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Thread: Magical Terraforming and Magical Celestial Dynamics (Arcana getting that itch again)

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      Robbie is offline
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    Default Magical Terraforming and Magical Celestial Dynamics (Arcana getting that itch again)

    Hey all,

    Long time no see. I've been getting the itch to map again, especially worldbuilding. I've been on pretty limited duty here (software updates, keeping the lights on) but I think I wanna map something.

    What do you all think of terraforming done by powerful magics? How about going further and having the celestial dynamics held in place or instantiated by powerful magics? Too hokey? Is it cliche? Is there a way to pull it off maybe without any of those cliche's and problems? Just wanted to get some thoughts...not looking for ideas though, I have plenty of those..lol
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      J.Edward is offline
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    Certain levels of terraforming via magic have occurred. In the Forgotten Realms you get some of that with Netheril and some others I think. I found it acceptable if the story works for that. Celestial dynamics? Well, then it seems like you're gonna have to get some deities involved and that seems like it REALLY needs a GOOD story to make it believable. Or just to reason out why it would happen in the first place.
    That being said, the right story can tell just about any tale.

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    I'm not really a scientist and I'm sure this goes into the idea territory that you mentioned, but if gravity were magic then atleast the whole stable solar system thing could possibly happen with magic, just have the planets be a physical manifestation of the gods(if magic comes from the gods that is) and equate their size with how much magic they provide and thus how much gravity they exert on each other , and maybe something about universal ley lines or something that indicate the orbits that they can enter and remain stable compared to their peers.

    Again not really much of a scientist to be able to fully and correctly talk about the movement and location of planets let alon work out how it could be done using magic(except as above mentioned)

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    Any powerful force, natural or otherwise, has an effect on the geographical arrangement. I don't see any reason why magic wouldn't. There are two ways in which I see magic affecting the land by it's presence: A constant static effect will undoubtedly over time have an effect on the land around, much the way two tectonic plates slowly moving around does. The second would be a result of a quick happening such as a blast creating a crater, or a transportation moving a large amount of land elsewhere etc.

    There is one more and this is where if can get cheesy, and that is magical effects maintaining a certain architecture or geographic form in the face of other general constants, such as gravity. Or weather, or time. As to when these get cliché it's really dependant on the context and story surrounding them. You could have a city with thousands of such effects, and if done right it won't seem out of place, or you could have a region with only one such occurrence and if the narrative is set up wrong it will seem completely out of place and stupid.

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    I don't intend on being bound by any gaming system rules, so there's no limits, I'm just wondering about things I should watch out for or things I should account for. Thanks for the netheril example. Anyone have any other examples of magical terraforming in play? Has anyone read any of the halo books? The Forerunners are a good example of the kind of capability's I'm thinking about, but with magic instead of technology.
    Robbie Powell - Site Admin

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    Magical Terraforming isn't a new idea, you are totally right on that. However I feel it wasn't used that often or only in very limited places. So: Go for it. I don't have any suggestions on what to look for regarding books or RPGs featuring this heavily, but here are some thoughts:

    1. It is a lot of effort. So there must be something which is either necessary to accomplish or some other big reason to just consider magical terraforming.
    2. There could be a culture which needs to change the lands to live there. Some kind of annex perhaps?
    3. If some sort of gods are involved in this, they probably form it massively to their idealistic thinking.
    4. War or Trading have been the main reasons for massive real-life 'nature remodeling'. The Rhine (a German river, about 766 miles long) was river engineered (channelization) to make him more usable for traders. Even some massive building projects on ancient harbors were made to protect the ships in war times.
    5. Magic: The Gathering (a trading card game) features this sort of magical terraforming in various forms. You could look for the concept art for the block 'Zendikar' or (more technological magic) averything concerning the Phyrexians.

    Thats all I can think of right now, I hope it helps. =)
    Regards, Steffen

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    Not certain that I understand what Magical Terraforming means, but if I do, I do believe that the universe in A Song of Ice and Fire could be called Magically Terraformed. If I remember correctly, in the lore, the two continents Essos and Westeros used to be one continent, but during the invasion of the First Men the natives of Westeros – the Children of the Forest – used their Ancient Magic to split the continent in two. And later, during the Andal Invasion, they again attempted to use their magic to split Westeros in two, but failed and instead created the shattered land called The Neck. Not strange that the world has such odd climate, after suffering two cataclysmic events like that.

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    Oh man, thank you for all these examples...they're definitely helping me to NOT rip off stuff that's already been done. I may even have to redirect a little bit. So far though, the examples have all been modification of existing world features...I think I may be able to work with this. Thanks for the examples and things to watch out for.
    Robbie Powell - Site Admin

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    Keep in mind too - many of these ideas are themselves not original. Most mythology has land being altered by powers or "the gods" so none of that is original.
    Don't let that deter you if you have a good concept that seems a bit like an existing one.

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    I'm not sure to help, but I kinda use magical terraforming in my Eggregor setting. More precisely, I use a version of the Eggregor concept (details in wikipedia here) to explain all the magical things in an otherwise post-apo/cyberpunk setting. It relies on the fact that, in a given zone (in my setting, in the Inner Sphere), if enough people believe or took something for granted, then it is.
    Therefore, some powerful "mages" aware of that, succeeded to convince all the people that they were able to do incredible magical things. And when they claimed to terraformed other worlds, everybody believed they actually could. And so they did.

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