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This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

(This reminds me of "Selfless" in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, when D'Hoffryn asks Aud what ingredients she used to turn Olaf into a troll, while the rest of the villagers chase the troll in comical manner. Is or should there be a name for this pattern?)

Darksasami: I'm thinking something along the lines of Magi Babble to correspond to Techno Babble. Magic is quantifiable, follows rules, and may be discussed in terms of technical procedures. This requires knowing what species of ravin'd salt-sea shark you're adding the maw and gulf of, and the desired temperature you're aiming for with the baboon's blood, but it does cut down on the mystical mumbo jumbo.

Possibly something like All In A Days Craft, in which magic is no big deal, as well. Then again, it may be bigger than that, if it includes things like "It's the end of the world." "Again?!"

Looney Toons: Actually, any magical system that allows standardized spells that do the same thing every time you cast them has to match your description of a candidate for Magi Babble, by definition. Just because it's supernatural doesn't mean it isn't done with rigor and research. About the only types of magic which aren't subject to magibabble would be inherent gifts (along the lines of Anthony's Xanth books), theurgy (where the magic is done entirely by spirits and gods with whom the caster makes deals; the "caster" in this case knows nothing more than a glorified phone number), or completely wild magic where no one has any control over what happens and when. (Note that a toned-down version of the latter is basically Magic Realism.)

Darksasami: True enough, but Magi Babble would be when they talk about it. You know. When they Reverse the Polarity of the Thaumaturgical Flow. When they can bring back Buffy but not Joyce from the dead, it's because of Magi Babble. Whenever a warlock says something you could imagine Geordi La Forge saying with a few noun substitutions, that's Magi Babble. Does that make more sense?

Looney Toons: Oh, okay. I misunderstood your focus.

Gus: Perhaps just a note in Techno Babble to the effect that "tech" is sometimes scientific and sometimes magical.

"He died because his phlebotinum got soggy." All we know from this is that a Wizard/Storm Trooper should keep his phlebotinum dry.

Does "The Magicks of Megas-Tu" really belong here? The Megans don't use advanced conventional technology, after all; they work true magic. In their universe, belief generates real effects, and when the Megans went to Earth they drew upon the power of their own universe to work magic. True magic, again.

In Ben 10: Alien Force, Gwen has "magic" that is actually an alien power. ~Lilfut of wuw.clamburger.org


Max Chaplin: I still don't get why this and Clarke's Third Law are separate pages.