Xianxia Spell and Battle Formations

Discussion in 'Author Discussions' started by Jaxxson, Feb 23, 2021.

  1. Jaxxson

    Jaxxson Member

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    Hello, is anyone able to explain how spell and battle formations work in Xianxia novels? I'm trying to figure out how to implement them into my novel.
     
  2. HamsterOverlord-sama

    HamsterOverlord-sama Just lil ol me

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    However you want them to
     
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  3. 0000000

    0000000 I B SMILING!

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    What he said.

    You are the creator, you can go read classics like Jing Yong's to understand, but ultimately you make the rules.
     
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  4. SerialBeggar

    SerialBeggar Well-Known Member

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    A battle formation is a group of fighters defending and offending in a coordinated and complimentary way. A real world example is a phalanx.

    However, cultivators fights typically involve very dynamic 3D movements. Their battle formations would try to immediately encircle the target individual(s) to block escape, probably preferrably with more than one layer so the formation can employ melee and range attacks.

    The melee attackers would dart in and out, making quick attacks, while rotating amongst themselves so the targets can't focus. I always think of water ballet for some reason. The ranged attackers may also use some sort of crowd control or debuffing attacks to prevent the targets from jumping or flying out of the encirclement.
     
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  5. Darius Drake

    Darius Drake A poster of verbose posts

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    However you want is the correct answer. The practical answer is what SerialBeggar gave. The bit that was unmentioned is that, from what I've read, Xianxia/Xianhuan/Other Similar Novels typically mix Spell Formations into their Battle Formations. What this means is that the cultivator battle troops tend to be specifically laid out so that their initial positioning activates at least one (more likely dozens that combine into one) spell formation that supports everyone in the army, so long as the key individual's are still alive. At least, that's how I interpreted it in the one Xianxia/Xianhuan/Other Story that actually utilised armies to the point where they had to explain the military battles.

    As for Spell Formations, the way they're usually presented is something akin to making an electrical circuit or a piece of computer hardware by hand, only with adjustments to run on Qi and that impacts directly onto the world. The way the do this is usually through making illusions that imitate reality sufficiently that an individual can get lost in a box that's barely big enough to hold them from the outside. Sound confusing? The wording required to express this is challenging.

    Okay, so, an Electrical Circuit is made to produce a specific effect by running electricity through it, right? To light a light bulb on demand, you need a power source with sufficient power to light the bulb, a switch, a working light bulb, and three wires to connect all three things, at a minimum, with additional items for things like safety. If you connect all of those up, you'll get a light that should turn on and off according to the use of the switch. Xianxia Spell Formations are typically presented to work something akin to that, if you set up the Formation Right, it will work, and if you set it up wrong you wasted your time doodling.

    Now to give more explanation. As one starts working with Spell Formations, they start with requiring Power Sources. These are often the local money substitute, can be directly absorbed by a Cultivator of the same level to replenish Qi, and, seem to lose nearly all their value as soon as a Cultivator improves beyond the level of the Power Source. That is to say, Foundation Building Cultivator's will happily fight over half a dozen Power Source at Foundation Building Stage, but think nothing of ignoring hundreds of them shortly after advancing to the stage beyond Foundation Building due to it's value as currency being too low for anything relevant to their new cultivation realm, and the power source's replenishment properties being too weak to mean much for their new realm. Now Spell Formations can typically be utilised without Power Sources if you're good enough, using the ambient Qi of the atmosphere a skilled individual can produce a Spell Formation that will operate for at least a few hours, sometimes days or weeks, while operating. But with Power Sources at the formation's level, even a poorly put together (but functioning) Spell Formation can last for a month or two.

    There's also things called Spell Flags. Spell Flags are basically... the universal Spell Formation Tool. Depending on how they're laid out, they'll operate as Batteries, Resistors, Diodes or whatever you need them to for the Spell Formation to work. They're effective in making Spell Formations rapidly that can last an indeterminate amount of time, and are reliably stable. It's never fully explained how they work, and they typically are basically thin sticks you shove into the ground, so I'm assuming they're segmented sticks with each segment being a different property that can be activated independently for the desired effect and a Qi Link Between Them that operates as the "wires" and directs the ambient & battery Qi to the "open" segments. This also ties into things like Sword Formations used by a single cultivator, as their dozen flying swords or other weapons are the Spell Flags that create the Formation that makes their joint use more dangerous. Spell Flags, however, are often considered less effective than a specialised piece of equipment for the formation, particularly if the formation is intended to be utilised or maintained for an extended period of time, such as Sect Protecting Formations.

    Please note, Spell Flags are typically not used by absolute beginners, it's only after someone gains sufficient understanding of Spell Formations that they develop their own Spell Flags. This is also not explained, nor are Spell Flags often introduced before this, unless the MC has ended up in someone else's Formation and broken out of it due to destroying the central Spell Flag/Key/Other Name.
     
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