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Attempting to create a Magic System that generalizes all types of magic

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Dayu, Dec 24, 2020.

  1. Dayu

    Dayu Scribe

    Im trying to use all types of magic in story and i am trying to come up with a formula for it (it just came naturally) and I having a tough time calling it.

    Magic used by wizards, warlock, witches, arcane users, or elemental magic, and the like from Harry Potter and Avatar to Fairy Tail and other anime have something in common. Magic from Harry Potter use magic (lets call it this for now) "Indirect magic". This means magic users use an object to use their magic like wands, staffs, books, ingredients, swords. While "Direct magic" users basically have magic come out of their bodies themselves, usually by hand. This comes out looking like a fireball coming out directly our of their hands or a magic circle comes first, then the spell.

    I plan to use this in my story as something that separates the weak from the powerful because of the different methods in using magic, but I dont have a solid name for it yet. Any suggestions?

    The other problem is explaining how it works so the reader can understand them like it was an instruction book while maintaining a sense of wonder.

    So far, what Ive come up with looks like this: Magical Energy + Intention = Spell

    This works well (sort of) for Direct magic users and I can use it in explaining how to create a new spell.
    It gets more complicated (I think) when I try to do this with the Indirect magic users. There are so many types of them but it always need magic energy first then intention, but you can also get rid of the intention part if your a witch that uses ingredients to cast a specific spell. If you want to harm someone, just use energy, then the ingredients needed to cast the spell.

    Am I overthinking this (too fleshed out) or not enough? Can you see what else is wrong with this since I am totally blinded right about now.
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  2. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

    I'd always go with "less is more" when it comes to magic. Don't explain what you don't need to.
    I liked the way magic was dealt with in the Belgariad [and just about all Eddings' work]. It was explained that only some people could do it and most of them never really learnt how. It was the person's will and imagination that created the magic and a word that let it flow. Anything else, a wand, a gesture or magic device was just to focus the attention needed.
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  3. Prince of Spires

    Prince of Spires Maester

    In Magician by Feist (I think it's called that) he uses a concept of high and low magic. High magic is where the magic user only needs his body to perform the magic (either by thought, incantation of hand-wavium). In low magic, the magic user needs some extra tools to perform the magic. A spell book, wand or other attribute. Something like that at least. Which magic you have access to depends on the aptitude of the user.

    Of course, my initial though when I read the title was: if you have a magic system that unites all magic systems then you also need One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them....

    Sorry, couldn't resist.

    Then again, that sounds like an interesting story idea. I'll just run off now and note that down in my list of story ideas...
    S.T. Ockenner likes this.
  4. Dayu

    Dayu Scribe

    High and low magic huh? I am not really trying to fuse them all im, I just trying to properly differentiate them. What about Arcane and Sorcery? Would that be a good the two different methods of magic?
  5. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Istar

    Arcanists and sorcerers could certainly work for terms, it’s your world, and those are two of my favorites, heh heh.

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