1. Gammer
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    Gammer Active Member

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    Re-Introducing Magic

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Gammer, Mar 29, 2011.

    I having some trouble with some aspects of the magic of my fantasy WIP.

    In it, the magic is "ki/chi" ala Street Fighter, Dragonball Z,many Wushu films, where basically if you train long and hard enough you can do supernatural things like fly (very advanced technique), telekinesis, fireballs etc....

    Chi/Ki schools were like sword schools where every master had a dojo on a street corner and there were many variations. This also caused many problems because any mook could learn a few tricks and cause trouble. "Dark Lords" rose and fall like the seasons basically (much to my MC's mentor annoyance)

    Then the main bad guy caused a war that killed so many people and inbalanced the world so much that the Gods locked away the ki/chi abilities in humans.

    Fast forward to the main storyline and the main character accidentally unlocks his ki ability making the Gods very worried because they say that mankind is no longer fit for that kind of power.

    The trouble comes in when during the MC's journey he runs into foes and allies that have ki/chi abilities too which makes the Gods paranoia kind of strange and inconsistent since if these people have powers and aren't causing that much trouble why would they be so worried about the MC?

    I would just take out those other ki users but then since it would be only my MC with the power it would make his journey too easy and he wouldn't learn or develop as a character or hero.

    Originally I was going to have that these people did specia favors for Gods who have taken human forms and unlocking their ki potiential was their reward, but then it would seem that happened to everybody since the MC runs into so many of them.

    Any suggestions on how to get past this block/inconsistency?

    (Sorry for the length)
     
  2. Finhorn
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    Finhorn Senior Member

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    First I love the length. It lets me know where you're coming from. I don't think that you can merge the loss of powers and still keep the gods angry or even baffled over how the main got his powers. So you'd have to do away with the powers of the bad guys.

    My suggestion is to read more comic books. Imagine Superman where he beets up everyone. Boring. Imagine an issue where everyone he comes across has kryptonite. Again boring. So what the authors have done is create situations where his powers can't be used or are even a detriment to him.

    Perhaps move a fight to a narrow cave or building where he can't fly. Maybe do one in the falling snow where there are to many individual objects for his telekinesis to work right. Perhaps he could be attacked in a crowed city where collateral damage from fireballs would mean raging fires and certain civilian deaths. Get creative. This "what could he destroy with this power" then put it in a situation where he doesn't want to destroy stuff.

    You could also have a group of enemies blessed by the gods. If the gods can take away Chi/Ki, perhaps it couldn't be used in the vicinity of a true believer. To go further, this group (or individual) could believe that it's their duty to stop or destroy the supernatural blasphemer.

    Or there's the classic choice. Girl likes him but he's afraid of showing her what he can do because perhaps the gods won't take kindly, others will try to use her to get to him, or whatever. Then he has to use his powers to save her. She gets to feel relief, betrayal, confusion, fear of him, etc. Very few positives traditionally come from a big secret suddenly reviled. He knows (or thinks) this so he handicaps himself a lot of the time.

    If all else fails, weaken him. If someone shoots an arrow at him, the has time to duck before it comes back. So the shooter doesn't get killed and can fire again. Or perhaps flying around throwing fire takes a lot muscle strength so when the assassin comes after the big fight he's running on fumes.

    Should you however want to keep you magic bad guys you almost have to have a rouge god. Someone who can unlock man's potential and has been doing it. Maybe the god is evil and the MC was an accident; maybe it's a balance thing (the god unlocked one good and one evil guy - they can teach others but the evil guy discovered the power first so he's taught a lot of people). I have the feeling that's taking your story in a new direction though.
     
  3. Gammer
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    Gammer Active Member

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    Those are some really good ideas, it does bring up the issue of, what's the point of giving your hero these powers if you're constantly going to handicap him into not using them? I mean sure it's a good way to show the character is creative with his abilities and can fight without them, but to me that loses impact when all the reader gets is the character fighting without them (if that makes sense).

    I do like the idea of a God giving people power behind the other Gods backs. Not for pure evil reason but just out boredom or amusement. (Eternity can get pretty boring). But that also poses the question of why the other Gods don't just deal with the mischief maker if they're so bothered with humans with abilities.

    Sorry if I'm being difficult. Maybe I just think too much lol

     
  4. Smoke
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    Smoke Contributing Member

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    The adversaries that have power, maybe when their powers are unlocked, something else gets shut away. The concern about the MC is that he retained the dangerous aspect of his humanity while having powers.
     
  5. Mr. Blue Dot
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    Mr. Blue Dot Member

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    Many ancient religions had gods of treachery and deceit, or even gods of mischief. Loki, and gods like him might be able to give you some fresh ideas.

    Maybe a god can be giving these powers to certain people, and then he hides them from the other gods. But of course he didn't give powers to your MC, so he isn't able to cloak his abilities (or just doesn't care to).

    Here's an idea tho, maybe the people fighting your MC have developed techniques, weapons, and strategies to be used against people who use ki. They don't have ki abilities themselves, but they are able to fight against ki none the less because they trained to. Maybe it wasn't just the Gods who were weary of people with abilities, but people as well, and human militias were made to protect their lands against Dark Lords.

    Another idea, maybe the gods left artifacts around, and people using these artifacts are able to unlock their chi with them. Or maybe the artifacts contain chi of the gods, and they are using that.

    There's a lot of interesting stuff that can be done with a story like this. Shouldn't be too hard to get creative :)
     
  6. Louis Farizee
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    Louis Farizee Member

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    Or.... if (magick) = (sufficiently advanced technology), then logically (sufficiently advanced technology) = (magick).

    In other words, perhaps some super advanced tech geniuses have figured out how to give themselves powers similar if not identical to the ki/chi voodoo. Think Syndrome from The Incredibles.
     
  7. Gammer
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    Gammer Active Member

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    That actually gave me an idea on the way back from school today. I have originally that when the main storyline picks up, it's been over a thousand years since the Gods cut off humans from ki.

    But what if since then, humans discovered science (like Alchemy which I think could be counted as a strange combination of magic and science. At least from what I read. I know Full Metal Alchemist says otherwise but it definitely seems that way), and have learned to empower themselves that way, and the villain is working on a way to bypass the block the Gods have using this science.

    It isn't perfect, but it really clears a lot of the blocks i've been having. I better go write this down and quick! :)
     
  8. Invincible
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    First off, I like the conception of the idea. Being huge on anime, I'd be pretty big on reading stuff like this in literature. So finish it, b/c I wanna read.

    A conflict between godly powers of ki and human science is a very good crux to the story. FMA uses fantasy elements in the alchemy itself without calling them fantasy b/c such is the world it is set in. I assume your world is identical to reality. So to explain 'magical science' in alchemy, you'll have to create your own version history of the science. Alright, not necessarily explain it, but you should at least know.

    Smoke's idea above, about the powers awakened overwriting human mindset might be a good difference between the hero and the villains, and might help humanize the hero in that he'll be much more tragic as opposed to uber psycho killer.
     
  9. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Have you got a devil ?

    With my magic I have mind invasion the difference between the goodies and the baddies is the goodies follow the Universal Father's rules of engagement ie asking the person you are about to invade except in an emergency, always returning elements used to the environment etc

    Those on the side of the Matriach of Evil suck the elements out of the environment (when her birdform appears the air thickens, sea slows etc), use the mind invasion to control people, won't leave a mind without force.

    If you introduce a devil or even just a different set of gods for different peoples they will have different rules. In my world it is the physical positioning of the planet that allows the people to control the elements and magic isn't really magic it is a matter of learning and science. It is the evil and ignorance that tells people not to use the magic and not allowing them that power. The teaching is taken out of schools.
     
  10. Gammer
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    Gammer Active Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions guys they're really helping me shape this up. What I'm now thinking of is:

    Instead of completely cutting humans off from ki, the Gods just left humans with a very limited form of it. A thousand years have past since then and humans can only use weak to below average ki techniques but that's only if they can find a proper teacher. And ki has become viewed as superstition. They can no longer use combat techniques like the flying and fireballs.

    It has become that only devout monks can use ki and they reside in very secluded temples. To unlock their ki, the monks must pray, fast, and mediate for 40 days and nights (i'm not going use that number in the final version of course but it just to get the idea.) And even then its very limited acess.

    Humans have discovered sciences like Alchemy to empower themselves instead. (One character who was going to use ki to be nigh-invulnerable, is now powered by a potion he took to make his bones be as hard as metal).

    When the MC accidentally awakens his ki and it undoes the block on his combat ablities the Gods get nervous because they feel he might become powerful enough to become a major threat just like a thousand years ago.

    Still pretty rough, but it clears a lot of the blocks I've been having.

    What do you guys think?
     
  11. Finhorn
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    Finhorn Senior Member

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    Not bad, I don't see any immediate flaws. Get to writing!
     
  12. Invincible
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    I like it bar the wolverine bone-transplant shout out. That's again venturing on magical territory. Strong weapons should make up the human sides. Altering themselves is a bit much of a reach.

    Of course, if you can convey your ideas in an original/interesting way, I'll change my tune.
     

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