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Rules of Magic [message #18302] Tue, 09 December 2008 10:41 Go to next message
XaltatunOfAcheron is currently offline  XaltatunOfAcheron
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I'm copying the Rules from Maggie Finson's thread in Questions and Answers on July 30, 2005 so we can find it easier.

---- Maggie said: ----

I'm starting a new thread here on the rules of magic so it doesn't hijack the one on devisors and gadgeteers. These are the rules as listed by Nikki's tutor, and a set that Bek and I came up with to help out in the general mayhem of Whateley.

The Rule of Reaction - For every action, no matter how small or unintentional, there is always a reaction of equal or greater intensity.

One should carefully think through the things done with magic whenever possible. Because whatever is done magically, can and will have effects more far ranging than the caster can actually see happening. Those could actually unbalance something somewhere far away.

The Rule of Definition - The Universe Is What We Say It is. We define our own surroundings with our perceptions and influence on the things and people around us.

The Rule of definition is probably the most important one of all. That is thought by some to be the only True law in all the universe, with the others being simply parts of the greater whole of this one.

The Rule of Dominion - when a being makes a definition that a place or circumstance is their Place of Power, then they have near ultimate power in that place, until they are displaced from there. A 'Dominion' must have set boundaries. The 'Masters' power extends only to those borders and no further. Like a spirit's Hallow.

The Rule of Cyclicality - Things work in cycles. They begin, the work their way to a mid-point, then the decline, and finally end.

It also means that Magic is an EXCEPTION to the normal course of events in the world, a disruption of the natural order. As such, it causes disruptions in the course of things around it, which create smaller disruptions further away and so on, like a pebble thrown in a pool causing ripples that radiate out, and fade away. When a cycle has begun and reaches it's point of no return, then it WILL complete itself, no matter what anyone does. I think this one ties in the one about reactions. A spell isn't finished until all of its repercussions end.

The Rule of Nemesis - When someone or some thing begins to advance a course of action, the Universe will bring up something or someone to oppose it. The person, being or thing is the best suited for the task, and has the best chance of succeeding. Nothing at all comes into being unopposed. There is always an equal force to balance it.

The Rule of Pacting - When a pact is made, it binds those who made it into honoring the agreement. Breaking a pact will have terrible repercussions for the one who does so. In other words, don't make deals you have no plans on keeping, especially with the supernatural, or you'll be in a world of hurt.

The Rule of Similarity - Things that are alike affect each other. It's the basis of sympathetic magic, taking one thing to make changes to something like it. When you make the change in one, the connected one changes too.

The rule of Contagion - Once Joined, always linked. Which means that when you have a piece of something like a lock of hair, or nail clipping, you have a magical link to whatever or whoever you took the sample of.

The Rule of Intent - what you intend, not what you SAY you intend affects the working of a magic. Anger, Greed and Lust will contaminate what you think is an innocent working.

The Rule of Precedent - What happened before, will happen again. The more a working has been done in the past, the better a chance that it will work in the future. Meaning that something that has been done, say a thousand times would be easier to do than something that's only been once or twice.

The Rule of the Essential Flaw - nothing is perfect. There is a weak spot in everything. So nothing anyone does is going to be unbreakable if you know where to look for the weak point.

The Rule of Threes - Things don't come alone. Events,and even people will bring others similar to them at least twice. Like the old stories about deaths coming in threes.

The Rule of Names - If you have the True Name of something, you hold power over that thing. If someone or something has anything's true name, it will be able to exert control over that thing or person.

-----

There's a fairly long conversation under the original thread.

Xaltatun


Oxymoron: Jumbo Shrimp
Impossible: Sustainable Growth
Re: Rules of Magic [message #18405 is a reply to message #18302] Wed, 10 December 2008 23:34 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Maggie_Finson is currently offline  Maggie_Finson
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Well, that's about as well defined as anything else we've come up with for Whateley. Meaning - it's full of holes, with lots of room for working between the lines or simply using the rules in ways that most people wouldn't consider as being doable.

Originality counts here, by the way. Just remember that any, and I mean ANY magical working does have consequences that are unanticipated.

Have fun. Twisted Evil


I AM the goddess of Chaos! Worship me! Just don't expect the results you wanted. Wink
Re: Rules of Magic [message #18520 is a reply to message #18405] Fri, 12 December 2008 01:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Diane Castle is currently offline  Diane Castle
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Maggie_Finson wrote on Wed, 10 December 2008 20:34

Originality counts here, by the way. Just remember that any, and I mean ANY magical working does have consequences that are unanticipated.


Yeah. Just ask Svipdag.

Oh wait, that might be a little tough now. Very Happy

Diane


"WHO has deactivated my BEAUTIFUL frogs?"
Re: Rules of Magic [message #21950 is a reply to message #18302] Tue, 13 January 2009 17:17 Go to previous messageGo to next message
negation is currently offline  negation
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The Rule of Reaction in which ANY magical working does have consequences that are unanticipated.

Lots of room for which any magic worker could trigger events of Narrative Causality on themselves and others, favoring tragedy or happy endings/continuings or a Case of the Toxic Spell Dump.


Any sufficiently unethical experiment is indistinguishable from Hell.

[Updated on: Tue, 13 January 2009 17:18]

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Re: Rules of Magic [message #23074 is a reply to message #18302] Wed, 21 January 2009 15:34 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Aranis is currently offline  Aranis
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A quick question about the Rule of Nemesis.

The wording suggests that the Rule applies to the world at large. Does it apply to everything and everyone in the Whateley-Verse, or does it only pertain to spells & practitioners of magic?
Re: Rules of Magic [message #23087 is a reply to message #23074] Wed, 21 January 2009 17:55 Go to previous messageGo to next message
BekDCorvin is currently offline  BekDCorvin
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Aranis wrote on Wed, 21 January 2009 15:34

A quick question about the Rule of Nemesis.

The wording suggests that the Rule applies to the world at large. Does it apply to everything and everyone in the Whateley-Verse, or does it only pertain to spells & practitioners of magic?


It's a matter of scale. The Rule of Nemesis is an application of the Law of Balance. The more you affect the world, the more you cause imbalance, which is what causes the Nemesis to find you, the more that Nemesis is drawn to you. Non-Magical types also have Nemeses, but said person is only mildly drawn to them. After all, to the best of my knowledge, Hitler never MET Churchill.

For magical types, who are already tied intimately into the flows of magic, Nemeses show up a lot more quickly. It's as if... something was _guiding_ them.

BTW, the Handmaiden of Balance is immune to the Law of Nemesis. The Rule of Nemesis is a matter of the world (or should I say- the Tao) reacting to your actions. But the Handmaiden is an active force of balance, therefore she doesn't cause imbalance, so there is no reaction to her action, and there is nothing to cause or empower a nemesis.


To Be, or Not to Be; this is a question?
Re: Rules of Magic [message #23088 is a reply to message #23074] Wed, 21 January 2009 17:56 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Maggie_Finson is currently offline  Maggie_Finson
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Aranis wrote on Wed, 21 January 2009 15:34

A quick question about the Rule of Nemesis.

The wording suggests that the Rule applies to the world at large. Does it apply to everything and everyone in the Whateley-Verse, or does it only pertain to spells & practitioners of magic?


The Rule of Nemisis pertains to EVERYTHING, but is much more prevalent and noticeable when some high powered magic user is involved. There is always something to oppose anything.

Like ex-lax and constipation...

Oh, I did NOT just say that! Yes I did.

*walks off muttering about working too much*



I AM the goddess of Chaos! Worship me! Just don't expect the results you wanted. Wink
Re: Rules of Magic [message #23094 is a reply to message #23087] Wed, 21 January 2009 19:20 Go to previous messageGo to next message
tensai is currently offline  tensai
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BekDCorvin wrote on Wed, 21 January 2009 14:55


BTW, the Handmaiden of Balance is immune to the Law of Nemesis. The Rule of Nemesis is a matter of the world (or should I say- the Tao) reacting to your actions. But the Handmaiden is an active force of balance, therefore she doesn't cause imbalance, so there is no reaction to her action, and there is nothing to cause or empower a nemesis.


In a sense, then, she is an embodied form of the RoN; since she is an active force of balance, she is the nemesis to imbalance and the people who cause it.


"It took her some time to accept that with such wings, her soul would never soar--but the fact that she could kick a man's lungs out through his spine was ultimately some small consolation." -ursulav
Re: Rules of Magic [message #23096 is a reply to message #23087] Wed, 21 January 2009 20:54 Go to previous messageGo to next message
XaltatunOfAcheron is currently offline  XaltatunOfAcheron
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BekDCorvin wrote on Wed, 21 January 2009 15:55

Aranis wrote on Wed, 21 January 2009 15:34

A quick question about the Rule of Nemesis.

The wording suggests that the Rule applies to the world at large. Does it apply to everything and everyone in the Whateley-Verse, or does it only pertain to spells & practitioners of magic?


It's a matter of scale. The Rule of Nemesis is an application of the Law of Balance. The more you affect the world, the more you cause imbalance, which is what causes the Nemesis to find you, the more that Nemesis is drawn to you. Non-Magical types also have Nemeses, but said person is only mildly drawn to them. After all, to the best of my knowledge, Hitler never MET Churchill.

For magical types, who are already tied intimately into the flows of magic, Nemeses show up a lot more quickly. It's as if... something was _guiding_ them.




I think it's also a consequence of the Law of Precedence, that is, the more something is done, the more likely the practitioner will get the expected result without side effects.

Consider what happens when someone gets out of bed in the morning and has breakfast. This is something that literally billions of people have done thousands of times each. The precedent is so strong that the expected result is almost certain, but not quite. People have actually died from getting up and having breakfast.

Then consider evil overlords and world conquerors. There haven't been nearly as many of them, so quite a few of them don't get their hoped for result; their "nemesis" gets them first. Alexander the Great died before he could enjoy his conquests but Augustus Caesar managed to die of old age. Victoria lived to see that the sun never set on the British Empire, Hitler committed suicide just before his Nemesis dug him out of his bunker.

Xaltatun


Oxymoron: Jumbo Shrimp
Impossible: Sustainable Growth
Re: Rules of Magic [message #23124 is a reply to message #23096] Thu, 22 January 2009 04:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
A. Lurker is currently offline  A. Lurker
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Of course, taken literally the Rule of Nemesis raises the question how anything gets ever done...and, for that matter, whether Nemeses have Nemeses of their own...
Re: Rules of Magic [message #23126 is a reply to message #23124] Thu, 22 January 2009 05:10 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Faraway is currently offline  Faraway
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Well (a small hole with water down below Wink) world isn't simple action-response but rather a complex structure describable as a dosen threads all tangled up in an unholy Gordian Knot of Doom Crazy

So even Nemeses have to move through this with effort, and could be stuck in webs for too long to counteract the action. Also it was 'has the best chance of succeeding' but did not elaborate much on the precise chance value. For all we know, 'the best chance of succeeding' could equal 3%.

And as for 'Nemeses have Nemeses of their own' you could get a valid example of that in DUN DUN DUNN rock-paper-scissors Very Happy .


Never mind, I'm just a guy.

Eldritch: “Details, details, no pokey the cranky bitch.”
Bladedancer: “But Hekate’s not here!”
Re: Rules of Magic [message #23145 is a reply to message #23124] Thu, 22 January 2009 11:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
BekDCorvin is currently offline  BekDCorvin
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A. Lurker wrote on Thu, 22 January 2009 04:00

Of course, taken literally the Rule of Nemesis raises the question how anything gets ever done...and, for that matter, whether Nemeses have Nemeses of their own...

Well, as for the first question, please notice how fricking hard it is to get anything really done, period. Then consider how hard it is to get anything MATERIAL- like Civil Rights, decent Public Education, Universal Access to decent healthcare, like that- done. I think that the Rule of Nemesis is very much at work.


To Be, or Not to Be; this is a question?
Re: Rules of Magic [message #23226 is a reply to message #23145] Fri, 23 January 2009 03:57 Go to previous messageGo to next message
A. Lurker is currently offline  A. Lurker
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BekDCorvin wrote on Thu, 22 January 2009 17:39

Well, as for the first question, please notice how fricking hard it is to get anything really done, period. Then consider how hard it is to get anything MATERIAL- like Civil Rights, decent Public Education, Universal Access to decent healthcare, like that- done. I think that the Rule of Nemesis is very much at work.

Nah, that's quite adequately explained by the Rule of Inertia: "The natural state of the universe is to be lazy and fond of the status quo, and badgering it into making any changes is going to take time and effort." Wink

Seriously, take the Rule of Nemesis and the Rule of Reaction in particular together and you get a rather more pessimistic (and possibly more universal) variant of Newton's Third Law: Not only will there be a reaction to every action, that reaction will meet the action with at least equal force and deliberate intent to cancel it out. Sounds like a good recipe for a perfectly static universe...except that that's not what we're observing in practice, so it would seem that there have to be exceptions after all.
Re: Rules of Magic [message #23264 is a reply to message #18302] Fri, 23 January 2009 14:56 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Gemma Ethan Whitaker is currently offline  Gemma Ethan Whitaker
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Nah, the reason we don't get decent public education is because of lazy students, their not interested in learning and slow the rest of the curve down 'cause the systems not allowed to sprint ahead of them
Re: Rules of Magic [message #23271 is a reply to message #23264] Fri, 23 January 2009 18:09 Go to previous message
XaltatunOfAcheron is currently offline  XaltatunOfAcheron
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Gemma Ethan Whitaker wrote on Fri, 23 January 2009 12:56

Nah, the reason we don't get decent public education is because of lazy students, their not interested in learning and slow the rest of the curve down 'cause the systems not allowed to sprint ahead of them


This is wandering way off topic, so I'll just add one item: there are a lot of different things wrong with the educational system. Pulling one out of the pile and waving it around as "the root cause" doesn't really lead to effective strategies for fixing it - assuming it can be fixed.

Xaltatun


Oxymoron: Jumbo Shrimp
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