# Kinetic Weight Lifting, a Math and Balance Problem

### Rules Discussion

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But we can't say one way or the other about the way that things work. The only information about the way the laws of the physical world work are to use the rules in the corebook.

But even if the weave exists, it would still violate the law of phyics that states that you can neither create nor destroy matter. With magic, it's pretty clear that you can create matter. Hence, different physics.

Here's another example for you: where does someone's mass go when they shrink (ala reduce person), and how do you know if you get the same matter back or not when the spell ends?

and we haven't even covered the fact that a 0 level spell lets you ignore gravity on an object. reverse gravity can make a smaller object have more gravitational pull than a large one.

Even drawing energy from another location, you would still have to follow the rules of physics with what you can do with it. Meaning that if this energy was bleeding (or more likely gushing, given the sheer amount of spellcasting that happens on a given day in Golarion), it would be more powerful than gravity, which is one of the fundamental forces of our universe.

Just because something is similar to something else, it doesn't make it that thing.

Vrog Skyreaver wrote:

But we can't say one way or the other about the way that things work. The only information about the way the laws of the physical world work are to use the rules in the corebook.

Within the rules, we have shown that things fall at the same rate as in real life (so gravity is essentially equivalent) and water has the same density as in real life (so water has the same mass per unit volume). Inches, feet, etc are all the same as real life as shown by the fact that humans' heights in this game (as per the rules, still) are in inches and feet and are similar to humans in real life, so it follows then volume is equivalent too. Meaning that the mass of water is equivalent between Pathfinder and real life. Given that things weigh pounds in this game (a unit of force, not mass), and humans (definitely in the rules, mind you) have a listed weight in pounds similar to the weight of humans in real life, then force functions equivalently. And given that Force = mass * acceleration (Weight = mass * gravity) in real life, then for our water problem that involves these terms, and the fact that all of these terms are equivalent between Pathfinder and real life, then it follows that force equations (and the Newtonian physics that are derived from them) are also equivalent. QED.

By Pathfinder rules, using only listed values and rules in the books, we have enough equivalencies to create everything needed to prove equivalency for Newtonian physics (which is what this whole thread uses) between the Pathfinder universe and ours.

Vrog Skyreaver wrote:
But even if the weave exists, it would still violate the law of phyics that states that you can neither create nor destroy matter. With magic, it's pretty clear that you can create matter. Hence, different physics.

There’s this thing called mass-energy equivalency. It states that where there’s mass, there is an equivalent amount of energy (and vice versa) as described by the equation E=mc^2. You may have heard of it.

Vrog Skyreaver wrote:
and we haven't even covered the fact that a 0 level spell lets you ignore gravity on an object. reverse gravity can make a smaller object have more gravitational pull than a large one.

The effect of gravity is related to two objects’ mass. And we’ve already shown above that we can alter mass. Alternatively, it’s just as possible that spells like mage hand and reverse gravity subject a force on the target (or targets in the area) equivalent to that needed to counteract gravity.

Selsenay wrote:

Within the rules, we have shown that things fall at the same rate as in real life

actually, in the pathfinder world, all objects fall at the same rate [500'/6 seconds], regardless of weight. That's a fairly large (pardon the pun) different between real world physics and Golarion physics.

let me put it a different way:
Pick any of newton's laws, the 4 fundamental forces, so on. You can probably find at least one example of a spell or magical power that ignores or violates one or more of those laws.

Vrog Skyreaver wrote:
Selsenay wrote:

Within the rules, we have shown that things fall at the same rate as in real life

actually, in the pathfinder world, all objects fall at the same rate [500'/6 seconds], regardless of weight. That's a fairly large (pardon the pun) different between real world physics and Golarion physics.

let me put it a different way:
Pick any of newton's laws, the 4 fundamental forces, so on. You can probably find at least one example of a spell or magical power that ignores or violates one or more of those laws.

Pathfinder assumes a terminal velocity for falling objects, which is actually a really really common assumption to use to make the math easier for objects falling a far distance. Pathfinder basically assumes that objects reach terminal velocity after 6 seconds. It doesn't mean that Pathfinder doesn't obey real world physics, it means that the devs didn't want you to have to do the hugely complex calculations it takes to determine the acceleration, drag force, and eventually terminal velocity of a given falling thing at each point in the initiative.

Have you ever stopped to consider that perhaps the Pathfinder books aren't supposed to be full textbooks filled with all of the science and knowledge of the world and that sometimes we have to look outside of the rules for answers to strange questions that might come up once in a while like what to do when a PC drops 50000 tons of water on something? If you need a rulebook or a dev to /explicitly/ tell you that F=ma is a law that still holds true in this universe, you're probably playing a little /too/ by the book.

Unless anyone has anything new to add to the conversation, I think this thread is done. Going back and forth between "Physics doesn't exist!" and "Yeah it does!" is not adding to the quality of this playtest. The problems with the ability have been noted; our work here is far past done.

The problem is people wanting to use real world science in fantasyland and expecting for the devs to make rules for it beyond what we already have.

We know that PF does not follow all of Earth's physics laws based on common sense, but if that is not enough certain creatures can only get to a certain size before they collaspe under their own weight in real life, but not so in Pathfinder.

A highly amusing scientific debate (reminds me of conversations regarding a certain hammer of unknown mass) but regardless... even if the only rules in play need be the ones explicitly stated, if the tower I want to assault is not air tight I can simply drown every living being inside that can't breath water. It isn't hard to say that if I can move the water at a thousand feet or more across during my turn that I can move the outside of the body of water inwards, preventing any swimming creature from ever reaching the edge.
Beyond that, a more important question. Let's switch from water to Air. I'm proposing 3 steps of airspeed manipulation within a radius. (Starting at one step at low levels and rising as you become more powerful)
Would 3 steps of air manipulation on the wind speed chart be an unreasonable expectation for something costing a move or a standard action at mid to high levels (14ish+)? What about a swift action if you took a talent to get it down that fast? What about at lower levels (10+)? What about spending a burn to keep it going without spending more actions for a little while? And lastly, what kind of radius would feel appropriate?

Shiroi wrote:

Now, I'm going to begin with a few numbers.

50 tons is... 4 cruise ship anchors, or 6 elephants, or 10 hippos, or a little over a third of a blue whale. A bottle jack for cars that I saw on casual glance just finding these numbers, was rated for 30 tons. That's 3 cubes of granite, or a couple of elephants.

It takes about 240 gallons to make a ton. So 12,000 gallons is close to 50 tons. There are 935ish gallons in a five foot cube. So 5-6 cubes of water is 50 tons, loose numbers.

One 5 foot cube (5x5x5) of granite would weigh about 10.5 tons, on average. So a little less than 5 cubes is 50 tons.

Fire weighs practically nothing. Air weighs practically nothing, but every time you double it's speed you QUADRUPLE the force it pushes with.

So, right now, the Aether Kineticist can move 100 lbs per level. That's 1 ton, and only one object if he isn't using many throw as an attack. The Geo can move a single 5 foot cube, the Hydro can manage a whopping 128 cubes (someone check my math) and the air can control weather but I'm not seeing a specific "make a steady wind or move cloud effect cubes" kind of ability, while fire can move 20 cubes.

Are you telling me the Kineticist can't move my truck, the Geo can move 5 times that, the Hydro can bench over a thousand tons, the Aero can start a tornado going but can't make a decent breeze, and fire can't even cook meatloaf unless he wants to blow up the campsite?

I feel like we can do better here. Both in functional, in game balance, and in approximate cohesion with reality and fluff. Earth should be the heavy bencher. Tele should manage decent weight with multiple objects. Water should be able, ideally in a few trips to the lake, to put out the town fire, but not crush a castle under the weight of like 7 blue whales dropping from the sky. Fire needs to be able to start and stop fires, and wind needs some kind of speed/level/area math to give us a functional power other than hurricane forces.

Anybody want to help with that?

You are applying realistic physics to a game where dragons can actually get airborne and wizards can conjure giant metal walls out of nowhere. You should not do this.

Kelsey Arwen MacAilbert wrote:
You are applying realistic physics to a game where dragons can actually get airborne and wizards can conjure giant metal walls out of nowhere. You should not do this.

To a certain degree I understand where you're coming from. Realism can reduce enjoyment and such... but even just for balance issues this feels incorrect and could be improved.

Selsenay wrote:

You don't even need to be level 20. At level 10 you get 1600 cubes of water. That's more than enough to do pretty much anything short of destroy an entire city in one action.

Just for calibration, when the Rhine is running at near its peak flow, it puts twice as much water as that into Rotterdam every second.

It's enough water to seriously dampen an area of a city block or two and do some typical mild-flood damage over that area, or do severe, concentrated damage to a handful of structures, but not even worth mentioning in the same breath as an entire city.

It would be, for example, enough water to cover Nahant (population 3400, and the smallest town by area in my home state of Massachusetts) in about 1/140 of an inch of water.

I am considering the possibility that any of the elemental based Kinetecists can handle an equal volume, not an equal weight (or should be able to), because their power is based on altering the nature of the area to reflect the nature of the elemental planes...vast areas of pure but living elements that you do not so much manipulate as herd.

Seems that the rules ought to take into account which way you are moving something, and with what kind of containment. I don't have the kineticist rules in front of me, but being able to start a current within a body of water that is (ignoring waves) for all practical purposes level does not imply being able to lift the same amount vertically and keep it contained (even as a blob sitting on a surface, never mind a levitating blob), which takes a lot more energy and effort spent in containment. (And for a given height, Raise/Lower Water should be somewhere in between a nearly level current and making a blob of water that you can move around on a surface away from the rest of the water, since you can play around with manipulation of the surrounding water.) D&D 3.5/Pathfinder rules do cover SOME instances of vertical movement being different from horizontal movement (as in the instance of creatures climbing or flying), but such examples are pretty spotty.

A balanced Kineticist class should not be letting you rival Magneto, even at 20th Level. Magneto is definitely Mythic, probably at least Mythic Rank 11.

Kelsey Arwen MacAilbert wrote:
Shiroi wrote:

Now, I'm going to begin with a few numbers.

50 tons is... 4 cruise ship anchors, or 6 elephants, or 10 hippos, or a little over a third of a blue whale. A bottle jack for cars that I saw on casual glance just finding these numbers, was rated for 30 tons. That's 3 cubes of granite, or a couple of elephants.

It takes about 240 gallons to make a ton. So 12,000 gallons is close to 50 tons. There are 935ish gallons in a five foot cube. So 5-6 cubes of water is 50 tons, loose numbers.

One 5 foot cube (5x5x5) of granite would weigh about 10.5 tons, on average. So a little less than 5 cubes is 50 tons.

Fire weighs practically nothing. Air weighs practically nothing, but every time you double it's speed you QUADRUPLE the force it pushes with.

So, right now, the Aether Kineticist can move 100 lbs per level. That's 1 ton, and only one object if he isn't using many throw as an attack. The Geo can move a single 5 foot cube, the Hydro can manage a whopping 128 cubes (someone check my math) and the air can control weather but I'm not seeing a specific "make a steady wind or move cloud effect cubes" kind of ability, while fire can move 20 cubes.

Are you telling me the Kineticist can't move my truck, the Geo can move 5 times that, the Hydro can bench over a thousand tons, the Aero can start a tornado going but can't make a decent breeze, and fire can't even cook meatloaf unless he wants to blow up the campsite?

I feel like we can do better here. Both in functional, in game balance, and in approximate cohesion with reality and fluff. Earth should be the heavy bencher. Tele should manage decent weight with multiple objects. Water should be able, ideally in a few trips to the lake, to put out the town fire, but not crush a castle under the weight of like 7 blue whales dropping from the sky. Fire needs to be able to start and stop fires, and wind needs some kind of speed/level/area math to give us a functional power other than hurricane forces.

Anybody want to help with that?

You are...

But ... But ... One fantastic thing exists or is true therefore all logic must simply go hang!!!

"But dragons exist therefore ..."

Sigh.

One of the best ways to keep track of fantasy physics is to look into other well established fiction.

In Star Wars, Telekinesis could be used to move something that weighted several tons slowly. Lighter objects could be used to attack or for dexterous movements.

In Carrie, Telekinesis could move metal structures or even stop a car from moving. However attacks were made with lighter objects.

Invisible woman, Jean Grey, and other comic book characters follow the same pattern.

Based on these settings, it's reasonable to assume that a Telekineticist should be able to lift around 3-4 ton (6k - 8k pounds) at mid levels (7th -11th). This force should not be restricted to just picking up, but to pushing and pulling in greater scales through effort (Starkiller pushing slowly a cruiser).

Regarding elements, the scale should go one step higher, as a simple cubic meter of water (about a 3 feet sided cube) weights a ton (~2k pounds). The volume limit as it is now for the hydrokineticist is well rounded with other fiction, and the huge volume moved cannot be used to attack directly. I think, however, that a fatigue mechanic could be used to prevent maximum carrying from being used all the time. Going there should be a poorly coordinated feat that requires a great deal of concentration and energy. While in most fictions you can see telekinesis moving very heavy objects, it cannot be done indefinitely without pause or rest.

I would keep water in this scale, and increase the other elements, making a richer mechanic that contemplates fatigue, capacity/maneuverability, effort, effective strength and other issues that will surely appear at gameplay.

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