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  1. Mckk

    Mckk Member Supporter Contributor

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    What's a Spirit Mage?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Mckk, Jan 6, 2018.

    So, @KaTrian helpfully suggested I make my MC into a "spirit mage" - it sounds awesome and the concept of spirit fits well into the themes of my book (death, immortality, redemption), so I'm going with it. Problem, I am struggling to think of what kind of magical power a spirit mage might have :bigmeh: So far I've come up with the following:

    1. ability to read minds
    2. ability to resurrect someone
    3. ability to heal
    4. mind-control
    5. ability to summon ghosts and demons
    6. ability to cross over to the other side (and return)

    Anything else?

    I'd like some power that would be easy for me to make it integral to my story - so something active and preferably useful in a war. (I've already gone down the healing route and it's not working out - way too passive)

    Truth is I have a far bigger problem in that every single character is more complex, more interesting, and has a stronger role than my MC. I'm hoping by building on what makes him unique and giving him some useful ability will help me think of better ways of making him more active and integral to the plot.

    Any ideas appreciated!
     
  2. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I googled and it seems a spirit mage is a video game thingamadoodle, so I’m out as regards what one is. o_O

    But, if you give him/her much more in the way of abilities than what you’ve described, are you not running into the dreaded “overpowered” issue?
     
  3. Mckk

    Mckk Member Supporter Contributor

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    I haven't decided what a spirit mage even is yet, except that it's a mage with some special magical power...

    The overpowered issue - I already have that, but with my villain. I'm currently pestering Kat with it because she's read it all up to the point I've stopped. My villain is immortal and a fabled mage with the rare ability to control all four earthly elements. Kat suggested my MC could unlock a fifth element that no one knew existed - Spirit.

    Currently my MC suffers from a serious dose of mediocre, so I'm not worried about him being too special yet... My problems run way beyond simply what a spirit mage is but that's a whole essay by itself to explain. Which I'd be more than happy to, but really, that'd take a lot more time.
     
  4. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I feel your pain. My Tevin is quite the Marty Stu. I’m having a tough time finding a crack in his PrettyBoy McNiceguy armor. o_O
     
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  5. Lifeline

    Lifeline South. Staff Contributor

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    I'd probably combine these into one 'super-power' :oops:, going off the premise that every living thing has a 'blueprint' it should be. That goes for limbs/bodies as well as for souls/mind. The 'Spirit Mage' would then be able to pull the blueprint of how it should be out to be seen (i.e. for an arm that's been hacked off that would look like sort of a shimmering arm), and then the Spirit Mage would be able to make it real.

    Same for ailments of the mind. i.e. When someone is jaded/seriously hurt in mind (past, battlefield experiences in the present), the mage would be able to 'see' how it should be and set the spirit to right.
     
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  6. Seren

    Seren Writeaholic

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    Are you just trying to pick one?

    While healing may not have worked, that ability could be part of a larger power known as biological manipulation. That power usually gives characters not only the ability to heal, but also the ability to inflict disease upon people, to change things about people's biological make-up, and to maybe even change things about their own. Maybe it could even go as far as allowing them to almost shapeshift by carefully altering their body parts one by one so that they could masquerade as the enemy and get inside...I don't know. But such an ability would be much less passive than simply healing.

    There are a lot of other ideas involving biological manipulation at this site: http://powerlisting.wikia.com/wiki/Biological_Manipulation
     
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  7. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    May be the powers come at a dreadful cost to his heath or psyche so he can't over use them. e.g when healing someone he feels and takes on their pain, when resurrecting he nears the point of death himself.. that should avoid the overpowered god modding marty stu
     
  8. Mckk

    Mckk Member Supporter Contributor

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    He already experiences immense pain when he heals. It doesn't really do an awful lot in terms of making him interesting. I'm prone to writing rather whiny, self-tortured heroes so the immense pain just sorta allows me to make him even whinier... it ain't good.

    @Seren - inflicting diseases upon people sounds kinda cool. Hadn't thought of shapeshifting as part of the ability of a Spirit Mage and I like the idea of my MC going undercover. I'll check out the link - not heard of biological manipulation. Thanks!

    @Wreybies - yep, I've got a Marty Stu on my hands too. Sigh...
     
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  9. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    You could always not make him whiny .... I do struggle with writers who are "woe is me I don't like my character" - you're in charge, change that sucker .... make him stoic about the pain , make him 'unaware' or in denial about the damage hes doing to himself , give him a weakness or six
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2018
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  10. zoupskim

    zoupskim Contributor Contributor

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    Just spit-balling with the magic thing...

    You said there's the four elements which other mages have. Well, maybe Spirit is like a cornerstone element. Like, maybe all the other powers come from spirits manipulating them on another plane, and a spirit mage talks directly to those spirits, as opposed to just guiding/abusing/harnessing them like other mages.

    Earth mages can make an "Earth Spike(TM)" :D rise from the ground and smash their opponents. A spirit mage walks up to the manifestation causing the magic, and communes with them. Your spirit mage could have access to ALL magic, but they do it by negotiation and interaction, as opposed to using their power/training/strength.

    Rolling right off my magic idea, the conflict and interest could come from your character is being really really shy. For whatever reason they're not good at talking to people. Maybe they're a polite christian who doesn't believe talking to spirits is ethical, or maybe they're just the wall flower type, who'd rather be alone. They have every school of magic at their fingertips- the power to save the world- if they could just talk to people.

    OR, maybe your character's a huge dick, and has trouble talking to people because they always rub them the wrong way. They could be really powerful, if they'd just learn to be nice first.
     
  11. Fiender_

    Fiender_ Active Member

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    I hear "spirit mage", and I think like, ghosts. Talking with ghosts, or people in comas, astral projection, that sort of thing. Looking at your list, I wouldn't assume a 'spirit mage' would be capable of resurrecting the dead or healing - those are both very physical things, not spiritual.
     
  12. Mckk

    Mckk Member Supporter Contributor

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    @Fiender_ - resurrection is very spiritual. You can have an intact body but without a soul, you're still dead. But then I'm one who believes in souls in the first place, so perhaps we're coming from different faith bases.

    @big soft moose - change that sucker :D I like your attitude. I think it's an occasion of "kill your darlings". I so desperately want to hold onto my MC as I see him now because he's so noble. I love that. I love noble characters. The problem isn't that I don't like my character. The problem is I like him a little too much.

    @zoupskim - your idea sounds very interesting. I'll think on it more. My MC is totally the sort who just wanted an ordinary life. I keep calling him my hobbit... What I currently have are dryads, guardians of life who ensure life cycles and seasons go as they should. My MC forms a friendship with one, and there's another one who works for my antagonist. It would make sense to connect dryads with the magic of my world, actually. I've always had them separate.
     
  13. zoupskim

    zoupskim Contributor Contributor

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    Maybe in the setting healing isn't a zero-sum process. Maybe to give life you have to take it at a higher rate; healing a cut opens a huge gash on the healer, or on another volunteer/victim. That could change the aesthetic of your healers from nice doctors and priests serving the people into brutal cultists and slavers bartering life like drug dealers.
     
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  14. IHaveNoName

    IHaveNoName Senior Member Community Volunteer

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    I was going to suggest something similar. In my world, Spirit (I call it Pneuma, but it's the same thing) is a binding force made up of the souls of all living beings that have died; their energy feeds into the source of magic. Mages use it to bind magical energy to items, or different kinds of magic together; they could also use it to control an unliving construct by transferring some of their own soul into it. So, your mage could effectively "unbind" others' spells and effects by using Spirit to unravel them. He could also sense the presence of living beings, communicate with the souls of the (recently) deceased, bind souls to a location (or in an object)... the possibilities are endless, and a little horrifying, depending how far you want to go with it.
     
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