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 Another dumb ass mechanics question: Rock to Mud

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kubera

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PostSubject: Another dumb ass mechanics question: Rock to Mud   Wed Apr 28, 2010 4:19 pm

When cast is the mud just normal garden mud or is it actually a slurry made up of the same Stuff as the original? Is there an exchange of matter or just a change in state.

Would metals, fossils, crystals etc within the rock become mud too? If so, do they return to their original form or become blended and potentially destroyed?

For the reversed casting of the spell mud to rock, how would mud with a considerable amount of organics behave when turned to rock..
simply become really shitty sandstone or would a random table decide on the rock type?

How would you rule this??? opinions.
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Jonathan

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PostSubject: Re: Another dumb ass mechanics question: Rock to Mud   Wed Apr 28, 2010 11:39 pm

I envision Rock to Mud as changing the entire area of effect to mud. To be honest, I never thought about metal within the rock. However, if the metal was in its natural, unexcavated form (i.e. unsmelted), then it too would become mud. Therefore, I see it as a change in state.

When the spell is reversed, then the mud becomes one big piece of rock. I would say that the rock type would be the dominant type found in the area (but if you think I'm going to make geological charts for Greyhawk, you're crazy!). If the spell is dispelled, it would become a like amount of earth, much as if muddy ground had dried up after a heavy rain.

I suppose an area of rock intermixed with a large amount of organics would simply have inclusions that weren't rock when the spell was dispelled. What sort of organic material did you have in mind?
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kubera

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PostSubject: Re: Another dumb ass mechanics question: Rock to Mud   Wed Apr 28, 2010 11:57 pm

There were a couple of things I was was thinking about,,

If high iron or high gold rock is turned to mud and left to dry would you then have the opportunity of extracting the metals without having to grind them up or cook them..

using a magnet to pull out iron, using gravity or centrifugal forces to differenciate the ingredients making up a particular kind of rock, even running the mud through a sluice to find the required dust.

In some cases there are times when native gold, silver. copper are found in rock that can be chipped or pried loose.. do these pure metal intrusions remain?
example of native metals
http://www.zimbio.com/Jewelry/articles/685/Interesting+Facts+About+Copper
http://www.exceptionalminerals.com/DEN2007-8freibergsilver.jpg
basically the same as the nuggets you'd find in a placer gold mine, (the kind you pan for)

If you say its a change of state rather than an exchange of matter then, this would be a novel way to extract ores, provided you find one with something good in it and you can tinker a mechancial or magical way to separate those different materials.

For mud to rock, if the organics remain it would be pointless as youd create crap rock, if however it all actually became rock then you could turn swamp mud to stone.

So there are advantages to both the change of state and exchange of matter interpretations but in both I see another reason why the commercialization of magic should take place.
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kubera

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PostSubject: Re: Another dumb ass mechanics question: Rock to Mud   Thu Apr 29, 2010 3:22 pm

rock to mud could also be used as a way of turning baren rocky terain into usable soil,, if built a nice mountain castle you could then level a section of the peak, make rock into mud, let it dry out,, begin amending the soil with organics and you've got a garden where one should not be.
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Jonathan

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PostSubject: Re: Another dumb ass mechanics question: Rock to Mud   Thu Apr 29, 2010 11:25 pm

If high iron or high gold rock is turned to mud and left to dry would you then have the opportunity of extracting the metals without having to grind them up or cook them..


Nope.

And yes, rock with organic inclusions would be pretty crappy. Remember, dispel magic is being used to stop the spell 'unnaturally'. It's not supposed to have a beneficial effect on the spell.

Although, your second comment about the mountain top would be fine by me.
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kubera

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PostSubject: Re: Another dumb ass mechanics question: Rock to Mud   Fri Apr 30, 2010 11:21 am

Quote :
If high iron or high gold rock is turned to mud and left to dry would you then have the opportunity of extracting the metals without having to grind them up or cook them..

Nope.

Ok, then you've contradicted yourself from your first response and you're now saying its not a change of state within the original rock but an actual change into totally different matter of a different make up. mud = swamp goo instead of liquid rock slurry as you first agreed.

That's is fine but I think the change of state argument is stronger simply looking at the efficient use of energy. The creation of a new type of matter would be less efficient than changing the state of existing matter.

A change of state is actually less balance shifting because if a mage can convert 20 ft cu per level of mud into sandstone then it would follow that a more specific or powerful spell should allow the creation of metal, gems etc. At least with change of state people can only mess with what does really exist rather than make new stuff..


Of course if you really wanted to be a dick, you can just create a wall of iron(evocation), melt it down, make swords(value added production) and sell to someone you expect to war with.. during a battle dispel spells could eliminate their weapons. Even better if you did it with specialty iron parts sold for artillery, bridles, nails holding a boat together it could be devastating, while dispelling a 9th level mage is not a cinch each nail, rivet, or piece of banding in the area of effect would need to save.


It's not that I'm planning to become a magical miner but with respect to my other post about the availability of metals without electrolysis there would have to be Magically aided ways of getting the rarer metals, if they are used. Now why an enterprising mage would not develop a spell that directly extracts the metal from rock, I do not know. Certainly between divination, alchemy and other magical investigations into the nature of the universe all other metals, elements should be know, once known people would strive to purify and utilize. Of course many of these exotics would find no uses since their utility is rooted in electronics and without modern technology many alloys could not be developed.
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SteveL
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PostSubject: Re: Another dumb ass mechanics question: Rock to Mud   Fri Apr 30, 2010 5:58 pm

Excellent question. Even though you asked Jonathan (presumably), I can't resist weighing in.

I would rule that the spell would only operate on rock or stone. Other materials would not be transformed. This assumes gold and other metals are not classed as rock. Changing the resultant mud to rock again would restore it to its original rock type.

P.S. One could cast enlarge and permanency on a diamond or a chunk of gold for a handsome profit.
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kubera

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PostSubject: Re: Another dumb ass mechanics question: Rock to Mud   Fri Apr 30, 2010 6:36 pm

It was a general talking point for anyone to jump in on

Despite what is rational I would expect any DM who knows me to rule against most ideas I have lest I sow chaos (or make too much work for them)

That said I can't help but think about the impact of magic on social, technological and economic activies

As you point out it would appear a magic based world must function at very high levels of fraud.

Selling the horses from a mount spell
enlarging commodites for sale
fools gold
my trick for the iron wall
illusions

As for rock, by the dictionary
Geology.
a.mineral matter of variable composition, consolidated or unconsolidated, assembled in masses or considerable quantities in nature, as by the action of heat or water.


So the metalics would be rock until unbound from the rock, yet a nugget within the rock is not a rock when taken out. sigh!!!

I guess the bigger issue is whether the mud is garden slop or stone slurry,

For long term gain and the health of a kingdom it would make sense that rock to mud would convert all non commercial rock formations into arable land. A piece of stone you cut or mine once, a fertile field can produce indefinately if well managed.

So was the colourless rain actually a matter to ash spell?
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Jonathan

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PostSubject: Re: Another dumb ass mechanics question: Rock to Mud   Fri Apr 30, 2010 11:52 pm

Sorry if I contradicted myself. What I was trying to say was what you got around to-that metals in ore form get turned into mud along with the parent rock.

However, I wouldn't allow them to be filtered out.

If a quantity of rock is turned to mud and then a dispel is cast upon it, I envision it returning to its original form. If the rock was, say, a vein of gold bearing granite, it would become granite again, albeit without the vein of ore, as the majority of the rock would not have been gold.

The PH is actually reasonably clear on this (for a change!) and deals with results of the spell ending naturally and unnaturally.

I would think that anyone caught using 'magic fraud' would face stiff fines-
in Greyhawk, the sentences for fraud can include permanent exile and banishment, hard labour from 1 year to life, and fines (~75% of the victim's true worth).
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SteveL
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PostSubject: Re: Another dumb ass mechanics question: Rock to Mud   Sat May 01, 2010 11:32 am

kubera wrote:
[...] a nugget within the rock is not a rock when taken out. sigh!!! [...]
I don't follow you here. From the definition you provided, a solid (homogenous, more or less) piece of metal (e.g., gold) is not a rock; I'm assuming a nugget is a solid piece of metal. (I interpret your "sigh" as meaning that a nugget would become mud.)

kubera wrote:
[...]

For long term gain and the health of a kingdom it would make sense that rock to mud would convert all non commercial rock formations into arable land. A piece of stone you cut or mine once, a fertile field can produce indefinately if well managed. [...]
Until reversed.
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PostSubject: Re: Another dumb ass mechanics question: Rock to Mud   Sat May 01, 2010 11:41 am

Jonathan wrote:
[...] metals in ore form get turned into mud along with the parent rock.

However, I wouldn't allow them to be filtered out. [...]
Wouldn't there be gold dust mixed into the mud? If not, where did it go? If so, why can't it be obtained, in theory?

Jonathan wrote:
[...] If a quantity of rock is turned to mud and then a dispel is cast upon it, I envision it returning to its original form. If the rock was, say, a vein of gold bearing granite, it would become granite again, albeit without the vein of ore, as the majority of the rock would not have been gold.[...]
Where would the gold go?

Jonathan wrote:
[...] The PH is actually reasonably clear on this [...]
I don't see it. Please provide a quote or a reference.
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PostSubject: Re: Another dumb ass mechanics question: Rock to Mud   Sat May 01, 2010 11:42 am

Another take on magic and its exploitation: wizards don't know or care about mining, and miners know nothing about magic. Thus, magic-as-technology isn't necessarily inevitable--or it might take more time for innovators to make various practical connections (e.g., invention of gunpowder in the Far East).
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PostSubject: Re: Another dumb ass mechanics question: Rock to Mud   Sat May 01, 2010 10:41 pm

PH 2nd Ed., pg 172 "This spell turns natural rock of any sort into an equal volume of mud."

By this statement, I am taking it to mean that it turns any gold into mud as well.

Following on this, if the spell is dispelled, then the rock is reconstituted.

You can accuse me of being arbitrary on this, I don't mind. I just feel that this is the correct way to run this spell.

However, if you were to fill up a 'form' with granite chunks for example, cast rock to mud on them so that they fill up the form, and then cast dispell magic (or mud to rock), then the 'form' would become a solid piece of rock.

Hey Presto! Instant solid rock walls for building!
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