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Magic System Complexity Check

Discussion in 'World Building' started by OberonLordofSylva, Mar 20, 2020.

  1. OberonLordofSylva

    OberonLordofSylva Minstrel

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    Alright so I recently re-did my Magic System and I wanted your thoughts. Here goes: In order to cast spells Mages have to build up a metaphysical substance called Symbolic Energy within their Souls. After shaping Symbolic Energy with their imagination the caster releases the energy in the desired form, a Spell. There are twelve known types of Symbolic Energy: Light, Darkness, Fire, Water, Air, Earth, Life, Cold, Electricity, Vibration, Law, and Data. Everyone on Terra Sola has at least one Affinity for these Elements. Affinities are essentially genetic inclinations towards a particular Element. A Magician can only have one Element that don't have an Affinity for in their repertoire. Spells are ranked based on how powerful they are, how much skill they require to pull off, and how much energy they consume. These rules are the basics of Elementism but because my work is inspired by Shonen Battle Anime there are several advanced techniques a Magician can employ. Poly-Elemental Spellcasting mixes multiple Elements together to unlock powerful spells. Elemental Enhancement infuses other Metaphysical Substances into the Spell with mixed results. Release is a special transformation(told you I was inspired by Shonen) used by Hybrids(think demigods and half-elves) to increase their physical and magical abilities. Many variants of Release exist but only a select few know how to use them. Finally, Spells can be combined with mundane fighting styles to make special techniques called Arts. I'd like to hear any and all constructive criticism but I'd like to avoid cutting things if at all possible. I promise the books themselves don't infodump like this, at least when I get around to actually writing them anyways.
     
  2. Lynea

    Lynea Dreamer

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    I’m not here to tear you down. I want to support you with this, so here are my thoughts.

    1. My first concern is: why are there are so many kinds of elements? Perhaps you could shave them down or group a couple of them together. For instance, Life and Light sound like the same element to me. Cold and Water could also be the same, just in different forms.

    2. When you say vibration, do you mean vibration of the earth or sonic vibration? You can do a lot with the power of sound, so make that a selling point of your world.

    3. How exactly is Law an element? What can you do with it?

    4. I love the whole idea of data. Yes! Hacking and code may not be original, but I love the idea of placing it into a magical world. I would LOVE to read about a mage who can manipulate data and weaponize it.
     
  3. KadenVale

    KadenVale Acolyte

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    Sounds like a fun system. I'm curious, howis the Symbolic Energy built up? Is it a process? How does that play into the story? If it is stored in their soul, does that have any effect on them? I'd be interested to see how you are able to explain it all in the context of the story.
     
  4. OberonLordofSylva

    OberonLordofSylva Minstrel

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    Law is an Element because Symbolic Energy is based on drawing power from symbols. Mortal law, when you think about it, kind of works like a symbol. And yes by vibration I mean sounds. I used to call it sound but I felt like changing the name to something broader would open up opportunities for making spells. Life is more "nature" while Light is just physical light. The one about Cold and Water could work though. Thanks for your input regardless!
     
  5. OberonLordofSylva

    OberonLordofSylva Minstrel

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    Symbolic Energy is built by drawing power from an actual symbol that evokes that Element. Unless the energy goes haywire, people shouldn't have any problems having it inside them. Finally, while the energy itself isn't much of a a story element, heh-heh, proficiency in Magic is a source of conflict with some of the characters.
     
    KadenVale likes this.
  6. Lynea

    Lynea Dreamer

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    Maybe you could give Symbolic Energy its own unique name so that it could sound more original. Honestly, Symbolic Energy sounds like generic runes that a lot of fantasy worlds already have.
     
  7. OberonLordofSylva

    OberonLordofSylva Minstrel

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    Ok. What would you have me name it?
     
  8. Lynea

    Lynea Dreamer

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    Lol, it's up to you to decide. I was dealing with the same issue back when I was drafting my book. I wanted to call these elvish runes that I was employing the Light Symbols. Then I added in the Night Symbols, the Fire Symbols, and so on. Eventually, it got to a point where I thought it would be better to give them a different name altogether. Now I call them Lor Runes just to make everything easier.
     
  9. WooHooMan

    WooHooMan Auror

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    What’s a Soul?

    That seems to be where this process really starts but you just kind of mentioned it and moved on and no one in this thread has brought it up. You got to get that foundation fine-tuned before you can get on categorizing stuff.
     
    OberonLordofSylva likes this.
  10. OberonLordofSylva

    OberonLordofSylva Minstrel

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    I don't mean to invalidate your opinion but the term "Symbolic Energy" works just fine for me.
     
  11. OberonLordofSylva

    OberonLordofSylva Minstrel

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    A Soul in the Whiterose Mythos is defined as the metaphysical construct that houses consciousness and provides fuel for supernatural abilities. Souls are primarily composed of Soulstuff, a silky grey Metaphysical Substance that absorbs information in a process called Soulcoding. When a Soul becomes aware of itself a Psyche is born and then the creature possessing the Soul(all living creatures and objects have at least simple Souls) becomes sentient. When a sentient creature dies its Psyche and Soul fuse together and become a Ghost. Ghosts then is guided by the servants of the gods to an afterlife. The Spirit World for the Younger Universe and either Empyrean or Bloodworld for the Elder Universe. If a Ghost gets corrupted by an external source they get turned into monsters, what monsters they turn into exactly depend on what corrupted them. Finally, when a Soul undergoes any sort of major upheaval in the flow of Metaphysical Energy within itself some of the energy will splinter off and form what will eventually become a Demon.
     
  12. WooHooMan

    WooHooMan Auror

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    Souls having characteristics like texture (“silky”) and appearance (“grey”) implies they are physical material. I’m assuming those descriptors are a mistake or should not be taken literally.
    I’m assuming the Soul is, functionally little different from Mind (distinct from the physical brain) and that this universe operates on a mind-body dualism model.

    Is the “fuel” they provide Soul Substance or does the Soul take in Soul substance to create this fuel?
    If it’s the latter: then what is the actual fuel?
    If it is the former: how is Soul Substance converted into magic spells?

    I think I’m having a hard time visualizing when the function of the Soul crosses over into the physical plane with spells. Like, I see point A and point B but I don’t see the line connecting them. And I think that not seeing or understanding this is causing me to see this system as much more complicated than it needs to be and I’ve always believed that the best magic systems should be simple but with a lot of variations.
     
  13. OberonLordofSylva

    OberonLordofSylva Minstrel

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    I get what you're saying and I apologize for confusing you. The Soul: A, isn't that important for Spellcasting aside from storing the Symbolic Energy. And B, is Metaphysical meaning it exists in both a physical and astral state simultaneously. Think of it like Schrodinger's Cat except it remains in a state of "both at once" at all times. Only when a Soul fuses with the Psyche(basically the "mind" part you were talking about) and becomes a Ghost does it change into a purely astral state. The Soul itself does not power Spells("fuel" is just a term I like to use for power sources related to supernatural abilities) but rather the energy inside the Soul is the "fuel". The Soul makes the energy by itself when provided with the proper stimulus. The Soul is considered an organ of the body despite being Metaphysical and thus not wholly there. I hope this answered your question!
     
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