Alignment and D&D
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Post Posted: Sun Jan 15, 2006 9:31 pm 

beyondthebreach wrote:On the subject of Druids again,

Of course, there are an endless numbers of historical "flavors" that can be the model upon which a campaign is built. Certainly a Medieval theme being the most prevalent. I question, though, at what point it becomes the height of illogic for a Druid (let's say a priest of nature) to be more out of place than a Magic-user? At what point did anything remotely resembling a D&D magic-user exist as a "common" medieval ideal. From most of the medieval literature I have read, ideas of magic were little discussed and certainly the province of witchcraft and paganism. If anything, medieval magic would have been more likely to derive from Nature than from tomes, books and arcane libraries.

   The medieval tomes of magic are still extant.  (Although the most common books are late medieval, 15th and 16th century survivors.)  Most of the ones that survive have been re-printed in perfect-bound paperback.  You can even find them online for free...even more if you read Latin.  They are mostly "scientific" in nature, if the invocation of angels and demons to work the wizard's will can be considered "science."

    My reading of Shakespeare and Marlowe indicates to me that the members of their audiences shared common information and ideas about magic, faeries, ghosts, witches, etc.  Certainly, they saw these things as satanic (and therefore a bit thrilling).  They seem to have gleaned a great deal of folklore and basic magical cliches from their own traditions and meagre education.  

   Most of the texts I have read were written by Christian wizards, who considered themselves to be tapped into secret, divine powers...and to be guided in their studies by God's will.  Dr. Jon Dee is a good example.  (Queen Elizabeth's court astrologer...look him up online).

   This quest for occult ("hidden") knowledge existed right beside and intertwined with the quest for new scientific knowledge...and was often practiced by the same people.

    D&D is not the middle is the middle ages if magic had actually worked and if the dark monsters of Germanic imagination and popular beastiaries had actually existed.

    I have two issues with druids.....  1)  Their spells and powers are annoying.  2)  The idea of a Neutral, rabbit-saving "defender of nature" is a modern, misguided-leftist-environmentalist invention.


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Post Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 12:57 am 

MShipley88 wrote:   I have two issues with druids..... 1) Their spells and powers are annoying. 2) The idea of a Neutral, rabbit-saving "defender of nature" is a modern, misguided-leftist-environmentalist invention.

The first issue is a different strokes for different folks thing, which is fine.
I'm not sure by the second issue if you mean that Gygax created druids in that manner or if that is how you resent druids being played.  Gygax is pretty much to the right politically, so I doubt "modern, misguided, leftist, environmentalist" (whatever that is  :roll:) is what he had in mind.  I'm not familiar with all the fantasy literature that Gygax cites in the back of the DMG, but I always thought of Radagast and Beorn from LotR as the model/inspiration for the Druid class.


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Post Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 4:11 am 

MShipley88 wrote:I have two issues with druids..... 1) Their spells and powers are annoying.

I love creeping doom   :P



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Post Posted: Mon Jan 16, 2006 3:27 pm 

My veiw of alignment is as follows:

I get all my players to create a character with and have a good idea of what that character is like as a person but with only a rough idea of what the characters alignment is based on the characters personality. By the end of say, session five, I'll have a quick chat with the player and we'll agree an alignment since, in game terms at least, you do need an alignment for spell effefcts et. al. I've never questioned a players decision based upon their alignment but acting severely out of character draws the attention of both the players and the DM. For short games it's a decent enough way to lossely describe a character that only needs an outline but for longer campaign play I personally find it too limited in scope to be of any real roleplaying value. Just my 2 Cents feel to disagree :)

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