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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 77 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: The Meaning of Magic(k)  (Read 9395 times)
The Crazy Player
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Posts: 7


« Reply #15 on: April 09, 2007, 02:26:49 PM »

I understand exactly what you are getting at.

Now that tj333 and I have gone a couple of rounds on this, does anyone else want to throw their two cents in?
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Spooky Fanboy
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Posts: 585


« Reply #16 on: April 09, 2007, 03:44:54 PM »

What is my vision of Magick? I have several different visions. The vision nearest and dearest to my heart and mind is that Magick is pure human Will. Not a gift from God (or the Gods). Not something foreign, that a rare few can wield and even fewer will be great at. Magick lives in each of us, shaped and molded by the imagination of thinking men and women. Magick is what allowed Mozart (or James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich) to write some of the most incredible music ever. In gaming, I think such Magick should be taken to the next step, given power to reshape the world more literally, less bound by rules (though all systems must have them) than by the boundaries of the imagination. In such a game, what a Mage can conceive, a Mage can achieve. Note that the phrasing of that is important. "Can" achieve, not "will" achieve. There is effort involved, and the risk of failure. Like music, one bad note can turn something sublime into something bland, or even horrific. Magick is the power to do (theoretically) anything, and that kind of power comes with the heaviest of responsibilities. There was an episode of Star Trek: TNG that nicely covered but one potential pitfall. A being of immense power (not Q) became angry at a ship of aliens who had killed his beloved wife, so he willed them out of existence. All of them. Every member of that race vanished in one blinding instant, because this being had wished it. Imagine having that kind of power. That is the game that most interests me.

I have to echo lumpley and say that what would most interest me is a game like you described about magic. Where magic was the front-and-center of the game itself, and the rest (combat, experience, etc.) are just necessary adjuncts to the idea of magic as a whole. You might argue Mage was already done, but I ask: was it done right?

Having magic be what the game is about, rather than just a bolt-on to the system, would be a nice change of pace, and I think it's a broad enough topic that a good group of players could take it in whatever direction they wanted.
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The Crazy Player
Member

Posts: 7


« Reply #17 on: April 09, 2007, 03:55:54 PM »

While I do have a certain fondness for the idea of doing a game solely about Magick, every time I turn around I have a new idea for how Magick might work, and putting them all into single setting would be very messy, particularly since some of the ideas are mutually exclusive.

Anyone have thoughts on how to create a game that can cover numerous and potentially contrary ideas?

The Crazy Player

Oh, and for me, Mage the Ascension was Magick done about 90% right. But, that's a side note.
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Filip Luszczyk
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« Reply #18 on: April 09, 2007, 05:10:23 PM »

Quote
Anyone have thoughts on how to create a game that can cover numerous and potentially contrary ideas?

Well, I'm slowly working on one.
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tj333
Member

Posts: 76


« Reply #19 on: April 10, 2007, 08:15:17 AM »

Anyone have thoughts on how to create a game that can cover numerous and potentially contrary ideas?

The Crazy Player

Oh, and for me, Mage the Ascension was Magick done about 90% right. But, that's a side note.

Here is a go on one that I've been working on, but just making the RPG bits up as I go.
Magic works all the time and in a lot of different ways. But the different kinds of magic cannot work together or in the same place. So when 2 different kinds of mages get together they will be caught in a battle to determine who's magic is right, the loser being changed to match the winner.
Magic is also places that change over time to match the delimitate kind of mage working on/in it.
Mage 1 with Magic 1 is magic is force of will but bigger spells need incantations.
Mage 2 with Magic 2 is just force of will to cast spells.
Mage 3 with Magic 3 is summoning demons.

But magic 1 and 2 together and both of their force of will effects can work but there will e some kind of contest to see if incantations are needed or not. If mage 2 is winning incantations are not as effective and mage 1 begins to lose everything he could do with incantations. If mage 1 is winning incantations are needed and mage 2 best start trying to learn the incantations form mage 1 during the fight if he is going to use any big spells.

If mage 3 showed up he is then going against 1 and 2 and his best bet would be to let his magic be changed so it includes force of will as part of demon summoning and try to get 1 & 2 to accept demon summoning. Though if 1 wanted to screw over 2 he and 3 could agree that magic is only incantations to summon demons.

Assuming 2 & 3 work together for the win:
Mage 1 still has his incantations but needs to start learn about summoning demons. But once he is away from 3 can begin to work spells back into it.
Mage 2 has to start over completely and must accept demons and incantations.
Mage 3 comes out the best since he only had to add to his magic (The use of incantations.) not remove anything.

I see this battle of changing someone else's magic during a fight to be overplayed over the actual game play, the wizards can feel it happening and can choose to fight it or go with it.
Your magic might be changed in any meeting with another mage change but so there are few casual meetings between different mages.
Assuming everyone starts with a few basic characteristics to their magic and compromises can be reached leading to combined characteristics then magic can quickly become a strange and arcane thing indeed.
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Sentience
Member

Posts: 43

Sentient Games - Living Breathing Thinking Games


« Reply #20 on: April 10, 2007, 11:57:48 AM »

Quote
Magick lives in each of us, shaped and molded by the imagination of thinking men and women. Magick is what allowed Mozart (or James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich)

What's this?! WHAT'S THIS?! You're downloading Sanitarium dot em pee three on your Napstermachine?!
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tj333
Member

Posts: 76


« Reply #21 on: April 14, 2007, 12:14:28 PM »

I've been thinking about what I've was talking to about earlier.
Really what it comes down to is don't forget these magic systems need to be made into game systems. The easier that can be done the better. My suggestion was just the way I saw to do it when reading your posts.

My thought was to separate out the parts of the magic system that are connected to rules and pay extra attention to them and that connection. There should be others ways to do that, the only other one that I can think of is to just explain/suggest how they work with the rules in the regular text..
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fantang7
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Posts: 8


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« Reply #22 on: April 22, 2007, 02:49:01 AM »

For me, with a BA in Religious Studies, what's by far the most interesting aspect of magic is looking at what people have thought of it historically.  It is a very rare game that even begins to approach the diversity of views around the world of humanity's interaction with the supernatural.

I personally think that magic should arise from the setting, rather than the other way around.  That is, it should be natural and logical and make sense in the setting.  You might have a cool idea for magic and how it breaks down, but if its just grafted onto the setting, it'll be obvious.  That's the case with, for example, D&D.  The magic doesn't mean anything.  It isn't meaningfully connected to folklore or legends or deities.  Its a function that is then justified in a given setting.  For me, this is backwards.

In my own homebrew game and setting, I started with a desire to have a magic system that made sense and arose from the setting.  The setting is influenced by Bronze Age Earth, so I went back and did a lot of research and worked up a few ways that magic could work in a setting like that.  I ended up with things like heroic ancestry or divine bloodlines playing a large part, along with spirit summoning and devotional magic that is available through cultural deities.  There is also subtle magic that arises out of folkloric beliefs and practices that is available to everyone and is aimed at helping make the setting come alive.  I like the system (obviously, I put all this time into it) because it arises out of the setting.  So, that's my (much-belabored) point.  Setting first, magic second.
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