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Author Topic: Witch Burning - Or - Different Views on Magic  (Read 1254 times)

callisto8413

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Witch Burning - Or - Different Views on Magic
« on: May 30, 2018, 05:11:21 pm »

Hello folks,

I would just like to suggest a little idea.  As magic will, sooner or later, be part of the world and DF already has different cultures and/or races with different ideas on how to treat the dead, animals, and so-on, I would suggest they also have different degrees of tolerance towards magic.  From fully embracing it TO semi-okay with it as long as they pay taxes TO running magic users out of town or even killing them.  No doubt the levels of tolerance could be random or maybe selected by the player.

Thank you.
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Shonai_Dweller

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Re: Witch Burning - Or - Different Views on Magic
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2018, 05:17:51 pm »

Hello folks,

I would just like to suggest a little idea.  As magic will, sooner or later, be part of the world and DF already has different cultures and/or races with different ideas on how to treat the dead, animals, and so-on, I would suggest they also have different degrees of tolerance towards magic.  From fully embracing it TO semi-okay with it as long as they pay taxes TO running magic users out of town or even killing them.  No doubt the levels of tolerance could be random or maybe selected by the player.

Thank you.
They would be procedurally generated for each civ, based on the Myth (post-mythgen) and specific laws and customs (post-Starting Scenarios). Then, yeah, they could be subject to purges like vampires and such or be an integrated part of society (as any civ made up of a race with natural powers probably would be).

This is probably covered by "Conflict or cooperation with locals", but always good to suggest specific details.
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AudiRgr8

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Re: Witch Burning - Or - Different Views on Magic
« Reply #2 on: May 31, 2018, 06:07:40 am »

Love the idea,

In vanilla game there already exists "Vampire purges," where an angry mob (maybe only human civs) essentially lynches some vampires in their city. This could be adapted to "magic purges" too where mages alike would face the rage of the masses, and it would be cool if this branched out into other non-humans. Elves and dwarves living in human cities could face discrimination too.
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GoblinCookie

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Re: Witch Burning - Or - Different Views on Magic
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2018, 06:32:46 am »

The interesting question is what values and personality traits would cause tolerance for magic against persecution of magic, in a world where magic's existence is more or less explicitly undeniable. 
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scourge728

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Re: Witch Burning - Or - Different Views on Magic
« Reply #4 on: May 31, 2018, 06:39:40 am »

Presumably the same things that cause racism IRL

GoblinCookie

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Re: Witch Burning - Or - Different Views on Magic
« Reply #5 on: May 31, 2018, 06:47:42 am »

Presumably the same things that cause racism IRL

Not at all.  Racism is directed towards the weaker, hatred for magicians is directed at those stronger than you are. 
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AudiRgr8

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Re: Witch Burning - Or - Different Views on Magic
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2018, 07:34:38 am »

Yeah then maybe events in world-gen could get falsely attributed to magic or be magic-related, such as the death of a beloved king blamed on his "evil" court wizard who might have been trying to save him or a group of necromancers assaulting a town, leading the civ to mistrust magic.

Or maybe said king was born without any magic powers and became jealous - could work with the "sought to extend their life by any means" worldgen statement with maybe "scoured the land hoping to learn arcane knowledge" - and if after all that they fail they could either give up and be bitter towards magic or just accept that they were not born with it.

Basically it could work around if there is a balance between good and evil magic users in the world. More good, then people could see magic as useful, helpful and great and revere their practitioners. More evil could sway civs to typically mistrust magic due to the negative experiences and dark powers and result in said witch hunts and fear of magic.
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Fishyfire

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Re: Witch Burning - Or - Different Views on Magic
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2018, 07:46:41 am »

ya, your magic using could be a civil value and they either hate it and prosecute witches or embrace it and have magic shools, and scholars. Or are indifferent. But it would all depends on their civil values.


"But, what do we burn aside from witches?"
"MORE WITCHES!"
« Last Edit: May 31, 2018, 07:52:11 am by Fishyfire »
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GoblinCookie

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Re: Witch Burning - Or - Different Views on Magic
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2018, 11:22:03 am »

Yeah then maybe events in world-gen could get falsely attributed to magic or be magic-related, such as the death of a beloved king blamed on his "evil" court wizard who might have been trying to save him or a group of necromancers assaulting a town, leading the civ to mistrust magic.

Or maybe said king was born without any magic powers and became jealous - could work with the "sought to extend their life by any means" worldgen statement with maybe "scoured the land hoping to learn arcane knowledge" - and if after all that they fail they could either give up and be bitter towards magic or just accept that they were not born with it.

Basically it could work around if there is a balance between good and evil magic users in the world. More good, then people could see magic as useful, helpful and great and revere their practitioners. More evil could sway civs to typically mistrust magic due to the negative experiences and dark powers and result in said witch hunts and fear of magic.

People don't want the fate of the world to be decided by good and evil wizards.  They don't want wizards deciding their world's fate at all.  If it is a case of bad wizards could end the world unless not-bad wizards stop them, one conclusion for a muggle (term from Harry Potter for non-wizards) to draw is that no wizards is better than leaving it up to the wizards whether they want to be good or bad.  It is like democracy sort of, rather than simply leaving it up to whoever our lords and ladies happen to be and hoping they make the right decision, we have elections and whatever. 

Here is the problem, the wizards are more powerful than any regular muggle.  Only if the muggles are more numerous than the wizards does oppressing the wizards even start to be feasible, in some world's wizards might be so overpowered that all muggles are effectively defenseless and could oppress the wizards, even if they wanted too.  There are basically a set of principle that need to exist for magic oppression to happen.

1. Wizards must be distinct group separate from the muggles.
2. Wizards must be strong enough to feasibly threaten the muggles on an individual basis. 
3. The muggles must outnumber the wizards, so that 2. does not prevent wizard oppression.
4. The wizards cannot be so strong that only other wizards can control them.

Principle 4. is rather interesting.  If magic advances but muggle technology does not, wizard oppression can basically be quickly overthrown because the power of the muggles is basically how strong technology is against how strong the wizards magic is.  That leads to a 5th principle.

5. Magic must be separable from mundane technology, such that the latter can advance without reference to the former. 
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Untrustedlife

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Re: Witch Burning - Or - Different Views on Magic
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2018, 08:22:10 pm »

Presumably the same things that cause racism IRL

Not at all.  Racism is directed towards the weaker, hatred for magicians is directed at those stronger than you are.

Perhaps a personality attribute  like “fear of the unknown” the unknown in this case being magic. Basically magical xenophobia . At the most terrified end they hate the unknown and seek to destroy it, at the other end complete acceptance and even seeking it. Hating magic because magic is “scary” is a common fantasy trope.


There is a quote, which is a reversal of “High technology is indistinguishable from magic”, because if that is the case it must also be true that magic in a world with magic is effectively indistinguishable from technology (I forget who said that quote), but assuming toady rolls with this there will be worlds  where magic is used like technology. (Another common trope) so it will be interesting to see what comes from this, I expect worlds with oppressive wizards aswell.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2018, 08:29:24 pm by Untrustedlife »
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Bumber

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Re: Witch Burning - Or - Different Views on Magic
« Reply #10 on: June 02, 2018, 10:04:48 am »

It's kind of odd to mention technology keeping pace with magic when there's a 15th century tech cutoff.
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Re: Witch Burning - Or - Different Views on Magic
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2018, 02:28:06 pm »

Toady explicitly said he doesn't want magic to be used like technology, rather it should be rare and mysterious, its practitioners few and immensely powerful.  More Lord of the Rings than Dungeons and Dragons.

I'd like it if this worked on a sliding scale, but I'm not expecting it to be the case.

Untrustedlife

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Re: Witch Burning - Or - Different Views on Magic
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2018, 10:56:01 pm »

Toady explicitly said he doesn't want magic to be used like technology, rather it should be rare and mysterious, its practitioners few and immensely powerful.  More Lord of the Rings than Dungeons and Dragons.

I'd like it if this worked on a sliding scale, but I'm not expecting it to be the case.

I think the plan is for it to be a scale, they said they want to avoid it as a "default option"  "but some people would probably think it was fun", in dftalk 22 (or the one about artifacts or planes of existence (i am pretty sure it was the artifacts one which is number 7 (and the missing second half which is also linked on the df talk page and on itunes http://www.bay12games.com/media/df_7_missing_segment.mp3), one of those three). So i think its not something they will run for but something more like a low hanging fruit they might pick.

I prefer mysterious magic myself, but there will definitely be research into magic done by the wizards im sure i think they mentioned something about that.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2018, 10:58:15 pm by Untrustedlife »
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KittyTac

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Re: Witch Burning - Or - Different Views on Magic
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2018, 11:19:11 pm »

I'd want it as a sliding scale because the first thing I will do in mythgen is crank up all of the sliders to maximum. I'd prefer simply insane magic.
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GoblinCookie

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Re: Witch Burning - Or - Different Views on Magic
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2018, 07:29:23 am »

Perhaps a personality attribute  like “fear of the unknown” the unknown in this case being magic. Basically magical xenophobia . At the most terrified end they hate the unknown and seek to destroy it, at the other end complete acceptance and even seeking it. Hating magic because magic is “scary” is a common fantasy trope.

There is a quote, which is a reversal of “High technology is indistinguishable from magic”, because if that is the case it must also be true that magic in a world with magic is effectively indistinguishable from technology (I forget who said that quote), but assuming toady rolls with this there will be worlds  where magic is used like technology. (Another common trope) so it will be interesting to see what comes from this, I expect worlds with oppressive wizards aswell.

Magic isn't really as much the unknown in the fantasy world as it would be in our world.  The more magic you have the less it becomes the unknown and the more it becomes "scary things that other people can do".  The other people part is crucial, if magic is something than anybody can do, just some people have more practice then that means that basically there is no clear distinct group to oppress, everybody is a little bit of a wizard.  That kind of setup pretty much is what the Elder Scrolls, magic is not something that requires a special anything to use, the wizards are just folks that had more practice at it than you did. 

Worlds with oppressed mages (look at you Dragon Age), needs wizards that are a distinct group, which threatens society with their powers but are not so powerful that the human race in general cannot feasibly defeat them.  There we have the threat that they will suddenly decide to kill individuals on a whim, combined with the inability of them to kill the entire society of non-wizards without working up a sweat combines to result in society creating being able to create an organized body of non-wizards (templers in Dragon Age) to control and oppress wizards.

It's kind of odd to mention technology keeping pace with magic when there's a 15th century tech cutoff.

Nobody said that magic was necessarily more powerful than 15th century tech, between muskets and wizards, the muskets may well have the upper hand. 

In any case, that is not my point.  The point is that magic becomes technology whenever it is separable from the magic-user, so the +5 longsword in the hands of a D&D warrior is not really magic, even though it may have been originally created by magic it really functions as technology since it's use does not require magical powers.  The same however does not apply to a wand of fireballs, even though it too is an enchanted object created by magic, it requires magical talent to actually use.  This is where principle 5 is important here. 

Quote
5. Magic must be separable from mundane technology, such that the latter can advance without reference to the former. 

If muskets can beat wizards, this situation works fine for the muggles, until we get +5 muskets.  Now the wizards win, because the wizards advance the technology so that they have the upper hand over the muggles, even if their own powers cannot direct contend with muskets in general, their ability to magically improve the muskets still gives them the edge. 
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