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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24
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13answers
5k views

Why should I depend on my minions? [closed]

After asking this question, another question came to me ... why should my evil Necromancer Overlord depend on his minions? Why do evil characters rely upon their subordinates? For example, in the ...
24
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6answers
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How to differentiate between demonic possession and mental illness?

It turns out that all of the deities and various demons, angels, and spirits are real. The super natural world took a hiatus since the dark ages for reasons not relevant to this question and for ...
24
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7answers
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How to forge a multi-part weapon? [closed]

So, I'm trying to forge a magic sword. Naturally, this requires magic metal. Luckily, I have access to just such a thing: Spectral metal. Spectral metals are ordinary metals which have been infused ...
24
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11answers
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Nuclear magic: Surviving your own spells

TLDR: Portals to other places; wizards use them to make nukes-as-fireballs/anti-personal level attacks, how do they survive? In a system of magic that functions around opening portals, what ...
24
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15answers
5k views

Magical internet - unique addressing system

Inspired by recent watching of Shrek 2 and by Lord of The Rings: When talking about magical Orbs or Mirrors, we have mostly in mind above picture. Skilful mage operates hard to obtain device. But ...
24
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11answers
4k views

How does a Blood Shaman gain his power?

Background There exists a continent on the scale of Eurasia, which spreads from tropical regions to polar. It has the full range of biomes that we find on Earth. On this continent, there are many ...
24
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5answers
3k views

Practicality of Heated Crop Fields

I've been trying to design a world and I have been running into some issues with a certain application for a piece of magic. Basically, it is the use of "heat rocks" to warm up fields so that crops ...
24
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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, ...
24
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4answers
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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 ...
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
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12answers
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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 ...
24
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10answers
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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 ...
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2answers
651 views

How would sails from a fireproof material affect ship's performance?

Related to: How would rudder protection against water elementals affect ship's performance In a world with ordinary magic, military ships should be prepared for enemy fireball-hurling wizards. Is ...
23
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12answers
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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, ...
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23answers
6k views

What gets lost in translation?

I've got a magic item that translates languages. The rules are this: the closest word to the word used in meaning is given to the listener, unless there's something the other language doesn't have a ...
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14answers
8k views

Everyone on earth receives a magic book that can teleport them anywhere. What happens? [closed]

As soon as you turn 10, you receive a magic book that can teleport you anywhere on earth. If you're above 10, you also received one. By writing the coordinates of anywhere on earth, you can teleport ...
23
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13answers
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How can a firebender become an effective, but stealthy, assassin?

For the sake of this question, the firebending is set similar to the one of Avatar, except firebender cannot be a lightning bender. The setting is medieval, with villages, castles and such. There are ...
23
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15answers
2k views

Justification for ambiguous poetic prophecy

Stories often have prophecies using convoluted ambiguous phrases, unclear wording, or oddly poetic form. Things like saying "no man may defeat me" only to have the person defeated by a female dwarf, ...
23
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20answers
7k views

How to contain a shapeshifter

As mentioned in an earlier question of mine, my particular world has a class of humanoids which have the magical ability to change into a single animal form at will. As detailed in the linked question,...
23
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18answers
5k views

Possible Mage Jobs in an Urban Fantasy

I am trying to create "job" for a very small, specific sect of people. These people's bodies naturally generate and store an energy capable of creating temporal and physical discontinuities. Basically,...
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10answers
6k views

Other than magic, how can a cold-blooded race survive in an arctic climate?

I have a race of lizard people who live in an arctic climate (tundra/taiga). I just realized that this might be a problem, assuming they're cold-blooded, and I refuse to change the fact that they're ...
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7answers
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What would the Ancient Greeks call a wizard that can control life?

In this world set in an alternate Ancient Greece, science is combined with magic given from the gods. People who study healing arts usually worship Asclepius. There also is a cult that studies the ...
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12answers
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Imprisoning people in frictionless bowls

The king's mages have made a discovery: they can create perfectly frictionless surfaces using a new spell. The king immediately suggests a use for this spell: Use it on areas of floor, to keep ...
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11answers
3k views

How to build a fortress to survive against mythical creatures

I need a fortress that will stand up to the following magical creatures, must be above ground and have a fairly large (20-50 thousand) civilian population as well as a roughly equal number of soldiers,...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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5answers
1k views

Regulating the usage of magic in the modern era

If magic were to manifest in the modern (present) age, how would first world governments attempt to classify and regulate its usage? To be more specific (and an example), if the USA created a ...
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17answers
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Weaponising the Grasp-at-a-Distance spell

Wizards have developed a Grasp-at-a Distance spell. It has numerous uses in everyday life of course but the Emperor (may he live forever) wants it to be deployed as a weapon of war. Spell operation ...
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18answers
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How can I prevent an oracle who can see into the past from knowing everything that has happened?

Our study of human history has numerous problems. 99% of history isn’t recorded. Writing has been around only for 5 thousand years, and much of what we know comes from archaeological evidence. ...
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9answers
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What effect would a means of reproduction without pregnancy have on the population?

In sci-fi, we can find the concept of artificial fertilization and incubator quite commonly. I work in a company that's heavily involved in that technology, so I became curious to adapt this to my ...
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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, ...
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5answers
2k views

How to hide from the world that you are a “Groundhogger”?

So Joe is no longer that much pennyless anymore. He drank the potion, won the state lottery, and now is having much missed comfort in his life. But he miscalculated the effects of the groundhog ...
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15answers
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How do dwarves defend their City-under-the-Mountain from a dragon?

The Kingdom of the Dwarves has been rich and prosperous since the days that the first Dwarf-father awoke in the roots of the mountain. In the uncounted ages since he rose, the depths of the mountain ...
21
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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. ...
21
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10answers
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What would cause a region of land to become barren over several decades?

I have a region in my novel called the Burren where some event many years prior caused the once relatively lush hills of farmland to become a barren desert. The desert expands little by little every ...
21
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15answers
7k views

How to battle enemies who have superhuman speed

Let's say your kingdom is plagued by a particularly nasty breed of demons. These hellspawn are similar to particularly ugly thick-skinned humans, except for one thing: they are roughly twice as fast ...
21
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12answers
4k views

Kidnapping children for magic training

Background : In a certain medieval world with magic, people are always in danger of being attacked by non-human races, like orcs, trolls or giant spiders, etc. Villagers keep the village safe by using ...
21
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14answers
5k views

How to explain a world with very little iron?

I want to make a fantasy world where iron, copper, silver, gold and other "common" metals are far less abundant in the planet's crust than they are IRL, forcing people to use stone and bone for most ...
21
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14answers
2k views

Justifications for a language learned via magical transference?

Say I've got a hero who's been summoned to another world. The inhabitants of this world have been expecting his arrival, and are armed with the knowledge that he won't speak their language. So the ...
21
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5answers
3k views

Designing a magic-compatible polearm

The people in my story's universe all have various magical powers, and if they want the effects of these powers to extend to their clothes or equipment, said equipment needs to be designed to a few ...
21
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18answers
6k views

Are there any medieval light sources without fire? [closed]

In a world of my story, which is loosely based on medieval times, fire disappeared. Are there any sources of lighting without fire that would be possible in a medieval setting? It is a fantasy book ...
21
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14answers
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Burning down a mountain

In the lore of the world I'm building, the Dwarves used to have a very large territory surrounded by more or less impassable mountain ranges. This territory shrunk significantly when the elves got ...
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9answers
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Gravity magic - How does it work?

This question graduated from the Sandbox for Proposed Questions Gravity magic - How does it work? (What physical law can magic manipulate in order to affect gravity?) In my world everyone is ...
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8answers
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Turing incomplete magic, avoiding computers in world where magic is programmable

Inspired by Cort Ammon wonderfully detailed answer here: How to prevent tiny mistake in 'programmable language' magic spell causing horrible disasters, and my desire to go out of my way to ...
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9answers
6k views

How to design a world for a western marches game?

Western Marches is a style of RPG game where the players face an increasing amount of danger and hazards the further they go in a given direction. This can be due to being on a frontier, on the ...
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9answers
7k views

You're superstrong but you still weigh the same. What happens when you hit things?

In movies and especially Japanese anime, you can see characters punching through walls, breaking columns by kicking etc. Similar effect is seen in computer games, which is something I'm interested in ...
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12answers
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Suitable weapon for necromancers?

In my world, there is a religious cult that worships the god of death. They are semi-immortal and have superhuman speed. They can raise corpses that are not too severely damaged. They need a melee ...
20
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10answers
7k views

Other, non-synthetic materials for drum heads besides animal skins

I am writing about a race that uses almost no animal products (nothing that kills the animal; dairy products, eggs, cast-off deer antlers, wool, and honey are fine, and the verdict is still out on ...
20
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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 ...
20
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9answers
2k views

Child sorcerers - are they a danger to themselves and others

Young sorcerers' talent starts to emerge when they are two or three years old. The level of their power varies greatly and isn't correlated with their intelligence or sense of responsibility. They ...