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Archmage of Nowhere
Seeker

USA
47 Posts

Posted - 12 Jul 2018 :  21:43:23  Show Profile Send Archmage of Nowhere a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
So this came up in a different topic but I have been looking for a source or group of sources that go into, more or less the In-universe mechanics of magic. All the psudo-science tech babble in Star Trek has always amused me and I try to bring that quality to mages in my Realms, but have had to resorting to making up stuff on the fly.

Was wondering if you sages had any deep lore on the topic or if I'm resigned to writing a fantasy scientific paper on Bigsby's Five Laws of Evocation.

Irennan
Great Reader

Italy
2980 Posts

Posted - 12 Jul 2018 :  21:57:43  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've been looking for something similar too, but I didn't find any, so I wrote one for my own world. Nothing to do with how FR or D&D magic works, though.

It would be nice if there was something like that I missed.

To all Facebook-using FR fans, you might be interested in checking out this page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/450517575051806/

Edited by - Irennan on 12 Jul 2018 21:58:08
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sleyvas
Great Reader

USA
7379 Posts

Posted - 12 Jul 2018 :  22:54:58  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
That would be amusing to see a "lesson plan" that revolved around the "five basic types of evocative energies". However, I'd prefer going back to the old days when sonic damage was always low damage BUT it was fairly hard to block, fire was more deadly but there were numerous things that reduced or blocked it, etc... It may be less balanced, but it sure as hell makes a lot more sense. Something would have to be seriously loud to actually damage me as much as a fireball.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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TBeholder
Master of Realmslore

1704 Posts

Posted - 12 Jul 2018 :  23:47:43  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
So "in depth" or "treknobable"?

For randumz, look at generators on chaoticshiny.com

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch
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Thraskir Skimper
Learned Scribe

191 Posts

Posted - 13 Jul 2018 :  00:44:18  Show Profile Send Thraskir Skimper a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Check out Ray E Feist. Nakor talks about the Stuff of Magic.

or

Just look up the Codex of Wodar Hospur.

Thay Red

Edited by - Thraskir Skimper on 13 Jul 2018 00:51:36
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Thraskir Skimper
Learned Scribe

191 Posts

Posted - 13 Jul 2018 :  00:59:05  Show Profile Send Thraskir Skimper a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Or you could hire a Draxkir to hunt down the truth.

Thay Red
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
31402 Posts

Posted - 13 Jul 2018 :  02:56:56  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've always favored the idea that magic is just another source of energy, and casters are just tapping into that source of energy. It's kinda like the Force, in Star Wars: it's there, all around, but you've got to have an affinity and/or the training for it to be able to tap that energy.

And magic does have strict rules and laws that it adheres to... These are not always the laws of physics, though, and can appear to violate the laws of physics. The laws of magic are in some ways more complex than physical laws, which is part of why even most of its practitioners don't understand it.

Like it's explained in the Dresdenverse, the words and gestures and components and all that are almost immaterial to the casting of magic -- they're just a construct that allows the caster to wield magic. It's not saying "abra cadabra!" that makes the bunny appear in the hat, for example -- the words are meaningless. It's the caster's association of the words with the effect that's important -- the words (and the other components) are his focus, his way of envisioning grasping the energy and forcing it towards a particular goal.

At least, that's my spin on it all.

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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6671 Posts

Posted - 13 Jul 2018 :  07:42:57  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Lyndon Hardy's novels (Master of the Five Magics, Secret of the Sixth Magic, and Riddle of the Seven Realms) did a fine job of defining systemized "rules of magic". Early fantasy genre, lacking today's "high fantasy" subtleties and sophistications (and assumptions), so it follows some familiar-seeming themes and very predictable tropes ... but also worth reading.

I've noticed D&D magic keeps shifting more and more towards "standardization". More like a science: known rules, known properties, known effects, things can be isolated and observed and reproduced and predicted.

While older-edition (A)D&D magic started off more "exotic" and "mysterious". More like an art: each practitioner of the craft had to discover unique ways to accomplish the same things, each spell always had some chance of generating never-before-seen results.

[/Ayrik]
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LordofBones
Senior Scribe

821 Posts

Posted - 13 Jul 2018 :  07:47:29  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

Lyndon Hardy's novels (Master of the Five Magics, Secret of the Sixth Magic, and Riddle of the Seven Realms) did a fine job of defining systemized "rules of magic". Early fantasy genre, lacking today's "high fantasy" subtleties and sophistications (and assumptions), so it follows some familiar-seeming themes and very predictable tropes ... but also worth reading.

I've noticed D&D magic keeps shifting more and more towards "standardization". More like a science: known rules, known properties, known effects, things can be isolated and observed and reproduced and predicted.

While older-edition (A)D&D magic started off more "exotic" and "mysterious". More like an art: each practitioner of the craft had to discover unique ways to accomplish the same things, each spell always had some chance of generating never-before-seen results.



That's pretty accurate. Metamagic seems more like the result of study, research, experimentation and testing rather than something artistic. I'd wager that Charisma-based spellcasters see it differently, but Int-based casters have always stuck me as the type to research and discover new spells and magical equipment.
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Cyrinishad
Learned Scribe

300 Posts

Posted - 13 Jul 2018 :  22:20:59  Show Profile Send Cyrinishad a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by LordofBones

quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

Lyndon Hardy's novels (Master of the Five Magics, Secret of the Sixth Magic, and Riddle of the Seven Realms) did a fine job of defining systemized "rules of magic". Early fantasy genre, lacking today's "high fantasy" subtleties and sophistications (and assumptions), so it follows some familiar-seeming themes and very predictable tropes ... but also worth reading.

I've noticed D&D magic keeps shifting more and more towards "standardization". More like a science: known rules, known properties, known effects, things can be isolated and observed and reproduced and predicted.

While older-edition (A)D&D magic started off more "exotic" and "mysterious". More like an art: each practitioner of the craft had to discover unique ways to accomplish the same things, each spell always had some chance of generating never-before-seen results.



That's pretty accurate. Metamagic seems more like the result of study, research, experimentation and testing rather than something artistic. I'd wager that Charisma-based spellcasters see it differently, but Int-based casters have always stuck me as the type to research and discover new spells and magical equipment.



Perhaps it is strange or counter-intuitive, but my experience has been much the opposite (at least practice, if not in theory)... All of the mechanical rules of the D&D game have progressed like that (both Combat & Spellcasting) towards "standardization"... However, I've found that the "In-game" perspective or presentation is much more like the 1e/2e style... At least since 5e was released (If we're talking 3e or 4e, I totally agree that those were magi-tech editions).

To know, is to know that you know nothing. That is the meaning of true knowledge. -Socrates

Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened. -Dr. Seuss
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Zeromaru X
Master of Realmslore

Colombia
1086 Posts

Posted - 13 Jul 2018 :  23:10:29  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There is an explanation on how magic work in the Realms in "Ed Greenwood Presents: Elminster's Forgotten Realms", but I don't think that is what you are looking for...

Long ago, in the distant past, they fell into decay. The philosopher’s path... The river of glory... Even the saints resting in the darkness rise up without response and block the way...
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Archmage of Nowhere
Seeker

USA
47 Posts

Posted - 16 Jul 2018 :  03:45:50  Show Profile Send Archmage of Nowhere a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This is going to be fairly long, couldn't check on this busy weekend!

@Sleyvas You know that would be an interesting subject to at to the queue the specific energies of evocation. The paper I spoke of (I ended up writing it anyway ) was actually based around what evocation can and cant do as it is the manipulation of magic to create or harness other types of energy. It went into detail comparing the difference between spells for each law and why it was that you couldn't have the best of every world in one spell.

@TBeholder So I would like to know if there was a Realms specific breakdown of the standard practices of wizards and wizard academies in teaching apprentices. The only real comparison to Star Trek is that I would like it to be based off the "Real" laws of magic as they do with their babble, but I cant just go look at a academic paper myself. More to the point I specifically want to challenge those who play spellcasters in my game to try and know about the lore of magic instead of saying "I cast X" and not really actually knowing or caring what school that is from or the implications of variations to those spells.

@Thraskir Skimper I will on all counts

@Wooly Rupert I personally have a very similar opinion to how magic functions in setting as mechanics and lore support this.
quote:
magic does have strict rules and laws that it adheres to... These are not always the laws of physics, though, and can appear to violate the laws of physics. The laws of magic are in some ways more complex than physical laws, which is part of why even most of its practitioners don't understand it.

I was hoping for some basic rules in this vein actually something along the lines of Newton's 3 Laws of Motion etc. Even if they aren't written out anywhere or intoned from the book of Canon, that's ok so long as there isn't deep lore specifically barring me from creating them myself.

@Ayrik I will definitely look into it. I feel the Realms can support really any variation to practice of magic so I tend to assume they all exist in there to some extent its just forgotten lore (I don't know it )

@Lordofbones I actually really enjoy the scientific style due to me being a engineer but I definitely have the more artistic or "feeling" style of wizard in my Realms. I have actually gone all around trying to either rationalizing what is there or slipping in cultural magic styles from the real world in there as well so that not every magic caster is a Assistant-professor preaching about the laws and rules of magic. I also tend to favor character alignment having a pretty big influence on what style they gravitate to. I have actually already made a pretty big distinction at my table between Cha based casters, its honestly a my own in house faction war as the players who have taken to my scientific version of magic have and those who play cha based spellcasters throw shoes at each other from across the table as their characters get into heated debates lol.

@Zeromaru X I will look into it anyway. Even if it isn't specifics I can use in game it is probably exactly what I am looking for as a DM. Cheers!


Phew...
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Lord Karsus
Great Reader

USA
3184 Posts

Posted - 16 Jul 2018 :  04:12:38  Show Profile  Send Lord Karsus an AOL message Send Lord Karsus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
-I had written something up from a character I made a long, long time ago, I'll try to find it. It was a wizard who spent a prolonged period of time of Mechanus and believed that he unlocked the "rules" of magic.

(A Tri-Partite Arcanist Who Has Forgotten More Than Most Will Ever Know)

Elves of Faerűn
Vol I- The Elves of Faerűn
Vol. III- Spells of the Elves
Vol. VI- Mechanical Compendium
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Lord Karsus
Great Reader

USA
3184 Posts

Posted - 16 Jul 2018 :  04:29:15  Show Profile  Send Lord Karsus an AOL message Send Lord Karsus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Found it, but not as "in-depth" as I thought it was:

The Metareality Hypothesis, also known as Metareality Philosophy, is the belief that reality is governed by a specific set of laws. If these laws can be discovered, properly observed, and some kind of pattern established, one can divine the future unerringly. Those who believe in, and research the subject rely heavily on mathematical formulas, magical theories, physical laws, and astronomy.

Who first theorized of the Metareality Hypothesis is unknown. It is believed that the concept was developed somewhere in a place of higher learning on either Sigil, or on the plane of Mechanus. Marrying the two, it is widely believed that the principle was first theorized on by members of the Fraternity of Order on Sigil, who eventually founded the Fortress of Discipled Enlightenment on Mechanus to better study and test the hypothesis. A less common belief is that the Fraternity of Order did not discover the concept their selves, but rather, learned of and adopted the idea from either Formians or Modron already on Mechanus.

The first recorded mentions of the Metareality Hypothesis being brought back into Realmspace was in –5,193. One hundred years earlier, Sundryl Starmantle, a Moon Elf, and his companion, Schnippa Loopmottin Stumbleduck, a Lantanese Gnome, traveled to Mechanus, to observe and document the exotic clockwork creatures residing on the plane, to better create their own clockwork items on Lantan. While on the plane, the two came across the Fortress of Discipled Enlightenment, and eventually became members of the Fraternity of Order. While Schnippa Loopmottin Stumbleduck never returned to Faerűn, Sundryl did. When he came back, was remarkably changed, and took residence in his homeland of Uvaeren.

Sundryl’s home, known as the Clockwork Tower, was quite unlike any other in the Elven nation. Sundryl had the tower designed using precise mathematic formulas and procedures, which stood in great contrast to the following architecture that most other Elves use. It was powered by technomagical and clockwork devices, included all sorts of machines, and sported a massive telescope at it’s top. Using careful research, planning, and mapping, Sundryl had the tower built on what he believed was a Torillian leyline, being that the tower stood directly in the path of two Earth Nodes deep below the ground.

It is not known how much research Sundryl came to possess before disappearing, or how close he came to proving the Metareality Hypothesis valid or not. It is said by eyewitnesses, however, that he predicted the destruction of Uvaeren by a celestial body in the sky, and shunted his tower and all of his research out of the doomed nation, before the meteor struck.

Since these days long ago, the Metareality Hypothesis has gone largely ignored by Faerűnian scholars and philosophers. The archives and tomes in Candlekeep, known as the greatest library on Faerűn, contain few mentions of this abstract philosophy. It has very few adherents on Abeir-Toril. Most who believe in the Metareality Hypothesis either hail from someplace other than Realmspace, and have come to live in the Crystal Sphere, or have spent considerable time on a Plane or Crystal Sphere other than Realmspace.

(A Tri-Partite Arcanist Who Has Forgotten More Than Most Will Ever Know)

Elves of Faerűn
Vol I- The Elves of Faerűn
Vol. III- Spells of the Elves
Vol. VI- Mechanical Compendium
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Thraskir Skimper
Learned Scribe

191 Posts

Posted - 22 Jul 2018 :  04:48:45  Show Profile Send Thraskir Skimper a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've always thought that Magic is just the highest level of technology.

Thay Red
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TheIriaeban
Seeker

USA
31 Posts

Posted - 22 Jul 2018 :  20:04:30  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This is something that I came up with as a primer of sorts for the Magic of the Realms. This applies to arcane casters only. Clerics spells have a slightly different process. If you want a more scientific example, it would involve Quantum Mechanics and Entanglement.

The Basis of Magic
There have been debates by sages for centuries as to what is the true source of magic. Depending on the Prime Material Plane you are in, you may get different answers. For Faerun, the answer is simple: it is Mystra’s blessing of and conservatorship of The Weave. While that technically answers the question, it does not provide the in-depth answer that many mages have desired. So, let’s explore the basis of a mage’s power: the spell and how they are cast on Faerun.

The Basis of Spells
What is a spell? Most would say that a spell is the interplay between components of the spell, be they verbal, somatic, material or a mixture of the three, that shapes and taps the source of the magic. In actuality, it is the wizard’s thoughts that tap into the source of magic. The components are there to aid in focusing and guiding the thoughts to be in the proper order and shape to give the resulting energy/forces the desired outcome.

Without thought, there cannot be spell casting. Certainly, there can be magic in a non-intelligent creature or item but magic is not a spell. The magic may be spell-like in outcome but the initiating factor is not a shaped thought but more of an instinctual process or one that has been pre-determined by an intelligent source (in the case of a magic item). It is this shaped thought that allow a being to focus and determine how the magical energy of The Weave is expressed.

This statement, however, then raises the question: if thoughts are what truly interacts with The Weave, then what purpose do the spell’s components have? Let’s examine each type of component and see how it contributes to spell casting.

The Verbal Spell Component
A vast majority of known spells have a verbal component. But, why is that? What is so special about the verbal component that it be included in so many spells? The answer is quite obvious: spells are created/discovered by intelligent beings and intelligent beings will have a form of communication used to share ideas with others. Seeming, a majority of intelligent beings use speech to communicate ideas, so it is only natural that speaking in a certain way would be an affective way of shaping a thought so that the resulting tapped magical energy is expressed in the desired manner. Thus, the verbal component of a spell is a very efficient and familiar means to shape thoughts.

Of course, there is no requirement that any spells have a verbal component. The vocalize spell is a good example of how magic can be used to “boost” a being’s ability to shape a thought without having to resort to a verbal component (the development of the vocalize spell does show just how imperative it is for a being to be able to hear itself speak as the verbal component is used as a form of feedback to ensure the associated thought has the required shape). Additionally, there are several examples of creatures who cannot speak but are still very effective spell casters. An excellent example is the spell weaver. They communicate via telepathy and when they cast spells, they do not use a verbal component.

The Somatic Spell Component
Similar to the verbal spell component, the somatic spell component is also very common. That is no coincidence since a being moving its appendages is another common means of communication. An excellent example is the silent language used by several races in the Underdark. Having a somatic component for a spell provides either the primary thought shaping (if there is no vocal component), a secondary means of reinforcing the thought shape, or a means to provide a path or conduit if the magic is being directed outward from the caster’s own body.

Some “purists” insist that the somatic component isn’t really needed and it is only a “lazy” caster that resorts to using one. Obviously, there will be differing opinions about something as complex and important as thaumaturgical research. I will leave it up to the reader to form their own opinion.

The Material Spell Component
Of all the spell components, it is the material component that is most likely not to be needed for a particular spell. This is due to the role a material component can play in a spell: a source of additional energy, as a source template for the resulting effect of the spell, or the target of the spell to either act as a receptacle or to be altered by the spell being cast.

Some spells will require an extraordinary amount of energy so these spells will require one or more objects as the material component. The objects, typically a crystal or gem of some kind, are converted by the tapped magical energy into the additional energy the spell’s effect requires. If the objects are not on hand, then the spell will not function simply because there is not a sufficient amount of energy available.

Other spells will need an object that has a property of or affiliation for an energy or force that the spell can use as a template to expand upon for the spell’s effect. This may be the most common of the uses for material components. The spider for a spider climb spell or the wool and glass rod for a lightning bolt spell are common examples.

The final role is as the target for the spell. The result of this type of spell is an object that has been changed by the magic into something else or an object that now contains or will contain something else. The fabricate and focal stone spells are respective examples of this role.

A final note about spell components: A wise wizard will find a means to cast spells in advance but held in suspension so that they can be triggered with a mere thought or pre-defined situation. This can be the deciding factor in the wizard’s survival when things go bad (and believe me, no matter how well thought out your plans may be, there will always be the chance that something will go awry and your life or the lives of your friends will hang in the balance). A common example of this is the contingency spell. Other lesser known examples are the lesser sash of spells and mantle spells (if you are lucky enough to find them). By utilizing these spells, you can cast your spells in advance and not have to be concerned about being able to perform or have continually present the needed components for all your spells.

The Spell Thought
As previously mentioned, the true initiating factor for a spell is the properly ordered and shaped thoughts of a wizard. Over the centuries, the various orders and shapes of thoughts have been grouped together by similarity and have been codified into what is now called the different schools of magic. The traditional schools of magic are: Abjuration, Alteration, Conjuration/Summoning, Divination, Enchantment/Charm, Illusion/Phantasm, Invocation/Evocation, and Necromantic. This list has changed over time as new groupings have been found or major changes to The Weave have been made.

But, as almost any student of magic has asked, why can’t anyone cast a spell then? The answer lies in the individual attempting to cast a spell. There are certain skills that are needed that not everyone has. Does the individual have the ability to learn the “recipe” of required components and thought pattern necessary to cast the spell? Does the individual have the reasoning capability to tease out the smallest intricacies of the spell’s formula for the way they think since everyone has their own base thought patterns built up over the life of the individual.

This also brings up another point: how an individual thinks affects what spells they can use. Mages are the generalist so they can use any of the basic thought shapes and orders required by each school of magic. However, there are individuals who, based on their thought patterns, can understand a specific school of magic better than others. In fact, these individuals will actually be incapable of producing the thought patterns of certain schools (this is where the term “opposition school” comes from) simply because they “just can’t think that way”. Since these thought patterns are guided/formed by the components of spells, it also leads to why someone specializing in the Illusion school of magic is required to have a higher manual dexterity than they otherwise would: to be able to get their thoughts in the proper order and shape during casting, the somatic components are more complex (this restriction really only applies to illusion spells of such complexity that even a mage would not be able to cast it since it would require someone with the base thought patterns only an illusionist would have). I have used the school of illusion as an example but the same concepts apply to all the other schools of magic as well.


"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."
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Starshade
Learned Scribe

Norway
207 Posts

Posted - 22 Jul 2018 :  22:00:18  Show Profile Send Starshade a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The conversations of Pug of Crydee an Nakor the Isalani in the Midkemia series from Raymond E. Feist is good sources, and good fantasy in general.
The books is really based on Feist's old games, the world is bascally his player group's game world, and the magic system is their own homebrew out of first edition D&D.
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Archmage of Nowhere
Seeker

USA
47 Posts

Posted - 22 Jul 2018 :  22:14:12  Show Profile Send Archmage of Nowhere a Private Message  Reply with Quote
@Thelriaeban

I really enjoyed this. Pretty much the sort of stuff I have started working on myself. I really like the idea that a large portion of the casting of the spell is focused on how the mage collects and orders his thoughts. A neat way to really de-emphasis schools as fundamentally different but more a different perspective.

Here are some the questions that I am trying to answer in-universe.

If the casting of spells is dictated by thoughts, then what are spells at heart?

If they truly are a communication between ourselves and the weave to have it produce something for us, how then do we explain the natural caster, sorcerers or those of a inherent magical nature?

Is a spell not just a template to be accessed? Differing methods of achieving the exact same result? Or is a product of our thoughts as is the casting and we have simply yet to free ourselves from our limited perspectives to freely manipulate the result of our varying communications.

These are the types of questions I have posed myself and my players over the years. Personally I feel there are a potentially infinite number of intangible schools of magic that can dictate every facet of a spell. The example I often come back to is a direct comparison of the famous spells Magic Missile and Fireball.

Fireball requires far more skill and "power" from the wizard yet fundamentally has a weakness to it that Magic Missile for how easy it is to cast just dont have. Mechanically I am talking about saves but in universe this translates into a hidden "Instructions" level of spell creation. The fireball flies at the target, whatever that is and discharges where Magic Missiles are given a job to accomplish and have a low level of sentience to accomplish that task. The ability to redirect their course to hit targets despite unknown variables is a fascinating attribute that is only seen in the most powerful of spells. Yet this level one spell not only can perform it, but do it so efficiently that masters of the spell can fire even more missiles and be sent at different targets with only a thought.

Why is it that I don't have that level of control on Fireball? Why cant I reduce its stopping power or increase at will?

There has to be some fundamental law (cannon or not) that governs these qualities.
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
6671 Posts

Posted - 23 Jul 2018 :  06:49:07  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Cyrinishad
quote:
quote:
I've noticed D&D magic keeps shifting more and more towards "standardization". More like a science: known rules, known properties, known effects, things can be isolated and observed and reproduced and predicted.

While older-edition (A)D&D magic started off more "exotic" and "mysterious". More like an art: each practitioner of the craft had to discover unique ways to accomplish the same things, each spell always had some chance of generating never-before-seen results.
That's pretty accurate. Metamagic seems more like the result of study, research, experimentation and testing rather than something artistic. I'd wager that Charisma-based spellcasters see it differently, but Int-based casters have always stuck me as the type to research and discover new spells and magical equipment.
Perhaps it is strange or counter-intuitive, but my experience has been much the opposite (at least practice, if not in theory)... All of the mechanical rules of the D&D game have progressed like that (both Combat & Spellcasting) towards "standardization"... However, I've found that the "In-game" perspective or presentation is much more like the 1e/2e style... At least since 5e was released (If we're talking 3e or 4e, I totally agree that those were magi-tech editions).
Magic was often called "Mystery" or "Art" or "the Art" in AD&D Realmslore. Indeed, Mystra the Goddess of Magic was also called the Goddess of Mysteries, her name itself implies that the unknowable and mysterious is an important aspect of magic. While Mystras have come and gone in subsequent editions - and each iteration of game rules for magic has become more standardized - the name of this goddess has always been retained.

[/Ayrik]
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TheIriaeban
Seeker

USA
31 Posts

Posted - 25 Jul 2018 :  23:39:40  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Archmage of Nowhere

@Thelriaeban

I really enjoyed this. Pretty much the sort of stuff I have started working on myself. I really like the idea that a large portion of the casting of the spell is focused on how the mage collects and orders his thoughts. A neat way to really de-emphasis schools as fundamentally different but more a different perspective.

Here are some the questions that I am trying to answer in-universe.

If the casting of spells is dictated by thoughts, then what are spells at heart?

If they truly are a communication between ourselves and the weave to have it produce something for us, how then do we explain the natural caster, sorcerers or those of a inherent magical nature?

Is a spell not just a template to be accessed? Differing methods of achieving the exact same result? Or is a product of our thoughts as is the casting and we have simply yet to free ourselves from our limited perspectives to freely manipulate the result of our varying communications.

These are the types of questions I have posed myself and my players over the years. Personally I feel there are a potentially infinite number of intangible schools of magic that can dictate every facet of a spell. The example I often come back to is a direct comparison of the famous spells Magic Missile and Fireball.

Fireball requires far more skill and "power" from the wizard yet fundamentally has a weakness to it that Magic Missile for how easy it is to cast just dont have. Mechanically I am talking about saves but in universe this translates into a hidden "Instructions" level of spell creation. The fireball flies at the target, whatever that is and discharges where Magic Missiles are given a job to accomplish and have a low level of sentience to accomplish that task. The ability to redirect their course to hit targets despite unknown variables is a fascinating attribute that is only seen in the most powerful of spells. Yet this level one spell not only can perform it, but do it so efficiently that masters of the spell can fire even more missiles and be sent at different targets with only a thought.

Why is it that I don't have that level of control on Fireball? Why cant I reduce its stopping power or increase at will?

There has to be some fundamental law (cannon or not) that governs these qualities.



Sorry for the delay in my reply. Someone or something may have changed my records at Candlekeep. I suspect an agent of the Darkhold...

A spell is the recipe that allows a person with the right training to interact with The Weave to produce a desired effect.

I haven't actually used any of the editions above 2.5 (or seen a 2e sourcebook that officially defined a sorcerer) but I would say that they either instinctually know how to shape their thoughts to be able to get the desired effect or they already have a connection to The Weave so that they can call upon it directly for the effect. I would say the difference between a wizard and a sorcerer is that wizards have spells and sorcerer have spell-like abilities because they are already tied into The Weave at the instinctual level, at least.

Spells are recipes. There can certainly be several different version of the same recipe that would have almost identical results.

So, really the question is, what is the in game explanation of a saving throw. Well, I have always thought that since The Weave surrounds and permiates everone, it is a response by The Weave itself to protect the individual or weaken the effect because of a subconscious, temporary thought shape that is able to connect to The Weave like a wizard casting a spell. That would also explain the spells and effects that increase or decrease saving throws because they would make it easier or harder for the individual to achieve that mental state. For spells that don't have saving throws, the spell is composed in such a way to prevent that mental state from happening. It also explains why, if someone fails a saving throw, items carried by the individual would have to make one. They didn't quite get the thought right to protect themselves but it was sufficient to maybe protect the stuff they were carrying. It is also why items that are not carried typically do not get a saving throw.

As for modifying spell effects on the fly, have you modified a recipe when you are cooking? Sometimes it comes out good, sometimes bad. I would think that if you don't follow the spell exactly, you run the very real risk of having a wild magic result or a failed spell casting. But, anyway, there are rules about modifying the effect of the spell in the Player's Option: Spells & Magic book. It talks about how to reduce or increase the amount of damage, etc.

Hope that helps.

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."
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