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 Post subject: Sshamath Mythal
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 5:47 am 
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May I suggest updating the PVP Rules & Guidelines inventory item description to include an official ruling concerning the Sshamath Mythal, for personal in-game reference and clarification.

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 Post subject: Re: Sshamath Mythal
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 6:15 am 
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Darradarljod wrote:
May I suggest updating the PVP Rules & Guidelines inventory item description to include an official ruling concerning the Sshamath Mythal, for personal in-game reference and clarification.


What would you like to know, mate?

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 Post subject: Re: Sshamath Mythal
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 6:33 am 
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Effects, subjects, exemptions, especially locations: I've RPed whippings in the city but only at Lolth's shrines because I'd like to think Sshamath's wards do not interfere with Lolthite rituals incl. lashings, spider bites and ritual sacrifice of sentient beings when performed on temple grounds.

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 Post subject: Re: Sshamath Mythal
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 7:01 am 
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Tsidkenu wrote:
Effects, subjects, exemptions, especially locations: I've RPed whippings in the city but only at Lolth's shrines because I'd like to think Sshamath's wards do not interfere with Lolthite rituals incl. lashings, spider bites and ritual sacrifice of sentient beings when performed on temple grounds.


There is nothing wrong with any of the above. And to be honest, you shouldn't feel tied up so tightly, since the situation is often misunderstood. The extract below is pretty much what we have always used as guideline:

Quote:
On a citywide scale, each recognized school of magic contributes to Sshamath's defenses, each overseeing a particular aspect or aspects. The continuing struggle between wizards and their schools to outdo one another has created an increasing layer of wards and other arcane defenses, which already makes the city nigh-impregnable to outside attack. The most formidable of these defenses consist of epic spells that harden the stone, lock down the city in a continual Dimensional Anchor, redirect Teleport spells cast by strangers, and cause paralyzing pain to anyone within a 1 mile radius who seriously thinks about attacking the city or its citizens. There are many other examples of the city's arcane defenses, too numerous to list here. The overall effect is not unlike a mythal in many regards, though the overlapping effects are not woven together as with a true mythal, and sometimes these wards and spells may combine or counteract each other unexpectedly.


So...it's not a Mythal, and it's full of loopholes. Yes, they generally work, and nobody in their right mind would try and attack Sshamath's citizens without reason, or without preparing the attack (for example, consulting with the schools responsible for a certain array of wards in a certain area, and even then with the possibility someone else altered or enriched them...). But there are a few important things to consider:

1) Can anything non-lethal (like a demonstrative whipping, in this case) be considered a "serious attack"? Depends on the involved parties, perhaps.
2) The wards do not protect NON-CITIZENS.
3) The effects range from paralysis to death. DM/player discretion, usually.
4) The exemptions depend on the knowledge of the specific section of wards, and ability to get around them. I don't believe anybody ever cared warding lolthite altars and places of worship for protection, so seems in order.
5) The location is Sshamath itself, the city grounds. But as described, the coverage is not uniform. Would it stop an invading army? You bet. Would it stop a simple murder of a specific citizen? Most of the times. Would it stop a beatdown? Veeery unlikely.

As I said...the bonds are looser than players usually think, and RP opportunities abound.

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 Post subject: Re: Sshamath Mythal
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:06 am 
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The link here has a lot of good information. Specifically about the wards it states it address physical assault. It also states it protect inhabitants, not just citizens. Given that the city thrives on trade and visitors, it would make sense for the Conclave to protect those coming to promote trade as well (read this as arcane capable races, not just trick pony goblins, ect.).

All of the schools manage parts of the City Wards and have their own loopholes of course. Lolthites were only recently introduced into the Conclave following the war with the Alhoon several years ago compared to the longstanding status of the schools so I would not think their own wards would be so extensive as the schools as of yet.

For the moment, just consider this guidance until the DM team comes with a more formal address. We are in the process of revamping the laws of Sshamath and I can try to work this topic in as well since it's unclear. We won't likely give an exhaustive list of wards as that largely wouldn't be known and left to the agency of individual DMs but things like teleportation limitations and freeze/pain are common place.

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The near-mythal like effect is collectively referred to as 'the wards', most of the inhabitants of S'shamath either do not know what a mythal is, or do not consider the wards similar enough to call them a near-mythal. Outsiders who have heard a thing or two about mythals do sometimes make the comparison.

The city guard of S'shamath possess wands imprinted with their identity which are capable of paralyzing and inflicting debilitating pain on anyone who ignores their commands. The wards of the City inflict the same on anyone in S'shamath who attempts to injure / injures another inhabitant. The automatic enforcement and protection by the wards does not extend to the sewers, tombs, and darkwoods district.

The wards automatically protect against physical injury, though not against poison or force that is used without causing harm. Force can for example be used to restrain an individual making a scene in a Festhall or Tavern. This effect has given rise to several popular drinking games, a few of which focus on introducing new visitors to debilitating pain and paralysis by colourfully insulting them. Particularly visiting Drow are considered good sport, and are often mugged while the wards paralyze them. Similarly the Spider's Kiss 'Festhall' is renowned for the maidens who are or pretend to be passionate conservative adherents of the Spider Queen. Among other services these maidens sell and apply non-lethal doses of poison, for paying clients. Occasional overdoses are not unheard of, but rare, and not prevented by the wards.

The schools of magic make and maintain portions of the wards that shield S'shamath. So they can also design spells which are exempted from the wards they made. Either through spell design or by designating a spell that shouldn't be stopped by the wards they control. All the schools of magic therefore possesses self-made spells which are which are not stopped by the wards. Among these spells are methods to hurt students who annoy their teachers. These methods are carefully guarded to avoid other schools or foreigners from being able to use such magic.

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 Post subject: Re: Sshamath Mythal
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:40 am 
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Thanks for the new information, DM Theophanies.

Especially:

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It also states it protect inhabitants, not just citizens


How do you define "inhabitant"?

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The wards of the City inflict the same on anyone in S'shamath who attempts to injure / injures another inhabitant.


Knowing which kind of injuries trigger such effects would be nice. "Serious harm" was also unclear, but "injury" is really too broad.

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Lolthites were only recently introduced into the Conclave following the war with the Alhoon several years ago compared to the longstanding status of the schools so I would not think their own wards would be so extensive as the schools as of yet


Did this actually ever happen, in game? PC RP, NPCs or DM events/plots, perhaps?

I can't recall a single Lolthite mage (and clerics can't do it, since they are arcane wards) that has ever done anything similar since the Avatar of Lolth died for Sshamath, and Bel'iira ascended to Conclave Seat, but I might just have missed it.

Thanks for the post.

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 Post subject: Re: Sshamath Mythal
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 9:10 am 
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Bel'iira ascending to the Conclave seat is what I was referring to. It was before my time, but currently House Sshamath and the Temple of Lolth are both on the Conclave. To my knowledge nothing has happened in game, I was mostly working under the assumption that when left to their own devices, NPCs work towards their goals.

Inhabitants I take to mean anyone inhabiting the city. I alluded to this when I referred to visitors for trade. There seems to be a general triggering as witnessed by this part in particular:

Quote:
This effect has given rise to several popular drinking games, a few of which focus on introducing new visitors to debilitating pain and paralysis by colourfully insulting them. Particularly visiting Drow are considered good sport, and are often mugged while the wards paralyze them.


The text below also says this about physical injury:

Quote:
The wards automatically protect against physical injury, though not against poison or force that is used without causing harm.


So I take that to mean any physical injury. Basically even reacting and getting worked up to physically assault someone seems to be enough to trigger the wards. So basically it will generally protect anyone in the city, but the schools have spells which skip the wards, should they need it. When a drow becomes a citizen, it doesn't get a special city ward shield to protect it, as that's in the area generally. Consequences for actions against citizens more become a concern for the city itself, context depending of course.

If there are specific concerns from anyone about how RP may play out, please feel free to PM me and I can try to figure it out with you and work things into the city rules we're working on (as well as formal guidance about the city wards).

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 Post subject: Re: Sshamath Mythal
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 9:37 am 
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Back in 2011 (end of), mostly as a response to a desire of the playerbase, HDM Void and CC Darkshard asked me to create some religious tension in the city so that the lolthites could capitalize on the consequences of the colossal event that concluded the Alhoon Wars.

So, I created Bel'iira, and used her as a resource at the players' disposal. She united several houses AND the Temple into the reborn House Sshamath (several PCs at the time got a name change to add the "Sshamath" House name, as a consequence of their choice). Back then, nobody worked towards any kind of wards, because on one side, they were a sign of male cowardice, on the other they were exclusively arcane, and thus not granted from the Queen herself, not to mention they had the potential to get in the way of the chaotic "survival of the fittest" kind of society they adore.

If this has changed, then it's very good you posted it. Thank you for the clarification.

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Inhabitants I take to mean anyone inhabiting the city. I alluded to this when I referred to visitors for trade.


Got it, thanks. So, every passer-by. We never treated them like this before, so this is extremely important to know.

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So I take that to mean any physical injury. Basically even reacting and getting worked up to physically assault someone seems to be enough to trigger the wards.


This...is going to be funny. Not that I remember any time this would have ever happened (aside from a colossal fight in the Gloura's Wings I remember from 2012), but just knowing it is kind of hilarious.

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 Post subject: Re: Sshamath Mythal
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 9:48 am 
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I actually know of many times the wards would have fired off under those conditions. It is the main reason my house is outside the city, so we can worship unmolested. Since every religion that requires sacrifice(most Drow deities), require a priest or priestess to harm another person, whether Drow, or a lesser being.

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 Post subject: Re: Sshamath Mythal
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 10:39 am 
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Moridin wrote:
I actually know of many times the wards would have fired off under those conditions. It is the main reason my house is outside the city, so we can worship unmolested. Since every religion that requires sacrifice(most Drow deities), require a priest or priestess to harm another person, whether Drow, or a lesser being.


Yes. But the altars and lolthite consecrated grounds are not under their effects, since it doesn't make any sense they would be (so...you built an altar, and then you spelled it against sacrifice. Good job.), and nobody ever said otherwise. Having the Q'uellar outside of Sshamath is better in any and all respects, but that particular side of RP shouldn't be a problem, regardless.

Also, the more I think about the following, the more it seems just wrong:

Quote:
Quote:
Inhabitants I take to mean anyone inhabiting the city. I alluded to this when I referred to visitors for trade.


Got it, thanks. So, every passer-by. We never treated them like this before, so this is extremely important to know.


To become "Inhabitant", by definition one needs to obtain citizenship, or live in Sshamath long enough that they are not tourists, or visitors. I read the source material's examples, and they all seem to be games citizens/locals play with visitors (SUBJECT to wards and their effects, but never PROTECTED by wards in any single example).

The more I read, the less convinced I am it makes any sense whatsoever for the mages to protect foreigners, regardless of the ways to circumvent the wards. Maybe I am just wrong and it's simply habit and countless years of RP talking...but I really DO think citizens get that "special shield", after all. Just like the guards get their print on their special wands.

The mages accepting who they want under their protection, and not whoever walks in. They're Drow, not the Caritas.

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Last edited by Invoker on Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:01 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Sshamath Mythal
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:00 am 
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So the next part of the question is whether the term 'inhabitant' includes slave races. And if not, does that mean slave races (orcs, tanarukks, goblins, kobolds, minotaurs, etc) can be beaten by their masters (or non-masters!) without repercussion from the wards? The Lore of Sshamath thread suggests this seems to be the case:

DM Ioulaum wrote:
It is for example considered poor form to casually starve, injure or kill a slave, unless he is rebellious.


Implying, to me, that slaves can be starved, injured or killed within the confines of Sshamath without repercussions from the city's wards.

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 Post subject: Re: Sshamath Mythal
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:22 am 
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You are welcome to PM me what you've found in the lore and I can review it and bring it to the team, Invoker. As I said, this is mostly me giving guidance until we formalize something DM side. But to play the other side, it makes little sense for the Conclave to not protect trade either, as it's the lifeblood of the city, beyond the emphasis on the arcane.

Tsidkenu, from my understanding the wards would only protect arcane capable races, which would be above slavery, not the slave races themselves. It's likely looked down upon from the distinction between wizards and Lolthites I would imagine, plus the difference in how the two value things (Sshamath being more trade oriented).

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 Post subject: Re: Sshamath Mythal
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:25 am 
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DM Theophanies wrote:
You are welcome to PM me what you've found in the lore and I can review it and bring it to the team, Invoker. As I said, this is mostly me giving guidance until we formalize something DM side. But to play the other side, it makes little sense for the Conclave to not protect trade either, as it's the lifeblood of the city, beyond the emphasis on the arcane.

Tsidkenu, from my understanding the wards would only protect arcane capable races, which would be above slavery, not the slave races themselves. It's likely looked down upon from the distinction between wizards and Lolthites I would imagine, plus the difference in how the two value things (Sshamath being more trade oriented).


It's nothing against your excellent work, Theo. Simply, the lore is a tad open for interpretation, and nobody expects you to know everything and invent what isn't even there. I just sent you the PM with the macroscopic point about the city guard killing rogue wizards on city grounds with wands of magic missile...

Thank you for taking the time to debate this stuff. The way it was handled changed over the years, and with the surge of activity in the UD I believe the time and effort you invested here has great value.

Cheers!

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 Post subject: Re: Sshamath Mythal
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:42 am 
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Tsidkenu wrote:
So the next part of the question is whether the term 'inhabitant' includes slave races. And if not, does that mean slave races (orcs, tanarukks, goblins, kobolds, minotaurs, etc) can be beaten by their masters (or non-masters!) without repercussion from the wards? The Lore of Sshamath thread suggests this seems to be the case:

DM Ioulaum wrote:
It is for example considered poor form to casually starve, injure or kill a slave, unless he is rebellious.


Implying, to me, that slaves can be starved, injured or killed within the confines of Sshamath without repercussions from the city's wards.


I know what exactly interests you, and since slavery is against the server rules, none of the gray orc and tanarukk PCs fit your "slave race" category. Moreover, technically they have the same rights as other non-drow (such as tieflings, half-drow, humans, duergars, gnomes etc), so a gray orc visitor/resident is not much different from an elven one.

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 Post subject: Re: Sshamath Mythal
Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:51 am 
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Technically, given the link I provided as a guideline, orcs are considered a slave race in Sshamath. How this plays into the city wards, the DM team will need to discuss. Slavery of PCs is indeed against the server rules though.

I notice this thread just take a subtle turn, lets keep things civil please.

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