Laws of nature in fantasy worlds

I spend the mayor part of my time creating concepts for stories that I find interesting and analysing stories in books, television and games.Depending on the type of story I am creating, laws help me create more interesting and immersive stories, so I have decided to write about the reasons I think are behind it and what world need dense laws the most. I hope it makes sense and helps understanding the matter.

Laws and their advantages


The laws help to maintain the logic within the world. They make it easier to stay aware of the possibilities that exist in the world and show what is impossible.

"Given a world where magic exist, each sorcerer has a level of energy with which he can cast spells and blood sacrifices generate usable energy. The rules of the world prevent me from casting a very powerful spells, because the amount of energy necessary is to large. Instead I can use blood sacrifices to generate the necessary amount of energy, which in turn creates new questions. Where do the sacrifices come from? How many are necessary? Where does the sorcerer hold the sacrifices? These questions help in creating a denser story for the player."


The laws can help to maintain the balance within the world. They prevent characters from becoming strong enough to pose a danger to the meaning and idea for that the world was created.

"The rules of the world prevent a sorcerer from becoming so strong that he could destroy an army. The problem is not the character itself but the, but the reason why the character is so powerful. I think that there are characters in many fantasy worlds which are too strong for their history, which implies to me that there should be more characters that are that powerful. A higher number of very powerful characters would change the essence of the world as with the number of powerful characters the number of stories about power grow."

You can create the laws for the world before creating the actual story. It helps to stay objective towards the balance and essence of the world.

"It is easier for me to focus on the logic of the world when I don't have have scenes in mind that I want to include under any circumstance."


The process of creating the laws for the world can spawn many new ideas, because you have to construct, check and adapt them to your requirements.

"While defining that certain metals can be infused with magic, you could have the idea to create a flying mountain which is carried by veins of a magic infused metal."

Where do I need laws the most?

The type of of the world and its task are a good reference point to decide how dense the laws should be. As most worlds are derived from reality the laws describing them an adaptation of the laws of nature.

  • If there is more than one author working with the world the laws help maintaining the overall picture of the world by providing a precise image of the possibilities within the world.
  • The larger the world gets the higher becomes the possibility to make an error somewhere along the way.
  • The number of stories taking place in the world, and their magnitude. Here goes the same as for the size of the world itself as the description of the world is basically the story of the world.

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