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Old 06-08-2016, 12:26 PM
Lon-ami Lon-ami is offline

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Default [Worldbuilding] Classifying magic by type, element, school, etc

So in every fantasy universe or whatnot where magic is present, it can be classified in some way, either by type, element, school, etc. This classification determines the nature of spells themselves. Sometimes, there's also a relationship between the individual families derived from the classification, where one predates another, or rules over it, sometimes with multiple connections between each member. This can be usually depicted in a circle or diagram as well.

Looking at mythology, the general European model has always been "earth, fire, water, air". Then you have the Chinese with their "earth, fire, water, wood, metal".

In videogames and other fiction you have dozens of different models. For example, Pokémon is one of the universes where you can find the most families, a total of 18. Another example, Warhammer, has a total of 8, but then has additional minor types not included inside the main 8.

But I don't like any of them.

---

I want a good solid model, to be used as a foundation for the depiction of magic in the settings I work with in the future. Specifics of said settings don't matter for this thread.

It's hard because I'm trying to somehow... Apply math and science to magic? Kinda like, I don't know, first scientists tried to explain stuff like why it rained or other phenomena that were historically attributed to magic before. Except magic doesn't really exist. I'm applying logic to fiction.

Since there's no inherent logic on magic at all, except chemistry or other real world correlations, I want a limit, a restriction. I will force myself to create symmetrical relationships with the members of the classification. No member will be standalone, all of them will be related to each other in a specific way.

So let's go.

---

The first thing I dislike about classic models, and the one thing that made me go for my own unique model, is "fire".

Fire is usually tiered with earth, water, and air in the most simple models. However, fire isn't shit. It's not matter, you can't pick it up. It's a chemical reaction.

This inconsistency, plus lot of dead free time, led me through a path of theorycrafting about the topic. These ideas are more than one year old, but I figured I would share them anyway.

I think explaining the final result is easier than the step-by-step, so here it is:

---

First, we have 4 elements, that form a circle, clockwise:

* Earth
* Water
* Air
* Life

Each element has 2 elemental forces inside, that oppose the force next to them outside their element. These forces can be conservative or destructive, depending on how they transform matter. Clockwise, constructive goes first/left, and destructive second/right.

* Fire (D. Earth) - Ice (C. Water)
* Psychic (D. Water) - Electricity (C. Air)
* Shadow (D. Air) - Light (C. Life)
* Nature (D. Life) - Mechanics (C. Earth)

Before the explanations, note that the names aren't final, they just give a general idea of what they are about. So, explanations:

* Both forces under an element share some basic abilities. For example, both air forces can manipulate the wind in similar ways.
* Fire an ice are an obvious one, and the basic foundation for the model. Fire would cover everything from burning to lava, and ice would cover freezing as well as steam. The key is both deal with heat. Fire is destructive because it transforms matter (bark to ash) unlike water that only changes its state (liquid to solid).
* Mechanics covers stuff like earthquakes aside from what the name already implies. It understands the world, and specially the earth, as if it was a machine full of gears, and learns to control it. Sound could be included here as well.
* Nature takes everything related to life, specially plants, as well as poisons. It embodies wilderness, and relates to swarms and plagues more than happy flowers. It's the counterpart to mechanics, and both deal with the creation of "lifeforms" in their own way.
* Electricity is an obvious one under Air, and deals with lightning, thunder, your classic stuff. Shadow is all about the darkness, the night, smoke screens, deception, etc. Sand and dust are key themes of both of these forces, and the driving catalyst for their control of the wind, because wind alone is of no use.
* Psychic is the water counterpart to electricity. It's all about mind control, illusionism, hypnotization, and manipulation of time and space through gravity. Where electricity represents kinetic energy, psychic represents potential energy. It's under water because it uses water as its catalyst, specially for its reflective nature. Also because flesh is made of water.
* Light is the life counterpart to shadow, and it deals with daylight, souls and spirits.

---

So that's it! The mode of 4 basic elements, as well as Fire and Ice, are pretty much untouchable, but everything else can be modified.

I'm specially indecisive with Light and Shadow. Maybe move spirits to shadow? They sound like they fit better there, but it kinda breaks the equilibrium. Maybe make "spirits" a shared theme between both light and shadow? With one being "living" and another "dead"?

Note that the spellcasters from this universe don't need to be limited to a single elemental force, and could combine multiple of them.

Also, I want my magic to "make sense", so classic necromancy has no place. Zombies can be a thing under Nature, through infestation of corpses, but that's it.

---

Looking forward opinions of my model, as well as your own models if you have any. Don't want the discussion to be just about mine!

Note that there's other options for new models as well, from animal species to attack types or whatever, no need to stick to elements. Just go for it!
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Old 06-08-2016, 01:25 PM
Anansi Anansi is offline

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This is good thread, credit to forum.

The trouble with magic is it needs some physical or metaphysical basis if you're going to start thinking seriously about it. That means fundamental forces, basic particles and probably even some bullshit mathematics to back it all up. And math is really fucking hard to bullshit deeply enough that magic starts to work.

But I've been chewing on the problem for awhile now, trying to set up a system sufficiently rigorous and complete to publish in a comprehensive "account of the principles and practices of magical craft through the ages and across the world" for a classic fantasyland setting. Here's what I've got so far:

Basic Particles:
-Thaum: 'standard' in some way, possibly the kind of thing that determines the 'density' or 'mass' of magic in a compound particle or particle system. Higgs-ish? I'm afraid I don't know enough about particle physics to speak authoritatively.
-Iota: responsible for consciousness. The dreaming, creative aspects of sapient thought derive from complicated metaphysical systems built up from iotas, and inanimate objects can be 'charged' with iotas to give them limited awareness and/or decision making capabilities. (talking swords, magic mirrors, conditional curses, wish-granting systems, etc)
-Glint: Responsible for/involved with some kind of entanglement, they can be engineered to affect change across distance, independent of intermediate space/time.
-(Metron?): Encodes/informs information about physical qualities in a way that can be operated on by metaphysical forces and interactions, and vice versa. 'Metron' is an awful name, but I want something to suggest measurement.
-???: Something to get around conservation laws. A particle that somehow allows certain magical operations to increase or decrease the amount of energy in a system.

Basic Invocations (draft, a minimal complete set of all operations by which magical energy and material can be manipulated or harnessed):
-Incantation
-Infusion
-Inscription
-Permutation
-Radiation
-Transaction

Granted, this isn't necessarily consistent with the model you've presented in your OP, but if you help me brainstorm my model, I'll help you with yours. I'll think about your elemental basis and get back to you later.
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Old 06-08-2016, 01:31 PM
Mutterscrawl Mutterscrawl is offline

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Tablet is unsuited to length of reply i want to make, nonetheless this looks cool and I promise I'll give it a more thorough response later
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Old 06-08-2016, 01:55 PM
Yaskaleh Yaskaleh is offline

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My own magic classification is a mix of western and eastern thought.

Seven main elements, of which 2 can be fleshed out to become 4 which makes the elements into 9.

This is symbolised with a hexagon made of seven points. The upper point is Life/Light, to it's lower left lies Earth and to it's lower right lies Water. Opposite of Life/Light lies Death/Darkness. Left and above of it lies Fire and opposite of that lies Water. In the exact center of the hexagon lies the seventh point, that of Energy which connects all other elements.

Split into three areas:

The physical realm.
Earth, Water, Air and Fire. Earth describes that of solid matter, Water that of liquid matter, Air that of gaseous matter and Fire that of plasma matter.
Earth, Water, Air and fire are just the most primal forms of each state of matter that mankind encounters.

The realm of the duality of life:
Life and Death is the dualism of living things. This is linked to that of Light and Darkness. The two(four) realms are not separate but tightly linked together. One cannot exist without the other. This is best represented with the Eastern Yin Yang symbol.

The seventh, or ninth, element is the all encompassing element, the element that binds and separates all other elements. Energy, represented with the lightning bolt.

All other classes or schools of magic comes from one or more of the main elements. Ice, frost or chill magic is an intermediate school of magic, drawing from Earth, Water and Air. Ice magic is the closest to Earth but still heavily governed by Water due to the special characteristics of the chemical element of water in the environment suitable to human life. Frost and chill magic draws a lot from Air.

Ordinary Fire magic is the weakest form of the Element of Fire (Plasma). What mainly differs the various forms of magic lies in the application of the element of Energy. Pure Frost magic can be described as a lack of the element of Energy whereas Fire magic is the opposite.

I like to colour code the elements. Earth is Orange, Water is Green, Air is Blue, Fire is Red, White/Yellow-Gold is Light/Life, Purple/Black is Death/Darkness and Silver/Grey is Energy. You can probably split it further as White is Light, Black is Darkness, Life is Yellow/Gold and Death is Purple. Think of it as two Yin-Yangs. One Gold and Purple and the other is Black and White.
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Old 06-08-2016, 03:24 PM
Blayze Blayze is offline

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Mana in my setting is basically just sentient superpower-granting radiation.

For my own stuff, mana is the raw form of Creation itself--the tormented and tortured souls of a dead timeline, melded together with everything else that ever existed there, into a horrifying weightless mass of potential with a 'will' of its own that knows only the primal urge to sustain and propagate its own existence.

And the man who created it by damning his home timeline to oblivion enforced all the traditional rules on its use by asserting his will upon it first, so that nobody could ever control the whole thing to use against him.

He tore the mana apart into three different types that repelled each other, and left it hidden away in the reality of that dead timeline for someone to eventually find by means of discovering the tiny rift in reality that led there.

And when it was eventually discovered and flooded the world, the three different types of mana irradiated everything they touched to try and 'procreate'.

One type mutated special organs within living creatures, organs that turned the body's own energy into itself.

The second type, much larger than the other two, flooded the planet and effectively irradiated everything that wasn't alive.

And the third, with nothing left to infect, gravitated to living beings and floated around in the air around them--and the more people there were in close proximity to each other, the more of itself it could create.

The rules mana's creator made immutable scientific law about it were born of his desire to turn the world into the fantasy world he'd always wanted--and the more people learned about those rules through their own scientific experimentation, the more solidified they became.

They called the type that followed them around Divine mana, for its first known use was in willing minor injuries to be healed, and enough people called it a miracle that it became so.

They called the type that flooded the land Elemental mana, for it seemed to be the energy of the earth, sea and sky themselves, and fire was so crucial to humanity's evolution that it, too, became an element in their eyes.

Mana's creator's own knowledge of fantasy tropes and the cardinal elements made that a certainty anyway.

And they called the type that flooded their bodies Arcane mana, for it seemed to be the manifestation of their own individual wills, and its first known use was in suppressing the will of another person.

Basically, some guy acquired godlike powers and used them to reshape reality into his own D&D knockoff, then other people thought 'being a wizard would be fucking awesome' and accidentally ensured wizards existed as a result.
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Old 06-08-2016, 08:49 PM
Anansi Anansi is offline

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Originally Posted by Blayze View Post
Basically, some guy acquired godlike powers and used them to reshape reality into his own D&D knockoff, then other people thought 'being a wizard would be fucking awesome' and accidentally ensured wizards existed as a result.
Who told you all this?
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Old 06-08-2016, 09:51 PM
Ruinshin Ruinshin is offline

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My magic system for the universe im crafting (and I really hope to start churning out some more stuff on SoL for spitballing once im in my apartment and can actually type and research effectively) isn't all that fancy.

"Magic" is generally something restricted to the wealthy who can afford the materials and training to use it, but it's not something inherently special. It's willpower given form as an energy source, which can be channeled through items to produce desired effects.

Certain materials will influence the shape the energy takes (say, a bow and arrow with obsidian and leather decorations will produce a certain effect, in that case, the area around the wound will begin to dry out, as a rough example).

Things, of course, can be done without the decorations, but it's easier with. But throwing fireballs and spells and such won't really exist. the energy has to be imbued into something, and most things don't hold onto the energy very well.

Dwarves will be a bit of an exception, with the highest quality and longest lasting shit due to metals they have access to.
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Old 06-08-2016, 11:06 PM
Mutterscrawl Mutterscrawl is offline

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lon-ami View Post
The first thing I dislike about classic models, and the one thing that made me go for my own unique model, is "fire".

Fire is usually tiered with earth, water, and air in the most simple models. However, fire isn't shit. It's not matter, you can't pick it up. It's a chemical reaction.

This inconsistency, plus lot of dead free time, led me through a path of theorycrafting about the topic. These ideas are more than one year old, but I figured I would share them anyway.

I think explaining the final result is easier than the step-by-step, so here it is:

---

First, we have 4 elements, that form a circle, clockwise:

* Earth
* Water
* Air
* Life

Each element has 2 elemental forces inside, that oppose the force next to them outside their element. These forces can be conservative or destructive, depending on how they transform matter. Clockwise, constructive goes first/left, and destructive second/right.

* Fire (D. Earth) - Ice (C. Water)
* Psychic (D. Water) - Electricity (C. Air)
* Shadow (D. Air) - Light (C. Life)
* Nature (D. Life) - Mechanics (C. Water)


Before the explanations, note that the names aren't final, they just give a general idea of what they are about. So, explanations:

* Both forces under an element share some basic abilities. For example, both air forces can manipulate the wind in similar ways.
* Fire an ice are an obvious one, and the basic foundation for the model. Fire would cover everything from burning to lava, and ice would cover freezing as well as steam. The key is both deal with heat. Fire is destructive because it transforms matter (bark to ash) unlike water that only changes its state (liquid to solid).
* Mechanics covers stuff like earthquakes aside from what the name already implies. It understands the world, and specially the earth, as if it was a machine full of gears, and learns to control it. Sound could be included here as well.
* Nature takes everything related to life, specially plants, as well as poisons. It embodies wilderness, and relates to swarms and plagues more than happy flowers. It's the counterpart to mechanics, and both deal with the creation of "lifeforms" in their own way.
* Electricity is an obvious one under Air, and deals with lightning, thunder, your classic stuff. Shadow is all about the darkness, the night, smoke screens, deception, etc. Sand and dust are key themes of both of these forces, and the driving catalyst for their control of the wind, because wind alone is of no use.
* Psychic is the water counterpart to electricity. It's all about mind control, illusionism, hypnotization, and manipulation of time and space through gravity. Where electricity represents kinetic energy, psychic represents potential energy. It's under water because it uses water as its catalyst, specially for its reflective nature. Also because flesh is made of water.
* Light is the life counterpart to shadow, and it deals with daylight, souls and spirits.

---

So that's it! The mode of 4 basic elements, as well as Fire and Ice, are pretty much untouchable, but everything else can be modified.

I'm specially indecisive with Light and Shadow. Maybe move spirits to shadow? They sound like they fit better there, but it kinda breaks the equilibrium. Maybe make "spirits" a shared theme between both light and shadow? With one being "living" and another "dead"?

Note that the spellcasters from this universe don't need to be limited to a single elemental force, and could combine multiple of them.

Also, I want my magic to "make sense", so classic necromancy has no place. Zombies can be a thing under Nature, through infestation of corpses, but that's it.

---

Looking forward opinions of my model, as well as your own models if you have any. Don't want the discussion to be just about mine!

Note that there's other options for new models as well, from animal species to attack types or whatever, no need to stick to elements. Just go for it!
Alright, the bolded section is a little weird for me, I suppose because the constructive seems to go first/left, but is listed on the right side, and it's messing with me, but maybe that's just because it's 1AM.

I like how Fire and Ice are a basis for the first one though, heat has always been related to having more or less energy and that's a lot of fun to play with regarding magic.

At first I worried that attaching Sound to Mechanics rather than to air in some way might feel odd, but ultimately I agree it fits better with mechanics since they both deal with vibrations and movement.

How much does Nature relate to animal life? The distinction between plants and animals is always intriguing in magical systems.

Thunder might fit better under mechanics, or to bridge mechanics and air/electricity despite being otherwise unrelated.

I love what you did with Psychic there and connecting to water due to reflection.


Can you elaborate on why classic necromancy wouldn't function?
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Old 06-09-2016, 12:18 AM
GenyaArikado GenyaArikado is offline

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Honestly i believe WoW chronicles system is pretty much the best one
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Old 06-09-2016, 12:58 AM
Korath Korath is offline

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Magic in my setting is perhaps the thing which is the farthest from traditional fantasy universe. There isn't elements, or even mana involved. It is tied to the world itself. Or more accurately, to the worlds. I'll try to avoid too many invented words, but since so far I've only delved in the Kandari (and more largely the Giant) view of all of this, sometime I'll have to.

In my novel, there is indeed to "worlds" : the normal world (The World), were mortals (the Ephemerals) live and the one where the souls of dead and the Gods (the Eternals) reside (The World After). And the two overlapse. To give you an idea, the two worlds are quite literally twins : they came to be from the Nothing which was All (Staal-Oldir in Kandari) and then went their own way some times after it (either after or before the Eternals War against other and more ancient entities depends on the world : before in The World After; after it in The World). But the two worlds still overlaps at times.

And it is especially evident in the domain of magic, because the influence of The World After creates four kind of souls. And it is those souls which matters for the use of magic. Those kind of souls are :
  • a : the normal souls, which, despite their transmigrations trough The World After, when their Ephemeral lives end, don't acquire some specific characteristics and thus are unable to use magic of any kind, or enter in direct contact with the Eternals beyond some very personal encounter after some really dire training regimen and great devotion.
  • b : the yadin zarga souls, which are basically "incomplete souls", which are created when an Ephemeral dies in the body of its mother. Usually it lead to a miscarriage and the soul of the dead return to The World After to begin again its transmigration. But sometimes, The World After actually pour into the dead Ephemeral, complete the part of its soul which has already departed and bring back the baby to life. The yadin zarga can't use magic, however they are able to feel the presence of impure spirits (the Balakag in Kandari) and are the only ones able to inflict lasting harm to those creatures. Furthermore, contrary to all the other kind of souls, they have the ability to change their, and those of others around them, destiny (but often at great risk from themselves).
  • c : the soul of the "true priests" of the Eternals. For whatever reason, when the souls of some Ephemeral return to The World After, they actually resonate with the Eternals radiance, and as they are reborn, they preserve this radiance, which allow them to communicate with ease to the divinities and actually draw upon The World a portion of their power. The effects of this kind of "magic" (which isn't seen as such by the inhabitants of Zagatïn) are quite varied since they depend of the prayers those souls address to the Eternals. it range from enhancing the effects of the fourth kind of souls' powers, to somehow bend the luck itself (for instance if a difficult shot as to be successful to save many). But the "answers" of the Eternals may vary quite a lot and they tend to be more easily accepted in time of dire need.
  • d : the souls of the "true magic users". For whatever reason during their travels in The World After, those souls have acquired a portion of its nature, which allow them to influence The World in some ways. They can make an avalanche deadlier, a fire hotter or an healing process more effective, but they can't cast fireballs from their hands, or restore one to health by simply touching him (in the latter case, they can speed the natural healing process or strengthen the natural defences against illness but to heal broken bones and other terrible injuries they have to work in conjunction with a healer). Depending of the civilization they are born into, they will have access to different sources of knowledge, and also their strength will depend of their species (the Giants aren't as good at magic as the Humans, who themselves are quite a lot less skilled than the Lizard-Folks).
  • e : the impure spirits are those souls who have refused to shed their former identity to reincarnate as a new being. Instead they have preserved their memories, but have been twisted into sickening shadows and corrupting influence in The World After. They have also the ability to possess a living being, sustaining themselves on its soul force until it has been entirely consumed (such victim can't reincarnate, except if a yadin zarga kill his body, which force the impure spirit to release whatever remains of the original soul). Possessed are a lot stronger than their appearance (which is always sick-looking) imply. In fact Humans possessed by the impure spirits are often even stronger than Giants. Those spirits also posses vast knowledge of impure lore than they can teach to the fourth kind of souls, to create sorcerers of vastly superior power, at the cost of one sanity, health and a constant influx of sacrificed victims whose souls are destroyed to fuel the spells. Hence why, once such practices are discovered for what they are, all knowledge about it is usually destroyed.

As you can see, all of this divert quite a lot from the usual fantasy settings, but I've never liked too powerful magical powers, so it suits my tastes.
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Old 06-09-2016, 02:18 AM
Blayze Blayze is offline

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Who told you all this?
The First and Seventh, Ru'aka, the One Above Gods.
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Old 06-09-2016, 03:44 AM
Lon-ami Lon-ami is offline

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Other things I didn't write in the first post:

* Magic in my universe is about control of energy, and how you apply that energy around you. Anyone can learn magic, though each individual can have a better affinity with a specific elemental force depending on the nature of his soul. Every magic user has a minimum control of all 4 elements. So, anyone can control wind, but air users take it to the next level by adding sand and dust to it to make it stronger.

* In general, constructive forces beat their destructive counterparts. So, ice beats fire, electricity beats psychic, light beats shadow, and mechanics beats nature. Then destructive forces beat their element's constructive companion. So, fire beats mechanics, psychic beats ice, shadow beats electricity, and nature beats light. Of course this is just in general, in a real fight all forces are tied. This laws apply to the equilibrium of the world more than who beats who in a fight.

* I don't know where to put classic warriors. Remember I want magic explained, so a guy being able to punch a door down just through supernatural strength makes no sense here. Maybe inside light, with all the "enhance your own living soul" thing? Warriors have always been hard to classify for me, a real pain in the ass. Maybe inside mechanics, with the vibration and earthquake control? Or inside fire, linking rage with burning?

---

Additionally, each elemental force has an assigned color:

* Fire: Red
* Ice: Cyan
* Psychic: Purple
* Electricity: Yellow
* Shadow: Black
* Light: White
* Nature: Green
* Mechanics: Orange

I'm not 100% convinced about this distribution. I had light be yellow, shadow be gray or dark blue, mechanics be brown, and electricity be orange before. I'm also worried with orange/yellow being too similar, and classic blue and cyan being so different (and in some color distributions being so separate). I don't like black/gray/white too much either, and I have no color for the 4 elements themselves either.

I like this image regarding color distribution:



The colors of shadow are what worry me the most, since there's spirits and stuff aside from smoke screens, and they need some color. Maybe the answer is to assign multiple colors to each elemental force, and make sure a few are shared to reinforce the relationships between each force?

I also have some basic numerology and synesthesia with each elemental force, but I reached a very satisfying result there, so I'll keep it for me. If I ever do something cool with this, I'll surely include a plot twist or something with it, for big lore nerds to discover and decipher .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutterscrawl View Post
Alright, the bolded section is a little weird for me, I suppose because the constructive seems to go first/left, but is listed on the right side, and it's messing with me, but maybe that's just because it's 1AM.

I like how Fire and Ice are a basis for the first one though, heat has always been related to having more or less energy and that's a lot of fun to play with regarding magic.

At first I worried that attaching Sound to Mechanics rather than to air in some way might feel odd, but ultimately I agree it fits better with mechanics since they both deal with vibrations and movement.
I should have made a small image explaining it, but I didn't think the thread would get so much interest. I might do later.

The 8 elemental forces form an octagon. Clockwise:

* Fire - Ice - Psychic - Electricity - Shadow - Light - Nature - Mechanics - Fire.

Fire and Mechanics are both part of Earth. I just start at the top corner, because I want to emphasize the opposing forces, so mechanics is left for last.

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How much does Nature relate to animal life? The distinction between plants and animals is always intriguing in magical systems.
I just haven't cared about animals. At the early beginning, I was planning to include animals inside light, but then I just left it aside. Animal magic, like necromancy, doesn't make too much sense.

That doesn't mean light users can't become friends with animals easily due to their elemental force's connection with the "living soul". But in the same way, any magic user could commune with any animal, specially if they're tied to the magic they're using. Ice users get along with creatures related to water environments better.

As for nature, one of the "final names" I might give it to it is "Overgrowth". While light users are soul healers, the real healers are nature users, who excel at healing the body through forced regeneration. Painful, but effective.

Their dark side deals with poisons, plagues, and spawning plants and insects using the terrain or seeds they carry with themselves. The life they spawn isn't natural, and is cruelly forced to multiplicate at an abnormal speed. This means it usually dies soon, unless it attaches itself to a host or another energy source. Light users consider this magic an aberration when taken to the extreme, but nature users don't give a fuck, because they believe in the big picture of the natural cycle. They think in the greater good of nature as a whole, and don't hesitate at times of sacrifice, or when they need to kill animals disrupting the balance. They work to keep a balance, they aren't some tree huggers, they embody the cruelty of nature itself.

There's a different perception of evil between destructive and constructive force users as well. While destructive users tend to go for the classic evil, destroying things, constructive users gone evil fit the roles of self-righteous cold blood tyrants.

This dichotomy can be seen easily between light and nature. Where nature is an obvious force of destruction, ravaging the land and shaping it to its will, it's aware of evil when it performs it, for it's the desired goal. Evil light users, in the other hand, seek a totalitarian control of everything, a perfect unnatural balance that only leads to death by apathy, while they believe they're doing the right thing. Of course, this is just how the "inner spirit" of each elemental force works, individuals can go wild wherever they want no matter the nature of the magic they are using.

So yeah, you can say Destruction/Construction can be called Chaos/Order as well. I chose the first because of the interaction with matter, which is more important.

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Originally Posted by Mutterscrawl View Post
Thunder might fit better under mechanics, or to bridge mechanics and air/electricity despite being otherwise unrelated.
In the end electricity is just power, so really any magic user can use it. Electricity users can control it better. In a way, there's a version of electricity for each elemental force, but only the one related to electricity can be manipulated into further levels. Channeled energy spells (lightning from the hands) is something any magic user can do, with slights variations depending on the used elemental force.

An ice user can summon a storm, but only an electricity user will be able to take the lightning and aim it, shaping it into balls, spears, or even "snakes" to strike his enemies. Also, the sand in the wind he uses can be conductive as well.

Electricity users are a tornado of sand, blades, and lightning. Remember they cover kinetic energy, which is energy derived from the force of movement. Light users can be faster than them, but no one beats an electricity user at tackling and raming.

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I love what you did with Psychic there and connecting to water due to reflection.
At the beginning I didn't know where to put it. It went into water just because there was a hole. Also because "bodies and brains are made of water" so it kinda made more sense than the other elements. Also water is very malleable, and easier to manipulate through levitation. You can compress it in a ball and crash it against someone, which you can't do with rocks or air. Water is the best element to build illusions and constructs. Also, psychic is usually linked to octopuses and tentacles, which leads us back to water.

I really like psychic magic, and I feel many universes don't pay attention to it beyond some secondary spells and monsters. I'm sad most people don't "get it" either, with how much potential it has. Guild Wars 2 mesmers were an obvious influence, as was Pokemon. Psychic users are usually called espers, but you won't find many games giving them that name. WildStar did, and they kinda get the vibe, but scifi.

Music can be easily associated to them as well. Sirens scream psychic magic (another link to water; and pun not intended). The picture of a girl in a dress and a venetian mask singing and playing a harp, driving crazy her enemies, is just too badass imo. It has a duelist/musketeer vibe with swords too.

I think it's an awesome magic because of the themes related to it as well. It usually deals with venetian masks, nobility, deception through mind control, and perversion. The Warhammer chaos god Slaanesh fits the dark side of psychic magic perfectly as well, as does your classic Lovecraftian stuff.

In my universe, aside from the classic stuff like music, levitation and illusions, I also like to give them the ability to summon extra arms, to let them cast multiple spells at the same time.

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Can you elaborate on why classic necromancy wouldn't function?
What I tried the most with my model of magic was to make sense out of it. That's why fire isn't really fire (it's combustion or deflagration). I don't want any "because magic" reasoning. Everything has a natural base that makes sense, where the entire elemental force comes from.

Classic necromancy makes no sense for me, particularly regarding skeletal minions. How does a skeleton not crumble? It has no muscles. It's just walking because of invisible magic. That breaks my rule above.

Other classical summoning spells don't work for me either, like summoning a demon. Demons aren't a thing in my universe. Instead, you have highly corrupted creatures, where addiction to magic has made them corrupt. But they can't be summoned from thin air like that.

This ties to transformations, for advanced users of magic can transform their bodies into their base element, with a touch of the desired elemental force. Corruption is going too far with how you merge with magic, abusing it, etc. It makes you go wild, and become a beast, addicted to it. Kinda like eating disorders but worse. Magic energy itself is at the air, and can be found at higher numbers in special places, but in general it's something inside you, that your own soul produces, just like your body creates heat.

That doesn't mean there isn't necromancy on its own way. You could say I divide it in two:

* Nature necromancy: Zombies, flesh constructs, and other nasty things. They originate from plagues, parasites, or just vines taking control of dead bodies like puppets. Their main difference is that they are not undead, they're alive. This is important, because we are facing living creatures, corpses controlled by mutant plants drive by hunger, and of course, they can be killed just like any other living creature. They might be tougher because of the many limbs and no vital organs, but they still bleed.
* Shadow necromancy: Spirits, ghosts, wraiths, echoes, possessions, etc. They aren't undead, they're dead. In this universe, when you die you disappear. No hell, no heaven. However, your magical presence leaves a mark wherever you go, a memory. Ghosts are that, echoes tied to a location. A powerful shadow user can trace these marks, and relive what happened anywhere (as long as those he's tracing didn't cloak themselves at the time). These memories can react in the physical world when summoned, with the same mood the original people had in the moment. Some powerful magic users can become "immortal" by transcending their bodies into elements, changing where their soul is attached and escaping death. The people in this universe make sure to leave a good mark as a legacy for their children, so they can visit it for wisdom and whatnot. You can create strong marks on purpose, but death is usually the strongest of them all.

So it's more like undeath just doesn't exist in my setting, because it doesn't make sense with my restrictions.
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Old 06-09-2016, 10:50 AM
Anansi Anansi is offline

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Originally Posted by Lon-ami View Post
The first thing I dislike about classic models, and the one thing that made me go for my own unique model, is "fire".

Fire is usually tiered with earth, water, and air in the most simple models. However, fire isn't shit. It's not matter, you can't pick it up. It's a chemical reaction.

This inconsistency, plus lot of dead free time, led me through a path of theorycrafting about the topic. These ideas are more than one year old, but I figured I would share them anyway.

I think explaining the final result is easier than the step-by-step, so here it is:

---

First, we have 4 elements, that form a circle, clockwise:

* Earth
* Water
* Air
* Life
Life doesn't strike me as much more tangible than fire, unless you're suggesting it exists as an invisible fourth state of matter/energy. The invisible soul, perhaps? I'm not sure I get what you're going for.


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Each element has 2 elemental forces inside, that oppose the force next to them outside their element. These forces can be conservative or destructive, depending on how they transform matter. Clockwise, constructive goes first/left, and destructive second/right.

* Fire (D. Earth) - Ice (C. Water)
* Psychic (D. Water) - Electricity (C. Air)
* Shadow (D. Air) - Light (C. Life)
* Nature (D. Life) - Mechanics (C. Water)
I'm not sure this is correct. Are there supposed to be two 'C. Water's? Or is Mechanics supposed to be 'C. Earth'? What you've written lacks symmetry and seems to contradict your statement that each element has two forces, one destructive and one conservative.

I'd also suggest, for linguistic reasons, changing 'mechanics' to 'kinetics.' You might want to use the term 'mechanics' to describe something more than the elemental force.


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Originally Posted by Lon-ami View Post
* Electricity is an obvious one under Air, and deals with lightning, thunder, your classic stuff. Shadow is all about the darkness, the night, smoke screens, deception, etc. Sand and dust are key themes of both of these forces, and the driving catalyst for their control of the wind, because wind alone is of no use.
You might be interested to note that thunder is the sound of wind rushing in to fill a sudden vacuum.


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Originally Posted by Lon-ami View Post
Also, I want my magic to "make sense", so classic necromancy has no place. Zombies can be a thing under Nature, through infestation of corpses, but that's it.
I don't agree that necromancy is out. Raising the dead as soldiers or servitors doesn't strike me as much different than engineering a standard golem, except the undead smell worse but come ready made in more-or-less human form. Kinetics and possibly some life. Depending on how souls work, I don't see why lichcraft or spiritual congress should be disqualified either.


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* Magic in my universe is about control of energy, and how you apply that energy around you. Anyone can learn magic, though each individual can have a better affinity with a specific elemental force depending on the nature of his soul. Every magic user has a minimum control of all 4 elements. So, anyone can control wind, but air users take it to the next level by adding sand and dust to it to make it stronger.
One reason magic is hard to devise is that unlike the forces of Actuality, the metaphysical forces of a fantasy setting need to somehow be engineer-able in a way that causes a lot of different really weird effects. Kinetic machines and electrical systems are straightforward as fuck compared to the magical structures which would be necessary to project a fireball or turn invisible. You'd need a magical Alan Turing to make sense of it all.

And those structures almost always seem to be purely mental in their composition. People cast magic with their minds, and maybe with their voices and hands, rather than with specialized instruments. A fireball is harder to explain than a crossbow bolt because the fireball just magically appears. How does that work? How does the brain interface with the forces necessary to conjure such a thing?

You say that everyone in your setting can control magic. Okay, but how? What allows the mental exertions of a caster to interact directly with fundamental principles like your elements? I think you'll either need to go deeper with your mechanics or concede it just works 'by magic.'


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Originally Posted by Lon-ami View Post
* In general, constructive forces beat their destructive counterparts. So, ice beats fire, electricity beats psychic, light beats shadow, and mechanics beats nature. Then destructive forces beat their element's constructive companion. So, fire beats mechanics, psychic beats ice, shadow beats electricity, and nature beats light. Of course this is just in general, in a real fight all forces are tied. This laws apply to the equilibrium of the world more than who beats who in a fight.
You're straying down a path that leads to Pokemon-ish mechanics and gamey balance, here. In Actuality, nothing intrinsically 'beats' anything else. Water douses fire because water deprives the chemical reaction that is fire of its fuel. It is not in the nature of water to oppose fire, rather water's efficacy in fighting fire derives incidentally from the basic properties of each.


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Originally Posted by Lon-ami View Post
* I don't know where to put classic warriors. Remember I want magic explained, so a guy being able to punch a door down just through supernatural strength makes no sense here. Maybe inside light, with all the "enhance your own living soul" thing? Warriors have always been hard to classify for me, a real pain in the ass. Maybe inside mechanics, with the vibration and earthquake control? Or inside fire, linking rage with burning?
Warriors are just strong people. Their superpower is sword. They don't need to use magic, because the human body can naturally be trained to serve as a lethal weapon, even in Actuality.


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Originally Posted by Lon-ami View Post
Additionally, each elemental force has an assigned color:

* Fire: Red
* Ice: Cyan
* Psychic: Purple
* Electricity: Yellow
* Shadow: Black
* Light: White
* Nature: Green
* Mechanics: Orange

I'm not 100% convinced about this distribution. I had light be yellow, shadow be gray or dark blue, mechanics be brown, and electricity be orange before. I'm also worried with orange/yellow being too similar, and classic blue and cyan being so different (and in some color distributions being so separate). I don't like black/gray/white too much either, and I have no color for the 4 elements themselves either.
Here's how I'd play it:
-Fire: Red
-Ice: Blue
-Psychic: Purple
-Electricity: Yellow
-Shadow: Grey
-Light: Pink
-Nature: Green
-Mechanics: Brown

Everything more or less ends up with a plausible color, and everything ends up sufficiently distinct to be distinguished. That said, unless you're going to make a big deal out of chromatic symbolism, I don't know that you necessarily need to color-code your forces.


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Originally Posted by Lon-ami View Post
That doesn't mean light users can't become friends with animals easily due to their elemental force's connection with the "living soul". But in the same way, any magic user could commune with any animal, specially if they're tied to the magic they're using. Ice users get along with creatures related to water environments better.

As for nature, one of the "final names" I might give it to it is "Overgrowth". While light users are soul healers, the real healers are nature users, who excel at healing the body through forced regeneration. Painful, but effective.

Their dark side deals with poisons, plagues, and spawning plants and insects using the terrain or seeds they carry with themselves. The life they spawn isn't natural, and is cruelly forced to multiplicate at an abnormal speed. This means it usually dies soon, unless it attaches itself to a host or another energy source. Light users consider this magic an aberration when taken to the extreme, but nature users don't give a fuck, because they believe in the big picture of the natural cycle. They think in the greater good of nature as a whole, and don't hesitate at times of sacrifice, or when they need to kill animals disrupting the balance. They work to keep a balance, they aren't some tree huggers, they embody the cruelty of nature itself.

There's a different perception of evil between destructive and constructive force users as well. While destructive users tend to go for the classic evil, destroying things, constructive users gone evil fit the roles of self-righteous cold blood tyrants.

This dichotomy can be seen easily between light and nature. Where nature is an obvious force of destruction, ravaging the land and shaping it to its will, it's aware of evil when it performs it, for it's the desired goal. Evil light users, in the other hand, seek a totalitarian control of everything, a perfect unnatural balance that only leads to death by apathy, while they believe they're doing the right thing. Of course, this is just how the "inner spirit" of each elemental force works, individuals can go wild wherever they want no matter the nature of the magic they are using.
^ Hey Skytotem, am I the only one who's seeing echoes of the Mardek system in all this?


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Originally Posted by Lon-ami View Post
In the end electricity is just power, so really any magic user can use it. Electricity users can control it better. In a way, there's a version of electricity for each elemental force, but only the one related to electricity can be manipulated into further levels. Channeled energy spells (lightning from the hands) is something any magic user can do, with slights variations depending on the used elemental force.
Electricity isn't just power! It's not even just energy! Electromagnetism is only one of the Actual basic interactions, and presumably only one of the many more present in your setting.


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Originally Posted by Lon-ami View Post
Electricity users are a tornado of sand, blades, and lightning. Remember they cover kinetic energy, which is energy derived from the force of movement. Light users can be faster than them, but no one beats an electricity user at tackling and ramming.
That's fine and dandy, but again you're describing a macroscopic phenomenon rather than exploring the fundamental principles. You say that something is so, but you leave it to magic to explain why. Your classes and disciplines all sound great, but I don't see how they derive from a sufficiently explained magic, which is to say science.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lon-ami View Post
What I tried the most with my model of magic was to make sense out of it. That's why fire isn't really fire (it's combustion or deflagration). I don't want any "because magic" reasoning. Everything has a natural base that makes sense, where the entire elemental force comes from.
Turtles all the way down, man. Every explanation you give will need an explanation to explain it. Now I'll grant you that means you can't have a 'perfect' science of magic, but you run into the 'because magic' explanation sooner than I'd like in your system, either at the four elements or at the question of how magic is conjured and utilized.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lon-ami View Post
Classic necromancy makes no sense for me, particularly regarding skeletal minions. How does a skeleton not crumble? It has no muscles. It's just walking because of invisible magic. That breaks my rule above.
Nonsense. It's walking around because kinetic forces commanded by the sphere of Mechanics or the element of Life are telling it to. It's a puppet with magical strings that pull themselves, by the enchantment imbued in them by the necromancer when it was first animated.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lon-ami View Post
Other classical summoning spells don't work for me either, like summoning a demon. Demons aren't a thing in my universe. Instead, you have highly corrupted creatures, where addiction to magic has made them corrupt. But they can't be summoned from thin air like that.
Is there any conjuration at all? The power to translate matter from one point to another? What about other worlds? Depending on your definition of demon (there are many) any magic that allows congress between planes could be classified as Demonology.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lon-ami View Post
This ties to transformations, for advanced users of magic can transform their bodies into their base element, with a touch of the desired elemental force.
How?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lon-ami View Post
Magic energy itself is at the air, and can be found at higher numbers in special places, but in general it's something inside you, that your own soul produces, just like your body creates heat.
That's better, but now you'll need to bullshit your way through a biological survey.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lon-ami View Post
* Shadow necromancy: Spirits, ghosts, wraiths, echoes, possessions, etc. They aren't undead, they're dead. In this universe, when you die you disappear. No hell, no heaven. However, your magical presence leaves a mark wherever you go, a memory. Ghosts are that, echoes tied to a location. A powerful shadow user can trace these marks, and relive what happened anywhere (as long as those he's tracing didn't cloak themselves at the time). These memories can react in the physical world when summoned, with the same mood the original people had in the moment. Some powerful magic users can become "immortal" by transcending their bodies into elements, changing where their soul is attached and escaping death. The people in this universe make sure to leave a good mark as a legacy for their children, so they can visit it for wisdom and whatnot. You can create strong marks on purpose, but death is usually the strongest of them all.
So souls evaporate when their host ceases to function? Fair enough. I like the little cultural digression about intentionally leaving a good mark for your descendants to call up now and then.
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You are pretty cool for being one of the bad guys.
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I was probably just upset about the Horde fleet in the Second War.
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Old 06-11-2016, 10:05 AM
Anansi Anansi is offline

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I hope I didn't come off as too much of an assshole in my last post. This is still good thread, credit to forum, and I don't want to stop talking about this stuff.
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And the HRE was a meme that went too far.
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You are pretty cool for being one of the bad guys.
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I was probably just upset about the Horde fleet in the Second War.
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Old 06-11-2016, 11:05 AM
Korath Korath is offline

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I hope I didn't come off as too much of an assshole in my last post. This is still good thread, credit to forum, and I don't want to stop talking about this stuff.
Liar.

Edit : on a more constructive level; most of the sites in the first page on Google for "Magical systems" may interest you, Lon.
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Old 06-11-2016, 09:14 PM
Anansi Anansi is offline

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Liar.
You'll have to be more specific.
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And the HRE was a meme that went too far.
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I was probably just upset about the Horde fleet in the Second War.
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Old 06-12-2016, 12:15 AM
Korath Korath is offline

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You'll have to be more specific.
I know that you try to pressure Lon, so he can give you the Key to open the Door, Mad Spider ! I know it !



On a more constructive note, I've began to think about a pervasive magic system for another universe, distinct from the one in my (tentative) novels. It is a three and a half tier system, because the actual sources of magic aren't readily usable, and in fact researching them is incredibly difficult. Note that it is still really basic, only the bare bones of a system, really, because I've just written it down yesterday before going to sleep.

Basically, there is two primal Principles : Immobility and Movement. When those encounters each other, there is two possibilities, known as Nature of Magic, which can happen. Either they combine themselves, creating the Harmony, or they clash violently, creating the Chaos. Then, both the Harmony and Chaos are divided between Creation and Destruction. Finally, Creation and Destruction are divided into Schools, such as Pyromancy, Geomancy, etc.

Usually, normal citizens only ever dabble into a School, without really knowing more than the divide between Creation and Destruction in the Nature their civilization favour. Only those who truly devote to magical studies actually grasp the fundamental difference between Chaos and Harmony, and to try to touch the Principles in their purest form is all but impossible, except for those willing to let go of any moral compass and ready to do anything to touch them.
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Old 06-12-2016, 01:28 PM
Lon-ami Lon-ami is offline

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I want to give feedback on the other ideas so far too, but I just don't have too much time, and answering to questions already takes a lot of effort. Long elaborate answers later on, I promise!

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Originally Posted by Anansi View Post
Lot of stuff
Don't want to get into a quote hell, so I'll address each thing point by point, in the same order:

-Life is more like Flesh, or organic matter. So the 4 elements are: Earth, Water, Wind, and Flesh. They also mirror the different states of matter: Hard Solid, Liquid, Gas and Plasma, and Soft Solid; not very accurately, but you get the idea.

-That's a typo, mechanics is supposed to be "C. Earth". All the names are not final in any way, just indicative of what to expect in general terms. Mechanics usually deals with machines, industry, etc. A mechanics user would look like the archetypic combat engineer.

-I was talking about thunder as the energy involved, not the actual effects. I refer to lightning bolts and balls.

-There can be a possession of different items, but in the end it's just control of the air from a spirit-form magic user.

-In my setting anyone can, with practice, control the elements through the 8 forces. Everyone has a soul, which produces inner energy just like an organic body produces heat. This energy can be used to spark reactions, and hosts can direct it at will. Of course, you need practice to craft that spark into the different basic effects. Kinda like a lighter, but you can aim the spark and make it take a specific shape by how you produce it, the shape determining the effect. Movement of hands and body help shape said spark.

-The "x beats y" model is only present at the "balance of the world". As I said before, in an actual fight it doesn't matter, because anything can beat anything. Fire can boil water no matter the state it's in. This balance is for categorizing purposes only, and for how the natural world works. Sentient races and their magic users are outside the natural cycle.

-Not in my setting. Warriors can't break a wall with their own hands just because strength. There must be magic somewhere. They might focus their magic on inner body boosts instead of projectiles, but it's still magic.

-Light pink is ugh. I only see pink working with Psychic, night being purple. Some kind of chromatic relationships would be nice, but might end up being maddening.

-No idea about Mardek, guess it's a forum fanfic? Give a summary of whatever you're referencing too please!

-Electricity is just a name. The elemental force itself is indeed electromagnetism, in opposition to the gravitational forces of Psychic. Electricity users use wind together with sand, and electrify it, creating electromagnetic fields. Also they can control and direct electricity where they want to unnaturally. If they cast a lightning, it will jump wherever they want no matter logic principles.

-I'm not trying to make something overcomplicated, just to get something that makes sense in the bigger picture.

-Answered above I think.

-Skeletons don't have joints. Invisible magical strings don't exist here, it's one of the main things I'm fighting against. All magic is based on scientific reactions. A Psychic user could make the skeleton walk and whatever, as long as he's focusing, but once he breaks the connection it would crumble. You need real strings, like vines. As for minions, they can be imbued with a basic "presence" of the summoner's mind, and keep existing as long as there's a stable source of energy for them to feed off.

-Psychics can manipulate time and space (without going too wild). Portals exist, but they're massive structures with lot of energy required to activate. Short-range teleportation is a basic Psychic skill too. A skilled psychic can teleport a whole group, as long as he has a link to the destination. These links are created using special energy crystals, which work like beacons the psychics can detect. Psychics have the ability to zoom out and see the world from outside. They can also communicate with other psychics at long distances, like radio frequencies but with their mind. As for other worlds, there aren't worlds like in magic worlds, but worlds as in planets. I don't have specific plans for the setting regarding this, but still, I would probably prefer a single planet and a few moons, with minor impact in the main setting.

-Users can use the energy to summon a fireball, or to ignite their own bodies. Advanced users can apply these transformations in a way they don't need energy to keep them active, by just changing their body. Quickest example would be a nature user getting bark skin by just fusing plants to his body, or any of both earth users growing stone hide.

-Biological survey in what sense?

-Yes, there's no "afterworld". You just die, but part of you remains. This part of you is not sentient, it's like an interactive video. You can make questions and talk, but there's many limits. The other smaller versions not created by death work the same way, but with many more limits. Think of the old graphic adventure games where you had to type what you wanted to do, and most of the times there was no answer. Classic spirits are like this, then there's users that transcended into spirit-like forms after heavy transformations, but they are not dead and work like any other living being.

Don't worry about going too hard or whatever. Some things need good questions in order to be explained properly, so it really helps!
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~Main: Expansion theorycrafting, Expansions list, The Age of Nightmare, Empire of the Tides (coming soon)~
~Fan ficton: Anachronos Journey: The Timeless Heir~ ~Geography of continents series: Old Kalimdor (original), Pandaria~
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  #19  
Old 06-14-2016, 07:23 AM
Anansi Anansi is offline

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-In my setting anyone can, with practice, control the elements through the 8 forces. Everyone has a soul, which produces inner energy just like an organic body produces heat. This energy can be used to spark reactions, and hosts can direct it at will. Of course, you need practice to craft that spark into the different basic effects. Kinda like a lighter, but you can aim the spark and make it take a specific shape by how you produce it, the shape determining the effect. Movement of hands and body help shape said spark.
Kinda hand-wavy, but I guess it works.

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-Not in my setting. Warriors can't break a wall with their own hands just because strength. There must be magic somewhere. They might focus their magic on inner body boosts instead of projectiles, but it's still magic.
I suppose it depends on what we mean by 'warriors.' If you're saying that in your setting nobody can actually develop strength on par with the strongest humans of Actuality, I think you're going in kind of a weird direction. But if you're saying that nobody can exceptionally exceed the strength of our strongest humans, I suppose that's fair.

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-No idea about Mardek, guess it's a forum fanfic? Give a summary of whatever you're referencing too please!
A flash game, actually, which I bullied Skytotem into playing. It spends some time developing the idea of a six (well, technically eight) element system and how everyone has an innate elemental alignment. Light characters are caring, but uncompromising and absolutist.

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-Electricity is just a name. The elemental force itself is indeed electromagnetism, in opposition to the gravitational forces of Psychic.
Neat! Though I'd have expected gravitational force to be more directly associated with your Mechanic force. Do you have any plans for other elemental/fundamental forces?

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-I'm not trying to make something overcomplicated, just to get something that makes sense in the bigger picture.
Fair enough, and I suppose the point of this thread is to crowdsource all the gnarly details which follow from the more complicated systems.

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-Skeletons don't have joints. Invisible magical strings don't exist here, it's one of the main things I'm fighting against. All magic is based on scientific reactions. A Psychic user could make the skeleton walk and whatever, as long as he's focusing, but once he breaks the connection it would crumble. You need real strings, like vines. As for minions, they can be imbued with a basic "presence" of the summoner's mind, and keep existing as long as there's a stable source of energy for them to feed off.
But surely, if it's possible to imbue other types of minions with semi-autonomous energies, it would be possible to imbue the telekinetic strings with which a psychic causes bones to dance with the same degree of permanence?

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-Psychics can manipulate time and space (without going too wild). Portals exist, but they're massive structures with lot of energy required to activate. Short-range teleportation is a basic Psychic skill too. A skilled psychic can teleport a whole group, as long as he has a link to the destination. These links are created using special energy crystals, which work like beacons the psychics can detect. Psychics have the ability to zoom out and see the world from outside. They can also communicate with other psychics at long distances, like radio frequencies but with their mind. As for other worlds, there aren't worlds like in magic worlds, but worlds as in planets. I don't have specific plans for the setting regarding this, but still, I would probably prefer a single planet and a few moons, with minor impact in the main setting.
Cool.

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-Biological survey in what sense?
In the sense that if you want magic to make a kind of sense you need to allow the biological agent that is the human person some organic means of interacting with the forces of magic. You mentioned earlier that the soul is responsible for generating magic, like the heart is responsible for generating heat, but what organ is responsible for accessing that magic and translating it into power?
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  #20  
Old 06-14-2016, 08:29 AM
Yaskaleh Yaskaleh is offline

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Death magic in my system is the antithesis of Life, in that it is hazardous to life but can also mimic it in an almost perverse manner. In simpler undead beings, death magic provides for what the dead tissue can't do. A skeleton's flaws of lacking muscular strength and sinew is made up by death magic that mimics that of the missing fleshly tissues. The stronger the skeletal being, the more Death magic has to be used. Once Death Magic energies reach a certain level it starts to visibly manifest as a dark purple glow or gas that envelopes the parts where the magic is the most concentrated.
A zombie-like creature is much simpler to make as the needed flesh and sinew is there, it just needs some stimulation. A zombie-like creature can also be made using Life magic but that's done using parasites and invasive growths. Something like the plant-based or fungus-based beings that exist on Draenor.

Ghosts, spirits and other non-corporeal beings relies on both Death Magic and Dark magic to be made manifest. Death magic is needed for the spirits of the deceased whereas a pure shadow or darkness being relies mostly on Dark magic but also a little of Light magic. In my system, Darkness and Light can't exist without the other and they're sometimes used in synergy. Like the Yin-Yang, there exist darkness in light and light in darkness.

One of the elf-blood tribes of my Aethor focuses mainly on the magics of Life/Death and Light/Darkness, tempering body, mind and soul with those magics. Their main rivals, another elf-blood tribe, instead delves deeply into elemental magics and that of Energy. In the primordial age before the Aethor came to be, the elven ancestors of these two tribes had a never ending bloody feud, often using each others as examples to steer towards and from as they try to reach new pinnacles of magic and martial power. Both peoples developed a complex system of tattoos and symbols that they branded their bodies with to further focus and channel their powers.
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  #21  
Old 06-20-2016, 05:22 AM
Lon-ami Lon-ami is offline

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Lot of stuff 2
-Think of it like a musical air instrument too. Like a bagpipe. Your soul absorbs energy, and then releases it in a specific way to get the desired effect. Like when you breathe in and then breath out while selecting the desired musical notes.

-Warriors in generic fantasy settings are just guys that can punch anything down, withstand lot of injuries, wield giant swords like they weren't heavy at all, fight forever without tiring, etc. Most of the time these "superhuman" abilities are never addressed at all. Oh yeah that ninja can jump 10 meters because ninja training. Everything not working under real world laws has to be explained with magic, or removed.

-That Mardek thing sounds interesting. More information required!

-Mechanics is mechanicals. Robots and stuff. Might not be a good name seeing it has caused confusion, but none of them are final in any way. Someone working with clockworks, artillery cannons, explosives, complex locks, airship engines, that's your mechanics guy.

-Nah, it's just some discussion. I could end up giving a damn about all the suggestions, but the point is to get more ideas by talking about it, no matter where those ideas come from. I'm more interested on noticing my mistakes by myself. Being forced to answer questions is a good way to reinforce my ideas, and to make me notice holes and contradictions that I wouldn't notice by myself.

-But what would be the point of animating a skeleton? The energies required would be quite considerable, and then you're not even animating something that is any strong to begin with. Bare bones can be broken easily. Shadow can project spirits and "possess" inanimate objects, that's the closest you'll ever be to an skeleton minion, but still, it wouldn't make any sense. You could animate weapons, or pieces of rocks or whatever. Why bones? Even if you reach a point where only bones are available, you wouldn't bother animating a skeleton. You would build a construct with the shape of a whirlwind, or a boulder, cheaper energy-wise to be given life. Think of how engineers build robots for space missions. That's what you would be aiming for, not humanoid constructs. Of course temples, ritual tombs, or whatever would have skeleton warriors, maybe more like mummies, but for merely "aesthetic" cultural purposes. The only real "go for it" case would be that of trascended shadow users using skeleton or mummy corpses as to respect their original body-soul shapes, and obviously here said bones would be imbued with magic and wouldn't be like normal bones.

-Psychics get a lot of medium inspiration as well. Also, my preferred setting for this magic system is steampunk, mixing classic fantasy with early 19th century stuff. There must be a logic reason for technology not to go further into computers and electronics, and that could be magic interfering radio waves and electronics communication as we know them. TV signal wouldn't be possible, and I'm still undecided about radio. Psychics would play an important role in communications.

-The soul has control over the body. It's like a spirit-like presence, like your nervous system signals had evolved to an independent entity. You still control your limbs through your brain, but strong force of will can let you move injured limbs that in a normal situation would be disabled. This also solves one of the basic problems with many settings, where badly injured warriors keep fighting when they shouldn't be able to stand.

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Death magic in my system is the antithesis of Life, in that it is hazardous to life but can also mimic it in an almost perverse manner. In simpler undead beings, death magic provides for what the dead tissue can't do. A skeleton's flaws of lacking muscular strength and sinew is made up by death magic that mimics that of the missing fleshly tissues. The stronger the skeletal being, the more Death magic has to be used. Once Death Magic energies reach a certain level it starts to visibly manifest as a dark purple glow or gas that envelopes the parts where the magic is the most concentrated.
Personally, I've never liked life-death systems. I think Life, Death, and Undeath must be different separate entities. Maybe even add Unlife too (machines and mindless creatures).

When I imagine a cult of death, I imagine assassins, and spirits resting in peace. This contradicts the classic necromancy themes, which stand as a perversion of death and life.

Some settings leave the "rest in peace" part inside Life, though. So maybe the problem isn't the Life-Death relationship, but just the name "Death"- So ideally you would have "Life and Death" in one side, and "Undeath" in the other.

Also interesting to analyze how Light (Priests, Monks) and Nature (Druids, Shamans) coexist, since they can overlap as well most of the time.
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  #22  
Old 06-27-2016, 09:24 AM
Anansi Anansi is offline

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-That Mardek thing sounds interesting. More information required!
Mardek was a series of brilliant JRPG-esque flash games a few years ago. Chapter 1 was tiny but still remarkably well-made, with likable characters and the promise of an unfolding epic storyline. Chapter 2 was much larger and full of secrets, easter eggs, character development and heart. The series just barely made it to Chapter 3, the biggest and best thus far, in which the story really begins to take off and every corner of the world map was packed with details that could be explored through optional character dialog and readable bookshelves.

There were heroes and there were monsters and there were those who straddled the line. There were jokes that would make you laugh out loud. There were secrets that made the world a pleasure to explore. It was a masterpiece.

God damn it. It still gets me down to think about it.

To abbreviate a long and sordid tale, the creator was not the most emotionally stable of fellows, and he took perhaps too personally some of his fanbase's words. So Mardek 3, which ended with heaps of foreshadowing and a quickly accelerating plot which promised to carry us deep into a veritably Shakespearean tale of bitter vengeance and rising madness, was the last we shall ever see of this glorious story. It makes me want to cry, it really does.

You can find the first three games, along with the other, all-too-few, flash games of the once-great Pseudolonewolf, here.


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-Mechanics is mechanicals. Robots and stuff. Might not be a good name seeing it has caused confusion, but none of them are final in any way. Someone working with clockworks, artillery cannons, explosives, complex locks, airship engines, that's your mechanics guy.
Is that magic? It seems more physics than metaphysics to me. But my point about gravity was that it seems to me Gravity = Mechanics seems a natural analog to Electromagnetism = Electricity. Most simple machines, after all, operate on gravitational principles. It seems more natural a connection than Gravity = Psychics.


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-Nah, it's just some discussion. I could end up giving a damn about all the suggestions, but the point is to get more ideas by talking about it, no matter where those ideas come from. I'm more interested on noticing my mistakes by myself. Being forced to answer questions is a good way to reinforce my ideas, and to make me notice holes and contradictions that I wouldn't notice by myself.
Speaking of which, what do you think of my first post?


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Originally Posted by Lon-ami View Post
-But what would be the point of animating a skeleton? The energies required would be quite considerable, and then you're not even animating something that is any strong to begin with. Bare bones can be broken easily. Shadow can project spirits and "possess" inanimate objects, that's the closest you'll ever be to an skeleton minion, but still, it wouldn't make any sense. You could animate weapons, or pieces of rocks or whatever. Why bones? Even if you reach a point where only bones are available, you wouldn't bother animating a skeleton. You would build a construct with the shape of a whirlwind, or a boulder, cheaper energy-wise to be given life. Think of how engineers build robots for space missions. That's what you would be aiming for, not humanoid constructs. Of course temples, ritual tombs, or whatever would have skeleton warriors, maybe more like mummies, but for merely "aesthetic" cultural purposes. The only real "go for it" case would be that of trascended shadow users using skeleton or mummy corpses as to respect their original body-soul shapes, and obviously here said bones would be imbued with magic and wouldn't be like normal bones.
Skeletons are objectively the worst monsters, so I'm not saying it makes tactical sense for necromancers to use them as servitors, only that it's possible. The rest of the paragraph seems to confirm this.


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Originally Posted by Lon-ami View Post
-Psychics get a lot of medium inspiration as well. Also, my preferred setting for this magic system is steampunk, mixing classic fantasy with early 19th century stuff. There must be a logic reason for technology not to go further into computers and electronics, and that could be magic interfering radio waves and electronics communication as we know them. TV signal wouldn't be possible, and I'm still undecided about radio. Psychics would play an important role in communications.
You might have some fun deciding how extensive magical energies interfere with the electromagnetic spectrum and how. Consider how EM waves can be disrupted in Actuality and see how far you can push that phenomenon.

Is magic itself propagated through waves? Do some wavelengths of magic cause different kinds of interference? Does the interference get worse as the magic waves get shorter? Or does it have more to do with the proximity between the EM wavelength and the magic wavelength? Are there some kinds of magic which only affect certain ranges of the EM spectrum? How does the elemental force of Electromagnetism fit into all this?

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-The soul has control over the body. It's like a spirit-like presence, like your nervous system signals had evolved to an independent entity. You still control your limbs through your brain, but strong force of will can let you move injured limbs that in a normal situation would be disabled. This also solves one of the basic problems with many settings, where badly injured warriors keep fighting when they shouldn't be able to stand.
I think you might be overestimating the bullshit factor when it comes to fantasy warriors. Even in Actuality, the human body can do some truly remarkable things. There are people who can swim in Antarctic waters or break bricks with their bare hands. And that's even without adrenaline. I'm not saying a warrior should be able to run with two severed Achilles tendons, but humans can still do some pretty crazy shit.
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  #23  
Old 07-02-2016, 05:50 PM
Mutterscrawl Mutterscrawl is offline

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Finally have some time due to Holiday weekend, thought I'd plug in the magic system from the world I'm working on, Othran.


Magic is an inherent part of the universe pervading everything, but there are innumerable different forms of it, just like there are different liquids and gasses and minerals and such.

Although different countries apply different teachings, most magic falls into a few broad categories.

Divine. Etheric. Primal. Eldritch.

Divine Magic: Comes from SOULS. Souls being a variety of energy-dense magic inherently generated by consciousness related to memories, mental/emotional states and much more (note, things without souls initially will often develop them over long periods of time if self aware).

Typically bestowed by gods, but can be harnessed to lesser extents through training.

The human paladin of a benevolent light pantheon
The dwarf monks dedicated to years of philosophical study
The orc soldier with zealous dedication to their anti-theist country
The kobold cultist dedicated to their dragon creators
All can wield divine magic with the proper mix of belief and training.

Simply being a member of a religion or believing in oneself is rarely enough to manifest any kind of power without training in focus, but such paragons do exist, and are often encouraged to enter the faith or go on a great quest or fulfill some grand destiny.

The more worshippers a deity has, the stronger its bond to the mortal plane, and thus the more power it can exert there. If a mortal is genuinely worshiped on a wide enough scale the same type of power transfer applies, allowing extraordinarily rare cases to ascend to godhood.

Divine magic users, save on the godly level, usually have difficulty creating objects, or projecting energy across great distance. Whether it is transferred from a deity or originating in the caster's soul, it dissipates not long after leaving the caster unless attached to a physical vessel. This is why blessing objects and people is more common amongst most religions. As always though there are exceptions and variations depending on the deity or faith involved.

Souls are, for the most part, untouchable while an individual is alive, only vulnerable if an individual yields theirs willingly, and overuse of divine magic will generally only lead to temporary exhaustion and mental/emotional fatigue save in the most dire cases.

Etheric Magic: This magic is based upon mentally manipulating the inherent 'etheric' energy within the caster and using it to cause changes outside themselves. It is the most widely used form of magic as it is practiced not just by scholarly mages and the like, but also crafters that deal with making magical items, and individuals whose jobs require the usage or knowledge of simple spells. (Enchanters, Guards in certain major cities need to know how to activate certain runes or are encouraged to learn spells to see in the dark and the like, etc...)

It is the most versatile of magics, the math and engineering of energy manipulation, it can be utilized to temporarily speed up, stop, or slow time's passage on an object or in an area (but no time TRAVEL), conjure flames, lightning or physical objects, teleport, and any number of other things.

Overuse of etheric magic however, will have dire consequences on the casters body and possibly even the area around them. This can range from slight exhaustion or fatigue, mild illness, teleporting one's limbs off, accidentally giving oneself a fly's head, turning into a giant monster, or simply exploding. Many experienced academic casters appear quite old despite still being physically healthy due to overextending their powers at some point in time.

At the same time, it can also empower ones body, mending it or altering it in myriad ways.

Human mages managing portals for trade
Djinni evokers creating glass cities
Vampire warlocks summoning demons
Spithran (spider people) spellweavers creating artificial ley lines

All of these are 'etheric' styles of magic users


Primal Magic: This is the magic inherent not just in empty space, but in physical objects, base states of matter, and the natural patterns of the world. Fire, water, earth, air, plants, animals, people, all are filled with magic distinct from the ambient ether, but existing alongside it. Those who draw on primal magic mix their power with that of the world around them.

Empowerment through this variety of magic is what allows the world's warriors to achieve superhuman feats. It also allows them to alter their environment in myriad ways, although it is not as versatile as etheric magic it is more potent and causes far less of a physical burden on the caster than etheric magic or even divine magic, often leaving its wielders healthy or even unnaturally empowered.

Orc warriors cleaving through three soldiers at once
Ogre shaman opening up lava filled rifts
Bruinoch (bear people) druids making themselves even larger and more bestial
Atlantean (fish people) tidesmiths altering the currents around their homes

All draw on the world or mingle their power with it.

All living things have some degree of inherent magic in their bodies. This, like the energy of their soul, will passively regenerate over time if spent and grows with repeated training and usage. It also provides a sort of passive defense against spells targeting the inside of their bodies. This is why casters simply do not burst a blood vessel in an opposing individual's brain or ignite the oxygen they've breathed. This defense can be overcome but often requires a prohibitive amount of energy to do so.

All forms of magic make use of patterns and vibrations which trigger reactions in the world to some extent, these can take the form of magic words and runes and the like, and are why some wild animals can create magic or why some magic phenomena occur naturally. These can also be reproduced artificially if a word or pattern is given significance by a deity or through similarly potent methods.

It is rare for anyone or anything to use exclusively one form of magic, there is almost always some crossover to create functioning spells.
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  #24  
Old 07-02-2016, 07:28 PM
Anansi Anansi is offline

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Magic is an inherent part of the universe pervading everything, but there are innumerable different forms of it, just like there are different liquids and gasses and minerals and such.
I don't have a lot of time right now, but I can at least comment on this.

Liquids, gases, minerals and such aren't fundamentally pervasive concepts. You might do better comparing magic to matter in its generality, maybe a metaphysical analog to matter, which in analogy to solid, liquid and gaseous states has the different types you're looking for.

Or you might want it to be more chemical than physical, with different 'elements' analogous to the elements of the periodic table. That way you could feasibly derive as wide a breadth of compound magicks as there are compound molecules, and establish a concrete basis for magical operation, but it would be tricky to calibrate your system so your elements all fit together in a suitably logical way.
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  #25  
Old 07-02-2016, 08:52 PM
Mutterscrawl Mutterscrawl is offline

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Originally Posted by Anansi View Post
I don't have a lot of time right now, but I can at least comment on this.

Liquids, gases, minerals and such aren't fundamentally pervasive concepts. You might do better comparing magic to matter in its generality, maybe a metaphysical analog to matter, which in analogy to solid, liquid and gaseous states has the different types you're looking for.

Or you might want it to be more chemical than physical, with different 'elements' analogous to the elements of the periodic table. That way you could feasibly derive as wide a breadth of compound magicks as there are compound molecules, and establish a concrete basis for magical operation, but it would be tricky to calibrate your system so your elements all fit together in a suitably logical way.
Agreed, treating it as a state of matter works better all around.

Treating it as an element ala chemistry is a nice concept but not one I'm suited to handling.
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