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 Post subject: If wizards have patrons...
PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:36 am 
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who seem to be Lovecraftian, and if clerics' gods include Cthulhu, what's the difference between clerics and wizards?

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 Post subject: Re: If wizards have patrons...
PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 9:39 am 
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AgeOfFable wrote:
who seem to be Lovecraftian, and if clerics' gods include things like Cthulhu, what's the difference between clerics and wizards?


Wizards aim to bend the will of the Other.

Clerics bend to will of the Other.

//H

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 Post subject: Re: If wizards have patrons...
PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:05 am 
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Harley Stroh wrote:
AgeOfFable wrote:
who seem to be Lovecraftian, and if clerics' gods include things like Cthulhu, what's the difference between clerics and wizards?


Wizards aim to bend the will of the Other.

Clerics bend to will of the Other.

//H


And eventually wizards become 'Other'

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 Post subject: Re: If wizards have patrons...
PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 6:24 pm 
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I see wizards as trying to control creatures (elementals, spirits, whatever) the way that Elric does, or try to barter assistance from the creature for some service or quest for the creature later on the way Fafhrd/Mouser do. And I see clerics as asking creatures (gods, demons, whatever) for favors in exchange for worship.

Subtle difference, but not quite the same in-game even if the mechanics running both situations may be similar.

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 Post subject: Re: If wizards have patrons...
PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 6:33 pm 
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finarvyn wrote:
I see wizards as trying to control creatures (elementals, spirits, whatever) the way that Elric does, or try to barter assistance from the creature for some service or quest for the creature later on the way Fafhrd/Mouser do. And I see clerics as asking creatures (gods, demons, whatever) for favors in exchange for worship.

I prefer to think that wizards only treat with demons and other unspeakable entities. It is only with such a crowd that I can imagine the corruption chart making sense. Treating wtih elementals and spirits should have different consequences.


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 Post subject: Re: If wizards have patrons...
PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 6:36 pm 
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They're all reasonable answers, but the whole thing seems a bit more 'justifying how D&D does it' than 'simulating how Appendix N does it'.

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 Post subject: Re: If wizards have patrons...
PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:54 pm 
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A wizard is using the patron as a source of power to attain their own goals. The wizard may have some overlapping goals with the patron but ultimately doesn't see the patron's goals as anything but bargaining chips.

A cleric on the other hand exists to spread the power of their deity and will seek the same goals.

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 Post subject: Re: If wizards have patrons...
PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 8:53 pm 
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AgeOfFable wrote:
They're all reasonable answers, but the whole thing seems a bit more 'justifying how D&D does it' than 'simulating how Appendix N does it'.


I agree.

D&D was very bad at a key theme of fantasy fiction: the notion that wizardry involves an empirical investigation of the world.

Jack Vance, Clark Ashton Smith, and a lot of the older writers such as Dunsany, Machen, Blackwood, etc. portrayed magic as an Isaac-Newton sort of alchemical proto-science. In the Dying Earth, a wizard who rediscovers mathematics becomes game-breakingly powerful. If you wanted to model that in DCC, you would make the wizard a cleric, and you would make him the servant of the god of dispassionate mathematical reasoning.

Jack Vance, The Dying Earth wrote:
In this fashion did Turjan enter his apprenticeship to Pandelume. Day and far into the opalescent Embelyon night he worked under Pandelume's unseen tutelage. He learned the secret of renewed youth, many spells of the ancients, and a strange abstract lore that Pandelume termed "Mathematics."
"Within this instrument," said Pandelume, "resides the Universe. Passive in itself and not of sorcery, it elucidates every problem, each phase of existence, all the secrets of time and space. Your spells and runes are built upon its power and codified according to a great underlying mosaic of magic. The design of this mosaic we cannot surmise; our knowledge is didactic, empirical, arbitrary. Phandaal glimpsed the pattern and so was able to formulate many of the spells which bear his name. I have endeavored through the ages to break the clouded glass, but so far my research has failed. He who discovers the pattern will know all of sorcery and be a man powerful beyond comprehension."
So Turjan applied himself to the study and learned many of the simpler routines.
"I find herein a wonderful beauty," he told Pandelume. "This is no science, this is art, where equations fall away to elements like resolving chords, and where always prevails a symmetry either explicit or multiplex, but always of a crystalline serenity."


Arneson showed no interest in these themes; he wanted a game with no theoretical premises, just external improvisations. Gygax was similarly resistant to the idea that magic could EVER make any kind of sense. (Gygax seemed to follow de Camp's example in this regard, except that Gygax, unlike de Camp, was willing to imagine miraculous healing as a divine, but never an arcane, event.)

So if the wizard is a Rotwang or a Frankenstein or a budding fascist megalomaniac - then the wizard-as-Faustian-powermonger trope fits.

But if a wizard is genuinely interested in truth and knowledge rather than a frothy-mouthed megalomaniac bent on dominating a kingdom of slaves, the Faustian-powermonger trope does not fit.

ibid. wrote:
now, in the last fleeting moments, humanity festers rich as rotten fruit. Rather than master and overpower our world, our highest aim is to cheat it through sorcery…. I am dissatisfied with the mindless accomplishments of the magicians, who have all their lore by rote."


In Vance's formulation, the quest for knowledge was the sole ennobling factor, whereas the dull stupidity of rote repetition and the foulness of human nature were both evils.

On demons:
ibid. wrote:

Since Blikdak is a demon .. ."
"Consider him!" spoke Kerlin. "His lineaments, his apparatus. He is nothing else but anthropoid, and such is his origin, together with all the demons, frits and winged glowing-eyed creatures that infest latter-day Earth. Blikdak, like the others, is from the mind of man. The sweaty condensation, the stench and vileness, the cloacal humors, the brutal delights, the rapes and sodomies, the scatophilac whims, the manifold tittering lubricities that have drained through humanity formed a vast tumor; so Blikdak assumed his being, so now this is he. You have seen
how he molds his being, so he performs his enjoyments.


Last edited by yfr on Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:53 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: If wizards have patrons...
PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2011 8:55 pm 
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Dreamslinger wrote:
A wizard is using the patron as a source of power to attain their own goals. The wizard may have some overlapping goals with the patron but ultimately doesn't see the patron's goals as anything but bargaining chips.

A cleric on the other hand exists to spread the power of their deity and will seek the same goals.


Gygax's arcane-divine dichotomy springs mostly from Lake Geneva, not from Appendix N.

DCC seems to follow the notion that wizards can never, ever, ever heal. Healing is reserved for the church! There shall be no secular physicians in sword-and-sorcery!


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 Post subject: Re: If wizards have patrons...
PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2011 5:47 am 
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AgeOfFable wrote:
They're all reasonable answers, but the whole thing seems a bit more 'justifying how D&D does it' than 'simulating how Appendix N does it'.

Actually, I do have Appendix N in mind. Elric spends a lot of time summoning elementals to do his bidding. Each elemental has a name, of course, and owes a debt to Elric's family from generations ago. Some of them might be lesser deities since they are lords of the elementals, but it's not clear from Moorcock's writing whether they are gods or just greater elementals.

Cleric doesn't really have an Appendix N representation, so I have to default to the way the class is defined in D&D as being linked to "the gods."

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"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
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 Post subject: Re: If wizards have patrons...
PostPosted: Sat Jun 18, 2011 7:02 pm 
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finarvyn wrote:
Some of them might be lesser deities since they are lords of the elementals, but it's not clear from Moorcock's writing whether they are gods or just greater elementals.



I think Moorcock often tried to stick a thumb in the eye of traditional Western religious ideas. Considering his "Eternal Champion" theme, he probably would argue that the elementals cannot be distinguished from gods because all things are part of a monistic whole.

Then again, he might very well say, "You're over-analyzing books that I didn't take seriously when I was writing them."

I have read a lot of Moorcock, but other than the Elric saga, I didn't like his work much, so I'm not very objective. If there are any serious Moorcock enthusiasts on this board, I'd be interested to read your viewpoints.


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