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> Force - IC or OOC
Maelwys
post Jun 14 2010, 09:25 AM
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So we've been having a nice little argument about whether or not Force is an IC or OOC term. The main claim to it not being an IC term is that the person involved can't think of a good way to come up with a way to define force.

I on the other hand think that its an IC term, and offer up the following reasons.

In SR3, legality is set by force. Force X is legal, Force X+1 isn't legal. There must be some way to define force, rather than each magician judging it on their own.

In SR4, enchanting formulas contain the force of the item. They're also able to be used by people other than the creator, so Force must be quantifiable in some manner. It can't be based on a judgement by two magicians that have never met.

So what's your thoughts on it? Examples of why or why it isn't?

Anyone recall someone using the word force in an IC manner? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)
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Aerospider
post Jun 14 2010, 10:03 AM
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I've always seen it as a bit of both. There must be some scope for IC distinction of force beyond "That's a really, REALLY good focus", but the force rating system in the mechanics is a bit too neat and tidy to feel natural. I'd also expect it to differ between characters for example, I could imagine two magicians arguing whether something was force 2 or 3 in the same way two people may argue whether a colour was blue or green.

So I guess OOC I use the force system to represent whatever IC dialogue would be natural and make my peace with the notion that we're ignoring what might actually be said. So if someone asks the mage for a force 6 spellcasting, the player uses those words but his character will be giving the indication through other, unspecified descriptors.
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PBI
post Jun 14 2010, 10:22 AM
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It's a game mechanic term. That said, if you want your setting to use it as an in-game term, go for it.
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kxU
post Jun 14 2010, 10:51 AM
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i'd imagine measuring force in game as somewhat like measuring how many calories a food has in real life - you can do it with the proper knowledge and equipment, but the ordinary person/magician just takes the expert's word on it.
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Sengir
post Jun 14 2010, 11:18 AM
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Funny, I wondered about the same thing just yesterday when I read the old Aztlan book. In some IC talk there (about how powerful a blood spirit summoned by a given sacrifice can be) the shadowtalkers use force ratings, why really struck me as odd because I always considered it an OOC term. But when you think about it it makes sense, talisleggers, law enforcement and others need to have some way to quantify the power of magical items, and "well, that feels more powerful" can't do that.
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Mordinvan
post Jun 14 2010, 11:20 AM
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QUOTE (Sengir @ Jun 14 2010, 05:18 AM) *
Funny, I wondered about the same thing just yesterday when I read the old Aztlan book. In some IC talk there (about how powerful a blood spirit summoned by a given sacrifice can be) the shadowtalkers use force ratings, why really struck me as odd because I always considered it an OOC term. But when you think about it it makes sense, talisleggers, law enforcement and others need to have some way to quantify the power of magical items, and "well, that feels more powerful" can't do that.


I always thought about it like how the ghostbusters talking about levels on their little meter.
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Dakka Dakka
post Jun 14 2010, 11:40 AM
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QUOTE (Mordinvan @ Jun 14 2010, 01:20 PM) *
I always thought about it like how the ghostbusters talking about levels on their little meter.
I agree. depending on tradition or background you could also invent different force units. Like Hermetics call them Thaums, those that believe to be Jedi call them midichlorians etc. Just to make it less granular you could set Force 1 ot 0-500 thaums, Force 2 to 501-1000 Thaums and so on.
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Banaticus
post Jun 14 2010, 03:02 PM
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QUOTE (Dakka Dakka @ Jun 14 2010, 03:40 AM) *
I agree. depending on tradition or background you could also invent different force units. Like Hermetics call them Thaums, those that believe to be Jedi call them midichlorians etc. Just to make it less granular you could set Force 1 ot 0-500 thaums, Force 2 to 501-1000 Thaums and so on.

His power level is over 5000?!?! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oycnWy-83oI
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HugeC
post Jun 14 2010, 03:30 PM
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QUOTE (Dakka Dakka @ Jun 14 2010, 06:40 AM) *
...those that believe to be Jedi call them midichlorians...

No real Jedi would ever call them that. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/grinbig.gif)

But yeah, maybe Force is used by those guys who are trying to create the universal theory of everything (I forget the actual name of it). Individual traditions could use different terms appropriate to their paradigm, but would know how to translate it to Force so they can converse with members of other traditions about magic.
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Rand
post Jun 14 2010, 04:51 PM
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I think it is an IC term as the game seems to be going for a more scientific approach to magic (or, if using D&D terms: wizardly) where things are measured and weighted in detail. Like it was mentioned, the setting has laws that regulate magic and to do that they need some sort of "meter" - force is that meter.
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Dakka Dakka
post Jun 14 2010, 04:53 PM
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While Force is still a meter in SR$ Force does no longer determine legality. All spells are either restricted or forbidden.
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Maelwys
post Jun 14 2010, 04:57 PM
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QUOTE (PBI @ Jun 14 2010, 04:22 AM) *
It's a game mechanic term. That said, if you want your setting to use it as an in-game term, go for it.


If its all mechanic...how in SR3 did Lone Star judge if a spell was legal or not? I mean, I know its a dystopian future and trusting the courts is probably a bad thing, but I can't really believe that the evidence present in courts goes something like "Well, it seemed to be more powerful than what we consider legal..no, I can't really quantify that..how am I judging? How is he supposed to judge..uh...."

I also have to wonder about the force when it comes to enchanting formulas. If force is part of the formula, and you can give the formula to anyone, then force has to be definable.

Heck, it gets even more muddy when you realize that you had to have a magical library equal to the force you were learning/creating/summoning. What, is every mage wandering around thinking "Well, that spell FEELs like its going to need a rating 4 library on chip."

Not to mention the whole force equaling the size of the circles and what not.
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DamienKnight
post Jun 14 2010, 07:30 PM
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If scientists today can classify a storm as F3 or F5 (Fijita 6 being the limit... no, 'F' does not stand for 'Force' in this case) then there is no good reason that mages couldnt classify a spirit as Force 3 or 4 or whatever, based on the type spirit in relation to its astral/Physical size, the kinds of powers it displays.
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Saint Sithney
post Jun 14 2010, 08:36 PM
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QUOTE (DamienKnight @ Jun 14 2010, 12:30 PM) *
If scientists today can classify a storm as F3 or F5 (Fijita 6 being the limit... no, 'F' does not stand for 'Force' in this case) then there is no good reason that mages couldnt classify a spirit as Force 3 or 4 or whatever, based on the type spirit in relation to its astral/Physical size, the kinds of powers it displays.



You can estimate an F3 or F4 storm by sight or feeling, but you need calibrated measurements to be sure.

A good assensing test should easily provide that measurement though.
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Nexushound
post Jun 14 2010, 08:57 PM
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Oi Chums,

Is Force an IC or OOC statistic? I beleive it is an IC stat. Using the Assensing skill and scoring 4 hits will enable a PC to determine the exact Essence, Magic, and Force of the subject. I look at this as a sort of "Visual" clue on the Astral. There would be a certain oomph to a really powerfull force construct on the astral that can be visually guaged. There is definitly a standardized reference to the "Force" of something whether you call it Force or Thaums or Googleysmacks.


Now before everyone dumps on me becasue Astral sight is a psychic sense not a visual one I am just using the term "Visual" as a reference to describe what a magician would "See" on the Astral.
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tagz
post Jun 14 2010, 11:48 PM
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I think that Hermetics would likely use a structured measuring system for the amount of magical energies in a something, while a shaman wouldn't.

Likely, this system made the the Hermetics would be adopted by certain other groups, like LoneStar's or Knight Errent's magic division, corporations, etc. Though it could be fun to have them use a different scale. Like multiply everything by 2 in dialog. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/twirl.gif)


Edit: Whoops, Dakka beat me too it.
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Udoshi
post Jun 15 2010, 12:10 AM
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To be honest, I see it both ways. Force IS an ooc term. Its useful, its a game mechanic, its necessary to play.

In-character, magic is a very studied practice, and people are not dumb - they know there's grades of magic. Not every spell is the great ghost dance. There's even an entire tradition that applies science and logic to use it(hermetics)... but at the same time, there's tons of other traditions who wouldn't get how a hermetic describes a spell. There are almost certainly various terms and lingos to talk about how powerful a spell or spirit is - but I'm not sure Force is it, because it would likely vary from region to region, locale to locale, and tradition to tradition.
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Hagga
post Jun 15 2010, 12:11 AM
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QUOTE (Maelwys @ Jun 14 2010, 10:25 AM) *
So we've been having a nice little argument about whether or not Force is an IC or OOC term. The main claim to it not being an IC term is that the person involved can't think of a good way to come up with a way to define force.

I on the other hand think that its an IC term, and offer up the following reasons.

In SR3, legality is set by force. Force X is legal, Force X+1 isn't legal. There must be some way to define force, rather than each magician judging it on their own.

In SR4, enchanting formulas contain the force of the item. They're also able to be used by people other than the creator, so Force must be quantifiable in some manner. It can't be based on a judgement by two magicians that have never met.

So what's your thoughts on it? Examples of why or why it isn't?

Anyone recall someone using the word force in an IC manner? (IMG:style_emoticons/default/smile.gif)

There's been a slow march from using game terms IC (Like force, and karma, in 2e, for example) to keeping it nice and amorphous through the later parts of 3e and currently 4e.
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Shinobi Killfist
post Jun 15 2010, 12:28 AM
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I consider it a IC thing but while force may be the accepted term I suspect every tradition has there own term for it.
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Oehler the Black
post Jun 15 2010, 12:40 AM
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QUOTE (Dakka Dakka @ Jun 14 2010, 05:40 AM) *
I agree. depending on tradition or background you could also invent different force units. Like Hermetics call them Thaums, those that believe to be Jedi call them midichlorians etc. Just to make it less granular you could set Force 1 ot 0-500 thaums, Force 2 to 501-1000 Thaums and so on.

Well given that hermetics use scientific equipment to further their understanding, it's very likely a system measuring the amount of energy a spell utilizes was developed. Perhaps a sort of logarithmic scale with the whole integers of the Force denoting some whole ranges of kilo-Joules.

For example lets say a Force 1 fireball temporarily manifests a half-liter of hydrogen plasma (44.9 mg) at 1600 degrees Celsius(1,873.15 kelvin), roughly the heat of a Bunsen burner.
I will assume such a spell works by converting energy directly into mater through some sort of literally arcane mechanism unknown to science, rather than some sort of "ex nihilo" approach which would require much inventive math. So then according to general relativity, the energy required to create the desired 44.9 mg of hydrogen would be 4.035x10^12 J (joules) now really that is a huge amount of energy... (IMG:style_emoticons/default/eek.gif)

Actually this is putting far to much credit into a purposely abstract system. Lets instead just say that mana is a radically dense energy source and even the lowliest of spells would require a huge quantities of energy to be measured in thousands of joules.
So perhaps spout off some purposely meaningless math involving logarithmic scales and mega-joules. Or just go for the brass ring and see how many times you can work in the phrase "1.12 gigawatts." (IMG:style_emoticons/default/rotfl.gif)


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Redcrow
post Jun 15 2010, 12:51 AM
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QUOTE (Mordinvan @ Jun 14 2010, 11:20 AM) *
I always thought about it like how the ghostbusters talking about levels on their little meter.


Thats a big Twinkie. (IMG:style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif)
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Hand-E-Food
post Jun 15 2010, 12:54 AM
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QUOTE (Saint Sithney @ Jun 15 2010, 06:36 AM) *
You can estimate an F3 or F4 storm by sight or feeling, but you need calibrated measurements to be sure.

A good assensing test should easily provide that measurement though.

That's right. A good assensing test result gives an accurate reading, where as a shoddy result or a glitch gives a false reading.
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Ed_209a
post Jun 15 2010, 01:06 AM
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I agree with the "Both" camp.

It is like throwing a punch. Your punch may be X Newtons of force, and could be measured precisely as such, but _you_ would have trouble telling exactly how many Newtons you put into the target. You could control the output generally though.
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nylanfs
post Jun 15 2010, 11:29 PM
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Since spells take energy to cast (drain), why couldn't they just calculate it the same way that calories burned via exercise are calculated. Same basic principal.
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Dakka Dakka
post Jun 15 2010, 11:38 PM
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Because Force is not proportional to drain. Not only do different spells of the same force have different drain, this drain also manifests differently from caster to caster (hits on drain reistance, magic of the caster)
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