Is the Sun nuclear?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Exactly what it says on the tin. Explanation follows.

Some friends and I were discussing the fastest game-breaking builds we could find. Note that, unlike Pun-Pun, the goal was not to create an arbitrarily powerful character, but a character that could disrupt the plot (within the rules) in a way that permanently destroys the world or forces a retcon.

The best we found so far is a 1st-level wizard somehow getting the cash or otherwise obtaining a scroll of Gate, and connecting the world of the campaign to the Sun. If you can get the scroll in your backstory, then you can do this on the first round. (Quick! Roll initiative versus the plot!)

But that only works if the Sun is the never-ending nuclear apocalypse that it is in our world. So... does anyone know if there is any canon on the nature of stars/suns in Pathfinder?

(In case you're curious, the next cheapest we found involved using two immovable rods and a necklace of adaptation to crash the moon into the earth)


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I don't get how connecting the sun to the world via a Gate spell is relatively plausible, since the spell only works as Plane Shift (which brings you to it), or for calling in outsiders (which brings them to you).

So, unless the Sun is an outsider, there's no way that plan would work.

I'm also curious as to how the Immovable Rods with the Necklace would cause the moon to crash into the earth...


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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
I'm also curious as to how the Immovable Rods with the Necklace would cause the moon to crash into the earth...

You wear the necklace, use the two rods to climb up to the moon (the necklace enables survival in a vacuum), and then...

Try to slowly rob the moon of its momentum? I mean, immovable rods aren't actually immovable, so at best they'd function as very slow brakes...


@Darksol - You are absolutely correct. Gate also doesn't work because it cannot connect two points on the same plane. That's surprising. I should read spell descriptions more often; I've been running Gate incorrectly for years.

@Rajnish - immovable rods are not immovable, but the fastest you can move a 'locked' immovable rod is 10ft./rd. Which cuts out almost all of the moon's momentum, allowing Earth to pull it down.

Though it suddenly occurs to me that you still need food/water for the climb... I guess that's another 4,000 for the ioun stone.

Still only 23,000 gp. Any 7th level character should be able to do it.


*


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SanKeshun wrote:

@Darksol - You are absolutely correct. Gate also doesn't work because it cannot connect two points on the same plane. That's surprising. I should read spell descriptions more often; I've been running Gate incorrectly for years.

@Rajnish - immovable rods are not immovable, but the fastest you can move a 'locked' immovable rod is 10ft./rd. Which cuts out almost all of the moon's momentum, allowing Earth to pull it down.

Though it suddenly occurs to me that you still need food/water for the climb... I guess that's another 4,000 for the ioun stone.

Still only 23,000 gp. Any 7th level character should be able to do it.

The fastest a creature can move the rod is 10 feet/round. The moon isn't a creature. If anything, it likely counts as weight supported by the rod, meaning the rod instantly shuts down as soon as it makes contact with the moon (which definitely weighs more than 8000 pounds).


You also need to worry about temperature. It's cold out there.

Assuming you can climb at say 30'/rd, enjoy your 8-year journey.

Even if we assume the rod becomes truly immovable once you get to the Moon, stopping the Moon (or slowing it down to 10'/rd) would undoubtedly take more force than is required to punch a hole in moonrock. In other works, the rod will sit there and the Moon will keep moving anyway, with the rod punching a small hole in it as it goes.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Also, orbital mechanics show that if you apply a force opposite to the direction of travel, the orbiting object “falls” towards the primary, and speeds up. If I really wanted to be daft I’d consider the force an immovable rod can apply before it stops being so immovable (8,000 lbs), and realise the the moon’s orbit would change by a truly negligible amount.


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Actually, the moon is an environment, so your immovable rods would become immovable relative to the environment that it is in, and would have absolutely no effect on the moon's movement, orbital or rotational.


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By that same rationale, could you stop Golarian's momentum?


SanKeshun wrote:
Though it suddenly occurs to me that you still need food/water for the climb... I guess that's another 4,000 for the ioun stone.

Ring of Sustenance is just 2.5k.

The other problems with the rod plan have all been mentioned already...


About the sun being nuclear, that will depend on the GM. And, of course, there's probably no way for a low level character to have any idea what the sun is made of... or how far away it is. For that matter, the low level character might just think it's something that's being pulled across the sky by a chariot.
In Spelljammer, there were instances where suns had Gates to the elemental plane of fire or the Positive Energy Plane. If you find some way to link the sun to a point on Golarion (or whatever world you use), you mighyt just have a bunch of bright light pour out or a river of fire. Or, you might be instantly incinerated. Only one way to find out for sure.


Ring of Sustenance is superior to the ioun stone. Good cath, @Rajnish.

Cold damage definitely requires another item. Thanks for spotting that, @Fuzzy-Wuzzy. Continuing my chain of slightly-wrong suggestions, I'll mention white dragonhide armor. Immune to cold damage, right? I don't actually know a good way to get this permanently, though I'm sure a magic item somewhere will do it.

As for the immovable rods... yeah. RIP that idea. A short trip to the drawing board tells me that a permanent wall of force will eventually do it (the wall will be destroyed by the moon, but it will reform in 10 minutes, so it will eventually steal enough momentum). The only issue is casting the wall of force at long enough range that it is based on the world's environment, not the moon's. Enlarged Reach [long] Wall of Force is an 8th level spell, so from a scroll can reach 2,000 feet. Out of 1.2612E+09 feet. So making progress.

Anyone know more shenanigans to help? Or is the Majora's Mask style moon-crashing totally infeasible (short of wish/miracle, which are insufficiently creative)?

@Chemlak, if one slows an orbiting body enough to get it in a decaying orbit, won't the two bodies eventually collide, even though the "falling" one will speed up?


Chuck Mount wrote:
... Only one way to find out for sure.

I like your attitude.

Also, thanks for the confirmation on there not being a ruling. Probably because it doesn't come up often. I had not thought of it just being connected to the Elemental/Energy Planes, though.

Also, 1st level characters who are truly dedicated can get some pretty high Knowledge skills. It just requires the bulk of your build to be dedicated to it (and is much easier with other skills).


If you manage to use a wall of force to push on the Moon down gradually (not sure just how that's supposed to work, it can't re-form in the middle of the Moon) so that its orbit decays, it will break up into asteroid-sized chunks considerably before it gets to the planet. Then Golarion will have pretty rings like Saturn! Many of the chunks will collide with Golarion of course, enough to make everybody hate you but not enough to wipe out all life or anything.

More information here.


Firstly, the white dragonhide armour itself is immune to cold damage, you'll need magic to extend that to it's wearer.

As for affecting the moon's momentum, try using recoil of various mechanisms. Even if a gate to (anything that vents to near vacuum) experiences no recoil, you could then point a gate from a significant energy source at the moon to both propel it directly and get an extra kick from ablation. It shreds the far side of the moon, but nobody will tell the difference after it impacts the planet.


SanKeshun wrote:
A short trip to the drawing board tells me that a permanent wall of force will eventually do it (the wall will be destroyed by the moon, but it will reform in 10 minutes, so it will eventually steal enough momentum). The only issue is casting the wall of force at long enough range that it is based on the world's environment, not the moon's. Enlarged Reach [long] Wall of Force is an 8th level spell, so from a scroll can reach 2,000 feet. Out of 1.2612E+09 feet. So making progress.

Nothing about permanency or wall of force indicates it would reform after destruction. Permanency only removes the spell ending based on time - it does nothing to remove the spell ending some other way (in this case, being destroyed).

Even if it was possible to reform, it couldn't. It would now be inside the moon, and a wall of force can't come into being if any part of the surface is broken.


Chuck Mount wrote:
By that same rationale, could you stop Golarian's momentum?

Maybe with enough walls of force that have been made permanent. You'd need a truly ludicrous number of creatures capable of moving around in space, understanding when and where they're supposed to put their walls of force and make them permanent, and capable of casting the necessary spells or with the right SLAs.

You'd also need for the GM to not rule that a planet smacking into it counts as a weapon attack, or you need exponentially more.

That said, you can cut down the number of creatures necessary for the plan slightly by figuring out where Golarion would be in one year's time when it completes its orbit.

Would have some truly cataclysmic effects for the inhabitants of the planet.

Making your own planetoid from scratch and hurling it into Golarion at just the right time and angle and so on might actually be easier and more straightforward of a method for killing everything on or in it or destroying the planet itself.

SanKeshun wrote:
Anyone know more shenanigans to help? Or is the Majora's Mask style moon-crashing totally infeasible (short of wish/miracle, which are insufficiently creative)?

Shenanigans?

Chain-Gating Solars would do it. They even have Permanency as an SLA 3 times a day, so it's just a matter of getting the prep time and arranging for them to gate in enough of themselves and then Miracle up the arbitrarily large number of walls of force necessary.


Hmm, from the Paizo book, The Great Beyond:

Positive Energy Plane, pg 10 wrote:
Likening the plane's environment to that of a star isn't simply an analogy, since permanently open natural portals within the Furnace lead into the interior of every star in the Material Plane, allowing them to radiate life-giving energy onto the surface of every orbiting world.

So, stars are freaking cool in the Pathfinder universe.

EDIT: By the way, the Positive Energy plane is also known as the "Furnance" or "Creation's Forge". That's for your reference for the quote above. Info on the same page.


this is a poorly conceived thought experiment.

DnD 3.0/3.5/Pathfinder rules have an issue with plain old physics and the previously less accurate model, Newtonian physics (which is taught in high schools). Have you read the Technology Guide? Falling damage?

DnD 3.0/3.5/Pathfinder rules do not cover events/interactions involving creatures or objects larger than colossal or smaller than fine.

it becomes, "ask your GM".

Dark Archive

SanKeshun wrote:
@Rajnish - immovable rods are not immovable, but the fastest you can move a 'locked' immovable rod is 10ft./rd. Which cuts out almost all of the moon's momentum, allowing Earth to pull it down.

If an immovable rod could stop the moon, it would also stop the earth/golarion in it's orbit around the sun. It appears to 'stop' relative to the movement of the body it's on, since it doesn't shoot off into space (or plunge into the planet's core and out the other side) at the velocities;

A) the planet is rotating on it's axis (~1000 MPH),
B) the planet is orbiting around it's sun (~67,000 MPH),
C) the speed which our solar system is spinning around the galactic core (~514,000 MPH),
D) the speed which our galaxy is shooting through space (I can't even, numbers vary, but it's like 0.2 the speed of light)
whenever it 'stops.'

If it was instead placed in the orbital path of the moon, and the moon slammed into it, I suspect that the amount of damage the moon would do to it would destroy it (and there'd probably be an immovable rod-shaped hole a few meters deep in the ground of the moon). Somebody standing on the moon likely wouldn't even notice, unless it happened right next to them, even if the immovable rod was made of adamantine and tougher than normal.


the game doesn't cover how much damage a meteor or planetoid (much less a planet) does when it hits a small object, but one assumes it would overcome the hardness and hit points of a magic item. 8^0


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OK, since some here seem to actually be taking this seriously, (and maybe want to be the ultimate game disrupter?) the Rods, Walls, Force Spheres or whatever clever bits you come up with are all dependent on the dominant environment they are in, period. Otherwise a clever caster would say "I am creating this wall using the [moon, sun, any other environment that could arguably be affecting it, tides, sunlight, etc being things] as its referent point," and sending a manifestation of whatever through anything in its way at thousands of miles an hour. Since I flat wouldn't allow it I don't have to even imagine the difficulty of computing the force vectors involved. Just knowing what exact direction it is going to go involve more environmental data than I want to have to know.

It is a clever and silly idea, but would require rather an idiot-savant of a GM to both allow it and be able to work out the actual effect. To actually believe that your character can do it with the designed-to-be-non-world-breaking spells and magic items is not actually very clever at all.

Now, in a TOON game.....


I don't think anyone except My Life Is In Ruins has indicated that they took this seriously. It's a community thought experiment.


To go with the idea though...

Natural portals do exist (such as portals between the positive energy plane and the hearts of stars).

Decanters of Endless Water appear to be item-anchored controllable natural portals to the plane of water. Creating such natural portals thus seems to be within the realm of mortal creation.... (Darn, lost my thought train on this.)

My derail is... Certain spells such as control gravity do seem to actually change the local referent, possibly using the Plane of Earth. Could a Mystic Theurge "combine spell" a gravity spell with a creation spell to get the posited kind of effect?


@Daw You're absolutely correct that anyone trying to actually pull this in a game should immediately be met with "Lol no," or possibly, "I'm curious how you solved the 'blood boiling out of your veins' problem." But it is entertaining to explore the boundaries of the (technically) not impossible.

Following your thought train, researching a custom spell is definitely a strong play. It sounds like you're considering a spell to artificially create gravity? That's definitely something that is allowed in the rules. I can think of a couple of ways to phrase it that don't sound like "let me arbitrarily bash planetary bodies together", but they all revolve around whether or not the moon can be treated as an object.

Can we treat the environment as an object? (all of it, not just individual bits; even mountains are too small).

Also, didn't the aboleths basically do this in Golarion lore? So it is canonically possible if you have access to the terrible rabbit hole of Plot Magic, at least.


Yes, the PLOTLINE is the most powerful magic. Breaking the fourth wall, having the writers on your side....


Daw wrote:
Yes, the PLOTLINE is the most powerful magic. Breaking the fourth wall, having the writers on your side....

<Attempts to cast shatter on the fourth wall. Proceeds to use dominate person on the GM>


SanKeshun wrote:
Daw wrote:
Yes, the PLOTLINE is the most powerful magic. Breaking the fourth wall, having the writers on your side....
<Attempts to cast shatter on the fourth wall. Proceeds to use dominate person on the GM>

You're better off with Summon Pizza[i] or [i]Conjure Takeout, generally.


MMMMMMM Pizza, bye bye Cheliax.

Scarab Sages

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

I don't get how connecting the sun to the world via a Gate spell is relatively plausible, since the spell only works as Plane Shift (which brings you to it), or for calling in outsiders (which brings them to you).

So, unless the Sun is an outsider, there's no way that plan would work.

I'm also curious as to how the Immovable Rods with the Necklace would cause the moon to crash into the earth...

I think that might work with a willing GM, the gate spell states...

The gate itself is a circular hoop or disk from 5 to 20 feet in diameter (caster’s choice) oriented in the direction you desire when it comes into existence (typically vertical and facing you). It is a two-dimensional window looking into the plane you specified when casting the spell, and anyone or anything that moves through is shunted instantly to the other side.

A gate has a front and a back. Creatures moving through the gate from the front are transported to the other plane; creatures moving through it from the back are not.

Planar Travel: As a mode of planar travel, a gate spell functions much like a plane shift spell, except that the gate opens precisely at the point you desire (a creation effect). Deities and other beings who rule a planar realm can prevent a gate

So you actually create a hole between one plane and another (whether it would from a planet to its sun is the main issue as they're on the same plane and that's expressly forbidden. Maybe you can open one to the hottest part of the plane of fire or something similar, Demi-Plane of sun's?). After which anyone or ANYTHING passing through from the front (Wonder if the back of the gate is the exit from the other plane or if you come out the front either way it specifies they're 2 way) arrives at the destination they see on the other side. At least as per the spells description if you could open it to the sun then all the solar plasma or whatever is there would come pouring through. Also useful in putting out large fires by opening a plane to the inner plane of water.

Plane shift only relates to it in the sense beings are moving from one plane to another albeit to a specific destination and in greater numbers. At least as I read it, oh and you can use it as a vacuum cleaner on extraplanar beings as well.


contact the planet breaker and have them cleave the planet in half


With respect to the idea of casting a Wall of Force using Golarion/Earth's frame of reference, if you could somehow pull it off (super-long range and all that), it would actually do the opposite of what you are talking about (although still extremely slowly), since both Golarion and Earth rotate much faster than their moons go around them.


My Life Is In Ruins wrote:
this is a poorly conceived thought experiment.

I guess that confused some people...

... but this is a fun place - so carry on...

Scarab Sages

My preferred way of handling Gate is to have the portal not allow passage to effects related to environmental movement(running water, wind and things of that nature). Nor to allow differences in pressure to be meaningful. This prevents a lot of hijinks as well as expanding what the spell can do. For instance, if water flowed through then making a Gate to the plane of water would be a very bad idea.


Quote:
The fastest a creature can move the rod is 10 feet/round. The moon isn't a creature. If anything, it likely counts as weight supported by the rod, meaning the rod instantly shuts down as soon as it makes contact with the moon (which definitely weighs more than 8000 pounds).

What would more likely happen is that the moon continues on its merry way under the impetus of inexorable momentum, while the small rock that the rod has been stuck in tears loose and is left behind. Even if the "small rock" is an entire mountain ripped off.


I think every time I jump from one planet to the next with my effectively infinite strength (Really if you have a 4 digit number you should be able to pull it off) The resulting force probably pushes the planet of kilter (if not destroying it) so if you really want to mess up the moon just give me a holler and some sort of offering.

I'm not cheap.


Slim Jim wrote:
Quote:
The fastest a creature can move the rod is 10 feet/round. The moon isn't a creature. If anything, it likely counts as weight supported by the rod, meaning the rod instantly shuts down as soon as it makes contact with the moon (which definitely weighs more than 8000 pounds).
What would more likely happen is that the moon continues on its merry way under the impetus of inexorable momentum, while the small rock that the rod has been stuck in tears loose and is left behind. Even if the "small rock" is an entire mountain ripped off.

The rod wouldn't be put on the moon itself. That would do nothing at all, just like activating the rod on the planet doesn't do anything to the planet. Instead, I believe the intention was to put the rod at a point in space (so it isn't activated on the moon, and isn't "attached" to it) then let the moon come to it.

That is the only way this could potentially work. And even that doesn't actually work.


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Using a talisman of the sphere, bring a sphere of annihilation to the Moon. Sweep it back and forth, back and forth, until you have "erased" the entire Moon. (NB: Achieve immortality first, this will take a while.) Golarion's oceans will now be all messed up, in that there won't be any lunar tides, which will wreak havoc with both the economy and the ecology in many subtle ways. BWA HA HA!

Shoot for the Moon!


To answer the question in the thread title:
The sun is a mass of incandescent gas.
A gigantic nuclear furnace.
Where hydrogen is built into helium
at a temperature of millions of degrees.


Jeraa wrote:
Slim Jim wrote:
Quote:
The fastest a creature can move the rod is 10 feet/round. The moon isn't a creature. If anything, it likely counts as weight supported by the rod, meaning the rod instantly shuts down as soon as it makes contact with the moon (which definitely weighs more than 8000 pounds).
What would more likely happen is that the moon continues on its merry way under the impetus of inexorable momentum, while the small rock that the rod has been stuck in tears loose and is left behind. Even if the "small rock" is an entire mountain ripped off.

The rod wouldn't be put on the moon itself. That would do nothing at all, just like activating the rod on the planet doesn't do anything to the planet. Instead, I believe the intention was to put the rod at a point in space (so it isn't activated on the moon, and isn't "attached" to it) then let the moon come to it.

That is the only way this could potentially work. And even that doesn't actually work.

So if you activate it on Golarion, it's immobile relative to Golarion. On the moon, the same.

If you do it in space, what is it immobile relative to?

(I hope those Rods don't exist in Starfinder.)

Scarab Sages

i would think the rod would be immobile relative to whatever is the strongest gravitational force. So as you climb up, you are still hovering over the same spot over Golarion. But once you get high enough it will transition to being immobile relative to the moon. Then you being just climbing "down" to the moon.

After all, if you teleport to the moon, or one of the other planets, then use the rod, you'd expect it to be immobile relative to the planet you are standing on, you wouldn't expect to get suddenly whipped off/through the planet because the rod is only immobile relative to far-off Golarion.


Berti Blackfoot wrote:

i would think the rod would be immobile relative to whatever is the strongest gravitational force. So as you climb up, you are still hovering over the same spot over Golarion. But once you get high enough it will transition to being immobile relative to the moon. Then you being just climbing "down" to the moon.

After all, if you teleport to the moon, or one of the other planets, then use the rod, you'd expect it to be immobile relative to the planet you are standing on, you wouldn't expect to get suddenly whipped off/through the planet because the rod is only immobile relative to far-off Golarion.

So at some point it could transition to "relative to the sun"?

Edit: But no, even if you just transitioned from being fixed relative to Golarion to being fixed relative to the moon, if you were doing the two rod climbing trick, there wouldn't be a smooth transition. At some point, you'd put the rod up, push the button and it would streak off away from you.

There's no middle space where "immobile relative to Golarion" and "immobile relative to the Moon" are the same.


SanKeshun wrote:

@Darksol - You are absolutely correct. Gate also doesn't work because it cannot connect two points on the same plane. That's surprising. I should read spell descriptions more often; I've been running Gate incorrectly for years.

@Rajnish - immovable rods are not immovable, but the fastest you can move a 'locked' immovable rod is 10ft./rd. Which cuts out almost all of the moon's momentum, allowing Earth to pull it down.

Though it suddenly occurs to me that you still need food/water for the climb... I guess that's another 4,000 for the ioun stone.

Still only 23,000 gp. Any 7th level character should be able to do it.

Immovable rods are only immovable relative to their current position on the nearest planetary body.

Otherwise they would be pulled off-world at thousands of miles/second as the rotation of the planet, orbit of the planet around the sun, orbit of the sun about the galactic core, etc. left the rod behind.

Using the rods in space would probably still have this effect.

Scarab Sages

thejeff wrote:


There's no middle space where "immobile relative to Golarion" and "immobile relative to the Moon" are the same.

there are Earth-Moon LaGrange points, so if you can get to one, you could just stay there. BUT, I think you'd have to get to the point when the moon is directly overhead, as it's just a point, not a circle around the planet. So you couldn't climb to that point and "wait" for the moon, you'd have to wait below it and climb up as the moon approaches. The few feet of between the two rods should not be an appreciable difference. Even if you miss the timing and are too high, the moon will approach close enough where you switch between climbing "up" and climbing "sideeways" in front of the moon. At even then you are so weightless you might not even notice it.


Berti Blackfoot wrote:
thejeff wrote:


There's no middle space where "immobile relative to Golarion" and "immobile relative to the Moon" are the same.

there are Earth-Moon LaGrange points, so if you can get to one, you could just stay there. BUT, I think you'd have to get to the point when the moon is directly overhead, as it's just a point, not a circle around the planet. So you couldn't climb to that point and "wait" for the moon, you'd have to wait below it and climb up as the moon approaches. The few feet of between the two rods should not be an appreciable difference. Even if you miss the timing and are too high, the moon will approach close enough where you switch between climbing "up" and climbing "sideeways" in front of the moon. At even then you are so weightless you might not even notice it.

Gravity balances, so you could wait there, but the relative motions aren't the same. The rods will be tuned to either the planet or the moon and the transition will be brutal.

Or I'm misunderstanding the physics, which is always possible.


thejeff wrote:
Berti Blackfoot wrote:

i would think the rod would be immobile relative to whatever is the strongest gravitational force. So as you climb up, you are still hovering over the same spot over Golarion. But once you get high enough it will transition to being immobile relative to the moon. Then you being just climbing "down" to the moon.

After all, if you teleport to the moon, or one of the other planets, then use the rod, you'd expect it to be immobile relative to the planet you are standing on, you wouldn't expect to get suddenly whipped off/through the planet because the rod is only immobile relative to far-off Golarion.

So at some point it could transition to "relative to the sun"?

Edit: But no, even if you just transitioned from being fixed relative to Golarion to being fixed relative to the moon, if you were doing the two rod climbing trick, there wouldn't be a smooth transition. At some point, you'd put the rod up, push the button and it would streak off away from you.

There's no middle space where "immobile relative to Golarion" and "immobile relative to the Moon" are the same.

It would be pretty funny if the rod's creator actually keyed them specifically to Golarion... Maybe because conjuration was a forbidden school for him?


any way to use stone to flesh to completely wreck the planet by turning all the stone into a big mass of flesh?


Lady-J wrote:
any way to use stone to flesh to completely wreck the planet by turning all the stone into a big mass of flesh?

You would need to cut the stone into targetable amounts, but you could

  • Literally set the world on fire
  • Let it rot, and the environmental effects would be disastrous
  • Change the density, in turn changing the gravity

If you could access the planetary core, you could also transmute it to wood and destroy the magnetic field protecting everybody from solar wind.


What it says on the Cover wrote:

The sun is a mass of incandescent gas.

A gigantic nuclear furnace.
Where hydrogen is built into helium
at a temperature of millions of degrees.

Well, no.

The sun is a miasma of incandescent plasma. The sun's not simply made out of gas. No, no, no. The sun is a quagmire; it's not made of fire. Forget what you've been told in the past.

Plasma: electrons are free. Plasma: fourth state of matter--not gas, not liquid, not solid.

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