Limitations on Abstractions

Page 182 of the Magic Burner has a short list of popular spells effects that do not or cannot exist in the scope of these rules (meaning Abstractions) this list includes Teleportation, Time Control, and Life Creation.
Life Creation is a given as it is specified in the Anima entry. Time Control makes sense as there isn’t any Time element to use Control with. Teleportation seems less clear as I can see several different ways to formulate such a spell. (Everything from transforming the elements to teleport into lightning (White) and move them (Control) instantaneously to their new location (Area of Effect: Caster/Miles), or by using the Arcana and Control facets to move the target elements to their new location (no transformation required). Is there a design reason that mages shouldn’t have access to such magic? Or is this something that Abstractions shouldn’t have been able to cover even though it looks like it could?

This… this can be answered one of a few ways. The first is that “moving someone really fast” (say: Arcana + Control) isn’t the same as a straight up Blink spell. The second is that it doesn’t matter as the rules for Abstractions are explicit that teleportation isn’t allowed. The third is a piece of history that says Burning Wheel started as a Shadowrun hack and SR doesn’t allow life creation, teleportation, or time control under the scope of magic.

If you really want to emulate the Blink spell, just cheat and use Art Magic. I leave the experiment up to the reader to figure out how to do it (hint, it’s stupidly easy)/

So the original reasoning for limitations on abstractions was based upon the game that Burning Wheel creators used to play before there was a Burning Wheel and some Shadow Run magic idioms were incorporated into Burning Wheel.
But just as all games are not based in middle earth or tolkienisms neither are they all based upon Shadow Run magic idioms. If there is a solid reason why any particular rule exists for game balance I understand those limits to a system. If was written in as a matter of editorial choice only, then it should be considered an optional rule. It sounds like the abstraction limitations, like the abstractions themselves, should be an option. Just like the choice of magic idioms.

It’s a designer choice, and Luke decided that part of his published game would incorporate that choice. Since it isn’t marked as optional, it is a baked-in part of the rules, just like people get artha for having their instincts get them in trouble, and GMs aren’t allowed to call for retests. The choice of magic idioms is optional because the rules allow for it to be optional. A specific style of magic (art, summoning, blood, etc…) is optional because the rules allow them to be optional. However, choosing to use a given magic chapter brings in all the rules from that chapter, not a hand-selected portion that strokes a particular GM’s ego. Do you ignore wound tolerances and damage when its convenient because you feel it’s a matter of editorial choice only? Or do you only ignore those things that deviate from your expectation of what should be allowed with a magic system?

Feel free to play your game however you want it to, however recognize that by departing from the rules text you are no longer playing “Burning Wheel.” You are instead playing “Larkin Starr’s Heavily BW-Inspired RPG.” That game might be awesome, and you guys will probably gets years of enjoyment out of modifying Burning Wheel into a game that does all the things you want, but it won’t be Burning Wheel any more.

As for Abstractions and when they came around. Abstractions were originally codified in 2005, five years after Burning Wheel was originally written, and a solid 10 years after Luke stopped playing Shadowrun. These limitations might have been partially informed by Shadowrun, but that is the extent of the influence.

So in getting back to the orginal question of this thread. Your saying that there is a design reason why these limitations were placed on abstractions, and although they haven’t any direct link to game balance as far as rules go, the limitations have always been a part of the abstractions rules. Playing without limitations on abstractions is basically another kind of game hack of Burning Wheel, NOT Burning Wheel. (Is this basically what you meant? I wasn’t sure what the GM Ego comment or comparing core combat rules to optional magic rules centering around difference of idioms was all about as neither statement had anything to do with my question). If this is what you meant then any spells that went against the limitations on abstractions would be illegal and only usable in games that allowed such a rules hack.

Folks, please take a deep breath before continuing.

They’re not updated for gold, but the abstractions are really part of core sorcery, including the limits. The reason for those limits doesn’t really matter. If you want to burn up your own system without them, go ahead.

Larkin: also I would suggest you read this:

Thanks for the link, I haven’t seen it in a while.

Both your and cathexis second response were helpful in understanding the reason for the limitations on abstractions in the system as a design baseline of what magic can and cannot do.
That’s why I asked here rather than continuing in Sparks (Teleport Spell) cathexis comments there lead me to question my beliefs about the limitations. Without his comments in that forum, I would never had sought wisdom in this one.

Thanks cathexis.