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Ocule
Acolyte

USA
10 Posts

Posted - 16 Feb 2017 :  18:47:06  Show Profile Send Ocule a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
So been scouring the net and couldn't find the answer to my question so i have come to the sages for advice. Plagues in the realms, morbitity and mortality. I know in ed greenwoods guide to the realms they describe a few plagues, herbalism and alchemy as ways to heal the sick and wounded however with clerics and paladins and other people with magic how is any of that actually relevant. It seems there are enough of them to stave off any major plague. Sure a small village in the middle of nowhere might not have a cleric or something to help with outbreaks or whatnot but a city like say waterdeep, silverymoon, or calimport. It seems disease would be quickly put down before it ever has a chance to spread and anyone with enough money never needs to worry about losing limbs or death. Just find the nearest cleric and get ressurected. Repeat until old age.

I could be wrong but is there an official answer for this on how this thing happens in the realms or do adventures just show a disproportionate number of clerics to the world's cannon.

sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
5641 Posts

Posted - 17 Feb 2017 :  03:18:29  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ocule

So been scouring the net and couldn't find the answer to my question so i have come to the sages for advice. Plagues in the realms, morbitity and mortality. I know in ed greenwoods guide to the realms they describe a few plagues, herbalism and alchemy as ways to heal the sick and wounded however with clerics and paladins and other people with magic how is any of that actually relevant. It seems there are enough of them to stave off any major plague. Sure a small village in the middle of nowhere might not have a cleric or something to help with outbreaks or whatnot but a city like say waterdeep, silverymoon, or calimport. It seems disease would be quickly put down before it ever has a chance to spread and anyone with enough money never needs to worry about losing limbs or death. Just find the nearest cleric and get ressurected. Repeat until old age.

I could be wrong but is there an official answer for this on how this thing happens in the realms or do adventures just show a disproportionate number of clerics to the world's cannon.




This of course assumes that if you were rich and die that your heirs won't go "oh, he lived a long and full life, let's let him be with the gods.... oh, and I'll help myself to that inheritance... you know because I DESERVE it for putting up with his shenanigans for so long".

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30083 Posts

Posted - 17 Feb 2017 :  03:40:21  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ocule

do adventures just show a disproportionate number of clerics to the world's cannon.



Adventures show a disproportionate number of classed NPCs in general... Because PCs won't be interested in and likely won't need to interact with farmers, grocers, seamstresses, servants, etc. PCs are elite by virtue of having classes, so it's their fellow classed elite that the interact with.

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Ocule
Acolyte

USA
10 Posts

Posted - 17 Feb 2017 :  16:03:33  Show Profile Send Ocule a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So there are far more apothecaries and physicians than clerics and paladins to go around? I mean i've seen other settings where they were so exceptionally rare that they were considered to be very unreliable. So what would it take to overpower a city such as waterdeep with plague, and how many magic users would a military expect to see in an armed conflict. Should the average person run in fear at the sight of war magic?
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30083 Posts

Posted - 17 Feb 2017 :  17:14:40  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ocule

So there are far more apothecaries and physicians than clerics and paladins to go around? I mean i've seen other settings where they were so exceptionally rare that they were considered to be very unreliable. So what would it take to overpower a city such as waterdeep with plague, and how many magic users would a military expect to see in an armed conflict. Should the average person run in fear at the sight of war magic?



I don't know that there would necessarily be far more apothecaries and physicians than classed characters -- that kinda thing requires an education (formal or informal) that isn't always an option. There are likely more of those classless types than their classed brethren, but I don't know that I'd say there are far more.

I wouldn't expect the average person to run at the sight of magic; the Realms is a high-magic setting, and it's not unknown of for even common, non-classed folks to have a little magic (if only a single spell-like ability) at their command. Plus, there are all the fallen empires, which means there's fair odds of finding a +1 doodad of niftiness in any ruins you care to explore.

As for magic-users in the military... That depends on where you're talking about. Some places are quite welcoming to spellslingers, others less so. Some places incorporate them into the army or official, city-sanctioned guilds, while other places are going to have few spellcasters under official arms, but plenty more willing to defend their home.

Waterdeep has temples galore, a mages' guild, and a metric buttload of independent, non-guild casters. And disguised dragons, too. (Depending on the timeframe, there may also be at least one hidden avatar in residence, and as many as three Chosen of Mystra in or under the city.)

No matter the attack vector, I'd consider Waterdeep to be pretty much unassailable. It's not invulnerable, but you'd have to use so much force that it'd not be viable and you'd likely level the place instead of seizing it. And the sheer amount of magic -- both arcane and divine -- in the city pretty much rules out magic or plagues as a viable option. Plus, being a port city gives them plenty of options for resupply.

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Edited by - Wooly Rupert on 17 Feb 2017 17:17:07
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Wrigley
Senior Scribe

Czech Republic
418 Posts

Posted - 17 Feb 2017 :  20:17:34  Show Profile  Visit Wrigley's Homepage Send Wrigley a Private Message  Reply with Quote
First about diseases - you have to be at least level 5 cleric to cast Remove Disease spell on one person. Those are not common enough, I would say 3-5 for smaller city area. If you do not catch any virulent disease fast, you have easily too many for spells. There is also usual incubation period during which it do not show and you start to spread it also. There is much less that healer or herbalist can do but there can be easily many more of them around like one in each village.

Morbidity - I think that in Realms there is much better medical care for common people than in real Middle ages. There are priests and clerics who care for their flock and provide some healing spells for free if needed. So there would be lower morbidity except for evil kingdoms with slaves and many poor people in slums. Those are breeding grounds for diseases.

Mortality - the same as morbidity less then real. There are even clerics of Kelemvor dedicated to servis for dying. There is also a big part of population that have a different lifespan than humans so they are less prone to old age ravages (mixed races would also make it more difficult for diseases to spread). Ressurection is very hard spell that can be cast by absolute minimum of clerics in nation (like a few in nation's capital) so it will be less about money and more about standing with specific churches...

BUT Do not forget that gods are real and represent many aspects of life and not all of them are helpfull to anybody or for anything (it is not a shop with magic service). For example there is Talona and diseases and plagues are actualy her domain and she like to create and spread them instead of curing them... she is also known for making rounds to gain new followers.
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bloodtide_the_red
Seeker

USA
49 Posts

Posted - 19 Feb 2017 :  01:29:40  Show Profile  Visit bloodtide_the_red's Homepage Send bloodtide_the_red a Private Message  Reply with Quote
My two coppers.

Not all Gods want to Help-Even just a glance at the Realms pantheon show that most of the gods simply won't help ''the masses''. Obliviously the evil gods won't care, and this is also true of a lot of neutral gods as well. So you really only get a handful of gods that would be ''healing the sick and healing the poor'' . So even if a city has 100 priests, only maybe like 25 might be willing to help.

The Drop in the Bucket-even if you had 25 clerics that 24/7 did nothing but help...that still would only effect a small number of people. And miss a couple people and stuff spreads....

Cures are not forever-even if a priest did cure a bunch of folks....they can just be hurt or infected an hour later...

Limited Magic-even if you had say a 10th level priest, they can only cast a couple spells a day. So, that is saving just a couple a day...maybe....and that would be all they can do for the day.

Magic to help diseases-Plenty of evil gods, plus evil folks in general can go to lengths to help diseases.

Magic Diseases-well, of course, and some nasty ones too.
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6239 Posts

Posted - 19 Feb 2017 :  22:06:46  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I imagine that the vast majority of people in the Realms are very much like the vast majority of people in our world. Which is to say that there's a lot of unhealthy, underweight, overweight, sickly, weak, decayed, and generally feeble people around. And the vast majority of these are basically "lower class" or "worker/farmer caste" sorts - their greatest problem is that they have to endure physical and mental hardship on a daily basis just to survive or earn a living, and they simply cannot afford the care or cures offered by physicians, apothecaries, alchemists, and clerics who tend to serve the "classed elite". Remember that your average classed character thinks in terms of gold pieces and can (eventually) come up with the hundreds or thousands of GP (or more, or "equivalent" in valuable/specialized service) needed to obtain whatever cures are needed: such people probably live something like wealthy (and seemingly "ageless") celebrities in our world. But there's plenty of people around with bad teeth, skin problems, digestive ailments, sleep disorders, excessive body fat, etc - and many "cures" are indeed available for these sorts of things ... if you care enough to do something, and if you can actually dedicate daily time and effort towards them, and - most importantly - if you can afford the attentions of capable healers.

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 19 Feb 2017 22:09:06
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
30083 Posts

Posted - 20 Feb 2017 :  04:06:35  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I would say there are two more things to factor in... There are plenty of things in published Realmslore that show people acting beyond the capability of the rules. Sometimes, people do things the rules flat out say cannot be done.

I would say that in the face of a serious plague, the rules as written would be suspended for clerics. The goodly gods would give more potent healing; maybe a high-level cleric would sacrifice themselves for a wide area of effect disease purge, or something like that.

It's the Realms. The rules are written for our interaction with them -- but those in the Realms sometimes have a different set of rules.

Also, we don't know all of the healing/curative magic available in-setting. What we have is the "sexy" stuff, that adventurers would be interested in. What we don't have is the simpler, common, every day stuff that adventurers would never pay attention to -- folk remedies, minor bits of alchemy, things like that. Sure, folk remedies don't work in our world -- but we also don't have flying, fire-breathing lizards, either.

Sean K Reynolds did a wonderful book of folk remedies and such -- Goody White's Book of Folk Magic. The book is full of stuff like removing warts and curing impotence -- stuff that never even shows up on an adventurer's radar. That shows a wide range of possibilities... And from Ed, we know that there are herbs and herbal concoctions that can treat a lot of stuff.

In short, what the rules say and what is true for the Realms are not always the same thing.

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Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
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Kentinal
Great Reader

4279 Posts

Posted - 20 Feb 2017 :  04:54:31  Show Profile Send Kentinal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There is another factor that can address the issue of population dealing with disease. The literary rate/percentage is very high. Something like 95 percent. The people read, they have knowledge to deal with problems at their finger tips. Or at least at nearest scroll/chapbook storage area.
As such they would know to isolate and/or know curative remedies.
There further are the unnamed magics of the Realms that Ed has spoke of at least a time or two.

"Small beings can have small wisdom," the dragon said. "And small wise beings are better than small fools. Listen: Wisdom is caring for afterwards."
"Caring for afterwards ...? Ker repeated this without understanding.
"After action, afterwards," the dragon said. "Choose the afterwards first, then the action. Fools choose action first."
"Judgement" copyright 2003 by Elizabeth Moon
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Varl
Learned Scribe

USA
251 Posts

Posted - 26 Feb 2017 :  01:52:59  Show Profile Send Varl a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Diseases are best used as story vehicles. One disease might be able to cured by magic while another might be resistant or immune to cure magics. Some diseases might require herbalism to cure or treat. If a disease turns out to be incurable, it might not be terminal. An incurable disease might be debilitating only and affect a character in ways the player never suspected. A character might have the cure to a thought-to-be incurable disease and not even know it. A character might be causing a disease everywhere he goes and not even know it.

If magic can wipe these story arcs away as easily as casting a Cure Disease spell, you might as well not have the story vehicles of diseases at all. Just like traps can tell stories and help define and change a character for good or bad, so can diseases.

"We're not out of here in 10 minutes, we won't need no rockets to fly through space." -Parker, Alien.
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