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Intent


Elsecaller_17.5

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I’ve been wondering about where the Intent rule applies and where it doesn’t and I just can’t figure it out.  Obviously it does when creating hemalurgic spikes, that’s the classic example. But Kaladin and other Knights Radiant start to use there powers instinctively, so no Intent.  The big thing I’m looking at and can’t figure out is Spook getting his spike. For those that don’t recall a dude stabbed him through another dude and the tip of the sword broke off. I know the guy was being influenced by Ruin, but all the lines seem very fuzzy (pun intended).

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55 minutes ago, Truthwatcher_17.5 said:

But Kaladin and other Knights Radiant start to use there powers instinctively, so no Intent.

Kaladin is trying unconsciously when his powers first develop.  He is trying to run a little faster and I assume he wants to avoid being hit by arrows.  His powers activate in such a way that it fulfills the desire.

 

56 minutes ago, Truthwatcher_17.5 said:

he big thing I’m looking at and can’t figure out is Spook getting his spike

Ruin was supplying the necessary intent their by influencing the thug.  Depending on how spiked the thug was Ruin could have been using him like an automaton or even just nudging the thug's unconscious mind so that things worked out the way Ruin wanted them to.

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The Intent rule applies to pretty much every magic system.

From what I can tell, these components exist in every magic system:

  1. A power source
  2. A way to access the system - a switch of sorts
  3. A way to shape or focus the power

Intent allows you to turn the switch on and off at will. Depending on the system, Intent can also influence Point no. 3.

Take Allomancy for example.

  1. The Power Source: Preservation's power, directly coming from the spiritual.
  2. The Access Switch: The right spiritual "genes" which allow you to burn metal
  3. The Focus: The resonance of the metal's molecular structure (this is also what Seeking makes you hear)

Let's take a look at Elantrian AonDor:

  1. The Power Source: The Dor
  2. The Access Switch: The Shaod
  3. The Focus: The Aon equation or program drawn

Intent allows you to start drawing Aons in the air at will - it's not just the finger movements, but there also needs to be an intention to draw an Aon that makes an Aon actually appear.

Knight Radiant Surgebinding is a little weird, right? It's almost as if there is another Cognitive entity coming into play there. If we were to break it down into that format, then this is the best I can do:

  1. The Power Source: Stormlight
  2. The Access Switch: The Nahel bond, and the Spren you are bonded to
  3. The Focus: Intent allows you to shape the effect of your Surge, and the Surge manipulates the actual forces for you

Except Point no. 2 is a fully living cognitive entity capable of thought and intent, too. In fact, the spren are practically cognitive personifications of their own Surges. And the bond connects the two beings together - it's almost as if the Knight Radiant can subconsciously access the instinctive capabilities of their Spren via the Nahel Bond.

Either way, I wouldn't look at Surgebinding's oddities as something general - Adonalsium's influence is directly at play there + the complete dependence on another sapient being (and one that has no parallel in real life) makes significantly more complicated.

Relevant WoB:

Quote

mooglefrooglian

If metals shape the Investiture in Allomancy, causing a Steelpush or whatever, how is it that the mists can be used to perform the same feat? What is 'shaping' the inhaled mists into a Steelpush, if there's no metal "nozzle" to do so?

Brandon Sanderson

Consistently through the cosmere, once you have the power in hand and it has permeated you, will becomes your nozzle. This can be seen in Warbreaker, where the power has been distributed and inhabits the people. The nozzle idea is important for Magics that are drawing power externally, as it keeps the power from overwhelming and destroying you. (Which, basically, happened to Vin at the end of the Trilogy--she got consumed by the magic. She became something new, now, so it didn't KILL her. It destroyed what she was, transformed her into something else.)

So you see magics like on Sel and Scadrial where a specific nozzle is needed--as the power source is external, at least with Allomancy. Will and intent take a backseat, though still pop up on occasion. On Nalthis (and in a lesser way, Roshar) will and intent are more important, and what you are trying to do shapes the magic more directly.

A little direct manifestation in this is found in the subtle differences between Allomancy and Feruchemy. In Allomancy, when you enhance the senses, you just get a blast of power--and all senses are enhanced, whether you want them all or not. In Feruchemy, you can be more precise, and pick a specific sense to store. The power is internal here, and therefore more limited in how much you can draw--but you can also be more precise with its manipulation.

Note that Roshar Surgebinding is a special case, as the magical symbiosis there is stronger than it is on other worlds, as much of the magic involves bits of power who have become sapient.

uchoo786

How much crossover is there in use? Like if one "breathes" in the mists they can use it to power their allomancy. Could an Allomancer utilize stormlight to power his allomancy as well?

Brandon Sanderson

Most of the magics can be hacked together in one way or another, but some are easier to interchange than others.

/r/books AMA 2015 (May 25, 2015)

 

Edited by TheFoxQR
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8 hours ago, Karger said:

Kaladin is trying unconsciously when his powers first develop.  He is trying to run a little faster and I assume he wants to avoid being hit by arrows.  His powers activate in such a way that it fulfills the desire.

Yeah, Allomancy can be used 'instinctively' too - Vin burns traces of pewter from drinking cups without understanding what she's doing - and it's probably similar. She didn't know the power itself, but she intended to endure/survive/etc, and that was probably enough intent for a relatively 'instinctive' magic like Allomancy to work. (The Ars Arcanum in the era 2 Mistborn books talks about how Allomancy is more instinctive than things like AonDor.)

Surgebinding might be the same way, or it might be intent from the spren as TheFoxQR says, or a bit of both.

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1 hour ago, cometaryorbit said:

Yeah, Allomancy can be used 'instinctively' too - Vin burns traces of pewter from drinking cups without understanding what she's doing - and it's probably similar. She didn't know the power itself, but she intended to endure/survive/etc, and that was probably enough intent for a relatively 'instinctive' magic like Allomancy to work. (The Ars Arcanum in the era 2 Mistborn books talks about how Allomancy is more instinctive than things like AonDor.).

Relevant WoB:

Quote

Moogle

Compounding requires practice, according to The Hero of Age's annotations. And yet, it's apparently as easy as burning a metalmind. What was going on that meant the Inquisitors couldn't figure out how to do it (despite Ruin likely knowing how and undoubtedly wanting them to learn) for over a year? What skill did they need to practice doing, exactly?

And what happened while they were practicing burning metalminds without successfully Compounding? Did they get an Allomantic effect?

Brandon Sanderson

What I think I was getting at in the annotations was a cosmere magic rule that, perhaps, I hadn't completely refined yet. This is the idea that INTENTION is vitally important to the workings of most cosmere magics.

You can learn to burn metals instinctively over time, but it does take time--time for your body to figure out what it's doing. If you have instruction and guidance, you can pick it up in an evening, like Vin did. Same goes for most of the magics. This ties into Awakening, with the idea that you have to form a command.

During Warbreakerwas where I really refined this aspect of the magic. Logically, since the beginning of the cosmere, I've wanted all three Realms to be important to the way the magics worked. The "Practice" therefore for compounding is mental practice--a barrier to overcome in understanding what is happening, and what it will do to you.

If you already know all of these things by having it explained to you, that barrier is far less high. I think that was what I was talking about in the Annotations, without really having the idea specified yet--though I'd have to look back at the annotation and re-read it to say for certain.

Worldbuilders AMA (Dec. 3, 2015)
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Intent can be subconscious. It's already been covered with the arrows and reverse lashing... But think of the first time that Kaladin had a power pointed out to him. He sticks a pouch to the side of a barrel instinctively. 

At the time he was trying to set it down thought he'd placed it on top, and wanted it to stay and not fall... So it dlstayed and didn't fall. 

Subconscious/instinctive uses of the power are still intent based. Many times its just a case of wanting to do something and so you do... Even if your not quite sure what you did. 

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