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After reading this question, I started to think about how clothing would affect magic in my setting. Just like in Incognito's world, the basis of magical abilities, Enchantments, and spellcasting is absorbing mana (magical energy). Absorbed mana is then harnessed to cause an effect.

However, clothing in my setting does not necessarily impair mana absorption. Enchanted materials (like monster drops) act like circuits, drawing energy from the environment to power their function.

Thus at first glance it appears most magical clothing will divert power away from the mage wearing it, and possibly even create interference (gargoyle leather=Earth magic, which does not play nicely with Water magic...). However, as time goes on, mages become capable of not only absorbing pure, ambient mana but gain the ability to imbibe and utilize mana from monsters and other magical creatures.

However, then someone hits the hurdle of 'magical influence;' if a fashion-loving Water Shaman decides to wear a bikini of red dragonhide (because it'll go with her blue eyes and hair) her outfit will A) generate small amounts of Fire Magic, warming her while also attracting ambient Fire Magic and B) if used as a power source, will make her Water spells more than a little heated.

This means that if someone casts Fireball at her, it'll be more likely to hit, much like someone's more likely to get shot when they have a supermagnet inside their stomach and everyone around them are firing steel-coated bullets. It also means that her Water spells may inadvertently cause reactions in heat-sensitive items when powered by her outfit.

So, it'd be better to just wear clothing made of one's hair or something, right? Actually, no, that has problems of it's own! Precisely because clothing of that nature comes from one's body, it actually draws from the wearer's own mana reserves to repair and protect itself. Thus such clothing actually drains one's mana constantly!

However, then I come across a problem. It appears Enchanted clothing (AKA anything made with magical materials) will cause interference, therefore causing adventurers and mages to wear as little clothing as possible. However, those same people will want practical clothing, that can protect them from monsters and the elements.

Therefore, I have to ask, How Will Practical Clothing Be Made With Magic In Mind?

Clarification:

To be clear, because my poor phrasing caused confusion (sorry about that), I am asking about both how clothing will be designed and what it will be designed of. Normal materials do not interfere with magic, but they tend to be inferior to magical materials in terms of durability and need for repair.

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    $\begingroup$ Attention to Downvoters: I cannot fix the problem if I don't know what it is. Please let me know how I can fix the OP if you see a problem. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Jul 12, 2021 at 19:37
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    $\begingroup$ I haven't downvoted, but inclined to VTC because I'm still not clear on what the question actually is. The (badly positioned) question says "How will clothing be made?" which in normal use means "How will clothing be manufactured?" However, none of the preceding ramble seems to be examining manufacture, instead it's looking at effects of different materials, styles, degree of coverage, gender transformation, links to other stuff... My suggestion: Re-write the post concisely and clearly with all information in the post, with the well-worded question either at the very start or very end. $\endgroup$ Jul 13, 2021 at 3:35
  • $\begingroup$ I agree with Kerr above - I'm not sure what you're asking, OP. Are you asking about "material science" of clothing or design? Another important piece of information: do ALL materials have magic-interfering properties or just monster drops? Would your regular clothing material (linen, leather, silk, cotton, hides and skins) also interfere with magic? $\endgroup$ Jul 13, 2021 at 7:24
  • $\begingroup$ @KerrAvon2055: I did my best to edit the question. Please let me know if I can better improve it. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Jul 19, 2021 at 19:40
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    $\begingroup$ Probably you could fix the issue stating that "mana" and "elements" are different. As a mage/magical Item you absorb mana/energy and change his natural course towards you. A fireball/thunderbolt/poison link/Finger of death is the transmutation of your mana into the element his velocity and vector of movement. $\endgroup$
    – Tridam
    Jul 19, 2021 at 20:04

3 Answers 3

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I think that these two approaches will make the most sense:

  1. Magic-neutral clothing
  2. Magic-complementary clothing

Magic-neutral clothing is clothing that is made of materials that do not create 'magic influence' (magically inert materials). If I understand your system of magic correctly, these materials will have to be enchanted in a special way to become 'inert' (unless materials from non-magical sources are inert). This type of clothing will be ideal for adventurers and mages that prefer a rounded approach (balanced defence-offence) or use multiple elements.

The downside of this type of clothing is that it behaves just like our clothing: It is subject to tear and wear and should be mended often. It can be impractical if adventurers and mages frequently participate in fights where their outfits can be damaged. To resolve this problem you can either use one of the enchantments that add durability or come up with a way to mend clothes magically.

Magic-complementary clothing is clothing made of materials that complement mages/adventurers' magic. This is similar to how min-maxers in video games approach their equipment: Every piece of equipment is chosen to supplement the wearer's abilities. This is a good choice for specialists. Same element clothing should work great for 'glass cannons' with powerful elemental attacks.

You will have to come up with a system for magic influence (since it is originally a video game, the rules can be rather simplistic) and mana absorption rates depending on body coverage (clothing style) and experience (you say that as time goes by magic users learn to absorb mana more efficiently).

It is also worth mentioning that if magic users can learn to maximise the 'magic influences' associated with clothing, they can start wearing more sensible styles and fanservice will be only for new and low-level characters. This will solve the problem of impractical clothing styles for a significant part of magic users.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your answer, it seems a perfect solution to my problem! I must apologize for my poorly phrased OP, I did my best to edit it as soon as I could. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Jul 19, 2021 at 19:45
  • $\begingroup$ @Alendyias I do not find your style of writing to be confusing or poorly worded. You are always careful to include all relevant information in your questions. It is just some people on WB.SE prefer bullet points and are not fond of word problems. Please do not take it to heart. P.S. If you are writing a book, please let me know where I can read it. I really like your project and would love to see the end result. $\endgroup$
    – Otkin
    Jul 19, 2021 at 20:00
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks! It's good to know I'm doing it right. As for the book, I'll let you know when I'm done with the 1st, just know some of my questions are for different storylines. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Jul 19, 2021 at 20:10
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Transmog/Prism

clothing in my setting does not necessarily impair mana absorption

Since clothing isn't an issue in your setting making a piece of cloth look in any way or take any form is decided by the fashion sense of your mage.

Mana Reserve Managment

In some games to simulate that an effect/skill/gear absorbs energy constantly, sets a part of the mana as "Reserved". That means that some spells can't be used with the new limit. Your mages would need to trade some magic stamina or spells in exchange of the protection or effects of the enchanted gear.

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  • $\begingroup$ Good point on MRM, I didn't think of that! So, you believe there'd be a tradeoff between protection and spellcasting. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Jul 19, 2021 at 21:01
  • $\begingroup$ You could use it as a mechanic that allow your characters being more versatil in combat. For example a "Castle Crasher" mage using armor that depletes his mana constantlly but allow them to use a two handed mace with enough force to destroy reinforced doors in a few swings. They just change their attaire, liberate his mana and healr or give support to the troops storming the castle. $\endgroup$
    – Tridam
    Jul 19, 2021 at 21:18
  • $\begingroup$ Ooh, interesting idea! Buffing equipment would definitely be worth the cost, but in some cases may be too much of a risk.... $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Jul 19, 2021 at 23:07
  • $\begingroup$ @Alendyias exactly, other uses could be to restrain the mage of his mana when he is in custody or even cursed equipment that make you forget how to speak or move your hands. $\endgroup$
    – Tridam
    Jul 19, 2021 at 23:31
  • $\begingroup$ Don't worry about the accepted answer, I'll be using part of yours-specifically the idea of managing one's mana reserve-as well. Thanks for your contribution, I really appreciate it! $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Jul 26, 2021 at 22:18
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Get a Magic Wardrobe (lions and witches, anyone?)

The solution seems fairly obvious. Get a magical case in which one hauls around a whole bunch of clothes (or a mundane one :(, if a magical one isn't available). If the wardrobe in question allows for magical quick-change, even better. Regular non-magic clothing is least disruptive to abilities, but the magical clothes give special functions. Put on the appropriate magical pieces when they are needed.

But magical clothing design will be such that magical gear consists of cloaks, jackets, hats and gloves - pieces easy to doff and don, so the positive effects are readily available, but the negative effects are transient.

If a few of the items are essential in a crisis (the magical armor that protects you from ambushes) wear just those pieces, or at least keep them close at hand. The rest of your clothes will be normal ones, so you don't have a bunch of bikini-clad adventurers running around half-naked. Perhaps a few wearing bikinis under their very practical sweaters and breeches.

Sure, ordinary clothes wear out faster. It's a small price to pay.

But what about the folks who don't use mana for much, but still have it? They can pile up with self-regenerating arrow-proof armor all they want. So you may end up having mages (who are dressed non-magically and cast a lot, changing into outfits for specialty casting) and magic users (who don't cast a lot, and don't care so much about mana) so they can use all the items they want.

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  • $\begingroup$ Interesting answer! My version of a video-game inventory (an Adventurer's Bag) would make this a very feasible way of doing things, so it's definitely possible. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Jul 21, 2021 at 0:58
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your answer, it made me realize a good use for my Adventurer's Bag! $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Jul 26, 2021 at 22:19

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