World Building: Magic

worldbuilding: magicSo your world has wizards? Where does their magic come from? I dunno, and you need to tell me. In this post I’m going to give you some of the tools necessary to create a solid magic system for your world. This will be a five part piece, covering everything from developing spells to how it works.

To start things off, you first need to decide what kind of magic your world has in it, so, to make things easy I’ve broken down every kind of magic that exists! I’m just kidding, but here are some loose categories:

Miracle Magic

Mircle magic is any type of magic that involves gods. I don’t necessarily mean the christian god mind you. I consider the magic in the world of Etheros (my world) to be miracle magic, because it is used by communing with one of the five gods.

Caster Magic

Incendio! Caster magic, is magic that is cast by a magic user. Caster magic is seen in Harry Potter, Dungeons and Dragons, Pratchet’s work, and well nearly every piece of fiction that shows off a wizard. It is also one of the most complicated forms to make believable, but don’t fret, there is a full guide in store!

Item dependant Magic

Enchanted items that are used to make magic, if your wizards require wands, you have an item dependant magic system.

Elemental Magic

Earth, fire, wind, water, heart, go planet! Elemental magic is any kind of magic born from one of earth’s resources. If you are developing an elemental magic system, try to think outside of the box. What about wood magic?… Fear the incredible ability to make a table…

Creating a solid, believable magic system is the true sign of a master fantasy author. Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series has the best explained system of magic I’ve ever read. George R.R. Martin depicts it as almost superstitious, and Rowling makes it exciting and hidden.

If you want magic in your world, even if you do not explain it to the reader, you must solidify how it and why it works in your own mind. If not, you will have one wizard capable of bending time itself and another unable to start a small fire. You need limits, and you need the power to grow. It is the reason RPG video games are so popular.

Over the following days I will go over techniques you can use to add validity and realism (such a funny word to use here) when developing your magic system.

Thanks a lot for reading,

Cortez

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