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Author Topic: Question about Spell-Template  (Read 6654 times)
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Coren FrozenZephyr
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« 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'?

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« Last Edit: 29 July 2010, 21:53:14 by Coren FrozenZephyr » Logged

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M´ruk Loshashzuck
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« Reply #1 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.
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« Reply #2 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)
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Coren FrozenZephyr
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« Reply #3 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
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"Is he allowed to do that?"
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"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)
M´ruk Loshashzuck
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« Reply #4 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.
« Last Edit: 29 July 2010, 22:04:11 by M´ruk Loshashzuck » Logged

Drasil Razorfang
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« Reply #5 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.
« Last Edit: 29 July 2010, 23:24:49 by Drasil Razorfang » Logged
Azhira Styralias
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« Reply #6 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.
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Coren FrozenZephyr
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« Reply #7 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)?

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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)
Drasil Razorfang
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« Reply #8 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. 
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Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #9 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 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.
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Bard Judith
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« Reply #10 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....

:)
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Drasil Razorfang
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« Reply #11 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.
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Azhira Styralias
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« Reply #12 on: 31 July 2010, 02:01:31 »

What about Ximaxian Zirghurim?  grin

Reagents or no?

That is the question of the day.  thumbup
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Artimidor Federkiel
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« Reply #13 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?
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« Reply #14 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. 
« Last Edit: 31 July 2010, 16:44:31 by Mina » Logged

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