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Silfer Darkflare
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« on: 28 July 2004, 08:13:00 »

Elemental magic: An attempt to make a "long-term conception" *winks at Artimidor*

Well, where to start, where to start. Everyone wants their own magic system, so I will try here to write up a concept that will work based on the basic principles – The entry on Magic, as well as the entry on the Schools of Magic. This is a proposal *puts on fireproof clothing* and as such, feel free to fire at me, but I will defend this.

First of all, throw away your calculators, numbers, and everything scientific for a large part. Yes, you too, mr. ;)   Now, let's see:

We have the Car'all, the aura, the idea and the soul of things. Everything has a car'all at any given point, consisting of one or more elements. The elements are also, at any given time, at a certain order. Some things have stable car'alls, others have rapidly changing ones. Is everybody with me so far? Good.

Now, the entry on magic says that car'all can be affected by everything, and mostly by will. That thesis, as far as I can see from the entry, means that everyone CAN do magic, in varying degrees.

As far as the entry on magic goes, Magic works, and that's it. By will. As such, yes, Kik, we say it works and do not ask questions, on a big scale.

As for Ximax, they have categorized it, catalogued and mapped it to a degree. Here is my attempt to explain it and maybe see if it can be taken as basis:

Schools of magic entry says that each school of magic (of the elemental, at least) has three spheres. These three are then described at what they do. Artimidor has written that, and I will merely try to state how I understand what he has written. Comment from you much wanted, Arti.

The first sphere: Deals with expanding/lowering the dominations of a given part(s) of a given car'all. A mage can make an item that has a part of wind in it be dominated by wind to a degree (the degree decided by his willpower and focus). When that happens, an effect is achieved (what effects should be, must be discussed). This effect, however, is not natural to the car'all, and it will fall back to its former state rather quickly (much like a rubber band that has been stretched)

The second sphere: As far as I can see, these spells rearrange the car'all part(s) of a car'all to achieve an effect. As such, no car'all is added, none is subtracted, but the object changes. (A messy and a tidy room can consist of the same objects, but there is a huge difference;)  ) These spells are rather stable in their effect, as the car'all parts are structured stably. However, these effects do not last forever.

The third sphere: This sphere deals with actually adding or subtracting car'all from an object, giving it a whole new form/quality/etc. As such, these spells produce very stable and long-lasting effects.

PS: Keep in mind, that a mage of Wind can only alter Wind car'all, etc. Only a Xeuan can alter everything and anything.

More to come

Edited by: Silfer Darkflare at: 7/28/04 19:58
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Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #1 on: 29 July 2004, 10:17:00 »

Mostly this summarizes what I had in mind, though the durability part of the spell casting is still not very clear and could cause misunderstandings. That's why I tried to simplify it even more. Compressing this all even more this would mean:

- Sphere 1: Tricks (things that only appear, but aren't)
- Sphere 2: Effective Spells (actually producing something)
- Sphere 3: Advanced Spells (complete interaction with the environment)

At all 3 spheres a specifically targeted property of the element in question dominates. In sphere 1 only temporarily, in sphere 2 permanently (usally to produce a one-time effect), in sphere 3 the absolute maximum of spell casting is achieved with igniting some sort of chain-reaction with the environment where various other elements are involved, but the property of the targeted element (the "spirit", the "aura" of e.g. the property of"fluidity" at a water spell) determines in which way things are held together.

Examples (Fire School):
Sphere 1: Make something hotter
Sphere 2: Fireball
Sphere 3: Fire Shield (where e.g. the surrounding air/wind is guided by the fire impulse to form a pulsating shield around the caster)


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Edited by: Artimidor Federkiel at: 7/28/04 18:23
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Silfer Darkflare
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« Reply #2 on: 29 July 2004, 11:22:00 »

Thank you. I am working on the continuance of this ATM - However, I will not write up a list of spell examples and the like - the above should be simplification enough. More simplified, and we will be majorly annoyed I think.

Edited by: Silfer Darkflare at: 7/28/04 19:47
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Silfer Darkflare
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« Reply #3 on: 29 July 2004, 11:57:00 »

Magic: A long-time conception part 2.

Well, as IMHO I have got Arti's basics on Ximaxian magic right, I will here continue my writing on the system. I will not simplify to greatly, otherwise we will get a science. To those who will try to make spells and things for magic – use your imagination, don't be afraid of missing things a little – we will not shoot you.

First, general things: I believe that a given effect can be achieved by several ways, and as such, a fireball can e.g. be created by using both sphere 2 and 3 methods. (Will be described below). However, as sphere two would typically have less duration, the fireball would be less potent in relation to level of the caster. (E.g. it would last x minutes and fly x peds at level 6 using sphere two, and last longer and go farther at level 6 if cast using sphere 3) (This is kind of a rule for spellmakers, if we agree it is correct)

However, as a spell of the third sphere is harder to cast than a spell of the second sphere, it would logically result in either a) The spell would drain more energy from the mage on the third sphere contra the second, and/or b) The spell would have a higher chance of fizzling, or c) The spell would be different, e.g. flying longer and lasting shorter, or being less hot for the fireball. (This partially discards the rule above, and complicates things as this would have to be thought about and discussed for each spell) I want opinions on this in particular.

Some spells would of course be only sphere 3, and also I doubt we will get spells that can be done by sphere 1 and 3, but not 2.

There should be a level limit for the spheres, and I propose this: Sphere 1 – level 1 and up, sphere 2 – 4 and up, and sphere 3 – 7 and up. (Keep in mind; I do not want THESE limits to be too strict, as each spell will have a spell level individually. This is just the general level for each sphere, as a mage of the second level will not and should not be able to cast sphere two and three spells.)

More general things: A given usage of a given element in a given sphere can and should be able to produce different results, depending on the intention, the IDEA of the caster. E.g. a mage who uses sphere one to make wind dominating in an object, can by using his mind make it either weight less, or make it transparent, or make it passable.  Or several of these. (Several should IMHO be easier, as it takes a stronger focus to exclude all the possibilities exept one)

Once again, opinions wanted.  

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Coren FrozenZephyr
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« Reply #4 on: 29 July 2004, 14:57:00 »

Quote:
More general things: A given usage of a given element in a given sphere can and should be able to produce different results, depending on the intention, the IDEA of the caster. E.g. a mage who uses sphere one to make wind dominating in an object, can by using his mind make it either weight less, or make it transparent, or make it passable. Or several of these. (Several should IMHO be easier, as it takes a stronger focus to exclude all the possibilities exept one)


I'm glad you included this section. I was bugged by the suggestion some time ago too, as you'd remember ;0




As for the level limitations on the spheres, although it does make sense, I must say I don't really like the idea. Depending on the type of will, what he is good at, his emotional state etc. some people might be inclined to do some of the spheres better than the others. For instance:

Some one who has a strong will/might but is distracted - relatively - easily, or gets bored/does not like to focus on only one subject for an extended period of time spheres 2+3 (especially 3) might be harder to perform. Due to the procedures and (well, i loathe and certainly disagree with the term but can't think of anything else atm) 'type' of focussing. Thus, sph 1 would be more 'fun' (or rather the mage would be inclined towards that sph) and thus easier to master in.

Similar is the case for a person that has a very strong will (=is very strong magic visa) to kinda 'limit' his power to use sph 1 properly. Thus it should be harder to cast spells with effects inclined towards spheres 2+3 as one 'levels up' (gets stronger) but at the same time harder to perform sphere 1 without kinda 'stabilizing' the effects of the spell. For instance the 'duration' of a spell is theoratically longer at higher levels, but perhaps it's also hard to keep it short.




As for the "First, general things" I'll have to think about these in detail before commenting. I'm not really sure.

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Silfer Darkflare
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« Reply #5 on: 29 July 2004, 15:03:00 »

On all three spheres you focus on one element (A wind mage on Wind etc.).

And remember, level is not given out by Ximax, it is a measure of your defacto power. As such, one high in level will have a storng will and the ability to focus (as thats what decides your power to a large extent), and wont have a problem to use sphere one. (My opinion)

But it is an interesting idea to make it so that it is harder to do sphere one for high levels... maybe. Gotta sleep on it.

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« Reply #6 on: 29 July 2004, 19:27:00 »

I agree on the sphere two and three timing.  IMO, sphere three should not be available to normal Ximax grads, so seven or eight would be a good level to put it at.


Arti, are you for sure going to have Attraction (magnetism of sorts) as an aspect of earth?  If so, I have a few ideas that would flesh out the section of earth spells, but I wanna make sure that the magnetic aspect will belong to earth mages before I put anything on the table ^^

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Coren FrozenZephyr
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« Reply #7 on: 30 July 2004, 03:48:00 »

Quote:
On all three spheres you focus on one element (A wind mage on Wind etc.).


Yes, I didn't have any objections to that.

Quote:
And remember, level is not given out by Ximax, it is a measure of your defacto power. As such, one high in level will have a storng will and the ability to focus (as thats what decides your power to a large extent), and wont have a problem to use sphere one. (My opinion)


Yes, that was what I meant by 'leveling'. Too lazy to explain. I sometimes think everyone knows what's in my mind :b

Btw, I think you kinda misunderstood me for the spheres thing. Of course a stronger (=higher level) mage is able to cast better (as in stronger, effects more stable - kinda like a l 9 mage achieving the same effect with a sph1 as a l4 mage with sph2) sphere 1 spells. I have no objection to that. However, it is harder for him to "limit" his power and thus to cast sph1 spells without making them durable/stable etc. (casting sph1 with 'weak' effects should be challenging for stronger mages)

Think of this analogy: It is a lot harder for a bodybuilder, with muscles sprouting from all over his body, to handle a very fragile object, like a thin glass figurine, without breaking it. However, a frail old man will not have to think about the right amount of force applied on the object all the time: He doesn't have the 'power' to squeze the glass between his hands in a normal handling anyway.

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Silfer Darkflare
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« Reply #8 on: 30 July 2004, 03:54:00 »

Yes, Coren, I understand your point. However, what decides the level of a mage? Mainly his ability to focus and the strength of his mind and will. Next logical step: SOmebody who is high in level, will have a strong will. Going further: Somebody with a strong will will not have any problems to limit or make his power something specific.

(That was my point, I don't think it came across clearly the last time)

Edited by: Silfer Darkflare at: 7/29/04 11:54
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Coren FrozenZephyr
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« Reply #9 on: 30 July 2004, 04:00:00 »

Yes, that's logical since the "power" we're talking about is "will". And "will" by definition is the ability to restrain yourself from always doing what you would instinctively do. Sort of a personal 'auto-control' device ;)

However, is it only your "will", in the sense commoners know that makes you able to perform magic? That was my point. As you said, than everyone - to a certain degree - would be able to cast spells. I'm sure there are people that never had formal schooling in Ximaxian magic but are "stronger willed" than the average mage... Thus, the theory that "magic is scarce on Caelereth doesn't make much sense imho. There must be something else - whether or not Ximax has come to realize and/or classify it.

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"That doesn't sound like much of a rule!"
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Silfer Darkflare
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« Reply #10 on: 30 July 2004, 04:09:00 »

Well, now we are moving to philosophy again ;)  Well, IMHO a strong will is not just ability to restrain, it is in general the ability to focus on stuff. And well, magic works with belief and willpower - belief makes stuff happen, will makes specific stuff happen. (Simplified)

However, what has any of this to do with your idea of higher mages not being able to do low lvl. spells?

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Coren FrozenZephyr
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« Reply #11 on: 30 July 2004, 04:17:00 »

Well, if it is only the "will" that matters you've just disproven my proposal. But then what you're proposing as the academy of Ximax doesn't make much sense either :b

However, if there is more to the process - you call it 'belief' while I... well, no one can know for certain but, feel that it is more of an 'ability', a different type of power that - although is present in every individual - most are not able to process without proper schooling. (as in: we all have the capacity - although the extend varies - to do math. However, most of us wouldn't have thought of all those procedures involved in even a simple calculation if we were not thought. But that does not mean that the "ability to do math' is taught to us. Only various methods to 'achieve the desired results' are. The rest is still up to the individual) Just like the type of power used to lift an object with your muscles is different than the power used to persuade someone.

Then perhaps, the issue of 'how much control does a mage have over his power' could be discussed as well. I think this - if elaborated by masters like you, rayne, dasson, art... - can serve as an explanation behind spell-fizzling too.

I don't know how much of what I had in mind I could transfer to paper, but I hope this makes things clearer a bit.  

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"Is he allowed to do that?"
"I think that comes under the rule of Quia Ego Sic Dico."
"Yes, what does that mean?"
"'Because I say so', I think."
"That doesn't sound like much of a rule!"
"Actually, it's the only one he needs." (Making Money by Terry Pratchett)
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« Reply #12 on: 30 July 2004, 04:27:00 »

That's why I put a (simplified) tag there, Coren, becuase it isnt everything.

I agree with your statement on the "ability" raher than will. Completely and fully. However, I do not see why it would question a mages control of his/her power. Look at it this way - you have thw ability, and you are taught what? How to use to achieve x, but ALSO how to use it not to achieve y(fizzling) as well as various techniques to train your mind.

Here's the deal - a mage high up in level will have an easy time doing lower level sphere one spells, like we at first have great treouble with the multiplication table, but now we do it automatically. Same with the magic, lower level spells when you get high up go automatic, you hardly neeed to "cast" it.

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Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #13 on: 30 July 2004, 14:07:00 »

You need to keep 2 things in mind, Coren: a) we're discussing Ximaxian magic here and b) it is our ultimate goal to simplify things.

With a) you already get various answers to all these questions you seem to think of being important. Which they actually aren't, if you ask me, as your approach is wrong. Because what do we learn from Ximaxian magic? Ximaxian magic is a way to describe and to learn/teach magic. Sphere 3 is based on Sphere 1 and 2. If you follow the Ximaxian way, then Sphere 3 cannot go without Sphere 1 and 2. It's like doing complicated multiplications, and you just need to know the result of 2x3 to get the results of very complex artithmetics. So there's a clear answer to that from the system itself: A high level Ximaxian mage has Sphere 1 and 2 in his small finger. Absolutely no need to make it more complicated than it is.

With the hint that we're talking about Ximaxian magic here, you also see what this system is not: non-Ximaxian magic. And this can work different, depending on the approach. If a non-Ximaxian "mage" or someone with natural "magical abilities" has problems to cast lower spells you describe is possible of course, but this has nothing to do with Ximiaxiian magic.

Spell-fizzling doesn't need an really need a system-inherent explanation. You can get 117+64 wrong if you're distracted or unconcentrated or someone interferes, though you for sure know the result.

Don't think too complicated, Coren! It's not necessary.

Also concerning the levels: Silfer described that pretty well. It's good to have a categorization, but don't take it as absolute. Ximaxian levels are a rough guideline. They might be very useful e.g. in RPG games to measure progress, but don't think that there's God somewhere who defined that if you reach level 4 or 5 you suddenly can cast a fireball instantly.

In general Silfer's second post goes well with how I see things. Don't see the problem, though, that a fireball suddenly gets less hot or something - why should that be the case? I'd assume the effect is additional, Sphere 3 just managed a tremendous enhancement of a Sphere 1 or Sphere 2 spell.

However, though these are the basic things, we need to get into the concrete things e.g. concerning the properties etc. - and practical guidelines for new spells or take existing ones and see what we'd make different now concerning properties, spell formula, spell level and explanation etc. Oh, and of course how to make these scheme compatible with the Elemental Schools.


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Silfer Darkflare
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« Reply #14 on: 30 July 2004, 15:41:00 »

Artimidor: My writing here are based off your Schools of magic entry. As such, I believe this explains how Ximaxian spells should be made. I will however, rewrite the "How to make spells" today/tomorrow. As for schools - the only thing we need to follow is what I have stated here - in relation to names and properties of spheres. Rest stays as it is described in your entry.

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