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Offline ephemeralstability

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Spice up your magic system ***
« on: January 17, 2004, 02:50:17 PM »
Are you sick of the D&D grimoire? Are you disillusioned with freeform magic degenerating into a free-for-all? Do your wizard characters shout out "I'm casting a sleep spell" instead of "abracadabra"? And why do people say abracadabra anyway? I hope to suggest a few alternative methods of spellcasting which you could incorporate into your game and which might make the whole thing more exciting, challenging or...realistic?

Magic Words

Abracadabra is thought to be the corruption of an older word, possibly the name Abrasax which belonged to an ancient Gnostic leader. Maybe you could create magic words based on the names of famous historical wizards in your own campaign worlds, e.g. Palanthalamalatus, or Elgolilorilod. The traditional magical words were often written as a triangle (a search through the University Library turned up the following example!)
ABLANATHANABLANAMACHARAMARACHARAMARACH
ABLANATHANABLANAMACHARAMARACHARAMARAC
ABLANATHANABLANAMACHARAMARACHARAMARA
ABLANATHANABLANAMACHARAMARACHARAMAR
ABLANATHANABLANAMACHARAMARACHARAMA
etc.

The obvious way to use this in an RP system is to give magic-users magic words for each spell, the more difficult the spell the longer the word. He will then spend a turn trying to say aloud the reductive triangle of the word (as above) before he can cast it.

Why I like this idea:
    1. This really would give the PC an idea of why wizards can't do anything while they're spellcasting (they need to concentrate!). Obviously first-level spells would maybe have words like "ARROW" and can be completed quickly. A cataclysmic campaign-ending Earthquake spell to level a city may take a whole ten minutes to recite!
    2. It gives the whole proceedings a sense of real magic: somehow incantations lend an aura of mystery to anything, and the repetition of these words in the background while the other PCs are engaged in combat could prove to be a real tension-builder.
    3. It leaves open the possibilities of what might happen if the wizard is interrupted, breaking the spell, or even (horror of horrors) misses out a line! For weak spells he might just get a headache for a few hours. The interruption of a more powerful incantation might cost him intelligence points (or system equivalent!).
    4. It puts limitations on a freeform magic system: limitations of time and of scope. Spells cannot be used willy-nilly, or else the wizard is going to wear his tongue out!

Magic Squares

A magic square is a mathematical curiosity: a square of numbers the rows, columns and diagonals of which each add up to a particular number (the so-called magic sum). In fact the numbers in the square have to be consecutive whole numbers (so for a three-by-three square you'd use the numbers 1, 2, 3, ... 9).

What's so special about that? It is a seemingly arbitrary construction, and they have no (known) mathematical application. But since ancient times they have been employed in magical rituals and mystic traditions, from Chinese Feng Shui to Qabalistic summoning rites.

Let me explain how they are used in "real-life" before going on to see how they might be used in an RP setting. One fascinating thing is that the magic squares used by the qabala can be represented diagrammatically to give a symbol associated with that magic square. For instance in the three-by-three square shown below I have drawn lines through the numbers 1,2,3; the numbers 4,5,6 and the numbers 7,8,9, to obtain the symmetrical collection of lines which represents the square. Since in the mystic tradition this square is associated with the planet Saturn (don't ask how!) this symbol is taken as "the sign of Saturn".

Quote
The 3 x 3 Lo-Shu Square used in Feng Shui and also qabala to construct the sign of Saturn



The summoning of a spirit using a magic square involves converting the spirit's Hebrew name into numbers (the Hebrew equivalent of A=1, B=2, ...). Then tracing those numbers out in order on the square will produce a pattern which becomes a symbol for the spirit being summoned.

For more details about this strange and fascinating system see Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa von Nettesheim's "De Occulta Philosophia", available to read online here: http://www.esotericarchives.com/agrippa/agripp2b.htm#chap22

How can the flavour of this system be incorporated into your game?

    1. Use a 3 by 3 magic square for simpler spells and increasingly larger ones for more complex or powerful effects. The square must be memorised by the caster or stored in s/his spellbook. Each spell has a name (decided by GM and player when the spell is learnt) and is associated with one of the elemental spheres (fire, water, etc.), planets or other deities (whatever is most appropriate to your campaign world). The name of the spell is then converted into numbers which are traced out on the square while the relevant deity is invoked by a standard incantation.
    2. Or simply derive a symbol for each spell in the same way the qabalists derive the symbols for the summoned spirits. Then this symbol could either be traced out in mud, sand or even the air with a wand to cast the spell.

Possible modifications include using magical cubes or other arrangements of numbers instead of squares.

Why I like this idea:
    1. There is something intrinsically beautiful about magic squares and I like the idea that magical sigils can in some way be derived from mathematical principles (albeit imbued with duboius mysticism). Maybe a magical alphabet could be derived in this way as well?
    2. It leaves the possibility for further spell-research. When a magic-user progesses in level or experience s/he wants better spells. To get them s/he has to spend time in s/his study, constructing magic squares (that'll reduce the number of PCs who want to do high magic anyway!). There are methods for constructing magic squares, some of which can be found here:
http://mathworld.wolfram.com/MagicSquare.html[/list]

I'm sure there are many more mystical ideas out there, just ready for use in roleplaying games. Make use of them!

ephe!
« Last Edit: December 04, 2005, 12:36:45 AM by MoonHunter »
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Offline MoonHunter

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Might I suggest....
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2004, 01:35:52 AM »
http://www.llewellyn.com/bookstore/book.php?pn=L868

The Magician's Companion is a "desk reference" overflowing with a wide range of occult and esoteric materials absolutely indispensable to anyone engaged in the magickal arts! The magical knowledge of our ancestors comprises an intricate and elegant technology of the mind and imagination. Also included are discussions of the theory and practice of magic and ritual; sections on alchemy, magical alphabets, talismans, sigils, magical herbs and plants; suggested programs of study; an extensive glossary and bibliography; and much more.

If you are aiming for a realistic magic system, this is the book for you.  It is accessible to the uninitiated reader.  It gives you details on a variety of mystical symbol system, as well as universal techniques and processes in common to all spell systems.  

If you are a practioner, this book is a must.

The reason why I bring this book up, is that mystic symbol sets are what magicians use to focus their concentration and power.  The more information loaded into a symbol (be it a word, color, type of drum strike, spirit animal, etc) the more focus and power it can generate for the magic user.  This book not only gives you 80 or so mystical sets, but shows you how you might create your own fictious (or not so fictious) versions.  
 
Another book I like, but is not as useful for gamers...
http://www.llewellyn.com/bookstore/book.php?pn=L324

Modern Magick is the most comprehensive step-by-step introduction to the art of ceremonial magic ever offered. The eleven lessons in this book will guide you from the easiest of rituals and the construction of your magickal tools through the highest forms of magick: designing your own rituals and doing pathworking. Along the way you will learn the secrets of the Kabbalah in a clear and easy-to-understand manner.

This book, in addition to giving a good grounding in Hermetic tradition magics, will show you the basics every magic user will be using no matter what their traditions. If you are playing in a fantasy Europe, welcome to the magic system you will be using. (If you want to make it more traditional, it requires dozens of symbols, inscribed in the right materials, candles of the appropriate colors, and the correct astrological time to cast it... but if you want to be light and more modern fantasy... use as is.)   If you are not, change the mystic symbols and the information can be ported between cultures.  


I have more on the subject, but I need to reference some things first.
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Offline Magus

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Spice up your magic system
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2004, 02:22:39 PM »
I have an idea to spice up magic too. In order to casp a spell, the players could combine various runes and arcane words to make a spell. Although a lot of effort would have to be applied for the dm to decide what sort of spells would be made. I personally would like to play a game that involved this system. Ill post some examples below

fiera-duko-neira= basic fireball
fiera-soze= fire rain
water R-water R-win R= crushing wave (where R means rune)

These are just some examples and could be changed as the DM sees fit.
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Offline ephemeralstability

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Spice up your magic system
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2004, 04:27:01 PM »
Indeed. I think anything which gives magic more personality is good, instead of just telling your GM what spell you're going to cast.

In your system, Magus, how would the runes be used: would the magic-user inscribe them in the ground, trace them in the air? You might want to check Manfred's Runecaster thread for ideas about the use of runes.

Am I right in thinking the magic-user could obtain any effect s/he desired as long as s/he knew the relevant magic words? e.g. s/he knows the spell "furore" to cause chaos and the spell "insectia transmogroficio" to turn people into insects, can s/he then cast the spell "insectia furore" (hoping to summon a chaotic swarm of insects)? I think that's a nice system.

ephe!
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Offline Magus

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Spice up your magic system
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2004, 02:30:45 PM »
Ya thats pretty much what i had in mind, however the DM may want to limit this system to keep a limit on low level characters casting high lever spells. such as having the stronger spells take a higher degree of focus, of the spell draining some life or (if your going to use mp) mp.
    Runes could be used howere the dm sees fit. Im not a big rune user, but I would have them used as that the caster etches them on the air leaving a trace of light like is shown in some video games, which would end up using them as physical gestures.
    But like i meantioned, Im a novice when i comes to runes, and the only time i would ever use them myself is when enhancing equiptment, which in that case the right combo of runes could enchant a sword or spear (come to think of it, in that way its exactly like the way runes are used in diablo II LOD).
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Offline MoonHunter

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Laws of magic:
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2004, 05:54:47 AM »
Laws of magic have been stipulated from time to time and tradition to tradition, from Hermes to the gamer next door. The most comprehensive and modern set came from Isaac Bonewit's classic tome, Real Magic. Currently out of print, you can only get these laws (in pulbished form) in either The Magician's Handbook OR Authentic Thaumaturgy (SJ Games).

The Laws of Magic are not legislative laws but, like those of physics or of musical harmony, are practical observations that have been accumulating over the course of thousands of years, with remarkable similarity in almost every known human culture. Those of you who prefer to remain skeptical as to the reality of psychic phenomena and the systems of magic developed to control them will at least find these Laws an interesting and detailed guide to what psychologists and anthropologists so patronizingly refer to as “magical thinking.”

Those of you who play magicians as characters or run worlds with magic will find these Laws a remarkably concise guide to the ways in which most magicians, at least on this world, believe magic to work. Most of the technical motivations of magic-using characters, before, during and after using magic, should be based on these laws.

For GMs, These laws can be used to create "stage dressing" for your spell systems. In addition, they can be used to generate a "flavor modifier" for the spell system.  

Here are is a link that has a good article on them.
http://www.neopagan.net/AT_Laws.html
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Offline Grevenon

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Spice up your magic system
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2004, 06:47:00 PM »
I agree with magus. when a low level character casts a high lvl spell, backfire effects should affect the character depending on the spell lvl. one of the best spells should knock them out for a number of turns and deal minor damage to them. When the character gets to a new lvl, teh back-effects aren't as critical as before.
ex. a lvl 14 mage casts a lvl 36 spell= stun for 2 turns and dealt 2d10 dmg.
same scenario: a lvl 30 mage casts a lvl 32 spell= dealt 2d4 dmg.
  The rune idea is cool too. By getting certain runes, a character can cast a spell. Once the spell is cast, the runes spontaneously combust and you must get the same rune type to cast that spell again. this is kind of like a Rune Fusion.
ex. R-water + R-earth + R-thunder = Thunder Tsunami ( or some other name)
(R stands for rune). I think this would be very fun to collect these and fuse them to get all sorts of crazy spells. mage classes would be very different and exciting that way.
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Offline Grevenon

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Spice up your magic system
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2004, 06:59:13 PM »
Also, the amount of time taken to cast the spell would have to do with the number of runes used. If 4 runes are fused to make a spell, the character would have to wait 2 of their turns to successfully cast the spell. if it falls on a decimal number, than things can change.
ex) 3 runes are fused. the time taken would be 1.5 turns. but how can you get half of a turn? the answer lies here. if your time is 1.5, you would cast the spell at the end of the round, despite of when in line you are to make your attack ( if there are 4 people and you are the person with the second turn, you would wait till last). this makes it somewhat like ff tactics when the mage has to charge up the skill or spell to use it.
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Offline CaptainPenguin

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Spice up your magic system
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2004, 08:31:10 PM »
Too complicated, too complicated!

Who, in the heat of a battle, wants to calculate out how many turns it takes them to summon up a demon or something? It would just contribute to game-stalling, the worst thing that can happen in a roleplaying experience!
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Offline Grevenon

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Spice up your magic system
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2004, 10:37:32 PM »
for one thing, it isn't complicated. all it does is rely on the mage to "calculate" the turns it takes to power up. and besides, is it that hard to add up how many runes there are and divide by two? didn't think so.
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Offline MoonHunter

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Thread Drift aside
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2004, 12:41:48 AM »
Okay. The magic system he listed is actually a magic system based on a video game, rather than "real world" magic that this thread is expounding on. So unless he wants to pull out a system of runes (Norse or the glyphs of your choice) and assign game mechanics to them, it is really off topic.  

This thread is about real magic systems and how they can add color and depth to your game systems. Most games spell systems are one step away from a video games.  They do not have the depth or the "coolness" of any spell system found in fantasy literature (aside from any TSR/ DnD related book).  This is what this thread is talking about. How to add more "cool" or interest to your magic system.  

Now CP: He is right. It is not that hard.  Players in such a system will have their own personal spell notes, where they will have figured out their useful and common spells.  The only time they will be figuring out spells "on the fly" will be "odd times" that their normal spells are insufficient.  Yes that will happen in tactical situation, but not all that often. And given the system he has proposed, will probably be finished as the other players are finishing their actions that round.
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Offline Strolen

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Spice up your magic system
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2004, 03:39:24 PM »
Wouldn't it be nice, for a change, for the player to actually get to take part in the magic?

Too often it is as eph said, "I cast fireball."

Ooooh, how difficult and awe inspiring. The DM probably just blows right over it too. "Twelve goblins take max damage" or whatever and that is that. Nothing describing the fire being created in a man's hand. The slow build-up of heat and mass until it erupts into a spark showering fireball.
(gotta watch Firestarter again)

I think overall something like this would benefit the power uber gamers that don't give magic the respect it deserves. Yes, they love magic and know all the spells and that is the problem, it is taken for granted.

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Offline MoonHunter

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Performance Modifier
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2004, 06:57:41 AM »
This is a mechanic that I have toyed with.  It is related to the performance modifier I posted up before ( http://www.strolen.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=3622#3622 ).  The example I am presenting is for magic, but it can be adapted for any visually dramatic game activity (like combat).  

Every time a character is going to cast a spell, they need to describe/ narrate the process and the initial effects.  The GM will evaluate their "performance" based upon "coolness", visual descriptivness, clarity, keeping within special effect, and brevity, scoring each "casting" from one to ten.  

This scoring is subjective.  What might rank a 4 in my game, might be an 8 in yours.  The purpose of the ranking is to definitively reward good narration.

A performance that is average, from 4-6, the spell effect goes off in an average fashion, as listed in the books/ with slightly below average rolls.

A performance that rates 7-8, the spell effect goes off with a little advantage, more than listed in the books or with above average rolls.  Small edges/ advantages should result.  

A performance that rates 9, the results are exceptional or advantagous to the character.  The results should exceed the book results, with several minor or one major edges beyond the spell's effects.  

A performance that rates 10 should not occur very often.  Magic just happens.  The GM should narrate some excessive effect in line with the spell cast.  Sometimes this may be too much, because it could have reality altering effects,  

The probability will occur that lower scores will happen.  

A performance that rates 2-3, the spell effect goes off low effect, the minimum result for the roll or less than the defined area of result.    

A performance that rates 1, the spell fails. No positive effect occurs.  In fact, a backlash against the character (expressing a similar effect as the spell being cast.).  The character can not perform magic again, for a long period of time game time (day or three of game time).  Anyone who rates a 1, really should think twice about running a spell caster.  

Players in this system might want to invest in some cue cards and rifting.  There is an entire article on it, here:
http://www.rpgcitadel.com/guild/index.php?topic=654.0
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Offline MoonHunter

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Spell Tools
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2005, 02:21:19 PM »
Most magical systems use tools, symbols to help focus the concentration and associations for the spell caster. Rarely is anything "consumed" in the casting, unless it is a sacrifice or needs to be burned.  

Spells are normally a process, what people call rituals. The basics are the same 1) Create ritual space, 2) Call forth the power, 3) Pattern the energy/ focus the energy, 4) Release the power, 5) Open ritual space. All the various tools help spell casters focus their concentration (which focus's the energy). Even quick spells are the same as rituals, it is just they don't use all the bells, whistles, and foci that make a ritual more effective.  Many quick casting spells are actually prepared ahead of time and are "stored" somehow, with a trigger to set it off.

On to the goodies.

*Candles: Red, Yellow, Green, Blue, and White... but other elemental association colors are good.

*Silk Ribbons (red usually): Again for symbolic binding, holding, or can be used to create symbolic centers.

*Ink and Brush/ Pen: Used to inscribe any number of mystic symbols.  In some mystic systems, the actual strokes in creating the symbol have meaning... each one adding a layer of meaning and concentration to the symbol.

*Chalk and String (used to create magic circles). The strings are usually marked to certain lengths to create multiple point stars inscribed in circles. Each string will have the measurements for the various mystic patterns to be inscribed.

*Corn Meal: Used like the chalk. Some people use road dust or odd colored dust for the same purposes.

(Personally, I use wax. It never blows away and is hard to smudge. This his handy when things are being summoned, warded against, or evoked, and a broken line can have bad effects. It comes up easily with either a little heat or a simple scraper. If you are going to use cornmeal or dust, invest in a spritzer bottle and spritz the substance in h20. It makes it stick together and on to the floor (until it dries out)).

*Ritual Carpet: It is a good sized plain carpet with an appropriate mystic symbol (or at minimum a circle with a 4 point cross) traced upon it.  The actual symbol is drawn upon the carpet each time (often tracing over the circle). The Carpet can be brought outside to make outdoor rituals easier, safer (usually less flamable than dry meadow grass or pine needles), and less painful (avoid rocks, sharp pinecones, etc). The carpet has grommets in the four corners so it can be staked down, as not to blow away. (Kudoes to a friend who reminded me of this thing).

*Crystal and more crystals. Usable in so many ways, even if you are not "new age" in orrientation.

*Athame: Magically attuned knife, usually blunt... but not always. Once blooded can not be used for "good" magical purposes. Used for fire or the initiation of magic.

*Incense burner: with a variety of inscents.

*Challice: Any cup with stem will do.

*Small Mirror: Usually etched with a multipoint star (though five is the common). Often used for Earth items.

*Wand: carved with air runes. other wands need to be created for

*Flute: Used for air or for summoning.

*Fan: Used to move inscent smoke.

*Staff: Used for spirit of many larger rituals to define boundries.

*Paper Models: Origami or folded paper symbols of items.

*A set of 23 bells, each with a different tone in the scale.

*An actual magic sword, which is more like a short trident than sword with a variety of mystic symbols and names inscribed on it. This tools allows the mundane to effect the astreal.

*A few dozen marbles or cystals: (You never know what you need to store in one).

*Tarot Cards (or any number of symbolic tablets): Spells and rituals can be "stored" in the orders of the card. The cards can be used for their symbolic value for substitution in a spell.

*Cages for any small animals needed to be sacrificed.

*A number of small latchable boxes that are used to contain various earths, herbs, or spell components (including hair samples, virgin blood, etc). These are often carried in a small trunk. A Chinese Apothocary Trunk is good for this. A make up case can be substituted.

*Broom, Bucket, and Water: Well.....  cleaning up a ritual or even a spell is a pain. That is one of the real reasons for apprentices and long apprenticeships.
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Offline CaptainPenguin

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Gwa Jan Magical Tools
« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2005, 07:32:37 PM »
Gwa Jan is a syncretic religious-philosophy and magical tradition. It is based around the concept of ascending to godhood (taq tsodien, literally, "existence as emanation" or "being energy"). The esoteric mystical(magical) aspects of Gwa Jan are focused around the production and manipulation of reality through the control of hombaq tra, literally, "powerful opposition", the Gwa Jan concept of a paradox which sustains itself, or a destructive force or situation which is made to sustain or pull things together.
Gwa Jan magicians make use of certain magical tools in order to create and harness hombaq tra. Though originally only used by the small splinter community of Gwa Jan called the Timqu Gwa Jan (who embraced magic as a faster path to taq tsodien), they have been incorporated into mainstream Gwa Jan ritual as the Timqu Gwa Jan have become more influential (and more blended) in the majority group.

Mirror- mirrors are useful in that they create hombaq tra oh, personal hombaq tra. This is based on the principle that there cannot be two exact copies of the same emanation (In Gwa Jan, all material things are emanations of tsodien iqu, or slow energy). The mirror, in creating two exact copies of an emanation, produces a paradox, a crisis. But instead of this crisis destroying both images, the two objects remain until the mirror is moved. Thus, hombak tra is produced, but it is hombaq tra which is focused only on the thing reflected in the mirror. Thus, it is hombaq tra oh, energy which is used to affect a certain emanation, the thing or person reflected.

Water- a bowl or vessel full of water is essential to Gwa Jan magic. Water represents a minor manifestation of hombaq tra- it can but cannot be broken (a puddle can be splashed, but it only separates into smaller droplets), and it can be like stone or air (ice or mist).

Ritual Knife- a ritual Gwa Jan knife is generally heavily ornamented and the blade is mirror-polished (to take advantage of the above-mentioned qualities of a mirror). During Gwa Jan rituals, the knife is used to create constant danger, thus producing hombaq tra bendi, danger hombaq tra (a complicated concept best expressed by the fact that one is still in danger from an attacker with a sword, even if one has escaped a single blow from said sword).

Seven Directions Map- A seven directions map is a round object (generally a disk of bone or stone, though sometimes a piece of leather, hide, a woven object, or even a wheel or table) upon which is inscribed a compass-like figure with the Gwa Jan symbols for the seven directions (north, south, east, west, up, down, and center). This is used to align the Gwa Jan sorceror along all the seven directions so that, ritualistically, all hombaq tra energy is centered around, emerges from, and flows to the caster (which, in itself, produces hombaq tra because there cannot be more than one center of the seven directions).

Candles- generally colored to represent the seven directions, candles, when burning down, produce hombaq tra in that they are made liquid, yet remain (and return to) solid.

Energy Image- an energy image is a picture (often stylistic or metaphorical) of the effect or usefulness derived from the spell which the Gwa Jan sorceror wishes to conduct. The energy image does not produce any hombaq tra in and of itself, but it allows the Gwa Jan sorceror to focus the hombaq tra produced by the various crises that he makes into creating or sustaining the effect.
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Offline Kinslayer

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« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2005, 10:23:08 PM »
Mystic Laws
Different thaumaturgical truisms have been postulated over the centuries. These basically codify & describe the components of a magical ritual. The more of these laws that are utilised in a ritual, the more effective the magic tends to be.

The Law of Alchemy
—The attributes without mirror the powers within
Magical power is derived from natural associations: feathers for flight, fish scales for breathing water, or glass for sight enhancement.

The Law of Assistance
—The world is the shared dream of all
Having additional helpers, chanters, or other participants provide a stronger collective will.

The Law of Association
—As above, so below
This is perhaps the most important law, being reflected in most of the others. The ritual showing the association between different items creates magical effects. For example, drawing a smile on a love-poppet to ensure that the resulting relationship will be a happy one.

The Law of Contagion
—Once together, always together
This law means that things 'remember' their associations to others. For example an object favoured by someone could be used to cast a spell on that person. Continuing with the love-poppet, placing the desired person's hair or nail-clippings in the doll creates a bond between the poppet and the actual person.

The Law of the Sun
—The sun shines down on all
This is simply that any source of energy—even kinetic, as with a waterfall—can provide the power that fuels a magical effect. Fire is used in many rituals, but any source of energy can be—such as the tying action of a knot to 'bind' the wind.

The Law of Intent
—Desire fuels all actions
Without an active will to affect the world, no magic will happen. In other words, a computer program could not cast spells.

The Law of Names
—To Name a thing is to own a thing
Naming something is to define it and gain a form of control over it. This is what knowing a demon's true name is all about. The more you know about the target of your magic, the greater chance that you can affect it.

The Law of Rule
—Dominance or submission
When two or more wills are attempting to assert the same influence in different ways, one of them must dominate the other before any magical effect can occur. This makes direct-influence spells more problematic than those with an indirect effect. For example, if you want to stop someone from pursuing you, casting a spell that paralyzes their legs would be more difficult than causing their bootlaces to tie themselves together.

The Law of Sacrifice
—Greater loss is greater gain
Simply put, the greater personal loss to the mage, the greater the magical effect. For example, burning a blank page from a spellbook would have less of an effect than burning one that had a favoured spell written on it.

The Law of Sympathy
—Like produces like
This is the association of a small action with a larger one. For example breaking a twig as part of a spell to cause someone's bones to shatter.

~~~

I grant the players bonuses when they incorporate one or more law into their spells.  I also use the same descriptive bonuses used for combat (a bit different than the one MoonHunter proposed) that takes into consideration the detail of the description, whether the player incorporates the previous actions of others. etc.  

Much of the magical "flavour" of Midian is in the description of the specific effects.  Much of this is dependent upon the magical Tradition.  A Tradition is the basic "hook" of that variety of spellcaster, Undead for necromancers, potions for alchemists, summoned Demons for neithermancers, etc. Nearly anyone can learn a given spell, but the Tradition of the caster (or the Tradition he or she learned it from) affects the description.  For example, the spell Cleanse the Scabrous Wound removes impurities in blood.  A necromancer would bleed the target, an elementalist would hold the target's arm over a flame, an alchemist would create a counter-agent, etc.  It's the same spell effect, but the appearance and ritual varies by tradition.
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Offline Anteaus

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Re: Spell Tools
« Reply #16 on: June 16, 2005, 01:46:33 PM »
Quote from: "MoonHunter"

Spells are normally a process, what people call rituals. The basics are the same 1) Create ritual space, 2) Call forth the power, 3) Pattern the energy/ focus the energy, 4) Release the power, 5) Open ritual space. All the various tools help spell casters focus their concentration (which focus's the energy). Even quick spells are the same as rituals, it is just they don't use all the bells, whistles, and foci that make a ritual more effective.  Many quick casting spells are actually prepared ahead of time and are "stored" somehow, with a trigger to set it off.


Um.. when you say in step five : Open ritual space, how is that different form step one, and then how do you close/finish it all?
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Offline MoonHunter

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« Reply #17 on: June 16, 2005, 02:49:32 PM »
Creating a ritual space is just that, defining an area as magical/ sacred. This area defines an "enclosed area" where the aspects of the mundane are ignored.  This area can be filled with energy and changed to allow events that would be impossible in the mundane world.

Opening the ritual space is desolving the borders of this magical/ sacred space, returning the participants and the actual space, to "normal space", the profane/ mundane world.

The process of creating a "ritual space" varies from tradition to tradition but includes one to three of the following, 1) setting up "markers" (candles/ impliments/ icons) defining the borders/ 4 corners, 2) walking or moving along the border space, 3) drawing/ marking the border either physically (with chalk/ cornmeal/ dust) or metaphorically (with a staff or magical sword). There is mental and ritualistic elements associated with these acts, but again that varies from tradition to tradition.

Creating individual spaces usually just a mental process, creating your defined barrier "seeing the barrier) and altering ones mental state.

Opening the space requires removal of the ritual markers, unwalking the space, or breaking the border.
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Offline Anteaus

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« Reply #18 on: June 16, 2005, 02:57:53 PM »
OK thanks, that was where I was lost.
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