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April 10, 2014, 5:14 pm

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7 More Reasons Why Not Everyone is a Magic User

By:

Why is magic used by so few when it is so much use?

1-Magic Users Don't Like Competition

One reason why magic-users are so rare outside schools and universities of magic is that they don't like other magic users in their area. If they are just passing through it's fine, but if they set up shop in the area, they are taking away customers that would otherwise go to the other user of magic. And that costs him or her money. Users of white magic will have a friendly talk with the other magic-user and try and persuade him or her to move on. If that does not work, the resident mage or witch will use his or her influence with the movers and shakers in the area to harass the other one into moving on. If that does not work,and it normally does work, things can get nasty and gray or even black magic can be used as a last resort against the rival.

Black mages and witches, as they work outside the law anyway, are much more direct and the gloves quickly come off. An interloper gets one stern warning that the area they are in is already taken and they have twenty-four hours to move on. If that does not work, then the resident mage will try to kill or at least heavily curse the intruder. Users of White and Black magic can often co-exist perfectly well, as long as the black magic user does not practice his or her dark art too openly and bring down the wrath of law enforcement, vigilantes or bands of wandering adventurers upon all users of magic in the area. After all, they are not practicing the same arts so will not steal each others customers.

2-Magic is Slow

Magic works, but the fast moving magic people think of is fantasy. Healing magic is rather like chemotherapy; it takes a long time, can often hurt the patient, but is sometimes the only cure for certain ailments. Love spells take as long too.By the time it works, you may have fallen out of love with the one you cast the spell on. Fire magic has to be cast on something that will burn, and can take up to a year, slowly heating the object to the point of ignition, before it flashes into flame. It can be used for arson; if cast as a house is being built for example, a year later said house will catch alight, by which time if the caster has any sense he or she will have long since left the area. If there is no system of detecting the magic, it can be impossible to tell if an arson attack was caused by magic or other means or was just a genuine accident.

Curses work, but slowly. If a starvation curse is cast for example, rather then make somebody wither away to flesh and bone within days, or even weeks, the effect is more like first a tapeworm and then a cancer. Only slowly will the person's hunger grow and at first regular meals are enough to solve the problem. Then he or she will need more and more food to stay nourished and it will finally reach a stage where no amount of eating will solve the problem. Most people do not have the time to make magic work for them, even if they have the knowledge to use it.

3-Magic Messes with your Mind

Any *bad* magic or combat magic causes what we would call nowadays Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, making the caster have nightmares for months or even years on end. People who cast a large enough spell of evil or battle risk ending up with serious mental problems perhaps for the rest of their lives. Good spells also have an unwelcome result but in a far different way, causing the caster to fall in love with the target. So very few spells are cast, when they are cast, it is as a last resort.

4-Bounce Back

Magic bounces back horribly. Any curse will inflict itself on the curser as much as on the cursed one, regardless of why the curse was cast in the first place. As for healing magic, you can only use it to heal somebody if you are willing to accept the person's wound or illness yourself. And bringing back the newly dead is only possible if you are willing to give up your own life for that person.

5-It's Expensive

Learning magic costs a lot of money, to the point that many magic users make most of their money teaching magic to others. Even cantrips cost the gaming equvilent of hundreds of dollars. A middle ranking set of spells costs the equvilent of several years at colledge, and really powerful spells are more expensive then buying a ship, a large house, or an entire platoon of mercs. This suits the users of magic well as they can make lots of money teaching to others, and prevents the poor and indeed the middle class from using magic to overthrow the aristocracy.

6-It Really Really Hurts

Anybody who is clever enough and has enough money can learn magic, but to cast it requires a magical focus. The focus itself is a kind of crystal that is quite common and easy to buy. But instead of fitting it into an amulet or wand or staff, the would be wizard or witch must pull out one of his or her eyes and put the crystal into the eye socket. Only then will he or she be able to cast spells that really work. As you can imagine, even with the vast power and influence that a caster can wield, most would-be spellcasters are not willing to go that far. The few that do often become true masters of the magical arts as they put so much time and determination into learning magic.

7-Not Enough Time

Magic is like science in the middle ages. Life is hard and most of the people just don't have the time to study "natural laws", they are barely surviving, so only a privileged few (like nobles who don't have to struggle for survival everyday) have the time to study it.

Plus only few of those who have the time actually study it since, even if you have the time, there's always "something more important to do", like planning taxation, siring enought male heir so that at least one will reach adulthood ...

Not to mention that without a proper method of styding magic one can only learn as an autodidact or from some rare master that maybe don't even fully understand what they are doing, sure when i burn salt and say these word i can cast a fire ball but why? (basically no scientific method)

That said some rare genius born in the right family or at the right time and at the right moment can still achieve considerable results.



Additional Ideas (7)

Magic, like any in-born talent, is not always the calling of the one so blessed. Perhaps I'm blessed with the talent, but want to be a wandering minstrel instead.

There's a brilliant short story by Robert Sheckley. In a world of black magic and darkest sorcery, one man's son... wants to be an accountant.
6xp

2013-11-27 01:52 PM » Link: [7178#89730|text]
Because if movies are to be believed, people are stupid boring and only complains about wanting to be normal when given awesome powers.

Magic drains away your soul.

Magic eats away your body.

Magic prevents you from wearing armor, wielding weapons or using any iron utensils, maybe even going so far as riding a shod horse.

Magic makes you go mad.

Magic is only inherent in a certain species/race.

Magic requires someone to die.

Magic can only be used in certain places with inherent laylines.

In order to use it, you can't have ANY other talents.

There is only so much magic to go around.

Magic turns you into a horrendous monster.

Magic is evil and only evil people can use it.

Magic is a disease and most people are immune.
6xp

2013-12-01 05:23 AM » Link: [7178#89743|text]
Magic users, while they appear to be human, are actually a race that evolved parallel to humans, therefore magical strength can be built up, like using a muscle, but you have to have the muscle to begin with, being either a pure or at very least a half bread to use it.
5xp

2014-01-08 04:10 PM » Link: [7178#89917|text]
Magic is like science in the middle ages. Life is hard and most of the people just don't have the time to study "natural laws", they are barely surviving, so only a privileged few (like nobles who don't have to struggle for survival everyday) have the time to study it.

Plus only few of those who have the time actually study it since, even if you have the time, there's always "something more important to do", like planning taxation, siring enought male heir so that at least one will reach adulthood ...

Not to mention that without a proper method of styding magic one can only learn as an autodidact or from some rare master that maybe don't even fully understand what they are doing, sure when i burn salt and say these word i can cast a fire ball but why? (basically no scientific method)

That said some rare genius born in the right family or at the right time and at the right moment can still achieve considerable results.
3xp

2014-02-07 04:49 AM » Link: [7178#90277|text]
Magic always has a price. All magic dealings are essentially "deals with the devil" in that they cost the user some part of themselves or something/one they hold dear.

Magic brings age. The reason why wizards always have long, flowing beards? Using magic takes years off of one's life. Powerful users rarely make it past 30.

Magic is socially unacceptable. Sorcerers are more than just feared, they're hated, even hunted. Why risk using magic when you'll wind up cut off from society?
5xp

2014-02-07 06:02 AM » Link: [7178#90278|text]
Magic knowledge is frequently lost. Cultures that allow magic to occur too commonly, end up destroying themselves when the technology of magic gets too advanced, and somebody makes a catastrophic mistake. The magic technology is then lost to time.

One city of mages was destroyed when the inner sanctum created a magical plague that killed everybody. Another was lost when a powerful warlock summoned the Dark Prince, who enslaved everybody, and conquered half the known world.
0xp

2014-04-26 12:23 AM » Link: [7178#91243|text]
Being a Magic user is a dangerous profession. Anything but a healer gets put into danger on a constant basis. Even Healers are coveted by factions and groups who see magical healing as a way to gain the upper hand in their rivalries, putting magic users of all kinds right in the middle of rivalries, wars, feuds, and every other kind of conflict, forcing peaceful magic users, or their families, to be coerced into dangerous situations. Sometimes magic users are killed just to prevent others clans from gaining the upper hand.
5xp

2014-04-26 12:46 AM » Link: [7178#91244|text]
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Comments ( 7 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Moonlake
November 9, 2013, 15:32
0xp
It would be helpful if you put up a link to 30 Reasons why Not Everyone is a Magic User so that ppl aren't contributing duplicates. I've tagged this in my fav folder and will try to contribute 1 or 2 items to the list but I need to know the original 30 reasons so that I'm not doubling up
Kassy
April 11, 2014, 11:20
0xp
This can be turned into a 30, you can do it Cheka!
Voted axlerowes
April 13, 2014, 8:46
0xp
I think this works as 7, this is article about world building, beside it being a new or lost technology, you have 7 fairly thought out suggestions here
Nobody
April 26, 2014, 0:46
Only voted
Voted Nobody
April 26, 2014, 0:47
5xp
Nice to have a thread like this.
Voted PoisonAlchemist
October 18, 2014, 2:21
0xp
This can really help you flesh out a game world, thinking about why you don't want your magic to be all over the place and how that might effect other things. I really like this, and each of these options has interesting flavor.
Voted Aramax
October 31, 2014, 13:22
0xp
4.5 felt inspired

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