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Is Anyone Else Worried About Fortune?


Trusk'our

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Whenever I read a book or watch a movie or show that uses "luck" as an in-world mechanic, it gets under my skin, as if feels like a lazy way for the writers to do whatever unlikely thing they want and be able to get away with it, and for characters to basically just deos ex machina their way to victory. 

I really hope that Fortune doesn't turn out this way, and that there is a more reliable way for the Feruchemical power of chromium to work. It would also be nice if there was a distinct benefit to tapping Fortune at different rates so that it isn't overpowered or anything like that.

Does anyone else have this concern about Fortune?

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I don't. Brandon already showed us that future vision is not invincible. Zane with Atium was defeated by Vin without it. And there are other examples from Cosmere as well. Fortune can be tricked, blurred or blocked completely. And as far as we know, chromium gives you something like a gut instinct of where to be or what to do, but tells you nothing about why, and what actions you should take (this might be felt by chromium to some extent). Unless someone is a chromium compounder, he would struggle with his power and it won't give him an "insta win" button.

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47 minutes ago, Frustration said:

No, because I firmly believe that fortune isn't luck

Yeah, people really need to think of Fortune in the sense of Fate not Luck. More like a Fortune teller than Mat Cauthon...

Edited by The Sovereign
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1 hour ago, Frustration said:

No, because I firmly believe that fortune isn't luck

30 minutes ago, The Sovereign said:

Yeah, people really need to think of Fortune in the sense of Fate not Luck. More like a Fortune teller than Mat Cauthon...

1 hour ago, Trusk'our said:

Whenever I read a book or watch a movie or show that uses "luck" as an in-world mechanic, it gets under my skin, as if feels like a lazy way for the writers to do whatever unlikely thing they want and be able to get away with it, and for characters to basically just deos ex machina their way to victory. 

I think of it like a good detective novel - where you see the detective (Cop, PI, whatever) thinking thorugh the possibilities - what's most likely, what's least likely - and narrowing scope to know where to focus their efforts. I think it's about possibilities and instinct for which possibilities are more and less likely. It might look like luck (at least some of the time - such as placing a wager on Roulette and happening to win because of the instinct on which possibilities were more likely) but it doesn't necessarily function like luck. Just my current thinking based on known information. 

1 hour ago, Trusk'our said:

Does anyone else have this concern about Fortune?

Not particularly. Consider the versions we have seen - such as Hoid showing up somewhere, but not sure why or what he needs to accomplish/learn. 

Oathbringer Spoiler

Spoiler

Consider when Odium told Trarvangian his "diagram is impressive, especially without access to Fortune (paraphrased)" when it was mostly just deduction on the current state of matters when the Diagram was written and following most likely possibilities down the branching paths of the future. It's why the Diagram became less accurate over time - because those events were 3/4/5 iterations of deductions away from the starting point and natural deviation would alter the possibilities and thier probabilities. 

 

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Most luck manipulation mechanics are just a cheat code for “do literaly anything” because it’s technically possible to some trillionth of a decimal. But even with limited knowledge, Fortune doesn’t work that way. It’s more about seeing the future, even instinctively, and getting an idea for what you need. In theory, the power could become a deus ex machina, but I don’t really believe Brandon will do that. I’d bet only characters with established Fortune manipulation, like Chromium users, will be able to do more dramatic stuff and only with proper telegraphing and/or foreshadowing

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To pile on a bit to the overall sentiment, everything we've seen of Fortune is that it's all based on Perception of the Spiritual Realm, which narratively puts it more in the realm of Spidersense with a side of actual precognition, rather than the more problematic Probability Field manipulation nonsense that makes frozen turkey's fall from the sky or enemy gun's conveniently jam up. 

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5 hours ago, Quantus said:

problematic Probability Field manipulation nonsense that makes frozen turkey's fall from the sky

Oh come on - that's both awesome and classic (ref)

Spoiler

Dresden Files Book 6 - Blood Rites (I guess this is what he referenced)

Quote

I seized Inari’s right arm with my left. Energy flows out of the body from the right side. The left side absorbs energy. I stretched out my senses and felt the dark energy of the [entropy] curse rushing down at Inari. It hit her a second later, but I was ready for it, and with an effort of will I caught the dark power coursing down into the girl before it could do her harm.

<snip>

 I extended my right hand and the black magic flowed out of it in an invisible torrent, fastening onto the [Black Court] vampire as it gained its feet again and reached out to grab me. The vampire’s expression didn’t even flicker, so I was sure it did not feel the curse coming.

Which made it a complete surprise when something slammed into the vampire from directly overhead, too quickly to be seen. There was a sound of impact, a raspy, dry scream, and the vampire went down hard.

It lay on the ground like a butterfly pinned to a card, arms and legs thrashing uselessly. Its chest and collarbone had been crushed.

By an entire frozen turkey. A twenty-pounder.

The plucked bird must have fallen from an airplane overhead, doubtlessly manipulated by the curse. By the time it got to the ground, the turkey had already reached its terminal velocity, and was still hard as a brick. The drumsticks poked up above the vampire’s crushed chest, their ends wrapped in red tinfoil.

The vampire gasped and writhed a little more.

The timer popped out of the turkey.

Everyone stopped to blink at that for a second. I mean, come on. Impaled by a guided frozen turkey missile. Even by the standards of the quasi-immortal creatures of the night, that ain’t something you see twice.

“For my next trick,” I panted into the startled silence, “anvils.”

And the Call Back (Battlegrounds Spoiler)

Spoiler

My chest convulsed into a sneeze that might have torn some muscles somewhere.

I sent power and image out along with it.

And an anvil, black and funny-shaped and half as long as a freaking car, plunged out of the night air and right onto the back half of Tentacles Guy’s noggin.

The plummeting anvil had to have weighed at least a ton. And while you could whale on a Black Court vampire with a baseball bat all day and inflict nothing more than annoyance, that much weight moving at that rate of speed was an entirely different ball game.

Imagine holding up a fully hung suit and dropping it to the floor.

Now add a spray pattern of ink black, ichorous splatter. Plus a big freaking anvil.

Get the picture?

The Entropy Curse, in Dresden Files, manipulates coincidence in ways similar to the Final Destination movies (e. g. one person killed by it was hit by a car. . . while water-skiing. It went through a guardrail and over the bridge to fall on her)

 

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10 hours ago, alder24 said:

And as far as we know, chromium gives you something like a gut instinct of where to be or what to do, but tells you nothing about why, and what actions you should take (this might be felt by chromium to some extent).

Hey, like Felix Felicis in Harry Potter! (no I know nothing about chromium just that it's like Felix Felicis now)

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Yeah, we've seen various future-sight mechanics in the Cosmere so far and while some are very powerful they all have limits. Even Shardic future sight can be messed up by other future sight users. Also, it's inherently imperfect by nature due to multiple possibilities, as Preservation and Kelsier in SH tell us.

"Fortune" seems to be gut-instinct/intuitive future sight. It's not going to be as powerful as the full Spiritual Realm vision we've seen (Shardic future sight, Kelsier's Preservation-assisted vision, duralumin+atium burn).

Feruchemy is inherently internal. Chromium "Fortune" isn't general probability manipulation. It's "luck" only in the "lucky guess" sense, not the broader sense.

Edited by cometaryorbit
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Meh. It's a concept which can be used well or poorly, and which is the case depends on the writer more than any specific tool. I'll agree that it's a convenient tool for lazy or poor writers to not bother with reasonable plotting but I don't think that Sanderson is such an author. While I do have my concerns about some of the trends in his writing lately, I don't think that we have to worry about inadequate plotting requiring luck/destiny/fortune/whatever being among them. Especially since relying on or fiddling with Fortune has been a serious story element more than once so far. I expect that Fortune will matter quite a bit but will have its huge, story-shaping impacts well before the Cosmere finale sequences.

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