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Old 6th November 2008, 05:40 AM   #1 (permalink)
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"Types" of magic

So, all this outlining of my plot has brought forward quite a few issues i need to address before i can carry on writing my story.

My plan is to have the people in my world who have an ability to use magic, be able to only use a specific type. For example, a healer only has the ability to heal. They can not do any other type of magic.

I'm trying to compile a list of different types of magic users. For some reason, this is much more difficult than i thought it would be!! After a day of thinking about this (well, the better part of a 12 hour shift at work) i've still only been able to come up with 3; healers, prophets and alchemists.

There has to be a much longer list than this!! Any ideas? THX!
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Old 6th November 2008, 06:00 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: "Types" of magic

What about battle magic? That would have to be broken down as well, I'd think. Are there elementalists who can use one element only? Or is a battle mage able to access anything potentially destructive as a magic? Elementalists is also a good category as you can have people work with Earth and tend to gardens magically, grow intricate tree arrangements, or even make living furniture.
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Old 6th November 2008, 07:04 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: "Types" of magic

Try reading

A Spell for Chameleon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

your setting yourself a task as if you read these books you'll see there hundreds of ways of possesing magic and at different skill levels
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Old 6th November 2008, 07:57 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: "Types" of magic

Well, here is a list of magical 'schools' commonly found in RPGs and computer games. This is just off the top of my head so very much incomplete:

1. Conjurors/Summoners - summons good/evil beings, possibly from other 'planes'.
2. Elementalists (as Mall said) - works with the four common elements or more (additional elements include spirit, ether/nether, and the like).
3. Necromancers - animates the dead / controls undead.
4. Psionics - ESP and mental powers like telekinesis.
5. Illusionists - creates illusions (visual, aural, etc).
6. Shamans - stuff like knuckle bones, totem animals, and the ability to share animals' senses.
7. Witches - arcane brews, cauldrons, eyes of newts and the like.
8. Druids - wildlife and nature e.g. controls plants.
9. Shapechangers - assumes animal forms or faculties.
10. Sorcerors - a sort of catch-all category similar to battle mages.
11. And so on and so forth

- Dreir -
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Old 6th November 2008, 08:25 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: "Types" of magic

12- time mages (control time)
13- geomancers (similar to elementalists)
14- red mages
15- white mages
16- black mages
17- blue mages (basically steal magic used against them)

or perhaps I should just link to this: Final Fantasy character classes - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 6th November 2008, 03:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: "Types" of magic

There are also plenty of websites devoted to the traditions of different branches of magic. Or, if you wish something less esoteric, you could try looking through the different terms here:

List of magical terms and traditions - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 7th November 2008, 11:26 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: "Types" of magic

Thanks everyone for all your ideas! I must admit, if i look at the wider range of magic possibilities, it is a little intimidating...

I'm trying to keep the magic categories as simplistic as possible. Mainly because, in my society, magic users had been outlawed and killed off generations ago. However, there were a few with certain talents the king decided were too useful to get rid of, and he secretly assimilated them into the rest of the population.
At the moment, only the 3 "talents" i have listed are integral to the plot. But i like the idea of weather manipulation, that could definitely be fun and same with illusionists....hmmm.....
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Old 7th November 2008, 03:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: "Types" of magic

I had a problem with this one too! I wanted to keep it simple- to have a handful of different magics, and the mages who used certain types would be labeled as such (like a Necromancer could only use the blood and Death magics, etc.), but the problem is this- WHICH ones should I use?

I was thinking Death (destruction, pain), Blood (sacrifice and conjuration), Nature (animals and plants, spirits, healing), Elements (weather, earth, fire, water), and Planar (otherworld and Time) would be a nice mix. . However, one can never use all of them, and when someone unwittingly tries, my character is the result. Of course we find out there was a snafu in the spellcasting later on, but that was the fault of the way the spell was cast, not just because all of the different magics- though that is also a part of it.

Does this sound good to you, or am I missing something?
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Old 10th November 2008, 07:08 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: "Types" of magic

That does sound good. I'm putting it off for as long as possible while i write everything else up to it, but it's going to catch up to me sooner or later. Agh!
I keep hoping that it will just figure itself out on paper while i write it...
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Old 10th November 2008, 12:43 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: "Types" of magic

I write like that too! I love to see where the characters take me...I guess that is whay I have plotting problems- I really don't want to put them in a box...you know?
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Old 27th August 2010, 06:49 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: "Types" of magic

I'm writting a story for an RPG and i don't want to use the usual White/ Black magic combo ... i ahve decided to use a Necromancer. Can anyone recomend another mage that would compliment the team? I would prefer to use something other then elementalist aswel
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Old 28th August 2010, 03:42 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: "Types" of magic

Tyrant: have you considered an empathetic person, one who senses people's emotions? I heard telepath earlier, but that's a little different.

I have a GINORMOUS list of powers/abilities that have been introduced over the years through stories, comics, you name it. It's 15 pages long (with spacing) on MS Word, but I'll be happy to post it up. A friend gave it to me, but I'm not sure where he got it from.....

Energy sourcing

Ability to draw power from large or small but abundant sources of energy, such as turning kinetic energy into physical blasts or converting solar energy into other forms. Sometimes based on proximity to source, sometimes stored for future use.

* Examples: Nexus[3] or Superman[4]

Magical powers

Main article: Magic

Ability to use magical forces to varying degrees. Often used to simulate other powers, such as mind control and elemental attacks.

* Supernatural
o Examples: Doctor Strange[5] or Doctor Fate[6]

Not all "magical" superpowers are actually supernatural, but are based on alternate or futuristic "science" which is unexplainable [1]. Mxyzptlk's abilities, for instance, rely on a set of physics different from our dimension's.

* Pseudo-supernatural
o Example: Mister Mxyzptlk[7][8] or Impossible Man[9]

Technopathy

Ability to manipulate technology. Manifested as a special form of electrical/telekinetic manipulation, a special form of shapeshifting which allows physical interaction with machines, or even a special form of ESP that allows for mental interface with computer data.

* Examples: Black Box[10] or Cyborg Superman[11] or Drummer[12]

Telekinesis

Main article: Psychokinesis
See also: List of fictional characters with telekinesis

Ability to manipulate and control objects with the mind, often in ways not visible to the naked eye.

* Examples: Jean Grey or Psimon[13]

Powers

Superpower manipulation

This section refers to the ability to manipulate superpowers themselves, not "power" such as electrical power or gravitational power.

See also: List of fictional characters who can manipulate superpowers

Power bestowal

Ability to bestow powers or jump-start latent powers.

* Examples: Sage[14] or Synergy[15]

Power mimicry or absorption

Ability to copy or absorb another's powers or skills.

* Examples: Rogue[16] or Black Alice[17]

Power negation

Ability to cancel the superpowers of others.

* Examples: Leech[18] or Scrambler[19]

Power sensing

Ability to sense or recognize superhuman powers.

* Example: Caliban[20]

Personal physical powers

Powers which affect a physical person's body.

Accelerated healing

Main article: Healing factor

Ability to heal rapidly from any injury; the rate of recovery varies from character to character. Can sometimes result in the slowing of aging.

* Examples: Wolverine[21] or Lobo[22]

Acid generation

Ability to generate acid, can be manifested through touch or as a spray.

* Examples: Anarchist[23] or Man-Thing[24]

Animal mimicry

Ability to take on the abilities of certain animals.

* Examples: Animal Man[25] or Vixen[26][27]

Biological manipulation

Ability to control all aspects of a living creature's biological make-up. This includes, but is not limited to, genetic alterations, physical distortion/augmentations, healing, disease, and biological functions.

* Examples: Elixir[28] or Raven[29]

Body part substitution

Ability to replace one's limbs or other body parts with those of another.

* Examples: Terror Inc.[30]

Bone manipulation

Ability to manipulate the bones in one's own body. This includes, but is not limited to, the generation of new bone mass, projecting bones out from the skin or rearranging one's own bones.

* Examples: Marrow[31] or Spike[32]

Duplication

Main article: Self-replication

Ability to create physical duplicates of oneself.

* Examples: Multiple Man[33] or Triplicate Girl[34]

Temporal duplication

Ability to bring past and future versions of oneself back to the present.

* Examples: Flashback[35] or Damian Tryp[36]

Echolocation

Main article: Echolocation

Ability to determine location of items in the environment by use of reflected sound waves, whether generated by the character or ambient sound. Also known as sonar sense.

* Examples: Daredevil[37] or Man-Bat[38]

Invisibility

Main article: Invisibility

Ability to render the user unseen to the naked eye.

* Examples: Invisible Woman[39] or Invisible Kid[40]

Invulnerability

Ability to be immune to one or more forms of physical damage or injury.

* Examples: Champion of the Universe[41] or Supergirl[42] or Brit[43]

Kinetic absorption

Ability to absorb forms of kinetic energy into oneself and convert it into physical strength.

* Examples: Strong Guy[44] or Sebastian Shaw[45]

Matter ingestion

Ability to consume any sort of matter without any ill effects on the user.

* Examples: Matter-Eater Lad[46]

Merge

Ability to temporarily merge two beings into a single being, which results in a completely new and stronger being.

* Examples: Kleinstocks[47] or B'Wana Beast[48]

Pheromone manipulation

Ability to generate and control pheromones which may have various effects.

* Examples: Wallflower[49] or Crimson Fox[50]

Poison generation

Ability to assault others with one or more varieties of toxins, with widely disparate effects.

* Examples: Cobra[51] or Poison Ivy[52]

Prehensile/animated hair

The ability to animate and lengthen one's hair.

* Examples: Medusa, Lorelei Travis

Reactive adaptation/evolution

Ability to develop a resistance or immunity to whatever they were injured by or exposed to. This effect can be permanent or temporary.

* Examples: Lifeguard or Doomsday

Self-detonation or explosion

Ability to explode one's body mass and reform.

* Examples: Nitro[53] or Damage[54]

Sonic scream

Ability to generate vocal sounds of a higher amplitude than a normal human.

* Examples: Siryn[55] or Black Canary[56]

Superhuman durability

Ability to have a higher resistance to one or more forms of damage before being injured.

* Examples: Luke Cage[57] or Solomon Grundy[58] or Tick[59]

Superhuman reflexes

Ability to react faster than a normal human.

* Examples: Blade or Midnighter or Madman

Superhuman senses

Ability to see, smell, taste, feel and/or hear more than a normal human.

* Examples: Sabretooth or Timber Wolf

Superhuman strength

Main article: Superhuman Strength
See also: Strength level

Ability to have a level of physical strength higher than that possible by a human being in real life.

* Examples: Hulk[60] or Blok[61] or Mister Majestic[62]

Superhuman vision

Ability to see more than a normal human.

Heat vision

Main article: Heat vision

Ability to project beams of concentrated radiation from the eyes.

* Example: Superman[4]

Night vision

Main article: Night vision

Ability to see clearly in darkness.

* Examples: Owl or Doctor Mid-Nite

X-ray vision

Main article: X-ray vision

Ability to see through solid objects.

* Examples: Peepers or Lar Gand

Telescopic or microscopic vision

Ability to magnify vision to various levels.

* Examples: Hyperion or Power Girl

Wallcrawling

Ability to cling to objects or surfaces by a variety of means. Often related to animal mimicry.

* Examples: Spider-Man or Anole

Waterbreathing

Main article: Water breathing
See also: Liquid breathing

Ability to respirate through water in lieu of a gaseous medium. Not to be confused with an ability to go without breathing or to be able to breathe an alternate air supply.

* Examples: Namor or Aquaman

Mental faculty and knowledge-based abilities

Innate capability

Ability to naturally have skills and/or knowledge typically earned through learning.

* Examples: Forge and Razorback

Omni-linguism

Ability to understand any form of language, a natural polyglot. This can be accomplished in various ways.

* Examples: Cypher and Starfire

Omniscience

Main article: Omniscience

Ability to know anything and everything.

* Examples: Infinity and Mageddon

Superhuman intelligence

Ability to have intelligence far above genius level.

* Examples: Leader or Brainiac 5

ESP

Main article: Extra sensory perception

The abilities of extra-sensory perception (ESP) and communication.

Astral projection

Main article: Astral projection

Ability to separate and control one's astral body.

* Examples: Marvel Girl or Ravager

Cross-dimensional awareness

Ability to detect actions and events in other dimensions. This is occasionally used in comics as an awareness of the fourth wall between the characters and the artist or audience.

* Examples: She-Hulk or Ambush Bug

Empathy

Main article: Empathy

Ability to read or sense the emotions and/or control the emotions or feelings of others.

* Examples: Empath or Psycho-Pirate

Mediumship

Ability to see and communicate with the dead (ghosts).

* Examples: Wicked or Lionel Zerb

Precognition

Main articles: Premonition, Precognition, and Clairvoyance

Ability to perceive the future. It may be expressed in vague dreams while asleep, other times it can be clear and can occur at will. It may also be used as a form of "Danger sense" to show the user that they are being threatened and from what direction it is coming from.

* Examples: Destiny or Dream Girl

Psychometry

Main article: Psychometry

Ability to relate details about the past or future condition of an object, person or location, usually by being in close contact with it.

* Examples: Adrienne Frost or Abe Sapien

Telepathy

Main article: Telepathy

Ability to read the thoughts of, or to mentally communicate with others.

* Examples: Emma Frost or Saturn Girl

Domination and mind control

The ability to alter the perceptions of others, and general mind-control.

* Example: Karma

Astral trapping

Ability to cause an astral projection to stay on the astral plane, usually in one specific place.

* Example: Shadow King

Memory manipulation

Ability to erase or enhance the memories of another.

* Example: Professor X or Zatanna or Hatori Sohma

Mind control

Main article: Mind control

Ability to control the actions or reasoning of another with the mind.

* Examples: Mesmero or Maxwell Lord

Possession

Main article: Spiritual possession

Ability to take control of another person’s body via astral projection or mind transfer.

* Examples: Nocturne or Jericho

Psionic blast

Ability to overload another's mind causing pain, memory loss, loss of consciousness, vegetative state or death after having created a psionic link into that person's mind.

* Examples: Psylocke or Gorilla Grodd

Psychic weapons

Ability to create a weapon of psychic energy that can harm mentally and not physically.

* Examples: Danielle Moonstar or Wild Thing

Manipulate fundamental forces or reality

These powers may be manifested by various methods, including: by some method of molecular control; by access to, or partially or fully shifting to another dimension; by manipulating the geometric dimensions of time or space; or by some other unnamed method.

Animation

Ability to bring inanimate objects to life or to free a person from petrification.

* Examples: Selene or Ozymandias

Darkness or shadow manipulation

Ability to create or manipulate darkness, often by mentally accessing a dimension of dark energy (the Darkforce dimension in Marvel Comics, and the Shadowlands in DC Comics) and manipulating it.

* Examples: Black Death or Obsidian or Darkness

Density control

Ability to increase the natural density of an object and/or one's self.

* Examples: Vision or Martian Manhunter

Disintegration

Ability to disintegrate matter through touch.

* Examples: Wither or Plasmus

Elemental transmutation

Main article: Transmutation

The ability to alter chemical elements, changing them from one substance to another by rearranging the atomic structure. May be limited to self-transmutation.

* Examples: Alchemy[63] or Metamorpho[64]

Gravity manipulation

Ability to manipulate or generate gravitons, or other types of gravitational interactions.

* Examples: Alex Power[65] or Geo-Force

Immortality

Main article: Immortality

Ability to live forever. This may be complete immortality encompassing invulnerability, partial invulnerability to all but specific events (i.e. decapitation or exposure to a specific chemical such as kryptonite), the ability to die but become resurrected, or simply an inability to age normally.

* Examples: Mr. Immortal or Vandal Savage

Intangibility or phasing

Ability to phase through solid matter without harm.

* Examples: Shadowcat or Phantom Girl

Light manipulation

Ability to control, generate or absorb photons (particles of light).

* Examples: Northstar or Dr. Light or Angelus

Magnetism manipulation

See also: List of fictional characters who can manipulate magnetic fields

Ability to control and/or generate magnetic fields.

* Examples: Magneto or Doctor Polaris

Mass manipulation

Ability to increase or decrease mass in an object or person.

* Examples: Harry Leland or Star Boy

Molecular manipulation

Ability to mentally manipulate the molecules of objects and/or one's self on a molecular level.

* Examples: Apocalypse[66] or Firestorm or Solar

Probability manipulation

Main article: Probability

Ability to alter probability, causing unlikely things to happen or likely things to not happen.

* Examples: Domino or Calamity King

Radiation manipulation

See also: List of fictional characters who can generate and manipulate radiation‎

Ability to generate, manipulate or have immunity to toxic radiation.

* Examples: X-Ray or Captain Atom

Reality warping

Main article: Reality warping

Ability to change or manipulate reality itself.

* Examples: Franklin Richards or Mister Mxyzptlk

Sound manipulation

Ability to manipulate sound waves.

* Examples: Klaw or Fiddler

Time manipulation

See also: List of fictional characters who can manipulate time

Ability to affect the flow of time by slowing, accelerating, reversing, or stopping it.

* Examples: Tempo or Zoom

Classical elements

Ability to control or manipulate the classical elements.

Air and wind manipulation / Aerokinesis

Ability to control, generate, or absorb air or wind.

* Examples: Wind Dancer or Red Tornado

Cold and ice manipulation

Ability to reduce the kinetic energy of atoms and thus reduce temperature, can be used to control, generate, or absorb ice.

* Examples: Iceman or Ice

Earth manipulation

Ability to control earth; sand, stone, rock, lava, dirt, or minerals.

* Examples: Petra or Terra

Electric manipulation

Ability to control, generate or absorb electrical fields.

* Examples: Electro or Black Lightning

Fire and heat manipulation

Main article: Pyrokinesis
See also: List of fictional characters who can manipulate fire

Ability to control the kinetic energy of atoms to generate, control or absorb fire.

* Examples: Pyro or Fire or Liz Sherman

Plant manipulation

Ability to accelerate the growth of, control or animate plant life.

* Examples: Gardener or Poison Ivy

Water and moisture manipulation

See also: List of fictional characters who can manipulate water

Ability to control, generate or absorb water.

* Examples: Hydro-Man or Tempest

Weather manipulation

Main article: Weather control
See also: List of fictional characters who can manipulate weather

Ability to control or mentally affect the weather. This includes the ability to generate various natural phenomena (rain, tornadoes, lightning, etc.) or control the intensity of the weather.

* Examples: Storm or Typhoon or Sarah Rainmaker

Energy manipulation

Main article: Energy

These powers deal with energy generation, conversion and manipulation. In addition to generic energy, versions of these powers exist that deal with such things as light, sound, electricity, nuclear energy, and "darkforce".

Concussion beams

Ability to generate or transform various forms of energy into a "solid" or concussive beam of energy.

* Examples: Cyclops or Gunfire

Energy blasts

See also: Heat vision

Ability to expel various forms of energy from the body.

* Examples: Havok or Ray

Energy constructs

Ability to create complex shapes (such as giant boxing gloves or cages) or even functional machinery (such as fire extinguishers or laser rifles) out of solid energy.

* Examples: Cerise or Jade

Energy conversion

Ability to absorb one form of energy and convert it into another form of energy.

* Examples: Dazzler or Bishop

Force field generation

Main article: Force field

Ability to project powerful fields of manipulated energy.

* Examples: Captain Britain or Argent

Transportation or travel

Dimensional transportation

Ability to create wormholes, portation "discs" or other spatial portals for transport between two non-adjacent locations

* Examples: Blink or Spot

Electrical transportation

Ability to travel through electrical conduits (such as power lines, or telephone lines). Can enter through devices such as televisions, electrical poles or computers.

* Examples: Atom or Air Wave

Omnipresence

Ability to be present anywhere and everywhere always.

* Examples: Eternity or the Source

Summoning

Ability to summon objects or beings for assistance.

* Examples: Magik or Kid Eternity

Superhuman speed

See also: List of fictional characters who can move at superhuman speeds

Ability to move at speeds faster than a normal human.

* Examples: Quicksilver or Flash

Teleportation

Main article: Teleportation

Ability to move from one place to another without occupying the space in between.

* Examples: Nightcrawler or Misfit[67]

Time travel

Main article: Time travel

Ability to travel back and forth through time.

* Examples: Kang the Conqueror or Waverider

Miscellaneous

The following powers could be manifested in any number of ways.

Flight

Main article: Flight
See also: Gliding, Levitation, and Transvection (flying)

Ability to lift off the ground, to ride air currents or to fly self-propelled through the air.

* Examples: Characters with flight

Different forms of flight include:

Energy propulsion methods

Cosmic energy control

* Example: Ms. Marvel

Energy aura projection

* Examples: Sunfire or Looker

Gravitational manipulation

* Example: Gravity

Magnetic levitation

* Examples: Magneto or Static

Sonic repulsion field

* Example: Banshee

Telekinetic power

* Examples: Justice or Match

Thermo-chemical energy

* Example: Cannonball

Physical propulsion methods

* Insectoid form
o Examples: Wasp or Insect Queen
* Wind current control
o Examples: Cyclone
* Wings
o Examples: Angel or Northwind

Illusion

Main article: Illusion

Ability to alter or deceive the perceptions of another. Can be sensory, a light or sound-based effect, or an alteration of mental perceptions.

* Examples: Mastermind or Princess Projectra

Shapeshifting

Main article: Shapeshifting

Ability to change appearance or body structure.

* Examples: Mystique or Chameleon

Types of shapeshifting include:

* Animal morphing: Ability to take on animal forms. May be able to take on the abilities of the altered form.
o Examples: Wolfsbane or Beast Boy
* Elasticity: Ability to stretch, deform, expand and contract one's body into any form they can imagine.
o Examples: Mister Fantastic[39] or Elongated Man
* Inorganic: Ability to transform completely into an inorganic substance while retaining organic properties.
o Examples: Colossus or Ferro Lad
* Liquification: Ability to turn partially or completely into a liquid.
o Examples: Hydro-Man or Zan
* Size shifting: Ability to increase or decrease one's size.
o Examples: Yellowjacket or Giganta
* Sublimation: Ability to transform into a gaseous, mist, or fog-like form.
o Examples: Amelia Voght or Mist
* Transformation: Ability to transform into substance touched.
o Examples: Absorbing Man or Amazing-Man or Grunge
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Old 28th August 2010, 01:44 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: "Types" of magic

Wow thanks MisitingWolf .. that IS a long list. Empathetic magic does seem like a good lidea but I don't know how it could be incorporated into a game. What sort of abilities could I use? What special attacks could be used?
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Old 29th August 2010, 12:20 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: "Types" of magic

I think categories of magic would depend in large part on where your magic stems from and how it works. For example, it could be that magic stems from the gods, in which case there could be a god of healing, a god of water, a god of fire, etc - and each of these grants their followers certain powers. Otherwise magical powers could be granted by spirits of nature, which might include shapeshifting, healing or elemental manipulation. Foresight could be granted by some kind of fantasy quirk where different time streams run parallel to one another and sometimes intersect, allowing glimpses of the future/past.

Those are just random examples, but the point I'm trying to illustrate is that by defining how your magic will work (unless it's intended to be a mystery - even to the author), different types and abilities should flow from that.
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Old 29th August 2010, 09:04 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: "Types" of magic

Thanks for the help. I've decide to use Psionics 'cause i want the other user to use powers from within. Just 2 more characters left now
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