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We're assuming that the wizards are free to contribute to the economy as they will. But what about a society that enslaves wizards? Or rather, a society that looks for slaves with wizard-like potential, then trains those individuals in a more constrained form of magic? What then? You can get your wizard-slaves heating your boiler rooms and providing water for your fountains, yet they have become the lowliest members of society.

 

I'm not sure what means they'd use to maintain control over the wizard-slaves, but the Romans managed (for the most part) to maintain careful control over their gladiators; some very dangerous individuals indeed. Perhaps there is a crystal collar that can be used to suppress spell casting unless allowed by the handler? Maybe the form of spell casting allowed can only be used with certain scarce material components that are carefully monitored by the masters? Or maybe it uses prepared runes on parchment paper, with the masters controlling the special ink required? At any rate, this would allow wizards to contribute to the economy without having any significant power.

 

:bow:

Inevitably all slaves turn on their masters, just like the slave rebellions against the roman empire. With the major difference that a band of mages is far more dangerous than gladiators. So whatever society cooks that up will be probably a short lived one.

I'd say the answer to that question is kind of like the answer to "who's the sucker in this poker game?"*

 

*If you can't tell, it's you. ;)

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We're assuming that the wizards are free to contribute to the economy as they will. But what about a society that enslaves wizards? Or rather, a society that looks for slaves with wizard-like potential, then trains those individuals in a more constrained form of magic? What then? You can get your wizard-slaves heating your boiler rooms and providing water for your fountains, yet they have become the lowliest members of society.

 

I'm not sure what means they'd use to maintain control over the wizard-slaves, but the Romans managed (for the most part) to maintain careful control over their gladiators; some very dangerous individuals indeed. Perhaps there is a crystal collar that can be used to suppress spell casting unless allowed by the handler? Maybe the form of spell casting allowed can only be used with certain scarce material components that are carefully monitored by the masters? Or maybe it uses prepared runes on parchment paper, with the masters controlling the special ink required? At any rate, this would allow wizards to contribute to the economy without having any significant power.

 

:bow:

Inevitably all slaves turn on their masters, just like the slave rebellions against the roman empire. With the major difference that a band of mages is far more dangerous than gladiators. So whatever society cooks that up will be probably a short lived one.

Well, no. These slave-wizards are not dangerous because they are taught a different style of magic. They don't know spells for hurling fireballs about and they can't learn such; they know spells for cooking cabbage, cleaning chimneys, and sweeping the floor.

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A lot of people presuppose that magic is a gift. I'd rather see it as a mix of a gift and an art - you require intelligence to learn magic, but you can be extremely intelligent without knowing a single bit of magic because you've never been taught. If magic was hard to learn, then only wealthy people who could afford the schools could learn magic without risk to themselves or their environment. If magic is entirely a gift, it would probably serve as an equalizer between the classes and we would see a much more progressive society than the medieval ones we're used to.

 

Magic should be possible to learn by yourself, (without even a tome to teach you...) but since so few people can read and only hermits and other crazy people have the time on their hands "wild mages" who've learned magic by themselves or from just a book should be very uncommon. If it is known that using magic drains life from the environment like in Dark Sun (or at least twists it somehow so that it's not inhabitable or safe) we have solved the economic problem. Maybe it's possible to create gold, but that would take a lot of human sacrifice - that would make for some interesting plot lines. Additionally, magic which causes harm directly (like fireballs, for example) should be exempt from this since it is destructive in itself, that would be really convenient for game purposes.

 

For example, if I managed to magically turn lead to gold, maybe next day people who slept outside will lose their hair, pets and household animals who've drank rainwater will become ill, similar to the effects of radioactive fallout. Or maybe the magical energy comes from some other "dimension" and I've just destroyed the property of some Lovecraftian horror who will come after me to reverse the spell for revenge or to have its magical energy back.

 

Just let there be some sort of "catch" to magic so that we can explain why magic does not rule everything in PE.

"Well, overkill is my middle name. And my last name. And all of my other names as well!"

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A possibility I haven't seen mentioned is that magic is fundamentally unpredictable and unsuitable for menial work. If this is the standardized and predictable magic of D&D, then fair enough. But if magic consists of making pacts with treacherous demons, or is so deeply individual that both techniques or effects vary wildly by caster, or is so dangerous that very few mages achieve even moderate proficiency and all are extremely careful with their spells, then you have conditions to keep magic out of the general economy.

 

ie. If magic is more like historical ideas of magic, rather than a thinly veiled substitute for technology, then it makes sense that it doesn't interact with the economy the way technology does.

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A lot of people presuppose that magic is a gift. I'd rather see it as a mix of a gift and an art - you require intelligence to learn magic, but you can be extremely intelligent without knowing a single bit of magic because you've never been taught. If magic was hard to learn, then only wealthy people who could afford the schools could learn magic without risk to themselves or their environment. If magic is entirely a gift, it would probably serve as an equalizer between the classes and we would see a much more progressive society than the medieval ones we're used to.

if they make it one that requires schooling, I hope they have distinct class differences, like the higher castes hunt down 'wild' or unlearned practitioners. Could make for some interesting background choices, which would then influence the game immensely

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Inevitably all slaves turn on their masters, just like the slave rebellions against the roman empire. With the major difference that a band of mages is far more dangerous than gladiators. So whatever society cooks that up will be probably a short lived one.

 

You mean the Roman state that survived nearly a millennium, until it collapsed after Odoacer deposed the last Roman Emperor in 476? Slaves don't "inevitably" turn on their masters. True, Rome had a problem occasionally, but slaves were docile, for the most part.

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Inevitably all slaves turn on their masters, just like the slave rebellions against the roman empire. With the major difference that a band of mages is far more dangerous than gladiators. So whatever society cooks that up will be probably a short lived one.

 

You mean the Roman state that survived nearly a millennium, until it collapsed after Odoacer deposed the last Roman Emperor in 476? Slaves don't "inevitably" turn on their masters. True, Rome had a problem occasionally, but slaves were docile, for the most part.

 

Slavery all over the world was different. In Rome slaves could become citizens and had certain allowances that slaves in other parts of the world, at other times would never even have dreamed of. In america, slaves revolted far more frequently. It really depends on how the slaves are treated and the rights they are afforded. That said however even in Rome, slaves revolted a fair amount, to refer to them as "docile" is offensive to the indomitable nature of the human spirit. While there is inequity, there will always be unrest, and where there is unrest there may be revolution. We see this time and again. The Roman empire was so long lived likely due to its relatively fair treatment of its lower classes.

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Slavery all over the world was different. In Rome slaves could become citizens and had certain allowances that slaves in other parts of the world, at other times would never even have dreamed of. In america, slaves revolted far more frequently. It really depends on how the slaves are treated and the rights they are afforded. That said however even in Rome, slaves revolted a fair amount, to refer to them as "docile" is offensive to the indomitable nature of the human spirit. While there is inequity, there will always be unrest, and where there is unrest there may be revolution. We see this time and again. The Roman empire was so long lived likely due to its relatively fair treatment of its lower classes.

 

"Indomitable nature of the human spirit?"

 

Sorry, doesn't compute. Humans aren't indomitable. Most of us are weak willed, easy to break and very, very docile. If you think humans are "indomitable," then explain why people allow themselves to be herded and butchered by relatively small groups, all throughout history. You don't have to look far: ethnic cleansing in Africa, the Khmer Rouge, the myriad of mass murders committed by Soviet and Nazi groups during World War II etc. We're talking about groups of people slaughtering other people, who outnumber them by several magnitudes. Take, for instance, Fall 1941 and the Sonderaktion in Belarus, where in Minsk, a 450 people strong Lithuanian Sonderkommando murdered eleven thousand Jews in the ghetto. Eleven thousand. The victims outnumbered the murderers more than twenty two times. And yet they allowed themselves to be slaughtered. It wasn't an isolated event either.

 

History begs to differ on the supposed strength of the human spirit. That's why slave-based economies are not only viable, they can work, particularly in much less advanced societies than ours.

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Slavery all over the world was different. In Rome slaves could become citizens and had certain allowances that slaves in other parts of the world, at other times would never even have dreamed of. In america, slaves revolted far more frequently. It really depends on how the slaves are treated and the rights they are afforded. That said however even in Rome, slaves revolted a fair amount, to refer to them as "docile" is offensive to the indomitable nature of the human spirit. While there is inequity, there will always be unrest, and where there is unrest there may be revolution. We see this time and again. The Roman empire was so long lived likely due to its relatively fair treatment of its lower classes.

 

"Indomitable nature of the human spirit?"

 

Sorry, doesn't compute. Humans aren't indomitable. Most of us are weak willed, easy to break and very, very docile. If you think humans are "indomitable," then explain why people allow themselves to be herded and butchered by relatively small groups, all throughout history. You don't have to look far: ethnic cleansing in Africa, the Khmer Rouge, the myriad of mass murders committed by Soviet and Nazi groups during World War II etc. We're talking about groups of people slaughtering other people, who outnumber them by several magnitudes. Take, for instance, Fall 1941 and the Sonderaktion in Belarus, where in Minsk, a 450 people strong Lithuanian Sonderkommando murdered eleven thousand Jews in the ghetto. Eleven thousand. The victims outnumbered the murderers more than twenty two times. And yet they allowed themselves to be slaughtered. It wasn't an isolated event either.

 

History begs to differ on the supposed strength of the human spirit. That's why slave-based economies are not only viable, they can work, particularly in much less advanced societies than ours.

 

what is this I don't even...

 

People being butchered is not the same as them being enslaved I was merely pointing out that slavery creates societal unrest, which is demonstrably true...Furthermore nobody allows themselves to be "herded and butchered" some people have guns and tanks, some don't. It's not that they just let themselves be murdered wtf.

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what is this I don't even...

 

People being butchered is not the same as them being enslaved I was merely pointing out that slavery creates societal unrest, which is demonstrably true...Furthermore nobody allows themselves to be "herded and butchered" some people have guns and tanks, some don't. It's not that they just let themselves be murdered wtf.

 

It does disprove your assertion. If people in a much more extreme situation remain pacified and docile, allowing themselves to be murdered, then people in a less severe situation (slavery, as opposed to extermination) would too.

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As soon as a country reaches a certain level of technological and social development it tends to reject slavery. Or, as per the United States, it becomes a visceral issue that splits countries asunder.

 

I'm sure much academic effort has gone into this, but it is worth noting that Medieval societies were as able to prosper and develop without slavery as with it. And the ancient and technologically advanced Islamic countries (that utilized slavery in the medieval era) ended up rotting into decadent satrapcies rather than industrialising (q.v. pre-Attaturk Ottoman Empire).

 

Don't know what the correlation is, but Tagaziel's assertion that slavery is in some way infallible doesn't really bear a great deal of scrutiny. Rome was never brought to its knees by slavery per se (and most slaving cultures were smart enough to promote slaves and offer them eventual freedom) but having slave revolts and trouser-wearing barbarians on your borders wasn't exactly helpful either.

 

As for genocide and barbarity, yep part of the Human Condition from the revanchee to decaptitation. But, again, at a certain point the practice becomes frowned upon and forces both internal and external tend to frustrate the tyrant.

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Don't know what the correlation is, but Tagaziel's assertion that slavery is in some way infallible doesn't really bear a great deal of scrutiny. Rome was never brought to its knees by slavery per se (and most slaving cultures were smart enough to promote slaves and offer them eventual freedom) but having slave revolts and trouser-wearing barbarians on your borders wasn't exactly helpful either.

 

I'm not actually saying it's infallible; I was pointing out the baseless assertion that the human spirit is somehow "indomitable."

 

I wholeheartedly agree with your post, as it encompasses my stance on the issue (and we have to remember the development level of PE's world).

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Historians are coming to the conclusion that slavery cost more than it was worth. It's actually cheaper to have wage workers (payslaves) because you don't have to take care of them.

Also the picture we have of slavery is distorted, in some societies, slaves had similar lives as what we would refer to as a middle class. there was even some upward mobility. (though, yes, obviously they were still slaves)

 

interestingly enough, there are more slaves today than at any point before in human history.

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^ Indeed.

 

The word slave comes from 'Slav' as used by the Almohad North Africans in the early medieval era. Baltic slaves became a powerful administrative class within society, able to achieve freedom and prosperity the more they proved their worth.

 

OTOH look at Janissaries, a fascinating story if there ever was one.

Edited by Monte Carlo

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Historians are coming to the conclusion that slavery cost more than it was worth. It's actually cheaper to have wage workers (payslaves) because you don't have to take care of them.

Also the picture we have of slavery is distorted, in some societies, slaves had similar lives as what we would refer to as a middle class. there was even some upward mobility. (though, yes, obviously they were still slaves)

 

interestingly enough, there are more slaves today than at any point before in human history.

 

Hindsight is 20/20.

 

It also depends on the definition of slave and one's individual point of view.

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what is this I don't even...

 

People being butchered is not the same as them being enslaved I was merely pointing out that slavery creates societal unrest, which is demonstrably true...Furthermore nobody allows themselves to be "herded and butchered" some people have guns and tanks, some don't. It's not that they just let themselves be murdered wtf.

 

It does disprove your assertion. If people in a much more extreme situation remain pacified and docile, allowing themselves to be murdered, then people in a less severe situation (slavery, as opposed to extermination) would too.

 

No it doesn't at all, when somebody is dead, they cannot revolt, that should be pretty obvious. When you're being oppressed for years you have a lot more time to formulate escape plans. The people you're referring to weren't "pacified and docile" and I'm starting to wonder if you even know what those words mean. When you're being systematically exterminated you're not pacified and docile you're terrified and desperate.

Edited by jezz555
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what is this I don't even...

 

People being butchered is not the same as them being enslaved I was merely pointing out that slavery creates societal unrest, which is demonstrably true...Furthermore nobody allows themselves to be "herded and butchered" some people have guns and tanks, some don't. It's not that they just let themselves be murdered wtf.

 

It does disprove your assertion. If people in a much more extreme situation remain pacified and docile, allowing themselves to be murdered, then people in a less severe situation (slavery, as opposed to extermination) would too.

 

In ancient Sparta, one of the largest (as a percentage of the overall population) slave states, the helots revolted constantly; the militarization of the spartan state was due primarily to the constant threat of slave revolts. It was also one of the reasons the spartan army rarely campaigned far from Sparta's borders from long periods.

 

Likewise in pre-civil war america, the history books rarely mention it, but plantation owners spent vast amounts of money on overhead just to employ thugs who could put down slave uprisings. Slaves in the south rebelled, killed their masters, tried (and succeeded) to escape etc.

 

Apartheid-era South Africa was a similar situation. Slave states are never stable because they're heavily militarized by necessity and always a revolt away from collapse. Rome and Athens aren't good examples because, like Jezz said, their slaves had some rights and social mobility.

 

In light of the above, the whole slave-wizards thing doesn't really make sense either, why wouldn't they just use their powers to rebel? The explanation would have to be pretty creative; the whole thing with the mages and templars in DA:O was ridiculous.

 

TD;LR: you don't know wtf you're talking about.

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No it doesn't at all, when somebody is dead, they cannot revolt, that should be pretty obvious. When you're being oppressed for years you have a lot more time to formulate escape plans. The people you're referring to weren't "pacified and docile" and I'm starting to wonder if you even know what those words mean. When you're being systematically exterminated you're not pacified and docile you're terrified and desperate.

 

Let me get this straight: people with nothing to lose are less likely to revolt, than people who are not in an immediate danger of being killed?

 

what is this I don't even...

 

People being butchered is not the same as them being enslaved I was merely pointing out that slavery creates societal unrest, which is demonstrably true...Furthermore nobody allows themselves to be "herded and butchered" some people have guns and tanks, some don't. It's not that they just let themselves be murdered wtf.

 

It does disprove your assertion. If people in a much more extreme situation remain pacified and docile, allowing themselves to be murdered, then people in a less severe situation (slavery, as opposed to extermination) would too.

 

In ancient Sparta, one of the largest (as a percentage of the overall population) slave states, the helots revolted constantly; the militarization of the spartan state was due primarily to the constant threat of slave revolts. It was also one of the reasons the spartan army rarely campaigned far from Sparta's borders from long periods.

 

Likewise in pre-civil war america, the history books rarely mention it, but plantation owners spent vast amounts of money on overhead just to employ thugs who could put down slave uprisings. Slaves in the south rebelled, killed their masters, tried (and succeeded) to escape etc.

 

Apartheid-era South Africa was a similar situation. Slave states are never stable because they're heavily militarized by necessity and always a revolt away from collapse. Rome and Athens aren't good examples because, like Jezz said, their slaves had some rights and social mobility.

 

In light of the above, the whole slave-wizards thing doesn't really make sense either, why wouldn't they just use their powers to rebel? The explanation would have to be pretty creative; the whole thing with the mages and templars in DA:O was ridiculous.

 

TD;LR: you don't know wtf you're talking about.

 

Interesting how you avoid ancient Rome, which was a massive economy relying on slaves, that survived for a very long time.

 

The problem here is that you're assuming that every wizard is walking powerhouse.

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No it doesn't at all, when somebody is dead, they cannot revolt, that should be pretty obvious. When you're being oppressed for years you have a lot more time to formulate escape plans. The people you're referring to weren't "pacified and docile" and I'm starting to wonder if you even know what those words mean. When you're being systematically exterminated you're not pacified and docile you're terrified and desperate.

 

Let me get this straight: people with nothing to lose are less likely to revolt, than people who are not in an immediate danger of being killed?

 

what is this I don't even...

 

People being butchered is not the same as them being enslaved I was merely pointing out that slavery creates societal unrest, which is demonstrably true...Furthermore nobody allows themselves to be "herded and butchered" some people have guns and tanks, some don't. It's not that they just let themselves be murdered wtf.

 

It does disprove your assertion. If people in a much more extreme situation remain pacified and docile, allowing themselves to be murdered, then people in a less severe situation (slavery, as opposed to extermination) would too.

 

In ancient Sparta, one of the largest (as a percentage of the overall population) slave states, the helots revolted constantly; the militarization of the spartan state was due primarily to the constant threat of slave revolts. It was also one of the reasons the spartan army rarely campaigned far from Sparta's borders from long periods.

 

Likewise in pre-civil war america, the history books rarely mention it, but plantation owners spent vast amounts of money on overhead just to employ thugs who could put down slave uprisings. Slaves in the south rebelled, killed their masters, tried (and succeeded) to escape etc.

 

Apartheid-era South Africa was a similar situation. Slave states are never stable because they're heavily militarized by necessity and always a revolt away from collapse. Rome and Athens aren't good examples because, like Jezz said, their slaves had some rights and social mobility.

 

In light of the above, the whole slave-wizards thing doesn't really make sense either, why wouldn't they just use their powers to rebel? The explanation would have to be pretty creative; the whole thing with the mages and templars in DA:O was ridiculous.

 

TD;LR: you don't know wtf you're talking about.

 

Interesting how you avoid ancient Rome, which was a massive economy relying on slaves, that survived for a very long time.

 

The problem here is that you're assuming that every wizard is walking powerhouse.

 

If you'd read my post you'd see that I mentioned Rome and Athens. Roman slaves had the opportunity to become free and were protected from (some) mistreatment by law, which meant that they revolted LESS. Historically this type of situation (slaves with rights) was pretty rare. This does not mean Roman slaves were "docile". Ever hear of Spartacus?

 

Even a magic user with minor powers could escape conventional imprisonment with ease if he used them creatively. You'd need other wizards to control your slave wizards, which begs the question, why wouldn't you just pay them (the free wizards) to do whatever magic you needed done?

Edited by Mandragore
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If you'd read my post you'd see that I mentioned Rome and Athens. Roman slaves had the opportunity to become free and were protected from (some) mistreatment by law, which meant that they revolted LESS. Historically this type of situation (slaves with rights) was pretty rare. This does not mean Roman slaves were "docile". Ever hear of Spartacus?

 

I don't think anyone was arguing for just one type of slavery to be used. You're fighting strawmen here.

 

And yes, the Spartacus uprising. Doesn't change the fact that Rome survived, or, in fact, reached the apex of its development on the backs of slaves (and though possibilites for becoming freedmen were available).

 

Even a magic user with minor powers could escape conventional imprisonment with ease if he used them creatively. You'd need other wizards to control your slave wizards, which begs the question, why wouldn't you just pay them (the free wizards) to do whatever magic you needed done?

 

If people only did sensible things, we'd live in a perfect world.

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I don't think anyone was arguing for just one type of slavery to be used. You're fighting strawmen here.

 

And yes, the Spartacus uprising. Doesn't change the fact that Rome survived, or, in fact, reached the apex of its development on the backs of slaves (and though possibilites for becoming freedmen were available).

 

You were making the case that slavery made people "docile" and that slave states were viable (not just that they could "survive") I was disputing that view. You can't cherry pick one example from history of a slave state that happened to survive revolts to make the case that slave economies are viable or that slaves are resigned to their lot.

 

If people only did sensible things, we'd live in a perfect world.

 

...so your justification is that the leaders of this theoretical slave wizard kingdom are just stupid? Brilliant -slowclap-

Edited by Mandragore
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No it doesn't at all, when somebody is dead, they cannot revolt, that should be pretty obvious. When you're being oppressed for years you have a lot more time to formulate escape plans. The people you're referring to weren't "pacified and docile" and I'm starting to wonder if you even know what those words mean. When you're being systematically exterminated you're not pacified and docile you're terrified and desperate.

 

Let me get this straight: people with nothing to lose are less likely to revolt, than people who are not in an immediate danger of being killed?

 

 

Having nothing left to lose and not being in immediate danger of being killed are not always mutually exclusive. Slaves have nothing to lose as well, but they also have the time, space, and resources to organize a revolt. If your in immediate danger of being killed your likely too panicked to organize anything let alone do more than scream, and there are studies that support that. When I said the "indomitable nature of the human spirit" I say "spirit" because while you can enslave somebodies body your not going to convince them to enjoy servitude and not dream of freedom, not that it was impossible to enslave anyone ever. This entire conversation has been a steady stream of misunderstandings on your part, this is starting to get hilarious.

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Sounds like a good idea. I think something that needs to be included though is centers of excellence. It is something that happens in the real world and ensures monopolies. eg: the german car industry, the japanese electronics industry, hollywood, silicon valley, british warm beer and bad teeth, french wine, etc... In the real world, when a region creates a speciality product, more people from the world go to that region to learn and contribute to the speciality product which creates further specialisation and further increases the monopoly of the nation. I'm more for the notion of having these centers of excellence in the games.

Edited by Kronos
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I'm confused: are people saying that slave-states didn't exist? Or that they're inferior to modern consumer economies? Because the former seem trivially false, while the latter is trivially true, and both seem disconnected from the question of enslaved (or caste-constrained, or bound into feudalism, etc.) wizards in P:E.

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I'm confused: are people saying that slave-states didn't exist? Or that they're inferior to modern consumer economies? Because the former seem trivially false, while the latter is trivially true, and both seem disconnected from the question of enslaved (or caste-constrained, or bound into feudalism, etc.) wizards in P:E.

 

No, no one is saying that they didn't exist. Someone made the claim that slavery made slaves "docile" also that slavery discourages rebellion and that slavery-based economies were viable and prosperous in the long term, myself and a few others disagreed. That was tangentially related to the idea that magic users could be enslaved en-mass to fuel the economy.

 

IMO the wizard-slave state is a dumb idea because historically ordinary people who were made into slaves required a militarized society and constant vigilance to keep them repressed. Wizard slaves would require the same thing, but from OTHER WIZARDS, which makes the whole thing silly, for a number of reasons.

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