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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    BlackDragon

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    Default Examples of High Magic Settings

    Could you guys give some examples of high magic settings and how they're like? They can be published settings or homebrew settings, it doesn't matter and and it doesn't need to be just D&D settings.

    I'm only asking because whenever I search for anything related to high magic I only find pointless discussions with sword and sorcery fans saying "magic is bad mkay".

    Low-Magic Setting fans are not welcome here.
    Last edited by DragonSorcererX; 2019-11-27 at 08:10 PM.

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    DwarfBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: Examples of High Magic Settings

    If we're talking about D&D, all of them.

    When have you ever seen Gandalf cast Meteor Swarm? Or open a Gate to another plane of existence? Or Stop Time?

    On another note, D&D is also high wuxia.

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    Default Re: Examples of High Magic Settings

    Quote Originally Posted by the_david View Post
    If we're talking about D&D, all of them.

    When have you ever seen Gandalf cast Meteor Swarm? Or open a Gate to another plane of existence? Or Stop Time?

    On another note, D&D is also high wuxia.
    Isn't Gandalf like the weakest member of his race? I'm sure the strong Maiar can do those things (except open a gate to another plane because there are no planes in the LOTR universe).

    Also, I think that you are another low-magic fan that came to plague a thread about high magic.
    Last edited by DragonSorcererX; 2019-11-27 at 08:09 PM.
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    Default Re: Examples of High Magic Settings

    The labels of "high magic" and "low magic" are fairly modern, and thus imprecise and highly argued in their definitions. They mostly arose from people learning that "high fantasy" and "low fantasy" didn't refer to what they thought they did in the literary scene, and trying to find new labels to suit the concept of how much fantasy was in their fantasy. As a result, trying to categorise fiction into these categories post-hoc is going to lead to a lot of arguments.

    However, I'm going to try and lay out my understanding of the labels as they currently exist in a way that's at least of marginal help when considering a setting's overall facets. Bear with me:

    As with all things, I'd consider this less as two distinct categories and more like a continuum between two extremes.

    "Low magic" generally refers to settings in which magic is rare for the average person to see, and the more explicitly supernatural elements of the setting are either nonexistent or uncommon. This is where you get your gritty sword and sorcery stories which relegate most magic to the fringes, with very few people having encountered much in the way of the true supernatural. These are closer to reality, but with a few rare but notable deviations which are significant even in-universe. In these settings, what magic can do is more likely to be limited, subtle, or weak.

    "High magic" refers to settings in which magic is a frequently-encountered part of the average person's life, and explicitly supernatural elements are more likely to be commonplace. In these settings you're more likely to see public magical institutions, and normal folks know a little magic or at least heave ready access to people or items which do. Chances are high that any person in the setting has experienced something supernatural or magical. These settings are usually further from reality on average. Magic is more likely to be of incredible power, flashy, and more broadly capable.

    A lot of settings occupy some space between, but what it comes down to is what direction the setting leans by default.

    In Short:
    • Low magic settings treat the supernatural as notably rare or unusual, and what elements may exist are usually limited in potency or otherwise closer to reality.
    • High magic settings treat the supernatural as commonplace, and the average slice of the setting is more likely to be of incredible power or otherwise unlike our reality.

    (Created by me. I should probably put that on there somewhere.)

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    Default Re: Examples of High Magic Settings

    Quote Originally Posted by Shoreward View Post
    The labels of "high magic" and "low magic" are fairly modern, and thus imprecise and highly argued in their definitions. They mostly arose from people learning that "high fantasy" and "low fantasy" didn't refer to what they thought they did in the literary scene, and trying to find new labels to suit the concept of how much fantasy was in their fantasy. As a result, trying to categorise fiction into these categories post-hoc is going to lead to a lot of arguments.

    However, I'm going to try and lay out my understanding of the labels as they currently exist in a way that's at least of marginal help when considering a setting's overall facets. Bear with me:

    As with all things, I'd consider this less as two distinct categories and more like a continuum between two extremes.

    "Low magic" generally refers to settings in which magic is rare for the average person to see, and the more explicitly supernatural elements of the setting are either nonexistent or uncommon. This is where you get your gritty sword and sorcery stories which relegate most magic to the fringes, with very few people having encountered much in the way of the true supernatural. These are closer to reality, but with a few rare but notable deviations which are significant even in-universe. In these settings, what magic can do is more likely to be limited, subtle, or weak.

    "High magic" refers to settings in which magic is a frequently-encountered part of the average person's life, and explicitly supernatural elements are more likely to be commonplace. In these settings you're more likely to see public magical institutions, and normal folks know a little magic or at least heave ready access to people or items which do. Chances are high that any person in the setting has experienced something supernatural or magical. These settings are usually further from reality on average. Magic is more likely to be of incredible power, flashy, and more broadly capable.

    A lot of settings occupy some space between, but what it comes down to is what direction the setting leans by default.

    In Short:
    • Low magic settings treat the supernatural as notably rare or unusual, and what elements may exist are usually limited in potency or otherwise closer to reality.
    • High magic settings treat the supernatural as commonplace, and the average slice of the setting is more likely to be of incredible power or otherwise unlike our reality.
    Not trying to be rude, but I already knew all of that, I was just asking for examples of High Magic settings because I know none.

    Unless you are correcting the guy above, then it's fine.

    Edit: And Eberron doesn't count, I don't want this to be a discussion about Eberron.
    Last edited by DragonSorcererX; 2019-11-27 at 08:28 PM.
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    Default Re: Examples of High Magic Settings

    Eberron is a high magic setting for D&D, but I do not think it is the highest magic setting for it. Both Planescape and Spelljammer are more magical.
    Planescape is characters running around in the center of the universe, which is a torus floating above an infinately high mountain that negates magic, which is at the center of a infinately wide plain. And they have adventures in the realms of the gods, angels, and demons.
    Spelljammer is about hooking a magical chair up to a ship and flying it between worlds. Which are each contained within giant crystal spheres that float within a highly flammable aether. And each crystal sphere has its own rules of nature. There are also at least two groups that use living ships, three if you count the guys that harness space whales.
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    Default Re: Examples of High Magic Settings

    Quote Originally Posted by DragonSorcererX View Post
    Isn't Gandalf like the weakest member of his race? I'm sure the strong Maiar can do those things (except open a gate to another plane because there are no planes in the LOTR universe).

    Also, I think that you are another low-magic fan that came to plague a thread about high magic.
    Not really. It just depends on how you define high magic. For example, you could argue that Eberron is a low magic setting when compared to the Forgotten Realms. I'm not saying Eberron is a low magic setting. I'm just saying that if you keep the following things in mind you'll see that there's more than one way to define a setting.
    In the Forgotten Realms the gods walk amongst the mortals. The gods of Eberron might as well not exist.
    Halaster Blackcloak has a challenge rating of 39. (In the 3e version of Forgotten Realms.) Lady Vol is a level 16 lich and that is about as high as you can get in Eberron. This is by design. The enemies you'll face in Eberron should be mostly mid-level while you can fight epic level enemies in the Forgotten Realms.

    Now as far as I know, magic item distribution should be the same in Forgotten Realms and Eberron. That means that (Again, in 3e D&D.) you can buy a first level potion in a settlement with a population of 81 or more. You can buy a first level wand in a settlement with a population of 901 or more. You can buy a +1 weapon in a settlement with a population of 2001 or more.
    The same goes for loot and wealth by level. The amount of magical stuff you can expect to get should be equal in those settings. (Note that 1e Pathfinder actually has rules to make low and high magic settings by adjusting wealth by level.)

    So how would you define a high magic setting? What are your expectations?

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    Default Re: Examples of High Magic Settings

    Quote Originally Posted by the_david View Post
    So how would you define a high magic setting? What are your expectations?
    This is important, as there can be quite a bit of discussion of what is necessary for a setting to be high magic. some would argue that setting where magic is extremely common, even if it never gets super-powerful is high-magic, and others might argue that a setting with super-powerful magic that's only ever used once or twice is a low magic setting.

    To give you one example: A series of books I've currently been reading is pretty similar, society and development-wise, to the late middle ages. Magicians aren't uncommon (seems to be about 1 in 10 to 1 in 30) but most of them are incredibly weak, capable of curing minor ailments, or tracking someone, or maybe lighting small fires with a snap of their fingers. Sounds pretty low-magic, right?

    But sometimes, either through some confluence of genetics or training, or because someone figured out another road to power (Like, I don't know, binding the souls of your 11-or-so dead compatriots to your own so you can access al their knowledge and power, or something like that) you get mages of incredible power, the kind of people that could go toe-to-toe with a lvl20 DnD wizard or Codzilla, and at the very least get a draw, if not a win. The setting also has gods that tend to actively meddle, massive undead armies, dragons and just general areas that are locii for magical power. The setting has a plane structure not dissimilar to that of DnD as well. So, despite appearing low magic if you look at the daily life of a lot of people, the setting itself is far more high-magic from an adventurers perspective.

    So, what does your high-magic setting need to be considered high magic by you? Should everyone be able to use magic? Should magic be absolutely epic when unleashed by a skilled practitioner?
    Jasnah avatar by Zea Mays

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    Default Re: Examples of High Magic Settings

    The tippyverse is a very high magic setting: most things are done through the use of magic.
    (it is in homebrew design so I excepted more fan made settings)
    Last edited by noob; 2019-11-28 at 08:19 AM.

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    Default Re: Examples of High Magic Settings

    Quote Originally Posted by lightningcat View Post
    Eberron is a high magic setting for D&D, but I do not think it is the highest magic setting for it. Both Planescape and Spelljammer are more magical.
    Planescape is characters running around in the center of the universe, which is a torus floating above an infinately high mountain that negates magic, which is at the center of a infinately wide plain. And they have adventures in the realms of the gods, angels, and demons.
    Spelljammer is about hooking a magical chair up to a ship and flying it between worlds. Which are each contained within giant crystal spheres that float within a highly flammable aether. And each crystal sphere has its own rules of nature. There are also at least two groups that use living ships, three if you count the guys that harness space whales.
    Quote Originally Posted by noob View Post
    The tippyverse is a very high magic setting: most things are done through the use of magic.
    (it is in homebrew design so I excepted more fan made settings)
    While I already know about these settings I appreciate that you guys are the only ones who gave me names.

    About Tippyverse, I wanted something less "metagamey".

    Thanks to eveyone else who answered this thread too.

    Quote Originally Posted by the_david View Post
    Not really. It just depends on how you define high magic. For example, you could argue that Eberron is a low magic setting when compared to the Forgotten Realms. I'm not saying Eberron is a low magic setting. I'm just saying that if you keep the following things in mind you'll see that there's more than one way to define a setting.
    In the Forgotten Realms the gods walk amongst the mortals. The gods of Eberron might as well not exist.
    Halaster Blackcloak has a challenge rating of 39. (In the 3e version of Forgotten Realms.) Lady Vol is a level 16 lich and that is about as high as you can get in Eberron. This is by design. The enemies you'll face in Eberron should be mostly mid-level while you can fight epic level enemies in the Forgotten Realms.
    Eberron is an interesting subject because it is less magical than people realize, while there are magewrights it's not like every middle class or higher chef knows prestidigitation, and the most magical thing that is used constantly are the skycoaches from Sharn and that's because of Sharn's manifest zone that allows for such things, most of everywhere else in Khorvaire is just a regular D&D setting (except for Aundair).

    Quote Originally Posted by the_david View Post
    So how would you define a high magic setting? What are your expectations?
    Well, when I say high magic setting I was thinking about a setting where even the lower class common folk have access to magic that provides them with a level of comfort similar to the modern times, and a setting where soldiers use spells instead of bows, every chef knows prestidigitation, things like that.
    Last edited by DragonSorcererX; 2019-11-28 at 11:28 AM.
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    Default Re: Examples of High Magic Settings

    The Pathfinder standard setting in Golarion is pretty High magic to me. Almost every town has a sorcerer/wizard/witch/cleric/etc. There are institutions devoted to arcane or divine magic. There are whole countries ruled by Witch/Lich/Illusionist etc. Even almost every town has magic items in stores available. So I believe that if you take a look on them you will find what you are looking for.

    Also Ars Magica can be made this. Although the setting is mythic Europe where wizard live hidden. In practice the game is about a covenant with several wizard living together.

    Mutants and Masterminds had an edition for fantasy settings (Warriors and Warlocks), and another about magic and running magic adventures. It may fit your needs.
    Last edited by Relonious; 2019-11-28 at 11:15 AM.

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    Default Re: Examples of High Magic Settings

    Determining if a setting is high magic or not depends on both how common the magic and how powerful the magic is. A setting with widespread weak magic can still be high magic, and in fact common, but low-powered, magic is more likely to change the world from the quasi-medieval baseline than rare but high-powered magic in most magic systems (this does not hold in 3.X D&D, but that's because a single high-level caster in that system can use their magic to generate essentially infinite more magic).

    The Wheel of Time is, at least in its initial state, a world with high-powered but rare magic. The Aes Sedai are powerful generalist spellcasters, but they are not numerous - there's less than a thousand of them in an area that is at least Europe-sized - and their ability to leverage their power is limited because though magic items exist they can't make any new ones and don't understand the function of most of the ones they actually have. By contrast, the Inda series is a world where magic is extremely common, to the point that even small children can use spells, but fairly weak, since magic is mostly used by the author to make her quasi-medieval world literally much cleaner and more hygienic than it would otherwise be.

    The classic 'high magic' ideal is of course one where magic is both high powered and highly abundant, but relatively few stories are written in such worlds and those that are tend to have terrible world building because such worlds are difficult to handle properly. The Codex Alera, in which literally every human has the power to command elemental 'furies' as magical powers and various other species have their own mystical abilities, is one such series, and its world-building is indeed terrible (it's a fun action-adventure romp though, even if it doesn't really hold together).

    In general, 3.X D&D is some of the highest magic around, as magic use is both highly abundant and almost incalculably powerful. Extant D&D settings do not mechanically match quasi-medieval worlds and should rapidly evolve into something closer to the Tippyverse (not necessarily that outcome specifically, but some sort of magic-based alternative world), or crash and burn through a magic-induced apocalypse (ex. a single Shadow of the Void can create thousands of Winterwights, an epic-level undead, as spawn each day). Such power leads to gonzo ridiculousness rather than any good worldbuilding options.
    Resvier: a P6 homebrew setting

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    Default Re: Examples of High Magic Settings

    I ran a campaign where the mechanisms of the world were being run by ancestral ghosts in the afterlife. The premise is that the characters die just before the first session, and go on to develop a number of over-the-top spirit powers. In the meta of that campaign world, the entire afterlife system had actually been setup as a sort of spiritual waste processing plant for a hyper-advanced civilization that was operating on the scale of things like 'we've literally run out of places to put souls anymore, so we have to start reprocessing them'.

    The average character in that setting could basically persist indefinitely (everyone is already dead, so if you die again you just reform eventually but with some ultimately temporary penalties), create new spells and magical effects in a freeform fashion as part of their very nature, etc. Characters who obtained any kind of social rank in the afterlife could in effect act like demigods, manipulating some aspects of the mortal world at their whim. The entire thing was very Planescape inspired but rather than dividing the afterlife by alignment, it was more organized by emotions or ways of life that characterized a person - so you could literally get a house in Joy and spend your afterlife feeling good about yourself, or buy cheap property in Despair to build some warehouses.

    Spirit powers in that setting were, I think, what one could call high magic pretty easily. An example during play is that one of the players - accidentally - made all ocean water in the mortal world impose a 'Fear' effect on those who were in contact with it, because they used an item capable of 'transmuting the abstract' in a room that basically broadcast all magical effects within it to global-scale (for use by the spirit rulers in controlling weather systems and the like, but the party got into combat in that room and... it wasn't pretty). Businesses in the afterlife enabled buying and selling of fundamental aspects of identity and power, both in the abstract and in game mechanical terms - you could e.g. sell your wisdom in exchange for receiving ultimate power over vipers, or sell a feat slot to buy a free template.

    ---------------

    There was a campaign I was in called 'Sark' (based on the island in the English channel) which was roughly kitchen sink World of Darkness mechanically (e.g. all creature-books included), but where, by the end of the game, the PCs had created a widespread magitech research institute on modern-day Earth in tenuous cease-fire with traditional WoD forces like the Masquerade and the Technocracy. The reveal involved doing things like solving the world's energy problems, making treatments that could transform people into the supernatural type of their choice (including - successful - experiments in creating new custom supernatural types), removing vampiric addiction to blood and substituting it with artificial sources, publicizing magic and basically awakening the entire human population, magic-enabled spaceflight (via changing shape into giant space-birds the size of a city) and time travel, turning the entirety of the world's quartz into sentient networked computers, etc.

    So by the end, pretty high magic.
    Last edited by NichG; 2019-11-28 at 10:55 PM.

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    Default Re: Examples of High Magic Settings

    Off the top of my head for D&D

    Forgotten Realms has literal wizard-god-kings and portals to and from Earth and an entire nation of guys who make magic items for sale

    Dark Sun, where every city is ruled by a wizard/psion dragon monsterman and has tons of artificially created races

    Spelljammer, where all the wacky stuff from medieval fantasy novels about space exists

    Planescape, where the main city is a giant donut floating over an infinitely tall spire of rock that has butterflies that suck gods dry

    Eberron is high magic whether you like it or not, it's got artificially created intelligent species

    Mystara is right in the name



    Outside of D&D, off the top of my head:

    The Dreamlands of HP Lovecraft, with its near godlike cats and myriad of races and godlike beings just hanging out

    The Wheel of Time appears to have no actual limits on the potential of mages and is full of monsters like the guy with no bones who suffocates you with his face being a problem you have to plan for

    Tamriel is a high magic setting wearing a low magic mask, Lovecraftian gods are constantly mucking with things

    Malazan is pretty crazy and also has no limits on what magic can apparently do

    People will tell you Hyboria is low magic but there's at least one wizard in every town and magic purposefully has no practical limits
    "Scary magical hoodoo and technology are the same thing, their difference is merely cultural context" - Clarke, paraphrased

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    Default Re: Examples of High Magic Settings

    Quote Originally Posted by DragonSorcererX View Post
    Well, when I say high magic setting I was thinking about a setting where even the lower class common folk have access to magic that provides them with a level of comfort similar to the modern times, and a setting where soldiers use spells instead of bows, every chef knows prestidigitation, things like that.
    That's not high magic. That's gonzo.

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    Default Re: Examples of High Magic Settings

    Quote Originally Posted by DragonSorcererX View Post
    Isn't Gandalf like the weakest member of his race? I'm sure the strong Maiar can do those things (except open a gate to another plane because there are no planes in the LOTR universe).

    Also, I think that you are another low-magic fan that came to plague a thread about high magic.
    I mean, there is the void outside creation where Morgoth now resides and arguably Ungoliant came from. And I'd argue that Aman qualifies as a different plane from the rest of Arda, just one that can be physically travelled to in special ways, which is a thing in D&D too, between portals, color pools, gates, Yggdrasil, Olympus, Oceanus, the Styx, elemental whatevertheywerecalleds, etc.
    "Après la vie - le mort, après le mort, la vie de noveau.
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    Default Re: Examples of High Magic Settings

    There are a bunch of anime that are high magic in nature:

    Fairy Tail- wizards are a dime a dozen, and often act in guilds that vary from assassins, to artists, to international peacekeeping forces. More often than not, these guilds are separate from local governments, but are technically supervised by an international council of mages. You can go to a school to learn magic but there are so many different magic schools and styles that they might as well by unique superpowers. The sheer amount of magic in the world has stifled technology in most areas of life, but they do seem to have electricity, plumbing, trains, and automobiles. There are also powerful magical creatures such as dragons and demons that can just give people magic that can't be learned.

    Naruto- All the major nations are run by ninjas and all the ninjas have spells that run on an internal energy source called chakra and are cast using hand gestures. These "spells" can vary from illusions, mind control, invisibility, and fireballs to gravity manipulation, lightspeed movement, and summoning armies. Warfare is often defined by massive earth shattering magic cast by a really powerful ninja or dozens of weaker ones. The cost of open warfare was so costly and destructive that it basically forced people to act like ninjas (ie. send small squads of people to assassinate and spy).

    Full Metal Alchemist- They have a type of magic called alchemy that has been researched like a science. Basically alchemists can rearrange the molecular and chemical bonds inside objects to create objects or energy. Notably only one country on the planet seems to have this magic, and they have been using it to rapidly increase their technology, improve infrastructure, and conquer nearby countries. Alchemists are almost universally controlled by the government, either as direct employees or through government grants. Due to this, alchemists tend to flock to big cities to get closer to their source of income, but the results of their creations are spread throughout the nation.


    Outside of anime:
    Marvel and DC comics- both of these are so expansive that they just have entirely magical societies floating around. Most of these tend to be ripped out of mythology, such as Asgard and Hell, others are Magitech such as the green lantern homeworld of Oa, and others form from areas of pure thought and energy such as the Dark Realm (Marvel comics) and Dreaming (DC). Many of these societies only tangentially interact with earth, often giving an reason for why villains or heroes exist. Honestly, it seems like earth is just a crossroads for strange magical nonsense, and most normal people see it on a fairly regular basis without any understanding of what it is or how it functions.

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    Default Re: Examples of High Magic Settings

    Would my homebrew campaign setting be high magic?

    It will have the following:
    - Magic will be a prestigious thing in human society.
    - A relatively small amount of nobles and rich merchants (and their children) will become wizards just for the prestige.
    - There will be magic schools.
    - Humans will use wizards in wars like the guys from Cormyr in Forgotten Realms, so most human wizards will be military.
    - Magical will simply be another level of quality for items.
    - The highest level crafters like blacksmiths will all be artificers, clerics, druids, and wizards.
    - Level 10+ characters will all be equipped with magic items.
    - Every priest will have cleric spellcasting.
    - Divine Magic will be learnable like Wizard Magic, but you cast it with Faith rather than Intelligence.
    - Paladins will be basically devout warriors who learned divine magic.
    - A relatively small amount of knights and mercenaries will be Eldritch Knights, Paladins or Valor Bards.
    - High Elven society will be fully magical, everyone will have a cantrip according to their profession (most get Prestidigitation).
    - High Elven cities will be equipped with magical illumination, magical elevators, etc.
    - Every High Elf Warrior will be or will eventually become an Eldritch Knight.
    - Important High Elf Nobles will be Wizards.
    - Dwarves will be dwarves.

    It may look like a LOT of magic but it is not, notice how I said "relatively small amount" and "highest level crafters", so other than a few low-level clerics everywhere there aren't that many spellcasters, just a bit more than in your standard generic fantasy world (except when talking about the elves).
    Last edited by DragonSorcererX; 2019-11-29 at 05:46 PM.

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    Default Re: Examples of High Magic Settings

    Elves are Gonzo, the rest seems pretty much standard D&D.

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    Default Re: Examples of High Magic Settings

    Quote Originally Posted by the_david View Post
    Elves are Gonzo, the rest seems pretty much standard D&D.
    What exactly do you have against my elves? Except for every elven warrior being a gish, my elves are as magical as the elves of Aerenal in Eberron.

    And about every elven warrior being an Eldritch Knight, you know how every Githyanki has their psionics, I want my elves to be like that but with magic.

    Also, it may sound like standard D&D to you who played 3.5, but when I read the 5e and AD&D books I get a pretty different idea of what the standard D&D setting should look like.
    Last edited by DragonSorcererX; 2019-11-30 at 06:30 PM.

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    Default Re: Examples of High Magic Settings

    Your campaign appears to be a slightly modified version of D&D (5e? need to be edition specific, it matters a lot) with the elves being slightly more magical than they would otherwise be. In any case a D&D setting, even built much less magical edition like 2e, is a high magic setting unless you drain out a lot of the magic. At the upper end, such settings are massively unstable and should begin nearly instant evolution toward a futuristic magitech setting or crash and burn into an apocalyptic one. Your elves appear to already have industrialized magic, which suggests they are well on the way to the former.

    Also, slight side note, but in a high magic setting like D&D magic is the end all and be all of societal power. If you give one race inherently more magic than another, then that race just wins, straight up, and dominates the world to whatever extent they feel like doing so.
    Resvier: a P6 homebrew setting

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    Titan in the Playground
     
    Lizardfolk

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    Default Re: Examples of High Magic Settings

    The most high magic D&D setting IME is Darksun. Everyone has psionic powers, the world is a ruin from sorcerous wars between nearly godlike people who have become dragons, they directly rule the world through clerics who draw power from them and casters who serve under them, and tech is completely subsumed by daily magic and hand crafting. Each individual has their life directly shaped by magic, rather like if Fallout was about casting and everyone still cast magic while living in the ruins of better casters.

    High magic to me is really a component of how much magic is used to replace the Earth+ default setting. If the daily assumption if life is 1200/1400/1600 but with the possibility of prophecies being true and some witches it is very low magic, if the setting has daily life transformed then it is High Magic. Sanderson is high magic, for instance, or Terry Pratchett.

    Most masquerade settings like Harry Potter are actually low magic; magic is used by a small population and the world outside it defaults to Earth+, rather like most superhero settings. Yeah the world could be ended by Dresden/Buffy failing to save the hibbyjibby by doing the habbyjabby, but 99% of people go to the same jobs they would otherwise and don't know or care about it.
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Examples of High Magic Settings

    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    Most masquerade settings like Harry Potter are actually low magic; magic is used by a small population and the world outside it defaults to Earth+, rather like most superhero settings. Yeah the world could be ended by Dresden/Buffy failing to save the hibbyjibby by doing the habbyjabby, but 99% of people go to the same jobs they would otherwise and don't know or care about it.
    Masquerade settings are only low magic if the masquerade is actually justified. In many cases it's not, because the supernaturals are so powerful that they ought to be ruling the world openly and ought to have prevented industrial society from ever developing in the first place. This is a particularly common world-building failure point specifically with wizards/witches/warlocks and other types of 'spellcaster' in such settings as opposed to vampires/werewolves/ghosts. The latter have specific highly exploitable weaknesses that make them vulnerable to ordinary humans in a way spellcasters simply are not.
    Resvier: a P6 homebrew setting

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Examples of High Magic Settings

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    Your campaign appears to be a slightly modified version of D&D (5e? need to be edition specific, it matters a lot) with the elves being slightly more magical than they would otherwise be. In any case a D&D setting, even built much less magical edition like 2e, is a high magic setting unless you drain out a lot of the magic. At the upper end, such settings are massively unstable and should begin nearly instant evolution toward a futuristic magitech setting or crash and burn into an apocalyptic one. Your elves appear to already have industrialized magic, which suggests they are well on the way to the former.
    It is 5e and yes, the elves have "industrialized magic" just like in Eberron, the elves are the only ones who actually use magic for anything other than war or the occasional healing (well, the dwarves also will use magic for architecture, that's how I will explain their marvelous constructions). The elves will have lots of magewrights, and if it was 3.5 the elven lords and heirs would have levels in both aristocrat and wizard (or duskblade for the more martial ones).

    Quote Originally Posted by Relonious View Post
    Mutants and Masterminds had an edition for fantasy settings (Warriors and Warlocks), and another about magic and running magic adventures. It may fit your needs.
    I've read both M&M 3e Magic and Warriors & Warlocks, but it has been a little while, maybe I should go and have a look again at those books.
    Last edited by DragonSorcererX; 2019-12-01 at 06:40 PM.

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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Examples of High Magic Settings

    Quote Originally Posted by DragonSorcererX View Post
    Could you guys give some examples of high magic settings and how they're like? They can be published settings or homebrew settings, it doesn't matter and and it doesn't need to be just D&D settings.

    I'm only asking because whenever I search for anything related to high magic I only find pointless discussions with sword and sorcery fans saying "magic is bad mkay".

    Low-Magic Setting fans are not welcome here.
    Hogwarts is a high magic setting.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Examples of High Magic Settings

    The settings of almost all Michael Moorcock's books are very high magic in a certain sense (multiverse, magitech, gods galore, crazy nonsense environments like 50 foot high walls of flame) but very low magic in other ways (spellcasting is dangerous/evil/not instantaneous or flashy, main characters are mostly warriors).

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Examples of High Magic Settings

    Xanth is very magical. Everyone has a unique magic talent. All the plants are magical, the springs are magic, the entire land is magical. It permeates the setting, I'm not aware of any other where magic is such a central factor.
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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Examples of High Magic Settings

    Read Operation Chaos by Poul Anderson, that would is a parallel Earth where World War II was fought with magic instead of technology, and ordinary citizens travel around on flying carpets and broomsticks. Magic is an everyday appliance, events parallel historic Earth in spite of this, but to have all this everyday magic implies a high magic setting.

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    Troll in the Playground
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    Default Re: Examples of High Magic Settings

    Quote Originally Posted by raygun goth View Post
    Tamriel is a high magic setting wearing a low magic mask, Lovecraftian gods are constantly mucking with things
    Tamriel is verging on a gonzo setting, if not outright a gonzo. Its a setting where the Chosen One can control time and redo stuff they fail at, the Dragonborn from Skyrim in universe has save points. It has in universe recognized retcons via CHIM and other wacky shenanigans.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Examples of High Magic Settings

    The OP seems to have a different understanding of High Fantasy than most of the replies. What they seem to be desiring is a setting where magic is a ubiquitous and mundane force that allows a pre-modern civilization to have the benefits and comforts of modern civilization.

    I dont think it 100% fits but Glorantha is a setting where literally almost everyone can use a spell in some small way, almost all warriors know a spell that sharpens their swords, for example.
    Last edited by Trask; 2020-01-15 at 03:54 PM.

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