Hot answers tagged

62

Tide affects magic where the tide is. It is low tide for me in my tropical island hideaway. The moon is sapping my magical strength. Time to work on my scrimshaw. It is high tide for you where you are, up by the glacier. You send powerful high tide bad juju my way because that is how you are. But your bad juju is sapped by the moon as it reaches my ...


32

Distance High and low tides aren't anywhere near each other. Assuming we're going with the 'twice a day high, twice a day low' cycle of tides as is on our Earth, that means that high tide and low tide spots aren't going to be near each other. That is high tide and low tide occurring at the same time are on spot a quarter of the globe away. So the easiest ...


29

In the real Middle Ages "In my world, the main empire I'm focusing on (of late Classical to Early Dark Ages technology level) has begun expanding on a continent the size of Eurasia. Explorers cross a large mountain range, and discover a large area of forest." Great! We have a nice historical example. The time is the 11th century. The "great empire" is the ...


29

Mosquitoes. In reality, mosquitoes have prevented humans from developing rain forests. A forest filled with aggressive insects can be pretty effective at keeping people out. I first heard about the benefits of mosquitoes in protecting natural habitat from a podcast, but I can't remember which one. Maybe radiolab or freakonomics. https://endmosquitoes.com/...


28

The struggle to be born is the moment when mana is first captured by the child. Wrestling to traverse their mother's birth canal is just the physical manifestation of a more significant struggle; the struggle to become one's self, separate from their mother's life force and mana-pool. This is the magical moment when One becomes Two. And it is the magic of ...


21

You may not need to. Languages are decidedly not fixed. In fact, it's well accepted that the borders between languages are, frankly, pretty darn arbitrary. They're placed along lines which make it convenient for linguists to talk about languages. You may be an English speaker, but you know what a sombrero is, and you probably know what amore is. Some ...


19

As this is something to do with magic, it doesn't need a concrete scientific definition. As it is something your audience won't want to go in depth in, a one to two sentence throwaway explanation would be best. Some examples: A common weakness for magic is metal. The metal knife used for the procedure disrupts the mana giving process. If healing magic ...


14

Linguistic inertia. Each region and culture developed their own languages, and people tend to pass on to their children the language that they are most comfortable speaking in, so the primary language in a region is going to persist unless there's a large influx of people who have a different native language. Beyond that, there are three broad categories ...


14

Not all tides are created equal, so witches wait for special astronomical events. High Tides: Twice a day Your covens will experience two mana influxes every day as the Earth passes beneath or opposite the moon. These influxes will be relatively tame - useless for attacks, but crucial to daily magic usage. Most if not all complex spells will be cast during ...


12

Not possible as suggested. People will game the system. When it comes to pregnancy and childbirth, there are many a danger to both mothers and children. Yet that hasn't stopped people trying to "game" it and try to get something more out of it for millennia. Other answers suggest some sort of rationality from people at large yet even in our world we have ...


11

Cutting big old trees down is hard, dangerous work. They don't have the population density to need the land. These two are likely to be the reasons ancient forests survive into the modern age, but there are more specific reasons you could choose. The settlers are sailors and fishermen, moving into the interior holds no appeal to them. They're coastal ...


11

Wars generally take longer than six hours You experience two high tides and two low tides a day; that's about 6 hours between them. If you attack when you're at high tide, you'll experience a power crash a few hours into the battle. If you attack when at low tide, you'll get a "second wind" after a few hours (and that may actually be smarter). In general,...


10

Create magical defences during high tide The witches in a coven could pool together their increased mana during high tide to create magical barriers that are strong enough to defend them during low tide when it would otherwise be easier to attack. A coven that decides to attack during high tide might not necessarily have the capacity to also set up their ...


9

Have you ever heard about slaves? They're the worst. They don't speak the language, they're recalcitrant, they need to be feed and drink. And worst think, they have mind on their own and sometimes mumble something under their nose about rebellion. But Worry no longer my friend! Here are the zombies. Calm like a dead body. Because they are a dead body. No ...


9

That's half the point of choosing your battles You attack when it's best for you to do so rather than when you're forced to do so. Since the defending faction know when they are weakest they should be taking precautions against being attacked at that time. Perhaps physical defences would hold long enough. Perhaps there's some other course of defensive ...


8

Emotions Have you ever had one of those in the office where your boss asked you to do something ridiculous and demeaning and in your mind you formed a series of words that explained to them exactly which object you'd like to stuff up which of their orifices? And you really, really wanted it to happen? Yeah, so don't do that in Elvish. The Elves might ...


7

This is our archmage casting fireball. It is a better example than perhaps you intended. That is an antiship missile. A NATO equivalent, perhaps the Harpoon, costs a million bucks a go. You don't use it on grunts; it is a specialist and expensive device intended to destroy big, tough and expensive targets. Fewer of these actually have the inclination and ...


7

The mountain range is in the way. As a gross oversimplification, there are two possible patterns of settlement: Develop a piece of unsettled land next to the settled lands. That means the geography will be known, same for wild plants and possible crops, if your plow breaks it will be a relatively short hike to the next blacksmith, but on the other side of ...


6

It sounds like distillation. The higher concentration of distillate you want, the less volume you get because you are discarding a lot of the solvent. Think of alcohol based solution, like whiskeys. You discard most of the water and keep the alcohol.


6

Your magic system isn’t magic: It is based on luck. Those few that can influence the random-number generator are always extremely lucky. That is what gives them the edge in life. However, that random-number generator is flawed in more ways than one. The location on the planet is part of the seed of the generator and this leads to some areas (like your ...


6

Ok, I MAY have gotten a little carried away, so I'll TL;DR first: Orgone forms into "shells" with the most powerful at the center and the weakest on the surface. All the orgone from the outermost shell must be depleted before the next shell can be accessed. Orgone is not just some mysterious substance than is somehow contained within a person's soul. It is ...


6

You don't necessarily need a chemical reaction to have visible flames. Most of the light released by fire is due to black body radiation, the heat given off by anything hot. The color of black body radiation depends on exactly how hot the material is. Red is cool, blue is hot. This is true regardless of what the material is. Iron glows the same color as ...


6

Mages are somatic mutants. https://www.pathwayz.org/Tree/Plain/GAMETIC+VS.+SOMATIC+MUTATIONS The yellow coloured part of this tulip petal is the result of a somatic mutation. Only a part of the organism is affected as not all the cells have inherited the mutation. This mutation most likely occurred during the flower's development in a single cell ...


5

Grammar. Oh, sure, casting a spell in Elvish is easy. You just have to chant a noun over and over again. Maybe sometimes it's a verb instead. But it's always just one word, or a short phrase, that you've learnt how to say properly. You don't have to do anything except repeat it. But have you ever tried to actually put together a sentence in Elvish? It's a ...


5

It is dangerous. There is a significant diglossia (much like Arabic today or Latin in the later Roman Empire, or perhaps not bigger than in the contemporary Czech) – the common, day to day language is significantly different from the high level (perhaps written only) register. Since magic is invoked by words in the “high” language, and the common language ...


5

Already happened! Play with their heads. The Empty Fort Strategy tells of a guy who was in your shoes. So open your doors, get a flute, lyre or whatever have you. And drink tea. Whatever makes it look like you are really at ease. If the other general is a brute, it will kill you. If the other commander is a cunning wolf, it will be spooked. Certainly no ...


5

Solar eclipses on Earth are quite rare already and short (less than two hours). Only one in 25 pregnancies ends in exactly 280 days (the average), that means even if you time the fertilization right, chances on success are at most 1 in 400. (Less if the mother isn't fertile 280 days before the eclipse.) Giving birth is already dangerous, but suppose there's ...


4

I am actually dealing with this situation myself in my magic system. Basically what I have is the power of three m1 abrams on the back of each of the magic users with AOE attacks. They can also fire them as fast as a bolt action rifle, sometimes. So, OP, right? I have a society that counters this in two ways: Ambush and a retreating arrow barrage. Because ...


4

They weren't deliberately banned but rather they fell down a crack in the legislation that means they're not covered by other regulations. They're not aircraft because they're too low and too slow. They're not automobiles because they fly. They could be classed as helicopters but they don't pass the rules regarding rotor safety. If you think that's ...


4

1) Too many people throw trash from flying carpets It is bad enough that car drivers throw trash out their windows at roadside; imagine millions of carpet flyers getting rid of trash by throwing it over the side. This accumulates in gardens and on rooftops as well as in streets and parks. It can also prove a safety hazard - getting hit by a half-empty ...


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