1. Nadala
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    Nadala Banned

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    Lets talk magic

    Discussion in 'By the Genre' started by Nadala, Oct 3, 2007.

    Okay all you fantasy writers out there I want to talk magic. More importantly the rules of magic. I'm sure any of you who have read fantasy or read a book about writing fantasy understands there needs to be rules. So lets bounce the ideas around. I thought it would be cool to see what ideas you would come up with for magic and rules to go with them. And I thought it would be even cooler to see some fantasy writers get grilled over their magic and there rules or just be aplauded for the sheer cleverness of their concept. So anyone want to share?
     
  2. SeaBreeze
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    SeaBreeze Banned

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    Hmmm... the way I see it, and even with my characters, magick always has a price. It goes from the wiccan three fold law. Basically, if you do something bad, like turn your ex-boyfriend into a toad, you would basically get the equivelent of the fly that ends up being eaten by your now toad like ex boyfriend.

    Okay, maybe a confusing example. But the basic thing is if you do something it will come back to you three fold, either three times as the bad you did or three times the good you have done.

    So that is the foundation of my main magick rules, probably because I am intrested in wicca and the craft and have a few books to help with research.

    Other things I will have or intend to put into my books that involve magick that you can hold people prisoner in crystals, bound unless released. There is never something that is truly eternal.. (even if there are rumours....:p) because it will be boring if something is all powerfull, can't be defeated yadda yadda. You can be strong but there is always an opposite, a means to be defeated. I know, I'm pratteling on here. But like, Fire can be put out with water, so on so forth.

    I have no idea if this has helped but hey, if you want to ask me something about magick relating to 'our real life world' and I would be happy to give small answers.
     
  3. Domoviye
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    Domoviye Contributing Member

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    I have three general ideas for magic that I use in my stories, demons, willpower, and alchemy. Usually alchemy is one of the big ones along with one of the others depending on the situation.

    1) Demons - Anyone can summon demons, the simplest ones are little more then non-sentient tools that help you do the most basic of tasks. These are frequently used by non-magicians, as they are easy to control, and summon.
    The more intelligent and versatile a demon is the harder it becomes to summon them and they generally demand rewards for their services.
    Also each intelligent demon knows how to summon other different types of demons. So if a person wants to they can gradually work their way up to summoning the most powerful demons imaginable. But this could take decades of learning.
    Demons aren't evil just selfish, and almost all of them are individuals. Humans are potentially interesting animals to them. So some will work with humans willingly just for a change of scenery, and others will demand your first born child just to run an errand.

    2) Human willpower - For some reason (I'm keeping the exact reason to myself) humans can affect reality. If a person wishes hard enough they can achieve magic.
    If they're freezing to death, they might warm up a few degrees. If they are sick they might get a small boost to their immune system.
    For those with a strong enough will and the training to hone it, their desires can shape the very world. Instead of only warming their body by 2 degrees when they are freezing to death they can cause a small area to become room temperature. Instead of possibly making a fever break, they can send the sickness away from them.
    But this takes years and years of training. And if they are in the middle of some hard magic and are disturbed enough, things could get messy.
    The problem with this magic is if enough ordinary people wish for the same thing and focus their minds on it, usually through rituals, rituals help focus the mind a lot more then just saying "I wish", they can shake the foundations of the world.
    Say a city is under siege and the people know they'll be slaughtered if the walls are breached. If they are given enough time and can be rallied they can achieve something. Maybe the army will disappear into the unknown, the city might teleport to a safer location. The army camp my be turned to glass, or a fiery ball of plasma will destroy everything for a hundred miles.
    Magic is feared and respected.

    3) Alchemy - By mixing the right ingredients together, in exactly the right order, the wonders of the world can be unlocked.
    For some reason, maybe the Gods like to watch people blow up, maybe the dimensional walls are thinner here, whatever, alchemy really works. If a person is willing to study long enough, and pay the money to get exactly the right ingredients they can make potions, items, and gases that do really cool things.
    This ranges from basic herbalism and medicine with a twist, to imbuing a sword with the power to melt steel if tapped with a tuning fork due to the proper harmonious vibrations mixing with the silver and lead solution it was dipped in one week ago.
    Of course if they use the wrong material the potion to cure the kings headache will wipe his mind. And trying to discover if the young lady who resembles the long lost Princess by testing her blood isn't exactly a fine art.
     
  4. Nadala
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    Nadala Banned

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    Great stuff guys here is mine

    Sage;

    Sage is a magic based on the spirits otherwise known as the celestial.

    To gain Sage you must firstly be a bridge, this basically means you need to be able to see the spirits to use them.

    If you are a bridge you can call upon the spirits and use them as power. Sage in the form of a spirit enters the users system and is used from there. It's like certain drugs so it can stay present in your body for up to two weeks. It's preferred that you ask the ghost or spirits permission before you sap it. If you don't you can still force the spirit but this can be a troublesome task resulting in bruises cuts and poltergeist type activity.

    Sage can be used as an offensive magic but is generally used for healing's and so forth. In certain countries it is illegal to force a spirit to become power. They spirit must be willing.

    That's it for now guys this is still new and needs ideas to keep growing.
     
  5. ScaryPen
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    Hmm... here are some ideas I'd been tossing around in my head.
    Magic in my world(which currently exists in my head only and is constantly being updated) is of different types.The basic underlying principle is of re-birth. After leading successive progressive lives(where you evolve from a lower being to a higher because of your actions. If you are unworthy you go back in this form of evolution).Instinct of animals evolves into reason, logic of humans of various intelligence levels and then goes on beyond.

    A Born Mage inherits magic after being born and reborn enough number of times to have accumulated residual magic of the universe. They can manipulate the physical world, create illusions and have powers of telekinesis. These are the most powerful. However if they lose control their consequences are disastrous for their souls.At any given time there will be around only three or four in the world.

    Immortals are very few in number. They are larger than most humans as they come from the age of heroes. They have either been cursed or been given eternal unchanging life as a boon(depending on how they live)Since they do not die, they remember everything and do not have to re learn like other types of beings.They have vast reserves of knowledge, powers of invisibility to hide in a world that doesn't belong to them anymore and they guard over ancient treasures.

    Commoners
    These range from basic humans like you and me. many have some amount of intution an d sixth sense. The more developed ones have power of mind control (persuasive people, ), telepathy and second sight. They don't realise that their powers are magcal though. Some who still believe magic in the other two sects study magic and have different levels of expertise in acquired magic like healing, alchemy, ritual magic etc.

    Demons are Born Mages or Immortals gone wrong.

    As of now that's all that's established as rules of magic in my fictional worlds. :)
     
  6. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    Nadala when do your characters aquire their magic/powers? Is it at birth or later on in life?

    It may seem a pointless question to many, but I just feel that it pays to know when or how a character is going to gain his/her powers. Being born with these powers can be a major advantage at times.

    What do you all think about characters being born with their magic and those that aquire them later on? Do you think that characters have an advantage or diadvantage from receiving them at birth or later on? What are the advantages and disadvatages?
     
  7. Frost
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    Frost Contributing Member

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    Wizardry: Wizardry is something that one must refine. You are born with a talent for it, as one is born with a talent for sport. The trained eye of other wizards are constantly searching for potential candidates. Through years and years of learning and practice, the individual steadily becomes more controlling of magic. Wizards are the most common wielders of magic.

    Witchcraft/Sorcery: This is wild magic. It is born inside the person. It tends to make itself known during puberty. Wild magic is as the name suggests, unrefined. As such, it can be devestatingly powerful, but it is also incredibly difficult to control. There is nouniversal method of control; each witch or sorceror must devse theyre own method of control. These weilders of magic are rare. They are the most potentially dangerous.

    Divine magic/clerics: This magic is given to a weilder through the Gods. A cleric will devote him/herself to a specific diety, and through years of steady and unyeilding faith and obedience, are granted their magical abilities. A cleric will often be required to peform a task to help his or her diety in order to aquire more powerful magics.

    Consequences: Magic comes to different people in different ways. As such, the consequences of using and aqquiring magic are very different.

    When a wisened, experienced, powerful wizard uses a spell he learnt as a beginner, it has no consequence. As the spells he performs increase in difficulty, it will steadily take more of a toll on the body and mind. The soul however, remains untouched right up until the most powerful, dark magics. It is rare that any wizard ever lives long enough to aquire such power, and rarer still that any wizard is brave enough to use it.

    Sorcerors face fierce persecution. The general populace is generally incredibly scared of the raw power inside of these weilders. As such, they often live like hermits or outcasts. They face no physical consequence for expending their power; however, it is often impossible to control this magic as to make it available upon a call. People who are born with wild magic usually restrain it completely. A select few however, master it and can call upon it's power at will. These people are incredibly rare, incredibly feared, and incredibly dangerous.

    Clerics must sacrifice everything to their God to be blessed. They must abide entirely by their chosen dietys law to aquire any magic what so ever. If this means total celibacy, so be it. If it means to drink a goblet of virgins blood once every full moon, so be it. However, because their magic is divine, it takes no toll on their body or mind. However, if a wielder uses their magic for purposes against their dieties will, the God may strip the cleric of their powers, or even damn them to the abyss.

    Thats just a couple of my laws anyway.
     
  8. Funny Bunny
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    These are not real witches, just fictional ones? I know a rather lot of real ones (serious). They would probably disagree.

    Oh-- I think they are born with them, but they only understand they have them later on. They discover them in themselves as the "Charge of the Goddess" says.

    I dont write fantasy, but I have studied witchcraft. So do the rules of fantasy really cover that? Shouldnt that be where your information comes from? (not Wicca per say, but things like Candomble and Voudouen as well as ancient Celtic heritage etc.)
     
  9. Frost
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    Frost Contributing Member

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    Dude, how can you get a real witch?
     
  10. Funny Bunny
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    witches are people who believe they are witches, just like the president is a person who believes he is the president (I'm a girl bu the way) yeah theyre are tons of Wiccans and also Witches and Pagans and Druids walking around (also Vampires) for a while I used to go to pot lucks with them. Boring. You make your own reality.
     
  11. Frost
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    Frost Contributing Member

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    Heheheh. It's hard to believe that there are people wandering around thinking that they're 'magical'. Thats gold. Good laugh.
     
  12. Funny Bunny
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    Can't help it if you don't get out much. Ever been to New York? The world is made up of all sorts of people who think things about themselves. We think we are writers. Other people think they are football players and actors. Some people think they are Catholics, or soldiers, or love Gods. So what is the truth? Who knows. You need to think it before it happens (that is a Witch belief too, that if you will your will happens). Is what you say about yourself the truth, or is what someone else says about you the truth? If you say you are an industrious hard working artist, another person will say you are a lying thieving con-artist? What is true? I certainly don't know. If they say they are witches, I am apt to believe them. Wicca/Witchcraft (Wicca is pronounced Witch-a) is accepted by the U.S. Armed services as a legitimate religion. If they say they can go beyond the veil and transmigrate or whatever, they are just as acceptable to me as someone who says a little cup of fire in a church cabinet is "God." So, yeah, they are "real." (oh, there are around 750,000 of those people in the U.S. 70000 in Canada. Wicca is the fastest growing religion on earth. There are no churches. There are no congregations. it is all individuals and small groups New Zealand has a huge population of Neo-Pagans). I wouldn't read a "how to write fantasy book on Witches or Warlocks till I met a few, became one, and pretty much felt self assured enough to do the spells.
     
  13. Torana
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    Actually Frost witches are real my mother's grandmother was a white witch. I don't know a great deal about it all really, but I do know that there is definately people out there that call themselves witches and so on as stated by Funny Bunny.

    I don't think that you nor anyone else has the right to criticize them for their believes and the way they choose to live their lives though.
     
  14. Frost
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    Frost Contributing Member

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    I live in Australia. As sorry as I am to say it, New York is a fair hike from where I live. So no, Im sorry to say I've never come across the fabled witches of NYC. I do know one girl who's um thinks shes a witch. This poor chick gets bullied alot though. That was at my old school though.

    Nowdays I board. Us boarderrs live pretty sheltered lives. And apart from that, I go to high school not Hogwarts. So despite the fact I dont like to crowd myself with delirious 'witches' doesn't mean I dont get out much.

    Then again, you can have the delirious Christians, Muslims, Jews, all of whom may believe something crazy. Some of these guys are crazy too.

    This little spiel is supposed to mean what to me? Just because the US acknowledges it as an official religion, doesn't make it anymore believable than the next religion now does it.
    So save your sermons.
     
  15. Nadala
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    Nadala Banned

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    No offence guysbut this thread is meant to help people with fictional magic, not open a real deal topic
     
  16. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    Good point Nadala if you want to debate this take it into the lounge so that this thread isn't taken over.
     
  17. Frost
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    Frost Contributing Member

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    Ah, yes, yes of course. Point taken, thread created!
     
  18. Nadala
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    Nadala Banned

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    Thankyou very much, now where were we...
     
  19. Frost
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    Frost Contributing Member

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    Well, I'd just explained how magic works when I write. I don't know about you guys.
     
  20. newguy
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    I don't know 'bout you guys
    But I've got an incredible example on how not to write magical characters...
    If you've ever read "the tamuli" series you'll know what I'm talking about
    I'm pretty sure david eddings had done a better job on his earlier works on the series, but what I read was dissapointing...


    wait wait...
    I'm railing off...

    when I read his books I found that his methodology on how to conjure magic was quite unique. Rather than humans being able to do magic with their will power or with the aid nature or any magical article whatsoever, they had to ask their corresponding Gods instead. In a prayer, (likened to an incantation) Magic users were able to contact their god and "ask nicely" to provide Divine intervention thusly creating magic!

    well thats my favored view on magic
     
  21. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    Actually newguy I had something very similar for a character that I had created for Nadala.
    Only difference being is that the character is a high priestess for a water continent. Basically her people are carers of the ocean and in the ocean is like where all the spirits of dead people go. My character was responsible for that area blah blah blah going off topic kind of.

    Anyways she had powers yeah that is obvious, but she was not very powerful and to gain her full powers she had to do a prayer to her elders and the spirits of the deep <spirits in the ocean> to gain use of her full powers. Well yeah that is what I had but Nadala already knows all bout that and i ain't too good ay describing it all so yeah I'll leave it at that lol :p
     
  22. SeaBreeze
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    SeaBreeze Banned

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    With my characters, some are born with their powers, either at various strengths or come by them later in life through study or some event that has happened.

    Or some hold magickal amulets (for example) that allow them certain powers but it is the amulet that is magick, not the person.
     
  23. Funny Bunny
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    I think researching what is really going on is really helpful to any writer. I wouldn't write a book about mountain climbing unless I actually went and climbed a mountain. There is something to be said about actual experiences. I don't think it is necessary to really "become" something but you should have an open mind and go to their events and so on. Many are open to the public.
     
  24. Funny Bunny
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    Okay, any big city. New York is a kind of metaphor for an "anything goes" sort of place. Actually, I've only been their once. I am saying that there are places where you can be what you think you are (including wearing the goth and witchi-poo outfits) and people will treat you like a normal person.

    Yes the get beaten up, just like gays and other people who are usually protected by rules and regulations. I think bullying, harassment and assault and battery can get a person (child or not) put in jail or else sued here.

    Thinking you are something is the same as being it. Christians think they are Christians, that is how they become Christians. The moment you stop thinking you are one, it stops mattering to you.
     
  25. Nadala
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    Nadala Banned

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    This thread is for mentoring you in fictional world building. NOT RESEARCH I said it before and I will say it again keep on topic. Please don't hijack this thread. You're not helping
     

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