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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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287 votes
24 answers
58k 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 ...
Giacomo Tesio's user avatar
53 votes
19 answers
16k 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 ...
norlin's user avatar
  • 755
49 votes
7 answers
36k 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 ...
Crabgor's user avatar
  • 1,648
78 votes
33 answers
34k 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 ...
Tristan Klassen's user avatar
83 votes
17 answers
10k 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 ...
Monica Cellio's user avatar
19 votes
4 answers
3k 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 ...
NL628's user avatar
  • 718
150 votes
17 answers
15k 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, ...
Serban Tanasa's user avatar
7 votes
5 answers
700 views

How Can a Creature With Focus Come to Exist?

Background: Alendyias is a world that was formed inside the Fracture of Reality, one that is still forming as the Fracture in Reality grows and absorbs other worlds in its path. Absorbed worlds and ...
Alendyias's user avatar
  • 13.6k
51 votes
10 answers
7k 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 ...
bowlturner's user avatar
  • 49.2k
11 votes
3 answers
1k views

Preventing Dead Monsters From Spawning Undead

Background: My world, Alendyias, is more than a little interesting. As the Fracture in Reality grows and expands, it takes apart and reforms worlds inside itself, and over the ages, this has formed ...
Alendyias's user avatar
  • 13.6k
64 votes
17 answers
17k 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, ...
Liath's user avatar
  • 18.7k
28 votes
5 answers
3k 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 ...
Shokhet's user avatar
  • 2,841
17 votes
11 answers
7k 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 ...
Ezra P.'s user avatar
  • 181
9 votes
9 answers
4k 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 ...
Jax's user avatar
  • 11.9k
8 votes
6 answers
1k views

What Weapons Would Benefit From the Rubberizing Enchantment?

This question is akin to Benefits of Boomerang Enchantment on Items and covers the Rubberizing Enchantment. When an item kills a Plop, a slime-type monster that looks like a glob of sludge with a big, ...
Alendyias's user avatar
  • 13.6k
36 votes
20 answers
10k 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 ...
DonyorM's user avatar
  • 7,547
17 votes
16 answers
3k 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 ...
Tristan Klassen's user avatar
13 votes
6 answers
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 ...
JD Solomon's user avatar
  • 1,112
8 votes
5 answers
1k views

Would a magic-using society create living batteries?

Postulate My world has functioning magic which is capable of exerting kinetic effect. (That is, move objects, or generate heat, since "heat" after all is just motion at the atomic level.) It can't ...
Matthew's user avatar
  • 14.5k
0 votes
2 answers
318 views

Usefulness of Pyris Enchantment

Have you ever looked at something and went "Cool bro, but where's the fire?" or perhaps even "BRING ME FIAH!" Well, the magical forces in Alendyias did just that. At that very ...
Alendyias's user avatar
  • 13.6k
78 votes
36 answers
16k 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 ...
Alice's user avatar
  • 1,690
38 votes
5 answers
7k 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 ...
NauticalMile's user avatar
  • 1,052
35 votes
17 answers
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 ...
user avatar
26 votes
7 answers
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 ...
Serban Tanasa's user avatar
25 votes
8 answers
7k 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, ...
grimmsdottir's user avatar
  • 6,247
23 votes
10 answers
3k 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 ...
Secespitus's user avatar
  • 17.7k
17 votes
6 answers
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 ...
Mindwin Remember Monica's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
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 ...
Jax's user avatar
  • 11.9k
5 votes
1 answer
413 views

Would Rubberizing Benefit People and If So, How?

This is an extension of What Weapons Would Benefit From the Rubberizing Enchantment? and covers people instead of items. Basically, when someone kills a Plop with an item, that item is Rubberized; ...
Alendyias's user avatar
  • 13.6k
4 votes
1 answer
443 views

Unconventional Rebirth: Is It Checked?

In my last question, Preventing Dead Monsters From Spawning Undead, I realized a rather concerning loophole; if someone were to intentionally allow a large monster, like a mutant 'rex, to eat them, ...
Alendyias's user avatar
  • 13.6k
4 votes
3 answers
472 views

Men Protecting Themselves From Bewitchment

Alright, while trying to figure out the cultural impact of my (Dnd-style) class system, I realized that there was a problem with the Dancer Class: Bewitching Dance-This dance only works on a small ...
Alendyias's user avatar
  • 13.6k
196 votes
40 answers
32k 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 ...
Kys's user avatar
  • 5,465
112 votes
32 answers
27k 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 ...
Secespitus's user avatar
  • 17.7k
55 votes
26 answers
10k 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 ...
Bryan McClure's user avatar
53 votes
19 answers
20k 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 ...
Herlyks's user avatar
  • 681
32 votes
25 answers
8k 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 ...
Bryan McClure's user avatar
25 votes
12 answers
7k 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, ...
Monty Wild's user avatar
  • 63.5k
22 votes
16 answers
5k 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 ...
Christopher King's user avatar
20 votes
8 answers
2k 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 ...
bowlturner's user avatar
  • 49.2k
12 votes
3 answers
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 ...
ArtOfCode's user avatar
  • 10.4k
12 votes
4 answers
2k 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....
grimmsdottir's user avatar
  • 6,247
11 votes
7 answers
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 ...
grimmsdottir's user avatar
  • 6,247
11 votes
4 answers
575 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 ...
JessLovely's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
2k views

Magic and physics with human power output

I had a look at this question, and though about magic and the human body's energy output. I remember calculating the energy require to walk up a 3.4m staircase quickly in a school physics lesson once....
AJF's user avatar
  • 287
5 votes
7 answers
573 views

Are These Adventurer's Bags Unbalanced?

Okay, so when a regular Class holder (like a Rogue or Warrior, perhaps even a Dancer) is Chosen as an adventurer, they gain the mysterious Respawn ability (gaining two additional lives) and an ...
Alendyias's user avatar
  • 13.6k
4 votes
3 answers
371 views

How can I meaningfully define the energy cost of magical levitation?

In the world I'm building, there is a form of "magic"¹ that effectively amounts to metabolism-powered telekinesis. In particular, there is a maximum power limit of approximately 20 W/kg relative to a ...
Matthew's user avatar
  • 14.5k
3 votes
1 answer
710 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 ...
Kevin's user avatar
  • 931
3 votes
5 answers
5k views

Swords more effective than guns [closed]

In our beautiful little world there are guns like pistols and rifles and for simplicity sake let's say they are of the Old West variety. In this world there also exist many beasts different and ...
Mikailo's user avatar
  • 307
1 vote
2 answers
280 views

Would Calcification Benefit People and If So, How?

This is a question in the series of Enchantment Benefits for Humans, the successor of Would Rubberizing Benefit People and If So, How?. When an item kills a Chomper (you can see link one or link two ...
Alendyias's user avatar
  • 13.6k
0 votes
2 answers
281 views

Impact of Chaos Sense

Monsters are creatures who lived in a world that was absorbed by the Fracture in Reality ; this exposed these once-normal animals to Chaos Energy that mutated them into fantasy-style monstrosities. ...
Alendyias's user avatar
  • 13.6k

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