Questions tagged [magic-system]

This tag should be used for questions about the creation and design of magic systems, power systems, superpowers, or supernatural abilities for the purposes of a story's plot or characterization. Questions about how a magic system might work or affect the sociology of your world are off-topic here, and should be posted on WorldBuilding.SE instead.

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In a story where magic exists, does magic leave a lot of room for hope and spiritual beliefs?

I'm kind of asking two questions here. One question is about hope and the other is about spiritual beliefs. I like to keep my world grounded in reality. For some reason, I feel like this is super easy ...
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2 answers
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Does transhumanism overlap with traditional superpowers when both share the same settings?

I always thought the superpowers/superhero genre and the supertechnolgy/futuristic genre were two different genres, but I notice that people still considered superpowers to be a part of the whole ...
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When it comes to superhero stories, does the law of cool play a role in hitmen, assassins, and serial killer characters usually not having powers?

In a lot of superhero stories, characters that usually have killer-based gimmicks, the assassin/hitmen or serial killer type of characters, are often portrayed as not having superpowers. The majority ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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In a superhuman society, would certain threats be underestimated by society?

Batman has an extremely dangerous supervillain gallery. One of those dangerous villains is Victor Zsasz. He is a very dangerous serial killer. Put him in the real world, and Victor Zsasz would be the ...
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12 answers
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Is it an odd concept for a superhero with superhuman powers to use technology/gadgets and also rely on tech?

In fiction, it's usually human superheroes without powers like Batman or Green Arrow, that use tech or depend on tech to make up for their lack of superpowers. Not all metahumans are bulletproof, but ...
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1 answer
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What are some things to consider when it comes to superpowers and criminal organizations coexisting in the same Superhero world?

Fictional works about criminal organizations, like Scarface, God Father, and Sons of Anarchy. These works are where I get my notes from. I would like to see how superpowers would look in the criminal ...
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1 answer
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Is it odd to overestimate the danger of peak human characters or characters without powers?

What does peak human mean in my world? There are two types of peak humans in my world: physical types and mental types. Physical types are the top tier in skills that involve hand-to-hand combat or ...
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3 votes
4 answers
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When it comes to superhero stories, would an audience be accepting of a weak character that is superhuman?

I find myself limited or stuck between writing two types of characters. One character type is the Batman type. The type where the hero can be vulnerable to any form of damage and can be taken out ...
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2 answers
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Is having a magic system that involves carving runes into your own flesh glorifying self harm?

So the way magic is performed in my story's world is by carving runes into the flesh, and lately I've become worried that this may be glorifying self harm. In the story, society generally views magic ...
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4 answers
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How do you make superpowers interesting in a written medium?

Superhuman powers, with the exception of psionic abilities like telepathy, are primarily an element of visual spectacle. This is primarily why fiction with people with some form of superhuman ...
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1 answer
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Magic and "Scientific" Magic

So, this would be my first short story, one that is set in a medieval world with sorcerers and magic and stuff. But the main problem comes when I decide to introduce a different character. The main ...
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13 answers
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How do I provide exposition on a magic system when no character has an objective or complete understanding of it?

I'm writing an urban fantasy series in which like many urban fantasy series there is a magic-and-powers system hidden from the broader world that the supernatural phenomena of the series run on. ...
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11 votes
8 answers
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How do I handle an unequal romantic pairing in a world with superpowers?

I am writing a story that revolves around a number of characters that have superhuman abilities living amongst normal people, akin to they myriad superhero comics or many urban fantasies out there (e....
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3 votes
1 answer
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How Should I Write my Character Discovering Superpowers? [closed]

Does anyone have any tips on introducing your m/c's superpowers? My novel is set as a supernatural teen flick playing on the roles of the cliche. My m/c is told she has powers and as it's written in ...
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2 votes
2 answers
794 views

Writing a supernatural book with characters who have supernatural powers that have already been explored in other works?

I am in the process of writing a book with many of the characters discovering that they have supernatural powers. I am trying very hard to find 'original' powers that have not yet been created and ...
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1 answer
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Realistically obfuscating world truths--what should people know?

One of my favorite parts of The Kingkiller Chronicle is the way that we learn world truths and history. Rothfuss will have different characters explain the same stories or truths to our MC through a ...
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73 votes
24 answers
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How do I know if a concept is sexist or not?

In my story's world, witchcraft is a respected institution, with the most powerful practitioners being at the top echelons of society. Due to this, society traces its lineage through matrilineal lines....
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9 votes
5 answers
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Can I copy an existing magic system?

Is it fine for me to copy the magic system of another author if every other aspect (story,plot,etc.) of my fantasy story is my own design? For instance, can I use bending from Avatar: The Last ...
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4 answers
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Access methods for magic systems with a Higher Being as the source [closed]

I'm creating a magic system where the "magic" comes from "Higher Beings" as a source. Besides the "obvious praying to the gods," can anyone tell me of any other methods for accessing magic from a "God"...
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7 votes
5 answers
4k views

Two magical realities, ours isn't one of them. How do I stop my readers from getting confused?

I'm writing a story with a world that has different physics, alchemy rather than chemistry, and biology that relies somewhat on magic. The protagonist is not of this world, however he is not of our ...
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8 votes
5 answers
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Is Ice/Fire opposition too stereotypical?

I'm writing a story where a secondary story-line (it's about a companion of the main character) is basically about a fire mage and an ice mage. It fits well in the story and the fire/ice elements aren'...
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5 votes
7 answers
849 views

How can you incorporate magic and sex into a setting without it becoming fetishy?

The setting I am writing is of a theocratic matriarchal society. Only women are capable of using magic, with some being stronger than others. Magic is slow, ritualistic, and complex, rather than being ...
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4 votes
3 answers
491 views

Advantages of a realistic magic system

I always see good critics about Kingskiller Chronicles realistic magic system. But I can't stop wondering... "Why do people like it? Is it because it's more human and more close to reality?" ...
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1 vote
3 answers
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Powers with unknown limits vs ones full of rules, limits and reasons?

I'm in a dilemma: I don't want my characters to have flawless, limitless and bad-consequence-less powers, but I also don't want to have my creativity limited by such rules and limits. In my case, it's ...
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5 votes
2 answers
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How do I create a good naming system for the magic system in my Fantasy novel?

So there is a magic system in my novel, and I'm struggling to give each power its own name. Each power is paired with another, and the names must sound similar, only with a twist. Criteria for a ...
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11 votes
7 answers
695 views

How to demonstrate an evolution of magic without it seeming like it is improvised?

I'm writing a fantasy novel, in which the story progresses over a number of years. Throughout the story, I want to display an evolution of the magic, much like technology evolves in our world. The ...
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3 votes
4 answers
334 views

Gratuitous use of magic: poor writing and/or unenjoyable?

Many of my characters, main, side, and recurring all have a suite of magic abilities. So will them constantly using magic be annoying? Will it make the magic stale? What tips should I follow and what ...
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2 votes
3 answers
960 views

Magic or No Magic?

I have the majority of the story for my first novel worked out. My only problem is that I feel like I'm trying to find a way to force magic into it. There is only one point where magic is essential ...
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8 votes
6 answers
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Superpowers in Writing - Cool for the sake of cool

I originally started planning/writing a short story that was more or less based on a few popular trends in YA/Sci-Fi writing (interstellar travel, superpowers, etc) just as an exercise to force myself ...
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