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I want to create a world where magic is based on the elements. How would the respective elements have an impact on society?

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    $\begingroup$ Ever watched Avatar: The last airbender? You could start from there, and kick up some level. $\endgroup$ – Ngoc Feb 21 '16 at 12:58
  • $\begingroup$ I assume you mean the traditional four elements, not the ones in the periodic table? $\endgroup$ – Tom Zych Feb 21 '16 at 16:31
  • $\begingroup$ yeah the traditional elements $\endgroup$ – Afadua Feb 21 '16 at 17:28
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    $\begingroup$ Hey, welcome to Worldbuilding. Unfortunately this question appears to be too vague. In order for magic to mean something on this site, it needs to have it's limitations defined. There is a near infinite number of answers to this question. It also falls afoul of the broad target scope of 'society'. Idea generation question, that is, questions that have a very large possible set of answers, are off topic on this site. $\endgroup$ – Mourdos Feb 21 '16 at 22:29
  • $\begingroup$ I recommend taking a look at: worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/127/… $\endgroup$ – Mourdos Feb 21 '16 at 22:32
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Yes. The ability manipulate water would impact both medicine and trade. A large percentage of your body is made of water a doctor with the ability to manipulate water would be extremely effective. And a mage that could manipulate the sea could vastly increase the speed of trade ships. This could have a vast impact on culture and the overall spread of ideas.

The ability to manipulate air. Could I have an impact on farming. Droughts had devastating consequences to the ancient world. If you have farmers that could manipulate the wind to blow rain clouds to your nation or country you could vastly increase your amount of food production which would then increase your population and overall health and wealth of your nation. If your air mages were powerful enough to fly then they can serve as a postal system quickly sending messages from one location to another.

The ability to manipulate fire and/or heat would be extremely useful to a chemist or scientist. Many chemical reactions require a large amount of heat.

The ability to Earthbend would completely revolutionize the construction of cities and monuments. If your mages could also manipulate metal then could be even more useful to construction. Skyscrapers and Great Pyramid size monuments could become commonplace.

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