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Is magic being treated like science in the Multiverse books?

"Hell's Gate" and "Hell Hath No Fury", by David, Linda Evans, and Joelle Presby, take the clash of science and magic to a whole new dimension...join us in a friendly discussion of this engrossing series!
Is magic being treated like science in the Multiverse books?
Post by n7axw   » Thu Aug 06, 2015 5:56 pm

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Something has been bugging me since I started paying attention to the Multiverse. Magic is being treated just like any other natural phenomenon...scientifically. It is as though they made the "discovery" that you could tap into this energy level of the universe, have made a point to study it scientifically, established that some individuals have a gift to tap into it in certain ways. Tech is developed around it in a scientific manner.

Instead of being magic in the conventional sense to which we refer here on earth, what we really have here is a alternate form of physics...

Comments, anyone???

Don
When any group seeks political power in God's name, both religion and politics are instantly corrupted.
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Re: Is magic being treated like science in the Multiverse bo
Post by Astelon   » Thu Aug 06, 2015 6:44 pm

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Different authors have their own ways of portraying magic. Some use a sort of scientific view for it, others use a completely fantastic view. Both methods have their pros and cons.

I find I prefer the scientific view when reading, as I can get a feel for what can be done with it, and how much. If an author takes the fantastic route for magic, and doesn't establish some hard rules, he or she can end with magic doing literally everything, solving every problem. I like the characters having to work for it,
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Re: Is magic being treated like science in the Multiverse bo
Post by n7axw   » Fri Aug 07, 2015 7:25 am

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Astelon wrote:Different authors have their own ways of portraying magic. Some use a sort of scientific view for it, others use a completely fantastic view. Both methods have their pros and cons.

I find I prefer the scientific view when reading, as I can get a feel for what can be done with it, and how much. If an author takes the fantastic route for magic, and doesn't establish some hard rules, he or she can end with magic doing literally everything, solving every problem. I like the characters having to work for it,


I guess I had the fantastic view of it in my mind which is why I was surprised. I have never cared for fantasy as opposed to sci-fi. That bias was one of the reasons I avoided the Multiverse books for as long as I did.

Don
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Re: Is magic being treated like science in the Multiverse bo
Post by PeterZ   » Fri Aug 07, 2015 3:35 pm

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The two principal ways magic has been dealt with in the stories I have read has been either channeling or some systematic way of imposing the will unto the physical world. In no case has magic not had a systematic definition to explain it. It follows that the scientific method can be applied to any non-chaneling magic.

I have yet to run into any fantasy story involving magic that doesn't follow this basic premise.

n7axw wrote:
Astelon wrote:Different authors have their own ways of portraying magic. Some use a sort of scientific view for it, others use a completely fantastic view. Both methods have their pros and cons.

I find I prefer the scientific view when reading, as I can get a feel for what can be done with it, and how much. If an author takes the fantastic route for magic, and doesn't establish some hard rules, he or she can end with magic doing literally everything, solving every problem. I like the characters having to work for it,


I guess I had the fantastic view of it in my mind which is why I was surprised. I have never cared for fantasy as opposed to sci-fi. That bias was one of the reasons I avoided the Multiverse books for as long as I did.

Don
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Re: Is magic being treated like science in the Multiverse bo
Post by Tenshinai   » Fri Aug 07, 2015 8:26 pm

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PeterZ wrote:The two principal ways magic has been dealt with in the stories I have read has been either channeling or some systematic way of imposing the will unto the physical world. In no case has magic not had a systematic definition to explain it. It follows that the scientific method can be applied to any non-chaneling magic.

I have yet to run into any fantasy story involving magic that doesn't follow this basic premise.


How about you take a look at Elizabeth Moon, Patricia McKilip, Barbara Hambly, Tamora Pierce, not channeling, not systematic even if they have some semblance of "if you do this, -that- SHOULD happen".

But "should" still isn´t "will", which is when it turns scientific.
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Re: Is magic being treated like science in the Multiverse bo
Post by Astelon   » Sat Aug 08, 2015 10:34 am

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Also J. R. R. Tolkien (Lord of The Rings), J. K. Rowling (Harry Potter), anything based on Dungeons and Dragons.
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Re: Is magic being treated like science in the Multiverse bo
Post by PeterZ   » Sat Aug 08, 2015 2:33 pm

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D&D had a research component at the start. Mages gained spells through research but gained power to cast additional levels through experience. Magic is organized in different schools and spells have predictable results.

HP is similar. The gifted can chanel magical energy and shape it through spells and their will. Magic is learned through organized classes and is taught in a systematic fashion.

Tolkien works the same way in so far as magic is inherent in a being. That being shapes magical energy to alter the universe about him. In a real sense magic is the power of Creation and the beings using magic is chanelling that power.

Astelon wrote:Also J. R. R. Tolkien (Lord of The Rings), J. K. Rowling (Harry Potter), anything based on Dungeons and Dragons.
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Re: Is magic being treated like science in the Multiverse bo
Post by Astelon   » Sat Aug 08, 2015 3:23 pm

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In D&D you only need to have the spell memorized and posses the proper components. If you met those two criteria you simply cast the spell and the result happened. No channeling of energy or dealing with physics.

Harry Potter was similar, but you needed a wand (for proper control apparently) and then the right motions (swish and flick) with the right words got you the result you were aiming for. Again no dealing with physics.

The magic system in Lord of the Rings went unexplained in the books. The only rule that seemed to apply is when the good guys used magic to solve a problem, they suffered some form of consequence. Frodo used the ring, then the Sauron and his ring wraiths could find him; also when Gandalf fought the balrog he was missing for most of the next book. No apparent dealing with physics.
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Re: Is magic being treated like science in the Multiverse bo
Post by PeterZ   » Sat Aug 08, 2015 4:26 pm

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First and Second editions had provisions for research. Don't know about 3rd edition. Haven't played it besides Neverwinter Nights for PC. Still, the research elements always carried over in my mind.

As for potter, one needs to learn the spells, yes. Yet only the gifted can perform the spells. The spell Harry's mother cast making the the floating lilly suggests spells are also created. That there are in schools that teach magic more than suggests a systematic organization that can be taught.

Tolkien allowed us to infer where magic came from. His background works presented a creation myth that nicely suggested a hierarchy of beings that had magic. The higher on the hierarchy, the more magic controlled.

Astelon wrote:In D&D you only need to have the spell memorized and posses the proper components. If you met those two criteria you simply cast the spell and the result happened. No channeling of energy or dealing with physics.

Harry Potter was similar, but you needed a wand (for proper control apparently) and then the right motions (swish and flick) with the right words got you the result you were aiming for. Again no dealing with physics.

The magic system in Lord of the Rings went unexplained in the books. The only rule that seemed to apply is when the good guys used magic to solve a problem, they suffered some form of consequence. Frodo used the ring, then the Sauron and his ring wraiths could find him; also when Gandalf fought the balrog he was missing for most of the next book. No apparent dealing with physics.
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Re: Is magic being treated like science in the Multiverse bo
Post by Tenshinai   » Sat Aug 08, 2015 6:33 pm

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Harry Potter was similar, but you needed a wand (for proper control apparently) and then the right motions (swish and flick) with the right words got you the result you were aiming for. Again no dealing with physics.


No, but it IS systemic. A specific movement combined with specific words and specific thoughts to achieve a specific, predetermined and predictable effect.

Same goes for D&D, it may be rather transparent to the player, but there is a clear underlying systematic process of using power there.

That´s why i mentioned the ones i did, in Moon´s Paks books you have the magelords for example, essentially, they want something to happen and if it is within the power of the individual wanting it, it happens.

In Hambly´s Sisters of the Raven/Circle of the moon, spells vary wildly person to person with zero discernible system.

Pierce Circle of Magic books has craft magic that might sound very systemic, but totally isn´t(though is sometimes channeling). There´s also the series with wild magic which is also no such thing as a system to it.

McKilip´s Cygnet duology, heh try to find a system in that i dare you.
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