Different types of magic[off topic]


I know there is “Arcane” which is summoning, binding, animating etc. Mental (basically esp with different sub magic) Elemental magic, fire, earth,lighting,air etc but is there any other magor types or is the above 3 all there is ? I am researching this topic but can’t pull up anymore useful info


I’m not sure if it would fall under arcane, but I would consider runic magic to be it’s own category. Sacrificial magic would also be another with subcategories like blood magic or soul gambling. Entropic magic is sometimes considered it’s own category. God-tier magic would likely fall under it’s own category as well, something along the lines of “divine magic”. The latter would probably consist of all magics that don’t require a source or origin - it simply is.


Make your own categories. It’s magic, a fictional force/entity.
Heck, why call it magic? Call it Magik or Magick, or whatever Mana.

Elemental - Fire, Water, Wind, Earth
Arcane - Divine, Shadow, Void

To create other magic, you mix the two branches.

Just let your imagination wander. Create your own rules. You’re the author. You’re a god since you can create your own world.


Unless you’re trying to set your book to involve existing systems or religions that involve magic (ie wicca etc) in which case you’ll need to do your research into that specific area, you can pretty much decide how you want to manage things. It’s why you’ll find systems and categories of magic change from book to book.

Some ideas to think about: Do you want classes of magic users (ie mages, clerics, sharmans, psions/psychics, alchemists etc) or just have “Magic users” that can specialise in paricular areas (ie a particular element or elemental magic in general, light/dark, mental/mind, evocation, healing etc (basically decide what you want if you’re designing the way it’s going to work in your universe).

Also “arcane” is usually a bit of a general term that is often used for magic in general, not a specific type (although I did pull up a WOW page that seems to have made it into a magical system) It literally means “understood by few/mysterious/esoteric” :slight_smile:


I still have an old, battered copy of Master of the Five Magics - the entire book is about someone learning the five types of magic this world has divided its mystic abilities into. It’s a good example of how you can create an internally consistent system based on existing mythology. Which, in this case, the five are thaumaturgy (inherent principles of sympathy), alchemy (ingredient-based formulae), magic (ritual spellwork), sorcery (mind control), and wizardry (dealing with demons.)


Is there a name for emotionally fuelled magic normally unlocked through supernatural trauma or intervention?


I remember liking that book a lot in high school. The MC’s descent into a volcano covered in barely enough potion to protect him stayed with me most vividly.

Edit: couple of nice, thoughtful reviews linked off that Wikipedia page: http://www.pornokitsch.com/2009/05/underground-reading-master-of-the-five-magics-by-lyndon-hardy.html


Tibetan magic is a system touched on in Stephen King’s IT, but otherwise underused in fantasy – might be worth researching that and seeing if it inspires you.


Since most of the types I wanted to mention are listed, I’ll go with holy. But there can be as many types as you want, really. It’s only up to your imagination :slight_smile:


I’d add: if you have magic in your story, you’ll want to decide how to manage it from the beginning - too many departure points can occur if you operate from a on-the-fly methodology and anything from contradictions to continuity errors will happen.

I am a very intuitive writer, rarely mapping every detail out in advance but when it comes to magic, that is the one thing I have thought out from the beginning.


Yup, sorry that’s what I meant. Organise your own system and stick to it :slight_smile:


Just going to chuck a penny into the well here and say that magic (in my WIP it’s called 'glyf) is a pain in the backside for storyboarding.

It’s a great magnification of the MC’s powers
but it could technically apply to almost every situation the MC encounters. I’m often left excluding all reference to magic in a choice, simply to exclude writing thirteen possible magic based outcomes (yes I was a moron for including so many different magical powers :sweat_smile:)

I think its use in choice requires a more restrained definition of magic:
= not the ‘don’t want to get out of bed? Magic! Bad hair? Magic!’ approach

Instead you need boundaries to explain why you aren’t introducing magic in every choice. Perhaps a mana based system (you’re low on power. .), or a kryptonite solution (no, I’m sorry you’re just going to have to wait in that cell until I, the author, am ready for you because, well it’s made of kryptonite)


I think I will go with the energy or “mana” system with a few changes (of course!) And I been watching couple of anime’s where there is no system what so ever but the mc and other people get physically or mentally exhausted (a class 3 wizard can use 6 middle class spells before getting tired for example). Also I am thinking about physical spells will cost more or less than normal spells by physical I mean muscle strengthening and the like


I have a rough draft of the system along with potential magic types (some I made up :slight_smile: )


I bet no one cares but I was thinking about transformation magic where you can transform into a(n) animal which is assigned to you at birth (kinda like a spiritual animal) and depending on the animal you choose you will have specific weaker magic that can only be used in that transformation (for example: a wolf will have “shadow fur” which will allow it to blend into darkness ). Do you think its a good idea ?

[Edit] of course it won’t be free, it will cost 30% of your mana or will need your blood to be activated and or special magic infused blood vials which will cost you $$$


Bet lost.

I believe I already said elsewhere that “I love shape shifters”.



Merlinny mastery of mangy magical powers?

Or absolutely shabulous shapeshifting. . .?


My favorites have always been mutant-type powers. Highly individual, weird abilities that you have to be creative to use in multiple situations. Also, they tend to manifest through trauma, like the supernatural abilities @Adam_VanCleave_Perro mentioned above; I’ve got a soft spot for psychologically battered heroes.

Of course, those unique abilities take longer to code than “Elemental Blast - [Type] Level ____”. Which is why in games that have those kind of powers, they often give you a specific one (Psy High, Fallen Hero, The Hero Project: Redemption Season, A Wise Use Of Time.)

Community College Hero used multiple (powerless) hero types and used other classmates’ powers in combat, and Trial of the Demon Hunter let you customize your familiar’s abilities or your own with significant effects down the line. They added options to choices whenever an ability would give the MC an opportunity, then used various stats to determine the chance of success. I haven’t played Waywalkers U., Fatehaven or some of the other magic-based games, so I don’t know how they handled it.


Look up more about Wiccan if you want to brush up on more about elemental magic also look up draconic wicca.


I’m about halfway through a novella in which magic is an advanced application of mathematics. The main character is, among other things, a computational demonologist. His wife is a combat epistomologist, but I think she appears in other stories.

The protagonist carries a government-issued ward against hostile enchantments as part of his job. He also has a faux business card that triggers a geas that gets placed on all British law enforcement personnel to make them recognize the authority of his covert agency. So far, sinister forces have used amnesia charms, geasa, and an outbreak of demonically possessed zombies triggered by a really mean MS Word macro. It is also the first story I’ve read in which unicorns are genuinely scary.

Nothing wrong with lightning bolts and mana systems, but it doesn’t have to be all lighting bolts and mana systems.


No fair, you described this badass story and didn’t give the title. I think the author deserves a shout-out, after writing in all of that. MS Word macro-triggered zombies? I must read this.