Magic!

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Magic!

Zaleramancer
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This post was updated on .
I got bored and decided to put up a magic system for a world-thing I created.

Comments, Ideas and Suggestions would be great.
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The way magic works in the world is that raw magical energy flows through almost all of the world. It emanates from "Legends" (legendary creatures), Things like dragons, ghosts, and creatures from virtually every myth and mythology. Magic-users can harness and use this energy (Call it mana for now.)

 

Complicated, See?


Magicians are organized into 3 broad groups, depending on how they got or use magic.

Magi
Magi did not obtain their abilities from an outside force. They either have an affinity for magic, or were born able to use it in some way. They do not depend on natural ability, or deals with beings for power.


Contractees
Contractees get magic abilities through deals or contracts with powerful legends. Demons, Angels, and Physical Gods are the most common Contractors. They gain the ability to use magic from these Contractors, and can only use it for as long as the Contractors feel like allowing them to.

Adepts
Adepts naturally produce and use mana. Either from having a Legend as an ancestor, or are one themselves. They do not have to use outside sources of mana to use magic. They often have strange or even inhuman features.

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Magi

   Wizards
        Wizards use incantations and hand gestures to shape spells. These spells funnels mana through through the carefully made shape to cause an effect to occur. This method  is by far the most common form of magic use. Wizards tend approach magic in a methodical and scientific way,  though most don't try to understand why magic does what it does. Many try to experiment with  incantations and gestures to record the effects they cause. The incantations are more or less gibberish in terms of a language.
       Wizardry is the most measured and organized of all the methods of magic. Wizards will record which spells function and what they do, then try to share them with other wizards. Wizards can draw on virtually limitless amounts of mana, allowing them to do things that would kill or burn out other mages. The reason for this is because they do not absorb or channel magic through themselves, instead they funnel magic through a spell.
       Despite this, Wizardry has the disadvantage of being much slower than other forms of magic. Spells take time to form, and one incorrect gesture can make it collapse suddenly. How difficult a spell is is measured using a few different factors.

         Spell Complexity
                 Low complexity spells (Like sending a wave of force) might just require three words and a point to shape, while highly complex spells (Like animating and giving sentience to a statue) may require days worth of incantations, runes, and gestures.  
           
          Spell Power
               Spell power is the raw amount of mana that the spell uses. Low power spells (Like say, levitation of a beetle) might only require a few words, While very powerful spells (Like knocking over a building) will require multiple repetitions of the incantation to make the spell strong enough to not collapse under the force of the mana it channels.
             

Generally the power of a wizard is measured in how much they can do with the least application of effort. Powerful wizards would be able to flatten a building with a gesture. Weaker wizards might take several minutes to do the same.

 Because of the slowness of a wizard's magic, they are more popular for non-combat use. They design things like magically powered communication towers and various magic items.

   


   Sorcerers

         Sorcerers, unlike wizards, slowly absorb mana around them into their body. They can then use this internal mana supply to magically cause effects, similar to a Wizard's spells, with a mere thought.

   Sorcerers are commonly battle mages. They can cause virtually anything that they can imagine happen nearly instantaneously. Unlike wizards, they don't need to say anything or make any movements, a thought is sufficient. However, they are severely limited by their mana reserves. Once those run out, they are unable to use magic until the reserves regenerate, usually in a few hours.
       
    Sorcerer's usage of magic is rather simple. First they visualize what they want to happen. Then they will this idea into existence. Their internal magic will then be moved and channeled by the want or idea, causing what they imagined to happen. However, If the amount of magic they have is insufficient, then the effect will stop.  
   
   Sorcery is not without its dangers. Channeling too much magic through their minds can cause what is called "Sorcerer's Lunacy" in which the sorcerer goes on a berserk magical rampage, destroying everything in sight. This ends only when all of their magic reserves are drained. After that, they will collapse for several days, and be unable to use magic without severe pain for months.

   Sorcery is much rarer than wizardry, and more often is naturally occurring rather than learned. Young Sorcerers are often refereed to as  "Sleeping". Their first act of sorcery is almost always a spontaneous event, caused by intense desire or creative endeavors.

   Sorcerers (and Sorceresses) can also acquire a Familiar, a magically infused animal. Most are sapient beings capable of using magic in the manner of sorcerers.  A Familiars personality is dependent on both their species and themselves. Dogs and Wolves tend to be loyal and positive. Song Birds are lyrical and flighty. Spiders are patient and very quiet, etc..

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Contractees
     
     Warlocks
          Warlocks gain the ability to use magic after making a "Contract" with a powerful Legend.

           The most important thing for a Warlock is their Contract. A Contract is a magically binding agreement between the Contractee (Warlock) and the Contractor (Legend). All Contracts consist of Boons and Banes. Boons are positive things that the Legend will give the Warlock. This can be magical abilities, information or protection. Banes are things the warlock must give the Contractor. These can be pledges of obedience, offerings, or things the warlock can not or must do.

          Banes can be divided into breakable and unbreakable Banes. Breakable banes can be broken, Though they usually carry a heavy punishment if they are broken. All breakable Banes may also just have an exploitable loop hole or modifying clause, Such as "You may not kill" may have the exception of "Unless threatened first". This allows them to bend, but not quite break the Bane. Unbreakable Banes cannot be broken, and will physically and/or mentally prevent the warlock from even attempting breaking them.

         Boons are most often powers bestowed on the Warlock.  These kinds of Boons can be any power that the Legend possess.  An Angel might give healing, or an ability to fly. A Demon might give Pyrokinesis, or telepathy. These Boons in no way weaken the Contractor, just give the warlock similar abilities. Some Banes might even allow warlocks to contact, or summon the Contractor (Under extreme circumstances). Most Boons work by channeling mana through the warlock to cause the effect. Usually, The powers require only a thought. However, some Contractors might restrict certain abilities to only work after a condition is met. Such as the Contractor's permission or such.

  A Powerful Warlock can accomplish a great deal while dancing around Banes and making use of Boons.



Shaman

     Shaman, like warlocks, make deals with Legends for power. Unlike them however, they channel power directly from the Legend.

     A Shaman has a direct mental and magical link to the Contractor. They channel the Contractor's power through themselves by transforming and altering their bodies to resemble the Contractor. For example, a Dragon Shaman might grow scaly skin and claws before they can breathe fire. They more power the wish to draw on, the more and more like the Contractor they become. Shamans have a great deal of magical strength, because they draw it directly from the source. However, they are also usually kept on a very short leash by their Contractor.

    The danger for Shaman is that they can loose themselves if they transform to far. This results in them permanently going insane. Broken Shamans are fearsome creatures, because they continue to draw on the power of the Contractor until the Contractor breaks off the contract.

    Contractors are very very careful when choosing shaman, Because unlike Warlocks, they can actually weaken them by draining enough mana from them. However, Shamans allow them to multitask easily, because a shaman can easily relay information to them. They can also deal with problems for the Legend.

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Adepts
         
        Enchanters

             Enchanters gain magical power from their ancestry. An Enchanter has a Legend somewhere in their bloodline. They use magic in a similar way legends do,  simply by generating mana and using it. The primary difference is that an Enchanter's power is diluted by multiple mortal generations. They also have an exaggerated response to any weaknesses the Legend had. If they had a Demon as an ancestor, then Holy artifacts would burn them like acid. A Vampiric one might burst into flames at any form of light, not just sunlight. Angelic Enchanters might writhe in pain at breaking a law or rule. Fey born ones would go into shock from touching iron.

         Despite these limitations Enchanters are fairly powerful. They do not rely on others and can use any of the powers their ancestor possessed. Angelics could heal, fly, control weather and other such things. The most powerful of the Enchanters are the ones descended from Physical Gods. They can (even with weakened powers) take on things and people that out-number or even out-size them.

        Witches

               Witches are a race of Demi-Humans (Humans from other worlds with strange abilities). They produce their own mana and can use it the same way a normal mage uses it. That is, They can replicate virtually any spell, skill, or power that they can imagine. Only female Witches possess any mage-abilities.  

                Witches are divided into three ranks.
                       
                        Hedge-witches

                               Hedge-witches are the weakest kind of witch.  They possess an extended lifespan and the ability to fly with a branch or a broom. They rely on potions to increase the minimal amount of power they have. A hedge-witch cannot use magic spontaneously, they instead have to use potions, carved charms, and special items as a medium through which to project magic. Most, If not all, Hedge-witches are benign or at least harmless.

                             Coven Witch

                                   A Coven Witch is an intermediate kind of witch. They, like all witches, have an extended life span and aided flight. They, however, live much longer than a Hedge Witch and can fly at great and high speeds, unlike a hovering Hedge Witch. These witches most resemble wizards in terms of spell casting. They use words and motions to form their mana into a spell. However, they do so with much more ease and speed.  They are far more powerful than Hedge Witches, and have a higher degree of evil witches.
                       
                           Dark Witches

                               The most powerful type of witch. They can rival some weaker Physical Gods in terms of sheer power. They have the longest life span of any witch and can fly without any help or aid. They resemble sorcerers in terms of casting method, but unlike them, they have a virtually infinite mana supply to draw on. These kind of witches are unbelievably powerful, and almost always evil.. Corrupted by power.

     Witches are usually possess a great durability, and some are stronger than they look, most commonly male Witches have increased physical abilities. Silver and Fire are anathema to most witches, and they won't go near either if they can help it.
“She'd become a governess. It was one of the few jobs a known lady could do. And she'd taken to it well. She'd sworn that if she did indeed ever find herself dancing on rooftops with chimney sweeps she'd beat herself to death with her own umbrella.”
― Hogfather
WHD
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WHD
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Re: Magic!

Hyperion
I just got around to reading this. It's very well thought-out.
All hail the king of dunces! You best hold on, I'm opening up my mouth.
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Re: Magic!

Zaleramancer
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Welp, I've finally updated this with better Grammar.

Whatca think?
“She'd become a governess. It was one of the few jobs a known lady could do. And she'd taken to it well. She'd sworn that if she did indeed ever find herself dancing on rooftops with chimney sweeps she'd beat herself to death with her own umbrella.”
― Hogfather
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Re: Magic!

Gentleman Vaultboy
In reply to this post by Zaleramancer
Well, Could you give me your opinion on this one.

In a fantasy setting I came up with there were two planes of existence: The Living world, and the Home-World. The living world is basic fantasy with magitec strewn about, the Home-world is a chaotic plane of elements and spirits that mirrors it. It's called the Home-world because the humans in the setting were originally refugees from there, who crossed over from one of the many cracks and took up residence in a local group of apes, slowly changing them overtime to be more like they're original "Bodies."

There are three types of magic people are capable of:

Soul Arts, where someone pushes their spirit slightly outside of their body. When you do this, your physical strength doesn't matter as much as your willpower. You can take blows that would kill a man and deliver them right back. It has no ranged attacks, because it's dangerous to push too far out of your body. If you don't have enough control, you could detach and float away, wandering forever on the wind or eaten by some other feral spirit.

Healing Arts, which connect one persons spirit with another and, through that connection, speed along the healing process. This also has it's risks, of being pulled into the other person and losing yourself. Since this form of healing also grants the healer full control of the patients body, it can also be used to dangerous ends. After all, if a person is healing you with magic, they can also take you apart with it. Horror stories about this type of thing and the pain of the process (Having your natural healing forced to speed up is painful) have caused this type of healing to go out of favor, with conventional medicine coming in to fill the gab. Still, most villages have at least one emergency healer.

Spirit Forging, the art of placing a spirit into an object. Spirit hunters project themselves through the cracks to find useful spirits and bring them back to a spirit forge-master. The captured spirits are forced into whatever material the forge-master wants to use, then pounded into a useful shape. This is were most of the magitec in the setting comes from. The devise aren't powered, and the spirits are still alive within them. They are activated by a person taking the object and pushing some of their own spirit into it. The spirit sees this as a threat and starts trying to fight back and drive the invader out of it's territory. Depending on the spirit, this can have effects ranging from giving off light to slowing down time.

Magic Items are expensive, and must be periodically re-agitated. A spirit will be more expensive if it is especially ornery. They also must be periodically maintained, lest they break and unleash the spirit into the world.

In addition, there are the three types of aberrations. Spirits can come through the cracks just as easily as the original human spirits did. Now, in the Living world a spirit is harmless without a body, and will eventually die without one. So, they look for a soulless body to inhabit. Their are two results.

Revenants are the result of the spirit taking residence in a corpse, either human or animal. The resulting creature embodies the aspect of the spirit, the mind and memories of the revived, and is usually completely insane.


Fae are animal babies overtaken in the womb. They are slightly smarter than normal animals, have supernatural powers, and are usually completely insane.

Changlings
, are baby who the spirit inhabits in the womb, overpowering the fledgling spirit and taking the body for itself. They have natural magic, but at a price. They are sterile. Healing arts used on them cause the inner spirit to freak out and retaliate violently. This also applies to magic weapons. Their is a stigma against them, as it is believed that they cause magic items to break and that other spirits flock to them, thus raising the chance of more changelings, Fae, and Revenants coming into existence. In addition, they range from eccentric to completely insane.
Hey son, wanna' learn how ta' make witch balls?
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Re: Magic!

Zaleramancer
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It's really interesting.

It has define focus, as well as a good description of how it works.

The idea of controlling your own spirit for magical effects is really novel, as well as the idea of magi-tech activating because constrained spirits get annoyed.

The idea of spirits possessing dead bodies and babies reminds me of old stories, and the way it's handled is rather neat, if sad.

“She'd become a governess. It was one of the few jobs a known lady could do. And she'd taken to it well. She'd sworn that if she did indeed ever find herself dancing on rooftops with chimney sweeps she'd beat herself to death with her own umbrella.”
― Hogfather
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Gentleman Vaultboy
I've always been fond of the whole "Magic as Radiation" trope. Changelings came out of another Idea I had, where a spell cast to strengthen an army hundreds of years ago lingered on the land and eventually turned a normal field into a jungle filled with incredibly strong and vicious wildlife. None are terrifying as the Herculeans though, children born withing the spell effect. Superhuman strength, very tan, blue hair (Everything there was blue tinted, something to do with the color of the spell). Started acting like raiders, using really big weapons to take out huge swafs of infantry at once, only really eaten back do to their low numbers. The only reason they were allowed to continue existing was because they kept all the other beasts in line.

It's a thing with me, every time I use magic in a story it always has to have dangerous side effects.
Hey son, wanna' learn how ta' make witch balls?
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Re: Magic!

Zaleramancer
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Hmm.

I like to use lots of different kinds of magic in a single setting, or make up how it acutally works- in it's own terms.


For example, In one world, I defined the parts of a spell (Incantation, Gesture, Material, Rune) as things that shaped how a spell came out (Purpose, Direction, Energy/Affinity, Constraints).

For example, a mage who wanted to cast a fireball spell would carefully trace a rune to define what the spell couldn't do, such as harm the mage or his allies, then place a candle and light it with a little conjured spark, which would define what kind of energy the spell would produce, and then finally begin his incantation and gesturing.

The rune/candle set up would be general, working for nearly any offensive fire spell, while the incantation would be specific to that kind of fireball. The gestures would steer the spell in the correct direction, insuring it hit where it should.

A mage could go without these things, but that made magic really dangerous. Without a purpose, a spell may literally do anything. Without a rune, there's no making sure it doesn't do something horrid to you or someone else. Without a energy, the spell would just latch on to the ambient affinity of the area, which could end up burning something or turning you into a duck. And without gestures, the spell would be impossible to direct. You'd just have to hope it hit something that wasn't you.

“She'd become a governess. It was one of the few jobs a known lady could do. And she'd taken to it well. She'd sworn that if she did indeed ever find herself dancing on rooftops with chimney sweeps she'd beat herself to death with her own umbrella.”
― Hogfather
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Re: Magic!

Marvelous Miscreant
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Perhaps you could bring some of these idea to KCoM for use in later "upgrades" of the characters?
Praise the Sun
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Re: Magic!

Zaleramancer
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If you want.

I'm trying to add distinctions between the use of magic in various cultures right now..
“She'd become a governess. It was one of the few jobs a known lady could do. And she'd taken to it well. She'd sworn that if she did indeed ever find herself dancing on rooftops with chimney sweeps she'd beat herself to death with her own umbrella.”
― Hogfather
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Re: Magic!

Tsubasa & Wen Tien
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In reply to this post by Zaleramancer
Ugh, complicated magic spells and rituals I abhor. I prefer it when the spells are cast by way of thought. Generally, you form the way you want the spell to be n your mind, then release the energy to flow as needed. No fancy movements needed, unless you like that but it makes it obvious to your opponent where your spell will be directed and that's not generally a good idea. If I do separate magics into categoriies though it would be: Elemental, Holy, Unholy, Support, Other.
http://loc.wikia.com/wiki/Mina

In NB:
Crescent's best technique: Moonless Night
Suzu's favorite technique: Shining Blade
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Gentleman Vaultboy
While I agree with you about not liking overly complex rituals for magic (if only because I hate the whole "boring fighter, awesome wizard" thing) I don't like dividing them up into categories. Makes it seem video gamey.
Hey son, wanna' learn how ta' make witch balls?
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Tsubasa & Wen Tien
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I only did the categorypart because one of my civilizations that uses magic keeps very accurate records, so they needed a way to organize all the spells.
http://loc.wikia.com/wiki/Mina

In NB:
Crescent's best technique: Moonless Night
Suzu's favorite technique: Shining Blade
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Re: Magic!

Celadon's Penultimate
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In reply to this post by Tsubasa & Wen Tien
I think mages can differ into all kinds of magic. Some need spells and rituals and items and objects; some can do magic by simple words, gestures or thoughts (without an outright spell or incantation being cast); some use a combination of both.

I personally accept all kinds of magic, and all kinds of mages. They all exist in Celadon, and numerous different kinds of organization systems exist for them as well.
“…Judge not what a man has done, but judge what he could have done if he was a different bloke altogether. For art thou a leper? And a leper can changeth his spots…”   --Rudy Wade, Misfits (Series 4, Episode 8)
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Gentleman Vaultboy
My problem with that kind of thing is that, if all magic is equal, then there is literally no reason to go through long, complex rituals when you could get the same effect from a gesture? Of course, if ritual makes magic Significantly more powerful, that alright. I'm cool with that.

You know, I think this is why I don't like psionics and magic in the same setting. Magic might be more powerful, but psionics are infinitely more practical. Usually.
Hey son, wanna' learn how ta' make witch balls?
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Zaleramancer
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I like a kind of balance.

Like with the first post magic.

Wizards take forever to cast a spell, but there's very little limit on how much power they can draw from the ambient mana. Because they can work with such high-energy and because their spells take time, they tend to be very good at practical utility. It doesn't matter if they take fifteen minutes to do magic, because their spells can keep going if they set them up to do so.

If they have to do combat, they do better in large armies. As artillery, medics and general magical help.

Sorcerers, on the other hand, can do magic with merely a thought- but they have a limited supply of energy. Once that goes up, they're rather helpless until it slowly trickles back. They do well in small scale combat because of this. So long as they don't blow all their energy, they can keep blasting away. If they have to do something outside of combat, they'll usually get together and try to pool magical resources in order to take advantage of their collective strength.
“She'd become a governess. It was one of the few jobs a known lady could do. And she'd taken to it well. She'd sworn that if she did indeed ever find herself dancing on rooftops with chimney sweeps she'd beat herself to death with her own umbrella.”
― Hogfather
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Re: Magic!

Zaleramancer
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In reply to this post by Tsubasa & Wen Tien
The problem with that is it makes magic little better than -kinetic abilities.

I like having some complexities in magic, because it makes things more interesting than just having someone want something- then get it.
“She'd become a governess. It was one of the few jobs a known lady could do. And she'd taken to it well. She'd sworn that if she did indeed ever find herself dancing on rooftops with chimney sweeps she'd beat herself to death with her own umbrella.”
― Hogfather
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Celadon's Penultimate
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Well, either way could work for me. Complicated or simple, I'm okay either way, as long as there is some discernible difference between spells/magic and regular superpowers.

Like the show Charmed.
“…Judge not what a man has done, but judge what he could have done if he was a different bloke altogether. For art thou a leper? And a leper can changeth his spots…”   --Rudy Wade, Misfits (Series 4, Episode 8)
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Gentleman Vaultboy
Creation
Destruction
Connection
Rejection
Revision
Reversion
Augmentation
Negation

Forget fire and water, those aren't elemental. They're vehicles a spell uses to get things done. Whats the real difference between throwing a ball of heat and a ball of cold? You're doing the same thing with different flavors. Those are elements, up there. Spells, classified by the only things that matter: what they do. What their purpose is.

Make, Break, Bring Together, Push Apart, Change, Return, Improve, Remove. That's all magic does. That's all any action does.
Hey son, wanna' learn how ta' make witch balls?
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Re: Magic!

WonderDrow
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This post was updated on .
So where does magic that temporarily stops time falls in those categories? Like that girl in Charmed?

And what about Summoning?
True colours always shine brighter within darkness. ~ WonderDrow ~
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