Sometimes fantasy worlds have magic in them, sometimes they don't. In today's post I'll talk about the ones that do. In the past I covered three aspects of how to create a magic system, but today I'll be compiling a list of questions I ask myself when creating worlds with magic in them!
1) Who has magic? What terminology is used to refer to them (eg. magician, wizard, witch)?
2) Are magical powers gained, are people born with them, or can it be both? If gained, how so? If they are born with them, is it their bloodline or something else?
Drawing from my WIP, Golden Revenge, one of the types of magicians are called Stormdancers. They are able to control rain, lightning, and thunder. The powers are only granted to babies, however, who are born during storms. Another kind of magician is called a Soulstreamer, and it is passed down through their blood.
3) Where does magic come from? (eg. the world, an object, within the magician)
4) How are magicians viewed by those without magic? Are they hated? Feared? Revered? And how do magicians view those without?
5) Are there any religious groups against magic? Why or why not?
6) Does magic play a part in the political system, or is it completely separate? If separate, are there any policies in place to enforce rules regarding magic use? What is the magical community's response to this?
Again from Golden Revenge (as will all the later examples), in one of the countries, any magic that is not performed by a certain organisation is considered illegal. As an act of defiance, magicians not in the organisation set up illegal magic markets underneath its cities.
7) What kind of form does magic take? Is it visible?
8) What effect does magic have on the magician? Are there immediate effects or do they apply gradually over time?
9) Are there any places of education where those with magic are trained? If so, are they being trained for careers in the future, or are their powers being purposefully subdued?
The organisation mentioned before is called the Scholarly, where those who suspect they have magical powers may attend to learn how to heal the body and mind. When they have finished training they are granted jobs, but they're never allowed to practice illegal magic.
10) What are the limits/rules of magic? What can it do, and not do?
11) Are there different levels of skill magicians can fall under? Can they move between levels? Are there different kinds with different powers?
12) Do certain locations within the world give a magician more power than others? Are there places that magic cannot touch or be used in?
13) Do magicians have a code of behavior between them? What does it entail? Have/do any magicians refuse to follow this code?
The magicians in the illegal magic markets have no code other than don't get caught. As they're not under the watch of the law, they grant themselves freedom to do whatever they wish, from creating monsters of talons and scales to crafting flowers made of tiny eyes.
14) Why is magic a part of your world? Was it given by a god, or has it been around since the beginning of time? What is its history?
15) Do any other people groups or species have magic? How is it different or similar?
16) Are there any identifiers of those with magic? (eg. robes, pins, a certain tattoo)
17) How does magic influence wars and conflict? Are magicians brought in to fight, or to bring peace?
And that brings me to the end of my list! I really hope it can help you out in your world-building and fleshing out the magical presence in your world!
Do you have any questions to add to my list? How do you develop the magical presence in your world? What magical power do you wish you had? Are you a great lover of fantasy like me?
Let me know in the comments below, and have a magical day! <3