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  • I get to make up the rules, but I then need to be rational about the consequences of those rules. It bugs me when authors don't follow up on the implications of their world building.

    Anyway, the base world is our world. I'm not sure yet on the exact time frame; I may have to adjust it. It will be set somewhere between the late twentieth century and now.

    So I did some quick research and calculations. If twelve percent of young First Worlders are willing to risk the initiation ritual when they find out that magic works, that means five million young people, give or take, in the United States alone will take the gamble the first year it becomes widely known. The means 2.5 million immediate deaths followed by another million plus who kill themselves doing something ill conceived.

    Those are panic numbers. We can predict a sharp economic downturn. Because poor people are more desperate than rich people, you can expect a higher percentage of practitioners in the poorest neighborhoods, at least at first. There won't just be drive by shootings in the slums; there will be magical gang fights.

    The pattern of the knowledge spread will differ with time. If it happens before the internet and smart phones, it will spread through the First World before it becomes widely known in the Third World. Set after communications become cheap, it will spread everywhere at once. This matters. If the First World is in the midst of an economic depression when the magic revolution hits the Third World, the amount of economic and military aid it will give is sharply reduced. This means that the Third World will be even more desperate. Per capita it will create more practitioners. There will be more wars and warlords as people scramble for power and survival.

    I derived the twelve percent above by feel. It could easily be wrong. If one percent is more plausible, the story will be different.

  • You could pose it as that the population crash and economic downturn happened sometime in the past near a large war. Say, prior to the breakout of WWI (possibly somehow averting it?). So that instead of 37 million dying from the war, they died doing a magic ritual.

    In the ensuing world panic, the world's countries band together and form the League of Nations, dedicated to economic stability and procreation. Countries with despotic dictators have a forced procreation campaign, sparking a different World War in the late 1930s as their enemies find they also force their teenagers to take the ritual whether they want to or not, in hopes of having more magical might in their military. The US joins the war late, since they spent several years trying to figure out how to use magic to cure polio... and give old people boners.

    The transistor is still invented. The television is still created. (I dream of Genie is still popular, but for completely different reasons). Reality TV becomes a little weirder. People still misuse the word 'hoverboard'. The government still has SCIF rooms, but they also include some means for obscuring/blocking magic. I forgot where I was going with this.

    Anyway. Interesting idea. Lots of room to explore it.

  • @Bill said:
    So I did some quick research and calculations. If twelve percent of young First Worlders are willing to risk the initiation ritual when they find out that magic works, that means five million young people, give or take, in the United States alone will take the gamble the first year it becomes widely known. The means 2.5 million immediate deaths followed by another million plus who kill themselves doing something ill conceived.

    Hrm… 12% strikes me as a little high. I don't know if you could say more than1 in 10 young people would be willing to attempt something with a 50% chance of death, regardless of the reward. I would have said closer to 5-7%... Just my gut feeling...

    My other reaction would have been to decide how many magical people I wanted running around in my fictional world and worked backwards from there... If the math didn't work, I'd alter the parameters to make it fit... Maybe the conversion success rate was 60% instead of 50%, for example.

  • edited September 24

    @fenomas said:

    @Rufus said:
    If, on the other hand, a guy can pass through walls because he can magically manipulate his quantum state, so as to throw his molecules out of phase with normal matter (or some science-y mumbo-jumbo like that)... well, that's an attractive notion to me.

    I follow you but that's not really what I meant. Even in a pure "magic" world, where you can say some magic words and then walk through a wall, if decently realized that world should have people who treat that as science. There should be research on how pronunciation affects the spell, longitudinal studies on long-term health effects, conservation-of-energy like theories about the limits of what can and can't be done with magic words, etc.

    Sure, in a well realized world, you can balance things out any way you like. The Harry Potter world fits what you're describing. I liked Harry Potter just fine...

    I suppose my point was simply that I enjoy the sudo-science explanations, as opposed to the fantasy explanations; probably because I'm a bigger science-fiction fan than a fantasy fan.

    It can easily be done wrong. The best example of doing it wrong was Star Wars Ep.1, when Lucas decided to explain "The Force" and, arguably, ruined it. I'm sure he did it because he needed some sort of objective, quantitative test to reinforce how powerful Anakin is (it was a lazy cop-out). The problem was, there was already three movies worth of mythology around "The Force" as a romanticized, mystical, unexplained mystery of the universe; to the point of religion. Trying to explain it took all the romance out of it. Especially a silly explanation like "midi-chlorians".

  • I'm only vaguely familiar with Harry Potter but the magic part of it seemed like the traditional ad-hoc "magic works however happens to be convenient in any given scene" deal.

    "No spell can bring back the dead, but time travel is possible, except only in one story and it can only be used to change things that aren't important to the plot" and all that.

  • BUCKBEAK IS CRITICAL TO THE PLOT YOU TAKE THAT BACK YOU FILTHY MUDBLOOD!

  • I enjoyed Harry Potter quite a bit.

    That said.. yeah... time travel. I imagine Rowling's thoughts went something like this.

    "Oh shit, I just introduced easy time travel being used almost as a joke so the nerdy one can study... how do I get rid of time travel so it doesn't become a crutch? "
    "Oh, I'll introduce rules like she can't go back more than an hour or two"
    "Then add some warnings that bad things would happen"
    (One book later)
    "Fuck it. I'll have a fight in an artifact room and have all the time turners get destroyed. Fixed forever!"

    That said, I remember thinking "If I had a time turner I would just be using it instead of a snooze alarm" and "How long before a teenager at Hogwarts uses a time-turner so they can literally fuck themselves?" and then the time turners in my head were all destroyed during a fight in the artifact room as a method to save my brain from itself.

  • edited September 27

    @Clme said:

    "Fuck it. I'll have a fight in an artifact room and have all the time turners get destroyed. Fixed forever!"

    Dammit spoiler alerts :frowning:

    @filious said:
    BUCKBEAK IS CRITICAL TO THE PLOT YOU TAKE THAT BACK YOU FILTHY MUDBLOOD!

    Which one was Buckbeak, was that the Robbie Coltrane character?

  • edited September 27

    @filious said:
    BUCKBEAK IS CRITICAL TO THE PLOT YOU TAKE THAT BACK YOU FILTHY MUDBLOOD!

    Which one was Buckbeak, was that the Robbie Coltrane character?

    No... it was his pet... I think...

    It's been a while.

    I still haven't seen the last movie, and now Clem has ruined it with his spoiler... ;)

  • Nah. The movies follow a different canon. In that I haven't seen the last three and have no idea if they retained that detail.

    Someday I'll catch up on the last 5 years worth of.. er.. 10 years worth of... Nevermind. I'll never catch up on anything. I may as well stop pretending. By the time I have time to catch up I'll probably hate anything different just like my elderly relatives.

  • I often consider trying to catch up with the Marvel universe movies, but I wouldn't even know where to start.

  • Here's the order:

    Iron Man (2008)
    The Incredible Hulk (2008) - Ok to skip this one... decent movie, but you won't miss much...
    Iron Man 2 (2010)
    Thor (2011)
    Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
    The Avengers (2012)
    Iron Man 3 (2013)
    Thor: The Dark World (2013)
    Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
    Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
    Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
    Ant-Man (2015)
    Captain America: Civil War (2016)
    Doctor Strange (2017)
    Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)
    Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
    Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
    Black Panther (2018)
    Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
    Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)

    There are the Deadpool movies (2016 and 2018), that I would throw in also, but they are not part of the official "cinematic universe". I've heard there's an Avengers joke in Deadpool 2 (haven't seen it yet), but otherwise Deadpool is stand-alone.

    That's only 20 movies... You could binge-watch your way through that in a weekend, right? ;)

    As I said, the Hulk movie is a decent movie, but there isn't much in it to tie it to the other movies. There's nothing in it that is referenced in subsequent movies. I also think it hurts that Edward Norton played Bruce Banner in this movie and Mark Ruffalo is Banner in all the subsequent movies. As much as it's part of Marvel's cinematic universe, it really feels like a stand-alone. If you're pressed for time, it's ok to skip... There... I saved you two hours... You're welcome! :D

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