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Josh Sawyer reveals some information about Project Eternity's attribute scores


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*sigh*... This is so out of hand. People are arguing things now that are so far beside the point it's not even funny. Sabotin thinks (understandably so) that the point of all this is that magic needs to be logically explained in full detail.

 

No... It's extraordinarily simple, really. People just don't seem to be catching what I'm actually touching on, exactly. I'm pointing to a certain spot on a wall, and people are assuming I'm just pointing at the wall in general.

 

This is the simplest way I know of pointing it out, using what you said above, Jethro:

 

You ask why magic would need to follow physics rules? It doesn't. But muscles do. So, why would you take something that is already within the confines of physics and physical laws, and make it simultaneously do things that are both within physical laws, AND outside of physical laws? That's what doesn't make any sense.

 

What if burning oil makes fire (which it does, physically), and it ALSO makes mana? That would be sheer craziness. Why oil? Oil is both simple non-magical oil, AND magical oil? That doesn't make any sense. You're saying that the rules of physics somehow allow for the creation of magic, but that, once created, it exists outside the rules of physics. It's some manner of pseudo-paradox, at best. That's why people come up with things like mana. Mana isn't anything else that already exists. It's a completely fictitious energy, that exists in fantasy worlds in addition to regular, physical things. And creatures like wisps are made out of magical energies, etc. Not housecats. They don't go "Hey, housecats, just like from real life, AND also they're made out of mana, u_u..., even though they're regular housecats."

 

Annnywho... the even simpler problem is this:

 

If Stat X begets character factor A and character factor B, and ALL CHARACTERS have character factor A, but only some of them have factor B, then something's already wrong. Especially in a stat system specifically designed to "affect the same thing for all characters and classes." Power, in our long-running exampls, would provide TWO kinds of strength (physical and magical) for magical people, and only ONE kind of strength (just physical) for non-magical people. Either that or it provides both.

 

The physical operation of muscle tissue within the realm of physics ALSO somehow generating fictitious energy which is in no way affiliated with the realm of physics is nonsensical, but, that's beside the point.

 

4 is 4 because it is, and because of the nature of things. The label "4" is our own doing. But anything is either partial or whole, and if it's whole, and it's whole 3 more times, then it is 4 in number. But THAT'S even beside the point.

 

The point is simply "Hey, two blatantly separate things are going to be mashed together, and some classes may not even get one of them. So, do we just not care about distinguishing physical ability from other things anymore? Also, we seem to have a lopsided hypothetical stat, at best."

 

If you don't have a problem with it, then fine. I was just trying to go beyond "I don't like it," here, but apparently everything must struggle in the realm of objective evaluation, and all points must be partially judged against subjectivity no matter what, and then we find ourselves back at "That was a nice wasted 4 pages of 'discussion'."

 

I apologize for instigating so much unnecessary back-and-forth and confusion. From now on, I'll try to keep my objective evaluations and inquiries to myself, I suppose.

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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The point is simply "Hey, two blatantly separate things are going to be mashed together, and some classes may not even get one of them. So, do we just not care about distinguishing physical ability from other things anymore? Also, we seem to have a lopsided hypothetical stat, at best."

I'll be very curious to read/listen to the update that addresses this issue.

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I'll be very curious to read/listen to the update that addresses this issue.

Ditto.

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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If you don't have a problem with it, then fine. I was just trying to go beyond "I don't like it," here, but apparently everything must struggle in the realm of objective evaluation, and all points must be partially judged against subjectivity no matter what, and then we find ourselves back at "That was a nice wasted 4 pages of 'discussion'."

 

I apologize for instigating so much unnecessary back-and-forth and confusion. From now on, I'll try to keep my objective evaluations and inquiries to myself, I suppose.

 

I thought we had a nice discussion going on. I'm also pretty sure I understand your point, I just don't agree with it. Not based on a "I don't mind if it doesn't make sense" level, which should be obvious from the points I made.

 

You said that muscles are bound by physical laws, and that's true. I was saying: so is anything else with which you could control magic in any way as a person. Your intellect is a bunch of neurons in your brain, so is your willpower and your wisdom. The voice you use to speak magical incantations is a physical thing. The finger movements, the concentration you require, everything is somehow bound by physical laws.

And I'd really like to hear your argument concerning this. Maybe I missed it in your posts before, in that case I'm sorry. But I feel that if this discussion needs closure somewhere, it's concerning this point.

 

Personally I felt I adressed your posts and your arguments and tried to clear up misunderstandings, so it hurts me a bit to hear you say I ignored your points or tried to twist them in any way (which wasn't my intention at all).

 

Drop me a personal message if you don't feel like bringing it all up again here in this thread.

Edited by Fearabbit
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I thought we had a nice discussion going on. I'm also pretty sure I understand your point, I just don't agree with it. Not based on a "I don't mind if it doesn't make sense" level, which should be obvious from the points I made.

 

You said that muscles are bound by physical laws, and that's true. I was saying: so is anything else with which you could control magic in any way as a person. Your intellect is a bunch of neurons in your brain, so is your willpower and your wisdom. The voice you use to speak magical incantations is a physical thing. The finger movements, the concentration you require, everything is somehow bound by physical laws.

And I'd really like to hear your argument concerning this. Maybe I missed it in your posts before, in that case I'm sorry. But I feel that if this discussion needs closure somewhere, it's concerning this point.

 

Personally I felt I adressed your posts and your arguments and tried to clear up misunderstandings, so it hurts me a bit to hear you say I ignored your points or tried to twist them in any way (which wasn't my intention at all).

 

Drop me a personal message if you don't feel like bringing it all up again here in this thread.

Fearrabbit, I just wanted to apologize. We did have a pretty good discussion going on. And other people did, too. I just... got a bit overwhelmed. I don't know how to respond to so much stuff all at the same time. I wasn't meaning to suggest you, specifically, were ignoring my points. Or really that anyone is. I think several people are, at this point, getting off to the side of the original point with circumstantial, contextual bits of my clarifications and examples. And I know that either:

 

A) The core of my point is actually being glanced past, still, by mostly everyone here. OR

 

B) I'm actually not understanding that you guys are comprehending my exact point. Which is entirely possible. But, I'm not seeing anything thus far that, while quite intelligent, isn't somehow glancing past my actual point rather than taking it head-on and knocking it down.

 

To get back into it a bit, with what you said above, there's a difference between fictional magical energy interacting with the physical realm, and the physical realm's workings creating fictional magical energy. I was trying to get at that, a bit, at one point. If magic didn't interact with the physical realm at all, then it'd be severely limited in its application.

 

I just really don't know how else to describe it, without simply repeating things I've already said probably several times throughout the thread now. If you can think of any specific questions to ask me regarding what I'm claiming, then please feel free. Otherwise, like I said, I'm not sure how to point at it in a way I haven't already attempted.

Edited by Lephys

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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We don't have to know how the physics allow for magic, only that they do, and that it follows a consistent ruleset (even if we don't know it)

Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
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Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

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We have a mismatch of axioms here.
 
In the middle ages everyone believed in the concept that there was a soul, something non-physical in a seperate domain that allowed us to think and feel. This also is the view that is used in many RPGs. I would say that you view this or a similar concept as an axiom or a necessary component of any magic system. Because it allows the hand-waving to happen disengaged from the physical world. Because it allows a separation where magical "energy" simply comes from that other domain, hiding the hand-waving somewhere else. Because of this axiom you think magic systems can be consistent.
 
Whereas I and probably Fearabbit too think of magic as starting in a physical world, then either crossing into another domain or sourcing effects from that other domain back to our physical world.
 
Both views need hand-waving to happen, just that your axiom allows more of that to happen in a dark corner where nobody can really look. 
 

You ask why magic would need to follow physics rules? It doesn't. But muscles do. So, why would you take something that is already within the confines of physics and physical laws, and make it simultaneously do things that are both within physical laws, AND outside of physical laws? That's what doesn't make any sense.


 
Well, here we see the different axioms in action: In D&D INT is a measure of your intelligence, for example how fast you learn skills and how gullible you are. Also it is the magic power. Coming from my axiomatic system I would clearly say that INT does things simultaneously both within pysical laws AND outside of physical laws. So D&D makes no sense either, hence hand-waving in the light has to be accepted. Let's not forget the similar cases of wisdom and especially charisma ("Charisma (Cha). Charisma measures a character's force of personality, persuasiveness, personal magnetism, ability to lead, and physical attractiveness". Citation from the D&D Wiki, no idea how accurate that is).

You as per your axiom put the soul/mind outside the physical domain disengaged from physical means. INT comes from that non-physical domain (where hand-waving is hidden much better) and crosses over into our physical domain as character traits but also as magic force. STR on the other hand is illogical because in this axiomatic system it would have to cross into this other domain first where the mental skills already are.
 
That is the distinction between INT and STR you are making and we don't. In our view INT also crosses the boundaries and in your view it doesn't
 

What if burning oil makes fire (which it does, physically), and it ALSO makes mana? That would be sheer craziness. Why oil? Oil is both simple non-magical oil, AND magical oil? That doesn't make any sense.
You're saying that the rules of physics somehow allow for the creation of magic, but that, once created, it exists outside the rules of physics. It's some manner of pseudo-paradox, at best. That's why people come up with things like mana. Mana isn't anything else that already exists. It's a completely fictitious energy, that exists in fantasy worlds in addition to regular, physical things. And creatures like wisps are made out of magical energies, etc. Not housecats. They don't go "Hey, housecats, just like from real life, AND also they're made out of mana, u_u..., even though they're regular housecats."


Sure, mana is a concept where (if not influenced by INT or something similar) you really have a non-physical domain (ghost world for example) and all magic starts from there (you only need some ghosts who read your thoughts or a parallel you in that other realm, like a soul). I didn't play one recently so can't much comment on actual implementations. But it would be interesting to look at it and check if there is no physical stuff involved in spell casting. If you have to move your hands or there is a somatic component or you can't wear metal armor then oops, they still have that influence thing going. But if you avoid all these mistakes you really could design a system that has no obvious physical starting point for the magic.

This reminds me, I'm just playing Arcanum again. Lets see, the "mana" in Arcanum is called fatigue and it literally is the very physical fatigue that is used. Do you call Arcanums magic system crazy? If not, why not? (if you want to argue that concentrating on the spell is tiring the mage please also explain how concentrating for a few seconds is a tiring activity, especially to your muscles)
 

If Stat X begets character factor A and character factor B, and ALL CHARACTERS have character factor A, but only some of them have factor B, then something's already wrong. Especially in a stat system specifically designed to "affect the same thing for all characters and classes." Power, in our long-running exampls, would provide TWO kinds of strength (physical and magical) for magical people, and only ONE kind of strength (just physical) for non-magical people. Either that or it provides both.

 

You do realize that now we are talking about "how to implement/balance it" again instead of the "how to conzeptualize it, make sense to it, explain it" of the previous paragraphs. Also you are talking about our long-running examples, but we had a few, some with power, some with strength, some with a separation of magic and non-magic users, some where everyone has magic... If we try to talk about them all then it is no wonder that we don't get a consistent argument going.

I'm not sure you still like to continue arguing about this (you sound slightly frustrated), but if you want to, please attack a specific one. The last two were J.Trudels and mine and they were different enough to make meaningful statements about them both difficult. The first three sentences don't talk about my system for example (and probably not even Trudel's system as there wasn't a restriction for fighters to do magic as well) and the last sentence doesn't say what is wrong with the alternative.

Intruding on your dialogue with Fearabbit, you were saying

To get back into it a bit, with what you said above, there's a difference between fictional magical energy interacting with the physical realm, and the physical realm's workings creating fictional magical energy.


I would like to ask you one question:
The only obvious difference between D&Ds moving with your hands to cast a spell and for example the proposed system of contracting your muscles to cast a spell in terms of physics->magic is that in the latter case spell damage is depended on how good you can contract your muscles. Would you (in terms of believability/making sense) accept a system where a mage needs to contract his muscles to cast a spell too, but it wouldn't influence the strength of the spell? Or do you alternatively see D&D as broken too?

Edited by jethro
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Okay, muscle operation = physical energy. Force. Power. Whatever you want to call it. Our muscle fibers produce mechanical energy, when used. That is basically, simply what we refer to as one's physical "strength." Yes, we COULD refer to other factors all mashed into that, like mental resolve, and the ability to literally push our muscles to the point of tearing our own ligaments, etc... But, that's beside the point. No matter how much extra stuff CAN be applied and described by the word "strength," the power our muscles can generate is definitely represented by strength, at the very least.

 

Okay... so, we're saying "Hmm, suppose magic energy/force/power was also generated by our muscles." Cool. So, 1 engine, 2 powers. Maybe some people can't generate magical energy, and some people can. Muscles are just what does it. Doesn't mean all muscles do it. Okay, still cool. There aren't any people who can use magical energy but NOT physical energy, right? I mean, no one's muscles will like, contract to produce NO mechanical energy, but will make magical energy out the wazz. Correct? How would your muscles even contract if they couldn't mechanically operate?

 

 

I don't think we know what the actual stat is going to be yet though, do we? What if it was 'training persistence?' If a wizard trains a lot (by reading and practicing spells etc.) the training effect will be different than for a warrior who is using training time to hit things with weapons, guard with a shield etc..

 

Having the property that you spend more effort getting good at what you do is the stat that you could put your points into and the result would be different for different classes. The D&D stats of STR and INT, if they exist in P:E, would be derived stats from training persistence (with different numbers for our two different characters who have the same training persistence number).

 

Would that address your concern? 

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@Yonjuro:

 

I... I think so? But, without arguing semantics or anything here, I don't know if that would be functionally much different from having just two separate "stats" (or whatever... two separately represented things).

 

Also, no, we don't know for certain what the stat list will be, or how it will represent all character aspects. That's something I'm very interested in. To clarify, in case you or anyone else missed bits and doesn't want to re-read the entire thread history, someone basically asked "what if it was represented by a single stat?", because of Obsidian's talk of having stats that do the same thing for all characters (like accuracy, power, etc.). It's highly possible that, since everyone has soul "magic," that there will actually be a stat JUST for magic power that will actually benefit traditionally non-magic classes (Warrior, etc.), and a separate stat for physical strength.

 

Regardless of how the game will actually handle this with its design (which I would like to know, but will simply have to wait for), I'm simply analyzing the potential consequences of representing both with a single stat (physical and magical strength/potency/power, in a single stat -- maybe "Power").

 

 

@Jethro:

 

My argument is, once more, not against the intermingling of the physical world and the non-physical world. Really, for all practical purposes, magical energy COULD be (but doesn't have to be) a fictional addition to the physical world. Just think of theoretical stuff we don't know a lot about yet, like dark matter and anti-matter and such. No, I'm not learned in that and don't know specifically which terms are supposedly real things, or how much we know about them, but... Well, look at nuclear power. No one knew how to use that, 'til we discovered it one day. That's a crapton of energy in little tiny atoms. Some animals throughout the animal kingdom can essentially emit radio waves. Our bodies have electricity in them, in our nervous system. If you introduced the fictional ability to fire, what... electrons (or is it neutrons?) at atoms (inherent to a person), then a person could influence nuclear energy by splitting atoms without a machine.

 

A human body is just a machine. It's simply got its own set of abilities, separate from other machines.

 

Anywho... if it isn't just fictional physics, and it's a completely separate thing, it should still functionally make sense to us. And the only real thing we can draw from is physics and the real world. Things like proportions, etc. If you take 15 seconds to cast something, it's typically more powerful and/or affects a greater area (in games, I mean). Why? Because that makes sense. Whatever fictitious energy you're dealing with, it probably functions like any other energy. It just has different properties and different limitations/capabilities, etc.

 

Why? Because why make stuff that DOESN'T make any sense? Literally no sense, at all. "Sometimes, when people blink, worlds are destroyed, and sometimes they aren't." How great of a story would that make? "Uh oh, someone blinked, and there was a 50% chance that a world got destroyed, and it happened this time, and it was this world we're all one, all the characters in this lore/fiction." No, that makes no sense. The only magic is fictional and designed, by real humans, who live in a world that makes sense. If the fiction doesn't make any sense, what's the point? Wouldn't the characters in that world want to make sense of things? Wouldn't they wonder why nothing made sense in their world? Or would they all just shrug it off and not really care why things were different, or why they happened? If they did that, then how can we relate to them? We being people who are curious and want things to make some modicum of sense?

 

Annnnywho, it's hard not to get off the subject, here. I'm straying a bit, and I apologize. To answer your question, yes. If the quantity of muscle cells contracting didn't somehow fuel the actual production of magical energy, then there wouldn't really be a problem (or not the one I've been trying to point out for what feels like ages now). Someone asked "why can't physical strength actually beget magical strength?", and this was the problem.

 

Sure, plenty of magic lores have somatic components to spells. But, a person's strength doesn't affect how well the spell works. The Incredible Hulk can't generate a spell any better than a frail old man who performs the EXACT same flawless somatic spell gestures. The somatic gestures are a bit like a key. Anyone can have a key, but only some people can actually access the lock.

 

In the Wheel of Time world (I know, I reference it a lot... what can I say -- I'm a fan. :) ), the Aes Sedai (casters) constantly comment on how they don't actually HAVE to move their arms and do things to channel the One Power, but that's how people who don't know how to properly channel it go from not-knowing to learning how. Gestures and such help them focus and make sense of the manner in which they're forming and aiming otherwise invisible, intangible energy.

 

And yes, DnD spells REQUIRE somatic components. You know what? I'm not defending DnD. My stance here isn't "Strength shouldn't produce magic Power, and also this game should be DnD." There's a lot of stuff in DnD that I don't think is ideal, like spells being so particular, and Wizards being able to do nothing that isn't already scribed into an ancient book by some older Wizard who somehow I guess just found the spell that's existed since the dawn of time. Or how Intelligence begets magic power, instead of some aspect of the mind begetting it. Again, was magic something that just existed, and only those who could comprehend very complex symbols and languages (that apparently existed since the dawn of time) could read and therefore academically learn magic? I don't really prefer that setup. That just makes magic a really, really complicated bazooka. Or Paladins drawing their power from Charisma. I understand why they did things like that, as far as building a ruleset goes. But, I don't really think it's the awesomest ruleset ever or anything. It's given us a lot of nice building blocks to draw from, and DnD sessions are quite fun.

 

Long story short, the problem I'm seeing is with the generation of two different types of force/power, from the exact same source/engine (muscles). Not, the technical use of muscles to make movements and/or draw symbols in order to utilize magic. And it's definitely not with a single stat simply "doing multiple things." Although, ideally, you wouldn't have any unnecessary overlaps (like smartness and magic power).

 

It's a hard thing, abstracting all factors of people into number values and categories. I get that. I just... I see a problem with having both a real AND a fictional form of power being entirely separate things, yet being generated in direct proportion to one's physical strength. Nothing that's been said so far even suggest to me that there isn't a problem with that. Lots of great stuff and evaluations all around that particular point, but it's still one PHYSICAL aspect of people, producing two completely different strengths/powers at the exact same time.

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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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It's good that you clarified that you're not okay with several rules in other fantasy settings. I think this was what confused me, because you seemed to single out this strength=magic thing as a system that makes even less sense than anything before. If you say that it makes as much sense as other rules, which still isn't good enough, then that's a different matter and I tend to agree.

 

The thing where I'm still disagreeing is this: I don't see a problem with one part of the body serving two functions at the same time. The body does that, to an extent - for example the ear is responsible for both your sense of hearing and your sense of balance. (Different parts of the ear, of course, but they're still linked - deaf people often have balance problems.) In a more abstract way you could take the brain, which is capable both of storing memories and of making up new things, being creative.

But... you said two different types of forces, which is maybe the problem you're seeing. In this case, I don't see the difference between creating "force" and creating something else, like information. The body does the same thing physically - send a signal and cause some chemical reactions.

 

On the other hand, this is still the same cause vs. correlation problem we've had before. I don't think the muscles would have to produce the magical energy somehow, I think it's enough if there's a correlation of some sorts. One idea that comes to mind is the increased amount of blood that healthy, muscular people have. So hey, that's already a good thing if you want to use blood magic! But more importantly it could be the blood that actually stores your mana, so having more blood naturally means more power as a wizard.

 

...I'm not trying to convince you here. I think you made it clear that these kind of arguments don't convince you. I'm just saying that I can think of lots of explanations that would make sense to me. Even if I don't like it and would, personally, prefer a system where a feeble wizard is possible and viable. (And one where the actual volume of blood in your body doesn't affect your magical ability, because come on that's stupid. Because I do think it's stupid and not satisfying at all, but I also think that it would make sense in a way.)

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@Yonjuro:

 

I... I think so? But, without arguing semantics or anything here, I don't know if that would be functionally much different from having just two separate "stats" (or whatever... two separately represented things).

 

Also, no, we don't know for certain what the stat list will be, or how it will represent all character aspects. That's something I'm very interested in. To clarify, in case you or anyone else missed bits and doesn't want to re-read the entire thread history, someone basically asked "what if it was represented by a single stat?", because of Obsidian's talk of having stats that do the same thing for all characters (like accuracy, power, etc.). It's highly possible that, since everyone has soul "magic," that there will actually be a stat JUST for magic power that will actually benefit traditionally non-magic classes (Warrior, etc.), and a separate stat for physical strength.

 

Regardless of how the game will actually handle this with its design (which I would like to know, but will simply have to wait for), I'm simply analyzing the potential consequences of representing both with a single stat (physical and magical strength/potency/power, in a single stat -- maybe "Power").

 

 

 

 Sure,  I agree that 'power'  for both magic power and muscle power doesn't make a lot of sense.

 

  I was trying to come up with a stat that makes sense and that would be beneficial to fighters and wizards (and presumably other classes who would derive different things from it). Anther example could be something like 'out of the box thinking' that gives, say,  fighters more surprise attacks and wizards a wider variety of spells. You (or, more to the point, JESawyer) can probably think of 5-6 stats that make sense and that every class would want a.k.a.  no dump stats. 

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Anywho... if it isn't just fictional physics, and it's a completely separate thing, it should still functionally make sense to us. And the only real thing we can draw from is physics and the real world. Things like proportions, etc. If you take 15 seconds to cast something, it's typically more powerful and/or affects a greater area (in games, I mean). Why? Because that makes sense. Whatever fictitious energy you're dealing with, it probably functions like any other energy. It just has different properties and different limitations/capabilities, etc.

But we don't only draw our experiences from physics, we also draw them from imaginary systems like for example RPGs we know if it concers magic. And even if we didn't our sense of what is right is often fooled by physics alone. I'll just point at your previous paragraph with the radio-ants and the power of the atom, then ominously drop the words "relativity theory" and "quantum physics" and rest my case.

 

Incidentally a lot of movies change reality so that the movie makes more sense/behaves to the expectations of the average viewer despite being physically wrong. Noises in space, the sound a silencer makes, mainframe computers with blinking LEDs over the front...

 

So yes, it has to make sense to us, live up to our expectations, but that is because we are used to it not because it is necessarily true/real/logical.

 

What that means to me is that our sense of what makes sense is adaptable. Bring a good explanation, show that our expectation was wrong, or hide the no-sense-stuff in a black box and people will accept it. Especially when it is about magic where we accepted kilotons of senseless stuff already.

 

Sure, plenty of magic lores have somatic components to spells. But, a person's strength doesn't affect how well the spell works. The Incredible Hulk can't generate a spell any better than a frail old man who performs the EXACT same flawless somatic spell gestures. The somatic gestures are a bit like a key. Anyone can have a key, but only some people can actually access the lock.

 

Look behind your reasoning. You state this as if it was a law of physics, but it is just what you are used to from other imaginary magical systems. Real world physics doesn't demand that at all. Your sense of right is mostly quoting literary and RPG precedent, like "Zombies don't run", "Vampires don't like light". Sure, breaking conventions is not without risks, but sometimes necessary.

 

Watch an asian Jet Li movie with wire-fu magic. You will often see Jet Li (or some other wizard) making a martial arts move (with seemingly a lot of strength behind it) to thin air. Wooosh, walls in the direction of his gesture break down, enemies are thrown back or engulfed in debris. Now asian audiences know a lot about this magic from their own fables. Strength influencing magic might fit very well with their mingling of martial arts and magic, or not. But my main point is: western audiences didn't have knowledge about their martial magic and got used to this. Without any explanation why this is or how this works.

 

Long story short, the problem I'm seeing is with the generation of two different types of force/power, from the exact same source/engine (muscles). Not, the technical use of muscles to make movements and/or draw symbols in order to utilize magic. And it's definitely not with a single stat simply "doing multiple things." Although, ideally, you wouldn't have any unnecessary overlaps (like smartness and magic power).

 

I recognize this problem too (the acceptance problem as well as the implementation problem). It is just that I'm more confident that there exist workable solutions (the muscle contraction explanation isn't the only one after all). If you can sell it to the customer, it's good. If the system is fun (like D&D) nobody will look too close at the justification.

Edited by jethro
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The thing where I'm still disagreeing is this: I don't see a problem with one part of the body serving two functions at the same time. The body does that, to an extent - for example the ear is responsible for both your sense of hearing and your sense of balance. (Different parts of the ear, of course, but they're still linked - deaf people often have balance problems.)

The problem is, you're acting as though the fact that they're two separate functions, performed by different parts of the ear is somehow just trivial or inconsequential. But it's the absolute core of my point. Could you, or could you not, have good hearing but bad balance, or vice versa? Or does everyone out there with good hearing have AMAZING balance? Does your hearing literally fuel your balance? Or does it simply affect it?

 

See, what you're getting at is influence/synergy, almost, in an abstracted stat environment. Having 2 STR and trying to swing a heavy sword might result in worse accuracy, for example, even if your Dexterity is awesome. That doesn't mean that your accuracy directly results in your Strength rating; that Strength and Accuracy should be the same stat. The amount of muscle you have dictates the amount of physical force you have access to. If it ALSO dictated how much magical force you had access to, then they'd either be the same thing, or would be arbitrarily linked in a maniacal fashion. It's like... burning fuel, and having it produce BOTH fire and heat AND ice and cold, at the same time. Doesn't make any sense. Two completely separate things.

 

Let me simply ask this question, regarding a single stat representing both physical strength and magical strength: At what point would a stat represent too many things, and why? Just keep adding things to that stat, and tell me when it would actually be come a problem, if you wouldn't mind. See, it's the "why" I'm interested in, and not necessarily the "when." But the when might get us there, as I seem to be seeing something with just two forms of strength in one stat that others aren't yet seeing.

 

On the other hand, this is still the same cause vs. correlation problem we've had before. I don't think the muscles would have to produce the magical energy somehow, I think it's enough if there's a correlation of some sorts. One idea that comes to mind is the increased amount of blood that healthy, muscular people have. So hey, that's already a good thing if you want to use blood magic! But more importantly it could be the blood that actually stores your mana, so having more blood naturally means more power as a wizard.

 

...I'm not trying to convince you here. I think you made it clear that these kind of arguments don't convince you. I'm just saying that I can think of lots of explanations that would make sense to me. Even if I don't like it and would, personally, prefer a system where a feeble wizard is possible and viable. (And one where the actual volume of blood in your body doesn't affect your magical ability, because come on that's stupid. Because I do think it's stupid and not satisfying at all, but I also think that it would make sense in a way.)

True, the blood thing would make sense. But then, I would compare that to blood as it works for muscle strength, and blood as it works for endurance. There are some people who are very, very strong, but tire very easily. Then, there are people who aren't even very muscular, but have INCREDIBLE endurance. So, if you were going to have a single stat called "bloodflow," it would still be in a similar boat. There are multiple things that affect bloodflow, and your strength wouldn't equal better bloodflow, and therefore more magic.

 

Also, blood can only carry so much stuff. Blood cells literally transport things, like tiny trucks. So, IF you're going to tie mana/magical stuff to the amount of some physical thing that blood can carry, then it would really be tied to blood cell count. Which, again, isn't the same thing as strength or even size or even blood flow. Plus, your blood cells would EITHER have to carry oxygen and such to your muscles to work, OR mana (or what-have-you). You can't fill a truck with corn, AND fill the same truck with hay, at the same time. You have to pick one. So, even if blood supplied your magic power AND physical muscle power (or at least the fuel for it), it still couldn't do so simultaneously. And how would you get mana TO the blood? Mana would still be a separate fuel from oxygen. Blood would just be the catalyst at that point. Not the fuel. Mana is the fuel. So, there'd still have to be a difference in people's ability to metabolize mana or something. Or gather it, etc.

 

Anywho, a lot of that's fun to analyze, but is really getting into other points. Magi-Strength just makes a world full of muscley people who are all awesome at magic. And IF there's anyone who can't use magic, then they just won't even bother being muscley, because any magical people will be JUST as muscley as they are, PLUS they'll have awesome magical powers. And they would rule the world, and no one would ever even have any hope of besting them.

 

Things need a balance to make sense, and even if DnD isn't perfect, its balance of magic versus Strength was that one was derived from non-physical efforts, and other was derived sheerly from physical efforts. Why? Because it already makes sense for some people to be 7 foot 4 and 270 lbs of pure muscle, and other people to be 5 foot 3, 115 lbs soaking wet. And the people who just happen to have larger frames and the potential for more muscle mass would rule the frigging world. What doesn't make sense is the constraint. Either your whole world based on that system destroys itself, or nature nonsensically constrains itself to only certain ranges of muscle for living creatures that can wield magic, for no other reason than so that your world doesn't conflict with your desire to tell a story in it.

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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The problem is, you're acting as though the fact that they're two separate functions, performed by different parts of the ear is somehow just trivial or inconsequential. But it's the absolute core of my point. Could you, or could you not, have good hearing but bad balance, or vice versa? Or does everyone out there with good hearing have AMAZING balance? Does your hearing literally fuel your balance? Or does it simply affect it?

But the same can be said about that STR->damage system. It influences damage. It is nowhere fixed that nothing else can influence damage or that there is no base damage. It isn't fixed (and I would guess highly unlikely) that STR influences range, area of damage, spell duration, spell cost, speed of casting, and casting power (what is needed to overcome target magic defense).

 

Also, blood can only carry so much stuff. Blood cells literally transport things, like tiny trucks. So, IF you're going to tie mana/magical stuff to the amount of some physical thing that blood can carry, then it would really be tied to blood cell count. Which, again, isn't the same thing as strength or even size or even blood flow. Plus, your blood cells would EITHER have to carry oxygen and such to your muscles to work, OR mana (or what-have-you). You can't fill a truck with corn, AND fill the same truck with hay, at the same time. You have to pick one. So, even if blood supplied your magic power AND physical muscle power (or at least the fuel for it), it still couldn't do so simultaneously.

You are trying to draw conclusions about imagined stuff like magic by going down to the molecular level! Consequently your conclusion that blood cells can't carry both oxygin and made-up stuff is made out of hand-waving and make-believe, it is like magic ;-)

 

1) From Wikipedia: "Each human red blood cell contains approximately 270 million of these hemoglobin biomolecules, each carrying four heme groups; hemoglobin comprises about a third of the total cell volume. This protein is responsible for the transport of more than 98% of the oxygen". This means only one third of a blood cell volume is used for oxygin transport.

 

2) Is mana a new element, a molecule or something like ghostly energy existing in a parallel ghost world but bound to a human in a similar way like his soul? I don't know. But I know that I will land in lala-land if I try to look too deeply into the physics of made-up stuff. This is why magic systems are abstracted and no physics major writes papers about them.

 

3) Quantum physics says a particle can be at many places at the same time until you measure it. Most particles are simulataneously a wave and a particle. In those regions you can fill your truck with corn and hay at the same time (by that I mean there are effects in quantum physics that don't follow conventional logic). And this is reality, what miracles are possible when you allow magic to happen?

 

Magi-Strength just makes a world full of muscley people who are all awesome at magic.

Not in J.Trudels proposed system, not in mine. It is no wonder that we go in circles when you make statements that have been disproven already many pages before.

 

And the people who just happen to have larger frames and the potential for more muscle mass would rule the frigging world.

Which just happens to coincide with reality. At least before guns were invented.

 

 

What doesn't make sense is the constraint. Either your whole world based on that system destroys itself, or nature nonsensically constrains itself to only certain ranges of muscle for living creatures that can wield magic, for no other reason than so that your world doesn't conflict with your desire to tell a story in it.

 

Neither did our real world destroy itself nor did it conflict with telling a good story.

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*sigh*. I don't know what else to say, and how to say it.

 

I believe it is nonsensical to mash physical potential energy together with magical energy, "because fiction." There's nothing WRONG with being nonsensical, no. There's just something nonsensical about being nonsensical.

 

You could write a lore about a universe in which nothing exists. You could describe how much nothing there was, for pages and pages and pages. That wouldn't be WRONG. It would just be pointless. So, yeah, I'm sorry for suggesting there was something inherently wrong with magi-muscles. There isn't. It's just nonsensical.

 

Even fictional things have a reason for existing in a world constructed by AND meant to be explored by reasonable, real-life people with minds that comprehend logic and can't make sense of a purely arbitrary entire world design. What's reasonable about magi-muscle cells? "Well, you see, only the people in the world who lack the PHYSICAL means of doing something would lack magical power. And all the massively muscled people would CLEARLY be the ones to worry about."

 

Not to mention the whole "I'll just use magic to double my muscle mass" scenario I proposed. I mean, it's not like you'd have to prohibit magic from being able to do that or anything, right? Because it's magic. Why SHOULDN'T it do that? And people are just infinite power batteries.

Edited by Lephys
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Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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I believe it is nonsensical to mash physical potential energy together with magical energy, "because fiction." There's nothing WRONG with being nonsensical, no. There's just something nonsensical about being nonsensical.

You think it astethically wrong. It doesn't make sense to you. Accepted.

 

 

Even fictional things have a reason for existing in a world constructed by AND meant to be explored by reasonable, real-life people with minds that comprehend logic and can't make sense of a purely arbitrary entire world design. What's reasonable about magi-muscle cells? "Well, you see, only the people in the world who lack the PHYSICAL means of doing something would lack magical power. And all the massively muscled people would CLEARLY be the ones to worry about."

 

So while reality is everything but fair, the fantasy world has to have poetic justice built in? It can't be that there are losers by birth and inequality? Is that an arbitrary world design? Is gender inequality and people who are born poor or rich equally preposterous?

 

I might have misunderstood your point here. But you seem to ridicule world design because it has inequality???

 

 

 

Not to mention the whole "I'll just use magic to double my muscle mass" scenario I proposed. I mean, it's not like you'd have to prohibit magic from being able to do that or anything, right? Because it's magic. Why SHOULDN'T it do that? And people are just infinite power batteries.

 

Ahh, so because I said "everything is possible with magic" you read my words so literal that I now have said "everything must be possible with magic, you can't have rules or limitations".

 

There are so many ways out of this paradox (implementation-wise):

A) A Strength spell doesn't boost your inner strength

B) Strength only influences damage, not the bonus of morph spells like the strength spell

C) There is no Strength spell

 

Even if we allow it there is an effect of diminishing returns. Lets assume a strength spell gives 1 strength for every 4 strength you have. Someone with strength 16 could boost his strength by 4. Now he has 20 and the next strength spell makes that 21. Another strength spell and we are at 21.25, then 21.31, 21.32. We never ever reach 21.5 and definitely not infinity, even with unlimited mana. It would probably still be a bad idea to have such a str-spell, but it hardly is the end of that world

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What has this thread devolved into?

"I am the expert, asshat." - Hurlshot

"You need to be careful, lest I write another ten page essay on mythology and how it relates to Sailor Moon." - majestic

"I won't say what just in case KaineParker is reading" - Bartimaeus

"Oh no! Is there super secret ending as well? I don’t care." - Wormerine

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What has this thread devolved into?

A contest of who has the last word. The result is still out ;-)

 

Seriously: It is obvious that Lephys and I arrived at a patt situation. I already had intended to end this soon. Even though I still have fun discussing this in detail.

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You think it astethically wrong. It doesn't make sense to you. Accepted.

Sense is not my own personal construct. This doesn't make sense. To me, if I observe sense. 

 

I might have misunderstood your point here. But you seem to ridicule world design because it has inequality???

You did, it would seem. Inequality already exists. In a world without magic. Some people are strong, some people are weak. Not to mention the plethora of other factors that can all independently vary, as you pointed out. So then, we're gonna toss in an extra factor. We've got a realistic world, and now, *poof*, we added in magic. Uh oh... but everyone who gets a certain amount of Strength always gets that amount of MAGIC, as well! Despite the fact that everything else is an independent factor, these two things are friggin' quantumly entangled. Why? Simply because "why not?", apparently. Simply because there's nothing "wrong" with this. Let's just exponentiate all existing differences in power by arbitrarily applying a rule to the world that those with power get bonus power, and those without get even LESS power.

 

 

Ahh, so because I said "everything is possible with magic" you read my words so literal that I now have said "everything must be possible with magic, you can't have rules or limitations".

Nope. You never said that. And that's not the point I'm making. You're correct that everything IS possible with magic, and my point is that we do things for reasons, possible or not. It's possible to write "a novel" that doesn't have a single coherent sentence in it. Just string a bunch of random words together. Why don't we do that? Because, without an intelligent design, the novel is pointless. Why? Because it's intended to be used by people, who like sense. Sure, some people don't make sense, but a novel isn't for them. When's the last time someone wrote a novel specifically for psychos?

 

In other words, the very reason you have rules and limitations to intentionally avoid this "problem" is the EXACT same reason you use to implement your magic into the world in the first place.

 

Annnnd back to the actual affects on a stat-based character system in an RPG, problems arise, beyond simple "this is nonsense." If one stat gives you two power boosts, and the rest of the stats boost mainly individual things, then you've got an imbalance on your hands.

 

 

Also, for what it's worth, politely responding to someone who took the time to postulate something isn't "trying to get the last word in." Trying to get the last word in is when you don't already have a reason for saying anything, but you just want to forcibly have said the last bit on the matter, because it makes you feel better. If people would rather everyone just ignored everyone else, then awesome.

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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Also, for what it's worth, politely responding to someone who took the time to postulate something isn't "trying to get the last word in."

You presumably did miss the smiley at the end of the sentence. The problem is we don't bring new arguments but just reword the previous. It isn't a race for the last word, but it doesn't look that different from it.

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You presumably did miss the smiley at the end of the sentence. The problem is we don't bring new arguments but just reword the previous. It isn't a race for the last word, but it doesn't look that different from it.

My apologies. I mistook the mood of that statement, 8P.

 

Also, I don't know what to do, other than reword previous arguments, when my point so strongly seems to be misunderstood. Even if my point is flawed, or even stupid (and I just don't know it/see it), it's one thing to be corrected or have that flaw pointed out, and another, entirely, to have counter-argument after counter-argument presented that still doesn't really touch on the same thing I'm touching on.

 

In other words, even if my point IS understood, and it's simply some discrepancy that's causing me to feel like it isn't understood, then, at the very least, that discrepancy is going uncomprehended.

 

Now, at a certain point, maybe there's just nothing more to say to aid in any kind of further clarification of anything. Maybe I'm an idealist, though, but I fail to believe that there's anything two people simply cannot comprehend, even if they still have different feelings/thoughts on the matter once they do comprehend it.

 

Good, bad, flawed, flawless... what I've been trying to point out this entire time is definitely a thing. No one's said "here's why it isn't a problem," or "here's how I think it should be handled, and I don't think that would be a problem." Just "no, that's not even a thing."

 

If I've seen a mirage, then it would be great for someone to say "I recognize that you saw what you saw, but it was actually a trick of the light reflecting off the sand that produced that image," and not "No, you didn't see what appeared to be water."

 

I'm much more interested in why we aren't on the same page than I am in whose point is better. Just for the record.

Should we not start with some Ipelagos, or at least some Greater Ipelagos, before tackling a named Arch Ipelago? 6_u

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I think you have to be OK with not always being able to convince everyone. Sometimes you just got to think "I said my piece, I explained my argument, anything else I say is not going change anything"

Generally, I try to reply only when my arguments are challenged or I hear a counterargument.

 

But then, I'm also fairly easily baited so it doesn't always work out that way.

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Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
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Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

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Also, I don't know what to do, other than reword previous arguments, when my point so strongly seems to be misunderstood.

Well, that goes both ways. And it means we start from different preconceptions/axioms and/or use words with different definitions, and draw necessarily different conclusions from them. We could list our preconceptions and compare them. We could make a long list of detailed assertions we think to be true and ask the other to either say "yes", "no", "depends". We would have to define every word we use in detail, for example instead of using the word "power" like a nebulous concept define exactly what we mean by it. We probably would also have to enumerate the set of all possible "strength==damage" systems and find out their characteristics. Only then could we get to the ground of our misunderstanding.

 

But that would be a ton of work, especially without direct communication. And the moment Josh Sawyer produces his system all that work becomes meaningless in the face of the actual system we are hypothesizing over. So my advice is: Lets wait for Saywers system and talk about that instead of the set of all possible systems that have a detail in common with Sawyers system.

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And yes, DnD spells REQUIRE somatic components. You know what? I'm not defending DnD. My stance here isn't "Strength shouldn't produce magic Power, and also this game should be DnD." There's a lot of stuff in DnD that I don't think is ideal, like spells being so particular, and Wizards being able to do nothing that isn't already scribed into an ancient book by some older Wizard who somehow I guess just found the spell that's existed since the dawn of time. Or how Intelligence begets magic power, instead of some aspect of the mind begetting it. Again, was magic something that just existed, and only those who could comprehend very complex symbols and languages (that apparently existed since the dawn of time) could read and therefore academically learn magic? I don't really prefer that setup. That just makes magic a really, really complicated bazooka. Or Paladins drawing their power from Charisma. I understand why they did things like that, as far as building a ruleset goes. But, I don't really think it's the awesomest ruleset ever or anything. It's given us a lot of nice building blocks to draw from, and DnD sessions are quite fun.

 

actually in 3.0 (and 3.5) wizards can discover new spells as long as the DM approves and the wizard does the requisite research stuff (3.0 was mainly time).  the language in a spell book is specific to the wizard that wrote it, as it is just something to get the wizard to understand what is the spell, not some universal wizard language.  the ability to read someone else's wizard writing is done via a spell, otherwise it is unintelligible.  magic comes from the weave, and the god of magic keeps mortals from messing with it, mainly due to the damage done to it from mortals before it was protected.  anyone can become a god if they achieve enough power and get people to worship them, or you can defeat a god and take their thing they represent/have control over.

 

charisma is the uberstat since it influences your ability to influence others and gain followers.  as they have a demographics where wizards make up less than 5% of the population of the world, and wizards are supposed to be balanced with fighters, which make up about 15% of the world's population.  thus with high charisma you can convince a large group of people to fight a wizard for you, which they should be able to overwhelm him just by attacking him 1 after another at 8 hour intervals (a wizard needs 8 hours rest +1 extra hour to study to get spells), eventually he'll run out of spells and end up being weaker than a non PC class (or about 60% of the pop).  now take into account that without any moral restrictions you can have arcane spells (with magical healing via bard's spell list while casting in armor) and you have magic, a small army, and physical traits via spells.  bards are more numerous than wizards, and nothing says a bard can't also be a sorcerer, with the same key stat those people will have tremendous power for ruling the world, rivaled only by paladins, which with most settings do in fact make up key people in founding nation rulership (and there is even a minor god that was just a really successful bard that aspired to godhood in forgotten realms).  as wizard make enchanted equipment (and they are the best at this) they become valued members of an established nation, however due to being vastly outnumbered by fighters, tend to either rule in the shadows, or be ruled by charismatic fighter types.

 

most people just gloss over this stuff, which is why it isn't as well known and generally not used in games.  wizards tend not to be that great of adventurers, in 3.0.  i think this was due to high level characters having a small kingdom in previous versions, so they gave the class some perks for when they reached this level, but at the same time balanced things so that you still had need to adventure at those levels, plus gaps in the rules for custom content without any sort of structure for extrapolating things in those gaps meant that DMs were loath to venture into those areas for fear of unbalancing things, and kingdoms weren't as much of a perk as it was before (what with needing to run off for every little thing, since unless you had some great nation you didn't have the resources to have someone else handle simple things like a goblin invasion, and thus there was a gap in power levels, so the adventure would have some major boss for a whole party, or the DM would need to run an adventure of one for each party member to deal with weak periodic stuff for a kingdom).

 

DnD had plenty of lore, and given that 3.0 and up didn't feature a setting that meant it was lore for all sorts of how the world works sort of thing, but the mechanics didn't always match up as you started to get off the beaten path, which lead to confusion on how to handle things that didn't fit neatly into existing rules.  which meant that it didn't usually find itself in games, and thus has been largely forgotten, but DnD did have lore behind all of that stuff you talked about to make a more sensical world.

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