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[ERROR] No.73521815 [Reply] [Original] [4plebs] [archived.moe]

Why do writers think it's "clever" to turn magic into science and industrial revolution and rob magic of all wonder? Eberron is the poster child of this shit.

>> No.73521853

Brandon fucking Sanderson, that's why

>> No.73521890

Because they have different interests than you do anon.

This shit predates Sanderson by decades.

>> No.73521927

Can somebody please drop the full Nagasaki red-pill on me about Brandon Sanderson? He really just seems like a fat, DnD playing midwit with enough luck to have gained gravitas among other entry level, pharmacy store fantasy book writers and the omega males of table top. In spite of that though, everybody here seems to spit his name out like he raped the concept of fantasy itself.

>> No.73521938

magic didn't lose it's wonder, anon. You did.

>> No.73521994

Because it's cool. Science is cool and full of wonder.

>> No.73522035

A lot of magi-science writers fall into two closely linked camps.
1. They are autistic or have OCD to some degree and cannot believe something fantastical exists that cannot be explained. Everything must be ordered in some regard.
2. They really wanted to be hard sci-fi authors but weren't actually good at science. So they take some hard sci-fi principles and apply them to fantasy as the only way they can feel good.

>> No.73522073

GRRM is a hack

>> No.73522102

It's not clever, but it's required if you want to expand your universe and start to answer any of the really "big" questions.

Magic should follow SOME rules.
And if Magic follows rules, then it can be analysed with the scientific method.

>> No.73522125

He's right though, meaning you're the hack here.

>> No.73522152

Please post any example of any writer saying that it's "clever".

No one thinks it's clever. They just like doing it. Dumbass.

>> No.73522168

He wrote some detailed articles about how you can go about constructing a cohesive magic system, and he did a lot to popularise the hard/soft magic terminology. If you care about worldbuilding on any level, you have heard about his work. I would not recommend any of his books though, I find him kinda boring.
You can read the articles (or the much more effective summaries) here, should you wanna do that.

>> No.73522201

Main problem seems to be pic related for most people.
It reduces magic to something tame and rather boring. His prose aren't particularly fantastic either.

>> No.73522224

I can kinda agree with this and hermetic magic is probably the best type. The issue comes when the inherent chaos of magic is entirely replaced with studied scientific order and then it just becomes any other technology. At that point it loses all majesty.
I think the just 'beginning to map it' tier of scientific study of magic is the best. The kind where we know X can cause Y but then it's trying to figure out factors A-Z from lunar position, seasons to the capriciousness of spirits/fey/demons/etc.

>> No.73522246

I always prefer magic and industrialization being at odds rather than industrialization robbing magic of its mysticism.

>> No.73522254

>If you care about worldbuilding on any level, you have heard about his work.
I've never heard of him until this thread and I love worldbuilding.

>> No.73522271


>> No.73522300

Well the later is just the end goal of the former. But that's mainly just because people generally care more about conflict then stagnated victory.
I will say, if you haven't already, check out Ken Liu's short story Good Hunting.

>> No.73522317


>> No.73522334

My assertion might've been a bit too strong. But hey, now you can read the articles and decide what you think of them for yourself.

>> No.73522395

>Science is cool and full of wonder.

Science is, by design, highly repetitive, methodical and involves collecting massive amounts of mostly tedious and trivial information. Only some fraction of the information collected by this mostly boring (and very useful and efficient, don't get me wrong) process is cool and full of wonder. That's why most people only consume science, if at all, through pop-science YouTube videos designed to boil down all of that information to a handful of interesting and digestible nuggets.

>> No.73522407

Eberron still has magical magic, it can just be used with science

>> No.73522435

It was fresh when Eberron did it

>> No.73522437

History autists cannot imagine history going in any other way than our history

>> No.73522517

Wrong for both.

>> No.73522613

Well then pop science is cool and full of wonder. Which is why 'scientific' magic is a lot more like pop science than actual science.

>> No.73522640

Fucking Hegel and his intellectual hellspawn have literally destroyed the civilised free world.

>> No.73522658

What do you mean "clever"? D&D robbed magic of wonder since the start of "wealth by level" and mandated magic items for game balance and standardized all effects into completely replicable spells. That's not magic, that's fucking tech.

All Eberron did was say "so, right, if magic is de facto a science, let's just acknowledge it and treat it that way in setting you twit." And then the Tolkienfags raged.

Other authors do it because it lets them play around with early-industrial themes while recapturing a fraction of the wonder of some early-industrial inventions for immersion purposes.

And some are pretentious twits.

>> No.73522692

Fair point

>> No.73522703

It wasn't real Hegelian Dialectics.

>> No.73522713

they don't

>> No.73522721

Magic is still wondrous in Forgotten Realms because it doesn't do the Eberron thing.

>> No.73522787

>Why do writers think it's "clever" to turn magic into science and industrial revolution and rob magic of all wonder?

Because it's the natural step from having abundant, everyday magic while people live like there was no magic.

>> No.73522937

Nah. It really isn't, when you're carrying a +1 Valorious Keen Lance under a Greater Magic Weapon effect and ask the bartender where you can get some glamered armor when you're carrying enough money to feed hundreds of peasants for a year in your Bag of Holding and consider it chump change.

The fluff pretends its special. The mechanics and actually playing prove it's anything but.

>> No.73523584

>playing 3.5
>not playing 5e with all magic items controlled by the DM
There's your problem.

>> No.73523626

I've always wanted to do magic as the way medieval and ancient natural philosophers did 'science' and philosophy - a lot of mistakes, misunderstandings, and ways that seem to work to explain the universe, superficially matching reality, but not fitting the modern science of what we know. Objects are designed to fall instead of gravity, ancient philosophers getting mixed up by later scholars and trying to justify vastly different philosophical systems in the same text.

But that is extremely hard to do because you have to account for magic being done in several different ways, and most if not all of them are not truly correct.

>> No.73523645

Eberron was kinda made in 3.5e when that was the norm. Can't really complain about Eberron doing what it did without context it cropped up in.

>> No.73523656

Nobody thinks it's clever, they're just having fun.

>> No.73524052

I feel like the first camp also results from having so many settings and systems where magic spells are repeatable, predictable and teachable. That adds up t something that's not magic, just another branch of some weird science that violates our current understanding of physics. When every wizard out there can learn the same set of words and gestures to produce the same effects, every time, magic becomes something that can be studied and applied to other sciences. The solution is to go back to magic being the realm of gods, spirits, fey, demons and other such beings, with a requirement for mortal practitioners to either serve one of these entities or be born of the same sort of divine lineage as mythic heroes and probably each only knows one or two tricks like seeing the future or innately knowing how to prepare honeyed wine that turns men into pigs.

>> No.73525044

Because fantasy is fucking garbage that's why

Science fiction and any amalgamation of science fiction + fantasy is so much more cooler and more interesting than tolkien garbage

>> No.73525127


>>Magic and techology oppose each other
>>Make sure Wizards dont wear clothes have spellbooks or wipe their asses because thats technology

>> No.73525400

Despite >>73522395 being mostly correct (and failing to note that all enjoyable human activities have the 'downsides' of science, i.e porn is the most repetitive shit ever etc) a critical point is that even the relatively uneducated naturally think in materialist terms w/o too much prompting. This puts the majority of humans closer to scientific thinking than the alternative wold-views.

Not everywhere/when, but the majority? Yes. So writers aim for greater saturation, whether they realize it or not. You could have magic based on Enochian(?) grammar, but that requires an expensive buy-in if you want people to grok the magic in the setting. I sure as fuck am not going to wordfuck Dee or Croley to read a novel or play a game. Fuck that noise, but not with my bookfucking literection y'all.

Anyway, this is why pop-sci and simple rulesets are the major picks when someone designs a magic system etc. Sanderson goes with the simple rulesets, so it is more comprehensible to the average reader. But that's just my take on it, man.

>> No.73525817

>all enjoyable human activities have the 'downsides' of science, i.e porn is the most repetitive shit ever etc

>> No.73527417

Modern fantasy enthusiasts want magic systems so that they can fulfill a power fantasy by gaming it, and the virtual achievement is even better because it's "fair" and they are just smarter and more creative than the opposition.
No one thinks it's impressive in a children's elementary playground battle when one of the brats says "nuh uh I have an invincible shield that nothing can break or get past". But if you managed to finagle that kind of power in a "fair" magic system through loopholes in the rules and logical deductions it feels a lot more legitimate.

>> No.73529273

I agree, but I personally like the way Eberron does it because you can have mundane magi-tech, but also crazy unexplainable phenomena. The worst offenders are those isekai settings where magic is even remotely comparable to computer programing or coding.

>> No.73529284

>Eberron does it because you can have mundane magi-tech, but also crazy unexplainable phenomena

>> No.73529439

>Lore was intentionally left flexible and open ended by the setting's creator
>No anon, I regret to inform you that your opinion is incorrect
>What? Explain my assessment of your thought? Surely a single word should suffice

>> No.73529496

This might be a stupid question but how does one even make a magic system that isn't a system. How does one have magic users and magical effects in a world where magic can't be repeated? Even if magic can't be learned how or why would someone attempt anything magical at all if there is no real set way to make the magic happen and if the effect is unknown? How do you learn something that can't be taught, do something that you don't know how to do, or do you do something to meet a goal when you have no idea if your methods can even meet that goal?
If magic comes from beings that aren't human then magic still kind of is a system, but just one humans can't interact with beyond asking those beings to do magic for them. Aside from that though I don't know how to think of something that essentially can't be thought about.

>> No.73529582

>Build system to play game of elves, knights, wizard's n shit
>Make magic largely repeatable so the rules make any goddamn sense from a game play perspective
>Pump out fucktons of content for people to play with, most of which involve sprinkling yet more magical items into the setting
>New writer looks at your setting and asks "If they've got so many wizards running around making so much god damn repeatable magic and every town has some asshole who can make a Bag of Holding, why is everyone still subsistence farmers?"
>Makes new setting that just takes the premise of the old setting but not everyone is a retard
>"Why do writers think it's "clever" to turn magic into science"

>> No.73529607

Because not everyone likes magic being this vague force.

I for one don't prefer it, I like when magic has rules and intricacies and has to follow them. People always say that magic only has wonder when it is a mysterious force that can't be controlled, but I never really got this. Magic that is just vague or mysterious "its magic" never really feels anything except contrite to me. I have seen "magic" a million times before, it is not mysterious or cool to me in any capacity anymore, and the fact that I know I will ever know anything more about it makes it even less interesting to me. Vague magic is boring to me because I know it is just that. Vague magic that does what the author needs it to and nothing more or less.

Additionally, I think it is much more human to have people try to understand and make magic a science. Because that what humans have been doing for centuries. Vikings didn't believe that magic swords where magical because they were magical. They were magical because you put in animal bones into the forging process and the spirit of these animals is infused into the bones and thus the spirit of these animals and their strength gets transferred to the sword when it is done thus making the sword much more powerful. Heck, look at most ancient magic texts there is always some kind of logic behind why some form of magic works the way it does. Really the concept that magic is this untamable mysterious force that can't be understood seems to be a completely modern one as far as I can tell.

Of course, I am not everyone. Some people don't like magic following a set of rules and find wonder in mysterious magic, and that is fine, people have different tastes and I am not autistic enough to tell other people there preferences are wrong.

>> No.73529672

Dunning Kruger. Please stick to writing fantasy.

>> No.73529724

You could always have different cultures do magic differently. Also magic isn’t completely dead in the modern world. The vast majority of humans believe in curses and all that even if you exclude the entirety of the western world.

>> No.73529784

It's not meant to be coherent or make sense by definition.
Magic in those settings is just something the author uses to solve problems in a cool way. A Deus Ex Machina.

>> No.73529828

So its literally just "it does what I want" all the time?
Still I don't know how in a world where magic doesn't make sense you could have people that claim to be magic practitioners since theres no way to learn something that can't be learned and doesn't make sense. How does one come to dedicate their life to something that can't be done for any reason other than personal delusions?

>> No.73529950

You pretty much hit the nail on the head. Having magical beings like angels, demons, or other creatures that are capable of more control over magic keeps it mysterious, while also explaining why the world isn't using it on a grand scale, since such creatures would exist outside of normal society, and it isn't something the players or similarly powered NPCs would have enough access to in order to properly abuse it. A demon might place a brand on someone's hand that lets them light their sword on fire, but if that person tries to use it to make an infinite steam engine they can also have it taken away.

The only way I can think of for you to have a magic system that could function in a tabletop game mechanically while also lacking the proper structure of a fully fledged system would still require a lot of control in the hands of the DM. You would essentially want to have a system where a player has their character declare a primary target, declare their desire to cast a spell, and then roll on as big of a table as you can manage to figure out the result. It would probably be best to divide this into spheres, whether it be as simple as 'positive' and 'negative' so a player doesn't accidentally heal an enemy, or into more distinct things like elements or other categories if you want to give them more control and limit the randomness.

Such a system could be wild magic at the most extreme variance, or something more akin to geomancy that draws on the environment to explain why minute changes in the area might give strange and different results. It would still have the desired result of having magic be too unreliable to work into technology though, as even if there's a dedicated 'fire' sphere that a player can choose, the random spells might be something much larger or smaller than they expected, potentially damaging whatever device they constructed to harness it.

An expansive list is still key to make sure a mage doesn't record all the possible results.

>> No.73529984

Most settings aren't meant to be analyzed, especially fantasy settings.
You seem to be under the impression that fantasy settings ''make sense'' on some fundamental level, when in reality it's tropes all the way down.
The plot will generally keep moving fast enough for people not to have time questioning things and if they do you can always answer their questions by deferring to some mystery i.e. "fey/demons/angels did it". In settings with mysterious magic, those are generally the primary sources of magic.
People are willing to accept a surprising amount of supernatural shit without questioning it.
It's worth noting that there is a gap between fiction and TTRPGs, because as an author you not only decide the setting, but also how the characters will engage with the setting. That means that unless you're trying to pull le epic trope subversion, characters will generally not ask any of the tough to answer questions about how magic works.

>> No.73530076

You do know this book exists, right?

>> No.73530097

>characters will generally not ask any of the tough to answer questions about how magic works.
And even if they do, there's nothing stopping you from saying "no one you can get in contact with really knows how that works."
We use magnets every day, but try getting anyone to explain how magnets draw metal toward them and the most informed answer will be "magnetic fields, obviously", with no further explanation available if pressed.

>> No.73530106

In TTRPGs you're facing the issue that players can decide to engage with the world in ways that expose the shallow and even contradictory nature of the tropes you used to build the setting.
Fictional universes by their very nature have a limited depth.
You can explain how dragons work to some level of detail, but if people probe deeply enough they are eventually going to hit the disconnect where it becomes apparent that some things just weren't written or even considered.
Luckily most people won't do this because they think within the same framework of tropes and it's generally not the position of an adventurer to question the foundations of the universe.

>> No.73530264

Because ultimately unpredictable, "mystical" magic is the crutch of a bad writer. You can get yourself out of any narrative snare with a deus ex machina, have magic act however the plot demands, never have to explain or think about how anything works, then suck yourself off at the end if the day because "magic is SUPPOSED to be mysterious and beyond understanding! I'm so much better than those hard magic autists".

>> No.73530266

The fundamental disconnect is empirical in nature though.
In this universe, you may not understand how magnets work, but you can pick them up and experiment with them, maybe spin them next to a conductor and discover some new physical effect.
That's because we live in a material universe capable of generating emergent phenomena in a manner that creates a whole that fits together.
In fictional setting, that's the job of the GM and frankly most GMs aren't very good at it.
''I shape a needle out of magic crystal, suspend it next to a source of magic energy and observe how it reacts as I change the energy output'' is not going to result in some new discovery about the laws about reality, but a confused or annoyed look from the GM.

>> No.73530271

A good example might be chemists. Chemists know a lot about what various elements are, what they do together, and so on. However, they wouldn't be experts on quarks or the other underlying particle physics that actually cause matter to work the way it does.

>> No.73530272

There is a difference between technology and industrialization.

>> No.73530380

I used magnetism because it's such a common observable phenomena that we even give magnets to children as toys. It's considered part of every day life from an early age, and a big obvious effect, but not a single person can be found to explain it.

>> No.73530670

Why do so many people in this thread suffer from the belief that magic was ever treated as something not meant to be understood or systematized?
I can't think of one magic-practitioner group in history that actually believed what they were doing and didn't have "do X to get Y result" as central to their beliefs.
Shamans, Priests, Medicine-Men, Fakirs, Alchemists, Druids, all of them believed in predictable cause and effect results from their practices.

Hell even "Eat cracker, go to heaven" is internally consistent in the context of its practice!

>> No.73530740

It didn’t always work out like they wanted though. That’s what makes magic exciting, in DnD it works too perfect unless you roll a crit fail.

>> No.73530759

Philolet here, which of Hegel's ideas destroyed the civilized world according to you?

>> No.73530809

History autists write alt history all the time, what are you on about?

>> No.73530821

Thius is how you do this trope right:


>> No.73530836

>I'd rather spend time performing rituals and spells that don't go anywhere in my table top gaming
This explains a lot of my player's activity, actually...

>> No.73531040

The idea that society can change for the better. Before Hegel the masses knew their God given place, after Hegel they got uppity.

>> No.73531065

>Why do writers think it's clever to have internal consistency rather than a bunch of bullshit "lol it just werks" retardation around
Pic related is a better writer than any maginigger writer that just keeps it around for asspulls

>> No.73531075

>porn is the most repetitive shit ever
Don't go to /d/

>> No.73531105

/d/ IS one of the most repetitive fucking boards out there.

>> No.73531127

> rob magic of all wonder

Give an example of what piece of media gives magic that "wonder" you go on about.

>> No.73531151

I know what you're getting at with reposts and all, but it's wrong. At the end of the day, the sheer breadth of topics makes it plenty varied, regardless of whether some don't have as much depth as desired. Even if a lot of it may not be stuff we want to see, it's porn and thus contributes to its variety, the same way black licorice is still a type of candy despite being edible garbage.

He's a retard and mistakes authors putting literally no thought into something as worldbuilding something as being mysterious.

>> No.73531167

>Why do writers think it's "clever" to turn magic into science and industrial revolution and rob magic of all wonder?
Because harnessing power to our needs has been the driving point of humanity and its evolution.
If magic existed, we would build our technology around that.
Simple answer for a simple question.
fire, steam, electricity, the atom

>> No.73531521

The concept that there existed a correct form of society that could come into being through ideological conflict and the resultant influence that had on other thinkers.

>> No.73531632

I simply can't understand this sentiment. I just simply can't. In some way, shape, or fashion people will try to explain things and if it's repeatable to some degree then there are rules that allow you to do it. It may not necessarily be correct but it does what you want it to do so it's right for that instance.

That said, there is an art to not over explaining things. Simply because you know how to do something doesn't mean you know why it does. Why are there beings that defy our logic and explanation, what exactly is happening when I basnish them and is it possible to draw too much energy from a high plane of existence?

The way that a lot of you meming fucks go about it is that every story that features magic in some kind of way basically deus ex machinas everything. Why does the wizard know magic? Don't know he just woke up one day and could do it [emoji shrug here].

So which is worse? A story comprised of nothing but deus ex machina where nothing is explained and it happens for no reason or where you give some sembalance of an explanation?

Either way, if you're a shit writer then both will be bad.

>> No.73532030

Don't do it weeb, think of the moeblob tears if you do. Anyway doing anything competently and regularly requires a lot of: redundant practice, theoretical/practical knowledge, predictive/heuristic models etc. Well except for pure consumption devoid of consideration and thought.

On porn: There are only about N camera angles used in porn, which isn't actually about sex. It is about making sexual activities look exciting to voyeurs. We all know how porn is supposed to end, with some orgasm indicator. You literally know how it will end before you watch it, oh how exciting! The set of positions used by actors on camera is very limited etc. Porn sex appears interesting, but is terrible technique for actual sex enjoyed by participants. Anyway, my point is that both porn and porn manufacture are very repetitive monotony.

Nothing is stopping actors from quoting Shakespeare during ejaculation. Prove me wrong by showing some porn that decides to make the actors juggle as a substitute for the "money shot".

>"Oh oh, I'm gonna-"
>Inception sound
>M i l l ' s M e s s


Even /d/'s variety falls into repetitiveness, says me, a faggot that barely spends time there. You could make a case that 500 different shapes of Norwegian licorice add to the variety of it. Studies of gustation do indicate that shape effects taste. None of this actually invalidates the correlations drawn between scientific "drawbacks" and those in other specialized areas of interest. Remember, we are using OP's maker context too. 500 different shapes is repetitive boredom. I'm not making a "everything is /sci/ argument", by the way.

>> No.73532221

Those are different sort of history autists

>> No.73536026

Dark Souls.

>> No.73536042


>> No.73536474

you're in a bait thread. even the serious posts itt are going to be undercooked verbal diarrea

>> No.73536513

Thanks for the explanation guys!
Kinda reminds me of a "survival of the fittest" applied to ideology & forms of society.

Like when France/UK, then USA believed their culture/human rights declaration/constitution was the fittest for nation management because of a global yet relatively short and deeply coincidental rise in power, and they don't accept the wheel of fortune moved the odds to the next country (currently China)?

That's kinda like a big case of clinical hubris.

(frog here, btw)

>> No.73538629

Read Hume, Locke and Chesterton next.

>> No.73542774

Because any real magical tradition is inherently rational. Magic is the same (proto-) science as Aristotelian mechanics or Newtonian physics. Or, strictly speaking, science is a form of magic that differs only in that it really works.

>> No.73542857

A lot of magical "knowledge" comes from revelation and in many respects is closer to religion as a sociological phenomenon than science, or at least some kind of hybrid.

>> No.73543635

Because its entertaining to think about.

For me what robs magic of its wonder are hard magic systems. I really don't need a granular understanding of magic or tech to find it interesting or plot relevant. There's a lot of wiggle room between fake physics lessons and deus ex machina.

>> No.73543681

thread should have ended here

>> No.73547159

I spit on that name and I've never even read one of his books, his system's just so formulaic and omnipresent.

>> No.73550281

Fundamentally Dialectic requires no foundation in reality. The entire concept of Thesis, Antithesis, Synergy can be fundamentally wrong on all accounts and produce nothing logical but still be applied as a thought process.
As such you can create castles in the air all day, then build towers on those castles, then build fine little minarets on the towers and go 'These minarets are the truth and we should base our entire society on th-Whoops! How many people died? Oh well, honest mistake'

>> No.73550378



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