Magic Users

Characterization of People Who Use Magic

All magic users will be collectively referred to as “magicians”. Given groups of magicians may also have specific descriptive names.

Life force users – Passive

Any Casting Process

  • Druids Use Spells and Mental Processes
  • Healers (covered later)
  • Mystics (covered later)

Life Force Users – Active

Any Casting Process

  • Necromancers (covered later)

Third party users

Third Party is a Deity

  • Priests (covered later)

Third Party is Other

  • Witches. Like priests, but the entity is not worshipped as such. (covered later)
  • Sorcerers, Conjurers, and Elementalists. These magicians summon powerful beings to do their work form them. Sorcerers tend to enslave the beings they summon, while Conjurers tend to cooperate or strike bargains with the summoned beings. Elementalists summon weaker magical entities tied to one of the elemental planes – allowing the summoned entity to perceive the physical world. They are always tied to a particular plane that they are attuned to and that plane’s border regions. They usually cooperate or bargain with the summoned beings, but enslavement is not unheard of.

Users of The Arcane Energy Field

Spells and Items

  • Mages. The most common of the arcane energy using magicians, mages have collections of spells that they use. As a rule, they do not understand why their spells work. A mage can never change an existing spell except by accident and is incapable of inventing new spells.
  • Wizards. A wizard usually has a limited understanding of the meaning and functioning of the spells he uses. An experienced wizard can, through much effort and study, improve an existing spell or create a new one. They are rare compared to mages.
  • Spellbinders. A very rare type of the spell-using magicians, spellbinders have an intimate understanding of spells and the primitive elements of spells. They are capable of creating new spells on short notice, they can make extensive modifications to existing spells, and the most experienced and powerful can cast “extemporaneously” – although this is frightfully dangerous. They can occasionally and with great difficulty modify existing spell elements. Spellbinders cannot create new spell elements except by accident and often have substantial hordes of spell-books, scrolls, and items for study.
  • Spellweavers. The most rare type of all spell-using magicians, spellweavers not only possess an intimate understanding of spell elements, but of the principles behind them. They can cast spells of any sort essentially at will and rarely bother with anything but their own creations. They can modify existing spell elements and can even create new elements (although not while casting).

Mental Processes – Concentration

  • Patterners. A patterner is an extremely rare and powerful magician who can impose his own perception of reality directly upon the physical world. This is actually an unusual combination of mental power and the arcane energy.

Mental Processes – Meditation and Trances

  • Mystics (covered later)

Enchantment and Dark Enchantment

Items Only

The general term for such a person is a Magical Craftsman. Due to the frequency of metalwork, they are also often called Spellsmiths.

  • Tinker Mage. The most common of the Enchantment magicians, tinker mages have collections of instructions, patterns, and templates that they follow. As a rule, they do not understand why their items work. A tinker mage can never change an existing item except by accident and is incapable of inventing new items.
  • Enchanter. An enchanter usually has a limited understanding of the meaning and functioning of the objects and items he creates. An experienced enchanter can, through much effort and study, improve an existing item or invent a new one. They are rare compared to tinker mages.
  • Arcane Engineer. A very rare type of the enchantment-using magicians, arcane engineers have an intimate understanding of materials and the crafting of objects. They are capable of inventing new items on short notice, and they can make extensive modifications to existing items. They can occasionally and with great difficulty improve on known methods of preparation for materials. Arcane Engineers cannot create new materials or methods of preparation except by accident and often have substantial hordes of spell-books, scrolls, and items for study.
  • Arcane Artisan. The most rare type of all enchantment-using magicians, arcane artisans not only possess an intimate understanding of materials and means of preparation, but of the principles behind them. They can create items of any sort essentially at will and rarely bother with anything but their own creations. They can modify existing preparation methods, and can even identify or occasionally create new materials.
  • Alchemists. Alchemists are generally concerned with the conversion of lead into gold. As a result, they are also often skilled at other transformation effects and are frequently knowledgeable about potions.
  • Herbalists. These magicians understand the magical properties of plants. They have a good understanding of potions and can often create other plant related items. They are different from enchanters mainly in that they do not change the materials they work with in anything other than very simple means.

The Mind

Spells
This is a very rare condition, as external elements such as words and actions are more often disruptive to the flow of mental energy than they are helpful. It is not impossible, though the effects are invariably of lower quality and magicians using such methods should be classified as Mindbenders.
Mental Processes – Concentration

  • Mindbenders. These magicians have learned formulae and mental disciplines that allow them to cause their desired effects. There is no set structure to these magicians, as no given formula will work the same way for any two people. There is a wide range of the depth of understanding among mindbenders as to why any given spell works. Most mental powered magicians are Mindbenders.
  • Psionicists. These magicians have an intimate understanding of the inner workings of their minds, and can produce astounding effects. True Psionicists are fairly rare.

Mental Processes – Meditation and Trances

  • Mystics (covered later)

Items

This is simply not possible. Mental energy comes from within the depths of the magician’s own mind. It cannot be stored outside of that realm.

Combinations

Obviously, in any reasonably complex world, there will be people who use a combination of methods and power sources. Here are some general guidelines regarding such situations.

Energy Sources

  • Any given magician can only be specialized in one energy source.
  • If a magician is specialized, then he cannot be more than a novice in any other energy source.
  • If a magician is not specialized, then he can be moderately powerful in several. For each additional discipline he practices, his overall progress is limited by one step.

Casting methods
•There are three groups
◦Spells, concentration, and the use (but not creation) of items and spells that require items are all compatible.
◦Meditation and trances are compatible.
◦Creating items and using items and spells that require items are compatible.
•In general, a magician can only specialize in one of those three groups.
•If a magician is not specialized, then he can be moderately powerful in several. For each additional discipline he practices, his overall progress is limited by one step.

Interactions

All of these energy forms ultimately result in changes to the fundamental plane of energy (or negative energy). Because of this, there is no special restriction to the interactions of the various means of gathering this energy. Life force can knock down an arcane shield, and a wizard can overcome the mind of a psionicist. Sufficiently convoluted magical means could theoretically extend the general rules. For example, a gem prepared with the appropriate spells could conceivably be used to store life energy. However, the enchanter who created the gem would be unlikely to be able to manipulate enough life energy to put into the gem to make it worth the effort, and the necromancer who wanted to use the life energy would be unlikely to be able to manipulate the complex spells needed to extract the energy from it. Therefore, due to the limitations of the magicians, such energy source crossing efforts are invariably useless beyond academic exercises.

Magicians requiring further clarification

Necromancers and Biomancers

  • Anyone who collects life energy from their surroundings or some other source faster than it is naturally available and uses it for any reason. Also anyone who for any reason uses Unlife energy.
  • They are not necessarily evil – a necromancer can draw energy from living things without killing them. Unlife can be used for purposes other than animating corpses.
  • Necromancy is a requirement for working with the undead (creating, commanding, etc.), but not all necromancers will necessarily do so.

Healers

  • Specialized magicians in the fact that they have devoted their lives to the study of health and medicine.
  • They can brew magical and non-magical potions.
  • They will use any spells, meditations, and items that assist them in their healing duties.
  • Their specialization cuts across power sources and casting methods – they are limited by the nature of their abilities: healing, curing sicknesses, etc.
  • Any healer, due to their intimate knowledge of anatomy and biological processes, can also cause harm. Evil “anti-healers” are quite possible. Such evil “healers” would be more likely to brew poisons and perpetrate torture than they would be to heal.
  • Surgical note: Mechanical surgery should be kept limited to external or obvious methods (stitching a wound, amputating an unsalvageable limb, excising a surface-visible tumor) and some exceptionally common and reasonable procedures – appendectomy is a good example. It is common enough that someone would have found out what to do (although probably not why).

Mystics

  • Completely generalized, usually primitive magicians.
  • As a rule, they do not understand the reasons or mechanisms behind their abilities.
  • Frequently (but not necessarily), they are born with “gifts” rather than developing their power through study or practice. If they gained power through study, it would be through apprenticeship rather than formal schooling.
  • They may have any combination of power sources and casting mechanisms.
  • As a rule, there is no development or progression as a mystic.

Priests

  • Servants of a deity
  • Their masters rarely allow them to access alternate power sources.
  • Their masters dictate the casting methods used by such magicians.
  • They often have set agendas that they must follow, and there are invariably penalties for deviating from those agendas.

Witches

  • Servants of a powerful non-deity.
  • Their masters rarely allow them to access alternate power sources.
  • Their masters dictate the casting methods used by such magicians.
  • They may have an agenda, but it will be much more general than for a priest. There will probably not be penalties for anything but the most egregious violations.

Progression

The world has had magic available for a long time. There is a commonly understood progression of names for the various levels of skill that a particular practitioner has. This is where the advancement limitations mentioned earlier come into play… Source note: it is a mix of guild-style names and others. In order, from least to most skilled:

  • Novice
  • Apprentice
  • Student
  • Journeyman
  • Craftsman
  • Master
  • Grandmaster
  • Adept