1. Necronox
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    Necronox Active Member

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    Another "opinion on my magic" thread

    Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by Necronox, Oct 28, 2015.

    As is with many forums, i searched for anything relevant to what i was looking for or find the answers without posting this, but I've realised there isn't much that is similar. Also do excuse me for my probably poor English, it's very late (4:48am) and I'm rather tired.

    in my current WIP I am including magic, and it is based on the "five elements" which are fire, earth, water, earth and energy (such as sound or light). While i know this is a relatively cliché magic system and that many people seem to dislike it, i'll try to explain it before you make you're mind about it.

    So, first of all, any of the separate elements are not your typical "I can make fireballs" sort of magic if you could use it (i'll get to that later). First, you have to obey the simple law: energy cannot be simply created or removed, you can change, convert and perhaps even store it, but you can't just create it or delete it.

    Also, humans can't use it. and the only way they can use it is by controlling, in some form, an "elemental" (perhaps a better name is in order), which do not live in our world, but do interact with it. While capturing and/or controlling one is possible, it is definitely hard and not without it's risk.

    Also, each of the elements are at war with each other in their own little dimension and for the most part that those not affect the world, however, if let's say, water was defeated, it would result in tides no longer appearing or fish would die (all animals including humans are made of multitude elements with typically a primary element, for example, water for fish and wind for birds and the subsequent destruction would result in birds no longer able to fly or fish not longer able to swim or breath under water).

    This in turns ties into the cost of the magic, while energy cannot be created or removed, using magic in itself uses energy from that particular element, just like moving a sofa. Effectively, the particular element's magic you are using would be weakened (albeit not by a lot) because of you're effort to move the sofa, while this is typically not harmful, if one element is used extensively it could result in catastrophe. And even small changes in the element can be disastrous.

    Lastly, i should probably explain what the fifth "energy" element is, in this instance, you could illuminate a dark cave, or make a sound appear. however, this energy element is simply the energy in physics, you could add momentum to a ball rolling for instance. Energy is not life or death, it does however allow life to exist.

    So, my principal questions are:

    Does this make sense? and does it deviate from what results in this magic system being so hated?

    While magic users are principally non existent in the story, is it too underpowered? I feel like I have put a lot of constraints on this, but I suppose humans are not supposed to use this magic in any case. but then again, this magic principally serves to explain the elemental world which is in turn not a primary point of my plot.

    any other opinions or feedback are welcomed. My WIP is still in it's very early stages.
     
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  2. ManOrAstroMan
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    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

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    I like it. It's very reminiscent of the magic system in Mercedes Lackey's Elemental Masters series. The one thing I would personally change is the "war" aspect. Maybe opposing elementals don't like each other and will either avoid each other or get into a scuffle if confronted, but I don't know about actively seeking each other out to destroy each other. And smart magic wielders will team up with mages of other elements to cover their respective weaknesses.
     
  3. Chinspinner
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    Chinspinner Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think the importance of balance between the elements is interesting. You could subtly show how an imbalance impacts your world. The tide is slightly higher than usual and stormwaves are breaking over the cliff top when water is over-powered. A house fire is indicative that fire is overpowered. Gales indicated that air is overpowered. And so on.

    If someone purposefully decided to disrupt the balance, to weaken all the elements bar one or two, then that creates a great central premise for a story.
     
  4. Sam Frost
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    Sam Frost Member

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    I actually like the idea of a war between the elements, as long as that's a major part of your story and there's some character/group of characters that are working against such a system in some capacity. It's good to see both sides of this kind of conflict. Does that make sense? I think I jumbled that up a bit, but what I'm trying to say is that I think the war idea can be done well, but should be done carefully, and not at the expense of a more interesting story.
     
  5. Necronox
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    Necronox Active Member

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    I'm trying to balance it into the story so it's important but not an all-consuming part of the plot while still having it important and recurring throughout most of the part of the plot. It's the kind of 'backstory' that affects everything. My primary antagonists is disrupting the balance for his own benefit (well, not exactly his own benefit). His meddling with the elements results in repercussions with the "human" world, which at first are subtle and almost not noticeable but grow more significant as he continues to disrupt the balance.

    @ManOrAstroMan Their simply isn't enough magic wielders for them to "team up".
     
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  6. WriterMMS
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    WriterMMS Member

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    I would make ur 5th element the central element from which all 4 derive.

    So you have 4 elemental planes who subsist on the 5th for their power.

    The elementals could use the 5th as their air or food

    I like the idea of having wars between elementals

    U could also have the mc wield the 5th element without an elemental and be a chosen one archetype.

    Yeah i would buy a story like that if it were well executed.
     
  7. Sam Frost
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    Sam Frost Member

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    I like the idea of keeping it recurring but not the center of the plot. If done well it can be an awesome piece of world building that can set your story apart.
     
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  8. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    I like it.

    For one main reason. You are intergrating it into science. Birds flying is explained by magic. Which for your world is a completely valid theory. I have a weird definition for magic. I see it as "meaning the impossible" because we usually think of magic as things that cannot happen. Which is why they are reserved for a story. In your case you are taking that strength but adding in some nice things. Birds fly without magic. So a bird needing magic to fly does not make sense in real life. But it does make sense in your story. Which is the point. About limitations. I didn't see anything that bad here. I would say this though.

    "The biggest value of a concept like birds need magic to fly is that it begs questions. What else can fly if it has wind magic? Or similar questions. I would not be so quick to ditch the possibilities."

    Me personally? I don;t like alternate dimension concepts in general, but heck, creativeity by definition should go beyond the personal taste of one person.

    About the elements. Don't beat yourself up about it. I love how such systems are grounded. When magic is too wild it becomes too difficult to place myself into. Take Harry Potter. Lots of freedom but because of it. I don't know what I would want to do if I went there. So many options and no real relation to them. If they don't explicit say how far someone can go. I don't know if that world allows for that. But take your world, or Avatar the Last AirBender or My own world "The Order." These worlds don't just make magic out of thin air. Magic is a system of laws. Because of that, if you learn the law, you know the entire universe, beyond just want is seen. If someone for example flies, like a human. I can take that as human can learn magic. If that is true. Then I can assume humans can learn other styles. So without ever being told I can realize that humans could learn water magic. As an example.
     
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