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Magic Classification

CuathonCuathon University City, NYMember Posts: 2,211

In TTS I wanted to develop a really complex magic system. Because magic is so powerful I wanted to make it deep, difficult, dependent.

As one of my test prototype systems I am creating a classification based system. This system underlies both magic and objects in the world. It starts with several declared primal elements, several declared ancillary elements, and some declared tertiary elements. There are perhaps 100 "elements" in the system.

The system remains based in the initial system described in some previous threads. But its one specific implementation I am working with. I have a few other options as well.

Elements basically have base properties. Each magical effect possible in the world is a result of combining these properties, and they interact with the properties present in objects in the game world. This is somewhat similar to the object property system in Ultima Online.

For instance object wood may possess properties:

water, earth, life, light, temporal, death, wood, pollen

That means that it can be affected by anything which would affect any of those properties. For instance a rot spell could cause it to die and decompose.

Rot is a tertiary property with components:

temporal, death, life, decay

It affects living things, it causes time to pass, it results in their death and decay.

Similarly you could have iron with properties:

earth, water, pressure, fire, metal, temporal

And it could be affected by rust with which has properties:

metal, water, air, temporal, decay

It affects metals, it is based in water and air, it causes time to pass, it creates decay.


However rot and rust are just names for an effect. You don't necessarily start with a rot spell. You have to figure out how to make one. Similarly you can combine any group of properties to create an effect.

Ancillary properties are really just a combination of primal properties, but the way the overall magic system is structured, you can find the necessary words of power for an ancillary spell.

You could even theortetically find the words and even an explanation of the spell to animate a golem or something.

There are also more abstract properties like numbers. So you could animate one golem or two or three depending on which word you had. You could also just cast a single effect spell over and over but that is not efficient.


Now you could go through life just making simple elemental damage spells or something, but you might find some more interesting things if you try to master the system. Of course unless you are in a guild or something you may not have access to all the required words of power for say, animating a golem or levitating a city. And also even if you knew how to levitate you couldn't necessarily levitate a huge item without some other things.


  • gomiller43gomiller43 Altmar, NYMember Posts: 23

    I really admire that you're taking magic seriously. It is powerful. It used to make people shit their pants just from hearing about it.

    I once came up with a glyph alphabet that consisted of 13 symbols that each were the parents of another 13 related symbols for a total of 169 symbols that each represented one of the basic 13 elements of reality and the elements of the original elements. Then you write a spell table down that described how the spell was performed in the center of a circle which had 13 symbols written around it's outer edge from the glyphs to note the different magical focuses to be established. You could have less than 13, but you would also have less control over what happened with the spell by taking out fundamental rules of science represented by the glyphs. Basically, you're messing with the very fabric of existence which is NAWT GOOD.

    So there were a number of terrible things that could come out of that.

    Anyway, Magic also has a presence in the world that's kind of like radiation. You can't really see it, smell it, feel it, but if you were standing in a nuclear wasteland, well, it'd be on your mind. So I'm like extending your point by saying that not only are the elements in objects, but in the air.

    So like, when you cast magic, it has an effect on reality because of how nature has to balance itself out. Therefore, when you cast a spell there could be a number that represents the decay you cause on your environment. (as per chunk or like... 5th of a chunk).

    If you were particularly ambitious and you have a lot of good people to work with, you could even write a language that sets certain properties to a word- the names of your elements and add some transition words as well as adjectives. Then you have yourself your own magic language.

    That would take a lifetime just to design though... Oh well.

    Especially when you get to targeting objects. The way you're talking it sounds like everything is an actual object... Man that'd be a huge ass game. It'd be hard to play like that...

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