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Materials and structure's.

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Materials and structure's.

Postby Obsidian » Wed Apr 13, 2005 10:02 am

Howdy.

I've been following Omni for a while now, and I've got a few questions I'm hoping to get answered. One of them I've asked time and again, but due to impeccable timing it's always when the person wants to go to sleep, is busy, or generally can't answer.

In my travels I've encountered structure's on the astral. Vast buildings, big halls, heavy gates and a cold operating table (don't ask :P). I think once even something like a football stadium! And always I've been thinking, "Alright, what's the deal? When I make something, I've gotta power it or it dies."

So how do they work? Like, what holds the walls up, the roof over my head, the gates closed? What makes it all stay there? If it were tethered to something, surely the energy would run out eventually. And cutting/plugging the tether would ruin/weaken the entire structure. Is it perhaps made of something that doesn't need constant powering?

Which brings me to my next question :)

I've heard talk of different materials. After searching through old posts, I found one that made a single reference to them, and another with numerous references (though I'm not sure if they were talking about the same thing). Through contact with various 'mancers I've also found out a thing or two, and I've sort of gleaned 'some' understanding of what they are.
But I still don't really get it. And I was hoping you could shed some light on this. What do the different materials do? How do they differ? What ARE they?

If I'm right about the structures, things could self-sustain. That would have significant impact on shielding and related things, wouldn't it? Not having a power tether would help 'fortify' you quite a lot, I imagine. A self-sustaining spell could act indefinately, without concern for it's power source.
And the different materials (if they're anything like their physical counter-parts), wouldn't they affect everything, from shields, to weapons and constructs in general, to transmitting thoughts?

I'd like to investigate the structure's thing myself, actually... But I'm not sure where there are any atm *blushes*. I was sorta lead to the one that I saw, and I don't trust my senses enough to hunt for them alone. So, failing self-investigation... I hope the answers to these questions are suitable for outsider's. If not, though, I can understand that... Maybe it wasn't just my impeccable timing :P

(p.s The structure's question was the one I've asked before...Though I no doubt queried when materials were mentioned)
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Postby LordArt » Wed Apr 13, 2005 4:10 pm

Well, this is going to be an interesting topic... :)

In my travels I've encountered structure's on the astral. Vast buildings, big halls, heavy gates and a cold operating table (don't ask). I think once even something like a football stadium! And always I've been thinking, "Alright, what's the deal? When I make something, I've gotta power it or it dies."

So how do they work? Like, what holds the walls up, the roof over my head, the gates closed? What makes it all stay there? If it were tethered to something, surely the energy would run out eventually. And cutting/plugging the tether would ruin/weaken the entire structure. Is it perhaps made of something that doesn't need constant powering?


Does your chair need constant power to keep it's shape or even your keyboard? Energy can condense into structures that don't require power to keep it's shape. Even magical energy. The places you went to are physical structures like your chair and keyboard. There isn't anything special about them, more than your chair or keyboard. It's simply a realm where an astral entity (such as yourself) is manifest physically, and interacts on that level with the surroundings. But those objects can still exist as physical objects elsewhere too in many cases, depending. To sum up, by nature of the material, the material doesn't require "powering".

've heard talk of different materials. After searching through old posts, I found one that made a single reference to them, and another with numerous references (though I'm not sure if they were talking about the same thing). Through contact with various 'mancers I've also found out a thing or two, and I've sort of gleaned 'some' understanding of what they are.
But I still don't really get it. And I was hoping you could shed some light on this. What do the different materials do? How do they differ? What ARE they?


Materials, like physical materials, are simply very specific patterns of energy. These patterns naturally will keep their shape and give it a set of properties. This really isn't any different than how physical matter works either. The metal frame of your computer is simply metal atoms in a crystal matrix. If it wasn't in that pattern, they would fly appart (ie. gas), or not be as strong (perhaps a very soft metal or even a liquid). Now, because of things like temperature, the atoms LIKE to form these matrixes because of "packing" reasons (think High School chemistry).
As far as what materials do, well each combination of atom and matrix gives you different properties. A good example is carbon. It can be in one matrix and you have graphite for pencils. It can be in another and you have a diamond, which is transparent and very hard. Certain metal atoms conduct electricity better, or conduct heat better than others. In a magical context, there are lots of different properties to magical materials you can make. One doesn't normally care how transparent or how easily electricity runs across it. :) However, I can think of a material as an example that is used for tethers. In such a case you no longer have a empty tube for energy to flow, but a crystaline like material that naturally conducts magical energy with FAR less resistance than a magical tube does, it doesn't break down like a normal spell would, and therefore doesn't require the same amount of magical will or power to maintain and is naturally resistant to the "magical winds" that are out there that normally break down spells over time. There are "metal" magic types that don't break down on their own and don't require power. Then you get into the "hard magics" which is hyper-dense energy in a specific pattern which has it's own interesting properties. The latter can't really be done without being rather skilled/powerful. However, there is more "naturally" occuring forms of hard magic that doesn't require as much power/skill as the others do, but it's rather dangerous stuff after a fashion, so I won't go into that here.
What materials CAN do is as vaste as what you can come up with. It's mostly finding the pattern that works for what you want. I mean, who would have thought that using carbon tubing would be stronger than steel in certain applications. Same idea. With most spells being made of "uniform" distributions of energy, then naturally, part of the spell's function is to keep itself together, which requires power. Unless you KNOW those other energy patterns, your limited to what you have to work with and the inherant limitations that come with it.
All the mid to high level Omnimancy stuff is based on materials "tech". The higher you go, the less you can avoid it, not that you'd want to anyways. Although only the hard magic stuff at research level is "self-sustaining", anything below that uses SOME power, even if it's very little. There are self-sustaining materials that can be made lower level but they aren't taught normally, since they have minmal practical use for the training itself. I really haven't done a long term study to see HOW self-sustaining they REALLY are on those lower level versions. Ususally by the time you are competent enough to make the lower level stuff skill wise, your able to make the higher level stuff too, and might as well go for the bigger stuff, you know?

If I'm right about the structures, things could self-sustain. That would have significant impact on shielding and related things, wouldn't it? Not having a power tether would help 'fortify' you quite a lot, I imagine. A self-sustaining spell could act indefinately, without concern for it's power source.
And the different materials (if they're anything like their physical counter-parts), wouldn't they affect everything, from shields, to weapons and constructs in general, to transmitting thoughts?


Keep in mind there is a difference between self-sustaining and self-healing. The former just means that it will maintain it's shape and properties without external power, simply because of structure. The latter means that even if it's damaged, it will heal it's own damage. The self-healing DOES require power still, and normally that is where a part of the power going to something like a shield goes (ie. to regenerate itself).
And yes, materials have a LARGE impact on things like shields, weapons and such. This mostly includes effecientcy and abilities/properties. It can also be great for healing and basically any use you can think of (But like anything else, you have to have the right material for the job. You don't build a house out of balsa wood). Keep in mind though in certain cases, you will still need power, although the AMOUNT of power that is capable of being handled goes up dramatically simply because the power itself doesn't short out the spell itself anymore, but that's a different issue. Also keep in mind, a material might have different properties, but rarely DOES anything more active without SOME power. Think of the crystal ossilator in your computer. That crystal will keep it's shape, but it's special property of pulsing at specific frequencies only works if you run an electric current through it. That process doesn't degrade the crystal, but to use that special property, it requires energy. If you expect these materials to do anything other than be a non-dispersing spell without power, that isn't happening. Well, I suppose that isn't 100% true. Certain things naturally absorb the surrounding energy better, which could be funneled into something else, etc. But that's a function of the environment. Kinda like putting a wind-mill on a hill top. The fan itself doesn't generate power, it extracts power from the environment "naturally". But it still means that that wind-mill must be in a specific location with a specific orientation and therefore isn't practically portable. But the theory holds sound to a point. There are machines that DO take advantage of the natural environment they are in and are technically portable, but they are VERY VERY complicated, and I only know the very basics of how they work as a lower. (People may figuire out what I'm talking about with that).


In anycase, I hope that answers your questions.

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Postby Obsidian » Sat Apr 16, 2005 7:50 am

Please forgive the lateness of this reply. I hoped to have some questions lined up before I replied, but I've taken to long, and I feel it's rude not to have replied by now.

Thank you very much for that answer. As always, your reply was in-depth to the point of answering questions I didn't ask yet. Having said that, however, I do have some questions... But I don't really understand what I mean by them yet, so I'll have to make them wait a few days.

*chuckles* It took me almost two hours (and four or five re-reads) to find something else to ask. There was just so much information in your reply.

So yeah, questions to come soon, when I can better think of how to compose and organise them. They're more relating to extensions of what you've stated, and stuff that's been growing in my mind for some time, rather than anything you missed, though.
Quick, everyone, start holding your breath! They're only a few days away! I bet they won't be worth it :p

James~
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Postby Skadu » Sat Apr 16, 2005 9:45 am

I'd just like to thank you both!

Both question and answer have given me much to ponder and explore. There are several structures out there that have interested me for similar reasons as Obsidian.

Some of these are Constructs and others have turned out to be the manifestations of certain types of Intelligence. I've been baffled more than once by sudden shifts in a stucture itself, once I'd elected to really check it out. In the cases of Semi-Intelligent Constructs, the programming is easily discernable.

As for certain others... I've found them to be confusing as anything that I've ever encountered; and sometimes menacing. OK, almost always menacing, at first. As if I were a virus or other undesirable that it must purge.

Has anyone else encountered such a thing?
The certainty of UNCERTAINTY certainly applies...
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Postby Obsidian » Mon Apr 18, 2005 12:42 pm

Thanks for thanking me, Skadu! *laughs*

In answer to your question, though, I've never really experienced any structures individually, and thus never anything that could harm or view me as a threat. So no, I'm afraid I've never encountered menacing, intelligent, nor even shifting structures.

Art:

Again, thank you for the wonderful reply post. It really did answer my questions. Like I stated in my follow-up post, it took me a few hours to come up with something to ask :P

And here it is! *grins*
*reads through his notes*

Erm... I'll apologise in advance, because there's a good chance these will be disjointed. I'll try and make them as understandable as possible, though.

The first question is in regards to the astral structures:

The places you went to are physical structures like your chair and keyboard. There isn't anything special about them, more than your chair or keyboard. It's simply a realm where an astral entity (such as yourself) is manifest physically, and interacts on that level with the surroundings.


Does this imply that they're physical in the same way we're physical? And when we visit them, we're actually the energetic entity? Like...A bit of role-reversal is happening? *tries to grasp it*
And with the structures, if they're just...there...unpowered and more akin to a brick wall than a shield, I could concievably boot a hole through one, yeah? Like...Nothing makes them strong, it just makes them be there?

Still a little confused by that whole thing. Is it more a replica of our world, but over there *points* or are there differences in how things work?

Onto a different question, I think =/

Also keep in mind, a material might have different properties, but rarely DOES anything more active without SOME power. Think of the crystal ossilator in your computer.


This quote struck me as...not odd, but interesting. You used the example of a crystal ossilator. So yeah, they don't do anything until you add power. But a suit of armour, or a medieval shield, is still going to be strong and will protect you, without power.

A computer is nothing until it's powered. And it requires constant power to be anything other than a collection of materials.

But sometimes all it needs is a burst of energy, and it'll stay active forever. Like medical treatments. The solution is irradiated, and it stays radioactive. (then it's used for Chemo *nods*)... Surely there'd be astral substances that mimic these effects. Materials that are strong without power, or that you switch on and step back from...

Which actually brings me to my next question (yay, cohesion!)

Are there any spells/materials that actually generate energy? I think I've heard of one, but I'm not sure =/
If it's generating power (even if it's only a little bit), it'd be able to heal itself. So a material that generate's energy is automatically better than one that doesn't, no? Or is that where the mixing comes into play...

*checks back into his notes* Damn real world, it should bugger off for a few hours. Keeps distracting me :(

I'm curious as to the general level of materials. Are they something generally taught in the lower-level, G1-G3 sorta topics, or are they more advanced, higher-level stuff? I'd quite like to look into these, see if I couldn't throw together like...anything :P But since I'm only a beginner, I don't know if there'd be much of a point. 'specially if you need advanced-level senses to see most/understand most of them. And not just see them...Would it be safe to work with materials if you're not that good with energy?

Thus endeth the posteth..I hope it all made sense. I'm sorry if it didn't, and if I missed the answers to these in your original post =/ I got distracted half-way through, so please forgive the disjointedness...I'll do better next time, I swear. Honest.

James~

(p.s What's the extremely complex, portable machine thing you alluded to? :P)
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Postby LordArt » Tue Apr 26, 2005 12:15 am

Sorry for the delay.. Things have been very busy on my end.


Obsidian wrote:Does this imply that they're physical in the same way we're physical? And when we visit them, we're actually the energetic entity? Like...A bit of role-reversal is happening? *tries to grasp it*
And with the structures, if they're just...there...unpowered and more akin to a brick wall than a shield, I could concievably boot a hole through one, yeah? Like...Nothing makes them strong, it just makes them be there?

Still a little confused by that whole thing. Is it more a replica of our world, but over there *points* or are there differences in how things work?


You are just physical. The physics there allow your astral body to be as if it was your physical meat puppet body here. That is a generalisation of course, because it depends where you go. While I wouldn't go so far as to say it's a "replica" of our world, I think in the context your meaning it, then yes. Meaning, it's just a brick wall and you can kick it, if the physics allow for it there. But keep in mind, that a spell of yours doesn't automattically become a brick wall either there. You have to KNOW how to make "matter" in that realm or it's still just a spell. But the "matter" is just "normal" matter, yes. So yes, you can also be a "ghost" in someone else's physical realm as well.


Obsidian wrote:Surely there'd be astral substances that mimic these effects. Materials that are strong without power, or that you switch on and step back from...


Keep in mind your examples...armor and shields, etc. are just matter than blocks like a brick wall. THey aren't active at all...the only thing that makes them "active" is the wearer, but they still aren't active at all. They are just in the way. As far as radioactivity, that's the material itself breaking down/disintegrating. So yes, you can have slowly disintegrating materials too, but that isn't what I think you want.

Obsidian wrote:Are there any spells/materials that actually generate energy? I think I've heard of one, but I'm not sure =/
If it's generating power (even if it's only a little bit), it'd be able to heal itself. So a material that generate's energy is automatically better than one that doesn't, no? Or is that where the mixing comes into play...


Nothing "generates" energy. It simply converts it from one state to another (which may include gathering). People think magical energy comes from no-where sometimes, and that's just a lack of understanding the details of how it's getting there in the first place. Most of the time, they don't really care how it got there as long as it's there and ready to be used, which after a point is good enough, but it depends on your goals. For an omni, we want to know WHY so we can take advantage of it, but what we do requires that knowledge.

You can make materials that store energy, and can seem like to "generate" energy, or even act as a catalyst to break something else down for it's energy, so again it seems like it's generating energy when it's just using something else as fuel. After a point, it may not matter. For me, it's all about the details though, so the technicalities matter. Even material that naturally absorbs energy ISN"T generating it, you know? Now, as you mention, that substance may "heal" itself because of that energy it gets. However, to use a material as a power source because it's nature isn't really done. At least in the sense of using it as an infinite energy source versus a battery.
However, I'll admit, I'll use hyper-dense energy as long term batteries for spells, but I also know the battery is finite, just with a LARGE pool before there is nothing left to the point that the spell will be long done with it's usefulness before the "block" is done providing power. But that also means you had to have the power to begin with to put in.
You can also get materials that absorb energy so it seems like it's producing energy, but normally it isn't practical for use for spell work. Not considering the other naturally available power sources.

As far as a material automatically being better if it generates energy, I would say no. Mostly because even if it could, then it's main purpose would be to generate or gather energy, not do whatever your trying to accomplish, so you'd still need other materials to DO something effective for your working. And if it was a "mix", then the full material isn't producing energy. It can be better to let the materials specialize and help each other out sometimes, but again, it depends on the application.

Obsidian wrote:I'm curious as to the general level of materials. Are they something generally taught in the lower-level, G1-G3 sorta topics, or are they more advanced, higher-level stuff? I'd quite like to look into these, see if I couldn't throw together like...anything But since I'm only a beginner, I don't know if there'd be much of a point. 'specially if you need advanced-level senses to see most/understand most of them. And not just see them...Would it be safe to work with materials if you're not that good with energy?


Materials can be done at any level, if you know how to do them. Although the "hyper-dense" ones I've refered to are normally not able to be done til research level. Because tech manifests AS materials, it can be early in the training one learns some of it. One really doesn't start playing with materials/tech til g3 normally, most because of the foundational work before then, not because of the lack of power or senses. Senses/control is important, don't get me wrong. The better your control is, the better the potiential of the material. Amps come into place to help this along of course.
As far as it being safe to work with materials if you have a hard time with energy...Well, materials might be considered "advanced" energy, so you'd have a hard time GETTING stable materials in the first place if you have a hard time with energy. Working with ANYTHING that you have poor control over can be dangerous, energy OR materials. But as with anything else, just becareful and you should be ok. If things look like they are going badly, stop and pull back. Materials as a general rule don't "explode", they mostly just disintegrate back to "normal" uniform energy. There are always exceptions to that rule of course, however it's unlikely you'll find those combinations off the bat. Just use common sense and you'll be fine.

As far as what the "extremely complex portable machine" is... I'll give you a hint...it's with you every day. And that's all I'll say.

(I'm rather tired so my answers above probably aren't as complete as I would like)

Skadu wrote:Some of these are Constructs and others have turned out to be the manifestations of certain types of Intelligence. I've been baffled more than once by sudden shifts in a stucture itself, once I'd elected to really check it out. In the cases of Semi-Intelligent Constructs, the programming is easily discernable.

As for certain others... I've found them to be confusing as anything that I've ever encountered; and sometimes menacing. OK, almost always menacing, at first. As if I were a virus or other undesirable that it must purge.

Has anyone else encountered such a thing?


Not all life and bodies of that life are in forms that you are framiliar with. In the end, much of what you "see" out there is your own symbology translating what is actually there, so the end symbolism being "real" can be suspect.

As far as making semi-thinking constructs/spells, sure that's possible and even done rather commonly. As far as "constructs" being alive and menacing, see the note above about other types of life. They probably aren't "constructs", just a form of life your not framiliar with.

However, I've seen advanced enough spells that would mimic what you've described. In the cases I'm refereing to, I'd stay away from those if I were you since they would have no problems in ability to squash you. They are powerful "assistants" to those that created them in the first place that are even more so.
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