Friday, January 5, 2018

Systems of Magic #ourauthorgang

By Rich Feitelberg

Regardless of how you decide to limit magic or the rules of operation you make up for magic, you want some sort of organizational principle for it. I see this all the time. For example, magic spells could be grouped by their effect. So fire related magic go in one bucket and spells related to enchanting items go in another. If you choose this approach, you’ll want to work out all the different types of spells there are so you can account for each grouping.

Another approach is group spells by how powerful they are. So beginning spells are in one category and expert spells go in another. This approach requires knowing all the possible spells so you can put them in a category.

Or perhaps there are no spells at all and all magic is improvised. A variant of this is there are no groups of spells, what matters is how the wizard does his conjuring. For example, perhaps he or she just speaks the words. Or perhaps the words have to rhyme. Or the words also need to be sang — with or without music. Perhaps the mage has to dance first or draw an image. Or some combination of these.

Color is another organizing principle. You hear about white magic and black magic all the time. But magic can be green or red or brown, if you like. Again, you’ll have to work out which spells go with which color.

Above all don’t forget that alchemy requires materials to work, as does rune magic. Be sure to include that your planning.