Universe/Magic system creation

Discussion in 'Author Discussions' started by Wizard007, Jul 21, 2021.

  1. Wizard007

    Wizard007 Well-Known Member

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    I have decided to write some stories and was wondering about the idea of creating your own magic system as well as own universe. I have had multiple ideas but keep feeling that they are too similar to a story i have read (it happens when i am thinking of plots as well lol). This is mostly due to the shear number of novels, manga and anime i have seen. Anyway, i was wondering whether people think it matters that much and if so any ideas on making it unique

    P.s Sorry, I feel like i am spamming this forum with questions, literally my last questions are all the most recent ones:blobcry:
     
  2. DragonMage18

    DragonMage18 Outcast

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    This is the rugh outline of a magic system I thought about while thinking about. How magic works in a story i thought about writing (but probably won't write).

    The magic system is based on lines geting conected into diffrent shapes. Every line got a color representing it's element.
    The more lines you can conjure the more acomplished you are in the magical arts. The best mages should only be able to conjure somewhere around 40-50 lines.
    While perfect circles being seen as something only the gods are capeble of it (gods don't exist tho).
    As for what elements to use figure that out on your own, or maybe do't have them at all.

    Have more thoughts and ideas for that system that I did not bother to write.
    PS. Would be easier to come up with good idead, with some more information about the story. You should also think about how it shapes the world.

    EDIT: How does the magic/-system affect the people and the power structure of the world. If elements are used how does that change the people.
    It's good to place some limiters on the magic, and find creative ways to solve the problems they make.
    Do you want to make it a mystical magic system or one with clear rules, or something in the middle.
    Sorry was sleepy yesterday so I skiped a lot of what I wanted to say. And now I am in a hurry to get to work.
    But if you go to youtube and finf the youtube chanal hello future me, he got a lot of good videos regarding magic and magic systems. There is also tale foundry, that you can use to help you on the quest to make a magic system.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2021
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  3. Mr Popo

    Mr Popo A genie that don't grant wishes

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    Sure originality is preferable but it isn't necessary, I mean look at system novels, they are almost the same (except the characters and events, well, to some extent), isekai novels are also almost the same thing as well.
    Write whatever you want just make it interesting, being unique at this point is just relative nowadays as it is extremely hard to come up with 100% original idea that no one thought of before.
    Think of your top most interesting anime/manga/novels, pick one of them as your main or best, try to mix elements from each of the others into your best anime/manga/novel, change some events, fix the plot to suit the new setting, maybe try to come up with explanations to cover the plotholes if there are any and like that you got a "unique" idea
     
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  4. NoLongerTheSame

    NoLongerTheSame Well-Known Member

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    Following a similar preexisting magic system - this will mean you will have to make your story really solid because when i read stories with similar magic/power system to those I've read before, I often treat them as word padding and just skip to the interesting bits lf story like i dunno... fight scenes, dialogues, etc.

    Creating a somehow unique system - it doesn't have to be completely unique, I'm sure you have few references and noticed that they follow a common template whatever that is. Start from that, and put some twists here and there, and maybe that way, you'll come up with a unique or "kinda" unique system.
    One thing, most struggle with tho. That is making sure thqt the power balance makes sense and power creep is lessened as much as possible, but still keep the story impressionable. Power fantasy/litrpg stories tend to fail in this aspect.

    p.s. I just saw this post before going to sleep so I just thought I'd respond... coulda said something constructive but my eyes are begging me... zzzz...
     
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  5. gheist1234

    gheist1234 |Path Finder| 『WuxiaWworld Vet.』|Beardy| |Zen|

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    Creating a new one isn't bad but its hard to try to be original since there are tons of other systems already, one thing i have done is take a bit of everything i like then combine it with science and for example martial arts or tai chi, i am using something similiar to the movements used in avatar especially in avatar korra the movements to control the energy aka magic in this sense.
     
  6. Darius Drake

    Darius Drake A poster of verbose posts

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    Honestly, if you're happy to use the system, then use it. Not only is nothing new under the sun, but a notable part of creativity is retooling and repurposing something you've seen into something different. If you look at what you've developed & want to use, and think "this is just a straight rip off of XXX's Power System", then the most you should do is mention the story in question as an inspiration. Even if you don't, I doubt that most people will care, including the author of the story you're comparing the power system to.

    "Unique" Power Systems are good simply because they are either made to fit or are built around the story being told. This comes at the risk of making a convoluted mess out of the system that nobody can understand, or wants to. Additionally, I want you to look at what you created, and directly compare it to the power system that you think it's similar to. Similar doesn't mean the same, and a small modification in how something works can completely change the entire practicality and utility of power system.

    For example, the power system in He Who Fights With Monsters, everybody can gain up to 20 different personal powers by absorbing 3 solidifications of magic (called Essences), that creates a 4th "confluence" Essence to absorb based on the 3 previously absorbed, with each of the 4 Essences giving their absorber 1 skill/spell/magical ability, and the ability to awaken 4 more with a different solidification of magic (called Awakening Stones). Simply messing with this system a bit can easily completely change the Power System into something completely different and unique, which would change the story in which it's presented. For example, removing the requirement to absorb Essences by having everybody simply be born with 4 innate randomised magical elements and needing a full 20 Awakening Stones to gain all your abilities may not change the powers each individual gains all that much. But it can easily change the world in which the system is applied, the importance of Awakening Stones in society, and means that gaining enough Awakening Stones, with the number of "enough" potentially being as low as 1 depending on the individual, element/s, and powers, everything else about gaining power is purely about patience and working towards the goal. Alternatively, if you remove Awakening Stones, you can have the person's Essences give them access to 1 power initially, and have the potential to awaken their other 4 subsidiary Powers through self development and their combination of Essences. And by removing the Awakening Stones, you can make Essences more commonplace, allowing the more common ones to be cheaper, though the rarer ones would obviously become even more expensive as a result. And that's just the basics of manipulating the basics of a power system that I consider to be unique, into something that inspired by the original, but is still unique.
     
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  7. Xian Piete

    Xian Piete Well-Known Member

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    Magic can be anything you want it to be.
     
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  8. Feng Tian

    Feng Tian Well-Known Member

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    Most hard magic systems will end up as science, and relatively close to physics at that. If you want to avoid a bunch of plot holes that is.
     
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  9. gheist1234

    gheist1234 |Path Finder| 『WuxiaWworld Vet.』|Beardy| |Zen|

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    When it comes to explaining magic and inventing new stuff its always easier to use science than to use manbo jambo, this last one leaves too much to be desiered and from the point of view from someone who likes to write its more fun to explain well haha.
     
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  10. Feng Tian

    Feng Tian Well-Known Member

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    Its also a matter of relative cost. If acceleration magic scales linearly in cost to achieved speed the first smart mage will use it as rail gun. And thats just one of thousands of examples for a broken system.
     
  11. Underload

    Underload <I need someone to scratch my back!>

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    Forget about the system, make the greatest antagonist of all time and you'll win the race.
     
  12. Darius Drake

    Darius Drake A poster of verbose posts

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    That's assuming that you can grow or store your amount of utilised mana, or that it's possible to have sufficient base mana for a person to make utilising the "rail gun" spell to be an effective weapon. You're right on how there's thousands of examples for magic becoming a broken system, but that's mostly because there is no set system for what constitutes "magic", and if you impose even a single limiting rule on it, the numbers start dropping rapidly.

    Let's say that you have a magic system that allows you to do pretty much anything with your mana, with exactly 2 limitations. 1, Magic use and growth works similarly to muscular strength, with maximums, soft caps, secondary soft caps, tertiary soft caps, and hard caps, all mildly flexible based on the individual's personal magic parameters, but within an easily measurable range, and no reasonable way to store it as it (like muscular strength, it's possible to use it as a medium to make some other type of stored energy, but it's no longer "magical power" being stored as an effect of you doing so). 2. The "better" you prepare a spell, the more effective a spell is, and the less magical power is wasted entering the environment to have no effect.

    Those two limitations are it. You can prepare spells that activate after conditions X, Y or Z are fulfilled, other's that manifest the caster's imagination or manipulate the nearby world, and a third type that only operates through objects or technology. However, unless you suddenly introduce concepts like splitting atoms to make massive explosions (which may require too much precision for a person's spell to actually be capable of doing, even if the concept behind it is sound), you have effectively stopped the vast majority of abuses that can be done with magic, all without limiting what the magic in question can do. If nobody has enough power to make magically throwing a rock the size of a bullet beyond the speed of sound possible, then nobody has a chance to do the same with a boulder.
     
  13. kkgoh

    kkgoh Well-Known Member

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    Base your magic system on pseudo-science for a touch of believability. That'll set your story up for much tighter world-building later on.

    Several novels have had similar ideas. "Oh My God Earthlings are Insane" (and most KR apocalyptic novels) went with the basic premise that in a new, high-energy environment, humanity evolved new powers that are more or less believable. If you randomly create brand new systems inevitably there'll be major loopholes.
     
  14. Feng Tian

    Feng Tian Well-Known Member

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    Its easier to limit exponential effects to exponential costs than ban storing/pooling mana/group casting/alternate sources of mana (or whatever your setting uses). One of them is clearly more limiting than the other.
     
  15. Darius Drake

    Darius Drake A poster of verbose posts

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    Sure, and you can make an individual limitation for every possible "world breaking exploit" you can think of, or you can create a system where those exploits just don't work the way the people who conceive of them want them to because of a few simple rules. For example, my magic-use is comparable to muscle-power in utility doesn't prevent group casting, discovering alternate sources of mana, or even transforming the mana into something else in order to "store" it for a specific application, though it does prevent a group of people "pooling" their mana for a single individual to take control over. However, all of those things require research, cooperation, and technology, even if it's not what we would recognise as technology. Basically, I haven't prevented the creation of Rail Guns, I've made is so that a single mage can't transform into a Rail Gun at a moment's notice, and thus made it so that mages need to live within society, as it is.

    My comparisons:
    - - "Storing Mana" - Equivalent of pulling against an arm attached to a spring in order to have the pull force applied later. Sure, you can set it at a part of the way if the machine's set up to allow you to do so, and pull again once you've recovered, but what you're storing is not muscle strength, and the only use for that stored energy is determined as soon as you start pulling. But you need to make the technology that can form the spring, the lever, and benefit from pulling the spring as far as you can before you can get any use out of this.
    - - "Group Casting" - You can push a boulder up a hill. You can push a bigger boulder up a hill with a friend. You can push an even larger boulder up a hill if you're part of a group of forty people, but you start having trouble getting everybody to push, and there'll probably be at least two of the people who end up standing around just watching what's happening to avoid being trampled. And that's ignoring the difficulties in getting people to help push the boulder up the hill, and you know that there's going to be people who want to try to push it up the wrong hill, either out of ignorance, or because they find it funny.
    - - "Alternate Sources of Mana" - Oh, you mean that they've developed technology that imitates powers that they have, and have chosen to direct the improvement of that technology towards weaponry in the same way we did? What a shock. Or are you saying that Nuke's aren't ungodly powerful and there should be rules preventing their existence? With mana use being comparable to muscle use, there's no "crystallised form of pure mana", so this can only be possible once they're sufficiently technologically advanced enough to replace Mana Power with Alternative Power, like how we replaced Muscle Power with Industrial Machines.

    - - Not possible with magic comparable to muscle use: "Pooling Mana" - I consider this to be multiple people connecting their available mana together and either allowing them all to utilise what they need whenever they need it, or allowing one person to control it all for a short period of time. Neither of which really works when compared to muscle use, because how would it? You connect yourself to someone else, and allow them to take most of your bodily mass temporarily in order to do a great feat of strength before they return it slightly more worn out than when you lent it to them?
     
  16. Feng Tian

    Feng Tian Well-Known Member

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    Its becoming increasingly clear that you lack knowledge and experience when handling systems in an impressive multitude of ways. I won't bother reading your answers from now on as they are fundamentally flawed and frankly speaking you apparently lack the skill to even understand the mistakes you are making even if explained.
     
  17. Darius Drake

    Darius Drake A poster of verbose posts

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    The difference between what we've put forward is the difference between having a single major generalised rule that may be worked around with sufficient knowledge, education and skill by the story's characters in question (me), and having 1,000,000 small individual rules stopping anything too "nasty" or "overpowered" from occurring (you).

    The thing is, my suggestion sets you up to help you design a system, creating limitations and restrictions on how the power's used naturally. Limitations and restrictions that build off of a single, easily understood premise, that work together in conjugate to create a new and unique power system. What you're suggesting is applying solid walls around what you want to exist, and complaining before setting up a new wall every time a crack, hole, or path out is discovered, all while having a standard "this works because I say so, while that doesn't because I say it doesn't" power system. The first of these fits this thread's purpose, to an extent, and can help others out. The second is about as unique as wet paper, and if the author later discovers that they missed an overpowered exploit from combining spells A, B & C that's in the plot together, they have created a notable plot hole, even if they build the "spells A, B & C can't all be used simultaneously because I said so" wall.

    It took me a while to express what I was trying to do in a way that didn't feel like I was just lashing out at you being rude to me. After all, your last response can basically be boiled down to you saying to me "you're dumb, I'm smart, I'm going to ignore you now". Causing it to be a completely pointless post that doesn't add anything to the thread, and thus shouldn't have been made, regardless of the decision you made.