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Botch
We were kicking around an idea to for a spell to anchor an object/person to a location. The sort of thing where the target is a valuble object d'art which can't be moved from the display cabinet because its anchored in position relative to the cabinet. It went a bit further.

Suppose instead of locking the target to a local spacial co-ordinate it was linked to an absolute spacial co-ordinate. With Earth orbiting the sun and the sun itself travelling rapidly through an expanding universe it was mooted as a cheap way to launch a satellite.

The earth orbits the sun at approx 30km/s
The sun's orbital speed is between 210km/s and 240km/s

So a two stage launch could put a satellite in geosynchronous orbit. First anchor the target relative to the sun and let the earth pass away from it and then anchor it relative to the casters locale once it achieves an orbital altitude. After the second part of the launch spell is completed gravity and inertia should keep it in geosynchronous orbit without further magical input.

Is this possible with SR magic and would be your input on the drain code/spell limitations and requirements.
fistandantilus4.0
The first part sounds very do- able, jsut make a permanent version of the 'bind' spell.

As for launching satelites, I'd say that casting a spell of any kind is well beyond the powers of magic. As an example, back in the 4th age, the spell eclipse actually had nothing to do with the sun. It's kind of like putting your hand in fornt of a flashlight in stead, where it put a big black dot in the way (more or less) that blocked the sunlight for a 20 mile area. It was an illusion spell.

If they couldn't develop a speel to effect the sun in the 4th age at the height of magic (or earlier, as many 11th+ circle spells are described as being extremely rare, eve nfrom the 2nd age) I doubt you'll be seeing any copr R&D developing a spell to do it 50 years in to the awakening.
Botch
But the spell doesn't need to effect the sun.

If you could anchor an object relative to an observable point in space that is not the immediate area (ie. not the table it is on), but say the sun (146-151 million km away) the orbital velocity of the earth (~30km/s) would move the earth away from under the satellite leaving it in space.

As to the OR penalties in moving a high tech satellite would putting it in a low OR casing and moving the casing (and thus the contents) use the low OR, the highest OR or an amalgamation of the 2.
fistandantilus4.0
Maybe I'm mis-understanding, but how do you anchor it to the sun, without anchoring it to the sun? It's not like you can anchor it to empty space. Especially since space is a manawarp.

Am I just misunderstanding you?
Botch
It depends on how the spell anchors the target. How are the spacial co-ordinates "locked in"?

Take the case of a vase in a display cabinet.

1) Would the spell anchor it xyz from the cabinet? If this is the case, moving the cabinet would move the vase. If a person picked the cabinet up would they also have to lift the weight of the vase or does the spell provide the energy to move the vase?

2) Would the spell anchor it xyz to an area, if so how big an area? A truck trailer? A cruise liner? A city block? What happens when the material in that area is moved around? If it was a room sized area at the top of a tower and the tower is knocked down, what happens to the room and the vase?

When you are sat still in a chair you are not stationary, but in a geosynchronous position. The surface of the Earth (in USA/Europe) is travelling at ~20km/s as it rotates through a 24hr day. The Earth is orbiting the sun at ~30km/s. The sun is not stationary, it has an orbitial speed of ~220km/s relative to Milky Way core. The Milky Way is not stationary, etc, etc.

Isn't the range limit on a spell LOS? Obviously the manawarp could effect it in someway, any idea, because the target object (the vase) and caster (source of magical energy) are not in space. What happens when a target is in an area of high background count, but the caster is outside the area and vice versa?

EDITED:- What we are getting at is, can you anchor an object to the co-ordinate in the universe where my desk was as of 13:30:00 today, because if you can hold it at that coordinate for 1 second it would then be approximately 30km above a point 20km down the road.
weblife
Earth is wrapped in a sphere of mana, this sphere is isolated form the rest of space. Your "fix-point" will have to be something that is within the manasphere, and it moves with the earth, so the item will remain static.

You can't fix the item to a coordinate in relation to the Sun, because the Sun isn't "known" to the manasphere.

That said though, I do not see any problems in designing a spell that can boost an object into orbit. An elemental manipulation spell fx. The Force would be tremendous though. Definately something ritual magic would be needed for.

Um, how far out do you have to go, in order to be free of the earths pull?

The Levitate spell seems to negate gravity just fine. But its TN is variable, so only light things can go up. Second, it doesn't move all that fast.

But if something is levitating, it means its not falling. And if its not falling, then any additional force applied will go toward accelerating the object. So you should be able to create a small pod of less than 600kg, (TN 10 to levitate), and shoot it into orbit with a groundbased railgun. Fit a set of small boosters on it, and you should be able to reach a station in orbit.

Trouble is, the mage has to be aboard to maintain his levitate spell. Once they get above 71km, the levitate spell will probably fail due to manawarp. I suppose the mage could be on earth with some binoculars at that.

Anyhow, if you are able to levitate something, it should definately be much easier to boost into orbit. Actually, since Levitate only takes +2Moderate Drain to cast, it suggests that you could design a version thats more powerful.

Fx look at extended area, it adds a x10 to the area for +1DL, add it to Levitate but as a speed factor, MagicxForcex10. Or even just as a weight factor, so the base TN of 4 can lift 10x100kgs. Maybe even both factors, for a +2 Deadly Levitate spell that can move at MagicxForcex10 and carry 1.000kg.

EDIT: Extended area is only a x10 modifier, not a x100. It also states that it can only be applied once, but that I think is to each aspect. Well, not really, because the only aspect it modifes is area, to modify speed or weight I'm well into making new rules on the fly. Numbers above modified.

wobble.gif

Well, its not totally outside precedent.
weblife
Thats 1.000 kgs moving at 432km/h.

Hohum, maybe the spell is not unreasonable at all. The risks of using it might balance it well enough. - You'd of course rule that the spell is hard to control on the short distances, making it only useful for long travels.

Perhaps even remove the weight modifier.

I'll make a new thread for this spell.
Apathy
The bind spell allows the target a strength test to break the binding; it would be sensible that your 'tether' spell should as well. Instant accelleration to over 30 K/s implies that a tremendous amount of force would be applied, and that force would instantly break the tether.

I'd also think that the maximum distance of the tether should be limited by magic rating (or 10 times magic rating for the extended version).

Finally, I'd say that the object would have to be tethered to a tangible thing, not a conceptual location. Nobody really knows what our absolute coordinates are anyway, and it's too fuzzy a concept for me to attach anything to.

Player: I'm attaching my satellite to the absolute spatial coordinates that it occupies right now.
GM: You can't. By the time you finish the incantation, the coordinates you started with are outside the range of your spell.
Player: But the spell is designed to be instantaneous!
GM: Eh, what the hell, ok. The extreme acceleration force tears at the spell, and I roll 50,000 dice against TN = spell force to see if the spell breaks.
*All 50,000 dice roll ones.*
GM: Congratulations. The spell holds. The satellite tears away from you at .03c. The energy transfer associated with this turns the air around the satellite into a column of super-heated plasma. Resist 45D (Naval).
Player: ohplease.gif
Botch
Fact 1 - Satellites orbit between 100 and 24,000 miles out. Current GPS satellites weigh ~900kgs and have an orbital distance of 22,000 miles.

Fact 2 - Telecommunication satellites range from 200 km to 1400 km with by far the most in the 700km to 1,000km orbit

Fact 3 - A satellite launch can cost anywhere between $50 million and $400 million. And an entire shuttle mission costs half a billion dollars (a shuttle mission could easily carry several satellites into orbit).

Fact 4 - I apologise if I've got this bit wrong.

a) Gravitional attraction for a 1,100kg body at 1 metre = 4.4e+17N
b) Gravitional attraction for a 1,100kg body at 71 km = 8.7e+7N
c) Gravitional attraction for a 1,100kg body at 200 km = 1.1e+7N
d) Gravitional attraction for a 1,100kg body at 850 km = 6.1e+5N

So boosting the satellite almost into orbit and using solid-state rockets to punt it the extra 130km is very little effort. In fact the rocket system needed to gain a stable LEO orbit from 71km above the earth's surface would be more or less troll portable.

Now I've never managed to get a runner's bank balance upto 2.5 billion nuyen to purchase a shuttle flight, but have found it much easier to russle up a ritual group. Private sat-comm system anybody?
Botch
QUOTE (Apathy @ Jun 29 2005, 11:51 AM)
The bind spell allows the target a strength test to break the binding; it would be sensible that your 'tether' spell should as well. Instant accelleration to over 30 K/s implies that a tremendous amount of force would be applied, and that force would instantly break the tether.


Since when has SR magic paid a blind bit of notice to the laws of physics? Have you ever calculated the real energy requirements of different spell effects versus magic ability required by the spell, there is no consistency 'cos its maaagic.
Apathy
QUOTE
Since when has SR magic paid a blind bit of notice to the laws of physics?

True, but I would suggest that a decent GM might want to consider them when designing a new custom spell that's not in the rules, and would supposedly allow PCs to launch their own sattelites.
Jrayjoker
If risk/benefit analysis were how the spells got made in the first place I'd let you launch whatever you want with a spell. However, the manasphere is what it is and therefore you should only be able to bind something relative to a point in the manasphere. I gree with weblife on that point.
Herald of Verjigorm
The manasphere is what it is, but what it is is just a region of mana that is generally hospitibale to the life that dwells in it. Note the term "Mana Warp" indicates that the mana there is warped in comparison to "standard" (which is actually the earth's manasphere).

MitS clearly states the consequences to magic of trying to cross such a warp. Even if the spellcasting were done entirely in the manasphere, the spell would need to be very high force to retain any effect in the drastically different mana paradigm of lifeless space. I think force 13 originally will retain 1 or 2 after the change.
Edward
I would say that any spell that holds something in a fixed position dose so relative to the mana sphere as a how; that is to say the surface of the earth, ant other interpretation creates a lot of isues to do with relativity.

If you did allow your trick then the same spell would have several other uses, if your using the sun as the central point of reference for example then a satellite would have to be launched between noon and midnight (favouring 1500-2100 hours, I think) due to the direction the earth moves, and there would need to be clear space to the west of the launch site because the satellite will not be going streat up. Precise timing of the launch would be critical to achieve the desired orbit and given how crowded space lanes are becoming and the fact that your craft is not capable of steering until the spell is released (remember the spell will stop working outside the mana sphere) you could have some difficulties,

also you will have a great deal of difficulty plotting a launch trajectory tar results in a stable orbit, when the spell is released its velocity relative to the sun will be 0, nothing stationary relative to the sun can be in orbit of earth and it will take some crazy manurers to get into orbit, you cant cast a spell to fix its position relative to earth because the craft is now beyond the reach of magic

If you avow this spell then you have to consider what will happen when it is deliberately cast out of position what you have is not dissimilar to the classic fantasy gaming cross theory of relativity problem, the west firing gun, all be it with a different causal description.

If a durable object was to be placed on the east side of a city and this sill was cast a line of destruction would be swept threw the city, if this spell was to be cast at 3AM local time the target of the spell would again be swept west but with a significant down angle (du to the earth moving around the sun) with luck (good or bad, you pick) you could start earthquakes, volcanoes or even a total tectonic inversion, where the crust of the earth breaks up and sinks into the magma.

Edward
Method
So if you could theoretically get the thing up there then the limits of the mana sphere would be where the the spell peters out thus representing the maximum attainable height. Really the spell disappaiting into the mana warp would determine how high the thing goes, right?

So a question: is that height (where the mana sphere ends) sufficient to keep a satallite in orbit?
(based on thhe ranges Botch has given)
Herald of Verjigorm
A force 6 spell would survive to about 77km of altitude. Force 10 would get close to 80km. Force 13 would still retain some existance at any altitude as long as nothing else interferes.

So, not really good for making a stable orbit.

Edward, your doomsday scenario is based on the object somehow being indestructable. In the first collision at those speeds, the launched object would probably vaporize and at most one molecule of the resultant gasses would retain the spell (and that's being generous, usually spells end when their object loses any resemblance to the original state) and would behave like a slightly oversized alpha particle that just won't get absorbed (or an exceptionally large bit of gamma radiation).
John Campbell
QUOTE (Botch)
Fact 4 - I apologise if I've got this bit wrong.

            a) Gravitional attraction for a 1,100kg body at 1 metre = 4.4e+17N
            b) Gravitional attraction for a 1,100kg body at 71 km = 8.7e+7N
            c) Gravitional attraction for a 1,100kg body at 200 km = 1.1e+7N
            d) Gravitional attraction for a 1,100kg body at 850 km = 6.1e+5N

So boosting the satellite almost into orbit and using solid-state rockets to punt it the extra 130km is very little effort.  In fact the rocket system needed to gain a stable LEO orbit from 71km above the earth's surface would be more or less troll portable.

There's a fundamental problem with your figuring, that being that there's more involved in gaining a stable orbit than simply lifting the satellite to the correct altitude. You also need to accelerate the satellite to the correct velocity for that orbit, or it will simply fall back down once you release it. For LEO, that's roughly 8 km/s, or 24,000 meters per combat turn. A Grade 10 Initiate would need a Force 1500 Levitate and 1500 successes on the Sorcery test to accomplish that.
blakkie
Congratulates John. You just put this thread over the top and into first place for Physics Thread Of The Month, June 2005.

P.S. I mean this in a good way, i think. cool.gif
Edward
The doomsday scenario is indeed somewhat over stated, the damage would likely be comparable to a meteorite of the size ad composition or the target of the spell striking the earth at a shallow angle. The destruction of buildings would be easily achieved (at least the firs one and its not going to collapse nicely) and if done directly at a fault line you could trigger an earthquake.

QUOTE ( Method)

So if you could theoretically get the thing up there then the limits of the mana sphere would be where the the spell peters out thus representing the maximum attainable height. Really the spell disappaiting into the mana warp would determine how high the thing goes, right?

So a question: is that height (where the mana sphere ends) sufficient to keep a satallite in orbit?
(based on thhe ranges Botch has given)


its not quite that simple,. An object an orbit another object at any distance provided the velocity is correct, if you donít want the velocity to drop it has to be above any atmosphere. I would expect the manasphere to end out at the same point as the atmosphere so lets assume that when the spell fails the object is just beond the atmosphere.

Now what is its velocity relitiv to earth and corrected for rotation.

Answer (expressed as a vector in laymanís terms) is up at the orbital velocity of earth.

The problem with this is that to be in orbit your velocity should be tangential to your orbit. Usually east at a speed determined buy altitude.

So at the point when the spell ends youíre traveling at right angles to your orbital path (as wrong as you can get). The result depends on weather the orbital velocity of earth (now the velocity of the object relative to earth) is greater than earths escape velocity.

If it is, earth will leave you behind, a quick check show your velocity relative to the sun is zero throw in the forces of gravity and you fall into the sun,

If you donít have escape velocity you fall back to earth and crash, probably in a spectacular fire ball., I consider the first the more likely

The only way to avoid these results is to carry enough fuel and engines to change your velocity to one that orbits earth, your probably better off just using a traditional rocket,

Possibly one built out of holdout pistols with the clips removed

Edward
Botch
I'll just pop off and check the math, but first I'm going to check out the British Space Program where we're attempting to launch a device into space from a giant hot-air balloon.
hyzmarca
There is a simpiler way to magicaly launch something into space. You just need an IE, a Sterility Shaman, and a pair of really big doors.

First, make sure that IE knows the ED illusionist spell that allows one to magically link to doorways together. Have the IE teach this spell to the Sterility Shaman.

Over a period of years, slowly condition the Sterility Shaman untill his magic works just as well in the space as it does on Earth. It helps if you have several Sterility Shamen so that they can work together as a ritual group. This spell will be very taxing.

Have these Toxic Shaman link two big doorways that aren't actually connected to anything and launch one of them into orbit.

Instant stargate.

It works best of the doorways are also huge sustaining foci and the Shaman are high-grade initiates.

You then keep them locked in a closed room on life support so that the spell continues functioning yet these hopelessly insane and very powerful magicians can't slaughter you and everyone ese they meet.
Botch
OK, I think I'm getting there, just a few variables to close down.

Does levitate work on weight or mass?
Why doesn't levitate provide acceleration?
Is there a sustainable spell that ejects matter?
How expensive/available/buildable would an ion propulsion unit be, considering it would as about SOTA as a bi-plane is to us?
John Campbell
QUOTE (Botch)
OK, I think I'm getting there, just a few variables to close down.

Does levitate work on weight or mass?

Mass. Its capacity is defined in kilograms, which are a unit of mass, and, for a pleasant change, the description even refers to them as mass, not as weight.

QUOTE
Why doesn't levitate provide acceleration?

Because it doesn't. That's just the way it is. It's magic; no scientific explanation is necessary.

QUOTE
Is there a sustainable spell that ejects matter?

Not in canon.

QUOTE
How expensive/available/buildable would an ion propulsion unit be, considering it would as about SOTA as a bi-plane is to us?

Very/not at all/not unless you're a rocket scientist with access to an appropriate facility.

Regardless of how "SOTA" an ion drive is, it's not going to be something you can just pick up down at the Stuffer Shack, not without much more casual space travel than SR's world has.

How expensive/available/buildable is a man-rated Saturn V these days? It's just about as "SOTA".
Herald of Verjigorm
QUOTE (Botch)
Does levitate work on weight or mass?
mass
QUOTE
Why doesn't levitate provide acceleration?
Because it is defined in the personal scale which has no acceleration aspect. If it was defined by the vehicular scale, acceleration would come into play.
QUOTE
Is there a sustainable spell that ejects matter?
No, those would either be instant or permanent, depending on the behaviour of the matter.
QUOTE
How expensive/available/buildable would an ion propulsion unit be, considering it would as about SOTA as a bi-plane is to us?
Just because a concept is old doesn't mean it can be implemented yet in a worthwhile way. The greatest fallicy in R&D is the assumption that things are just around the corner. For example, AI technology has been "5 years away" since at least the 1970's, I think earlier. [edit]And see the missile argument in John's post]
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