Tuesday, March 4, 2014

World Building in 30 Days – Magic – Source - Will Magic

The first two parts of this series on magic dealt with the History of the First Age(1A) and an overview of a basic magic system. These weren’t my favorite articles to write, nor for you to read. I had to get those out of the way to provide a background for this article. I still have two more cataclysms to discuss. These shaped magic further but I wanted to depart from that for a bit and talk about something else today, sources of magic.

Magic in Ea-Reth comes in a lot of different flavors, but in truth there is only one source the Weave. Everything came from this big ball of chaos in the beginning. The Weave, Immortals, Anrica’s Will etc all of it came from the same source. The rest is me limiting it by putting into the context of my world. My characters interact with the world thru filters of their own perception. My readers/players hear about magic via the same means. Seelian Coil’s book on magical theory describes seven types of magic; Will, Word, Inherent, Weave, Granted, Soul and Emotion magic. Nearly every magical organization draws its understanding of magic from this book and because of this the symbol for magic is a seven pointed star.

Will Magic

  • Creation - as in the universe
  • Belief
  • Mental Hedge Magic
  • Psionics

Anrica rising from the ether at the beginning of time is the first example of Will magic. Master Coil described a creature lifting its arm as the simplest form of Will Magic. Inside every living thing on Ea-reth is a spark of Will.

Here begins a bit of philosophy. The world around us does not exist. If a tree falls in the wood and no one senses it, it didn’t fall. The world is formless gray matter until the inhabitants of the world interact with it. At that point belief in the expected results change the gray. The form alters into what we believe should be there. We lay about unable to move as infants because our minds and senses have not yet been attuned to the subjective real. The subjective reality is formed by all gathered belief within a given area. As we develop we are able to move and impact out environment not because atoms or electrons move but because we are encouraged to do so. Our parents belief that we can imprints us and makes us able to meet those expectations. Those that come to realize this truth are able to act as parents to the creatures not of the gray and shape their belief with Will. The more Will one has the greater impact belief has on the shape that is made. Our perception is tied to this belief/gray matter interaction. The collective expectation of the world shapes the gray, provides the physical laws etc. So ends the philosophy. The Gawds Will impacts this further. Those beings with powerful Will can bend reality as if they were Neo.


Gawds and primordials use it. Extremely powerful Wizards known as True Wizards can harness it. Characters any time they make a saving throw this type of magic is in play. Psionics is a form of this magic. Mentalism and Hedge magic use it to convince a target that reality is different than what they believe it is. Psychosomatic effects from illusion spells also are driven by this.

How? Mechanics

A creatures Will must exceed the localized Belief. This is a bend don’t break scenario. The more complex, ludicrous or unbelievable something is the more likely the spell will fail or have unlikely even disastrous results.

Pros: This provides an explanation for creation and the power of the Umbla and Gawds. It also is a nice foundation for illusions being able to hurt.

Cons: Imagination, Will and Belief are things that are hard to quantify and adjudicate effectively. It is also tempting to hand wave a situation away.

Origins of the idea: Gutter Trash Vol 1, Schrödinger’s Cat, Objective vs. Subjective Reality

Examples in Gaming: White Wolf’s Mage: The Ascension

Example in Media: The Matrix


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