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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31
votes
15answers
10k views

Starships without computers?

Say I've got a sci-fi setting where I have one faction using relatively advanced technology (think The Expanse, or pre-Covenant war UNSC from Halo, fusion rockets and high-yield magnetic accelerator ...
31
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12answers
5k views

How would sentient intelligent, normal-sized mice fight against humans?

Assuming that the world still uses melee weapons like swords and spears, has magic and medievalesque warfare tactics. They are a race of smart mice (they still look like mice, just that they can use ...
31
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11answers
6k views

Would we see cannons in a magic-using society?

In a society that has relatively plentiful magic, enough that spell casters would be a standard part of any size-able army, would cannons and artillery still develop? For the purpose of this question ...
31
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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 ...
31
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13answers
7k views

How do I encourage fully armored knights to carry a shield

I am told by my friend, who has some HEMA background, that real fully armored late-medieval to Renaissance knights generally did not carry or use shields. This was because of two reasons. Firstly, ...
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 ...
30
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18answers
11k views

Would 'magic' muskets be a significant advantage over actual muskets?

In my world I have one side armed with 'muskets' which utilize a simple form of magitek. Their 'bullet' is actually a magical 'blast' of condensed magic from the air. Despite being magical in theory,...
30
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25answers
7k views

Designing a prison for a telekinetic race

I am currently designing a fantasy world that includes a telekinetic race that can control objects if they are touching its material (they can make flying rocks if they are in the same ground or ...
30
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8answers
5k views

Why would an incredibly long lived race not be known for their scarring?

Many long lived races are seen as serene, beautiful, and wise. Yet with long life comes the increased chance to be permanently injured in a life-altering way, either physically, emotionally, or ...
30
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5answers
4k views

Plausibility of Mushroom Buildings

How plausible would buildings made inside of, or made using, giant mushrooms be? Copyright Raphael Lacoste 2018 A staple of the fantasy genre, mushrooms have commonly been seen as magical and ...
30
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5answers
10k views

Sealing a wound: ice or fire?

Assume that a magician has the ability to create both flames and ice. His Muggle (for the lack of a better word) friend is wounded and is bleeding profusely. Traditionally, in most fantasy books where ...
28
votes
14answers
6k views

Why would a blood transfusion of midiclorians not make my force abilities stronger?

Midichlorian's are chemical compounds found within every living cell that forms the basis between the connection life and the Force. Without midichlorians, life would be impossible. The amount of ...
28
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19answers
7k views

Mutually invisible foes. How can they fight?

For millennia the Arbol and the Byrond clans have engaged in bloody warfare. A benevolent wizard who is passing by and hears of this decides to stop them once and for all. He casts a powerful spell ...
28
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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. ...
28
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26answers
6k views

How to make being a mage so cutthroat that generally only power mad become mages? [closed]

In my world mages are powerful and potentially game breaking in a fight. However, I want to limit them to being mostly used by the 'enemy' side, and until very recently it was quite rare for mages to ...
28
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9answers
6k views

Value of ice during the Renaissance

This is set during the Renaissance, a mostly normal European setting. Magic works through controlling the flux of energy. A mage can't simply create energy, but he can store and change it. Most ...
28
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5answers
8k views

Can two moons have intersecting orbits yet be guaranteed not to collide?

Working on a D&D campaign. As a physics nerd, I'd like the orbital mechanics of the planet, its sun, and its moons, to follow standard Newtonian/Keplerian mechanics. I'm trying to come up with ...
28
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5answers
3k views

How could a lightning magic user fly?

My first post on Worldbuilding, hello all! So my question is what could be some interesting logic or thoughts behind having a lightning magic user being able to fly? To quote another user who wanted ...
27
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31answers
8k 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
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33answers
11k views

Why does mana content in humans increase as they get older? [closed]

Mana is the life energy present in all humans. It allows the body to sustain itself and perform its necessary functions to keep us alive. It also gives us the ability to use magical spells and rituals....
27
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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 ...
27
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15answers
3k views

Can crime still exist if mages can see the past?

In my world one of the branches of magic is Sight; foresight, farsight and hindsight. Foresight is basically the gift of prophecy. It's limited in that the world doesn't exist in a fixed timeline, so ...
27
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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, ...
27
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10answers
7k views

What is the longest time Humanity could be sterilized for without causing extinction?

In the world, there are 4 billion happy, healthy Humans. In this case, thanks to the power of magic, it's safe to assume that they also live long, happy lives. Just like we do today! An Evil Villain ...
27
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19answers
5k views

Keeping a world with necromancy from overpopulation

This takes place in a magical world with a medieval setting. They've undergone an apocalypse (not defined yet, but it has no relation with necromancy) that wiped all but few thousand survivors, all ...
27
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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....
27
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17answers
7k views

How can magic be used to drive someone insane - later

In my world, I have a form of magic that can be used by a practitioner to connect with a subject's mind at touch range, and effectively give an experienced, powerful practitioner total control over ...
27
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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 ...
27
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5answers
1k views

How do I use weird bouncing magic to power my society?

Edit: See bottom of the post for answers to some great questions I got! The Short Version: How do I make perpetual motion machines that utilize the following things: Bundles of weightless energy ...
26
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10answers
7k views

What's the role in a medievial society for people who are magically bound not to lie?

In the prosperous capital of the country where my story is set, undesired babies are discreetly abandoned in the darkest hours of the night on the front door of the guild of Truthers. There, as ...
26
votes
24answers
6k views

Why would magic wane? It's so useful [closed]

It's a fairly common theme that magic was a more powerful force in the past but as we come into modern times it has got weaker and maybe extinct. But why? The ability to use magic would be a huge ...
26
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19answers
8k views

Defending Castle from Zombies

TL;DR: You're defending coastal medieval fortress with help of about 1000 people from attack of zombies. Long version: In my fantasy world, I'm dealing with problem of how would you defend city ...
26
votes
16answers
11k views

What happens when a moving vehicle loses all its kinetic energy at once

In the system of magic that I am using I try to follow the laws of physics as much as possible. The idea being that whatever magic can do, a scientist and machine can eventually do. One of the things ...
26
votes
14answers
10k views

How to kill trees?

In a world where magic energy and life-force are compatible if not equivalent forces, woodcutting can be a problem in regions with high magic potential. If a woodcutter fells a tree and leaves it, it ...
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 ...
26
votes
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 ...
26
votes
16answers
4k views

How can my hammerspace safely “decompress”?

My story has magic, and some of that magic involves manipulating pocket dimensions, hammerspace, whatever you'd like to call it. Whether it be a portal to a closet you can access with a thought, or ...
26
votes
16answers
5k views

How can I prevent hyper evolved versions of regular creatures from wiping out their cousins?

The world is covered in mana, the life force that flows through all things. In certain places, this mana saturates to high levels. This affects the animals living in those areas, who absorb the high ...
26
votes
13answers
10k views

Best spot within a human to place redundant heart

Magic lets you take a lot of shortcuts when it comes to fighting, and occasionally do things that normal people may refer to as 'cheating', such as installing a second, redundant heart. In the event ...
26
votes
9answers
6k views

How to mine the underside of a floating continent?

Background The known world consists of dozens of continents floating in an airy void. These continents range from small islands a few square kilometers in size, to great land masses up to 1,000 ...
26
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12answers
6k views

Personifying the 7 Deadly Sins as Demons through Human Body Parts [closed]

I have 4/7 of these bastards nailed down but the last 3 I'm having difficulty attaching a body part to a sin. This is how I understand the 7 sins: Pride is Delusion Envy is to Covet Sloth is to ...
26
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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....
26
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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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7answers
6k views

How to make Rune-Based Magic interesting?

I'm trying to design a world for a fantasy setting where some disgruntled god decided to give the general population magic powers. However, rather than recite a spell or use sheer will to use magic, ...
25
votes
12answers
8k 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 ...
25
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10answers
9k views

How long would it take for people to notice a mass disappearance?

If 5 million people disappeared at the same time globally, assuming an even spread of random disappearances (not focused in any one location) how long would it be before people noticed there had been ...
25
votes
16answers
6k views

Why would witches not create magical familiars? [closed]

In my story's world, witchcraft is a respected institution, with the most powerful practitioners being at the top echelons of society. Due to this, society traces its lineage through matrilineal lines....
25
votes
25answers
3k views

How could flying soldiers influence medieval battle tactics?

Two medieval armies are fighting one another. Their infantries are approximately equal, and their artillery pieces are well matched. During one battle, they enter what appears to be a stalemate. Then ...
25
votes
4answers
4k views

What would be the side effects of a massive, strong magnetic field?

A permanent static magnetic field appears on the surface of a planet that is sufficiently large and strong to attract non-magnetized ferromagnetic objects up to 100 miles distant from the source, with ...
25
votes
8answers
2k views

What are the societal effects of an easily available resurrection service?

Let's take a world where you can be resurrected, D&D style, but maybe a little cheaper, no constitution-based ill effects, and easier to access. Perhaps any cleric worth their salt can bring you ...