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Offline Anteaus

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Spell Components
« on: March 16, 2005, 08:02:45 PM »
This is my first thread and one that I hope will work out well.

What kind of ideas do you folks have for spell components?  I am thinking about useing something like the Thrar Stones which "grow" up inside a tree.

I am also very new at this game and am wondering how to interpet things like "cooled in a lover's sigh."  Any thoughts along those lines or any other spell components would be great.

P.S. I use AD&D 2nd edition

Thanks
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Offline CaptainPenguin

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« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2005, 08:21:08 PM »
What?!
Err.. Well, spell components could probably be anything. What's a Thrar stone?

"Cooled in a lover's sigh" would seem to imply that the object needs to be... well... cooled by the sigh of a lover. How else would you interpret that?
Please note that on this site, spell components tend to run towards the weird, particularly with me-
I frequently use glass panes, hammers, captured fear (and other emotions)... I recall once featuring a stew made from lion's muscles stretched so thin that they became liquid.

Anyway... We don't care if you use AD&D, we don't really take system into account, most of the time. So if you're looking for stats, you'll have to make 'em up yourself.
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Offline Anteaus

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Spell Components
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2005, 08:50:43 PM »
Thrar Stones are from the Items on this site were something grew up inside of a special tree and became a gem.

The weirder the better with spell components
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Offline Kinslayer

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« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2005, 09:57:51 PM »
"Cooled in a lover's sigh" could mean that you have to take whatever item is to be so treated, and fatally slay someone who loves you with it.  Leave the item in their dying body until it's all room temperature.  

Odd spell components like this can make for an interesting time of spellcasting.  Instead of the GM codifying everything, the players find the odd description with the spell write-up.  They have to either figure out what it means by guess work with trial and error, or try and research the answer.  The latter can be accomplished by finding references to the odd new spell being cast, and hoping that there is some mention of an item used, or finding some notes left behind by someone who already knew the spell.  If they learn of the odd spell component by reading the books of the mage they just killed, they also have the added advantage of searching his or her corpse.

Another possibility is that there isn't a single correct item that must be puzzled out from the riddle of the listed description.  That is, there may be more than one correct way to interpret the riddle, and anything that fully solves it may possibly count as accurate.
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Offline MoonHunter

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Some General Components
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2005, 02:09:43 PM »
Most of the people who want "odd spell components" really don't know anything about magic. Components are used as 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.

Spells are normally processes, what people call rituals.  Some of these spells are "stored" in items for future use. A skilled MU can hold five or so of these spells without too much effort. Spells that are not performed as rituals are the same spells as the rituals, just done at minuses for not having all the symbolic tools.

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.

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.  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)).

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.

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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Spell Components
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2005, 10:32:32 PM »
Knowing you (which I clearly do not :) ), Moon, you have a closet in your home which is just full of the above-mentioned items, don't you?

And in any case, chill out about people who "don't know anything about real magic".
Real magic?!
Now I'd like to think that the world is a magical place, and that would be awesome, but I don't think anything has been ever accomplished very well by drawing magic circles in wax on your floor and chanting like a teenage Goth.
It is, after all, fantasy. It's a game. We can make stuff up, you know. It doesn't have to be just like it is in real life. :D
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Offline Maggot

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« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2005, 10:51:21 PM »
Wiccans would disagree with you,Captain.
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Offline CaptainPenguin

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« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2005, 12:02:10 AM »
Well, I'm not a Wiccan, so I can't say that I care that much.
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Offline Kinslayer

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« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2005, 12:31:51 AM »
Quote
“Debbie, your cleric has been raised to the 8th level. I think it’s time that you learn how to really cast spells.�

“You mean you’re going to teach me how to have the real power?�


The idea that all spell components are consumed in casting is from D&D. Personally, I've found that it's a good workable assumption that spellcasters have both consumable (chalk, candles, et al.) and durable (athame, chalice, et al.) components suitable to their Tradition.  I only use specific components for certain spells, or inform them that they need a specific component for a new spell--or a replacement of a difficult to get component for an existing one--as story elements.
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Offline Phoren

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« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2005, 03:36:02 AM »
A spell requiring an eyeball of whatever, to bestow an ability, say an Elf eye for infravision, would probably consume that component, however.

Offline MoonHunter

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« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2005, 11:22:42 AM »
Kinslayer: That is a scary quote. I have not seen that for Ages!!!!  For those of you who do not know it, it comes for the "D&D is EVIL" pamphlets that circulated in the late 70s.

CP:
Sure we make things up. So we can swing a sword and strike 12 people in a 4 second turn (without magic).  Oh wait, we don't. Why because we understand that we are simulating reality to some degree and swords just don't work that way. Even a basic understand shows us that. (those munchkins that don't have that embrace the silly ruling that lets that happen).  

Even if you don't think of it/ magic as real, think of the study or "real world" thaumaturgical systems in the same light as you... as a gamer... might study sword play, horses, castles, or historical cultures. To better simulate interesting things in our games, it requires us to study these things...so we call tell the b*llsh*t from the good.

If your game is historically based, then having historically based magic is a good thing.  It is hard to have a Japanese Samurai Game, then have a blastum magic system (d20 springs to mind). You need a magic systems (clerical or mystic) which harmonizes with the background with spell papers/ scrolls, appropriate elemental associations, symbolism, and all the props appropriate with the background. Study of local mysticism can add a great deal to the magic of your world/ setting.

So your study of swordmanship might be different than the culture you are using (lets say Chinesse rather than Western). The basics are still there to understand what is generally possible and what is not. So why "real world" magic might not fit your setting, an understanding of it (or chi skills, or reiki, or thaumaturgical prayer) will help you choose the mystic elements you want, that are appropriate to your kind of game you are setting.

Also remember: Service Prayer, as performed by most Christian (Jewish or Moslem) churches, is a thaumaturgical event cloaked in Theurgical elements. Services where you have all prayed for rain, or for the snow to stop, or for relief to the victims of X, are thaumaturgical (wonder working). Even most elements of personal prayer are thaumaturgical (i am praying for a new car, or for my old one to work, or for xxx).  They all use the same formula: 1) creating of ritual space (physical or mental), the calling of power (the invocation, the singing), the focusing of power (sermon/ prayer/ communion), the release of power, the disolving of the ritual space ("And go out in peace and love into the world"). Sometimes there are mystic tools (cloaked in theurgical symbolism), such as altars, beads, holy items, inscents, candles, special positions (kneeling for example) and so on. So it is a good bet that most of you have been involved in magic in one way or another.

Oh and you not read the tagline?
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Offline CaptainPenguin

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« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2005, 02:32:37 PM »
Silly, silly. All I'm saying is that at times, you seem to take your magic (and I'll indulge you on that one) a bit too seriously, y'know?

But in any case...

Parts of the body related to actions or senses-
Eyes for spells of sight, seeing, visions
Tongues for spells of consumption, flavor, poisons
Ears for hearing, spy charms, the like
Hands or fingers for telekinesis, manual spells
Feet, toes, wings for motion, flying, running spells
Blood is useful for any spell, I suppose.
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Offline Ancient Gamer

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Spell Components
« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2005, 03:53:22 PM »
New age magic? Intriguing. While I have the same materialist world view as the dear Captain, I studied folklore in my youth. I found the magic chants, rituals and beliefs to be exhilarating and really, really cool. I actually had to know 20 dark age spells by heart for my exam :shock:

Mostly the warding chants were rhyme based and mentioned Jesus and St.Peter a certain number of times (the numbers were important and magical too).

Blood was believed to be healing and have powerful magical properties. Whenever there were public beheadings, the poor and sick would crawl to the headless corpse and drink from the cavity in the neck. I am not joking.

I have used dark age magics in my system which focus heavily on chants (not mentioning Jesus btw :lol:) and blood. It is very interesting to read your description of new age magic here MoonHunter.

If I could make a wish, I would wish for you to describe eastern and other mysticism. I got the notion that you had some knowledge on the matter. It would be really cool, even deserving its own thread.

I agree that "authentic magic" makes the system and setting richer.
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Offline MoonHunter

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Sorry for the thread jacking
« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2005, 06:18:31 PM »
Actually the same mechanics of ritual space, calling/ focusing/ targetting/ releasing power. releasing space is the same in Eastern Mysticism (Chinese and Japanese), Three Schools of Western Mysticism, the one Native American tribes Shamanistic Mysticism, the 70s Psionic studies, and of course the New Age school of thought.  The process is the same in all the various mystic schools I have studied. The means in which each one creates the altered state/ mystical space, does the calling/focusing/ targetting/ releasing, and clearing the space is different (multiple avenues to achieve the same end), but the process is the same.  

It is strange that though it tries to steep itself in the traditions of the old and ancient, the new age school of thought is the one that actually stripped away the theurgical and traditional (after all, some of the old ways are useful and some are just old) and presented this pattern.  It was also identified by Anthropologists in their studies of various religions, including the mainstream. I am unsure which came first, the anthropological studies or the new age work... it all came out about the same time.

And the anthropologists started and Bonewits perfect the laws of magic, which appear to be universal in application, though each mystical school of thought has different emphasis on which laws are dominant (Vodun/ Santaria push association, Hermetic science laws of knowledge, invocation and evocation, Chinese traditions emphasize polarity and association, and so on). If you don't know what I am talking about, see this page
http://www.neopagan.net/AT_Laws.html

So lets take the chant spells you have.  
The creating of sacred space or an altered state of mind can be achieved in a number of ways, the three that came to mind is a) breathing and pattern (continued chanting alters blood chem and the repeated chant focuses the mind away from the mundane), chapel (go to a holy space), or blessing (create a temporary holy space).  The generating of power, for your chants, come from rhythmic repetition, evocation of the higher force (Diety plug in), and personal will. The personal will is evoked by the matching the vibration of the chant physically and mentally so the will and sound are one. The focusing/ targeting is done by the repetition.  The use of holy figure not only allows a "diety plug in" but creates levels of concentration and detail for the chanter (most chants are useless unless you know all the iconery and Christian Mythology behind them).  The symbolism helps create links and forms for the power to flow. In this case, St. Peter and Christ are defensive healing figures, so the power flows towards defense. The complex understanding of the mythology allows you to build up associations and connections in your mind to the world around you.  Chanting "spells" are normally built up by repetative concentration, personal vibration shift (medatitive state mental change), and slowly increasing of volume. The spell is released when the chant has been repeated 100 times (or the caster feels they have performed sufficiently).  There is usually a closing line, sometimes as simple as Amen. The releasing of the ritual space is as simple as changing location and simply returning to normal breathing/ mental state.

Do you see how that works?

DnD magic is based on the works of fictional works of Jack Vance, where magic is a huge power reserve that you very carefully release... and WOOOSH WORLD BENDING COSMIC POWER (can you hear the reverb?) comes down on to the world doing your effect and a bunch of side effects. Unfortunately, DnD is the only mystic training some people get. (Which is not a bad thing, as they can't perform any magic this way). Chivalry and Sorcery and Nelphlin are some of the few games who sort of get it right.
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Offline Anteaus

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« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2005, 08:39:53 PM »
This is very good guys, this is just what I had hoped for.  Keep it coming, and I am sorry that I have so little to share with all of you.
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Offline CaptainPenguin

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Gwa Jan Magical Tools
« Reply #15 on: March 26, 2005, 09:46:52 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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Spell Components
« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2005, 10:41:55 PM »
Another option is to use components based on the type of mage, rather than the specific spell.  As examples, a necromancer may use a bone rattle, an elementalist may pour water on the ground, or a sword mage may trace symbols in the air with her blade.
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