1. Gadock
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    Gadock Member

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    How does magic work in your story? Can you also find flaws in mine?

    Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by Gadock, Jun 19, 2016.

    Greetings, quite a big text coming in so get comfy!

    I have a story developing within my skull, started to write bits and pieces down. Writing isn't my occupation (since I'm studying physics) and up to now it's still a hobby or daydreaming activity, however it's gnawing me more and more; giving the urge to write.

    Magic in my world is very important since it can be very powerful and everyone can learn it. I have done a little bit of homework, I know my idea of magic would be classified as hard magic; where you know exactly what magic can do and what its limitations are. With this I will set up an elaborate system where people can't become too powerful but still remains -what I hope to be- exciting. I like to mainly prevent situations where readers will wonder why it happened like that (which happens more often with soft magic stories). Also Chosen Ones are too easy for me. I've seen too many stories where protagonist wins from antagonist purely because s/he is the chosen one. Not gonna continue on this, however if you would like to. threads/whats-so-wrong-with-the-chosen-one.146033/page-3#post-1453294

    All the names I've used so far are not final. If you have suggestions I'd love to hear them. Although, I'm thinking of using a form of old english.

    History:

    For the past thousand years, magic uses have been removed, Muràdon (used to be called The Great Banishment). Ancient humans were getting too strong, therefor too destructive to the world. To prevent an all out war 4 of the greatest wizards cast a spell together to banish all magic from this world. With the death of the last wizard the spell wore down. All information is lost from the ancient time since most was stored with help of magic.

    Magic:

    The physical world is connected to a world completely made of magic. So far called The Nether.

    Magic flows in to the physical world, being most powerful, where it can stay for several months till it eventually "dies" or is used and flows back (see it's decay as a negative exponent). The physical worlds time line flows reversed to that of the magical worlds (timeline speeds are not the same). Magic enters the physical world in two ways, via gateways, which are souls/life essence of organism, and seeping in randomly in space (not meaning outer-space). Basically every organism could use magic, if they have enough logic and understanding of the world, that is.

    Magic works in two globalized ways:

    First, you can enhance or chance attributes of physical objects (don't forget you're a physical object too). Everything you do must be done at touch, and everything you make the object do must be done before activating. Example: You change the speed of a rock, from laying still to rolling. Objects can only withstand a certain amount of magic whereas the greater the object the greater its capacity (meaning the greater its energy state, heavy, acceleration, illuminates, et.), when exceeding this amount it will be overcharged. During this the object will lose it's contained magic. Air(gas) will sparkle with lightning, water(liquid) will explode, earth(solid) will dense up, plasma will probably not be reached. Let's say you make a small rock shoot, it needs a lot of magic for it's great change in velocity, so will be overcharged, a large object can be used to gain a high velocity, but needs way more magic in order to make it move. Think that the stronger the energy is, the more magic it takes to control, and of course, to learn how to control. When objects are more often used for magical uses, it can contain more magic, this way bodies can be trained and items can be come legendary artifacts. Anything you change needs to be imaginable, so your imagination is also your own limit.

    Secondly, you can use raw magic. Due to its volatility, it will try to bind itself to anything on its path. Gateways can also be created, the difference to these are that they do not have the restorative ability like souls, because the gateways created can’t be directly linked with the Nether but with Voids. These voids can be filled with spared magic, also all the magic you pick up along the way can be stored within these voids. Since magic does have its expiration date, magic that's old (common) can be stored in lesser gates, fresh magic (rare) can be stored in greater gates (time does not exist in voids therefor no decay).

    This is wha I got so far, what do you think of my system? Please, be honest. :3
     
  2. Talisien
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    Talisien Member

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    I was really excited to see your post since I have role played using magic for years and loved making sure it has a sound believable basis.

    I like the idea of your history concept although I would like to know more about who made the decision that "humans were getting too strong" and why the choice was made to banish magic altogether.

    I had a great deal of difficulty understanding what you are trying to say and had to read it several times to try and get the essential ideas. Maybe this is partly due to the fact that you are introducing concepts of physics you have studied which you understand completely and yet find it hard to express in ways that the layman might understand.

    I like the idea that magic comes from another 'world'. Are we talking about an 'alternate universe' or another 'plane or dimension'? I get the sense as you mention the magic flowing into the 'physical' world that you mean another 'plane or dimension'? I like the idea that magical energy if you like has a restricted life within the physical plane.

    "The physical worlds time line flows reversed to that of the magical worlds (timeline speeds are not the same)." I have no idea what this means or how it might affect magic use on the physical plane and this seems more to be talking about an 'alternate universe' than another plane or dimension.

    Am I to understand that en-souled beings are the gateway for magic to move from the source of magic into the physical world? if so I like this concept. Personally I would keep it to this rather than adding the random seeping as well. This leads to several questions: Which living organisms have souls and can therefore act as a gateway? Do you have to be conscious of being a gateway to use magic or could you be a gateway subconsciously? Is it only consciously aware beings that are gateways or could animals be unconscious gateways also?

    As for How magic works, here you begin to loose me I am afraid, even reading through it several times.

    I understand "enhance or chance ( is this change?) attributes of physical objects" that makes good logical sense. "Everything you do must be done at touch" does this mean you must be touching the object? "and everything you make the object do must be done before activating." this I don't understand at all. Do you mean imagined before casting?

    I get something of the concept that an object can only withstand a certain amount of magic/energy depending on their size, mass, weight, inertia etc This makes complete sense to me.

    The concept that if an object is used often it may contain more residual magic or becomes more attuned to magic and thereby become an artifact makes sense. However, if this is the case perhaps the object needs to be in constant use for it to retain its power as an artifact. Especially as you say magic has a limited time/life in the physical world? An artifact buried for a period of time for instance would become an ordinary object.

    Imagination is always the limit of whatever we endeavour individually. However, you can learn from someone else who has a greater imagination than yourself perhaps?

    You lost me completely with the last paragraph on voids and stored magic I am afraid.


    Some great and fascinating possibilities here but still a lot of details to be worked out. In this world of magic you are creating there is no 'illusion' or 'enchantment'? All the uses of magic are merely the enhancement of the natural innate attributes of an object? This is simply enough when changing potential energy of a stone into kinetic energy of movement. I would be fascinated to see how you relate this to using magic on the attributes of another human being!

    Hope this helps. Always love discussing and debating the believable use of magic :)
     
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  3. halisme
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    halisme Contributing Member Contributor

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    What's Muràdon? And do you mean magic users or just magic as a whole?

    Unless the reverse timeline actually affects the plot, I'd take it out, otherwise it raises a whole bunch of questions. Plus, if it comes from all organisms, doesn't that mean bacteria is constantly releasing it? And what level of understanding is needed? Could a chimp learn magic? Then, if magic was closed off, could more ways in be opened, allowing more magic through?

    What counts as an object? Can I control the entire sea assuming I have enough people? Could I affect the entire planet with enough help? What about the air? Can I force all the air away from someone? By saying I can change the attributes of objects, how far does that go? Can I change chemical composition? Or just force vectors?

    As I mentioned before, if magic is produced by all living things, including bacteria, what's the point of essentially magic batteries? And if you can tear a whole in dimensions why not just make one straight The Ether? Why is the void time neutral?

    That's all my questions.

    My systems much softer, though magic has been gone for eight hundred years. To put it simply a genetic mutation enabled a small group of people to access energies from other dimensions, more or less like your world without the whole, magic for everyone part. A creature from one the dimensions noticed and plugged the leak, mutating every magic user and person in their immediate vicinity into a fish monster.
     
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  4. Gadock
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    Gadock Member

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    Oh wow, thanks for the major feed back. First thing I would like to say is indeed it should be change instead of chance :p

    My idea of explaining this to the reader is via an tutor/apprentice roll (yes, at least one survived from the other era). And I'll be more thorough with explaining. I'll do the same now to see if I can make myself clear enough :3.

    History: I'm not going to explain to much about this. Since nearly everything is lost from that time. You might find enormous buildings in the world now and then, but that's basically it. The person that's going to be the tutor is not exactly an honorable and extremely selfish person. Very powerful since he did survive a thousand years without magic. He wasn't responsible for the banishment, assumably done by the world leaders decision since one person could destroy entire lands.

    The Nether: it's definitely another plane. Best comparable is to the sea flowing in and out at the beach (why I called it nether). And souls can be compared to rivers, slowly but constantly flowing in to the organism. I wanted two sources of magic, since I want people to able to use magic without knowing how to create a gateway, and at the same time get situation when incredible amounts of magic is at play.

    Gateways: I have no idea where I'll pull the line between en-souled and soulless beings. But you definitely are subconsciously a gateway, however to use magic you'll most likely need to be of conscious or at least an higher form of intelligent life. I see some animals to use it subconsciously since animals can know things, thus imagine, without understanding it.

    Time: time is not a constant, and within the same universe time can differ significantly for the observer, so also backwards. Time flowing forwards in the physical world represents the decay of magic. Time flowing backwards represents the regenerative of the power of magic. So in someways magic itself can see a loop within time. Doing the same thing over and over, infinitely. This I added since it makes magic more "magical" :p I hope questions will come like, then how did that magic come in to existence? How old is magic itself? *shrug* dunno.

    Casting: yes, you need to touch the object. So no telekinetic powers. Imagining it before activating basically is casting. You can use words if that makes it easier to imagine or just faster (up to your own preference) i.e. if you hold a sword, you can change its speed/weight constantly whilst fighting but not whilst it's changed. This would not happen due to the overcharge rule. Limitation due to imagination is meant that you can't do stuff you don't understand. Example, healing; you need to know every vain, muscle, tendon, fluids in order to restore a part of a person. And yes it can be all taught, but something you can understand (the wound) can't always be imagined.

    Artifacts: I like your idea, haven't had a good idea yet and this goes inline with the nature of magic itself. I did wanted to use artifacts that survived the banishment but will think of other ways they've been preserved.

    Voids: see it as a bottomless bucket, you fill slowly with magic. Can be used whenever you need it. These voids exist in again different dimension, most likely a 1 dimensional which is known for a singularity. But that's not relevant to know.
     
  5. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Posting this so I get an alert later. Because I am tired but also want to respond to this and read it again. I read it. Felt kind of lost bit am gonna chalk that up to tired. I shall return.
     
  6. Gadock
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    Gadock Member

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    With Muràdon I meant the original name of the banishment. Wrote that a little bit weird I see.

    The reversed timeline is necessary for the plot. Hopefully all questions will be answered during the story. Do you have specific questions that you think are already relevant? Yes people could move seas, but eventually are limited in the amount of magic they can endure. Since you need vast amounts.

    This is maybe what I failed to explain. When you cast, magic will first go through you before reaching the object. So your own body needs to endure the entire amount needed.

    And yes you can change the air around someone if you're close enough. But that person can just take a step back and nothing happened. You could change chemical composition if it's something you know how it works and therefor are able to imagine. You need to understand the bonding of chemicals what happens during the breaking up and what's left over. For this you'll need to understand quite the amount before you can use this as lethal. Also, don't forget how strong bonds all together can be, and therefor how much magic it will cost.

    The voids are needed since if you link up with the nether you'll be overcharged straight away, no matter how powerful one is.
     
  7. halisme
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    halisme Contributing Member Contributor

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    [QUOTE="Gadock, post: 1458105, member: 76206"

    The voids are needed since if you link up with the nether you'll be overcharged straight away, no matter how powerful one is.[/QUOTE]

    Still have the question about bacteria producing magic.
     
  8. Gadock
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    Gadock Member

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    I don't think bactaria have souls, but I haven't really worked out where I'm going to pull the line between en-souled en soulless beings.
     
  9. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi!, Okay, second wind, gonna run with it.

    For one, your title suggests you want to hear our versions. Is this correct? I have my model typed up already. I drafted it for sharing purposes months ago, but it is kind of ling. Might be a bit too long to enter here. I suppose I could PM you if you are interested.

    My question is limtations, you specify that there are natural limits but don't go on to explain what some of those limits are. You said there is a size/capcity issue. Which okay, but you also didn't mention what is the basic safe size. Or how much the standard sized item costs.

    You said you can change or enhance an item with magic. but what does that mean? Alchemy? Make an item disobey the natural law? If it is unique to this kind of manipulation, does that mean special traits like teleporting and phasing don't exist in your world?

    I am a bit sketchy on how you draw in magic too. It sounded likke a ritual, like you prefer a ritual to draw in magic to a hold item and then use it until you need to repeat the process. Is this correct? Sorry I don't have more to say as of yet.
     
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  10. Gadock
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    Gadock Member

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    After writing this to you I think I need to update my first post. Left way to much out. :p

    Save sides of magic uses on objects differ per what you want it to do, obviously, but so people might underestimate how much energy certain things can be. But first let me elaborate more on enhancement.

    You manipulate existing energies. This sounds little but everything we know exists out a sort of energy. We're talking about matter, changing speeds of it. Changing its weight, volume, et. et. Things like alchemy is changing two things in to eachother, and would be impossible to do. Like I've said before you need to imagine it all. And this means which part of matter goes where. Defying laws of nature is kind of possible, only if you manipulate them to it. Teleporting should theoretically be possible, since it doesn't defy natural laws.

    Also, what do you see as a ritual? Drawing magic from voids is by choise. I see magic's behaviour to that of water. When you draw magic from the void you fill your own body, from there you cast it to what ever you want.
     
  11. Gadock
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    Gadock Member

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    Apparently I can't edit my post :/

    I would love to read other peoples systems too btw :D
     
  12. GuardianWynn
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    GuardianWynn Contributing Member Contributor

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    That is weird but irreverent. You can add on a further down post.
     
  13. I.A. By the Barn
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    I.A. By the Barn A very lost time traveller Contributor

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    Your magic system sounds a lot more logical than mine which all depends on what species you are, making it very confusing.
    Dragon children: Can heal and harm using words and they do get physically tired from using these powers. They also have an innate knowledge of dragon tongue (dragon language)
    Mountain people: All their magic is done with the mind and to do with the mind. They also stop aging when they get to their 'perfect' age, however overuse of magic will cause them to start aging again.
    Sylphs: Can fly and make things weigh less. They also create cloud forms. But if they have lived their lives in the sky and used magic, when they touch the ground, any living things they touch will die.
    Elves: They can train plants to grow into awesome structures using words, dead leaves and blood as 'payment' to the gods they believe in.
    Where the magic comes from though? No-one knows, nor do they care really.
     
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  14. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Just a nitpick from the science nerd: 1) matter which flows through a reversed timeline already exists in the real world, 2) you probably already know the word for it if you love SciFi as much as you love fantasy, the word is Antimatter.

    From the universe's perspective, "virtual pairs" of one particle and one corresponding antiparticle appear randomly in what is otherwise empty space for a tiny fraction of a second before annihilating. From the particle's perspective, imagine that the particle is a clock counting forward from 00:00 and the antiparticle is a clock counting backward from 00:02. They appear to annihilate at 00:01, but from the particle's perspective it simply turned around: popping into existence at 00:00, observing the ghost of it's future self until colliding with it's future self, and then going backwards from 00:01 and colliding again at 00:02. Which is where the exact numbers in the metaphor fail, the particle has already spent an eternity going back and forth and will continue to spend another.

    But what about when a particle is going about it's business, a virtual pair spontaneously appears, and the newly-created antiparticle annihilates the original particle while the new particle flies away? This time imagine a clock counting forward from 00:00. Suddenly, when the clock reads 00:01, a virtual clock-counterclock pair appear reading 00:03. The counterclock counts backwards from 00:03 to 00:02, the original clock counts forwards from 00:01 to 00:02, and the new clock counts forwards from 00:03 to 00:04. When the original clock and the new counterclock read 00:02, they annihilate and leave behind the new clock counting forward from 00:04. See how all of these are actually a single clock moving backwards and forwards?
     
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  15. Auger
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    Auger Senior Member

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    A lot of the tech I'm writing about doesn't exist yet, so it might as well be magic. I originally planned for everything to be magic before I changed the genre to sci-fi. They're all just speculative mechanics.

    Graviton pulse technology : basically the electromagnets of gravity. Used in interstellar engines, non-lethal weapons, and for telekinesis.
    Capacitor alloys : stores an electric charge and releases it as heat upon contact with matter (including air, creating a trail of plasma when exposed). Expensive material used in military laser guns and novelty "flaming" knives.
    Laser swords : amplified hologram light. Commonly used by lumberjacks and weeaboos.
    Wooden armor : genetically engineered wood infused with a hard adhesive. Cheap material used by the military and for furniture.
    Flexible ceramics : used in knives, insulation, composite armor, etc. It's basically a harder version of steel with a similar tensile strength.
    Electronic paper : flexible paper-thin tablet used specifically for writing.
    Nerve interface : prosthetic limb interface
    Synthetic muscle : muscle fibers salvaged from animals (and humans) interlaced with nanotubes or a similar material for added strength. Unlike mechanical prosthetics, synthetic muscle self-repairs and does not require an external power supply.

    I have around 20 pages of tech worldbuilding, but the rest is mundane stuff like public transportation and domestic appliances.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2016
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  16. Son Gon
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    Son Gon Member

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    My story only uses magic to service the plot.

    The story is full of Magicians who employ strategies to win, but they live in a world full where arrows and assassins exist, so they could easily die despite their clever schemes. Therefore, i like to give characters a magical immunity to cheap shots like daggers in the back because it doesn't seem fair that characters who have trained so hard to become magicians should be defeated so easily.
     
  17. Gadock
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    Gadock Member

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    Antimatter won't come in to play, since it costs way to much energy and therefor magic :p
     
  18. Gadock
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    Gadock Member

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    My problem I often have is I say potential instant lethal options. Hence the reason I've made strict rules for my own. But things like telekenesis, how will you prevent a small rock be shot of a incredible speeds and becoming "guns", no way you'd be able to dodge or not die if their aim is good. Weightless of objects can give similar problems if they can give the weight back mid-throw. Healing is also tricky, where do you pull the line in what is healable? If so, won't they be immortal?

    And for knowing where magic comes from and not caring why? Any power crazy would have this craving to know, like me :p
     
  19. Gadock
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    What is indeed the line between magic and scifi? But maybe a discusion for another time ^^

    Why wouldn't you use gravitational weaponry for lethal options? If they're able to move interstellar, they would be able to kill anyone instantly.

    Laser swords, of course, little over used but definitely needed for awesomeness reason :D

    Other stuff seems logical and not too overpowering :3
     
  20. Gadock
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    Life ain't fair, so maybe keep it in? Because if they're immune to backstep, why wouldn't they be immune to swords? Arrows? How does the immunity work? How does magic work?

    Maybe make instead fields surrounding the wizards that they sense movements accurately?

    A lot of questions, sorry ^^
     
  21. Auger
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    Auger Senior Member

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    Interstellar engines are city-sized structures that orbit around stars and build upon the existing gravity of the star to bend space. Lethal variants are too large to be handheld, so they're mounted on vehicles and mechs.

    Laser swords are used like chainsaws - awesome, but impractical for combat because they require a large power supply.
     
  22. Son Gon
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    Son Gon Member

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    It's kind of like, the magicians are on a whole other playing field, and they're the only ones who can do each other harm.

    Sensing attacks is easy but blocking them isn't - therefore evading attacks is the main focus of their battles.

    A strong magic attack can kill most anyone who doesn't get out of the way, but the difficulty is in getting the hit to land.

    You earn Magic in a manner similar in difficulty to intense exorcising, but through meditation instead. it'd take forever to explain lol and each person is different

    Since landing a hit is the most important thing, most magic revolves around making an opening using diversions, misdirection and various situational abilities
     
  23. I.A. By the Barn
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    I.A. By the Barn A very lost time traveller Contributor

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    I didn't really make it clear, sorry but they can't do telekinesis. Its more stuff like memory making, wiping and altering as well as mind reading. However for the weightless objects, I suppose they could become very dangerous weapons, so thanks for bringing that to my attention. Healing is done with the spoken word and is physically draining so the same dragon child couldn't keep healing people over and over again and for complex injuries and illnesses, longer spells have to be used and so they may have to do several night long vigils over seriously ill people. It isn't instant magic. Thanks though for the thoughts on sylph magic!
     
  24. halisme
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    halisme Contributing Member Contributor

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    This probably isn't the best system on the grounds of any magical dictator is now unkillable by the people they rule over. Considering in our world we've had remarkably successful warlords and rulers without that trait, most people in your world are screwed.
     
  25. Gadock
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    Gadock Member

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    Well how are you thinking it of explaining, if you are writing this out that is. And I definitely don't mind having to read quite a bit in exchange for learning how your system works, even if every person magic is different. Also what kind of diversions, misdirections would you use? Does this mean they can only send a magic attack once every while? And why is there then a need for protection against back stabs?
     

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