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Old 01-08-2020, 10:33 AM   #11
AlexanderHowl
 
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Default Re: [Thaumatology] Alternate Spell/Ritual Categories: Colours of Magic

Western ceremonial magical practice divides magic into three colors: white (information magics), yellow (beneficial or defensive magics), and black (malevolent or offensive magics). Offensive spells that would deal direct damage to human beings would be seen as the blackest of the black, as the intent is to use magic to kill rather than to hinder

Such a perspective is sadly lacking in most RPG systems. I think that it would be interesting to have white magic cost FP, yellow magic cost FP or give Corruption (depending on the intent of the spell), and black magic give Corruption. If a 9d fireball ended up giving 9 Corruption rather costing 9 FP, players might be a little careful it using magic for combat. In that case though, I would give missile spells a comparable range to information spells, just to make things fair.
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Old 01-08-2020, 02:55 PM   #12
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Default Re: [Thaumatology] Alternate Spell/Ritual Categories: Colours of Magic

Personally, I'd be inclined to go with Violet rather than Purple: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet are monochromatic, whereas purples and browns are mixtures (of red and green where browns are concerned, and of red and blue where purples are concerned).
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Old 01-08-2020, 03:02 PM   #13
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Default Re: [Thaumatology] Alternate Spell/Ritual Categories: Colours of Magic

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Personally, I'd be inclined to go with Violet rather than Purple: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet are monochromatic
Most violet colors are actually a mix of red and blue (for example, computer violet is #7f00ff or a combination of red and blue).
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Old 01-08-2020, 03:38 PM   #14
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Default Re: [Thaumatology] Alternate Spell/Ritual Categories: Colours of Magic

The confusion here is that there are two ways to approach color: the frequencies of light, or the way that the eye reacts to light. The eye picks up three colors: red, green, and blue; as such, all colors that we see can be replicated by mixtures of these three. That includes orange, yellow, indigo, and violet.

But as frequencies of light: orange, yellow, indigo, and violet are monochromatic. You can have an orange light that's a single frequency; it will trigger the red and green receptors in your eyes, and your brain will interpret that mixture of red and green as orange. And because of that, you can also get that same result by hitting the red receptors with red light and the green receptors with green light. This is what's referred to as “a brown”. Orange and yellow (monochromatic colors) can be simulated by browns: in terms of what you can see, there's no difference. But that's not because there's no difference; it's because our eyes are unable to discern the difference. Run orange light through a prism, and you'll get a single band of orange; run brown light through a prism (even brown light that looks orange to the human eye), and you'll get spikes in the red and green bands.

Likewise, indigo and violet (also monochromatic colors) can be simulated by purples. In the same way that “a brown” is defined as a mixture of red and green, “a purple” is defined as a mixture of red and blue. But indigo and violet themselves are individual frequencies of light.
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Old 01-08-2020, 05:39 PM   #15
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Default Re: [Thaumatology] Alternate Spell/Ritual Categories: Colours of Magic

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Originally Posted by dataweaver View Post
The confusion here is that there are two ways to approach color: the frequencies of light, or the way that the eye reacts to light. The eye picks up three colors: red, green, and blue
Actually, the sensitivity peaks for the visual receptors are roughly violet, green, and yellow-green, with significant overlap between the last two, it's just that rgb is good at getting the three receptors to each fire at the right ratios.
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But as frequencies of light: orange, yellow, indigo, and violet are monochromatic.
If you're going to split visible light into seven logical hues, you'd likely just use fixed segments of the rainbow, which gives you something like
  • 420nm (Near-Indigo)
  • 460nm (Near-Blue)
  • 500nm (Near-Cyan)
  • 540nm (Near-Lime)
  • 580nm (Near-Yellow)
  • 620nm (Near-Orange)
  • 660nm (Red)
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Old 01-08-2020, 06:00 PM   #16
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Default Re: [Thaumatology] Alternate Spell/Ritual Categories: Colours of Magic

Fair enough. And though the names wouldn't be precisely accurate, I'd be okay calling them Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Cyan, Blue, and Indigo. In terms of magic, If break them down roughly as Red for animals, Orange for fire, Yellow for earth, Green for plants, Cyan for air, Blue for water, and Indigo for quintessence.
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Old 01-08-2020, 10:45 PM   #17
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Default Re: [Thaumatology] Alternate Spell/Ritual Categories: Colours of Magic

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black magic is purple in the above system.

Green seems a little odd to me, in that it covers "The works of man". Is this because metal, pottery, and so forth come from "earth"?
Exactly, yes.

As for 'black magic,' the term isn't used in every culture, and IIRC is mocked in Witchworld as the babbling of the ignorant. I decided that dividing magic into 'black' and 'white' didn't fit the philosophy of whatever culture uses this system.
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Old 01-08-2020, 10:53 PM   #18
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Default Re: [Thaumatology] Alternate Spell/Ritual Categories: Colours of Magic

Conversely, Black and White don't necessarily have to mean Evil and Good. In the Final Fantasy franchise, White Mages are healers and Black Mages are attack mages; but there's nothing saying that White Mages are good and Black Mages are evil.
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Old 01-08-2020, 11:05 PM   #19
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Default Re: [Thaumatology] Alternate Spell/Ritual Categories: Colours of Magic

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
Western ceremonial magical practice divides magic into three colors: white (information magics), yellow (beneficial or defensive magics), and black (malevolent or offensive magics). Offensive spells that would deal direct damage to human beings would be seen as the blackest of the black, as the intent is to use magic to kill rather than to hinder

Such a perspective is sadly lacking in most RPG systems. I think that it would be interesting to have white magic cost FP, yellow magic cost FP or give Corruption (depending on the intent of the spell), and black magic give Corruption. If a 9d fireball ended up giving 9 Corruption rather costing 9 FP, players might be a little careful it using magic for combat. In that case though, I would give missile spells a comparable range to information spells, just to make things fair.
An alternative would be to have all magic cause Corruption as the price, but different types cause different forms of Corruption, which balance each other out (see below).

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Originally Posted by dataweaver View Post
Conversely, Black and White don't necessarily have to mean Evil and Good. In the Final Fantasy franchise, White Mages are healers and Black Mages are attack mages; but there's nothing saying that White Mages are good and Black Mages are evil.
True. Magic could be divided into Yin magic (Black, IIRC) and Yang magic (White, I think), neither of which is evil (and neither of which is good, either). Yin magic could cause Corruption that makes stereotypical Yin traits stronger and Yang traits weaker, and Yang magic could cause Corruption that makes stereotypical Yang traits stronger and Yin traits weaker. Thus, using both in equal measure allows you to live your life in harmony with the Way.

Doing this with the Colours system above would be possible, but complicated, and enough of a headache that I really don't think I'm going to try it on my own.
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Old 01-09-2020, 12:15 AM   #20
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Default Re: [Thaumatology] Alternate Spell/Ritual Categories: Colours of Magic

Agreed. I'm fine with a spectrum-based model; and my inclination would be for polychromatic colors (mostly browns and purples; but at the extreme, white) represents the generalists of the magic community: mages who have mastered more than one color and are now exploring how to combine them in interesting ways. Calling someone a White Mage would be a sign of respect, as you're basically saying that they've mastered all seven colors, an awesome achievement.

Conversely, black could be the “color” of anti-magic; or it might just be a disparaging term for the sorry of trickery and deceit that you normally get from the likes of stage magicians: people who don't actually have any magic but are good at faking it.

In short, black vs. white might not be about what kind of magic you can do so much as how much magic you can do: more “dim” and “bright” than “aggressive/defensive” or whatever.
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