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Magic Idea Criticism

Discussion in 'World Building' started by cliche, Dec 30, 2011.

  1. cliche

    cliche Minstrel

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    I have a couple of ideas of how I want to enforce magic into the world I am currently building and I would like someones opinion on them...

    Magic of the soul (I'll just call it this for now):
    This form of magic everyone has access to but most people do not know how to use it. The magic is the energy that keeps them alive and slowly decays as they get older, using this form of magic causes them to grow older rapidly (depending on how much energy you use). So for example if you cast a spell using this form of magic and it required a lot of energy and was extremely complicated then by the time that spell has resolved you could go from your teens to your late 40's. On the other hand if you cast a fairly simple spell you may only be aged by a couple of days and not feel any of the side effects.
    Since people who use magic cannot just go around casting their life away they acquire familiars to serve them. Familiars can be created from anything living as long as it was born naturally (because anything that does not form naturally does not contain a soul and therefore cannot be a candidate to become a familiar). A familiar is a living thing whose conscience is turned into pure life force energy.
    The Soul Breather makes a link to the familiar as soon as it is created (otherwise complications could arise) and instead of using its own life force, it drains the energy from the familiar instead.
    Without a conscience the creature will do what ever it master asks of it (though it still needs to be looked after properly; fed, watered etc.).
    The amount of energy that the Familiar can give depends entirely on the size of the animal and how much energy it would of used throughout its life (though the larger the animal the harder it is to convert it into a familiar).
    crystal magic:
    The general idea of this form of magic is to be able to convert crystals, gemstones and minerals to pure energy, it is difficult to do but is very rewarding. The only problem is that once you drained all the energy out of the gemstone it becomes corrupted and crumbles into dust making it worthless. The amount of energy that can be extracted from gemstone varies depending on what it is.
    The harder the gemstone the harder it is to extract the energy, a diamond contains a lot of energy (more than any other gemstone) but it is so rigid that it is next to impossible to extract the energy buried deep within.
    Magic of the sun (known as Solathra):
    This is magic that gets its energy from the sun. Due to the readily available energy it is important that a person who wishes to use this type of magic learns from an expert; this is because the problem with this type of magic is that unless you know how to, it can be difficult for that person to be able to stop absorbing energy once they have started. This could end up with the person absorbing more energy than their body can handle and release so much energy at once that their body disintergrates. This type of magic is used mainly for healing and lighting up darkened areas. This form of energy can be stored in the body (if the person knows how) but it rapidly decomposes and will only a day after it has been collected.
    Magic of the moon (known as Lunapera):
    This form of magic is difficult to grasp as the energy is chaotic and seems to resist when someone tries to control it. It can only be used during nights when the moon is visible in the sky (a person will not be able to use lunapera unless they can actually see the moon meaning that if it is cloudy then they will not be able to do anything with this form of magic). People who use this form of magic require much longer in order to prepare a spell as they will first need to gather this energy before they can cast the spell. Though being quite well known amongst the human population most of the people are self taught by acquiring a lunar tome (a book which contains everything you need to learn how to do simple spells with Lunapera).
    Relational magic:
    This is basically anything that binds one thing to the soul breather, it is one of the most binding forms of magic in existance, anything created through this form of magic can only be destroyed in two ways; the first is for the soul breather who created the bond to destroy the result of whatever they created or a soul dispersion (which is when the life of a human is forfeited in order to complete and utterly destroy something (in such a way that there is no trace left of what was destroyed through this way).
    Finally there is the use of rituals:
    Rituals are mainly use to summon beasts from heaven or hell (probably will have to change the name of those two since if I do manage to write a book based on this then it will be implied that creatures of evil intent can come from both plains). The only way to carry out a ritual is to sacrifice a living being with its consience still intact (meaning that familiars cannot be used). The amount of lives you will need to offer depends on he size and power of the beast. When the ritual is carried out the tissue and life force of all the creatures used for the ritual weave together to form the creature that they wish to bring forth. These rituals are rarely carried out because of the fact that a creature summoned this way is extremely hard to control.

    I tried to keep it as short or as brief as possible.... but I always did find it difficult to simplify things. There are couple of other ideas I have but this post is long already.
    Anyone have any ideas of how i could improve these ideas?
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2011
  2. ScipioSmith

    ScipioSmith Sage

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    On magic of the soul (which is a term I use too, though thankfully it's nothing liek yours:D): leaving aside the theological implications of all living things having souls, which you may or may not want to get into depending on the tone of your story, turning living things into magical weapons seems like kind of a dick move, certainly not something I'd want to read about a hero doing. It might work for the villains, especially if they were turning little kids into their familiars, but not the good guys.
     
  3. sashamerideth

    sashamerideth Maester

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    My improvements would be to reduce the kinds of magic in the story, keep it to just a couple. The life depleting magic had a lot of bite to it, could make a good story, especially if someone can be linked to a familiar without their knowledge or without intending to.

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  4. cliche

    cliche Minstrel

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    Yeah you do have a point, I do tend to overcomplicate things at times, I think I may keep the rest of the ideas I had for another time and use them in a different story and world.

    @ScipioSmith yeah if i do use this form of magic it'll probably be used by the villains and not so much the hero (though if the hero did use it, it would be interesting to write about why he does not feel that it is morally wrong to use another living thing as a weapon).

    Also I just want to make clear that some of the information in my original post will not be included in just one story. Hopefully (once I've finished planning everything out) the world will be where i will set several stories in and the protagonist will not encounter all of these forms of magic all at once (or even in the same story).
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2011
  5. Shpob

    Shpob Dreamer

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    I think you could use all of these forms of magic in your story (or stories) as long as you find a way to introduce them slowly, one at a time so it doesn't overwhelm the reader with information. If your hero is on a journey of some sort, he could encounter different cultures along his path, each with their own form of magic (the magics could influence the cultures and the cultures could in turn influence the magics).

    All of them were decently interesting but they do seem like they'd be in a very dark fantasy story. Maybe it's just because I read about the Magic of the Soul first, but they all seem like they could be pretty evil. That's fine of course, as long as the style of the story is consistent with it's themes.

    Overall I like them and would like to see them in action.

    = )
     
  6. cliche

    cliche Minstrel

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    Thank you Shpob and yeah I am planning to make this fanasy story very dark.
    Hopefully the story will be as interesting as the ideas of the magic going on in the background
     
  7. sashamerideth

    sashamerideth Maester

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    War horses, dogs, birds, and in some fantasy, dragons are used as weapons, and can die or be injured. How different is it really?

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  8. ScipioSmith

    ScipioSmith Sage

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    Because the horses and birds and things might not die, and in lighter kinds of fantasy probably won't.

    Not to mention that if they all had souls then it could be argued to be a kind of slavery just as bad.
     
  9. cliche

    cliche Minstrel

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    This is different because no matter what the end result they will always die and depending on how much the person uses their magic some familiars will die more quickly than others, more often than not it will be the owner who kills their familiar through draining them of all their life force and not a wound from an enemy. Since the familiar doesn't have a conscience it does not have any emotions, it does not feel pain, it does not feel regret.

    Also I forgot to add some information about using familiars:
    If you do not make the bind with the familiar as quickly as possible then the familiar will become savage and hunger for flesh and bone. When a familiar gets to this stage it is said that, that familiar is rotten and the soul breather will have no choice but to destroy the familiar as it is impossible to salvage a familiar once it has become rotten.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2011
  10. sashamerideth

    sashamerideth Maester

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    Well, you said it would be dark, and people must often do distasteful things in the interests of the greater good.

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  11. cliche

    cliche Minstrel

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    True, but there will more than likely be prejudice surrounding familiars so that often people may be sentenced to death (or at the very least rejected from society). It will probably come down to the case where the executions are similar to those of the execution of witches (setting impossible tasks where if they die then they are not a soul breather and if they live then they are a soul breather.. thus being sentenced to death).
     
  12. sashamerideth

    sashamerideth Maester

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    As I said before, lots of potential for this one.

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  13. Kevlar

    Kevlar Troubadour

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    What would be more interesting is if they weren't. If they are common enough, or even if they aren't, the society they live in could have different values and norms than us. Perhaps the dominant religion states that all animals were made to be slaves to the human species. Perhaps the people just don't see anything wrong with it. Perhaps they frown upon it, but have not criminalized it.

    I always find it interesting when something we would condemn is acceptable in a fantasy culture, and vice versa. It shows that the culture is actually something new, or at least not based off the typical ones. I do like all your different types of magic, but I do have one question:

    Why is sun magic associated with healing? Healing is so often associated with light, but what can light it really do? It is up to you, of course, it being your world, but light being healing is so common in high fantasy it actually seems out of place in dark fantasy.
     
  14. Leif GS Notae

    Leif GS Notae Closed Account

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    I've worked with something like the soul magic you are talking about in some of my pieces. I have a way out of the "bright star burning out" and that is sacrificing the essence of someone else. I have mechanics written down in one of my various journals (should probably get all that together soon), but it was all dependent on the age of the sacrifice, the health and the magical essence imbued within (unicorns would be 10000X better than a man with a few days left to live, so to speak).

    The idea is to draw ambiguity, the flaw that everyone strives for in creating good characters and a good world. Sure, you can toss fireballs all day long, but unless you start getting dirty and using other things/creatures for your purpose, you aren't going to have a character who lives long or is more than one dimensional.

    I think all those magic theories can work well and still give that dark hero flavor to it, if that is what you are looking for. You can certainly exploit the "All Men Have Fallen Short" theory. I hope to see more of what you have, I am very intrigued.
     
  15. sashamerideth

    sashamerideth Maester

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    Ooh ooh, idea for you! Life energy magic conduits. Someone far away (out of sight, out of mind), binds cute fluffy animals and slaves, etc to a conduit. Someone can use all the magic essence in the attached victims, without ever knowing where the energy comes from.

    He thinks it is crystal magic, but the crystal actually draws life from all the things connected to it. Good guy can use it with a clear conscience, as far as he knows, the crystal holds the power, and disintegrated when all the energy in it is used up. But the reality that he may never learn, is that he is killing babies and fluffy bunnies. How's that for dark?

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  16. Terra Arkay

    Terra Arkay Minstrel

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    My story's magic revolves around the soul and the heavenly bodies too, it's a brilliant idea and as far as I know, it's rarely used in stories.
     
  17. cliche

    cliche Minstrel

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    Now that I look at it I do realize that sun=healing magic is a bit cliche, I will look into it a bit more and perhaps change the purpose of that form of magic and try and make as a source for something different. Perhaps the light from the sun is meant to keep everyone who it touches to have the ability to feel emotions such as compassion, with solathra it could be the form of magic which can affect people directly and drain them of such emotions. The result of this is that, that person could become cold hearted and bitter, leading to their physical appearances to change (and possibly their entire species). Maybe it could even affect what happens when they die and that in order for someone to be able to pass on to the afterlife (heaven/ hell) they need to have sun energy that has been stored over their lifetime within them.

    That is a very interesting idea, how it depends on the actual health of the being and how much energy they have within. Sacreficing the essence of someone else is similar to the use of familiars though I haven't really done much on which species are best. Using unicorns as a greater source of magic is brilliant.
    I agree that in order for a character to be considered real and have depth to their personality that they will have to have a darker set of emotions and that certain things will make them act in different and harsher ways especially since it is in our very nature to have certain things that annoy and make us more angry than others.
    As you can see some of these magic ideas still need a lot of work done to them. I may post updates on this thread once I have added more concepts and regulations to do with these magic principles and also perhaps more uses than the ones I have posted in my original post (ones that aren't so obvious).

    That is an interesting idea (that the crystal itself takes energy from other beings so that the hero is lead to believe that they are doing the right thing when in reality they are doing quite the opposite). Perhaps the crystal itself draws energy from their own relations and that to the hero it becomes sort of an addiction to use that crystal instead of other means of getting energy, that way they will be stuck with the problem of either continueing to use the crystal (and getting that extra high) or stop using it and saving their own family. Sure it seems obvious what you should morally do is stop using the crystal but it will be like someone taking an illegal substance, once they start it is difficult for them to stop.

    Yeah I agree, the idea is quite rare amongst stories. There are a lot of ways to expand on the idea and put your own unique twist on it. It will be interesting to see what your story turns out like and what twist you have put on your story's magic.
     
  18. Terra Arkay

    Terra Arkay Minstrel

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    Yeah, that's exactly what we've got to do!
     
  19. karriezai

    karriezai Scribe

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    I just wanted to mention, in case you weren't aware--

    My first thought upon reading your Magic of the Soul was that it sounds just like the magic from the movie The Covenant. Of course, no idea is a completely new idea, but I just thought you might want to look into it if you decide to go with that magic form. :]
     
  20. cliche

    cliche Minstrel

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    Yeah I will look into it (partly because I have never heard of it). That way I can make sure that that the magic of the soul (or whatever I decide to call it) is different to that of The Covenant. Thank you for telling about that movie. At least I will be able to make sure that I dont break any copyrights if I do decide to attempt to use this in a novel.
     
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