List of things Magic can't do

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List of things Magic can't do

Post by Admin on Wed Aug 03, 2011 2:07 am

I'm making this because some people think it's necessary. Although I prefer to give all of the initial capabilities and let people's imaginations go from there, it might be better for some to see the strict limitations and try to work under that umbrella.
This list will be updated as necessary, here's just some initial things I thought up of what Magic (Human Magic, anyway) can't do.

Cannot Create life

Cannot Resurrect Life

Cannot Time Travel

Cannot instantaneously Teleport (though extremely-fast movement spells are possible)

Cannot Mind Control or otherwise directly influence people

Cannot travel between dimensions (mostly because those other dimensions don't exist), although it is theoretically possible for extra-planar travel.

Cannot cast spells ON or IN someone, other than perhaps yourself (further discussion and development necessary), unless certain already-laid-out criteria are met.

Cannot cause handwavium instances, like spontaneous unexplained levitation, spontaneous creation of complex forms of matter. Levitation is still perhaps possible, but it must be done logically, such as with continuous kinetic force (supplied by mana and magic) or with wind (elemental power and magic).
An example would be Featherfall from DnD. Mages cannot cast something like that in RoKK, because it creates feathers and people smoothly levitate for no real reason.

Cannot divert feedback not caused by your own active spellcasting.


Last edited by Admin on Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:10 am; edited 1 time in total
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Re: List of things Magic can't do

Post by CromTheConqueror on Wed Aug 03, 2011 3:54 am

Aight. Though I except the mind control/directly influence thing to change though when we introduce more magic systems.

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Re: List of things Magic can't do

Post by Admin on Wed Aug 03, 2011 2:15 pm

It won't. It has to do with people having souls and whatnot, such that they cannot have magic cast in or on them. This also goes with mind control (which is impossible given what magic can do anyway, as in given what mana can be manipulated to do) and casting spells directly onto someone (which has extremely strict criteria for some exemptions to be made).
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Re: List of things Magic can't do

Post by GrayWatch on Wed Aug 03, 2011 2:28 pm

Right, while I appreciate a list of things magic cannot accomplish, I'm sorry to say that when I look at this... my immediate thought is that I see the restrictions being lumped into two groups.

>Cannot cast directly on/in people / No mind control
These rules preserve Character Integrity. Functionally they just make sure player A gets to control his character instead of having "lolhaxmagik" from player B.

>All the other ones.
"Not quite omnipotent."

I look at this and honestly all it tells me is that there is absolutely no reason anyone would ever want to play a non-magic user unless they were trying to prove some point, or play a character very deliberately weaker than any magic-user in the game.

This looks more appropriate for a "what no one at all can do" list. All you'd have to do is remove "cannot create life" and I wouldn't blink if you told me this applies to Kar'Kaish.

While I haven't quizzed anyone on this, so I can't be sure, I'm working under the assumption that there's supposed to be a parity in between PC's regardless of whether or not they can use magic. If I'm wrong and this is a "only magic can defeat magic" setting then please disregard all my following advice.

1)Magic should not be a stand-in for the efforts of an entire society.
As is, it takes about 5 mages to replicate years of effort on the part of an entire society. Mages can magic up food and drink, or at the least hyper-accelerate the growth of crops and purify undrinkable water. Mages can draw ore up from the earth, even leaving behind impurities. Mages can certainly shape material, so they can craft and build. Mages can exert large amounts of force very precisely over a long period, so even if they do not have the knowledge to build a self-supporting structure, they can shore it up with spells. Mages can certainly release enough destructive force that a group of 5 of could qualify as a small military body.

By contrast without magic you need dozens of farmers, miners, builders, crafters, engineers, architects, and soldiers each totalling for hundreds of people, working over dozens of years represent what five mages alone could do in the span of perhaps 2 years.

2)An incredibly powerful mage of whom bards sing of in terror and wonder...should still go down like a bitch if the non-magical enemy is clever enough.
In the current system mages have no functional limit on how much power they can call upon. Yes, that same power results in a feed back loop which can harm them, but I can think of three ways to render that a non-issue off the top of my head, and could likely think of more if I had a better understanding of the system as is.

If I had to suggest a set of changes to apply to human magic... then any of these would work well
1)limiting magic to only being able to do things human's can do without magic in the first place(Though humans might not have the technology to do so right now. Albeit without equipment, and more efficiently, etc. But fundamentally humans should be able to replicate the effect without magic (even if it requires a lot more effort, and isn't as "tidy") Possible exception for "applying force without medium" or similar.
2)A mage cannot exert more energy/power/force etc. than his own body is capable of exerting. Over use of magic, even if staving off the feedback successfully, still results in the mage collapsing in pain and entering shock and hypothermia as he sacrificed even his body heat.
3)Magic is obvious. Like, really, really obvious, cannot-be-hidden obvious. Everyone within a certain, fairly large radius (say, the maximum range of whatever you are casting), knows when you start casting a spell, and there are context clues indicating roughly what the spell will be associated with. Similarly enchanted objects or those with runes can't be readily concealed or disguised as mundane objects.

I personally would be in favor of applying all of these, but any one of them would work for a start.
None of this really lowers the versatility or flexibility of human mages, but it actually gives non-mages a fighting chance.
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Re: List of things Magic can't do

Post by Admin on Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:12 pm

GrayWatch wrote:
If I'm wrong and this is a "only magic can defeat magic" setting then please disregard all my following advice.

It isn't.



Mages can magic up food and drink, or at the least hyper-accelerate the growth of crops and purify undrinkable water.

They can't magic up food and drink necessarily. Certainly they can't spontaneously create bread or wine.

They can help with the growth of crops, not necessarily hyper-accelerating them, harvesting them effectively, etc. You'd still need manual labor to some degree.

And yes, they can purify undrinkable water, but correct me if I'm wrong, I believe I was told that pure H2O is actually very dangerous to drink...


Mages can draw ore up from the earth, even leaving behind impurities.

True, but they still have to get to that ore (Mining or earth magic).


Mages can certainly shape material, so they can craft and build.

Some material. They can't shape wood, for example.


Mages can exert large amounts of force very precisely over a long period, so even if they do not have the knowledge to build a self-supporting structure, they can shore it up with spells.

The difference here is it would either take the equivalent of multiple living sacrifices for some sort of permanent enchantment that could provide any sort of sufficient force for long periods of time, or it would take CONSTANT SPELLCASTING (and a metric fuckton of feedback grounds). It's far more efficient to just build it correctly.


Mages can certainly release enough destructive force that a group of 5 of could qualify as a small military body.

True, but only if their position isn't compromised (they need to stand still and focus), they aren't ambushed, they aren't dodging anything, they have sufficient feedback grounds to use for their spells, etc. You can literally outlast a mage by simply waiting until he can't ground the feedback.


By contrast without magic you need dozens of farmers, miners, builders, crafters, engineers, architects, and soldiers each totalling for hundreds of people, working over dozens of years represent what five mages alone could do in the span of perhaps 2 years.

Those five mages would have to be VERY well educated and have a resource of a VAST stockpile of feedback grounds.


2)An incredibly powerful mage of whom bards sing of in terror and wonder...should still go down like a bitch if the non-magical enemy is clever enough.

This is absolutely the case.


In the current system mages have no functional limit on how much power they can call upon.

Well, they need to sink all of the feedback into a single object, so if they don't have a sufficiently sized feedback ground, they can't draw more power unless they just want to kill themselves.


Yes, that same power results in a feed back loop which can harm them, but I can think of three ways to render that a non-issue off the top of my head, and could likely think of more if I had a better understanding of the system as is.

What three ways? I doubt they work.



1)limiting magic to only being able to do things human's can do without magic in the first place(Though humans might not have the technology to do so right now. Albeit without equipment, and more efficiently, etc. But fundamentally humans should be able to replicate the effect without magic (even if it requires a lot more effort, and isn't as "tidy") Possible exception for "applying force without medium" or similar.

... This is pretty much the case... If people got the technology for, say, flamethrowers, then that would likely be better than flame magic (pull a trigger versus think of the spell, chant, have to focus to not die, must have feedback ground, etc.)


2)A mage cannot exert more energy/power/force etc. than his own body is capable of exerting. Over use of magic, even if staving off the feedback successfully, still results in the mage collapsing in pain and entering shock and hypothermia as he sacrificed even his body heat.

This is a lot more tricky. You'd essentially have to quantify how much energy/power/force/etc. is in one person compared to how much energy is in fire, or wind, etc. Overuse of magic can still cause physical and mental exhaustion (physical exhaustion due to the mental, mostly).


3)Magic is obvious. Like, really, really obvious, cannot-be-hidden obvious. Everyone within a certain, fairly large radius (say, the maximum range of whatever you are casting), knows when you start casting a spell, and there are context clues indicating roughly what the spell will be associated with. Similarly enchanted objects or those with runes can't be readily concealed or disguised as mundane objects.

Absolutely. Chanting, body motions, heck, even the attire someone is wearing can clue people out that someone's a mage since they need somewhere to stock up feedback grounds. Are they chanting? Are they waving their hands around? Are they focusing intently while roughly standing in the same spot? Did part of the environment change as he or she was gathering elemental power?

Objects with runes will have runes on them, and objects that are enchanted... well, a lot of them would have inlaid materials that the enchantment is attached to, so it'd be easy to spot that, but I could also pretty much say that it would radiate enough mana that people who are even extremely unsensitive to it would still feel something from it. That's not canon, but it can be made to be.
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Re: List of things Magic can't do

Post by CromTheConqueror on Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:28 pm

I'm going to have to agree with almost everything Chaos has said here.

Mages can magic up food and drink, or at the least hyper-accelerate the growth of crops and purify undrinkable water.

Mages can draw ore up from the earth, even leaving behind impurities.

But before they could do that they would need to have someone mine for them to begin with. Just as you are right that they can create fertilizer that helps plants grow faster (hyper-acceleration would be an overstatement I believe) you will still need farmers to do virtually everything else necessary to feed a kingdom. Mages are not the equivalent to tractors that can do the work of thirty families. They are a far closer equivalent to the chemists who work for fertilizing companies that some farmers who can afford it buy from. They are support.

Mages can certainly shape material, so they can craft and build.

This is true but lets be realistic. Why pay a mage obscene sums of money to spend ages crafting something when a blacksmith can do it practically just as well, make more of them, and do it for less. Drawn a line between the US outsourcing effort in the modern day economy. Labor costs are some of the biggest expenses for companies. Maybe the Chinese don't make things quite as well as US manufacturers but they do it for a hell of a lot less and the quality difference isn't enough to bother most people (especially in this age where no one gives a fuck if you put lead in children toys. Razz)

In the current system mages have no functional limit on how much power they can call upon.

I actually share this concern though not to the degree you do. Basically in theory a mage with enough feedback grounds could do just about whatever they hell they want. That's why I think we might want to put more emphasis on the intense mental strain needed to continuously focus magic. It doesn't need to cause a mage agony (that's what would happen if the feedback didn't work) but maybe just make them so dizzy they can't focus enough to cast. In the end though it will just come down to the responsibility of the roleplayer to not act overpowered and be fair (as it should be).

Finally I'd say there are four major weaknesses for mages.

1. Delayed action as a result of casting significant spells. A fatal weakness in battle. Takes twenty seconds to cast my spell but only two seconds for the other guy to swing his sword.

2. Requires intense focus to cast. A critical weakness only compounded by the above. Not only does the mage have to block out all distractions in order to cast but he has to do so over an extended period of time where he could be killed.

3. Walking target. When a mage starts casting magic you are going to know it. And you are going to want to kill that mage. And lucky for you it takes time for that mage to cast and he's too focused on casting to notice you sneaking up on him.

4. Resource limited. I would draw a parallel to the bowman who runs out of arrows. One you are out of feedback ground you are basically useless barring sacrificing your own body in a vain attempt to save it. This would also be compounded by the mental strain needed to cast I mentioned earlier.

In the end I've always imaged mages as support characters. Afterall, if you gave me a one on one match up against Vamen and a mage I'd put my money on Vamen everytime. He'd knock two arrows in the eye of the mage before he could so much as begin to chant his nonsense.


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Re: List of things Magic can't do

Post by GrayWatch on Wed Aug 03, 2011 9:15 pm


They can't magic up food and drink necessarily. Certainly they can't spontaneously create bread or wine.

They can help with the growth of crops, not necessarily hyper-accelerating them, harvesting them effectively, etc. You'd still need manual labor to some degree.

And yes, they can purify undrinkable water, but correct me if I'm wrong, I believe I was told that pure H2O is actually very dangerous to drink...
Ah, but by the letter of what you have posted above detailing the entire list of what magic cannot do, and if we're to believe that it is the "soul" which prevents people from being magicked directly, then it's entirely possible plants could be magicked to full growth and ready harvest overnight.
Harvesting them is even simpler. There are many things which move and follow orders that are not "life" the whole world of golems and associated free, eternally obedient labor stretches out before you.
And pure dihydrogen oxide is bad for you yes, but it's not quite the deadly poison you suggest, it simply draws some compounds out of you because the water already in you "wants" them less than the completely pure water.And even routine exposure to air, or stone cisterns would render it perfectly safe.


True, but they still have to get to that ore (Mining or earth magic).
This just means the entire mining industry is trivialized by two spells (Find Minerals and Shape Stone) instead of one.


Some material. They can't shape wood, for example.
The fact that they can move and shape stone with their minds, but not wood, merely means fine chairs are a luxury, and impenetrable castle walls are common place.


The difference here is it would either take the equivalent of multiple living sacrifices for some sort of permanent enchantment that could provide any sort of sufficient force for long periods of time, or it would take CONSTANT SPELLCASTING (and a metric fuckton of feedback grounds). It's far more efficient to just build it correctly.
I seem to have missed the thread regarding enchantments requiring living sacrifices, both before the prior post, and after reading yours. Could you direct me to it?
As I was operating on the "what is not forbidden is permitted" basis, I had just said "enchantment is likely a permanent spell that takes ages to put onto something. My theoretical group of mages has time. You know what they don't have? Sky Castles" A couple big flat rocks with one side enchanted to repel the ground later and that problem's gone too.


True, but only if their position isn't compromised (they need to stand still and focus), they aren't ambushed, they aren't dodging anything, they have sufficient feedback grounds to use for their spells, etc. You can literally outlast a mage by simply waiting until he can't ground the feedback.
Lovely. What do you do when they go INTO the country with Mage #'s 1-3 already casting/maintaining "Defense against arrows/bolts/crossbows/other ranged weapons" and mages #4-5 cast "Thermonuclear explosion" on everything they come across, and well aware of their own weaknesses, don't go anywhere where they could be easily ambushed. For the purpose of this exercise, assume each mage has a wagon full of feedback grounds to go through.


Those five mages would have to be VERY well educated and have a resource of a VAST stockpile of feedback grounds.
That's the point. No five people, no matter how well educated or supplied, should be able to replicate the effects of many hundreds of people.


This is absolutely the case.
It is absolutely not. Clever doesn't mean "everything goes precisely as planned". A clever opponent should be able to fight and win against a mage even if that mage happens to be able to cast one spell before the clever opponent can act. As the rules you have originally posted technically allow for spells like "Immortality" or "Immunity to Harm", or if we want to dismiss handwavium, as you would be justified in calling those two then "partial spatial disconnect of surrounding area" should do the trick, wherein the mage re-writes the point-to-point connections functionally meaning while yes any attack can harm him, it's now physically impossible for an attack to REACH him. Or just a "Repel fucking EVERYTHING to a few miles off. Violently" spell.
This is of course hyperbole, but my point is that by the baseline rules mentioned above mean that any mage who successfully gets a single spell off, assuming this mage is aware of his own weaknesses and chooses spells to appropriately compensate, is not functionally beatable by a non-magic user.

Well, they need to sink all of the feedback into a single object, so if they don't have a sufficiently sized feedback ground, they can't draw more power unless they just want to kill themselves.
Portable objects, even expensive, hard to make and/or procure objects, are not a good way of limiting power.


What three ways? I doubt they work.
Off the top of my head, enchanting your own ground to divert any damage done to it to a 25'x25'25' steel cube you keep in a pocket dimension strikes me as an easy out. Or perhaps re-directing the damage to the planet's mantle, or some other object sufficiently tough enough that even a life time of magic wouldn't make a terribly noticeable effect on it.


... This is pretty much the case... If people got the technology for, say, flamethrowers, then that would likely be better than flame magic (pull a trigger versus think of the spell, chant, have to focus to not die, must have feedback ground, etc.)
While I'm glad to hear that this is the case, I can't find anywhere other than your last post that says this is the case.
Prior to this post of yours it's entirely possible to have a spell that just drops a chunk of Araniel into a self-sustaining, physically stable pocket dimension. And if someone was in that chunk of Araniel? Well you didn't target him directly, and oh welp he should have known better than to mess with a godling mage.


This is a lot more tricky. You'd essentially have to quantify how much energy/power/force/etc. is in one person compared to how much energy is in fire, or wind, etc. Overuse of magic can still cause physical and mental exhaustion (physical exhaustion due to the mental, mostly).
Oh there's not much energy in humans, particularly compared to something like, say, fire. The beauty in this is of course that TRANSFERING energy from point A to point B is something humans can do, and costs far less energy than creating the energy in the first place. Ice spells could be taking the heat FROM surrounding air/water fire spells the opposite. Of course I'm not quite sure how the whole 'elements' thing functions anymore so perhaps they offer big big discounts on energy costs for creating fire?



Absolutely. Chanting, body motions, heck, even the attire someone is wearing can clue people out that someone's a mage since they need somewhere to stock up feedback grounds. Are they chanting? Are they waving their hands around? Are they focusing intently while roughly standing in the same spot? Did part of the environment change as he or she was gathering elemental power?

Objects with runes will have runes on them, and objects that are enchanted... well, a lot of them would have inlaid materials that the enchantment is attached to, so it'd be easy to spot that, but I could also pretty much say that it would radiate enough mana that people who are even extremely unsensitive to it would still feel something from it. That's not canon, but it can be made to be.
I meant more in the sense of "so obvious that if someone is casting, you know about it even if you're deaf and don't have line of sight on them." Enchanted weapons and runes glow, or hum softly, or make the nearby air taste of tin.


I recognize a lot of what you're saying makes sense. By what you've said mages are balanced, but near as I can tell, what you're saying here is mostly stuff you have not previously, explicitly spelled out.
And it's likely that Crom, and MN, and Bronkor and CaligristoRestOfTheNameUnknown have chatted with you enough to know roughly what you would say would and would not be allowed, so you can assume that they won't break any of the unspoken rules/assumptions.

But for someone like me who shows up with no idea how the magic system works (save that it's not the one we originally implemented) you cannot make these assumptions. I see a thread on how magic works that talks about mana and how grounds are necessary, and a limit on what magic can do of "no creating life, raising the dead, time travel, blah blah blah", and my immediate thought is "anything not on this list is fair game." Time for Hastaga 10,000. I can't go back in time but I can damn well stop it for everyone but me.

Obviously I'm not quite this stupid but the point remains. I can't imagine any scenario where an intelligent mage with even an hour prep-time, faces a non-mage and loses.
Worse I can't actually tell where I'd be crossing that (for me) still ambigous line labeled "too far. Pull it back Mary Sue."
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Re: List of things Magic can't do

Post by CromTheConqueror on Wed Aug 03, 2011 10:10 pm

Ah, but by the letter of what you have posted above detailing the entire list of what magic cannot do, and if we're to believe that it is the "soul" which prevents people from being magicked directly, then it's entirely possible plants could be magicked to full growth and ready harvest overnight.

This is hardly official canon. It was the start of a list we were supposed to add to. For the record Conclave mages use elemental magic which does not include the manipulation of Life. It might be possible for a Druid to do such a thing but one (they wouldn't ever be commercialized like that). Secondly the amount of effort and feedback grounds neccessary to raise a single a fields of crop overnight would bankrupt a kingdom. You'd need an army of mages to do it.

Harvesting them is even simpler. There are many things which move and follow orders that are not "life" the whole world of golems and associated free, eternally obedient labor stretches out before you.
And pure dihydrogen oxide is bad for you yes, but it's not quite the deadly poison you suggest, it simply draws some compounds out of you because the water already in you "wants" them less than the completely pure water.And even routine exposure to air, or stone cisterns would render it perfectly safe.

I have not seen any magic written up about golems except what is mentioned in the Age of Might before The Fall. Considering golems are far and beyond what any mage of the current Time can do I hardly see this being a big issue until way down the road (if ever). And again the cost of constructing golems even if the technology/knowledge was rediscovered would cost way too much to make enough of them to make a huge impact.

This just means the entire mining industry is trivialized by two spells (Find Minerals and Shape Stone) instead of one.

You still have to dig a mine so the mage can access it. And again. It's infinitely more expensive to have a mage pull ore from the ground then it would be to hire a man to swing a pick. We HAVE renewable energy. But there is a reason we still use fossil fuels for 97% of our energy consumption.

The fact that they can move and shape stone with their minds, but not wood, merely means fine chairs are a luxury, and impenetrable castle walls are common place.

Again it is a matter of expense. Having mages make a castle would be equatable to a normal castle but would cost about as much as three of them. We have access to a type of antimatter (or something in that vein) that could propel us to a different starsystem. But the cost for even the tiniest amount would bankrupt the entire US goverment (again). It's not like mages can just going around raising fortresses. Three quarters of mages wouldn't even know where to start. And you'd still need teams of engineers to design it (unless all earth mages are engineers now) and the men to gather the raw materials ect ect.

I seem to have missed the thread regarding enchantments requiring living sacrifices, both before the prior post, and after reading yours. Could you direct me to it?
As I was operating on the "what is not forbidden is permitted" basis, I had just said "enchantment is likely a permanent spell that takes ages to put onto something. My theoretical group of mages has time. You know what they don't have? Sky Castles" A couple big flat rocks with one side enchanted to repel the ground later and that problem's gone too.

You know what I don't have? A teleporter. It should be TECHNICALLY possible but unfortunately for me no one has found out how to do it yet. The amount fo power needed to create a floating castle would be IMMENSE. Nevermind the kind of knowledge needed to do it would only have existed in the Age of Might.

Lovely. What do you do when they go INTO the country with Mage #'s 1-3 already casting/maintaining "Defense against arrows/bolts/crossbows/other ranged weapons" and mages #4-5 cast "Thermonuclear explosion" on everything they come across, and well aware of their own weaknesses, don't go anywhere where they could be easily ambushed. For the purpose of this exercise, assume each mage has a wagon full of feedback grounds to go through.

A mage is simply not going to be able to mantain a shield defense for that long as arrows rain down on them. And no mage is going to be casting thermonuclear explosion. The truth is that what you talk about would be a deadly combination. But a mage won't be able to mantain a formation like that for too long. Like Chaos said. When faced with a situation like that they can just wait them out. Then slaughter. The mages will be helpless. Or maybe one soldier just dodges the casting and then dodges in and slaughters them all. Again we need to trust roleplayers to roleplay responsibly. If they refuse to do so they won't be welcomed on this site anymore then they would be on any other.

This is of course hyperbole, but my point is that by the baseline rules mentioned above mean that any mage who successfully gets a single spell off, assuming this mage is aware of his own weaknesses and chooses spells to appropriately compensate, is not functionally beatable by a non-magic user.

This applies to anyone. Swordsman who dodges the bowman arrow and then kills him. Spearthrower who tosses a spear so strongly and claims that it breaks through the defense the mage raised. Anyone is capable of making themselves be omnipotent. You stated that you wouldn't be that stupid. I'd hope no one would be. Remember again this list is not canon it was just a starting list to build off of.
Prior to this post of yours it's entirely possible to have a spell that just drops a chunk of Araniel into a self-sustaining, physically stable pocket dimension. And if someone was in that chunk of Araniel? Well you didn't target him directly, and oh welp he should have known better than to mess with a godling mage.

No it was not. Stop being silly.

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Re: List of things Magic can't do

Post by Admin on Wed Aug 03, 2011 10:59 pm

GrayWatch wrote:
Ah, but by the letter of what you have posted above detailing the entire list of what magic cannot do, and if we're to believe that it is the "soul" which prevents people from being magicked directly, then it's entirely possible plants could be magicked to full growth and ready harvest overnight.

How? By what spell or element could plants be magicked to full growth? They can't really be magicked at all. I'll also re-term it so it has to do with content of life energy or something, but it's not terribly necessary to do that since there's still no real spell that you can do that.


Harvesting them is even simpler. There are many things which move and follow orders that are not "life" the whole world of golems and associated free, eternally obedient labor stretches out before you.

A system that is not made nor canon yet (though it has been mentioned in the past).



True, but they still have to get to that ore (Mining or earth magic).

This just means the entire mining industry is trivialized by two spells (Find Minerals and Shape Stone) instead of one.

Not really trivialized. Moving that much earth out of the way would take so much magic and feedback grounds, it's better just to hire laborers.


The fact that they can move and shape stone with their minds, but not wood, merely means fine chairs are a luxury, and impenetrable castle walls are common place.

Impenetrable castle walls? Yes, I suppose that over so many years, mages would have been hired to reinforce the walls. Impenetrable though? I doubt that, especially when there is offensive magic and siege weaponry.


I seem to have missed the thread regarding enchantments requiring living sacrifices, both before the prior post, and after reading yours. Could you direct me to it?

It seems I left that out in the Enchantment system... I probably mentally intended for it to be a separately discussed issue for the system.
Truly permanent, ever-lasting enchantments require a pool of mana so large, the only real way to do it is by having a living sacrifice (usually a brainwashed subject, such as a prisoner). Since this isn't even in the system, nor is it canon, forget I mentioned it.

Do know, though, that enchantments are all currently temporary, they just have varying degrees of it.


As I was operating on the "what is not forbidden is permitted" basis, I had just said "enchantment is likely a permanent spell that takes ages to put onto something. My theoretical group of mages has time. You know what they don't have? Sky Castles" A couple big flat rocks with one side enchanted to repel the ground later and that problem's gone too.

... That would require... a truly massive and permanent enchantment... Theoretically possible, but I don't think the entire Conclave would be able to manage much more than a large floating rock to gawk at and study before finding out it's just not worth it.


Lovely. What do you do when they go INTO the country with Mage #'s 1-3 already casting/maintaining "Defense against arrows/bolts/crossbows/other ranged weapons" and mages #4-5 cast "Thermonuclear explosion" on everything they come across, and well aware of their own weaknesses, don't go anywhere where they could be easily ambushed. For the purpose of this exercise, assume each mage has a wagon full of feedback grounds to go through.

Uhmm.... hmmm... So the creation of wind forces to knock arrows away, or solid walls of earth, metal, or ice... While the other two cast... what, fireballs?

First off, every spell has to come from the mage... so they can't suddenly create thermonuclear explosions next to people. It still has to travel from the mage to the target.

Secondly... well, if we're assuming that the mage has unlimited resources, including reagents and the like, then it would be theoretically possible to create a gigantic explosion on a target. However... thinking of that intricate of a spell, controlling that much mana, directing everything successfully... the chances of pulling it off are very, very low... and the time needed to pull it off...
It's very unlikely. Moreover, nothing like that has ever been seen (other than a special situation with the Fall, and it was only partly magical).


This is absolutely the case.
It is absolutely not. Clever doesn't mean "everything goes precisely as planned". A clever opponent should be able to fight and win against a mage even if that mage happens to be able to cast one spell before the clever opponent can act. As the rules you have originally posted technically allow for spells like "Immortality" or "Immunity to Harm", or if we want to dismiss handwavium, as you would be justified in calling those two then "partial spatial disconnect of surrounding area" should do the trick, wherein the mage re-writes the point-to-point connections functionally meaning while yes any attack can harm him, it's now physically impossible for an attack to REACH him. Or just a "Repel fucking EVERYTHING to a few miles off. Violently" spell.
This is of course hyperbole, but my point is that by the baseline rules mentioned above mean that any mage who successfully gets a single spell off, assuming this mage is aware of his own weaknesses and chooses spells to appropriately compensate, is not functionally beatable by a non-magic user.

See, those types of spells aren't even possible given anything with what magic is capable of. I don't believe I need to list "Immortality" or "Immunity to Harm" as something magic can't do, because how in the fuck would you be able to use mana and/or the elements to make something like that? Mana can essentially be converted into kinetic energy and maybe something like potential or elastic energy but that's about it.

Not only that, let's say there's a mage and an archer that meet up with no prior preparation. The mage starts casting a fireball. The archer shoots him with an arrow, possibly more than one depending on how complex the fireball is.

Let's say there's a mage and a swordsman that meet up with no prior preparation. The swordsman begins running towards the mage, but swerves from side to side while the mage casts fireball. On top of having to make sure he doesn't blow his own head off with feedback, he needs to take a guess as to where the swordsman is going to be by the time the fireball should get to him. Let's suppose the mage waits until the swordsman is close, but let's also assume the swordsman has a shield. The mage releases the fireball as a short-range, huge burst of fire (he would actually have to have been starting to cast that spell in the first place, by the way). The swordsman dives through the fire, shield first protecting his face, and gets scorched. Now he's right next to the mage. The mage can run away in defeat, or he can try casting a spell by the time there's a blade through his heart.


Portable objects, even expensive, hard to make and/or procure objects, are not a good way of limiting power.

They are A way of limiting power though.



What three ways? I doubt they work.
Off the top of my head, enchanting your own ground to divert any damage done to it to a 25'x25'25' steel cube you keep in a pocket dimension

No such spell as "divert damage", nor "create pocket dimension." The first doesn't even seem theoretically possible with what magic can do, and


Cannot travel between dimensions (mostly because those other dimensions don't exist), although it is theoretically possible for extra-planar travel.

Is already part of the list. There is an incident where Kar'Kaish did something similar, but that's pending slight retcon.


Or perhaps re-directing the damage to the planet's mantle, or some other object sufficiently tough enough that even a life time of magic wouldn't make a terribly noticeable effect on it.

The planet's mantle isn't a possible target for feedback... neither is the ground.


While I'm glad to hear that this is the case, I can't find anywhere other than your last post that says this is the case.
Prior to this post of yours it's entirely possible to have a spell that just drops a chunk of Araniel into a self-sustaining, physically stable pocket dimension.

Cannot travel between dimensions (mostly because those other dimensions don't exist), although it is theoretically possible for extra-planar travel.


I meant more in the sense of "so obvious that if someone is casting, you know about it even if you're deaf and don't have line of sight on them." Enchanted weapons and runes glow, or hum softly, or make the nearby air taste of tin.



I recognize a lot of what you're saying makes sense. By what you've said mages are balanced, but near as I can tell, what you're saying here is mostly stuff you have not previously, explicitly spelled out.

Some of it is explicitly stated in the magic system, but I really don't like having to hold someone's hand through everything. It's like "See, this is fire. Fire is hot. Fire can turn wood into ash." "Can fire also burn gasoline in a combustion engine to provide mobility!?" "Uhh... yeah... that's something fire can technically do..." "Can fire grant immortality!?" "No, that's nonsen-" "So can fire cause the destruction of empires that have lasted thousands of years?" "I mean... technical-" "Can fire allow you to fly!?" "Well, yes, but first you'd need a lot of other thi-" "CAN FIRE CONTROL PEOPLES MINDS!?" "No! That's stupid!" etc.

I've stated multiple times on multiple occasions in multiple threads that this magic system is very logical, unlike pretty much every rpg that exists. In those rpgs (and tabletop games), things just happen. Objects are spontaneously created out of thin air, you can suddenly jump miles into the sky, you can divine from an item the item's last owner and where that owner is, etc. Things just happening will not, nor ever will be the case.



And it's likely that Crom, and MN, and Bronkor and CaligristoRestOfTheNameUnknown

Smith. CaligstroSmith.


have chatted with you enough to know roughly what you would say would and would not be allowed, so you can assume that they won't break any of the unspoken rules/assumptions.

But for someone like me who shows up with no idea how the magic system works (save that it's not the one we originally implemented) you cannot make these assumptions. I see a thread on how magic works that talks about mana and how grounds are necessary, and a limit on what magic can do of "no creating life, raising the dead, time travel, blah blah blah", and my immediate thought is "anything not on this list is fair game." Time for Hastaga 10,000. I can't go back in time but I can damn well stop it for everyone but me.

Obviously I'm not quite this stupid but the point remains. I can't imagine any scenario where an intelligent mage with even an hour prep-time, faces a non-mage and loses.
Worse I can't actually tell where I'd be crossing that (for me) still ambigous line labeled "too far. Pull it back Mary Sue."

I understand that, which is why I appreciate people pointing out things like you're doing, and I encourage it.

Already I'll have to add another limitation, which is "Cannot divert feedback not caused by your own active spellcasting." I'm not sure if I need to go on some legal spill about how "well, would enchantments count as your active spellcasting, and then you feedback the enchantment, or what about spellcasting you did before then", but enchantments effectively, technically become their own spellcasters (can be logically determined from the enchantment system) and feedback doesn't work that way.
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Re: List of things Magic can't do

Post by CromTheConqueror on Wed Aug 03, 2011 11:08 pm

Some of it is explicitly stated in the magic system, but I really don't like having to hold someone's hand through everything. It's like "See, this is fire. Fire is hot. Fire can turn wood into ash." "Can fire also burn gasoline in a combustion engine to provide mobility!?" "Uhh... yeah... that's something fire can technically do..." "Can fire grant immortality!?" "No, that's nonsen-" "So can fire cause the destruction of empires that have lasted thousands of years?" "I mean... technical-" "Can fire allow you to fly!?" "Well, yes, but first you'd need a lot of other thi-" "CAN FIRE CONTROL PEOPLES MINDS!?" "No! That's stupid!" etc.

I've stated multiple times on multiple occasions in multiple threads that this magic system is very logical, unlike pretty much every rpg that exists. In those rpgs (and tabletop games), things just happen. Objects are spontaneously created out of thin air, you can suddenly jump miles into the sky, you can divine from an item the item's last owner and where that owner is, etc. Things just happening will not, nor ever will be the case.

This. cheers

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Re: List of things Magic can't do

Post by GrayWatch on Wed Aug 03, 2011 11:43 pm

I seem to be having trouble making myself understood.

I'm going to start out with some basic assumptions, and see if I can elucidate my point.

1)This Thread is devoted to setting down limitations upon magic. In order to best find exploitable points in our current rule set, the appropriate mindset is that of a willful abuser. i.e. "If it's not explicitly forbidden then it is not only permitted, but endorsed."

2)The fact that such a player would be unwelcome on the site is irrelevant as it is entirely seemly to believe that some mage would have discovered some of these loopholes, and exploited them by now, and thus our "fluff" is incongruous and discordant with the mechanics present. A problem it is only right to rectify.
[rant]
Honestly, at last look the "Magic Kingdom" as I recall it (now the Conclave I believe) was exploiting such loopholes, with an island fortress sculpted of stone veined with some sort of crystal, that somehow produced enough food to supply the entire population (with a city-like population density) indefinitely and was surrounded with enough magical defenses that it would take the combined navies of every nation in the world to even make landfall. Or to put it another way, a single city was a match for the entire world.[/rant]

I originally used hyperbole and extreme examples in an attempt to underline and emphasize what I perceive as all the power being collected into a very small number of hands (which I wouldn't mind. I'd just expect more people to be you know...resentful of it. And the Conclave to not have managed to stave off corruption to power for so long), but that seems to have backfired on me and made people defensive.

If I had to sum up my problems it would be that magic grants exponentially more result-out per effort-in than non-magic. For example a mage can transform raw lead ore into gold bars. When the spell ends why would the gold turn back? It wouldn't, or at least shouldn't baring a completely arbitrary ruling that it does so. Gold is already a stable, existing substance. It would need MORE energy to revert to lead, than it would to remain gold.

And even if it's hard for the mage to do this particular little trick, it's almost certainly easier than taking that ore, refining it into pure lead, casting it into some form suitable for travel, learning speech and merchant craft to such a degree that you can sell lead for a significant amount of gold, and then carrying that lead to all the many places it would need to go to get such a sale.

To put it another way:
A sufficiently talented mage can do the job of a large number of people who have just as deeply devoted their lives to the study of their craft as the mage has to his.
I admit for crafts which are more about mental acuity the mage does not have this advantage. Magic does not make an engineer as you pointed out.

But it can make a miner. One spell to find gold. Another to open a small, vertical shaft straight down to it. A third to force the rock under the gold up, forcing the gold out of the hole. What could take months of exploratory mining, done in hours.
And that same mage can turn around and use those spells to become a builder, and with the advantages of being able to sculpt rock in one solid piece he wouldn't need an engineers skill save for the largest or most ornate edifices.
Then he can turn around again and pull duty as a warrior.

I'm sorry, but no matter how I look at it mages simply get more out of investing in magic than anyone else can get out of investing in anything else.

I don't think that's entirely fixable short of making magic almost utterly useless to PC's save as magic items etc.. It's just the nature of the instant gratification wish that is magic. But I think a few actually restrictive restrictions could go a long way towards narrowing that gap to acceptable levels.

Edit: And in response to your latest post, yes yes vaguely impossible, vaguely impossible, vaguely impossible again, but all for ill-defined or not previously stated reason. I cannot and will not make assumptions on your behalf. You speak of logical systems, but this actually isn't one. What you have posted so far presents very few hard and fast rules, and, aside from a lot of "impossibles" I've gotten just recently, is mostly rather vague barring what came from the opening post here. A logical system inherently includes a set of rules that covers all possible occurences. They neither rely on nor reference common sense, or anything so malleable.

Also you say now mana can be converted into energy "but that's about it", but I'm not sure you're aware of just how much you can do with entirely claimable energy. Tying space and time into knots is entirely possible if you have enough energy. Repulsing everything around you is easy with just ordinary kinetic energy. The conditions under which time and space get wonky don't occur on earth, but if you look into cosmology you'll see it happening quite often in extreme environments. Extreme environments which can in theory be replicated on a smaller scale.
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Re: List of things Magic can't do

Post by CromTheConqueror on Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:45 am

EDIT: I took a step back from this in the morning and tried to better identify what I agree instead of just where I don't.

Honestly, at last look the "Magic Kingdom" as I recall it (now the Conclave I believe) was exploiting such loopholes, with an island fortress sculpted of stone veined with some sort of crystal, that somehow produced enough food to supply the entire population (with a city-like population density) indefinitely and was surrounded with enough magical defenses that it would take the combined navies of every nation in the world to even make landfall. Or to put it another way, a single city was a match for the entire world.

To be honest this has always made me uncomfortable. I don't mind if the Conclave has a strong fortress. I don't even mind if they have a really strong fortress (the combination of the mundane along with lots of magic feedback items is bound to make that happen). But anytime we start using phrases like "combined navies of every nation in the world" I get extremely edgy. The best worlds are a balanced world. The Conclave is not strong because they have a super fortress. They are strong because of their monopoly on magical knowledge/resources and their diplomatic ties because fo it. If you remove those factors the Conclave should be extremely vulnerable. And it shouldn't need the entire united world to destroy their fortress.

This also raises another issue. You know how I said mages would never have access to all these stores of feedback items? Frankly it makes sense that a character would have access to large (if not indefinite) stores in certain siege situations. If the only limitation on a mage is the feedback ground technically he should be able to cast a lot of hurt from behind the castle walls.

So let's put more emphasis on what I mentioned earlier about the mental drain of casting and how you just can't do that much of it. Let's put more emphasis on how hard it is to control large amounts of mana. In other words just because I have the feedback ground to take up the mana doesn't mean I can actually control all the chaotic mana needed to do it. We could claim it's so hard no playable character can do it. This would link into the mental strain on casting. Not only is it obscenely hard for a mage to craft the mana needed to cast a small fireball but afterwards anytime he tries to concentrate on spell casting his head spins so much he can barely see straight. So while mages can do some neat cool things if players want to be a warrior they are far better off being a soldier who uses a sword or bow. Mages should be emphasised as support.

I remember two scenes from Dragon Age II that would describe what I personally want to see and what I don't.

One is a scene in which a band of templars charge straight into a group of mages. One templar is hurled into a wall. Another blocks a fireball with his shield. One dodges and stabs the eye of a mage. One mage blocks the blow of the sword with a magical shield but dies as the force of the next blow shatters the defense. One templar wriggles in agony as he is shocked by lightning right before his fellow stabs his sword in the gut of the mage who was casting. Several of the templars lie dead but by the end just about all the mages are slaughtered and the knights win handily.

So how did that happen? Well first a lot of the templars found a way to survive the first casting. Some got to the mages before they cast. Some just beat through their defenses (which I would note is a lot easier then if they were fighting a human swordsman that could block several times). Others though were hurt. But no more than if they charged a line of bowman. You'd expect at least some of the arrows to land and deal damage. And finally because casting has a lot of weaknesses. Lightning (in our world at least) is the stuff of masters because it's hard to craft the mana to fit a "lightning" spell. That one master mage was indeed killing that one knight quite handily but then was backstabbed from behind in short order. In turn a master swordsman could probably have taken both men in a fight, killed them, then go on to kill a few more. I would argue in most battle scenarios mages do not get more for their investment. But then in some they probably would. Again that's the nature of things.

Then there is a second situation. It's the introduction movie where Hawke has an awesome battle with the Aro'shak of the Qunari. There is lots of great swordplay and even some magic cast by Hawke. In the end though the Aro'shak defeats him. But then as the movie ends Hawkes eyes glow red and he opens up a portal to some demon realm. Great dragon like hands descend from the portal to grab the Aro'shak and split him in half. In the end what use was all the Aro'shak's martial strength? Nothing. That's definitely not what we want to see happen in RoKK.

I originally used hyperbole and extreme examples in an attempt to underline and emphasize what I perceive as all the power being collected into a very small number of hands (which I wouldn't mind. I'd just expect more people to be you know...resentful of it. And the Conclave to not have managed to stave off corruption to power for so long), but that seems to have backfired on me and made people defensive.

I'm actually quite open to the idea of limiting the Conclaves power (it's actually something I argued for a lot earlier in the developement of RoKK). I even wrote a thread somewhat on it: http://rokk.forumotion.com/t90-rise-of-the-conclave. Pay attention the third post of mine. That is apparently what got Chaos attention. We have the Conclave as the the premier authority on magic though so they need to be pretty powerful. I imagine Conclave has plenty of corruption and plenty of decent people and plenty of half-way in between people. What exactly do you mean by corruption?

I'm sorry, but no matter how I look at it mages simply get more out of investing in magic than anyone else can get out of investing in anything else.

I don't think that's entirely fixable short of making magic almost utterly useless to PC's save as magic items etc.. It's just the nature of the instant gratification wish that is magic. But I think a few actually restrictive restrictions could go a long way towards narrowing that gap to acceptable levels.

It is magic afterall. But I think you're right that we can do a lot to limit magic so that other characters seem relevant and interesting.

In the end though like Chaos said we don't exist to hold the hands of people who are out to break/abuse the system or make huge leaps in logic. There is no such thing as an idiot proof system. I see no reason to bend over backwards for a guy who just wants to argue and ignore our fluff. If someone wants to break the system they will. Nothing will change that. But if they actually read all the information stickied by the time the sites up I doubt they will believe they can go thermonuclear and create random spacial rifts and cast "immortality upon themselves". I actually suggested four major ways in which mages are weak that you have yet to comment on. We can work with trying to make mages less powerful if people really want it. But we don't want to morph an entire system just to placate some future shennanigans from some nobody. Even in RoKK when we dealt with super hero like heroes we had self-applied limitations. And we did that without any stated limitations or magical systems created. At a certain point common sense and fairness is just a neccessary component of forum roleplaying where you can't mechanically ensure certain things don't take place.


Last edited by CromTheConqueror on Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:59 am; edited 4 times in total

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Re: List of things Magic can't do

Post by Admin on Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:32 am

GrayWatch wrote:
1)This Thread is devoted to setting down limitations upon magic. In order to best find exploitable points in our current rule set, the appropriate mindset is that of a willful abuser. i.e. "If it's not explicitly forbidden then it is not only permitted, but endorsed."

Which is the problem with making a list of things magic can't do. =/



[rant]
Honestly, at last look the "Magic Kingdom" as I recall it (now the Conclave I believe) was exploiting such loopholes, with an island fortress sculpted of stone veined with some sort of crystal, that somehow produced enough food to supply the entire population (with a city-like population density) indefinitely and was surrounded with enough magical defenses that it would take the combined navies of every nation in the world to even make landfall. Or to put it another way, a single city was a match for the entire world.[/rant]

There's good reason for that. First off, it's a walled fortress that's on a steep plateau, meaning the island has very tall cliff faces everywhere it meets the water.

Food production is magically aided, but a lot of the land is devoted to food production with a variety of agriculture. There are many subjects that are loyal to the Conclave that are not actually on the island but on the mainland, so the demand for food might seem far more than it is.

The reason why it would take the combined navies is because fitting siege weapons on ships hasn't been done so far, soldiers can't climb sheer cliff faces, and the entrances to the island (ports dug out from the cliff faces) are designed not to allow intruders within (the entrance has elevators up, for instance, that are disabled in the event of invasion, which means more cliff faces for the soldiers). Even if that's surmounted, they would come out of the literal hole in the ground into a wall courtyard and meet specifically prepared DEATH.

In short, it'd take so many resources to attack, not because of so many magical defenses, but because it's mundanely so stupidly hard to invade.



I originally used hyperbole and extreme examples in an attempt to underline and emphasize what I perceive as all the power being collected into a very small number of hands (which I wouldn't mind. I'd just expect more people to be you know...resentful of it. And the Conclave to not have managed to stave off corruption to power for so long), but that seems to have backfired on me and made people defensive.

Apologies, but I do have to counter the hyperbole. As for the Conclave staving off corruption, they are pretty corrupt. They monopolize magical resources, kill off guilds, hunt down rogue mages... that's pretty much all they do. If you mean why haven't they veered from that original purpose, it's because their ideology is very strong, the Inquisition enforces that it be strong, and no one is allowed to exist, more or less, unless they maintain that ideology.



If I had to sum up my problems it would be that magic grants exponentially more result-out per effort-in than non-magic. For example a mage can transform raw lead ore into gold bars. When the spell ends why would the gold turn back? It wouldn't, or at least shouldn't baring a completely arbitrary ruling that it does so. Gold is already a stable, existing substance. It would need MORE energy to revert to lead, than it would to remain gold.

... This will need to be a revision/addition to the Metal elemental power (I already have an idea that fits with it, so it's fine). Right now, until we figure something out, elements belonging to the periodic table cannot be transformed unnaturally from one to another.



And even if it's hard for the mage to do this particular little trick, it's almost certainly easier than taking that ore, refining it into pure lead, casting it into some form suitable for travel, learning speech and merchant craft to such a degree that you can sell lead for a significant amount of gold, and then carrying that lead to all the many places it would need to go to get such a sale.

To put it another way:
A sufficiently talented mage can do the job of a large number of people who have just as deeply devoted their lives to the study of their craft as the mage has to his.

However, the amount of lead the mage would receive compared to investment (monetary) would be lower than if a miner did it.

And perhaps so... but what, then, would be the use of being a mage if one did not wield such power?



But it can make a miner. One spell to find gold. Another to open a small, vertical shaft straight down to it. A third to force the rock under the gold up, forcing the gold out of the hole. What could take months of exploratory mining, done in hours.

True, although there is no "Find Gold" spell, or any such "Find x" thing. I suppose if the mage was also a chemist and they knew of ALL THE PROPERTIES OF GOLD, then they might be able to make a spell that reacts to the presence of gold or other such things, but it would be pushing it.

The other stuff though? I do have to agree with you.



And that same mage can turn around and use those spells to become a builder, and with the advantages of being able to sculpt rock in one solid piece he wouldn't need an engineers skill save for the largest or most ornate edifices.
Then he can turn around again and pull duty as a warrior.

And I imagine some mages might do something like that, but moving enough earth to build, say, a two bedroom, one kitchen, one living room house (similar to a wooden cabin) out of solid rock would take a huge investment of time and resources on his part alone.



I'm sorry, but no matter how I look at it mages simply get more out of investing in magic than anyone else can get out of investing in anything else.

True... I can see that.



Edit: And in response to your latest post, yes yes vaguely impossible, vaguely impossible, vaguely impossible again, but all for ill-defined or not previously stated reason. I cannot and will not make assumptions on your behalf. You speak of logical systems, but this actually isn't one. What you have posted so far presents very few hard and fast rules, and, aside from a lot of "impossibles" I've gotten just recently, is mostly rather vague barring what came from the opening post here. A logical system inherently includes a set of rules that covers all possible occurences. They neither rely on nor reference common sense, or anything so malleable.

The system is mostly meant to be a "here are all the working parts, design the rest yourself." I'm handing you a box of basic legos, make something with it. I really don't want to also hand you a gigantic list of "Here are all of the possible combinations of all of the legos I just handed you. If it's not here, you can't do it." Sure, it stops people from trying to craft things they can't with legos, but we'd have to go through the trouble of making that huge list in the first place.

The magic system is meant to have a strong foundation, onto which other people's imaginations may build upon.

I can see where you're coming from though. Do you want me to explain each limitation and link where the reasons are in what's developed thus far?



Also you say now mana can be converted into energy "but that's about it", but I'm not sure you're aware of just how much you can do with entirely claimable energy. Tying space and time into knots is entirely possible if you have enough energy. Repulsing everything around you is easy with just ordinary kinetic energy. The conditions under which time and space get wonky don't occur on earth, but if you look into cosmology you'll see it happening quite often in extreme environments. Extreme environments which can in theory be replicated on a smaller scale.

Yeah, but the amount of mana to kinetic force isn't a 100% conversion (I don't want it to be one, anyway). Even so, I said that to suggest how improbable some of the things you were suggesting were (like immortality or raising crops in a single night).



I don't want you to think that my tone is personal against you BI, I'm just trying to effectively shut down a lot of the theoretical power abuse.
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Re: List of things Magic can't do

Post by GrayWatch on Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:22 pm

@Crom:
Read it. My concerns remain. It talks about how you channel mana and elements and so on, but it short on what effects are and are not possible to achieve.

As for the "we would not allow such a player" argument: Very nice. I approve. Of course you shouldn't. However the fact that these kinds of abuses are possible means your mechanics and fluff simply don't match up as well as they should. There's no reason that some NPC in the long history wouldn't have seen the hugely overwhelming advantage magic gives him over non-mages and exploited it, after which other mages would have done the same.

@Chaos:
Skipping over most of your content as I don't see us coming to agreement, and most of it is tangential to the main point in any case I'll focus on two things of your post, one of which is actually relevant, the other of which merely confuses me
The reason why it would take the combined navies is because fitting siege weapons on ships hasn't been done so far.
Why not? That's...Bronze Age technology. As far as I can tell the rest of the world is operating in High Middle Ages / shortly-post Fall of Roman Empire (I realize this is horribly vague, but still. Steel, water-power, aqueducts, advanced engineering projects, etc.) tech, but this one particular area is a couple thousand years under developed?

Also I admit that the idea of a very small group, with extremist political views, which actively meddles in the governance of all nations it is aware of (thus undermining their sovereignty), has enough force that no nation can flat out say "No, fuck off" to it's interference as a matter of policy, just so happens to have enough personal power to take on the combined might of every nation in the world and win, and is implied to be morally right for forcing it's code upon these other nations strikes me as....well bluntly as the worst sort of fanwank and Mary Sueism on a national scale. So I may be biased.

I don't want you to think that my tone is personal against you BI, I'm just trying to effectively shut down a lot of the theoretical power abuse.
This is excellent as it means we have the same aim in mind. I am fully and utterly in agreement with you here. My point however is that the currently written standing rules are insufficient for this task.
I'd like for this point to be recognized, and then hopefully going on to hammer out what should and should not be possible, then back-working changes to the system to properly reflect this.

That said if you give a flat "no, you're wrong. The rules are fine as is." I'll drop the issue.
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Re: List of things Magic can't do

Post by CromTheConqueror on Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:42 pm

@Crom:
Read it. My concerns remain. It talks about how you channel mana and elements and so on, but it short on what effects are and are not possible to achieve.

As for the "we would not allow such a player" argument: Very nice. I approve. Of course you shouldn't. However the fact that these kinds of abuses are possible means your mechanics and fluff simply don't match up as well as they should. There's no reason that some NPC in the long history wouldn't have seen the hugely overwhelming advantage magic gives him over non-mages and exploited it, after which other mages would have done the same.

In the Age of Might mages were very advanced and we had advanced technology. What you are talking about did happen. His name is Nomen. Then everyone died sending us back to the dark ages. But it took millenia to build up that level of magical knowledge and technology. That hardly exists now.

Furthermore, mana is currently only manifested in the elemental forms we listed and Druidism (which needs a firm combing over). Unless your idea is that people come in and start making up their own magical system using mana I don't understand that issue. And again that would apply to any magical system. If the arguement is people will just take mana and use it to do whatever the hell they want then no system is workable.

What you are saying applies to any magical world. DnD would be a nightmare for such a scenario and yet there are very decent books like the Legend Drizzt that can operate without it.

In the end I still state that the fundemental flaw you making is in the base assumption stated at the top of your posts. This is a forum for roleplayers. The freedom we are given allows us distinct advantage but also means we lack some control. That has to be made up in the self-control of other players and nothing no matter how hard we try will ever fix that.

And you've still neglected a lot of my ideas on how we could limit magecraft. I feel we'd be a lot more constructive if you'd address more of the constructive parts of my posts. We don't need to drop the issue of making mages weaker.

Why not? That's...Bronze Age technology. As far as I can tell the rest of the world is operating in High Middle Ages / shortly-post Fall of Roman Empire (I realize this is horribly vague, but still. Steel, water-power, aqueducts, advanced engineering projects, etc.) tech, but this one particular area is a couple thousand years under developed?

It would be closer to Dark Ages-Low Middle ages. And siegecraft with naval ships was developed by the Romans and then mostly set aside. Ramming was also mostly turned away. Most ships were designed so that you could pull alongside and then kill people and exchange low-range catapaults balistae fire. But let's face it. Technology doesn't always develope in order or with reason. It took literally centuries for people to realize it'd be smart to put cannons on the decks below the ships like we imagine wooden cannon boats today. Until then cannnons on boats were rare because it was hard to operate them on the upper deck. That's just the way of the world. It might seem absolutely retarded but that is the way things work in the real world.

Also I admit that the idea of a very small group, with extremist political views, which actively meddles in the governance of all nations it is aware of (thus undermining their sovereignty), has enough force that no nation can flat out say "No, fuck off" to it's interference as a matter of policy, just so happens to have enough personal power to take on the combined might of every nation in the world and win, and is implied to be morally right for forcing it's code upon these other nations strikes me as....well bluntly as the worst sort of fanwank and Mary Sueism on a national scale. So I may be biased.

I agree completely. Again I refer you to my third post on the link I provided about Conclave power.

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Re: List of things Magic can't do

Post by Admin on Sun May 20, 2012 4:42 am

My apologies for the delay thus far.

GrayWatch wrote:However the fact that these kinds of abuses are possible means your mechanics and fluff simply don't match up as well as they should.

Trufax. That's why it's still all WIP, of course. I do understand that there needs to be a lot of clarification done so things work better together.

GrayWatch wrote:
Why not? That's...Bronze Age technology. As far as I can tell the rest of the world is operating in High Middle Ages / shortly-post Fall of Roman Empire (I realize this is horribly vague, but still. Steel, water-power, aqueducts, advanced engineering projects, etc.) tech, but this one particular area is a couple thousand years under developed?

Because naval technology on the mainland has mostly been salvaged, reverse-engineered, and reinvented by surviving ships from the Fall and any possible traces of technology (blueprints, stories, etc.). This is because the coast wasn't always the coast. Naval combat wasn't a very big deal and there wasn't much of a need for being a naval power until Atimar became more threatening and the Conclave got so powerful. Nowadays there's no real reason to put siege weaponry on a ship unless you're actually thinking of besieging the Conclave, and the Conclave would probably take notice.


GrayWatch wrote:
Also I admit that the idea of a very small group, with extremist political views, which actively meddles in the governance of all nations it is aware of (thus undermining their sovereignty), has enough force that no nation can flat out say "No, fuck off" to it's interference as a matter of policy, just so happens to have enough personal power to take on the combined might of every nation in the world and win, and is implied to be morally right for forcing it's code upon these other nations strikes me as....well bluntly as the worst sort of fanwank and Mary Sueism on a national scale. So I may be biased.

The first half of your post can be addressed by looking at where the Conclave came from and how it solidified it's power during Atimar's war with the mainland. The nations basically ceded their power in terms of magic to an already powerful elite group in exchange for their aid. Because they already said "Here you go, have it", it's become impossible for them to build it back. Guilds do exist, and the nations -could- sponsor them, but if the nations pulled away from the Conclave, the Conclave would have other nations put pressure on them. The Conclave would bankrupt itself if it fought against anyone 1v1, simply due to the fact that their entire existence depends on not committing a large force and pulling resources from everywhere else to remain as powerful as they are.
Think of Britain and China, back in the day. China's a massive country, both in terms of territory and populace, and Britain is a small island nation on the other side of the globe. If they fought 1v1, Britain would probably lose simply due to being swamped with numbers (ignoring of course logistics and the other elements of the British Empire which didn't drastically increase their military size I believe). However, Britain had something that China wanted: Opium. All Britain asked for in return was tea. Give us tea, we'll give you opium. China was addicted, they had to have opium and more opium, and because of that they were in the disadvantageous trading position. They could simply say "I don't want any opium from you" and then they'd no longer have opium and Britain wouldn't get tea, but they really, really wanted opium and every way of getting it wasn't as good as just getting it from the British. It isn't a perfect analogy, but it should convey more of what I'm trying to get at.

As for the second half or so, I never meant to convey that it could "take on the combined might of every nation in the world and win." Not dying isn't necessarily winning. Imagine if, during WW2, Japan succeeded in their aims to cripple US carriers at Pearl Harbor and were able to shut down shipbuilding on the west coast of the United States. Japan has effectively blockaded the US, the US can no longer fight against the Japanese, but neither side has really won. Japan can't invade the US, that would be suicide. As long as all Japan does is stop the US at its coast, the US can't do anything (I am of course ignoring Europe and the East Coast).
That's all I meant to convey, that the Conclave has good chances to survive an invasion, not that they'd also be able to single-handedly take the battle to the mainland and win.

As for moral implications, it's actually supposed to be heavily implied that the Conclave is the 'dark side of positive morality', that people cannot be trusted to do the right thing so it is acceptable to control them for the greater good. Their core ideology isn't exactly something someone can argue with ("Ruining the world is wrong!"), and that's emphasized so much that the "It's wrong, so we need to do everything we can to stop people from doing it by controlling them!" part seems acceptable, especially when that goes hand in hand with "Everyone who's doing it differently is wrong, especially guilds, who do everything with no accountability, and they can easily raise people who try to ruin the world!"
Guilds are meant to display the flipside of that, where ruining the world is also wrong, but it doesn't mean that people and magic need to be controlled, it just means that people need to be educated and brought up to understand that ruining the world is wrong and they should be able to do what they want afterwards. If the price of freedom is that some day, somewhere, someone might pop into existence that threatens ruination, then so be it.
Both sides have 'positive morality', but both are doing it differently.


If you still don't like it, consider the world's religions, except now Christianity is the Conclave, Roman Catholics are the Inquisition, the Vatican is now a fortress island, faith can definitely create miracles and there is a serious commercial demand for miracles. The rest of the world's religions may all preach relatively the same thing, and they can all also make miracles too, but they are either smaller or less organized, and they may or may not preach that their religion is the only one that's real (which Christianity == Conclave does). Does it make Christianity morally wrong for trying to stifle other religions and convert as many people as possible? Debatable. The lack of a clear answer is important here, because it establishes a gray area that can easily polarize people to one side or the other. Does that make Christianity a fanwank Mary Sueism? Certainly not, because the only thing I really changed was that faith, of any sort, can create miracles.
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Re: List of things Magic can't do

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