I think that what ended up becoming Kinetics in the LFBD universe was the discipline that really led me down the path of “But! But! But! If the wizard could do this then they could easily do that!!” Basically, the fact that magic using (or super powered) characters in fiction could move things remotely, either with a spell or some kind of brain powers, but they never really leveraged that stuff to its full capacity.
Look. If you can pick up a penny and fling it around with some kind of telekinetic force, why can’t you grab a penny-sized portion of someone’s brain and fling it around inside their skull? Any telekinetic character (or one who exhibits similar magical abilities) who gets captured/in a tough spot/whatever in which their life is in danger and they just don’t activate a remotely-operated TK blender inside their opponents’ skull is an idiot and deserves to die.
Sure, you can come up with reasons it wouldn’t work. But I don’t want to hear them.
That said, there has to be some kind of constraint, otherwise a trained praecant with a Jones for Kinetics would be unstoppable. Let’s first apply the normal power laws, because magic in LFBD is an actual natural force. Just like sentics, you obey the laws of physics. You need less energy to generate a narrow effect, and assume a falloff that’s the square of the distance. Note in LFBD how Lincoln calls for the kinetic force to be wide spread from Fox and at something like a two foot range it pushes a person into the dirt and breaks bones in their face, but when operating on a more narrow band, it’s the equivalent of a horse kick. Also, on a sufficiently narrow band, we see it cut like a blade.
What we don’t see Lincoln do with Fox though, is move something remotely. It’s just linear projection of force. So, it makes sense that it’s harder, maybe a lot harder, to use kinetics at a distance but not have it affect the things between the source (the praecant) and the subject. How much? I’m not sure. That’s where we get to make some kind of judgment call that helps us to limit this.
Let’s posit that to generate force remotely, we have to have some kind of atomic or even quantum trail from the caster to the subject. In order to not really affect anything in between, you have to keep it ridiculously narrow — say, one qbit. But to get enough energy to your destination to make the effect you want, you need to pump that much energy — enough to act on the whole mass you want to move — through the pathway that’s only a single qbit at any given spot. That’s hard.
And (I’m obviously not a quantum physicist) there will be some kind of resistance or back pressure.
If you want to move something remotely without affecting anything in line of site, it’s hard and requires a bunch of energy or a ton of finesse. That goes up with the square of the distance.
With the kind of energy Fox has available, that’s not going to be an option.
However, a trained Kineticist with good reserves and some hanging spells will be able to, say, puree someone’s brain from a hundred yards, as long as they’re still. Make it a moving target, and it’s even harder.
As you can see, when you introduce some physical laws into the mix, things become a lot more balanced. A praecant with a major in kinetics doesn’t necessarily rule the world, or become the most amazing assassin ever, although they could with the right preparation.Buy Lincoln, Fox and the Bad Dog on Amazon.com right now, or get the first half for free right here if you're still on the fence (.epub download to read in iBooks, Google Play Books, etc.)