D&D General D&D magic inspired by...

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
The one I'm musing is some splice of Dying Earth 1-3 (Vance), Lord Darcy (Randall Garrett), Garrett Files (Glen Cook), and the weaker casters of Dread Empire (Glen Cook).

Very limited number of memorized spells, but many rituals and cantrips (both that have some fatigue tied to them). Things like continual flame and arcane lock degrade over time. No teleportation.
 

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Reynard

Legend
It probably would've defaulted to Elementalists with not much outside of that for Arcane magic. And divine magic, if it existed separate from Arcane, probably would've had a little "Holy" sprinkled onto it.
Why do you say this? Is there a strong vein of elementalism in an Aapendix N source?
 

Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
Why do you say this? Is there a strong vein of elementalism in an Aapendix N source?
No. But there's a long, strong, historical trend toward magic being "The Four Elements" in nearly every piece of media prior to D&D's expansion into things like Force and the like.

Heck. Even in 5e there's a continued drive to have Acid be the "Earth Element" damage type and Ice be the "Water Element" damage type rather than just having them do bludgeoning, slashing, or piercing based on their specific use. Similarly: Lightning is not "Air Damage". Lightning is Electrons. It's it's own thing, dang it!

But -fire- exists as an elemental damage type so EVERY ELEMENT HAS TO HAVE ONE.

I wanna deal Aluminum damage to the people who keep pushing that ridiculous angle all the time forever.
 


Fanaelialae

Legend
This would be an anachronism, but Sanderson.

Not necessarily the specific systems from the Cosmere, but rather magic systems that have strong thematics and well thought out limits. I would say a decent example of a system like this can be found in Worlds Without Number.
 

Blue Orange

Gone to Texas
No. But there's a long, strong, historical trend toward magic being "The Four Elements" in nearly every piece of media prior to D&D's expansion into things like Force and the like.

Heck. Even in 5e there's a continued drive to have Acid be the "Earth Element" damage type and Ice be the "Water Element" damage type rather than just having them do bludgeoning, slashing, or piercing based on their specific use. Similarly: Lightning is not "Air Damage". Lightning is Electrons. It's it's own thing, dang it!

But -fire- exists as an elemental damage type so EVERY ELEMENT HAS TO HAVE ONE.

I wanna deal Aluminum damage to the people who keep pushing that ridiculous angle all the time forever.
The problem with the periodic table elements is there's over 100 of them. Even if you eliminate all the radioactive ones that disappear in under a second you still have too many. Of course, lots of them are metals with properties no preindustrial person could tell apart (they had a hard time even separating most of the rare earths), but even so you still have more visibly distinct elements than most people can remember.

4 elements are easy to remember, and you get all kinds of poetic associations with the sea, the ground, the sky, and fire. You've even got the antagonism between fire and water. Even the Japanese and Indians just add on void or spirit. Go over to China and you'll drop air and get wood and metal--but you're still only at 5. ('Cause 4 sounds like death, I'll bet.)

I agree: also, a lot of the damage electricity does to you is from burns, so technically it should do fire damage plus mind effects from messing with your nervous system. I think ice doesn't do bludgeoning, etc. because it lets them separate the elemental spells used by casters from the weapons used by martials, so it's a sort of class-balancing act as well--you can have monsters that are easier to damage by casters or martials by turning that 'dial', so to speak.

And, of course, there's inertia. What are the elemental types in Final Fantasy 15? Fire, Ice, and Lightning. What spells did damage by level to multiple targets in 1st ed D&D? Fireball, Cone of Cold, and Lightning Bolt. 50 years and 6000 miles and some things don't change.
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
No. But there's a long, strong, historical trend toward magic being "The Four Elements" in nearly every piece of media prior to D&D's expansion into things like Force and the like.

Heck. Even in 5e there's a continued drive to have Acid be the "Earth Element" damage type and Ice be the "Water Element" damage type rather than just having them do bludgeoning, slashing, or piercing based on their specific use. Similarly: Lightning is not "Air Damage". Lightning is Electrons. It's it's own thing, dang it!

But -fire- exists as an elemental damage type so EVERY ELEMENT HAS TO HAVE ONE.

I wanna deal Aluminum damage to the people who keep pushing that ridiculous angle all the time forever.
I think this started in 3e, actually. Though it led to some odd things like Blue Dragons having the Earth subtype because negative electrons come from the sky, and positive ones come from the ground...
 

Voadam

Legend
Thieves World.

A shared fiction world where the authors came together and agreed on some setting elements including how magic worked and then with story two on every author broke those rules and added their own bits in for their own story. :)

It fits with D&D always coming up with different new things.
 

Blue Orange

Gone to Texas
I think this started in 3e, actually. Though it led to some odd things like Blue Dragons having the Earth subtype because negative electrons come from the sky, and positive ones come from the ground...
Right. It's the problem of making the columns line up. The first bunch of associations match up nicely and the rest...just kind of get shoehorned in. You saw this with medieval tables of correspondences. "Sun...gold...yellow! Moon...silver...white! That was easy! All right, what about the other planets? Mars...iron...red, because rust and the planet's red! Venus...copper...green, because patina and...uh...leaves are pretty! Saturn...lead...black, because it's the darkest planet! Whew! Jupiter...tin...blue...Jupiter was the god of the sky, right? Mercury...mercury...okay, we need a color. Uh, what do we have left? Orange? Purple?"

Now they get to the dragons. "Red breathes fire, so fire! Green breathes gas, so air! White breathes cold, so cold! Black breathes acid, so...uh...water, 'cause acid is liquid? Blue breathes lightning, so air...but wait, nobody's earth. Uh, do we want the green one to be earth...that doesn't make any sense, air is a gas. Or maybe the black one...nah, acid is a liquid. We're shipping in two days? OK, blue is earth! It lives in the desert! That's my story, and I'm sticking to it! Now did we figure out what the devourer looks like since DiTerlizzi quit? OK. What's our favored class for gnolls? Dang, they took sorcerer, thief, fighter, and barbarian. Wizard's off-brand...How about ranger? Nobody picked that one yet for the other goblinoids, right? Well, I guess they live in the woods..."
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
Right. It's the problem of making the columns line up. The first bunch of associations match up nicely and the rest...just kind of get shoehorned in. You saw this with medieval tables of correspondences. "Sun...gold...yellow! Moon...silver...white! That was easy! All right, what about the other planets? Mars...iron...red, because rust and the planet's red! Venus...copper...green, because patina and...uh...leaves are pretty! Saturn...lead...black, because it's the darkest planet! Whew! Jupiter...tin...blue...Jupiter was the god of the sky, right? Mercury...mercury...okay, we need a color. Uh, what do we have left? Orange? Purple?"

Now they get to the dragons. "Red breathes fire, so fire! Green breathes gas, so air! White breathes cold, so cold! Black breathes acid, so...uh...water, 'cause acid is liquid? Blue breathes lightning, so air...but wait, nobody's earth. Uh, do we want the green one to be earth...that doesn't make any sense, air is a gas. Or maybe the black one...nah, acid is a liquid. We're shipping in two days? OK, blue is earth! It lives in the desert! That's my story, and I'm sticking to it! Now did we figure out what the devourer looks like since DiTerlizzi quit? OK. What's our favored class for gnolls? Dang, they took sorcerer, thief, fighter, and barbarian. Wizard's off-brand...How about ranger? Nobody picked that one yet for the other goblinoids, right? Well, I guess they live in the woods..."
Yeah, I mean, that was the first one that came to mind, but some of the other Dragons were kind of messed up too, for example, fire-breathing Gold dragons are....fire! But they are aquatic.

The Bronze Dragon is aquatic so....water! But they breathe lightning. Haha, logic!
 

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