Santharian Development

Santharian World Development => Magic in the Lands of Caelereth => Topic started by: Coren FrozenZephyr on 29 July 2010, 21:40:51



Title: Question about Spell-Template
Post by: Coren FrozenZephyr on 29 July 2010, 21:40:51
I am a bit confused about the difference between "Spell Effect" and "Casting Procedure". To be precise: I am not sure what is meant to go into each.

Would a description of what sphere 2 does (eg move ounia around) go into the former or the latter?  If the former, then what on earth does one put into casting procedure? Wave your hands in grandiose manner whilst quietly enchanting 'Please do not explode in my face'?

 :dontgetit:


Title: Re: Question about Spell-Template
Post by: Mīruk Loshashzuck on 29 July 2010, 21:43:50
I would think that spell effect is what the spell does and casting procedure is how it achieves that.


Title: Re: Question about Spell-Template
Post by: Seeker on 29 July 2010, 21:44:12
Casting Procedure is what you do to make the spell work. (While pointing your wand at a locked door clearly and crisply say the word "Alohamora")

Spell Effect is the result-  (The door unlocks and opens; however if you cast the spell incorrectly the door will come alive and eat you.  :grin:)


Title: Re: Question about Spell-Template
Post by: Coren FrozenZephyr on 29 July 2010, 21:51:18
Sorry, should have expressed myself more clearly:

Quote
Spell Effect
Describe exactly what the spell does: What effects it produces, how it affects people, things etc. Try to be as detailed as possible here.  This section is where most of the technical details should be put.

Casting Procedure
Describe what is done in the casting of this spell. Where does the mage focus and for how long?  Are preparations of any sort necessary?

What I am slightly uneasy (ok, let's be honest: confused) about are these:

(1) I agree with Seeker & Mruk. The natural meaning of the phrases suggest that 'spell effect' should be the description of the 'result' and 'casting procedure' should be how that effect is achieved. In other words, to my mind, the technical 'ximax mumbo jumbo' should go into casting procedure.

(2) Re casting procedure: Ximaxian magic is cast entirely by willpower. Since we don't really have incantations, gestures, dances, rituals etc, unless we put the 'ximax magic mumbo jumbo' (eg 'sever the links between ounia' etc) here, there really isn't much to say.

(3) Should we describe the effect the spell has on the carall (eg the lightness property of wind ounia are increased temporarily) in the 'spell effects' section. The problem with this is that doing so encroaches on casting procedure. The line between the two is a rather fine one?

I am not sure if we have consensus on this point. Every spell on the site seems to 'pigeonhole' / apportion the relevant info slightly differently between these two categories.  :shocked:


Title: Re: Question about Spell-Template
Post by: Mīruk Loshashzuck on 29 July 2010, 22:00:48
What about spells with reagents etc? Using them could go in casting procedure.

And I think a description of what sphere 2 does would go into the latter, as it isn't a result of the spell.


Title: Re: Question about Spell-Template
Post by: Drasil Razorfang on 29 July 2010, 23:16:57
I agree with Coren.  I've never understood the difference between the two.

In fact,  my Casting Procedure section usually consists of two paragraphs: one which is generic (you need to focus and wave your arms blah blah) and the second which is just the last paragraph of the Spell Effect (which discusses the technical aspects of the spell) re-written in different words.

All that being said, there are some spells where Casting Procedure is drastically different.  Take Sculpt Earth for instance.

Also, it would a huge pain in the a... uh I mean rear, to go through and re-format every single Spell on site.  

Edit to answer M'ruk's question:

Reagents are never required for the casting of any spell.  They are considered a beginners tool that assists a young mage in helping on focusing in on his or her target.  That being said, most spells that require the use of a "reagent" like object, such as a Sphere III spell implanting ounia into a target, have casting procedures and spell effects that focus heavily around its use.  Therefore its usually already included.


Title: Re: Question about Spell-Template
Post by: Azhira Styralias on 30 July 2010, 00:14:44
I like gestures, dances and rituals. I wish Ximaxian magic was more...exciting to cast!  ;)

But yes...I am in agreement too. Its probably why spells are challenging to develop due to the inconsistency.


Title: Re: Question about Spell-Template
Post by: Coren FrozenZephyr on 30 July 2010, 00:35:07
Hmm... Maybe we should move 'ximaxian mumbo jumbo' (aka the technical description of the effect the spell has on the composition of the carall) to casting procedure? Then spell effect would describe the mundane, observable effects (ie what a bystander/commoner would see the 'result' of the spell to be)?



Title: Re: Question about Spell-Template
Post by: Drasil Razorfang on 30 July 2010, 00:42:37
Then the spell effect section would be identical to the overview section.  :undecided:

The best way to go about it, in my opinion, would be to delete one of the two sections.  I'm just not sure how efficient it would be since someone (most likely myself) would have to go through and work on editing these two sections into one in all of the existing spells. 


Title: Re: Question about Spell-Template
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 30 July 2010, 03:08:49
Quite frankly, I don't see why there should be any change in the sections structure. An Effect is something different than a Casting Procedure, that should be perfectly clear (see e.g. the Fireball  (http://www.santharia.com/magic/fire_spells/3_fireball.htm)entry as a very typical example) - and the Overview should have everything in it from all sections that is important to mention without going into any technical details. There might be spells where Casting Procedure and Effect are much closer together, but it is without question that it is absolutely essential that this distinction is there as it is.


Title: Re: Question about Spell-Template
Post by: Bard Judith on 30 July 2010, 12:35:31
@ Drasil:  While I realize you are the Mage and I am the Bard, in other words that you know far more about how magic 'works' in this universe than I, may I just point out that from time immemorial I have insisted that Dwarven spellcasters believe that reagents are essential tools for magic use?

Quote:  "Reagents are never required for the casting of any spell.  They are considered a beginners tool that assists a young mage in helping on focusing in on his or her target."

Would you mind editing that concept to say 'Humans consider them a beginner's tool....' and adding that on the contrary, Thergerim consider them as fundamental to making magic as a forge hammer and tongs are to smithery?

And since belief is a goodly part of effective magic, your average dwarven mage would indeed BE incapable of casting a fireball without a pinch of something flammable in his hand....

:)


Title: Re: Question about Spell-Template
Post by: Drasil Razorfang on 30 July 2010, 12:54:28
Whenever I spew babble about Magic, its always strictly from a Ximaxian standpoint.  In the Ximaxian magic system, reagents are viewed as training tools that serve in helping new magi preform the spell with greater ease but are by no means required.

This view, however, only applies to magic taught in the Academy of Ximax.  What the Thergerim believe about magic is entirely to be decided by you as you are the expert in that field.  That being said, if a dwarf were attending Ximax, they would be taught that reagents are a crutch, not a necessity.  Whether or not they choose to believe this statement and wean themselves off the reagent is entirely up to the dwarf, though I imagine it would be discouraged by the Ximax-trained teachers at the Academy.


Title: Re: Question about Spell-Template
Post by: Azhira Styralias on 31 July 2010, 02:01:31
What about Ximaxian Zirghurim?  :grin:

Reagents or no?

That is the question of the day.  :thumbup:


Title: Re: Question about Spell-Template
Post by: Artimidor Federkiel on 31 July 2010, 02:10:28
Would a Zirghurim really consider studying magic in Ximax? Co-operating with them, yeah, but become a Ximaxian dwarf-magician? I doubt it. A dwarf would stick to his stuff, and material. Anything solid. Reagents rule! :D

P.S. This reminds my of a picture Judy started waaaaay back showing the Zirghurim mountain with the lights glowing from afar... It was still in development stage, but I'd love to see this one finished :) Maybe there's a chance to dig that out some day?


Title: Re: Question about Spell-Template
Post by: Mina on 31 July 2010, 16:34:54
Why should Ximax as a whole be in agreement about this?  Perhaps it is a controversial issue, and there are some that think that reagents are necessary and some that think they aren't?  Mostly magic dev so far has assumed that reagents are unnecessary except for beginners or unfamiliar spells, where they act as a crutch as Drasil said, but I think it would be nice to see reagents get a little more important too, even if it's only for some magi.   :)

Edit: I might be mistaken, but I think that the Zirghurim are a significant minority in Ximax, and probably quite a few of them are magi at the Academy too. 


Title: Re: Question about Spell-Template
Post by: Azhira Styralias on 01 August 2010, 03:37:24
Yes! Yay Mina! Introduce a little controversy and debate into stuffy ol' Ximax Academy. I like it!  :thumbup:

Maybe there are many magi in the Everbright cult who practice with reagents and teach their importance. It would be a minority sect of teachers, but enough to cause a stir and doubt.


Title: Re: Question about Spell-Template
Post by: Drasil Razorfang on 01 August 2010, 08:01:48
Quote
Why should Ximax as a whole be in agreement about this?  Perhaps it is a controversial issue, and there are some that think that reagents are necessary and some that think they aren't?  Mostly magic dev so far has assumed that reagents are unnecessary except for beginners or unfamiliar spells, where they act as a crutch as Drasil said, but I think it would be nice to see reagents get a little more important too, even if it's only for some magi.   :)

Edit: I might be mistaken, but I think that the Zirghurim are a significant minority in Ximax, and probably quite a few of them are magi at the Academy too.  

So I was going to write a lengthy post explaining how this isn't possible, but I ended up just having the conversation with Azhira in the IRC(which is attached in a word document).  Until these issues can be addressed there is no way the idea of reagents as a necessity can be accepted, even arguably, in the Ximaxian system.  Therefore I'm going to have to say no-go on this one.

As for what Judy wants to do with her dwarves, that's entirely up to her, as I've already said.



Title: Re: Question about Spell-Template
Post by: Coren FrozenZephyr on 01 August 2010, 14:56:19
Ooo... I sense one of my 'Brief Expositions' brewing...


Title: Re: Question about Spell-Template
Post by: Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin on 01 August 2010, 14:58:39
Note to self:  Set aside a whole weekend to read one of Coren's "Brief Expositions".


Title: Re: Question about Spell-Template
Post by: Coren FrozenZephyr on 01 August 2010, 15:51:57
Just a weekend? ;)


Title: Re: Question about Spell-Template
Post by: Mina on 01 August 2010, 17:21:17
Yes, that is the main problem with what I said.  I was hoping that maybe there's some way to modify the system so that reagents become more necessary.  Then, the current system, ie. what was described in the conversation, could remain as the argument of the no-reagent faction, while the modified version represents the view of the Dwarven Ximaxian magi and others who think that reagents are necessary. 

But, no, I don't have any idea how to do that yet at the moment.  Perhaps Coren has thought of something?   ;)


Title: Re: Question about Spell-Template
Post by: Drasil Razorfang on 01 August 2010, 22:27:53
Quote
Ooo... I sense one of my 'Brief Expositions' brewing...

Talk about a misnomer.  Brief for Coren is a short novel.  :P

As for the reagents issue, if Coren (or anyone else) can come up with some way to make reagents make sense for Sphere I and Sphere II that works in technical magic then I will be convinced and be okay with this whole "opposing view points" thing.  Until then, I'm set firmly against it.