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Thread: What exactly are the rules of Magic that the Conclave enforces?

  1. #1
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    Default What exactly are the rules of Magic that the Conclave enforces?

    In the thread about Sorcerers, we started talking about what differentiates Sorcerers from Wizards of High Sorcery outside of pure mechanics. Leaving aside for the moment what Wizards of High Sorcery should be in 5e (Wizards, Theurgists, Warlocks, or all types of arcane spellcaster) what makes an arcane a renegade? I came up with 7 principles of magic which seems to match the lore of the setting.

    I would suggest that a renegade mage is one that:

    1. Displays negligence or lack of control over magic by allowing it to surge out of control.

    This is probably the most non-controversial and most supported law in the novels. I think we all agree that the wild sorcerer build is something the WoHS would hate and persecute. Likewise devastating events like
    Raistlin creating the wild magic Plains of Dergoth or Lyim unleashing the magic-resistant Medusa Plague and letting run wild.


    2. Practices necromancy that interferes with the transmogrification of the soul (creating intelligent undead) or seeks to cheat death through lichdom.


    People have disagreed with me about this before, but given the 5e necromancer doesn't have options by default to create intelligent undead, I think it really fits. Intelligent undead are also a lot harder to control (create one ghoul, wright, wraith, or vampire and you could end up with a whole city of them) so the risk that magic will slip out of your control is always present. As well, Lichdom seems like it would cause stagnation in magic, as the lich will hoard magic instead of passing it on to the next generation, feeding on the souls of young mages like Fistandantilus and snuffing out their potential. The 5e lich is very Fistandantilus-esque, needing to devour souls or devolve into a demi-lich.

    3. Destroys spellbooks, scrolls, magical items or arcane artifacts.

    One thing I liked that was mentioned in the novels was that mages would keep magic items and spells they found but could not use and traded it with other alignments. Really showed that magic came before their own philosophies and ethics. In other settings a mage would seek to destroy a Hand of Vecna, but in Dragonlance a mage either guards it or takes it to the Tower so a new powerful black mage could be born for the next campaign. I like that.

    4. Disrespectsor defiles sites sacred to the lunar dieties (ToHS, Academies, holy sites) , as this is neutral ground for arcane spellcasters of all types to trade and learn from each other.

    Let's face it, mages of different robes probably hate each other. Without neutral ground there is no way to trade lore, information, magic items, and promising mage apprentices.

    5. Participates in the suppression of the open practice of the magical arts.

    Being an enemy of a black robe mage who is causing problems in your community and breaking the law is fine. Making or enforcing laws to prevent practice of the necromancy, enchantment or conjuration schools is not fine.

    6. Seeks to use arcane magic to alter the flow of time or seek to gain power to surpass the gods.

    Pulling a Raistlin Majere is a no-no. I would probably revive the lore in the 1e Dragonlance adventures that any divine or arcane spellcaster who seeks to surpass 20th level has to leave Krynn for planes beyond.

    7. Unleashes free willed extraplanar creatures on the world of Krynn, or allowing such creatures to live.

    Similar to the undead problem, letting fey, demons, astral horrors, or other such creatures wander loose on Krynn is essentially allowing magic to rage out of control.

    -------------------------------------------------

    So what does the community think?

    These sets of rules would make wild sorcerers an anathema, warlocks under suspicion, and all the other types of magic free to practice. Which is I think what we want. Are there any rules you would add, or do you take issue with any of these rules? Do you think one or more of these rules could be phrased better? Let me know!
    The official canon of Dragonlance, for a variety of reasons, is not as good as it could be. I do it better.

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    8. Solicits others to break rules 1-7.
    eg: If Godwin the Good knows that Blairwold the Black has acquired a tome of powerful evil spells, Godwin can't hire thieves to steal/destroy it anymore than he could do so himself.
    "Here's to the successful end of another stupid and poorly planned adventure." — Aram Anni-Padda

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    I would add "Openly kills or wounds other wizards on holy/neutral ground."
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    3. Destroys spellbooks, scrolls, magical items or arcane artifacts.

    One thing I liked that was mentioned in the novels was that mages would keep magic items and spells they found but could not use and traded it with other alignments. Really showed that magic came before their own philosophies and ethics. In other settings a mage would seek to destroy a Hand of Vecna, but in Dragonlance a mage either guards it or takes it to the Tower so a new powerful black mage could be born for the next campaign. I like that.
    This is such a great hook and could make for some great character moments, say for example if your party does find an evil spellbook or artifact and the mage wants it preserved but the cleric or paladin wants it destroyed.
    Chris Pierson ended the Taladas trilogy and, gasp!, left the continent still there for the most part. Well, except for the rainbow isles. and the panak. and the cha'asi. and the boli gnomes. and kristophan. Ok, so he nuked most of it. Hey, it's Pierson. Deal with it. -Talinthas

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    In Dragons of the Hourglass Mage Justarius wanted to dissolve the Conclave when he thought that Ladonna and the other Black Robes had been involved in the creation of draconians, so there is probably a rule against using magic to mutate living creatures.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bguy View Post
    In Dragons of the Hourglass Mage Justarius wanted to dissolve the Conclave when he thought that Ladonna and the other Black Robes had been involved in the creation of draconians, so there is probably a rule against using magic to mutate living creatures.
    Hmm... I don't know about that. If we aren't allowed to create draconians for example, what about baleful polymorph? What about curses like Raistlin's pupils? Plus, all the monsters that wizards bred and created.

    Maybe Justarius was just being unreasonable?
    The official canon of Dragonlance, for a variety of reasons, is not as good as it could be. I do it better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ferratus View Post
    Hmm... I don't know about that. If we aren't allowed to create draconians for example, what about baleful polymorph? What about curses like Raistlin's pupils? Plus, all the monsters that wizards bred and created.

    Maybe Justarius was just being unreasonable?
    Maybe the prohibition is just against using magic to create new species. That would still allow wizards to use polymorph spells and curses/buffs but would prohibit using magic for things like making draconians or Raistlin's later experiments that created the Live Ones. (This could also fall under your Rule 6 as creating new life forms could be considered acting as a god.)

    Alternatively maybe the prohibition is simply against using magic to commit or attempt to commit genocide. (Certainly transforming the great majority of the good dragon's children into an entirely different species could and should be considered an attempt to commit genocide against the good dragons.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by ferratus View Post
    Hmm... I don't know about that. If we aren't allowed to create draconians for example, what about baleful polymorph? What about curses like Raistlin's pupils? Plus, all the monsters that wizards bred and created.

    Maybe Justarius was just being unreasonable?
    Well, I would assume that this follows rule 7, where draconians might actually be Abishai demons possessing mutant baby dragon bodies.

    Or that this follows rule 1, that draconians like Bozak and Aurak, being unregistered magic users, could be uncontrolled magic that might run amok.
    Last edited by Weldon Chen; 02-22-2017 at 12:56 AM.
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  9. #9
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    You left of two big ones.

    1. Practices sorcery.
    2. Refuses to take the test.

    Anyone who gains sufficient power and does not join the order is a renegade.

    Also, anyone whom defies the order is a renegade.

    I disagree with your rule 2. I think most orders accept any practice of magic. Even doing something as evil as creating undead they can not control. As long as there is some value to it in magic, it would be allowed.

  10. #10
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    The Holy Six are clear that Ariakas and Raistlin are Black Robes in good standing. Dracart, too, is portrayed as a Black Robe in good standing in DL9 Dragons of Deceit (the source in which he originally appears). Raistlin has a seat on the Conclave—undoubtedly a seat that had been vacated by Ariakas or Dracart. So did Fistandantilus. Numerous Black Robes are portrayed as being in the service of the Dragonarmies, and Dalamar (a Black Robe in good standing) serves Raistlin. My only point is that I reject any interpretation of the Conclave that precludes Black Robes from actually being involved in any evil plot, and demanding that all these characters be retconned as Renegades. Black Robes are evil; therefore, the Conclave must not have rules against evil, like any of the anti-Raistlin things mentioned in the OP.

    With that in mind, I should think that the rules would presuppose that the Black Robes are going to be doing evil things, and the White Robes are going to be opposing them, and vice versa; therefore, the gist of the rules would largely be centered around the idea of the Towers being “safe spaces”*where the outside conflicts may not play out. That’s what is really tricky about it, IMO. In essence you’re saying everyone has to be “good” towards each other at the Tower. I’m sure over the centuries lots of loopholes have been found, and many of the rules were created to plug them.

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