Fantasy.....

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  • Chronocide wrote:

    Here's one. Why does fantasy always seem to take an either or approach to science and magic?

    Like if I can use magic to harden or sharpen objects, I could bypass the iron age entirely.
    Hahaha, I had an argument with @Giladis about something similar.

    My argument is that divination would be an academic subject in the Empire of Sonnstahl, because if telling the future works (sometimes) in the t9a world, it makes sense to study it empirically/scientifically (maybe it has to be the entrails of a female rat with a tail more than 4" long... ;) :P ).

    The only reason we see it as "unscientific" or "mystical" is because in our world, it demonstrably doesn't work.
    As a method, science/empiricism can be applied to anything that has concrete/measurable real world effects.

    So there would be EoS academics writing papers and devising experiments to test the different methods of fortune telling :D
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  • Aren't there two (t least) parts to fantasy - fantasy races and magic.

    You could have most fantasy races (undead and demons aside) without magic.

    It is where magic and technology collide we get anechronisms. Why research fusion when we can summon fireballs....
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  • Chronocide wrote:

    Here's one. Why does fantasy always seem to take an either or approach to science and magic?

    Like if I can use magic to harden or sharpen objects, I could bypass the iron age entirely.
    Spells don't have a permanent effect, can be dispelled, mages aren't common as muck, mages have a guild that means they don't need to do things like that so they can sell their services at a higher price for their own profit and not the betterment of society as a whole.
    Or maybe societal situations haven't found that perfect storm of ideas and actual ability to implement those ideas and so what seems obvious to somebody looking in from the outside just hasn't had a chance to properly get towards normality yet.

    Magic being a thing could easily also mean there's a literal god overseeing the entire thing making sure nobody gets to combine science and magic in a way that betters everyone because that's boring and it's much more fun to watch them fight meaningless wars with each other instead.
  • The argument that magic and technology are in mutual competition doesn't hold in a world where they are both possible, in my opinion.
    Why would a faction pursue technological advances when spells can be cast? For the same reason that one would still brew potions even when spells exist. They take advantage of different ressources, so they can be used in addition to spells, not instead of them, they can be stored and exchanged, non-wizards can use them etc.
    I agree with the idea mentioned by @DanT.
    Technology was a thing way before we set in stone the principles behind mordern science, and there was a continuum between mysticism and "the philosophy of nature" as science was called back then. Think of alchemy and chemistry, astronomy and astrology, the theory of humors/miasma and medicine.
    The denizens of T9A probably don't see a sharp discontinuity between them as we do, they probably both appear as different means to an end (even though magic seems to only be practiced by a few).
  • Not so much T9A, but hard a similar conversation regarding Pathfinder 0-level spells.

    The basic "create water" spell that clerics and druids have dramatically alters geography in the respect that cities no longer require natural water supplies.

    And the ability to detect alignments rather dramatically alters the concept of an alignment.
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  • Shlagrabak wrote:

    The denizens of T9A probably don't see a sharp discontinuity between them as we do, they probably both appear as different means to an end (even though magic seems to only be practiced by a few).
    Magic isn't consistent in it's separation from science. Furthermore, misunderstood science is often mistaken as magic.

    Though for reality, if you can consistently cast the same spell in the same way by repeating the same conditions, then the spell is science. It's technology.

    People often forget that everything from the spoken language to martial arts qualifies as both science and technology. Doesn't make martial artists into scientists, but what they do is still covered under science (physics and biology).
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  • Is magic just not understood technology - in which case it exists in our world already - at least to some people.

    Or is magic something that can force changes in defiance of the laws of physics etc onto a world that otherwise obeys those laws - in which case they aren't really laws.

    Nothing can go faster than the speed of light - apart from effects caused by this spell.....In which case the physical laws of this universe have changed and things now can go faster than the speed of light. Therefore its not magic anymore.as it still complies with laws - just ones that have now had to be changed to reflect the new reality

    Wow, you can go into some philosophical rabbit holes here....
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  • Vulgarsty wrote:

    Is magic just not understood technology - in which case it exists in our world already - at least to some people.
    I had a friend that was big into magic and that sort of stuff.

    He said that even a moving speech qualified as magic because it had power over others.

    Was never clear if he meant that or was just dodging the question.

    But it's an interesting concept, that rather than social skills, that we're subconsciously casting spells on each other every time we influence each other via simple conversation.
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  • Chronocide wrote:

    But it's an interesting concept, that rather than social skills, that we're subconsciously casting spells on each other every time we influence each other via simple conversation.
    Or rather, that social skills are magic themselves.
    "Words have power" is a pretty common trend in western superstition. Refusing to speak of the devil lest you draw his gaze, your ears burning when someone's talking about you, a true name granting power over a person, trapping the dragon in a riddle, a fairy's obsession with exact words, that sort of thing.
    You see it come through a lot in Changeling: The Lost, where all spells are in the form of contracts, and they all have some kind of loophole that would let you cast them much more easily.

    Would probably not work in T9A, but yeah, it's an interesting concept to explore.
  • yes of course I forgot that Americans refer to swearing as “cursing” so that is closer to the original, medieval/tudor/Jacobean belief and intent perhaps - in English anyway because British and US English started to diverge with the Pilgrim Fathers and they possibly retained “cursing” whereas with the original english speakers the term fell into disuse in that context
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  • Chronocide wrote:

    Here's one. Why does fantasy always seem to take an either or approach to science and magic?

    Like if I can use magic to harden or sharpen objects, I could bypass the iron age entirely.
    Yet if you would cause magical explosion or call daemons from behind the veil in such process, you could return to stone age of magic :)

    But according to your example - imagine necromancy instead of robotics in production! Who needs lazy peasants when you can get restless group of skeleton workers?

    Guess that Empire of Sonnstahl's Magic Academy bulletin could be really interesting thing :D
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  • Altao wrote:

    Chronocide wrote:

    Here's one. Why does fantasy always seem to take an either or approach to science and magic?

    Like if I can use magic to harden or sharpen objects, I could bypass the iron age entirely.
    Yet if you would cause magical explosion or call daemons from behind the veil in such process, you could return to stone age of magic :)
    But according to your example - imagine necromancy instead of robotics in production! Who needs lazy peasants when you can get restless group of skeleton workers?
    Well necromancy needs corpses. Necromancy seems more like a battlefield thing. Golems in factories.
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