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So I am going to try my hand at writing a fantasy, I have had ideas bouncing around in my head so long its getting painful. the setting and overall story line is mostly clear to me, but there are two things i am hoping someone will help me with. Firstly, i need someone to give me comments on my magic system

I created a magic system which is kinda universal, then i adapted it to different applications. Basically, there is an alternate universe (called the Riftplane) wherein things called Riftselfs reside, they are the manifestation of a physical object or person on the Physical Plane. Links can be forged between them and the mage to produce certain effects.

the first and the most complex system is Fettering, used by one of my civilisations. in their world there are Arcs (a fancy word for elements) that can be controlled. the mage creates a connection (Fettering) between his physical self, his Riftself, the Riftself of the Arc. because this type of connection is more complex than the others, it requires two things: a sharp mind, and certain knowledge. The mage must know the NAME of the Arc they want to control. a name here isn't actually a name, it is more of an understanding. the amount of understanding you have influences the abilities you can do. More on this in another topic.

Another system is the song system, where the mage Fetters himself to the Riftself of an object through a song. The ability can't be changed, so you sing a song and it does a function that cant be changed. this magic feeds off emotion and doesn't need strength of mind.

the last is a manipulation of dust, called Lifedust. The Dust is located all over the planet, and can only be used after a mage Fetters his Riftself to its Riftself. this kind of connection, existing only on the Riftplane, passes after a time. once a connection has been placed, the Dustmage can control this Dust however he wants. 

Note: Lifedust can also be used in alloys or chemical compounds, producing interesting effects. More about this later.

Note 2: all this info isn't going to be in the story at the beginning, but will be explained by scholars toward the end.

the second thing I hope to do is release some of my novel onto the forums, so people can give me feedback. It is free of magiuc, and is set in a Venetian-English setting, amidst a war with hostile forces. if you want me to release some of my novel please tell me, along with any comments or questions you have on my magic systems.


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So general comments. First off, I've read my fair share of magic systems in the past and I really think you're going to benefit from reading Brandon's own guide to magic systems. However so as not to rip off the content, I'm just going to go ahead and put in my observations.

First off, I think the twist to "true names" in the form of intimate understanding of the object's riftself is innovative. It's not completely new territory but at least it isn't similar to the song cycle or Ursula Le Guin's works.

The element thing is I assume like Fire, Water, etc.? I am going to stay clear of this for a moment because I am heavily biased with spell systems like this, however I will say that if you plan on going on this road impose strict conditions or employ a method of element control that isn't as simple as simply waving your hands in the air.

*Avatar had specific stances and utilized sets of movement in order to control the elements.

*Codex Alera compensates by using Furies, and that crafters couldn't overtly control their elemental powers, in fact element control in the series was more like letting these furies run rampant instead of guiding them. The crafters had minimal control over the overt manifestation of their abilities.

*The Five Magics had strict laws that could not be circumvented for each magic.

However, if you want magic to be easy or less sciensey that's your call. That can work too.

The song system seems promising. I'd like more info on this.

The lifedust thing though seems at odds with the prior two because if everything that you can fetter with your magic system can be considered an element why would you separate lifedust from the rest? It works on the same principles as the other two, right?

Keep up the good work and oh btw I'm pretty sure that the rest of the shard would be happy reviewing your novel. :D

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So my main question on this is that with your Riftplane, (sweet name, btw.) you say that there are Riftselfs, which are "the manifestation of a physical object or person on the Physical Plane."

What kind of manifestation is this? In Brandon's system, he has the cognitive realm, which is how things are perceived and how they see themselves. Is this how your plane works as well? Or is it more of a twisted form, shaped in some way by the plane itself? That would be more of my guess, since you referred to them as "things" earlier.

And with the Arcs, since the Riftplane shows a manifestation of them, does that mean that there's one fire Arc, and people are using it, and they're all linking to the same Riftself of the fire Arc? So kinda like a contract system, where they make a deal with it? That leads into my next question, which is whether the riftselves have a choice on whether to be part of the Fettering, or if their powers are being used without their permission.

Is there any way to access the Riftplane with a physical form, or perhaps merge with your riftself to go there?

Is there a riftself of the Riftplane?

These are just the questions I had while reading your system. It looks really cool, and I can't wait to see where it goes.


Kinda on the topic, I've also been working on a magic system, although it's nowhere as put together as yours.

In it, humans can make contracts with higher beings (Gods/Demons/Sorcerers/etc.) for boons, in exchange for something of their own, whether their soul, their emotions, a memory, etc.

It is possible to break a contract though, in exchange for being known as an Oathbreaker. (Name is WIP) This basically means you can't sleep, all food and water tastes like ash, animals and other humans hate you, all higher beings will scorn you for reneging on a contract, and as soon as you die, they get your soul and the contract goes through anyway. There's usually a reason why nobody breaks the contract, but if they do, the higher being can't really do anything against them due to a non-interference clause. Basically, they can't directly interfere without contracts.

The idea is having a character (MC, MC SIbling, Friend, Stranger, Side character that pops up in one scene. Not sure what their role is yet.) that has broken a contract for some reason, and is going around trying to find some way to break the Oathbreaker status, since when he/she dies, the contract will go through, which is what they didn't want to happen in the first place.

That's basically all I've got, no plot, basically no characters. Just some basic worldbuilding.

Please ask any questions you have, as that forces me to answer them, which is how I figure these things out best.

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the reason the magic systems are seperated from one anotehr os because they exist on different planets of the same universe. People on one planet can use Lifedust but have no idea whatsoever about the other types. 

7 hours ago, Mr. Staccato said:

The element thing is I assume like Fire, Water, etc.? I am going to stay clear of this for a moment because I am heavily biased with spell systems like this, however I will say that if you plan on going on this road impose strict conditions or employ a method of element control that isn't as simple as simply waving your hands in the air.

I had the idea that the magic could be focused by hand gestures in a certain pattern, because it helps focus the mind rather than let it wander. I may put that limitation in, but there still are some characters that surpass it, but it is only one or two.

btw you can find the story i am writing on here: 

thx for the help:D:D:D:D

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To BridgeBoy:

I haven't really thought about how the manifestations would look because the characters won't be travelling to the Riftplane anytime soon. Any ideas of how it would look or how to get there are much appreciated.

Riftselves do not have a choice in the matter, because they are not sentient. Riftselves and sentience is a complex topic. The riftself of a human, regular object, or god doesn't think or have sentience on the Riftplane. However, it can gain sentience by being forced to enter the Physical Realm. At this point you can't Fetter it anyway, so its choice doesn't matter.

Each fire hs its own Riftself. Basically, the Riftself of an object or person is created when that object is created in the Physical Realm, so when you light a fire, a new Riftself specifically for it is created, and when you put it out, the Riftself is destroyed.


Now, your magic system sounds AWESOME. I don't know how you go about planning for your novels, stories or magic systems, but it doesnt matter if your magic system isn't complex.

My questions are:

What kind of things are asked for in a contract? Because if the contract is a physical thing, like go stab that guythen how could the soul do it after death? Does it gain a body, like a zombie or something?

How many contracts can you have at once? I suggest here that for your plot the character could have more than one contract and is a powerful individual, so there is some sort of divine politics going on.

How do you get a contract? Is it like the Words in Stormlight Archive?This is important. Also, how do you break it?

If the gods (Im' gonna call them gods, seems best) can give contracts, then why cant they just kill the Oathbreaker? I would put an oath of nonintervention unless specifically asked here.

I thought of a plot that just came to me. Maybe that Oathbreaker has made a very powerful contract which gave him lots of cool powers, but when he made it he was desperate and said that he would kill a king or something for it. the God/demoin/wizard actually wants to invade but cant because they cant directly interfere with humansn, and so the Oathbreaker becomes like a dark god's hand, unwillingly.

Great work and amazing concept. If you want to further establish your magic I would suggest you read the Sanderson's Laws of Magic essays, which you can find on his website. Iread them and they are very useful and inspiring.

Keep telling us about it, I am sure it will be something real huge :D:D:D:D:D:D!!!

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I read your excerpt and the wordbuilding looks really cool! Haven't seen too much of the magic system yet, so can't comment too much on that, but your characters seem different and have their own quirks, and your writing is clear besides a few editing issues. Just keep it up, and it seems it could turn into a good novel.

4 out of 5 stars. If saw in library, would get.


So if you're using the Arc of fire, you can only control a specific fire? That makes it more limited, which I think is a pretty good idea.

As for how they would look, I kinda see the Riftplane as being fundamentally different from the physical plane. So if you did visit there, it would kinda be like a landscape, but with blank bubbles of where things don't exist. So the concept of a specific fire in a specific fireplace would show up as a mass of heat and warmth, but without any kind of form or shape. And the more people think about it or focus on it, the clearer it is. Humans are unique in how they are the ones who give things the concept and clarity. So things in the Riftplane are like bubbles around the riftselves of humans, while the areas where they can't see/reach are blank space. A chair gives off the idea of stability, and a family picture might give off the idea of love or nostalgia.

So things don't really have a form that you can see, it's mostly vague blurs and feelings. While humans riftselves give off the feelings they feel about themselves. So a confident human would give off that feeling, while a veteran soldier might give off a feeling of regret or self-hate.

You said that riftselves gain sentience when they are moved into the physical plane. (This means you probably have plans for this in the future, which sounds exciting.) Doesn't this mean that by reversing that process in some way, you could pull your physical self into the Riftplane? So that should be relatively simple to implement.


Contracts tend to be immediate or long-term actions for immediate, future immediate, or long-term costs. So if you promised them your soul for bringing your cat back to life, depending on the contract, it could either be immediate --your life for your cat's-- or future, so when you die, they claim your soul, or long-term, so you work for them for a while.

The two sides don't have to be equal, but both sides have to agree. Gods can't seek out humans in any way, but humans can come to them. So if you want ol' fluffy (the cat) back, you'd better go seek them out. Each god has a different personality and could give you a better or worse deal, depending on if they like you. One god wanted to be justice, so blinded themselves and muffled their ears so they wouldn't be affected by their looks or eloquent speech.

There are others who attempt to ensnare innocent Oathseekers, (name considerably less WIP) saying "you do this for me, then I do this for you," without a contract, so they get something, then don't have to do anything.

There are also factions of gods, as well as different pantheons. One of the things I'm still figuring out is how I plan to have thousands of different gods without involving different dimensions, secret bases, or massive conspiracies, but not having characters bump into a god every 10 minutes.

Every god wants souls though, possibly as a form of almost-currency to use their abilities out of contract. Maybe a mythical tale of being able to "ascend" once they gather enough souls and leave the physical plane for a different place where they can use their abilities without limits.

(Or maybe it's all a plan by an Elder God (Cachoolu?) for them to gain the souls, before he devours them whole, gaining both their powers and their souls, as a means for him to survive.)

Since gods can't interfere directly, one of their greatest desires in a contract is to gain the Oathseeker as a vassal, which means they bestow a slight amount of their power upon them, (So they are denoted as a vassal. They don't get any abilities.) and then the vassal goes and and either does their bidding (assassination) or to wrangle up more Oathseekers for them. (Proselytization) The vassals, as they are part of the god's power, are also part of the Ascending.

(Or they get dragged along for the consuming as well.)

There isn't a limit on how many contracts one person can have, either one from 100 gods, or 100 from one god, but gods tend to see humans as pawns or tools, not as equals. So people only seek them out if they feel they have to, and would prefer not to again. So they tend to be incredibly cautious.

(Or each contract takes some of their soul/humanity to upkeep, enforcing the contract with their own power, allowing them to break it if they desire, but they don't get it back. So if someone goes power-crazed, and does get too many contracts, they become an insane husk, living on their whims, with barely any humanity left.)

To break the contract, they have to get hold of the physical contract and destroy it. So yeah, that often means sneaking into a god's vault. You can only break your own contracts, nobody else's. Even if the physical contract is broken, the god still has to go through with their side of it, but the backlash curses them as an Oathbreaker. (name still WIP. I feel like I'm ripping off SA 3 as it is.)

(Or, since part of their soul is in the contract, them breaking the contract means cutting off that part of their soul, losing it forever. Kinda like destroying a Horcrux, but it has actual consequences.)

The idea of the MC getting a contract, then breaking it, then finding out there was a backup clause, so he still has to go through with it, actually sounds pretty intriguing. So now this tortured guy's trying to infiltrate the king's court, while having literal chains on him, and not being able to taste. (He gets appointed the food taster, naturally.) I feel that I could go one of two routes with the plot, either having the gods being a large part of the story, or just kinda being there in the background. Either showing up and doing things, or we never really see them except in the lore.

(Or I could go with the other idea I had, which involves him ending up fused with a god, meaning he can interfere, can make contracts, but with less power, etc. It also means he has the threat of an Elder God hanging over his head when he dies.)


For clarification, the "(Or...)" sections are for a semi-alternate idea where things are more serious, but it adds more on, so I feel I'm kinda leaning towards it.

My main things right now are figuring out more of the gods, the actual world, (modern or fantasy) the plot, the characters, and not making it cliche. Which actually sounds like a lot, now that I write it out. Way to depress myself.

Thanks for your comments, and I'll check out the laws. I'm pretty familiar with them, but having directly used them while inventing the system, so I'll try that.

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