hoiditthroughthegrapevine

[OB] Pushing the envelope of Spren weapons, whose game?

24 posts in this topic

Ok, so I have recently been spending a fair amount of time thinking about spren weapons and the limits of their adaptability.

Some known facts for consideration at the start:

  • Spren weapons can take on a multitude of forms (Sword, spear, long knife, shield, and of a course a fork)
  • Spren weapons are cognitive entities manifest in the physical realm with the following properties.
  1. They can cut through physical matter with little to no resistance, affecting the matter in the physical realm (i.e. cutting a convenient hidey hole to wait out a high storm or digging a latrine).
  2. They can block other spren weapons
  3. They can be blocked by shardplate (which seems to be another physical manifestation of a cognitive realm entity, or assemblage of cognitive realm entities).
  • When they cut through a sentient being, they sever part of that beings connection to the spiritual realm, and if they cut through the beings spine, they sever the connection to the spiritual realm completely resulting in death (and the windows to the soul also turn into puffs of smoke)

 

Some important preliminary considerations:

  • When spren weapons change shape, is there some sort of conservation of mass that takes place? I.e. is there a limit to the volume that a spren weapon can occupy before it looses it's funcitonality?
  • Does the inherent power of the spren blade change with the shape of the weapon (i.e. does a 40 ft long spear, with low density due to its mass being spread out into a large volume affect the object in the physical and cognitive realms with as much potential for change, as say a 1 ft long 1/64" diameter shard needle would (which would be far, far denser than the spear)?
  • Is there an upper limit and a lower limit to the size that a spren weapon can take on? (i.e. could you use a microscopic spren weapon to sever the nucleus of an atom, or could you use a 200 foot long 40 foot wide at the head spatula with spikes to smite an entire enemy battalion?)
  • How far away from the KR could the spren maintain it's manifestation as a weapon? (Could you with a powerful spyglass, and a spren arrow, take out an enemy fused from 300 yards like Teleb's arrow shot at Dalinar).
  • If there are limits to the size of the spren weapon, can a KR use stormlight to increase the mass of their spren weapon to allow for larger more powerful spren weapons?
  • Do spren weapons need to be based on in-world objects? (i.e. does there have be a cognitive pattern for a spren to be based on?)
  • Can spren weapons have moving parts? (i.e. could you have a pair of spren garden shears, where the spren is both handles, the joining screw and the blades of the shears, or can a spren weapon only be a more unitary whole? It seems to me that a spren weapon mimicking a spear is comprised of at least 2 separate parts that make up the whole of the spear (the haft and the blade) so it seems logical to assume that spren weapons can be multi-part in design).

 

All the preliminaries out of the way here is the fun speculation part:

Spren Arrow: Imagine if you will, a suitably stormlight powered knight, with a shard bow and a never ending quiver of the same spren arrow. Convenient that the fused can all be taken down by a shot to the heart (there is wisdom in Bon Jovi). One KR so equipped, and also wearing unlashable shardplate could easily take out a legion of flying fused.

Spren Cage of Death: Ok, so depending on if you can create more substantive matter for your spren weapon or not by feeding of Stormlight, here is another possibility. A KR, without access to shardplate, could conceivable instruct their spren to become a ball, shaped kind of like a land mine (with lots of sharp projecting bits), that would fully encapsulate said KR. This being done, a small eye slit is left in said ball so that the knight radiant can see and possibly some more holes to work their lashings. Then, like in Kaladin's fight with fused in Kholinar, cross purpose gravitational lashings are used to create motion and spin, and then the KR rotating spinning death ball crashes through a whole phalanx of the fused that can change their carapace). End of phalanx.

Spren Kusarigama (or Ninja chain sickle): Imagine if you will, an edgedance gliding through a crowded formation of enemy fused, spinning like a freaking top, wielding a Kusarigame (that awesome weapon from Martial Arts movies that is a stick, attached to a chain which is attached to a sickle). Sounds like a gemheart breaker to me, of course this edgedancer would probably also need to be wearing shardplate.

Death Needle: Say you have a KR with an uncanny ability to see (like a truthwatcher), looking at an enemy general 200 yards away. Why, just point your hand truthwatcher and have your spren death needle course the 600 ft of distance in the time it took you to think about it, to shatter that poor beast's gemheart.

Tripwire: Say you need to capture an enemy, why not have your friendly neighborhood lightweaver paint herself into a corner where the target is known to frequent. As she sees said target approaching, she, with the speed of thought, sends out a razor sharp trip wire across the target's path and after the target's spiritual connection to his/her legs is severed, changes her spren weapon into an an anvil to comically knock said target out with.

 

I could do this all day, but sadly I have to work. Looking forward to your ideas on pushing the envelope of what spren weapons could do.

Edited by hoiditthroughthegrapevine
Despoilered it because it got moved to the right forum, Thanks!
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This should probably go in the Oathbringer Board... But they are all great idea's! Attaching onto the Spren "Cage of Death", wouldn't it just be easier to make a tank? It is, technically, a weapon. Or, more along the developmental lines of Roshar, Leonardo Da Vinci's death wagon (the one with the spinning blades and hooks for chopping people into little bits). Another question to consider would be whether separate gears are considered part of a single spren weapon, or if you would need multiple spren to make a gear-powered weapon. And how far, exactly, would it take to make a spren gun?

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I just noticed I posted it to the wrong board... Haven't been posting to the 17th shard that long.

Spren tank, interesting. Leonardo Davinci death wagon, freaking rad. I'm sure that there have to be lots of constraints about what form a spren weapon can take, especially difficult with the idea of a tank (which a highly composite entity, composed of a ridiculous number of parts).

Maybe Knights Radiants can get together and Voltron up their spren to make an awesome super mech to take out Odium's champion.

 

All interesting to consider for sure.

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1 hour ago, hoiditthroughthegrapevine said:

When spren weapons change shape, is there some sort of conservation of mass that takes place? I.e. is there a limit to the volume that a spren weapon can occupy before it looses it's funcitonality?

Yes there is, and this is the biggest limitation to many of the ideas you suggest.

Quote

Questioner

We've seen that the "Sylblade" can change shape to fit Kaladin's needs. Is there a limit on the size of the blade that Syl can become?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

Okay. And can you share with me what the upper limits on those sort of things would be?

Brandon Sanderson

Upper limits of hers are about human-sized.

Questioner

Is it always going to be something that has to be a fighting utensil, or does it have to...?

Brandon Sanderson

That's going to RAFO. You'll have to see.

[...]

I will say this. You have seen Syl changing shape from the first time she appears onscreen and she is frequently not a weapon

As for projectile weapons, it's been debated, but Brandon keeps RAFOing us as far as I know.

Edit: My favorite suggestion that I've seen in this vein is for a Lightweaver to throw thier cryptic and then have it transform into it's normal form midair (a spinning ball of impossible lines and sharp angles) to kill anything in the way.

Edited by Cowmanthethird
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I think the only sensible projectile shard weapon would be a shardarang. It addresses the issue of throwing your weapon away quite neatly ;). Of course, in the case of Lift, it would likely be a shoe that by some miracle of cosmeric physics returns to the wielders hand. It also explains her penchant for not wearing shoes all the time, since you can hardly throw it if you're wearing it.

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Thanks for the clarification, this is an intriguing qualification though:

4 minutes ago, Cowmanthethird said:

Brandon Sanderson

Upper limits of hers are about human-sized.

Does this have to do with the limits set by the perception of the spren, if so this would open the possibility for a god sized hammer wielded by a certain bondsmith...

Interesting.

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1 minute ago, hoiditthroughthegrapevine said:

Thanks for the clarification, this is an intriguing qualification though:

Does this have to do with the limits set by the perception of the spren, if so this would open the possibility for a god sized hammer wielded by a certain bondsmith...

Interesting.

Haha interesting thought, I think the Stormfather will stick to his statement at the end of WoR that he won't become Shards for Dalinar though.

Oathbringer spoilers since I'm not sure if this has been moved yet.

Spoiler

It's not like Dalinar needs a god sized hammer to be ridiculously OP after the end of Oathbringer.

 

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I would like to see Rock getting a Sprenshardbow.

I mean if you can train to throw a dead shardblade surely it would be easier to train with a living spren to do similar.

as for the Spren Cage of Death I imagine more a Green Golem type or armour encasement (from Brent Week's Lightbringer series) - shardplate with masive spikes and a crazy Battlerager dwarf type of mentality to run into a group lashing and bouncing like crazy.

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As I've said many times, a Chakram

Desert-Camouflage-Sah-Chakram-Drawn.jpg

Because a massive bladed ring is the ultimate thrown shard weapon. 

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2 minutes ago, Egomere said:

I would like to see Rock getting a Sprenshardbow.

I mean if you can train to throw a dead shardblade surely it would be easier to train with a living spren to do similar.

Well the problem with a Sprenshardbow is you'd need Sprenshardarrows to make the most of it. Spren can't divide themselves into separate weapons from what we know.

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1 minute ago, Calderis said:

Because a massive bladed ring is the ultimate thrown shard weapon. I watched too much Xena, Warrior Princess 

2775241-1378732_xena115.jpg.c9247fbfcd1e6fcb1fccf1d8266fdaaf.jpg

There, I fixed that for you ;).

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Instead of going big, why not small? Kaladin has often found himself up close and personal with opponents but has always gone with a knife, why not claws? And does the spren have to appear in their hand? If not, go MMA style and have the weapon appear as a sharp object from knees/elbow/forehead/feet etc? 

When WoR came out I wondered why they even have the spren appear as a physically directed weapon instead of just a small particle that flies around the battlefield based on the Radiants directed will.

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2 minutes ago, aemetha said:

Well the problem with a Sprenshardbow is you'd need Sprenshardarrows to make the most of it. Spren can't divide themselves into separate weapons from what we know.

Maybe it's all 'attached' like Rock has the bow and 1 arrow which are 'tethered' together due to being 1 spren - and the power / direction comes from Rock... not sure how it would work (prob can't) but I feel Rock would be happier with a sprenshardbow rather than close quarters... (and it's the only weapon we know his proficent with as he never trained with a spear like the rest of them.

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3 minutes ago, aemetha said:

2775241-1378732_xena115.jpg.c9247fbfcd1e6fcb1fccf1d8266fdaaf.jpg

There, I fixed that for you ;).

Nah, way to small. The whole point is blade width. 

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This thread makes me wish I had a talent for art. Then I could draw Lift wielding her Sprenshardthrowingshoe.

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2 minutes ago, Calderis said:

As I've said many times, a Chakram

Rad, nice visual too.

 

Ok, so we have a WoB that the spren weapon can only be roughly human sized in length, that's just a limitation, we can work with that.

Some quick possible thoughts with the new given size limation:

Police style spike traps (for non-lethal troop immobilization, maybe used by a certain soft-hearted windrunner)

8m_aluminum_bracket_puncture_police_stin

If we are going for the ultimate in awesomeness for thrown weapons, why not the Glaive from Krull (assumming it maintains it's thought controlled flight characteristics, which seems reasonable):

krull_glaive.jpg

 

How about a spren Garrote, this would be a brutal spren weapon to be sure, but I could see it being used attached to the end of a lasso (like wonder woman's magic lasso) but instead the lasso part is a super fine string capable of cutting, yet still remarkably strong. This could also possibly be changed to be dull to detain and capture as well.

How about this one too, an Indiana Jones style bullwhip, where the tip of the whip can cut through objects in the physical realm as well as through the Fused. Could also be used in dull mode for radiant escapes who don't have the benefit of flying.

How about this too, a glove or even just a half sphere with a handle that functions as both a shield and a projecting weapon that can be tailored, swiss army knife style, into whatever particular implement is best suited for getting past the enemies defenses. A bit like Robert Patton's T-1000 terminator in terminator 2.

Or for shock factor, a fingernail that is long (like a Seanchan finger nail), that can creepily grow and kill it's unsuspecting target.

If a spren weapon can be made with moving parts, then a spren swiss army knife would be possible too. Not the best thing to use to open your bottle of violet wine, but sometimes you have to use what you have.

 

Just some intial thoughts, will have to think more about this knowing about the size constraint...Interesting though.

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26 minutes ago, Xavien said:

Instead of going big, why not small? Kaladin has often found himself up close and personal with opponents but has always gone with a knife, why not claws? And does the spren have to appear in their hand? If not, go MMA style and have the weapon appear as a sharp object from knees/elbow/forehead/feet etc? 

Exaclty! And this can change location, shape and function at the speed of thought. Very cool idea.

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35 minutes ago, Xavien said:

Instead of going big, why not small? Kaladin has often found himself up close and personal with opponents but has always gone with a knife, why not claws? And does the spren have to appear in their hand? If not, go MMA style and have the weapon appear as a sharp object from knees/elbow/forehead/feet etc? 

I'm getting Guyver flackbacks and I think I like it.

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55 minutes ago, aemetha said:

Well the problem with a Sprenshardbow is you'd need Sprenshardarrows to make the most of it. Spren can't divide themselves into separate weapons from what we know.

Remembering how quickly Syl changed forms in the Kaladin vs. Szeth fight at the end of WoR, I'm imagining a Sprenshardbow that is drawn, then as it is released, the bow disappears, replaced by the Sprenshardarrow that flies toward the target. Then the arrow disappears as the bow appears back in the radiant's hands as they draw back again. Rinse & repeat.

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For close combat, I'd go with probably my favorite designed weapon ever, The Katar. 

katar3.jpg

Good for piercing or slashing, and has a built in guard down the for arm for blocking. 

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7 hours ago, Xavien said:

When WoR came out I wondered why they even have the spren appear as a physically directed weapon instead of just a small particle that flies around the battlefield based on the Radiants directed will.

Like Yondu's arrow from GotG.

6 hours ago, hoiditthroughthegrapevine said:

Or for shock factor, a fingernail that is long (like a Seanchan finger nail), that can creepily grow and kill it's unsuspecting target.

Lust from FMA.

7 hours ago, hoiditthroughthegrapevine said:

Does this have to do with the limits set by the perception of the spren, if so this would open the possibility for a god sized hammer wielded by a certain bondsmith...

I'd had the thought for awhile that the Stormfather only said he wouldn't become a *common* Blade, so when Dalinar was walking into the breach with only the copy of WoK I had the mental image of him just turning to face the army and this giant Shardballista appearing. Completely the wrong tone after the buildup, but hilarious.

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This feels almost like the discussion I constantly have with friends around Green Lantern's Power Ring. Rather than the fancy boxing gloves or tanks, just wrap the head or neck and choke them to submission/death. Easy.

For a shard, my opinion is that the following allows the best of deadliness and flexibility:

 

Untitled.png

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9 hours ago, hoiditthroughthegrapevine said:

Does this have to do with the limits set by the perception of the spren, if so this would open the possibility for a god sized hammer wielded by a certain bondsmith...

This, I think has to do with the size of Sylpherina in Shadesmar, which is essentially her true form.

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