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Orgone, also referred to as Mana, 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 in their souls to make a magic spell work. Spells require a constant infusion of Orgone through rituals that are performed inside a transmutation circle, which require a number of ingredients and can last anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours depending on the spell.

Spells demand higher amounts of orgone the more advanced they become. This generally requires more orgone than the respective mage contains, and require the assistance of other mages. These mages would add their own orgone to the spell, combining their power together to complete a ritual. Their are a number of problems that must be surmounted before this process can be completed. These have solutions, but all come with various issues.

  1. Each mage works within their own transmutation circle using their own materials. This process can be expensive and time consuming to gather the necessary ingredients.

  2. The mages must be NSYNC with each other in regards to incantations and timing. One mistake can short-circuit the spell, requiring the mages to start over with new ingredients.

  3. Mages need a way to connect to each other's circles in order for orgone to flow freely between them, similar to a switch or router. Multiple participants also build up a lot of heat, requiring a heat sink.The solution to this would be similar to a layer 3 switch, which connect all mages to each other and absorbs excessive heat, fulfilling both requirements.

An obvious solution that would avoid these complications would be mana-batteries. These are containers that hold Mana within them to be used at a person's convenience. These take the form of specially built items such as jars or even familiars. When someone needs a power boost, they simply use one of these items in a spell, giving them the extra Mana boost that the ritual requires.

As magitech is a part of this society, it would be natural for technology to move in this direction. They have been applied to power advanced magi-technology, such as automated machines and such. What can batteries have that would make it insufficient to fill this role of replacing mages in rituals?

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    $\begingroup$ Have you read about the naming of orgone, and the opinions of the guy who invented it? Interesting stuff. "a constant infusion of Orgone through rituals that are performed inside a transmutation circle" oh, what a tidal wave of euphemisms. Do your magic system need the contribution of some 70s-style slap-bass in order to function? eta: "Mages need a way to connect to each other's circles in order for orgone to flow freely between them" oh my god I'm dying here. $\endgroup$ – Starfish Prime Dec 7 '19 at 15:23
  • $\begingroup$ @Starfish Prime I am ignorant of its history. Why is that funny? $\endgroup$ – Incognito Dec 7 '19 at 16:09
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    $\begingroup$ To quote from the wikipedia page on orgone, "Orgone was closely associated with sexuality: Reich, following Freud, saw nascent sexuality as the primary energetic force of life. The term itself was chosen to share a root with the word orgasm, which both Reich and Freud took to be a fundamental expression of psychological health" $\endgroup$ – Starfish Prime Dec 7 '19 at 19:07
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    $\begingroup$ Honestly, it is all fascinating stuff, but it is always wise to double check the meaning and history of a word before using it freely ;-) I'm only slightly sorry for my adolescent giggling, though. $\endgroup$ – Starfish Prime Dec 7 '19 at 19:08
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It already takes a Ritual to create a battery.

Making a battery alone can only make small low charge batteries. Thus, you need a ritual group to make a battery with all the associated costs. After it is created, you also have to charge it! If you get a group to make a battery for you they are gonna want one as well. Theirs needs a charge also!

After 2X rituals (where X is the number of participants needed to make a battery), you finally have one battery to replace a participant who would supply power for your ritual.

Only X-1 batteries to go!

(for those who don't want to do the math. If it took 8 people to do a ritual, that would be 112 Rituals to create all the batteries needed for 1 8-person ritual assuming the culture requires you to reciprocate for other mages wanting to create batteries if they helped you.)

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"What can batteries have that would make it insufficient to fill this role of replacing mages in rituals?"

Control.

Just as a battery alone cannot replace, say, a wall clock, even if it can power the wall clock, so a mana-battery cannot replace the mage in a ritual.

Maybe, you could have some very simple spell that can be directly powered by a mana-battery and activated with little or no magic at all. In the same way, you can connect a battery to a lamp to make a simple torch, or short circuit two batteries together to produce uncontrolled heat or a very rudimental and low-powered bomb.

But if you need to shape any kind of complex spell, batteries alone just would never cut it.

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Wow, haven't heard the word 'orgone' for ages. Blast from the Past...

It might be better to think of mages as conduits of orgone rather than containing their own orgone. That way the limiting factor would be how much 'voltage' a particular mage could handle without burning himself out. Batteries might then be a useful supplement — e.g., if a particularly difficult spell starts to exhaust the locally available orgone it could be supplemented with stored energy, or batteries might be used to hold energy while the structure of the spell is created, and then released all at once when the spell is cast (as the mages duck and cover) — but the battery could never replace a mage because magic can only take form through a conduit.

I think you should stop and reflect for a bit on what limitations there are on orgone itself. In other words:

  • Are there limitations on how much of it is locally available?
  • Are there limitations on how fast it can be extracted from the environment?
  • Is it dangerous in its raw form, requiring careful handling?
  • Are there limits on how much a mage can use (either in a specific moment, or across time)?
  • Is it difficult to handle or manipulate? Does it have a mind of its own?

When you understand what the limits of the material are in your world, you'll start to see in what ways different tools (like batteries) serve to overcome those limits. Then things will start to balance themselves naturally.

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Expiry dates

Perhaps they bleed off power when not in use, and are only good for short term charges.

Efficiency

Perhaps they take more power to make than they can return. Much more, to the point where it isn't worth it for a mage to make one by himself. It might take multiple mages to make them in the first place. Corporations or governments may still find it useful to do en masse, but an individual might prefer to simply get a friend to help with the spell instead.

Or maybe the difficulty is in how they are created. Perhaps they require a sacrifice. Can magic be stored without a soul? Maybe the vessel needs to have one implanted, which would need a donor.

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