Chromium Compounder

If you were a Forger, what would your essence marks be?

24 posts in this topic

No using Forgery to gain access to another magic system.  I think that’s most likely impossible, and if not then it would be very difficult because of all kinds of reasons.  

So what would you choose to change about yourself?  What untaken paths would you make into essence marks?

I think I’d have one where I stuck with martial arts.  I’d have another where I stuck with piano.  I’d have another where I became a scientist (I’m actually a software engineer). 

I’d have another where I majored in English and became an author.  That one would be awesome.  Put the essence mark on to work on my book, then after it’s finished I can enjoy reading my own book.  LOL 

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I'd have one where my ADHD was diagnosed in high school... that would have had a massive trajectory impact on my life. 

Another where I joined the Navy like I contemplated mid-college to at least try for Seals

And you can totally use a mark to gain another magic system, it's just hard https://wob.coppermind.net/events/36/#e1560

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Posted (edited)

I'd have one for each of the jobs I've considered: one author one, one biologist, one filmmaker, one pilot, one computer programmer, one hermit-in-the-woods. Done and done, that's everything I need in life, skillwise.

Edited by Invocation
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The point of an Essence Mark isn't to temporarily live a what-if alternate life you might have had, but to have different skills and appearance as the situation might demand. After all, a "professor" version of myself wouldn't ACTUALLY have a tenured position at Large State University or something.

Shai chose her alternate selves very carefully in that regard, creating highly capable versions who able to fight, to communicate/understand, and to go to ground in both the city and the wilderness. For use in our so-called "real" world, if I had a similar set of four Essence Marks commissioned, I'd go with a somewhat similar set, except that I don't foresee needing much hand-to-hand combat skill if I am limited to four of them:

1 - A wilderness survivalist type, which I actually have close to zero ability in; if a massive solar flare caused a breakdown of civilization I'd go cannibal or starve to death within days. But not this guy!

2 - A multi-lingual interpreter. It's very plausible that had I focused only slightly differently in my life I could be fluent and literate in 3 or 4 different languages, so an EM version of myself might up that count to 8 or so.

3 - Someone with medical training and experience in emergency field work, a la Kaladin in TWoK.

4 - A "hands on mechanical type" experienced in using and working on cars, motorcycles, airplanes, etc., with an added side of MacGuyver-like ability to cobble together emergency makeshift solutions where necessary. A skillset that would plausibly extend into general "shop ability" like you see on MythBusters, and to fix stuff around the house.

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This sounds sad, but I would make an essence mark that would give me much improved social skills. And then I'd wear it ALL THE TIME. That would be nice.

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2 hours ago, robardin said:

The point of an Essence Mark isn't to temporarily live a what-if alternate life you might have had, but to have different skills and appearance 

Which are all based on "what-if alternate life you might have had" events built into the Soul Stamp, it's the basis of those skills and appearances.

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6 minutes ago, Green Hoodie Mistborn said:

Which are all based on "what-if alternate life you might have had" events built into the Soul Stamp, it's the basis of those skills and appearances.

Agreed.  That’s why I worded things that way.  I know it would only change myself, not the world around me, but it would have to change me in a way that could have happened.

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Most of them would be paths not taken. 

-If Id stayed in the family business and taken over my father's martial arts club.

-If Id joined the military instead of going off to college

-If Id chosen a different Major in College, some other engineering discipline or something wildly different.

-If Id stuck with it enough to finish any of my various novel ideas

-If Id never believed the well-meaning idiot my senior year who convinced a handful of us he had funding to start a video game company, such that I wasnt looking for a job when I should have been.

 

 

Question:  Would it be possible to make an Essence Mark such that I selected the Winning Lottery Numbers many years ago, and thus lived a life of luxury with the best health care and the freedom to pursue my own interests (self education and hobbies, etc) rather than spending all my energy on a 9-5 job?  I think that would make for an interesting what-if scenario. 

 

 

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You guys are all to deep for me. I'd become a super spy.

Hacker, pro gambler, soldier (special forces, I'm already a veteran so this would be redundant otherwise), pilot (fixed wing and rotary wing), transgender (this would pretty much be the craziest disguise ever), and finally a lottery winner (you know I'm talking about that power ball).

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Posted (edited)

Even an unrealistic stamp could hold for a little while with the right connections. I would become a super genius. I think I could find the connections to make it hold for at least a couple minutes. Then I would create the diagram.

Edited by The Ryshadium
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1 hour ago, Green Hoodie Mistborn said:

Which are all based on "what-if alternate life you might have had" events built into the Soul Stamp, it's the basis of those skills and appearances.

Yes, but you wouldn't make one based on "seems like it'd be a fun or interesting life", rather "this is someone I NEED to be on occasion".

So making an Essence Mark of "if I were an author" wouldn't be very useful, unless that version of you knocked out books in under a day, and you think that ability was going to be key to your future as opposed to a kind of role-playing made real.

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41 minutes ago, robardin said:

Yes, but you wouldn't make one based on "seems like it'd be a fun or interesting life", rather "this is someone I NEED to be on occasion".

So making an Essence Mark of "if I were an author" wouldn't be very useful, unless that version of you knocked out books in under a day, and you think that ability was going to be key to your future as opposed to a kind of role-playing made real.

You could just keep reapplying the mark every day until you finished the book.

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Quantus said:

Most of them would be paths not taken. 

-If Id stayed in the family business and taken over my father's martial arts club.

-If Id joined the military instead of going off to college

-If Id chosen a different Major in College, some other engineering discipline or something wildly different.

-If Id stuck with it enough to finish any of my various novel ideas

-If Id never believed the well-meaning idiot my senior year who convinced a handful of us he had funding to start a video game company, such that I wasnt looking for a job when I should have been.

 

 

Question:  Would it be possible to make an Essence Mark such that I selected the Winning Lottery Numbers many years ago, and thus lived a life of luxury with the best health care and the freedom to pursue my own interests (self education and hobbies, etc) rather than spending all my energy on a 9-5 job?  I think that would make for an interesting what-if scenario. 

Remember, an Essence Mark does not let you step into another life in another timeline. It's the opposite - kind of like [spoiler for Reckoners]

Spoiler

what Firefight does

in the Reckoners books - you are overlaying a version of yourself that could have been had different choices been made into your present reality (but unlike burning A-gold, a version of your conscious construction).

So creating an Essence Mark of "the me that finished writing that book I started 5 years ago" may help you understand what it would have taken to do so, but doesn't answer what your life would then be like today, nor is it likely to help you do anything in your current situation. It might summon whatever version of you would have had the stick-to-it-tiveness or stroke of genius or whatever that you lacked at that time, with a memory of what that book turned out to be in your head, sure... But not a physical copy of that book, or the income money or a fan base or publishers or editorial staff who know about that book, etc., anything that might be a real world consequence of having written that book. The only thing that's changed is yourself.

Now it is more than just an "it's all in your head" type of thing, because your physical form changes to match, kind of like how tapping a goldmind or using Stormlight for healing is "remapping" the Physical form to the Spiritual ideal of a person. But it's not like Shai's warrior version who was adopted by the Teullu people, named Shaizan, and trained in their ultra-secret and deadly form of martial arts, could then actually walk over to the Teullu and be recognized, though they'd be astonished by her knowledge of their language and ways.

And creating an Essence Mark is an act of creation itself, not revelation. Shaizan is the version of Shai who was adopted and survived a deadly training regimen, because that was the outcome she was building towards. Had that actually happened IRL, there is a high probability, maybe even the most likely one, that she'd have died before completing the training. So you couldn't start making an Essence Mark with the idea of finding out what would have happened, where at the end you get to say so that's how that book would have turned out!, rather you'd be writing a plausible fanfic of your own life, and that would basically include writing the book you didn't write so that you could make that alternate version of yourself write it. Not word-for-word, but at least in outline, I'd think, for it to be plausible (as books don't just write themselves).

Edited by robardin
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12 minutes ago, robardin said:

So creating an Essence Mark of "the me that finished writing that book I started 5 years ago" may help you understand what it would have taken to do so, but doesn't answer what your life would then be like today, nor is it likely to help you do anything in your current situation. It might summon whatever version of you would have had the stick-to-it-tiveness or stroke of genius or whatever that you lacked at that time, with a memory of what that book turned out to be in your head, sure... But not a physical copy of that book, or the income money or a fan base or publishers or editorial staff who know about that book, etc., anything that might be a real world consequence of having written that book. The only thing that's changed is yourself.

You could however stamp an empty book to become the book that you wrote, after stamping yourself.

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Posted (edited)

6 minutes ago, SwordNimiForPresident said:

You could however stamp an empty book to become the book that you wrote, after stamping yourself.

Whoa... You just blew my mind! 

What if that book were a primer on making Essence Marks, and it was only on reading that book that I learned the craft in the first place?

Edited by robardin
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2 hours ago, robardin said:

Remember, an Essence Mark does not let you step into another life in another timeline. It's the opposite - kind of like [spoiler for Reckoners]

  Reveal hidden contents

what Firefight does

in the Reckoners books - you are overlaying a version of yourself that could have been had different choices been made into your present reality (but unlike burning A-gold, a version of your conscious construction).

So creating an Essence Mark of "the me that finished writing that book I started 5 years ago" may help you understand what it would have taken to do so, but doesn't answer what your life would then be like today, nor is it likely to help you do anything in your current situation. It might summon whatever version of you would have had the stick-to-it-tiveness or stroke of genius or whatever that you lacked at that time, with a memory of what that book turned out to be in your head, sure... But not a physical copy of that book, or the income money or a fan base or publishers or editorial staff who know about that book, etc., anything that might be a real world consequence of having written that book. The only thing that's changed is yourself.

Now it is more than just an "it's all in your head" type of thing, because your physical form changes to match, kind of like how tapping a goldmind or using Stormlight for healing is "remapping" the Physical form to the Spiritual ideal of a person. But it's not like Shai's warrior version who was adopted by the Teullu people, named Shaizan, and trained in their ultra-secret and deadly form of martial arts, could then actually walk over to the Teullu and be recognized, though they'd be astonished by her knowledge of their language and ways.

And creating an Essence Mark is an act of creation itself, not revelation. Shaizan is the version of Shai who was adopted and survived a deadly training regimen, because that was the outcome she was building towards. Had that actually happened IRL, there is a high probability, maybe even the most likely one, that she'd have died before completing the training. So you couldn't start making an Essence Mark with the idea of finding out what would have happened, where at the end you get to say so that's how that book would have turned out!, rather you'd be writing a plausible fanfic of your own life, and that would basically include writing the book you didn't write so that you could make that alternate version of yourself write it. Not word-for-word, but at least in outline, I'd think, for it to be plausible (as books don't just write themselves).

I more mean being the person that actually put in the time and commitment to learning the craft of Writing enough to finish a few novels (another similar one would have been actually taking up music).  But damned if @SwordNimiForPresident doesnt have a great point!  The question then becomes how much does the essence mark being active impact the ease of stamping the book?  Does it become easier to alter the past of the book after you've altered yourself, or are all stamps relative to the objective Truth and independent of Forgery meddling?

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3 hours ago, robardin said:

So you couldn't start making an Essence Mark with the idea of finding out what would have happened, where at the end you get to say so that's how that book would have turned out!, rather you'd be writing a plausible fanfic of your own life, and that would basically include writing the book you didn't write so that you could make that alternate version of yourself write it. Not word-for-word, but at least in outline, I'd think, for it to be plausible (as books don't just write themselves).

I don't think you're saying something different than what the rest of us are saying here. 

The OP is a bit mixed as the title is What would your essence mark be? while the text of the OP was "what would you change about yourself?"

But regardless, "what would you change about yourself" would require buidling the entire "lifeline" of that mark so would yield the "fanfic" life and skills you're talking about. And you can build whatever Essence mark you want.

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I'd have an Essence Mark that lets me predict all of Brandon Sanderson next books plots- and one that lets me become good at writing.

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I would Forge myself to be a better Forger, obviously. I’m surprised it isn’t a standard practice for the forgers already, since it is clearly possible to gain new skills. I agree Shai is already probably at her peak power...

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6 minutes ago, CosmereScholar said:

I would Forge myself to be a better Forger, obviously. I’m surprised it isn’t a standard practice for the forgers already, since it is clearly possible to gain new skills. I agree Shai is already probably at her peak power...

I'm not sure I'd want to do this actually.  If I didn't think I'd already put in as much effort as I could to be the best forger I could be, I don't think I'd trust any essence marks I might make.

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Posted (edited)

11 minutes ago, CosmereScholar said:

I would Forge myself to be a better Forger, obviously. I’m surprised it isn’t a standard practice for the forgers already, since it is clearly possible to gain new skills. I agree Shai is already probably at her peak power...

Between this and @SwordNimiForPresident's suggestion of stamping a blank book with the book you would/could have written, and my idea of that book being a Ten Awesome Ways To Make Better Essence Marks Faster, which you then read and used to modify the Better Forger soulstamp... In theory, every Forger capable of making an Essence Mark should have one of these.

Nights, it might even be the most likely scenario for discovering the difficult and dangerous technique in the first place.

Just picture it, the First Soulstamper sitting there amid a collection of expertly Forged objects, and wondering if she could be so reckless as to soulstamp herself.

"Well," she reasoned, "Nobody has ever done this before, so we don't really know what it would involve. But maybe if I'd started trying this stuff out a few years ago, I'd be much better at it already, and would have written the notes in this here notebook..."

*Forges the very plausible notebook*

*Reads notebook*

*Makes first Essence Mark*

Edited by robardin
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@robardin I think the issue there is that, by the time you are capable of making essence marks, you are already as good at making soul stamps as a person can be. My thinking was that you would stamp yourself first to make the book more plausible, and then stamp the book.

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Posted (edited)

I do not believe stamping yourself first would help. Forgery only affects a single object/person. It wouldn’t change reality to make other forgeries more plausible.

Edited by CosmereScholar
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