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Robots and Magic

I am working on a new build, Synthoid Sorcerer, who, as the name suggests, is a robotic magic user. That got me to wondering if there are any artificial life form magic wielders in the CU? If so, who are they, what are their origins and where do they fit in to the over all lore? Maybe the rationale of that universe did not include that as a possibility, but I am more than willing to go non-canon.
JwLmWoa.png
Perseus, Captain Arcane, Tectonic Knight, Pankration, Siberiad, Sekhmet, Black Seraph, Clockwork
Project Attalus: Saving the world so you don't have to!

Comments

  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,901 Arc User
    edited March 10
    I can't think of any official characters who exactly fit that description; I also can't think of any official reason why there couldn't be. :) There are a few possibilities, but it would help to clarify how to approach the concept if we could get a little more detail about it.

    First, do you want this "robot" to be a product of science, magic, both, or does it matter?

    Second, do you want it to produce magical effects as an innate ability, or through having learned magic by study, as a human sorcerer would?

    Third, do you want the character to be a product of the modern world, or from a past or future era, and/or a different civilization? Or is that irrelevant?

    Fourth, do you want its origin to be purely Terrestrial, or can it be from another planet or dimension?

    Fifth, do you want its mentality to be solely a product of its construction, or can it be the vessel for the consciousness of a formerly-organic being?

    Sixth, do you want its creator(s) to still be active and present in its life?

    Finally, is this for a hero, villain, or neutral?

    EDIT: The Bronze King I refer to below may be the clearest lore example of a synthetic being who would at least understand magic. That's specifically mentioned as an area of its expertise from the minds of Lemurians sacrificed to give it intelligence and will. But the Bronze King was never given a full PnP write-up, and with its advancing senility as magic on Champions Earth waned it probably can't consciously use magic now.
    Post edited by bulgarex on
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,901 Arc User
    I would say the topmost options in the setting for something like this would be, in no particular order: the Lemurians (a magical golem with knowledge and memories infused from a living being, like the Bronze King); the Imaginal Realm of Babylon (highly magical, and machines and other inanimate objects there often come alive); and the dimension of Lythrum (magic and technology are blended there). But there are certainly other possible routes -- they'd just require a bit more ingenuity to get where you want to go. ;)
  • jaazaniah1jaazaniah1 Posts: 3,785 Arc User
    First, the SG I belong to (Project Attalus) is basically just all my heroes and the concept I have for the robot magic user is that two of its members, Dr. Harlem (think African-American Tony Stark) and Sultanus the Crimson Sorcerer (think a stage magician who is really Dr. Strange) had a debate about whether magical abilities (not someone wielding an object imbued with magical properties) were a result of nature or nurture (i.e. inherent to organic life, or something that could be learned, whether the practitioner was organic or not) and set out to test this (if an elevator lifts Thor's hammer is it worthy of his power?).

    So, Dr. Harlem created a robot with real sentience and Sultanus set out to teach it magic. Synthoid Sorcerer thus studied magic (i.e. he posses no magical talismans or the like) and has mastered all the technical aspects of spell casting (and more quickly than any human could, since he has a computer mind). I.e. he adopts the right postures, makes the right hand movements, says the right words and has the correct mental state that any human mage would adopt. One might say that the only difference is that he has no soul (or does he ;) ?), and so can not be tempted by the dark side. Technically he knows the difference, and since he was built and taught by heroes his natural leanings are toward the light, though he is guided also by a sort of cold, calculating machine logic.

    So, he is a science/magic experiment by two human authorities in their respective fields. Some wonder, given the greater than human speed at which he can learn and act, if he might someday supersede all human magicians.

    How's that for an origin?
    JwLmWoa.png
    Perseus, Captain Arcane, Tectonic Knight, Pankration, Siberiad, Sekhmet, Black Seraph, Clockwork
    Project Attalus: Saving the world so you don't have to!
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,901 Arc User
    I like muchly. =) Truth to tell, it's roughly the sort of thing I thought of when you posed your question. Lots of interesting ways you could grow this character.

    Should Synthoid Sorcerer's true nature become public knowledge, Professor Paradigm (Champions Villains Volume One: Master Villains) would be very interested in studying him. "The Malevolent Metaphysician" is deeply intrigued by magic, although he has no talent for it himself; and has created powered armor which appears to duplicate the effects of several well-known magic spells, through technology alone.
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,901 Arc User
    A while back I posted a thread discussing all the CU-related precedents defining the ways Learning Magic is possible. One point I emphasized is that a would-be magician has to have an aptitude for the Arts Arcane to successfully learn to cast spells; as some people have an aptitude for mathematics, or music (but magic is rarer). It might be an interesting question to explore, whether any precisely-configured artificial intelligence could learn to cast spells, implying that magic can be reduced to definable formulas; or if there's something special about this AI that gave it the talent for magic. Perhaps something even Synthoid Sorcerer isn't aware of.
  • jaazaniah1jaazaniah1 Posts: 3,785 Arc User
    The question that Dr. H and Sultanus wrestle with is, indeed, whether magic is like Chess or Go, something that a machine can learn and master by being able to calculate quickly vast numbers of possible outcomes, or is there something more intuitive, even spiritual to magic? Can an object with no soul be a sorcerer? Or, is it a mix of both, can a machine learn the basics of magic (e.g. its grammar) and eventually come to be able to grasp its deepest intricacies (e.g. can it write great literature), or will an AI always be no more than some "hedge wizard"? Even if the latter, since Synthoid Sorcerer is self aware, does it have the capacity to evolve itself and develop those higher capacities? Only time, and level 40, can say for sure!
    JwLmWoa.png
    Perseus, Captain Arcane, Tectonic Knight, Pankration, Siberiad, Sekhmet, Black Seraph, Clockwork
    Project Attalus: Saving the world so you don't have to!
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,901 Arc User
    What's Synthoid Sorcerer's understanding of science and technology? Is his expertise just in magic, or is he scientifically adept as well?
  • jaazaniah1jaazaniah1 Posts: 3,785 Arc User
    Well, I imagine him knowing as much about tech as the average person knows about human physiology and anatomy. I.e. he was built to be as human in his thought processes as possible, not to interface with other tech/machines.
    JwLmWoa.png
    Perseus, Captain Arcane, Tectonic Knight, Pankration, Siberiad, Sekhmet, Black Seraph, Clockwork
    Project Attalus: Saving the world so you don't have to!
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,901 Arc User
    edited March 14
    Now that is interesting. Compared to the other official published free-willed AI, Synthoid Sorcerer is the only one not built to interface with other machines, and/or not having extensive scientific and technological expertise as part of its programming. That could be one big reason why he's able to learn magic -- in most ways the two disciplines are so alien to each other, understanding one almost precludes the other. It's possible SS might want to explore that side of himself, in order to better understand his own unique nature. The way some humans explore spirituality to give their lives meaning, but SS already has that covered. ;) It would be an excuse to enhance his game build with tech gimmicks, particularly if you decide his progress in magic should have limits.

    OTOH a very few human geniuses have been able to integrate the principles of science and the mystic arts to some extent, and become true "technomancers" combining both. That's another direction you could explore if it interests you.
  • jaazaniah1jaazaniah1 Posts: 3,785 Arc User
    I kind of think of him as in concept more like The Vision rather than a Mechanon, though he looks more robotic than The Vision. The one nod to his technological side among his powers is that he uses Energy Shield, rather than Eldritch Shield. He also uses an Until Hover Disk to move around. The idea was for Dr. Harlem to create something as human in intellect as possible, though with massively more powerful computational abilities. So, he could cast a spell more quickly than a human could. One thing he might wonder is if he could make a deal with the Devil. He has no soul with which to bargain, or does he/will he? Can a synthetic human develop a soul? Can a machine have a spiritual side? Can a machine with no soul be a better person than a human being with a soul? In a real comic book these would be the issues/problems with which he wrestles.

    cWTY7Z3.jpg
    JwLmWoa.png
    Perseus, Captain Arcane, Tectonic Knight, Pankration, Siberiad, Sekhmet, Black Seraph, Clockwork
    Project Attalus: Saving the world so you don't have to!
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,901 Arc User
    edited March 14
    Absolutely. For a role-player the possibilities are very wide and deep, and I commend you for your inspiration.

    Also, IMHO that costume is the bee's knees, and very much captures the essence of the kind of character you describe. :+1:
  • jaazaniah1jaazaniah1 Posts: 3,785 Arc User
    Thanks. I am still tweaking a few things about his look. So many costume pieces to pick from and always trying to avoid reusing those I've tried in the past!
    JwLmWoa.png
    Perseus, Captain Arcane, Tectonic Knight, Pankration, Siberiad, Sekhmet, Black Seraph, Clockwork
    Project Attalus: Saving the world so you don't have to!
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