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Prime32

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Describing magic
« on: May 21, 2011, 07:29:24 PM »
Following on from this thread.
Quote
It occurs to me on rereading bkdubs's posts...

Magic needs flavour. Taking a look at generic systems like M&M, there is no flavour. The GM builds a world with none of D&D's assumptions, and as a result it can end up very clear how the setting's supernatural abilities work.

Finding openings in the process of casting a spell should not be any less believable than finding openings in the process of swinging a sword. It's harder to imagine simply because there is so little to base it on; any two people could picture the process of casting a spell differently. We need some set of fluff to base things on, details of the steps involved in a casting. Maybe you can disable one spell because it's cast from the user's eyes, and another by disrupting the flow of mana through the body. The kind of instructions that the Satanic Panic guys have been scouring the books for for decades. :P

What does a wizard do when he casts a spell? What parts of the body are involved? What eldritch conduits link him to his power? Does a wizard casting a spell look different from a sorcerer doing the same?

Can we come up with a system of fluff which can be reconciled for the most part with D&D 3.x mechanics? We might delve into the balance of the elements, the anatomy of the soul, or countless other things as part of the explanation.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2011, 07:32:51 PM by Prime32 »
My work
The tier system in a nutshell:
[spoiler]Tier 6: A cartographer.
Tier 5: An expert cartographer or a decent marksman.
Tier 4: An expert marksman.
Tier 3: An expert marksman, cartographer and chef who can tie strong knots and is trained in hostage negotiation or a marksman so good he can shoot down every bullet fired by a minigun while armed with a rusted single-shot pistol that veers to the left.
Tier 2: Someone with teleportation, mind control, time manipulation, intangibility, the ability to turn into an exact duplicate of anything, or the ability to see into the future with perfect accuracy.
Tier 1: Someone with teleportation, mind control, time manipulation, intangibility, the ability to turn into an exact duplicate of anything and the ability to see into the future with perfect accuracy.[/spoiler]

Prime32

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Re: Describing magic
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2011, 07:49:30 PM »
One idea to start off with:

One of the first things taught to any conventional wizard in the process of taming the power is the Eight Brothers, also known as the eight schools of magic. Representing magic as a group of people helps the caster visualise their power, and pick out the effect they want from the endless possibilities. Other traditions of magic use different representations, and thus the borders between different types of magical study do not line up between, for instance, a wizard and a wu jen.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2011, 09:25:59 PM by Prime32 »
My work
The tier system in a nutshell:
[spoiler]Tier 6: A cartographer.
Tier 5: An expert cartographer or a decent marksman.
Tier 4: An expert marksman.
Tier 3: An expert marksman, cartographer and chef who can tie strong knots and is trained in hostage negotiation or a marksman so good he can shoot down every bullet fired by a minigun while armed with a rusted single-shot pistol that veers to the left.
Tier 2: Someone with teleportation, mind control, time manipulation, intangibility, the ability to turn into an exact duplicate of anything, or the ability to see into the future with perfect accuracy.
Tier 1: Someone with teleportation, mind control, time manipulation, intangibility, the ability to turn into an exact duplicate of anything and the ability to see into the future with perfect accuracy.[/spoiler]

oslecamo

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Re: Describing magic
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2011, 08:06:57 PM »
What parts of the body are involved?

Well that part at least is more or less explicitly explained in the rules. You need limbs capable of fine manipulation for spellcasting, aka hands. Spell compendium even includes special hand positions

Components and focus are quite important as well. It has always been my belief that a wizard not so much channels mana/magic energy around him, but does so from objects at hand and the very enviroment around him.

One idea to start off with:

One of the first things taught to any conventional wizard in the process of taming the power is the Eight Brothers. Anthropomorphic personifications of the eight schools of magic, it is no longer clear whether they were/are actual entities or mental constructs of the caster, but the structure they provide in the difficult task of comprehending magic is real. Other traditions of magic use different representations, and thus the borders between different types of magical study do not line up between, for instance, a wizard and a wu jen.

I'm sorry, but :psyduck

I would say you've just been watching too much moefications. There's no such reference to any antropomorphic school avatars anywhere I can see. Wizards work with words and runes, not pretty pictures. That's for religious dudes like clerics and druids, those are the guys that like shortcuts and basically borrow power from some other powerfull entity. They're the ones with symbols and representations everywhere to try to gain said powerfull entity's favors.

Arcane casters definetely do not use that kind of representations. They take power directly from the sources, and in order to do so they need to properly understand those sources, not paint them with a pretty deceiving cover.

veekie

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Re: Describing magic
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2011, 08:19:07 PM »
Ok, for starters, the magic appears to be for the most part, a wielded natural force for arcanists. So a minimum of invocations to external beings.

It is heritable and replicable, however, study of it is not a science yet, as wizards learn fixed forms of magic, barring a few spells. Therefore learned magic is a mimicry of innate forms of magic, requiring complicated factors to deliver effectively on the fly. Simply moving your fingers and saying the words isn't enough, the components must change to match the scenario and target.

Spellcasting process
Arcane
-Learned: Form the mental construct for the spell's shape, then by shaping the right symbols mentally, physically, and verbally, you call upon the fundamental concept of the spells and adjust the symbols relative to each other so as to fit the current place, time and target.
Then you release the construct and it draws the energy from the world to realize its effect. Each component can be reduced, but doing so converts its symbolic weight to a mental one. The greater the spellcaster's skill, the more the symbol reflects the origin of the magic, and thus the more potency.
-Innate: Your soul itself is the shape for the spell, and unlike the wizard, you don't need to adjust the shape to fit the world. You simply release your inner font of magic into the particular spell shape and with the raw power, release the spell-shape into the world. Imperfect spells(i.e. missing components) can be overcome by altering the shape and shoving more energy into it.
-Object: Magic items are basically a fixed spell matrix, charged with magical energy from its creator. Expendable items are basically battery powered, once the internal pool is depleted, it cannot be normally recharged. Limited use items draw energy in from the world steadily to recover their energy reserves over time. Permanent items are a whole complete spell matrix, which by their existence, continue to empower themselves, drawing from the world's ambient magic to replenish what little is expended.
-Borrowed Power: Clerics, Binders, Warlocks, Druids, using external power sources. Two forms are available, the less invasive being the prepared version. In this form, the supplicant requests the external power source with a supplication and is filled with the charged spell matrix as appropriate to their position and spiritual capacity. Casting it is simply a prayer request for the sponsor to complete the spell matrix.
The more invasive version fundamentally alters the supplicant's soul, much like the sorceror's, this lacks an innate font of power, so spellcasting is simply opening yourself to your sponsor, whose energy takes form through the imprint. The limitation is the capacity of the supplicant's soul, it can only conduct so much energy before it needs to recover it's own essence.
-Spell-like abilities: The "True" form of the magic, you don't mimic anything or channel any energy. You spiritually speaking, ARE the very thing the learned magi imitate to draw down power. It takes no effort, just bringing that aspect of the spell to the forefront.
The mind transcends the body.
It's also a little cold because of that.
Please get it a blanket.

I wish I could read your mind,
I can barely read mine.

"Skynet begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th. At 2:15, it begins rolling up characters."

[spoiler]
"Just what do you think the moon up in the sky is? Everyone sees that big, round shiny thing and thinks there must be something round up there, right? That's just silly. The truth is much more awesome than that. You can almost never see the real Moon, and its appearance is death to humans. You can only see the Moon when it's reflected in things. And the things it reflects in, like water or glass, can all be broken, right? Since the moon you see in the sky is just being reflected in the heavens, if you tear open the heavens it's easy to break it~"
-Ibuki Suika, on overkill

To sumbolaion diakoneto moi, basilisk ouranionon.
Epigenentheto, apoleia keraune hos timeis pteirei.
Hekatonkatis kai khiliakis astrapsato.
Khiliarkhou Astrape!
[/spoiler]

There is no higher price than 'free'.

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Prime32

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Re: Describing magic
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2011, 09:15:58 PM »
Magical energy follows a continuum, but it is generally divided into two main kinds by function:
Od, the colourless energy, provides form. It is a passive energy existing in all the universe, and when concentrated it becomes physical matter.
Seidr, the coloured energy, provides shape. It is an active energy produced by thought and movement, and when concentrated it becomes spirits and concepts.

To cast a spell the caster must provide both seidr and od, the first binding the second in a sort of lattice. While typically the seidr is provided by the caster himself, the source of od varies. Releasing and shaping seidr in the correct manner normally requires a careful series of movements - doing so from thought alone requires great willpower and skill. This structure is fragile however - breaking it frees the od and ends the spell. Fighting styles have been developed which take advantage of the seidr produced by a fighter's movements to disrupt the seidr involved in casting.

Clerics and similar casters receive od from their deity, in exchange for the seidr provided by worship. As such it is "tinted", closer to seidr than normal. Since it already has some structure it is easier to provide more (requiring less movement), but likewise harder or impossible to use it for tasks which do not fit the nature of the energy.

Certain creatures have such enormous supplies of od that they can release it in raw form, most famously dragons with their breath weapons. Spellfire is another example of this ability.

Psionic powers differ from spells, being a homogenous mass of near-od rather than a blend of multiple energies. To achieve the deisred effect, a psion focuses on a related concept or ideal so intently that the od of his body becomes coloured by it, then expels raw energy in a similar manner to the creatures above. Techniques which affect his body alone use only the first step.


Typically, concentrated od makes up a creature's physical body while seidr makes up its soul. However, some creatures have "veins" of seidr present in their physical bodies (whether by chance or purposefully inscribed). They may use these as a template in casting instead of learning to sculpt their own, resulting in magic coming easily to them. These are creatures with sorcerer casting or spell-like abilities, depending on whether the veins are wide or deep respectively. Usually these veins are hard to detect, but some families in Eberron display them visibly.

Antimagic fields consist of a net of seidr which binds to any od in the area and renders it inert. The od within a spell can be shielded from this effect if its seidr is sufficiently dense. (eg. epic spells) Force spells are resistant to antimagic due to containing a larger ratio of seidr to od, with the od entirely covered by the seidr.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2011, 11:01:31 PM by Prime32 »
My work
The tier system in a nutshell:
[spoiler]Tier 6: A cartographer.
Tier 5: An expert cartographer or a decent marksman.
Tier 4: An expert marksman.
Tier 3: An expert marksman, cartographer and chef who can tie strong knots and is trained in hostage negotiation or a marksman so good he can shoot down every bullet fired by a minigun while armed with a rusted single-shot pistol that veers to the left.
Tier 2: Someone with teleportation, mind control, time manipulation, intangibility, the ability to turn into an exact duplicate of anything, or the ability to see into the future with perfect accuracy.
Tier 1: Someone with teleportation, mind control, time manipulation, intangibility, the ability to turn into an exact duplicate of anything and the ability to see into the future with perfect accuracy.[/spoiler]

Prime32

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Re: Describing magic
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2011, 09:21:04 PM »
I'm sorry, but :psyduck

I would say you've just been watching too much moefications. There's no such reference to any antropomorphic school avatars anywhere I can see. Wizards work with words and runes, not pretty pictures. That's for religious dudes like clerics and druids, those are the guys that like shortcuts and basically borrow power from some other powerfull entity. They're the ones with symbols and representations everywhere to try to gain said powerfull entity's favors.

Arcane casters definetely do not use that kind of representations. They take power directly from the sources, and in order to do so they need to properly understand those sources, not paint them with a pretty deceiving cover.
Maybe I didn't get my point across that well.

I meant that the schools of wizard/sorcerer magic are an artificial construct, and they are spoken of as if they were people for the sake of convenience. It's both a mnemonic and a way of imposing order on the vast possibilities of magic.
My work
The tier system in a nutshell:
[spoiler]Tier 6: A cartographer.
Tier 5: An expert cartographer or a decent marksman.
Tier 4: An expert marksman.
Tier 3: An expert marksman, cartographer and chef who can tie strong knots and is trained in hostage negotiation or a marksman so good he can shoot down every bullet fired by a minigun while armed with a rusted single-shot pistol that veers to the left.
Tier 2: Someone with teleportation, mind control, time manipulation, intangibility, the ability to turn into an exact duplicate of anything, or the ability to see into the future with perfect accuracy.
Tier 1: Someone with teleportation, mind control, time manipulation, intangibility, the ability to turn into an exact duplicate of anything and the ability to see into the future with perfect accuracy.[/spoiler]

oslecamo

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Re: Describing magic
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2011, 09:28:55 PM »
I meant that the schools of wizard/sorcerer magic are an artificial construct, and they are spoken of as if they were people for the sake of convenience. It's both a mnemonic and a way of imposing order on the vast possibilities of magic.

Would you mind using less vague words? A construct is by definition something artificial. Not even google can provide me with a proper definition for "artificial construct" besides aparently being something fancy to say in discussions.

Prime32

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Re: Describing magic
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2011, 09:30:41 PM »
Would you mind using less vague words? A construct is by definition something artificial. Not even google can provide me with a proper definition for "artificial construct" besides aparently being something fancy to say in discussions.
Magic has no divisions. The schools are only one possible system of classifying things, no more valid than any other. However, dividing things up makes it easier to understand and learn. At the same time it might blind you to possibilities which lie outside this perspective, hence why classes have different spell lists.

EDIT: This also means that healing spells could have been moved from Necromancy to Conjuration because of the former school's reputation in-universe. They are still cast as Necromancy in some countries.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2011, 03:17:31 AM by Prime32 »
My work
The tier system in a nutshell:
[spoiler]Tier 6: A cartographer.
Tier 5: An expert cartographer or a decent marksman.
Tier 4: An expert marksman.
Tier 3: An expert marksman, cartographer and chef who can tie strong knots and is trained in hostage negotiation or a marksman so good he can shoot down every bullet fired by a minigun while armed with a rusted single-shot pistol that veers to the left.
Tier 2: Someone with teleportation, mind control, time manipulation, intangibility, the ability to turn into an exact duplicate of anything, or the ability to see into the future with perfect accuracy.
Tier 1: Someone with teleportation, mind control, time manipulation, intangibility, the ability to turn into an exact duplicate of anything and the ability to see into the future with perfect accuracy.[/spoiler]


Prime32

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Re: Describing magic
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2011, 10:08:02 PM »
The commoners of the real world could not attain weapons. They developed martial arts to fight people with weapons. The commoners of D&D land cannot attain magic...
My work
The tier system in a nutshell:
[spoiler]Tier 6: A cartographer.
Tier 5: An expert cartographer or a decent marksman.
Tier 4: An expert marksman.
Tier 3: An expert marksman, cartographer and chef who can tie strong knots and is trained in hostage negotiation or a marksman so good he can shoot down every bullet fired by a minigun while armed with a rusted single-shot pistol that veers to the left.
Tier 2: Someone with teleportation, mind control, time manipulation, intangibility, the ability to turn into an exact duplicate of anything, or the ability to see into the future with perfect accuracy.
Tier 1: Someone with teleportation, mind control, time manipulation, intangibility, the ability to turn into an exact duplicate of anything and the ability to see into the future with perfect accuracy.[/spoiler]

oslecamo

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Re: Describing magic
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2011, 10:16:26 PM »
The commoners of the real world could not attain weapons. They developed martial arts to fight pretend they could stand against people with weapons.
Fixed that for you. Because last time I checked all of the real world armies suceeded with weapons, and more times than not having bigger and better weapons was enough to grant you victory.

So people who really wanted to fight people with weapons, they got weapons of their own. Stealing, bribery, begging, whatever it took. Wich leads us to...

The commoners of D&D land cannot attain magic...

So they developed UMD duh!

Amechra

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Re: Describing magic
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2011, 03:12:39 AM »
Offtopic a bit, but...

Magic is a debate; it is a power borne of mutual agreement between many parties.

For wizards, they agree, perhaps subconsciously, to ascribe to the bureaucratic processes of formulaic magic. Quite frankly, wizards need to swallow spiders to cast Spider Walk because countless years ago, a group of ur-wizards came together and decided to make that part of the "application" process. Feats like Eschew Materials or Silent Spell are actually special dispensions for the caster in question. Even spells they create themselves must follow certain guidelines, as they subconsciously are applying to that archaic agreement to form a new form of magic. Coincidently, because everyone agrees about each spell, wizards are able to record and learn as many spells as they wish.

For sorcerers, the process is quite different; they have to argue with their very souls. This is why they have so few spells they can cast, as those are the only points on which their souls and they agree.

Clerics and other divine casters... well, you get the point.

Wujen give up even more to get their "spell secrets", in other words... more concessions out of their "Guardian Spirit."

A thought I had that might give ideas.
[spoiler]Fighter: "I can kill a guy in one turn."
Cleric: "I can kill a guy in half a turn."
Wizard: "I can kill a guy before my turn."
Bard: "I can get three idiots to kill guys for me."

On a strange note, would anyone be put out if we had a post about people or events we can spare a thought for, or if its within their creed, a prayer for? Just a random thought, but ... hells I wouldn't have known about either Archangels daughter or Saeomons niece if I didn't happen to be on these threads.
Sounds fine to me.
probably over on "Off-topic".
might want to put a little disclaimer in the first post.

This is the Min/Max board. We should be able to figure out a way to optimize the POWER OF PRAYER(TM) that doesn't involve "Pazuzu, Pazuzu, Pazuzu".
[/spoiler]

My final project for my film independent study course. It could do with a watching and critiquing

Prime32

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Re: Describing magic
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2011, 03:14:39 AM »
The commoners of the real world could not attain weapons. They developed martial arts to fight pretend they could stand against people with weapons.
Fixed that for you. Because last time I checked all of the real world armies suceeded with weapons, and more times than not having bigger and better weapons was enough to grant you victory.

So people who really wanted to fight people with weapons, they got weapons of their own. Stealing, bribery, begging, whatever it took.
I said they developed them to fight, not to win. :p


Also, there should be a high-level wizard spell which turns people into sorcerers by creating artificial seidr veins, but is extremely painful and may kill them. The archmage's spell-like ability High Arcana is a lesser implementation applied to the caster themselves.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2011, 03:23:52 AM by Prime32 »
My work
The tier system in a nutshell:
[spoiler]Tier 6: A cartographer.
Tier 5: An expert cartographer or a decent marksman.
Tier 4: An expert marksman.
Tier 3: An expert marksman, cartographer and chef who can tie strong knots and is trained in hostage negotiation or a marksman so good he can shoot down every bullet fired by a minigun while armed with a rusted single-shot pistol that veers to the left.
Tier 2: Someone with teleportation, mind control, time manipulation, intangibility, the ability to turn into an exact duplicate of anything, or the ability to see into the future with perfect accuracy.
Tier 1: Someone with teleportation, mind control, time manipulation, intangibility, the ability to turn into an exact duplicate of anything and the ability to see into the future with perfect accuracy.[/spoiler]

b100d_arrowz

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Re: Describing magic
« Reply #13 on: May 25, 2011, 12:31:38 AM »
Describing their effects is something I try and get my players to do every now and then, with everything not just magic. To me magic is a force of ultimate creativity, and should be able to be expressed as such. Not every wizard is going to just pull out his bat guano and mumble some words to make the enemies go boom, no some will do a dance, some bellow at the top of their lungs, some chant a prayer to their ancestors etc. When using magic your taking the raw energy of the multiverse and using whatever method you find fitting, warping it to your personal desires.
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Prime32

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Re: Describing magic
« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2011, 10:13:05 PM »
So, can we come up with some somatic components? I'm thinking that each descriptor, school and other division has some components associated with it, and the number of components depends on the caster:
Arcane casting4 components
Armoured casting (light)3 components
Armoured casting (medium)2 components
Armoured casting (heavy)1 component

Target/Area
One creature
  • Arms: The caster points at the target.
Cone
  • Arms: The caster places both palms forward.
  • Arms: The caster makes a slashing motion with one arm.
Line
  • Arms: The caster thrusts one palm forward.
Descriptors
Air
  • Arms: The caster makes great sweeping motions with his arms.
Death
  • Arms: The caster clenches his hand into a fist.
Earth
  • Legs: The caster stamps the ground.
Water
  • Torso: The caster twists at the waist.


Those were examples - before we go any further, what should somatic components look like? Dancing? Punching the air? Hand signs? Maybe each motion has multiple versions of varying complexity, or it depends on class.
My work
The tier system in a nutshell:
[spoiler]Tier 6: A cartographer.
Tier 5: An expert cartographer or a decent marksman.
Tier 4: An expert marksman.
Tier 3: An expert marksman, cartographer and chef who can tie strong knots and is trained in hostage negotiation or a marksman so good he can shoot down every bullet fired by a minigun while armed with a rusted single-shot pistol that veers to the left.
Tier 2: Someone with teleportation, mind control, time manipulation, intangibility, the ability to turn into an exact duplicate of anything, or the ability to see into the future with perfect accuracy.
Tier 1: Someone with teleportation, mind control, time manipulation, intangibility, the ability to turn into an exact duplicate of anything and the ability to see into the future with perfect accuracy.[/spoiler]

veekie

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Re: Describing magic
« Reply #15 on: May 26, 2011, 10:37:05 PM »
Target/Area
One creature
  • Arms: The caster points at the target.
Cone
  • Arms: The caster places both palms forward.
  • Arms: The caster makes a slashing motion with one arm.
Line
  • Arms: The caster thrusts one palm forward.
Descriptors
Air
  • Arms: The caster makes great sweeping motions with his arms.
Death
  • Arms: The caster clenches his hand into a fist.
Earth
  • Legs: The caster stamps the ground.
Water
  • Torso: The caster twists at the waist.


Seems rather Full Contact Magic oriented than traditional magic depictions.

A traditional style would be to form a sequence of rune symbols with your fingers(possibly with light effects), and placing them at specific locations relative to each other, the caster and the target to form a greater rune or circle signifying the whole spell.
Each rune is a command, and it's relative position in the whole formation as the parameters. Targeting should need some visible tell though, but it depends on the type of spell, does it generate a spell effect you release via a physical action(already obvious) or does the effect simply materialize around the target?
In the latter case, one simple solution is for effect NOT to be instantaneous. The spell energy saturates the target and cause a 'buzz' with it's effect before becoming real.

Bonus, things like Fireball are not a solid sphere of fire, anymore than an incendiary grenade produces a solid blast. The spell generates an unstable BURST of flame, i.e. a moving curtain of mostly contiguous fire, so you can dodge it(anyone who played bullet hell gets the idea). Higher DCs simply means the sphere is more perfect and the less gaps there are to duck through. Higher CL simply means the fire is more intense.
The mind transcends the body.
It's also a little cold because of that.
Please get it a blanket.

I wish I could read your mind,
I can barely read mine.

"Skynet begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th. At 2:15, it begins rolling up characters."

[spoiler]
"Just what do you think the moon up in the sky is? Everyone sees that big, round shiny thing and thinks there must be something round up there, right? That's just silly. The truth is much more awesome than that. You can almost never see the real Moon, and its appearance is death to humans. You can only see the Moon when it's reflected in things. And the things it reflects in, like water or glass, can all be broken, right? Since the moon you see in the sky is just being reflected in the heavens, if you tear open the heavens it's easy to break it~"
-Ibuki Suika, on overkill

To sumbolaion diakoneto moi, basilisk ouranionon.
Epigenentheto, apoleia keraune hos timeis pteirei.
Hekatonkatis kai khiliakis astrapsato.
Khiliarkhou Astrape!
[/spoiler]

There is no higher price than 'free'.

"I won't die. I've been ordered not to die."

Prime32

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Re: Describing magic
« Reply #16 on: May 26, 2011, 11:11:44 PM »
Seems rather Full Contact Magic oriented than traditional magic depictions.

A traditional style would be to form a sequence of rune symbols with your fingers(possibly with light effects), and placing them at specific locations relative to each other, the caster and the target to form a greater rune or circle signifying the whole spell.
Eh, you've never seen shamans dancing to contact spirits?

And you could use the arms rather than just the fingers. IIRC the D&D movie was one of the places that did that.

I was trying to take ASF into account though - if you're just using your hands then why does armour have any effect? Clerics might just use their hands, but not wizards.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2011, 11:14:19 PM by Prime32 »
My work
The tier system in a nutshell:
[spoiler]Tier 6: A cartographer.
Tier 5: An expert cartographer or a decent marksman.
Tier 4: An expert marksman.
Tier 3: An expert marksman, cartographer and chef who can tie strong knots and is trained in hostage negotiation or a marksman so good he can shoot down every bullet fired by a minigun while armed with a rusted single-shot pistol that veers to the left.
Tier 2: Someone with teleportation, mind control, time manipulation, intangibility, the ability to turn into an exact duplicate of anything, or the ability to see into the future with perfect accuracy.
Tier 1: Someone with teleportation, mind control, time manipulation, intangibility, the ability to turn into an exact duplicate of anything and the ability to see into the future with perfect accuracy.[/spoiler]

AleksanderTheGreat

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Re: Describing magic
« Reply #17 on: May 26, 2011, 11:20:48 PM »
Quote from: Sephirothsword117
Quote from: Solo
Optimizing is the antithesis of roleplaying because it takes focus away from the important parts of the game.
I'm inclined to disagree. People work hard on there characters, there personality, back ground, appearance, so forth. No one wants there character that they have invested time, energy, thought, and probably emotion in to be killed because they didn't take strong enough feats or skills or spells or what have you.

veekie

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Re: Describing magic
« Reply #18 on: May 26, 2011, 11:43:43 PM »
Seems rather Full Contact Magic oriented than traditional magic depictions.

A traditional style would be to form a sequence of rune symbols with your fingers(possibly with light effects), and placing them at specific locations relative to each other, the caster and the target to form a greater rune or circle signifying the whole spell.
Eh, you've never seen shamans dancing to contact spirits?

And you could use the arms rather than just the fingers. IIRC the D&D movie was one of the places that did that.

I was trying to take ASF into account though - if you're just using your hands then why does armour have any effect? Clerics might just use their hands, but not wizards.
You should check out Taoist rituals, they're a sight to see. Heavy on the verbal and material components though. Less somatics, but the ones for exorcisms have a lot of wooden sword waving and throwing stuff around.

But generally thats what I meant by the rune placements. Your figures form the rune, your body places them, and they need to be exact. Even if it's something as simple as forming the rune shapes on a virtual level plane, its very easy to disrupt if you're not perfectly focused on their relative positions. Doubly so if your whole body forms the sigil.
The mind transcends the body.
It's also a little cold because of that.
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[spoiler]
"Just what do you think the moon up in the sky is? Everyone sees that big, round shiny thing and thinks there must be something round up there, right? That's just silly. The truth is much more awesome than that. You can almost never see the real Moon, and its appearance is death to humans. You can only see the Moon when it's reflected in things. And the things it reflects in, like water or glass, can all be broken, right? Since the moon you see in the sky is just being reflected in the heavens, if you tear open the heavens it's easy to break it~"
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To sumbolaion diakoneto moi, basilisk ouranionon.
Epigenentheto, apoleia keraune hos timeis pteirei.
Hekatonkatis kai khiliakis astrapsato.
Khiliarkhou Astrape!
[/spoiler]

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Dallimar

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Re: Describing magic
« Reply #19 on: June 09, 2011, 09:27:15 PM »
Those were examples - before we go any further, what should somatic components look like? Dancing? Punching the air? Hand signs? Maybe each motion has multiple versions of varying complexity, or it depends on class.

I can't shake the image of a wizard's college looking a lot like a kinect party featuring Dance Central.  "Next you will all hear from Archmage Gates, than you will practice you somatic components in the form of dance battles."
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