Krios

[OB] Oathbringer and powercreep?

36 posts in this topic

Just finished reading Oathbringer and it really stands out how much powercreep (= always increasing strength of characters) there is. Lets have a look:

1. Kaladin can somehow windbend? I mean he did that weird thing at the end of part 1, but it is still a very minor power increase for him compared to others.

2. Shallan could be pretty useful given that, with enough stormlight, she can imitate entire armies and soulcast.

3. Jasnah is a machine. Seriously here Soulcasting seems incredibly overpowered. I mean she soulcasts some random dudes into smoke. And what about the transportation surge. It should be able to do something else than just get you to shadesmar and then not being able to get you back. Just imagine Jasnah in shardplate with her Ivorybalde teleporting and soulcasting all over the place.

4. Szeth. Okay he lost adhesion, but got divison, which seems to be way better in combat. Normally he would be bound and limited by law, but he swore to Dalinar. So Dalinar could just tell him: "Yeah. I think it is cool, when you kill this political opponent of mine"

5. Dalinar. So he is now some weird Knight Radiant, Stormfather and Honor hybrid, who can merge realms, supercharge you with stormlight and controls the frigging assassin in white.

If not for Dalinars battery ability, Stormlight would be a limiting factor, but now it is not. And then there is Nale, who bonded Honorblade and is a Knight Radiant. So you could have acces to 4 surges, if you are a Knights Radiant and get your hands on an Honorblade. And does Hoid really need surgebinding powers? I mean he is probably already a full feruchemist and mistborn. Be now you could just give him the fatman from fallout. Until now I thought feruchemy was the most powerful magic in the cosmere, but now I would give it to elsecallers order. The most powerful, but not the most useful, that is still feruchemy.

To be clear I dont hate it, but I am concerned that it could become a problem down the line. What do you think?

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Note on Jasnah's ability, I think her overpoweredness (because ya, she was way too strong), was due to Dalinar's blurring the lines between the realms. 

As for the power creep, I feel like there has been enough foreshadowing showing that the knights radiants used to throw around power like crazy, that its more like our current knights are regaining lost power instead of constantly growing. Which diminished the impact of the power creep, at least for me.

Edit: Jasnah's ability may also have been due to Sadeas' men being bonded to voidspren? Creating unstable souls. Maybe also extreme influence of the Thrill on the men?

Edited by Wandering Investor
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I think Kal started using his second surge.

Soulcasting is nerfed by the fact it requires certain gems not just stormlight. Yes, Jasnah was almost like an avenging angle. I suspect she'll be the best at this and others with the same surge won't be as good as her. Otherwise EC would single handedly end a Desolation :ph34r:

I was bothered by the sudden change of scope of Shallan's illusions - last book she couldn't even make them stay if she wasn't looking or attached them to Pattern. I know she said a new Truth at the end of WoR, but still... 

I don't think Dalinar will able to replicate what he did, it feels too powerful to be frequently used, although this would mean there's a need for a in-world explanation why it can't happen regularly. 

Something I had a problem with was Amaram suddenly becoming super powerful. I don't think the whole swallowing a sphere to merge/bond/whatever with Unmade was handled well, it felt like a plot device. Yes, we saw the queen do it, but it just didn't work for me. 

Edited by Aleksiel
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Well, I’m working on a theory involving Kaladin’s airbending magic and Dalinar-Honor, but basically I think the power-creep (from an in-world standpoint, not a writing standpoint) is an effect of Honor being dead, and the ‘checks’ he placed on Surgebinding falling apart. 

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32 minutes ago, Krios said:

4. Szeth. Okay he lost adhesion, but got divison, which seems to be way better in combat. Normally he would be bound and limited by law, but he swore to Dalinar. So Dalinar could just tell him: "Yeah. I think it is cool, when you kill this political opponent of mine"

Adhesion is not as useless as it might sound, it's actually the power of Pressure and Vacuum, and is what lets Kaladin 'windbend' by creating a pressurized area. Removing or adding a lot of air from specific areas can actually be quite terrifying in combat situations, and the enemy is probably lucky Kaladin holds himself to very high moral standards

32 minutes ago, Krios said:

5. Dalinar. So he is now some weird Knight Radiant, Stormfather and Honor hybrid, who can merge realms, supercharge you with stormlight and controls the frigging assassin in white.

I think Dalinar is so powerful in part because the Stormfather is actually several spren stacked on top of each other in a stormcoat (..Okay, a very powerful spren and the Cognitive Shadow of a god, but still.)

14 minutes ago, Aleksiel said:

I was bothered by the sudden change of scope of Shallan's illusions - last book she couldn't even make them stay if she wasn't looking or attached them to Pattern. I know she said a new Truth at the end of WoR, but still... 

Yeah, that was a big jump, especially since she mentioned in part one she hadn't been able to accept her new Truth yet. I wonder what the total power curve for Lightweavers is, and if she's close to the top. Scaring away an Unmade with her Lightweaving ability seems like something that should be beyond the average Lightweaver.. (unless Re-shephir was severely weakened by her imprisonment/fled on purpose..)

14 minutes ago, Aleksiel said:

Something I had a problem with was Amaram suddenly becoming super powerful. I don't think the whole swallowing a sphere to merge/bond/whatever with Unmade was handled well, it felt like a plot device. Yes, we saw the queen do it, but it just didn't work for me. 

Yeah it was a bit of a sudden development, and a very quick ending to Amaram's (apparently newly developed) villainous aspirations

Edited by Willow
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There's serious power creep in all Sanderson stuff. That's part of the fun. But the radiants are generally capped at the the 5th ideal. On Dalinar specifically, I think that's just what happens when you reach the 5th ideal with Stormfather specifically since he's a sliver of Honor and so has a greater power well than other spren.

As far as Jasnah goes, it's not a power thing; she is just absurdly skilled and knows exactly how to convince objects that they actually want to be other objects. I don't think there's any way Shallan will be able to do what Jasnah does

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1 minute ago, Bacon said:

There's serious power creep in all Sanderson stuff. That's part of the fun. But the radiants are generally capped at the the 5th ideal. On Dalinar specifically, I think that's just what happens when you reach the 5th ideal with Stormfather specifically since he's a sliver of Honor and so has a greater power well than other spren.

Dalinar's still at the third ideal though..

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1 hour ago, Ookla the Heraldic said:

Well, I’m working on a theory involving Kaladin’s airbending magic and Dalinar-Honor, but basically I think the power-creep (from an in-world standpoint, not a writing standpoint) is an effect of Honor being dead, and the ‘checks’ he placed on Surgebinding falling apart. 

Yeah, I think this is right. Remember narratively, the surges are supposed to be powerful enough to have destroyed the original humans' planet. So, surgebinding needs to be pretty powerful.

I can't imagine an army of Lerasium Mistborn would be even remotely capable of destroying a planet. They can do lots of cool things, but as far as raw power is concerned, it's just not there (implausible exception: compounding of weight to the point that a feruchemist could mimic a giant meteor impact).

Elsecallers' ability to soulcast like a boss are limited by Stormlight supply, gem type, and gem quantity. But I agree, if you can supply these things in vast quantities and make them available as needed, Elsecallers are ridiculously powerful. My only thought is that they are mostly limited to the Cognitive and Physical realms, so they have little to no effect on the Spiritual realm which limits their abilities to contend with powerfully invested cognitive shadows and Shards.

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2 hours ago, Aleksiel said:

I think Kal started using his second surge.

Soulcasting is nerfed by the fact it requires certain gems not just stormlight. Yes, Jasnah was almost like an avenging angle. I suspect she'll be the best at this and others with the same surge won't be as good as her. Otherwise EC would single handedly end a Desolation :ph34r:

I was bothered by the sudden change of scope of Shallan's illusions - last book she couldn't even make them stay if she wasn't looking or attached them to Pattern. I know she said a new Truth at the end of WoR, but still... 

I don't think Dalinar will able to replicate what he did, it feels too powerful to be frequently used, although this would mean there's a need for a in-world explanation why it can't happen regularly. 

Something I had a problem with was Amaram suddenly becoming super powerful. I don't think the whole swallowing a sphere to merge/bond/whatever with Unmade was handled well, it felt like a plot device. Yes, we saw the queen do it, but it just didn't work for me. 

I think the soul casting nerf of needing special gemstone for it applies only to people using an actual soulcaster and not Knights Radiant, who can soulcast. Neither Shallan nor Jasnah use any gem, when they soulcast. Jasnah did in WoK, but that seemed to be for show and not an actual requirement, since Shallan could soulcast the ship in WoR and Jasnah does as she pleases in Oathbringer.

Personally I find the Honorblade plus Radiant power combination the most interesting, because Sezth wants to get revenge on his Shin masters and not taking the honorblades would be stupid. They could pass one around like a hot potato.

@Ookla the Hatter

I wasnt even thinking about Shards, because they are kind of out of everyones league.

Edited by Krios
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2 hours ago, Aleksiel said:

I don't think Dalinar will able to replicate what he did, it feels too powerful to be frequently used, although this would mean there's a need for a in-world explanation why it can't happen regularly. 

He already has, though. When he sends Kaladin off to search for survivors of Kholinar he supercharges him, although it leaves him really drained. That's the limiting factor-it wrecks Dalinar when he does it.

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There is a limitation to surges that Dalinar managed to remove in his God Slap.  Jasnah is good at what she's doing in the fight, but normally she'd be using up all of her spheres very quickly.  Same with the others.  Really, this was the first time they all got to really go to town without worrying about conserving Stormlight.  They really aren't doing anything we haven't seen before.

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1 hour ago, Willow said:

Dalinar's still at the third ideal though..

see, I don't think he is. Think about it. Does "I Am Unity" sound like a third ideal? If the skybreakers 5th ideal is to "become the law", then it makes sense that the 5th ideal of a bondsmith is to "become unification".

Dalinar is suddenly flooded by a sense of awareness. I think that moment of clarity power-leveled him. His next words were:

"I will take responsibility for what I have done": third ideal

"If I must fall, I will rise again, each time a better man": fourth ideal

"I am unity": fifth ideal

That's why Stormfather was so flabbergasted. Hell, even Odium was caught with his pants down. It didn't have a ring of "These words are accepted...sooner than I expected". Instead it was "These words...are accepted...what...what did you do?"

Honor's perpendicularity shouldn't be something he has access to until he fully bonds with the sliver of Honor (Stormfather). 

 

The direct quote, taken from Awesomness's post in the Dalinar's Fifth Ideal thread from last week:

Quote

“Unite them.
“Journey before destination,” Dalinar said. “It cannot be a journey if it doesn’t have a beginning.”
A thunderclap sounded in his mind. Suddenly, awareness poured back into him. The Stormfather, distant, feeling frightened—but also surprised.
Dalinar?
“I will take responsibility for what I have done,” Dalinar whispered. “If I must fall, I will rise each time a better man.”

----

“UNITE THEM!
Dalinar thrust his left hand to the side, plunging it between realms, grabbing hold of the very fabric of existence. The world of minds, the realm of thought.
He thrust his right hand to the other side, touching something vast, something that wasn’t a place—it was all places in one. He’d seen this ”

“before, in the moment when Odium had let him glimpse the Spiritual Realm.
Today, he held it in his hand.
The Fused scrambled away. Amaram pushed down his faceplate, but that wasn’t enough. He stumbled back, arm raised. Only one person remained in place. A young parshwoman, the one that Dalinar had visited in the visions.
“What are you?” she whispered as he stood with arms outstretched, holding to the lands of mind and spirit.
He closed his eyes, breathing out, listening to a sudden stillness. And within it a simple, quiet voice. A woman’s voice, so familiar to him.
I forgive you.
Dalinar opened his eyes, and knew what the parshwoman saw in him. Swirling clouds, glowing light, thunder and lightning.
“I am Unity.”
He slammed both hands together.
And combined three realms into one.”

----

“No!” Odium screamed. He stepped forward. “No, we killed you. WE KILLED YOU!”
Dalinar stood within a pillar of light and spinning gloryspren, one hand to each side, clutching the realms that made up reality.
Forgiven. The pain he’d so recently insisted that he would keep started to fade away on its own.
These Words … are accepted, the Stormfather said, sounding stunned. How? What have you done?”

Fragmento de: Brandon Sanderson. “Oathbringer”. iBooks. 

 

Edited by Bacon
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10 minutes ago, Bacon said:

see, I don't think he is. Think about it. Does "I Am Unity" sound like a third ideal? If the skybreakers 5th ideal is to "become the law", then it makes sense that the 5th ideal of a bondsmith is to "become unification".

Dalinar is suddenly flooded by a sense of awareness. I think that moment of clarity power-leveled him. His next words were:

"I will take responsibility for what I have done": third ideal

"If I must fall, I will rise again, each time a better man": fourth ideal

"I am unity": fifth ideal

That's why Stormfather was so flabbergasted. Hell, even Odium was caught with his pants down. It didn't have a ring of "These words are accepted...sooner than I expected". Instead it was "These words...are accepted...what...what did you do?"

Honor's perpendicularity shouldn't be something he has access to until he fully bonds with the sliver of Honor (Stormfather). 

 

The direct quote, taken from Awesomeness's post in the Dalinar's Fifth Ideal thread from last week:

 

Recent WOB says that he's on his third.

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31 minutes ago, Krios said:

I think the soul casting nerf of needing special gemstone for it applies only to people using an actual soulcaster and not Knights Radiant, who can soulcast. Neither Shallan nor Jasnah use any gem, when they soulcast. Jasnah did in WoK, but that seemed to be for show and not an actual requirement, since Shallan could soulcast the ship in WoR and Jasnah does as she pleases in Oathbringer.

Shallan only managed to soulcast when the appropriate gems was there. The need for corresponding gems even for surgebinders is mentioned in coppermind

@Bacon Brandon confirmed Dalinar said only one ideal, but it was confusing, I agree.

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2 minutes ago, bo.montier said:

Recent WOB says that he's on his third.

awe damnation, really? Do you have a link to that?

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"I will take responsibility for what I have done" is the 3rd oath, while "If I must fall, I will rise again, each time a better man" seems to be Dalinar expanding on it (or maybe the other way around). "I am Unity" is a statement, not an oath, and is already stated by the second oath of bringing men together instead of dividing.

WOB

Spoiler

Oathbringer Glasgow signing (Dec. 2, 2017)
#1 Share

Play/Pause
 

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

In <that one> rejection of Odium, how many Oaths did Dalinar swear before merging the Realms? And is "I am Unity" the fifth.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

No, that is not an Oath. He swore one ideal in that experience.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Okay. How many Oaths is he on?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

The number you think. So, he should have just finished three, right? Or maybe four. I'll have to go look. It's the number that you think it is. I'm not being sneaky on you. There's nothing sneaky there. He doesn't get armor, so... I can't remember where he is. He should be at three. "Life before death." "I will unite instead of divide." "I will stand up each time I fall." Yeah, so he's done three.

 

 

Edited by Wandering Investor
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6 minutes ago, Bacon said:

awe damnation, really? Do you have a link to that?

 

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I think the powercreep in OB could be countered somewhat by other types of fused.  As far as I can remember, we've only seen one combat oriented type of fused so far, the flying ones, plus a few thunderclasts.  We know of at least smokeform, nightform, and decayform, which all sound pretty nasty.  I'm guessing as the singers begin to consolidate their positions in the other kingdoms and start conquering the surrounding areas we'll see new dangerous types of fused. 

Plus Shallan mentions that Re-Shephir could have killed all of them in their encounter beneath Urithiru, but instead wanted to learn.  What happens when she really lets loose?  Similarly we don't really know anything about Chemoarish, Dai-gonarthis, or Ba-Ado-Mishram yet and how they might counter the growing powers of the knights.  In the previous desolations the KR were fully staffed, had the heralds on their side, and humanity was still nearly destroyed.  I think we've only begun to see the sort of powers Odium is going to bring to bear on Roshar.

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They control the fundamental forces that shaped the world...of course they're extremely powerful.

We've known Soulcasting was OP since Jasnah took care of those back alley thugs and this is when she isn't a full radiant and was hiding that she could soulcast without a fabrial.....and that was only one of the 10 powers!

 

No, other than I Am Unity, this is what I expected. Brandon wouldn't give them such ridiculous systems of power and not fully explore them.

I just need know how the FUDGE Odium consistently killed the flippin Heralds who were powered by Honor directly or how his forces avoided being babyshaked by thousands of Radiants. Howwwwwww?????

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9 minutes ago, Ryder said:

I think the powercreep in OB could be countered somewhat by other types of fused.  As far as I can remember, we've only seen one combat oriented type of fused so far, the flying ones, plus a few thunderclasts.  We know of at least smokeform, nightform, and decayform, which all sound pretty nasty.  I'm guessing as the singers begin to consolidate their positions in the other kingdoms and start conquering the surrounding areas we'll see new dangerous types of fused. 

Plus Shallan mentions that Re-Shephir could have killed all of them in their encounter beneath Urithiru, but instead wanted to learn.  What happens when she really lets loose?  Similarly we don't really know anything about Chemoarish, Dai-gonarthis, or Ba-Ado-Mishram yet and how they might counter the growing powers of the knights.  In the previous desolations the KR were fully staffed, had the heralds on their side, and humanity was still nearly destroyed.  I think we've only begun to see the sort of powers Odium is going to bring to bear on Roshar.

1 minute ago, Nymeros said:

They control the fundamental forces that shaped the world...of course they're extremely powerful.

We've known Soulcasting was OP since Jasnah took care of those back alley thugs and this is when she isn't a full radiant and was hiding that she could soulcast without a fabrial.....and that was only one of the 10 powers!

 

No, other than I Am Unity, this is what I expected. Brandon wouldn't give them such ridiculous systems of power and not fully explore them.

I just need know how the FUDGE Odium consistently killed the flippin Heralds who were powered by Honor directly or how his forces avoided being babyshaked by thousands of Radiants. Howwwwwww?????

I think powercreep is kind of the point. The revelation about the Eile Stele, that the humans had destroyed their last planet, combined with super-duper-surgebinding in Oathbringer. I think they're more powerful now than they used to be, back in the Radiant days, due to the death of Honor and his regulatory hand. 

I think we're going to see the power levels being escalated to where the very fabric of Roshar is under assault.

 

Edited by bo.montier
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I don't see why Honors death would result in power ups for the Radiants....

Pre Radiant rogue surgebinders must have been ridiculous to deal with.

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36 minutes ago, Ryder said:

As far as I can remember, we've only seen one combat oriented type of fused so far, the flying ones, plus a few thunderclasts.  We know of at least smokeform, nightform, and decayform, which all sound pretty nasty.

We've seen the flying ones, the Carapace-armored ones, and the Slick fused so far. I interpreted smokeform, nightform, and decaryform to be regal forms, although they could refer to potential fused as well. 

19 minutes ago, Nymeros said:

I don't see why Honors death would result in power ups for the Radiants....

It is thought that Honor may have had a hand in regulating the Radiants. With Honor dead, the Radiants' powers, maybe even oath structures, may be able to shift/change. I don't think its ever been confirmed though.

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3 hours ago, Aleksiel said:

Something I had a problem with was Amaram suddenly becoming super powerful. I don't think the whole swallowing a sphere to merge/bond/whatever with Unmade was handled well, it felt like a plot device. Yes, we saw the queen do it, but it just didn't work for me. 

I think this is subtly showcasing the danger of Yelig-nar. He can basically show up anywhere, enter a host, and all of a sudden you're dealing with a 10(9?) surge monster. This could be a volatile and extremely dangerous tool for Odium's forces. Sneak someone into the backline, swallow a gem, BOOM, the backline gets wrecked if they're not careful.

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26 minutes ago, Nymeros said:

I don't see why Honors death would result in power ups for the Radiants....

Pre Radiant rogue surgebinders must have been ridiculous to deal with.

My thought is that he somehow put limits on what they could do around the time the Nahel bonds were first forming, or, if not, his shadow's presence with the SF is magnifying what they can do through the Bondsmith's increased powers. I imagine that the original surgebinders (pre first desolation) accessed the surges through a different method than the Nahel bond, since the Oathpact hadn't been started and the spren didn't have the honor blades yet to imitate.

This theory is just now moving it's way around my head, so it's not something I've fully fleshed out or anything.

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1 hour ago, Krios said:

I think the soul casting nerf of needing special gemstone for it applies only to people using an actual soulcaster and not Knights Radiant, who can soulcast. Neither Shallan nor Jasnah use any gem, when they soulcast. Jasnah did in WoK, but that seemed to be for show and not an actual requirement, since Shallan could soulcast the ship in WoR and Jasnah does as she pleases in Oathbringer.

Personally I find the Honorblade plus Radiant power combination the most interesting, because Sezth wants to get revenge on his Shin masters and not taking the honorblades would be stupid. They could pass one around like a hot potato.

@Ookla the Hatter

I wasnt even thinking about Shards, because they are kind of out of everyones league.

jasnah need a granet to soulcast the shallan's blood after the poisoning in the end of WotK. and she use a smokestone for soulcasting the rock trapping the Mr. T granddaughter.

there is a WoB on that mater https://wob.coppermind.net/events/149-rithmatist-albuquerque-signing/#e2784

 

35 minutes ago, Nymeros said:

I don't see why Honors death would result in power ups for the Radiants....

Pre Radiant rogue surgebinders must have been ridiculous to deal with.

this is specific for dalinar. dalinar is bonded to the stormfather, the SF had merged with the renmant of honor, so dalinar can tap in the honor power (a bit, because the SF is a sliver, but is way more of the other surgebinder)

Edited by Fulminato
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