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My magic system allows the transfer of quantities of certain properties from one object to another. For instance, electrical conductivity from metal to rubber -- the metal becomes less conductive, and the rubber becomes more conductive.

To transfer properties, you need special equipment and fuel proportional to the quantity to be transferred. The fuel is decently difficult to create.

There would be a point of diminishing returns, after which exponentially more of a property must be taken from one material to give a lesser amount of the property to the other material.

This is the list of material properties I am considering (I am trying to narrow this list down to 7 properties):

  • Electrical conductivity
  • Thermal conductivity
  • Specific heat
  • Boiling point
  • Melting point
  • Freezing point
  • Ductility
  • Malleability
  • Hardness
  • Tensile strength
  • Color
  • Transparency
  • Density
  • Elasticity
  • Resistance to corrosion
  • Flammability (Ignition temperature)
  • Friction
  • Magnetism

I definitely want the magic to add a sense of wonder, and I would like to have fun with the weird, impossible materials that this magic could create. At the same time, I worry that some materials would become extremely absurd or difficult to explain. Harder, denser steel makes intuitive sense. Elastic, flammable, magnetic diamonds with a low melting point are less intuitive. I also worry that the magic system would be extremely imbalanced due to the min/maxing that could be done.

Should any of the listed properties be mutually exclusive to balance the magic or make the behavior of materials predictable? For example, making elasticity and hardness inversely proportional, such that adding elasticity reduces hardness. (As opposed to an elastic diamond that retained diamond-level hardness.)

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closed as too broad by Renan, Hoyle's ghost, JBH, Alex2006, RonJohn Mar 10 at 5:23

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ If you want to avoid some absurdity you could change it from "transfer" to "swap". Otherwise I would transfer the properties of steel onto steel to make it almost twice as strong for example. With "swap" it is more intuitive. You are limited to the best properties of a material. So you can have a feather with the meltingpoint/flammability of tungsten, but that means tungsten now has the meltingpoint/flammability of a feather, which as a temporary arrangement can be beneficial if you want to work the tungsten easily and then give it its own properties back. Otherwise let the weirdness flow! $\endgroup$ – Demigan Mar 9 at 15:14
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    $\begingroup$ This is a cool question, but it's not a good question. It's far too vague and broad. Basically, you're asking "which of all the material properties in the world would be diametrically exclusive?" So, either this question is trivial to answer ("yes.") or it would take a massive answer ("here's the list of 10,000 property-pairs that answer your question"). VTC OT:TB, but I'd be happy to retract that if you can (very much) narrow this question down. $\endgroup$ – JBH Mar 9 at 18:10
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe, have all things as platonic forms made real and magic as an application of subordinate property. You can create a custom mandala that aids in determination of the cost/duration/degree of any given transfer. Trying to work real-world physics into it seems to offer too many pitfalls. $\endgroup$ – Giu Piete Mar 9 at 20:25
  • $\begingroup$ "To transfer properties, you need special equipment and fuel proportional to the quantity to be transferred." That doesn't sound very magical. In fact, it sounds very technological. $\endgroup$ – RonJohn Mar 10 at 5:23
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    $\begingroup$ Changing from "all" to "any" without constraints and an explanation of how you'll pick the best answer makes the question primarily opinion-based. SE is not a discussion forum. What specific pair are you looking for and why? SE's basic structure (required for all Stacks) makes raw idea fishing very difficult. How, exactly, would you choose a best answer? ("Longest list" is off-topic.) $\endgroup$ – JBH Mar 16 at 15:16