Oct 252010

This is one that thing that has bugged through every edition of D&D. Your characters pretty much become weapons of mass destruction. Let’s play this out in our imaginations.
At the beginning of your adventuring career, even the city guards were threat to you but now that you’ve got few levels under your belt things are different. You have bigger things to worry about. You’re about to face a gang of evil adventurers in the town square. After a few fire balls, lightning bolts, cloud kills and the follow up with an animate dead or two, the humble little village turns into a charred undead-ridden ruin.
I know the player characters are the epic heroes of the world. I get that. But what about those high level big bads. Are they just waiting for our group of heroes to show up? If you throw in your average array of monsters, the life expectancy of your average villager is pretty darned short and miserable.
What am I trying to say with this little rant? Make your world make sense. You don’t have to sit down and figure out the socio-economic impacts of each and every spell and magical trinket. But a world populated with people and things that can easily lay waste to whole regions needs to have some internal logic that put those high level creatures into a role that makes sense.
Just think about it.

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 Posted by at 11:54 am

  3 Responses to “Sorry, Your Village Was Just Collateral Damage”

  1. Amen Brudda! I know you and I have been talking about this.. That is something that always bothers me about higher level campaigns.. The huge effects of spells and they are never accounted for.

  2. Spells. Monsters on the ecosystem. Or heck even relatively low level stuff can cause all sorts of weird crap.

  3. I try to relate this stuff to real-life history. The ancient Romans or Nazi armies invaded and occupied a lot of small villages. Their siege machines and tanks probably caused no less damage to those town squares than a fireball or lightening bolt. There would be loss of life and villagers living in fear.

    Now enter the heroes (e.g. the Allies liberating Nazi occupied towns, etc). There was even more destruction as they fought for the village. The beleaguered villagers could only put their heads down and endure the storm as their town was being destroyed. If the heroes triumphed, the people came out to the streets and celebrated. Not unlike what RPG heroes would expect after they “saved” the town from monsters.

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