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Pulling things from the future into the present--Time 4 or Time 5?

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  • #16
    Why would Time be hampered by such considerations any more than Correspondence is? We're talking about using magic to warp reality, not a hard sci-fi teleportation device anchored to some absolute spatial frame of reference separate from the earth itself.


    • #17
      I recall Mage Revised basically saying "Don't worry about the Earth being there when you time travel; Mage doesn't work that way".

      Edit: Found the passage in question.

      Originally posted by Mage Revised Core, p. 194
      Physics aside, the mage simply vanishes from one point in the time-stream and reappears sometime else. Although scientists would argue that a mage doing so would wind up in the void of space (the Earth having moved far from its position in the time jumped), the mage's Pattern obeys metaphysical laws, so the mage reappears in the same place from which she left.
      Last edited by Bluecho; 02-12-2017, 01:40 AM.


      • #18
        Another thing to consider would be, that if you use this physical scientific model as the truth, you give more power to the Time Mages.
        They use a penny shot from the future to assassinate, destroy a tank with a brick and end a chantry with a Chevy.

        So, this Zen Master walks up to a hot dog stand and says: "Make me one with everything!"


        • #19
          Originally posted by Matt the Bruins fan View Post
          Why would Time be hampered by such considerations any more than Correspondence is? We're talking about using magic to warp reality, not a hard sci-fi teleportation device anchored to some absolute spatial frame of reference separate from the earth itself.
          And how you do the movement changes the dialogue completely even within a hard science paradigm.

          One example: Gravity affects space-time and/or is a property of space-time. So if could easily "pull" the traveler along with.

          And there are many, many, many more similar ideas that are out there.

          If you want to get technical about it, it's much likelier that there is going to be a problem when something occupies the physical location the mage relocated to.... Something other than, say, the air. Even rain might be significant problem. The ground a fraction of an inch higher. Etc.

          But Mage "Science" is an aspect of technomancy. If you can explain how you can do it within your Focus, you can do it.

          Which IS a separate question about WHAT you can do. That's the discussion to hand. What, exactly, does the Time Sphere affect? And that means you need to nail down how "time" works for your game.


          • #20
            Originally posted by Faradn View Post
            I don't think it works very well, at least for me, to have really black and white rules about the realness of the past versus the realness of the future. It seems like both are somewhat fluid--but the past is more solid and therefore harder to affect. Also the future likely has at least some solidity as well. Some things are fated to happen. A lot of people fear ambiguity because it makes things confusing. I think with time travel you need some ambiguity. A rigid metaphysical structure is too brittle to withstand the tempest that is time travel.

            I'm inclined to make the person using the magic the frame of reference. As much as it is possible to do so, it seems to simplify things. This necessarily means you think of both the past and the future as less real than the present, but I'm okay with that. I think. These are not easy answers.

            It might bear more pondering, but at the moment my thoughts on the Nephandus example are that all Adept and Master level magic is powerful, and if it's Vulgar it will tend to be hard to do in the middle of combat. He could grab some version of a Talisman--or he could just stop time and casually slit the throat of everyone in the cabal. Dealing with Talismans is not all that hard--they are physical objects you can sunder with Matter 3, or turn to cheese with Matter 2. I would hope that an ST wouldn't do that willy-nilly though, for story purposes. Casually destroying or copying or tele-stealing Talismans has a kind of "vampires into lawn chairs" vibe to it.

            Good luck, man, that sounds like it would be a lot of work--but potentially a lot of fun. I definitely agree that the metaphysics of time and Time need to be fleshed out a lot before one plays with them. Above I mentioned ambiguity being necessary--but it has to be careful and thoughtful ambiguity. Time is a whole other realm in a sense, like the Umbra.
            That's the key. That's not how you want Time to work. I don't feel that the past is "hard" and the future is "soft". To me, that's an artifact of perspective. Just because we can only look back along the arrow doesn't mean that that's determinative. The future and the past are both "hard" (that's Destiny) and "soft" (that's the indeterminacy of things). "Destiny" is the cumulative inertia of events. It's really hard to change the vector of events that have heavy duty consequences (temporal "mass') and are long along the vector (that's "temporal velocity"). If you try to change "destined" things it's difficult because such are hard to derail (meaning more likely to generate paradoxes and Paradox). That is both fine-grained and large scale. Trying to change major historical events with "horseshoe nails" isn't easy, because it's many many many small things that add up to create that "weight". And on the fine-grained level, it's not really easy to change things that happened during a combat because that's "Not the Way It Happened/Is Happening/Is About to Happen". It CAN be changed, but, in some ways, it might be even more difficult than trying to change a major event by a Time magic "death of a thousand cuts".

            As for the "indeterminacy", history isn't really any less malleable than the future as there are so many many things that could be different that aren't all that important with regard to Events (those with temporal mass or velocity) but they can make a significant localized difference if they are done with finesse and the change is proximal. That's come from my perspective as an archaeologist. Literally, the past changes ALL THE TIME as a function of our understanding of it. When I think about how I work the Time Sphere, I typically devolve back to Algebra II and think in terms of conic sections. The past is the "cone of possible events" on the bottom. The future is the same, but on the top. The present is the single everymoving relative to the viewer point where the two intersect. And, yeah, I sometimes think of Events. Destiny, what is indeterminate and what is being done by the Time mage as different types of curves (circles, ellipses, parabolas, etc.), just without the equations.

            A lot of what goes on with the Time Sphere at 1-3 dots, IMHO, is pretty much all about messing with the very confined space around that intersection point called the present (stopping time, speeding it up, slowing it down, etc. and all the things I ripped out of Entropy and put into Time to flesh it out, like changing probabilty), with the exception of perception, particularly at Time 2. Time 4-5 is when you get to create those planes that intersect with the "event cones" of the future or past or both and DO things to the past and the future (and that ever moving bullseye of the present). It also sets up the expectations about what will be coincidental, what will be vulgar and what, if anything, you want to slam all the M20 and/or HDYDT that Time effect Paradox sanctions on.

            But that's all me. It's just as easy to see Time as completely fixed. Meaning that if the mage accomplished the effect, it was ALWAYS that way, no matter what that might mean. Even up to "such an event happened THIS way until it didn't happen that way anymore..."

            That works for Alan Moore in the novel Jerusalem. Given that it's from the perspective of an archangel from a very particular view of the universe, but, this POV works just as well, if not better for working with a very mage-y view of time and can be extrapolated into how the Time Sphere works:

            "Always now and always here and always me: that's what it's like for you.

            Now always and here always and me always: this is what it's like for me.

            Now. Here. Me.

            Now always, even when it's then. Here always, even when it's there. Me always, even when I'm you; even when I'm in Hell and am I fallen, when am I a thousand fiends. They fold up into you. You fold up into us. We fold up into Him.

            This will be very hard for you.

            That last bit is very relevant to dealing with issues of understanding time.


            • #21
              Originally posted by Faradn View Post
              Good luck, man, that sounds like it would be a lot of work--but potentially a lot of fun. I definitely agree that the metaphysics of time and Time need to be fleshed out a lot before one plays with them. Above I mentioned ambiguity being necessary--but it has to be careful and thoughtful ambiguity. Time is a whole other realm in a sense, like the Umbra.
              It has been. Just watching them deal with teasing out the fact that their absentee "mentor"/kindnapper was born in the future, raised in the past (whoops, they don't know that yet) and, in "game present" was a high profile "rockstar" scientist SoE who would go from doing a TED Talk to preside at Burning Man has been joyous. As was them slowly teasing out that they are all his ancestors, either directly or collaterally.

              Watching PC's roleplay through realizing that this one is that one's father and this other one's grandfather (meaning that the son is the grandson's uncle, and so on) and that, effectively because of the whole time-napping thing, they were deadbeat parents has been glorious. I have had to download a Family Tree program to keep track of all that (and it gets really weird when I create a person from whole cloth then the program matches it up with someone who actually existed...)

              But it is also the most exhausting game I have ever run and I need to shelve it for purposes of my own sanity pretty soon.

              Oh, and we do have one character with Time 3 soon to be Time 4, another with Time 2 and lots of Entropy, another with only Time 1 and Entropy 1 but who has a 5 dot Wonder "pocket watch cum alethiometer") related to doing lots of time stuff. So I have had to try to bull my way through all this.


              • #22
                Originally posted by Faradn View Post
                I'm inclined to think that if a mage reaches into the past and pulls something into the present, that's Time 5--even though it's "future travel" for that object, it modifies the past, the way past travel would. So would pulling something from the future be Time 4, because it's modifying the future, the way future travel would? From the mage's reference frame there is no temporal paradox. He's altering the future, which hasn't happened yet. But from the reference frame of the object traveling backward in time, the object's past is being modified by its travel. So is that also affecting the "past" and therefore a Time 5 Effect? I'm only about 65% sure it isn't. But it brings up another question: what does it mean to bring something out of the future, when the future is uncertain? Can you just pull in something from the likeliest future, or with more successes can you retrieve objects from less likely futures?
                Breaking it down...

                With bringing something from the past into the present, you're touching the past (Time 5 in itself) and moving the object forward (Time 4). With bringing something from the future, you're touching the future (Time 4) and then moving the object back (Time 5). I'd say both effects are Time 5 in total.

                Whether or not that object really truly exists before the Mage tries to grab it from that possibly-hypothetical future is a separate question, and not exceptionally relevant in most cases simply because making things actually appear out of nothing is something Mages can do anyhow. It existing now is likely Vulgar outside of controlled conditions either way, because time travel is like that, so Unbelief will likely wear away at it regardless of the underlying metaphysics.
                Last edited by Quantumboost; 02-15-2017, 05:23 PM.


                • #23
                  Easest way to do it:

                  The Present is unchangeable. Time is rigid.

                  You can only change the present when you're on it.

                  Whatever changes you do to the past, won't change your present... It will change ANOTHER parallel present.

                  If you go to the past, leaving a door behind to return, you can change as much you like, when you return you'll come back to the exactly same point. That alternative past is exactly that - alternative.

                  The same for the future.

                  The mildly hard way is to make time fluid.

                  When you change the past, you send "time waves" of changes. Those changes can happen as paradoxical waves, slowly changing the events (like the pictures in "Back to the future" that would slowly fade the more the events in that picture became less likely) or be an instantaneous change

                  And the really hardcore way is making all time simultaneous (that's the way in the real world by the way). You can't change time AT ALL. Lets say, for example, that tomorrow I decide to travel back to yesterday to destroy my time machine before I can use it.

                  That's absolutely impossible. Because all time is simultaneous. That means that yesterday I would've already been there trying to smash my machine down, before therefore using it to go back tomorrow. But I can't destroy it because I WILL use it to go back. Destroying the machine yesterday would imply not being able to use it tomorrow to go back to destroy it...

                  So, ANY time travel that could be performed, have already been made... Even if it will only happen in the future. For example, lets say that, 5 years ago my future myself came in touch with me to tell me something, saying he came from 10 years in the future.

                  So, now I know that, 5 years from now, I will travel to the past to tell me something.

                  That's a future that cannot be changed. I WILL travel back, no matter how. Because all time is simultaneous.

                  That last option is very hard to deal on games, because you'd need to acomodate any changes in a chain of events that would end up in exactly the same place things are... So, no trying assassinate Hitler on WWI... You'll fail (and without a Hitler tyrant, you'd have no reason to go back in time just to kill a common soldier anyway).