Magic on Shade
builds on the general Muttiverse rules
Magical ability in Shaded species is innate, though it can be improved with practice.
This page has a 'roleplaying' section
, containing minimal information for interacting with the character or concept.
- 1. Philosophy of this system
- 2. Social attitudes to magic
- 3. Prevalence of magicians
4. 'Mechanical' magic
- 3.1. By species
- 3.2. By category
- 5. Sensing magic
- 6. Timeline
- 6.1. Status of races at 0 years after first worldgate event
- 6.2. Early War (4-14ish years)
- 6.3. Mid War (14-24ish years)
- 6.4. End of War (27-32?)
- 6.5. Future (34 onwards)
- 7.1. What you need to know to interact with a Shaded magician
- 7.2. What you need to know to write a Shaded magician
- 7.2.1. Self-taught
- 7.2.2. Informally taught
- 7.2.3. Formally taught
- 7.2.4. Army-trained
1. Philosophy of this system
In keeping with Shade's general naturalistic bent, the magicians with the real stopping power here are ones who know the most about how the world works. Untrained magical aptitude doesn't mean you'll burst out with wild, untamed energies and glowy eyes. It just means you can't use your power anything like as effectively as someone who knows what they are doing. As with any muscle, there's no substitute for practice and learning your own limits.
2. Social attitudes to magic
While Shade does not have much homophobia, throughout history the common reaction to magic has been a similar prejudice based on feelings that it's icky.
"Wyrd" (noun or adjective for magic-user) is a pejorative term.
3. Prevalence of magicians
The majority of the population lacks significant magic talent. There is at least some genetic component to magic talent.
3.1. By species
Among Shade's five races
, the average distribution of magical ability (from most to least common) is:
3.2. By category
needs rehashing a bit
Magic-workers are relatively common.
Spellcasters are potentially as common as magic-workers, but many are undiscovered. In pre-Worlds War time periods a caster will suffer from the lack of a formal system of teaching and distributing spells.
People who can both cast and work magic are relatively uncommon, though growing less so throughout the War. Generally this is because most people are naturally better at just one approach and are not encouraged to train their other side, especially so where the quality of teaching depends on the competence of the only other person in the village with any magic skill. Technically, anyone with magical ability can use spells and workings to at least some degree.
Spell-writers are rare, though growing somewhat less so throughout the War.
4. 'Mechanical' magic
There are ways to cause magic effects without the direct intervention of an intelligent sapient being. Some of these methods are discovered by accident throughout Shade's history, but they do not become useful until understanding of magic progresses far beyond its pre-War state. (See the timeline in this article.)
5. Sensing magic
As in general Muttiverse magic
, every Shaded magic-user has a different way of sensing and controlling magical processes. Following the general Muttiverse trend, most people on Shade are visually biased.
Most Shaded magic-users are not material-minded.
All this section is rubbish. Ignore it! :D Seriously, this whole idea missed the obvious notion that Shade will steal any ideas it comes across, so development (while it may have taken this course) will actually be highly unpredictable.
6.1. Status of races at 0 years after first worldgate event
Applying especially to most faleigh and voks civilisations, Shade is just getting out of the supersition-and-alchemy stage of "we know cool thing Y happens if we do X, but we don't know why and we think it's caused by water memory/imps/invisible light".
Magnification trances are not developed or used by anyone except magical healers for some time.
- Many faleigh civilisations are still hysterical and silly about magic ('witchery').
- Srolli have little or no magic so don't tend to develop or study it; some people have a weird way of 'making things happen' when they're in weird moods. Not seen as magic per se, just something some people do and we can't explain. Like ESP, either disbelieved or assumed to have rational cause, but not prevelant enough to be worth looking into and nobody imagines it would have industrial applications.
- Rocca - ??
- Voks: magic used mainly for social purposes. Many voksin magicians similar in outlook to faleigh ones; cooperative, not solitary; no mystique unlike all the others.
- Ferais all workings, artistic, intuition, aesthetics, effete, prima donnaish - method of self-expression, sort of. Like Instarrians, are most likely to use it for showy and ceremonial purposes. Ferais continue to have trouble learning spells or seeing why they should.
6.2. Early War (4-14ish years)
- Offworld influence, congregation of spellcasters and workers in Iceheart's Suitov's Army, plus the advent of their serious, dedicated research divisions, kicks magical development onto the fast track.
- So far there hasn't been much distinction between different ways of manipulating magic. Teaching other magicians under pressure means "Hey, you cast differently from me"/"How are you working that effect so fast"/"You mean you actually hear magic? Weird" starts to become an issue for the first time.
- Consequently, leaps and bounds in methods of teaching and education.
6.3. Mid War (14-24ish years)
- Very first attempts to combine workings with pre-written spell components for something with more flexibility but still quick and energy-cheap.
- Magicians working together start becoming really formidable.
- Some progress with putting spells into objects. These still require power from an external source (you) (no artificial energy storage yet), so are not very useful unless you have a bad memory.
- ~Year 18-20?: A few tentative studies into telepathy/psionics and its combination with magical processes. Not much progress. Concluded impossible with so few telepaths to work with.
- Suitov's telepathy, heretofore secret, is leaked and exaggerated all over the show. (Jaina possibly responsible? talk with Ree!)
6.4. End of War (27-32?)
- Attempts to create mass transport magotechnology at last begin to come up with more sensible solutions than flying ships.
- External power sources for stored and cast spells - experiments with solar, kinetic. Tend to be very slow trickle charge - inefficient harvesting/conversion. Useless in combat/industry.
- Year 27 or 28: Worldgate mechanics cracked. Secret leaked to all sides as soon as someone from Shade gets their hands on it.
6.5. Future (34 onwards)
- Magochemical energy storage (basically batteries, but rechargable).
- Somewhere around year 45-50(?), someone cracks telepathy and develops telepathic spells (still subject to telepathy restrictions eg very short distance)
- Eventually some spell/working combination studies develop into MI study
7.1. What you need to know to interact with a Shaded magician
Shade's magic is the same as all Muttiverse magic
. See that article to find out what sort of info you can helpfully provide in posts.
7.2. What you need to know to write a Shaded magician
There is no organised teaching system for magic before the Great War and certainly no centralised system of knowledge. Your character's expertise will depend on the learning opportunities de has had.
In early War period, expect your character's ideas to involve a lot of bad science and superstition, based on what has worked for den in the past.
Sort out your method of magic-manipulation first - does your character sing it, dance it, clap it or use some mental technique? Does de have a particular material focus? All of this will determine des understanding of what magic is. For example, imagine being an uneducated magic-worker with a material focus for gases; perhaps you would think of it as "my secret game with the wind". Or, alternatively, "I can blow out a candle from across the room, which really impresses girls". Or "I'll tell you a secret. I can make things happen. When I got really angry with that man, I wanted to squeeze him... next thing I knew, he was on the floor - he had stopped breathing for most of a minute." You get the idea.
Self-taught characters: around the early Worlds War period, magic is treated by most folk as suspicious at best. There are few organised methods of teaching it and no centralised store of knowledge. Your character may have anything from a vague instinctive grasp of the very basics to a rough working comprehension of magic borne out by trial and error. Casters are out of luck, having nowhere to learn spells from, so someone self-taught will almost certainly only be able to perform magic manipulations by working. If your character knows another person with similar talents, they might experiment and learn together.
7.2.2. Informally taught
Informally taught: your character could have been taught on the quiet by another magician, the main way of progressing beyond the very basics in the early War time period. You will potentially have a few more generations of experience behind you and, depending on the teacher, understand more of the principles involved. If you're a caster, your array of spells may very well be haphazard. If you're a worker, you will probably stick to your teacher's methods and habits, unless these were completely at odds with your style. You might even think you and your teachers/fellow students are the only magic-users in the world.
7.2.3. Formally taught
Formally taught: members of the privileged classes in the early War period might, by chance or discreet enquiries, come across one of the rare books on the subject. A lot of these are full of inaccuracy, speculation and occasional downright superstition, making them not necessarily more reliable than a folk teacher. You might also have had access to one of the shadier magic tutors, or alternatively been apprenticed to a scholar who was studying magic for whatever reason.
Suitov Iceheart's army puts a great emphasis on magic in its training and research. Their elite battle-mages have a lot of time and resources invested in them (with similar professionalism expected in return - mouthy, rebellious or disloyal characters will NOT become one of these, no matter their talent). Any non-magic-corps soldier may turn out to have a small amount of combat magic.