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Falconius
02-10-2014, 07:36 AM
Ok, we have decided to go for a mid-magic world (in a mid fantasy genre). What that means, as far as my understanding goes, is that magic is fairly common, people are cognizant that it exist even if they have never necessarily experienced it for themselves. Magical items are likely to be rare and special rather than used at a whim, especially consumables. Most people will not be able to use magic so readily, but for those trained for it or who have natural inclinations towards it, magic can be a powerful tool.

I'd like to get more details on how magic interacts with our world. I think the basis of this ought to be our magic system. Having a magic system will provide a foundation for us to build up the details. What a magic system basically consist of is how the magic is accessed, the basic magical tenants of the world (like laws of physics ie. "When one body exerts a force on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction to that of the first body."). We need to understand what magic costs those who use it. For instance in Fullmetal Alchemist the magic is pretty much fueled by blood and death. In generic D+D there is no noticeable cost really, there is no real mechanic needed to access it (other than choosing spells at the beginning of the day if you're a wizard).

Also under consideration we should keep in mind the magical structure of our world. People seems pretty keen on Ghostman's nodes idea, which we hacked out a little on the other thread, also upon "the guilt that haunts" idea presented by gspRooster (at discussion found here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/cooperative-worldbuilding-project/25339-cwbp-2-determining-genre-era.html#post231312) and here (http://www.cartographersguild.com/cooperative-worldbuilding-project/25339-cwbp-2-determining-genre-era-4.html#post234480) respectively).

As I understand it, we have reached a point with the Ghostman proposal where we know we are going to have these magical nodes, or gates, and that they exert influence on the world. So much so that a magnetic compass aligning to the poles cannot be reliably used. Some or all of these nodes have pathways or tunnels leading to other nodes, or who knows where. These tunnels have dimensions (so can be mapped) but tend to be quicker journeys if one can handle their magical nature (I was thinking there aspect, but that has not been determined). Thus affecting trade and so forth. We need to develop these ideas a bit more and work it into our world more seamlessly. Let us do so at this linked thread. (http://www.cartographersguild.com/cooperative-worldbuilding-project/26148-cwbp-2-structual-underpinnings-world-magic-otherwise.html)

With gspRooster's Guilt That Haunts (GTH from no on) proposal my understanding is that death (perhaps) attracts our otherworldys, which we are calling demons, and feeds them or gets them high in some manner. So like crows to carrion they tend to appear in greater numbers and stronger forms the more death is around. The demons are not existent on our world but can cross over and appear if the fabric that separates them from our world is weakened enough. We need to develop these ideas a bit more and work it into our world more seamlessly. Let us do so at this linked thread. (http://www.cartographersguild.com/cooperative-worldbuilding-project/26148-cwbp-2-structual-underpinnings-world-magic-otherwise.html)

Azelor
02-10-2014, 11:49 AM
I have an Idea... As someone suggested earlier; magic could be present naturally in the universe. Magic is a source of energy, it could be life, the light, heat... The source of magic radiation could be a star, life or the plane (the current universe) itself.

Let take the star as an example: everyday it produce a large amount of energy. One part is directed toward the world. Naturally, the environment stock that energy. Generally, the capacity is limited and when the level of saturation is attained, the energy flow toward lower energy sites, just like the wind blow from high to low pressure zones. Lifeforms absorbs energy too, probably in greater quantity. So most people have magic energy inside them but have no idea how to use it. When casting a spell, a mage could use his surroundings to fuel his spell. he could go as far as killing other lifeforms if he pushes too hard.

Magic could exist in the form of thermal energy; it mean that casting a spell will make the area colder. The hotter the place, the more powerful the spell can be...
Or it could be more like in the Forgotten realms: magic exist in the world and replenish over time but we are not sure of it's source.

Using magic would then be dangerous to use. The mage have to stock energy inside him , and that alone could hurt him. And using spells that way will also tire the mage.

One could use a catalyst in order to gather magic energy for future uses. It's safer but also limited in capacity.


Different forms of magic could exist. For example, one that is based on the shadow, the moon, or that other star (it's a far and much colder star).

Jalyha
02-10-2014, 12:40 PM
I'm seriously panting over your second star idea :P

Ghostman
02-10-2014, 04:17 PM
I prefer to keep magic a fairly mysterious thing, something that can be used by those who know how, but isn't really understood by anyone, beyond some vague and unproven theories that only scratch the surface. Not that some arrogant wizard couldn't come to believe that he's got it all figured out, though ;)

I also like magic to be a bit unpredictable, just enough so as to keep it from being used casually without some consideration (except by truly reckless sorcerers), but not so much that it would be too dangerous to be relied on when you really need it.

I like the idea that excessive use of magic can fatigue the user or affect them in some other way, such as by burning them. Basically each magician would have a certain limit (depending on their skill or talent) on how much and how quickly they can draw upon magical power. As long as they stay under the limit they won't suffer any harm, but if they go over it they risk exhausting or hurting themselves.

Magic as "life force" could have interesting repercussions. If all living beings possess it but only sorcerers are able to manipulate it, unscrupulous ones may feel tempted to exploit other beings as a source of magical fuel.

Azelor
02-16-2014, 01:31 PM
We pretty much agree on the basic working principle of magic then.

I'd like to know where magic comes from and how it can be used... (with nothing or using catalyst like magical wand or other stuff) I like having both, magical wands are used to store magical spells in DnD.

It exist in the nature and flow naturally in the world.
It is generated naturally.
It could come from the stars. From it's light/heating or the particles emitted. That mean that some place would have more magic than others. Unless the magical nodes serves as high or low pressures zones used in the flow of energy.
Magic could come from another world through these nodes.

These are just ideas for discussion.

Ghostman
02-16-2014, 05:13 PM
It exist in the nature and flow naturally in the world.


^ I like this one, with the addition that it's not necessarily equally distributed. Some areas might be deprived of magical potential, while others are overflowing with it.

I also don't see any need to define the origins much further than that. It's fun to leave room for interpretation so that we might have different cultures/schools of magic develop in the world and argue over the details. Better to focus more on questions of what magic can do and how it can be accessed.

Scoopz
02-16-2014, 08:28 PM
My proposal for those who practice magic, or 'mages'.

In a military context:

Mages are powerful force multipliers, and while they COULD be used to destroy/weaken an enemy army, once a mage is exhausted he would leave himself AND his forces (I won't say army because realistically field-armies would probably have a fair number of mages in their ranks and one mage would not be able to protect even a sizable fraction of one) open to obliteration courtesy of an enemy mage. Therefore, mages act a lot like cavalry or skirmishers in that their first duty on the battlefield is to seek out and neutralize/hamper/kill enemy mages.

Also, given the potential scope of a mage's ability they are most likely a breakthrough weapon in that they would be used to open up enemy lines for assaults by the much more numerous infantry/cavalry. (Or for destroying walls during sieges, but again given mages want to conserve their power, that is a task perhaps better left to the siege engines.) Unfortunately, given that they would almost likely be using their full powers for duels or aforementioned breakthroughs mages would tire quickly and once stripped of most of their supply of magic would be very liable to counterattack by enemy infantry/cavalry/missiles.

To partially counteract this, I imagine many nations would maintain at least small contingents of warriormages/battlemages/etc. who would be trained/armored/equipped for combat.

Of course, magic would also probably play a large part in enchantments/wards for weapons/armors, etc. etc. and also in the baggage train/supplies areas.

In a civilian context:

Although mages have HUGE potential for shaping materials, I like to think that their primary use in the civilian fields would be for transport. Transport for building materials, and to a lesser extent, for trade. Furthermore, I imagine that engineers, builders, and mages often work close together to more quickly construct larger works. Castles, public works, etc. Magic also makes a poor building material. Magic is just energy and over time, dissipates. (arguements for how long magic takes to dissipate may very, but I'll stick to my guns!) So mages can really only HELP the building process instead of doing all the building.

Seeing as mages are relatively scarce, I imagine most would 'belong' to the crown, and a smaller amount would work for nobles, especially in and around cities. Smaller towns and villages, would almost certainly NOT have access to magic under normal circumstances.

Magic would also be used for various other aspects of life, and most readily attainable by those rich and/or powerful, but ultimately a large percentage of the world's population doesn't have access to magic on a normal. day-to-day basis.

On the nature of mages/magic:

Magic would be viewed differently by all cultures, from cherished to abhorred, but either way no-one can deny the pros of using magic and thus all nations/states/etc. use it.

How nations treat/use/misuse their mages, differ. Some might give them relatively free reign, others may treat them similar to the mentally ill, and still others might use them as slaves. Regardless, it's common that there are STRICT guidelines and regulations places on magic and mages.

ADDENDUM: I think that the use of magic my better be fleshed out once physical nations are defined and characterized.

Falconius
02-16-2014, 10:42 PM
We can also decide that the rules differ for different peoples or races etc. More than just in the sense that supernatural creatures have use of magic.

The ideas Azelor and Ghostman express closely parallel those that can be found in Patrick Rothfuss' Kingslayer Chronicles series. Which I'd recommend to read anyways.

Personally I'm always a big fan of making mages and such suffer and bleed. Preferably as a result of plying their craft. Quite frankly the idea of mages hurling fireballs and lighting around a battlefield totally turns me off. It's far to overt and flashy for me to accept in a mid magic world. At least in any serious quantity. I think magic at that kind of level should cause enough of the mage to cause them to explode in a mist of blood.

Taking the principles of Azelor and Ghostman up there this could reasonably be expected. AzelorNewton's fourth law of magic works wonderfully at this. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. It keeps magic subtle, but present.

I'm with Azelor for a more fixed understanding of how magic works, not that I don't appreciate the mystery of leaving it undefined would give it. The problem I think with that is that this project is being developed by many hands, if we don't have a clear understanding its going to lead to a lot of crossed wires. Defining it more would also assist users of the CWBP 2 to better plan and develop their plots.

I can't for instance see magic having nothing to do with the node tunnels. Clearly there is an interaction there. What is it? What does it mean? Does it feed on magic? Is it where magic comes from? Or is it a symptom of something in the world the same as magic? For instance the reality of the world is just unstable enough for souls to take and manipulate how reality is?

Actually having the worlds reality just slightly unstable would tie in nicely with all the elements we have so far, from the second star, the second moon, the tunnels, to the GTH, to magic. The reality is warbling, and just loose enough so that those who know can effect it. The tunnels are a manifestation of this. Maybe when that first star came apart it also tore the fabric of the dimension enough to cause some sort of dimension convergence that then somehow stabilized....

Scoopz
02-16-2014, 11:06 PM
Well I was raised off of R.A. Salvatorian ideas of high magic (i'm aware we're at mid magic, I just lowered it from high fantasy levels... at least my interpretations of them), so i'm admittedly a fan of that kind of thing. Don't get in your mind however that just because mages are powerful on the battlefield doesn't mean they're "hurling fireballs and lighting around". There are certainly other, less "flashy" ways of killing people with magic.

What i'm not a fan of is making mages bleed for magic. I can only really associate it with blood magic and again that's really only one side of magic in my mind. Now i'm quite familiar with the concept of blood for magic (going so far as to have a read a book by Orson Scott Card on using similar rules for fantasy novel writing) and to me, it really drains the humanity from mages. That's just my opinion though.

EDIT:

I should say that in my mind, I imagined a world where the restrictions placed on mages by society made it very difficult to prepare spells, having to store them on parchment or some other means of enchantment before discharging them. It would also be very grueling to create spells. They would require extensive knowledge and lots of time. I also like to imagine that this evolved from a time of wilder magic. Where there weren't these restrictions and magic came more easily to mages.

Azelor
02-16-2014, 11:19 PM
I agree that we need to define some guidelines about how magic works.


We can also decide that the rules differ for different peoples or races etc. More than just in the sense that supernatural creatures have use of magic.

The ideas Azelor and Ghostman express closely parallel those that can be found in Patrick Rothfuss' Kingslayer Chronicles series. Which I'd recommend to read anyways.

Personally I'm always a big fan of making mages and such suffer and bleed. Preferably as a result of plying their craft. Quite frankly the idea of mages hurling fireballs and lighting around a battlefield totally turns me off. It's far to overt and flashy for me to accept in a mid magic world. At least in any serious quantity. I think magic at that kind of level should cause enough of the mage to cause them to explode in a mist of blood.

Taking the principles of Azelor and Ghostman up there this could reasonably be expected. AzelorNewton's fourth law of magic works wonderfully at this. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. It keeps magic subtle, but present.

I'm with Azelor for a more fixed understanding of how magic works, not that I don't appreciate the mystery of leaving it undefined would give it. The problem I think with that is that this project is being developed by many hands, if we don't have a clear understanding its going to lead to a lot of crossed wires. Defining it more would also assist users of the CWBP 2 to better plan and develop their plots.

I can't for instance see magic having nothing to do with the node tunnels. Clearly there is an interaction there. What is it? What does it mean? Does it feed on magic? Is it where magic comes from? Or is it a symptom of something in the world the same as magic? For instance the reality of the world is just unstable enough for souls to take and manipulate how reality is?

Actually having the worlds reality just slightly unstable would tie in nicely with all the elements we have so far, from the second star, the second moon, the tunnels, to the GTH, to magic. The reality is warbling, and just loose enough so that those who know can effect it. The tunnels are a manifestation of this. Maybe when that first star came apart it also tore the fabric of the dimension enough to cause some sort of dimension convergence that then somehow stabilized....


Your are talking just as if the world was going to get torn apart :o

Finger of death is a pretty subtle way of killing people. But mages don't need to kill themselves to do their tricks. Blood magic is a possibility but I expect that it is even less well accepted than necromancy.

Falconius
02-16-2014, 11:22 PM
A for me I'd define low magic as a very low influence and subtle magic that could easily be mistaken for other things. Mid level for me is subtle magic but it is very present, as in it affects peoples daily lives and can be recognized and occasionally has some flash (bling) to it. High magic for me is the basic D+D setting and above, magic cost nothing palpable and fantastic spells are flung around willy nilly and magic arrows of at least some sort are in everyones quiver. High magic can be great, don't get me wrong, but it can also lead to a really boring simplicity. It needs a certain tightness of control one could never really achieve in a co-op world building project.

I don't want magic to necessarily cause magis to bleed, I just think it's funny. What I meant really is that I want magic to have a cost, in other words I'm in line with Azelor and Ghostman on this.

Scoopz
02-16-2014, 11:27 PM
That's fine, i'm not arguing that.

I want magic to have a cost too, death even, just it IS mid magic. I just think it would be used in battle.

Falconius
02-16-2014, 11:44 PM
No doubt it would, but I don't think its affects would be as absolutely overt as all that. Perhaps not even noticed by the fighters at all. Unless of course some all powerful semi-immortal god-like creature wades into the field and starts blasting away with fire-laser-clouds or whatever. I guess that could happen too. The likelihood of any battle to alter would be by force of arms rather than magic, first because of counter maging, and second because no mage would willingly expend what is necessary to cause a battle line to collapse in the middle. I think their effects would largely be secondary, like causing the ground to crack and crumble beneath the enemies feet, or the air to start to get hot and stinging their eye's etc. I'm not even denying that a mage could theoretically blow a battleline apart, but doing so would cost him enormously. i.e. my example of a mage exploding.

Scoopz
02-16-2014, 11:58 PM
I like it.

Though when I meant blow the lines apart, i didnt mean like with explosions, just like actually knock them down. If that changes anything.

Jalyha
02-17-2014, 12:08 AM
Soooooooo... having just watched Star Wars for the 9999999999999999999999th time (both trilogies)...


Is the "Force" (or rather, the use of it) Low, mid, or high magic?

What about the ring in LoTR?

Maybe if we start from reference points everyone knows, there will be less confusion about what level of magic everyone is expecting?

Falconius
02-17-2014, 12:20 AM
The Force? Mid magic, to high magic, to God-damn your black hearted soul George Lucas.

Jalyha
02-17-2014, 12:30 AM
I say that after each viewing of the prequel trilogy... in exactly those same words :P

Ghostman
02-17-2014, 04:56 PM
I don't consider Star Wars to be high magic. Mostly the jedi powers are pretty low-key, such as the mind trick. Only the rare master-level jedis/siths can do any really flashy things like (heavy lifting) telekinesis or electric zapping. And even those powers seem very limited in their scope; they'd be far less valuable in a large scale battle than in a duel with another jedi.



I can't for instance see magic having nothing to do with the node tunnels. Clearly there is an interaction there. What is it? What does it mean? Does it feed on magic? Is it where magic comes from? Or is it a symptom of something in the world the same as magic? For instance the reality of the world is just unstable enough for souls to take and manipulate how reality is?

I originally envisioned the tunnels as constructed things. Kind of like stargates, but less technological. They would be relics of unknown origin, predating human civilization. Thus they'd be using magic, possibly exploiting naturally occurring weak spots to create permanent shortcuts through the otherworld.

Falconius
02-18-2014, 04:58 PM
Ah, I always envisioned them as sort of natural magical eruptions, like sideways volcanoes only for various bits of magic flow rather than magma.Thats what lead me to thinking of them as unexplored sort of naturally occurring tunnels. I'm not sure how much of a fan I am of lost relic built gates. As opposed to say gates and things built around already existing wormholes. Naturally occurring nodes would also be in a constant state (thinking in geological terms and time scales here) of fluctuation with new ones appearing and collapsing. That was made me think they could either have feeding qualities for magical power or in their collapsing state a dampening power draining effect.

Scoopz
02-18-2014, 07:18 PM
Hey, I like really don't get these node things. Could someone explain them a little more in depth? What do they do? are they magic streams? Can you move through them, as some of you seem to be indicating? I'm a little confuzzled.

I picture something like:

61540

... but I don't really know.

Falconius
02-18-2014, 10:37 PM
Ghostman's original proposal: (http://www.cartographersguild.com/cooperative-worldbuilding-project/25339-cwbp-2-determining-genre-era.html#post231312)
If we end up going for fantasy instead of sci fi, we could make it a world where instead of magnetic poles, compass needles will point toward mystical locations -- stonehenge-esque megalith structures of unknown origin, holy mountains, eternally swirling whirlpools in the world's oceans, places where deities fell to the ground, gates that lead to other dimensions, etc. That could affect cartography, as it might not make as much sense to refer to longitudes and latitudes when defining a geographic location.
My vision of them, which appears to be very different from Ghostman's original vision of them, is that there exist these fissures and anomalies in the world which take various forms and which I've been calling nodes. These nodes represent magical interaction on a geographical and extra-planar level, some of them are magic additive, and some magic reducing depending on their structure and evolutionary stage (some are active like our volcanoes, some like dead volcanoes, the dead ones are collapsing magic). All these nodes and their magic are aspected i.e for water or fire or light or whatever. All the nodes lead to an extra-planar realm (think wormholes), some of which are small in scale, some large, the tunnels are aspected to the magic of their attached node or nodes. Some times these tunnels connect to other distant nodes, allowing great distances to be traversed very quickly as long as one doesn't get lost in the node tunnels and as long as one can deal with the magical ravages contained therein.

Some societies venerate nodes, and build systems around them, some study them and learn what they can. Some societies have made use of these tunnels and explored them for travel, trade and conquest, and have mined them for magical resources. Some have also done exploratory mining within these node tunnels to find exits where none were known. Not all tunnels lead anywhere. Nor do all tunnels with exits lead to other nodes on our planet, some may lead to exits on other planets in the system, or indeed some exit directly into space. Sometimes certain nodes "wander" leading to unreliable knowledge of the exits or entrances. Sometimes nodes may have been secured by some ancestral knowledge so that they are reliable sources of travel or resources.

Scoopz
02-18-2014, 10:46 PM
I mean, that's GETTING IN TO the realm of high-magic. Like, that's some powerful shiznit right there.

... Or maybe not, but it seems like they have a lot of power. With not all that many drawback.

Falconius
02-18-2014, 11:04 PM
Yeah probably.

When I was considering the magic levels I was mostly considering them on an individual basis. But the draw backs seem severe enough to me. You can't just waltz into a fire node whistling Dixie. None of the nodes are unaspected which means that you have to have the knowledge, power, and ability to deal with whatever is inside. You can get lost in the nodes. You can accidentally choose the wrong exit. You ma accidentally eject yourself into space... not fun. Nor can you just walk up to a node and harness raw magic. Doesn't work that way. Think of it as a magic volcano, waltzing up to a caldera full of hot rumbling magma in nothing but shorts, t-shirt, and flippy floppies isn't exactly without drawbacks...

I also forgot to include one more caveat about my vision of nodes, which is that if the tunnels attach to opposing aspected nodes the magical turbulence within the tunnels can create the equivalent of energy maelstroms, liable to rip apart even the most prepared of explorers. Even with closely aligned but different aspected nodes attached to one tunnel system the unpredictable roiling turbulence of differing magic streams can cause mush trouble.