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 Post subject: Re: Magic must happen RAR PostPosted: 2012-08-15 04:58pm
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So, just spitballing here, but what limitations prevents this alchemy magic from turning into "cheap-ass nuclear bombs/fissile material"? Or other WMD's like bioweapons and poisons for that matter?

(I'm still not clear on what the Fundamental Elements are supposed to be, FYI)



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 Post subject: Re: Magic must happen RAR PostPosted: 2012-08-15 05:15pm
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The fundamental elements are the ones on the Periodic Table*. You can't break those atoms apart (or combine them to create heavier elements), and even breaking up things at the molecular level is a bit dubious (although it can happen). So, for example, you can't just create uranium, although you could potentially use Alchemy to create a nuclear bomb if you had enriched uranium plus all the raw materials that go into it (as well as a source of the energy/work that would be needed to assemble it).

Bioweapons run into all the limitations of trying to use alchemy on extremely delicate subjects. Put some degree of error into your transmutations, and odds are you'll just kill whatever life you're fiddling with. Chemical weapons are easier, although you'd still need the raw materials to make them.

* The show tended to be a bit weirder on that, but it's simpler for our modified system to just use the Periodic Table Elements as the "fundamental elements".



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 Post subject: Re: Magic must happen RAR PostPosted: 2012-08-15 07:33pm
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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.


It's been a while, but I seem to remember an episode with Ed breaking the law to transmute gold, so he could buy a mine from it's abusive and foolish boss and sell it to the miners for a good dinner. Then he turned the gold back into rocks for karmic value and to cover up what he'd done.



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 Post subject: Re: Magic must happen RAR PostPosted: 2012-08-15 07:58pm
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Ahriman238 wrote:
It's been a while, but I seem to remember an episode with Ed breaking the law to transmute gold, so he could buy a mine from it's abusive and foolish boss and sell it to the miners for a good dinner. Then he turned the gold back into rocks for karmic value and to cover up what he'd done.

I thought he took a handful of gold coins and coated some rocks in a very thin layer of gold which he later took off.
I don't know there's also a hard and fast rule don't even try and transmute gold so theoretically turning lead into gold is thought to be possible.




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 Post subject: Re: Magic must happen RAR PostPosted: 2012-08-15 08:35pm
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We can via fusion or an atom smasher in real life convert one element in theory to another, Alchemy may allow them to skip and bypass most of the engineering difficulties in doing so for a severe energy cost; which was actually absurdly difficult/impossible to pull off in Amestrias for a good in universe justification; the antagonist had actually through his shenanigans I don't remember had a "buffer" that severely weakened alchemy performed in the west which may have rendered it an impossible freshhold to cross.

As I understand it, Amestrias is as powerful as it is specifically because it actively incorporates Alchemy into what makes its nation strong as its military-science-industrial complex. I'm not entirely aware however what exactly made them unable to simply defeat the remaining nations though, unless they were all together strong enough that Amestrias can't defeat them all at the sametime Plus Xing.

I don't see creation of Humunculi to be a problem as long as it has a simple restriction you cannot create life but you can transfer it. Someone died and you can get to them say.... within 24 hours you can pocket their soul and then transfer it to an artificial body. The original FMA sorta had this and vaguely had a another good restriction where the new bodies didn't last as long as the original. I imagine 90% of people would fine living in a body that doesn't feel is "theirs" to eventually just allow themselves to pass on once they have their affairs in order. With the truly morally dubious the only ones able or willing to grit their teeth and persevere through additional bodies, slowly becomming more sociopathic and evil as time goes on.

All of this is speculatory and what I would think is cool.

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 Post subject: Re: Magic must happen RAR PostPosted: 2012-08-15 10:46pm
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Ahriman238 wrote:
Quote:
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.


It's been a while, but I seem to remember an episode with Ed breaking the law to transmute gold, so he could buy a mine from it's abusive and foolish boss and sell it to the miners for a good dinner. Then he turned the gold back into rocks for karmic value and to cover up what he'd done.


He actually created fake gold bricks by covering bricks of coal with a thin layer of gold. Which doesn't really work (you'd notice the difference in weight between gold and coal bricks), but the official in question was an idiot.



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 Post subject: Re: Magic must happen RAR PostPosted: 2012-08-24 06:19pm
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How about the magic system from Jack Vance's "the Dying Earth." It's more-or-less DnD Wizard magic (and was, in fact, the model for that system) but a bit less complicated and without Epic Magic to really screw things up?

Or... "So You Want to Be A Wizard." Without the influence of 'Powers.' Basically, every wizard learns the Speech, sort of the programming language of the universe (and can consequently speak all languages.) Wizards can easily change shape, teleport, and time travel. They're pretty much tech support for the universe "the Powers knew how the universe worked when it was factory-fresh. We know all about the weird noises it makes now and where to kick it to make it stop." Being that every sufficiently complex system is bound to have some kinks, Wizards scurry all over time and space working to save lives and stave off entropy.

Anyone can become a Wizard if they are willing to take the (magically binding) oath and learn the Speech.

the Oath wrote:
In Life's name and for Life's sake, I say that I will use the Art for nothing but the service of that Life. I will guard growth and ease pain. I will fight to preserve what grows and lives well in its own way; and I will change no object or creature unless its growth and life, or that of the system of which it is part, are threatened. To these ends, in the practice of my Art, I will put aside fear for courage, and death for life, when it is right to do so -- till Universe's end.


Younger people tend to have much stronger magic, to compensate for their lack of experience and guile.



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 Post subject: Re: Magic must happen RAR PostPosted: 2012-08-26 06:15pm
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No? How about a magic system based on probability manipulation? You can make truly extraordinary things happen, like raining fruit, but it takes far more power and skill than something like hitting all green lights on your drive to work.



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 Post subject: Re: Magic must happen RAR PostPosted: 2012-08-27 03:49am
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hmmm - that would be similar to the 'probability maths' used in Dark Side of the Sun by Terry Pratchett.

it's probably one of the milder forms of fictional magic available.



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 Post subject: Re: Magic must happen RAR PostPosted: 2012-08-27 12:52pm
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We could just let everyone pick a power and be an Esper like from A Certain Scientific Railgun. Your power is level'ed from 1 to 5, the powers are essentially random but at level 5 you can do all sorts of nifty things at the molecular level with them but the more vague the power the harder it is to "level up" so to speak as you have less concrete applicible abilities when you start off. One girl's power is described as "Fixed Temperature Preservation" which is at first "Wha? I don't even." And then BAM it hits you, she can control entropy which all she does with is preserve the flowers she keeps as a headband because she's only level 1 and never likely to reach 5 as there's only 5-7 in the whole country.

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 Post subject: Re: Magic must happen RAR PostPosted: 2012-08-27 06:08pm
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Blayne wrote:
We could just let everyone pick a power and be an Esper like from A Certain Scientific Railgun. Your power is level'ed from 1 to 5, the powers are essentially random but at level 5 you can do all sorts of nifty things at the molecular level with them but the more vague the power the harder it is to "level up" so to speak as you have less concrete applicible abilities when you start off. One girl's power is described as "Fixed Temperature Preservation" which is at first "Wha? I don't even." And then BAM it hits you, she can control entropy which all she does with is preserve the flowers she keeps as a headband because she's only level 1 and never likely to reach 5 as there's only 5-7 in the whole country.


You lost me. How do you level? What other sorts of powers are there?



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 Post subject: Re: Magic must happen RAR PostPosted: 2012-08-28 10:55am
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You have prodigy's like Accelerator who just sorta naturally gain levels without effort and then you have the other end of the scale like Railgun herself who got it via hard work and grit.

How many powers? Potentially anything, probably every single generic Marvel mutant power at a minimum is probably there plus Heroes's power selection. It works a lot more like Heroes come to think of it.

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 Post subject: Re: Magic must happen RAR PostPosted: 2012-09-04 10:52pm
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madd0ct0r wrote:
hmmm - that would be similar to the 'probability maths' used in Dark Side of the Sun by Terry Pratchett.

it's probably one of the milder forms of fictional magic available.


Hmm. I was thinking something more like 'Children of the Lamp' a child's book series that came out just when I was too old to really enjoy it. There the protagonists are djinni who grant wishes through probability manipulation. There's a whole thing about how it works, a djinn society (with good and evil djinni, and the Blue Djinn as a neutral leader.)

Also, as creatures of fire and air, djinni magic tends to get shut down in the cold and damp.

Obviously we couldn't and shouldn't bring genies to our world, but perhaps modified.


How about Earthsea magic, where everything has a true name and can be controlled by one who speaks it?

Or Eragon, which is basically the same thing, with the Discworld energy rules (can't lift anything with magic you couldn't with your arms) and the ability to summon and bind spirits.


Speaking of spirits, I'd to discourage the magic system from Bartimaeus, which consists of nothing but summoning and commanding spirits or demons of varying power levels. Who are very good at finding some flaw in the circle, literal genie-ing you to death or otherwise finding some loophole to screw you over. Some of the higher-end entities are more like something from the Mythos than Aladdin. Albeit, it has the virtue than anyone can learn.


We don't seem to be doing very well at coming up with a system here.



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 Post subject: Re: Magic must happen RAR PostPosted: 2012-09-05 06:14am
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There are few if any forms of magic that would 'work' given the constraints. A safe system would need to be:
-Not powerful enough to destabilize things
-Not coming from some intelligent source that would get 'replaced by evil god'
-Not something that can go wrong if the laws of physics start hating you (a hard test to pass even without magic, ask Wile E. Coyote)

Most magic systems fail at least one of the tests.

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 Post subject: Re: Magic must happen RAR PostPosted: 2012-09-07 01:32pm
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Simon_Jester wrote:
There are few if any forms of magic that would 'work' given the constraints. A safe system would need to be:
-Not powerful enough to destabilize things
-Not coming from some intelligent source that would get 'replaced by evil god'
-Not something that can go wrong if the laws of physics start hating you (a hard test to pass even without magic, ask Wile E. Coyote)

Most magic systems fail at least one of the tests.


I agree with the first two. Care to expand on that last?


How about Artemis Fowl? Everyone gets more or less the same level of magic, and there's very few things that can be done with it. Actually, it's really just healing and fairly-easily-defeated invisibility. There is a magical hypnotism/mind control, but anyone with magic is resistant, so if everyone gets magic it shouldn't be a problem.

To have magic, everyone has to obey certain rules. No entering a dwelling without permission. No alcohol or recreational drugs. Anyone finding this too onerous may renounce their powers at any time, but there are no take-backs on that. No God, but one's own magic tends to punish one for violations with weakness, nausea, severe vomiting and cramps.

Everyone who uses magic must periodically (like once a decade barring strenuous use) perform the Ritual to recharge. The Ritual consists of taking an acorn from an ancient (100+ years) oak tree located at a riverbend and planting it somewhere at least an hour's walk form the tree, thus showing an understanding of life, reverence for nature, blah, blah.



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 Post subject: Re: Magic must happen RAR PostPosted: 2012-09-07 02:18pm
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Simon_Jester wrote:
There are few if any forms of magic that would 'work' given the constraints. A safe system would need to be:
-Not powerful enough to destabilize things
-Not coming from some intelligent source that would get 'replaced by evil god'
-Not something that can go wrong if the laws of physics start hating you (a hard test to pass even without magic, ask Wile E. Coyote)

Most magic systems fail at least one of the tests.


Tsukihime/Nasuverse and other "conceptual magic" systems tend to pass these, mostly because of how vague they are and because they're meant to work smoothely as an urban fantasy piece. They also tend that any magic that would basically make you a 'god' or super saiyan would also likely ruin your future with just one use.

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 Post subject: Re: Magic must happen RAR PostPosted: 2012-09-07 04:55pm
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Blayne wrote:
Tsukihime/Nasuverse and other "conceptual magic" systems tend to pass these, mostly because of how vague they are and because they're meant to work smoothely as an urban fantasy piece. They also tend that any magic that would basically make you a 'god' or super saiyan would also likely ruin your future with just one use.


Don't know anything about these stories or their magic systems, though I believe they've come up in this thread before. Would you like to elaborate? What do you mean by ruining your life? How do you define 'conceptual magic?'



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 Post subject: Re: Magic must happen RAR PostPosted: 2012-09-07 05:54pm
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Its difficult to elaborate on as the system is fairly deep and broad because its expanded upon over a large body of works by what is essentially "Japanese Marvel Comics" in terms of having a large shared universe with a bunch of semi-interacting characters.

Here's "Magecraft":

Quote:
Following the entry for Magic, Magecraft is the ability to reproduce what cannot be scientifically realized regardless of time and funds[1]. The limits of Magecraft have changed with time, as science evolved and sorceries from before became technically possible through science. However, modern Magecraft remains far inferior from that of the past, so much that someone like Medea, who comes from the Age of Gods when Magecraft was much more powerful, would seem like a sorcerer to the eyes of a modern magus, even though what she can do is not really Magic.


Here's the entry for Magic, so you have "magecraft" and then you have "magic", and "magecraft" is what 'magi' actually use/do but have gotten weaker overtime. All magi seem to want to access the "Root" (Akasha I think) in order to access 'magic'. A lot of magi turn themselves into vampires through magical means in order to live longer for this reason.

Quote:
In gross oversimplification, "magic" can be differentiated from "magecraft" in that the consequences of its use are ostensibly "impossible" or "miraculous." Where magecraft is discouraged by the counter forces for its violation of natural processes, its end output is not inherently beyond the dictates of the world; ergo, a spell that creates a fire is not "magic," because something as mundane as lighting a match can yield the same effect. Likewise, though the Mystic Eyes of Death Perception cannot be replicated through magecraft, its use results merely in the imposition of "death" — a concept well within the realm of the "possible," and thus outside the domain of the "miraculous."[1] By corollary, it is probable that the achievements of magecraft may be someday replicated through science, as both operate within the laws of nature.


Department of Vague Vagueness to the rescue...

For example, the most powerful magic spell in the setting comes in two forms; Marble Phantasm and a Reality Marble, because magic has various rules and the two spells each in their own way "breaks" the rules but at great cost.

Spell casting in nasuverse works like you are trying to find a particular marble, like say a white marble from a bag of a 100 black marbles. (This is not to say that magic is probablistic, its conceptual; semantics matter a lot)

The Marble Phantasm is akin to making the chance of grabbing a white marble 100% each time.

A Reality Marble is what happens when you turn all the marbles white.

Both manipulate reality itself to some degree, for example Acruid uses a Marble Phantasm to disintigrate the vampire Roa down to his feet. Reality Marbles are more about projecting your inner "world" onto reality itself.

For instance there's three particular usages of a Reality Marble that I know of (there's a fourth but I don't understand what it did).

-Alexander The Great's 'Ionian Heteroi':[/quote]

Exceipt:
Quote:
It is a Reality Marble that embodies Alexander the Great's dreams and philosophies as a king and the bond formed with his subjects. Like how Saber's Excalibur can be called the physical actualization of her ideals as a king, Ionioi Hetairoi is the actualization of Alexander's commanding abilities and his kingship.


The point is that Iskandar's Reality Marble required extraordinary historical circumstances to allow as his Noble Phantasm.

Then we have Shirou's [url=http://typemoon.wikia.com/wiki/Unlimited_Blade_Works]'Unlimited Blade Works'
summary:

Quote:
Emiya does not have a true Noble Phantasm that is the crystallized embodiment of a hero's existence like many demonic or holy swords, but if a Noble Phantasm is considered to be a symbol of the Heroic Spirit, then the Reality Marble is his Noble Phantasm. It is high-class thaumaturgy that embodies their internal worlds and imprints them upon the world as a bounded field. It is their one true specialization of magecraft, the result of "Sword" being both their Origin and their Elemental Affinity, and the basis of their projection and reinforcement skills. It is the definite answer obtained by someone whose life was saved by a sword, actually merged and lived with a sword, and acted as a sword all of his life. Emiya has no penalties from the world while utilizing his version of Unlimited Blade Works.


Shirou's however slowly kills him through the backblast of it since its far beyond his level to adequately control. Each time Shirou gets harmed when using his prana his wounds get knitted back together with swords, so if he has to deploy the Reality Marble in a full on fight to the death he's likely to die shortly afterwards.

Its one of the few systems I've seen to keep Science readily in focus as "hey this is useful too!"

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 Post subject: Re: Magic must happen RAR PostPosted: 2012-09-09 05:58am
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God, none of you people have any creative spirit, do you?

Here is one. Magic powered by a modified form of neoplatonic gnosticism.

Here is the basic concept. The platonic realm of ideal forms exists. An idea formed by any person is created in the realm of forms in its idealized state. Without using magic, a person has to manipulate the laws of nature in order to make that given idea real in the physical world. Using magic, a person can create whatever it is they want to create by sheer act of will, projecting a shadow from the realm of forms into the physical world.

This has certain inherent limitations. For starters, the magic user will never get it exactly right. Other limitations include conceptual limitations. One cannot create things outside their frame of reference or that which they do not comprehend. A lightning bolt is relatively easy to understand, so is a bolt of fire or a wave of kinetic energy. Editing a computer file with magic is not, because you have to make the physical change to the data stored on the hard drive.

The more is involved in doing whatever it is the Sorcerer/Philosopher king wants to do, the more likely it is that they will screw up. Skill and practice can mitigate this. So can the use of mnemonic devices. Speech describing the thing you are trying to do, diagrams drawn in the dirt delineating dimensions of a blast wave etc. These help for the same reason physically drawing a flow chart does when you are tying to remember a complex process like the Krebs Cycle.

Any required energy must either come from the physical world (like stealing heat from the air to create your fireball), or be forced through the barrier between our world and the realm of forms by an act of will. This takes a toll on the Sorcerer, in much the same way a very intense game of chess might (chess matches between two masters push their physiology into similar states of energy use as athletes running a marathon. They are mentally exhausting). Making things happen also requires concentration. Imagine trying to force the energy to create a lightning bolt through the Barrier, and have someone hit you over the head with a rock. That might not be good.

Each person also has a built in defense against magic. Their own self-image that exists on the realm of forms. Their self-image already affects the world by affecting their actions, so any time you want to directly affect someone (say, you want to use magic to dissolve someone's arm) you not only have to be able to do that to an object with magic, but you have to overcome the strength of that person's own self-image. A person who knows themselves and who has a strong personality is harder to effect than a drug addict who's self has been corrupted by the addictive pathology. This is an even stronger defense against mind-magic, as you might expect, editing their self image itself would be very difficult.

[quote]-Not powerful enough to destabilize things
-Not coming from some intelligent source that would get 'replaced by evil god'
-Not something that can go wrong if the laws of physics start hating you (a hard test to pass even without magic, ask Wile E. Coyote)]/quote]

I think mine fits the bill.



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 Post subject: Re: Magic must happen RAR PostPosted: 2012-09-09 06:27am
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I was actually just going to suggest that in this scenario nothing is stopping us from thinking up a suitable magic system and going with that. Your system seems to be something that isn't more open to abuse than things that already exist in the world.

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 Post subject: Re: Magic must happen RAR PostPosted: 2012-09-09 11:23am
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Alyrium Denryle wrote:
God, none of you people have any creative spirit, do you?
Oh come on, Alyrium, I know how long you've been working on that one already...

Anyway, yeah it works in my book, because it fits the ground rules. There's not a lot of room for hostile tampering there, unless we assume the whole premise is fucked because the being creating the magic has gone into full-on...

[WARNING: TVTROPES REFERENCE FOLLOWS]

...Jackass Genie territory.

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 Post subject: Re: Magic must happen RAR PostPosted: 2012-09-09 09:09pm
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Quote:
Oh come on, Alyrium, I know how long you've been working on that one already...


Yeah. I just enjoy giving people shit.



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 Post subject: Re: Magic must happen RAR PostPosted: 2012-09-09 09:34pm
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Here's 2 examples of using magic beyond your ability "breaking" your future.

Nine Lives Blade Works; Shirou vs Dark Beserker

Dark Saber vs Rider and Shirou

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