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 I've got a world with no names and no rules.

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Addicted2aa
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PostSubject: I've got a world with no names and no rules.   Mon Mar 30, 2009 9:00 pm

So I have this world I'm working on. I've posted some of the details at WF and have gotten some good help from DB and Honorius(sp?). The basic premise is a fantasy world based as closely as possible on our understanding of science. I've always been bothered by the fact that elves and humans seemed to be different species but they could produce children. I suppose it's possible, since mules, ligers and tigerons exist, but I thought it would make more sense if they were the same species but different races. Like Africans, Europeans, Asians ect. Or even more precise like Anglicans, Guals, Semites.
I've been trying to work up a history and I'm coming along pretty well with that. Creatures are coming together well, but the part I'm having the most trouble with is the magic.
I originally wanted magic to be a force(energy) of some kind natural to the universe. I was thinking it could be accessed kinda in the way chemical reactions work. It could be contained in an element and to release it the element a person would use brainwaves to change potential energy into kinetic. I've been since told that our brains, even enhanced the way I wanted them to be would be far to weak to make that change possible. Honorius has suggested that I treat magic as pure energy which doesn't exist in our world. I could treat magic as the catalyst for life. My only problem is I have no idea what rules I could impose on it. I just can't really picture how that magic works. Any suggestions?

I have plenty of questions I would like to ask, but I thought I see if anyone has time to help first. Any help is appriecated and will be paid for with smilies. king
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CommonGoods
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PostSubject: Re: I've got a world with no names and no rules.   Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:48 pm

Saying that the brain can't do something is rather shortsighted. The fact is that we only use about 10% of our brain capacity on any given time. Many people have speculated that as soon as we start using, for example, 20% of our brain, we might be able to read minds, see the future or yet, even move objects with our thoughts.

Now I'm not saying that it's true, I'm saying that could be true. I don't know. We don't know. The brain is an insanely complex organ, and I mean insanely complex. Think about it; we use only 10%, a lump of meat of about 130 grams, can do things far more complex then any computer we have managed to create so far. Memories are easily created, there are computers who can learn tpo speak or walk, and I've heard of computers that can recreate emotions, but we do it all, and more, far more, with only 10% of our brain capacity. By the time we reach 30%, we may very well be able to recreate the universe to our liking. I'm not saying we could. I'm saying we don't know.

And if that doesn't help you, I suggest you use the 'alternate Earth' excuse; in you world, it is possible. Most of the times, it isn't as much about how things work as it is about how you write it. Can you tell me how magic in Harry Potter worked? Where those powers came from? Probably not, since it was never explained. Does it matter? Not to most of us. Same was true for the Force in Star Wars, untill they came up with that idiot idea of thingies in the blood stream (seriously, what's up with THAT).
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PostSubject: Re: I've got a world with no names and no rules.   Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:14 pm

CommonGoods wrote:
Saying that the brain can't do something is rather shortsighted. The fact is that we only use about 10% of our brain capacity on any given time. Many people have speculated that as soon as we start using, for example, 20% of our brain, we might be able to read minds, see the future or yet, even move objects with our thoughts.

Actually that's not true. It's a common urban legend. I think I've even heard teachers tell it to me. But I've also had teachers tell me that Columbus was the first person to think the world was round. Here's a link if you want to read about it.
http://www.snopes.com/science/stats/10percent.asp

Quote :
And if that doesn't help you, I suggest you use the 'alternate Earth' excuse; in you world, it is possible. Most of the times, it isn't as much about how things work as it is about how you write it. Can you tell me how magic in Harry Potter worked? Where those powers came from? Probably not, since it was never explained. Does it matter? Not to most of us. Same was true for the Force in Star Wars, untill they came up with that idiot idea of thingies in the blood stream (seriously, what's up with THAT).

Well the point of the world is I don't want to just say, that is the way it is. I know I could, but that's not the goal of this world. This isn't a story I'm trying to create. It's a world. I might write a novel out of it or maybe a short story or maybe nothing. At the moment I'm debating using it an RPG but even if nothing comes of it I want to make a world that I can't look at a say, that doesn't make sense.
If I were writing a story that would have been great advice. I suppose I should have said that before hand.
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CommonGoods
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PostSubject: Re: I've got a world with no names and no rules.   Tue Mar 31, 2009 3:20 am

Addicted2aa wrote:
CommonGoods wrote:
Saying that the brain can't do something is rather shortsighted. The fact is that we only use about 10% of our brain capacity on any given time. Many people have speculated that as soon as we start using, for example, 20% of our brain, we might be able to read minds, see the future or yet, even move objects with our thoughts.

Actually that's not true. It's a common urban legend. I think I've even heard teachers tell it to me. But I've also had teachers tell me that Columbus was the first person to think the world was round. Here's a link if you want to read about it.
http://www.snopes.com/science/stats/10percent.asp

Quote :
And if that doesn't help you, I suggest you use the 'alternate Earth' excuse; in you world, it is possible. Most of the times, it isn't as much about how things work as it is about how you write it. Can you tell me how magic in Harry Potter worked? Where those powers came from? Probably not, since it was never explained. Does it matter? Not to most of us. Same was true for the Force in Star Wars, untill they came up with that idiot idea of thingies in the blood stream (seriously, what's up with THAT).

Well the point of the world is I don't want to just say, that is the way it is. I know I could, but that's not the goal of this world. This isn't a story I'm trying to create. It's a world. I might write a novel out of it or maybe a short story or maybe nothing. At the moment I'm debating using it an RPG but even if nothing comes of it I want to make a world that I can't look at a say, that doesn't make sense.
If I were writing a story that would have been great advice. I suppose I should have said that before hand.

Damn, this is getting kind of long Razz

I wouldn't trust Snopes to much. Treat it like wikipedia; check it, check it again, then agree that we still don't know. I didn't say we only use 10% of our brain, but rather 10% at any give time, which is correct and which is why the phrase "We only use 11% of our brains potential" is, essentialy, correct. We use 100% of our brain, in theory, but never 100% at the same time. That percentage is closer to the 10. That said, there is also the difference between "use" and "use". Yes, you are "using" 100% of your brain at all times, if by "using" you mean that it's keeping itself alive. You are "using" 10% if by "using" you mean using them for active processes.

As for the world; making a world in which everything makes sense is, by definition, folly. Can you explain why our own world is how it is? If so, I suggest you go claim your nobel price. But all jokes aside, some things simply don't make sense, and can't be explained; the simpelest example of that is the occurance of numbers like pi or the root of two, but also wether light is a particle or a wave, what are black holes, and what exsisted before the big bang, what caused the big bang, evolution, etc etc.

As for conversing potential energy into kinetic energy, that's as simple as holding a book in front of you (where it has potential energy) and then letting it fall to the ground (potential energy is converted into kinetic energy). Potential energy is the energy an object has when there is a force that attempts to return the object to it's origin, such as gravity pulling things down. You can not use potential energy to fling around trucks as with telekineses (spelling?), unless there is a force and an origin for that object (truck). So the brain waves wouldn't as much convert potential energy into kinetic energy as they would create a force and an origin for the object, and as a result, the potential energy would be turned into kinetic energy.

My explinations fail about sixty percent of the times, but I hope that at least some of the things I said made any sense.
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PostSubject: Re: I've got a world with no names and no rules.   Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:27 am

Wow this is getting really off topic. It's fun though Very Happy That reminds me I didn't give you your promised smilies pig cat Yay animals. anyways

The 10% at one time, maybe. I'm fairly certain that there is no theoretical limit to how much of our brain we can use at once, besides 100%. If you want to point me to something that disagrees with that I'll give it more thought.
I actually haven't read the snopes article. I know it's an urban legend from a book I have called Myth Conceptions. So there's my double checking. I also trust snopes way more than wikipedia because it's less user based, they admit when they don't have the information, and the whole point of the site is debunking myths.

As to making my whole world make sense, of course I can't do it all. But I can still strive. The quest for perfection isn't pointless simply because the goal can't be achieved. I simply want to have a world where I can't poke a hole in the explanation. I don't want to write off magic as just, that's the way the world works. I want there to be as much of an explanation as I can rationally give.


I was thinking of releasing the potential chemical energy. Like splitting atoms. Not lifting things up, but causing them to explode or melt or dissolve. That sort of thing. Knock an electron loose or add one in and hopefully something fun happens.
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PostSubject: Re: I've got a world with no names and no rules.   Mon Apr 06, 2009 8:44 pm

I've always liked shaping magic through runes. If your people can't just use their brains to shape the magic than why not use a catalyst in order to focuse the thought. Runes would work, or a spell, or anything that forced the brain to think about the thing you want it to the way you want it to. It'd be like tricking your brain into working the way you wanted it to. Get what I'm saying?
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PostSubject: Re: I've got a world with no names and no rules.   Tue Apr 07, 2009 2:09 pm

yeah I hear you. It's not the catalyst I'm seeking. If I can find a scientific explanation that satisfies me I can find inspiration(steal) from other fantasy works. Just the way my brain works forces me to have the world satisfy as many physical and chemical laws as possible.
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PostSubject: Re: I've got a world with no names and no rules.   Tue Apr 07, 2009 5:09 pm

Ok, then just make the magic react to low level chemical reactions in the brain. As in the brain isn't good enough to use the magic but the magic itself reacts to the brain naturally.
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PostSubject: Re: I've got a world with no names and no rules.   Tue Apr 07, 2009 9:10 pm

ummm. That still doesn't explain what the magic is. And it really doesn't explain how people control magic. That seems like it would only cause a magical reaction during strong emotion and it would be uncontrollable. If a person spent years learning how to control those chemicals so the magic would react in a predictable way than the brain is good enough to control magic.
I could make it so that chemical reactions in the brain resonate with magic fields, but why would they? That's main issue. I need that why. or how. Either way I need the mechanism that makes it work.
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PostSubject: Re: I've got a world with no names and no rules.   Wed Apr 08, 2009 4:39 am

In my experience there isn’t a realistic way to explain thing that do not exist in our reality. You need something that is out of the box, something that does not exists in our world, since if it was possible, it would exist, and since it doesn’t, it means it’s impossible, unless you add a certain aspect that does not exist in our reality.

For example, you are talking about magic fields; how is a chemical reaction in the brain that resonates with that magic field more realistic then certain command words react with that magic field? You are essentially asking us to explain something that you created.

Quote :
I could make it so that chemical reactions in the brain resonate with magic fields, but why would they? That's main issue. I need that why. Or how. Either way I need the mechanism that makes it work.

This is sort of the main issue; the why you need can be anything, and absolutely anything, depending on how the magic works. There is no rational explanation for magic, since no such thing exists in our reality, which is sort of the point behind magic. As such, when you are dealing with magic, you are dealing with alternate realities, in which something like kitchen salt is just as likely to react with magic as an isoprenoid (a complex molecule).
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PostSubject: Re: I've got a world with no names and no rules.   Wed Apr 08, 2009 12:18 pm

CommonGoods wrote:
In my experience there isn’t a realistic way to explain thing that do not exist in our reality. You need something that is out of the box, something that does not exists in our world, since if it was possible, it would exist, and since it doesn’t, it means it’s impossible, unless you add a certain aspect that does not exist in our reality.

I agree that it is a tough problem, but I think it is still doable. Think of faster than light travel in sci-fi. It has been explained as creating worm-holes, bending space-time(essentially the same thing), turning matter directly to energy. None of those things are technically possible right now, but they make a certain sense and they don't break any laws of physics.

Perhaps I explained the problem poorly in the first post. Think of a traditional fireball spell in D&D. The spell requires that the mage study the spell, say some words, and have some physical components and then a giant ball of fire appears. Now according to the law of conservation of energy, that fire has to come from somewhere. Possible explanations, he teleported it, he used some life energy, or converted matter directly into combustion. There are flaws with each explanation and none of them explain how it keeps burning. Now we could just say magic and leave it, but I think we can do more. Let's say magic is actually a dimension, like height or width. Some people say time is the fourth dimension, so let's call magic the fifth dimension. One can "move" things within magic to create fire. Pull an atom of hydrogen from every star lets say and light it with the material components the mage has. That would satisfy a fireball. All that's left is to come up with a force that pulls the atoms. Call it magica, maybe made up of particles of magictons which work in the same way gravitons are supposed keep gravity working. I might actually use that idea now. I'll have to see how well it meshes with what I already got. So really I'm trying to come up with inspirations for how magic should work. If you can see a hole point it out, if you have any ides put them up. I'm trying to work through a very complex problem. Sorry if I seem to shoot down every idea you guys have offered, but that's just how I absorb information. I need to challenge it first before I can consider it.

Quote :
For example, you are talking about magic fields; how is a chemical reaction in the brain that resonates with that magic field more realistic then certain command words react with that magic field? You are essentially asking us to explain something that you created.

It's not. That's the point. I want to make it realistic as possible, so that I don't have to say, just believe it because it's a story. I know at some point I have to fall back on that, but I want it to be as late as possible. I really just want help putting different theories of magic to the test until I can find the one that sounds most believable.


Quote :
This is sort of the main issue; the why you need can be anything, and absolutely anything, depending on how the magic works. There is no rational explanation for magic, since no such thing exists in our reality, which is sort of the point behind magic. As such, when you are dealing with magic, you are dealing with alternate realities, in which something like kitchen salt is just as likely to react with magic as an isoprenoid (a complex molecule).

I know I could make the universe work like that. I don't want to though. I guess this comes from my need to know the limits, so I can test them. I want to define the extremes of the world so I can keep everything in terms of that. Perhaps this too complicated and not really worth it. Oh well, I'm still trying.

Thanks for your advice though. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: I've got a world with no names and no rules.   Tue Apr 28, 2009 8:36 pm

man... you're asking for a billion dollar idea.
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