Author Topic: Magic  (Read 206 times)

Jubal

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Magic
« on: August 15, 2020, 08:24:43 PM »
The system of magic in Kavis is pretty loosely defined, but the following is perhaps the easiest way of conceptualising it and how it works.

Some key mechanical points:
  • There is no sort of "power storage": magic is not a case of a magic user having power and using power like a tool. It may be thought of more as a negotiation with the fundamental forces of nature - a skill with unpredictable outcomes, but not dependent on the inherent power of the magician in any sense.
  • There are fundamental limitations upon what magic can do - most notably, dead people are dead.

The best concept to explain all this further is that of what I'm calling numina: spirit or divine presences that exist in just about everything. Numina are as varied as the world itself, many tied to particular objects but others just floating wild. Numina are not themselves independently sentient or sapient, but are a fundamental driving force behind those things: in general, more active and complex world processes tend to attract and bind more and more complex numina. When bound to parts of the world, numina can have physical impacts upon it, though they are not corporeal themselves.

Whilst all magic is fundamentally the same in terms of process, there are different types of magic based on the precise (or, more usually, imprecise) methods and rituals learned to permit magic to be used. Note that most magicians, and most player characters, will not necessarily have this full an understanding of the systems involved, and may attribute their magical powers to entirely other things (especially in the case of sulic magic which is most usually wielded by priests and which many of its users understand as a gift from their deities). There are three major forms that are of interest here.

Jadocrine magic is the closest to what might be thought of as standard arcane magic. It generally involves taking the numina already involved in the world around or in a particular thing and then forming them into patterns that can magnify or amplify what's going on. Given the importance of location to their magic, given that it relies on drawing from surrounding numina, Jadocrine magicians usually either specialise in a very small number of spellcasting techniques or tend to be quite sedentary.

Ostatic magic is the magic of binding new numina into an object, in order to empower it in some way or, in extreme cases, provide it with sentience or sapience. This often requires being able to find or summon numina with particular properties in order to make the binding work. Duskfolk alchemy and the crafting of magic weaponry are both, in different ways, ostatic magical processes.

Indeed all duskfolk are the products of ostatic magic, being created by a particular binding between alchemical ingredients and numina (as opposed to most other creatures, where numina progressively collect around and bind to them in the earliest stages of their life cycle).

Sulic magic is linked to ostatic magic, but specifically focuses on the narrow problem of the very most complex bindings - those between numen and living body. Rather than creating those bindings as ostatic magic might do, Sulic magic is about fairly subtle manipulations of them. Manipulating these bindings can for example accelerate healing or improve other bodily functions. Severing those bindings can also be achieved, which can be deeply painful and, especially to duskfolk, fatal. This sort of magic was largely developed by particular groups of monks and priests.




Dev Notes

The magic in Kavis in many ways tries to slightly systematise the basic division of spellcasting common to fantasty RPG settings, but does it in a different way to normal. Jadocrine magic roughly fits to arcane and Sulic to divine spellcasting in other settings, where Ostatic deals with crafting magical items, golems, etc etc.
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