PDA

View Full Version : The physics of DnD (relativity vs. quantum)

golentan
2009-12-01, 02:32 AM
Okay. I commented on this briefly in another thread, long ago. Inspired by Lycanthromancer, I submit a conundrum for you, my fellow playgrounders.

NOTE: THIS IS NOT THE INVOCATION OF REAL WORLD PHYSICS. IT IS INTENDED AS A THOUGHT EXPERIMENT ON THE LAWS GOVERNING THE DND UNIVERSE.

The Setup: So, I am going to do a thought experiment here. We begin with a line of peasants approaching infinite length and a definite origin, and no DM fiat. They share common initiative, and dexterity (if necessary this may be modified so that initiative travels in order along the line) They all ready actions to seize a pole from their neighbor and then release it when it is seized as a full round action. At the line's origin a pole is delivered. This pole now travels the full length of the line in 6 seconds. However, a number of interesting features are now readily apparent.

1st: Relativity. The pole traverses the full line in a single round (6 seconds). Each peasant takes a full round to pass the item down the line to the next peasant. So, from the perspective of the moving object, one can say that for every unit of length in the line, the amount of time the object perceives itself moving is increased by 6 seconds. As the line approaches infinity, the object will age faster and faster relative to the outside universe, in direct opposition to real life relativity. It has a definite speed, and location, but an indefinite (or undefined) position in time.

2nd: Quantum dynamics. Each peasant takes 6 seconds to pass the object on. This is triggered immediately on the other person holding the pole at the beginning of the round, and takes the full 6 seconds. However, the next person in line also took exactly the same 6 seconds to perform this task. Thus, at the beginning of the round the pole was introduced and all the peasants seized the pole at the beginning, passed it on at the end, and it was delivered. The pole has the bizzarre trait of being an infinite number places simultaneously, but any attempt to break this causes it to materialize as a single object at the point of observation. It possesses no speed or location, but occupies a definite space in time.

3rd: Linear Teleportation. Original credit to Kjones. The amount of time that the pole takes to traverse any distance by railgun is six seconds. The amount of time that each individual holds the object thus scales linearly without affecting their action economy, in inverse proportion to the length of the line. Thus, as the line stretches to infinity, the limit of this is 0 (limit of 1/x as x goes to infinity), thus the amount of time the pole spends occupying any space is 0. The pole therefore has a speed and a definite position in time, but no location.

So, obviously both of these things cannot be true, but both of them fit known data. Which is the proper interpretation? Or, like in real world quantum-relativistic duality, are they both true and I have simply failed to reconcile them so far?

Reinboom
2009-12-01, 02:42 AM
Given the simple basis that there is a requirement and choice to be made to deliver the pole with each individual commoner and that in order for any one commoner and all future iterations of commoners in order to have accessed the pole at all, the pole must have first been accepted and passed by the previous commoner.
Reliance.

With that in mind, the closest theory that would best describe it with only the two limitations to posted would be your relativity.

*twitch* *twitch* Be careful, you may or may not blow up the world/cause the world to blow herself up.

golentan
2009-12-01, 02:47 AM
Given the simple basis that there is a requirement and choice to be made to deliver the pole with each individual commoner and that in order for any one commoner and all future iterations of commoners in order to have accessed the pole at all, the pole must have first been accepted and passed by the previous commoner.
Reliance.

With that in mind, the closest theory that would best describe it with only the two limitations to posted would be your relativity.

*twitch* *twitch* Be careful, you may or may not blow up the world/cause the world to blow herself up.

While reliance is necessary, the fact that the chain exists and is uninterrupted allows simultaneous transmission under the quantum (where as long as there is the potential for a chain, a simultaneous transfer occurs). I think by RAW the quantum theory is actually a closer simulation of how the rules model turns. I'll try to rein myself in though. I wouldn't want to kill all the Catworlds. :smalltongue:

Draz74
2009-12-01, 02:50 AM
Having studied quantum mechanics in college, the second explanation makes far more sense to me than the first.

kjones
2009-12-01, 10:07 AM
As a physics student, I am obligated to take the simplest explanation, which is that the system makes no damn sense whatsoever.

Let's take the second case - you can't say that the pole has no definite location, because you can interact with it at any point along the line. Let's say that one of these peasants somehow has the ability to make an attack as a swift action. (I'm sure that there's some way to do this. If not, let's say that they're a high level druid casting a quickened shillegah on the staff as it goes by.) You can't say that it's "materializing" at a single point, since every person in the line could do this. So it's occupying a definite position at a definite time. (Have them use their attack to hit a clock.)

I think the flaw in your logic is the bit at which you take things to infinity. We have no reason to believe that the universe in D&D is infinite. If your line of commoners is limited to finite length, each transfer can take place over a very small, but nonzero, amount of time. (In the real world, there is a limit on how small this time interval could be - but D&D has no such limitation.)

root9125
2009-12-01, 10:39 AM
Let's take the second case - you can't say that the pole has no definite location, because you can interact with it at any point along the line. Let's say that one of these peasants somehow has the ability to make an attack as a swift action. (I'm sure that there's some way to do this. If not, let's say that they're a high level druid casting a quickened shillegah on the staff as it goes by.) You can't say that it's "materializing" at a single point, since every person in the line could do this. So it's occupying a definite position at a definite time. (Have them use their attack to hit a clock.)

Haven't taken as many physics classes as the OP, but Wikipedia knows all.

Some of its predictions and implications go against the "common sense" of how humans see a set of bodies (a system) behave...
QM says that the most complete description of a system is its wavefunction, which is just a number varying between time and place. One can derive things from the wavefunction, such as the position of a particle, or its momentum. Yet the wavefunction describes probabilities, and some physical quantities which classical physics would assume are both fully defined together simultaneously for a system are not simultaneously given definite values in QM. It is not that the experimental equipment is not precise enough - the two quantities in question just really aren't defined at the same time by the Universe.

That last bit is the important part. In the D&D universe, the position and velocity of an object being sent down a line of readied actions are not defined at the same time. It's just macro-quantum mechanics.

There is, however, a method to break the quantum wavefunction and bring the object back to normal space. Disrupt the chain.

drengnikrafe
2009-12-01, 11:00 AM
RAW is full of wonders like this.
In any case, given that that would actually work, I would have to go with the second theory. First, because it makes more sense in my head, because I'm already used to strange things like that. Secondly, because if the pole was traveling at infinite velocity (which it more or less would be by the very end of an infinite chain of commoners), and the last commoner decided to throw it instead of just holding it, the target would then be struck by a pole traveling so fast, that the strike would almost definitely destroy it. That is to say that any object struck by another object at light speed. This is because (as far as I can see), while the pole has an indefinite space in time, it's velocity would have to continue increasing in order to have it take up the same 6 seconds to the commoners.

Also, @kjones, many of the planes are infinite, and being told that a plane is infinite is, to me, a pretty good reason to say it's infinite.

Kalirren
2009-12-01, 11:03 AM
Okay. I commented on this briefly in another thread, long ago. Inspired by Lycanthromancer, I submit a conundrum for you, my fellow playgrounders.

The Setup: So, I am going to do a thought experiment here. We begin with a line of peasants approaching infinite length and a definite origin, and no DM fiat. They share common initiative, and dexterity (if necessary this may be modified so that initiative travels in order along the line) They all ready actions to seize a pole from their neighbor and then release it when it is seized as a full round action. At the line's origin a pole is delivered. This pole now travels the full length of the line in 6 seconds. However, a number of interesting features are now readily apparent.

1st: Relativity. The pole traverses the full line in a single round (6 seconds). Each peasant takes a full round to pass the item down the line to the next peasant. So, from the perspective of the moving object, one can say that for every unit of length in the line, the amount of time the object perceives itself moving is increased by 6 seconds. As the line approaches infinity, the object will age faster and faster relative to the outside universe, in direct opposition to real life relativity. It has a definite speed, and location, but an indefinite (or undefined) position in time.

2nd: Quantum dynamics. Each peasant takes 6 seconds to pass the object on. This is triggered immediately on the other person holding the pole at the beginning of the round, and takes the full 6 seconds. However, the next person in line also took exactly the same 6 seconds to perform this task. Thus, at the beginning of the round the pole was introduced and all the peasants seized the pole at the beginning, passed it on at the end, and it was delivered. The pole has the bizzarre trait of being an infinite number places simultaneously, but any attempt to break this causes it to materialize as a single object at the point of observation. It possesses no speed or location, but occupies a definite space in time.

So, obviously both of these things cannot be true, but both of them fit known data. Which is the proper interpretation? Or, like in real world quantum-relativistic duality, are they both true and I have simply failed to reconcile them so far?

Yes. You've failed to reconcile them. In fact, you've just demonstrated that D&D relativity works the exact opposite way as real-world relativity does. In the real world, the faster a clock travels inside a reference frame, the slower that clock ticks with respect to a clock stationary in that reference frame. In D&D, the faster something travels, the faster its clock ticks.

Suppose what was being handed around wasn't a pole, but a heavy clock that takes a standard action to pass on. (After all, you can't ready a full-round action.) You have your very long commoner railgun set up where each commoner readies an action to pass the clock on as a standard action. You fire it by giving the first commoner a clock.

In the commoners' reference frame, the clock is passed from one side to the other within a single round, because of the way readied actions work in the initiative order. An external clock in the commoner's reference frame shows that one round has passed by the time that the clock has made it to the other side.

In the clock's reference frame, each commoner who passes it on takes a standard action to do so. Thus, by the end of the line of N commoners, it's experienced N standard actions, and thus reports that at least N rounds have passed.

Thus, the faster something travels, the faster its clock ticks. That's special relativity, D&D style. I have no idea how this affects proper time, or the geometry of the resulting spacetime.

There is nothing wrong with this because of relativity of simultaneity (that is to say in D&D terms, things moving with high relative velocity don't share initiative counts with each other.) You can't say, in the commoner's frame of reference, "I stop the clock when it gets to commoner #577" because there is no well-defined "when". The well-defined "when" only exists in the clock's frame of reference. This avoids your quantum problem.

Edit: Appendix: I suppose now we also have an explanation for why the commoner railgun doesn't -do- anything. You can fire a pole off of a commoner railgun very very quickly, but it doesn't do any damage, because its clock is ticking so -fast- that its momentum becomes tiny.

I guess we have to go back to the old-fashioned way of killing catgirls, then. *shcklurt*

Kzickas
2009-12-01, 11:34 AM
a more applicable question is what happens if you synchronize two clocks, and place one at each en of a line of three or more people. In one round one of the clocks is moved all the way along the line by each person using a full round action to pass it to the next person. The last person compares the time on the two clocks. Each full round action takes an entire round (6 seconds) to complete so it would seem like 12 or more seconds have passed for the clock being passed along the line (6 seconds from first to second person, 6 more from second to third) so it would seem like the clock being passed along the line should have experienced more time than the control clock!

golentan
2009-12-01, 01:02 PM
Yep, I realize that most of this makes no sense. And that the relativity is opposite from real world relativity.

But physics, and science in general, is nothing more than explaining the universe as it exists. Fortunately, we have a universe where all the fundamental rules are given to us! If only we could test. If someone has an alternate explanation for how the pole passes through the line in the known timeframe, please post it and I'll put it in the OP with a credit to you (really, I think such a thing would be really cool).

Kzickas' test would be a good test in this case.

@Kjones: As a physics student you're obliged to take the simplest solution that fits all known data. You can't say "the system makes no sense" any more than you could say that if a coworker walked through a concrete wall without damage to either. After satisfying yourself it wasn't an illusion, you should point every sensor device you can grab at the wall and say "Let's see repeatability." In this case the pole resolves at the point where the chain is broken and doesn't undergo its fluctuating state anywhere past that point, possibly even before the chain is resolved? Hmm. Now could we use that to violate causality by 6 seconds?

Ormagoden
2009-12-01, 01:13 PM
Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.

Sliver
2009-12-01, 01:22 PM
Little mechanical note that adds nothing to the actual discussion but I will add it anyway..

Yes, you can only ready a standard action. But there is no need to ready actions here. Delaying works just fine. Okay bye bye! :smallbiggrin:

Slayn82
2009-12-01, 01:56 PM
Interesting. Kinda remembers me of the throwing mechanic in the Disgaea game, where you can pick an member of your team and throw him further, eventually allowing a char to transverse a great distance in the scenario this way. Or the dwagons relay system in Erfworld.:smallbiggrin: It's actually a good plan when you have giants or trolls at your side in a D&D game.

Not that it never happened in game... I once saw a sword receive 5 spells in one round, and then be returned to the original owner that had been disarmed by an ally for him do a full attack.

The scenario 1 has the little trouble that you define that each peasant uses a full round action to receive and pass the pole. So the pole changes hands after 6 seconds. But works fine if we use the rules for disarm as a readied action, with each peasant in a line disarming the previous, who voluntarily fails the check.

Now, what happens if we substitute the infinite line of peasants for an circle/ring of peasants and the pole for an small frog? After some passings, would it eventually return to the first peasant who is already in the next round, while still being in the same initiative? or at the last peasant before the first, the round "ends" and the initiatives are re-synchronized?

Tehnar
2009-12-01, 01:58 PM
The problem here is you are using a abstract system and trying to impose real life physics on it. What people forget is that most physical theories are just models; and as such only work within certain boundaries.

The same with roleplaying systems. They work within certain boundaries. I seriously doubt that the designers of 3.5 (or for that matter any RP system) decided to take relativity into account when designing their mechanics.

That said and done if you want to have fun with it; I would take a whack at it with quantum field theory.

Doc Roc
2009-12-01, 02:05 PM
No. D&D runs on Grubbsian physics, which has a single axiom:

Rule of cool.

I know the DMG suggests otherwise, but jesus, don't use that. Please, don't. If you start trying to inject physics, nothing good comes of it. Also, you'll find that a lot of the RAW isn't physically plausible. My suggestion is to keep it, if you must, strictly Newtonian because at least then you won't have to deal with players who have no grasp of what modern physics actually looks like trying to "Use the uncertainty principle!"

That's just tons of fun, trust me.

Kzickas
2009-12-01, 02:10 PM
Interesting. Kinda remembers me of the throwing mechanic in the Disgaea game, where you can pick an member of your team and throw him further, eventually allowing a char to transverse a great distance in the scenario this way. Or the dwagons relay system in Erfworld.:smallbiggrin: It's actually a good plan when you have giants or trolls at your side in a D&D game.

Not that it never happened in game... I once saw a sword receive 5 spells in one round, and then be returned to the original owner that had been disarmed by an ally for him do a full attack.

The scenario 1 has the little trouble that you define that each peasant uses a full round action to receive and pass the pole. So the pole changes hands after 6 seconds. But works fine if we use the rules for disarm as a readied action, with each peasant in a line disarming the previous, who voluntarily fails the check.

Now, what happens if we substitute the infinite line of peasants for an circle/ring of peasants and the pole for an small frog? After some passings, would it eventually return to the first peasant who is already in the next round, while still being in the same initiative? or at the last peasant before the first, the round "ends" and the initiatives are re-synchronized?

It's possible to mount or dismount a horse as a free action, allowing you to travel the lenght of any line of horses with no loss of actions at ALL

Doc Roc
2009-12-01, 02:11 PM
It is also possible to turn around freely, allowing you to rotate at infinite speed and detonate.

Yep, this sounds like the real world.... wait a sec...

Ormagoden
2009-12-01, 02:14 PM
It is also possible to turn around freely, allowing you to rotate at infinite speed and detonate.

Yep, this sounds like the real world.... wait a sec...

If we can work in ranged attacks I think we can get a functioning Death Blossom!

kjones
2009-12-01, 02:44 PM
@Kjones: As a physics student you're obliged to take the simplest solution that fits all known data. You can't say "the system makes no sense" any more than you could say that if a coworker walked through a concrete wall without damage to either. After satisfying yourself it wasn't an illusion, you should point every sensor device you can grab at the wall and say "Let's see repeatability." In this case the pole resolves at the point where the chain is broken and doesn't undergo its fluctuating state anywhere past that point, possibly even before the chain is resolved? Hmm. Now could we use that to violate causality by 6 seconds?

The problem here is that the "data" is flat-out contradictory. How can you impose a set of logical rules on a world that lacks them? Your interpretation is that the pole exists simultaneously at every point along the chain. Mine is that a small amount of time passes between each transfer, as evidenced by the fact that every person in the chain can perform some action with the stick that takes a small, but finite, amount of time. How can we design an experiment to test this?

golentan
2009-12-01, 02:48 PM
The problem here is you are using a abstract system and trying to impose real life physics on it. What people forget is that most physical theories are just models; and as such only work within certain boundaries.

The same with roleplaying systems. They work within certain boundaries. I seriously doubt that the designers of 3.5 (or for that matter any RP system) decided to take relativity into account when designing their mechanics.

That said and done if you want to have fun with it; I would take a whack at it with quantum field theory.

I'm not imposing anything. I'm trying to explain what happens in the abstract system using only information we know about the abstract system, and it happens to match up closely enough I can use real world terms for a different set of phenomena.

And @Kjones: Well, that interpretation leads to scenario 1, where the moving body and associated objects (the peasants holding and immediately following the pole) suffer time dilation. But it's not the only interpretation, hence this whole thought experiment. I said the two were incompatible (or at least that I couldn't reconcile them).

Sliver
2009-12-01, 03:00 PM
Mine is that a small amount of time passes between each transfer, as evidenced by the fact that every person in the chain can perform some action with the stick that takes a small, but finite, amount of time. How can we design an experiment to test this?

But it takes each peasant to grab the pole from the one next to him and let the after him take it from him about 6 seconds..

The fact that all the peasants take their 6 seconds actions one right after the other, while still being in the same time frame of 6 seconds, has some logical issues..

Je dit Viola
2009-12-01, 03:22 PM
But it takes each peasant to grab the pole from the one next to him and let the after him take it from him about 6 seconds..

The fact that all the peasants take their 6 seconds actions one right after the other, while still being in the same time frame of 6 seconds, has some logical issues..

Advanced physics has some logical issues, but it's still true as far as the data we've seen suggests.

Like the Theory of Relativity (mentioned in the first post, by the way). Where time slows down and objects contract with quickly-moving objects. The DnD explanation, the opposite exists: time speeds up for the moving objects, and the object expands/lengthens, making it possible for everybody to grab it and pass it at the same time from a certain frame of reference.

Random832
2009-12-01, 03:32 PM
1st: Relativity.[/B] The pole traverses the full line in a single round (6 seconds). Each peasant takes a full round to pass the item down the line to the next peasant. So, from the perspective of the moving object, one can say that for every unit of length in the line, the amount of time the object perceives itself moving is increased by 6 seconds.

wait, wait, wait...

What if it's an animated ten-foot pole? It only gets one round to act, right? So isn't the time it perceives itself moving only 6 seconds?

golentan
2009-12-01, 03:39 PM
wait, wait, wait...

What if it's an animated ten-foot pole? It only gets one round to act, right? So isn't the time it perceives itself moving only 6 seconds?

I think for that we have to delve into such a meta mess I'm not going to touch it with... Well, with a ten foot pole. But maybe this principle is the same one on which White Raven Tactics is based? Or perhaps reflexes slow even though perceived time increases? In which case traveling rapidly might actually be harmful in and of itself for dnd creatures?

Or maybe explanation 2 (quantum) is more true? I refuse to accept a system that is too inconsistent to accommodate fast moving animate objects. (I actually lean towards version 2, since as I recall the ruling on the original peasant railgun was that it didn't function as a railgun at all).

Je Dit Viola: I couldn't have put it better myself. Thank you.

boomwolf
2009-12-01, 04:16 PM
a more applicable question is what happens if you synchronize two clocks, and place one at each en of a line of three or more people. In one round one of the clocks is moved all the way along the line by each person using a full round action to pass it to the next person. The last person compares the time on the two clocks. Each full round action takes an entire round (6 seconds) to complete so it would seem like 12 or more seconds have passed for the clock being passed along the line (6 seconds from first to second person, 6 more from second to third) so it would seem like the clock being passed along the line should have experienced more time than the control clock!

Wonder what happens when we toss in a THIRD clock to be teleported to the same distance (still takes a single round.)

Now you have 3 cases:
1-still clock, sane time. (6 seconds)
2-clock moving faster then light, insane time. (6 seconds per 5 feet)
3-clock moving faster then light, sane time. (6 seconds)

Why is the difference? both clocks traveled from the same point of origin to the same end at the same timeframe (for the outside observer known as clock 1) so TECHNICALLY they traveled at the same speed.
How can both give different results?

kjones
2009-12-01, 04:36 PM
I think for that we have to delve into such a meta mess I'm not going to touch it with... Well, with a ten foot pole. But maybe this principle is the same one on which White Raven Tactics is based? Or perhaps reflexes slow even though perceived time increases? In which case traveling rapidly might actually be harmful in and of itself for dnd creatures?

Or maybe explanation 2 (quantum) is more true? I refuse to accept a system that is too inconsistent to accommodate fast moving animate objects. (I actually lean towards version 2, since as I recall the ruling on the original peasant railgun was that it didn't function as a railgun at all).

Je Dit Viola: I couldn't have put it better myself. Thank you.

That's funny - I have no trouble whatsoever accepting an RPG system that lacks internal consistency when it comes to ridiculous thought experiments. The animated pole example was what I was getting at when I said that D&D might just be lacking in internal consistency - other than the rulebooks, I suppose. (If you don't want to use an animated pole, have them pass along a pixie or something.)

That being said, consider the following explanation to reconcile the "relativistic" theory. While it may take a full-round action for each commoner to pass the pole, that doesn't mean that it takes six seconds - the act of preparing for the pole, and passing it along, is so physically exhausting that you simply can't take any other actions (other than free or swift actions) that round. The actual act of passing the pole requires an amount of time proportional to the number of people in the chain. Thus, the pole experiences six seconds of time passing in its own frame.

I believe that this theory is consistent with everything that has been said thus far, and it's certainly no less absurd than some of the others.

golentan
2009-12-01, 05:04 PM
That's funny - I have no trouble whatsoever accepting an RPG system that lacks internal consistency when it comes to ridiculous thought experiments. The animated pole example was what I was getting at when I said that D&D might just be lacking in internal consistency - other than the rulebooks, I suppose. (If you don't want to use an animated pole, have them pass along a pixie or something.)

That being said, consider the following explanation to reconcile the "relativistic" theory. While it may take a full-round action for each commoner to pass the pole, that doesn't mean that it takes six seconds - the act of preparing for the pole, and passing it along, is so physically exhausting that you simply can't take any other actions (other than free or swift actions) that round. The actual act of passing the pole requires an amount of time proportional to the number of people in the chain. Thus, the pole experiences six seconds of time passing in its own frame.

I believe that this theory is consistent with everything that has been said thus far, and it's certainly no less absurd than some of the others.

But at that point the time to pass the pole is the limit as x goes to infinity of 1/x. (1 being a round) Which is 0. The pole thus does teleport, as it occupies each square for 0 seconds. Now we have a new conundrum, shall I add it to the OP?

Doc Roc
2009-12-01, 05:05 PM
Advanced physics has some logical issues, but it's still true as far as the data we've seen suggests.

Like the Theory of Relativity (mentioned in the first post, by the way). Where time slows down and objects contract with quickly-moving objects. The DnD explanation, the opposite exists: time speeds up for the moving objects, and the object expands/lengthens, making it possible for everybody to grab it and pass it at the same time from a certain frame of reference.

So.... How.... much in the way of theoretical optimization have you seen?
And how much do you actually know about higher level physics?

How, for example, does divination interact with quantum entanglement?
How does information theory interact with teleportation?
What are the implications of implementable hypercomputing?
How do ring gates interact with varying local gravities?

These are questions that have no remotely sensible answer. Certainly no answer that I consider worth including in any game I plan to ever run.

golentan
2009-12-01, 05:09 PM
So.... How.... much in the way of theoretical optimization have you seen?
And how much do you actually know about higher level physics?

How, for example, does divination interact with quantum entanglement?
How does information theory interact with teleportation?

These are questions that have no remotely sensible answer.

This is irrelevant. In this case Viola's point (and mine) is that like real world physics we have multiple states which we cannot yet reconcile, but know to be true because the universe functions. In the case of the real world we lack adequate measures to describe the rules by which it does.

In DnD, we know the rules, and are trying to reconstruct from them the way the universe functions on a more theoretical level. It's like being given a textbook on newtonian physics, information about mercury's orbit, and trying to reconstruct special relativity.

We're not invoking real world physics. At all.

Doc Roc
2009-12-01, 05:12 PM
Then I suspect you should change the title of the thread and the OP. Because I didn't realize that until you said it.

Demented
2009-12-01, 06:25 PM
Why does it have to be a real world analogue?
Relativity and Quantum physics are meant to describe the real world, with whatever 'rules' it appears to have. DnD has different rules (as do most fictional worlds), so why not choose something more appropriate rather than fitting a round peg in a square hole? For that matter, DnD has the rules written out and we know they work that way, whereas in the real world we have only fallibly empirical evidence of how the rules work.

And why has only one person suggested Newtonian physics? :smallbiggrin:

......

A round always takes six seconds, regardless of the actions contained within. Once all possible actions are taken or passed over in a round, the entire world 'ticks' 6 seconds forward to the next round. (The sun moves that fraction of a degree, a clock's second hand moves 6 places, every character's lifespan accumulates 6 more seconds, etc.)

Time is irrelevant to actions (standard, full round, move, sudden, swift, free) as they take no time to complete, but are arbitrarily limited to being a certain number within a round.

The position of a rod being moved along an arbitrarily long line of peasants is thus in the possession of each peasant as it is handed along. Its 'velocity' (d/t) as it moves from one peasant to another is probably infinite due to its instantaneous movement across the entire distance, since actions take no time to perform, but this does not matter since DnD has no functions for time dilation or inertia or, for that matter, velocity. Functionally, it is stationary as it moves.

From an objective viewpoint outside of the round–and from a subjective viewpoint in a subsequent round–the rod moves instantaneously from one end to the other without consequence, and, in the process, consuming a rather large number of peasants' standard actions. At some point while this was occurring, six seconds have also (perhaps instantaneously) passed.

From a subjective viewpoint inside of the round, the rod moves instantaneously and all peasants have a conscious memory of having observed the rod being passed along, but with no real awareness of the time taken other than that it is now six seconds later.

......

There is another possibility: Actions take a measurable subset of the time in a round. Nonetheless, a round still takes six seconds regardless of the actions contained within. This way, time is subjectively measured in two dimensions: Actions and rounds.

From an objective viewpoint, this would probably appear like an exceptionally long movie being fast forwarded to where it takes only six seconds. Again, there is no velocity or inertia in DnD, so this doesn't produce any physics issues, though it may be difficult for someone outside of a round to interact with someone inside of a round. (Fortunately, the only objective observers in DnD exist outside of time itself, and for them time proceeds only as quickly as they can roll dice and read lookup tables. :smallwink: )

From a subjective viewpoint, the peasant at the end of the line may end up waiting a long time for the pole to finally reach him, but he will subjectively consider the time passed to be no greater than six seconds, even if this particular round may have taken several orders of magnitude longer to complete than the usual six seconds.

......

The first option is probably preferable, since if we presume that the entire universe participates in the same round, and each individual creature gets an an action, then each peasant could end up tapping his foot for a very, very long time. It's bad enough when the initiative line is effectively infinite!

golentan
2009-12-01, 06:45 PM
Why does it have to be a real world analogue?
Relativity and Quantum physics are meant to describe the real world, with whatever 'rules' it appears to have. DnD has different rules (as do most fictional worlds), so why not choose something more appropriate rather than fitting a round peg in a square hole? For that matter, DnD has the rules written out and we know they work that way, whereas in the real world we have only fallibly empirical evidence of how the rules work.

And why has only one person suggested Newtonian physics? :smallbiggrin:

I chose the names because they are appropriate analogues to what may be happening, and thus serve to get people in the proper mindset. I'm not using real world relativity, quantum mechanics, or newtonian physics.

And my problem with just using a timestep methodology is that we are told that that isn't actually how the world functions. Here (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/combat/actionsInCombat.htm#theCombatRound) we see that rounds don't have a proper beginning or end, and that they are, in fact, continuous. The length of one is still six seconds. Even if that weren't true, however, it still doesn't change the theories of motion we can use with the world. It just means we have to adjust a formal write up to account for time stepping, which would probably use a different setup in the initial thought experiment. So in your first example, we might wind up having a step theory, where DV/DT is infinite for any distance traveled but the object doesn't travel an infinite distance. There it would probably be better to have two people pass a pole back and forth for the experiment.

kjones
2009-12-01, 06:59 PM
With regards to "linear teleportation", I stand by my previous point, which is that the D&D multiverse is, AFAICT, finite. Therefore, taking the limit as the length of the chain goes to infinity is meaningless, and the pole always has a well-defined position.

golentan
2009-12-01, 07:02 PM
Most planes are infinite, or at least so large that they may as well be infinite.

You stand corrected. Not only is there infinite space, there are multiple infinite spaces in which to work. If we can get enough people, of course.

Maybe the modrons would be willing to help?

Frosty
2009-12-01, 07:14 PM
Why does it have to be a real world analogue?
Relativity and Quantum physics are meant to describe the real world, with whatever 'rules' it appears to have. DnD has different rules (as do most fictional worlds), so why not choose something more appropriate rather than fitting a round peg in a square hole?
......

A round always takes six seconds, regardless of the actions contained within. Once all possible actions are taken or passed over in a round, the entire world 'ticks' 6 seconds forward to the next round. (The sun moves that fraction of a degree, a clock's second hand moves 6 places, every character's lifespan accumulates 6 more seconds, etc.)

Time is irrelevant to actions (standard, full round, move, sudden, swift, free) as they take no time to complete, but are arbitrarily limited to being a certain number within a round.

Speaking of this...has anyone tried resolving the issue of time and physics and such in the world of Erfworld? Parsons tried understanding it to no avail.

Foryn Gilnith
2009-12-01, 07:17 PM
Whatever the authors say it is. Erfworld isn't like 3.5 D&D where we have the rules in front of us, unchanging and constant; it is mutable at the whim of a creator.

kjones
2009-12-01, 08:43 PM
You stand corrected. Not only is there infinite space, there are multiple infinite spaces in which to work. If we can get enough people, of course.

Maybe the modrons would be willing to help?

I don't know, the difference between "infinite" and "really big" is pretty important. Most importantly, is the Prime Material plane finite or infinite? Because if your physics starts getting into planar transitions, then you shouldn't be surprised when everything goes crazy.

golentan
2009-12-01, 08:56 PM
I don't know, the difference between "infinite" and "really big" is pretty important. Most importantly, is the Prime Material plane finite or infinite? Because if your physics starts getting into planar transitions, then you shouldn't be surprised when everything goes crazy.

But it doesn't even particularly matter given that it's a thought experiment.

And it specifically says "infinite." And talks about the few "Really big" finite planes separately.

kjones
2009-12-01, 09:38 PM
OK, but even then, we have to reconcile the fact that the quarterstaff must spend a non-zero amount of time in each square. This is because each commoner can do something with the stick that would require a nonzero amount of time (a swift or free action).

If the mathematics we're using right now say that the amount of time the staff spends with each member of an infinite chain is 0... then the math is wrong.

Froogleyboy
2009-12-01, 09:40 PM
please think of the catgirls :'(

Foryn Gilnith
2009-12-01, 09:44 PM
Catgirls can die along with that whole damn overused meme. Worse than Lightning Warriors (srsly just take Obtain Familiar lol)

AshDesert
2009-12-01, 09:48 PM
So, just a question that may or may not be relevant to the conversation. Has anyone thought of the fact that (assuming the relativity theory is true) the air resistance acting on the rod would be tremendous, and that the rod would be completely disintegrated? Of course, that's assuming that air is the same thing in D&D as it is IRL (i.e. very small particles with enough space in between them so that there's almost no surface tension), or that we're going with the RAW craziness of death having no negative effects and the commoners are floating in space:smallbiggrin:. Since there's no indication (that I know of) of D&D having air like ours, I guess it's safe to assume for a thought experiment that there is no air resistance. Of course, there's also the possibility that all of the commoners are petitioners on an airless infinite plane, again negating air resistance:smalltongue:.

Tehnar
2009-12-01, 09:50 PM
Since we are in the domain of relativistic DnD, I think its safe to say anything goes.

kjones
2009-12-01, 10:13 PM
So, just a question that may or may not be relevant to the conversation. Has anyone thought of the fact that (assuming the relativity theory is true) the air resistance acting on the rod would be tremendous, and that the rod would be completely disintegrated? Of course, that's assuming that air is the same thing in D&D as it is IRL (i.e. very small particles with enough space in between them so that there's almost no surface tension), or that we're going with the RAW craziness of death having no negative effects and the commoners are floating in space:smallbiggrin:. Since there's no indication (that I know of) of D&D having air like ours, I guess it's safe to assume for a thought experiment that there is no air resistance. Of course, there's also the possibility that all of the commoners are petitioners on an airless infinite plane, again negating air resistance:smalltongue:.

The only rule for drag in D&D is, as far as I know, the fact that falling damage caps out at 20d6. This would imply some sort of terminal velocity, and therefore some sort of drag. Technically, by RAW, however, this cap would apply even in a vacuum, so... maybe not.

Anyway, I'm pretty sure that in D&D, air is an element, not a bunch of particles. (Now there's an interesting question... design an experiment that would determine whether or not D&D universe is a continuum, or mostly empty space, like our universe.) Either way, there's not really any rules for air resistance. There are, however, rules for passing quarterstaves really fast - hence the discussion.

Demented
2009-12-01, 11:32 PM
If there's no rules for air resistance, it doesn't exist. :D
(Even if there were, they probably wouldn't apply to an object moving from one hand to another, on the presumption that it's not traveling at a particularly high speed.)

And my problem with just using a timestep methodology is that we are told that that isn't actually how the world functions. Here (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/combat/actionsInCombat.htm#theCombatRound) we see that rounds don't have a proper beginning or end, and that they are, in fact, continuous.
Well, the timestepping isn't crucial. Actually, it was an error because I had forgotten most of this, but...

For almost all purposes, there is no relevance to the end of a round or the beginning of a round.
Objectively, the beginning and end of the round do exist. Subjectively, it isn't noticed because your view of the round is based on 'this instant' to 'the equivalent instant in your last turn'.

Also, I'd rather like to stick with the Commoner Railgun example.
It presents a rather challenging example of physics for DnD.
Ex: The second commoner must wait for the first commoner's full round action to complete before he can pick up the quarterstaff and assume his full round action. Supposedly, a full round action should take six seconds and thus anyone waiting for a full round action to complete will only be able to act in the next round. However, because of the initiative system, the second commoner uses his full round action in this round, adding another six seconds of activity. All subsequent commoners do the same. DnD presumes that these actions should be occurring concurrently, but logically we assume they are occurring consecutively, creating a round that could potentially last for an arbitrarily large number of seconds.

The Relativity example doesn't really solve this. It just shows unfortunate consequences for the quarterstaff.
The Quantum Dynamics solves this by using nonlinear time. Each commoner starts from the round's beginning, starting with the results from the previous commoner's turn.
KJones' example (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7418798&postcount=26) solves this by compressing time (arguably, this is closer to relativity than the Relativity example) so that the whole event fits within six seconds.
My first example (the second was rather like KJones' idea) solves this by making the passage of time subjective, in metagame fashion.

kjones
2009-12-02, 12:19 AM
KJones' example (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7418798&postcount=26) solves this by compressing time (arguably, this is closer to relativity than the Relativity example) so that the whole event fits within six seconds.

I'm not sure you understood my explanation. I am arguing that a full-round action need not take six seconds - all we know about full-round actions is that they preclude one from taking any other actions (save free or swift) during a round. I argue that a full-round action may, in fact, be completed in arbitrarily short quantities of time.

However, I believe I may have found a flaw in my own logic. What if we give each commoner a Belt of Battle? We'd have to come up with a way to determine the exact amount of time it takes to perform some kind of action. (For example, I would argue that it would probably be a standard action to slowly count to three... but that's not really RAW.) Anyway, then we'd know exactly how long the stick spends with each commoner.

Sliver
2009-12-02, 12:53 AM
If, in game, all actions in a round are taken at the same time, what is the difference between a full round action and a 1 turn one (like spells)?

One takes an instant but you can't do anything else (so you can't interrupt the action in the middle unless you were ready for it) and the other takes 6 seconds, I guess..

I agree with the assumption that actions don't really take some specific time to finish.. You could ready an standard action (say scorching ray) to be activated by a free action (a specific gesture) and the standard action will be finished before the free action one..

CasESenSITItiVE
2009-12-02, 05:33 PM
i have never taken a physics class, and thus can't follow what's going on here (i can't even tell if this is just nonsense). but i do know this:

this is why i love the internet!

Dervag
2009-12-02, 06:16 PM
As one of the board's handful of actual physicists or physicists-in-training, I felt compelled to reply to the original post. I apologize in advance if I repeat anything already posted, but due to time constraints I could only skim the actual thread if I wanted to reply to this at all.

Let us first establish that the fundamental unit of distance in D&D is the "squareside" (the edge length of a 5 by 5 foot square), the fundamental unit of time is the "round" (six seconds), and the fundamental unit of mass is the "gold piece" (one fiftieth of a pound).

The Setup: [/B]So, I am going to do a thought experiment here. We begin with a line of peasants approaching infinite length and a definite origin, and no DM fiat. They share common initiative, and dexterity (if necessary this may be modified so that initiative travels in order along the line) They all ready actions to seize a pole from their neighbor and then release it when it is seized as a full round action. At the line's origin a pole is delivered. This pole now travels the full length of the line in 6 seconds. However, a number of interesting features are now readily apparent.

1st: Relativity. The pole traverses the full line in a single round (6 seconds). Each peasant takes a full round to pass the item down the line to the next peasant. So, from the perspective of the moving object, one can say that for every unit of length in the line, the amount of time the object perceives itself moving is increased by 6 seconds. As the line approaches infinity, the object will age faster and faster relative to the outside universe, in direct opposition to real life relativity. It has a definite speed, and location, but an indefinite (or undefined) position in time.As you have noted, this thought experiment is an empirical refutation of Einsteinian special relativity in D&D. However, it is far from the only such refutation, and not the most obvious one present in the core ruleset, either.

The mere fact that spells such as Teleport and Sending exist allows for a number of situations in which we are either forced to accept a breakdown of causality (you receive my Sending and Send me a message in reply, which I receive before I Send my message to you)... or a nonrelativistic universe.

Moreover, there is little or no evidence to suggest special relativity in D&D. There is no reason to assume that the speed of light is a constant in setting, and an "ether" which might conceivably act as the medium through which light passes explicitly exists. Moreover, there is definitely a privileged frame of reference, in the form of the grid of squares (or, more generally, cubes) that makes up the Prime Material Plane, along with the steady "ticking" of the round-by-round passage of time.
_______

I note that there is no evidence that the commoner railgun can be used as a weapon, because there is no reliable mechanism for translating the mass or velocity of an object into the damage it causes on impact. For that matter, there is also very little evidence that the law of conservation of momentum applies consistently in D&D when the specialized D&D ruleset is in play (as with passing an object from one person to the next).

=====

2nd: Quantum dynamics. Each peasant takes 6 seconds to pass the object on. This is triggered immediately on the other person holding the pole at the beginning of the round, and takes the full 6 seconds. However, the next person in line also took exactly the same 6 seconds to perform this task. Thus, at the beginning of the round the pole was introduced and all the peasants seized the pole at the beginning, passed it on at the end, and it was delivered. The pole has the bizzarre trait of being an infinite number places simultaneously, but any attempt to break this causes it to materialize as a single object at the point of observation. It possesses no speed or location, but occupies a definite space in time.This proposition is questionable in that the pole may possess no definite position and still possess a definite momentum. Indeed, if the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle applies, the only way for the particle to possess a definite momentum is if the uncertainty in its position is absolute.

For an infinite line of commoners, the momentum of the pole is infinite so long as it continues to pass down the line. However, an infinite line of commoners is unphysical; for a finite line of commoners the momentum of the pole is finite in all frames of reference.

[I could be getting this wrong; it's been nearly two years since I last took quantum mechanics]

3rd: Linear Teleportation. Original credit to Kjones. The amount of time that the pole takes to traverse any distance by railgun is six seconds. The amount of time that each individual holds the object thus scales linearly without affecting their action economy, in inverse proportion to the length of the line. Thus, as the line stretches to infinity, the limit of this is 0 (limit of 1/x as x goes to infinity), thus the amount of time the pole spends occupying any space is 0. The pole therefore has a speed and a definite position in time, but no location.

So, obviously both of these things cannot be true, but both of them fit known data. Which is the proper interpretation? Or, like in real world quantum-relativistic duality, are they both true and I have simply failed to reconcile them so far?The QM interpretation does not require that the pole's momentum (and thus velocity) be indefinite. This reconciles (2) and (3), as now both interpretations predict that the pole has a definite speed and occupies a definite interval in time, but has no definite location unless you disable one or more commoners (preferably by throwing a housecat that has initiative on everyone in the chain at them).

Volos
2009-12-02, 06:23 PM
A round in D&D takes about six seconds, but everyone involved in the initative is assumed to be taking their actions semi-simultaneously. Every action is to happen within that six second span within some sort of turn order. So... it could be said that the peasants move the pole faster and faster untill it breaks the bounds of physics.

golentan
2009-12-02, 11:18 PM
@Dervag: Yep, as stated I'm not trying to tie this to real world physics. I'll take your word on the quantum stuff, but that's assuming that this matches with real world stuff. I'm trying to work backwards to a functioning governing system that is RAW compliant. In this case, I'm of the opinion that since it has no momentum and no definite location within the line in the quantum explanation, it has no speed. But I could be wrong with that.

If you're right, we can maybe reconcile 2 and 3, and wind up with a better representation? That would be great!

Dervag
2009-12-04, 01:16 PM
@Dervag: Yep, as stated I'm not trying to tie this to real world physics. I'll take your word on the quantum stuff, but that's assuming that this matches with real world stuff. I'm trying to work backwards to a functioning governing system that is RAW compliant. In this case, I'm of the opinion that since it has no momentum and no definite location within the line in the quantum explanation, it has no speed. But I could be wrong with that.

If you're right, we can maybe reconcile 2 and 3, and wind up with a better representation? That would be great!On a side note, quantum theory and relativity are reconciled to a very considerable extent. Relativistic quantum mechanics is the source of theories such as quantum electrodynamics (which explains why photons*).

*Not "why photons do X." "Why photons."
_______

The fundamental question is whether or not we regard the pole as accelerating or not. Clearly, a pole passed down a line of four commoners has a lower average velocity in squares per round than one passed down a line of forty, or four thousand.

In conventional physics, the answer would obviously be "yes, the pole experiences acceleration." Real world physics is local; all phenomena depend purely on what is happening at the point where the phenomenon takes place. Questions that are relevant include "what is the electric field where I am?" "Am I in contact with another object?" and such. In D&D terms, local effects include "Am I in a threatened square?" "Is this object attended or unattended?" and so forth.

In any event, locality implies that as the pole is handed from the second guy to the third, it has no way to know whether there are guys 4, 5, 6, ..., 40 in the line. Therefore, whatever speed the pole has when it reaches the third man in a line of forty is the same as the speed it has when it reaches the third man in a line of four. Thus, the pole takes more time to reach the end of the longer line, and has to accelerate as it is handed down the line in order to preserve an increasing average velocity.

However, if D&D core rulebook physics is nonlocal, then the pole need not experience acceleration, and may move at a constant velocity from one end of the line to the other.

Are there other examples of nonlocal physics?

MacGiolla
2009-12-04, 03:07 PM
What if, instead of passing a pole we had our commoners passing a wyrmling dragon. Can we use the reverse relativitly nature of this to artificially age the dragon in just one round? At least until the dragon becomes too big for them to pass anymore.

kjones
2009-12-04, 03:36 PM
Let us first establish that the fundamental unit of distance in D&D is the "squareside" (the edge length of a 5 by 5 foot square), the fundamental unit of time is the "round" (six seconds), and the fundamental unit of mass is the "gold piece" (one fiftieth of a pound).

Pounds are not a unit of mass. :smalltongue:

golentan
2009-12-04, 06:58 PM
Pounds are not a unit of mass. :smalltongue:

Not in real life. :smalltongue:

Dervag:I seem to recall that some early theories involved non-local physics. I could dig them out, but as I recall they were patently ridiculous (about as much so as astrology).

If it's accelerating we have to throw out conservation of energy and momentum, and we're back to using Impetus to explain why things move and then stop. But that was pretty much a given anyway.

Pigkappa
2009-12-04, 07:58 PM
In DnD, we know the rules, and are trying to reconstruct from them the way the universe functions on a more theoretical level. It's like being given a textbook on newtonian physics, information about mercury's orbit, and trying to reconstruct special relativity.

Sorry for trying to destroy your theories, but as a physics student, I feel like I have to do this :smallfrown:.
I'm confident that:

1) The rules we are given from the PH and DMG are not enough to build a complete mechanical theory.
2) It is quite likely that some sort of contradiction appears in the rules.

So, it is impossible to make a decent theory without using things we know are real in our world. For example, reading the DMG, I think it is possible to understand that an object falling from a cliff accelerates while it falls down; but there's no way we can describe the motion quantitatively.

Let's make an example.

1st: Relativity. The pole traverses the full line in a single round (6 seconds). Each peasant takes a full round to pass the item down the line to the next peasant. So, from the perspective of the moving object, one can say that for every unit of length in the line, the amount of time the object perceives itself moving is increased by 6 seconds. As the line approaches infinity, the object will age faster and faster relative to the outside universe, in direct opposition to real life relativity. It has a definite speed, and location, but an indefinite (or undefined) position in time.

You said that the line of peasants is infinite. I assume that you meant that in the lab reference frame. How can you say that the line is infinite also in the frame of the pole? In the real world, that would be based on common sense (in physics terms, if we assume the rod to have a finite and constant speed, that can be shown by Lorentz transformation, and therefore by the principles of special relativity). But in the messy D&D world, about which we have just a couple of texts which don't focus on the physics of the world, we can't make that assumption.

Another example:

The amount of time that the pole takes to traverse any distance by railgun is six seconds. The amount of time that each individual holds the object thus scales linearly without affecting their action economy, in inverse proportion to the length of the line.

Where does that "thus" come from? We aren't given any principles which say that the space is uniform (that is, that the law of physics are the same everywhere). So, why should the time a guy holds the pole scale linearly?

golentan
2009-12-04, 11:26 PM
Sorry for trying to destroy your theories, but as a physics student, I feel like I have to do this :smallfrown:.
I'm confident that:

1) The rules we are given from the PH and DMG are not enough to build a complete mechanical theory.
2) It is quite likely that some sort of contradiction appears in the rules.

1. Probably not, but that doesn't invalidate attempts.
2. Quite likely, but if so we can at least get that far and try to reconcile the 2 known facts rather than throwing in the towel.

Indulge me.

So, it is impossible to make a decent theory without using things we know are real in our world. For example, reading the DMG, I think it is possible to understand that an object falling from a cliff accelerates while it falls down; but there's no way we can describe the motion quantitatively.

Are we sure? We can establish that an object will fall 200 feet in any round it has nothing to support it against gravity's pull. We don't need to establish that it accelerates, all we need to know is that it falls at a constant rate of 200 ft / 6 seconds with force equal to distance (in feet) fallen within a round divided by 10 d6. Force = (Dh/10) * d6.

Let's make an example.

You said that the line of peasants is infinite. I assume that you meant that in the lab reference frame. How can you say that the line is infinite also in the frame of the pole? In the real world, that would be based on common sense (in physics terms, if we assume the rod to have a finite and constant speed, that can be shown by Lorentz transformation, and therefore by the principles of special relativity). But in the messy D&D world, about which we have just a couple of texts which don't focus on the physics of the world, we can't make that assumption.

We assume the length of the pole to be 10 feet because we are told it is a 10 ft. pole. We assume that the length doesn't change unless we come to a paradox that can only be resolved by the length of the pole changing. It is a thought experiment, no more, no less. We don't need to muddy it by assuming the worst without reason.

Another example:

Where does that "thus" come from? We aren't given any principles which say that the space is uniform (that is, that the law of physics are the same everywhere). So, why should the time a guy holds the pole scale linearly?

Because the assumption is that addition and division work the same way, apart from known differences (the force multipliers in critical hits, for example), are the only known exceptions to this rule. These are stated not to be true for in game values.

So when we have a linear increase (length of the line) and a constant time, the... you're right. It's not linear. But it's a curve where T goes to 0 as X goes to infinity. So I got sloppy when I got excited about the possibility of another explanation.

Fenix_of_Doom
2009-12-05, 10:36 AM
You can't say "the system makes no sense" any more than you could say that if a coworker walked through a concrete wall without damage to either. After satisfying yourself it wasn't an illusion, you should point every sensor device you can grab at the wall and say "Let's see repeatability." In this case the pole resolves at the point where the chain is broken and doesn't undergo its fluctuating state anywhere past that point, possibly even before the chain is resolved? Hmm. Now could we use that to violate causality by 6 seconds?

If your co-worker walked through a concrete wall without damaging either then (s)he obviously tunneled through, repeating the experiment is nonsensical because tunneling is a statistical effect.

Doc Roc
2009-12-05, 02:53 PM
Sorry for trying to destroy your theories, but as a physics student, I feel like I have to do this :smallfrown:.
I'm confident that:

1) The rules we are given from the PH and DMG are not enough to build a complete mechanical theory.
2) It is quite likely that some sort of contradiction appears in the rules.

So, it is impossible to make a decent theory without using things we know are real in our world. For example, reading the DMG, I think it is possible to understand that an object falling from a cliff accelerates while it falls down; but there's no way we can describe the motion quantitatively.

God Bless you.

Dervag
2009-12-05, 03:39 PM
Pounds are not a unit of mass. :smalltongue:They are in D&D.

Dervag:I seem to recall that some early theories involved non-local physics. I could dig them out, but as I recall they were patently ridiculous (about as much so as astrology).Yes, and in D&D astrology (or comparably ridiculous things) work.

Are we sure? We can establish that an object will fall 200 feet in any round it has nothing to support it against gravity's pull. We don't need to establish that it accelerates, all we need to know is that it falls at a constant rate of 200 ft / 6 seconds with force equal to distance (in feet) fallen within a round divided by 10 d6. Force = (Dh/10) * d6.Are you defining "force" as equal to "inflicted damage?"

If your co-worker walked through a concrete wall without damaging either then (s)he obviously tunneled through, repeating the experiment is nonsensical because tunneling is a statistical effect....Sort of. Frankly, it's more likely that you hallucinated the whole thing than that a macroscopic coworker could quantum tunnel through a concrete wall.

imp_fireball
2009-12-05, 05:54 PM
*twitch* *twitch* Be careful, you may or may not blow up the world/cause the world to blow herself up.

Or spawn infinity poles in every conceivable parallel dimension, thus making god cry. *sips coffee*

golentan
2009-12-05, 06:23 PM
Yes, and in D&D astrology (or comparably ridiculous things) work.

Yes, but I meant "With no evidence or math to support them, they claimed to predict things which were patently untrue." The way some medieval scholars, when doing dissections, would place ice opposite a specimen in a partitioned chamber with a mirror. The idea being that since heat is reflective, cold is too. And nobody even bothered to test this empirically false claim, accepting it as a given (the base of the specimen table acting as a conductor towards the ice probably had more to do with any chill than anything else).

Are you defining "force" as equal to "inflicted damage?"

No. I'd really like if I could find a convenient explanation for damage, because it doesn't seem to have an analogue, or else it has dozens (which aren't related to damage types incidentally). I guess "Power" or "Energy" for the d6 units might have worked better, but that didn't seem quite right either, so I went with the wording that seemed least wrong.

I realize that's not particularly helpful, but...

Knaight
2009-12-05, 07:39 PM
An alternate method would be to simply have time created. Everything is in space, and one particular thing creates a round of time, in the taking of their action. This time only affects them directly, however what they do in that time affects others when they create time. So if a mage casts fireball, the mage has created time, and moved during it. Nothing else happens. Once the ability to create time passes to the target, they do what they do, however one of the things they must do is receive the fireball, which may not allow them to act perfectly. If they die then their ability to create time was used until they died, at which point it goes away and the next person goes.

kjones
2009-12-06, 01:08 PM
Yes, but I meant "With no evidence or math to support them, they claimed to predict things which were patently untrue." The way some medieval scholars, when doing dissections, would place ice opposite a specimen in a partitioned chamber with a mirror. The idea being that since heat is reflective, cold is too. And nobody even bothered to test this empirically false claim, accepting it as a given (the base of the specimen table acting as a conductor towards the ice probably had more to do with any chill than anything else).

No. I'd really like if I could find a convenient explanation for damage, because it doesn't seem to have an analogue, or else it has dozens (which aren't related to damage types incidentally). I guess "Power" or "Energy" for the d6 units might have worked better, but that didn't seem quite right either, so I went with the wording that seemed least wrong.

I realize that's not particularly helpful, but...

I think it makes the most sense to consider damage as roughly equivalent to energy.