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Fantasy The Magic System

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GojiBean

That One Fear In My Enemy's Eyes
Rules of Magic

PLEASE DO NOT POST IN THIS THREAD! IT'S INFORMATIONAL ONLY! THANK YOU!!

There are several important things to know about Magic in the RP world I'm creating, and they are as follows:

1) Magic exists because of a force called ‘Mana.' (Fairly standard for this type of RP, lol)

2) Mana, in this RP, is not a natural force of the world as it is in most other fantasy RP's that use it as a mechanic. Instead, it's a byproduct of the power of the Deities left over from when they created the world. In short, it's a small portion of their essence. Because of this, whenever you use magic you are closer to the Deities than at any other time in your life. So, if you're a religious magic user, magical arts are not only special. They're sacred.

3) Magic is not something one can learn to use on one's own. The processes for learning to draw in mana from the environment, concentrate and move it throughout your body, concentrate it in ways that are unique to your magical affinity, and finally to focus it into a proper and powerful spell are far too complex, and are not naturally intuitive. Without a master to guide the way, it doesn't matter how smart or talented you are, or how strong your bloodline's history with magic is.

4) Magical arts drain mana from the world around the user in small quantities. If and when mana is completely drained from an area, magical arts can no longer be used until the mana regenerates which, depending on how severe the drain is and how wide-spread it was, can potentially take centuries (more on this later).

5) Everyone born with magical potential can sense the presence of mana in the world around them. But being able to determine exactly how much is present is not possible for mortal beings. At least, not without the help of some magical science (more on this later too).

6) The United Magical Council takes the teaching and practice of magic very seriously, and thus has forbidden the teaching of magic outside of specially certified academies throughout the world. To teach someone the art of magic outside these schools is punishable by death for both the teacher and their student. And the UMC has spies constantly traveling the world searching for any who violate this universal law.

Magical Affinity

Mortals in this world are born with only a single magical affinity which governs what kind of magic they will be able to use throughout their lives. If your affinity is Fire, you will only ever be able to learn Fire Magic. If your affinity is Healing, you'll only ever be able to use Healing Magic. So on and so forth.

Learning what one's magical affinity is requires a visit to a Seer with Divinitation Magic who can catch a brief glimpse of the individual's future to see what kind of magic they will be able to use. Once the magical affinity is identified, the individual can opt to learn magic, or ignore it and live a normal life.

Should you pursue the craft of magic, you must journey to one of the academies which teaches magical arts based on your affinity (each academy specializes in two to three affinities). Upon arrival and the submission of a formal request for an application, you will be taken to meet the Head Master and four Soul Searcher Mages. These four mages will observe your behavior during the interview with the Head Master to determine if you are true, or false with your answers and intentions. Should you prove to be false, you will be turned away and put on a Watch List.

Should you prove true in your answers and intentions, you will be accepted into the academy, and your journey with magic may begin...

The Magical Journey

The earliest any individual, regardless of race or bloodlines, may begin training at a magical academy is age 16.

To give an idea of how difficult the process of learning how to use magic is, here's a rundown of how long it takes even the most talented individuals with the strongest magical bloodlines to learn how to use magic:

* Learning to tap into the mana in the environment... 2-year process
* Learning to draw mana into your body... 1-year process
* Learning to concentrate mana in greater quantities to a single point in your body... 1-year process
* Learning to concentrate mana in great quantities throughout multiple points in your body... 2-year process
* Learning to concentrate mana in ways unique to your affinity in preparation for magical spells... 2-year process
* Learning to cast basic spells... 1-year process
* Learning to cast intermediate spells... 3-year process
* Learning to cast advanced spells... 5-year process
* Learning to create your own spells (which is required to graduate)... 3-year process

Total Time Invested: 20-years

As you can see, learning magic is very, very difficult. And even after you endure this 20-year process, at (earliest) age 36 you're still only a graduate. You're not a "Master."

To become recognized as a "Master," you must petition the United Magical Council to allow you to participate in a grueling 10-year intensive program known as the Master's Trial which will push your mental, emotional, and physical endurance far beyond their natural limits over, and over, and over again. When you submit this petition, you will also submit a design for your own personal insignia, unique to you as an individual, kind of like a fingerprint, which will be utilized later should you complete the Trial.

However, only 0.002% of those who have ever entered this program, no matter their race or bloodlines, have managed to complete it.

The official statistics are as follows:

* 48% drop out within the first six months
* 34% drop out before the end of the first year
* 12.5% drop out before the end of the third year
* 3.6% drop out before the end of the fifth year
* 1.5% drop out before the end of the eighth year
* 0.398% drop out before the end of the ninth year

One last statistic... 27.4% of all applicants die during this Trial.

Using a hypothetical number of 100,000, only 145 will become Masters once you factor in the death rate (and round down to the nearest whole number). 27,400 will die, leaving 72,600 to be weeded out with the drop-out rates before the final 0.002% manage to succeed. In the end, it's 145 individuals who become masters out of the original 100,000.

Should you become one of the 0.002% who succeed in this gruesome venture, the following take place:

1) The Ceremony of Ascension is held in your honor during which time you are recognized by the Grandmaster of the United Magical Council as a Master of your art

2) You will receive specially crafted, and personally fitted robes which identify your magical art in the style and coloring of the fabrics; and the fabric is laced with magic which helps to enhance the potency of your spells

3) The back of your robes will bear the insignia which you submitted to the Council when you petitioned to enter the Master's Trial

4) Your name will be forever engraved in the Hall of Enlightenment on a pillar which has been carved to look like a spell from your magical art

5) Being named a Master gives you unique authority throughout the world which includes the following:

  • Passing through checkpoints without the need for a permit or known family crest
  • Requesting meetings with or work from the ruling families of almost any nation at any time (Orcs aren't likely to give a damn about your status), as well as taking first priority over all others seeking the same
  • The right to moderate or call an immediate end to magical feuds (aka duels) wherever they take place (as they are frowned upon among mages of all practices

On a side note, some (or all) of you might be wondering why Magic takes so long to learn and why being recognized as a master starts (at earliest) age 46. The answer is simple... To stop 20-something "Masters" from making it into the RP.

I could hold everyone to the honor system, but sadly that has proven ineffective in the past and I've learned to take precautions when utilizing mechanics so easily abused as magic.

As a writer IRL, I cannot stand watching 20-something year old characters be handed "master" status of anything, especially when the story is only just beginning. To me, doing this takes all of the fun out of seeing their journey unfold. Seeing their past struggles through flashbacks can be compelling if it's done really well, but the lack of consistent growth and struggle to attain such status and power is really, in my opinion, almost a crime upon the characters themselves. Struggle, conflict, and earning their way is the heart and soul of what role-playing and being a writer is all about (in my opinion, anyway).

Does that make sense?

So yeah. Magic takes a long time to learn, and a long time to master. That 20-year journey through an academy is how long it takes the best and brightest to complete their educational experience. The "average" student takes closer to 30 years to graduate.

As a final note for this particular section of the thread, I didn't come up with this just to limit you. I came up with it as a way to encourage embracing the journey your character will experience in this RP. To give a minor spoiler, the RP's plot will cover at least a 5-year time period from beginning to end using minimal time skips of a few weeks to a month at most at a time. So you've plenty of time to enjoy that journey and let your character discover what it means to be a master of their art, if that is indeed their goal. And, as with real life, goals and priorities change. They may start out seeking to be a master, and discover something more important along the way. And that's what it's all about. Discovery in real time.

Thank you!

What are Magic's Limits?

This is probably the single biggest question on everyone's mind...

Everything in the world has limits, and magic is no exception. However, the limits of magic are difficult to define due to the nature of magic as a force in the world. But I'll do my best!

All magical arts come in two phases: Generation, and Manipulation.

The Generation phase involves the user focusing mana at a singular (or multiple) point(s) through both their body and the world around them to trigger the generation of their magical affinity, which thus creates a spark, if you will, of magical energy into the world which leads into phase 2.

The Manipulation phase involves concentrating and enforcing one's will to control mana, both in one's body and the environment, to direct, shape, and otherwise manipulate the force you have generated upon the world.

I'll use Fire Magic as an example: The Generation phase involves focusing mana throughout one's body into either a singular or multiple points (such as the firsts or mouth) to generate spontaneous combustion which thus releases fire. The Manipulation phase then involves focusing and enforcing one's will on the mana in the environment to shaping the fire to their desired result, such as a fireball, arcing wave, or fire tentacle (as but three simple examples).

In many ways, it's similar to Avatar: The Last Airbender's "Bending" concept. However, where Bending was not defined beyond being able to manipulate the elements (literally leaving it at that), this RP requires mana to do so. If there's no mana in the world around you, you can't use your magic no matter how good you are. Your body doesn't store mana. It processes the mana in the environment in real time to use magical arts.

So, hopefully this gives a good idea of how Magic is used in this world. If you have any questions about your chosen magical affinity, feel free to ask me and I'll be happy to explain more about it!

Cheers!

Types Of Magic

These are the (current) magical arts usable in the RP. I will continue to update this page as I think of more types of magic to use. Thanks!

Elemental

Because the Elemental magics are all naturally occurring in the world, it takes only a single spell to activate a response from the world around you and get the element in question to respond. Then, you can use the mana in the environment to shape it as desired. If you need more info, hit me up!

Fire
Water
Earth
Wind
Light


Defensive

Warding - Creating wards to block incoming spells, but not physical objects. A physical object of any kind will go right through a Ward spell. Wards can be shaped in a variety of ways, but by far the most common is either a straight or arched wall between the user and an incoming spell. The more mana pushed through the Ward by the spellcaster, the stronger the Ward is against incoming spells, and the more spells it can repel before it breaks and must be re-cast.

Magic Circles - Creates traps in the ground which activate when touched directly by someone other than the caster, or when the caster flushes it with mana to activate it manually. However, this is also doable by your enemies. If an enemy senses the Circle and flushes mana over/through it, they can activate it prematurely. And because the Circle reacted to their mana, they won't get trapped by it. But you, and any of your allies, will be trapped in it.

"Circle" is a bit of a misnomer, and these spells can be cast in any shape the user can think of, no matter how obtuse it may be. Also, a Magic Circle spell is, in large part, a force field to immobilize an enemy. However, they're not paralyzed. They can still wriggle in an attempt to get free. And if they're a powerful mage, they can still activate their own spells in an attempt to assault the circle itself and break it, or you in order to break your concentration and free themselves.

Magic Circles, though they're not meant for such things, can exist in a temporary physical state. For example, if a mage were to create a Magic Circle across a broken bridge to close the gap, they could flush a large amount of mana through it in order to maintain enough energy flowing through it for it to be physical. And any of the user's allies could then walk across it. However, the user themselves would be frozen in tremendous concentration to maintain this level of energy. In order to make it across themselves they'd have to either be carried across, or be in a horse-drawn carriage or something to that effect. Something that won't break their concentration until after they decide to release the spell so enemies can't follow.

Shadowfare - Manipulates the shadows to both move or hinder movement in others, as well as disorient targets. This magical art, despite its appearance, is a quasi-elemental art form. But because it's not as tangible as its relatives like light, which is always present in one form or another, it's classified as a largely Defensive art form. However, savvy Shadowfare mages know how to make it just as offensive as defensive.

Also, the user's ability to use their magic is largely dependent upon how many shadows are in the area. During a bright sunny day at high noon where shadows are basically non-existent in open areas, a Shadowfare mage is all but useless. But at night when the clouds block the moon and stars, and there aren't many candles or torches to light your way, a Shadowfare mage is at their most powerful, and their most dangerous. Not only is there no safe place to hide from them, but because the darkness is in such vast quantities, they can cast spells to make their shadows fully physical. And a shadow spike through the heart is a very real possibility.

Shadowfare mages can also move through the shadows, similar to Transportation magic. But they can only do so over short distances. An average jump distance would be between 3-5 meters, though much larger leaps are possible without too much extraneous effort. But once you break 12 meters, things start getting much more taxing.

Illusion - Creates illusions to disorient and confuse enemies. These illusions can be anything from a bubble around the user's head which causes them to see the world differently, to creating a wall of illusion so they can't see what's truly beyond it and think they're looking at something else. A skilled Illusion mage could create a bubble of illusion around an enemy causing them to see what they fear most, and guide the illusion in such a way as to lead them towards a cliff they cannot see coming. Once they take their first step over the edge, the illusion can be lifted, and they will see the chasm just long enough to realize they're now falling to their death.

However, Illusions are not always combative. They can also be used to heal, in a way. Many doctors employ Illusion mages to create peaceful and comforting illusions for emotionally damaged or stressed patients. It's helped many to cope with emotional trauma, and has also helped many move on after extreme pressures of guilt.

Sealing - Seals magic in other beings, and is much more difficult to use against those with a higher magical threshold than the user. However, a powerful Sealing Mage could seal the magic of an equally powerful enemy mage for as long as they can maintain concentration on the task. This form of magic is almost solely practiced from behind the front lines, as any direct interference will break concentration and the Seal will fail, thus unleashing the target once again.

Transportation - This magical art comes in two phases. An Anchor, and a Trigger.

The Anchor is "Passive" magic, which means that it's set and forget. Once you've placed an Anchor in the world, it serves as a permanent destination point so long as there is mana in the environment and the Anchor itself is left alone. But if the Anchor is destroyed, it's gone for good until you cast another Anchor to take its place. Depending on how much mana is used to create the Anchor, it will vary in size. The average Anchor is between 3-5 meters in diameter. But they can be larger. The largest Anchor ever created was 11 meters in diameter, and used to transport a Griffon from a battlefield to the wilderness half the world away. However, transporting something that large takes an extreme amount of energy, and the mage who accomplished the feat died shortly after their monumental accomplishment.

When an Anchor is placed in the world, it generates a link to its creator. This link is metaphysical, and allows the mage to see the Anchor in their mind's eye. This is how they can successfully transport something to said Anchor when they activate a Trigger spell.

A Trigger is "Active" magic, meaning that it requires the user's direct concentration and effort in order to cast and take effect. Using the mana in the environment around either themselves, or a target somewhere in their line of sight, the user must activate the link to the Anchor they desire in their mind, and then the Trigger can be cast. When it is cast, a circle appears beneath the target that's the same size as the Anchor. And anything within that circle will successfully reach its destination. Anything outside the circle will be forced out of the Transportation spell and left behind. And if this happens when you try to help yourself and allies escape an overwhelming force, you just left any who accidentally got left behind to die a horrible death... So be careful!

Assist

Healing - Heals physical wounds. This does not, however, recover stamina or relive other natural ailments like soreness. It's only for dealing directly with wounds and mending the body. Not relieving the pain of what once was. So the victim who is healed will still feel the pain and discomfort of whatever wounds they suffered for a short time after the Healing is over.

Medical - Heals illnesses and can remove toxins from the body. This does not, however, relieve the body of the symptoms of said toxins, presuming the spells are successful. In order to relieve those symptoms, the body must naturally deal with it on its own, or a doctor and antibiotics/medicine must be sought to relieve them.

Seid - Song magic used by Nymphs and Faeries to affect their targets with disorientation, dizziness, or even pain.

Other

Alchemy - Transforms matter from one form to another such as stone to gold, and is very commonly used by Blacksmiths to turn stone to Steel as it's a much more ready and easily accessible resource.

Divination - The user utilizes a crystal ball to see into the future for an individual. This is usually done in singular short spells to catch a glimpse that's maybe a half second to two seconds long. Anything longer is usually considered taboo and unethical, as knowing too much of one's future is potentially very dangerous.

Soul Searching - Can see inside the mind of an individual seeing their brain light up green for telling a truth and red for telling a lie.

Animation - An Active form of magic which allows the spellcaster to bring inanimate objects to life for as long as their concentration holds, or as long as the enemies don't destroy the objects.

Conjuration - Summons Spectral Creatures from another realm to fight for the individual in question. These creatures have minds of their own, but are naturally obedient to the summoner. They will remain in the world for anywhere between fifteen seconds to one full minute before returning to their realm. If you really dump all your mana into the summoning, they'll stick around for maybe a minute and a half to two minutes.

Magic Smithing - This is another complicated form of magic that comes in two stages, and relies on the two phases of magic which are: Generation and Manipulation.

Each phase of magic has its own essence, both of which can be bottled by specially trained mages in the industry (a trade secret not given to outsiders (meaning you won't know how to do this unless you get my permission ;P)). Generation Essence is passive, while Manipulation Essence is active.

Because it is passive, items imbued with Generation Essence do not require the user to concentrate on flushing mana through it to trigger an effect. As an exmaple: If you loose an arrow imbued with Generation Essence of Fire Magic at an enemy who has just cast a magic spell, the concentrated mana in that spell will automatically trigger the arrow to detonate into a fiery burst once it came close enough to said spell.

The Active nature of Manipulation Magic means the user must flush mana through it to activate the effect, otherwise it won't do diddly squat. The other way is to fire it into close proximity, or directly into contact, with a Generation Essence imbued item.

So, let's say the user imbued a humble rock (about the size of your fist) with Generation Essence of Fire Magic. They could then either wait for it to go off like a land mine when another mage unleashes a spell too close to it, or they could activate it manually by firing an arrow imbued with any other magic's Manipulation Essence into close proximity, or into direct contact with the stone to trigger both a fiery burst, and a small-scale general effect of whatever that other magic art essence was.

Let's say it was an Illusion Manipulation Essence. The resulting fiery burst would also create a brief illusionary effect in the air around the detonation point which would disorient and confuse any enemies who had moved directly into it or stopped in front of it. If it was Conjuration Manipulation Essence, a random creature with spiritual energy equal to or less than that of the amount of mana put into the essence during its creation by the Magical Smith would appear. This summoning will last all of five to ten seconds. If you're lucky, it will be a helpful creature. If you're not, it will be a fish out of water like Magikarp flopping around doing nothing until its time is up and it returns to the Spectral world.

Next, let's talk about armor and weapons, as this is where Magical Smiths make the majority of their living.

When you imbue a piece of armor with an essence of magic, depending on which essence it is, it will behave differently. For example: If you have a gauntlet with a Generation Essence of Warding Magic, it will automatically react to incoming spells and repel the vast majority of said spell as soon as it came into contact with the gauntlet. But if you put the Manipulation Essence of Warding into the gauntlet, the user would have to flush Mana through it to activate the Ward, meaning they'd have to time it right for it to work.

This basic principle is true of all the magical arts save for Seid Magic and Polingual Magics, as they rely solely on the mind and voice of the spellcaster to function.

And lastly, because the one wearing the armor or using the weapon that's imbued with the magical essence is not (likely) of the magical affinity of said essence, they won't be able to use it to cast spells. Let's pretend Korose had a gauntlet imbued with the Manipulation Essence of Healing Magic (the active form that needs mana flushed through it to work). He would need to hold it right next to his wound and flush it with mana to make it work. But even then, he can't precisely control its area of effect, how effective it is, or how long the effect remains active because all of those variables are controlled by the Healing Magic mage in the middle of the spellcasting process. He's not of the Healing Magic affinity, so he has no fine control over it.

So, to recap: Generation Essence is passive. Manipulation Essence is active. Both function differently in weapons and armor. And unless your affinity matches the Essence in said weapon/armor, you can't control the extent of its effects beyond making the effect weaker or stronger (broad-spectrum) based on how much mana you flush through it. The more mana you put through it, the stronger the effect.

Polingual - Enables the user to understand any language as if it is spoken in the modern tongue for as long as their spells are active.

Forbidden Magics - (NPC enemies only)

Possession - Possesses the mind of the target.

Necromancy - Forcefully removes spirits of the dead to live again in undead bodies to fight for the summoner against their will. The spirits feel everything that happens as if they were alive. And unless they are dismissed by the summoner, they will continue to fight until the body is destroyed beyond the ability to continue battle, meaning the spirit must face the pain of death a second time.

Siphon - Siphons the life energy of the target, can be strung with multiple magic circles to siphon multiple targets.

Memory - Manipulates the memory of the target, sometimes even erasing it entirely turning them into a blank slate.
 
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