Magic Limiters

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Magic Limiters

Post by Admin on Wed Aug 17, 2011 4:18 am

Alright, so I had a bit of a revelation. I thought back to the rings we were all talking about that the Conclave gives to the mages and such. I also thought about what Crom has mentioned regarding placing further restrictions on magic.

The idea behind the rings was basically the principle that mages teach and learn, that "Your ability to use magic has limits; in your pursuit of magic, you must be made to understand these limits."

There was some ideas that it was a very literal limiter, putting a cap on the amount of mana they can use for any single spell, or a cap on total mana used so as to cap how long they can remain casting. While that is possible, it seems a bit... too much for me, since it would have to do with enchantments and the method of 'limiting' would be screwing with the mana they try to use, which can actually have lethal results.

The other idea was that the rings are purely symbolic. They would represent what fields you profess in and your degree of proficiency in that field.

Now, going back to what Crom has mentioned, one of my biggest issues with it would be that magic would have to be heavily quantified and so would the limit on the character itself in the profile (which would be a headache).

I believe we can avoid the problem with heavily quantification (though some will be necessary), and learn more on the idea that the degrees are far more qualitative.

For the Conclave, rings will be used (or something else, it doesn't matter what honestly), and Guilds/other magic association types will have their equivalents. There will be a tiered qualitative system that represents what approximate limits a mage has. The rings and the equivalents will be used to symbolize the functional tiered qualitative system (that we as players and moderators will use). However, because the system is just something that we rely on and isn't thought of the same way in the world, there can be discrepancies and such, allowing characters to, for instance, wear a ring that shows they have far better or far worse skills than they actually have, which their character profile will have the correct tier.

Please note that this is mostly about the system rather than the rings or equivalents, so that isn't necessary, I was just elaborating on inspiration and following up on ideas on how it all relates.

The drawback to this is that magic will still have to be quantified in some manner, because each qualitative tier will have to rely on approximations of quantified magic.

For example, a really fresh salad with very light, low-calorie dressing can probably be considered 'very nutritious', but that would boil down to caloric count, vitamins and chemicals and whatnot. This won't be nearly as exact as that, but the example is to show a qualitative description 'very' based on a quantification.


What's necessary for it to work is to define, roughly, how taxing it is to use magic in specific examples. For instance, creating a burning flame to hover in your hand as a light source takes a lot of factors into account. How long do you want it to last, do you want it to move around, how bright do you want it to be, etc. In that example, both mana and elemental energy are even more fundamental factors.

For example
Spell 1: Small constant flame, low brightness, approx. one minute duration, immobile
Spell 2: Small constant flame, low brightness, approx. one minute duration, moves forward at walking pace
Spell 3: Small flickering flame, high brightness, approx. 30 second duration, moves forward at walking pace

Clearly, spell 2 is more difficult and more taxing than spell 1 because it incorporates a moving component. However, depending on what we want to do with magic, it could be argued that spell 1 and spell 3 are equally taxing and difficult, although the taxation and difficulty is dissimilar.

These different components need to somehow be quantified and then related to by quality levels. I'm not exactly sure how to do it, because the easiest solution (the one my mind immediately tries to rely on) is a point system, which is overbearing to how freeform we want this to be and something I really don't want to do.


The end result is to have a player be able to pick out a (hopefully easily) understandable quality level, basically "between this much and that much is the approximate limit", and use it on the character sheet as a reference for roleplaying battles. Going over the limit is certainly possible as long as it's acknowledged they are tempting death and other problems (and possibly going too far and ending up with moderated character death).
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Re: Magic Limiters

Post by Admin on Sun May 20, 2012 3:00 am

Thoughts/Comments on this, opinions and examples of what sort of magical effects we want to have, etc.?
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Re: Magic Limiters

Post by CromTheConqueror on Sun May 20, 2012 4:19 am

I've interpreted this thread as dealing with how quantitative vs qualitative do we want the magic to be (stop reading and correct me now if I'm wrong). That being said I think you hit it right on the money when you discuss quantitative and qualitative magic. I think that is the debate on the application of magic in a nutshell - though obviously many other debates spring off of that. As a forum role playing site we are far more qualitative when it comes to character skill. Yet with the huge room for abuse with magic, and our desire to limit the magic in a significant way, we are attempting to also institute quantitative analysis so that we can draw meaningful results or in this case defined limitations for the magic system. Because it has been a while refresh my memory. What role do reagents play in magic now?

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Re: Magic Limiters

Post by Admin on Sun May 20, 2012 4:56 am

Yep, that's what this thread is about: Deciding on, writing, implementing, then successfully conveying to new readers the limits of magic. The very first barrier to tackle before anything else is figuring out how in the hell we're going to handle qualitative vs quantitative and how much of what is a good amount for what magic can do.


Reagents are things that store elemental power that normally wouldn't, and you'll see some in the RPs I mean to have with you. I'll be demonstrating everything I can think of for magic, short of the small and rare types.

Imagine a gemstone that, when broken down, gives the mage access to some Water Elemental Power. Gemstones certainly aren't normally able to do that, but that gemstone is a reagent. Reagents are created when things are in proximity to portals to the Elemental Planes, where elementals hang out and do their thing.
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Re: Magic Limiters

Post by CromTheConqueror on Sun May 20, 2012 4:58 am

To be frank I think we would be served best by, finally, seeing this in action in the Mage vs Vamen thread. Then returning to discussion.

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Re: Magic Limiters

Post by Admin on Sun May 20, 2012 5:02 am

I agree.
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