Feedback Grounds

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Feedback Grounds

Post by Admin on Sun Jul 10, 2011 1:10 am

This article will serve to redefine feedback grounds and explain them better.

Feedback Grounds

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Feedback Grounds are necessary for mages to safely counteract the feedback of casting a spell. Mages manipulate the path of feedback by attempting to provide it a 'path of least resistance'.

Feedback is a natural response of mana that is caused by manipulating mana. Feedback tries to cause the disassociation of matter. For that reason, the efficiency of a feedback ground increases with volume and with density.

Feedback starts at the origin of the spell, that is, the casting mage. For feedback to be successfully grounded, the feedback ground should be as near as possible. For this reason, feedback grounds are almost always wieldly objects in physical contact. Extremely skilled mages are able to direct feedback away from themselves in distance and quantity proportional to their skill.

For mages to successfully change the path of feedback, they must fully concentrate on a target. Therefore, feedback grounds must be specific, individual, identifiable objects. Any motion that the feedback ground has requires increasing amounts of concentration for the mage. If the mage cannot precisely target a specific feedback ground, then the feedback will not flow into the feedback ground.

Living things are incredibly inefficient feedback grounds. They have variable volume and density, they are composed of moving parts, and they are likely to resist, whether consciously or unconsciously, being targetted as a feedback ground. While cases of using living trees as feedback grounds exist, using sentient creatures as feedback grounds is unheard of.

If any of these conditions or qualities are not sufficiently met, then the provided 'path of least resistance' will not be used by the feedback. The feedback will instead target the mage, resulting in an amount of harm directly proportional to the amount of mana manipulated and the complexity of the attempted spell. The most common results of feedback on a casting mage is permanent dismemberment and death.
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Re: Feedback Grounds

Post by CromTheConqueror on Sun Jul 10, 2011 1:13 am

Exactly what I thought the reorganization piece was looking for Chaos. This is great.

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Re: Feedback Grounds

Post by Admin on Sun Jul 10, 2011 1:14 am

Glad you like it. If there are no more questions, I ask that people make motions to ratify it.
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Re: Feedback Grounds

Post by MidgetNinja on Sun Jul 10, 2011 2:14 am

I like it, much easier to understand than the last time I read it, though that might be more fault, I'll call it approved.

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Re: Feedback Grounds

Post by Admin on Sun Jul 10, 2011 2:54 am

Alright. At some point in the future I'll make the appropriate edits to incorporate it into the Magic System.
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Re: Feedback Grounds

Post by Caligstro Smith on Thu Jul 21, 2011 1:16 am

Well like you said, it definitely should be moved into the "Reorganization of the Magic System" article at least, since it has great approval and is very clear/easy to understand.

I still think that it'd be nice to have more explicit definition/explanation/rules/methodology/whatever for use of objects as feedback grounds (ie: HOW they work explicitly, qualities of a good one vs a bad one (yes high mass/density but anything else?), what makes the things the Conclave makes/uses better/more efficient than just picking up a stick on the ground or carting around a dozen huge boulders whenever you want to do any remotely serious magic, etc).

If I'm really the only one who'd like to see that kind of info on feedback grounds, then w/e nvm I guess tho.
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Re: Feedback Grounds

Post by CromTheConqueror on Thu Jul 21, 2011 8:57 am

I think that would be useful information.

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Re: Feedback Grounds

Post by Admin on Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:16 pm

Caligstro Smith wrote:Well like you said, it definitely should be moved into the "Reorganization of the Magic System" article at least, since it has great approval and is very clear/easy to understand.

I still think that it'd be nice to have more explicit definition

What's lacking in the definition?



explanation

What's lacking in the explanation?


rules

What's lacking in the rules?

methodology

What's lacking in the methodology?

ie: HOW they work explicitly

They don't do anything at all. They are just objects, the mage does all the work. I thought that was clear.

qualities of a good one vs a bad one (yes high mass/density but anything else?)

If nothing else is listed, then those are the only qualities that matter, so no, there is nothing else.

what makes the things the Conclave makes/uses better/more efficient than just picking up a stick on the ground or carting around a dozen huge boulders whenever you want to do any remotely serious magic, etc).

Absolutely nothing. If the Conclave makes a high volume, dense object, and you find in nature a clone of that high volume, dense object, then they have the exact same efficiency. The Conclave just makes items exactly suited for that purpose. Nature tends not to. This is one of the issues I don't think is important to describe because it should already be implied. If I wrote it in the article, it'd be redundant. "Efficiency increases with volume and increases with density" is the thing that they all go off of. The Conclave doesn't have some special rule beyond that, they follow the exact rule in the article.

If I'm really the only one who'd like to see that kind of info on feedback grounds, then w/e nvm I guess tho.

I hope I showed you how all of that info is already in the article. Is it somehow not saying what I want it to say?
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Re: Feedback Grounds

Post by Caligstro Smith on Fri Jul 22, 2011 12:21 am

Sorry I'm addressing out of order of the original listing, but the order isn't really that important anyway, and I'll include quotes where necessary.

First of all, I think that knowing that there's nothing actually special about the feedback grounds the Conclave produces was NOT clearly understood until just now that you've posted that response. I believe that is something that should be noted, definitely in the above article, and also wherever it is that the "special/not-special" feedback grounds the Conclave makes are first mentioned.

Additionally, if there is nothing special about the non-natural high-density objects the Conclave makes, then how are they making them? More magic? Surely that's not the answer. If that was the case then the amount of feedback to create a "Conclave Feedback Ground" object must necessarily be LESS THAN the capacity to absorb feedback of the created item. And if that is true, then there's an imbalance in the magical effect produced to feedback ratio. Which means that any mage, should he/she need to, could actually perform as powerful of magic as he wanted, provided he took the time to build a layer of magical effect into (or before he cast) any spell which would take a part of the ground (or other matter around him) and convert it into a sufficiently large/dense feedback ground for the rest of the spell to consume.

I have a feeling that you DON'T want this to be the case, since it would be pretty freaking broken, mechanics wise.

Therefore, it'd be nice to know HOW these special, non-natural grounds are being created, what is required to make them, etc. The process behind efficient feedback ground creation. Also, if magic has been around for as long as it has, and the conclave has been producing and using the non-natural efficient feedback grounds for a long time (they have), then why has no one looked at one and examined its physical properties/construction and tried to replicate it? It seems like this would be one of the MOST IMPORTANT things for any Guild to undertake (and accomplish) if it wanted to stand any chance of remaining separate (and strong enough to resist) the Conclave.


Next, I'd like to question the "high-volume, high-density" quality stated to be desired in any object which is to be a "good" feedback ground. You're also probably not going to like where this is going, but I'm going there anyway, because I think it's probably relevant:

First some background/recap:
1) Feedback is consistently described as a force, and therefore it must be imparting energy to that which upon it acts.

2) Feedback, when of sufficient magnitude ( >= to the capacity for feedback which is inherent to the object upon which it is acting), will disintegrate an object, presumably into its constituent atoms (that is the generally accepted understanding of the word "disintegrate").

3) It appears that the bigger an object is, and the more there is to that object (density), the higher its inherent capacity for feedback.

4) An object need not be "pure" to be the target of a feedback force (ie: it need not be purely of a single element, or purely of a single type of molecule). We know this because, among other things, you can target a living tree for feedback, which most definitely is NOT "pure" in either of the above senses of the word. While it's harder to do so (or at least less commonly done as there have only "been instances of" this, it still works. Also, this statement about rarity is also in the context of targeting LIVING trees, and in the paragraph about targeting LIVING things in general. However in common discussion the possibility of picking up a stick off the ground to use as a target has been used often, lending (weak/non-explicit) credence to the understanding that you can target non "pure" substances.

Now that we have our few facts/recaps out of the way:

All this tends to imply that the force (and energy imparted by it) of feedback upon any object (from here on called F) is in fact breaking the atomic bonds holding that object together (and why when you apply a feedback of magnitude which is NOT <<< than the total feedback capacity of the object (from here on called C), partial or total disintegration is observed.

The larger an object is, quite obviously the larger the total number of atomic bonds which exist within it. Thus having an object which is larger (greater total volume) would obviously increase the objects feedback capacity, C.

HOWEVER, the DENSITY of an object cannot be directly related to the total number of atomic bonds contained by that object. Larger objects tend to be heavier in most cases (and natural intuition will always suggest as such, and exceptions are generally met with surprise), so the belief that higher density increases C is understandable. But really the key is more likely higher ATOMIC DENSITY (a quantity rarely discussed in modern/"real" chemistry/science), that is density of an object with regards to the number of atoms which comprise it (# atoms in object/volume of object). However, even then that is not entirely a perfect assessment because there are different types of bonds (covalent, ionic, hydrogen, and, although not technically a "bond," van der waals forces/interactions), and therefore an object with a high atomic density (henceforth AD) but with entirely ionic bonds would be less favorable a feedback ground than an object with the same (or even less actually, to a certain extent) AD but with entirely covalent bonds, and having more (or even entirely) double, or even triple covalent bonds would be even more favorable still.

The point of all that analysis is to basically say that I think it would be better to replace the stated "higher-volume, higher-density" requirements with just "higher atomic density," and then if deemed necessary (it probably will be), define atomic density as above. The qualification of type of bond is not likely to be quite as important (although still might want to be noted somewhere, perhaps as a footnote?).

But anyway, I believe that the above analysis and it conclusions are what was not explained sufficiently. However I had to first know that there was nothing special about the Conclave's grounds to be able to perform the above analysis at all, which as I said, I believe was not clear/understood to be the case until just when you posted it.


And finally, as I said above, but I'd like to end on this note again as emphasis: We still don't know HOW these non-natural high AD items are being created... Which would be really great to know.

EDIT: Oh yeah, I forgot to say also: The other thing that would be nice to know is a general idea of the ratio of magic effect to force of feedback F. Not necessarily an exact formula or anything, since that level of detail is unnecessary for our purposes, not to mention the problem of quantifying "magical effect" in a system where the magic is not always measurable. Of course a standard could be established with a unit like "Fb" for "Fireball" where all levels of magical effect are measured by a ratio of the force of feedback produced by a given effect (F_Effect) to the force of feedback produced by a standardized 1 foot diameter fireball (F_Fireball). This could be useful and might be worth implementing, as it would help establish a sense of relative power in the magic system, allowing approximate comparisons of the power of magical effects. I don't know if we want that level of detail or not, but it could certainly prove quite useful.
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Re: Feedback Grounds

Post by Admin on Fri Jul 22, 2011 12:51 am

Caligstro Smith wrote:First of all, I think that knowing that there's nothing actually special about the feedback grounds the Conclave produces was NOT clearly understood until just now that you've posted that response. I believe that is something that should be noted, definitely in the above article, and also wherever it is that the "special/not-special" feedback grounds the Conclave makes are first mentioned.

Why? If you look at the article, it says all that needs to be said.
I mean, I could make another mention, but it would be "Even the Conclave follows this rule." or "Not even the Conclave can break this rule." or something inane like that. The Conclave isn't even mentioned in the article at all. This isn't a geopolitical article, it's defining what Feedback Grounds are and is purely magical.


Additionally, if there is nothing special about the non-natural high-density objects the Conclave makes, then how are they making them? More magic? Surely that's not the answer.

They make a mold of a cylinder, then smelt metal. Bam, done. A simple, metal cylinder. Very dense.
Alternatively, they could use magic, because a mage that has power over metal could form it.

Which means that any mage, should he/she need to, could actually perform as powerful of magic as he wanted, provided he took the time to build a layer of magical effect into (or before he cast) any spell which would take a part of the ground (or other matter around him) and convert it into a sufficiently large/dense feedback ground for the rest of the spell to consume.

Impossible. Feedback happens before the spell is cast. If the spell is to somehow shape the feedback ground, it can't be used to ground the feedback of the spell being cast. I suppose that isn't stated explicitly anywhere, so I'll have to put that in.
"Feedback happens before the spell is cast."


Therefore, it'd be nice to know HOW these special, non-natural grounds are being created, what is required to make them, etc. The process behind efficient feedback ground creation. Also, if magic has been around for as long as it has, and the conclave has been producing and using the non-natural efficient feedback grounds for a long time (they have), then why has no one looked at one and examined its physical properties/construction and tried to replicate it? It seems like this would be one of the MOST IMPORTANT things for any Guild to undertake (and accomplish) if it wanted to stand any chance of remaining separate (and strong enough to resist) the Conclave.

They aren't special, and I already said how they could be made. Guilds do make them. The Conclave just has a lot more resources (The island is also incredibly ore-rich), there's a lot more research into alchemy (which would help in creating a more dense material, though since it's magical there's still the 'using a feedback ground to make a feedback ground' thing, so it'd only be useful in making grounds that need to be more compact, likely for high-ranking individuals that don't want to lug a lot of them around). The Conclave is also more worth mentioning since it has a lot more political influence than guilds do.

Next, I'd like to question the "high-volume, high-density" quality stated to be desired in any object which is to be a "good" feedback ground. You're also probably not going to like where this is going, but I'm going there anyway, because I think it's probably relevant:

First some background/recap:
1) Feedback is consistently described as a force, and therefore it must be imparting energy to that which upon it acts.

2) Feedback, when of sufficient magnitude ( >= to the capacity for feedback which is inherent to the object upon which it is acting), will disintegrate an object, presumably into its constituent atoms (that is the generally accepted understanding of the word "disintegrate").

3) It appears that the bigger an object is, and the more there is to that object (density), the higher its inherent capacity for feedback.

4) An object need not be "pure" to be the target of a feedback force (ie: it need not be purely of a single element, or purely of a single type of molecule). We know this because, among other things, you can target a living tree for feedback, which most definitely is NOT "pure" in either of the above senses of the word. While it's harder to do so (or at least less commonly done as there have only "been instances of" this, it still works. Also, this statement about rarity is also in the context of targeting LIVING trees, and in the paragraph about targeting LIVING things in general. However in common discussion the possibility of picking up a stick off the ground to use as a target has been used often, lending (weak/non-explicit) credence to the understanding that you can target non "pure" substances.

Now that we have our few facts/recaps out of the way:

All this tends to imply that the force (and energy imparted by it) of feedback upon any object (from here on called F) is in fact breaking the atomic bonds holding that object together (and why when you apply a feedback of magnitude which is NOT <<< than the total feedback capacity of the object (from here on called C), partial or total disintegration is observed.

The larger an object is, quite obviously the larger the total number of atomic bonds which exist within it. Thus having an object which is larger (greater total volume) would obviously increase the objects feedback capacity, C.

HOWEVER, the DENSITY of an object cannot be directly related to the total number of atomic bonds contained by that object. Larger objects tend to be heavier in most cases (and natural intuition will always suggest as such, and exceptions are generally met with surprise), so the belief that higher density increases C is understandable. But really the key is more likely higher ATOMIC DENSITY (a quantity rarely discussed in modern/"real" chemistry/science), that is density of an object with regards to the number of atoms which comprise it (# atoms in object/volume of object). However, even then that is not entirely a perfect assessment because there are different types of bonds (covalent, ionic, hydrogen, and, although not technically a "bond," van der waals forces/interactions), and therefore an object with a high atomic density (henceforth AD) but with entirely ionic bonds would be less favorable a feedback ground than an object with the same (or even less actually, to a certain extent) AD but with entirely covalent bonds, and having more (or even entirely) double, or even triple covalent bonds would be even more favorable still.

The point of all that analysis is to basically say that I think it would be better to replace the stated "higher-volume, higher-density" requirements with just "higher atomic density," and then if deemed necessary (it probably will be), define atomic density as above. The qualification of type of bond is not likely to be quite as important (although still might want to be noted somewhere, perhaps as a footnote?).

But anyway, I believe that the above analysis and it conclusions are what was not explained sufficiently. However I had to first know that there was nothing special about the Conclave's grounds to be able to perform the above analysis at all, which as I said, I believe was not clear/understood to be the case until just when you posted it.

I approve of your analysis.
Feedback functions a lot like a force, but not necessarily in the same way understood in reality. Feedback is basically a manifestation of chaos, and seeks to destroy order until it is rendered null. The stronger the order (i.e. covalent versus ionic, etc.), the more it is rendered null. This is also not just rendered on a purely microscopic scale. Ripping a limb off is also reducing order to the system of a body as a whole.

However, I will not change the definition in this article, nor will I put your analysis here. People don't need to take Chemistry in order to roleplay in this forum. However, I would put it in a more in-depth article explaining feedback (after there is a sufficiently concise and simple article explaining feedback) so that people who actually care enough about it have that information available.


And finally, as I said above, but I'd like to end on this note again as emphasis: We still don't know HOW these non-natural high AD items are being created... Which would be really great to know.

Explained above.
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Re: Feedback Grounds

Post by Caligstro Smith on Fri Jul 22, 2011 1:42 am

Chaoswizkid wrote:
Caligstro Smith wrote:Which means that any mage, should he/she need to, could actually perform as powerful of magic as he wanted, provided he took the time to build a layer of magical effect into (or before he cast) any spell which would take a part of the ground (or other matter around him) and convert it into a sufficiently large/dense feedback ground for the rest of the spell to consume.


Impossible. Feedback happens before the spell is cast. If the spell is to somehow shape the feedback ground, it can't be used to ground the feedback of the spell being cast. I suppose that isn't stated explicitly anywhere, so I'll have to put that in.
"Feedback happens before the spell is cast."

Well just to let you know, I realized that the feedback happens first (although adding that in to be clear would be nice/useful), but the point was that you couldn't be using magic to make a more efficient feedback ground, at least in large quantities, because unless you violated some sort of conservation and allowed ratio of created feedback capacity to force of feedback generated in creating that ground to exceed 1, you'd still allow a mage to use the stated above exploit. Since all the mage would need is the tiniest initial feedback ground (they could even use themselves since the initial feedback generated would be tiny), and then just create a layered spell with tiers of activation which would progressively generate larger and larger feedback grounds until they reached the necessary capacity to cast their arbitrarily powerful spell. Which was why I was saying that whatever the method of non-natural feedback ground creation was, that it COULDN'T be a magical method without necessarily allowing that exploit, which surely wasn't wanted. Basically that was the explanation of why that ratio couldn't exceed 1 (actually it couldn't equal it either b/c I'm assuming that entropy exists in this universe too).

Chaoswizkid wrote:The Conclave isn't even mentioned in the article at all. This isn't a geopolitical article, it's defining what Feedback Grounds are and is purely magical.

Fair enough. I see your point about it not needing to be noted above. But I would still say that wherever it is that the non-natural feedback grounds are mentioned (I believe the only place they're mentioned is in conjunction with the Conclave, which is why I thought that only the Conclave had them), that this would be worth editing in there.

Chaoswizkid wrote:They make a mold of a cylinder, then smelt metal. Bam, done. A simple, metal cylinder. Very dense.

Oh, I was under the impression that these created grounds were somehow more efficient that those you could commonly find, or somehow specially designed to be more efficient. Basically they're just cylinders of some covalently bonded material that's solid at room temperature. Actually to be truly efficient, metal probably wouldn't even be used, since it's not covalently bonded. Solid carbon would most likely be one of the more efficient sinks that's easily available, since it's covalently bonded with a low atomic mass. Although some sort of solid carbon-nitrogen composite would probably be even better.


And yes I agree that people shouldn't need to take chemistry to play this game, but for the purposes of mechanics I think it's important to have an actual explanation/mechanic behind the concept of feedback grounds, so that the admins can ensure consistent enforcement (since the admins/devs all have taken chemistry). Also, when you have a LOT of people some day, and they get into discussions about stuff like this, it'll be important to have an actual answer ready. Or when someone (or many someones) inevitably want to have their characters research ways to have more efficient grounds, you know what they'd need to do (find some kind of covalent multi-bonded substance that's solid).

Finally, I don't really understand WHY you can't designate a rock only partly visible above the ground as a feedback target. You understand that it's a rock, and capable of being disintegrated. What is it that makes it necessary to be fully above ground?

Chaoswizkid wrote:specific, individual, identifiable objects.[...] If the mage cannot precisely target a specific feedback ground, then the feedback will not flow into the feedback ground.

Given this exact explanation, a rock which is only half-way sticking out of the ground is
1) Specific: The mage wants to feedback THAT rock. He sees it and knows which one he means.
2) Individual: THAT rock, not any other rock. Not other rocks near it, or underneath it, or even touching it. THAT one. THAT individual one. It is only one rock.
3) Identifiable: He sees it and can identify it as a rock. He knows where it is, and that it is there.
4) Precisely Targetable: He is targeting THAT rock. Even if he can't see the whole thing, he knows that it is there. Since he targets the object as a whole, and not the individual bonds or something, I don't see how it's not precisely targetable.

Now, I could see why it might not be a good idea to use something that you can't see all of, since if the rock is smaller than you're hoping, then its capacity C will be smaller than necessary to take the full feedback of the spell, and the remainder will blast the mage instead, which is generally undesirable. But if he feels confident that at least the amount of rock which he can actually see will be enough, then he could be safe targeting the rock, since even if there was actually NOTHING underneath (it was perfectly flat and resting on the ground, only giving the appearance of being buried), then there would still be sufficiently high capacity to take the full force from the spell.

This brings me to another question: Since really it's a question of atomic density and bonding, then how does a mage know whether an object will be capable of taking the full force of feedback from any given spell? Every spell generates different magnitudes of feedback, and every different material is going to have a different C, not to mention the complexity of using composite materials like WOOD, which will have a given average C, but depending on a number of factors, that average will not be quite the same for each piece of wood. And that's on the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the difficulties of assessing what will be sufficient for a given ground. So unless mages always use the same one or two materials (as would be the case if they're using standard grounds provided by some organization), then every time they cast a spell, it's going to wind up involving some level of guesswork as to whether an object can take the feedback it will cause or not.

Spellcasting on the fly will especially be a problem for a few reasons.

1) If you can only target a single object, then whatever spell you want to cast must have a resulting feedback force <= to the capacity of a SINGLE object in his possession.
2) As a battle progresses, the grounds you have will be disintegrated. If he possesses multiple grounds to start with, then as he casts and progressively disintegrates parts of his grounds, their remaining capacities will decrease. Then, while the total capacity of his remaining grounds at some point might equal C, the maximum feedback he can have in any spell he casts will be <<< C, because he can only target one of them.

Therefore the ideal situation for a battle mage would be to start with a SINGLE object which he will use for all of his casting over the course of the battle, or else have a MASSIVE supply of grounds all within usable range and then just hope he doesn't have to MOVE while in a battle (extremely unlikely, and thus really this isn't a practical solution to the problem).

HOWEVER if a battle mage was to start with only a single very large ground to last him the whole battle, then he has the problem that he needs a way to lug around this large, heavy, unwieldy object.

As the power of the mage increases this problem becomes proportionally more... problematic. Because to be able to cast his more powerful magics, he needs an even bigger initial ground.

If the answer is that he starts using the battlefield as grounds, then you fall back on the problem of it becoming guesswork weather the conveniently located target can take the full brunt of the feedback. So... ?
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Re: Feedback Grounds

Post by Admin on Fri Jul 22, 2011 2:13 am

Caligstro Smith wrote:
Well just to let you know, I realized that the feedback happens first (although adding that in to be clear would be nice/useful), but the point was that you couldn't be using magic to make a more efficient feedback ground, at least in large quantities, because unless you violated some sort of conservation and allowed ratio of created feedback capacity to force of feedback generated in creating that ground to exceed 1, you'd still allow a mage to use the stated above exploit. Since all the mage would need is the tiniest initial feedback ground (they could even use themselves since the initial feedback generated would be tiny), and then just create a layered spell with tiers of activation which would progressively generate larger and larger feedback grounds until they reached the necessary capacity to cast their arbitrarily powerful spell. Which was why I was saying that whatever the method of non-natural feedback ground creation was, that it COULDN'T be a magical method without necessarily allowing that exploit, which surely wasn't wanted. Basically that was the explanation of why that ratio couldn't exceed 1 (actually it couldn't equal it either b/c I'm assuming that entropy exists in this universe too).

But there is no layered spell with tiers of activation. Perhaps you could rig something up with runes, but it wouldn't be able to be exploited.


Chaoswizkid wrote:They make a mold of a cylinder, then smelt metal. Bam, done. A simple, metal cylinder. Very dense.

Oh, I was under the impression that these created grounds were somehow more efficient that those you could commonly find, or somehow specially designed to be more efficient. Basically they're just cylinders of some covalently bonded material that's solid at room temperature. Actually to be truly efficient, metal probably wouldn't even be used, since it's not covalently bonded. Solid carbon would most likely be one of the more efficient sinks that's easily available, since it's covalently bonded with a low atomic mass. Although some sort of solid carbon-nitrogen composite would probably be even better.

Ah, I left out part of the explanation then, although it was implied with something I said last post. This is definitely something that needs to be stated explicitly, though.
Yes, while metal doesn't have bonding as good as carbon, metal is a pure element, aspected to order, and it's the most orderly element (Ice is less orderly than metal). Therefore, whenever metal is exposed to feedback, since it's an ordered element, more feedback is taken than if it were something of carbon of the same weight.
This also works because, if you think about it, the chaotic elements (fire, lightning, wind, 'storm') aren't things that can be targeted for feedback, but earth, metal, ice, and objects that combine a lot of different elements together (dead trees, etc.) can be targeted.



Finally, I don't really understand WHY you can't designate a rock only partly visible above the ground as a feedback target. You understand that it's a rock, and capable of being disintegrated. What is it that makes it necessary to be fully above ground?

Chaoswizkid wrote:specific, individual, identifiable objects.[...] If the mage cannot precisely target a specific feedback ground, then the feedback will not flow into the feedback ground.

Given this exact explanation, a rock which is only half-way sticking out of the ground is
1) Specific: The mage wants to feedback THAT rock. He sees it and knows which one he means.
2) Individual: THAT rock, not any other rock. Not other rocks near it, or underneath it, or even touching it. THAT one. THAT individual one. It is only one rock.
3) Identifiable: He sees it and can identify it as a rock. He knows where it is, and that it is there.
4) Precisely Targetable: He is targeting THAT rock. Even if he can't see the whole thing, he knows that it is there. Since he targets the object as a whole, and not the individual bonds or something, I don't see how it's not precisely targetable.

Now, I could see why it might not be a good idea to use something that you can't see all of, since if the rock is smaller than you're hoping, then its capacity C will be smaller than necessary to take the full feedback of the spell, and the remainder will blast the mage instead, which is generally undesirable. But if he feels confident that at least the amount of rock which he can actually see will be enough, then he could be safe targeting the rock, since even if there was actually NOTHING underneath (it was perfectly flat and resting on the ground, only giving the appearance of being buried), then there would still be sufficiently high capacity to take the full force from the spell.

Remember, this is no longer about personal confidence. It's too hard to make judgements on it, so the concept is completely scrapped.

Let's take the case of an iceberg. 10% of it is exposed, 90% of it is beneath the water. The mage goes "Hey, I see part of this iceberg. Hey, mana, why don't you feedback it instead of me?" But since he doesn't really know what he's pointing at, he's not sufficiently targeting it. He doesn't see the 90% of it that's exposed, he's not targeting that other 90% of it that's exposed, he's not targeting the whole individual iceberg, just part of the iceberg, which is not sufficient.

Here's a difference. Let's say that the mage has a staff. He's seen this staff, he's held it, he's used it (not as something magical, just as a staff weapon). Then he plants it firmly in some mud, and it's partially covered. The staff is still a legitimate target for feedback because the mage knows exactly what he's targeting for feedback, and can target the entirety of it, even though part of it isn't visible.

If the mage saw a rock planted in the ground, took the rock out, inspected it, buried it again, then it would become a legitimate target for feedback, because the mage could then properly target that as an entire, individual object, instead of something vague like one face of the rock.


This brings me to another question: Since really it's a question of atomic density and bonding, then how does a mage know whether an object will be capable of taking the full force of feedback from any given spell? Every spell generates different magnitudes of feedback, and every different material is going to have a different C, not to mention the complexity of using composite materials like WOOD, which will have a given average C, but depending on a number of factors, that average will not be quite the same for each piece of wood. And that's on the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the difficulties of assessing what will be sufficient for a given ground. So unless mages always use the same one or two materials (as would be the case if they're using standard grounds provided by some organization), then every time they cast a spell, it's going to wind up involving some level of guesswork as to whether an object can take the feedback it will cause or not.

Magic is much more of a science. A lot of study goes into it until things like that are far easier to assess. However, to take a lot of the guesswork out, mages will tend to use only a couple different materials, although they will have studied other materials to learn rough equivalents.


Spellcasting on the fly will especially be a problem for a few reasons.

1) If you can only target a single object, then whatever spell you want to cast must have a resulting feedback force <= to the capacity of a SINGLE object in his possession.

Not necessarily hard to do. Maybe you're thinking all spells would eat up an entire tree trunk or something. This is not the case. Since none of us have really figured out how much feedback we want, it's not explicitly stated anywhere.


2) As a battle progresses, the grounds you have will be disintegrated. If he possesses multiple grounds to start with, then as he casts and progressively disintegrates parts of his grounds, their remaining capacities will decrease. Then, while the total capacity of his remaining grounds at some point might equal C, the maximum feedback he can have in any spell he casts will be <<< C, because he can only target one of them.

Correct.


Therefore the ideal situation for a battle mage would be to start with a SINGLE object which he will use for all of his casting over the course of the battle, or else have a MASSIVE supply of grounds all within usable range and then just hope he doesn't have to MOVE while in a battle (extremely unlikely, and thus really this isn't a practical solution to the problem).

HOWEVER if a battle mage was to start with only a single very large ground to last him the whole battle, then he has the problem that he needs a way to lug around this large, heavy, unwieldy object.

As the power of the mage increases this problem becomes proportionally more... problematic. Because to be able to cast his more powerful magics, he needs an even bigger initial ground.

If the answer is that he starts using the battlefield as grounds, then you fall back on the problem of it becoming guesswork weather the conveniently located target can take the full brunt of the feedback. So... ?

This is all correct. At that point, the mage can no longer safely cast magic, which is precisely the reason why feedback exists in the first place (which is for mages not to be imba). They can still take all the chances they want, but at that point they have become somewhat useless if they want to play it safe.
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Re: Feedback Grounds

Post by Caligstro Smith on Fri Jul 22, 2011 2:32 am

Chaoswizkid wrote:Ah, I left out part of the explanation then, although it was implied with something I said last post. This is definitely something that needs to be stated explicitly, though.
Yes, while metal doesn't have bonding as good as carbon, metal is a pure element, aspected to order, and it's the most orderly element (Ice is less orderly than metal). Therefore, whenever metal is exposed to feedback, since it's an ordered element, more feedback is taken than if it were something of carbon of the same weight.
This also works because, if you think about it, the chaotic elements (fire, lightning, wind, 'storm') aren't things that can be targeted for feedback, but earth, metal, ice, and objects that combine a lot of different elements together (dead trees, etc.) can be targeted.

But Water is also ordered and you can't target it b/c it's not solid. Well, technically, I guess you COULD target it, it'd just be ultra difficult. And while that WOULD work, since you still CAN target it, just with great difficulty, the same can be said of "air" which is techincally a chaotically aligned element. (Btw, you said "wind" as an element, but it's actually "Air" according the "Formation of the Planes and Elements: Order 1"). It's just even harder - so hard as to be virtually impossible since it's so chaotic that you'd need to concentrate FOREVER to pull it off, plus keep the air contained and within range (like in a bubble/box/container). It actually IS molecularly based, so there are bonds for it to break, and some slight amount of order contained within it.

Yes, metal is most ordered, but the problem is that it doesn't really make sense, unless you go with the idea of metal in general having some slight "affinity for feedback" like I was discussing in the chat the other day. Of course, that would make it make sense I guess, and it would also give a starting point for research into development of such a "feedback conducting" material.


Regarding the targeting something you can't see all of: I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree here. I simply don't see why it matters if he knows how large it is. He knows it's there. If it is there, it is there, regardless of how large it is, he knows that it exists, and it must therefore be possible to target, since it physically exists. That's all I can see/understand it. If you don't want it to work that way, then fine, but I will just NEVER understand.


Last edited by Caligstro Smith on Fri Jul 22, 2011 2:54 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: Feedback Grounds

Post by Admin on Fri Jul 22, 2011 2:53 am

Caligstro Smith wrote:
Chaoswizkid wrote:Ah, I left out part of the explanation then, although it was implied with something I said last post. This is definitely something that needs to be stated explicitly, though.
Yes, while metal doesn't have bonding as good as carbon, metal is a pure element, aspected to order, and it's the most orderly element (Ice is less orderly than metal). Therefore, whenever metal is exposed to feedback, since it's an ordered element, more feedback is taken than if it were something of carbon of the same weight.
This also works because, if you think about it, the chaotic elements (fire, lightning, wind, 'storm') aren't things that can be targeted for feedback, but earth, metal, ice, and objects that combine a lot of different elements together (dead trees, etc.) can be targeted.

But Water is also ordered and you can't target it b/c it's not solid.

Right, so while that works in the 'order' thing, it's not a single object.

(Btw, you said "wind" as an element, but it's actually "Air" according the "Formation of the Planes and Elements: Order 1").

You're right, it's air.


Yes, metal is most ordered, but the problem is that it doesn't really make sense, unless you go with the idea of metal in general having some slight "affinity for feedback" like I was discussing in the chat the other day. Of course, that would make it make sense I guess, and it would also give a starting point for research into development of such a "feedback conducting" material.

It has some "affinity for feedback", except that feedback doesn't naturally go into it like it sounded you wanted it to do. It just works better because, in addition to breaking bonds, it's affecting something that is born of order. I guess at this point the most explanation beyond that I can give you is "Because I said so."


Regarding the targeting something you can't see all of: I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree here. I simply don't see why it matters if he knows how large it it. He knows it's there. If it is there, it is there, regardless of how large it is, he knows that it exists, and it must therefore be possible to target, since it physically exists. That's all I can see/understand it. If you don't want it to work that way, then fine, but I will just NEVER understand.

If I add the word 'entire' to it, will it make you feel better? A mage has to target the ENTIRE object? They can't do that if they don't know about the whole thing, can they?
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Re: Feedback Grounds

Post by Caligstro Smith on Fri Jul 22, 2011 3:01 am

My problem isn't with the semantics/not saying "entire." My problem is that given my current understanding of how feedback works, it doesn't seem to make sense. But like I said, don't worry about it.
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Re: Feedback Grounds

Post by CromTheConqueror on Fri Jul 22, 2011 9:09 pm

I think the restriction you talk about for battle mages. We want mages to be limited to the materials on their person. And it makes sense that mages would have an advantage in an entrenched position. But entrenched mages could hardly cast indefinitely. The massive mental strain of forming mana would stop that real quick.

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Re: Feedback Grounds

Post by Caligstro Smith on Fri Jul 22, 2011 9:27 pm

I'm not quite sure what you're saying/suggesting?
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Re: Feedback Grounds

Post by CromTheConqueror on Fri Jul 22, 2011 10:35 pm

Just responding to the concerns you had voiced on battle mages.

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