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Fighting with Core energy at ludicrous levels

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1 Fighting with Core energy at ludicrous levels on Fri Sep 16, 2016 11:58 pm

So Arch, I just finished watching the Imperium summary videos. As I understand it, Core energy gives its users the power to manipulate the forces of physics (gravitational, kinetic, magnetic, atomic, temporal, etc) in differing ways and degrees depending on the person and circumstances. At low levels this enables the type of super powered combat typical of modern fiction. At slightly higher levels it probably starts to look a little more like Dragonball Z in terms of speed and strength and collateral damage, but it would still be a form of combat recognizable to us. But what about when you start getting to the farthest end of the spectrum? What would a fight between two 6s or 7s on your power scale actually look like? In other words, what form would combat take between two beings with the power to make and unmake entire planetary systems with nominal effort, who can control the forces of reality almost freely?

What kind of strategies would be used - if any? Would it be like Magic the Gathering where two wizards try to utilize environmental resources and direct them at their enemy as efficiently and effectively as possible, or would it be more like a raw power struggle where they just point their wands at each other and whoever is stronger prevails? Or is there no defending against such power at all, turning it into a quick-draw to see who can erase the other from existence first? What happens when two people who can manipulate time disagree on the outcome of an attack? Is there such a thing as a critical blow against someone who can continuously reassemble their physical form from dust? Is kinetic force at all useful against someone who can teleport instantly and can enhance their perception and thinking ability to the point where everything appears to be standing still (ala Super Hot)? Does the material world become an altogether unsuitable medium for a battle when the combatants are effectively gods, forcing it onto higher planes?

The background to this question is that I'm making an RPG for a setting whose combat centers around a concept very similar to Core energy, but whereas the Imperium has probably only encountered this god vs god situation once or twice, if at all, basically everything in my setting is at this level including the trash mobs (it's as hilarious as it sounds). Naturally I have some custom physics in place to prevent utter chaos and enable narratively interesting combat, but I have some...let's call them balance issues that I haven't firmly decided how I want to deal with and I thought I might glean some inspiration from the way you've handled them.

So have you written a battle like this before, or at least given thought to how it would work? If not then I don't want you to spend a huge amount of time thinking about it; I know you're busy and I'm in absolutely no rush to nail these mechanics down.

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So I've been debating how best to answer this one. As you already surmised, the highest tier beings in The Imperium don't really fight, and there are built in lore reasons for this that stretch across most of the story. There are only two real exceptions, and in both cases I talk more about the aftermath than the event itself in the written works.

I like to envision it, for when they did fight, as a matter of contested wills trying to re-write reality through greater force than the other. As opposed to who'd be the quickest draw, their level of comprehension is high enough to be aware of reality rewrites and relatively unaffected by them, thus allowing that contention and counter-attack. There's also the matter of creativity involved; how clever can you get with addressing the situation, that sort of thing.


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So whether or not a particular rewrite gets applied is a power struggle, but there is some strategy involved as far as what changes you choose to pursue? That sounds fitting for your setting. That's pretty much what mine boils down to, though the bulk of the damage ends up being dealt using material reality whereas you're probably talking about abstract 7th dimensional stuff. I guess I'm still left to work out the details of my own system either way. Though I do like how you explain the manipulation as utilizing an extra layer of physics. I already have artificially created worlds where the physics can be different but can be overridden with enough power, dropping everything back to the base laws of physics, so I may steal that explanation. It also gives me a cool idea for a form of attack, which would work as a spell effect in the game, so I'm not leaving empty handed.

By the way, was making the spirit realm the 6th dimension a reference to Spacetime 6 from The Dig or was it just that 6 happened to come after 5? I know it's a stretch, but it came to mind immediately.

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I wish it was said reference (which I get) but no it just happened to be the next one after 5.


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