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 Post subject: Re: Magic must happen RAR PostPosted: 2012-08-12 05:32pm
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Agent Sorchus wrote:
Mr Bean wrote:
I nominate the Bending system seen in Avatar the Last Airbender. Magic but no one is getting their minds re-written or souls sucked out, at worst we have blood benders to worry about.

So how do you figure the tribes and the avatar cycle would fit into our world?


The Avatar would be a Dali Lama type figure, Prince of Peace with superpowers and without the history of oppressing his own little mountaintop kingdom to benefit his priests. The Avatar would be a neutral party on the international stage since he or she is being reborn randomly throughout the world. The way I see it the four tribes would be assigned back in our history so say Africa/Mediterranean would be Earth or Fire with Asia/Eurasia getting the other element, the Pacific islanders, natives Americans and other mitigatory people getting water with Air being a very rare and totally random tribe long since scattered.

In our time frame I'd see our Avatar magic system meaning that lets say 5%-15% of the worlds population gets bending of some kind with a Avatar randomly being selected from someplace like Switzerland or just at random. My rules I put forward is that bending is genetic but exclusionary and set at birth. If your mother is Water and your dad is Fire you get both sets of genes but only one will manifest and even then it won't necessarily "turn on" and grant you bending. Your parents can both be benders and you have a X% chance of being a bender yourself.

Benders have to respect the same rules as ATLA like firebenders being the only ones who can create their element from nothing while water benders need a source of water (Including themselves) Earth benders can easily bend elements easiest and certain materials (Like plastics or refined metal) are hard to impossible to bend and anything to far from the the stereotypical depiction of Earth they can't touch (No Uranium bending!). Air benders can't bend in a vacuum ect. Also the benefits apply like full moons making water bending stronger, comets (All comets) making fire bending stronger, Earth and Air bending having no special times when they are stronger.




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 Post subject: Re: Magic must happen RAR PostPosted: 2012-08-12 05:44pm
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Ahriman238 wrote:
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How about spell casting MtG style? You'd need to control vast swathes of land to do anything beyond parlor tricks and nobody can become a true god using it.


Sorry I have to address this. How many swamps and forests do you suppose Kim Jong Un controls? Benedict XVI? Obama? The Feds IIRC don't control all that much land, but there is still a ton of NA land being held "in trust" by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, does the director of that Bureau get the mana? And poor Merkel will be forced to play only Green/Red, not fun.

Again, that's not actually how Mana works in M:tG. You can summon mana from the land if you have direct experience and memories of that particular kind of land (red mana from mountains and mountain ranges; green mana from forests; white mana from grasslands; blue mana from the oceans, seas, and island ecosystems; and black mana from wetlands and swamps; and these are just the basic land types-- more specific locations might have an association with a specific mana or even no mana. For instance, deserts are considered colorless, cities can vary depending on the climate and society). A rich investor who owns a bananna plantation in the Bahamas but lives in New York can't summon blue or green mana because he never actually visits the place-- and no, owning a travel brochure doesn't count. On the other hand, a farmer in the midwest would be able to summon white mana because he is surrounded by the plains environment all his life. Or a park ranger in Colorado would have red and green mana because their profession puts them in contact with the forests and mountains, and they are likely the kind of person who enjoys their job. Obama might be able to summon blue mana, but it would depend on the strength of his memories of living in Hawaii as a kid. Black mana? Unless he's spent significant time in Louisiana that I'm unaware of, no dice.

Of course, his generals and other politicians are another story. But just owning or governing land is not enough to be able to use the corresponding mana.



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 Post subject: Re: Magic must happen RAR PostPosted: 2012-08-12 05:51pm
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One thing I don't want is a system where some people get magic, others don't. Splitting humanity like that is just asking for discrimination and violence between the groups. Maybe the magic users dominate others via their magic, or maybe current technology is powerful enough that the magic users lose out to the unmagical. Either option is unacceptable for me.

I want magic to be something that is available to anyone willing to put in the effort to learn it.

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 Post subject: Re: Magic must happen RAR PostPosted: 2012-08-12 06:13pm
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bilateralrope wrote:
One thing I don't want is a system where some people get magic, others don't. Splitting humanity like that is just asking for discrimination and violence between the groups. Maybe the magic users dominate others via their magic, or maybe current technology is powerful enough that the magic users lose out to the unmagical. Either option is unacceptable for me.

I want magic to be something that is available to anyone willing to put in the effort to learn it.


That specifically goes against the rules of the rar.

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 Post subject: Re: Magic must happen RAR PostPosted: 2012-08-12 07:56pm
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Jub wrote:
bilateralrope wrote:
One thing I don't want is a system where some people get magic, others don't. Splitting humanity like that is just asking for discrimination and violence between the groups. Maybe the magic users dominate others via their magic, or maybe current technology is powerful enough that the magic users lose out to the unmagical. Either option is unacceptable for me.

I want magic to be something that is available to anyone willing to put in the effort to learn it.


That specifically goes against the rules of the rar.


Which rule ?

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 Post subject: Re: Magic must happen RAR PostPosted: 2012-08-12 08:20pm
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Right in the OP: No you don't get the magic in the end. It is distributed as is only fair if your sense of fair comes from the husk of a dead god.

So the god decides how the magic is passed out, you just pick what system he uses and what criteria he might use to hand out magic.

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 Post subject: Re: Magic must happen RAR PostPosted: 2012-08-12 08:32pm
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I guess a slight clarification is needed. Indeed if the magic is not learned or earned then yes essentially a random selection of the populace gets access to it. IF it is learned or earned all people can partake but most will not start with any great understanding. So say Harry Potter style magic was chosen then only a selection of the populace would ever be able to use magic, but if DnD were selected then eventually anyone could learn it, but won't start with any real ability. Either way those that get magic immediately are chosen by the Dead god.



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 Post subject: Re: Magic must happen RAR PostPosted: 2012-08-12 08:33pm
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Okay, that helps. Then picking something where the magic is relatively harmless and everybody can use it would be the best way to go.

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 Post subject: Re: Magic must happen RAR PostPosted: 2012-08-12 10:20pm
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In that case, I would like to nominate three possible systems of magic:

#1 - As represented by the 'Darkness' series by H.P Turtledove. Just about everyone can work simple charms, you need serious training to do anything that would screw with a persons mind, and it can be industralized and mass produced. i.e They have 'Sticks' instead of guns, and the sticks shot fire beams. And they have WW2 size populations and armies and such.

That would also create Ley-lines and such in the world.

The drawback: Life energy can be used as magical fuel.

#2 - D20 System Style magic (specifically Pathfinder, as there is no Epic stuff for that yet), with us house ruling stuff before it's implemented, and putting something in place to protect normal humans from magical mental attacks (a massive ward over the planet comes to mind)

#3 - RIFTS style of magic, as that is rather open ended, and Technowizardry exists (i.e Guns that run on magic, and shot magic)(i.e Cars that run on magical power).
The bonus is if we decide on that system of magic, we get leylines, and anywhere they intersect, that's probably how these eldrtich things are getting back to Earth.

ANd since odds are, whatever we choose, the world is going to end up looking like RIFTS Earth anyway, we get a jump on the competition.

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 Post subject: Re: Magic must happen RAR PostPosted: 2012-08-13 02:17am
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Starglider wrote:
Mage : The Ascension is not as bad but I'm not clear how it would work when divorced from the setting. Paradox was so strong because the Technocracy was enforcing static reality; in the Middle Ages version of the setting it was much less of a factor, because the Technocracy was only just getting started.


There's always nWoD Mage: the Awakening. No Technocracy, Paradox caused by backlash from the Abyss separating the Realms.

And really, there would still be paradox without the Technocracy. The Technocracy enforced static reality reactively, by squashing willworkers. Paradox was the force of collective belief, more or less.

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 Post subject: Re: Magic must happen RAR PostPosted: 2012-08-13 11:23am
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My caveat for using the bending system would be to change it so that your average bender can bend 1 element, but with hard work and an open mind you can bend 2 whilst geniuses and prodigies could bend 3; the point of the avatar is that 4 is so absurdly and obscenely difficult because of the issue of Opposed Elements problem that only he and no one else can ever bend 4.

I feel since we're not a TV show we dont have the issue of screentime to limit how creative our bending can be by mixing and matching.

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 Post subject: Re: Magic must happen RAR PostPosted: 2012-08-13 03:39pm
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Why should we want people to be able to bend more than one element? Forcing benders to work together to get things done would keep any one person from getting out of hand.

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 Post subject: Re: Magic must happen RAR PostPosted: 2012-08-14 10:42am
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I would most prefer to have the magical system from Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. Alchemy is already more or less a science in that setting, and unlike Bending, it's not necessarily just an ability that only a minority of people would be born with (risking jealousy, persecution, and prejudice). It also has (usually) predictable rules and laws, and is ultimately limited by the amount of useful work that you can channel.



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 Post subject: Re: Magic must happen RAR PostPosted: 2012-08-14 11:45am
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Guardsman Bass wrote:
I would most prefer to have the magical system from Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. Alchemy is already more or less a science in that setting, and unlike Bending, it's not necessarily just an ability that only a minority of people would be born with (risking jealousy, persecution, and prejudice). It also has (usually) predictable rules and laws, and is ultimately limited by the amount of useful work that you can channel.


And just as an aside, mass human sacrifice leads to incredible rule-breaking power levels and possibly immortality?

I mean, I assume we can police that to an extent, so I'm not saying no out of hand. I'd just prefer a magic system where it isn't possible to steal magic, gain power through human sacrifice or otherwise become obscenely powerful by hurting and exploiting others.

How about Codex Alera? Similar to the bending in that everyone has one or two elements they manipulate (via Fury spirits) with the traditional 4 plus wood and metal.



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 Post subject: Re: Magic must happen RAR PostPosted: 2012-08-14 01:50pm
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I don't see it much different from nukes in real life, its not something the average person can do, it took a centuries long conspiracy to accomplish and tricking an absolutist monarch in the previous. Both only because of a Faustian creature who had the knowledge that no one else would have had.

Otherwise everyone either just gets energy from volcanic activity or from ley lines as normal and no one is really overpowered. My personal interpretation was that reviving people and healing organic matter was more of a problem with insufficient knowledge and running into flawed scientific deadends.

I like the idea that some ad hoc form of lichdom is possible in FMA but only avoided due to the plot and the cleverly present urban legend distracting people's efforts and making Alchemists pursue a scientific dead end. I think its plausible and would've been interesting if an Alchemist figured out how to create a working humunculus without sentience and then transfered his soul into it and its Philosopher's Stone as a lich like phylictary. Bam, instant Lich and we get powerful interesting enemies who still have human motivations and flaws. Seems like a good direction if the mangka decides to revisit FMA and introduce elements that developed parallel to Xerxes or prior to it.

My reasoning for introducing multiple bending arts is simply in that I felt the 1 element per bending except the avatar was an arbitrary restriction absent the cultural context the Avatar universe has its foundation in (the meta balance between the Firenation, Water Tribe, Air Nomads and Earth Kingdom), without that it doesn't make sense since obviously we don't have culture as a reasoning for determining it. And personalities are too maleable.

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 Post subject: Re: Magic must happen RAR PostPosted: 2012-08-15 12:10am
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Could someone explain FMA's Alchemy a little bit for me? I mean, I could look it up online but I'm feeling lazy, and besides you kinda should consider not all of us have watched that show.



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 Post subject: Re: Magic must happen RAR PostPosted: 2012-08-15 01:23am
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Formless wrote:
Could someone explain FMA's Alchemy a little bit for me? I mean, I could look it up online but I'm feeling lazy, and besides you kinda should consider not all of us have watched that show.

At it's heart... Equivalent exchange, to gain something you must first give something of equal value. Transmutation of things is possible and involves first deconstruction (Breaking things down into base elements) then reassembly and creation where you take what you broke down into raw materials and turn them into the finished product.

All transmutation requires transmutation circles which must be draw to exact measurements and follow principles of Alchemy which in FMA is a full on science with detailed notes, formulas to follow, experimentation and improvement between generations.

Those who see "The Truth" can preform transmutations without a transmutation circle. However to see the Truth you must preform human transmutation (Typically trying to bring someone back from the dead) and those that do are always scarred in some way. Losing arms, losing eyes, getting your womb ripped out, losing your entire body. Trying to see the Truth on purpose is almost never a smart idea.

To power the break down and creation the alchemists tap the motion of the earth or something. But it means you can take a pile of wood and get a boat, or take the air and break out down the trace nitrogen and trace elements into pure oxygen to produce explosions or shape rocks into exact perfect statues that have been passed down the Armstrong line for generations.


*Edit
There's also the Philosopher Stone which lets you break the rules of Equivalent exchange.




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 Post subject: Re: Magic must happen RAR PostPosted: 2012-08-15 05:05am
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The philosopher's stone being an ungodly creation of pure evil (in this setting). (it's made from people)

Active alchemists often have transmutation circles on their clothing or tattooed on the skin. Each circle can do only the one transmutation (make fire, convert water vapour into mist) but they're handy to have in a pinch.

There was also one guy who tattooed his arm with only half a circle, making him very good at breaking things down into atoms (boom).

There were also people investigating biological transmutation, but that tends to backfire with horrible effects.



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 Post subject: Re: Magic must happen RAR PostPosted: 2012-08-15 10:12am
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The human transmutation weirdness seems to apply mostly to trying to create/restore human life to a corpse, or assembling a bunch of materials into a human being. Medical alchemy is possible in the setting, and that's a big part of the alchemy in a different country from the main setting - so just using alchemy on humans doesn't trigger it.

Mr Bean wrote:
Those who see "The Truth" can preform transmutations without a transmutation circle. However to see the Truth you must preform human transmutation (Typically trying to bring someone back from the dead) and those that do are always scarred in some way. Losing arms, losing eyes, getting your womb ripped out, losing your entire body. Trying to see the Truth on purpose is almost never a smart idea.


The punishments tend to be ironically cruel, too. For example, one prominent female character really wanted a child in the past, and when her child was stillborn, she tried to bring him back to life with alchemy. It didn't work, and she lost virtually all her internal organs associated with reproduction.



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 Post subject: Re: Magic must happen RAR PostPosted: 2012-08-15 11:34am
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There is an exception to "don't seek out the Truth", the Truth seems to be arbitrator of universal law, particularly equivalent exchange. While it will be wrathful to anyone trying to game the system, it could possibly be amenable to a truly fair trade. At least, this is how I interpret Ed's trading his alchemic powers for Al.

Which doesn't mean the Truth would make it easy for you, or suggest what is or isn't fair. You make a human transmutation circle you'd better have an offer already in mind, or it will simply take what it feels like.

The Philosopher's Stone is sort of like a charge card, it comes prepaid with the energy of thousands, possibly millions of human sacrifices and trapped souls, each one a sacrifice you personally do not have to make. Even conservative use can boost your powers a hundredfold.

The simplest uses of Alchemy are to instantly reshape matter into any desired form, like turning asphalt into a giant hand to clutch a fleeing man (or form a cage) or having the ground form floodbreaks. After that it's fairly easy to induce state changes (melting, freezing, allotropy) True elemental recombination is quite a bit harder. To become a competent alchemist requires something between a Masters and a Doctorate on chemistry, the various circles, and various obscure rules to what can and cannot be done.

It is also trivially easy for alchemists to create gold or diamonds. In-universe, this is strictly forbidden on the grounds it would flood the market and destroy the economy. I'm sure if we introduce our world to alchemy similar laws would come into effect. Eventually.



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 Post subject: Re: Magic must happen RAR PostPosted: 2012-08-15 12:18pm
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They can't create gold, since gold is a fundamental element that can't be transmuted. Diamonds may be another matter, but it depends on the price - we can create artificial diamonds now, and it hasn't destroyed the diamonds market.

I suspect the ramifications of such a magic system would be far more present on Earth than in the original setting, where Alchemy always seemed to be weirdly under-used considering how useful it would be (particularly in construction and repairs). Even if it takes the equivalent of a PhD to do it, that still leaves with tens or hundreds of thousands of potential alchemists in a country the size of the US, at a minimum.



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 Post subject: Re: Magic must happen RAR PostPosted: 2012-08-15 01:25pm
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...
......
.........
............
...............What the fuck are all of you blathering about? None of that made any sense. I think I would find Technobabble to be about as coherent. Stop with the damn jargon and just explain how it works.

Lets start at square one. Equivalent exchange. What the hell am I exchanging things for, and how the hell do you decide what is equivalent to what? Bean used the word "value". Value is a subjective concept. Indeed, if I understand the thing with the woman who tried to raise her child from the dead and became sterile in punishment (and I don't [*], but lets just say I did for a moment) we are talking about something that's predicated on human concepts like irony and shit. So does this mean that if two people have different values or concepts of value or value things differently or come from countries with different monetary values on goods and services... let me shorten all that. Does this mean that two different people can attempt the same magic ritual or whatever and have to exchange completely different things to get the same effect out of it?

If it is based on subjective values, how the hell do you go from that to the implication that it is in any way an objective system of magic as implied by the multiple assertions that in its setting it is treated like a science? Does this mean that the "value" of things is determines by some sort of (surprisingly human) cosmic force? If so, and since our magic is coming from a Dead God with a twisted sense of humor, and assuming none of us actually know what the exchange rates are, isn't that kinda sorta giving Mephistopheles a loophole to make the magic really goddamn alien or evil in its value system?

Fundamental elements. What are they, and why are they important?

[*] The "Truth". What the balls are you assholes talking about? How does it decide what "punishment" or whatever someone has to pay if they try and "see the Truth on purpose"? Goddamn, do you not understand that an invitation to explain how it works means explaining what your stupid jargon means? I am more lost than when I didn't have your "explanations" to judge this system by. I mean, I'm sure it makes sense in context if you have seen FMA, but you guys have utterly failed to explain anything. Other than, I guess, you can summon fire and transmute one element into another? ...unless its a "fundamental element"...?

However, I do know one thing. If there are no rules to how the Philosopher's stone can or can't break the rules, then it violates the second condition of the Dead God's RAR. "The system must have some sort of limits."

You are making me seriously think Blayne might have been onto something when he decided to present an alternate system of Bending. Hell, you are making me think Nanoha technomagic would be a good idea-- at least there I can buy it might be scientific in some way, as opposed to a system that is based on "value". Hell, even Bending is more scientific than that, and A:tlA has fricken spirits all over the place.



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“I would suggest "Schmuckulating", which is what Futurists do and, by extension, what they are." — Commenter "Rayneau"

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 Post subject: Re: Magic must happen RAR PostPosted: 2012-08-15 02:08pm
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The Truth is the god-like entity that appears to shake its finger at people who try and metagame or rules-lawyer the magic system. We have no idea how it makes value judgements, but it's a sadistic little fuck. That part actually isn't a terrible thing to have in a magic system.

Equivalent Exchange is sort of like conservation of mass/energy (which, in universe is part of the Equivalent Exchange principle) there's no gain without paying out, no reaction that occurs without energy. Nothing is gained without sacrifice. That said, 99% of the time the only thing you sacrifice is energy, form an external source such as ley lines, geothermal power, or a Philosopher's Stone.

Every person has a 'Gate of Truth' in their soul (which is a quantifiable thing in FMA) which links them to the Truth and allows them to perform Alchemy. Trying to raise the dead or similar fuckery will cause the Truth to yank you through the gate to face it and explain yourself.

This is esoteric stuff few Alchemists get into. The premise of the series is that two boys, alchemy prodigies Ed and Al Alphonse, tried to resurrect their mother, causing the Truth to take Ed's arm and leg and totally disintegrate Al. Ed was able to write a soul-binding circle on a suit of armor with his blood, so instead of dying Al became a spirit possessing a suit of armor. The series is about the two of them looking for the Philosopher's stone to restore themselves.

For most Alchemists, Alchemy is applied chemistry. If you have Iron and oxygen you can sketch an appropriate circle and convert the iron into iron oxide, aka rust. Most Alchemists stay far away form messing around with souls or trying to create life.



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 Post subject: Re: Magic must happen RAR PostPosted: 2012-08-15 02:31pm
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Okay. See, now it makes sense. And I am going to say, no. The "Truth" arguably violates rule #1 by creating a divine being to preside over the rules of the system. I'm assuming the Dead God reserves that status for himself and his friends, if I understand Sorchus correctly. Even if he does allow it, then instead of the "Truth", the Dead God himself will probably take over that role in Alchemy and fuck with everyone however he pleases. Bad idea. Horrible, bad idea. No. And I know you are going to say "well, the Truth is already pretty sadistic", but no. From the sounds of things, you can debate with and persuade the "Truth" if you have a strong enough argument, and can tell it to fuck off if you have a Philosopher's stone (which again, appears to violate rule #2 of the RAR). This is a Dead Eldar God. Anyone who trusts him is fucking nuts, or possibly Spiderman. He is not the "Truth", so whatever you think you know about the "Truth" in FMA will not apply too him. Lets try and avoid that kind of idiocy, perhaps?



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 Post subject: Re: Magic must happen RAR PostPosted: 2012-08-15 04:39pm
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Cowardly Codfish
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The OP post says it prefers a system from fiction, but it doesn't say anything about us being required to adopt the system in its entirety. We could drop the weird Philosopher's Stone soul-mojo and "Truth", and just keep the rest of it, which is

1. Matter/Energy can not be created or destroyed, and elements (as in the Periodic Table) can not be turned into other elements. All you can do is re-arrange matter, and change its phase state (liquid, solid, gas). There's formulas that you can empirically figure out to create certain re-arrangements, blah, blah, blah.

2. You need a source of energy to convert into the work involved in Alchemy, like fixing a broken clock or building something with it. Which in the setting is somehow taken from energy involved in tectonic movement of the Earth's plates, but you could change it so that it can be drawn from other sources. In fact, that might be preferable, since it would really impose some limits on what you could do with Alchemy. You also should realistically lose some of the energy you take as heat.

3. There's no "in-born" talent requirement to use, but it's really, really difficult to get right. Hence the whole "mastering Alchemy is like getting a PhD in Physics" analogy.

That leaves some potentially unsettling implications, like being able to create human beings simply from the physical elements that make us up, but that could also be dealt with by introducing degrees of error into transmutations. As in, you don't care if the house is 0.1 cm too tall, but that kind of error could cause your alchemically-created humans to drop dead shortly after they're created.



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