Questions tagged [magic]

For questions that have to do with magic, as opposed to science/technology. Remember to explain any limits.

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243
votes
22answers
43k views

What's the smallest change to physics required to allow magic?

Yesterday my 7-year-old daughter asked me: Why can't I do magic for real? I answered: because of the law of conservation of energy! And I briefly explained this law. Thus she grumbled "a single ...
46
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7answers
30k views

If accelerated natural healing were to occur, what would happen to the human body?

The Details: The human body is capable of impressive acts of self-repair, but such processes take a lot of time, and can take a toll on the body. Infection or other complications can also develop, and ...
76
votes
33answers
29k views

If magic is real, can it be true that rational scientific thought should exclude it?

"Magic and science coexist." A tired phrase by now, because it's found in so much fiction. But can it make sense? Assume a world broadly parallel to our own. It has experienced its Age of ...
72
votes
14answers
7k views

Must magic be tied to medieval tech?

Most settings with a magical component, whether this means wizards, magical races, or something similar, seem to be parked at a medieval level of development in terms of technology and society. Is ...
134
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17answers
12k views

A Most Subtle Magic

Rynn is not flashy at all. In fact, you would be forgiven to think she's a bit of an introvert. Sure, the people in the town are strangely reluctant to talk to you about her, but you are a newcomer, ...
39
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19answers
13k views

What can be used as a money in a high-fantasy magic world where noble metals are in practical use?

Imagine a high-fantasy magic world where magic has the place of a science. Noble/rare metals – such as silver, gold, platinum – have the ability to conduct magic energy, which is commonly used in all ...
44
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9answers
5k views

Wondering what would happen if magic was constrained by Conservation of Energy

Would throwing a fireball leave a trail of frost in its wake? Would transmuting too much lead into gold cause a small meltdown? Would collecting enough power to cast a really big spell like causing ...
24
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4answers
2k views

How much can a magician lift if constrained by her own body's energy?

In Christopher Paolini's Inheritance Cycle ( the Eragon books ), magic works in a very specifically defined way. A magician can only use magic as far as his own bodily strength would be able to take ...
8
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9answers
3k views

How to defeat a nature Mage?

I have a Mage who wields more power than any other (think a hundred thousand normal Mages). He gathered an army of cat warriors from the Guderian forest to his banner and attacked the Kingdom. The cat ...
50
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14answers
13k views

Explaining where energy comes from to power magic

I'm trying to create a realistic magic system, this may be a lost cause. Imagine in our story we have a wizard who wants to cast a spell to start a fire. In some magic systems there are magic words, ...
17
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16answers
2k views

Science, Religion, Magic: Can they be maintained in equal and parallel opposition?

This has been a burning question of mine for many years: If magic is real, can it be true that rational scientific thought should exclude it? In the course of discussing it, I've realized I need to ...
33
votes
19answers
8k views

Why would a magic world be stuck in medieval times?

This is related to Must magic be tied to medieval tech?, but not the same. So the setup: There are two worlds, one is Earth, as it is now, with all its history. The other is a magic world, with an ...
12
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6answers
2k views

Can magic BE or directly work as science?

So I have a couple of stories I'm writing (I find it helps brainstorming better) and am wondering if magic can function quite literally as science. In one of my stories, I have a character who ...
14
votes
4answers
815 views

If only the sun's light went out, how long would it take for all living things to die out?

If by some form of magic, the sun went out, but the earth was still warm a.k.a the Earth did not just freeze and kill us all, who would die first, and how long would it take for all terrestrial living ...
31
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4answers
5k views

What would happen if magic was constrained by the second law of thermodynamics

This is a followup question to the question Wondering what would happen if magic was constrained by Conservation of Energy and it's related to this post. This question asks which sources of energy ...
22
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8answers
5k views

How to promote nationalism for a multi-racial kingdom, against other such multi-racial kingdoms

So, I have an empire, many political notes about which can be found here, although I will put more relevant notes here as well. There are many fantasy races, all of them some form of animal person, ...
14
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10answers
3k views

Realistic Airships

I'm looking for an answer concerning a steam powered airship. The steam is generated via coal burning. The ship is propelled by an X amount of steam engine propellers (think Besler steam plane). The ...
23
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10answers
2k views

The role of anthropomorphic foxes in a medieval army

In my universe I am designing anthropomorphic foxes similar in appearance to the japanese mythological kitsune. For those who are familiar with the game League of Legends: Ahri is a good example of ...
6
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3answers
2k views

How to escape a horde of worms using magic with minimal injury? [closed]

Background An evil Nature Mage (named Erilius) resides in a tropical forest where he has abundant access to local life (of which all the flora and fauna except people can be controlled by him) and ...
24
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7answers
3k views

Magic as Luck Control

Note: A fair bit of setting-lore is laid out in the more subtle magic question, so it might be worth paying that a visit, if you haven't already. The sky is dark and gloomy in the swamplands, the ...
24
votes
12answers
5k views

In a world with magic, who would govern?

In our non-magical reality, feudal nobility is postulated to have evolved from warlords - an armed man in charge of a group of armed men. Since they can intimidate less-well armed or trained people, ...
49
votes
19answers
18k views

How to conceal my immortality without hiding for a hundred years?

In my story, I have this character that cannot die and cannot grow old. She got this from a curse. When ordinary people see her, she probably looks like 20 or so. How can I make it so that nobody ...
17
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8answers
1k views

Magivore - designing a magic 'eater'

Yes, magic means I can say 'make it so' and it is. But I see too many options and not sure which ones would make more sense. I'm picking one idea that I've never seen in a book. So a Magivore is ...
18
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12answers
3k views

Why would magic and science be split?

As previously noted, magic would most likely be able to be studied by the scientific method. Indeed, science would likely at least try to understand magic, if not incorporate it. My question is, what ...
11
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3answers
1k views

Alynn the Scientific Mage: Keeping it Secret

Flopping down at the gates to Rolhelm after 5 exhausting days in the forest, Alynn felt a small sense of victory. She'd had to create new lives for herself before, so she could do it again here. Get ...
14
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6answers
2k views

How to make the most wealth out of a single “Groundhogday Potion”?

Pennyless Joe, the broke archeologist, finds an old pawn shop selling something curious. A ceramic vial labeled "Groundhog Day Potion". It's a bargain for $1.99. (He buys it, because he is not quite ...
11
votes
7answers
3k views

To build a space elevator

One fine day, magical space aliens arrived and launched and harpooned an extremely long(100,000 km) and thick(100km radius) spear into somewhere in equatorial Africa, which buried and anchored itself ...
32
votes
25answers
7k views

How to keep mages from taking over the world?

In my world anyone can use magic with the proper training. There are two levels of magic users: The first level is apprentice (someone with 4 to 8 years of magic education). They can move people and ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

Horses for Absolutely Everybody, how it came to be

Suppose that I have a fantasy kingdom, built on a magical land, and the thing is that horses are so cheap and plentiful in that land, even the poorest peasant would have at least a horse to their name....
10
votes
4answers
410 views

Why would an antigravity abyss exist in a deep cavern?

[Here's some writing. It will explain some aspects of the abyss in a way I can't otherwise.] "It's beautiful", uttered Ivan, in a rare moment of appreciation. "Rocks and platforms and chunks of ...
3
votes
1answer
546 views

How can wizards do such powerful things running on pure human metabolism? [duplicate]

In fiction, we often see magic used for very flashy effects (like, say, fireballs). But human metabolic output doesn't seem powerful enough to account for things like this. Is it possible to build a ...
91
votes
33answers
15k views

How would it make sense that spellbooks or grimoires teach only one spell?

In a JRPG-like setting; Spells are chanted, mana is consumed, and spells can be learned through grimoires or spellbooks, how would it make sense that a spellbook teaches only one spell? If it is like ...
105
votes
32answers
21k views

Why would a staff increase the magic power of a mage?

Similarly to the question How would it make sense that spellbooks or grimoires teach only one spell? I was thinking about typical RPG games and how to design the magic system therein. While thinking ...
75
votes
36answers
14k views

How can a pacifist country protect itself?

Think of a more or less traditional medieval fantasy world: multiple races, magic, some alchemy/magitech that is of comparable power and reliability to ordinary magic. And in this world there exists ...
183
votes
40answers
27k views

How do I protect my shop from teleporters?

I live in a world where magic is common. Most people have enough magic to do simple tasks like lighting a candle or healing minor injuries. Higher magic is very rare, and those individuals mostly ...
55
votes
18answers
12k views

Plausible explanation for lack of reflection in a mirror

Thanks to the commenters in the question sandbox for helping refine this question before posting. In many vampire stories the vampires do not have a reflection in a mirror. This is generally not ...
57
votes
20answers
18k views

Why is my Dark World so dark?

My hero has to journey into a mirror world. This world is much like our own except evil. Almost everything there is an enemy and there will be very little kindness. On top of that the world is visibly ...
51
votes
26answers
9k views

How do you assassinate someone who is protected by precognitive people? [duplicate]

The US government is desperate to kill the superhuman rebel leader, but the man is surrounded by "precogs". They can see any attempt on his life before it happens. What plan will the government form ...
33
votes
17answers
12k views

How to defend when attacked by an avian species?

Bird people are humanoid creatures with a wingspan of 4 meters, they are as tall as humans and the fittest of them weight 72 kilograms or slightly less, so they are quite lighter than the average ...
27
votes
6answers
2k views

Alynn the Scientific Mage: Science Principles

Running from her people. It was never unexpected, but Alynn always hurt about it. She ran from the jeers, the shouts, the calls of "freak" and "witch". She ran away from yet another life she ...
53
votes
25answers
10k views

What all stops working when I pause time?

Somewhat, not really related. In my young adult story, the main character has a mechanism that allows her to pause time, and do things while everything is frozen. I have no problem 'magic'ing the ...
26
votes
18answers
16k views

How might telekinesis and pyrokinesis work if they were possible?

New here! Now let me be clear: I'm well aware that telekinesis and pyrokinesis are both impossible, as I've been rudely informed on every science forum. Nonetheless, I don't just want to "make it up" ...
26
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17answers
7k views

Why might dwarves be black skinned in a medieval fantasy world?

In a classic medieval fantasy world (e.g. LotR), with elves, human, orcs, dwarves... Why would a population (or a few individuals) belonging to the dwarf race have black skins meanwhile the vast ...
20
votes
18answers
3k views

Specifics of magical symbols and casting: What makes spoken magic difficult to master?

I hope this isn't too broad, but the idea is to apply this into a manageable game system - however, I want it to be believable. This is superseding the idea of "belief" makes magic, magic is a ...
16
votes
13answers
4k views

Would science emerge in a world with magic?

Another question has asked whether magic would be immune to science's scrutiny. I'd like to invert the question and ask... Would science even exist in a world with magic? Science evolves in an arena ...
38
votes
16answers
6k views

Why do only clothes stay in an animal transformation?

I have a race in my world that has the ability to transform into animals at will. For reasons of practicality, the animals do not wear clothes and the clothes disappear during transformation. For ...
16
votes
5answers
2k views

Development of society with random encounters

A staple of many games is the existence of random encounters - while traveling from point A to point B, the heroes are attack by bandits/wild animals/monsters/whatever. When defeated, the enemies will ...
24
votes
10answers
1k views

Rynn's Jewelry Box: Best Way to Use a Unique Small-Scale Replicator?

It is a jewel-encrusted black box, seemingly made out of a dark exotic wood, a mere few inches across, so it can be held rather comfortably in one hand, although it certainly feels a little bit heavy ...
17
votes
11answers
3k views

How should I calibrate and estimate pyrokinesis?

BACKGROUND I'd like to create a world that includes pyrokinesis, the ability to heat and even combust materials at a distance. This is a low-magic setting, so what I have in mind is not very flashy. ...
8
votes
4answers
1k views

Space wizards city : Is it sustainable?

Context Six thousand years ago, magic users from Earth managed to create a portal between Earth and another planet, far far away. This planet is Earth-like but developed no life forms whatsoever. ...