Strange Daze Magic

Strange Daze Magic

Postby Mirober on Wed Dec 31, 2003 5:11 pm

Happy New Year everyone. In celebration, here's a rough outline I've come up for the basics of magic in Strange Daze. Comments and critiques are encouraged.

Three Categories: Ritual, Evoking, Invoking

Ritual
Ritual Magic is of the type that requires no special ability or innate talent on the part of the user, other than patience and a willingness to learn. It is a blanket category for several fundamental mechanics of the universe, mechanics set into the very foundation of reality. It is, in fact, no different than physics or chemistry. The problem, however, is that these areas of study have not been given the same level of focus as in what is recognized as the traditional sciences. As such they are poorly understood, the collected knowledge surrounding them containing significant amounts of dross and nonsense. To draw an analogy, their current form is to their ultimate potential what Greecian natural philosophy is to modern day Quantum Physics. The most important detail is that all are based on an energy force that most closely resembles the asian concepts of Chi or Ki. This is the same energy that was once utilized by the Atlantean Battle Philosophies. It is a type of spiritual energy, the power of the human soul. It is important to note that Chi and Mana are not the same force (see below). Chi can, however, be used to control Mana somewhat (but never to the degree that a direct manipulator of Mana is capable of).
Examples:
Geomancy: Controlling paths and vortices of natural chi.
Divination: Visions of the past, future, and elsewhere.
Dimensional Manipulation: Opening gateways through space
Psychic Abilities: Telepathy, Telekinesis, Pyrokinesis, Biomanipulation
Ritualized Spells: Complex and time consuming manipulations of mana


Evoking
Calling on the power of some greater force of being (which can be conscious or not). It is the ability to become a microcosm of some greater whole. It cannot be learned; it requires the inborn ability to manipulate mana. Furthermore, its users utilize mana that has been
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Postby Clem on Wed Dec 31, 2003 9:16 pm

That sounds like a doable system. People who clcaim to practice the real thing usually seem to use "invocation" to mean calling the nature and attributes of a god into oneself. Sort of divine channeling. They often use "evocation" to mean summoning a supernatural being into a pentagram, circle, etc. Your definitions are probably better for a world with things like actual overt fireballs and physically present deities. That other sort of "invocation" could be interesting in the comic context. Imagine some would-be necromancer Invoking Hel and finding himself in the middle of a firefight with Morrigan when the spell wears off. The word evocation" also brings to mind the Evocatio, the procedure with which the Romans removed the local Gods from cities they planned to destroy and took them (and, presumably, their powers and protection) to Rome.

Incidentally, I have been wondering about the Incarnates. They all seem to embody pretty ... aggressive ... aspects of reality. Are there any milder Incarnates around? An Incarnate of Compassion a la Abalokitesvara? An Incarnate of Birth? An Incarnate of Wisdom? An Incarnate of Fluffy Bunnies?
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Postby Mirober on Sat Jan 10, 2004 2:05 pm

clem wrote:That sounds like a doable system. People who clcaim to practice the real thing usually seem to use "invocation" to mean calling the nature and attributes of a god into oneself. Sort of divine channeling. They often use "evocation" to mean summoning a supernatural being into a pentagram, circle, etc. Your definitions are probably better for a world with things like actual overt fireballs and physically present deities.


Mm. My actual knowledge of real world magical practices is pretty skimpy; I'm better with magic systems based on rolling oddly shaped polyhedrons.

That other sort of "invocation" could be interesting in the comic context. Imagine some would-be necromancer Invoking Hel and finding himself in the middle of a firefight with Morrigan when the spell wears off. The word evocation" also brings to mind the Evocatio, the procedure with which the Romans removed the local Gods from cities they planned to destroy and took them (and, presumably, their powers and protection) to Rome.


Hmm. I hadn't heard of that before; Evocatio. Have to research more about that; sounds like something I could use! Thanks much!

Incidentally, I have been wondering about the Incarnates. They all seem to embody pretty ... aggressive ... aspects of reality. Are there any milder Incarnates around? An Incarnate of Compassion a la Abalokitesvara? An Incarnate of Birth? An Incarnate of Wisdom? An Incarnate of Fluffy Bunnies?


Yes, there are. Isis was to be the Incarnate of Life. I say was, because after much consideration (almost a year now), I finally decided I needed a retcon, and switched that character to Athena (I plan to mention the modification to the archives Monday). Primarily, the more I researched, the more I wanted to use Isis for something other than what I have planned for the True World Order. Additionally, the character design fits Athena much better than Isis. Athena, incidentally, is the Incarnate of Invention. In any event, soon there will be many more Incarnates. It's just taking them a little time to understand what those strange dreams and thoughts they've been having recently mean.
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Postby Clem on Sat Jan 17, 2004 12:57 am

A bit more about Evocatio to jumpstart your research. The most famous incident occured when the Romans took the local diety, Juno from Veii and established her in Rome. The dictator Marcus Furius Camillus did it as a preliminary to sacking the place. The other famous incident was the destruction of Carthage. They performed the Evocatio to deprive Carthage of its gods. they also slaughtered the citizens, razed the city to the ground and carried the stones away, sowed the ground with salt, had the priests pronounce a perpetual curse on the land and anyone who passed through, and forbade anyone to live there under penalty of death. They may have made a mistake by taking the Carthaginian gods to Rome. Two of the major gods were Baal, who was fond of child sacrifice, and Tanit (aka Astarte) who also had a very dubious reputation. In fact, Hannibal's name means "favored by Baal". The Romans identified some of their gods with Carthaginian gods in the same way that they identified Zeus with Jupiter. Perhaps this corrupted their gods and led to the eventual fall of the Republic and decadence of the Emperors. In fact, one of the more notorious Emperors supposedly committed his excesses under the influence of the Astarte cult. Incidentally, do you suppose that the priests of Baal handled the child sacrifices with ... kid gloves?
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Postby Acolyte on Sun Jan 18, 2004 12:46 am

clem wrote:The Romans identified some of their gods with Carthaginian gods in the same way that they identified Zeus with Jupiter.

This would have been a somewhat different prodedure though. Zeus and Jupiter are demonstrably the same old Indo-European thunderer who also went by the name Dyaus Pitar in India. I think it remains to be shown that he's also identical with the Hittite Tarkhun/Celtic Taranis/Nordic Thorr, but they're very similar and the discovery of some explicit lingustic connection wouldn't be surprising. The Greeks even borrowed the myth of Zeus' battle with Typhon from an older Hittite story of Tarkhun's fight with a dragon named Illuyankas.

The Phoenicians were Semites and not Indo-Europeans at all, so identifying their gods with the Roman pantheon probably took a bit more creativity since the natural cognates they found among the Greeks, Gauls, and Germans weren't there. At least one priest of Baal who became Emperor, Elagabalus, didn't bother, but brought his Baal with him so as to continue his cult in Rome. (This Baal, like many others in the Levant, was a meteorite.) Elagabalus didn't last any longer than any other Emperor in this period, but I can't recall any accusations of human sacrifice directed against him. This was a couple of centuries after the conquest of Carthage, so it's conceivable that things had changed.
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Postby Mirober on Sun Jan 18, 2004 9:52 pm

First off, Clem, bad pun. No biscuit. ;)

Second, I've really gotta spend more time in the Roman section of the library. All I know is the boring tabloid stuff about Caligula, Nero, and Tiberius. :-/
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Postby Seafog the 3rd on Fri Aug 06, 2004 9:26 pm

So the three types of magic boil down to:
Ritual: It can be learned, uses inborn power of living beings, but cannot control mana optimally. Includes chi, psycic powers, the complicated mana spells
Evoking: Cannot be learned, you have it or don't, users are restricted to thier filter, reminds me of clerics from D&D and magicians from Shadowrun, these can be very powerful within the limits of thier filter
Invoking: effectively summoning, or spirit contracts, lets you sortof reliably call on supernatural beings based on The Rules
So it's either exercise your soul on the universe, be born with a connection to magic, or call on a being that does have inborn magic?
Then what about the supernatural entities themselves? Are they Evokers? Or something else? Can you Invoke an Evoker (like Thera or the girl from the prom)? And Invoking isn't really magic, its rules lawyering? And where does Jack (Kataract Sune) fit? Does he eat souls or Evokers or both?
'Never appeal to a man's 'better nature'. He may not have one. Invoking his self-intrest gives you more leverage.' -Lazarus Long
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Postby Mirober on Sun Aug 08, 2004 11:03 pm

Seafog the 3rd wrote:So it's either exercise your soul on the universe, be born with a connection to magic, or call on a being that does have inborn magic?


Yes.

Then what about the supernatural entities themselves? Are they Evokers? Or something else?


Yes, they are technically Evokers, but on a much larger and complex scale. Also, the more complex spells calling upon them actually slip into a nebulous area between Ritual and Invoking.

Can you Invoke an Evoker (like Thera or the girl from the prom)? And Invoking isn't really magic, its rules lawyering?


Yes, Thera and Lilith (the girl) could impart some of their mana to another, though the recipient probably wouldn't know how to control it. However, they would have to craft a permanent spell in the form of a calling ritual if they wanted to do it from a distance. And yes, Invoking is really more a case of Who You Know, rather than What You Can Do.

And where does Jack (Kataract Sune) fit? Does he eat souls or Evokers or both?


Kataract Sune are another grey area. Technically, they're an artificial Evoker. They do not have the natural-born connection that allows them to channel mana, instead having to absorb or steal it from another source. However, once they have it they can then use that mana just as a natural Evoker would (better, actually, since they are not limited to a single type of mana).
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Postby Seafog the 3rd on Mon Aug 09, 2004 10:19 pm

So it's actually closer to two types of magic? Invoking really being a way to use the other two types?

Could a non-Evoker learn to use the borrowed Mana? Is Invoking a 'give and take' thing, more of a 'you must do this' thing, or a 'lend me your power' thing?

So is the Kataract Sune like a battery only (needs to keep recharging mana), or do they just need to learn the proper connection/filter (and can generate thier own mana), and the soul sucking is extra? Basically, does Jack NEED to kill only ONE fire mage, or as many as he can catch? So a Ritualist is immune to being sucked? And can Jack turn one type of mana into another? Also, what did he learn/get from the elf he killed in the club?

It just hit me that Liza is a Chaos Evoker, but is trying to not use it and go crazy.
'Never appeal to a man's 'better nature'. He may not have one. Invoking his self-intrest gives you more leverage.' -Lazarus Long
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Postby Mirober on Thu Aug 12, 2004 8:04 pm

Seafog the 3rd wrote:So it's actually closer to two types of magic? Invoking really being a way to use the other two types?


Pretty much, yeah.

Could a non-Evoker learn to use the borrowed Mana? Is Invoking a 'give and take' thing, more of a 'you must do this' thing, or a 'lend me your power' thing?


"Yes" to the first, "depends" on the second. (Specifically, on what is being Invoked).

So is the Kataract Sune like a battery only (needs to keep recharging mana), or do they just need to learn the proper connection/filter (and can generate thier own mana), and the soul sucking is extra?


Battery. And they don't actually eat souls; Jack just thought he did, given what happened to the elf (who, since he was from the Sunless Kingdoms, probably did not have a soul).

Basically, does Jack NEED to kill only ONE fire mage, or as many as he can catch? So a Ritualist is immune to being sucked?


As many as he can catch. As for Ritualism, partly true. Any ritual which focused Mana would not work against a Kataract Sune. However, Chi/Psychic attacks would work just fine against him.

And can Jack turn one type of mana into another? Also, what did he learn/get from the elf he killed in the club?


No, he cannot. And from the Elf, he would have mainly gotten pure Mana; its useful to think of Mana as somewhat like light. Pure Mana has, in fact, the potential to be all types of Mana, and is extraordinarily rare (making Faerie a seductive spell component for any magic user needing access to a ready supply of the stuff).

It just hit me that Liza is a Chaos Evoker, but is trying to not use it and go crazy.


Sure seems that way. ;)
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Postby Seafog the 3rd on Fri Aug 13, 2004 1:47 am

I know Jack doesn't eat souls, it's just more fun to say it that way! :D
So Faerie Mana is unaspected Mana that won't drive you insane like standard unaspected Mana? <me confused> So Faerie are a natural version of the Kataract Sune (the any filter part anyway)? Does Jack suck any technique with his sucking, or does he just suck the power? So Jack will be able to use what he has left from the elf to power any filter he's learned? What did the elf use his mana for (before he died)? Can Kataract Sune drain someone but not kill them and come back for more mana later?
'Never appeal to a man's 'better nature'. He may not have one. Invoking his self-intrest gives you more leverage.' -Lazarus Long
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Postby Orion on Fri Aug 13, 2004 4:32 am

Seafog the 3rd wrote:So Faerie Mana is unaspected Mana that won't drive you insane like standard unaspected Mana?


Well, I don't know that sane could be applied to your standard faerie, they're pretty choatic from what I understand.
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Postby Mirober on Fri Aug 13, 2004 8:29 am

Seafog the 3rd wrote:So Faerie Mana is unaspected Mana that won't drive you insane like standard unaspected Mana?


No, it will still eventually drive a sorcerer using it insane. However, it's not 100% "pure": it will have a minor aspectation to it, based on the particular Fae it comes from. It therefore is slightly (emphasis on slightly) safer to use.

So Faerie are a natural version of the Kataract Sune (the any filter part anyway)?


In that they can use any type of Mana? Yes, although there are particular "filters" (or spells) that each Faerie is most comfortable with. When it comes to magic, they are much better equipped to handle it than your average human.

Does Jack suck any technique with his sucking, or does he just suck the power? So Jack will be able to use what he has left from the elf to power any filter he's learned?


Usually, a Kataract Sune has to have a spell cast in their proximity (or on them) before they can mimic it. Just having the Mana doesn't necessarily mean they can use it, at least in the beginning. More experienced Kataract Sune were eventually able to start crafting spells on their own, without having to rely on mimicry.

What did the elf use his mana for (before he died)?


What, in the bar? No direct spell effects; he mostly just enchanted his cloak and sword.

Can Kataract Sune drain someone but not kill them and come back for more mana later?


Theoretically, yes. However, they're a bit like addicts: once they start, its difficult to stop.
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