What is magic? Well, I already explained that in the introductory chapter, so I don’t really see what I should do it again, but it’s essentially kind of mathematical meta-physics whatever. You use a special device and work your will upon the universe and voila! Someone’s got a face full of acid now! You’re also either born with magical talent or you learn it, and by born with magical talent we mean you’re essentially a living magical device, like a sorcerer. Those horrible-horrible ugly mutant sorcerers.
Also, sometimes monsters can use magic. Either by being intelligent and having magic devices of their own, or being like a sorcerer, but with even weirder spells and powers. But wait, there’s also Psionic and Divine magic right? How does all that work? Well, I’ll tell you. But like, in a second, ok? I can’t stop this fluff-train just because you’re getting antsy.
Mommy, where does Arcane magic come from?
From a place called the outer-plane. Some people call it the realm of the subconscious, the world of dreams, Arcadia, Aeaea, Ys, and a other nonsense frou-frou fantasy jargon. It’s nonsense because all of those people are WRONG. It’s just the other-plane. All those other places that are mentioned in the books you’ve got (Ethereal plane and whatnot), well our magic scientists found out those are all just demi-planes connected to the ethereal plane. Gee, that makes things easy, especially since having a bunch of planar dimensions to keep track of is kind of an arbitrary and complicated system. Hey, I like Planescape too, doesn’t make it not-confusing as hell.
So, you ka-jigger your magic device (or magical tits if you’re a sorcerer or whatever) and then bad things happen to people. Tres chic! Yes, ok now we can talk about Psionic and Divine magic.
Make a section about psionic magic to placate my obsession with partitioned fluff rules.
Psionics is a lot like Arcane magic, but the magic comes from within ones own mind. Psionics have the Kalashtar psychic gene that gives them the ability to move things with their minds, or teleport with their minds, or set things on fire with their minds. No one is really sure how or why this occurs. If you absolutely need a fluff reason because your imagination tanks are running low here are a few theories cooked up by humans with not much to do:
- Deep inside the psionic mind is a whole mess of thoughts and ideas that are just as strong as a community. So maybe psionic power is like Divine magic but on a much smaller scale.
- Psionics are like sorcerers in that they’re living magic items, except instead of being a living magic item all over it’s just in your head.
Divine magic what do?
There’s a power in community, tradition, culture, identity, history, all that sort of stuff. The universe likes it when people get together and become all chummy-chummy, and rewards them for it. Why? Because I say so and I’m writing this setting, that’s why. If you gotta be a wiseass about it then here’s some lies to tell your idiot players.
- The universe is a living organism, and to promote the growth of it’s consciousness (the outer-plane), it needs living creatures to come together and survive. Living creatures all fuel the outer-plane with their thoughts and emotions, and so Divine magic is almost like the immune system of the universe.
- Maybe there are gods, and they’re willing to lend a hand, even if people don’t really believe in them anymore. They’ll reward those mortals they see as most like them in temperament and fashion style.
- Space Jesus. (Follow this up by smacking a player in the face. Don’t use this book however; the faces of your players are dirty.)
Did I cover Psionic, Divine and Arcane? Good, cause I need to explain Necromancy.
Didn’t think about that, did you? Necromancy doesn’t really fit in the fluff as far as you know, and you never realized it. How do undead and such work? You probably bet they’re mutants or something right? Because my answer to anything magic-related in this setting seems to be aliens and mutants, right? Well, you’d be wrong, cause Necromancy is it’s own thing, sorta, entirely, kind of, completely.
Time for a fake history lesson: when the Lawfuls started prancing about and trashing on the Chaotic factions a few thousand years ago, they had one major ace in the hole: healing magic. They could bring people back from the dead, good as new (if not for maybe a few new mutations), and everybody was all happy and there were parades and everything was perfect forever always! Until the forces of Chaos found their own… “healing”… factor… thing.
Necromancy is the answer to the Lawful Divine