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Old 07-30-2021, 07:46 PM   #1
Prince Charon
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Join Date: Dec 2012
Default [Fantasy] On the Origin of Magical Species: A Wizard Did It

Where does all the bizarre magical life (and unlife, and never-living) in a setting come from? Perhaps some evolved naturally, but that isn't necessarily true for all of them. Some might be the result of critical failures (e.g. a demon appears and attacks the caster, and is either driven off, escapes, or wins, and sticks around this world, or marks it as a place to return to) or critical successes (e.g. an often-repeated spell to give a horse wings becomes permanent and inheritable). Others might have been intentional creations: some spirits or fey might be the result of a caster making an illusion or Phantom (probably with Independence and Initiative, if we're talking about the standard system) permanent, and material beings could result from a permanent Shapeshifting or Creation effect (though if elves or dwarves are the result of permanent 'Create Servant' variants cast by humans, they probably aren't going to admit it). Some might have been created by Secret Spells (or other magics) that have since been lost, or are known but still secret; 'Create Vampire' is certainly possible in the standard system, as long as the GM agrees on the description and prerequisite path.

One example that occurred to me is that the Create (<element>) Elemental spells might have an alternative prerequisite path, something like 'Magery 2, nine spells of that element, and Create Servant.' The Summon (<element>) Elemental and Control (<element>) Elemental spells could have been invented later, and the new prerequisite path discovered after, or the Create spells modified for it.

Another option, which fits a wide range of magic systems, is to have creatures (or plants, et cetra) reproduce while transformed. For example, two lions are transformed into gryphons and then mate. The female is kept in the transformed state until she lays her eggs. Thus (unless the specific magic system precludes that), the eggs remain gryphon eggs, and hatch baby gryphons, even after the mother reverts to a lioness. Repeat with separate lion pairs until you have a viable breeding population.

Spun off from Development of Spell-based Magic through TL0, as while both assume that many or most magical species originate in the Stone Age, this thread is not limited to the standard (spell-based) system.

Warning, I have the Distractible and Imaginative quirks in real life.

"The more corrupt a government, the more it legislates."
-- Tacitus

Five Earths, All in a Row. Updated 12/17/2022: Apocrypha: Bridges out of Time, Part I has been posted.
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