Magic, and How it Works

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1Eredale

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Senior Member

12-29-2011

I'd recommend you to not ninja my ideas when I (rarely) voice them - that's the reason of the rarity of that. Or I'll shove a leek up yours. *seriousface*

















lol jk

Though seriously, I'll still make my own, since I've been planning on that for too long


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Rafeo

Senior Member

12-29-2011

I think Jayko has something with this. It's just lazy to say that magic is magic and that's that. Limits need to be made. If there are no limits then there's nothing to improve on. Magic can't be perfectly possible from the moment you learn to use your first spell. That's dumb, but I also hold the theory that all types of magic are achievable to anybody in a magic enabled world (Runeterra). Just not immediately.


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Jaykoboy

Senior Member

12-29-2011

No leeks, please, Eredale. I've had enough of that meme for the week.


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PlayGooYa

Senior Member

12-29-2011

I feel the need to clarify some things.

My point is precisely that making categories is arbitrary. Naming fire as an element doesn't actually explain anything. That's just sticking it in a box and labeling it. It's particularly bad if you don't define what an "element" is supposed to be. When people decided earth/air/water/fire were elements, they meant that all matter was composed of these fundamental building blocks.

If you're implying magic has fundamental building blocks . . . well what does that mean exactly? Not a whole lot, especially since you don't know if Runeterrans think of such classifications as having any scientific meaning.

As for what magic is, it's just anything sufficiently mysterious or unexplained as to inspire awe or wonder in people. Yeah, you might conceivably explain it some day. Then again you might not. I'm sure cave men would think air planes were magic.

Depending on the setting or story, an author may choose to add certain additional explanations to this as to what magic is really supposed to be. They may also impose certain rules which may be colored by their own moral and ethical bias. (In any case, no "elements" explanation is given for the LoL setting.)

In Le Guin's Wizard of Earthsea, people who are real wizards and not just dabblers know that magic has rules and consequences. There is karma to every magical act. Causing it to rain in one part of the world may cause drought in another. And making even one man immortal may causes magic everywhere to misfire and borks up the afterlife. The bias here is that magic has moral rules.

On the complete opposite end of the scale, Robert E. Howard's Conan stories has no such karmic balance or moral rules. The universe does not care that some wizard figured out a way to make himself immortal or if another can make pipes which drive men insane when they're played. Nor does it care if he makes blood sacrifices to some horrific alien creature which he worships as his god.

But these are largely setting-specific and over-explaining magic sort of defeats the purpose of using it as a cool factor. It's appeal is entirely that it is mysterious. The point here being that the rules an author picks for magic varies. And you shouldn't assume that the rules in one setting every apply to the rules of another (such as they might be).

The way Runeterran magic is portrayed, you can explain enough of it to pull off a nice toolset of tricks. But a large amount of it is unpredictable and dangerous. So it's more accurate to say that Runeterrans simply don't know what the limitations of magic actually are or what all the rules are.

Like real world Earth, there are mysteries. Runeterra just has more dramatic and plentiful mysteries. And men like Heimerdinger are probably genuinely interested in exploring them.


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Jaykoboy

Senior Member

12-29-2011

Yeah, I'm just trying to lay down the basics, like what you might read in a book on how to conjure magic. This isn't a moral guide, it's a guide on what magic is.


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PlayGooYa

Senior Member

12-29-2011

I'm not accusing you of being preachy.

My point is simply that it's not possible to "lay down the basics."

1) Because the kind of formulae and technical information you want isn't given to you. Most people would find it boring to know the details of exactly how magic allows the magician to shoot lasers while getting around or bypassing more common physical laws. Your eyes would likely gloss over while Heimerdinger and Einstein compared notes and that much thought isn't put into the writing. There's also the off-chance that Heimerdinger couldn't explain it either, because current science has not made the breakthrough. They may only know that wiggling your toes and saying the right words while concentrating will make magic light.

2) The general rule here is that magic is an excuse to do anything. There's too much of it that's simply unknown to Runeterrans, nevermind to a casual audience of gamers. There's the running joke that Rammus is trying to replicate the process of making an Armadillo sentient so he can have a lover. It isn't working out. Twitch doesn't know what chemicals made him sentient either. That's rather the point. Not all of it is well understood or explained.


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1Eredale

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Senior Member

12-29-2011

I am glad to see that this thread is getting controversial and breeds discussion. This motivates me to work on my own one.


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Jaykoboy

Senior Member

12-29-2011

Correct. Magic is an excuse to do anything. But, what magic is...that itself is not an excuse. Magic is an excuse to do anything, as well as a substance inasofitself. Like mana. I haven't been able to track down exactly what mana is, persay, but it is like a power source that mages can draw their energy from; namely if they're arcane mages.


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Cidem1324

Web Content Assistant

12-29-2011

Well, if we go by Gargoyle universe logic, magic is simply a form of energy that can be manipulated to change one's reality. This includes creating fire, influencing time, creating rifts, etc.

The concept in opposition to magic is science, which manipulates energy while maintaining one's reality. The benefit of science is that it empowers non-magical people, and may also allow them to use magic through hextech devices.


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ReaverKing

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Senior Member

12-30-2011

Since magic in Runeterra has some sort of horrible environmental backlash attached I keep being drawn to the "Dark Sun" campaign setting in D&D.

Wizards could increase the power of their spells (represented in-game as "caster level") by draining the life-force in an area aroudn themselves. Creature with small ammounts of life-force are the first to perish (from ants and small plants on up the food chain but bypassing undead IIRC). So naturally most of the starting setting is a giant desert with epic-level undead spellcasters just waiting for people to trip over their crypts.


In Runeterra, I gather magical "side effects" are handled in a more nuts-and-bolts way. Power doesn't seem to be the issue. Control is the big issue. Say I create a torrent of flame that burns one square mile of cropland during a rune war. In addition to the natural consequences of that much combustion (extreme heat, increased CO2 in the atmosphere, the plants and animals in that square mile dying, potentially-altered local weather patterns, etc) Riot has indicated there are secondary magical side effects.

What exactly are the magical side effects in this case?

I would hazard that provided the spellcasters can affect the world on the atomic/subatomic scale either telepathically or through some "device" such as a magic wand or summoner orb (thus allowing mass/energy transfer, transmutation and teleportation/wormholes for starters):

1. The energy to produce, direct and sustain the initial mile-long torrent of flame would still need to come from somewhere resulting in manifold secondary effects (i.e. extreme cold, matter converted into energy, destroyed magical artifacts, 250lbs of Summoner going E=mc2...)

2. The production of "magical pollution" if the energy transfers are inefficient/miscalculated. This could be as simple as drawing more power than is needed and simply "venting" the leftover energy assuming it will "dissipate harmlessly". (i.e. a fire that is impossible to put out untill all "mana" is consumed, inexplicable hot/cold air currents, untyped magical energy "lingering" in an area until another spell sets it off...)

3. Any consequences of the disruption/resumption of normal physical laws. (I.e. you wouldn't believe the scale of what Veigar and Viktor could be doing to cause earthquakes and extreme volcanic activity by altering the normal gravity in an area via micro-singularities, even for a few microseconds.)

4. Magic does not appear to be easy but there seems to be some nearly unlimited power source(s) the magicians of Valoran are accessing. If this "power source" turns out to be draining planetary momentum, accelerating local entropic decay or altering the planet's electromagnetic field, all of Runeterra could be headed for all kinds of Doomsday disasters due to Valoran's casual use of magic.


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