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Re: Magic Item creation: Notes D thru H. Diseconomy of scale

That ... is a disturbing visual.  It reminds me of Dave Arneson's first Arch Bad Guy™  the infamous "Egg of Coot".  I'll quote your comment, then post a little blurb on that megalomaniac.

> Robert Ward
> Pursuing this one stage further, the idea of magic item creation showing economies or diseconomies of scale has some interesting implications.
> If economical, one could imagine a dystopia in which the power of magic item creation lies in the hands of those who can corral large numbers of wizards into more or less Victorian industrial-age factories, slavishly draining their power. Powerful magic items would be commonplace, the factory owners would be very powerful, and vulnerable wizards of all kind would be shamelessly exploited. Stage set for a group of freedom fighters!


Egg of Coot

   This all consuming personality lives off the egos of others to support his own ego.  At one time millennia ago) of humanoid characteristics, today, his exact physical description is unknown.  In fact it is not even known for sure if he (it) has a physical appearance.  Theories say that he is now a huge mass of jointly operating cells, a huge mass of Jelly, a giant thickly hided egg, pure energy, a man, a mass of living rock, etc.  It is generally acknowledged that the physique of this creature is too horrible for any mortal to behold and that it carries out its activities through the use of surrogates which it controls or has programmed.  All communications with this beast are through direct mental contact or via his throne-room which is dominated by a huge old world artifact said to be an ancient war machine, through which it communicates directly via voice transmission from some other area of it’s City-Palace.

1) Enjoys little jokes like scrawling obscene words and phrases on the walls of latrines and garbage cans (to show it’s “power”), sky writing, pulling the wings off of flies, etc.  General level of jokes indicates a level 11 intelligence with a mature age of 3 to 6, never having been denied anything!

2) Has a huge Laboratory that turns out spells, for selling, which are (of course) perfection itself (20% chance of failure +10% per level of spell).  Of historical interest is when the Ran of Ah Foo served in the factory as a spell maker but was kicked out when he “surpassed” the Egg’s standard of excellence, which, since the perfect standard is impossible to surpass, meant he (the Ran) had committed the ultimate wrong and was forced to flee rather than become the newest human victim to be experimented on.

3) All close servants of the Egg, undergo rigorous mental conditioning that is aimed at crushing all their mental initiative.  This is then replaced by the overwhelming desire to serve the Egg and  do _exactly_ as it wished.  Part of the standard conditioning has them believing that all the Egg does and communicates is good and right with all unbelievers being those jealous of the Egg’s perfection and should be treated accordingly.

4) The Egg is known to hold an unshakeable grudge against anything the that ever in any way caused it difficulty that was not immediately overcome.  It will direct it’s efforts exclusively towards the demise of this force even to the extent of ignoring past offenders in order to go after the newest that.  This is the result of the Egg’s tremendous self-esteem with admits no failings.

5) The best insight into the Egg’s ambitions are in it’s creed which is daily intoned by hundreds of conditioned followers, around his capital city:
     Might is Right.  Might is Right. 
     Don’t Give a Sucker an even break.
     Winning is everything.
     Get what you want by Hook or by Crook, but get it.
     The Ends always justify the means used to achieve it.
     The meek may inherit the Earth but that means the strongest will rule everything.

     I fear the rest of the creed is a bit too strong for our gentle readers and deal with certain “breeding privileges and customs.”  Let it suffice the then an area is captured by the Egg, it shortly undergoes a dramatic population decline and acquires a new and very inhuman population composition.

- The First Fantasy Campaign
 - Dave Arneson
 - 1971