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Illusions and principles - thoughts

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This is my personal view on illusions and how they should work within MD.

Basic - MP4 - The most simplistic definition of an illusion I can think of: implementing the unreal within the real. Four principles should be at the base of this ability:

[log="1. Element"]There are many ways in which one can classify the consequence of every action or every personality. If we were to separate the world in basic elements, we could say that there are four fundamental elements: Earth, Water, Fire and Wind. Every identity of an action (since actions do have their own identity), of an object or of a person can be seen as being made of these fundamental elements. Pure combinations of these elements may sometimes be considered themselves basic elements and are often compared to Metal, Wood etc. Pure forms of the fundamental elements are so rare that they may be considered purely theoretical. The more pure and clear quantity of an element a thing has, the more it can be considered stronger from all aspects. The pure form of this kind of element is reached when all the forms of a thing may be interpreted through the notions of that element. Each element has unlimited options and may cover, under a form or another, the characteristics of the other elements, but this happens only at very high levels. When an element covers the features of another elements, at very high levels, for instance, metaphorically speaking “when fire runs like water, or when earth burns like fire”, a harmony and a perfect integration of these elements’ interaction may appear and one can speak about a fifth element, which represents more of a theoretical, temporary state of nature, since the fifth element is the pure form, in perfect harmony, of the combined other fundamental elements and is associated with the Spirit. When speaking about humans, these can be classified according to these elements as various combinations, every human being composed in certain proportions of these elements. The composing elements can be noticed in the behaviour and way of thinking, the way they understand things and, last but not least, the physical aspect. It may be said that each human has its “colour” – shade which is visible if you know how to look for it. Some, but very few, are almost entirely made out of one element – these are very strong, since through the purity of their composing element, they are able to reach superior states of spirits and then sometimes take the shape of any other element. The power of these type of humans is also given by the coherence and the energetic stability generated by the use of only one element in their actions. Elements are only a simpler form of understanding and classifying the various types of energetic and behavioural patterns, comparing them with elements from the real world, but they can be mastered in order to control things in the same manner they can be understood.[/log]
Without a proper understanding of the elements, and illusion can't have order. Without order, it's impossible to build.

A broad understanding of the Element principle gives the illusionist access to an infinite number of possibilities as to what it can manipulate. While the elements are few, their combinations are limitless, and they represent everything around us. A better understanding of this principle can make one perceive air as solid matter, water as fire, one of the elements as all of the rest put together and so on. Simply put, visions.

[log="2. Imagination"]Imagination is the arena in which anything can happen. When the conscious and even the physical abilities can hinder the accomplishment of some things, imagination indulges everything to happen. There is a very sensitive threshold between reality and imagination. Imagination can be both an aid and a trap, it must be used moderately and at all times in correlation with reality. Many techniques can only be accomplished inside our imagination and – at many times – the absence of a real proof of their effect makes us believe that the only realm where they took place was the imaginary. Imagination must be used wisely and not as a result of the frustration given by the inability to perceive some things or the effects of some techniques. For example, imagination has a very important role in the process of creation and in reaching the awareness of the complex personalities by combining a couple of thoughts into one coherent thought, but this is where it's role stops, the wielding and any other intervention over the identity created in imagination are made in reality, not in the imaginary, actually feeling those things. The hardest thing is to distinguish between reality and fantasy when the things involved are not things that people are normally educated to perceive. Only confidence and sincere belief can hold on to the right path the one oscillating between fantasy and reality. With the help of a superior self-control, imagination can be used consciously to perceive those things we are not normally meant to perceive, complex things, things that are even hard to imagine to some. This is when the phenomena of conscious dreams combined with reality occur. Imagination can be an enormous advantage and an extraordinary source of information to whomever does not fall into its trap. People are used to perceiving as imagination only the controlled phenomena of imagination, when they want to live something and they can not and they imagine it, but imagination stretches to a much wider, mostly unconscious area. The human body has an extraordinary ability to automatically apply what is imagined in the real world, a such fascinating ability that we can talk of imagination as of a temporary place only used to ensemble thoughts, not a place in which to keep them captive. Auto-suggestion, which can have significant authentic effects is an example. Imagining certain things must be made with care as what many times seems as only the imagining of things is actually the real action. This can vary from person to person, but there are people who can provoke with only their imagination real and many times, uncontrolled effects.[/log]
Being an unreal (physical or mental) means to an effect, illusions first need to be created within our minds. Higher imagination levels result in more complex illusions. Having the basis and means with which to create an illusion, the creator alone is able to perceive it, so let's move on to implementation.

[log="3. Transposition"]An identity can be associated with every object, action or living creature. The more we get to know of an object’s nature, the clearer its identity becomes. For completely understanding an identity or a mark, we must not take into account time and we must combine all the stages of that object’s existence into one continuous thought. For instance, an action can be condensed to a simple identity, understanding the beginning, the course and the end of that action as a whole. A human can be defined through an identity understanding his existence from his birth until present times and not judging him in a certain situation. Two identical or close identities will behave as if they belonged to the same source, no matter the physical distance that separates them. By reproducing the aforementioned identity in a place, that identity will be connected to all its similar identities. This phenomenon is also to be noticed when a mother feels that her child is in trouble, and also in some rituals like voodoo, when a mere doll has direct influence upon a real character. The ability to identify and understand these identities is not sufficient; it is also necessary for these to be able to be transposed into various forms, the force of their reproduction resulting in the power of the connection that is created between these identities. This thing can be done with the help of a connection to the initial identity, like hair (or other) for humans. In complex situations, when the identity of an action or of an intangible thing is reproduced, the phenomenon is only mental. Understood and recomposed at a very high level, this identity represents itself the existence of the initial object in this world, therefore, for instance, acknowledging the mark-identity of a geographical spot may produce teleportation phenomena or even the materialization of distant objects; reproducing the identity of a feeling may produce telepathy phenomena, or even mental control upon other beings. At a more refined level of perceiving these identities, whole series of events can be acknowledge as a single complex thought, a uniform and clear one that is able to foresee future actions, or by reproducing the identity of an action the mentioned actions may be reproduced, for instance modifying the evolution of a battle and changing the luck as it is said. Remarkable phenomena occur when complex identities are reproduced and impregnated into less complex objects, like the mark of a victory (a very complex thought) reproduced upon the blade-identity of a sword, or the identity of a complex technique, let’s say invisibility, reproduced into a coat or cloak. Depending on the force and skill that created these things with hybrid identities, these can range in classification from talismans and objects with symbolical proprieties to really magic objects.[/log]
Speaks for itself. If you want to be able to summon the unreal within the real, this is what you use. However, we are trying to entangle 2 opposite concepts. While this principle will provide control over the illusion itself, it has no power over the effect of the illusion. "Real" and "unreal" are the opposite concepts I'm referring to, and the outcome of the illusion relies on which of the 2 concepts will have more influence in the equation, which is where the 4th principle comes in - an aid for the 3rd one.

[log="4. Cyclicity"]Each event could either take part having a certain shape, having its own cycle, repeating itself after time, or could either be part of another superior event that has its own cycle. Events like daily routine, or the changing of the seasons, or the shifting of the planet's Poles, or even the world itself are all cyclic events. Symbolic, all events occur on the shape of a circle, two opposites intertwining, just like a snake, biting it's own tail. The cycles actually represent a Balance either between the consumption of energy and its (re)generation, either between different evolutionary steps. In the Principle hierarchy, this Principle reigns over others, but is also inferior to some, making it very difficult to precisely reveal its importance. It exists in absolutely in every event that could have an opposite, for its role is that of creating and maintaining the Balance. Due to its repetitive nature, it can cover very long periods of time, or can even part from existence, due to the fact that the Principle can apply to that too, for even existence has an opposite, even if it is abstract and hard to understand. The Principle takes many shapes. For example, a simple thing like cutting a thing in equal halves, and then halving those, and so on to infinity, even if it doesn't look like it, applies to this Principle. Also, the perpetuation of a species, through never-ending cycles of deaths and births, or even in the evolution of science, that at one point causes it's own downfall are cycles of the same Principle. In a battle, the Principle occurs when defence follows the attack, or when a series of attacks are released in order to weaken the adversary. Many forms of consumption or energy reloading can happen in only one cycle. But if one action(cycle) is modified in such a way in which it could cover more cycles, the result would be colossal in energy.[/log]
So, Cyclicity creates and maintains balance. Without balance, there are 2 scenarios:
- "Real" has more influence, in which case the illusion will most likely fail;
- "Unreal" has more influence, in which case the illusion may become too powerful to control. This is dangerous, as it can lead to the illusionist being tricked by its own game. Worst case scenario, the illusion is so powerful that it becomes permanent, and the initiator manages to forever alter the perception of anyone, possibly even its own.

Transposition requires the aid of Cyclicity in order to level the ground between the 2 opposite concepts. The more one understands Cyclicity, the longer it will be able to sustain the illusion while not falling under its influence.

All of this represents the basic means to perform and maintain an illusion. By basic, I mean MP4. By basic, I also mean that the only thing the illusionist can alter at this point, temporarily, is present thought, nothing more.

In game application: None, at this point. Strictly role play.

Beginner - MP5 - As one grows in mind power, it can add flavor to its tricks.

[log=Balance]The principle of balance does not refer only to good and evil. It generally stands for all things opposite and applies both to individual situations and other inferior Principles. Balance can NOT be broken, but it can be bent to one side or another, thus modifying the entire nature of the situation or the objects involved. For example, water puts out fire and fire evaporates water; this balance is never broken, but it can be altered, by giving more influence to one of the sides. The balance should be fully understood in order for one to be aware one is controlling it. Each situation, object or action is formed by parts, that have opposites. Most things are not pure by birth, thus they don't have a well shaped opposite. But the criteria the things are built upon, do have well known opposites. The first step consists of understanding the criteria in order to find their opposites. It is difficult to use the Balance in one's favour, and it usually it becomes an art of chance and presumption. The most helpful thing that could be obtained through understanding the opposite is to fully understand the initial criteria. An opposite reveals a lot about the original's nature and ways of how to protect or destroy it.[/log]
A very tricky principle to apply. The initiator can use this principle to tip the scales between "real" and "unreal" in favor of one or the other, allowing a better manipulation of the means, thus a more probable success rate to inflict the desired effect.

In game application: Targets can be driven mad, temporarily. Simple notions such as left or right may become unclear if the transition between real and unreal is applied often enough. Can target different aspects.

- one tries to reach the Gates of Marind Bell from the Gazebo, but apparently ends up at the Tranquil Planes instead
- an attempt to heal one creature is finalized in the apparent healing of a different one
- creating a ritual becomes an apparent mess; one may think they're adding a tree to the ritual, but that tree would appear as something else (from the player's pool of creatures) in the ritual
- etc.
(edited: Jan 10th, 10:04 ST)

[log=Enthropy]The Principle of Enthropy has complex origins and effects that are easy to understand and notice. This Principle has its origin in the Cycles of the Universe and represents a phase of the Cycle, the other being its symmetric Principle, the Principle of Syntropy. It is a subordinate to the Principle of Time, thus it applies to the phenomenons that occur in the past. According to this Principle, all organized forms or matter or information request more energy than those less organized. Thus all things tend to lose their order and their initial energy, unless they are constantly fuelled by energy. Warm things will get cold, objects deteriorate, life ends, and everything else is damaged by this Principle. A window breaks and transforms into an un-organized form of matter, but broken shards will never turn into a window if not fuelled by energy(work, time etc.). this Principle applies to everything from common physics to abstract matters like the evolution of a business, that turns into failure if it doesn't receive investments of energy, money etc. The entire Universe stretches its borders into infinity, and the energy within it dilutes, like dye in water, influencing every occurring event. The influences of this Principle do not have limits, an object can be eroded in time or disintegrated in seconds. Just like the origins of this phenomenon, if the entire process of energy consumption is controlled, the effects of Enthropy can be accelerated or decelerated. At more advanced levels, awareness of the facts that energy is diluted or randomly spent will exist. This will lead to techniques of unavoidable constant destruction or manipulating the speed with which Enthropy acts, thus increasing the longevity of a system of any nature.[/log]
An illusionist who understands Enthropy will know that the life span of an illusion can be increased proportionately with the amount of energy that it's fuelled with, but at the same time its effect will be proportionately weaker the more it lasts, eventually fading away completely.

In game application: If it's the 5th principle in the equation, none.

[log=Darkness]Darkness refers to a restriction of perception but also to an unmeasured source of possibilities. Darkness cancels the forms and opens other senses less used. Darkness must not be mistaken with the void or with the evil forces, darkness is taken into account here only at a principle level. A clear difference has to be made between the darkness obtained through the lack of light and the darkness as a principle. The darkness as a principle may be used for hiding information of any kind, varying from effects like invisibility to imposed oblivion or the controlled limitation of the senses. Through its feature of canceling forms, darkness may be used for changing existing forms or for creating new ones, or even in more advanced control forms, in order to create unreal information such as illusions, false sensations, misinformation, etc. Some formless entities may use darkness for appearing. The principle of darkness can be used no matter the light, the period of the day, etc. Darkness represents an extreme in some forms, being a source of freedom but also a source of restriction. The special features but also the effects of darkness require a distinct degree of self-control; otherwise darkness can be highly risky. Other principles can use darkness – imagination, for instance, which might take advantage of those canceling or creating forms features of darkness in order to connect with reality. Invocations may also take advantage of this feature. Darkness is a temporary state, extremely unstable, but which tends to become stable and amplify its features in combinations with other principles such as time and not only.[/log]
Essentially, the illusionist can alter perception - change something into something else. With the aid of Darkness, it will be able to pull the curtain, so to speak. Something can now be perceived as nothing.

In game application: Invisibility.

- can hide items (or certain aspects of them, such as descriptions)
- can hide self or other players (or their stats)
- can hide creatures (or their stats) of self or others
--- target can't add a creature to a ritual because they can no longer see it
--- if creature vitality is hidden, the ritual appears to have randomized, due to apparent lack of sufficient VE in ritual
--- the creature can still be used by being added in random rituals, however it can't be seen in a fight log
--- creature's effects in battle are not affected = confusing fight log
(edited: Jan 10th, 10:04 ST)

[log=Light]Light, as a symbol and not as a physic phenomenon, is energy, progress, even life. The Principle of Light stretches itself on a very wide spectrum, from creation and materialization to the unveil of information, exorcism, battle techniques, etc. Like the Principle of Darkness and moreover as well as all the other principles by their definition, the Principle of Light does not have a wholesome nature itself, the difference is made by the various techniques that use the Principle. The evil or good nature of the influence is given by the technique that is used or, better said, by the one using it. For example a lightning can be both used to do good and evil, or exorcism, even though the term is understood as the estrangement of evil forces, can also be used successfully on forces that are aligned to good. As well as the Principle of Darkness, the Principle of Light can conceal information and create others, still using fundamentally opposed methods. The principle of light can modify or even temporary nullify the principle of balance, but only for short periods of time, thus helping with the accomplishment of the protection, healing and even temporary invincibility techniques. All those things that are revealed, brought to life or put in movement by using an outer energy are somehow framed in this principle. The lack of the temporal aspect of an event is one of the differences between the principle of light and the principle of Syntropy, otherwise a very similar principle. From the point of view of regeneration and creation this Principle is the basis of the techniques that add rather than consume pure energy for this purpose, like the ones related to the non-living. From the point of view of the destructive force, unlike the Principle of Syntropy, the Principle of Light gives birth to those techniques which destroy trough the contribution of energy and not by its consume, just like the burning and purification techniques.[/log]
While the first four mentioned principles create the illusion, understanding Light can have 2 effects.
- If it is imbued into the illusion, it will allow it to inflict direct physical effects, by giving it the power to create.
- If it is used in the process of creating the illusion, it can give it actual physical form, for as long as the effect can be maintained. This formula can not be used to create nothing though, so the result can not be undone - with one exception.

In game application: Apply direct temporary physical effects. Give life to an illusion.

- temporarily alter target player or creature (stats, appearance...)
- create temporary items, creatures, players which can physically affect surrounding players (added "temporary" due to "permanent" being overpowered)
(edited: Jan 10th, 10:04 ST)

[log=Syntropy]The Principle of Syntropy is the symmetric principle of the Principle of Entropy. In the actual faze of the cyclicity of the universe, this principle is extremely rare and hard to notice. Unlike the Principle of Entropy, whose forces rule over those phenomena originating in the past, the Principle of Syntropy is the basis of those events that originate in the future, events that depend on an yet untouched superior force of organization and energy. The two symmetric principles can coexist. The best example of syntropy is life itself, at least to some extent. The motivation of the human kind to accomplish their purposes is also ruled by this principle. The conscious control of this principle can be made both directly - even though this is extremely difficult and even impossible for those entities that are dedicated to destruction – and indirectly with the help of some auxiliary energies. The Principle of Syntropy is the basis of clear-sightedness, prediction, intuition, healing, growth, some regeneration forms and some forms of annulment of destruction based on energy consumption.[/log]
This one I won't go into. Being a principle based on the future, I see no possible plausible implementation which can correctly predict an effect of an illusion along with any possible actions which may or may not follow it. It's a guessing game.

In game application: None.

[log=Time]Time can only be perceived by structures that find themselves in superior planes of existence from the observed plane. Time is given by the difference in complexity between two elements. A very important thing to understand is that a range of actions is temporally perceived as long as it cannot be perceived as a single thought, a single identity. An artist understands the temporally aspect of realizing a piece of art, while a simple onlooker perceives only the static form of the final product, without its temporally form, considering the piece of art as being immortal. If a molecule had conscience, it wouldn’t be aware of the temporally existence of its role in the organism it belongs to, in a similar manner that life on Earth, seen from a superior scale, is perceived at the level of species evolution and not at the individual level. These observations that are rather philosophical in nature are hard to be actually understood as long as one does not try to understand the existence itself as a thing that does not know what time is. Time control can be accomplished by juggling with the way in which actions are perceived and understood. For instance, by perceiving the way from one place to another not as a string of actions but as an independent thing one can understand movement without the notion of time. When a string of actions (no matter how complex) is understood through a continuous thought, any composing piece of action can be accessed and perceived, therefore the past, present and future can be perceived and controlled from the perspective of a superior existence/identity that oversees them.[/log]
Understanding Time can grant the illusionist control over the speed at which someone's perception can be altered. Thus, the illusion can appear to have happened instantly, or over a long period of time, depending on the caster's understanding of it. This principle also allows the caster to meddle with its target actual perception of time.

In game application: Meddling with the regeneration timer, but not with its effects. (edited: Jan 10th, 09:26 ST)

- make targets' regeneration timer reset from instantly to once every X hours, without affecting the actual physical effects of the timer
(edited: Jan 10th, 10:04 ST)

Note: All effects above are clearly gained with reaching a better understanding of their respective principles, and not gained all at once.

Adept - MP6 - More principles obviously give more powerful effects

1. Enthropy combined with any other principle allows the caster to maintain the effect of the illusion as long as it feeds it with heat, at the cost of illusion potency. This potency is calculated by chance of success per affected action, which diminishes proportionately with the heat invested until it becomes null.

2. Balance and ... (added: Jan 10th, 10:55 ST)

2.1. Darkness: Target's actions can now be hidden from himself
- healing a creature, using items, casting spells, yields no apparent result - the actions happens, but the target can't perceive it
- moving to a different scene appears not to happen - target is stuck where it wanted to go, while appearing to have not moved - movement arrows are locked

2.2. Light: Effects of Balance are no longer apparent
- attempting to reach a place and ending up in a different one is now real
- healing other creatures instead of intended ones is now real
- creating rituals becomes a real mess; different creatures, possibly not even in the target's possession, end up in the desired rituals

2.3. Time: Target's actions appear to have been delayed
- one tries to reach Berserker's Way in order to avoid being attacked, but appears to stand still for a period of time - movement arrows aren't locked, but will send the player in random adjacent locations every time they are clicked
- healing a creature appears to have happened already, or to be delayed for a period of time - if they keep healing the creature, they keep reducing their action points
- fight logs or effects (gained wins/losses, heat...) are hidden for a period of time - frustrating
- said period of time is set by the 2 principles

3. Darkness and ... (added: Jan 10th, 11:42 ST)

3.1. Light: Nothing can now be effectively created, temporarily
- items, creatures (or their stats), players (or their stats) can be turned to nothing, for as long as the effect lasts
- this is how an illusion turned real by Light can be destroyed before it vanishes on its own

3.2. Time: Past and near future actions of a target can be hidden, as well as perception of time itself
- targets' past or near future chat lines, footprints, attacks etc. are temporarily hidden
- regeneration timer is no longer visible

4. Light and Time: Targets' past and future can be temporarily altered (added: Jan 10th, 11:42 ST)
- effects of Light gain a delay, if so desired
- meddling with target's regeneration timer also affects its actual physical effects

I'll update this section with combinations of principles for MP6, as soon as I get the time to properly write them down. I might add more examples as they come to mind.

Master - MP7 - Again, more principles obviously give more powerful effects

I'll update this section with combinations of principles for MP7, as soon as I get the time to properly write them down.

(added: Jan 10th, 11:42 ST)

P.S.: I announced I would be doing this quite a while ago... my apologies for taking this long. Holidays messed my head, and I actually forgot... latest comments on illusions reminded me that I was doing this.

Edit: these are thoughts, nothing more, therefore can not be considered spoilers as there is no confirmation on whether they work this way or not. As stated at the beginning, this represents my opinion, through my understanding of the principles.

Edited by Myth
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I would just like to add (And give a congratz to Myth, as this took time, effort, and is definitely worth reading) that one can not gain more principles at MP7 (Unless planned for accordingly and not finished MP5s storyline, which requires knowledge that one will gain MP7) So the limit here I think would be 5.

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Foiled! But... perhaps some day... :D

Myths open Mind and unjudging Soul have gained him Permanent Sponsorship.

From this day forth, any quest created by myth that deals with Understanding shall be rewarded medium-heavily.

Quests of the Mind are harder to Master.

Let's see who rises to the call of a Myth, one that can't be seen or heard.

I can't help but wonder who'll come out on top.
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