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Old 02-05-2019, 02:23 PM   #1
TippetsTX
 
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Default Diversity of Magical Tradition

Another thread discussing whether wizards can identify spells as they are being cast got me thinking... are magical spells universal in form or do you allow for more variety in your campaigns?

Will a human, goblin and reptile man all cast the Blur spell exactly the same way? Is magic like math?

It just seems to me that on a world as vast and diverse as Cidri, there might be a wide variety of magical traditions and styles. And to be clear, this is more about the GMs approach to world-building than rules.
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Old 02-05-2019, 02:26 PM   #2
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Default Re: Diversity of Magical Tradition

Note ITL34 "A Word of Command may be spoken in the Sorcerer’s Tongue, in which case it will affect any being with a mind (IQ over 2) that hears it"

So there is an underlying "logic" to magic that isn't of human origin.

I'm writing up the how does one become a wizard for my online story that has wizards as young children who are broken so that they are half in the physical world and half in magic. Ergo it takes them twice as long to learn most talents.

I'm tempted to put in a line about two types of failures. The half of all students who flunk out and are ordinary heroes and the one in a generation oracles who flunk in and have zero awareness of the physical world around them. And of the wizards who are taken off oracle transcription duty when they start to see the things that aren't there.
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Old 02-05-2019, 03:33 PM   #3
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Default Re: Diversity of Magical Tradition

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Note ITL34 "A Word of Command may be spoken in the Sorcerer’s Tongue, in which case it will affect any being with a mind (IQ over 2) that hears it"

So there is an underlying "logic" to magic that isn't of human origin.
Yes, but my question is more about form than function or origin. I'm fine with the idea that all magic ultimately comes from the same universal energy source.

Your previous response mentioned the 'necropus' which is actually a good example of what I'm talking about. Clearly, an octopi wizard would use different casting methodology from a human. And they must have their own magical training organization outside of the typical Wizard's Guild as well, right?
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Old 02-05-2019, 03:36 PM   #4
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Default Re: Diversity of Magical Tradition

TBH, I think the answer, at least in part, will depend on how the Wizard Guild operates on your version of Cidri. Is it a powerful global organization that governs all magic use or is it simply a scattered group of disconnected magical fraternities that each have their own agendas, political leanings and traditions?
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Old 02-05-2019, 03:40 PM   #5
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Default Re: Diversity of Magical Tradition

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Another thread discussing whether wizards can identify spells as they are being cast got me thinking... are magical spells universal in form or do you allow for more variety in your campaigns?

Will a human, goblin and reptile man all cast the Blur spell exactly the same way? Is magic like math?

It just seems to me that on a world as vast and diverse as Cidri, there might be a wide variety of magical traditions and styles. And to be clear, this is more about the GMs approach to world-building than rules.
Perhaps there is a "Common Magic" just as there is a "Common Tongue". For Western Europe, most wizards might be able to identify the spell. But for a Zulu Shaman of Africa, their style of spell may involve more footwork than hand gestures. And an Asian mage might have hand movements obscured by very long sleeves.

So I would suggest that if its a run-of-the-mill neighbor magic user, our wizard would probably identify it. As the culture gets more distant, the identifying gets more difficult. He probably wouldn't even know that an octopus was casting a spell; the player would though.

I am very much a believer that magic performance is like modern medicine. There are many ways to reach the similar result. Surgery, chiropractic, acupuncture, nutrition, physical therapy all can help a person walk again, each in a very different way and philosophy.

As a paraphrase of GURPS, the game mechanics might be the same, but the fluff gives it the feel.
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Old 02-05-2019, 04:04 PM   #6
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Default Re: Diversity of Magical Tradition

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Perhaps there is a "Common Magic" just as there is a "Common Tongue". For Western Europe, most wizards might be able to identify the spell. But for a Zulu Shaman of Africa, their style of spell may involve more footwork than hand gestures. And an Asian mage might have hand movements obscured by very long sleeves.

So I would suggest that if its a run-of-the-mill neighbor magic user, our wizard would probably identify it. As the culture gets more distant, the identifying gets more difficult. He probably wouldn't even know that an octopus was casting a spell; the player would though.
I recall reading a fantasy story many years ago where magic could be identified by its effect on other senses... a taste in the air, the acrid smell of static discharge, or a subtle vibration in the fabric of reality. So there are potentially a variety of ways to identify spells when they are cast that don't rely on recognizing words or hand motions, but like I said, I'm more interested in the GM's approach to magical diversity in their campaign world.
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Old 02-05-2019, 06:09 PM   #7
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Default Re: Diversity of Magical Tradition

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I'm tempted to put in a line about two types of failures. The half of all students who flunk out and are ordinary heroes and the one in a generation oracles who flunk in and have zero awareness of the physical world around them. And of the wizards who are taken off oracle transcription duty when they start to see the things that aren't there.
You can bet the Wizard's Guild keeps a tight control on those situations. It'd be bad public relations for it to be known that young novices can 'turn on, tune in and drop out" while in their master's charge.

But an alternate idea I just had while reading your note above is:
Some of these gifted wonders are so 'turned on, tuned in and dropped out' that they become hyper-magic. That is, they become Supers or Psi's.

Plenty of '80s Sci-Fi stories about the institute that develops Psis and loses control of them.
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Old 02-05-2019, 07:02 PM   #8
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Default Re: Diversity of Magical Tradition

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Plenty of '80s Sci-Fi stories about the institute that develops Psis and loses control of them.
Congratulations, you've discovered the source of magic and now understand how it warps space and time!

And that's because?

It's Cthulhu. SAN rolls everyone.
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Old 02-05-2019, 07:50 PM   #9
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Default Re: Diversity of Magical Tradition

The sketchiness of Cidri is, to my mind, one of its most appealing qualities. I'd say that the answer is both "Yes," and "No," depending on your needs as a GM.
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Old 02-05-2019, 09:04 PM   #10
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Default Re: Diversity of Magical Tradition

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Is magic like math?
Magic is not like math. The ability to replicate results over and over... If its the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment (google definition), then it is Science.

Magic has to have at least a bit of breaking what 'science' expects.

I would say magic is more like cooking. You have some formulas, you put a dash of ingredients in it, you cook it (fatigue), you take your chances (roll the die) and hope that it tastes like meringue pie.
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