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Yes, another magic thread...

Discussion in 'World Building' started by shangrila, May 14, 2013.

  1. shangrila

    shangrila Inkling

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    So...yeah. Magic system thread #1 bajillion. Anyway, I'd like to get some thoughts on the magic system I've currently been working on.

    Blood Magic - Known as "Augers": Augers use blood to influence the body, either their own or someone else's. They can heal wounds (though this takes energy away from the wounded, so there are limits) and this is what they're typically used for. However, there is a darker side. With enough blood an Auger can manifest it into a physical object, resembling a blood vessel, that can be used to attack others. A powerful enough Auger can also control a body entirely, though this is harder with a living person as their mind resists. There have also been examples of them enhancing a body; increasing muscle mass, increasing stamina and the like. But this takes a heavy toll on the person as the body wasn't designed for it.

    Soul Magic - Known as "Vigilants": Vigilants are unique in that they deal with the soul, something that isn't truly tangible. They can leave their body, known as soulwalking, and have been used as scouts on occasion because of this. Their most useful skill, however, is protection from other forms of magic. Ciphers can't read minds, Augers can't heal and Whisperers can't contact their demons when a Vigilant is around. Even other Vigilants, when soulwalking, won't be able to see in a bubble around the Vigilant. This makes them ideal for hiding people that don't want to be found by a Cipher or another Vigilant, and that is their main use.

    Mind Magic - Known as "Ciphers": Ciphers deal in thoughts. They can project a thought across a long distance, to a willing mind, and in this way they have more or less replaced traditional postal services. They can read minds, though the human mind is far more chaotic when looking in from the outside. They can also influence thoughts, even going so far as to brainwash people, and it's this in particular that makes people wary around them. This, along with sometimes unconsciously reading minds, makes them generally aloof, only adding to the belief that they're unnatural.

    Demonlogy - Known as "Whisperers": Whisperers are little more than rumours, a bad story to scare children. But the reality is that they exist and are very, very dangerous. A Whisperer gains his power by making a deal with a demon; this means their powers vary wildly, depending on who they're "working with". All of these deals have a price, though it isn't exactly what one might think. Demons are not human and thus don't always demand rational things; some ask for shiny things, some ask for twigs, or air. But others ask for blood or, seemingly more common, emotions. Happiness, sadness, joy, depression, any of it is fair game, which can obviously have an unstable effect on the Whisperer's psyche. That said, they have a clear use and most royal courts have at least one on the payroll, even if they won't admit it publicly.

    Clairvoyance - Known as "Seers": Pretty much stock standard here. They're born blind but can see into the future, or at least one of the possible futures. The difference here is that they actually feel what they see. It's for this reason that they're not used for military purposes; feeling so much death will inevitably drive even the strongest of minds insane. They're also generally regarded as untrustworthy, as they tend to do whatever they believe will bring about the best future. A one time meeting, like a fortune telling, is fine, but continued work with the same Seer can see them working in goals opposing that of their employer. But they're still used as, despite this, their powers are useful.


    And that's it, or for humans anyway. What I was going for, mostly with the first 3, was to give them alternate uses so two Augers, for example, could be completely different (one specialises in healing, the other in creating the tentacle thingies). So, what do people think?
     
  2. Addison

    Addison Auror

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    It's terrific. You've covered the foundation requirements, you have enough facts so the magic feels real but haven't over-thought so there's still elements of wonder. Great job!
     
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  3. Asura Levi

    Asura Levi Sage

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    It is awesome. Just the fact that can easily be used in either medieval or contemporary fantasy without any tweak is amazing. I really love it.
    And as Addison said, you made it feel real without overdoing it. Great work indeed.
     
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  4. Varamyrr

    Varamyrr Minstrel

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    I have to agree that I like your system aswell. But I have to ask, how is somebody capable of practicing magic, as in the source?
     
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  5. Centerfield97

    Centerfield97 Troubadour

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    This is probably one of the best magic systems I have read about to date.

    How does one train to become, say, an Auger versus a Cipher? Is it something you are born into? Are children selected to study when they are young? Could middle-age peasant man Bob decide one day to learn the intricacies of mind magic? Are there academies or apprenticeships? Does one type of mage hate another type of mage?
     
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  6. shangrila

    shangrila Inkling

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    Thanks for all the awesome responses. I wasn't sure about this system, so thanks :). To answer your questions:

    You're born with it. It takes time to manifest, normally coming during puberty, but there are signs of it earlier on (such as a Cipher child having a better sense of what a person is thinking, while an Auger might be able to run faster than others their age). Obviously Seers are born blind, but it's sadly a fairly common thing in this world, so whether or not they're a Seer won't be known until they're older.

    Their training, well, it depends on where you are. The basic idea is apprenticeship. You find someone who's already skilled in the area and train under them. For a Cipher, this usually means joining one of the Sender Sects (postal services) in the cities who are always eager for cheap labour. For an Auger, generally they could go to a hospital to learn the healing aspect, at least. Seers need no training, they simply are what they are. Vigilants, without having any sort of large scale group like the first two, are more or less on their own unless they can find another Vigilant willing to train them. For the most part it works out, as while it's possible to get lost soulwalking the majority aren't stupid enough to go too far on their first few times. And Whisperers are basically screwed, since most of their kind stay hidden. This is one reason why they're so feared; a young Whisperer might make the wrong kind of deal and unleash all sorts of hell. But if they can find one, that older Whisperer is obligated to help them. It's one of those unspoken things.

    That said, there are exceptions. The city of Stormhaven in southern Jorii is rumoured to be run by a group of Whisperers who work with, you probably guessed it, storm demons. The entire nation of Vald treats Augers, known as Sanguinors there, as priests and anyone showing signs of blood magic are treated as divine chosen of the blood god Kriet. However, Sanguinors have moved away from healing over the centuries and more towards offensive uses of their powers in order to keep their standing in society.

    None of them hate each other, really. Seers are considered to be more of a mutation than an actual sect of magic while Whisperers are generally resented for the bad name they give to magic in general. The others are fine, aside from the obvious like a Vigilant stopping the others from using their powers or a Cipher trying to read your mind.
     
  7. Asura Levi

    Asura Levi Sage

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    Dude, really, I have to stop coming into this post every time I see a new answer. Every time I take a glimpse in your magic system ideas just flow into my head one after another. Damn.

    Sometimes I wish I had a simpler, less thinking/creative, mind. But only sometimes, I'm happy with they way my mind is.

    Backing to the topic, I really like the way you envisioned the blood magic.
     
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  8. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

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    Your system sounds really well thought out. I like it. I might make some adjustments to mine in light of this. Just a couple questions.

    What happens to a Vigilant if they get lost while out of their body? What if the body is killed while their soul is absent?

    Where does all this magic come from? As someone else asked, what is the source?
     
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  9. krunchee

    krunchee Scribe

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    I think it's great! I love your use of different types of magic away from the non standard.

    Me personally I don't really care where is from. It's magic... Great work.
     
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  10. shangrila

    shangrila Inkling

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    Thanks again guys. To answer the new questions:

    Where does it come from? From a place known as the Rift, a tear in space and/or time caused by a now extinct race. The "winds" from this place spread across all the world and causes subtle changes in children as they grow in the womb. This has different effects for different races too; the Shrike have manifested telekinetic ability, while the sightless Brahm can more or less "see" these winds and affect change by manipulating them.

    As far as where the power comes for the individual, it's mostly from within. Augers use blood, either their own or by drinking someone else's. Vigilants use their soul, Ciphers their mind. Where the demons come from, not even the Whisperers know.

    Vigilants; If they get lost while soulwalking their soul will, eventually, dissipate into nothingness (same as if their body is killed). Their body goes into a vegetative state and will die without constant care, though even with that they won't last for more than a few weeks.
     
  11. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

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    Interesting. I asked about the Vigilants because it seemed like a cool way to introduce ghosts or specters. People who got lost from their bodies and for whatever reason never found a way back.
     
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  12. krunchee

    krunchee Scribe

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    I like that actually. Good explanation as to why not everybody is left behind as a ghost. Poltergeist activities could have something to do with their affinity with magic during their natural life.
     
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  13. Mholly

    Mholly New Member

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    Really well thought out magic system! You said these were magic sytems for the humans, so are there other races? If so, are Augers able to drink other races blood or animal blood? Or just human blood?
     
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  14. shangrila

    shangrila Inkling

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    Good point about the ghosts, I might use that.

    Augers can drink other blood, but the effects are reduced so much as to almost make it worthless. For example, a flask of human blood would be the equivalent to a couple of barrels of non-human. So in a pinch I guess they could down some animal blood, if they wanted to do something minor, but they'd have to drain a few dozen cows to do anything truly worthwhile.
     
  15. Addison

    Addison Auror

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    So there's a sort of culinary hierarchy/potency in the blood? Humans above animals. But what if they drank they blood of another Auger or one of the other types of wizards? Or another race like elves?
     
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  16. krunchee

    krunchee Scribe

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    That would be cool, like if they drank a seers blood they would temporarily gain the powers of a seer.

    Perhaps if the deal their blood to the point of killing them they would gain the powers permanently. Dunno about that but it's food for thought.
     
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  17. Asura Levi

    Asura Levi Sage

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    Well, I think that may 'break' the system. As you may end up with someone with all the powers.
    Yet, you can balance it by have the 'soul' of the victim absorbed when he/she dies during the process, so you may have an Aurgers with someone else power and forever cursed with some kind of 'haunting', the victim soul aways trying to take over the aAugers' body, which in turns remind me that I really should stop visiting this post, this system is so nice/awesome.
     
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  18. krunchee

    krunchee Scribe

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    Definitely need pros and cons that is spot on.
     
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  19. Addison

    Addison Auror

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    Maybe if they drink too much magic blood they'll OD. Or some sort of effect, like too much of one magic mixed with theirs could have a baking soda and vinegar effect. Or it will mess with their head, start to break down their body or, as some magics are connected to earth, the earth itself will lash out for their misdeeds.
     
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  20. wordwalker

    wordwalker Auror

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    I think the most likely is that whatever blood powers they gain are temporary, since the blood's replaced by their own after a few hours or more. (Though I suppose it might be like vaccinations, one shot "teaches" the body permanently.)

    And there might be other effects while they had the blood (depending on how much they took, or what the price of using the other powers is without training-- risks of insanity?), and ongoing blood use might imbalance the body in various ways.
     
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