Re: How does Magic in your fiction work?

#1
How does magic in your story work? Does it come from somewhere? Is there a reason for it to exist? Why does it exist are people just born with it? Just share some ideas on how magic in your story works. For my fiction, magic comes from ore in the ground that naturally generates it for people to absorb in their bodies and then let it out by manipulating their surroundings.

Example: Water magic can be used by combining molecules in the air to create a mass amount of water that they can use to their will. Another way is to just go near a lake and use the water in the lake instead of combining the molecules to make water, that way is less expensive than the molecule one. Water mages (I guess that's the word to use) can manipulate the water as they see fit at the expense of a bit more magic than just splashing water on someone. They can also freeze water and use that because ice is just water but physical.

Ice mages are pretty similar except their natural instinct is just to freeze whatever water they manipulate, and if they want to use water they have to attune themselves to not freezing it immediately. I'll keep this from getting too long and just stop it there.

Re: How does Magic in your fiction work?

#4
In the Glints Saga, magic is used by channeling ether, magical energy from another world. Humans normally cannot use magic, but in times of magical crisis in the human world, certain individuals (five teenage girls each time) discover the ability to transform into a magical form, allowing them to use magical powers in a manner similar to the beings from that other world. These magical powers manifest in a form related to something close to the user's heart, some kind of passion or imagery.

The beings from the other world, known to humankind as "Outsiders", are said to be beings of pure magic themselves, composed of the same energy that forms everything in their world and which fuels their magical abilities.

Re: How does Magic in your fiction work?

#7
Qest
Magic comes from a disease known as Arborpathy. Said disease slowly turns you into a tree and is spread by the pollen of said trees. It can be held off by medicines. So magic is more of a side effect of the disease.
People who use it are known as Ascendants and they can be grouped into 4 types. Energy, Armament, Enhancement, and Divergent.
Energy being basic energy manipulation. From lasers, to Green Lantern style energy constructs. Considered a very forward and blunt school of magic. Is very broad in what it does but is very practical
Armament is the creation of solid or liquid substances, such as stone, liquid, or grit. The opposite of Energy in that it is considered easy to learn but the ceiling for what you can do with it is very very high and difficult to truly master.
Enhancement is the alteration of one's body. One can fully alter their appearance, strength, physical make up, and more. As people aren't locked to one type of magic, it is practical to delve into this, even for a basic skill.
Divergent is the oddest one as it is the category for any magic that doesn't fit in with any of the others. Unique skills basically, brought on by mutation to the disease that granted the Ascendant their magic.

While magic is mostly harmless to use, as long as one trains and conditions themselves, there is great dangers to misusing this. Such as Amalgamation. To push ones self to a point where they can no longer control their own magics, they turn into a monster known as an Amalgamate. HOrrible monsters, unique in abilities and appearance. To become one is considered a fate worse than death, as it entails a loss of self.
One metaphor for Amalgamation, is to think of a Ascendant as a vase filled with water. The water being their magical prowess and the size of the vase being their upper limit. Training is getting a bigger vase and extending their upper limit, to add more water. But to try and push oneself without the proper training and conditioning leads to this metaphorical water overflowing. That is Amalgamation.

Re: How does Magic in your fiction work?

#8
All superpowers in my fic stem from the Sun (there's a reason for this, but it's a spoiler). Humans, if they manifest a soulseed, can absorb Sunlight, store it in their soul, and use it to power the unique abilities of their soulseed, abilities dependent upon which Concept they manifest. There are five discrete levels of soulseed. Seed, Sprout, Bud, Flower and a last secret level that hasn't been stated in the fic yet (it's not really a secret though lol, all the people of this level are well-known). Seeds are pretty weak and Gardeners (the guys with this last level of soulseed) are planetbusters.

This is all that's been revealed in my fic so far, but there's a lot more because the ability system is integral to the politics, religion and relations between sapient races (different sapients harness the Sun differently).

Burrows (high-energy areas full of monsters) happen when a Drasil (a plant that gained the ability to harness Sunlight) starts warping nature around it as a defense mechanism. Its some cool shit

Also, pls read my fic lol  peolove

Re: How does Magic in your fiction work?

#9
I have three forms of magic. Normal, angelic, and demonic magic.

Before getting into the forms of magic, I am going to explain a bit about the role of magic and how it works. 

Okay, so magic is the energies left behind by angels, demons, other higher dimensional beings, and dead universes/dimensions. These energies exist throughout the whole multiverse, although only in places that is not occupied by anything - like other form of energy or universe. To control this high level of energy and distribute it correctly across the multiverse, there exists an abstract entity known as Astrosh, the God of Magic. Astrosh decides whose spell goes through and if they have enough of life force to pay for it.
  • If the life force of someone nearing it's end, magic will not be distributed to them.
  • There is an option for team spell, which means the price will be divided among the group.
To use magic, one must pay the price with their life force. So, if you want to use basic spells such as teleportation, you will end up losing years off your life (depending on how far you go in the universe, moving to other universes will cost even more). Some spells such as resurrection and life creation can kill one unless they have longevity or immortality. Their life also turns into magic which can be used by others.

To cast a spell, it depends on the spell. Some needs to be said aloud, some needs a magic circle drawn. But most spells can be casted just by thinking about it.
  1. Normal magic is something that anyone can use, albeit is weakest form of magic. You just need to find the spells; chant it and you can use it but the number of spells available is very low.
  2. Angelic magic can only used by two species that are created by the angels. It's a very strong form of magic, but its restricted. Since the average life span of these two species (humans and Chochicans) is less than 150, they cannot use high level spells such as resurrection, life creation, fate manipulation, etc. 
  3. Demonic magic can be used by anyone, however, it's more chaotic. To use this, you would need to summon a demon or make a contact with them. If you manage to do that and not lose your life or your mind, they will grant you connection to hell and you can use demonic magic.
Spells:
Initially, it was like this:
  1. One spell exists, only one person can use it since it's engraved within them. 
  2. One can create their own if they studied magic for a long time.
  3. To transfer/sell spell to someone else, they had to remove it from within them and never be able to use it again. 
However, as time moved forward, technology developed, the way spells worked changed completely. Now:
  1. Spells are mass produced and sold for quite a cheap price
  2. Spells does not need to be engraved into someone, just as long as someone know the words/structure, they can use it.
  3. There exists magic books that makes it even easier to use magic

Re: How does Magic in your fiction work?

#12
Well there is actual "magic" that just changes reality and doesn't have any real structure to it, but I think this is mostly about those magic systems people go nuts for

Basically, characters have access to three "Slots" -- Mind, Heart, and Body. Generally you're born with one, and develop the others as you grow older and train

Over time, you also develop "Installs", which are basically concepts like Fire, Water, Metal, Sword, etc

You can set an Install into a Slot, and gain a variety of abilities based on the combination. For example, setting the Fire Install in the Heart Slot may allow you to conjure up fire and manipulate it, setting it in the Body Slot may allow you to transform your physical body into flames or make you hot enough to burn anything that touches you, and setting it in the Mind Slot may allow you to "burn away" negative emotions like fear and sadness

The potential of each Install and combination is entirely dependent on the character. Some people are more inclined towards a specific Slot, some people develop Installs with no trouble while others specialize in a single one, some people's usage of Installs is very on-the-nose and simplistic, while others may be able to do much more unique things based on a more abstract interpretation of the concept

Re: How does Magic in your fiction work?

#13
In my story "Ain't A Hero", magical is an energy that is manipulated by the will of a consciousness.  Magic came about in periods. 

First period, magic surprised everyone as some previous unknown force of reality.  Imagine having crafted formulas about how the world works from eons of observation...  Then, discovering in the worst way that there was a hidden variable that just went from 0 to "Oh, shit" in a moment.  This was the First Cataclysm.  Over the years after that rude introduction, a few people figured out how to access this new magical energy.

Second period started after people tried experimenting with the ambiguous "source", and accidentally ended up making the barrier of entry to use magic significantly less.  This was much to the disappointment of the self-proclaimed mage kings and queens, when the commoner mages rose up and leveled the playing over their dead bodies.  This was the Second Cataclysm. 

Third period started when a group a people attempted to access the "source" again, in an attempt to limit magical access to a select few...  primarily themselves..  This was not successful, but it absolutely scared the shit out of every other powerful mage in the world.  A massive collective of mages got together, and decided to create the Abstract Prism.  The Abstract Prism would barricade access to elder energy (rawest form), and filter it into prismatic energy (refined, separate energies that proved more useful for everyday use).  It would provide the framework for Foundational Constructs to be created, that vastly enhanced magical access to anything with a will by providing easier methods to use magic.  Foundational Constructs are the reasons why incantations, gestures, and similar processes actually work.  They are helper functions to handle a good portion of the behind the scenes work.

A few hundred years later, "Ain't A Hero" takes place.  Effectively, 99% of things with some kind of will have access to magic, and it is up to them to have the determination to use it.  This includes people, animals, theoretically some plants, and, if rumors are to be believed, AIs.  While most people use a combination of will combined with spell incantations and gestures...  Dedicated people can train to become "Direct Casters" that bypass the need for incantations and gestures.  And... there's theories about lower level access to magical energy.

Magical energy plays within the realm of normal physics, but can allow fundamental manipulation to degrees that warp physics to extreme efficiencies and finest levels of control.  This knowledge has allowed the rise of magical materials in technology to access part of reality that would never be achievable, except with rare experimentation in the most dedicated labs.  One such example, the aetherphone.  A cell phone with an aether transceiver that is tuned to access layers of spacetime that are artificially "inflated" by aethertowers enough to allow data signals to traverse.  These layers are normally too "flat" to get anything through, but magical materials allow electrical energy to be pumped in.  Data transmission at the speed of light, at higher bandwidths, that are shielded from common interference sources.

To be a powerful "Mage" it takes years of dedicated training and practice.  But, it's common for people to learn a few minor spells, or use helper scrolls and similar to enable more complicated effects.  Even children play around with wands that produce colorful energy streams and harmless bolts of light.  Others have learned how to use magical energy to enhanced their physical abilities in themselves and others.

There's a lot more, but that's general gist.

Re: How does Magic in your fiction work?

#14
Hmmm...I haven't truly written it out yet but mine's more based on science. Normally, on earth, magic isn't possible due to the laws of science however, in different universes, that may not be the case.

The one I am focusing on is E=MC^2 which means that matter and energy are interchangeable. In a particular universe, there are 'frequencies' of energy. Energy and matter are already quite interchangeable to the point that all matter periodically phase in and out of energy state - kind of like background information. Most of the time, when energy is converted to matter, the matter that comes out is a mass of elements with no rhyme or reason. The 'frequencies' of the aforementioned above basically have very specific ratio of elements that come together to form 'effects.' An example of this is when a specific energy frequency is converted to two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom to go together to form water (through atomic bonds).

There is a loophole in which one may ask how energy would be contained into a small area to begin with and that is the answer of 'we don't know'. Even in this universe, science does not fully understand everything so it is a convenient excuse. 

The magic requires very good spatial perception in which forms two branches - Broad Magic and Precise magic. 

Precise magic uses mathematical calculations and engraves them onto items. The glyphs work through an unknown mechanism (was lost through the march of time). Quantum computers are required to create glyphic formulas with constraints and commands in which a specific, programmed gesture initiates the conversion process. A very small amount of matter is needed to create such an effect so most of these items are reusable to a certain extent. This type is very favoured by most because of the safety and precision that broad magic does not give. Only training is required to wield these Precise items but money is needed to buy them. They can be customised or standardised.  

Broad magic uses estimation. It is basically eyeballing a bit of space and creating so many effects that makes it so at least one of them is bound to hit something. There is basically two types, one safer than the other. The safer option is to convert matter from the outside to usable energy then back again. This is slightly dangerous due to the sudden intake of energy and the stress it has on the body. The other option is to use energy from your cells and convert it to matter. This is dangerous due to obvious reasons. Sometimes, people end up consuming their own cells in the conversion process.

As for how people do it, it is innate. Just as cellular respiration is innate to all living beings, so is a conversion. 'Magical' beings have an elemental core of energy and half-phased matter that helps but details on this is unknown. Elemental cores can be preserved but it is difficult and requires no contact with outside matter.

This is the gist of it. So...basically science but not?

Re: How does Magic in your fiction work?

#15
Is a very easy "magic" system. Everyone has it, but not everyone knows how to use it properly. You can control the energy of your body and others with enough training, and if you manage to get completely dry of it, you die.

Normally, the closer you are from the origin, the bigger is the amount of "magic" you are born with (humans were born really far away from the origin, so their "magic" is normally really weak). You can make the amount of "magic" you produce with training or with some alterations make to your dna.

Re: How does Magic in your fiction work?

#16

TeeMcTee Wrote: How does magic in your story work?


To be completely honest, I have no clue! My MC doesn't understand magic, so she (yes, it's a she) can't explain it to the reader either...

My best guess would be that magic comes in two flavours: a residual generic low power force, which can be guided by symbols, your regular magical circles, runes, certain types of spellcasters, etc., and a very specific high power force, which is driven by (you guessed it) souls or life force, it's that more your thing.

There *is* a certain kind of logic to all the madness, but I never took of the lid to peek what's inside the box.

Re: How does Magic in your fiction work?

#17

keepthywits Wrote: Hmmm...I haven't truly written it out yet but mine's more based on science. Normally, on earth, magic isn't possible due to the laws of science however, in different universes, that may not be the case.

The one I am focusing on is E=MC^2 which means that matter and energy are interchangeable. In a particular universe, there are 'frequencies' of energy. Energy and matter are already quite interchangeable to the point that all matter periodically phase in and out of energy state - kind of like background information. Most of the time, when energy is converted to matter, the matter that comes out is a mass of elements with no rhyme or reason. The 'frequencies' of the aforementioned above basically have very specific ratio of elements that come together to form 'effects.' An example of this is when a specific energy frequency is converted to two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom to go together to form water (through atomic bonds).

There is a loophole in which one may ask how energy would be contained into a small area to begin with and that is the answer of 'we don't know'. Even in this universe, science does not fully understand everything so it is a convenient excuse.



I really like your idea of setting up magic as another fundamental force of the universe. So magic is both a wave and a particle eh? You may want to add a few more rules to your system, especially with conversion from matter to energy and vice versa. A little fun fact that might intrigue you: physicist often treat the saying of matter and energy as interchangeable like a potential energy well. A piece of matter will exist like a well that has tons of potential energy, inertly existing. Thanks for indulging me, much of this is my background so I truly enjoy reading about magical systems that use science or fundamental forces as their backdrop. Would love to discuss more anytime!

Re: How does Magic in your fiction work?

#18
There's a few people here who mentioned that there's a scientific element to their magic.

For my fiction, it's more like there's a magical element to my science. Overall I'd describe my world as sci-fi, maybe science fantasy if that was an option but I work with what I have. And in my world, the basis for all advanced technology, including interstellar travel, is a substance known by many names, one common one being "drops of the Bloodlet Sun". The substance comes as black spheres, and no one can reshape them, other than them naturally shrinking from use. It's part energy source, part something else entirely, and the kicker is, nobody can tell what it is, or where it came from, only that it is ubiquitous throughout the Known Reaches, if fairly rare. So not only does it have a mysterious origin, no one knows how it works, it just does, and some individuals are better than others at making the substance do what they intend it to do. A significant part of my plot is exploring the origins of this substance and its possible uses, and forms the core of the magical element in my otherwise futuristic sci-fi setting.