Magic Systems

Discussion in 'General Fantasy' started by Dragonbane, Apr 14, 2016.

  1. Dragonbane

    Dragonbane Herald of Hell

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    If you are writing a fantasy book/story, how does magic work in your world(if you have it) and what's it like?
     
  2. Midnattblod

    Midnattblod Ranger of Shadow

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    I do have it, though as of yet it is very unrefined. in my series there are people of any race born with the ability to learn how to wield magic, though they have to go through extensive training. there is also a race of true magic users where magic is more like a talent for them and they only train on better ways of controlling it. that's about it so far lol
     
  3. Dragonbane

    Dragonbane Herald of Hell

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    I'll post my own magic system tomorrow, gotta fix it :p
     
  4. Dragonbane

    Dragonbane Herald of Hell

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    Here's my magic system(no stealing ideas)
    Source of Magic-

    Most magic comes straight from an individuals own energy or even their soul, but some comes from The Fringe(ie. Spirit Realm), which is like a...parallel dimension, though every being on every world has the potential to access it and possibly even transverse it. A very experienced being can even feed upon their surroundings energy. To get the energy to fuel your magic, you have 3 main options.
    • Connecting to The Fringe
    • Draw upon your own reserves
    • Feed upon the surrounding energy
    There's also a 4th option, which is making "deals" with higher beings(like gods, demons or other immortals). But only the bravest(or stupidest) do this, because in exchange for power they must give something in return, which is usually their soul.

    What it can do
    Magic is mainly limited by 3 things- ones access to energy, their imagination, and lastly ones own knowledge of magic itself. Anything is possible IF you have the energy to make it happen. The more powerful magic users can even create more energy(hypothetically, if they have a strong enough will then they'll have access to a literally infinite amount of energy). The process to create more energy is very complex, mentally taxing, and dangerous because if you you mess up the process, then the influx of energy could literally consume your material body.

    Limitations/Can Anyone Do It?
    Not just anyone can do magic, most of the time it's purely innate and can't really be learned. It's for the most part Hereditary. You also have to have a strong will to do magic in my fantasy world. If an energy source is external then the magic-user has to be in a relatively close proximity to it, or whatever they're attempting to do won't work. In a way magic is almost..alive, it "fights" against you when you try to use it(this is why you must have a strong will).


    Affects/Cost of Magic-

    All magic in their own way is physically taxing, using it is like burning off calories really fast(that's why you don't normally see many fat magicians). If one gains their power through a deal with a higher being(like a demon) and doesn't "pay up" then the magic will corrupt them and strip them of their soul. Thus turning them into horrific creatures called The Forsaken, which are feared on every world, are also known as Nightwalkers and are the worst of the damned. In short, they are nightmare in a corporeal form, it's really a fate worse then death and pretty much 10 times as worse as Hell.

    Divisions of Magic-
    • Mental-Psychic powers(ie. telekinesis, telepathy, astral projection etc.)
    • Evocation-Manipulation of energy, creating things, and protection magic(like forcefields)
    • Destruction-Can drain energy, negate powers, and raise the dead
    • Arcane/Mythic-Can learn secrets predict the future, scrying, telling truth from lie, and creating illusions
    • Elemental- Summon and manipulate the elements(elementalists have special tattoos that directly corresponds with their ability)
    • Weaving-Everything has a distinct "song" to it, and beings who can "sing"(aka weaving), can manipulate this "music" and even alter reality
    • Fusion/Binding- Alter somethings(or someones) properties, combine objects and powers( can also merge souls), and enhancing ones own physical capabilities(by binding the elements to ones body)
    -Earth: durability and superstrength
    -Fire: increased stamina and endurance
    -Lightning: superspeed(binding lightning to your body is like an adrenaline shot or bingeing on energy drinks)
    -Water: increase flexibility

    History of Magic-
    There's a legend that goes around amongst the heroes and magic-users that every few millennium a hero is born, one unlike any other. It is said that they have the power to balance out the Light and Dark(aka Order and Chaos), and are capable of killing any being(even immortals) who is throwing the universe out of balance. If necessary then they are able to destroy everything(ie "wipe the slate clean") and start anew. The last known being who was capable of this was Eteru, the Ancient of Hope, who existed nearly 7 centuries ago. The first being to ever have this power was Caelus, the Primordial of Energy(he's the 3rd oldest being in existence next to Vacivus(Primordial of the Void) and Genesis(Primordial of Creation)). A very defining moment in magic history was around 367 AC(after creation), which was the Warlock Wars(also known as the War of the Damned. It was when magic-users officially started making deals with demons. The war was between Gehenna's army(which consisted of Forsaken, Warlocks, and monsters from Hell) and Pelous's(god of light) army(which consisted of Angels, Nephilim, and the ancient race-the Primals).
     
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  5. Midnattblod

    Midnattblod Ranger of Shadow

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    sounds like you've put a lot of thought into it. definitely a cool concept. 1 question though; what happens when a person uses all their inner energy for magic (i.e. if they attempt to cast a spell that turns out too taxing and drains all their inner reserves)? otherwise a very cool concept
     
  6. Dragonbane

    Dragonbane Herald of Hell

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    Good question, 2 things could happen one being that you'd simply die and the second possibility is that as your about to die because of this drain on your inner energy, it leaves you extremely vulnerable and infernal creatures(like demons and eternals) can take possession of you which then turns you into a Hellion(which is like the forsaken but are made of spiky obsidian and their head is wreathed in fire)

    P.S you should extend and refine your magic system, I'm really curious to see what you would think up:p. Glad you liked mine though, thanks
     
  7. Midnattblod

    Midnattblod Ranger of Shadow

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    I will most likely work on mine in depth soon. and once I have something of note, I will definitely share it :)
     
  8. rochari

    rochari Member

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    I'm wondering, as an aside, which writer or director or whatever has created the most unusual system. I mean something other than the standard fireballs in the TES games.
     
  9. Midnattblod

    Midnattblod Ranger of Shadow

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    I personally like McKiernan's magic system for his Mithgar books. sadly I don't have enough time to explain in detail, but in his series there is an immortal race called mages who are the only ones able to actually manipulate the forces that are used for 'magic', but each time they do, it uses a portion if the life's energy causing them to slowly (or at times very rapidly) age. other races are sometimes able to use magic, but for them, it's not really something they control, or if they do, it's like a certain talent they have and they're not really sure how they're able to do it
     
  10. Firiath

    Firiath Halfling barbarian

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    Your history of magic sounds really cool, @Dragonbane, but I have a question about the system:

    To me that sounds like anyone could make use of magic,at least when using the energy coming from the Fringe, even if you have to learn about it first. But later on you say

    So wouldn't it be possible to use magic using the Fringe if you weren't born with magical skills? How can people travel there or access it?
     
  11. Dragonbane

    Dragonbane Herald of Hell

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  12. Gadock

    Gadock New Member

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    Hey Dragonbane,

    I'm gonna give you my example after giving my opinion first ^^

    You've stated that they casters don't really know how they do it, they just do. In what way, they know what they're doing but don't know how, they know consequences but not the cause. Or they know how they did something but don't understand why it turned out like that, they know cause but not consequences. Little bit clear?

    If it's knowing consequences than I think there are a few problems with your system.

    Problems with
    - :Telekenesis could theoretically also move small rocks. Since they're light they should be able to get a lot of speed in a very short distance without consuming too much energy. Therefor making lethal "guns". Their enemies won't even see it coming and they're already dead.
    - :Maybe make range limits? So no astral projects. Or, the farther the object the more energy it takes for the same action?

    - :Evocation, manipulation of energy should give similar problems as stated before, if the caster would create an object within the enemies body, they'd explode... They can change the energy state of only parts of their enemies bodies, like switching the speed of their heads.
    - : Again making rules to range could change this.

    - : Destruction, don't think too much could go wrong actually :p I assume raising dead ain't an easy task and draining energy would cost quite a bit of time.

    - :Arcane, this is more for in the story than a problem. You see, there are 2 rough ways to look at time travel ( since seeing the future means your mind traveled it at least), 1. everything goes exactly like it happened. Or, 2., you can change its course and therefor your prediction is not true, thus you'd never actually traveled to this dimentions future. In which both can give quite the paradox's :D.

    - :Elements, blood bending! Wait, wrong universe. But you get the point again, you can manipulate someone else's blood and let their hart stop, or make a piece of rock fly incredibly quick.
    - :Again range restrictions.

    - :Weaving, hmmmmm very interesting concept. But, if you have an enemy, or anything you don't like, you change your reality and thus removing them or altering them for your sake. With this you'd basically be god. If you have ability to change anything to your own will it should have severe concequences or restrictions.

    - :Fusion, as long they can't denounce others. Else their superweakened heart wouldn't be able to beat.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2016
  13. Dragonbane

    Dragonbane Herald of Hell

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    Did I say that? :D Lets clear some things up shall we? Heres an example, you can breathe in and out, right? You don't have to understand it for it to happen, it just..happens. This is the same way with most of my magic users, they intuitively cast their magic. Though if one can completely understand how something works then they can work magic easier and maybe figure out a way to do it without using up so much energy.

    Of course it would have range limits, also ones own energy source is finite so you could only "throw" the rock a certain distance. You would use the same amount of energy telekinetically as you would if you physically picked something up and threw it(so no picking up elephants). So if one wanted to telekinetically move a huge object then would either have to enlist the aid of other magic users or draw upon some other energy source.
    P.S nice idea with having a makeshift 'gun"

    Ok well this type of magic is probably one of the most dangerous and taxing because if you fail then something will happen to you thats worse then death(you'll become a forsaken(p.s see my magic system)). Raising a couple dead beings is not that hard, you would just be animating the corpses, not bringing them to life. On the other hand if you tried to raise an army, then you most likely would die.

    Man you just hurt my head, I hate paradoxes.... Anyway heres how time tavel works in my universe
    -It's impossible to travel into the future because the future is not yet set
    - If you went back in time and changed how something happened then it won't affect the present but create a whole new timeline(ie an alternate universe). This even works in the present also, every deciscion you make creates another timeline and creates a possible future. So there is literally an infinite amount of possible futures.

    Hmmm blood bending would be interesting. My Elementalists work a little different, see when a magic user chooses to become an elementalist they first go through a special test to see what element suits them best, then they go through this 'rite of passage' in which they get a unique tattoo which then enables them to summon an Elemental from the SpiritWorld(ie The Fringe) to serve them. Most Elementalists can only handle the tattoos of a couple Elementals though.

    Weaving, this is probably my most favorite magic type( suprisingly I came up with this idea while listening to music! :D). Of course it has it's limitations, you can't simply alter a person right out of reality, it's way more complex then that(to do that you would have to intuitively understand reality completely). This magic type is usually done either with an instrument(usually a harp or lyre) or singing. The most common use of weaving is increasing ones speed or strength, enhancing hear, becoming invisible...you get the gist, just basic stuff. Only the masters of weaving have access to godlike powers( and most of the time these masters are already gods anyway so...)

    Fusion is another one of the types I like, the possibilities are literally endless!


    Lastly, Thanks Gadock for all the questions, you actually helped me flesh out and develop my magic system more. It would actually help if you kept answering questions so I can make my system better. Also if you have any ideas or advice, don't hesitate to tell me. Thanks once again:)

    P.S I'll be sure to mention you in my acknowledgements in my fantasy book series
     
  14. Richard Falken

    Richard Falken The Best Epic Literature Ever Written.

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    The magic in my first book (The Flaming Wrath of Árelor) and the second book (not yet translated to English) is deity based. Magic is a mixture of natural forces that the gods pour in the world.

    People who is comfortable with the values of certain god and has a strong will is able to master the magical energy related to that particular god. For example, if you are a strong revengeful person you will be able to manipulate the destructive burning energies associated with the god of revenge and turn them into destructive spells.

    In practice, most people lacks the discipline, willpower and faith to get anything useful done with magic, so the only real wizards in those two books are religious practitioners or idealistic fanatics.
     
  15. Dragonbane

    Dragonbane Herald of Hell

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    Hmm sounds interesting
     
  16. Dragonbane

    Dragonbane Herald of Hell

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    I just updated my magic system, let me know what you all think


    Source of Magic-

    Typically when using magic(in my world), the caster uses his own personal reserve of energy(ie lifeforce). But it also exists everywhere and in everything, and because of this, if you lack a certain amount of magic then you can take it by 'feeding' upon the surrounding energy. Though it exists everywhere, it predominantly resides in The Fringe which is like a parallel dimension/world. Only a handful of people outside The Fringe can access and use the energy within the dimension.


    Who can do it?-

    Anyone with a connection(or affinity) to The Source(the enigmatic being who created everything) can use it. Some are born natural magic users, others discover it on their own. In my workld magic is purely innate. people who can't use magic must use Artifacts imbued with Fringe energy.

    There's also another forbidden way to gain immense power over magic, and that is called making a Pact. You make this deal with a higher being whether it be a spirit, demon, God etc. And in exchange for power you must give up part of your soul, which is made up of five parts; the "heart", shadow, name/memory, personality, and finally lifeforce. Also when bargaining with your soul on the line it's best not to lose more then 1 piece of it.

    Limitations/Cost-

    -Strength of Will and Body(magic is sentient it it will fight for control)

    -Access to energy

    -Knowledge of magic

    All magic in their own way is physically taxing, using it is like burning off calories really fast(that's why you don't normally see many fat magicians). If one gains their power through a deal with a higher being(like a demon) and doesn't "pay up" then the magic will corrupt them and strip them of their soul. Thus turning them into horrific creatures called The Forsaken. They are nightmares in corporeal form, cursed to roam the worlds spreading fear and destruction wherever they may tread.

    Rules

    1. Everything with a beginning must have an ending(so becoming immortal is pointless if you were born)

    2. Something finite can not create something infinite

    3. Anything that is created can be destroyed

    Divisions of Magic-

    Weaving-Everything has a distinct "song" to it, and beings who can "sing" (aka weaving), can manipulate this "music" and even alter reality

    Mental(Sub Division)-Psychic powers(ie. telekinesis, telepathy, astral projection etc.)

    Mythic/Dream(Sub Division)- Making the impossible possible and basically bringing ones dreams(or nightmares) to life.

    Evocation-Manipulation of energy, creating things, and protection magic(like forcefields)

    Arcane(Sub Division)-Can learn secrets predict the future, scrying, telling truth

    from lie, and creating illusions

    Destruction/Shadow(Sub Division)-Can drain energy, negate powers, and raise the dead

    Light/Creation(Sub Division)- animate objects(inanimate), purify and heal,and boost power

    Binding/Fusion- Alter somethings(or someones) properties, combine objects

    and powers

    Beast(Sub Division)- absorb the essence of an animal(or multiples) and develop their abilities and become slightly animalistic in appearance.

    Spirit/Soul(Sub Division)- merge souls(creating soul bonds) and manipulate them, and summoning spirits

    Elemental(Sub Division)- Summon and manipulate the elements(elementalists have special tattoos for this), and can also enhance ones own physical capabilities by binding the elements to ones body)

    Examples

    -Earth: durability and superstrength

    -Fire: increased stamina and endurance

    -Lightning: superspeed(binding lightning to your body is like an adrenaline shot or bingeing on energy drinks)

    -Water: increased flexibility and intangibility

    History of Magic

    There's a legend that goes around amongst the heroes and magic-users that every few millennium a hero is born, one unlike any other. It is said that they have the power to balance out the Light and Dark(aka Order and Chaos), and are capable of killing any being(even immortals) who is throwing the universe out of balance. If necessary then they are able to destroy everything(ie "wipe the slate clean") and start anew. The last known being who was capable of this was Eteru, the Ancient of Hope, who existed nearly 7 centuries ago. The first being to ever have this power was Caelus, the Primordial of Energy(he's the 3rd oldest being in existence next to Vacivus(Primordial of the Void) and Genesis(Primordial of Creation)). A very defining moment in magic history was around 367 AC(after creation), which was the Warlock Wars(also known as the War of the Damned. It was when magic-users officially started making deals with demons. The war was between Satan's(1st of the Fallen) army(which consisted of Forsaken, Warlocks, and monsters from Gehenna) and Pelous's(god of light) army(which consisted of Angels, Nephilim, and the ancient race-the Primals).
     
  17. FarSeeker

    FarSeeker New Member

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    I really like it. Especially the Pact is very interesting. When I saw "There's also another forbidden way..." I thought it's going to be another dull Necromancy, or something like that. :p But I was wrong, and that's good.
    The divisions aren't very original, but you did what was possible, and in the way you like it :p That's important.
    Uh, and the last thing, the history of magic. Again, I like it. Well done.
     
  18. Dragonbane

    Dragonbane Herald of Hell

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    Any advice on making the division's more original?
     
  19. David2016

    David2016 New Member

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    I like to think my magic system is rather original. Its a little difficult to explain, but basically:

    Magic is split into three elements - the Light, the Earth and the Sky. Each element is governed by a God (or Goddess) who has mastery over that element. They can create anything they want from within the bounds of their element.

    Magickers can manipulate small parts of their element, but they cannot create. Magickers are humans with power inside them - only certain people possess the gift. When it first appears in a Magicker it is uncontrollable, responding to their emotion instead of reason. My novel actually picks up with the main character losing control of his power and burning down a village. The rest of the journey is about him trying to master his power, and make up for the destruction he caused.

    Magickers learn to control their power through meditation, it allows them to tame their emotion and find their inner mind. There, they also find the pool of their magic.

    But when a Magicker first touches their magic, they are also in great peril. Because their magic is also alive - and it wants to be free. Unless they are prepared, a Magicker who touches his inner magic can be overwhelmed, the magic taking control.

    And a human who has lost himself to their own magic becomes a demon.

    My novel is called Stormwielder in case anyone was interested :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 13, 2017
  20. froboy69

    froboy69 New Member

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    I think for magic to be balanced, it's potential must be handled with conditions; for example, in my story I made it where one was able to trick the brain of his opponent into experiencing pain. This pain was so severe that it paralyzed the target into complete vulnerability.

    But the catch was that the user would lose half of his own magic regardless of the amount; if we looked at RPGs where a character would use mana, let's say that this character had 10 MP. Even as he leveled up and had a certain amount of magic increased in terms of total MP (let's say 200 or something MP), this character would lose half regardless (in this case, 100 MP).

    Because of this, the user rarely uses it unless he knows that he would achieve what he needed. Hell this move would work on anything that felt pain. Another reason for this not being favored was because of how 'cruel' it could possibly be if questioning his morals.

    That's my take on it.