Why Do So Many People View Science and Magic As Incompatible?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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So wait, how many people here actually like magitek / blending magic and science together?


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Icyshadow wrote:
So wait, how many people here actually like magitek / blending magic and science together?

i love it, started with Star Wars, Outlaw Star and grew even more dear to me when i discovered assault faeries.


Icyshadow wrote:
So wait, how many people here actually like magitek / blending magic and science together?

I do!

Eberron was breath of fresh air amongst stuff that hasn't changed in... way to long.

And everyone should see Outlaw Star. Everyone. It's easily one of the *coolest* settings since like ever. If you haven't watched it... go do that right now.

Scarab Sages

Icyshadow wrote:
So wait, how many people here actually like magitek / blending magic and science together?

I like it, starship drives that turn gold nuggets into lead and require periodic recharges to turn them back to gold, spellcheckers that check incoming emails for spells, magical power sources providing clean, renewable energy, magically treated glass so it's as strong as steel. The whole thing delights me even if I tend towards a magic can do things technology needs to be advanced to duplicate (healing unknown diseases, finding a particular item in a dump, allowing you to visit Jupiter or the sun) but since it relies on an individual's powers it can't be mass produced easily or at all. So while the super rich would have their magical healing bed (to take care of any nasty illnesses like skin cancer from sunbathing nude) the vast majority of the lower/middle classes would still need to see doctors and get chemotherapy and other treatments only being put on the waiting list to see a medical mage if these failed.

Then again magic in my world's tend to be an inborn thing. The new arcanist is offering all sorts of possibilities for my home brewed games.


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Icyshadow wrote:
So wait, how many people here actually like magitek / blending magic and science together?

Pretty much my standard setting. While I enjoy White Chocolate Fantasy and Dark Chocolate Scifi a LOT, I prefer my Milk Chocolate Magitek.

You can probably blame Star Wars and Final Fantasy for that.


Icyshadow wrote:
So wait, how many people here actually like magitek / blending magic and science together?

I'm down with it in general. I don't think you see much technomancy but that doesn't mean you can't have technological things that have magic put onto them. For example a magic gun, or a good luck cellphone, or a cellphone that can call other cellphones even when it is (or the target handset is) in an area with no reception.

**************************************

Related:

The thing people forget is magic can have the same effect but be arrive through different means -- the principle of sympathy is huge and is only one of several ways this works. For example I could use bat guano as a spell component for a fireball since it's explosive, or I could use a torch since it's actual fire, or I could use ash since it's invocative of a fire -- especially if the ash is from an explosion itself (in which case not only the fire but calling on the memory of the explosive event to recreate it).

I would suggest that while the pathfinder system tends toward a more simple system it still allows (and expects this) for the same in that every caster has a different means of casting each spell, and that the same spell can be different levels, with different components and different sources (arcane versus divine).

Further more if magic was science then the casting of a sleep spell would work or not every time which is not the case.

honestly an even cursory study of metaphysical principles would quickly dispel the idea that magic and science are in the same sphere of influence (another major magical principle) at all.


Icyshadow wrote:
So wait, how many people here actually like magitek / blending magic and science together?

I am a fan of Shadowrun and Call of Cthulhu. And one of the people who was really looking forward to the Numeria stuff.


I asked mostly out of curiosity, but I like the answers so far.

Anzyr wrote:
And everyone should see Outlaw Star. Everyone. It's easily one of the *coolest* settings since like ever. If you haven't watched it... go do that right now.

Oh, that anime is on my to-watch list. I'll need to get to it after boot camp.


Icyshadow wrote:
So wait, how many people here actually like magitek / blending magic and science together?

I enjoy it sometimes, but I also like fantasy where the two are completely incompatible: I enjoyed both Full Metal Alchemist and The Books of Magic. It all depends on how well written something is.


I don't have time to read the entire thread, so apologies if some of this is redundant.

One of the things that's interesting about this conversation is that for about 300 years, most "scientists" didn't see science and magic as incompatible.

The vast majority of the very best mathematicians, geologists, physicists, chemists, astronomers, etc., were deeply convinced that magic was real and would eventually be proved compatible with the techniques of the scientific method.

As late as the 1800s, some of the most influential researchers - men working on things like evolution and early plate tectonics -- still espoused essentially magical ideas about cosmology.

Earlier figures including Copernicus, John Dee and Isaac Newton were all deeply embroiled in the latest scientific advances of their day, and doing some fine work, while also spending vast amounts of time on what amounted to sorcery or astrological magic.

(Dee and Newton are extreme cases, but they're far from unique...)

A lot of this doesn't fit very neatly into the various fantasy worlds of the D&D canon, though "new" classes like the alchemist and the gunslinger actually work pretty well in a Tudor-Elizabethan themed adventure.

Finally, I've always been pretty impatient with the whole idea that 'science that's advanced enough will look like magic.' I think this is patently silly.

Once a civilization has grasped the mid-to-late-modern concept that phenomena have natural and explainable causes, the best minds generally stop saying, "That looks like magic."

Instead, they say, "That is a thing I can't explain yet, but we're working on it and we'll figure it out."

--Marsh


Captain Marsh wrote:
Finally, I've always been pretty impatient with the whole idea that 'science that's advanced enough will look like magic.' I think this is patently silly.

There are stories in a number of myths about people being wiped out by the gods in an instant. Sometimes, then even mention flashes of light and heat. This, quite clearly, is magic.

Mankind accomplished it during World War 2.

I don't think it's patently silly. I think it reflects more of a perspective shift. After all, consider that, using processes that we understand quite well, we can alter existing life in ways that simply were the realm of fantasy or religion in Newton's time.


The people of old believed in the power of magic.

The people of our current time believe in the power of science.

However, both time periods had people who believed the opposite of what was common for their time.


Icyshadow wrote:
So wait, how many people here actually like magitek / blending magic and science together?

I like it, but wouldn't want it to replace straight fantasy. I like that too.

My big problem with bringing more tech into PF settings is not the conflict with magic, but the conflict with the low tech parts of the setting. Guns should drive out swords as they become common. With more tech, magitech or scientific tech, the setting should be become more modern, not just have the tech tacked on. And that's a very different game.


^Unless the world has conditions that impair development of technology, such as I posted before: Atmosphere is higher pressure(*) but does not have proportionately more oxygen, so fire-based heat engines are less efficient and advanced metallurgy is more expensive; and microorganisms with ethereally traveling spores tend to get into gunpowder and make it dangerously unstable unless protected by magical or otherwise expensive or hard-to-get means. The former directly makes more of an uphill battle for the development of technology (making it produce less desirable results and/or cost more); the latter makes it dangerous and dependent upon something that is itself not mass-producible, thereby removing much of the mass production advantage of technology.

(*)Which as noted before, also makes things easier for Dragons and other large flying creatures.


UnArcaneElection wrote:

^Unless the world has conditions that impair development of technology, such as I posted before: Atmosphere is higher pressure(*) but does not have proportionately more oxygen, so fire-based heat engines are less efficient and advanced metallurgy is more expensive; and microorganisms with ethereally traveling spores tend to get into gunpowder and make it dangerously unstable unless protected by magical or otherwise expensive or hard-to-get means. The former directly makes more of an uphill battle for the development of technology (making it produce less desirable results and/or cost more); the latter makes it dangerous and dependent upon something that is itself not mass-producible, thereby removing much of the mass production advantage of technology.

(*)Which as noted before, also makes things easier for Dragons and other large flying creatures.

In which case I would expect not to have the high tech or at least not to have it common, rather than to have it common, but still have a traditional fantasy society. None of that really effects magitech, either.


Icyshadow wrote:
So wait, how many people here actually like magitek / blending magic and science together?

It's absolutely fantastic. One of my favorite series is the Cold Fire Trilogy. The whole trilogy is essentially sci-fi in the guise of fantasy. A few hundred years ago a seed colony of humans crash landed on a planet with a weird energy source that they call the fae. "Magic" is accomplished through emotional and mental immersion within this energy source and the belief in "proven" spells. Even all the fantasy creatures were created from the nightmares and dreams of the humans that crash landed on the planet when they first became immersed in the fae.

I believe it is one of the most perfect examples of how the two genres can mix and intertwine (at least right up there with the Cthulhu mythos).

Scarab Sages

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Sounds like a doctor who story entire world was being deliberately maintained at a medieval tech level with magic users. In the end it was a planet wide nanites field that respond to belief. He eventually went up against a villain wearing an ancient artifact of immense power, the original control helmet.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Icyshadow wrote:
So wait, how many people here actually like magitek / blending magic and science together?

i'm okay with it. It's not my idea for a standard setting and most implications of it pretty much obsolete certain character classes. In most cases, it's a limitation of choices, not an expansion.


Senko wrote:
Sounds like a doctor who story entire world was being deliberately maintained at a medieval tech level with magic users. In the end it was a planet wide nanites field that respond to belief. He eventually went up against a villain wearing an ancient artifact of immense power, the original control helmet.

That sounds pretty interesting. Almost sounds like a combination of the Cold fire trilogy and Monte Cook's Numenera RPG.


Why didn't I think of this before... A perfect example of science and "magic" interacting in our world were the alchemists of old. The proverbial "turning lead to gold," changing one thing into another... Which isn't entirely untrue with modern chemistry.

Though changing lead into gold would take so much energy and microscopic precision to accomplish it would be a useless atomic conversion... I guess unless it wasn't done for money....


Technically, through nuclear power, we did achieve the alchemist dream of being able to transmute materials.

We just figured out it comes with a bit of a higher cost than the alchemists wanted and involves some very nasty byproducts.


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MagusJanus wrote:

Technically, through nuclear power, we did achieve the alchemist dream of being able to transmute materials.

We just figured out it comes with a bit of a higher cost than the alchemists wanted and involves some very nasty byproducts.

Isn't that one of the oft repeated lessons of the philosopher's stone story though?

Yeah you can do it but by the time you realize how to you don't want to any more and you realize the price is much more than it's worth.


Technically, the 'transmute lead into gold' is metaphorical for transmuting the base self into enlightenment.

Also, for those who didn't know, Alchemy was very much influenced by Astronomy. Positioning of planets, constellations, and so on. Each day was attributed to a planet (Mars, Uranus, Jupiter, etc), and often used certain elixers which were more effective on a given day.

It was rather transcendental as a practice. The real alchemists were those who were seeking to better themselves. The posers were the ones trying to get rich (and derogatorily called 'Puffers' due to the fact that they kept pumping their billows thinking heat was the answer to everything).

Information brought to you by various books on the history of Alchemy.


Artemis Moonstar wrote:

Technically, the 'transmute lead into gold' is metaphorical for transmuting the base self into enlightenment.

Also, for those who didn't know, Alchemy was very much influenced by Astronomy. Positioning of planets, constellations, and so on. Each day was attributed to a planet (Mars, Uranus, Jupiter, etc), and often used certain elixers which were more effective on a given day.

It was rather transcendental as a practice. The real alchemists were those who were seeking to better themselves. The posers were the ones trying to get rich (and derogatorily called 'Puffers' due to the fact that they kept pumping their billows thinking heat was the answer to everything).

Information brought to you by various books on the history of Alchemy.

I aware but the "object lesson" of the stories was such. The practice of alchemy was largely allegorical.


True enough. It was heavily grounded in symbolism, which lives on to this day in Tarot cards.

Still trying to find a system for alchemy that relates to the real-world aspect, rather than Pathfinder's "Bombs ahoy! Oh, and a bit of magic drink here and there". The Power Class was... Kind of close.


Artemis Moonstar wrote:

Technically, the 'transmute lead into gold' is metaphorical for transmuting the base self into enlightenment.

Also, for those who didn't know, Alchemy was very much influenced by Astronomy. Positioning of planets, constellations, and so on. Each day was attributed to a planet (Mars, Uranus, Jupiter, etc), and often used certain elixers which were more effective on a given day.

..........

Information brought to you by various books on the history of Alchemy.

That first part is kinda like the internal alchemist archetype. I think its interesting that paizo came up with that based on that metaphor.

I also didn't know that some alchemy was based on astronomy... That's very interesting.

Could you list some of the books? I am interested to know where this info is coming from. Maybe I could get some research in for a new alchemist character later on.


Artemis Moonstar wrote:

Technically, the 'transmute lead into gold' is metaphorical for transmuting the base self into enlightenment.

Also, for those who didn't know, Alchemy was very much influenced by Astronomy. Positioning of planets, constellations, and so on. Each day was attributed to a planet (Mars, Uranus, Jupiter, etc), and often used certain elixers which were more effective on a given day.

It was rather transcendental as a practice. The real alchemists were those who were seeking to better themselves. The posers were the ones trying to get rich (and derogatorily called 'Puffers' due to the fact that they kept pumping their billows thinking heat was the answer to everything).

Information brought to you by various books on the history of Alchemy.

I am finding it ironic that the Puffers ended up somewhat vindicated by history and scientific advancement (heat really is one of the answers to everything).

To be honest, I think the reality of what alchemy was has become divorced from the narrative, especially given some of the basic education given on alchemy sometimes just focuses on the transmuting bit.

Which kinda leaves the fantasy versions much closer to mad scientists than to historical alchemists.


Artemis Moonstar wrote:

Technically, the 'transmute lead into gold' is metaphorical for transmuting the base self into enlightenment.

Also, for those who didn't know, Alchemy was very much influenced by Astronomy. Positioning of planets, constellations, and so on. Each day was attributed to a planet (Mars, Uranus, Jupiter, etc), and often used certain elixers which were more effective on a given day.

It was rather transcendental as a practice. The real alchemists were those who were seeking to better themselves. The posers were the ones trying to get rich (and derogatorily called 'Puffers' due to the fact that they kept pumping their billows thinking heat was the answer to everything).

Information brought to you by various books on the history of Alchemy.

Many of the "Puffers" were actually misunderstanding old books, written in code and metaphor, attempting to follow them literally.

And occasionally actually figuring out bits of science along the way.


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@Arcanic Drake: Give me a moment to raid my library's catalog. Too poor to buy many books of my own, so I raid my library and 'renew' the books for as long as I can, lol.

@MagusJanus: Alchemy Puffers were actually what split off from the Alchemical Mysticism and more or less generated the field of Chemistry as we know it. So, Kudos to them!

Edit: Okay, for Arcanic Drake... Books that I used were:
Complete Idiot's Guide to Alchemy - Surprisingly it actually does get into the metaphors and history.

Alchemy: The Great Secret by Andrea Aromatico - Don't remember much about this one, got to it later on and it repeated quite of bit of the info I'd read elsewhere.

The book of alchemy : learn the secrets of the alchemists to transform mind, body, and soul by Melville Francis - Gets into the full history, all the way back to the Egyptian god Thoth being the originator of Alchemy, and explained the concepts behind Alchemy's link to Astronomy (and thus Tarot).

Everything else was kind of... Repeating the same info, so admittedly I kind of skimmed until something different popped up. Didn't happen often.

Edit #2: Ninja'd by thejeff. More or less.

Sovereign Court

One might express the original question in another way:

Why do people consider magic and psionics as compatible in a fantasy setting? Psionics, afterall, is what you call magic in a sci-fi setting!

Whether magic is compatible with science, or if magic is different than psionics is something of a Rorschach about how you think genres should "be".


Artemis Moonstar wrote:

@Arcanic Drake: Give me a moment to raid my library's catalog. Too poor to buy many books of my own, so I raid my library and 'renew' the books for as long as I can, lol.

@MagusJanus: Alchemy Puffers were actually what split off from the Alchemical Mysticism and more or less generated the field of Chemistry as we know it. So, Kudos to them!

Edit: Okay, for Arcanic Drake... Books that I used were:
Complete Idiot's Guide to Alchemy - Surprisingly it actually does get into the metaphors and history.

Alchemy: The Great Secret by Andrea Aromatico - Don't remember much about this one, got to it later on and it repeated quite of bit of the info I'd read elsewhere.

The book of alchemy : learn the secrets of the alchemists to transform mind, body, and soul by Melville Francis - Gets into the full history, all the way back to the Egyptian god Thoth being the originator of Alchemy, and explained the concepts behind Alchemy's link to Astronomy (and thus Tarot).

Everything else was kind of... Repeating the same info, so admittedly I kind of skimmed until something different popped up. Didn't happen often.

Edit #2: Ninja'd by thejeff. More or less.

Thank you.

deusvult wrote:

One might express the original question in another way:

Why do people consider magic and psionics as compatible in a fantasy setting? Psionics, afterall, is what you call magic in a sci-fi setting!

Whether magic is compatible with science, or if magic is different than psionics is something of a Rorschach about how you think genres should "be".

....I don't know.... I might be kinda old school (AD&D to be exact) but to me magic and psionics are different. To me (though others might have a different take on it) Magic is the use of an outside energy source (talking dnd, pathfinder and the like), like "arcane" (mana, etc.) and "divine" power, and channeling it into a form that affects the world in a certain way due to some tested formula (speech, gesture, material), while psionics is the use of one's internal power and shaping it with ones mind to cause and effect.

Though I do get that paizo is trying their own take on it as another form of magic, psychic magic, I still believe they are different.


deusvult wrote:

One might express the original question in another way:

Why do people consider magic and psionics as compatible in a fantasy setting? Psionics, afterall, is what you call magic in a sci-fi setting!

Metaphysically speaking they aren't. Same with Ki -- they are different sources developed in different ways and used completely differently for different effects.

Sovereign Court

Arcanic Drake wrote:


I don't know.... I might be kinda old school (AD&D to be exact) but to me magic and psionics are different. To me (though others might have a different take on it) Magic is the use of an outside energy source (talking dnd, pathfinder and the like), like "arcane" (mana, etc.) and "divine" power, and channeling it into a form that affects the world in a certain way due to some tested formula (speech, gesture, material), while...

To go even older school, Psionics literally was just reskinned D&D magic for Gamma World.

But it's not supposed to be an argument about which is "right". It's an illustration that what people think "feels right" isn't always the same.

Some don't like laser guns in their fantasy. Whatever you feel about it, you're not "right".

Opinions about to whether psionics needs to be treated differently than magic is another dimension of the same phenomenon.


deusvult wrote:

One might express the original question in another way:

Why do people consider magic and psionics as compatible in a fantasy setting? Psionics, afterall, is what you call magic in a sci-fi setting!

Whether magic is compatible with science, or if magic is different than psionics is something of a Rorschach about how you think genres should "be".

I have a Shakespeare quote for you. It involves roses and their smell. Because what *is* in a name? Literally nothing it turns out. You can call a spade a square, but it'll still dig a ditch just as well and not be a four sided shape.


deusvult wrote:

One might express the original question in another way:

Why do people consider magic and psionics as compatible in a fantasy setting? Psionics, afterall, is what you call magic in a sci-fi setting!

Whether magic is compatible with science, or if magic is different than psionics is something of a Rorschach about how you think genres should "be".

Actually, it depends on the setting as to whether different casting types are different or the same. Whoever designs the world gets to design whether or not it 'should be' in that setting. When it comes to genres, there is no real 'should be' about it, as there are so many variations within a genre, one cannot point to merely one example and go 'THIS! THIS IS HOW IT IS!'...

Me? I view all forms of magic, whether it be arcane incantations, divine prayers, psionic thought, or qi-magic, as manipulating the same basic force. It's all a simple matter of hows and whys. Still working on homebrew modding the system (butchering more like) for my setting which will reflect this.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

I always view Alchemy as using the intrinsic natural powers of things, and then amplifying them. Thus, it is indeed a form of magitek, halfway between Artifice and Chemistry.

Psionics I always picture on drawing on your own force or the mental force of the Akasha, the overmind. It has a much different source then magic, which I picture as the underlying life energy of reality itself.

But, different strokes for dif't folkxes.

==Aelryinth


Abraham spalding wrote:
deusvult wrote:

One might express the original question in another way:

Why do people consider magic and psionics as compatible in a fantasy setting? Psionics, afterall, is what you call magic in a sci-fi setting!

Metaphysically speaking they aren't. Same with Ki -- they are different sources developed in different ways and used completely differently for different effects.

In game settings, yes. In genre literature? I can't actually think of anything offhand that has both. It's certainly not common.

Most fantasy sticks with one kind of magic - even having different divine and arcane magic is pretty rare. Some fantasy uses psionics, usually, but not always when they're trying to be more science fantasy than straight fantasy.

Science fiction stories use psionics or similar things - The Force, for example - if they're playing around with any kind of magic at all.

There are probably some true crossovers that I'm not thinking of, but it's very, very rare. The two things serve the same role in different stories. Having both is rarely necessary.

Edit: Major exception would be superhero comics, but those are a mishmash of different genres anyways.


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thejeff wrote:
Abraham spalding wrote:
deusvult wrote:

One might express the original question in another way:

Why do people consider magic and psionics as compatible in a fantasy setting? Psionics, afterall, is what you call magic in a sci-fi setting!

Metaphysically speaking they aren't. Same with Ki -- they are different sources developed in different ways and used completely differently for different effects.

In game settings, yes. In genre literature? I can't actually think of anything offhand that has both. It's certainly not common.

Most fantasy sticks with one kind of magic - even having different divine and arcane magic is pretty rare. Some fantasy uses psionics, usually, but not always when they're trying to be more science fantasy than straight fantasy.

Science fiction stories use psionics or similar things - The Force, for example - if they're playing around with any kind of magic at all.

There are probably some true crossovers that I'm not thinking of, but it's very, very rare. The two things serve the same role in different stories. Having both is rarely necessary.

Edit: Major exception would be superhero comics, but those are a mishmash of different genres anyways.

No I meant more in the same sense people were talking about alchemy earlier different.

Psychics claim that what they are doing is more tied into either an over-conscious or through exploration of their own mind. That it's an inherent step in evolution or something natural to the human mind that can augment human interaction with the world through use of the mind's power. It's powers tend to stay in line with "common" science -- you have to have a 'line of power' the energy to exert and the means of activation. You should theoretically be able to use telekinesis in space but it's not really going to be "easier" since you are moving the same mass. In effect the spoon is real, but your interaction with it isn't physical.

Ki comes from development of the total self (more akin to alchemy than alchemy is to magic really) and allows transcendence over the universe not through "mastery" of the universe but through the growth of your own energy. Transcendence isn't a matter of changing the world around but instead changing how you interact with the world. All the world is still the same you just have a better control over your own reactions/responses to it. With enough mastery over self you can begin to feel and understand the follow of ki through other things but this does not let you change the 'truth' of the object -- but instead simply understand how to best interact with it.

Magic is a linking with powers beyond this realm. Through the use of the principles of influence, sympathy and transference (to name but three) the use of these external energies are brought to effect the mundane. This does not actually require "personal growth" but instead greater underestanding of those energies and the ability to pull them through. However these energies are easiest to use through indirect means. Throwing a fireball would be truly impressive as it represents a very... 'vulgar' expression of magic -- the sheer amount and control over the energies would be astounding. However to set up influence with a place have it express a sympathy with fire and then use transference of that sympathy to cause... "a series of unfortunate events" to cause a place to burn down would be easier. However magic is more fraught since the use of outside energies can bring the attention of outside beings, and magic itself tends to cause the user to be bound by the same laws that are used to invoke magic -- hence the care in regards to black magic and the admonition of the rule of three.

TL:DR


  • Psychic is internal use of mental energy to affect the world but is still "bound" by 'science'. Typical expressions will see use of wavelengths (usually claimed to be unknown to current science), and mental energy within the bounds of reality. If you can use a radio then the mind should be able to be tuned to be a radio, for example.
  • Ki is life, and grows "up" -- requires both physical and mental mastery of self, and allows the self to change how things interact with it. At peak levels there is some ability to affect how the flow of Ki moves through others. This does not affect 'fate' but allows greater control of self and transcendence of normal interaction by understanding how to reinforce the self against that interaction.
  • Magic requires outside energies not of this realm pulled through. Principles exist for magic but through use tend to also bind the user to them. The same effect can be achieved through multiple means and no "personal growth" is 'required' for use -- though knowing the rules before 'playing' is highly recommended.

Some literary examples include Full Metal Alchemist (brotherhood), a certain magical index, a certain scientific railgun, blue exorcist to pop a couple of anime off the top of my head. I'll have more later but I have to do some quick checking to make sure I name the right books.

One key thing to remember about general metaphysical studies is that you really can't lump all systems into the same pot and call it even. While several traditions do lend themselves to one of the three above if you look at how each does things I think you'll find a trend where the above break out is the 'baseline' that most forms build out of (speaking only in generalities).

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

The problem here is defining the energy.

Exactly how many names are there for magic/ki/psionics? Every single Anime seems to call it something new. In Bleach, it's reitsu. In Airbender, it's Karma or something. IN Naruto, it's chakra. One Piece, Haki. In other places, it's mana. In others, chi. Then akasha, and whatnot.

So, the nature and name of the power changes radically from place to place. Clear definitions between them start to blur.

I've seen ki used as the definition of every single type of power out there, from spirituality to berserkergang to spellcasting to alchemy. In others, it is the reward of self-perfection, meditative power of spirit. In The Gamer, Magic points are used in both spellcasting and martial combat, they are the same thing.

D&D is fairly unique in that psionics, ki, magic, rage, and alchemy are all different power sources, some of which interact, some of which do not.

I think how you define the energy(ies) and how they interact is one of the defining things of your campaign, really.

==Aelryinth


thejeff wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:
^Unless the world has conditions that impair development of technology, such as I posted before: {. . .}
In which case I would expect not to have the high tech or at least not to have it common, rather than to have it common, but still have a traditional fantasy society. None of that really effects magitech, either.

Well, that's what I'm talking about: You can do some fairly simple tweaking to the conditions of the world (that are even within the limits of Human(oid) survivability) without needing to alter the basic laws of physics, that can impair the development of technology so that it DOESN'T just take over from the alternative. (Now, this is no guarantee that you don't have to alter or at least supplement the basic laws of physics to have an alternative in the first place.)

thejeff wrote:

{. . .}

Edit: Major exception would be superhero comics, but those are a mishmash of different genres anyways.

Speaking of which, let me use this as an excuse to say again that if Paizo ever did decide to do a Pathfinder 2.0, a Paizo/Green Ronin teamup would be awesome . . . .

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

a 2.0 is inevitable at some point. The hardest point is going to be getting away from the 3.5 OGL, and truly making a game of their own.

==Aelryinth

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The ultimate stunt in fantasy alchemism was the fusion of two mages into one, creating the being Heylel Tomin of Mage lore.


Aelryinth wrote:
a 2.0 is inevitable at some point. The hardest point is going to be getting away from the 3.5 OGL, and truly making a game of their own. {. . .}

Getting away from the 3.5 OGL is not required for a Pathfinder 2.0/M&M 4.0, and unless they come up with a substitute for this that is better, it is probably better to stick with it.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

where's that from?

Traditionally, the apex of alchemy has always been the philosopher's stone, with Immortality and artificial life right behind.

==Aelryinth

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

UnArcaneElection wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:
a 2.0 is inevitable at some point. The hardest point is going to be getting away from the 3.5 OGL, and truly making a game of their own. {. . .}

Getting away from the 3.5 OGL is not required for a Pathfinder 2.0/M&M 4.0, and unless they come up with a substitute for this that is better, it is probably better to stick with it.

There's a lot of legacy rules from 3.5 that they stuck with that they'd like to get rid of now that they feel more confident about the game. For instance, requiring deities for clerics, just for starters.

the new book about options will hopefully be talking about what they'd like to do different, that will still make the core decent.

==Aelryinth


Aelryinth wrote:

The problem here is defining the energy.

Exactly how many names are there for magic/ki/psionics? Every single Anime seems to call it something new. In Bleach, it's reitsu. In Airbender, it's Karma or something. IN Naruto, it's chakra. One Piece, Haki. In other places, it's mana. In others, chi. Then akasha, and whatnot.

So, the nature and name of the power changes radically from place to place. Clear definitions between them start to blur.

I've seen ki used as the definition of every single type of power out there, from spirituality to berserkergang to spellcasting to alchemy. In others, it is the reward of self-perfection, meditative power of spirit. In The Gamer, Magic points are used in both spellcasting and martial combat, they are the same thing.

D&D is fairly unique in that psionics, ki, magic, rage, and alchemy are all different power sources, some of which interact, some of which do not.

I think how you define the energy(ies) and how they interact is one of the defining things of your campaign, really.

==Aelryinth

I typically go by the definition of where the energy is supposed to come from as the defining characteristic with "what it can do" being secondary.

Magic is inherently not of this realm by every reading of it I have come across. This is not to say it isn't 'natural' is a cosmic sense but that it's non-physical, non-mental. You can be a mental giant and not use magic. You can be top form physically and not have magic -- it's tied intrinsically to an outside source metaphysically speaking (this would be why you call down the corners and such in most magical traditions).

Psychic is by definition of the mind, and of a personal nature.

Ki is of the world and is life itself -- you have life and therefore with training can access it but that training is going to include physical and mental rigor because life is both so to speak.

I agree that these are called multiple names in different cases but while names are important (a keypoint in magic in fact) most traditions break down on those lines (that I have seen).

Scarab Sages

Aelryinth wrote:

where's that from?

Traditionally, the apex of alchemy has always been the philosopher's stone, with Immortality and artificial life right behind.

==Aelryinth

I remember one series where the main villain was an alchemists cat. They'd both spent their lives pursuing one of the two great goals of alchemy. The alchemist trying to turn lead into gold and the cat trying to become immortal. The alchemist was very dissapointed to realise when he succeeded he'd soon die of old age. The cat was happy after he killed his brother who was the alchemists official familiar and became immortal.

As for the chi, magic and psychic powers I tend to classify them as.. . .

Magic transforms the world.
Ki enhances it.
Psychic powers work with it.

The problem in Pathfinder is the most common source for psychic powers treats it a lot as anothrr form of magic with its disciplines and the like. There's a 3rd part 3.x supplement I like that has a skill based psychic power system. So you can put 20 points into the telepathy and be amazing at it but not be any good at telekinesis. The other part I liked was that while it has a lot of options for mental actions e.g. Tricking a person into seeing something not real it's physical real world manifestations e.g. Telekinesis, pyrokinesis, cryokinesis and the like are all distinct manipulations of natural energy states. You can't teleport, transform someone into a frog or create a private demiplane but you can rip someones mind apart and take over their body.

On thr subject of Naruto their chakra has two components a mental and physical and physical one that need to be combined to create chakra (Ki and psychic powers?) Thinking about it Dbz also has two forms of energy the chi they use for flying, energy blasts etc and a more powerful life force that Tien uses a few times. If they run out of chi they need to rest and sleep but if they use up their life force they die.


Abraham spalding wrote:


Magic is inherently not of this realm by every reading of it I have come across. This is not to say it isn't 'natural' is a cosmic sense but that it's non-physical, non-mental. You can be a mental giant and not use magic. You can be top form physically and not have magic -- it's tied intrinsically to an outside source metaphysically speaking (this would be why you call down the corners and such in most magical traditions).

There are plenty of sources where magic is a part of this realm. Ley lines and geomancy spring to mind.

And the same condition can apply to psychic powers too: You can be a mental giant and not use psionics. You can be top form physically and not have psionics.

There do tend to be differences in approach in various genre sources, but they're nowhere near hard and fast and generally tied to psionics being linked to science fiction and magic to fantasy.


Abraham spalding wrote:
Magic is inherently not of this realm by every reading of it I have come across. This is not to say it isn't 'natural' is a cosmic sense but that it's non-physical, non-mental. You can be a mental giant and not use magic. You can be top form physically and not have magic -- it's tied intrinsically to an outside source metaphysically speaking (this would be why you call down the corners and such in most magical traditions).

Animism. Spirits are nearly always seen as part of this world, and bargaining with them for "magical" effects is part of a shaman's job.

Chakra and Chi, entirely personal things in most interpretations, grounded solely in things of the world, and also generating magical effects.

Alchemy, another thing that's tied to the world, and still meant to generate magical results.

And that's just three examples. There's so many different sorts of magic in different cultures and fictions that it's very hard to say what it can or can't do or what it's basis is. Just that's there's a lot to it.


thejeff wrote:
Abraham spalding wrote:


Magic is inherently not of this realm by every reading of it I have come across. This is not to say it isn't 'natural' is a cosmic sense but that it's non-physical, non-mental. You can be a mental giant and not use magic. You can be top form physically and not have magic -- it's tied intrinsically to an outside source metaphysically speaking (this would be why you call down the corners and such in most magical traditions).
There are plenty of sources where magic is a part of this realm. Ley lines and geomancy spring to mind.

The 2e Birthright setting of Cerelia was built entirely around a war with the old gods in the distant past where they were slain and their divine essences entered the blood of their scions and into the land itself, so that wilderness regions provided additional arcane potential and were home to the most powerful wizards.

Magic definitely does not have to be from an outside, metaphysical source - it can certainly be contained in the land itself.

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