MAGIC IN ROLE-PLAYING

         This is a collection of articles on magic in role-playing games, mostly independent of any particular game system. I have some observations on existing magic systems, and some possible magic systems presented in a system-less manner.

         In general, I am dissatisfied with nearly all of the magic systems that are out there, in that they simply aren't very interesting or "magical" feeling to me. For my own games, I tend to come up with a homebrew system -- but it is rarely quantified enough to present as a rules system for others to use.

Breaking Out of Scientific Magic Systems
This is a long article which suggests approaches to having a more "mythic" style of magic in RPGs, as opposed to scientific. It goes over some common traits of most fantasy RPG magic systems compared to myth, folklore, and fantasy fiction.
Magic and Society (Added 4/27/03)
This is a general essay on the question of how real, effective magic would change society. It is not system-specific, but it does suggest possibilities based on common trends in RPG magic systems.
The Real-World Meaning of "mana"
Some notes on the real-world meaning of the term "mana", which is frequently misconstrued by fantasy RPGs.
The Real-World Meaning of "hermetic"
Other notes on the real-world meaning of the term "hermetic", which is also frequently misconstrued by fantasy RPGs.
Magic in "Vikings & Skraelings"
These are notes on magic in my "Vikings & Skraelings" campaign, which is set in 1392 of an alternate history where the Greenland and Vinland colonies thrived rather than fading. It has magic based closely on the Icelandic sagas and on Algonquian tradition.

Links


John H. Kim <jhkim-at-darkshire-dot-net>
Last modified: Wed Mar 2 01:53:43 2005