Styles of Magic

Discussion in 'General Fantasy' started by MeltingRoses, Oct 7, 2010.

  1. MeltingRoses

    MeltingRoses MeltingRoses

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    I was recently considering, after reading a different thread, about the different ideas of creating magic. It seems it can be bound in almost anyway, but I was intrigued by the science behind it. To combine fantasy with science fiction really catches my eye and I was wondering what others think of combining the two?
    I was thinking there should be a way to control different spirits through focuses made of certain elements (i.e. platinum, tin, cobalt, periodic table stuff). Each elemnt could be bound by one of these and the strength of the magic/spirit would depend on the rareness of the element. As in a spirit summoned with oxygen or sodium would be weaker compared to one summoned with radon! (if my reasoning is a little strange please let me know!)
    :bat:
     
  2. Lug

    Lug New Member

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    Have you read Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn series?
    If not, perhaps you should. It features ideas similar to this.

    It happens to also be my favourite book :p
    I think it's targeted towards a slightly younger market, but still.
     
  3. MeltingRoses

    MeltingRoses MeltingRoses

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    Pff I like younger books too. I haven't actually heard of those books though. What are they about and how does the magic relate?
     
  4. Lug

    Lug New Member

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    Ok - it's not QUITE the same, but I guess I posted because it relates to elements :p

    There's people born with a form of magic, and the ingestion of different metallic elements allows them the use of different powers. Not magic like incantations and pulling things out of the ether, but physical things. I don't know how better to explain it without spoiling it for you.

    The first book is about overthrowing a tyrant, the second is the aftermath, and trying to maintain civilization from the leader's point of view, the last is just EPIC.

    I think they're intended for the 15-18 age range, but the story is awesome.
     
  5. MeltingRoses

    MeltingRoses MeltingRoses

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    That does sound like a good read! I'll have to keep my eye out for it.
     
  6. Astner

    Astner New Member

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    I personally prefer magic to remain unexplained- I'm not saying that there shouldn't be a framework for it, what I'm saying is that the framework is better left untold. If it's explained then it can be connected to nature and described by physics, hence isn't "magic" anymore.

    As for elemental spirits attached to certain naturalistic elements, such as metals. Within the right story it could work as an element. But I don't see it being complex enough to hold up the story itself.
     
  7. wanderingmagus

    wanderingmagus King Anakin's Royal Advisor, Constantly Around :D

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    I personally like magic with explanations, but don't like the whole "summon a spirit" thing. To me, spirits are entities just like you and me, and probably don't appreciate being summoned and commanded and whatnot. Rather, I think of magic in terms of energy or energies that flow through everything, kind of like the way electricity flows through everything in their atoms and can affect things.

    I have magical energies be split into several different types, whether the classical elements (air, fire, water, earth) or oriental type chi or sci-fi psi (yin yang, ectoplasm, etc)

    Contolling the energies usually takes the form of the utilization of symbols and objects, as well as will. Sometimes the symbols can get really complicated. It's kind of similar to programming or setting up a machine. There are a variety of controls, and how you put together a sigil influences the sigil's strength and accuracy.

    For instance, placing a horseshoe made of cold iron pointing upwards beneath an inverted pentagram will cause any energies absorbed by the pentegram to be stored inside the horseshoe, until it is inverted. The sigils for earth, fire and air inscribed at three of the points of the compass will change the composition, depending on how they are arranged, to smoke (earth particles heated by flame and dispersed by air). The trigrams and hexagrams will define how much energy is allowed into the system at a time, and the signs of scorpio, libra, and gemini will likewise influence the end result.

    It all depends on how complex you want the system to be. It can be as simple as waving your hand, to as complicated as setting up a hundred candles and fifty sacrifices aligned to the stars on midsummer's eve with exactly five wells of water and two of lava standing thirteen feet from the six-pointed star in the center of a field of thirty black roses.. you get the idea.
     
  8. Lug

    Lug New Member

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    Yes.
    Exactly my thoughts.
     
  9. Miss_Fletcher

    Miss_Fletcher Author of The Demon Girl

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    I'm following your train of thought, and I like it. There is science behind everything, and to be able to explain magic down to the tiniest building blocks of life, whilst weaving in decent characters and a strong plot, without bashing out a five hundred page monster, would be wonderful to read.

    As a writer, I'd explore deeper into metaphysics, and how different practices, rituals conjure spiritual forces, but I would only bring a shadow of this 'explanation' into my work, so that the focus remains on the story.

    PJx
     
  10. MeltingRoses

    MeltingRoses MeltingRoses

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    That's the great thing about magic is that it can work in any way you want it too. You can go as complex as you want. I'm just thinking of this branch with working elemtal spirits through the elements because of a natural phenomenom that occured a while a go with rain drops spelling out letters/symbols on a car mirror. It caught my eye and got me thinking!
     
  11. wanderingmagus

    wanderingmagus King Anakin's Royal Advisor, Constantly Around :D

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    my main issue with elemental spirits is that it seems too much like the practitioner is forcing her (or his) will on a free entity, using them like tools and then discarding them.

    This in my opinion is rude and not too likely, as the spirits could easily just refuse to do your bidding or fly away. and it breaks an important law of magic: 'an ye harm none do what ye will. subjugating spirits, to me, harms the spirits.
     
  12. Gideon

    Gideon New Member

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    Interesting magic ideas:

    Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norrell, partialy explained, lovely in its explanation. (Though its more about the morality of the uses of magic than anything else).

    As for elementals used in magic, look at the Golem from Jewish legend and move from there.
    If you are going for a SteamPunk look, imagine the idea of a water ellemental being used to create sentient steam that powers the Jack...
     
  13. Acolypto

    Acolypto New Member

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    What I think of when I see things of the nature the OP is talking about is something almost like Golem creation more than magic. Personally I enjoy magic being something innate that can only be indirectly studied. Kind of like in the beginning of our electricity when it wasn't understood exactly what electricity was, so they studied things that were affected by it. Alot of the times I personally use innate born talent or something, which is then augmented by runes, rituals, items or some other extra item.

    On the topic of summoning: I do think it is inherently rude. Forcing something from its home, or forcing it to do something (presumably) against its will is rude. However from a magician or a magic users standpoint I can also understand the vantage point of bringing in some sort of other being that is more focused magically to either do your dirty work or act as your magical "battery"

    My two cents
    Acolypto
     
  14. wanderingmagus

    wanderingmagus King Anakin's Royal Advisor, Constantly Around :D

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    on golem creation- creating life for the sole purpose of subjugation seems... wrong. to me at least. robots aren't alive and don't have emotions, but even there i have some problems with their abuse.