in another. You could get a bonus for summoning shadow creatures if you have levels of necromancy, or vice-versa (some schools will have overlap, and that's okay). Or maybe to resurrect someone you need levels in both piety and summoning (its both a healing and a soul-summoning).

Just another thing I like to mentally play with but never got around to do anything concrete with. To do it RIGHT, I'd have to build my own set of RPG rules from scratch, and who's got time for that?

I'd probably also separate-out 'summoning' - conjuration is just too powerful.



And yet in 2nd edition, conjuration was one of the schools that I always dropped, because there was the "universal" school that had a lot of the transportation magics. Its interesting how the various editions have seen schools of magic in different lights. In 5e have they entirely quit doing the thing where a spell occupies multiple schools (i.e. simulacrum used to be illusion and necromancy I believe)? I remember when there were debates on that stuff in regards schools of opposition (i.e. if one of the schools was a school of opposition, could you cast the spell), and there were conflicting answers in the rules at various points. Since there aren't schools of opposition anymore, offhand I don't see any reason why in 5e they wouldn't have spells that cross schools again.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Markustay
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Posted - 27 Nov 2017 :  21:38:41  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
"Academia Vilhonus"
quote:
Originally posted by TBeholder

quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

So whats the official take? Only three dots? And are they color-coded to represent the schools? That would be kinda cool.


quote:
In the year 300 DR, a bardic college called the Academia Vilhonus started a fashion crave that continues to this day. To separate the learned student from slaves and other "lesser" people, the college began marking its students with a single painted dot on their forehead. One dot indicated that the person could read, two that they could write, and three that they could use magic.
- Vilhon Reach, p.8


So really, it had very little to do with magic, at least at the beginning. It really was a "I'm better than YOU" thing.

Not sure I'f I'd want to respin that to what I thought it was, or keep it (its also kind of cool, in a 'slimy snob' kind of way). Maybe keep that for Chondath (and have it spread to parts of Chessenta, like the Blade Kingdoms), but have it evolved into what I was picturing going on in Turmish.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone

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Markustay
Realms Explorer extraordinaire

USA
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Posted - 27 Nov 2017 :  21:48:02  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

And yet in 2nd edition, conjuration was one of the schools that I always dropped, because there was the "universal" school that had a lot of the transportation magics. Its interesting how the various editions have seen schools of magic in different lights. In 5e have they entirely quit doing the thing where a spell occupies multiple schools (i.e. simulacrum used to be illusion and necromancy I believe)? I remember when there were debates on that stuff in regards schools of opposition (i.e. if one of the schools was a school of opposition, could you cast the spell), and there were conflicting answers in the rules at various points. Since there aren't schools of opposition anymore, offhand I don't see any reason why in 5e they wouldn't have spells that cross schools again.

You know, I have NO IDEA how schools of magic work in 5e - I need to rectify that.

I like the idea that a spell could be in multiple school, and even be of different level depending on the school (there were a few that crossed-over from Divine to Arcane in 2e like that). Then you can have those 'synergies' I was talking about above (if you have levels in two schools that have the same spell, you'd be able to combine your levels to determine its effectiveness).

I think the only way I could possibly develop the (RPG) system I am picturing is with a point-buy system of leveling, and once I do that, it won't feel like D&D anymore. Because of the complexity of the magic system I envision, I'd need the possibility of being able to buy a level in two different schools at the same time (ignoring all other leveling possibilities for that Character level). In other words, you'd have to put ALL your Level-pts. into the two school (lets say they cost '10' each), and that would leave you with no pts. to buy other stuff (like the normal HP add, or any Feats, etc). As I said, that's just not D&D. It would feel more like a MORPG where you're min-maxing (power-gaming). Plus, it would probably only work best for creating NPCs, and at that point, you've just made NPCs MORE complex than PCs, which is self defeating.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone

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Diffan
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Posted - 28 Nov 2017 :  06:01:37  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Markustay

You know, I have NO IDEA how schools of magic work in 5e - I need to rectify that. @


Not much to know, really. Wizards get a choice at 2nd level that gives them features at appropriate levels based on their school. No prohibition on other school or extra spells though writing spells of your chosen school is less costly and takes half the time.

Edit: to specify, wizards get features at 2nd, 6th, 10th, and 14th level that are thematically tied to their arcane tradition so its not necessarily just a school of magic. For example Bladesingers are an arcane tradition passed through the elven race (DMs call to expand it to others per setting) that gives things like proficiency with armor, weapons, and the Performance skill at 2nd level and they can enter bladesong for a short time.

4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."

Edited by - Diffan on 28 Nov 2017 06:16:16
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Markustay
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USA
14901 Posts

Posted - 28 Nov 2017 :  20:09:05  Show Profile Send Markustay a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So just bonuses and no down side?

So everyone just becomes a specialist now? Not sure I like that. I suppose it makes sense, but not so much in a Vancian system (which really doesn't work all that well with 'schools of magic').

There were a couple of articles here and there back in the day about 'Path Magic', which I thought was a far superior system than our vancian one, but I guess it was too similar to what Rolemaster did (which was an amazing system - too bad it never caught on). Basically, Path magic is when you study spells 'along a path', or in other words, each lower level spell acts as a prerequisite for a higher level spell of a similar nature. With elemental magics, that's easy to adapt, but with oddball spells like Web, not so much. It probably would have worked well in 4e, and just put all the oddballs into the 'ritual' category.

"I have never in my life learned anything from any man who agreed with me" --- Dudley Field Malone

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Zeromaru X
Senior Scribe

Colombia
945 Posts

Posted - 28 Nov 2017 :  21:31:40  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The downside is that you're not so good with spells that aren't part of your schools of magic, as those spells don't get the bonuses or special spins the spells from your school get.

But, yeah. Everyone is just an specialist now.

Long ago, in the distant past, they fell into decay. The philosopher’s path... The river of glory... Even the saints resting in the darkness rise up without response and block the way...
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Diffan
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USA
3451 Posts

Posted - 29 Nov 2017 :  01:46:29  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There's also more than just the Schools and Bladesinging as Arcane Traditions. I don't have Xanathar's Guide to Everything yet but the Unearthed Arcana articles I've read gives wizards access to Lore Mastery, War Magic, and Theurgy traditions. Lore Master is probably the closest you can come to being a "generalist" wizard as they're very adaptable and aren't tied specifically to one school while War Magic is about combat tactics, and Theurgy is more about blending the whole Arcane / Divine aspects together.

EDIT: Oh, I forgot they added Technomancy too but it's not really relevant here so..

4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."

Edited by - Diffan on 29 Nov 2017 02:11:24
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