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I am an archeology student. And as with everything I am fascinated by the ancient Greeks. So I am working on this system based on some of their actual beliefs mixed with some original ideas.

One point of my system is about daimones. Nature spirits that are either benevolent or malevolent. Through binding magic a mage can binds them to their soul and invokes some of their power as needed. There are good and bad daimones from 8 different domains. A mage binds one spirit per domain either good or bad but not both. So a mage can have 8 daimones at one time. After invoking a spirit the binding is broken and a new daimon must be bound. You can use the powers of invoked daimones 24 hours. If you use two at once it's 12 hours each. 3 and it's six hours and so on. Depending on the daimon you get one of 16 effects.

My question is what effects must be changed to follow some form of logic? And which domains must be added to cover the whole spectrum of a human being?

Here is my list:

Spreadsheet

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1hrbitrD_5Opb4YTND8HOA2I8WXZWbjq44mZggIFTXKs/edit

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closed as too broad by dsollen, Frostfyre, JDługosz, Hohmannfan, bilbo_pingouin Jun 19 '16 at 7:29

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to the site Demophon. Couple things regarding your question. 1. As mentioned above, please post the content here. Links are good but only as reference material. If it is crucial to understanding a post it should be in the question text. 2. Magic questions are notoriously difficult to ask because generally speaking the answer is...whatever you want so long as it is logically consistent, so I have a hunch the question may be closed, but its hard to be sure without the additional content. $\endgroup$ – James Jun 10 '16 at 18:28
  • $\begingroup$ If you have questions about the site check out the help center and once you hit 20 rep feel free to visit Worldbuilding Chat. Chat is a great place to discuss topics that may not be a great fit for the SE question and answer format. $\endgroup$ – James Jun 10 '16 at 18:30
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    $\begingroup$ One comment og the choice of domains. I'm not sure if you intended this, but they do kinda come off like a rpg chart. If you're interested in ancient history, why don't you try a spin on it, like basing them on the seven virtues and seven sins? They should give you a lot more to borrow from in already existing ideas of humanity. link to wikipedia for further reading: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_virtues $\endgroup$ – Martine Votvik Jun 10 '16 at 21:14
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    $\begingroup$ ah, I got you wrong about justice. justice in the positive could be an ability to judge quickly what is the right choice in a chaotic situation, a clear head unmuddled by fear or doubt. justice in negative could be making other people act without thinking about negative consequenses of their choices. $\endgroup$ – Martine Votvik Jun 11 '16 at 9:18
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    $\begingroup$ I think its time to call it quits here close down the thread and for me to revamp my magic system. I spent a week thinking about this and all it took you was 10 minutes. Gotta say thanks @all. I'll be definitely back. I hope you don't mind if i blatantly steal this idea. $\endgroup$ – Demophon Jun 11 '16 at 9:26
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Reading through the comments I am having a tough time figuring out if this thread is still active, but I do have a few ideas.

Firstly, you ask what must be changed to follow some form of logic? As noted, magic usually isn't very logically, however I understand what you mean by this and to me it seems like an additional (9th) domain might be useful (since 7 doesn't seem to work as you mentioned in the comments) to ensure some sort of balance. That is, a rock-paper-scissors mechanic. The main reason to use an RPS mechanic is to make sure that no single ability, or any combination thereof, is head-and-shoulders better than the others. If this were the case, there would be no real reason to ever use the other spirits, or for that matter include them in your world, thus my suggestion to add a 9th.

A functioning rock-paper-scissors mechanic can only work with an odd number of features. The ability to bind multiple spirits complicates the system, but the combinatorics exist to sort the problem out. My initial suggestion to simplify things here would be to only allow 3 spirits at any given time. This works well as a multiple of 9, and still gives an 24-, 12-, 8-hour time span feature as you mentioned. Should you decide to go that route and run into a specific problem developing a balanced scheme, that may make for an excellent follow-up question.

As far as which domains must be added to cover the whole spectrum of a human being? my initial thought was to add a creativity/ingenuity type category, but it would be hard to specify what exactly that might do, especially for the malevolent spirit. One idea that does seem to flow would be an Emotion category. The benevolent spirit would add empathy and the ability to relate to people, thus making them more likely to support your cause. The malevolent form would make you cold hearted and distant, which may be useful for making those "tough" decisions. Just an idea.

One other thing: the malevolent Appearance spirit doesn't seem fitting. Instead what if that spirit made you intimidating to others. People would be scared of you and thus less likely to oppose you, but also less likely to support your efforts.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your answer and the ideas. The domain of emotion is pretty good thought. $\endgroup$ – Demophon Jun 12 '16 at 16:24
  • $\begingroup$ Gives me the opportunity to additionally slot the domains into body, mind, soul configurations. Don't know what that will do though. As an intrinsically lazy person and because I'm an uncreative idiot I actually to got with a seven sins lay out for myth inspired setting because the comments above solved my problems with that. But I have an older world-building project where this will come in really handy as a revamped magic system. Rework on appearance on the list thx. $\endgroup$ – Demophon Jun 12 '16 at 16:39
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    $\begingroup$ Makes me think of lie groups in math. Different factors can combine in ways that are mixed together. Blending a spell might be like trying to sove a Rubik's cube! $\endgroup$ – JDługosz Jun 12 '16 at 22:08
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Honestly, it feels a bit too D&D/vatican for a world. The exact "you can have X spirits" and "the more spirits you have the more the decrease in this manner" is so very...exact. In real life there is variation, one person can run longer then another, or some are better at multi tasking then others etc. I would build in allot more wiggle room for variation amongst people. I would also better explain why someone can only bind spirits in such a way, what limits them from having more bound or not releasing them etc?

Also, if a mage has to spend effort binding spirits, and can get as much out of one spirit as he can out of 8, why bind 8. Yes versatility is nice, but laziness is common in humans as well :P.

Thus a few things I would say, to keep with the general principle but better explaining why it exists and add wiggle room:

1) A mage can bind one/more spirits as long as they are able to, though it's nearly impossible to keep the mental focus required to keep a spirit bound when sleeping, thus spirits often are not bound for more then a day.

2) actively using a spirit tends to be draining on a mages power reserves. Using multiple spirits tends to exhaust them faster for obvious reasons, thus the reason that using 8 spirits generally tends to result in only being able to use them for 1/8 as long. However, strong mages may be able to do this for longer, it's not as exact as 1/8 as long for 8 spirits and mages and their spirits vary.

2b) weaker mages tend to only bind a few spirits, because they lack energy to support multiple. as mages get stronger they tend to bind more because while they can't keep a spirit bound for longer then a day they may have the energy to use a spirit for a day and use another bound spirit for awhile if they have stronger control.

3) spirits are 'competitive' in nature. While individual spirits tend to not care about a spirit of another domain they tend to react strongly to one of the same domain. Thus it's very hard to bind two spirits of the same domain (good or bad), and almost never worth doing instead of binding a spirit of another domain.

4) It is possible, in theory, to bind spirits again after the first binding in the morning, if you expanded all your bound spirits. However, to bind new spirits you must first release all your current spirits; you can't keep the 'lock' on bound spirits while drawing in new ones. It's also exhausting, magically, to bind spirits. Thus binding a new spirit during the middle of the day isn't common because they will have to do a magically exhausting binding again during the day, after already exhausting some of their energy using a bound spirit, and generally it's too exhausting to be worth doing.

5) You probably want to make sure your spirits aren't sentient, or else you get into lots of moral ethics about binding them. If they aren't sentient then the idea of a "good" spirit or "evil" spirit is meaningless, non sentient beings can't have ethics. In addition, it seems odd to have exactly two classes of spirits, but no more; no morally-neutral spirits etc. I notice, however, that your 'good' spirits always affect you and your 'evil' spirits always affect others. I would consider changing it to be that they only bind one type of spirit, but they bind it in one of two ways, to affect themselves, or affect others.

5b) I would suggest that the two classes of spirits (good/evil) are simply the most common/easiest ways of binding spirits. Other binding options exist, but people tend to stick with what is easiest and proven to work. Thus the list is not an exhaustive, and oddly exact, list of what can be done; just the common practical uses. Innovative, powerful, or just unusual individuals may bind spirits in different manner.

5c) the spirits you listed are not the only spirits in the world, just the most commonly bound.

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  • $\begingroup$ Your criticism is well founded thx. The things i laid out above are the barebones to my magic system. Which i have already a good handle on. What i had problems with were the effects of my binding magic, there are other branches to it. There are other limitations in place as well, I just didn't list everything, because i needed only help with the effects. And I had the gnawing feeling i was missing something. So if the system seems only half-baked, it most likely is because i only offered the bare bones of what i had trouble with, I didn't want to post 10 pages of the rules and limits in place $\endgroup$ – Demophon Jun 14 '16 at 0:02
  • $\begingroup$ 5. am going of Greek myth a lot so the 2 forms of spirits are intentional. The template is good ones bring good fortune bad ones bad fortune, never heard of neutral fortune. You don't want bad fortunes so the bad ones effect your surroundings, and the good ones won't bring bad so they buff the mage. There are higher order spirits but they eat mortals for breakfast and are sentient (Those were gods like Nemesis or Eris in Greek myth.). The lower orders are little better than animals, the carrier pigeons for gods. Bringing good or bad in their name. Just mortal mages learned to use them to. $\endgroup$ – Demophon Jun 14 '16 at 0:06
  • $\begingroup$ 3. is exactly why only one spirit per domain $\endgroup$ – Demophon Jun 14 '16 at 0:12
  • $\begingroup$ 2. is exactly what i am going with in story for convenience sake i just didn't go into specifics and assumed what equates to an archmage $\endgroup$ – Demophon Jun 14 '16 at 0:14
  • $\begingroup$ 1. in universe binding magic holds for about a week, than the spirit is able to influence the binder, mostly leads to hearing voices and a fast walk into magic, length varies of course $\endgroup$ – Demophon Jun 14 '16 at 0:15
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I have one more for you should have 1. speed

benevolent: Increases your seep and reflects for a short time.

Malevolent slow your enemies

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