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Describe your magic system

Discussion in 'World Building' started by thedarknessrising, Jun 4, 2015.

  1. I prefer to keep magic in my fantasy universes mysterious and distant. If someone were reading my works, I would want them to feel awed at the mysterious, even frightening powers of sorcerers and witches. Basically, it's my goal for them not to understand magic, and thus I don't have a real system to how it works.

    The closest thing I have to a system is that, generally, those who practice magic give up parts of themselves for their power. A person who uses magic for selfless purposes, such as a healer, gives up physical things- their looks, their money, their positions in society. A 'good' witch is often living in poverty and always appears older, scarred, and fragile. 'Bad' witches give up spiritual things- their empathy, their ability to love, and their very soul. These people are living with the riches and power they crave, and are vain, beautiful, and extraordinarily powerful.

    'Bad' witches trade their souls for power with dark entities through formal ritual whereas 'good' witches simply live in the light of Divinity and giving up their physical possessions is just part of that. I imagine 'good' witches would be reminiscent of an enlightened holy person- always living with an attitude of devotion for their fellow man as well as God(s).
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 24, 2015
  2. Akira444

    Akira444 Scribe

    In my story, magic is the art of using energy to manipulate aspects of reality. It's a very versatile practice that anyone can learn, but only a few can properly use on a practical level through study and training. All magic in the world draws power from mana, life energy present in all living organisms that can also be used to strengthen the human body (similarly to how chi is portrayed in martial arts fiction).

    The main limitations of magic is that magic is bound by the reality that it controls. You can manipulate natural forces, but you can't break natural law. That means no resurrecting the dead, because they'll get you in a lot of trouble. No time travel or time communication, because that flouts the laws of the universe. More complicated spells require more preparation and certain requirements, and one misstep can cause the spell to either not work or backfire terribly.
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  3. anotherwriter2019

    anotherwriter2019 Acolyte

    To quickly summarize, the magic in my story comes from a select group of people who have acquired certain powers from an ancient bloodline that was passed down from the archangel Gabriel to his two sons who are half-mortal/half-angel. These people are called the Shields and they protect humans from the Watchers. The Watchers are "fallen angels", and they also have powers.
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  4. Aldarion

    Aldarion Sage


    Magic is rare in the world, but can have major impact.

    Types of magic

    Elemental magic

    Elemental magic is based on four primary elements: fire, water, air and earth. Fire is opposed to water, and air to earth. Secondary elements are ice (water + air, moist) in opposition to lava/metal (fire + earth, dry), and life (air + fire, warm) in opposition to death (water + earth, cold). Lava covers vulcanic activity and its products, such as obsidian.

    Fifth element is aether, or immaterium. It is a realm of spiritual, and does not usually interact with material world.

    Warm elements point upwards, ascending towards the spiritual realm, and are masculine, associated with light, warmth and activity (life). Cold elements point downwards, descending towards the material realm, and are feminine, associated with darkness, cold and passivity (death). Elements can also be moist and dry.

    Air is moist like water and warm like fire, but has nothing in common with earth. Air and earth are thus opposites, as are water and fire. Likewise, ice and lava are in direct opposition and destroy each other.

    Elements are hierarchical, going from earth to heaven. Earth is the lowest of elements, most material of them and associated with death. Spirit is the highest element, followed hierarchically by fire, air, water and earth.

    Elements are represented by the pentagram. Point-up pentagram symbolizes spirit ruling over other four elements, and is thus associated with life and God. Point-down pentagram symbolizes dominance of the material, and is thus associated with death and Devil.

    Geographically, North is associated with earth, new moon, winter and midnight. South is associated with fire, full moon, summer and noon. West is associated with water, waning moon, autumn and sunset. East is associated with air, waxing moon, spring and sunrise.

    Fire is element of fullness and life, and is associated with Sun. Earth corresponds with midnight, winter and new moon; thus with potential and transformation, introduction of the new. Air is the element of new beginnings, youth, increase and creativity; it is associated with spring, waxing moon and sunrise. Water is the element of emotion and wisdom, and represents the time past the peak of livelihood.

    Fire is associated with strength, activity, blood and life-force. It is highly purifying and protective, consuming impurities and driving back the darkness. It is most rarified and spiritual of elements, lacks physical existence, produces light and has transformative power. It is warm and dry, masculine (active). Its elemental is salamander, direction South, color red, magical tools are sword, athame and dagger, planets Sun and Mars, season Summer and time Noon.

    Air is the element of intelligence, creativity and beginnings. Intangible and without permanent form, it is an active, masculine element, superior to material elements of water and earth. It is warm and moist, masculine (active). Its elementals are sylphs (invisible beings), direction East, color yellow, magical tools are wand, sword, dagger and athame, planet Jupiter, season Spring and time Sunrise.

    Water is the element of emotion and unconscious, opposed to conscious intellectuallism of air. It is less material, and thus superior, to earth, and one of two elements that can interact with all physical senses. It is cold and moist, feminine (passive). Its elementals are undines (water-based nymphs), direction West, color blue, magical tool cup, planets Moon and Venus, season Fall and time Sunset.

    Earth is the element of stability, groundedness, fertility, materiality, potential and stillness. It is also an element of beginnings and endings, death and rebirth. It is cold and dry, feminine (passive). Its elementals are gnomes, direction North, color green, magical tool Pentacle, planets Saturn, season Winter and time of day Midnight.

    Spirit has no classical associations. It is a bridge between the physical and spiritual, between body and the soul.

    Strenghtening magic

    Strenghtening magic is used to protect objects against physical damage, be it earthquakes or weapons impacts. In modified form it is also used to nullify enemy protection magic, upon which both weapon and defense act as if there is no magical enhancement upon them (merely enhancing both would result in both bouncing off without damage). However, it places significant limitations – crossbows and other missile and projectile weapons have to be specially treated with magic for them to work, and gunpowder weapons, relying on chemical reaction rather than mechanical system, cannot be treated at all. A hoard of gunpowder under the wall will generally blow a tunnel rather than blow up the wall. And since offensive application merely nullifies enemy magical treatment, it still does not allow swords to cut through armour. While it can protect hull of a ship against ramming and impacts, it does nothing against fire.

    Protection magic

    Protection magic is used to protect an area against magical invasion. Generally, this protects against teleportation, summoning, and entrance of undead creatures, demons and other beings which rely on magic to enter or remain within the circles of the world. Similarly, religious symbols can protect person or home from harrassment by the demons. Pure iron – not steel – has protective characteristic; iron horseshoe in particular can protect against unnatural diseases.

    Teleportation magic

    Teleportation magic is used to quickly get from one point to another. It is generally used by demons, as it leads straight through Hell – humans using it run a high risk of corruption. Only humans who are members of various Satanic cults dare to use teleportation magic.



    Empire of Ardea is associated with West and Water. From its association to emotion and unconscious also stems its association to magic – water magic in particular. Ardean water mages are capable of purifying water, thus allowing army to use water that would normally not be fit for drinking.


    Undead creatures – zombies, wights – are associated with corruption of the element of Earth. They can thus be killed by swords and by fire.

    Red King and White Queen

    Red King and White Queen represent uniting the opposites to create a greater whole. Red King represents masculine elements – fire and air, and sun – marrying feminine ones – earth and water, and moon. They also represent sulfur (active, violatile, fiery) and mercury (material, passive, fixed). Salt, mercury and sulfur also equate to body, spirit and soul, with spirit being a medium of transference and connection between body and soul, and soul and God.
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  5. Jun Peng

    Jun Peng Dreamer

    Lol -- A preface to this is that my son pulled the charge cable to my laptop without me realizing it and it died on me while typing out my response.

    I based my magic style from the world of Dark Souls. I thought it's take on magic was very original and I really loved the flavor behind the conception. With that said my magic is as follows:

    There are two types of magic if my world, magic from the Legacy of the Old Gods and magic from the World of Mortals. Each type has several branches and types within it, but their origins and limitations are founded in their creations.

    Magic from the Legacy of the Old Gods is considered profane and ancient. It takes mortals decades before they may master only a few spells. This type of magic is learned from ancient manuscripts and texts, most of which are closely guarded by the clergy of this era. There are a few moldy scrolls that exist outside of the Church, but these are far and few between.

    Magic from the World of Mortals is considered blasphemous and heretical. These are often spells and tombs that have been passed down from family to family, some dating as far back as the Legacy of the Old Gods. This type of magic varies greatly, but most believe it was founded by other primal forces at the beginning of creation. Practitioners often closely guard their knowledge. In most parts of the world, these practitioners are usually considered as 'evil' or 'witches'.
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  6. Yora

    Yora Maester

    One really cool thing about the Miracles in Dark Souls is that they are recitations of ancient tales of the gods. Hearing the stories and understanding their meanings allows priests to replicate the abilities of the gods. The more complete and accurate versions of the stories are more powerful than hazily recollected fragments.
  7. Jun Peng

    Jun Peng Dreamer

    Yes! I always loved that Miracles, in Darksouls, were recollections of the Gods. What a unique spin on 'holy' magic. The more I found out about it, the more it made me really try to get creative with the magic in my own world.
  8. MauEvig

    MauEvig Scribe

    Depends on which world because I have several. Magicordia, magic is energy and I use the concept of mana as the name of it's power. Of course, technically almost anyone can learn how to use and harness it, but it takes a great deal of discipline to do so.
    In Sky Kingdom, the world of Ark'eth magic is known of, but once again it's a great deal of discipline. Cats have got around this by implementing technology in the form of "Magic Seals" which are tiny disks, about the size of an SD card for perspective, with small rotating gears inside of it. They can be equipped or affixed to weapons or armor to give them an elemental edge, or have specific healing abilities.
    On Lumikios, which is the world of my OC and co-created by myself and my boyfriend the primary way to use magic is usually by finding a phoenix gem of a specific element, although magic can once again be learned as a strict discipline. While this particular project isn't a novel, story writing is still an important aspect of this world. This particular world we plan to make into an RPG game. Fela-flies are also found in this world as well.
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  9. Yora

    Yora Maester

    I am currently favoring a very simple system in which the only magical ability of mortals is telepathic, gained through meditation and mental training. This can mostly be used to mess with other people's senses, but also to some degree to change memories and implant ideas.
    Everything more fancy than that is done through the summoning of spirits and using the telepathic ability for communication, to negotiate for a service or compel them to obedience.

    There's also a good amount of what could basically be called alchemy. Some of it is supernatural chemistry, but the main application is to use substances and objects that affect spirits in ways that helps with getting them to cooperate. Very often such objects take the form of masks or lanterns, which are the most common form of magic items.
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  10. D. Gray Warrior

    D. Gray Warrior Troubadour

    My world doesn't really have a magic system, but has more of an anti-magic system, instead. The magic of the known world is sentient, wild, and unpredictable, with very little actually being known about it. It is regarded as a force of nature capable of magic storms and other such catastrophic events, and can even change entire landscapes seemingly at random. Attempting to control such magic is very dangerous and only the foolish and insane even attempt it. There was a civilization that was wiped out after attempting to control the magic.

    Some individuals possess anti-magic, which allows them to be immune or at least resistant to some of the effects of magic. The anti-magic is random, something you have to be born with, and such people are a tiny minority of the population. They become even more resistant to magic when it groups, the larger the group, the stronger their anti-magic, or the weaker the magic. The blood of an anti-magic individual is highly valued, with some being hunted and killed and their blood being sold on the black market, while others are more fortunate and enjoy great social priveleges due to their importance in resisting magic. Some donate their own blood or have jobs as "reverse enchanters" where they infuse an item with anti-magic to make it resistant to magic or giving it other anti-magic abilities.

    They are often adventurers since they can go into areas with a heavy magical presence and not be as affected as the others.
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  11. MauEvig

    MauEvig Scribe

    All of y'alls magic systems sound interesting!
    An anti magic system sounds unique. The idea of having magic being an untamable force is something I find interesting. It's just something that exists, and only a select few people are immune to it or have any control over it at all.
  12. Akira444

    Akira444 Scribe

    I've developed an elemental magic system that's basically based on Witchery from the Witchlands book series. In my series, I'm trying to show how different cultures view and use the same magic system across the world, both in practical, cultural and religious viewpoints. Anyone can learn magic with enough study and practice, but like how only certain people are good with an instrument or a weapon, only certain people can properly use magic at a practical level.

    In my world, magic is the manipulation of the elements. All magic in the world is connected to the six elements-four physical elements; fire, water, earth, and air, and two abstract elements, aether and void. The purpose of magic is to reproduce natural occurrences such as lightning, fire and earthquakes by giving ceremonial commands to the elements behind those natural phenomena.

    All creatures, magical and non-magical, have an affinity to one of the six elements (Note: More people are commonly connected to the four "main" elements of fire, water, earth and air, than they are to aether and void, which is rarer to have). Affinity doesn't work according to physical genetics, but rather it works according to spiritual genetics. Mages have an easier time learning to control an element that matches their affinity, although even then it may take a number of years. In fact, most master magicians have mastered at least two elements. Although it is possible to master all six elements, it is very rare because of how much training is involved.

    Magic can be done through manipulating the elements themselves, or by casting spells that give specific commands to the element. Spellcasting involves directing one's energy, or mana, to give ceremonial commands to the elements and direct them at the caster's will. Spells are generally performed through incantations and hand gestures.

    Air is the element of the sky and storms. Baseline air magic involves manipulating air and wind in all its forms. Subtypes of air magic include lightning magic, sound magic, and weather magic.

    Water is the element associated with the fluids in the earth and the fluids in the body. Standard water magic is the art of manipulating and controlling water in all its forms (liquid, solid, and gas). Subtypes of water magic include ice magic.

    Earth magic is the element that encompasses both the stones, metals, minerals and gemstones of the earth and the flora and fauna of the living world. Standard earth magic deals with manipulating earth and stone in all its various forms. Subtypes of earth magic include metal magic, plant magic, and animal magic.

    Fire is the element of heat and flames. Fire magic is the art of creating and manipulating fire and heat. It does not have any subtypes, but that doesn't make it any less powerful than the other elements.

    Aether is the element of the mind and spirit. It is considered to be a holy element. Aether magic deals with abilities related to the mind is spiritual in nature. Subtypes of aether magic include psychic magic, illusion magic, healing magic, light magic, and spirit magic (there are more, but these are the most common abilities).

    Void is the element related to death and the corporeal vessel (the body). Many cultures consider it to be a dark element associated with hell and demons, and persecute people with an affinity towards it. Void magic involves magical abilities related to death, namely the physical body. Subtypes of void magic are dark (shadow) magic, blood magic, curse magic, bone magic and necromancy.
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  13. Insolent Lad

    Insolent Lad Inkling

    The magic of my primary fantasy world—the one in which most of my stories are set—is simple in its basic concept but complex in its many ramifications. It supposes the existence of infinite universes and the ability of some individuals to 'see' and partially enter those universes. This is an inherited ability, a simple recessive gene for the ability itself, though how good one is at it or how it manifests itself could vary greatly depending on other heritages. Supposedly the gene came from a single wizard who fled there from another world in the far distant past. Being quite long-lived (5000 years) and prolific, he passed the gene along to a lot of descendants. Indeed, chances are everyone in the world can count him as an ancestor. But most are not wizards!

    Incidentally, if one posits infinite worlds there would be those 'out there' where any form of magic can and does exist. No matter how illogical.

    Anyway, those with the power can reach into other worlds to retrieve things they need. Which will not remain—they pop back to their universe of origin eventually. This means one can not bring food. It would disappear from ones stomach after a while, quite possibly causing considerable pain in the process. They can send a part of themselves into another world, preferably a safe little one (there would be, of course, an infinite number of those), to meet with other wizards and 'speak from afar.' That is one of the most useful and most used tricks of wizardry. They can pull fire, smoke, 'shadow,' etc from other worlds for attack, defense, concealment. And so on. They also may run into the occasional god or demon, who have their own universes. There's a lot of stuff out there. An infinite amount of it.

    And the voices of all those worlds would be constantly in the ears of those who are untrained or unaware of their power. It can drive even the skilled mad—that's a inherent danger in being a sorcerer.
    Last edited: May 31, 2020
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  14. In Maymyth, magic is based on runes and beards. Beards contain mana which is used by wizard-priests to enchant objects with runes. Mana permeates the world as the 5th fundamental force (never said, I just keep it in my mind) and some creatures (like Chimeras) have runes born inside of them. When a rune is scribed, it tires out the beard, making it pale and brittle. Wizards have black beards, normal people have white beards. It is commonly used in the war effort against the Typheus army, as cyborg arms are made that have red bubbles to put runes in. If you do to much magic in one day, your beard will begin to fall out.
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  15. Chuck

    Chuck Dreamer

    My magic system is still in the early phases of development. I started planning an RPG before deciding to work on a prequel story. I really hate Vancian magic systems. They are very limiting in games. When playing games, especially computer RPGs, I prefer a mana based system.

    Magic in my world comes from interdimensional energy that seeps through minute cracks in the universe. When the universe was created, there was a lot more of the energy, but as beings used it, it started to fade. In ancient times, wizards were real and powerful, because there was enough residual energy to support their magic. But as time went on, they used the energy faster than it could be replaced, so eventually magic faded from the world, with the exception of a few groups. But now, magical energy is being regenerated at an extremely accelerated rate and they discover areas of extreme magical energy appearing, similar to ley lines, with magic being more powerful near those leaks. There are also different types of energy, so an elemental spell would be more powerful near an elemental leak. I still need to work on that part.

    The part I am still working on is how to cast spells. It will probably be a combination of spoken word, runes, and simple thought. An experienced magic user could do just about anything (within limits), if they can figure out the right "recipe". How much energy it requires of them will depend on the power of the spell.

    For some people, magic comes naturally, with the energy flowing through them. Other people have no magical affinity at all. And some people are naturally attuned to certain types of energy.
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  16. Onemaus

    Onemaus Dreamer

    In Vosha there are eight prime races: the Giants, Humans, Beastfolk, Avians, Elves, Merfolk, Dwarves, and Orcs.
    Lately, I've worked on the unified Creation story to understand how the Creator made 8 different races when they started this plane of existence. Each race except humans were born out of a different energy/element/source.

    Magic, so far, comes from pacts with their energies/elements/source.

    Avians were originally air spirits who asked the Creator to make them more human. The Creator did not want to alter them so they compromised by having the spirit and human mate (same for every other race but Giants: who were made from the mountains).

    Because Avians were air spirit they can fly but are mainly able to exert mental abilities.
    Each energy/elemental/source pact is drawn individually as a right of passage. Because they descended from the spirits certain races are more likely to pact with specific E/E/S.

    Humans (im not too sure yet if they get "magic")
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  17. Son of the Roman

    Son of the Roman Dreamer

    In my book it tends to be very vague, as I feel an in-depth description would ruin its ominous feel. Basically, “magic” is only used by the antagonistic priests who are influenced by dark spirits, and occasionally by a demonic giant or two.
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  18. Patrick-Leigh

    Patrick-Leigh Sage

    In my flintlock fantasy setting, there are three main types of magic: Arcane, Psionic, Divine. There are at least two other types of magic, Necromancy and Eldritch, but both of these have some overlap with Arcane and Psionic, so they're not always considered entirely separate types by people who categorize magic.

    Arcane Magic
    Arcane Magic is perhaps the most "science-y" form of magic in my story setting. Also called Thaumaturgy, it is powered by an energy called Aethyr. Aethyr originates from The Source, a Plane that is made up entirely of Aethyr, and seeps over to other Material Planes through a form of "cosmic osmosis." There are some rifts that connect to The Source, known as Leylines. While they can appear like rivers in the way they are laid out across the landscape, they are more like fissures that vent Aethyr the way fissures in deep ocean trenches vent heat, gases, and other materials from below the earth's mantle. Aethyr comes in 10 forms, the "generic" form, which can be used in any kind of Arcane Spell, but requires more input from the Spellcaster, or Elemental Energy, which is Aethyr that's attuned to a particular "harmonic" frequency. Elemental Energy can only be used in certain ways but requires less input from the Spellcaster, so there are situations where it can be more efficient to use than "generic" Aethyr.

    Elemental Energy comes in 9 forms:
    1. Earth: Affects most matter in its solid state
    2. Water: Affects most matter in its liquid state
    3. Air: Affects most matter in its gaseous state below temperatures where those gases become hot enough to emit light
    4. Flame: Affects temperature and most matter in its gaseous state above temperatures where those gases begin to emit light as well as certain forms of plasma
    5. Electric: Affects magnetism and electricity
    6. Light: Affects the whole of the light spectrum (though Arcane Spellcasters are still discovering certain parts of the spectrum)
    7. Shadow: Affects a form of matter presently called Shadow Stuff (though I'm open to suggestions for alternative names for it)
    8. Corrosion: Affects matter as though it were a powerful acid or base, whichever is applicable
    9. Force: Affects gravity and kinetic energy
    Arcane Magic of all varieties is largely restricted by the laws of physics. You can bend physical laws to a certain extent but never entirely break them. The more Mages come to understand the laws of physics, the more precise Arcane Spells can be made to work. Arcane Magic also overlaps with Alchemy in that Potions, Elixirs, Tonics, and Remedies combine chemistry with Thaumaturgy. Presently, certain advances in Thaumaturgy have resulted in a sort of magical Industrial Revolution. Machines are being developed that are powered by Aethyr or Elemental Energy. In particular, steam engines that heat water using Flame Energy are becoming the norm. Further, as Enchanting has advanced, Arcane Devices are putting Arcane Spells in the hands of the common man, which is having some interesting effects on various societies.

    Psionic Magic
    Psionic Magic, or Psionics, is powered by Psi Energy, or just Psi, which exists on the Astral Plane (sometimes called the Psionic Plane.) Unlike Aethyr, which must be stored in the body or Power Stones, Psi can only be stored in certain ways (that I'm still figuring out,) but this is rarely necessary. The Astral Plane overlaps with all Material Planes and can be drawn upon by anyone who has sufficient knowledge and training. While there are some aspects of Psionics that overlap with Arcane Magic, there are more ways in which they differ.

    Psionics can be divided into two primary categories: Psychic and Phrenic. Psychic Technics are strictly mental and include Telepathy, Empathic Reading, Mind Reading, the creation of Dreamscapes and Dream Snares, and defenses against Psychic intrusion, among other things. Phrenic Technics are strictly physical and involve enhancing one's strength, reflexes, and stamina, as well as increasing the physical force of blows or shielding oneself from damage using Psi. Most people are only aware of Psychic Technics, as Telepathic communication, though rare, is hardly unprecedented and most governments employ Psychic Psions in various capacities. Phrenic Psions, on the other hand, are less frequently encountered and thus most people are not aware that Psi can be used to perform certain physical fetes.

    As with Arcane Magic, there have been some recent developments in Psionics that are causing it to become more widely understood as Psionic Devices are manufactured on a larger scale. Many places have Anti-Telepathy Fields that prevent the use of Telepathy within their area of affect, for example, and some Psionic Devices are being used for long range communication that has some parallels to the telegraph. Further, some Alchemists are finding ways to create Psionic Potions, Elixirs, and Tonics (but not Remedies.) Thus, the general public has become more aware of Psionics in recent decades.

    Divine Magic

    Divine Magic is power granted by the gods, or in the case of the Dark Arts, Demons. The reason the Dark Arts are still considered a form of Divine Magic is that all Demons (and Angels) derive their power from one Deity or another, thus the power still originates from a god of some sort, even if that power is coming from a middle man. Angels, incidentally, do not grant divine power to people since they see it as more efficient to just have you go straight to their bosses for it. Why settle for getting power from a mere Angel when you can get it from a god, right? But in the case of the Dark Arts, Demons offer power that they claim is their own as a way of tricking mortals into making Pacts with them. (And, to be clear, Angels and Demons are both a form of spirit. The terms "Angel" and "Demon" are used to distinguish good spirits from evil spirits, therefore there are no good Demons or evil Angels.)

    Regardless of how Divine Magic is obtained, it is not restricted by the laws of physics the way Arcane Magic and, to a large degree, Psionics are. It can do things neither of those forms of magic can. However, the "drawback," as some might see it, is that Divine Magic can be cut off if the Deity providing it disagrees with how the power being granted is used. So, a good Deity will most certainly not allow the power they grant to be used to perform acts of evil while an evil Deity will most certainly not allow the power they grant to be used for acts of good (unless it somehow services a larger evil.) Divine Magic can take many forms, but generally, if it comes from a good Deity, it is intended to be used for the greater good, not for selfish reasons, but doesn't come with any strings attached, while Divine Magic from an evil Deity always comes with strings attached, regardless of it if is provided by a Dark Deity or a Demon.

    Necromancy is a form of magic that is largely powered by the Blight, a necrotic energy created by a Dark Deity presently called Necros (though I'm very open to suggestions for alternate names for this guy.) Necros is the Dark Lord of the Undead. The Blight is what animates corpses into Ghouls, partly sustains Vampires, and is the source of power for a Lich. Necromancers are living people who use the Blight to control Undead of various kinds. The reason that Necromancy is not considered a 100% separate form of magic is because Necromancers often use the Blight in conjunction with both Aethyr and Psi to accomplish certain things. Indeed, it is very rare for a Necromancer not to have skills as either a Mage or a Psion and some believe Necromancy is not entirely possible without tapping into either Aethyr or Psi. It could be that one cannot fully control the Blight without one of these two energies that are naturally occurring. I'm still working out all the rules for Necromancy, but I do know it's not a form of Divine Magic because Necros doesn't regulate who uses the Blight. The Dark Lord of the Undead tends to be very apathetic and has a lassiez-faire approach to things. (Indeed, his only religious text, the Necronomicon, reads more like a dry, academic treatise on using the Blight than any sort of philosophical work.)

    Eldritch Magic
    Eldritch Magic is something I'm still figuring out presently, but I know that it takes more than one form. It is a product of the Eldritch Lords, a set of evil gods who are very Lovecraftian in nature. One variation of Eldritch Magic is Flesh Weaving, which uses a substance known as the Amalgam to create Chimeras. The Amalgam also causes various kinds of mutations when creatures are exposed to it, so it can be a real problem. Beyond Flesh Weaving, however, I haven't come up with much for Eldritch Magic, but I do know that, as with Necromancy, there's some overlap with Arcane and Psionic Magic, though in the case of Eldritch Magic, there's an additional overlap with Divine Magic. Whatever forms it takes, though, it's always going to be very, very weird in how it functions.

    Anyway, those are the types of magic I have in my story setting. Hope you guys found this interesting, and if you have any feedback, feel free to message me!
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  19. nck

    nck Scribe

    I must admit to being somewhat uncomfortable with the idea of thinking about magic in terms of "systems" in the first place. The way I'm going to use magic in the series of stories I'm planning is what I guess people like Brandon Sanderson call a "soft magic system," but I don't even really like that terminology.

    I'm consciously working in the sword and sorcery/weird fantasy tradition (Lovecraft, Howard and Clark Ashton Smith being my main touchstones), so my magic is pretty vaguely-defined, the only real "rule" being that it's always strange, dangerous, and Not Really a Good Idea to Mess With - hence wizards are generally the "bad guys," or at least worth being suspicious of.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2020
  20. StrawhatOverlord

    StrawhatOverlord Scribe

    Most of the world doesn't actually know this, but in my setting all magic comes from another realm of reality that reflects the imaginations and dreams of all sentient beings. This realm is superposed but "out of sync" with the material world, which causes some of its "fabric" for lack of a better term, to seep into normal reality. There are several ways to channel magic, but it all ultimately comes from this.

    Wizardry: This is the way "common" (ie. human) way to do magic. You study the workings of nature and attune yourself to them through deep thought/meditation, and after a couple/few years, sometimes months if you're *really* good, this attunement becomes instinctual and your body starts to subconsciously store magical energy. Once you have that, you can start training to use it to bend the laws of nature you've been studying. A focus doesn't really help directly, but channeling the power through one makes it so it takes the backlash if you mess up, so much wizards use one. The biggest limitation to this type of magic (aside running out of mojo) is that it can only control things from the material world, and only things you personally understand. It bends the laws of nature, it can't break them. This also precludes esoteric stuff like curses, you can use natural elements to start a fire, but not put a specific infant to sleep on a specific birthday on the condition that they prick their finger.

    Eorg Casting: The magic used by a species called the Eorg. It's sort-of vancian magic. They're an evolutionary cousin of humans who have much stronger constitutions and higher muscle strength, but also much simpler nervous systems, and less complex minds. They're not clumsy nor dumb, but fine motor control is physically impossible for them, and abstract thoughts a very laborious for them to ponder, so they basically can't do wizardry. What they do instead is assemble groups of their most intellectually inclined who then intensely meditate about 1 specific effect they want at a time, usually dialed up to excessive proportions. After a while, usually a few hours per effect, this materializes a spell in their region of the magic realm (they don't exactly know where that is, they just know their magic is suspended *somewhere*). When any of them wants to use a spell, the briefly concentrate on a specific effect they want and pull a fraction of the spell appropriate to the intended use into the material world. The advantages are that 1) they don't need much magical energy stored inside them to use this, they virtually don't run out. 2) They basically have a power dial on the spells without extra cost to themselves. And 3) since this is fueled by effects they think about, it can do anything a group of them can imagine, which in practice doesn't get that weird since they're bad at abstract thoughts, but in theory it could do almost whatever one wants. The downsides are that since this is a group reserve, if it runs out, everyone is out of magic. It takes a lot of time to prepare a good reserve. And since it's very specific, it can screw you over depending on circumstances. For example if a spell is "shoot out a rock from the end of your polearm", and your polearm is lost of broken, too bad, you can't cast it now.

    Sorcery: This is based on symbolic elementalism, so basically wizardry but with symbolism instead of natural laws. For example, if a wizard wants to attract an enemy's sword to him, he needs to know and understand magnetism and manipulate magical energy to create a field that will attract the sword. But a sorcerer will create and merge a stone and some wind, and that will create a magnetism, because a stone is from the earth, metal is from the earth and wind pushes and pulls things, so combining them allows him to push and pull metal, ie. magnetism. Otoh, since they don't really study the actual rules of the world, they don't attune to it, and don't passively store magic in their bodies. So they need to use spells to actively draw power from nature.

    The Craft: This is also based on symbology, but from objects and shapes instead of elements. This is where you get small animals and creature parts in a stew having tangible effects, or stuff like voodoo dolls, totem curses, etc. The people of the world view this as a whole separate way to use magic, but it's actually more like a subcategory of the next 2, which are also basically the same thing deep down.

    Divine Magic: Spells granted by gods. To be more exact, spells cast by a god, channeled through you, at your demand, if they want to. The conditions for this to work varies a lot, since it's basically you asking and the god doing it cause s/he wants to. Usually this is through devotion, rituals, worship, etc. Obviously very powerful, and costs nothing to you, since it's a god doing it, you're just asking. Sometimes someone gets it without ever asking, because the god likes them and/or considers their natural behavior "worship". For example one of main characters (it's a group of 6 protags) is a wizard specialized near exclusively in healing, but he has divine healing magic too because the god of healing likes his devotion to helping people. The only real limitation aside all this is that, you can't really devote yourself enough to more than one god sufficiently enough to get magic from both, so your divine magic is going to be limited to the sphere of influence of that one god. Otoh, since the gods are actually aggregate imaginations from the magic realm, they want exactly what their worshipers think they want, no guesswork involved.

    Contracts: Aside the gods, there are also lesser beings created the same way from ideas and beliefs. These can give you magic too, just not straight up like gods do. They do "require" their own form of "worship" though, which is what The Craft is essentially. Contracts are done with more advanced, but not godlike (not usually anyway), spirits. Unlike the cruel gods who demand devotion and rituals though, these ones only require that you do fun stuff they like, because they are kind. If you didn't get that reference, they're evil. They do just straight up give you a set of powers, which cost you no magical energy to use. But the powers usually tax your body, and it's not whatever you're asking as the moment of casting, it's a defined set of spells and/or abilities of the spirit's choosing, unless you make suggestions and the specific spirit you're talking to happens to like your ideas better than theirs. Oh and since they're evil, it will always be powers that pretty much can't be used to do good, unless you save people by attacking only bad people and you don't mind everyone being horrified and scared of you. But let's be real, you asked an evil spirit to give you magic, you're not really into helping others.

    Aeshir Magic: The Aeshir intrinsically have a foot in the material world and the other in the magical one. They don't just *have* magic, they *are* magic. Their spells are essentially like wizardry based on the laws of the imaginary dream land. They don't strictly have a reserve of magical energy, but in practice is kind of works the same way as one. The main differences are that they can bend the laws of nature indefinitely with a finite spell, like light a flame that will burn forever without fuel. And also create magical esoteric or metaphysical magic effects, like give form and somewhat of a substance to someone's mind and remove it from them, basically rip out their soul, even though souls are not a thing in the setting. People in-universe kinda thing they exist because there are magical imprints of people sometimes (ie. ghosts), but to see someone get their ghost pulled out and die on the spot is still some crazy nonsense even to an erudite wizard.
    Dark Lord Thomas Pie likes this.

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