In my world, I'm trying to make my magic based on moving around energy using one's mind. Extremely powerful mages are as powerful as gods, and the most powerful are able to alter physics within limited regions of spacetime.
But the vast majority of magic-users aren't anywhere near as powerful. I'm trying to work in ways that limit the over-powered-ness of magic users. Here's what I've come up with so far:
- To perform any action, you must get your energy from somewhere.
- It is easiest to apply energy using the same type of source energy. For example, if you want to throw something, it is easiest if you take kinetic energy from something else. If you want to make a light, it is easiest to take EM energy from something else.
- As an extension, it's even easier to spin something if you take rotational energy from something else. If you want to make a light, it's even easier to take EM energy of the some wavelength from something else.
- By default, a mage cannot easily apply energy in an area larger than about a cubic quarter meter. If you want to push someone, most people find it hard to apply force across the whole body rather than shoving in the aforementioned region.
- Similarly to the above, a mage cannot easily drain energy from one source or apply energy past a certain level. For example, it is hard to lower something's heat below a certain temperature, or raise it above a certain temperature.
- Moving energy around is not effortless. It requires a great deal of concentration and depletes the user's own energy levels. If you lose control of a fireball spell, the energy of the fireball ends up inside you rather than in a spherical region by your hand. If the user depletes their energy reserves, they can spontaneously combust.
I have the following questions:
- What range of energy extremes should I make the mages able to move around by default? How cold should you be able to make something, and use that thermal energy for spellwork, and not be OP?
- Should I make it so that there isn't perfect efficiency in energy source to spell output? If you take 1000 newtons of force from somewhere, should you only be able to use 900 or 800?
- Is there something else that I should add to make magic harder to perform or less powerful?
- If it isn't beyond the purview of the rules, what is your opinion of this system?