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 Magic Immunity and Vulnerability

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Archmage_Bael
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PostSubject: Magic Immunity and Vulnerability   Thu Jul 24, 2014 12:58 pm

So how does magic immunity work? Or resistance to it as well for that matter.

Say for example a mage shoots a magic missile at an insect. That obviously counts as magic, but what if a mage shoots fire. Fire is NOT magic, but the fuel used to create the fire is, so technically the insect wouldn't be invulnerable to the fire, right?

Or using magic to move a rock and slam it into the insect. Would that count as magic, because magic was used to move it?
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PostSubject: Re: Magic Immunity and Vulnerability   Thu Jul 24, 2014 2:46 pm

I dunno, why do Familiars in D&D gain Spell Resistance, but not the Wizard who summoned it? Anyway, I think the idea for something like fire and lightning is that the fireball you shot or the lightning bolt you called down is akin to the wizard taking some raw magic, wherever it comes from if he's not using the background magic field as the source of its power, and process it in a refined state during the casting process, which is the fireball or lightning bolt. Ergo, the wizard is shooting a fireball or lightning bolt that is made of about 80% magic, and so when it hits the BOUS (Bug Of Unusual Size), most of the magic has no effect, causing very little damage. That's only one way to look at it, though. When it comes to something like using magic to chuck a boulder, animate a suit of armor, or just punch the crap out of it with a strength enhancing spell, you got me there. Tonorions have one of the better ways of explaining it, they radiate an actual anti-magic field, so let's say you want to stab it with earth spikes from below, you won't be able to cause magic won't work in that area, and both the statue and strength boosting magic would just stop working.

But Blow-Shit-Up brand magic is only one kind of magic. You could say that their resistance makes them very difficult to affect with non-damaging spells like sleep or charm, and so you're better off just punching the crap out of them with enhanced strength. They're probably still fooled by illusions.
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PostSubject: Re: Magic Immunity and Vulnerability   Thu Jul 24, 2014 10:20 pm

My understanding of magic resistance and immunity is that it basically acts as a shell surrounding the being that any magic directed at the being has to go through. A resistance shell cancels out part of the magic that goes through it. An immunity shell cancels out enough of the magic that goes through it that there isn't enough magic left in the spell to have any noticeable effect.

I'll use Shady's example of 80% magic to explain it better. As he said whenever you use magic to create a lighting bolt, fire ball, or any type of element 80% of it is magic acting as magic that is holding it together and the other 20% is magic that has been changed into the element you're using. When the spell comes in contact with the resistance shell around the target a portion of the magic as magic is canceled, which weakens the overall effect of the spell. My idea on why the effect weakens is that some of the magic as element is forced to change into magic as magic to keep the spell going.

A way to get around magical resistance and magic immunity would be to use your magic attacks on the environment around the being you're fighting against. A boulder that was lifted up and dropped on your enemy wouldn't be counted as magic since the rock wasn't made by magic it was just a rock that magic was used on. If you put any enchantments that would affect the rock's target on it, they would be either reduced, if it is magic resistance, or ignored, if it is magic immunity.

Magic that would make you stronger is a bit more difficult, but only a bit. It would ultimately depend on if the magic was actually making you stronger or if it made everything you got within punching distance of weaker. If the magic is of the latter type then it would be affected by magic resistance and immunity.

Golem creation and control magic is in the same boat, with regards to resistance and immunity, as using magic to throw a boulder at your enemy. A plain golem will not be affected by resistance or immunity but if they had any active magic, such as homing fireballs, that would affect your enemy then those active magics would be affected by the resistance and immunity.

An anti magic field, like the ones Tonorions produce, would function differently than magic immunity. The main difference in their functions is that immunity prevents any magic that would affect the immune person from working, while an anti magic field prevents any magic from working no matter who it would affect. You wanted to strengthen your friend? No can do while the anti magic field is up. Need to heal? Then you better start running till you're out of the field.
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PostSubject: Re: Magic Immunity and Vulnerability   Fri Jul 25, 2014 2:11 am

I always thought it was a naturally generated barrier that absorbed and/or dissipated energy, including the kind used in magic conjurings and whatnot. It made me wonder if this same magical barrier could reflect or stop natural, non-magical lightning, or stop a non-magical laser gun. That's how I saw it.
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PostSubject: Re: Magic Immunity and Vulnerability   Fri Jul 25, 2014 3:45 am

The problem with magic (and therefore, determining magic damage, magic resistance and so on) is that people don't use it consistently when working with normal physical laws. Most of the time, people don't think about what they are using when they start to make up spells that alter reality this way or the other. I'll go with an easy example that just shows how little thought is put into magic: Fire.

Okay, let's say I have a spellcaster character that's concentrating to attack with a fireball spell. What is the magical effect? How is the fireball created? Physically, fire is not an object, it's mass of gas under certain conditions. Any gas works, it just needs to be heated up so much that lets out light, that's all. It doesn't even need to be plasma. So that's fire for you, a collection of hot, light-producing gas particles. So how does the spell make that "magical fire"? Does it create a ball of magical, hot, light-producing gas? Maybe it creates a core of magical, hot combustible that lights up with regular combustion? Or rather, the magical energy itself is the combustible that feeds the magical flames? We could also go with the setting that magic is spent in triggering a naturally occurring fire, a spontaneous combustion of nothing.

Given all those options, which one is more correct? How would magic resistance work against each of them? Seeing how complex even a "simple" fire spell is, you can guess how things would become if people start looking for workarounds like the "lifting the rock with magic and letting it fall on you". Or time and dimensional magic, you can pick your poison.

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PostSubject: Re: Magic Immunity and Vulnerability   Fri Jul 25, 2014 6:01 am

That's true. It is pretty hard to come up with an explanation that can make sense for something like magic resistance when how the magic works isn't a constant thing.

The fireball spell is actually easier for me to explain how it works, based on my understanding of it. As most of us know fire needs three things to burn, oxygen, or some other gas, fuel, and heat. Considering the amount of different gases is the air a spell caster wouldn't have to look very hard to find a gas to use. The heat needed to keep the fire going would be produced by the fire so that's another part dealt with. The only thing left would be the fuel. Since most fire spells don't produce a large amount of wood to fuel the fire when they're used I think we can make the assumption that the fire spells use magic as the fuel portion to keep them going.

And I just now realized that Ilceren already went over this form of fire spell in their post. Oh well, now you guys get an explanation on how I think fire ball spells work and why this version makes a lot of sense.
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PostSubject: Re: Magic Immunity and Vulnerability   Fri Jul 25, 2014 11:43 am

Savixeon wrote:
I'll use Shady's example of 80% magic to explain it better. As he said whenever you use magic to create a lighting bolt, fire ball, or any type of element 80% of it is magic acting as magic that is holding it together and the other 20% is magic that has been changed into the element you're using.

First, I don't think this is what Shady meant. I interpreted it to mean the fire spell would be 80% magic energy and 20% actual fire. We'd have to ask him, though.

Second, I think Felarya is the kind of world that doesn't have any one definition for magic. That's why there are different types of magic practices descried on the wiki. This also implies that magic resistance and immunity both can work in several different ways as well. There might be magic-nullifying fields that prevent any type of magic from working within it in different ways for each type, while other magic fields only nullify a specific type(s) of magic. Though it can make it difficult to create rules concerning magic, it also provides a lot of freedom to define your own, which is one of the things I enjoy most about Felarya.
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PostSubject: Re: Magic Immunity and Vulnerability   Fri Jul 25, 2014 12:03 pm

Actually, Nyaha, if you look at them closely, those "several different types of magic practices" are just that, practices. In other words, several different ways magic is cast and employed. It doesn't really matter if you cast Fireball by tracing the proper runes in the air with your hands while chanting the correct incantation, by praying to Nondescript Fire God #42 to grant you the power to shoot fireballs from your hands, or by using a supernatural ability you were born with, you are ultimately only using one of many ways to cast Fireball. The end results may have very slightly different attributes, true, like the fireball granted from Nondescript Fire God #42 may have holy power to it that make it more effective on a demon, or the fire cast by the dude with innate magic may be purple or green, but beyond that, they're really just ways a spell can be cast. The only real different type of magic in that article is Wild Magic, if only because it's more of a phenomenon than a way to cast a spell, with some people suicidal enough to try and tap into it.

Also, what Savixeon said is pretty much what I said, just summed up.
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PostSubject: Re: Magic Immunity and Vulnerability   Fri Jul 25, 2014 1:01 pm

Also, Nyaha, when I was talking about magic resistance and immunity I was talking more along the lines of an unconscious ability the being had that acted towards magic in general. Magic Nullifying fields like you talked about would most likely be created by a spell and would be maintained by the caster unless the field comes from a passive enchantment on an item. As you mentioned these would only be effective against certain types of magic, either by draining that type of magic or by counter it with the opposite type of magic, such as using water magic to stop a fireball.

Nyaha wrote:
Though it can make it difficult to create rules concerning magic, it also provides a lot of freedom to define your own, which is one of the things I enjoy most about Felarya.

While it may seem that making rules for magic may limit your freedom with working with magic (if this isn't what you meant Nyaha then I am sorry for misunderstanding) it actually wouldn't.  I don't know how well this analogy will work but bear with me. Imagine you have a rock. Just by holding the rock you understand a lot about it. You know how tough it is, you have a general idea of how heavy it is, and you probably have a good idea of what it is made of. Those are the rules of that rock, and you can't change any of them without changing the rock. Now think of how many ways you can use that rock. You could use it to hit someone, you could sharpen it to cut something, you could make sparks to start a fire with it, you could build with it, and a lot of other things that i can't think of right now. Now replace the rock with magic and you should get a good idea of what I'm trying to tell you. The rules that we could make for magic shouldn't concern how it is used, they should help us understand the natural aspects of magic itself. The rules for use would come from the different practices and schools of magic.
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PostSubject: Re: Magic Immunity and Vulnerability   Sat Jul 26, 2014 5:49 pm

Allow me to stand corrected on all counts, then! ^_^ (Which, as I've said once before, is something I tend to do often.) Thank you both for clarifying.

Okay, so if we work off of what Savixeon and Ilceren have said, let's imagine a fireball spell where 80% of it is magic containing the spell and 20% magic converted into actual fire. If this spell were cast at something with magical resistance, what would happen? The way I imagine it, the spell would hit the resisting object, which would repel some of that 20% fire and, perhaps, force it back into raw magic form, thus reducing the overall effect of the spell on it, due to the spell a) no longer having a complete 100% structure of magic and thus lacking stability, and b) having the part of the spell which would likely do the most damage lessened or, in more powerful resistances' cases, completely removed.

Now what if the same spell were cast at a creature which is immune to magic? Well, I for one would imagine this as a way to differentiate the terms "resistance" and "immunity" since, in my mind, a strong enough resistance could potentially nullify any effect a spell could have (like in an Rpg when your character's defense stat is so high most enemies can't damage you, but this doesn't mean you're immune to all damage, period). The way I'm thinking is that, rather than reduce the 20% fire part of the spell, it would impact the 80% container for the magic. This would, in my mind, cause the spell to fall apart completely due to the stuff holding it together getting damaged or removed on contact with the creature's magic-immune body, thus rendering the spell completely inneffective.

I'd also like to discuss the poosibility of altering that theoretical 80-20 ratio, and what effect doing so would have on the spell being cast, but I'll keep my post to one topic for now.

I hope I haven't misinterpreted any of your posts. Correct me again if I have. I really don't mind as much as I did when writing the beginning of this post, I promise. ^_^
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PostSubject: Re: Magic Immunity and Vulnerability   Sat Jul 26, 2014 7:04 pm

Its no problem at all Nyaha. If Shady hadn't said that I summed up what he said then I would've agreed with you that I might have been misinterpreting what he meant.

It seems that we are pretty much in agreement with how resistances and immunity work on magic, especially with the difference between resistance and immunity being that even if you have a high resistance if you aren't immune to magic then the spell will have some sort of effect on you.

Now about the ratio, I would imagine that the ratio of pure magic to transformed magic is something that the caster decides, with pure magic deciding how long the spell lasts after it has been cast or the distance it travels before fizzling out for a missile spell and transformed magic deciding the strength of the spell's effect. A perfectly balanced ratio of 50:50 would give the spell a fairly strong effect and it would last for a good amount of time before it needs to be recast. If the ratio was set as 20:80 then the spell would have a tremendously strong effect but it wouldn't last very long or get very far if it was launched. And the already described 80:20 ratio would lower the strength of the spell's effect but would allow it to continue working longer or move farther if it was launched.

The 50:50 ratio would probably be the go to for most casters with a some preferring 60:40 and 40:60. The 20:80 ratio would be used by close combat mages, like ones who use touch spells, or for powerful healing spells. And Lastly the 80:20 ratio would be used by long range casters, so they don't have to be directly in the fight, or for slow constant healing spells.
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PostSubject: Re: Magic Immunity and Vulnerability   Sun Jul 27, 2014 2:22 pm

I don't think we should speak of ratios as it is an incorrect notion. You don't have a set spell cost, so indicating percentages among which the magic energy is divided sounds kinda pointless to me. A spellcaster should know just that he has to spend magic in creating effects and then spend magic on powering/holding the spell together.

Say, for example, I use a certain amount of magical energy to create a flame effect. The size and temperature of the flame, to mention just some of the factors, would be determined by that cost; the more energy you spend, the bigger and hotter the fireball will be. That's just the creation of the effect, though. If you didn't spend any more magic energy than that, the spell would fizzle away after just an instant, so you need to spend some more energy in order to feed that spell so it can last longer. That's what I called "powering" the spell earlier; you give it raw power so it feeds on it. But for now, we just talked about a still fireball that you've generated in your hand.

Magic energy is only usable when a caster has manipulated it in a certain way, so it answers to its commands. Some mages use the power their own body generates, while others draw that energy from the environment into their body in order to process it and make it usable for their purposes. Others have found a way to affect the outer energy directly and give it form as a spell, while a few have the wild talent of not manipulating magic energy but the world itself so it creates the spells for them. Be it any of those cases, any caster knows that magical energy cannot be used without giving it a certain form; it just dissipates otherwise. Still spells, such as creating a flame in your hand, are strong enough to hold themselves together naturally, but things change when they have to face certain adversities, like a strong wind or the simple act of being launched far.

That is why the spellcaster adds in a third component to his spells besides "Effect" and "Power": the "Hold" or, as some call it, the "Shell". It has an unique function; it holds the magical energy of a spell together and shields it against external interactions, physical or magical. This is very important when spells are being launched, or for spells that have more than a single effect active at a time, more so if they are opposite. A ball of both fire and ice is possible given enough magical energy to hold the spell together. The "Hold" is also critical in magic battles, as it determines if a spell resists or dissipates after clashing with another spell.

There are many magical systems out there, Felarya knows no bounds to how many theories can actually produce magic, but the spell basics are the same for all, and by spending energy smartly on each component, the caster can weave any spell he desires and his system allows.


P.S.: As I was writing the answer, it suddenly became more like a role-playing game rulebook in format. Kinda amusing, really, but I think it will come in handy in the future; I may use it later.

P.S. 2: Maybe we should come to an agreement on the use of "magic" or "magical", since I've noticed I mixed them quite often in my suggestion.

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PostSubject: Re: Magic Immunity and Vulnerability   Sun Jul 27, 2014 3:26 pm

To be honest Ilcern, I was really only using ratios because they seemed to be an easier way to describe magical resistances and immunities and a lot of other stuff. I do think that it would be okay to use ratios as a kind of layman's terms when it comes to spells. As long as everyone understands that the ratios aren't the exact way to describe magic spells then we should be good.

For the issue of the use of "magic"or "magical", I'm of the mind that magic refers to magic itself and could be used as a short and simple description of a spell of item with out being an incorrect usage. Magical on the other hand refers to things that are related to magic such as magical effects. In short I'd go with "magic" when referring to magic and "magical" when referring to something related to magic. I would like some feed back on this so we can all come to a consensus.
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PostSubject: Re: Magic Immunity and Vulnerability   Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:28 pm

Personally I see all this magic resistance stuff as a kinda moot. Personally I use a simple system for my stories and RPs: "Element X Beats Element Y but only when Factor Z has been taken into account." But that's more for magical duels. If you want to talk resistance then I think of it as how the Magic Ring worked in DW/DQ: You have oh so many chances till it breaks. How many? You don't know. Depending on the defense you're using to. For example a Magical Shield by default can take about three hits per round before it cracks. If the mage is more experienced? The number doubles. Personally I find simpler works, but that's just my two Skevols.
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PostSubject: Re: Magic Immunity and Vulnerability   Thu Jul 31, 2014 8:09 am

BOUS.. heh ^^

It's an interesting subject ^^ Giving a definite answer on a subject involving magic is clearly very hard.  But in a case of a tonorion, they have that sort of aura that undo the magic that enter it.

So let's say you want to launch a fireball next to one of them. As I see it, what would happens is the magic energy making the fireball would quickly dissipate, so the fire would become "incomplete"  Resulting in intense heat but no actual fire to speak of. On another hand if you are concentrating in order to really create a ball of pure fire far away from the Tonorion and then hurl it at it, the magic giving shape and propelling the fireball would dissipate, but the fire itself would stay.
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PostSubject: Re: Magic Immunity and Vulnerability   Thu Jul 31, 2014 1:19 pm

Karbo wrote:
BOUS.. heh ^^

It's an interesting subject ^^ Giving a definite answer on a subject involving magic is clearly very hard.  But in a case of a tonorion, they have that sort of aura that undo the magic that enter it.

So let's say you want to launch a fireball next to one of them. As I see it, what would happens is the magic energy making the fireball would quickly dissipate, so the fire would become "incomplete"  Resulting in intense heat but no actual fire to speak of. On another hand if you are concentrating in order to really create a ball of pure fire far away from the Tonorion and then hurl it at it, the magic giving shape and propelling the fireball would dissipate, but the fire itself would stay.

Really? So allot of little fireballs could eventually cause the Tonorian's shell to melt before they'd ever inflict a bit of fire damage? Interesting. I thought it was a simple: Mage x Tonorian Armor = Nulled Magic. Sorta a "if the coin lands on heads then the spell is deflected" thing. Hmm this explains why Subby's magic actually shrunk a Tonorian in the manga. She used a bit more than it could null and the spell was still "complete"?
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