Where would a science-fantasy setting be without “magic”? Magic can be explained as a higher form of technology that the characters do not comprehend or simply be an inherent ability to bend reality to their will. Magic is a common theme in-setting, so this guide was created to weave together the magic systems we've come up with, with enough flexibility for more magic systems to follow. It's good to have a 'general theory' of magic, and having magic come from some sort of supernatural beings inhabiting this region of space seems to be the most logical conclusion.

I. What is the origin of magic?

Magic comes from the blood of a species of near-divine, or flat out divine beings – the actual difference between First Children and gods is negligible for the purposes of magic. On Jord, it is Mara. On Liang (Tai Pan), it is another First Child – on Gartaga, it’s Shara. No matter what type of derivative magic system occurs, the magic system can be traced back to the blood lineage of one First Child or another, and it manifests through the blood and talent of their children.

Human beings are a product of the Interloper, a being of unknown power, and are not native to this area of space. The native species are mostly products of one First Child or another.

II. First Children/Gods/Beings of Power/Etc.

The First Children(Minya Hini) are beings of creation, and magic is the power of creation. The Interloper, through the introduction of humans via the The Interstellar Alliance, and then the Empire of Tai Pan, seeks to steal the power of those beings from the hearts on the planets they live within. The First Children hibernate deep within certain planets, providing their fantastic abilities to the beings that they have created. Human beings can gain magical power through blood ritual, genetic manipulation involving the DNA of certain species, or most effectively, their children can gain magical abilities through crossbreeding. Human beings are able to cross-breed with any Minya-created species.

Both the Minya hini and the interloper have attempted to gain control of populations in one way or another using this; the Embers, for instance, are Mara (Jord)’s attempt to co-opt humanity into restoring her power. She is kept low by the humans, who kill her children and have hidden her heart away deep in the planet, under heavy guard, so that she does not wake.

III. How To Cast Magic

Magic has three components; somatic, reagent, and verbal. Magic must be given form by language, be cast by someone with Minya hinya blood or someone holding an object containing similar power, and it must be directed. Oftentimes, mages of all the minya hini, and all the magic-casting species, have found creative ways to stretch these boundaries.

A powerful Jordian mage can speak words of power, gesticulate, and call walls of fire up from the earth – though only when standing upon Jord, which contains the body of Mara. The Artificers of Kowloon (and the House of Arleigh) enchant items crafted from wood and bone, saying the words of power over them, enchanting them, and giving the magic purpose, long before the use of that magic is required in combat or utility. Certain species refine the blood of their own species, or other minya hini-spawned species, into bloodstones that serve as super-powered batteries for their magic, capable of raising the dead and binding them. The Gartagens sing their songs into metals which are the body of their gods, and although they are not capable of casting magic themselves, they can change the qualities of the materials they work with. All three forms of magic incorporate the boundaries of minya hinya-casted magic, though each species forms their own particular contributions.

IV. Boundaries of Magic

Everything has a price and magic requires a great deal of energy of some sort to do well. This price could be the sacrifice of a living being like in necromancy, or the cost of the caster's life like in the instance of Embers. Writers and their game masters should keep a boundary in mind that makes sense. A gun eventually runs out of bullets, a computer will eventually run out of power if it isn't plugged into a wall, a car will run out of gas, etc. Consider placing a tangible number on the amount of magic you can do. We recommend taking a look at most fantasy RPG source material for an idea of magic limiters- in Paizo's Pathfinder, the number of spells a character can cast is limited by level. A character has to eventually rest for 8 hours to replenish their magical energy. In setting, Embers have to consume a massive amount of calories per day to sustain themselves and if they do too much, they can overheat and literally, burn themselves out.

Some Suggestions

  • In order to cast magic, the caster must have a clear effect in mind.
  • The caster must actually believe what they are doing will work.
  • Magic is limitless but the caster's life is not. The energy has to come from somewhere, consider limits.
  • Overuse of magic can trivialize problems. Magic should be considered a tool and perhaps, a last resort in some instances.
  • Magic should be unpredictable. You are forcing reality to bend to your will, consider how distracted you might be in some situations.
  • There should be a time limit on how long an effect some magic will last. Fires die out, ice melts, passion cools, etc.
  • Talk to the game master/storyteller of your particular plot to give yourself some ground rules so you can have fun and still keep a campaign challenging.

V. Resurrection

Technological or magical, the ability to resurrect the dead is rare, difficult and costly, even under ideal circumstances. It is also highly situational, and as a result, the head or its contents needs to be intact in some form in most cases. Even those methods of resurrection that involve external data storage of memories and the like are at risk of being stolen, hacked or otherwise manipulated or corrupted without exception. Worse still, during ideal circumstances, individuals run the risk of returning different than they were before, and may have physical or mental defects on top of the costs required to initiate the resurrection. Technologically, the cost is typically a resource and monetary fee, however, magical resurrections may ask for something else entirely; a soul bargain with a god or goddess.

Perhaps most importantly, it is something that needs to be approved by the GM or Staff, as death is not meant to be taken lightly.

OOC Notes

Magic Guide of Shattered Universe (Version 1)
Unnur using The Word art by Juliana Wilhelm.

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  • Last modified: 2018/10/10 11:42
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