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WoT Magic most logical


1eric408
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Expanding on what someone else said in this thread, I think the big weak point of the WOT magic system is that people learn it too easily. Based on the descriptions we've seen, making a moderately complex weave seems to require about the level of memory and manual (mental?) dexterity of, say, playing a violin sonata. But an average AS knows hundreds of them, and started learning only around age 16-18, unlike a top violinist who would probably start playing by 5. And the majority are mastered in the 8-10 year period of being novice/Accepted.

 

This has kind of ruined the test for the shawl for me on later readings, for example. What those women go through really shouldn't be possible. Could you play 100 violin sonatas under life-threatening stress? Without wrong notes or intonation problems?

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I think you guys are overlooking the supreme awesomeness of our friends, the young aspiring AS to be. The tower has a way of doing things... you join up and become a novice for X amount of years, then graduate to accepted for X amount of years... and then someday, you might become an AS. Our girls learn at an unprecedented rate, Nynaeve skipped the entire novice level. I think it is because of the old blood. They actually had to study much harder to learn the OP than Mat did to learn the old tongue...

 

 

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?

 

THANK YOU! I read LOTR when I was a kid, and almost never read another fantasy novel. It drove me absolutely crazy. In The Hobbit some wolves have them stuck up a tree, and Gandalf calls down some fireballs to chase them away. What!? How!? Why wasn't he doing stuff like that before? Why does he never do it again?

Edited by RyanL24
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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.

 

 

You're exaggerating, maybe, but you're right. Logically, there should be impacts. If Verin makes it rain to cover the Two River raiders escape, that water comes from somewhere, and won't be going somewhere else.

 

This is one of the reasons why I disagree with the OP. The magic system in the WoT is actually one of the weaker facets of the series, not a strength.

 

The exception, I think, is the reaction Rand had to channeling before the removal of the taint. That limited the magic nicely.

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Most systems of magic that I am aware of seem logical; Lord of the Rings, Narnia, Wheel of Time, Star Wars (movie series), Last Air Bender (cartoon series). And I recall reading others during Elementary through Highschool; do not remember the titles.

 

Not sure about any being more logical than another.

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I think you guys are overlooking the supreme awesomeness of our friends, the young aspiring AS to be. The tower has a way of doing things... you join up and become a novice for X amount of years, then graduate to accepted for X amount of years... and then someday, you might become an AS. Our girls learn at an unprecedented rate, Nynaeve skipped the entire novice level. I think it is because of the old blood. They actually had to study much harder to learn the OP than Mat did to learn the old tongue...

 

That's why I was referring to normal AS progression as in New Spring (8-10 years average total as novice and Accepted), not the Supergirls'. Implausibly quick learning of incredibly fine control is the norm, not the exception.

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I think you guys are overlooking the supreme awesomeness of our friends, the young aspiring AS to be. The tower has a way of doing things... you join up and become a novice for X amount of years, then graduate to accepted for X amount of years... and then someday, you might become an AS. Our girls learn at an unprecedented rate, Nynaeve skipped the entire novice level. I think it is because of the old blood. They actually had to study much harder to learn the OP than Mat did to learn the old tongue...

 

 

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?

 

THANK YOU! I read LOTR when I was a kid, and almost never read another fantasy novel. It drove me absolutely crazy. In The Hobbit some wolves have them stuck up a tree, and Gandalf calls down some fireballs to chase them away. What!? How!? Why wasn't he doing stuff like that before? Why does he never do it again?

 

I remember going through LOTR movies and noting down spells used from a D&D perspective - 'Light' and 'Talk with Animals' seemed to be the extent of Gandalf's "magic" :)

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I think you guys are overlooking the supreme awesomeness of our friends, the young aspiring AS to be. The tower has a way of doing things... you join up and become a novice for X amount of years, then graduate to accepted for X amount of years... and then someday, you might become an AS. Our girls learn at an unprecedented rate, Nynaeve skipped the entire novice level. I think it is because of the old blood. They actually had to study much harder to learn the OP than Mat did to learn the old tongue...

 

 

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?

 

THANK YOU! I read LOTR when I was a kid, and almost never read another fantasy novel. It drove me absolutely crazy. In The Hobbit some wolves have them stuck up a tree, and Gandalf calls down some fireballs to chase them away. What!? How!? Why wasn't he doing stuff like that before? Why does he never do it again?

 

I remember going through LOTR movies and noting down spells used from a D&D perspective - 'Light' and 'Talk with Animals' seemed to be the extent of Gandalf's "magic" :)

 

He is really more of a low level bard, in terms of DnD. He inspires courage, acts as party face, and is proficient with a sword, plus some minor magic tricks. Also, he knows lore.

 

Bard.

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He is really more of a low level bard, in terms of DnD. He inspires courage, acts as party face, and is proficient with a sword, plus some minor magic tricks. Also, he knows lore.

 

Bard.

This.To be honest the problem with Gandalf is that for other people to do something he needs to be doing nearly nothing (himself,not talking about organizing) since he is a gamebreaker.

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He is really more of a low level bard, in terms of DnD. He inspires courage, acts as party face, and is proficient with a sword, plus some minor magic tricks. Also, he knows lore.

 

Bard.

This.To be honest the problem with Gandalf is that for other people to do something he needs to be doing nearly nothing (himself,not talking about organizing) since he is a gamebreaker.

 

Based on how lame Sauron, Sarumon, and the Witch king are (supposedly to be the most powerful dudes around), I'm not sure why Gandalf should be considered a gamebreaker. Just because people are constantly in awe of you doesn't mean you are actually powerful! I think it's just a low magic setting, and that the real power that Sauron had was the ability to breed a ton of orcs even though he ruled an infertile wasteland. I guess Saruman thought so too, as he basically pursued the "get a bunch of orcs, send orcs at the fair races...profit!" strategy too. Maybe the One Ring increases orc fecundity? Who knows, the whole thing is pretty overrated, viewed outside of its historical contribution.

 

LOTR is kind of like the Wright brother's plane: not the first of its kind, and not a very good airplane, but nonetheless super important for the industry.

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[...] Brandon is known for coming up with good magic systems, but they never seem quite as natural as the Power to me.

 

They are not natural at all, they are always almost science like. I personally like it. Mistobrn was basically fictional chemistry, and his new Stormlight Archives magic seems to have very strict physics rules so far (read it!).

 

 

Sympathy in The Kingkiller Chronicles is a pretty awesome system.

 

yeah Sympathy has very specific rules and limits, and still feels natural. Though there is other magics in that series that are more ambiguous, so that series has both!

 

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.

 

I personally dislike boundless magic systems. You can still have a decent story, but when the rules aren't setup you have no way of having any idea what's possible or where the story might go. You don't get epic websites like this about your book because there's no basis upon which to theorize about things. Obviously that's a very subjective opinion. I still liked Farseer... it was alright.

 

Expanding on what someone else said in this thread, I think the big weak point of the WOT magic system is that people learn it too easily. Based on the descriptions we've seen, making a moderately complex weave seems to require about the level of memory and manual (mental?) dexterity of, say, playing a violin sonata. But an average AS knows hundreds of them, and started learning only around age 16-18, unlike a top violinist who would probably start playing by 5. And the majority are mastered in the 8-10 year period of being novice/Accepted.

 

This has kind of ruined the test for the shawl for me on later readings, for example. What those women go through really shouldn't be possible. Could you play 100 violin sonatas under life-threatening stress? Without wrong notes or intonation problems?

 

Have we ever seen anyone ever mess up a weave outside of learning it? Obviously there's a point where you just know them so well that screwing up just doesn't happen (muscle memory, as musicians call it). It may take longer for some weaves than others, but clearly it happens.

 

As for my own contribution: Peter V. Brett's "Deamon Cycle" magic system is quite technical (like Sanderson), extremely commonplace in in it's use (to varying degrees), but very mysterious in it's origins...

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Magic in LOTR was limited compared to more modern fantasy series. It's mostly things like foresight and scrying, or pure brute force, or subtle things like delaying the weariness of time as your life goes on and on. There's nothing like opening a Gateway or Delving for metals. Gandalf's power appears limited for most of The Hobbit and LOTR because as an Istari, an emissary of the godlike Valar, he was forbidden to show his true nature or native power for the most part. He and his fellow wizards were sent to help mortals help themselves. It was only when confronted by a fellow ancient being (Maia), the Balrog, that he unveiled his full power, similarly when he confronted Saruman. The one time he cheated in a sense was against the Witch King (I don't like that in the film they show the RingWraith beating Gandalf when that is entirely noncanonical).

 

The Belgariad Will and the Word was an ok idea.

 

Dragonlance and their related DnD worlds - no limitations except whatever the current writer can think of, varies wildly, other than casting spells = very tiring, and you can only cast a spell once before having to rememorise it.

 

Magic the Gathering - you have to gain memories of the land; each memory gives you magical mana energy which lets you cast spells until you exhaust your memories and give them time to recharge. I like it.

 

But the One Power is prob my favourite.

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