Quote Originally Posted by Thrudd View Post
Pedantry: It's shao lin not xiao lin. Both mean small/little and pronounced very similarly...
I'm surprised that the words mean roughly the same thing despite being different enough to be Anglicized differently.

Quote Originally Posted by goto124 View Post
The only kind of combat-viable* monk I know is the Shaolin monk...

Okay, maybe not the only one, but it's the main kind of combat-viable monk I know.
In a world where the gods intervene to put a Band-Aid on your fallen comrades because a priest said pretty please, I'd say any holy man has a decent claim of being combat-viable.

Quote Originally Posted by Telonius View Post
My childhood fantasy misconception: there are not very many old people. Everyone you see who looks old is either the king, a witch, a wizard, or a disguised gnome/fairy/magic creature.
Plague must have gotten them.

Spoiler: Science and Physics

Quote Originally Posted by Enixon View Post
I'd like to refer you to my post on that subject (look in the spoiler).
TL;DR: Even if there are extra things that are possible in a fantasy setting, everything else works exactly the same as in our own, so why should we assume that those parts work differently?

Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
There are some pretty glaring misunderstandings about science in this thread. Silly adulthood misconceptions of fantasy elements, perhaps?
Science is, at its heart, the method by which information about the world is gathered. If you applied the scientific method in the D&D world, you would not end up with the laws of thermodynamics and simply be baffled by magic's exception. You'd quite literally end up with rules which cover the way that magic operates, because magic is a real, observable phenomenon in the D&D world. It ticks every box necessary for scientific inquiry.
If they were born in a D&D world, Newton and Einstein wouldn't have restraining orders against Bob the Magician, they'd be the magicians researching new vistas of arcane understandings. D&D magic pretty much just is science in a world that happens to have different natural laws.
Also true. Though arguably less relevant to the anti-physicists' point.

Quote Originally Posted by Amaril View Post
Now, that's definitely a perfectly fine way to describe magic. But I'd argue it's not the only one.

The other big way I see magic used is as a representation of everything that defies logic and sense. You have the way the world usually works, the way it's supposed to work, and you have science that can quantify and explain it. That science might produce information different from what we have in reality, but it still works the same way. But then you have magic, and magic, by its very nature, doesn't make sense. It's everything that should not happen, even under in-setting scientific assumptions, but it does anyway, because that's its role in the story--to embody the unknown, the nonsensical, the insane, and make it a real force capable of actively influencing events. This approach is more characteristic of so called "soft-magic" stories where magic is inconsistent, unpredictable, and has few to no rules governing what it can do, and is thus rarely employed as a tool by protagonists because of its potential to trivialize the challenges they face.

Basically, it comes down to whether you analyze a setting based on its in-world rationality, or the external narrative principles that govern its function. A world designed to run on the former requires magic as just different science; a world built on the latter doesn't.
Science doesn't work like that. If there's something which violates the apparent laws of physics, scientists don't throw up their hands and declare that this is something that doesn't make sense and shouldn't happen—they leave that to philosophers and theologians. Instead, they quantify the something and try to understand where they went wrong when describing the laws of physics.
This exact thing happened with neutrinos, though on a less interesting scale. Conservation of energy and momentum seemed to be violated, so the scientists worked to figure out why; they made theories and figured out how to test them, and understood the universe better as a result. In a world with magic, the same thing would happen—except these "violations" would be incorporated into the laws of physics from the very beginning!
And just because people conclude something is "random" doesn't mean it necessarily is; there could well be patterns they haven't managed to figure out. A lot of biological patterns started out this way, such as species distribution ("Why are these species here but not there?"); then evolution and continental drift and so on came along, and we could piece it together, and now species distribution is...well, it's not as certain as the orbits of the planets, but it's still well-understood.

Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
I agree. This is the most prevalent and major misconception. The only series I van name that even sort of do it right are the Discworld novels and the original Ghostbusters films.
And the funny thing is, Discworld is the closest thing to "Magic doesn't follow any kind of proper magical laws" that I can think of.