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WoT Magic most logical


1eric408
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So I am reading the first Malazan book currently and it struck me that the way magic is portrayed in WoT is really the best way I have seen in any fantasy series. I dont really like that males and females deal with different sides but that is a little nit picky. What do you guys think? Have you read a series with a better way of dealing with magic?

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It's pretty subjective. I find the Malazan magic systems to be highly intriguing, for example, but Erikson went for the 'I'm not telling you how it works thing' most of the time rather than the strict logical system. RJ liked to make rules and limits for himself. Other magic systems are also logical - Brandon is known for coming up with good magic systems, but they never seem quite as natural as the Power to me.

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I think the inheritance cycle (Eragon :smile:) by christopher paolini has an epic magic system which in it simplisity, makes it one of the best magic systems i have read... its a simple manipulation of the concept of the conservation of energy. So that the engery a spell uses is the same as the energy needed to to the task without magic... so lifting a stone with magic will tire the person the same amount as lifting it your self, so a light stone being lifted up and and down constantly for an hour will tire the magic user, but lifing a bolder for the same amount of time would kill you as it would use more energy than your body has and so your body doesn't have any energy left for breathing and pumping blood and so you die...

 

See pretty simple but thats what makes it such a good magic system. Also magic in this brill series is explained quite a bit, with the magic systm being explored throughout the series, so the reader has a good concept and understanding about the system... :smile:

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I think it actually gives the appearance of containing more logic than it actually has. I like that RJ tried to put some structure into his system, but it's still basically mysterious. Water and "spirit" cause your wounds to close! Uh ok, I guess. How do they do that? They just do.

 

How do the elements allow me to bend spacetime? Don't worry dude, it's magic!

 

It's not totally obscure like Tolkien, Brooks, Zelazny, or Goodkind (powered by plot, uh, I mean, "need"), but it is not like the systems of Modesitt, Rothfus, or even Pratchett as far as "physics like" goes. BS's other stuff (especially Mistborn) is actually a really good example of logical magic, in the sense that the ground rules for the magic systems are explained clearly early on, and the magic users just use those rules in very inventive ways.

 

By the way, that whole "conservation of energy" type of magic that Rothfus and, apparently, the Eragon guy use is lifted directly from Pratchett. Rothfus acknowledges this I think. Don't know if Eragon guy does (I kinda doubt it).

Edited by EvilSocrates
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First post and what not, but I just have to say that the magic system in the Belgaraid and Malloreon series' by David Eddings have always seemed pretty awesome to me, powered by need yet observe the conservation of energy at the same time. I will admit that he doesn't follow conservation as closely as the likes of Pratchet but its obviously still there. I reckon it's also quite cool that the amount of magic and how its performed allows other magic users to know your using it by a specific noise only sorcerers can hear.

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I like magic system where we are told the rules, how it works, etc ... like Jordan's. And BS's. But I can also appreciate a more mystical magic system were we aren't told much at all. Take the Skill in Robin Hobb's Farseer trilogy, for instance. I was always a big fan of that. You get to know a bit about ... but there's always so much you don't know that you always get this mysterious feeling when reading about it.

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I think it actually gives the appearance of containing more logic than it actually has. I like that RJ tried to put some structure into his system, but it's still basically mysterious. Water and "spirit" cause your wounds to close! Uh ok, I guess. How do they do that? They just do.

 

How do the elements allow me to bend spacetime? Don't worry dude, it's magic!

 

I agree with this. There's also a weave for virtually EVERYTHING. "Don't worry! There's a weave for that!:biggrin: "

 

I don't think the system is any more logical then LoTR, you could add text from Gandalf's point of view that describes him muttering spells or creating weaves of magic and it'd be about the same thing.

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BS's magic systems are cool. I like how he created not one, but three different Powers in the Mistborn trilogy. And the better is, the three are more or less interconnected in a way. Well, at least Allomancy and Feruchemy are connected, and sometimes Hemalurgy, even if different.

 

The magic system in Warbreaker is cool too. The use of color and Breath is a very fun thing, IMO.

 

I remember anothers magic system I liked, but I don't know if you know these serie, as it has been writen by a french author.It is "The Ji's secret" by Philippe Grimbert. It is akin to the will of Edding, but without the word IIRC (haven't read it for a veeeery long time).

 

But I like the One Power too, even if I don't know why. Allomancy might be the one I like most, though...

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I prefer systems with stricter limits. With the cleansing of the taint and the integration of LTT, there seems to be virtually no limit on what Rand can do.

 

My personal favorite magic system is L.E. Modesitt's. The theme is still balance, and the two varieties of magic mutually limiting.

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Well, with the cleansing Rand was using an object described as being capable of melting continents, so it doesn't exactly fit into the normal restrictions of that worlds magic, consider it a temporary God-Mode.

 

Though what he did at Maradon was indeed insane, but as he said, it isn't power that is going to be the key to defeating the DO, it was never raw strength that was the issue, so all the power in the world wouldn't change that. (well, any sane limit, presumably even the DO could be destroyed with enough power, presumably power even greater than that of the creator).

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I also thought the Belgariad and the Mallorean used the magic system very well, not just in setting the rules and boundaries, but also in exploring the idea of unintended consequences to a great extent. In the WOT, they talk a lot about the law of unintended consequences, but you never see examples of someone using the power and something freakish happening somewhere else in the world, i.e. the butterfly effect. Edding made it so Garion had to be tempered by Belgarath and Polgara because if he used too much magic for something inconsequential (like when he divided those charging armies with mass thunderbolts... so cool) it would end up having dire implications for the whole world's climate. Very nice concept that other books talk about but you never see happening. Plus those books also laid out other magic systems rules as well, for sorcery and the other magic I can't recall right now.

 

Incidentally, I know one of my least favorite magic systems was the ones put to use in the Incarnations of Immortality series by Piers Anthony. Not the same kind of epic fantasy series, more interconnected novels; each book had to describe each Incarnations power in different ways but they always had big flaws and were always powered by need even though the author would spend a lot of time describing the magic as if they were soundproof systems.

 

I have to say one of the things I love most about the magic in WOT is the exclusion of abracadabra tomfoolery. Ive gotten so tired of magic systems that overuse the concept of using the word for what you're trying to do in the old tongue, or old elvish, or any blargon like that. It paints a pretty picture, but seriously, someone try to logically describe a way that uttering certain syllables can somehow unlock secret magics within. Take that, inheritance series. (J'king Eragon wasn't that bad at all, especially considering the age of the author at the time, but the later books were less than meh)

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I have to say one of the things I love most about the magic in WOT is the exclusion of abracadabra tomfoolery. Ive gotten so tired of magic systems that overuse the concept of using the word for what you're trying to do in the old tongue, or old elvish, or any blargon like that. It paints a pretty picture, but seriously, someone try to logically describe a way that uttering certain syllables can somehow unlock secret magics within. Take that, inheritance series. (J'king Eragon wasn't that bad at all, especially considering the age of the author at the time, but the later books were less than meh)

I'm going to start beating you with my bag of metallic pnp dice now, not sure when I'm gonna stop.

 

 

 

On a more serious note , I found BS systems to be quite good, even in the SA.

 

If we are not talking books then the concept of True Names in Dnd might make you think differently.

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I also thought the Belgariad and the Mallorean used the magic system very well, not just in setting the rules and boundaries, but also in exploring the idea of unintended consequences to a great extent. In the WOT, they talk a lot about the law of unintended consequences, but you never see examples of someone using the power and something freakish happening somewhere else in the world, i.e. the butterfly effect.

Bowl of the Winds, anyone? Balefire?

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I also thought the Belgariad and the Mallorean used the magic system very well, not just in setting the rules and boundaries, but also in exploring the idea of unintended consequences to a great extent. In the WOT, they talk a lot about the law of unintended consequences, but you never see examples of someone using the power and something freakish happening somewhere else in the world, i.e. the butterfly effect. Edding made it so Garion had to be tempered by Belgarath and Polgara because if he used too much magic for something inconsequential (like when he divided those charging armies with mass thunderbolts... so cool) it would end up having dire implications for the whole world's climate. Very nice concept that other books talk about but you never see happening. Plus those books also laid out other magic systems rules as well, for sorcery and the other magic I can't recall right now.

 

Incidentally, I know one of my least favorite magic systems was the ones put to use in the Incarnations of Immortality series by Piers Anthony. Not the same kind of epic fantasy series, more interconnected novels; each book had to describe each Incarnations power in different ways but they always had big flaws and were always powered by need even though the author would spend a lot of time describing the magic as if they were soundproof systems.

 

I have to say one of the things I love most about the magic in WOT is the exclusion of abracadabra tomfoolery. Ive gotten so tired of magic systems that overuse the concept of using the word for what you're trying to do in the old tongue, or old elvish, or any blargon like that. It paints a pretty picture, but seriously, someone try to logically describe a way that uttering certain syllables can somehow unlock secret magics within. Take that, inheritance series. (J'king Eragon wasn't that bad at all, especially considering the age of the author at the time, but the later books were less than meh)

 

LOL, you just dissed one of my favourite childhood series.. so shame on you!!!! :tongue: so i'm not going to let you get away with it :biggrin: so i must point you that in eragon, you don't need to say words to do spells like in Brisngr with the dwarf attack or when eragon met tenga after helgrind, and saphira doesn't use words when she made the diamond tomb etc... its just safer to say words to stop yourself acciendtally killing urself and others :happy:

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I do really like the WoT magic system, and I think at had huge potential, but was poorly executed. The channelers actually don't end up doing that much if you think about it. Also, it should take longer to master, it's too easy as it is.

 

 

 

 

So yeah, the system is totally frickin' awesome, I just wish he would have spent more time developing the weaves. unsure.gif

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Guest Emu on the Loose

So I am reading the first Malazan book currently and it struck me that the way magic is portrayed in WoT is really the best way I have seen in any fantasy series. I dont really like that males and females deal with different sides but that is a little nit picky. What do you guys think? Have you read a series with a better way of dealing with magic?

 

I generally agree with you, including the part about the One Power being split up according to sex. WoT has a great magic system, one of the more full-fleshed and consistent of any fantasy story.

 

On the other hand, I've also seen magic systems that I think are better than WoT's. It's really a matter of opinion, I think.

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I liked the magic system in the DarkOver series with the larans and different abilities.

 

I also liked how the magic was portrayed in the Cheysuli books (Jennifer Roberson) with the lirs (animals) and how they were connected to their humans and that the gods made the prophecy for humans to follow so the gods would be reborn again... don´t think I have read that anywhere else.

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I also thought the Belgariad and the Mallorean used the magic system very well, not just in setting the rules and boundaries, but also in exploring the idea of unintended consequences to a great extent. In the WOT, they talk a lot about the law of unintended consequences, but you never see examples of someone using the power and something freakish happening somewhere else in the world, i.e. the butterfly effect.

Bowl of the Winds, anyone? Balefire?

 

Meh, they don't really show the whole freakish thing happening in another part of the world thing though. I mean, the Bowl of Winds is fairly obvious a world climate changer, but why arent there little storms popping up anytime an AS uses weaves of air to flick eachother on the bottom (those frisky Aes Sedai :wink: )?

 

 

I am exaggerating btw.

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The only complaint i have on the WOT magic system is that its TO powerful personally i prefer a limited magic system like shown in LOTR( gandalf uses a sword or staff alot for melee) or a Deity based magic system where they can step in and say um no im not going to allow you to balefire an entire city.

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The only complaint i have on the WOT magic system is that its TO powerful personally i prefer a limited magic system like shown in LOTR( gandalf uses a sword or staff alot for melee) or a Deity based magic system where they can step in and say um no im not going to allow you to balefire an entire city.

 

I think LOTR can barely be said to have a magic system at all. Sauron, the most powerful evil "wizard" in the series, had the power to...uh...make it cloudy? Be scary? And Gandalf had the power to...ride a fast horse I guess? Make people slightly braver? Break a staff? Uproot hobbit communities?

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