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Old 08-05-2014, 05:42 PM   #21
shawnhcorey
 
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Default Re: Is The trope that wizards can't use armor just an arbitrary limitation?

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Originally Posted by Murrkon5 View Post
I'm 100% with Smurf's thought. "Cold iron" has been the bane of magic and fairie (however you want to spell it) action for a very long time. Yes, even before D&D!
Except that in D&D, elves can wear armour and cast spells. oO
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Old 08-06-2014, 12:59 AM   #22
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Default Re: Is The trope that wizards can't use armor just an arbitrary limitation?

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Originally Posted by Disliker of the mary sue View Post
Hm interesting to hear this all so far, so in fiction wizards never really been armored but that just more or less not soldiers.

Yeah I just keep thinking the whole squishy wizard trope in rpgs is a one of those obvious rule patches that devolped so that classes other then magic users have a point to exist in a party. If magic user had the ability to have as high hp as a warrior and the ability to equip heavy armor without it really effecting magic then what would be the point of any class that did not use magic since at high level magic is very powerful.
But the truth is, wizards were usually squishy well before the first rpg because the archetypical wizard or sorcerer is a scholar, just as the archetypical sorceress is a noblewoman and the archetypical witch is a peasant woman.
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Old 08-06-2014, 01:22 AM   #23
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Default Re: Is The trope that wizards can't use armor just an arbitrary limitation?

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Originally Posted by shawnhcorey View Post
Except that in D&D, elves can wear armour and cast spells. oO
They wear and wield iron in Tolkien, too. And work a bit of magic in their own way.
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Old 08-06-2014, 08:14 AM   #24
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Default Re: Is The trope that wizards can't use armor just an arbitrary limitation?

How long does it take to learn to fight in armour, ride etc?

Knights were years in the making.

Studying magic and learning its intricacies likewise takes years and years of study.

So short lived races rand to pick one, while long lived races such as elves can do both.

That's how I explained it away back in the day.
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Old 08-06-2014, 02:07 PM   #25
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Default Re: Is The trope that wizards can't use armor just an arbitrary limitation?

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Originally Posted by Disliker of the mary sue View Post
Hm I been thinking about this as I consider the day my halfling warrior dies of poorly thought out planning on his sheet, is the fact that Wizards can not use armor without it effecting their ability to use magic just an arbitrary rule for those rpgs with those rules so they don't completely dominate the game? Or does it have precedent in fantasy fiction as a standard trope of sorts?
It doesn't seem to have a basis in either fiction or myth. Wizards were treated as intellectuals unlikely to be warriors in alot of pulp fantasy, but sorcerors with swords were uncommon. No armor for wizards is merely a game balance thing. RuneQuest and Stormbringer both ditched the idea with no trouble. And both before 1980.
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Old 08-06-2014, 03:24 PM   #26
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Default Re: Is The trope that wizards can't use armor just an arbitrary limitation?

Wizards in D&D grew directly out of wizards in Chainmail.

Wizards in Chainmail came from Tolkien. People wanted to try to recreate the Battle of Five Armies in miniature, and so the Fantasy Supplement was born. Gygax didn't stick closely to Tolkien, however: wizards were mostly just magical catapults (fire balls) and cannons (lightning bolts). They were then given other magical spell effects that appear in myth and literature. Chainmail wizards aren't Gandalf himself; they're just of the class of figures that are LIKE Gandalf (in Gygax's loose approximation). Gygax and friends were happy to import other stories' ideas into their wargames.

And Tolkien's wizards are of the robes and pointy hat variety. Thus, so are Chainmail's, and so are D&D's.

Why CAN'T magic-users wear armor? Because that would make them no longer match the robes and point hat style. That's it. D&D has a particular vision of what a wizard is, and it includes no armor. Oh sure, later on people demanded a better justification than that and sometimes someone would publish one, but in the end D&D wizards can't wear armor because D&D wizards DON'T wear armor.

If you think the D&D magic-user is too weak AND you don't feel any desire to maintain the robes and pointy hat image, feel free to let them wear armor. You'll make them more effective in physical combat this way.
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Old 08-06-2014, 03:34 PM   #27
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Default Re: Is The trope that wizards can't use armor just an arbitrary limitation?

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It doesn't seem to have a basis in either fiction or myth.
Of course it has a basis. How many of the magicians Conan met were using swords and wearing chainmail? How many characters in Arthurian romance combine magic use with being a knight? Which of the magicians in 1001 Arabian Nights donned arms and armour? Which fairy godmother or witch in Grimm's fairy tales appeared clad in plate?
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Old 08-06-2014, 07:20 PM   #28
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Default Re: Is The trope that wizards can't use armor just an arbitrary limitation?

Fae might not be able use iron armor. Why can't they use bronze? Or some material found only in Otherworld?

Besides aren't their plenty of tales about fae knights?
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Old 08-07-2014, 08:02 AM   #29
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Default Re: Is The trope that wizards can't use armor just an arbitrary limitation?

Mike Wightman is onto something--if fantasy magic is anything like alchemy (or arguably modern occult), it takes years of study to be any good at all, leaving no time for practicing weapons. But since that's often dispensed with...

There's one argument that magic is magnetic or electrical in nature. I like the Disney live-action _Sorcerer's Apprentice_ and how it equates fireballs with plasma. This makes wearing metal a little tricky. Better have that chainmail covering every inch of you...
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Old 08-07-2014, 09:38 AM   #30
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Default Re: Is The trope that wizards can't use armor just an arbitrary limitation?

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Originally Posted by David Johnston2 View Post
Of course it has a basis. How many of the magicians Conan met were using swords and wearing chainmail? How many characters in Arthurian romance combine magic use with being a knight? Which of the magicians in 1001 Arabian Nights donned arms and armour? Which fairy godmother or witch in Grimm's fairy tales appeared clad in plate?
There are armored spell casters in Arthurian lore, they are generally not represented in Mallory. Icelandic Wizards certainly wore armor and had reputations for being awesome warriors (heck Gandalf used a sword). The Elf king in the English Faerie tale Childe Rowland was a steel armor wearing fae warrior wizard. Warrior Wizards do show up in many traditions. The Pointy-Hat and Robes tradition is simply much more popular these days and was less offensive to religious authority from the end of the middle-ages until the 1800's. But even while the witch-burnings were at their height, many pirates from Grace O'Malley to Blackbeard were said to be witches as well as deadly warriors.
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