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Old 09-18-2015, 07:38 AM   #18
Join Date: Jun 2006
Default Re: Making Magic Mysterious and Eldritch

Originally Posted by benz72 View Post
Do not allow PC spellcasters, but allow them to have Patrons, Allies, Contacts, & Dependents who are spellcasters, or be owed Favors from NPC spellcasters. They can access a little magic some of the time and the GM can tightly control what knowledge is available... go ahead and roll against your Thaumatology skill... oh, sorry, there is no default... you'll just have to rely on the cryptic explanations those friendly NPCs give you. You trust them, right?
This is much the same thing as magic is actually performed by those spirits or gods and you negotiate with them for it every time.

Part of the problem is that magic is mysterious is a late literary convention too. When a real magician works a spell, he does think it's a tool, one he expects has a good chance of doing whatever it is he wants to happen. If he didn't expect it to work, why would he bother. Likewise somebody buying a spell may not know how magic works, but he doesn't know how blacksmithing works when a buys a new ax either, he doesn't particularly think the magic amulet is any more mysterious.
Magic is mysterious is an *excuse* for why it didn't work, which you only need in a society that has gotten into the habit of investigating stuff to the point of noticing that it usually doesn't.
MA Lloyd
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