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Methods of Magic Casting

Discussion in 'World Building' started by Princessbljack, Jun 19, 2017.

  1. Princessbljack

    Princessbljack Acolyte

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    There are multiple ways of casting spells in my world. Magic in my world is rated on a scale of Otherworldly vs. Earthly and that goes into what style of casting a mage will preform.

    Ritualing is used to cast Dark Magic and Cursing spells only. Dark Magic is the most Otherworldly type of magic a human can cast. Ritualing often uses a blood sacrifice and is often performed to summon otherworldly creatures or call upon powerful curses. It's usually takes all day and may require multiple mages.
    Book Casting is casting spells from prewritten spell books. It is most commonly used for Arcane Magic, but you can cast Dark Magic with powerful books. Most spell books were given to humans from otherworldly beings or thought up in dreams (dreams have a deep connection with magic). Book Casting is only for the most advanced mages since spell books can be difficult to read.
    Spell Naming is the most common form of spell casting. It requires speaking a magic key word or phase usually in the language of Hullah, the language of the Magic Charmers who invented human magic. It was directly passed down from the Magic Charmers. Spell Naming is commonly used for Element Magic (the most Earthly form of magic) and Arcane Magic, but never Dark Magic.
    And finally Spirit Combining, the rarest form of spell casting. Spirit Combining is using your inner self to cast magic. It requires a lot of focus and meditation in order to preform correctly. You can only cast Element Magic, but since you dont have to call out a name or read a book you can cast at much faster rate. The most powerful spell in my world is the Ultimate Element and it can only be casted by using the Spell Combining method. Even then, the Ultimate Element is so difficult to cast that 2 people in human history has ever casted it and only 1 perfected it.

    Those are my methods of magic casting. What are some of yours? Do you have any cool ways your characters cast magic?
     
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  2. SMAndy85

    SMAndy85 Minstrel

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    I'm currently creating a form of "magic" which is only accessible to those who travel deep into dangerous cave networks and retrieve special stones. Those stones are then embedded under the skin, which then gives them access to certain energies. I haven't yet decided what kind of energies they can have access to, but it's a metaphysical change within the person that is caused by the stone. I'm toying with elemental powers, so Light, Dark, Fire, Water, Earth, Air. Light and Dark are there because the world is tide-locked to the sun, so there is a perpetual light side and dark side of the planet.

    Once they have these stones under their skin, they focus on them, and on the effect they want. The power of the stone is drained for a while once used, but replenishes itself from the energy of the caster. The more of these stones you have, the more power you can wield. For example, if you had one fire stone, you'd be able to burn someone you can grab, light a camp fire without kindling, or light the thatched roof of a house ablaze. If you were to get up to three or four of the same kind of stone, you can start throwing balls of fire across a battlefield.
     
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  3. Mythos

    Mythos Troubadour

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    In the world I'm currently writing a short story in, women have prophetic magic, but it manifests differently in different women. My two main characters are a pyromancer and an umbramancer. Once can see the future, but only the negative, in flames, and the other can see people's secrets in their shadows. Unfortunately, Riverhook Academy where they are attending specializes in removing magic.
     
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  4. Chekaman

    Chekaman Scribe

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    In one of my worlds magic needs amethyst to work, and when used it becomes magically inert smoky quartz.
     
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  5. Iosmovaehar

    Iosmovaehar Acolyte

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    In the world of Io, magic is akin to coding, but done in the language of the universe. One must use special ink to inscribe the spell, which is a series of carefully constructed sentences that dictate precisely what the spell should do. The inscriber must be careful to use ink lined with precisely the right reagents in each word of the inscription, lest the spell be unsuccessful.

    The "language of the universe" in Io is Angoseir, a sample of which can be seen in the bottom left corner of the following worldbuilding collage: Worldbuilding Collage by Iosmovaehar on DeviantArt
     
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  6. Daelhar

    Daelhar Troubadour

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    Hello! In my story, the characters use a type of magic. They are not human and their abilities are inherited at birth. Casting magic is simply as easy as willing it. Only high powered magic requires audible enchantments (such as my character Daelhar's circles of hell or Magdelines transformations). The laws of nature do not affect magic, so water magic would not be more powerful against fire magic. Any thoughts and questions are welcome.
     
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  7. S.T. Ockenner

    S.T. Ockenner Auror

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    I once had a character who casted magic by farting. He could shoot fireballs from his rear end, and all that magical stuff, like teleportation and the like.
     
  8. A Pineapple

    A Pineapple Scribe

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    My world has two forms of magic, elemental and traditional.
    Elemental magic is generally used by linking with elementals who grant the ability to draw on the energies of the elements.
    Traditional magic uses the inate magic in a person. All living things have magic power, but only the Races can use it. In order to use the magic a magician must focus on a spell or sigil which invokes the magic. Power is brought into the world by a sort of internal gateway which varies in size in different people. Average people have small gateways, meaning that they can only perfom small spells. Some people are born with large gateways and can summon lots of magic at a time. The spells take significant training to cast, and novices must speak and trace a spell in order to cast it, adepts however can use wandless magic, if needed.

    The concept is kind of like amps and volts, both are needed to cast the spell
     
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  9. WooHooMan

    WooHooMan Auror

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    It’s almost impossible to list all the ways magic can be cast in my setting.
    Wearing the right color combinations can cast spells.
    Writing a word or drawing a symbol can cast a spell.
    Repeating a mundane phrase at the right place at the right time can cast a spell.
    Breaking a specific finger bone can trigger a curse.
    And those examples I just listed are just some examples of how magic is cast in my book. There was also a cool scene in which a character used strobe lights combined with music as a means of channeling his magic.

    Within the setting, there have been many ways across many cultures to try to categorize all spells and all means of casting but none of them have been universally agreed upon.
    Some people go with the “twelves forms” means of categorizing spells others go with the four “Tu Shali” categories of casting. And so on and so forth. It just depends on the individual magician’s way of understanding the grand and mind blowing concept of magic. My “magic system” is very, very character and story driven. I was hoping it would feel more “organic” that way.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2021
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  10. S.T. Ockenner

    S.T. Ockenner Auror

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    That sounds awesome!
     
  11. WooHooMan

    WooHooMan Auror

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    It’s really not.
    It’s basically just the “magic is science” perspective but it’s “science” in that people have studied it for centuries and still don’t fully understand everything and everyone has a different perspective on it.
     
  12. S.T. Ockenner

    S.T. Ockenner Auror

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    You need to learn how to accept a compliment, friend.
     
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  13. Saigonnus

    Saigonnus Auror

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    In one of my worlds, magic is a collection of swirling energies that ebb and flow in a natural cycle. It is similar to elemental magic, but there are more types of energy than just the four elements. In mine, there are 13 forms of energy. These are:

    Air (air)
    Divine (deity)
    Energy (naturally occurring electromagnetism)
    Lunar (moons)
    Molten (underground/volcanoes/fires)
    Nature (plants/natural world)
    Psyche (mind)
    Shadow (dark places)
    Solar (sun)
    Spirit (living creatures)
    Stone (rocks/the ground)
    Water (bodies of water/water in the air in humid environments)
    Blood (obvious)

    Not everyone can be a caster, but if they can, then they have the innate ability to sense the flows of energy, and tap into them. Usually it is only one sort of energy at first, and with practice, they might detect 4 or 5 more, but very few casters indeed can master detecting and using all the forms of energy.

    They blend these energies to make their spells, using their own life force as the trigger; the more powerful the spell, the more life force taken. This is mitigated by experience. As a caster practices, this cost in life force is reduced, though never to zero. There is ALWAYS a cost.

    They can also use them to augment spells as well by using a property of a given substance to alter spells in specific ways. Like making a fireball cold instead of hot, or making strangling vines burn whoever are trapped by them.
     
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  14. mc.joeyy

    mc.joeyy Dreamer

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    Not necessarily a magic casting method, but still relevant to the characters' relationship with magic.

    The magic casters in my world, which host, based on heredity, demonic souls that have a sort of symbiotic relationship with their own souls and they have to sort of cooperate with them to properly harness the full power of their magic.

    I'm still doing some work on how exactly this happens, but due to an ancient divine conflict, demons spawned elves and occupied their souls to absorb magic from the world and eliminate an existential threat. I have yet to figure out the method of casting spells and such but I'm on my way to that.
     
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  15. WooHooMan

    WooHooMan Auror

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    Hey, I found the text document about my setting's magic so to elaborate on my first post...

    The first known attempt at listing the methods of casting was the Sominusian system, first developed by the wizard-priest Budh Sominus about 2600 years ago. His list of methods were...
    1. Thought magic which included telepathy, clairvoyance, etc.
    2. Bonding which involved summoning and binding (or otherwise gaining control) of spirits for enchantments or the creation of magic object. It's believed that this was the first form of magic used by mortals, possibly dating back at least 4500 years ago.
    3. Word magic which would be incantations of spells and so forth.
    About 2300 years ago, the wizard Zadimus of Qiches added two more while operating his Tu-Shali school of magic.
    4. Pictorial magic which would be sigils, glyphs, runes and so forth.
    5. Alchemy

    The Tu-Shali was than simplified and codified by the wizard Geneha Platus about 2200 years ago...
    1. Basic casting: the manual manipulation of matter for magic purposes. Mostly alchemy.
    2. Lesser casting: which is basically thought magic. Usually includes basic gestures like waving.
    3. Greater casting: using words/sounds and symbols to manipulate magic.
    4. Ritual casting: using objects like wands or jewels to channel magic.

    Then a Tu-Shali wizard named Julius of the Qiang discovered how to use dance and martial arts moves (sometimes with enchanted weapons) as magic gestures about 2100 years ago. The notion that casting methods could be used together basically changed the game with magic.

    Then came the Southern Dragon school of magic which suggested that spells can be separated into categories based on their effect rather than their casting methods. So they had arcane, mental, elemental and life spells.
    From that evolved the Twelve Forms which divided magic into alchemy, enchantment, necromancy, mysticism, etc. Though not as "dated" as the Southern Dragon system, most real mages don't considered the Twelve Forms to be a comprehensive list of everything magic can do.

    So that's the basic pre-modern history of mainstream magic theory. Basically half my main characters are mages of varying levels of education so I've thought quite a lot about all this. My main guy considers himself a master of the form of mysticism who specializes in ritual casting and all the other mages kind of laugh at him for his "ancient" perspective.
     
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  16. Patrick-Leigh

    Patrick-Leigh Sage

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    There are five primary types of Magic in my story setting: Arcane, Psionic, Divine/Supernatural, Necromancy, and Eldritch. It is possible for someone to use all three types as none of them prevent the use of the other two. Indeed, Jongleurs (my settings equivalent of the Bard class in most RPG systems) are one type of person who does. They are allied with a god or goddess who has influence over the performance arts and can be granted certain Divine Powers but also employ the use of Arcane Spells and Psionic Technics to enhance their acting, dancing, singing, and other theatrical routines. They can even combine all three into a single feat in some cases.

    Arcane Magic is powered by Aethyr, which originates from The Source, a Plane of the Multiverse which consists of nothing but Arcane Energy. Aethyr exits in multiple states. The most neutral state is just called Aethyr but the other states, which are determined by the "harmonics" of the Aethyr, are called "Elemental Energies." I'm still working these out, but I have nine so far: Earth, Water, Air, Fire, Electric, Light, Shadow, Corrosion, and Force. Earth, Water, and Air affect matter in its solid, liquid, and gaseous states, at least within certain temperature ranges (Water does not control molten stone or metal, for instance, nor does Air affect flames, which are gas that is hot enough to five off light.) Fire controls heat, combustion, and matter in the plasma state. Electric controls electrical currents and magnetic fields. Light, obviously, manipulates light (the full spectrum, not just visible light) as well as a type of matter called Light Stuff. Shadow controls a type of matter called Shadow Stuff as well as affecting friction and adhesion/cohesion (you can use it to create something like an oil slick or puddle of tar.) Corrosion... needs a different name. Originally, I thought it would only break things down, like a powerful acid or base, but now I'm thinking it doesn't just corrode. I'm thinking it might affect molecular bonds, allowing ores to be refined into metals by separating the different elements from each other or combine different elements together to create new molecules, like creating an alloy without having to melt the metals down, first. As for Force, it affects kinetic energy, gravity, and enables travel between Planes. It might also affect time, to some extent, but that's tricky.

    Arcane Magic cannot be done without Aethyr or Elemental Energy, so if you run out of power, you cannot cast any Spells. Most creatures' bodies can store a certain amount of Arcane Energy, either to power innate Arcane Abilities or to protect the body from Arcane effects targeting them, but certain types of materials can also store Aethyr. In particular, Power Gems are used as external batteries of Aethyr by Mages to expand their power reserves but are also the power sources for Arcane Devices. Spell Gems are use to "program" Arcane Devices by storing Enchantments. They're essentially magical microchips. Arcane Engineers and Enchanters are what are propelling a sort of magical Industrial Revolution in my story setting, but advances in the Arcane are not the only thing changing how societies work.

    Psionic Magic is the next type of Magic in my setting. While it has parallels to the Arcane, there are ways in which it strongly differs. Rather than Aethyr, Psionics are powered by Psi Energy, or just Psi, which exists on... I'm debating what to call it. The Psionic Plane is one name, but the Astral Plane could be another. However, I'm also considering having the Astral Plane be spiritual in nature, so I haven't settled on a name. I'll go with Astral for now. Anyway, the Astral Plane coexists with all the Material Planes. It is comprised entirely of Psi Energy but is physically inaccessible. Mentally, however, people can project themselves into the Astral Plane and all forms of Telepathy are done through the Astral Plane. This is what enables people to communicate telepathically even while on separate Planes. While Psi can be stored in physical materials to some degree, which is how Psionic medicines and Psionic Devices are made, it is not stored in organic compounds. Instead, creatures using Psionics draw Psi directly from the Astral Plane. There are some areas, known as Psionic Dead Zones, where this isn't possible, but, for the most part, you just tap into the Astral Plane whenever you need Psi.

    Psionic Magic can be broken down into two primary categories: Psychic and Phrenic. Psychic Technics include Telepathy, Dreamscapes, Dream Snares, Astral Projection (which doesn't involve your mind leaving your body so much as creating an avatar of your mind on the Astral Plane,) and Psionic Projection (which is Astral Projection but on the Material Planes, so you basically create a ghostly duplicate of yourself that can physically interact with things.) Psychic Technics are also very beneficial to medicine, as they can block the pain signals from reaching the brain while someone is undergoing surgery.

    Phrenic Technics are far more corporeal in their application. They enhance the physical capabilities of the body, increasing strength or the speed and precision of reflexes, shielding the body from damage, and, to some extent, manipulating physical matter around the body. Psychokinesis is a Phrenic Technic rather than a Psychic one, at least according to most Psions. It is through Phrenic Psionics that Monks can do things like you see in films like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

    Next, there's Divine/Supernatural Magic. This is all connected to the gods, either directly or indirectly. In RPG terms, Clerics, Druids, and Witches/Warlocks would be Divine Magic Users in my setting. However, it's a bit more complicated than that, especially when you further divide this category into the Dark Arts. All Divine Magic Users need a spiritual source for their powers, but this isn't always in the form of a god. Maleficar get their powers from Demons, for instance, but Demons get their powers from the Evil Deities they serve, so the Dark Arts are... second-hand Divine Magic, I suppose. Anyway, Divine/Supernatural Magic is able to do things that Arcane and Psionic Magic cannot replicate, but comes with the downside that you can have your Divine Powers cut off by another being if you try to use them in a way they don't like. Another aspect of Divine/Supernatural Magic are Curses. While Maleficar can be behind these, Deities will also use them to achieve various ends. They might place a Geese on someone, for instance. Therianthropy (which includes Lycanthropy) is a form of Curse as well. There's more to Divine/Supernatural Magic, but if I got into all the subcategories, we'd be here all day. The main thing to remember is that if it can totally break the laws of physics, rather than merely bend them a little, it's Divine/Supernatural Magic.

    Necromancy is somewhat like Arcane Magic in that it uses a power source, The Blight, which comes from a specific Plane, but while The Blight can do some of the things that Aethyr can, it mostly is used to create Undead. This is how Ghouls, Vampires, Ghosts, Wraiths, and Liches come about in my setting. All are created and sustained by The Blight. Necromancers are people who can control The Blight and use it in various ways. However, anyone who becomes a Necromancer will gradually become some form of Undead, usually a Revenant, Vampire, or LIch.

    Eldritch Magic is... well, it can be a blend of Arcane, Psionic, and Divine/Supernatural Magic. There's a lot about it I'm still working out, but it all connects to the Eldritch Lords, who are my settings Lovecraftian Deities. One type of Eldritch Magic is Flesh Weaving, also called Biomancy, which involves things like the creation of Chimeras. This is my least developed type of Magic, but the main thing I do know about it is that it is all going to be WEIRD. And creepy. Very, very creepy.

    So, those the main types of Magic in my story setting. Others may come later, but this is what I have for now. I'm trying to keep Brandon Sanderson's advice about going deeper rather than wider in mind with my worldbuilding, but, at the same time, each of these types of Magic tend to be very distinct from each other, so I know I will have these five categories, at least.
     
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  17. S.T. Ockenner

    S.T. Ockenner Auror

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    I must say, Patrick-LeighPatrick-Leigh , your worldbuilding never ceases to impress me! In fact, I'd say that your magic system is my favorite hard magic from in any fictional universe, anywhere.
     
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  18. Patrick-Leigh

    Patrick-Leigh Sage

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    Thank you! I've put a lot of thought into it and rather enjoyed the development process. I'm very pleased with how things are taking shape. One of the core premises of the story setting is the question of what would happen if magic met the industrial revolution, so Arcane and Psionic Magic are the most science based types in my setting. However, I also wanted to leave the door open for magic that could completely break the laws of physics or be creepy and Lovecraftian, which is where the other three types of magic come into the picture. I'm not expecting to go beyond these main categories, but I do think that I will be delving deeper into each one. I definitely need a few more variations of Eldritch Magic than what I have so far, for instance. Regardless, I think this will result in a lot of interesting ideas that I can explore in my stories for this setting.
     
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