The latest entry on my Pathfinder blog, Intelligence Check deals with the in-game definition of how magic is actually used.
Have you ever wondered - in-character - why it is that a wizard can make a few gestures, mumble something, and rub a piece of fur and a glass rod together to make a lightning bolt...but an observant rogue who can perfectly mimic the words and gestures and has his own fur and glass rod results in nothing? After all, both are performing the exact same actions.
The metagame answer is that one has wizard levels and the other has rogue levels, but what's the answer from the characters' perspective? What is it that turns words and gestures into commanding the forces of magic?
Those are the questions that today's article attempts to answer. Please check it out and, if you feel so inclined, leave a comment.
I've done this, and come up with many explanations myself from time to time. And this is fairly close to what I usually end up with, right down to using the ideas of chakras.
It could use some more detail and variation on individual classes magic, like how alchemists aren't truly spell casters, how both summoners and bards learn magic but use Charisma to cast, etc.
Great stuff though. Looking forward to the next installment.
My way of doing this is simply that magic is almost like another dimension or element that needs to tapped into or manipulated to either release magical forces or cause a change/movement of natural forces to produce a result.
This conduit can be opened by
a) Disciplined study in HOW to focus the mind/events/materials etc to tap into "magic" to make the spell work (Wizards)
b) A natural inclination/link to be able to "tap" into magic (bard/sorcerer)
c) The link is provided to the recipient by a deity or exterior force (Divine casters). Normally this is part of a quid pro quo where the caster has sufficient faith AND has demonstrated obedience/reliability to the deities cause/agenda. Thus it is when divine casters renounce their faith, change to non-approved alignments etc they lose spell casting abilities.
Did anybody else here the Queen song when they read the topic of this thread? Just curious.
One would almost think that it was intended that way...