Magic must happen RAR

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Magic must happen RAR

Postby Agent Sorchus » 2012-08-11 08:23pm

All SDN members get transported to a hidden Ballroom, wearing appropriate dress and a mask. Here they are confronted with the screaming effigy of a dead god. It makes itself clear that your world is about to become the playthings of things older than thought. It has brought you all here as a prelude to the games that will come. As a group you are to decide upon a system of magic to introduce to the rest of humanity.1

The rules are:
  • Magic that makes rules about divinity cannot be chosen
  • The system must have some sort of limits
  • Magic from fiction is preferred unless it goes against these rules
  • A majority of poster must agree for a clear choice to be decided upon.

Inside the ballroom time has no great meaning, you will have all the time you need to complete your task. So make your arguments for the system of your choice. Don't forget to explain how things work for those not in the know. And yes I don't exist for the purposes of this RAR.

1 No you don't get the magic in the end. It is distributed as is only fair if your sense of fair comes from the husk of a dead god.
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Re: Magic must happen RAR

Postby Batman » 2012-08-11 08:35pm

1. Given the population of SDN this had better be a pretty damned big ballroom.
2. Since I already pretty much live in a world like that anyway I check out the buffet and sample the punch? This is allegedly happening in a ballroom.
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Re: Magic must happen RAR

Postby Grumman » 2012-08-11 08:58pm

For starters, I think we'd want it to require an implement unavailable to the prison population, both so that we don't suddenly have a mass escape and so that we can contain rogue mages without killing them.

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Re: Magic must happen RAR

Postby DarkSilver » 2012-08-11 09:40pm

I nominate the Magical System as depicted in Mage the Ascension.

It is extremely versatile and flexible while being somewhat limited in the scope it can reasonably manage to effect.
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Re: Magic must happen RAR

Postby Mr Bean » 2012-08-11 09:43pm

I nominate the Bending system seen in Avatar the Last Airbender. Magic but no one is getting their minds re-written or souls sucked out, at worst we have blood benders to worry about.

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Re: Magic must happen RAR

Postby Ahriman238 » 2012-08-11 10:52pm

Second the bending, it helps that it has a large 'cool' factor and tons of applications without making the benders so overpowered they casually oppress everyone without.

I also move to strike any magic system with casual mind control (Nightwatch, Black Company) except possibly Dnd magic, where there are plenty of defenses and counters to enchantments. Let's also avoid the magic of Prince of Nothing, the Cthulu Mythos, and Rune Lords, OK?
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Re: Magic must happen RAR

Postby Batman » 2012-08-11 11:09pm

I wasn't aware there was anything coherent were the myth of Chtulhu (or however that damned thing is supposed to be spelled) is concerned. The one and only time Chtulwhatever actually showed up personally in Lovecraft's writing, he was incapable of preventing the escape of an early 20th century civilian naval vessel.
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Re: Magic must happen RAR

Postby Ahriman238 » 2012-08-11 11:29pm

Batman wrote:I wasn't aware there was anything coherent were the myth of Chtulhu (or however that damned thing is supposed to be spelled) is concerned. The one and only time Chtulwhatever actually showed up personally in Lovecraft's writing, he was incapable of preventing the escape of an early 20th century civilian naval vessel.


Coherent? No. Magical? yes.

I suppose the 'no magic that makes rules about divinity' rule probably makes it redundant, but given what generally happens to people who mucking about with invocations to Hastur or whatever, I'd rather make sure we don't go with that.
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Re: Magic must happen RAR

Postby LadyTevar » 2012-08-12 12:07am

While Bending is nice, if we want something more of the Spells & Alchemy variant, I second DarkSilver's nomination of World Of Darkness' Mage.

1. Magic fell into spheres of influence: Mind, Spirit, Time, Entropy, etc. Each Mage's training favored certain spheres, but with more training they could learn all.
2. Spells did not have to be the same sphere. The best spells used multiple spheres, and did not have to be the same spheres each time to get similar results.
3. Spells were fueled by a Mage's own willpower for the most part, although "mystical places" could be tapped for temporary power. Power could also be stored in talismans, usually holding only enough for one shot.
4. The bigger/more outrageous the spell, the greater the chance for Backlash. In the game, this was Paradox -- Reality attempting to bitch-slap the Mage for bending the rules too far.
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Re: Magic must happen RAR

Postby Blayne » 2012-08-12 02:02am

I vote for Danmaku as you can beat people up without killing them while still being able to pull off crazy stuff.

Otherwise I like a lot of the Nasuverse since it lends itself to incomparables based systems very well; there's no good/bad spells just application. Powerful mages also tend to suck at actual mage combat because all of their research is meant to access Akasha not to achieve practical utility. Also there tends to be an upper limit on what you can do unless your a vampire as you'll fry your nervous system.

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Re: Magic must happen RAR

Postby Jub » 2012-08-12 02:45am

How about spell casting MtG style? You'd need to control vast swathes of land to do anything beyond parlor tricks and nobody can become a true god using it.

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Re: Magic must happen RAR

Postby Starglider » 2012-08-12 04:16am

Ahriman238 wrote:I also move to strike any magic system with casual mind control (Nightwatch, Black Company) except possibly Dnd magic, where there are plenty of defenses and counters to enchantments. Let's also avoid the magic of Prince of Nothing, the Cthulu Mythos, and Rune Lords, OK?


D&D is out of the question. There are too many absolutely broken things (as in 'horrible to the people on the receiving end and effectively impossible to police') you can do with epic spells and wishes, and as for 'plenty of defenses and counters' the majority of the population including everyone here would have no access to those. Mage : The Ascension is not as bad but I'm not clear how it would work when divorced from the setting. Paradox was so strong because the Technocracy was enforcing static reality; in the Middle Ages version of the setting it was much less of a factor, because the Technocracy was only just getting started.

I nominate Lost Odyssey (an Xbox 360 JRPG), because it has quite powerful healing magic (healing of all trauma and disease, plus outright resurrection, for multiple people at one casting several times a minute), relatively limited combat magic (nothing out of the scale of conventional battlefield weapons; topping out at '2000 lbs bomb' not FF7 style planet destructions) and mind-control is super-high-level and not very effective even then. The nice thing about Lost Odyssey is how heavily the setting features industrial scale techno-magical devices; the ability to use magic unaided is fairly rare but everyone gets to benefit from fairly powerful magical devices, which can be mass produced. Amongst other things this includes unlimited free energy, anti-gravity floating platforms and fairly cheap and reliable golems. The game did featured a superpower arms race of technomagical doomsday weapons, but that was driven by a handful of extradimensional immortals who (presumably) wouldn't be included.
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Re: Magic must happen RAR

Postby RogueIce » 2012-08-12 04:57am

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

Since unicorns and pegasi don't exist, that just leaves regular horses to be loosely classed as Earth Ponies. Who don't really have any magic at all, beyond the "special connection" with animals and nature. But since RL horses are not as sentient and able to talk as Ponies, nobody's going to notice any difference.

Thus we will be utterly at the mercy of those old gods when they start messing with us. But at least people won't be zapping each other with lightning and shit.

Plus, if we do pick such an utterly useless set of "magic" (at least, useless to us since the creatures who could wield it don't exist) maybe those elder gods or whatever will think us utterly boring and move on.
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Re: Magic must happen RAR

Postby Jub » 2012-08-12 05:21am

RogueIce wrote:My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

Since unicorns and pegasi don't exist, that just leaves regular horses to be loosely classed as Earth Ponies. Who don't really have any magic at all, beyond the "special connection" with animals and nature. But since RL horses are not as sentient and able to talk as Ponies, nobody's going to notice any difference.

Thus we will be utterly at the mercy of those old gods when they start messing with us. But at least people won't be zapping each other with lightning and shit.

Plus, if we do pick such an utterly useless set of "magic" (at least, useless to us since the creatures who could wield it don't exist) maybe those elder gods or whatever will think us utterly boring and move on.


Worst case we bow down to our new equine overlords as they use their mind rape friendship powers to crush our free will.

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Re: Magic must happen RAR

Postby Solauren » 2012-08-12 09:38am

More information is needed:

What are the abilities of these 'Elder Things', that are coming to hang out? WHat are their weaknesses and limitations?

How are the first wizards and other spellcasters going to be?

Are their good aligned divine level beings and the like in the cosmos that might be willing to assist us?

Those should be our determining factors.
Cause quite frankly, MLP magic sounds like a good idea for the general populace, but if these Eldritch Horrors older then Thought are above and beyond that, we have no way to defend the general population.

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Re: Magic must happen RAR

Postby Lord of the Abyss » 2012-08-12 10:35am

One possibility would be "groundwork" from Lois McMaster Bujold's The Sharing Knife series. It's low powered (for humans) but useful. It manipulates the underlying "ground" of things to enhance or alter their nature, like making a knife that doesn't rust or dull, or "giving ground" to people to encourage healing & fight disease. Thing is, it's an inborn faculty; among the "Lakewalkers" it's a universal ability, among normal humans it barely exists at all. Since their are no real world Lakewalkers, that means we real world humans should either get nothing since we aren't Lakewalkers (so no harm done), or that everyone should get it like the Lakewalkers do. And if everyone has it, its potential for abuse or attack is pretty limited; everyone can defend themselves.
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Re: Magic must happen RAR

Postby Lord Revan » 2012-08-12 10:51am

BTW how would the Dragon Age magic system work for this scenario? (I've been playing DA2 as a mage Hawke so that's why it was first in my mind).
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Re: Magic must happen RAR

Postby LadyTevar » 2012-08-12 11:39am

Lord Revan wrote:BTW how would the Dragon Age magic system work for this scenario? (I've been playing DA2 as a mage Hawke so that's why it was first in my mind).

Do you *want* Demons running around tempting young mages to go BloodMage?

And for those that suggest ways to make magic hit something besides humans, do you really think the Elder Gods won't find a way to twist it to work on humans? Bronies get the magic. Lakewalkers are anyone who lives on/near lakes or seas.
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Re: Magic must happen RAR

Postby Lord Revan » 2012-08-12 01:31pm

LadyTevar wrote:
Lord Revan wrote:BTW how would the Dragon Age magic system work for this scenario? (I've been playing DA2 as a mage Hawke so that's why it was first in my mind).

Do you *want* Demons running around tempting young mages to go BloodMage?
training seems to make that threat fairly minimal IIRC only places I can remember there being a signifigant amount of Bloodmages was Tevinter or Kirkwall and of those 2 are special cases, Tevinter mages are more or less mad men and with Kirkwall it's the fact that normal magic doesn't work as well against Templars and Meredith was seeing bloodmages in every shadow anyway, so the urge to use it was stronger as you'd be convicted for using it anyway even if you didn't use it.
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Re: Magic must happen RAR

Postby Ahriman238 » 2012-08-12 02:11pm

Perhaps people should be more forthcoming in explaining what their desired magic system is? How it works, what it can and can't do, that sort of thing? Not eveyone plays Dragon Age or Shadowrun or has heard of Danmaku or whatever. Here, I'll start:

I'd also like to suggest we not do Wheel of Time magic, where people channel the gender-appropriate energies of the One Power. Channelers are quite powerful, causing earthquakes and floods to destroy civilization during the Time of Madness. Also, because the male version of magic was corrupted in ancient times, male channelers inevitable go insane. This should be plenty of reason to not want to share a planet with this magic system.

Avatar style bending, however is a sort of elemental manipulation. Generally one person can only bend one element, but there is the reincarnating Avatar spirit that can do all four, and in some circumstances more powerfully than a hundred conventional benders. And, benefit of a tv show, 90 seconds on youtube lets me show most of it.







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Re: Magic must happen RAR

Postby Agent Sorchus » 2012-08-12 02:40pm

Mr Bean wrote:I nominate the Bending system seen in Avatar the Last Airbender. Magic but no one is getting their minds re-written or souls sucked out, at worst we have blood benders to worry about.

So how do you figure the tribes and the avatar cycle would fit into our world?
Blayne wrote:I vote for Danmaku as you can beat people up without killing them while still being able to pull off crazy stuff.

Otherwise I like a lot of the Nasuverse since it lends itself to incomparables based systems very well; there's no good/bad spells just application. Powerful mages also tend to suck at actual mage combat because all of their research is meant to access Akasha not to achieve practical utility. Also there tends to be an upper limit on what you can do unless your a vampire as you'll fry your nervous system.
These really need a better explanation of how they work. A good argument for them does require evidence of their superiority.

Jub wrote:How about spell casting MtG style? You'd need to control vast swathes of land to do anything beyond parlor tricks and nobody can become a true god using it.
If you go by how the books explain mana you don't actually need to own the land so much as have experienced the land, and it (the land) still needs to exist.

As for My Little Pony, yeah the dead god will make that one all sorts of messed up. Like transforming people into ponies, just granting them the magic, giving them wings or horns and the magic. Really. Bad. Idea. Or good old chaos and fun for the Dead God.

Solauren wrote:More information is needed:

What are the abilities of these 'Elder Things', that are coming to hang out? WHat are their weaknesses and limitations?
None. The things are at the least equal to this effigy, since this is just a prelude to what will come. BUT, they aren't Eville, or even sentient. They are. For all you know I will have further RAR's for when they show up. (Unlikely, this is the best idea I've had, but possible.)

Either way defeating them is un-possible, but surviving is within your grasp.
How are the first wizards and other spellcasters going to be?

Uhhh, better grammar please. I don't know what this means.
Are their good aligned divine level beings and the like in the cosmos that might be willing to assist us?
No omniscience ones at the least, and as such they would not know of your plight. Also they are minor in comparison to the powers that are approaching.
Lord of the Abyss wrote:... or that everyone should get it like the Lakewalkers do. And if everyone has it, its potential for abuse or attack is pretty limited; everyone can defend themselves.
I should have made this more clear, no matter what not everyone will get magic. The specific proportions of the populace that does depends in part on the system decided upon. And it will be doled out based on the Effigy's whim.
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Re: Magic must happen RAR

Postby Majin Gojira » 2012-08-12 04:10pm

Nanoha style magic (mathematical knowledge and inborn talent combined with Technology) might work well. Though, on the downside, those dark gods would likely throw all sorts of lost technology problems at us.
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Re: Magic must happen RAR

Postby Ahriman238 » 2012-08-12 04:59pm

Jub wrote:How about spell casting MtG style? You'd need to control vast swathes of land to do anything beyond parlor tricks and nobody can become a true god using it.


Sorry I have to address this. How many swamps and forests do you suppose Kim Jong Un controls? Benedict XVI? Obama? The Feds IIRC don't control all that much land, but there is still a ton of NA land being held "in trust" by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, does the director of that Bureau get the mana? And poor Merkel will be forced to play only Green/Red, not fun.
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Re: Magic must happen RAR

Postby Formless » 2012-08-12 05:17pm

I like Avatar: the Last Airbender as much as the next guy, but in this scenario I think giving Bending to the people of Earth is playing with fire. Literally, if you know what I mean (or if you've seen the show). I would say the same thing about adopting The Force from Star Wars, and for the same reason. Like the Jedi and Sith, benders derive their power in part from their mindset, intentions and spirituality; and like The Dark Side it can have a feedback effect on the user if they misuse it. Firebending is powered by passion-- that can mean love of life, but it can also mean rage and hatred. The show also demonstrated that nationalism, which our world has in spades, does not help things. Waterbenders who practice Bloodbending (which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like for those not in the know) get their power from thoughts of vengeance, hatred, and domination of the distinctly non-kinky type. Earthbenders need stability, but can also become manipulative and dishonest to maintain the status quo even if it hurts them.

In fact, the only type of bending which we have not seen associated with a villain in the show is airbending, but mainly because all the airbenders save the avatar himself were wiped out in a genocide. Even there, though, the nature of airbending suggests it isn't immune to evil. The Legend of Korra showed that airbenders need some connection to spirituality to bend at all, much like how firebenders need passion and inspiration to summon fire. Now think about how Earth's religions treat spirituality-- all the zealotry and jealous competition that real religions display that the world of Avatar does not have to worry about? Imagine what destruction a christian zealot who can, with a wave of his hand, suck the wind right out of your lungs or blow up a building from the inside out like a balloon being popped could do to people they don't like. That's a long, long list, as I am sure most of you know. And that's just christian zealots. They aren't the only religion to have to worry about, and that's before we get invaded by Elder Gods.

In short, there is a reason the world of Avatar is named after a demigod whose sole job is to maintain peace between the nations. There's my argument against adopting it on Earth, as limited in power as it may seem.
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Re: Magic must happen RAR

Postby Jub » 2012-08-12 05:22pm

Ahriman238 wrote:
Jub wrote:How about spell casting MtG style? You'd need to control vast swathes of land to do anything beyond parlor tricks and nobody can become a true god using it.


Sorry I have to address this. How many swamps and forests do you suppose Kim Jong Un controls? Benedict XVI? Obama? The Feds IIRC don't control all that much land, but there is still a ton of NA land being held "in trust" by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, does the director of that Bureau get the mana? And poor Merkel will be forced to play only Green/Red, not fun.


It depends on how the chaos gods define who controls and experienced the land. That's where the fun would lie.


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