Author Topic: The First Law of Magic In-Play: Semi-Official Advice  (Read 75708 times)

Offline Mr. Death

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Re: The First Law of Magic In-Play: Semi-Official Advice
« Reply #30 on: May 14, 2013, 02:49:48 AM »
It's because magic isn't just another tool--it is, fundamentally, the wizard imposing his will on the world to make it the way he thinks it should be. And it's tied into who and what the wizard is in a much more intrinsic way than a sword or a gun would be. You hear the expression, 'You are what you eat?' Well, with magic, it's 'You are what you do with it.'

So when a magic user kills someone with magic, it's not just them making a conscious decision of, "Okay, in those specific circumstances it's okay to kill," it's them shifting toward, "I'm right to kill who I want because I have this power," on the level of their soul.
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Offline blackstaff67

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Re: The First Law of Magic In-Play: Semi-Official Advice
« Reply #31 on: May 14, 2013, 03:37:47 AM »
But yet the First Law does have two exceptions as noted in Storm Front: In self-defense and to defend the innocent/defenseless.  That implies that while it is killing, it is somehow different from murder.
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Offline Tedronai

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Re: The First Law of Magic In-Play: Semi-Official Advice
« Reply #32 on: May 14, 2013, 03:40:24 AM »
Those are not exceptions to the First Law.  Those are exceptions to the executions imposed by the White Council for violating the First Law.  The corruption of the soul has no such exception.
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Offline ReaderAt2046

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Re: The First Law of Magic In-Play: Semi-Official Advice
« Reply #33 on: May 14, 2013, 10:33:15 AM »
It's because magic isn't just another tool--it is, fundamentally, the wizard imposing his will on the world to make it the way he thinks it should be. And it's tied into who and what the wizard is in a much more intrinsic way than a sword or a gun would be. You hear the expression, 'You are what you eat?' Well, with magic, it's 'You are what you do with it.'

So when a magic user kills someone with magic, it's not just them making a conscious decision of, "Okay, in those specific circumstances it's okay to kill," it's them shifting toward, "I'm right to kill who I want because I have this power," on the level of their soul.

But that's just the point I'm trying to get across. If your fundamental motivation for a specific killing is "protect myself" or "protect these innocents", then it is that desire, that motive, which should be reinforced.

Offline blackstaff67

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Re: The First Law of Magic In-Play: Semi-Official Advice
« Reply #34 on: May 14, 2013, 11:34:25 AM »
Those are not exceptions to the First Law.  Those are exceptions to the executions imposed by the White Council for violating the First Law.  The corruption of the soul has no such exception.
So, to correctly understand your position, is that the deliberate act of killing with magic, regardless of purpose or intent, is soul-corrupting, while the Cosmos may give you a pass regarding accidental killing with magic or just plain acts of stupidity/suicide ("Let's walk into this Wall of Fire, I'm sure its an illusion.").
My Purity score: 37.2.  Sad.

Offline Mr. Death

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Re: The First Law of Magic In-Play: Semi-Official Advice
« Reply #35 on: May 14, 2013, 04:10:06 PM »
But that's just the point I'm trying to get across. If your fundamental motivation for a specific killing is "protect myself" or "protect these innocents", then it is that desire, that motive, which should be reinforced.
That's your conscious motivation, not the fundamental part of who you are. If you're a wizard, you can probably find out a way to protect yourself or someone else without killing using your magic.

Remember, magic isn't all about conscious, deliberate thought--it's emotion, it's your soul. Deciding, consciously, that you have to kill someone is a different thing than believing in your heart and soul that you're right to take someone's life.

You're effectively turning your own being, your own soul, into a murder weapon when you kill with magic. You can clean blood off a sword. Cleaning it off your soul's a little harder.

Basically, when you use magic to kill, what you're reinforcing is your belief that you can decide who to kill--and the more you believe you can decide who to kill, the more likely you are to see killing as a solution to problems, because that power over life and death is a rush and feels good. It becomes a mental addiction. Everything starts to look like a nail, and you're holding a really big hammer.
Compels solve everything!

http://blur.by/1KgqJg6 My first book: "Brothers of the Curled Isles"

Quote from: Cozarkian
Not every word JB rights is a conspiracy. Sometimes, he's just telling a story.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_T_mld7Acnm-0FVUiaKDPA The C-Team Podcast

Offline Mrmdubois

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Re: The First Law of Magic In-Play: Semi-Official Advice
« Reply #36 on: May 14, 2013, 07:40:18 PM »
Ok, a good reason to use more mundane methods than magic to do your "necessary" killing?

Magic is easier to kill with.  It only takes some kind of symbolic connection or the presence of the target in order to pull it off, and as long as you're willing to put the time and effort in it's entirely possible to wipe entire civilizations off the face of the earth.

Ok, true, you can do that with mundane technology too, but not everyone has access to the red buttons.  Wizards by contrast are -all- walking tactical nuke launchers.  Every last damn one of them.  Because they're individuals they can fortunately be limited by the Laws upheld by the Council, but only if the Laws are brutally enforced.

The whole point of the Laws has nothing to do with the corruption of your soul (though it makes a good justification for zero tolerance), it's to limit the amount of power and damage that an individual can accrue.  It doesn't make things fair, it makes them survivable.

Offline Mr. Death

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Re: The First Law of Magic In-Play: Semi-Official Advice
« Reply #37 on: May 14, 2013, 07:54:22 PM »
The whole point of the Laws has nothing to do with the corruption of your soul
The fact that you can see the corruption of it through a soulgaze begs to differ on this point.
Compels solve everything!

http://blur.by/1KgqJg6 My first book: "Brothers of the Curled Isles"

Quote from: Cozarkian
Not every word JB rights is a conspiracy. Sometimes, he's just telling a story.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_T_mld7Acnm-0FVUiaKDPA The C-Team Podcast

Offline Tedronai

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Re: The First Law of Magic In-Play: Semi-Official Advice
« Reply #38 on: May 14, 2013, 07:58:25 PM »
The whole point of the Laws has nothing to do with the corruption of your soul (though it makes a good justification for zero tolerance), it's to limit the amount of power and damage that an individual can accrue.  It doesn't make things fair, it makes them survivable.

There are two sides to the Laws, and one of them has everything to do with the corruption of the soul, and nothing to do with anything else.  The other has nothing to do with the corruption of the soul, and, as you say, everything to do with limiting potential abuses of power by individuals who are immensely personally powerful.
Even Chaotic Neutral individuals have to apologize sometimes. But at least we don't have to mean it.
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Offline polkaneverdies

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Re: The First Law of Magic In-Play: Semi-Official Advice
« Reply #39 on: May 14, 2013, 08:27:47 PM »
^ nailed it.

Offline Mrmdubois

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Re: The First Law of Magic In-Play: Semi-Official Advice
« Reply #40 on: May 15, 2013, 07:02:32 AM »
Luccio specifically says that the Laws and the Council are not about good or evil, but about limiting power, and if they happen to do a little good along the way then so much the better.

So, no, I don't agree with you.

I do however agree with you that the use of black magic also happens to be corruptive.  Of course since all magic that you perform reinforces a pattern of thought and behavior because you believe in it entirely...well, depending on your ethics then there's a lot of "legal" soul corrupting magic that people perform all the time.

Offline Tedronai

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Re: The First Law of Magic In-Play: Semi-Official Advice
« Reply #41 on: May 15, 2013, 08:21:04 PM »
Luccio specifically says that the Laws and the Council are not about good or evil, but about limiting power, and if they happen to do a little good along the way then so much the better.
This is the perspective of the leader of the Wardens of the White Council.  Understandably, it espouses the purposes of the Laws as enforced by the Council, rather than the truth of the Laws as a metaphysical fact of the Dresdenverse.
Even Chaotic Neutral individuals have to apologize sometimes. But at least we don't have to mean it.
Slough

Offline Mrmdubois

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Re: The First Law of Magic In-Play: Semi-Official Advice
« Reply #42 on: May 16, 2013, 12:04:17 AM »
It doesn't deny the metaphysical reality either as much as say that it's irrelevant to the purpose of the Laws.

Offline Tedronai

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Re: The First Law of Magic In-Play: Semi-Official Advice
« Reply #43 on: May 16, 2013, 12:23:36 AM »
It's irrelevant to the purposes of the Laws from the perspective of the Council.

The Laws are two entirely different things that happen to overlap.

There are the Laws that the Council enforces, for which you may or may not be executed, and there are the Laws as metaphysical truths, which affect you regardless of what the Council thinks.  The fact that these Laws typically coincide is mere coincidence.

Metaphysical truths have purpose (or not) entirely independant from any mortal political group.
Even Chaotic Neutral individuals have to apologize sometimes. But at least we don't have to mean it.
Slough

Offline Mrmdubois

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Re: The First Law of Magic In-Play: Semi-Official Advice
« Reply #44 on: May 16, 2013, 12:36:41 AM »
I never denied the metaphysical truths, I just said they aren't pertinent to the purpose of the Laws.

For instance, using magic to perform a bank robbery is going to leave you with the experience and know how to commit another bank robbery more easily in the future and because you've done it once before you have set a precedent for doing it again.  A metaphysical truth about the corruption of the individual using Lawbreaking magic could be applied to you, but you haven't broken any Laws.