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I am planning an adventure story, focused in the fights, like a shonen anime. For that purpose I want to have a magic system similar to the the shaman's king one (fusing spirits with objects to give them magic powers), but more strategy oriented. So this is what I came up with:

The world will be inhabited by dangerous magic creatures, each one of a concrete element (fire, water, etc.), like Pokemon. Some individuals will have the ability to tame these creatures by defeating them. Once a creature is tamed, it becomes weaker and smaller, but its user can temporarily turn it into a magic weapon (example: a fire snake becomes a fire sword) that only he/she can use.

Each person can tame only two creatures, but with some training, its possible to fuse them in a new and powerful weapon. For example, fusing earth and thunder creatures can create a hammer with magnetic powers, but fusing fire and water can create a steam monster. This state is also temporal (2-4 minutes) and exhaust the creatures once it ends. Also, two fusions made with the same elements can grant distinct powers depending on the user. Last but not least, protagonist’s powers would work a little different. He has a creature of each element (he would find them one by one) and can use two at the same time but he is unable to fusing them. My goal is to make him fight more strategically to compensate for his lack of raw power. My main concern is that the idea seems a little too complicated for and adventure story. In a sense, any character capable of fusing its creatures would have 3 distinct powers. Also, the fusion could be either a weapon or a new creature that fight for its user (again, like Pokemon). To resolve this I came up with 2 ideas:

1-Turn both creatures and their fusion in the same weapon if they have the same user. The only difference would be its element. My only problem is that this would make the fusion feels less special.

2-Replace the creatures with elemental crystals, which only could be used in tandem (the equivalent to the fusions). I like this, because I’m not planning to explore in detail the person-creature relationship but I also feel that this change removes the small power scale that the original system has.

In your opinion, what option is the best to achieve my goal and why? Or do think that the original system is fine? Thanks in advance.

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  • $\begingroup$ Please clarify your specific problem or provide additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it's hard to tell exactly what you're asking. $\endgroup$
    – Community Bot
    Jul 13, 2022 at 6:08
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    $\begingroup$ Welcome Alexis. Please take our tour and refer to the help center for guidance (as you should on any site on the network). You'll find that we take single focussed questions that can be answered with a single identifiable "best" answer. What you have here is soliciting opinions at present and is likely to be closed as "opinion-based" - unless you're able to edit it to ask a specific on-topic question. See: How to Ask for more details. $\endgroup$ Jul 13, 2022 at 6:50
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    $\begingroup$ I don't understand : Are you asking about whether your system is too complex for its own good, or what option you should choose between fusing and elemental crystals? I'd advise to go for the first question to avoid closure (other is very opinion-based), but in any case you have to ask only one at the same time. And... In both cases, you should tell what your audience is : younger audiences will have an harder time following complex systems and so could change answers. $\endgroup$ Jul 13, 2022 at 6:56
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    $\begingroup$ Your rules are fine. It is just a matter of pacing to explain them to the viewer. With the correct pacing even the most nonsensical rules can be turned into a compelling story. $\endgroup$
    – Daron
    Jul 13, 2022 at 13:40
  • $\begingroup$ @Tortliena I thought that I had made it clear what I was asking for but it's obvious that I should have explained my problem more concisely. I will remember it. And thanks for the advice about the audience (teenagers and young adults in this case). $\endgroup$ Jul 14, 2022 at 2:44

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Sounds fine

This sounds fine for a Shonen anime style series. If the pacing is done right of course.

The rules break up nicely into pieces. The protagonist and viewers learn the rules over several episodes, one piece per episode or one piece per baddy.

For each of the following pieces you should design a fight or sequence of fights where the protagonist has to learn the rules in order to win.

The world will be inhabited by dangerous magic creatures, each one of a concrete element (fire, water, etc.), like Pokemon. Some individuals will have the ability to tame these creatures by defeating them.

This is really background and should be established before the first fight.

Once a creature is tamed, it becomes weaker and smaller

This is learnt in the episode where the protagonist catches their first monster and it becomes less awesome than it was before.

This is a big twist. The protagonist gets bruised and bloodied trying to catch a gnarly dragon monster so much cooler than the school bully's spikey dog monster. But when they finally catch it at the end of the episode the dragon turns into an adorable baby kitten.

This is a blow to our hero's self-confidence, but sets the theme for the rest of the series. Being the best battle-mon champion is not about pure talent or enthusiasm. It is about hard work and tactics.

The rest of the first arc the protagonist spends catching other stupid baby monsters, trying to combine the kitten with something else to make it cooler. This never works. Eventually they learn there is no easy way to victory. They must defeat the bully by using their stupid babies tactically.

its user can temporarily turn it into a magic weapon that only he/she can use.

This is learnt in the second or third fight where the protagonist has to make their monster into a weapon to defeat their opponent's weapon.

Each person can tame two creatures,

Wow, that guy has a turtle AND a fish!

Each person can tame ONLY two creatures.

This is the twist at the end of the first arc. After defeating the bully using their six stupid babies, everyone else is like wow, how did you get more than two monsters. You must be special.

See the episode of Pokemon where Ash catches a Crabby.

It is possible to fuse two creatures in a new and powerful weapon.

See every episode of Pokemon where a Pokemon evolves. Or Digimon where the Digimon digi-combine.

This state is also temporal (2-4 minutes) and exhaust the creatures once it ends.

See Dragonball where new transformations wear off fast and exhaust the user.

Also, two fusions made with the same elements can grant distinct powers depending on the user.

See Pokemon evolution mid battle and also Digimon again.

In a sense, any character capable of fusing its creatures would have 3 distinct powers. Also, the fusion could be either a weapon or a new creature that fight for its user (again, like Pokemon).

This is not a problem since in Pokemon each player has up to six powers.

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  • $\begingroup$ Reminder for those doubting : In Pokemon, you have more than an hundred creatures. They all have an element and there's like, a lot more than the classic "air/fire/water/earth". Each element is strong against several others and weak against others to varying degrees, with sub-rules depending on creature (like Bewear, my favorite one. And the only one I know x) ). And all have a wide variety of skills and sizes. Did that prevent kids from understanding and playing the game(s)? Given the millions of copies sold... No :p. $\endgroup$ Jul 13, 2022 at 14:04
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    $\begingroup$ @Tortliena On top of that, many of the type advantages in Pokémon make much less sense that "water puts out fire". To this day no one knows why psychic beats poison beats fighting. $\endgroup$
    – Daron
    Jul 13, 2022 at 14:23
  • $\begingroup$ I chose your answer because it tell very clearly how can I explain and expand my system through the story. $\endgroup$ Jul 14, 2022 at 2:47
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I think so. In a way.

Shows like Pokemon thrive on their creature to human relationships. But since you have no interest in detailing the creature to human relationship than may I suggest removing it altogether. Half-assing those relationships would add little to the story, whilst complicating the writing process. Though it may provide an easy avenue for some "fan service". The change I propose would be:

The world will be inhabited by dangerous magic creatures, each one of a concrete element (fire, water, etc.), like Pokemon. Once defeated the hart of such a creature turns to stone before dissipating its magic into thin air. Some individuals, if they are quick enough, can fuse that magical energy into one of their hands. These individuals can use the magic fused in their hands to create a magical weapon. The protagonist is the only one that can store the energy in their torso. And still can only produce a weapon in a hand. (of which the have only two ;P)

The rest should be fine. Fusing magics makes it more powerful and it can only be used in desperate times due to the cost. this is simple enough to understand.

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    $\begingroup$ This is still skidding around the raised issue : If you want to provide an answer, I believe you should tell why human-to-creature relationships is making things over-complicated, rather than say having many elements or how the weapon conversion system works. Then you can bring your alternative, proving it's simpler when you remove this element :). $\endgroup$ Jul 13, 2022 at 9:10
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    $\begingroup$ @Tortliena done. i hope. (i didn't provide it earlier due to OP saying that they were not interested in detailing human-to-creature relationships) $\endgroup$ Jul 13, 2022 at 9:27
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I generally find that complex systems of rules are much easier to understand if the rules are intuitive - if your audience can understand why a rule exists. So, in your system, why is there a hard limit of two creatures a person can tame - why not three or four or more? Makes even less sense with crystals. Why does this limit not exist for the protagonist?

I think it would be better if in theory a person can have as many creatures as they want but there is something that makes it difficult to carry more than a small number - at most two for most people. That way you could have a small number of high-level adversaries that have as much tactical flexibility as your protagonist.

Then, the fusion ability. I understand that it's supposed to be this cool and powerful ability. What you'd expect is that either your protagonist is the only one who can use it and that is what makes them special and protagonisty. Or, only a limited number of elite adversaries can use this ability and that is what makes them especially dangerous. It's really weird for everyone but the protagonist to have this ability.

It would be better I think to have the fusion ability limited to members of one organization. Maybe fusion ability is a secret this organization keeps from everyone else or maybe you need special training that only this organization gives its members.

At the end of the day though this is your story so you can make the systems as simple or as complicated as you want.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the advice. I want the protagonist to have more powers (creatures) than the rest to make his battles more diverse (because he is the character that will fight the most). But at the same time I want him to be "weaker" than his opponents with access to fusions, to force him to fight more strategically. $\endgroup$ Jul 14, 2022 at 2:57
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A general rule: if you've designed something you think is cool, but on second thoughts you're concerned it's too complicated, your concerns are probably valid.

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    $\begingroup$ Not necessarily. You can make very complex systems which are very cool. Or not. It depends of the targeted audience, the style you want and (a lot) the way you present it. $\endgroup$ Jul 13, 2022 at 7:02

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