Well, when I was imagining it, the image I had in my mind was this:
There's a bunch of grey dust. It suddenly flurries together into a grey cube, and it's cracks vanish (binding force). Cracks suddenly develop, and the whole thing crumbles to pieces (deconstructing force). The cube reforms. Now, it begins to grow and spawn smaller cubes and split itself off into a multitude of cubes (increasing force). Then, the cubes begin to shrink and diminish into themselves, some by pieces, others exponentially (decreasing force).
I don't know if this is significantly different from the other system I gave, so I'm not going to really flesh it out, but...
-Rising energy (pulls up- air)
-Descending energy (pulls down- water)
-Central energy (keeps still, keeps together- earth, stone)
-Turning energy (constant motion- can't think of a good example)
-Split energy (when rising or descending pulls on central, it creates split- fire is an example of this) Go to Comment
-Can summon creatures, create items and energy, and renew things (healing?)
-Things and creatures brought forth will be 'rough' - creatures will be almost like crude sculptures without the smooth movements of a "true" creature
-Nothing may be directly damaged or destroyed with this force, but indirect damage - calling forth fire beneath an opponent, for example - is possible
-The nature of things cannot be changed with this force.
-Can shape and mold things to a more perfect form, whether turning a crude natural bridge into an elegant walkway, forming the 'rough' creations of the Creative into "true" creatures and items, or aiding the labors of a craftsman to turn raw materials into a finished product
-Cannot directly create a finished item, only shape it from raw materials
-Cannot deal damage, but can heal.
-Unable to truly alter something from what it is. A piece of wood shaped to become a sword is still wood, and lead shaped into bars cannot be made gold.
-Can break down things, deal direct injury, and banish things.
-Cannot create things except in the crudest way - breaking blocks to make a rough sculpture, or making a tunnel by destroying the earth.
-Cannot be used to shape things save as above; fine control needed to make a finished product is impossible as the energy 'spills over'.
-Cannot change a substance, only destroy it.
-Can transform things from one form to another, or one type to another. Shapeshifting and transmutation are quite possible.
-Cannot create things, although previously existing items and creatures can be made into something else
-Cannot make a finished item by turning a crude item into a finished one, but can change the nature of a finished item - lead bars becoming gold bars, but not a wooden staff becoming a metal sword or a frog into a wizard.
-Cannot actually destroy things, only transform them, although the result may fall apart naturally - a castle wall with the bottom row turned to soft mud will naturally fall apart.
-Mages must undergo a test to determine the forces to which they are attuned.
-Balanced mages are uncommon, as they may use all four forces equally but have no special power with any.
-Polarized mages show a measure of attunement to two forces, but not opposed ones. Thus, Creative/Orderly, Orderly/Destructive, Destructive/Disorderly, and Disorderly/Creative are the only four possible Polarizations. Polarized mages are the most common.
-Duality mages specialize in opposed forces - Creative/Destructive and Orderly/Disorderly. Extremely rare, and often more than a bit insane.
-Specialized mages focus solely on a single force, and can wring measures of strength from it that lie beyond other, more generalized mages, at the cost of versatility. These kinds of mages are about as uncommon as balanced mages, and often work in teams with other specialized mages as befits their profession of choice.
-So-called sorcerers exist (sorcerer being the wizardly term; normal non-spellcasters tend to call them warlocks out of a sense of fear at their 'unnatural' magic) who can tap into the various forces without training and in strange ways. They are extremely rare, however.
-Like wizards, most warlocks are Balanced spellworkers. Their inherent grasp of magic and the nature of their gift, however, makes them roughly equivalent in power to a Polarized or Duality mage.
-Polarized warlocks are extremely rare, while duality warlocks tend to be more common and quite thoroughly off their rockers.
-Specialized warlocks achieve heights of power unknown to anyone else, but usually end up destroying themselves by reaching too far.
-Extremely rarely, Warlocks exist who tap three of the four forces, a thing unheard of among Mages. This unorthodox combination is abnormally powerful, as well, but the imbalance tends to rapidly turn them into gibbering lunatics of no importance.
-Rumors exist of warlocks who can tap a 'Fifth Force' of some kind, doing things that leave Mages and other Warlocks alike completely dumbfounded; distortion of space and time are often featured, but discounted as impossible wives' tales.
-Any spellworker may be 'biased' toward a given force over another while still remaining able to tap into the others. Certain forms of magic are only possible for a given force-dominance or force-balance. The animation of golems, as an example, requires a perfect balance of both Creative and Discordant Force, to summon up animating energy and shape both it and the material of the golem's body together.
-If a 'Fifth Force' exists, it would be linked to the energy and structure of the 'barriers' of space, time, and the planes; a Fifth Force Warlock would likely be able to teleport, augment their own speed, and potentially open portals to other planes. However, such a talent would likely be unfathomably rare in this system. Go to Comment
Arth is the Interplay of the Five elements: Fire, Air, Earth, Water, Luminance (which is normally broken down into Light and Dark making six elements). Once you grasp the associations, making things for Arth are quite simple.
* Associations: Passive, Positive, Submissive, LAW
* Law/Order-Stagnant (Things to stay the way they are right now)/ Law/Order-Dynamic (Things to become stable and stop chaos)
* Primary Gender: Female
* Element: Luminance/ Spirit- Light, links between things.
* Color: White and Lighter Greys, colors one shade off white.
* Symbol: Equilateral Triangle pointed right
* Profession Prime: Acolyte: Faithful. Desire for faith/ spirit
* Profession Sece': Archpriest: Control. Desire for dominance.
* Cards: Triangle/Temple, Priestess
* Associations: Active, Negative, Dominant, CHAOS
* Chaos Dynamic (Desire for changes to happen)/ Chaos Stagnant (Changes to occur only along current lines. Things to change as they are changing right now.)
* Primary Gender: Male
* Element: Luminance- Darkness, magic and deception/illusion
* Color: Black and Darker Greys. Colors one shade off black.
* Symbol: Equilateral Triangle pointed left
* Profession Prime: Mage- worker of magic. Agent of change.
* Profession Sece': Thief and Actor, workers of mind/illusion.
* Cards: Staves/ Wands, Mage
Remember Light and Darkness are simply different sides of the same thing. They are seperate, yet one.
* Associations: Passive, Negative, Dominant, LAW
* Doer/ Leader / Protector (Aids/ Helps/ Defends those in need)
* Primary Gender: Male
* Element: Metal and Rock, Craft shops
* Color: Brown/ Greys/ Metallics
* Symbol: Equilateral triangle point down with a horizontal slash halfway through.
* Profession Prime: Merchantile/ Transactionsmiths
* Profession Sece': Crafter- Excellence in their craft
* Cards: Shield/ Jewel, King
* Associations: Active, Negative, Submissive, CHAOS
* Thinker (Maker of Knowledge- Gain Wisdom)/ Inventor/ Teacher (User of knowledge and wisdom)
* Primary Gender: Female
* Element: Wind/ Cloud/ Weather Libraries/ Schools
* Color: Blue, White, Silver
* Symbol: Equilateral triangle point up with a horizontal slash halfway through.
* Profession Prime: Teacher - Vessel of knowledge
* Profession Sece': Writer/ Scribe - Recoder of knowledge
* Cards: Disks/ Wheels, Queen
* Associations: Active, Positive, Dominant, CHAOS
* Leaders- (Foresight and charisma. Promotes growth)/ Destroyers (Those who lead people down the wrong path. Promotes destruction, which allows for future growth.)
* Primary Gender: Male
* Element: Fire/ Lightning/ Smoke The Wilds
* Color: Red and yellow, smacks of green
* Symbol: Equilateral triangle point up.
* Profession Prime: Travellers and Wardens (those that live in the wilds)
* Profession Sece': Farmers, Trappers, Loggers (those that use the wilds)
* Cards: Trees/ Swords, Knight
* Associations: Passive, Positive, Submissive, LAW
* Feeling, Caring, Mental balance, Love (All positive or controlled emotions)/ Lover. Passions, Drives, and all emotions imbalanced, out of control, and all negative emotions.
* Primary Gender: Female
* Element: Water, Oceans, Sailing, Healing
* Color: Blue Greens (tiny smacks of pink/red)
* Symbol: Equilateral triangle point down.
* Profession Prime: Art, Artists, Producers of Beauty
* Profession Sece': Courtisan, people who help people, healers, skills and edication to do so.
* Cards: Heart, Rainbow, Princess Go to Comment
Thyal (The Green): All that is growing and alive. All plants animals and related things. It is that of nurturing.
Creating and Growing/ Farming.
Kachan (The Stone - Grey): All that is stable. Tangibly this is mostly the solid inanimate/ stones, metal, and soil. This is the element of The Foundation and resistance against the other forces. When The Stone is finally gone, there will be no place left for The Green and The Storm to be.
Zhoorr (Storm- Blue and White): All that is in motion: This is the air and the water. These things are in motion, eroding the solid, feeding the green, being the origin of all things (from that which is in motion).
Chaos, spuring growth and change.
Aural (The Spirit, things unseeen) - Yellow): These are all the thoughts ideas and feelings in the world. This is where the spirits are, the balance of The Stones. This is the place where things that will be are ... they move from The Aural through the Thayl and Zhoor to the KaChan.
The five elements are, in ascending order of power, Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, and Void
Chi (Earth) represents the hard, solid objects of the world. The most basic example of Chi is in a stone. Stones are highly resistant to movement or change, as is anything heavily influenced by Chi. In people, the bones, muscles and tissues are represented by Chi. Emotionally, Chi is predominantly associated with stubbornness, stability, physicality, and gravity. In the mind, it is confidence; and emotionally it is a desire to have things remain as they are; a resistance to change. When under the influence of this chi mode or 'mood,' we are aware of our own physicality and sureness of action.
(Note: This is a separate concept from the energy-force, pronounced in Chinese as qi or ch'i and in Japanese as ki, )
Sui (water) represents the fluid, flowing, formless things in the world. Outside of the obvious example of rivers and the like, plants are also categorized under Sui, as they adapt to their environment, growing and changing according to the direction of the sun and the changing seasons. Blood and other bodily fluids are represented by Sui, as are mental or emotional tendencies towards adaptation and change. Sui can be associated with emotion, defensiveness, adaptability, flexibility, suppleness, and magnetism.
Hi (fire) represents the energetic, forceful, moving things in the world. Animals, particularly predators, capable of movement and full of forceful energy, are primary examples of Ka objects. Bodily, Ka represents our metabolism and body heat, and in the mental and emotional realms, it represents drive and passion. Ka can be associated with motivation, desire, intention, and an outgoing spirit.
Fu (Wind) represents those things that, even moreso than Sui objects, grow, expand, and enjoy freedom of movement. Aside from air, smoke, and the like, FÃ» can in some ways be best represented by the human mind. As we grow physically, we learn and expand mentally as well, in terms of our knowledge, our experiences, and our personalities. Fu represents breathing, and the internal processes associated with respiration. Mentally and emotionally, it represents an 'open-minded' attitude and carefree feeling. It can be associated with will, elusiveness, evasiveness, benevolence, compassion, wisdom, and electricity.
Ku (Void) represents those things beyond our everyday experience, particularly those things composed of pure energy. Atoms, their component particles, and atomic forces fall under this category, as do people in a higher state of consciousness. Bodily, Ku represents spirit, thought, and creative energy. It represents our ability to think and to communicate, as well as our creativity. It can also be associated with power, creativity, spontaneity, inventiveness, nuclear reactions.
Ku is of particular importance as the highest of the elements. In martial arts, particularly in fictional tales where the fighting discipline is blended with magic or the occult, one often invokes the power of the Void to connect to the quintessential creative energy of the world. A warrior properly attuned to the Void can sense his surrounding and act without thinking, and without using his physical senses. Go to Comment
The bagua "eight trigrams" is a fundamental philosophical concept in ancient China. It is an octagonal diagram with eight trigrams on each side. The concept of bagua is applied not only to Chinese Taoist thought and the I Ching, but is also used in other domains of Chinese culture, such as fengshui, martial arts , navigation, etc. If it works for an ancient and philophiocal culture it might work for you.
Qian (Heaven): FORCE
Northwest, grey/ white/ black, Benefactors
Dui (Marsh): OPEN
West, white, metal, family, autumn
Li (Fire): RADIANCE
south, red, fire, fame, summer
Zhen (Thunder): SHAKE
East , green, wood, ancestors, spring
In traditional Chinese philosophy, natural phenomena can be classified into the Five Elements: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. These elements were used for describing interactions and relationships between phenomena.
The doctrine of five phases describes both a generating cycle and an overcoming or restraining cycle of interactions between the phases. In the generating cycle, wood generates fire; fire generates earth; earth generates metal; metal generates water; water generates wood. In the overcoming cycle, wood overcomes earth; earth overcomes water; water overcomes fire; fire overcomes metal; metal overcomes wood.
north, black, tortise, cold, winter, knowledge
east, green or blue, Dragon, rain, spring, benevolence
south, red, Pheonix, heat, summer, propriety
center, yellow, caldron, wind, between seasons, good will
west, white, tiger, clear, autumn, righteousness
Please keep in mind that this is a cycle, produced by the friction between ying and yang cosmic forces.
Water represents the spirit of life.. all things alive come from water.
They grow, from water, made manifest as wood. Wood represents life.
Life eventually brings fire, which is the passion/ emotion/ flow of life.
Wood burns with fire, eventually producing ash... ash makes the solid world -earth.
Earth solidifies farther making metal. From Earth comes metal. Metal gives us the ability to make tools and control the world around us. Metal is the equivalent of the Western Culture Air, the realm of spirit and mind. It gives shape/ focus to the world.
Eventually metal melts and become water.. the cycle begins again.
Well.... This is a topic I am somewhat..... familiar with. It is like asking CP about H.P. Lovecraft, or Strolen about Code, or Monument about D&D 2e. I have a couple more, but they are pretty esoteric.... even for me. Most societies have an elemental system, based upon opposing or cycling cosmic forces that use material symbolism as a symbolic aid. Go to Comment
Most European (and African) systems use a cross mixture of active and passive crossed with positive (birth/ growth/ increase) and negative (death/ reduction). The actual elements change, but the matrix stays basically the same. They are often bound together by spirit/ or ether, where the matrix is embedded. Of course, most of these systems have the same root system from Pre-Egyptian times.
Asian and pacific systems are mostly based on the cyclic flow of cosmic forces. The Chinese Bagua seems the dominant root system, but the Japanese system seems to be a cross between the Euro/ Western Model and the Bagua.
(It should be noted that The Five western Elements and the cycle of elements are complimentry. )
Native American (North) seem to be similar to the Japanese... a cross between the Western and Eastern model.. opposing forces that balance each other in a cyclic dance.
Native American (South) seem to have more in common with the I Ching or 64 paths of cosmic forces than any other elemental system. However our understanding is fairly incomplete, as the Spanish made sure to destroy most religious/ magical texts. Go to Comment
Journey (Pure Orange)
"The journey of a 1000 ri (each one 1000 paces) starts with one single step." Keys: Motion, Path/ Road, Destination, Arrow (triangle) or Doorway/Archway.
Life is a journey, through time, matter, and spirit. The first and foremost element. It seems to be rushing ahead of all others, but in actuality it is pushing the others along.
Patience (Pure Green)
"The perfect moment makes all the difference"
Keys: Passive, Time, Change (not paradoxical, things change all the time, usually in a rythm), Sphere or Coil (time as viewed from the future towards the past - time goes in a circle and travels forward creating a spring).
Peace (Orange and Green Mottle)
"Like the lake, serene and smooth."
Keys: Calm, Balance, Dance, Water of the Lake or Rain, Peace's Glyph.
Without peace there would be no patience on the journey.
Strength (Orange and Purple Mottle)
"The Will to act will forge the vessel."
Keys: Will, Body, Crafts, Fire of the Forge, Strength's Glyph
Without strength to act upon wisdom there would be no journey.
Wisdom (Pure Purple)
"Life is the journey, not the destination."
Keys: Active, Searching, Solids (Wisdom comes from looking at the solid world and seeing beyond it), Square (for the four sided life Truthfulness, Austerity, Mercy, and Cleanliness -physical/ mental/ spiritual)
And all things come from Spirit (Yellow, Red, and Blue)
Key: The unseen, unfelt, unknown except by inference. Puzzles and interlocking rings. The prime mover, yet the greatest resistance to motion. Water without a vessel. A ball floating in air. Arrow without a bow.
Learning (Purple and Green Mottle)
This is not an elemental force. It is a mental construct, anchoring the elemental forces to the material world... the touchstone between spirit and matter/ body... the mind.
Inspired by a new martial arts T-shirt Line. I added the concepts and quotes. Go to Comment
A casual remark by one of the party about something met on a previous adventure leads to a summons to and grilling by the Mages' Guild (or equivalent), probably resulting in an expedition back to that area to recover the things for 'study' by the Guild. The party's presence will be 'requested' for this expedition.