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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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19
votes
1answer
873 views

How would rudder protection against water elementals affect ship's performance?

In my world, there are two countries constantly in cold or warm war with each other, and one of them has quite a lot of magi in their army. In my RPG campaign, the party is sailing one of the best-...
18
votes
8answers
2k views

Tactical Advantages to Dragons with Riders

Given a fantasy world in which magic exists and which dragons are real, what kind of tactical advantages could a dragon and rider pair have over dragons without riders? To expand on the setting: ...
16
votes
12answers
2k views

Warfare without Metal

In my setting, I have reasonably traditional Dwarves and Elves. The Dwarves magic allows them to control metals, earth, and other non living constructs. The Elves can control non sentient living ...
13
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2answers
1k views

How would it affect a human to suddenly hear like a cat?

A typical cliche that is often used in Anime is that anthropomorphic cats exist. These are basically humans with cat-ears and a cat-tail (see Plausibility of the Japanese Nekomimi for a fitting ...
6
votes
6answers
2k views

What might be dangers of connecting your own soul to a stronger soul?

"Magic" is not declared as such, but there is an energy that comes from every object, and even some things that are not physical, like a gust of wind. Some call it the entity's spirit, or even its ...
3
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4answers
1k views

Would “magic” still be called “magic” in a modern era?

Me and my friends were brainstorming campaign ideas earlier and we came up with a setting. Essentially it's our universe but with one BIG difference... Humans can use magic. The ability to use magic ...
18
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20answers
2k views

How does the king control the most powerful wizard in the land? [closed]

The King is a bit... eccentric - a sort of Calligula type, but in his employ is the most powerful wizard in the land. He is continuously ordering the wizard to perform humiliating, monotonous and ...
14
votes
9answers
1k views

Would magic cause a medieval society to stagnate rather than progress technologically?

If there was a medieval society where magic was only taught within royal and high ranking noble families, would this cause the society to stagnate? I mean, a lot of technological developments (but ...
10
votes
6answers
935 views

How can a coven of witches operate as a pyramid scheme?

A crone is a witch on the path to achieving godhood by stealing the life force of others through a dark ritual. The second stage on this path is the baba yaga, a point where the crone loses all traces ...
8
votes
4answers
335 views

What is a viable method to produce food within a volcano caldera?

I'm making a medieval settlement of humans that reside very close to a volcano (and maybe venture into the caves surrounding the volcano), to the point of living in the caldera itself. The humans are ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

How to explain two different magic systems?

In my world there are two different magic systems one involves making a pact with a god or spirit to agree to do a specific thing in exchange for power. The other involves using special spells and ...
3
votes
1answer
492 views

How to distinguish magic from technology? [closed]

Reading other questions I see that a quote by Arthur C. Clarke - "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" - is often being treated as an axiom. However, in a world where ...
3
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2answers
296 views

Cargo of a supernatural smuggler [closed]

This is a prolongation of a previous question about the culture and traditions of "invisible" people. This world is close to ours, except supernatural creatures exist and have formed their own well-...
2
votes
2answers
580 views

How Do I Draw the Elves into the War?

Background: My 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
165 views

A dragon based on the Leviathan [closed]

I am creating a dragon that can fly and live in the sea as well as on land but want it to have the following attributes without it being unrealistic: scales that are stronger than today's strongest ...
12
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18answers
2k views

Could a world where two neigbouring countries, only one of which uses 'magic', exist?

Of course, my question isn't about the existence of magic. It's about coherence of the story. Imagine two neighbouring countries. One of them resembles our society – it's science based, no magic, ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

What could hard light be?

For this question, I'm using the magic system discussed here that I will sum up with this: you take energy from your environment (e.g. heat from the atmosphere) and transform it into another form to ...
8
votes
9answers
1k views

Are there any good uses for infinite grass and potatoes

Based off a previous question of mine here, concerning how a rapid growing weed-like grasstato, which is grass above ground, and potato underground, and how if there was infinite food for people in a ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

Convention for Healers during a war where some rapid healing is available?

Imagine a war in a standard fantasy world, roughly medieval, most magic is limited, but magical healing exists. Healing comes in three forms: Rare Healers, who are born with ability to do rapid ...
5
votes
8answers
942 views

Death toll of a week without technology?

So the climax of my urban fantasy story, long story short, involves a supernatural event taking place in the modern time sometime around March on a Saturday, 12:00 PM EST, that renders guns and ...
5
votes
1answer
103 views

No iron for your fair-folk maiden? (Part 2: Radioactive metals)

For reference, here is part 1 No Iron for your fair-folk maiden? (Part 1) A brief recap. My fair-folk are weak to all metals, but each metal has their own specific effects. The last question resulted ...
3
votes
2answers
324 views

Effects of forcing a planet to tidally lock onto its moon [closed]

In light of recent reading into Pluto, I noticed that it has the unusual quality of being reciprocally tidally locked to its moon Charon. I have taken this idea and am going to use it in a fantasy ...
3
votes
2answers
179 views

Medieval political hierarchy with an elite 4 counsel elected based on score points - Part 2

This question follows this one Keeping the same setting, I am now going to add a 5th class : The Judge The judge wouldn't hold any direct power (no place on the Elite 4) but he (or they?) would make ...
2
votes
4answers
169 views

What would be a good metaphysical component for a spell? [closed]

Magic varies from story to story, but in most universes there's a price to pay for magic. The RPG system D&D sums it up three very ellegant categories: Vocal: some magic words, like Abracadabra; ...
1
vote
8answers
946 views

Why would sorcerers not use guns? [closed]

I have noticed that in most fantasy books, at least the ones I read, the group of sorcerers, wizards, or demigods don't use guns or other modern weapons, and instead prefer to use medieval weaponry. ...
0
votes
1answer
577 views

Islam and alien mages? [closed]

As I haven't enough reputation points to answer or comment on the topic How would a future British Muslim respond to rule by alien mages? I am writing here. Setting: London 50-70 years in the future....
0
votes
5answers
272 views

Why would anyone want a freezing weapon? [closed]

I have a hobby of writing video game item descriptions, usually trying to justify game mechanics within the flavor text. Elemental weapons are especially fun to explain in-universe. Lightning spears ...
70
votes
18answers
5k views

How to prevent tiny mistake in 'programmable language' magic spell causing horrible disasters?

I have seen a few stories use the programmable magic trope. The most well known I believe is the wiz-biz series, though it's rather old now. The idea is that magic works just like a programming ...
80
votes
48answers
14k views

Why would “dead languages” be the only languages that spells could be written in?

Note: this is an in-universe explanation, not media in general. Media in general tends to have magic written in archaic, usually dead, languages. In my world, magic is best described as fickle; most ...
53
votes
37answers
13k views

Create a world where Necromancy isn't considered as an “evil” type of magic

In most stories regarding movies, games or books, the art of necromancy is often seen as a "dark" and/or "evil" type of magic. I've not really come across any characters using this type of magic for ...
89
votes
30answers
13k views

Awesomeness powered magic - why would a group of awesome magicians want to keep their “kryptonite” near them?

Fair warning - just rewatched Bill & Ted, so this is going to be a bit crazy. Imagine for a moment there exists a world where “awesomeness” is a true force of nature. Awesome people have the ...
68
votes
34answers
20k views

What (modern) weapons could be used to destroy skeletal enemies as completely as possible?

As per the cliché, after getting hit by a truck, our protagonist finds herself in a 'swords and sorcery' fantasy world. Also as per the cliché, she is granted an overpowered ability to make her new ...
57
votes
14answers
7k views

How would I limit the amount of magical bling a person could wear?

So, in my setting, there are magical weapons, armor, tools, and jewelry. They are quite the standard fare, ranging from swords that can cut better to amulets that let you breath underwater and the ...
46
votes
15answers
13k views

How could a group of 6 people destroy an army?

One of my wow moments when playing Baldur's Gate 2: Throne of Bhaal happened when the three most powerful Bhaalspawn siblings (Imoen, Sarevok and the Player Character), together with just three more ...
46
votes
19answers
9k views

How could a magical, sentient library defend itself?

This magical library is old as the history of magic itself, storing scrolls and tomes of all† spells ever devised by powerful wizards and apprentice mages alike. The scrolls are ready to be activated ...
54
votes
30answers
8k views

How to subtly identify a weapon as powerfully magical?

I don't want to outright go out and say it: "Billy found the +5 magical staff Rynn's Lament," since a) that would be a n00b mistake and b) my character is not called Billy. In my worlds, magic is ...
63
votes
36answers
18k views

Why might wizards be unable to wear armour?

Inspired by this question, this question and this question, I, too have been thinking about typical RPG-style magic systems. It's a truism in RPGs (and fantasy in general) that armour and magic don't ...
39
votes
23answers
10k views

What kind of spells would magicians cast in combat if the fuel to magic is very expensive

In the story I’m working on, there is a strict ruleset on how magic works, one of the main points being it needs a “fuel” to work, and that “fuel” is VERY expensive. That being, most magicians use ...
63
votes
30answers
17k views

How can I imprison a wizard who can walk through walls?

There are reasons why we can't walk through walls. Using magic, though, those difficulties fall away. In fact, for a wizard in an otherwise-almost-magic-free world, walking through walls or falling ...
35
votes
9answers
5k views

What species should be used for storage of human minds?

The business of mind storage became a profitable one, after the discovery of a magical process that allows the memories and personality of a living being to be transferred into another body. ...
28
votes
25answers
5k views

Which shape for an infinite world with usual sun cycles?

In fantasy works, it can be interesting to imagine an infinite world. It means you can travel in any direction for as long as you want, always discovering new lands, new cultures, new landscape, etc. ...
27
votes
11answers
5k views

Magic and the Legal System

Alfred is on trial. He stands accused of murdering Frank. He was caught red handed with a knife that tested positive for Frank's blood. He was also seen dumping Frank's body into the river by Bob, ...
74
votes
27answers
12k views

Sword in the rock - make it last the ages

Merlin the wizard has a problem. Sure, it was a piece of cake to move forward in time to the 21st century, procure a sword that was made with the highest 21st century standards, go back in time, and ...
26
votes
20answers
7k views

How to limit magic mirrors so they're not overly powerful?

Based on a set of questions by Pavel Janicek about how to address and then monetize magic mirrors in today's modern world. The short version of these magic mirrors is that any one magic mirror can ...
19
votes
10answers
3k views

In the magic==math trope, how do “they” know when we're doing spells?

Take Charles Stross’s Laundry stories as an exemplar for this modern day approach that makes explicit the analogy between computer geeks and fantasy mages. If P = NP then magic is possible. Here’s a ...
15
votes
2answers
3k views

Elves have alcoholic blood

From further investigations I see that someone came with an idea that gives support to my theory that elves don't have body fat. Their idea was that Elves store their energy as ethanol in their ...
13
votes
14answers
1k views

How long would it take for heritable magic talent to become universal?

Inspired by a previous question on this site. If magic were real (handwave - see 1) and in some way heritable, would it be likely to become fixated in the general population? If so, how long would it ...
23
votes
8answers
3k views

Creating a dark world - How can I not completely handwave the dark cloudy atmosphere

Primary question What is going on with the atmosphere that the world is so gloomy and dark? Information I have had a low-magic fantasy world I have been wanting to solidify for a while now but ...
11
votes
10answers
4k views

How can enchanted items be explained?

Let us define enchanting as binding a magical effect to or channeling it through a physical form. Background: Magic is an "energy," or exotic matter/energy perhaps, that exists essentially as an ...
9
votes
6answers
3k views

How can I determine the color of my magic? [closed]

Background For my own entertainment, I have been designing how I would hypothetically make a spiritual sequel to Arcanum: of Steamworks and Magic Obscura. It is hypothetical as the work needed to do ...