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/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#51 Copy

mooglefrooglian

If metals shape the Investiture in Allomancy, causing a Steelpush or whatever, how is it that the mists can be used to perform the same feat? What is 'shaping' the inhaled mists into a Steelpush, if there's no metal "nozzle" to do so?

Brandon Sanderson

Consistently through the cosmere, once you have the power in hand and it has permeated you, will becomes your nozzle. This can be seen in Warbreaker, where the power has been distributed and inhabits the people. The nozzle idea is important for Magics that are drawing power externally, as it keeps the power from overwhelming and destroying you. (Which, basically, happened to Vin at the end of the Trilogy--she got consumed by the magic. She became something new, now, so it didn't KILL her. It destroyed what she was, transformed her into something else.)

So you see magics like on Sel and Scadrial where a specific nozzle is needed--as the power source is external, at least with Allomancy. Will and intent take a backseat, though still pop up on occasion. On Nalthis (and in a lesser way, Roshar) will and intent are more important, and what you are trying to do shapes the magic more directly.

A little direct manifestation in this is found in the subtle differences between Allomancy and Feruchemy. In Allomancy, when you enhance the senses, you just get a blast of power--and all senses are enhanced, whether you want them all or not. In Feruchemy, you can be more precise, and pick a specific sense to store. The power is internal here, and therefore more limited in how much you can draw--but you can also be more precise with its manipulation.

Note that Roshar Surgebinding is a special case, as the magical symbiosis there is stronger than it is on other worlds, as much of the magic involves bits of power who have become sapient.

uchoo786

How much crossover is there in use? Like if one "breathes" in the mists they can use it to power their allomancy. Could an Allomancer utilize stormlight to power his allomancy as well?

Brandon Sanderson

Most of the magics can be hacked together in one way or another, but some are easier to interchange than others.

Arcanum Unbounded Seattle signing ()
#52 Copy

Questioner

Is there one magic system that is, like, the one that would win all the battles?

Brandon Sanderson

So, the thing is, they have their strengths and weaknesses. All of the surgebinders are really hard to kill while they have access to Stormlight and that's a huge advantage. But a mistborn is way more versatile, they have access to more powers, and things like that. So it really depends how much of each do you have, how many times does the mistborn have to kill the Bondsmith; a Bondsmith's not going to do a great job in a fight because...I mean Dalinar would coz he's Dalinar, but the powers do not lend themselves to combat in the same way that windrunning does, and things like that, so...

General Reddit 2019 ()
#53 Copy

DaddyMcLongLegs

Is the footwear for Plate a version of sabatons? Meaning, is it a form fitting armor over a boot? I ask because I was wondering how an Edgedancer would use Abrasion on the Shardplate they were wearing?

Brandon Sanderson

Shardplate as it is used by Shardbearers in the modern era of Roshar would interfere with Edgedancers moving like they do. (Yes, it does fit around the boot entirely.)

Tel Aviv Signing ()
#54 Copy

Questioner

How come on Sel and Scadrial the people get their powers like in a rush either overnight or by snapping, while on Roshar it's very slow and subtle.

Brandon Sanderson

On Roshar there is another participant involved, since you're making a bond with a spren, and that has a big effect on it. You also have some very odd things happening on Sel that are causing a lot of oddity in the way that the magic works. I would call it mostly just a flavor of the different styles of magic and what's going on, but the way that flavor works involves the spren and involves how the Dor is on Sel.

Words of Radiance Houston signing ()
#55 Copy

Questioner (paraphrased)

If a non-Windrunner picked up Jezrien's Honorblade would they gain Windrunner powers as well?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yes.

Questioner (paraphrased)

If a Windrunner picked up that blade, would their abilities be enhanced?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

There would be some compounding but strength is not as much an issue with Surgebinding as is the strength of the spren bond and how much Stormlight you are using.

Firefight Chicago signing ()
#56 Copy

Questioner

I noticed in a lot of your cosmere books, like for example Elantris or Mistborn, they have something to do with some sort of subject matter or school or something. For example the Steelpush and Ironpulling in Mistborn is based on physics.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

If you push too hard it's based on...

Brandon Sanderson

Vector physics, yes.

Questioner

And then like Warbreaker is just like math, adding Breaths together. Did you intend that?

Brandon Sanderson

Not necessarily. I read a lot and I like science and I like philosophy and I like and things like this. And those spark most of my ideas. So yes in a term but I'm not like "Let's do this subject".

I would say Warbreaker, the big part of Warbreaker is the idea of sympathetic magic. Which is the idea that like affects like, which is a very common type of magic throughout all cultures on the planet, on our planet. When people believe in magic they believe in sympathetic magic. A voodoo doll is sympathetic magic. And that's where the idea came from.

Questioner

So in Elantris, which is different and then--

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah that's basically fantasy programming, is where that one came from.

Questioner

And then there is The Stormlight Archive, which basically violates all the laws of physics by just saying everything comes from spren.

Brandon Sanderson

Well no they still have arguments on that, are spren attracted to these things or do they cause them.

Questioner

Yeah that's kind of weird...

Brandon Sanderson

Stormlight Archive was based on the fundamental forces, if you want go read on physics google fundamental forces.

Skyward San Francisco signing ()
#57 Copy

Questioner

I had a question about [steel] Ferrings. So, I saw that you had mentioned in a previous talk that you could only move so fast with air resistance, like eventually you'd start burning up. If you were to become an Edgedancer as well?

Brandon Sanderson

If you can combine those two powers, Edgedancing and [steel] Ferring, then you are able to do things that would circumvent that restriction. Yes, indeed.

Worldbuilders AMA ()
#59 Copy

Bat_Mannington

If a Windrunner lashed Wax upwards, could he dump all of his weight into his metalminds and be unaffected or would the lashing affect his clothes and whatever else he had on him too?

Brandon Sanderson

Wax could mitigate the effect (unless he was in a vacuum) but not eliminate it completely.

faragorn

Vacuum or freefall?

It can be easy to confuse them in the context of surface to orbit.

Brandon Sanderson

I was talking about a Vacuum, but it's good to clarify. What I'm saying is that without wind resistance, his mass doesn't matter--and the books have established that what Wax does is a freakish transformation of his mass, not just his weight.

Kaladin changes how much gravity pulls on someone, and in what direction. Wax (basically, it's more complex than this) changes how much mass he has. The two, then, have some very distinctive effects.

Firefight San Francisco signing ()
#60 Copy

KiManiak

Do some Surges have a stronger cognitive aspect--or cognitive influence, if aspect is too general--do some have a stronger cognitive aspect than others? For instance does Illumination tend to have more of a stronger cognitive--

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah you could say that some do. I think that that is a legitimate-- Though I'd say it is the subject of debate.

Firefight Chicago signing ()
#64 Copy

Questioner

You have like tons of spren, right? And the the ones like rotspren, and you have your characters and some point will be able to harness those spren and be completely evil with them?

Brandon Sanderson

And be completely evil with them? *pause* There are-- There is an order of Knights Radiant that has to do with the breaking down of matter into smaller pieces.

Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
#67 Copy

LoneWarmonger

If you take Bondsmith Honorblade, will you be able repeat Dalinar's Perpendicularity trick, or it is something special only Dalinar can do for a different reason?

When Dalinar repairs temple does he use Bondsmith power or...something else? If first, which Surge does he use?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO!

LoneWarmonger

I expected to get RAFO...But is Oathbringer a Bondsmith book or Skybreaker book? I know it was supposed to be Szeth/Skybreaker, but changed to Dalinar/Bondsmith. And still we learnt more about Skybreakers than Dalinar and his strange abilities. Will book 5 have more of Dalinar?

Brandon Sanderson

Books 5 will have a lot of Dalinar. Once it is out, you'll be able to see why it could have been a Bondsmith book--but I think it's better this way, with Book 3 being the Bondsmith book.

LoneWarmonger

Thank you, Mr Sanderson, I'm pleased with the choice, but I guess, I just wanted to learn more about Dalinar's powers in his book, he's my favorite character. Even after HIS book, his abilities are a mystery. But I'm exited to hear I'll get more in the future. Please, don't keep Dalinar on the background, he's the best.

Brandon Sanderson

Note that book four may see less of him, as he steps back a little (like each of the characters will for a book or two here and there) but book five has him as a focus again.

Words of Radiance Omaha signing ()
#68 Copy

Questioner

Can you tell me anything about Tension or Cohesion?

Brandon Sanderson

I haven't truly written these magics in yet, so they might change as I actually write the scenes. But they are... Tension is the ability to take something flexible and make it rigid. Which you think sounds simple, but there are so many cool things you could do with that.

Stormlight Three Update #5 ()
#69 Copy

BlackEyedInterloper

So, I've been wondering for a while, which does Surgebinding classify as? Surgebinders don't use their own native investiture to power magic so I suppose that's the case for being classified end-positive, but they do have to go get some investiture and once they use it it's gone and they have to go get more, so that almost seems end-negative. Thanks in advance for any answer even if it's a quick RAFO!

Brandon Sanderson

The more picky scholars would argue it is end neutral, because the power must be in the system before the Magic can initiate. But others would admit that the spheres are a delaying response for an end-positive system. You're looking too much past the mark with your read. Look at the work done as part of what is in the system. Investiture is not leaving the system in surgebinding, it is doing work, creating potential energy in most cases.

General Reddit 2018 ()
#71 Copy

shinarit?

There is that scene where Kaladin takes a sharp turn at high speeds and he almost blacks out. That is normal for jet pilots, since they experience high G forces when their airplane tries to accelerate them by their backs and bottoms.

But Lashing doesn't work that way, it generates fake gravity. Accelerating your whole body shouldn't cause you anything, you can't even feel it.

Is this something that is an admitted physics hiccup or I misunderstood this kind of Investiture usage?

Brandon Sanderson

This one is actually in the process of flux, as I do more research on the effects of acceleration (including interviews with fighter pilots, which has been fun.) Basically, I realized I needed to beef up my understanding of all this, and then make some decisions on exactly how this all works, because I've been relying on instinct too much in some of these sequences.

So...that's a RAFO, I'm afraid. More because I'm still tweaking some of the little details of how I want this all to work. (In ways that become increasingly relevant as I look forward toward things like Windrunners in space.)

There are a ton of details to consider, even if I eventually hand-wave some of it with the magic. (For example, the heart pumping blood in a high-g environment. How does that interact, if at all, with stormlight? And the direct oxygenation of the brain implied by not needing to breathe while holding stormlight...)

We have several very large math-ish projects going on behind the scenes.

Phoenixdown

I think it depends on if lashing independently impacts each atom within your body simultaneously, or if it is only a subset.

Brandon Sanderson

There's one important fact you're not considering, but which is vital: reader expectation.

One of the questions I have to ask myself is this: What will the reader expect to happen? How will they expect to feel? Granted, none of us have ever flown like this before--but we generally imagine similar things, similar feelings.

As a writer, one thing I need to balance is when I go against reader expectations and when I don't. Going against the expectations can be interesting, but often takes a large burden of words and explanation to keep reminding them something is not how they'd imagine it to be.

For example, it took a relatively large amount of reader attention (and explanation) to keep reminding people in Mistborn that plants weren't green and the sky wasn't blue. In many ways, making something new (like a chull) is easier on readers than making something familiar into something strange (like the horses in Dragonsteel, which were smaller than Earth horses--and kept causing confusion problems in my alpha readers.)

As annoying as this example can me, this is why Lucas had sound, fire, gravity, etc in space. Starships banking in formation felt real to the viewers, even if it didn't make sense in context. I hope to not go that far, but these questions are something in my mind.

I try to be careful not to remove the sensations of magic, in order to keep the movements of characters grounded. Windrunning has left me having to decide how far I want to go with things like this, in order to preserve the visceral feelings for the reader.

Shadows of Self Newcastle UK signing ()
#72 Copy

Questioner

You're also famous for your magic systems, do you start with the effect you want to achieve or the mechanic you want to use?

Brandon Sanderson

It depends on each magic system, they're all different. Sometimes there's just a really interesting-- Mistborn's a good example of this. I built Mistborn because I wanted a different power for each thieving crew member and I had in the back of my mind a few cool powers to use, but others I just developed. I'd be like, alright, we need something for the fast-talker. So therefore you get the thieving-crew and the classic thieving-crew elements, and I wanted something to improve every one of them. So while I had the Pushing and Pulling already, because that was really interesting and I'd been working it out in my head, I didn't have all these powers set out for the team, so I developed those.

In other cases it's just, you know The Stormlight Archive started with the fundamental forces in physics and extrapolating outwards from them until I had ten fundamental forces because I wanted to do fantastical fundamental forces. So that one started in physics.

The magic for Warbreaker started because my editor called me, true story, and said "ah, after Mistborn and Elantris you've done some very dreary settings, very nice but very dreary, let's do something with more color in it". More color it is!

Oathbringer release party ()
#73 Copy

Questioner

Could a Windrunner in Shardplate travel to other planets?

Brandon Sanderson

Uh, theoretically possible. Take a long time.

Questioner

Yes, it would. 'Cause he wouldn't need to breathe, if he's got enough Stormlight.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, well, I mean, they can control pressure, so. You'd need oxygen scrubbers, but they can also, so... you can create a ball of air around yourself with their power anyway, so--

Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
#75 Copy

Questioner

Dalinar can learn languages with the people he contacts. Venli knows all the languages. Could he learn all the languages? And how long would that last?

Brandon Sanderson

His Connection is going to work-- He has to kind of be active about it, so it needs to be-- let me see if I can get the specific words right...

The mechanics I have in the notes is he has to touch someone and will learn to speak the language of their native country, that they spoke as a young person. He's making a direct Connection to that specific person and their way of speaking. So if you have learned another language and Dalinar shakes your hand and activates his Connection ability, he will Connect not to that language you've learned, but to your native language.

Questioner

How long does it last?

Brandon Sanderson

I have it lasting-- it does need to be renewed, but I have it lasting basically as long as-- days not months. But I didn't actually put a define on it, so I'm going to say that's not canon. I'm not canonizing that. But I didn't want him to have to keep renewing it every couple of hours. But he would have to do it again if he left and came back.

White Sand vol.1 release party ()
#77 Copy

Questioner 1

How was Jasnah able to teleport into the [Cognitive] Realm when she didn't seem to have any Stormlight in her in Words of Radiance?

Brandon Sanderson

She had enough.

Questioner 1

She had enough. 

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah.

Questioner 1

And is it just teleportation-- *interrupted*

Brandon Sanderson

Let's say... Jasnah's figured out some things that other's haven't figured out, for one thing. *brief interruption* And, let's say that. But also, there's a little scene from it I wrote from her viewpoint just to know what was happening that's never going in the books. If you Google "Jasnah deleted scene Words of Radiance" you can read it. It talks about how she did what she did.

Questioner 2

Oh good.

Brandon Sanderson

So that is out there. Just-- It was my reference for writing the scene. But-- One of her powers is called Elsecalling, which is basically popping in and out of Shadesmar more easily. It's hard for everyone else to do that.

Questioner 2

My other question is, so when Shallan was on the land she was in the sea in SHadesmar.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner 2

Is it exactly opposite?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, it's mirrored... Um... It's mirrored, yeah.

Questioner 2

So any land is on sea. So she would have actually landed on land on the ocean.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah... so... yes...

Questioner 1

She kind of *inaudible*

Questioner 2

Well that's, no for Jasnah that's... *interrupted*

Brandon Sanderson

Oh yeah yeah, Jasnah... In that scene where you see? She pops out in Shadesmar on the land.

Questioner 2

So, was the scene at the end right as soon as that happened?

Brandon Sanderson

What the-- no, no, no. She spent months trying to get back out.

Questioner 2

Oh, because she doesn't have the power to get back out.

Brandon Sanderson

Much harder to get back out.

Questioner 1

*inaudible* trying to get back out, because she doesn't have any more Stormlight.

Brandon Sanderson

Yep. Much harder to get back out than it is to get back in even if you have Stormlight, and she is out of Stormlight, so...

Starsight Release Party ()
#78 Copy

Pod

You’ve said that you would call Surgebinding, Voidbinding, and fabrials the three magics on Roshar. Would it be more accurate to say that Surgebinding followed and emulated fabrials and/orthe possibility of fabrials or vice versa?

Brandon Sanderson

 Vice versa. Fabrials are... generally, Surgebinders first, fabrials second. 

Pod

So you couldn’t have done fabrials when it was just Adonalsium. 

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, before the [Shattering]? *deep in thought mmming*

Pod

Would the spren have still been able to do Surges then?

Brandon Sanderson

I would say... no. No, Adonalsium probably would not have let that happen. You could theoretically do it, if Adonalsium allowed it. 

Pod

He had boundaries against it. 

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. So, I would say no. 

General Twitter 2018 ()
#79 Copy

Stormborn125

Are the Knights Radiant's powers/spren derived from both Honor and Cultivation? As it seems each order has a has a power of nature e.g. light gravity etc

If yes, what powers would Odium give the Knights Radiants, if he where forced to empower them? And would there be any additional oaths they would need to swear to use these powers?

Everything in the books is alluding to Damnation and the Tranquiline Halls being one and the same. Is this true or is it more separate countries in the same landmass? And what is the general landscape of this alternate dimension?

Brandon Sanderson

These questions stray into RAFO type territory, which I try not to delve too deeply into on twitter. (Because of the short space I have to reply.) But there are some hints in the links [SandersonArmy] included...

Holiday signing ()
#83 Copy

zas678

Why can a human be affected by Surgebinding but metals within their bodies cannot be Pushed or Pulled?

Brandon Sanderson

They can be Pushed or Pulled, if you're strong enough.

zas678

So is it just the Innate Investiture--

Brandon Sanderson

The Innate Investiture is interfering with things. Like if you look at it this way: So you're Surgebinding someone, I am touching him and sending the power straight into him. There's difference between there's something inside of him that I'm messing with and going through?

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#86 Copy

Overlord Jebus

The Knights Radiants have access to two Surges each, are the two Surges completely seperate or can they be combined together? Something like maybe allowing a Lightweaver to create a solid illusion by combining their Illumination Surge and their Soulcasting?

Essentially, do each of the Orders have a special talent only they can do that isn't available to any other Order?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, they do, but it's not always directly obvious in a straightforward way, such as your example.

Overlord Jebus

Would the lashing system be an example of this? Full lashings apppear to be mostly Adhesion and and the basic lashing seems to be mostly Gravitational, does this mean Bondsmiths will be able do full lashings and Skybreakers can use partial and basic lashings?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO.

Holiday signing ()
#87 Copy

zas678

When Kaladin is Invested Stormlight specifically rises from his skin. When he is Lashed to a wall, what direction does it travel? Up to him, or to the world?

Brandon Sanderson

When he is Lashed to a wall where does the Stormlight go. So when it's puffing off him, and he's Lashed to a wall it will asc-- I think it will puff-- It will escape and go up.

zas678

Typical up.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, typical up.

Words of Radiance Seattle signing ()
#88 Copy

Questioner

So far all the spren that have bonded to humans appear to be emotion-based as opposed to nature-based. Is that true for all the Knights Radiant?

Brandon Sanderson

Well it depends. For instance: how would you define Wyndle?

Questioner

I struggled with that one.

Brandon Sanderson

Uh hm. So I would say that you are on the right track, that there is a definite inclination that direction.

Questioner

Towards Honor?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. There is.

Questioner

Is there other surges then, that are more Cultivation-exclusive or other Knights Radiant that are...?

Brandon Sanderson

We'll RAFO that, but the original Knights Radiant are more focused on Honor and his spren.

Holiday signing ()
#90 Copy

Questioner

Allomancy requires, you need to be either a Misting or a Mistborn to be able to do that. But Hemalurgy you just need to stab someone through the heart. So what would stop someone on Roshar from using Hemalurgy, because it's not Innate? Do you have to be in proximity to Ruin?

Brandon Sanderson

Intent is a big part of a lot of the magics, including Hemalurgy, meaning that you need to know what you're doing. Or somebody needs to-- There needs to be Intent involved in what's happening to you.

Questioner

So like with Spook when he got spiked, where was the Intent?

Brandon Sanderson

The person who was driving that spike was being influenced by Ruin, and the Intent was there.

Questioner

So unless you knew what you were trying to do with a Hemalurgic spike, you couldn't do Hemalurgy?

Brandon Sanderson

You could not steal attributes no.

Questioner 2

Is it possible to steal Surgebindings.

Brandon Sanderson

It is possible to steal Surgebinding.

Questioner

Is there going to be crossover, like is someone going to have Feruchemical powers and also Surgebinding?

Brandon Sanderson

That's a Read And Find Out.

Minicon 2015 ()
#91 Copy

Ruro272 (paraphrased)

On a similar note, since Elsecallers can physically go to Shadesmar and have access to Transportation surge, can all Elsecallers worldhop?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yes, that is one of the Elsecaller powers.

Ruro272 (paraphrased)

In hindsight this seems like a really obvious question now *laugh*, but I think it's really interesting that Elsecallers can travel to other planets too--we didn't know that before.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

There are hints in the names on the map of Shadesmar.

Holiday signing ()
#92 Copy

Questioner

I was noticing that some of the Aons from Elantris, have similar names to the Surges on Roshar. Like there's an Aon for Cohesion, which is a Surge. Does that have anything to do with each other?

Brandon Sanderson

Vaguely, yes.

Questioner

What about the ones with the names of Shards, like Endowment, which is a Shard.

Brandon Sanderson

Mmhmm.

Questioner

Those are related?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

What do they have to do with each other?

Brandon Sanderson

It's a tangential relationship.

General Reddit 2017 ()
#95 Copy

Pagerunner

I was at the Houston signing, and Brandon referred me to you on a few technical questions that I was asking him, since he he was quite "brain dead."

First was what Surges the Bondsmiths have. Based on the ordering in the Ars Arcanum in WoR and OB, they should have Tension. But the application of the shared Surge we saw for both Stonewards and Bondsmiths in OB looks to line up more with Brandon's previous description of Cohesion from the Words of Radiance tour. (https://wob.coppermind.net/events/223/#e6061, although he did identify it as a Willshaper Surge there.) Brandon believed it was an error in the Ars Arcanum, and that Bondsmiths do have Cohesion, but he told me to confirm that with you.

Peter Ahlstrom

What power did you see in the book that Bondsmiths and Stonewards share?

Pagerunner

In Chapter 38:

The Shardbearer pressed his hand against the incline leading up to the Voidbringer, and again the stone seemed to writhe. Steps formed in the rock, as if it were made of wax that could flow and be shaped.

...

"And that Shardbearer I saw? A Herald?"

No. Merely a Stoneward. The Surge that changed the stone is the other you may learn, though it may serve you differently.

Which seems to align with how Brandon has previously described Cohesion in the past, as opposed to Tension.

I assume this Surge is what Dalinar used to repair the temple of Talenel in Chapter 59, but that's not actually essential to the point.

Peter Ahlstrom

I think this has to be an error in the text.

Pagerunner

Sorry, which do you think is the error? The order of Surges in the Ars Arcanum? Or the Stormfather's statement to Dalinar?

Peter Ahlstrom

The Stormfather's statement.

Peter Ahlstrom

I have verified with Brandon that what the Stormfather said here is wrong and will be corrected in the future.

Shadows of Self Boston signing ()
#96 Copy

AndrewStirlingMacDonald (paraphrased)

Is being a little bit crazy a prerequisite to becoming a Knight Radiant?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Well, so, for many of the cosmere magics to work, you have to... it has to get into the soul somehow. Right? Sometimes you ram it in by spiking someone else's soul and ripping off a piece and sticking it into yours. Sometimes, it just seeps in the cracks. Sometimes the bond allows it to kind of bypass some of this, but it's usually traumatic experience. So crazy is not required, but there's got to be a place for the magic to go, to get in.

Stormlight Three Update #4 ()
#99 Copy

Argent

We know that you can't Lash people in Shardplate, but can you Lash the person inside the Plate? If they had their helm off, for example. At that point Plate should be just dead weight, right? 

Brandon Sanderson

There's a bit of an interference envelope. Wearing plate, the person has this big ball of investiture around them, and so pushing any through it--even by touching a person without a helm--is going to be tough. Easier than with the helm on though, I suppose.

Investiture acts (roughly) like a saturated solution in these cases. Sticking more power into something like a Feruchemical storage or a hyper-invested object like Plate is increasingly hard. The other part is that Investiture tends to interfere with other Investiture, unless there's a familiar resonance. (This is part of what philosophers call Identity.) Slapping your hand through a sand master's stream of sand will cause interference, and make them start to drop. It's not that the sand is supporting them, it's that the investiture holding them up gets scrambled for a moment because of your own investiture.

Investiture pushed toward someone inside a hyper-invested (supersaturated) system like a person in Shardplate is going to get hard push-back.

This is similar to the reason that it's harder to Push on invested coins. Depends on how invested they are, in that case. It's generally not as hard as doing something like Lashing a person in plate. (This is more about the interference than the saturation of investiture.) But the two principles are what I use to guide the physics in these areas.

quietandproud

Can we take that as a hint that the Investiture in the Plates and the Investiture that the Surge of [Adhesion] uses come from different Shards? Or do they interfere because they "belong" to different spren?

Brandon Sanderson

You know, I should have realized this one would bring out the follow up questions. Let's leave it at what I posted for now. This is a deep, deep rabbit hole, and I do need to try to get some more writing done tonight. So...RAFO. (Sorry.)

Prague Signing ()
#100 Copy

Questioner

So, the establishing of the Knights Radiant followed up the Surgebinders. So I had a question about Renarin - Is he closer to the modern day Radiants power-wise, or the pre-Knights Radiant Surgebinders?

Brandon Sanderson

Renarin?

Questioner

Because he's weird right?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, he is weird. Is he closer to pre-Knights Radiant Surgebinders or to modern Knights Radiant? I'd say closer to modern Knights Radiant, is what I would say... but it's a tough call.

Footnote: The questioner seems to be distinguishing between the formal establishment of the Knights Radiant by Ishar, and Spren-based, Honorblade-copied Surgebinding before then.