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Question regarding powers for a character

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4 months 2 weeks ago - 4 months 2 weeks ago #69402 by Trantos0_1
Trantos0_1 created the topic: Question regarding powers for a character
Been dabbling in fanfic writing so I figured I might dip my toe into Whateley now that I've gotten a chance to catch up on the stories (still gotta work through gen2).

I have a character design in mind but I want to be sure about regarding some mutant traits/powers before I get too invested in sketching out the story etc.

First: I know that the various Gadgeteers in the universe have been shown to have their individual specialties in regards to their tech. Is this due to personal preference, their power latching on to a particular specialty when they manifest or a mix of the two? Also is it possible for a Gadgeteer's specialty to be exotic/weird enough that people dismiss what they make as unusually stable devises. I'm not talking about stuff like what a Gadgeteer 7 might create but just stuff that the overwhelming majority won't see as 'real science'.

Secondly, Avatars. Is it possible for an Avatar to 'expel' a spirit from their hollow if they're properly trained/desperate enough. Also is it possible to shield an unoccupied hollow from spirits that want in for any period of time.

Lastly, to what degree are spirits capable of twisting hosts with undesirable traits into something more preferable (to them, that is)? I don't even mean great powers like Tatanka and Ptesanwi that altered Kayda (if memory serves the original plan was take Brandon's daughter but they had to go with plan B ) or Wihinape with Pounce (who really doesn't want to be female but I doubt will ultimately have any say in the matter). I'm talking about coercion, manipulation, pavlovian-style conditioning, all the sort of things an entity; that while not having the 'ommph' to cast the proverbial polymorph spell but doesn't consider their hosts opinions, desires and plans for the future proper and intends to 'set things right'?
Last Edit: 4 months 2 weeks ago by Trantos0_1.

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4 months 2 weeks ago #69403 by Sir Lee
Sir Lee replied the topic: Question regarding powers for a character
Well, I'll offer my two cents but please be aware that these are just informed personal opinions -- I lack the access to the extra info canon authors have.

Trantos0_1 wrote: First: I know that the various Gadgeteers in the universe have been shown to have their individual specialties in regards to their tech. Is this due to personal preference, their power latching on to a particular specialty when they manifest or a mix of the two? Also is it possible for a Gadgeteer's specialty to be exotic/weird enough that people dismiss what they make as unusually stable devises. I'm not talking about stuff like what a Gadgeteer 7 might create but just stuff that the overwhelming majority won't see as 'real science'.

Well, gadgeteers are sort of super-engineers. In the same way that you have engineers specializing in comm technology, computing tech, transport tech, building, power transmission... you should expect that gadgeteers focus on a few things that draw their interest. It's not that they can't work in other areas, it's that since they are less interested on them they lack the specialized knowledge that goes along with their power. So, I would say that is personal preference.

Trantos0_1 wrote: Secondly, Avatars. Is it possible for an Avatar to 'expel' a spirit from their hollow if they're properly trained/desperate enough. Also is it possible to shield an unoccupied hollow from spirits that want in for any period of time.

Well, we have a canon example in Tansy, who apparently expelled a minor spirit she accidentally got early after her mutation. It is unknown what happened to the spirit, however; it's generally assumed that it was destroyed, although there is quite a lot of fan speculation regarding spirit-chan's (the fan nickname) survival. And Tansy "expelled" Jinn eventually, although Jinn wanted to get away, so there was not resistance and therefore no damage. Regarding shielding... I suppose a self-aware Avatar could consciously reject bonding with a spirit. A magic-user likely could build a mystical shield against spirits too.

Trantos0_1 wrote: Lastly, to what degree are spirits capable of twisting hosts with undesirable traits into something more preferable (to them, that is)? I don't even mean great powers like Tatanka and Ptesanwi that altered Kayda (if memory serves the original plan was take Brandon's daughter but they had to go with plan B ) or Wihinape with Pounce (who really doesn't want to be female but I doubt will ultimately have any say in the matter). I'm talking about coercion, manipulation, pavlovian-style conditioning, all the sort of things an entity; that while not having the 'ommph' to cast the proverbial polymorph spell but doesn't consider their hosts opinions, desires and plans for the future proper and intends to 'set things right'?

That would depend a lot on the power of the spirit. Powerful spirits, particularly ones too "big" for their host's hallows, cannot even help influencing their hosts. OTOH, many minor spirits can't even vocalize their thoughts, which would make the sorts of things you suggest hard to do. A mid-size spirit, one not friendly to the host, who is strong enough to vocalize but not strong enough to influence the host more directly? I suppose it's possible. Jinn did exactly that to Tansy. But at this point it would not be called "bonding", it would be called "possession" by an hostile spirit.

Don't call me "Shirley." You will surely make me surly.
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4 months 2 weeks ago - 4 months 2 weeks ago #69404 by Trantos0_1
Trantos0_1 replied the topic: Question regarding powers for a character

Sir Lee wrote: Well, gadgeteers are sort of super-engineers. In the same way that you have engineers specializing in comm technology, computing tech, transport tech, building, power transmission... you should expect that gadgeteers focus on a few things that draw their interest. It's not that they can't work in other areas, it's that since they are less interested on them they lack the specialized knowledge that goes along with their power. So, I would say that is personal preference.

Ah. Because the 'shiny' aspect of the character that I had in mind was that of a 'Technomancy' gadgeteer. Because Technomancy is a thing in the WA setting (mentioned in Silent Nacht 2) but seems to be considered a dead-end/pie-in-the-sky pursuit aside from the one true example (the Telchines’ Astrolabe) and a bunch of unreliable 'maybes'. And at the same time we see Eldritch assembly line/bypass rules when producing magical equipment that the overwhelming majority of of modern-day magic users see as unavoidable.

Earth Mother had pitched a fit when she found out Caitlin’s source, and the lecture about how only diamonds mined from the earth were suitable had gone on long enough that Caitlin had actually fallen asleep. A diamond was a diamond was a diamond. Caitlin was too pragmatic to give much care to the origin of her materials. What would work, would work, despite all claims to the contrary.

Of course the Artificer is a product of a civilization that understood magic and related fields a lot better than humans.

So while the character can make creations melding magical effects and technology (not perfectly of course, they''re still learning) the majority of people give them the devise label because while they are technically reproducible; very few people on either side of the divide can get past their preconceptions/prejudice etc of the opposing field to be able to make said items.

Granted Caitlin could no doubt figure out the creations in no time flat, but why would they call her in to examine a devise?

Sir Lee wrote: Well, we have a canon example in Tansy, who apparently expelled a minor spirit she accidentally got early after her mutation. It is unknown what happened to the spirit, however; it's generally assumed that it was destroyed, although there is quite a lot of fan speculation regarding spirit-chan's (the fan nickname) survival. And Tansy "expelled" Jinn eventually, although Jinn wanted to get away, so there was not resistance and therefore no damage. Regarding shielding... I suppose a self-aware Avatar could consciously reject bonding with a spirit. A magic-user likely could build a mystical shield against spirits too.

That would depend a lot on the power of the spirit. Powerful spirits, particularly ones too "big" for their host's hallows, cannot even help influencing their hosts. OTOH, many minor spirits can't even vocalize their thoughts, which would make the sorts of things you suggest hard to do. A mid-size spirit, one not friendly to the host, who is strong enough to vocalize but not strong enough to influence the host more directly? I suppose it's possible. Jinn did exactly that to Tansy. But at this point it would not be called "bonding", it would be called "possession" by an hostile spirit.

Ah, because the initial 'tragic origin story' idea was that the character and a friend were unknowingly low level Avatars.

The friend (a tomboy) gets jumped by a spirit (with particular ideas on the behavior of men and women etc) and the character who has a Wiz-0 trait of being able to see spirits (though not nearly to the extent Diamonback can) has to watch their friend slowly be manipulated/twisted into a caricature of herself ala Stepford Wives etc over a period of time. This triggers the reckless head-long delve into Technomancy gadgeteering as he frantically tries to figure out something to pry this parasite out of her before his friend is just....rewritten. No local mages that might help and the community just sees it as the friend 'growing out of that phase and becoming a proper young lady' while the boy is making up stories.

Spirit eventually gets annoyed at the boy trying to interfere with it 'setting things right' and calls in a favor to A: deal with the problem and B: get its host a 'like-minded sister'. Character gets jumped and the spirit manages to twist his body to female (not on the spot but he'll change into one within a matter of weeks etc) but before it can get to modifying his mind and soul to order; he blows a 'spirit bomb' that fries it. Couldn't use it to help his friend because the weapon can't sever a solidified spirit-avatar connection. Between the transformation, his/her being outed as a mutant and his friend being essentially gone by this point (spirit did thorough work in pruning 'unwanted' behaviors); there's no point in staying.

Fast-track to Whateley you have a very twitchy gadgeteer that does not want to be an avatar (she sees people hosting spirits as either fools playing with fire or broken/yet-to-be-broken puppets on strings) with a shoot-until-ectoplasmic-gibs policy regarding any spirits that might try to get near her. Problem is she still has an unoccupied (if 'scarred' to people with the right senses) hollow and every spirit that can see goes "Ohh, free real estate. Mine, all mine."
Last Edit: 4 months 2 weeks ago by Trantos0_1.

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4 months 2 weeks ago - 4 months 2 weeks ago #69405 by Softdreams
Softdreams replied the topic: Question regarding powers for a character
I am currently writing a "technomancer" of sorts, but my character is not actually a technomancer per se, she is a GAD/WIZ combo that fails to craft her essence through magical traditions, thus she has taken to use gadgets as a workaround for this. Basically... she uses her magical abilities through gadgets.

Secondly, Avatars. Is it possible for an Avatar to 'expel' a spirit from their hollow if they're properly trained/desperate enough. Also is it possible to shield an unoccupied hollow from spirits that want in for any period of time.

Yes, if I remember correctly this is discussed at length in some of Jade stories. Especially in Jade 5 - Redefining Jade, Mangoose expulsed Jinn from his hallow after having had pulled her in.
Last Edit: 4 months 2 weeks ago by Softdreams.
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4 months 2 weeks ago - 4 months 2 weeks ago #69406 by Trantos0_1
Trantos0_1 replied the topic: Question regarding powers for a character

Softdreams wrote: I am currently writing a "technomancer" of sorts, but my character is not actually a technomancer per se, she is a GAD/WIZ combo that fails to craft her essence through magical traditions, thus she has taken to use gadgets as a workaround for this. Basically... she uses her magical abilities through gadgets.


My intention I had for this character is that she simply can't use magic the 'traditional' way without decades of study ala a baseline with no inherent talent. Heck it might be a while before she even cottons on to the notion that what she is doing might be considered 'magic' by others since the theories in her head and studies done are straightforward and practical.

Nothing like this voodoo-hoodoo that the Magic Arts faculty is obsessed with (several members saying she should embrace her Avatar status and reach out to the spirits doesn't help impressions). Her equipment runs on a particular form of energy (provisional term Aether) that can be passively collected from the environment (need more data, some areas seem more plentiful then others), converted from electricity (though that takes some special equipment) or the rendered down remains of spirits that try to breach her defenses (you'd think those parasites would learn, she's going to need more batteries). They're all constructed of perfectly normal materials (none of this copper quenched in maiden's blood or mistletoe harvested with a golden sickle stuff) and she doesn't need a song-and-dance routine for them to work.
Last Edit: 4 months 2 weeks ago by Trantos0_1.

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4 months 2 weeks ago - 4 months 2 weeks ago #69407 by null0trooper
null0trooper replied the topic: Question regarding powers for a character

Trantos0_1 wrote: Nothing like this voodoo-hoodoo that the Magic Arts faculty is obsessed with (several members saying she should embrace her Avatar status and reach out to the spirits doesn't help impressions).


The Mystic Arts faculty rarely involve themselves with Avatars unless they have/develop a magical talent (Kodiak) or need to know more about the field to survive (Tansy, maybe Phase). Regarding their attitude w/r/t spirits:

Now The Real Learning Can Begin, Chap. 5 wrote: "Can either of you identify the eight principal dangers associated with extra-dimensional beings?" she demanded. I gulped; I had no idea what she was talking about. "Oh, come now, Kayda," she continued sternly. "Surely you know one of them from experience, since you were attacked in your dream-world. Okay, can either of you tell me the complications that can arise in a magic ritual?"

After an awkward moment of silence, when neither of us dared to speak, she continued. "Do you know how spells work? How they are designed to make the magic flow the way you want, and not have an uncontrolled mess that might attract unwanted attention? Or what kind of ... things ... would be attracted to errant magic?"



Trantos0_1 wrote: Her equipment runs on a particular form of energy (provisional term Aether) that can be passively collected from the environment (need more data, some areas seem more plentiful then others), converted from electricity (though that takes some special equipment) or the rendered down remains of spirits that try to breach her defenses (you'd think those parasites would learn, she's going to need more batteries). They're all constructed of perfectly normal materials (none of this copper quenched in maiden's blood or mistletoe harvested with a golden sickle stuff) and she doesn't need a song-and-dance routine for them to work.


Buck Swift thinks he works with aether too. He's a devisor.

There have been some statements to the effect that, per the Contract of Solomon, spirits cannot take residence in a Host's hallow without permission.

The Kodiak Conspiracy wrote: Kodiak frowned. “As if we have time for this adolescent nonsense,” he growled. “Were it not for the Contract of Solomon I would have you just possess the girl and be done with it.”

“You aren't the lord of me,” Grizzly returned coldly. “And that kind of thinking is exactly why the Contract came to be. And if you had not made such a ham-fisted mess of things I wouldn't have such a difficult time winning the girl's trust!”


Persuasion works, but trickery and deception toward obtaining that permission is not prohibited.

Trantos0_1 wrote: So while the character can make creations melding magical effects and technology (not perfectly of course, they''re still learning) the majority of people give them the devise label because while they are technically reproducible; very few people on either side of the divide can get past their preconceptions/prejudice etc of the opposing field to be able to make said items.


That's pretty solidly in devisor-land: an energy source outside the known theories of physics that only the tinker can use. A gadgeteer makes reproducible devices: special tools may be needed (as with any design) but no special mindset required. Note that the Artificer is inherently Not An Example of what other characters can construct unless other characters have been shown doing the same.

Trantos0_1 wrote: The friend (a tomboy) gets jumped by a spirit (with particular ideas on the behavior of men and women etc) and the character who has a Wiz-0 trait of being able to see spirits (though not nearly to the extent Diamonback can)


Astral projection, aura reading, and "new senses" generally fall under ESP (This is part of how Metro is spec'd out). So there's a normal route to that, a magical version, and chances are there can be are gadgets or devises that may work.

Forum-posted ideas are freely adoptable.

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Last Edit: 4 months 2 weeks ago by null0trooper. Reason: Trying to be informative

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4 months 2 weeks ago - 4 months 2 weeks ago #69408 by Trantos0_1
Trantos0_1 replied the topic: Question regarding powers for a character

null0trooper wrote: The Mystic Arts faculty rarely involve themselves with Avatars unless they have/develop a magical talent (Kodiak) or need to know more about the field to survive (Tansy, maybe Phase). Regarding their attitude w/r/t spirits:

Huh, good to know. Who does tend to work with Avatars? Couldn't find any mention of any sort of 'Avatar class' etc.

null0trooper wrote: Buck Swift thinks he works with aether too. He's a devisor.

I was grabbing a random name out of a hat for a description. I didn't want to use essence or quintessence (both are names for the 'raw power' for magic) and was trying to go for 'There are no existing scientific studies analyzing this form of energy and it's definitely not one of the known ones'. Ergo she has to call it something.

null0trooper wrote: There have been some statements to the effect that, per the Contract of Solomon, spirits cannot take residence in a Host's hallow without permission.

Persuasion works, but trickery and deception toward obtaining that permission is not prohibited.

Really? From everything I can tell (might have missed a section) Wakan Tanka essentially gave Wihinape free access to Danny's hollow without any permission needed on his part.

No, silly! You're not listening. Wakan Tanka is looking out for you. She asked me to be your spirit once she knew you manifested and had an empty hallow, and I just couldn't resist! You wouldn't want to have some silly spirit, like a butterfly or a cricket or a slime mold, now, would you? She was practically purring seductively.

Danny had no idea about the agreement or about Wihinape. She just hopped in without so much as a by your leave.

null0trooper wrote: That's pretty solidly in devisor-land: an energy source outside the known theories of physics that only the tinker can use. A gadgeteer makes reproducible devices: special tools may be needed (as with any design) but no special mindset required. Note that the Artificer is inherently Not An Example of what other characters can construct unless other characters have been shown doing the same.

Sorry I'm bad at explaining this sort of thing outside of my head. Yes, anyone can repeat the character's creations if they repeat the steps with the proper equipment. But the proverbial physics behind it/instruction on how to build it, include stuff that the gadgeteers doing the testing see as superfluous. End result is that the copy doesn't function or poorly/randomly, sort of like building a circuit board in a room full of dust, dirt and all sort of contaminants. Presumably that plus the 'weird energy' power source she insists her equipment needs make them label it Devise.

null0trooper wrote: Astral projection, aura reading, and "new senses" generally fall under ESP (This is part of how Metro is spec'd out). So there's a normal route to that, a magical version, and chances are there can be are gadgets or devises that may work.

So generic low level ESP trait then. Thanks.
Last Edit: 4 months 2 weeks ago by Trantos0_1.

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4 months 2 weeks ago - 4 months 2 weeks ago #69409 by Softdreams
Softdreams replied the topic: Question regarding powers for a character
There are Avatar classes! They are commonly referred to as Spirits I, and Spirits II by the students. A couple of stories mention them in passing, but one of the Scald Crow stories (I'll try looking for it later) gave us some insight into what's talked about/taught in these classes.

Regarding this energy thing... I understand your character reluctance to having a spirit and its relevance to the story, and I definitely do not mean to impose my ideas on you but... What if your character has a spirit that goes by unnoticed by most? It grants your character some sort of faux-tinkerer ability (either devising or gadgeteering) but powers these inventions with spiritual energy which is produced by avatars instead of Essence. That'd certainly be new and insteresting! Now this would require your Avatar to be either a mid or high-ranking one.

(This is the story I made referrence to above: Scald Crow story: Scald-Crow 2: Under Pressure Part 1)
Last Edit: 4 months 2 weeks ago by Softdreams.

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4 months 2 weeks ago #69413 by Trantos0_1
Trantos0_1 replied the topic: Question regarding powers for a character

Softdreams wrote: There are Avatar classes! They are commonly referred to as Spirits I, and Spirits II by the students. A couple of stories mention them in passing, but one of the Scald Crow stories (I'll try looking for it later) gave us some insight into what's talked about/taught in these classes.

(This is the story I made reference to above: Scald Crow story: Scald-Crow 2: Under Pressure Part 1)

Huh, I'll have to reread SC 2 then. It can just be a bit of a slog 'translating' the accent of the main character and her spirit at times.

As it is, the course is mentioned in a couple of other places but there is very little about what the course actually talks about. The most is in 'Young Squirrel’s Fancy' where the gist seems to be that the course is 'So you're an avatar! You might be experiencing strange and new sensations and behaviors. This is not your fault, it is perfectly normal and here is how to handle it'.
Pythia gives the impression that the course would have ensured that Aquerna would not have been caught off guard by spring.

Softdreams wrote: Regarding this energy thing... I understand your character reluctance to having a spirit and its relevance to the story, and I definitely do not mean to impose my ideas on you but... What if your character has a spirit that goes by unnoticed by most? It grants your character some sort of faux-tinkerer ability (either devising or gadgeteering) but powers these inventions with spiritual energy which is produced by avatars instead of Essence. That'd certainly be new and insteresting! Now this would require your Avatar to be either a mid or high-ranking one.

You aren't far off. She knows that she's playing russian roulette since spirits only need to get lucky once to get past her defensive measures (and using the 'spirit bomb' previously mentioned will lead to long term health issues of all kinds).

So on the surface she's got two options. One: take a chance with a spirit inhabiting her hollow and hope it doesn't **** her over too badly. Two: Keep using the shields and barrier for the rest of her life.
The intent for the finale of the story is that she takes a third option:
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4 months 2 weeks ago - 4 months 2 weeks ago #69429 by Valentine
Valentine replied the topic: Question regarding powers for a character

Trantos0_1 wrote: Ah. Because the 'shiny' aspect of the character that I had in mind was that of a 'Technomancy' gadgeteer. Because Technomancy is a thing in the WA setting (mentioned in Silent Nacht 2) but seems to be considered a dead-end/pie-in-the-sky pursuit aside from the one true example (the Telchines’ Astrolabe) and a bunch of unreliable 'maybes'. And at the same time we see Eldritch assembly line/bypass rules when producing magical equipment that the overwhelming majority of of modern-day magic users see as unavoidable.


There are a number of "Technomantic" types in the WU, several at Whateley during Gen 1.

Nephandus, Techno-Devil, KnickKnack, Nimbus, and others. Check out Ayla and the Mad Scientist. It's far from deadend/pie in the sky pursuit.

Don't Drick and Drive.
Last Edit: 4 months 2 weeks ago by Valentine.

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