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Re: Lowering Magic for other settings

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  • Roadstripe Power
    ... I like the idea that Magic and spellcasting isn t changed, but that it s still harder to cast it. I don t think you need to get too involved with making
    Message 1 of 5 , Jul 1 1:12 AM
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      > Quoth Brolly Ferret:
      >
      > Hello, well as I've said before I'm working on a steampunk variant
      > of IronClaw and am getting into Magic.
      >
      > Right now I am considering how to handle magic as I would like to
      > keep the old careers more or less unchanged but still make magic a
      > little bit more difficult. I have several ideas for this and may
      > use one or a combination of them or something not yet thought of.

      I like the idea that Magic and spellcasting isn't changed, but that it's still harder to cast it.

      I don't think you need to get too involved with making the actual casting harder (although it would be a good idea to explore that). The big thing that would happen in the four or five centuries between Ironclaw/Jadeclaw and Steamclaw would be a shift in society's attitude towards magic thanks to the Industrial Revolution. Technology is more accessible to the layman and cheaper for a business model than magic is because there's less training involved and the grunts shoveling coal can do their jobs longer than the mages performing spells.

      As such, people would think of magic as "a thing of the past" or "doesn't exist", both misconceptions which would hamper a would-be mage (perhaps to the point of also having to roll against their own Will and/or Mind dice until they've become Adept at all of the Apprentice Spells in their first list because they're also rolling against their own disbelief in magic). Also, players shouldn't be able to start out as mages unless they trained at a university/church that teaches white magic/other place of higher learning (which means the magic career would be in addition to whatever requirements are needed to have a university/whatever character; on the plus side, a university/whatever would allow them to spend a Point to not have the disbelief problem).

      A player could still find an old book somewhere detailing a spell list, but such texts would be harder to find than in Ironclaw/Jadeclaw and harder to read due to being handwritten, in code, and/or using an older version of their language. That would require more study for the self-made mage than a university/whatever mage whose university would have more up-to-date and readable texts. However, a university/whatever might not allow their magic texts to leave the grounds, forcing their mages to come home in order to learn spells in a higher level of a spell list (ie. Journeyman and/or Master) or learn another spell list.

      That's what I've managed to think out so far, without having to get to your listed possibilities. It's late so I'll leave this be now.
    • Brolly Ferret
      The problem with the attitude shift is that in the IronClaw world Magic would be demonstrable to the empiricists. Even in the real Victorian age many believed
      Message 2 of 5 , Jul 1 9:53 PM
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        The problem with the attitude shift is that in the IronClaw world
        Magic would be demonstrable to the empiricists. Even in the real
        Victorian age many believed in magic and miracles, and there were
        several revivals and new schools of mysticism formed during that time.
        So saying that the furs of the SteamClaw world wouldn't believe would
        be a bit of a stretch. Seances, ghost talkers, and other mediums had
        their big starts in this age after all. So too are what we call today
        Psychics, though it wasn't know by that name back then(psychic was
        coined I believe in the 1960's).

        This to me means that in order to have a decline in belief there needs
        to be a decline in the availability of magic. One way I am leaning
        towards now is making magic more fatiguing and difficult to cast
        quickly(moving magic more towards the ritual end of the spectrum) and
        at the same time offering a wider spectrum of spells. Still working
        out the ideas but it sorta goes that magic has become more codified in
        some ways so that a university mage might have more spells to choose
        from but might not be as practiced actually using said spells.

        Still thinking things out.

        On Wed, Jul 1, 2009 at 4:12 AM, Roadstripe
        Power<CyberCorn.Entropic@...> wrote:

        > I like the idea that Magic and spellcasting isn't changed, but that it's
        > still harder to cast it.
        >
        > I don't think you need to get too involved with making the actual casting
        > harder (although it would be a good idea to explore that). The big thing
        > that would happen in the four or five centuries between Ironclaw/Jadeclaw
        > and Steamclaw would be a shift in society's attitude towards magic thanks to
        > the Industrial Revolution.
      • Frank Sronce
        Amusingly, if magic is in some way powered by belief (which there is some backing for in IC), then it could be that the more codified, practiced and dependable
        Message 3 of 5 , Jul 2 1:36 PM
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          Amusingly, if magic is in some way powered by belief (which there is
          some backing for in IC), then it could be that the more codified,
          practiced and dependable magic gets, the weaker it gets for the whole
          population.

          Another possible way to cripple it would be to charge Fatigue for
          spells as well as MP.

          Kiz

          Sent from my iPhone

          On Jul 1, 2009, at 9:53 PM, Brolly Ferret <brollyferret@...>
          wrote:

          > The problem with the attitude shift is that in the IronClaw world
          > Magic would be demonstrable to the empiricists. Even in the real
          > Victorian age many believed in magic and miracles, and there were
          > several revivals and new schools of mysticism formed during that time.
          > So saying that the furs of the SteamClaw world wouldn't believe would
          > be a bit of a stretch. Seances, ghost talkers, and other mediums had
          > their big starts in this age after all. So too are what we call today
          > Psychics, though it wasn't know by that name back then(psychic was
          > coined I believe in the 1960's).
          >
          > This to me means that in order to have a decline in belief there needs
          > to be a decline in the availability of magic. One way I am leaning
          > towards now is making magic more fatiguing and difficult to cast
          > quickly(moving magic more towards the ritual end of the spectrum) and
          > at the same time offering a wider spectrum of spells. Still working
          > out the ideas but it sorta goes that magic has become more codified in
          > some ways so that a university mage might have more spells to choose
          > from but might not be as practiced actually using said spells.
          >
          > Still thinking things out.
          >
          > On Wed, Jul 1, 2009 at 4:12 AM, Roadstripe
          > Power<CyberCorn.Entropic@...> wrote:
          >
          >> I like the idea that Magic and spellcasting isn't changed, but that
          >> it's
          >> still harder to cast it.
          >>
          >> I don't think you need to get too involved with making the actual
          >> casting
          >> harder (although it would be a good idea to explore that). The big
          >> thing
          >> that would happen in the four or five centuries between Ironclaw/
          >> Jadeclaw
          >> and Steamclaw would be a shift in society's attitude towards magic
          >> thanks to
          >> the Industrial Revolution.
          >
          >
          > ------------------------------------
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          >
          >
        • Roadstripe Power
          ... True. However, just because people believed in magic did not mean they believed -they- could do magic. The Ironclaw/Jadeclaw books indicate anyone can
          Message 4 of 5 , Jul 5 8:04 PM
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            > Quoth Brolly Ferret:
            >
            > The problem with the attitude shift is that in the IronClaw world
            > Magic would be demonstrable to the empiricists. Even in the real
            > Victorian age many believed in magic and miracles, and there were
            > several revivals and new schools of mysticism formed during that
            > time.
            > So saying that the furs of the SteamClaw world wouldn't believe
            > would be a bit of a stretch. Seances, ghost talkers, and other
            > mediums had their big starts in this age after all. So too are
            > what we call today Psychics, though it wasn't know by that name
            > back then(psychic was coined I believe in the 1960's).

            True. However, just because people believed in magic did not mean they believed -they- could do magic.

            The Ironclaw/Jadeclaw books indicate anyone can learn magic (assuming they meet certain societal criteria such as literacy), but it's commonly portrayed that very few people actually do. If anyone can learn magic, why aren't those farmers using simple Fire Elementalism to light their hearths or those rangers use a Ball of Light instead of torches or lanterns? Obviously, they believe in magic and can see empirical evidence for it, but why aren't they performing even the simplest spell? I think they see magic as we see computer programming -- they can use the results and supposedly anyone can learn it, but they think it's too complex or advanced for them, it's "something only geeks do", and other self-defeating excuses.

            I think the biggest impediment to learning magic would be the caster's own belief in whether or not they themselves can do it. You know the old saw, "if you don't believe in yourself, you can't do it"? That's especially true with something that has critical parts performed almost entirely mentally. I figure that's a big part of an apprentice mage's early training, breaking around the mental blocks society has beaten into him.

            Still, that may not be enough as this would apply to Ironclaw and Jadeclaw as well as Steamclaw, and is pretty much role played out by the player deciding his/her character will learn to cast spells.


            > This to me means that in order to have a decline in belief there
            > needs to be a decline in the availability of magic. One way I am
            > leaning towards now is making magic more fatiguing and difficult to
            > cast quickly(moving magic more towards the ritual end of the
            > spectrum) and at the same time offering a wider spectrum of
            > spells. Still working out the ideas but it sorta goes that magic
            > has become more codified in some ways so that a university mage
            > might have more spells to choose from but might not be as practiced
            > actually using said spells.

            But what would cause such a weakening? (Yes, I do have thoughts on this. If you'd like, I can bore you with them.)
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