How lucky were Saasnil and Korulen?

Plain old discussion of Alicorn stories.

How lucky were Saasnil and Korulen?

Postby DeAnno » Wed Apr 09, 2014 4:16 am

So I was reading in the sandbox and thinking about the summoning spell those two crazy kids did at the start of Summons, and it occurred to me that the Ward on the summon spell seems pretty... permeable.

1) The ward seems to let through sound, so theoretically something hostile could make a very loud sound and deafen them both, or possibly do more damage.
2) Something capable of making loud enough sounds or focused sound waves could probably use them to destroy the chalk ward.
3) Light can pass through the Ward, and various forms of extremely bright radiation or lasers might be able to cause lots of harm and damage or disrupt the chalk outright in a similar manner to sound.
4) The Ward design probably isn't bad enough to let you escape by simply smashing a hole in the floor or ceiling, but I would think it was worth trying.
5) It seems to let through air, so it's possible that something could attack with chemical or biological vectors which could pass through the filter with the air. It is however quite possible the spell literally filters it so only air particles can pass through though, making this attack method invalid.
6) A mundane memetic weapon, if such a thing can exist, could be passed through the Ward as information (as a picture, story, or something else) and infect them with who knows what sort of horrible mind-affecting effect. Keo can probably fix it, hopefully.
7) Anything capable of practical point to point teleportation without using magic could possibly just leave, though this is rather hard to predict.
8) Anything with antimagic or dispelling which hard-trumps Elcenian Wizardry could break the ward, though there really isn't a way of preventing this even if it's forseeable.

Would any of these hostile actions have worked, or were the kids actually being only impolite and not also extremely unsafe?

EDIT: (When I am thinking about Wards I am really paranoid apparently)
9) A capacity for Perfect Social Attacks, due to Contessa grade precog or some other unicorn, which will allow the summonee to forcibly convince them to just let it out.
10) Heat in general maybe? If sound can pass through then that means there is heat transfer barring shenanigans.
11) Something that could not break the Ward but cause enough permanent horribleness inside could possibly necessitate it never being taken down.
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Re: How lucky were Saasnil and Korulen?

Postby Alicorn » Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:08 am

There are gaps in the ward, but not this many.

1, 2. Sound transfer is limited to a sensible decibel ceiling.
3. Radiation and lasers are not accounted for. If they cause heat, the ward won't let that through, but cold forms could escape. However, the chalk design can be disturbed exclusively through a deliberate act by someone outside the circle.
4. The ward has a floor and a ceiling which match the floor and ceiling of the room. If it were cast outdoors it would have a ceiling too, somewhat higher.
5. Elcenians and Elcenian magic in general have a very narrow definition of what constitutes "air". Anything that air-breathing creatures cannot breathe is not "air".
6. No protection against memetic weapons (except, yes, via Keo).
7. The ward will block teleportation, calling, resummoning, etc., as long as the mechanism is sufficiently reminiscent of Elcenian versions. If it's not (if it works via, I dunno, tesseract spacefolding or something) then it might work.
8. Elcenian wizardry is difficult to hard-trump. Someone writing fanfiction could declare it doable but I don't anticipate ever writing a system that does this interacting with wizardry. You have to go around or through a gap, not just flip it off.
9. No defense against perfect social attacks like what Contessa could accomplish. Contessa could probably even maneuver around Keo if Keo wasn't preemptively aggressive.
10. There is a sensible limit on heat transfer.
11. No defense against this; if you create Bonsai Nightmare Horrors in the ward then nothing will stop you.
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Re: How lucky were Saasnil and Korulen?

Postby Bluelantern » Thu Apr 10, 2014 7:45 am

Alicorn wrote:11. No defense against this; if you create Bonsai Nightmare Horrors in the ward then nothing will stop you.


okay, completely off-topic, but that concept is too cool to leave unused.
Sorry for my bad english

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Re: How lucky were Saasnil and Korulen?

Postby DeAnno » Fri Apr 11, 2014 11:51 am

Alicorn wrote:3. Radiation and lasers are not accounted for. If they cause heat, the ward won't let that through, but cold forms could escape. However, the chalk design can be disturbed exclusively through a deliberate act by someone outside the circle.


Is this like, some sort of additional conceptual protection? If I make an extremely intense Visual Light laser and use it to obliterate the floor the chalk design is written on, does the chalk just hang there undestroyed?

8. Elcenian wizardry is difficult to hard-trump. Someone writing fanfiction could declare it doable but I don't anticipate ever writing a system that does this interacting with wizardry. You have to go around or through a gap, not just flip it off.


So to hard dispel this form of Elcenian Wizardry do you need to basically win a power check against the entire Elcenian Wizardry energy source? I assume this means you couldn't brute force it to death with something like a Tenner Wishcoin, The Siberian, Foil's Sting, Mage's Disjunction, or similar?
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Re: How lucky were Saasnil and Korulen?

Postby linkhyrule5 » Fri Apr 11, 2014 1:12 pm

Seems like Mage's Disjunction, which is a hard trump in its own setting, might do it.

Barring that, Nasu concepts, high-end Touhou manipulation, and Umineko authorhax are the only sorts of things that come to mind.
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Re: How lucky were Saasnil and Korulen?

Postby Kappa » Fri Apr 11, 2014 2:43 pm

What are those three things?

If I were going to hypothetically hard-trump Elcenian wizardry, I think I'd go one of two ways with it - either a property a character had that was fundamentally a hard trump of any opposition (Downsiders torching, Jokers freecasting*), or someone with a personal power level so absurdly high that it would make sense for them to be able to casually overturn local reality.

Actually, make that two and a half. The and-a-half is, instead of someone who is just generally powerful enough (along the lines of the Downside admin, but with fewer domain limitations), someone who specifically has access to some power related to rewriting or overriding other magic or reality itself, in a way that seems like it would cover the relevant things. If, say, Kyubey and someone with very high magical girl potential were summoned to Elcenia, I would expect the girl to be able to wish her way out of the circle, because PMMM wishery is explicitly able to break or rewrite not only its local laws of physics but also the limitations, expectations, and design principles of the system that gave rise to it; in other words, there is a strong argument to be made from canon that a sufficiently well-powered PMMM wish can do literally anything as long as it can be conceived of by a human mind. On the other hand, I wouldn't necessarily say that very large wishcoins could do it, because wishcoins are hard-trumped by something that originates from their own universe - ingotry. And I wouldn't say an ingot could hard-trump wizardry because ingots are generally smaller-scale than that.

*Although it's arguable that freecasting is more 'around' than 'through'.
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Re: How lucky were Saasnil and Korulen?

Postby Alicorn » Fri Apr 11, 2014 10:10 pm

So to hard dispel this form of Elcenian Wizardry do you need to basically win a power check against the entire Elcenian Wizardry energy source?


Essentially, yes. That's if you just want to flip it off. Any likely spell has lots of ways around and through. If I had creative control of an opposed check between an Elcenian wizard spell and a hard trump attempt between a spell and a tenner, Siberian, or Mage's Disjunction, an Elcenian wizard spell would win. I don't know what the Foil's sting or any of linkhyrule5's things are.

I don't think an Elcenian spell would interfere with torching. Spells would work normally (they would go so far as to cause death, where "death" for this person means "torching") and spells that referred directly to torching would be out of theoretical reach the same way spells to revive the dead are. I too would classify freecasting as "around".

I think if Kyubey tried that... well, whatever happened would be dramatic, I'm not prepared to call it either way without a wish wording to gauge the reservoir's reaction to.
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Re: How lucky were Saasnil and Korulen?

Postby kuuskytkolme » Fri Apr 11, 2014 11:54 pm

Umineko authorhax (spoilers for EP8)

In essence "Witches" in that setting are more like storytellers, and a character basically overwrites reality with "and then I won", shrugs and decides to write how she won later.
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Re: How lucky were Saasnil and Korulen?

Postby Kappa » Sat Apr 12, 2014 7:51 am

If I were going to have someone with magical girl potential use her wish to get out of a summoning circle, I'd probably have her do it in such a way that exiting the circle was more of an incidental effect or necessary sub-step than the actual end goal. Maybe if Mami was summoned out of her car wreck her wish intention would be something like I want to be free and alive; maybe if Darcy was summoned out of her Unspecified High-Stakes Situation, her wish intention would be something like I want to be back where I can do some good. I'd expect the former to be more likely to let her out of the circle while the latter seems like it would break the summoning spell itelf.
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Re: How lucky were Saasnil and Korulen?

Postby linkhyrule5 » Sun Apr 13, 2014 10:51 pm

Nasuverse has conceptual powers that, well, throw concepts at people. If you go up against, say, Rule Breaker, the actual concept of betrayal is trying to unweave your spell.

Touhou has manipulations - inherent abilities to manipulate, again, concepts. In particular, one character has the ability to manipulate boundaries - I'm thinking the "boundary of power of Elcenian wizardry" is relevant here. Another can "float", and canonically uses it to float away from reality so that she doesn't really exist in a magical sense.

And as noted above, Umineko has Creator Witches who just flat-out rewrite the story. There's actually a scene near the end of an Episode where a character talks to what's clearly implied to be the actual-author (ryukishi07), and says that she'll write the rest of the story later.
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