Further Thoughts on Science Fantasy Magic

Following up on my earlier post on an alternate magic system.

I’ll try to post some thoughts on each of the 7 points from the previous post.

1) The gemstone mountain. This may or may not be literaly true. Maybe it is only a legend that the current inhabitants believe in. Maybe it is sort of a distorted memory of some past time when super-science became dominant and magic was almost wiped out.

2) The gem mountain explodes. Again, this may or may not be literally true. Somehow, magic was released back into the world in discrete chunks embodied as the gemstones. Maybe the gods sacrificed themselves to free the magic, or the alien space fortress sucking up all the magic power self-destructed.

3) The gemstone fragments. These are certainly real. They do contain power that the inhabitants of the world call “magic.” Can be ambiguous whether it is actual magic, or if the gems are some type of super-material or devices that store or draw on some type of scientific-based energy source.

4) Spellcasters. There are individuals with the knowledge or ability to release the power from the gems in a controlled fashion. Maybe it is a dim recollection of a technical procedure that has become a ritual. Maybe some individuals have some type of ability (such as a psionic power) to alter the gems at a subatomic level and get energy out of them. Maybe the gems are actually INTELLIGENT; disembodied souls or super AIs imprisoned in crystals – and spellcasters can communicate with them somehow.

Points 5, 6, and 7 might be getting more into the “nuts & bolts” of an actual magic system and how it works, so I will leave that for a future post.

Categories: D&D, game mechanics, Gaming, RPG | Tags: , , ,

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6 thoughts on “Further Thoughts on Science Fantasy Magic

  1. Seems I’m not the only one with similar musings lately:

    This seems to have been a much more common idea back in the early days of the RPG hobby, before SF and fantasy had really split into 2 different sub-genres.

  2. Matt Harris

    my D&D campaign world has been using gems-as-magic-batteries since 1991, although I’m sure our specifics are different. Would love to hear more about this though. Open mind = larger brain I think 🙂

  3. What I’m really trying to do here is figure out how to reskin “technology” of a sort into “magic.” I have wanted for almost 30 years to run some kind of SF / or post-apocalyptic game, but nobody I gamed with ever went for it… everybody just wants to kill orcs. Did run d6 Star Wars back in the early 90s, but it kind of turned into a D&D-like playstyle … bounty hunters & mercs kill enemies and take their stuff. It was fun, but honestly it would have worked better with Traveller or something similar.

    So the only alternative I see is to make the science/ technology indistinguishable from magic. Arthur C. Clarke and his famous quote and all. The characters inside the game world would not know the difference, but it would fit my mindset as GM better to have some sort of “logical system” for how / why.

    For instance, “magic” would REQUIRE the use of gem fragments – there is no way to get at the energy otherwise. Likewise, all “magic items” would be powered by gems – kind of like powercells from old editions of Gamma World. I will probably get into that in another post.

    • Matt Harris

      Gamma World. How I miss you…

      • Sadly I can’t “miss” Gamma World as nobody has ever let me run it, despite collecting various editions since 1985.

      • Matt Harris

        Ah I only played a handful of times as the original ruleset was horribly broken but I still gaze lovingly at the box from time to time

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