Practical applications of dimension-warping and how they work (GAME DESIGN)

Discussion in 'SciFi & Fantasy' started by Jadebrain_Prime, Jan 26, 2014.

  1. Jadebrain_Prime Atheist now Registered Senior Member

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    Hello! As I'm sure most of you are unaware, I'm trying to make my own Pen n' Paper Role-Playing Game. Despite the fact that its setting is "science-fantasy," I want it to have internally consistent rules and such for how things work. In other words, even though people in the game can cast magic spells and whatnot, everything happens for a reason according to the setting's laws of physics, rather than in spite of them (even magic is an integrated part of the setting's physics). As such, I, as the designer of the game, want to understand how things would work, and the best way to do that is to look to the real world to see how things work in reality, and either just use reality's rules as they are, or modify them for the purposes of my game.

    In my game, there's a school of magic called "Dimensiomancy," which primarily deals with the warping of space and time. Sounds easy to design stuff for, right? The problem is, since I'm trying to make internally consistent rules and apply them as a simulation, there's a huge amount to account for.

    For example, a friend and co-developer of the game suggested a spell which would rust the enemy's equipment by accelerating the aging process. The problem is, in accelerating the aging process through direct manipulation of time, you'd probably make the enemy much, much faster, and thus more lethal.

    Basically, what I want help with is coming up with things that could be accomplished with Dimensiomancy spells, and how such a spell would accomplish said thing.
     
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  3. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

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    I would suggest that there is a difference between universal and localised effects. So you could imply that a spell in the case of what you are trying to do is localised to a given area, say for instance the weapon alone rather than the area an enemy is in or the whole universe for that matter. This would allow you to reason that a weapon could age differently to everything else. You could also apply whether something is organic or non-organic which would aid to in certain instances.

    You'd also have to take into consideration whether you are supporting a one universe linear timeline or multiworlds system of parallel timelines, as this wouldn't just mean something could age over time but potentially end up being repositioned in relationship to many universes.
     
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  5. Jadebrain_Prime Atheist now Registered Senior Member

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    It's an interesting idea, but there might be a problem: it doesn't account for the effects of the environment on the object in the warp. Going with the "rusting equipment" idea, say you're trying to rust a sword. That sword would likely be held by someone. What I'm wondering is how the warped time would effect the movement of the sword (as perceived by those outside of the warped time), since it's being controlled by someone outside of the warped time.

    I'm not sure if I'm understanding what you're saying here... I mean, I get the idea of multiple parallel timelines, but what would hastened aging have to do with it?

    I haven't actually thought of whether or not there would be multiple parallel timelines, but what I have thought of might make such a thing impossible. Basically, the idea is that you have the past and present, but the future doesn't even exist, because it hasn't happened yet. The future begins to exist when it happens and becomes the present; the present is essentially the ever-moving "threshold" of what has happened, and therefore what exists in time. Thus, traveling to the future would be impossible, since there is no future to travel to. Likewise, if you were to travel into the past, whatever time you traveled to would become the present, and since everything after that would be the new future, it would cease to exist, since (again) it hasn't happened yet. To avoid paradoxes, the universe would treat your arrival in the new present as though you just appeared out of nowhere, since your time no longer exists.

    It's like if you were typing something up in a word processor, but you couldn't use your mouse or arrow keys; every time you wanted to go back and change something, you had to press and hold the backspace key until you got to what you wanted to change. Of course, this idea is only that: an idea. It's not guaranteed that I'll stick with it.
     
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  7. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

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    I'd suggest the sword would likely heat up to the person attempting to hold it to the point they have to let go. So you'd have them drop the sword then repick it up after the spell has finished to find it's no longer as tensile.

    I wouldn't push so much for "Rust" as "Radioactive Decay"


    Hastening in just one universe alone is just going to generate a "causality" where sometime starts, occurs and ends.

    Dealing with a mutliversal system could allow for "upgrades" to your spell, whereby more universes are entwined into the Hasten effect. This means you'd potentially have many different occurances with different universal directions all merging together (or diverting further apart), that could increase mass/energy at a given point, or decrease it inversely.

    At the end of the day it's your Fantasy universe so do what you will with it

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  8. Jadebrain_Prime Atheist now Registered Senior Member

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    Okay, I'm a noob at this stuff. I have absolutely no idea why the sword would heat up - the closest thing I can think of would be the hastened amount of heat-causing collisions among the sword's molecules, but wouldn't the sword cool off that much faster as well? I'm also not sure how radioactive decay applies, either - I mean, the sword's probably made of steel, as opposed to uranium or the like.


    If I'm reading this correctly, it would seem you're talking about taking matter or energy from one universe and putting it into another... am I correct?
     
  9. Kittamaru No more Staff Member

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    An easy counter to this problem (the aging spell accelerating both the failure of the sword AND the aging of the person) would be to have it be a check of some sort to resist the spell, similar to D&D.

    Example: A mage casts the spell, factoring their skills and the roll of the dice - this constitutes the overall spell level (lets say, 22 for this example, 10 from the casters level, and a 12 on the die)

    The item has a "constitution" of 10, so the spell affects the item (in this case, the sword). However, the person WIELDING the sword makes a constitution check of 24, and thus is not affected.

    Now, obviously numbers and stats can be changed as needed - if you want the spell to ONLY affect items primarily, you could have it be where items have a very low (or even zero) constitution score, and make the spell have a negative to cast, so it makes it very easy for living things to shrug off its effects.
     
  10. Jadebrain_Prime Atheist now Registered Senior Member

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    The problem isn't how the effects would be mechanically implemented. The problem is actually understanding the concepts of how the spells would achieve the desired effect from a "flavor" perspective. See, I'm trying to design the spells (and other game content) to reflect how the setting itself works, and if I don't understand how the setting would work, I won't reasonably be able to design the mechanics.
     
  11. Kittamaru No more Staff Member

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    Ah, aighty. Well, the idea as I understand it in D&D is that characters stats represent their inherent features:

    Constitution being their stamina and ability to keep going despite fatigue, injury, etc. Strength is, well... how physically strong they are. One of these two can be applied to their fortitude score, or their ability to shrug off certain debilitating effects; in essence, how hard it is for a spell or power to afflict their body based on their physical physique.

    Dexterity represents their physical agility and kinesthetic awareness - in essence, how light they are on their feet. Intelligence is how aware and informed they are of what is going on around them, not to be confused with their knowledge, it is more their ability to understand what is present as opposed to knowing it. These two play into their reflex defense, which is their ability to evade incoming attack, either by physical prowess or by anticipating the opponents next move.

    Wisdom is the counterpart to intelligence - it is the ability of a character to have knowledge of things, sort of like trivia, but not always the practical application of said knowledge. Charisma is how much of a "people person" they are, and how well honed their social and self-discipline skills are. These two feed into their Willpower defense, which is the ability to shrug off certain debilitating effects upon the mind and psyche, either thru understanding the effect and compensating for it, or by simply overpowering it thru, well, sheer force of will.

    HOpe that helps a little

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  12. Jadebrain_Prime Atheist now Registered Senior Member

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    I'm already familiar with DnD's stats. I also feel I should mention that the game I'm designing is being designed by me from the ground up; while it may have some similarities to other systems, it's not actually based on any other system, DnD or otherwise.

    To further elaborate my previous point: Right now I'm trying to design the physics and such of the setting of my system, in an effort to determine what should and should not be possible in my game, especially in regard to dimensiomancy spells. Only after that's done will I design the mechanics of the spells.
     
  13. Kittamaru No more Staff Member

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    Oooh, alrighty. Sorry, I was on a way different wavelength.

    Can you give some examples of where you want/need input?
     
  14. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

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    Decay doesn't just effect radioactive materials, it's just that radioactive materials decay a lot faster and some materials are deemed stable due to requiring too long a period to notice decay.

    Either it stacks which would be greater than one universes amount or creates a void stack (=zero).
     
  15. Jadebrain_Prime Atheist now Registered Senior Member

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    Basically, I want ideas regarding possible practical applications of dimension-warping, and how the applications would be achieved from a physical perspective.

    Ah, I see. Wouldn't that still be a lot more extreme than rusting?

    I'm still not understanding what you're saying. What, exactly, is a stack in this context?
     
  16. LoRaan Registered Senior Member

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    You do not need to over think this that much. The spell could work to accelerate only one aspect of the swords being. Since you are warping space and time it would take much less energy to affect the rate of oxidation in the metal, and no other part of the object. Since the spell would only be affecting how fast iron oxide is made, you do not need to worry about the spell affecting movement or anything of the like.

    As for why it might be harder to do something similar against a living being, you could simply state that all living being instinctually use available mana to resist temporal distortions. This could of course be overcome through sufficient power. it would also explain why it would be easier to accelerate plants and microbes than it is to accelerate a sentient being. Its simple and internally consistent and might even explain why apply temporal distortions to yourself would be easier than someone else.
     
  17. Jadebrain_Prime Atheist now Registered Senior Member

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    Interesting... What I'm wondering now is how to explain the ability to warp individual aspects of an object, instead of just the entire object. However, I'm also wondering if such an explanation would be entirely necessary. I mean, more explanation is better for my own purposes, but maybe not from the perspective of the game itself.

    So, that's rusting equipment. Any other ideas? Also, in case it wasn't clear, Dimensiomancy covers spells dealing with time and space, so applications of spatial warping are also desired. Teleportation is the most obvious, but what else is there?
     
  18. Kittamaru No more Staff Member

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    A classic one - *insert item name here* of holding. Ergo, Bag of Holding, Box of Holding, TARDIS, etc...

    Simple explanation - they are bigger on the inside

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    So you could put, say, a small arsenal of weapons into a backpack

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  19. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

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    Simply, Yes.
    Let's say if you have no energy in multiple universes and it's bridge together, you wouldn't suddenly get a negative amount of energy, you'd still have none. (0+0=0) if however there was a way for energy from multiple instances to combine you could end up with a higher level of energy than you should from one parallel's perspective. (There is a limitation that is usually referred as the Bekenstein Bound which can be used to identify that any volume of space has a limitation on how much energy can exist within it, however the bound is applied to a singular universe, the mathematics gets a bit funky when you throw parallels into the mix.)

    A great example of how multiworlds can manipulate such bounds.
     
  20. Jadebrain_Prime Atheist now Registered Senior Member

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    Ah... so, if I'm not mistaken, you're talking about content from multiple universes manifesting into a single object or entity? I still must say, my inexperience is limiting my understanding of what you're saying.

    As for your response to Kittamaru, I already have an explanation for how those work, though I'm not sure how good it is. Basically, the idea is that a "bag of holding" or similar item would contain a "dimensional pocket," a fragment of space/time separated from the rest of space/time. Since it's separate, the measurements inside the dimensional pocket need not correspond with the measurements immediately outside the dimensional pocket.
     
  21. Kittamaru No more Staff Member

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    I actually like how Dr. Who does it regarding the TARDIS -
     
  22. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

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    Additional to what others have suggested, there's the size-multiplier effects (e.g. double someone's size, or halve them). Not sure of the biological implications of merely doubling/halving every aspect of a person, though.

    As for having the ability to rust a weapon by increasing the rate of one aspect, could this "magic" not be also used to increase the blood flow through a person, thus cause a heart attack, or to increase wind speed, increase temperature in water, that sort of thing?

    Anyhoo - warping dimensions - travel speed can be affected, areas could be "slowed", people put into a localised stasis field to prevent the character acting and/or prevent the character from getting harmed.
    I'm sure there's some way of making things lighter or heavier through this.

    Whenever I read novels and they introduce a rule/plot device/mechanism etc, I always get irritated when they don't think things through properly - like assuming anti-matter is a perfectly legitimate fuel, but then not explaining how they stop people using it as rather potent weapons.
    So try to make sure you look at all positive and negative aspects of anything you introduce.

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