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I am using a tattoo spell-casting magic system and am working on integrating it into the nations of my made-up world. I am currently working on naming kingdoms and tribes based upon what types of tattoos the nation specializes in. Any suggestions on how to subdivide up my magic system so that each nation has its own style and use of tattoos?

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    $\begingroup$ This seems rather broad and lacks a metric for evaluating such systems. For example, if one person suggests dividing by the color of tattoo and another suggests dividing by classical elements (earth, water, etc.) and another suggests dividing by branch of science (physics, biology, etc.) and another suggests by type of energy (lightning, life, etc), who is best? Also, how advanced is your world? Are these tribes like existed three thousand years ago? Or is this set more in medieval times? Or Roman? Or modern? $\endgroup$ – Brythan Aug 5 '18 at 15:37
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    $\begingroup$ As written, this is a bit of a chicken/egg question. Do you want the magic to come first and the tattoos be derived/based on it - so each nation has radically different magic systems and tattoos, like different languages - or do you want the tattoos to come first as each nation slowly realizes the subtle differences in magic between their area and everyone else's, like different dialects? $\endgroup$ – KernelOfChaos Aug 5 '18 at 15:39
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I would go with Colors and shapes.

Use the rainbow, each tribe could be represented with 1 or more colors. Its easy to remember whos who with colors.

Use shapes, with some tribes using triangles or circles only while others use more natural shapes like of a fish if they are water based or of a rock if earth based. Shapes are also easy to identify differences. I would use a main shape as the center point of the pieces then have the traditional tribal swooshes and spikes too as accent. Shapes could also be of animals native in the tribe or kingdoms local area.

Tribes would use more basic symbols while kingdoms would be more elaborate.

Depending on the type of magic the tribe or kingdom would have would determine the color and shape. Basic Examples: Fire could be red with a triangle. Earth brown with a square, Water blue with a circle. Air as white with swirls. As basic examples.

Hope that helps. Enjoy!

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