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I wonder if fire (and other elements) has any place in a soul based magic system? I have a hard time thinking of how channelling the power of your soul can actually conjure up a fire? I have a feeling we won't see the traditional fire & ice based spell arsenal. Pure speculation. That would mean it can't act as a replacement for natural resources, possibly the most defining factor of an economy.

[...]

 

It's going to REALLY depend on how souls and magic are intertwined.

 

If souls are actually your "fuel" for your magic, pretty much anything goes. Then it's a question of whether it's a finite fuel or not, or if will damage your soul using it this way.

 

If soul-based magic is more about imposing a different state on a soul, it's still going to depend on if souls are said to exist in non-sentient objects and background and if you can create a soul or not (and how). For example, you could easily say that the wind has a soul, and your soul-based magic changes the soul of the wind to force a windblast on your opponent. Or maybe you could also say that you break off a infinitessimal piece of your soul to create a fire, providing the soul for the flames that burn or explode. (Now where that bit of soul goes when you're done is a different story.)

 

I'm sure there are other possibilities. Just because it is soul based magic doesn't mean it is necessarily restrictive.

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I was really annoyed in Arcanum, magic vs complicated tech.

 

I think it was a brilliant approach to the problem, well explained in the game and the awesome manual (kudos to the author!)

I think the same, especially after thinking about magic in PE now. Arcanum had a really convenient solution to this entire problem.

"Well, overkill is my middle name. And my last name. And all of my other names as well!"

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I wonder if fire (and other elements) has any place in a soul based magic system? I have a hard time thinking of how channelling the power of your soul can actually conjure up a fire

 

In literature, and religious literature specifically, the soul is equated to fire or described as fire. Similar use of language describes your soul as your "divine spark". Visually, souls or soul power is depicted as fire or burning (in the West, yes, but also in anime like Dragonball). It surely isn't universal but the idea that souls are like fire is very widespread.

 

Even under your theory, mstark, it might make sense how souls could create fire. Ice? Not so much...unless your fiery soul can also absorb the fire of nearby objects thus causing heat depletion.

Edited by mokona
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An useful distinction to make is separating "natural" fire from "magical" fire. While the former needs fuel to sustain, the latter can, perhaps, directly draw on the energy of the divine realm (where souls go, when their skinvelopes die). A localized portal transforming the energy into fire? This would be practical, as outlined in the opening post.

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Lets take a look at Clarkes 3rd law: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." You can turn the whole thing around If magic is common enough you don't need technology (and workers), that would be a society of magicians. So thats the reasen why in any fantasy I know magic is a rare thing. But when its rare and powerfull it's a real force, so magicians would be either the Kings of such a world or the would be the prey of the kings. So the conclusion is: magic must be rare but it although needs to be less powerfull.

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^If you'd like to experience a world where magic is so abundantly common that it's replacing nearly every single technological advancement of our time, try giving the Discworld books a read :)

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I was really annoyed in Arcanum, magic vs complicated tech.

 

I think it was a brilliant approach to the problem, well explained in the game and the awesome manual (kudos to the author!)

 

Oh i dont mind idea, but personally I found non of explanations was plausable as to why it occures as it does, it just does and thas it. Like gravity, it just does. For some reason magic is this chaotic magnetic force making all devices go ballistic, but has no to little effects on some other more traditional stuff yet contraptions none the less. Does it just affects mettalic devices, what if same devices is made entirly out of hemp lets say, will it stil be affected? Magic there was explained as not really belonging in nature and natural evolution, yet it was integral part of the world, found in oldest lore. But science of that world still depict it as outside interferance, It is presented as if scientificallilly, but that twisted duality was more annoying as I felt forced gamemechanic, with little explanation. Just didnt find it plausable in the very setting it was trying to depict it plausable, so it held little appeal to me. Beside that "little" annoyance, it was great game.

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Oh i dont mind idea, but personally I found non of explanations was plausable as to why it occures as it does, it just does and thas it. Like gravity, it just does. For some reason magic is this chaotic magnetic force making all devices go ballistic, but has no to little effects on some other more traditional stuff yet contraptions none the less. Does it just affects mettalic devices, what if same devices is made entirly out of hemp lets say, will it stil be affected? Magic there was explained as not really belonging in nature and natural evolution, yet it was integral part of the world, found in oldest lore. But science of that world still depict it as outside interferance, It is presented as if scientificallilly, but that twisted duality was more annoying as I felt forced gamemechanic, with little explanation. Just didnt find it plausable in the very setting it was trying to depict it plausable, so it held little appeal to me. Beside that "little" annoyance, it was great game.

 

http://sierrahelp.com/Documents/Manuals/Arcanum_-_Manual.pdf

 

Refresh your memory. Arcanum's system bases on an eternal conflict between natural and supernatural forces. Both exist naturally, but are in conflict whenever they come near.

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in my mind, magic is a more like a burst of power and only suited for combat

wizards only tap this power and their role is to act like a conduit to the magical forces only for a very limited time.

doing otherwise would mean the destruction of the conduit - human body

so keeping furnaces alive with "magical" fire would be totally impractical and a gross waste of a wizard's abilities

  After my realization that White March has the same XP reward problem, I don't even have the drive to launch game anymore because I hated so much reaching Twin Elms with a level cap in vanilla PoE that I don't wish to relive that experience.

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I know the explanation.

So now think about fireball.

In real life fire ball could be made with small amount of propane, hydrogen or something else.

 

So let say that we need 3m blast. It will be explosion 6m wide and 3m high. So it will be 113m^3 of blast but while it is explosion it spreads fast. So lets say we need 3/4 of its dimension. - 33.9m^3 of solution.

Propene explodes in open air when its quantity is more than 1.5% and less than 8.5%. So for normal fireball we will need something like 3%.

33.9m^3 * 3% ~ 1m^3 of pure propane. Gram-atom mass of propane is 44u so 44g is one gram-atom of propane - in normal condition it is 22.4dm^3 of gas.

 

So 1m^3 of propane is 44.6 gram-atoms and 44g times 44.6 gram atoms is 1962g of propane.

2kg of propane has energy value of 26KW

It is the same value as 7kg of wood.

 

To keep your 100m^2 house warm in winter, you will need like 4 of them day by day blasting your furnace :DDD

 

My chemistry professor told me once that 10kg of Semtex has the same amount of energy as 1kg of honey :-)))

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Why mages would be interested in being part of the economy? OK if magic power is non limited, if it is there are for them more interesting and profitability things than spending them on brewery or industry.

 

Well, the greatest mages are bankers, they create money out of "nothing" :D

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Why mages would be interested in being part of the economy? OK if magic power is non limited, if it is there are for them more interesting and profitability things than spending them on brewery or industry.

 

For the same reason most people are. Not every person practicing magic has to be a wanderer, changing the world. Plenty of people would like an opportunity to have an honest day job, place to live in and grub to chow.

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Why mages would be interested in being part of the economy? OK if magic power is non limited, if it is there are for them more interesting and profitability things than spending them on brewery or industry.

 

For the same reason most people are. Not every person practicing magic has to be a wanderer, changing the world. Plenty of people would like an opportunity to have an honest day job, place to live in and grub to chow.

 

The key thing here though, is if it is more profitable for the mage to simply sell spellcasting services or something else over having a day job that he augments with magic.

 

For something like D&D, manual labor is significantly cheaper than magic, and it is still more cost effective to spend money on laborers than using it on magic to do it for you.

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The key thing here though, is if it is more profitable for the mage to simply sell spellcasting services or something else over having a day job that he augments with magic.

 

That's actually the same in my example. A mage that maintains eg. fire portals that heat furnaces, or the golems/zombies/mind controlled peasants that work is a distinct, separate class of worker.

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The key thing here though, is if it is more profitable for the mage to simply sell spellcasting services or something else over having a day job that he augments with magic.

 

That's actually the same in my example. A mage that maintains eg. fire portals that heat furnaces, or the golems/zombies/mind controlled peasants that work is a distinct, separate class of worker.

 

Not quite. You're providing examples of what a day job version could be. What I'm saying is that those options are unlikely to exist if the wages are too low compared to what a spellcaster would be able to get casting a spell for someone else -- a silver vs. gold level of difference normally.

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I have not read the topic but... I guess it would depend on how magic in the world work.

Can you enchant something and it will be up "forever" or will it drain the mages stamina and make him tired so that when he fall asleep the enchant is lost? Can you mix magic with "alchemy" and special enchantment like the ability to enchant rare gems to forever hold enchants or is it the gods that "lend" magic to mortals?

 

It also raise the question how magic is "done". Will based? Do you study books / rituals and so on? I mean the first person to use magic did he just know how to conjure a fireball or a lightning storm? Or did they "learn"... Can you "learn" and make new spells?

 

Then it depend on how many magic users there are... If they are rare they would either be hunted or in powerful positions.

While if mages are more common then they would most likely be used for alot of everyday thing (depending on how magic itself work).

 

Did that make any sense :>?

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Not quite. You're providing examples of what a day job version could be. What I'm saying is that those options are unlikely to exist if the wages are too low compared to what a spellcaster would be able to get casting a spell for someone else -- a silver vs. gold level of difference normally.

 

Oh, bugger. Should check definitions more often. Substitute "day job" with "full time job." I meant working as a mage in the aforementioned capacity full time, getting handsomely paid (after all, the employer doesn't have to bother with workers demanding cash, getting hurt, sick or dying at work.

 

I have not read the topic but... I guess it would depend on how magic in the world work.

Can you enchant something and it will be up "forever" or will it drain the mages stamina and make him tired so that when he fall asleep the enchant is lost? Can you mix magic with "alchemy" and special enchantment like the ability to enchant rare gems to forever hold enchants or is it the gods that "lend" magic to mortals?

 

It also raise the question how magic is "done". Will based? Do you study books / rituals and so on? I mean the first person to use magic did he just know how to conjure a fireball or a lightning storm? Or did they "learn"... Can you "learn" and make new spells?

 

Then it depend on how many magic users there are... If they are rare they would either be hunted or in powerful positions.

While if mages are more common then they would most likely be used for alot of everyday thing (depending on how magic itself work).

 

Did that make any sense :>?

 

It does.

 

Since grimoires were mentioned as necessary to cast spells, that means they still base on specific rituals and/or incantations. These elements can be broken down into base components and analyzed, to figure out what makes them tick. As such, I think it would be possible for wizards to analyze the spells and develop them to obtain specific effect, such as a source of fire that isn't a short-timed fireball or a source of water that doesn't call down an entire thunderstorm.

Edited by Tagaziel

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Well then it would come down to 3 things...

 

How common are magic users?

Can you make spells that last forever by enchanting or just creating a fire that never stop burning.

How tired do a magic user get when casting magic?

 

Anyway i do hope that the economy make some kind of sense...

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An useful distinction to make is separating "natural" fire from "magical" fire. While the former needs fuel to sustain, the latter can, perhaps, directly draw on the energy of the divine realm (where souls go, when their skinvelopes die). A localized portal transforming the energy into fire? This would be practical, as outlined in the opening post.

 

The issue there is that you'd have to establish/accept that laws of physics exist in the world that "natural fire" can exist and function as in reality (a chemical reaction between atoms and/or molecules in which energy is lost in the form of heat as new molecules are formed.) It would have to be clearly stated that this world has wildly different laws of physics such that the laws of thermodynamics and matter/energy conservation do not apply. Unless PE's souls are composed of matter/energy, which as we all know from Einstein are two sides of the same coin. In which case this is a whole new can of worms.

 

Why mages would be interested in being part of the economy? OK if magic power is non limited, if it is there are for them more interesting and profitability things than spending them on brewery or industry.

 

Well, the greatest mages are bankers, they create money out of "nothing" :D

 

This is a high-medieval/early renaissance setting, so there should be no concept of "credit." In reality, central banks that don't function on the gold standard can engage in quantitative easing (producing more money,) because it is simply a form of credit, and credit only functions as long as everyone agrees that credit has value. Well, any currency only functions so long as its users believe it has value.

Edited by AGX-17
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It's a moot subject to dwell upon since there are only a few possible outcomes. If we hypothesize that mages can indeed can create gold that's permanently transformed there will be the low level mages that focus on material gain only, the higher ones who are indifferent to it and the ones at the service of the kingdom whose only concern its inflation (a fantasy secret service if you will). The other possible case its the occasional mage trapped and forced to play Rumpelstiltskin.

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I'd say the answer to that question is kind of like the answer to "who's the sucker in this poker game?"*

 

*If you can't tell, it's you. ;)

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I think if mages could produce the currency of the game, then the "king" would firstly punish the mages and try to stop them and secondly introduce some security against that and have other mages cast very special spells on the currency (visual effects on the coins for example) so the currency made by the king differs from the currency that other mages are able to produce. If the king doesn't do that then the currency will not work in the way it is supposed to (giving him the power to buy soldiers, goods and labour without having to really do anything himself). Is exactly what we do today with our currency: we try to make them in a way that it cannot be copied by others.

 

I like low-magic-fantasy because then you really do not have many of the problems we are discussing here. Nevertheless it is true that magic would affect economy if there is enough of it around and that most fantasy-games ignore this aspect. I like magic to be quite rare and low level spells to be more "expensive" than other solutions. So while you CAN use a mage to make fire, it should be easier to take wood or coal and generate heat this way, because spells are limited in uses per day, magic users are not easy to find and are more expensive than miners that get coal. But I don't mind some traveling mages going from village to village solving problems with magic like making it rain, animating scarecrows and the like. That surely would be a good business.

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The question here would be not only how common mages are, but how common powerful mages are. If we had a population where 1 in 500 people had some sort of magical ability, that sounds high, but then if we assume for every 500 mages, only about 10 can cast more than cantrips, and only 2 of those 10 are powerful enough to be regarded as powerful enough to be a "battlemage", then magic is rare enough that it wouldn't be feasible for most places to use them as any sort of bulk industry.

 

What would be one possible result is instead of using mages to power mass production, different nations might have different jobs that mages can basically walk into. Some might have covens of diviners and battlemages responsible for magically protecting the borders at a distance, or some might train them to be specific artisans once the talent is discovered, not just limited to the traditional "weapon enchanting" that many fantasy games seem to possess. A set of magical tools created by a master mage might be a more efficient way of using mages to power industry than having them do it themselves. Crafting a ring of immunity to fire would be a huge boon for a rich (royally appointed?) metal workers, as would things like a perfectly balanced ladder, magical lights, magically gripping shoes etc.

 

Another possibility I've seen in some novels was the idea of magic levitating carts/land barges - if you had a wagon that hovered a foot off the ground, what you actually have is a version of a canal without having to build a canal - you can carry huge weights of material with only a single or pair of horses fairly quickly across the land, which was one of the major developments of the industrial revolution.

 

These things would still be fairly rare and expensive, but for companies who can afford these things (like the actual Industrial Revolution) if you can buy them, it's going to majorly benefit your business.

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We're assuming that the wizards are free to contribute to the economy as they will. But what about a society that enslaves wizards? Or rather, a society that looks for slaves with wizard-like potential, then trains those individuals in a more constrained form of magic? What then? You can get your wizard-slaves heating your boiler rooms and providing water for your fountains, yet they have become the lowliest members of society.

 

I'm not sure what means they'd use to maintain control over the wizard-slaves, but the Romans managed (for the most part) to maintain careful control over their gladiators; some very dangerous individuals indeed. Perhaps there is a crystal collar that can be used to suppress spell casting unless allowed by the handler? Maybe the form of spell casting allowed can only be used with certain scarce material components that are carefully monitored by the masters? Or maybe it uses prepared runes on parchment paper, with the masters controlling the special ink required? At any rate, this would allow wizards to contribute to the economy without having any significant power.

 

:bow:

Edited by rjshae

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