quick & dirty sense of magic types: black; elemental; enchantment; idol

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serendipitous
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quick & dirty sense of magic types: black; elemental; enchantment; idol

Post by serendipitous »

I'm having a hard time getting a feel for the different magic types, and would be glad of any quick & dirty rules/guides/examples/pithy sayings that can clear my confusion.

I have a hard time learning initial categories generally, so please do know that I'm not trying to be obtuse. It comes naturally :/

And in the following, "noun" is meant to mean anything, really, which can be referred to by the part of speech known as a noun. Anything labeled by a word that behaves noun-ishly. Could be "stuff", I guess, but doesn't some magic operate through stuff that is too ethereal or otherworldly to be real "stuff"? so I call it nouns to help me keep it straight.

So far, I have a sense of "enchantment" as imbuing nouns with non-mundane, non-"natural" qualities. So pretty broad. But I'm not sure that's good for DCC or for fantasy "enchantment" generally because it doesn't exclude much magic. My 10-year-old is convinced that there is a LOT of magic that isn't enchantment but he can't get me to understand what that would be.

And dark magic is ... what? Comes from bad folks? Is all about exerting power in a "negative" way or over matter that has had its own power removed? So that making a stone do a jig is enchantment, but making a corpse do a jig is dark magic?

And elemental magic is ... different to "enchantment" in some fundamental way? or basically enchantment of elemental nouns? or enchantment whose power comes from elemental nouns?

And "idol magic": any of the above, accessed through worship? If so, how is worship of the entity different to having a patron? Is it worship if one has suitably internalized one's own insignificance vis-a-vis the power-granting entity? so you need some sort of groveling aspect? or acknowledgment of the entity's actual superiority on some dimension, as opposed to paying lip-service and then cracking jokes in one's relaxed moments?

Anyhow: thanks in advance for thoughts, pointers, help, commiseration, etc!
Last edited by serendipitous on Sun May 02, 2021 5:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: q&d sense of magic types: black; elemental; enchantment; idol

Post by GnomeBoy »

I could comment on many of your points, but the essence would be this: you're taking text which is meant to be evocative and treating it as being denotative. Just as the text in an Appendix N short story might *suggest* that someone experimenting with magic is tapping into forces bigger than they realize, without full explanation of what that is specifically, the Rulebook gives hints and suggests things that are meant to fire your imagination, not lay out a detailed explanation of every little detail of how magic works on the narrative side of things.

Now if you like to have everything codified, that's fine, but the book is not doing that -- but it is hinting at how that might be done, ready for you to develop it as far as you'd like to in the game as played at your table. Part of the charm of the game is how adaptable it is to individual tastes...
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serendipitous
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Re: q&d sense of magic types: black; elemental; enchantment; idol

Post by serendipitous »

GnomeBoy wrote: Sun May 02, 2021 3:30 pm I could comment on many of your points, but the essence would be this: you're taking text which is meant to be evocative and treating it as being denotative. Just as the text in an Appendix N short story might *suggest* that someone experimenting with magic is tapping into forces bigger than they realize, without full explanation of what that is specifically, the Rulebook gives hints and suggests things that are meant to fire your imagination, not lay out a detailed explanation of every little detail of how magic works on the narrative side of things.

Now if you like to have everything codified, that's fine, but the book is not doing that -- but it is hinting at how that might be done, ready for you to develop it as far as you'd like to in the game as played at your table. Part of the charm of the game is how adaptable it is to individual tastes...
Thanks so much for the reply: yeah, you're right. I sort of figured.

If you have time & are feeling sympathetic toward my cause (which is a noble one! Fun at the table! More DCC!), could you try tossing out any basic flavor words that might work? I'm really stuck on this. I know it is stupid to be stuck.

That's what I meant by having a problem with categories. I have a really, really hard time getting a "feel" for categories relative to other people. It's slow going out of the gate.

Anyhow, if something comes to mind, I'd be grateful. Particularly for hints at distinguishing between types of magic or getting the zeitgeist of what the players expect. Like, what feels essential to you for magic involving "worship"? I'm a Catholic-reared-Quaker with some grounding in GrecoRoman paganism, so man, my thoughts on worship are just not Appendix N and my intuitions are FUBAR for that.

Here's a good faith effort to answer my own question:
dark magic: essential to its nature is intention of cruelty or manipulative power-wielding.
elemental magic: complicated, enhanced, or limited by the epic gravitas of the element used/affected and/or powers aligned with the element
enchantment: catch-all?
idol magic: bound up with the idea that a physical item is imbued with power-giving properties. I'd want to flavor the results accordingly.

Is that the sort of idea? Again -- I realize you mayn't have more time, appreciate the help you've already given: thanks!
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Re: quick & dirty sense of magic types: black; elemental; enchantment; idol

Post by GnomeBoy »

For myself, I don't think there a need for hard and fast categories. I will focus when running on the individual NPCs and focus on *how* they are casting, or what trappings they use or are surrounded by. If there are 98 Wizards across the World, then there are 98 ways of accessing magical power; some may overlap greatly, some slightly, and others not at all.

So my focus is the individual, their style, and completely throwing out the idea of "schools" of magic (in both the sense of "academies" AND the sense of "fixed methodologies"). This keeps magic mysterious, as the game suggests it should be... You know idol magic when you see it, because it involves graven images, pleas and oaths to outer beings, etc. Elemental magic is centered on the elements, as simple as that -- all other factors would be dictated by the needs of the session I'm running. If there is a question of PCs recognizing a "type of magic" from discovering a sorcerer's workshop or whatever, I'm going to tell them they recognize that this person is working on Elemental Magic -- not give them some coded description of the workshop for them to figure out if it's Elemental or otherwise...

If, as you say, you have difficulty getting a feel for the categories, it may make sense to throw the categories out.
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serendipitous
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Re: quick & dirty sense of magic types: black; elemental; enchantment; idol

Post by serendipitous »

GnomeBoy, thanks so much! That's super helpful.
" ... the things I am going to say are true and I am a force for truth and goodness, dammit, and I will beat anyone unconscious if they say otherwise."
-- The Angry GM
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