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  1. - Top - End - #31
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: Examples of High Magic Settings

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Kalbfus View Post
    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.
    Fantastic book! No pun intended.

    Magic Inc by Robert A Heinlein is supposed to be similar, but I haven't read it.
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  2. - Top - End - #32
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    Default Re: Examples of High Magic Settings

    The Stormlight Archive series by Brandon Sanderson appears to fit this definition of “high magic” - there are tiny magical spirits (called Spren) that personify ideas or emotions and are a common part of everyday life. A magical storm comes through regularly and charges gems with magical energy called Stormlight. These magically-infused gems are the world’s currency, and magic items that use them (called fabrials) are commonplace. This magic is used to do everything from building structures to synthesizing food, and this can be done on a large-enough scale to support entire armies. It seems like the average person in this setting interacts with magic on a daily basis.
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  3. - Top - End - #33
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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.
    Level of comfort is going to be tricky, I think. Most of our comfort in the modern era comes from our understanding of the social and economic sciences, which isn't really replicable with magic. That being said...

    The Elder Scrolls series comes close. It obviously doesn't get anywhere near a modern level of comfort, but anyone can pick up a spell or two in Tamriel. It's not uncommon to have a town guard spew icicles at you instead of arrows.

    Most of the planes from Magic: The Gathering would qualify. Magic tends to be fairly accessible in that setting.

    I think Pokemon technically qualifies, too, even though it's not the humans in that setting who have the magic.

  4. - Top - End - #34
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    Default Re: Examples of High Magic Settings

    The Obsidion Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory fits, I think. Initially, anyway.
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  5. - Top - End - #35
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    Default Re: Examples of High Magic Settings

    Quote Originally Posted by mjp1050 View Post

    The Elder Scrolls series comes close. It obviously doesn't get anywhere near a modern level of comfort, but anyone can pick up a spell or two in Tamriel. It's not uncommon to have a town guard spew icicles at you instead of arrows.
    For a better example in the same setting, the Reman Empire in the second era, before the current Medes Empire of the Fourth Era and the Septim Empire of the Third Era in Arena to Oblivion. They had a space program and self-sustaining colonies on the moon.

    Judging by the stories time travellers in the setting bring back, the Seventh Era has cyborgs, robot servants and space warfare.
    Last edited by Eldan; 2020-03-24 at 05:05 AM.
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  6. - Top - End - #36
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    Default Re: Examples of High Magic Settings

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    For a better example in the same setting, the Reman Empire in the second era, before the current Medes Empire of the Fourth Era and the Septim Empire of the Third Era in Arena to Oblivion. They had a space program and self-sustaining colonies on the moon.

    Judging by the stories time travellers in the setting bring back, the Seventh Era has cyborgs, robot servants and space warfare.
    ???

    I have never heard this before. Where is that information coming from?

  7. - Top - End - #37
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Examples of High Magic Settings

    Quote Originally Posted by mjp1050 View Post
    ???

    I have never heard this before. Where is that information coming from?
    Probably Michael Kirkbride's C0da which is considered canon by some (since he played such a key role in developing the modern elder scrolls lore) and not canon by others (since he no longer works with bethesda and is kind of a weirdo who doesnt cleave all that close to the tone he previously established anymore).

    Elder Scrolls has one of the most confusing, frustrating, and messy disasters of an official lore canon in almost any modern fictional IP.
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    Default Re: Examples of High Magic Settings

    No, Sunbirds and Mananauts aren't entirely Kirkbrideisms. A lot of my favourite setting elements are by Kirkbride.

    They have been referenced a lot in Elder Scrolls online, but outside of that (it has dubious canonicity anyway), there's other mentions too. Such as:

    Visits to Aetherius occur even less frequently than to Oblivion, for the void is a long expanse and only the stars offer portal for aetherial travel, or the judicious use of magic. The expeditions of the Reman Dynasty and the Sun Birds of Alinor are the most famous attempts in our histories, and it is a cosmic irony that both of them were eventually dissolved for the same reason: the untenable expenditures required to reach magic by magicka. Their only legacy is the Royal Imperial Mananauts of the Elder Council and the great Orrery at Firsthold, whose spheres are made up of genuine celestial mineral gathered by travelers during the Merethic Era.
    -Pocket guide to the empire, in Oblivion

    There's also an author called Imperial Mananaut Secundus that wrote a few books on Daedra in Oblivion and Morrowind.

    Or this, from Fa-Nuit-Hen:
    Twice upon a time, the Imperial Mananauts regularly ventured beyond Nirn, and in doing so learned that the mortal mind is best acclimated to other realities by gentle degrees. This is one of the reasons why Maelstrom seems to resemble aspects of your world—I wished it to be mortal-friendly, or at least friendly enough for mortals to experience my arenas without distorting their mentalities! Anyway, the Mananauts will learn that it's best to train for Oblivion in a transition zone, a place where differing truths can co-exist without conceptual abrasion. At certain points, transliminal forces balance in standing waves, and these regions are designated 'Slipstream Realms.' We haven't actually been to Battlespire yet, have we, my Tutor? Would you please remember forward for me to tell the Quidnunc about this 'Weir Gate'?"

    Of course, the Khajiit also have a temple on Masser, the Temple of Jode, to be reached by some forks of the Moonpaths. Apparently, the Mane, their king, is officially declared there.
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  9. - Top - End - #39
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Examples of High Magic Settings

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    No, Sunbirds and Mananauts aren't entirely Kirkbrideisms. A lot of my favourite setting elements are by Kirkbride.

    They have been referenced a lot in Elder Scrolls online, but outside of that (it has dubious canonicity anyway), there's other mentions too. Such as:


    -Pocket guide to the empire, in Oblivion

    There's also an author called Imperial Mananaut Secundus that wrote a few books on Daedra in Oblivion and Morrowind.

    Or this, from Fa-Nuit-Hen:



    Of course, the Khajiit also have a temple on Masser, the Temple of Jode, to be reached by some forks of the Moonpaths. Apparently, the Mane, their king, is officially declared there.
    Color me corrected then! Thats pretty insane. The only thing I was aware of concerning oblivion travel in Elder Scrolls was the battlespire.

    Just goes to further illustrate my second point though, the lore of that world is a complete mess. I have never played in a game world where the lore as represented by the actual, real play experience was SO divorced from the lore as represented in it's in-game codices.
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  10. - Top - End - #40
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    Default Re: Examples of High Magic Settings

    Quote Originally Posted by Mechalich View Post
    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.
    I'm not well versed in a lot of fantasy settings, but I get the impression that there's a fair bit of precedent for an ancient, advanced, and far superior to everyone else's elven civilization that is the best at magic; especially in D&D. These elves would be your high elves, who, you'll note, each get a Wizard cantrip in 5E already. (This is in contrast to wood elves, who live in the forest in harmony with nature. Wood elves are also better than you, but in a different way than high elves.)

    8-Bit Theater had an interesting spin on the elven master race, with Elfland's rulers maintaining their position of power in their country and the world at large through their devotion to the status quo, making the elven nation stable and prosperous (for the ruling class, at least) but stagnant, along with the rest of the world.

    Actually, I guess "stagnant" and "stable" are just synonyms with different connotations.

    Quote Originally Posted by mjp1050 View Post
    I think Pokemon technically qualifies, too, even though it's not the humans in that setting who have the magic.
    Humans have magic brainwashing balls. As I believe Frank Trollman once noted, mind control tends to be the most overpowered form of magic.

    It's interesting how wealth and station seems to be largely determined through ritual combat by proxy. That's a fascinating alternative to how a society normally maintains order by mostly using the threat of violence rather than violence itself.
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  11. - Top - End - #41
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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).
    Actually there's the Halls of Illuvatar, the outer void that Melkor was thrown into, and arguably the hell on earth that Melkor built
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  12. - Top - End - #42
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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).
    Gandalf isn't the weakest, he was the second-highest ranked of the five wizards. The Istari were banned from using their full power to confront Sauron directly, they were intended to help and encourage the people of middle-earth to fight him instead, and also they were limited by being bound to a mortal body. The only time Gandalf ever used his full power as far as I know was in the fight with the Balrog.

    But yes, while many of the spells in D&D are never mentioned by Tolkien, the Ainur did have vast powers in their original forms, so much so that the Valar swore never to use their full strength again after they nearly destroyed the world by doing so.

    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.
    The closest to this that I know is the Netherese empire in Forgotten Realms, the mythallars allowed them to make magic items without needing to expend XP (although they only worked within one mile of the mythallars) which meant that they became much more common than elsewhere.

    To a lesser extent, in the later FR setting Halruaa, Nimbral, Evereska and Evermeet had a substantial portion of the population who had some rudimentary casting ability (as described in the Magical Training feat from PGtF). In Shining South it says that one-third of the population of Halruaa have some sort of magical ability, mostly Wizard spells.

    Edit: oh, and in the Discworld books low-level magic items become very common, being used to make things like cameras and personal organisers. Also golems provide continuous power for certain types of machinery.
    Last edited by Biggus; 2020-04-10 at 04:55 PM.

  13. - Top - End - #43
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    Default Re: Examples of High Magic Settings

    Quote Originally Posted by Trask View Post
    Elder Scrolls has one of the most confusing, frustrating, and messy disasters of an official lore canon in almost any modern fictional IP.
    Isn't the messiness PART of the lore though. With the Dragon Breaks, and CHIM, and Satakal, and so forth?
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  14. - Top - End - #44
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    Isn't the messiness PART of the lore though. With the Dragon Breaks, and CHIM, and Satakal, and so forth?
    Those are lore bandaids disguised as real lore. Yes the whole "I speak now, in royalty, and reshape this land which is mine" speech from Heimskr is nicely written and technically fixes the problem of why Cyrodiil wasn't a jungle, but its cheapened by the fact that its so obviously a slap on fix. The entire body of lore undermined by this in-universe retcon is rendered completely pointless. Its all just so tiresome to see the coolest or most high fantasy (see I'd work the OP's topic in somewhere) elements of TES stripped away and retroactively justified when Bethesda just has Kirkbride write some lore bandaid to make it all make sense in the most cheap and easy way.

    And even then, its not even a totally cogent fix. Sure Cyrodill isn't a jungle because of CHIM, but why is there no evidence of the various cults or akaviri influences in the nobility? Where are the Moth-priests walking by the canals "in a cloud of ancestors?" Where is the harbor with the supposedly massive imperial navy? Why is there only one island that comprises the entirety of the Imperial city? These things shouldnt be changed by his terraforming of Cyrodiil.

    If we turn our attentions to Skyrim, where is the worship of the Nordic pantheon? The only utterance of Shor we even get is from bandits. It makes sense that in Solitude and Whiterun, very imperialized provinces, the Alessian Divines have taken over but that wouldnt be the case everywhere. It feels incomplete and unfaithful to their own setting, hence my assertion that the lore is a complete mess and NOT in a good way. If in TES6 they have some character make a passing line about how the worship of the Nordic pantheon has all but died out in Skyrim, it will just feel like a cheap bandaid slapped on a problem to make it go away so nerds stop complaining rather than any kind of genuine care for the setting they are stewarding.
    Last edited by Trask; 2020-04-11 at 12:41 AM.
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    Default Re: Examples of High Magic Settings

    Yeah, Oblivion was a damn travesty. Skyrim is also a bit disappointing lorewise, but much less so, honestly. I just wanted to see the Aztec ruins of the torture-addicted bird elves, and the glorious river valleys full of rice paddies and silk farms. And the moth priests, as you already mentioned.
    Last edited by Eldan; 2020-04-11 at 12:18 PM.
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  16. - Top - End - #46
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    Default Re: Examples of High Magic Settings

    I would say Eberron is high magic, but you can kind of pick and choose depending on what nation you want your campaign to take place in. For example, Aundair is definitely high magic, whereas Breland kind of fits into a sort of more gritty realism setting, that works better for noir intrigue.
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  17. - Top - End - #47
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    Default Re: Examples of High Magic Settings

    It's not fantasy in the traditional sense, but Star Trek is arguably high magic. It seems like you can't swing a dead cat in that setting without hitting some kind of psychic or a telepath or an incorporeal being or even a deity.
    Last edited by Bohandas; 2020-04-23 at 08:11 PM.
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