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SAWYERISM BETRAYED - Might turns back into Strength, Resolve will affect spell damage

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I'd also like to see dexterity renamed to quickness to better represent its functionality :p

 

Let's rename Intellect to "biggening and longening" as well :D

 

Ok maybe agility :p

After all the icon shows a person jumping or something not handcrafting :p

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They should switch all stats and just blatantly copy the Rolemaster system. Deadfire? Next campaign should of been based from the city Roses leading to the overthrow of the Taken at Charm...Such a no Brainer!

 

Dolt! Almost forgot..... Physician should be a melee warrior/leader class.

Edited by Blades of Vanatar

No matter which fork in the road you take I am certain adventure awaits.

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 It's... magic. No explanation is required. :p

 

I think you're partially joking, but you'd be surprised how many people firmly believe this.

 

Magic is just fictional science. It still has to be explained,  :yes: . Real things have real reasons for their existence/behavior, and fictional things have fictional ones.

 

Science is a set of reproducible results, so in that sense yes, re-usable magic -spells- can be encompassed by science. However, not everything is covered by science, and not every result can be explained. For example, why do space and time exist?


"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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Science is a set of reproducible results, so in that sense yes, re-usable magic -spells- can be encompassed by science. However, not everything is covered by science, and not every result can be explained. For example, why do space and time exist?

 

To be a little more precise, in a world where magic exists magic would be part of nature. Magic itself wouldn't be science, much like gravity isn't science; but the study of the laws governing magic would be. Questions like "why is there magic?" would, much like "why is there space and time?", be questions of philosophy rather than science.

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Science is a set of reproducible results, so in that sense yes, re-usable magic -spells- can be encompassed by science. However, not everything is covered by science, and not every result can be explained. For example, why do space and time exist?

 

To be fair, science doesn't really explain why anything is the way it is. It just explains how it happens to work/exist. Why does matter exist? Why do thoughts exist? No one has any clue, and probably never will. PENGUINS! Why did I just type that word? Only I know that. You know that the word is there because I pressed the correseponding letters on my keyboard, then posted this message, but that doesn't say why it was those letters or why any word should've been typed there in the first place. It just tells how it got to be there.

 

I'm not trying to get overly nitpicky here, as I feel a lot of this is getting into semantics and not actual disagreement. I perhaps spoke too broadly. I mean, "science" is basically the study of reality, if you want to get down to it. But, the term is often used to refer to all the things that we study. People often explain something, then say "that's the science of it," when really, they're just explaining something that naturally occurs, as discovered by the application of science.

 

The very human notion of magic refers to things that aren't believed to be possible in the natural world. If you were to travel back in time and show a flamethrower or taser to people a thousand years ago, they would probably believe it to be "sorcery." Even though, if it really was sorcery, it would exist within the natural world, and therefore be a part of science from the get-go. It's just seen as something beyond our understanding or somehow outside of science, and thus labeled "magic."

 

The point is, to clarify, I was merely referring to the fact that, in the real world, we do not have "mana" or something floating around in the air that a human can channel or manipulate in any capacity to perform magical feats. Or, if there is, we haven't discovered any evidence of it yet, :). Specifically, in the case of PoE, souls are a measurable power source of energy that can be manipulated to perform "magic." So, in PoE's real world, soul energy and magic are just forces that exist. There's not science, THEN also lawless magic. No. Without a soul, you don't have any magical energy with which to do magical stuff. There are limitations to what can be done, etc. You can't make an infinitely large fireball that destroys the entire universe, then recreates a new universe in its image just because you're a Wizard. You can create a fireball of a limited size, and it's taxing on the person, etc.

 

This is just fictional science. So, there is no "We can make it do whatever we want!", because it writes its own rules. You can say "there are no limits" in your fiction, if you so choose, but then the evil villain would be literally unstoppable, but so would anyone in the world, so either everyone would defeat everyone else because they couldn't be stopped, or everyone would be stopped despite being unstoppable, neither of which makes any sense at all, so it would be a pointless reality where nothing of any significance actually occurs.

 

Now, when you get down to details, who's to say if a person with levitation can hover around at 20mph or 100mph? There's no real-world thing to draw from to say "Oh, well, I mean, they could probably only go Xmph, because I know how levitative propulsion works when fueled by a fictitious energy source." BUT, there are still things like wind resistance, etc. So, you'd either have to account for those, or adhere to limitations in them, etc. But, that's just additional science you're adding into real-world existing science. Heck, you can even change realistic, existing natural factors, like the force of gravity, or the specific effects of things that people can withstand, etc. Maybe in the real world human flesh starts burning at temperature X, but in your fiction, people are more resilient and don't burn until temperature Y. That's no different from magic, really. I mean, a lightning bolt's a real thing, we just normally can't produce them from our hands because we don't have a source of power that can generate them in our bodies. We'd have to use some kind of machine to build up a charge and an apparatus on our hand to discharge it, etc.

 

Annnnnnywho... Magic is fictional, but it's a part of reality in a fictional world. So, it's not like science vs. magic. That's just a perception. Magic plays along the same rules of existence as the rest of science in a given world.

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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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Very well explained Lephys. Also I agree with your original point: good fantasy/science fiction can (and perhaps should) break the rules of our reality, however it should have its own set of rules and should adhere to them. Once "it's magic" is invoked to explain away everything in a setting that setting becomes uninteresting (to me at least).

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Very well explained Lephys. Also I agree with your original point: good fantasy/science fiction can (and perhaps should) break the rules of our reality, however it should have its own set of rules and should adhere to them. Once "it's magic" is invoked to explain away everything in a setting that setting becomes uninteresting (to me at least).

 

I'm quite familiar with science and how it works, thanks. My point then is that, just because magic may follow a set of fixed principles that could potentially be discovered using a scientific process, doesn't mean that we know what those principles are. We are just as ignorant of magic as the pre-Galilean world was of physics. Hence, saying "it's magic" is the same as saying "we don't know". Just like physics, we don't need to know how it works in order for it to function. Rejecting the idea that wands should gain damage from Strength in this setting, just because we can't translate it to our mundane world, is not a valid critique in my mind. It works because it's magic.

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"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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I'm quite familiar with science and how it works, thanks. 

 

I don't believe I said you weren't.

 

My point then is that, just because magic may follow a set of fixed principles that could potentially be discovered using a scientific process, doesn't mean that we know what those principles are. We are just as ignorant of magic as the pre-Galilean world was of physics. Hence, saying "it's magic" is the same as saying "we don't know". Just like physics, we don't need to know how it works in order for it to function. Rejecting the idea that wands should gain damage from Strength in this setting, just because we can't translate it to our mundane world, is not a valid critique in my mind. It works because it's magic.

 

Sure, that's true. However I think the creator of a fantasy setting ought to have some idea of the rules of their magic system even if the occupants of their world don't, and they never set them out explicitly to their readers.

 

As for the Strength point, I don't disagree, although you could add "and that's how magic works in this setting" as well.

Edited by JerekKruger

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 I'm quite familiar with science and how it works, thanks. My point then is that, just because magic may follow a set of fixed principles that could potentially be discovered using a scientific process, doesn't mean that we know what those principles are. We are just as ignorant of magic as the pre-Galilean world was of physics. Hence, saying "it's magic" is the same as saying "we don't know". Just like physics, we don't need to know how it works in order for it to function. Rejecting the idea that wands should gain damage from Strength in this setting, just because we can't translate it to our mundane world, is not a valid critique in my mind. It works because it's magic.

 

See, I beg to differ. Just because the real world follows a fixed set of principles doesn't mean we know what they are, but we didn't create the real world. However, as a human is the one conceiving magic in the first place, I don't think you can just not determine how your own magic system works and say "it's magic." You don't have to tell all the users of the fictional world how it works in every tiny detail (and you don't even have to have ALL the details worked out), but you still have to know what's going on, in general, with your magic, as the creator of the world.

 

So to be clear, no, we don't need to know everything about magic in a ficticious world. But, the world needs to know how magic works, in any applicable situations. Which, again, largely agreeing with the validity of the points you're making, but the core of all this was just "No, (insert random poster here), for the 1000th time, you can't just draw a result out of a hat every time magic interacts with something in the world 'because it's magic.'" Because people keep periodically chiming in saying "It doesn't matter at all how it works, 'cause it's not real! 8D!"

 

As for Strength wands... it's not wrong, it's just lame. It's like the magic can't make up its mind. "Oh, you have high Resolve (potency of your soul)? Then that's what makes magic work more potently! Oh, unless it comes out of a stick, in which case the stick just measures your bicep, then multiplies the projectile potency by that number, u_u..." Now, if you had some unique wand that some guy imbued way back when to actually draw power from your muscles, then I guess that could work, because there's an extra amount of resources stored in that wand. Thus, the cost of the wand getting to do that is that it doesn't do something else that some other unique wand can do. Then, even that has to be within reason. Not because magic isn't allowed to go beyond reason, but that a fictional world is kind of a work of art, in a way, and it's not really in our nature to want to be entertained by things that we cannot comprehend or relate to in any fashion because they just say "to hell with reason."

 

The game world is already adapting into it the things we already know (like strength and muscles), that are real and already obey familiar rules of physics. Introducing this mysterious, cool soul power into the mix that's completely fictitious, then just saying "Oh, muscle power makes this soul power" is dumb. Muscles already make physical power. Why make magical power that overlaps with it? Might as well make a fictional world in which a car battery supplies electricity to the engine, but it ALSO supplies explosionpower in this fictitious world! So, now it's redundant.

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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 I'm quite familiar with science and how it works, thanks. My point then is that, just because magic may follow a set of fixed principles that could potentially be discovered using a scientific process, doesn't mean that we know what those principles are. We are just as ignorant of magic as the pre-Galilean world was of physics. Hence, saying "it's magic" is the same as saying "we don't know". Just like physics, we don't need to know how it works in order for it to function. Rejecting the idea that wands should gain damage from Strength in this setting, just because we can't translate it to our mundane world, is not a valid critique in my mind. It works because it's magic.

 

 Because people keep periodically chiming in saying "It doesn't matter at all how it works, 'cause it's not real! 8D!"

 

Problem is, at it's very core *that's an accurate statement*. Being fictional, it's rules are arbitrary--magic does such-and-such, in the end, because the author decided it does, and for no other reason. It's not like the real world, where the rules and relationships are being discovered, because of it's very nature as a *fictional* setting.

 

Science Fiction is *really* good to see this. In Star Trek, transporters were by breaking down the body at the quantum level, sending the matter stream, and then reassembling them. This process seems to make sense at first, but it doesn't. It doesn't at all. The use "a subspace domain" to send the matter stream through, and subspace is never explained in any way...because it's just a plot device. And the transporter uses "Heisenberg compensators" to work against the uncertainty principle, which are also never explained because...they literally can't be, it doesn't work like that.

 

If this was a fantasy setting instead of a science-fiction setting, they wouldn't have to use all these Heisenberg compensators and subspace domains, because there isn't the trapping of science that needs to be justified in a way that seems scientific and realistic. They could just say "He teleported" and be done with it, because people accept that magic can do things that don't need to be explained or are unexplainable, but really the justification for how magic works is always the same: it's not real and it was more important to move the plot along.

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*sigh*...

 

Okay... you aren't incorrect, but I feel like my point is getting COMPLETELY missed. And that may be my fault. I'm bad at conveying extremely specific thoughts, and for that I apologize. I genuinely try, but I often fail.

 

Here's the point. It's not that you can't do whatever you want. It's that you run into problems if you don't govern your own fiction, and they aren't avoided by the "who cares, it's magic!" notion. Imagine you invent an arcane dimension, in which Wizards can travel. Fictional thing, just made it up. Wizards aren't real, it's magic, yada-yada-yada. Okay, now, say, some villain is traveling in that dimension, and other characters interact with him. Maybe he can travel in that dimension, AND in the regular "reality" dimension in that world, simultaneously, and no one else can do that. If they stab him, what happens? And if he dies in that dimension, does he die in both? And if he does, then you just have someone else NOT die in both, that's inconsistent.

 

So, that's an example of the process you have to go through to figure out how your world works as it pertains to interactions in your story. If no one ever attacks anyone who's walking in both dimensions, then yeah, you don't have to care how that works. You don't have to sit down and write a physics book on an entire fictional magical world, but you have to acknowledge that the world is governed by rules, just like our own is, and you have to at least make those rules up when you come to them, and make them work together.

 

If you just make up a "just because" reason every time something happens, you're not inherently incorrect in doing so. No Fiction Police are going to arrest you, and you're not going to cease to exist, but your story's just gonna become nothing.

 

 

Annnnnnnywho. That's my bad for getting us off on a tangent, and I apologize. Back to the heated attribute debate, :)

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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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Very well explained Lephys. Also I agree with your original point: good fantasy/science fiction can (and perhaps should) break the rules of our reality, however it should have its own set of rules and should adhere to them. Once "it's magic" is invoked to explain away everything in a setting that setting becomes uninteresting (to me at least).

 

 

I think this depends on the goals of the author. Some fantasy novels are basically 'magic exists and it is alternate science and this story is about figuring out the rules of alt-science." Brandon Sanderson's stuff is a really good example of this.

 

On the other hand, sometimes magic beyond human understanding is the whole point, as in, say, Johnathan Strange and Mr. Norrell; it's not supposed to be a rational system at all, it's magic, to the point that at one point a character deliberately drives himself insane so he can perform magic better. Maybe magic isn't fully systematized in such settings, or maybe human minds can't grasp the system, or maybe it's rational in a different way, etc.; ultimately, it's something outside the grasp of the human mind, either way. 

 

Neither is necessarily better or worse in the abstract. However, in a game setting, and especially a video game setting, there are obvious benefits to "magic" having clear rules, not just, say, some vague mentions of a Secret Fire. 

Edited by Dr. Hieronymous Alloy
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I think this depends on the goals of the author. Some fantasy novels are basically 'magic exists and it is alternate science and this story is about figuring out the rules of alt-science." Brandon Sanderson's stuff is a really good example of this.

 

On the other hand, sometimes magic beyond human understanding is the whole point, as in, say, Johnathan Strange and Mr. Norrell; it's not supposed to be a rational system at all, it's magic, to the point that at one point a character deliberately drives himself insane so he can perform magic better. Maybe magic isn't fully systematized in such settings, or maybe human minds can't grasp the system, or maybe it's rational in a different way, etc.; ultimately, it's something outside the grasp of the human mind, either way. 

 

Neither is necessarily better or worse in the abstract. However, in a game setting, and especially a video game setting, there are obvious benefits to "magic" having clear rules, not just, say, some vague mentions of a Secret Fire. 

 

To be honest I don't mind the second type of magic so long as it's made clear that that's the point. I've not read Johnathan Strange and Mr. Norrell (though I might now) so I can't comment on it in particular but so long as it's well written that sort of unknowableness can be really interesting. In a sense you get something similar in Cthulhu mythos: you have these utterly incomprehensible beings and merely trying to understand them sends people insane. I guess what I dislike really is the use of "because magic" as a lazy explanation for things.

 

I would however argue that there are rules even in these situations. Those rules are unknown to the inhabitants of the setting, to the reader, and even the author might only have a vague outline of what they are, but the fact that a character can, by going insane, improve their mastery of magic tells us that they're there. You might not be able to establish a scientific theory that says things like "if I use this amount of these types of mana I will get this affect" but you can still work things out about it through observations (one of those things might even be: the behaviour of magic seems to change specifically to avoid conforming to prescriptive laws). The only system where this wouldn't be possible would be a completely random one, but I don't think any fiction has such a system and I suspect that such a system, if written honestly, would be rather uninteresting and possible incompatible with the rise of complex societies.

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On the other hand, sometimes magic beyond human understanding is the whole point, as in, say, Johnathan Strange and Mr. Norrell; it's not supposed to be a rational system at all, it's magic, to the point that at one point a character deliberately drives himself insane so he can perform magic better. Maybe magic isn't fully systematized in such settings, or maybe human minds can't grasp the system, or maybe it's rational in a different way, etc.; ultimately, it's something outside the grasp of the human mind, either way. 

 

Note: The idea that becoming more insane allows you to perform magic better is actually an organized, rational relationship. Also, if human minds can't grasp the system, then a human mind could not have devised the system. We can make up something that we pretend isn't able to be grasped, but we have to grasp it in order to invent it.

 

In other words, in order for something to not make any sense at all, it would have to follow a fixed set of rules that we couldn't comprehend. You cannot invent those rules if you don't comprehend how those rules would even work, so you just have to go "Ehhhh... it follows a fixed set of rules that we can't comprehend." Which, again, you can do. But then, nothing at all can even question your system in any capacity, which doesn't make for very interesting or functional fiction.

 

"Then the protagonist did incomprehensible things and won the day!"

"Wait... what did he do? How did he win the day?"

"Well, we don't know. He just did. It's magic, and it doesn't make sense."

"Did the villain die or something?"

"The villain had things occur to him and the protagonist, because of occurrences, was victorious!"

 

In the end, all an "incomprehensible" magic system does is blatantly say "I'm going to ignore how or why any of this is happening, and just force it to happen because I want the results." It becomes almost the same thing as forced character writing in books and movies, when Character X does something completely out of line with their character or the plot/world just so that Y can happen. You know, "Oh, I want this character to dramatically die here, so even though they have the advantage in this fight, I'm going to have them hesitate, or have something preposterous happen, JUST so I can say 'see, that's why they lost the fight and died... because of that occurrence I just threw in there, when I could've just changed the context of the fight from the get go so that this character could reasonably die in this fight.'"

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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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Yeah, Cthulhu Mythos is another good example of a system where the "unknowableness" is the point.  In a sense we're re-treading theological ground ("Is an omnipotent being bound by the rules of logic?" etc.) 

 

Ultimately for purposes of a video game though yeah you need clear rules. If only because you can't program a computer to be ineffable.

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In other words, in order for something to not make any sense at all, it would have to follow a fixed set of rules that we couldn't comprehend. You cannot invent those rules if you don't comprehend how those rules would even work, so you just have to go "Ehhhh... it follows a fixed set of rules that we can't comprehend." Which, again, you can do. But then, nothing at all can even question your system in any capacity, which doesn't make for very interesting or functional fiction.

 

"Then the protagonist did incomprehensible things and won the day!"

"Wait... what did he do? How did he win the day?"

"Well, we don't know. He just did. It's magic, and it doesn't make sense."

"Did the villain die or something?"

"The villain had things occur to him and the protagonist, because of occurrences, was victorious!"

 

 

 

 

Well, it could be extremely cynical fiction where the protagonist is crushed by an uncaring and incomprehensible universe! Who says the protagonist has to win? :p

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You might not be able to establish a scientific theory that says things like "if I use this amount of these types of mana I will get this affect" but you can still work things out about it through observations (one of those things might even be: the behaviour of magic seems to change specifically to avoid conforming to prescriptive laws). 

 

 

Adrian Tchaikovsky's Shadows of the Apt series does this;  "magic" works, but only when it isn't being scientifically observed; some races "get" technology, others "get" magic; a magic-using race literally can't understand how to work a crossbow, a technological race can't understand a spell; the more ignorant and fearful you are, the more vulnerable you are to magic. 

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Well, it could be extremely cynical fiction where the protagonist is crushed by an uncaring and incomprehensible universe! Who says the protagonist has to win? :p

 

It could. :)

 

I guess all I'm saying is that, IF you're trying to explain something that's occurring, you can't explain it with inexplicable magic and hope to achieve anything. Doing so is ignoring rather than explaining. You can have unexplained things in your fiction. Maybe some race of people vanished, and no one knows how they left or where they went, etc. Maybe you never find out. That's fine. But you can't have a situation in your plot that needs the how of that race vanishing to be important, and just ignore it with "Hah hah hah! INCOMPREHENSIBLE MAGIC! 8D!"

 

This is all more pronounced in a video game like this, because almost all the lore coincides with mechanics, which are 100% "this is how things are functioning and interacting." So, "it's magic, who cares" doesn't fly when that magic is having its damage mitigated and/or bypassing certain affects or circumstances, etc.


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 guess all I'm saying is that, IF you're trying to explain something that's occurring, you can't explain it with inexplicable magic and hope to achieve anything. Doing so is ignoring rather than explaining.

 

The God of the gaps :)

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Actually there's something to be said for not explaining the magic. Doing so makes it less magical, if you see what I mean. There should be a certain amount of mystery to it.

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"It has just been discovered that research causes cancer in rats."

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Actually there's something to be said for not explaining the magic. Doing so makes it less magical, if you see what I mean. There should be a certain amount of mystery to it.

Nah, Midi-chlorians make everything better.

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Actually there's something to be said for not explaining the magic. Doing so makes it less magical, if you see what I mean. There should be a certain amount of mystery to it.

Nah, Midi-chlorians make everything better.

 

I hate you a little right now.

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I'm on Lephys on this one.  When things happen randomly "for plot" then it loses drama.  When a guy holds a gun against another guy's head there is a sense of danger because you know the rules is that guns can blow people's brains out and you wonder "How is he going to get out of this?"  If the gun then shoots flowers because magic, then this and all future situations lose their edge because you just don't know what could happen or whether the danger is real, the methods heroes use to get out of then cease to be clever because its just whatever the author wants to happen as opposed to genuine clever maneuvers, etc.  Knowing that a hole in a spacesuit could lead to someone dying creates drama, this is lost when you have characters running around in space wearing just gas masks with no ill effects.  Just my two pennies.

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