Magic : A questionaire to develop it

* What do you want from your magic? Is it scientific (Brandon Sanderson) or mysterious (Tolkein)?   * Is it very rare or common? Do lots of people use it, or only great heroes and villains? (i.e.: Harry Potter vs Game of Thrones)   * What powers the magic? Lifeforce, qi, aether, mana. Do magicians have an innate pool of magic, do they harness the power of divine or demonic spirits, sacrifice their lifeforce, or maybe manipulate the background radiation of the universe?   * How do people become magic users? Is it a trait they are born with, or can anyone learn it with enough effort? If its something you are born with, is it genetic or random?   * If its genetic, how does that effect society? (Certain families are going to be magically talented and therefore have an edge. Maybe the nobility end up being mostly magical or the aristocracy practice strict intermarriage to keep their magic pure?)   * If it is something you can learn, how hard is it to learn? Will it take your whole life or just a few years? How is it learnt? (I.e: Hogwarts, apprenticeships, etc)   * If it takes your whole life, why do people learn it (Is there good pay for magicals etc)?   * How is magic cast? (Wands, magic words, glyphs etc) and is there a particular reason for that type of casting being used (is it a law of magic, or is it just tradition and you could actually do it other ways?)   * Can you lose your magic? If so, how and why? (A punishment, overuse, a finite limit to how much magic you can do in your life?) Can magic be stolen?   * What are the downsides to magic (shortened lifespan, progressive insanity, needing to eat lots, being physically frail etc?) What stops your magicians being OP (or are they? That’s fine if they fit your world, but think about the repercussions of super powerful people with varying moralities running around.)   * How powerful are spells and what are they best at? Is your magic more suited to scholars in libraries, or people flinging fireballs on the battlefield? Are their specialities that people must choose to focus upon in order to master?   * How does healing magic work? Can you fix broken bones, cure diseases, raise the dead etc? If so, are there costs for these things or another reason why there isn’t out of control population growth?   * How do magical items work - can you enchant things, and if so how difficult is it and how powerful are the results? (Or are the only magical items ancient artifacts with lost knowledge)   * Is there alchemy and potion making and how does your magic system allow that?   * How do normal people treat those with magic? (Is there discrimination, superstition, a class system etc?)   * How has magic changed your culture? If the mages are calling down miracles from the gods, why do people not believe in the gods? If you can raise the dead, why do people fear death? How would a family react to learning their child is magical - with disgust, pride, or is it perfectly normal?   * What do the governments of your world think of people with magic? (Are they themselves full of magical people, do they try to control them, or suppress them?)   * Can all your species perform magic, or are some better or worse at it? Is there a lore reason why? (favour of the gods, no souls etc)   * How has magic effected technology? (For example, if your magicians can create portals to other countries, maybe your people never developed cargo ships and just send everything by magic portal?) * How does it change war? (Castles aren’t much use if a mage can breach your wall with a word. Cavalry charges could be stopped by a shield, and infantry decimated with a fireball. How do armies cope?)


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