I try to create element diagram based on Chinese element with a little twist. Then, borrowing the pairing concept of Magic the Gathering, each element combines with its similar and opposites to create new elemental aspect.

It mostly complete but I am still anxious. I want to change some of the vocabulary to be more fantasy flavored and cover the exact meaning.

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As you can see. From Chinese five element scheme I replace metal to Order. Which still the concept of gold, purity and perfection. And I replace Wood with Life to cover the aspect of growth and more kinds of lifeforms; Tree, Vine, Slime, Fungi etc

The outer ring is pairs of nearby elements:

  • Life + Fire = Chaos : It's about power of a natural beast. Powerful, risky and feral. It is opposite to order so I named it chaos.

  • Fire + Earth = Magma : Actually about mountain,lava, seismic and earthquake. I want a better name that could cover all kind of geopowers but could come up with only "Magma Element". Any suggestion?

  • Earth + Order = Metal : The earth-like element with order is metal. It also govern the magnetic force, force that came from ordering the atom.

  • Order + Water = Ice : Order is also govern the static and solidity so It slow thing down. With water it produce the coldest element

  • Life + Water = Poison : This is the most problem for me. Life and Water about variety fluidity and intangibility, both liquid and gas. So I want the name of element that could cover all kind of chemical, include drug and acid or solvent and also mist,fume,oil,glue etc etc. There are no word that has fantasy flavor and cover all these that I can think about. Alchemy or Chemical cannot placed as "Element". Really need help if able

Then there is the inner ring paired from oppose element

  • Life + Earth = Soul : Element about Data, Memory, Knowledge and Emotion of living retrieving and recording from/to earth. Would be used as Enchantment Golem Necromancy and Channelling

  • Fire + Order = Lightning : This also include electricity and I also want to include nuclear and particle (but I hate to have light and darkness element).

  • Earth + Water = Space : Both Earth and Water using telekinesis force. And it about bending fabric of space. The result is like shaping and sculpting mud so I think it is Earth+Water. Beginner will use mud to shape landscape. Expert have potential to use gravity and black hole

  • Order + Life = Time : The underlying rule of life; Purpose, Entropy, Future and Temporal. Main use is entropy to control energy consumption, Regeneration, and hasten

  • Water + Fire = Wind : First I think about steam and vapor. But the water is covering more than that. It govern all fluid. So wind is about moving fluid, wave, cloud, tornado also sound and resonance

This is my 15 elements system which may be used in my game and/or card game. More than suggestion I want you people to review the balance in flavor, both physical and philosophical. Any criticism is welcome.

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    $\begingroup$ There's some precident for Water+Life=Poison. In Frank Herbert's Dune, the Water of Life is actually tremendously poisonous until a Reverend Mother denatures the poison. Personally, I actually like it when a complicated system (with this many elements) has an edge to it, and strange mixings like this suggest that the rules the people play by just might not be the actual rules of the universe. This is especially true if those strange mixings are unstable. $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon Aug 18 '15 at 16:31
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    $\begingroup$ I think this is more appropriate on rpg.stackexchange.com. $\endgroup$ – Samuel Aug 18 '15 at 16:31
  • $\begingroup$ Thaina, welcome to the site. I agree with Samuel I don't think WB.se is the place for this but it is definitely a cool concept and I like your execution. $\endgroup$ – James Aug 18 '15 at 17:50
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    $\begingroup$ I don't think Samuel is right; this question is about world-building, but it seems to me that it would not fit well on any Stack Exchange site. I say this because it's a request for review and critique, rather than a question looking for an answer. I do think it's an interesting system! $\endgroup$ – sumelic Aug 18 '15 at 23:17

The outer circle

It's fine, I'll leave it as is.

The inner circle

It has two problems:

  1. it's not clear. I.e. without reading your explanation, I really had no clue that it was supposed to be read that way.
  2. some pairs are a bit stretched, other pairs are VERY stretched.

Stretched = arbitrary = not really believable. They could as well be random. Yes, yes, you gave an explanation, but give me any random pair and I'll craft you a stretched explanation, and that would likely be on the same level as those.

I'd suggest to remove that entirely, and have it as a bunch of "separate" elements, who interact with the others in different way.

Never force an explanation just because you'd like every element to be created by a couple: only use solid stuff, or your world will break apart.


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