I've been going back and forth on my modern setting's magic system for a while now, but I've settled on a power-set that's closer to psychic powers than traditional magic, because of a couple of reasons:
- It's closer to my theme (the source of "magic" in this world is basically a psychic field generated by humans to protect them from invading creatures from other dimensions, with "mages" being humanity's white blood cells);
- It has more natural and obvious limitations (I always feel like open-ended magic systems like the Dresden Files are awesome but whenever I start to write them I'm boggled by the sheer possibilities for spells - like, where is the natural stopping point? If there's a spell for fireballs, why not flight? etc.).
Now, here's the thing though - I think it would be fun to be able to justify pyrokinesis / cryokinesis, because it's always fun to have an offensive power-set, right? Something for people to fling around and do damage with.
The problem is, those powers have never really felt like they naturally belong in the psychic power-set to me. I can't quite articulate why, but I feel like they stretch belief in a way telekinesis for example doesn't? Or perhaps are just not on theme? Is that just me?
In any case I would like to come up with a reason why they work. I've been reading up a bit on how fire works and I've read the pseudo-science explanation on pyrokinesis (it's about exciting the atoms in an object to ignite it), so what I was thinking is doing an huge handwave-y leap. Something like "They need something to ignite, but once they've done that they can manipulate the fire using air, like a fire whirl."
Does anyone feel like this works? Would you be willing to suspend disbelief if you saw this in a story, or is there a better way to think about it?
Thanks in advance!