How does magic work within your project's universe? Questions and answers welcome.

BloodletterQ

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To quote Tv Tropes...
One can justify their unlikely pairing by imagining a common origin in basic particle physics — supposedly, fire (or heat) comes from speeding up atoms, ice (or cold) comes from slowing down atoms, and lightning comes from rubbing atoms together (or pulling them apart to reveal matter with a net charge). Sort of. Or by considering their elemental natures: Fire is life, Cold is death, and Lightning is the motion from one state to another. Or, you could remember the Rule of Cool. Your choice. It may also be simply that these three are easier to weaponize than other combinations.
My protagonist can manipulate the magical energy, but only for destructive purposes. Magic is not supposed to be very common, but is in fact a stigma. As for healing magics, the heroine is of royal blood for a nation where it's said they're gifted with healing powers.

Basically, they'd be DnD sorcerers.

Kind of curious how your magic systems work...
 

RCXGaming

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I'm always up for one of these kinds of threads, if only because I'm bored and I just finished doing school stuff.

Magic in the world I use for my games is common to the point where everyone knows what it is, though it wasn't so readily accessible a thousand years ago. It comes in three flavors:

  • Soul magic, which is the primary method of unleashing skills and the like. It takes the elemental energy inside of your soul and projects it into whatever form you are capable of casting, like fireballs or ice spikes, etc.
  • Mana, which is the energy of the earth. You can substitute using Mana as a magic source at the cost of the environment, like draining a lake or sucking the life out of trees. The inverse is also true, you can inject your own life force back into the earth if necessary, though the energy has to match (You can't be a fire guy and inject your soul power into plants otherwise you'd start a forest fire)
  • Arcane magic, which is the ethereal power of the universe. Extremely powerful and formless, but also unstable and unwieldy. This is how I explain magic occurrences (like wishing) that the prior two can't, though it's also much rarer than the previous two to compensate.

Nobody can wield more than two elements unless you're explicitly a supernatural force of nature, and you have to train a lot with your elements before you can even be considered decent at it.

How this translates into gameplay is that teamwork is the key defining factor of how fights should go, since you'll run into a lot of scenarios where having the right person on your team can make all the difference.

I also have a side story planned where nobody can really use magic except for mages, so instead the grand majority of people use trinkets that have built-in magic that can be used as weapons or even outright summons to do manual labor for them, etc.
 

Esoloist

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In my game there are a few people naturally gifted with magic. But most dont have it. Magic is, however, widespread. There are two ways for magic users to cast spells.

The first is a magic book. This has limited energy every day so that energy will be distributed equally among all the spells you slot. Slotting more will make your spells weaker overall.

The second is sorcery stones. These are exclusive to mid-high ranking members of the church. Each stones allows you to cast one spell at full power. However you need to buy them from the church before every mission since they expire daily.
 

Cymaiden

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Technically, Red Nova doesn't have magic per se, only psychic/quantum powers unlocked via higher dimensional awareness or technological means. This though is pedantry since the skills work exactly how one would expect magic to work in any other RPG fitting the JRPG mold.
 

DrBuni

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The universe I created for my game doesn't really feature any humans. The world is inhabited mostly by a species of individuals called fae. They are magical beings (hence the name, fae = fairies). Now for the magic, fae have a lot of magical potential.

First, there are their innate Elemental Classes. There exists six base attributes: Aqua, Ignis, Flora, Terra, Ventus and Looking Glass. Each of the five attributes, when paired with the many classes, create a vast quantity of unique fae. For example, a fae of the Aqua Wizard elemental class will fight in a completely different manner than a fae of the Fire Wizard or Aqua Pirate classes. The Elemental Classes are less about type effectiveness here and more about dictating what kind of abilities the fae has. Also, a funny coincidence. I planned for 25 classes. What number do we have if we multiply it by the 6 attributes?

Second, as a fae gains experience and survives long enough, they gain the ability to evolve, up to two different forms. Evolutions work more like in Digimon than Pokémon, for two reasons. The first reason is that evolutions are not permanent, the fae can and usually will revert back after a while. The second reason is that two nearly identical fae will not necessarily evolve into the same forms, thanks to the Elemental Classes mentioned above.

Supporting the evolution system, there are a few concepts, better left unexplained for now. For example, in a dark setting, how do you think a fae can grow stronger in order to evolve?
 

Tai_MT

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At the risk of spoiling a few things about my game:

The Set Up
The world my game exists in doesn't have magic. Or, rather, didn't used to. Magic is a relatively new thing. Developed in the last few hundred years. It only exists in the setting for my game, which is an isolated and inescapable island. An island large enough to be an actual continent (it is a continent). It's a "Swords and Bows" setting where magic was suddenly introduced.

The Types of Magic
Necromancy - This is one of the earliest forms of magic. Legends say that it was born from the citizens of a city called "Tempest" living with Death for so long that they simply attuned to its very nature and it allowed them to manipulate it. It is unclear when it first began, but most Legends and Myths point to a single man starting the trend. The leader of "Tempest".

Where does it really come from? Death, himself. Death is his own being. He does little more than ferry the souls of the departed to their next incarnation. Little is understood about the magic except:

1. It was stolen from Death. The first person to use the magic had a fantastic memory and when he met Death, he memorized a great many of the details as to how the realm worked and he worked tirelessly to put them to text.

2. Books of Necromancy, by their very existence, cannot be destroyed in any fashion. The magics written upon them that passes the knowledge down somehow renders the books indestructible.

3. To use Necromancy, the person must be of a specific "personality type". Those who have experienced loss frequently or who harbor "evil thoughts" pick up on the magics quickly.

4. Usage of Necromancy is as easy as breathing for the users. They need only think it and it activates. However, it still drains what the inhabitants of the island call "Potential" and exhausts the user at very high rates.

Nature Magic - Only the Elves can learn this magic. Only the Elves practice this magic. Its functions are nebulous at best and have been observed to be very limited in scope and power. What is unique about this magic is that it introduced a new "type" of effect on most targets. While most targets would be affected by things like Tissue Necrosis, Burning Flesh, Electrical Charges, etcetera; Nature is its own unique effect that isn't well understood. It does damage to the body, but it is unclear how or why.

It comes from the "Teachings of the Forest". Or, more specifically, a "man in black" who taught the Elves how to change their sinning forms from that of animals into that of human shaped ones. Their transformation was the first usage of that magic and is a testament to how powerful it can be. The Elves claim it is activated through silent prayer, but some of the less "tight lipped" among them have said there are instances of Elves who don't incite the prayer and can still utilize the magic.

Life Magic - This is the newest form of magic to make its debut upon the island. Like the first two, it isn't widely understood how or why it works. It is too new and there are too few users of it to make study into it a worthwhile endeavor.

It is called "Life Magic" because it directly opposes Necromancy. It reverses any of the effects of Necromancy and can heal "ailments" to some small effect. If used on Zombies, it renders them back into immobile corpses, devoid of soul. If used upon someone sick with Poison, it removes it from their system. It doesn't seem able to repair much physical damage from those it is used it. While it can "remove" the burn, the damage to the tissue remains. Carbonized flesh is removed and wounds cauterized, but missing tissue is still missing.

What is known about Life Magic:

1. It is incredibly rare. There are only two currently known users of it upon the entire island. There may be more in hiding.

2. It can't be taught to other people. Initial run-ins with this magic had the King directly asking the members to attempt to teach others how to use it. Others remain unable to ever learn it. Even worse? The two known users aren't able to teach each other their own "spells". One uses theirs primarily for combat by creating shields and enveloping their weapons in the energy. The other uses theirs to remove ailments and destroy "The Undead".

3. It is thought it works on the same principle of Necromancy. A person needs a specific Personality Type for it to work. The only commonality seen so far in personality is "Very Strong Willed".

4. It is unclear whether users of this magic need to invoke the spells. Sometimes they invoke the specific spell by speaking its name or effect. Other times, they can invoke by just thought or even physical movement. If asked the difference, the users don't know what distinguishes any of the spells from each other in how they are cast. They simply know how it is cast and do what is required for the desired effect.

Elemental Magic - This magic has been around almost as long as Necromancy. It is theorized it was born around the same time as Necromancy and in direct opposition to it. It is insanely powerful and widely varied. Users often use up to three or four "elements", but most are born with the knowledge of one. This magic can be taught to other Elemental Users, but this gets tricky.

1. Only women can use it. Not just any woman either. Only those who can trace their bloodlines back to a town called "Southern Spray". This power isn't "diluted" among generations either. In fact, it grows more powerful as time goes on and more is understood.

2. The birth of the powers used to be attributed to "getting deeply sick" in the early generations. No women younger than 12 or older than 40 ever got the illness. It had a 75% death rate among those who took to getting sick. Newer generations never get sick except very rarely when "new bloodlines" are created. These "new bloodlines" are a state held secret of the Kellah Empire. Death among those who get sick from this illness in modern times is almost 0 now.

3. There are no incantations. The users simply imagine what they wish to happen, they pay the proper "toll" in Potential and the spell manifests. With or without words. With or without body movements. There are "fundamentals" that need to be taught to those without a "primary affinity", but those typically happen at an early age. Once the user understands how an "element" works on a base level, all usage of that element scale up from there. Every user of Elemental Magic can learn every Element if they wish to do so.

4. The ability for the elements to "scale up" has lead to thousands of unique spells. Each user invents their own or puts new twists on old versions. The only limits to this magic are what can be imagined and how much Potential a user has to work with.

5. There are six "elements". Fire, Water, Wind, Lightning, Earth, Ice. The distinction between some of them is unclear. One would think Fire and Ice would be related by changing temperature, but they are not, and are separate. Further, Ice and Water might be similar since Water can turn into Ice, but they are also separate. Ice can be formed with any liquid after all. The form of Ice is also vastly different than the form of Fire. The distinction is nebulous and difficult to research.

Enchantments - The techniques for Enchanting items with magic has been lost to the ages and for good reason. Put simply, it requires human sacrifice to achieve. The creation of a sword imbued with fire requires the death of a person. Animals cannot be used. All enchantments work this way. The method was discarded long ago and those who know about it, guard the secret out of fear of what can and will be done with it.

The reality of it, though? It isn't the death of a person that is required. It is the SOUL of a person that is required. Their very being and consciousness stolen from its correct vessel, molded into a new form, and then imprisoned into whatever is enchanted. The soul is aware of what is happening around it, but can do very little to influence anything. The more the soul "struggles" and "resists", the greater the power of the effect. As the willpower of the souls dies out and they give up, the enchantments no longer function, though the soul remains trapped.

All Magic Facts
1. Users of one form of magic cannot use another form of it. Elementals cannot use Necromancy. Necromancy cannot use Nature. On and on. These are mutually exclusive forms of magic to each user.

2. There is a "secret war" waged between two unknown entities behind the fabric of reality. Death is the one that is known. The other is sometimes whispered as "The Parasite" in frantic hushed tones by the truly insane. This war has lead to these entities creating "Magic" and pitting their followers against each other for ultimate control. Which beings created which magic? That is also unclear. But, those who know of "The Parasite" allude to this being the reason multiple lines of magic cannot be learned by a single person.

3. Magic is a weird form of energy. Metal conducts all Magic. Some metals conduct it better than others. Copper does not conduct Magic all that well. But, Iron, Steel, Bronze, Mithril, and other useful materials for making armor from conduct it to a deadly degree. That is to say, if you're wearing full Plate Mail armor, and you get hit by Fire Magic, you will roast quickly and easily on the inside of that armor as it flashes into you and conducts through you, amplified by the armor.

4. Necromancy gave birth to a unique material those on the island have dubbed "Spirit Stone". The scientific name for it is "Isotranium". It is created as a byproduct of powerful Necromancy spells. It transforms existing materials into Spirit Stone. This stone has unique properties. It is a purple gemstone with the properties of malleable metals. Basically, it looks like an Amethyst that can be melted down, turned into a sword, and it "conducts magic" the same as metal does. It has the same rigidity as most metals as well. Its durability is above that of any known metal on the island. It cannot be scuffed, chipped, or dulled in any way. It does not even get dusty. No materials cling to it what-so-ever. No other materials can be alloyed with it either. It does not mix. This material enhances all magic that exists. It has almost no malleability unless it is superheated to near melting point.

5. Spells can be "blocked" and sometimes "redirected" through martial skill. There are many Knights who train to do just this. Having the energy channeled into the blade of a weapon and disperse harmlessly is a common tactic. Using the hilt of a weapon at the right timing of this channeling can redirect the flow of the incoming magic. Some of these same principles are used in many modern armors that aren't metal. This includes leather and even fabrics.

6. The Elementals possess a singular form of magic that is uniquely deadly to everyone on the island. It requires multiple "Mages" to invoke, but the rest of the criteria for invocation vary wildly from story to story and spell to spell. It is simple widespread destruction. There are two notable events associated with this magic. It's first usage in history effectively destroyed an entire mountain range. That is to say, a mountain range was seeded with tons of metal, Elemental magic channeled through it, and it pulled the entire central mountains into the sky. For 27 horrifying seconds, all the mountains were flying. Reports range from as few as 20 yards off the ground to 500 yards off the ground. The mountains flew. They crumbled, crushed, and flew. Then, at the end, they crashed into the ground and exploded in an orange light. No debris scattered. The crater was filled with sand, which eventually became a desert that is home to a lone outpost: Oasis. For perspective, these mountains made up one third of the entire continent. The second event was the destruction of "The Continent of Tevris". It wasn't really a continent. It was an island next to the main island (lying just a mile off shore with a single harbor and a single bridge entry point). It was effectively covered entirely by buildings and farms. A metropolis to every definition of the word. The Elementals cast the same spell in a new form. They somehow pulled a chunk of the sun down to the city and utterly obliterated the island, slaughtering 500,000 in this casting.

Elementals guard the secret of this magic very carefully and under extreme threats. Any Elemental that reveals it doesn't just die, but they are burned alive. This destroys their very soul and keeps them from reincarnating as new Elementals (or so their religion states, and they all believe it with certainty).

It is nothing short of what amounts to "tactical nuclear warfare" and they are the only ones who can do it.
---
Anyway, that's basically how magic works.

There are a lot of "nuances" and other stuff associated with magic, but this is the prime overview of it. It amounts to what nearly every citizen in the setting knows (with a few tidbits of me revealing some of the stuff nobody knows, because its more interesting and explains things better).

I basically developed it as a combination of "there's a science behind how it works" and "it exists through reality breaking means because of Eldrich Horrors".
 

dogmari

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With as little spoilers as possible:

In my project I am using "Magic" as the most blanket statement possible. I have a sort of post Human Instrumentality Project situation going on and as a result there are a lot of indescribable and other worldly situations which the characters experience. While I am usually one to figure out and write the semantics of an attribute like magic, with this world and story I felt the semantics weren't necessary - there are already story implications for your existence. Whether it be bio-mechanical artifacts, traditional depictions of fantasy magic, or even the play on of common social dilemmas; they are all referred to as "Magic" within this world.
 

Redeye

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Eh, I guess I'll bite.

"Hazewalker" is a game idea that is still largely in the planning stage. The worldbuilding is strange and complicated, much like how Dark Souls tells its stories. In the island of Zenithra, the term "Knowledge is Power" is taken to a very literal degree. "Haze" is the physical manifestation of knowledge. The planet essentially has a "Memory" that records historical events of all kinds and transfers that knowledge into actual power. Humans eventually learned how to harness the Haze, leading to a technological and cultural Renaissance.

The game takes place on Zenithra, an island nation defined by its technological progress (and consequently, its bloody history). However, the island has been cursed for some years now. The only facts known to the outside world was that their king, Icarion, was searching for the key to immortality prior to the country's demise. The story has you, a nameless stowaway, explore the island in search of answers.

Hazewalker's magic system is split into two categories: Cantrips and Prayers. Cantrips are the studies of Haze and its properties. They are the product of decades of magical research, drawing power from the caster's own Intellect and ability to manipulate the Haze in the air. Prayers, on the other hand, are spells that derive power from supernatural forces. Making contact with these forces require a great deal of Affinity (others refer to this trait as "faith").

And so, both Cantrips and Prayers each have five sub-categories:

Blood Cantrips are the study of the human body, and how Haze can be applied to heal or transform it. Historically, these spells were used in medicine, but when put into the wrong hands, they can be used for sinister means. As such, Blood Cantrips are often outlawed. Spells from this school focus on Physical damage, lifesteal abilities, and the Bleed status effect.

Astral Cantrips are the study of the stars and the origins of Haze. Astrologers have gazed into the planet's memory time and time again, catching glimpses of other worlds beyond the night sky. Those who study Astral Cantrips strive to uncover the secrets of the universe. Spells from this school focus on Magic damage and anti-magic debuffs.

Runic Cantrips are the study of magical glyphs and enchantments. Annelise the Inventor discovered this power, using it to imbue weapons and constructs with burning scriptures known as "runes". Thus, the first Golems were created. Spells from this school focus on Fire damage, various buffs and debuffs, and the ability to conjure Golems to fight for you.

Illusion Cantrips are the study of Haze's light-bending properties. Haze is normally invisible to the naked eye, but condensed Haze (formally known as "Memories") distort the light around it. Illusion Cantrips are often viewed as a simpleton's art. In truth, the power of these spells rely heavily on the caster's cleverness. Spells from this school focus on Shock damage and magical counterattacks.

Frenzy Cantrips were conceived shortly after Zenithra's Curse began. Initially, those who attempted to use the Haze to peer into the future were driven to suicidal madness by the horrid visions they saw. With the curse underway, the Church of Eyes have made it their mission to spread their madness to the rest of the world. Spells from this school focus on Curse damage and the Madness state.

Dragon Prayers draw power from the earth and the winds. Most people are skeptical about the existence of dragons, since nobody has ever managed to make contact with them. The reclusive Rayu Clan insist that the storms are alive, and thus seek to replicate their supposed immortality. Spells from this school focus on Physical damage and various defense and evasion buffs.

Nature Prayers draw power from the Spirits, beings born from the Haze that watch over the land. With the rise in Haze technology, the Spirits have been slowly dying out. Now, their blessings are a fraction of what they once were. Spells from this school focus on Magic damage, healing, the Poison status effect, and conjuring Spirits to aid you in battle.

Lordly Prayers draw power from one's oath to their country. When a new kingdom is established, its foundation is written in the planet's memory. As a result, the kingdom itself becomes a supernatural force that the people can attune to. This power manifests in the form of a Silver Flame. Spells from this school focus on Fire damage and various support abilities.

Solar Prayers draw power from the Sun. Before Zenithra's foundation, the land was ruled by a tyrannical faith known as the Order of the Golden Sun, led by Saint Urias. They believed that the Sun was the origin of all things, and its power came in the form of golden lightning. Spells from this school focus on pure, unbridled Shock damage.

Burial Prayers draw power from Death. Make no mistake; Death is no god. It is a force of nature that writes human history into the Haze. Death's chronicles are vague and esoteric, but those who attune to it learn how to manipulate the human soul which takes the form of a cold, Black Flame. Spells from this school focus on Curse damage, the Frostbite state, and conjuring the Undead to aid you in battle.

Those are all of the sub-categories in a nutshell. I've been coming up with this lore for months now, and I think I have something really cool going on. Hopefully, I'll start making the actual game soon (And yes, these will be the magic types you can choose from when building your character).
 
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lianderson

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After trillions of big bangs, an artform emerged regarding the physical laws they produce. Magic is one of the common tropes.
 

M.I.A.

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Unless a game I'm working on is heavily centered on the source of magic being a core theme for the story, I try to explain Magic as little as possible. It's a part of the world that the characters live in. It exists in that capacity. It is accepted in the lore and now the player can simply enjoy its strategic application or any other story written about it. :)

-MIA
 

Ninjakillzu

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I've gone back and forth with so many versions, but haven't decided on one yet. Mainly it's a struggle explaining where the source of magic comes from. Lots of paragraphs follow, so I've hid them in spoilers.

Originally, the ability to use magic (and level of power you can manipulate) come from a crystal called "Runegems". This concept itself has gone through a bunch of revisions, and I got the idea around 2011-2012 for a RPG Maker VX project (which is actually complete from beginning to end, although it's a rough play).

They were four gems of unparalleled power called the "Four Runegems" (very imaginative!). Each controlled an aspect of reality. "The first had power over the Elements. The second, Time and Space could be altered. The third, Life and Death. The fourth, Magic." - An in-game quote.

Funnily enough, the Four Runegems aren't the actual source of magic in the VX project, just objects that manipulate reality and magic. The source of magic itself was never explained for some reason.

Anyway, the reason I brought the "Four Runegems" concept up is that it provides the basis for many other theories I made later.

I came up with the following ideas around 2014-2015, and you can see the progression and evolution of concepts. A lot of the following is copy-pasted from years-old documents, so there is probably grammar mistakes and such.


So I don't actually remember if this is the first version or not, which is why I marked it 1-ish. The chronicalogical order of these ideas is very blurred in my memory.

Basically, a Runegem is a form of gemstone that's a crystalline piece of fallen "mage gods". To sum it up (with the few details I remember), there were four different gods, one was evil and corrupted stuff to the dismay of the others, and the other three cast a spell to seal the evil one forever. The cost of this is that the spell also sealed them as well. They were sealed into crystalline meteors that fell to the planet and shattered across the landscape, diving deep into the earth. When these pieces were mined, they provided the ability to use magic.

Runegems are from another dimension known as Myrandos. They are known as runegems because magical runes are carved into the gemstone in order to allow them to store unlimited magical energy. Runegems without the runes are known Thaumalite. When magical runes, known as Magorunes, are carved into thaumalite, the crystaline structure is transformed in a way that allows the conductivity and storage of magical energy.

Magorune carving is only known in lemusia, but even then it is a lost form of enchantment. Lemusia is known for being highly magical and rich in the runegems. The Four Runegems are the most pure ever found.The higher the purity, the more powerful enchantments and more magical energy can be stored in them. Most thaumalite is a lower quality. The Four Runegems have an extrordinary amount of power stored in them. anyone who posess all four runegems can do anything, including destroy the universe. The Four Runegems must be used in tandom in order to command their power.

Each character has a type of runegem that allows them to cast spells from a specific school of magic. A total character's "magical energy" is what is stored in their runegem. Once it runs out, magic can't be used.


(Note: I took this dialogue directly from an old version of the project)

"Magic is a force that we can manipulate to have varying effects through the use of Runescript. While magic is too dispersed to be used normally, it collects in water, which allows water to be used as a source from which we can draw magic from. Runescript allows us to tap into this magical reserve and use it. Runescript is an ancient language which holds properties that allows it to interact with magic. It can be used verbally or in writing to achieve the desired effect. Even though we know how to use Runescript, it's origins and method of creation have been lost to the passage of time.

Runescript is also the key to using Runegems. A Runegem is a gemstone that has Runescript traced onto the surface, imbuing the gemstone with whatever spell the Runescript dictates. Essentially, Runegems can store spells that can be used at any time, instead of instantly at the moment of casting. Imbueing a spell into a gemstone through Runescript is known as Runescribing.

Magic is not just shaped by Runescript, but by our spiritual being as well. The nature of your soul inadvertently twists magic you use to reflect your inner self, regardless of your ability to control it. If your soul leans to the light, the affected magic is known as Ouranic magic. If your soul leans to the
darkness, the affected magic is known as Chthonic magic."

(Note: I think I was reading the Dark Tower series around this time period, so my ideas were definitely inspired by it.)

The Four Guardians each protect an aspect of the Realm. One for Ouronia, one for Cthonia, and two for the "Edge" (the top, bottom, and two sides of the Thaumatic Circle. The Thaumatic Circle is
a non-physical binding of Magic that connects the Four Guardians, encircles the Realm, and is the source of Magic that Runescipt accesses) They guard the Realm from the Outside Ones, which are many different beings whose many goals culminate in the collapse and destruction of the Realm and the Guardians (the Four Guardians are incarnates of Order and the Outside Ones are incarnates of Chaos). If the Thaumatic Circle were broken, the Four Guardians could be overwhelmed and the Realm would be twisted forever by Chaos's whim.

To protect the Realm's "Inside" (as the Four Guardians can not stop all intrusions of the Outside Ones) and physically connect it to the Thaumatic Circle, an event known by Mages as the "Birth of Magic" took place. No one truely knows how it happened, but various people started having a sensitivity to Magic and we able to tap into the Thaumatic Circle's power. Proto-Mages (people who could use Magic but most without any formal training or control) were few and far between, until a Scholar (one of many who studied this new phenomenon), whose name was Archious discovered a connection between an ancient form of language connected with the Four Guardians (a "holy" language used to communicate with the Four Guardians, who sometimes answered back in visions).

This language was Runescript, and it contained the ability to manipulate Magic with certainty (communicating with the Four Guardians worked because the language already had a connection to the Thaumatic Circle, but the priests couldn't use it's power beyond that (although there are tales of individuals who were able to). Archious became famous throughout Arcadia, as a lot more focus was brought on this new link. Eventually, the first Arcadian Mage organization, The Arcadian Mage Order, was created by the King and a group of scholars, including Archious. Further visions from the Four
Guardians "confirmed" that Magic was a gift so that humanity could protect the Realm's "Inside".

(Note: this is when the idea of "Runescript" starts to disappear. Also, more in-game dialogue.)

"Magic, as we call it, is an energy that permeates existence. Most are unaware of its presence, but a few have a certain sensitivity. Some are more sensitive than others, but they are a rare breed. Archious, whom this building is named after, is one such Mage who possesses a "supersense" of Magic, as it were.

Your sensitivity to Magic will determine how well you can cast spells, as well as how hard you need to concentrate to manifest the effect that you want. The caster needs to be able to concentrate in many situations, and adapt at a moment's notice to either change or keep their spell in
effect."

At this point Runegems morphed into a similar concept of gemstones, but this time they are a natural geological product called "Hestorite" (named after the discoverer). Hestorite collects magic and can act as an amplifier and battery for magic. Those with a sensitivity to magic can use Hestorite to boost their magic capabilities.


At this point I abandoned the concept of "Runegems" and thought of some other ideas.

There is a religion throughout society that holds reverence to the sun, because it provides life through the light it gives us. It is also considered to be the physical manifestation of the creator. Mages are known as Channelers of the Sun, because they can access that power directly.

When the sun sets, people believe it is resting to provide light for the new day. Mages can still use magic at night, since it’s reflected from the moon, which was created by the sun as a sign that it will not abandon us to the long dark.

(Essentially, this version uses the idea that light itself is a source of magic that stems from the "Creator" aka a divine entity. I could almost say this take is a riff on the previous "mage gods" concept.)

Magic can be derived from many sources, including channeling (or requesting aid) from spirits. Good/benevolent magic is from spirits who value justice, all things good, nature, etc. Evil/malignant magic is from chaotic spirits or forcing/coercing/manipulating spirits to do things. Spirits, whether good or evil willed, dwell in the Void.

Magic not only comes from manifesting the powers of called spirits, but also depends on the will of the user and their authority (or natural power) over nature itself. Spells can also be studied and learned by those with little natural magic aptitude (natural power/authority), although it may take years of diligent study, practice, and education.

Evil cannot create, only twist and manipulate. For instance, summoning undead is done by calling malignant/vengeful spirits to possess mortal shells whose previous life/spirit has left it. It can’t create new life, only replace what was once there with something lessor/perverted. This might come at a cost depending on the user. The will to commit evil deeds makes practicing foul magic easier, and vice versa for practitioners of “good magic”. Technically, magic itself is neutral, though its purpose is used for both good and evil.

Enchanting is a form of spellcasting, using words and phrases to guide the elements/spirits/etc to act in blessing something to achieve a persistent effect. For instance, if one of strong will and authority blesses an object to have some form of the Creator’s power, then it will manifest that power into corporeal form.

Will and authority leads to a corporeal effect on the world. Magic can also be affected by the traits of the user. For instance, one can be more skilled at healing due to their empathetic and loving nature, or skilled at treacherous and violent magic due to their cruel/twisted/hateful nature.

Not all things viewed as magic are in fact magic. It could just be lore lost to the current ages. For instance, certain methods of smithing/healing/etc can be viewed as magic in current times but were just knowledge in the past.
 
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the13thsecret

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I developed a magic system to support philosophical conflict.


The Basic Overview!

Certain people, based on heredity, are born with varying capacities to be a mana vessel. Mana lets the individual reach into what is best described as the "Maker's toolbox" (which takes the form of magic) to influence the physical world. Studying magic lets you reach deeper for large-scale magic. People also have souls, and souls and mana influence each other.


The Scientific Facts!

Using mana expends it, but mana also gets regenerated over time from the aetherium, an immaterial parallel universe overlaid with the physical universe, based on a principle similar to osmosis. This is the mana cycle:
1. Vessel gains mana (input rate based on innate characteristics) from the aetherium (which is based on local characteristics) until they match density.​
2. Mana is forcibly converted to energy specific to conducting magic.​
3. Spent energy is pulled into the aetherium and converted into mana (mana will gain attributes based on local characteristics).​


People and their souls operate similarly to René Descartes's mind-body duality. The mind receives physical input in the physical world and copies it to the soul. The soul is in the aetherium and translates a response for both the mind in the physical world, and the aetherium (by generating mana and coloring the local aetherium's characteristics). The soul is also influenced by the local aetherium.


The Philosophical Implications!

1. Are you at a holy temple? Are you at a desolate battlefield? The mana regenerated looks different, and it'll affect your mental health!

2. There are "supers" in this world who can drastically affect its state. What is the best way to control these supers and to what end?

3. The Maker formed the world with a ton of magic. The world needs more magic from its inhabitants to sustain itself, even more than what the Maker can provide, now that people are living on it. Ideally, the quality of mana for the magic used is "happy"...

4. ...Unfortunately, living things are naturally in competition with each other and are therefore more suited for generating "miserable" mana. It's a "positive" feedback loop of misery (but at least the world keeps running).

5. Philosophy predicts that the natural state is therefore misery. Since the world needs magic to keep running, is it better to generate 5 units of mana through happiness or 15 units of mana through misery? Therefore, should we:
A. Fight tooth-and-nail to make the world a happier place, even if that's maybe now impossible or risks an existential crisis;​
B. Let the world run on misery (and is it best accomplished with "ignore and let it run naturally" or "develop the occasional happy era to prevent dulling misery and reducing mana output"); or​
C. Destroy the world to end the cycle of conflict and suffering (and is it best accomplished with "gather that abundance of misery mana for big boom" or "force up the world maintenance cost")?​
 
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anthonytheperson

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My game universe is based off the universe from my comics and drawings (and my daydreams).
Basically, magic does exist but only in certain species. An example is that humans can't use magic, but they have their own personal skills and abilities, and creatures that can use magic are able to cast spells and other magic stuff but cannot do physical skills and abilities. So it's like one thing or another!
Also, the magic is based off the characters main color as well. So if their color is red they use red magic. I have more stuff I would love to write down but that would be a long, LOOOONG comment!
 

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