View Full Version : Role of Magic: Technology Stand-in? Expanded Options? Aesthetic? Horror?

Mr. Mask
2015-02-18, 12:43 AM
This should be an interesting discussion. What roles and purposes do you feel magic fulfils in games, stories, and settings in general, and what roles and purposes does it fulfil in your personal games, stories, etc.?

Some magic is there to speak of a world bigger than is perceived, sometimes used for horror or speaking of profound subjects.

Sometimes magic is just there in place of technology, used for advanced healing so gangrene isn't as serious, or to have a character with a sword and pistole like fighting style before pistols are available.

It can also be to expand options, allow people to have adventures under the sea, or in the sky, or about stealing people's souls. This can be similar to the role technology serves in scifi, where it can speak of profound subjects like the human condition, interesting what ifs, or things people dream of doing. It could also serve to have different sorts of stories, like something closer to Dragon Ball, or justification for of heroes like from the Norse Sagas.

In some cases, magic might even be used for the look of it. Flashy lights that come from your soul/ki have a certain charm beyond using a weapon someone else crafted. The idea of personal strength that grows with practice rather than armament. A power fantasy of possessing secret knowledge few are able to master. It's an interesting theme, to be sure.

There may be other draws or potentials I've forgotten to mention. Go ahead and mention them if I did.

So, what are your thoughts? What do you like about magic, or what potential do you see it having to games/stories/etc.? Is there something you dislike about magic as it's portrayed in X, or the idea of it in general? What kinds of magic are you interested in (subtle, overt, horror) or dreamt up?