Fridge: Dungeons & Dragons

Fridge Brilliance

  • A bit of Forgotten Realms fluff related fridge brilliance; a lot of people complained about them killing Mystra in 4e, after it had been established that Mystra is needed for magic to function. A lot of people also mentioned that Mystra had died more than once before, and asked what made this time so special. But there were two constants for when Mystra died; 1: magic started going completely haywire, and 2: someone stepped up and became a new Mystra before things got out of hand. What makes this time different is that the second one didn't happen. No one took over, so magic just went out of control. But where as everyone had expected a complete collapse, instead you got the spellplague. Even better: magic did completely collapse. The Realms has always been an extremely high-magic world, with a wide array of spellcasters, uses for magic, and a lot of high-power spellcasters. The Weave itself is designed to be an interface, because mortals cannot safely access raw magic without burning their brains out. When Mystra died and the Weave collapsed, it led to the rest of the magic in Realmspace also collapsing. What spellcasters use for magic now is merely remnants, fragments of the former power that magic held. And this also fits in perfectly with how powerful magic had been as compared to how powerful magic is now.
  • The bard is seen as weak so that when the enemy is attacking, they're low priority.
  • Bard illusion spells are basically cheap special effects.
  • Slaadi:
    • A lot of people think it's silly that the slaadi, the embodiments of Chaotic Neutral in the same way demons personify Chaotic Evil, look like humanoid frogs. The usual response is that, if they embody pure chaos, they could look like anything, so why shouldn't they look like frogs? But in Egyptian mythology, the chaos before creation was inhabited by primal gods, some of whom looked like, you guessed it, frogs. For bonus points, Pathfinder wasn't able to use slaadi due to copyright reasons, so their role of Chaotic Neutral exemplars was filled with the proteans, who, like some other primal Egyptian gods, look like snakes.
    • Moreover, how many real-world animals can the average person think of that represent Chaos's transformative aspects better than the frog? In its life cycle, it changes from water-breather to air-breather, herbivore to carnivore, finned to legged. Not even butterflies alter that many aspects of their way of life, in shifting from juvenile to adult; only parasitic worms transform as drastically, and slaadi emulate them in their breeding methods, too.
    • Another theory is that chaos has two parts to it: Change and randomness. The slaadi represent the latter. They are, by normal terms, insane. In their world, the answer to everything is "giant frog." One of the definitions of insanity is trying to do the same thing and expect different results. So, they use giant frogs for everything.
  • Evil afterlives:
    • There's often the question of why worship an evil god when their afterlife is so horrible. Really, it isn't. Sure, there's endless torture and pain, but there's also debauchery to contrast to that- unlike good aligned afterlives where there's only pleasure, there's no contrast, and pain and pleasure are meaningless without the contrast. More over, evil afterlifes such as the Nine Hells present souls condemned their with constant mental challenges, the opportunity to match wits and will against devils, the most cunning and clever outsiders in the universe. For the intellectually inclined, such an opportunity would be a remarkably stimulating and rewarding experience on it's own, but the end result is the possibility of climbing the diabolic ladder and becoming a more powerful devil- an opportunity for advancement not present in most good aligned afterlives, where you're expected to sit in contentment for eternity. It's not a bad prospect for most, but for the evil or the ambitious, it would seem profoundly boring.
    • While the gods have alignment-based portfolios in D&D, they also have specific professions, interests and so on. The afterlife of Vecna, for instance, probably involves more time spent in the library looking over the spell-books than torture or whatever. The mortals are tools for the gods, why would they waste time on them instead of using them just because they're dead? Especially since you only let in the devout followers.
    • The only afterlife plane that is the standard brimstone and torture hell are the demon and devil planes... and no one does worship them, really. Apart from cultists who are, y'know, into that kind of thing.
    • It seems like a DM really interested in doing worshippers of evil religions justice could hit it from a lot of angles, even in the same game varying from individual to individual. In 4e it was implied that worshippers were few for evil Gods but mostly those blinded by ambition who believed they'd have a good rank in the afterlife (some might be twisted and mad cultists, others cultured hedonists), other petitioners might be the souls who worshipped (or paid lipservice) to the Good Gods but were barred for being too evil (which /would/ give the card-carrying evil-worshippers a significant rank-and-file to lord over). Another moralistic interpretation might be that these evil souls actively "worshipped" the Evil Gods through their actions even if they paid empty lip service to good. Similarly, there's a lot of Gods like Gruumsh who, while Evil, are also amongst the only divine representatives for their race and someone they could appeal to for protection. Even Neutral members of largely Good races might pay some lip-service to Evil gods in the same way some traditional religions might make sacrifices or hold services for evil gods; to avert their ire in times of crisis. To really do justice to the question, one would have to set the game in Planescape and show the legal/bureaucratic nightmare that would be getting souls into the right afterlife and God(dess) when the two might be incompatible,
  • Animated series: The players have classes that don't match their personalities, don't use their powers effectively, have trouble picking up on the dungeon master's sand keep arguing all the time. That's exactly like a real game.