I have come to a dead end in a building my magic-system. The various types of magic all have sub-types called aspects. For example

Radiant magic has the aspects of...

  • Fire(Heat).
  • Light.
  • Electricity

Spirit magic has the aspects of...

  • Thought
  • Emotion
  • Memory
  • Vitality.

Originally Life magic "Aspect:Vitality" was going to be it's own category. Then I thought about the concept of mind/soul and body unity, psychic energy(Thought,Emotion,Memory) and Life-force(Vitality) could be united into one phenomenon and type of magic.

However I'm having trouble splitting Dynamism magic,the type of magic that creates and manipulates physical force into aspects.

The idea that I currently have is to divide Dynamism based upon how force interacts with matter.

  • Kinetics/fortis moves matter.

  • Vibrancy can alter temperature and effect the structure of matter by altering molecular-oscillation(I really hope I'm using the correct terms).

  • Tractus alters the inertia or mass of an and is based around the idea that both properties are the result of forces exerting drag on matter.

Is there a better way to do this.

  • $\begingroup$ What are you trying to accomplish with your magic system? If you're hitting a dead end building it up from details into a functioning magic system, then you might want to explore taking it the other direction (starting with how you want the magic system to function, and trying to see how it would have to behave), and seeing if that may change or improve some of your rules. $\endgroup$
    – Cort Ammon
    Commented Aug 31, 2015 at 3:00
  • $\begingroup$ Actually I did start with what I wanted the magic-system to be. It's meant to duplicate the common psionic powers plus a few additional abilities such alchemy. However the scope of the powers felt to nebulous,so i began splinting the different types of magic into aspects,creating narrowly defined categories of magic. Radiance was easy to break into aspects because Heat,Light and Electricity are all just different forms of radiant energy. Dynamism, not so much. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 31, 2015 at 5:31
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    $\begingroup$ Perhaps you could try not breaking Dynamism at first, and just playing around with it as a whole. Eventually, the best categorization may appear as a consequence of your play. Sort of thinking "bottom up" instead of "top down." $\endgroup$
    – Cort Ammon
    Commented Aug 31, 2015 at 5:44

3 Answers 3


The ideas you already have sound like they'd work just fine, but here's some alternatives that may help spark some ideas for you (I don't know your naming convention, so my names are bland):

If it's an application of physical force like telekinesis, you may have an easier time splitting it up based on how it's used (like D&D damage types):

  1. Blunt: Applying force equally to an object's surface area in order to push or smash it. More skillful practitioners can apply more force more quickly and steadily to push heavier objects, or smash tougher ones.
  2. Sharp: Applying force in as narrow a linear area as possible, to cut objects. More skillful practitioners could apply their force to smaller areas; a novice could cut a person's arm, whereas an expert could chop it off. A master could apply force between the atoms of a bar of iron and slice perfectly through it. This would require far less actual force than trying to push an object, but it has limited utility (ie, you can't nonviolently restrain someone).
  3. "Sonic": This goes along with your Vibrancy idea, as an extension of the blunt and sharp aspects; with less raw strength than Blunt, or extreme precision as Sharp. A novice could rattle a wooden door to splinters (lacking the strength to smash it, or precision to cut it). An expert could do the same thing to a stone wall. A master could reduce an iron door to molten metal by vibrating its molecules so fast that it turns to liquid. Basically, they could liquefy just about any substance.
  4. Negation: This is the opposite of all of the above, drawing kinetic energy out of an object. A novice could make a rain of arrows fall to the ground at a quarter of their normal range. An expert could cause a platoon of crossbowmen's bolts to fall to the ground in a few feet, and a master could cause siege engines (catapults, ballistas, trebuchets) to do the same. This has less utility than the other three aspects, but it renders a practitioner pretty much immune to any kinetic attacks (ie, you couldn't stab one, because they'd continually sap the force of your attack, and you'd feel like you were stabbing a slab of diamond).

Hopefully some of this is useful for you, but if it doesn't fit with your existing system, I suggest posting a few more examples of what you've already created and we can try to work along that same theme.

EDIT: Added a fourth suggestion, since I saw your example of "Spirit Magic" had four aspects.

  • $\begingroup$ Yeah it is an application of force(like the D&D damage) which is why I was struggling to split it. In the back of my mind a voice just keeps saying"all force is the same" so force based magic should be able to do everything. Yet I need the exact opposite for the system to work. Blunt/Sharp are both Kinetics. Sonics or Sonorous magic is better and more evocative then vibrancy, and I imagined it behaving like a vibrating-wave,instead of Kinetics/fortis which is a force-field almost a physical object. One flows through objects the other Impacts them. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 31, 2015 at 16:20
  • $\begingroup$ Adamantine and Mercurial are the division of dynamism that I've settled on. Your breakdown really helped me out. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 2, 2015 at 16:50
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    $\begingroup$ Cool, glad to hear it! $\endgroup$
    – Liesmith
    Commented Sep 2, 2015 at 17:06

Maybe split it according to the various states of matter:

  • gas/air
  • liquids
  • solids

Actually these states of matter are quite different energetically and exhibit very different dynamics in how they interact with other energy and matter.

If you need a fourth aspect, consider plasma, which is the fourth (though less common) state of mater.

  • $\begingroup$ That's actually a very good Idea and I had considered something very similar as an explanation for why telekinetic are mostly shown using their power on solids. Ones telekinetic "touch" operated on at various frequencies. One for each phase of matter with solid as the lowest and air as the highest. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 1, 2015 at 5:03

Well, in your question, you make it sound like your approaching the magic system from several different types of magic system. Though you can you can use different magic systems together, this can make it more difficult to catorigize magic.

In your first example, radiance magic, you aproach it from an elemental aspect magic system. Splitting magic/nature into different parts and then mixing them to produce different results.

If you apply the same kind of system to the second magic, then you should be able to use air to cause objects to move and then use fire/heat to cause the molecule objects to vibrate.

  • $\begingroup$ Radiance was easy to break into aspects because Heat,Light and Electricity are all just different forms of radiant energy. Spirit magic was also easy to aspect because the things that make up a being are Thought,Emotion,Memory and Vitality. Force is just force, it doesn't have readily identifiable elements. The aspects of Kinetics,Vibrancy and Tractus,are based around the effects that force has on matter. Propulsion,Vibration and inertia. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 31, 2015 at 5:17

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