Per a request, or comment, earlier in the week, I thought I’d write up a brief (very brief) overview of magic systems I’m using in three settings currently.
The first two are worlds used in a work of fiction in progress (about 23k words so far).
Magic in this urban fantasy setting requires active genetic talent to learn and use.
Magic as a whole is divided into two classes: Low and High magics.
Low magics can be learned by any mage at any time. They simply require study and training. They use small amounts of magical power and produce correspondingly minor effects. The low magics are:
· Waerlomancy (warlock)—works with spirits of nature and the dead; includes binding spirits
· Witchcraft (witch)—works with ad hoc rituals made up on the spot based on materials on hand and feeling for the “right” words/use
· Wizardry (wizard)—works with clear, established rituals in a tried-and-true method without deviation
The high magics require special training and use a greater degree of magical power. Likewise, they produce more powerful effects. The high magics are:
· Sorcery—the gateway to other high magics; simply requires visualization, and a staff which acts like a capacitor for magical energy
· Alchemy—creation of elixirs and materials; important for ability to create magical items
· Gem Lore (Lithomancy)—use of magic inherent in gemstones; important for ability to create magical items
· Rune Lore (Cryptomancy)—use of sigils (signs, symbols, runes, glyphs) to access magic; important for ability to create magical items; tattoo magic is an obscure, rarely practiced, variation
· Blood Magic—use of blood sacrifices to generate large amounts of magical energy to fuel big spells or reinforce spells
· Sex Magic—use of sex to generate large amounts of magical energy to fuel big spells or reinforce spells
Post-Magicpocalypse Earth (PME)
Magic in this post-apocalyptic Earth is somewhat related to Tower Earth, but not too closely. The worlds are connected, but only tangentially.
Magic in PME is something anyone can learn, no talent or genes are necessary. Moreover, all species can learn magic, in theory.
There are five known magics (with rumors that the wildlings, a non-human species, may know two others):
· Alchemy—as Tower Earth, but with the variation of Brewing (mostly used by centaurs)
· Elementalism—the flashiest of magics, control of the elements; often used to power technomagic (such as it is), also useful for weather control
· Mysticism—a magic based on meditation and self-discipline, perhaps the most difficult of magics; Wuxia-like effects
· Necromancy—works with the spirits of the dead (no nature spirits), much like Tower Earth’s waerlomancy
· Sorcery—PME’s name for cryptomancy; the sigils must be at least 1 square inch and must be drawn and named to use, though
The Triphase Worlds
This is a build in progress that may turn into something or not. I haven’t done a build this ambitious in a while. Basically, there are three worlds more or else existing in the same space but off-kilter from each other—one a traditional fantasy world, one an urban fantasy Earth, and one a sci-fi/fantasy world.
All three worlds have the same system of magic, because of their closeness.
Magic in the Triphase Worlds requires genetic talent and training to use. The primary energy source for magic is ley lines that crisscross each world. However, if necessary, a mage with the right training can use blood magic, sex magic, or necromancy to acquire energy—whether a large amount in the first two cases, or power if no line is in range in all three (destroying a spirit, for necromancy).
Props are needed to channel and focus the power and spells, but the exact prop is specific to the mage. E.g. one mage may use a staff, another a ring, a third may chant (this is not chosen by the mage, which prop works is discovered by the mage during training).
The three non-ley line power sources affect the auras and abilities of any magic item created using them.
In addition to standard magic, there are talents. These are special abilities that are relatively common among mages and uncommon to rare among non-mages. They range from minor effects like dark sight (ability to see even in complete darkness) to oracular ability (uncontrolled future sight).
Three of the other species, one of which is known on all worlds and the rest of which are hidden on at least two, have their own magics ranging from elemental control to glamour (light & sound manipulation).
There are also at least two hidden magics that even the mages don’t know exist (and won’t be detailed here).