You put a spell on me... a few thoughts on magic [PROCESSED]

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Metarie
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You put a spell on me... a few thoughts on magic [PROCESSED]

Post by Metarie » Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:08 am

I'd like to start up (or restart) discussions on magic in the world.

My take on the setting and magic is that with the Great Seal (orf orf orf) in place, anyone who uses magic suffers some consequence. The astral is a different reality from the physical realm. Sort of like using that swirl or nudge option on a photo in photo shop or smearing grease on the lens of a camera, magic changes things.

Humans who use magic tend to go a little crazy and the astral 's effect is a warping of the natural world of which humans are wholly embedded. If we look at the setting history, the Changers themselves, seemed to have been warped - physically, mentally - by magic (Some did seem to handle it better than others, perhaps a function of environment or culture? But, even Teodinus had to be a little eccentric or peculiar).

Especially with the seal in place, getting to that place that allows this manipulation of reality to occur takes work. Magic use should get easier with age, but still should have some limiting or debilitating effect, especially for humans.

So, what about humans with innate abilities or "Talents" (with a capital "T!")? This seems a natural, evolutionary function of the species - exposure to the bleed-through of astral energies, particularly in areas with more 'mystical' properties, would eventually appear as genetic throw-backs to the time when the seal was not in place. I think that humans with this innate ability find it easier to tap into the astral, but magic use still takes work and effort.

This change to the 'natural order' of things and the effects magic has, especially on humans, is - to me - the root of the Marnian puradynic belief - humans who can perform magic are genetic mutants. Now, some cultures may view this as a gift, but not Marnian culture.

Non-humans - thinking elves, fae, gnomes here - probably migrated into the physical world we know or were created by the Changers (so it is said...). For those races with a more magical bent, the link to the astral for them is much easier, BUT there still is a Seal in place. One would think that the more magical a creature is, the more likely it is that the creature would be affected by being in 'un-natural' surroundings for its kind - either stronger or weaker in physical, magic, or some other abilities. I'm thinking of trolls and ogres when I think physical strength. Some races are more magically inclined than others. Some can shift their form at will. Humans fall somewhere in the middle.

Perhaps a scale of magickiness is needed. Hm. I'll work on that and submit it for review as part of this discussion.

Bottom line, magic use requires a price - especially magic that changes something from one state to the another. Making something from nothing costs more than increasing something that already exists. Altering the composition of materials and blending them takes skill if it is going to work properly or be permanent. The bigger the thing, the more work and skill required. Does this make sense?

Magic takes effort. Ok. Discuss!
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Re: You put a spell on me... a few thoughts on magic

Post by Saruna » Wed Feb 22, 2012 4:58 pm

Haha, we must be on the same wavelength, because that's exactly the philosophy I used for my character Leni. She has the ability to control water. In using it, she loses water, which can result in a serious case of dehydration if she doesn't watch her usage. In addition she has contracted with a daimon from the astral planes for enhancing the physical attributes of herself or those around her. Per the daimon's reckoning of power used she has to pay a price. If she pays over, under or not at all he takes over her body until the next full moon. In that case, with the exception of the trade-price she pays, he is the one who takes any magical backlash for whatever she uses his magic for.

I also like the idea of there being totally backwards or off the wall consequences for using magic. Magic is, to me, one of those things that sometimes just doesn't make sense. I would certainly love to see an arrogant fire-wielding mage suffer a compulsion to pick a bouquet of flowers and present them to the first person he sees after using his magic (guess that would mean he shouldn't use his powers in the high desert or frozen tundra. . .). Or, perhaps feel he is itching intolerably after use of magic, an itch not satisfied with scratching.

And too, as for who gets it versus who doesn't, I always picture magic as a capricious not-quite-sentient thing, something that given any opportunity might slip in and warp a baby if the circumstances are just right. Perhaps it is sort of an equilibrium, like water spilled on a slope. It is drawn to the non-magical as water is pulled by gravity; a balance that will occur should the circumstances allow it (where the circumstances are the Seal and the effect it has on the free flow of magic).
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Re: You put a spell on me... a few thoughts on magic

Post by Frug » Sat Feb 25, 2012 6:15 pm

That's quite similar the magic system used in Mage: the Awakening ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mage:_The_Awakening ).
You know I'm not big on rules or borrowing from mainstream RP but Thar is inspired by the approach they took at White Wolf studios (before white wolf started sucking). So it's not a big surprise that a suggestion would naturally arise that has a parallel to their system.
In their system, whenever magic is used it has a chance of backfiring and causing a slew of problems like the ones you're suggesting and the chance of this backfire (called paradox) increases when non-magical people are present.

Anyway I think it's a good suggestion but blanket rules about magic use is something I shy away from. I would prefer to allow people to use any interesting system they come up with as long as it fits our setting. I think this would make a good suggestion for how people should give their characters flaws, but it's not currently part of the setting that everyone who uses magic has an inherent punishment. Certainly it can go in the character creation advice as a way we would be more willing to allow people to have powers they want to take.
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Re: You put a spell on me... a few thoughts on magic

Post by Metarie » Sun Feb 26, 2012 6:14 pm

Great call out. This isn't said as a "must be in the rules" sort of thing, just a suggestion to help mitigate the power that magic could bring to a character.

I think we've agreed in the past that the over-powered, can't be touched, or kills a hundred people in one mighty blow kind of thing is sort of a creative RP-killer. Granted, seemingly insurmountable obstacles and enemies do make for epic tales - it is a give and take.

For me, magic takes effort and work, which I think is consistent with the settings, and that limitations and repercussions are suggestions.
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Re: You put a spell on me... a few thoughts on magic

Post by Frug » Mon Feb 27, 2012 5:05 am

It is currently a bit too open ended for most people. I'd support providing new writers with ideas like this to help them understand what makes for a more balanced character.
The world is an arena, not a stage. RP is a stage, not an arena.

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