Guide to the Weary Traveler: The Bank of White Mage

Sir Digimus,

The other day I was playing with a group in Valkurm, when three of our members were killed by an incredibly tough monster. After searching for what seemed like forever, we were able to find a White Mage that was high enough of a level to raise us. Imagine our horror when he demanded that we pay him 1,000 gil per cast to raise our party members from the dead. Even though it seemed shocking at the time, when you think about it, it’s a really good way to get some cash. My question is, it ethical to charge to raise your fellow players? I know that some people become white mages to help others out because they enjoy helping their fellow man. Therefore to charge for a raise seems a contradiction of this belief. What do you think?

Midgardsormr Server

Dear Makov,

Ah! A kindred spirit from the World of Midardsormr! Welcome! Your question is an interesting conundrum indeed, and a valid point you raise. Raise? Get it? *chuckle* Ohh… goodness where was I?

Oh yes… Gil is a precious commodity in the lands of Vana’diel, and it goes without saying that there are those who will take advantage of that, or be blinded by its glitter. To look at your problem entirely we have to first understand the two points of view on this matter.

First, is the White Mage’s. The very reason that they are all unavailable and/or in hiding is due to a certain level of harassment that they receive from other adventurers. They receive shouts and tells from all varieties of people asking for parties or raises. Unfortunately, there is a good portion of adventurers that are very ungrateful of the White Mage’s services and like the letter I received last time, treat White Mages wrongly. If you smiled, laughed or lowered your head in shame, then yes, I am talking about you! *mumbles*…bunch of stupid gits…*mumbles* Anyway, this forces them to use some method to weed out the bad parties or players. In their minds, parties that want a White Mage or a dead player who wants a raise are going to have to prove to them that they appreciate the White Mage’s services. It is the disrespect that they so often receive that pushes them to such anger and cynicism. Hence, the one-thousand Gil fee. This doesn’t make what they are doing right, and again not all White Mages are like this. Some will venture from far lands and help those in need.

On the flip side there is your argument. In a world where White Mages are the gentle hand that heals and protects us, is it right of them to charge for services that it are their duty (in a sense) to provide? To this end I would agree that it is unethical for them to charge for such services. A White Mage’s role in this game is what I said just a little while ago: to heal and protect. Just as a Warrior would help strike down a foe that was attacking a weaker adventurer, or a Thief would help the tired passerby with his heavy load by relieving him of some of it. You don’t see them shouting for compensation. They, understanding this role or job, provide this service freely and White Mages should do so as well. In my travels, there have been a couple of times where I have observed a party that was defeated and a White Mage took the time to stop and laugh at them before venturing onward. Time that could of easily be spent raising all of the fallen adventurers. How do you even defend that?! You can’t! This White Mage, from all accounts, wasn’t even asked by this party to come and help. He happened to walk by and then hurl insults at them. If such a power existed to revoke their rosary, I would have certainly called upon it then.

A vicious cycle has been created by both the ungrateful adventurers and the White Mages who feel they have been wronged, and neither side has really been able to budge on the matter. They are like two children fighting over a toy. Simply put, “Two wrongs don’t make a right,” and this behavior places innocent adventures or White Mages who don’t exercise such behavior to be on the receiving end of undue negativity. I can understand that no one likes to fall in battle because they lose experience and time. At the same time though, are we not gaining experience for how to handle the battle next time? Perhaps that a creature may currently be too difficult to defeat? (Ooo… got a little brighter in here, like lanterns were finally coming on in some people’s heads.) Being in the position I am, as an Image Consultant, let me see if we can improve both images… my suggestion to both sides would be this:

Adventurers: Respect the White Mage and aid them as best you can in a party environment. You may have some big pointy weapon or can cast ‘Nuke’, but enemies have big point things or can cast ‘Ultima’ and that will make you and/or your parties take a nice long nap without a White Mage’s help. In the case of a raise from a White Mage not in your party, consider donating some Gil to them for their efforts. Even a small amount can go a long way to show that you appreciate what they have done for you.

White Mages: Don’t be such cry babies. Now, before you all get your habits in a bunch and try to smite me with ‘Holy’, listen. It is your given role in this world to be patient and heal those in need. Like I mentioned above, a White Mage had the time to stop and laugh, but not the time to cast Raise on three fallen adventurers? Look, I understand that not all White Mages are like this, but there are those out there that are giving you honest ones a bad name. I think that those out there that feel you are ‘good’ White Mages should encourage the more positive behavior. Also, as it is your role to provide such services, you shouldn’t expect to necessarily receive monetary compensation for your time. It may only be a cheer or other sign of appreciation, especially from younger (read: poorer) adventurers.

One day maybe, the cycle will be broken. But until that time we all have to bear the consequence of a few people’s poor decisions.

-Sir Digimus

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