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Author Topic: The Magic Commandments Discussion  (Read 19428 times)
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Artimidor Federkiel
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« on: 14 May 2008, 03:50:21 »

The following axiomns and terminology has been established so far in the discussion (note that these axioms may still change):

XIMAXIAN TERMINOLOGY

Cár'áll (Aura)
The Cár'áll (Plural: Cár'allía) of an entity is also often referred to as "aura", "magical energy" or "substance of life". This substance represents the basis, the material for the actual structure or form of an entity. The structure of a Cár'áll forms an entity through the xeuá links (connections) between its ounía (elemental parts).

Magical manipulation targets and affects the constellation of ounía, and their relations to each other, within a specific Cár'áll. Depending on the type of spell, such manipulations will have varying effects on the structure of the Cár'áll, and consequently, its appearance, alignment and orientation.

Entity
An entity, in the Ximaxian sense, is an elemental existence that can be interpreted by the caster's mind as a distinct, separate  cár'áll (aura).

Entities (or parts of entities) are only susceptible to magical manipulation due to such a reflection of said existence within the mind of the caster.

Focus
Focus is the area or spot of an entity the mage directs his concentration to in order to manipulate it by magical means, thus causing an effect. The effect can affect the focus itself, or a target that is suggested by the mage through the focus.

Ounía (Parts)
Ounía (Styrásh: portions, pieces, parts) can be described as knots or nodes of elemental energy within an entity's cár'áll. Every entity has all four kinds of elemental ounía - wind, earth, fire and water - present in itself, to a larger or lesser degree. The resulting cár'áll can be imagined as a net composed of the ounia's nodes. Links between the ounía nodes are either áhm (passive) or soór (active), thus defining the consistency of the cár'áll and its general alignment towards specific elements.

The term "ounía" is only used as a plural word as ounía are not quantifiable, they merely represent a notional basis for the caster.

Target
Target is the direction the effect of a magical spell is pointing to directly or indirectly.

XIMAXIAN AXIOMS

Axiom I: The Necessity of Focus
Every magic spell that is cast needs a focus, and can have only one focus. The focus is the heart of manipulation, its pulse, the source of the magically active aura, and one spell cannot come alive with two hearts beating.

Axiom II: Focus per Entity
The focus, as the location where magical manipulation takes place, can be a spot or an area, but is restricted to a single entity. An entity can be focused in its entirety or in part.



Ok, so here we are, at the discussion I promised to initiate. There have been some converging point of views to put it mildly on some magic topics that led subsequently to irritation, and to avoid such things from happening, it should be our goal to develop some rather clear guidelines that magical development should follow. These principles we define here should not be bent, but serve as the blueprint for development of spells. Some principles might be universal, some Ximax specifc. Whenever I a major question arises I guess it should be discussed among the main magical inclined people and hopefully end up in a clear rule that we can put in a sticky topic here on the board called "The Magic Commandments" or something like that.

Well, let's see how far we get before the fire mages roast the water mages, the water mages freezes the earthen ones and the Ecuá guys tear them all to pieces  grin

In general I recommend not to get too emotional but rather look at the issue as objective as possible and try to maintain at least a certain logic, despite the fact that magic is much more than just another kind of physics or chemestry in the world of Caelereth. Too much of Earthen logic isn't good for magic, too much of Harry Potter logic isn't ideal neither. We've always strived to go a way between quasi-physics theoryl and outright fantastical theory (at least as far as Ximaxian magic is concerned), so try to keep that in mind.

Ok. Now on how the discussion should be dealt with, I would say: We shouldn't try to discuss everything at once, but postulate one general statement on magical theory and see if we can validate it or have to adjust it to end up with a different postulate/axiom that replaces the original discussion-starting statement. - Okeydokey?

Intention should be to eventually get a series of such axioms with a few sentences of explanation to back that up. This should be eventually made into a sticky topic and could even go on the site as basic magical theory of a famous mage.

Ok, so let's start small with a first axiom, and let's here if there's agreement, concern, dispute etc.:

Ximaxian Magical Theory, Axiom I:
Every magic spell that is cast needs a focus, and can have only one focus. The focus is the heart of manipulation, its pulse, the source of the magically active aura, and one spell cannot come alive with two hearts beating.

Explanation:
I suggest to use the Styrásh word for "heart" to use for the focus, to make it clear that there can be only one focus if a spell is cast. The focus, as the heart of manipulation can be the object on which the manipulation should take place, e.g. an item like a stone, or the surrounding air, or the mage himself/herself. The focus is the key point where magic is generated - the stone can be made softer, air can be changed to wind, the mage can focus on his/her own person to improve sight, concentration, whatever.

Due to the need of a specific focus a spell cannot focus e.g. a stone and the caster at the same time or generate wind outside of the caster (with the air) and manipulate air inside the caster. This would require that two different spells need to be cast.

Comments, ideas? - Let the discussion be opened!  cool
« Last Edit: 21 May 2008, 21:11:18 by Artimidor Federkiel » Logged



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« Reply #1 on: 14 May 2008, 04:28:55 »

One focus only for all spells? Including high level ones? And what about casting multiple spells at once?

I personally like the idea of only a single focus for a spell, though it is my belief also that such a focus can be changed mid-spell but only after the initial focus has been dropped. As in the basis for most projectiles, where you first create the projectile at one location, then shift the focus to a target which the projectile is then launched at. Unless there is a different label for 'creation' and a different for 'target'.


Also, what about spells that create a spell between two focuses? Your Fireball spell is one such spell, Arti, as it has one focus at the hand and one a small distance away from the caster, and has the Fire ounia circulate between the two. Would you believe that the caster instead serves as a 'base', and thus the spell can be rooted between the base and a single focus, again IE in the Fireball spell?
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« Reply #2 on: 14 May 2008, 05:28:23 »

Actually the Fireball is a nice example. But maybe the description could be made much clearer and accurate to avoid confusion.

I think the focal point should not be the end of the fire orb that is in the process of coming to live, but its center. Or even more precise: the area. A focus isn't necessarily a point. It can be an area you deal with, in which you operate. The fire circulates around your focus, that could indeed be changed in the entry.

If you are a more powerful mage the orb can be larger, allowing you to control more fire as you can focus on more. The Fireball cannot really be controlled. The mage just holds the energies back, aiming towards something, but he just releases these energies into this direction.

Changing the focus while casting quickly brings you to "Anything goes", it goes far beyond a simple direction change of a Fireball. I can understand that position very well. It is highly problematic to have focus changes at will. For example how would a Fire Mage change the direction of a Fireball if he can only manipulate Fire and not Wind? - In such cases I would recommend other, more potent Fire spells in this regard.

Of course in some cases it makes sense to have spells somehow "combined". For example in order to cast a decent storm, it makes sense to first cast "Conjure Wind" (=gather more wind) and then let the main spell follow, e.g. "Generate Storm" (just a rough idea). These would actually still be two spells, as the second spell operates with the results of the first one. You might call that a "spell combo", and perhaps it makes sense for an advanced mage to cast something like "Generate Enormous Storm", which the spell books would more or less see as one spell. But these are typical spells that build on each other to be able to cast them properly - an advanced spell would have major advantages with casting the basic spell first, as he could rapidly let the second succeed, needing less preparation for the second part.
« Last Edit: 14 May 2008, 05:31:05 by Artimidor Federkiel » Logged



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« Reply #3 on: 14 May 2008, 06:25:32 »

Actually the Fireball is a nice example. But maybe the description could be made much clearer and accurate to avoid confusion.

I think the focal point should not be the end of the fire orb that is in the process of coming to live, but its center. Or even more precise: the area. A focus isn't necessarily a point. It can be an area you deal with, in which you operate. The fire circulates around your focus, that could indeed be changed in the entry.

If you are a more powerful mage the orb can be larger, allowing you to control more fire as you can focus on more. The Fireball cannot really be controlled. The mage just holds the energies back, aiming towards something, but he just releases these energies into this direction.

I see. So in that essence, a focus of, say, an area of effect spell would be the entire area being affected rather than a single point. So instead of a focus for each spell 'particle', the focus is instead the area in which the spell is conjured.

What about for multiple spell particles, however? For instance, should it be possible for, to use a WoW example, a Blizzard-style spell? Such would be the creation of dozens of ice shards which then rain on a single field. Should that actually be the casting of multiple quick firing spells instead of a single spell? IE, the single spell description is 'create single ice shard, then release', so then you would have a spell combo in which the caster casts the same spell over and over again back to back, thus creating the illusion of it being a single spell (which could be equated to channeling spells where the caster must sit there repeating the formula over and over while concentrating).


Also, how large should we be able to make focuses? Should it be dependent on the power of the effect? IE, say Area of Frost... a minor temperature change could have a larger focus, while a more severe one would require narrowing the focus?



Quote
Changing the focus while casting quickly brings you to "Anything goes", it goes far beyond a simple direction change of a Fireball. I can understand that position very well. It is highly problematic to have focus changes at will. For example how would a Fire Mage change the direction of a Fireball if he can only manipulate Fire and not Wind? - In such cases I would recommend other, more potent Fire spells in this regard.

Well, that would require a change in the way Sphere II works. For instance, I've always considered Sphere II to be simple movement of your single property, so that thus you can mimic Wind's movement by concentrating on Sphere II. For instance, a Water mage would be able to wrap an object in frost ounia, and then lift said object by moving the Water ounia. Or an Earth mage could stand on a rock, and then lift the rock while he is on top of it.

Should this not be possible, then? It would require a change or reclarification of Sphere II then, as Sphere II simply implies moving the ounia of a single element and thus is easily exploitable to mimic Wind movement by creating solid matter composed mostly entirely of the one element you can control (again, wrapping something in ice or rock and then moving it via that way, or with a fireball, because it is composed mostly of fire, you can pull at the fire ounia which thus changes its direction).


Quote
Of course in some cases it makes sense to have spells somehow "combined". For example in order to cast a decent storm, it makes sense to first cast "Conjure Wind" (=gather more wind) and then let the main spell follow, e.g. "Generate Storm" (just a rough idea). These would actually still be two spells, as the second spell operates with the results of the first one. You might call that a "spell combo", and perhaps it makes sense for an advanced mage to cast something like "Generate Enormous Storm", which the spell books would more or less see as one spell. But these are typical spells that build on each other to be able to cast them properly - an advanced spell would have major advantages with casting the basic spell first, as he could rapidly let the second succeed, needing less preparation for the second part.

Should we then make it a requirement that a single spell always have only *one* focus? I have written spells before that could be considered spell combos because they do things back to back for an end result. It may be prudent then, if we choose to go this route, to separate the spell list into different categories... a single spell list, which contains single spells with a single focus, and then a spell combo list, which contains spell entries that combine single spells to create an ultimate final result.
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« Reply #4 on: 14 May 2008, 16:41:22 »

Quote
Some principles might be universal, some Ximax specific

Does that mean I have to work myself through all this stuff, including Ximaxian as well (which I don't get entirely, wanted to spare my time for other things) to be able to cover my area of expertise?

It would be cool to have Coren join the discussion, he has soon some exams  though.
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« Reply #5 on: 14 May 2008, 16:52:29 »

This endeavour is difficult when we look at the Divine Magic, which is just at the beginning of development on the level of spells. This first axiom I would want to reject already, for the focus of the cleric would be his god AND the "target". The target however could be quite widespread.

It will be difficult to bring examples, for only a few clerics are envisaged and a lot of thoughts have to be put inthat area first.
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Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #6 on: 14 May 2008, 17:01:31 »

The first axiom is meant to be a Ximaxian one.
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« Reply #7 on: 14 May 2008, 17:12:17 »

Another random thought regarding focus space: Is focus space moldable? In other words should it be a sphere or can mages (probably high level ones only) mold it into specific shapes, IE a wall of fire that encircles something would be an outline rather than a pure sphere.


Talia: I would like Coren to be here as well, though I think we can at least get discussions going while he isn't. It may take awhile for many of these things to get really resolved anyway. As far as Clerical Magic goes, we come to the problem that most decisions regarding magic can't apply to it until we really know how it works (From the Clerical point of view at least). Some general ones might work, but for instance this first one is more about the interior workings of Ximaxian so wouldn't apply.

I'm sure ones that do apply to Clerical however will be much broader and won't require Ximaxian knowledge. For example, an axiom saying 'no instant-kill in one second spells' would be able to apply to both Ximaxian and Clerical and all other systems (I'm not suggesting that, just using it as an example). I could notify you when a Cleric-affecting axiom comes up if you would prefer to follow those ones specifically and not the Ximax ones.
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« Reply #8 on: 14 May 2008, 21:44:31 »

Well first off I would like to welcome everyone to the debate, glad to see some excellent viewpoints already on the table. I would secondly like to apologize, as this post will most likely not directly address any of the concerns or ideas of previous posts. What this will most likely be is a direct rant of how I see things to function. It is quite often easier for me to adjust my views if they are adamantly laid out in front of me.

These are the three points I see to have the most influence on a spell and how it manifests.
1)   Sphere: this directly determines location, abundance and how readily the elements properties can be expressed.
2)   Will: This determines the manifestation of the incantation and purely defines the property the caster desires to express.
3)    Target: This defines the specific car’all in which the mages desired results would manifest themselves in. Be it an area or specific object, more on this to come.

Sphere workings and how they directly relate to incantations as a whole.
1)   sI targeted object: By exerting ‘will’ on a persons car’all a fire mage could strengthen any of the properties within their element over the entire car’all or specified area of the target. For physical I shall use heat, the victim/target would soon feel the affects over their entire physical form. Although this affect would be slower than exerting the will upon a specified area of the car’all I.E: Head, arm, leg ect. The lower abundance of fire ounia, in designated areas, and the general weaker will of these levels of casters make the timeframe greater for proper implementation. Will=heat/Target=object, individual.

2)   sI targeted area: By increasing the heat property in an area/car’all this would bring discomfort to all within it. Why you may ask? Ounia are in transition within the car’all at all times and all objects within close proximity of a drastic change are influenced in this way even naturally. I.E Example: If you walk across a blackened surface on a hot sunny day the heat property expressed by it can be felt rising and directly influences itself on the walker. Feet get hot, body starts to sweat, and this is all part of transitory ounia sharing IMHO. Will=heat/Target=Area car’all

3)   sII targeted object: Will of caster forms fireball in front of the mage, the flowing back and forth of the fire ounia could merely be the visual of the mage’s will fluctuating under the concentration needed to hold such a chaotic force in check. Target is of course the victim on the receiving end. I think of course the ability of a mage to exert ‘will’ over the elemental object should allow some deviation in target. Within line of sight maybe?

4)   sII targeted area: Sphere dictates that ounia can be moved within the areas car’all. Hence for this example I shall use Jose’s Ice Shard incantation. Sphere usage allows mage to run a ‘filter’ of sorts through the area gathering a preponderance of water ounia , lifting them overhead. Will of caster then dictates the formation of the sharpened ice crystals. How would they form many instead of one you ask? The caster’s will is spread out over an area with a solitary property in mind; hence the formation is random and staggered. Targets are those entirely unfortunate enough to be beneath said shards when the mage releases their will from them.

5)   sIII targeted object: Sphere dictates that you can bring a specific elemental ounia from one car’all to another. Fire mage takes fire ounia from the air around target and places it within their car’all, the basis for this Sphere. Will desires the property of heat to be expressed. With he exuberant abundance of fire ounia within the targets car’all at this point the effect is rapid and the expression of it more intense due to number.

6)   sIII  targeted area: Sphere dictates moving ounia from one car’all to another. Water mage ‘sweeps’ a car’all gathering a great concentration over the head of their victims. As the car’all in which they moved the ounia already had some present the formation of Ice Shards would be greater, Will of caster making them heavier and larger, giving more impact and damage.

I know some of this may be vague but I did want to get my general ideas down so I can compare them to what everyone else is thinking and in the least get some feedback on where others may think I am astray.   
« Last Edit: 14 May 2008, 21:49:06 by Twén Aråerwén » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: 14 May 2008, 22:14:58 »

Well, one thing I see with your ideas Twen is a pseudo lack of the 'focus', at least as Arti and I are talking about. You have 'target', but while that and focus can often seem like the same, there is a difference in some situations. IE Fireball, even though the mage's end target might be a certain person, it isn't the focus. So you could say there are 4 elements... Will, Sphere, Focus, and Target. Many times, and 100% so in Sphere I spells, Target and Focus are the same thing. But for projectiles, the target and focus would be different, the latter being important for spell formation, while the former is important for spell release... for instance, take a gun. While you might be aiming the gun at a certain person (the target), the gun is the 'focus', in that it is what actually creates the explosion that sends the projectile towards the ultimate target. See here. That's how I interpret focus and target. Red circle is the focus, where the spell forms, while green is the target. The middle example, evidence of a Sphere I spell, has both focus and target being the same. But the top example, Fireball, has the focus at the point of creation, and the target being the opponent.


So, to tie that in with the discussion topic, we are looking at putting a check on the specifics of said focus. Again with the Ice Shards/Blizzard example, the focus would be the air above the the ground, the ground radius would be the target, so you thus position the focus over the target which causes gravity to pull the spell down once you release it.


So here we pose a question: What are the extents of the focus itself? This ties into my question of whether or not the focus can be shaped. As Twen believes, a focus is in fact an area of operation, but that there is no 'order' to that area, so thus a multitude of similar effects could be achieved at once. Do we want that? Question is thus between 'One focus, varied particles of similar design' or 'One focus, one particle'. Former does more in one cast, latter does more in more castings (Spell combo).

« Last Edit: 14 May 2008, 22:25:03 by Fox » Logged
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« Reply #10 on: 14 May 2008, 23:48:30 »

Ok, in answer to Fox' first post I'd like to make the focus more precise and derive another axiom from it.

Ximaxian Magical Theory, Axiom II:
The focus, as the location where magical manipulation takes place, can be a spot or an area, but is restricted to a single entity. An entity can be focused in its entirety or in part.

Explanation:
An entity can be an object, the mage himself/herself, the air surrounding the caster, but it is something that stands on its own. It is not possible to spread the focus of a spell on two entities at the same time like the caster himself and the surrounding air or to cast a spell with the surrounding air and an object as focus. Remember, we're talking about the focus here, not the effect that can be achieved.

---

Next question: A blizzard spell of course is possible, no multiple spells needed to cast every single ice shard. It's an overall effect, as an area is focused on and altered magically to produce such a shard effect. Depends on the manipulation.

Area focus: Well, see the second Axiom I suggested - you are somewhat restricted by an entity for one. Also using an enoromous focus will result in the fact that the mage has no energy for casting, as you have to deal with the focus. Therefore smaller focus is advised, spells with a larger focus (e.g. focusing on the sky to cause a weather change) requires considerable power from the mage. A newbie would fail instantly.

What you describe as Sphere II, Fox, actually contradicts already established principles severely, this has to be stated very clearly. You try to accomplish multiple spells at the same time, regardless of the element. Moving the ounia of a single element results in one single effect.

Spell combos, categorization: Well, one thing after the other. I try to help defining general rules first. Based on those we can go on and see how we have to adjust categorization or mention how spells can be strengthened etc.

(This all to Fox's first post only. Will try to get to the other posts later.)
« Last Edit: 14 May 2008, 23:50:28 by Artimidor Federkiel » Logged



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« Reply #11 on: 15 May 2008, 03:21:20 »

What you describe as Sphere II, Fox, actually contradicts already established principles severely, this has to be stated very clearly. You try to accomplish multiple spells at the same time, regardless of the element. Moving the ounia of a single element results in one single effect.

Well it was more the general idea I was referring to, obviously the process would result in more than one spell (creating an elemental object (small firebolt, ice shard, etc), then a second spell that actually moves it). But the same general idea is implied, IE, levitating a rock by pulling its Earth ounia 'upwards' as an Earth mage. Unless you believe that movement is in fact strictly related to Wind and that realigning ounia could not actually tug a whole Car'all (one comprised mainly of your element) in a single direction, at which case then many of the things I've been lead to believe regarding Sphere II (both from my own interpretation as well as discussions of theory with Mina and co) would be in error.

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« Reply #12 on: 15 May 2008, 04:03:48 »

@Talia: We could elaborate general rules that touch belief as part of this discussion, but we're mainly dealing with Ximaxian stuff here, as the primary objective should be to have clear guidelines to develop spells based on them. One such question that touches belief is for example whether belief only of a normal person can negate a Ximaxian caster's fireball. But one after the other.

Next question of Fox: Is focus space moldable? - Here I'd say: Within an entity it depends only on the imagination and the abilties of the caster how the area the caster focuses on looks like physically.

Further precision on the Level II problem you have, Fox: I guess it has been established that "passive" effects are possible, e.g. to reduce earth influence in something, thus letting wind dominate in something that is already very light. However, these are special cases, and there isn't actually a second spell cast.

Focus/Target: Yes, terminology is important here, and Fox explains that pretty well. Focus is the area that the mage actually uses to cast the spell, target is what/who the already generated spell tries to affect.

I guess it is important to nail down basic terminology, which we should all use, and keep in mind when doing new spells or adjust old ones. So with other words, a contribution for:

Ximaxian Terminology: Focus
Focus is the area or spot of an entity the mage directs his concentration to in order to manipulate it by magical means, thus causing an effect. The effect can affect the focus itself, or a target that is suggested by the mage through the focus.

Example:
The sky (=focus) above a group of foes is focused with the intention to let fire rain down on the enemies.

and

Ximaxian Terminology: Target
Target is the direction the effect of a magical spell is pointing to directly or indirectly.

Example:
The Target is the group of people you plan to hit with your magically generated fire rain that you cause by focusing and manipulating the sky above their heads.

Twen's thoughts are a bit random, as I try to build things up step by step and follow a logcial pattern. In Twen's post we have a bit of everything and spheres involved etc. Anyway, let's look for now at Sphere I, where we try to make people sweat. We have two different approaches here:

Example 1: Focus = person, target = person, a property of fire is dealt with in the focused cár'áll via Sphere I and the result (effect) is that the person starts sweating.

Example 2: Focus = air around the persons, target = persons, a property of fire is dealt with in the focused cár'áll via Sphere I and the result (effect) is that the persons starts sweating. This is more an indirect spell, the first one is direct.

All clear?
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« Reply #13 on: 15 May 2008, 04:21:14 »

I'm quite happy if all rules you are discussing here are principally meant for Ximax only. They might partly be valid for clerical "efforts" as well, but that we can only decide when the development gets down to the equivalent of the Spell level. I was just a bit alert when reading "Some principles might be universal"..

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« Reply #14 on: 15 May 2008, 05:58:56 »

Further precision on the Level II problem you have, Fox: I guess it has been established that "passive" effects are possible, e.g. to reduce earth influence in something, thus letting wind dominate in something that is already very light. However, these are special cases, and there isn't actually a second spell cast.

Arti, would you mind if I start a second topic on this? I don't want to clutter the thread, but I think that a more detailed clarification on what exactly Sphere II can do might be needed. Perhaps my questions weren't worded right.
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[27 October 2016, 07:42:01]

[27 September 2016, 18:51:05]

[11 September 2016, 23:17:33]

[11 September 2016, 23:15:27]

[11 September 2016, 22:58:56]

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[02 September 2016, 02:44:27]
Members
Total Members: 1038
Latest: kenn3th40
Stats
Total Posts: 144680
Total Topics: 11052
Online Today: 68
Online Ever: 226
(06 November 2012, 05:38:23)
Users Online
Users: 0
Guests: 59
Total: 59

Last 10 Shouts:
14 September 2017, 09:40:04
Hello all! It's been a minute since I poked my nose in here. Can't remember if I ever did anything useful.
09 May 2017, 14:17:18
Ah, too bad that internet is so restricted in China, Ferra. Can't be much fun surfing the web that way if Big Brother's watching you... Hope you enjoy your stay nevertheless!
03 May 2017, 17:41:19
Hi, dear Arti and other developers!

This year I am in China and cannot use any Google services including YouTube. For this reason I stopped uploading new Nepris videos. I can also not read any comments there.

It just crossed my mind that this information might be useful to you.

Cheers

F
26 March 2017, 12:48:56
Hello to anyone that might read this. :)
22 December 2016, 02:38:16
Merry Christmas everyone!
29 November 2016, 01:45:48
Hey all!
11 November 2016, 09:19:02
Calling all developers; come help me write the New-Santhala article ^^
15 September 2016, 02:24:10
Still no problems here, Erutan...
14 September 2016, 14:55:28
Still having trouble accessing the RPG side, anyone else? Or is it just me?
27 August 2016, 21:17:33
Short note: We had a bit of downtime Friday/Saturday night due to a server change. Site went online first, message boards took a while longer - now everything should be back to normal.
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