Hot answers tagged

52

Perfectly comfortable, since witches weigh very little It's widely known that witches weigh as much as ducks. And ducks are already very light creatures, to allow flight, with adults weighing up to 3.5 kg. The discomfort from riding a broom is due to the pressure of an adult's weight over the few square centimeters of area the person is sitting on. A witch ...


51

Loads of reasons. But which ones are any good? We can invent any number of reasons. It would help if you first nail down how powerful is the fire magic, and what you DO want the fire to be used for. Then you can root out which of the following are unsuitable. (0) The church forbids it. All the warring nations follow the same fire religion. Hence the church ...


42

Like riding a skateboard. Most witches ride a broom with one foot in front of the other, standing atop the broom. Young witches often go barefoot and might hold their arms out to the side for balance. Occasional witches ride with feet at right angles to the stick, and look sideways over their shoulders. Old witches nod and smile, and stand on their brooms ...


41

They kill EVERYTHING. A berserker cannot recognize friend from foe. They want to kill their (former) comrades as much as their enemies. That makes them bad for fighting in groups. Where they shine is desperate suicide attacks. For example you send ten berserkers ( far apart that they don't kill each other) into one flank of the enemy formation, while your ...


32

Witches don't actually ride on the broom as your would ride you stick-horse or motorbike, their weight is not exerting any pressure on the broom. They use the broom: as a conduit for the magic power that allows them to fly as a way to control their flight course and manage the acceleration while in air Even a rotten heirloom broom stick with barely any ...


29

You can use whatever elements of those points, or none. Nobody wants to go out like this. His people don't like it. Think about it. The leader might want murderous machines to throw at the enemy. Sure. But where is he getting the humans from? His own soldier/people. And they are not fans of a potion with 90% mortality rates. Normal combat is dangerous sure. ...


27

Slide back until you're seated comfortably on the cushion of bristles. I just experimented with a broom in my garage, and, by sitting on the upper end of the bristles, was able to balance easily on a rail.


25

Realistically, I don't think you can guarantee that a particular word won't be spoken. But you can minimize the risk. Change the language This isn't goint to be easy, because you need to make a totally new language, and get everyone to use it (or at least to use some language that satisfies the requirements; having multiple languages isn't necessarily the ...


23

The vocal organs of your people have been modified such that at least one of the phonemes is impossible to voice. There are human languages which are phoneme restricted, so language will continue to be possible. If you wish to obscure this restriction for story-telling purposes, I see two plausible avenues (either or both). You have a "Tower of Babel&...


22

Say it never or say it all the time Persons will effectively mess with the Destroyer by saying the word over and over, really fast. The Destroyer will be shunted back and forth, back and forth. Lots of people saying the word will leave the Destroyer jiggling between realms. And not gently jiggling. Prayer wheels will be constructed which turn and say the ...


19

in an old crone's cackling voice Comfort? This is magic, the absolute subjugation of physical laws by indominable will power. It is technically impossible, yet it happens because the caster demands it to. It is pure misery to push a human mind that hard, yet you're troubled about having to rest your delicate parts on a hard wooden staff. I bet you brew ...


19

Hanging upside down, screaming for help. Most witches know about the other magic required for a broomstick besides just flying, the magic that gives you some invisible seat, but occasionally a young witch is self-taught for some reason and tries to use a broomstick flying spell without any extra spells. She inevitably ends up hanging upside down from the ...


19

Organized shield walls can easily kill beserkers. It doesn't matter how angry you are. A spear through your heart will put you down. An organized shield wall with spear and shield can block people running at them and kill them easily. As such, in battles you need to break their shield walls first. Then, your beserkers can be used to disrupt them from within, ...


14

They're good for shock and awe, but not tactically useful Consider elephants. Every nation with access to elephants has made use of them in war. The trouble they've all had though is that elephants are almost as much a threat to your own side as the enemy. They can't tell friend from foe in a melee, they're prone to panicking, and if they run away then they'...


14

Two Legs on Same Side. This is the more comfortable and common way to ride the broom. The misconception that witches ride with one leg on either side (straddling) is because (a) they do this on takeoff and landing for extra stability and this is when they are most visible and (b) It is sexually suggestive and sex sells.


14

Yes, as you can casually destroy the world. If you make a book about the sun, you can casually summon part of the sun, and destroy the planet. Any magic system which can casually destroy the biosphere of the planet is too strong. You can pull out casters and books from your book who ideologically agree with you and quickly form an endless hegomizing swarm, ...


13

Maybe it turns out that most fire mages are radical pacifists, since their training in fire conjuring requires them to live an ascetic life, and to transcend worldly desires. Thus, its rare they are involved in war in the first place.


13

It never completely wears off. The superpowers wear off completely. But the mental changes do not. / they basically become hardcore sadists, reveling in the pain they cause others/ This element stays and these people come back different. Bad. They cannot be trusted around children. They hurt domestic animals. Some can control their impulses but they ...


13

The body is sort of "custom made" around the soul during the fetal development, and there is a snug fit between the two. As such, when one forces a soul into a body that wasn't tailored around it from the very beginning, it will necessarily deform something in the body, as it is the weakest link in the chain. Since small changes accumulate over ...


11

The real reason: wish is absolutely powerful and being able to cast it too often and with no risks would give any caster that knows it the power to become borderline divine in terms of power. The reason as you're asking it: let's picture the act of using magic as a Japanese goldfish scooping game: Before I continue, just to clarify, the game is essentially ...


11

So you've brewed up a potion that turns relatively normal fighters into horribly sadistic amoral monsters with incredible strength and regenerative powers, and you're wondering why the Jarls are looking at you funny? They've probably been down this road before, and they know it doesn't lead to a pretty place. Modern historians are far from convinced as a ...


11

Nepene-nep covers how overpowered access to drastically different worlds would be, but barely different worlds can be extremely overpowered too. Imagine you wanted to conquer the world within 5 years. Just write a book set in a world where the only changes are that it is 5 years and 6 months later, and that your conquest was successful, and ask around how ...


11

Here's an idea, inspired by the Myst computer game series. Writing such books is hard. You can't really specify tiny details and expect things to magically fall in place. Well, you can, but it's almost always a bad idea. There's ALWAYS unintended consequences and it takes lots of skill and experience just to write a world that doesn't kill you immediately on ...


10

Water is a hard counter to fire magic. Theologically there are several explanations to this. Perhaps the marriage of the fire deity to the water deity means they cannot harm them? Perhaps water produces a mana that is opposed to fire? Perhaps there's some chemical cause? Regardless, water is excellent at stopping fire magic. Not just putting it out- if the ...


10

There is a technique for crawling along a narrow pole or rope - you lie down flat and hang one leg down. That lowers your centre of gravity below the rope, making you stable. If there's no magic in use other than that making the broom fly, this technique would allow you to stay on top of the broom, and spread your weight enough that's not painful. It's ...


9

Cast the bell of censorship Anytime anyone utters "Redac", the censorship bell rings casting a silencing clang of any and all noise in the realm. Thus preventing utterance of "ted". Done this way the language doesn't need to be modified and the Teds of this world don't have to get their names legally changed. This would of course annoy ...


8

Fire is a test of purity. A test your holy warriors can pass. If your empire is the only one with this religion, this is a problem. But making warriors fireproof is (a) really useful and (b) a potent symbol. So armies in your world make a show that they are fireproof as frequently as soldiers in this world hoist aloft a flagstaff or banner adorned with ...


7

Genetic engineering Change the shape of the throat genetically so that the next generation is unable to pronounce certain words. For example, we lack the vocal cord shape that would allows us to make the sounds for ​ ZA̡͊͠͝LGΌ ISͮ̂҉̯͈͕̹̘̱ TO͇̹̺ͅƝ̴ȳ̳ TH̘Ë͖́̉ ͠P̯͍̭O̚​N̐Y̡ H̸̡̪̯ͨ͊̽̅̾̎Ȩ̬̩̾͛ͪ̈́̀́͘ ̶̧̨̱̹̭̯ͧ̾ͬC̷̙̲̝͖ͭ̏ͥͮ͟Oͮ͏̮̪̝͍M̲̖͊̒ͪͩͬ̚̚͜Ȇ̴̟̟͙̞ͩ͌͝S̨̥̫͎̭ͯ̿̔̀ͅ ...


6

/occasionally also hygienic purposes for the very wealthy (only rarely because it's kinda dangerous). / Using it for military purposes is even more dangerous. I am not sure exactly why hygienic fire is dangerous but I bet you know because you put it in the OP. Probably people and pets catch on fire more than they are supposed to. Maybe the fire users catch ...


6

Flames are just not that dangerous. There's a reason soldiers carried expensive metal weapons instead of cheap torches. The most dangerous thing a fire mage can do is set things on fire - which isn't a novel or exclusive ability. If you limit their abilities to little more than what can be done with torches and fire arrows, armies will probably stick with ...


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