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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53
votes
37answers
14k 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 ...
99
votes
31answers
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 ...
73
votes
35answers
22k 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 ...
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 ...
47
votes
15answers
14k 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 ...
65
votes
36answers
19k 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 ...
40
votes
23answers
11k 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 ...
65
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 ...
36
votes
9answers
6k 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. ...
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, ...
76
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 ...
27
votes
21answers
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
12answers
5k 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 ...
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 ...
15
votes
5answers
654 views

Feasibility of a Crystal Ecosystem

In my Fantasy world there exists a crevice. Plants and animals made of glittering, iridescent crystalline structures in abundance. The crevice can contain any arbitrary materials that might make the ...
9
votes
6answers
4k 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 ...
35
votes
22answers
6k views

My magic system “pays the price” by drawing its energy from the future: should that affect luck, heat, or life?

I'm developing a magic system that has as its weakness or limitation the fact that the energy used in the magic is drawn from the future. I'd like the system to experience a form of "resistance" such ...
27
votes
19answers
5k views

Why couldn't/wouldn't people use someone else's summoned familiar, ordered to obey them, rather than their own?

So, in my story, there are six main categories of magical abilities, and everyone's able to have 5 abilities at a time. Each category of power has its own limitations on, and rules for, their use, and ...
25
votes
12answers
9k views

How can a mortal woman successfully carry a demigod to term?

Demigods are special humans that are born partly divine. These individuals have been extremely rare throughout history, and always have various significant effects for the world around them, leading ...
24
votes
13answers
10k views

In a fantasy world where physical training has no hard limit, why isn't everyone a superhuman?

I have been building a 'magic' system in a fantasy setting and have a number of ways a human can gain power. Most of these are limited to who can access them by royal bloodline, being god's chosen, ...
21
votes
12answers
4k views

Simplest explanation for societies to know about only one kind of magic of the two existing ones?

NB: this question has had some extensive editing. I apologize to those who replied early based on unclear premise. TL; DR two societies (druids & nomads) each discovered one kind of mana (resp. ...
17
votes
3answers
2k views

What effect would elemental magic have on the work force

Imagine a society where everyone controls a variation of one of the four elements: earth, fire, water, and air. What I mean by variation is some might control metal, but not rocks. Others control ice, ...
16
votes
8answers
1k views

How would a city with high defences fare against airborne creatures?

This always has been a point of trouble for me as a World Designer. How would a fantasy city be well-protected against airborne creatures? In all the examples we have on our own world (Earth) being ...
14
votes
10answers
3k views

How to handle dangerous, potentially unstable children/teenagers

Imagine if one day, in the future, random children were born with the ability to cast magic. This magic comes naturally to them, like an instinct, so they need not be taught how to use it, though ...
11
votes
5answers
843 views

In a realm with limited magic, who would govern?

In my question In a world with magic, who would govern?, I asked who would govern that world, magicians or mundane warlords/nobles. Now, suppose that exactly the same rules I described in the ...
10
votes
4answers
2k views

Will my magic system decrease its credibility? [closed]

I have read the laws of magic and related articles, that is why I came upon this question. For my world building I have been working on a magic system, it took me quite a while to find something ...
6
votes
4answers
713 views

Equation for magic system involving negative resistance and exposure time

I am devising a magic system that requires the user to output their energy (say, metabolismic calories) as a trigger, thus letting the sea of mana do the rest. Still, the sea of mana would multiply ...
72
votes
20answers
15k views

Why would society not cremate its dead in a world where necromancy is possible?

Necromancy is a type of magic that forces a soul back into a body after it has been killed. Through a dark ritual, the soul is forcefully removed from its eternal rest in the afterlife and is anchored ...
31
votes
8answers
3k views

Where to hide my evil Overlord? [closed]

Story: I am a evil necromancer Overlord who has many evil minions loyal to me. However a hero has greatly wounded me, and I have to go into deep sleep in order to heal and regain my dark energy. My ...
24
votes
12answers
3k views

How might one explain (pseudo-scientifically) the generation of a “projected,” guided darkness?

The Details: We have ways to generate light and direct it with our own technology. Humans have had the ability to do this for even longer. Within the last number of decades, we have begun ...
19
votes
14answers
6k views

Despite same materials, why crystal balls are used but not crystal wands?

The battle of superiority between sorcerers and wizards goes way back. The two distinct powerhouses of magic both know that they are tapping into the same magic. However, they do not share the same ...
19
votes
8answers
2k views

How will a god gain belief?

Assume a medieval magic world, where Gods are worshipped and the most popular God is the most worshipped. The Gods gain their power from the belief & prayers that comes from the believers, and ...
18
votes
11answers
2k views

What if Santa does not want Norad to track him?

The North American Aerospace Defense Command track Santa Claus' position each year as he delivers presents. Santa has mostly been cool with this (it's made him a little nervous in the past), but he's ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

How would humans defend themselves against mice that are sentient and intelligent?

In How would sentient intelligent, normal-sized mice fight against humans? Humans are not doing well at fighting against the mice. They are small, smart and deadly. Humans will have access to ...
6
votes
12answers
587 views

How to limit the growth of a magic item that eats other magic items to gain their abilities?

I'm trying to design a magic item that can eat other magic items to gain their abilities. However, I keep running into a problem. Eventually, the magic item becomes semi-omnipotent as the abilities ...
5
votes
6answers
2k views

Believable magical transmutation of elements

I want transmutation of elements (for example, changing lead into gold) to be possible in my world, using magic rather than nuclear physics. I want the overall energy input or output to be consistent ...
43
votes
17answers
11k views

Zombie army is bad idea. But why actually?

In my custom fantasy world, raising the dead is really simple. Before the Great Act of Beautiful Death, raising a body and keeping it alive (undead?) for at least a week was a part of entrance exams ...
43
votes
27answers
10k views

How do I keep my remains safe from being summoned as a skeleton?

Imagine a magical world similar to this question, where everyone uses skeletons as soldiers. There are mages running around searching graves for bones to summon them into skeletons. How do I keep ...
28
votes
31answers
9k views

Why would magic users not try to take over kingdoms? [closed]

I am writing a fantasy story, set in a period that is, technologically, much like 15th century Europe. Warriors still ride horses, swords are used in combat, and the occasional plague often hits a ...
27
votes
9answers
4k views

How can I preserve the long term cooperation of a witch coven?

A coven is a group of witches that have come together for a single purpose: apotheosis. This is a divine state of being in which a person becomes an idealized version of their own vision of perfection....
26
votes
4answers
3k views

What is the ecological role of the common fantasy monster, the slime? [closed]

This was a sudden thought during the world build I'm currently doing. What is the ecological purpose of a slime? Most monsters in a fantasy universe can be put into a food chain without much thought....
13
votes
5answers
2k views

What changes to human society would be necessitated by a race with small size and the ability to fly?

I have a world where the magic system is based pretty much on the Ars Magica RPG and a technological level roughly equivalent to 17th century Earth. Co-existing (in the same geographical areas but ...
9
votes
9answers
3k views

How to make magic different from science [duplicate]

I am building a world that has both magic and technology. I'm wondering how to make magic that is different form fields of science such as biology or chemistry. Simply put I don't want magic to ...
8
votes
6answers
1k views

Specifics of magical symbols and casting: How to purposefully, quickly create new spells where its near impossible to make any with implicit purpose?

This is a continuation of my Specifics of magical symbols and casting series of questions. In the process of splitting my post up, I noticed my final question got a bit broad. So to specify how magic ...
6
votes
2answers
309 views

Composition of this cosmic material

In my story idea, there is a fluid material that also has many similarities to plasma. The strange matter (through means that I would also like to understand) converts regular forms of energy into ...
3
votes
3answers
946 views

Defining and Balancing Entropic Magic

For my Thaumaturgic magic system I chose five elements Fire (Heat). Light. Electricity. Force. Which includes Alchemy, by using vibration to warp the structure of matter. Entropy. Other abilities ...

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