Make the Magic Work: Create a Stronger Magic System

Are you ready to cast a spell on your magical world? This post starts a series about building magic systems with an emphasis on built-in dilemmas and conflicts.

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Magic System Development: Magic Use

Magic-using races can only use the magic aligned with their god(s). The gods are either Ordered, Chaotic, or Wild. Humans are unique in that they generate both Ordered and Destructive magic but can only use Ordered magic unless they have been Tainted. Then they can use Destructive magic. I’m not sure yet if a Tainted […]

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Magic System Development: Magic Storage

Personal energy (also needed to cast spells) cannot be stored but can come from others or one’s self, depending on skill level. Magic can be drawn from the nearest sources, ley lines, or nodes, depending on skill level. Magic can be drawn from artifacts regardless of skill level. Magic can be stored but a storage […]

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Create a Magic System: Social Implications

Know the effects that magic use has on society. Unless the ability to use magic is something that everyone has to the same degree, it is yet another personal difference that will set magic users apart. You need to decide both how others respond to this difference and how magic users themselves respond to this […]

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Create a Magic System: Magic User Character Traits

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 […]

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Create a Magic System: Magic User Backstory

Know your typical magic user before you start getting creative. Know who can do it and why, as well as how it affects the character on a personal level. This will give you part of the typical personality, background, and life of a magic user. While these traits might vary between types of magic users, […]

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Create a Magic System: Types of Magic and Magic Users

Types of magic structures and types of magic users are closely intertwined since the first defines how magic is harnessed into spells and the other is partly defined by how they cast spells. Consider creating multiple types of magic users and magic systems. Doing this gives you more freedom to play with ideas and issues. […]

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