This is my first attempt on writing down some of the thoughts on magic systems that I have had overtime. The laws are on possible approach on describing how magic works in a fictional world.
The core principle of the magic system
The first question we need to answer is how the magic system works at its basic level. This article covers laws for magic system that work by transforming energy, for example mana, into a specific effect, like a fireball.
The laws describing each magic system are dependent on the core principle and can vary between the different systems. I decided to focus on a magic system that uses the energy transformation principle because I think it is the most common all magic systems. While there are other systems that seem to work with different principles on a higher level, I believe that they also use energy transformation at a deeper level and can therefore be explained using it.
Energy transformation based laws
I am using a magic system that is based on the energy transformation principle to show several laws that are necessary to describe the magic system and to highlight their effect on the world.
Before we can take a look at the laws that are concerned with using magic we need to define laws that define the behavior of energy.
- In the example, the world itself provides a constant level of energy everywhere
We could decide that would like to have a law that explains why the level of energy is constant. The denser the laws of a magic system become the stronger is the stability of the system, but at the same time the system becomes more complex and harder to maintain, but since the level is constant and the law would be at a very deep level I think it is better to focus on other laws.
The law itself makes it necessary to think about what effect the limited energy level can have on the power of the caster and how it might be possible to influence the energy level.
- While a spell is cast the necessary energy is removed from the environment in from of a well with the caster as center and the power level of the spell as diameter.
The consequence of this law is that only a certain amount of energy is available within an area, limiting the effective power and number of spells that can be cast in the area. This law could be used as a basis for interesting ways of combating as a caster or against a caster.
- Certain minerals can influence the level of energy in their surrounding. They can either increase the level of energy or decrease it.
The law allows for natural occurring and artificially made changes in the energy level. It provides the basis for different elements in the world which depend on the level of scientific understanding that the inhabitants have of their own world.
The natural occurring differences create locations of strategic importance for civilizations that are unaware of the laws of their world. Civilization, on the other hand, that are aware of the laws can use the minerals to build devices that allow to cast more powerful spells or protect against spells.
I hope to continue this overtime.