Set in the 16th - 17th century CE, many people would climb Mt Everest to attend a school that promises to impart magic to those who show up.

Those who are bestowed with such skills similar to D&D style must pass both the entrance and final exams in order to graduate and is allowed to keep the magic until either they are emotionally compromised or they depart from the world of the living.

In order to pass the entrance exam the candidates must check into the designated hotel rooms and lick the lamp-post outside the building and then sworn an oath, the successful candidates will take theory and practical lessons from the Sorcerer Supreme and the Sorcerer's Apprentices. The final exam requires the student to create a man sized snowman then carry it to the foot of the mountain while braving an avalanche, it is meant to test the subject's ability to focus on task at hands while not letting their emotion get in their way.

I'm writing a handbook for the fresh year student and also those who are interested in magic and likes to become a student here, the problem is to determine which emotions should be kept in check while performing magic? on the other hand certain emotions is encouraged to increase the odd of success.

Best answer must be delivered to the mailbox outside the designated hotel in person and to be read aloud, don't bother the lamp post its very crowded and the loudest wins.

  • $\begingroup$ I spaced a bit, as I think it is more readable that way. Don't hesitate to roll back or edit again, if you disagree. Nevertheless, I don't think this is answerable in a correct way: we don't know the magic system, how it works, etc. You mention that certain emotions are encouraged. Which ones? Why? $\endgroup$ Nov 3 '15 at 7:22
  • $\begingroup$ @bilbo_pingouin: in my example the student taking the final exam will experience fear however fear helps to start the body flight response, anger maybe however some research shows that creativity peaks when we are very angry, probably disgust and then again such feeling is probably why we avoid some suspicious things and keep us out of harm way and the list goes on. $\endgroup$
    – user6760
    Nov 3 '15 at 7:30
  • $\begingroup$ To those who didn't make it to the top(a.k.a close voters): don't despair btw is it an emotion anyway I've concocted some back stories which is consistent with rules of worldbuilding and explained why I need to do this and I'm sure there are rooms for negotiation or how about I relocate the institute to lower altitude and plant more lamp posts? $\endgroup$
    – user6760
    Nov 3 '15 at 7:54
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Every feeling has an use. From what I read I think you're looking for an useless emotion which does not exists. Also, your wizard strongly make me think of Jedis. $\endgroup$
    – Ephasme
    Nov 3 '15 at 9:54
  • $\begingroup$ @user6760: The issue isn't with the facts of the question, it's with the premise of the question: This is going to be entirely based on peoples opinions of emotions, and a comprehensive answer will have to include a list of all emotions and their combinations and why they shouldn't be used (by the way, we have no reference as to why emotion is important to your magic system). That's the reason for the close voting, not the difficulty in reaching the school or the mailbox answer delivery. $\endgroup$
    – Joe Bloggs
    Nov 3 '15 at 17:25

Your wizards should keep all their emotions and feel them fully. The school should encourage them to feel fully and for practice even use emotion magic to induce strong emotions artificially so that students will be familiar with them.

Why is this? Suppressing your emotions under normal circumstances means you never learn to deal with higher level emotions. If you never feel fear, then the first time you face a Dragon or a Demon you will totally fall a part with all the unfamiliar feelings you never learned to deal with. With rather bad timing too. And if you are taught to never feel love then every time you feel attraction to somebody is a major issue to be suppressed. And if you really fall hard it means turning your back on the order and all you have been taught.

The optimal strategy here is to accept that there will always be unexpected events that subject your students to emotions beyond that you have taught them to suppress and simply teach them to focus while under influence of emotions. It is not only easier to teach, but more importantly it will keep working just fine even then the students inevitably are faced with stress and distraction beyond your expectation.

And no, it is not the way most such orders either in fiction or real world handle the issue. But this is because religious reasons lead the people to favour ascetic life and remove themselves from the world and its distractions. An order that just uses a distant location for security or secrecy would not be compelled to follow such route.

  • $\begingroup$ I like yr answer better but I can't upload the map in the comment, no worry you won't get lost just follow the bodies and r&r between intervals. Btw I'm away look for the abominable snowman instead.😘 $\endgroup$
    – user6760
    Nov 3 '15 at 10:10

I'm not entirely sure how all of the extra info (what the test is, etcetera) matters directly... The question is about which emotions are good/bad for doing magic, correct?

I'm going to make a distinction between emotions felt in general while performing magic, and emotions on the actual wizards' test.

On the test, the goal is most likely to be able to perform magic without acknowledging emotion. No fear, no anger, no love, no compassion, no happiness, no sadness. The purpose of this rule is to ensure that, even under intense pressure, the wizard would be able to think calmly, rationally, and objectively.

In normal use of magic, however, which emotions are good/bad for magic would be much more based on the situation. Obviously, a wizard would ideally still keep all of his/her emotions under control, for the most control over his/her magic. The key word there is "ideally" -- a regulation likely set by the wizard school for the purpose of limiting liability. In everyday use of magic, this objectivity would likely not be kept, and emotions would in some way affect the wizard's magic.

  • Fear would make it much more difficult to summon the concentration to cast a spell; however, if a state of mind approaching this concentration could be reached, the wizard may lash out with the magic and do something which wasn't intended, or some new, improvised magic.
  • Anger might make it easier to attempt to cast something, but such an attempt would almost certainly be lacking in control and target.
  • Love/compassion may lend themselves to strengthening a spell, but might cause the caster to try to rush through the spell/invocation, resulting in the spell malfunctioning.

Essentially, allowing yourself to feel no emotions would be the optimal state of control over a spell. Many emotions would probably increase the amount/power of magic the wizard tries to control, but would make it harder to control the magic. However, it all depends on how you want to set up your system of magic, which wasn't clear to me from the way the question was phrased (but that might just be my problem).


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