1. Andi. Just Andi.

    Andi. Just Andi. Active Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2018
    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    78

    Assistance on Magic System

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Andi. Just Andi., Jun 26, 2020.

    I’ve been having a difficult time establishing my magic system and I would really appreciate some advice. More specifically, I’m having trouble with the various types of magic available and what exactly people can do with it.

    To explain, the source of magic for my system are the deities. So far, along with the lesser deities, there are 16 deities:
    • Greater Deities:
      • The 5 Mountains:
        • Ivora
        • Gregard
        • Obsidius
        • Gintaras
        • Gwyndolen
      • Gocha, Old Man of the Cold, Death, Rebirth, and Winter
      • Maia, Old Woman of Darkness, the Night, and Secrets
      • Ava, the Feathered Goddess of Birds, Witchcraft, and Trickery
      • Aithne, the Bull-Horned God of Warmth, Light, Fire, the Sun, the Day, Fertility, and Healing
      • Lycoris, The Ram-Horned God of the Realm of Shadows, Death, Order, Outcasts, and Abandoned Children
      • Rhoda, the Child Goddess of Springtime, Flowers, Fertility, and Rebirth
      • Tamar, the Red-Haired Goddess of Hunters, Forests, the Wilderness, and Lycanthropes
      • Endzela, The Pale-eyed Goddess of the Moon, Stars, Dreams, Illusions, Lunacy, Vengeance, and the Gateway to the Realm of Dreams
      • Lazhvardi, The Azure-eyed God of the Sea, Song, and the Father of Whales
    • Lesser Deities:
      • Başak, the Wheat-Haired Goddess of Agriculture, Agricultural-fertility, Grain, and Wine (Aspect of Rhoda)
      • Vasil, the Grinning God of Freshwater, Lakes, and Rivers (Aspect of Lazhvardi)
    Each deity has specific types of magic that they can bless their worshippers with. However, I’m having difficulty figuring out exactly what types of magic each deity can grant along with what people can do with said magic. I have some ideas so far such as Aithne’s magic including healing, heat, fire, and fertility because of his domains. However, when it comes to domains like day, night, order, or the moon, I’m stuck on what practitioners can do with them.

    If you need any other information, feel free to ask.
     
  2. TheOtherPromise

    TheOtherPromise Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2020
    Messages:
    307
    Likes Received:
    329
    This is timely, in that just today I was thinking about whether or not to create a similar topic asking for help on my own magic system. Ultimately with enough brainstorming I deduced what my problems were to the point I think I can work with it. I did that by really looking at what I needed my magic system to be in order for my plot to work and cutting out the unnecessary elements. So first if I were you, I would take a look at your plot (depending on how much you've developed it, I tend to develop basic plot points first but I know not everyone works that way) and figure out what kind of magic you need to have and what would best compliment that.

    One thing I noticed is that there is quite a lot of overlap between your deities. Both Gocha and Lycoris are gods of death for instance. Is this the same type of death or is it slightly different, as in Gocha is the god of dying but Lycoris is the god of the afterlife for an example. Depending on the exact particulars can depend on what kind of magic they would grant.

    Also what kind of things do you want your magic users to be capable of. Are they doing things like casting fireballs and lightning bolts out of thin air or is it a bit more grounded where they can only influence what already exists.

    With just the information provided these are some potentials I thought of
    Gocha - Ice magic, Resurrection
    Maia - Nightvision, mind-reading, Shadow magic
    Ava - Talking to birds, Familiars, hexes
    Aithne - (your list is same as mine)
    Lycoris - Killing curses, Shadow magic
    Rhoda - Plant magic, Resurrection, healing
    Tamar - Shapeshifting, enhanced senses
    Endzela - Dream magic (either seeing others dreams, or forcing others to have certain dreams)
    Lazhvardi - Water magic, Song magic
     
  3. Andi. Just Andi.

    Andi. Just Andi. Active Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2018
    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    78
    You present a lot of points that I haven't really considered until now.

    I'll definitely need to think about the overlapping of domains that my deities share. I guess the difference between how Gocha and Lycoris approach death is that Gocha was the first being in their history to die. Additionally, a lot of things die when winter comes, so that can also be part of his power. So, I guess that's moreso about decay or something along those lines. As for Lycoris, he was born when Gocha died, but I haven't entirely decided if he will also be the god of the afterlife.

    I have been trying to figure out what direction I want to go for regarding this. My world and stories in it are heavily based on various mythologies, with one main influence being Georgian mythology. There isn't really any rhyme or reason when it comes to magic in mythology. Like, things can just happen out of nowhere. However, I'm debating on whether or not this should be the case with my magic system. I don't want anyone to be so powerful that they can just do whatever they want, but I do want the magic to still be interesting and useful.

    You've really given me a lot to think about, so thank you for replying.
     
  4. LazyBear

    LazyBear Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2017
    Messages:
    374
    Likes Received:
    231
    Location:
    Uppsala, Sweden
    I can keep track of at most 7 made up gods in a story before mixing up their attributes, so you might need a system of titles for every new mention. Three to five main gods with the most unique traits would probably be ideal so that different colors and elements can be associated when trying to remember them. Only include the ones that are critical to drive the plot. If the reader has to make an effort just to remember something, it won't have the desired emotions associated with the name. Using names derived from existing words is a way to tell the sub-conscious what to expect without being too obvious. In The Witcher, "Igni" works by coming from "Ignite, while the other signs are just hard to remember.

    I see that three of the five mountains begin with "G". Memory works by association and strongly prefers having one of a kind grouped by something in common. Each memory holds a limited number of links to related memories, so just a lump of many similar things will be hardest to remember, while tree structures are easy using multiple category groups with things in common. For example, you may have three natural places with their own associated color and morbid twist, each separated by a distinct reference to existing memories in the brain. A mountain of black snow (black, solid, hard, high), a river of innocent blood (red, low, wet), a tree of decay (gray, dry, death), et cetera to become more than just mountain G 1 to 3 of mountain 1 to 5 in the reader's memory.
     
  5. Andi. Just Andi.

    Andi. Just Andi. Active Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2018
    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    78
    Thank you. I can see why it would get confusing after awhile. I'll try to work on the names and titles later on. However, I'm not trying to be rude, but do you have any advice specifically for my magic system?
     
  6. LazyBear

    LazyBear Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2017
    Messages:
    374
    Likes Received:
    231
    Location:
    Uppsala, Sweden
    Couldn't really find any flaws there, but make sure to ask yourself these questions. Each path results in a different type of magic battles and some combinations are more unique than others.
    * Essence before existence or existence before essence? If essence is first, there can be special hidden realms and literally anything can happen in the physical world because its all a dream in the god's mind. If existence is first like in Mayan, Greek and Viking religions, then the magic skill is what makes the gods divine and you can then use magic without prayers by simply figuring out the arcane witchcraft that the gods master.
    * What does their concept of souls anchor to? Attached to flesh like Amunism or just indestructible like in Christianity. Are there physical relics that powers are drawn from, which can be destroyed?
    * Is the magic idol based (voodoo, runes), soul based (prayers, mana) or arcane knowledge (theory of everything)? Idol based works no matter the material by association. Soul based might stop working based on emotion and support from the angels. Arcane knowledge can be used to kill the gods.
    * Does power trump all? Can a sneaky beginner outsmart a stronger mage or get lucky? The first can be used to bully the main character and give a sense of hopeless despair until powerful enough to revenge as adult. The latter is more like a game of football with quick twists and backstabbing.
     
    Xoic likes this.
  7. Naomasa298

    Naomasa298 HP: 10/190 Status: Confused Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2019
    Messages:
    4,054
    Likes Received:
    4,833
    Location:
    The White Rose county, UK
    Try working it the other way around.

    Figure out what magic you need your characters to cast, then figure out which god it matches best.
     
  8. Friedrich Kugelschreiber

    Friedrich Kugelschreiber marshmallow Contributor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2017
    Messages:
    4,252
    Likes Received:
    5,336
    If you look at real world polytheistic religions you find a lot of overlap and blurred boundaries between the roles of various deities.
     
  9. Andi. Just Andi.

    Andi. Just Andi. Active Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2018
    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    78
    @LazyBear
    *Do you mean like with "essence before existence" referring to the potential of magic being around before the gods existed, and "existence before essence" being when the gods existed before magic?
    *I tried to look up amunism to understand what you meant, but all I got was articles on communism. But, based on what you've said so far, I believe I was initially going for souls being indestructible. However, if amunism means someone's soul being around until their physical body dies, I can see that happening. It'd definitely be a change from the usual idea of an immortal soul. As for relics, I'll have to think about that one.
    *Most of the magic at least is soul-based, though that might change for witchcraft once I figure out what that entails.
    *I was hoping for the characters to find creative and effective ways to use their magic, despite how useless their magic might seem initially.
    Overall, thank you for your suggestions.

    @Naomasa298 This is definitely a new way to look at things. I can see it actually helping me come up with relevant information that'll actually show up in the story. Thank you for the suggestion.

    @Friedrich Kugelschreiber Yeah, since that point was brought up, I've been trying to do some research on how different deities in mythology have similar domains. Like, they're similiar the basic category such as "fertility" or "fire", but they're different in what exactly each deity deals with.
     
  10. LazyBear

    LazyBear Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2017
    Messages:
    374
    Likes Received:
    231
    Location:
    Uppsala, Sweden
    Essence before existence (mostly monotheism like Christianity) means that thoughts are the fundamental building blocks of the universe and all matter exists only as a thought in the god's mind. The god can then erase you by simply forgetting that you ever existed. Modern religions survive using this, because otherwise people would wonder where all the angels are during plane trips or why oil drilling haven't released demons and gargoyles. God can simply make them invisible.

    Existence before essence means that gods are mortals live among us but very strong or wise.
    * The ancient Mayans believed that one could defeat death by winning their deadly ball game. Then just walk out of a hole in the ground and be alive again.
    * The ancient Greeks beleived that titans could fight gods if only strong enough.
    * Vikings believed that a magic rainbow connected our world to the divine realms. Just have to jump high enough to get there.

    Amunism is Amun worship from ancient Egypt. The organs can be removed but the flesh have to be mummified. Pyramids were probably built so that dead pharaohs could see the northern star and ascend.

    Atenism is similar to Amunism but only worshipping Aten/Aton outside in daylight. The light of aten would heal broken bones and burn enemies to ashes like Superman but from above. These powers are interesting because they won't work during night.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2020
    Xoic likes this.
  11. Andi. Just Andi.

    Andi. Just Andi. Active Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2018
    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    78
    Then, by that definition, I would definitely say that the magic is existence before essence.
    As for the second half, I'm still considering what the afterlife would be like. Depending on what I idea I go with, that'll determine the approach I take on souls. For example, I was thinking that there are different afterlives depending on which deity you get your magic from. If you don't have any magic, then you basically are left to wander the land as a ghost. According to what you're saying, that'd probably mean that the soul is indestructible.

    Overall, thank you for your help.
     
  12. Friedrich Kugelschreiber

    Friedrich Kugelschreiber marshmallow Contributor

    Joined:
    May 8, 2017
    Messages:
    4,252
    Likes Received:
    5,336
    The idea that essence precedes existence has nothing necessarily to do with deity or creation in this context, but simply means that the purpose or nature of a thing is a more fundamental aspect of that thing than its actual existence. It has been a view of philosophers since the ancient Greeks, so it's not restricted to monotheism.

    The idea that existence precedes essence is an important tenet of existentialism and was originated by Jean-Paul Sartre. It means that there are no preconceived patterns or purposes that a human must follow, but rather the absolute freedom of the universe allows each person to define and enact their own essence, whatever that may be. Existence precedes the essence which must be created by the individual.

    Unless you are using these phrases in very different ways than I have been accustomed to, I am honestly baffled at how they might apply here.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2020
  13. Antaus

    Antaus Active Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2016
    Messages:
    159
    Likes Received:
    81
    Location:
    North Carolina
    This is an interesting topic because I recently codified my magic system to a degree, but also left it vague in other area for some wiggle room. My system however takes more of a scientific approach to things due to several elements being slammed together, like might and magic existing alongside technology. Think knights on horseback with cellphones, castles with internet access, and villages that listen to their local media moguls go on about happenings in the kingdom. I do have a detailed explanation for all of this but it is waaaaay too long to post here. However if you'd like to see the magic section I'll shoot you a copy.
     
  14. Andi. Just Andi.

    Andi. Just Andi. Active Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2018
    Messages:
    157
    Likes Received:
    78
    This actually sounds really interesting. Please do send me a copy.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice