Created By: Zeta on April 3, 2013 Last Edited By: Arivne on October 6, 2014

Handloaded Magic

Characters use spells and powers by loading them into their hands.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Vancian Magic is a specific form of "rule magic" in which a spell-caster must "load" and prepare expendable spells or superpowers before hand, much like a gun.

This trope takes it a step further. To use your Magic Loaded Hands, the wielder of these fantastic powers must literally load the magic directly into their mitts - either their palms or digits. Spells or superpowers have to be switched out like weapons, usually creating some sort of glowy effect on the user's hands. They are also usually limited to using (at most) two at a time. Some games will restrict this further and require one hand to wield mundane weaponry or select items.

In terms of video-game design (because that is typically where this trope flourishes), this means that you can put a spell-caster or psychic in the game or a magic and powers system that essentially functions identically to a First-Person Shooter.

See Also: Hand Blast, Powers as Programs, Power Fist and Tricked-Out Gloves


Examples

First-Person Shooter
  • BioShock
    • Powers in BioShock and BioShock 2 come from genetically-engineered Plasmids that occupy the user's hand, causing deformities along with the activated powers.
    • The Vigors in BioShock Infinite work the same way.
  • The Darkness video games had a small variation in which the hands were extra tentacles, freeing up hand space for extra guns.

Stealth-Based Game
  • Dishonored. The magical powers the player characters gain from the Outside emanate from the hand with their tattoo.

Western RPG
  • The Elder Scrolls
    • The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind allows you to select spells or activateable magic items separately from weapons, but "ready spell" and "draw weapon" are different and mutually exclusive actions. In other words, if you hit the "ready spell" key while you have a weapon out, it will sheathe the weapon and "unsheathe" the spell, and vice versa.
    • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim has spells equippable to your right and/or left hands just like weapons, and does not allow you to put a weapon and a spell in the same hand.


Community Feedback Replies: 18
  • April 3, 2013
    StarSword
    "The Elder Scrolls series. (Possibly the Trope Maker)."

    Unless I'm misunderstanding the trope, that's unlikely. I've played all five games, and equipped spells being visible when not in use is new to Skyrim.
  • April 3, 2013
    Zeta
    Really? I could've sworn that Oblivion only let you equip two spells - one to each hand. Well regardless, it still applies to Skyrim.
  • April 3, 2013
    StarSword
    Nope, Oblivion only let you equip one spell, and it doesn't replace any weapons you're holding. Though on second thought, it also applies to Morrowind.

    BTW, you'll need to provide context for those first three examples. Zero Context Examples are not allowed on the wiki. I'll do TES for you since I know that one.

    Western RPG
    • The Elder Scrolls:
      • Morrowind allows you to select spells or activateable magic items separately from weapons, but "ready spell" and "draw weapon" are different and mutually exclusive actions. In other words, if you hit the "ready spell" key while you have a weapon out, it will sheathe the weapon and "unsheathe" the spell, and vice versa.
      • Skyrim has spells equippable to your right and/or left hands just like weapons, and does not allow you to put a weapon and a spell in the same hand.

    You can just click the "edit post" button and copy my markup and paste it straight into the draft.
  • April 4, 2013
    DracMonster
    Handloaded Magic for some punniness. Of course, this has a lot of cross over with Hand Blast and Full Contact Magic.
  • April 4, 2013
    Lumpenprole
    For some reason Magic Charged Hands sounds closer to me.

  • April 4, 2013
    KZN02
  • June 7, 2014
    DAN004
    Dunno if this counts...
    • Elsword: As Night Watcher (one of Rena's job advancements), if she activated her skill Delayed Fire, her right hand will glow red and her explosive arrows (as well as some of her trap skills) will not explode immediately; instead, they'll all explode at the same time and deal stronger damage when she snaps her fingers with said right hand (i.e when you pressed the skill button again).
  • June 8, 2014
    Arivne
  • June 10, 2014
    Koveras
  • June 10, 2014
    DAN004
    Not sure if this counts
    • Na Ruto: In the fight against Itachi, Sasuke has a special seal on his wrists where he can pull shurikens out of.
  • September 4, 2014
    DAN004
    Bump
  • September 4, 2014
    bitemytail
    • In the 3DS remake of the first Etrian Odyssey, Arthur casts magic (Alchemy) using a large gun-like device on his arm.
  • September 4, 2014
    zarpaulus
    Tabletop Games
    • Ironclaw 2nd edition, most weapon spells have to be loaded into a hand, rod, or wand before casting. Taoist Hexagram magic involves combining two spells in hand into one more powerful one.
  • September 4, 2014
    Generality
    Is this meant to be a video-game only trope?
  • September 4, 2014
    bitemytail
    ^ I would think non-videogame examples would be valid.
  • October 5, 2014
    zarpaulus
    It seems like there's no reason not to use non-videogame examples
  • October 5, 2014
    DAN004
    Well then, now do anyone have non vg examples?
  • October 6, 2014
    bitemytail
    ^ I've seen it in an Anime, but I don't remember which one. I'll try and hunt it down.

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