View Full Version : Martial Magic- combining the two in a custom setting.

2013-11-01, 01:19 AM
I'm putting together a setting, possibly for storywriting, where "Magic" and "Physics" arnt two sepate things. Rather, Magic is simply an aspect of her reality that is difficult to access, but follows the same rules as everything else. I dont have any system planned for this, but if anything comes to mind while reading this, feel free to point it out.

Martial magic is the common stuff- what everyone takes for granted. When a grandmother flips a cart off of her grandchild, or when a dragon flaps it wings more powerfully than any real-world bird could, this is martial magic. And the creation of life is all but impossible... without a mother. The difference between lifting a rock with magic and lifting a rock with muscle is academic- because muscle IS magic, though not all magic is muscle. (And stamina IS mana- there is no conversion, they're the same thing)

But then a material was discovered that could store massive amounts of magical power, though not create it. Magi who studied these could create effects no -one- person could accomplish alone, even shape raw power from life force, though the results were limited compared to the power expended. But there was no upper limit. With enough charged leystone, anything was possible.

Magic has 3 parts
Mana- Life energy, stamina. This can generally be trained, Cardio and the like, but most mages rely on external mana, and train on application rather than potential. Overt Magic relies on large amounts of power over control- Anyone can throw raw power around, they just dont HAVE enough to do anything useful.

Focus- Tools and tricks to make casting a particular magic easier. Martial tools are related to the task for which they are made- Magical foci are similar, related in some abstract way with the magic to be accomplished. But just as you can use a pen to write a lovesong or an angry letter (or stab someone with it), any good magical focus can be used in multiple ways. Subtle Magic may use very little mana for it's effect, but is difficult to visualize and control, making good tools essential.

Skill- Training and preparations to put together a particular magic. Martial magic is little more than this. A child of any species takes years to learn to walk- many winged species never learn to use flight properly, as it requires both skill and stamina. (Technically, pregnancy is a martial ritual that takes months worth of stamina to accomplish, creating a new, self sustaining life.)

There are no permanent magical items- but many magical foci include a Leystone manasource in the design, allowing the caster to use power stored in the foci with the foci to cast a spell, but has to be recharged by a living being. In theory, this can approach a technological level of sophistication- Using “Sending stones” that can reach another sending stone to carry your words, for instance, often use less mana than a megaphone and shouting does. But few tools match the versatility of a pointed rod.

Magic is often divided into Philosophies, mental frameworks that make the Skills of casting easier. Martial magic could be considered a Philosophy, one of “giving 110%”, of training the body and spirit, and making use of natural advantages- and once charged Leystone gets involved, even “mundanes” rapidly approaches superhuman levels.

Another philosophy might be a combination of psychology and mental magic, knowing how the various races think and how to alter their minds with various levels of sophistication. Others might specialize in breaking reality into fundamental forces to explain it in a way the caster can comprehend and manipulate. (but, due to political reasons, Water magic of any kind, and any philosophy that teaches the manipulation or creation or water is banned on pain of death. The Empire takes this very seriously, as their mundane control of water sources is one of their sources of power.)

Anyone can be taught a spell by Rote, however. They wont have the flexibility that a philosophy has, but they have a trick that works, that doesnt have to be the same as the rest of their skill set. It's also easier to mess up, as they dont really understand it, they just use it. Most specialized magic item use falls into this category.


2013-11-01, 02:26 AM
This sounds a fair bit like a system I did some thinking on a while back, based on R. Hayes' Tales of the Questor. In that setting and system, all living things produce lux to varying degrees as a natural byproduct of metabolic processes, and racconans (the viewpoint race) are almost universally able to see, shape, and store this lux for "magical" purposes. Humans and other races have usually much less chance of becoming lux adepts, but a human wizard is a fearsome thing, since instead of harnessing the lux in a hundred-meter radius as a racconan might, they can draw from literally miles around. Lux use is normally fairly straightforward for one with sufficient skill, but unusually complex patterns or volumes of lux strain one's capacity, and can cause various increasingly unfortunate side effects from over stress. Finally, certain materials react differently to lux, either serving as better channels (metals? unsure), blocking its flow (silk), or storing it (stone).

I figured I'd model this with every character, or nearly every character, having the ability to manipulate lux, and also having a pool of slowly-regenerating stamina. Stamina would be tapped to gain lux from surrounding supplies, maintain an unusually large lux pool instead of letting it dissipate, and most importantly, expend lux to create a desired effect. However, the difference from your proposed system is that I envisioned some abilities that did not depend on lux at all, but only on sheer stamina; mostly things like parrying blows, striking deftly, marching at increased speed, or what have you (not superhuman in principle, but potentially taxing the body's abilities). That said, there's some strong similarities, since just about every character would have some abilities that would require lux: empowering armor and weapons for unique effects, stunning or dazing or entangling enemies, or just lighting campfires without matches or tinder.

Further note: In my proposed system, the stamina pool grows about as fast as HP do in most systems (and is indeed called SP); HP grows slowly, if at all, and stamina is relied on in most cases to prevent blows or spells from killing or maiming. An additional pool of will points (WP) is relied on to protect against the more mental forms of assault, whether spells or mundane efforts, and again stamina is a crucial resource to block such attacks from draining WP. Here are some more ideas on that.