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MildShow
Jan 4, 2012



Odette posted:

Wasn't there some storm in Mistborn too?

Not really a spoiler, but there was one in the first book, but it was more "poo poo's about to go down," than anything plot-related.

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quiggy
Aug 7, 2010

[in Russian] Oof.




tliil posted:

Maybe it's just that he writes them the same. When characters use magic, it feels like a videogame. Very rules-driven. I dunno, I felt like the magic systems were very similar and I'm going to blame it on something. Probably I'll just stick to reading his Stormlight series so I don't get burned out on the writing style.

Sanderson has said that he only likes fantasy magic when either (a) there's a strictly codified set of rules governing what it can and can't do or (b) it feels like there's a strictly codified set of rules. That's why everything has such a gamey feel to it--he lays out the rules somewhere and follows them to the letter. It prevents his magic systems from ever just being a deus ex machina dispenser but I can definitely see why some people don't like having everything spelled out for them.

Subvisual Haze
Nov 22, 2003

The building was on fire and it wasn't my fault.

Stormlight usage and mistborn powers are probably Brandon's most similar magic systems in that they're both pretty physics based (forces pushing and pulling on things). His other magic systems are quite different though, although they still follow his pattern that they are bound by defined rules (although these rules generally are not 100% known by the people using these magic systems. Trying to figure out the rules of the magic system and how they can be exploited by characters in the future is part of the fun in reading these books.

404GoonNotFound
Aug 6, 2006

The McRib is back!?!?


quiggy posted:

Sanderson has said that he only likes fantasy magic when either (a) there's a strictly codified set of rules governing what it can and can't do or (b) it feels like there's a strictly codified set of rules. That's why everything has such a gamey feel to it--he lays out the rules somewhere and follows them to the letter. It prevents his magic systems from ever just being a deus ex machina dispenser but I can definitely see why some people don't like having everything spelled out for them.

Once again, knowing that he's a M:tG addict makes everything make so much more sense.

Strategic Tea
Sep 1, 2012

Please ensure incidental bones are logged under the appropriate cost code.


I agree that the logical magic can get a bit much. I loved slowly finding out the Shards' true nature in Mistborn because they had that sense of old, unknown magic, but Sanderson seems to reserve that stuff for magical plot twists only. Some of the regular allomancy, or a lot of what Szeth does felt a bit too much like an rpg character looking at his talent tree. These pre industrial, pre scientific theory societies have distilled the power of literal gods into power levels and capitalised technical terms. It'd be cool to see a setting where the laws of magic are still spelled out, just behind layers of myth and superstition where the characters can't see them.

Then again it's probably my fault for reading all his books at once :v:

Dravs
Mar 8, 2011

You've done well, kiddo.

Strategic Tea posted:

I agree that the logical magic can get a bit much. I loved slowly finding out the Shards' true nature in Mistborn because they had that sense of old, unknown magic, but Sanderson seems to reserve that stuff for magical plot twists only. Some of the regular allomancy, or a lot of what Szeth does felt a bit too much like an rpg character looking at his talent tree. These pre industrial, pre scientific theory societies have distilled the power of literal gods into power levels and capitalised technical terms. It'd be cool to see a setting where the laws of magic are still spelled out, just behind layers of myth and superstition where the characters can't see them.

Then again it's probably my fault for reading all his books at once :v:

Both Elantris and Warbreaker are like this though? In both books a lot of the abilities have been lost to time, and it is only through experimentation and practice that a lot of the powers are able to be used. In fact Stormlight Archive is like this as well. Kaladin spends most of the book learning about what he is able to do. For some reason Szeth knows about all of his abilities, and personally I am looking forward to finding out where he has learned it all, as that knowledge should have been lost for a thousand years or so.

Xachariah
Jul 26, 2004



Strategic Tea posted:

I agree that the logical magic can get a bit much. I loved slowly finding out the Shards' true nature in Mistborn because they had that sense of old, unknown magic, but Sanderson seems to reserve that stuff for magical plot twists only. Some of the regular allomancy, or a lot of what Szeth does felt a bit too much like an rpg character looking at his talent tree. These pre industrial, pre scientific theory societies have distilled the power of literal gods into power levels and capitalised technical terms.

I find that concept fairly reasonable in worlds where magic is commonplace (at least to the practitioners). When magic is repeatable and has the same result every time then you'd probably start to think of it as a tool. I think it works quite well, Kaladin doesn't exactly call his powers anything technical but Szeth has secret knowledge and such.

If I had to choose between Sanderson's "Technical manual" magic or Erikson's "1. Warrens, 2. ???, 3. ~*Lotta Magic*~" I'd probably go for the former. At least with his self restrictions Sanderson will DBZ things up less. Erikson kinda puts Sanderson to shame when it comes to power levels, and it's mainly cause he doesn't have real rules for magic use beyond opening warrens and fireball/healing/whatever.

Strategic Tea
Sep 1, 2012

Please ensure incidental bones are logged under the appropriate cost code.


That's true actually, especially with Warbreaker. Not sure why my mind skipped over it. The only thing with Kaladin is that you've already learned exactly how it works from Szeth, once you realise he has the same power you have the idea.

I'm curious to see if he'll treat his abilities differently to Szeth in the next book, just due to coming from a culture that actually worships the shard. Truthless seem to ignore religious custom if I remember, so if anyone's going to be technical I guess it would be Szeth. And come to think of it, religion in Mistborn was something non priests weren't expected to bother with, so not much reason to go beyond useful cause and effect?

But yeah, I'd still much rather have science than 'I can do things with fire because it's one of the four elements I guess?? and also see the future'.

Tunicate
May 15, 2012





Warbreaker seems a lot more videogamey than it should be because of the built in powerlevel/mp meter mechanic.

veekie
Dec 25, 2007

Dice of Chaos


I like his magic systems though, they feel more integral in how the world works, rather than something you wave around and effects come out of their rear end. You can extrapolate what the magic does, and how it might be manipulated, which in turn reveals how it could affect the plot.


You get plenty of the "Concentrate and poof" kind everywhere.

tliil
Jan 13, 2013


Well the thing is that Sanderson could make anything work cuz he's a really good writer. Most writers come up with an interesting magical system and then fail to tell an interesting story around it. So, for me, it'd be nice if Sanderson just threw all the rules out and did deus ex machina poo poo. But hey the guy writes a lot so maybe he'll want to change it up in a few years.

Sulphagnist
Oct 10, 2006

WARNING! INTRUDERS DETECTED



veekie posted:

I like his magic systems though, they feel more integral in how the world works, rather than something you wave around and effects come out of their rear end. You can extrapolate what the magic does, and how it might be manipulated, which in turn reveals how it could affect the plot.


You get plenty of the "Concentrate and poof" kind everywhere.

I read The Alloy of Law in one sitting today and this really shines in that book. There are a lot of brilliant moments in the action sequences that work because the characters have grown up inside the magic system and are familiar with the rules (in broad strokes, at least) and can apply them creatively and to the best of their ability. I'm thinking of things like Wax throwing Miles the bullet and Miles catching it reflexively allowing Wax to Push him off the train, or the safety in the Vindicator which can only be switched by Pushing or Pulling. You also have people adapting to the magic system by inventing ways to oppose or subvert it without having magical ability.

I very much look forward to the science fiction Mistborn trilogy where, Sanderson has said, he's going to have people extrapolate Allomancy into FTL technology. I'd imagine it involves messing around with large quantities of atium, bendalloy and cadmium. And since aluminium is Allomantically inert, there might be a whole book's worth of story in what happens when they figure out the Hall–Héroult process and can produce large quantities of electricity, making aluminium cheap to produce.

It feels like an underutilized idea in general - we have boatloads of pre-modern era fantasy, plenty of urban fantasy, but virtually no fantasy in a futuristic setting.

Tunicate
May 15, 2012





Antti posted:

It feels like an underutilized idea in general - we have boatloads of pre-modern era fantasy, plenty of urban fantasy, but virtually no fantasy in a futuristic setting.

Well duh. Everyone knows that if it's in the future it isn't 'magic', it's 'psionics'.

NinjaDebugger
Apr 22, 2008




tliil posted:

Well the thing is that Sanderson could make anything work cuz he's a really good writer. Most writers come up with an interesting magical system and then fail to tell an interesting story around it. So, for me, it'd be nice if Sanderson just threw all the rules out and did deus ex machina poo poo. But hey the guy writes a lot so maybe he'll want to change it up in a few years.

The rules are part of the extensive planning he does, so while he may get a lot better at hiding the rules, I doubt he'll ever actually stop planning out precisely what's possible.

Kreeblah
May 17, 2004

INSERT QUACK TO CONTINUE




Taco Defender

Tunicate posted:

Well duh. Everyone knows that if it's in the future it isn't 'magic', it's 'psionics'.

Or "nanotech". Really, most sci-fi is just fantasy with different window dressing.

Democratic Pirate
Feb 17, 2010



I think my favorite 'Magic System' of Sanderson's is the one in Legion.

Sulphagnist
Oct 10, 2006

WARNING! INTRUDERS DETECTED



Tunicate posted:

Well duh. Everyone knows that if it's in the future it isn't 'magic', it's 'psionics'.

drat, you're right. (Also sufficiently advanced technology blah blah)

computer parts
Nov 18, 2010

PLEASE CLAP

Tunicate posted:

Well duh. Everyone knows that if it's in the future it isn't 'magic', it's 'psionics'.

Starcraft is probably the best example of this. Space elves with floating crystals fight space bugs that can shape shift and both of them fight just normal humans that have shunned not-magic users.

Decius
Oct 14, 2005



Ramrod XTreme

computer parts posted:

Starcraft is probably the best example of this. Space elves with floating crystals fight space bugs that can shape shift and both of them fight just normal humans that have shunned not-magic users.

Well, nearly, Ghosts are pretty much the Human mages (techno-mages maybe) with their - Psionics.

In other news The Emperor's Soul was just nominated for a World Fantasy Award: http://www.worldfantasy.org/awards/

Frabba
May 30, 2008

Investing in chewy toy futures

Democratic Pirate posted:

I think my favorite 'Magic System' of Sanderson's is the one in Legion.

Seconding this, loved Legion.

veekie
Dec 25, 2007

Dice of Chaos


Most of his magic systems were sciences. Legion turned a science into art.

404GoonNotFound
Aug 6, 2006

The McRib is back!?!?


How's the whole pilot pitch with that thing going anyway?

Ferrosol
Nov 8, 2010

Notorious J.A.M



Kreeblah posted:

Or "nanotech". Really, most sci-fi is just fantasy with different window dressing.

Don't forget "genetic engineering" the other go-to for magicalScientific transformation.

uh zip zoom
May 28, 2003

Sensitive Thugs Need Hugs



in way of kings does dalinar erase his wife from his memory?

Sulphagnist
Oct 10, 2006

WARNING! INTRUDERS DETECTED



uh zip zoom posted:

in way of kings does dalinar erase his wife from his memory?

Forgetting his wife was the price he paid for using Old Magic.

uh zip zoom
May 28, 2003

Sensitive Thugs Need Hugs



Antti posted:

Forgetting his wife was the price he paid for using Old Magic.

I must have really skimmed this book first time through. what is that and how does it differ from surgebinding?

ConfusedUs
Feb 24, 2004

Bees?
You want fucking bees?
Here you go!
ROLL INITIATIVE!!







uh zip zoom posted:

I must have really skimmed this book first time through. what is that and how does it differ from surgebinding?

We don't really know. There's a few things you can infer, but there's not much of that either.

Gamesguy
Sep 7, 2010



uh zip zoom posted:

I must have really skimmed this book first time through. what is that and how does it differ from surgebinding?

There was some witch who would grant you a wish in exchange to taking something of yours in return. The wish is almost never what you actually wanted but what she takes usually isn't crippling either. At some point in the past Dalinar made a wish and lost his memory of his wife. If I had to speculate, I'd say he probably wished for his brother back.

It didn't go into much detail beyond that.

Narmi
Feb 26, 2008


uh zip zoom posted:

I must have really skimmed this book first time through. what is that and how does it differ from surgebinding?

It hasn't really been explained yet, but there is a witch called the Nightwatcher who has the ability to grant wishes using the Old Magic. Dalinar visited the Nightwatcher, and in exchange for something (maybe battle prowess? his abilities seem to border on the superhuman, even when you take his shardplate into consideration.) everything about his wife is kept from him - all memories he has of her have been removed (or she's been removed from them) and whenever someone talks about her he can't hear anything, not even her name.

The wishes can be anything too - one guy wished for riches and was cursed with seeing the world upside down for the rest of his life (though he got used to it pretty fast, which is what would actually happen in real life anyways), Taravangian wanted a boost in IQ, and some days he's the smartest man alive, other days he's the dumbest. The wish and curse might be related, or they might not.

Also, while Vorinism (Dalinar's religion) doesn't specifically state that using the Old Magic is forbidden, it's considered taboo. As of now, only three (and maybe a fourth) people have been identified as haven asked the Nightwatcher to grant a wish.

BananaNutkins
Aug 26, 2004

I'll split you open and I don't even like coconuts.


New Sanderson novel we knew nothing about announced today.

It's another Infinity Blade novel, but still...

Subvisual Haze
Nov 22, 2003

The building was on fire and it wasn't my fault.

One of the favorite crazy theories I've heard is that forgetting all memories of his wife was Dalinar's wish, not the adverse effect of another wish.

tliil
Jan 13, 2013


keiran_helcyan posted:

One of the favorite crazy theories I've heard is that forgetting all memories of his wife was Dalinar's wish, not the adverse effect of another wish.
More like the obvious theory that everyone's going to think of first and most would dismiss because Sanderson is a competent writer and doesn't deal in that sort of thing.

My favorite part of the Stormlight book was the girl at the big library palace or whatever. I hope Sanderson writes a "magic school" series someday.

rafikki
Mar 8, 2008

I see what you did there. (It's pretty easy, since ducks have a field of vision spanning 340 degrees.)

~SMcD




tliil posted:

My favorite part of the Stormlight book was the girl at the big library palace or whatever. I hope Sanderson writes a "magic school" series someday.

The Rithmatist?

Sivlan
Aug 29, 2006


tliil posted:

I hope Sanderson writes a "magic school" series someday.

You mean like Sanderson does Harry Potter? Isn't that basically Rithmatist?

e:f,b.

AllTerrineVehicle
Jan 8, 2010

I'm great at boats!


tliil posted:

My favorite part of the Stormlight book was the girl at the big library palace or whatever. I hope Sanderson writes a "magic school" series someday.

Isn't the next book focusing mostly on that arc?

Wikipedia posted:

The book is tentatively set to be released in 2014 by Tor Books and will focus on the character Shallan.

Also, I kind of assumed Dalinar's wish was something like wanting to not feel the pain of losing his wife, which was then granted but now he can't remember her at all. Though, I had kind of been assuming that the negative was tied to the positive, but that dude seeing things upside down really had nothing to do with his wish so I dunno.

tliil
Jan 13, 2013


Sivlan posted:

You mean like Sanderson does Harry Potter? Isn't that basically Rithmatist?

e:f,b.
Apparently so! How "young adult" is it?

ConfusedUs
Feb 24, 2004

Bees?
You want fucking bees?
Here you go!
ROLL INITIATIVE!!







tliil posted:

Apparently so! How "young adult" is it?

About as young adult as the mid-to-late Harry Potter books.

Democratic Pirate
Feb 17, 2010



It's an entertaining read. The plot is more obvious than some of his other books, but it all comes together in a satisfying way and kept me interested in the sequel.

ShadowGlass
Nov 13, 2012



keiran_helcyan posted:

One of the favorite crazy theories I've heard is that forgetting all memories of his wife was Dalinar's wish, not the adverse effect of another wish.

That's not a theory. It was actually mentioned in the book.

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Algid
Oct 9, 2007




keiran_helcyan posted:

If I had to guess, the Knights earned their shard blades, just as they presumably earned their powers by binding to a spren. Current shard blades are won through killing of previous owners. Maybe all that murdering and backstabbing has tainted the nature of the shard blades.
The important thing isn't that the knights had the blades, it's that they gave them up for some reason. They felt that doing that was preferable to continuing to fight, possibly having something to do with how the only Herlad who still has his blade is tortured in purgatory before coming out to fight every couple hundred years.


ShadowGlass posted:

That's not a theory. It was actually mentioned in the book.
We don't know if that was the wish or the cost though.

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