Recent entries

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9602 Copy

    Phantine

    Are there any magic systems in the cosmere that aren't shard based?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This depends on definitions. The effects of Adonalsium permeate everything, and Adonalsium is also the source of the Shards. It is possible to find a magic that isn't DIRECTLY powered by a specific shard, however, though most of these would have been set up before the shattering and would be much smaller in scope than things like Allomancy and Surgebinding.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9603 Copy

    Phantine

    We know Hoid stopped by the Well of Ascension. Would it have been possible for him to take up the power while he was there? Or is it limited to guys created out of preservation and ruin?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hoid had no interest in holding that power in the state it was in.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9604 Copy

    ethnicallyambiguous

    If Nightblood were a Magic card, what would its abilities/stats be?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Equipment. When equipped creature does combat damage, destroy all other creatures. During your upkeep, pay WUBRG or you lose the game. (Note, I have no development chops, so I have no idea how to properly cost the artifact or the equip.)

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9605 Copy

    l33tmachine

    Pre-Hero of Ages, was the human population of Scadrial located only within the Final Empire? Were there people living beyond the lands of the Lord Ruler? If so, what happened to them?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The southern continent of Scadrial is inhabited. It still is. No contact has yet been made.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9607 Copy

    mweaver9280

    How fast could a steel/steel Twinborn move?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You'd hit physical limits eventually. While the Metallurgic arts generally enhanced the body to deal with the powers granted, things like air resistance would hold you back--perhaps even kill you--if you weren't careful.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9608 Copy

    JoshuaGuess

    Are you planning on putting together a Cosmere bible at any point? I've fallen down the 13th shard/Coppermind wiki rabbit hole so many times it's not even funny, so I for one would love to have a book with all the bits and pieces laid out eventually.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Perhaps. But not for a while.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9609 Copy

    Windrunner

    Why does Scadrial, which has two Shards, only have three manifestations of investiture, (Allomancy, Feruchemy, and Hemalurgy) but Sel, also with two Shards, has five manifestations of investiture (AonDor, Dakhor, ChayShan, Forgery, and Bloodsealing)?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Sel's magics are much more regionalized than Scadrial's. Each area has its own manifestation, but they're all actually the same magic. So really there is one magic on Sel--much as Windrunning and Lightweaving on Roshar are kind of different magics, but also kind of the same.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9612 Copy

    The_Vikachu

    If someone broke a coppermind, could the feruchemist still access a fragment of the information in it from a chunk of the coppermind, or would he require that the whole thing be reformed to access any of its storage?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The information would be fragmented.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9613 Copy

    The_Vikachu

    Is Kaladin naturally stronger than Szeth in using Stormlight? Szeth can only hold onto it for a few minutes, but Kaladin has been shown to hold onto it for much longer. Or does it have to do with Kaladin having a spren?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ah, so you all noticed that, did you. :) Glad you did. I have like a dozen things I nearly posted here, but all of them spoil a scene in Words of Radiance. So I'll just zip it for now.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9614 Copy

    The_Vikachu

    Another hemalurgy question: Is it possible to steal more than just spiritual DNA with hemalurgy? If you, say, infused someone with a hundred hemalurgic spikes charged from people who liked chicken, would the spike person enjoy chicken as well?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You can steal quite a lot with Hemalurgy. Anything encoded on a person's soul, really. Not sure if chicken liking counts, though...

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9615 Copy

    The_Vikachu

    I remember reading you answer earlier that a person being used to charge a hemalurgic spike does not necessarily have to die. Would that victim be similar to a Drab from Warbreaker?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, making a spike rips off a piece of someone's soul. So...yeah. I'd need to see my exact quote from before, but let's say it's not going to leave a person in good shape.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9619 Copy

    ArsenoPyrite

    I have a technical question here re: gemstones in The Stormlight Archive. How are the lines drawn between different types of gem? Emerald and Heliodor are both varieties of the mineral beryl. Emerald can get its color from trace amounts of chromium, vanadium and/or iron. Heliodor gets its color from iron combined with microscopic crystal defects. So, is the line between these two defined by color? If so, would a heliodor lose its usefulness if it were heated (which would turn it colorless or pale blue). Is it defined by trace elements--in which case, how do you deal with emeralds, or with aquamarine (the blue variety of beryl, which can also contain chromium or vanadium in small quantities and is mostly colored by iron). Sorry for getting so technical, but this gem nerd needs to know!

    Brandon Sanderson

    I actually spent a long time working on this while building the world. You'd probably be amused by how long I spent on it. Chemically, many of them are actually very similar, as you pointed out. I tried doing the book originally with them all being different, not using any that were basically the same crystal with different colors, but it didn't work out. There weren't enough, and so I had to stretch to make it all work.

    So, I went back to the original, and decided that color was enough to differentiate them. Just as steel and iron are very similar in the mistborn world, Emerald and Heliodor can be very similar--but produce different effects. The idea here is that the physical items (like the metals or the crystals) provide a key by which magical interaction occurs.

    So, in a long winded answer, a gemstone with an impure color would be considered like a bad alloy in the Mistborn magic--it either wouldn't work at all, or would work very poorly. The chemical and color signature needs to be of a specific variety to provide the proper key to accessing the power of transformation.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9620 Copy

    claytonphillips

    Several times in Way of Kings, you have characters think of the Shin as having big or round eyes. Do the Shin really have giant eyes, or do all the other peoples of Roshar have an epicanthic fold on their eyes?

    It seemed to me that this was very similar to how characters in second world fantasies, like Faile in Wheel of Time, are designated as "Asian" even though there is no Asia in the book. Is this a subversion of that? Are the Shin the only people on Roshar who look Western European?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You are right, actually. Normal eyes on Roshar are those with an epicanthic fold. The Shin do not have this. Note, however, that they wouldn't look "Western European." Roshar races are fairly far off from what we imagine as Earth ones. The people most likely to look Western European to you would be those from Mistborn.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9625 Copy

    Herowannabe

    Can an infused Hemalurgy spike be affected by Allomancy- steel pushes and iron pulls? Or does the charge interfere with the Allomancy much like a person's body would?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Anything infused (regardless of the world or magic that infused it) is resistant to magic. So you'd have a lot of trouble pushing or pulling on a spike, unless you had access to a boost of some sort to overcome the resistance.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9626 Copy

    Herowannabe

    What happens when a blind person burns Gold- especially of he "sees" a version of himself that isn't blind? Can he see the other version or just hear/feel/sense him? What about the other version, can it see things? Could a blind person use gold in this way to see the world around him?

    Brandon Sanderson

    A blind person would indeed sense these things, but not have the vision with the eyes. In the same way that a blind person still dreams, but doesn't "See" in them. (As I understand it.) I'd suggest talking to someone who is blind and getting their take on how this would work.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9627 Copy

    Herowannabe

    I recently picked up the Mistborn Adventure game and am loving it. I made a character who is a blind Mistborn because hey, I thought it would make for some interesting possibilities. As I understand Allomancy, he can hear/sense well enough to get around with Tin, plus even though he's blind he can still "see" steel lines (like the inquisitors), and I assume Atium would work the same way- that is, he could still "see" Atium shadows. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, you're right. That works. He'd have to burn metals a LOT though. It might warp him a little. :)

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9629 Copy

    theFinisher4Ever

    Was the Lord Ruler using Feruchemy + Allomancy to Soothe all of the people around him? Or was he, as I like to think, flaring for so long that he became a Soother Savant?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He lived long enough and used his metals enough (particularly Soothing) to become nearly a savant in every area, if not a full savant.

    Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
    #9632 Copy

    yulerule

    *Written:* How much compounding would a nicrosil Twinborn would need to do to get a metalmind that is as Invested as Nightblood?

    Brandon Sanderson

    *Reading question:* How much compounding would... *mumbling*

    Wow, so much.

    *Writes:* Wow so much. 

    yulerule

    *Written:* A thousand breaths doesn't seem to be that much--the God King has tens of thousands. Would a piece of stone, wood, cloth, or plain metal that has a thousand breaths be as Invested as Nightblood, or is there something more? 

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, it needs more. Needs more.

    *Writes:* Needs more.

    yulerule

    More?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah.

    yulerule

    Does that-- is it taking stuff from people it kills?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's a RAFO, good question.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9638 Copy

    Ravi

    If Odium were lured to Scadrial, would his physical body turn into a burnable metal?

    If so, could Harmony create an Odium-metal legion of Mistings to consume and burn it?

    Would that weaken him sufficiently enough to be killed or destroyed?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The difficulty here is, again, one of Identity. People born on Scadrial have an Identity tied to it and its magic. Odium would have to do certain things to make them able to use a magic he fuels. He has done these things on Roshar, so it's not impossible for him to manage it on Scadrial.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9640 Copy

    Chaos

    You have said the Scadrians on the southern continent does have interaction with the Metallic Arts, but use them in very different ways. Does this mean there are different, for example, Allomantic abilities for those Scadrians? Or is it more a cultural thing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The abilities are the same. The way they harness and use them, though, is different...

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9641 Copy

    AptoCanavalian

    Dear Brandon, If you could have a dinner party with six of the characters that you have written about, which six would you choose and why? Would your answer change if the party was in someone else's house?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, it would be tough--I'd have to decide if I wanted the party to be crazy, interesting, or low risk.

    For example, inviting Hoid and Kelsier to the same party could result in murdering. Having Sazed around with someone like Jasnah would lead to some great discussions of philosophy.

    unknown

    Wait--are you implying Hoid and Kelsier would want to murder each other, or that they would team up to murder other people?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hoid and Kelsier do not get along. At all.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9642 Copy

    samwisevimes

    I had a question about the Parshendi, do they have a negotiating form? I ask because it seems they must have shifted forms before/just after the betrayal and are now stuck in war form, but if they had the ability to negotiate before why not now?

    Brandon Sanderson

    More of this will be answered in book two. They aren't 'stuck' in warform, but do have limited options.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9644 Copy

    Nepene

    In Warbreaker Lightsong mentions that the Returned's forms are dependent on contemporary beauty standards. In the Emperor's Soul Shai implies that if others did not find the Emperor's Soul plausible it would not take as well. Is my reading of their statements correct, is their magic dependent on how others view you as well as how you view yourself?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. This is a factor.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9645 Copy

    Nepene

    In The Emperor's Soul and Elantris the magic systems have very different methods and powers, though both work through symbols. Assuming they adapted the symbols to their local geography could they use each other's methods? Could an Elantrian forge a soulstamp say?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Birth in a certain location on Sel gives a certain affinity for the local symbols, and their usage. To use the magic of another region, one would need to have a rewritten connection to that area instead.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9646 Copy

    Nepene

    You've said you want to write a book set in the Southern Continent. I did enjoy the Emperor's Soul a lot, so I am curious about you writing that future book. How do they use magic differently, and why should we be excited about reading a book set there?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The southern continent is where people have discovered how to harness the metallurgic arts in a more mechanical method. (I've hinted several places that this is possible. I've been holding off doing it until we go here.)

    Chaos

    About the southern continent, would it be possible for other Scadrians to discover this method of using the Metallic Arts, or is it unique to the southern Scadrians?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is technology-based rather than genetics based.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9647 Copy

    Nepene

    If Ruin had won, what would his long term goals for the Cosmere be?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ruin's goals and motives were about fulfilling the needs of the Shard inside of him. It overwhelmed his personality, and corrupted him. He would seek for all things to be reduced to a state of entropic equilibrium.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9648 Copy

    Nepene

    You've mentioned several philosophical concepts used in the writing of your books, like Jung's collective unconsciousness, Plato's cave. Could you expand a bit on your use of those in your books, and whether you think it is necessary to use philosophy to make a good fantasy world?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't think it's necessary at all. The writer's own fascinations--whatever they are--can add to the writing experience. But yes, some philosophical ideas worked into my fiction. Plato's theory of the forms has always fascinated, and so the idea of a physical/cognitive/spiritual realm is certainly a product of this. Human perception of ideals has a lot to do with the cognitive realm, and a true ideal has a lot to do with the spiritual realm.

    As for more examples, they're spread through my fiction. Spinoza is in there a lot, and Jung has a lot to do with the idea of spiritual connectivity (and how the Parshendi can all sing the same songs.)

    Nepene

    Not completely sure where Spinoaza comes in. I guess the shards are part of the natural world and have no personality without a human wielder.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes on Spinoza there, and also the idea of God being in everything, and everything of one substance. Unifying laws. Those sorts of things. (Less his determinism, though.)

    /r/fantasy AMA 2013 ()
    #9649 Copy

    ryanthelion

    I know that you are very meticulous in developing your stories. Were the shardblades, shardplate, mistborn cloaks, or even Nightblood from Warbreaker developed in a similar fashion, or is it a more organic process to making cool weapons and armor? How do you blur the line between what makes sense, and what is just plain fun?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are connections in the things you mentioned above, though I don't want to speak of specifics yet for risk of spoiling future revelations.

    As for blurring the line between what makes sense and what is fun...I err on the side of the fun. However, part of my meticulous planning is about how to make the fun make sense. I feel that is part of what makes this genre interesting. I decided I wanted to do a story about the Knights Radiant, with the Plate and Blades. From there, I spent a long time thinking about what would make those kinds of weapons reasonable and important to a society.

    You can do anything, but do try to focus on laying your groundwork and being consistent.