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Hm, I had not planned on it, but it might be interesting. Maybe the mad mage could be a catalyst for that, tampering in magic that drives off spirits or becoming one herself? Many possibilities…. I really hope you go through with it! And there are laws to the magic, they may not be as strict as some novels and series, but they are there.

Words are Magic: The Power of Language Over Our Minds - Digital Surgeons

Hermione explains this to Ron in the seventh book when he mentions bringing food out of nowhere. Rowling has cherry picked her source material from myths that cross many cultures, Irish, Celtic, Greek, Welsh, Slavic, etc. I just finished the entire creation story because of these questions as well as creating a more refined system of magic in my book! Actually, the elite technique for Airbending is straight-up flight a la Superman. The villain in S3 of A:LoK achieves it. Taking this further would logical lead to even more powerful techniques, using vacuums to burst eardrums, rupture lungs, and using air pressure to launch objects in ways similar to the people that build vacuum cannons that launch ping pong balls at supersonic speeds.


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Another elite bending technique is Astral Projection since their are the most spiritual of benders. Jinora does it at some point. I forget the episode but Aang obviously and Zaheer do it also. Korra did it but that was more so of Avatar state then an Airbending technique. I know this is an old article, but it inspired me to create my magic system. I was wondering if any of you could give your thoughts on it. So, early on in our history, humanity was deemed too dangerous to stay in the greater multiverse. All other alien races find our violent behavior disgusting and, honestly?

We were ripped out of the literal fabric of reality, shaped into a forbidden-to-visit pocket dimension. The twist?

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Humans have no idea. However, some fear that all is unraveling. The thread is being used up at such a rate that the next generation may have none at all. The knots must be undone, causing the reverse effect as the original magic, and rewoven into the fabric of reality.

Broken cities, old equipment, enchanted odds and ends from modern society. Practically everyone uses it in their daily life. The job is dangerous. My main question is whether you think the weaving should be specialized; i. Otherwise, how can the effect of the knot be decided?

If I get this right, magic workers are using pieces of the infrastructure built to support their world for magic instead, at which time it is no longer helping to sustain the world, and by putting these pieces back in place, the protagonist is strengthening that infrastructure. So you already know that unraveling a knot has the opposite effect as weaving one. I would start with some metaphysical idea about exactly what functions these threads are performing to hold the world together.

How to Create a Rational Magic System

There could be just one type — your system is already very interesting — or more than one. Maybe they are all for structural integrity, without them the world explodes outward into the vacuum of nothingness. These structural integrity threads can be used to apply physical force to something. That can have a lot of applications. Or you could think of the world like a house, a house has wood beams to hold the roof up, pipes to run water, electrical lines to power appliances, etc.

If you figure out exactly what each type of thread is doing to hold the world together, you can not only extrapolate what magic they can do when woven, but also predict the damage that the world will suffer when too many of them are used. Certainly using more types adds complexity that might be a burden in shorter stories, but I think you could start with the type of thread that is most prevalent, and explain more rare threads as the story progresses.

Thank you so much for the reply! The problem would lie in too many types for an already-complex magic system. In actual weaving, warp threads keep tension during weaving and are the main structure of the fabric. Weft threads are what complete the fabric, what is woven through the warp to add the unique characteristics of the fabric e. Do you think the metaphor works when stretched so far? Oh, and thanks for the compliments! Yeah, I think your fabric metaphor works great. Just remember that great ideas are only the start, solid implementation has to follow, and learning that takes a lot of time and practice.


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Good luck! Yes, first drafts are for your eyes only.


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  • Rewriting and revising is what turns the idea into something worth reading. I love your idea Madden, however if i may point out one significant flaw that you will very quickly need to address. If every spell casts creates a knot that must result in the opposite effect happening then the incentive to kill becomes too great.

    It sends a positive message to the reader when the magic being performed is a positive being paid for by a regrettable negative but sends the wrong message when its a cheat or lethal act that is only being rewarded or reinforced with a positive. The only way around this that i can see is if killing Voldermort brought Hitler back to life. OK that was alot and I totally understand if you choose to use none of my ideas or stopped reading halfway through, these are just my thoughts based on my research on how our world works physically and metaphysically.

    Good luck with your universe. They each have powers, but only relative to what they are. The water creatures, dryads and naiads, are rarer and more powerful because water has been around for much longer. They can do things with water, and also move farther away from their source something other nymphs cannot physically do. There is a bit more magic involved in the storyline, but just for that part, do you think that all makes sense? Does it seem too unpredictable? The dryads control water? Dryads are usually depicted as tree spirits, or tree nymphs.

    Regardless, having nature spirits of various kinds that have power related to their aspect of nature is completely reasonable. Why are naiads more rare and powerful than tree nymphs? Then use the answer to characterize all of your nature spirits. Awesome, thanks! And I had trouble writing with what nature aspects nymphs, dryads, and naiads would relate to, so I went with that.

    Thanks again for the advice! Oreads are nymphs of Mountains. If you want you can also make a difference between Nyads and Nereids the usual river and spring nymphs and large powerful Sea nymphs. Dryads represent trees but usually can move about unless they are hamadryads which are locked to a particular tree than a tree type.

    Aurai are wind nymphs. I originally wanted a free form system where just about anything was possible. Then I really thought about the setting and that would break…well, everything. Figured out the important themes and used them to craft something that fits more within the setting. Interesting perspective on the Harry Potter magical system. There are a number of times during the series when Harry performs magic out of anger or fear.

    As far as the potions issue, again, these are based off historical ideas about magic and potions. Mandrake, which is featured in the second book, has historically been associated with witchcraft. Lastly, I think the magical structure and logic might not be as fully fleshed out because the focus of of the story is not on that. If it was merely about Harry learning magic more of that logic would be needed. Wand movements and spells serve to direct the magic, to tell it what to do.

    It might be argued that the wand and the spell serve to put the mind of the caster in the right mood so they can command the magic. That also means that magic is an entity of its own, hence experimenting with it can be highly dangerous. As far as the potions are concerned — specific plants have always been said to possess magical properties, which is why they are used in the potions. Actually, one of the principles of old-time portions-making was that a plant which looks like a certain body part is good for curing that body part actual results may vary. The mandrake has been considered magical, because its roots do look vaguely like a human being.

    There are medieval books detailing how to pluck a mandrake from the ground because it was thought that they screamed when unearthed and could kill everyone who heard the scream. Potion-making probably would make more sense, if there was more talk about the properties of the ingredients and what they do. Untold masses dead, fear, uncertainty… you get the idea…. The Grey Death is in fact a invasive form of Nanotechnology, accidentally released into the public. Perhaps they only manifest 1 or 2?