Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 002

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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 002

Postby Swodaems » Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:42 pm

I would like to point out that the predictomancy/luckamancy combination seen in Goodmitton probably has the same use as the Mathamancy/luckamancy combo described here.

Also, we just found out that casters can in fact cast outside both their disipline and their class without aid of scrolls. If the low-grade signamancy Delphie was sporting was of her own design, that says she did all the magic involved without help from another caster.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 002

Postby Kreistor » Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:15 pm

Swodaems wrote:Also, we just found out that casters can in fact cast outside both their disipline and their class without aid of scrolls. If the low-grade signamancy Delphie was sporting was of her own design, that says she did all the magic involved without help from another caster.


We have known that since early in Book 1. Wanda stated that she could cast outside her discipline (but didn't want to), while Sizemore couldn't (but very much did want to).

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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 002

Postby Saladman » Wed Nov 02, 2011 6:17 pm

Swodaems wrote:I would like to point out that the predictomancy/luckamancy combination seen in Goodmitton probably has the same use as the Mathamancy/luckamancy combo described here.


Good catch.

Though that raises the question, why aren't they doing better? Possibly they're completely outclassed and there's nothing to be done. More likely, we're up against Predictomancy in the grand, Cassandran sense and there's nothing to be done. But with a Predictomancer withholding information there's the strong possibility she's not loyal or not doing everything she can for her side.

Swodaems wrote:Also, we just found out that casters can in fact cast outside both their disipline and their class without aid of scrolls. If the low-grade signamancy Delphie was sporting was of her own design, that says she did all the magic involved without help from another caster.


Or, you know, just meaning makeup. We've seen "mathamancy" used in character for simple math, and "rhymomancy" used to mean making up a poem. Erfworlders don't seem to see a difference between casting an explicit spell and certain natural features of the world in the same way we do.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 002

Postby drachefly » Wed Nov 02, 2011 7:01 pm

If magic worked for us, we probably wouldn't either.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 002

Postby Kreistor » Wed Nov 02, 2011 7:31 pm

Do you really not understand what Magic is?

Magic is anything for which we do not understand. Once we understand it, and can explain the Laws that define it, and have made it reproducible, it becomes Science.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 002

Postby doran » Wed Nov 02, 2011 7:34 pm

Is it just me, or does Clay Dice seem to be an embodiment of all the negative gamer stereotypes. Kind of like an early echo of Parson to Wanda, I guess?
Also it'd be interesting if this whole setup foreshadows the FAQ predictamancer and Wanda having conflicting
interests over what Parson should do.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 002

Postby Kreistor » Wed Nov 02, 2011 8:18 pm

doran wrote:Is it just me, or does Clay Dice seem to be an embodiment of all the negative gamer stereotypes. Kind of like an early echo of Parson to Wanda, I guess?


Andrew Dice Clay was a stand-up comedian from the 80's. He was a complete stereotype (and a completely created persona, BTW) of a New Jersey Italian macho bastard. Told racist jokes, insulted everyone, smoked like a chimney, wore leather... and was 100% controversial. The difference here is that Dice Clay is silent. ADC couldn't keep his tongue in his mouth for more than 3 seconds.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 002

Postby StClair » Wed Nov 02, 2011 8:58 pm

Why do I suspect that Clay is both completely unaware that he "belongs" to Delphie, and that he would be completely uninterested if he did?
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 002

Postby JustDoug » Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:30 pm

Kreistor wrote:
doran wrote:Andrew Dice Clay was a stand-up comedian from the 80's. He was a complete stereotype (and a completely created persona, BTW) of a New Jersey Italian macho bastard. Told racist jokes, insulted everyone, smoked like a chimney, wore leather... and was 100% controversial. The difference here is that Dice Clay is silent. ADC couldn't keep his tongue in his mouth for more than 3 seconds.


He's even more different than that. Y'see, Clay Dice is the opposite of Dice Clay. Ahem.

Now, which of them is the backwards one has yet to be determined.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 002

Postby Kalak » Wed Nov 02, 2011 11:25 pm

I'm pretty sure this will come into play:
http://www.erfworld.com/book-1-archive/?px=%2F076.jpg
Panel 2:
Parson - "I don't know. I'm sure there's something a Chief Warlord can do to a caster."
Sizemore - "There is."

Yeah? Yeeaaaaah?
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 002

Postby MarbitChow » Wed Nov 02, 2011 11:25 pm

Kreistor wrote:Do you really not understand what Magic is? Magic is anything for which we do not understand. Once we understand it, and can explain the Laws that define it, and have made it reproducible, it becomes Science.

In real life, maybe. In a 'typical' fantasy world, one in which 'magic is real', magic is a force by which a person's will causes a change in reality. It can be well understood, governed by laws, and be completely reproducible, and still be magic.
Magic is a force that is triggered by intention, with no intervening 'technology'.

If you trigger your will, and your will moves your finger, and your finger pulls a trigger, and the gun fires a bullet which kills someone, that's technology.
If you trigger your will, and your will moves your hand, and your hand pushes a pin through a doll, and your target's heart just stops, that is magic.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 002

Postby Dr Pepper » Thu Nov 03, 2011 1:25 am

Um, it's one thing for Delphi to be "into the bad boys", but come on-- Andrew Dice Clay? He's not a bad boy, he's a disgusting creep!
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 002

Postby Kreistor » Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:35 am

MarbitChow wrote:
Kreistor wrote:Do you really not understand what Magic is? Magic is anything for which we do not understand. Once we understand it, and can explain the Laws that define it, and have made it reproducible, it becomes Science.

In real life, maybe. In a 'typical' fantasy world, one in which 'magic is real', magic is a force by which a person's will causes a change in reality. It can be well understood, governed by laws, and be completely reproducible, and still be magic.
Magic is a force that is triggered by intention, with no intervening 'technology'.

If you trigger your will, and your will moves your finger, and your finger pulls a trigger, and the gun fires a bullet which kills someone, that's technology.
If you trigger your will, and your will moves your hand, and your hand pushes a pin through a doll, and your target's heart just stops, that is magic.


Really? It's that simple? Let's take that and mess with it a little.

If you trigger your will, and your will moves your hand, and your hand pushes a pin through a doll, and the iron bar levitates, that is magic. Right?

The pin completes a circuit, providing power to the electromagnet in doll, and the magnetism counters gravity and the iron bar rises. That's technology, you would say. But my point there is that it is invisible. You can't see the magnet working. You can't see the vector by which the iron bar rises. But it's still Science. Why? Because we understand it, and only because we understand it. Take the understanding away, and it's Magic. That the "doll" is shaped like a chunk of steel doesn't make a difference to the person that does not have training in science: to him, the iron bar is floating without explanation.

The same goes for your voodoo doll example. When science is able to explain it by some Laws, it stops being magic. In this case, it may be quantum entanglement between the atoms in the center of the doll and the atoms in the heart muscle of the victim, which causes a change in the doll atoms to be reflected in the heart of the victim. I used those words, because they are already a part of science, but that's not necessary. Science expands to include new ideas, as we explain the world.

There was an interesting trilogy by Lyndon Hardy in the 1980's. the second book was "The Secret of the Sixth Magic" and I think it did more to explain this concept (accidentally) than anyone else I've seen. The Five magics were defined by 5 Laws. The only one I remember is that "Like affects Like." Using this Law, you made a small scale identical item to what you wanted to affect, and then the change you made to the small one caused the same change in the larger. The person explaining it used a small chair to cause the protagonist's chair to flip him to the floor, but obviously this would be the Law that affects your Voodoo Doll. The "Sixth" magic allowed the Protagonist (and the antagonist) to change the Laws themselves. One twist, and the antagonist caused "Like affects Like" to become "Like affects Opposite" and all of that Magic discipline's wizards became useless, because they didn't understand what the new Law was, or even that there was a new Law to look for.

It is presented that Sizemore is failing to become a Master because his understanding of his discipline is not adequate. Is this any different from being a poor engineer? If an electrical engineer inadequately understands electricity, he isn't going to design a good power circuit. He can do fine making the basics. The poor engineer's mental model of electricity is, like Sizemore's mental model of Dirtamancy, inadequate.

So, no, I think you've come up short with your differentiation.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 002

Postby Whispri » Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:52 am

Kalak wrote:
badninja wrote:Now how will Wanda get from here to FAQ?


This is something I'm wondering too. FAQ is probably not a side in this 6 player war, since they are supposed to be a bubble kingdom.

The Dogs of War? Why wouldn't they get involved?
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 002

Postby MarbitChow » Thu Nov 03, 2011 7:54 am

Kreistor wrote:So, no, I think you've come up short with your differentiation.

No, your arbitrary classification of everything we understand into "Science" and everything we don't into "Magic" is what's incorrect.
You mention Hardy's novels, which explicitly show magic that obeys strict laws and was reproducible (your criteria for science).
You even reference the specific book (Secret of the Sixth Magic) in which the main character's "magic" is *the ability, through his own force of will, to change the laws by which magic itself is governed* as an example of magic being science, and yet you still cling to your definition. That book provides the definitive example of a realm of magic that can do anything, because magic represents the imposition of a single person's will over the otherwise-immutable laws of the universe - even the laws of magic.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 002

Postby Sieggy » Thu Nov 03, 2011 9:34 am

Sigh. If you want to understand magick, read Crowley, who WAS a magician. Bear in mind that reading him is sometimes a chore, as there's a lot of Victorian mysticism and cultural references that are seriously out of date. But his basic textbook on the subject was 'Magick in Theory and Practice', and if you're interested in classical magick, it's an excellent start.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 002

Postby MarbitChow » Thu Nov 03, 2011 9:43 am

Sieggy wrote:Sigh. If you want to understand magick, read Crowley

As soon as you limit the scope of the discussion to the 'real world' and exclude the world of fantasy literature, I'm actually 100% behind Kreistor on this issue: in the 'real world', magic is just another word for that which hasn't yet been explained by science.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 002

Postby sleepymancer » Thu Nov 03, 2011 9:57 am

Kreistor wrote:Do you really not understand what Magic is?

Magic is anything for which we do not understand. Once we understand it, and can explain the Laws that define it, and have made it reproducible, it becomes Science.



Isn't that the wrong way round? Shouldn't it be words to the effect of "any advanced magic appears to be science to a sufficiently jaded society", or something?? :D ;)

Regarding the low-level signamancy, I just read that as cheap make-up...
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 002

Postby SteveMB » Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:11 pm

MarbitChow wrote:
Sieggy wrote:Sigh. If you want to understand magick, read Crowley

As soon as you limit the scope of the discussion to the 'real world' and exclude the world of fantasy literature, I'm actually 100% behind Kreistor on this issue: in the 'real world', magic is just another word for that which hasn't yet been explained by science.


It's a bit more complicated than that. There are plenty of things unexplained by science in the real world (e.g. the reconciliation of quantum mechanics and general relativity), but nobody thinks that they're "magic". For that matter, Erfworlders' understanding of how magic works (the whole business of disciplines being associated with the eight binary combinations of Erf, Numbers, and Fate) is more a "scientific" attitude than a "magical thinking" attitude*. (Sizemore's attempt to understand it all is a particularly good example.)

*Recall how Parson saw it as similar to the proto-scientific ancient Greek notion of the four elements. That said, most casters apparently take the chart as simple received wisdom (which it probably is, literally; my guess is that casters pop with that knowledge) in much the way the four elements were accepted for centuries "because Aristotle said so" -- which is not really a scientific worldview.
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Re: Inner Peace (Through Superior Firepower) – Episode 002

Postby raphfrk » Thu Nov 03, 2011 12:54 pm

sleepymancer wrote:Regarding the low-level signamancy, I just read that as cheap make-up...


Good point, "of her own design" could just mean that she decided how to use the scrolls provided by someone else.
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