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Author Topic: Magic System - Spellfruit  (Read 369 times)

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Offline Chaosmark

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Magic System - Spellfruit
« on: August 05, 2013, 08:57:45 AM »
In the far realms of Needsaname, magic exists, but not in a form familiar to the average WorldWalker. Instead of chanting mantras and drawing runes, the mages here grow their spells.

Original, Core Idea: Spells are grown.

Expansion on core idea:
  • Spells are grown from plants. What mages actually use are the fruit of plants that absorb ambient magical energy.
  • The ambient magic in in the environment is so weak that there are no true human spellcasters. The ability to interact with magic directly never arose in humanity.
  • The original source of modern spellcasting is from plants that produced so-called wyldspells, ancient ancestors of modern spells that were then selectively bred to produce a wide variety of magical effects. There are still wild variants of spellfruit plants, but their effects are focused much more on standard natural focuses: improving the environment for reproduction, repelling predators, etc. Example: The modern fireball spell and its variants all likely stem from an ancient wyldspell plant that would start a fire to ward off herbivores that would otherwise eat it.
  • Magic users are concentrated in mage clans, large families that grow and breed spells for their own use.
  • Selective breeding results in "customizable" spells; the basic effect is the same, but small differences exist thanks to the breeding. One clan might have a long-burning fireball, while another might have one with an extended detonation radius.
  • Because spells are fruit, some inevitably can be eaten. Healing potions might be as simple as eating a berry.

More than anything currently, I need a name for the plants that grow spellfruit. But I'd also like a discussion of just how this changes a setting. Magic is available, yes, but it's concentrated in the hands of powerful groups. "Indie" spellcasters are few and far between, and probably have to be constantly wary of clan pressure and/or violence.

To prime your pump, I'd suggest Gemstone Magic for some solid examples of what a world might look like when magic is intimately tied to material components.
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Offline Shadoweagle

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Re: Magic System - Spellfruit
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2013, 06:11:43 PM »
I think it's a great idea that would have so much use. PC's could have to 'harvest' their magic. And if they're really lucky they'll find some extremely rare and powerful spellfruits growing wild in the middle of 'Dangerjungle'!

So, does the fruit have to be ingested to be used?
For example with Fireball: Does one ingest a 'Singefruit' and then a sphere of fire ignites in their fist, or do they just lob the fruit itself at their foes and it ignites?

I can see that splicing and mixed breeding would be a cool idea. combining a fireball fruit into vine-form to make a fire-whip, for example :p

If ingesting the fruit is how to get the power, there's a natural limitation right there: Depending how full you are :P
So you can 'prepare' your spells at the start of the day by eating 3-4 pieces of fruit, and the energies last in your system into you pass the fruit (ew), so it lasts a day or so. Maybe in an emergency you could jam another piece or two in at lunchtime :p

Also; what about insects, vermin or even other mammals; if they eat the fruit do they gain the powers? Flaming fruitflies buzzing around... Invisible rats from eating the Fadeapple... Cheeky monkeys breaking into houses after eating the Knocknana...
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Offline Strolen

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Re: Magic System - Spellfruit
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2013, 08:05:34 AM »
I love the idea. Got my mind spinning a little bit, which I enjoy.

Brainstorming and possibly annoying questions:

So does the mage have to grow his own "crop" of spells or can they be purchased and interchanged?
Splicing is one way, but also the pollination.
Could non-magical plants gain magic by this method. Would nature have a play in the creation? A bear eats magic and normal plants, s**ts in the woods and the crossing of them in the bear create something?
Bees carrying the plants magic with them? Magical bee keepers?
Would it have to be magical from the beginning or doing something just prior to growing fruit be enough?
So you have an apple orchard. Could a mage come in before they blossom and do some kind of magic so that the apples created are magic?
Would it be like fields that go through a crop rotation?
Too much magic over the seasons will kill a plant. Perhaps it will kill it eventually but its last crop is ultra powerful?

The mage has to have some kind of natural thing inside him to digest the fruit/plant appropriately in order for the magic to work. So a healing plant will only work on magicians that are able to digest/absorb the magic? Same way with any other magic. If the person doesn't have the midichlorians (hehe) to digest, their bodies won't be able to extract the magic.
That way you wouldn't have to worry about your fireball apples being stolen used like grenades.

There has to be a limiting factor otherwise anybody can use it. There could be a rare, pure plant that can be used by anybody. The original tree or whatever. So anybody in the world can use the magic of this plant. Only of legend...so they think.

I love the insects idea. I would make that a huge part of the magic of the world. They, more often than not, can't really do anything but they would have odd reactions to what they eat. Mosquitos the size of pigeons, dragonflies that are faster than an arrow, bees that sound like thunder, gnats that glow like embers from a fire. Just oddities that are unique and partially disorientating. They can change depending on what they eat and magicians are able to read these abnormalities to discover the rare magic plants in the wild.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2013, 08:08:45 AM by Strolen »

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Offline young0ne2

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Re: Magic System - Spellfruit
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2013, 03:56:47 PM »
I like the idea, it gives spell casting an interesting twist, but i have to agree with Sr. Stolen,
Quote
There has to be a limiting factor otherwise anybody can use it.
,... and with Shadoweagle... on about everything...

1st thing.
  • CAN any one use magic? or is it limited to only the select few who know not only how to enjoy the fruits of nature, but also to unlock its sweet, sweet acane juices?
  • Does it work both ways?Example Would eating the correct Herbs Automatically heal an individual? or does it have to be eaten by a mage, coughed back up and made in to a Paste? (using their own knowledge and digestive juices as the "reagents" to unlock its healing powers.)

2nd thing.
  • IS this Limited to just ARCANE spell casters? or does it also effect those high and might Divine people too?
  • If it does effect Divine spell casters, how would you work with Divine only spells and Vise-versa? Would Arcane Spell casters be the only ones growing "Apples" and Divine spell casters being the only growing "Potatoes?"

 :P I'm seeing a lot of fun and potenial possabilities here!! :P

...going back to my "1st thing", i think for how the plants are sown would depend on how they grown. All plants have the arcane power locked in them, its just the condisions in how they grow that determine their outcome.

Example An Orchard of Apples is planted, with a combination of bat guano,sulfur, and the Apple seed its self. With the Arcane energies excellerating the growth ( we'll say for reasons of arguing that they can do that) a week later they are Fireball Apples.
AS opposed to the same idea but substatuting A handful of copper & iron pellets with the seed to bring to Harvest Lightning Ball Apples.

This thought continues with the Herb idea. Some Herbs are Medicinal just by themselves. So eating/using them would bistow their healing effects on those eating them. Put in the hands of a skilled individual thought ( say a Cleric ) and its true power is unleashed, turning the herb into a cure light wounds salve or potion.

THIS leads to another idea, fueled by Shadoweagles "fireFly's" idea, a Cheif Mage.
Take an arcane spell caster that can unlock the arcana potential of the fruits/vegie's, (maybe even from the meats of animals that have eaten the plants) combines with the culinary arts to MAKE "new" spells or spell effects!!
EXAMPLE Take some "fireball" apples, mix them with "Special Cinnimin" ( for "spice" of course) and add a hint of MINT. Cook for an hour and now you have a Cold Fireball Pie, with a Kick!!

so by adding different ingredients you can change the over all properties of the spell. Adding MINT to a dish changes it to COLD, Adding SAGE makes it Last longer... Hell we could even go as far as saying HOW its cooked could change its overall effects.

EXAMPLE You Make Fireball Tomatoes and Instead of eating them you slice them and make a Burger. Instead of Fireball, it turns into a Protection FROM fire/frost Spell
Or Maybe the tomatoes are fried with oil so when they are "cast" you get a combination fireball/grease spell.

Or Hell we could even see some Arcane spell caster like a VeggiMancer, or maybe an Agriculmancer...( the difference in these 2 examples being one only uses the magic in veggitables and the other uses it from all forms...and is a farmer to boot :P ). Mage/farmer Highbreds cultivating feilds of arcane distruction, milking the pure essence of CHAOS from cows that were few these Arcane induced plants,...
:shock: or worse a mage that only uses the SPOILED fruits/veggie's, harvesting the spells NEGATIVE effects for his spell casting  :shock: 


... GOING back to my "2nd thing" now...
How does this effect other spell casters? It might be easy to say that Divine Spell casters are the only ones growing Grapes, and Arcane spell casters are the only ones growing Apples, but by doing so you are exposing a part of these charactures identities, which could make or brake a battle or some key story point/arc.
Maybe its only when these friuts are turned in to another form (such as Wine or Ale) that it's effects become divine, or are unlocked. i think that might be interesting, THE BEST CLERIC IN TOWN... is the town drunk :sigh:

Or maybe, like above, it's all about how its prepaired. A "cure Light Wounds" egg roll may not be as appealing as a Cure Light Wounds Wine. or maybe you mix the herbs together, boil them down and make a Rejuvination Ale.

LASTLY
How would this effect animals??? would they even be able to use the effects that would be upon them?
Could a farmer or a mage feed his sheep these plants and then harvest Fire Wool? Could said product be used in the creation of magcal equipment? I think it would be interesting to have a robe of fire resistance that you made yourself from your own flock.
Though it would be interesting if these magical effects just took effect on those whom consumed them. If a herd of cows are a bunch of grass infused with magic that made them Vanish, it could be a fun mission for PC's. Or dealing with a rats nest that has a bunch of different effects on them.

How about Druids in all this Blasphomy to nature? Are they Alright with this? What are their views on the subject? Could a druid unlock a plants powers, feed it to their animal companion, and send them in to battle, FUR aBlaze?

The Possabilities here are WIDE and GRAND!

...... Sorry if i went to far...

Offline Gossamer

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Re: Magic System - Spellfruit
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2013, 05:15:11 AM »
Would eating the correct Herbs Automatically heal an individual? or does it have to be eaten by a mage, coughed back up and made in to a Paste? (using their own knowledge and digestive juices as the "reagents" to unlock its healing powers.)

That is gross. And awesome. Awesome and gross. :P "You want a healing poultice? Trust me, you don't want to know what they put in that stuff. Best let it heal on its own..."
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Offline Chaosmark

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Re: Magic System - Spellfruit
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2013, 08:05:24 PM »
Finally catching the time to come back to this. Loving the discussion!

I definitely hadn't thought that the fruit would need to be eaten to ignite the effects. The idea was that magic would be concentrated in the fruit, and that only a few select breeds would be edible (healing potions, bezoars, etc.). That might be an interesting sub-system though; a clan that literally breathes out fire and has an electric touch after eating their spellfruit.

I would think that there would inevitably be bugs that have adapted to eat certain of the plants (the original idea was that even if it's a weak advantage, it's still an advantage, so plants would've adapted to use magic if available; insects would have the same reasoning), and so you end up with some really nasty subspecies of insect:

Quote
"Yeah, we had a nasty infestation of pests this year. The crop wasn't really harmed, but we can't gather it."
"Why? If it's still there, I don't see--"
"Giant man-eating beetles."

Quote
"Hey man, if you want to go into that wild orchard and pick fireflowers, be my guest. Nobody here will stop you. But the bees that pollinate them will melt the flesh off your bones with a single sting."

I wasn't really seeing much in terms of magiplant species picking up characteristics from the animals they interact with. That's a bit more mythology-styled magic than I was aiming for here. As for the acquiring of magical traits, I was thinking it was a genetic level characteristic. Magiplants are magiplants, normal plants are not. Cross-breeding the two might produce a new species that is also magical, but normal plants don't become magiplants just by proximity to overt spell effects (exposure to light during gestation doesn't suddenly cause creatures to develop eyes, that sort of trait has to develop over time for the species as a whole).

With respect to usage, the idea was that anyone who gets their hands on a spellfruit can use it. Nothing is inherent to the user, it has everything to do with the plant in question. Of course, knowing how to properly breathe fire after downing a fireberry is quite a challenge, and a dangerous one at that (if you're not careful, you'll breathe it back in and torch your lungs). The strength of ten men is impressive, until you realize that you don't get the durability to go with it, and even walking around sends you stumbling into a wall at breakneck speed. Just about the only thing reasonably safe to be used by anyone is healing berries, and even those can result in nasty side-effects if overdosed.

Those who take the time to learn how to use spellfruit safely would gather together, eventually forming insular groups known as mage clans. Given the right environment, they're almost certain to hoard their secrets and breed their own special species of spellfruit, for competitive advantage. Combined with a high cost per spellfruit, and the average person is unlikely to use spellfruit, even if theoretically anyone can.

Moar ideas! Great stuff that's being brought up. Not all of it would apply to my particular incarnation, but those are some interesting takes on things.
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Offline young0ne2

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Re: Magic System - Spellfruit
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2013, 09:58:47 AM »
FINALLY, we have some clarity!!

From what i gather then  it's more like the "mage" are mana manipulators, knowing that the fruits have the needed energy to cause the spells to take effect.

Whats to stop them from blending the mana sources together? If these mage's are experimenting, and lets face it they are, they might try combining "spells' together for all kinds of reasons.

Surrounded by a band of Hobgoblins who have a very obvious intent to kill  :dunno:, use the Fruit of Flash  :o, it produces a fireball on the spot torching your foes, but bestowed upon you the Hast spell so you can get out of the radius quick enough to not be hurt. Leave your enemy's torched, and the Survivors Questioning your Godhood. :up:

.... I feel as though that was a D&D equivalent of a commercial for Adam...

This could also work for you in a Negative means. Maybe theirs a group of goblin Mage's that are making their own "spells", ones not only unknown to other goblins but also to mankind.
Using known information about goblins they might instead make "Mage Mushrooms", or maybe " Magic Moss" ( living in caves and such) that target Specific species.
EXAMPLE
Is your home constantly under assault from those Pesky Humans    :(. Having trouble removing their heads all the way up there on top of thier necks  :(?  Well NOT ANYMORE!! :what: !!  Thanks to the Goblin Mage's of the Bush-Fire clan, Here's a mushroom Just for you. Shrink Down your Would-be giant foe to make them your Height ( Small Spell)...(no pun intended)..
Under Siege from those Bossy Orcsis's? No LONGER, With the Daylight Moss, Surprise them with the power of the Bright Light of the Sky and remove their heads in the perfect light every time!! (Insert sound of decapitation...then head flopping on ground here)  :up: I Call that Goblin Art, Sir. :up:

Hell maybe its acceptable for other intelligent races to manipulate the plants in such a way, after all who's going to stop them?
Maybe twice a year they all get together and have a HUGE Mage Conventions where they show off what they've worked on and compete with these creations. Nothing Says DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMN!!!!! like watching a Goblin Firing a Lightning Bolt Spell then OUT RUNNING IT!!! to the target.
Or watching a mage use some fruit that not only makes multiple copies of the mage but Also SUMMONS a small Army to boot (mirror image that effects a Summon Monster Spell as well)