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  1. - Top - End - #121
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    Default Re: The "BUT DRAGONS!" Fallacy

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera View Post
    You didn't check the other two null magic effects I listed. In a dead magic zone -no- magic functions, period. In a dead magic plane no magic other permanent, standing portals that allow planar travel function at all.

    Even in an AMF no magical effect can be produced and any magical effect brought into the field is suppressed without exceptions to define the "lesser" that corresponds to your quoted "most."

    There is simply no support within any of the language of the game's rules to suggest that there is any magic outside of what I defined above.
    Well, Anti-magic field works when there's supposed to be no magical effect there. But, that's probably just getting cheeky there.

    Orb spells. Ignore anti-magic field. And those are even normal spells.

    I found this wiki article on Dead-magic zones, which did mention that you can create one...and still use the shadow weave in it with a ritual. So dead magic zones don't help define it, unless the shadow weave isn't "magic", even though it can be stopped by AMF instead.

    Also, I think I was mistaken when I said the weave can ignore anti-magic field, as it's just someone trying to rationalize magic (great idea, though rather poorly executed). Same is true with most cases of shadow weave. In fact, the wiki for the shadow weave expands upon AMF, and says it stops all magic, unlike the actual spell, and that shadow weave is magic, so dead magic zone doesn't neccesarily define magic.

    And dead magic plane says "no magic can be used in it." Well, that still doesn't give a definition of what magic is, and thus what can't be used there.

    But, screw it, let's just say, "If you don't have an ability that is explicitly magical, you aren't 'magical'." That works. Still doesn't mean you can't do what magic can - ie. break laws of physics.
    Last edited by SangoProduction; 2015-09-27 at 04:00 PM.
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    Default Re: The "BUT DRAGONS!" Fallacy

    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    I'm gonna do 2, but I'm going to deny that it means they have to be less powerful than casters.
    It means they have to be less powerful than casters if people continue to gain power.

    In the Inheritance cycle, Eragon - a Rider and therefore capable of magic - keeps almost getting his butt handed to him by a bunch of nonmagical people early on in the books.
    Implying that later, he doesn't.

    In Harry Potter, the wizards regard Sirius Black as dangerous, not because he's a spellcaster, but because he's armed with a gun.
    Yes, but that's because they're idiots. Guns are like the killing curse, but not always lethal.

    In The Order of the Stick, Roy chucked an epic-level spellcaster into a gate of kill.
    What if that battle had happened literally anywhere else? What if Xylon had been using any of the rudimentary "lolnope" tactics he has access to as an epic level caster?

    And that didn't actually kill the caster.

    In the Lord of the Rings, the Witch King of Angmar, a creature who is magical whatever way you cut it, is defeated not by a powerful spellcaster but by being stabbed in the face by an angry fighter.
    LotR is also E6.

    In Warhammer Fantasy Battle, including the new Age of Sigmar, spellcasters can do some pretty mean stuff, but the moment anyone gets into combat with them, they're toast.
    You know that Warhammer Fantasy is a lower level version of WH40k, right? Because in that universe a psionic godking was insufficiently high level to handle Chaos.

    Imagine a world where using magic was likely to misfire and kill you (The Black Magician trilogy), get you eaten by demons (Warhammer 40,000), misfire, kill you, and get you eaten by demons (Warhammer Fantasy), use up the same amount of energy as doing the task manually (Inheritance, possibly The Black Magician trilogy), or just mean you're terrible at actually hitting something with a stick (D&D, Warhammer Fantasy). Imagine a world where actually using magic tends to be really unwieldy and take hours to accomplish.
    You mean a world where magic users are low level? I don't want to play in that world, because the stories I want to tell cannot be told in that world. You cannot tell the story of Lord of Light or Mistborn or any MTG block or Avatar or the Powder Mage Trilogy if that is how magic works, because in those stories that is not how magic works.

  3. - Top - End - #123
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    Default Re: The "BUT DRAGONS!" Fallacy

    Quote Originally Posted by SangoProduction View Post
    Well, Anti-magic field works when there's supposed to be no magical effect there. But, that's probably just getting cheeky there.

    Orb spells. Ignore anti-magic field. And those are even normal spells.

    I found this wiki article on Dead-magic zones, which did mention that you can create one...and still use the shadow weave in it with a ritual. So dead magic zones don't help define it, unless the shadow weave isn't "magic", even though it can be stopped by AMF instead.

    Also, I think I was mistaken when I said the weave can ignore anti-magic field, as it's just someone trying to rationalize magic (great idea, though rather poorly executed). Same is true with most cases of shadow weave. In fact, the wiki for the shadow weave expands upon AMF, and says it stops all magic, unlike the actual spell.

    But, let's just say, "If you don't have an ability that is explicitly magical, you aren't 'magical'." That works. Still doesn't mean you can't do what magic can - ie. break laws of physics.
    Your wiki is a FR wiki. It's not valid for other settings as the weave isn't in use in other settings. Ed Greenwood had a real hard-on for all things magely and it shows in the setting he created.

    I don't have a problem with nonmagical characters having abilities that compete with magic (they mostly don't, by the rules, but meh). I take great issue with anything that requires suspension of disbelief being labeled as supernatural or magical when it is explicitly not those things in the rules.
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    Default Re: The "BUT DRAGONS!" Fallacy

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera View Post
    Your wiki is a FR wiki. It's not valid for other settings as the weave isn't in use in other settings. Ed Greenwood had a real hard-on for all things magely and it shows in the setting he created.

    I don't have a problem with nonmagical characters having abilities that compete with magic (they mostly don't, by the rules, but meh). I take great issue with anything that requires suspension of disbelief being labeled as supernatural or magical when it is explicitly not those things in the rules.
    Perhaps, but for all intents and purposes, they are not "mundane" (and saying that because they aren't mundane, they are magical is a false dichotomy, but with no functional definition for magic in this world, and only the dichotomy set forward as an option...). They are super heroes who break the laws of physics.
    Last edited by SangoProduction; 2015-09-27 at 04:08 PM.
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    Default Re: The "BUT DRAGONS!" Fallacy

    Quote Originally Posted by Brova View Post
    You cannot tell the story of...any MTG block... if that is how magic works, because in those stories that is not how magic works.
    It's funny, because in MTG, people who have perfectly mundane abilities are actually often quite powerful. Let's find out what's been winning lately. Zurgo Bellstriker is an orc warrior who attacks quickly and doesn't like blocking anyone who can kill him, and refuses to do it. An ornithopter is a small glider (I imagine it is magical, but it doesn't need to be). A courser of kruphix is a scout who finds healing supplies in the lands he visits. A siege rhino is just a rhino that steals supplies from enemies it's besieging (or allows its riders to). Hero's Downfall and Ultimate Price depict people being stomped upon and apparently falling into a tar pit. And so on. None of these abilities are magical. Stomping on people and stealing their stuff is evil, not magical. And yet it competes in the same arena as people launching lightning bolts (3rd-level spell) like they're going out of fashion, and returning people from the dead without them becoming any weaker (7th-level spell). If you're going to talk about MTG, then that is absolutely in the same arena as high-level D&D and mundanes are absolutely competitive in that arena.
    Last edited by Jormengand; 2015-09-27 at 04:17 PM.

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    Default Re: The "BUT DRAGONS!" Fallacy

    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    Let's take the lightning throw maneuver.

    The lightning throw maneuver is not just unrealistic. It is not non-verisimilar It is physically impossible.

    Put simply, it punches through up to 6 people in a line, dealing as much damage as being hit by, say, 6 whacks with a greatsword, with anything you can throw. Such as, I dunno, a dagger, hand-axe, or shuriken (EDIT: Or a lucerne hammer. It apparently allows you to throw any melee weapon). It then returns to your hand.

    Randall Munroe calculated that a hockey puck would have to be moving at about mach 8 just to knock someone backwards, which would result in them both exploding, puck and goalie. To go through 6 people is going to multiply up to a minimum of mach 48, though I don't believe for a moment that the relationship is linear. Even if it is, you start getting a similar effect to a railgun, where you cause a conventional explosion without even carrying any explosive. If it's square, you get that, only the conventional explosion is the size of a small nuclear explosion. If it's exponential (more likely), I'll let Randall Munroe field what happens again. What can I say, he's a useful guy when you want to do something utterly impossible.

    But of course, the hockey puck doesn't survive this ordeal. This is partly its fault for being made of plastic. But something being thrown 6 times as fast, let alone 36 times as fast, let yet alone multiplying the exponent up by 6, is going to suffer far worse damage. Just checking the wikipedia page on railguns, though, even the rails that the projectile is fired from have to be replaced regularly because we do not currently possess materials that can withstand that kind of recoil. And you're throwing an axe at mach 48, while railguns tend to go about mach 7 (though some go faster). You're almost going 7 times as fast, assuming the relationship is linear which it almost certainly isn't.

    To be clear, when some girl pulling random pieces of information off the internet can work out that this ability is impossible, you know it's off. Weirder still is the fact that this insane ability to throw things a few times as fast as the biggest, baddest AA gun you ever saw... is limited to 30 feet. Seriously, if you're going to throw an axe at several times the speed of sound, can't you think of something more interesting to do with it?

    It's not just "I, personally, don't see it." It's "This violates so much of physics, biology and probably chemistry that I don't even know where to start."
    Sorry, but this is a terrible, terrible argument, and proves to me why going down the real-world physics rabbit hole is a bad idea.

    As you say, you are using random information off the internet. Very random, particularly considering that neither of them has very much at all to do with the question you posed.

    The hockey puck question asked how hard one would have to hit a hockey puck to knock someone backwards. Even accepting that the maneuver in question could be performed using a hockey puck (but noting that normally would be performed using something far more massive, sharp, and dense), this example fails completely because the maneuver has nothing whatsoever to do with moving a person backwards. It just does damage. Presumable, this could be accomplished in a variety of ways, depending on the weapon, none of which have anything to do with a hockey puck knocking someone over or a baseball pitched at the speed of light. With a handaxe, I would picture a series of glancing blows and cuts, or perhaps some ridiculous chain reaction of pain. Of course, if you want it to actually represent 6 people knocked over, you should probably use a much larger weapon.

    I agree that it is not the easiest thing to picture, but watch some more martial arts movies. I'm not saying real world physics are boring, but boy is it fun not to have to worry about them all the time.

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    Default Re: The "BUT DRAGONS!" Fallacy

    Quote Originally Posted by SangoProduction View Post
    Perhaps, but for all intents and purposes, they are not "mundane" (and saying that because they aren't mundane, they are magical is a false dichotomy, but with no functional definition for magic in this world, and only the dichotomy set forward as an option...). They are super heroes who break the laws of physics.
    Then we circle back around to the definition of mundane.

    Webster defines mundane as either of this world, as opposed to otherworldly or heavenly, or commonplace. Nonmagical characters outnumber casters by thousands to 1. By that definition, they are mundane. In most settings magic is a transplanar phenomenon and many of its applications call on otherworldly essences so it's a loose fit for "otherworldly" while in FR it is explicitly the gift of a goddess (or her evil twin) and obviously heavenly. Access to this force is not mundane while a lack of such access is.

    By either definition noncasters are mundane within their worlds though I prefer to avoid the term because of its connotation of boringness that the oxford dictionary lists as a definition.
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    Default Re: The "BUT DRAGONS!" Fallacy

    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    It's funny, because in MTG, people who have perfectly mundane abilities are actually often quite powerful. Let's find out what's been winning lately. Zurgo Bellstriker is an orc warrior who attacks quickly and doesn't like blocking anyone who can kill him, and refuses to do it. An ornithopter is a small glider (I imagine it is magical, but it doesn't need to be). A courser of kruphix is a scout who finds healing supplies in the lands he visits. A siege rhino is just a rhino that steals supplies from enemies it's besieging (or allows its riders to). Hero's Downfall and Ultimate Price depict people being stomped upon and apparently falling into a tar pit. And so on. None of these abilities are magical. Stomping on people and stealing their stuff is evil, not magical. And yet it competes in the same arena as people launching lightning bolts (3rd-level spell) like they're going out of fashion, and returning people from the dead without them becoming any weaker (7th-level spell). If you're going to talk about MTG, then that is absolutely in the same arena as high-level D&D and mundanes are absolutely competitive in that arena.
    Except, not in D&D 3e. Yeah. Not exactly a comparison that can be made. "such and such in DOTA is balanced, so that must mean LoL is balanced."
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    Default Re: The "BUT DRAGONS!" Fallacy

    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    It's funny, because in MTG, people who have perfectly mundane abilities are actually often quite powerful. Let's find out what's been winning lately. Zurgo Bellstriker is an orc warrior who attacks quickly and doesn't like blocking anyone who can kill him, and refuses to do it. An ornithopter is a small glider (I imagine it is magical, but it doesn't need to be). A courser of kruphix is a scout who finds healing supplies in the lands he visits. A siege rhino is just a rhino that steals supplies from enemies it's besieging (or allows its riders to). Hero's Downfall and Ultimate Price depict people being stomped upon and apparently falling into a tar pit. And so on. None of these abilities are magical. Stomping on people and stealing their stuff is evil, not magical. And yet it competes in the same arena as people launching lightning bolts (3rd-level spell) like they're going out of fashion, and returning people from the dead without them becoming any weaker (7th-level spell). If you're going to talk about MTG, then that is absolutely in the same arena as high-level D&D and mundanes are absolutely competitive in that arena.
    You understand that the stories of the blocks those (first) appeared in involve, in order, time traveling to and intervening in the battle between two Elder Dragon Oldwalkers, a war with mighty mechs and cataclysmic magical weapons, and slaying gods, right? Yes, the literal cards in those blocks represent mundane stuff from that world, but the stories are about high level Wizards with at-will greater plane shift.

    EDIT: The storylines of the last ... several MTG blocks:

    Battle for Zendikar - The Eldrazi are turning the world to dust with their very presence. Various Planeswalkers must assemble to use a plane-spanning network of artifacts to trap them.

    Khans of Tarkir - Tarkir is a world that used to have magical storms that created dragons. Unfortunately, everything changed when the Fire Nation attacked Bolas killed Ugin. So Sarkhan (who is haunted by Ugin's ghost) comes to Tarkir, travels back in time, and changes history so that Ugin (and dragons) survive.

    Theros - Something about Gods. I wasn't really paying much attention. I think Xenagos becomes one, Elspeth kills him, then Heliod kills her.

    Return to Ravnica - It's basically set on Sigil, only without the portals and Lady of Pain. A dragon is searching for "the Implicit Maze" which ... I don't know. Something about the rules governing the Factions Guilds.

    Innistrad - In Gothic Horror World, the god-ish Angel and the god-ish Demon have been trapped in a massive artifact. As a result of her absence, various horror monsters have been appearing in massive numbers.

    Scars of Mirrodin - In a wold created by a planeswalker, the viral oil that was created by near-god Yawgmoth is infecting the world, transforming it into a realm in line with his philosophy (which apparently involves a lot of body horror).

    Zendikar - Like Battle for Zendikar, but the Eldrazi were imprisoned and some planeswalking idiots freed them.
    Last edited by Brova; 2015-09-27 at 04:39 PM.

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    Default Re: The "BUT DRAGONS!" Fallacy

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera View Post
    Then we circle back around to the definition of mundane.

    Webster defines mundane as either of this world, as opposed to otherworldly or heavenly, or commonplace. Nonmagical characters outnumber casters by thousands to 1. By that definition, they are mundane. In most settings magic is a transplanar phenomenon and many of its applications call on otherworldly essences so it's a loose fit for "otherworldly" while in FR it is explicitly the gift of a goddess (or her evil twin) and obviously heavenly. Access to this force is not mundane while a lack of such access is.

    By either definition noncasters are mundane within their worlds though I prefer to avoid the term because of its connotation of boringness that the oxford dictionary lists as a definition.
    Is Superman of this world? Is Hulk? Is Wolverine commonplace? They are, by definition, extraordinary, and not something the common person has access to, else it would be assumed that everyone would have it at level 0 (like common knowledge).

    Noncasters, certainly, make up the majority of the populace of human cities (somehow), but not those with extraordinary talents and abilities. Cast fireball at a bunch of villagers - not many are going to survive. Most don't have evasion feat, nor are they blessed by destiny to have a bunch of hit points. [Should probably avoid bringing up hp again, as someone will just try to circle...anyway, unimportant.]
    Last edited by SangoProduction; 2015-09-27 at 04:37 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by SangoProduction View Post
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    Default Re: The "BUT DRAGONS!" Fallacy

    Quote Originally Posted by SangoProduction View Post
    Is Superman of this world? Is Hulk? Is Wolverine commonplace? They are, by definition, extraordinary, and not something the common person has access to, else it would be assumed that everyone would have it at level 0 (like common knowledge).
    Not "this world," "the world." Important distinction when discussing fictional settings.

    Superman is plainly not of earth 623 (same goes for a -lot- of DC characters). The hulk is earthly but not at all common, being a nigh unique being. Wolverine, however, fits just fine. Mutant's are quite common and there's nothimg otherworldly about his origin or powers so, yes, he is mundane. He is extraordinary by the standards of reality but he's not just mundane but a relative small-fry and a nobody within his own setting. Don't misunderstand. I really like wolverine but whether he's interesting or not doesn't change that he's a mundane character.

    Noncasters, certainly, make up the majority of the populace of human cities (somehow), but not those with extraordinary talents and abilities. Cast fireball at a bunch of villagers - not many are going to survive. Most don't have evasion feat, nor are they blessed by destiny to have a bunch of hit points. [Should probably avoid bringing up hp again, as someone will just try to circle...anyway, unimportant.]
    All classes represent a segment of the population, often a fairly wide swathe with noncaster base classes. Besides, extraordinary and mundane aren't mutually exclusive. Common and normal are not entirely interchangeable. A fighter is of a degree of skill that is above ordinary, greater than normal but fighters are not uncommon.

    Ultimately it boils down to this: mundane is a term that can be used to mean several things. Within the context of these discussions its use to represent nonmagical classes as a group is valid whether you disagree with the connotations (as I, in fact, do) that go with the term or not. Recognize it for what it means in that context and move on to the meat of the discussions where it pops up. Arguing over the definitions of words does nothing to further the discussion at hand, with rare exception, and is derailing at best.

    Magic is defined within the system. The term used to describe the group that lacks magick isn't terribly important.
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    Default Re: The "BUT DRAGONS!" Fallacy

    And I forgot to mention this: It doesn't even matter what the definition of "mundane" is either. It doesn't relate in any way to "extraordinary." Nor does the definition of "human" matter, as it doesn't change what "extraordinary" can do. Definition of
    "magic" doesn't matter. Definition of invisible pink unicorns doesn't matter. Because none of it says "extraordinary abilities can no longer break laws of physics." Or really changes it in any way.

    So, the BUT DRAGONS! "fallacy" (trope) is invalid, as it doesn't matter if the universe does or does not have magic. EX abilities work the same way. Case closed.
    Last edited by SangoProduction; 2015-09-27 at 05:11 PM.
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    Default Re: The "BUT DRAGONS!" Fallacy

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelb_Panthera View Post
    Not "this world," "the world." Important distinction when discussing fictional settings.
    The definition, including the one you just mentioned in your last post said "this world", the definition specifically said "earthly" but you didn't say that, so meh, long as it was corrected. Anyway, moving on.


    Superman is plainly not of earth 623 (same goes for a -lot- of DC characters). The hulk is earthly but not at all common, being a nigh unique being. Wolverine, however, fits just fine. Mutant's are quite common and there's nothimg otherworldly about his origin or powers so, yes, he is mundane. He is extraordinary by the standards of reality but he's not just mundane but a relative small-fry and a nobody within his own setting. Don't misunderstand. I really like wolverine but whether he's interesting or not doesn't change that he's a mundane character.
    Mundane by what standard? How many people (even mutants) can regenerate from literally having nothing but his skeleton and brain in tact, to fighting condition?
    But, ignoring that, here's the wiki for mutants in Marvel: http://marvel.com/universe/Mutants
    says: "The mutant population is now estimated to be in the hundreds, but a full worldwide census has not been taken."
    So...how rare does something have to be to *not* be mundane? Because even 999 in even 3 or 1 trillion people is not exactly "common", by my interpretation.

    All classes represent a segment of the population, often a fairly wide swathe with noncaster base classes. Besides, extraordinary and mundane aren't mutually exclusive. Common and normal are not entirely interchangeable. A fighter is of a degree of skill that is above ordinary, greater than normal but fighters are not uncommon.

    Ultimately it boils down to this: mundane is a term that can be used to mean several things. Within the context of these discussions its use to represent nonmagical classes as a group is valid whether you disagree with the connotations (as I, in fact, do) that go with the term or not. Recognize it for what it means in that context and move on to the meat of the discussions where it pops up. Arguing over the definitions of words does nothing to further the discussion at hand, with rare exception, and is derailing at best.
    since total can be derived from the level, I'll just put the level, because the method for figuring out the actual number is quite tedious.

    DMG page 138; using Small town, since it's got a +0, and thus no special rules or rolls or stuff like that.

    npc
    4d4 commoner
    1d6 adept
    1d4 aristocrat
    3d4 expert
    2d4 warror
    total: 10d4 + 1d6
    total average (I think): 28.5

    pc
    1d4 barb
    1d6 bard
    1d6 druid (in a city? really? even before the urban druid change ACF...)
    1d8 fighters
    1d4 monk
    1d3 paladin
    1d3 ranger (why is this less common than a druid?)
    1d8 rogue
    2d4 sorc/wiz
    total: 4d4 + 2d3 + 2d6 + 2d8
    total average: 30


    spell casters:
    2d4 sorc/wizard
    1d6 druid
    1d3 paladin
    1d6 bard
    2d3 paladin/ranger
    total: 2d3 + 2d6 + 2d4
    total: 16

    So, of the PC classes, you are slightly more likely to find a spell caster, rather than a "mundane". So, actually these "common place" classes are rarer than spell casters, and only make up 14 out of 58.5 levels in a common small town.

    That's not what I'd consider common place, but you can have you own definition.
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    Default Re: The "BUT DRAGONS!" Fallacy

    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    That's because it's not in them. But that doesn't mean that it's not true.
    Actually, it does mean that's not true. In the rest of the quote that you snipped off, I go in to explain the fact that the world presented in the D&D rulebooks bears only a passing and superficial resemblance to the real world even before we bring things that are described as supernatural and magic into it. D&D, especially D&D 3.5E, requires piles upon piles of house-rules to be brought back in line with reality (As an aside, I find E6, armor-as-DR, class bonuses to AC, and vitality points/wound points to be a pretty good starting point on that).

    That's where your argument falls apart, really. You demand that D&D's (Ex) abilities mimic reality, and yet ignore the fact that the world itself does not mimic reality because of the rules used to describe it. You insist that "mundane" not only be a term applied to the non-casters, but that it be applied as it fits with our world. At no point does that work with D&D's rules as written, much less as intended. That's not to say you're wrong for wanting it, but you are trying to insist that the square peg should fit in the round hole because in our Flatland, they both fit one another.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solaris View Post
    That's not to say you're wrong for wanting it, but you are trying to insist that the square peg should fit in the round hole because in our Flatland, they both fit one another.
    So like trying to fit a square object in a diamond hole because, if you add a third dimension, both are just different angles of looking at a cube?
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    Quote Originally Posted by smcmike View Post
    As you say, you are using random information off the internet. Very random, particularly considering that neither of them has very much at all to do with the question you posed.
    Sorry, but it's hard to find any exact information for "How hard would you have to throw the least-throwable possible weapon you could wield for it to deal as much damage as six greatsword swings to each of six people in a 30-foot line and how big a nuclear explosion would this cause in the proceedings?"

    Spoiler: This turns into a physics rant, which I promise is vaguely related.
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    But okay. How much energy does a bullet have? I've no idea how reliable this is, because "How much energy does a bullet have?" isn't actually a question that Googles well. An AK-47 has 1527 "ftlb" of energy, which is about 2070 joules. A trained cyclist can produce about 400 watts of mechanical power, so if we suppose that you're giving your Maul (because you can throw anything you can wield, it can even be a Large maul, but that's getting to the point of deliberately trying to make it unrealistic) about 5 times as much energy as a human could give it in a second, in less than a second, using a weaker body part, then you'll make it go a fraction of the same speed. See, that rifle bullet weighs about 4.2 grams (Come to think of it, e=mv2ing that would probably be a better answer for the energy exerted by the rifle - it's about twice as much as the other one, weighing in just shy of 4000 joules). You're throwing a weapon that's about 2000 times as heavy, and then some. Now, like I just said, e=mv2, so that means we can multiply up the amount of energy you have to give it by 2000, and then another 2 because we have a better energy estimate, meaning that you are operating at about 20,000 times peak human capacity.

    But it gets worse.

    A lot worse.

    A bullet practically cannot go through more than one person. The flesh resistance (that's a thing now. It's a bit like air resistance, only bigger) is just too much. This makes sense, because it's almost impossible to shoot someone who's underwater because the water is just too heavy. Now, air resistance we can ignore, but flesh resistance is way more. Anyway, so we have to multiply the amount of energy by about 6, because that's how many people it has to go through, but we'll be generous and say it can go through one-and-a-fifth people, so you are operating at 100,000 times peak human capacity.

    Now, the force due to friction is a function of the cross-sectional area of the object. I highly doubt I'll get the cross-sectional area of a maul anywhere, but for a bullet, it's in the region of 0.2-1.6... somethings. He doesn't give units, but I'm going to say that's square cm because that sounds likely. We'll call it 1. Finding the XSA of a maul is harder, but wikipedia shows me a picture of a 20 lb sledgehammer, while this is a 12 lb spike maul, so I have a vague frame of reference. I'm going to guess the number of bullets to a spike maul is about 120, so let's say that bullets to 20lb hammers is about 200. This means that you are operating at 200,000,000 times peak human capacity.

    Oh, but it gets worse.

    Let's convert back from times peak human capacity to joules one moment, which involves multiplying by 400 to get 800,000,000,000, or 8E11. That's the equivalent of 200 tons of TNT. Google searching "https://www.google.co.uk/?gfe_rd=cr&ei=K3IIVrzvO5T98wevhYTABg&gws_rd=ssl#q= 800%2C000%2C000%2C000+joules" gets you a word doc claiming that cars use that much energy in a year. That's not each. That's every car in existence, each year. v=root(e/m), so we're having a maul travelling at almost exactly 3E5 ms-1, which is neat. But that's not mach 48, or whatever piddly number I was coming up with earlier. That's mach eight hundred seventy nine. That's about 1% of c. That is about 1% of c. That is an utterly ludicrous speed.

    This maul's ultimate tensile strength is about double that of human skin. Not only does it fail to survive impact, it fails to survive being thrown. You don't even finish swinging it by the time that the impulse on the handle, combined with the head's zero momentum holding the hammer back, tears the maul, and your own arm, to shreds.

    You wanna use accurate numbers? It gets worse with accurate numbers.


    Incidentally, I have indeed disengaged from the rest of the argument because this is more fun.

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    Physics does not matter. Not in the least. Your rant does nothing for the argument.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SangoProduction View Post
    Physics does not matter. Not in the least. Your rant does nothing for the argument.
    It does when I want to play a nonmagical character without tearing my own suspension of disbelief to pieces.

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    Default Re: The "BUT DRAGONS!" Fallacy

    I think those two issues are completely unrelated. The existence of one physics-defying thing has absolutely no bearing on whether another one should exist. Claiming that there's any relation just obfuscates the issue and spawns endless arguments that don't get anywhere close to the heart of the matter. There are fantasy worlds which work like the real world in most ways, except for that one thing which doesn't. But then there are worlds where things that defy real-world laws of science are many and varied. Because magic is what we want it to be.

    Which brings me to the next point - eventually, "magic" and "mundane" become completely meaningless words. In a high-fantasy world like D&D' settings, everything is "magic" from our perspective. Very few things are "mundane" from our perspective, as well. So the real question that ends up lost among all this is: what ways of gaining extraordinary power are we comfortable with? It's an entirely valid perspective to prefer it if people who don't use trappings of "magic" and/or tap into an outside power source are strictly limited in what they can do. Less so if you want to say that it's fundamentally incorrect to remove those limits, because it isn't. It gets pretty dicey in D&D, of course, where "non-magical" characters aren't normal or realistic by any definition. Their unrealistic capabilities are just very narrow and fairly unimpressive.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    It does when I want to play a nonmagical character without tearing my own suspension of disbelief to pieces.
    "Can break laws of physics" That's literally the definition of EX. If your precious suspension of disbelief makes you want to not have that, homebrew it, or play a different system. It's really not that difficult.

    But, the standard setting does not give a single damn about physics.

    Also, how come you *are* OK with spells, if you can't even accept some relatively mundane explanations for EX abilities? Eh, doesn't matter.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    It's an entirely valid perspective to prefer it if people who don't use trappings of "magic" and/or tap into an outside power source are strictly limited in what they can do. Less so if you want to say that it's fundamentally incorrect to remove those limits, because it isn't.
    Exactly: As I've said, I'm fine with people playing as people who can exert more energy than 200 tons of TNT, but if I don't wanna do that you shouldn't tell me that isn't a valid character concept.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    I think those two issues are completely unrelated. The existence of one physics-defying thing has absolutely no bearing on whether another one should exist. Claiming that there's any relation just obfuscates the issue and spawns endless arguments that don't get anywhere close to the heart of the matter. There are fantasy worlds which work like the real world in most ways, except for that one thing which doesn't. But then there are worlds where things that defy real-world laws of science are many and varied. Because magic is what we want it to be.

    Which brings me to the next point - eventually, "magic" and "mundane" become completely meaningless words. In a high-fantasy world like D&D' settings, everything is "magic" from our perspective. Very few things are "mundane" from our perspective, as well. So the real question that ends up lost among all this is: what ways of gaining extraordinary power are we comfortable with? It's an entirely valid perspective to prefer it if people who don't use trappings of "magic" and/or tap into an outside power source are strictly limited in what they can do. Less so if you want to say that it's fundamentally incorrect to remove those limits, because it isn't.
    You can fluff the ability however you please. It's left intentionally vague.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    Exactly: As I've said, I'm fine with people playing as people who can exert more energy than 200 tons of TNT, but if I don't wanna do that you shouldn't tell me that isn't a valid character concept.
    Where the hell are you getting energy from? At best, you have "damage", which is an abstraction and does not correlate, at all, to force of any type.

    And: you can just play as a scout. You only get 1 attack per round, so no "200 tons of TNT" bs you have going there. And you get the most mundane possible Ex abilities. Have fun. Or play a Commoner.
    Last edited by SangoProduction; 2015-09-27 at 06:11 PM.
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    Er, what ability are you talking about? I mentioned no specific power or ability in my post.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SangoProduction View Post
    Where the hell are you getting energy from? At best, you have "damage", which is an abstraction and does not correlate, at all, to force of any type.
    From the Lightning Throw maneuver, which allows you to throw a maul straight through 6 people. You can calculate how much energy it takes to throw a maul through a person (hint: a lot) and work it out from that, which is what I did in the physics spoiler.

    Quote Originally Posted by Morty View Post
    Er, what ability are you talking about? I mentioned no specific power or ability in my post.
    I assume the ability being referred to is Lightning Throw - the ability to hurl a maul through six people - and he is convinced that you can "Fluff it" as obeying the laws of physics or indeed approaching reasonable.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    From the Lightning Throw maneuver, which allows you to throw a maul straight through 6 people. You can calculate how much energy it takes to throw a maul through a person (hint: a lot) and work it out from that, which is what I did in the physics spoiler.
    except that ...jeez you still don't get that HP is an abstraction. OK. I'm done.

    If you don't want to follow the rules, or if you want to fluff it so that it breaks your imagination, that's your prerogative. But it doesn't make anyone else wrong.

    You don't instantly kill someone with a Lightning Throw, so them blowing up from your strike doesn't even make sense. "Oh hey, I just made them blow up and they can fight like nothing happened." {scrubbed}
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    Nothing in the ability actually indicates its passing through the person and not ricocheting elsewhere. Similar to how a dragon's fire line attack does not actually pass through someone but around them. To actually pass through them it would have to deal enough damage to kill them.

    Creatures can provide Cover even which represents this... poorly as they only provide "soft" cover which doesn't help against Reflex saves (or to hide... you cannot hide behind someone bigger than you in D&D).

    Now of course the maneuver still breaks physics in many ways (ricocheting hits should lose force, you're still dealing 4 times normal damage pre magic...), then again this is the same book that indicates hitting in the proper place can add +100 or x4 damage on top of a crit so it's probably just hitting in the right spot. The fact that it's a line instead of bouncing around like Xena's chakram is weird as well.

    This is also the book that gives us Ex Heal spells triggered by your opponent being of an opposing alignment (seriously what in Baator?) and Ex teleportation through shadows, both of which feel very Supernatural to me and are the things I've most often seen defended with "well dragons can fly and that's physically impossible".
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brova View Post
    You mean a world where magic users are low level? I don't want to play in that world, because the stories I want to tell cannot be told in that world. You cannot tell the story of Lord of Light or Mistborn or any MTG block or Avatar or the Powder Mage Trilogy if that is how magic works, because in those stories that is not how magic works.
    Psykers in Warhammer can get to extremely high level. Hell, high level Psykers are so dangerous that they can cast planets into hellish psychoplanes, they can light mountains on fire by willing it to happen, and they can flit between people's minds across an entire city, qwhich projecting themselves from orbit. But they exist in a system in which magic has consequence built into the system. Which I think is one of DND and PFs fundamental problems: Magic is way to easy and it is capable of way to much. The only limits on what a spellcaster can do in 3.5/pf is "I have this spell which says I can do X" and spells can do just about anything.

    M:TGs internal magic system requires the tapping into (Pun intended) and chaneling of specific aligned power sources which have internal limitations (Direct damage is red, healing white and green, necromancy black etc, and diversifying through more colours of magic reduces your capacity of a single one). I'm not familiar with Mistborn's magic system, but I've some of Sanderson's Cosmere and his magical systems are also extremely limited in their capacity (Warbreaker's breaths and chroma, Stormlight Chronicle's Surgebinding and Soulcasting.)

    A magic system can be incredibly high-concept and high-power and still have restrictions on what can be done. 3.5's spellcasting is tame. It does exactly what you want when you want it without any fuss, while simultaneously unstressful, and having basically unlimited scope of capacity. Spellcasting in D&D is incredibly privileged in that nobody asks itself to explain itself, it's magic, it just happens.*

    On the other hand, Ex abilities are called to account for a notion of real world physics, and some tome of battle disciplines are called to account for "How does swinging a sword make fire". Personally, I think 'martials'/'extraordinary' characters should be able to do impossible things. But by and large they should be able to do impossible things that are of a kind to possible things: jump incredible distances, throw things with unerring precision and richochet

    Back to the initial query: physics in DND follows the rule of "Can you picture it, and if not, explain it?" Can a dragon fly? Well, it has wings which look big enough (Even though they wouldn't be). Can a strictly humanoid person fly? Well, they don't have wings, but they can [Select one of: A) cast a spell to levitate, B) have strong enough muscles to jump impossibly high C) propel themselves by pushing Qi out the soles of their feet, D)...]"

    Spells/Sp, Su, and Ex, are respective classifications of how magical these explanations are.


    *I am of course, aware of, and even agree with Grod's Law: narrative restrictions on magic don't neccessarily translate well into RPG mechanics, but higher level spellcasters can do whatever they like by flapping their hands, singing a song and wanting it really hard. Sweeping the inconvienient bits of physics under the rug next to that seems only... sporting, I guess.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SangoProduction View Post
    If you don't want to follow the rules, or if you want to fluff it so that it breaks your imagination, that's your prerogative.
    I'm not "Fluffing it" at all. I'm simply pointing out that it is not a mundane ability and as such is not helpful when creating a mundane character. It is not that I do not understand you, it is that I do not agree with you. If I want to create a character who is bound by the limits of reality, I should be able to do so. I should not be forced to create a character who abuses the laws of physics a little harder than the wizard does.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zaydos View Post
    Now of course the maneuver still breaks physics in many ways (ricocheting hits should lose force, you're still dealing 4 times normal damage pre magic...), then again this is the same book that indicates hitting in the proper place can add +100 or x4 damage on top of a crit so it's probably just hitting in the right spot. The fact that it's a line instead of bouncing around like Xena's chakram is weird as well.

    This is also the book that gives us Ex Heal spells triggered by your opponent being of an opposing alignment (seriously what in Baator?) and Ex teleportation through shadows, both of which feel very Supernatural to me and are the things I've most often seen defended with "well dragons can fly and that's physically impossible".
    Yeah. That just doesn't feel like a mundane character to me.

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    Default Re: The "BUT DRAGONS!" Fallacy

    It's not "mundane". It's "extraordinary."

    Boom. Done. The two do not equal each other.


    And, YOU are fluffing it such that it's running through 6 people, blowing them up. This is your own explanation. This is your fluff for the ability. And your fluff does not make sense in the slightest. No wonder you can't wrap your head around it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    which allows you to throw a maul straight through 6 people.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jormengand View Post
    Exactly: As I've said, I'm fine with people playing as people who can exert more energy than 200 tons of TNT, but if I don't wanna do that you shouldn't tell me that isn't a valid character concept.
    {scrubbed}

    And, this is the last time I will repeat this, because you seem to have trouble reading. You DON'T have to make someone extraordinary. You can play an entirely different system. There's one where you use Jenga for all the "checks" because you ARE completely mundane and ordinary people. You can play a commoner, but you'll be dropped off at the next town, because not a single adventuring party will want you because you are dead weight.
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