[MUD-Dev] Magic systems - poetry?

ceo ceo at grexengine.com
Mon Feb 13 04:58:16 New Zealand Daylight Time 2006

ceo wrote:

> So, I wondered whether you could make a magic system out of this. My
> first thought was simply that players had to extemporize verse in
> order to cast a spell. Immediate issues:

...and since then I happen to have read the rather excellent Johnathan 
Strange and Mr Norrell (http://www.jonathanstrange.com/), which is based 
on a similarly whimsical view of magic.

It includes both:

> success would be a fine thing. However, the amount that a particular
> spell is used globally within the game should greatly weaken its
> effectiveness. Maybe everyone knows a simple spell for conjuring

...with certain spells "fading" over time, and many even entirely 
ceasing to be effective. The nice explanation in the book is that magic 
itself derives from many sources, including the land itself, and that 
someone has persuaded the land to stop lending itself for the use of magic.

and also:

> Secondly, every spell is easily customizable by the speaker,
> encouraging people to at least try some variation on the well-known
> version. You are not locked-in to a fully deterministic and

...where spells are handed-down through an imprecise oral and literal 
tradtion, full of embellishments and modifications, some good, some 
useless. A central theme of the book is the attempts by the modern 
magicians to patch together working versions of once-known spells by 
adapting and combining different variants, and by pure random 

> Has anyone done anything like this? It's the kind of thing I can
> imagine someone has done before, but I can't think of anywhere where
> I remember seeing it.

...and I'm guessing then the answer may actually be "no" :)

Adam M

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