Are hard/defined magic systems inherently retarded?

—“What foul sorcery is this?”
—“Um, ackchyually, the enemy identifies as a Wizard, so it would be ‘What WIZARDRY is this’, you bigot. Respect their profession.”
—“What the frick. It’s evil and heretical and demonic and I don’t like it. Therefore witchcraft.”
—“Ackchyually, a Witch is a female Warlock who makes Pacts with-“
—“Please shut up…”

Sounds like pretentiously semantic crap, the kind of crap that trannies and leftists resort to.

Bitch, it’s magic, it’s not supposed to be hard understood, it is something to describe, not to define. You don’t ask a magician for his secrets, do you? It may not even be magic to the magician. It’s the same with religion.

—“That’s not a god, THIS is a God!”
—“That’s not magic, THIS is Magic!”

What is a god to one is not a god to another. What is magic to one is not magic to another. Frick. You see this in history all over the place with “It’s not magic, it’s miracles!”, confusing priests of other religions that never bothered to care. Or how about Biblical myth, with Moses facing off against the ‘wizards’ of Egypt, who by all rights were just priests of their own respective gods; it was a matter of scale, not class. You also had literal Catholic monks attempting to summon fricking demons using the authority/judgement of God (hallowed sorcery, nigromancy, etc). The Church was a self-hating mages guild by-any-other-name, holy shit.

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  1. 5 months ago
    Anonymous

    Science is itself derived from past, outdated ‘magical’ or imaginative/artistic thinking, as we see with the ancients understanding the stars, or the likes of Paracelsus, Galileo or Isaac Newton (called ‘the last magician’ by some), and others, who were all rather obsessed with the esoteric, and more occultist than natural philosopher proper.

    Look at alchemy, or just drugs and poisons. The old Greek word for pharmacy literally once meant poison/sorcery. The French. It even a millennia ago had a “witchcraft epidemic” when people started poisoning each other.

    The modern sorcerer is, quite literally, just the mad scientist hanging off the edges of understanding. Or someone tapping into shaded nature. The more you look at scientists, the more they appear to be indistinguishable from wizards in method.

    1) No sense of wright and wrong.
    2) It’s not a question of could, but should.
    3) “Sweet, man-made horrors beyond my comprehension.”
    4) “All progress demands sacrifice.”

    The magic doesn’t go away, it becomes something else.

    • 5 months ago
      Anonymous

      The French not even a millennia ago*

  2. 5 months ago
    Anonymous

    Even Tolkien understood this sort of (Clarkean) exposure logic. The elves of middle-earth do NOT consider their art/works to be magic, only men and Hobbits do, and Galadriel was genuinely confused by Frodo’s use of the word. Elves are too used to their way of life. The bar for magic is higher for the elves than it is for men (the dwarves appear to be somewhere in-between), not unlike how modern technology meets all the criteria of magic but isn’t treated as such, or how medicine/drugs were once treated as magic/sorcery (as mentioned above). Lembas bread is a fricking mars bar by our account. Similarly, the black machines of Mordor are considered indistinguishable from black magic, as middle-earth just isn’t used to that level of infrastructural horror, and Tolkien hated industry and modern man’s trend of hating on mystery, wonder and nature. Meanwhile five Maiar, one step above the elves on the racial/spiritual totem pole, go out of their way to don the wizardly hat/guise. There’s only five of them so they don’t over expose and reduce the magic. Wizards/sages are few and not to be taken for granted.

    Really, just ask yourself, what happens when Magic™ butts heads with something even more sufficiently 'magical'? Is the name already taken/trademarked? Who has the magic rights?

    —'I don’t understand it, I don't like it, and it scares me, therefore witchcraft.'
    —'I don’t understand it, he drank a potion and saw something, therefore sorcery.'
    —'I don’t understand it, it is too mysterious, too unfathomable, therefore magic.'
    —'I don’t understand it, they refuse to initiate me into their secrets, therefore wizardry.'

    There’s just too much fricking subjective baggage with the word. Magic is what you make of it. Magic IS “magic”. It exists the same way the dark exists. It isn’t anything. It’s an angle.

    So why create hard magic systems at all?

    • 5 months ago
      Anonymous

      Tolkien's magic seemed to be a metaphor for art; beautiful art becomes indistinguishable from magic in Tolkien's work
      Ursula Le Guin's magic system was about secret names and a shamanistic approach
      Other fantasy magic portrayals seem to verge into a kind of vidya logic (he tossed a fire ball and it was effective). But in IQfy ancient Russians and Greeks who were perceived as fire mages were actually just using early flame-throwers

      • 5 months ago
        Anonymous

        I’m likened to agree with persons like Alan Moore that art is one of those areas closest to magic, much like math.

        It changes our entire world, and dominates the mind. Look at global religion, or just ancient Greeks fighting to the death defending their statues. You don’t need mind control powers to mind control people. You just need artistic sway. Cult leaders, etc.

        If science/physics is substance/substantial, then art is the abstract manifested through it. It is an accentuating matter.

        • 5 months ago
          Anonymous

          I don't know much about Alan Moore but I think that Tolkien was right about magic = art too

  3. 5 months ago
    Anonymous

    To summarize, magic can’t be used as an honest definition for anything, even in fiction.

  4. 5 months ago
    Anonymous

    As a final note:

    If mystery and wonder make magic, then ignorance is the greatest magic of all.

    Everything not known is everything else out there.

    What does the physicist say when they confront something new and/or bewildering?

    —“Hmm. That’s weird. I wonder how that works…”

    The universe is a magician. Magic is a magician.

    Define magic at your own peril, to the detriment of everything else out there that can be considered magic.

    (As if the amount of fantasists arguing what is/isn’t magic shouldn’t already make it overwhelmingly obvious)

  5. 5 months ago
    Anonymous

    >IQfy - literature

    • 5 months ago
      Anonymous

      Yes, readlet.

  6. 5 months ago
    Anonymous

    The thing that would actually happen in any setting where magic exists is people studying it methodically to uncover the aspects of their reality making magic tick and treating it as mundane

    Cases in point
    >electromagentism
    >nukes
    >quantum bullshit

    • 5 months ago
      Anonymous

      Yep. Nobody ever bothers to ask “What keeps the magic?”.

    • 5 months ago
      Anonymous

      That's a projection of a impetus which is limited in time. Science is not linear.

      • 5 months ago
        Anonymous

        Science is literally just the repeatable and reproducible method, with nuances (not everything repeatable can reproduce the same thing) in-between.

        If it works, it is science to some shade or degree. There is information to it. The only thing simpler is math / 1s and 0s

      • 5 months ago
        Anonymous

        People were still picking apart and studying the natural world before the 1600s. It just took a long time for the ball to get rolling to the point where scientific method could take off.

        In a world with magic, there's no reason for people to specifically treat magic as somehow separate from every other phenomenon they experience. It would be studied and practiced by tradesmen and scholars same as anything else, and should society advance to the point where something like the scientific method can emerge, it would be covered by their equivalent of physics.

  7. 5 months ago
    Anonymous

    It depends on who’s faster: Superman or the Flash

  8. 5 months ago
    Anonymous

    Are you that same gay who said magic should be nonsensical and undefined and gave norse ring story as an example?

    • 5 months ago
      Anonymous

      If magic is hard defined you are automatically isolating yourself from the rest of everyone and everything, since persons abroad soft define such things differently. It’s a very muddied word. It can’t be used as a hard (scientific) term for anything.

      • 5 months ago
        Anonymous

        Are you the same gay?

        Magic can be used to make a bad/average/good story better, it's like a shortcut that gives instant epicness. This is your type of magic, myths and miracles. Normally stories that use such magic can be with little effort changed into non fantasy stories, in fact they likely start out as standard fiction.

        The hard magic, defined magic is a theme on it's own, even before story is conceived it already exists. It's a cornerstone that will influence the writing from the very beginning to the end, it will strongly influence story, plot, characters, other themes and conflict. As it is an additional theme that the story is based on, it cannot be considered a constraint (an additional theme will enrich the story from beginning, while just having few fantasy elements slapped on, miracle here or there will only have a small effect).

        • 5 months ago
          Anonymous

          I’m of the opinion that magic can’t even exist in fiction, since magic isn’t necessarily magic to another(‘s understanding), and from a sufficient (hypothetical) point of analyzation, human or no, the magic will no longer be viewed as magic. Magic is a bar, not a thing.

          • 5 months ago
            Anonymous

            >Magic is a bar, not a thing.
            good point

          • 5 months ago
            Anonymous

            do basically I can't understand it = magic

          • 5 months ago
            Anonymous

            The occult, the esoteric, the arcane, the eldritch, mysticism, mad science, hidden initiation, personal illumination, alien understanding, etc, all denote as much.

          • 5 months ago
            Anonymous

            If someone conjures a fireball seemingly out of nowhere and indicates that it was not due to science then it's magic.

          • 5 months ago
            Anonymous

            >it was not due to science
            Somebody firing a gun conjures fire and pressure, and it wasn't due to science because science postdates the invention of gunpowder by centuries. Same with a magnetic compass pointing north, water spinning a wheel or any other pre-1600s technology.

          • 5 months ago
            Anonymous

            What? But that’s fire. And fire works…

            “Science is magic that works” —Kurt Vonnegut

          • 5 months ago
            Anonymous

            >alien understanding,
            books on this topic?

          • 5 months ago
            Anonymous

            Literally the entirety of the new age movement in the last century and the one before that, and even into this one.

          • 5 months ago
            Anonymous

            Say you were born in a world where magic is real. What makes you treat "magic" as separate from every other real thing? What makes it arcane, esoteric, occult, alien? Either you've got a reasonably good hang of some underlying family of "physical" laws that make magic tick, motivating a term for the category, or you're a lazy homosexual writer who assumes the people in his setting would somehow know which parts of their world are "real" in his own and which aren't.

          • 5 months ago
            Anonymous

            nta, it depends on the presence of natural world science in that world. If science is unable to explain certain phenomenon (like person doing magical things as we know it) and that position doesn't change when science advances then that would be considered supernatural. If science is non existent or at the level of middle ages then magic would likely be a part of life and most people wouldn't bother with explanation, it would be considered part of (natural) world.

  9. 5 months ago
    Anonymous

    Yes but excusable because each hard definition points to the blind spot in whats knowable and hopefully with enough pointers we can at least get a workable silhouette that gets us the closest you can get to understanding the unknowable via negative.

  10. 5 months ago
    Anonymous

    Magic systems are stupid just because they’re stupid. Simple as.

  11. 5 months ago
    Anonymous

    In D&D fireballs needed material components. The popular idea of a wizard recites some old language like latin (the ancient scroll he got the formula from) and does a series of hand movements that hit the right beats, like throwing material in the air, igniting it and applying force.
    Being a wizard is the combination of deep study of ancient texts and training in applying the principles in those texts.

    • 5 months ago
      Anonymous

      Wow, D&D magic is terrible.

      • 5 months ago
        Anonymous

        That's how real wizards work. In D&D the god that gives you magical powers was once a human but she codified magic in a way where you still have to read scrolls and move your hands around anyway.
        Zealots don't care what type of magic you're using or if it's ackshually science. How "hard" your system is doesn't change the perspective of those in the story that don't know how it works.

        • 5 months ago
          Anonymous

          The magic system is often gradually revealed to the reader.
          Openly using a well known magic system (for example D&D) without any modification is a very dumb idea, story will definitely suffer because of it, but a modified version is fine. As long as it appears new and original it can be safely used.

          I am not familiar with D&D magic but it sounds terrible

          • 5 months ago
            Anonymous

            It's a good example of a strictly defined system. I agree that revealing the mechanism usually has no point in a story. In the game context it works to create interactive stories that are alright, not completely boring. Similarly I think keeping relatively hard rules in mind as a writer may help build stories that are more interesting. Explaining them explicitly is pointless and just reduces the mystery but there being some underlying rules gives the reader an intuitive sense of some force we don't understand being behind the magic and that things can't be resolved with a magical deus ex every time.

          • 5 months ago
            Anonymous

            Dungeons and Dragons magic is so robotic and beep boop and redundantly classed it comes across as a computer simulation, though.

        • 5 months ago
          Anonymous

          >That's how real wizards work. In

          Real wizards are just artificers and chemists and mathematicians and whatnot. The mechanical understanding of thee likes of Roger Bacon or just fricking Archimedes cemented them as veritable wizards for their time, and they’re both separated by millennia.

      • 5 months ago
        Anonymous

        It really is.

        It’s like, imagine if gunpowder ONLY worked in the shape of a rolled up ball, and ONLY a specific amount and ONLY in a specific barrel type/size. Some funky spinning runic symbols also appear to float around the barrel when it fires.

        It is TOO artificial. There is NO pragmatism to it. Why can’t I use a [Fireball] to light a cigarette or a campfire? It’s almost like it’s an invisible technology behind our three dimensions or something. Mixing bat shit with sulphur to produce an exploding ball of fire (that only comes from the index finger for some reason…) is far too conveniently specified and constructed.

        What’s responsible for this artifice/manufacture? The gods? Some unseen meta world wizard? Oh wait, it’s literally the author…

  12. 5 months ago
    Anonymous

    I enjoy hard systems sometimes. If the protagonist isn't overpowered, faces actually difficult challenges, and uses the rules in an actually clever and unexpected way.

  13. 5 months ago
    Anonymous

    Yes

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