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Bookworm (Worm/Libriomancer)

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by Alex12, Feb 26, 2014.

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  1. While the snips are a bit short, and the flow is slightly off...

    I have to say, this is an awesome idea.
     
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  2. Ghoohg

    Ghoohg Lazy Reaper.

    Question, do Manga count as books for this power? Even if they don't there's still light novels as well as books that pair with or retell games/movies. Maybe grab a shield from one of the Mass Effect books?
     
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  3. Never established in canon.
    In the original novels, it was considered a big thing when an untrained libriomancer started using an e-book reader to work her magic. Something that had previously been theoretically impossible.
     
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  4. So Taylor can't write a quick note to herself and then pull out anything she wants?
    And what about Sophia and Emma? Are they in this story at all? Taylor doesn't seem to be having any problems at school.
     
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  5. Libriomancy accesses the collective power of everybody who has an identical printing of a given book to access the things that are in that book. The more powerful the libriomancer, the fewer copies are necessary, the more powerful the thing you're pulling out, the more power you need total. Gutenberg was so powerful he managed to pull the holy grail out of his initial printing of the bible.

    It's possible to write a book in order to put something you want in circulation, but you'd have to be pretty powerful, or the thing pretty minor, to manage it without becoming a pretty good selling title.

    And, as shown in this fic, there are a lot of things that have been written that pretty much just win. Taylor is absolutely an S-class threat at this point, capable of destroying or conquering entire cities at a time with nothing more than a copy of The Complete Book of Swords, by Fred Saberhagen, to say nothing of all the other books that have been written.

    The Mindsword spun in the dawn's grey light
    and men and demons knelt down before.
    The Mindsword flashed in the midday bright
    Gods joined the dance, and the march to war.
    It spun in the twilight dim as well
    And gods and men marched off to hell.
     
  6. Alex12

    Alex12 SCIENCE!

    Okay, here's the rules of libriomancy as Isaac and Taylor understand them.

    • First off, you can't pull anything from a book that can't fit through the open book. Everything Taylor has was small enough to fit through the book.
    • Second, you can't just make the book bigger. Libriomancy uses the power of collective belief, along with the Law of Similarity, so that all identical copies of the book are, magically speaking, the same book. It then uses that belief to form a template for the magical energy to use. Shooting a book with a growth ray (for example) would break the similarity, and then you could only tap that particular book's power, rather than all copies of it. That said, if you were to get a large number of people reading that book, or printed a whole bunch of massively oversized books and got people to read them, then yes, you could get bigger things from that book.
    • Ebooks don't work. More accurately, they can work for someone powerful enough in the right way, but Isaac's only ever met one person who could do that. Even Gutenberg, who is over five centuries old and invented libriomancy, can't do that. Neither Isaac nor Taylor can.
    • Drawing something from a book uses up some of the collective belief energy in that book. This manifests as what libriomancers call "char." Char is only perceptible to libriomancers, and resembles scorching or burns. Over time, books slowly regenerate from charring, as people read them and refill the belief. This can take decades. Continually emitting something (say a laser blast) from a book causes more char than drawing a single object out and keeping it out, even if it's out for an extended time. Maintaining an object out of a book does not cause char. Returning an object to the book it was drawn from returns some of the energy to that book, reducing char.
    • While it seems like a portal, the only thing that's actually on the other side of the book is magic. The belief provides the template for what is being pulled out. You don't typically have to worry about one of the inhabitants of the book sticking a hand out of the book.
    • The more readers and belief a book has, the easier it is to pull things from it. This is how Taylor was able to get a time turner- Harry Potter has a whole lot of readers and belief. The third and sixth Harry Potter books are still charred to hell. Simple things are also easier, as are things that actually exist. A kind of handgun that actually exists is easier to pull out than a phaser pistol.
    • While things with minds can be drawn from books, this is not a good idea. No book can effectively describe a functioning mind, so anything with a mind that comes through is pretty much shattered. Simpler minds can recover (in Libriomancer canon, Isaac was able to pull a magical spider out, and it was only insane for a while) but more complex minds are invariably insane, and not in a good way.
    • Libriomancy is not perfectly safe. Magic use triggers the sympathetic nervous system, effectively killing your appetite even as it kick-starts your metabolism. Additionally, it has psychological effects. Overuse of libriomancy can and has caused personalities from the book (which, as mentioned above, are insane) to possess the libriomancer, driving them incurably insane. This is a gradual thing, however. You don't go straight from perfectly fine to possessed. In general, though, it's a good idea to stop once you're hearing the voices of the characters, if not before then.
    • Books actually written by libriomancers are more risky than most. The boundary between the magic and the mage is much thinner.
    • Pulling things from books does not necessarily give the libriomancer the ability to use or control what comes out. Books with, for example, uncontrollable zombie plagues or other doomsday viruses are best stayed away from. Furthermore, if you pull something with complicated controls (like the Doctor's sonic screwdriver), that requires special traits that you lack (like Harry Potter's wand), or that's dangerous to the user (like the One Ring, or an armed bomb), those downsides don't go away. In Isaac's home universe, Johannes Gutenberg locked books that had potential doomsday threats, preventing anything from coming through. On Earth Bet, there are no other libriomancers and no locked books. Taylor has to be careful.
    • It's possible to accidentally bring something out of a book if you reach in. If you reach into a zombie book for a gun, it's entirely possible you'll bring some zombie plague back out. If you accidentally get bitten by a vampire species that turns you by biting you, well, now you're a vampire. And, as a magical creature, you no longer have libriomancy.
    • Comic books and other media that are more based on pictures than words don't work. Otherwise Taylor would have pulled a Green Lantern ring from an old comic book.
    • Scrying and other remote viewing devices that don't rely on a physical thing observing whatever is being looked at are "tuned" to their place of origin. A crystal ball would show scenes from the book it was pulled from, for instance. It's possible to change this, but it's difficult and dangerous.
    I think I addressed all the major points (aside from magic/shard interactions, but that'll come later. For now, suffice to say that magic is not shard-based). If there are any questions, feel free to ask.
     
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  7. Grosstoad

    Grosstoad Birdbrain - Dick - Rules-Lawyer - Creeper

    Was the turn-and-drop scene from the first snip taken from Piramids?

    I kinda remembered a very similar scene, brought a smile to my face.
     
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  8. Dimensionist

    Dimensionist Sinner

    Hm. Just started reading Libriomancer.

    Sparkly vampires without any of the common vampiric weaknesses? Really?:wtf:

    I'm amazed he didn't get sued.
     
  9. PostwarGryphon

    PostwarGryphon Traveling Sorcerer

    On the point of becoming a Magic Creature and losing magic, as well as magic in general.

    Is it possible to pull a non-sentient 'core' of magic, that produces it's own magical abilities and power unique to the setting, from a book?
     
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  10. That sounds like it would fall under the same rules as, say, power armour (for the rather small set of power armours you could fit through a book). It's more of a piece of equipment than an innate magical transformation.

    That does make me wonder what this super strength elixir is. If it's permanent but it isn't a fundamental alteration of "humanity" or counts as "non-magical" in its setting, can the loss of libriomancy be sidestepped? Or is her elixir merely drunk in advance?

    Does the intelligence corruption affect machine intelligences? So, no smartguns or devices with high-level automation?

    ...I think I'll go read the book now.
     
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  11. Mochinator

    Mochinator Avid Reader of Fantasy and Historical Fiction

    Hmm, question to Author, but are Brandon Sanderson's Twilight Archives out in this verse ?

    Cus i can totally/want to see Taylor drawing out a Shardblade ( from the scene where Kaladin killed the Shardbearer or the scenes where szeth kills shardbearers) and using it to slice a endbringer, since it's basic shtick is cuts through any non-organic substance with slight or no resistance and cause permanent necrosis in organic substances.
     
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  12. You've got me interested in checking out Libriomancer with this fic. The idea seems like it couldn't work well because copyright would nerf most familiar references or force the author to invent new works with which to crossover with.
     
  13. . So Beleif eh. Huh. So what is to stop Contessa from writing the greatest Book that ever was about a whole bunch of cosmic op shit and proliferating it such that it would become a super best seller across the entire planet.
     
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  14. PostwarGryphon

    PostwarGryphon Traveling Sorcerer

    So yes?
    Hmm that's a good question. If the intelligence was specifically designed or had an ability to recover from insanity would it be able to survive?

    Also on power armour; More often than not power armour comes in parts and components. So theoretically she can pull armours like the Spartan MJOLNIR out of Halo books in parts and then assemble it after?
     
  15. Well, this is kind of not bad in a sorta amusing, stupid crack way. Please do not even attempt to include anything even vaguely approaching seriousness. It will fail.
     
  16.  
  17. Culture gel suit??? Hyperion phase shift suit?
    Wearing them both at once? ha ha ha.
     
  18. Even better, see if it works across dimensions and spend your time spreading it to ALL of the Earths.
     
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  19. Yog

    Yog

    Well, Lensman series should exist. If that's not popular enough... Soviet Union had Noon Universe. It was (and is, really) very popular. I'm relatively sure there were cornucopia machines in those books.
     
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  20. Felidae

    Felidae Sola Scriptura

    Nothing!

    Except for needing to ask the right question.
     
  21. Scenes we'll probably never see.

    Path to raise an army of parahumans. Step ??: Write a book about Cauldron, publish it as fiction.
    "Hey Dad, I've got a quick question."
    "Sure Taylor, what's up?"
    "So, I was trying out that new book with the super serums you found and there's something weird going on."
    "Like what?"
    "Like the difference between pulling gear from the autobiography of Hero, and from the paper on theoretical Tinker gear, but on the side of the autobiography."
    "..."
    "Dad?"
    "I think this is the first evidence of a proper local conspiracy I've seen yet. Let me get some spy books out, we're going to have to go covert."
    "Dad? Stop grinning like that. It's creepy."
     
  22. blackmamuth

    blackmamuth Lazy Lurker

    So, do different language books count as the same book? I Meant, if the english version of Harry Potter can't be used anymore, could she use the german version?
     
  23. They're specifically called Sanguinarius Meyerii, and there is a Bibliography at the back of the book, which was, apparently, enough to cover the author's ass.
     
  24. Felidae

    Felidae Sola Scriptura

    I want to see her use some crazy awesome artifact for a completely mundane purpose. Like, use a Silmaril as a nightlight (or flashlight).
     
  25. Night_stalker

    Night_stalker SB's resident Advocatus Diabolis Super Awesome Happy Fun Time

    Or better, she's using the Necronomicon as a footrest.
     
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