Sunday, August 16, 2009


I'm writing the Wizard's Shop section of Ye Olde Shoppe, and it's reminding me of how annoying D&D is.

The alleged "puporse" of cantrips in the first place (or 2nd place, since they were introduced in 2E) was to provide "flavor." Wizards ought to be able to do minor magic spells that don't go boom; after all,what did they study all of those years as an apprentice?

However, it quickly became apparent that Prestidigitation was the most game-changing spell avaialbale to a 1st level wizard.

In 3E they layered nn the disclaimers: it can't duplicate any spell, it can't create anything useful, it can't distract or fool anybody, and its effects only last an hour. They might as well said, "it can't be used outside of a dungeon." Apparently wizards learn these petty tricks, and then stop studying or improving them so they can learn useful stuff like Magic Missle.

There's a book called Mauve: How One Man Invented a Color That Changed the World. Its about how a new color, and a new dying process, literally changed the world. Yet we're to believe that wizards, who all have huge INT scores, actually decided that duplicating a crossbow bolt once a day was amore profitable use of their time than revolutionizing the world of fashion.

Nonetheless, even in its crippled form, it still changes everything. There's no point in spending hundreds of gold to import rare spices when a 1st level wizard can duplicate them by the pound with a wave of his hand. True, they only last for an hour, but he can use metamagic to make that two hours, and how long does a meal take to eat, anyway?

Grand balls would be forever changed; ladies would retire briefly every hour or two, to return with fresh makeup and an outfit in a completely different color scheme. Dental hygiene would be greatly improved; polished teeth signify your status as a noble just like jewlery and fine clothes

The medieval world hadn't quite figured out the distillation process. Prestidigitation gives it to them for free. "Here, clean this lb of liquid of all the water in it." Never mind what effect this would have on chemistry.

And yet not a single published module describes these amazing changes to the world. Well, except for Eberron, but that's just silly.

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