I have two countries: one has a heavy reliance on technology and the other on magic.

They have been fighting for a long time and see the opposing affinity to magic/technology as evil.

Now they have gone into a stalemate and are just draining resources.


How can the technological side use magic to augment their technology and win the war, without losing their people's respect?

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    $\begingroup$ How does the magic work? I think the answer will depend heavily on that. $\endgroup$ – Erik Apr 30 '15 at 9:17
  • $\begingroup$ Magic is a infusable resource gained in two ways Aura nodes wich tap magic from the air and crystals which are batteries of magic accumulating for years. Using it you can infuse it into object (aka stick to make a wand) which gives it abilities. $\endgroup$ – JKK1111 Apr 30 '15 at 9:23
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    $\begingroup$ Secret project, hush, hush, 'advanced weapons technology' - actually magic under the hood, explained away as so cutting edge it's operating principles aren't yet common knowledge, will filter down after the war... Win the war. Oops, the prototype was destroyed in combat... $\endgroup$ – Scott Downey Apr 30 '15 at 9:45

tl;dr: Your tech guys should adapt it as a basic weapon and power source in their tech.

Largely it is going to depend on how exactly you choose to make magic and technology interact.

For example: in the Shadowrun RPG, technology and magic can mix at a superficial level. A mage can use a technological device to aid in a spell, such as clairvoyance, as they require a clear image in their head of the person. However, much beyond that and they begin conflicting with each other. This is just one consideration.

To directly address your situation though, I look to one of my favorite animes Nanoha. Especially Striker S. They have a similar situation to the one you are describing. The republic of magic uses technology to harness and control their magic because it makes it more accessible, but the antagonists combat them with technology that runs on magic, because the magical republic was overly prepared to combat magic but under prepared to fight technology. For the technological side, they used robots and such with magical crystals embedded in them, because it gave them incredible amounts of power as well as limited AI.

So to actually answer your question, I believe that the technological side would adapt magic as a power source and possibly a rudimentary weapon as these particular usages do not require anything more then a basic understanding of magic. Basically they would just need to know how to tap it and direct it. Using it as a weapon might be particularly effective, because, basic or not, your magical society has probably over adapted to combatting technology. However, your tech guys would also need to be careful of the magical kingdom adapting technology to make magic easier/more powerful assuming that their is no basic conflict between magic and technology.


Any sufficiently analyzed magic is indistinguishable from science.


"The proud engineers and scientists of Techtopia would of course never condone or participate in the kind of dark and evil sacrifices that the Magicarians used at the burning of of [Techtopian town where magical atrocity occurred] or [another atrocity]. The new high energy thaumology project is a purely technological venture which will allow us to understand the fundamental particles of the universe and to better understand how to block or prevent the kind of atrocities regularly committed by the Magicarians. We believe that within ten years we will be able to use thaumic fields to disrupt/block any such dark rituals."

of course it's just a toehold to make studying magic acceptable: these "thaumic fields" are just the zaps from magical weapons.


Technology is applied science.

Science is the application of the scientific method to understand something.

Like most cultures through human history, I think you can merely show that, over time, the technologists will simply understand the "magic" using scientific principles. As aspects of the magic are known and understood, incorporating them into society and technology will be little more than some graduate student writing a paper covering the research they did that shows a previously considered "magic" is simply a physical process of the universe they live in.

Fire was magic at one point, and difficult to understand and control. But now we know it to be the rapid oxidation (ie, combustion) of flammable materials, and we not only know how to start it and stop it, but we can direct it and it is the primary choice for safe, inexpensive heat worldwide.

Now, they are fighting a war, and expediency might require some prodding of the graduate students to make a few leaps of the imagination so the technologists can use magic without appearing to subscribe to the notion of magic. At its base, though, magic exists and they merely need to show that an effect is repeatable in testing, and how to create the effect. It may not even be necessary to show or understand the mechanism - as long as others can verify through similar testing that an effect is reliable following a sequence of steps or using a set of materials, then it is scientifically usable without worrying about a possible connection to a religious belief. Showing that anyone can perform the effect with moderate instruction will go a long way to allaying the fears of the people with regard to "magic".

This won't necessarily work quickly if the magic requires an extreme level of skill/expertise/training. If there are few mages on the opposite side, and magic is naturally restricted only to those who have dedicated themselves to constant training and learning, then it will be much harder for said graduate student to conduct the research. However, it can still be done - or at least handwaved by said student - in order to win the war, while telling the people that the hard to understand papers turn magic into a scientific principle.


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