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Old 05-17-2017, 09:34 AM   #1
Phantasm's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: On the road again...
Default Witchcraft from The Vampire Diaries

I've been watching The Vampire Diaries (alongside Burn Notice, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Supernatural, Charmed, and a few others) and was wondering about running a wainscot urban fantasy setting mixing all of them. (I have no problems mixing the bumpy-forehead "game face" vampires from the Buffyverse with the "black eyes" vampires of the Diariesverse by making them different "breeds" of vamps. I haven't yet started on The Originals to see if there's any difference there.)

The real trick, though, is figuring out the best way to do Bonnie's witchcraft. (One thing I noticed: all witches/warlocks in the show are of African descent. Was this intentional for the series? Of course, I can mix and match due to mixing in ideas from Charmed.) It's clearly hereditary, as the talent is passed through generations (from Emily in the ACW to Bonnie's grandmother to Bonnie, the one older warlock and his two kids, etc.)

I was thinking RPM, which seems to work just as well for Charmed, though maybe not for the Buffyverse (which seems to use Path/Book, which can easily be explained as the Buffyverse casters aren't generally learning the theory and instead using rituals recorded in their spellbooks).

Anyone with knowledge of later seasons want to chime in?

(Interesting side note: I noticed at the end of season 2 of the Diaries that Jeremy's mother's maiden name was "Sommers". Cue slow-motion speed running for true wainscotting....)
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Old 05-17-2017, 10:44 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Default Re: Witchcraft from The Vampire Diaries

TVD witchcraft is, I think, mostly generic-TV-magic, like Charmed, but since they've had 7 seasons and two shows, they've detailed a lot of supernatural rules over the years.

First of all, not all witches are black or female, just the famous Bennett line. When the Originals come to Mystic Falls, they have a white guy (still called a "witch", not a warlock or a wizard) as Klaus' personal witch companion. Then there's the New Orleans coven from The Originals, which is all-female, but multiethnic (appropriate, given the setting), and later in TVD we meet the Gemini coven (a single white family) and the Travelers (an entire ancient witch society, supposedly tied to Romani culture).

Witch powers seem to be "whatever the plot requires", but there are some base rules. Primarily, spells seem to need energy; e.g., the curse that keeps Klaus' werewolf side dormant used a celestial phenomenon (the periodic passage of a certain comet). The Bennett witches often mention "nature" as a source of energy, while the New Orleans coven drew great power from their ancestors' spirits (occasionally maintained by human sacrifice). Several times, the energy of an ongoing spell was used to power another spell. Late in its run, TVD introduced abominations like Kai, witches with no power of their own, but which can syphon magic from any supernatural entity our effect.

This seems to fit with RPM's energy-accumulation mechanic, though witches seem to draw on external sources (like auspicious events or places of mystical significance) more than themselves - and when they do use their own energy reserve, it seems to put great strain on them, but allows them to cast very quickly.

EDIT: Also, technically, vampires, werewolves and hunters all stem from witchcraft. They are essentially spells put on humans to augment them (usually with drawbacks). For example, vampires (at least those in the Mikaelson line) were created when Esther, a Viking witch, tried to strengthen the family against attacks from native american werewolves. Her spell succeeded - the Originals are strong, immortal, and virtually indestructible - but it ended up with A LOT of quirks. Most of them were "ironic", which is apparently how magic works, like nature rebelling against the infraction. Specifically, since the spell required a young girl as a blood sacrifice, the subjects would forever feel insatiable bloodlust; the old white oak that Esther used as a mystical power source became the only weapon capable of killing an Original, and the plants growing around it (vervain) stung them like acid. These weaknesses were passed onto their weaker offspring, hence the vampiric weakness to wood and vervain.

Last edited by Seneschal; 05-17-2017 at 10:58 AM.
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path/book magic, ritual path magic

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