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Spells and magic

Discussion in 'World Building' started by TopHat, May 15, 2013.

  1. TopHat

    TopHat Minstrel

    Hi guys!
    I have a few things i'd like some opinions about:

    1. In a will-based magicsystem (magic is performed by the will and koncentration of the wizard) how do you learn new spells? How would a schoolbook in magic explain how to perform a fire-spell for example?

    2. I want room for creativity in my system. I think it's kind of boring to have a wizard who knows a fire-spell and is only able to spray fire in battle. I want him to be able to customize the spell, be able to light candles, campfires, heat up metals etc. In a will-based magic system i guess that's easy, you just regulate the strength of the spell with your will. However in that case, all magic is based on four spells: fire, earth, water and air and different versions of them. And I'd like more than just four elemental-spells! How should I solve this problem?

  2. Asura Levi

    Asura Levi Sage

    Well, can't help but to think in the manhwa Kubera, there, the magic spells are just combination of the god's names who 'give' the power for said spell. But the form of the spell is form by concentration.
    In Kubera, if the mage don't make the proper calculations while mentalizing the spell, it could go deadly wrong.

    So, the fire spell could be made to take any form, fire ball, circle of fire, fire line of defence, etc... but if the wizard doesn't take in account the terrain, distance, power to be used, and other factors that may interfere with the result, he might cast part of the fire in the wrong place, missing his objective or even casting it over himself.

    Hope I haven't been too confusing.
  3. AnnaBlixt

    AnnaBlixt Minstrel

    You could make the spells have 2 components. The first component determines the element (fire, water, etc) by a certain mental focus, and the other component could be the form of the spell.

    For instance
    Element= Fire + Shape = Round => fireball
    Element = water + shape = falling => rain
  4. Queshire

    Queshire Auror

    Heh, I actually considered something a lot like this for my setting, but eventually decided against it.

    When I was considering it, I had decided on the spells being, essentially, Mnemonic Devices. Sort of like remembering the colors / order of colors in a rainbow by Roy G. Biv. The spells themselves aren't magical, but by going through the actions or the words or whatever, you put your brain in the right shape to use magic in a certain way. The benefit for this would be that it would be that magic without a spell, freestyle magic, would take more effort to do, be slower to use, and would be harder to control than magic controlled by a spell.

    That's just what I would do, take of it what you will.
  5. Addison

    Addison Auror

    I'm guessing that it's not like "think and fire will rise" stuff. They don't squint or furrow their brow at a stick to make it smolder. Same goes with the other elements I'm assuming. So for the spells maybe it can be more than just thinking, maybe, depending on just how powerful they want the element to be and how its shaped and all that, they have to perform certain gestures or steps or something.

    As for the four element and more part, think of it as evolution. All elements are connected, wind can make fire stronger and blow it out, water feeds earth but can also destroy it. But there are several shapes to these elements. There's water, snow, ice, steam. Fire, lava. So maybe your wizards can start with the basics and as they grow stronger their powers can evolve to control the other variations of the elements.
  6. Saigonnus

    Saigonnus Auror

    In my world, all things create energy (not unlike the force); the objects themselves are what limits what types of energy are nearby. For example a tree would have water and spirit energy, the ground beneath it with stone and fire (if you delve deep enough) and the "wizard" (i don't refer to them as such) can use the energy available to them to make whatever they can imagine; as long as they are capable of harnessing enough energy that is (most new wizards can only work with small amounts of energy). Perhaps you could use something like this to leave the creative aspect open-ended; so the wizard need not find spellbooks, scrolls or formulas to make new spells.

    Energy can used in two ways:

    1. The raw energy can be cobbled together to form the core of the spells (fire+air = fireball etc.)

    2. A single characteristic of the spell can be used to alter a traditional spell or by itself to have a minor effect. Using the above example for a fireball, add the chill from the air above and make it a fireball that burns cold instead of hot; causing instant frostbite and serious damage to living tissue. For another example; In one skirmish, a druid used the density of water mixed with the air around her enemies to slow them down.

    In reality though I tend to steer away from fireballs in general since they are overused in my opinion. why do that when you have a flamethrower effect or wall of fire. :p
    Last edited: May 15, 2013
  7. ThinkerX

    ThinkerX Myth Weaver

    My magic system is something like this, in that it is an 'innate talent' or 'will'.

    However, its divided differently than yours, and what can be done depends on the creativity of the wizard.

    For divisions I have:

    'Mental' (ESP, 'charm' type abilities, clairvoyance, that sort of thing);

    'Metabolic' (mind over body, healing, increasing/decreasing speed/strength, and shapechanging)

    'Telekinesis' (mind over matter, moving/altering objects with the mind, levitation)

    'Pyrokinesis' (start and manipulate fire)

    plus combinations and extras like Teleportation, Summoning, and protective spells.

    As to 'spells' within a catagory, that requires understanding. A novice at pyrokinesis must actually physically touch the object to be ignited. Later, with increased discipline and understanding, he learns how to light a fire at a distance. Controling the intensity of a fire requires a different understanding - the importance of fuel type, air flow, ect.

    Likewise with metabolic magic (healing) there is a substantial difference between healing a cut and healing a broken bone.

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