Ah, I see. Well I guess the gods having no particular order makes it less confusing story-wise.
Should you change this page? At this point it's no longer about refining the magic system alone, and more along the lines of world building as a whole. I mean, the magic system is fairly decent when compared to any other, and for a web comic it's quite advanced and unique. I already see it being confusing to anyone new, but if they stick with it for about a day they would probably understand it perfectly.
Plus I have no more questions about any thing else. With the world established along with main antagonist factions, and all possible enemies put forth and discussed, I have no more ideas.
Unless I missed something, or you had a question you were hoping to I was going to ask?
Just one more idea I just came up with. Feel free to deny it.
How about turning Light and Darkness is categorical elements? Have them be foundations to other elements of a like minded way. Darkness would have chaotic elements like Fire and Earth, with Light having order in the forms like Frost and Nature. Just so everything could be a bit more open and understandable. Not to say that people who would have a dark attribute couldn't get a Light one, they are just far more likely to get development into other Dark elements.
Nah, sorry, that's a no go. I specifically don't want Darkness and Light to be related along the lines of order and chaos (in fact, if you squint a bit, they're actually reversed!) There's just too many stories where those two elements always end up on some morality axis, and I sorta want to avoid that altogether. Thanks though.
Just an idea. And really, I don't mean that if they became categorical that they would be divided into bad and good, I just say that because I see some strong similarities between some elements and how they could be put into certain places along with others. Just seeing that Darkness would be defensive tree with Light as offensive in game terms or maybe even reversed. Since the gods were ordered with an upper and lower system, I thought there could be similarities with Aether in the physical plane.
Sounds very...easy almost. If spirit is the will to do the impossible, and is essentially hope, feral family members could de-wasteland each other if it came down to it. Fire to increase pain-tolerance out of love and spirit to turn back the clock of doom they have on them.
You may need to create some limitations if this could be possible. I considered asking about it, but figured the the whole thing was balanced enough. Then again, you would need to have the emotions of a harem-protagonist to do that.
That is to say a will that is beyond any form of reason and emotions that could take on physical form even without Aether.
Heh, yeah. There are definitely limitations, like, if people are gonna have multiple elements, their sub-elements won't have as complete a set of abilities as their core element. So, it's not gonna be likely that just because someone has Spirit magic means that they can resurrect or de-Wasteland someone. At most, if I might apply RPG terms for this, sub-elements just give some passive abilities (so (if Sub-element is Spirit) increased resilience when under critical HP, and bonus attack when at critical, or stuff like that) as well as some minor magic. (Like minor resuscitation on a fainted ally).
Along with that, even under core-elements, the person must at least have a full understanding of their own selves as well as the emotion required to summon the magic. Desire alone only awakens the capacity of a person to use an element, but understanding and growth as a person deepens their ability to use certain elements. Also, Spirit on its own is like a gamble, you kinda don't know what you're gonna get with that element.
A full understanding of the emotion? Is the list below what you had in mind?
-Knows what causes the emotions they have -Knows what the emotion is (Is it anger or jealousy? Care and love, or the want to posses?) -Know how to control the emotion to your advantage and to know what you can do with it Aether wise -The ability to maintain that emotion in any given situation
Something akin to that. It's kinda more about knowing themselves, their inclinations, why they feel the way they did, and either accepting or rejecting that feeling to power that emotion. At least, when it comes to summoning the power of the magic.
The shape of the magic sorta depends on your thoughts and how you channel them into action. If you want to build impressive structures with Earth magic for example, it actually would be a good idea to have a knowledge of architecture and/or carpentry. If you want to heal more effectively, you're definitely going to need a real knowledge of medicine and physiology else you might apply magic in the wrong place. Even something as emotion-bound as Spirit needs to be guided in some way or form so that you end up actually getting what you aimed for, rather than just relying wholly on a lucky break.
Edit: Also, it can also depend on how you cast the magic. Incantations and movements tend to be used for very simple and structured magic (think Harry Potter-esque "magic phrases" = "similar enough effect") while stuff like rituals and the creation of seals, or even bleeding the magic into one's craft will create something much more complex (and perhaps even living). Along with that, even if people might use the same incantations, they're probably going to have slight personal differences on how they'd work, but are similar enough that it's often negligible. (Also, if two different locations develop their own incantations, and cast their spell for say... "floating magic" caster A might make something go up and be able to move it around so long as they've got something trained on it, while caster B might just cast it on themselves in order to be able to float)
I was somewhat wrong in how it operated. My thought process suggested that everything happened within, the whole casting to intention being thought beforehand. What you seem to be saying is that they first get the emotion, expel with general thoughts in mind, then fine tune it after it has been called forth. Is this correct?
Somewhat, as much as you have emotion to activate the Aether and the element you're using, using that without any sort of direct thought or focus often ends up with powerful, but uncontrolled magic. (Usually, explosions, though it can show up in other ways, like an unnoticed creeping anxiety manifesting shadows in unnatural shapes or something akin to that.)
It sorta operates on a scale of emotion vs. structure. The more you swing to the emotional side, the more powerful, but uncontrolled it is. If you swing the other way, you get something that's very controlled but sorta weak. (Like a wildfire vs a fire on a gas stove.) You sorta have to have a good mix of both to get something that works properly enough.
Man, you've been helping out so much, I kinda feel a little embarrassed that you're still at it. (Thanks though, really. It means a lot)
Anyway, I'm still trying to figure out the Alopex group. They're supposed to be a group of Therans who had set out to reclaim their old history and legacy from humans who have apparently become the dominant race on the planet. They've been sorta at it by taking Temples by force, and being somewhat anti-human. (...lots of details I need to work out with this one...)
Well, is it a mixed group, or just a single race? You said there were multiple Old Races, but is there a majority or are there multiple kinds like with avian and reptilian kinds? That said, do the Old Races differ in personality much? Along with if they have major cities where you will tend to find more than others?
Mixed group of various races. Not yet clear on what's the majority race, but it's definitely mammalian. There are reptile and avian Therans. They do have stereotypes both present in terms of what their personalities (and by extension, their elements) might be. There are several major cities dotted around the place, most of the remnants of old great civilizations being close to Temples (because they were more than just huge magic reactors back then). With one, the Impregnable City of Dylis being the one still thriving way beyond the Cataclysm (it is also closest to the Earth temple)
Well, if they are how stereotypical are these races? Is there a base for these stereotypes that is still somewhat reliable? And what do you need to work out with Alopex?
I would think that they have a somewhat standard rebel technological department, which is to say very little. But what is the edge they have? Do they have better Aether users because many firmly believe in what they are doing as the right thing, so they have little doubt behind what they are doing and know themselves better?
While them trying to kill all humans sounds good, they could be a radical group who intend on destroying all Ferals instead. Based on them breaking into the Sanitarium and injuring Protag's brother, they could be a larger force along with a somewhat more firm base. After all, while many Therans could see what they were and want to reclaim what they had before humans came about, Wastleands sound like they do a lot more damage to both sides than humans. So, they go after Ferals still in transmutation to cut down on possible risk. With them causing havoc, Therans who lost family and friends to Ferals would be more plentiful giving Alopex a better reason for what they do. Feel free to deny this so what I suggested before about having better Aether users works.
Alopex is responsible for the re-emergence of Ferals actually. I believe a part of their motive was that bringing back the old traditions will also restore the planet (they're not wrong on that) but at the same time, they wish to bring back the ancient times when magic was abundant. They just didn't really think ahead about the consequences much apparently.
Another thing is that their tech level is sorta on par with most regular people. They've probably tried ransacking some places for their tech, but it's usually whatever they can take from the net.
Other than that, the stereotypes sorta apply less and less as times go by. Though some are quite difficult to get rid of, like a crow-like race being known for being haughty and insufferable.
Using humans by turning them into Ferals to reestablish control? Seems a bit strange at first, but it does make more sense. Then why wouldn't they be a group of mainly mages though? Seems that idea would function better and have more ground as a cult/rebel group hybrid. I know that you said the story would involve more culture than cult, but by making Alopex a hybrid, you could get a bit more drama and mileage out of them before they appear as whatever end piece they end up once whatever story arc they have is over.
How about having them be two faced? Seem like they are wanting to break out humans as a rebel group fighting for freedom, but have the second half that no one sees until it's too late be the cult part? Have them experimenting on humans to find the secrets as to why Aether isn't in abundance because they think the humans are acting as sponges for Aether?
That gives me an idea for an alternate start to the story actually. Instead of having Alopex hurt his brother outright, make it so the museum hostage situation is escalated by Laelaps showing up to deal with Alopex and with possible Ferals. Protag gets riled up in the stress, gets put down, is taken to sanitarium. Have the protag and his family taken (they were there to visit him) taken from the Sanitarium in a raid by Alopex, told they would be kept safe, only for them to take away his brother. He gets curious about where they go, he sees them trying to experiment on him, he destroys the facility by going nearly Wasteland. Men in black arrive, takes the brother into custody, Protag holds out and saves Marie when she visited him. He saves other Ferals while he was there, and he is now out to get Marie's family from Alopex and save his brother from Laelaps before they start their own experiments to see what Alopex did to him.
Long winded and complicated as it may be, I see potential in Alopex being part cult. More reason for readers to hate them. Don't mind the alternate start if you don't like it. Just thought it would be better for the main character to have more beef with the groups than saving his teacher's family with him having no stakes.
Technically, every Theran can be a magic user, but not all Therans are magic users (or specialize specifically on magic). The same can be said of the Alopex since they're all different people of different backgrounds, and not all of them lived in a largely Theran community (or a human-majority country) and some would much rather work with a computer than spells (though, doesn't mean they can't do both).
Anyway, I'm sorta unsure about the cult thing, I mean, on the one hand, trying to take the Temples also means trying to reestablish the systems that kept the Temples in power, which could very well mean that they might place new people to be heads of the Temple (but I don't think that automatically translates to a reinstatement of old religious practices. Just because they want the old stuff doesn't mean it's gonna be all the old stuff because it's very likely that these guys have an idealized understanding of the "good ol' days") On the other hand, it is possible for there to be groups inspired by the Alopex group, and that could mean groups with cultish leanings.
And that's an interesting way of putting the story, it's a little different from what's already written, but it's a good consideration.
I just say it because it would be an interesting way for characters to interact with one another. Along with the Alopex group being torn apart form the inside by Therans who don't really like to see anything be tortured in such ways versus the devout who want to truly grasp what was lost long ago, it would be a good way for the Alopex group to start asking themselves if what they are doing is right. But that is just my romanticized head going overdrive on the story.
So if not every Theran can use magic, would that hint at them having a possibility of them going feral from pure Aether, and not from an Feral bite? Them not being able to control Aether seems to suggest that. Have we discussed this before? I can't seem to find a point where we did discuss if Therans are just much, much less likely to become Ferals from Aether corruption (about 0.1 chance) or they were just all out immune.
Therans have always been used to Aether though, so the chances of any Theran magically-inclined or otherwise to be infected with Feralism is very low (save for a ludicrous saturation of the stuff). They sorta did evolve and build civilizations in Aether-rich locations after all. Heck, as you've said, they're probably more or less immune to it.
Alright. Yeah I thought that came up at some point.
So if Therans are immune, the animals that have been around just as long are also somewhat immune as well. So why not humans?
Humans are something of an empty slate when they are introduced, based mainly on the fact that we adapt to any thing quickly. Which gives human two possible points of origin doesn't it? If they were not given enough time to adapt to Aether despite that humans are known for adaptation, either they came from somewhere else, or they just came into existence with origin being the planet itself other than some realm of of the universe. So, did they just pop out of the ground like a potato-carrot monstrosity that was never meant to exist, or were they imported from foreign lands?
This is my thinking that humans did not predate Therans, and did not just walk out of a giant cryo-vault after some war made the land inhospitable. Therans were made from Aether, so they came about (most likely) without human intervention making humans pre-dating even early Theran civilization impossible.