Orgone is the measure of a person's connection with the cosmos. It is the conduit through which the power of the cosmos flows, focused through a sorcerer's will. Ritual practitioners must draw on this reserve of power to make a magic spell work. Spells require a constant infusion of Orgone through rituals that are performed inside a transmutation circle. These rituals vary by time and can last anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours depending on the spell.

Enchantment Spells – These are spells designed to capture cosmic power within a crafted item so that its power can be called upon in times of need.

Scrying Spells – These are spells designed to allow a user to perceive in ways that go beyond his five senses.

Summoning Spells – These are spells designed to call up unnatural creatures, either for communion or servitude. They can also force such creatures into bondage.

Transmogrification Spells – These are spells designed to fundamentally alter or control another being

Traditionally, only witches can use magic due to an ancient curse placed upon elven kind thousands of years ago. However, a recent innovation in the past few decades has allowed for the creation of warlocks. Magical tattoos, sigils that contain the magic of the spell, can be tattooed onto the body to grant quick access to the spell without all the preparation of a ritual. This had allowed male elves to bypass the curse to access and direct their orgone through these made-to-go spells without the hassle.

There are downsides to this:

  1. The individual using the tattoo is restricted to that particular spell, and cannot use others. To gain access to other spells, the sigils must be removed and replaced with the new spell. However, tattoos can be removed relatively easy through magical means.

  2. The magic sigils cannot hold the same level of orgone that are used by rituals. Therefore, the resulting spell will be much weaker than a natural spell.

These innovations are meant to even the playing field between witches and warlocks: the former has a large variety of spells but more preparation while the latter have quicker access to them but are limited to one each. However, if witches also decide to use this new method for a quick spell on the go, it doesn't really change anything and they will still have the advantage, making male mages simply a novelty.

I want the natural flow of orgone to prevent the use of these special tatoos by traditional spellcasters. How can this be the case?

  • $\begingroup$ I'm a little confused. Prevent males from using the sigils or prevent witches from using them? $\endgroup$ – Sonvar Jul 10 '19 at 22:35
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Just to clarify, men = warlocks and women = witches? $\endgroup$ – Trevor Jul 10 '19 at 22:36
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Could a magic tattoo be stopping witches from using their regular magic? $\endgroup$ – Alexander Jul 10 '19 at 22:40
  • $\begingroup$ The Wheel of Time magic system has something similar to this. You may want to check it out. Even has the males cursed with growing insanity after each spellcasting. $\endgroup$ – Lupus Jul 10 '19 at 22:42
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @tuskiomi In a fantasy, made-up world, where you dictate the rules? The options are endless!!! You just have to be consistent about the rules and not change them halfway. $\endgroup$ – Lupus Jul 10 '19 at 23:01

I actually have a very similar magic which is based on the tattoos, and there are several ways to restrict their usage and availability to those who already have access to magic.

As mentioned by Wilk, Once you use a tattoo, you lose the ability to use normal magic. In my case, this is because Tattoos channel magic better than the body can naturally. Hence those with magic deficiencies can use them, while those without won't be able to control the flow of their mana once it interacts with a tattoo. You could think of it like electricity. The tattoos simply offer very little resistance, so the mana will naturally flow through it and activate the tattoos magic.

A second restriction is that tattoos are expensive or take a long time (longer than spells) to obtain. Maybe it needs special materials for the ink, or the application process can take a long time, taking making intricate layers or different materials to apply. By restricting the availability, you prevent most magic users from spending money on the tattoos and instead focus on mastering their own magic which is more flexible. (you can also make magic training very expensive, so you can only really pay for 1 path).

The final restriction is one that gives tattoo users a bit more oomph and flexibility. Tattoo users can have partial tattoos that only map out 1 half of a spell. This way, they can bring different body parts together to create different spells. For example, maybe they have a tattoo on their chest with a missing piece. Then they cover their hand over the missing piece, the tattoo on their hand completes the tattoo letting them cast a spell. On their other hand, is different tattoo that lets them cast a different spell. This requirement means that very senior warlocks may have 10's to 100's of different partial tattoos on their bodies and by maintaining certain poses they can cast a variety of different spells. This of course, takes years of training and planning, so your average witch would never bother mastering the tattoo process as their time is better spent mastering their own magic.


You state the fix in the OP:

The individual using the tattoo is restricted to that particular spell, and cannot use others.

A witch who decides to go the warlock route with a magic tat is restricted to that particular spell. She gives up her witchly variety in exchange for convenience. I can see that being useful if you are witch who is using the same spell over and over: for example making sandwiches. If that is all you do all day and you are rarely summoning storms or raising dead, a make sandwich tattoo would make life easier. It could be the logo for your store too.

  • $\begingroup$ As long as tattoos can be easily removed, the sandwich making witch could still switch back to summoning storms whenever she needed it, which a warlock cannot. Which, if I understood it correctly, is exactly what the OP seeks to avoid. $\endgroup$ – Ruther Rendommeleigh Jul 11 '19 at 10:55
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @RutherRendommeleigh - perhaps a magic tattoo cannot be wiped clean, but only supplanted with another one. Once you have a magic tat you will always have a magic tat. $\endgroup$ – Willk Jul 12 '19 at 12:15

How can I prevent traditional spellcasters from using an easier form of magic?

You had the answer already but you ruined it.

"However, tattoos can be removed relatively easy through magical means."

Tattoos are not meant to be removed easily. Make it permanent. Witches won't want to trade flexibility for speed when limited to one spell and warlock don't really have a choice so would still do it anyway.

It would also make an interesting punishment for witches. They get forcibly tattooed with a spell that makes flowers bloom.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Or, more specifically "However, tattoos can be removed relatively easy through magical means" Yep, but if you have a tattoo you can't remove your own tattoo unless the spell you have tattoed is the tattoo-removing spell. So is, whenever a witch gets a tattoo it becomes a warlock. She can't remove that tattoo because she can't cast this magic. She will require the help from another witch, which lets her at her mercy. $\endgroup$ – Rekesoft Jul 11 '19 at 11:36
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Yup, you can easily remove ordinary tattoos like "I <3 Mum" with magic, not magical tattoos because those aren't just skin-deep, they are linked to... whatever the core of a person's being is in this world. $\endgroup$ – Real Subtle Jul 11 '19 at 14:13

From what I understood, you have to make the witches incapable of using the tattoos, which is a warlock specialty.

You can come up with any number of reasons for that. Like:

1) The curse strengthened, changed the male body in such profound and misterious ways, only they can endure the tattooing.

2) Ideology. The ritual seen as a true form of magic. Tattoos are a disgrace, remainder of the curse. No self respecting witch would dabble in it. There may be a few outliers, but most will adher to it.. unless males mops the floor with them.

3) As mentioned in a comment by Alexander. Tattoos interfere with traditional spellcasting.

4) Tattoos strain the body, has a serious downside. Males put up with this, in order to gain power, while females prefer not to. Insanity, drain on the body. Maybe consumes some of the users blood each time. Woman can donate blood only four times a year, compared to man, who can do it at max five times. You figure out why...

5) Rituals allow for cooperation, for circles. Tattoos are always restricted to single caster. Rituals require practice and top condition. The use of tattoos dull ones ability to perform rituals. Like running to work vs driving to work.

Take your pick, modify them, mix them, come up with the best suiting explanation to your world's setting. Sadly, I know too little to determine what would be the best.



The curses placed on the elves disabled the ability to intake Orgone from the universe however, the sigil works as a sort of conduit enabling the wearer to intake some Orgone trough it. The intake of Orgone is however different than through natural means. While the stream of Orgone is calm while intaking it the natural way, the sigil is more like a heavy magnet pulling vast amounts of Orgone out of the universe into the spell. This could explain why the spells used by warlocks are faster to cast.


While this method works like a charm for the Orgone oppressed Warlocks, it is quite deadly for the witches. The vast amount of Orgone that is taken in by the sigil is guided through the body in a specific flow. The presence of any other Orgone disrupts this flow and can in some cases be quite deadly. If the flow is broken the spells does not manifest correctly with all its consequences.


Sigils work by using the power of the curse. If a witch wants to use a sigil, they have to permanently curse themselves and lose all their other spells. This could be helpful to explain where the first magic came from that created the sigils. You could even have extra fun with this and say the sigil also absorbs the matching spell if it is cast on the person with the sigil.

So if you have the fireball sigil, and a witch throws a fireball at you, you absorb it instead.

Or reverse that and say the only spell they are vulnerable to is the spell they have a sigil for. Either way it creates interesting possible narratives.

Alternative: Sigils only work on men. The female witches can live with that, or grow appropriate appendages and lose a couple. This probably isn't a very politically correct way to go about it, but you called your baddies witches, so anything goes right?

  • $\begingroup$ There are good and bad witches. $\endgroup$ – Incognito Jul 10 '19 at 23:22

The tattoos consume and store all the orgone witches summon when in the transformation circle making it unable for traditional spell casting. So warlocks can imprison and neutralize witches by tattooing them with useless spells -- glow brightly, instantly clean a chamber pot, read parchments backward and upside down.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ "So warlocks can imprison and neutralize witches by tattooing them with useless spells" They'd have to catch them first. It'd be more likely that another witch managed to achieve this. $\endgroup$ – wizzwizz4 Jul 11 '19 at 7:44

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.