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The Neverending Challenge: Amelia Badiou vs. Michael Commager

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I'd like for this thread to serve as our discussion thread so that someone can join in the future if a necessary third-party judge is needed

9 minutes ago, beak said:

Dear amenities, 

I mean no disrespect by this message, but it appears that our posts are in conflict with one another. Here are the facts: 

The volume of the cylinder of water in the fountain can be calculated by the equation: V = πr^2h. The radius of the fountain is 62 ft. I estimate the height of the water at one foot (based on a Google streetview image that showed a couple taking a photograph, the water nearly at their knees; it could have been as much as a foot and a half, but I went with the conservative estimate). Therefore, the volume of water in the fountain is 12,076 cubic feet. One cubic foot of water constitutes roughly 7.5 gallons (more than that, technically, but round numbers don't hurt a thing). Therefore, there are roughly 95,000 gallons of water in the Swann Memorial Fountain at any given time. 

So Amelia, attracting a mere ten gallons of water (that is, one and one-third cubic feet, weighing 42lbs, not the "tons" you describe) does not seem like it could produce the effect described in your post, whereby the water (within ten feet of her) coalescing around her blade leaves your sunbeam crystal a "well of light" in an otherwise empty fountain, since she has attracted only .0001 percent of the water in the fountain. While she has, indeed, supplemented that attraction by asserting control over the water through her spellblade skillset and therefore channels more than the ten gallons her main-gauche attracts as a concentration of arcane energy, she would need to increase that effort ten-thousandfold in order to displace even one percent of the water in the fountain. Even this ten-thousandfold increase would be insufficient to affect the water one hundred feet away from her, where, presumably, the crystal rests, subject no less to the field-effect than Amelia herself (since the field-effect's magnetism only affects water within ten feet of a given concentration of arcane energy). I would expect the movement of a crystal glowing brighter than streetlamps or the fountain's lights to be described if it had, in fact, moved closer to Amelia. Even if it had, though, the one-and-one-third cubic feet of water directly attracted by Amelia's arcana would not prevent the consequences of the field-effect on the sunbeam crystal. Because there are 12,074-and-two-thirds other cubic feet of water in the fountain, many of which are within the ten-foot radius of attraction of the sunbeam crystal but not within a ten-foot radius of Amelia's main-gauche.

The fact that two beams of light (originating, presumably, at the crystal) have now fired at an isosceles angle from the fountain confirms that the sunbeam crystal is, in fact, a concentration of arcane energy. It is therefore subject to the field effect (the effects of which, in a gesture of good faith, I gave you incredible latitude to interpret on your own, trusting that an experienced player would render the field-effect fairly) at a magnitude of one, then two, preps (that is, at an initial rate of five gallons per second, then more-than-five gallons per second). Here's where things get really, really interesting, because you're going to have to make a decision. See, the post you've written specifies that there aren't any arcane energies emanating from Michael except his background processes. That is, it explicates that there are arcane energies emanating from Michael, which will still attract the water (though at a rate of less-than-five gallons per second). So, then, the interesting decision you'll have to make is: how does the attraction of the water scale? 

Because if your instinct is to describe, calculatingly, that the additional energy in the sunbeam crystal only increases the water's attraction to the crystal to six gallons per second, well, then, Michael, by necessity (to keep the linear scaling consistent), must attract four gallons per second through his "background processes." If, however, you decide to minimize the field-effect's impact on Michael, by, say, describing the water's attraction to his background processes at a rate of one gallon per second, well, then, consistency demands that the sunbeam crystal attract at least nine gallons per second. It will be interesting to see how you choose.

Thank you for pointing out the discrepancy in my post; I noticed it shortly after posted, but did not want to edit it so as to preserve the integrity of the fight, warts and all. However, the discrepancies between your post and the effects described in mine (which you seem, laudably, to acknowledge, even though this acknowledgement takes the form of near-outright dismissal of its consequences) are too vast for me to accommodate simply by means of response. Good faith on my part requires me to accept that you simply misunderstood the content of my post and its implications. That's fine. Don't give it a second thought. But I do humbly request that you alter your post to reflect a more accurate rendering of the field-effect's impact on Michael, the sunbeam crystal, and also Amelia. 

I hope that this message proves useful to you. I'm available if you have any questions or concerns. 

beak

@beak

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No, of course. There should be no impediment to the proliferation of light through the fountain, save for the refractory processes inherent in water itself. And then, of course, the solid cover afforded by the sculpture at its center, the diameter of which (in lieu of any available data) I estimate at thirty-six feet. And, for that matter, the miniature frog-fountains that punctuate the fountain's interior would also prove solid cover, requiring active manipulation for full saturation. So, there should be a zone of darkness in the fountain where the light could need to be actively controlled to reach, constituting (just estimating, looking at the representation I made of the fountain on an online graphing calculator; r=124;r=36) roughly one-fifth of the fountain, directly opposite the crystal's position, and then a couple of smaller line-of-light obstructions functioning according to the same principle. 

On a slightly unrelated note, it would prove useful to me, when you describe things like "isosceles triangles of light," to know where those angles are with respect to our characters. Is one line in front of Amelia and one behind? Are both in front of her? Both behind? I don't know unless you tell me. 

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@beak

I have adjusted the wording from “tons” to gallons, and Michael’s wonder at the lady’s semi-incredible arm strength remains!

I leave the math to you on that part, because at this point you’re also trying to dictate the strength of the magnetism on Michael as he maintains his distance from Badiou. If you would like to, in your next post, include how many gallons of water extricate themselves from the fountain to follow Michael’s crystals (which are the things manifesting said background arcane processes), I will in my next post react accordingly.

However, you are right in stating that the crystal in question is a main source of arcane energy, as those lines connecting to other crystals are also a gathering of arcane energy much greater (and closer to Badiou) than Michael and his lower frequency of energy. Like I said I’ll leave however much water gets diverted to Michael to your calculation and then deal with it after you send it.

As a side note: At this point the crystal is generating energy apart from Michael in its formation with 2 other crystals, so whatever arcane energy it generates is coming from those crystals and not at all from Michael.

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because at this point you’re also trying to dictate the strength of the magnetism on Michael as he maintains his distance from Badiou.

I apologize if I've made you feel like I'm dictating anything. I have, insofar as it was possible, tried to leave the description of the field-effect up to your discretion. But, even now, your post reflects that the water that should be surrounding your crystal drains into Amelia's main-gauche (from one hundred feet away), which simply isn't possible. If you are giving me permission to describe the consequences of the field-effect on your character and his effects, I'm more than willing to do so, with the understanding that you've effectively, by refusing your freedom (and, really, your responsibility) to describe the effect yourself (within the limits of actual acknowledgement of the described effect), surrendered your right to contest the outcome of my judgment. That is, since the field-effect would have been active during your turn, and I must respond with a description of what-happens-next, I can assume the burden of describing what happens just-before my post (what should have been described in your post), but only with the understanding that what I describe, since it, in fact, partially determines Amelia's reaction, cannot be contested. Since, functionally, if I describe the field-effect's consequences on Michael in my post, and then you "react" to it, you'll completely reset the sequence of events, at which point, you might as well just ask me pointed questions about the effects now and I can respond to the best of my ability to avoid wasting our time.  

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Posted (edited)

If it proves useful, here's my balanced opinion on the field-effect's consequences:

During the two seconds of overlap between my post and yours, the sunbeam crystal attracts water at a rate of five gallons per second. Since it is already surrounded by water, and we've already established that ten gallons of water constitutes 1.33 cubic feet, the crystal finds itself surrounded by water. A small, sloping 'lump' of water appears directly above the crystal.

I will estimate that your turn describes three seconds in addition to the two carried over from my post. Now the sunbeam crystal represents a concentration of arcane energy with a magnitude of two preps. I left the matter of scaling up to you, in hopes that you would negotiate, within yourself, a rate of increase you could accept. Moderately, I'll increase the rate of attraction from five to seven gallons per second. (Note that it would have been perfectly reasonable for me to claim that it increased to ten; I am extending you nothing but generosity.) The math here is simple: since each second attracts an additional seven gallons, and every seven gallons represents .93 cubic feet, the crystal attracts an additional 2.8 cubic feet of water (or 21 gallons) over the next three seconds (.93 cubic feet x 3 seconds). Therefore, the crystal has attracted roughly 4.1 cubic feet of water in total, 31 gallons-worth weighing approximately 260 pounds. The small "lump" has become the rising slope of a sphere that contains the crystal (and, in lieu of direct manipulation from Michael, also refracts the light it emits such that the proposed isosceles angle of light will find difficulty achieving linear coherence; incidentally, I think I've just understood why you'd like the sunbeam crystal to remain unaffected by the field-effect). 

As far as Michael's concerned, since the increase in attraction between 1-prep and 2-prep concentrations of arcane energy is two gallons per second, the decrease in the rate of attraction between 0-prep and 1-prep arcane should also be two gallons per second, meaning that the rate of the water's attraction to his accessories is three gallons per second. During the two seconds of overlap between my post and yours, his accessories attract six gallons of water, or .8 cubic feet, weighing roughly 50 pounds. But where Amelia is managing water's attraction to her main-gauche as an aquamancer, is armed with foreknowledge of the field-effect she has applied, and is standing beside the fountain with her main-gauche between her and the fountain's waters, Michael is on the rim of the fountain, backpedaling while drawing a staff, having apparently (at least per the contents of your post) not noticed Amelia's deployment of a field-effect. This will likely prove problematic over the three seconds that constitute your post, since the total amount of water attracted to his accessories will have increased to fifteen gallons, or roughly two cubic feet, weighing nearly one hundred twenty-four pounds (similar to, I guess, being tackled by a smaller person). The water will rise above the rim of the fountain and begin to threaten Michael's balance, each cumulative second amassing a more significant impediment to his free movement. 

As for Amelia, I will describe the field-effect's consequences on her in my next post. I sincerely hope that this proves helpful to you. I just crunched a bunch of numbers. 

Edited by beak
accidentally crunched a number wrong

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I appreciate your forthcomingness so far!

Sorry, I don’t mean to say ‘dictate’ as in you taking anything away from me. Admittedly, I was misled by the fact that you only stated in the active part of your post that water was drawn to Amelia. I’m not used to people giving me so much freedom to dictate the effects of their movements! Let me make an edit to reflect our discussion so far.

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16 hours ago, beak said:

But where Amelia is managing water's attraction to her main-gauche as an aquamancer, is armed with foreknowledge of the field-effect she has applied, and is standing beside the fountain with her main-gauche between her and the fountain's waters, Michael is on the rim of the fountain, backpedaling while drawing a staff, having apparently (at least per the contents of your post) not noticed Amelia's deployment of a field-effect. This will likely prove problematic over the three seconds that constitute your post, since the total amount of water attracted to his accessories will have increased to fifteen gallons, or roughly two cubic feet, weighing nearly one hundred twenty-four pounds (similar to, I guess, being tackled by a smaller person). The water will rise above the rim of the fountain and begin to threaten Michael's balance, each cumulative second amassing a more significant impediment to his free movement. 

Yes to backpedaling, but no to having not noticed the field-effect. Tori, who I've referenced in my post, is a Warmind AI capable of parsing visual arcane information as effectively as Badiou. Almost done with edits!

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Edits made!

I appreciate the math you did.

I will say this: The way your post originally looked— since you gave me so much freedom to dictate Badiou's attack on Mike, which I'm not used to— led me to believe you were only using the water for Badiou's sword at present. This could just be me being unobservant, but perhaps in the future put more mention of the field-effect also being intended for the enemy. You could also, I guess, have just sprung the attack on me in your next post, although I'm totally comfortable with editing it into my post.

Since you graciously put the realization of an attack in my hands, though, I did have him react a little differently.

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Posted (edited)

Dear amenities, 

Since the Eastern State Penitentiary and Philadelphia Museum of Art are each ~1 mile away from the Swann Memorial Fountain, and ~.5mi from each other, I just wanted to point out neither of the intended destinations of the crystal's projected light are, as your post indicates, "miles away." Additionally, the area of the isosceles triangle they describe is: ~.25 square miles. Logistically, your character must begin the fight at the southeast edge of the fountain (because he is moving in a counter-clockwise fashion around the fountain and this movement will bring him inside the isosceles triangle described by your (north and northwest-positioned) crystals). Your post acknowledges this initial positioning by describing his trajectory as "curving northeast." This is where he drops the crystal. Amelia, positioned opposite, begins at the northwest edge. She, too, moves in a counter-clockwise fashion around the fountain. However, since she has already crossed sixty feet from her original position, she is probably rounding the southern edge of the fountain rather than merely "curving southeast." Unfortunately, since your character's only movements in the fight prior to this post were to jump onto the rim of the fountain and drop the crystal there, the distance Michael would need to move to transition into the area of the isosceles triangle described by the crystal's position, the position of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the position of the Eastern State Penitentiary is roughly 130 feet (approximately one-third of the fountain's circumference). He does this in (generously) five seconds, which sets his land speed at 25 feet per second, or seventeen miles per hour (i.e. our hero is already outpacing the four-minute mile). Since the arcana-magnetized water following him outpaces him (thereby necessitating your quickdraw explosive defense), your post establishes the velocity of the water's attraction as: >17mph. This post simply intended to clarify the state of these complex, moving parts so that we don't lose sight of the big picture. I encourage you to double-check my logic here. 

beak

Edited by beak
incorporated some data from your post

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1 hour ago, beak said:

Dear amenities, 

Since the Eastern State Penitentiary and Philadelphia Museum of Art are each ~1 mile away from the Swann Memorial Fountain, and ~.5mi from each other, I just wanted to point out neither of the intended destinations of the crystal's projected light are, as your post indicates, "miles away." Additionally, the area of the isosceles triangle they describe is: ~.25 square miles. Logistically, your character must begin the fight at the southeast edge of the fountain (because he is moving in a counter-clockwise fashion around the fountain and this movement will bring him inside the isosceles triangle described by your (north and northwest-positioned) crystals). Your post acknowledges this initial positioning by describing his trajectory as "curving northeast." This is where he drops the crystal. Amelia, positioned opposite, begins at the northwest edge. She, too, moves in a counter-clockwise fashion around the fountain. However, since she has already crossed sixty feet from her original position, she is probably rounding the southern edge of the fountain rather than merely "curving southeast." Unfortunately, since your character's only movements in the fight prior to this post were to jump onto the rim of the fountain and drop the crystal there, the distance Michael would need to move to transition into the area of the isosceles triangle described by the crystal's position, the position of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the position of the Eastern State Penitentiary is roughly 130 feet (approximately one-third of the fountain's circumference). He does this in (generously) five seconds, which sets his land speed at 25 feet per second, or seventeen miles per hour (i.e. our hero is already outpacing the four-minute mile). Since the arcana-magnetized water following him outpaces him (thereby necessitating your quickdraw explosive defense), your post establishes the velocity of the water's attraction as: >17mph. This post simply intended to clarify the state of these complex, moving parts so that we don't lose sight of the big picture. I encourage you to double-check my logic here. 

beak

I have entered my work week, but I'll stay as in touch as possible!

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I understand. It's a curious problem. I didn't even mean for this to branch into a question of positioning, but once I began to map out the potential areas for the isosceles triangle based on theoretical positions of the crystal in the fountain, it became clear to me that your latest post explicates Michael's position almost exactly. He might have started in the northeast region of the fountain, but no crystal dropped into the northeast end of the fountain could emit a beam of light that would intersect a frog statue. If he starts north, northwest, west, southwest, south, his counter-clockwise rotation takes him outside of the isosceles, not into it. Which leaves us east and southeast. However, your description of the intersection of the PMoA-crystal-to-fountain-crystal beam with a frog statue pretty neatly clarifies the situation, since Michael simply "drops" the crystal into the fountain, and there's virtually only one position on the fountain that would allow him to do so, produce such an intersection, rotate counter-clockwise toward the resulting isosceles triangle, and also require running. I think if you look at a satellite image of the fountain, you'll be able to pinpoint the spot I mean. 

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Posted (edited)

Notes Accompanying the Post

I anticipate that you might not enjoy particular aspects of my post. Therefore, I will clarify, here, some of the decisions I was forced to make as I composed it. 

First, we should talk about Tori's attempt to lift the sunbeam crystal. My feeling is that since the sunbeam crystal is surrounded by the effects of an action with a magnitude of one prep (Arcane Magnetism), Tori's quickdraw attempt to lift it out of the water fails. It's too heavy, she's too far away, and she's not a player character (or shouldn't be) and therefore lacks the requisite strength. You will note that, this post, you take somewhere between three to five arcane actions. They are: Tori lifts the crystal, Michael explodes a half-punch's worth of water off his back, Crystal 1 connects to, Crystal 2 connects to, Crystal 3 connecting to Crystal 1 (all three emitting magic-cutting light). Four of these five actions, by the text of your own post, do not involved Michael whatsoever. In fact, they are auto-completing actions that, in this case, advance Michael's interests independently from him. 

So, in considering the impact of Tori's attempt, I had to view that quickdraw action alongside the host of other actions in the post. The way I see it, diversification of labor can achieve a variety of effects across many things, but focused labor can achieve greater effects in one. I'm not sure that I like both Michael and Tori employing two quickdraw actions in the same turn while the light crystal triangle auto-completes, but I'm willing to accept it, provided Amelia is afforded the same privileges. That's what made the decision for me, here, because if Amelia were afforded an extra quickdraw action per turn, she would simply assert an aqueous barrier the moment she determined something was trying to maneuver the sunbeam crystal out of the fountain. Quickdraw versus quickdraw, Amelia's defensive barrier gains cumulative advantage against Tori's brute-force attempt (per Amelia's being-for-truth perks, though the battle of wills is virtually decided before it begins by virtue of the fact that Tori is an NPC accessory) while the water hammer executes.

Quote

3.) accrues cumulative advantage while defending against attacks of equal force to her defenses (magic-against-magic, will-against-will, strength-against-strength; the longer the attempt to totalize and dominate, the greater the being-for-truth's advantages grow)

So, if it helps to see the alternative spelled out, and keeps us from spiraling into a regressive feedback loop, that's the other way this could have played out. I chose what I consider the more appropriate route. While I can simply scale the number of Amelia's quickdraw actions to keep pace, it hasn't been necessary so far and seems inelegant in any case.

 

Second, Amelia gained initiative when Michael turned his back on her and changed his plans, so to speak.

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2.) gains initiative in the case of interrupted action on the part of her enemy (spell-cancels, improvisatory tactics)

This isn't that important, but it's the reason why her action begins as soon as he turns his back. I couldn't find a way to notate this without ultimately cluttering the post. She'll probably gain it again if/when Michael turns back after the crystal breaks. 

 

Third, Amelia's character sheet will confirm that her field-effects are 

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more durative and robust than ordinary field effects, and gain advantage against dispelment thru arcane means. However, she suffers a steep concentration penalty when deploying direct, large-scale arcana—here, large-scale can be defined as: exceeding the limits of practical individual utility)—and any such attempts prove vulnerable to dispelment by arcane means. 

Therefore, while the crystal should be destroyed before we even reach this point,

Quote

More than a refraction of light, it was a specific light energy that cut through magic. Coming from somewhere stories in the sky miles away, the lines traced themselves over buildings (and where the spouting animals of the fountain sat, in the case of the northwestern-facing line) in order to maintain a linear path between the distant points.

the logic should be roughly equivalent to that governing the effectiveness of Tori's attempt. That is, since no actual preparation has been expended on this magic-cutting light (as confirmed by your notation), and one preparation has been expended on the field-effect it's attempting to disrupt/dispel, and especially since there is no player character involved in this quickdraw action, it should fail, point-blank. But, again, the alternative is that Amelia gains quickdraw actions equal to the quickdraw actions employed against her. That's fairness. In which case, her aqueous barrier would serve just as well against the magic-cutting light as it would against Tori's attempt. If she can layer two quickdraw effects onto each other, the aqueous barrier will become endowed with Amelia's naturalist perk: 

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naturalism: reality is exhausted by nature. All phenomena, whether materially or magically provoked, are equally true; our impression of the supernatural, or spiritual, exercises no effect on truth's process. As a naturalist, Amelia observes no distinction between material and magical phenomena. That is, her main-gauche will as easily stop a sword of the "spirit" as it will a sword of steel. If she pisses on holy fire, the divinity finds itself extinguished along with the flame. This principle applies as wholly to Amelia's effects and arcana as it does to her person.

Then, we have a stalemate, which, by virtue of her advantages as a defensive-type character designed to break stalemates, she will win. 

 

Therefore I implore you! Let's not wage a pointless war for your lost crystal. The fight's just beginning and it would be a shame to get hung up here. 

Beak

 

Edit: A floating fourth concern is: how can a floating gem "appear to attempt to" lift a crystal? It seems like intentionally slippery language to me. However, since whatever she actually attempts (while appearing to attempt to lift the crystal) will be a quickdraw action theoretically countered by the quickdraw action Amelia gains for the sake of fairness, I let this one slide as well. 

Edited by beak
added floating fourth concern

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As mentioned, my time for overall site activity is limited for the next 4-5 days so this can take some time for me to get to. You will understand, there is a lot to read!

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And read I have! First off, I'd love to thank the wonderful user jaistlyn for providing us a visual tool to see the scene and work it out together. I do want to stress (1 that I'm not an artist, also) that since you're a super informative person, I want most of the battle to take place in words not through this visual. This is just soe have things right in a general sense. Here's the link, you can make edits or add effects to it however you like, or tell me what must be changed to properly reflect our battlefield.

https://amenities65480.invisionapp.com/freehand/Neverending-Challenge-eEd59qvuo

3 hours ago, beak said:

Second, Amelia gained initiative when Michael turned his back on her and changed his plans, so to speak.

This isn't that important, but it's the reason why her action begins as soon as he turns his back. I couldn't find a way to notate this without ultimately cluttering the post. She'll probably gain it again if/when Michael turns back after the crystal breaks. 

2.) gains initiative in the case of interrupted action on the part of her enemy (spell-cancels, improvisatory tactics)

Reading the wording of your applied character sheet section, I'm going to contest here that he did not change his plans, spell-cancel, or improvise any tactics. Your wording for "improvisatory tactics" does not include battle-ready action to a real-time fight. Even though, as you say, it's not that important, I don't want to mislead you into thinking I'm playing Michael for a fool. Not for a couple more posts at least!

3 hours ago, beak said:

Edit: A floating fourth concern is: how can a floating gem "appear to attempt to" lift a crystal? It seems like intentionally slippery language to me. However, since whatever she actually attempts (while appearing to attempt to lift the crystal) will be a quickdraw action theoretically countered by the quickdraw action Amelia gains for the sake of fairness, I let this one slide as well. 

I thank your bringing attention to this, and spending time on any metrics of Tori lifting the gem, but that was a mere diversionary tactic. Firstly, I think you're under the impression that Tori runs on Michael's power? But she is instead a self-sustaining object serving as his personal artificial intelligence (not to be corny, but picture Master Chief's Cortana). She moves independently of his strength, but according to his will. Second, which should be an assumption, I accept Tori not being able to lift the crystal for the effect of magnetizing water away from Michael.

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