View Full Version : Effects of magic on Society through the ages

2016-11-28, 09:43 PM
Magic plays a role in many games and is covered in various forms from the d20 and 3.5 style magics of pre-made spells to more free form magic.

Generally when thinking of magic in modern society the world either has magic tacked on and just assumed nothing changed or magic is some upheaval of natural laws.

The topic here is to delve further.

If magic exist from the beginn I ng of civilization, How does its existance change the growth and maturation of society, technology and economics?

The magic were going to use here assumes that it is Flexable, Reliable and prominant. Though like in all systems it does have to be studied to be any good at it.

Basically like modern technology magic grown from simple spells that create mage lights and fireballs to complex near computer program like spells in the modern world. Just about anything you can imagine can be done with magic but it's just not accessible to everyone.

Those societies or races that don't have access to magic would create and advance technology as we know it. Eventually these two (magic and technology) would combine to be two sides of the same things.

Many events in history would change or not exist because.of the existance of magic. Non human races change social strata completely. Religions, cults etc would changed because magic is real.

So in a world where magic exist to this extent, How do you think history would play out? Pick any era in history or go through an entire timeline. Your choice. Eventually though, how would modern society look compared to RL if magic played an integral part in its formation?

Green Elf
2016-11-28, 10:10 PM
I believe that if magic was heavily used throughout history there probably wouldn't be a today. Magic users would most likely try to gain control over the others and now everyone would be a wizard. Technology would most likely not advance because they already have everything that needed.

If they did use technology, maybe they'd curve bullets and have real life aim bot.

2016-11-28, 10:29 PM
Here's what I've come up with. I'm afraid my creative juices dried up just as it was getting interesting, though. I might come back to it later.

It starts with fire.
The development of fire is a big one, one of the first technologies invented by humans. Itís also the discovery of magic Ė the first spell simply starts a fire. Humans arenít sure how to react to magic; some see it as useful, others see it as frightening. The two groups eventually split.

Amongst the magic-using tribes, mages are a valuable resource. They might be chiefs, or shamans, or coveted slaves, but they always do important work. Their abilities are small and limited at first, and it takes a long time before they can do more than create fire. Healing is the next ability to be developed, reducing disease and injury though not eliminating them. As agriculture is developed, mages learn to increase the yield of crops. As animals are domesticated, mages learn to make work beasts stronger, meat beasts fatter, and both more fertile. As beer is discovered, mages learn to make it stronger, tastier, and less (or more) intoxicating. They also figure out hangover cures. As cities are built, they learn to shape the bones of the earth into walls, buildings, palaces and temples.

Among the magic-fearing tribes, mages are unwanted. They might be killed, or cast out, or simply forbidden from working their witchcraft, but they are always suppressed. Without magic, history is much like it is in the real world. Agriculture is developed, animals are domesticated, beer is brewed. Eventually cities are built.

Civilization has officially dawned. The city-states flourish along the life-giving rivers, but thereís only so much prime landscape. War is inevitable. The magic-users have an advantage over their nonmagical rivals. Between healing, enchanted weapons and outright battle magic, they win the early wars outright. The non-magical cities are destroyed, their people killed or scattered.

The survivors of the non-magical cities flee to the marginally habitable lands beyond civilization. They canít plant fields here, but these lands are good for grazing animals. They become nomads, living off their herds and flocks. They remember that the witch-folk of the cities wronged their ancestors, though the exact details are lost.

The population of the city-states has begun to grow large. No longer is it possible to train every potential mage; with each generation, more and more of those born with the gift live and die unknowing of their talent. The smaller a proportion of society the trained mages are, the fewer new mages they can train. The number of mages stays roughly constant, as the overall population rises. Magic is no longer available to all.

Unable to use magic to meet their needs, the populace turns to other means. A farmer observes that the children of his fatter cows are fatter than the children of his skinnier cows. Selective breeding is born. A builder starts playing around with some strange rocks, and finds a way to make them into a strange, hard, shiny reddish-orange substance. Metallurgy begins. A merchant starts marking her urns with a depiction of their contents. Writing is developed.

At the same time, magic is stagnating. Everything that can be done has been discovered; thereís no real area for growth. Magic, once the driving force of civilization, has become a toy of the elites.

At least, until bored wizards start casting spells at these new things being invented by the common folkÖ

2016-11-28, 10:46 PM
A very good start.

To help those creative juices flow, toss is the magic sysyem of my games modern society.

Bare bones descriptions and Fluff.

My design so far is basically as follows.

Magic consist of 12 schools and 6 levels of mastery for each school that give access to different ways of manipulation for that school.

Life, death, time, space, matter, forces, void, spirit, planes, mind, fate and magic.

Manipulations at the lowest level are compelling (pushing towards preferred but possible outcomes) to master level creation.

Simple spells require only knowledge in a single school while the more powerful spells may require 3 or more in a single casting.

This process is known as Weaving and Includes manipulating a spell in multiple ways. Like Transforming a dog into a grizzly bear and commanding it to obey all verbal commands. Transform and command are both Manipulations but doing the above requires both the life school and the mind school and both spells while possible individually work better in conjunction with each other in this situation.

Mana is drawn from the Aether flow. Rather than inherently part of a person like bioelectricoty is. Mana is external but a good 50-75% of society is capable of drawing mana.

Binding is a skill that allows a mage to weave a spell into items, places, people etc. Basically it's enchanting and the limit there is rational.

Create a key that when held and turned in the air or against the wall creates a door to a specific place.

Equivalent exchange does exist for transformation, the excess mass has to come from somewhere.

Creation and unmaking are master level skills that bypass the exchange rule as you are creating existences from pure magic. Magic is the currency in this regard. And unmaking disassembles something into raw magic.

Formulae can be written out using a mixed symbols/Rune system that much resembles scientific equations. Using this and "Grimoirs" a mage can (with practice) cast more Weavings at once since the book frees up a portion of the mind from having to keep the wanted effect imagined.

If you need more details please ask and I'll try to answer any questions

2016-11-28, 11:15 PM
Not a statement on history, but on the building complexity of spells:

I think some modern spells would be the equivalent of a computer program: specific syntax, and potentially long and complicated to get the computer reality to do what you want. But I say this in part because I think a large part of the appeal of programming to me IRL is that it feels like the fantasy magic of my childhood play.

A similar idea: http://grrlpowercomic.com/archives/2257/comment-page-1 (Arcanum++ vs Lexica arcanex)

On history: I think a lot would depend on how much training magic takes. If it's not more than learning a trade, then I don't see why non-mages would start to outnumber mages in magic-using tribes.

2016-11-28, 11:21 PM
You speaking in terms of human society or fantasyland society? Because either way it breaks down fairly quickly past a certain point. Its one of the major suspensions of disbelief necessary to have a functioning world. Lots of threads on this, but in essence you kind of need to hand wave it. If you dig deep everything kind of breaks down. Short of some divine/mystic watchdogs who literally go around with a bunch of wish level casters just sorting out messes.

Your society should be rather erudite and not have any concerns with most basic human comforts for everything. You can easily make food, shelter, and comfortable living conditions for the entire populace with very minor investment. Though there are going to be people who oppose this there are enough altruistic souls that it wouldn't be uncommon. No one needs to work at anything necessary to survival really, barring a few magical repairman types, but the rest of the society would focus on arts and intellectualism. Assuming a set level of magical stuff was more or less equally spread out between various cultural or national boundries, which would be a lot less important.

You go to war for pride, religion, resources. You take care of the 3rd with enough magic, you are all polytheistic so that isn't a major deal, and pride stems from being/believing you are better because your stuff is better. But if all your stuff is more or less equal, I see there being minimal squabbles, especially considering you are in a more or less resource free lifestyle. You don't need anything from that other town, you have all your stuff in your town. There would be in antiquity some adjustment where you had to check on the other town (or so you told your mage soldiers) to make sure they didn't have more/different stuff, and once everyone realized this, a lot of war would stop. There are always warmongers and whatnot, but giving a well taken care of society where everyone has all they would ever need and are more or less living a life of leisure, war would be a more or less outdated concept.

Or, you have mage wars which look like thermonuclear attacks and you wipe continents off the map and have magic viewed as taboo. You have probably have a few of those before people calm down.

Lord Raziere
2016-11-29, 01:14 AM
You probably end up with the Kingdom of Zeal from Chrono Trigger: a seemingly super-utopian society of powerful magic users with a slave class of non-magic users serving under them at near hunter-gatherer like conditions.

2016-12-02, 07:26 AM
I would think the Stone to Mud spell would render all siege weapons obsolete .

As much as I love hosting a DND Helms deep siege game , I can hear old Elminister laughing .

2016-12-02, 09:43 AM
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." (Arthur C Clarke)
When taken the other direction, you get Any sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from technology (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/SufficientlyAnalyzedMagic).

If there was an internally consistent system of magic, I think that history would have gone pretty much the same. The specific things we can do might be different, and it'd definitely look different if you had to have people chant to switch on the ignition of their autonomous moving wagon, but I think people would be about as good at taking advantage of magic as we've proven we are of technology. Of course, depending on how long it takes to discover/create spells of mass destruction, history would significantly change (in history, we didn't have anything more than the equivalent of delayed blast fireballs until WW2, when we suddenly discovered nukes).

Of course, my assumption is that there is still some conservation of energy in the magic system (which there is NOT in DnD, unless there is something like an aether permeating the universe that wizards are slowly draining every time they cast a spell), magic items are easy to make, and anyone can do magic.

Now, if we take a magic system in which (A) magic items are nonexistent or supremely non-flexible and (B) only a small portion of the population can use magic, then it depends on things.

If (A) and (not B), then with a flow of information on how to use magic, we would get something similar to today. Basically, we'd probably just be removing one layer of technology required to do things (and would have still invented technology to allow for guns, for instance, because guns are efficient and not taxing on the user and blasty spells would be less so on both counts).

If (not A) and (B), then we would still end up with something where a small portion of the society can create technological magical marvels which the rest of the population could use. Depending on the flexibility of the magical marvels, we could end up in a world where everyone has a magical device in their pockets that allows scrying with other such magical devices, can recreate an image of anything it is near, and create audio/visual effects for amusement (probably called a smartphone smartscryer). The few magical individuals would eventually end up creating magical devices that would allow lesser magical devices to be created, in some sort of assembly line, and most of our modern economy would be roughly similar.

If (A) and (B), then there'd be a few people capable of magical marvels, which they could not pass on to others for any duration of time.
With a low initial population of magic users, but where magic can only pass through bloodlines, I think survival of the fittest would result in a (A) and (not B), as the magic users would have more tools at their disposal, and eventually outcompete the non magic users.
On the other hand, if there was a low initial population of magic users, but there was no genetic component to whether a person could use magic or not, then history would develop with a small percentage of the population having much more ability than the rest. We would likely have a world where magic users would dominate their societies and have a large class divide between the people who can kill lots of people quickly and those who can't, between the people who can get from one place to another quickly and those who can't. There would be a minority of societies where the non-magic users would kill the magic users (see all the times where numerically superior native americans beat the technologically superior european colonizers / conquistadors in battle to know that this is possible), but unless and until there was eventually an enlightenment movement where universal human rights were considered to trump personal gain in at least some situations (the enlightenment in Europe clearly didn't go the whole way to universal human rights, because slavery still came about afterwards) you'd end up with a huge divide between the magical aristocracy and the non-magical, enslaved peasantry. Afterwards, you'd probably end up with the same divide, just with the magic-using upper class and the non-magic-using lower class (because capitalism). Depending on how much the upper class desired to help the lower class (whether out of benevolent goals, as an attempt to take out rival mages by harnessing their local population, or as an after-effect of improvements to their own lives), we could still end up developing this world's technology, or something similar, which would equalize things a lot, and result in a kind of cold-war as described in the Dresden Files books (where the magical things don't come out because humans have nukes and guns; there are several times, in fact, where completely mundane people with guns take out very powerful magical entities and groups in those books).

Now, of course, that's just assuming magic comes in the form of something as wide and varied as today's technology. If magic, instead, were limited entirely to the ability to walk through solid matter when (and only when) they want to, then I don't know what'd happen. Or if, rather than magic, the laws of reality were simply different (gravity isn't a thing, so no one walks! Except, then you'd probably never get stars/planets to form...)

Stealth Marmot
2016-12-02, 09:50 AM
I just wanted to chime in real quick on how a society with high magic can suffer from reduced immune systems.

An old DM I used to have made a good point in his game that people who are part of a society with somewhat ready access to magical means of removing disease will have immune systems that will naturally not be as strong, both due to lack of overall exposure, and people with weak immune systems not dying and thus the trait being free to spread.

What's more, overall medical knowledge and science would be stunted since the demand would be low. Why learn to make a vaccine when some yahoo could make a magic item?

As such, a high magic world would be extremely vulnerable should a magic resistant disease come up.

2016-12-02, 10:04 AM
I just wanted to chime in real quick on how a society with high magic can suffer from reduced immune systems.

An old DM I used to have made a good point in his game that people who are part of a society with somewhat ready access to magical means of removing disease will have immune systems that will naturally not be as strong, both due to lack of overall exposure, and people with weak immune systems not dying and thus the trait being free to spread.

What's more, overall medical knowledge and science would be stunted since the demand would be low. Why learn to make a vaccine when some yahoo could make a magic item?

As such, a high magic world would be extremely vulnerable should a magic resistant disease come up.

That's an interesting point. I would also add that as mentioned by some above in many ways techonology would stagnate, but not completely, so there may be huge advancements over the course of a thousand years in say transportation or food, but absolutely no advancement in some areas, like in energy. So magic would continue to progress and really gloss over all this, but technology would have these huge gaps and it would probably be felt the most by the poor.

2016-12-02, 01:47 PM
The magic were going to use here assumes that it is Flexable, Reliable and prominant. Though like in all systems it does have to be studied to be any good at it.

Basically like modern technology magic grown from simple spells that create mage lights and fireballs to complex near computer program like spells in the modern world. Just about anything you can imagine can be done with magic but it's just not accessible to everyone.

Those societies or races that don't have access to magic would create and advance technology as we know it. Eventually these two (magic and technology) would combine to be two sides of the same things.

You nudge around another issue here, but it's a big one. Magic may be prominent (in certain races), but is it prevalent? These aren't really the same thing.

Take nuclear weapons. (Note: We are not getting into any discussion of right/wrong here). When assessing a country's military capability, they are the first thing you look at. They are definitely "prominent". But they aren't "prevalent". Only a relative handful of countries have them (9 I believe).

So magic may be prominent (a true game changer for those with access), but not a huge world changer if only 1 in 1,000,000 have it.

Even assuming a decent ratio (let's take a D&D world ratio), has the attitude always been accepting among those races that have it? It might take quite a while before it became accepted.

Those races that didn't have it would be developing technological ways to counter it. You'd have a whole different arms race.

If magic was common, it would compliment technology in a lot of ways, but not necessarily replace it. After all, if you assume a D&D system, permanent magic costs the aster who has to adventure to restore it.

Here is a series (https://www.amazon.com/Into-Darkness-Novel-World-War-ebook/dp/B003G83UCS/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8) that explores it somewhat.

2016-12-02, 08:24 PM
Basically like modern technology magic grown from simple spells that create mage lights and fireballs to complex near computer program like spells in the modern world. Just about anything you can imagine can be done with magic but it's just not accessible to everyone.Take today's society, cross out science and insert arcane studies and you are done.

OK there might be some social changes if who has magic is random. The optimist in me says it might erode the classes a bit as your parent's abilities (and money) would have slightly less to do with your success. Or if study is really important, maybe it will not.

2016-12-04, 01:41 AM
I think a fundamental thing that must be established is is there limitations on magic. Like only can use so much, or something. If its like a dnd where it is limitless and does not have to abide by nearly any laws or rules, like conservation of energy, etc, technology would be so far behind as to be near meaningless. If anyone can say words the right way and then have access to whatever they want, at willl, with no limitation there is no reason to get a thing that only works on a magic charge of one day.

My personal belief is magic, being magic, does not abide by any rules but those of magic. It doesn't have to make sense, it doesn't have to play nice, it flips the bird at all physics and science,and the eternal questions of why and how are answered by "cause its magic." It can do what it wants when it wants without reservation, that is kind of intrinsic to magic. With magic like that, technology is a weird hobby of a few way dated people, like building ships in glass bottles. It exists, but its not going to make any major waves.

If I have to take time and energy and design, power, and teach someone how to use a gadget that does something, or just say Abracadabra, I will take the second every time, and so would most people. All that time and effort to do something that you can do easier, with no invested resources, time, etc, makes the former option more or less moot.

2016-12-04, 04:43 AM
Well, magic has acces to simple resources, makes the population dependant on magic, because magic becomes THE resource. (If they can create food/water or make better crops).

Communities with acces to magic become massively more powerful that those communities without the gift. Those communities get assimilated or exterminated.
Why is that? Well like the neanderthals, they are just too different, too weak. Their goods are there for the taken, they can't defend themself against us.

Magicians will create a hierarchy, were magicians are above everyone else, because there is a strong difference between an human, and a magician. They're like gods, because without them, humans are doomed, like those communities without magicians. Magicians are our protectors and our jailers.

Ethics evolve around this system, magicians will punish any crafty idea that make them less powerfull. Swords? Da fuq man? Burn that infidel, for spears are the only weapon we allow.

Some people will make a run for it, creating new communities, most of this communities will still give birth to magicians, and people will kill them fanatically.

Eventually, I guess, this will evolve to some kind of crude feudal system, with some buildings and stuff. The magicians will control a land, own the people that are in there, and look for potential magicians to keep their power. They will allow "crafty ideas" as long as they're still dependant on magic. The difference between our feudal system and this one, is that nobles had an "abstract" power, they were supposed to be better. Magicians are actually better, their power ain't abstract, they can obliberate villages whith their coffee cup on one hand.

More "crafty ideas" will arise, people will get punish for that, magicians will try to manipulate those ideas to fit them on the system.

A lot of our changes on types of goverment comes with revolutions, ethics related to equality, strength of numbers against tyrants. Revolutions came because the power was given from the people to the powerful, for they needed the simple folk in the system.
Magicians "counters" all of this, the revolutions can be brutally squashed because sheer numbers are incredible vulnerable to fireballs, equality is an illusion on this reality because magicians ARE REALLY different than an average human (more close to a demigod), the power is given FROM the powerful to the simple folk, the simple folk needs magicians more than magicians need simple folk.

Is like having gods walking on earth, humans are like those pet hamsters we have caged, you pet them because you find them cute. You don't need them, but they need you, because you made them need you.
Closely related to an abusive relationship, the abused is terrified, and he should.
Also closely related to the original nazis, change aryan for magician. Eureka! This magicians nazis are obviously right about them been "better, faster, stronger, unstoppable, flashy".

2016-12-04, 05:43 AM
It depends entirely on the magical system, and how powerful individual mages are.
One thing to remember, wizards aren't neccesarily all level 10 badasses summoning monsters from accross the veil and bearing such magical might they could go all day... They also need sleep.

But yes, I imagine that things would break down by around the medieval era, but people could get lucky and invent gunpowder/rockets/grenades (as happened in East Asia) which could overwhelm wizards. It's also something that could happen independent of other advances (You need pottery, and you need to accidentally figure out blackpowder, and then think that you could possibly recreate a mages fireball with a small pot of black powder and something to act like a trigger. Say burning cloth/leather.)

If you give us a general magic system, I'm sure someone could work out a rough timeline, I've got an idea though that I'll present when I have time.

2016-12-04, 06:34 AM
I'm going to take this from a 'Major Inventions' standpoint, but I'm not a historian/anthropologist, so feel free to shoot holes in it... Mostly stealing from Wikipedia

Anyhow, magic rules:
-Magic 'rarity' starts somewhere around '1 person/every other generation in every other tribe', noting that early tribes topped at around 20 people, with generations having been around 10 years instead of the 20 today (And noting that people who survived childhood/learning their trade/survived childbirth normally got to near 60.)... This puts percentage of magic users at 1/80ish.

-Magic arose in... *Checks evolutionary tree* Let's say Homo Heldel*Mumble*, just before the split into Neandathal and Sapians. For their physical differences, I'm going to steal from the Earth Children by Jean M. Auel because that's what I know. (Noting that Neandathals can actually speak though.)

-I'm stealing Magic from a couple of sorces, specifically mixing magic from Tales of MU and a couple of HP fanfics. In short, the rules:
Magic is elemental, and everyone has a tie to an element, (the four classical, plus pure/eather.). To note, there's also going to be 4 elemental planes + Astral, but eh.
Physics is as normal, plus everything has an additional trait (Say a special sub-atomic particle) related to the elements, based on their properties, with Eather somehow appearing in 'living' things.
All things have magical tendencies, but Aether is rarest. This can effect power of spells and a couple of other things.
Magic doesn't work the exact same for everything. Some things are close enough, but very different people would develop spells that didn't work for each other. (Don't expect an American Indian Fire Mage to learn spells from a Chinese Water Mage). But, eventually, weaker 'universal' spells will arise that people customise to self.
Mages can all unconciously use magic called accidental magic. With focus, they can use this to do whatever, but it's really exhausting. Like getting the universe to do something by pointing at stuff and shouting in another language, instead of politely asking in it's language.
Magic is intent based. Until people intend to do things like create magic creatures/plants/etc, you just have mundane people and mages.

Rough Timeline:
-Homo Erectus looses out to Homo Held*Mumble* due to the odd very rare proto-mage who is simply better in all things due to unconcious magic use. Limited Stone Tools/Fire/Shelter Building already exists. (1 Million Years ago, roughly.)
-Homo Held*Mumble looses out to the physically more capable, more often magical, and more powerfully magical Sapians and Neandathal, who both survive each other by prefering different territories.
-Pretty things start being invented. With larger tribes occasionally forming, mage 'bloodlines' start forming as lines of people with similar enough magic can 'learn' others 'accidental' magic ok. Mages are generally in the roll of hunters due to their magic giving them far better weapons and defences than everyone else, though ethers generally become sharmans due to different perceptions, and are slightly better at fighting other mages using their magic, but are much rarer (1/17 vs 4/17 of each.)

-Agriculture, Domestication of Animals, creation of beer, and other such inventions lead to the creation of hamlets and other small communities much larger than normal. Rise in disease is combated by intent based magic and desperate attempts at healing. There might be as many as 2 mages to a community now... Neandathal's only hold on due to ancestral memory refining their magic despite being physically more powerful, as Sapians better magical endurence and greater numbers begin chipping away at them. Mixed breeding begins to happen a lot... Normally rape.

-Someone figures out that doing things to their spears can help focus spells depending on how they're treated. Gap widens between mage hunters and others... Some branches become less powerful though experimentation occurs. Fire and Water Mages have supremacy as heat treated and blood whetted spears help them respectively. Marks the very beginning of foci.

-5000BC: Someone figures out copper. Still not as good as Mages, but the gap closes slightly. Being a mage no-longer garuntees a win, particularly in numbers as the metal makes it easier to penetrate a mages defences. Neandathals are fully merged into Homo Sapians, who have more obvious Neandathal traits than IRL due to longer interbreeding period. (I think, not historian.) Magic is also much more common given how desirable of a trait it's been. Perhaps as high as 1/40? Earth mages become more powerful as they develop 'copper staves' along the same lines as 'water and fire' staves, or spears.

-3000BC: Someone figures out writing, and communication is further refined. The focusing of language helps shape magic spells, and very basic runework begins to be made. Ether mages regain overall magical supremacy, and air mages are no longer greatly behind. Magical traditions are refined, and the first proto-spells are truly made, rather than slightly different ways of focusing 'accidental magic'... Egypt is well and truly becoming the world's empire. Religion is budding, but is very different with the existance of wizards.

-Sometime between 3000BC and 500BC, Mages become common enough that the fact they tend to do better in regular jobs is noticed, their previously unoticed efforts as farmers producing more and better crops... Magical creatures start arising, sometimes deliberately.

-500BC Onwards: Empires rise and fall, and professional armies are backed by wizards with the first spells and mighty staves. Instead of Legions, Skirmishers are the masters of the day, though raiding undefended locations is still prefered. Assassins are liberally used to target enemy mages where possible, as is great quantities of poison. The magical arms race is well under way. Heavy Crossbows allow the penetration of the earliest shields.

Magic eventually becomes ubiquitous, however population growth is slower than IRL, due to magical pregnencies being harder on the featus for reasons not yet known. Only how favourable the trait is keeps magic from being outbred, being bred for instead.

-672 AD Mundane Alchemy (Because occasionally someone other than mages attempt the do alchemy, sometimes just desperite to create the wonders mages do) creates Napatha, allowing completely mundane people to well and truly trump mages by surprise. That said, with magic so common, it's rare it's actually needed.

-9/10th Century, refinements in Language and Math have lead to true spells, and experiments in alchemy and enchanting wands. Mages are well and truly dominent. The Invention of Gunpoweder in Asia and along with it rockets means that magic isn't the only tool in war, but enchanted rockets are the common ranged weapon.

Beyond- The sheer power of magic means it's focused upon over science, with the 'Renasiounce' coming late and orrigionally laughed at. Engineering is also delayed somewhat as shoddy engineering is shored up by magical reinforcement. The printing press, when finally invented, revolutionizes mages, with Aether based 'general' magic making magic something beyond something passed down in families much like jobs. The most printed book isn't a religious text, instead the best version of general utility spells for around the home, including with it the information on how to refine spells and develop one's own. Gods are still believed to exist, but are more feared or mocked, being considered the sources of major calamities, or beings that test man to bring out the best in them (I.e., their magic.).

2016-12-04, 07:04 AM
Magic in my system I'm building is based on 2 things mechanically. Sciences and Specialties.

Sciences are

Physical Sciences

Physirica, Is the study and Knowledge base for all manner of Matter, Energy and Natural forces. Spells that Fall under Physirica Generally include Thermal Energy, Motion, Electricity, Kinetic Energy, Gravity, Matter (General) *Matter (General) Refers to Physirica's relation with matter itself. Directly effecting the composition of Matter falls under Chymerica.

Chymerica, is the study of Matter Liquid and its Structural changes Wether Naturally or Magically. Spells that Fall under Chymerica generally deal with material objects at the material and atomite Level.

Georica, is the study of Earth and Stone. Spells that Fall under this study Generally use Earth, Dort, Rock, Minerals or other Elements of Earth as a basis for the spell or as a target

Is the Study of Weather and the Outer Rim. (Outer rim means Atmosphere) Spells that Fall under Meteorica generally include Gasses and Weather Patterns.

Life Science

Biogrica is the study of Mortal life and Anatomy. Spells that Fall under Biogrica generally deal with Healing, Diseases, Mutation, life forces and Positive Energy.

Botarica is the study of Plant life. Any Spells the fall under Botarica generally deal with Plants or effect plants.

Zoolorica deals with Animal life and Anatomy. Spells that Fall under Zoolorica generally deal with Animals, Insects and Vermin. (Including out realm ones)

Astral Sciences

Theorica is the study of spirits and the soul. Spells that Fall under Theorica generally deal with Spirits, Ghosts, Astral Projection, Ectoplasm, Death and the Etherial.

Psychorica is the study of the mind. Spells that Fall under Psychorica generally deal with Thoughts, Dreams, The Cognitive realms, Telepathy, Memory and Conciousness.

Temporica is the study of time. Spells that Fall under Temporica generally deal with Time, The Past, The Future, Aging and Decay.

Space Science

Astralica is the study of Realms and Cosmos. Spells using Astralica generally include Outer Space, Deminsions, Portals, Cosmic Locations and Phenomenon.

The study of Chaos, the void, Darkness, The Arcane. Spells using Chaotica generally include shadows, Magic as the focus of the spell, the Void and Random Occurance.

These are the modern dividing of magic into the various aspects of the world. Researches cannot determine if this is all there is to magic or if there is a dozen other aspects and manipulations they can find.


How a practitioner Manipulates magic for each study is called a Specialty.

Any spell that Banishes, Wards or outriggt blocks effects, creatures or Damage Types.

Any Spell that brings Creatures or Materials from Another Location wether from the Mortal realms or not.

Any Spell that is used to gain knowledge of a Target, Be it Event, Action, Person, Place, Thing or subject.

Any Spell to either increase an attribute in yourself and allies or grant the caster control of a target.

Any Spell that creates something from nothing or Manipulates elements.

Spells that alter the target or targets perception of a subject, creates False Images.

Any Spell that deals with Healing, Curing Diseases, Reviving the dead to life.

Any Spell that Alters or Transforms a subjects properties or nature.

A catch all catagory for a spell that doesnt fall into one of the other Catagories.

Simple spells can be done without much training or practice and generally manipulate in some manner a concept easy to visualize. Fire, water, Rock, Mortal Bodies, Animals and plants being the easiest. The more abstract the concept the more difficult it is to visualize the spell.

Simple spells can also be performed without the use of a grimoire or even a pretty determined spell.

Skilled practitioners after years of research can perform random situational spells of a more complicated nature.

The most difficult of spells require a Grimoire to cast from as this frees the mind from having to structure the spell and leaves it open for pure visualization.

A practitioner can bind magic to an item using triggers to activate the effect upon certain events. Triggers are a type of spell that activate another spell they are tied to (Arcane Studies) whenever specific conditions are met based on their own scientific School. For Example, the modern Automobiles uses metal plates on the floor with triggers attached to themy based on the effect, Touched by life. Both Triggers use Pressure and transfer it to the various inner workings of the vehicle causing it to move forward or backward by activating a propulsion spell inside the Chamber.

Some rules of magic is an aspect (this is the individual parts of each school of study) cannot be created or destroyed like (to non existsnce). Only converted, Manipulated or Transformed. Equivalency isn't exact. Scholars have learned that though the amount take is almost never noticeable, when. Inverting matter you always receive at leastn.01 percent less than what went Inn.

Magic began in this world as it is now by early tribal life learning that the fire they can make through wood and grass could be controlled.

Every major advance in magic had come upon the heels of science. Providing an increasing payoff in performance and a surfeit if goals to reavh. .

Most mechanical, electrical and pneumatic Advances include.

Magic is not available to everyone. It must be studied and the colleges demand a large tuition.

Standard fantasy races.
Elves, stuck up, contain 3 Noble houses. 1 controls thd Entertainment business, one are leaders in global trade, 1 Manufacturing of Binded Items.

Halflings, easy going, laid back, usually farmers.

Dwarves- Mining commjnity. 3 major clans. 1 Bankers (created and defined modern currency) , 1 Forges and smithing, 1 Lawyers.

Gnomes. Tech savvy tinkerer Race. Heavily Adept at both Binding and machinery. Inventors of modern electronics and computers.

Possibly other races. Haven't decided yet.

Elves and dwarves hate eachother on a fundamental religious level due to historical events well before the world's current timeline. (Think ancient races before the current races. This event does not effect the timeline currently other than proving the animosity between the two races. )

Monsters and creatures of magic do exist. However they are dangerous enough that even today thick walls are built around entire cities and around homes. Mages spend 1 day each week refreshing the cities Wards while each home is expected to either create their own if possible or purchase the services of another.

Alright so again it began with the discovery that certain sounds and movements allowed the tribal beginnings to manipulate fire. Advances in magic required intense study, research, trial and error.

Inadequate or badly performed spells backlash on the caster for a variety of effects either simply a poor.version of the spell is released on him or her is damaged by an aspect instead of controlling it.

2016-12-04, 10:20 AM
It depends on the nature of the supernatural and when it is discovered and how. There is no generic, universal magic; it is an empty word with a meaning arbitrarily decided by a setting author.

This said, it's easy to look at how ideas of magic have affected society in real life (and vice versa), and to observe that many conventions and quirks of fantasy magic are inspired after those.

Settings such as J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter, which are explicitly set on Earth and have the magical society influenced by non-mages too, are good food for thought. So is Tippyverse famous on these forums, as it offers several interesting proposals on how mass-scale teleportation would change society. Jaconia and Borvaria of the Praedor franchise offer an interesting comparison point, because pre-fall Borvaria describes a setting similar to Tippyverse, but arrived at independently.

2016-12-04, 02:49 PM
That massively depends on the potetial Scope and limitations of magic, asw ell on how pletnyful it is.

I`d say there are 3 "general Lines of Change" (simplified for length)

1.: magic can do close to nothing but augment the user, move things with the mind, allow some low level of control over others Minds/read them, and some minor to (ritually) medium elemental effects as well as speeding up natural healing.

In that case all the ancient eras would become much MUCH safer for Mages than anybody else, which would lead to them breeding much faster.
It would likely slow down the actual end of the tribal era (as once a tribe has enough magic it doesn`t need more civilization) but once Civilazation kicked in, semidominant mages would speed up the early empires (think Egypt with a Pharao that really CAN modify the niles floods).
The Middle ages (assuming some factors similar to the catholic churchs influence, which would likely be just a parti cularly successful cult of a dead mage) stops technological evolution for a while will be the last High Time of these Mages.

Once we reach later stages Mages will only be more skilled Athletes/Politicians, but magic will be entirely overshadowed by Technology.

So not much will have changed.

2.: Like above plus major elemental effects (think flying, flooding entire Valleys, controlling small volcanoes, etc), healing above minor things curing Diseases, longevity and good enchantments.
Explicitely no summoning, technomagic (that aids thinking, creates anything lasting, enters other planes etc).

In this case the Ancient Empires will most likely last for a lot longer, their Demigodkings/Magekings ad their Cabal of Magepriests leading them through the Centuries.

Most likely only amssive barbarian hordes will ring them down (and Magic, for a while) and give room for a much alter developement of technology (and resurfacing magic Kingdoms/Societies).

Most likely only at the very least our recent Techlevel or higher will start to overcome Magic as Main source of Power.
If at all.

3.: Magic is semi-allpowerful.
With enough Mages you can ressurect the Dead, annihalate peninsulas, command Devil Armies and create Life.

No Technology above Toolmaking will ever be developed.

We live in Pharao Ramses the Firsts Eternal Empire.