How Does Magic Work?

Posted by on December 14, 2011

Rules of Magic for 21 Different WorldsMagic is weird. By definition.

As role-players, this creates problems. We exercise one magic system, become comfortable with it, then move to another world and struggle to understand its ways.

This blastr post includes a chart (shown at right) of the “rules of magic” for 51 different worlds/universes. It answers six questions about each:

  1. Where does magic come from?
  2. How do you wield it?
  3. Is there good and evil magic?
  4. Is magical ability hereditary, or can anyone learn?
  5. What’s the secret to defeating magic?
  6. Is magic a secret from a primarily non-magic world?

It’s fascinating to compare how magic “works” in different contexts and for different reasons.

Plus, if you’re playing and a spell’s effects seem illogical, these are good questions to ask: why does magic work this way? What was the designer’s intent?

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