1. Dagolas
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    Dagolas Banned

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    Pathetic or interesting?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Dagolas, Nov 25, 2012.

    In my novel, I have two choices regarding armour:

    1. Like in real life, weighs alot and slows you.
    2. Magical armour that weighs nothing.

    Which is better? Defying the laws of physics or not?
     
  2. JJ_Maxx
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    JJ_Maxx Banned

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    Would it change the story? If no, then it doesn't matter.
     
  3. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I'm with JJ unless it effects the story either or will do - but if it's magical it must be stated off the bat.
    I hate it when authors mention something for pages as though it's most ordinary thing in the world
    and then clue you in, in the moment it's needed, that it's no ordinary car - it's jet-propelled.
    And the I, the reader, get huffy. How convenient.
     
  4. Selbbin
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    Selbbin I hate you Contributor

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    1. gives limitations and makes the journey more dynamic and difficult.
    2. means you need more magic, feels like a cop-out, and sounds less interesting.
     
  5. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    I'm with both JJ and Selbbin also. However, metal armor can also be made from materials that aren't heavy depending on what kind of world you're writing. But both of them make great points.
     
  6. AGWallace
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    AGWallace New Member

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    I'm with Selbbin on the benefits of real armor, but I used to read a lot of sword and sorcery novels and they're a lot of fun. It seems to me that once a character has magic armor, the rest of the world also has to be magical.

    On the other hand, I can imagine a world where magic is grossly imperfect -- perhaps it has only just been discovered -- and the obvious first application is for warfare, sparking a magical arms race. Or is that pathetic? :)
     
  7. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    If you have magic armor that weighs nothing, then why don't you have magic weapons that cut right through the armor? And then fancier magic armor, and fancier magic weapons...

    I think that using magic to ignore the boring real-world bits of the story is usually a bad idea.
     
  8. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    It's your story, write it how you want it. But remember to be consistent and logical all the way through. Think through the implications. Heavy steel armour, well you know the guys wearing it are going to be strong (picture muscular). But if armour and swords etc weigh nothing, then the wearers are likely to be pip squeaks, and quick reactions will be more important to them than strength.

    But if armour is weightless, then presumably steel is too. Which would make it the perfect material for building wagons out of, and maybe houses if you can find enough of it. Why would you use wood after all, when it weighs much more. And don't forget shields are steel armour too, and thus near enough to weightless. So if you put them down with your sword and the wind blows, do they blow away?

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  9. Whostler
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    Whostler New Member

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    You can defy the laws of physics if you obey your own laws of magic. Just saying 'magic', is usually very unsatisfying, so having a system which has both advantages and drawbacks (eg. the points raised above) will be much more solid and believable.
     
  10. Fife
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    Fife Senior Member

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    I think the way Tolkein introduced and used mithril was good literary use of magical (or perhaps exotic) armor; it was convenient for stubby little hobbits; it protected them in accordance to the flow of the story; and its implementation wasn't too gratuitous or overwhelming.
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    if it's a historical novel... real

    if it's a fantasy... magical

    if it's sci-fi... weightless material or a force field
     
  12. Keitsumah
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    Keitsumah The Dream-Walker Contributor

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    actually armor can be light if it is forged correctly. Take the elve's armor from the Obsidian Trilogy in book one -thin armor that is very strong and light-weight. You don't have to have magic involved in all if you'd like to limit magic in your story. Maybe study your metals and see which kind is the hardest to bend or crack, and then check how heavy it is. Might prove to have to do a little math, but i've done things like that before and it always turnes out nicely. (for example i had to find out what kind of gems are violet for a book and i found out one such gem is called tranzanite -very helpful)
     
  13. MilesTro
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    MilesTro Active Member

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    Magical armor that gives you no weight sounds interesting.If you want to make it a realstic fantasy, make the armor heavy. Real armor is always hard to move in.
     
  14. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    If you want lightweight metals that aren't magical then magnesium, aluminium and titanium are your boys. An alloy made from them could easily be half the weight of good steel, and stronger to boot. Only problem is in the extraction of titanium, which is very tricky, and of course don't let the magnesium catch fire.

    Cheers, Greg.
     

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