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How common are the Unusual people in your setting?(Wizards,Psychics,etc.)


A few hundred ascendants and around a thousand magic users troughout the three continents that make up the known world of my setting.
Ascendants are mortals that have been given immortality by the high gods along with some other benefits. Mages are people who use rune magic and rituals. Magic can be taught but is difficult and generally unliked by the masses.
In my current WIP there are quite a few variations "magic" users (seven types survive in the current era). My world is about three times the size of earth with about fifty percent more people occupying it. Even so the amount of magical people currently alive in the world could all live on the islands of Japan (It would be a tight squeeze though). Although, the amount of each type vary and a large number of them live in untamed parts of the world


100% common. There are no "usual" people (in the real world sense) in my world. Every single sentient being living in my world is descended from a god of one type or another. So everyone has what we would consider "supernatural" abilities (though in this world they are natural) but the "supernatural" nature of the people gets diminished a bit in each succeeding generation. So the farther you are from the original gods the less "unusual" you are.


My main characters are all unusual people or creations taken to the extreme.
New person on the thread here, but I'd love to give some input. Personally, to me it matters by what is meant as the un-norm, which often is defined differently for each race within my world. For example, every elf is raised a wizard and born with the capabilities to use magic, so to them magic is a rather normal things; while to men, who were not granted easy access to the magical planes, generally trend to dislike and even fear magic, and the few found to use it are shunned. But even then, there are exceptions within the different races of men (those on this continent versus that continent).

The Stranger

i have both psychics and mages in my world but they have different rules. Basically, anyone can become a mage, but it requires a lot of studying and research to truly master it, and so usually only the wealthy or privileged learn it. psychics are kind of different, they are born with their powers and must learn to control them or be driven insane by them, which is why The Psions Guild finds them and takes them to their facilities as soon as they begin to manifest powers.
New to the thread here, but putting in my view on it from my own personal experiences.

In my most recent world, I've tried to create a balance between high fantasy and low fantasy in terms of the inclusion of magic. It exists, but it isn't stuffed full of mages in every city and nation, but there aren't few 'mages' either. I don't have any exact numbers on it (allows me to be somewhat flexible with it), but in essence, magic has enough of a presence in the world that people know of it, and most that don't have it, fear it to a certain degree.

There is also a way for people who weren't born with the power to learn it, although the ritual is difficult and highly secret, so much so that there is only a few select cults around the world that knows how to do it, and they keep the secret to themselves. The world also as a very specific order that watches out for mages, trying to monitor those who grow too "power-hungry" and often manage to imprison them in a specific prison.

Always found this way to work well for me, as I tend to treat magic as a primal gift that is a challenge to control, rather than having it be super-easy with a very select ruleset. Don't want to have mages running around like D&D wizards, casting spells on whims with staffs and being classified into 'types' such as Frost or Fire.


Approximately 10% of my elves have appreciable magical abilities (it would be approximately 5% among humans as a comparator), but only 4% have a level deemed significant... Some of the others can be trained in specific uses (access to such training called "applicability" and "lethality", is closely controlled by the city state...).
Wizards are common in my world and I am not sure which criteria of psychic applies. The only psychic ability present is psychokinesis, and they are uncommon, part of the five or so percent of people who possess unusual magical ability. Most people have to be taught magic like any other skill and have to be tuned to external sources of mana, e.g. crystalline mana, for spellcasting that exceeds the demands of their innate reserves; those few do not need to be attuned, and moreover, can withstand raw crystalline mana where others would get sick and possibly die, although they can only stand so much either.


Everybody with an supernatural ability in my WiP is very reserved about it. My story takes place in a modern world, so it's hard for anybody to realize that there's actually much beyond what they believe to be the pinnacle of human ability. Narcissism is a large theme in my current work. While I have characters ranging from telepaths to hedge-witches to alchemist assassins to a prescient mathematician, few realize that anything supernatural exists beyond what they know. Even a powerful magician is as oblivious to the powerful telepath as a commoner. Every character believes that their glimpse of power in a repressive world is unique. A witch in a world without witches believes that witches are the coolest damn thing since Elvis.

Rough number... Of 8 billion people, maybe 100,000 worldwide recognize that any sort of "fantasy" abilities exist, while only 30,000 actually wield them more proficiently than a knife (as in, it can be used to violent effect).
Oh man, "unusual" could apply to the whole world....Well the world population is about 250 million people, 50% humans, 35% elves (which evolved from humans rather than being an elder race), 15% firekin, and an unknown but tiny percentage of other non-primate humanoid species. About 50% of humans have some degree of energetic sensitivity but little practical magic ability, 25% display clairvoyance and/ortelekinetic abilities. Percentages jump to 75% sensitives and 50% practical mages for elves, then 100% and 75% for firekin, not sure what that all equals for the total population.
I haven't really read too much into how I'm going to distribute magic. I figure that it should be slightly more common than I have made it, simply to balanace out the world somewhat.

As it stands right now, my narrative is written from the perspective off a mercenary who lives in a barbarian village with his sister. In this village, there are only two people who know magic, one off them is the Jarl, the other is her highest advisor. In this village and it's surrounding farmsteads, there are about three thousand inhabitants.

So obviously, a magic user is very likely to find him/herself in a very esteemed position in an average tribe. However, out of the tribes they have fought previously, only like, 2 off them have used magicians. Out of all the characters I've introduced, I would say that only 1 in like 45 has magicial powers. Which is actually incredibly inbalanced, simply because non-magic users are potentially, considerably faster, stronger and more skilled than in the real world. And also because many off these people who are in the stronger tiers, frequently wears armours that make them immune to magical quantities. Also, I am not 100 % sure how I'm supposed to place these magic users into different tiers. I have to do a bit off thinking on that.


I've been kinda curious about this myself in the past. One statistic I've looked into in the past is the rate of schizophrenia in the general population - a fairly significant and presumably uncommon mental condition. I was kinda surprised to find it's as high as 1 in 200. But I've used that as sort of my baseline since. Over time I've worked mages and the sort out of my setting entirely, but lycanthropes and vampires and so on are still present so it still has relevance.

I also look at global population for context. For example, during the timeframe I'm currently focused on for my setting - about 700 years prior to the story's "modern day" - the global population is under 100,000 as the world is still limping from a near-apocalypse two centuries prior. At 1 in 200, that would mean that there are 500 supernaturally-empowered peoples in the entire world at this juncture. Quite a few if you gathered them all together for a convention in one building, but spread across a word? Enough to be heard of, but few enough that you're unlikely to find one unless you go looking for them.


Probably about a 50-50 split between "ordinary" humans and the other races. I say "ordinary" because everyone has the ability to do magic, although not everyone actually learns how. The number of magic users depends a lot on culture and race; in most human cultures it's between 0.1-1%, and for the Sidhe it's almost 100%.


A lot of the magicians in this thread seem to get their powers heriditarily, and I've noticed similar magic systems in a lot of books. It's starting to feel cliche, for me.

For my story, one thousand identical "Gifts" of magic were given to humanity by one of the gods, and another hundred similar Gifts later. So, regardless of world population, there are never more than 1100 magic users in the world at a time. Although many of them never even realize that they have a Gift, and far fewer ever master it to any significant extent. So, there's usually never more than fifty or sixty people who are actively using magic. A magic user meeting another magic user by random chance is extremely rare, and most efforts to find and train magic users have failed simply because they could never find enough people to train.

Technically, anyone could learn to use magic even without a Gift, but learning can literally take a lifetime of training before even being able to perform the most feeble of magics. The Gift is really just a shortcut for accessing specific kinds of magic without having to learn how to put your mind in a specific state. Though, some people luck out and just get hit on the head hard enough that their mind goes into to a state that allows them to use magic. This is actually slightly more common than having the Gift, but often results in abilities that are so mundane that they can barely even be called magic.
My current project adds an organ to human anatomy. It's called an ember and it sort of looks like a peach pit, set deep in a person's chest. Everyone has one, and thus everyone has the potential for magical capabilities, but it's easier for sone based on the shape, size, and ridges in the ember. This is why some families are more capable than other with respect to magic, though it's not limited to them alone.

What they can actually do is limited to the basic elements. Fire, earth, water, and air manipulation, with aether as the trigger usually. A few can bend the aether, though it's the most difficult to work with, but it allows fairly unique results like healing and telekinesis.

About 50 years before the story somebody figured out that grinding up an ember into dust and ingesting it temporarily increases both physical and magical ability. It's illegal, but anyone who can access the dust can go from magicless to moderately skilled or skilled to overflowing with strength in a few minutes.


In my WIP, practicing magic is so common place that not being able to do magic would be what's unusual.

There are people, however, who are descendants of "The Ancients", and who have what is called "The Gift of The Ancients", which translate to a longer life expectancy (a couple centuries, give or take a few decades) and an ease at performing magic (they still need a lot of practice to make it useful, tough.) Other than that, they're pretty much normal people in the world, tough they tend to stand out. Many are involved in governments for example, with two of the three Empires in the world being ruled by people recognized as being "Gifted" (One of them a couple who both have it).

Still working out on how to give this a semblance of balance (how many people like this is there) and some ground rules (is given through straight genetics as we understand it, or is it randomly occurring in people descended from the Ancients?)
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AJ Stevens

It's quite varied in my world.

I have pockets where magic is used by everyone. These include alien races that typically use their magic for non-destructive means (preservation, warding, travel, etc), and the armies of the gods, comprised of elemental constructs that can all use magic on some level. However, I would add that there are relatively few users with substantial power within those pockets.

Within the mortal races, magic is fairly rare, and used primarily in a military sphere. A city of reasonable size may have anywhere between 10 and 50 magic users of varying strength, which would put the ratio at around 1 in 1000. Much like reality, magic is feared by those who have little to no experience or understanding of it. So, while city dwellers would be relatively used to seeing and hearing about it, a mage in a village up in the hills would be big news and a cause for fear.

I'd also add that magic isn't genetic or hereditary in my world. The gods have access to souls before they are born, so souls are attuned to the gods, usually in an attempt to increase influence in certain parts of the world. Attunement is often, but not always, seen as a gift, and as such, loyalty to the god in question can follow. It's not wholly different, I suppose - users are born with the gift - but it's not random either.

Ray M.

I like to keep the unusual in my worlds rare enough. I dislike settings in which it's openly paraded daily; it loses its magic, so to speak, if it's very common.