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    Canonfire :: View topic - What would happen to Oerth if the God of Magic was slain?
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    What would happen to Oerth if the God of Magic was slain?
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    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:12 pm  
    What would happen to Oerth if the God of Magic was slain?

    I was thinking about what happened to Toril when Mystra, the God of Magic was slain. Basically all hell broke loose. Something called the Spellplague wracked the planet, causing many wizards to go insane or perish. Great devastation ensued across Faerun as the Spellplague's blue fire mutated or annihilated everything in its path. Whole cities were destroyed, whole sections of the surface world fell into the Underdark, whole countries vanished and were replaced by lands from Toril's sister world, Abeir.

    Toril was hit hard, all because the God of Magic was slain.

    So, what do you think would happen to Oerth if Boccob was killed? The same cataclysmic changes?

    Oerth is a little different, though, as it does have at least one other god who has Magic in her portfolio: Wee Jas. Perhaps Wee Jas (or another god) would just assume Boccob's portfolio and life would continue?

    Also, another thing to consider is that magic is treated a little differently in GH compared to the Forgotten Realms. In GH, arcane magic just "is". It permeates the universe and can be tapped by wizards and sorcerers alike. I'm not sure if Boccob is supposed to govern/maintain arcane energy or if he is simply the patron of magic (ie. whether he is around or not really doesn't effect this power source).

    In FR (well, through 2nd and 3rd edition), the game designers invented the concept of the Weave. Basically the Weave is a lattice work of magical energy that permeates the universe. Where there are tears, there are dead magic zones. It was Mystra's job to maintain the Weave - she, in a way, "was" the Weave. So, when she perished, the Weave collapsed and there was a major magical backlash. I'm not sure what the status of the Weave is now in 4th edition. I think magic just "is" in FR now (magic recovered without the need for the Weave but spellcasting was changed forever ... ie. 4E magic replacing 3E magic).

    Cheers :)
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    Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:19 pm  

    I think, in GH, the gods exist because of magic, not otherwise.
    GreySage

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    Fri Apr 22, 2011 5:36 pm  

    Are you perhaps thinking of the latest trilogy in WotC's great Faerun "travesty?"

    Book One: Tyr kills Helm.

    Book Two: Cyric and Shar kill Midnight/Mystra.

    Book Three: (a) Tyr abdicates his godhood and with Ilmater's help, his powers are passed to Torm. (b) Lathander is revealed to actually be Amuanator. (c) A Balor and his armies invade Celestia; a war which is still being waged at novel's end. (d) Azuth's comatose body is washed up on the beach of one of the "bubble" realms that are all that remain of the Astral Plain, which was destroyed by Mystra's death. (e) In which all the main characters die -- to no purpose. Shocked

    Is that what you're thinking of? Confused

    Yeah, as Chaoticprime said -- Oerth doesn't work that way. But, given that the World of Greyhawk is owned by the same people -- a.k.a. WotC -- anything's possible. Mad

    But we can always hope to remain "forgotten" and "unnoticed" by the "Powers that Be." Wink
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    Fri Apr 22, 2011 6:08 pm  

    Run for the panic button!!
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    Fri Apr 22, 2011 7:05 pm  

    I always considered Faerun's deities to be like some kind of screwed up high-school sitcom. The principle makes a mean new rule, and everyone scrambles to raise their GPA to avoid being targeted by it, then it turns out the Principle was just trying to make them show character. Everybody is always angst-filled. The tough kids always posture to look tougher, the moody kids always stand in the corner listening to Depeche Mode, the annoying cheerleader and her boyfriend, the werepanther--I mean football captain talk down on everyone else for not having enough team spirit.

    Cyric is the screwed up kid in the green-Army Jacket who everyone is afraid is going to bring a gun to school. Helm is the faculty apologist student who is actually just too freaking stupid to move against the current. Faerun sucks.
    GreySage

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    Fri Apr 22, 2011 7:20 pm  

    Hell, they can't even keep their own "story arc" in sync. Mad

    When the gods walked the realms, it was because Ao had banished them there for both ignoring their worshipers and for stealing two relatively unimportant scrolls. (Upon their recovery, Ao destroyed them before all the gods.) Surprised

    Ao was shown to be the Over-god of "his" universe and, in the final pages, it was shown that, not only did Ao answer to a Higher Power, but the Higher Powr had instructed him to "fix things" in "his" universe. Shocked

    Now, the gods are killing each other and, in doing so, destroying the Astral Plain -- who knows what havoc has been wrecked upon Toril yet -- and Balors are invading "heaven" with their armies, yet Ao and his Superior are nowhere to be found. Confused

    Ridiculous. Razz

    Anytime those guys at WotC run out of ideas to jump start a "campaign world," they introduce another "World War." Pathetic. rolleyes

    I'm just saying. Wink
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    GreySage

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    Fri Apr 22, 2011 7:30 pm  

    As others have said, I desperately hope that Greyhawk is never treated like the Forgotten Realms. The constant interferrance of the gods in the world minimizes the roles of the player characters. Greyhawk even has rules to prevent the gods from doing such a thing.

    I also hate cataclysms being written into cannon every time there's a new edition of the game published. In FR, they even added new magic rules when they published the Spellfire collecting card game. In know they wanted to sell the cards, but adding a new kind of magic that didn't require the study of any spellbooks was just stupid. Oh, wait! Is that were the Sorceror class came from?! Evil

    In WoG, every race/civilization has its own pantheon of gods and godlings. If the god of magic from one of those pantheons bites the dust, it may effect the balance of power amongst the remaining gods and it may effect the stability or even existence of some demi-planes controlled by that particular god, but it wouldn't destabilize the existance of magic itself.

    All in my humble opinion, of course. Wink

    SirXaris
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    Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:00 pm  

    SirXaris wrote:

    I also hate cataclysms being written into cannon every time there's a new edition of the game published.
    SirXaris


    The analogy I think of is a house. Suppose you are tired of the paint job in your bathroom. If you are a normal person, you paint the bathroom.
    However, if you are WotC, and you don't like the paint job in your bathroom, you burn the entire house down and start over.

    The sad thing, is that it seems to the WotC, this actually makes sense!
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    Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:06 pm  

    I maintain a manner of cosmological Jenga tower for my world. Basically, reality is the perception of the gods (the tower). When a new god pops up or an existing god vanishes, a block is pulled out of the tower and stacked on the top. Now, there are no players taking turns pulling out blocks or anything, but every so often one still gets yanked. A god can die if it believes that it can. The gods created mortals, and if the gods bestow the belief in them that gods can die, mortals can kill them. These beliefs take effect as changes in the cosmology begin gradually to alter the perception of the gods. As time passes, they forget themselves. When the tower does finally fall, it may mean the end of reality, or just the end of the reality supported by the gods.

    When they offed Lolth in my GH, it left a hole in reality. Another being could step into her shoes and take up her divine spark, filling the hole, but the player characters chose to instead let her spark return to "wherever" it was issued from, and then established an order of warriors to prevent it from being filled. That's pretty vague, but I am a mortal who was describing it to other mortals.
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    Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:52 pm  

    There is a quantifiable worry that magic dies out in Oerth though. We know that by 998 CY magic has faded quite a bit. Now is this because of the demise of Boccob/Wee Jas or just a weakening of some Greyhawkian "Weave?" Maybe it's just the old worshippers=deity's power debate. Also Weave aside, Greyhawk has its share of magical phenomena that could be tied into quantifying magic, such as Oerthblood, Shadow Helices and Dweomerstones.
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    Sat Apr 23, 2011 1:42 am  

    mortellan wrote:
    There is a quantifiable worry that magic dies out in Oerth though. We know that by 998 CY magic has faded quite a bit. Now is this because of the demise of Boccob/Wee Jas or just a weakening of some Greyhawkian "Weave?" Maybe it's just the old worshippers=deity's power debate. Also Weave aside, Greyhawk has its share of magical phenomena that could be tied into quantifying magic, such as Oerthblood, Shadow Helices and Dweomerstones.


    Good point, magic is meant to fade significantly by 998 CY. This could only be a worshipper=deity's power debate for divine magic. Arcane magic acts independently from the gods and just "is" from what I gather. Perhaps it is a power source that just gradually dies out, or perhaps it goes through fluxes of high and low power.

    P.S. What the heck are Shadow Helices?
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    Sat Apr 23, 2011 2:47 am  

    Magic fading may describe how it is perceived on Oerth. My vote is that by 998 technology has a more significant presence, and the cabal of magic has been thrown out, like the Freemasons once were. The presence of magic may retard technological innovation, but not kill it.

    I do not think magic will have faded by then in any way other than how much attention is paid to it. 500 years is more than enough time for a few industrious people to revolutionize the way the world works with the boon of invention.

    Basically, the middle class is destined to overpower the upper class. The upper class, who has status based on divine right, will have to compete with the better-funded middle class. Magic, being another manner of "divine right" will be treated the same way. Those "without" tend to band together and make those "with" stand to the side sooner-or-later.

    All it would take is the right mind with the right capital--the Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun has enough loot in it to destabilize any country in the Flanaess.

    Also, I hate the use of the word Arcane. It describes the insides of an ark (a box). In 3rd Edition Wizards cast box-interior magic. You'd think Monte Cook owned a dictionary.
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    Sat Apr 23, 2011 3:04 am  

    chaoticprime wrote:
    Also, I hate the use of the word Arcane. It describes the insides of an ark (a box). In 3rd Edition Wizards cast box-interior magic. You'd think Monte Cook owned a dictionary.


    Had a quick search on the internet and got:
    ar·cane
    adj.
    Known or understood by only a few: arcane economic theories. See Synonyms at mysterious.
    [Latin arcnus, secret, from arca, chest.]

    arcane [ɑːˈkeɪn]
    adj
    requiring secret knowledge to be understood; mysterious; esoteric
    [from Latin arcānus secret, hidden, from arcēre to shut up, keep safe]
    arcanely adv
    arcaneness n
    GreySage

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    Sat Apr 23, 2011 4:45 am  

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:

    Now, the gods are killing each other and, in doing so, destroying the Astral Plain -- who knows what havoc has been wrecked upon Toril yet -- and Balors are invading "heaven" with their armies, yet Ao and his Superior are nowhere to be found.

    Ridiculous.


    Well, the only thing Ao has really shown any interest in was the theft of the Tablets of Destiny, whose absence motivated him to imprison every god in avatar form and banish them to the mortal world. As ridiculous as that storyline was, if he'd never acted so decisively in all of previous history (and there's no evidence he had in anything short of an asteroid almost wiping all life from the planet during the Tearfall) despite all the previous godswars that world had suffered, there's no reason to assume the events of the Spell Plague are enough to stir him. That cataclysm resolved itself on its own, after all; what were a few million dead mortals and a realignment of the planes to a being whose power overshadows the gods as the power of the gods overshadows mortals? The anthill was kicked down, but it was rebuilt again in a mere century. Not even worth the bother.

    In metafictional terms, Ao was a terrible idea and not using him is a good thing. Better to pretend he never existed.

    As for his superior, it doesn't act at all. That's what Ao's job is. Ao's superior is in charge of all (or many) of the overgods. If Ao is doing a poor job, he might be reprimanded or replaced, but I don't see the overboss getting its hands dirty interfering with the insignificant events of one tiny world. It has bigger things on its plate. It's not like Toril was an important world, like Oerth.
    GreySage

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    Sat Apr 23, 2011 5:12 am  

    chaoticprime wrote:

    Also, I hate the use of the word Arcane. It describes the insides of an ark (a box). In 3rd Edition Wizards cast box-interior magic.


    While it's derived from a Latin root meaning "ark or box," even the Latin predecessor of arcane, arcanus, didn't mean "something inside a box." It means something hidden and understood by few. That is to say, people have been using the word metaphorically for ages.

    There are a lot of words whose meaning has changed drastically over the centuries, and "arcane" is absolutely one of them. If you go back far enough the word "bed" meant "grave," "language" meant "tongue," and the word "box" meant a kind of tree, but if you attempt to use those words exclusively in their original senses, their arcane senses if you will, you're only going to confuse people, which goes against one of the major purposes of language.

    There are other terms they might have used to distinguish the magic of mages from the magic of clerics (occult, eldritch), but "arcane" is perfectly good one, as any dictionary will tell you. A cleric depends on faith, not knowledge of hidden arts.
    GreySage

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    Sat Apr 23, 2011 5:23 am  

    mortellan wrote:
    There is a quantifiable worry that magic dies out in Oerth though. We know that by 998 CY magic has faded quite a bit. Now is this because of the demise of Boccob/Wee Jas or just a weakening of some Greyhawkian "Weave?" Maybe it's just the old worshippers=deity's power debate. Also Weave aside, Greyhawk has its share of magical phenomena that could be tied into quantifying magic, such as Oerthblood, Shadow Helices and Dweomerstones.


    Also ley lines (see, in particular, The Star Cairns).

    And it's been suggested that Tharizdun is responsible for the loss of Oerth's magic.
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    Sat Apr 23, 2011 6:06 am  

    dead wrote:
    chaoticprime wrote:
    Also, I hate the use of the word Arcane. It describes the insides of an ark (a box). In 3rd Edition Wizards cast box-interior magic. You'd think Monte Cook owned a dictionary.


    Had a quick search on the internet and got:
    ar·cane
    adj.
    Known or understood by only a few: arcane economic theories. See Synonyms at mysterious.
    [Latin arcnus, secret, from arca, chest.]

    arcane [ɑːˈkeɪn]
    adj
    requiring secret knowledge to be understood; mysterious; esoteric
    [from Latin arcānus secret, hidden, from arcēre to shut up, keep safe]
    arcanely adv
    arcaneness n


    "Arcanus" is the Latin word meaning "secret", related to the word "Arca", meaning "a box," and "arcere" which means to "close up." If it is the established descriptor to an entire body of study, it is not secret, a box, or within a box. "Arcane" is the vocative, singular, and masculine form of the word.

    After browsing a dozen or so online dictionaries, I was able to ascertain that the word was first used in 1547, and that it was first used sometime before 1547.

    Had I to guess (though I know I am right) it comes from Aleister Crowley (the guy responsible for Magus being a kind of wizard) used the terms Arcane and Arcana to describe his own version of the Tarot, the Thoth, taken from his book, The Book of Thoth. This was well after 1547.

    Most online dictionaries follow the philosophy of Descriptive Definition, which gives it stipulative meaning based on "common use." Contrary to this, are Prescriptive Definitions, which do not allow room for vagueness. You cannot define a word with another word. An example of Descriptive-defined words would be "decimate" and 'devastate." These two words do not mean the same thing, but are commonly held as such.

    Unfortunately it is almost impossible to find a Prescriptive Dictionary these days. http://www.amazon.com/Highly-Selective-Dictionary-Extraordinarily-Literate/dp/0062701908/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1303568211&sr=8-1 This and its companion Thesaurus are wonderful books to have.

    Calling magic "arcane" even defined as it is commonly is a logical fallacy. It is taught in schools, and is categorized.
    GreySage

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    Sat Apr 23, 2011 6:12 am  

    rasgon wrote:
    In metafictional terms, Ao was a terrible idea and not using him is a good thing. Better to pretend he never existed.


    Brother, have you got that right! Laughing

    rasgon wrote:
    It's not like Toril was an important world, like Oerth.


    Now that is a happy thought! Happy

    rasgon wrote:
    And it's been suggested that Tharizdun is responsible for the loss of Oerth's magic.


    Death to Dread Tharizdun! Evil Grin

    But, hey, that's just the way I feel. Wink Laughing
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    Sat Apr 23, 2011 6:25 am  

    rasgon wrote:
    And it's been suggested that Tharizdun is responsible for the loss of Oerth's magic.


    We'll always have psionics. Nothing can kill that power source, right? Laughing
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    Sat Apr 23, 2011 6:42 am  

    I really had to get out of the habit of reading D&D novels years ago. I enjoy pulp goodness, but they started to feel like they were imitating one-another, and usually are not particularly well written. RA Salvatore's writing is like the subtitles to a porn flick. "Well, since we're both here, and armed, let's fight!" Just replace "armed" and "fight" appropriately.

    Their cost is really too much now, too. For as long as I can remember, buying a new movie has been about twenty bucks. The transition to DVD has largely unaffected this, unless you either go real cheap (Wal-Mart Bin) or real classy (Blu-Ray director's cut with bonus disc). Fantasy novels used to be four dollars when I was a kid, and I have used ones that state they were once even less. My brother bought two Pathfinder novels and they were ten bucks each! I could not even finish either of them, they were just too dull; with played-out characters that I did not care what happened to. The trend of plot-twists has become an unwanted addition to popular fiction. It used to be that, in a mystery story, the whole point of the story was to uncover the ending. Now days you are not even aware there is a mystery to facilitate the "big reveal."

    Why do good authors avoid franchise fantasy novels, and game company employees who are not good authors write novels anyway? I bet I can guess the answer.
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    Sat Apr 23, 2011 7:46 am  

    There's a great deal of truth in what you say, Wes.

    I look forward to the return of quality material, rather than the mass produced "assembly-line" stuff we get today. Just not worth the money.

    I really had to force myself to purchase the final book in the trilogy I mentioned above. It came out sometime ago. Then I had to force my way through it.

    The mystery really is gone, as you've said. The best we can hope for is a "surprise" now and again; as in the "unexpected turn of events," or some such.

    So, let's repeat ourselves here: Today's novels just aren't worth the money. Sad
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    Sat Apr 23, 2011 7:56 am  

    chaoticprime wrote:
    Contrary to this, are Prescriptive Definitions, which do not allow room for vagueness.


    Or linguistic change, or common sense, or anything connected to the real world as it is.

    I like knowing the origins and the fine shades of meaning in words; this is indeed extremely useful. It's also important to keep in mind that language is not static and it's impossible to take a snapshot of the way words are used at one moment in time and claim that this is the "true" meaning of the word, or we'd all still be speaking the Saxon language or the Indo-European root language or the deepest African ur-tongue. The English language has no governing body with the power to define such things even now, let alone for all eternity. Nor would it be desirable to try. There's something laudable in linguistic creativity, as Shakespeare fans know. Creative uses of language should best be attempted armed with knowledge, but it should be attempted. Language should live and breathe and grow, not die stagnant, buried in a box.

    Quote:
    Calling magic "arcane" even defined as it is commonly is a logical fallacy. It is taught in schools, and is categorized.


    "Secret" doesn't mean "not taught or categorized," and "arcane" doesn't mean simply "secret." It means it's a form of lore that's hidden from the uninitiated, kept safe as if in a box. If you delve further past the Latin, you end up with the Indo-European root "ark-" meaning to contain, to guard, as in the Greek arkos, defense.
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    Sat Apr 23, 2011 9:33 am  

    Some other god would step up and try to claim the title of "God of Magic".
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    Sat Apr 23, 2011 10:54 am  

    rasgon wrote:
    chaoticprime wrote:
    Contrary to this, are Prescriptive Definitions, which do not allow room for vagueness.


    Or linguistic change, or common sense, or anything connected to the real world as it is.

    I like knowing the origins and the fine shades of meaning in words; this is indeed extremely useful. It's also important to keep in mind that language is not static and it's impossible to take a snapshot of the way words are used at one moment in time and claim that this is the "true" meaning of the word, or we'd all still be speaking the Saxon language or the Indo-European root language or the deepest African ur-tongue. The English language has no governing body with the power to define such things even now, let alone for all eternity. Nor would it be desirable to try. There's something laudable in linguistic creativity, as Shakespeare fans know. Creative uses of language should best be attempted armed with knowledge, but it should be attempted. Language should live and breathe and grow, not die stagnant, buried in a box.

    Quote:
    Calling magic "arcane" even defined as it is commonly is a logical fallacy. It is taught in schools, and is categorized.


    "Secret" doesn't mean "not taught or categorized," and "arcane" doesn't mean simply "secret." It means it's a form of lore that's hidden from the uninitiated, kept safe as if in a box. If you delve further past the Latin, you end up with the Indo-European root "ark-" meaning to contain, to guard, as in the Greek arkos, defense.


    Most languages, particularly those like you mentioned, are changed because of radical and sudden alterations to their society--such as being conquered by another culture.

    Language being based off of whichever context a word evolves to be defined by is sensible? You are saying that if there are enough "wrongs" it becomes a "right?" And that's the Real World? You say there is no governing body to regulate language? What about Oxford and US Websters, both of which are the recognized standards for the English language? Most countries actually do have appointed Language Regulation.

    If it is impossible to take a snapshot of a word and claim it as the "true" meaning, then why do new dictionaries come out every year? That seems, quite literally, like someone is taking a snapshot of a word, at a point in time, and calling it the "true" definition.

    The purpose of a word is to represent a particular context. If that context continually changes, it defeats the purpose of even having a language. Language cannot stagnate--the purpose of language is communication. Once it works, it works. For instance, Merriam-Webster intentionally altered the spelling and meaning of many English words for the American people to make them further different from the English. Is that the creative use of language you are talking about?

    Lauding Shakespeare as a master of evolving language is comical. He very famously had a vocabulary far greater than most people do today. The whole point of your "creative use of words" line is to use words in continually new context, whereas in Elizabethan English new words were constantly being invented, thus lending to Shakespeare's vocabulary. Having studied writing in iambic pentameter, a vast vocabulary is a necessity.

    The Greek words "arkos and arkein" are comparatives to "arcanus", but are not etymologically a root for the word "arcane". They are similar words, but not a root for the meaning.

    And, yes, "secret" DOES mean not be taught. Oxford defines it as, "not known or seen or not meant to be known or seen by others; [attributive] not meant to be known as such by others; something that is kept or meant to be kept unknown or unseen by others; something that is not properly understood; a mystery; a valid but not commonly known or recognized method of achieving or maintaining something." Do any of those qualify as capable of being a part of education? If the point is not to tell anyone, and it is taught anyway, it is not secret.

    You can personify language all you want and task it with the will to "live and be free." I would think language would yearn for conformity. If there are static meanings for all words, and if everyone uses them, you have a society with undiluted diction. When you begin to emphasize context over diction, you get lost meaning unless your view of context matches that of your intended subject of communication.

    The whole point of language is to get everyone speaking the same one, not to continually bastardize the meanings of its vocabulary to keep it from becoming inactive.
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    Sat Apr 23, 2011 11:23 am  
    Magic and Ley lines in Oerth

    Well! Now, this is a pretty interesting topic!

    As others have asserted above, I believe that magic is something that just is. It's a natually occuring phenomenon. While there is no question that the gods made everything that is "natural", I don't really see it as something that is directly controlled, anymore than the sea is something directly controlled by Osprem, or the caves are directly controlled by Beltar. Each of them has patronage of these things, and certainly - being gods - they can control the phsyical world as much as they want. But, Osprem doesn't go around changing the tides or Beltar randomly creating new cavern complexes.

    That being said, I don't think that Boccob really does anything directly controlling the magic of Oerth. He certainly can, of that there is no doubt. He can absolutely control access to the flow of magic, but that equates more - to me - to being a bouncer at the door, or a board operator for a radio show, screening the calls. He controls the ability to get to the magic, more than he does control the actual magic itself.

    But, I think of magic more like the ley-lines that Rasgon points out from The Star Cairns. If anyone's ever read Robert Lynn Asprin's Myth Adventures series, they have a good idea of what ley-lines are and how they work. And, for years, I have imagined them that way. Essentially, ley-lines are invisible energy conduits that criss-cross their way across the landscape. Some are minor, and are no bigger than a drinking straw, and others are like huge subway tunnels of magical energy flowing unseen over hill and dale (and even UnderOerth). Where there are confluences of energy, places became hugely important to casters. But, like a river, they move gradually over time - which is why, for example, The Star Cairns talks about the cairns no longer being situated over the ley-lines. Theoretically some could even dry up, or dwindle over time. Especially if one applies to magic the theory that there is no destruction of energy, it merely changes form. Which also goes to the point that ley-lines can change in type of magic, and even contain more than one type of magic at different points in their flow.

    Okay ... I said all of that to say this: If Boccob died, I don't think that magic itself would change, but, I think that there would be some kind of change. I can't imagine such an enormous force in the world ceasing to exist, and the world not changing. I do think that other deities would pick up some slack in the interim, but, eventually, I think that there would be another god of magic emergent. Just as if Lendor died, I don't think that Time itself would cease to be, but, there would be another someone who took up the office of its maintenance.

    Although ... I could certainly agree that it is not outside the realm of possibility that without a bouncer to open the door to the nightclub, at first there wouldn't be anyone getting in that night. Or, the phones wouldn't get answered if there weren't an administrative assistant to pick up the line ... or whatever metaphor you like. Boccob's death might mean that no one could figure out how to get to the magic. Which might also include gods. Those that have the "magic" in their domain lists, may still be able to, and that would be another whole horrible situation. So ... while not exactly the "Time of Troubles", it would certainly be a troubling time.
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    Sat Apr 23, 2011 11:28 am  

    What if Boccob were the one responsible for making magic accessible? I mean, the spells in the game are really sort of illogical at times--perhaps this is Boccob's doing?

    He could be the Rosetta Stone that allows mortals to interpret and manipulate magic.

    Even still, maybe he's like a Router; wild, chaotic magical energy feeds into him, and he then distributes it outwards in an accessible form to many at once?

    I like this prospect. Considering this, if Boccob were somehow slain, magic may literally fade away, as mortals would be incapable of accessing it in such a form as to allow them to manipulate it.
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    Sat Apr 23, 2011 11:41 am  
    Boccob controlling access

    @ ChaoticPrime ... yep, that's kind of exactly what I was saying ... I think that we probably were typing at nearly the same time. Happy
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    Sat Apr 23, 2011 1:00 pm  
    Re: Boccob controlling access

    Icarus wrote:
    @ ChaoticPrime ... yep, that's kind of exactly what I was saying ... I think that we probably were typing at nearly the same time. Happy


    I was actually replying to your post, I just did not want to quote the whole thing and make another giant post.

    "What if Boccob were the one responsible for making magic accessible?" Was a rhetorical statement referencing your post.

    I like this for a reason for the stupidity of spells. I would think there would be more, "Stop Dude's Heart" spells, but, nope, we get a fireball.
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    Sat Apr 23, 2011 1:27 pm  
    Re: Boccob controlling access

    chaoticprime wrote:
    I was actually replying to your post, I just did not want to quote the whole thing and make another giant post.... a rhetorical statement referencing your post.

    Yay, for trimming replies!

    I have been giving it more thought sine I posted, and the more Ithink about it, I find it more and more likely. Boccob seems to me to be the sort that doesn't actively get involved - you know, the whole "Uncaring One" thing. But, he would limit what sorts of magic do and don't work. As you were saying, that may explain why we have the sorts of spells we do have.

    Also, it also explains why more divinations don't reveal more about Oerth. There's the long-standing idea (which, I believe, was put forth in The Adventure begins) that try as they might, Diviners arn't able to find out a lot about the geography and cultures of the rest of the planet ... perhaps this is the doing of Boccob, since he is the patron of divination. Whatever whims drive him, he doesn't care for us to know about the rest of the world.

    Perhaps, he controls not only magic, but, how mortals access it in various ways. Not just an on/off switch, but choosing when particular types of magic work, and how particular spells function or not.
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    Sat Apr 23, 2011 2:03 pm  

    This theory could work in how the leveled magic system exists. I think its just plain stupid, personally, with the (x)/lvl crap. If Boccob is truly uncaring, they he lacks reason. Perhaps his manipulation of magic, and its subsequent format, is purely through contact with his divine self? Like iron oxide polluting a stream, residual thoughts pollute the stream of raw magic that rains down upon the material plane. Those industrious magic-users have caught these wayward thoughts and put them to page. Because they are the musings of a god, however, their ability to dwell in mortal memory is tenuous, and will fade away once called upon.

    I devised an alternative magic system awhile back. Basically you have this attribute called Focus that is 0 minus your level of magic-user (a 3rd level magic-user would have a Focus of -3).

    To cast a spell, you must roll a d20 and roll over your Focus. If successful, the spell is cast. If a failure, the spell is miscast. In either event, your Focus increases by the level of the spell. So casting a 2nd level spell is a +2, then another 1st level spell will raise your total Focus penalty to +3.

    Spells known is still limited by level, but spells per day are regulated this way. An hour of rest/study/prayer/eating berries removes one point from your Focus penalty.

    Some spells, that have a duration, must be maintained round by round, such as shield. The Focus penalty does not accumulate, but to keep it going you still must roll at whichever total your Focus is currently at.

    I made a table for spell-component substitution with increased raises to your Focus penalty. I just made it +2 per component not met, more or less. I also made the casting in armor penalty equal to the AC bump the armor provides.

    The abstraction for magic-users is literally their ability to focus on casting spells; with priests I made it Faith, instead of focus, and it counts down from 20, instead of up do, requiring rolls made under your score. The abstraction represents your deities current faith in your character. I made casting healing spells on opposing-aligned characters cost double.
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    Sat Apr 23, 2011 3:36 pm  

    chaoticprime wrote:
    You are saying that if there are enough "wrongs" it becomes a "right?" And that's the Real World?


    Well, I wouldn't phrase it that way, but yes, it is. If enough people stop using "wife" in its original meaning of "woman," then that's not what it means anymore. Sorry. If you try to use it in the old Saxon sense, you're not communicating with people anymore.

    Quote:
    You say there is no governing body to regulate language? What about Oxford and US Websters, both of which are the recognized standards for the English language? Most countries actually do have appointed Language Regulation.


    Yes, and note that the OED is descriptive, not prescriptive, and that the "most countries" you're referring to aren't English-speaking, which is the language we were talking about.

    You'd be better off citing something like the Chicago Manual of Style, but even that's not the only standard around, and its advice is different from the advice that would've been given a century ago. Language changes.

    Quote:
    If it is impossible to take a snapshot of a word and claim it as the "true" meaning, then why do new dictionaries come out every year? That seems, quite literally, like someone is taking a snapshot of a word, at a point in time, and calling it the "true" definition.


    Haha, yes, but dictionaries, as you said, are updated every year. What I was saying is that you can't arbitrarily point to a word as it was spoken in 1300 or 1500 or 1800 or 2000 - the "snapshot" I mentioned - and say "this is the true meaning of the word for all time." Because language, sadly, doesn't work that way.

    Quote:
    Is that the creative use of language you are talking about?


    Well, no, I was talking about Shakespeare, but changing language for political reasons is nothing new, either. If people manage to be successful at it, then yup, language has changed. But there's no government body or anything that forced anyone to adopt Webster's, just the free market.

    Quote:
    Lauding Shakespeare as a master of evolving language is comical. He very famously had a vocabulary far greater than most people do today. The whole point of your "creative use of words" line is to use words in continually new context, whereas in Elizabethan English new words were constantly being invented, thus lending to Shakespeare's vocabulary. Having studied writing in iambic pentameter, a vast vocabulary is a necessity.


    You're going to have to disagree with me at some point before I'll understand why you think the idea that Shakespeare creatively used language is "comical." He'd rearrange syntax, invent new words, and use words in contexts that no one had ever used them before. That doesn't mean he didn't have a large vocabulary; quite the opposite.

    Quote:
    The Greek words "arkos and arkein" are comparatives to "arcanus", but are not etymologically a root for the word "arcane". They are similar words, but not a root for the meaning.


    I didn't say arkos was the root. I said it was descended from a common Indo-European root.

    Quote:
    Oxford defines it as, "not known or seen or not meant to be known or seen by others; [attributive] not meant to be known as such by others; something that is kept or meant to be kept unknown or unseen by others; something that is not properly understood; a mystery; a valid but not commonly known or recognized method of achieving or maintaining something."


    Right. Because if two people know a secret it isn't a secret anymore.

    Actually, the definition of "others" in the definition you quote doesn't mean "everyone else on the planet." It means what it sounds like: others. That is, people who aren't in on the secret. If three people know something they don't want a fourth person to know, that's a secret. Three-quarters of the group can share the secret freely.

    Quote:
    Do any of those qualify as capable of being a part of education? If the point is not to tell anyone, and it is taught anyway, it is not secret.


    Have you never heard the phrase "trade secret?" Everyone in a specific trade gets to know; it's outsiders that the secret is kept from. With magic, there are deeper secrets that practitioners discover as they rise in level. Ninth-level wizards know secrets that eighth level wizards don't, who know secrets that seventh-level wizards haven't learned yet.

    Quote:
    When you begin to emphasize context over diction, you get lost meaning unless your view of context matches that of your intended subject of communication.


    Context always changes meaning. Period. If I call my brother a jerk affectionately, it has a different meaning than if I call someone I don't like a jerk, in a fit of anger.

    A good writer or speaker learns to communicate context. Hoping everyone you speak to knows which antique definition of the word you've chosen you mean isn't effective communication.

    Quote:
    The whole point of language is to get everyone speaking the same one, not to continually bastardize the meanings of its vocabulary to keep it from becoming inactive.


    The English language is nothing but bastardized. That's how it came to be. It's (to simplify) mongrel French spoken ineptly by a Saxon peasant... but it didn't stop there. Dialects died out as people with better swords and guns made their way of speaking dominant, the vowels shifted, Shakespeare and Tyndale taught it to soar, it's absorbed words from all over the world, and it's continued to change to this day... as the continuously updated dictionaries make clear.

    And maybe you'd prefer that language remain stable forever. Maybe it'd be better if it did. But it doesn't. It changes as new influences reach it, as linguistic innovators influence people, and as we demand different things from it. It happens, and yup, that's the real world for you.
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    Sat Apr 23, 2011 6:37 pm  

    Icarus wrote:
    ...If Boccob died, I don't think that magic itself would change, but, I think that there would be some kind of change. I can't imagine such an enormous force in the world ceasing to exist, and the world not changing.


    I agree. "Something" would have to happen, even if it's just a token something. For example, magic maybe goes wild or dead for a few days before the celestial realm stabilizes. Maybe the epic-level PCs have to go on some sort of planar quest to help sort things out.

    If Procan died, for example, you'd expect the seas to experience a deathly calm for a few weeks or something...

    D&D wizardry is quite complex and ritualistic. It is a language-arcane that I think must have been taught to mortals by the gods (by Boccob?). How else would mortals know what arcane words to write into their spellbooks to cast sleep? How else would they know they need a pinch of fine sand, rose petals, or a live cricket to successfully cast the spell? So, maybe, in the early ages of Oerth, Boccob taught wizardry to a few promising candidates and, since then, mortals have passed wizardry down through the generations.

    So Boccob, in his eccentricity, invented this complex process as the only way for mortals to tap the arcane energy of the cosmos. Even sorcerers are bound, in part, by Boccob's law as they, too, have to use the same verbal, somatic and material components a wizard has to use. It is just that sorcerers "focus" their spells a little differently - instead of spell books and memorisation, they focus their spells with their inherent magical apptitude.

    If Boccob dies, perhaps the new god who replaces him decides on a new way to access magic... bye bye 3E magic, come on down 4E magic! Laughing


    Last edited by dead on Sat Apr 23, 2011 8:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Sat Apr 23, 2011 7:45 pm  

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:
    Ao was shown to be the Over-god of "his" universe and, in the final pages, it was shown that, not only did Ao answer to a Higher Power, but the Higher Powr had instructed him to "fix things" in "his" universe.


    Does Oerth have an over-god? I know TSR's other 2 main settings did:

    Dragonlance: The High God
    Forgotten Realms: Ao
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    Sat Apr 23, 2011 8:14 pm  

    As a forward, I want to inform the moderation staff that I do not consider this debate one of hostility, but of discussion. I enjoy a good argument, and in no way do I feel any feelings of anger towards Rasgon.

    Quote:
    Well, I wouldn't phrase it that way, but yes, it is. If enough people stop using "wife" in its original meaning of "woman," then that's not what it means anymore. Sorry. If you try to use it in the old Saxon sense, you're not communicating with people anymore.


    We were not talking about the word "wife," which is unlikely to see context as far removed from its intended meaning as "arcane." We are talking about the writers of 3.0 Dungeons & Dragons using it to modify the word "magic." There is a clear distinction between society finding new meaning for a word, and pop culture wrecking a word. Look at the word "paladin." It used to be a proper noun, now its just a regular noun, all thanks to wanton misuse by gamers.

    Quote:
    Yes, and note that the OED is descriptive, not prescriptive, and that the "most countries" you're referring to aren't English-speaking, which is the language we were talking about.


    You did not correctly ascertain my meaning. You said there was governing body to establish language--OED an AWD are both considered the standard by all institutions of learning. I was not assigning either of them credibility based on their descriptive or prescriptive natures, only that they are considered the standard for language. There is no appointed government office that governs language, but if, as you say, everyone believes that its the standard, that's how it works in the Real World.

    Quote:
    You'd be better off citing something like the Chicago Manual of Style, but even that's not the only standard around, and its advice is different from the advice that would've been given a century ago. Language changes.


    The CMOS is about words, not language as a whole. It is about the presentation of printed media. It is our national standard for the format used for writing. In no way is it the source for the meaning of words, only the style of which they should be presented on a page.


    Quote:
    Haha, yes, but dictionaries, as you said, are updated every year. What I was saying is that you can't arbitrarily point to a word as it was spoken in 1300 or 1500 or 1800 or 2000 - the "snapshot" I mentioned - and say "this is the true meaning of the word for all time." Because language, sadly, doesn't work that way.


    Firstly, this reads nothing like what you were saying in its original form. Now, dictionaries do nothing BUT point to the meaning of a word at some arbitrary point in time. I did not even suggest that "the true meaning of the word for all time" was my meaning, nor did you, initially. This still does not change the fact that every time they publish a dictionary they use popular meanings of words, even if the most recent incarnation was from fifty years ago. This is exactly taking a snapshot of the word and calling it, as you initially stated, the "true" definition.

    Quote:
    Well, no, I was talking about Shakespeare, but changing language for political reasons is nothing new, either. If people manage to be successful at it, then yup, language has changed. But there's no government body or anything that forced anyone to adopt Webster's, just the free market.


    Again, you form a logical fallacy. Above you stated that if enough people believe something to be one way, it is true. Is there another source for the definition of words that is NOT a dictionary? USA Websters is the dictionary stocked in every elementary school in the nation. It is so prolific that "Webster's" has become synonymous with the word "dictionary," a feat that you should be happy about. There is no government office (other than the Secretary of Education) to govern language. Perhaps this governing can be achieved as part of her office by making a deal with Webster's to stock every school in the country with their periodicals?

    Quote:
    You're going to have to disagree with me at some point before I'll understand why you think the idea that Shakespeare creatively used language is "comical." He'd rearrange syntax, invent new words, and use words in contexts that no one had ever used them before. That doesn't mean he didn't have a large vocabulary; quite the opposite.


    I said it was comical that you lauded him for doing something he did not actually do, which was evolve the language. He invented scores of words just so they would fit in with the rhyming style of iambic pentameter. I did not argue that he was creative, I argued that he did nothing to evolve the English language. The majority of his vocabulary has been abandoned with the bulk of the rest of Elizabethan English. You suggested that language should "live, breath, and grow" when in fact nearly every word Shakespeare contributed to the language is no longer in use.


    Quote:
    If you delve further past the Latin, you end up with the Indo-European root "ark-" meaning to contain, to guard, as in the Greek arkos, defense.

    I didn't say arkos was the root. I said it was descended from a common Indo-European root.


    PIE as an argument has no weight. It is a hypothetical language, with no direct evidence of its existence, which was reverse-engineered from Latin, Sanskrit, and Greek. So if Latin does not identify with the PIE meaning of "Ark-", but Greek does, how does that make the meaning of Arcane, evidenced as having evolved from the Latin root, have any part of the Greek word "Arkos?"

    Quote:
    Right. Because if two people know a secret it isn't a secret anymore.

    Actually, the definition of "others" in the definition you quote doesn't mean "everyone else on the planet." It means what it sounds like: others. That is, people who aren't in on the secret. If three people know something they don't want a fourth person to know, that's a secret. Three-quarters of the group can share the secret freely.


    You felt awfully liberal with this one. I did not say "everyone else on the planet," but that is what it means. The recurring theme of the different definitions is "those not already a part of." If it is secret, then it ceased to be when one person told another. Why can you not admit that renaming it "Arcane Magic" for 3.0 was just wrong? It has been called Magical Spells, Magic-User spells, and Wizard Spells in previous editions, and it was under those names that its organization was designed. If they wanted it to mean "secret" they could have called it "clandestine," or, hell, "secret." It was called "arcane" because they thought it sounded cool and they needed to call it something due to the advent of magic-users and priests having their spell lists somewhat merged. I feel quite strongly if they had called it "Boner Magic" I would see apologists for the game defending it no differently.

    Quote:
    Have you never heard the phrase "trade secret?" Everyone in a specific trade gets to know; it's outsiders that the secret is kept from. With magic, there are deeper secrets that practitioners discover as they rise in level. Ninth-level wizards know secrets that eighth level wizards don't, who know secrets that seventh-level wizards haven't learned yet.


    Owning a business, no matter how small, in the gaming industry has acquainted me to this terms quite well. As to how that applies to the Dungeons & Dragons game, I am unsure. From what I can tell, you are clearly stating that characters in an RPG world are aware of the abstractions of their experience level. Here is another logical fallacy. How would wizards know the level of their lessers to initiate them into their higher order of their trade? How would a magic-user know he can cast 3rd level spells if in order to prove he can be trusted to learn 3rd level spells he has to cast a 3rd level spell? What other ways could a magic-user tell the difference between his own level and that of another, see how many times he can shank himself with a 1 HP dealing needle and whoever collapses last is the highest level? Simple, because most fantasy settings have magic taught in schools. I do not know how to make a corn-cob pipe, as they are only manufactured in one city in America, but that does not make corn-cob pipes arcane.

    Quote:
    Context always changes meaning. Period. If I call my brother a jerk affectionately, it has a different meaning than if I call someone I don't like a jerk, in a fit of anger.


    You missed the point here, and actually agreed with me. Yes, context does change meaning. Period. If you call your brother a jerk, affectionately, it has a different meaning than when you call someone you do not like a jerk, in a fit of anger. That's exactly right. Now, that is because your brother and you share affection, which likely means you have similar contextual views. If you and your brother did not share those views, you would end up calling him a jerk, and he would have no recourse but to be insulted or confused.

    Quote:
    A good writer or speaker learns to communicate context. Hoping everyone you speak to knows which antique definition of the word you've chosen you mean isn't effective communication.


    When regarding antique words, yes, you are right. A good writer or speaker who relies on context is not a good writer or speaker at all, however. If the purpose of your writing is to pass on ideas, which near all writing is, it is better to use the proper meaning of words rather than their contextual equivalents. The percentage of your audience that is unsure as to the literal meaning of your words will still take them from context, as most words literal meanings can stand for themselves in context; those who do understand then know your precise message.

    Quote:
    The English language is nothing but bastardized. That's how it came to be. It's (to simplify) mongrel French spoken ineptly by a Saxon peasant... but it didn't stop there. Dialects died out as people with better swords and guns made their way of speaking dominant, the vowels shifted, Shakespeare and Tyndale taught it to soar, it's absorbed words from all over the world, and it's continued to change to this day... as the continuously updated dictionaries make clear.


    How does this keep the language from becoming stagnant? I stated that the point of a language is to get everyone to speak the same one, in regards to your claims that language will become stagnant if it does not continually change. How does your above reply prove your first point? How is this bastardization necessary as you have claimed?

    Quote:
    And maybe you'd prefer that language remain stable forever. Maybe it'd be better if it did. But it doesn't. It changes as new influences reach it, as linguistic innovators influence people, and as we demand different things from it. It happens, and yup, that's the real world for you.


    So your argument is that a word means what it means as long as its cited enough by people, that an authority-on-language cannot govern language unless in an official capacity, regardless of what most people believe, that the standard for style and punctuation for a language is more valid than a dictionary, that something can be less than the sum of its parts, that Shakespeare's contributions to the now-dead Elizabethan English language had a lasting impact on Modern English, that by reinterpreting given definitions of a word to impress a rival is a valid tactic of debate, that magic-users know what their experience level is, and that, ultimately, not saying what you actually mean, as long as it sound like you mean it, is the best manner of communication?

    I am also fairly certain that terms such as "the real world" are subjective.


    Last edited by chaoticprime on Sat Apr 23, 2011 8:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    Sat Apr 23, 2011 8:18 pm  

    dead wrote:
    Does Oerth have an over-god?


    Not officially . . . thank Boccob! Wink Evil Grin Laughing
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    Sat Apr 23, 2011 8:38 pm  

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:
    dead wrote:
    Does Oerth have an over-god?


    Not officially . . . thank Boccob! Wink Evil Grin Laughing


    The gods of Oerth are better than those of others settings. Ultimately, they're not characters, they're setting. They are the template you model your characters after.

    They do not have worldly concerns that tempt them or cause them to doubt. They are on a plane of existence that epitomizes they and each of their aspects. Oerthian gods are hard-boiled poster children of their alignment, they are not like Faerun gods who stand around big tables in the sky worrying about how Perseus is going to beat Kalabos. They all do what they do best, and this naturally brings them into conflict over the mortal realm. None of this is done out of any form of desire, but simply out of each of their inherent natures.

    Good gods get along with good gods, because that's what good does. Evil gods are evil, and thus make enemies of their own as often as they do allies. That is what evil just does.

    Boccob, being neutral, would never take an action instigated by any motivation. He is the Uncaring. There is no High God to coerce him into teaching magic to mortals. He cannot, by his very nature, have intentionally given it for mortals to use.

    I believe the Oerth gods found dominion over the material plane in places that suited them, not that they created it. Procan is not the sea, he took to the sea for its fickle and unforgiving nature appealed to him.

    In my Salinmoor campaign there's an old saying, "Procan Keeps His Own."

    There is an old shanty sung by the pirates of the Azure Sea that goes,

    "All yonder ships above the waves, their bounty make your own.
    All yonder ships down in the deeps, had best be left alone."
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    Sat Apr 23, 2011 8:53 pm  

    chaoticprime wrote:
    They do not have worldly concerns that tempt them or cause them to doubt . . . they are not like Faerun gods who stand around big tables in the sky worrying about how Perseus is going to beat Kalabos . . . Boccob, being neutral, would never take an action instigated by any motivation.


    Yep! Happy

    The only exception to these "Oerthian rules," -- as it were -- is their joining together (including "Uncaring" Boccob) to thwart/subdue Tahrizdun. Evil Grin
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    Sat Apr 23, 2011 9:02 pm  

    chaoticprime wrote:
    Boccob, being neutral, would never take an action instigated by any motivation. He is the Uncaring. There is no High God to coerce him into teaching magic to mortals. He cannot, by his very nature, have intentionally given it for mortals to use.


    Yeah, forgot about the Uncaring part. Maybe other gods taught magic to mortals, or Boccob's predecessor?
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    Sat Apr 23, 2011 9:11 pm  

    Mystic-Scholar wrote:
    dead wrote:
    Does Oerth have an over-god?


    Not officially . . . thank Boccob! Wink Evil Grin Laughing


    In my Great Wheel cosmology, the worlds of Oerth, Toril and Krynn kind of form a triumvirate. Each of these worlds has things in common, the language of magic is the same, the ways one casts spells is the same (ie. same verbal, somatic and material components). Maybe this uniformity across prime material plane worlds is attributable to the influence of over-gods working together?

    Just like the Wizards Three catch up (Mordy, Elminster and Dalamar), so too do the three over-gods of these worlds... The High God, Ao and "X" hanging out in a bar.
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    Sat Apr 23, 2011 9:15 pm  

    dead wrote:
    In my Great Wheel cosmology, the worlds of Oerth, Toril and Krynn kind of form a triumvirate.


    Perhaps in the Spelljammer setting. But I'm not a fan of Spelljammer. Wink

    dead wrote:
    Just like the Wizards Three catch up (Mordy, Elminster and Dalamar), so too do the three over-gods of these worlds... The High God, Ao and "X" hanging out in a bar.


    Whatever works for you. But, as I said, Oerth has no "Over-god." Not in canon. Wink

    So, feel free to create your own. But you're not going to find one in any canon sources.
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    Sat Apr 23, 2011 9:18 pm  

    The common factor between magic and those three worlds is that there is a deity credited for its distribution (in Krynn's case there are three).

    In Toril, when Mystra was punched to death by Slingdar the Eye-Fister, magic became unstable as she was supposed to be the chick keeping it running in orderly fashion.

    In Krynn, when the gods ran away from the impending Third Edition, (they came back, wusses) the three gods of magic, Solinari, Lunitari, and Nuitari, took their titular moons with them, ending magic, stating that they were the reason for its presence in Krynn.

    In Oerth, Boccob is the god of magic, but as he in incapable of doing anything deliberate, it is likely a side-effect of his simply being there. Icarus' theory stands as the likeliest explanation of how this is executed, and I feel it is supported by the above to examples .

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    Sun Apr 24, 2011 7:46 am  

    chaoticprime wrote:
    As a forward, I want to inform the moderation staff that I do not consider this debate one of hostility, but of discussion. I enjoy a good argument, and in no way do I feel any feelings of anger towards Rasgon.


    Okay, as a preface of my own, I don't feel any hostility either, and I'm very worried I'm trying everyone's patience by continuing this completely off-topic debate.

    I don't think Chaoticprime and I are that far off, philosophically. Both of us love words, the origins of words, and love finding the precise words that mean the exact things we mean. I do think linguistic prescriptivism is a deeply misguided approach; it involves trying to take something that's changed considerably to get where it has, picking an arbitrary point in the continuum (not the present point, but some point in the golden age before it was "bastardized"), and then shouting like Gandalf before the Balor, that it shall move no further. I think that's counterproductive and futile, as a general rule.

    In this specific case, Chaotic was citing a meaning of "arcane" - pertaining to boxes - that's literally centuries out of date. In subsequent missives he changed his story and made a smaller claim: that wizard magic on Oerth isn't much of a secret. That's more subjective, really. It's certainly a secret from the vast majority of the world's population. It's a magic that depends on discovering magical secrets rather than refining one's faith in the gods. And it's a word that's been associated with magic and the occult in fantasy fiction for some time (and here online dictionaries aren't much use; perhaps the coinage was by Crowley, and perhaps not).

    In the end, it's really a vastly different perspective; Chaotic's dander rises in instances of what he sees as linguistic entropy. My dander is raised by the spectre of linguistic prescriptivism. And that's not something that can or should be resolved here.

    Quote:
    I was not assigning either of them credibility based on their descriptive or prescriptive natures, only that they are considered the standard for language.


    The reason they're considered credible sources is because they're (especially the OED) good at describing language as it's been actually used, in the past and present. Their credibility comes from their descriptive, not prescriptive nature. If they attempted to define language as their editors thought it should be used, based on an imagined golden age from which there could be no deviation, they wouldn't be as credible. Yes, Webster's did help redefine American English at one point, and it succeeded largely by being there first. Good for Webster's, I guess; but it isn't in that business anymore, and wouldn't be successful if it was. It's no longer the only American dictionary out there, and people would pretty much ignore it if it tried to make of American English something that it wasn't.

    Quote:
    The CMOS is about words, not language as a whole. It is about the presentation of printed media.


    Granted. I think it does a better job at defining linguistic standards than any one dictionary does, but your mileage may vary, and admittedly they do do different things.

    Quote:

    Firstly, this reads nothing like what you were saying in its original form.


    I disagree! It's exactly what I meant to say originally, and I have to admit I was feeling pretty disgusted at you for misreading me so dramatically. But it may have been my fault for being unclear! I guess that's something to keep in mind whenever we misinterpret each other; there's responsibility on both sides of the equation for reading carefully and writing carefully.

    Quote:
    I did not even suggest that "the true meaning of the word for all time" was my meaning


    If you're not convinced that the meaning of a word at some arbitrary point should remain the meaning of a word forever, then we're closer to the same page than I thought. The difference is only in the specifics: you're fixated with a given definition of "arcane" that you believe is truer than fantasy fiction's use of the word. Fair enough! The D&D use of "arcane" seems appropriate enough to me, though, and I think your outrage is more exaggerated than it ought to be. In the end, our dispute is over degrees of secrecy; you'd like magical secrets to be more secret than I would.

    Quote:
    Again, you form a logical fallacy. Above you stated that if enough people believe something to be one way, it is true. Is there another source for the definition of words that is NOT a dictionary?


    Uh, no, you're way off target here, chasing a red herring or possibly a mirage. Possibly an illusory herring, manifesting in the desert like some finny djinn. We're not arguing over what dictionaries are for. Don't feel too bad, since I thought we were, too. Apparently your view is closer to mine than I thought, though.

    To be clear, what a dictionary does is it records how words have been used, by writers, mainly, so that other people can look it up later. The best ones mention archaic meanings as well as current ones, and their sources are usually writers deemed respectable, rather than the ignorant text-messaging masses. Don't feel the need to say, "But that's what I've been saying all along!" I know it is! I thought it wasn't.

    Yes, if enough people use a word in a certain way, eventually dictionaries will catch on and accept that this has become a valid use of the word. Before dictionaries catch on, there will be those who insist that the new way is "wrong." Sometimes it's appropriate to do so, since given uses of words can look particularly ignorant and misinformed to people a writer would rather impress.

    In this particular case, I think your protests over "arcane" are inappropriate. It works very well in the 3e+ D&D context. You're no longer claiming the word exclusively refers to boxes now that you've actually looked up the meaning in dictionaries, which is good. Your remaining case is not very strong. We disagree! That's fine. I'm not so inclined to forcefully rebut your interpretation of the word "secret."

    Quote:

    I said it was comical that you lauded him for doing something he did not actually do, which was evolve the language. He invented scores of words just so they would fit in with the rhyming style of iambic pentameter. I did not argue that he was creative, I argued that he did nothing to evolve the English language.


    You would be incorrect, since so much of Shakespeare has entered contemporary speech (and I don't mean just his words, but things like the way we can say 'much ado about nothing' or 'et tu?' and everyone knows exactly what we mean), but at least we agree that he used language creatively, which was my main point. My intention was to compare what Shakespeare did to what any good writer can do: innovate linguistically. These innovations don't need to be lasting! The English language isn't a linear thing. Like, A Clockwork Orange has a bunch of new words in it that really haven't caught on, but the linguistic experimentation in the book is still a glorious thing, even if Burgess subsequently disavowed it. That's okay! If something catches on outside it's particular literary context, that's fine, and if it doesn't, that's fine too. I'm only affirming the joy of innovation for its own sake. That's what I mean by "living, breathing, and growing." The innovations represent growth, even if they're evolutionary dead ends. That's how life is, sometimes! You're evidently disgusted with the anthropomorphism of this, but whatever. Feel free to dislike anthropomorphism. I'm not offended.

    And I accidentally deleted the rest of what you said, and don't feel like going back and copypasting it. I think I've said what I intended to, anyway.

    Oh, for the record, I don't think my argument requires people on Oerth to literally be aware of character levels in order for the general idea that advancing wizards are privy to greater and greater secrets to hold true. One could argue that with 1st edition level titles they are aware of character levels, though. It's a valid point of view, but as it happens it's not one I hold. I treat levels as an abstraction, as Chaoticprime seems to as well. Please read my argument with that in mind.
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    Sun Apr 24, 2011 9:24 am  

    IMO, what would contribute to the eventual disappearance of magic from Oerth (as foretold in the setting's earliest products), would not be the death of any god of magic, for magic exists apart of the gods.

    If Tharizdun is the culprit, he would not target Boccob or Wee Jas, but the Serpent.
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    Sun Apr 24, 2011 9:26 am  

    I have retyped my response over and over, and I cannot seem to get it right.

    Everything you just said is near complete blather.

    You do not further your case of "arcane" fitting in its 3.0 use beyond saying that it does.

    You skirt around every denunciation I put forth for you previously.

    You continue to reference this subjective real world of yours without a shred of evidence to support it.

    "It's no longer the only American dictionary out there, and people would pretty much ignore it if it tried to make of American English something that it wasn't. "

    Like this. How could you know this? I know that this particular dictionary is considered the standard in the United States. I know that it is in every institution of education in the United States.

    I am also baffled by your continued Shakespeare point. You now say that he helped evolve English by contemporary speakers quoting lines from his works verbatim? Well, Arnold Schwarzenegger can claim that.

    I never once claimed that "arcane" meant anything other than "hidden nside of a box". I repeatedly claimed, "if it does mean secret, how is it then, appropriate?"

    You can agree to disagree with me all you want, but until you actually use some kind of evidence other than your own opining, 3.0's use of arcane is still incorrect.

    I can safely say that were this a formal debate, I would have cleaned your clock. There is just no proof that "arcane" means anything but "the inside of a box." You would have won it for me, having championed discrediting dictionaries as "unofficial."

    I bet we could do a street poll of a thousand people, and almost none would actually know what the meaning of "arcane" would be. This is pure conjecture on my part, but it does seem a reasonable claim.

    I can prove, beyond any shadow of a doubt that there is an absolute history of the word arcane meaning "hidden inside of a box."

    You cannot produce credible evidence to support 3.0's usage of it. I will defer that "arcane" can mean "concealed" in the modern sense.

    Hell, I will even defer that it means "secret" just to move this along.

    Someone show me where in the 3.0 Player's Handbook or Dungeon Master's guide where our above accepted meaning of "secret" is applicable to describe the magic of wizards.

    I believe that the real criminal here is the word "esoteric." Esoteric is claimed to be a synonym of many words, from obfuscated, to arcane, to ominous.
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    Sun Apr 24, 2011 9:44 am  

    Another school of thought sees the Serpent as simply the ramblings of Vecna's crazed mind. With this in mind, we have an alternate take which arguably cleaves closer to canon:

    A prophetic book called Imaginary Landscapes appears in Vecna Lives! (p. 24). The book contains:
    "a chapter where the divinations of the world disappear as Magic (a living being) dies, leaving only the art of subjective divination. In the tale, the hero (such as there is one in this odd, little book) discusses the death of Magic with the Incomplete Man-a character whose body is constantly dividing and reassembling during the course of the conversation. The Incomplete Man takes credit for the death of Magic, which he brought about to make himself whole."

    The implication, of course, is that the Incomplete Man is Vecna, whose power grab is the module is preceded by the failure of divination magic.

    In this case, Vecna may bring about the death of magic not by making whole his body, but his mind, finally realizing that the Serpent is just a shard of his fragmented sanity.

    The obvious problem with this scenario is that Vecna is currently only a lesser deity. But perhaps this will only happen after Vecna has accumulated enough power to become Oerth's first "overdeity." Also, the scenario tends to overuse Vecna, making him the "greatest threat to the universe" again.
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    Sun Apr 24, 2011 9:52 am  

    dead wrote:
    chaoticprime wrote:
    Boccob, being neutral, would never take an action instigated by any motivation. He is the Uncaring. There is no High God to coerce him into teaching magic to mortals. He cannot, by his very nature, have intentionally given it for mortals to use.


    Yeah, forgot about the Uncaring part. Maybe other gods taught magic to mortals, or Boccob's predecessor?


    Depending on how far you want to go back with the Ur-Flan, Vecna: Hand of the Revenant has this bit spoken by Vecna's mother:

    “Our ancestors are said to have learned arcane magic from a great serpent they named Mok’Slyk who appeared in the sky one night. It gave the gift of wizardry to all the Ur-Flan people. . . .”
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    Sun Apr 24, 2011 12:16 pm  

    The problem I have always had with the idea of overgods, such as Ao, is that it smacks too much of real world religion. That's the problem we had back in the '80s with so many religious leaders claiming that D&D would lead us kids into devil-worship. rolleyes

    Now, reading through the Vecna modules, I see the same thing in the Serpent - just from the evil side. The Serpent seems to represent some evil overgod (the real world Devil/Satan). I don't like this line of thinking at all.

    In my campaign the gods are the most powerful entities in the D&D multiverse with some, like Tharizdun, being so powerful that the others had to gang up on them to prevent them from ruining everything. Many other super-powerful entities exist as well with power comparable to the gods (Arch Devils/Demons, Obyriths, Elder Elemental consciences, etc.), but that is the extent of power in the multiverse. (And, these entities came into being only after the multiverse itself did.)

    Magic is natural the same as Oerth is natural and the Ethereal and Astral planes are natural. Some gods identify with them and enmesh their own existance into that naturally-occuring phenomena to such an extent as to seem inseparable, but the naturally-occuring elements' existance is not dependent upon the existance of any god who may have joined with it.

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    Sun Apr 24, 2011 2:55 pm  

    Comparing the real world to Greyhawk scientifically and theologically just does not work.

    I do not add any manner of High God to my GH setting, as I have not, and would not, ever use it in a campaign. I plan nothing for my own GH world that does not directly involved my game table.

    Defining absolutes is always a problem in a fantasy game. I have even gone so far to suggest that Tharizdun was never real at all, and was representative of the chaos before the gods created mortals (allegedly as something to do). Basically, they were becoming bored to death, and needed hobbies.
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    Sun Apr 24, 2011 5:37 pm  

    Robbastard wrote:
    Depending on how far you want to go back with the Ur-Flan, Vecna: Hand of the Revenant has this bit spoken by Vecna's mother:

    “Our ancestors are said to have learned arcane magic from a great serpent they named Mok’Slyk who appeared in the sky one night. It gave the gift of wizardry to all the Ur-Flan people. . . .”


    Hmm, I forgot about The Serpent. I don't know too much about it to be honest... I've never read Vecna Reborn.

    Sounds like The Serpent is some kind of primordial - the spirit of magic. It sounds like he sides on the darker sides of magic, though? Necromancy, dark summonings, etc. Would The Serpent be the same being that taught magic to mages of all alignments across Oerth? Or just to the Ur-Flan first, and then the arcane arts spread to other cultures across the Flanaess?

    P.S. I don't know much about the Ur-Flan, either. From their write-up on GHwiki, they sound like they were neutral mages at best but many were probably evil - it seems they liked the dark arts?
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    Sun Apr 24, 2011 8:46 pm  

    Quote:
    RA Salvatore's writing is like the subtitles to a porn flick. "Well, since we're both here, and armed, let's fight!" Just replace "armed" and "fight" appropriately.


    I almost spit coffee out of my nose! However, I preserve my utmost literary contempt (well, second to Rose Estes) for Ed Greenwood, whose "novels" are essentially continous fight scenes.

    As to why good authors avoide the sub-genre, I think it is because they are too constrained by WoTC. Nothing like Fire and Ice would ever past their marketing department... after all, they are after teenagers.
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    Sun Apr 24, 2011 9:08 pm  

    The Ancient Brethren are a race/order of beings akin to the Gods, though not the same. Mok'slyk -- a.k.a. The Serpent -- would not be an Over-God, given that he has his "equals," several of whom are named in the article sited by Robbastard: http://www.canonfire.com/wiki/index.php?title=The_Serpent

    The Serpent plays a part in my Caerdiralor stories and I read everything I can find on him, though there isn't much. Sad

    And the Ur-Flan were "mostly" Neutral, although those who weren't Neutral, were decidedly Evil. The official religion of Caerdiralor was the worship of Tiamat: http://www.canonfire.com/wiki/index.php?title=Tiamat

    Enjoy your "reading." Wink
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    Sun Apr 24, 2011 10:18 pm  

    I tend to view Boccob not so much as a god who has the portfolio of magic, but rather, as magic that has been personified as a god. Hence, it is not possible to kill Boccob - for as long as magic exists there is Boccob, uncaring as to how the substance of his essence is utilized.
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    Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:43 am  

    I kinda agree with One Eye's last point; but even if Boccob could be "neutralized" or "Killed" (has any GH deity been killed in cannon? I know that Vatun and Tharizdun have been neutralized/imprisoned); then both Wee Jas and Zagyg are there to take up the mantle.

    On another note; and while I don't know either individual and have no axe to grine; I would have to say that Rasgon's points about language and the meaning of words seems to have done quite the opposite of what you last wrote Prime; namely; to me, he makes FAR more sense.

    I don't know when the word "cool" came to mean something good and/or admirable as opposed to just the opposite of warm; but if a significant number of people understand that the word is being used that way; does it really matter if that's not "correct" according to a Dictionary?

    I've never owned anything 3rd or 4th Edition; yet I knew INSTANTLY when someone said "arcane magic" that they were talking about Magic Users as opposed to Clerics or Druids. The "wrongness" of the usage of the word NEVER occured to me. Obviously; this is only my experience; maybe others have different views.
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    Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:48 am  

    There's a theory that the "common" deities are all younger than the Great Migrations (or else they would have specific ethnic origins). Under this premise, Boccob has been involved with Oerth for a much shorter time than Wee Jas or the alleged Serpent.

    I don't subscribe to this theory, though.

    As for as overdeities go, Gary Gygax's novel Dance of Demons included the following beings:

    Lord Entropy, the personification of entropy (who is not the same being as Tharizdun).
    Proctor Chronos, the personification of time.
    Lady Tolerance, the personification of probability (or chance).

    "Chronos and Entropy are at opposite ends. I measure events, put the proper and necessary limits and boundaries to things. In Entropy's kingdom there is nothing, stasis. How can time exist there? Can't, of course!"

    "I am Lady Tolerance, after all. I must allow all things, even those which are inimical to my very existence such as multiple probabilities existing simultaneously. The Lord of Entropy is one such opposer, and the most deadly, I might add. Some imagine that old Chronos must be, but I spin out new lines and he busily marks and measures them. Probability and alternatives allow him to both be ever busy and persistent too."

    "Exactly so, my lady. Time does dwindle away in some aspects of the multiverse, but this wise and generous one sustains new branches."

    And time gives probability a span in which to occur, probability constrains and limits time, and Entropy attacks uniformity more readily than diversity. And Tolerance and Time are more quarrelsome than they may appear, bickering like an old married couple.

    You could compare these three to Bruce Cordell's Ancient Brethren, if you like. They're certainly not overdeities in the sense of Ao or the Highgod, whose powers seem limited to their respective crystal spheres.
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    Mon Apr 25, 2011 11:51 am  

    dead wrote:

    Does Oerth have an over-god? I know TSR's other 2 main settings did:

    Dragonlance: The High God
    Forgotten Realms: Ao

    Personally I like to think that the early Greyhawk gods defeated and imprisoned their overgod, all that remains is the dread name Tharizdun.
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    Mon Apr 25, 2011 1:35 pm  

    chaoticprime wrote:
    I have retyped my response over and over, and I cannot seem to get it right.

    Everything you just said is near complete blather.

    You skirt around every denunciation I put forth for you previously.


    I don't know if you've ever argued with anyone before, but that's nearly always the way it goes. Each side is like, "Why isn't the other person acknowledging my brilliant points? Why are their points not as brilliant as mine?" You have to account for personal bias, though. Naturally I wasn't as impressed with your points as you were.

    "Denunciation" isn't the word you want, incidentally. The word you're looking for, I think, is argument or rebuttal. I hope you've been trying to do more than denouncing, and have actually been trying to argue instead. The difference is subtle, I admit, but a denunciation doesn't require one to make any kind of intelligent argument worth commenting on, and from the context I assume you mean to imply that you have.

    Quote:
    You do not further your case of "arcane" fitting in its 3.0 use beyond saying that it does.


    See, no, I've explained it pretty carefully, though I admit there's a lot more I could do. I've been fairly lazy about this, since I thought much of it was more self-evident than it seems to actually be.

    Let's start with Merriam-Webster's definition of "arcane."

    Quote:
    known or knowable only to the initiate : secret <arcane rites>; broadly : mysterious, obscure <arcane explanations>


    This is, well, precisely the sort of thing D&D mages learn: rites that are accessible to them as initiates of arcane mysteries. Wizards learn these secrets from books and sorcerers and bards gain them intuitively as they advance in power and knowledge. But they are, in 3.x, the same spells, the same secrets.

    And this is placed in opposition to those who gain proficiency in magic not by uncovering secrets, but by gaining esteem in the eyes of a god or further connection with a cosmic force.

    It's fine to prefer another word, but to make a claim like "Monte Cook must not own a dictionary" your case needs to be clearer than it is.

    Interesting tidbit: in Green Ronin's The Book of the Righteous mythos, the secrets of arcane magic are first given to mortals by the god of magic, inside an ark. Thus, in that world, arcane magic is specifically magic that comes from the god of magic's ark. It could be that way on Oerth, too!

    Quote:
    You continue to reference this subjective real world of yours without a shred of evidence to support it.


    What I mean is language as it is used by those who write and speak it. Which is to say, language as it actually is. I find it difficult to understand how anything else could take precedence. Dictionaries don't take polls in order to discover what the "real" definition of a word, is. Rather, they allow for multiple definitions as they discover significant alternate uses for words. Older definitions may become archaic or obsolete with time, and good dictionaries generally note this.

    Here is a balanced article on the benefits and disadvantages of linguistic prescriptivism. One example it gives is that Webster's Dictionary now accepts "figuratively" as one of the accepted meanings of the word "literally." Despite the seeming contradiction, this is the way the word is often used in the real world of English speakers and writers, so it's one of the accepted meanings. It's not accepted because it's in Webster; rather, Webster accepts it because it's how the real world is.

    Quote:
    "It's no longer the only American dictionary out there, and people would pretty much ignore it if it tried to make of American English something that it wasn't. "

    Like this. How could you know this? I know that this particular dictionary is considered the standard in the United States. I know that it is in every institution of education in the United States.


    Okay, I'll amend that to say that I suspect people would ignore a prescriptive dictionary because a dictionary that fails to describe language as it's used isn't as useful as one that does. As evidence, I'll direct you to your earlier comment that prescriptive dictionaries are difficult to find.

    Quote:
    I am also baffled by your continued Shakespeare point. You now say that he helped evolve English by contemporary speakers quoting lines from his works verbatim? Well, Arnold Schwarzenegger can claim that.


    If you like, we can consider James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger to be linguistic innovators for popularizing "hasta la vista, baby," but I think we can both agree that their influence is less deep, and quoting them less interesting, than quoting Shakespeare. I'm no elitist, so I'm fine with putting Schwarzenegger on a list of people who've influenced how we use the English language, but I'd rate him very low. He can't compare to Shakespeare's influence.

    A quick begoogling brings me this article:

    Quote:
    Shakespeare also invented many of the most-used expressions in our language. Bernard Levin skillfully summarizes Shakespeare's impact in the following passage from The Story of English:

    If you cannot understand my argument, and declare "It's Greek to me", you are quoting Shakespeare;

    if you claim to be more sinned against than sinning, you are quoting Shakespeare;

    if you recall your salad days, you are quoting Shakespeare;

    if you act more in sorrow than in anger, if your wish is father to the thought, if your lost property has vanished into thin air, you are quoting Shakespeare;

    if you have ever refused to budge an inch or suffered from green-eyed jealousy, if you have played fast and loose, if you have been tongue-tied, a tower of strength, hoodwinked or in a pickle, if you have knitted your brows, made a virtue of necessity, insisted on fair play, slept not one wink, stood on ceremony, danced attendance (on your lord and master), laughed yourself into stitches, had short shrift, cold comfort or too much of a good thing, if you have seen better days or lived in a fool's paradise - why, be that as it may, the more fool you, for it is a foregone conclusion that you are (as good luck would have it) quoting Shakespeare;

    if you think it is early days and clear out bag and baggage, if you think it is high time and that that is the long and short of it, if you believe that the game is up and that truth will out even if it involves your own flesh and blood, if you lie low till the crack of doom because you suspect foul play, if you have your teeth set on edge (at one fell swoop) without rhyme or reason, then - to give the devil his due - if the truth were known (for surely you have a tongue in your head) you are quoting Shakespeare;

    even if you bid me good riddance and send me packing, if you wish I were dead as a door-nail, if you think I am an eyesore, a laughing stock, the devil incarnate, a stony-hearted villain, bloody-minded or a blinking idiot, then - by Jove! O Lord! Tut, tut! for goodness' sake! what the dickens! but me no buts - it is all one to me, for you are quoting Shakespeare.

    (Bernard Levin. From The Story of English. Robert McCrum, William Cran and Robert MacNeil. Viking: 1986).


    And this page brings a list of words apparently coined by Shakespeare, including:

    aerial
    aggravate
    brittle
    bump
    castigate
    countless
    cranny
    critical
    dwindle
    eventful
    excellent
    fitful
    fragrant
    frugal
    gnarled
    gust
    hint
    homicide
    hurry
    lonely
    majestic
    monumental
    obscene
    pedant
    radiance
    submerge
    summit
    bare-faced
    blood-stained
    cloud-capped (towers)
    fancy-free
    fore-father
    ill-starred
    heaven-kissing (hill)
    lacklustre (eye)
    leap-frog
    snow-white

    Quote:
    I never once claimed that "arcane" meant anything other than "hidden inside of a box". I repeatedly claimed, "if it does mean secret, how is it then, appropriate?"


    I admit, I'm surprised by this revelation. Even now, after bothering to look up the word, you're not admitting you were wrong about its meaning? Which of us is discrediting dictionaries?

    I love dictionaries, but the fact of the matter is that English lacks an official academy like Spanish or French have to give one any kind of official imprimatur. So English dictionaries gain what authority they have by being good at describing English words. Calling them "unofficial" isn't meant to discredit them; I think they've earned a lot of credit, actually. But they've earned that credit by being descriptive, not prescriptive.

    Quote:
    I bet we could do a street poll of a thousand people, and almost none would actually know what the meaning of "arcane" would be. This is pure conjecture on my part, but it does seem a reasonable claim.


    Maybe! Irrelevant. Everyone on the street doesn't have to have an opinion of a word for it to gain a meaning from those who use it.

    Quote:
    I can prove, beyond any shadow of a doubt that there is an absolute history of the word arcane meaning "hidden inside of a box."


    Feel free to do so! Thus far, you haven't bothered to do more than assert it. I don't actually doubt that that's part of the word's history (it comes from arcanus meaning secret, which comes from arca meaning chest), but as I've amply shown, there's far more to a word than how it was used in the past. Like, the word "avocado" comes from the Aztec "ahucatl," meaning testicle. But the word doesn't mean testicle today! The word "pedigree" is believed to come from the French "ped de gru," or crane's foot, but that's not what the modern word means. Claiming that "arcane" can mean nothing more than "pertaining to the inside of boxes" is every bit as silly as insisting that avocados are nothing but testicles.

    The Oxford English Dictionary gives the first recorded use of the word "archane" as Boorde in 1547, writing about "the Archane science of physicke." Surely he wasn't referring to a science that came from a box, so from the very first use it meant something different. Nor did he mean something secret from everyone, since I believe he was talking about physicians. Rather, this science was arcane because one had to be initiated into the trade to learn it. The OED defines "arcanists" as people with knowledge of the secret processes of manufacture, so again it refers to trade secrets, appropriate for wizards.
    Adept Greytalker

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    Posts: 594


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    Mon Apr 25, 2011 4:08 pm  

    So, nothing actually new to argue, only compounding on your prior points that I have already shot down? Every link you posted is subjective, save for the Shakespeare one. It does not really lend any evidence to your claims of him having a significant impact on the language, but I'll count a handful of words anyway, if it will justify your use of time.

    You honestly do not think that arcanus is derived from arca, as in arcanus meaning "secret" relative to the inside a box? It is a specific form of concealment.

    You have done nothing but argue relatives, which is just unacceptable in a debate. You have not presented facts, only theories or flat-out misinformation (such as the CMOS, or PIE). You keep stating your ability to interpret the meaning of the word by the majority of those who write or speak it, but you have no possible way to prove this. Its just bull-crap. You are just making up claims based on what you believe.

    I did, however, have the revelation that Arcane Magic would make sense considering that the magic is actually stored inside of a book.

    I feel that the use of the word is justified in the above context, but largely everything you have offered as evidence was a waste of your time.

    You win an argument with evidence, not with your opinion. I will not reply to this argument again.
    GreySage

    Joined: Aug 03, 2001
    Posts: 3220
    From: Michigan

    Send private message
    Mon Apr 25, 2011 6:35 pm  

    chaoticprime wrote:
    You honestly do not think that arcanus is derived from arca, as in arcanus meaning "secret" relative to the inside a box?


    Er, yes, I've mentioned that several times above, including in the post directly above your last one. That's the word's etymology, though. A word's etymology isn't the same thing as its definition, as I've shown. If you don't understand the difference between those two things, it helps explain why you have so many odd ideas.

    Neither Webster nor Oxford offer "hidden inside a box" as one of the definitions, archaic or modern, of the word "arcane." And none of the uses Oxford records for the word historically have anything to do with boxes. After spending so much time talking about how those books are the authoritative standards that determine the English language, it's strange that you would refuse to accept their definitions. If those books determine what the English language is, then you're simply wrong. If they're merely very good scholarly works writing about the English language, rather than determining it, then it's possible you have access to some arcane knowledge of the word "arcane" that the OED doesn't, or which it may be deliberately hiding from the public for nefarious reasons. But I doubt it.

    I didn't expect to convince you of anything; I'm mostly just writing for my own amusement. If you don't like using the word "arcane" to mean a kind of magic, that's fine! I can't "prove" it's the single most appropriate word there is, nor would I want to. I don't even believe that. But if your goal was to "prove" it was inappropriate, I don't think you've succeeded.

    Quote:
    I did, however, have the revelation that Arcane Magic would make sense considering that the magic is actually stored inside of a book.


    That's an interesting idea!

    Quote:
    I feel that the use of the word is justified in the above context, but largely everything you have offered as evidence was a waste of your time.


    Nope. I was having way too much fun.
    Adept Greytalker

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    Posts: 594


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    Mon Apr 25, 2011 6:57 pm  

    ...d@mn it all, so was I!

    They need to invent eSabres or something. Nothing grants satisfaction like a good ol' 18th century duel.

    We need to find a new topic to argue over, we've both re-stated the same four things about five times, each. We have now boiled down to just slinging claims of ad hominem.

    I claim that the 3.0 changed depiction of Mordenkainen was to suggest his homosexuality.
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