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Discussion about all things related to Chaos Reborn

  • Thanks for the update!
    Who's that riding across the plain?
    Who's lost count of the foes he's slain?
    Who's the man who's plumb insane?
    Kahangriel! Kahangriel! Kahangriel!
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    Kahangriel
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  • AllenStroud wrote:The smallest things, such as how a wizard perceives their magic or what the casting of a spell involves. If there are magic words, can they be heard or copied? Do all wizards cast their spells using the same words and in the same way?


    Good questions. Glad I'm not the one answering them. :)
    Who's that riding across the plain?
    Who's lost count of the foes he's slain?
    Who's the man who's plumb insane?
    Kahangriel! Kahangriel! Kahangriel!
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  • Apologies for the delay on the next update. Lot been going on. Hoping to get this sorted tomorrow.
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  • A question for Alan:

    Given that Chaos reborn is based on a set of magic spells that are pre-defined in the game prior to you writing your novel, does that put you in a situation where you are writing Hard Magic rather than Soft Magic as Brandon Sanderson would define it, or are you somewhere in-between?

    http://brandonsanderson.com/sandersons-first-law/
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  • From a quick read of the article, I would say it puts me in a place reconciling a system into fiction as it might any writer I guess.

    I pretty much disagree with Sanderson on most of his conclusions. Its unfortunately common for writers to project their own way of working into a theory of how everything works. Even when he 'modifies' his structural model, he's still linking two relative concepts, namely, understanding and application. There's precious little research in evidence as well. Formative thinking (how stuff works, what is its affect) is much more useful than trying to rope a herd of cows with one piece of rope. His explanation denies the fundamental use of myth and invented myth in fiction i.e. how you invoke the reader's imagination without explaining and still goes against the use of wonder.

    Clarke's Law on magic and technology is much more applicable as it doesn't try to tell a writer how to write.

    For The Death of Gods (Chaos Reborn Fiction), I try to invoke the referential code (Barthes) and ensure magic is something you identify with as readers. Uses of magic need to feel familiar to the way in which you play the game, but it shouldn't be restricted by it once this familiarity is established. My wizards achieve feats wizards in the game cannot achieve (initially or otherwise) and by not determining the difference specifically, but allowing you to determine it, they hold aspirational positions in the whole fictional entity (game and book). I have tried to use myth and mythopoesis (Tolkien, Warner, Zipes, Bettelheim) and the megatext of Fantasy (Brooke-Rose, Broderick) to construct something you will enjoy.

    Only you can decide if I've succeeded or not when the book and game come out.
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  • AllenStroud wrote:From a quick read of the article, I would say it puts me in a place reconciling a system into fiction as it might any writer I guess.

    I pretty much disagree with Sanderson on most of his conclusions. Its unfortunately common for writers to project their own way of working into a theory of how everything works. Even when he 'modifies' his structural model, he's still linking two relative concepts, namely, understanding and application. There's precious little research in evidence as well. Formative thinking (how stuff works, what is its affect) is much more useful than trying to rope a herd of cows with one piece of rope. His explanation denies the fundamental use of myth and invented myth in fiction i.e. how you invoke the reader's imagination without explaining and still goes against the use of wonder.

    Clarke's Law on magic and technology is much more applicable as it doesn't try to tell a writer how to write.

    For The Death of Gods (Chaos Reborn Fiction), I try to invoke the referential code (Barthes) and ensure magic is something you identify with as readers. Uses of magic need to feel familiar to the way in which you play the game, but it shouldn't be restricted by it once this familiarity is established. My wizards achieve feats wizards in the game cannot achieve (initially or otherwise) and by not determining the difference specifically, but allowing you to determine it, they hold aspirational positions in the whole fictional entity (game and book). I have tried to use myth and mythopoesis (Tolkien, Warner, Zipes, Bettelheim) and the megatext of Fantasy (Brooke-Rose, Broderick) to construct something you will enjoy.

    Only you can decide if I've succeeded or not when the book and game come out.


    Nevertheless, every time I read a Sanderson book and get the basic premise of his magical constructions, I'm wondering how this will be engaging and "cool". Yet, at the end of each book, I loved what he did with any magic system he has invented.

    Everyone has different ideas on magic, but I do agree with his idea that if magic can do whatever, whenever, it isn't really all that wondrous and then it just becomes a scapegoat to get something done.

    When you set the rules and define them up front and don't randomly go outside the bounds of them, the characters then have to find ways to cope with their situations within the bounds of that magic.

    It feels more realistic, more complete and more engaging when you know the boundaries.

    Like he said about Harry Potter, Rowling conveniently forgets things that has happened in the past and that is something I see in a lot of stories where something that happened in the past isn't built upon in future writings just so they continue to develop the world and do new things. When I see stuff like this happen, I get disinterested in the world when things are forgotten or conveniently dismissed/overlooked or when anything can happen to fit the situation, making the magic just a way to beat the bad guy without any effort involved.

    Maybe that's why I like Jordan and Sanderson so much, and a lot of people I've talked to don't care for their styles.

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  • SeryfEl wrote:
    Nevertheless, every time I read a Sanderson book and get the basic premise of his magical constructions, I'm wondering how this will be engaging and "cool". Yet, at the end of each book, I loved what he did with any magic system he has invented.

    Everyone has different ideas on magic, but I do agree with his idea that if magic can do whatever, whenever, it isn't really all that wondrous and then it just becomes a scapegoat to get something done.



    I agree, but I think this says more about the function writers employ magic for in texts than a need to completely systematise. I consider each 'use' by the way the game works and by considering the origination of the occurrence. Contrived solutions are just contrived solutions whatever you dress them up as. Parameters are important, but they do have to be balanced. Consider Gandalf's early conversation with Bilbo in Fellowship of the Ring where the shadows darken and he seems to grow larger. It invokes much more menace and atmosphere than something systematised might do in description.

    SeryfEl wrote:When you set the rules and define them up front and don't randomly go outside the bounds of them, the characters then have to find ways to cope with their situations within the bounds of that magic.

    It feels more realistic, more complete and more engaging when you know the boundaries.


    I'm not sure I would want to set these out to the reader, but that would depend on the story. If you consider it a narrative device then its like any other. Also you have to expand what you consider the magic to be. Is it just the premise of wizards? Or is there a magic at work when small miracles occur and the Gods intervene? What about prescience, prophecy and fate? The words of a seer or oracle are usually cryptic and so less complete. I wrote an academic paper about 'finding a fragment of old lore' recently (its being submitted to Mythlore, a Tolkien related journal). Finding the fragment makes you think about what was lost as well as what you've found. It has to be a fragment to project depth in that way.

    In The Death of Gods, we know the ending. The world shatters and becomes the Chaos Reborn playground. You know where you're going if you know the game. This is another narrative device and expression of magic. I have to explain how it happened.

    Joe Abercrombie's use of the wizard Bayaz is interesting. We learn more and more and about the magic he can or can't employ and his related power as the story goes on, but its subjective information as we learn towards the end.
    SeryfEl wrote:Like he said about Harry Potter, Rowling conveniently forgets things that has happened in the past and that is something I see in a lot of stories where something that happened in the past isn't built upon in future writings just so they continue to develop the world and do new things. When I see stuff like this happen, I get disinterested in the world when things are forgotten or conveniently dismissed/overlooked or when anything can happen to fit the situation, making the magic just a way to beat the bad guy without any effort involved.

    Maybe that's why I like Jordan and Sanderson so much, and a lot of people I've talked to don't care for their styles.


    Possibly. Although inconsistency is a bugbear of mine too for different reasons. For me it does boil down to understanding the reading experience (which is very different to the writing experience) and delivering something that considers this.
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  • Okay, planning a blog post this week and bringing back the fiction blog. I have some exciting additional news but I'm waiting on an additional email to come in (by the end of the month).
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