I thought I'd submit my latest magical system and see what you guys think.
1) There are various physical realms.
2) Seperating the physical realms is a wibbly wobbly, dream like, roiling chaos... thing... called the Astral.
3) Science deals with the physical realms, magic deals with The Astral, or more specifically using the astral to affect the physical realms.
4)There are a variety of magic styles that do just that, however the magical styles are like martial arts styles, they have their own strengths and weaknessess, but there's no one "right" style.
5) The basics of most magic involve opening holes into the astral, manipulating the stuff of the astral, and/or sensing what's happening in the astral while remaining in the physical realm.
6) Magic can do just about anything, if you can imagine it you can do it, but there's some limits, namely:
6a) The physical strain of opening holes into the astral. How easy it is to open a hole into the Astral depends on the realm, magic heavy realms are easy to pierce, but some realms are almost impossible to pierce without some way to amplify your ability to pierce the wall between the realm and astral. That's the explanation for the lack of Magic on Earth in the story, the wall around our universe is particularily thick.
6b) You need the imagination and focus to fully mentally shape the effect you want. Achieving this level of focus is not easy, and most spells are simply mnemonic devices to achieve that level of focus. More detailed and intricate spells are therefore harder, but are in turn harder to be affected by other mages. It's enough if you know what it's supposed to do though, if you're summoning a hell hound for instance, you don't need to know each of the hell hound's organs, just how it's shaped and what it can do.
6c) The Astral is shaped by the subconciouness of humanity, the more impossible something is considered, the harder it is. Thus, another part of doing magic is convincing others around you that you can do it.
6d) The absolutely hardest thing to do with magic is to use it to directly affect others. People have a subconcious self image of themselves which provides them a measure of protection against anything which would change them. Turning people into frogs, controlling someone's mind, or causing their head to explode is really hard. Even if they know and accept that you can do it, (as per 6c) they have to give you permission either conciously or subconcioussly beforehand.
So what do you guys think? Does this make sense? Is it too complex? Any questions, comments, or suggestions?