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Author Topic: Magic in Caelereth  (Read 2973 times)
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Mina
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« on: 22 July 2004, 04:23:00 »

Okay, that wasn't a very good title, but I couldn't think of a better one, so we'll have to live with it for now.  

Anyway, lets move on to the reason for this post.  A couple of weeks...months...uhm, anyway, quite a while ago, Talia, Rayne, and I had a little magic discussion of sorts on the IRC channel.  We were talking about what we called (as far as I can remember anyway) a 'base system', which was basically the way magic really works in Caelereth (as opposed to the various explanations offered by the existing magic systems, which are well, attempts to explain the truth, and are not necessarily correct).  

I believe it was agreed that having such a system, or at least its limitations defined, would be very helpful, both to developers trying to create new magic systems, as well as the people over at the RPG board, who often have to figure out if a given magical effect is possible.  

As I recall, there was some controversy over whether the Ximaxian system is this base system, or whether it's just a system that does a very good job of explaning what's going on.  Personally, I prefer the second view.  It seems very unlikely to me that anyone could have figured out everything about magic already.  Each system, even very good ones, should have some things it can't explain.  Otherwise it just feels unrealistic.  

So, anyway, what does everyone think about this?  Should we go ahead with defining this base system, and if we do, should it be the Ximaxian system, or something new?  I have a couple of ideas already, but they aren't very well thought out yet, and I'd rather not post them until I'm sure they're going to be of some use.  


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Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #1 on: 22 July 2004, 04:31:00 »

From my point of view: The Ximaxian system is just one of hundreds possibilities to explain magic.

Of course it would be exceptionally helpful to get this Ximaxian system defined properly first (people still develop spells to and fro without really trying to see the necessity of a system). We'd badly need to have the Ximaxian basis, but it should not be an expanded physics as too many magical entries currently suggest.


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Kikhku
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« Reply #2 on: 22 July 2004, 13:39:00 »

Mina, that's what my An Oun of a Proposal thread is about: defining the most basic element of magic, the oun.

Once this is defined and we know clearly what a magician can do by manipulating just the oun, we can define the links between ouns and the manipulation of the links.  However, if we adopt this oun system, then there would be no need for elemental mages to manipulate the links between ouns or move the ouns, they would simply alter the ouns themselves.  This would leave the creating, breaking, and manipulation of links to Xeua and Ecua mages, which is what Xeua and Ecua are all about anyway.

But anyway, the reason I wrote the oun entry is because we do need a base system for the magic and as the creators of magic spells, we do need to know how it actually works.

Unfortunately, I have only had one comment on the entry.  I know for a fact that Rayne hasn't read it (she said she was too tired to "correct" such a long entry), and the other magical people are gone.  Arti, if you could find the time to look it over with an open mind, I would really appreciate it.

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Mina
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« Reply #3 on: 22 July 2004, 13:47:00 »

The oun is a Ximaxian concept.  It's not necessarily the way magic really works in Caelereth.  It'd help with completing the Ximaxian system, I suppose, but unless it is decided that magic really does work that way, it's not going to work for all magic systems, just the Ximaxian one.  


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Efeor Saiaen
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« Reply #4 on: 22 July 2004, 14:03:00 »

Isn't the Ximaxian classifying system just the school's interpretation of magic?  Why couldn't different mages, people, tribes, etc. classify magic different ways, as long as what actually goes on is consistent.

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Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels
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« Reply #5 on: 22 July 2004, 16:14:00 »

That's the problem, what is the "fact" behind it? Is has to be done in a way, that  it could be explained with Ximaxian means, and it has to cover in some way clerical magic as well.

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« Reply #6 on: 22 July 2004, 20:06:00 »

What is actually going on is consistant.  However, we don't know what is actually going on.

The oun can be a Ximaxian concept, but who says they have to have their description of the oun perfect?  Ximaxians might not understand the three dimensions of the oun, they may only think of expanding and contracting it and be unable to explain why slight variations in the way they expand and contract it cause different effects.

And most of clerical magic will involve moving car'all around, I'm guessing.

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Mina
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« Reply #7 on: 24 July 2004, 01:16:00 »

That's more or less what I've been saying.  Maybe the Ximaxians got it right, maybe they got it wrong, or maybe they're partially right.  That's pretty much what I intended this discussion (assuming anyone is interested anyway) to be about: deciding how magic in Caelereth really works, or at least deciding it's limitations.  

As for being possible to explain with Ximaxian theories, well...not completely.  Personally, I think that the Ximaxian system should be able to predict quite accurately what effects are possible and what aren't, but that there should be some effects that should be impossible according to the syste, yet still happens anyway (though they aren't necessarily known to the Ximaxians).  Clerical magic (the Santharian ones anyway) are supposedly explanable with the Ximaxian system, so if the Ximaxian system can be covered, clerical magic should be no problem.  What I'm worried about is Weaver magic, and depending on whether we want to include it, Chosen magic.  


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Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #8 on: 29 July 2004, 10:45:00 »

I've already given partly answers here in the other thread. Of course Ximaxian magic can't explain everything. Chemists and physicians of today can't explain everything neither. They've got their basic systems defined which they use as guideline, and they work until they can go no further and a change of a paradigm happens. Ximaxian magic can only work like such sciences - what is reproducable can be included in the system. This way spells are defined and books are written by Ximaxian mages trying to explain magic - I think it might actually be a good idea to include essays of mages on magic in our Treasures and Oddities section or the Library to show that Ximaxian magic isn't a complete "science", but just an attempt of "science", just like every other science.

But of course there are other ways of completely different approaches to explain and actually do magic. Simplified spoken: You can make physical laws happen, e.g. of putting a ball on the ground, if you know how (in this case: knowing that the ball will drop if you just let go). If you have an implicit knowledge of magic - which you could gain in various different ways (through belief, through texts of elders etc.) - then you can do it as well, without needing to know how it e.g. can be physically, chemically or Ximaxianly explained.


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"Between the mind that plans and the hands that build there must be a mediator, and this must be the heart." -- Maria (Metropolis)
Kikhku
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« Reply #9 on: 30 July 2004, 06:09:00 »

Arti, I'd love to write a few of these essays up.  Can you give me any ideas of what you want them to include?  

Do you want these to be formal studies, such as a mage from the wind tower observing how long various levels of students can, for example, hold something in the air with teleknesis.  Or should they be broad generalizations about the element?  Or were you thinking of something else.

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Mina
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« Reply #10 on: 30 July 2004, 06:30:00 »

I agree, Arti.  But I'm wondering if it's a good idea to define how magic really works, then have the magic systems be designed around that, rather than working from the other way, designing a system without really knowing the truth behind how magic works.  


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Ta`lia of the Seven Jewels
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« Reply #11 on: 30 July 2004, 06:49:00 »

With your way you might easily run into unsolvable contradictions, Mina. On earth you have the straight fact  before as well (though we don't know them, not really), but our not-knowing does't hurt, new theories will fit nevertheless, because the fact (or the probabiltiy of something to happen stays the same) stays the same.

***Astropic of the day***
"For me there is only the traveling on paths that have heart, on any path   that may have heart. There I travel, and the only worthwhile challenge is to traverse its full length. And there I travel looking, looking, breathlessly. ~Don Juan"

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"For me there is only the traveling on paths that have heart, on any path  that may have heart. There I travel, and the only worthwhile challenge is to traverse its full length. And there I travel looking,  breathlessly. ~Don Juan"
***Astropicture of the Day***Talia's Long, Long List***
Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #12 on: 30 July 2004, 13:15:00 »

@Kikhku: Actually I thought about writing such essays mainly myself, in order to demonstrate certain aspects of the magical discussion in Compendium form - aspects, which I post here in not so Compendium-like form. E.g. that magic is idea-centered and not physical. Because if all this doesn't get into the Compendium somehow, it will drown in the Forum depths sooner or later, and we'll lose these important references, you know. So essays or lessons from a famous Ximaxian mage would give people interested in magic something to study and get to understand the system better. Whenever an important question is discussed and a solution is there, it could be added to these "lessons" to expand this magical library.

So far I don't know yet if you'd be fit for something like that, Kikhku, as the essays/lessons would have to deal with fundamental things first (before other things are possible), and we still need to find an agreement on the basics of the magical system and in the same respect a simplification. We're still in this process of getting this done.

@Mina: I think we know enough of magic to define a Ximaxian system, and that should suffice from my point of view. We keep the "magic" in Ximaxian magic this way, and still have our explanations as far as necessary and is good for a fantasy world. And these explanations constitute a big difference from other sciences, which is extremely important.


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"Between the mind that plans and the hands that build there must be a mediator, and this must be the heart." -- Maria (Metropolis)
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