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Maelwys
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? smile.gif
Aerospider
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.
PBI
It's a game mechanic term. That said, if you want your setting to use it as an in-game term, go for it.
kxU
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.
Sengir
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.
Mordinvan
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.
Dakka Dakka
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.
Banaticus
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
HugeC
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. 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.
Rand
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.
Dakka Dakka
While Force is still a meter in SR$ Force does no longer determine legality. All spells are either restricted or forbidden.
Maelwys
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.
DamienKnight
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.
Saint Sithney
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.
Nexushound
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.
tagz
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. twirl.gif


Edit: Whoops, Dakka beat me too it.
Udoshi
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.
Hagga
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? 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.
Shinobi Killfist
I consider it a IC thing but while force may be the accepted term I suspect every tradition has there own term for it.
Oehler the Black
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... 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." rotfl.gif


Redcrow
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. biggrin.gif
Hand-E-Food
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.
Ed_209a
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.
nylanfs
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.
Dakka Dakka
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)
stevebugge
I'd be inclined to say it can be both, mostly because Scientists love to name things and classify things and so much the better when they get to invent a measurement scale. For more flavor you could have it be a Force 5 manabolt using the UCLA ThaumaturgicsTM Scale or something along those lines, especially if using it as part of a news release or something.
nylanfs
Fine just poke holes in my nice idea. smile.gif
Aberrant
Makes sense as an IC term to me. Maybe not force for everyone, but something comparable. I presume that it is likely a measure of the amount of mana manipulated by a spell, or, for spirits and items, the amount of mana that composes the spirit or inhabits the item.

Drain is not equal because a - it is magic, not science, and b, just because you are manipulating X amounts of Mana for a Stunbolt and a Healthy glow spell at force X, the way you manipulate it is different.
Nifft
"Twelve gauge autoloader"

"That's Italian. You can go Pump or Auto."

"The .45 Longslide with Smartgun system"

"These are brand new; we just got these in. That's a good gun: you just touch the trigger and a dot shows up on your HUD, and you just put the red dot where you want the bullet to go. Anything else?"

"Phased-astral power focus in the 40-kilothaum range"

"*chuckles* Hey, just what you see, pal."

... yeah, it's IC.
Mr. Mage
I'd say it's probably an OOC term but depending on your group could be used as an IC term. It's kind of like in DnD, how do you say: "Hello shopkeep, I would like to buy a +5 shocking longsword."
"+5" is a game mechanic the system uses to guage the general power of an enchantment, but I doubt you would really say that to a real shopkeep, it would just sound stupid. But if you DON'T say "+5" sword, he might give you a "+3" sword because you said "I would like to buy a powerful, magical sword" which is a bit to vague.

I direct your attention to this OOTS strip: http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0297.html
second half of the comic.

Might be an OOC term, but who really cares if you use it as IC?
Mordinvan
QUOTE (Nifft @ Jun 15 2010, 08:43 PM) *
"Twelve gauge autoloader"

"That's Italian. You can go Pump or Auto."

"The .45 Longslide with Smartgun system"

"These are brand new; we just got these in. That's a good gun: you just touch the trigger and a dot shows up on your HUD, and you just put the red dot where you want the bullet to go. Anything else?"

"Phased-astral power focus in the 40-kilothaum range"

"*chuckles* Hey, just what you see, pal."

... yeah, it's IC.


Terminator much?
Dakka Dakka
QUOTE (Mordinvan @ Jun 16 2010, 07:00 PM) *
Terminator much?
This reminds me of an old Terminator parody. I hope it is funny even if you don't understand German.
Nifft
QUOTE (Mordinvan @ Jun 16 2010, 12:00 PM) *
Terminator much?

How dare you! It's an excerpt from an original work of mine in which a cyborg travels back in time to become governor of California.


But on a more serious note, could the Terminator even use a Power Focus?

Can you use cyber implants to control an Awakened critter (or even a metahuman mage) sufficiently that you can cast spells via rigging?
Draco18s
QUOTE (Nifft @ Jun 16 2010, 01:55 PM) *
But on a more serious note, could the Terminator even use a Power Focus?


Under 3e rules, yes, assuming he was previously awakened.

QUOTE
Can you use cyber implants to control an Awakened critter (or even a metahuman mage) sufficiently that you can cast spells via rigging?


No.
Jaid
QUOTE (Nifft @ Jun 16 2010, 02:55 PM) *
Can you use cyber implants to control an Awakened critter (or even a metahuman mage) sufficiently that you can cast spells via rigging?

no.

you could probably train a paranimal to use a power on command, and send that command through a cybernetic implant. you could probably also do that with a magician in theory, but the magician is quite likely to not appreciate the experience much, and you probably don't want to have an angry combat mage hanging around anything you care enough about to protect.
Yerameyahu
Sounds like a job for CAST interface, right? Make the critter/mage *want* to cast the spell on the apparent target. It's even *called* 'CAST'! biggrin.gif

Seriously though, biodrone tech is so weird. frown.gif
Mordinvan
QUOTE (Nifft @ Jun 16 2010, 11:55 AM) *
Can you use cyber implants to control an Awakened critter (or even a metahuman mage) sufficiently that you can cast spells via rigging?


Yes. IF you have the equpment installed during the developmental stages of brain grown, so it becomes accustom and even dependent on the interactions. A brain is a machine like any other, and with proper control and input and modification of internal processes, it should be possible. It would require extensive and invasive control of the inputs the brain is recieveing, as well as access to the lymphatic (emotional), memory, and motor systems, but should be doable.
Yerameyahu
It still would not, I think, be a push-button 'cast Stunbolt 4' kind of process. But that's maybe just fluff. smile.gif
Jaid
QUOTE (Yerameyahu @ Jun 17 2010, 03:23 PM) *
It still would not, I think, be a push-button 'cast Stunbolt 4' kind of process. But that's maybe just fluff. smile.gif

well, like i said, you could certainly train a hellhound (for example) to breathe fire on command. you could have the source of that command be a CAST system, as someone pointed out earlier. but ultimately, the hell hound could still (theoretically) choose not to breathe fire.

of course, if you're using a CAST system, there would need to be some *really* strong reasons for the hound to choose not to, but it could theoretically happen.
Yerameyahu
Yeah, that was me. smile.gif I agree. (With myself. biggrin.gif )
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