Elemental matter creation through sorcery ?

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Guernicus
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Elemental matter creation through sorcery ?

Postby Guernicus » Sat Mar 24, 2012 3:02 pm

I need some insight about what is it possible to do with elemental "matter" (Fire included) through Sorcery. According to RAW, it is possible to form matter into any shapes with Form/set (Substance) and move it with Animate (Substance). But I can't find a way to simply create elemental matter out of thin air. Is it a limitation of Sorcery that prevent to consider a Create(Substance) spell ? Of course this means we also need a Destroy(Substance) spell. In this case the Smother spell would simply be a rename of Destroy(Air).
Thank you.
Olaus Petrus
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Re: Elemental matter creation through sorcery ?

Postby Olaus Petrus » Sat Mar 24, 2012 3:41 pm

I don't think there's any limitation which would prevent you from creating "create elemental matter" -spell, if it fits to your setting. I don't say that you shouldn't have "destroy elemental matter" -spell as well, but it can turn very powerful if player characters decide to use "destroy water" -spell to destroy blood of a living being or destroy air to suffocate NPC characters etc. So some limitations might be appropriate.
Simulacrum
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Re: Elemental matter creation through sorcery ?

Postby Simulacrum » Sat Mar 24, 2012 4:56 pm

I think my first question is whether it is actually created, or 'summoned' from another earthly place or an elemental plane? And the real nature of what is created or summoned - clearly you need to prevent a create (substance) being available for...gold?
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Re: Elemental matter creation through sorcery ?

Postby Olaus Petrus » Sat Mar 24, 2012 5:23 pm

Simulacrum wrote:I think my first question is whether it is actually created, or 'summoned' from another earthly place or an elemental plane? And the real nature of what is created or summoned - clearly you need to prevent a create (substance) being available for...gold?
That is a valid question. Personally I would go with something like this: Create water would gather moist from the air etc. or like you suggested it would summon it from elemental plane. Creating something out of thin air is very powerful magic and should be limited to archmages and gods, unless campaign setting allows power of creation to everyone who knows even little about magic (which could create balance problems).
rust
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Re: Elemental matter creation through sorcery ?

Postby rust » Sat Mar 24, 2012 5:24 pm

While my Phalanos setting has sorcery spells for the creation of
air, earth and water, the spells create only small amounts of the
substances, for example enough air to breathe for one hour or
enough water to fill a waterskin, and to create more of the sub-
stances requires the enchantment of items designed specifically
for that purpose. The setting's sorcerers could develop spells to
destroy the substances, but until now they seem convinced that
there is no need for such spells, probably because other destruc-
tive spells can deliver more impressive results with less effort.
Guernicus
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Re: Elemental matter creation through sorcery ?

Postby Guernicus » Sat Mar 24, 2012 8:36 pm

What about this one as a first try ?
(feel free to correct any of my phrases if needed)

Create (Substance)
Autonomous, Resist (Resilience)

This spell creates a specific type of substance as indicated by the particular spell. There are Create spells for water, air, stone, metal, wood or even fire. According to specific settings, substance is invoked from otherworldly places such as elemental planes or is the result of transmuted magical energy.

Pure elemental substances (Water, Air, Earth/Stone/Metal, Fire) are easier to create : the sorcerer creates three points of SIZ or a cubic metre of insubstantial material for each three points of Intensity. Complex or rare substances (precious metal, gems, ...) are more difficult to create : the sorcerer creates one points of SIZ or a cubic centimetre of insubstantial material for each three points of Intensity.

Substance is temporary created and when duration ends, it disappears. Whatever changes the created substance have had on their environment, these changes remain after the spell end. For example if an adventurer is thirsty in a desert, he can use Create Water to quench his thirst and save his life, if duration of the spell is enough for the water to be assimilated by his body. Create (Gold) can be used to make temporary coins and buy something fraudulently, but the coins will disappear when the spell ends with harsh consequences for the buyer. If created substance is enchanted, the enchantment simply disappeared as the substance.

This spell can be used offensively, for example by creating water in the lungs of an opponent or by
creating fire onto him. The target received opposed Resilience roll to resist.
rust
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Re: Elemental matter creation through sorcery ?

Postby rust » Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:52 pm

Guernicus wrote: Create (Gold) can be used to make temporary coins ...
I think this part is a bit over the top, because there the spell does not only
create a specific substance, it also divides the created substance into pieces
of a specific size and gives these pieces a specific, rather complex form -
this is not only the creation of a substance, it is also a replacement for the
successful use of a craft skill.
Guernicus
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Re: Elemental matter creation through sorcery ?

Postby Guernicus » Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:58 pm

Agreed.
I meant if you melt down magically created gold to make coins or anything else, potential benefits will be as temporary as the duration of the spell.
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Re: Elemental matter creation through sorcery ?

Postby Prime_Evil » Sun Mar 25, 2012 10:03 am

I would probably also require the caster to have an appropriate Craft skill to create complex substances - they have to understand the substance before they can create it. This prevents abuses such as summoning poisons or acids...
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Re: Elemental matter creation through sorcery ?

Postby alex_greene » Sun Mar 25, 2012 11:24 am

I have thought about this for a while, and it seems that in fantasy settings written by European and American authors, even the most powerful mages can only create raw matter in very small amounts. Some mindset harking back to the Talmud and the Bible, about emulating the Creator from those books and how Man should not be so presumptuous.

In order to be able to create matter, you need to have a whole metaphysic underpinning the mysticism of the setting. Perhaps you do not create anything, because in your setting everything that exists has already been created, and you are simply transporting something from another plane of existence, or some remote location in our plane of existence, to your location.

The concept of transporting something to and from a higher sphere could also account for shapeshifting, where someone can shapeshift into a beast and put on 25 SIZ. Where does the mass come from to turn into a dragon? Where does it go when he turns back, or when a werewolf reverts to human form? Higher plane of existence. Perhaps the spell summons the more massive body from a plane of existence where the spellcaster or the target is a man-wolf or a dragon.

So, say the caster throws a spell that "creates" 10 cubic metres of raw limenite to refine into the setting's Wondrous Metal of Whitetanium. Why can't he just summon up 10 cubic metres of pure refined Whitetanium? Because no higher plane of refined materials exists - the setting demands that the Prime Plane, the home setting, is the only world where Man has a foothold, the only place where materials can and must be worked and refined to be of use to Man.

This generates more interesting consequences, such as the "Create Wood" spell just creating 10 cubic metres of uncut greenwood still in the bark.

Or perhaps the spell truly creates, weaving the matter's Pattern into being as an imago, a construct without substance, and turning it from a mere Potentiality into actual raw matter with some undefinable Mana or Baraka that makes things exist. A "Destroy" spell might simply cause the underlying Mana to disperse, removing the intrinsic field from the created matter - but can the "Destroy" spell remove the intrinsic field from something not created through the "Create" spell? At which point our philosophical mage turns blue, glowing, hairless and naked, with a hydrogen atom sign burned into his bald forehead.
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Re: Elemental matter creation through sorcery ?

Postby Prime_Evil » Sun Mar 25, 2012 12:51 pm

alex_greene wrote:I have thought about this for a while, and it seems that in fantasy settings written by European and American authors, even the most powerful mages can only create raw matter in very small amounts. Some mindset harking back to the Talmud and the Bible, about emulating the Creator from those books and how Man should not be so presumptuous.
I think one reason that fantasy authors have been cautious about the magical creation of matter ex nihilo is entirely pragmatic - it is a potential game-changer and thinking through all of the possible implications can be difficult.
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Re: Elemental matter creation through sorcery ?

Postby alex_greene » Sun Mar 25, 2012 1:09 pm

A bit like black powder, accurate timekeeping and the discovery of vaccination, in its way.

Which does remind me - if they can Create Gold, they can create the things that gold can buy with it, making the need for actual gold meaningless.

And if they stumble upon Create Diamonds, likewise, the spell can make the material worthless if they can virtually make the stuff cascade out of the sky like a glittering hail of rocks that can cut glass.

And what if they can develop something truly dangerous, such as Create Black Powder?
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rust
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Re: Elemental matter creation through sorcery ?

Postby rust » Sun Mar 25, 2012 1:27 pm

Prime_Evil wrote: I think one reason that fantasy authors have been cautious about the magical creation of matter ex nihilo is entirely pragmatic - it is a potential game-changer and thinking through all of the possible implications can be difficult.
The way I handle it in my Phalanos setting is that the matter is not
really created by the spell, it is only exchanged through a process
remotely similar to teleportation: When the sorcerer casts his Crea-
te Water to fill a waterskin, the air in the waterskin is transported to
"somewhere else" while the same volume of water from "somewhe-
re else" is transported into the waterskin. The "failure potential" of
the Create spells is the problem that the sorcerer cannot determine
where "somewhere else" is. For example, a spell failure during the
attempt to fill the waterskin of Character A could result in the wa-
ter coming from the full waterskin of Character B, which then con-
tains the air from Character A's waterskin. A spell failure during an
attempt to Create Gold could empty the purse of the merchant stan-
ding next to the sorcerer, who might wonder why his purse sudden-
ly becomes light while gold appeares in the hand of the caster ...

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