Let’s say you find a cabin out in the woods, or an isolated mansion. Let’s say you find a rare book, something that should not be. Something from another era, evil and unfathomable. The book of the damned, the anti-bible.
You should be able to read it and it’s your fault if reading the book bound in human skin activates super-Lovecraft triplefuck mode.
I mean, if you read the fucking book of unspeakable evil, God bears no contractual obligation to save your sorry self.
It could give you schizophrenia, maybe summon a few shoggoths, mi-go, gozu…
Nameless horrors are all well and good, but the game is pretty clear on the mechanic by which they were summoned: portals ripped open from scientific experiments. An evil book doesn’t fit the atmosphere.
Right, yeah, everything’s scientific, you’re totally right.
And also, did you manage to shove that cursed sword you picked up at the last mysterious temple into a computer terminal for analysis? No?
Did you deduce with scientific logic how a cursed sword got into the bottom of a mysterious temple anyways?
What the hell does “cursed” mean?
Maybe we should consult the scientific method
Artifact items and weapons can also be extradimensional. I’m not questioning the supernatural nature of it, merely the method. Summoning creatures is clearly tied to portals ripped open by the labs, or with extradimensional technology. And really I think the strange temple also goes against the tone, but it’s already an established part of the world. Nevertheless, no need to introduce more tone-breaking items.
I think it just depends on how you think the thing came to be. 1000 years ago, what you and I are doing right now would not only be “magical” but it would be so far outside of the understanding of first-millennium humans that it would be ludicrous to even imagine, yet, here we are.
If you think about “magical” items simply being items advanced beyond the present scope of science then it stops being “magic” and is pretty close to accurate on the whole concept of science in general.
If you’re talking about it in terms of using something that we don’t actually understand, then think about the advanced weaponry in Cata. It’s like because something is shiny and has little flashing lights on it, it stops being illogical and becomes science. And besides that, who are we to try and define the nature of the other dimensions that these portals access? Maybe they’re ruled by sheep overlords who operate their minions from wool-bound books made from pages of human flesh.
But back to reality, I have actually thought about implementing a rare book myself into Cata code that had recipes in it for drinks made of random ingredients that functioned in-game for a reasonable effect. Like boiling a frog corpse with acid and incendiary powder to make a stat-boosting drink. Maybe some sod in a cabin somewhere got bored and decided to try random things, or maybe the owner of a mansion in the woods had the book passed down to him by his great-uncle that was a unorthodox monk. Point is, once practically anything gets to the point of being so advanced that no one can really comprehend it, people have a tendency to label it magic, just because they strongly believe it is impossible and they can’t see it fitting into the already absurdly broad scope of reality.
Weird herbal medicines and odd alchemical recipes should be fine, but actually summoning eldritch creatures or overtly spell-like effects should be right out. Even psychic powers are considered too out-there for this game, and those at least have a veneer of scientific legitimacy.
I don’t like the idea that artifacts are just alien tech.
Magic and shit is fine with me, maybe the thing is a connection to a dimension filled with fire or some super drug or something, but I don’t want to believe that. I still want to think there is some wonder left in the world.
Depend on what “psychic” you are talking about, the movie and popular culture psychic who can instantly melt enemy brain from miles away or levitate cars (X-Men is one example) or the actual psychic with ESP and telepathy or telekinesis. The later which actually have a scientific basis is fine in my opinion, the game already has Clairvoyance artifact. So an artifact which bestow its users Apportation or ESP is not too far-out.
I also want to concur with Straume21’s post, what we call magic can actually have perfect science behind its’ inner working, we just don’t understand it yet.
I’s like to quote Clarke’s third law here: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
It’s not my opinion alone, it’s been something discussed and strictly enforced by the devs. Psychic powers are right out. If those are out, a magic book shouldn’t even be under consideration. And if you’ve got a book bound in human skin that summons demons, scientific legitimacy is right out.
It’s not about being overpowered, it’s about being tonally inappropriate. Psychic powers wouldn’t necessarily be more powerful than bionics or mutations or some artifacts, but the specific reason for not being added was not fitting the tone of the game. Which is the same complaint I have with a magic book.
And I’ve suggested some reasonable compromises, but if nobody was allowed to express conflicting opinions there wouldn’t be much point in having a discussion.