how to beat a space magic/limit it.

#1
Hey, 
I have a problem, well not right now but in the future which I would like to have solved by then. 
To keep it short, my MC is a mage with a talent in space magic. 
 In my novel, everyone can use any magic discipline, but the ones with talents have it easier learning the element and use like 20% less mana, for example. 

Currently, he's not really OP, lacks a lot behind his peers, and rather relies on other magic disciplines, than on space magic due to its difficulty and high mana consumption, but that will probably change in the future and I would like to be prepared for that. DrakanGlasses


which elements exist (for the time being): fire, water, air, earth, darkness, light, space, void, spirit, soul/mind.
I think I don't have to explain what the first six elements are able to do, but let's focus on the last four elements. 
spirit magic: it would prob. be better to call it summoning magic since one can interact and summon spirits.
void magic: the idea was that one can remove mana from an area, for a short time, forcing the mage to rely on one's mana reserves, till they run out.
soul magic: as the name implies, users can attack the souls of others, or force others to do their bidding. But the bigger the difference, the stronger the backlash will be.

sorry that my explanations of these categories are kinda vague since I haven't put much thought into their abilities, since none of them appeared in the story till now.


These are some of my rough ideas what one can achieve with the space element. 

beginner mage/mage apprentice:
  • spatial distortion, high mana usage (destroys for example anything near one's hand. problem: using the spell once uses like 100% of one's mana)
intermediate mage:
  • short + rapid distance teleportation or long-distance teleportation
advanced mage:
  • spatial area lock: as the name implies one can lock a whole area/volume, limiting everyone from entering or escaping the area. 
  • gravity manipulation
How could one limit space magicians? 
Void mages are probably a counter to every kind of magician. Outside of that, another idea I had was that people with keen senses, could for example sense, roughly estimate where a portal would be opened, limiting its surprise effect. But even then, the sheer potential destruction powers are maybe way to strong.

Outside of that, I can't really find any Achilles heel for space mages.  


Re: how to beat a space magic/limit it.

#2
Depends massively on what your system allows, but light could be close to instantaneous laser-like hit-scan, soul/mind shouldn't be affected much by space, if classical 4 elements are able to be manifested/controlled away from caster (possibly requiring higher mastery to manage ?) it could also be possible to burn/drown/bury/asphyxiate the space mage from outside its space bubble.

Surprised by the example for beginner's space mage, I would have pegged destroying thing more in the void category. Would have expected redirect/short distance transfer of enemy spells/projectiles instead.

Re: how to beat a space magic/limit it.

#3
There can be a lot of them, I'd say, depending on how you want the magic in general to work.

1. Harming oneself: even if magic is incapable of harming the caster, since space affects everything (physical objects and phenomena) they can easily cause injury if the spell is done in close proximity to the caster.

2. Focus: of all the magic on the list, I would say this one requires the most concentration and so any distractions could have disastrous results. Stopping a gate spell (not mentioned, but if added) for example while the caster is going through would cut him in half. Or, loss of control just prior to teleportation could send someone into a volcano, or the bottom of the ocean, or into the ground and instantly kill them.

3. Control: this ties in to the previous one; for a spell such a gravity manipulation, even if it wouldn't affect the caster, such changes to the world shouldn't just revert to normal instantly once the spell ends. In case someone interrupts the caster while they're perhaps increasing gravity tenfold in an area they're in, the spell might flatten them to the ground as well.

4. Slow to cast: since spatial magic affects the world on the grandest scale, it might require more time to exert a change than, say, someone chucking a fireball

5. Long learning process: spatial magic is powerful, and so should require an adequately long amount of time to master

6. Difficult learning process: I'd imagine even a small mistake for this type of magic would make catastrophic results. A botched teleport especially. This is to say that spatial mages would use lower tier spells for much longer periods of time than other mages.

As an end note, spatial magic is powerful for a reason. If you have two mages with equal mana pools and different disciplines, with all spells costing the same, then the spatial mage would win. But if you say that while one can cast 30 spells and the other up to 10? Then the spatial mage will need to apply more wit in the battle. Having a lot of power isn't necessarily bad in my opinion, it just needs to be balanced by wit to make it fun to read.

I hope my answer was helpful.

Cheers!

Re: how to beat a space magic/limit it.

#4

unknownking Wrote: short + rapid distance teleportation or long-distance teleportation
Simple. They have to see the area they're teleporting to, and that area (think like a dnd 5' cube) has to be clear of literally everything or else the spell doesn't work. Also figure out how much they can take with them when they teleport, in terms of size and/or weight and/or materials. This can increase based on mana and/or mage level.

If someone can teleport to an area they can't see, this would be commercialized. Have to get from X city to Y city for someone's birthday? Pay a wizard to teleport you! Need to transport a bunch of grain from the field to the windmill? Pay a wizard to teleport it! Got a very important letter to give the king? Pay a wizard to teleport! Given how much of our economy is based around transportation, having the ability to instantly be somewhere else would be the focus of a lot of mages. Literally everyone with even a minuscule amount of magic in them would learn this spell if there weren't any limitations to it.
(...I have spent way too much time thinking about teleportation for my own books...)


unknownking Wrote: spatial area lock: as the name implies one can lock a whole area/volume
This sounds more like it'd be an air spell. I'd put it more as... well, you mentioned portals. So basically make a portal in a doorway (using more mana or having a higher level would increase the size of the portal to surround a person, then a small room, etc) that simply turns you around and puts you back where you came from. It doesn't do anything to the air, it simply sees the space you were originally in and puts you back there.

Incidentally, doing this could reverse the direction of anything. So if someone shoots an arrow at you, pull this sucker up and bam. Arrow is now heading back at the enemy.
As far as drawbacks, I'd give it an insane mana drain. And along with only being able to have it up for a short period of time, having an object pass through has a flat mana cost, so your mana could potentially go into the negatives, causing unconsciousness and/or death. For math examples, let's say it takes 20 mana per 5 seconds. You have 100 mana, so you can have the spell up for 25 seconds. But having something pass through is 50 mana. So if you have it up for 15 seconds before someone yeets an arrow through the portal, you are now at -10. Good news: the arrow is now in the enemy's arm instead of your chest. Bad news: you are passed out on the ground from overtaxing your mana reserves.
Very useful, but very very dangerous.


unknownking Wrote: gravity manipulation
When done properly, this could also be called flying.

I'd just make this super hekkin hard to control, with no "off" switch. Make it so the spell doesn't cost a lot of mana, and you'll get lots of people who try it and fail hard at controlling it, making them afraid to use it ever again.
So sure, go ahead and fly yourself through that second-floor window. Great. Now how do you land without twisting an ankle? Actually, how do you land at all? Yes, you manipulated the gravity on your textbooks so you don't have to carry them around. Awesome. Sadly, they are now passing the stratosphere and good luck finding them when (if) they come back down. Oh, you tied them to a rope and tied the rope to your belt? Smart. How are you enjoying floating over the city, tethered to the world's most insistent balloon? People are already taking bets on how many bones you'll break when you come back down.
There's a reason this is an "advanced" spell. You need all that extra training just to make sure you don't massively screw up.


TazKhaelyor Wrote: Surprised by the example for beginner's space mage, I would have pegged destroying thing more in the void category.
It wouldn't be just destroying tho, it's distortion. So an arrow coming straight at you could be distorted into a lump of iron stuck on a crooked stick. A door you need to be locked could have the handle distorted into a mess of parts that isn't going to move any time soon. A ray of fire coming for your face could be distorted into heading somewhere else.

Knowing what and when to distort is just as important as knowing how.
Also, you could probably make some really cool art with this spell lol

Re: how to beat a space magic/limit it.

#5
First: What is space? 

What I can take from your description, it is classic mechanics.

Next: What qualities does "space" have? 

If we take distortion, it is practically an instant kill as "space" is absolute (if going by classical mechanics).

So, what you want, is distorting a "distortion."

If a space mage can distort some space, this means someone else can distort it too.

What do I mean by this?

Your MC uses directly Mana and does not convert it into physical properties, by this, you can just use a bit of Mana to distort the distortion as it is made of Mana, and, depending on Mana's properties (which you defined), you can also distort it indirectly, at least.

Basically: Killing the integrity of the space made by influencing the Mana which it is made from.

Here you go, I hope it was helpful ;)

Re: how to beat a space magic/limit it.

#7
I'd started trying to give constructive feedback, but ended up with a rant on some of my pet-peeves  DrakanLaugh

Personally, I'd hold off on the spatial distortion thing. If he ever activated it while touching a living being on the head or something it'd be an instakill and I doubt you'd want that as an early power. A slight distortion is all you need at the beginning of your story, in my opinion. Also to keep a bit of a sense of danger. It's less fun, for me, if I know the character has a 'get out of jail' card to play. Pulling or pushing an attack just a little bit off-course to make it glance off armor, or at least not strike square on, doesn't sound too powerful and takes practice to use well. It'd mean he'd have a reason to learn how to actually use some armor too, if that's an option in your system, as well as spend time examining his particular powers and what he can do with it, test his limits etc. (examining his powers gives you an opportunity to explain it to the readers, which I know all writers want to do. "Check out the cool concept of my character!". I'm guilty too.).

Hope this helps!

Personally I prefer MCs that have a skillset based on versatility and clever use of their options rather than overwhelming, but narrowly focused, power

Re: how to beat a space magic/limit it.

#8
Depending on how they are used light, spirit, and soul magic could also be used to defeat spacial mages with ease. Especially considering how you set up the whole "spacial mages use metric tons of mana" thingy. lol Examples:

Spirit magic: Since spirits can technically transcend the laws of our world (depending on the lore you make for spirits) they may or may not be able to just downright bypass things like spacial locks or at least be able to tell where a spacial mage is teleporting to. Since they are summoned, they likely have an instinctual sense for spacial anomalies since being summoned is likely a spacial anomaly itself.

Soul magic: Nothing says "f**k your super powers" like a person who can just control your mind directly. lol That or use superpowered hostages against you in order to weaken you and then brainwash you once you're weakened.

Light magic: You would think that a spacial lock or teleportation would help you avoid light, but the opposite couldn't be more true. Light moves insanely fast, so unless it's a "heal/purify" sort of light, then lasers are fricken lasers. lol Light can kill you several times over in the time it takes you to think. So unless you can act before your opponent does, then you're kinda screwed against a light magic user that has lasers.

Edit: Spacial magic itself is very OP though, but along with high mana cost, adding intense concentration and lots of training/experience should make it less OP. After all, no matter how powerful something is, if you can't use it the way you want when you need it, then it becomes far less practical.

Re: how to beat a space magic/limit it.

#9
-Time magic.

-Space magic.

-Void magic capable of emptying one's reserves + surroundings.

-Curses and hexes.

-Stealth.

-Battle experience (predicting, knowledge, instincts).

-Self detonating clone.

-Powerful enough spells/strikes to disturb space itself.

-Sealing magic.

-Quantity over quality (arrows from all sides for example).

There are lot of ways.

Re: how to beat a space magic/limit it.

#10
Control.

He's a space mage. Good luck summoning a black hole and not ending the world.

Balance.

he literally uses the foundational energy of the cosmos as a weapon. Generally the more energy input the harder it is to utilize as intended. See exhibit A: Nuclear Reactors.

Knowledge.

You said he was behind his peers? In talent? Knowledge? Training? I imagine it takes years to become a decent mage, unless he's some kind of prodigy or gets a cheat boost. Accumulating knowledge is the slowest part of any profession.

Application.

Knowing the recipe doesn't help you turn on a Cake-o-Matic 5000 or avoid the murderous assistant chef. Knowing when to do something, how to time various aspects of an ability, and how much energy to apply is key. Applying knowledge and skill is the second slowest part of any profession.

Perfect Counter?

A bullet. An arrow. An unseeable attack. An omnipotent opponent. Someone who can stop time. Oxygen deprivation. Drowning. Burning to death. Being dropped in lava. Bleeding to death. Dying of hunger or thirst. Dying of heatstroke or hypothermia. Having his spell overloaded. Performing a spell incorrectly and it backfiring. Using so much Mana/Energy he dies or becomes severely wounded. Poison.

There are lots of ways to kill or harm a potentially or currently overpowered MC. Hell, he could be allergic to peanuts. Toss his ass in a bakery.