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TheWombatOfDoom
2012-12-05, 12:17 PM
The World of Aldain is a project I've been working on for the better part of 14 years. The world has star charts, histories, cultures, languages, and evolutionary histories on how both magical and non-magical creatures and races came to exist. The entire world has been used for several campaigns, short stories, and the novel I am currently working on. It is immense, and I cannot hope to bring all the elements of this world to light on this thread, but I can show the basic elements and properties. Not only that, but I need a fresh pair of eyes to assist me in brainstorming ideas the forces that make up the worlds unique functions.

Project Contributors:
Welknair, Veklim, WaylanderX, SamBurke, 3SecondCultist, SilverBit, Frathe, Salbazier, DracoDei, LPlate, Amidus Drexel, OhMyGodImOnFire, Dr Bwaa and several non-forum individuals.

Thank you all for your contributions, advice and critiques!


Index:
Magic (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=263481): The Stuff of Sentience | Fate (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=271379): The Fabric of Physics | Luck (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=294311): The Basis of Biology




The World of Aldain

Crucial to the make up of this world are three basic forces that make up this world, and the races that are connected to them. Magic. Fate. And Luck.


Magic = Sentience, Perception, and Belief
Fate = Physics, the Elements, and Foresight
Luck = Biology, Adaption, and Evolution

The three forces all cycle into which is in power, as seasons might, though these cycles take much more time than a year to do so. Each transition to a different force marks the start of a new age. Naturally, an age is estimated to be about 500 years, though events can interrupt or extend the period of a cycle as well. When one force is in power, the other two are passive, diminishing or increasing the powers of the races attuned to them respectively.

Think of Luck and Fate as two halves of a battery. Not the positive and negative sides, split the battery right down the middle length-wise. Both halves have the four elements - Fire, Earth, Wind and Water. In fate - we have the elements as individuals working as a whole to create the way things work, a place for life to be able to be, and so on. Then the other half you have the four elements as one cohesive combination, resulting in various forms and walks of life. Both halves have a positive and negative side, as a battery would. Fate's are known as the radicals which represent two sides of a reaction - Hot and Cold, Motion and Stillness, Light and Dark. With Luck, its life and death. Neither positive nor negative are bad, as they are both necessary to the benefit of the overall world. Magic is the stuff inside the battery; the latent energy is derived from the other two's existence.

The three forces interact naturally with each other, complementing or contradicting each other in various ways. Each force has one race that it is attuned to, and so these specific races are able to manipulate and use the forces. Some products of these powers have similar results, and some very unique. Magic interacts well with both Luck and Fate, but Fate and Luck don't mix well together on a power relation. A Luck user cannot make the ground move or create anything inanimate, just as a Fate user cannot directly affect the contents of a living thing.

Meanwhile, Magic bends reality, so can effect both. In a way, Magic cannot exist without the existence of both Luck and Fate, because it is a product of the two.

TheWombatOfDoom
2012-12-05, 12:18 PM
The Ancients - The Wielders of Magic

Ancients have “the spark”, which gives them the ability to affect reality through magic. In other words, every sentient creature has the power of belief, but only the Ancients can affect reality with that belief. That power to affect reality is what we call ‘Magic’.

Ancient Characteristics:

The Ancient race is one of the three founding races in Aldain. They are often referred to by the Elvori as "True Men", as they are the ancestors (at least partially) of the "Hewn men", the race that was born through the coupling of the Ancients and the Elvori. The Ancients used to be one of the leading populace until civil wars and crossbreeding with other races nearly wiped out the race completely. There are currently only a known handful of them left (between one and two hundred).

Ancients do not have a written or spoken language. They communicate by memories. This means when communicating a recount of a recent memory, an Ancient need only transfer the memory to do so. Other more complex things can be communicated through senses, feelings, memories of objects, and even emotions. The Ancients with this ability can sense other Ancients' minds in a close proximity, and custom dictates permission must be asked before one talks to (or rather enters the mind of) another Ancient. A connection can be blocked off at either end in a communication at any time. Connections can be maintained once started over a long distance, but the farther from someone is the more energy it takes to send information. It takes minimal amounts of energy to communicate to someone you are in contact with or in the close vicinity of. Additionally, sleep or unconsciousness ends the link.

The only exception to this rule is in the connections that the Ancients have with their animal companions, called “Creatures of the Bond”. These connections are a sacred bond that each Ancient shares with his or her respective animal, and he or she can communicate over a much longer distance than ancient to ancient. The connection between an Ancient and his or her creature is very similar to the normal connection between two ancients, save that it is more powerful.

Female Ancients have cats of prey like lions, panthers, cougars, jaguars, tigers, and more, while male Ancients have birds of prey, such as eagles, hawks, owls, falcons, and so on. These creatures are sentient companions to these specific genders, though in extremely rare occurrences an Ancient has taken a creature of his or her opposing gender's type. In general, mental bonds with a creature can be disrupted by an external party and can even be magically blocked for a time if one is committed to the task. However, the Ancient-Creature Bond cannot be severed by anything but death.

The Broken Bond – An Ancient that has lost its Creature of the Bond, or a Creature that has lost its Ancient, will never be able to reforge this connection with another. This separation, if left to its own devices, can cause the remaining member of the bond to go mad. To counteract this, most Ancients who have a broken bond are tasked with becoming teachers. Teachers generally train other Ancients in casting, or other tasks in which they are often in contact with other minds, to prevent madness. More information on Magical Education can be found below.

Magic

Magic is a power that functions through belief. It is a tool. It is neither good nor evil, just as an axe can be used to chop down a tree or to kill another. Originally, all peoples believed in magic. When the Ancients existed as a complete race, it was common knowledge that magic existed, and so all believed in it. Now that the Ancients have all but died off, people inherently want to believe in the fantastic, but do not see magic as fact. Therefore, the amount of power of a spell correlates to the amount of belief: the belief of the one casting, and the belief of others that witness or are directly involved in the spell. This causes a phenomenon where a witness directly influences a caster's effectiveness in casting, while the caster influences a witness's ability to percieve. The result of this interaction is a precarious balance of perceptional dominance between the caster and the witness.

The caster is essentially the "igniter" of an effect. Without a caster's spark, belief is just a pile of kindling. To create a spell, a caster uses two different forms of energy to fuel a desired effect. The first type of energy is their own internal energy. This energy is made up of the life force of the caster. As a caster ages, he or she is able to use less of that life force to cast the same thing - similar to how a stronger individual might use less energy to lift heavy things. In fact, the consumption of energy used to lift an object physically is no different than the consumption of energy to cast a spell. The second type of energy is external, and taken from belief – other sentients.

There are three forms of magic that make up the spectrum of which magic is used: Visual, Mental, and Physical magic. Visual magic draws from internal lightly and external belief heavily, mental magic draws from internal belief and external belief equally, and physical magic draws from internal belief heavily and external belief lightly. A caster can only use one of these three forms of magic; however, this is based on long tradition and strong belief that use of multiple forms is impossible rather than on the laws of nature."

Visual Magic
Visual Magic is forcibly manifesting your beliefs into an observable phenomenon. Maintaining such a phenomenon draws on a caster's energy. Once the illusion is formed, it draws on the belief of any who observe it to become temporarily real. Because visual magic takes advantage of both internal and external magic, it is often refered to as the most versatile of all three schools of magic. However, it is limited by the fact that visual magic is only temporary - the more powerful a caster is, the longer he or she is capable of maintaining a visual spell, but no visual spell can last forever, not even during an age of Magic. Different strengths of spells have different time limitations, so casters must be aware of these constraints so as not to be relying on the spell when its effect ends.

Unobserved, a visual caster could only cast small spells based on his or her own belief. A spell stops drawing on the energy of the caster when it stabilizes into reality through the belief of an audience. If a caster tries to push too far into conjuring a spell that is not wholly believed, he or she could expend his or her energy quickly and become exhausted. The more believable a spell is, the less energy it takes to cast.

It is easier for an illusion to be cast in a place that this item would characteristically be. An example: One could create the illusion of a cactus in the water, but it would be significantly more accepted by a witness if it were in a sandy area. Other conditions might factor into this as well, such as climate or surrounding area. Some casters use a material aid such as a sketchbook or notebook to assist them in visualizing all the elements of the spell, or visual aids that would assist in convincing a viewer of the spell.

Mental Magic
Mental Magic is used to forcibly affect the perception of another person. This can be as subtle as observing the perceptions of another person, or more powerful uses could include manipulating the thoughts of an individual, inserting false memories, and forcibly controlling a person. This can extend to encouraging certain emotions in a person or even cause someone to fall asleep or wake. This form of magic can be very effective for individual people, but not as effective for a group of people, unless a leadership role is manipulated to act upon a group, such as making a king decree orders. A material aid of mental magic could be a caster disguising them self as a person of higher status. Some casters use a specific gesture or phrase to assist in focusing the spell, such as pointing at ones temples or saying the phrase “would you kindly”. Some casters prefer to use a personal trinket of some sort such as a pendent or spinning top, to both assist esteem in the caster and focus the subject of the spell into one thought.

Physical Magic
Physical Magic is to alter your perception of an object (and thus, the object) directly in your field of view. This could be the size of the object, or even the composition. However, this process expends a great amount of energy, and the denser the material, the more time and energy is needed to cast. Physical magic is different from either of the other schools. Since it mainly requires the caster's belief to operate, physical magic relies almost exclusively upon what the caster is able to create. Because the target is inanimate, changes made to an object by physical magic are almost always permanent. Since changing the object means altering one's perceptions of an object, a caster must trick themselves into believing it is already something it really isn't yet. Often mind tricks assist in this process, such as covering one eye to lose depth perception or to close both after studying an object and picture it as the desired size.

In changing the composition of an object, a caster would often have the material they wished to change an object to handy to assist in the casting process. Then both objects can be studied for the spell. Additionally, due to the Third Barrier (see below in the barriers section), it is rare that an object is changed into something that is not of a similar composition or has a relation. An example of an item that is not of similar composition, but has a relation is water to ice. Due to the limitations of this magic, only still or contained liquids can be affected by a spell, as the subject must remain in the field of view. Healing would also fall into this form of magic. It should be noted that, unlike visual magic, the effects of physical spells have no duration. The changed object remains that way until it is changed again with another physical spell.
(Writer’s note: With physical magic, the objects are sent to/pulled from The Ulterior Realm)

Spells have 3 basic stages:

1. Drawing Stage: Caster decides the who, what, where, when, why of the spell. This is the period a spell is planned and crafted. The quality of belief (interior) is determined at this time.

2. Casting Stage: This is the period where the spell is actually cast. During this period, the subject of the spell begins taking on the desired effect, whether this be an illusion, person, or object. The quality of belief (exterior), when applicable, is determined at this time. The spell begins drawing on the energy of the caster at this time.

3. Stabilizing Stage: The spell is completed or dispelled. Concentration and the quality of belief of the spell determine whether a spell stabilizes or not. Once the spell stabilizes, it no longer draws on the caster's energy or an observers belief.

A caster must overcome several basic Barriers in order to successfully cast a spell:
Barrier 1: Conception-
First, a caster must believe that he or she can cast. Once this is accomplished, a caster is only as powerful as how much he or she believes can be personally achieved. As one grows in knowledge and experience, one grows more confident in his or her abilities. Some casters will have an advantage to this based on their own creativity.

Barrier 2: Comprehension -
People can only believe in the unbelievable until Alderic's Cusp (the point at which the suspension of disbelief collapses). People inherently want to believe in the fantastic, and that is why magic CAN exist, but still, there are some rules that people believe to be true, such as gravity. It is very hard to break these truths without heavily convincing the audience of the act. In this way, it is very difficult to get the subject of mental magic to kill his mother (unless he already harbored a disliking). Often, a subject's intelligence and knowledge influences how much that subject believes a certain spell, especially in specialized areas such as a job class. Further, the more familiar a subject or witness is with a spell may find the occurrence more or less believable as a reality. The mechanics of magic are kept from common knowledge, otherwise magic would never be more than an illusion. "A magician never reveals his secrets."

A small audience that believes in your casting is much better than a large one that is partially convinced. As a result, the more convinced an audience is, the easier it is to cast. The more people that witness the act, the more convincing the illusion needs to be. It should be noted that most observers take what they see for granted, and so objects that are peripherally observed are often automatically accepted to be real.

Barrier 3: Concentration-
Magic automatically sides with the caster's intentions so long as he or she concentrates on the spell before it "stabilizes". If events cause the caster to lose concentration or become distracted, the spell becomes distorted. From this, the spell has two options. The first is that it collapses and has no ill effect other than the dissipation of the spell. The other option is that the spell's intention could spread to that of a witness. To explain, say a caster wanted to fly, so he or she projects the image of them flying over a few people in order to do so. However, the caster then becomes distracted by something, lowering the quality of the illusion. A witness to the illusion looks up and thinks the image is falling, and even calls attention to it. The caster then gets transported into the air like he or she intended, but then plummets to the ground. If the caster did not keep his or her illusion low to the ground, this blundered spell could be the last that caster casts. For mental magic, distorted spells could damage or even backfire on the caster as the subject's mind rejects the spell. In physical magic, distorted spells could make the object take on an undesired and random quality.

Despite these barriers, there are circumstances where these limitations might be surpassed. Casters who are in a state of heightened urgency or emotion, such as in sudden defense of a loved one or when in a rage, become totally engrossed in the task at hand and subsequently forget their limitations. This task often uses much more effort and magic than the task requires and so when the event concludes it leaves the caster vulnerable and exhausted. If a caster is sure of death as the only outcome to the situation, a caster might willingly use a lethal amount of magic for a desired effect and then perish upon completion of the task.

A delusional or mad caster is another example of a caster that might surpass certain barriers. Casters who lack sanity lack reason, and nonexclusively projects their own personal reality. This is a terrifying concept in theory, but it should be remembered that the insane still have an interpretation of reality, just not one that is cohesive to the actual one. So, while one may seem to have no limits in his or her power, a delusional caster is often more limited than the normal caster is. These limitations may not even make sense. An example of this might be that an insane caster can only cast on Tuesdays, or refuses to affect anything that is the color blue. These casters should always be met with caution, as they are vastly unpredictable.

Magical Formula: Power = [Interior Belief (Capacity + Experience) + Exterior Belief (quantity of viewers and/or Quality of Belief from viewer)] x Quantity of Casters

Quality of Belief (Interior) = (Execution) + (Capacity) + (Material Aids)
Quality of Belief (Exterior) = (Execution) x (Quality of illusion or suggestion + Material Aids)

Execution = (Charisma) + (Accuracy)
Capacity = Creativity (Imagination and Aptitude) + Study (knowledge of the subject of spell)

Charisma; how influential is the caster to his or her audience?
Accuracy; how convincing or detailed is the subject of the spell.
Magic is limited by what a caster believes he or she is capable of and what his or her ability allows him or her to accomplish. Therefore, Magic is both inherent (through creativity and ingenuity) and scientific (in terms of studying a wide variety of objects that may be used for a spell). The better one understands an object, the more accurate the illusion of the object will become, or manipulated in the case of physical magic. So, the less you know about casting, the less confidence you have in casting. This causes you to be limited in what you are able to cast. Additionally, not studying objects or practicing spells often diminishes the quality and effect of a spell. In essence, power is derived (as the equations say above) from interior and exterior belief. A caster’s interior belief regulates his or her capacity for magic. The less capacity a caster has the more energy it takes to create spells. Further, in visual and mental magic, it also causes maintained spells to have shorter life spans before the caster would need to rekindle it. At lower power, a fly spell could be something akin to a large hop, as it consumes energy at a rapid rate. As a caster gains power, the flights would grow longer and longer in distance, however power will never make a spell unlimited.

A caster that has exhausted themselves casting can recover by means a person would commonly use to recover from normal exhaustion. Casting is like any other activity a body performs, and so the body recovers similarly from it. Over exhaustion could cause hospitalization or even in some cases - death. The body often attempts to stop a caster before he or she reaches the point of exhaustion, and will begin shutting down to avoid mortal exhaustion. Still, a caster can force his or her body to beyond this point. Since the ability to cast derives fundamentally in the belief that you can cast, it is common for a caster who has experienced a traumatizing situation or loss by magical or non-magical means to find themselves unable to cast for a period of time.

Magical Instruction: Training begins as soon as possible for an Ancient. At first, the parents are responsible for magical instruction. A child in this stage could exhibit some affinity for a particular form of magic. Once Ancient children show signs for a particular school of magic, they begin to be schooled in that path. As stated earlier, many instructors for magic are Ancients who have had their bonds broken. They take on pupils and work with them at a young age to overcome the barriers of casting.

Each Ancient grasps these principles at widely varying rates, and therefore it can take years or as little as weeks, to train a caster in a specific lesson. The instructors also hone the caster’s talents that would aid them in casting, such as public speaking or persuasive writing, acting, music, or visual art. To become familiar with material components of a spell, Ancients study natural and physical sciences, history and culture. These seemingly rudimentary tasks will greatly aid casters not only with their interactions with people, but with reality in general. The use of magic is considered by the Ancients to be an art form. Each uses their talents in different ways, and so the results of a spell often are dependent on a caster. Think of casting like a fingerprint; each result of a spell is similar, but it doesn’t happen quite the same way. While it is possible for an Ancient to start training after childhood, results vary as to its effectiveness. This is because it is substantially more difficult to change one's beliefs after development than during development.

Dueling: When magic was fact, dueling could exist. Today, dueling is much more complex and difficult. Dueling is not at all the scene that one would imagine for two casters who are dueling – spells being cast back and forth at one another as it was when magic was fact. Instead, now that one relies on illusion to facilitate the reality of a spell, casters can no longer directly cast at each other. In fact, now casting takes place in one of two places: in combat or within the mind, sometimes both. Mainly, since magic cannot be used, duels are fought by hand-to-hand combat. The only variation to this is if one caster surprises the other, he or she might be able to cast an offensive spell at the other without the caster realizing it is a spell until after the effect.

If two casters are mental magic users, they could battle as if both could cast. These battles are interpreted differently. These duels are battles of the mind where one caster is attempting to dominate the other’s mind. This battle is conducted in something similar to a dream, and resembles magical dueling of old within the mind. Each attack on the other resembles a spell or weapon, but is in actuality a thrust of will. Each spell is a siege attack on the other’s mind, attempting to break the other’s defenses. A caster must counter spells that could do damage to the defenses, as well as attack to attempt to do the same to the enemy. This dreamlike battle is the way the minds interpret the conflict, and draws on the psyche of both to operate. Once one mind is dominated, the dream collapses as one of its two supports has been cut off. Very rarely, one of esteemed mental capacity could battle within and out of the mind, thus fighting a caster in the midst of a battleground. The rarest form of duel is when two casters fight both within the mind and in hand-to-hand combat.

Cumulative Casting: This technique occurs when two or more casters of a similar caliber work together. Commonly, cumulative casting is where several people of different forms of magic work together toward a common goal, each facilitating a different condition of the goal. An example of this might be a mental caster causing someone to be more receptive to an illusion that a visual caster was projecting.

Cumulative casting can also be implemented for casters who are from the same form of magic. In other words, this is two or more people working toward one spell for a common goal. This act decreases the amount of effort it takes to cast the spell, as well as the amount of exterior belief needed. It also aids in extending the length of a spell and often the effect of one. For this type of casting to occur, two casters must link their minds and become one thought or risk the likely failure in casting. This risk is occurs because while two casters may believe they are casting the same thing, even a slight variation or distraction may cause a confliction in the spell, or worse, there could be a dangerous backlash to one or both casters. Due to the nature of cumulative casting, the casters involved must completely shut out the outside world so as to not be distracted. All perception is internal as the casters focus entirely on the task at hand. This causes the casters to be vulnerable to physical attacks and the world around them while casting, and so it is uncommon to begin this technique without certain measures of protection put into place, such as others watching over the casters or casting in a secure location.

Even with both casting with one thought, if an event causes one mind to become separated from the other (such as knocking one unconscious), there could be risk of a rampant spell or an overload where the spell of two rests in one awareness and is too much for one to cast.

Rampant Spells: A rampant spell is caused if all the members casting the spell were separated from a casting link simultaneously. Without the guidance and direction from the involved casters, the intended spell is naturally released without any control over its actions. This often causes dangerous and unpredictable results. Instead of an effect of a spell occurring some distance away, it could occur directly on the casting area, or directed at a random target. A spell that was not fully shaped might take on a completely new form. Sometimes these occurrences are harmless, and other times they are incredibly powerful. Often the method that causes the casters to become separated from the spell influences the effects of the spell. The reason the spell does not overload the involved casters' minds as it is released is because there is a sufficient capacity of casters upon the release of the spell, and therefore no negative effects occur mentally from the release (however the spell itself might affect them).
Overloading:When an Ancient willingly takes on a spell that is too much for them (overchannelling) or by an interrupted cumulative casting, an overload occurs upon casting. When a spell is too great, the feeling is akin to pressure being built up within the caster's mind. At this point, a caster can attempt to delay casting the spell for as long as he or she can withstand the mounting pressure of the spell. In this time, another caster would be able to attempt restore the link for the spell. After the caster can no longer withstand the pressure, the spell is released and the backlash surges through the caster's mind, rendering them either unconscious or severely disoriented in lesser cases, or in greater cases, the backlash could kill the caster. Some casters suffer from short-term memory loss or complete loss of the memory of the event; others have been known to go mad. Overloading basically causes a caster to lose a portion of his or her grasp of reality. Whether this is temporary or not completely depends on how severe the overload is.

Overchanneling has similar effects to overloading, but often has a lower rate of mortality since a caster is in complete control of the amount he or she cast beyond his or her ability, instead of an interrupted spell between multiple casters. When an Ancient overchannels, it is normally an implement of last resort. The more a caster overchannels a spell, the less believers are need, essentially allowing a single caster to successfully cast a more powerful spell without the need for any exterior belief. Unfortunately this also makes it increasingly hard for a caster to concentrate or stabilize a spell. The less stability a caster has, the more damage he or she does to his or her mind. Due to the hazardous effects of this practice, it is widely taboo to use such techniques. Education on casting mostly focuses on a caster knowing his or her limits, and caution on overstepping an individual's capabilities.

It should be remembered that once a spell is amplified, it is unable to be deamplified. When the spell is completed, the joined minds release each other. One could cast with any number of people, but each time a person is added, it becomes increasingly difficult for the next to link. Often, spouses and families cast spells together as one mind, because the close relations and emotional bonds aid in connection. Due to the current low population of Ancients, as well as the ratio of each caster in the various forms of magic, linking is not common greater than a pair, perhaps a trio in certain areas of higher population. Small pockets of family groups are the exception to this rule.

Subsumal Magic: A form of magic that has been hidden from the knowledge of all remaining Ancients is a thing referred to as Subsumal Magic. Subsumal Magic is where each of the main forms of magic is combined. This combination is directed at a living thing or several living things and transforms them into a new form. This often has unexpected consequences. When this magic was first implemented it was discovered the subjects no longer remembered any of their former life. Because of this, any loyalties a subject had before the spell should not be counted on post transformation.

Another side effect is that the spell is unalterable and irreversible. Additionally, it is often hard to predict what a combination of creatures will become. Some subsumal spells are the alteration of a living thing (such as the Dwarves), while others are the combination of several (such as Merfolk). The first subsumal magic accidentally created the race of Faeries. Many of the original creature(s) capabilities remain after a transformation, even if to a lesser degree. Dwarves are able to use a form of Physical Magic, as they once were Ancients. Centaurs instinctually knew how to walk in their new form when created, despite not ever having taken an actual step. This magic eventually was developed to end wars quickly. If a war could be ended by incapacitating the leader or an entire section of an army, it was felt to be an acceptable technique. This tactic became a leading factor in the downfall of the Ancient race when civil war nearly annihilated them, and nearly ripped the world asunder. It was the decision of the remaining Ancients and other prominent races to erase all knowledge of this magic.

TheWombatOfDoom
2012-12-05, 12:19 PM
The Elvori - The Wielders of Fate

(under construction in another thread and will be ported here when completed for final review)

Fate

Please refer to Here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=271379) until system is complete in (mostly) finalized form.

TheWombatOfDoom
2012-12-05, 12:20 PM
Dragons - The Wielders of Luck

(under construction)

Dragon Characteristics:
Some, maybe many of the dragons in my world are omnivores, though some are particularly predators. Magical properties of dragons are all but non existant - some don't even have flying capabilities or wings! There are only two types of dragon that have a breath weapon and flying capabilities (as these are hard to genetically accomplish), the rest vary greatly between large lizard looking ones, to sea monsters, to something akin to a wyvern. One even has the capabilities of a flying squerriel. In a word, these aren't your typical dragons. The omnivore races are generally sentient and have cultures, though one or two are still wild creatures. They could be played as a race, perhaps. I've thrown out the ideas of chromatic and metalic. They're now classified by some thing that conatates their adapted enviornment. Dragons lay eggs and have long life spans, so I've controlled the populous a bit by extending the span of time the eggs take to hatch (24 months). Perhaps if I also slowed development? I don't really like the idea of sleeping long periods of time, but it could be possible for some dragons to hibernate in the winter, similar to how bears and some others act. The cultured ones would likely evolved into handling this different ways.

Most dragons aren't encountered very often. They're off on their own continent away from everyone else (think Australia) with only a few groups that have wandered from the continent one way or another, or in the societal setting, dragons that were banished for giving into their wild natures. These later dragons are the most common harassers, and since individuals or pairs, would be far more easier to sustain in the rest of the world, as they can eat pretty much sentients and wildlife alike.

Luck

TheWombatOfDoom
2012-12-05, 12:24 PM
Saving for other creatures

TheWombatOfDoom
2012-12-05, 12:25 PM
Places in Aldain

Continents - Arteria, Othainia, Salgethet, Devren, Manicova, Vorenai, Draeden

TheWombatOfDoom
2012-12-05, 01:21 PM
Work space:

Notes:

Subsumal Magic - Does this mean that Dwarves and Centaurs, etc., can never be transformed, or would that only apply to the ancestors of the race (who were created with magic; the rest are the result of natural reproduction)?

Natural Magic - Since I have natural Fate, and natural Luck, where as the manipulation of these two things is "artifical". So there in some degree or another, must have natural Magic...

Unless that's actually belief in the first place. Like sentient thought IS magic occuring naturally. And manipulating it is the "artifical" side of it.

Sensory deficiencies and Drugs in Magic - Drugs aid in changing ones perception, and going blind or deaf might severely hamper a caster or receptor.

Enchanted Items - ...the current theory I have is that enchanted items are worked upon by one of each force (magic, luck, fate). So in order to make a enchanted item, an elf, a dragon, and an Ancient must all work on it. The specific items have one force that is more dominant on it than the other two. So you could have a lucky rabits foot, or a wand of illusion, or so on.

Could Magic items store energy for a force? Is it affected by the change in force?

Ulterior Realm - What is it? I've always imagined it as "a universal dumping ground". So think of it as - if someone "harms" someone else in a universe (even this one), that "material" is then sent to the Ulterior Realm. Then others can pull that "material" out. The only thing that I've found similar to it is full metal alchemist's explanation as to where alchemy resonates from. Basically, anything that gets sucked into a black hole goes into the Ulterior Realm. There's all kinds of matter within it. Or at least, that's how I imagined it. I'm not exactly very far with the imagining for this.

Ancients and their Telepathy - Ancients telepathically can mentally communicate with each other, and their creatures. Mental magic users can mentally influence other races. We've established that any Ancient can cast mentally (that's mainly what telepathy is), but they can't because they don't believe they can, or aren't very good, or what not. So that means Ancients can communicate with/influence any race mentally, but some are able to do so better, and that's mental magic. It's much easier with others who are able to do so.


Magnetics in Fate - Magnetism could be Earth and Wind then. And I'll explain why. The E.M. Spectrum is so named because light is formed by the orthogonal (perpendicular) interaction of a magnetic wave and and electric wave. Since that requires the non-stable parts of both principles, and light isn't "solid", it mades sense that we can ditch earth when the two systems interact to make light.

Magnetic Attraction could be earth elemental, bringing things to a stable state. While Magnetic Repulsion could be wind elemental, putting things in motion.

And induction (generating electricity with magnetism and vice-versa) could be another interaction between the two systems with earth still part of it (providing the resistance necessary and a stable material to act upon)

Final Embrace Problems - What happens when a significant amount of one element reach the final embrace, while the other's do not?

Abilities to Powers -

Magic = Charisma/Dexterity
Fate = Wisdom/Strength
Luck = Intelligence/Constitution


Changelog -
9-6-13 -
Magic - [Minor] spelling corrections,
[Changed] 5 Barriers to 3, combining 1 with 2, and 3 with 4. 5 stayed the same.
[Changed] Barrier 2 (which used to be 3) to be named - Comprehension
[Removed] conflicting wording within whole of text.



Related Projects -

Fate - Nearing completion - will be moved over soon for final review.
Things needed to complete for it to be done:

Elvori Characteristics
Ultimate Fate
Divination
Foresight
Premonition Points
Scribes


Luck - Started - Still in brainstorming stage.

Veklim
2012-12-05, 03:53 PM
Hellooooooo!

Dead fish dude, anyhows...apologies for crazy-busy work/private life issues, I'm not gonna say anything about 'things easing off' coz every time I do, something else happens, but none-the-less I have a few musings for you on the subject of overloading. It is in the form of a semi-coherant rant, you have been warned!!!


Magic, at least the powers which create it, are both infinite and abundant (at least until someone does something super-drastic...) and so the amount of available background or inherant magic should be at least huge, correct? Therefore, an Ancient is like a capacitor, accumulating this background hum and moulding it into physical (or mental) effects. This is an issue because everyone knows (or at least should know) what happens when you overload a capacitor (if you don't know, just hook up a cap to a 9v battery and stand back, it's bl**dy hilarious, and it's SCIENCE!). Overloading magic should not immediately do this, because nobody would overload otherwise, unless in the most dire and horrific of circumstances anyhow.

My suggestion is simple enough, instead of blowing out the mage's body (head-pop stylee) it should blow out his grasp on reality. Every time you overchannel, you lose a tiny portion of your sanity. For some resilient and unorthodox mages this is not too much of a problem, a little here and there means a bit of self-indulgence and rest after the fact, to regain your composure. Repeated overchanneling however, could do more damage to your sanity than you could claw back, bringing you to a critical threshold where you lose your grip altogether. This is not mere madness though, as it affects the way you perceive the world, it also effects what your illusions are like, how you present yourself, and therefore ultimately affects your magic too. On top of this, it gives a kind of near-death experience type of rush for the mage, like overdosing on a drug, which encourages the mage to overchannel more and more often, hastening their own demise.

In light of this, overchanneling should be taboo, one of the first things an Ancient learns as they develop their magical potential is how to assess their capacitance limit, and never to go beyond it. Those few survivors of overchanneling addiction are either stark-raving mad or almost entirely catatonic, but either way they lose their control over magic entirely. Some manage to maintain a few small tricks here and there, but most of these are the ones lucky enough to break their addiction before it got too late, and they try to avoid using even the little control of magic which they have retained, for fear of relapse.

What's that, imaginary expositional voice?
'But if this is what happens, then why would ANYONE overchannel?'
Good question, disembodied sign of my mental breakdown!

Ancients overchannel when they feel there is no other choice. The more you overchannel a spell, the less believers you need, essentially allowing a lone mage to make something 'real' with his magic without the need for any outside help at all. Unfortunately it also becomes increasingly hard to concentrate on or stabilise a spell. Overchanneled spells which become rampant do more damage to your sanity than those which just fizzle, but either way you pay a hefty price if you can't keep an overchannel under control.



Hope that helps a little!! :smallbiggrin:

TheWombatOfDoom
2012-12-05, 04:43 PM
Hellooooooo!

[rant]



I like it. This helps me organize my thoughts a LOT. I've had similar ideas, without a process to think of them as. Thank you. I agree it wouldn't be a physical pop, but a mental one. Hmmmm....this description reminds me heavily of a concussion. Memory loss, grasp on reality affected. Abilities to process things damaged, possibly permanently. More susceptible to the problem again from similar trauma. Basically - overloading causes your brain to swell. The greater the overload, the more damage. Taboo is an acceptable term. Sometimes it is recoverable, sometimes not. I'll make sure to add over channelling to the magical instruction section.

I find the addiction to overchannelling fascinating. I'll have to think on that a bit. It would be interesting for a character, even the main, to have this issue.

Purposeful overloading then is suicidal terrorism or heroism, depending on the intended goal. A drastic last resort method. Perhaps some can't even accomplish overloading. Or when they get to that brink they pass out, like a safe guard. Though the more talented you are or powerful, the more your magical ability navigates around these natural safeguards and tendencies. Only the talented or more experienced can otherwise I could see overloading become rampant in suicidal causes, wreeking havoc on the world.

I think you just assisted me in tying up overloads, veklim! Thank you!

Now to turn my attentions to the other two forces....Fate and Luck. :small frown: Did you have any ideas there based on our previous conversations (which I'm beginning to import to here).

Veklim
2012-12-07, 07:23 PM
Luck and Destiny are two ends of the same energy, like the poles of a magnet. The mortal realm sits between these two places, where Luck (what may be) and Destiny (what must be) collide with material, emitting the magic which created the world we see. If one side or the other gain too much power, the material plane could shift, with disastrous consequences. As such, the keepers of Luck and Destiny have a common goal for the most part; avoid Atrophy (too much Destiny) or Anarchy (too much Luck). Despite this general consensus, there are those who truly wish one or other of these 'end times' to come about. They may be a small proportion, but they are a large minority which should not be ignored. This is not to say there is no animosity between Dragons and Elvori, in fact they have been locked in a near eternal petty squabble over the correct definition of 'balance' which has been known to claim the lives of several members of each species when words became insufficient to communicate their differences.

Luck is pretty easy to explain, everyone experiences it at some point in their lives, and underneath no end of dogma and superstition, no matter the creed, faith or social structure, every sentient creature (and many besides) has experienced Luck, be it good or bad. What most people do not realise is that certain old and powerful superstitions based around Luck are more than just fancy dressing for common sense, or fear of an unexplained phenomenon. Dragons understand these little practices and oddities in behaviour to be ways to control the flow of Luck, increasing their own and decreasing that of their opponents. Hunting becomes easier if your prey always trips on the roots, and your first bite always finds the target. Luck is the flow of energies which allow the possibility of almost infinite outcomes to actions, and a skilled Luck user can twist it to lead a charmed life. Most Luck users are afforded the 'gift of the gab' as a result, the ability to talk their way out of (and into) just about anything.

Destiny, in contrast, is remarkably hard to pin down. Although every person, creature and object in the world has a link to Destiny, not many will ever even know it was there. It is a subtle force, permeating existence and creating order, making sure the fruits in the trees always fall downwards, rivers flow towards the sea, night gives way to day and day to night, it ensures the seasons pass as they should, and that something done the same way carefully a hundred times will produce the same result in the vast majority of cases. Many people have the beginnings of the concept, calling it physical science, but few beyond the Elvori have the deeper knowledge which runs beneath. Destiny is mutable, changeable, an entirely fluid thing. With enough care and practice, an Elvori may render themselves almost impervious to outside harm, curse someone to a terrible and unavoidable fate or maybe just speed up and make safer a construction project like a road or a palace. The trick is to convince the Destiny being shaped that the form you wish is one it should take, and as such most Elvori are consummate diplomats in addition to consummate Destiny shapers.


Figured I'd tidy up my interpretation for you :smallbiggrin:

TheWombatOfDoom
2012-12-11, 02:14 PM
[rant]
Luck and Destiny are two ends of the same energy, like the poles of a magnet. The mortal realm sits between these two places, where Luck (what may be) and Destiny (what must be) collide with material, emitting the magic which created the world we see. If one side or the other gain too much power, the material plane could shift, with disastrous consequences. As such, the keepers of Luck and Destiny have a common goal for the most part; avoid Atrophy (too much Destiny) or Anarchy (too much Luck). Despite this general consensus, there are those who truly wish one or other of these 'end times' to come about. They may be a small proportion, but they are a large minority which should not be ignored. This is not to say there is no animosity between Dragons and Elvori, in fact they have been locked in a near eternal petty squabble over the correct definition of 'balance' which has been known to claim the lives of several members of each species when words became insufficient to communicate their differences.

Basically what we've come up with is the idea of Seasons of Energy. You've got the waxing and waning of Destiny and Luck. I actually had a thought. Well a few thoughts. I like the fact the Magic is a product of these two forces. This however leads me two questions. First, Would magic have its own cycle where it would be in power, or would it be in power during the transition period between the two? I'd say based on how we've described the two it would be more of the second, but it sort of throws off the whole balance between the three racial cycles. Thoughts?

Second, if Luck and Destiny were to balance instead of fluctuating power between one and the other, wouldn't that end the existence of magic (similar to how this world currently functions)? It would be an interesting device for the story (since the ultimate goal has been hinted - the question of magic's destruction or survival and how the world is affected in either sense). I'm not sure about fluctuating planes, but it might create and interesting turn of events...perhaps the splintering of reality into alternate dimensions? Maybe the event creates the other planes?



Luck is pretty easy to explain, Destiny, in contrast, is remarkably hard to pin down.

Very well put. I like that luck is quantifiable, and destiny is existential. If Destiny also represents science, then that might be able to justify how elves (elvori) have power over certain elements (depending on which you talk to), which certainly helps things. However, this power must be a tertiary thing compared to their power over destiny, because this doesn't fluctuate the way the rest of their power does, much like the fact that ancient's telepathy doesn't wax and wane.

I'm not sure if anyone would earnestly consider ending the world to be a good idea without being at least partially mad, so bringing on the end times might not be the motivation, but putting an end to certain powers or people might be. And sometimes these things could possibly end the world, but they didn't know they would. Semantics, yes, but I think it's worth mentioning. :smallbiggrin:

You're take is pretty accurate! I'm glad we're on the same page. This makes further discussion a lot simpler. Let me know what questions you have! Answering them helps me!

Veklim
2012-12-11, 05:57 PM
Well, I was thinking that if magic is created by the meeting of Luck and Destiny, then it would be at it's fullest when L&D are roughly equal. This would essentially give you a magical equinox twice per cycle, but these would be shorter than the L&D solstices. If L&D were to stay in balance for too long, the magical fallout would be disastrous though, lemme explain:

Magic happens all the time, to a greater or lesser extent, and although only Ancients can control it consciously, all living things help shape it's effect on the world. This means that if it stays in the ascendant for too long a period of time, all manner of accidental magics would occur as more and more people unintentionally shape and manifest random fears, urges, thoughts, etc.

With Destiny being tied to elemental forces in one way or another, it's fairly easy to fluff through an explanation. The Elvori ability to control an element is as a result of being able to perceive the strands of Destiny permeating that force. This in turn allows them to predict and therefore channel, change, quash or intensify any particular 'reaction' that element may go through in the immediate vicinity. The scientific laws and principles which are slowly being developed by the younger races are simply a far lesser version of this, since they cannot see or change Destiny itself, but can see and use the results of it.

You're right about the 'must be mad to bring on the apocalypse' thing, I agree that their goals wouldn't likely be utter destruction, but would ultimately result in bad joojoo! Of course, there will always be the odd mad one here and there! :smallbiggrin:

Have a few questions about Luck, but shall wait until they have been pondered sufficiently to make much sense! :smalltongue:

TheWombatOfDoom
2012-12-12, 09:21 AM
Well, I was thinking that if magic is created by the meeting of Luck and Destiny, then it would be at it's fullest when L&D are roughly equal. This would essentially give you a magical equinox twice per cycle, but these would be shorter than the L&D solstices. If L&D were to stay in balance for too long, the magical fallout would be disastrous though, lemme explain:

Magic happens all the time, to a greater or lesser extent, and although only Ancients can control it consciously, all living things help shape it's effect on the world. This means that if it stays in the ascendant for too long a period of time, all manner of accidental magics would occur as more and more people unintentionally shape and manifest random fears, urges, thoughts, etc.

Hmmm...I guess the question lies in where magic comes from. Is it the product of the combination of luck and destiny, or merely magic exists because they do, as in a natural biproduct of their existance. Or is it a force that works to balance the two. Or several other possibilities. We should keep coming up with theories, because I'd like to think that philosophers in the world of Aldain would think of most of these as possibilities, and debate over them. I guess the biggest key to this is looking at the ways magic acts - through perception. It's very dependent on...hmmmmm...what if Magic is...life? It connects and divides Luck and Destiny. It can influence both in it's own way, the way L & D can't each other. I'd like to think that

Magic could be similar to global warming in idea to some. Something that exists that not everyone believes in...but is slowly affecting the world in sometimes perceptive or non perceptive ways, often thought to be irreversible. I kinda like the parallel...



With Destiny being tied to elemental forces in one way or another, it's fairly easy to fluff through an explanation. The Elvori ability to control an element is as a result of being able to perceive the strands of Destiny permeating that force. This in turn allows them to predict and therefore channel, change, quash or intensify any particular 'reaction' that element may go through in the immediate vicinity. The scientific laws and principles which are slowly being developed by the younger races are simply a far lesser version of this, since they cannot see or change Destiny itself, but can see and use the results of it.

I've always viewed elemental powers as the natural element entrusting the Elvori in using it's power. So with the Water Elves, they have power over water, increasing as they age. The Ember Elves are an exception have the most power entrusted at birth, and it diminishes as they grow older. I guess the elves elemental power is similar to that of the powers in Avatar: the last airbender...though this idea is far from original, the elvori have had this since their conception. It would be nice to swing it in a new way, however.


Have a few questions about Luck, but shall wait until they have been pondered sufficiently to make much sense! :smalltongue:

Well when you're ready, ask away. Often when people ask me questions they are on things I'd never even considered, and that helps me flesh out my system more.

Edit: I think your description of Magic getting to be too...powerful? potent?...is actually incorrect, as magic is an always abundent, unlimited thing. I also know that the only reason for its lack of power "now" is the lack of belief/people able to cast it. I assume it would exist even if no one believed it could be cast. It's a manipulation of something that's always there that classifies it as magic, otherwise it's just latent energy.

Jormengand
2012-12-12, 01:57 PM
What I notice first off is that it's very long and doesn't tell me anything much. It seems too long, rambling and textwally, and... well, yes it says how magic is formed and what you need to do, and some history... but it just seems to say so much and yet tell so little. I'd get to fixing that.

Also, paragraphs! The return key is your friend!

TheWombatOfDoom
2012-12-12, 02:12 PM
What I notice first off is that it's very long and doesn't tell me anything much. It seems too long, rambling and textwally, and... well, yes it says how magic is formed and what you need to do, and some history... but it just seems to say so much and yet tell so little. I'd get to fixing that.

Also, paragraphs! The return key is your friend!

What are you looking for me to say exactly?

This reponse would be better summed up if you said TL:DR. I have broken it up in to paragraphs, but I guess I'll get into that a little more. Any opinion on the material in general aside from setup? Or were you too daunted by the quantity to read much?

Jormengand
2012-12-12, 02:52 PM
What are you looking for me to say exactly?

This reponse would be better summed up if you said TL:DR. I have broken it up in to paragraphs, but I guess I'll get into that a little more. Any opinion on the material in general aside from setup? Or were you too daunted by the quantity to read much?

Reading into it a little more, it does look good. I like the idea of the ancients, though you could tell us a bit about who these "Hewn men" are apart from part-ancients.

The magic-belief system is a good idea, but confusing me a little. Is it affected by the beliefs of witnesses, or isn't it?

Three types, visual/mental/physical, very nice. What's this Ulterior realm, though?

Stages of magic, okay, I guess. What happens if the caster gives up on a spell in stage 3? From the description of stage 2, the spell happens in stage 2 and then unhappens in stage 3 - I wouldn't like to face a fireball and a freezing nega-figeball.

Barriers, surely 1 is part of 2? Otherwise, good.

Magic being unlimited is the next thing that strikes me. Guy is told that he has unlimited power by parents when very young. Guy now has unlimited power (save the last three barriers, but they're a little bit meh).

I don't like the duels, if I wanted to make an epic duel in this setting... then it wouldn't be as climactic. I like the cumulative casting and its drawbacks, although I'm not sure what would cause a rampant spell. Subsumal spells look good as well, very easy plot device.

TheWombatOfDoom
2012-12-12, 04:16 PM
Reading into it a little more, it does look good. I like the idea of the ancients, though you could tell us a bit about who these "Hewn men" are apart from part-ancients.

Hewn men = human. I'll be going into that in a different section. :smallcool:



The magic-belief system is a good idea, but confusing me a little. Is it affected by the beliefs of witnesses, or isn't it?

Depends on the type. Visual and mental are mostly based off of the witness. Physical is based of the caster.


Three types, visual/mental/physical, very nice. What's this Ulterior realm, though?

Basically a parallel world. Still working on that. It's more of a note for me to develop. Still working on ideas and thoughts for other realms.


Stages of magic, okay, I guess. What happens if the caster gives up on a spell in stage 3? From the description of stage 2, the spell happens in stage 2 and then unhappens in stage 3 - I wouldn't like to face a fireball and a freezing nega-figeball.

1 is thinking out the spell, 2 is beginning the spell, 3 is finishing the spell. Spells that do not get enough belief fizzle. Once stage 2 happens, a caster can't "give up". Stage 3 is basically the result of 2. It's only to signify the spell ends and ends the energy connection with the caster.


Barriers, surely 1 is part of 2? Otherwise, good.

1 is separated from two because its the first step to get to 2. All the barriers tie into each other, but believing you can defy reality is no easy task, and so I felt it stands on its own.


Magic being unlimited is the next thing that strikes me. Guy is told that he has unlimited power by parents when very young. Guy now has unlimited power (save the last three barriers, but they're a little bit meh).

Magic is unlimited. We are not. Technically anyone who casts has an unlimited source of magic, however they are limited by their creativity, intuition, intelligence...so on...and the belief others have in the magic they created. We all are capable of anything in this world, but some of us are more talented than others in certain aspects. Just because I can write a book, doesn't mean it would be a very GOOD book. Same with casting. Just because an ancient can cast mean they're all particularly good at it.


I don't like the duels, if I wanted to make an epic duel in this setting... then it wouldn't be as climactic. I like the cumulative casting and its drawbacks, although I'm not sure what would cause a rampant spell. Subsumal spells look good as well, very easy plot device.

Any advice as to how you would improve duels?

Rampant spells are a fairly new thing that I'm still working on. I'm aware it's slightly contradictory of the basic idea of magic, and I'm attempting to wrap it around these concepts a little more neatly. Good catch.

WaylanderX
2012-12-26, 07:09 AM
Yoyo Miester Wombat-mon,

I has read thyne Magic System and I shallz comment on iet.

First of all, Very Nice Work! I really like the "Believe in me, who believes in you!" approach to magic. Kind off remembers me off some childrens book I read a looong time ago. The fluff of the Rampant and Overload conditions are also good, but I have 1 question: If you cast in a group and 1 person from within the group wants to sabotage the spell so it becomes rampant, is that possible?
I mean, every society has saboteurs, so why not this one :P.

Second, how does this magic interact with mindless and/or animal-intelligence like creatures? Do they take it for granted or does it have no or less effect?

Thirdly, Just some nitpicking: I think the formula for power should be: (Internal+External)xQuantity. Without the brackets you multiply the exterior and the quantity and add to that the internal, which doesnt make sense at all (imo). I can't find any other thingies in the rest of the formulae, it all makes kinda sense.

About dueling, isn't it possible for a caster to, for instance, use his opponents greatest fear or just something he doesn't know and may take for real, to outsmart and maybe mentally damage his opponent? As I read it, you can't use this illusion magic in combat, but in fact, because people are already pumped up with adrenaline and react more then think it over, they would be quite the succeptible audience. Instead, maybe casters can still go toe to toe, but can gain minor advantages by creating small distractions for the enemy, just thinking out loud here.

If I understand it right, all magic is present in the mind and can only effect the outside world through the mind, and only if enough people believe it is real. What happens if you concentrate on a spell, which enough people believed at first, and then lose faith. Does it fizzle? Does it Rampage? Or does it just go on, because enough people believed at first?

Now some clearification points before I can make a statement about these:


People can only believe in the unbelievable until Alderic's Cusp,
What is this "Alderic's Cusp"?


When an Ancient takes on a spell that is too much for them willingly (overchannelling) or by an interrupted cumulative casting, an overload occurs upon casting. When an a spell is too great, the feeling is akin to pressure being built up within the caster's mind. At this point, a caster can attempt to delay casting the spell for as long as they can withstand the mounting pressure of the spell. In this time, another caster would be able to attempt restore the link for the spell. After the caster can no longer withstand the pressure, the spell is released and the backlash surges through the casters mind, rendering them either unconcious or severly disoriented in lesser cases, or in greater cases, the backlash could kill the caster. Some casters suffer from short term memory loss or complete loss of the memory of the event, others have been known to go mad. Overloading basically causes a caster to lose a portion of their grasp of reality. Whether this is temporary or not completely depends on how severe the overload is.


When you cast with 3 people, and 1 disconnects, do both the other casters get the negative effect or is it all piled up on 1?

This is all I can find for now, if you want to have some help brainstorming and/or thinking up some mechanics, let me know, I'll be happy to assist. I believe I have you in my Skype list somewhere from the G&G project, so I'll give you a PM :smallbiggrin:.

TheWombatOfDoom
2012-12-26, 08:02 AM
First of all, Very Nice Work! I really like the "Believe in me, who believes in you!" approach to magic. Kind of reminds me off some childrens book I read a looong time ago. The fluff of the Rampant and Overload conditions are also good, but I have 1 question: If you cast in a group and 1 person from within the group wants to sabotage the spell so it becomes rampant, is that possible?
I mean, every society has saboteurs, so why not this one :P.

Once one enters a spell link like that, it is not easy to drop out of. That's why the condition of removal was something like being knocked out or severe pain. The only way a spell becomes rampant at this moment is if no one controls the spell. That is if all casters are removed. To sabatage a spell, one would have to be on the outside of the spell.

Thinking on it, if two casters were casting a spell together, they basically open their minds to each other to connect. I'm not sure someone who had ill intentions in mind would be able to do that...hmmmm...I guess the low and the short is I'm not sure. Based on what there is, do you have any thoughts one way or the other?


Second, how does this magic interact with mindless and/or animal-intelligence like creatures? Do they take it for granted or does it have no or less effect?
They wouldn't influence magic as much as other more sentient beings, but they'd still have an effect on it, especially if they were the target. Say you wanted to scare away a bear. You might be able to scare off a bear or confuse the bear in some way.


Thirdly, Just some nitpicking: I think the formula for power should be: (Internal+External)xQuantity. Without the brackets you multiply the exterior and the quantity and add to that the internal, which doesnt make sense at all (imo). I can't find any other thingies in the rest of the formulae, it all makes kinda sense.

Good catch. Will fix.


About dueling, isn't it possible for a caster to, for instance, use his opponents greatest fear or just something he doesn't know and may take for real, to outsmart and maybe mentally damage his opponent? As I read it, you can't use this illusion magic in combat, but in fact, because people are already pumped up with adrenaline and react more then think it over, they would be quite the succeptible audience. Instead, maybe casters can still go toe to toe, but can gain minor advantages by creating small distractions for the enemy, just thinking out loud here.

True. Such as say one sword was real and one was an illusion and I wielded both, or distractions in other places or if others were attacking the other caster while dueling. I'll think on wording and add that.


If I understand it right, all magic is present in the mind and can only effect the outside world through the mind, and only if enough people believe it is real. What happens if you concentrate on a spell, which enough people believed at first, and then lose faith. Does it fizzle? Does it Rampage? Or does it just go on, because enough people believed at first?

I think this significantly depends on timing. If it's during the time the spell is still being cast, the spell would fizzle. If it's after the spell is completed, it would keep going until it naturally ended. Though if another caster caused an illusion that something else were happening instread of the spell the first caster cast, one could potentially counter a spell. I'm still trying to pin down the exact characteristics of rampant spells, because I think its described two different ways in OP, and thats not good. As it stands, its as I said earlier: Rampancy only happens when no one controls a spell...like a balloon when someone lets go of it while inflating. Overloading is when that balloon bursts while inflating it. (i actually really like that analogy...)

Now some clearification points before I can make a statement about these:



What is this "Alderic's Cusp"?

Alderic's Cusp = the point at which the suspension of disbelief collapses.

the "or the" that came right after it was "in other words". I'll put it in parenthesis to avoid confusion. Sorry bout that.



When you cast with 3 people, and 1 disconnects, do both the other casters get the negative effect or is it all piled up on 1?

The other 2 feel the strain of the disconnected person, but still might manage to maintain the spell at a greater cost of energy. If they can't handle it, the spell overload would effect them both. That's why its very risky to link, and often when linked in greater numbers, they catiously use aplification.


This is all I can find for now, if you want to have some help brainstorming and/or thinking up some mechanics, let me know, I'll be happy to assist. I believe I have you in my Skype list somewhere from the G&G project, so I'll give you a PM :smallbiggrin:.

Sounds good! I'm currently overloaded (nonmagically of course) with holiday activities and old friends in town, but things should be more toward a normal frame of mind come new years. :smallbiggrin:

Zireael
2013-02-06, 09:10 AM
Power = [Interior Belief (knowledge and experience create esteem) + Exterior Belief (quantity of viewer and/or quality of belief from viewer)] x Quantity of Casters
Quality of Belief (Exterior) = (Inherent belief of magic) x (Quality of Illusion or Suggestion) + Material Components
Quality of Belief (Interior) = (Ability) x (Experience) + Material Components
Ability = Creativity (Imagination and knowledge of casting) + Study (knowledge of object used in illusion)

Sounds a little too Maths-y to me, but I'd be willing to give it a try if you provided some examples.


And the fluff is simply excellent - I love the Barriers the most!

TheWombatOfDoom
2013-02-06, 09:17 AM
Sounds a little too Maths-y to me, but I'd be willing to give it a try if you provided some examples.


And the fluff is simply excellent - I love the Barriers the most!

Thanks for the read! The math is really just a demonstration of how things relate to each other, and work. As in, it's a logical way of explaining some of the information I've provided in a quick and easy way. Plus, if it ever gets more crunchy, I have that to work with. :smallsmile: There's really no crunch in terms of game mechanics. This is purely a setting based magic system. This means I'm looking at the hard details of the fluff as its crunch, and looking to see if the reader finds flaws with the work, confusion in the explaination, or ideas for things within the system.

I'm glad you like the barriers! What do you like about them? What kind of magic user would you be in this system?

Plato Play-Doh
2013-02-06, 12:21 PM
This is a really cool, unique system. As was said previously, the belief-based magic system is reminiscent of a childhood fairytale story, yet the execution is, in my opinion, far from childish. I like it! I have a hard time seeing how it might play out mechanically, however, and I can see that it will certainly be difficult to create the crunch. If you decide to flesh the crunch out a little more, I would be willing to pitch in however possible, though I can't promise that I would be of much use. In conclusion, this is an awesome setting that is clearly well thought-out, and I am anxious to see some more cool stuff, both with your magic system and with anything else you've thought up!

killer_monk
2013-02-09, 01:12 AM
So, something I've noticed is a lack of attention to Dragons. If they're omnivores and gave into their primal ambitions and whatnot. Are there some who didn't "fall"? What's the lifespan o'these critters? Are some intelligent enough to use magic? And what if dragons hibernated 1 year out of every ten or something due to a significant celestial event, you said you had star charts, right? You could even call that year something like the "Dragon's Winter" and then the other years based on dragon hibernation cycle. Not saying to give them front stage, just saying that a year without dragons would have to be pretty widely celebrated.

Anyways, looking fine. I think I'll continue to drop in whenever I get a new idea!

TheWombatOfDoom
2013-02-11, 11:39 AM
So, something I've noticed is a lack of attention to Dragons. If they're omnivores and gave into their primal ambitions and whatnot. Are there some who didn't "fall"? What's the lifespan o'these critters? Are some intelligent enough to use magic? And what if dragons hibernated 1 year out of every ten or something due to a significant celestial event, you said you had star charts, right? You could even call that year something like the "Dragon's Winter" and then the other years based on dragon hibernation cycle. Not saying to give them front stage, just saying that a year without dragons would have to be pretty widely celebrated.

Anyways, looking fine. I think I'll continue to drop in whenever I get a new idea!

While I'm not focusing on dragons right now, I have put up some details so I guess I had this coming. I'll answer what I can, but if you could review magic for now, that would be much appreciated.

Anywho, some dragons are sentient, some are wild. Some sentients have reverted back to becoming wild.

Either way, while not getting into describing each dragon kind in detail (i have eleven kinds) know that there are many different ones, and only two are firebreathing and fly. The rest are different than traditional dragons. Lifespan is around 3 to 5 hundred years. No dragon can use magic. In fact, no one can use magic but the Ancients. Sentient creatures can influence magic, but only the Ancients can use it.

Dragons use Luck, though in the wild ones it's more of a area of effect, where sentient dragons can wield it.

I have many ways I'm controlling dragon population. Predators, disease, hibernation, longer gestation for eggs, smaller amount of eggs hatched. Luck takes an active role in keeping the population of Dragons controlled so that they don't kill themselves off. Things like evolving quickly to suit new biomes or migration or some of the things I mentioned earlier.

FreakyCheeseMan
2013-02-11, 11:58 AM
*Whistles*

And I thought I'd put a lot of work into my setting...

Won't pretend I read all of that, though I liked what I did read- I always enjoy it when someone comes up with an actually consistent model for magic, and it seems like you have a cool one.

Not 100% certain I read the "Visual" stuff right - on my first read, it looked like Visual magic could only be used to create illusions, Mental magic could only be used to influence the thoughts of others, and any material effects would require Physical magic. Is that the case, or is it something more like "If you can convince people the illusion is real, it becomes real" for visual magic?

Also, minor question. You mentioned star charts - does this setting span multiple planets?

TheWombatOfDoom
2013-02-11, 12:13 PM
*Whistles*

And I thought I'd put a lot of work into my setting...

Won't pretend I read all of that, though I liked what I did read- I always enjoy it when someone comes up with an actually consistent model for magic, and it seems like you have a cool one.

Not 100% certain I read the "Visual" stuff right - on my first read, it looked like Visual magic could only be used to create illusions, Mental magic could only be used to influence the thoughts of others, and any material effects would require Physical magic. Is that the case, or is it something more like "If you can convince people the illusion is real, it becomes real" for visual magic?

Also, minor question. You mentioned star charts - does this setting span multiple planets?

:smallsmile: Thanks for the interest! It's an interesting read if you'd like to take the time. I understand there's a lot, though. It's about to get a bit bigger still, once I get luck and destiny powers up along with their respective races.

Visual becomes real through external belief, but fades over time. Physical is changing something that is real in some way. So making it appear a wound is healed to make someone believe they are healed and thus, alleviate the affects of the wound for a time is Visual. During that time, that person will not have that injury. Though when the spell wares, it will be back to where they started.

Physical would actually heal the wound.

So you have it right on your later idea.

On the other worlds part, the setting doesn't involve other planets, but star charts helped me form things for cultures and races and so on. They're actual accurate charts of what the stars would look like from another planet located in this galaxy, which I enjoy.

FreakyCheeseMan
2013-02-11, 12:18 PM
:smallsmile: Thanks for the interest! It's an interesting read if you'd like to take the time. I understand there's a lot, though. It's about to get a bit bigger still, once I get luck and destiny powers up along with their respective races.

Visual becomes real through external belief, but fades over time. Physical is changing something that is real in some way. So making it appear a wound is healed to make someone believe they are healed and thus, alleviate the affects of the wound for a time is Visual. During that time, that person will not have that injury. Though when the spell wares, it will be back to where they started.

Physical would actually heal the wound.

So you have it right on your later idea.

On the other worlds part, the setting doesn't involve other planets, but star charts helped me form things for cultures and races and so on. They're actual accurate charts of what the stars would look like from another planet located in this galaxy, which I enjoy.

Gotcha. I've got a fantasy universe that's been kicking around in my head for a few years, in the process of trying to get it all written up for the forums... it is a lot of typing.

I like the bit about the star charts. Sooner or later I'm going to have to map out the stars in mine, but I'm putting that off as long as I can... I don't even know where to start, for building a real 3D map.

TheWombatOfDoom
2013-02-11, 12:24 PM
Gotcha. I've got a fantasy universe that's been kicking around in my head for a few years, in the process of trying to get it all written up for the forums... it is a lot of typing.

I like the bit about the star charts. Sooner or later I'm going to have to map out the stars in mine, but I'm putting that off as long as I can... I don't even know where to start, for building a real 3D map.

I took some astronomy classes in college that assisted me in that, though now I'd say a persual of google will help you find what you need. It's basically like making a flat map of the world, in reverse.

Other worlds that I have in my D and D campaigns typically are part of my universe. Even earth is from my D20 things. I like to think that they all tie into each other. :)

FreakyCheeseMan
2013-02-11, 01:09 PM
I took some astronomy classes in college that assisted me in that, though now I'd say a persual of google will help you find what you need. It's basically like making a flat map of the world, in reverse.

Well, my universe has a weird arrangement of stars (Sort of a gem-type arrangement, but it has seven points, so it can't be regular), and interplanetary travel and combat is a big part of things.

I may decide to move it back to a more traditional galactic disk, for a few reasons... one of the reasons I'm stalling about making the map is that I want to keep things like that open.

FreakyCheeseMan
2013-02-12, 01:24 PM
A thought. Do drugs exist in this universe, and if so, are they used by mages? It seems like they could be useful (raise confidence, lower suspension of disbelief, provoke hallucinations.) Not sure if it'd fit with your flavor, of course.

TheWombatOfDoom
2013-02-12, 01:25 PM
A thought. Do drugs exist in this universe, and if so, are they used by mages? It seems like they could be useful (raise confidence, lower suspension of disbelief, provoke hallucinations.) Not sure if it'd fit with your flavor, of course.

Good thinking! That could be along the same lines as mad casters. I'll think on it and add it in!

FreakyCheeseMan
2013-02-13, 02:53 PM
Good thinking! That could be along the same lines as mad casters. I'll think on it and add it in!

No problem - drugs and magic always seemed like a fun mix to me, anyway.

Veklim
2013-02-16, 09:51 AM
A thought. Do drugs exist in this universe, and if so, are they used by mages? It seems like they could be useful (raise confidence, lower suspension of disbelief, provoke hallucinations.) Not sure if it'd fit with your flavor, of course.

Considering we've discussed material components for magic on and off for a while, but nothing ever solidified, how about this? Drugs, herbs, food and drink make up the vast majority (if not all) of material components for magic. Either imbibed by the caster (to increase their capacity physically or mentally) or given to the audience (to increase their receptivity). Voila, material components explained.

Druids used dried walnuts in ritual, believing they gave them far sight and made them more receptive to the world around them, hashish and it's relatives are used in many eastern cultures (and the Rastafari faith) to become closer to the divine truth, many cultures also use alcohol and other substances for these purposes. Therefore the precedence is there from real-world angles, you may as well use it!

Doomchicken
2013-02-16, 11:05 AM
I don't really understand the dueling section of magic, but other than that it's a good magic system IMO. A first Dragons being omnivores seems strange to me, but the variety in the types of dragon is really impressive and definitely unique, and that makes it seem a whole lot better. I look forward to seeing more.

Plato Play-Doh
2013-02-16, 03:50 PM
Wow...this drug use for magic idea is actually an awesome concept, with so much real world support. I can't fathom why it's never been used in an RPG before! It seems so...obvious, like it should be commonplace, yet nobody (myself included) has thought of it until now? (Well, someone's probably thought of it, but it has yet to really be used.)Not only does it make sense under normal circumstances, but it fits so perfectly into this system as well. I like it, as I'm sure you can tell, and think it would make a great addition to the already spectacular magic system of the world of Aldain. FreakyCheeseMan and TheWombatOfDoom are officially both awesome! I declare it!:smallbiggrin:

Veklim
2013-02-16, 06:25 PM
Wow...this drug use for magic idea is actually an awesome concept, with so much real world support. I can't fathom why it's never been used in an RPG before! It seems so...obvious, like it should be commonplace, yet nobody (myself included) has thought of it until now? (Well, someone's probably thought of it, but it has yet to really be used.)Not only does it make sense under normal circumstances, but it fits so perfectly into this system as well. I like it, as I'm sure you can tell, and think it would make a great addition to the already spectacular magic system of the world of Aldain. FreakyCheeseMan and TheWombatOfDoom are officially both awesome! I declare it!:smallbiggrin:

I could take that personally.... :smallconfused:

I've been using what I can the 'Intoxicant Magic' system for years, including a specific type for my novel (nearing 1,000,000 characters and not even close to finished...!). Then again, I take a great many cues from history and myth, because I feel it's pointless to try and invent everything from scratch when thousands of years of human imagination could provide direct inspiration! :smallwink:

On a related note, or at least related in my mind (honestly, my head works weird....), have any of you read Weaveworld? The idea behind Pneuma might be REALLY pertinent to the Luck section of this project....I'll explain more if you have not read it! :smalltongue:

TheWombatOfDoom
2013-02-19, 02:21 PM
Considering we've discussed material components for magic on and off for a while, but nothing ever solidified, how about this? Drugs, herbs, food and drink make up the vast majority (if not all) of material components for magic. Either imbibed by the caster (to increase their capacity physically or mentally) or given to the audience (to increase their receptivity). Voila, material components explained.

Druids used dried walnuts in ritual, believing they gave them far sight and made them more receptive to the world around them, hashish and it's relatives are used in many eastern cultures (and the Rastafari faith) to become closer to the divine truth, many cultures also use alcohol and other substances for these purposes. Therefore the precedence is there from real-world angles, you may as well use it!

I'd say drugs would hinder mental and visual magic if the caster were using them, but aid them if they were casting physical magic, which relies on self perception. Drugs could also be used on subjects to lessen their grasp on what's unbelievable and what isn't, so that illusions have greater effect. I like this.


I don't really understand the dueling section of magic, but other than that it's a good magic system IMO. A first Dragons being omnivores seems strange to me, but the variety in the types of dragon is really impressive and definitely unique, and that makes it seem a whole lot better. I look forward to seeing more. Ask me questions about the dueling system so I can better explain it to you, and perhaps edit the wording to be better understood in the OP.

As for dragons, I can't wait to write up their bios, but know I'm not going to give away all my kinds of dragons, for fear that my ideas might be stolen. I feel their THAT good.


Wow...this drug use for magic idea is actually an awesome concept, with so much real world support. I can't fathom why it's never been used in an RPG before! It seems so...obvious, like it should be commonplace, yet nobody (myself included) has thought of it until now? (Well, someone's probably thought of it, but it has yet to really be used.)Not only does it make sense under normal circumstances, but it fits so perfectly into this system as well. I like it, as I'm sure you can tell, and think it would make a great addition to the already spectacular magic system of the world of Aldain. FreakyCheeseMan and TheWombatOfDoom are officially both awesome! I declare it!:smallbiggrin: :smallbiggrin: Glad you approve. Thank you for you kind words on the system! I'm working very hard on fate right now, and am running into a few problems. Care to give it a read? http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=271379


I could take that personally.... :smallconfused:

I've been using what I can the 'Intoxicant Magic' system for years, including a specific type for my novel (nearing 1,000,000 characters and not even close to finished...!). Then again, I take a great many cues from history and myth, because I feel it's pointless to try and invent everything from scratch when thousands of years of human imagination could provide direct inspiration! :smallwink:

On a related note, or at least related in my mind (honestly, my head works weird....), have any of you read Weaveworld? The idea behind Pneuma might be REALLY pertinent to the Luck section of this project....I'll explain more if you have not read it! :smalltongue:

Credit goes to Veklim as well, for without him, I'd be much less inspired in regards to many of the elements of my system. He's been great for brainstorming when all others abandoned me, and has been putting insight into this project for 7 months now!

I've not read weave world. Please enlighten me!

Doomchicken
2013-02-19, 04:52 PM
I don't really get any of the dueling - it says that it's a battle in their minds, then says that it's hand to hand with surprise spells (but wouldn't the target need to believe the spell is being cast?) and then it's saying it's minds again but then they duel as if magic is fact? What do duels consist of? As in, do the mages have a pyshic battle, physical battle, illusionary battle or magic battle?

TheWombatOfDoom
2013-02-19, 05:25 PM
I don't really get any of the dueling - it says that it's a battle in their minds, then says that it's hand to hand with surprise spells (but wouldn't the target need to believe the spell is being cast?) and then it's saying it's minds again but then they duel as if magic is fact? What do duels consist of? As in, do the mages have a pyshic battle, physical battle, illusionary battle or magic battle?

Casters cas surprise another caster, thus reacting out of instinct. Or trick them. Say I'm a caster that has 2 swords, and one is an illusion. I could convince the person I'm dueling that they are both real when one cuts him. There is no way to prove that the other is fake. That's visual magic.

With mental magic, two mental magic users duel in the mind. None of the spells are real, but are basically visual representations of attacks on the mind from one person to the other (in the dream like state of battle).

A particularly talented set of magicians could fight in hand to hand combat while also doing this duel in the mind. It would be very distracting, like playing two deadly chess games at once. Or perhaps one is a chess game and the other is tennis. :smalltongue:

Doomchicken
2013-02-19, 06:27 PM
I now have a mental image of two mages playing tennis with chess pieces.

But seriously, I get it now. In the two swords example, only one sword exists, but the target thinks both do, so in effect they do. That is really interesting. With the mental magic, the mages just try to overcome each other's minds, and the battle being seen is just a huge illusion. So what happens if a mental duel is won?

Veklim
2013-02-19, 07:59 PM
I now have a mental image of two mages playing tennis with chess pieces.
Best mental image of the week, have a cookie! :smallbiggrin:


So what happens if a mental duel is won?
My personal choice would be covered by the 'Overloading' section along with cumulative casting. Mental breakdown, catatonia, complete severance from magic, any or all would be possibilities... Essentially, losing a mental magic duel has the same effect as overloading a spell, the severity would be how badly they were beaten.

@Wombat
It's a big story, but I'll pm you the basics of pneuma in the next day or three, overview being this:
Pneuma use some form of bodily interaction or fluid, a breath, some spittle, a tear, blood, urine......etc. Make it as pleasant or unpleasant as is appropriate for the caster I'd say! Basically, without that small part of power from their own body, the magic can't start. Once the magic DOES start, it takes on it's own life, the caster merely 'Weaves' the effect from the released energies of their pneuma, therefore it's use is as much an art as a practice and can often have unexpected results, since no two spells are EVER the same, they are created impromptu. It just seemed to fit nicely with the entire idea around Luck in my mind.

TheWombatOfDoom
2013-02-20, 12:21 PM
I now have a mental image of two mages playing tennis with chess pieces.

But seriously, I get it now. In the two swords example, only one sword exists, but the target thinks both do, so in effect they do. That is really interesting. With the mental magic, the mages just try to overcome each other's minds, and the battle being seen is just a huge illusion. So what happens if a mental duel is won?


Best mental image of the week, have a cookie! :smallbiggrin:

My personal choice would be covered by the 'Overloading' section along with cumulative casting. Mental breakdown, catatonia, complete severance from magic, any or all would be possibilities... Essentially, losing a mental magic duel has the same effect as overloading a spell, the severity would be how badly they were beaten.

Well, if two caster's are duelling mentally, it's generally to dominate the other's mind. Generally, it knocks them out, but one could implant a thought, gain information, control the mind, so on. Basically you'd be at the other's mercy. Complete severance from magic isn't possible save by death, but broken minds have trouble accessing magic because of the belief behind the actions.


@Wombat
It's a big story, but I'll pm you the basics of pneuma in the next day or three, overview being this:
Pneuma use some form of bodily interaction or fluid, a breath, some spittle, a tear, blood, urine......etc. Make it as pleasant or unpleasant as is appropriate for the caster I'd say! Basically, without that small part of power from their own body, the magic can't start. Once the magic DOES start, it takes on it's own life, the caster merely 'Weaves' the effect from the released energies of their pneuma, therefore it's use is as much an art as a practice and can often have unexpected results, since no two spells are EVER the same, they are created impromptu. It just seemed to fit nicely with the entire idea around Luck in my mind.

Oooooo. I'm looking forward to this. :smallbiggrin:

Silverbit
2013-03-06, 01:08 PM
Hello Wombat! This looks pretty awesome. Some thoughts/ideas:
Does disability affect Illusion use? For example, would a blinded Ancient be able to use Visual magic?
I like the Physical stuff; would that include changes of temperature or compositions of gas (if kept in an enclosed space)? Maybe temperature should be in with Fate, as that seems to be connected to Fire and other elements.
The idea of sketchbooks and other aids for Visual caster is cool. I think it would cause a big movement towards realism in art and sculpture; you can't use Surrealist paintings for much (hey, wait a second: maybe that could be a thing? An order of Ancients with a substantial collection of weird images and Esheresque drawings, using them to create strange, alien dreamscapes).

TheWombatOfDoom
2013-03-06, 02:07 PM
Does disability affect Illusion use? For example, would a blinded Ancient be able to use Visual magic?

A wonderful point. A sensory disability would certainly disable a caster in some sort of way, depending on when the disability occured. If the caster was born blind, they would automatically not be able to use visual magic, as they have no frame of reference to create illusions from. In fact, they'd have an easier time with physical or mental, so they'd gravitate to that. Other sensory disiabilities would work similarly in other ways.



I like the Physical stuff; would that include changes of temperature or compositions of gas (if kept in an enclosed space)? Maybe temperature should be in with Fate, as that seems to be connected to Fire and other elements.

Physical magic changes gas to gas or solid to solid or liquid to liquid, but temperature involves fate. You've got the right idea. :smallbiggrin:


The idea of sketchbooks and other aids for Visual caster is cool. I think it would cause a big movement towards realism in art and sculpture; you can't use Surrealist paintings for much (hey, wait a second: maybe that could be a thing? An order of Ancients with a substantial collection of weird images and Esheresque drawings, using them to create strange, alien dreamscapes).

Correct, there would be primary movements toward realism, similar to the first motion pictures, people thought the train was heading straight for them. Eventually, groups would break off into surrealism to trick, confuse, and get around certain Rules of Fate, provided it disorients the witness into believing its real, or what not. Think of it as inception mixed with Wile E. Coyote. :smallbiggrin:

TheWombatOfDoom
2013-04-18, 01:14 PM
So, I'm working on Fate in another thread currently before I import it!

Opening post (post 1) (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=271379) - You can take what gets posted here as "canon".
Immediate Fate Discussion(post 24) (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=15074289#post15074289) - I drop a ball, it is destined to fall.
Elemental Chart (Post 37) (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?p=15104246#post15104246) - Discussion on how immediate fate acts on the elements.

But how is everyone on magic? Any other questions?

TheWombatOfDoom
2013-05-31, 07:22 AM
One year ago today, I posted my original post on this magic system in an older thread. Today, it is a mostly completed system, just in need of a little polishing! I consider that a great achievement! I wanted to personally thank you all for your questions, comment, and advice that have made this project into what it is, and for what it may be someday with your help! As an added treat, I'll post a description of the dream that inspired this magic system!

In my dream, I was soaring over a red clay desert. I am immediately exhilarated by the fact that I am flying. I notice next to me someone else is flying along side of me. I realize it is a green skinned orc, canines protruding and calm. We seem to be familiar with each other because he’s keeping pace with me and responds when I speak to him in a friendly manner. “How are we flying?” I ask. He then points down to a village built into the cliffs down below. I notice people gathered below, the look like small white blurs against the desert background. They’re staring up at us, some pointing. He then says, “Those people down there? They believe we are flying. So we are.”

TheWombatOfDoom
2013-07-17, 02:37 PM
And a bump for Tanuki Tales.

Tanuki Tales
2013-07-18, 07:46 AM
Before I give any other kind of feedback and such, I need a more in-depth explanation of what exactly is the difference between the three forces. Magic, as far as I can tell, is basically the Waaaagh! from Warhammer 40k Orcs. But what about Fate and Luck?

Also, I'd suggest giving them different names to better reflect what they're supposed to represent.

TheWombatOfDoom
2013-07-18, 08:11 AM
Luck as a system isn't complete yet, and Fate is still being worked on, but I'll give it my best shot.

Think of Luck and Fate as two halves of a battery. Not the positive and negative sides, split the battery right down the middle length-wise. With me? Alright. So both halves consist of the four classical elements (fire, water, wind, earth). In fate - we have the elements as individuals working as a whole to create the world, and the way things work in that world, a place for life to be able to be, or not and so on. Its the conditions and reactions that make up the universe. Then the other half - Luck - you have the four elements as one cohesive combination, resulting in various forms and walks of life. Like a battery, both halves have a positive and negative side. With Fate, we have the radicals - the extreame positive and negative. Not good and bad, but hot and cold, light and dark, so on. To sustain life, you need a balance between these two radicals. In Luck, the positive and negative side is life and death. Neither are bad. They are both neccesary and part of the life cycle.

Magic binds these two together. Is a result of these two forces existing together. And can act like either in its own way.

The control of one of these forces are supernatural. There are only three races that can do such things, one for each force.

The names I chose based on over arching themes. For Fate, I think of physics as - I drop a ball, gravity dictates that it is destined to fall when I let go. And then another part of it is that elves have the power to see the future. So the name Fate fit well.

Luck is named luck because evolution and adaptation and such is greatly dependant on luck. Luck is also commonly thought of as the opposite of Fate in this world and in general (also refered to as chance).

Magic is doing things that normally are aren't in line with the rules of nature, and this is certainly true here. Magic bends the other forces based on perception. I suppose there's another name out there for what Magic is, but I feel it works the best. You're welcome to mention why you disagree with my naming decisions.

That said, right now Magic (post 2) is the only part of the system that is finished, and so is what I'm looking for feed back on. I think the first post will be a bit more clear when I finally get a better grasp on how Luck will specifically work. :smallsmile:

Tanuki Tales
2013-07-18, 09:40 AM
So Fate is Force, Luck is Life and Magic is the Soul?

Like in Terry Pratchett's Discworld, you have Death acting as the intermediary between mortality and the greater workings of things. The Auditors represent the cold mechanics of existence and in the absence of Death doing his duty, animated and existence become warped and thrown out of balance and runs amok.

TheWombatOfDoom
2013-07-18, 10:12 AM
So Fate is Force, Luck is Life and Magic is the Soul?

Essentially.


Like in Terry Pratchett's Discworld, you have Death acting as the intermediary between mortality and the greater workings of things. The Auditors represent the cold mechanics of existence and in the absence of Death doing his duty, animated and existence become warped and thrown out of balance and runs amok.

I hear Mr. Pratchett's works mentioned to me often, though the only book I've read by him was called - Interesting Times. While it was a fun read, I found myself constantly distracted because of his writing style. So what you're saying is that in the Pratchett 'Verse - Auditors are like Fate Wielders, and Death as what I have magic being, and the absense of death being animation, life, and so on, or Luck?

Tanuki Tales
2013-07-18, 11:03 AM
I hear Mr. Pratchett's works mentioned to me often, though the only book I've read by him was called - Interesting Times. While it was a fun read, I found myself constantly distracted because of his writing style. So what you're saying is that in the Pratchett 'Verse - Auditors are like Fate Wielders, and Death as what I have magic being, and the absense of death being animation, life, and so on, or Luck?

The Auditors are the omniversal bureaucrats who make sure that atoms spin and that gravity makes things fall. They utterly despise sentient thought and mortal beings, seeing them as just massive gunk in the gears of what would otherwise be a perfect machine. They've tried more than once to wipe out all life on the Discworld.

Death does what death does. He ushers souls onto the other side of things and takes care of things that upset the balance that he's allowed to intercede on. He is utterly fascinated with humans and to this end he tends to bend and break the rules. And when he can't, he nudges his human granddaughter (long story) or someone else to do things.

The one time that Death had to abdicate his position and the replacement didn't do its job properly, there ended up being a parasitic sentient shopping mall that tried to eat everyone in Ankh Morpork. That and the dead started to rise up and magic went a little wonky, among other things.

TheWombatOfDoom
2013-07-18, 11:11 AM
The Auditors are the omniversal bureaucrats who make sure that atoms spin and that gravity makes things fall. They utterly despise sentient thought and mortal beings, seeing them as just massive gunk in the gears of what would otherwise be a perfect machine. They've tried more than once to wipe out all life on the Discworld.

Death does what death does. He ushers souls onto the other side of things and takes care of things that upset the balance that he's allowed to intercede on. He is utterly fascinated with humans and to this end he tends to bend and break the rules. And when he can't, he nudges his human granddaughter (long story) or someone else to do things.

The one time that Death had to abdicate his position and the replacement didn't do its job properly, there ended up being a parasitic sentient shopping mall that tried to eat everyone in Ankh Morpork. That and the dead started to rise up and magic went a little wonky, among other things.

Hmm, interesting. So, is this just a comparison to how another writer has it set up, or is there a suggestion in here on how I might work something?

Tanuki Tales
2013-07-18, 06:57 PM
Hmm, interesting. So, is this just a comparison to how another writer has it set up, or is there a suggestion in here on how I might work something?

Just how I view your interaction of your three forces.

TheWombatOfDoom
2013-07-19, 01:51 PM
Just how I view your interaction of your three forces.

Gotcha. :smallcool: I think I get what you're saying...anywho, how do you like the magic description as it stands so far?

Tanuki Tales
2013-07-19, 06:39 PM
Gotcha. :smallcool: I think I get what you're saying...anywho, how do you like the magic description as it stands so far?

I think it's a nice balancing factor if Magic is more like Voodoo.

And I thought you said there were no mechanics to this.

TheWombatOfDoom
2013-07-20, 11:44 AM
And I thought you said there were no mechanics to this.

I'm confused...what are you referring to? Are you saying I'm implying that there is mechanics? Or that I said there isn't and you're finding some...? I said that the fluff is the mechanics, and may one day turn into a game system, but right now all of this is a system for the setting that is all setting material.

As I said through our PM's, I originally requested your thoughts on the Magic system on the second post, to see if it was clear, concise, and consistent. In other words, any grammatical errors, things that don't make sense, questions you might have on the system, and ideas you might have based on such a thing are the kinds of things I'm looking for. In other words, a critique.

Also, what do you mean on this Voodoo suggestion? I'm intrigued, but I'm not sure how you mean?

Tanuki Tales
2013-07-22, 01:44 PM
I'm confused...what are you referring to? Are you saying I'm implying that there is mechanics? Or that I said there isn't and you're finding some...? I said that the fluff is the mechanics, and may one day turn into a game system, but right now all of this is a system for the setting that is all setting material.

You have a thread on the main homebrew subforum that seems to be discussing mechanics attached to the fluff that is this thread. I didn't read it in-depth, so I may be missing something, but it left me a little confused.


Also, what do you mean on this Voodoo suggestion? I'm intrigued, but I'm not sure how you mean?

Basically Voodoo gets portrayed a lot in media (like in Skeleton Key) as relying heavily not only on the potency of the caster but that the subject of the spell believes in it. So the more that a Voodoo practitioner can make those they intend to affect with their magic believe that they're in fact being affected, the more powerful it is.

So kind of like the Shadow Evocation and Shadow Conjuration spells.

Actually, that'd be a neat limiter on magic as a whole in basic d20 games. Have targets make disbelieve checks against spells and the higher they beat the DC by, the less the spell does. But it still does something because the magic is real no matter how you slice it. And then that could add increasing penalties to disbelieve further spells from the same caster.

Though how that would work with caster to caster combat, I don't know.

TheWombatOfDoom
2013-07-22, 02:00 PM
You have a thread on the main homebrew subforum that seems to be discussing mechanics attached to the fluff that is this thread. I didn't read it in-depth, so I may be missing something, but it left me a little confused.

That thread is based on the second force, Fate. This is the central thread for anything pertaining to Aldain. It's also where I place finished systems applying to the forces for review. Fate is still being worked on, magic is done. Hense the different threads.

I'll respond to the Voodoo a little later, gotta head out.

TheWombatOfDoom
2013-07-24, 06:55 AM
Basically Voodoo gets portrayed a lot in media (like in Skeleton Key) as relying heavily not only on the potency of the caster but that the subject of the spell believes in it. So the more that a Voodoo practitioner can make those they intend to affect with their magic believe that they're in fact being affected, the more powerful it is.

So kind of like the Shadow Evocation and Shadow Conjuration spells.

Actually, that'd be a neat limiter on magic as a whole in basic d20 games. Have targets make disbelieve checks against spells and the higher they beat the DC by, the less the spell does. But it still does something because the magic is real no matter how you slice it. And then that could add increasing penalties to disbelieve further spells from the same caster.

Though how that would work with caster to caster combat, I don't know.

Interesting. I had no idea tha Voodoo had some similarities to my system. I'll have to research that vien more.

When/if this gets turned into an actual game, instead of "just" story mechanics, that would be an interesting mechanic to have in play. Casters as a whole would get better check saves against other illusions, and would likely need circumstance bonuses to get a spell off against another caster.

TheWombatOfDoom
2013-07-30, 08:41 AM
So, for fun, I'm breaking down the spells in the 3.5 PHB into which power it would fit into. For something like Disguise Self as Magic, or Call lightning for Fate, these are pretty obvious, but for some other ones...they're not as clear cut. Such as Aid. With Aid, it grants a morale bonus to make something have better attacks, and saves against fear. Seems to me like Magic, since its a morale bonus, making someone believe they are better, so they are. But some other enhancements might be something Luck might deal with, such as Bark Skin...at least I think that's how I'd do it. :smallbiggrin: Its certainly interesting!

TheWombatOfDoom
2013-08-01, 02:17 PM
Getting further on the list, though it will likely be altered as Luck and Fate are finished. A lot of spells that are fate could be accomplished with visual magic as well, as well as a lot of Luck spells.

Veklim
2013-08-02, 05:05 PM
I'm not entirely surprised by this. Right from inception it was fairly obvious that many of the things both Luck and Fate would be able to do, could be at least partially replicated, faked or approximated with Magic. Ibd expect a good 30% crossover from both Fate and Luck within the Magic repertoire honestly, especially if you go onto dual school spells and some of the limited caster list spells like ranger and assassin.

Thing is, the mechanics I have started to see floating through my head bear little-to-no resemblence to spells on the whole, I think you're looking at stuff closer to Invocations and Maneouvers for the feel I've been getting, especially on Fate and Luck...Magic might still have things akin to spells, but even then the progression and fluff-mechanics already in place would lean away from the Vancian system rather fast.

TheWombatOfDoom
2013-08-02, 07:49 PM
I'm not entirely surprised by this. Right from inception it was fairly obvious that many of the things both Luck and Fate would be able to do, could be at least partially replicated, faked or approximated with Magic. Ibd expect a good 30% crossover from both Fate and Luck within the Magic repertoire honestly, especially if you go onto dual school spells and some of the limited caster list spells like ranger and assassin.

Thing is, the mechanics I have started to see floating through my head bear little-to-no resemblence to spells on the whole, I think you're looking at stuff closer to Invocations and Maneouvers for the feel I've been getting, especially on Fate and Luck...Magic might still have things akin to spells, but even then the progression and fluff-mechanics already in place would lean away from the Vancian system rather fast.

Yeah, its not really me trying to convert it. Its more looking at the list to see exactly what my systems cover, and what they do not. And an exercise to assist in familiarizing myself with the intricacies of my system. Discovering, for instance, the amount of cross over was thought of, but not in any great length. Also, that my systems don't deal with alignment properties is important to realize. Finally, changing or improving the body of another is something I've been thinking about in regards to luck, and so I wanted to check out those for inspiration. :smallsmile:

Alexkubel
2013-08-04, 03:32 PM
hmmm intresting


I could see my group basically causing utter chaos with what we've labelled the 'External Physics Override' this is caused by a vehicle moving at speed though another world e.g. an Panzer IV unique (it has to be a 'unique' in our system to apply the override meaning that it must come from another world) when a certain speed is reached the physics bow wave extends in front of the vehicle, magic within the area between the bow wave and the tank, fails automatically, if it cannot generate enough lift to fly, it falls. if it requires magic to live, it dies, if it is purely magic, it is banished. ect. ect.

usually at 20 km/h the bow wave begins to extend behind the vehicle.
at 60 km/h the vehicle usually begins to ride into the wave, and the front (or back if it's reversing) and it rears up, impressive, but very dangerous.
at 87km/h it begins to heat up and falls into the wave, this shock can decimate mages within miles (usually insanity), the quicker it goes past 87 km/h the larger the area affected, the effect is so sudden it will take even the crew (and has numberous times). the vehicle also plows into the ground.

with their 'accedential' reanimation of their orginal tanker group, who fought mages in 1944, things if they go to here could be spectacular.

also they want to know what spells could they use to 'summon' their tank back.

TheWombatOfDoom
2013-08-04, 03:58 PM
hmmm intresting


I could see my group basically causing utter chaos with what we've labelled the 'External Physics Override' this is caused by a vehicle moving at speed though another world e.g. an Panzer IV unique (it has to be a 'unique' in our system to apply the override meaning that it must come from another world) when a certain speed is reached the physics bow wave extends in front of the vehicle, magic within the area between the bow wave and the tank, fails automatically, if it cannot generate enough lift to fly, it falls. if it requires magic to live, it dies, if it is purely magic, it is banished. ect. ect.

usually at 20 km/h the bow wave begins to extend behind the vehicle.
at 60 km/h the vehicle usually begins to ride into the wave, and the front (or back if it's reversing) and it rears up, impressive, but very dangerous.
at 87km/h it begins to heat up and falls into the wave, this shock can decimate mages within miles (usually insanity), the quicker it goes past 87 km/h the larger the area affected, the effect is so sudden it will take even the crew (and has numberous times). the vehicle also plows into the ground.

with their 'accedential' reanimation of their orginal tanker group, who fought mages in 1944, things if they go to here could be spectacular.

also they want to know what spells could they use to 'summon' their tank back.

So you're talking about a car coming from another universe/world, that works on a different magic system, and how it would apply to mine? I'm a bit confused at what you're saying in pertaining to this magic system from post 2. Would you be able to explain?

Alexkubel
2013-08-04, 04:09 PM
it's not quite that, it's called 'external physics override' in that it basically makes only fate work, and even only part of it, the best description would be copy paste over a certain area, but for it to exist in that area certain conditions must be fulfilled, the effects are not permanent, but they still are dangerous.

your setting is a beautiful concept, I like walls of text personally, you covered things in detail, this means I can get a better interaction between 'external physics override' and your world. the bow wave is more or less in this case pure power, due to the nature of magic, it isn't nearly as dangerous as other places where they've been. in that if you don't believe or refuse to believe then the effects of the bow wave are minimal, though getting crushed by a tank is still painful. though judging by your system I could but them in an age of fate, therefor making the 'external physics override' redundant, only and very dangerous to the user device, or not functional due to the fact that in our base system basically is totally just fate, so there would b no real effect.

Veklim
2013-08-05, 08:38 AM
..............

*blink*

*blink blink*

..............

We regret to inform you Veklim is at a loss for words, please enjoy this light entertainment whilst we attempt to rectify the fault...
(^'-'^) <('-'< ) (v'-'v) (>'-')> (^'-'^) <('-'< ) (v'-'v) (>'-')> (^'-'^) <('-'< ) (v'-'v)

TheWombatOfDoom
2013-08-05, 08:43 AM
it's not quite that, it's called 'external physics override' in that it basically makes only fate work, and even only part of it, the best description would be copy paste over a certain area, but for it to exist in that area certain conditions must be fulfilled, the effects are not permanent, but they still are dangerous.

your setting is a beautiful concept, I like walls of text personally, you covered things in detail, this means I can get a better interaction between 'external physics override' and your world. the bow wave is more or less in this case pure power, due to the nature of magic, it isn't nearly as dangerous as other places where they've been. in that if you don't believe or refuse to believe then the effects of the bow wave are minimal, though getting crushed by a tank is still painful. though judging by your system I could but them in an age of fate, therefor making the 'external physics override' redundant, only and very dangerous to the user device, or not functional due to the fact that in our base system basically is totally just fate, so there would b no real effect.

Thank you for the compliments. I'm assuming that you haven't seem my thread based on Fate - http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=271379

TheWombatOfDoom
2013-08-15, 11:47 AM
I reworked the Magic formula to better encapsulate the system while also looking similar to how I have Fate's formula. Take a look! I think it still needs some work but it's almost there.

Magical Formula:

Power = [Interior Belief (Skill + Experience) + Exterior Belief (quantity of viewers and/or Quality of Belief from viewer)] x Quantity of Casters

Quality of Belief (Interior) = (Skill) + Material Aids
Quality of Belief (Exterior) = (Ability) + Material Aids

Ability = (Charisma) + (Accuracy)
Skill = Creativity (Imagination and Aptitude) + Study (knowledge of the subject of spell)

Charisma; how influential is the caster to their audience?
Accuracy; how convincing or detailed is the subject of the spell.

TheWombatOfDoom
2013-09-06, 11:48 AM
Figured I'd start one of these. :smallbiggrin:

Changelog - 9-6-13 -
Magic -

[Minor] spelling corrections,
[Changed] 5 Barriers to 3, combining 1 with 2, and 3 with 4. 5 stayed the same.
[Changed] Barrier 2 (which used to be 3) to be named - Comprehension
[Removed] conflicting wording within whole of text.


3

Related Projects -
Fate - Nearing completion - will be moved over soon for final review.
Things needed to complete for it to be done:

Elvori Characteristics
Ultimate Fate
Divination
Foresight
Premonition Points
Scribes


Luck - Started - Still in brainstorming stage.

TheWombatOfDoom
2013-10-30, 11:36 AM
Due to some Real Life issues, I had to set aside the this project for a brief time in order to work on those issues. Additionally, my home internet is "between services" due to a change in living situations. Should be fixed within a few weeks. Still - I'm around! And I haven't forgotten this thread, rest assured. I'm also planning on porting over Fate soon, once I get a bit more writing soon. :smallsmile:

Haluesen
2013-10-30, 06:57 PM
Well so far I like what you are doing here, even though I know I need to read more and more to really wrap my head around all of it. And those formulas are nifty even if I don't fully get them. But you are doing good work. Just take your time with whatever life is throwing at you. :smallsmile:

Rizban
2013-10-31, 09:02 PM
Just as a start, I'm doing a review of this on my first read through, so some of my thoughts might not be the most insightful had I given this a full, thorough reading prior to that. This review is literally my thoughts on the post as I go through it. Once I get all the way through, I'll likely go back and do some more reviewing with a more total understanding of your work.


The Ancients - The Wielders of Magic

Ancients have “the spark”, which gives them the ability to affect reality through magic. In other words, every sentient creature has the power of belief, but only the Ancients can affect reality with that belief. That power to affect reality is what we call ‘Magic’.

Ancient Characteristics:

The Ancient race is one of the three founding races in Aldain. They are often referred to by the Elvori as "True Men", as they are the ancestors (at least partially) of the "Hewn men", the race that was born through the coupling of the Ancients and the Elvori. The Ancients used to be one of the leading populous until civil wars and crossbreeding with other races nearly wiped out the race completely. There are currently only a known handful of them left (between one and two hundred).

Ancients do not have a written or spoken language. They communicate by memories. This means when communicating a recount of a recent memory, an Ancient need only transfer the memory to do so. Other more complex things can be communicated through senses, feelings, memories of objects, and even emotions. The Ancients with this ability can sense other Ancients' minds in a close proximity, and custom dictates permission must be asked before one talks to (or rather enters the mind of) another Ancient. A connection can be blocked off at either end in a communication at any time. Connections can be maintained once started over a long distance, but the farther from someone is the more energy it takes to send information. It takes minimal amounts of energy to communicate to someone you are in contact with or in the close vicinity of. Additionally, sleep or unconsciousness ends the link.

The only exception to this rule is in the connections that the Ancients have with their animal companions, called “Creatures of the Bond”. These connections are a sacred bond that each Ancient shares with his or her respective animal, and he or she can communicate over a much longer distance than ancient to ancient. The connection between an Ancient and his or her creature is very similar to the normal connection between two ancients, save that it is more powerful.

Female Ancients have cats of prey like lions, panthers, cougars, jaguars, tigers, and more, while male Ancients have birds of prey, such as eagles, hawks, owls, falcons, and so on. These creatures are sentient companions to these specific genders, though in extremely rare occurrences an Ancient has taken a creature of his or her opposing gender's type. In general, mental bonds with a creature can be disrupted by an external party and can even be magically blocked for a time if one is committed to the task. However, the Ancient-Creature Bond cannot be severed by anything but death.

The Broken Bond – An Ancient that has lost its Creature of the Bond, or a Creature that has lost its Ancient, will never be able to reforge this connection with another. This separation, if left to its own devices, can cause the remaining member of the bond to go mad. To counteract this, most Ancients who have a broken bond are tasked with becoming teachers. Teachers generally train other Ancients in casting, or other tasks in which they are often in contact with other minds, to prevent madness. More information on Magical Education can be found below.I really like the fluff setup. It gives magic a unique background and decent grounding for that usually unanswerable question of why ancient civilizations were more developed that current ones.

This first thing that absolutely jumped out at me when I clicked the spoiler was the word "populous" in the first paragraph. I'm absolutely certain you meant "populace." For some reason, this common mix up is a big pet peeve of mine. Please fix it. :smallwink:

The communication method would make higher technology difficult due to limitations in mathematics. If the language is based on memory and emotion, then you've got some serious issues. See the whole conversation on Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra (http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Tamarian_language). Just something to consider.


Magic

Magic is a power that functions through belief. It is a tool. It is neither good nor evil, just as an axe can be used to chop down a tree or to kill another. Originally, all peoples believed in magic. When the Ancients existed as a complete race, it was common knowledge that magic existed, and so all believed in it. Now that the Ancients have all but died off, people inherently want to believe in the fantastic, but do not see magic as fact. Therefore, the amount of power of a spell correlates to the amount of belief: the belief of the one casting, and the belief of others that witness or are directly involved in the spell. This causes a phenomenon where a witness directly influences a caster's effectiveness in casting, while the caster influences a witness's ability to percieve. The result of this interaction is a precarious balance of perceptional dominance between the caster and the witness.This sounds much like how Penguin God explains the nature of magic in Jack of All Blades. You can cast spells because you're confident that you can. If you don't believe in it, you're immune to it. If you don't really believe, you can still cast spells if those around you believe you can. Basically, fake it 'til you make it. It's a neat concept, though I'm leery about how it would work in a game. I'd hate to render a character completely impotent just because someone thinks magic is all just a hoax.


The caster is essentially the "igniter" of an effect. Without a caster's spark, belief is just a pile of kindling. To create a spell, a caster uses two different forms of energy to fuel a desired effect. The first type of energy is their own internal energy. This energy is made up of the life force of the caster. As a caster ages, he or she is able to use less of that life force to cast the same thing - similar to how a stronger individual might use less energy to lift heavy things. In fact, the consumption of energy used to lift an object physically is no different than the consumption of energy to cast a spell. The second type of energy is external, and taken from belief – other sentients.Does casting magic cause one to age more quickly as they use their life force?


There are three forms of magic that make up the spectrum of which magic is used: Visual, Mental, and Physical magic. Visual magic draws from internal lightly and external belief heavily, mental magic draws from internal belief and external belief equally, and physical magic draws from internal belief heavily and external belief lightly. A caster can only use one of these forms of magic, but that this is a fact of tradition and belief that multiple forms are impossible, rather than a law of nature.Neatly delineated. Affecting to beliefs of others depends on their willingness to believe while changing something incapable of observation of belief requires more from the caster. Makes sense. Last sentence should probably be slightly reworded. It really doesn't make sense as is. Try something like, "A caster can only use one of these three forms of magic; however, this is based on long tradition and strong belief that use of multiple forms is impossible rather than on the laws of nature."

Visual Magic

Visual Magic is forcibly manifesting your beliefs into an observable phenomenon. Maintaining such a phenomenon draws on a caster's energy. Once the illusion is formed, it draws on the belief of any who observe it to become temporarily real. Because visual magic takes advantage of both internal and external magic, it is often refered to as the most versatile of all three schools of magic. However, it is limited by the fact that visual magic is only temporary - the more powerful a caster is, the longer he or she is capable of maintaining a visual spell, but no visual spell can last forever, not even during an age of Magic. Different strengths of spells have different time limitations, so casters must be aware of these constraints so as not to be relying on the spell when its effect ends.

Unobserved, a visual caster could only cast small spells based on his or her own belief. A spell stops drawing on the energy of the caster when it stabilizes into reality through the belief of an audience. If a caster tries to push too far into conjuring a spell that is not wholly believed, he or she could expend his or her energy quickly and become exhausted. The more believable a spell is, the less energy it takes to cast.

It is easier for an illusion to be cast in a place that this item would characteristically be. An example: One could create the illusion of a cactus in the water, but it would be significantly more accepted by a witness if it were in a sandy area. Other conditions might factor into this as well, such as climate or surrounding area. Some casters use a material aid such as a sketchbook or notebook to assist them in visualizing all the elements of the spell, or visual aids that would assist in convincing a viewer of the spell.This makes sense, though I would definitely play up the fact that spells are based on the audience more than on the caster. Perhaps a lack of observers causes the spell to fizzle or simply cease to be.

I also have a bit of a problem with the idea that this form of magic is entirely transient. If it's based so strongly on the belief of observers, why can't continued belief maintain the illusion of reality. For example, someone creates a fountain in the town square of a metropolis where people are present at all hours day and night. As long as there is a constant group of people observing it and believing it exists, then it should be able to continue to exist with minimal, if any, effort from the caster. It just seems the most logical understanding of it to me. While I have not read the Physical description yet, I would feel that should be the transient one due to being based almost entirely on the will of the caster, ceasing to exist almost immediately when he loses the strength of will or the desire to continue maintaining the spell. Or, for another example, a powerful visual mage casts a defensive barrier around a city to protect against an invading army, designating a conjured "massive crystal" in the center of the city as the "power source." Thereafter, it's up to the citizens to maintain a "prayer vigil" around the crystal to "provide power", literally keeping the spell maintained for the duration of the siege.

Mental Magic

Mental Magic is used to forcibly affect the perception of another person. This can be as subtle as observing the perceptions of another person, or more powerful uses could include manipulating the thoughts of an individual, inserting false memories, and forcibly controlling a person. This can extend to encouraging certain emotions in a person or even cause someone to fall asleep or wake. This form of magic can be very effective for individual people, but not as effective for a group of people, unless a leadership role is manipulated to act upon a group, such as making a king decree orders. A material aid of mental magic could be a caster disguising them self as a person of higher status. Some casters use a specific gesture or phrase to assist in focusing the spell, such as pointing at ones temples or saying the phrase “would you kindly”. Some casters prefer to use a personal trinket of some sort such as a pendent or spinning top, to both assist esteem in the caster and focus the subject of the spell into one thought.This seems largely based on hypnotism. While this seems really cool, it might be a bit limited. I'll need to read some of the specifics before really forming an opinion on it though.

Physical Magic

Physical Magic is to alter your perception of an object (and thus, the object) directly in your field of view. This could be the size of the object, or even the composition. However, this process expends a great amount of energy, and the denser the material, the more time and energy is needed to cast. Physical magic is different from either of the other schools. Since it mainly requires the caster's belief to operate, physical magic relies almost exclusively upon what the caster is able to create. Because the target is inanimate, changes made to an object by physical magic are almost always permanent. Since changing the object means altering one's perceptions of an object, a caster must trick themselves into believing it is already something it really isn't yet. Often mind tricks assist in this process, such as covering one eye to lose depth perception or to close both after studying an object and picture it as the desired size.Alright, I can understand why you've decided such changes would be permanent, but I could also go for the ending of the spell causes the item to revert to its natural shape, albeit very slowly in the case of powerful magic. Being absentminded would be the downfall of this kind of caster in that case, as forgetting to maintain a spell would end its effects, then again, the fact that he forgot that he forgot would make reestablishing it later a simple task. This could in turn lead to humorous situations where PCs find a grand and lavish city that seems entirely real... but exists only when the spellcaster is awake and crumbles into desert sand after he drifts off to sleep at night only to spring back into form as he awakes the next morning.


In changing the composition of an object, a caster would often have the material they wished to change an object to handy to assist in the casting process. Then both objects can be studied for the spell. Additionally, due to the Third Barrier (see below in the barriers section), it is rare that an object is changed into something that is not of a similar composition or has a relation. An example of an item that is not of similar composition, but has a relation is water to ice. Due to the limitations of this magic, only still or contained liquids can be affected by a spell, as the subject must remain in the field of view. Healing would also fall into this form of magic. It should be noted that, unlike visual magic, the effects of physical spells have no duration. The changed object remains that way until it is changed again with another physical spell.
(Writer’s note: With physical magic, the objects are sent to/pulled from The Ulterior Realm)I'll leave off on my thoughts here. I'm not saying your method is wrong or suggesting you change it. Rather, I am just expounding upon my own assumptions based on the original brief descriptions given as a counterpoint to what you've devised. I can see it for both, but I still feel that Visual Magic should be more permanent, provided it has observers to maintain it.


Spells have 3 basic stages:

1. Drawing Stage: Caster decides the who, what, where, when, why of the spell. This is the period a spell is planned and crafted. The quality of belief (interior) is determined at this time.

2. Casting Stage: This is the period where the spell is actually cast. During this period, the subject of the spell begins taking on the desired effect, whether this be an illusion, person, or object. The quality of belief (exterior), when applicable, is determined at this time. The spell begins drawing on the energy of the caster at this time.

3. Stabilizing Stage: The spell is completed or dispelled. Concentration and the quality of belief of the spell determine whether a spell stabilizes or not. Once the spell stabilizes, it no longer draws on the caster's energy. Seems reasonable. That 3rd stage though lends credence to my ideas on Visual Magic though. :smalltongue:


A caster must overcome several basic Barriers in order to successfully cast a spell:

Barrier 1: Conception-
First, a caster must believe that he or she can cast. Once this is accomplished, a caster is only as powerful as how much he or she believes can be personally achieved. As one grows in knowledge and experience, one grows more confident in his or her abilities. Some casters will have an advantage to this based on their own creativity.This seems really simple and straightforward. A midlife crisis could totally render a mage useless though. Would be funny to see the students of a powerful archmage trying to reassure him that he really can cast spells or some old farmer suddenly becoming incredibly powerful due entirely to a combination senility and dementia.


Barrier 2: Comprehension -
People can only believe in the unbelievable until Alderic's Cusp (the point at which the suspension of disbelief collapses). People inherently want to believe in the fantastic, and that is why magic CAN exist, but still, there are some rules that people believe to be true, such as gravity. It is very hard to break these truths without heavily convincing the audience of the act. In this way, it is very difficult to get the subject of mental magic to kill his mother (unless he already harbored a disliking). Often, a subject's intelligence and knowledge influences how much that subject believes a certain spell, especially in specialized areas such as a job class. Further, the more familiar a subject or witness is with a spell may find the occurrence more or less believable as a reality. The mechanics of magic are kept from common knowledge, otherwise magic would never be more than an illusion. "A magician never reveals his secrets."A small audience that believes in your casting is much better than a large one that is partially convinced. As a result, the more convinced an audience is, the easier it is to cast. The more people that witness the act, the more convincing the illusion needs to be. It should be noted that most observers take what they see for granted, and so objects that are peripherally observed are often automatically accepted to be real.This seems more and more based on "real world" magic and hypnotism. You can't subvert a person's core beliefs, only twist what they already believe to be possible. Seems reasonable, but I'm still waiting to see how it plays out. So far, this magic system seems a lot more mundane and less flashy than more traditional game magic.


Barrier 3: Concentration-
Magic automatically sides with the caster's intentions so long as he or she concentrates on the spell before it "stabilizes". If events cause the caster to lose concentration or become distracted, the spell becomes distorted. From this, the spell has two options. The first is that it collapses and has no ill effect other than the dissipation of the spell. The other option is that the spell's intention could spread to that of a witness. To explain, say a caster wanted to fly, so he or she projects the image of them flying over a few people in order to do so. However, the caster then becomes distracted by something, lowering the quality of the illusion. A witness to the illusion looks up and thinks the image is falling, and even calls attention to it. The caster then gets transported into the air like he or she intended, but then plummets to the ground. If the caster did not keep his or her illusion low to the ground, this blundered spell could be the last that caster casts. For mental magic, distorted spells could damage or even backfire on the caster as the subject's mind rejects the spell. In physical magic, distorted spells could make the object take on an undesired and random quality. This is the part with which I have the most issue. While completely understandable and reasonable, it seems likely to add considerable work for the DM and lead to typical "wish twisting" seen in some games. I hope to see some strong mechanics related to this rather than a DM fiat type approach to failures at this barrier.


Despite these barriers, there are circumstances where these limitations might be surpassed. Casters who are in a state of heightened urgency or emotion, such as in sudden defense of a loved one or when in a rage, become totally engrossed in the task at hand and subsequently forget their limitations. This task often uses much more effort and magic than the task requires and so when the event concludes it leaves the caster vulnerable and exhausted. If a caster is sure of death as the only outcome to the situation, a caster might willingly use a lethal amount of magic for a desired effect and then perish upon completion of the task.Nifty. Hope to see mechanics tied to this.


A delusional or mad caster is another example of a caster that might surpass certain barriers. Casters who lack sanity lack reason, and nonexclusively projects their own personal reality. This is a terrifying concept in theory, but it should be remembered that the insane still have an interpretation of reality, just not one that is cohesive to the actual one. So, while one may seem to have no limits in his or her power, a delusional caster is often more limited than the normal caster is. These limitations may not even make sense. An example of this might be that an insane caster can only cast on Tuesdays, or refuses to affect anything that is the color blue. These casters should always be met with caution, as they are vastly unpredictable. Yay for support of the senile farmer who suddenly becomes a magical demigod! :smallbiggrin: Also, had you said "yellow" instead of "blue" in that last part, you'd be describing Hal Jordan.


Magical Formula: Power = [Interior Belief (Capacity + Experience) + Exterior Belief (quantity of viewers and/or Quality of Belief from viewer)] x Quantity of Casters

Quality of Belief (Interior) = (Execution) + (Capacity) + (Material Aids)
Quality of Belief (Exterior) = (Execution) x (Quality of illusion or suggestion + Material Aids)

Execution = (Charisma) + (Accuracy)
Capacity = Creativity (Imagination and Aptitude) + Study (knowledge of the subject of spell)

Charisma; how influential is the caster to his or her audience?
Accuracy; how convincing or detailed is the subject of the spell.:smallconfused: Do what? I mean, I get it, I just don't know how to apply it. These qualities have yet to be quantified in the rules. As such, I really don't get what these formulas actually mean beyond exhibiting the above fluff in pseudo-mathematical formats. If you're going to format it in this manner, then you'll need to provide numbers and how the different parts of these interact with one another. Hopefully, we won't have to solve algebraic problems to use this system. While I would enjoy that, I can't imagine most people do. Hell, I play Artificers just to play with the math aspect of item crafting, and Stronghold Builder's Guide is my favorite book for a similar reason.
Perhaps you should save this until after you've gotten past all the fluff and started introducing actual crunchy mechanics.


Magic is limited by what a caster believes he or she is capable of and what his or her ability allows him or her to accomplish. Therefore, Magic is both inherent (through creativity and ingenuity) and scientific (in terms of studying a wide variety of objects that may be used for a spell). The better one understands an object, the more accurate the illusion of the object will become, or manipulated in the case of physical magic. So, the less you know about casting, the less confidence you have in casting. This causes you to be limited in what you are able to cast. Additionally, not studying objects or practicing spells often diminishes the quality and effect of a spell. In essence, power is derived (as the equations say above) from interior and exterior belief. A caster’s interior belief regulates his or her capacity for magic. The less capacity a caster has the more energy it takes to create spells. Further, in visual and mental magic, it also causes maintained spells to have shorter life spans before the caster would need to rekindle it. At lower power, a fly spell could be something akin to a large hop, as it consumes energy at a rapid rate. As a caster gains power, the flights would grow longer and longer in distance, however power will never make a spell unlimited.This seems somehow paradoxical to what was stated above. It seems that, up to this point, the more you study magic, the more you'd realize it to be "unreal," and the less potent you would become as a caster. As described above, I would have expected magic to function like this door (http://www.goblinscomic.com/03042011/). The less you understand about it, the better it works.


A caster that has exhausted themselves casting can recover by means a person would commonly use to recover from normal exhaustion. Casting is like any other activity a body performs, and so the body recovers similarly from it. Over exhaustion could cause hospitalization or even in some cases - death. The body often attempts to stop a caster before he or she reaches the point of exhaustion, and will begin shutting down to avoid mortal exhaustion. Still, a caster can force his or her body to beyond this point. Since the ability to cast derives fundamentally in the belief that you can cast, it is common for a caster who has experienced a traumatizing situation or loss by magical or non-magical means to find themselves unable to cast for a period of time. Again, this is really cool. I'm still hoping to see some mechanics behind this to explain how things like this work. It seems like you're trying really hard to get the mechanics out in the fluff post without actually describing how they work in a mechanical sense. While this is usually a good thing, there are a couple of times (such as the formula "sidebar") that you delve too much into the crunch but don't give enough hard rules to do more than just make it confusing. I'd suggest you either separate them better or just go ahead and incorporate the crunch into the fluff and have a rules summary, or "putting it all together" section, at the end. Personally, I'd prefer the second option as it gives you a quick reference to learn the basics of the system and more thorough explanation on how things work and why they work in that way. Either way, they way you currently have things formatted will require reading through multiple times for it to make sense. There is just enough non-fluff material to be confusing but not enough to make sense of some things. Granted, I haven't made it past this point in the post yet, but I'm already feeling that way about it. It seems like great ideas but needs some formatting help or more actual mechanics introduced earlier or something.

Magical Instruction:
Training begins as soon as possible for an Ancient. At first, the parents are responsible for magical instruction. A child in this stage could exhibit some affinity for a particular form of magic. Once Ancient children show signs for a particular school of magic, they begin to be schooled in that path. As stated earlier, many instructors for magic are Ancients who have had their bonds broken. They take on pupils and work with them at a young age to overcome the barriers of casting.Makes perfect sense.


Each Ancient grasps these principles at widely varying rates, and therefore it can take years or as little as weeks, to train a caster in a specific lesson. The instructors also hone the caster’s talents that would aid them in casting, such as public speaking or persuasive writing, acting, music, or visual art.Makes no sense. I thought they communicated via telepathic transfer of memories and emotions with no spoken or written language. What's this stuff about public speaking and persuasive writing? Music or visual art, sure. The other two? Not so much.


To become familiar with material components of a spell, Ancients study natural and physical sciences, history and culture.Again, see the issue of Tamarian language mentioned above. History and culture, great. Sciences and math, not so much with the race as presented.


These seemingly rudimentary tasks will greatly aid casters not only with their interactions with people, but with reality in general. The use of magic is considered by the Ancients to be an art form. Each uses their talents in different ways, and so the results of a spell often are dependent on a caster. Think of casting like a fingerprint; each result of a spell is similar, but it doesn’t happen quite the same way. While it is possible for an Ancient to start training after childhood, results vary as to its effectiveness. This is because it is substantially more difficult to change one's beliefs after development than during development.Again, this makes sense.

Dueling:
When magic was fact, dueling could exist. Today, dueling is much more complex and difficult. Dueling is not at all the scene that one would imagine for two casters who are dueling – spells being cast back and forth at one another as it was when magic was fact. Instead, now that one relies on illusion to facilitate the reality of a spell, casters can no longer directly cast at each other. In fact, now casting takes place in one of two places: in combat or within the mind, sometimes both. Mainly, since magic cannot be used, duels are fought by hand-to-hand combat. The only variation to this is if one caster surprises the other, he or she might be able to cast an offensive spell at the other without the caster realizing it is a spell until after the effect.

If two casters are mental magic users, they could battle as if both could cast. These battles are interpreted differently. These duels are battles of the mind where one caster is attempting to dominate the other’s mind. This battle is conducted in something similar to a dream, and resembles magical dueling of old within the mind. Each attack on the other resembles a spell or weapon, but is in actuality a thrust of will. Each spell is a siege attack on the other’s mind, attempting to break the other’s defenses. A caster must counter spells that could do damage to the defenses, as well as attack to attempt to do the same to the enemy. This dreamlike battle is the way the minds interpret the conflict, and draws on the psyche of both to operate. Once one mind is dominated, the dream collapses as one of its two supports has been cut off. Very rarely, one of esteemed mental capacity could battle within and out of the mind, thus fighting a caster in the midst of a battleground. The rarest form of duel is when two casters fight both within the mind and in hand-to-hand combat.Very cool. Reminds me a bit of the psychic battlefield stuff from Hyperconscious. I like the ideas.

Cumulative Casting:
This technique occurs when two or more casters of a similar caliber work together. Commonly, cumulative casting is where several people of different forms of magic work together toward a common goal, each facilitating a different condition of the goal. An example of this might be a mental caster causing someone to be more receptive to an illusion that a visual caster was projecting.I suddenly have images of magical assembly lines putting together flying cars. :smallbiggrin:


Cumulative casting can also be implemented for casters who are from the same form of magic. In other words, this is two or more people working toward one spell for a common goal. This act decreases the amount of effort it takes to cast the spell, as well as the amount of exterior belief needed. It also aids in extending the length of a spell and often the effect of one. For this type of casting to occur, two casters must link their minds and become one thought or risk the likely failure in casting. This risk is occurs because while two casters may believe they are casting the same thing, even a slight variation or distraction may cause a confliction in the spell, or worse, there could be a dangerous backlash to one or both casters. Due to the nature of cumulative casting, the casters involved must completely shut out the outside world so as to not be distracted. All perception is internal as the casters focus entirely on the task at hand. This causes the casters to be vulnerable to physical attacks and the world around them while casting, and so it is uncommon to begin this technique without certain measures of protection put into place, such as others watching over the casters or casting in a secure location.

Even with both casting with one thought, if an event causes one mind to become separated from the other (such as knocking one unconscious), there could be risk of a rampant spell or an overload where the spell of two rests in one awareness and is too much for one to cast.Also cool. One question: Does this require a Thinkamancer?


Rampant Spells: A rampant spell is caused if all the members casting the spell were separated from a casting link simultaneously. Without the guidance and direction from the involved casters, the intended spell is naturally released without any control over its actions. This often causes dangerous and unpredictable results. Instead of an effect of a spell occurring some distance away, it could occur directly on the casting area, or directed at a random target. A spell that was not fully shaped might take on a completely new form. Sometimes these occurrences are harmless, and other times they are incredibly powerful. Often the method that causes the casters to become separated from the spell influences the effects of the spell. The reason the spell does not overload the involved casters' minds as it is released is because there is a sufficient capacity of casters upon the release of the spell, and therefore no negative effects occur mentally from the release (however the spell itself might affect them).Again, this seems to makes sense, but I'm concerned about the amount of DM adjudication needed to resolve the effects of the spell.

Overloading:When an Ancient willingly takes on a spell that is too much for them (overchannelling) or by an interrupted cumulative casting, an overload occurs upon casting. When a spell is too great, the feeling is akin to pressure being built up within the caster's mind. At this point, a caster can attempt to delay casting the spell for as long as he or she can withstand the mounting pressure of the spell. In this time, another caster would be able to attempt restore the link for the spell. After the caster can no longer withstand the pressure, the spell is released and the backlash surges through the caster's mind, rendering them either unconscious or severely disoriented in lesser cases, or in greater cases, the backlash could kill the caster. Some casters suffer from short-term memory loss or complete loss of the memory of the event; others have been known to go mad. Overloading basically causes a caster to lose a portion of his or her grasp of reality. Whether this is temporary or not completely depends on how severe the overload is.

Overchanneling has similar effects to overloading, but often has a lower rate of mortality since a caster is in complete control of the amount he or she cast beyond his or her ability, instead of an interrupted spell between multiple casters. When an Ancient overchannels, it is normally an implement of last resort. The more a caster overchannels a spell, the less believers are need, essentially allowing a single caster to successfully cast a more powerful spell without the need for any exterior belief. Unfortunately this also makes it increasingly hard for a caster to concentrate or stabilize a spell. The less stability a caster has, the more damage he or she does to his or her mind. Due to the hazardous effects of this practice, it is widely taboo to use such techniques. Education on casting mostly focuses on a caster knowing his or her limits, and caution on overstepping an individual's capabilities.Sounds pretty cool again. Is this going to be like a Wilder's enervation problem or more severe than that?


It should be remembered that once a spell is amplified, it is unable to be deamplified. When the spell is completed, the joined minds release each other. One could cast with any number of people, but each time a person is added, it becomes increasingly difficult for the next to link. Often, spouses and families cast spells together as one mind, because the close relations and emotional bonds aid in connection. Due to the current low population of Ancients, as well as the ratio of each caster in the various forms of magic, linking is not common greater than a pair, perhaps a trio in certain areas of higher population. Small pockets of family groups are the exception to this rule.Makes sense. Don't tick off a pair of Ancient twins... or triplets.


Subsumal Magic: A form of magic that has been hidden from the knowledge of all remaining Ancients is a thing referred to as Subsumal Magic. Subsumal Magic is where each of the main forms of magic is combined. This combination is directed at a living thing or several living things and transforms them into a new form. This often has unexpected consequences. When this magic was first implemented it was discovered the subjects no longer remembered any of their former life. Because of this, any loyalties a subject had before the spell should not be counted on post transformation.

Another side effect is that the spell is unalterable and irreversible. Additionally, it is often hard to predict what a combination of creatures will become. Some subsumal spells are the alteration of a living thing (such as the Dwarves), while others are the combination of several (such as Merfolk). The first subsumal magic accidentally created the race of Faeries. Many of the original creature(s) capabilities remain after a transformation, even if to a lesser degree. Dwarves are able to use a form of Physical Magic, as they once were Ancients. Centaurs instinctually knew how to walk in their new form when created, despite not ever having taken an actual step. This magic eventually was developed to end wars quickly. If a war could be ended by incapacitating the leader or an entire section of an army, it was felt to be an acceptable technique. This tactic became a leading factor in the downfall of the Ancient race when civil war nearly annihilated them, and nearly ripped the world asunder. It was the decision of the remaining Ancients and other prominent races to erase all knowledge of this magic.Nifty and a good explanation for the more bizarre biodiversity out there.

Reaching the end, I'm a bit disappointed by the lack of actual mechanics. Is there another post somewhere that I'm missing, or is this still in an 80% fluff stage? Overall, I like what I'm reading, but it really feels a bit empty as far as actual use in a game goes. I guess it's fine to have to claim a trance of Ancient blood to be able to use magic and seems to tie in well with SRD-style sorcerer fluff, but this doesn't seem like it would really be compatible with standard vancian magic.

Again, I really like this, but it seems largely unfinished. I can't wait to see where you take this though.

TheWombatOfDoom
2013-11-05, 12:59 PM
Just as a start, I'm doing a review of this on my first read through, so some of my thoughts might not be the most insightful had I given this a full, thorough reading prior to that. This review is literally my thoughts on the post as I go through it. Once I get all the way through, I'll likely go back and do some more reviewing with a more total understanding of your work.

I don't mind it like that, as then I get your first impressions so I can improve upon the piece by answering the unclear things, or at least referencing that things that are unclear will later be detailed. One thing I have noticed about your review is the lack of foresight of knowing that this project is currently in a pre-crunch status. In other words - I'm creating all of the fluff to be facts, so when I form a system around it, I can ensure that I have a grasp on everything. I didn't want my setting information and details and fluff to be affected by crunch until I was done with it as a whole, if that makes sense. I started this as a project to explain the magic mechanics for my novel, so this fluff is ALSO mechanics. Hard mechanics will be started at a later time, and I'd love to have you on board for it when that occurs. I just want to make all of this make clear sense, first. I anticipate it will be an entirely new system that will feature Magic, Fate, and Luck as three different powers, and not building on a system that is already in place. We shall see, however.


I really like the fluff setup. It gives magic a unique background and decent grounding for that usually unanswerable question of why ancient civilizations were more developed that current ones.

I'm glad you like it. I tried to give a cohesive order to the whole so you're not just thrown in the middle, and I never liked arbitrary “they just disappeared” explanations.


This first thing that absolutely jumped out at me when I clicked the spoiler was the word "populous" in the first paragraph. I'm absolutely certain you meant "populace." For some reason, this common mix up is a big pet peeve of mine. Please fix it. :smallwink:

Of all that have reviewed, you are the first to notice. My thanks! :smallredface:


The communication method would make higher technology difficult due to limitations in mathematics. If the language is based on memory and emotion, then you've got some serious issues. See the whole conversation on Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra (http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Tamarian_language). Just something to consider.

I guess I should rephrase that...Ancients don’t have their OWN language. But they have adopted a lingua franca from the other races, primarily the Elvori, since they often communicate, and have the capacity for speech despite their telepathic abilities. I think in general they’ve had a parallel of telepathic and spoken communication. They may even once have had their own language back before their mental faculties could accomplish complex communication. I do see the problems you propose to me from that link…do you have any suggestions to how I could help remedy some of these problems? Perhaps with the communications come a bit of context to the “mental statements” so that understanding is accomplished more accurately?


This sounds much like how Penguin God explains the nature of magic in Jack of All Blades. You can cast spells because you're confident that you can. If you don't believe in it, you're immune to it. If you don't really believe, you can still cast spells if those around you believe you can. Basically, fake it 'til you make it. It's a neat concept, though I'm leery about how it would work in a game. I'd hate to render a character completely impotent just because someone thinks magic is all just a hoax.

I’m not familiar with penguin god, but it is to some degree similar, but not exactly as you put it…at least not in this setting. Since there are 3 main races that always have some sort of supernatural ability that effects reality, it’s a lot more believable, so hard to be immune to. Plus, you need to believe you yourself can cast before you can cast. If you don’t believe, it doesn’t matter what other people believe, you still can’t, because you, as an Ancient, are casting the spell. The audience is the fuel, you are the igniter.


Does casting magic cause one to age more quickly as they use their life force?

Hm…I’d say no, more like physical energies…almost like feeling exhausted after taking a test or diffusing a bomb, or in times of high stress or arguing with your mother. Mental use still tires your body out. Just consider driving long distances in a car, and how exhausted you feel after. I’d say over channeling could age you, however.


Neatly delineated. Affecting to beliefs of others depends on their willingness to believe while changing something incapable of observation of belief requires more from the caster. Makes sense. Last sentence should probably be slightly reworded. It really doesn't make sense as is. Try something like, "A caster can only use one of these three forms of magic; however, this is based on long tradition and strong belief that use of multiple forms is impossible rather than on the laws of nature."

Fixed the sentence the way you suggested.

Visual Magic

This makes sense, though I would definitely play up the fact that spells are based on the audience more than on the caster. Perhaps a lack of observers causes the spell to fizzle or simply cease to be.


I also have a bit of a problem with the idea that this form of magic is entirely transient. If it's based so strongly on the belief of observers, why can't continued belief maintain the illusion of reality. For example, someone creates a fountain in the town square of a metropolis where people are present at all hours day and night. As long as there is a constant group of people observing it and believing it exists, then it should be able to continue to exist with minimal, if any, effort from the caster. It just seems the most logical understanding of it to me. While I have not read the Physical description yet, I would feel that should be the transient one due to being based almost entirely on the will of the caster, ceasing to exist almost immediately when he loses the strength of will or the desire to continue maintaining the spell. Or, for another example, a powerful visual mage casts a defensive barrier around a city to protect against an invading army, designating a conjured "massive crystal" in the center of the city as the "power source." Thereafter, it's up to the citizens to maintain a "prayer vigil" around the crystal to "provide power", literally keeping the spell maintained for the duration of the siege.

In visual magic, when a spell completes, it doesn’t keep drawing from those outlets. It gains enough energy to make the illusion substantial, and then that’s it. So while people might believe now that that statue is purple, there is no more energy being used to upkeep it after a certain point. Simple illusions (like a false wall) can potentially last longer because they don’t use as much energy and so can last longer (if enough energy was placed to make it last). More complex things like flight don’t have as long of duration because they use more energy quickly. In other words, visual magic causes an effect that will dissipate. The spell can’t be open continuously to continue receiving energy, once it completes.

Physical Magic

Alright, I can understand why you've decided such changes would be permanent, but I could also go for the ending of the spell causes the item to revert to its natural shape, albeit very slowly in the case of powerful magic. Being absentminded would be the downfall of this kind of caster in that case, as forgetting to maintain a spell would end its effects, then again, the fact that he forgot that he forgot would make reestablishing it later a simple task. This could in turn lead to humorous situations where PCs find a grand and lavish city that seems entirely real... but exists only when the spellcaster is awake and crumbles into desert sand after he drifts off to sleep at night only to spring back into form as he awakes the next morning.

I'll leave off on my thoughts here. I'm not saying your method is wrong or suggesting you change it. Rather, I am just expounding upon my own assumptions based on the original brief descriptions given as a counterpoint to what you've devised. I can see it for both, but I still feel that Visual Magic should be more permanent, provided it has observers to maintain it.

Yeah, I see. I’m still working under the hood on these, so I don’t mind your thoughts. These three magics have been moved around a bunch as I get a feel for the system. So, perhaps even if we don’t go fully into switching physical and visual mechanics completely, I’d still be willing to entertain the option of looking a bit closer at visual to make it work better. Perhaps some of my response to Visual will have changed your thoughts slightly too, but I’d love to discuss this more. I do love that visualization with the city…we shall see.

Another note is that physical magic is additive and subtractive. It makes more or less of an existing thing and pulls that material from another realm. Because of this, it doesn’t fade, while Visual is a temporary effect, which is why physical is different from the other two, and why it costs a lot of energy.


Seems reasonable. That 3rd stage though lends credence to my ideas on Visual Magic though. :smalltongue:

Changed it to better assimilate with the intended setup - 3. Stabilizing Stage: The spell is completed or dispelled. Concentration and the quality of belief of the spell determine whether a spell stabilizes or not. Once the spell stabilizes, it no longer draws on the caster's energy or an observer’s belief.

Of course, this could be subject to change if I change things around.



This seems really simple and straightforward. A midlife crisis could totally render a mage useless though. Would be funny to see the students of a powerful archmage trying to reassure him that he really can cast spells or some old farmer suddenly becoming incredibly powerful due entirely to a combination senility and dementia.

Exactly.


This seems more and more based on "real world" magic and hypnotism. You can't subvert a person's core beliefs, only twist what they already believe to be possible. Seems reasonable, but I'm still waiting to see how it plays out. So far, this magic system seems a lot more mundane and less flashy than more traditional game magic.

Yeah, this is a kind of gritty magic, where lots of stuff is possible, just not exactly the way you might have planned. And honestly, that’s one of the reasons I find it so fun. Creativity and opportunity come into just as importance as knowledge does. One thing to add is since there are two other forces in the world that affect reality, there is some allowance for the supernatural (and one reason people inherently believe in the premise of magic in general). A lot of this is influenced by D & D’s save system.


This is the part with which I have the most issue. While completely understandable and reasonable, it seems likely to add considerable work for the DM and lead to typical "wish twisting" seen in some games. I hope to see some strong mechanics related to this rather than a DM fiat type approach to failures at this barrier.

I agree, when I work on this from a system point of view, things will have to be worked out in a way that doesn’t always fall to the DM to manage. For now, however, there are none. Any advice going forward to ways that might resolve this within a game system would be encouraged. For now, I really like it in the setting, and think it fits well with the entirety of the setting information.


Nifty. Hope to see mechanics tied to this.

This will likely turn into some sort of Hero Point system, where they can sacrifice a point in one area to improve something short term. That’s just an idea, and not cannon, so bare with me.


Yay for support of the senile farmer who suddenly becomes a magical demigod! :smallbiggrin: Also, had you said "yellow" instead of "blue" in that last part, you'd be describing Hal Jordan.

Haha. Yes, something I like about this magic use is the encouragement of playing a various amount of roles, and exploring how it might affect how they would cast. A child, an adult, a senile man, are all going to play very differently in how they might solve problems or perceive casting, and that strikes me as cool, and helpful for immersion. Not to mention great for writing stories…


:smallconfused: Do what? I mean, I get it, I just don't know how to apply it. These qualities have yet to be quantified in the rules. As such, I really don't get what these formulas actually mean beyond exhibiting the above fluff in pseudo-mathematical formats. If you're going to format it in this manner, then you'll need to provide numbers and how the different parts of these interact with one another. Hopefully, we won't have to solve algebraic problems to use this system. While I would enjoy that, I can't imagine most people do. Hell, I play Artificers just to play with the math aspect of item crafting, and Stronghold Builder's Guide is my favorite book for a similar reason.
Perhaps you should save this until after you've gotten past all the fluff and started introducing actual crunchy mechanics.

No, this is more a summary of the basic way magic might work for me to understand it…and better explain what I’m saying in this by factoring it out. Fluff-ormulas. They may help with crunch later, though.


This seems somehow paradoxical to what was stated above. It seems that, up to this point, the more you study magic, the more you'd realize it to be "unreal," and the less potent you would become as a caster. As described above, I would have expected magic to function like this door (http://www.goblinscomic.com/03042011/). The less you understand about it, the better it works.

In some cases, this can be true, such as with senile, mad, or such, because it’s not subjective to the rules as they normally would be. But that’s because their general grasp on things is personal and non subjective. The normal person considers the world from what they know. The 1st barrier involves knowing the rules and that they can cast. The 2nd barrier involves using that information and knowledge of the world and casting in general, to better assist you in accomplishing your goal. Only mad people can subjectively “skip” barriers. Remember, if you KNOW you can cast, and these effect will occur when you do this, that original faith in what you’re doing cements into a reality for you, and then you can begin to learn about it. This is also one reason why external belief is important in this system.


Again, this is really cool. I'm still hoping to see some mechanics behind this to explain how things like this work. It seems like you're trying really hard to get the mechanics out in the fluff post without actually describing how they work in a mechanical sense. While this is usually a good thing, there are a couple of times (such as the formula "sidebar") that you delve too much into the crunch but don't give enough hard rules to do more than just make it confusing. I'd suggest you either separate them better or just go ahead and incorporate the crunch into the fluff and have a rules summary, or "putting it all together" section, at the end. Personally, I'd prefer the second option as it gives you a quick reference to learn the basics of the system and more thorough explanation on how things work and why they work in that way. Either way, they way you currently have things formatted will require reading through multiple times for it to make sense. There is just enough non-fluff material to be confusing but not enough to make sense of some things. Granted, I haven't made it past this point in the post yet, but I'm already feeling that way about it. It seems like great ideas but needs some formatting help or more actual mechanics introduced earlier or something.

Aside from the formulas, what other things seem to delve too far, so I can better set things up?

Magical Instruction:
Makes no sense. I thought they communicated via telepathic transfer of memories and emotions with no spoken or written language. What's this stuff about public speaking and persuasive writing? Music or visual art, sure. The other two? Not so much.


Again, see the issue of Tamarian language mentioned above. History and culture, great. Sciences and math, not so much with the race as presented.

They have to communicate with other races in convincing ways somehow. To better affect others belief and other benefits, they get an education on other languages and writings, as well as a summary on worldly knowledge, so they know what things they are up against with convincing others.

Dueling:
Very cool. Reminds me a bit of the psychic battlefield stuff from Hyperconscious. I like the ideas.

Good! That I really like, but not everyone always gets in a read through. I must have edited the description of this and mental magic above enough to make it cohesive. That’s a relief.

Cumulative Casting:
I suddenly have images of magical assembly lines putting together flying cars. :smallbiggrin:

Certainly gives Ancient’s a reason to work together, but eventually, this formed little cliques that became bigger cliques. Lots of loyalties and family/clan mentality, which ultimately did not lead them down a great path. :smallfrown:


Also cool. One question: Does this require a Thinkamancer?

No necessarily, but I’m sure it certainly helps make the process easier. Probably better protection as well in case a mental caster tried to disrupt things.


Again, this seems to makes sense, but I'm concerned about the amount of DM adjudication needed to resolve the effects of the spell.

A valid point. One I’ll likely need to consider sooner rather than later. Maybe a spell failure percentage chart or some such might serve…


Sounds pretty cool again. Is this going to be like a Wilder's enervation problem or more severe than that?
Erm, I’m not sure. Not really familiar with Wilders. Can you elaborate?


Makes sense. Don't tick off a pair of Ancient twins... or triplets. Indeeeeeeed.


Nifty and a good explanation for the more bizarre biodiversity out there. This is one thing I am very proud of with this setting mechanic, and one I felt was quite important to have. I’m glad you like it.


Reaching the end, I'm a bit disappointed by the lack of actual mechanics. Is there another post somewhere that I'm missing, or is this still in an 80% fluff stage? Overall, I like what I'm reading, but it really feels a bit empty as far as actual use in a game goes. I guess it's fine to have to claim a trance of Ancient blood to be able to use magic and seems to tie in well with SRD-style sorcerer fluff, but this doesn't seem like it would really be compatible with standard vancian magic.

Again, I really like this, but it seems largely unfinished. I can't wait to see where you take this though.

Hopefully a bit of my input helped explain where the project goal currently is. It’s definitely still completely in the fluff stage, and nearing completion for now until the other two fluff systems are done. After which I can begin to fully imagine a game for them to fit within my world. It’s definitely its own, I don’t think the standard magic system would be appropriately used as an influence. It’s going to be interesting! I’m glad you like it, and Fate and Luck will assist in getting you to fell out more of the overall setup.

TheWombatOfDoom
2014-11-18, 10:31 AM
In an attempt to revitalize the thread, I'm prting over some PM conversations to get them out of my inbox, and to get the thread active again for some folk I have looking at it, so they don't commit thread necromancy when they PEACH it.



Conversation with OhMyGodImOnFire:






Hmm... Did you ever state what the Ancients' life span was? It seems to me like they're immortal, or at least extremely long lived.

Also, reminder to differentiate between Visual and Mental/Physical magicks.

Also also, the fact that you mentioned Subsumal Magic, despite the fact that it no longer exists... either it's going to get uncovered or plays a role in your novel at some point, doesn't it? :smalltongue:


Ancients I was thinking to be around 250 years or so. Dragons can live to be 500 years old, and the oldest Elvori lived to be 756 before dying of natural causes.

Ah yes, I need to explain the visual is not permanent, and physical is. Now to find a good place to put that within that write up...

Subsumal magic is an integral part of the setting. Most of the extra races were created during that war, and are what (mostly) remains of a once great race. Its a back bone to the story more than anything. I think its a really interesting way to explain how the three races branched out to incorporate other humanoid races. I never like the idea of horse + person = centaur, at least reproductively speaking. This gives me a much more interesting basis, and the freedom to make my own combinations. :smallamused:
Guess the Ancients aren't so ancient :smallamused: And WHAT, something lives longer than dragons? BLASPHEMY!

I feel that putting it in the introduction might make for good, immediate contrast. Conversely, you can put them at the end of each of the descriptions of the schools of magic. Perhaps something like this:

Visual: "Because visual magic takes advantage of both internal and external magic, it is capable of achieving feats in both domains, thus making it the most versatile of all three schools of magick. However, it is limited by the fact that visual magic is only temporary - the more powerful a caster is, the longer he or she is capable of maintaining a visual spell, but no visual spell can last forever, not even during an age of Magic."

Mental: "Unlike visual magic, mental magicks are capable of causing permanent, irreversible changes. The magnitude of the effect, and the number of people that can be affected at once, depends upon the caster's power, as well as the witness's belief."

Physical: "Physical magic is different from both other schools of magic as well. Requiring no witnesses to operate, physical magic relies almost exclusively upon what the caster is able to create. Because the target is inanimate, changes made to an object by physical magic are almost always permanent."

As for Subsumal Magic... so many other races in the world are actually warped, mutilated versions of the Ancients? That's gotta be kind of disturbing for the real Ancients :smallyuk:

They're just working ages. It seems dragons, being tied to adaption and evolution, would be the shortest life span, tbh. Elvori, invested in Fate, the future, and the world as a whole, might live longer. Either way, I don't want there to be too many years on anything...I used to have a thousand years for one of them, and such, and I realized I needed to removes some 0's or get quite out of the realm of posibility.

An edit - Mental magic is permanent, kind of. I'll equate it to this story I read about a cancer patient-

Mr. Wright had highly advanced stages of lymphatic cancer. His lymph nodes were swollen with tumors the size of baseballs. His spleen and his liver, the bodies main filtration system, were so enlarged, that they drained 2 full quarts of milky fluid out of them each day. The doctors pronounced his case terminal, said that everything had been tried and gave up on his chances for survival. Interestingly, Mr. Wright heard about a new experimental drug called krebiozen for the treatment of cancer. Unfortunately, the drug was only available to cancer patients who had a minimum of a three-month life expectancy and Mr. Wright was not expected to live this long. Mr. Wright desperately begged and pleaded with his doctor for this drug until he finally gave in and agreed. The doctor injected him with the drug on a Friday but did not expect Mr. Wright to survive through the weekend. Unbelievably, on Monday, Mr. Wright was feeling absolutely wonderful. According to the doctors, “the tumors had melted like snowballs on a hot stove”. Just 10-days after Mr. Wright’s first krebiozen injection, he was released from the hospital and pronounced cancer free!

Unfortunately, this story does not finish with this happy ending. A few months later, the American Medical Association published a nationwide study on krebiozen announcing that it did not work and was completely worthless in the treatment of cancer. Mr. Wright, being extremely interested in the drug, read the study and his cancer suddenly returned, and he died just two days later! This amazing story shows us how profoundly we can enhance and/or inhibit the very biological functions that keep us alive simply by embracing and believing in either positive or negative expectations. When Mr. Wright believed that he was given the cure for cancer, his baseball size tumors melted away and completely disappeared in just 10-days. How could an ineffective drug produce such a miraculous result? The only logical answer is that it was not the drug! It was the interaction of his mind, body and spirit harmonizing with his belief! Similarly, even though he was pronounced cancer free by his doctors, when he found out that the drug did not work, his cancer returned aggressively and he died shortly after reading the AMA report. Never underestimate the power of your thoughts and beliefs to transform yourself.
-

It's an interesting read, and while I don't know if it's true or not, it works well for my system. Physical magic can be disbelieved, and still remain after the casting is completed. Mental magic has a duration (based on the effect) of when disbelief dispells it. visual just has a duration AND is dispelled with disbelief.

Basically speaking, yes, that's exactly what they are. Some of them are requested, like the Dwarves, but mostly, they were malicious or accidental.





Okay, that's cool. So I've started reading Magic... and I now realize that I get to play the idiot's advocate - that is to say, I get to be the one to ask you to dumb things down :smallbiggrin: Hope you don't mind, and feel free to give me a metaphorical whack upside the head for any derps I happen to commit.

This is something that I usually do for other people, and they usually find it extreamly helpful in describing exactly what they mean, as well as finding new ideas to branch out from based on simple conjectures of an outside mind. Heck, sometimes one overlooks the simplest things in a complex system. I've been needing someone to do this for me, so this is perfect. :smallsmile:



1. "Now that the Ancients have all but died off, people inherently want to believe in the fantastic, but do not see magic as fact. Therefore, the amount of power of a spell correlates to the amount of belief-belief of the one casting, and the belief of others that witness or are directly involved in the spell."

Could it not be argued that once you have seen something to be true and you believe it to be fact, that you have an absolute belief in it? For example, I've seen someone fit themselves into a tiny little box before, therefore I absolutely believe that it can be done. Once someone is able to cast a spell and it yields results, would they not have a massive boost in power? The same goes for a spells witnesses right?

That's a very good point. Perhaps to balance that - its common knowledge also that not all magic is real, especially since the highest populated race - humans - can't do it. Such as, just because I see someone fly, doesn't mean that everyone can do it. Perhaps putting in something about a person who's seen it once has a higher belief capacity, but also might get desensatized to it? This isn't really something I've considered much, so this is awesome. Thank you.


2. "This causes a witness to directly influence a person’s ability to influence the witness’s reality..."

I'm pretty sure this phrase makes sense, but the first time I read it, it sort of threw me for a loop. It might be a good idea to make it a little wordier to differentiate? Say, something like "The caster's spell is able to alter the witness's reality. In turn, the witness directly influences that caster's ability to do so." I don't know :/

Yeeeeeeeeah. Even when I look at it, its like - "wait what" at first. I'll need to change that. How about -

"This causes a phenomenon where a witness directly influences a caster's ability to cast, while the caster influences a witness's ability to percieve. This causes a precarious balance of perceptional dominance between the caster and the witness. "



3. Perhaps there is another factor that needs to be added for Visual, Mental, and Physical? Specifically Visual, which is able to tap into both internal and external powers, whereas Mental and Physical can only tap into internal and external respectively. If you've ever read Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn series, this makes it sound a lot like visual casters are mistborn, while mental and physical casters are mistings. Despite the limit you set by saying "each person can only cast one", it feels like someone could challenge that fact by advancing the same point I made above.

I've never read the series, acturally. By challenging that, I'll give you a little treat that no one else has heard yet. You're right. Any caster can really cast any of the three. But education and society of the race have made it nearly impossible, because all casters believe "choose one" to be fact, and so are limited. The main character has never had an official training, in fact he didn't know he was an ancient at all which will be a huge obstacle for him on its own). But before he knew about magic or that he could cast, thoughout his life he unintentionally was casting at certain points with all three...and we're going to see evidence of this, then when he begins to get trained it'll stop, until he realizes that he'd at one point he'd done something from each branch, and so then believes/knows its possible. It's going to be a big advantage for him.



Conversation with Dr Bwaa:


Part 1! (curse you, PM character limit!)

Magic
This is the weird one, since it's not really a snippet. I did my best to come at it from a variety of perspectives when looking for things to critique. I'm not really considering pacing or word choice for this one, except for where they might impact understanding.


The Spark

One thing that is never made clear throughout this passage is whether or not part-blooded Ancients can have the Spark. This seems like important information.


"Hewn men", the race that was born through the coupling of the Ancients and the Elvori.

"Hewn" is an interesting choice, since it implies intentional creation, whereas I don't really get that sense anywhere else.


when communicating a recount of a recently memory

*recent


memories of object and even emotions

*objects


can sense other Ancient’s minds

*Ancients'


their animal companions called “Creatures of the Bond”

Comma after "companions"


that each Ancient shares with their respective animal


I am firmly in the camp that "they" is a plural pronoun, and as such it is wrong to use it to refer to something singular. So whatever view you take, I'll probably continue to harass you about it if you write "whoever it was, he was going to take all their stuff".

:smalltongue: Use "its" instead of "their", as you do later.


they can communicate through a much longer distance

Probably "over"


The connection between an Ancient and their creature


have cats of prey

Is "cats of prey" a real term? Aren't all cats predators?


jaguars, tigers, and more while male Ancients

Comma after "more"


These creatures are sentient companions to each.

Technically okay but it seems like we're missing a word at the end.


Mental bonds in general can be disrupted by an external party, and can even be magically blocked if one is committed to the task, but these bonds cannot be broken by anything but death.

Garden-pathy. Maybe make it clearer at the start that you're talking about non-animal-companion-bonds.


will never be able to repeat this connection in another.

I'd replace "in" with "with", and "repeat" with something... else. "reforge" or something; "repeat" is a strange thing to do with a "connection".


This separation if left to its own devises can cause the respective half to go mad.

Comma after "separation" and after "devices" (see below)
*devices, not devises (which is the past tense of "devise")
There's nothing to be "respective" here. Use another word, like "remaining".


most Ancients that have a broken bond

If something is a person, it's a "who". Otherwise, it's a "that". Ancients seem peopley enough to merit "who" status.


are tasked with becoming teachers to train other Ancients in casting, or other tasks in which they are often in contact with other minds, to prevent madness.

This is a bit of a runon. I'd split this sentence after "teachers" and make a dedicated sentence for the kinds of things they teach.

Ancients Recap
I like the Ancients, even if "the ancient people who once knew how to use powerful lost magics" is a little cliche. I don't see these guys as strong main protagonists, except possibly later in a spinoff-type situation where the world is already established. You've set up their society as very foreign, which is great, but does not make for strong reader-hooking material, since it's unrelatable. They also seem to me like they're likely to be overpowered Gandalf-types, so watch out for that. I don't think you're actually planning to make an Ancient the primary hero of your story, but I'm just saying.


the belief of the one casting, and the belief of others that witness or are directly involved in the spell. This causes a phenomenon where a witness directly influences a caster's effectiveness in casting, while the caster influences a witness's ability to percieve. The result of this interaction is a precarious balance of perceptional dominance between the caster and the witness.

This is an incredibly cool concept. I could see it being difficult to lay out in effective prose when the more complex interactions between caster and witness get going, but if you build to that point correctly and put trust in your readers' abilities, I think you could pull off some really cool stuff with this. It raises a lot of interesting questions, but we'll get to that later.


A commonly overlooked fact is that magic does not happen of its own accord.

How/why is this overlooked? It seems obvious.


A caster can only use one form of magic.

Woah. Why? Is it a physical/mental restriction, a restriction on magic itself, or just a fact of the impracticality of attempting to master multiple forms?


Magic is a tool. It is neither good nor evil, just as an axe can be used to chop down a tree or to kill another.

This doesn't really seem like it belongs here at all.


This draws on a caster's energy to maintain.

Kind of awkward phrasing. "Maintaining such a phenomenon draws on a caster's energy" (and incidentally, what kind of energy? Are we talking about a mana-style magical energy, or is this more the "drains-your-life-force" sort of thing? We get some hints of the latter later on, but it's not totally clear how a caster might "cast himself to death", so to speak. I guess the question really is--are therephysiological symptoms of using too much magic, and if a mage cast himself to death, what would be the official Cause of Death? Simple exhaustion, or something less corporeal (if that makes sense) than that?) Finally, it's a little unclear: my sense is that the spell only draws on the caster's energy until it stabilizes and can be sustained by faithful witnesses. Is that correct?


it draws on the belief of any who observe it to become physically real.

This means "actually real", right? Not only for those who believe in the illusory version?


The more believable a spell is, the less energy it takes to cast.

This seems obvious but I'm actually really glad you spell it out.


Mental Magic is to forcibly affect the perception of another person.

You're missing a real verb in here. "is used to" maybe?


as subtle as observing the perceptions of another person

...I don't actually know what you mean by this.


“would you kindly”

lol


Mental Magic

I can't figure out how external belief factors into this, especially given that internal belief is apparently not needed. Who is the external believer? What happens if they don't believe, and what would that even mean? If I try to read your mind without you noticing, and you don't believe that I read your mind, did I succeed or fail? Do I have to convince you after the fact that I read your mind without you being aware of it, in order to have retroactively succeeded? This seems strange.


a caster must trick themselves into believing what it really is.

Or rather, believing it is already something it really isn't yet. Right?


Often mind tricks assist in this process, such as covering one eye to lose depth perception or to close both after studying an object and picture it as the desired size.

Sensible.


It should be noted that, unlike visual magic, the effects of physical spells have no duration.

This seems to be the only real difference between physical and visual, excepting of course where the belief comes from. But I don't see a reason why the belief systems are so different. It seems to me that of the two, permanent changes would be more likely to be sustained by continued external belief, whereas changes fueled exclusively by the strength of the caster would make sense to last only proportionally longer for a stronger mage.

Consider: Two bronze statues stand in the middle of town. Two mages, one physical and one visual, use their respective magics to turn the statues purple in front of a crowd. The crowd, presumably, sees no difference between the two changes, and they both become objectively factual.

Now, two days later, one of the statues suddenly reverts to a bronze color. The belief of the citizenry has not wavered, because both statues were objectively, factually, purple. Yet the spell that ended was the transformation sustained by those citizens' belief. Why?

Now, I did see your Writer's Note down there, so I at least understand why the Physical change remains permanent. What I don't understand is why (A) that swap only has to do with the caster's faith, and why (B) Visual mages couldn't just create an "illusion" of some object appearing from or going to the Ulterior Realm, which would then become fact--effectively duplicating Physical magic with less effort on the mage's part.

Incidentally, that Writer's Note has some pretty disquieting implications if people could ever perform Physical magic on each other.


Spells have 3 basic stages

These are sensible and very well laid-out. There's a lot of room for expansion in prose, without having to lay down a lot of rules up here. Good.


Barrier 2: Self Esteem

"Self Esteem" seems like a strange word choice here. You're basically going for Barrier 1, but specifically "caster must believe he can cast this particular spell". Personally I think I'd reword this and make it Barrier 1, and get rid of the current Barrier 1 (since that barrier presumably only applies something like once in a person's life).


Alderic's Cusp

This is basically a barrier against unlimited power, which is fine.


Barrier 4: Reception-

You lay down some interesting facts here, but nothing in this paragraph is actually a barrier. This seems more like elaboration on Barrier 3: "get the belief of your audience".


Barrier 5: Concentration-

This is cool, and a legitimate "barrier".

Barriers Recap
I think you only have three barriers here. I'm finding it easier to tell what a proper Barrier is by answering the question "what do I have to do to surpass this barrier".
1. I must believe that I can cast this spell. [1 & 2]
2. I must convince the audience that I have cast this spell. [3 & 4]
3. I must ensure that the spell stabilizes properly. [5]


Despite these barriers, there are circumstances where these rules might be ignored. Casters who are in a state of heightened urgency or emotion, such as in sudden defense of a loved one or when in a rage, become totally engrossed in the task at hand and subsequently forget their limitations.

This doesn't sound like the rules are being ignored (same with the Mad Caster below), but rather that a mage in extreme circumstances may have significant advantages to surpassing the various Barriers (namely, an altered state of mind that facilitates belief in the impossible). I still think this stuff is all very cool and I like that it uses extra energy to cast this way (doesn't this imply that one could essentially use Physical magic to replicate any other kind, given the willingness to expend tremendous energy to do so?). I just don't think this is really "bypassing" the "rules", so much as paying a price to overcome obstacles without difficulty.


nonexclusively projects their personal reality. This is a terrifying concept in theory

This is an awesome concept in theory.


Quality of Belief (Interior) = (Ability) + (Skill) + Material Aids

"Ability" and "Skill" are way too similar.


Quality of Belief (Exterior) = (Ability) x (Quality of illusion or suggestion) + Material Aids

Seems like material aids ought to be in parentheses with quality of illusion, here, or else the material factor would be much less relevant at higher ability levels, whereas I'd think intuitively that a stronger mage could make more use of the same material components.


Precision; how convincing or detailed is the subject of the spell.

You refer to this as "Accuracy" earlier.


Magic is unlimited to draw from.

This is a kind of broken sentence. Also, "draw from" where?


Therefore, Magic is partially inherent and partially through scientific study.

This sentence got away from you a bit with all the parentheses.


A caster’s interior belief regulates their capacity for magic. The less capacity a caster has the more energy it takes to create spells.

This implies that all casters are technically capable of casting any spell, but it might kill them. True?


At first, the parents are responsible in magical instruction.

*responsible for


A child when they are in this stage could exhibit

"A child in this stage could exhibit"


Once a child shows signs for a particular school of magic, they begin to be schooled in that path.

Singular.


to overcome the five barriers to casting.

I still say there are only three.


Each person varies on how quickly or slowly they grasp and understand these principles

This is pretty redundant. "People grasp these principles at widely varying rates, and therefore it can take [upper bound, like 'decades'] to train a caster, or as little as [lower bound, like 'six months']".


Dueling

This is basically what I meant earlier when I was talking about how your magic system lends itself to really cool things that could be hard to describe in prose :smalltongue:


Cumulative Casting

This all seems pretty well thought out and also very cool. It does make me wonder whether a single group member, for instance, could overchannel the spell, and distribute the ill effects throughout the group--or perhaps worse, the whole group overchannels and drops the load on one unfortunate caster...


Subsumal Magic

Yikes. Yeah, I can see how this would cause problems. It's not clear to me why this would be a melding of all three magics, though. Why couldn't you do the same thing with Physical or Visual magic (presumably even preserving the subject's mind)? Even if it would have to be done in increments to reduce the difficulty of the transformation, couldn't this be done by single schools of magic?

TheWombatOfDoom
2014-11-18, 10:40 AM
Conversation with Dr Bwaa continued:



Part 1! (curse you, PM character limit!)

I hear you! :smallsigh:

Magic

This is the weird one, since it's not really a snippet. I did my best to come at it from a variety of perspectives when looking for things to critique. I'm not really considering pacing or word choice for this one, except for where they might impact understanding.

That’s acceptable. I assume there’s a lot of redundancies, and parts where I tend to give more information than needed, but as long as I provide understanding, that’s more than acceptable. My intention is to have a system where people can be like, “Alright, this is what magic is like. Good.” From what I can tell, you’ve critiqued a nice variety of things, and pointed out quite a few things I’ve missed, so very productive!


One thing that is never made clear throughout this passage is whether or not part-blooded Ancients can have the Spark. This seems like important information.

A good question…and one I intend to answer when describing Humans and other part blooded Ancients. I suppose I could make a section in Magic that goes into each race, but I feel it more effective to describe it where its subject is, instead of having someone attempting to find it somewhere within the large description of Magic. I go into it a little bit in regards to some Ancients that have been warped by subsumal magic retain a certain connection to the spark, and I THINK that if a human and an Ancient were to reproduce, their child MIGHT have the Spark.


"Hewn" is an interesting choice, since it implies intentional creation, whereas I don't really get that sense anywhere else.

Well, I guess that is an implication. I meant it to mean they were created FROM the joining, and hewn was more like, they were CUT OFF from the abilities the Elvori and Ancients possess. I’ll get more into that in Human descriptions later in this. I also liked the similarity in sound to Human, so that was part of it too. :smallbiggrin:


Spelling, grammar and punctuation corrections.

Fixed.


I am firmly in the camp that "they" is a plural pronoun, and as such it is wrong to use it to refer to something singular. So whatever view you take, I'll probably continue to harass you about it if you write "whoever it was, he was going to take all their stuff".


The connection between an Ancient and their creature


:smalltongue: Use "its" instead of "their", as you do later.

I’ll think about “it”…though I don’t like “it” as I might like “he” or “she”. I have 27 counts of “their” in this, I’ll see if I can clean that up.


Is "cats of prey" a real term? Aren't all cats predators?

I suppose they are, but when I did a pole to see if people instantly knew what I was talking about when I said “Cats of Prey”, everyone instantly knew what I was talking about. I suppose I could develop a few strands of cats that are not obligate carnivores…just to further the term, but it was a nice way of going about naming them alongside birds of prey without saying something silly like “big cats” or something.


Technically okay but it seems like we're missing a word at the end.

Ha! I think I meant to keep going with this sentence, and it got away from me. Here’s a possible rendition – “These creatures are sentient companions to these specific genders, though in extremely rare occurrences an Ancient has taken a creature of their opposing gender's type. “


Garden-pathy. Maybe make it clearer at the start that you're talking about non-animal-companion-bonds.

Your confusion of what I meant compounds the impact of how garden-pathy it was. Is this better? - “In general, these mental bonds with a creature can be disrupted by an external party and can even be magically blocked if one is committed to the task. However, an Ancient's bond with a Creature of the Bond cannot be broken by anything but death.”


I'd replace "in" with "with", and "repeat" with something... else. "reforge" or something; "repeat" is a strange thing to do with a "connection".

You’re quite right. Changed as suggested. (I liked them)


Comma after "separation" and after "devices" (see below)
*devices, not devises (which is the past tense of "devise")
There's nothing to be "respective" here. Use another word, like "remaining".

An instance where I’m lacking commas?! That’s new! :smallbiggrin:


Ancients Recap
I like the Ancients, even if "the ancient people who once knew how to use powerful lost magics" is a little cliche. I don't see these guys as strong main protagonists, except possibly later in a spinoff-type situation where the world is already established. You've set up their society as very foreign, which is great, but does not make for strong reader-hooking material, since it's unrelatable. They also seem to me like they're likely to be overpowered Gandalf-types, so watch out for that. I don't think you're actually planning to make an Ancient the primary hero of your story, but I'm just saying.

I immediately recognized that a magic user would be hard to establish as the main protagonist, mainly for reasons such as being overpowered Gandalf-types as you mention. I’m aware that the subject might be a little cliché, but I feel it’s a different feel for magic, and the foreign culture, and I feel those features pull this into a less cliché area, and then the rest of it – I flip the cliché on its head. A lot of my details for my setting is taking preconceived notions like Dragons and Dwarves and retooling their design. Almost like saying…oh, you think you know what these are like…well, sometimes they’re that way, but they’re so much MORE than that. But back to the protagonist – I have a confession. He actually IS an Ancient. But my idea for him is that he was raised not knowing he was one. The reason for this was his own protection. If he knew he was an Ancient, one of the antagonistic characters (who is a mental magic user) could detect him, and hunt him down. This gives a unique circumstance – the main character thinks like a human (making him identifiable with us), and is going to have VERY serious issues casting. Once he finally masters it, however, he’s going to be a potent force, because he wasn’t raised within a society that placed certain beliefs on his abilities he’s going to do things very outside of the box. In other words, we have a character that can do extraordinary things, while also being very disabled in what he does. The theme here is limitation is an inspiration. Its derivative of myself – I’m partially colorblind, and I’m an artist. Yet while it was a more difficult process to learn how to do art, I feel my art is more unique because of it. What do you think?


This is an incredibly cool concept. I could see it being difficult to lay out in effective prose when the more complex interactions between caster and witness get going, but if you build to that point correctly and put trust in your readers' abilities, I think you could pull off some really cool stuff with this. It raises a lot of interesting questions, but we'll get to that later.

This WILL be difficult to write, yes. But the benefit is we will be learning with the main character how things work, which helps. Any other ideas you have for how I could work on accomplishing this task, I’m all ears. I certainly won’t have this document in my book…this is more for me, and I’ve put it out to make sure it makes sense before I use it a resource.


How/why is this overlooked? It seems obvious.

Magical things might be thought to happen spontaneously at times…though I don’t think overlooked was the correct term. “A common misnomer,” perhaps? This fact might actually change, now that I’ve got two other systems branching along with this one. We shall see. (I’ll be re-going over Magic when Fate and Luck are tucked in.)


Woah. Why? Is it a physical/mental restriction, a restriction on magic itself, or just a fact of the impracticality of attempting to master multiple forms?

It’s a limitation I’ve put on the system. It’s a teaching that’s been instilled for a long time. As such, Ancients believe this is true about the power, so it is – for them at least. I think you’re right to question it, however, and I don’t have a great answer aside from – it’s three different ways of perceiving the world, and while perception can change, its also a gravitation to a certain type per the abilities of the caster. Some have an affinity for visual, so that’s what they become. If someone were born blind, they’d likely not gravitate toward that magic. Any suggestions in this light? Potentially, a caster COULD cast in all three kinds of magic, but that’s not how magic is believed to work. Its an instilled idea.


Magic is a tool. It is neither good nor evil, just as an axe can be used to chop down a tree or to kill another.


This doesn't really seem like it belongs here at all.

Perhaps, but I wanted to state this fairly early. I’ve moved it to the beginning area of the description of magic. Perhaps that will suite better.


Kind of awkward phrasing. "Maintaining such a phenomenon draws on a caster's energy" (and incidentally, what kind of energy? Are we talking about a mana-style magical energy, or is this more the "drains-your-life-force" sort of thing? We get some hints of the latter later on, but it's not totally clear how a caster might "cast himself to death", so to speak. I guess the question really is--are therephysiological symptoms of using too much magic, and if a mage cast himself to death, what would be the official Cause of Death? Simple exhaustion, or something less corporeal (if that makes sense) than that?) Finally, it's a little unclear: my sense is that the spell only draws on the caster's energy until it stabilizes and can be sustained by faithful witnesses. Is that correct?

Energy = life force. Think of it this way. Everyone has an amount of life force, generally similar in amount. As one ages, they are able to use less of that life force to cast the same thing (similar to how people who are stronger use less energy to lift heavy things). This is true for all three forces – luck, magic, and fate. There is also a secondary energy, and that’s the energy used by the force itself. For magic, it comes from belief – other sentients. Luck – it comes from other life, literally using something else’s life force instead of your own. Fate – it comes from the energy of the elements around you. When you deplete that life force, you exhaust yourself. If you over deplete it, you could die of heart failure, stroke, seizure, so on. Think of how any physical action might deplete some of your energy. In the same way, casting is a physical action.


This means "actually real", right? Not only for those who believe in the illusory version?

I think I’ll change it to be “temporarily real”, to emphasize that it will only exist for a time.


This seems obvious but I'm actually really glad you spell it out.

I appreciate you saying that. Sometimes the obvious things are the things we forget to mention.



as subtle as observing the perceptions of another person

...I don't actually know what you mean by this.

I mean, I can look into someone’s mind and observe what they are feeling, thinking, sensing, perceiving.



“would you kindly”

Lol

I couldn’t resist that reference. I just couldn’t. :smallbiggrin: Props for knowing it.


Mental Magic

I can't figure out how external belief factors into this, especially given that internal belief is apparently not needed. Who is the external believer? What happens if they don't believe, and what would that even mean? If I try to read your mind without you noticing, and you don't believe that I read your mind, did I succeed or fail? Do I have to convince you after the fact that I read your mind without you being aware of it, in order to have retroactively succeeded? This seems strange.

That’s….a very good point. And one that no one has mentioned before. It also doesn’t work toward my formula I have later, as written. I suppose all the magic use both sides (internal and external) to varying degrees…so here’s what I’ll do – just above the three magic descriptions I stated where visual is both, and mental and physical are one or the other? Changing it to this – “Visual magic draws from internal and external belief equally, mental magic draws from external belief heavily and external belief lightly, and physical magic draws from internal belief heavily and external belief lightly.” Does that work better? Describing these three accurately and effectively is top priority, so the better this explained, the more successful I’ll feel about this project.


Or rather, believing it is already something it really isn't yet. Right?

Correct. Changed wording.


This seems to be the only real difference between physical and visual, excepting of course where the belief comes from. But I don't see a reason why the belief systems are so different. It seems to me that of the two, permanent changes would be more likely to be sustained by continued external belief, whereas changes fueled exclusively by the strength of the caster would make sense to last only proportionally longer for a stronger mage.

Consider: Two bronze statues stand in the middle of town. Two mages, one physical and one visual, use their respective magics to turn the statues purple in front of a crowd. The crowd, presumably, sees no difference between the two changes, and they both become objectively factual.

Now, two days later, one of the statues suddenly reverts to a bronze color. The belief of the citizenry has not wavered, because both statues were objectively, factually, purple. Yet the spell that ended was the transformation sustained by those citizens' belief. Why?

Now, I did see your Writer's Note down there, so I at least understand why the Physical change remains permanent. What I don't understand is why (A) that swap only has to do with the caster's faith, and why (B) Visual mages couldn't just create an "illusion" of some object appearing from or going to the Ulterior Realm, which would then become fact--effectively duplicating Physical magic with less effort on the mage's part.

Incidentally, that Writer's Note has some pretty disquieting implications if people could ever perform Physical magic on each other.

There’s a lot in this one, so let me see if I can hit on all your points. First of all, you raise an excellent point. Visual magic maintains more belief because they are getting it from lots of people at once, while physical doesn’t. The main point I have to make is, in visual magic, when a spell completes, it doesn’t keep drawing from those outlets. It gains enough energy to make the illusion substantial, and then that’s it. So while people might believe now that that statue is purple, there is no more energy being used to upkeep it after a certain point. Simple illusions (like a false wall) can potentially last longer because they don’t use as much energy and so can last longer (if enough energy was placed to make it last). More complex things like flight don’t have as long of duration because they use more energy quickly. In other words, visual magic causes an effect that will dissipate.

Physical magic on the other hand changes something physically that already exists. Sure there’s some cross over, just like I could accomplish the same task two different ways. But mainly, Physical magic is dependent on the subject that is being manipulated, and changing THAT, instead of a manipulating a person to create a SUBJECT. Visual magic is illusion, while Physical is more Alchemy. Visual makes the appearance of the bronze purple, which Physical changes the bronze into a purple material.

I had someone else ask me about the difference between Visual and Physical before, so it stands to reason I haven’t explained it well on the descriptions. Here’s how I put it to them –



Let me try to clear this up a bit. Visual magic is something that’s very flexible and all encompassing. It’s not reliant on the physical nature of an object to be cast. So, details that go against nature such as enchantments (flying, modifying speed, ect) are possible, where in physical it isn’t. Another detail about visual magic is that it is not a permanent casting. Eventually you have to come down from flying to recast the spell. It doesn’t last. With physical, this is not the case. Physical magic has some major limitations as well as benefits that contrast visual. Physical magic doesn’t need to be re-cast, because it’s changing an object in some way. It cannot create something out of nothing, like visual can. The principle I had originally came up with physical is additional and subtractive forms. One can decrease or increase an existing item (make more wood from the wood I have) or decrease an existing item (take away stone from a section of wall to make it unstable, or to pass through). I also during the thread came up with being able to change an item to a similar item. So say, gold from silver, or something of the sort. One couldn’t make gold out of thin air, or such, so it seems to follow some sort of alchemical nature. These changes can often be changed back, unlike subsumal magic, save certain cases. If not changed back, these changes will stay. Keep in mind also that this process is also very tiring.

Let’s use healing as an example for this since you mentioned it. With physical, one can heal a person. The more complex the injury, the more energy it takes (since many different things would need to be created). One could draw on the energy of the patient to reduce the spell’s effect on you, but in major injuries this is not advised, for obvious reasons. With visual magic, think of the healing as the extra con points a barbarian gets when he rages – eventually it’s going to go away. I can cast the illusion that I’ve healed you and use material components such as a pain killer, and perhaps putting my hand over the wound to mimic a physical caster. Think it along the lines of the placebo effect in medical studies to a greater degree. Eventually, the spell is going to wear off. It can buy time, but that hole in your shoulder is going to return.



Based on these descriptions, does this answer your question? What of this information should I add to the descriptions to be better effective in making this kind of thing more understandable?

On a last note, Physical magic is possible on someone, but anything other than healing is taboo, mostly because living things are complex enough that it’s very difficult to predict what might happen with an altering. Say someone tries to cosmetically change something by adding or subtracting something. Too much of either could have dramatic effects. There’s something about healing that this isn’t as much of a problem, almost as if the body assists in the process.


Spells have 3 basic stages

These are sensible and very well laid-out. There's a lot of room for expansion in prose, without having to lay down a lot of rules up here. Good.

Thank you.


Barrier 2: Self Esteem

"Self Esteem" seems like a strange word choice here. You're basically going for Barrier 1, but specifically "caster must believe he can cast this particular spell". Personally I think I'd reword this and make it Barrier 1, and get rid of the current Barrier 1 (since that barrier presumably only applies something like once in a person's life).

You know, I’ve had someone else argue that Barrier 1 was really just part of Barrier 2, but never the other way around…I originally put it as its own because believing you can defy reality is no easy task on its own, and so I felt while it only happens once, it’s a big deal. I also know that the barriers tie into each other, but have separate points to highlight within them…but the way you present it reminds me that 2 is basically similar to one, it’s just a further advanced part of the same principle. So I think I’ll take your advice, and make both of those barrier 1. More threes. Oh jeeze. I did like the way “the 5 barriers” sounded, but alas.


Alderic's Cusp

This is basically a barrier against unlimited power, which is fine.

YES! Thank you! People always forget this one when they talk to me after reading.


Barrier 4: Reception-

You lay down some interesting facts here, but nothing in this paragraph is actually a barrier. This seems more like elaboration on Barrier 3: "get the belief of your audience".

I guess you’re right…there isn’t a barrier here…perhaps I should move this out of barriers in general? Or do you think it fits enough into barrier three (now two)? On a note, I think I’m going to change the name of barrier 3 (now 2) to “Comprehension” instead of “Reason”. That way each of the three barriers start with a “C” and ends in “-tion”. The small things. :smallbiggrin:


Barrier 5: Concentration - This is cool, and a legitimate "barrier".

Thank you! :smallsmile:


Barriers Recap
I think you only have three barriers here. I'm finding it easier to tell what a proper Barrier is by answering the question "what do I have to do to surpass this barrier".
1. I must believe that I can cast this spell. [1 & 2]
2. I must convince the audience that I have cast this spell. [3 & 4]
3. I must ensure that the spell stabilizes properly. [5]

Very nice catch, and I appreciate explaining it out in simple terms at the end. It let me open my mind, look at it objectively, and realize the issue. I believe it’s fixed, now. I also changed any references to particular barriers later to match this format.


This doesn't sound like the rules are being ignored (same with the Mad Caster below), but rather that a mage in extreme circumstances may have significant advantages to surpassing the various Barriers (namely, an altered state of mind that facilitates belief in the impossible). I still think this stuff is all very cool and I like that it uses extra energy to cast this way (doesn't this imply that one could essentially use Physical magic to replicate any other kind, given the willingness to expend tremendous energy to do so?). I just don't think this is really "bypassing" the "rules", so much as paying a price to overcome obstacles without difficulty.

Changed the wording a bit – used “surpassed” instead. Basically, I see this like adrenaline. Like a mother who lifts a car off of their child, when they normally might not be able to. I think it would be unlikely that Physical magic could replicate the effects of Mental, but I’ll ask – what are your examples for this question?


This is an awesome concept in theory.

Think of the possibilities! Don’t they just make you want to go – OH GOD! :smalltongue:


Quality of Belief (Interior) = (Ability) + (Skill) + Material Aids

"Ability" and "Skill" are way too similar.

Skill is capacity, ability is application. They relate, but they are different. I just rewrote this formula…check out what it used to be…perhaps you can help me resolve this –


Power = [Interior Belief (knowledge and experience create esteem) + Exterior Belief (quantity of viewer and/or quality of belief from viewer)] x Quantity of Casters
Quality of Belief (Exterior) = (Inherent belief of magic) x (Quality of Illusion or Suggestion) + Material Aids
Quality of Belief (Interior) = (Ability) x (Experience) + Material Aids
Ability = Creativity (Imagination and knowledge of casting) + Study (knowledge of object used in illusion)

Thoughts?


Seems like material aids ought to be in parentheses with quality of illusion, here, or else the material factor would be much less relevant at higher ability levels, whereas I'd think intuitively that a stronger mage could make more use of the same material components.

Agreed. Changed.


You refer to this as "Accuracy" earlier.

Woops! :smallbiggrin:


This is a kind of broken sentence. Also, "draw from" where?

Don’t know where that was going…changed it to – “Magic is limited by what the caster believes…”



Therefore, Magic is partially inherent and partially through scientific study.

This sentence got away from you a bit with all the parentheses.

This better? - “Therefore, Magic is both inherent (through creativity and ingenuity) and scientific (in terms of studying a wide variety of objects that may be used for a spell).”



A caster’s interior belief regulates their capacity for magic. The less capacity a caster has the more energy it takes to create spells.

This implies that all casters are technically capable of casting any spell, but it might kill them. True?

Correct. Should I state that instead of imply it?


Once a child shows signs for a particular school of magic, they begin to be schooled in that path.

Made it “Ancient children show” instead.


Dueling - This is basically what I meant earlier when I was talking about how your magic system lends itself to really cool things that could be hard to describe in prose :smalltongue:

Yes, but did I successfully describe it in this? This will happen at some point in my writing, and I look forward to the challenge. :smallamused:


Cumulative Casting - This all seems pretty well thought out and also very cool. It does make me wonder whether a single group member, for instance, could overchannel the spell, and distribute the ill effects throughout the group--or perhaps worse, the whole group overchannels and drops the load on one unfortunate caster...

This is possible, but unlikely insofar that generally the people you’d be doing these things with are quite close to you, and also, since the two would be linked mentally and of one thought, it would be hard to mask this from them. Still, it is a viable danger, and possible. It’s totally happened in my world before. :smallfrown:


Subsumal Magic - Yikes. Yeah, I can see how this would cause problems. It's not clear to me why this would be a melding of all three magics, though. Why couldn't you do the same thing with Physical or Visual magic (presumably even preserving the subject's mind)? Even if it would have to be done in increments to reduce the difficulty of the transformation, couldn't this be done by single schools of magic?

Subsumal Magic is changing the mind, body, and spirit of a subject/subjects permanently. So the appearance is changed, the mind is changed, and the physical makeup is changed. The process doesn’t work well without an even amount of the three. Think of what I mentioned earlier at Physical magic being unpredictable with living things. It’s still slightly unpredictable, but it’s more refined when the other two are added. Without mental, the subject is unable to reconcile the alteration. Mental adds the functionality of the body. Visual can do this in an impermanent way, but it doesn’t really change the form, it’s more like a physical costume. Though you raise a good point. I might need to work on more ways the powers work together with each other. Such as visual and physical teamed up, or mental and physical for that matter. The main idea with subsumal is that it isn’t widely explored intentionally – its messing with living things in irreparable ways. It’s likely that the Ancients have avoided expanding on these ideas after several disasters, including a frenzied race of Elves, trolls, and so on. There have been a few successes in its use, but the cost of further exploration of these is considered to be too much of a risk.

Does that cover it?



Responses! Let's see how much I can cover while eating lunch.



Use "its" instead of "their", as you do later.

I’ll think about “it”…though I don’t like “it” as I might like “he” or “she”. I have 27 counts of “their” in this, I’ll see if I can clean that up.

"He" or "she" are definitely preferable; in fact "its" is outright wrong if you're talking about a gendered subject. However, and this probably was worth mentioning in the first place--it's not actually obvious at the outset that the Ancients are gendered! The entire Ancient Characteristics section refers to them exclusively in the plural, and while there are some hints (e.g. "coupling" with the Elvori), I don't have enough information to determine conclusively that the Ancients are sexed. So whatever you decide to do here, make sure you fix any "its" occurrences as well! (Convention, by the way, is just to pick a pronoun--"he" or "she"--and use it throughout).


I suppose they are, but when I did a pole to see if people instantly knew what I was talking about when I said “Cats of Prey”, everyone instantly knew what I was talking about. I suppose I could develop a few strands of cats that are not obligate carnivores…just to further the term, but it was a nice way of going about naming them alongside birds of prey without saying something silly like “big cats” or something.

Heh. Yes, I do understand the pain of trying to describe that--it just seemed equally silly to say "cats of prey", at least to my mind. Kind of like saying "sharks with teeth" :smallbiggrin:


Your confusion of what I meant compounds the impact of how garden-pathy it was. Is this better? - “In general, these mental bonds with a creature can be disrupted by an external party and can even be magically blocked if one is committed to the task. However, an Ancient's bond with a Creature of the Bond cannot be broken by anything but death.”

I think I'd take out the "these", since that still sounds like you're talking about the previous kind of bond--that is, a Creature of the Bond... Bond. Incidentally, you should come up with a word for that bond.



I immediately recognized that a magic user would be hard to establish as the main protagonist, mainly for reasons such as being overpowered Gandalf-types as you mention. I’m aware that the subject might be a little cliché, but I feel it’s a different feel for magic, and the foreign culture, and I feel those features pull this into a less cliché area, and then the rest of it – I flip the cliché on its head. A lot of my details for my setting is taking preconceived notions like Dragons and Dwarves and retooling their design. Almost like saying…oh, you think you know what these are like…well, sometimes they’re that way, but they’re so much MORE than that. But back to the protagonist – I have a confession. He actually IS an Ancient. But my idea for him is that he was raised not knowing he was one. The reason for this was his own protection. If he knew he was an Ancient, one of the antagonistic characters (who is a mental magic user) could detect him, and hunt him down. This gives a unique circumstance – the main character thinks like a human (making him identifiable with us), and is going to have VERY serious issues casting. Once he finally masters it, however, he’s going to be a potent force, because he wasn’t raised within a society that placed certain beliefs on his abilities he’s going to do things very outside of the box. In other words, we have a character that can do extraordinary things, while also being very disabled in what he does. The theme here is limitation is an inspiration. Its derivative of myself – I’m partially colorblind, and I’m an artist. Yet while it was a more difficult process to learn how to do art, I feel my art is more unique because of it. What do you think?

It sounds like you've thought about this and understand the challenges of the concept--I think this works. It gives your protagonist plenty of room to grow while preserving relatability, and you get around the magic restrictions in a way that I think will be interesting if you can pull them off elegantly. The thing to watch out for there is doing too much explicit "he wasn't raised with their customs, so he has no limitations!!" Just be sure to play up the problems just as much as the benefits (and the limitations mustn't only matter at the beginning).



How/why is this overlooked? It seems obvious.

Magical things might be thought to happen spontaneously at times…though I don’t think overlooked was the correct term. “A common misnomer,” perhaps? This fact might actually change, now that I’ve got two other systems branching along with this one. We shall see. (I’ll be re-going over Magic when Fate and Luck are tucked in.)

So I was going to say that the way to say this is something like "despite popular belief, magic can never occur spontaneously, without a caster". But then I realized: isn't this essentially a world where popular belief can actually cause things to become true? Not a huge problem I think, but perhaps worth considering.


It’s a limitation I’ve put on the system. It’s a teaching that’s been instilled for a long time. As such, Ancients believe this is true about the power, so it is – for them at least. I think you’re right to question it, however, and I don’t have a great answer aside from – it’s three different ways of perceiving the world, and while perception can change, its also a gravitation to a certain type per the abilities of the caster. Some have an affinity for visual, so that’s what they become. If someone were born blind, they’d likely not gravitate toward that magic. Any suggestions in this light? Potentially, a caster COULD cast in all three kinds of magic, but that’s not how magic is believed to work. Its an instilled idea.

I really like how much belief effects reality in this system. This is a good explanation, though you could probably clarify in this document that there's no restriction imposed by the laws of magic--only the restriction imposed by the beliefs and proclivities of the wielders.




Magic is a tool. It is neither good nor evil, just as an axe can be used to chop down a tree or to kill another.

This doesn't really seem like it belongs here at all.

Perhaps, but I wanted to state this fairly early. I’ve moved it to the beginning area of the description of magic. Perhaps that will suite better.

It feels better at the beginning of the section. I still don't think it's necessarily important to have around--I, at least, wasn't inclined to assume anything about the Goodness or Evilness of magic.


Energy = life force. Think of it this way. Everyone has an amount of life force, generally similar in amount. As one ages, they are able to use less of that life force to cast the same thing (similar to how people who are stronger use less energy to lift heavy things). This is true for all three forces – luck, magic, and fate. There is also a secondary energy, and that’s the energy used by the force itself. For magic, it comes from belief – other sentients. Luck – it comes from other life, literally using something else’s life force instead of your own. Fate – it comes from the energy of the elements around you. When you deplete that life force, you exhaust yourself. If you over deplete it, you could die of heart failure, stroke, seizure, so on. Think of how any physical action might deplete some of your energy. In the same way, casting is a physical action.

This makes sense; I do feel it could be clarified in the text (although if it's primarily a reference document for your own use, that might be unneeded).



Mental Magic
I can't figure out how external belief factors into this, especially given that internal belief is apparently not needed. Who is the external believer? What happens if they don't believe, and what would that even mean? If I try to read your mind without you noticing, and you don't believe that I read your mind, did I succeed or fail? Do I have to convince you after the fact that I read your mind without you being aware of it, in order to have retroactively succeeded? This seems strange.

That’s... a very good point. And one that no one has mentioned before. It also doesn’t work toward my formula I have later, as written. I suppose all the magic use both sides (internal and external) to varying degrees…so here’s what I’ll do – just above the three magic descriptions I stated where visual is both, and mental and physical are one or the other? Changing it to this – “Visual magic draws from internal and external belief equally, mental magic draws from external belief heavily and external belief lightly, and physical magic draws from internal belief heavily and external belief lightly.” Does that work better? Describing these three accurately and effectively is top priority, so the better this explained, the more successful I’ll feel about this project.

I'm all for this change, besides the typo (in bold). However I'm still not completely on board with mental magic requiring external belief--it just seems really unintuitive, besides the problems like the example one I gave about mind reading, which aren't solved (as far as I can see) by adding a little bit of internal magic.


In visual magic, when a spell completes, it doesn’t keep drawing from those outlets. It gains enough energy to make the illusion substantial, and then that’s it. So while people might believe now that that statue is purple, there is no more energy being used to upkeep it after a certain point. Simple illusions (like a false wall) can potentially last longer because they don’t use as much energy and so can last longer (if enough energy was placed to make it last). More complex things like flight don’t have as long of duration because they use more energy quickly. In other words, visual magic causes an effect that will dissipate.

This is a good explanation of the difference and reasoning behind it. To reiterate to make sure I understand, Visual magic essentially draws on the audience at the time of casting to fill a sort of Belief Reservoir, which is then drained to sustain the effect, at a rate proportional to the complexity of the effect involved. When that reservoir is empty, the effect ends. Yes? Anyway, I do hope that you clarify this in the visual magic section. The main point that I think is missing is that the audience's belief is not taxed constantly, but rather only for a short time (until the caster stabilizes the spell, I'm guessing?).


On a last note, Physical magic is possible on someone, but anything other than healing is taboo, mostly because living things are complex enough that it’s very difficult to predict what might happen with an altering. Say someone tries to cosmetically change something by adding or subtracting something. Too much of either could have dramatic effects. There’s something about healing that this isn’t as much of a problem, almost as if the body assists in the process.

So, considering your Note in there--that an object affected by Physical Magic is essentially swapped out with some other object in the Ulterior Realm--how does healing work? Are you swapping a person for a less-injured clone? Swapping out an injured portion of that person's body? Can the swap be interrupted, say, after a chunk has gone to the Ulterior Realm but before the target chunk arrives? Can you erase people from existence that way (or duplicate them?), by changing something about them and then somehow "blocking" the spell halfway through? Troubling. Could make for a cool villain though.


Very nice catch, and I appreciate explaining it out in simple terms at the end. It let me open my mind, look at it objectively, and realize the issue. I believe it’s fixed, now. I also changed any references to particular barriers later to match this format.

I like the new naming scheme :smallamused: There's now a typo near the end of Barrier 2, though: "and so objects that they are peripherally observed..." Personally I think three barriers are better than five, anyway--it's less for the reader to keep track of, which is going to be important when you get complicated magic going on.


Changed the wording a bit – used “surpassed” instead. Basically, I see this like adrenaline. Like a mother who lifts a car off of their child, when they normally might not be able to. I think it would be unlikely that Physical magic could replicate the effects of Mental, but I’ll ask – what are your examples for this question?

Well, the reason for my "Physical can do literally anything" thought is that if Physical magic is based exclusively on internal belief (perhaps no longer the case, I know), and internal belief can be overchanneled or otherwise supercharged by a caster's state of mind (desperation/madness/whatever), then the caster could theoretically change anything into anything else. And the caster always has something to transform--even if it's something like "the air" or "my thumb that I just bit off". Duplicating Visual: "I transform the air in that area into a ball of fire". Duplicating mental is trickier and probably way more likely to just break everything--but our brains are just state-machines. The information they hold is encoded by their physical and chemical structures. For a mad mage to attempt to alter his own brain such that it would contain the information in someone else's brain... seems risky*, but it also seems possible. I'd probably try it out on kidnapped children first, or something.

...Turns out that when I write things, I just reveal myself to be a supervillain. Um. I'm going to move on. :smalleek:




Quality of Belief (Interior) = (Ability) + (Skill) + Material Aids

"Ability" and "Skill" are way too similar.

Skill is capacity, ability is application. They relate, but they are different. I just rewrote this formula...check out what it used to be... perhaps you can help me resolve this

Oh I absolutely understand what you're going for. My problem is just that the words "ability" and "skill" mean basically the same thing. To illustrate that fact, I'll mention that when I was guessing which one was "innate, personal capacity for performance" and which was "quality of specific performance", I assumed that "ability" was the former and "skill" was the latter--exactly opposite from the way you're envisioning them!

The important one to change, I think, is what you're defining as "ability"--this is "how well you actually perform on this occasion"--in D&D terms, this would essentially be the unmodified dice result, yes? If I were to pick one word to represent it, I might go with "execution", to distinguish it from the more constant things, like innate skill. If you change that one, you could probably use almost anything else for the first part--I actually like "capacity" as a keyword here, because it clearly represents personal potential.


This better? - “Therefore, Magic is both inherent (through creativity and ingenuity) and scientific (in terms of studying a wide variety of objects that may be used for a spell).”

Much better.




A caster’s interior belief regulates their capacity for magic. The less capacity a caster has the more energy it takes to create spells.

This implies that all casters are technically capable of casting any spell, but it might kill them. True?

Correct. Should I state that instead of imply it?

I think you're good. I just mentioned it because I wanted to be sure you were aware of the implication (which you obviously are, taking into account some of your responses to my other comments).



Dueling - This is basically what I meant earlier when I was talking about how your magic system lends itself to really cool things that could be hard to describe in prose :smalltongue:

Yes, but did I successfully describe it in this? This will happen at some point in my writing, and I look forward to the challenge. :smallamused:

For the most part, yes. The only reason I'm unsatisfied with the dueling description is because I can't see how such a thing--"thrusts of will" and all that--would be fueled by external belief, rather than internal. But that's more of a hangup on mental magic than on dueling itself. I can think of all kinds of ways a duel would still be incredibly complex and interesting when fueled entirely by external magic--one would spend time actively disbelieving his opponent; trying to believe small things without giving himself away in a kind of mental "belief feint"... besides the fact that I don't really understand mental magic's power source, I think the dueling will be very cool and you seem up for the challenge.


Subsumal Magic is changing the mind, body, and spirit of a subject/subjects permanently. So the appearance is changed, the mind is changed, and the physical makeup is changed. The process doesn’t work well without an even amount of the three. Think of what I mentioned earlier at Physical magic being unpredictable with living things. It’s still slightly unpredictable, but it’s more refined when the other two are added. Without mental, the subject is unable to reconcile the alteration. Mental adds the functionality of the body. Visual can do this in an impermanent way, but it doesn’t really change the form, it’s more like a physical costume. Though you raise a good point. I might need to work on more ways the powers work together with each other. Such as visual and physical teamed up, or mental and physical for that matter. The main idea with subsumal is that it isn’t widely explored intentionally – its messing with living things in irreparable ways. It’s likely that the Ancients have avoided expanding on these ideas after several disasters, including a frenzied race of Elves, trolls, and so on. There have been a few successes in its use, but the cost of further exploration of these is considered to be too much of a risk.

This is very interesting; I do think you could elaborate on it in the Subsumal Magic section and like you said, explore the other ways the schools can mix. Honestly, even saying something like "it really just doesn't work very well if you try to do it without all three types" is great, because it implies that it has been tried, and it has failed, probably spectacularly. It also brings up the moral question again of using Physical magic on people, which I think is just super neat. I'd say you probably don't have to elaborate on it too much since it's forbidden, but let's be honest, it's too world-changing and powerful not to come up :smallamused: Someone's going to keep on exploring it.


Does that cover it?

I did have one further question, which I realize you may or may not have completely fleshed out--what is the Ulterior Realm, exactly? My brain pictures it as a sort of astral/ethereal plane where ulterior motives come from, but do you have it any more concrete than that? Do people know about it? Can people travel there without Physical magic? If so, could you bring back an army of clones? I guess I'm just really into this army of clones idea today. Anyway, hopefully these extra comments were at least somewhat helpful!

*contender for the Understatement of the Year Award

TheWombatOfDoom
2014-11-18, 10:52 AM
Conversation with Dr Bwaa Continued:


Let me reply while I'm hungry. :smallbiggrin: We're making progress! At least I feel we are. Haha


"He" or "she" are definitely preferable; in fact "its" is outright wrong if you're talking about a gendered subject. However, and this probably was worth mentioning in the first place--it's not actually obvious at the outset that the Ancients are gendered! The entire Ancient Characteristics section refers to them exclusively in the plural, and while there are some hints (e.g. "coupling" with the Elvori), I don't have enough information to determine conclusively that the Ancients are sexed. So whatever you decide to do here, make sure you fix any "its" occurrences as well! (Convention, by the way, is just to pick a pronoun--"he" or "she"--and use it throughout).

Oh my! I never thought I was giving that implication! This is certainly a side effect of not fully describing the physique of an Ancient, and going full into what makes them different, rather than how they are familiar. This will be one thing that will be rectified when I'm done Fate, and the elves (I call them the "Elvori"). I'll describe that outwardly, they don't look much different than a human, save for a few small tells (of which hasn't been fully decided, but might have to do with teeth, eye color, or some other small feature (more toes?). Internally they'll differ a great deal, at least in functions and such. For example, the ancients don't have growth spurts or times of horomonal inbalance, they just have a slow trickling stream of it. So they develop slowly physically, and are longer lived. There are males and females, and reproduce like mammals/humanoids.

In my defense, there is one instance where I refer to male and female Ancients -

Female Ancients have cats of prey like lions, panthers, cougars, jaguars, tigers, and more, while male Ancients have birds of prey, such as eagles, hawks, owls, falcons, and so on.
But it doesn't really stand out, I assume.

As for gendered pronouns, could I just say "his or her" or "his/her"? And similar examples? That may be the easiest solution...

If not, I'll likely follow the D & D route and go with "she", though I don't like the implications of only one gender being able to cast.


Heh. Yes, I do understand the pain of trying to describe that--it just seemed equally silly to say "cats of prey", at least to my mind. Kind of like saying "sharks with teeth" :smallbiggrin:

You use a bad example...I know of at least one shark that does not have teeth, and feeds similar to a baleen whale...but I see your point. Maybe I could extend it to all cats and all birds, to give more flavor to the creatures of the bond. Also, in the description of the creatures, do they come across as intelligent enough to be characters in the description? Because they are.


I think I'd take out the "these", since that still sounds like you're talking about the previous kind of bond--that is, a Creature of the Bond... Bond. Incidentally, you should come up with a word for that bond.

Ah, gotcha. Fixed. Added better wording and called it the Ancient-Creature Bond for now. Place holder, more than anything.


It sounds like you've thought about this and understand the challenges of the concept--I think this works. It gives your protagonist plenty of room to grow while preserving relatability, and you get around the magic restrictions in a way that I think will be interesting if you can pull them off elegantly. The thing to watch out for there is doing too much explicit "he wasn't raised with their customs, so he has no limitations!!" Just be sure to play up the problems just as much as the benefits (and the limitations mustn't only matter at the beginning).

Excellent points, and I'm glad I've calmed your hessitations. If and when I give you further entries into the novel, you may call me out on this if I start to drift into that territory. Honestly, I don't plan on him ever going super seyan, and many things that he over comes will be simply by not relying on his power at all, which is strange to a caster.

I'll make sure he has problems - and continues to have them. I think his insecurities will be fun to play with in this regard. Any ideas for other limitations I could place in later on? Possibly weaker in power than most living Ancients?


So I was going to say that the way to say this is something like "despite popular belief, magic can never occur spontaneously, without a caster". But then I realized: isn't this essentially a world where popular belief can actually cause things to become true? Not a huge problem I think, but perhaps worth considering.

A thought I've been having as well. Especially since I have natural Fate, and natural Luck, where as the manipulation of these two things is "artifical". So there in some degree or another, must have natural Magic...

Unless that's actually belief in the first place. Like sentient thought IS magic occuring naturally. And manipulating it is the "artifical" side of it.


I really like how much belief effects reality in this system. This is a good explanation, though you could probably clarify in this document that there's no restriction imposed by the laws of magic--only the restriction imposed by the beliefs and proclivities of the wielders.

Thank you. Hmm...good thought...any idea where it might best be mentioned? I also like how your suggestion implies that a caster can cast any form of magic without right out saying it. I kind of wanted it that way. :smallsmile:


It feels better at the beginning of the section. I still don't think it's necessarily important to have around--I, at least, wasn't inclined to assume anything about the Goodness or Evilness of magic.
It's true, it's likely not needed, but I felt the need to explicitly state it so that someone doesn't feel that way. After all, physical magic could be deemed really evil, especially when used on a living thing, but then there's healing, which most people see as "good". So I wanted to get it out of the way before someone got ideas of their own. It's likely a theme I might follow in my book too, that people might see supernatural powers as dark and evil, as lately it hasn't been doing a great job at helping the world. So maybe it's more for my benifit. :smallbiggrin:


This makes sense; I do feel it could be clarified in the text (although if it's primarily a reference document for your own use, that might be unneeded). I like to have everything stated for my benifit. If I don't write it down, some day I might forget that detail. I've gotten into the habit of making sure I jot down things to counteract this. Again, I'll need to figure out where to put this...before or after my description of the three magics?


I'm all for this change, besides the typo (in bold). However I'm still not completely on board with mental magic requiring external belief--it just seems really unintuitive, besides the problems like the example one I gave about mind reading, which aren't solved (as far as I can see) by adding a little bit of internal magic.

Actually! This gives me a better thought- “Visual magic draws from internal lightly and external belief heavily, mental magic draws from internal belief and external belief equally, and physical magic draws from internal belief heavily and external belief lightly.”

Visual magic is highly reliant on the belief of an audience, and not so much on the belief of the caster. We also know that it's the working opposite for how physical magic is...and I've pretty much stressed over and over how visual is reliant on external...so lets make it where mental is the middle ground between the two. Therefore you get mental being taking a caster's belief and subjecting another individuals belief (which is the external factor) to it. Internal is the before effect, and External is the after. This would be for things like manipulating thoughts or something. In other cases you might be taking someones external belief and bringing it into your internal belief, which would be reading a mind. I think this might work a lot nicer, and it cleans up a lot. What do you think?


This is a good explanation of the difference and reasoning behind it. To reiterate to make sure I understand, Visual magic essentially draws on the audience at the time of casting to fill a sort of Belief Reservoir, which is then drained to sustain the effect, at a rate proportional to the complexity of the effect involved. When that reservoir is empty, the effect ends. Yes? Anyway, I do hope that you clarify this in the visual magic section. The main point that I think is missing is that the audience's belief is not taxed constantly, but rather only for a short time (until the caster stabilizes the spell, I'm guessing?).

Exactly. I'll make the note to do so.


So, considering your Note in there--that an object affected by Physical Magic is essentially swapped out with some other object in the Ulterior Realm--how does healing work? Are you swapping a person for a less-injured clone? Swapping out an injured portion of that person's body? Can the swap be interrupted, say, after a chunk has gone to the Ulterior Realm but before the target chunk arrives? Can you erase people from existence that way (or duplicate them?), by changing something about them and then somehow "blocking" the spell halfway through? Troubling. Could make for a cool villain though.

See below.


I like the new naming scheme :smallamused:

Excellent. I like it better as it is now as well. :smallsmile:


Well, the reason for my "Physical can do literally anything" thought is that if Physical magic is based exclusively on internal belief (perhaps no longer the case, I know), and internal belief can be overchanneled or otherwise supercharged by a caster's state of mind (desperation/madness/whatever), then the caster could theoretically change anything into anything else. And the caster always has something to transform--even if it's something like "the air" or "my thumb that I just bit off". Duplicating Visual: "I transform the air in that area into a ball of fire". Duplicating mental is trickier and probably way more likely to just break everything--but our brains are just state-machines. The information they hold is encoded by their physical and chemical structures. For a mad mage to attempt to alter his own brain such that it would contain the information in someone else's brain... seems risky*, but it also seems possible. I'd probably try it out on kidnapped children first, or something.

...Turns out that when I write things, I just reveal myself to be a supervillain. Um. I'm going to move on. :smalleek:

Well. Yes and no. Because of the amount of effort and energy it takes to physically change something, it would indeed be possible to replicate some effects (cross over is in my mind, a good thing) it's going to be much more difficult to accomplish things that would be simple in visual magic, just as how visual magic can't permanently accomplish things that physical can.

And your mental idea...I...I don't even know what to say...:smalleek: Haha, in all seriousness, it stands to reason that it COULD possibly happen...maybe...but it would be near impossible. Even subsumal magic doesn't accomplish this, really. Though, perhaps they can take away parts of the brain that provide inhibitions, to get someone to do something. Basically, damage the brain, or something of the sort.

This conversation has led me to this realization - Ancients telepathically can mentally communicate with each other, and their creatures. Mental magic users can mentally influence other races. We've established that any Ancient can cast mentally, but they can't because they don't believe they can, or aren't very good, or what not. So that means Ancients can communicate with/influence any race mentally, but some are able to do so better, and that's mental magic. Hmm. Interesting.


Oh I absolutely understand what you're going for. My problem is just that the words "ability" and "skill" mean basically the same thing. To illustrate that fact, I'll mention that when I was guessing which one was "innate, personal capacity for performance" and which was "quality of specific performance", I assumed that "ability" was the former and "skill" was the latter--exactly opposite from the way you're envisioning them!

The important one to change, I think, is what you're defining as "ability"--this is "how well you actually perform on this occasion"--in D&D terms, this would essentially be the unmodified dice result, yes? If I were to pick one word to represent it, I might go with "execution", to distinguish it from the more constant things, like innate skill. If you change that one, you could probably use almost anything else for the first part--I actually like "capacity" as a keyword here, because it clearly represents personal potential.

I like those words. So how does this look?
Power = x Quantity of Casters

Quality of Belief (Interior) = (Execution) + (Capacityl) + (Material Aids)
Quality of Belief (Exterior) = (Execution) x (Quality of illusion or suggestion + Material Aids)

Execution = (Charisma) + (Accuracy)
Capacity = Creativity (Imagination and Aptitude) + Study (knowledge of the subject of spell)

Charisma; how influential is the caster to their audience?
Accuracy; how convincing or detailed is the subject of the spell
I've essentially got this formula to dumb down the way magic works into clear, observable mechanics. If I can't explain it in this broken down form, I haven't succeeded in the system. Do you think it covers it alright?


For the most part, yes. The only reason I'm unsatisfied with the dueling description is because I can't see how such a thing--"thrusts of will" and all that--would be fueled by external belief, rather than internal. But that's more of a hangup on mental magic than on dueling itself. I can think of all kinds of ways a duel would still be incredibly complex and interesting when fueled entirely by external magic--one would spend time actively disbelieving his opponent; trying to believe small things without giving himself away in a kind of mental "belief feint"... besides the fact that I don't really understand mental magic's power source, I think the dueling will be very cool and you seem up for the challenge.

Have my newest enlightenments on Mental magic helped with this issue? I'd say duels would be mostly external in efforts, while internally shielding. But a balance of both is the key to a successful duel.


This is very interesting; I do think you could elaborate on it in the Subsumal Magic section and like you said, explore the other ways the schools can mix. Honestly, even saying something like "it really just doesn't work very well if you try to do it without all three types" is great, because it implies that it has been tried, and it has failed, probably spectacularly. It also brings up the moral question again of using Physical magic on people, which I think is just super neat. I'd say you probably don't have to elaborate on it [I]too much since it's forbidden, but let's be honest, it's too world-changing and powerful not to come up :smallamused: Someone's going to keep on exploring it.

Alright, making note. Making it so 2 magics can compliment each other, but not combine to make a greater magic. Only the balance of all three will do it.


I did have one further question, which I realize you may or may not have completely fleshed out--what is the Ulterior Realm, exactly? My brain pictures it as a sort of astral/ethereal plane where ulterior motives come from, but do you have it any more concrete than that? Do people know about it? Can people travel there without Physical magic? If so, could you bring back an army of clones? I guess I'm just really into this army of clones idea today. Anyway, hopefully these extra comments were at least somewhat helpful!

I've always imagined it as "a universal dumping ground". So think of it as - if someone "harms" someone else in a universe (even this one), that "material" is then sent to the Ulterior Realm. Then others can pull that "material" out. The only thing that I've found similar to it is full metal alchemist...are you familiar with the story? I don't want to give away too much if you haven't...

Basically, anything that gets sucked into a black hole goes into the Ulterior Realm. There's all kinds of matter within it. Or at least, that's how I imagined it. I'm not exactly very far with the imagining for this, and don't want to analogize Fullmetal without knowing I'm safe to in that regard...




Definitely making progress!


As for gendered pronouns, could I just say "his or her" or "his/her"? And similar examples? That may be the easiest solution...

This is definitely an option, and perhaps the "most correct". It does get tedious to write after a while, though!



"sharks with teeth"

You use a bad example...I know of at least one shark that does not have teeth, and feeds similar to a baleen whale

I wondered if you'd try to call me out on that, so I looked up whale sharks before I used the comparison. My findings:


As a filter feeder it has a capacious mouth which can be up to 1.5 metres (4.9 ft) wide and contains 10 filter pads and between 300 and 350 rows of tiny teeth.

So there! :smallbiggrin: As for whether they come across as intelligent enough: yes, but only if you read very closely. You've got the word "sentient" nestled in a sentence about which kind of animal accompanies which gender, but it's in there. If you wanted to make it a little clearer you could just give that fact one sentence of its own.


Any ideas for other limitations I could place in later on? Possibly weaker in power than most living Ancients?

I wouldn't necessarily make him outright weaker. You just want him to be dramatically different. He's likely to have trouble with spells that other Ancients consider simple because he's missing some "common" mental trick, for instance. As for specific limitations in the long term, I think that's likely to be story-driven more than anything else, but he's likely to have problems with getting people (anyone) to trust him; he's going to be hunted (perhaps using fancy methods for mage-hunting that are totally unnecessary, because the people hunting him don't realize that he's not aware of all the "simple" ways to hunt mages?). Perhaps the simplest thing is just not to let him get over some of his limitations: he wasn't trained to cast as a kid. So he takes longer to put together the proper casting focus, or isn't as natural with his audience--stuff that would be easy to absorb at a young age, but harder to master purposefully later in life.



you could probably clarify in this document that there's no restriction imposed by the laws of magic--only the restriction imposed by the beliefs and proclivities of the wielders.

Thank you. Hmm...good thought...any idea where it might best be mentioned?

Not sure where the best place for that would be. Maybe simple is best, and you can just break the last sentence before Visual Magic off into its own paragraph, explaining that casters only use one form of magic, but that this is a fact of tradition and belief that multiple forms are impossible, rather than a law of nature.


[energy = life force]Again, I'll need to figure out where to put this...before or after my description of the three magics?

I'd put it before the separate descriptions. This is essentially a definition of a term you're about to use, and it's relevant to pretty much everything else in the document, so putting it up front is probably best. Generally speaking, defining terms right before you use them is a good way to keep things from getting confused.


“Visual magic draws from internal lightly and external belief heavily, mental magic draws from internal belief and external belief equally, and physical magic draws from internal belief heavily and external belief lightly.”

I wholeheartedly agree. This is, for me anyway, a much easier setup to wrap my mind around. I think it'll still be important that you go through a couple of sample mental magic exercises and figure out exactly how you'd adjudicate them (e.g. what happens with differing levels of internal/external belief), but I think this reconfiguration is a good idea. Not only does it more clearly separate visual from physical, but it seems to make more sense out of all the ways mental is used.

As for example mental magic scenarios to work out, I'd probably go through a really basic list like this one. For each item, first work out what exactly "external belief" means to that scenario. Then, go over each item three times: once where internal and external belief are both strong, once where internal belief is strong but external belief is lacking, and once where external belief is strong and internal belief is lacking. Maybe some scenarios (or some whole list items) are outright impossible--I don't know! But I think it's important that you do.
I observe your thoughts, and allow you to notice me doing so.
I influence your thoughts, and allow you to notice me doing so.
I observe your thoughts without you noticing.
I influence your thoughts without you noticing.
I wake you up.
I "attack" you in a mage duel.


cross over is in my mind, a good thing

Fair and reasonable, I think.


Basically, damage the brain, or something of the sort.

Yeah, this seems like it could be easy. Dangerously easy. It actually reminds me of something from (okay, watch out) Eragon, even though I only ever read the first book--it turned out in that magic system that one of the best ways to kill people was to just magically sever their carotid artery. Near-guaranteed death and almost no energy expended on the part of the mage. Something to think about, there, for physical magic users with a penchant for evil.


Magic formulas/terms

I think those look good (excepting the typo the first time you use "Capacity").


Have my newest enlightenments on Mental magic helped with this issue?

Your recent proposed changes to mental magic make dueling much clearer to my mind, yes.


So think of it as - if someone "harms" someone else in a universe (even this one), that "material" is then sent to the Ulterior Realm. Then others can pull that "material" out. The only thing that I've found similar to it is full metal alchemist

This is about what I was picturing. I'm familiar with FMA's premise, though not the the whole storyline. I think I understand it enough to get where you're going with this realm--I guess my real point was that it's important to at least have a vague idea of the answers to those questions I asked ("Do people know about it? Can people travel there without Physical magic? If so, could you bring back an army of clones?"), since you've got at least one form of magic that interacts with that realm regularly.


But now I've hit a snag...but we're narrowing it down. I'm sorry I keep send you things. :smallsigh:


This is definitely an option, and perhaps the "most correct". It does get tedious to write after a while, though!

Alrighty, changed all appropriate things to either a "his or her" equivilent, or made it plural to keep the "they/their". :smallamused: Finally.


I wondered if you'd try to call me out on that, so I looked up whale sharks before I used the comparison. My findings:


As a filter feeder it has a capacious mouth which can be up to 1.5 metres (4.9 ft) wide and contains 10 filter pads and between 300 and 350 rows of tiny teeth.

So there! :smallbiggrin:

*grumblegrumbletinyteethshouldn'tcountgrumblegrumb le* :smallredface::smallbiggrin: Well played.


As for whether they come across as intelligent enough: yes, but only if you read very closely. You've got the word "sentient" nestled in a sentence about which kind of animal accompanies which gender, but it's in there. If you wanted to make it a little clearer you could just give that fact one sentence of its own. Alright, I'll demonstrate that more prominantly. Also, realized putting a "he or she" in all over the place, it quickly and effiecently solved my "are Ancients non gendered?" thing. :smallsmile:


I wouldn't necessarily make him outright weaker. You just want him to be dramatically different. He's likely to have trouble with spells that other Ancients consider simple because he's missing some "common" mental trick, for instance. As for specific limitations in the long term, I think that's likely to be story-driven more than anything else, but he's likely to have problems with getting people (anyone) to trust him; he's going to be hunted (perhaps using fancy methods for mage-hunting that are totally unnecessary, because the people hunting him don't realize that he's not aware of all the "simple" ways to hunt mages?). Perhaps the simplest thing is just not to let him get over some of his limitations: he wasn't trained to cast as a kid. So he takes longer to put together the proper casting focus, or isn't as natural with his audience--stuff that would be easy to absorb at a young age, but harder to master purposefully later in life.

Glad I've had a lot of that already planned in some fashion. :smallamused:


Not sure where the best place for that would be. Maybe simple is best, and you can just break the last sentence before Visual Magic off into its own paragraph, explaining that casters only use one form of magic, but that this is a fact of tradition and belief that multiple forms are impossible, rather than a law of nature.

I think I'm going to place it just before the three magics, where I'm descibing the intracies of each. :smallsmile:


I'd put it before the separate descriptions. This is essentially a definition of a term you're about to use, and it's relevant to pretty much everything else in the document, so putting it up front is probably best. Generally speaking, defining terms right before you use them is a good way to keep things from getting confused.

The only other place I could think of would be right after when I display the three stages. However, I started a new paragraph describing energy, and realized something - and its a tad of a problem you might be able to help me resolve...

So, you know how energy is personal - and then there's a supplemental energy that's pulled from the belief of the audience? Isn't that in some ways mirroring the idea of internal and external belief a little? This might be combined in some way...but its going to be alittle interesting to resolve. First, this life force/energy doesn't show up at all within the magical formula. That should change, because it relies on age, which currently isn't an outlier with this. Perhaps we should look at the formula I have for another corelated system - Fate -

Power = Progression Level / Amount of Elements Attuned
Caliber of Manipulation = (Ability + Skill)

Progression Level = (Age x Experience)
Ability = (Sensitivity + Precision) x Progression Level
Skill = Creativity(Imagination and Aptitude) + Study (knowledge of elements)

Sensitivity; which user can more accurately interpret what they're sensing to pinpoint that underground water, or sense smaller amounts?
Precision; when it comes to actually manipulating the element(s), which user has finer control?
Progression Level; how much energy can I excert toward manipulation.

In it, power is dictated as getting stronger with age, with experience being involved, and the amount of something. Perhaps this could be the amount of belief gathered or something?

So, something like-
Power = (Age x Experience) + Quality of Belief

Quality of Belief could then be broken down better into interior and exterior, or some such... Urg.

One key is, the older I am, the less energy is needed to accomplish the same thing, so that needs to be factored as well. It seems like belief and energy are to seperate things, yet very similar in natures. I also feel that external energy is derived soley from belief, and not from the actual individual's life force. Therefore, internal energy is dominant, and external is supplemental. Or perhaps I should just forgo external energy, and just have it be that belief is it's own part of a spell, energy just is the fuel. So I fuel a spell with my energy, but there isn't anything to fuel if it isn't believed. Maybe you can get something from all of this...


I wholeheartedly agree. This is, for me anyway, a much easier setup to wrap my mind around. I think it'll still be important that you go through a couple of sample mental magic exercises and figure out exactly how you'd adjudicate them (e.g. what happens with differing levels of internal/external belief), but I think this reconfiguration is a good idea. Not only does it more clearly separate visual from physical, but it seems to make more sense out of all the ways mental is used.

As for example mental magic scenarios to work out, I'd probably go through a really basic list like this one. For each item, first work out what exactly "external belief" means to that scenario. Then, go over each item three times: once where internal and external belief are both strong, once where internal belief is strong but external belief is lacking, and once where external belief is strong and internal belief is lacking. Maybe some scenarios (or some whole list items) are outright impossible--I don't know! But I think it's important that you do.
I observe your thoughts, and allow you to notice me doing so.
I influence your thoughts, and allow you to notice me doing so.
I observe your thoughts without you noticing.
I influence your thoughts without you noticing.
I wake you up.
I "attack" you in a mage duel.

I think this will work, and I'll explore a bit more fully exactly how things would break down. Perhaps I'll even be able to eventually have examples displayed on the write up! :smallsmile:


Yeah, this seems like it could be easy. Dangerously easy. It actually reminds me of something from (okay, watch out) Eragon, even though I only ever read the first book--it turned out in that magic system that one of the best ways to kill people was to just magically sever their carotid artery. Near-guaranteed death and almost no energy expended on the part of the mage. Something to think about, there, for physical magic users with a penchant for evil.

I did like how Eragon's system of magic worked. That series had nice descriptions, just not very good characters. I think living things are going to have a problem staying still, or may have a resistance to physical magic that will need to be overcome. I'll think on that. I also don't want this too close to Luck, which I'll get into in the distant future. Haha.


This is about what I was picturing. I'm familiar with FMA's premise, though not the the whole storyline. I think I understand it enough to get where you're going with this realm--I guess my real point was that it's important to at least have a vague idea of the answers to those questions I asked ("Do people know about it? Can people travel there without Physical magic? If so, could you bring back an army of clones?"), since you've got at least one form of magic that interacts with that realm regularly.

No, it's not a place you can travel to, I don't think. Most don't know about it. I don't think even Physical users know about it.

I think this was the only big thing left to respond to! For now, at any rate

@Energy
After some thought, I don't think you'd change very much by just eliminating "external energy" in favor of external belief. There's barely a distinction between them as it is, and while I could see a potential villain in the form of "I fuel my spells using other people's life energy" in the system you have now, I don't think it's necessarily a lot to lose, either.

As for your question about how age should relate to energy: does age make spells more powerful, or simply easier (less energy cost) to cast? My impression was that it was the latter, whereas power is derived from the magic-user's degree of proficiency (which would presumably come from experience). If I'm right, and spells just cost less energy with age, then why not keep things simple? Omit age from the spellcasting equation, and instead say that a person's available energy increases with age. Thus, spells cost less as you age, not in raw energy units, but in percentage of energy available.

The issue of course is that if spellcasting remains a "physical activity", then it should be derived from the same energy as things like running and fighting. Older people do simply increase in physical energy as they age; in fact the opposite is (presumably) true. So what of energy? My thought on this:

You could say that traditionally-physical activities increase in raw energy cost as one ages, whereas mental activities do not (there's support for this). e.g. when you're 70, it takes a dramatically greater effort to run a marathon than it did when you were 30, but you can still do complex math and creative tasks with the same youthful vigor as ever. As you get older, it takes proportionally more energy to run than to cast spells. Alternately, you could always just say that Ancients age differently. They're your race; you can do whatever you want there.

TheWombatOfDoom
2015-02-25, 08:52 AM
The World of Aldain is once again active! Any contributions, critiques, questions, or thoughts, please comment below! If you'd care to delve into Fate or Luck, those also need help! But Magic is ready and waiting for more critique!

Jirachi
2017-03-16, 05:17 PM
This is very interesting.
I am curious if there is any religion to be found in your setting.
Can any of the supernatural forces create a sentient being?
I think that a large problem with this system is that if a mental caster and a different kind of caster met up, and the mental caster had the ability to manipulate thoughts, you could run into a scenario where the mental caster could make you believe that you have no limits by manipulating your thoughts. It is true that people naturally do not believe that they have immense power, but the idea that you could not at least try to induce that idea in someone is.. questionable. Mental magic casters would have a huge advantage if they ever teamed up.

TheWombatOfDoom
2017-03-17, 09:38 AM
This is very interesting.
I am curious if there is any religion to be found in your setting.
Can any of the supernatural forces create a sentient being?
I think that a large problem with this system is that if a mental caster and a different kind of caster met up, and the mental caster had the ability to manipulate thoughts, you could run into a scenario where the mental caster could make you believe that you have no limits by manipulating your thoughts. It is true that people naturally do not believe that they have immense power, but the idea that you could not at least try to induce that idea in someone is.. questionable. Mental magic casters would have a huge advantage if they ever teamed up.

These are good points and thank you for the read! I'll open this back up if you'd like to keep discussing things with me! Mental magic does seem to rule in a belief based setting, but I'm not sure mental could truly make someone believe something they wouldn't normally. Kind of like in D & D where you can't make someone do something they normally wouldn't desire to do, but its worth analyzing and talking about a bit more. Do you have any balancing suggestions and or limitation ideas I might be able to implement?

Religion wise, I figured it might come naturally after Luck, Fate, and Magic are worked fully out, but now I don't have much aside from a singular deity one religion believes in. I don't have a lot of experience setting up religion stuff, so its been something I want to talk about and explore, but I'm not quite sure where to start... Why do you ask? Did you have some ideas? Magic is more of the ability to alter sentient life/living things, not create it. Luck is more about direct biology, but I assume that there will be a bit of cross over in certain instances.