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Fire Lord Pi
2013-02-20, 07:05 AM
I was wondering, does anyone know of a thread or perhaps a blog about making magic make sense in a setting? What I mean is the examples in the DMG (invisible wizards to help merchants fight magical crime, no-fly zones around castles) but on a bigger scale. With all the spells available (core-only though with my current setting) there are a lot of possibilities to overlook. I hate to be the DM who doesn't have an answer when one of my players asks a question like: why wouln't the king just have his throne trapped with protection from arrows?

All in all, magic is great but it must make sense, so if anyone has a list of spells and how they might be utilized, it would be much appreciated.

SilverLeaf167
2013-02-20, 09:08 AM
Well, there's always the possibility of magic being obscure, rare, difficult, forbidden or all of those, but in games like that the party is almost sure to end up with an average of two special snowflakes who are casters regardless of the setting and D&D isn't really suited for low-magic settings anyway.

A more interesting idea: Residing within or in close proximity of magical fields for very long durations (as in, years or decades) has adverse effects on one's physical or mental health, or perhaps their lifespan. If the influence takes that long to happen and is unspecific enough, you won't need any mechanical stats for it and it won't really affect the PCs within the timescale of a single campaign, but it would definitely nudge NPCs to be wary of magic. If a king intends to rule his kingdom for as long as possible, he probably doesn't want to spend most of his time sitting on a throne that's actively shortening his reign, unless he for some reason prefers short-sighted insurance over a longer life (maybe he's been targeted by assassins lately, or he's just really paranoid).

Poorer people who already have worse health won't be too keen on spending their limited money on magical trinkets, however useful, especially as the negative influence of magic would most likely be wildly exaggerated among commoners.

Synovia
2013-02-20, 11:14 AM
: why wouldn't the king just have his throne trapped with protection from arrows?


He would, or he'd be out of power. The problem with caster proliferation is that unless you've got some real good reason casters would stay away from politics, they'd rule everything.

Tork
2013-02-20, 12:04 PM
All in all, magic is great but it must make sense, so if anyone has a list of spells and how they might be utilized, it would be much appreciated.

A lot of magic can't be seen, so you'd never know that it is there anyway. Protection from Arrows, for example, has no visual effect.

Only a couple spells can be made permanent, and only a handful can be put in magic items that effect and area. Otherwise, for the most part, you'd need a spellcaster there to cast the spell. Levitate is a very useful spell, but it can't be made permanent, and it can't be placed in any area effecting magic item. (By Core, anyway). So you can't have a levitating wagon.

The vast majority of cast magic does not last all that long. Even a 20th level wizard with extend spell can only levitate a wagon for forty minutes four times a day for a total of 160 minutes. So they can't get too far.

The best thing you can do as a DM is keep the magic vague. The players see ''something something'' magical, but they don't know the exact spell or effect. Just have things happen.

Bonus: Illusions are perfect for this. You take an object and give it ''an sparkling blue glow of tiny motes of light'' with an illusion spell. And even if the characters spellcraft it, they will just find out it's an illusion. But, of course, the illusion is just there to show off the fact that there might be some other, unseen, magic.

Slipperychicken
2013-02-20, 12:35 PM
In relation to rulers, you could see casters as being experts in their field, but usually not leaders. Much like how engineers or strong fighters are needed in society, but don't necessarily rise to the top of every political structure. A mage-king in this case would be a rare thing, though it would sometimes happen.

I like to think that magic-use is rare and difficult enough to not have much impact on the tech level (traditional western myth). Or that it's common, but doesn't do much beyond blasting and minor utility (like in the Elder Scrolls series).

Synovia
2013-02-20, 12:59 PM
In relation to rulers, you could see casters as being experts in their field, but usually not leaders. Much like how engineers or strong fighters are needed in society, but don't necessarily rise to the top of every political structure. A mage-king in this case would be a rare thing, though it would sometimes happen.


But what's to keep a mage who wants to be king from being one? There's an entire system designed to prevent normal people from not being king. There's nothing (but other mages) to prevent one from just taking over.... and if magic is hereditary, once a mage gets in power, his family isn't going to leave power unless by another mage.

Slipperychicken
2013-02-20, 01:17 PM
But what's to keep a mage who wants to be king from being one?

All the King's horses and all the King's men. All his magicians, and all his priests. All the loyal allies and vassals, and their own men, horses, magicians, and priests. In short, the things which keep anyone else from becoming King will apply to magicians.

You also assume that magicians will automatically triumph over non-magicians. And that the king has no magicians of his own. This is almost never the case in fantasy.

ArcturusV
2013-02-20, 01:29 PM
Well, usually the "Mage King" thing is a case of the mage coming to power presuming (and the DM making) all the NPCs morons despite any Int or Wis scores. Generally there's poor Operational Security around these plans. In a world where magic is common place and openly practiced you know there's got to be some sort of Registry in the Government. Before you even get enough power to go megalomaniac, they know who you are, where you're from, what your power is, etc. Probably running full "psych" tests via spells like Zone of Truth, Detect Alignments, Illusions, Enchantments, Divining, etc. You would probably end up with mages being more like the set up in Krynn, where there is a "Union" or a Guild of some sort. They control who knows magic. They ruthlessly use their magic to hunt down and kill any Free Agents before they get to be anything greater than a level 3 spellcaster. They "vet" you as mentioned above to make sure that you're not going to go insane with power. The idea of the "Black Robes" would not exist to be certain. No one would advertise they're evil, and there's more than enough methods available that the spellcasters in question could make sure no one IS evil before they take control. Especially since this would likely happen at a low enough level that even mundanes could deal with the Renegade Mageling.

Synovia
2013-02-20, 01:38 PM
All the King's horses and all the King's men. All his magicians, and all his priests. All the loyal allies and vassals, and their own men, horses, magicians, and priests. In short, the things which keep anyone else from becoming King will apply to magicians.You also assume that magicians will automatically triumph over non-magicians.
In 3.5 D&D, which is what I generally assume, High Level Magicians triump over everyone. Pretty much automatically.



And that the king has no magicians of his own. This is almost never the case in fantasy.

Right, but at some point, as history goes on and on, it becomes increasingly likely that the court head magician asks "Why can't I be king?". And when there's no real response to that, he becomes King. And there's nothing anyone lower in the heirarchy is going to be able to do about that.


You would probably end up with mages being more like the set up in Krynn, where there is a "Union" or a Guild of some sort. They control who knows magic. They ruthlessly use their magic to hunt down and kill any Free Agents before they get to be anything greater than a level 3 spellcaster. They "vet" you as mentioned above to make sure that you're not going to go insane with power. The idea of the "Black Robes" would not exist to be certain. No one would advertise they're evil, and there's more than enough methods available that the spellcasters in question could make sure no one IS evil before they take control. Especially since this would likely happen at a low enough level that even mundanes could deal with the Renegade Mageling.

Why would this guild who controls who knows magic, not control everything?

ArcturusV
2013-02-20, 01:42 PM
Due to the entry requirements. When you end up creating a guild of nothing but Good Aligned people, who are generally Lawful Oriented, and respect the mortal rulers, and have no megalomaniac ambitions... they have no reason TO rule everything. Just reason to be a cog in the machine that they were made to be part of.

Slipperychicken
2013-02-20, 01:53 PM
In 3.5 D&D, which is what I generally assume, High Level Magicians triump over everyone. Pretty much automatically.


At least some high-level magicians would be loyal to the throne. And they, belonging to such a strong organization as a state, would have greater resources than independent ones. Even higher-level magicians would find overthrowing the state a chancy endeavor at best. Or such powerful beings would have no need for the crown; they already have everything they want by virtue of super-magic.

Besides that fact that Omnipotent Wizards are super boring. At least have a Conan or three running around to smack them down.



Why would this guild who controls who knows magic, not control everything?


You could ask the same question about the King's bodyguard, or military organizations in general. Among other things, the idea of civilian rule, that the strongest guy isn't always the most fit to lead. Sort of like how IRL, military leaders could just overthrow civilian leaders, but often don't for a variety of reasons. They still do sometimes, but it's not very common.

Synovia
2013-02-20, 02:00 PM
Due to the entry requirements. When you end up creating a guild of nothing but Good Aligned people, who are generally Lawful Oriented, and respect the mortal rulers, and have no megalomaniac ambitions... they have no reason TO rule everything. Just reason to be a cog in the machine that they were made to be part of.

Right, but you're presupposing such an organization be lawful good. And you're presupposing that such an organization would never have reason to believe that they (of their average 20+ intelligence) couldn't do a better job than your average king (of normal intelligence).

These just don't seem like reasonable assumptions to me.

Kaveman26
2013-02-20, 02:20 PM
Right, but you're presupposing such an organization be lawful good. And you're presupposing that such an organization would never have reason to believe that they (of their average 20+ intelligence) couldn't do a better job than your average king (of normal intelligence).

These just don't seem like reasonable assumptions to me.

Because they have better things to do. An arcanist able to overthrow a kingdom with his 20+ int and neigh infinite power is not going to be interested in ruling a kingdom, his goals are probably more in line with immortality and ascension to godhood. why be ruler over an anthill when there are whole other planes out there to conquer.

As the Terry Pratchett joke regarding wizards goes:

By the time you unlocked the secrets of eldritch power and discovered how to make the girls without clothes appear you were too old to enjoy the reward.

ArcturusV
2013-02-20, 02:21 PM
Well it's not too far off base.

I mean look at the oath that say, American Soldiers (regardless of branch) have to swear, and the psych testing that goes on for them, etc. And this is just for what the DnD equivalent of a Warrior would be.

Now, the Int thing is where most of the Mage King things seems to start. The idea that because I have Power and I have Intelligence, I should rule. And people tend to think that, sure. How many times have you heard someone bitch about their bosses and go "Pssh, I could do better than that moron!"... how many times though do the lower ranking personnel actually stage a bloody coup however? Outside of anarchist states, third world countries, etc. Usually not the case. And even in the case of the Coup it's STILL not usually the Powerful and Intelligent guy who takes over but the guy with the high Charisma with ranks in skills like Perform (Oratory).

Even if a mage could seize power... they couldn't keep it. The mage in question could easily keep peasant rabble from killing him, etc, sure. But unless he had some legitimizing means he's not going to be able to enforce his will beyond the immediate range of his violence. Or to the limit of people he could dominate/charm (But most mages ban Enchantment because it's useless, oops).

Kornaki
2013-02-20, 02:23 PM
How would you actually rule? Nobody wants a megalomaniac demigod as their king, they'll feel powerless. A single wizard can't really force people to pay taxes and obey his laws - he'll just spend every day tracking down local leaders who are loyal to the old king and killing them. That sounds like a pretty boring occupation for a level 20 wizard. If there's a strong culture of magic users not being trusted with authority because of the potential for abuse then taking the kingdom sounds like a lost cause unless you're willing to do a LOT of legwork for it

EDIT TO ADD: Not to mention that killing the evil court magician who's usurping the throne is a standard fantasy trope. The guy probably doesn't get to rule for thirty minutes before a happy-go-lucky band of adventurers four levels lower than him ends up offing him

Slipperychicken
2013-02-20, 02:31 PM
How would you actually rule?

The normal way, by gaining legitimacy to rule as sovereign. Being backed by the state's power structures (army, church, nobles, etc) would be a must, as normal. The only difference is the Mage King would have more personal power.


But I still think a 20th level Wizard is far beyond ruling over the mortals who are like ants to him. He's off doing something much more important like saving the world or playing chess with demigods.

Synovia
2013-02-20, 03:19 PM
Even if a mage could seize power... they couldn't keep it. The mage in question could easily keep peasant rabble from killing him, etc, sure. But unless he had some legitimizing means he's not going to be able to enforce his will beyond the immediate range of his violence. Or to the limit of people he could dominate/charm (But most mages ban Enchantment because it's useless, oops).

There is no limit to the immediate range of a high level mage's violence in D&D. Thats the thing, there's literally no limit to what they can do.

Fire Lord Pi
2013-02-20, 04:06 PM
My deepest apologies.

Somehow we are arguing about the legitimacy of magocracy.

I must have phrased my question quite horribly. What I meant to ask is how magic would be used in a setting. Remember that part in the DMG? It mentions how a bar might have a "No Detection" sign or a group of merchants might employ invisible wizards to walk around detecting thoughts and invisibility to catch magical thieves.

I was wondering if there exists a compiled list of ways spell could be implemented by rulers, merchants, common-folk, and the like. If not, I'd love some ideas. For example:The mining guild has clerics on payroll to cast soften stone (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/spells/softenEarthAndStone.htm).

Grundy
2013-02-20, 05:46 PM
You bring up one if the less believable parts of dnd magic for me- namely that the spells are designed to benefit individuals (typically murderhobos) and not society at large. It's more believable and appropriate for arcanists in their ivory towers, but you'd think that divine spells would have effects that were more beneficial to groups of people- "sow/plow field" or "preserve food" or "dig hole" or "heat room" or "waterproof object" or "communicate with somebody out of eyeshot" or "deliver baby".
These spells would have durations that would last the work day and speed work, make people's lives easier and better, without doing all the work for them. Even "10 hour energy, mass".

For that matter, all of these things would be as good or better as items or traps.
But if a god really wanted worshippers, I think one or more of these spells would go further than yet another combat spell. Or perhaps they should be npc classes- for non-combatants.

As far as actually helping you:), I'd look at permanency, and allow more liberal use of utility spells for places in your setting- prestidigitation, comprehend languages, cures, pairs for message, etc.
If you go too far with that you'll end up with a Tippyverse, but you may find you like it.

TL/DR. I don't like how magic, especially divine, isn't way more about utility for the masses.

Mark Hall
2013-02-20, 06:04 PM
Magic is like a computer.

The common people assume, somewhat erroneously, that anyone who is good at computers can do pretty much anything, at any time.

Those who ARE good at computers are aware of the limits of computers... but also the shocking lack of security surrounding real vulnerabilities.

Those in power either understand computer technology or are undone by their idiocy.

Same with magic. The common people are likely to assume any wizard can do pretty much anything. Wizards themselves will be aware of their limitations(1). Those kings and potentates who don't understand magic (or are advised by someone who does; King Azoun doesn't need to be a wizard because Vanderghast will keep him from making too many mistakes where magic is concerned) will be whupped by those that do.

(1) Pre 3.x, those limitations were a lot more evident. While a well-prepared wizard was hard to take down, they could fall pretty easily to constant pressure. 3.x removed a lot of the restrictions on wizards, making the scenario laid out in Dragonlance a let less credible.

Rhynn
2013-02-20, 06:16 PM
To the OP:
I recommend the hard approach: go through the core spells and think of how they can be used, and how they can be countered.

I just recently spent a day or so doing this with Artesia: Adventures in the Known World, figuring out how each spell, magic item, herb, and rune could be used in protecting castles, etc. It was very interesting, gave me a better idea of how the world would work, and helped me come up with ideas for creating castles and dungeons.


how many times though do the lower ranking personnel actually stage a bloody coup however?

In a medieval world? All the time.

Basically, for 100-200 years after the Norman Conquest of England (so 11th through 13th century), to be crowned king when the king died, you had to march your army to the capital and to Canterbury to secure both the throne and the crowning ceremony. Henry I seized the crown from his brother William II, then Stephen of Blois usurped it (dethroning the House of Normandy), then Empress Matilda seized it and gave it to his son Henry (establishing the House of Plantagenet), then Henry II's heir, Henry the Young King, rebelled against his father with several of his brothers, and when Richard I inherited he had to make a deal with his brother John to keep him out of England so he wouldn't usurp the throne right away... and once John was king, the barons rebelled twice.

That covers just the first 150 years. Not a single king had a simple, peaceful rule unbothered by challengers to the throne.

In a pseudo-medieval world, loyalty is generally to your immediate liege, not to your liege's liege (like the king). Kings actually did not wield a lot of direct power (military or economic) - their power was about keeping their highest nobles (Dukes in England, etc.) on their side, and most of those nobles had at least a plausible claim to the throne, and almost any of them might revolt if they thought they can make off like thieves from it.

So yes, it's a challenge keeping your throne if there's power-hungry men who can wield incredible magic around. If you can tie some of them to your rule by giving them what they want (like power, wealth, and comfort without the headache of sitting on the throne and worrying about all this), you may do well.

Arbane
2013-02-20, 06:50 PM
How would you actually rule? Nobody wants a megalomaniac demigod as their king, they'll feel powerless.

That's because they ARE powerless. And historically, nobody has cared what the peasantry thought about their betters as long as they kept paying taxes.

Slipperychicken
2013-02-20, 06:55 PM
Nobody wants a megalomaniac demigod as their king, they'll feel powerless.

The Inca would like a word with you. Also, did you know that some people refer to God as "Our Lord", or "King/Lord who art in Heaven"? And that a famous prophet once carved out one of the largest empires in history?

TuggyNE
2013-02-20, 08:01 PM
Just about all of the arguments against mages taking power so far presented in this thread are, essentially, arguments against people in general taking power, and are therefore invalid by default. Sure, the set of "people who like power enough to make sufficient efforts toward it", intersected with the set of "people who know high-level magic", may well be rather smaller than normal, but there's no reason to assume it's null. And without that assumption you end up with quite a few mage-kings, especially if they can extend their lifespans or pick magic-using successors.

One exception so far is the "LG magic guild" idea; unfortunately, that suffers from the problem of unstable and artificial equilibrium. Once you set it up, it may be able to sustain itself, at least for a while; however, it's probable that at some point somebody will manage to evade it long enough to set up their own rival LE guild, and then you have Problems. I.e., like a price-fixing arrangement, anyone who successfully breaks it has a lot to gain.

Scow2
2013-02-20, 08:24 PM
Any mage of intellect strong enough to overthrow a kingdom is smart enough to know he has better things to do with his mind, time, and money than trying to deal with the problems of peasantry. Besides, being a Monarch is like wearing a "Kick Me" sign at all times. They already have enough problems with people wanting to kill them for their power. Being king just isn't worth it.

Unless you're Thayan.

Another balancing factor against wizard rulers - Clerics (and their gods), Druids, psions, and other spellcasters.

Slipperychicken
2013-02-20, 10:37 PM
Just about all of the arguments against mages taking power so far presented in this thread are, essentially, arguments against people in general taking power, and are therefore invalid by default. Sure, the set of "people who like power enough to make sufficient efforts toward it", intersected with the set of "people who know high-level magic", may well be rather smaller than normal, but there's no reason to assume it's null. And without that assumption you end up with quite a few mage-kings, especially if they can extend their lifespans or pick magic-using successors.


Also, the realm doesn't benefit much from having the King and the high-level magic user being the same person. They do different duties, both of which consume massive amounts of time (a Wizard's study is so all-consuming they rarely leave their towers, and we all know how busy heads of state are), rendering dual-function very stressful and difficult. Not to mention that all those Wizards dumped Charisma, making them more suitable as advisers than rulers :smallbiggrin:

ArcturusV
2013-02-20, 11:08 PM
Well, back to Fire Lord Pi's thing. Magic use in a society where Magic Flourishes. It all kind of depends on how the magic actually plays out. If "Magic=Science" like some settings, and Black Box style technology can be set up with magic, you end up with something more akin to Star Trek than to Fantasy. Post Scarcity Utopias (heck, even level 1 spellcasters can provide enough food and water magically, every day, to feed a small village). Higher level ones can literally create matter as they wish. There, presuming magic gets shared, no reason to work. Anything you might gain through years of hard work a Mage could get by studying a new spell for a few weeks (Worst case scenario) and snapping his fingers. So many basic needs we consider can easily be met by low level magic that the fundamental drives of society as the Fantasy Genre knows it would just be... broken. It'd be a weird world. Of course if your mages are less altruistic (And it wouldn't take that many being altruistic to cause this end result), it ends up very stratified, with the Magical Haves who literally do have life on easy street, and a non-person class who not only is dirt poor, starving, etc... but they also have nothing to offer the Higher Class. They are, effectively, useless. Except maybe as golem material? Even then not really with spells like Reincarnation making new bodies, Clone, etc. A mage who's lazy and likes to use Liquid Pain? Really humanity (And elfity, dwarfity, etc) has no purpose other than use as spell components at that point. So it's a Post Scarcity Dystopia.

The DMG suggestion doesn't seem to take into account the idea that wizards can make items to do... well... most anything. Or that wizards even WOULD make items. Or that a wizard would even really realize the potential of his spells. Using something like Invisibility to stop Shoplifters is like saying you're calling in the Navy SEALS to deal with Jaywalkers. All you'd really need is a level 1 Warrior NPC with a club, and maybe a Dog.

It's just that DnD always presumed wizards were... I dunno... somehow LESS than the spells allowed them to be? They seem to have the idea that Wizards in general are small minded people who can't seem to think of a better use for their magic than wielding it like a cudgel and using it for the same ends that a thief might use a dagger.

Even in a setting where Magic Item creation is rare, difficult, and abstract (See for example Riddle Crafting suggetions in ADnD 2nd edition, where they suggest things that sound like Herculean Tasks as steps to magic item creation like making a shirt with no seems), even low level spells just break open the economy and balance of the world. Even a level 1 Cleric, using just Orisons and the three first level spells he's likely to have can walk into town and completely destroy the economy. Even from just a simple spell like Create Food and Drink. Who needs to hunt, farm, fish, grow wine grapes, etc, when a cleric can just wave his hands a couple of times a day and feed a whole village?

So they have no reason to do their jobs. They have no wealth to pay taxes with. They have no wants.

There's just so many more logical uses of spells, simple spells even, that would break the foundation of most Fantasy worlds. And the only reason they don't is the authors tend to purposefully ignore them. It's a slippery slope when you start looking for wide spread magic use.

GoddessSune
2013-02-21, 12:05 AM
You bring up one if the less believable parts of dnd magic for me- namely that the spells are designed to benefit individuals (typically murderhobos) and not society at large.

TL/DR. I don't like how magic, especially divine, isn't way more about utility for the masses.


Well, D&D is a game about a group of characters going on a dungeon adventure. And this is more true with the spell list then any other part. The spell list of D&D is: what spells would you want to use while exploring a dungeon. And in three plus decades that has not been modified much. No one has taken an hour or so to create 'society magic'.

ArcturusV
2013-02-21, 12:12 AM
But there is a lot of "Society Magic" from Tenser's floating disks. Magic Mouth. Prestidigitation. Unseen Servant. Wall of _____. Create Food and Drink. Consecrate. Augury. Teleportation Circle. Etc, etc, etc, etc.

All of these not only could massively benefit society, but often "Break" society as it stands in most settings.

Grundy
2013-02-21, 12:15 AM
While I agree with you to an extent, I don't think a first level cleric could feed a whole village. Create food and water is a 3rd level spell, so that's out. Purify food and water would work for a while- theoretically it could be cast 6 times, provided there was a pile of rotting food in a starving village- but that would only be 6 cu ft of food. Your fridge is probably 18-22 cu ft. How many mouths in a village?

Besides, every cleric should know the old saw "Give a man a fish..." That's part of my dissatisfaction with divine spells- they aren't truly helpful unless you're a combat medic or codzilla. They don't help you tend your flock.

But yeah, by the time 3.5 rolled out, the whole "Ye olde England, but with a hedge wizard here and there" doesn't work as a society. I totally get why a powerful spell caster doesn't want to rule (who wants that job? Can you say demoted?), but a few levels of spell casting would really help any ambitious young thing. So there should totally be a spellcasting caste aiding, ruling over or outright excluding the non-casters, depending on alignment.

GoddessSune
2013-02-21, 12:59 AM
But there is a lot of "Society Magic" from Tenser's floating disks. Magic Mouth. Prestidigitation. Unseen Servant. Wall of _____. Create Food and Drink. Consecrate. Augury. Teleportation Circle. Etc, etc, etc, etc.

All of these not only could massively benefit society, but often "Break" society as it stands in most settings.

Well, all that magic goes back to the dungeon. Tenser's floating disks to carry loot. Magic Mouths to say cryptic riddles or messages. Prestidigitation to to 'camp chores'. Unseen Servant to be your 'traveling slave' and to do things in dungeons. Walls are battlefeild control spells. Create food and Drink is for the poor souls lost or trapped in a dungeon(or maze). Consecrate is for Ye Old Holy Places. Augury is for simple dungeons questions ''what is on the other side of door one?" Teleportaion circle is a Trap!

Sure society at large can use some of the spells, but the idea behind the spells is all ''life is a dungeon''.

Grundy
2013-02-21, 01:38 AM
Well, all that magic goes back to the dungeon. Tenser's floating disks to carry loot. Magic Mouths to say cryptic riddles or messages. Prestidigitation to to 'camp chores'. Unseen Servant to be your 'traveling slave' and to do things in dungeons. Walls are battlefeild control spells. Create food and Drink is for the poor souls lost or trapped in a dungeon(or maze). Consecrate is for Ye Old Holy Places. Augury is for simple dungeons questions ''what is on the other side of door one?" Teleportaion circle is a Trap!

Sure society at large can use some of the spells, but the idea behind the spells is all ''life is a dungeon''.

Yes they tend to be short durations, or small areas of total instantaneous creation, or in the case of unseen servant, anything that a seen servant couldn't do. Not much to make the workday more productive, or protect crops from blight, or the well from running dry, or the house from rotting away. Not much to tend to more than one person, basically, which is great in the dungeon, but doesn't make any sense in the world at large.