I have been trying to design a magic system for a while now that I'm going to base a project off. And I'm having a bit of trouble. I want the system to be applicable to the creation of an entire world while also maintaining the ability to be used as a working logical system in said world.

So everything is made of Aether it comes in many different forms and is the energy everything is constructed from. The system will have two components:

  • A system in which to create spells that rewrite the 'code of reality into a different form' this is taking the surrounding Aether and transforming it from one material to another. The caster will have a set ability that can be made better over time and so to begin with can only use a set amount of energy in a spell/ program. Each component will have a set cost and will interact based on physics in a sense. Such as heat transfer and conservation of momentum.

    I have a few rules and guidelines so far:

    • The energy is not made from nothing but will be taken from the caster's energy pool. They will have to complete certain actions to expand this pool. But the amount of energy they use in a spell/ program will be dependent on a different statistic. For now this will be called spirit.

    • The components of the spells/ programs will have to be learnt over time so spells/ programs will be very individualized due to some people hiding components from others giving advantages. The casters will be given base components in the beginning.

  • The other is a system of runes that can be interconnected to create a form of construct such as a magic lock or energy relay. On another hand it can be connected to other things to create magical items and devices. I will ask for help with this second part at a later time.

So does anyone have any suggestions for improvement in terms of the first part of the system? Such as extra rules to stop exploits of the system and ways to improve it?

  • $\begingroup$ Be clear on how much energy is taken from the user for a spell. Is the same for every spell or do some spells require more energy? By putting more energy into can you make the spell more powerful or increase the effected area? If to magic users use work together on the same spell can they divided the energy cost between them? these are question that you will have to answer when flush out your magic system. $\endgroup$ – Bryan McClure Oct 23 '17 at 2:29
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    $\begingroup$ As a new user myself to this site, I'm going to give you some advice to hopefully keep you from getting very discouraged like I have at times. Try to make the questions you ask not implore answers that would be extremely opinion based or be very open to an open discussion. This may require narrowing down the question, and then posting another one afterward. I'm not trying to be mean, I just want you to be able to stick around, and sometimes the guidelines of here can elicit strong emotions. $\endgroup$ – LanceLercher Oct 23 '17 at 2:30
  • $\begingroup$ Each component to the spell requires a fixed amount of energy. So let's say to create fire it cost 5 energy, to have it the shape of a ball it cost 2 energy, for every meter for it to travel it an extra 1 energy and for aoe it's another 1 energy per meter. Fire does a base damage of 20 but due to distance over time it depletes. You can increase the energy in each component individually. But the caster only has a set amount he can draw from the energy pool and the pool has a capacity limit too $\endgroup$ – The Last Remnant Oct 23 '17 at 2:36
  • $\begingroup$ I do like the additions of specifics to the mechanics, but like I said, I would suggest editing the question (bottom left corner of your post) so as to maybe say something like "how would friction effect a physics based magic user under these circumstances?" Or something similar that is more defined, and less broad. If you don't, you run the risk of being moved to the chat section, where you may or may not get the answers you desire. $\endgroup$ – LanceLercher Oct 23 '17 at 3:00
  • $\begingroup$ *Aether? or is it intentional spelling $\endgroup$ – somebody Oct 23 '17 at 3:21
  1. Wait what do you mean by physics? Does it mean energy cannot be created or destroyed? And e.g. telekinesis is not possible?
  2. We need basic components to be able to see whether there are any ways it could be abused IMO. What is allowed? What isn't?


  • Everyone has a mana capacity, presumably increasing as they grow stronger
    • Is there a limit of the amount of mana someone can channel at once? e.g. say 50 aether for simultaneous instantaneous spells
  • Components draw a certain amount of mana per use
    • Are there background spells? e.g. a shield that draws like 5mp/min or 5mp to fully regenerate


From OP's comment

  • Elements
    • Fire
    • Water
    • Earth
    • Air
  • Kinetic energy
    • Movement
  • Heat energy
    • Heating - this can possibly be used as an alternative to fire magic
    • Cooling
  • Projectile shape
  • Target area
    • If present gives the spell an area of effect radius
    • Possibly target shape?


  • Pieces of paper with a diagram describing components - this is very hard to decipher so the user does not know the exact spell but can discern the properties of it
  • $\begingroup$ Energy is not created or destroyed just transmuted. Telekinesis could work but in a round about sort of way. E.g. applying movement to it. $\endgroup$ – The Last Remnant Oct 23 '17 at 3:59
  • $\begingroup$ @TheLastRemnant Right. So would cooling be allowed? Since that's like taking away energy? Or is it just heat transfer away from an area $\endgroup$ – somebody Oct 23 '17 at 4:01
  • $\begingroup$ heat transferal in all forms. You could freeze an enemy to death or roast them crispy. That also requires a target component $\endgroup$ – The Last Remnant Oct 23 '17 at 4:03
  • $\begingroup$ do you think there's a better place to move my project to that's easier to keep track of. That also let's other people work on at the same time $\endgroup$ – The Last Remnant Oct 23 '17 at 4:15
  • $\begingroup$ @TheLastRemnant HackMD if you mean collaborative ideas, a SE (or Discord I guess) chat channel to go along with that would be great too $\endgroup$ – somebody Oct 23 '17 at 4:18

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