July 20, 2019, 09:16:52 PM

Author Topic: Take a look at my magic system?  (Read 658 times)

Offline Blackthorn

Take a look at my magic system?
« on: March 28, 2019, 12:49:02 AM »
Hello everyone, I haven't been around in a couple of years. Lately I  have been working on a magic system for a series I've planned in my head for something like seven years.

I think I have nailed down a lot of the important tidbits, however I am sure there are elements I'm missing. So what I'd like to do is give a rough outline of my magic system along with some of the drawbacks and see what you all notice that I'm too close to see. I should mention I'm going for a sword and sorcery, dungeons and dragons type feel to the story.

If this belongs in the work to be critiqued section or some other relevant thread please let me know.

My magic system is  based on the idea of harnessing energy from the natural world. Mages have the ability to transfer energy from a storm for example and channel that in to a vessel for a lightning bolt spell. As I have the system now the energy is transferred in to a gemstone with a magical ruin. Only by saying the word associated with the ruin can the energy be released.

Energy can come from five natural elements fire, water, wind, earth, and sun. I know its cliche. There is more to the system but I think it's best I start here.

There are a few problems I have associated with this system, mainly revolving around the gems.

Gems are now even more valuable meaning a distinct supply and demand issue that favors the rich....this could be interesting but it's not what i want for my story.

My mage has now become a very heavy traveler with too much luggage, she is also the target of every two bit thief within 10 miles.

Necromancy is a significant part of the story but doesn't seem to work well with this system.

I know there is more that I can't think of now. So if you don't mind what are some issues, advantages,  and alternatives that come to mind?

Offline Skip

Re: Take a look at my magic system?
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2019, 04:04:27 AM »
What do you define as a gem? Some semi-precious stones are pretty common, and some very pretty stones aren't gems at all. Is it just having the property of stone? What about a gem that has been ground into a powder--a fairly common practice in both alchemy and medicine.

Besides capturing energy from a storm, how is energy captured for the other types of magic? Do they all wind up in rocks (gems)?

By "ruin" I think you mean "rune"?  Just checking.

How does a magician learn to do this? If they can learn to harness energy, maybe they--or one certain branch--can know how to forge magical gemstones. That would sort of remove them from the grasp of the non-magical wealthy. And would let you create stones peculiar to your world.
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Offline Blackthorn

Re: Take a look at my magic system?
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2019, 03:02:46 PM »
Thanks skip, this has already been very helpful.

So gems was a generalization that I should have avoided. Stones would be more accurate, though  I was thinking about having a fairly powerful magician adapting to using Ivory from walrus in a cold environment.

The powdered stones is an interesting question and one I had not considered.

Yes I meant runes, however I find that I prefer the idea of no runes.

As for harnessing energy mages are born with the ability to sense the energy and through training learn to harness that energy. Mages can transfer energy from a source to a stone over a period of time with a low difficulty.  I think creating a stone will be a more ritualistic experience. That is the area where a large storm or other significant event would be necessary.

Offline The Gem Cutter

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Re: Take a look at my magic system?
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2019, 04:09:59 AM »
As my name directly suggests, I made my magic system circle around gems and their very real properties, and also involved (some) mages being able to move energy around. My system had a Source, and most mages moved energy from the Source into this world. While this is powerful, it is limited to their will, their psyche. The other kind directs energy not from the Source but into it, like a drain, which is really not limited at all.

I think what you're looking for are crystals - most of which are not precious or even valuable. Quartz, for example, is amazing... check out piezoelectricity and the other interesting properties of some of the lesser known crystals... really quite amazing. This is literally what you are talking about - transforming physical energy into electricity and back. Lightning involves many kinds of energy. The heat alone will literally melt your face - and this is merely the byproduct.

If you look into the properties of gems, their purity, the way they are cut (ratios and angles), and their smoothness - all these impact their properties in surprising ways. Hence my name. There is an interesting invention that I decided to make my MacGuffin - it is a strange conical mirror that focuses a laser so you can transform crystal components (dust, essentially) into a crystal. This is similar to how salt crystallizes as water evaporates - but allows someone to precisely control the laser. Without this device, 'growing' crystals is haphazard and leads to poor clarity and consistency. But with it, one can make amazing crystals very quickly. In a world where crystals allow magic, that is the super-power behind the super power.

I hope this hasn't been dull. Just trying to urge you on and offer some brainstorming :)
The Gem Cutter
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Offline Blackthorn

Re: Take a look at my magic system?
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2019, 01:37:50 AM »
Gemcutter that was far from dull. You actually reminded me about piezoelectric crystals. Some aircraft use them as an ice detection system where the buildup of ice has an affect on the resonance of the crystal if I remember correctly.

Crystals is indeed a better term, though my system would include gems as well. The minerals are, in all honesty, not incredibly important.  The powers they hold are really very arbitrary.  Some importance will depend upon size and clarity, but mostly this system will not be quite that detailed.

While I find your system incredibly interesting I am trying to steer away from real world properties. I'm also not going to be using traditional metaphysical ideas about Crystal's. They are mostly just a means of concentrating and transporting
 magical energies. I haven't worked out the intimate details completely.

Incidentally my sisters name is crystal. This apparently causes every mention of the word to be auto corrected into a possessive noun.

Edit: I forgot to note the idea of the stones is to hold magical energies. My mages are incapable of holding the energies within themselves or channeling without a focus point. As minerals come from the earth they are in a way connected with those energies. I'm thinking the crystals will shatter if  completely emptied of energy.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2019, 01:41:37 AM by Blackthorn »

Offline Matthew

Re: Take a look at my magic system?
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2019, 09:25:28 PM »
I like this system, and with them being less valuable crystals the rich wouldn't get too much power etc. What it still leaves the door open to, is that certain regions would have / not have certain crystals, so nations or whatever may become dependent on a certain kind of magic, or be forced to import / export other kinds. This would lead to political tensions if certain ones are more martial, and even smuggling etc.