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PostSubject: Take 3 on magick   Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:02 pm

As it turns out, trying to define magic in any way will probably not end to our satisfaction. However, trying to define specific ways in which it is used might be more satisfactory. Since this would be a radical change in the topic itself, continuing from where we left off would delude some people into believing that the rest of the thread is relevant to this topic- and it's not, actually. We've said everything a wizard should be, but I'm more interested in what they are right now.

Let's begin by stating my current position on the topic. While I believe that magic shouldn't be defined itself, as we should make room for any and all possibilities, forward-compatibility and all that, we ARE allowed to define what it represents to our characters and how is it they employ it. While Negav is a magic-rich city in a magic-rich world criscrossed by inter-universal trade and thus exposed to mostly everything, therefore leaving all kinds of magic as plausible as the next, that doesn't mean all kinds of magic should be equally common. There's only something like 750000 people in Negav (somewhere between 10^6 and 5x10^5); it wouldn't be farfetched to assume less than OVER NINE THOUSAND of them are wizards. And if they have been taught in academies, then there should be LARGE groups that function very similarly.

Either way, I'd like to see what is it you made of your characters' magic. Don't copypaste from their profile, if they have a profile- give us a summary of the important part. And by the important part, I mean, aside from the basics of that system, how is it you decided to use that system and not something else. Did it seem more natural? More familiar? For plot significance? Simplicity? Did it just feel right? Had you seen it somewhere else? Keep in mind I'm interested in material that was used, even if it isn't canon or notable (so roleplays count, and so do any fics). Opinions are only good for clashing at this point; what I'm looking for are patterns.

I'd start myself, but I don't have, at the moment, any characters whose magic systems are either interesting or have any good reasons to be as they are. I scrapped all my magic-using characters some time ago, and my new ones are just too whimsical to possibly amount to anything. If we (well, if you) compare notes, maybe we (maybe you) will find common ground that we (actually, I) may stand on.

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PostSubject: Re: Take 3 on magick   Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:23 pm

Um, I don't quite understand. Can you clarify a little, please?
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PostSubject: Re: Take 3 on magick   Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:31 pm

Very well...

If your character has magic, pray tell how does it work.

And please tell us why did you decide to make it that way too.

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PostSubject: Re: Take 3 on magick   Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:46 pm

Quote :
There's only something like 750000 people in Negav (somewhere between 10^6 and 5x10^5); it wouldn't be farfetched to assume less than OVER NINE THOUSAND of them are wizards. And if they have been taught in academies, then there should be LARGE groups that function very similarly.
Hopefully I will be able to clarify that in part with my Affinities thesis/idea.

This thread will help a lot my letting me know how people think different parts of magic work so I can attempt to accommodate all.
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PostSubject: Re: Take 3 on magick   Mon Jan 10, 2011 1:54 pm

Anime-Junkie wrote:
Quote :
There's only something like 750000 people in Negav (somewhere between 10^6 and 5x10^5); it wouldn't be farfetched to assume less than OVER NINE THOUSAND of them are wizards. And if they have been taught in academies, then there should be LARGE groups that function very similarly.
Hopefully I will be able to clarify that in part with my Affinities thesis/idea.

This thread will help a lot my letting me know how people think different parts of magic work so I can attempt to accommodate all.

And when do we get to see that? Razz
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PostSubject: Re: Take 3 on magick   Mon Jan 10, 2011 2:28 pm

We already have an entry in the wiki that highlight methods of how a person cast magic.
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PostSubject: Re: Take 3 on magick   Mon Jan 10, 2011 2:44 pm

Sean Okotami wrote:
We already have an entry in the wiki that highlight methods of how a person cast magic.

Okay. Now let's see what we actually made of it, how was it really put into action.

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PostSubject: Re: Take 3 on magick   Mon Jan 10, 2011 2:46 pm

Pretty much nothing, since nobody checks it out. It's also where you get the pointers on how Fairy magic works.
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PostSubject: Re: Take 3 on magick   Mon Jan 10, 2011 3:00 pm

Kind of. It doesn't say what they're actually doing. It's only half of the "how." That is to say it's the answer to "why can do what they do?"

My affinities idea was first mentioned in another of Stab's threads. I didn't detail it much but it appears to have permeated much of the forum and other people's ideas. I have to define it so people know what's actually going on when they say X has a wind affinity.
It will also help with the whole naga thing. Ice nagas (oxymoron, no?), fire nagas, nature nagas, etc shouldn't really be subspecies. they can all interbreed just fine. I'd think so at least.
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PostSubject: Re: Take 3 on magick   Mon Jan 10, 2011 3:18 pm

Well people pretty much brand something as "Whatever Creature" based on the environment. It's especially true with cold and hot regions.
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PostSubject: Re: Take 3 on magick   Mon Jan 10, 2011 5:30 pm

The way I relate magic and put it into use is similar to the force of "chi" ( Ki, chakra, or ...you get the idea). Chi is an energy that we all possess, though not equally. The term "innate magic" comes very close to the description of chi so that is what I apply to most of my characters and creatures. Very few of my characters use magic from the world around them. This is the most simple concept for me and I find it difficult to see things any other way.

Rarely do any of my characters know how to call out the magic within them from the get go; they go through years of physical, spiritual, mental, and magical training. One of the ways I put the magic into action is through unique weapons that some characters require in order to manifest their magic. They all have affinities towards certain types of magic, meaning they can still use other types, but the magic of their affinity is always strongest

sorry if there are typos.
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PostSubject: Re: Take 3 on magick   Mon Jan 10, 2011 5:48 pm

I agree with previous post. As with all things, some people would probably possess more natural skill at magic than others. That isn't to say, however, that creativity can't beat raw power. If we're comparing characters, I made two characters that contrast to prove this point: Leif is a powerful psychic, naturally attuned to the ethereal energies flowing through and around him; whereas Zion is a scientist and a craftsman, whose power derives from understanding magic like any other scholarly subject. One lets it come to him, the other carefully studies every single electron in an electricity "spell" (though it's worth mentioning that Zion refrains from calling his abilities magic or using any related terminology, due to the unscientific connotations). Now, who is the more effective caster? It's hard to say, since the two have worked together for years and honed their abilities to complement those of the other.

There would also be different styles of casting, as well, which would be heavily influenced by experience and culture. A scholar-mage like Zion isn't too uncommon among his fellow Gehans, but few native Felaryans would incorporate things like atomic theory and chemistry into their casting.

Anime-Junkie wrote:
Ice nagas (oxymoron, no?), fire nagas, nature nagas, etc shouldn't really be subspecies. they can all interbreed just fine.
Sub-species can interbreed. In fact, different species can as well, as long as the genus is the same (although that would result in sterile offspring). In a world as varied as Felarya, defining a species or sub-species can be very... difficult. I'd imagine that certain sorceries could encourage mutation as well.
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PostSubject: Re: Take 3 on magick   Mon Jan 10, 2011 6:05 pm

Going with Fire and Ice Nagas, I wonder why nobody call Vivian a Water Naga (her element is Water), Fiona a Wind Naga (her element is Wind), Anna a Lightning Naga (her element is Lightning), or Aurora a Earth Naga (her element is Earth). It just bugs me how only fire and ice are actually refered as Fire/Ice Nagas.

Back to the subject at hand, I do have some kind of a rule for aspiring wizards and it's called the Magic Aptitude. It's basically that someone seems to understand the concept of magic and know how to apply it better than most people. Kinda how two persons who try the same thing, and it's the very first time for both, one tends to understand and learn better than the other. It's just a little something to keep the number of actual spellcasters I have in check.

As far as my characters go, I try to varied. My two main mages uses the Theurgy method, meaning that she gains her magic from a deity, and casting spells is really asking for favor. Although it still burns her mana, since it's kind of an exchange to cast the spell. The other uses rule based magic, which is essentially chanting incantations and performing rituals (read: etch the runes in the air with her hands), and she has to regularly review her spellbook to remember each spells she recorded so far.

My main character has innate magic, even though he's a mediocre caster. It's essentially being able to shape his own mana as he pleases. He doesn't need to chant, but it helps him concentrate, since a brief slip of thought can screw his spell sideways.

I do have some pros and cons for each type of spellcasting. For the Theurgy one, it's very reliable, but she's under personal restrictions which prevent her from using her magic as she pleases, which she would easily take advantage of otherwise.

For the Rule Based one, it's also very reliable and can learn a huge variety of spells, but she has little wiggle room to influence her spells and she has many to remember.

The Innate one has a lot of freedom with his spells and can pretty much cast anytime he wants, but his spells are limited to the ones representing his innate powers, and any form of anti-magic will hinder him much more than the others.


Last edited by Sean Okotami on Mon Jan 10, 2011 8:16 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Take 3 on magick   Mon Jan 10, 2011 7:54 pm

Sean Okotami wrote:
Back to the subject at hand, I do have some kind of a rule for aspiring wizards and it's called the Magic Aptitude. It's basically that someone seems to understand the concept of magic and know how to apply it better than most people. Kinda how two perons who try the same thing, and it's the very first time for both, one tends to understand and learn better than the other. It's just a little something to keep the number of actual spellcasters I have in check.
Alternate wording of a major part of my 'Affinities' idea right here.
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PostSubject: Re: Take 3 on magick   Mon Jan 10, 2011 8:13 pm

About Negav: If the population is around 750,000, I'd imagine at least a good 7,500+ of them have magical talent of some degree. More if we go by the "Natives to Felarya naturally have a higher likelihood of possessing magic due to helpfulness in survival" (works both ways, people), wherein we could potentially see upward of 60,000+ of that 750,000 with some level of magical talent above "brick".

About my characters: They weren't really defined, but the magic I was thinking of was more akin to "typical" pen-and-paper fantasy, at least for parts.

Most spells I imagined had either Verbal, Somatic, or Material (or a combination of the three) requisites, usually more and more complex the greater the power. Without any preparation, a bolt of lightning would take a few seconds to ready, whereas a fistful of sparks would pretty much be as long as it took to say the one-to-three syllable chant. A sign of a more powerful wizard would be, besides the greater magical potential, the reduction in requirements. A spell that might normally take a huge summoning circle with a day-long ritual might be viable within only a few hours for them, or the same bolt cast similar to the sparks by invoking powers that only a more skilled and powerful caster could control and direct.

As time went on, I moved more towards the idea of magic I discussed in the recent threads on the topic (the "tug strings" one, which makes me glad I like Erfworld because apparently I think similar to Thinkomancy).
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PostSubject: Re: Take 3 on magick   Tue Jan 11, 2011 11:54 am

Darn, and to think less than 3 of my characters actually use magic. Looks like I won't have much to contribute to this thread.

Well, one guy, Frogoboscus, an amphibian herbal mage, focuses more on healing aspects. He's studied medicine in Negav before becoming a lonely hermit. When he incorporates magic into his medicinal remedies, it's usually to mix the ingredients to ensure a perfect concoction, since you don't want the taste of frog or rock in your stew. Other times he heats it beyond what an open flame would provide, because some of his ingredients require a charring before they can be used.

Another character, Endrynna, is a diamond naga, who ripped off a piece of her own tail and put it on a staff so she could further concentrate on controlling the elements around her. She prefers using a staff since she doesn't like how her species traditionally controls magic. She considers it barbaric.

Though she stopped using it once she found creatures impervious to her magic.
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PostSubject: Re: Take 3 on magick   Fri Jan 14, 2011 4:53 am

Interesting topic. And since I cannot resist an excuse to talk about my characters, I'll definitely put something here. Sadly, I currently only have one active character who uses magic as their primary survival tool, so I guess I'll just talk about her.

Elemental water magic seemed very appropriate for a pirate/privateer, and since I subscribe to the 'specialist mage' rule of thumb that seems present in most of the canon works and the manga, Rachel uses this type of magic pretty much exclusively.

As for how I choose to portray this particular brand of elemental magic, I believe it falls somewhere between Rule-Base and Primordial magics, as per the wiki. There are definite and clear rules of training that all practitioners follow, but there's also a whimsical and unpredictable element to it. Every body of water is slightly different; the Jewel River, for example, is 'wily'; easy to get large amounts to respond to her commands, but more difficult to control precisely. At least compared to what she's used to. Kind of a blend between art and science, if you will. Like cooking. Wink

Because water is often associated with adaptability and whatnot ('be like water', as Bruce Lee famously said), early on I decided she would emphasize creative and unpredictable uses for the rather narrow scope of magic at her disposal, rather than raw power. She can make it dense and rubbery, sling it around like a whip, run over the surface of water, or use it to restrain or even drown someone who isn't strong/fast enough to get away, along with a laundry list of practical, noncombat applications.

She cannot however, summon water from thin air, cause it to freeze, evaporate, or levitate (she can kind of throw it, but retains no control over the trajectory or velocity once it leaves the ground). Give her access to already existing ice crystals or steam though, and then she could potentially really hurt someone.
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PostSubject: Re: Take 3 on magick   Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:09 am

I have some character that can summon water out of thin air, but it's mainly shaping their mana into said water, and the greater the amount, the longer and more strenous it is to actually cast the spell. It's infinitely easier for them if they have access to existing sources of water. This is pretty much the rule for all of my elemental magic.
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PostSubject: Re: Take 3 on magick   Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:34 am

My Aisu is closer to being a primordial mage. He uses magic from ley lines and the like and uses it to manipulate matter and energy. If the area itself is devoid of magic, Aisu is SOL. Since he grew up on a tropical island with tons of water, he's most adept at ice and water. Having grown up in a big, dense metropolis, however, he's very inept at Earth magic (Can't really practice moving the ground if you're pretty much guaranteed to damage property if you do so)
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PostSubject: Re: Take 3 on magick   Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:44 am

Speaking of which, areas that are classified as Dead Zones seem to stop all kind of magic. I think zones without magic, and Anti-Magic need to be more properly defined as to what stops Primordial and what can stop Rule Based and such.

By the way I play some characters, Primordial is less complicated than Rule Based, but it's very difficult to use it without going insane with the power it provides. I even made a mention of some sort of Magic Phenomenon Assessment system for a race of advanced humans, which I guess would work well with this. It's like the Danger Assessment system in Metroid Prime, only for areas where magic is saturated or not.
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PostSubject: Re: Take 3 on magick   Fri Jan 14, 2011 5:46 pm

As a note: My characters are, predominantly, not "Specialist" varieties of mages. If they specialize, it's in a "school", not an element (For instance, they specialize in purely offensive spells, or purely sensory manipulation, not purely ice or purely sound or purely portals). There are those who specialize in particular fields only, but they're often seen as eccentric and / or highly fascinated with a particular lore (For instance, a person who practiced only Fire Magic would be seen as a Pyromaniac and not a person who can only cast Fire Magic - whether or not they can only cast Fire Magic being another matter).

I don't subscribe to that, typically because my conception of a Mage does not entail such specialization. If that's the canonical predominance in Felarya, I can sort-of excuse it insofar as most of my Mages being imported from off-world (and thus not bound like a Felarya-born mage). I can understand specializing in a certain field because you can do better there (Someone might more instinctively be able to "pluck" magic dealing with Earth-based mechanics better than others), but that would merely mean that they can deal with such things easier and perhaps with more power - not that they are suddenly deficient in other fields / can't use certain fields at all (that being seen as a flaw, not a counter-balance to their specialization).

Then again, not a single one of my characters could be classified as an "Arch-Mage", so that might be another way to canonically justify what my Mages / Wizards / Witches / what-have-you do. Perhaps "plucking" is more reliable and leaves room for versatility, but in turn a Mage of this style is heavily limited in their capabilities unless a wonderfully skilled and powerful individual. The typical "Wild v Controlled Magic" schtick, wherein Wild is typically seen as more powerful but Controlled is much safer with more predictable and controllable results.
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