Create a Magic System: Magic User Character Traits

White-haired and -bearded wizard with robes an...
White-haired and -bearded wizard with robes and hat. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yesterday we looked at building backstory for a group’s ability to use magic. Today we look at how the ability to use magic shapes the typical individual. We look at creating life-styles, personality traits, and common feelings that are rooted in the ability to use magic.

Magic use might foster particular life-styles. The reclusive nature hermit. The solitary academic sorcerer. The head of a magic school. The village hedge-witch. The politically powerful court wizard. The lowly apprentice. The battle-mage. The magic user who tries to hide the ability. All have their stereotypes and all live very different lives. Create an archetype for your typical magic user and you have something to adapt to your particular character.

Magic use might also foster certain personality traits and feelings. Narcissism if magic users have a lot of social power. Shame or rebellion if the ability is considered anathema. Solitary, maybe. Studious or curious depending on the sort of learning that is needed. Maybe hierarchical or respectful of authority, depending on their training and whether their power depends on the existing power structure. They might feel like outsiders in their birth community if the ability is rare.

Finally, consider adding a personal cost for the “gift” of magic ability. Magic use can seem an awesome ability so balance it out a bit. I leave this part to you!

3 thoughts on “Create a Magic System: Magic User Character Traits

  1. Perfect timing – I just “decided” (realized is more like) that my characters have a touch of magical ability, and have had to work it into their story a bit more. Great pointers – thank you!


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