I've been slowly working on a system of magic for my conworld and I recently completed my first pass of it. I present my scribbled notes here to see if there are any holes in my logic, or consequences I haven't thought of, or anything I may have missed.
The terminology used here, alchemy, chi, is just a rough notion for the notes.
How strong is the magic: Mages can be very, very powerful, but the limiting factor is the birth-rate. The birth rate of a single Mage has remained constant at one in every fifty thousand births. Magic does not run in families, and breeding programs have not resulted in an increase of the magically gifted.
What is magic: Magic is the manipulation of a conscious mind of the five fundamental forces that underpin reality.
Time, Light, Life, Chaos and Matter. A person gifted with magic does not perceive any source to his abilities (with the exception of the those skilled in Life Energy) merely he perceives his ability to shape the force he is gifted to shape.
They find that they can perceive forces others cannot, and more importantly that they can exert their living will upon these forces and alter them for their own beneft.
He may see and perceive the world somewhat differently due to his talent. In all cases, the Mage is bound by the laws of physics.
Time Magic: A Time Mage is conscious of space-time, and he can warp the fabric of space time for his own goals and his own ends. A Time Mage is capable of manipulating the flow, but not the direction of time, meaning he can slow down or speed up the passage of time and it’s affects in a certain area. The stronger and more capable the Time Mage, the longer he is able to sustain these affects over a given area. When he twists time and space, whilst he is only bending the rules, the normal order of things is always trying to be re-asserted by the universe. In the end, the universe always overwhelms the efforts of the Mage. The Stronger the Mage is, the longer he can stave off this re-assertion. The greater the change in the flow of time, or the greater the area of space affected, the more strenuous the effort required is to maintain the flow. Once Time has re-asserted itself, the Time Mage is likely to be exhausted and will be incapable of generating a new field until he has recovered.
He is capable of manipulating gravity, and warping space time to generate substantial gravitational fields whose applications are as varied as levitating himself or tearing an opponent apart. The most powerful Time Mages were capable of utilizing sustained gravitational attacks on entire armies, punching holes in enemy lines and defenses or tearing gaps in city walls.
Some Time Mages have been tempted to try folding space in an attempt to perfect instantaneous movement but these attempts have never been effective.
The secret to the power of the Time Mages is the ability to create Mass Shadows. A mass shadow is a phantom mass that bends the local space-time continuum around it, ‘tricking’ it into acting as if that mass actually existed.
Time Mages are capable of detecting the use of Time magic by other Mages via the ripple effect across space-time.
Time Mages can
• Telekinesis via manipulation of gravitons, with the strongest able to move a mass of several thousand tons. Can be used to levitate self.
• slow/speed up time in an area relative to time outside the affected area
• turn invisible (by bending the light)
• use mass shadows as weapons to gravitationally tear the opposition apart
Light Magic: Light magic deals primarily with electromagnetism and the electro-magnetic spectrum. It governs the interactions between particles in a charged field. Light Wizards cannot generate radiation, instead they need an active source of whatever radiation they hope to use. Visible light is best manipulated in the daytime, using the sun itself. As a result, a Light Wizard’s ability to manipulate this spectrum declines at night (some use lanterns and candles, in the modern age using electrical devices). Light Wizards can learn to ‘see’ in all spectrums of light. Light Wizards can manipulate magnetic and electrical fields as well as the very stuff of Light itself, splitting it into its component wavelengths, sometimes rendering themselves invisible or the parlor trick of changing color. Light Wizards can shape and focus light like living lenses, generating energy waves and energy based attacks, although this method is cumbersome it is also extraordinarily effective for mass damage.
Light Wizards can sense and levitate quantities of metals and can warp their shapes. They also have control of electricity, which they can generate simply by using the natural electro-magnetic field of the planet, and which is the more common offensive tactic.
Light Wizards can sense the various metals around them, and they have some ability to manipulate metals by contorting their shape or levitating them. The most powerful Light Wizards can levitate, or sense, any living being via the metallic compounds in their blood. A Light Wizard’s strength can be measured by the strength of the energy wave attacks he can focus. The presence of a strong Light Wizard in an opposing military might necessitate operations at night to limit his options.
Light Wizards can:
• Turn invisible (by manipulating photons),
• Manipulate magnetised metal objects by moving them or contorting their shapes (the most powerful can lift objects that are thousands of tons heavy). The most powerful Light Wizards can float a human body small distances via the trace metals within the body.
• sense metals in the world around them
• Generate powerful, but exhausting energy waves from present light sources by focusing the radiation (The Sun is the classic example)
• Generate and control electricity, which is used as a primary offensive weapon
• Via the iron in the blood, be able to cause significant internal injuries or even just unconsciousness
• Create electromagnetic force-fields
• Create EMP pulses lethal to machinery
• Create Illusions from Light, the more powerful the Wizard, the more complex the illusions they can summon
Alchemist: Via subtle manipulation, an Alchemist can shape and re-shape matter to his or her will. Simple chemistry governs what an Alchemist can do when he alters materials. It is the exertion of living will upon matter. The Alchemist can perform this act consciously, and can reshape matter to his needs. Alchemists can transmute matter at will. An alchemist can draw an iron bar out of a steel bar, but the mass of the iron is lost, and what is left of the steel bar will crumble. Alchemists CANNOT create matter. If an Alchemist wishes to transmute matter, he can only transmute given what materials he has at hand, and can only transmute what is possible (a periodic table would be pretty important to an Alchemist). He can loosen the bonds between atoms and molecules, causing water to turn into steam or dissolve into component oxygen and hydrogen. More so than other disciplines of magic, Alchemy is a process that is ‘felt’…an Alchemist can divine what an object is made of as well as it’s mass simply by touching the object. Most importantly, an Alchemist can only transmute what he is physically touching. Alchemists are limited by laws of quantity, they can only transmute whatever is physically present, as well as the law of like to like, in which if they wished to separate a quantity of iron from a quantity of steel, then they could only interact with the iron in a single action, and only they could only interact with the amount of iron present in the item they were transmuting, and not sources of iron in two separate steel bars not in contact with each other.
Alchemists can manipulate matter at the sub-atomic scale by affecting their control of the strong and weak interactions.
Alchemists learned to be careful around certain materials they worked with as they could accidentally irradiate themselves or cause terrible, poisonous explosions.
Alchemy is the most tactile school of magic, requiring physical contact to transmute matter.
Alchemists perceive different elements as different tactile sensations, even within compounds they can feel the elements.
Alchemists can only transmute one element at a time, only in certain ways, and only in the amounts present. Their actions can affect all atoms of a certain element as long as those atoms are in contact with each other.
Alchemists can move matter through its four physical states (solid, liquid, gas, plasma)
What can an Alchemist do?
• An Alchemist can reshape the form of any item in a solid state
• An Alchemist can remove a given element from an item in it’s entirety according to the principle of like to like
• Alchemists can move matter through their various physical states at will, and maintain that matter in given state even if the local environment is hostile (e.g. an ice cube in a desert)
Chi: Life energy, basically chi. Is the force that animates matter and makes it alive. As an active force in all living things, it is one that can be focused and trained. It is the only school of magic where a source of power has been defined as the user’s own reservoir of Chi.
Chi can be thought of as a great river, a great force in the universe, flowing where it can. The river branches off in many places, and everyone has their own tributary of this great river.
Various orders have dedicated themselves to teachings those with the most basic grasp of this force how to use it as a martial skill, improving their speed, resisting deadly blows, slowing poisons, sensing the world around them, heightened senses, increased strength. The exploits and tales of these warriors are legend. Unlike the other True Schools, the source of Chi is innate to all, and all draw it from a force that permeates the universe much as space-time permeates the universe. However whilst all can be taught to harness their chi even if not born with the skill they are limited in what they can achieve. The approach of the orders who harness chi therefore has been to excel at what they can, and it takes decades of study to master
These Warriors can
• Move swiftly, at superhuman speeds. They can even run on water given the correct conditions.
• Jump or Leap great distances
• Purge themselves of poison
• Can resist blows from swords or even bullets and energy weapons, their skin is like armor.
Those born with the ability to harness their chi are invariably drawn allowing them to interact with other life, especially plants. Ecomancers possesse a monopoly on telepathy and mindwalking skills. They themselves become great fonts of Life energy. At the apex of their power they may cause seeds to sprout and minor wounds to heal by their mere presence. To go with the river analogy, the wider the tributary they possess, the stronger they are
• Use Telepathy (life to life)
• Lengthened Life Span
• Mindwalk into another person’s mind (telepathic rape if non-consensual, but ecomancers can live very privileged lives), can create hallucinations
• Can determine ailments in another individual by touching them physically
• Heal (Can regenerate organs and limbs from the point of death amongst the very strongest)
• Commune with nature, powerful Ecomancers can dominate the lesser wills of animals around them. The emphasis here is on dominate, Ecomancers don’t really make friends with animals.
• Ecomancers who spend a great deal of time in an area can form a bond, greatly expanding their senses within their ‘grove’. This can be known as a warp, an unnatural phenomenon whereby the natural order twists to reflect the needs of the Ecomancer.
• Accelerated Growth. Ecomancers can accelerate growth in living plants, but can also accelerate it in living creatures. This can be done until the target life dies from old age.
• Withering: Ecomancers can force Chi to withdraw from certain areas, by consuming it (for example, to power a heal from near death) or by ‘damming’ it’s flow in a target area. Without chi, living matter rapidly dies, however they can restrict the flow of chi instead. Restricting chi causes the target physical pain and is an effective tool of torture. Withering can be used on limbs, or on entire areas.
Immortals are the final group of people affected by Chi. They are people for whom, by some quirk of fate, their internal chi continually renews and revitalises them. Once they reach full maturity they never age, they never fall sick, and they can recover from serious wounds. Unlike Ecomancers they cannot channel the strength inside of them. This is regarded as a curse, as everyone the Immortal knows dies around them whilst they continue. Immortals suffer discrimination as they are prevented from holding all positions of authority.
Chaos: One touched by Chaos inevitably begins twisting the laws of probability around themselves. By it’s very nature, this is an uncontrollable art. Those who discover they have the ability to manipulate the laws of fate are often tempted to skew the odds in their favor, and it is often not long till calamity follows with grave consequences for the practitioner and those around them. Chaos Magic is punishable by death as the use of the ability is deeply addicitive, yet control over it is notional. Anyone who cannot resist the temptation of Chaos is eventually consumed by it.
History speaks of Chaos people whose very presence twists and skews the laws of probability to the extent that society cannot function around them as They lose control of what abilities they began with, the laws of probability begin to go wild of their own accord.
'I know it's selfish, but this is my story!'
Last edited by Yezhan Seru on Wed Feb 22, 2012 11:32 am, edited 1 time in total.