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 Alright, everyone, let's make some magic!

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Running Scared
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PostSubject: Re: Alright, everyone, let's make some magic!   Fri Jun 18, 2010 6:37 pm

Anime-Junkie wrote:
Running Scared wrote:
Magic is PERSONAL, more unique a practitioner is while understanding the basics is more powerful than a in-the-box mage, in spiritual, creative, and magical terms. Like in anything the more open minded person often will be more creative than the narrow minded one.
And thus it is when writing stories that involve magic.

Therefore, we do not want to be too close-minded when setting the guidelines as then we are restricting ourselves and others, but being too liberal just leads to the guidelines being so weak that they might as well not be there at all.
True we need balanced guidelines. Enough to give freedom and basic restrictions for certain things to avoid Godmodding and to keep a somewhat general consistence. For this to work we really need someone or a group of people to work on this together in greater detail by looking at how magic is used in the stories that have made the wiki(not unlike what you mentioned earlier AJ).
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Grave
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PostSubject: Re: Alright, everyone, let's make some magic!   Fri Jun 18, 2010 7:18 pm

Stabs wrote:
CauldronBorn24 wrote:
To avoid situations where people like you just want to fight or use Felarya as a proving ground.

Grave, do not answer!


I won't. I promise.

Now Cauldron, I want to know what gives you the right to insult me like that. It's not a very nice thing to do. Here I am being civil and you go and make unfounded attacks against me. Shame on you.

And yet, I am somewhat at a loss by the meaning of your insult to begin with. Curiosity has been instilled within me....

What do you mean by a proving ground? Do you mean to say that someone would make a character and take them there just to show their character is stronger? Seems silly to do such a thing. What would be accomplished by this?
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PostSubject: Re: Alright, everyone, let's make some magic!   Fri Jun 18, 2010 7:24 pm

Running Scared wrote:
We just need to clarify the limits for the writers...
Rather than coming up with limits, why not try to determine what's been done already, and list those as examples of what magic in Felarya is capable of? In other words, things we know are possible because someone already did it. Stabs did this at the beginning of the thread with a few scenes that showed up in the manga. Expanding it to include Felarya stories would be a huge task, but that would be a great deal more helpful (to me at least) than a set of made-up restrictions/limits, which I can almost guarantee will only be ignored. People love thumbing their nose at limits by exceeding them ever so slightly.

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PostSubject: Re: Alright, everyone, let's make some magic!   Fri Jun 18, 2010 7:27 pm

timing2 wrote:
Running Scared wrote:
We just need to clarify the limits for the writers...
Rather than coming up with limits, why not try to determine what's been done already, and list those as examples of what magic in Felarya is capable of? In other words, things we know are possible because someone already did it. Stabs did this at the beginning of the thread with a few scenes that showed up in the manga. Expanding it to include Felarya stories would be a huge task, but that would be a great deal more helpful (to me at least) than a set of made-up restrictions/limits, which I can almost guarantee will only be ignored. People love thumbing their nose at limits by exceeding them ever so slightly.

You mean simply list what can be done rather than what can't be done?


Intriguing.

Yet I hope it is not viewed as a "This Only" type of list.
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PostSubject: Re: Alright, everyone, let's make some magic!   Fri Jun 18, 2010 7:44 pm

Anime-Junkie wrote:
If we want to seriously do this then I recommend we look at how magic is used in a wide range of stories (and the manga) and use this to construct a working model that encompasses all of them. This would be a large undertaking, something that would require more than one person. However I believe the end result would definitely be worth it.
timing2 wrote:
Rather than coming up with limits, why not try to determine what's been done already, and list those as examples of what magic in Felarya is capable of? In other words, things we know are possible because someone already did it. Stabs did this at the beginning of the thread with a few scenes that showed up in the manga. Expanding it to include Felarya stories would be a huge task,
I've already suggested that.
As I said it would be big but it would be worth it in my opinion. Anyway if we got a few people on it it wouldn't be nearly so big. Many hands make light work.

timing2 wrote:
but that would be a great deal more helpful (to me at least) than a set of made-up restrictions/limits, which
I can almost guarantee will only be ignored. People love thumbing their nose at limits by exceeding them ever so slightly.
When I suggested my affinities idea I was keeping that in mind and so I made the definitions flexible and included allowances for already made stories.


Last edited by Anime-Junkie on Sat Jun 19, 2010 5:10 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Alright, everyone, let's make some magic!   Sat Jun 19, 2010 3:52 am

Grave wrote:
What do you mean by a proving ground? Do you mean to say that someone would make a character and take them there just to show their character is stronger? Seems silly to do such a thing. What would be accomplished by this?


It is a silly thing to do, yet it has been done. Someone will create a Super Sayian + infinity billion character and then have them run around drastically altering things; beating up guardians, altering the flow of rivers, things like that. Its pointless because everyone else just ignores said character, but it is annoying.





I am of many minds when it comes to magic. I'm rather fond of the scientific view of the world, so I find it hard to accept that magic has no rules or laws. We've been able to discover the rules and laws that govern things as diverse as physics, chemistry, biology; we've even been able to discover (or create) laws that allow us to describe randomness and random distributions, so surely we would be able to find the rules and laws that govern magic.

On the other hand, it might not be desirable to have laws that explicitly describe every possible magic, but instead just show the limits of what magic can do. For example, instead of a law that explicitly explains how magical levitation works in detail, it might be better/desirable to have one that simply states that "Levitation requires total constant mental concentration, and the amount of concentration required increases as the mass of the thing(s) being lifted increases. This leaves things vague, but also precludes people from writing about mages that can throw nagas around willy-nilly (assuming you somehow define a limit on how concentrated a person can be.)

On the gripping hand, defining anything at all leaves us vulnerable to edge and corner cases, and strange interactions. For example, lets assume that we all agree that with some concentration a magic user can use a spell that improves their abilities in some manner; increased strength, endurance, speed, charisma, things of that nature. What happens if someone uses that spell to improve their ability to concentrate? In the worst case they can chain cast it, getting stronger and strong with each iteration, and essentially becoming as arbitrarily powerful as they so desire.





timing2 wrote:
Rather than coming up with limits, why not try to determine what's been done already, and list those as examples of what magic in Felarya is capable of? In other words, things we know are possible because someone already did it. Stabs did this at the beginning of the thread with a few scenes that showed up in the manga. Expanding it to include Felarya stories would be a huge task, but that would be a great deal more helpful (to me at least) than a set of made-up restrictions/limits, which I can almost guarantee will only be ignored. People love thumbing their nose at limits by exceeding them ever so slightly.

This could work, but who would be deciding what stories (and thus what magic(s)) to include? If it includes every story out there then it will contain all the overpowered magics as well, but not including some is problematic as well; a good magic might be missed, someone might get offended and have a hissy-fit (possibly hurting the forum's sense of community), or maybe it will discourage some future excellent writer when he/she is in their larval stage and not yet excellent. (Okay, so none of those are all that likely, but they are worth thinking about at least a little bit.)

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PostSubject: Re: Alright, everyone, let's make some magic!   Sat Jun 19, 2010 5:48 am

Oldman40k2003 wrote:

On the other hand, it might not be desirable to have laws that explicitly describe every possible magic, but instead just show the limits of what magic can do. For example, instead of a law that explicitly explains how magical levitation works in detail, it might be better/desirable to have one that simply states that "Levitation requires total constant mental concentration, and the amount of concentration required increases as the mass of the thing(s) being lifted increases. This leaves things vague, but also precludes people from writing about mages that can throw nagas around willy-nilly (assuming you somehow define a limit on how concentrated a person can be.)

On the gripping hand, defining anything at all leaves us vulnerable to edge and corner cases, and strange interactions. For example, lets assume that we all agree that with some concentration a magic user can use a spell that improves their abilities in some manner; increased strength, endurance, speed, charisma, things of that nature. What happens if someone uses that spell to improve their ability to concentrate? In the worst case they can chain cast it, getting stronger and strong with each iteration, and essentially becoming as arbitrarily powerful as they so desire.

Of course, even that can be restrictive. For example, I believe it should be possible for a mage to move something by using kinetic energy from something else.
Example:
 
There are many ways of achieving the same results.
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PostSubject: Re: Alright, everyone, let's make some magic!   Sat Jun 19, 2010 8:00 am

Let's not go begging the problem of offending people by leaving out their stories - we can cross that bridge if/when it happens. People said the same about the active writers thread and months later it was so incredibly important that only a tiny fraction of Felarya writers have even bothered to put themselves in the list. Wink

I still think trying to impose limits on what magic can do isn't going to work - at best it'll be ignored. I'm not in favor of putting up road-blocks for people who wish to write stories for Felarya, all in the name of suppressing or reducing alleged overpoweredness - which I think we all agree can crop up in every aspect of a story or roleplay, not just magic. You want to try to come up with limits on what technology can do? Psionics? Are we going to put restrictions on character size? Strength? Speed? Intelligence? Invulnerability? Breast size!? And on and on...

Back to magic... I think it'd be easier to go through the massive number of stories that've been written to pull out specific magic examples that have already been done than to try to cover every single kind of magic and put restrictions on them all. People won't even bother to look at a restriction list if it grows as big as it would need to be. D&D had multi-volume sets of books dealing with magic spells under a highly defined, rigid, rules-based framework. And people *still* found numerous ways of blowing holes in that system. You think we'd fare any better?

In your levitation example, what if an alien shows up whose race has a natural ability from birth at controlling gravity? What if it's a coven of witches assisting one another - can they exceed the limits as a group? What it the mage has two heads or two brains - can they double the amount levitated? What if they have three brains, or a dozen compartmentalized ones? What if the mage adds in a super-duper subspace field generator to lower the physical mass of the levitated object before using her magic? What if it's a cyborg casting the spell - a cyborg who can easily devote a tiny portion of his billions of processors to the task of assisting and maintaining concentration? And you already brought up the point of a mage using magic to enhance themselves in some manner in order to bypass rules or exceed limits. Some people might even see limits as a kind of challenge to overcome.

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PostSubject: Re: Alright, everyone, let's make some magic!   Wed Jun 23, 2010 3:23 am

Anime-Junkie wrote:

Of course, even that can be restrictive.... There are many ways of achieving the same results.

True, too true.



timing2 wrote:
Let's not go begging the problem of offending people by leaving out their stories - we can cross that bridge if/when it happens. People said the same about the active writers thread and months later it was so incredibly important that only a tiny fraction of Felarya writers have even bothered to put themselves in the list.

But I like borrowing trouble! Razz



timing2 wrote:

I still think trying to impose limits on what magic can do isn't going to work - at best it'll be ignored. I'm not in favor of putting up road-blocks for people who wish to write stories for Felarya, all in the name of suppressing or reducing alleged overpoweredness - which I think we all agree can crop up in every aspect of a story or roleplay, not just magic. You want to try to come up with limits on what technology can do? Psionics? Are we going to put restrictions on character size? Strength? Speed? Intelligence? Invulnerability? Breast size!? And on and on...

You're right in that placing limits won't work; though were it just myself I would probably do it anyway. I'm stubborn like that.


timing2 wrote:
You think we'd fare any better?
Maybe. D&D magic fails the "energy must be conserved" test; possibly because D&D is wedded to the idea of Vancian magic (it is possible to do conservation of energy with Vancian magic, but requires more thinking and more limits on spell powers.) Because they fail the conservation of energy test then it is completely unsurprising that they have "infinite power loops" and things of that nature.


timing2 wrote:
In your levitation example, what if an aliens..., coven of witches..., mage has two heads..., ...super-duper subspace field generator ...
If energy is conserved, all of those situations have valid answers. (Can you tell that I am on a "physics kick" today? My solution to everything is "conservation". Smile )


timing2 wrote:
Some people might even see limits as a kind of challenge to overcome.
Undoubtedly.

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PostSubject: Re: Alright, everyone, let's make some magic!   Fri Jun 25, 2010 9:43 am

A'fright then, I should extend my analysis of what has happened so far to all the canon? I can do that, if you want me to.

I'm not really looking for rules, just for patterns that might allow some of us to draw interesting conclussions which we could go "ooooh" at. To me, it's like making Easter Eggs to hide in stories, even if I don't have stories that call for those particular eggs yet. You know, like all those people who make up new races they're never going to use.

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PostSubject: Re: Alright, everyone, let's make some magic!   Fri Jun 25, 2010 8:12 pm

I'd removed myself from the discussion, since it seems no one's willing to bend (anyone surprised?), but as for what I was driving at:

I'm not out to impose limits or rules. Just basic explanations that vaguely indicate that magic isn't an entirely unscientific phenomenon. To be honest, it wouldn't impact stories, since us more scientifically-inclined writers could always offer our own explanations for what another writer didn't feel up to explaining. We can always work around things.
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